Tag Archives: Canadian workshops

Looking through quality glass

Today I wanted to speak to you about what makes a good lens.dpsocialnet_24-105 When most people start out in photography they are attracted to that great kit lens price. The common thing I hear is why should I buy this camera for let’s say 1800 when I can buy this camera and two lenses for 1799. Well for the average person I can’t really see any issue with that but for a more serious photographer it may be an issue. Let me break things down for you a little for what makes a good lens and what makes a great lens.

14-24-D3R_5629-600When professional photographers are looking for a new lens 9 times out of 10 they are looking for something with an aperture of F1.4 to F2.8 the reason for this is the quality of glass. Having a aperture like this usually makes the lens bigger and heavier then a lens of the same focal distance of a aperture of say F3.5 to F5.6 The reason for this is the quality of glass they use the thickness of the glass they use and the amount of glass they use. All these combined together can make one sharp lens!

Removing-the-rubber-gasket-from-the-Nikon-70-300mm-VR-lensWeather sealing can make a big difference on a lens as well. Most high end lenses come with a dust ring at the bottom of the lens to keep dust and dirt out from between the body and lens. This in turn will help keep dust off your sensor when shooting in dirty or harsh environments. Other types of weather sealing can be on the body of the lens it’s self, some have tight o-rings under the aperture and focal rings to keep the water out so you can shoot in the direct rain.

Now let’s talk about the honest truth of what makes a good lens. The best lens you can have is the one you have on your camera!. Dealing with what you have is the key to making a good picture. Sometimes even the best lenses have a fault in some types of light so don’t think there is a perfect lens. Most people go out and buy a lens for a specific purpose but forget it can be used for many other types of photography.sigma_120-300os2 Like an example would be a telephoto lens, most people would use one for sports or wildlife and forget that it to can make a great landscape lens. Now the personalities between a wide angle and a telephoto for landscape are huge but sometimes it’s all about the perspective. A telephoto lens will compress a image creating less depth to give it a different look. Sometimes images that work well can be a pano of a mountain range over a valley from a distance. This will still allow you to capture the valley but compress it so the mountain will pop more in a image.

When I first started out with photography I was all about getting myself a wide angle lens. Once I had one in my hands I thought look out world I’m going to photograph some of the best landscapes now. Well I got that lens out there and snapped away and after a while I realized that I actually hate this lens. Well hate my be a strong word but I can tell you its a word quite close. Now my reason for disliking this lens is for the fact of how much depth a wide angle can really give you. Two factors come into play for me to like a wide angle picture. One is the foreground has to be wild enough for me to hold my eye. Having a boring foreground will just wash your image right out. Another thing I need is a crazy looking sky, something that’s busy to keep my eye looking around the picture. Basically I only use my wide angle for very close up pictures of a building or when I’m in a tight area and need that wide to capture the sides of something. Other places I find a wind angle comes in handy is while shooting inside an abandoned building.

571_24-70mm_f28_horizontal-smMy go to lens for the last while with landscapes tends to be a 24-70. Keep in mind I do shoot full frame so 16mm on a dx body camera would be close to 24mm with a crop factor. This lens allows me to shoot wide and zoom into a landscape so I can see what can be cropped out and just how much the perspective can change. So what is the best lens for you? My best answer is the one you can be most creative with! Creativity is what sets off one photographer to another so if you just go out and take pictures be prepared to be classed in with everybody else who just takes pictures.

If you want to learn more about how to be creative with your lens come join me on one of my composition classes. click here for composition classes for 2015

Posted in Product reviews and testing, Workshops Also tagged , , , , , , , |