Archive for the ‘lenses’ Tag

Myths of Photography: Use a Wide Angle Lens for Landscapes   11 comments

Book Cliffs, Colorado.  A landscape image at 310 mm.

Book Cliffs, Colorado. A landscape image shot just this morning at an unconventional focal length of 310 mm.

I’m starting an occasional series on common photography myths and misconceptions.  This one is pretty widespread.  It goes something like this:  “If you want to shoot landscapes, you need to do it with a wide angle lens.”  That’s often extended to “and the wider the better”.  It’s mostly assumed and not stated outright.  But it’s yet another case where good advice is stretched well beyond the original scope and meaning.

When I posted the series Learning Photography, in the part about lenses I recommended that if you’re serious about landscape photography, you really need to get a wide-angle lens.  Does that mean all good landscape photos are done with a wide-angle?  Certainly not!

I know (very good) photographers who shoot almost nothing but wide-angle landscapes, some loving the ultra-wide.  This is what they like, so I’m not knocking them at all!  But even though many of these pictures are amazing, there’s a risk of getting stuck in a rut, with images that begin to all look the same.  Little or no variety means eventual boredom, on the part of the photographer if not their viewers and fans.

Columbia River Basalt, Washington scablands.  Wide but not too wide at  28 mm.

Columbia River Basalt, Washington scablands. Wide but not too wide at 28 mm.

The fact is that landscape photos are simply images of the land (I’m including seascapes).  That’s it.  The only other limitations are what you put there.  And if you accept limits as an artist you’re shortchanging yourself.  I shoot landscapes at every focal length I have.  I’ve even done landscapes with my 600 mm. wildlife lens.

Don’t get me wrong.  I wouldn’t feel good going out to shoot landscapes without a wide-angle lens, one shorter than 35 mm. in focal length.  A sharp zoom lens that covers about 16 mm. to at least 24 mm. is just about perfect for many landscapes.  I love that close, detailed foreground and the sense of depth you can achieve.

Panther Creek Falls, Washington.  Going wide because I was so close to the falls.

Panther Creek Falls, Washington. Going wide at 16 mm. because I was so close to the falls.

Note I am talking about 35 mm. equivalent focal lengths.  If you have a full-frame DSLR, 24 mm. is 24 mm.  If you have a crop-frame with a 1.6 factor, multiply your focal length by 1.6 to get the full-frame equivalent.  In that case a wide-angle zoom of about 11 mm. to 16 mm. would be good for wide landscape shooting.

But if you capture pretty much every landscape with a wide-angle lens, too many photos will include a lot of uninteresting stuff around the periphery of the most interesting part of the composition.  It’s a case of seeing that good photo within the larger average photo.

Many times I’ll start out with a wide-angle but then, bored with the foreground, I’ll switch to a longer lens in order to focus in on an interesting part of the scene.  Tip:  If you’re shooting wide, keep an eye on the light and be ready to quickly switch lenses or zoom in to catch smaller areas when the light falls just right.

For so-called intimate landscapes like the last two images in this post, everything is fairly close to you and elements tend to be evenly weighted in the frame.  Because of this you have to be even more careful about going too wide.  Depending on how close you are, a medium focal length (35-50 mm.) is often best in these cases.

Fall colors in rural Oregon, captured at 200 mm.

Fall colors in rural Oregon, captured at 200 mm.

The fall colors above were captured at a long focal length (200 mm.) mostly because I didn’t want to trespass.  But if I’d bothered to get permission, I would have gotten close and gone wide, to add some depth.  But I like how it turned out.  The river image below was shot at 24 mm.  But I cropped it on the computer, just a little.  I would have used 35 mm. if I had that available at the time.

So there you go!  I hope the accompanying images have convinced you how misguided it is to go out shooting landscapes with the mindset that there’s a ‘proper’ lens and focal length to use.  Happy weekend and happy shooting!

A mossy spring on the Hood River, Oregon.  24 mm., 0.8 sec. @ f/11, ISO 50.

A mossy spring on the Hood River, Oregon. 24 mm., 0.8 sec. @ f/11, ISO 50.

Friday Foto Talk: Sharpness vs. Depth of Field, Part I   15 comments

Good morning Sunshine!  One more shot from my recent trip to Olympic National Park.  I needed maximum depth of field here and so things are not at maximum sharpness for this lens.  Is it enough?  I think so.

Good morning Sunshine! One more shot from my recent trip to Olympic National Park. I needed maximum depth of field here and so things are not at maximum sharpness for this lens.  Is the image sharp enough?

This is a bit of a sore subject with me.  One reason is that it’s one of those things in photography that is a trade-off, a limitation if you will.  When you’re going for either super-deep or super-shallow depth of field, a fall-off in image sharpness can occur.  This is a much bigger deal with the small apertures (big f/number) used to maximize depth of field than it is with large apertures (to throw background out of focus).  It’s also more noticeable with some lenses, and generally speaking the higher quality your lens the less falloff in sharpness.

But there’s another more important reason I’ve avoided this topic on Friday Foto Talk to this point: I think it’s an overdone subject, at least the way it’s discussed on so many photog. forums.  Too many folks obsess too much over the sharpness of a particular lens or lens/camera combination.  In my experience, images that are not as sharp as I would have liked are not the fault of my equipment. They’re my fault!

An example of a shot with foreground so close it is difficult to get everything sharp front to back.

An example of a shot with foreground so close it is difficult to get everything sharp front to back.

The Sweet Spot: Testing your Lenses

You might have heard of this before.  The sweet spot of a lens is that aperture where sharpness is at its peak.  It is generally about two stops above (smaller than) the lens’s maximum aperture.  So for example with a 24-70 mm. f/2.8 lens, the aperture that will yield the sharpest images is about f/5.6 give or take.  Since the sweet spot varies quite a bit by lens, you need to take each lens and experiment to find it.  Once you find it, it’s a good go-to aperture for images where depth of field is not a concern, particularly if you’re printing very large.  But don’t be like so many others and over-emphasize this.  Photography is about making pictures; it’s not a sharpness contest.

If you want to make this a real test, one where you can check your lenses’ real-world sharpness at the same time as finding their sweet spots, you’ll need to pick a day with clear air.  Dawn is usually clearest.  Go up high or out away from pollution, on a mountain or out on the prairie or desert is good.  Hey, you might as well have fun doing this!  Pick a mountain or hill at least a mile away with some good detailed features.  Trees backlighted along a ridge-line are perfect!   You want everything at infinity, and you want details at a variety of sizes.  If you’re testing a long tele lens, heat waves or dust will ruin the test, so a clear day is key.  If you’re testing a macro lens, print out a focus test chart from the internet and set it up carefully (google a tutorial).

A simple shot where it's easy to have everything in focus, thus the choice of f/8 for aperture.

A simple shot where it’s easy to have everything in focus, thus the choice of f/8 for aperture.

Back up on the mountain, put your camera on a tripod and use a shutter release or timer delay, plus mirror lockup if your camera has it.  Put it on aperture priority mode and focus by using Live View and zooming in.  Focus is of course critical.  After you focus, look at the focus indicator on the lens.  That is the point of focus for infinity, a good thing to know for each lens.  (I use this knowledge, for example, to focus for night shots of stars.)  It’s also good to check autofocus while you’re at it.  Just focus using AF then go to Live View and check the focus by zooming in.  If it’s off, you can adjust that on most DSLR cameras.  Check the manual or internet for directions on this.

Farmhouse in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.  Depth of field not a big concern, but shot at f/11 just to make sure.

Farmhouse in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Depth of field not a big concern, but shot at f/11 just to make sure.

 

Now you’re finally ready to shoot.  Start with your lens wide open (max. aperture).  Keep shooting, stopping down one stop with each shot, until you come to the lens’s minimum aperture.  Then view each image on your computer monitor, zooming in to 100% to check sharpness.  Look at a variety of edges, from large shapes to small detail, and narrow it down to two or three to view in compare or survey mode in your software.  Don’t obsess, just make a call.  After you find the sweet spot take another look to see how the sharpness falls off in both directions from that aperture.  Don’t worry if you find some flaws in sharpness, especially if they’re in the corners.  It doesn’t mean your lens isn’t a good one.  This is just telling you its limitations, that’s all.  Always remember that sharpness is a relative thing and certainly not the most important thing in photography.  You’re just gaining information about your lenses, not seeing if you want to sell them!

A full-moon shot from the other night, the low light made me shoot at f/8.  I needed some depth of field here, and not everything has perfect sharpness.  But using my sharpest lens (a Zeiss) plus tripod sure helped.

A full-moon shot from the other night, the low light made me shoot at f/8. I needed some depth of field here, and not everything has perfect sharpness. But using my sharpest lens (a Zeiss) plus tripod sure helped.

You’ll see in your experiment that sharpness starts out pretty good, gets better to a certain point, then falls off (with some lenses quite dramatically) as you go to smaller and smaller apertures.  With every lens I’ve had, sharpness is much worse when the lens is stopped all the way down (minimum aperture) than when it is wide open (maximum aperture).  This is because of diffraction.  As light rays pass through a smaller and smaller opening, they are bent to a greater and greater degree.  Since your lens is the thing that’s supposed to do the bending of light rays, it’s obvious that if the rays also bend when going through the aperture opening then sharpness will be negatively affected.

Same place as previous shot but next morning.  I shot it at f/11 because the trees across the lake are much closer than the mountain.  So I needed good (not great) depth of field.

Same place as previous shot but the next morning. I shot it at f/11 because the trees across the lake were much closer than the mountain. I needed good (but not maximum) depth of field.

With large apertures you’ll probably see the softening coming in more at the edges (and especially the corners) of the image, not at the center.  Who puts their subject in the corner when shooting wide open anyway?  Still, better-quality lenses tend to minimize this.  Controlling diffraction at the small-aperture end, on the other hand, is a lot tougher. Some wide-angle lenses have large, curved front glass elements.  The Nikon 14-24 mm. f/2.8 and a few other ultra-wide-angle lenses account for diffraction at the small end, at least to some degree.  But diffraction is part of the physics of optics, so it cannot be eliminated, only controlled.

So now that we know what we’re dealing with, the question is: how does it affect our photography.  Let’s dive into that topic next Friday.  In the meantime, you have your homework.  Go out and determine where the sweet spot is for each lens in your bag.  Don’t worry if it’s hard to tell the sharpest point, say between f/5.6 and f/8.  If you shoot mainly for a lot of depth of field, write down the smaller aperture (f/8).  If you do a lot of portraits, wildlife and other shallow depth of field stuff, record f/5.6.  See you next time, and happy shooting!

The Willamette Valley.  Though I was not real close to the barn, I shot this at f/11 to keep the background trees in focus and the clouds from going too soft.

The Willamette Valley. Though I was not real close to the barn, I shot this at f/11 to keep the background trees in focus and the clouds from going too soft.

Friday Foto Talk: Tips for Travel Photography, Part I   22 comments

Early morning in Glacier National Park is a good time to spot wildlife such as this moose enjoying the solitude at Two Medicine Lake.

Early morning in Glacier National Park is a good time to spot wildlife such as this moose enjoying the solitude at Two Medicine Lake.  Canon 70-200 mm.lens at 140 mm, 1/100 sec. @ f/11.

Travel is a subject near and dear to my heart.  Years ago I abhorred the idea of traveling to other countries.  Too much hassle, too much waiting around for connections, being at the mercy of other (bad!) drivers.  Besides I had an entire continent to explore here at home.  I was young and impatient.  But now I love to travel, and it goes so well with my love for photography.  I like both road-tripping here in North America and going overseas.  Both are equally enjoyable in their own way.

When traveling it's good to seek out compositions that include locals plus the iconic sights you're visiting, such as here at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

When traveling seek out compositions that include locals plus the iconic sights you’re visiting, such as here at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  Canon 17-40 mm. lens at 17 mm., 1/5 sec. @ f/22, tripod.

It’s the July 4th holiday, our birthday here in the U.S. of A.  It’s a time when people either camp out or stay at home celebrating with good food cooked on the outdoor grill.  Fireworks are booming in my ears right now.  This holiday means that summer vacation time is upon us.  Travel is a part of the plans of many people this time of year.  For me, autumn is my favorite time to travel, though anytime will really do.

So now is a great time to post on travel photography.  This first part will focus on gear and related issues.  The second part (next Friday) will focus on some of the other things I’ve learned about taking pictures while traveling.  I would love if you add in the comments below any tips you have learned during your own travels.

Travel photos are good when they include slice of life images such as this one in Mexico of honey sellers passing the time playing cards.

When traveling try to include slice of life images.  On a Mexico street honey sellers pass the time playing cards.  Canon 24-105 mm. lens at 28 mm., 1/80 sec. @ f/5.6.

GEAR

      • Keep it simple:  Take as much gear to keep you covered for most (but not all) of the situations you might face.  For example, if you’re visiting Paris, Istanbul or other interesting cities, make sure to take a mid-range zoom.  This means something like a 24-70 mm. for a full-frame camera or 17-55 mm. for a crop-frame camera.  If you are going to be traveling to a wildlife haven like Yellowstone or Africa, you will want the longest lens you can get your hands on.  Keep the accessories to a minimum.
      • Lenses:  So once you have the mid-range covered, which is where you will take most of your photos, other lenses depend on what you will be doing.  You need a wide-angle if you are planning landscapes (or tight interiors).  You need a longer zoom or telephoto zoom for wildlife and some other landscapes.  That is 3 lenses.  But consider taking just one (or two – see below) instead.  You can take a wide-range zoom (like the Canon or Nikon 18-200 mm.) to cover nearly any situation you might encounter.  For the high-quality crowd, Canon makes a 28-300 mm. L-class lens, but it does not come cheap.
Architecture is a hard subject to avoid when traveling, so it's key to try creative angles, such as this one taken from inside a colonial building at Xela, Guatemala.

Architecture is a hard subject to avoid when traveling, so try creative angles, such as this one from inside a colonial building at Xela, Guatemala.  Canon 24-105 mm. lens at 67 mm., 1/40 sec. @ f/16

      • Lenses II:  If you will be checking out a lot of cathedrals, museums, etc., take a fast 50 mm. lens.  If your mid-range is fast (f/2.8 or faster) then this might not be necessary.  But if you’re taking a wide-range zoom as mentioned above, a lens that tends to be slow (smaller maximum aperture), a 50 mm. f/1.8 or f/1.4 will really pay off for not much added weight and space.  This will allow you to take pictures in low-light conditions.

What do I do?  I usually take four lenses: a mid-range zoom (24-105), a wide-angle zoom (16-28), a tele-zoom (70-200), and a fast 50 mm.  If shooting wildlife I substitute a longer telephoto lens for either the wide angle or the 50.  I also take a 1.4x tele-extender plus a screw-on close-up lens, flash, filters, tripod…oh and either an extra camera body or a point and shoot.  As you can see I go fairly heavy, but I’m always planning to go lighter next time!

An old wagon at Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, CA.

An old wagon at Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley, California.  Canon EF-S 17-55 mm. lens at 17 mm. 1/200 sec. @ f/11, from a lying position.

      • Which camera?  Decide how serious a photographer you are.  If you’re fairly casual take a fixed-lens point and shoot camera, perhaps a super-zoom.  Today’s superzooms go well past 1000 mm.!  You might also consider a mirrorless camera for travel.  These are sort of mid-way between a point and shoot and a DSLR in terms of quality and size.  Although Panasonic and Olympus pioneered this style of camera (which like DSLRs use interchangeable lenses), the other manufacturers have since begun selling their own.  These compact cameras do amazing quality for their size.  They even capture great video too.  They fall a bit short on handling noise, but you can mitigate that by taking pictures in good light!  I take a DSLR, which is the heaviest option.
      • To Tripod or not:  I would take a tripod, but get a travel model that is just stable enough to handle your gear yet is compact.  Lightweight is not as crucial as compactness.  If you are a serious wildlife photographer or are very serious about your landscapes and low-light photography, a bigger, more solid tripod is necessary.  But for great sunsets and long-exposures of waterfalls, the stars, etc., even a compact tripod will greatly improve your pictures.  If you’re going to be doing mostly city and people shots, a tripod is probably not necessary.
Proof that it's better to be lucky than good: Too cheap to hire a guide, just before sunset I ran into this herd of cape buffalo in Zambia.

Proof that it’s better to be lucky than good: Too cheap to hire a guide, I ran into this herd of cape buffalo in Zambia just before the sun set.  Canon 100-400 mm. lens at 360 mm.  1/50 sec. @ f/5.6, hand-held.

      • Camera Bag:  Take a camera backpack or shoulder bag that is really comfortable.  Test it out.  Don’t get something you heard was great and then use it for the first time on the way to your gate.  Make sure it’s the right size and usable.  Don’t get something so small that it will be stuffed to the gills once it’s loaded.  Best to have a little extra room; it’s easier to use that way.  See below for carry-on size considerations.
      • Integrating with other Luggage:  You can get a camera bag with rollers, a godsend if you have heavy gear.  But if your main luggage case has rollers, it could get awkward.  I like to be able to handle all my bags myself without a cart.  So I go with a rolling backpack for my main luggage and wear my camera pack on my back.  You could do the reverse of course.  I use a little sling bag for my mini-laptop, guidebook, water bottle, snacks, etc.  I like having the backpack option for my main luggage in case I need to schlep everything all at once over rough ground.  I can wear my main luggage on my back while the camera backpack goes on my front  and the sling bag strangles me!  A real beast of burden situation but it works.
While visiting the Redwoods in California, I found it a little hard to get pictures that didn't just look like a bunch of trees.  So I started experimenting with point of view, here placing the camera very low over a huge down log.

While visiting the Redwoods, I found it hard to get shots that didn’t look like just a bunch of trees. So I started experimenting with point of view, here placing the camera very low over a huge down log.  Canon 15 mm. fisheye lens, 1.0 sec. @ f/11.

      • Carry-on Size:  Realize that most of the time, airlines will give you the benefit of the doubt on the size of your carry-on if it doesn’t look big.  (By the way, your camera gear should always always go with you as a carry-on.)  Feel free, if necessary, to buy a bag right up to the limit for carry-on size.  And if it’s under the limit in one dimension, it can generally be a little over in another dimension.  My experience with airlines is they don’t like a big boxy carry-on.  If you get a bag that is relatively slim and/or narrow, it can be several inches longer than their maximum length.
      • Security:  While it is rare, unfortunately your gear is vulnerable to being stolen by those who have gone to the dark side.  Try your best to keep it on your person at all times.  If you must leave it in your room, use either a safe  (if it’s small enough) or get a Pacsafe locking net bag.  These enclose your camera bag and then lock to something permanent with a padlock.  You can get these steel-cored net bags in several sizes.  If your room has a cabinet, put your locked camera bag in there and lock the cabinet with a small travel padlock.  I’ve often left my gear secured in the office, but I always chat up and befriend (i.e. tip) the proprietors first.
It's fun when traveling to visit places from favorite novels, such as here at Cannery Row in Monterey, California.  Hello John Steinbeck!

It’s fun when traveling to visit places from favorite novels, such as here at Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Hello John Steinbeck!  Zeiss 50 mm. f/1.4 lens, 1/200 sec. @ f/11.

      • Security II:  I tend to have more trust in some countries than in others, and it varies a lot within each country.  I trust places with a lot of other tourists the least, since your fellow travelers are definitely potential thieves plus local thieves will target those areas.  I trust Latin America much less than I trust the Buddhist countries of south Asia.  (Not that I think Catholics are more prone to thievery!)  In the U.S., I don’t trust cities as much as rural areas.  It all comes down to common sense of course.  The upshot is theft can happen whether you take precautions or not.  Home-owner’s or renter’s insurance that covers your gear when traveling can be a lifesaver.  I had a policy that paid me $16,000, the value of all my stuff when it was stolen in Nicaragua.

That’s it for this first part.  It gets more fun when we move to actual travel in Part II next Friday.  If you’re interested in any of these images just click on them for pricing options on the high-res. versions.  They are copyrighted and not available for download without my permission.  Please contact me if you have any questions.  Thanks for tuning in to Friday Foto Talk!

The sun goes down on the idyllic island of Roatan in Honduras.

The sun goes down on the idyllic island of Roatan in Honduras.  Canon 70-200 mm. lens at 160 mm., 1/30 sec. @ f/11, hand-held.

Friday Foto Talk: Does the Camera Matter?   5 comments

This shot of the Columbia River in Washington under morning light was made with a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105 f/4L IS lens.

This shot of the Columbia River in Washington under morning light was made with a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-105 f/4L IS lens.

I normally try to stay away from talk of gear.  This is the only day of the week in which I ever blog strictly about photography matters, but even here I stay away from gear reviews and the like.  Last Friday I looked at how water and your camera get along (or not!).  I suppose I dipped my toe into the gear waters when I did that.  So today I’m going to go in a little deeper.  But don’t worry, I’m not about to sell out.  I’ll keep it gear-neutral, and you won’t see any cheerleading.

I’ve been a Canon user since I switched to digital.  Nothing against Nikon, Sony, etc. of course.  I simply looked at the lens lineup, cost of a good camera to begin with, and went for it.  It happened that Canon’s 5D Mark II was the best value at the time I was purchasing, and Canon’s lens choice seemed a tad better than Nikon’s.  I shot Nikon film cameras, and could easily switch if a compelling reason came up.

Phantom Ship is a rock island sticking up in one corner of Oregon's Crater Lake.

Phantom Ship is a rock island sticking up in one corner of Oregon’s Crater Lake.

After I purchased the 5D Mark II I did not want to spend a lot more right away.  So I bought a Sigma lens with it, then a couple cheaper Canon lenses.  I wasn’t happy with the quality, in general.  So it wasn’t long before I took the plunge and bought a few Canon L lenses.  I also bought a Canon 50D as a backup, then a zoom lens that is specific to that camera type (crop-frame).

Through all this, I learned one important lesson: Next to the photographer and subject/light, the lens (not the camera) makes the most difference to the quality of image you get.  The camera does matter, don’t get me wrong.  I used a super-zoom point and shoot camera for some years when I was not seriously into photography.  Although the colors were okay, the images tended to be plagued by digital noise.  Noise tends to reduce clarity and make colors look unnatural.  Essentially, noise can ruin an image.  In general, the more expensive the camera, and the larger its sensor, the better it handles noise.

A viewing platform hanging over the lip of Multnomah Falls in Oregon is not for those afraid of heights.

A viewing platform hanging over the lip of Multnomah Falls in Oregon is not for those afraid of heights.

There are plenty of other reasons to get a nicer camera.  Ergonomics is important.  The way the camera feels in your hands and how easy it is to reach and naturally operate the controls is a factor, but depending on how outside the norm the size of your hands are, it’s my experience that you get used to whatever you use.  More important for me is a viewfinder that you can put your eye up to.  I have a point and shoot and use it when I’m in situations where the only camera I want to have needs to fit into my pocket.  This little camera (a Canon S95) handles noise amazingly well for its small sensor size, but I will never like using a screen to take a picture.  I just can’t compose as well.

A great pyrenees (Pyrenean mountain dog) appears to be having trouble staying awake.

A great pyrenees (Pyrenean mountain dog) appears to be having trouble staying awake.

One reason I don’t think is a good one to consider when shopping for a camera is the brand’s “cachet” or name recognition.  Nobody wants to admit they pay attention to this kind of stuff, but deep down we all know we do.  When I’m around other photographers, I’ve noticed other Canon shooters are more likely to strike up a conversation with me than are folks with other brands.  Silly huh?  I know one thing for sure.  If I had the money to go out and buy a Canon 1Dx, or a Nikon D4 (the two full-pro models), I might feel pretty cool around most other photographers.  But there will come that moment when somebody with a Hasselblad H5D (40K) or a similarly priced Leica S with fancy lens will show up.  Then what do you do?  It’s keeping up with the Joneses, a game you can’t win.

A red-winged blackbird sings in an eastern Oregon marsh.

A red-winged blackbird sings in an eastern Oregon marsh.

So back to the question: does the camera matter?  The short answer is yes but not as much as most think.  Glass (lenses) is always more important to the quality of your images, as is your overall skill and comfort with the camera.  The best camera is the one you have with you when you are presented with perfect light and subject.  This is an old truism that will always hold.

All of that said, today I have on the way a brand new Canon 5D Mark III.  I pulled the trigger yesterday and took advantage of a free one-day shipping offer.  It will replace my beloved 5D Mark II, which took a bad fall and bath last week.  That camera is at Canon’s repair, and will be fixed, but not cheaply!  Now I have 3 DSLRs and need to sell one.  My previous backup, the 50D, might be the one to go.  But that camera has given me nothing but sterling service for 3 years and is still going strong.  I might instead sell the 5D Mark II.  I’m not really sure.

Fairy Falls in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge appears to glow in sunlight diffused by the deep forest.

Fairy Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge appears to glow in sunlight diffused by the deep forest.  This was captured with my Canon 5D Mark II and Tokina 16-28 mm. f/2.8 wide-angle zoom.

The Mark II is a full-frame camera with video while the 50D is a crop-frame without video.  The Mark II is a 21 MP camera while the 50D is a 15 MP camera.  But you have more reach with a crop-frame (it basically gives you extra zoom capability), nice to have when your main camera (in my case a 5D Mark III) is a full-frame.  I think most people would sell the crop-frame and keep the Mark II as a backup.  But for me it isn’t so simple and I haven’t made up my mind yet.  So feel free to give me your opinion if you have one.  Let me know if you are in the market and are interested in either camera.  Maybe you can help me make up my mind.

Have fun shooting!  I’ll post pictures from my new camera soon.

This image of a fisherman beneath Crown Point in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge was captured with my Canon 50D plus Canon EF-S 17-55 mm. f/2.8 IS lens.  Not bad for a backup!

This image of a fisherman beneath Crown Point in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge was captured with my Canon 50D + Canon EF-S 17-55 mm. f/2.8 IS lens. Not bad for a backup!

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