Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Lenses or Glass

Lenses or Glass, what ever you call them it essentially does the same thing light goes through them focusing the image onto the film or sensor. In this post I will only be discussing the types of lenses and what effect they archive, and not the complexities of how they work.

Firstly I shall tell you what lenses I have purchased and used and what I will be using for  the shoot. All of my lense have autofocus capabilities as well as the ability to switch to manual. They are full frame lenses which can also be used on APC sensored cameras.

Canon 50mm f1.8 EF
This lens called a prime lens is one of Canon's little gems, cheap and plasticky but.. with excellent optics that produce excellent images, the cost of this lens is only £89 compared to the next option of around £400 for the f1.4 which produces on a small increase in image quality. as its a prime lens there are no compromises in the fixed focusing arrangements which results in a better image, and normally prime lenses are fast lenses as is the case with this lens at f 1.8, this means it can be use in very low light situations without flash, there is a trade off with using it wide open and that is at f1.8 there is a very shallow depth of field. I personally like this style of image and will use this lens when I don't want to fuss with a flash, as it has the focal length of 50mm (around 90mm on an APC or cropped lens) it is perfect for everything from portraiture to documentary. the 50mm lens was one the stalwart of the standard lenses before the rise of the zoom lens, it is also considered to be the closest equivalent focal length of the human eye.Auto focusing on this lens is slow and noisy as it has no ultrasonic motors.

Canon 24-105mm f4.0L EF IS
From the cheapest range of Canon lenses to the highest level of lenses, my 24-105mm L series, Canons premier lens level, was supplied as a kit lens with my 5D MKII camera. as this is a zoom lens it does to a degree loose out on image quality to a prime but because it is a high quality lens it does produce excellent images, this lens also has image stabilisation of about 3 stops, auto focus is very fast as it has ultrasonic motors to drive it's focusing. at the wide end of the lens it is perfect for landscapes and the opposite medium telephoto end is good for portraiture. as its a zoom you don't have to use you feet to crop. I find this lens is perfect for my wedding and reportage style work. the quality of this lens is bullet proof with weather sealing to match the 5D MKII. the only slight downside this lens has is the relatively small aperture of f4.0 which is made up by the image stabilisation. This aperture also struggles to produce a nice bokeh (blur). My wish list ideal len to replace it would be the Canon 24- 70mm f2.8 L series lens but fast lenses come at an increased cost.

Sigma 50mm f2.8 DG EX macro
Due to the cost of Canon lenses I decided to use Sigma lenses, these are aftermarket lens manufactures and they produce some excellent lenses for the price. This lens was specifically purchased for it's macro facility which can produce images on the sensor of 1:1 which is the same size and the subject being photographed. Again as it's a prime 50mm lens it is a fast aperture of f2.8 it produces a nice bokeh, unfortunately as it is primarily a macro lens the autofocus is slow and is more suited to fine focusing on the manual setting, it can be used for general pictures but excels at close macro such as still life, it is to short for insects as the lens would be to close and frighten them away.

Sigma 70 - 200mm f2.8 DG EX APO
I wanted a 70-200mm lens to compliment the medium telephoto lens, I couldn't afford the Canon so again I opted for the fine Sigma equivalent, it's long telephoto length of 200m and the fast aperture of f2.8 produces excellent bokeh at all apertures,, this is the lens I will be using for the shoot mainly because of this quality to blur away any distracting backgrounds. The quality and build of this lens is exceptional for the price, bulletproof build, but no image stabilisation which I fell is not important as this is offset by the fast aperture, the focusing is internal so the front lens doesn't rotate which is good for using filters etc.

Specialist lenses:
Of course I've only focused (excuse the pun) on my lenses, there are other lenses that can be brought that have special properties such as the lens baby and tilt and shift lenses which have the ability to alter to focal plane of the lens and can create different blur, depth of field effects. I.ve mention the macro lens, the Fish eye lens is basically an ultra wide angle lens , so wide in fact it produces a 360 degree field of view.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    A high level of prep and planning and the use of the right kit fit for purpose is vital to achieve a high level of output.
    Well labelled mate.