Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New lens

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital camera - SLR with Live View mode, movie recording - 21.1 Megapixel
I use a digital SLR camera and confess that I had no idea what "SLR" meant. I searched the web and found that it stands for, "Single Lens Reflex." That doesn't explain anything really. An SLR is basically a camera body + lens. The lens can be removed and exchanged for a different one for a different photograph. Like you would use a different lens for portrait than you would for a picture of a field. On these fancy SLRs, when you look through the viewfinder, you actually look through some prisms and mirrors, and you wind up looking through the lens. When you trip the shutter, the mirror flips out of the way, and the scene that is projected in the final picture is exactly what you saw through the viewfinder. If you put on a different lens, you automatically see a different scene through the viewfinder.
The pros to having an SLR:
  • You can expand your system to match your interests. If you suddenly get interested in photographing tiny bugs, just get a macro lens, and you're in business.
  • Upgrading is easy. If a fantastic new camera body comes out, you can replace your old one, and all your old lenses will continue to work.
  • Almost every level of equipment quality is available -- you're limited only by your pocketbook. With a point-and-shoot, you get the lens and flash that comes with your camera, and that's it.
There are some disadvantages as well:
  • SLRs is heavier and bulkier than the point-and-shoots.
  • SLRs will probably cost a bit more.
  • Most point-and-shoots are optimized so that anyone can use them. This is not necessarily true for SLRs
  • The fact that the mirror has to flip out of the way just before each shot means that the actual photo is not exactly what you see through the viewfinder -- it's what's there a few hundredths of a second later. Usually this doesn't make any difference, but if you're photographing rapidly-moving objects, it can.
You can buy the SLRs in a kit and they come with a lens, usually 18 - 55mm. 18mm is a wide angle and works great for scenery shots or groups of people. And you can zoom in to 55mm for a close-up portrait. Like with anything you buy, quality is everything! I was ready for a better lens than just my kit lens and needed more versatility than my 50mm prime offered. I use my 50mm for portraits and it takes beautiful pictures.

My newest lens is a Sigma, 18-50mm f/2.8. The reviews online were great. I am always giddy when I see that real, professional photographers use the lens -- it must be good then. It has a large aperture ability which gives me the fuzzy background that I love.

I got the lens yesterday and wasn't even irritated when my girls wouldn't take naps. "That's it! We are going outside and taking pictures." I run a tight ship around here. "Ah, mom. Do we have to?"

Emma quickly warms up for the camera. I tried lots of different setting while trying out the new lens. All the pictures I have posted here are straight from the camera, no editing.

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Fuzzy background? Check. Sharp image? Check. Quick focus? Check.

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The ultimate test for me is Mandy. Nothing moves faster than a 2 year old. Especially a two year old on a swing.

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This was taken on auto focus, auto setting. Not bad at all.

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This cheesy grin warms my heart. I love her to pieces. Even when she won't hold still. Even when she refuses to be potty trained. Even when she skips her naps. I can't get enough of that smile with her cold, January nose.

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The sun came out at 4 o'clock and it was perfection. There is nothing like winter sunshine. It's soft and warm.

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Emma was game for a close up. She better not be batting those eye lashes at any boys.

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I am very happy with the performance of the lens. It was quick and sharp and I imagine it will be the lens I keep on my camera body most of the time.

Happy pictures taking,


Grace said...

Ooooh! Those are gorgeous!!! Whenever I get around to saving my pennies for a nice camera, I'm coming to you for advice!

Kellie said...

Looks like a nice lens! It doesn't hurt to have cute subjects :)

I have the Tamron 28-75mm which is nice, but I still have to use the kit 18-55mm lens at times when I need a wider aperture. One of these days I'd like to get a nice wide lens. But first I need another camera body!

Sherri said...

We love your new lens- well we wouldn't care much actually but we really love the pics!

Andee said...

love, love, love Emma's close up!!

bunchofbull-ers! said...

Great pictures....some day my prince will come (SLR camera, that is!)

Cathy said...

Very nice! Have fun with the lens...and the girls! :-)

Katie and Mikey Brown said...

love the pictures. Wish I had a camera like that...

Sara said...

Great pictures!! I can't believe how grown-up Mandy is looking. =) What sweethearts! BTW, where was Remi in all these pictures? Was he the only one that would nap? =)

Anonymous said...

Tina got a camera very similar to yours and I played with it at Christmas. It had a couple of lens and it was amazing the quality of photos that could be taken in a few minutes. I was very content with my camera until I played with hers. Have fun with your new toy and keep enjoying the few sunny days we get. Jenni B