02 June 2008

Picking Up Lenses

Today, I felt a bit weary after a week of planning for the kids birthday bash, driving 400km back and forth to my hometown in the same day on Saturday, and hosting the kids’ birthday party yesterday. So, I decided just to wind down by browsing the Internet and looking back into the photographs of the recent events.

Most of the photos that I shot are excellent. But, I found that some of the important photos are lack of sharpness. By the way, I like to take candid and group photos.

After doing a bit of research, I concluded that the aperture was the culprit.

The person that I focused onto has sharp images. However, the persons around him/her (slightly foreward or slightly backward) were a little bit soft/out of focus/blur. This happened because I used the large aperture (F2.8). There were similar photos that were at F4.0, and the results are much better. I also compared to my photos that I took using the Canon EF 70-200 F2.8L IS lens (which I borrowed from the shop) and I found that the same problems occurred.

So, I went into the Internet to get some write-up and read the forum on such issues. Oh! Yes… I would say the world share my thought.

The aperture F2.8 allows more light to enter, so that you can have faster shutter speed to make the focused image sharper. But, in my photography application, I probably can do without the F2.8 aperture opening.

From now on, I will try to stick to F4.0 and above aperture opening (hence faster shutter speed) for sharper image. Depending on the situations, I need good lighting or flash, and most important is the tripod/monopod to make sure the camera is still.

So, after reading some of the write-ups and forum, here are my suggestions for lenses for the photographers who like to take candid, children (party or setup), group photos and occasionally architecture and landscape. By the way, I am using Canon 400D camera, hence I will only recommend Canon lenses or compatible third party lenses.

For wide angle zoom: Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm, F4.

[Tokina 12-24mm, F4]

For everyday zoom:
To choose either one (or if you’re rich, get both...):
Short zoom: Canon EF 17-40mm, F4L.
Everyday zoom: Canon EF 24-105mm, F4L.

[Canon EF 17-40mm, F4L]

[Canon EF 24-105mm, F4L]

I cannot afford neither the Canon EF 17-40mm, F4L nor Canon EF 24-105mm, F4L, so I ended up with Canon 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS, which suits my applications.

Currently, I have the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Di-II lens, but I still prefer the Canon 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS.

[Canon EF 28-135mm, F3.5-5.6 IS]

For medium length zoom: Canon EF 70-200mm, F4L or if you have money to spend, get the IS version.

[Canon EF70-200mm, F4L]

[Canon Ef 70-200mm, F4L IS]