Recent Articles

Polarizing filters

Polarizing filters

Polarizing filters are like sunglasses for your camera (see 7-5), and they are one of the few filters that feature the capability to rotate one of the two optical elements to achieve the best effect. A polarizer reduces the glare in an image, while improving the contrast in your photo. Colors appear more saturated and [...]

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Colored filters

There are a number of filters that provide varying levels of color that can affect your image. While many of the colored filters were designed originally to filter colors that would be rendered onto film, today’s digital capabilities — both in the camera and the software — mitigate the need to use them. One of [...]

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Infrared filters

Infrared filters

Infrared photography has become very popular, especially since it’s been discovered that digital image sensors are very sensitive to what’s called the near-infrared spectrum. This is light that’s just outside of visible red light, where nothing that’s illuminated by thermal radiation can be seen. Infrared filters are very dark, and make the world appear as [...]

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Neutral density filters

Neutral density filters

Neutral density filters, often just called Neutral density filters, effectively reduce the amount of light reaching your image sensor, but do not affect the color. Why are they useful, you might wonder? In particularly bright conditions, they are very practical and allow you to shoot longer exposures. For example, if you want to shoot a [...]

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Softmat (soft-focus) filters

Softmat (soft-focus) filters

Sometimes it is desirable to gain a soft-focus effect on the parts of your image that surround the subject, but not to be as blurry as you see in a narrow-depth-of-field image. A Softmat, or soft-focus, filter provides this effect using diffracted light, and it is especially useful in certain types of portraits as well [...]

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Consider a tripod mount for specialty lenses

Consider a tripod mount for specialty lenses

Every camera comes with the ability to be mounted to a tripod using the screw mount on the bottom of the body. However, when using larger lenses, which place a significant amount of weight onto the overall camera and lens combination, having a tripod or monopod attached to the bottom of the camera body isn’t [...]

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Consider a filter

Consider a filter

Using filters is a great way to extend the functionality of your lens, whether you’re adding a special effect, eliminating hazy conditions, or optimizing sunlight using polarization (filters are covered in more detail later). However, the way you attach a filter to your camera lens varies depending on the lens size. For most lenses up [...]

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Consider a close-up lens

Consider a close-up lens

Close-up, or macro, photography requires either a lens dedicated to functioning at close range or one that has the ability to take short-distance images along with other features. Several Canon lenses offer a macro function either as an option to other capabilities or as their primary purpose, and they vary according to how specialized you [...]

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Extendthe range of L series lenses

Extendthe range of L series lenses

Suppose you’ve invested in a Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM lens, and you’re finding that you’d like just a little more length on the focal length. One good option, barring going out and buying a longer lens, is to consider one of Canon’s lens extenders. These are small devices that you mount to your [...]

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Tilt-and-shift lenses

Tilt-and-shift lenses

Imagine being able to take a lens in your hand and move it around until it gives you precisely the angle and view that you want, including the depth of field and emphasis on various foreground and background elements. This is essentially what the controls on tilt-and-shift lenses allow you to adjust — you can [...]

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Macro lenses

Macro lenses

Close-up, or macro, photography requires a lens that is either dedicated to functioning at a close range or that has the ability to take short-distance images along with other features. Several Canon lenses offer a macro function either as an option to other capabilities or as their primary purpose, and they vary according to how [...]

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Canon’s Macro lens lineup

Canon’s Macro lens lineup

Macro lenses vary according to focal length and for the magnification level they can reach; for example, my favorite is the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo, a dedicated macro lens that can shoot up to five times life-size (1:1) (see 6-24). This means if you adjust it to its maximum macro magnification level [...]

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Taking close-up shots with Macro lenses

Taking close-up shots with Macro lenses

Shooting a macro image brings into play some different issues from a standard image at a normal focal length and distance from your subject. As I mentioned earlier, using a flash with a telephoto can be difficult because the distance your subject is from the flash is too far for the flash to be effective, [...]

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Macro lenses tips

Taking macro images can be some of the most interesting and challenging photography you’ll find. Here are some general tips and techniques for getting the most out of a macro lens: At close range, there’s no room for error. Make sure your focus and exposure are precisely what you want. Remember that your flash may [...]

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Wide-angle lenses tips

Wide-angle shooting can be very practical whether you’re photographing groups of people or a natural landscape. However, because of some of the inherent distortive effects of these lenses, you’ll want to know some tips and techniques for making the most of wide-angle shooting: ■ When shooting a group of people with a wide-angle lens, allow [...]

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Dealing with wide-angle distortion

Dealing with wide-angle distortion

Wide-angle lenses, with their rounded glass, frequently create an effect known as barrel distortion, where what otherwise would be straight lines in your image become bent and the overall image takes on the shape of a barrel. This phenomenon is more noticeable where there are straight lines in the scene you are shooting (such as [...]

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Canon’s Wide-angle lens lineup

Canon’s Wide-angle lens lineup

Not all 14mm or 15mm lenses are considered fisheye; this term refers more specifically to the angle of view (which is 180 degrees on the Canon 15mm fisheye, for example). Fisheye lenses are distinctive in that the lens looks like a bubble, and they tend to distort the image far more visibly (technically known as [...]

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Normal lens tips

Normal lenses give you the most natural representation of your subject and often become the workhorses of your glass lineup for day-to-day shooting. That said, you’ll want to keep in mind some general tips and techniques for making the most of a normal lens: When possible, shoot with a shutter speed of at least 1/125 [...]

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Canon’s Normal lens lineup

Canon’s Normal lens lineup

Canon offers a very diverse set of normal lenses that you can get in prime and zoom models. Many zoom lenses that extend well into the telephoto range also have normal focal lengths, such as the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM. However, many photographers feel that the wider the focal range of a zoom, the [...]

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Telephoto lenses tips

Telephoto lenses can get you close to the action without getting in the way. Here are some general tips and techniques for making the most of a tele-photo lens: Remember that using a telephoto lens makes it harder to hold your camera steady. If you have it, turn on your lens’s Image Stabilizer feature, and [...]

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