Yo, so here's my intro to my "Gear" series. It'll consist of three different blog posts.
- Fall 2015-Spring 2016
- Spring 2016-Fall 2016
- Fall 2016-Present Day
I get asked ALL the time what I use to shoot the pictures that I create. So here's the deal...
As a graduation gift in the fall of 2014, I received a Canon T5. It came with an 18-55mm kit lens and a 75-300mm zoom lens. Kit just means that it's the standard lens to come with the camera. It's usually cheaper and at the lower end of the totem pole.
Wikipedia says, "A kit lens is a "starter" lens which can be sold with an interchangeable-lens camera such as a single-lens reflex camera. It is generally an inexpensive lens priced at the lowest end of the manufacturer's range so as to not add much to a camera kit's price."
So far we have a...
- Canon T5
- 18-55mm Kit Lens
- 75-300mm Zoom Lens
Now before I go any further, I'm going to go into the technical working of a camera and tell you what the "mm" means on the end of each of those numbers mean. It might get a little wordy, but just hang with me (also there's a comments section at the bottom if you have any questions). If you want to skip, go down to the next word in bold.
A camera in some sense works kind of like a telescope, except it can actually take a picture of what you're seeing.
In a telescope, let's just say you're looking at the moon, the image of the moon comes through the lens (made up of many circular pieces of glass), bounces off a mirror and through a series of smaller lenses that come to the eye hole (on which you have your eye placed).
Everyone loves looking through the eye hole (viewfinder) on a DSLR. They love putting their hand under the lens and twisting the zoom ring around the lens - moving the image back and forth from super wide to super close.
Camera lenses have what's called an image circle. Once you take your lens off of your camera, there's the circular piece of glass at the back. It's relatively small (compared to the front of your lens) and is the part of the lens "inside" your camera.
Remember how I said earlier that telescopes can't take pictures. It's not just because they don't have fancy electronics. It's also because they don't have a sensor. Whenever you hear the "click" of a DSLR, the mirror in the camera is flipping up, and allowing whatever image you saw to be recorded on the sensor. That image is then sent to your SD card.
The mm on the lens is simply how far away your image circle is from the mirror in your camera. So the CLOSER that image circle is to the mirror, the WIDER your image will be. As you twist the lens and you're ZOOMING in on an object, the image circle is moving FURTHER away from the mirror.
So if you skipped some of the nerdy stuff that's fine, but if you read it, good for you. I'm proud. My 18-55mm is what's called a wide angle lens. That's because 18mm is super wide. In fact anything below 40mm (mm being the distance from the image circle to the mirror inside your camera) is considered wide. My other lens is a zoom lens. And that's because anything typically 70mm or above is a zoom lens.
So here I am @ 18 years old with a brand new camera. I opened the box and after getting over my excitement quickly did the math. This was not top of the line. BUT I was so happy in the moment that most of me didn't care. I FINALLY had a camera. And I actually (somewhat) knew how to use it. For more on that check out my About page on my website.
Anyway, so with these tools I started making images like...
And again your mind may be blown (idk), but you can do these things with what you have now. People ask a good starter camera and I always recommend something close to the base model.
I had a T5, but it's currently the T6. The difference between the two is the difference between the iPhone 5 and 6. There's also the T5i and the T6i. The difference between the two is the difference between the 5s and 6s. So you have a 5, 5s, 6, and 6s. Which is right for you. Each generation or model as differences, sometimes it's best to look at your wallet, other times it's best to look at what you want. The choice is yours.
My advice now is that you take the lens off of your camera and get a peak at the image circle. Move the lens back and forth and watch the image circle move back and forth. And then come back soon to check out my next post on what changed for me in the Spring of 2016. And how I found what I REALLY had been looking for.
Leave any comments or questions below.