Lens Choices

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Admin under Lenses, Uncategorized
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Lens Choices – Lenses & Their Uses: A few considerations of which lens to use? 


Lens choices, the comparison that show the different use to create various styles of photography.

The lens choices of three selected lenses, I often like to use and have proven to be reliable in the studio or on the field/location.

  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM

  • Canon EF Macro 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM  

  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM  

Canon EF Lenses

Canon Lenses


This shot was taken with a small DSLR, a Canon EOS 40D and Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

(1/125 secs at f/5.6 ISO 100 – Speedlite 430EX II – 2x continuous lights – Back-drop).

The morning light diffused and not direct, the continuous lights  were equal distance apart,

one of which used a silver reflection umbrella and the other was diffused;

also the flash bounced of the white ceiling and this produced the light for the above image.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM


Starting with telephoto lens on the right side of  image above:

  1. A rule of thumb for calculating shutter speed with focal length is the shutter speed should be no less than the lens length, unless able to compensate a variation of technique; such as an on lens image stabiliser (IS)mono-stand, or similar accessory that allow for a lower shutter speed and still maintain the image.

  2. This shot was taken using a Canon EOS 5D mkII – In Petworth Park in West Sussex their is a herd of Fallow deer, that has been living in the magnificent park for 500 years. At about 8am the park is open and I start my challenge to capture a buck deer on my camera using my 70-200mm lens; my first consideration was the early start on an October morning that is overcast light was not very bright, so to maintain a sharp image shooting at least 200mm focal length, I use a mono-stand to reduce camera shake; this in turn allows for a lower than usual shutter speed.

  3. I stand a fair distance away from the buck and take the shot at 1/60 secs at f/4.0 and ISO 1250, on camera mode: aperture priority (AV). The shutter speed was reduced due to the steadiness of the mono-stand



‘A Walk In The Park’

(1/60 secs at f/ 4.0, ISO 1250 in Aperture Priority)

The shot above captures the deer as the centre point of the image, as we move from the centre the sharpness lessens and forms a ‘bokeh’ effect (refer to Photography glossary).

To stop down (higher number) the aperture can reduce the bokeh.

This popular lens has an accurate and fast auto- focus, impressive image quality, a useful focal length with an excellent build quality.

This is a capable lens and can be improved with an image stabiliser (IS) and a larger f/stop (lower number) that will increase capability, but also will increase the price of the lens.

Canon EF Macro 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM

The next lens in the middle of the lens image above:

  1. This capable 100mm macro prime lens on the camera, a well sizes cylindrical shape gives a good balance on Canon’s mid to high-end DSLRs. It has an ease of use when adjusting the focus ring and the three adjustable switches on the lens body are solid and easy to use.

  2. The focal distance limiter switch is set to macro (0.3-0.5), the lens is switched to manual focus, as needed for the close up shot below and the image stabiliser (IS) is switched off.

  3. As the Canon 5D mkII stood on the tripod the timer is set for a 2 second delay after the manual focus and the position of the camera were adjusted precisely.

  4. Also the flash light from the Canon speedily 430EX II was set ETTL and bounced off a shaded brick wall, next to a frosted glass panel, this created the background bokeh effect.

  5. The lens has a superb, high quality optical capability and when this lens is tested it proves itself. In fact dpreview have a great review of this lens.



‘The Subject Garden Spider’

(1/160secs at f/2.8, ISO 100 in Manual mode)

The ability to capture the shot above is a great part of the photographers enjoyment; the scene was almost set on arrival, however the set up of the tripod, camera and lens to capture the shot has taken constant adjustment, such as the spider tended to move whenever the height and distance for the lens is found, the spider probably felt threatened and quickly moved on?

Now the spider is moving fairly constantly, it takes contemplation to be in the correct place and time to be able to manually focus the lens for this macro shot.

(1/160secs at f/2.8, ISO 100 in Manual mode)

It took seven exposures to finally catch this shot, although the previous shots were good it was this image that caught my eye.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM

This is a mid-range zoom lens that has an all round capability within its focal length:

  1. An excellent sharpness quality across the range, with a good, robust build quality.

  2. A steady and very easy to focus lens, a good image stabiliser, with a slight chromatic aberration on the edges at full zoom.

  3. Over the range of the lens, it has a great optical excellence, except when the lens is fully extended, a slight chromatic aberration is found, these can easily be removed with software.


‘West Beach Out’

(1/160secs at f/8.0, ISO 100 in Manual Mode)

 A great choice for landscapes for it excellent focusing ability and its robust, fairly compact design, which outside in the elements, the camera and lens sit steady on the tripod, even with developing weather conditions.

However this morning sunrise shot had great weather and low layer of cloud that filtered the sun as it is ready to escape.

In the golden hour, before the full glory of the sun, the light can be amazing and these light conditions will allow for an array of changing colours in the sky and reflecting from other surfaces.

This lens is a good choice for many other aspects of photography, a great all-round lens.

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