Friday, August 17, 2007

The Lenses and Me

I know all the photographers are more or less crazy about lens. And it's for good reason. I think they are probably the first thing you should invest. Camera body is important but without good lens, its useless. And you can keep the lens for many years but the camera body will keep changing esp in this digital day and age. So. I'm just gonna share about the lenses I have, how I use them and pros/ cons of them. Ok .. first of all , this post is not technical reviews about them. If you wanna know more about the sharpness and lens chart, you can find many information from the manufacturers site. And there's Fred Miranda's lens review site. A very good place to read lens reviews. But here, I will just talk about the pros and cons based on my use. Different photographers will have different needs and taste.
I'll start with my canon prime lens.

1. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM
This lens have many unique attributes. Its the speediest(brightest) , sharpest and lightest lens I have. And its the only prime lens I have. I use it on many subjects and its used to be my main lens of choice . Butnow I am using more Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC for its flexibility.
I had EF 50mm f/1.8 before I bought this lens. That lens was really good value for $$ but It's lacking in USM, 5 blades diaphragm (bad bokeh), cheap plastic construction. That's why I upgraded to this f1.4 version. And I think it's a good choice.

Things I like about this lens;
  • Fast f1.4 aperture allow me to shoot in any possible low light situation.
  • Fast and quiet USM focusing.
  • Super smooth Bokeh and depth of field
  • Very light , Easy to travel with
  • Super sharp. Probably the sharpest non L lens.

Things I dont like about this lens;
  • minimun focusing distant could be closer
  • 50mm on crop body like EOS 30D is a little long. Not suitable for tight indoor portrait, landscape etc. That hinder me from using it exclusively as a normal lens. Currently thinking of trying EF 35mm f/2.0 or EF 28mm f/1.8 USM. 35mm f/2 is very reasonable price around US$200 so i think I'll give it a try. I enjoy the fixed focal length aspect of using prime lens. It forces me to be more creative on framing and composition.
Some of my favorite shots with this lens.

This one is shot at very very low light with ISO 1600

This shot is very tightly cropped. Hence look a little blurry.

I will continue on these lenses later.

2. Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC
3. Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 EX DC
4. Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 Macro LD Di

but I already wrote quite detailed review on Canon EFS 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 Kit lens here and here.

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