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HELP! Rebel SL1

Gagnemom
Apprentice
Can someone PLEASE tell me how to get good pictures out of this camera??!! I have the 18-55 lens on it now. What I really want to know is this: is there a setting where I can push a button and have it zoom in? I can only get it to zoom manually and by then the thing I wanted to capture is gone. If it's a still piece I can get great pics. Also, when on auto focus why does it flash and then have to flash a second time to take the pic? Also, the 18-55 lens is SO long. What is a good super short lens for every day shooting? Do lenses such as the 40 or 50 mm have an auto zoom since they don't have the part that you turn by hand?? Someone please help! I'm desperate and want to take good holiday pics! If I could just figure out how to zoom by pressing a button and how to correctly auto focus I'd be awesome! Thanks in advance
9 REPLIES 9

ScottyP
Authority

Hi,

 

DSLR cameras don't have a zoom button that makes the lens mechanically optically zoom like a point and shoot camera does. The zoom is done with the zoom ring on the zoom lenses. With a little practice this is actually easier to control than a zoom button.  You see all the pro sports photogs using systems where you zoom manually with the lens because it works great. 

 

 

Lenses like the 40mm and 50mm are not zoom lenses and do not zoom. They are fixed focal length. You "zoom with your feet" as they say. You walk closer or you back up. They are typically smaller and lighter because they are simpler and need less glass. 

 

I get the feeling you may be holding the camera like you perhaps used to hold a point and shoot or a cell phone camera, looking at  the LCD screen and holding the camera out away from you?  With a DSLR you don't normally do that. The normal way to do it is to put your eye to the eye cup on the viewfinder and look through the viewfinder. The camera is actually steadied by your head. You hold one (left) hand under the lens and one hand (right) on the grip with your finger on the shutter button.  

 

Your left hand hand is then in perfect position to simply roll the zoom ring left or right to zoom. It also makes a much easier job of tracking a moving subject. It also holds the camera much much steadier and reduces camera-shake blur.  

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Gagnemom
Apprentice
I am holding it as you described. I put my left hand under and hold and snap with right. I find the eye view finder hard to use since I wear glasses and can't see that well through it so I use the LCD screen. What would you suggest for an everyday kind of lens? I have the two that came with the camer but want something more...petite. I looked at 24,40, and 50. Which is best? Any tips on making auto focus work faster and better? I'm basically looking for taking pics of kids and holiday stuff. I also have a 75-300 lens for super long range shots. I HATE IT! It's too heavy and too long. Any suggestions on replacement for this lens too?.. help is greatly appreciated


@Gagnemom wrote:
I find the eye view finder hard to use since I wear glasses and can't see that well through it so I use the LCD screen. 
There is a small dial near the viewfiender that allow you to adjust it, so it works with your glasses. 
Buying a new lens, wont change how your camera works. First concentrate on learning to use your camera through the viewfinder, and then worry about getting a different lens. Your issues are technique issues, not hardware issues. 

Have you tried the diopter on the viewfinder? It is the teeny little dial on the right side of the viewfinder. You can dial in a "vision correction" so you can see better. If it is not powerful enough they even have more powerful viewfinder diopters you can buy for some cameras. They also have bigger eye cups for people with glasses..

The lenses you mention are all ok. It depends on what length you use most. The 40mm pancake is probably better on a cropped Rebel than the 50mm for general average shooting and it is also the smallest. I personally love fixed lenses as they are not only small but also sharp, cheap and good in low light.

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

Gagnemom
Apprentice
That is true I don't know how to use it. I was just thinking a smaller and thinner lens would be better for me to learn with. I do not like the length and weight of the two lenses I got with the body. I want it to be super easy. I wasn't expecting the weight of the lenses to be such an issue but I HATE them


@Gagnemom wrote:
That is true I don't know how to use it. I was just thinking a smaller and thinner lens would be better for me to learn with. I do not like the length and weight of the two lenses I got with the body. I want it to be super easy. I wasn't expecting the weight of the lenses to be such an issue but I HATE them

The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM would be a good general purpose lens. But, realize it doesn't zoom at all. So, if you want to zoom in you will have to move your feet or crop your photos.

Gagnemom
Apprentice
Thanks I appreciate the help. Hopefully I can figure this thing out!! When I use manual zoom and can get it focused correctly the pictures are A-MAZING!! It just takes forever to do it so I usually end up missing shots. I will just keep playing with it and hope I can get it. Again many thanks!


@Gagnemom wrote:
Thanks I appreciate the help. Hopefully I can figure this thing out!! When I use manual zoom and can get it focused correctly the pictures are A-MAZING!! It just takes forever to do it so I usually end up missing shots. I will just keep playing with it and hope I can get it. Again many thanks!

If you are experiencing long focus times, and are seeing the AF Assist beam fire from the flash assembly, that is usually an indication that you do not have enough ambient light.  If the camera is in the square, green "A" mode [Automatic] then the camera will do most all of things you have described, including deciding when to fire the flash or use the AF Assist beam.

 

The best mode to use to learn about your camera is the "P" mode.  I think any of the inexpensive primes lenses that you mentioned would work great, especially the 24mm and 40mm "pancake" lenses. These lenses should give you better low light performance than your camera kit lenses.

 

The 50mm is a grreat lens, too, and is the perfect focal length for portraits.  The 50mm is also the best low light performer of the inexpensive prime lenses.  It will feel a little long [long focal length] on your SL1, which will make it a little awkward to use indoors, in someone's house. Similarly, the 40mm is very close to the 50mm in focal length, and you will experience the same issues.

 

I would advise the 24mm for indoor use, although it will work just great outdoors, too.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

A couple of other points worth mentioning.

 

IF you're trying to focus on things that are moving like kids at play etc set the AF to AI Servo (the manual will tell you which controls to use. You use ONE SHOT for stationary items but in general AI servo can be used most of the time for both stationary & moving targets.

 

Pre focus, which means holding the shutter button down 1/2 way & then take the photo. This is especially important when things are moving because the camera is calculation future movement based on current movement while trying to lock on.

 

It won't take very long & the weight will be a non issue & you'll appreciate the benefit of the zoom kit lens.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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