I remember a time that seems so far in the past now!
I bought my first DSLR camera almost 10 years ago, in 2005. This Canon 350D was my very first “expert” camera and was mounted with a Sigma 18 – 200mm zoom. I didn’t know yet how this range and type of zoom was bad. For me it was just the perfect equipment at that time and I was ready to shoot from very short to long distance!
I only learnt later that a so much large zoom can’t be a good one no matter the manufacturer is and that a fixed lens is by far much better than any zoom on the market! That’s why I only use fixed lenses now and that I own 17 of them, from 20mm to 400mm.
I took this picture end of August 2005 in St Germain en Laye, a beautiful city located 15km west of Paris. When I look at the EXIF of this picture, I feel ashamed… The picture is definitely nice but… looking at the details, everything is wrong and I know that I wouldn’t set my camera like this if I had to take this picture again:
- ISO: 1600
- Exposure time: 1/400
- Fnumber: 6.4
- Focal length: 200mm
ISO 1 600!! Using ISO more than 800 in 2005, that’s crazy, almost criminal! But I don’t see a lot of noise on this picture, meaning that this Canon 350D wasn’t too bad in fact!
If I had to take again this picture, I’d definitely use more appropriate settings, like an exposure time at 1/200 sec (largely enough for a 200mm focal length) so as to reduce ISO at 800 maximum. And I wouldn’t use such a zoom! My current 200mm fixed lens opens at F:2.8! It means I could take this picture wide open at ISO 100! And as this is a fixed lens, the picture would be more sharp, with a better bokeh and a better color render…
But this is how I learnt about photography and how to use a camera!
This is how I learnt that I only like fixed lenses because this forces to think about the composition and to use my legs to zoom in or zoom out. I really enjoyed this Canon DSLR even if I definitely don’t like Canon ergonomics at all (where is the second wheel for the thumb???), but I really don’t like this type of zoom! May be one day I’ll buy a 70-200 or a 24-70, but no more!