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Thread: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

  1. #1
    DrRamesh Ayurveda's Avatar
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    Ramesh Hari mohan (Hari)

    Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Dear friends

    Please have a look at the canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. and please comment on its usability. As many have asked me, I'm stating my approximate requirements and hope that will help to form some kind of conclusion and advice me on the lens and other doubts too..

    1. I'm planning to shoot portraits, general walk around snaps, scenaries when I go travelling (such as sprawling grass lands, beaches and mountains and line of buildings and so on), pets(varying shapes and sizes), functions such as weddings(and other ceremonies, but not as a professional and not as paid work).

    2. Further, on the tele photo end(in my view, shooting subjects that remain at a distance, some times in motion too, with more clarity and so on), Imagine a horse grazing about 25 - 30 meters away, will it be able to shoot(with the above mentioned lens) with a very good back ground blur and the horse showing good detail, and will it be possible to have more details of the back ground in the snap (less blur for the objects). further, how much will we be able to zoom in on the horse and how much detail can be reproduced. All on the basis of this lens mentioned above. If not all the above requirements of photography are met with, how much will be possible with this lens.(Please explain some thing based on the example below by which I can form a clearer idea)

    3.Further, if this lens is not at the suitable one, which other lens of average cost and good specifications for the cost, be the suitable one. ie, which will suit the above needs if not fully, but at least completely with compromises.

    4.In your opinion, what all things can be done with this above mentioned lens.


    Hope I'm not annoying any of the members posting stupid questions and threads like this. If so I apologize in advance . But being an amateur in the area, I think, its better to learn from the experience of all who have more experiences than me.

    Many thanks
    Hari

  2. #2
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    If you're only going to own one lens for a while, 15-85mm is a good zoom range. It should cover most of the applications you mention, and will probably be a little short, but still workable, for shooting subjects (even as large as a horse) 30m away. Since I don't own this lens, I can't provide an accurate real-world assessment of its quality. The only weakness is low light. f3.5 isn't all that wide. However, that probably won't be an issue for the subjects you've mentioned, and at the lens's long end, f3.5 should be enough to blow out the background very nicely. I don't think you'd regret this purchase.

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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Hari,

    Although I do not use Canon, I have had experience with Nikon lenses of similar specifications and I would expect this to be a very useful lens in many, though not all, circumstances. You have a few avenues of research open to you. I notice there is a Flickr group for this lens - you can browse the photos. There are some quite accomplished images there so I think you will have no need of worry that the lens will be able to perform quite well.

    That said, the lens is a non-pro zoom and, with its aperture specifications, it may not be entirely able to fulfill your hopes. A horse at 30m will not fill the frame, even at 85mm on a crop-sensor camera. Further, you will be limited to f/5.6 for your widest aperture at 85 mm and, at a distance of 30m, your depth of field will be huge - over 30m. So, plenty of detail around the horse but your subject will need to be quite far from objects in the background for them to render even moderately blurred - at least another 30m. Depth of field is an effect that does not vary between lenses of equivalent focal length mounted on cameras of equivalent sensor size. You might find it interesting to use the CiC depth of field calculator and play around with some assumptions.

    I certainly do think that, with the exception of your hopes in item #2, a lens such as this will serve you very well for most of the other tasks you have in mind. Lenses of this specification are popular for a reason. With the IS you will be able to go inside at functions and shoot reliably at the longer exposure times necessitated by the small apertures the lens affords. Just remember, IS can do nothing about subject movement. And with the example of your #2 in mind, that's a major reason why the pros pay the big, big bucks for fast, ueber-competent lenses.

    Best,
    Hendrik

  4. #4
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    Please have a look at the canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.
    Yes.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    1. I'm planning to shoot portraits, general walk around snaps, scenaries when I go travelling (such as sprawling grass lands, beaches and mountains and line of buildings and so on), pets(varying shapes and sizes), functions such as weddings(and other ceremonies, but not as a professional and not as paid work).
    1) Yes.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    2. Further, on the tele photo end(in my view, shooting subjects that remain at a distance, some times in motion too, with more clarity and so on), Imagine a horse grazing about 25 - 30 meters away, will it be able to shoot(with the above mentioned lens) with a very good back ground blur and the horse showing good detail, and will it be possible to have more details of the back ground in the snap (less blur for the objects). further, how much will we be able to zoom in on the horse and how much detail can be reproduced. All on the basis of this lens mentioned above. If not all the above requirements of photography are met with, how much will be possible with this lens.(Please explain some thing based on the example below by which I can form a clearer idea)
    2a) At 30mtrs an average sized horse (16 Hands) will take up about one-tenth of the frame when an 85mm lens is on an APS-C Camera.

    2b) Although a subjective comment - even using the lens at F/5.6: for most scenes, the Background will NOT be in “very good background blur”.

    2c) It will be possible to get a lot of the background in much better detail by stopping the lens down to about F/11~16

    2d) You will not be able to zoom in on the horse any more than the answer (2a), above. The lens only goes to 85mm.

    2e)That is what is possible with this lens, for an average sized horse 30 meters away from you: if you want to zoom in closer, then you need a longer lens.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    3.Further, if this lens is not at the suitable one, which other lens of average cost and good specifications for the cost, be the suitable one. ie, which will suit the above needs if not fully, but at least completely with compromises.
    3. With other compromises and less cost something like the:
    • EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
    • EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
    • the pair of EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    4.In your opinion, what all things can be done with this above mentioned lens.
    4. Most walk about and travel images; some low light work; some sports - not fast moving and not low light sports.

    It is a good standard zoom lens with a little more extra reach at the telephoto end, than most.

    It has very good to excellent image quality.

    It is a low/mid priced zoom of reasonable build.

    It will make good images.

    Whether and when you (or others) will see the difference in these images compared to images made with the kit zoom pair or other lenses of better optical quality is another question. For real world shooting, depending upon the shooting scenario - many people cannot tell the difference.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRamesh Ayurveda View Post
    Hope I'm not annoying any of the members posting stupid questions and threads like this. If so I apologize in advance. But being an amateur in the area, I think, its better to learn from the experience of all who have more experiences than me.
    I expect that if people were annoyed they just would not answer. I expect you might judge 'annoyance' by the verve of the responses. You do, however seem to be asking the same questions, but just several different ways, though?

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 25th March 2013 at 01:19 PM.

  5. #5
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    . . .The only weakness is low light. f3.5 isn't all that wide. However, that probably won't be an issue for the subjects you've mentioned, and at the lens's long end, f3.5 should be enough to blow out the background very nicely. I don't think you'd regret this purchase.
    I believe you have made a mistake. At the long end of the lens in question, the Maximum Aperture is F/5.6. Furthermore, we can expect that the maximum aperture of F/5.6, will be reached at around FL = 50mm for that type of zoom lens.

    A reasonable Rule of Thumb to assess (guess) where the SMALLEST maximum aperture of a varying maximum aperture zoom lens become active, is to average the widest and longest Focal Lengths.

    In this example (EF-S 15 to 85 F/3.5~5.6) we want to guesstimate at what Focal Length F/5.6 will be our maximum aperture, we average 15 and 85.
    (15 + 85)/2 = 50.

    Mainly, this post is to explain further why I wrote:
    “2b) Although a subjective comment - even using the lens at F/5.6: for most scenes, the Background will NOT be in “very good background blur”.


    WW

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Fair point, Bill. I should have qualified that statement by stating "as long as the background is reasonably far away." For a horse in a field, I'd imagine that would be the case. For a portrait with the background 3m away, probably not.

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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    Fair point, Bill. I should have qualified that statement by stating "as long as the background is reasonably far away." For a horse in a field, I'd imagine that would be the case. For a portrait with the background 3m away, probably not.
    It's also going to depend on the ratio of the camera-to-subject -v- subject-to-background distances. If the horse and the background are both relatively far away from the camera then it's likely to be in focus. Conversely. if the background behind a model is 3m behind them, but one is shooting from only 1m away, then it'll probably be out of focus.

  8. #8
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It's also going to depend on the ratio of the camera-to-subject -v- subject-to-background distances. If the horse and the background are both relatively far away from the camera then it's likely to be in focus.

    Thanks -
    That's the point I was getting at - but I didn't state it clearly.
    That point and also the fact that the lens will only be capable of F/5.6 from about 50mm to 85mm (and not F/3.5)

    WW

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    Re: Requesting more help and apologizing in advance or any thing stupid asked

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Thanks -
    That's the point I was getting at - but I didn't state it clearly.
    That point and also the fact that the lens will only be capable of F/5.6 from about 50mm to 85mm (and not F/3.5)

    WW
    No worries Bill.

    As I said to Ramesh in a PM - ultimately - these kinds of decisions are always a compromise. With a lens like the one under discussion, it'll be smaller & lighter compared to one with a constant (wider) aperture (and thus cheaper), but the compromise is all of the things associated with a smaller aperture - needing higher ISO for same shutterspeed, or slower shutterspeed with greater chance of camera shake of subject motion - or greater DofF.

    Will be a great day when we have an EF1-10,000mm F0.1L IS USM that is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and only costs $20. Until then we're just going to have to make the best compromise.

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