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When Wide is a Good Thing


I admit….I am a total photography newbie.  But I have been having fun playing with my Canon DSLR since I received it at Christmas.  And honestly have been pretty happy with the results considering….shhhh…. I really did not know what I was doing.

But something just came in the mail that rocked my world.  Especially considering it has not been on my camera for more than two hours.

Any guesses?

Well remember how I always make excuses for poor pictures in smallish spaces like closets and laundry rooms?

They looked something like this-


Standing in the exact same place I now have this-


That’s right a wide angle lens (a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 to be exact)!IMG_1161

This was purchased with our Italy trip in mind knowing that I would need a whole lot of practice before I would be ready to capture sites like Tuscany and the Florence skyline. I thought it also might come in handy in shooting stuff for the blog, but I had no idea what a difference it would make.  Bad news (for me at least) all of my current room pics are now unsatisfactory and I need to retake them.  That may require some straightening up around the house.

We chose this lens because of this incredibly helpful article on Fly Through Our Window, Amazon reviews, the Tamron 17-50mm Flickr group and pricing Canon wide angle at a local store.  We were really close to buying it on Amazon, when Derek found a couple used ones on Ebay.  After a couple of days of auction stalking he was the proud winner for a lower cost.

Something else that has helped my wannabe photographer skills is this (free) 12 week online course that I found via the blog Twenty-Six to Life.  I have not joined an actual group going through the tutorial, but I printed them all out and learning so much going through it at my own pace.  It is very straightforward and walks you through concepts one at a time with practice on your camera.  Because of this I can now shoot in the manual mode.  Big accomplishment for me. It is the perfect companion to a book such as Understanding Exposure

I am not making any promises, but I hope all of this learning makes a difference in my photos.  Now off to do some vacuuming to get the rooms ready to be seen in wide angle…..

15 comments on "When Wide is a Good Thing"
  1. A new lens - how exciting! I am in the process of deciding on a new lens for my Canon and am having such a hard time. There are WAY too many options! I've heard good things about Tamron.

  2. Sooo jealous! I am in the market for a new lens. I need something for distance. I am still stuck with my kit lens on my Nikon. I am familiar with Darby's article but thanks for posting the tutorial, I may try that out. I can't wait to see all of your new photos!

  3. Ooo... what a huge difference! I think I need a wide lens, now. Hubby will thank you.

    And, I think I need to try the tutorials, too. I like that you can do it at your own pace. I'll email if I ever get my lazy self to do the tutorials.

  4. How exciting! Shooting in manual must feel really good - I still haven't gotten there! I shot in Auto for the first 2 years I had my SLR and finally started shooting in A or P last year. I really want to get a better quality wide angle. I mostly use my 35mm f1.4 because it's the best lens I have but it's terrible for room shots! When are you going to Italy? You are going to get some amazing shots!

  5. yea for a new lens!! ;) I'm going to have to check out the online course... sounds very interesting!

  6. So jealous! I can't wait until I have DSLR too! That lens is great and the difference between those photos is phenomenal! I've been slow-going with the 12 week course, but it really is great. It really helps you learn about what your camera can do. I can't wait to see more pics!!! :)

  7. will love it..I got on for Christmas. I love it for taking photos in the city...looking up at buildings etc. You'll be SOOO happy to have it in a city like Rome1 :-)

  8. Gotta love those wide angle lens!! Yea, digital cameras are famous for lessening the wide angle. You made a very good purchase!

  9. How awesome. I've been looking around for a wide angle lens, I'm definitely going to check that one out.

  10. That is a great lens. Just used the Nikon version to shoot a wedding. I think you will be pleased with your pics using that. I also love a 55-200 for zooming in on details of buildings and things far away.

    I am so jealous that you are going to Rome and will have all these fab shots. Lucky girl!

  11. I want a camera with lenses... and then I want that lense! :) Lovely!!

  12. I want one too, I just can't part with $400 right now! I will have to just enjoy your new pictures until I have some spare cash....

  13. WOW, It makes a huge differance - love yuor downside about tidying up the house for new pics!!

  14. Lenses make such a BIG difference just as SLR cameras do. I recall how excited I was when i bought my first SLR camera years was a Niken D100....I still have it - but dont use it. Its only 6 megapixels, but at the time it was the best they had.

  15. Isn't it amazing what a difference that makes? Love that!I have a new camera too and haven't had much time to figure out what I'm doing with it. That course you found sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the link!