Recently I made the switch from a Canon DSLR to a Sony mirrorless camera. While I really enjoy using my new kit, I do miss the incredibly big lens line-up that Canon offers. Very few competitors can offer so many good lenses. Even fewer can do it at the same price.

To give you an impression, these are the lenses I used with my Canon DSLRs. The good news is that all of these have a relatively low price, especially when buying them second-hand.

Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II

Your expectactions might drop shockingly low when you hold this cheap lens for the first time. But with its wide aperture and great image quality (for the price) it’s a lot of fun to use.

Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II - IMG_1202

Canon 18-135mm IS STM

A very well built and versatile zoom lens. 135mm is just too short if you expect this to be an all-in-one lens though. I sold this lens fairly quickly, opting for prime lenses instead.

Canon EF 50mm F/1.4

A very decent 50mm prime but unfortunatly not the low-light shallow depth-of-field king its specs promise. It’s very soft at anything wider than F/1.8. Great all-round prime and compact compared to lenses with similar specs.

Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM

Canon EF 24mm F/2.8

Compact and cheaper than the new version. But it lacks features such as IS and image quality can vary.

Canon EF 24mm F/2.8 - IMG_6589

Canon EF 24mm F/2.8 IS USM

Great image quality and a very well built lens. I owned this lense longer than any other lens on this list as there is simply no reason to part with it.

Canon EOS 3000v - IMG_9677

Canon EF 10-18mm IS STM

A joy to use and probably the best option for crop-sensor DSLRs from Canon for wide angle photography. The focal-range, image stabilization, quiet STM focus motor, low prize and small size all add up to a great lens.

Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM‎

Canon EF 100mm F/2 USM

As far as I know the sharpest lenses in this price range and well built too. The focal distance is a challange to use and Canon has a 100mm macro lens which offers more versatility.

Canon 100mm F/2.0 USM

Canon EF 50mm F/2.5 Compact Macro

Can be used for anything from portraits to macro shots and delivers great image quality despite its age. Focus can be slow however, especially when changing focus from macro to a normal distance.

Canon EF 80-200mm

An old low-end zoom from the film-days. It has one thing going for it though: it’s the smallest and lightest lens with this focal range.

Canon EF 80-200mm

Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM

Very sharp image quality and a great focal distance on full-frame. Just slightly less well built than the (otherwise very similar) Canon EF 100mm F/2 USM.

Canon 6D

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My experiences from starting out with a Canon 350D, upgrading to a 70D and ending up with a 6D.

In 2013 I got my first ‘real’ camera, the Canon 350D with kit-lens. At first I struggled a bit, often ending up with blurry pictures and the usual beginner gripes. But on a trip to Jordan, thanks to the bright desert sun and backdrops like Wadi Rum, the conditions were perfect for me to get the hang of it.

So when I returned from Jordan, being quite impressed with the images I got, I was completely hooked. The way you can quickly improve yourself when first starting out is exhilarating. But like most photographers, you always wonder what difference a new camera could make.

Trusty old Canon 350D

Wadi Rum, Jordan - IMG_0834 Pluk - IMG_1401 Wadi Rum Jeep Tour, Jordan, IMG_0877

Despite its age and simplicity, I still see the old Canon 350D as a very decent and useful camera. It’s capable of taking better photos than the average smart-phone of today. It’s great for beginners because it doesn’t distract you with complicated features. Instead it forces you to focus on your technique and it gives an honest lesson in shutter speed and ISO.

One thing I only noticed after using the Canon 70D for a while is the incredibly small screen on the 350D. This didn’t bother me before I got used to the 3″ screens on current models.

Know-it-all Canon 70D

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The Canon 70D is a big step up, most certainly when it comes to it’s features. The image quality it good but doesn’t stand out in it’s price range. It’s the combination of features such as a touch-screen, great auto-focus for video and WIFI that makes this DSLR a joy to use. This makes it great for anything from a week of hiking to indoor portraits.

Low-light situations is where I felt held back by this camera though. Above ISO 800 images will loose their contrast and color. After shooting an event, where I was keeping my shutter speed as slow as possible just to keep the ISO down, I made up my mind. Time to upgrade.

Another reason to switch cameras was size compared to performance. I want to feel like I’m not carrying around dead weight but that I’ll use every single gram of the camera. Nowadays it’s possible to get a compact camera with the same size sensor and performance. So I either wanted to switch to a smaller crop-sensor camera or go full frame but keep the same size. Enter the Canon 6D.

And finally, the Canon 6D

Gebouw 45 at Soesterberg IMG_4846 IMG_3253

Compared to the Canon 70D, the 6D is a small step back in terms of features but a noticeable improvement in terms of image quality. Better ISO-performance was my biggest motivation to switch to the 6D and it definitely lives up to my expectations. And in terms of features it’s certainly not a bad camera. It packs WIFI, GPS, options for HDR and quite a few other practical functionalities.

What I do miss, when looking back at the 70D, are the vari-angle touch-screen and auto-focus. After a while I got used to the lack of a touch-screen. The latter is something that will always bother 6D users however. Of the meagerly eleven focus-points only the center focus point can really be trusted.

Any regrets?

My experience with these three DSLRs are generally positive. Never did I feel like I had the completely wrong camera in my hands. And by waiting until your current camera feels a bit limiting, you know you got the most out of it.

Since I’ve been trying out film photography, I wanted to try different kinds of film. After a bit of research I decided to try Ektar 100 first.

ISO 100 vs ISO 200

Ektar 100 is a film roll known for sharpness and a low amount of noise (ISO 100). I was really curious to see if I could get a different result from the cheap ISO 200 I’ve been using.

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While I’m very happy with the pictures I got, the difference wasn’t as big as I expected. Perhaps this comes down to the lenses I use or the way I scan the negatives.

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I can see myself using Ektar 100 for special occasions, when I really want that extra bit of quality. But in general I’m still comfortable using decent but cheap film.

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See more

See more pictures I took using Ektar 100 film.

Updated portfolio

My updated Graphic & Webdesign portfolio is now online. It’s a platform where I can show of my latest work.

The right time to update

For me it was quite important to find the right moment to update my website. It should represent where you are as a designer in terms of style and skill. Recent projects helped me determine this. Therefore I feel like the new website really shows what I’m capable of at this moment.

Meta

The portfolio website itself is just as important as the projects it contains. It’s a great chance to show of as many design and technical knowledge as possible. Make sure the focus stays on the content though. As with most project, the design and experience are there to support the content.

Add something extra

The portfolio is geared towards my main profession: graphic & webdesign. However, I personally like to include other interests or skills as well. That is why I added a photography and a game design section. Both sections are related to my profession in several ways, show where my interests and skills extent to and simply add something unique.

Visit my update portfolio.

While digital photography has almost completely replaced film photography, there is still a strong following for the latter. This made me curious to try it out.

I already own a couple of good lenses which are compatible with film cameras in the EOS line of Canon. So all I really need to start shooting film is a camera body… of which there are an insane amount available for very low prices.

Canon EOS 3000v: Last of its kind

My eyes fell on the Canon EOS 3000v. This is one of the very last film cameras in the EOS line.

Canon EOS 3000v

Being aimed at casual photographers, it’s not the most feature-rich option. But a fast frame rate and other advanced features is not what I’m looking for with this camera. It does have a decent auto-focus and the modes I like to use (Manual and Aperture priority among others).

What also makes the Canon EOS 3000v stand out is it’s size and weight. It’s the smallest and lightest I could find of the late Canon film cameras.

That actually also leads to this cameras weak spots: its flimsy construction. The pop-up flash can pop up unintentionally because it’s not secured well. Another issue is the material of the grip. The black plastic of this part of the camera can get sticky over time. Look out for this when getting a used copy.

The first roll

Most of the photos of my first roll were taken in Zeeland, the Netherlands. All photos are taken on 35mm film from the HEMA (a very common Dutch store which for some reason still sells and develops film rolls) with an ISO of 200. The negatives were scanned on an EPSON V350.

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After developing and scanning the first roll of film I got the following impression: Less sharpness but a lot more character. And on that cold winter day in Zeeland, that is exactly what I wanted. Even unedited, the pictures already captured the mood very well. Whereas digital pictures would have given a very neutral (almost boring) impression straight out of the camera.

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It was also nice to see the results were very close to what I was aiming for. The difference between using a DSLR and an SLR just isn’t as big as you might think. The same settings will lead to the same result.

One remark I would like to add: I’m not certain if Image Stabilization (a feature of most recent Canon lenses) works in combination with an old SLR.

Conclusion

In the meantime I’ve also taken pictures on film when visiting Cologne, Germany. I’m still happy with the results I get.

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It didn’t convince me to use film in every situation however. When capturing the rich details in a landscape or a taking a neutral portrait, I prefer digital. When capturing the mood of a moment, I will now consider using film.

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For those with a Canon DSLR who are interested in film, I can really recommend trying out an old SLR. It’s cheap, easier than you think and a lot of fun.