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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,854
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Where to start?


@inkjunkie wrote:

Should have stated that I am trying to avoid buying several lenses, don't see the point of buying a less expensive zoom lenses only to move up to the better lenses when my skill improves...if that makes sense..,


Part of the point of having a "removeable lens" camera is that there is no single "best" lens... one lens might be better for a certain job than other.

 

Changes lenses changes a few things...

 

First and foremost is the "angle of view" and how this influences a photo.  A newbie assumption is that a zoom lens will let you stand in one spot ... and then zoom-in to "get closer" and zoom-out to "get farther".  

 

A serious photographer usually wont do this (there are several noteable exceptions).  If they want to get closer, they actually walk closer (assuming they can - sometimes you are constrained as to where you can stand -- but if they have control over where they stand... they stand where they need to stand and don't use the lens as an excuse to avoid exercise.)

 

So the REAL point of the zoom is to change the angle of view.  When you go a short focal length lens (wide angle of view), it has the effect of "stretching" the depth of the scene (distant objects seem even more distant) but proportional to the distance form the lens.  So close things still seem close, but far things seem much much farther away.  Realty photography uses this to make room interiors seem bigger.  Car photographers use this to make car interiors seem roomier or if I take a shot down the side of the car, the car seems longer, etc.    Narrow angle of view (long focal lengths) have the opposite effect and they "compress" the image.  

 

But another side effect of focal length is that it is one of three major factors which influence the "depth of field" (how much of the image seems to be in focus vs. out of focus).  

 

I mentioned some noteable exceptions to moving closer/farther instead of zooming... sometimes even if you can get closer, it's not a good idea.  If you're shooting wildlife, getting close may scare them away (or put you in danger depending on the wildlife.)

 

So if I'm taking a portrait shot... I could get really really close to my subject with a very wide angle lens... OR I could get much farther away with a narrow angle lens.  Overall I can position the camera so I frame about the same amount of subject in the shot (by standing closer or farther) but in the case of a portrait, the shots will tend to look better (a lot better) if I stand farther back and use a longer lens then they will if I stand very close and use a short/wide lens.  In other words you'll start to envisiion what you want the shot to look like and then select the lens that can achieve the results you want.

 

One other thing... "low" focal ratio lenses collect more light relative to their focal length.  That means they can take shots in less light, using a lower ISO setting (less noise) or use a faster shutter speed.   The focal ratio also influence the depth of field ... so you can generate more background blur (which can help make your subject stand out) ... generally if you can afford the lower focal ratio lenses, they offer many advantages.

 

A 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens is a much better than say a 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens (even though you might be thinking "hey... what about that extra 100mm worth of zoom range?" -- but overal quality of the images from the f/2.8 lens will almost certainly provide vastly more usefulness than the extra zoom range. 

 

The shot in my post above (taken during a civil war re-enactment event) was shot using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens AT f/2.8 and 200mm.  If you had a 70-300mm lens and tried to frame this at the same 200mm focal length, you'd have to shoot it at f/5.6 (two stops slower and you'd lose the shallow depth of field) ... this would result in a loss of blur in both the background and the foreground (both of which I really wanted for this shot).  In other words, I wouldn't have been able to make this shot with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens ... it's not just about the focal length range... it's also about the focal ratio.

 

If I owed a T7i and I wanted to own just two lenses ... but could have any two I wanted (regardless of price) I'd pick:

 

#1 the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

#2 the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II

 

I might select other lenses ... depending on a special need or type of photography (for example, neither of these are macro lenses).

 

Your T7i probably came with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.  That's a good lens... but keep in mind it's primarily designed for affordability (to keep the entry price of buying the camera with a general purpose lens to a reasonable price tag.)  That lens doesn't have a particualr low focal ratio lens.

 

Low focal ratio lenses (parituclarly in zooms) cost more for several reasons.

 

The "focal ratio" is the ratio of lens' effective focal length compared to the diameter of it's effective aperture opening (at max aperture).  So if a lens has a focal length of 100mm but it's maximum effective clear aperture opening size (the area through which the light can pass) is 25mm then that lens is an "f/4" lens because 100 ÷ 25 = 4.    If that lens had a significantly bigger diameter but wasn't actually any longer ... so now suppose it's effective clear aperture is 50mm across, then 100 ÷ 50 = 2 so that would be an "f/2" lens (notice how the lower the focal ratio... the bigger the area is through which the light can pass.

 

But while getting more light is generally better... it complicates things for the optical system.  A single object lens element has a convex shape (thick in the middle and thin on the edges) and that area at the edge acts like a prism ... so now "white" light is split into a rainbow spectrum (very bad for quality photos).  This is property of the lens and it's "glass" called "dispersion" and it creates an effect we call "chromatic aberration" or "CA" for short.  

 

To combat this CA problem, the lens makers add extra lens elemements which are typically concave on the front side but nearly flat on the back side, etc.

 

Anyway, a smaller lens doesn't have a strong of a curve so the extent of the CA problem (and how much is needed to correct for it) is less.

 

The bigger lenses (where traditional optical glass dispersion would be too great) might use an exoctic "glass" such as florite crystal.  Florite crystal is found in nature and it has naturally low dispersion (so it's a better "glass") but not in big enough or pure enough pieces to make lenses.  But fortunately crystals can be "grown" in a kiln.  Unfortunately if you try to grow them too quickly, it'll create lots of optical flaws which make them worthless... so they have to be grown very slowly.  This process can take months to produce a single batch which is suitable in quality to grind into lenses.

 

So basically as you get to these lower focal ratio lenses, the lens diameter is physically larger, the glass elements are all bigger, thicker, and heavier, they also have to do more to correct for optical issues, and they may have to use exoctic elements to make the "glass" using very expensive processes that cannot be rushed.  And of course since it costs a lot more... fewer people can afford them (which reduces the economy of scale).

 

So when you look at high quality low focal ratio lenses... just be prepared for the sticker shock when you check the price tag.  They're not being greedy... it really is more expensive (a lot more expensive) to make those lenses.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Posts: 13,786
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Where to start?

"... don't see the point of buying a less expensive zoom lenses only to move up to the better lenses when my skill improves..."

 

I suppose there is logic to that.  Big zoom lenses and all-in-one lenses are the poorest on the IQ scale there is.  Keep that in mind.  It is far better to have two or three lenses than one lens that covers the same range.  Plus all-in-one zooms thend to be slow and variable aperture types.  Again not a plus.

 

I would limit yourself to one of these...

EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM (the white one, not the black one)

EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM (new version is better) 

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon (G2 model)

 

...and if you insist on that everything lens get this one...

EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM (white one)

 

Still the bottom line and where the rubber meets to road, I mean dragstrip, is post editing.  You must learn how!  Not a choice if you want the best.

 

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
VIP
Posts: 11,410
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Where to start?


@inkjunkie wrote:

Should have stated that I am trying to avoid buying several lenses, don't see the point of buying a less expensive zoom lenses only to move up to the better lenses when my skill improves...if that makes sense..,


You have already stated that Lightroom was a bit over whelming, so use Canon’s DPP for a week, or a thousand photos, so that you can wrap your head around the basic concepts and terminology associated with photo post processing.  

LENSES.  You mentioned an interest in a all-in-one zoom, I forget the model, that ranged from wide angle to near super telephoto.  Those lenses are great for lesser cameras,  Your T7i will mercilessly reveal the design compromises that have to made to achieve a 10:1 zoom range.  The best zooms have a zoom range of 4:1, or less.

Which brings up the next issue to consider.  You seemed to indicate that you have an EF-S 18-135mm lens.  Those are pretty good lenses for walking around like a tourist.  But, do you need a zooom that duplicates the short end of that range?  Your choice of the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L is a good one for action photography.  Don’t invest in an extender, though, because I suspect that your images will beccome either to noisy, due to a high shutter speed, or to blurry due to too slow of a shutter speed..

The only problem that I see with the 100-400 is that you would not have a FAST lens.  A fast lens will be very useful on those overcast days, or even shooting at twilight, or even at night.  For that reason, I would suggest the same EF 70-200 f/2.8L II IS USM that time Tim suggested.  You can get the 100-400 at a later date.  You could even use a 1.4x III extender with it.  But, not the 2.0x III with your T7i., which I think would be a bad match for the same reasons I listed above.  

Also, when you use an extender, you loose AF points.  I think your T7i would still have 27 available AF points, arranged as three rows of nine, but your ISO would have to be set too high for you use faster shutter speeds.  I think the constant f/2.8 zoom and a 1.4x III extender is as far as you want to go, and stick with a Canon extender, too.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎10-01-2017

Re: Where to start?

Looks like my reply vanished....hmmm...Need to start using my laptop instead of my tablet, looks like I hit the cancel button.
I do have a few questions. Need to exercise first...
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎10-01-2017

Re: Where to start?

I did sign up for an online class...not sure it is the right one for me but...

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎10-01-2017

Re: Where to start?

Pretty sure I know the answer but going to ask anyway...why the f/2.8 version of the 70-200mm? Simply that much faster than f/4 version? 

 

Have started my online training. Have realized that I have been looking at several things from the wrong perspective. In short I have realized that I need to remove my cranium from my rectum and take a few breaths.  

Have a ton of questions about my particular camera, but I want to see if I can figure them out simply by learning more about things in general. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,119
Registered: ‎02-06-2013

Re: Where to start?


@inkjunkie wrote:

Pretty sure I know the answer but going to ask anyway...why the f/2.8 version of the 70-200mm? Simply that much faster than f/4 version? 

 

Have started my online training. Have realized that I have been looking at several things from the wrong perspective. In short I have realized that I need to remove my cranium from my rectum and take a few breaths.  

Have a ton of questions about my particular camera, but I want to see if I can figure them out simply by learning more about things in general. 


The f/2.8 lets in twice the amount of light as the f/4.  It is one stop faster. It also gives you better bokeh at f/2.8 compared to f/4.   On the reverse side, it is almost twice as big and heavy and costs more money.  Choose your poison Smiley Happy.

 

I think the key to success is to realize what you didn't know or know what you knew was wrong.  You are well on your way to success Smiley Happy.

================================================
Diverhank's photos on Flickr
VIP
Posts: 11,410
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Where to start?


@inkjunkie wrote:

Pretty sure I know the answer but going to ask anyway...why the f/2.8 version of the 70-200mm?  


Because it is mad, crazy sharp!  The camera body was a full frame 6D Mark II.

 

EOS 6D Mark II2017_09_240460.jpg

 

Shot with a 

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 530
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Where to start?

As has been mentioned, Canon provides its own post processing software suite called Digial Photo Professional. It is free with Canon DSLR cameras. You can also download it from the Canon site, which is what I did. It is perfectly fine for my usage. I would start with DPP. I think you'll find it more than capable at this stage.  

 

I would provide a simple link to ALL of the DPP tutorials, but the mods would have a nervous breakdown or ban me. 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎10-01-2017

Re: Where to start?

To those that suggested the EF 70-200 f/2.8...most sincerest of Thanks. Got the lens yesterday. Mounted it on my T7i. First picture I took. I shoot RAW/JPEG, for now. This was the first shot I took. Mita, one of our Redbone Coonhounds. Yes, she really is this dark. This is the JPEG out of the camera...FB_IMG_1509465145908.jpg

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