Paperweight. This is how the lens that is usually included in the "kit" is commonly known when you buy a camera. And that is what a very fond photography partner told me when she advised me when it came to buying the camera long years ago. "This goal is worthless, just like paperweight." Likewise, and so I spent a few years with the need to change it although my pocket did not give me for it. Until I could take the first step and buy myself the Prince of the objectives .
My perception over time is that I was partly right, but not quite. It is true that it is not a great objective, that the 18-55mm that they usually include is not a wonder. However, it is not a bazofia with which you can not even shoot. Life is not black or white, there are many precious grays that are worth enjoying.
That is why today I write this article, because this goal also has its benefits and I want to tell you. I hope that, when you finish reading it, you stay with the idea that yes, that you can take pictures with the "paperweight", that the best equipment is the one you have in your hands. I'm going to give you some tricks to squeeze it to the fullest and that you end up convincing yourself that you have a useful tool and not a sad «paperweight». You stay? I'm glad
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
The first thing I want is that you know this tool a little better to know why it is or is not as bad as they paint it.
The worst of these objectives is that it is true that they are not of great quality, their optics are not usually the best in the market, which can present vignettes and aberrations, that their constitution is usually fragile by plastic and, above all, where I see The biggest problem, they are dim.
Now, the good thing is that, when you are starting, neither vignetting nor chromatic aberrations should be a big problem, for the most demanding, advanced or professional, it will be, but for someone who is learning the relationship between speed, opening and ISO, which is not yet clear about what focal length is or that the white balance sounds like Chinese or vaguely, is the last of its problems. On the other hand, although the optics are not the best, it is very versatile. My 50 mm 1.8 lens is much better, yes, but it also limits me much more. When I talk about versatile, I mean that you can zoom and shoot at different focal distances . In addition, it covers a considerable angle.
Knowing the above, I leave some tricks and tips for your "paperweight" to become a good friend.
1. EXTRA CARE AGAINST DUST AND SHOCK
I will start with the issue of care because it is important that this goal lasts for you. As I said at the beginning, the last thing we want is to end up in the bin, right? Well, because of the fragility that was ahead of you, this objective requires a little more pampering when it comes to avoiding blows or working in places with a lot of dust. If you take these precautions into account, it will last longer and you can apply the rest of the advice for longer. Here are some general recommendations to protect your equipment.
2. FIND THE SWEET SPOT
Every objective has its so-called sweet spot, which is where it offers the greatest clarity. Normally it is usually two steps above its maximum opening. Use that opening whenever it fits you for better image quality.
3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DAYLIGHT HOURS
One of the drawbacks of this objective is the lack of luminosity, that is, its limited aperture does not allow as much light as in other lenses and that frustrates because many times the photos are underexposed. With this lens it is best to take advantage of the moments of the day when there is light and shoot more outdoors.
You can also take advantage of the light in another way, if you discover its magic, how it can be the protagonist or co-star of the image, how it can change the message depending on the type of light or how to get excited through it, it will not matter with what purpose or with What camera you shoot. The magic of light overcomes any physical limitation.
This image is taken with a Canon 18-55.
4. OPTIMIZE BLUR
Openness is directly related to blurring, which is why these objectives limit a lot in this regard. You want a portrait with an unfocused background to give it more prominence and you don't get it. There are two tricks to improve this: the first, move your subject (or motive) away from the background, you will see how the blur is greater; the second, stay away, the further you are from your protagonist the more blur you will achieve. Do the test
You can also throw after a little postproduction help and increase the blur (but we already tell you that in point 8 ).
5. USE A TRIPOD
Placing the camera on a tripod offers you the possibility of having more time to open the shutter and thus achieve greater light input. This will also compensate for the lack of luminosity and will open the doors to the long exposure , a magical world that you have to discover.
6. INVESTMENT RINGS
If you want a little more game, you have the option of using an investment ring , a very cheap resource that will allow you to flirt with the macro without having to change the objective, yes, the results will not be the same as with a specific objective Macro but to learn, investigate and know if you want to find your site in this section of photography it works for you. Once you know what you are going you can take safe steps and not blind sticks
Do you know everything you can achieve with the use of filters ? You have to scratch your pocket a little but it will never reach the ends of the new target and they will give a lot of glass to the one you already have. Take advantage of the focal point you have for landscapes and "paint" them with one (or several) of these filters .
8. WITHOUT FEAR OF EDITING
Although we usually encourage you to achieve the photo from the camera, that does not imply that you should completely forget about the edition. The important thing is that you achieve the maximum with the camera and that the touch-ups are the minimum, but do not forget that editing programs can help you improve lights, shadows, sharpness, and so on.
9. TAKE CARE OF THE FUNDS
The fact of not being able to blur with a good opening has an added problem. It is not only that you cannot achieve that beautiful effect, but that you will have to take more care of the funds and the environment. When shooting it is easy to concentrate on the protagonist and forget about the rest. Our brain is very good at focusing attention on one point and there are things we don't see, but the camera does capture them.
And then when you see the image on the computer you can find everything in the background. No longer one that distracts with forms or bright colors, but also, a butane bottle, a garbage bag, a cardboard box, or the grandfather's dentures in the glass of the table You will laugh now that you read it, but It really would surprise you how many "things" you can find in a photo in the focused background. And I assure you that they are not in the background in sight. When you use wide openings this is best carried out because many of these elements "disappear", with this objective it is up to you to do a little cleaning and eliminate everything that could get in the way.
In short, it eliminates background distractions and tries to make it fit in the photo like another piece of the puzzle.
10. EXCITE AND TELL STORIES
If your image excites or tells a story that catches the viewer, the deficiencies of your goal will dissipate. Try to put all your passion in what you are doing and you will be able to transmit it, here are some tips to achieve it and here to tell stories .
11. TAKE CARE OF THE COMPOSITION
The star trick. It does not matter if you photograph with a smartphone , with a goal of the most expensive or with the paperweight , whether or not you have a story or that you manage to convey a clear emotion, if you achieve a great composition , success is assured. If you want a few resources, check out this .
I have one last extra tip to give you, always remember that the best team is the one you have in your hands. Tomorrow may be another, but today it will be the one that gives you your best photo. You just have to trust him and you. Do not forget.
Now shoot. It is the only way to take a picture And, if you have found it useful, before pressing the shutter button, I would appreciate it if you shared it. The "kit" goals of the world need an extra dose of love . Thanks and see you soon.
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