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  • Canon Lens Recommendations

    Hi all,

    I've taken to really marrying my passion for the aerospace industry with my new hobby of photography. I was given a Canon EOS Rebel XTI DSLR camera and I am graciously using it with the lens it came with: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III telephoto zoom lens.

    I've taken this camera with me on several trips and in this post, I'm attaching (2) pictures:
    1. Air Canada 737 MAX parked at Pinal Airpark
    2. United E175 at CHS

    I've been working on shooting in Shutter Priority mode primarily with the telephoto zoom lens referenced above. In both of these pictures, I know that there are some dust spots (I need to get the camera cleaned professionally I think). Aside from that, I keep getting hung up on the blurriness of the logo/text on the aircraft or in general, in the photo. For example, on the United aircraft, I believe I should be able to read the "DBA Republic Airways" text that is by the forward door. Clearly, that's not the case and it bothers the heck out of me. I am trying to be patient with myself as I learn to be a better photographer, but while doing so, I wanted to see if the community had any recommendations on the lens and whether it was adequate for taking high quality photos. I imagine much of the quality of an image comes from the photographer himself/herself, however, if I'm handicapped at all by my lens, I would want to know.

    In addition to any lens recommendations, I'm happy to take any advice on shooting photos (settings, angles, etc.).

    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi, do you know what setting you used to shoot these photos? Even a little bit of movement whilst you hold the camera can cause blurriness if the setting is slow. I personally always shoot in AP mode and use the exposure settings to reflect the lighting conditions. Also, are you shooting in RAW?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by gdinscoll View Post
      Hi, do you know what setting you used to shoot these photos? Even a little bit of movement whilst you hold the camera can cause blurriness if the setting is slow. I personally always shoot in AP mode and use the exposure settings to reflect the lighting conditions. Also, are you shooting in RAW?
      I read somewhere that I should be using shutter priority mode on my Canon. I haven't tried the AP mode for taking photos of aircraft so I may have to give that a shot next time. And no, I've been shooting in the L format (3888x2592). Should I be shooting in RAW instead? It looks like on my camera the resolution is the same for the L and RAW, but I'm sure there's a difference.

      Comment


      • #4
        Everyone has their own methods for how they shoot, but I personally find it easer to shoot with AP and setting the aperture between 5-8, depending if there is a big clear blue sky in the background.
        I'm not the best at describing the differences exactly between RAW and JPEG (Which is the L you are shooting), but a RAW image has much more data. The only downside is that then the file is a lot bigger. So a raw image might be around 28mb, whereas the JPEG would be around 4-5mb. The benefit of the raw file is that you have so much more data, hence the increase in file size, which just makes editing a lot easier and the photos are normally crisper. If you want to know more about the benefits etc then google is your friend with that, lots of articles explaining the differences and the benefits behind it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by raceface29 View Post

          Should I be shooting in RAW instead?
          If you can get to grips with RAW processing (it's really not that hard once you've done it a few times) then it is very beneficial. Essentially RAW is a digital negative containing most of the information your camera sensor captures. You then do the processing on that digital negative yourself mainly in a software editing program of your choice. Lightroom is very popular but I personally use Adobe Camera Raw. ACR is behind the scenes the same processing engine that LR used so the outcome will be the same. You use ACR/LR to adjust the exposure, brightness, sharpness and so on. There are many variables to change. Once i've done the initial processing in ACR, it opens up into Photoshop for final editing... sizing, dust deletion, sharpness.
          Shooting JPG is a little different in that the camera will do most of that initial processing for you in the camera and then compress the file into a JPG (so loss of detail). It will apply exposure, colour profiles, initial sharpness if you select the camera to do that. You can then do final editing into PS if you wish but you wont have as much degree of control as you're now working from an already half processed, compressed image.

          Now which I choose...raw or Jpg will depend on what i'm shooting. For aviation I want the most control over the image. For example i've managed to shoot an aircraft at completely the wrong exposure but the raw file allowed me to rescue it as you can alter the exposure in software (within the ultimate parameters of what the camera can produce). If i'm shooting holiday snapshots on the other hand then i'll shoot JPG and let the camera do most of the work so then i don't have to spend hours on end editing if I want to send the photo to someone quickly.

          I personally mainly shoot in M..... and if it's a good sunny day then all you really need is f8 and 1/500 at iso 100 to get a good crisp shot. That's making it very generalised though. If the light is moving around a bit then I might shoot in Av. Mostly using f8 (and some exposure compensation) and then just let the camera select the shutter speed. F8 is a good sweet spot for most lenses and I would say much so for that Canon lens you have. Lenses get softer the wider the aperture. I'll shoot Tv for motion blur shots. Sometimes if im being super lazy i'll even stick it in P and just enjoy the scene.

          WIthout seeing the exif on your shots or understanding what settings you took those shots at, I can't really give too much info, but opening up that MAX shot to full size, assuming you've added no sharpening to it and resizing to JP requirements, that's pretty much what I would expect to see from the lens. The EMB shot though is pretty soft. I wonder, did you shoot it though a window for example? If not then maybe your aperture opened up a little too much. Again though with sharpening and resizing it might be sharp enough for JP.

          But for now, i would probably switch to shooting in Av at f8 where possible which is pretty much the sweet spot for your lens.


          I did a very quick edit on your photo.... still not quite do JP standards though, just to show what some sharpening and resizing could do. It was sized to 1280px. It still is soft in places, and now over-sharp in others, but much closer to the mark. I think I see rejections in the sky now which possibly mean you were shooting through glass which will affect the sharpness and also maybe some heat haze ( I could be wrong though).

          Click image for larger version

Name:	image_37704ed.jpg
Views:	310
Size:	676.6 KB
ID:	1107609
          Last edited by B7772ADL; 2021-01-21, 17:00.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by B7772ADL View Post

            If you can get to grips with RAW processing (it's really not that hard once you've done it a few times) then it is very beneficial. Essentially RAW is a digital negative containing most of the information your camera sensor captures. You then do the processing on that digital negative yourself mainly in a software editing program of your choice. Lightroom is very popular but I personally use Adobe Camera Raw. ACR is behind the scenes the same processing engine that LR used so the outcome will be the same. You use ACR/LR to adjust the exposure, brightness, sharpness and so on. There are many variables to change. Once i've done the initial processing in ACR, it opens up into Photoshop for final editing... sizing, dust deletion, sharpness.
            Shooting JPG is a little different in that the camera will do most of that initial processing for you in the camera and then compress the file into a JPG (so loss of detail). It will apply exposure, colour profiles, initial sharpness if you select the camera to do that. You can then do final editing into PS if you wish but you wont have as much degree of control as you're now working from an already half processed, compressed image.

            Now which I choose...raw or Jpg will depend on what i'm shooting. For aviation I want the most control over the image. For example i've managed to shoot an aircraft at completely the wrong exposure but the raw file allowed me to rescue it as you can alter the exposure in software (within the ultimate parameters of what the camera can produce). If i'm shooting holiday snapshots on the other hand then i'll shoot JPG and let the camera do most of the work so then i don't have to spend hours on end editing if I want to send the photo to someone quickly.

            I personally mainly shoot in M..... and if it's a good sunny day then all you really need is f8 and 1/500 at iso 100 to get a good crisp shot. That's making it very generalised though. If the light is moving around a bit then I might shoot in Av. Mostly using f8 (and some exposure compensation) and then just let the camera select the shutter speed. F8 is a good sweet spot for most lenses and I would say much so for that Canon lens you have. Lenses get softer the wider the aperture. I'll shoot Tv for motion blur shots. Sometimes if im being super lazy i'll even stick it in P and just enjoy the scene.

            WIthout seeing the exif on your shots or understanding what settings you took those shots at, I can't really give too much info, but opening up that MAX shot to full size, assuming you've added no sharpening to it and resizing to JP requirements, that's pretty much what I would expect to see from the lens. The EMB shot though is pretty soft. I wonder, did you shoot it though a window for example? If not then maybe your aperture opened up a little too much. Again though with sharpening and resizing it might be sharp enough for JP.

            But for now, i would probably switch to shooting in Av at f8 where possible which is pretty much the sweet spot for your lens.


            I did a very quick edit on your photo.... still not quite do JP standards though, just to show what some sharpening and resizing could do. It was sized to 1280px. It still is soft in places, and now over-sharp in others, but much closer to the mark. I think I see rejections in the sky now which possibly mean you were shooting through glass which will affect the sharpness and also maybe some heat haze ( I could be wrong though).

            Click image for larger version

Name:	image_37704ed.jpg
Views:	310
Size:	676.6 KB
ID:	1107609
            This is super helpful, and thanks for taking the time to go edit it on your own. I'll definitely try and shoot in Av mode next time I'm out at the airport and you're right - I did take this particular shot through a window at CHS while waiting for a flight home.

            Comment


            • #7
              Canon's 75-300 lenses can take some pretty good images but it's important to realise the limitations of these lenses, which can become apparent quite quickly when shooting aircraft. You can forget using them at above 200mm as the results are soft and the colours muddy.

              As for what mode you should shoot in, don't listen to anyone who says, "You should shoot in this mode or that mode..." — ultimately you need to shoot in the mode that will give you the best chance of capturing your subject how you want. Sometimes manual will give you the most control; other times it might be Av or Tv. It's rarely full auto or P mode though as DSLRs weren't really designed as point-and-shoot cameras (they tend to overcompensate for everything in these modes). Shooting RAW with contemporary cameras actually negates the need to be overly concerned with shooting mode as exposure errors are easily corrected (as long as you're not 3 stops over/under!). Once you have some experience under your belt you'll better know which mode to use when.

              I agree with the above comment that the AC 7M8 is about what I'd expect from an EF 75-300. The UA ERJ is soft likely due to technique/user error as even a 75-300 shouldn't be that bad (unless you were close to 300mm?). The poor quality doesn't look indicative of motion blur; looks more like mis-focus or a focal length at which the lens is not competent.

              If you want to boost your image quality significantly look no further than the EF 70-200 f/4 L — it's amazing value for money considering the quality of its optics.

              Comment


              • #8
                To everyone that responded. Cannot express my appreciation enough to all of you. I just had another opportunity as I was driving up north and made a stop at JFK to get some photos. Tried the M mode and the Av mode that was suggested. After playing around a bit, I found that I was most comfortable shooting in Av mode with f8 like someone suggested above. In either case, just wanted to say thanks to all those that responded as it was extremely helpful to a newbie like me.

                Comment

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