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« Semi-Professional Digital Cameras (Pro-sumer) | Main | Pelican Cases »

April 12, 2008

Professional Camera Lenses

-Patrick S Lasswell

Things Your Team Needs: Quality Imaging Gear

What is it? Professional Camera Lenses

Photo (c) B&H Photo

What does it do? Focuses light for cameras.

Why do we need it? The current conflict and most expected conflicts in the foreseeable future are political wars, which means they are information wars and imagery tools are a primary weapon. Quality professional lenses provide much better images, more quickly, and under worse conditions than lenses provided in kits.

Where can we get it? Local camera stores, online giants. B&H Photo is an excellent source with a GSA portal:

What kind should we get? (April 2008) Exact lens used will depend on camera used and the team mission. A multi-purpose zoom lens is a strong choice. The lower number the f-stop possesses, the less light will be required. For Nikon cameras, the 18-200mm VR is very versatile, although subject to chromatic aberration at extremes. For Canon cameras the 24-70mm f2.8L is versatile with substantial low light capability, although the auto-focus works best with a center focus only. Generally, the better the lens, the heavier the glass.

GSA Contract, Part or Stock Numbers? Various.

How much does it cost? (April 2008) Not less than $500 Not more than $1,800 for each lens. Competition keeps lens vendors honest and usually money spent translates directly into greater image quality.

Why is this better than what is issued? Quality lenses capture images faster, more completely, and with greater clarity than cheap lenses can. During critical situations, the speed of the lens and the precision of image it captures are of paramount importance. Professional lenses are not cheap but improve overall performance without requiring extra training.

What stupid things will be done with it? Failures in accountability. Incorrect lens choice for mission. Unnecessary lens replacement in dusty or moist environments. Hoarding. Exposure to weather beyond the capacity of the lens to endure. Smudges. Harassment. (If treated like a rifle in all things except muzzle discipline, cameras are much less susceptible to stupidity failures.)

Additional supplies needed? UV filter for transparent protection of the lens face. Lens storage bags. Replacement lens covers.

Patrick S Lasswell is a member of the Inactive Ready Reserve and would be happy to help your unit get the best equipment for its mission. Contact him at pslblog (at) gmail (dot) com. He will be happy to accept your gratitude in the form of unpaid drill credits. Civilians willing to donate money for the insight provided will not be turned away.


B&H Photo is an excellent source ...

Thank you.

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

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