With some of my fairly modest inheritance, I decided to splurge on a big upgrade in my digital camera.
I debated for a while on what to get and finally decided on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. I saw two appealing options for the included lens: an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens or an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM. I decided to get the camera with the 24-105mm lens because the longest lens I previously had was an older 28-80mm that came with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000, and I wanted the experience of greater focal length.
I also bought an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM which I chose because I hadn’t used a wide angle lens before.
I tried out both lenses right away, but I initially spent more time with the wide angle lens because it was an entirely new experience for me.
Not surprisingly, some of the first photos I took were out our apartment windows. I really like the additional skyline I get with the wide angle. (Clicking on any image will open a gallery)
Soon after, I took a walk around the neighborhood. As nice as the skyline photos turned out, I see more use–at least at home–for the wide angle lens for street photos. I am able to get up closer to subjects and still get the full view. I was pretty much right on top of some of the things I took pictures of along the sidewalk.
I also found using the wide angle lens for taking pictures of buildings helpful for being able to include as much as the subject as I wanted. However, at the wider end, the perspectives of the buildings were skewed, and I had to work on correcting them in Lightroom. After the first photo walk, I realized I have a lot to learn about how to best use a wide angle lens and how to take advantage of the distortions rather than see them as something that needs to be fixed.
I also needed to perform perspective correction on some of the photos I took along the Schuylkill Banks, but I enjoy the results.
One of my favorite photos is of the clock outside our building because it gives the scope of the whole intersection. I have taken this shot before with both my Minolta XE and my Diana F+ so it’s interesting and instructive to see the differences. Not only is the wider scene evident, but it’s also fascinating to see how the wide angle lens affects the compression. The buildings behind the clock look much farther back.
With the 17-40mm lens (at 17mm):
With the Minolta XE:
With the Diana F+:
Finally, one of the nice aspects of the 17-40mm is that at the more narrow range, I didn’t get the same perspective distortion and can use it for more standard shooting. These were taking at 32mm.
I clearly need to learn more about wide angle photography and get more practice, but I am happy with my decision to get the 17-40mm lens as one of my first lenses for the Canon Mark IV. And I am definitely happy with the quality of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and look forward to taking many, many more photos.
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