What is my lens really good at?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jansch, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    I'm using a Canon XSI, with the 18-55 kit lens. Last night I read Understanding Exposure. However, when I try to do any of that, nothing really comes off. I was quite sure I understood what there was to understand theoretically about exposure after raeding the book, and I needed a lot of practice, A LOT OF PRACTICE!! stayed up all night reading, went out early early morning, dawn-ish, to try out some of the things... Tried close-ups, and they looked blurred, tried long-range and it looked blurred, plus the depth-of-field tricks never seem to get me the desired results... tried stretching it to extreme capabilities of the lens, and turns out either the shutter speed becomes tooooo slow, or the aperture's not executable, a really extreme case of under/ over exposure, and any compromise on it and it looks rather bad..
    This was my absolute first time with the camera (I tried pulling the flash up, till I was asked to stop unless I want to break my new camera :( :p)... Am I missing something here? or am I trying to do too much too soon? Anyone who has had any prior experience with the lens, what exactly is the lens good at? And anyone with experience, what should I be trying to concentrate on and improve, before moving to the advanced tricks?

    Sorry about the long rant.. but I'm kind of clueless and directionless right now..:grumpy:
     
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I know how you feel. Sometimes I feel the same way.
    I was shooting the newest arrivals of an early spring, poking their way through the snow late this afternoon.
    Not one shot was a keeper. It was not the lens, as I thought about my settings and realized I was not properly set. I was using the same lens as you mention in your post.

    Practice, practice and some more practice.
     
  3. FattyMcJ

    FattyMcJ TPF Noob!

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  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your lens is not great at anything if you are not great at anything. You need to come at this with a more simple approach. Pick one subject the and put your camera in Program mode (P). In program; the camera picks an appropriate shutter speed and aperture, then you can make adjustments from there. Take several photos using different setting, the review the photos and compare your results to what you have learned from your reading. Eventually you will learn how each setting affects your photos, and you will never need P mode. Choosing your own settings in full manual or other priority modes will become second nature.

    view your photos in a program that can show you Exif data,(shutter speed, aperture, iso, etc) There are free plugins for most internet browsers if you don't have another program.

    If you want more specific help, post a few photos, and what you want to accomplish, and we can give you some pointers.
     
  5. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    Mine has a button that you push to pop up the flash. I suggest reading your manual over and finding out how yours works. Do not try to force it up!
    As for what its good at...try putting it in auto mode and taking pictures of something, then if it comes out good, switch to manual and try focusing it yourself from the same distance. This helped me get an idea of just how close up or far away i could actually get to still get good focus with my 18-55. Also, if you are holding the camera in your hand, the slower the shutter speed, the more likely any bit of shake may blur the picture.
    I remember when i bought my canon that has macro mode and every picture would turn out blurry even though it looked clear and crisp on the lcd. Took me a while to realize it was because i wasn't holding it perfectly still.
     
  6. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Thanks.. :) I guess I got a little too excited about it, and then got a little too frustrated, either extreme ain't good.. :p I'll take it slow and easy from here, one step at a time, and keep uploading photographs for C&C :)

    haha yea, keep on keepin' on.. :)
     
  7. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    i found the II lens genrally ok for amateur photography 18-55mm style..including close-up pictures. the chromatic aberration and distortion is totally sortable using the bundled DPP software (shooting RAW). shame you're getting the blurred shots (?)
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. thomas.corbett

    thomas.corbett TPF Noob!

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    When you do close up i would use a tripod. For depth of field use a low f stop, and i manual focus. otherwise read the manual, ask questions, look you cannon up on youtube and watch some videos.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The flash issue indicates you haven't completely read the users manual yet, which is highly, highly, recommended.

    Yes, I think you are trying to do to much to soon.
     
  11. Chriss

    Chriss TPF Noob!

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    Also, make sure your lens has the IS (Image-Stabilization) turned on. You probably already do, but that could be a reason for blurry shots.
     
  12. jansch

    jansch TPF Noob!

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    Yes I realised that, going to take it slow and steady now, and see how things go. I was getting a little excited because I've been a wildlife writer for a couple of years, been traveling and covering the Indian forests, and always wanted to be able to document and complement it with good photographs, but didn't have a camera. I'm supposed to be leaving for another trip down south in about 10 days, and I guess I wanted to learn all I could before that.

    Pretty foolish it seems now, going to take it easy, and see how it goes, Thanks a lot all of you :)

    Also, another thing, should I be shooting in RAW format? or JPEG H is alright?
    And, I haven't yet connected my camera to my laptop as I was asked not to. I use a MMC reader. So I haven't even tried putting those CD's that I got alongwith the camera inside my comp. Any good that software? Because I already have GIMP. Do I need that?
     

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