How to Make the Most of Your Camera’s Kit Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XM1 review images (2 of 6)ISO 2501-40 sec at f - 5.6

Though many photographers will turn their noses away from the kit lens, they’ve continued to improve over the years and manufacturers haven’t ignored them. Sure, the build quality isn’t the best but they can deliver sharp images with beautiful bokeh, and also create images that will otherwise astound you.

The only thing you that need to do is figure out how to use them, and with that comes understanding of your kit lens.

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A Debate on 50mm vs 85mm Lenses for Portraits

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

A while ago, we did a comparison of the Canon 50mm f1.4 vs the 85mm f1.8 (due to price points) when it comes to taking portraits. Weekly Imogen recently did their own filmed portrait comparison and asked their readers which one they preferred. After a long time of gathering comments and feedback, many of the readers loved the look of the 85mm lens more. However, as some commenters state, the crew used a cropped sensor camera body–which for Canon actually renders an 80mm field of view not the 75mm as stated due to the 1.6x crop factor.

What this actually means is that a 50mm lens will give the field of view of an 80mm lens and an 85mm lens will give around 136mm to the viewer with a cropped sensor camera. Still though, the lenses will still act like their actual focal lengths–which means that an 85mm will still render a less distorted image.

The comments and feedback are an interesting back and forth debate–though many still lean more towards the 85mm. The video is after the jump.

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A Hint of What's To Come With Canon?

Something that I asked for from Canon in my Nikon D3s review was the ability to use the crop sensor area mode that Nikon allows users in their more advanced models. It’s a very useful feature and really helps out in many situations. Photography Bay just finished their review of the Canon T2i and they seem to really be pushing the new cropped movie mode.

Canon has been known to introduce certain features and then implement them in future bodies. For example, the variety of movie modes were first available in the 7D, then the 1D Mk IV and finally the T2i. The T2i allows for cropped movie mode recording though, something not available in the other bodies. Could this perhaps mean that the 60D and 1Ds Mk IV will have this feature as well? If so, will it also allow for the capture of stills this way too? If it does, it could potentially eat into 1D Mk IV sales unless the shutter speed really isn’t as fast and it is meant more for squarely taking on the D3x.

Only time can tell. This photographer has his fingers crossed. We could probably see it soon as the 50D is being offered right now at a rebate.

Canon photographers, weigh in. What do you think?