Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wide angle

Here's a familiar view of the Cher Valley taken one afternoon last week. I used the wide angle on my short 18-55mm zoom lens. The lens came with the camera and I've had it for almost two years now. This is probably the lens I use the most; it's a good lens for most everyday photography.

Looking toward the northeast across the Cher River valley. Click to vallonate.

I have three other lenses for the camera. Of those, I probably use the 100mm macro lens most. It's for when I want good close-up shots. Next, the 75-300mm telephoto comes in handy for long distance shots, but I'm not very good with that lens yet. I don't like most of the photos I take with it, although some have been nice. I probably need to work with it more.

The fourth lens is a fixed 50mm lens. It's got (supposedly) better optics than the wide angle zoom and with a maximum aperture of f1.4, it gives me a little more flexibility for low-light shots (the maximum aperture on the wide angle zoom is f4.5). But, so far, I use the fixed lens the least.

3 comments:

  1. It almost looks like frost... but I guess not with this weather. But still a wonderful winter panorama. And uh... "vallonate" ?!

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  2. Walt, have you got UV or Neutral Density filters on your lenses as "transparent lenscaps"?
    I had until recently... good ones...
    but read a comment on the Pentax User site that decried their use at long focal lengths...
    and I decided to have a go without...
    they are all now confined to the camera bag...
    to be used only if conditions require extra protection.

    I have found...
    as the commenteer did...
    that the images were sharper and brighter, without.

    Also, from old experience, I set...
    whenever possible...
    the speed of the shutter as 50% faster than the focal length is long...
    viz: 1/450th at 300mm...
    in fact, thinking about it, perhaps I should set faster still...
    the 300mm on mine works out at around 420mm equivalent on the captor...?

    This can be quite difficult to achieve at times...
    the reviews of the Tamron zoom I have say it has its best performance at f8 to f16 after which it tails off...
    appreciably so at f32!!

    But, have you got a monopod... that helps too!

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  3. stuart, just dried grass in the shade. As for "vallonate," that's something I stole from Phil Plait of the Bad Astronomy blog. Instead of always saying, "click to enlarge," he makes up a word. For example, if it's an image of the milky way, he says, "click to galactinate." The words he comes up with always make me chuckle.

    tim, thanks for the advice. I don't have any filters on the lens, so that's not an issue. And I try to set the shutter to 200% of the focal length, sometimes a little slower if necessary. I think my problem is twofold. First is ISO. I tend to let the ISO float, so in low light I'm taking photos at 1600 ISO. Too grainy. I'm going to set the ISO to 200 and see what I can do. The second problem is that I'm using the telephoto in hand-held mode. With the low light conditions I often shoot in, it may just be a simple matter of needing to use the tripod for long shots with a smaller aperture. I do have a monopod that I've used on occasion, and it's a lot easier to lug around than the tripod.

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