Need Canon T2i Tips and Tricks?

NCLRbear

Adventurer
Hey everyone!-
I bought a Canon T2i from Costco about 5 years ago. It came with a EFS 18-55 lens and a EFS 55-250 zoom lens. I am just now getting into the photography element of off roading and overlanding and was looking for some basic tips and tricks for this camera( or just photography in general ). I am also looking into a new lens and just wanted some opinions from people on what works good for strictly outdoor, scenic, shots of the rig ect. I know there is more than one I should get so maybe what is the next one I should get. I also just learned from a thread on ExPo about renting lenses. Is this something worth doing to try out lenses or should I just get one that is tried and true?

Thank you so much!!
 

MrWesson

Adventurer
I have the same camera and have some tips/advice.

Use AV mode, learn about and use Fstop settings and shoot in Raw format. A picture that looks dark and terrible in the viewfinder could be "the one" when edited using lightroom or similar software.. Taking good DSLR pictures is going to require post shoot editing for them to look good.

Also realize that photography isn't about equipment anymore than a golfer thinking $2,000 golf clubs will make him better.. You have to know how to recognize and compose a shot.. Something I never got right.

Past that if you just want clear pictures of what you're seeing to share then shoot in highest quality vs RAW. I still use AV mode almost exclusively because i'm not good enough for full manual mode.

Pickup a nifty 50 lens or the new 40mm lens for awesome depth of field shots with low F stop..

The zoom lens IMO is less useful than the 18-55 and nifty 50mm but cool to play with for long range shots that can be cropped(of animals for example).

I also really like night photography with long shutter speed which is pretty easy to do and get a decent effect. I never had great luck with capturing much sky due to bright lights and the rotation of the earth blurring everything.
 

grogie

Like to Camp
^It may be blasphemy, but I disagree with telling someone new to shoot in raw as I don't think he'll have to post edit pictures from his T2i to get them to look good. Frankly raw images are huge and time consuming to deal with, especially if he takes a lot of pictures.

OP, I have experience with the Canon T1i, T3i and SL1 for work as I keep these cameras for myself and staff to use for event coverage, and as well I have an SL1 at home for my own adventures. At work I have no reservations with going back to the T1i at times. Your T2i should be a very good camera as well. A couple of things I'd suggest: If you have not already done so, go to YouTube as you'll often find really good videos and tips on your specific camera, specific lenses, and photography in general (and consider some online paid courses as well). Renting lenses is certainly a good thing to try different ones out (and as well to use a local store for your purchases vs. online as the guys there can be very helpful). Then go and out and take a lot of pictures of different subjects and lighting conditions. Take some day trips just to do that! Another thing to say that is probably also blasphemy, as you learn with your T2i, don't be afraid to use the auto setting as needed. Learning the manual is important, but I've later regretted some manual shots I've made under pressure when I wish I had just switched the camera back to auto. DSLs do a fine job and I find the fun of photography is what I frame in the viewfinder.
 

Nivel Egres

Observer
A general DSLR advice (coming across the table from my GF who is a pro dance photographer):
(1) carry the ************** thing with you and take a lot of photos - to get that one in a thousand shot, usually you actually need to shoot a thousand shots
(2) get a clear understanding of what aperture and shutter speed do to the picture, from there learn to use the modes (full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual)
(3) learn to use the flash when you don't think you need it (fill-in, like in cases when you are shooting against hard light) and when you do need it
(4) buy a polarizing filter and a hood - it will do wonders, especially for travel photography
(5) invest in glass before you invest in a body - a solid wide-angle and a fast tele are the best investments equipment-wise, all else will follow
 

NCLRbear

Adventurer
Thanks a lot! I have been using AV more and recently have enjoyed using full manual and my photos have came out pretty good In my own opinion. the one thing that kept happening when i took it to the park to photograph my son playing and to practice was I kept screwing up the ISO from shooting in the shade to full sun. I just forgot to set it and totally understand what you mean about going back to full auto. The purpose of me taking the camera to the playground was for practice though so I'm not upset at all. I will check out some YT videos this week thanks!!
 

NCLRbear

Adventurer
that is great advice. its hard to learn and remember all that stuff if you just take it out once in a while and dust it off. I'm going to buy a tripod and look into a filter and hood. I've read some other articles recommending those as well and they're not too expensive.
 

Rattler

Thornton Melon's Kid
I always had point and shoots with poor results most of the time. My buddy was racing his 4Runner at a semi-local ORP back in July of '12. He had just bought a Canon T3i. He handed it to me and told me to get some photos of him with it. I immediately fell in love with it. I ended up picking up a T2i a week later. I have been pretty active taking photos since. A guy I had met while taking concert pics started telling me about shooting in RAW a few months later (turns out Tom has been shooting concerts since the mid-70s, name them, he has probably shot them). I bugged Every Miles A Memory that is on here some too having met Pat the summer before.

I had the same lenses you did for a couple years. I ended up getting a Sigma 18-200 3.5 for a trip to Germany. I wouldn't say it is any better or worse than the Canons, it is just less switching lenses. I later got the recommended Nifty 50, a Rokinon 8MM fisheye and my favorite, a Tokina 11-20 wide angle. I now have a Canon 70D. I stepped up to something that performed better in the lower light seeing it seemed like I tended to shoot in it. I have somehow even managed to get a couple photos on the ExPo calendars over the last few years.

I guess my big things other than asking questions was just messing around a lot and watching a lot of youtube videos (some are great, some are crap). Get the basics down though and seeing what needs to be adjusted is easier. Shoot, shoot, shoot!!
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
Some good advice here. I particularly agree with Grogie about renting various lenses to try them out. I use the 16-35 f2.8 most of the time for off road shots. I have found it helpful to have a polarizing UV filter on the lens to deepen the blue sky and to physically protect the lens. That $70 filter has saved several $1500 lenses!

I also crank down the exposure by one third whenever shooting outdoors, and if I'm in contrasty areas like a forest or canyon, I keep it at ISO 400. I manually set Aperature to achieve a shallow depth of field and let the camera adjust everything else. On a day trip I will shoot 500+ images and get thirty keepers or so.

I use SmugMug and it includes a good metrics package. It always surprises me that no matter how mundane, photos of people SIGNIFICANTLY draw more views than the coolest scenery or action shot.

My site: www.nwoods.smugmug.com
 

Rattler

Thornton Melon's Kid
Some good advice here. I particularly agree with Grogie about renting various lenses to try them out. I use the 16-35 f2.8 most of the time for off road shots. I have found it helpful to have a polarizing UV filter on the lens to deepen the blue sky and to physically protect the lens. That $70 filter has saved several $1500 lenses!

I also crank down the exposure by one third whenever shooting outdoors, and if I'm in contrasty areas like a forest or canyon, I keep it at ISO 400. I manually set Aperature to achieve a shallow depth of field and let the camera adjust everything else. On a day trip I will shoot 500+ images and get thirty keepers or so.

I use SmugMug and it includes a good metrics package. It always surprises me that no matter how mundane, photos of people SIGNIFICANTLY draw more views than the coolest scenery or action shot.

My site: www.nwoods.smugmug.com
X3 on the lens protectors. I have had them save my lenses already more than once. With polarizers, they work best 90 degrees with the sun from what I have learned.

My wife encourages me to do more people photo sessions. "People pay you, scenery doesn't!" she told me. I guess I enjoy not having to tell the scenery how to pose more.
 
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