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Camera shop in China Map

Singapore & Hong Kong Camera Shops Price Guide

Bangkok, Thailand

Interesting Reading

Film and Digital camera value through years

Camera and Lens Review site

Bird photography and high zoom FAQs (How much zoom power you need?)

Lens and Works

  • food photography
  • jewelry photography site01
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  • landscape photography (large format) example
  • portrait photography
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  • macro photography
  • bird and safari photography safari guide
  • aero photography
  • others event based: sports, wedding

Auto Focus Lens combination price range

“Photography costs and DSLR ruins”.
(摄影穷三代,单反毁一生)



pack 1 pack 2 pack 3 pack 4 one-for-all other
18-55mm 18-135mm 24-70mm 18-50mm 18-200mm 100-400mm
SGD 150-800SGD 280-1350SGD 250-1580SGD SGD 350-850 SGD 1800
55-250mm 150-500mm 70-200mm 50-500mm 18-250mm 1.4 ext
SGD 250-430 SGD 1400 SGD 550-1400 SGD 1400-2000 SGD 450-600 SGD 300
400mm 70-300mm 28-300mm 2x ext
f5.6 1400 SGD 200-700 SGD 250-700 SGD 170

Primes

50mm 90mm 100mm 300mm 400mm 500mmf4 is
f1.8 70 SGD 300-500f2.8 400-650f2.8 6000f5.6 1400-1600 SGD 7600
f1.4 250-450135mm 200mm 600mmf4
f1.2 1900 f2 1100 f2.8 850-1200 SGD 6300

Wide-angle lens

10~24mm 16~35mm
SGD 600-880 SGD 35-1600

Lens Review for Common use

for 18-55mm, all kit lens has this range, so no need to talk about it.

canon f4canon f4 iscanon f2.8 is IIsigma f2.8tamron f2.8
price5000 cny8600 cny15000 cny5700 cny5500 cny
1000 sgd1600 sgd3000 sgd1150 sgd1100 sgd
weight705g760g1.5kg1.3kg1.3kg
length17cm17cm20cm19cm19cm
filter67mm67mm77mm77mm77mm
year19992006201020072008
f4-324-322.8-322.8-222.8-32
focus1.2m1.2m1.2m1m0.95m
blade88899
ISnoyesyesnono
structure13g16p15g20p19g23p15g18p13g18p
noteLLWLW
corner sharpness4.54.44.53.83.8
bg bluriness33444
review with 2x ext

note: one lens may be bad for a landscape photographer, but may actually be good enough for portrait photographer.

Because,

  1. for landscape and nature scene shot, corner to corner sharpness is more important,
    • fast aperture like f2.8 is not that important, as the scene is not moving
    • shallow depth of field of f2.8 is no use, as landscape scene shot need deep sharp view to the infinity
    • background blur is no use for landscape, as your subject is the background, and you don't want to blur it
  2. for portrait shot, corner sharpness is not that important while blurry background is more important
    • fast aperture like f2.8 is important, as people can move fast
    • shallow depth of field of f2.8 is important, as you need blurry background to pop the portrait more
    • corner sharpness is not important as long as your portrait is in the center of lens
  3. for close-up shot, like flower or birds, f4 is enough to blur out the background
    • fast aperture like f2.8 is optional, as f4 is enough to blur out the background because of that close object distance of long zoom focus length
    • corner sharpness is not that important, as long as your object is in the center part of lens.

Conclusion on 70-200mm range:

  • f2.8 is priority consideration when shooting center-framed portrait is your main goal with lens at this range.
  • corner sharpness is priority consideration when shooting landscape is your main goal with lens at this range
  • cheap price is priority consideration when you are on a budget,
    • for landscape photographer, choose Canon 70-200mm f4L no-IS version
    • for portrait photographer, choose Sigma f2.8 (fast focus) or Tamron f2.8 (bit slow focus)version
    • for mixed photographer, choose Sigma f2.8, you can always stop aperture down to f5.6 to get corner sharpness back for landscape
  • quality is priority consideration when money is no-issue to you and you can earn the money back out from your photos
    • get Canon f2.8 for the flexibility and sharp all the way and blur all the way as you like
  • IS (image stabilize) is priority consideration when you shoot in the evening or indoor at most time and don't want to carry a tripod

on a 1.6x crop factor Canon DSLR, it means 44-112mm range.

sigma f2.8-4sigma f2.8tamron f2.8canon f2.8canon f4
price3200 cny3650 cny3000 cny9700 cny6900 cny
600 sgd700 sgd600 sgd2000 sgd1200 sgd
weight535g715g510g950g670g
length9cm11.5cm9cm12cm10cm
filter72mm82mm67mm77mm77mm
year
ff2.8-22f2.8-32f2.8-32f2.8-22f4-22
focus0.22m0.4m0.33m0.38m0.45m
blade79788
ISyesnononoyes
structure13g17p13g14p14g16p13g16p13g18p
note17-70mm24-70mm28-75mm24-105mm
corner sharpness4.53.54.34.34
bg bluriness3.94443

on 1.6x crop factor Canon DSLR, it means 80mm and 136mm.

canon 50mm 1.4sigma 50mm 1.4canon 50mm f1.8canon f1.8 85mm Samyang f1.4 85mm manual
price25503600 cny500 cny2800 cny
500 sgd700 sgd100 sgd560 sgd400-650 sgd
weight290g505g130g425g513g
length5cm6.8cm4cm7cm72mm
filter58mm77mm52mm58mm72mm (78)
year
ff1.4-22f1.4-16f1.8-22f1.8-22f1.4-16
focus0.45m0.45m0.45m0.85m1m
blade8958?
ISnonononono
structure6g7p6g8p5g6p7g9p7g9p
note
corner sharpness43.544.3?
bg bluriness4.54.54.54.54.8

that means, on crop factor of 1.6, 12.8mm-38mm. (<35mm)

Generally, 14mm (135 format), that is 22mm(1.6crop), which is quite wide for very close portrait+environment shot and indoor.
10mm (135 format), that 16mm (1.6 crop), which is extreme wide for city,
8mm (12mm), which is amazing for nature wide angle shot.

sigma Canon Tamron Tokkia
8-16mm 10-20mm 12-24mm 10-22mm 20mm 10-24mm 11-16mm 12-24mm
eq 1.6x 13-25mm 16-32mm 19-38mm 16-35mm 32mm 16-38mm 17-25mm 19-38mm
f4.5-5.6 4-5.6 4.5-5.6 3.5-4.5 f2.8 3.5-4.5 f2.8 f4
p5200 cny 3900 cny 5600 cny 5300 cny 3860 cny 3700 cny 4074 cny 3800 cny
video s1 s2 s3 c1 c2 video t1 t2

Note: on a 1.6x or 1.5 crop DSLR,those non-full-frame one, as most DSLR, loses the 17mm -35mm wide angle with the so-called kit lens (17-55mm equ. 27-88mm).

Thus, the actual 17-28 range is missing from most DSLR cameras starting from the Kit lens.
and a extra wide lens is required to capture that wide angle.

On a 1.6x crop factor Canon DSLR, it means 480mm to 800mm range,
which finally match today's super zoom compact's 840mm (Canon SX30IS)

canon 70-300mm
f4-5.6
canon 100-400mm
f4.5-5.6
tamron 200-500mm
f5-6.3
sigma 150-500
f5-6.3
sigma 170-500
f5-6.3
Tokina 80-400mm Pro
f4.5-5.6
equivalent(112-480mm)(160-640mm)(320-800mm)(240-800mm) (128-640mm)
price9399 cny12k cny7350 cny7000 cny3500 cny 3300 cny
2000 sgd2400 sgd1470 sgd1400 sgd 600 sgd
2nd hand 1850 sgd 1250 sgd 400 sgd
weight1kg1.38kg1.2kg1.9kg1.3kg0.9kg
length14cm19cm22cm25cm 13.6cm
filter64778686 72
year201019982007 (discontinued)2009discontinued
ff4-45f4.5-38f5-32f5-22 f4.5-f32
focus1.2m1.8m2.5m2.2m 2.5m
blade8899 8
ISyesyesno (Di LD IF)yes (DG OS HSM) no
structure14g19p14g17p10g13p15g21p 110g16p
note
corner sharpness 4.2 4.0
review 1.4x ext 1.4x ext
gallery gallery gallery

note: long focus length zoom lens has advantage of flexibility for unpredictable situation, while long focus length prime lens has better image quality in term of sharpness and fast aperture.

Thus,

  1. when object is predictable, Prime is preferred, like locational sports
  2. when critical fast reaction speed and superior quality are priority, Prime is preferred
  3. when object is hard to track and moving in various distance, Zoom is preferred, like widelife shots
  4. fast super-telephoto prime lens with f2.8 or f4 or f5.6 at 400-800mm range can be extremely heavy and expensive (more than 5000 SGD), so not discussed here. (600mm f4 in use)
  5. Image Stabilize feature is a key feature for this super-telephoto range, with so-called “IS OS VR”, it greatly stops the shake

Flexibility of Prime super-telephoto lens,

  1. fast prime super-telephoto lens can use 1.4x extension or 2.0x to get extra reach,
    • 300mm F4 prime with 2.0x extension becomes 600mm F8, still maintaining good image quality but manual focus on general DLSR.
    • 400mm f5.6 prime with 2.0x extension becomes 800mm F11, still maintain good image quality but manual focus or every slow auto focus

Flexibility of fast telephoto zoom lens,

  1. fast and high quality telephoto lens can use 1.4x extension or 2.0x to become super-telephoto zoom

Quality of general super-telephoto zoom lens,

  1. general and slow super-telephoto zoom lens with f6.3 and lower can still use extension, but image quality will decrease quite a bit, and manual focus only.
  2. extension generally designed for high quality fast primes and zooms that can afford the light decrease through extension.
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro Canon 100mm f2.8 macro Sigma 105mm 2.8 macro Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro
price 500 SGD 730 SGD
2nd hand 400 SGD
weight 405g 600g 450g 921g
diameter 71mm 79mm 74mm 84mm
length 97mm 119mm 95mm 165mm
filter 55mm 58mm
close focus29cm 31cm

ref: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-90mm-f-2.8-Di-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

DSLR or Compact -the Battle of Image Quality to Price Ratio

The important research artcile on this Question:

Check these 2 images

HS10 Pentax K-x Sony A850 (24MP) Canon 5DII (21MP) Leica M9 (18MP)
600sgd 700sgd 2900SGD 3000SGD 9000SGD

Note:

  • The 100% view of them on screen are all not-perfect
  • the compact HS10: the image quality is not sharp, color fringing on lines, smearing on surface
  • the DSLR Pentax kx: the image is not shot steady, and bit blur on flower details.
  • A850 image is not sharp in the central wood as well at 100% because of focus is not set precisely on the wood
  • the 5D shot is a little better at noise clearness, but seems the focus is not shift to eye precisely.
  • Leica is famous for its optical quality, while generally, people who spend so much on that kind of camera, normally has a steady hand and sharp eye to focus right.

Note 2:

  • use Browser's “Ctrl+” “Ctrl-” key to zoom out the images into 50%,
  • both images looks sharp and detail now, sharp clear fur from HS10, and contrasty flower from Kx

Conclusion:

  • why zooming to 50% gives you good result from either Compact or DSLR,
  • Why zooming to 100% hardly gives you perfection
  • Because
    1. simply human is not good at achieving 100% perfection, even with good camers
    2. nowadays camera all got around 14MP or 16MP high resolution sensor, they are designed to provide with enough resolution even at 50% scale
    3. you can get good perfect 50% scaled image at 7-8MP from any camera with relatively good steady hand
  • for printing, based on this MegaPixel Myth
    1. 7-8MP can print out good How-big-photo, a simple guide is
      1. How big the Photo looks at 50% on your standard Computer Monitor, put a paper on monitor, then you got the idea
  • How sharp my photo can be, check this article
    • Maximum Sharpness is all about your steady hand when holding the camera,
      • Camera tiny hand-shake can ruin the images. and motion blur out the image,
      • so, next time, use a tripod and camera not moving and your targets not moving within at least 1 second
      • With a Huge MegaPixel, that means, at 100% view, that large resolution will record clearly your even-tiny-hand-shaking caused exposure bluriness.
      • The last key factor is focusing on the right spot, as Digital Compacts generally don't have a lens barrel ring to do precise mannual focus, DSLR with all the full manual focus lens gives advantage, but FujiFilm bridge camera series and Sony new HX100v, these compact cameras also features a manual focus ring.

Last word about Super Zoom Compact

2005

  • panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30: king of super zoom 2005(review)
    • 1/1.8 CCD sensor, 8MP, RAW capable, 640×480 video, 12x manual zoom and focus capable super zoom (35-420mm IS), 720g, Lithium Ion battery
  • Sony H1: 2005 - my first super zoom and my 2nd digital camera, everything is good except precise tune of focus for bird shot
    • 1/2.5 CCD sensor, 5MP, no RAW, VGA video, 12x optic zoom, (36-432mm IS),438g, AA battery
  • other as bellow

"Megazoom camera history and advangtage" moves to a new page.

Mounts adapters

Check list for mounts capability:

  1. aperture control capability, as some lens may not have a aperture ring;
  2. check whether the lens can focus infinity on mounts;
  3. check whether mounts have Focus Confirmation Chip built-in

Singapore Camera rent price

As high quality lens can get extremely expensive, renting one becomes more reasonable and affortable than buying one,

as some extreme heavy and expensive lenses are not used that often.

My Final Words

  • since 2011, my research result on cheapest solution to DSLR is
    1. buy 2nd hand 2 year old technology for best price, it is almost 1/3 of original launch price or current lastest
    2. buy old manual focus lens, they are good enough for family use
    3. buy very cheap, and sell it cheap for slight better thing.
  • in electronics age, things get cheaper every day, better buy what you need and use it fully for its value
  • dont waste money on buying expensive, and never use