Each month Bayline Studios focuses on a specific photographic subject, based on questions from our clients, students and Facebook Fans.

I am always hearing folks talk about how they can’t wait to get that new camera, because it will make their photos soooo much better. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is really not the case. Digital cameras these days, are pretty darn good at what they do. However you will still have to do a lot of the work to get decent images. It is learning to use the camera correctly, and within its tolerances, that makes for better photos.

One of the best things that you can do to improve your photos, is to take some basic instruction. Hint, Hint, call us, and get your self some good quality “Glass” as we call it in the business. A good quality lens will improve sharpness, contrasts, chromatic aberration ( more on that later ) and overall picture quality. Provide of course that you know how to use it.

Most cameras come with a “Kit” lens as part of a bundle. Although they are OK, they are not great and not very high quality. More expensive and pro model cameras tend to come with the body only, as pro’s are pretty picky about what? “Glass”! See you are getting it!

The kit lenses usually are not a fixed  2.8 or 4.0, etc. They are usually a variable 3.5-5.6 ( more on what this means later ) They also tend to have a large zoom ratio which also affects optical quality.

Most folks want an all purpose walk around lens. One they can shoot wide angle, medium zoom, and close up. There are some great ones out there and fairly affordable. One thing to remember though. Most consumer cameras have a 1.6 crop factor. Meaning that your image is already cropped by 1.6. So say that you have a 10mm lens, to get the true mm, you have to  X it by 1.6. Hence a 10mm lens on a crop sensor camera will become a 16mm lens. This comes in handy when shooting far away subjects, as it will give you an extra oomph in focal length. A 200mm lens X 1.6 now becomes a 320 mm lens. On full frame camera, this equation does not apply.

More on lenses tomorrow. We will be discussing wide angle lenses and their uses.