Testing the 50mm lens on the Landscape

Last week I did more research online to find out if the 50mm lens was useful for more than just shooting indoors with low light.  I found out that it also has some great advantages for outdoor landscape photos.

To wrap my head around this I practiced in my backyard.

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For both of these photos I stood in exactly the same location, ISO 100, shutter priority mode 125. In both I focused on the low tree in the middle.

The one with the zoom lens (that came with the camera) is flatter, has duller color and shadows. The 50mm lens photo doesn’t take in as wide an image, but has much more life to it.

The sun is shinning, the sky is clear and I’m ready to take my new 50mm 1.4 lens out to Red Rock and see how it performs. John and I got on our hiking boots , got in the truck and headed for the mountains.

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Our desert can be rather dry and flat, but hike 10 minutes up a trail and the beauty starts to unfold.

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I like the way the 50mm allows focusing on a near object, while softening the background, more like I see things with my own eyes.

 

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This photo, focusing in the distance, allowed the foreground to soften. Next week another trail….

New Addition to my Bag of Tricks

Have you ever been shooting pictures indoors in hopes of getting something inspirational to paint from, only to end up with a lot of very dark, somewhat blurry images? …..well I have, plenty of times.

I want to preface this by saying I am not a Photographer, however, this year I’ve resolved to embrace  anything that will enhance my painting skill level, including a new lens for my Canon Rebel XT.

What I’m looking for;

1.  Indoor photos with dramatic lighting

2. Sharp images in dim light

3. A separation of the subject from the background

The Canon 50mm prime lens seems to cover all of these. Available in a f1.8, f1.4 and f1.2 version, the largest number letting the least light in, (it’s always backwards in photography, that’s what makes my head hurt). The one in the middle, the f1.4 should do the job.

lensA little impatient to try this out, I ripped the box open!

Testing it against my old 18-55mm zoom lens, I already see a difference.

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The photo on the left, with my old 18-55mm zoom lens, giving all the items equal sharpness, you can’t tell that the clock is 6″ behind the manikin, the flag is 15″ behind and the framed picture 6′ away. The one on the right, taken with the 50mm is more like my eyes see things, focusing on one object at a time.

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In this photo of my dog Brandy, her head which is closest to me is very sharp, while her tail, which is furthest away starts to soften, instead of the compressed look of the zoom lens, which would have made all the edges equally hard.

AliBlogThis picture of our cat Ali, was taken at night with a dim light source, I couldn’t get anything like this with my zoom lens.

The real test will be in a few days when I take some model photos at my friend, Ed Davis’s, art studio.