Best Types of Canon Lenses

Best Types of Canon Lenses for each type of photography

In this blog post,  I will quickly go through the best types of Canon lenses for the most popular types of photography and suggest some great lenses for each. As we know, every lens is a compromise to a greater or lesser degree. The most generalist lenses – kit lenses for example may be OK at most styles, but they won’t excel at any of them. Because cost has been an important factor, the image quality will not compete with specialist lenses – or the Canon L lenses – and because they are zooms and cover a wide focal range, the variable apertures will not allow for very shallow depths of field. Let’s take a look at some good Canon Lenses for landscape photography first.

Landscape Lenses

Landscape photography is not just about getting a perfect image of a scene and making sure that it is sharp and well exposed. Successful landscape photography evokes a sense of time, place and includes an element human interaction – even if the interaction is the effect it has on the viewer. In a way, it is a chance for the photographer to pay homage to the world around us – natural or man made. Given so much width and depth available in the frame, the landscape photographer needs to understand how to take advantage of perspective, composition, relative distance, and the interaction between the manufactured and natural world. 

Often a landscape photographer will have studied the scene for some time before taking the picture – noting the angles, how the light falls at certain times of day, and how the scene is affected by different weather conditions. It could take many attempts to get that perfect shot. Landscape photography is about getting as wide an angle of view as possible – to get as much of the image into the frame as you can. You also want to have a wide depth of field to get most of the frame sharp. It doesn’t matter if you want to shoot expansive scenery or cityscapes and architecture, you are going to be looking for high quality, wide angle lenses. So, if you are looking for the best types of canon lenses to photograph almost anything in the wide world of landscapes, I would suggest one of the following:

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens. This EF-S lens gives you a wide 16mm effective focal length, allowing you to shoot imposing architecture and expansive landscapes. It is a high quality, light weight and cheap lens. A great starter for a landscape photographer.





The second suggestion would be a Canon EF-S STM  24 mm f/2.8 lens. This is a fixed lens for crop cameras, offering an effective 36mm focal length. It is very sharp and a great lens to have in your bag. It does produce some barrel distortion, but that can be corrected in edit. Again, small, light and cheap.


Best Types of Canon Lenses sigma lens

For something cheaper, take a look at the Rokinon FE14M-C 14mm F2.8 lens. This is a manual focus lens, so you would have to be comfortable with that, but has great sharpness at f8 and very little chromatic aberration

Our Superb Canon Lens Course is designed for DSLR owners who are thinking of buying a new or used lens for their Canon camera. There are so many lenses available for Canon DSLR cameras, that it can be quite confusing, even professional photographers.  This course tells you all you need to know about lenses for Canon DSLRs – both Canon lenses and third party lenses – so that you will be able to buy your next lens with confidence. Packed with information about the best lenses you can buy for each type of photography, and showing some amazing pictures from each mentioned lens, check out this Canon Lens Course now!

Sports Lenses

Sport and action photography is about speed and accuracy. Every split-second counts, and you only ever get one chance to capture the shot.  I would say that Action photography is one area of picture taking where practice is key. Like preparing for the sport itself, this could involve practicing single elements – zooming, panning, and using your autofocus, so that it comes naturally to you when you are in the field. For the very best results it’s important to have the right combination of camera and zoom lens. So let’s start with probably the first choice single lens for nearly every sports photographer:

best type of canon lenses sports lens

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. Whilst every lens is a compromise, this lens excels in all the areas that are important for a sports photographer. The images are tack sharp, the auto focus is extremely quick, and it is great in low light. The downsides are that it is very heavy – you would need a monopod, probably. This is an EF lens for Full frame cameras. It will work very well with crop frame cameras, but the autofocus will be slower.


sports lens Best Types of Canon LensesFor a longer focal length, try the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. This is an excellent lens for daytime action, though not really for low light. The image quality of this lens is considered to be outstanding and the build quality superb. The focal range of 100-400mm (160-640mm on an APS-C camera) gives you more options than say the 70-200mm especially for wildlife and sporting events.


And for a great lens with extra bragging rights, take a look at the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens. This is a beast, weighing 3 kilos and is 10 inches long, but it has very fast autofocus, superb optical stabilisation and produces very sharp images.  

Of course, some of the sports lenses would also be good for wildlife photography, but wildlife photography is all about getting your subject up close whilst keeping your distance. Usually you are shooting in reasonable light and so can exchange a little speed for extra reach.

Travel Lenses 

Picking a lens to travel with is a bit different to picking a lens for other situations. Not only will you be concerned with image quality, but also size, weight and versatility. After all, you will be carrying it around with you when you are travelling and, ideally, you want to keep the number of lenses in your bag down to a minimum. So for travel photography, it’s better to try and focus on getting a smaller number of lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations. I would suggest that you choose two lenses – a walk-around lens and a fast prime. If you have decided that you only want to take one lens, then you will want a good walk-around lens – one that will satisfy your travel photography needs. The usual walk-around focal lengths are considered to be between 28 – 50mm. These lengths should be good for street scenes, travel portraits, architecture and landscape shots.

best type of canon lens travel lenses

The first one to look at is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. This lens is one of the best types of Canon lenses around and it will allow you to shoot panoramic landscapes, more intimate city images, contextual portraits, low light images and details – in fact most of the things you might want to shoot when travelling.It is a superb fast lens – and it is weather sealed, which is something you might want to consider if you are going of the beaten track. 


Best Types of Canon Lenses tamron lens


If you are going to by travelling in and around cities, you might want to think about a wide angle lens, perhaps the Tamron AF 28-75mm f/2.8 SP XR Di LD lens. It is not too heavy, and offers clean sharp images, being perfect for architectural and landscape pictures. It is also very good in low light.



Best Types of Canon Lenses l lens

If you want to  have a little more reach, take a look at the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. It is a favourite with photographers who want to travel light.  It offers really good image quality with advanced image stabilisation – which you may well need if you are shooting mostly hand held. It is a superb portrait lens and very good for landscapes. The near-silent focusing is useful if  you are shooting in enclosed spaces.


When it comes to that prime, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens or Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens. Both are excellent lenses and give you a good prime focal length for travel photography. They are also both the perfect size to fit in a pocket

Portrait Lenses

As a portrait photographer you may have to shoot various kinds of pictures, from group shots of families to professional style headshots. The challenge for portrait photographers is to tease out the inner essence of the subject. This might sound grandiose and pretentious, but a picture of someone that doesn’t reflect character or personality is really just a two dimensional representation – a passport photo. 

If you are looking for a lens that provides a reasonable working distance from the individual subject, with a narrower field of view than a 50mm lens, the 85mm is the most popular focal length for portraiture. 

Best Types of Canon Lenses 85mm

I think the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is a really good place to start. It is an excellent portrait lens, the f1.8 is ideal for shallow depth of field work that lets the portrait really pack a punch. It is very sharp and with fast autofocus. 

Both Sigma and Tamron produce very good 85mm lenses, but to be honest, nothing can compete with the Canon for quality and price. Even the Canon L lens – the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L , is not regarded as highly by photographers as this f1.8.

Whilst the Canon 85mm can be used on a crop frame camera to good effect, APS-C owners have a real advantage here because the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is a great portrait lens when you account for the crop factor. Ideally, having a longer lens gives you a slight advantage when shooting portraits because the subject looks more natural. The effect is hardly noticeable with a 135mm lens and so it is the jewel in any portrait photographer’s kit bag – particularly an f1.8 like this.

So that was a quick overview of the best types of Canon lenses for particular kinds of photography. As I mentioned, There are other great lenses available, but if you want to get a good lens to start with, none of these lenses will let you down.

For more information about Canon Lenses, and a superb course, click here


Nikon D3400 white balance


Nikon D3400 white balance settings

Nikon D3400 white balance is one of my favorite settings for a couple of reasons. The first is that it helps you set the camera so that you get naturally exposed pictures which is really good. And the second is that you can use that same process to be really creative with your photography. This article discusses what white balance is and what the camera is trying to do and how creative that can be and how it can help you to manage your environment.

So first of all Nikon D3400 white balance: what is it all about? Well, when you walk into a room, or even outside, the quality of the light and the tone of the light will change. It changes depending on whether you are in natural or artificial light. Your eyes and your brain filter all of that out, so usually you do not really even recognize it, but the camera will because it is quite objective, whereas your eyes and your brain are quite subjective. Usually you do not want to take pictures in a light which has a color cast. If you do not notice the ambient color, then after the shoot, you could discover that your pictures either have quite a yellow or orange tinge, or have quite a blue tinge. The Nikon D3400 white balance – and setting the white balance – allows you to set the camera so that, effectively, it sees what you want to see and it sets white. The important thing to remember about white is it is not a single color, it is a combination of all colors and so once you set white with the camera, the camera is able to set all the other colors accordingly.

There are two ways of looking at the Nikon D3400 white balance. The most obvious one is when you are looking at the back of the camera as you press the i button and Nikon D3400 white balance is third along the top line. That gives you the option to select the white balance that you want. However it does not let you change the white balance within those settings. If you want to do that you need to go into the MENU OPTION and then go into SHOOTING MENU, then you go down to white balance and you will see that you have all the options that you would see when you look in the i button, but, should you press your multi-selector to the right, it will give you the option of either deciding to have a different option within that main sub-option (so for fluorescence, for example, you have seven further options in fluorescent which are all slightly different) or if you do not have different options then you have an option which allows you to change that option within the camera. You can do that by using the multi-selector and you can make either more green or more magenta or blue or more red. Personally, I think this is probably far too detailed unless you are going for a very specific look, but the general way of changing, which is to go back and just look at the general options in white balance when you are in the shooting menu, should be sufficient for you to decide your best option. But if you want to go in and change cloudy for example and make it a little more red or a little more blue then you can do so but you can not make those changes to that option from the i button.

So lets have a look at what the Nikon D3400 white balance options are when we come out of menu and we will have a look through them with the i button. The first one is AUTO. This tries to select the most obvious white balance itself. It has quite a good auto detection for white balance and in most cases you will be fine on AUTO with the Nikon D3400. It is fairly broad brush but it is pretty good for most circumstances. The next one is INCANDESCENT or tungsten. As I mentioned, that has quite a yellow tone to it because it is more like candle light or home and residential lighting which tends to be tungsten lighting and so it will try to take some of that warmth out – some of that orange and yellow and add some of the blue to make whatever is white in that picture more white and less yellow. The next one beyond that is FLORESCENT. That is a little bluer and it is the sort of lighting that you get in offices – the sort of strip lighting that goes across the top – which gives a very blue tone to things. And as a consequence of that the camera will try to add a little yellow to the picture. Then we get on to DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Now direct sunlight is actually a lot bluer than you might imagine and so it does try to add a little more yellow to that just to give it a more natural look. The one after that is FLASH. When you fire the flash, whether it is the built-in flash or an external flash, that is a very cold white shade. So as a consequence of that it does try to add some more yellow to give a more natural tone to the color, and especially, obviously for skin tones which is quite important. Then the next two which are CLOUDY and SHADE move further up Kelvin scale from and obviously then the environment becomes more and more blue as you move up there and so it will be trying harder and harder to add a little yellow and a little orange just to warm that picture up and make it look less cold. Obviously if you are shooting in shade or in cloud then as I said before there is a natural inclination for you for it to look slightly blue, slightly cold, so you want a little orange to warm that picture up.

At the moment, we are looking at setting the camera to get the most natural exposure, but imagine that you are shooting in a fluorescent office, but want the picture to look like it is a room with natural sunlight. This would be a good opportunity to change the Nikon D3400 white balance to shade and the camera will automatically warm the image up for you, changing the whole feel of the picture. That is how the white balance can work for you to create more interesting pictures.

For more information about the Nikon D3400 click here 


Best Nikon D3400 settings

Nikon D3400 settings are pretty straightforward. The first thing you need to do is to charge your battery. When you buy the camera you will receive a battery and a battery charger and, although the battery may look like it is fully charged, it is worth just giving it an extra hour or so in the charger to make sure. Once you have charged it, put it into the camera Then attach the lens. The lens and camera both have a white dot. Match the dots and gently fit it into the bayonet socket and then twist the lens anti-clockwise until it clicks.

The next thing you need for your Nikon D3400 is a good memory card. Of course you need a memory card to store the pictures and the videos that you shoot on the camera. We suggest getting a SanDisk card and the reason for that is that SanDisk will guarantee the life of the card. It is important to remember they won’t guarantee what is on the card, but if the card fails SanDisk will replace the card. So the way you put the card into the camera is in the side socket. You open it up by pulling it slightly forward and you put the card in facing to you and just push it in until it clicks. What you will notice is that when you put it in completely, a green light flashes on the back of the camera to say that it is being done properly. On the other side are two other ports these are very useful because they are a USB port, which allows you to transfer your pictures directly from the camera to the laptop, and beneath that an HDMI port which allows you to show your pictures on a TV. Neither of these leads are available in the box so if you want to do either of those things you need to buy the leads separately.

d3400 sample ad

Once you have inserted your memory card, the next thing to do is to switch your Nikon D3400 on. But first what I would suggest you do is you take off the lens cap and activate the lens. Press the button on the side of the lens and extend it out. Once you have done that you can switch on the camera and then you will see, in the back screen, that you have got various choices to make in your D3400 settings. You choose your language – you do that by moving the Cross Keys left to right and up and down and then selecting the language by pressing OK. You choose your date in a similar fashion and you also then choose your time zone in exactly the same way, using the cross keys on the back.

All of these things can be changed later anyway so do not worry too much if you get them wrong, or in fact if you do not want to worry too much about them now and bypass those options and to return to them afterwards. But the next thing to do in your D3400 settings is to format your card. If it is a new card, or an old card for that matter, you need to ensure that it is formatted correctly for this camera. Press the Menu button and then go to the Setup Menu. That is the spanner icon. The second one down in that section is FORMAT MEMORY CARD. There is always an element of danger when you format memory cards, particularly once you have started using the camera. If you format the memory card you delete everything on it – even pictures that you think you have protected will be deleted so you need to be very careful when you format cards. However, when you are doing it for the first time you are perfectly at liberty to go to yes and click OK, and it will format the memory card and attune it to this camera properly.

Now you are in a position to take a picture or shoot a video. You can either do this through the Liveview screen which enables you to see what is through the lens or you can do this through the more conventional DSLR way which is to look through the viewfinder. The viewfinder can be tuned to your eyesight, so if you look through the viewfinder and, although the camera says what you are looking at is sharp, it does not look sharp to you, you can use the Dioptric Adjuster which is on the side here to change the focal length of the viewfinder, which means that you can look through it and it looks sharp when in fact the camera says it looks sharp. That is very useful so take some moments just to focus and refocus on a few different things and just check that the viewfinder, when you are looking through it, looks sharp when the camera says that it is sharp.

One of the things that I change straight away in my Nikon D3400 settings is the Auto Timer because cameras have timers on them now in order to help save the battery life and that means that sometimes they switch themselves off and it can be really annoying. But you can set your own Auto Timer lengths by going into the camera and into the Menu Settings so if you go into menu and you go into the Setup Menu then, by going down onto the next page – there are quite a lot of settings here, you will see AUTO OFF TIMERS as an option. If you select that then you can either select Short, Normal or Long or you can go down to Custom and you can select those lengths of time that you prefer and that is what I do. I go down to Custom and check the ones that I want which are PLAYBACK and MENUS IMAGE REVIEW which is the length of time the images are on the back screen for you just to look at after you’ve taken it. LIVEVIEW which is the Liveview screen, and the STANDBY TIMER which is how long the camera sits on standby before it switches itself off.

You can shoot pictures with your Nikon D3400 now, but the best thing to do is to select your image quality and your compression quality before you do. So the first thing to do is to go back into menus and in this instance we are looking at the Shooting Menu. If you go to there in your D3400 settings, the first thing you come across is IMAGE QUALITY. Now image quality talks about compression rates not about the file size, but the compression rate is important. You can shoot RAW images with this camera but I would recommend, initially at least, shooting JPEG and the option I would choose would be JPEG fine because that is the best quality compression rate for JPEGs for this camera. Once you have done that you move one down to IMAGE SIZE and again there is no point shooting medium or small images with this camera. I would say the best thing to do is to shoot large images. Bear in mind that the memory card is probably big enough, with a 16 or 32 gigabyte memory, to shoot hundreds of pictures so you are not limited by memory space as we once were so there is no reason not to shoot large and not to shoot fine JPEG images. As we are in the Shooting Menu in D3400 settings, why don’t we go down one more from IMAGE SIZE to ISO SENSITIVITY SETTINGS. When you switch the camera on for the first time then the D3400 settings are set so that the Auto ISO Sensitivity Control is on and that the camera will choose the ISO setting and if you look below the Auto ISO Sensitivity Control, it will set the maximum sensitivity according to what is chosen there. When you switch it on for the first time the maximum is 25,600. I would say that when you are taking normal pictures you probably do not want to go above 1600 ISO – possibly 3200. By leaving it as it is you allow the camera to choose far higher ISOs than you otherwise might wish, so if you go into this setting, I would suggest that you make the maximum setting as I say 6400 and I would also switch the ISO Sensitivity Control off because that then means that you have more control over the ISO in the basic D3400 settings and also in the manual settings.

After setting the ISO I would stay in the Shooting Menu  in the D3400 settings and move one down again to WHITE BALANCE. Now it is important initially that white balance is on AUTO. What white balance does is it sets the white in the picture or video. Now, if you know anything about colors, you know that white is a combination of all colors and so once the camera can set white it can also set the values for all the other colors. So it is very important and it is also very important if you are shooting somewhere where the balance of light is not normal – for example if you are shooting in an office where the light may be slightly blue or if you are shooting at home under artificial light where the color of the light might be slightly yellow. You are not going to see this with your naked eye because your brain manages to filter those tones and those colors out, but the camera will see it and it is important that the camera initially is on AUTO so that it can set the white balance itself and try to balance all of the different color components that it sees through the lens.

The last thing I want to mention is very useful once you have taken your pictures. If you go into Playback Menu once you have taken a picture and go down to PLAYBACK DISPLAY OPTION then you will see that you have options that give you information on the picture once you’ve taken it. So you have got the options in your D3400 settings of showing the HIGHLIGHTS the RGB HISTOGRAM SHOOTING DATA and OVERVIEW. These are really useful bits of information and they are useful for you to recall and go back to once you have taken the picture and you just want to see what settings you had, or actually during the live shoot when you can see with the RGB histogram or the tonal histogram where your picture may be failing or just not working to its optimum. So they are very useful things to have, and by allocating and switching those on when you go into playback mode and you look at your pictures by pressing the cross keys up or down you will be given these pieces of information with the picture also viewable on the view screen. It is a really useful way of just keeping control and keep an eye on the various options and settings that you have when you take a picture. So, for example, it will give you the histograms but also the ISO. It will give you the focal length, it will give you all the various autos in terms of white balance or whether the flash was on etc. In the old days when you were shooting with film you would have taken a notebook and written all of this down but because it is available on the back screen it makes it a whole lot easier. As you can see, getting your D3400 settings right is not difficult and means that you will get the best out of your Nikon D3400 straightaway.

Click on this link to find out more about the Nikon D3400 settings


Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 review

The Canon EOS 1100D / Rebel T3 is your first step onto the D-SLR ladder

The Canon EOS 1100D is Canon’s budget model. It gets all the important stuff right, such as metering and focus and the beginner should be perfectly happy with the range and quality of this camera. Many of the camera components and systems have been inherited from other previous Canon models further up the range. Whilst it may not offer anything out of the ordinary, the EOS 1100D does a very competent job at taking good pictures with minimum amount of fuss. The beginner-friendly settings allow this and the advanced settings allow the novice to experiment and gain experience. This is an ideal camera for someone who wants to learn the craft of photography.

The EOS 1100d is an excellent introduction to D-SLR photography, giving you all the quality and flexibility of the range at a very reasonable price.

The 1100D offers 12 mega-pixel files and an ISO range of 100-6400. The Autofocus is quick and accurate. Whilst the 3 Frames per Second burst speed isn’t exceptional, it all adds up to a very competent basic camera especially for low-light photography and even sport, if required. As well as full manual mode, the camera can help the user with its pre-set scene modes and Basic+ option. The on-screen Feature Guide is clear and simple to follow, explaining terms and suggesting ways to improve shots. It can also be fitted with an eye-fi card to enable you to transfer your pictures straight to a PC.

The video option is good, though only standard HD ( 720p ) and it has an HDMI port which will allow you to watch on your TV.



The Canon Ixus 115 HS camera

This is one of Canon’s ‘don’t make me think’ range of cameras and, if you want a pretty camera to point and shoot, or record your memorable moments, then this will do the job very well. The 12 Mega-pixel file size gives you good detail and will blow up enough for most requirements. The lens zooms 4x from about 28mm to 112mm, which is perfect for group shots, party pictures or portraits. Canon’s Image Stabilizer system endeavours to counter any camera shake. The Smart Auto function detects 32 different scenes, allowing you to leave all the decisions to the camera and Movie Digest records 4 seconds of video before taking the still, joining all the clips together to produce a mini-film of the days events for you. The Ixus 115 has a fast 8~Frames per second burst rate – though I can’t think what it would be used for. It also has a selection of effects, such as Fish-eye, miniature and toy camera to keep your pictures fresh and creative.

This is an ideal camera for those who want their pictures and videos to enhance their memories. It produces great quality at the press of a button

The LCD screen is large enough for you to show your efforts instantly to your friends and especially useful when shooting video. The quality of the Video is stunning, considering the price and range of this camera. It shoots full (1920 x 1080) HD video, with Image Stabilizer, and an HDMI socket allows you to plug it straight into your TV.

The metal body is slim and chic, but feels sturdy and tough in the hand. For the more daring, there is a waterproof case available, that will allow you to take pictures up to 40 meters underwater.

The Canon Ixus 115 HS Features

HS System (12.1 MP):  The HS ( high sensitivity) system is great for low-light and the file size is impressive.

4x zoom and Image Stabilizer: Not designed for distance shots, it will give you good round-the table images and portraits.

7.6 cm  LCD Screen: Large and bright, makes shooting with this camera very easy.

Full HD Video with dynamic Image Stabilizer: Really impressive for a camera in this price range – and it plugs into your TV.

Smart Auto (32 scenes): This takes all the thinking out of picture taking.

High-speed Burst & Super Slow Motion Movie: Neat tricks to add to your reportoire.

Movie Digest: Takes 4 seconds of film per still. Clever – who knows how this will be used in anger?

Creative shooting modes:  Offers you different effects to keep those pictures fresh.

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