Day 60: Focal Length
Oh my, things are getting pretty technical around here. Yesterday we had the ISO vs Shutter Speed debate and today it's all about focal length. After a couple of dissatisfying trips to London with my 50mm, I was longing for a wide angle lens. Given that most of my photos are portraits a wide angle lens is just not on the cards. If anything I would go for a 35mm or a 85mm next. I find the choice of lenses, and what they each offer, totally overwhelming. I don't even have a good feel for what the different focal lengths can capture. From my brief research it looks like prime (fixed focal length) lenses are considered to be better than zoom lenses especially when then can achieve wider apertures like f/1.4.
I figured that playing around with my 18-55mm kit lens would be a great way to get a feel for what you can capture at different focal lengths. I was lucky enough to visit Trafalgar Square to do this mini project. I took photos at 18mm (wide angle), 35mm and 55mm.
|18mm; f/8; 1/200; ISO 200|
|35mm; f/8; 1/400; ISO 200|
|55mm; f/8; 1/320; ISO 200|
Here is another look. You can see more of the depth of field in this first one. The bright sky was throwing my exposure off - again.
|18mm; f/8; 1/500; ISO 400|
|35mm; f/8; 1/320; ISO 400|
|50mm; f/8; 1/320; ISO 400|
The blinkies were going wild on this one.
|f/8; 1/160; ISO 400|
So, I dialled it down a couple of stops and took this. The blinkies were still unhappy.
|f/8; 1/250; ISO 400|
So I dialled it down again until it was at -2 or beyond and I got this one.
|f/8; 1/320; ISO 400|
I still had a few blinkies but the lion was starting to look too dark on the screen and I was loosing all faith in digital photography. I'm still not sure if I prefer the second or third image. I am now confused because the take home message from this experience seems to be don't trust the camera image playback... or the meter. I need more of this type of project to figure this out.