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Which lens?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by Violet Dragon 88, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member


    I am often a little dissapointed when I get home after taking some photos when they dont come out as well as they look on my small LCD screen (canon 350D). Especially when taking photos of objects that are further away. For example....

    far bridge by VioletDragon88, on Flickr

    sheep by VioletDragon88, on Flickr

    So I have been looking to upgrade my 18-55mm lens to a lens that can zoom more. I have a smaller budget than probably most on here, however I have seen the tamron and sigma 70-300mm. I'm thinking the sigma will be slighty better??

    But my question is, will it help with the types of photos (above) I like to take, or is that more the cameras job?? or the fact I'm rubbish lol.

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm still learning :eek:

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    Well having a 70 - 300mm zoom will certainly give you greater options in bringing objects closer to you. It will also bring a greater chance of camera shake when zoomed to the longest focal length. This is something you'll get used to with practice. I have a Sigma 70 - 300mm and I like the lens might not be perfect at 300 but not all these lenses are. You can't do any wrong in having one so go for it.

    Some will say there's no beating getting in close with a 50mm but in the cases of your posted images. One you'll get wet feet and two you'll probably scare away the sheep.
  3. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I would say the Tamrons got he edge here but both a nice lenses. Zoom lens magnifys so you could have zoomed into the bridge in your picture for example. Both shots are landscapes so not really a zoom lens thing on the whole. Being disappointed with your shots might be a technique issue. They look a little soft like your aperture is to wide and its not clear what you have focused on. What f-stop did you shoot them on?
  4. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member

    I took them both with highest aperture... :confused: I thought that's what you did with for far away objects. And low aperture for close things? Take it that's a misunderstanding woops :rolleyes:
  5. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    One option would be to take a different view all together. There are few pearls out there that just make pictures that much better. One for example is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. Now this is not a zoom lens, but it is known for it fantastic sharpness and low light performance, it works out at aprx. 135mm on the 350D so it is rather long but then again the quality of your pictures would be on a totally different level compared with a basic zoom or the standard kit lens. But it is not cheap but I think it is worth the £400

    Another great lens is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II This lens does not have a USM motor but it has great quality and low light performance and what is the best part is that you get this for around £100 witch makes it a real bargain. Again on the 350D it will work as aprx 80mm lens so it is a great for portraits and due to its build it works very well with extension tubes as a macro.
    Basicly if you want to try Portrait/macro or just see how good the pictures can be on the 350D withour spending a fortune on a macro lens, then this lens is real winner.
  6. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I just checked the exif data and the images are shot at f/38 can this be right? also the iso is high one shot at 400 and the other at 800. This is a old camera and shooting at such iso's will make your images noisy and if you did shoot at f/38 (i never knew they wen so high, mine doesn't) this really deteriorates image quality too. Try and keep the iso at 100 and f/8 to f/16. You will see a huge improvement in the image quality. Your next investment should be a tripod if your shooting landscapes.
  7. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Image quality start to deteriorate after f/16 may be even lower. You don't really want to go higher than f/22.
  8. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I feel like a bit of a fool now haha. I am still new to photography but enjoying it very much. I will stick to your rules and fingers crossed I will improve :D
  9. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Well, Lets put it this way the higher the f number you get a deeper depth of field (more in focus) and the lower the number it will be narrower.
    That said you will nee more light for higher number so it is always balancing aperture and speed.
    As for what to use when is mostly thinking and choosing how much depth of field you want, but I cant see any reason for using high for landscapes and low for close ups as a general rule. Experiment ;) that i the best way to learn.
  10. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member

    Yes it makes sense now, I'm kind if self teaching myself and I thought that the more in focus bit, meant more objects. Sounds stupid now. Thanks for your help :)
  11. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    No don't feel stupid its a lot to learn and you were kind of there you knew high f-stops for landscapes you were just a little to high thats all. Higher the f-stop lower the amount of light that reaches the sensor. This is why you had to higher the iso, all of which is a recipe for disappointing images. Shooting landscapes i always use a tripod, rarely shoot above f/16 and never shoot above iso 100.
  12. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    I think rjbell explained the Aperture very well. In the old (film) days there was a common opinion that using f8 would give the most pleasing results. This might be different with digital cameras but then again why would it be... Another thing I have found is that you will get the best results with the set to under 400. Although shooting in RAW format gives you the chance of going higher (noise can be fixed better) I tend to put my set my camera at around ISO 200 rather than using AUTO.
  13. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    Might be a daft idea, but with a more favourable aperture, i.e best image quality, you could crop the image to give you a better view point, as long as it's not a huge crop...
  14. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone! Can't wait to go back out and play again haha.

    I intended on cropping the pic a little to help composition but the quality was not there. I hopefully will be able to fix it now!

    Thanks again!
  15. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    I think a tidy tripod should be first on the list before any new lenses. Don't forget to post your improved images.
  16. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    Wise words :)
  17. Violet Dragon 88

    Violet Dragon 88 Well-Known Member

    Yes and yes. Watch this space :)
  18. Mark

    Mark Well-Known Member

    I'm fond of misquoting, "The best lens that I ever bought was a decent tripod!" So true. ;)
  19. sploosher

    sploosher Well-Known Member

    I have the Tamron 70-300 f4-5.5 Di LD macro


    For the money I paid (£131)I cant complain, it is bang for buck.

    but it is now £129 from the same dealer and is worth the money
  20. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member


    I've taken the liberty of downloading your "Far Bridge" image (large), and it sharpens up nicely with a touch of USM in Photoshop. The other thing I noticed is that the colour profile appears to be Adobe RGB. You might like your images more if you used sRGB (settable in your camera) - it's the de-facto web standard. Adobe RGB has a wider colour gamut, (and can thus appear a little drab) and is really provided for professional quality printing, and particularly where the subject's hues go outside the bounds of the sRGB colour space.


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