Tagged: Canon SL1

Closer

One of my intentions for future photography is to get closer, and see if I can do it without a long focal length and/or a macro lens; but can I do it with my 24 mm pancake lens with an effective focal length of only 36 mm?

I was looking at some old watches and while I was holding them in my hand I took a picture of them to see how they looked with the 24 mm lens.  The following is a crop of the corroded one that had spent some time in sea water.

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Not Alone

I haven’t just been using the Canon SL1 while I have been learning, and deciding, how to best use it.  For the above pictures I used my Pentax K-3 and made these images at a focal length of 300 mm, or effective 450 mm.  I am still concerned about not being able to take such images if I mainly use my prime 24 mm lens on the Canon SL1.  I have decided that I really don’t wish to carry the heavier K-3 and 55 – 300 mm zoom lens, but that I still would like to be able to make such pictures in the manner of the above.  My indecision is what to do about it.

I may give up long focal length photography or I might compromise and look for a lens to use on the SL1 that is lighter.  Another choice might be to use my micro 4/3 Olympus EPL-5 with a long lens.  For some reason, I keep “walking away” from my micro 4/3 imagery.  I liked using it for my most recent long-term project of photographing the model railroaders here at Homewood, but my primary outlet for those pictures will be a video/slide show made with shorter focal lengths.  My problem is that I would like a higher quality longer focal length lens.  I have been using my low-quality 40 – 150 mm f/4 – 5.6 lens.  If cost was not a concern, I could try the new Olympus E-M5 II and the Pro 40 – 150 mm lens; but I don’t wish to spend that much money for such limited use.

Another “discomfort” that I have, is switching back and forth between cameras with totally different control and menu set-ups.  That and the need for multiple lens collections for different systems is a drag on my photography and finances.  Resolving these issues requires owning just one system; but, which one?  I now have Pentax, Canon, and micro 4/3 systems.  I would prefer to use one.  Should I replace the non-Canons with another Canon DSLR with some longer lenses to supplement my SL1?

I would like to consider my next system as my last one … one that will serve my needs into the future.  I doubt that I am alone relative to this issue.  Does anyone out there have any recommendations?

Better with Canon

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I am feeling better this morning.  Yesterday was a bad back day with enough pain and discomfort to turn me into a grump.  Since I was feeling better this morning and since the sun was shining, even though the temperature was in the 20s, I walked down to the buildings to take care of a chore; and took my Canon SL1 with the prime 24 mm lens with me and took the above picture.

So far, I am finding that it is a lot better to carry and use the SL1 camera.  As you can see above, the image quality is good enough; but, the most important quality of the camera is its weight and size.  The way I am using it with just one effective 35 mm prime pancake lens, it has become my half-the-price of a Fuji X100T camera … with slightly less image quality, lower build quality, less physical controls, and the same weight.  I am still learning how to best use it; but so far I haven’t found anything that I wanted to do with it but couldn’t.  The above was taken in program mode at ISO 100, f/9, 1/320 sec and auto WB.

I have given some thought to acquiring more lenses for it, but haven’t since I think that would be a move counter to why I got it.  I wanted a light-weight effective 35 mm camera for use in the car and while walking about the streets of Hanover.  Rather than start adding more weight with heavier lenses, I am planning to use it as configured and see how much I can do with it on the streets when it warms up and all the snow is gone.  Later I might acquire another longer focal length lens for using the camera on walks like I did this morning.   I have been thinking about a 60 mm macro lens, or maybe trying another copy of the 40 mm pancake lens.

Program Mode & Crop-Zooming

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One of my concerns with the Canon SL1 when using it with the 24 mm lens is “motion”.  The camera does not let me set a minimum shutter speed when shooting in program mode with auto ISO.  This means that if I make no other changes, I am relying upon the camera program mode to choose a shutter speed that is not too low.  My concern is whether I will hold it steady enough in my style of shoot and go photography.  When I don’t know what might “pop up” when walking about, I usually leave the camera in program mode.

I had my camera with me while in a doctor’s office when I took the picture above.  What you are seeing is a 100% crop out of the center of the picture.  Another of my concerns is whether I can use the 24 mm lens and then crop the image rather severely to get a picture when I really needed a longer lens.  In the above picture, the camera was in program mode and chose an ISO of 800 at f/2.8, and 1/30 sec shutter speed … and don’t forget, this is a 100% crop from the original.

In addition, this is a raw file with no adjustments made.  It is straight out of LR5.7.  I have found the white balance (WB) of this camera to be right-on.  The colors are as I remember them looking.

So far I am pleased with the image quality from this entry-level DSLR with the 24 mm f/2.8 prime lens.  I haven’t tried the kit zoom lens that most folks get with the camera and I haven’t looked at jpeg images so experiences with them might be different.  Since I don’t plan on photographing in that manner with this camera, I won’t be checking them out.

Sharpness of the 24 mm Lens on the SL1

After my scare with the 40 mm lens, I was anxious to get some more pictures to check the SL1 with the 24 mm lens.  I had to drive across town so I took the camera and took some pictures through the open side window while stopped for lights, etc.  Yes, it was cold with the window open.  I wasn’t too particular about what I photographed so I tried to get some images that would enable me to get an idea of how sharp the lens was across the image.  I am using the term “sharpness” as a generic term to cover resolution, focus, and sharpness.  I’ll let you make up your own mind, but I am satisfied so far for a relatively inexpensive camera and lens.  Click on a picture, view in gallery mode, and then pick full size image to see better.  The aperture was either f/8 or f/11 for these pictures.

Which Camera, Depends on What I Do

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Which cameras I keep and use depends upon what type of pictures I plan to make and how I use them.  As much as possible, I would like to downsize relative to weight and number of cameras, but I don’t want to go too far down relative to image quality.  The question is, how far is too far.  As an example I was out walking Misty early on a cloudy day and had the Lumix LF1 in my pocket which I used for the above image.  It was at an effective 200 mm and then cropped severely and resized up to this full size.  I then worked with the raw image to create this painterly effect using Light Room.

The LF1 might work for images like above, but it doesn’t work to get good, quick pictures of events around here.  I also don’t use it on the streets.  It is certainly small, easy to carry, and discreet, but it isn’t easy to change settings and shoot quickly.  It takes too long to zoom the lens.   For most events and on the street and for better quality landscapes I hope to use the Canon SL1 with both the 24 and the 40 mm prime pancake lenses.  I won’t know for sure until the weather improves and I take a lot more pictures with it.

I still have my Olympus E-PL5 with many micro 4/3 lenses which I think work OK for travel since they pack small and are light for international travel.  Since I am not doing that kind of travel anymore I am not sure how I will use them or even if I will keep them.  I did use it a lot for my most resent indoor project here at Homewood, but that was before I got the Canon SL1.

I also still have my Pentax K-3 along with three lenses.  At the moment it is the most unused of the lot.  I might keep it and use it with a smaller but still weather resistant lens for photography in bad weather.  Since I find it too heavy to use but for short periods with long focal length lenses, I might just give up that type of photography.  As an alternative, I might try a long zoom on the Canon SL1.  I don’t think it is a good camera for such use due to its size but it might work better than I think.  It also depends upon how good I get at using the controls on the Canon SL1 to get the effects I desire.  I might also just use a micro 4/3 camera with a long lens for long-range photography.

One of the least costly ways for me to downsize is to limit what I photograph and use the cameras and lenses I have.  If I stop photographing with long zoom lenses, and outdoors in rain or snow, I could possibly shrink down to just three cameras, or maybe even less.  At the moment I am considering using only my Lumix LF1, my Ricoh GR, and my Canon SL1 (with both pancake lenses).  But I still entertain thoughts about limiting what I photograph to what I can make with one camera and one lens.

All of my trials are to determine what I want to photograph with what type of camera and focal length lens, and then, if necessary, buy a higher quality camera-lens combination and sell the rest.

Canon SL1 Focusing

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One of the most mentioned problems that people have with the Fujifilm X100 series is focusing, so I am interested in seeing how well the Canon SL1 focuses.  In the past I have had trouble with most of my cameras other than the Pentax K-3 when trying to focus on something outside while photographing through a double pane window and between the venation blind slats, so that was one of my first trials with the Canon SL1.  As you can see, it did well auto focusing on the rhododendron with the 40 mm lens at f/2.8.  I used the center single focus point.  The only way I could do this with any of my Fujifilm X cameras was to focus manually.

For those who are wondering, Marcia was outside in 12 degree F. temperature sweeping up excess salt to keep it out of Misty’s paws.  The rhododendron was between her and the window.

Canon SL1 as opposed to Fujifilm X100T

These are pictures of my latest acquisition.  Those of you who have followed me for many years will be surprised to note that it is a Canon, and the least expensive and smallest DSLR that they make.  I am now going to tell you why I got it.  I will have to use it for a longer period to know if it was the right decision.

I have wanted to buy the Fujifilm X100T, but hesitated for many reasons.  I had an X100, the first version that came out, and I loved it, but always worried about it having an effective 35 mm focal length and being tough to focus quickly and accurately.  When I had the X100, the focal length usually worked well for me but, I did a lot of crop-zooming.  I also found that it usually took two hands to hold and use the X100.  In addition, I am now hesitant about spending so much money on another camera.  So, I looked around for something else and started looking more carefully at the Canon EOS SL1 Rebel.

The SL1 uses interchangeable lenses, and I noted that Canon had two pancake lenses.  I found that both the 40 mm and the 24 mm lenses were both small and light-weight, quite inexpensive, and highly rated in reviews.  I also realized that the Canon SL1 with the 24 mm lens attached weighed about the same as the X100T, and was about the same size except for the depth; but at about half the cost!  In addition I would have effective focal lengths of about 38 mm and 64 mm with the two Canon lenses.

The SL1 has another advantage for me in addition to the cost and weight.  It has a nice handgrip and with the arthritis in my hands that is a significant advantage.  I have posted the above pictures so that you can see the handgrip.  Many of the on-line pictures don’t do a good job of showing the handgrip.  If you are interested you need to try it.  All hands aren’t the same, but I have found that it works very well for me.

This Canon Rebel isn’t as sexy as the X100T, doesn’t have the perceived quality, doesn’t have the dial controls, and doesn’t have the X-Trans sensor, but it is a lot cheaper, and I think more versatile for my uses.  Time will tell.

Behind Bars

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Similar to being confined in jail, but it is due to cold weather and trying to stay away from people with colds or flu.  I expect one more month of this.

Update on the Canon SL1:  Unlike with my mirror-less cameras, I have yet to accidentally change any settings.  This feature along with the nice hand grip with the extra depth is the big “plus” for the Canon.  It feels like this is well worth the disadvantage of the greater depth of the camera due to the mirror box and optical view finder.  The only time I notice the extra depth negative is when I put the camera into a small bag.