Home » lenses

Tag: lenses

iPhone Photography and Videography: 4 Tips on How to do Great Work.

Often with church or ministry documentation, it is expensive, and inconvenient to have a DSLR camera and all the accompanying gear. This gear includes, but is not limited to tripods, microphones, extra lenses, monitors, lights etc. Most churches don’t have the time or man power for that kind of an undertaking for each outreach. When on an outreach or mission trip it can be cumbersome to whip out a bulky DSLR and telephoto lens. I’d like to examine today a much easier and more convenient method for better church media. That being said I am always ready, love and advise shooting with a pro camera for better results, when convenient.
What is a 1080p HD pocket camera that everyone already has? Everyone has an iPhone, right? iPhones are increasingly better and better recording devices. With a little help everyone can do more quality work with their idevice. An idevice is a new term that incorporates the iPhone and iPad. Let’s look at 4 tips to do better photography and videography with your iPhone. 


Tip One: Plan Better

mountains-1270138_1920

Planning better is the first step to doing any kind of photography. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Take the time to get to know the features on your iPhone camera. Know where the flash is and the HDR option. You can even set a timer. Set the grid on your camera to practice lining up your images. This helps you with the rule of thirds, to assist you in making a more pleasing, ascetic image. Try shooting closer to your subject to get a better picture. Shoot lower or higher for a more unique angle. If you are shooting action or an event, be prepared and set up for the main event. Be aware and attentive to the action happening. Try to anticipate change so you can be ready for that shot.  Move to different sides or positions so get the optimal shot. No machine gun pics. Don’t just wave your phone all over the place and hope something tuns out. Plan the timing and position of your shot. Wait for the camera to auto focus. Don’t be in a rush to click. No picture is any good if it is blurry. On that note if you hold down on the screen with your finger, you can choose where you want the camera to focus at. You can choose a face or whatever the main subject is.

When shooting video, turn the camera to the horizontal view. This is a more natural video composition. When shooting video, be slow and deliberate with your movements. If you rush to much, you’ll lose focus and your video will be fuzzy.

Tip Two: Lens Options

The next step is to upgrade your equipment. Better lenses for your iPhone or iDevice mean that you have more options. More options means, better photos or videos. With a quick internet search you can find the right lens or lens set for you. You can get a extra wide, fish eye lens, macro lens, or even a telephoto lens. This is basically the range of lenses you would buy for a professional set.

  • Fish Eye. The fish eye lens is a ultra wide lens used to fully capture a large amount of space such as a city, stadium, mountain etc. A fish eye used to close can be very distorting.

    vancouver-257722_1920
    Fish eye lens
  • Macro. This is a great lens for capturing the small world of flowers, bugs, little things. It can be a neat way to get some unique pictures.

    macro-1357791_1920
    Macro lens
  • Telephoto. This is a great lens for a nature walk. If you see a far off bird, animal, or any subject in the distance. This is the lens you need to bring the distant subject close.

    bird-197052_1920
    Telephoto lens

Most of these attachable lenses are fairly cheap and easy to operate. In fact, you can get a set of lenses for your iPhone and get them all at once. Before purchasing, make sure that you can use the lens with the type of iPhone or idevice, that you have or that you plan on having. You don’t want to buy this equipment and then turn around two months later and buy a new phone. Make sure your going to have the phone for a while to make the purchases worth it.

Tip Three: Use a Tripod

It can be hard to focus with an iPhone. It does not have any grips, like a DSLR to keep the camera steady. Because of this flaw, you may want to invest in a tripod for your iDevice. Again, with a short search you can find flexible tripods, miniature tripods, and even full height tripods, all for your iPhone. A flexible tripod might be nice because you don’t know what type of position you’ll find yourself in, when out and about shooting. All in all a tripod is always a great choice to steady your images. If you are shooting video then a tripod is even more important. A shaky video is simply un watchable. To get better video for your church I advise you to invest in a tripod.

Tip Four: Do Better Video with a Mic and Light

It is truly amazing what you can get now! Yes you can purchase a clip on light for shooting video. I can’t vouch for how bright the light is or how long it will last. But when the room is dark or you’re about to loose the sun in your interview,  it may be just enough light to finish the job.

You can also get a boom mic and grip for recording more professional audio. If you are doing an interview you can purchase a lavaliere mic that will click right into your headphone jack on your phone. I can’t stress enough the importance of having great audio. You can take the best video your camera can muster but if you have scratchy, fuzzy, bad audio then your final product is still going to be shabby. It’s very important to get a boom mic with grip or a lavaliere mic and tripod.

Honestly you can get all or most of these things for $60 or less. You might be able to buy a package deal for $200 at the most. This is incredibly less expensive than buying all the gear for a DSLR or professional video gig. One of the other great aspects about shooting on you phone or iPad is that you can edit your material right there. There’s no transfer time. Over all, using your device as your primary means of recording church events or missions is very affordable. With the right gear attached you can acquire semi pro quality material.

Watch this video for even further education in this matter.

Lenses To Consider for Photography or Videography Part 1

 

camera-158471_960_720Once you start on the journey of church photography and service or testimony videography, you immediately are faced with the problem of choosing the right lens or lenses for your camera. Now, I shoot with Canon cameras so I choose their lenses. But whatever you shoot with there will be a similar lens to choose from. First lets cover the basics. There are two types of lenses. Zoom lens, and prime lens.

lens 2

A zoom lens has the capability to maneuver from one distance to another. There are numerous amounts of zoom lens’s to choose from. There are so very many different ranges it can be maddening to know what you should choose. Just look at B&H list of zoom focal lengths:

  • 7-14mm
  • 8-15mm
  • 8-16mm
  • 9-18mm
  • 10-17mm
  • 10-18mm
  • 10-20mm
  • 10-22mm
  • 10-24mm
  • 11-16mm
  • 11-18mm (1)
  • 11-20mm
  • 11-22mm
  • 11-24mm
  • 12-24mm
  • 12-28mm (2)
  • 12-60mm
  • 14-20mm
  • 14-24mm
  • 14-35mm
  • 14-42mm
  • 14-54mm
  • 15-30mm (1)
  • 15-85mm (1)
  • 16-28mm (2)
  • 16-35mm (3)
  • 16-50mm (2)
  • 16-80mm (2)
  • 16-85mm (2)
  • 16-105mm (1)
  • 16-300mm (3)
  • 17-35mm (3)
  • 17-40mm (1)
  • 17-50mm (11)
  • 17-55mm (2)
  • 17-70mm (5)
  • 17-85mm (2)
  • 18-35mm (6)
  • 18-50mm (1)
  • 18-55mm (8)
  • 18-105mm (1)
  • 18-135mm (5)
  • 18-140mm (1)
  • 18-180mm
  • 18-200mm (14)
  • 18-250mm (6)
  • 18-270mm (4)
  • 18-300mm (7)
  • 20-40mm (2)
  • 24-35mm (3)
  • 24-70mm (15)
  • 24-85mm (2)
  • 24-105mm (6)
  • 24-120mm (1)
  • 28-70mm (1)
  • 28-75mm (5)
  • 28-105mm (2)
  • 28-135mm (1)
  • 28-200mm (1)
  • 28-210mm (1)
  • 28-300mm (7)
  • 35-100mm
  • 40-150mm
  • 50-100mm
  • 50-135mm
  • 50-200mm
  • 50-500mm
  • 55-200mm
  • 55-250mm
  • 55-300mm
  • 60-250mm
  • 70-200mm
  • 70-300mm
  • 70-400mm
  • 75-300mm
  • 80-200mm
  • 80-400mm
  • 90-250mm
  • 100-400mm
  • 100-500mm
  • 120-300mm
  • 150-450mm
  • 150-600mm
  • 200-400mm
  • 200-500mm
  • 300-800mm
  • 650-1300mm

I think you get the point. On with it then; what to choose. Let’s start with lenses for photography. In part 2 we will discuss lenses for videography, but you can use these zoom lenses for videography as well.  First on the list of considerations for your new lenses is  your budget.  Here is my list of affordable but quality zoom lenses. All prices are based upon B&H Photo and Video.

  1. Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens. $849

  2. Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. $599

  3. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. $649

  4. Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. $699

  5. Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens. $299

Again if you don’t shoot Canon there are similar Nikon or Sony lenses out there. You should even investigate to see if Sigma, Tamron or another brand makes a lens that will fit the mount of your camera.1280px-24mm-Fixed-focal-SLR-lens You can even buy special lens mounts for your camera if need be. These are good lengths to consider when buying a zoom lens. You can get wider zooms or even more telephoto zooms but for standard day to day shooting for church services or events this is a good list. The 24mm to 70mm is a decent mid range.  A down side is that the f/4L f-stop is kind of a low spot to have to start at. By that I mean that you can’t have a larger aperture than f/4. You can go higher ( f/5, f/6, f/7…) but not lower (f/3, f/2…). That aperture doesn’t allow you to get that beautiful depth of field. When your shooting at church it is nice to be able to go brighter with your aperture since your shooting in the dim lighting. Read my blog post on shooting in dim lighting. On that note, the 24-105 gives you more range and a lower f-stop to shoot at. The f/3.5 f-stop aperture is going to let in more light to your sensor for a better image. The next lens is nice because you can use it as your ad on lens. By that I mean if you want to be able to zoom in further it’s a good lens to have as an addition. It matches up really nicely with the 24-70 because with the two lenses you now essentially have a 24-300mm lens kit. That’s a nice kit.

For the most flexibility I like the 18-200mm lens. This is a all in one lens. Its range is wide to a nice telephoto. With the bottom of the lens at a 3.5 aperture, it lets in a fair amount of light. I’ve gotten a lot of really nice shots wit this lens and it keeps me from changing from one lens to another most of the time.  Finally another all in one lens is the 28-135mm. Its range is not as good but the price makes up the difference. You’ll notice that all of these have ranges in their aperture settings. For example, 3.5-5.6, this range means that the lowest f-stop you can have when at its widest setting is a 3.5. When the zoom is extended to 200mm the lowest setting of aperture will be 5.6. You can always go darker from there but know that those are the lowest settings you can get on your lens at any given time.

Now if you have a little higher budget here is my favorites list.

  1. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. $1,499

  2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. $1,799

  3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens. $1,249

The first lens is the 16-35mm. Thats a nice wide range for shooting a large group, the whole stage, or building. The bottom of the lens is f/2.8, which means that no matter how far in you have your lens zoomed, you can maintain a low aperture of 2.8 or for that matter, whatever you wish. There are no limits on this lens. The same is true for the other two lenses. Again the 24-70 is a nice medium range and the 70-200 is a nice telephoto. The strength of these lenses is that you can set your aperture no matter if the lens is at its widest or deepest. There are no restrictions on them. That’s the difference between the expensive lenses and the cheaper ones. The cheaper lenses have restrictions on them and the more expensive ones do not. The key to look for to tell the difference is to look for the “L” series or a lens with a constant f2/8 f-stop or less. Next time I’ll discussing prime lenses and video production.

5011052457_cc2aec27f5_o