Out with the 60D

Some more explorations of using the Canon 60D

I had to walk into town to see someone at lunchtime and thought  I’d take the 60D with me.

Whilst I’ve been trying it out with the 18-55 IS kit lens, I have to say that the lens is probably the weakest part of the setup.  It’s not a poor quality lens, particularly if you use Canon’s DPP software to correct some of its deficiencies.

However I’m used to using lenses that have a considerably wider aperture than f/5.6 at 55mm.

Since I’d not used it for a while, I popped my old manual focus Olympus 50mm f/1.2 into the bag (and an EF14mm and TS-E17mm [tilt/shift lens]). Every time I use this 50mm, I end up wondering why I’ve not got the Canon 50 and 85mm f/1.2 lenses …Oh, I remember, they cost rather a lot ;-)

I’ve written elsewhere about some of the fun of using old manual focus lenses with adapters – or, if you were interested in shots like I was trying, why not look at the Canon 50/1.8 lens (you’ll get autofocus and a massively reduced depth of field compared to the 18-55mm)

Here’s the 60D with the Olympus lens and the 18-55 next to it.

EOS 60D with Olympus 50mm f/1.2 lens

EOS 60D with Olympus 50mm f/1.2 lens

On my way home, I stopped at a local cafe for a coffee and one of their ever interesting range of savoury pastries.

This taken just with the light from a nearby window.

Egg and spinach pastry

Egg and spinach pastry

I’ve cropped it a bit to give the picture more impact at the size it’s reproduced here.

It’s worth remembering this when producing pictures for web sites or small printed images. Detail that works in a full screen view may just not work when reduced to a small web image. This is one reason I like to know what my photos are likely to be used for when I’m working for a client.

Outside, it was raining (another reason to pop into the cafe) – this lady was waiting at the bus stop (again at f/1.2 – uncropped)

Waiting in the rain at a bus stop

Waiting in the rain at a bus stop

This shot is taken through the cafe window. I’m sitting at a table and have used liveview (magnified) and the flip out screen, so as to not obviously be pointing a camera.

I’m using the camera in Manual mode. The aperture shows as 0.0 on the top display, so I’m adjusting shutter speed to get the exposure right. If I wanted to stop down, then I have to change the shutter speed, but the liveview mode handles exposure simulation quite well.

It’s worth noting that the standard viewfinder focussing screen is not optimised for manual focus, and actually gives an apparently sharper image and deeper zone of sharpness than appears in the images.

I’ll just finish with a view of part of De Montfort University I took when walking into town.

Hawthorn Square, De Montfort University, Leicester

Hawthorn Square, De Montfort University, Leicester

Two shots (top/bottom) hand held with the TS-E 17mm shift lens. Stitched with Photomerge in Photoshop CS5, converted to B/W with Nik Silver Efex 2

I did try a few video clips too, but nothing I’ll include here… ;-)

See all the 60D articles and similar ones from when I looked at a 7D

  • http://www.newfocusphoto.com John Patrick

    Yes – that’s definitely part of the problem and I’m not really sure I have the appetite for DIY modifications on my camera internals just yet :) Thanks for the reply anyway.

  • http://www.newfocusphoto.com John Patrick

    Thanks Keith – I like the idea of picking up some old primes just for a bit of fun and wondered if you’d tried or know of any success with anything really wide (i.e. <16mm) on a full frame Canon? Autofocus isn't an issue for the kind of project I have in mind as long as I can get the lens to fit.

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      Nothing wider than 24mm with an adapter – the main difficulty is finding a lens with a big enough back focus distance

  • Lorenzo

    Have you had a look at the sensitivity in low light? I used to have a Rebel Xt (350D) and am presently amazed by the capabilities of the 60D, a whole new realm of possibilities have opened up for me. Cheers.

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      It’s gone back now, but I have a whole lot of night time shots I took.

      I’ve had a stack of ‘real work’ and some other reviews I wanted to get done, but I’m hoping to add some more 60D info over the next few weeks

  • http://www.andrew-miller.co.uk andrew miller

    Just a quick question – do the Olympus lenses need any modification?

    Andrew

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      Just an adapter – see this I wrote about using the Zuiko 24/2.8 on a 1Ds

  • http://www.bycostello.com bycostello

    there always the ‘L’ lenses too.. but cost a lot aswell…

    • http://www.northlight-images.co.uk Keith

      Yes, they are often nice, but I have to have a good business reason when spending over £1000 on a lens ;-)