Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cameras Wear Glasses Too


Yes the title proposes what I am going to talk about today... I just sat my final exam for Korean Level 5 today and after this is partay! Hoorah! The first thing I want to do is update my lovely blog...

Like people, DSLRs need glasses to 'see' properly, like the photo of a DSLR above, mounted with some good glass. LOL. It is Luqman with his NEW WINTER JACKET! NEW!

Let's talk business, I am using a Canon 600D T3i Rebel X5 yadada with some great piece of glass in front of it, making it a killer camera! Instead of buying it with a standard 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, I opted for a better, still not to expensive Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5. What these numbers mean actually? 

For DSLR noobs, (don't worry I was one a few months ago) the length given is the focal length, usually given in ranges for zoom lenses like 18-55mm, 70-300mm and more. Most people will be using a 18-55mm range as it is the cheapest and smallest zoom lens for a DSLR. Talking about the range, anything shorter than 30mm will be considered wide angle, with anything lower than 10mm is called fish eye. Anything longer than say, 135mm usually called telephoto. There are also fixed focal lenses also called prime without any range like the popular 50mm prime. Fish eyes are great for capturing details like a Some people like the sports photographers and wildlife photographers, they can't walk into the football field to get shots of the footballer, the guy can't walk into a cheetah's lair. So they use telephotos. I don't own one yet but my old camera, the Olympus SP-570UZ has an ultra zoom lens covering the length of almost similar to a 450mm on a DSLR to get these photos:

Then the f/ things, it is the biggest aperture the lens could offer. The kit lens, the 18-55mm has an aperture that changes from f/3.5 at the wide end, 18mm and then gradually closes to f/5.6 when it is extended to 55mm. What's the effect? This is going to be interesting. The f-stop can help in measuring the amount of light entering the camera and help the blurry background effect. The bigger the aperture, (small f-stop value like f/2.8) means that the sensor gets more light. Like the picture of me smiling below, more light means faster shutter speed, and handheld low light shooting is not a problem. The problem is, big apertures need big lenses. That's why pros have those white lenses for telephoto shooting to get more light and freeze Harimau Muda kicking the ball. The big aperture also produces a shallow depth of field, making a thin area in focus, leaving the rest blurry. This is perhaps one of the most attention grabbing feature of the large sensor DSLRs. Look at these:

 pedobear face after school
Both of these photos are shot at 18mm f/2.8. If I go longer than 24mm the f-stop gonna increase to f/3.5. It's bad, yes. But a lens with a constant f/2.8 no matter how much I zoom in is going to cost me. This Sigma is expensive, but a f/2.8 is sold at a price double than my Sigma, also with bigger size and heavier, due to more glass inside. Nah the increase in f-stop is a small thing, the fast and quiet HSM motor and no barrel extension when zooming, makes it worth every penny.

So I am in the search for another lens for next year, probably a telephoto zoom lens like a Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD, which costs around US$ 450 new... Will it be a great lens? I am not sure yet. Still researching about it. This lens has a contender which is a Canon L lens, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM which costs around US$ 350 refurbished (second hand!). A new one will cost more than double and is out of my mind. Will it be a good lens? More zoom at 300mm or a fixed focal length of f/4 with less zoom? Which one is the correct one! Facebook or comment me to tell me what you think of it.

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