How do you clean a camera lens?

•November 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

How do you clean a camera lens?

First, buy a protective/ UV filter. This is a clear glass filter that screws onto the front of your lens. Keep this on ALL THE TIME. Don’t ever take it off. If you want different filters, attach them to the front of this filter. It won’t affect the pictures, and it will keep the front element of your lens safe and clean!

The B+W or Hoya filters in the $100 range are fine, however, there are better ones available.

To clean the glass surface:

1. With a brush designed for cleaning lenses, gently brush any loose dust from the lens/filter. Then follow up with a puff of canned air to remove the loose dust. If there are any fingerprints on the lens/filter, place a drop of lens cleaning fluid on lens tissue (do not put the fluid directly on the glass)

2. With the tissue crumpled up so there is no direct pressure from your finger on the glass, wipe the surface in a circular motion.

3. Next, swallow all your saliva and then gently breathe on the lens until it fogs up. If there are any remaining swirl marks on the lens, use a clean piece of dry lens tissue to remove them. Do this as many times as it takes to remove the remaining marks off the lens.

4. Using a lens hood on your lens will help keep things from touching your lens/filter.


Using Canon Lenses for Christmas Portraits

•November 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It’s Christmas time once again and what gear would be perfect for our Christmas portraits and candid shots during all the festivities? If you know the basics of photography more or less you will be able to identify what your really need. But first of all, I can honestly say that for portraiture you will need an external flash. Something that may be equally helpful is a bounce card or a stofen to difuse and/or enhance the lighting that you want. If your camera has a built in flash, remember that built in flashes cannot be compared to external flashes. Bear in mind that with taking portraits, built in flashes can be limiting.

What lens should you go for? Always think about the range that you want and your budget as well. For prime lenses, the budget friendly canon 50mm f/1.8 is an ok choice.

This is a good choice for beginners. The opening is wide enough (you’ll have a shallower depth of field thus resulting in a more blurred background) and it’s pretty fast considering its cost. But if you have the budget you can go for the canon 85mm f/1.8 USM. Another wonderful (though a bit expensive) prime lens is the canon 35mm f/1.4L. The problem with prime lenses is that your range is limited for obvious reasons and always consider the range that you want.

For zoom lenses, you can opt for the canon 24-70mm f/2.8L . In my personal opinion, this is a good range for portraits. You can also go with the 70-200mm f/4.0L IS or the 70-200mm f/2.8L for a longer range (if you have room, this can be great for candids). For low light and indoor use, a wide opening such as the f/2.8 or wider will be perfect.

What is the best canon landscape lens and best canon portrait lens?

•November 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have a canon digital rebel xt that I received as a Christmas present. I’d like to take professional looking portraits of my baby and family, what’s the best lens for this? I’d also like to buy a good lens for landscape photography. Any suggestions?

If you understand the fundamentals of photography you will know the lens that best fits your needs. For example: If by landscape you mean like a sunset or a sort of mountain/lake scenery you will need a deep depth of field (DOF) and you need to know what DOF means and how you can very easily change that on your XT (you do this by changing the aperture of your lens in the Aperture Priority (Av) or Manual mode (M) mode). Similarly for babies you want a shallow DOF and you do this since the baby is the focus of your picture and you want the background blurred.

But by changing the aperture you also mess with the amount of light that’s entering the camera and that affects the shutter speed etc. For starters I suggest:

1. Get a good photography teacher or a good easy to read photography book. I recommend “Understanding Exposure” it has lots of picture that explains what the terms means visually. You will understanding what makes up an Exposure-Aperture, Shutter and ISO. 3) For beginner portraits the best lens is the $75 EF 50mm f/1.8. This is a prime lens (it does not zoom you zoom in and out with your feet) and it a fast lens (any lens with an aperture more than f/2.8 is called fast, since it usually yields fast shutter speeds) and bigger the aperture f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2.0, f/2.8 even f/4 the shallower the DOF and the more blurred the background is.

2. Once you know that, when you read your Camera manual it will make a lot of sense.

3. For beginner portraits the best lens is the $75 EF 50mm f/1.8. This is a prime lens (it does not zoom you zoom in and out with your feet) and it a fast lens (any lens with an aperture more than f/2.8 is called fast, since it usually yields fast shutter speeds) and bigger the aperture f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2.0, f/2.8 even f/4 the shallower the DOF and the more blurred the background is.

In photography f/2.8 is smaller than f/2, which is smaller than f/1.8. It’s confusing now but will make a lot of sense once you get the fundamentals.

I am assuming your camera came with an EF-S 18-55mm kit lens. This is a moderately Wide Angle Zoom lens and it’s really good for landscapes and close people shots. If you do 1-3 as listed above you will figure out what your favorite focal length is for shooting and what you really need.

I could easily tell you to get a $640 EF-S 10-22 mm lens for wide angle landscapes or a $300 EF 50mm f/1.4 for portraits but you need to know WHY they cost that much and how to use them first to justify the cost. There is a reason why good lens cost a LOT of money and you need to understand photography to understand their cost and how to get the most from them.

Choosing the Best Digital Camera

•November 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Nikon D60 - Nikons latest entry level Digital SLR

Nikon D60 - Nikon's latest entry level Digital SLR

You can understand why so many people are confused when they decide to buy their first digital camera, with so many variations, what do you look for? After spending sizable amount of time at the mall and online research we finally figuring out which is the best digital camera for us. Eventually saving enough money to buy that eye-popping, 10 megapixel, 10x optical zoom with up to a sixteen gigabyte expandable memory using super hi-speed SD memory card and of course, very compact; which we hope be the envy of almost everyone we know. It is only when you get to the mall and take a look in the camera shop that you realize that your choice is now on special offer because it has been replaced with a more feature packed model at a higher price.

We sigh because the manufacturer of this amazing gadget claims that this is the best digital camera yet out in the market. We should have known but because we must have the best digital camera then we will just have to swallow the extra cost. Don’t worry though if you are not sure what to do; just follow the guide below and you shouldn’t go to far wrong. The resolution is probably the most important feature to look at so go for a model with the highest megapixel resolution you can afford.

If you are looking to print your photos then the more pixels you have the greater the image definition will be. This increase in megapixels means that poster size pictures can be easily printed. Good quality models are now using large LCD screens around the 2. Making adjustments to the photo you have just taken is just one of the many functions now incorporated into good digital cameras helped by having a big LCD screen.

A quick tip on this subject involves the batteries which have a tendency to run out quicker if a large LCD screen is fitted and is used constantly; some sound advice is carry spares! Almost every digital camera has a digital zoom but it is the optical zoom that you need to try for if your budget will extend to it. Low spec cameras that only cost a fraction for their quality cousins will only have a digital zoom; unless you really aren’t at all fussy about your shots you would be well advised to stay clear of buying a digital zoom only camera. Your camera will normally come with a memory card albeit a small one so you will probably need to buy a large capacity card, so use the one you have to make sure you purchase the correct one.

Some of these memory cards may already be familiar to you: the XD, SD, Memory Stick and Compact Flash. Of course memory storage is also up there in choosing a camera and as the size of memory keeps improving the prices are steadily dropping. Whereas a few years ago a large storage card would be somewhere in the region of 128mb to 256mb, it is not uncommon to use cards with 4 gigabytes or more of storage now. Your life and interests should really be the ideal measuring stick for the type of digital camera you ultimately buy. Actually, the best camera is the one that you will enjoy and use for a long time without the need to upgrade constantly.

Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM review

•October 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Canon EF-S 10-22 USM

Canon EF-S 10-22 USM

The Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM is Canon’s widest lens for Digital SLRs. Focus is very fast using Canon’s ring-type USM motor, which also allows full time manual focusing without having to switch from “autofocus” to “manual” mode. The lens does not change length when zoomed and the filter mount does not rotate, facilitating the use of a polarizer.

The Canon EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5 USM does not come with either a case or lens hood. An optional lens hood [EW-83E] is available (though by current accounts is hard to find right now). Canon list lens case LP1319 as being suitable for the EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5. To cut the chase, I must say that I am very impressed by the lack of barrel and pincushion distortion in the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens. There is a slight barrel distortion at 10mm moving slowly to a slight pincushion at 22m.

On the sharpness issue, I found the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens to be a very good performer. Keep in mind that when shooting at these focal lengths, details tend to get extremely small. Our DSLR sensors struggle to produce sharp results when details get down to the pixel or couple-of-pixel size.

The Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens is a little soft at 10mm with some softness in the corners. Sharpness at 10mm improves slightly when stopped down, but the corners retain some of their softness. At 16mm, the Canon 10-22 has decent sharpness wide open and improves little when stopped down. Sharpness at 22mm was good and again, improved little stopped down. Corner sharpness was best at 22mm. Resulting images take post-process sharpening well.

Name: Canon calls this the Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5 – 4.5 USM

Alphabet Soup:

EF: Electronic Focus

-S: Designed only for the smaller 1.6x sensor of the 20D, 30D and Rebel.

USM: Ultra-Sonic Motor. Focuses silently.

Optics: Thirteen elements, ten groups. One aspheric and one super UD

Diaphragm: stops down to f/22-29.

Minimum Focus: 9.5 inches (24cm)

Size: 3.5″ long

Weight: 13.6 oz. (385 g.)

Filter: 77mm, the professional standard

Case: LP1319, optional.

Hood: EW-83E. The bayonet hood is optional and unnecessary, except for physical protection. I wouldn’t buy it; my Nikon hoods that come standard stay home in their

Canon’s new versatile telephoto zoom – EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

•October 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment
A versatile telephoto zoom - EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

A versatile telephoto zoom - EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Canon finally has an answer to the AF-S Zoom-Nikkor ED 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 26 August, 2008: Canon today strengthens its EF-S series of lenses with the launch of a versatile new model: the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. With an equivalent focal length of 29-320mm, the lens offers an 11x zoom range – making it a powerful, lightweight alternative to carrying multiple lenses. The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is designed exclusively for use with EOS cameras featuring an EF-S lens mount – including the new EOS 50D, EOS 1000D, EOS 450D, and earlier models.

High quality optics
The EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS features a 16 element, 12 group construction. This includes UD and aspherical lens elements, which minimise chromatic aberration and ensure crisp, corner-to-corner detail across the zoom range. A close focusing distance of just 45cm offers photographers total framing flexibility.

4-stop Image Stabilizer
A Canon 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer – specially designed for the lens’ specific focal length range – works to counteract image blur that can occur when shooting handheld, or at slow shutter speeds. Automatic panning detection ensures effective performance when tracking moving subjects. Plus, because the IS system is based in the lens, results are visible through the viewfinder during framing.

No flare or ghosting
Reflection off a digital camera’s image sensor can cause flare and ghosting. To suppress this, the EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS uses optics treated with Canon’s patented Super Spectra coatings – for crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS specifications

Maximum format size APS-C
Focal length 18-200mm
35mm equivalent focal length
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 74º – 8º
Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture F22-36
Lens Construction • 16 elements/12 groups
• UD and aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades

6, rounded

Minimum focus 0.45m/1.5ft
Maximum magnification tbc
AF motor type Micro motor
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization • 4 stops
• Automatic panning detection
Filter thread • 72mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories Front and rear caps
Optional accessories • Hood
• Case
Weight 600 g (21.2 oz)
Dimensions 79 mm diameter x 102 mm length
(3.1 x 4.0 in)
Lens Mount Canon EF-S onl

Advantages of Digital Photography

•October 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

EOS 50d

In early days, photography only belonged to professionals. However, when roll film cameras and digital cameras
were invented, photography became widely available for public. In the
era of digital photography, the most inexperienced individuals can take
pictures easily. If you don’t like it, you can just delete the picture
without wasting any film.

Nowadays, digital cameras
are everywhere and digital photography becomes very popular, especially
when camera phones were introduced. It is unnecessary to bring rolls of
films anymore as a tiny memory stick is enough to hold hundreds of
pictures. Many other inconveniences are also eliminated by digital photography. Airbrushing used to be a painstaking process, but it became much easier when digital photography
came. After you master how to use photo editing software, it becomes
very easy to edit pictures and improve their quality. Photo storage and
sorting are very simple in the world of digital photography. Perhaps
you still remember how you need to spend days to glue and tape photos
into photo albums. Now, it is easy to sort and categorize photos into
separate files in the computer. On the contrary, a digital photography
album can be transferred to a compact disk and played in the DVD player
so the whole family members can see the photos together. Tips to enjoy
your digital camera

Some people are intimidated with technology including using a digital camera. They get used to the old film camera and feel that a digital camera
is too confusing. Surely there are differences in using film and
digital camera, but if you know how to handle a digital camera
properly, you will enjoy it. The following tips are useful to make you
have enjoyable experiences with your digital camera.

Read the manual before taking photos even if you have used other digital cameras
before. Extra memory cards and extra batteries will do the trick.
Lastly, you should take photos as much as possible to familiarize
yourself with a digital camera. After a short period of time, you will enjoy your digital camera and leave the old film camera behind.