450D image stabilization lense

Wayfall

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Dec 27, 2013
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Hi

I currently have a nice yongnuo 50mm lense for my 450D camera.

My hands shake a bit so I get blurring sometimes and am looking for a good quality lense that has image stabilization and can zoom if possible but zoom is a negative thing to have then I'm not that bothered.

Thanks.
 
Oh hey, I didn't notice the IS on the 18-135 in the lens list. Sorry for missing it. Yes, that would be a great starter lens if you're just learning.

A lot of distortion can be corrected by software nowadays. Even chromatic aberration (color fringes due to the lens focusing blue light at a different location than red light) can be partially corrected. It's harder to correct in zoom lenses, but DSLRs encode your camera settings and the lens focal length in the image file (at least they do for RAW files, not sure if they save as much info in JPEGs). So a lot of times the software can just read that info and apply the appropriate amount of correction. You used to have to buy separate software for this, but nowadays it's built into a lot of photo cataloging/processing software.
http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2015/05/lightroom-cc-removing-lens-distortions-and-correcting-perspective.html

I assume you want city lights with the car headlights turned into streaks? You need a tripod for that - the handheld limit for IS is about a quarter second exposure, maybe 1/2 sec if your'e lucky. Cars won't travel far enough in that short time to streak the headlights appreciably. Mount the camera on a tripod, turn the lens' IS off (the math which controls it runs into problems when there's zero shake, and it will tend to wander, blurring your image), set the camera to the lowest ISO available (usually 50 or 100), and set the aperture to f/8 or f/16 to maximize the exposure time and get the headlights to streak. A fixed focal length may work better than a zoom due to less flare (internal reflections from bright spots).

Yes I know many lenses can stop down to f/22 or f/32, but diffraction (quantum behavior of light causes it to randomly bend instead of travel in a straight line as it moves through small openings) starts to degrade image quality at about f/16. f/8 is generally considered the "sharpest" aperture - minimal diffraction but the aperture is small enough to minimize lens defects (you won't be able to tell your cheap lens from a $1000 pro lens at f/8). f/16 suffers from some diffraction, but it's barely noticeable.

If you want even longer exposures, you'll need to add neutral density filters to further cut down the amount of light (usually these are only required for long exposures in daytime, for example if you want to blur the water in a flowing stream or waterfall). If you get to this point, I'd recommend getting two polarizer filters instead. One circular polarizer, one linear polarizer. Screw the two onto each other, then onto the lens. The circular polarizer randomizes the polarized light so autofocus still works, so it has to be the one closer to the lens. Once you've constructed this mega-filter, rotating the linear polarizer relative to the circular polarizer gives you a variable neutral density filter. It'll block out anywhere between 50% to 100% of the light coming through depending on how it's rotated. The drawback is that all these filter surfaces can add flare. But since these two filters will cover basically any neutral density you need, you can use the money you save to buy some really nice (and expensive) multi-coated polarizer filters, which will help reduce flare. The circular polarizer alone will also help reduce reflections when shooting glass or water, though you'll discover the blue sky is polarized, and using it in wide-angle shots of the sky will result in the sky being uneven in brightness.

And I'm happy to help. This is an expensive hobby. When I'm shooting, I often joke that my camera bag is worth more than my car. If I can save someone hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars in the future by spending a few minutes writing something, it's well worth it.
 
Unfortunately for you, the Canon cameras use lens stabilization. Lens stabilization is generally superior to camera-based sensor stabilization (you need one of those new, expensive 5-axis stabilized sensors to duplicate lens stabilization). But it does mean you're significantly limited in your choice of lenses.

Since shake is more of a factor when shooting telephotos, that's where most of the stabilized lenses are. The only non-telephoto Canon IS lenses I see are the 24-105mm f/4, 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. All except the last are over $500. The last is an EF-S lens, meaning it does not work on full-frame sensor bodies.

If you never plan on upgrading to full-frame (most of Canon's less expensive bodies use smaller a 1.6x crop factor sensor), then the 18-55 is probably the one to get. It's only $250. The zoom range isn't terribly exciting, the aperture is small, the image quality isn't the greatest, and it's not a full-time-manual lens (you cannot manually focus the lens while it's in autofocus mode - you have to switch it to manual focus mode first). But it's cheap, and from your description the image stabilization should actually help you at these shorter focal lengths.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-18-55mm-f-3.5-5.6-IS-STM-Lens.aspx
http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/canon/ef-s-18-55mm-f3.5-5.6-is-stm/review/
http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/18-55mm-stm.htm

The other option is to switch from Canon to a DSLR system with sensor-stabilization - then you will enjoy stabilization with all your lenses. Preferably one of the aforementioned 5-axis stabilized systems . (If you want the technical reason why, the vast majority of camera lenses are rectilinear - they try to keep straight lines straight in the final image. A side-effect of this is that as you tilt the camera up/down or side-to-side, the image of something on the sensor becomes larger as it approach the edge of the sensor. This is especially noticeable at shorter focal lengths. Regular 3-axis sensor stabilization cannot compensate for this. Lens stabilization and 5-axis sensor stabilization can.)
 

Wayfall

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Dec 27, 2013
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Thank you for the detailed reply but im very new to cameras and im trying to learn.

I'm confused about these bits of your reply:

'Unfortunately for you, the Canon cameras use lens stabilization. Lens stabilization is generally superior to camera-based sensor stabilization (you need one of those new, expensive 5-axis stabilized sensors to duplicate lens stabilization). But it does mean you're significantly limited in your choice of lenses.'

'non-telephoto Canon IS lenses'

'The other option is to switch from Canon to a DSLR system with sensor-stabilization'

This worried me a bit:

'The zoom range isn't terribly exciting, the aperture is small, the image quality isn't the greatest, and it's not a full-time-manual lens'

If you don't mind explaining a bit.

Im currently looking for someone to give me some photography lessons.
 
Hoo boy. Yeah, a lot of that is basic photo stuff.

"Lens stabilization" - the lens elements themselves move around to cancel out the effects of you shaking the camera. The image stabilization parts of the lens keep the image centered on the same spot on the camera's sensor.

"Sensor-stabilization" - the sensor moves around to cancel out the effects of you shaking the camera. The shake causes the image to move around on the sensor, but the camera moves the sensor the exact same amount resulting in the image staying centered on the same spot on the sensor.

"5-axis stabilized" - Early and cheaper sensor stabilization systems did only three axis stabilization. Translation in the x- and y-axes (left/right and up/down motions of the camera without changing the direction it's pointed at), and roll (tipping the left or right side of the camera up or down, while keeping the lens pointed in the same direction. Any camera motion which does not keep the lens pointed at the same spot could kinda be compensated for, but not entirely. Newer more expensive stabilization adds yaw and pitch stabilization to the sensor. These last two constitute the majority of camera shake - anything which causes your lens to move off the center of your target.

"non-telephoto" - pretty much anything smaller than about 85mm in focal length. Telephotos are what you get when you zoom in on (enlarge) a small portion of what you can see. Normal lenses cover about 35-60mm, and see the world fairly close to what you can see with your eye. Wide-angle lenses are typically 16-28mm and give you a wider field of view. Divide all these focal lengths by about 1.5 for cropped-sensor Canon and Nikon DSLRs (the vast majority of them), divide them by 2 for the 4/3rds system lenses.

"Canon IS lenses" - IS stands for Image Stabilized

The 18-55mm zoom range doesn't really get you much IMHO. It's equivalent to 28-90mm on full frame (film). The wide end isn't very wide, and the telephoto end is barely a telephoto. So in the majority of cases, you can more or less duplicate it with a 50mm lens (35mm on cropped sensors) and simply taking 10-20 steps forward or back. That's why I say it's not very exciting.

f/3.5-5.6 is a small aperture. It won't get you very shallow depth of field if (say) you're shooting portraits. It doesn't let in as much light as the pro f/2.8 lenses or fixed focal length f/1.8 or f/2.0 lenses. So its performance is not going to be as good in low light (you'll need longer shutter times, which granted is one of the reasons for adding IS to a lens). Because it varies with zoom, you may need a different shutter speed depending on the zoom amount. The autofocus will also have a harder time locking on due to the decreased amount of light. In particular, f/5.6 is the smallest aperture you can go to on the cheaper DSLRs and still have a functional autofocus. Any smaller (like f/8) and the camera decides there's not enough light and shuts down autofocus, forcing you to manually focus. Speaking from experience, trying to manually focus at f/8 is not fun.

Full-time-manual focus is as I described. Autofocus lenses come with a switch to put the lens into auto or manual focus mode. The cheaper lenses must be in manual mode if you want to focus manually. If you try to focus manually while in auto mode, you risk damaging the autofocus motor. The more expensive lenses add a clutch between the manual focus ring and the autofocus motor. So even if the lens is in auto focus mode, you can still adjust the focus manually. Canon calls this FTM (full-time-manual). The 18-55 lens does not have this, so you cannot focus manually while in autofocus mode.

A lot of this depends on what type of photography you plan to do. But if you don't need the extreme wide-angle that 18mm gives, I would probably try to save up for the 24-105 f/4L IS lens. That'll give you a respectable telephoto, a constant f/4 throughout the zoom range, better optics, and FTM focus. The only real problem with that lens is that the bokeh is not that great (out-of-focus areas are not creamy smooth). OTOH if you're just learning, probably best to stick with the cheaper lens until you figure out what type of photography you like.
 

Wayfall

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Dec 27, 2013
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Thanks for being so understanding.

Would the any of these fit my camera and be good for me?
-Canon EF-S 18-135mm (has problems with purple fringing thou)
-Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens

Would it be good for long shutter speed city shots such a city lights and cars and their headlights?
 
Oh hey, I didn't notice the IS on the 18-135 in the lens list. Sorry for missing it. Yes, that would be a great starter lens if you're just learning.

A lot of distortion can be corrected by software nowadays. Even chromatic aberration (color fringes due to the lens focusing blue light at a different location than red light) can be partially corrected. It's harder to correct in zoom lenses, but DSLRs encode your camera settings and the lens focal length in the image file (at least they do for RAW files, not sure if they save as much info in JPEGs). So a lot of times the software can just read that info and apply the appropriate amount of correction. You used to have to buy separate software for this, but nowadays it's built into a lot of photo cataloging/processing software.
http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/2015/05/lightroom-cc-removing-lens-distortions-and-correcting-perspective.html

I assume you want city lights with the car headlights turned into streaks? You need a tripod for that - the handheld limit for IS is about a quarter second exposure, maybe 1/2 sec if your'e lucky. Cars won't travel far enough in that short time to streak the headlights appreciably. Mount the camera on a tripod, turn the lens' IS off (the math which controls it runs into problems when there's zero shake, and it will tend to wander, blurring your image), set the camera to the lowest ISO available (usually 50 or 100), and set the aperture to f/8 or f/16 to maximize the exposure time and get the headlights to streak. A fixed focal length may work better than a zoom due to less flare (internal reflections from bright spots).

Yes I know many lenses can stop down to f/22 or f/32, but diffraction (quantum behavior of light causes it to randomly bend instead of travel in a straight line as it moves through small openings) starts to degrade image quality at about f/16. f/8 is generally considered the "sharpest" aperture - minimal diffraction but the aperture is small enough to minimize lens defects (you won't be able to tell your cheap lens from a $1000 pro lens at f/8). f/16 suffers from some diffraction, but it's barely noticeable.

If you want even longer exposures, you'll need to add neutral density filters to further cut down the amount of light (usually these are only required for long exposures in daytime, for example if you want to blur the water in a flowing stream or waterfall). If you get to this point, I'd recommend getting two polarizer filters instead. One circular polarizer, one linear polarizer. Screw the two onto each other, then onto the lens. The circular polarizer randomizes the polarized light so autofocus still works, so it has to be the one closer to the lens. Once you've constructed this mega-filter, rotating the linear polarizer relative to the circular polarizer gives you a variable neutral density filter. It'll block out anywhere between 50% to 100% of the light coming through depending on how it's rotated. The drawback is that all these filter surfaces can add flare. But since these two filters will cover basically any neutral density you need, you can use the money you save to buy some really nice (and expensive) multi-coated polarizer filters, which will help reduce flare. The circular polarizer alone will also help reduce reflections when shooting glass or water, though you'll discover the blue sky is polarized, and using it in wide-angle shots of the sky will result in the sky being uneven in brightness.

And I'm happy to help. This is an expensive hobby. When I'm shooting, I often joke that my camera bag is worth more than my car. If I can save someone hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars in the future by spending a few minutes writing something, it's well worth it.
 

Wayfall

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Dec 27, 2013
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With Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens it would help a lot in the day time when i take photos so their is now shake.

That camera has a fixed f-stop right so i cant change it or am i wrong in saying that? At night don't i want the camera to let as much light in as possible due to it being very dark. As if i have a high f-stop which will make everything sharp but wont let a lot of light in so it would be under exposured or would i have to increase the ISO to say 600ish. Im still trying to understand which settings to use with what light amount.


I'm till veeery new to this and only very recently posted a small amount of pictures instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wayfall/?hl=en but i havent been able to go out and take more as i'm stuck at work most days of the week. I will prob take some more when i go out next Saturday
(if this link is not allow please delete as im not totally sure if i can post this link and i would understand if it is removed)

Most of my pictures with the 50mm none IS i could not post as they were blurry which sucked...
 

kenrivers

Splendid
Moderator
[strike]You are correct that you can't change the f-stop.[/strike] The 35mm lens would be considered a prime lens since it is not a zoom lens like say an 18-55mm lens. In addition to the f-stop you can control how long the image is exposed by changing the shutter speed. For example on a bright sunny day with an f/2 lens you would use a faster shutter speed than you would with say an f/5.8 lens. Also be aware that using a high ISO with long exposures in low-light situations can increase the amount of grain that shows up in a photo. The f-stop, shutter speed and ISO all can be manipulated until you get the shot you like. It will take practice.
 
The f-stop can be changed, but only in one direction. Nearly all lenses let you stop down to f/22 or f/32. But you f-stop specified in the lens' description is the largest you can open it. So a 35mm f/2 can be stopped down to f/4. But a zoom lens whose max f-stop at 35mm is f/4 cannot be opened to f/2 or f/2.8. (I'm guessing that's what it'll be at 35mm, since it's f/3.5 @ 18mm and f/5.6 @ 135mm.)

If you're shooting photos in daytime, you probably don't need the extra two stops that the 35mm f/2 would give you over the zoom's f/4. The sunny 16 rule says that in sunlight at f/16, your shutter speed is about equal to your ISO.

So if you set the camera to 100 ISO and shoot something in sunlight at f/16, your shutter speed will be 1/100 sec. 200 ISO would be 1/200 sec, etc. Drop down to f/11 and the equivalent shutter speeds would be 1/200 sec @ 100 ISO, 1/400 sec @ 200 ISO. At f/8 the shutter speeds would be 4x faster than at f/16. At f/4 it'd be 16x faster. At most of these speeds, you wouldn't even need IS.

Overcast days (which you seem to prefer based on your photos) will cost you about 3 stops. So the sunny 16 rule would apply to f/5.6. If you can hold the camera still enough for a 1/100 sec photo @ 35mm and 100 ISO, then f/5.6 should be fine. If you can open the zoom up to f/4, then @ 100 ISO you'd be shooting 1/200 sec shutter speeds.

So I'd try the zoom first, and only resort to getting the 35mm f/2 IS if you find the zoom's shutter speeds are still too slow for you. Between f/4 and IS, I think you'll be fine with the zoom. The 35mm f/2 would be necessary only if you began shooting lots of indoor and low light photos.

Yes shooting the zoom wide open at f/3.5 - f/5.6 will make the lens flaws apparent. But honestly, it's mostly the photographer who notices these flaws. We're pixel peepers who insist on viewing our photos at 100% or 200% in Photoshop and worry over every tiny imperfection. The vast majority of people viewing your photos won't care, and even a 1080p display will represent less than 50% the resolution of the original photo. Most of these lens flaws will simply be invisible (unless you crop and zoom). And the ones that are visible like barrel distortion can be corrected with software.
 

Wayfall

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Sorry but this is alot to take in

For thee zoom lens what settings do I use for:
Sunny
Overcast
Night
And maybe rain if it's possible.

At 3.5 what do I use and when zoomed and forced to 5.6 what do I use?

Lots to read, kinda hard to round it up.

 

kenrivers

Splendid
Moderator
@Solandri - thank you. I was wrong and as you stated the f-stop can be changed. I had forgotten you could narrow the aperture on a prime lens. Your comment got me to thinking about the old Pentax SLR I have and how the aperture on a 50mm lens could be changed (stepped down) to a narrower aperture. For that I thank you. I tested out the 50mm lens I have for my Canon DSLR and found out what my comment to Wayfall about the 35mm lens was not correct. Again, I thank you for clearing that up and providing the correct information.
 

That's a far, far bigger question than I can answer with a simple post. There isn't one answer. It's a three-way trade-off between f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO.

http://photo.net/learn/making-photographs/exposure
 

USAFRet

Illustrious
Moderator


This is when you do a couple of things:
1. Read and study some photo books and online classes
2. Take thousands of photos. Keep the three that actually worked for you, and discover why they work. And why all the others did not.
3. Learn the limits and benefits of post processing software.
 
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