Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tribute To A Faithful Friend - Goodby To The Canon 50mm Lens

The Last Photo
(taken with my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens)
If there is one lens every photographer needs, it is a Canon 50mm lens. I have had more than one in my camera bag.

My research is complete (I hope) and conclusive. You can't bounce a Canon 50mm lens off the conrete and expect it to perform well afterwards.

The story is depressing.

I knew early on that I needed a 50mm as part of my kit, but price was a concern, so I purchased an f/1.8. You may be familiar with that one. It is extremely inexpensive at about $100. Granted, it is constructed of plastic, but it still gives excellent performance. I planned to take good care of it, so plastic was not a concern for me.What happened could have happened to anyone. In fact, I had read of a similar incident only a few days BEFORE my own accident. I simply picked up my camera case and threw it over my shoulder. Except I had forgotten to zip it shut. My treasured lens went flying, landing on the concrete walk. I went into mourning over the loss of a dear friend.

But my grief was assuaged by the purchase of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 model. The cost was quite a bit more than the first one at about $350. Part of the reason for buying the better model was for the better lens construction. The plastic lens had shattered, so I figured the metal casing of the f/1.4 model would provide better results in case of another accident.

Things were great. The new lens was doing its thing, taking quality shots. But then, my world was again shaken by the demise of a 50mm lens.

This time, the accident was not quite the same as the first one, but the results were just as devasting. I picked up my camera (with 50mm lens attached), and the camera strap caught on something, pulling the camera out of my hand. It hit the concrete of the garage floor. I was horrified. However upon inspection, there was no apparent damage. That is until I tried to use the camera to take a picture. That's when I discovered the lens no longer worked. Something happened to the focus mechanism in the lens, and it would not work. It wouldn't even focus manually. I am still in mourning.

In spite of my grief, I feel compelled to comment on the goodnes of 50mm Canon lenses.

My experience with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens has made a believer out of me. It is an amazing photographic tool. Since I have not used the F/1.2 model, I can't comment on that one, but this one is a fine lens that will satisfy either an enthusiastic amateur or a professional photographer.

One of the virtures of the f/1.4 is an extremely wide aperture. It can be used in very challenging light situations to provide excellent photos. I have used it at concerts where flash photography is prohibited with great results.

Another advantage of this lens was (its now past tense) when using it as a portrait lens. The Bokeh is awesome. Even though it is not the lens of choice for professional portrait shooters, it does a really nice job.

I discovered another use for a 50mm lens just recently, although I have not had time to try it. A friend was taking pictures with her new Canon 7D at a high school basketball game, and she was using a 50mm lens. She explained that she liked it better than her other lenses (one of which is a Canon 70-200 f/4) for a couple of reasons. The first reason was the really wide aperture. An f/4 lens was to slow to get the action without blur. And secondly, she felt like the 70-200 was too much in focal length. The 50mm lens gave her more of the action rather than just focusing on one player. I had not considered the f/1.4 lens a sports lens, but in that situation, it was the perfect match.

Whether I will replace the lens is not the question. It is a given. I just have to choose the right time and place to convince my "better half" that this is the right thing to do.

You can see the entire 50mm Canon lens line-up at http://www.canoneoslenses.org/50mm-lens-for-canon/.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Which Travel Camera Rules The Ratings -Nikon P100 or Canon PowerShot SX20 IS

This is the Nikon P100

Travel lends itself to a very specific type of point and shoot camera, don't you think? Have you been trying to decide between a Nikon P100 or a Canon SX20 IS? That is exactly what I am doing as I look for a new every day camera that will allow me to not carry a heavy backpack with digital SLR gear all day when traveling. It will also double as a back up my digital SLR.

When I was buying that first DSLR, I faced the exact same dilemma. Canon or Nikon... Nikon or Canon... which one is best.

I am focusing my attention on the top two manufacturers in this situation, even though there are other good cameras in the travel category. By the way, these digital compacts are also known for their "super zoom" capabilities. Panasonic also has a very good model, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ40, but I will restrict this discussion to the Nikon or Canon choice.

Find a complete list of Point and Shoot Cameras at the Amazon Marketplace

It's true, these two camera makers have a lock on the market. They can swager into any digital camera expo with confidence. There are a couple of good reasons for this, too.

First, they have good cameras. Their engineers and designers apparently listen to their camera buyers' feedback, as well as doing their best to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to new technology. They usually put forth excellent products.

Second, they both have excellent marketing programs. And usually, the cameras they promote do what they say, so there is trust in the products.

The Competitor - Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Cameras that are considered for the travel camera category can also be found in the super-zoom category. That is because of the ability to take pictures at wide angles as well as from a distance in the "up close and personal", or "zoomed to catch the whites of their eyes from 100 yards" mode. Simply said, they can get a huge range of focal length shots.

Now, let's have a gander at these two cameras: Nikon P100 and Canon SX20 IS. They are quite similar when you look closely at the feature sets. In fact they are so close in many areas, I will not even bother to point those out, because if one camera has a certain element, you can pretty much count on the other having an identical one.

So here are the differences.

The Nikon P100 has a higher capacity video recording system, with the ability to record 1080p at 30 frames per second. It also has the better LCD screen with 3" vs 2.5" and twice the number of dots per inch for better viewing in tough light situations. It has a higher zoom ratio at 26x (26-678mm) vs 20x (28-560mm) and higher ISO range.

The Canon SX20 wins in fewer categories, but they are important ones. One factor that is not as important as it used to be is the sensor size. The Canon SX20IS has a 12.1-megapixel sensor as opposed to the 10.3-megapixel sensor of the Nikon. The key factor for the Canon is that it has a higher Star rating on Amazon, and it has a win in the DPReview "Compact Super-Zoom group test." This test takes all aspects of camera performance and image quality into consideration. Of course, the Nikon was the runner-up, so it is still a tough call.

So, the Nikon-Canon or Canon-Nikon competition rages on.

Oh Yeah, did I mention that my mind is settled on which camera that I, personally, will get? You can see the "Bottom Line" at the "Best Travel Camera" web page at http://digital-photographic-resources.com/cameras/travel-compact.html.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nikon Coolpix P7000 vs Canon PowerShot G12

Colby, up close and personal..
Not taken with a Nikon P7000 :-)

There was an add during the basketball game tonight. It was one of the Ashton Kutcher Nikon adds.

This one was for the Nikon S8100. Based on the add, I was about to go online and order one.

Reason kicked in before my credit card made it out of my wallet, and I did some checking for the ratings. In the commercial, there was a short line that said more serious photographers should look at the Nikon P7000, so after finding out that the S8100 was not at the top of the "users' favs", I headed over to the P7000 Amazon page.

This looks like a serious competitor. In fact it looks a lot like the Canon G12 in almost every aspect. Since I love the Canon/Nikon debate, I thought it might be a good idea to compare the two. How I got from the Nikon S8100 to a comparison between these two "almost pro" digital compacts is still kind of fuzzy, but there I was.

To set the record straight, I am the owner of a Canon digital SLR, which I dearly love. However, I am in the market for a good compact, simply because carrying all that camera stuff 24/7 is not very convenient. I want something that I can carry with me no matter where I am.

My process for evaluating cameras has evolved into a rather predictable pattern. First stop is DPReview to see if an expert review has been written. Then I head over to Amazon to read the customer reviews. Final place to check is the B & H Photo store online where there are also some valuable user reviews.

I actually prefer these user reviews to the expert's articles because these are real people like me and you who are giving their honest opinion about the cameras. They don't get anything for their $.02 worth of opinion. But in my eyes, it is worth so much more than that.

In the Nikon P7000 vs Canon G12, there are about 40 user reviews for each, so it is a fairly reliable resource. They are pretty close in evaluation. Too close to call, in fact. And as mentioned, the features of each camera are also very close to identical. Both will give the advanced photographer all the control necessary to take charge of the final image results.

If one feature could push the decision, it would be the articulating LCD screen on the Canon G12. This is very handy, especially when shooting in unusual positions or capturing video.

However, the overall evaluation is at a standstill for right now. Maybe this doesn't help you if you are trying to decide on one of these cameras, but here is something else I came across in my research, and it is this: neither one of these two great cameras are the top choice of shoppers in this "almost pro" category. Nope, the evaluations didn't even get them into the "Top 5 Point and Shoot Cameras" list.

Lucky for you, there is such a list at: Top 5 Point and Shoot Cameras.
The web address is http://www.squidoo.com/top-5-point-and-shoot-cameras. Check it out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sigma 85mm f1.4 - New Mid-range Telephoto

Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX DG HSM
The Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX DG HSM Lens was announced months ago. It was due to release in the summer, but it actually became available in November.

Yours truly had great hopes for this lens, but I got tired of waiting and checking to see if it was available. Then, totally by accident, I came across it on Amazon, and to my shock, it is now shipping.
The Sigma 85 turns out to be a wonderful alternative to Canon's own 85mm f1.2 and Nikon's 85mm f1.4. On the Canon side, the price is almost $1000 less and for the Nikon model, you can save a respectable $200.

Right up front, I will admit that if you are a Canon shooter, and money is not an issue, go ahead and get the f1.2 version.

However, if you are not yet decided, by all means check out this comparison, because this new lens has gotten the attention of some "pixel peeping" experts in terms of its excellent performance.

I was personally interested in the release because of the perfect focal length and aperture for portrait photography. At f1.4, you will get superior Bokeh, as good as the more expensive lenses. And this is the goal of portrait photographers.

But aside from portraits, there are two other aspects of a really fast medium telephoto lens.

The first is indoor sports. The wide open aperture will get you some extremely fast shutter speeds in low light at events like basketball (my personal favorite). I have used my Canon 70-200 f4.0 lens with mediocre results. The Sigma 85mm f1.4 with its HSM (hypersonic motor) is "the cat's meow" in this type of light and action.

The second place this lens really shines is when using the video function on your digital SLR. The prime lens has such good image quality that it makes video look absolutely amazing. Again, the bokeh in your video (if taken at the wide open aperture) will look smooth and professional.

Tests against Canon and Nikon have placed the Sigma lens at equal or just below equal in image quality. And Sigma has been working hard to gain the trust of the expert photographic community.
This handsome lens deserves your attention.

Go to www.sigma85mm.com for more about the Sigma 85mm f1.4 medium telephoto lens. You will like what you see... guaranteed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canon and Nikon Again ~ Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D

It truly is another digital slr camera shootout. Nikon D7000 Versus Canon 7D proves to be a war worthy of your attention. Which one is better?

7D sample from ming1967 Photostream on Flickr
Nikon has recently introduced its next generation mid-level digital slr. The Nikon D7000 is basically an upgrade for the D90, and that's a difficult place to fill. The D90 has become, and is still, an excellent camera meant for advanced amateurs and pros as well.

This new launch will fit in the identical grouping as the Canon 7D with regards to functions are concerned. Both are definitely not full frame digital SLRs, however both have elevated the bar regarding "crop sensors" to new levels.

Nikon and Canon have been duking it out for a long time now within the Digital slr market. Whenever a new launch comes by one, you can count on the other remaining right behind with a very similar dslr camera. The Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D may possibly end up being among the hottest fought battles yet.

Sample image from the Nikon USA website
The truth of the matter is that the die-hard enthusiasts of either trademark are going to have their boasts of superiority for his or her personal manufacturer, and they will in all probability be warranted in what they say. No matter what camera you choose, you will have a great bit of photography design.

And so at this point, what exactly is there to compare and contrast?

First of all, a statement pertaining to sensor capacity. The canon features the larger sensor by just about 2-megapixels, however that is undoubtedly irrelevant. What is relevant is that you may well need to have much more storage area on your personal computer with either one of these cameras. A Raw picture will certainly take up to 16 megabytes of space. Should you shoot a sporting affair making use of continuous shooting mode with six to eight fps, think of how soon you are going to gobble up space both on your computer as well as on the storage media inside your camera.

Talking about storage cards, the Nikon features two slots for two times the images without needing to replace your cards. The canon has merely one position, although it offers dual picture processing for extremely quick efficiency.

One more plus regarding the Nikon D7000 is that auto focus functions while in video capture. For the Canon 7D, the video recording is an impressive function, but you need to manually focus whenever adjusting focal length.

One more difference is in selling price. The D7000 has a cost about $200 less than the 7D for purchasing just the dslr camera body. By the way, it is far better evaluate which lenses you would like depending on the style of Images you are likely to take most often before choosing a camera body with a package lens.

To get more about the Canon 7D and Nikon D7000 cameras visit http://hubpages.com/hub/Canon-7d-VS-Nikon-d7000

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Buy A Canon 60D - Canon EOS 60D Review

Canon's most current Digital SLR launch, the Canon EOS 60D, is gaining plenty of recognition. However this is the case with any new model from either Canon or Nikon, the two most popular DSLR camera producers.

I wanted to know, not what the experts were claiming, but what the purchasers are declaring. I understand that not every buyer is an authority, however that could be the precise reason to see their reviews. Normally, they will give their completely sincere opinion regarding their user's experience.

Several of the issues I wish to know are these:

  1. Are customers feeling "robbed" because the 60D doesn't have the exact same metal body and quick continuous shooting speed as the 50D?
  2. How do new users like the articulating LCD?
  3. Obviously, I would like to learn from those who buy a Canon 60D just how high they are evaluating this brand new camera and the reason why.

Just before getting to those points, the initial thing I noticed is that there is simply no common denominator that describes the experience level of Canon 60D individuals. There are several who are experts, and at the opposite extreme, there are some who are shifting up from a compact digital camera. And, not surprisingly there are virtually all levels between.

You can find numerous high rankings, and simply one lower ranking. However, there are not very many user scores as of this writing. It can be a great idea for you to check out the web based merchants and look over a number of of the comments for your self, because this new digital camera will be receiving user reviews on a regular basis.

Canon 60D Review - In Video

First question: How about the camera build?

There has not been one statement regarding the "budget" feel of the 60D.. Not even a single one. In fact there are a couple who like the fact that this DSLR is lighter than its forerunner. Interesting. The remark I like best states that the camera doesn't really feel substandard in the least, and he offers the point that he won't most likely not use his DSLR to "deflect a bullet" anytime soon. The jury is still out on whether the thermoplastic material the body is constructed of will last, but for the present, individuals are satisfied with how the camera feels in the photographer's hands, and it really looks like a very professional unit. One individual made the remark that his new photographic camera is less heavy, which might be beneficial for carrying it for hours.

Next: Are buyers taking to the new articulating LCD screen or not?

Feedback concerning this new element of Canon DSLR cameras were precisely what I envisioned. Folks really love it. It appears that some were essentially waiting for this release just to get this handy LCD screen. This is true of individuals moving away from a digital point and shoot camera, since a lot of of them have had this style of movable LCD screen for a long time. It truly is a rather useful component, as mentioned by a number of buyers.

Third question: Precisely what are the scores and for what reason?

The basic meaning of this query is to learn if photographers are happy with their buy. This is generally good to know. I have detected that quite a few photographers are highly influenced by the reviews of expert camera critics, and most of the "expert reviews" I find will at one point comment that Canon might well have included the features that are presently in the 50D, but alternatively chose to downgrade as a way to get this product "in between" the T2i and the 7D. What I see is that not any of the people who left comments gave it a second thought. As already stated, the comments offered are hugely complimentary. Most buyers declare that they "absolutely adore this camera." These are the sort of statements that make me sit up and take notice.

Despite the fact that photographers who buy a Canon 60D are not former 50D owners (at least I didn't notice any), there are a number of who have previously tested, or purchased, the Canon T2i and the 7D. And these customers are fully content with the 60D in comparison to these two other new Canon designs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canon 60D vs Canon T2i - Digital SLR Shootout - Déjà vu

Canon 60D with articulating LCD
The Canon 60D just splashed onto the US market in August, 2010. Are there enough significant differences to warrant a Canon 60D vs Canon T2i digital shootout? You may be surprised as you read this article.

It is a bold move for Canon to place a camera with the 60D name in a place that should have been reserved for an upgrade to the Canon 50D. Since it is not a true upgrade in the most technical sense.

The Canon 60D does, however, fit the position into which it is being targeted. Engineers have been working overtime throughout the past year, and it is apparently paying off "in spades" as the Canon T2i and the Canon 7D have done extremely well against all challengers.

Canon 60D vs Canon T2i

Canon 60D vs Canon Rebel T2i

In a head-to-head comparison, the 60D vs T2i is an interesting study. While both use the exact same sensor and processor, as well as the body construction, there are a few differences that make the newer camera worth the extra money.

Just wanted to mention here that video is not one of those added benefits, because the T2i also has outstanding video quality. However, Canon has evidently made video a priority in their new DSLRs. All three of its mid-range DSLR cameras that have been released during the past year have shared video as one of their top features. That being said, there is one added feature to the video package of the 60D. It is an improved audio input system which allows for dual stereo input.

An articulating 3" LCD screen puts the 60D in a class all its own. This is a first for Canon DSLRs. It is a real plus when capturing video and for shooting from unusual positions like really low to the ground or above the head.

Yet another advantage of the 60D vs T2i is the rate of image capture. The 60D can operate at 5.3 fps vs 3.7 fps in the Rebel model.

The new camera also has an electronic level in the viewfinder. This makes it easy to get that horizon straight.

Both the Rebel T2i and the 60D have 9 point auto focus control. However, there is now cross-type auto focus for each of the 9 points in the 60D, while the T2i has only one cross-type auto focus point. Another plus for the new kid on the block.

Wireless flash control and improved control called auto-ISO which makes it easier to change ISO settings on the fly round out the most significant improvements in the Canon 60D.

Canon 60D vs T2i - The Final Word

The Canon T2i is a marvelous camera for the entry level DSLR photographer. Excellent image quality is just one of many reasons for the popularity of the T2i. In fact, the Canon Rebel T2i is among the top 5 best sellers at the online stores. You just can't miss if you decide to buy one.

The Canon 60D, in comparison, may end up being in the same entry level category, since semi-pros might be put off by the "hybridization" of the new model, the more durable magnesium body construction (available in the 50D) being just one example.

So which camera will you choose in the Canon 60D vs Canon Rebel T2i competition? Do you need additional information in order to make up your mind? Visit http://digital-photographic-resources.com/cameras/canon-mid-range.html for a visual side-by-side comparison.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Compare 50mm Lenses for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Cheap 50mm Lens for Canon

Is there a Cheap 50mm Canon Lens With Image Quality

Are you one of those who believe that cheap and good do not come together in the same package? How about a good, cheap 50mm lens for a Canon digital SLR camera? Even harder, right? Make sure you read this entire article because you will be very surprised at what you will learn.

The understanding is that if you are an SLR owner, then you should also own a 50mm lens. The "50mm standard" is still the believe of many photographers who have been shooting for a long time. The development of zoom lenses has made the "50mm rule" a relic. Many photographers who are new to the business or hobby are not aware of the premise at all.

But a 50mm lens is a prime lens, and prime lenses almost always win the battle of image quality when pitted against a zoom lens.

In particular, the Canon 50mm prime lenses have been developed to a point where they are technologically sound and nearly perfect. Therefore, every photographer really ought to think about having one in their camera case.

It's a logical conclusion when you really think about it. Changes in focal length that happen during the "zoom process" necessitate much more complex technology to deal with unwanted effects like barrel distortion or vignetting. Since the Canon 50mm lenses are already fantastic in their engineering, if a new development in lens glass comes along, they just have to replace the glass and all is good.

Right now there are actually three(3) models of the 50mm Canon lens (well, 4 if you take into consideration the 50mm Canon macro).

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM - top of the line, part of the Canon "L" series which is their very best group of DSLR camera lenses
  • 50mm f/1.4 - medium price and fantastic
  • 50mm f/1.8 - cheap but fantastic

There is not much difference to note unless you look a little closer. The differences are in build quality and aperture. The first two on the list are more solidly built and have more lens glass than the third one. But that does not mean the image quality is a whole lot different. To a "normal" viewer there will be very little noticeable difference in the photos from these lenses (this is a trained technician type who examines photos for the purpose of lens and camera reviews).

Cheap 50mm Lens For Canon

As far as the 50mm f/1.8 lens is concerned, Canon has used the amazing technology developed for the glass and configuration of the basic lens and combined it with a cheaper wrapping, this being plastic, to make it much more affordable so that virtually every Canon DSLR owner can have one.

For photographers who are fairly new to digital SLR cameras, this cheap 50mm lens for Canon cameras could be the perfect lens, especially if you own a Canon 50D or one of the Canon Rebels. Since those types of cameras have a "crop sensor", the image is more like one shot with an 80mm lens (this is 1.6 x 50mm), which makes this lens perfect for portraits and other mid-range focal length requirements.

Here is the plain truth. Buying a zoom lens for the same money that will get you the cheap 50mm lens will get you a cheap lens with poor quality images. On the other hand, you get really good image quality if you buy a cheap 50mm lens.

Yes, the build quality of the lens is a bit "toyish" in feel, but the output is nothing less than great.

If you take care of this little lens, you will have fantastic photos for a long time.

Hopefully, you are ready to find out much more about this dandy little "cheap" Canon 50mm lens. Click on www.canoneoslenses.org to find out whether this is the right choice for your Canon digital SLR.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Canon Rebel Portrait Lens - Special Lenses Give Special Results

A Canon Rebel Portrait Lens
will make a good camera better

Working with a DSLR camera makes you an ideal photographer to shoot those portraits for family and friends. Which Canon Rebel portrait lens is right to get the best head shots? You may be surprised.

The day you get your first (or upgraded) Canon Rebel digital SLR camera is very exciting. You are now a master, or at least a semi-pro. Men and women around you will naturally assume that you are in truth a professional.

Do you know anything about portraits? Do you know the requirements for a Canon Rebel portrait lens?

As a photographer, you will be called upon to do a portrait or two at some time. Even if it's just your relatives who takes it for granted that you are a fabulous portrait shooter. More to the point, these people will expect you to do the job for little or no money.

It is simply undeniable. When people see that huge digital camera, they simply suppose that you're a pro and you will shoot any type of photo with excellence.

Just a word of advice, don't actually tell them you just got that Canon Rebel. Keep that awesome camera in front of your face and let them think you are great at your particular hobby.

Listed below are the two main things to bear in mind for getting a great portrait.

Initially, you will want to be from about 6 to 20 feet away from the subject of your portrait. You will likely get some distorted facial features if you are nearer than half a dozen feet.

Secondly, make sure you choose as large an aperture as you can, like f/2.8 or f/4. A large aperture tend to give you a narrow depth of field, meaning that the plane of focus is restricted to several inches behind and in front of the main focus area (this would be the face in a portrait). The object of a narrow depth of field is to create a blurry background.

Selecting a lens to do this might only mean looking in your camera case or actually currently on the Rebel, because you may currently have a great lens.

Your Canon Rebel has a sensor that multiplies the focal length of the lens by a factor of 1.6. To figure the effective length of a lens when using a Canon Rebel, you simply need to multiply the focal length by 1.6. So, a 100mm lens actually acts like a 180mm lens when attached to a Rebel.

A head shot usually consists of a photo area roughly 3 to 4 feet tall. Taking a photo by using a 100mm lens might place you about 15 feet from your model... excellent.

The very least focal length lens you can actually use to obtain that same photo will be a 50mm lens, and that would put you, the photographer, six feet from your model to be able to get the ideal portrait.

Canon EF-S 60mm Macro - Excellent
as a Canon Rebel Portrait lens
One lens in particular, the Canon EF-S 60mm Macro, is designed mainly for cameras such as the Canon Rebels. It truly is excellent for macro and portraits.

The perfect Canon Rebel portrait lens could also be a longer focal length. In particular, a 70-200mm zoom lens works really well due to how totally amazing the pictures are. It is in reality what lots of photographers indicate is Canon "Flagship" lens. Should you possess one of several 70-200mm lenses (and there are five of them now), you will be set.

On the other hand, a lot of photographers feel that a single focal length lens does the best job and takes the very best portrait images (a prime lens has a single focal length instead of a zoom). You cannot find any disagreement that a superb portrait photo could be obtained by using a 100mm prime or possibly a 135mm prime lens. These are excellent lenses. Yet they're also higher in price than many others.

If, perhaps budget may play some role during your decision, keep in mind the focal length is generally from 50mm or higher. It really is your position (distance from your subject), the point of view of the picture, and the level of quality of the lens that make the photograph.

Should you be getting numerous portraits, then a good quality lens with the proper focal length and aperture might be an excellent investment. Having said that, if you are not considering producing portraits your main kind of photography, you really should purchase a lens that can satisfy your desires for whichever sort of images you plan to major in and let it be used as a Canon Rebel Portrait lens.

For more about Canon Rebel Portrait lenses, visit http://www.canoneoslenses.org/canon-portrait-lenses/.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Decide on the Right Canon Rebel Macro Lens

Canon Rebel Macro Lens - How To Decide

Getting a Canon Rebel Macro lens that's good for you is a mixture of exactly what your budget is and what the lens is capable of. Exactly which macro lens should you decide upon?
Dragon Fly - Canon Rebel Macro lens shot

Canon Rebel DSLR cameras can be bought in a number of versions. The newest is the Rebel T2i, and the oldest that may continue to be ordered new is the Canon Rebel XSi. There is a reasonable amount of difference amongst the models, but the thing common to each of them is that they are the entry-level digital SLR cameras in the Canon line.

That is necessary to understand when choosing a Canon Rebel Macro lens that is right for you.

The truth is, there are numerous macro lenses that can fit the camera, regardless of whether you have the latest or the most seasoned Rebel. In fact, ALL macro lenses constructed for Canon will fit.

Couldn't be any simpler. Just select one. But hold it. Is it possible that there is a BEST Canon Rebel Macro?

Is Price A Factor?

Now I'm considering that if you possess an entry-level digital SLR, you could possibly prefer to go lightly on the purse.

Assuming you spent about $700 for the camera, might you want to lay out an additional $600 or $900 for a lens that takes macro photos? Those price tags would certainly get you one of the Canon 100mm macro lenses. There are actually two, one of which is an "L" lens, the very best that Canon makes.

Don't forget, if you choose those types of rather expensive lenses, you will get an exceptional portrait lens too. That's due to the fact the 100mm lens is excellent for portrait work... Genuinely great.

Another consideration is a macro lens (with an identical focal length) by third party manufacturers such as Tamron or Sigma. These would probably save about $100.

If you wish to go much less expensive, you could contemplate a zoom lens that includes a macro setting. For example, the Sigma 70-300 features a macro switch on the lens that does some thing to the controls that actually rates it as a macro. Even so, you still can't get extremely close to the subject, and the quality is not nearly as good as the alternative lenses already mentioned. A good thing may be the selling price - under $175. This kind of lens does a reliable task of taking other styles of shots mainly because its key task is not as a macro.

Another option is to go for a shorter focal length. As an example, you will find lenses at 50mm and 60mm that are true close-up lenses. They run about $300.

Do Yourself a Favor and Get a Real Canon Rebel Macro Lens

Something that is really important to keep in mind is that taking shots of very small stuff does require different optics and technology. Obtaining a single focal length allows you to get improved image quality, significantly better than working with a zoom lens. Plus your distance from the subject will likely be shorter having a "real" macro lens.

Choosing the right Canon Rebel Macro lens really should not be hard. Take a few momemts to consider your priorities. What do you need the lens to do, and exactly how much have you got in your spending budget. Maybe you would be more satisfied waiting until you really can afford a more suitable lens rather than purchasing now and being dissatisfied with your choice.

For more about Canon Rebel Macro lenses, visit www.canoneoslenses.org.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One Of a Kind Canon EF-S Macro Lens - 60mm f/2.8 USM

Canon EF-S macro 60mm
The Canon EF-S Macro is a breed all its own. That's right, there is only one Canon EF-S Macro lens and it's a 60mm focal length. But maybe one is enough; it's a great lens.

Photographers come in all shapes and styles. Not every one is a professional. Of this I am guilty.

But I really like my Canon EOS 30D. And, while my camera is not a pro dslr camera, I have taken some genuinely excellent images with it. I have also earned some honors on different websites as "image of the day".

Searching for lenses for my own Canon dslr led me to take a look at the Canon EF-S macro lens selection. I find that EF-S lenses function extremely good, simply for the reason that they are produced specifically for my kind of camera. In the event you have a Canon Rebel, any specific model, or any of the XXD Canon cameras, you could use these extraordinary lenses on your current dslr camera.

The engineering has been specifically targeted for cameras with a APS-C sensor (this is the sensor that is in the entry-level to mid-level digital slr cameras referred to above).

To my surprise, there is only one Canon EF-S macro lens out there. It is the 60mm f/2.8 USM lens, and it is a specific macro lens. You can take photos of really small objects, bugs, flowers, and all manner of little things. On a personal note, macro photography is the reason I actually moved from a point and shoot camera to my very first Canon Rebel.

So, locating a close-up lens for my Rebel was huge on my priority list. I checked out the complete collection of lenses, some of which have a value as high as the camera alone... too much for my budget.

I settled on the Canon EF-S 60mm lens after examining the reviews and customer comments regarding it.

I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, but this was not one of them. The Canon macro 60mm lens is my most loved by far, not merely because of the macro pictures it creates, but also due to the fact it manages other sorts of pictures well, too. For example, when I want to take a portrait of one of the grandchildren, the Canon EF-S macro lens is my personal pick. It is the perfect focal length to get professional type portraits.

I also use my 60mm macro for taking a few product-type shots in my home-made light box. In spite of my crude set-up, the results are great.

While the Canon 60mm does take care of many photographic situations, it is not the perfect lens for every occasion. For instance, it is not my lens of choice for landscapes, and on excursions to the zoo, there will be a different lens on my Canon DSLR, however, I think that the Canon EF-S macro lens handles the majority of of my serious work with wonderful final results.

In addition, if I decide to upgrade to a newer camera (the Canon 7D is looking really good, and negotiations on terms with my better half have started), the EF-S lenses will work just fine.

As you can tell, I am a big fan of macro photography. And in my personal experience, I discovered that the Canon 60mm has truly done the job beautifully. It has an superb wide aperture of f/2.8 to produce fast shutter speeds for those elusive bugs and butterflies. It also yields a wonderful blurred background, the objective of a respectable close-up image. The USM (ultra sonic motor) gives speedy focus, again, nailing the bug shots with a pretty good "keeper" rate.

I would not be reluctant to recommend a Canon EF-S macro 60mm lens to virtually any Canon camera user. It is an awesome lens. Go to www.canoneoslenses.org/macro-canon-lens/ for a much better look.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cheap Digital SLR - Pentax K-x vs Nikon D3000

Nikon D3000 vs Pentax K-x - Both are Cheap DSLRs
Are you looking for an entry-level digital SLR?

Pentax K-x vs Nikon D3000 makes a unique comparison.

What do you think?

Nikon has a fantastic reputation for producing quality digital SLRs. Thousands of photographers think about Nikon first. And the Nikon D3000 is competitively priced as an entry level digital SLR. Let me just throw out this question for you to consider - How much of the "value" of the D3000 is because of their huge marketing campaign?

Pentax seems to depend on just giving good quality and letting the product market itself. Well, not totally, but their marketing is nothing near what Nikon puts out.

So, how do these two entry-level digital SLRs really compare?

There are a few areas where the Pentax K-x dominates with respect to features and benefits:

  1. The first is that image stabilization is IN the camera. For Nikon, you have to purchase lenses with the VR (vibration reduction) technology. Lots of Nikon lenses are being produced with VR (vibration reduction), but many do not have it. However, with the Pentax, you can attach virtually any lens (even older ones - up to 40 years old), and you will have... image stabilization.
  2. Lenses - all Pentax lenses, even lenses made by other manufacturers for Pentax digital SLRs, work on a Pentax K-x. This is not true for the Nikon D3000. It seems like I just said this above, but there is another issue to consider. This has nothing to do with IS or VR. There is a group of lenses that are made for Nikon cameras like the D3000 that only work on the cameras that have a "crop" sensor. Basically, this means that if you eventually upgrade to a high end Nikon, you would have to replace some, or all, of your lenses for the higher end digital SLR Nikon camera.
  3. Video - Yes for Pentax, no for Nikon.
  4. Live View (this allows you to compose your images in the LCD panel in real time) - another no brainer - Yes for Pentax, No for Nikon.
  5. Price - advantage... neither. The price of each is very similar.

In what areas does the Nikon D3000 dominate the Pentax K-x?

Well, there is one. This one point is a point that many photographers think should have been included. It is Auto-Focus points. They are visible in the Nikon D3000 but not in the Pentax K-x. These AF points let the photographer see where the camera is setting its focus point. To some folks, this is very important.

In truth, the Pentax is more of a higher end entry-level DSLR than the Nikon D3000. The Nikon D5000 does have all the missing features that the D3000 does not have when compared to the Pentax. That all the features except the price. The D5000 is much more expensive.

For a side-by-side comparison of Pentax K-x vs Nikon D3000, CLICK HERE? The link will take you to www.digital-photographic-resources.com/cheap-dslr.html 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Buy a Canon 60D

This is an awesome time for photographers because you can now buy a Canon 60D.
The 60D is a kind of hybrid that will fit nicely between the Canon Digital Rebel T2i and the Canon 7D. Both the feature set and the price are just about half way between those two models.
The Canon 60D has a great video capability that allows the same quality as a dedicated camcorder. For photographers who do video, this is really good news.
There is also a new 3" LCD with an articulating screen. This just means that you compose your shot from some very unique perspectives. You do not have to be directly behind the camera in order to see the LCD screen because you can twist it into viewable positions either up high or down low.
The new 60D is compatible with all EF and EF-S lenses.
It is being targeted toward semi-pro and amateur photo enthusiasts. If you are one of those, you will definitely want to take a peek at one.
They are on sale now at major camera stores.
Order online at Amazon or B & H Photo by using the links below.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tamron 28-75 Review

Shopping for a less expensive lens with Canon "L" lens level of quality?

Tamron 28-75mm Lens for Canon
This Tamron 28-75 Review ought to help by shedding some light on your problem. You get pro quality in a streamlined package.
How do you really feel about third party lens companies?

This Tamron 28-75 Review is a result of my love affair with third party producers. That lens is attached to my Canon 30D most of the time.

At the time that I made a decision to move from a point and shoot camera to a digital SLR, I determined that I would not get the kit lens that came with the Canon Rebel 300D. At the time, the kit lens was not highly regarded at all by most photography websites.

The Tamron 28-75mm lens for Canon rose to the top of the heap as I did my research. This was based on several factors, not the least of which was my budget. I have upgraded my camera body a couple of times, but my trusty 28-75 lens has remained my prime all purpose lens.

Since it is not a Canon L lens, it does not get the respect that those highly revered lenses get in all the reviews, however, this little Tamron lens is really excellent.

There are two things I have come to appreciate about my main walk-about lens.

Morning Glory - Taken with Tamron 28-75mm Lens for Canon
Number one is the wide aperture of 2.8. It is stable across the entire focal range, which means that it does not matter what focal length you select, you will be getting the quickest shutter speed. This is truly important when you are shooting in below perfect light situations.

Next is the rapid focus. I have used some Canon L lenses, and my Tamron performs just as well as those costly models. The bokeh is really nice too. If you are not familiar with the term "bokeh", bokeh is when the background of a photo is pleasantly blurred. This happens when you shoot your picture at a fairly wide aperture (like 2.8). The plane of focus is quite shallow, rendering the background and foreground as blurry.

Not too long ago, I was talking with a photographer buddy of mine who was doing some work at my school. He knows that I am also a photographer. He was not using his tripod as he normally did. That's when he told me that he had just bought this "brilliant little lens" for his Canon 5D. He was so impressed with his new lens that he was passionately recommending it to all his photography friends.

The lens he was talking about was the Tamron 28-75mm lens for Canon digital SLRs. I was quite shocked that a pro photographer would even think to attach a third party lens to such an extraordinary camera as the 5D.

Thinking back though, I should not have been that shocked. Of course, I have been defining the virtues of this superb lens for years. But I had always thought of the Tamron 28-75 lens as a beginner Canon digital slr lens.

This close crop of a Sunflower gives you an idea of how sharp the images are with this lens.
Needless to say that is not the case. It is a fantastic alternative for amateurs and pros alike.

Just consider it, you will be happily surprised after shooting a few frames at how effectively the lens handles, the high quality images that it produces, the quick focus, and the satisfying bokeh. Oh, and the value. You will save a bundle of cash if you buy this lens instead of an L lens of the same focal length and aperture.

The Tamron 28-75 lens for Canon digital slr cameras is an excellent choice as a less expensive walk around lens. Be sure to compare it to some other all purpose Canon EOS lenses before you make your final purchase decision.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The 18-200mm Canon Lens - This Super Zoom Lens Does It All

This is it, the
18-200mm Canon Lens
The 18-200mm Canon lens may very well be the single lens that gives you the freedom you require to take care of nearly each and every picture taking opportunity.

While we refer to it as the 18-200mm Canon lens, it has an official name. It is a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS telephoto lens.. How would you like to have to live up to a label like that? As we examine the name, we see EF-S. This implies the lens is made for Canon's entry level cameras, such as the Canon Digital Rebel sequence and its 50D digital SLR (along with the earlier xxD versions). That means that you can not use this general walk around lens on the more high quality models such as the Canon 7D and the full frame models.

These Super-Zoom lenses are strongly regarded as holiday or travel lenses because they are "one lens fits all" alternatives. You can leave your camera bag back at the hotel room..

When you have to stop and change lenses to match the circumstances, it is likely that the photo op will evaporate before you can take advantage of it. With the 18-200mm Canon lens, you don't have to fret about which lens is affixed to your camera. It is fantastic for getting those quick, fleeting shots.

In fact, having to change lenses is one of the blessings AND the curses of digital SLR owners. We actually buy the cameras so we can change the lens, then we are frustrated when we have to.

40D at 200mm : Lilac-breasted roller in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Pleasing bokeh in the background.
(from images at amazon for Canon 18-200mm lens)
Continuing with the positive aspects, this lens has several more worth pointing out.

To start with, as pointed out is the focal range, which is 11x. Taking into consideration the monumental variance in range, the image quality is outstanding.

Also, there is IS (image stabilization) which is supposed to give you an additional 4-stops of aperture without having to use a tripod. This is important because the widest aperture is only f/3.5, and it increases from there to a max of f/5.6. This is typical of the super-zoom lenses, whether Canon or some other manufacturer.

One more benefit is the bokeh that is produced when using a wide aperture. Photographers are always comparing bokeh. Briefly, it is when you try to get the main subject of your photo in sharp focus and have the other areas of the photo in a pleasingly blurred focus. The 18-200 does a pretty good job with this, but it is not considered the best.

The last benefit has to do with a comparison to the "kit lenses" that Canon promotes. Sometimes new buyers purchase the 18-55mm starter lens and an additional 55-250mm lens for the mid-range focal lengths. These two lenses are not bad as far as image quality goes, but they are not high quality construction.

The Canon 18-200mm lens is far better constructed than the kit lenses.

The Down Side

There are some concerns to consider. You will find this true of the majority of super-zooms, whether they are Canon, Nikon, Sigma, or Tamron lenses. There is a compromise in image quality in order to get the wide focal range. Most will have barrel distortion at the wide angles and chromatic aberration issues at both the shortest and the longest focal lengths.

In spite of these issues, the images are not really bad. In fact, they are quite good. The issues are barely noticeable to the novice. However if you are searching for the pixel-perfect image, you will possibly need to fork out more money or work with a more specific focal length lens.

What about third party lenses.

Third party lens makers have designed some really good lenses that fit Canon digital SLR cameras. If the positive aspects and problem areas are the same, why don't you give some thought to saving some money for one of those? It's a thought.
As you look at the 18-200mm Canon lens, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it really does perform.

But do take a look at the other lenses in the same category. You can do that at Canon EOS Lenses.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Portrait Photography - Use The Right Portrait Lens

Photo credit: idahoeditor
from morguefile.com
f/3.5 @ 70mm
If you have thought about doing portraits with your Canon EOS digital SLR camera, you are not alone. Portraiture may be the most popular photography applications pursued by amateurs and pros alike.

It may surprise you to know that having the consummate Canon portrait lens is not the most vital part of getting a great portrait. But a good lens will unquestionably go a long way toward getting you to that great image.

The glitz and glamor of portrait photography is what attracts the attention of many. If you are good and make the right connections, you could be in the company of some very well known people. Not like the paparazzi, who are the bottom dwellers of the paid photography industry (author's opinion). Besides, what they do is not portrait photography.

Most portrait photographers don't shoot famous people though.  There is plenty of work in the field that does not include actors, singers, and other glitzy individuals.

Other portrait niches include individuals, family photos (Olan Mills does not have a monopoly here), high school senior photos, babies, and even pet portraits. And sports portraits is a huge opportunity, too. You can truly find a unique niche in portrait photography.

Depth Of Field - Your #1 Goal

Portrait photographers know that the lens is just as key as the digital SLR camera it is attached to. Good portrait images have specific qualities that help to draw attention to the subject, or model. The first, and probably the easiest way to make that happen is to use a narrow depth of field. This means that the plane of focus is shallow, putting the other objects in the photograph out of focus. That sharp area of focus unconsciously draws the eye of the viewer.

One of the reasons for this shallow depth of field is the quick speed of the shutter. This is a feature of good portrait lenses. Fast shutter speed happens as a result of getting the lens to open wider. The lens opening is called the aperture. A good number for the aperture would be f/2.8 or wider (smaller = wider). In fact, the better lenses have apertures as wide as f/1.2. (And as the number gets smaller, the price tag gets bigger.) If you want a sleek and sexy photo with an out of focus background, a good place to start is with a wide aperture. When you show the photo to your subject, they will feel very special. And you will feel like you accomplished a portrait that could go head to head against the pros.

Focal Length - Another Key Element of Portrait Photography

Canon 70-200mm f/4 @120mm
Another feature you will want as a portrait photo shooter is the right focal length lens. There are two types of lenses, single (prime) or zoom. Many pros use only prime lenses when doing portraits. If choosing a prime lens, 50mm would be the shortest length to choose. Any shorter and you have to get too close to your model. If you have a lens between 75mm and 150nn, you are in what most photographers consider the right focal length for portraits. This gives the photographer a better combination of depth of field, distance from the subject, and flexibility in choosing the perspective.

If the lens does not have a long enough focal length, it could cause facial features that are out of proportion. Everyone has seen those images of the cows where the cow's nose looks way out of proportion when compared to the rest of the animal. This technique is cute, and done purposefully, employing a wide angle lens and getting right up next to the subject. We laugh when we see these kind of photos, but we would not laugh if it was OUR face blown out of proportion. People are way too vain.

Zoom lenses are also popular among many photographers who soot portraits. One of the most popular is the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 zoom lens. Using a lens with such a wide selection of focal lengths can add so much flexibility to your set up.

The good news is that just about any lens can double as a portrait lens. If you know how to pull it off, you can take great portraits with you cell phone.

Better Backgrounds - A Nifty Little Trick

To get that really special portrait, you need a blurred background. Try putting more distance between the model and the background. You want as much distance as possible between subject and background. This compensates for the aperture component. The background will be blurry in spite of the aperture because of the distance.

The mere fact that you tote that awesome digital SLR gives your family and friends reason to believe that you can take great portraits. Actually, you can. But the job can be done so much easier with the right lens, a portrait lens.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Canon 70-300mm Digital SLR Lens - A Quiet Surprise

Check Price at Amazon
Good surprises are not an every day occurrence. So when they happen it is a time for celebration and, perhaps reflection.

Recently discovering the Canon 70-300mm mid-range zoom lens came as just such a surprise.

In fact, it could be the best kept secret among photographers. You rarely hear anyone proclaiming the greatness of this little lens. There is nothing about this lens that screams "outstanding." It is rather drab. And yet, when you look deep, you see the subtle praises.

The reason may be that the lens is not that impressive or glamorous in appearance, and "real" photographers want an attention-getter on the front of their prized digital SLR.

Perhaps it's even because there is nothing special about the price. It's not too high or too low, it's just right.

No matter the reason, the 70-300mm Canon lens is well worth taking a look at.

When you look for impressive, the first thing that draws attention is the image quality. This should be the number one consideration for any lens. And this one is rated as good, or nearly as good, as the Canon "L" lenses.

What you will generally see on blogs and forums is how simple the lens actually is. Comments like, "I thought it was a toy," express the first impressions of many first-time users.

You have heard that first impressions are lasting ones. But that is not necessarily true with this lens. Once they shoot a few frames, their opinion changes. The reason for the change in attitude is not only the wonderful image quality, but the addition of IS (image stabilization) and USM (ultrasonic motor). These are impressive qualities shared by the most advanced Canon lenses.

If you are one who likes to shoot mostly hand held shots, you will really like these features.

My favorite story about the 70-300mm Canon lens comes from a guy who found his lens at a garage sale. He was not familiar with the lens, but he decided to get it for a relative who was just getting into photography. He figured because of the price and the feel of the lens that it was not a great lens. The person running the garage sale had no information about the lens. Without any useful information at all, the photographer decides to buy the lens. Price was not mentioned, but under those circumstances, it was probably the deal of the century (except for those Ansel Adams photos that were valued at $4 million).

Upon arriving home, he put it on his Canon 5D to see if it even worked. Took a few shots. To shorten a rather long commentary, the end result is that the photographer never turned the lens over to his young relative. He deemed the lens too good for his relative and kept if for himself.

Surprises are great when they come like this. Garage sales can be the source of some real finds.

For more about the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, visit www.canoneoslenses.org.

Happy Shooting!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buy Your First Canon Digital SLR Lens - Which Lens Is Right For You

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L
Once you have decided on the right Canon EOS camera, your decision making process is not over. Which Canon Digital SLR lens should you buy?

It was probably a research and decision process just to settle on the correct Canon EOS camera, right? Before you lies this huge range of lenses. Not only Canon lenses, but those from third party suppliers as well.

Now what, how do you select one?

Maybe you choose to avoid this whole situation and go with the package deal that includes the kit lens. Some online stores even have deals that involve two kit lenses to cover the basic spectrum of focal lengths. Then there would be no choice to make.

But, if you are anything like,similar to most new digital SLR buyers, you will want to get the best lens available. After all, that's where some of the excitement comes from, the assembly of the camera bag and its contents.

Some new digital SLR owners fret over this choice for days, weeks, and months. If you go online to some of the camera forums, you will see how totally involved some photographers are in lens selection. Some people take it too far for it to be fun.

At the end of the day, you want this decision to be the right one. The one that gets just the right lens onto your camera.

Before moving on, let's settle this question, "Why not merely go for the kit lens?" Buying the kit lens was mentioned above, and the answer is a simple one. You could purchase the kit lens and be quite happy with it. Lot's of do that. But it just is not most fantastic lens created for a Canon EOS digital SLR camera. Its aim is to get a lens on that camera so you can get started taking pictures right out of the box. Perhaps you are thinking about what lots of people do. Buy the camera body only, without the kit lens. Then you have the freedom to get a lens of your own choice separate from the kit lens.

As you go through the lens evaluation process, think about a number of questions that will assist you slim down the number of choices.

1. What is your budget?

This may just be the lone question you have to answer. If your money does not allow for any lens wiggle room, you just get the kit lens and start shooting. If that is not the case, and you are in a position to spend some of your budget on a lens or two, you are ready to move ahead with the questions. A limited budget of $500 or less will put you in one area, whereas $1000 will give you much more flexibility in your final decision.

2. What kind of photos will you be taking the majority of the time?

More than likely, you have developed a preference concerning the images that you really like and work well with. Most photographers acquire a favorite style even before they buys to their first digital SLR. For shooting photos of family and friends or vacation, the focal range of 18-70mm (or something within those parameters) will be perfect. But if nature, sports, or portraits are your favorite types of images, the ranges you regard are going to be much different.

3. Is your plan to begin with a number of lenses? Not just one?

Usually buyers of digital SLR cameras have plans for having a variety of lenses. It is the number one or two reason many folks go the DSLR route in the first place (the other reason is simply to get better images with a better camera). If you budget allows for another lens or two, then the first lens choice can focus more on getting the best image in the 17-75mm range. Your second lens should be one of the 70-200mm or 70-300mm lenses.

4. The final question is this: Which Canon EOS camera did you decide on?

Depending on your answer, you may not be able to get some of the Canon or third party lenses simply because they will not work on your camera. If you buy one of the entry to mid level digital SLRs, you can buy almost any Canon EF lens or third party lenses made for Canon. If, on the other hand, you buy a more professional "full frame" camera, you can not get any of the lenses that are designated at EF-S lenses, as they are for only the crop frame models such as the Rebel series.

The decision to move to a DSLR camera is an exciting one, but it is not without its research and challenges. You really need to do your homework before making this buying decision.

Making the wrong lens choice is especially painful if you only have a limited amount of funds for photography equipment.

Fortunately, there are resources available to help you decide which Canon digital SLR lens is right for you.

Go to www.canoneoslenses.org to continue your quest for the best lens for your Canon EOS camera.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Which 70-200mm Canon Lens - You Can't Miss

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS HSM

With five (count 'em - 5) separate 70-200mm Canon Lenses, how do you choose a winner? Is there a single most fantastic lens in this category?

It's a valid question. As a matter of fact, this question has been bantered about among photographers and online photo forums since the second 70-200mm lens was produced .

Let's get one item out of the way . Every photographer that uses Canon photo equipment needs a 70-200 Canon lens . This should be the second lens you obtain, after you get your basic all purpose . The focal range it covers is in the medium telephoto range, a very important area that you unquestionably want to cover with your lenses .

It has so many uses. You can use it for portraits, street photography, nature shots, some close up work (even though it is not technically a macro lens), and whatever your creative eye can come up with. It is just a great general purpose shooter.

Gattlinburg Church - Canon EOS 30D and
70-200mm f/4.0
Actually portraits is one of the most popular uses. The optimum focal length for portraits is 100mm, which is right in the "sweet spot" for this zoom lens.

Now, back to the question, which one is best...

Still, before getting to that, professionals agree on two benefits that apply to all the lenses mentioned here. The first benefit is superior image quality - they are all virtually the same on that point. And the second is the HSM(hypersonic motor) feature that provides really fast focus speeds.

The 70-200mm lenses from Canon are their "flagship" lenses. They are proud of them, and they should be. They are each fantastic, whether it is the cheapest or the most costly of the category.

See the "L" in the title of each one? L is attached to only the best build quality lenses made by Canon. Every photographer wants at least one L lens.

One more thing, and this should have been mentioned with the benefits of all lenses in this category. The aperture, whether it is 2.8 or 4.0, is constant throughout the entire focal range. With zoom lenses, this is not always the case . This characteristic adds value because you do not sacrifice quality or shutter speed by using the zoom.

There are five lenses to choose from made by Canon. There are also third party manufacturers which are really well made, too. However, for this article, we will focus only on the "home-grown" choices.

Now for the benefits of each offering.

Starting with the least complex, which is also the cheapest:

  1. Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 L HSM - a highly regarded lens, even though it is a fraction of the price of the more advanced choices. It is the lightest but it still turns heads because of the tell-tale light grey color which is typical of all the lenses in this category. Lacking in IS(image stabilization) it is recommended for use with a tripod if the light is not really bright.
  2. Canon 70-200 f/4.0 IS L HSM - add IS (image stabilization) to the mix and you can shoot hand-held images at lower shutter speeds, negating the need for a tripod. The IS feature does add a couple of ounces in weight, but the size is identical to the other f/4.0 lens. Price almost doubles though.
  3. Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L HSM - the larger aperture of 2.8 is a huge plus to some photographers. This alone adds value in terms of being able to shoot at lower light levels with confidence that shutter speeds are fast enough to prevent image blur. The larger aperture adds length and weight to the lens, but it turns out to be about the same price as the previous model.
  4. Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS L HSM - this is the big brother of the group. The most complex lens has the most desired capabilities. Shooting at 2.8 apertures with IS gets you into very low light shooting without the aid of a tripod. This may include night scenes and concerts. It is a heavy lens, and it is the most expensive of the group. However, many photographers are totally convinced it is the only one to have.
  5. There has been an upgrade to the top of the line - Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L HSM II - same fantastic lens with better technology and a slightly higher price tag.

ONE of these lenses in your camera bag is a given. Given the fine quality of each one of these lenses, it boils down to either your desire for the most advanced gear or your pocketbook. The ultimate choice has to be your own.

As you continue your quest for great Canon lenses, make sure to check lots of photography forums, blogs, and information websites. www.CanonEOSlenses.org provides a run down of the most sought after lenses for your Canon EOS digital camera.

Sigma Macro Lens - Great Choice For Canon EOS Cameras

Have you given macro photography a shot? It is really rewarding, and it gets your photography juices flowing. To get a great macro image, you need a great macro lens. Sigma Macro lenses are well worth your consideration when going for a new close-up lens.

Something happens when you use a macro lens on your digital SLR camera. Things appear seemingly out of nowhere. Things that you never imagined were in the shot when you were setting it up.

You have to experience this to know the feeling, but when it happens, it's very cool.
This bee was shot with a Sigma 150mm macro lens and Canon EOS digital SLR.

If you are a major camera brand user, such as Nikon or Pentax, you can use a Sigma Macro lens, however, this article is based on using a Canon EOS digital camera system.

Why? Why not just get the Canon macro lens? What's so special about a macro lens anyway? Can't you just use a regular lens?

These questions deserve answers.

First, about macro lenses. These are special lenses dedicated to close up photography. They are created carefully for this purpose. However the pieces of glass are placed inside the lens barrel is just right for getting that macro photo.

This allows the macro lens to take much sharper and clearer photos when placed close to a subject. Even the lenses that are multi-focal lengths and have the word "macro" in the name are not as good as a prime focal length macro lens.

What about a Sigma macro lens vs a Canon macro lens? Many Canon users would not think to go outside the Canon fold to buy any equipment. If you are one of these, you may as well move on. However, there may be a valid reason to think about it... money.

Almost always you will pay less for Sigma Macro lenses for Canon digital SLRs than you would pay for a Canon macro lens. Photo quality is really good with either choice. You may not be able to tell the difference between photos taken with one or the other, in fact, you probably CAN'T tell the difference. You would have to call in the investigation team from NCIS to figure out which is which.

Sigma, being a third party manufacturer of lenses for Canon EOS cameras, has made a commitment to excellence. They recognize that if they don't get the quality right in their macro lenses, they will not get any of the market share. So they did their homework and got it right. Their lenses are well designed and produce great images.
 A Sigma 105mm macro lens is a great Portrait Lens too.

If you decide on Sigma, you will find that there are four dedicated macro lenses to choose from. The focal lengths are 50mm, 70mm, 105mm, and 150mm. The 105mm macro lens is the lens of choice to start with.

There are two great reasons for this, and it is not because the others are not good. First, you get a true macro image at 1:1 (life size). This is why you buy macro. And the second reason is not one you might think of. The 105mm lens is an excellent portrait lens. Yes, facial portraits. Many portrait shooters use a 100mm lens for much of their work, and this one will fill the bill.

Sigma macro ratings are very high. You actually should check ratings before buying any piece of camera equipment. In this case, you will observe that many consider Sigma an equal to Canon in the macro category.

Close up photography is really rewarding. The beauty and intricacies of nature make you realize that there is a Creator, and He did not hold back, even in the most minute details.

Discover the thrill of macro photography with a Sigma Macro lens - you NEED one of these!
Go to www.canoneoslenses.org.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have You Discovered the Canon Powershot S90 Yet

Say hello to the Canon Powershot S90, a completely point and shoot camera with virtually all the control of a digital slr camera. It is an alternative to several prosumer models that have a tendency to look more like professional models in line and design. This exceptional camera was created to be the total pocket or purse model.
Find out more at http://www.betterphotos123.com/.

Posted via web from thewayeyeseeit's posterous

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Have You Discovered the Canon Powershot S90 Yet

The Canon Powershot S90 is a totally digital compact camera with almost all the control of a digital slr camera. It is an alternate to several prosumer models that are inclined to look similar to professional models in line and design. This one was created to be the total compact model.

There are two separate groups of photographers who will be excited about this little package of photographic technology.

To begin with, there is the serious amateur who is not quite ready for the Digital SLR. She wishes to test out camera features and controls that are not available on less highly developed models in order to develop a firm grasp of what these controls are capable of doing and the way the work.

The second group is the DSLR owner, either an excellent amateur or a pro, who is looking for a great pocket model. These are individuals who under no circumstances want to overlook a photo op, no matter if their digital SLR camera is not conveniently accessible.

The Canon Powershot S90 has the look and feel of a truly compact camera, the kind that most folks carry around in their pocket or purse. However, it is anything but a typical digital compact.

Some of the attention getting features of the Canon Powershot S90:
  • New 10-megapixel High Sensitivity System; DIGIC 4 Image Processor
  • Improved low-light image performance, plus a Low Light scene mode for ISO settings up to 12,800
  • Customizable control ring for easy access and operation of manual or other creative shooting settings
  • Wide-angle 3.8x optical zoom with Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer; bright f/2.0 lens

But that's not all! Here is the "stuff"that has caused all the positive attention for the Canon Powershot S90.

1.    Extensive photographic feature set - more professional than typical point and shoot cameras

2.    New Function Ring for easy access of the advanced manual controls

3.    Usable, fast RAW mode with excellent software supplied (RAW, an alternative to JPEG, is the choice of all advanced photographers)

4.    Highly customizable - normal digital cameras have single creative selections, but the S90 is customizable in the same sense as high end DSLR cameras.

This quote from a Canon Powershot S90 owner sums up the feelings of many satisfied owners: "You get what you pay for and if you want the best pocket size camera on the market, look no further than the S90."
For more about the Canon Powershot S90 and some possible alternate options, visit www.digital-photographic-resources.com.