View Full Version : Photography (lenses, techniques, that kind of thing)

16-08-2012, 10:50 AM
I could only find the thread about great photos (a very good thread, mind), but not one about the mechanics of photography. Are there any keen Dissensian photographers?

At any rate, there must be many with way more knowledge than I. I'm currently stuck with a decent-enough kit zoom lens (18-55mm) for my DSLR, and am trying to decide upon another lens purchase. Does anyone know of a decent and affordable wide angle lens (10-20mm or something thereabouts) - they look pretty damn expensive (even though I'd prob try to find a decent second hand lens), making the choice ever more difficult?

In the meantime I'll prob splash out less cash for a f/1.8 50 mm prime lens - the Canon one seems to have universally good reviews and is a (relative) bargain...

16-08-2012, 08:44 PM
wide angle, i'm not really sure ... kinda depends what you want to shoot - apparently for portraits you'll want 100/135mm i think, tho i'm no expert, wide angle is best for landscapes, no?

i'd advise:
get a prime lens, 50mm or something but with as low f.stop as you can afford - off ebay you should be able to get something decent, depending on what brand you're with, 50/1.8 would be ideal & should produce the all important magical bokeh

that seems like a good way to find your way round the camera & learn 'proper' photography, especially if you get a non-autofocus lens!

then get a 3rd party autofocus telescopical like a tamron 70-300, not too pricy

& enjoy! take the camera with you everywhere

but you probably knew all that already

i'm now semi-retired as i've just been quoted nearly 300 to get my my battered 5 year old dslr back from pentax repairs :eek:

16-08-2012, 09:25 PM
I'm kind of half-bullshitting on this cos it's bits and pieces I've read, but usually wide angle for landscapes (cos it elongates perspective, or whatever the right word is, and makes the scene look deeper, man), and telephoto for portraits (partly cos it compresses perspective, I think). Though if you use telephoto for landscapes you can get interesting results, so I'm told. And probably same for wide angle portraits, though might look like a hall of mirrors.

Yeah, I thought 50/1.8 sounded good enough, but as ever, some people on the web plug 50/1.4 as the real connoisseur's alternative! Too expensive for me though.

I saw Tamron recommended a few other places too, will check it out, thanks. Why autofocus, out of interest?

300, jeez. Could get a new one for nearly that. have you got any of your older photos up online?

17-08-2012, 03:16 PM
autofocus is better if you can afford it, but cheap old lenses without autofocus are really worth having as the glass can be wonderful quality,

i'll see if i can dig up some nice snaps, most are still on the the memory stick = curse of dslr!

i'm stuck trying to decide whether it would be better to get the old one patched up for 300 or invest even more in a new camera, in which case would it be a dslr again or a compact system camera - dslrs are so chunky to heave around and you can fit all sorts of lenses onto the latest little sony/olympus/panasonic, wish that pentax did one...

17-08-2012, 03:40 PM
I usually just flip to manual focus with my kit zoom lens, to keep as much control as possible over everything (more to get myself used to doing everything manually, rather than because I've achieved great results with it; also to focus exactly on the eyes for portraits, now I come to think of it). Maybe I should just let the autofocus do its thing for the majority of photos though...

I've got into the habit of putting pretty much anything straight onto my computer, but I'm gonna have to organise a cull before they take over the hard drive...

Don't know anything about compact system cameras. Reading about them now - sounds like the future

21-09-2012, 10:51 AM
Bumping this thread to say that the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 seems to be a great bargain from using it so far. A prime lens so no zoom, but that forces you to think a bit harder/move yourself to a better position, which often results in getting a better photo. For 80, dead good for shooting portraits.

07-10-2012, 09:12 PM

21-10-2012, 03:37 PM
50mm is a good all-rounder - and if you only get one lens its a good buy. I started off with a 50mm, and picked up a 28mm (wide angle) cheap for landscapes. I find that I don't use the wide angle much - partly because I don't like carrying the extra lens and swapping them round all the time. But I am looking at getting an 85mm or 100mm telephoto, since I want to be able to photograph details better- mostly on buildings, for which you can't really get 'close' enough with a 50mm.

85/100 is also better for portraits, since it allows you to fill the frame from further away from your subject, so you get a more 'natural' shot - and the shallow depth of field makes your subject stand out much more against the background.

21-10-2012, 08:27 PM
Do you plan on getting a second hand telephoto? The for-new prices are so daunting...the main reason I plumped for 50mm in the first instance, seemed such a good bargain.

Sufi, those space cameras are amazing

22-10-2012, 06:46 PM
yeah definitely could only afford a second hand one. would be looking at around 115 for a 100mm f2.8 - although waiting for something a bit cheaper to pop up on ebay. have got all my kit off ebay - never had any problems and there's tons of old kit in good condition floating round.

22-10-2012, 07:47 PM
wow, that's a way better price than i would've expected. puts it in my price bracket, if maybe not this month...