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  1. Disclaimer: (i don’t consider myself as a master of photography or the technology behind it please do your own research in advance of buying a new camera or other types of gear, it’s impossible for me to cover everything and i'm not taking any responsibility for any choices based on this article. The examples are as of may 2020) A guide to Digital Photography and Cameras I have owned a few cameras over the years. Canon 1Dx, 5D mark ii and now own Canon 5Ds, M50, gopro and lots of dji film drones (i will make a separate thread with those if people want it), all that with a nice supply of lenses (i can also make separate guide to those). So it's quite obvious that i have very little experience with other camera brands like Nikon or Sony. I base my recommendations in this topic on my own research and experience with cameras. I will from the start recommend one very simple and quick step, and that is to do your own research in advance of buying cameras and a lot of it. This post is for people to make their own informed decisions, i’m not taking any responsibility for any choices made by others. I would also like to come with a classic saying which is “it’s not the camera that’s important, but the person behind it” I think this is very true and gear isn’t everything. This video by Peter Mckinnon an absolutely great youtuber really shows it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8LOoQxSi8M&t=318s Mirrorless vs DSLR Pros: Right now mirror less cameras are very tempting, and for good reason, they are generally speaking lighter. They also have electronic viewfinders which i see as a major plus especially as a beginner, since you can see the exposure. The flange distance (the distance between lens and sensor) is smaller since there is no mirror between lens and sensor, this means you can adapt older lenses to the mirror less camera like the canon ef to rf adapter or ef to Sony-e. So now you have several series of lenses you can use on your cameras. (Nikon is a bit special since auto focus won’t work on all of their old lenses with their Nikon-f to ftz adapter because some of them requires an internal AF motor) you can’t adapt the other way round so you can’t adapt a canon rf lens to a canon ef mounted camera because of the flange distance it was designed to use. This means that you have the best of both worlds, there are also other pros to shorter flange distance that are very technical and that i won’t dive into in this post. Cons: But the downsides are also major, like awful battery performance in some cases 1/5 of a dslr equivalent and slow (but more precise so better for very low aperture lenses) auto focus, that's just how contrast auto focus is right now, this can be a pro or a con, but generally considered a con since phase detect auto focus on dslr’s has become very precise over the past years. While that is said some older dslr’s also use contrast auto focus so a good amount of research is recommended in advance. Conclusion: I would only buy mirror less personally if i had the funds or didn’t need the fast auto focus or long lasting battery, and also because of the electronic viewfinder which is a fantastic tool as a beginner. ISO: Very simply explained ISO is essentially a setting that can brighten up your photo. The higher the value the more sensitive your sensor becomes to light. Therefore it gets more bright. But this comes with a catch the higher the ISO value the more noise there is in the picture (the less quality there is), so you should always have the lowest iso possible with reasonable shutter speeds. If you have you'r ISO set at 100 your picture will get double as bright if you set your ISO to 200 and 4 times as bright if you set it too 400 ISO. I would generally try to have my iso as low as possible while getting the sharpest pictures, it’s hard sometimes getting 1/250s shutter speeds at 100 ISO, and that’s the point where i crank it up. So ISO performance is a crucial part of getting a new camera, generally newer cameras have good ISO performance. Auto focus: Auto focus is a really important part of a camera and can mean the difference between you getting a photo or not. There are many types of auto focus, but a good rule of thumb is that older mirror less cameras have very slow auto focus, older DSLRs are a bit more forgiving in this topic, but auto focus in general is essential since it can even mess up photos that are still. Mirror less cameras use contrast auto focus which moves the focus point back and forth until it finds the right focus point with the most contrast, thus it's more accurate but slower. The main advantage to phase detect is that it's generally considered to be faster than contrast auto focus, but less accurate, so that's the trade off between the two. I would say though that modern phase detect auto focus is very accurate and i have no problem relying on it. Sensor sizes: There is a lot of sensor sizes out there and this is an essential part of choosing your camera. Sensor size determines a lot in your camera and the sensor size also effectively determines the crop factor (How much of the image you can see). There is a lot of disadvantages and advantages to different sensor sizes and i will go through some of them now. If we have two cameras with the same amount of megapixels in the let's say 20. The bigger the sensor is the bigger the pixels on the sensor are. This essentially means that the individual pixels on the big sensor can absorb more light and therefore improve low light performance. The larger pixels also create less noise which boils down to less noise at higher ISO's which means that you can turn your ISO higher up and shoot pictures in darker situations (This is extremely dependent on the camera you buy, but this is just in general). The next part is purely subjective and depends heavily on your use case, the smaller the sensor is, the bigger the crop factor is. You essentially see less of the image, you can compare it to zooming with a lens. so if you have an Canon aps-c sized sensor you can multiply your lens’s focal length by 1.6x (nikon 1.5x) and a micro 4/3 you can multiply it by 2x. Most common sensor sizes: 2/3" (not to be confused with 1/2.3" or 1/3.2") The 2/3" form factor is one typically found in go pro's and in some mobile phones. This is rarely used in camera bodies and generally not a sensor size i would recommend for still shooting, but for video work i will say it's decent and i like the video quality of my gopro hero 6. Micro 4/3" Is a very popular sensor size for video work. I have heard many good things about this sensor size and i will recommend it for video capturing. Like the GH5 from panasonic. I will on the other hand not recommend it for still shooting it is definitely possible, but i would recommend bigger sensor sizes. This sensor type has a 2x crop factor so a 100mm lens will become a 200mm on a 4/3" sensor sized camera. APS-C This sensor size is extremely popular and if you go down to a camera store chance is that the camera body you are looking at, probably has an aps-c sensor. This sensor size is very versatile, but generally aimed towards beginners or people who wants a little more range with their cameras for example if you are a wildlife photographer you can get away with using cheaper telescopic lenses because the crop factor here is on a canon sized sensor 1.6x (nikon 1.5x)so a 100mm lens becomes a 160mm (nikon 150mm) lens. Fullframe/35mm film This is the sensor type is for the enthusiast and pro. It's been the go to choice for professionals for many years. These sensors are used in high end camera bodies and are not beginner sensors. What i mean by that is that full frame amplifies your small mistakes like pictures that are not in focus and sharpness. I will only recommend a somewhat experienced photographer, you can get them as a beginner, i would just recommend going with an aps-c body unless you find a great deal then you are good to go. Full frame sensors has a 1x crop factor so a 100mm lens is a 100mm lens on a full frame camera. Medium Format While this format differentiates in size a person who would buy a digital camera with a medium format sensor, should know more about photography than me (don’t know if that says much). These are only used in cameras that are made for the professionals, that both need the insane amount of megapixels they are capable of, but also the color depth. These are only for professionals and not anything i would ever recommend for a beginner. It's like an amplified full frame sensor it has all the benefits, but also all the cons, and are specialized equipment. It’s crop factor varies because of the varying sizes of medium format sensors. Recommended cameras: I want to preface this by saying no camera is perfect. They all have their pros and cons. It’s also very subjective which camera is good for you. This is my recommendations, and cameras i would personally buy from new at these budget’s, now this is not including lenses or other accessories and i am recommending using a good amount of your budget on lenses and other gear as you will need it, lenses also lose less value over time and you can keep them most of the time when upgrading, they age much slower than camera bodies. I’m recommending cameras for still photography and not video so please keep that in mind. And last but not least as I stated in the start. It's not the camera that's important it's the person behind it. All cameras on this list are able to produce great images the more expensive ones just tend to have that tad extra of everything and features that pros like. These are also recommendations for you to research further on to make your own informed decision. 500 dollar: Canon M50 This is a very entry level mirror less camera, but this camera is mirror less which means that you get tack sharp focus and you can see the exposure in the viewfinder, two major plusses for a beginning photographer. This camera has its downsides too though, it uses the ef-m lens mount so the native lens selection is very limited, but you can always adapt it. Autofocus is also slow, so if you like taking pictures of fast moving objects dslr or high end mirror less is the way to go. Upgrade ability is also limited on this camera while you can adapt canon's ef lenses to it you can’t keep your old ef-m lenses when upgrading to lets sat an 80D. I recommend getting it with the 15-45 kit lens since it costs a very tiny amount more than without a lens. It’s very small and light and a camera i own myself. And great value for money. 600 dollar: Nikon D5600 The Nikon D5600 is a great value for money camera, and produce great images, just like all the cameras on this list. It has great iso performance for this amount of money and is really light and small which is a good thing. It also doesn't have an anti aliasing filter which is great for sharp images, but can cause the moire effect (search it up on google). It's a beginners camera, but you can still take great pictures with it. I think this is more than what canon has to offer at this exact price point. 750 dollar: Canon T8i/850D This is a consumer camera that’s brand new as of may 2020. You will get great value out of this camera and great auto focus, with 45-point cross-type AF points and canon's dual pixel AF system. So this camera is great for both live view and normal photography. It also comes with a flip out screen which i have missed many times on my pro bodies when shooting very low. This is your “average” camera it has the relevant features you need and not a camera you need to sell again if you get hooked on the hobby, great choice in my opinion. 850 dollar: Nikon Z50 I have heard a lot of good stuff about this camera and the specs tell me that it is for good reason. this is an aps-c mirror less camera that can take up to 11 pictures a second but that's not the only part. It has a pro body and is made of magnesium alloy like the other pro bodies have been for years. It's like a mirrorless D500 which was one of Nikons most popular professional dslr's before hand. And the nikon D500 was compared to the D850 in many ways which all traces back to this being a great camera. It's also weather sealed which is a plus if you don't like dust in your gear, i generally don't recommend shooting pictures in rain since your equipment will get wet and damp, which can lead to haze and fungi in lenses and a lot of other bad things. I would consider this a really good beginner choice since it has an aps-c sensor and that it's mirrorless so light weight and the fact that you can see the exposure in the viewfinder. 900 dollar: Sony A7 II If you really like full frame camera and really want one right now the Sony A7 II is an absolute bargain. At 900 Dollars it's hard to go wrong. Can easily adapt canon lenses to it while they work great. It also has in body image stabilization which is a major plus. This can mean the difference between sharp and not sharp pictures. This is such a great feature to have and it usually works better than the image stabilization inside of lenses. And not only that it takes great pictures. Though some don't like the colors that Sony cameras produce, i do. The pictures that come out of an A7 II look a bit warm, but i like it. And it has great ISO performance as most sony A7's and is generally a fantastic camera. You can't go wrong with 900 dollars at least. I would also recommend to get a canon adapter to it since Sony lenses tend to be quite expensive and the used market has only just opened up, so prices are quite tough. 1000 dollar: EOS RP Now we are getting into the semi pro bodies. This camera is essentially a mirror less canon 6D mark II, it is cheaper though and comes with all the pros of a mirror less camera. I would buy this camera instead since it can use both rf and ef lenses so best of both worlds. It has a full frame sensor and 26 megapixels not a camera that is going to disappoint you and for 1000 dollars it’s a great camera. This is not a camera i would pick up as a total beginner, but it is possible to do. 1200 dollar: EOS 90D I'm going to preface this and say, this camera is for the person who would like to photograph moving subjects, like a flying bird or a sports event. It can do landscape and all the other things, but it has an aps-c sensor so the 1.6x crop make it hard to take everything into the motive which you sometimes want as a landscape photographer. But other than that, this is an absolutely great camera it has 33 megapixels, brand new sensor, 10 fps shooting with auto focus and lots of other features. This camera is also great at sports shooting since you can come so much closer because of the crop factor. It’s also great for everyday use. So if you need to photograph fast moving subjects or just want to get a little closer at your subject then get the 90D if not the eos rp would be my recommendation. There are many other great cameras from other manufactures, but i recommend these cameras because i know them to some extend and have done a lot of research. There are many other things to discuss and i invite you to write a recommendation in the thread below. Lenses: Lenses are hard to choose and i will also make my recommendations very shortm on modern lenses, but don’t look at the overall score though that says very little about the lens look at the individual scores instead. I’m recommending lenses that and to the point. There are many things to look out for in a lens and that’s for good reason. I recommend visiting dxomark.com and look at their benchmarks. The things i usually look for the most is sharpness and vignetting, if you buy older lenses, watch out for distortion and chromatic aberration which are less of a problei would personally have interest in keeping for the future. F/#: is the amount of light coming into the lens, the lower the better for example a F/2.8 lens has double the amount of light coming into it that a F/4 so the lower the value the better. IS: stands for image stabilization and is an optical stabilizer within the lens that stabilizes your pictures so you have a higher chance of getting a sharp photo. USM/STM Is the motor type within the lens, the USM stands for Ultrasonic motor, and stm stands for stepper motor. Stepper motors are generally considered quieter while USM motors are considered faster. Canon EF 16-35mm F/4 L IS USM This is an absolutely great wide angle lens, extremely sharp, not to heavy and it has built in image stabilization for low light photography. It’s a very solid lens and is even being compared to it’s bigger brother the 16-35mm F/2.8 in many ways in terms of sharpness. And for half the price. Not a lens that will disappoint you, this lens is very stable for wide angle photography. Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM Also called the nifty fifty this 100 dollar lens is an absolute bargain and with that big aperture it can take great pictures in some low light situations, though it doesn’t have any image stabilization. I recommend stopping this lens up to F/2.8 so it gets a bit sharper and rid of all the vignetting and chromatic aberrations. Great lens and absolutely nothing beats it at that price level. The older Mark I and Mark II are also great, but both have some quality issues and the stm is in general the go to choice. I recommend this over the older 50mm f/1.4 which is less sharp than this even stopped down to F/1.8. Canon EF 24-70 F/4 L IS USM Im recommending this lens because it’s a very useful focal range that goes from kinda wide to kinda telephoto and everything in between. It’s also sharp and a great allround lens. The image stabilization is also very useful and makes up for the F/4 aperture. While the F/2.8 version is leap ahead in sharpness and cost 2.5x as much. This is a great lens, but i would personally get a 16-35mm or 70-200mm first since i don’t use this focal range that much and i personally use a 50mm F/1.8 STM as a bridge between my 16-35mm and 70-200mm. Canon EF 70-300mm F/4-F5.6 IS II USM This is one of canons newer lenses and it is cheap for the amount of value you get. It is also fairly sharp and autofocus should be about as fast as it can get. This lens also has a very useful focal range because of the extra reach compared to the 70-200mm that has become a standard zoom range today. Canon EF 70-200mm F/4 IS II USM Extremely sharp and useful lens. This is one of canons classics just in a mark II version. It has a classic focal range and very good image stabilization so you can get sharp photos even in mild low light situations. This is a very good lens and definitely recommended. I plan on getting it soon, but the price is a bit steep at 1300 dollar, but i’ve heard it’s worth every penny. Otherwise alternatives could be the tamron 70-210mm F/4 with image stabilization and an ultrasonic motor at a fraction of the cost. This is a lens for the serious hobbyist or the pro who like lightweight gear. Tamron 70-210mm F/4 VC USD Very useful focal range and fairly sharp. Unlike the canon the price on this lens is a fraction of the cost. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad lens it’s sharp and has very effective image stabilization or vibration compensation as tamron calls it. The extra 10 mm also gets you a bit closer to the subject, but nothing major. It’s also fairly lightweight and a great value lens. And both available for nikon and canon. Nikon 50mm F/1.8 AF-S The nifty fifty just for nikon. Great lens, but performs like the canon for double the price. though it has some great features like the see through focus distance meter it's very similar to canons offering. But it's worth the 200 dollars and is a must have in a nikon FX kit. Nikon 200-500mm F/5.6 ED VR AF-S This lens is great for wildlife and sports photography with a focal range that goes up to 500mm and 750mm on an aps-c camera this lens is no joke. It's max aperture of F/5.6 is a bit dark so you will need to shoot in daylight. But otherwise than that this is a great lens. I wish i had this lens for my canon cameras, i was nearly about to shift to Nikon when i saw this lens. You do have to watch out for the weight though it's a very heavy lens. And this lens has nearly zero vignetting which is a huge plus since you won't need to fix it in photoshop or stop the lens down to a lower aperture. Sigma 85mm F/1.4 DG HSM ART This is a lens that i consider buying soon. It is extremely sharp and has a very low aperture. It has little to no distortion and very little vignetting. This makes it an absolutely great lens and if you like shooting portraits this is a dream lens. And you can get it for both Nikon and canon Which is great. Now i could go on and recommend a lot of lenses, but then this post would get very long. I recommend ken rockwell’s website or the digital picture. Both write very useful reviews Ken Rockwell does also make recommendations on his website, all of the lenses listed above is actually recommended on his website except for the Tamron 70-210mm, Sigma 85mm and Nikon 50mm. He also writes his reviews in a way that is easy to understand by a foreigner like me which probably will make it even simpler for you to understand. The digital picture also makes great reviews and i like that you can see sample images from each lens really helps sometimes when choosing a lens to look at the same subject taken with different lenses. If i need to make any additions please write a comment in the thread below. I’m open for critique this is after all my first major post in this forum. And also please make your own informed decisions and not entirely based on this post i'm as stated in the top not taking any responsibility for any choices made based on this post. I’ve also only chosen canon related gear since it’s the brand i'm mostly familiar with, I know that Nikon and Sony makes great cameras too and they might be better for you. My information is also based on a lot of stuff I've read over the years and general experience so i'm not a master at photography, at all!
  2. Hey so I had a question regarding video sharpness in mirrorless and DSLR cameras. I'm almost ready to pull the gun on a Sony A7rii with a Zeiss FF lense. But I was curious with Canon cameras especially the Canon 80d, if I went with a EF L lense, how sharper would video be instead of using the kit lense or a inferior lense to the EF L. I was just wondering if video on the 80D would look much crisper and sharper if someone went with the professional grade L Canon lenses. I guess I do know the L lense will look sharper, but how much sharper will video look going with the L lense rather than a kit or cheaper lense. any help would be awesome! thanks!
  3. I'm about to buy my very first mirrorless camera for taking professional quality photos and videos and I have a budget of around $800. Is the panasonic lumix g7 a good choice? If it is, are its kit lenses good or should I buy body and lens separated? P.S. I'm looking for a lens with decent zoom capabilities and at least mega OIS. (The 14-140mm kit lens I one of my choices but its aperture is quite bad.)
  4. First of all, let me start of by saying that this is intended for people who want a quick and dirty guide to knowing what to look for in a lens. Hence a lot of what I write will be oversimplified, because for more details there are many resources out there on the web where people have taken their time and put in a great effort to provide you with all the knowledge you want. Instead of competing with them, I will refer you to their work if you want to know more. I'm here only to give you a head start. Let me start off by saying, whether you're interested in photography, cinematography, or even just recording sound: While having high quality expensive gear would be nice, don't let the lack of having such gear stop you from being creative. Another thing I want to say before I begin: There are many good online resources where you can read or watch well written reviews of camera gear. The people who produce the reviews (hopefully all of them) handle the gear and put them through various tests. So if you're not sure about a camera or a lens, so go look at the various reviews. You can even look at what customers have to say on places like B&H, Adorama, Amazon. But, I also advise you to go to a place like Flickr. They allow you to search for photos based on camera model and perhaps lens model too. Maybe you will need to look for Flickr groups dedicated for a particular camera or lens, or look for keywords and tags. the reason I am telling you to do this is because a majority of the photos on places like Flickr will show real world examples of photos taken with the gear you are interested in acquiring. They are different from looking at test charts or test photos on review websites. Those who review camera gear, such as DxOMark, perform rigorous tests to find the flaws in a camera or lens. Most of those flaws appear in extreme test cases that tend not to reflect real world usage of a camera or lens. For example, the Sony A7sII has a stellar performance when it comes to low light, but think about how often you are going to find the darkest room in the house during a blackout on a moonless pitchblack night to take a portrait of someone. So if you're not sure about what you can achieve with a camera gear that people claim is "shit" and that you need to spend more than you want or currently have, go look on places like Flickr and see the photos others will have captured with said gear. Having good gear helps, but having better skills and experience helps even more. Both photography and cinematography cameras require lenses (a.k.a. glass). So hopefully what I have to say here will be of use to people in either field. I believe two main questions come to mind when people are thinking about buying a lens: What focal length do I need? What is the quality of this lens? Firstly a basic intro into the types of lenses you will find on the market, and explain why they differ in quality. There are two main types of lenses on the market, with some subtypes: Single focal length lenses, people often refer to them as prime lenses, fixed focal length lenses, and sometimes normal lenses Zoom lenses, and with zoom lenses there are two subtypes Constant aperture Variable aperture There is also another category for lenses: Photography lenses Cine lenses Both photography and cine lenses have a mixture of single focal length and zoom lenses. The added benefit of a cine lens include: A wider turn of the rings that control focal length, aperture and focus giving the user a more precise control over manually adjusting the lens. A zoom cine lens will also most likely be a parfocal lens, while it is almost 100% certain that all zoom lenses for photography are varifocal. What this means is that on a parfocal zoom lens, you can focus on your subject at one focal length of the lens and as you zoom in or out the focus doesn't change. On a varifocal lens, zooming in and out on the lens will affect the focus. In cine lenses, there is also something that is called a T-stop. It is similar to a F-stop on a photography lens and at the same time a bit different. The main point of a T-stop is that (primarily) on a zoom lens, at 50mm f/2.8 the light transmitted through the lens is exactly the same as when the lens is set to 25mm f/2.8. With modern lenses with specialized coatings the difference between F-stop and T-stop has become smaller. But in the olden days, light transmitted through 50mm f/2.8 was not always the same as light transmitted through 25mm f/2.8. Because of these design factors, cine lenses have a tendency to be more expensive than photography lenses. Note: Both photography and cine lenses can be mounted on photo and cinematography cameras, as long as the lens mounts are compatible. Now let's talk about lens quality, in order of what I believe is the tendency for quality to go from highest to lowest: Single focal length lenses (for example, a 50mm f/1.4) Pros: They are often the fastest of lenses, in other words they feature the widest aperture/f-stops. They are easy to design and manufacture. So they can be less expensive than comparable zoom lenses. Some can be priced very low and are budget friendly. These types of lenses quite often have the bests quality among any lenses produced because the manufacturer doesn't have to worry about how the quality of the light passing through the glass elements will change if the focal length of a lens changes such as in a zoom lens. Hence the manufacturer can fully concentrate on making sure the lens performs its best at that single focal length. Cons: The only con of this type of lens I would consider is the fact that because it is a single focal length, the lens is not as versatile as a zoom lens that offers a range of focal lengths. Constant aperture zoom lenses (e.g. a 24-70mm f/2.8) Pros: Zoom range and the fact that the aperture stays the same at any focal length. Constant aperture offers a big advantage over zoom lenses with variable apertures, because you can zoom in or out on the lens whilst keeping the same aperture setting and will not have to worry about readjusting shutter speeds, ISO or aperture. The same exposure setting you had for f/2.8 at 24mm will work at f/2.8 for 70mm, within a very tiny and almost negligible margin of error. Those of you who own lightmeters (e.g. the Sekonic 478 or even a lightmeter app on your phone), you know that any value you set for two corners of the exposure triangle it calculates the third corner for you based on the measurement of the light falling on the subject. The three corners of the exposure triangle are Shutter, Aperture and ISO. Focal length is not included. This implies that the lens has the same low light capability throughout the entire zoom range. With variable aperture lenses the exposure value remains near constant only if the aperture used at the widest focal length is equal or smaller than the widest aperture available at the longest focal length. Cons: Can be big and expensive. As aperture is a value derived from the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the opening of the iris within the lens, (for example, a lens with an aperture of f/1) for a 50mm lens to have an aperture of f/1 the diameter of the iris has to be 50mm wide. When designing a zoom lens, (for example, a 50-100mm zoom), the manufacturer has to design the body of the lens so that at 50mm focal length the iris can open up to 50mm in diameter but at 100mm focal length it has to be able to open up to 100mm in diameter. This adds to the cost and size of the lens. Variable aperture zoom lens (e.g. 24-85mm f/3.5-5.6) Pros: Zoom range and cheaper and easier to manufacture Can be smaller than a constant aperture zoom and also some very fast single focal length lenses. Cons: Variable aperture, meaning the widest aperture supported by the lens is only available at the wider end of the lens' focal length. At the longer end of the focal length, the widest aperture available is indicated in the description of the lens (i.e. 5.6 in the example above). Of the types of lenses, this type of lens will quite often will be the lowest quality of lenses. When designing a constant aperture zoom lens, because of the investment needed in designing such a lens the manufacturer will also decide to invest in the time and money to keep the quality of the lens above a certain level, because constant aperture zoom lenses are often targeted at professional level of customers. But with a variable aperture zoom lens, manufacturers will and can often skimp out on investing in quality. There is also another factor that determines the quality of a lens, any lens: The manufacturer. The quality control and decision by the manufacturer to invest in the design and production of a lens is another important factor that determines the quality of a lens. It is the same in the manufacturing of any product, as I'm sure most of you will understand as the same kind of factor exists in the manufacturing of computer components. As this video (below) by John Hess of Filmmaker IQ explains, compromises have to be made by the manufacturer when designing a zoom lens so that the quality of the light being transmitted through the lens does not fall below a certain level throughout the change in focal lengths. Trying to make a zoom lens the best quality at one focal length might mean that it performs very badly at another focal length. With a single focal length lens, the manufacturer doesn't have to worry about this issue, hence they can concentrate on keeping the quality of the lens high above a certain level. The longer the zoom range of a zoom lens, the more compromises that might have to be made by the manufacturer. I also recommend watching these two videos below from Filmmaker IQ to know more about lenses and camera sensors: This video below gives you a quick overview of differences between a photography and a cine lens: Before I go onto talking about understanding how to choose a focal length, I want to mention two specialty lenses: Tilt-shift lenses (TS), also referred to as Perspective Control lenses (PC) Lensbaby lenses Both lenses are quite often manual focus only lenses. They tend to be single focal length lenses. So most likely no zoom. Both lenses allow you to change the angle of the focal plane in relation to the sensor plane which can assist in controlling DOF in various ways. Additionally TS lenses tend to have a much wider image circle than regular lenses. There are also lenses that only shift, without the tilt part and vice versa. A Lensbaby lens has only the tilt part, not shift. (Unless Lensbaby has produced other models that I am not familiar with.) There are adapters that can turn your regular lens into a Tilt or Shift or Tilt+Shift lens. TS lenses for DSLRs owe their origin to the design of large format cameras with accordion style bellows. Lensbaby lenses can be used to produce some creative images. Such as creating an effect where the face of your subject is the only thing in focus and everything else is blurred/zoomed effect in a portrait. I recommend you do a Google Image search for photos taken with a Lensbaby to understand what kind of effects they produce. Some accessories for Lensbaby lenses allow for a changing the shape of the bokeh from the regular rounded shape. Of course you can also do this with regular lenses, if you know how. Because TS lenses give you more control over perspective than regular lenses, they are often used for architectural and landscape photography. The Shift aspect of a TS lens can let you take a distortion and parallax free panorama. You can even use the Shift aspect of the lens to mimic a medium format camera. The Tilt aspect of a TS lens lets you create the miniature effect. For example, the opening sequence of Sherlock uses a TS lens. The Tilt and Shift of a TS lens can help you create very deep DOF landscape photos. With regular lenses, to get a deep DOF you need to step down your Aperture/f-stop. But step down too much and the quality of your photo may suffer due to diffraction. With a TS lens by altering the plane of focus a landscape photographer can capture a photo where elements that are close to the camera and far in the distance are both within the acceptable level of sharpness. Some nice links on how to use TS lenses: http://www.oopoomoo.com/tag/how-to-use-tilt-shift-lenses/ http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/10/30/tilt-shift-photography-how-to-use-1-lens-for-6-different-effects/ http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/using_tilt.html Focal lengths: what to choose? I generally group lenses into three general groups. Just a warning that I'm a 35mm photography sensor (Full Frame) shooter, so if I do mention field of view or specific focal lengths you will may have to convert the values to what is equivalent for your camera sensor. Do not confuse 35mm FF with Super35mm used in cinematography which is closer to APS-C cropped sensor in photography. Both 35mm FF and Super35 can use the same film stock, however 35mm for photography is the long strip of film held side to side while Super35 is derived from when the film strip is held top down. Wide angles, including ultra wide and fisheye: I generally consider any focal length shorter than 35mm to be wide. Medium angles: between 35mm to 70mm. Telephoto: Everything longer than 70mm, including super telephotos like 400-1200mm lenses which can be very expensive. Of course you are free to group the lenses however you want. When choosing a lens, think about the subject you want to photograph and perhaps how you want to position the subject in relation to the foreground and background. For example: If you are taking a photo of a group of people, they are generally standing side by side and in a close group. For this kind of situation you can decide to use a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens, as long as you can get everyone within the frame. But if you are taking a photo of just a single or person or a couple of people together, (for example with the Grand Canyon or Eiffel Tower close in the immediate background), here are the possible effects using different lenses: Using a wide angle lens so and standing at a sufficient distance far enough so that you capture the people and the grand scale of the Grand Canyon. What can happen is that while the wide angle lens captures the scale of the Grand Canyon the people in your photo might appear small and less significant in the frame. So you step closer so that the people take up a larger portion of the frame, you want to give the people more prominence. The background object will become less prominent. How about using a telephoto? What will happen is you compress the scale and distance of the foreground and background, the far side of the Grand Canyon will seem to be closer than it really is. Another thing is when you're talking a photo of a group of people spread out, using a wide angle can make the group appear dispersed while a telephoto can make the group appear dense. Watch this video by one of the masters of photography: Joe McNally So when you choose the focal length or lens you need for the photo, think about what you want to show to your audience in the photo, or even video. Do you want people to be awed by the magnificent grandeur of the Grand Canyon or make your subjects (the people in the photo) appear larger than life, as if they are explorers who conquered the Grand Canyon? As my guides are intended to give you a quick intro to beginning your understanding of lenses, I will refer you to my other guides which have links to YouTube channels and websites where people have spent their time and effort to providing knowledge in more detail than I could provide in a short topic like this. You can find the links to my other guides in my signature. Think about distortion when you take photos. Ultra wide and fisheye lenses have the tendency to make straight lines appear as curves, especially around the edges of the frame. Because their field of views tend to be very wide, from around 90 degrees and up to 180 degrees. Distortion like pincushion or barrel distortion can be easily corrected in post, software like Lightroom come with profiles for some popular lenses or you can perform a manual correction, with the risk of losing certain portions of the frame. Additionally different focal lengths can change the appearance of your subject, as seen in this animated gif below. You can also see how the relationship changes for foreground and background elements. Keep in mind, in journalism where capturing the reality of the moment is more important than creativity you might want to think about whether you want a distorted image or not. Same thing when you take portraits, full body to head shots. Normally people recommend using focal lengths between 70-135mm for portraiture as this range of focal length tend to have a minimal distortion on your subject's appearance. So far I have talked about photography when discussing lenses. A lot of what I have said can also be applied to video. This video below shows the use of a technique called the Dolly Zoom (sometimes referred to as the Hitchcock Zoom as Alfred Hitchcock used it to create dramatic scenes in some of his movies). Dolly zoom relies on the distortion effect of focal lengths and the change in relationship between foreground and background elements. You can use any lens or focal length for both photography and cinematography, just keep in mind how that lens or focal length affects the image. For example, people often think that a Wide Angle lens is necessary for landscape photos. This is not true, you can also use a telephoto. to be continued...
  5. hello guys, I'm going on vacation in a few weeks and would like to hear some recommendations of things that I can't go with out for taking great pictures or maybe some good tips for shooting in very bright environments. Cheers
  6. So im quite new to photography so please excuse my lack of nowledge. my dad and grandpa were both into photography but they didnt quite made the step to digital. my dad has a nikon d3300 with the 18-105mm nikon lense. i recently bought my own d3300 and discovered that we have some pretty awesome old lenses to use on this. including a 70-210mm 2.8 ; a 50mm 1.8 and a 30mm 2.8 makro. of course all of these have no af or stabilization and need to be used in full manual mode. those are really awesome but there are situations where you dont want adjust iso, shutter speed and focus manually before you shoot. so im looking for a 30mm 1.4 lense right now. i found 2 options: the older Sigma EX for 280€ and the newer Sigma Art for 420€. well i know that the Art can focus at 30cm while the EX can at 40cm and i heared the art is very sharp but is it worth the extra 140€? which one do you recommend? or should i buy a totally different lense based on what i have right now?
  7. Situation sketch: Back in the day my dad used to have a Minolta 9000. On a day it broke and wasn’t fixed because of the upcoming digital cameras. It was put away and kind of forgotten about. Now after all these years we would like to buy a new descent body and be able to reuse all these lenses. What are we looking for: -Camera need to be able to accept the lenses(coming for minolta 9000) we already have (so it will probably only be sony). -What will it be used for: amateur/hobby photographing and if possible some video capabilities would be nice(used for hobby youtube channel). -the body need to be aluminium. -Price isn’t a direct concern. I know this is a very wide description, but we you only just starting to get back into this whole market and would like to get some early advice. Because at the moment we are just drowning in information that we don’t know what to do whit. I would like you to give me an advice on a camera or even some different scenarios and what the advantages/disadvantages are of them.
  8. I was wondering if there are any lens kits for the galaxy s7 edge that will allow me to adjust the depth of field and/or focus? and yes, i do know that you can control the focus in the pro video mode
  9. Hello, I am getting the nikon d3400 with 18-55mm DX VR lens and 70-300mm DX VR lens and I was wondering what accessories that I need. I know that I need a case and sd card but like cleaning kit? uv? blower? lenspen? what do I need ?????? Accessory wise ?????? Thanks
  10. Disclaimer: This item was sent in exchange for my opinion. Images I took with it: the last 3 was shot without lenses on my OnePlus One. http://imgur.com/gallery/wb479 Out of the box it came with 3 lenses. Not bad for a start, However one gripe I had was that the clips used to attach the lenses were really tight and I had a feeling it was going to break. Really need to force it in there in order to have it stay in place. Through using the lenses, the lenses did what it was supposed to. It came with a Supreme Fisheye, Wide Angle, and Macro Lens. The lenses are well built with metal housings surround the glass. Not sure how well it will hold up after a few bumps though. While it didn't feel cheap, the clips were the only setback because I was scared I would scratch my camera lens every time I shifted the clip.It would be nice to see rubber on both sides of the clip instead of just the one in the back. So who this product is for...? I honestly have no idea. Unless you are using this for product shots with the macro, or just want the cool fisheye look, I think the lens on my phone is well suitable compared to extending it. It was really fiddly in order to get the lens perfectly align with the lens on the phone. Depending on the phone, it might be different for you. All in all if you really like taking pictures with your phone and want a wider angle or really close macro shots, this would be the product for you. This really slows down the amount of time you need to get the shot. Maybe a good stocking stuffer I guess? Not bad for that. Cheers - TheYoukoi I liked their macro lens the best although it was weird to focus.
  11. For Christmas I am looking at getting a new wide angle lens for my canon 1100d (for photography). I'm currently looking at a Sigma 10-20mm f3.5: http://www.sigmaphoto.com/10-20mm-f35-ex-dc-hsm I have still not decided yet but any suggestions would be nice
  12. So B&H are having some really good sales right now on Dracast LED lights, I'm wondering if it is worth getting a 1000 LED light (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1219694-REG/dracast_drsp_1000b_led1000_series_bi_color_led.html) and a 500 LED light (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1258215-REG/dracast_drsp_500bn_led500_silver_bi_color_panel.htm) over another Rokinon cinema lens. I currently have a T3i with a 16mm T2.2 cine lens. I am saving up for a Sony Mirrorless camera, but saw these deals and realised that I have no proper lighting. Right now I have Ikea LED arm lights and 2 Neewer 160 LED lights, not great. Even if I buy these I will still have money for a Sony Mirrorless Camera (I'm looking at A6500 or its successor when it comes out). As for what I shoot, the occasional short film, mostly product B-roll. I really can't find any good info on if lights are worth it. All help is appreciated.
  13. So after several months, I've finally saved up enough money for this decent camera lens that I've been wanting for a while. But now, I'm not sure if I should buy my lens or buy something less expensive. The lens costs $750 - $800. Here's the lens: But here's the other items I'm thinking about buying: Colt Model 1851 black-powder revolver replica ($400): ________________________________________________________________ 1/24 Mclaren F1 "Long Tail" Le Mans 1995 model kit ($280; actual photo of finished model kit): _____________________________________________________ Another model kit ($250): (what the kit is supposed to be of, a Porsche 919 2017 LM winner) ________________________________________________________ And finally, a replica 1:1 scale Porsche 911 RSR 2017 steering wheel with working USB paddle shifters for my simulator (probably $300 custom ordered): (the car itself:) The car's steering wheel:
  14. I was wondering if there are any lenses that work with the original osmo camera without having to buy the $1500 xenmuse camera? I cant seem to find any however the front of the camera has threads as if it accepts lenses
  15. So, let's say that you've saved up enough money to buy a GH5. You've spent the last 3 years getting a grip on your videography skills and you're looking to step up from your absolutely ancient Canon 60D (because let's face it, that dinosaur will make it extremely difficult for you to get work!) . But, holy cow! The Metabones speed booster to use your EF glass costs close to 1/3rd of your camera! But what if you were to sell your EF glass and buy a M43 to FD speed booster and stock up on FD lenses all for about $400-500? Do you think that would be money better spent versus paying $650 for a Metabones M43 to EF speed booster? You could also put some of the money towards the roughly $500 worth of lenses you have plus $300 you get for your 60D towards a decent stabilizer like the motorized gimbal: the Zhiyun Crane. What are your thoughts? Share! Discuss! Let's chat!
  16. So I picked up 3 old lenses at thrift stores and I'm having mixed results in my research as far as identifying their mount, brand, etc. Any help is appreciated. 1. I know this is a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 and I'm pretty sure it's a macro function lens. I think it's an Olympus Mount but I'm not 100% certain. I can't seem to find much information/any listings for this lens... 2. These two are proving to be very confusing. The only information I can find is that these are either "Super Takumar" or "Super Carenar" lenses, but on the cases, lens caps and lenses there is no "r" so it's just "Carena". I'm fairly certain they're M42 mount. One is a 28mm f3.5 and the other is 135mm f3.8.
  17. Are there any other parfocal lenses that are EF mount other than the 70-200 2.8L non-is (believe one of the UWA Tokina zooms is as well)? If not, are there parfocal lenses available that cover the aps-c sensor size and have mounts available to ef?
  18. I'm looking for the cheapest MFT lenses, that still have OK quality. I dont really care if they are MFT, as long as they are cheap enough to overcome the price of the adapter. I need lenses that are, from personal experience, cheap and, dont have large flaws. I'm not much of a lenses guy, but I mostly need wide angle lenses, prime are fine but I preffer lenses with zoom capabilities. I am going to use them for general amateur film making, nothing special.
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