Originally Posted by Lukka'sma
My reason for asking Jim isn't to try and confuse either myself or members
, you just have to be patient with me as I am not in any way a photographer or even experienced with all these terms. Focal length even has me a bit miffed.
What I'm trying to get at is I want a far better zoom lense for the SLR than what I get with the Panasonic point and shoot. The Panasonic has the numbers 28mm wide written on the lense, so what would I buy for the SLR to get far more zoom than the 10X zoom I get with the Panasonic. Keeping in mind I don't alway want to carry a tripod.
I bought the Nikon D40, just an entry level but will do what I need it to do, also from everything I have read about it, the weight won't be a problem after two or three hours of wearing it on a hike. That was an important issue for me and the deciding factor as to what to buy.
If you have the Panasonic I think you have, then you probably have the focal length equivalent of 420 mm. The end of that focal length, however, can be fairly distorted and somewhat useless. Othewise a great camera if its the digital DMC Z20-FZ50 range of Panasonic.
The Nikor 300 mm probably has a real focal length of 450 mm.
The best lenses, and the most expensive, will have LESS glass in them AND a lower f-stop (IE: 2.8 as an example on a higher end long telephoto that might cost you up into the $1,500 area). As such, don't assume that just because a lense has 300 mm stapled on it that it's a good one.
Also, vibration reduction technology and auto focus technology are something you want.
The NIKON can be packaged with a 28-70 mm telephoto and a 70-300 mm (3.5 f-stop) telephoto, both with vibration reduction and auto focus. Those aren't the highest end lenses from NIKON but they're good enough probably for most things and of a decent enough quality to get started. Later, when you win the lottery, start adding some high-end stuff.