what a difference a lens makes

I couldn’t have taken this photo last week. Not because the rugrat wouldn’t have posed (although that’s difficult enough to do on the best of days), but because up until last Friday the main lens on my Canon 300D was the kit lens that came with the camera.

I just got a Canon EF 28 mm f/1.8 lens as the first significant upgrade to the 300D since we bought it. And I’m in love (as much as it’s possible to be in love with an inanimate object). Although I’m a big fan of the Strobist approach to lighting photography, I don’t have the equipment for off-camera flash, and even if I did, you don’t always have time to ask your subject to cool their heels while you set up the lighting.

Hence my interest in getting a good quality fast lens. In my price range that meant a prime lens, not a zoom. My first inclination was to go with a 50 mm prime, either the “nifty fifty” EF 50mm f/1.8 II or its slightly more expensive sibling, the EF 50mm f1.4 USM.

However, with the cropped sensor on the 300D, the 50 mm lens just wasn’t quite wide enough for what I wanted. I confirmed this by going back and looking the exif data on a lot of the photos that I’ve taken under low ambient light conditions, where I often found myself thinking “damn I wish I could get just a bit more light”. Most of those shots tended to be towards the wide end of the 18 – 55 mm kit lens, rather than being close to the 55 mm end.

So that made my ultimate choice relatively easy, a EF 28mm f/1.8 USM. And it is so much fun shooting in lighting conditions that I couldn’t even consider previously when f/3.5 was the fastest that I could go.


~ by Dave on 10/22/07.

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