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Join photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long on location in San Francisco as he explores the creative options provided by the kinds of lenses and lens accessories that don't always make it into most camera bags.
The course begins with a look at several common and inexpensive lens attachments, from polarizers to neutral density filters. The course then explores ultra-wide angle and fisheye lenses as well as ultra-long telephoto and macro lenses. The course concludes with a look at tilt-shift lenses, which are useful for architectural photography and special effects, and at offbeat lenses, such as Lensbaby and Holga attachments.
The course also contains Photoshop postproduction advice and examples that illustrate the creative possibilities that an expanded lens collection provides. And because some specialty lenses are extremely expensive, the course also contains advice on renting gear.
Your camera has a very specific lens mount, and most camera vendors make their own custom mounts. So, for example, you can't just take a Nikon lens and stick it on your Canon camera; I mean that would just be wrong, wouldn't it? Not necessarily, because you can get adaptors that will let you use lenses designed for other mounts. This is a very easy way to gain access to entire ranges of lenses. Many video shooters, for example, who use Canon cameras use adaptors to gain access to certain Nikon lenses because of their manual controls.
Adaptors also make it possible to use older lenses that are no longer made. Canon used to make a 50-mm f/0.95 lens that you can still sometimes find for sale used. It uses an older Canon lens mount that isn't supported by your EOS camera, but with the right adaptor you can get it to work. Here we're using a lens adaptor to attach a 21 mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens to this Canon EOS 5D Mark III. What's great about this lens is that it's fantastically sharp. So this is a case where I'm using an adaptor to get access to a lens with better quality than anything that Canon provides.
Now in almost all cases, when you use an adaptor you'll lose autofocus. The adaptor simply adapts the lens mount; it doesn't actually send any electrical commands to the autofocus system. You'll also probably lose aperture control. This Zeiss lens has a manual iris ring, but if your lens doesn't, then it may only work on your camera with its iris wide open. Now, a few companies make adaptors that attempt to convert autofocus and aperture settings, as well as lens mount. For example if you have a Micro Four Thirds camera, Redrock Micro makes an adaptor that lets you attach Canon lenses to that camera with full aperture control. But you still won't have autofocus.
You might also need to be careful about any lens hoods or other accessories. In this case, this lens hood is visible in the image, so I would want to take this off, and I certainly wanted to check into those kinds of things before I headed off to shoot with this lens. Lens adaptors are also great if you own several camera systems and you want to share lenses between them. These days, adaptors exist to convert just about any type of lens to any other mount, and they're usually pretty cheap. Do some Google searches for your specific needs and you should find suitable adaptors with little problem.
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