Jay's SLR adventure

Discussion in 'Photography' started by badbread, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. badbread

    badbread Guest

    I thought I would start up a post to share my experience in the new to me SLR world, maybe run some questions by the pro's and share my learning experience with you. I've been reading A LOT about SLR photography, reading about exposure time, aperture, metering, etc...

    My gear:
    Camera: Canon 400D (thanks Anthony!)
    Lens(es): Canon EFS 18-135mm f 3.5-5.6 IS

    So I played around for about an hour last night taking various pictures around the house and have a few questions.

    My goal in this series was to capture the writing on the guitar, in focus, super close up.

    For the picture below, metadata shows ISO: 400 Exposure: 1/15 sec Aperture: 5.6 Focal Length: 135mm
    Most of Fender is focused but towards the R and the Stratocaster is all blurry, dammit.
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg3yMKCyI/AAAAAAAABOw/SiNn7xfuAQw/s1152/IMG_7212.JPG[/img]

    I then tried a higher F-stop number as pictured below, camera in AV mode I think, ISO: 400 Exposure: 1/6 sec Aperture: 16.0 Focal Length: 135mm
    With this one it is all in focus but because of the higher Aperature I guess I didn't increase the Exposure enough to capture more light, right?
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg4ShSPSI/AAAAAAAABO0/7BEztpr6U9w/s1152/IMG_7236.JPG[/img]

    Here is the same aperature but with longer exposure, ISO: 400 Exposure: 1/3 sec Aperture: 16.0 Focal Length: 120mm
    This last one everything is in focus as I wanted but the color absolutely sucks. Would a longer exposure help? Higher ISO?
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg4pfCX8I/AAAAAAAABO4/q9gb_V_Vj34/s1152/IMG_7240.JPG[/img]

    I probably took 40 shots trying to figure how to do this, but sort of got it what I was looking for. Am I correct stating in a low light situation a higher ISO increases the brightness of a shot requiring a lower exposure? If so how do you know when a longer exposure is necessary versus a higher ISO? I've (think) read the higher the ISO the more grainy the shot will be in low light situations?

    The higher the f-stop number the greater the DOF? Meaning if the F-Stop is like 16 or so, things in the background will be in focus as well as your main subject. Compared to an F-Stop of like 3 where only the thing you are focusing on is in focus and everything else is blurred?

    And one more question my SLR buddy couldn't answer.

    The lens I got says f3.5-5.6
    So do the numbers on the lens mean that at a minimum (or maximum in aperture speak) the camera lens will do f3.5? And on the flip side of that 5.6max?

    If so, what does changing the f value on the camera actually do if the lens is incapable of opening that much or that little?

    The camera allows you to choose both larger and smaller f value's, right? So what exactly is going on when I choose something like f16?

    Thanks and my apologies for butchering the practice...
    Feel free to tell me to shut up and keep shooting, all comments welcomed.
  2. badbread

    badbread Guest

    A few more sh*tty shots from last night, Scout versus the bag of mini carrots:
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg2HnmaSI/AAAAAAAABOM/twsh9_jLxWI/s1152/IMG_7096.JPG[/img]
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg2DvyB0I/AAAAAAAABOQ/yNKNsWxCfaU/s1152/IMG_7099.JPG[/img]
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg2vKK4lI/AAAAAAAABOY/Cmz4qJxuviQ/s1152/IMG_7124.JPG[/img]
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh4.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg2ozKqpI/AAAAAAAABOc/8K62_LDupWw/s1152/IMG_7126.JPG[/img]
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_qBa4ZQMbrrI/S5fg2236U_I/AAAAAAAABOg/3wal_pCq
  3. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Lens: Canon EFS 18-135mm f 3.5-5.6 IS

    It means that the maximum aperture that they're capable of is f/3.5 at the 18mm range. At the 135mm range, the max aperture is f/5.6. Depending on what your current zoom/focal range is, the maximum aperture will change from f/3.5 to f/5.6.

    Effectively, that's the fastest the lens is capable of. At 18mm, you can't get aperture to go higher than f/3.5 and at 135mm you can't get a higher aperture than f/5.6. Also, most consumer lenses are usually not sharp wide open; this is why L lenses costs so much. You will need to stop that lens 1-1.5 stops down to get a clean shot (f/5 to f/8ish).

    As for the three shots, if the last one is closest to what you want to achieve, then yes, you will need a longer shutter speed while keeping the ISO low (i.e. consider using a tripod). Also, if you noticed, your focusing plane changed in the 3 shots with the last one closest to the perpendicular of the focusing plane. If you actually take the picture at the same angle, but at the same aperture as the other two, you will notice that it's actually closer to the effect that you're trying to achieve just from that fact alone.
  4. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Don't get started on L glass ... :D Once the L-bug gets ya, it's over :)
  5. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Just like corals, once the sps bugs gets you...
    Good think I'm married and have two kids, these are my bugs now.
  6. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Yeah, L glass is definitely worth the investment IMO, but yes, just like the SPS bug ...
    Good thing I got rid of all of my SPS :)
  7. badbread

    badbread Guest

    I don't think I've announced it yet here on BAR but I'm going to be a dad!!! Baby is due May 9th, explains my slacking at getting to meetings.

    We had our baby shower last weekend and here are some of the better shots:


  8. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Guest

    :) Congrats Jay. Been there before, but it is all worth it.

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