21 July 2022

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm L Lens - Constantia Cape Town

Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town
 Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens (and Canon Extension Tube)
During this morning's training we ‘focussed’ on larger apertures photographing wild flowers in the morning sun. The sun may have been a little high (bright / over-exposing areas of the flowers) for this type of photography training (but, we had to get through some aperture theory first).

While my client was experimenting with various larger apertures I took quick advantage of the time / light to take a couple of snapshots with my setup.

Advantage of an Extension Tube:
It reduced the minimum focus distance (MFD) between the lens and the subject. Not to be confused with a close-up lens filter. The close-up filter also functions with the Autofocus / other electronics of the camera and lens / paring. I personally find the extension tube to be more effective for this type of photography (and easier to use) than the lens close-up filter (with more of a objective to act as n pseudo macro lens).

It can take a while to become comfortable using an extension tube / or close-up lens filter ito distance and what apertures to use.

It can be a very cost-effective addition for ‘close-up’ work in reasonable light. It is much cheaper to use an extension tube that to purchase a macro lens, especially if you’re only going yo use a macro lens a few times a year.

Advantage of using a Full Frame camera for Flower Photography:
Due to its larger sensor compered to the APS-C (crop) sensor it captures more light and provides more background blur. The quality of the background blur (bokeh) should also render superior results than an APS-C (crop) sensor - depending on the lens used.

An APS-C (crop sensor) could have its own advantages of creating more magnification (as my client experimented with). This will depend on the (quality / focal length) of the lens used.

Apertures used with the attached flowers
  • Image 1 = f/5.6
  • Image 2 = f/11
  • Image 3 = f/5.6
  • Image 4 = f/5.6
  • Image 5 = f/8
  • Image 6 = f/9
  • Image 7 = f/6.5

Canon Equipment Used
  • Canon EOS 6D (Full Frame body)
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens
  • Canon Extension Tune EF 25 II
  • Lens IS / Handheld

See image of Canon Gear after the flower images

Minor corrections / cropping using Adobe Lightroom

All images © Vernon Chalmers (Constantia, Cape Town)

Last image was photographed at Paddocks, Milnerton

Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town
Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens and Extension Tube
 Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens and Extension Tube
 Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town

Wild flowers with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens and Extension Tube
 Canon Photography Flower Training Constantia, Cape Town

Wild flower Paddocks with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm lens and Extension Tube
 Canon Photography : Wild Flower Paddocks, Milnerton

Bee on Wild Flower Arnhem Milnerton
Canon Photography : Bee on Wild Flower Arnhem Milnerton

Canon Camera used for Constantia, Cape Town and Paddocks, Milnerton Wild Flowers

Canon EOS 6D (with Extension Tube) used for Constantia and Paddocks, Milnerton Wild Flowers
Canon EOS 6D (with Extension Tube) used for Close-Up Wild Flowers

Canon EOS / Canon EOS R / Powershot Photography Training Milnerton Woodbridge Island | Kirstenbosch Cape Town | Across the Cape Peninsula

All Images Copyright / Intellectual Property of Vernon Chalmers More Information >>

20 July 2022

Purple heron at the Pond - The Paddocks Shopping Centre

Purple Heron : Paddocks Milnerton, Cape Town

Purple heron  at the Pond - Paddocks Shopping Centre
Purple heron getting ready to fly

Purple Heron
Over the weekend I made reference to a purple heron in flight on the Birdlife South Africa Facebook Group (in flight – against the backdrop of Table Mountain) that they rather keep to themselves. Over the years I have had few opportunities to see them close-up and always ended up photographing them in flight.

I’ve never seen a purple heron not in flight – here we have a purple heron next to a small pond close to The Paddocks Shopping Centre in Millerton (about 5 km’s from where I see / photograph them overhead at Woodbridge Island).

This was a long-range record shot with a 'close-up' camera kit predominantly setup for flower photography, but was pleased to see the heron next to the pond – also concerned that they venture into busy suburban (traffic / people) areas. At least the small park is fairly well maintained.

The Paddocks Milnerton Bird Species Index >>

Canon Kit Used:
  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L ISM USM Lens (Just managed to remove the extension tube in time)

Exposure Settings:
  • Av Mode
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/400s
  • Focal length: 300mm

© Vernon Chalmers Photography

11 July 2022

Client Assistance when Purchasing / Replacing Camera Equipment

For Clients in Cape Town / Cape Peninsula / Rest of SA/  Around the World

Client Assistance when Purchasing / Replacing Canon Camera Equipment

Assistance when Purchasing / Replacing Canon Camera Equipment
It could be quite a daunting exercise to decide on replacing a current Canon body and / or EF / EF-S (or compatible) lenses with either another EOS APS-C (Crop) or Full Frame body (or lenses) - or change your entire EOS System to an EOS R Mirrorless body and RF lens System (while retaining some older lenses). There are also a few in-between options.

The objective is to assist the photographer to inform him or her on my recommendations / thoughts on various options and combinations that could potentially function best with current and future photography requirements.

Please note that any of my photography training clients (from over the past 10 years) are welcome to WhatsApp me free of any charges on the following WhatsApp Number should you require any advice and or recommendation(s) on your camera equipment.

I may not always be immediately available to answer your question(s) or respond to your request(s), but will do so as soon as I am available. I will make contract with you for discussing your specific questions, requests and / or concerns.

Please note that I do not sell any new or used Canon equipment (on behalf of anyone else) and do not make any specific recommendations on any retailers where you should purchase / sell / trade-in your Canon equipment (or compatible accessories).

Attached Image: Swift tern above the Diep River / Woodbridge Island (© Vernon Chalmers)

09 July 2022

Brief Interpretation: Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright / Intellectual Property wrt Photography Images
Vernon Chalmers Photography Image Copyright / Intellectual Property
Vernon Chalmers Photography Image Copyright / Intellectual Property

Vernon Chalmers Photography Image Copyright / Intellectual Property

No Vernon Chalmers Photography image may be used on any on / and or offline media except for the following two conditions:

1. Commercial / Non-Commercial Image Licencing
The only companies currently allowed to use Vernon Chalmers Photography images for their promotional purposes (on any of their own media / stakeholder media) are Canon South Africa and National Geographic.

2. Requests for image use (with Copyright still retained by Vernon Chalmers Photography)
From time to time I do consider requests for the use of Vernon Chalmers Photography images (with required copyright identification) for non-commercial purposes. This is only granted to my own photography (training) clients for non-commercial projects that is also supported by me.

Vernon Chalmers Photography images Shared on Facebook (other online platforms)
Sharing of images ‘as is’ in its default / embedded format publication on i.e. Facebook is allowed. No Vernon Chalmers Photography image may be cut / extracted / removed (and used elsewhere) for personal or commercial use from the default sharing format as provided by Meta / Facebook.

Crediting of Vernon Chalmers Photography Images
Crediting a Vernon Chalmers / Vernon Chalmers Photography image on any on and / offline publication does not constitute the right to publish / use any Vernon Chalmers Photography image - except where written permission was explicitly granted (and on record).

Legal Consequences   
Using any Vernon Chalmers Photography image without written permission / consent is illegal and will be brought to my legal representation’s immediate attention for Copyright and Intellectual Property infringement(s).  

Copyright / Intellectual Property Policy Index:
  • Summary
  • Copyright / Intellectual Property Protection
  • Drawing, Tracing and Sketching
  • Image Locations
  • Image Copyright and Media / Press Releases
  • Images for Canon South Africa
  • Crediting of Vernon Chalmers Photography Images
  • Images not For Sale
  • Sharing images on Social Media
  • Using images without permission
  • Contact Vernon Chalmers

© Symbol Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

07 July 2022

Update on Copyright and Intellectual Property Law

Update on Vernon Chalmers Copyright and Intellectual Property Law Interpretations
Copyright and Intellectual Property Right Services
Copyright and Intellectual Property Right Services

Copyright and Intellectual Property Law Modules to be added to Vernon Chalmers Photography Training Workshops 

I am in the process of considering / communicating with an internationally recognised and leading African law firm who specialises in Copyright / Intellectual Property Law, not only for representing me (as a photographer), but if required will also offer appropriate legal / litigation services to my photography training clients (when any of their images are used without permission or consent).

Furthermore, all future Vernon Chalmers Photography Training group workshops (not one-on-one private training) will have an integrated Copyright and Intellectual Property module facilitated by Copyright / Intellectual Property legal practitioners from this law firm to facilitate image Copyright and Intellectual Property law to delegates.

In my one-on-on private training I will facilitate Copyright and / or Intellectual Property fundamentals and concerns to the point where professional legal assistance is required. If required, a designated legal advisor /  practitioner will be available to assist the photographer with possible litigation et al.

Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers

© Symbol Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

06 July 2022

Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers

Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights for Photographers
Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers
Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Warning

Copyright Infringement : Using Images Without Permission

It is every photographer's responsibility to be vigilant in terms of images being used without permission and to take the necessary steps to manage / report copyright infringement(s) to the appropriate on and / or offline establishments / advertisers / legal authorities.

An overview of intellectual property, copyright infringement(s) and litigation possibilities are discussed at every photography training session I facilitate in Milnerton / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (or elsewhere).

Below are links to posts I have made here on the Vernon Chalmers Photography website of advertisers / establishments / institutions / websites using Vernon Chalmers Photography images without permission and / or prior arrangements.

The latest Vernon Chalmers Photography image used Without Permission is the Wet and Dusty Roads website.

Copyright Infringement Article Mail and Guardian

No Copyright Notice. No Excuse. Article Adams and Adams (Legal Services South Africa)

How to Copyright Your Work. Article Adams and Adams (Legal Services South Africa) 

South Africa Copyright Act as Published in the Government Gasette: PDF Download www.gov.za

Other local / international websites (mainly accommodation, travelling / tourism and advertising) using / used  a Vernon Chalmers Photography image without permission (links to posts on this website)

Original Posts are on my Vernon Chalmers Photography website (and I'm in the process of taking the necessary steps with all relevant parties)

Example Copyright Infringement

Attached Image
: As used / amended by the Airbnb establishment

<<Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission: Bright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island / Table Mountain Image Without Permission

It came to my attention that Bright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island at www.airbnb.com is using a Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town copyright image without permission.

When visiting theBright Beachside En-suite on Woodbridge Island website the Vernon Chalmers Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town image is located on the View Photos section listed on the main image on the the www.airbnb.com website.

This is the Woodbridge Island image that was taken by Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island without permission from a Vernon Chalmers website in Cape Town, South Africa. >>

www.vernonchalmers.photography/2018/03/bright-beachside-on-woodbridge-island.html

Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers: Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission
Copyright Infringement Warning: Bright Beachside on Woodbridge Island Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy View

Latest Vernon Chalmers Photography Image Without Permission - Wet and Dusty Roads

© Symbol Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

05 July 2022

Wet and Dusty Roads Using an Image Without Permission

Copyright Infringement : Vernon Chalmers Image Used Without Permission 
Copyright Infringement: Wet and Dusty Roads website using a Vernon Chalmers Grey Heron Image Without Permission
Wet and Dusty Roads website using a Vernon Chalmers Photography Grey Heron Image Without Permission

Photography Copyright Infringement

Wet and Dusty Roads : Camino Stories & Other Journeys (Using an image without permission)

It came to my attention that the Wet and Dusty Roads website at www.wetanddustyroads.com is using a Vernon Chalmers Grey Heron image captured at Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town without permission.

When visiting the Wet and Dusty Roads website the Vernon Chalmers Grey Heron image photographed at Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town image is located on the following
URL: https://wetanddustyroads.com/2022/06/09/langebaan-to-east-london

Wet and Dusty Roads Website Using a Vernon Chalmers Image Without Permission
Wet and Dusty Roads Website Using an Image Without Permission

Grey Heron at Woodbridge Island Milnerton, Cape Town Used by the Wet and Dusty Roads Website Without the Permission / Knowledge of the Photographer (Vernon Chalmers)

Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy
Vernon Chalmers Photography Copyright Policy

Copyright Infringement Warning to Cape Town Photographers

© Symbol Image: Copyright Free from Pixabay

01 July 2022

Using Auto-ISO for Fast Birds in Flight Photography

Canon ISO Settings for Fast  / Small Birds In Flight Photography

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight / Fast Action Photography

Record shots: Pied Kingfisher in flight  : Over the Diep River / Woodbridge Island

I am continuously researching the application of Auto-ISO in Birds in Flight photography and would like to share a few images captured with the Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - demonstrating the modern DSLR's ability for making ISO changes (when Auto-ISO is enabled).

Note: My own field study is based on the relationship between BIF photography (high shutter speed action shooting / continuous AF tracking) and the modern DSLR's Auto-ISO function and will not (necessarily) apply for static subjects (i.e. perched birds) - although, I use the same settings when shooting perched birds (when out doing Birds in Flight photography in good light).

The Canon EOS 70D (APS-C / crop body) is not really recognized as a Canon-recommended high-end body (in the same way as the EOS 7D Mark II (2014) and higher were at the time of Canon's 2013 Auto-ISO publication) for shooting Auto-ISO in Manual and the Semi-Auto Modes (Av = Aperture Priority / Tv = Shutter Priority Modes).

Nevertheless, I went out with the EOS 70D on Auto-ISO for testing / demonstrating the typical enthusiast camera's ability for auto-adjusting ISO's in a low-light and fast-changing background shooting environment.

Auto-ISO is an auto-application that is by far quicker than what I would have achieved with any fix ISO’s when other exposure objectives / settings are (i) a fix Aperture and (ii) a fix Shutter Speed in Manual Mode.

I keep a close eye on about every Auto-ISO reading in the viewfinder before pressing the shutter, but generally it is very effective – or at least acceptable for editing in post-processing later (even in inclement weather and fast-changing backgrounds).

Each of the 4 consecutive frames exposed at different ISO's as the small / erratic bird moved quickly against a lighter to a darker background:

Image 1
 ISO 1000
Image 2 ISO 1600
Image 3 ISO 2000
Image 4 ISO 2500

Canon Gear

  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens

Exposure Settings

  • Manual Mode
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • ISO: Auto ISO (1000 - 2500)
  • Shutter Speed:1/5000s

Autofocus (AF) Settings
  • AI Servo
  • Continuous Shooting: 7 fps
  • Zone Selection
  • Handheld

Focal Length
: 300mm

Lightroom 6 Post-Processing
Minimal post-processing (+- 50% crop / slight exposure correction / lens profile correction)

Cape Town Location
Pied Kingfisher at the Pump Station Diep River / Woodbridge Island

Shooting Conditions
Low-light / overcast conditions

Poor light and Canon RF fix / small aperture long lenses may want the developing photographer to experiment more. Using i.e. the Canon RF 600 f/11 IS STM lens  /  Canon RF 800 f/11 IS STM lens in poor light (using Auto-ISO) may render somewhat unacceptable high ISO's for bigger / darker birds (depending on the background). Even with the latest EOS R Full Frame cameras the ISO's may be too high to properly correct in post-processing. Just something to keep in mind. I use a fix ISO for these small aperture lenses (as said example above) - by using a fix ISO 640 the in0flight results were acceptable. For apertures between i.e. f/4 - f/6.3 (whatever the weather) I use Auto-ISO (in Manual Mode - and try and keep (tweak) an average Shutter Speed of between 1/2500 - 1/3200 for fast(er) birds (irrespective of the light). Again: all will depend on body / lens / conditions / subjects.

Findings
A significant finding is the rapid change in ISO 1000 to 2500 (between the 4 continuous frames) as the camera is attempting an ideal exposure.

There are interesting observations (even from the attached record shots why the Auto-ISO moves from ISO 1000 to ISO 2500 in such rapid succession).

Conclusion
From this stage about 8 years ago I always use Auto-ISO for most of my Birds in Flight photography (also reading extensively about the manufacturer's reasoning and motivation for using Auto-ISO for high-speed action such as Birds in Flight). Some of the only exceptions were while testing the fix aperture (f11) Canon RF 600 / RF 800mm lenses in inclement weather (while evaluating the Canon R6 for Canon SA for Birds in Flight photography)

© Vernon Chalmers Photography

(Click to Enlarge)
Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 1: ISO 1000 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image: ISO 1600 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 3: ISO 2000 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (Canon EOS 70D)

Auto ISO Study for Birds in Flight Photography
Image 4: ISO 2500 - Auto-ISO for Birds in Flight Photography (canon EOS 70D)

Low Light / High ISO Shooting Canon EOS 7D Mark II Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
In an effort to reduce the minimum focus distance (MFD) of my 400mm lens (3.5 meter) I ordered a Canon 500D 77mm close-up lens filter. This is mainly to eliminate the carrying of a second body with macro lens when out in the field with the long lens (for Birds in Flight). The 400mm works well for close-up work from a distance, but I wanted a closer focusing option (with more magnification).

Canon 10-400mm Lens with Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter >>

Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter Challenges

With the close-up lens filter the MFD is now an effective 40 - 50mm (compared to 3.5 meter) - which brings some challenges (specific to the 400mm non-IS lens):

  • Narrow depth of field (require smaller apertures to counter this)
  • Best useful f/stops are now f/22 - f/32
  • Requires good light or flash
  • With no IS extra stability is required (tripod) / or faster shutter speed

What I like so far:

  • Autofocus works well in good light
  • Manual focus with flash works well on tripod
  • Satisfied with the extreme close-up image quality
  • Quality of the bokeh (blurred out of focus areas)

This specific combination (crop with 400mm lens) should work beter on a full frame body (as it is minus the 1.6 crop factor) with a 70-300mm lens (as recommended by Canon). There is no point in using the Canon 500D close-up lens filter on the EOS 6D / 400mm lens as I want to be able to use it in the field (Canon EOS 7D Mark II) without removing any lenses. But, I will test it later with my Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens on APS-C (EOS 70D) and Full Frame (Canon EOS 6D).

First three images: Handheld, outside in good light and AF with manual exposure settings as I would capture Birds in Flight - ISO during the outside light testing was limited to ISO 1600.

Last image: On tripod with Speedlite 430 EX II (bounced) flash: ISO 400 (Av Mode).

All images are uncropped and processed in Lightroom 6 with some exposure, contrast and a few other adjustments.

Body / Lens used: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.5L USM Lens f/32 / ISO 400 - 1600 1/250 - 1/5000s.


Location: Milnerton, Cape Town
(Click to Enlarge)
Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens - Bee on Flower f/32 / ISO 3200

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up LensDaisy flower  (Handheld) f/32 / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Small Daisy Flower (Handheld) f/32 / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up LensTiny Grass Flower (Handheld) f/32  / ISO 1600

Close-Up Photography: Testing the Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Filter
Canon 500D 77mm Close-Up Lens Inside a Pincushion Flower  f/32 / ISO 400 (Speedlite Flash / Tripod

Glorious Bird Photography Morning | Table Bay Nature Reserve

African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Spoonbill Table Bay Nature Reserve
Another glorious morning along the Diep River, Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island . This morning I was greeted by the black-headed heron, the Cape spurfowls, quite a few grey herons, yellow-billed ducks, Egyptian geese and an African spoonbill or two.

A Cape bulbul poked his head out from the reeds and I had an opportunity to see the Cape teal ducks and yellow-billed ducks frolicking in the early morning sun.

Birds of the morning:
  • Afican spoonbill
  • Little egret in flight
  • Cape teal duck in flight
  • African sacred ibis
  • Pied crow
  • Perched Cape bulbul

Cape Town Location
Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island, Milnerton

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II Body
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode: Auto-ISO: 160 - 1000
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/1000 - 1/3200
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.4: Cropping. Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction


Little Egret in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Little Egret in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Cape Teal Duck in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

African Sacred Ibis Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
African Sacred Ibis in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Egyptian Goose in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Egyptian Goose in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Pied Crow in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Pied Crow in Flight Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Perched Cape Bulbul Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island Vernon Chalmers Photography
Perched Cape Bulbul Table Bay Nature Reserve Woodbridge Island

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View

Bird Species Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM 'Nifty Fifty' Lens 

The humble 50mm f/1.8 lens "Nifty Fifty"
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens

Almost all delegates and clients attending my photography training will have a 50mm lens in their camera bags. A 50mm lens is often bundled when a new entry-level DSLR camera is purchased.

Many photographers never use them as the fixed focal length (50mm) is a perceived challenge compared to the 18-55mm / 18-135mm / 24-70mm / 24-105mm focal length lenses.

One key specifications of these lenses is the fact that it offers a super-wide aperture of f/1.8 and it can be used up to f/22. Most of these consumer 50mm lenses are very sharp ito image quality across the aperture range.

All Canon 50mm lenses are compatible with both Full Frame and APS-C (Crop) bodies and will be effective in low light between f/1,8 - f/5.6).

The lens focal lenght is useful for people and animal portraits, close-up flowers and some narrower landscapes.

Various brands of consumer 50mm lenses (as cheap as +- R1 850) should be available for Canon / Nikon mount.

Herewith some examples: The first image images are from my workshop demonstration series and will show the lens used at f/1.8 / f/5.6 / f/16. Body Use Canon EOS 70D (APS-C). 50mm lens used: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. Full series of images are available here.

On the crop body the lens becomes an effective 80mm lens. The focal length of lens is still 50mm, but the crop sensor provides for am 1.6x magnification. Hence the 80mm (1.6 x 50mm). Exif data in post processing will still show 50mm.

The Depth of Field (background blurriness effect) will become less and less shallow as the aperture is adjusted from i.e. f/1.8 to f/16. Most 50mm lenses will produce a very shallow depth of field between f/1,8 and f/5.6. Note: f/1.8 is not always the most effective aperture to use - it will depend on the area(s) the photographer want in focus.

The f/1.8 to f/5.6 range provides a very effective background blur (depending on distances between photographer, subject and background).

The fourth image was captured with the full frame Canon EOS 6D in rainy / poor light conditions at f/1.8. 50mm lens used: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM,

The last image was captured with crop body EOS 700D and the older EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens at f/5.6 and quite a large crop from the original image).


Aperture testing with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Aperture testing with Canon EOS 70D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens

Aperture testing with Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Aperture testing with Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens

Aperture testing with Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens
Aperture testing with Canon EOS 700D / EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens

Close-Up Photography: Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm STM Lens View

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Hair Fashion

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens for Portrait and Fashion Photography

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action

'A cost-effective small prime lens with lots of potential' - Vernon Chalmers

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens 
At first I didn't consider the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime / consumer lens as an option while planning for the 2015 Partners Hair Design Training Academy Graduation / Fashion Show in Cape Town.

Prime sharpness

My initial thoughts were that the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM prime lens may be a tad short for this close-up hair fashion shooting application, but as a fast, sharp and small non-zoom lens it could just be good enough for the catwalk (if I could move with the action). With all the confidence in the world I paired it with the EOS 70D; using the EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens on the Canon EOS 6D for the group / wider angle shots.

Just love 85mm... after shooting with 400mm for months
Great value and sharpness for a consumer lens and I am sure there are a few similar priced Sigma and or Tamron 85mm lenses that could possibly do the same job. If you're prepared to learn how to zoom with your feet the 85mm focal length could work well on full frame / crops bodies (85mm on full frame vs 136mm on APS-C / crop when considering the crop factor of 1.6).

Hair-raising action photography
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
The main goal of covering the event was an all-round documentation of the show, guests, graduates and hair models. The biggest challenge was to shoot the extravagant hair designs with the 85mm lens on the crop-sensor Canon EOS 70D. Throughout the rehearsal I realized that it could be done as long as I move close enough with the models.

First image below is non-flash / non-action, but the others are all faster action walking / panning with the models (bounced flash). The last shot was captured during the rehearsal - no flash.

I did not really feel the need to use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II as I trusted the EOS 70D's AF and AI Servo to deliver within the same image quality parameters.

All Canon Equipment Used (during the show)

  • Canon EOS 6D
  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Usm lens
  • Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash
  • Canon Speedlite 270EX II flash

Canon EOS 70D / Lens Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s 
  • Aperture: f/4
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Focal length 85mm (Canon prime lens)
  • Single Shot shooting / AI Servo Mode
  • Single-Point Autofocus / Lens AF on

(Click To Enlarge)
Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 400)

Canon EF 85mm f1/8 USM Lens For Hair Fashion Action
Canon EOS 70D  / EF 85mm f/1.8 USM prime Lens (f/4  ISO 100)

© Vernon Chalmers for Partners Hair Design Training Academy Cape Town

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Reviews

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