From: Floyd L. Davidson on
"J. Clarke" <jclarke.usenet(a)> wrote:
>nospam wrote:
>> In article <00cb207a$0$23374$c3e8da3(a)>, Peabody
>> <waybackNO746SPAM44(a)> wrote:
>>> There was one comment about Nikon being better that Canon for old,
>>> inexpensive lenses. I don't understand that. Did Canon change the
>>> mount or something so that old film lenses won't work anymore, even
>>> manually?
>> 'film lenses' is meaningless. canon changed their mount and old manual
>> focus canon lenses will not fit nor work, however, any canon autofocus
>> lens will work, including ones from the film era.
>> there are adapters for the manual lenses, but they either use an optic
>> making it a 1.3x teleconverter and are hard to find and only work with
>> some lenses, or there's no optic and you lose infinity focus. in other
>> words, not worth it.
>However, manual focus Nikon lenses work fine on a modern Canon with an
>adapter, as do lenses for several other brands of SLR.

Only if "fine" is defined as using an expensive
converter per lens to get a stopdown (no auto

Most folks working on a budget and trying to purchase
high quality gear wouldn't accept that as reasonable.

Floyd L. Davidson <>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) floyd(a)
From: bugbear on
Peabody wrote:
> Ok, one more thing. It has noticeable barrel distortion. Well,
> that's not usually a major problem, but an artist asked me to take
> pics of his paintings, and then the distortion became apparent.

As a narrow point, it's quite feasible to post-correct that.

From: bugbear on
Chris Malcolm wrote:
> Peabody <waybackNO746SPAM44(a)> wrote:
>> But to me the A590 has some limitations, mainly in two areas. The
>> first is that I'm just not able to get the shallow depth of field
>> that I see in other people's pics. Pretty much everything is in
>> focus, whether I want it to be or not. As I understand it, that
>> blurred-background effect is just not optically possible with a
>> sensor this small.
>> The second limitation is low-light capability. Of course I can
>> crank up the ISO on the A590 and get the pic, but then it usually
>> doesn't look so good.
>> Ok, one more thing. It has noticeable barrel distortion. Well,
>> that's not usually a major problem, but an artist asked me to take
>> pics of his paintings, and then the distortion became apparent.
> I think it more likely that it only has barrel distortion at its
> shorter focal lengths. But because you haven't explored the detailed
> capabilities of your camera's lens and how to use it to best
> advantage, you photographed the painting with the wrong focal length.
> In fact paintings are best photographed at what to the beginner are
> rather surprisingly long focal lengths not just to avoid barrel
> distortion in general purpose zoom lenses, but also to minimise the
> slight perspective distortion inherent in the fact that the middle of
> the painting is a little nearer to the camera than the edge.

Yes - when I started doing photographs of woodworking
tools, I quite often got very close (mainly because
I could - wideangle lens, and close-focus are both easy
with a compact P&S camera).

But the perspective looked awful!

I eventually learnt to use longer focal lengths
(which I could, of course, because P&S cameras
all have zooms)

From: Martin Brown on
Floyd L. Davidson wrote:
> J�rgen Exner <jurgenex(a)> wrote:
>> Peabody <waybackNO746SPAM44(a)> wrote:
>>> and I
>>> picked Canon just because I had had good luck in the past with their
>>> stuff.
>> While your argument may sound stupid it actually makes a lot of sense.
>> Using a camera you are comfortable with (and being comfortable with is
>> an emotional and irrational factor) is often more important than its
>> technical qualities.
> For technically inclined people being comfortable with a
> camera is *not* and emotional and irrational factor at
> all. It relates to the functionality and ergonomics
> provided.

That is a very important point that is easily missed. Reviewers might
love a particular model of camera, but if it is either too small, or too
large to hold comfortably and operate in *your* hands then it doesn't
matter how good the reviews are it will drive you nuts. Ergonomics and
handling are very important if you intend moderate or heavy usage.

I have passed over several technically good cameras because I could not
hold them comfortably and use the controls designed for stick insect
fingers without discomfort. I also discount ones with tortuous menus,
rounded baseplates or a tendency to fly out my hands because of styling
>>> There was one comment about Nikon being better that Canon for old,
>>> inexpensive lenses. I don't understand that. Did Canon change the
>>> mount or something so that old film lenses won't work anymore, even
>>> manually?
>> While correct it is mostly a red herring. Yes, Canon changed from FD to
>> the incompatible EF mount. while Nikon keeps using its F mount and
>> gradually adding new features to it.
>> But that change for Canon was back in 1987, and there are really not
>> that many 30+ year old lenses around which would outperform today's
>> lenses or where you couldn't get a new cheap lens with similar
>> performance as the once very expensive 30+ year old lens. I am sure
>> there are exceptions, but we are talking general stuff here, not
>> expert-level speciality lenses.
> Both Pentax and Nikon have literally dozens of 30+ year
> old lenses available that will work on current DSLR
> cameras. They do not "outperform" today's lenses, but
> you cannot find modern lenses that are nearly as good at
> similar prices. The usual difference is the addition of
> helpful technology, such as Auto Focus and Vibration
> Reduction. For a budget minded photographer, they are a
> treasure trove of high quality glass.

Indeed. I am happy to drop autofocus for bargain sharp large lenses.
Autofocus can be worth turning off on some of the long lenses that have
it to save battery and avoid the damn thing spontaneously focussing on
foreground foliage that blows across the field of view just when
something interesting happens in the far distance.
> The examples range from "general stuff" to some very
> specail lenses. On a severe budget, one can still have
> a 400mm telephoto or one of the best 105mm f/2.8 macro
> lenses ever made, for example. There are also 28-85mm
> and 70-210mm general purpose zooms.
> For almost any use that does not require Auto Focus,
> there are very low priced lenses from the past that work
> well with modern cameras.

Mine are all Pentax K kit going right back to one old Russian mirror
lens that is fixed aperture K mount on a T2 adapter. It is a fine if
slightly soft 1000mm f10 lens usable only on the sturdiest tripods. You
have to live with the donut bokeh on a mirror lens, but it is almost
diffraction limited as a telescope.

Martin Brown
From: nm5k on
On Jan 15, 12:46 pm, Peabody <waybackNO746SPA...(a)> wrote:

> I have tried that, and haven't found it to work well at all.
> It still doesn't give me much background blur, and of course it
> it wouldn't be useable anyway if you can't get far enough
> away, as when shooting up or down, or maybe indoors.

You usually don't have to get too far away though. But I
imagine it would depend on the size of the subject.
> Also, doesn't the fact that you are increasing the
> lens-to-subject distance work against you since that
> increases depth of field?  And doesn't it require that the
> background be even further behind the subject?  And when you
> zoom in, the aperture further closes down, which also
> increases depth of field, and requires longer exposures.

I don't think the aperture closes down much on mine
in such a case. But I'd have to look into it.
> Well, on my camera at least, this method just doesn't do
> much good.  It requires a lot of bobbing and weaving to get
> very little benefit.

Never had much trouble doing that on mine. I'll just
zoom out, and then set the distance according to how
big I want the object to appear in the image.
But that is mostly for small objects like flowers, etc.
I don't know how mine would react trying to take a
picture of something much larger, say a car, and
have the background blurry. I imagine it would be
less effective.
> No, technically I guess it's not the sensor, it's the lens
> they use to match with the sensor.  It's the actual focal
> length that's used in depth-of-field calculations, not the
> equivalent length.  My camera's lens zooms from 5.8 to 23.2mm,
> and I think that makes it really tough to get a narrow depth
> of field under any circumstances.

Dunno.. Mine is 5 to 25 mm, and have had no trouble
doing that with smaller objects.
Here is one example using that method. The EXIF info
should be intact. That one was taken with a 25mm focal
length at F5.2. I can't manually adjust too much on mine.
Only the ISO setting. I can't adjust the aperture or
shutter time directly.