Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Learning Photography: Changing Lenses

Canon EOS Rebel T3: A Great Little Entry-level DSLR

As you know, I'm a (very) beginning "photographer" just learning to use my Canon Rebel T3. I'm only comfortable referring to myself as a "photographer" because I looked it up in the dictionary: a person who takes photographs. I do that!

Anyway,  I've purchased several books on photography, and I'm working my way through them and sharing what I've learned. Be sure to take a look at my previous "photography lessons," also known as the blind leading the blind.

Today's lesson is about changing lenses. After all, you bought that fancy DSLR with the interchangeable lenses for a reason other than looking cool, right? So you can't just leave that kit lens on forever; at some point you're going to want something different, maybe even something better. You're going to have to change that lens....

....and expose the mysterious and fragile innards of your expensive camera to the dangers lurking in the environment!

Seems like maybe we want to do that right.

So, what are the things to remember? From my reading it seems to go like this:
  • Work fast.
  • Have everything prepared and ready to go before you start.
  • Work in the cleanest place you can find. The wet lawn is not it.
  • If you're outside, shield your camera from the wind which could blow dust and kryptonite and other stuff up in there.
  • Very important thing that I may or may not have forgotten at some point or several points when changing lenses: TURN THE CAMERA OFF!!
  • Keep the camera pointed down so as to keep the aforementioned dust and/or kryptonite from falling into the mysterious and fragile innards.
  • Keep the lens caps on both lenses.
  • Familiarize yourself with the red dot or white square on your camera and on the lens. They need to line up when you put the new lens on.
  • At this point, I would hold my breath because this is where it gets really scary, but that's just me. You may choose to continue letting oxygen reach your brain which, now that I think about it, is probably a good option too.
  • Remove the old lens and set it down gently.
  • Remove the rear cover from the new lens, line up the marks and twist the lens into place.
  • Place the rear cover on the old lens.
  • Breathe again.
Whew! I'm glad that's over. Until we have to do it again.

Now, eventually it's likely that you'll get some dust on your sensor. Bad bad bad! Next time, we'll discuss how to clean the sensor when it happens.

In the meantime, here's one of my latest "photography" efforts. I was practicing with exposure and light and photograph-y stuff like that. It's a self-portrait (because no one including my daughter will take time out of their busy day nursing sick children and husband to come pose for me).

So how are we all doing with the "photography" practice? Are we all comfortable changing our lenses? Will some of you who actually know what you're doing validate this post by telling me I got it right? Can someone tell me how all this kryptonite got here in the first place?

Leave some comments so I know you were here! Otherwise I feel lonely and inadequate and have to eat chocolate. Ok. I'm going to eat chocolate anyway, but you know.

Other posts in this series:

Amateur Photography Blogging
Getting to Know Your Camera
Focal Length