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Old May 25, 2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default I regret buying the Sony DSC-H20, picking up a Rebel T2i this weekend.

I tried shooting landscapes with my Sony H20 ... No one warned me just how narrow 38mm really was. Needless to say I'm dissappointed and don't know what to do with that camera ... I have already bought the lens adapter and ND filters.

Anyway, after reading reviews I think a Rebel T2i best suits my needs. It's the user friendly interface on the LCD that won me over ... The D90's was just too archaic.

I would like to do Landscapes, Portraits, and Night shots (long exposure) but I really have no clue what lens options I have. I need help with this.

1) Landscapes

I know I want a wide angle lens ... Wide angle landscapes is all I care about really, they just look so beautiful. Problem is I don't know how wide I have to go. I am aware there is a crop factor of 1.6 on the Rebel T2i and as such the focal length of any lens I use will be multiplied by that number.

I look at all these impressive shots on flickr and learn that the lenses used had such low focal lengths, almost makes me wonder if I should bother going anything higher than 10mm.

2) Portraits

I'm thinking of getting the 50mm f1.4, I want something that can produce good bokeh when necessary. Good choice?

3) Night time/Long exposure

Will I be correct in assuming the bundled 18mm-55mm lens will suffice for this?

Thanks
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Old May 26, 2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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The T2i will do everything you are trying to photograph. It is an excellent camera.

The 18-55 will do landscapes well

50mm 1.4 is the better lens. I have both the 1.4 and 1.8, and the 1.4 is so much better.

Here is a long exposure with the T1i, the T2i should shoot pretty much the same.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ar...idge-shot.html

This is sameples of the 50mm 1.4 USM at night shooting

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...o-tribeca.html

I use my t1i for night exposures all the time. It will have no issues with it.
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Old May 26, 2010, 1:55 AM   #3
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The T2i will do everything you are trying to photograph. It is an excellent camera.

The 18-55 will do landscapes well

50mm 1.4 is the better lens. I have both the 1.4 and 1.8, and the 1.4 is so much better.

Here is a long exposure with the T1i, the T2i should shoot pretty much the same.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ar...idge-shot.html

This is sameples of the 50mm 1.4 USM at night shooting

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...o-tribeca.html

I use my t1i for night exposures all the time. It will have no issues with it.
Nice shots! And thanks, I need all the advice I can get, it's my first DSLR after all.

Question, for that bridge shot ... What lens did you use? Also, the shots at the Trump SoHo, that's not a 50mm lens is it (Magnification looks greater)? Or did you crop it?

Lastly, I want to do some landscape shots and I cannot emphasize enough how much Wide Angle means to me, it's as if everything else above a certain focal length just appears flat to me.

That being said, the stock 18mm-55mm lens that comes with the T2i ... Where exactly will I be applying that lens? I cannot think of any scenario where it shines. Is it just a regular starter lens? At events and family gatherings I'd imagine I'd want the 50mm F1.4

Last edited by akin_t; May 26, 2010 at 1:58 AM.
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Old May 26, 2010, 1:56 AM   #4
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The bridge is the kit lens,

the soho shots was the 50mm 1.4
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Old May 26, 2010, 2:06 AM   #5
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Thanks, the kit lens isn't bad at all in that case ... I was hoping to just get the body and buy lenses separately, but I might just get the package.

Well I guess I'm going to be picking up my Rebel tomorrow. I don't know why I have a sudden interest in photography, it's really hurting my wallet.

I'm also considering the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM ... It's pricey so I'll wait on it, I just need a lens that can exaggerate perspective I guess.
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Old May 26, 2010, 2:47 AM   #6
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The tokina 11-16mm 2.8 is another good lens for the rebel. It is 2.8 through the full range, instead of 4.5 at 22mm. It is a little less money also.
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Old May 26, 2010, 10:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by akin_t View Post
I tried shooting landscapes with my Sony H20 ... No one warned me just how narrow 38mm really was. ...
If you had done a search on the this forum, you'd certainly come across some of (at least) my comments of the fact that the H20/H10/H3 are good cameras but the 38mm lens is a huge limitation in terms of indoor group shots and landscape photography. We've discussed this exact issue many times here. Also, before purchasing any camera, check the specs of your choice first (there are tons of sites that will list the specs (even if they haven't reviewed that particular model). It should tell you about the lens, flash, whether or not it offers manual mode, etc., etc., etc.
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Old May 26, 2010, 5:52 PM   #8
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If you had done a search on the this forum, you'd certainly come across some of (at least) my comments of the fact that the H20/H10/H3 are good cameras but the 38mm lens is a huge limitation in terms of indoor group shots and landscape photography. We've discussed this exact issue many times here. Also, before purchasing any camera, check the specs of your choice first (there are tons of sites that will list the specs (even if they haven't reviewed that particular model). It should tell you about the lens, flash, whether or not it offers manual mode, etc., etc., etc.
Lesson learned, just got into photography so all those numbers didn't mean squat to me.

Now I have a thorough understanding of how everything gets pieced together though, and I make sure to do thorough research before making any commitment. I don't think I will get any surprises from my future purchases in any aspect besides IQ.
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Old May 26, 2010, 6:15 PM   #9
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Well, I wouldn't go that far...some times, the more you read, the worse it gets. Here's an example...I'm trying to get myself one of those super compact with 8x+ zoom P&S. So, after much reading I decided on the ZS6. Then I thought for another $15 the ZS7 made more sense. After I bought it, I read two other reviews stating that the ZS3 had better IQ, so I decided to get myself the ZS3. Now I've been reading people mentioning LCD problems on the ZS3. So, I just have to wait and see. That's why it's important to buy from a retailer that offers a good return policy (30 days w/ no restocking fees for open boxes).
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Old May 26, 2010, 8:16 PM   #10
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Nice shots!
Lastly, I want to do some landscape shots and I cannot emphasize enough how much Wide Angle means to me, it's as if everything else above a certain focal length just appears flat to me.
Wide Angle - Where do I start.... The kit lens is a very good place to start. Before you go out putting a dent in your checking account, work with the kit lens first (at least for a few months). There is quit a bit you can do with it, before you go looking for another lens. The kit lens will help you understand your camera, the settings and what works well for you, and what you want to do with the camera.

Using the kit lens you can take very wide angle shots, its called stitching. You do this by taking several shots (overlapping each one by about a 1/3) either horizontally, or vertically for that matter, and then stitching them together on your PC. The software that comes with the Canon will do this for you. Take a look at this site for more information.
If you take the pictures in landscape mode (the resulting stitched image) will look very long and skinny. Taking the images in portrait (vertical orientation) mode and stitching, will not make the resulting image look as long and skinny. Remember, digital "film" is free. Experiment now, try things out. You learn from failure - and failure costs essentially nothing, other than a bit of time.

Wide angle lenses are not inexpensive. The wider the field of view a lens has, the more sophisticated the optical design needs to be, resulting in a more complex lens, thus a higher cost. Canon does have some wonderful lens, however they come with a pretty nice price tag. As indicated by shoturtle, Tokina has some excellent wide angle lenses. These lenses were designed in association with Pentax, and rival both Canon and Nikon, and they carry a reduced price tag. There are 3 lens that may appeal to you. They all are available in a Canon mount.
12-24/f4 - The lens comes in a f4 constant aperture. For wide angle, and especially evening and night shots, you are going to need to use a tripod. By using a tripod, you can use lenses that are not quite as fast, and thus save some funds. Its field of view is 100 to 60 degrees wide. This is an excellent lens, and runs about $500.

11-16/f2.8 - This lens is a faster lens at a f2.8 constant aperture (which means it lets in a lot of light). It collects more light, however it has a much smaller focal length range. This will do better than the 12-24 in early evening situations (low light - but not dark), however ultimately for evening and night shots, you will still need a tripod. Again a wonderful lens and runs about $650.

10-17 FE - This is a specialty lens, as it is a fish eye lens. Its field of view is 180 to 100 degrees wide. As a fish eye it has to distort the image a bit in order to pull in such a wide angle view on to the sensor. This lens runs about $550. The fish eye effect is more pronounced at the 10mm end and trails off to some extent at the 16mm end.

So what does this all mean. Well there are a couple of items to consider;

Rectilinear vs FishEye lenses - Rectilinear are normal lenses and tries to introduce as little distortion as possible. Fish Eye lenses on the other hand attempts to pull in as much as the view as possible, and thus distorts the view using the fish eye. A fish eye lens introduces a bend in to the picture by pushing the center out and thus allowing the edges to be pulled into the picture.

Apertures - f numbers (fast lenses) - lenses that have relatively low f numbers, i.e., 2.8, 2.0 1.7, etc. are usually referred to as fast lenses. They pull in a lot of light, by using better optics, better glass, and are usually larger (for collecting more light), and thus cost more. Landscapes generally do not need fast lenses, especially in the evening and at night, because you usually have a tripod since your exposures are usually 1, 5, 10, 15 seconds long. So why use fast glass if you are going to have a long exposure any way. Also there is another item called depth of field. Large apertures (f3, etc.) have shallow depth of field. That means that to have everything in the image in focus and sharp you are going to need a larger aperture - f4, f5.6, f8, etc. So, again if you do not need the large aperture why pay for it.

To do landscapes in the evening and at night - what do you need and what do you need to do:

Tripod - You need something to hold the camera sill and not move it - the tripod. Suggest you see the Tripod area just below this "what camera should I buy?" section.
Remote shutter release - This is a button on a cable or a wireless IR shutter release. They run about $10 to $15. This allows you to activate the camera with out touching it, thus inducing movement - i.e., blurring the picture.
2 Second Delay - This is a camera setting. You set up the camera in the menu system indicating the 2 second delay, so that when you have the camera on the tripod, you push the remote shutter release, the camera flips up the mirror and waits for all the vibrations to dampen out for 2 seconds and then takes the picture.

Well, what does it all look like when its put together. Here is a thread that shows 3 different lenses, same shot, using the 12-24 and 10-17. These are just experimental shots, but they give you an idea of the difference between them.
The first shot is 6 images stitched together.
The second shot is a single image (using the 10-17 fish eye)
The third shot is with the 12-24 with I think a 4 image stitch.
Here is another thread with just images using the 12-24.
The attached image is essentially a composite of 25 images, 5 sets of 5 bracketed images, taken to both emphasis the sky and the valley lights - and it was an experiment to see what the results would actually be, while I was testing out some trial copies of software to see what would be better in terms of handling various situations. Anyway, this is using the 10-17 fish eye lens (and you do not see the fish eye effects since it is in evening and hidden in the shadows).

... so the moral of the story. Use your kit lens and play around with it, learning the camera and seeing what it can do, before you go out and start to spend some serious money on lenses. There is quite a bit you can do with the kit lens....

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Last edited by interested_observer; May 26, 2010 at 8:45 PM.
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