Two Peas Classroom - How to Rock your basic equipment :)

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 2/16/2010 by amarvel in General Photography
1 2 >
 

amarvel
A Marvelous OlymPEAn

PeaNut 36,135
April 2002
Posts: 21,473
Layouts: 383
Loc: Western Washington

Posted: 2/16/2010 3:49:07 AM
Grab your coffee and your favorite snack because as usual this is long

Two weeks ago I posted about how I love my little rebel XT and that it can produce some fantastic images. It really inspired me to do a thread on using your basic equipment and how to get wonderful image quality without breaking the bank. That you can still achieve focus and be creative even if you use an entry level DSLR camera or a $100 lens.

So today's thread will be about rocking your basic equipment which means all the photos in this post will have been taken with equipment that you can purchse for $400 or less.

Everything in this thread is also natural light, so there are no studio equipment either.

Also I shoot Canon, so everything here is Canon models, but I am sure the info is across the board for Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc

Lenses talked about in todays thread:
Canon 50mm 1.8 ($100)
Canon 50mm 1.4 ($350)
Canon 85mm 1.8 ($375)
Sigma 70-300 NON IS zoom lens ($160)
Canon 18-55mm ($100) (although i have the non IS version)
Canon 28-135 ($375)

Most photos will have been taken with my XT which is 4.5 years old. And a few will be with my 40d but those are only showing off features of the lens and not having anything to do with the camera.

Also we had rain pretty much the entire week since I signed up to do this. So i wasnt able to go out and shoot all new examples. So some of the photos here are older and have some technical things wrong , please ignore those as they are editing mistakes and not anything to do with what I am writing about

Ready to go? Ok lets start

I think sometimes we all get wrapped up into what the next purchase we want to make. Whether it be a lens or camera body. But the reality is that some, or should I even say most of us, cant afford to spend $1500 on every lens or upgrade a camera body every year.

Do I own better equipment? Yes
Do I think better equipment makes a difference? Yes
Do i still want L glass and a camera upgrade? Yes

Of course I do. There is a reason that the L glass canon sells is usually $1000+ or more per lens and there is a reason why the Mark II goes for $2000 more then a Rebel series camera.

But that said although having more expensive equipment can make things easier; helps with focus, gives better clairty, better ISO handling, etc that doesnt mean that the Rebel models or the cheaper lenses are worthless and that you can't produce quality images. You just have to know how to use them, which means you need to learn your equipment and practice.

You know how we always get mad when someone says "Your camera takes good photos" well the same applies for your equipment and everything i will be writing here. Its the photographer and not always the equipment. So if you know what you are doing and you practice, you should be able to get good images from a $100 lens or a $1000 lens. A good photographer can make a disposable camera rock

Pretty much anytime i buy a new lens I have a period of time where I dont like what i bought. That is because I have to get use to that lens, figure out its sweet spot, get use to the weight, etc. Same with your basic equipment. Don't pull out a kit lens once, try it, think its crap and never use it again. Especially if you are new to the camera as well. Play around a little, figure out what makes it useful and where it performs its best. You just have to get use to it and know when it will work for you. You need to learn what purpose each lens holds and what purposes you need a lens for. Different lenses have different purposes. Not all lenses are going to be able to take photos indoors with no flash. Not all lenses are going to be good for a football game when you are sitting in the stands. The key is to learn what the different lenses do and to learn how to use them to the best of their and your ability.

Canon 18-55mm kit lens
Its a wide angle lens made for EF-s cameras (so it doesnt work on the full frame cameras). Its very lighweight and yes feels cheaper made, but I just take extra care of it so it doesnt break and I pull it out when I want a wider angle. I actually like this lens. I have thought about upgrading to the 17-40L. I still might one day. But the reason why i havent upgraded yet is that this lens does its job for me, has pretty good focus and I dont use wide angles all that much. This lens is on the more wide side, thus its not the one I am going to pull out if I want a close up headshots. But i like it when I need a large area seen and/or i dont have a lot of room to back up.

One of the things I like to use this lens for is my jumping shots. Why i use this lens for that is that I can get closer to my subject and right under neath them so it appears they are jumping higher then they actually are. Plus usually when I am doing jumping shots most of the time i want the background to show and all the people to be in focus and this lens does very well at higher f stops.
First shot: XT, 25mm, f/11, 1/640
2nd shot. 40d, 18mm, f/14, 1/500


Another fun photo i use this lens for are my Abbey Road family shots.
I actually mix it up now and use my 50mm as well for this shot, but when I want the background to show and when I need to be closer to the family so I can direct them I use this lens.
XT, 1/250, f/9, 24 mm


I also use this lens when I take photos of fireworks so I can get wide enough to get either the streaks as they are being shot up or some background in it too.
1st: XT, ISO 100, f11, 3.2 sec
2nd: xt, iso 100, f4.5, 3.2 seconds


I also use this lens for my name photos, I have to use a very wide angle to get the entire name in the frame.
40d, f/10, 1/800, 21mm


I use this lens on vacation when I need wide angles too.
This is basically sooc...(i'd edit it more, but wanted to show you if you get your exposure right, this lens can have good color to it and a great base for editing)


I also want to direct you to this thread. Its two pages of examples several peas have posted with images from the various kit lenses.
thread

I personally do not use this lens for portraits. Could you? Sure you could if you had enough light that your f/stop could be at f/5.6. If it hadn't been raining for the last 7 days I would have taken an outdoor portrait at 5.6 to show you, as it is possible and I bet this lens is sharp enough for that. I just prefer to use other lenses for that purpose that are sharper and allow more light in. If it doesnt rain today or tomorrow I will update and add that here

Canon 28-135
this is the lens that came with 40d and 50d models (maybe others too?). You can also buy this separately. Its a good walk around lens. Being that it goes wide at 28 and semi zoomed at 135, its a perfect lens to use for taking photos of your kids at the park, take to an amusement park, zoo, etc This is the lens I plan to use for all for all my snapshots as it is pretty verstile and with IS focus is pretty good too.

When i first posted this thread I only had the lens for 4 days, but have since updated this thread with some more examples.

Having the 135mm focal lenghth is pretty cool. At that length if you get close enough to your subject and you can find the right background, you can get some background blur like when you use a telephoto lens.

Now this example needs to be better, but i hope it will still show what i was wanting it to. pretend Alex is cute and smiling and pretend i got down a smidge lower too. I kept trying and he was crawling away on me. BUT i think it still shows you that you can get some nice background blur. Again it would be nicer in the Spring when the trees arent brown. But i hope you get the idea of what I was trying to show. I will change this out if I can get Alex or Brett to cooperate this week and the rain holds off.
XT, 90mm, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/100


then here is an updated image, this one was taken at 135mm to blur the background.
40d, 135mm, ISO 400, f5.6, 1/320



Also here are a few more everyday type shots.
40d, 1/60, f/4.5, 50 mm, ISO 400



and then chris took this one
40d, 1/400, f/7.1, 56 mm, ISO 320


Sigma 70-300mm
A typical zoom lens. Nothing fancy. Doesnt have IS or USM or any of those fancy features. If your zoom lens does then you are a step ahead of any images here If you cant afford the expensize zooms dont be afraid to try one of the cheaper models. I have had this lens since 2004 and its been great for me. I have used it for all my vacations in the last 5.5 years and have been happy. A thing to remember with a lens like this is that you dont have to want to zoom far to use it. Many forget that zooming with this type of lens can bring the background closer to the subject and render the background nice and blurry.

So dont forget to pull this lens out for portraits.
1st: XT, ISO 400, 238mm, f5.6, 1/125 (ignore the blaring wrong things here, it is 3 years old. but it still shows you how you can use this type of lens to create a nice background.)


Now for these images, they are standing on a sidewalk in front of a house that has a long line of trees that line the street. By using the higher focal length i was able to make those trees into a green background.
1st: XT, ISO 400, 263mm, f5.6, 1/100
2nd: XT, ISO 400, 238mm, f5.6, 1/125


And a few more
XT, 300mm, ISO 400, f7.1, 1/400

XT, 300mm, ISO 400, f7.1, 1/400


Canon 50mm 1.8 lens
A lot ask about the difference between this lens and the 50mm 1.4. I have had the 1.8 for almost 5 years. That little lens has paid for itself 10 fold. I love it. Yes it does search a little in low light, but I have learned how to handle that and have learned how to work with it so it doesnt do it as much. It wants there to be contrast, so a dark subject on a black background can make it search and it needs plenty of light. Sure it can stop down to 1.8, but even for 1.8 you still need light. but if you watch where you put the focus points you can learn how to grab focus without as much "searching" from this lens.

I did an entire mini session last week and used only this lens and didn't have any searching for focus issues.
XT, f/2.8, 1/60, ISO 400

first: XT, ISO 400 f2.2, 1/125
2nd: XT, ISO 400 f2.8, 1/125


I had a session last weekend that gave me a great oppotunity to take some photos with my XT and 50mm 1.8 as well.
XT, ISO 800, f3.5, 1/160

XT, ISO 800, f3.5, 1/250


One of my favorite images ever was taken with this lens.
XT, ISO 1600, f2.8, 1/100


A few other images
XT, ISO 800, 1/60, f1.8

XT, ISO 400, f1.8, 1/6

XT, ISO 400, f/20, 8 seconds


one of my most known photos was taken with this lens.
(i edited this photo 2 years ago, i might have to re-edit this one as i see areas that are blown and gone totally black! lol, although its already a 16x20 on my wall)
XT, f3.5, 1/125, ISO 800 (i wanted noise for the look i was going for).
Now I am going to show you the sooc for this shot (never have done that before) to show you a way to save money if you cant afford seamless. I knew I was only going to use the b/w version of this shot, so it didnt matter what color I could find. I went to one of those school stores and ripped off a piece of giant butcher paper about the size i would need (this was the only color they had when i happened to stop by), I cant remember exactly, but it was really cheap and i was able to play around without spending a lot of money.

Here I used that same butcher paper, just playing and 50mm 1.8 lens too.


Canon 50mm 1.4
I showed examples of the 1.8 above and honestly I dont really need to show you examples of the 1.4 because they wouldnt be different then above. It is a little easier on the focusing, but i am able to get sharp images with both the 1.8 and 1.4 using my XT. Although I will say that the 1.4 is on my camera about 90% of the time in winter. SO pretty much anything I have done recently was taken with this lens

Canon 85mm 1.8
This is a fantastic portrait lens, especially for the price. Here are a few images that use this lens AND my XT. If you are looking to get the most for your buck, this lens is it. it is fantastic. It is great for portraits as its a flattering focal length, gives such creamy bokeh and is 1.8 and can be used indoors as long as you have enough room to back up from your subject.
1st: XT, ISO 200, f2.8, 1/1250
2md: XT, ISO 200, f7.1, 1/1600

XT, ISO 400, f2.8, 1/1000

XT, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/800


ISO
And just a quick thing in ISO. Everyone is always taking about how some of the lesser cameras have trouble with ISO. Which yes is true when you are comparing images, BUT honestly ISO doesnt have to be an issue. If you nail your exposure in camera, noise isnt as big of deal.

This was taken with the XT at ISO 1600. Even sooc it isnt that noisy because the exposure was good. I did run it thru noiseware, but I do that with a lot of my images anyway.

And the santa photo above was also taken at ISO 1600.

If you want to see something specific that I didn't post, just ask below or maybe others can post photos of their examples to help too. Please feel free to share your photos as well. I think we all love seeing examples of various lenses especially those that dont break the bank.

I hope this helped someone. I was hoping to basically show you that you can do most of the things an expensive lens does with a cheaper version. You usually just have to get use to the lens a little more, make sure you nail focus and probably do a smidge more editing for color in PS. But if you cant afford to drop a lot of money on your equipment but you still have a passion, I hope I was able to shed some light that you can still use some of the lesser models or lenses and acheive the looks you are looking for


Angela
CC and plays always welcome!

| 5d | 40d | 17-40mm f/4L | 50mm 1.4 | Sigma 85mm 1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L | 430EXII |
Facebook| Website
How to Rock your basic equipment | My Pea Interview | 52 Weeks of Self Portraits

jodar
mama to 3 now!

PeaNut 305,846
March 2007
Posts: 8,539
Layouts: 41
Loc: Australia

Posted: 2/16/2010 4:02:50 AM
Angela that is a fabulous classroom lesson! Well done! It read so well and it is so easy to get caught up in the wants that you forget what you have (case in point I dreamed of the 70-200 lens for some bizarre reason last night ) you have really done well at showing that knowing your equipment intimately is so important!
fabulous examples!


Jodie
my blog JLB photography FB fan page
In my bag: Canon 50D, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 430exII;
On my computer: CS4, LR3
Feel free to hhcc me anytime!

KerryP
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 343,224
October 2007
Posts: 5,920
Layouts: 115
Loc: Sometimes GA, sometimes NC, Wyoming whenever possible!

Posted: 2/16/2010 4:50:36 AM
Very interesting read! Thank you for sharing this with us. I love the new picture of your boys.


Kerry
1 DH, 1 DD, 1 DSIL, 1 DS and 1 Beagle
Nikon D7000 | 18-270mm VR | 70-300mm VRII | 105mm VR micro

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. Will Rogers

_Shanna_
I pea a lot...

PeaNut 345,407
October 2007
Posts: 9,468
Layouts: 47
Loc: Australia

Posted: 2/16/2010 4:52:17 AM
Good job Angela! I loved all of your examples!


Shanna

FLICKR

MATERNITY & NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY:
WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK |

PIN-UP & BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY:
WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK

Meldan
AncestralPea

PeaNut 15,356
May 2001
Posts: 4,581
Layouts: 153
Loc: Upstate NY

Posted: 2/16/2010 5:39:47 AM
Great examples! Nice job!


Melissa
My Gear: Nikon D300; Nikon D70s; 50mm 1.8; 85mm 1.8; 18-70 kit lens; 70-300mm; 80-200mm 2.8; Tamron 17-50mm 2.8; SB800 speedlight

POTD
CreativeLEE Photography - Blog


Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal

Molly C
PhotograPea Enabler

PeaNut 49,752
September 2002
Posts: 15,942
Layouts: 86
Loc: Virginia, where my heart has always been

Posted: 2/16/2010 5:51:55 AM
Angela, you just rock personally.



Great lesson. Also, I don't think you've ever owned it, but for another really great basic lens is the Tamron 28-75. It's a little more expensive than those that you listed in your OP, but perhaps a little more all-purpose than what you listed since it both zooms and opens to 2.8.


Molly

Nikon D700
Nikon lenses & flash, AB400 and softbox

DeAnna A
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 121,469
December 2003
Posts: 2,360
Layouts: 0
Loc: Missouri

Posted: 2/16/2010 6:14:55 AM
Thanks Angela! Great lesson!!!
You have inspired me to pull out my Canon 28-135 more.



bendedroad
Nicki

PeaNut 405,632
January 2009
Posts: 6,773
Layouts: 112
Loc: West Virginia

Posted: 2/16/2010 6:37:07 AM
Outstanding. You presented a very engaging and informative lesson. Thank you.


Nicki

Nikon stuff!

The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know!

Blogging at ---> bended road photos





basketballmomma
PeaNut

PeaNut 196,938
March 2005
Posts: 228
Layouts: 39
Loc: mississippi

Posted: 2/16/2010 7:05:06 AM
Awesome tutorial, thank you so much~


Beverly


canon xti
canon 50mm 1.8
tamron 70-200
photoshop cs4
My Blog: having my cake and eating it too

rachag03
WHOOPea!!!

PeaNut 254,107
March 2006
Posts: 29,049
Layouts: 29
Loc: Texas

Posted: 2/16/2010 8:17:05 AM
Awesome tutorial, Angela...these pictures are great! You definitely rock your gear.



Cricket1997
PeaFixture

PeaNut 89,918
June 2003
Posts: 3,054
Layouts: 57
Loc: Manahawkin, NJ

Posted: 2/16/2010 8:46:52 AM
Great lesson! I have been practicing a lot with my gear and you can def acheive great images with the xt! It really is a great camera to learn off of!


Canon 7d
Canon Rebel XT w/ Kit
Canon 50mm 1.4
Canon 85 1.8
Canon 70-200 4L IS
Tamron 28-75 2.8
Canon Speedlite 430ex
all in a Olive Green Jo Tote!
CS5 and PSE6 Mac


Wish List
Canon 60 2.8 macro
Canon 24-70 2.8
Canon 70-200 2.8
Canon 16-35 2.8


craftyluv
Prayers: You need 'em? I've got 'em <3

PeaNut 365,669
March 2008
Posts: 12,737
Layouts: 81
Loc: St. Louis, MO

Posted: 2/16/2010 8:47:55 AM
Super lesson, Angela! Love all of your examples. I'm one of those who, because of financial restraints, has had to learn to make the best of what I have. I only have two lenses, both kit lenses. Not that I nail things all the time, but every once in a while, I get a few keepers.

I have a question. When you used your zoom lens, (the 70-300) I noticed on a few of your images, you had the lens almost completly zoomed out. Can you remember about how far you were standing from your subjects? I "guesstimate" is fine, because honestly, I'm not really good at judging distances.


Thanks for doing such a clear, well-written lesson! You rock!


Blessings, Rebecca





My gear:
Nikon D700-a dream come true
50mm 1.8
70-200mm (old AF film lens)
Nikon D40-
18-55mm
55-200mm VR
Promaster 7400EDF flash
Close up macro filter set

nicolefoot
PeaAddict

PeaNut 301,875
March 2007
Posts: 1,595
Layouts: 38
Loc: Weatherford, Texas

Posted: 2/16/2010 9:24:57 AM
Very well done! I so appreciate your perspective on lens and how to make them work. I'm so afraid of iso even on my 40d but you are right if the exposure is correct it's really not that bad.



Sugarmommy
PeaAddict

PeaNut 378,885
June 2008
Posts: 1,076
Layouts: 7
Loc: BC, Canada

Posted: 2/16/2010 9:47:37 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post all that GREAT information!


Amar
CC and plays always welcome and much appreciated!
Cannon Rebel XT ~ 17-55mm 2.8 ~ 50mm 1.8
CS5

abellegardner
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 391,511
September 2008
Posts: 2,161
Layouts: 53
Loc: AR.

Posted: 2/16/2010 9:47:44 AM
thank you that was great


Belle

blog

Nikon D40 with 18-55mm & 55-200mm, PSE 7



Stacey Anna
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 90,606
June 2003
Posts: 2,506
Layouts: 115

Posted: 2/16/2010 11:03:53 AM
Oh, I wish I could study all of this right now, but I have to run... can't wait to read it! Thank you for putting this together for us!!
Stacey



darnold46
PeaNut

PeaNut 381,327
June 2008
Posts: 486
Layouts: 44
Loc: Spring, TX

Posted: 2/16/2010 11:34:24 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is so great!

I purchased my Canon Rebel XT just last year on clearance knowing it was already an older model and was not high end. I didn't want to spend alot of money as this was the first DSLR after coming from a film SLR. I have been playing around with it and have gotten some decent shots-hit & miss. I am still learning about what the camera can do. But after reading this and seeing examples I realize I have so much more to learn and my camera can take better shots when I become a better photographer!

I have the kit lens, 50 mm 1.8 and the 70-300 non IS version. So all of your examples were shot with the same equipment I have. I tend to stay on the lower end ISO as I have experienced alot of noise, but I see that if the exposure is right the picture can look better!

This lesson was just for me! LOL....thanks!!!!


~Denise~

Confirmed lurker...

Canon 5D, Canon Rebel XT
100 mm 2.8 macro
85 mm 1.8
18-55 mm
75-300 mm
50 mm 1.8
28-135 mm

karene
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 100,139
August 2003
Posts: 5,209
Layouts: 0
Loc: Boston, MA

Posted: 2/16/2010 11:43:36 AM
Great lesson, Angela!!! Thank you!


~ Karen


pezjunky
PeaNut

PeaNut 405,752
January 2009
Posts: 421
Layouts: 43
Loc: Washington State

Posted: 2/16/2010 12:13:35 PM
Great lesson and examples. As a beginner hobbyist I don't have expensive equipment. It's nice to hear more experienced photographers can do great things with my same stuff. Gives me hope that I can do better over time, and my hubby will thank me for not spending tons on lenses.


Desiree
My 'Adventures in Photography' Blog
"Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language." -Walt Disney

My Crafting/Scrapping Blog

Canon 60D with kit lens, 50mm 1.8, 28-75mm, & 75-300mm
PSPX3 & LR4

myliesmom
PeaFixture

PeaNut 246,670
February 2006
Posts: 3,958
Layouts: 19
Loc: Idaho

Posted: 2/16/2010 12:20:33 PM
Great job Angela!


~Steph~

Nikon D90 | Nikon 85 mm f/1.8 | Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 | Nikon 35 mm f/1.8 | Tokina 12-24mm f/4 | Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 macro | SB-600 | PSE7 | JoTote!

Steph, the midnight crafter

IApea
AncestralPea

PeaNut 139,297
March 2004
Posts: 4,012
Layouts: 35
Loc: Iowa

Posted: 2/16/2010 12:24:07 PM
Awesome job! Such great information.

I do have a question: How did you get both boys in such crisp focus on the first photo under the 50 1.8. I thought I needed to bump my f-stop up to at least 5 or 6 when working with more than one subject. Is it because they are on the same plain? I just know I can never get a good shot of my two boys (who, in my defense really don't sit still) at something as low as a 2.8.


Emily
Canon Rebel XT w/kit lens
50mm, 1.4
Speedlite 430EX
Picture of the Day blog

~*christine*~
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 84,604
May 2003
Posts: 2,093
Layouts: 382
Loc: Roseville, CA

Posted: 2/16/2010 12:29:08 PM
thank you! I have the same equipment, & keep wanting to upgrade but I know I have to learn more first


Christine
Mommy to Brandon (2/28/05), Olivia (4/21/06), and Abbie (7/14/08)



life or something like it

MomAgain06
PeaNut

PeaNut 402,092
December 2008
Posts: 210
Layouts: 0
Loc: So. California

Posted: 2/16/2010 12:46:29 PM
Awesome post!! Thanks for taking the time to do this & share it with us.


~Mireya~

mom2fourpeas
PEAlicious

PeaNut 379,389
June 2008
Posts: 327
Layouts: 10
Loc: DFW, Texas

Posted: 2/16/2010 1:02:58 PM
Thank you so much for that lesson. That is really where I am at the moment. I get so caught up in the expensive equipment that I feel like I'll never get where I need to be cause I don't have what everyone else has. Your pictures are stunning, thanks for sharing.


~Kami
Canon Rebel XTi (still saving to upgrade) Oye!
50mm 1.4 | 50mm 1.8
PSE 6 | PS 7

Kami Wells Photography
FB Fan Page


hampton32
PeaFixture

PeaNut 89,428
June 2003
Posts: 3,000
Layouts: 21
Loc: Sunny Southern California

Posted: 2/16/2010 1:38:32 PM
Thanks, Angela!


~Carolyn

My Web Site
My Facebook Page
My Twitter
My Flickr Photostream
Canon 5DMKII, Canon 40D, some lenses, some lights, and CS5 on a calibrated iMac

Jillybean67
BucketHead

PeaNut 449,423
December 2009
Posts: 774
Layouts: 2
Loc: Southeast Texas

Posted: 2/16/2010 1:56:30 PM
Thanks so much for this lesson. Makes me realize how much I need to work on getting to know my lenses and how to get the most out of them. Thanks for all the input and the wonderful photos.


~ Jill

JillybeansLittleNook

Canon 6D Full Frame (YAY!), Canon EOS 60D
Canon 28-105L f/4.0
Canon 50mm 1.8
Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro with VC
PSE11
Lightroom4
Photoshop CS6 Extended
Toshiba Satellite Laptop w/Windows 8
Bamboo Tablet
iPhone 4s
iPod Touch 2nd Generation
iPad 2


Lynette150
PeaFixture

PeaNut 26,633
January 2002
Posts: 3,179
Layouts: 35
Loc: Tennessee

Posted: 2/16/2010 2:35:34 PM
Thanks so much for this! Just this morning I ordered the 28-135, and I can't wait to play


Lynette

Canon 5D MkII | 50mm 1.4 | 85mm 1.8 | 100mm 2.8 macro | 24-105mm 4.0L IS | 17-40mm 4.0L

"And then we sat,
on the edge of the earth,
feet dangling over the side-
and marveled that we
had found each other."

- Erik Dillard -

Lenasmommy
BucketHead

PeaNut 270,372
July 2006
Posts: 947
Layouts: 30

Posted: 2/16/2010 3:18:47 PM
Wow, thank you for putting this together! Such great information and I love the example shots! I have the XT, 18-55 kit lens and I just got the 50mm 1.8. I've been thinking of replacing the 18-55, but you've given me good reason to get it out and give it another try. Thanks!


~Lenasmommy (Tammie)

mommyg
PEAs out!

PeaNut 275,735
September 2006
Posts: 8,743
Layouts: 50
Loc: the cowboy state

Posted: 2/16/2010 5:26:09 PM
Great lesson Angela...and great images too!



~Amy~

Website

Blog

Canon 5D mkII/ Canon 5D/ Canon 24-70mm 2.8L,/ Canon fisheye/ Canon 50mm 1.4 and Canon 100mm 2.8/ CS4





amarvel
A Marvelous OlymPEAn

PeaNut 36,135
April 2002
Posts: 21,473
Layouts: 383
Loc: Western Washington

Posted: 2/16/2010 5:33:36 PM
I am so glad this helped people


Also, I don't think you've ever owned it, but for another really great basic lens is the Tamron 28-75. It's a little more expensive than those that you listed in your OP, but perhaps a little more all-purpose than what you listed since it both zooms and opens to 2.8.


very true molly! especially for someone who is looking for an all around lens and a lens for low light! good thought! i miyself have thought about that lens, but didn't because well i have all the lens listed above plus two more! lol


I have a question. When you used your zoom lens, (the 70-300) I noticed on a few of your images, you had the lens almost completly zoomed out. Can you remember about how far you were standing from your subjects? I "guesstimate" is fine, because honestly, I'm not really good at judging distances.



on the people shots I was actually across the street. They were in front of a corner house and we shot down the row of house that had the trees all lining the stree and then i was across the street. so what maybe 30-40 feet?? which doesnt always work for children but i had the mom stand near the child. for the animals i was closer since they were smaller subjects, maybe only 10-20 feet.



How did you get both boys in such crisp focus on the first photo under the 50 1.8. I thought I needed to bump my f-stop up to at least 5 or 6 when working with more than one subject. Is it because they are on the same plain? I just know I can never get a good shot of my two boys (who, in my defense really don't sit still) at something as low as a 2.8.

Usually yes I do use a larger f stop, i was having trouble getting enough light because it was raining outside, so i made sure to put them as close to the same plane as possible.
so to answer your question.
#1. yes they were on the small plane.
#2. They were still subjects. they were almost 4 and 6.5 and so they were great. and also they were still because...
#3 mom had bribes

but i agree i cant do 2.8 and get both of my boys in focus, it was raining this day otherwise i would have loved to have tried to do 2.8 outside with some great bokeh since these boys were fantastic listeners



Angela
CC and plays always welcome!

| 5d | 40d | 17-40mm f/4L | 50mm 1.4 | Sigma 85mm 1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L | 430EXII |
Facebook| Website
How to Rock your basic equipment | My Pea Interview | 52 Weeks of Self Portraits

Stacey Anna
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 90,606
June 2003
Posts: 2,506
Layouts: 115

Posted: 2/16/2010 10:53:09 PM
Angela, earlier I wasn't able to read through this, but now I have... so I just wanted to say thanks again!
Stacey



UtahMomX4
AncestralPea

PeaNut 39,805
June 2002
Posts: 4,325
Layouts: 37
Loc: Roy, Utah

Posted: 2/16/2010 11:32:13 PM
Angela, this was wonderful!!! Thank you so much. And your pictures are fabulous!


~Jami

Life in Moments Photography Blog

Canon 40D!!!!!, Canon XT, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn

shawkrem
PeaNut

PeaNut 360,239
February 2008
Posts: 286
Layouts: 24
Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 2/16/2010 11:53:43 PM
AWESOME lesson! Thank you for taking the time to write all of that and for posting those amazing samples!


Shawna

My Photography Blog

5D Mark II | 24-70mm f/2.8L


barbinga
PeaFixture

PeaNut 57,417
November 2002
Posts: 3,064
Layouts: 18
Loc: metro atlanta, ga

Posted: 2/17/2010 12:06:59 AM
thanks so much for this great information - i'd love to see additional images if you are able to get them!

barb

Kim M.
"I am the holder of Virgin Superpowers. Really."

PeaNut 73,616
March 2003
Posts: 13,401
Layouts: 254
Loc: Living in Kim's Perfect World

Posted: 2/17/2010 1:13:16 AM
You've shared some fantastic information, Angela! Great job on your write up and terrific examples.


Kim

beccaburke
PeaAddict

PeaNut 252,676
March 2006
Posts: 1,159
Layouts: 4
Loc: Southern Ohio

Posted: 2/17/2010 9:13:25 AM
Angela, thank you! This is a fabulous lesson and a good reminder that I need to work with what I have and really learn to use it well. I loved seeing all of the pictures that you shared.



Becca

What's in my JoTote:
Sony Alpha 350
Sony VG B30AM Grip
Sony 85 f/1.4
Sony 50 f/1.8
Sony 55-200 f/4
Sony 18-70 f/3.5
Minolta 50 f/1.7
Minolta 70-210 f/4.5
Minolta 35-70 f/3.5
Minolta 2000xi Flash and Minolta 2800af Flash

What's on my computer:
Photoshop CS4
Lightroom 2.6

UtahMomX4
AncestralPea

PeaNut 39,805
June 2002
Posts: 4,325
Layouts: 37
Loc: Roy, Utah

Posted: 2/17/2010 9:52:56 AM
These are fantastic examples and such a great lesson!!!! Thank you so much, Angela! You truly do ROCK your equipment!!


~Jami

Life in Moments Photography Blog

Canon 40D!!!!!, Canon XT, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn

kma
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 1,443
September 1999
Posts: 2,340
Layouts: 9

Posted: 2/17/2010 6:03:26 PM
Awesome information Angela! Thank you. I'm looking at buying a 1.8 lens and this information was just what I needed.


Kim

MrsBartolomeo
PeaNut

PeaNut 396,999
October 2008
Posts: 89
Layouts: 1
Loc: Knoxville, TN

Posted: 2/17/2010 6:39:25 PM
Thanks for the post, it was great!


Samantha
Knoxville, TN

Canon 50D {Gripped}
Canon 28-135 mm | Canon 75-200 mm | Promaster 17-50 mm 2.8 MACRO | Speedlite 430 EX II
PSCS3 Creative Suite | CS4 | LR 2 | MacBook
www.bartolomeophotography.com
www.blog.bartolomeophotography.com

PeawithChemistry
PeaFixture

PeaNut 169,980
September 2004
Posts: 3,522
Layouts: 23
Loc: Washington, DC

Posted: 2/17/2010 7:01:44 PM
Thanks so much for the lesson! I have three of these lenses and really enjoy them all! They all have the potential of capturing great images!


I hope no one minds me taking a stab at a question about the 70-300...

The 70-300 has some nice reach and people often seem to wonder how much reach does 300mm exactly get you? Here is a side-by-side of two zoo SOOC shots taken from the same place of the same subject. The first is at 70mm and the second is at 300mm. If anyone is considering this lens, I hope these help!


{blog} {flickr}
7D, XTi, Canon 24-70 f.2.8L, Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6, Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5,
Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6, Canon 50mm f1.8, Speedlight 430ex

bassfan
PeaNut

PeaNut 328,374
July 2007
Posts: 48
Layouts: 0
Loc: NY

Posted: 2/17/2010 7:43:46 PM
Thank you Angela. I sometimes get caught up with what I want next instead of really "knowing" what I have.
Kerry

bassfan
PeaNut

PeaNut 328,374
July 2007
Posts: 48
Layouts: 0
Loc: NY

Posted: 2/17/2010 7:44:25 PM
Thank you Angela. I sometimes get caught up with what I want next instead of really "knowing" what I have.
Kerry

Jen in NCal
PeaFixture

PeaNut 175,686
November 2004
Posts: 3,471
Layouts: 4
Loc: Counting the days until I return to Kim's Perfect BB World.

Posted: 2/17/2010 8:08:54 PM
Fantastic lesson, thanks!!

My only lens is the 28-135 and I love it. Not that I don't wish for others, but it has been a great first lens.


****************************
Canon T1i
Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro - Love this lens!!
Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - Hate this lens!!!

Check out my Tanzania pics!

TrUcksR4CowGirlS
The important thing is not the camera but the eye.

PeaNut 214,042
July 2005
Posts: 6,406
Layouts: 91
Loc: California

Posted: 3/2/2010 11:50:17 AM
Great lesson, well written. I am late in reading, so sorry about that!

I truly appreciate what you have mentioned, because it is SO easy to get caught up in 'I would be better if I had....' especially if we have just seen great photos taken with a " " lens.

You have inspired me to keep at it, with what I have. If you get a chance, would you peamail me, or post here. What exactly is your focal point? Is it the eyes? I find, I am still stuggling, I think I have focus, and exposure down, to find, upon editing, not at all crisp like I want it. I think part of my problem is, I am not getting the shutter high enough, and camera shake also comes into play.

I noticed, with the 85mm, that your shutter speeds were much higher, is that part of what makes that lens so sharp?




Staci
Staci Brock Photography

What's in my Crumpler bag:
Nikon D200; Nikkor VR 18-55mm; Nikkor 70-300mm; Nikkor 50mm 1.8; Tamron 28-75mm 2.8; .5 Wide Angle with Macro

On My Computer:
CS4, Imagenomic: Portraiture, Noiseware, Real Grain


amarvel
A Marvelous OlymPEAn

PeaNut 36,135
April 2002
Posts: 21,473
Layouts: 383
Loc: Western Washington

Posted: 3/2/2010 10:37:36 PM

What exactly is your focal point? Is it the eyes?

I always try to have focus on the eyes unless i am going for some sort of cool dof like where the hands are holding a object, etc. If the eyes are in focus i find the photo works. I have much happier with my focus since putting the focal point on the eyes.



I noticed, with the 85mm, that your shutter speeds were much higher, is that part of what makes that lens so sharp?


well in my examples the shutters are higher on my 85mm because i rarely if ever use my 85mm indoors. its my go to outside lens so there is usually more light and i like to be fairly wide open so the shutter speeds tend to be fast. but with any lens i have found that faster shutter speeds really help with focus.


I think part of my problem is, I am not getting the shutter high enough, and camera shake also comes into play.



yes shutter speed is important especially if you have a moving subject or even trouble getting your hands steady. Its actually been my focus lately and i try to not have anything lower then 1/200. I have found I am better off upping my shutter speed and ISO to get a correct exposure then having an OOF photo of motion blur. I can fix noise from the ISO, but i cant fix motion blur



Angela
CC and plays always welcome!

| 5d | 40d | 17-40mm f/4L | 50mm 1.4 | Sigma 85mm 1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L | 430EXII |
Facebook| Website
How to Rock your basic equipment | My Pea Interview | 52 Weeks of Self Portraits

TrUcksR4CowGirlS
The important thing is not the camera but the eye.

PeaNut 214,042
July 2005
Posts: 6,406
Layouts: 91
Loc: California

Posted: 3/2/2010 11:06:50 PM
Thank you! And your avatar, is just...well. HOT




Staci
Staci Brock Photography

What's in my Crumpler bag:
Nikon D200; Nikkor VR 18-55mm; Nikkor 70-300mm; Nikkor 50mm 1.8; Tamron 28-75mm 2.8; .5 Wide Angle with Macro

On My Computer:
CS4, Imagenomic: Portraiture, Noiseware, Real Grain


amarvel
A Marvelous OlymPEAn

PeaNut 36,135
April 2002
Posts: 21,473
Layouts: 383
Loc: Western Washington

Posted: 3/2/2010 11:12:23 PM

And your avatar, is just...well. HOT

thanks


Angela
CC and plays always welcome!

| 5d | 40d | 17-40mm f/4L | 50mm 1.4 | Sigma 85mm 1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L | 430EXII |
Facebook| Website
How to Rock your basic equipment | My Pea Interview | 52 Weeks of Self Portraits

SJ Photography
PeaFixture

PeaNut 311,426
April 2007
Posts: 3,782
Layouts: 7
Loc: Michigan

Posted: 3/3/2010 8:25:42 AM
Thank you so much! I learned a couple of things. Your photos are beautiful You have made some great points!


Susan

Canon 5D, 24-70 mm 2.8, 85 mm 1.8, 50 mm 1.4, 100 mm 2.8

My Blog

momaziggy
AncestralPea

PeaNut 366,039
March 2008
Posts: 4,324
Layouts: 1
Loc: So Cal

Posted: 3/3/2010 11:23:44 AM
This is a GREAT post with GORGEOUS images! I love that it helps us all understand that yes, great equipment is very helpful but if you can't afford it doesn't mean that you can't take images that will knock your socks off. As your examples show! And I love how much you love your kit lens. I'm one of the rare ones too that LOVES the little 18-55 with IS. I had to sell mine when I sold my XSi and missed it SO much! Actually preferred it over my 24-70. So I sold my 24-70 and bought another kit lens! Lol! I LOVE it for wide angle, love that I can get close to the subjects and it's SO FRICKIN SHARP! The AF is so fast and accurate! And before I got my Macro lens, I used my kit lens for Macro shots and got some pretty good images. Of course not as good as macro, but good shots nonetheless! I also LOVE my 85mm 1.8. My FAV lens in my bag!

So way to go on such a great post and it will help so many out there that cannot afford the exepensive equipment. Great inspiration here! Thank you!


~Crystal aka Momaziggy AT yahoo DOT com ~

BUY The Ziggy Licious Action Set HERE!

The Ziggy Life Blog

Momaziggy's PS for FUN Blog

Macro Blog

Classic 5D gripped!
EF 35L ~ EF 135L
Tokina 16-28 ~ EF 100mm 2.8 Macro
Lensbaby Composer ~ 430ex II Speedlite
CS4 calibrated w/Sypder3Elite

Skipper*J
PeaFixture

PeaNut 263,040
May 2006
Posts: 3,877
Layouts: 46
Loc: Bellingham, Washington

Posted: 3/3/2010 12:56:49 PM
You are a great photographer!! I love that you prove it's the photographer who takes the photograph, not the camera (lens).

Cheers,
jewels


1 2 >
Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
Hide
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}