Posts Tagged 40d

A new lens for the Rebel XT

New Lens!

I recently picked up a new lens for my Rebel XT. I’ve been primarily shooting with my Canon EOS 40D and an EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM but I decided that I needed a good quality, small and compact lens for my Rebel XT.

After doing some research, I decided to pick up the EF 35mm f/2.  It is an amazing lens!  Considering that this lens is only $319, I was impressed by how sharp the lens is even when shot wide open.  Also, the depth of field is very shallow wide open which is great for portraits.  The size of the lens also works well for the size and weight of the rebels.



In my opinion the bokeh quality is very nice when shot wide open, but due to the 5 blade aperture, the out of focus highlights appear is pentagons which is not very pleasing.

Perhaps the biggest issue I hav with this lens is that the AF is obscenely loud. The AF motor makes a high pitch whirl which is audible even in moderately loud rooms. Also, this lens does not have FTM.

On the other hand, the AF is reasonably fast and the build quality of this lens is pretty sturdy too. It doesn’t “feel like a toy” (as some people have described the EF 50mm f/1.8 II).

If you’re looking for a compact lens to shoot in available light, I’d highly recommend this lens. Especially if you’re just starting out with a rebel and you’re looking to get serious about photography.

While in a similar price range, I choose this lens over the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM because, while the 50mm is an extraordinary lens, on a 1.6x FOVC camera, it is slightly too telephoto as a walk-around lens. The 50mm is a great lens and I’d pick up one of these too if you can afford both.

The EF 24mm f/2.8 and EF 28mm f/2.8 are actually closer to 50mm (on a 1.6x FOVC) but I didn’t choose these because they got terrible reviews.

Finally, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is in the same price range as these lenses and I’d also highly recommend this lens. It is larger than the EF 35mm f/2 but it is still a good fit on the rebel bodies. This lens also has a HSM motor (which is Sigma’s equivalent of USM) and FTM. Unfortunately this lens only works with 1.6x FOVC bodies so if you decide to upgrade to a full frame down the road, this lens would be incompatible. But if you’re just getting started that upgrade maybe be very far down the road anyway.

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Why settle for the standard? — Picking a point and shoot.

If you shoot with a DSLR, you know its not always easy to carry a fatty DSLR with you everywhere.  Sometimes you want something that you can just slip in your pocket and go.  There are many point and shoot cameras out there and they rarely stand up to the optical performance, speed and quality of SLR systems with their nice lenses and large image sensors.  So when buying a point and shoot as a camera you can always have on you, why settle for a normal camera?  What do I mean by normal?  I’m currently looking for a point and shoot for myself (I shoot with the 40D and RebelXT) and what’s really catching my eye is all these cameras that have been specialized for various purposes.  I’m looking for a point and shoot camera that can do things my DSLR can not.  As a photographer I want to expand my shooting capabilities so I’m simply not interested in just buying a camera that’s a downgrade from my DSLR.  So far the following features have caught my eye:

Waterproof: There are waterproof enclosures for DSLRs but they’re obscenely expensive and often cost more than the DSLR body.

Pentax Optio W60 Waterproof 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Zoom (Ocean Blue)

Olympus Stylus 550 WP 10MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (Blue)

High Speed Video: The 5dmk2 can shoot HD video but you have no control over frame rate.  You’re stuck shooting 30fps.  These new Casio Exilim cameras can shoot up to 1200fps!  They also shoot Full HD @ 30fps.

Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100 9.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-inch LCD (Black) (check out the cool video on the product page)

Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 Digital Camera, 6.0 MP, with 60fps High Speed Burst Mode, Full HD Movies, 12x Optical, 4x Digital Zoom, 2.8 — though this one might be a bit bulky for a pocket-camera.

Other cool features that I saw are touch screen cameras that implement touch AF.  A problem I usually have when I use point and shoot cameras is trying to get a focus lock on my subject when there are other things in the frame.  This would be a nice feature to have in a point and shoot.

(The new iPhone has this feature, but I’m pretty sure I heard of a Nikon camera that has it too — I’ll post a link when I have a chance to find it).

If you’ve tried out or are using any of the cameras I’ve listed above (or would like to recommend another cool camera) please leave me some comments!

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Triggering a Canon camera using Pocketwizard without an $80 cable.

So you have PocketWizzardbut you don’t want to buy their expensive pre-trigger cable.. so what do you need to do to trigger your camera without an obscenely overpriced cable?

For the Rebel series, its easy… just buy a cheep 3.5mm to 2.5mm headphone adapter… they sell them at Radio Shack.

Connecting a EOS Rebel to a Pocketwizard_MG_0288

For any other Canon camera (with the N3 plug) its a bit trickier… its not exactly a standard connector… so after some hunting, I finally found this sweet adapter on Amazon which only cost $8.49 (as of 5/25): Camera Adapter for Canon with N-3 Plug

N3 to 3.5mm adaptor!

(In comparison to the pricey Pocket Wizard 804-511 CM-N3-P Canon N3 Pre-Releaseable Motor Drive Cord)

Just connect a normal 3.5mm audio cable (either mono or stereo work fine) to your Pocketwizzard and you’re good to go!

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Video on the EOS 40D!

I found this sweet program called eos_movrec which allows you to record video with any EOS camera that supports Live View!  No firmware hacks or anything, just connect your camera to your PC, fire up the software and click write and that’s it!  Anyway, I’m excited to play around with this :).

Some Technical Stuff

It records in MJPG and I just transcoded it to H.264 (though flickr seems to have no problem taking MJPG — the files are just huge and take forever to upload).



The author’s website:

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