If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough Photographer Robert Capa
Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view. I’ve created these images a little larger so that you can see more detail.
One of the most important criteria when I recently selected my new DSLR camera model was size – in that I wanted a small – and light – one. I want to be able to carry a decently capable camera and yet walk as lightly as possible.
I realise that, to a large degree, it rather defeats the object to choose a DSLR and then not want to change lenses, but to me, traveling light, coupled with decent image quality and speed and smoothness of reaction are my main criteria at the moment.
So I’ve been considering what equipment to take away with me on holiday next week, to give myself a good working set up, yet not increase the gear I carry. There are perhaps three main scenarios I like to photograph; landscapes, close ups and zoomed shots of things like wildlife that is distant from me. On most walks, the first two are the most likely to crop up and I was perhaps prepared to forego the third category in my desire to reduce weight – as a decent zoom lens would weigh as much as the camera – and I will still have my bridge camera with 720mm equivalent zoom lens.
I did actually decide to buy the 18-55mm kit lens that has been made available with the camera – not something I’ve done before, but it had several features I rated highly; such as image stabilisation, 10″ minimum focus distance, silent focusing and zooming, along with no external movement when you focus. It seemed to be well reviewed everywhere I looked and didn’t add a huge amount price-wise to the camera body – and certainly a lot less than buying it independently. It also has a plastic chassis making it very light and consequently pairs beautifully with the light body. I’ve only had it a week and like it very much – it focuses very fast and accurately and I’m pretty happy with the image quality.
The zoom range of the kit lens covers most ‘scenic’ shots I’m likely to take, so I wanted to see how it would fair at close ups (a reason for me to value the 10″ minimum focus) and have given some thought to how to get the best of my set up with minimal additional equipment. So I’ve been tinkering with extension tubes which reduce the minimum focus distance, thereby allowing you to get that bit closer to your subject, thereby making it larger in the resulting image.
Then I looked at diffusers to allow me to use the camera’s on-board flash and after a bit of trial and error with on-line tutorials have made two different ones that both seem to work surprisingly well – one or other has been used in all of the photos on this page.
So I thought I’d share the results with you. The weather hasn’t been very good over the last few days, when the sun has come out briefly, it has been accompanied by a stiff breeze, which isn’t conducive to establishing good focus on little things, no matter how fast your lens can focus. I’m pretty happy with the results considering that I can use things that I already have, weigh a few grams and I didn’t spend any more pennies. All of these images were taken with the Canon 100D DSLR with 18-55mm IS STM kit lens and one extension tube (either 13mm or 22mm) and the on-board camera flash.
I’ve put the remaining images into a gallery and the images now all open in a simple pop-up ‘lightbox’. If you want to view them all in sequence, simply start with the first one and scroll through them using the left/right arrows at the edges.