Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jamborama 2006 and the Canon 30D

In 2006, I bought my 30D. It debuted at Jamborama 2006 with my Tamron 18-200mm lens. I was psyched - this thing could really do everything from close up to really zooming in across a room. But this was really the first event with the camera.

I didn't know how to set the color balance. All my photos came out kind of dark and yellow. Yuck.

Also, it surprised me just how little light there was in the Eagle's Lodge on an absolute scale. Standing there, it didn't look dark, but the camera sure thought it was. What I didn't realize was just how much a 3.5 f-stop sucked in those conditions, and that was only in 18mm mode. If I wanted a decent close-up around 50 mm, the f-stop was already at 5.6. By 70mm, it topped out at 6.3! So I would lose almost 2 stops of light if I wanted a close-up.

Okay, so what did I learn at Jamborama?
  • f/5.6 really sucks indoors. In fact f/3.5 already kind of sucks.
  • Most of my shots were about 50mm.
  • I need to learn how the White Balance works (Now I know - and knowing is half the battle.)

This shot was taken with the settings:
  • Exposure: 1/25 sec. At this resolution, most of the shot looks okay, but the fast moving sections (everyone's feet) are pretty blurry.
  • ISO: 1250 A little grainy, but I think it's still acceptable.
  • f-stop: f/4. Actually, I think this is the right setting. Though if it could go lower, I probably would have taken it lower, just to get more light.
  • Focal Length: 31mm. I would have liked to zoom in a bit more, and arguably, I should just crop in. But this lens would take the f-stop to 5.6 or so if I tried to zoom in, and I think it would have been unacceptably dark.
  • Image format: Mid size(2544x1896), High Quality JPG. This was a huge mistake and I hadn't learned yet to always use RAW. With a JPG, I have less control over the White Balance and I can't push the exposure as much as with a RAW.

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