Friday, July 24, 2009

Canon Macro Lenses: What Are They?

A true macro lens is one that can create life-size image – 1:1 magnification or greater. Canon macro lenses come in a wide variety with focal lengths from 50mm to 180mm. Most of these lenses will take you up to life-size magnification. However, one lens starts at life-size, rising to five time’s life-size magnification.Macro lenses are not just used for macro photography. For the most part, this is what they were designed for, but most focus to infinity as well.
This makes Canon macro lenses exceptionally versatile lenses that can be used for a variety of reasons besides just photographing fine detail.The essential difference between a macro lens and an ordinary lens is that the optical elements of a macro lens can move over a greater range. This allows them to bring subjects at a closer distance into sharp focus.
This would be a great advantage for taking photos of stamps or coins as the details of the items would be more defined. If you compare two equivalent focal length lenses, for example, the EF100mm f2 USM and the EF100mm f2.8 Macro USM, you will see that the close focusing distance of each is very different.
The macro lens can focus sharply on a subject just 31cm away from the lens, while the non-macro lens can only focus on a subject if it is 90cm away or further. Being able to focus closer, the macro lens magnifies an image more. In this case, a subject 31cm away will be recorded as life-size. Compare this with the non-macro 100 mm lens. A subject at its closest focusing distance will only be recorded as 0.14x the actual size. In other words, if the subject is 10cm long in real life, when recorded on film or on the digital sensor, it will only be 1.4cm long.
Canon macro lenses allow you to move in really close to your subject for a dramatic effect in the photograph. These types of lenses can be a great asset for any photographer. The dramatic effect that it creates enables you to add variety to your photos.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Prime Canon Wide-Angle Lenses

Canon wide-angle lenses are lenses with focal lengths below 50mm. The shorter the focal length, the wider the lens becomes and your field of view will be bigger. Simply put, if you stood in the same position, a Canon wide-angle lens can accurately squeeze more into the photo. This is particularly useful if you are trying to take a photograph of a large building from inside or out, an immense landscape view, or a group shot. These lenses are very useful when you cannot step back any further to take the photograph.

As you may expect, Canon wide-angle lenses have a greater distortion due to squeezing more into your photos. This distortion is especially evident toward the edges of the photo. On natural landscapes, this may not be that noticeable, but can appear unappealing on portrait shots unless the subject is placed directly in the middle of the frame. With that being said, this effect can produce pleasing results and be used to amplify perspective. I suggest getting as close to the foreground subject as possible so that it appears large in comparison to the background. Canon wide-angle lenses have large depths of field, which means that it is easier to get lots in well-defined focus from close-up to far away.

The most common wide-angle focal length that produces natural-looking results is the 28mm. In general, focal lengths below 20mm are known as ultra-wide-angle and can produce extreme results. I would have to say that the fish-eye lenses deliver the most extreme results as they produce a highly curved result, while capturing an extremely significant field of view.

When choosing a lens, it is important to keep in mind any reduction in field that would be caused by your DSLRs sensor. Canon’s APS-C models such as the EOS 400D/XTi and 40D both have a reduction factor of 1.6x. As a result, if you want 28mm equivalent coverage, you will need to fit them with an 18mm lens.
Canon wide-angle lenses can add a lot of enjoyment and provide methods to enhance your photo taking abilities in ways you have never experienced. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your Canon wide-angle lens today!

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