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Amateur Photographer - - Tech Talk -

Lens for land­scapes

QI have re­cently been us­ing a macro lens for work when I needed close-up im­ages, but I’m look­ing to get into land­scapes and out­door shots with a much wider an­gle. Can you rec­om­mend a good, in­ex­pen­sive Canon DSLR lens? Ma­teoj, AP fo­rum

AI’m mak­ing the as­sump­tion that you have an APS- C-sen­sor Canon EOS DSLR rather than a full-frame model. You may find that the stan­dard kit lens you prob­a­bly have goes wide enough for a lot of your land­scape needs. You can’t re­ally go wrong with Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM (£199) if you need to go wider. For con­stant-aper­ture zooms, the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM (£329) and Tok­ina AT-X 12-28mm f/4 Pro DX (£449) are can­di­dates, but are quite a bit more ex­pen­sive.

Back-but­ton fo­cus

QWhen peo­ple talk about back-but­ton fo­cus they are of­ten quite evan­gel­i­cal about it, but I’ve tried it and I think I must be miss­ing some­thing. I tend to shoot in AI aut­o­fo­cus on my Canon EOS 7D Mark II, so when I want to take a shot I fo­cus on the sub­ject, hold the shut­ter down half­way, and wait un­til the com­po­si­tion is just past what would have been good, and then I fin­ish my click. If I’m in re­peat­shot mode, I then just hold the shut­ter down and the cam­era fol­lows the ob­ject in fo­cus based on the rel­e­vant track­ing op­tions. What’s dif­fer­ent about back­but­ton fo­cus (out­side of when the ex­po­sure is mea­sured)? Tony, AP fo­rum

AIn the end, the fo­cus­ing tech­nique that works for you is all that mat­ters. That said, while back-but­ton fo­cus­ing (BBF) is not for ev­ery­one, it cer­tainly of­fers great ben­e­fits if you can man­age to adapt to it.

Fun­da­men­tally, BBF re­lo­cates fo­cus ac­ti­va­tion from the de­fault half-press of the shut­ter but­ton to a thumb- op­er­ated but­ton on the back of the cam­era (Fo­cus On, on the EOS 7D). This means the shut­ter but­ton only re­leases the shut­ter, mak­ing it more re­spon­sive and you won’t lose con­trol of the fo­cus­ing for the next shot. Once mas­tered, your cam­era han­dling can be more fluid and you can con­cen­trate much more on your fram­ing.

BBF means you only need to lock fo­cus once on a static sub­ject, leav­ing you free to ex­per­i­ment with the com­po­si­tion with­out hav­ing to re-fo­cus for each sub­se­quent shot. You can use BBF for ei­ther sin­gle-ac­tion AF or con­tin­u­ous AF (AI Servo). For the lat­ter, the Fo­cus On but­ton be­comes a tog­gle to ac­ti­vate/de­ac­ti­vate fo­cus­ing, re­tain­ing the cor­rect fo­cus if your sub­ject stops mov­ing about. If the sub­ject moves out of fo­cus again, you just press the AF On but­ton to recom­mence fo­cus track­ing. You can also as­sign pri­or­i­ties for AF point po­si­tion or, for AI Servo, the ini­tial AF point. Q&A com­piled by Ian Bur­ley

Canon’s EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is an ul­tra-widean­gle zoom lens

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