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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 1 of 58

Class Introduction


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 1 of 58

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

00:00:04.57 --> 00:00:07. Welcome back to creative live always good to be back 00:00:07.61 --> 00:00:10. always good to have you now you have done I don't 00:00:10.42 --> 00:00:14. even know how many camera specific classes here on 00:00:14.16 --> 00:00:18. creative I've but you have never taught just lenses 00:00:18.51 --> 00:00:22. classes so tell us why you put this class together 00:00:22.69 --> 00:00:26. who is it for and why is it so important? Well to 00:00:26.65 --> 00:00:29. be honest with you I designed this class and built 00:00:29.64 --> 00:00:30. it for me 00:00:31.53 --> 00:00:36. me twenty five years ago I was a new wide eyed photographer 00:00:36.06 --> 00:00:39. I had a bottom of the line camera to the bottom of 00:00:39.27 --> 00:00:42. the line after market lenses and I was trying to make 00:00:42.88 --> 00:00:45. my way in photography and I open up one of those lens 00:00:45.37 --> 00:00:48. brochures we've all seen these and they could beautiful 00:00:48.26 --> 00:...

00:50. gorgeous lenses in there and I knew that there was 00:00:50.68 --> 00:00:53. a reason and a purpose for all of them but there was 00:00:53.76 --> 00:00:56. so little information back that it was unbelievably 00:00:56.76 --> 00:00:59. mean there's a few little speck lines a small few 00:00:59.5 --> 00:01:02. sentences about it but no one really told you how 00:01:02.21 --> 00:01:05. to use them properly so fast forward twenty five years 00:01:05.3 --> 00:01:07. to today all right so we're in the information age 00:01:07.98 --> 00:01:10. and there's information everywhere everyone's gotta 00:01:10.45 --> 00:01:12. block and they spout out a little bit about their 00:01:12.33 --> 00:01:16. lenses but it's completely incomplete it's scattered 00:01:16.15 --> 00:01:19. its out of day it's just not a full package of learning 00:01:20.37 --> 00:01:23. and so I wanted to create a class that was about learning 00:01:23.81 --> 00:01:26. lenses and there's really not much out there and so 00:01:26.72 --> 00:01:29. I wanted to do something that really encompassed everything 00:01:29.23 --> 00:01:32. of photographer needed to know about lenses and this 00:01:32.32 --> 00:01:35. is what I wanted to experience when I was new in photography 00:01:35.55 --> 00:01:37. sit down show it to me tell me everything I get it 00:01:37.97 --> 00:01:41. I need to know well jon if john gringo created this 00:01:41.39 --> 00:01:46. class for himself we are in luck. So john one quick 00:01:46.13 --> 00:01:48. question before we get started is this class for people 00:01:48.74 --> 00:01:51. who are looking to buy new lenses and figure out what 00:01:51.43 --> 00:01:54. they want or is it for people to learn better how 00:01:54.04 --> 00:01:57. to use the lenses that they already have yes it's 00:01:57.35 --> 00:02:00. for belt because people are choosing trying to figure 00:02:00.32 --> 00:02:02. out which lends to buy and I understand that because you got to get the right lens is in your bag once they're in your camera bag you need to figure out which one is appropriate for this type of situation and so I think this is going to cover both of those aspects pretty easily and one thing I should note here because people are thinking about buying lenses is I don't work for cannon I don't work for any of the other manufacturers as well I'm not sponsored I don't work for any of the camera stores which kind of means I get to save effort our line in fact there's one linds I'm going to tell you very specifically no one should buy this. Lands and you're gonna find out why when we get into the land section on so I could be really honest about what I like and we're gonna talk about third party lenses so sigma tau kina tamron yeah it's all fair game in here all right john we'll I'm excited for this to get started let's hear a little bit more about what we're going to cover in this class all right thank you john for being here all right, so I've put together several different sections to really encompass the entire world of lenses and the first thing that we're going to do is we're going to start off with focal length of lenses trying to figure out what individual focal links do and we need to do this before we get into the particular lenses I know you're all antsy let's show me this land show me that lends know we've got a backup and I know some of you have lots of experience but I'm going to start from the beginning and we're gonna make a clean sweep through everything so that you're straight on everything so we're going to start off on focal ink we're gonna go through aperture this isn't a photo one one one one class so we're not gonna be doing the basic depth of field type stuff we're gonna be going on to a little bit more advanced topics to here. We need to go through a section that some of you if this was a college course you would probably be going oh no this is going to be the worst topic ever features and technology but for me this is going to be one of the most exciting parts of the day because there's lots of new stuff I have lots of new illustrations and animations that put in here when you understand what goes into making the lands I think you'll have much more appreciation of the value of each of these lenses in each of the different aspects of what they can do and so this is going to really be the lens appreciation part of the class and then finally we're going to get into lenses and surprisingly we're going to start with zoom lenses because I know that's where most people start off and so we're going to do zoom lenses and then we're going to go to the more specialized prime lenses and this is where we have a lot of the really beautiful top of the line class and so we'll be able to talk about the specific things that you would be doing with these types of lenses and then we'll talk about all the lens accessories there's hoods and filters and tripod collars how do they help your photography winner the important winter they not important and what do you need to get for different types of lenses? We're gonna have a fun section on specialty lenses this is where we talk about macro and fisheye and tilt shift lenses and I realized that a lot of you are not going to own all of these lines in fact you know like very few people own a tilt shift lens but if you can understand what it does it will help you in other parts of your photography and that's true of this entire section you might be saying to yourself I'm never going to buy a ten thousand dollar telephoto lens but two things it will help you out on the thousand dollars telephoto lens you buy and I think it's just fun to know what is capable in the world of photography because if you know the potential you'll know the directions that you could potentially go and then finally we're going to end up this whole section on kind of putting everything together owning a system kind of the maintenance of an entire lens system and this is going to run everything from choosing very specific lenses I know some of you have very targeted questions about what's the best portrait lands well I am going to answer that question what is the best sports linds what's the best landscape plans and I'm going to go through and show you some of the best lenses in the trade offs we'll talk about lens cleaning lens maintenance even howto buy and sell your lenses on the used market because lenses are huge investment they are what photographers really value I mean, I learned this in the early days I was young, I was doing some internships at the newspapers and I was working with photographers we've been in the business for twenty five, thirty, forty years and they said john it's not the camera it's about the lenses you gotta have a good lens system and it costs a lot of money, but if you invest in good glass, it'll last a long period of time and if you think about it right now, cameras get all the attention and they come and go so quickly, you know, two, three, four years and you're through on to the next camera body, but len systems, they're expensive, but you can keep them for ten, fifteen, twenty years, and so if you invest in good quality glass, you understand what it does, and it fits your needs that's going to be one of the most beneficial things to improving your photography. And so I think that and that everything in this class really puts it all together. I mean, my goal in creating this class was to create the best lens learning experience possible. I wanted this class to be head and shoulders above and a hundred miles beyond any other learning experience out there, and so when it came to name in this class, I think was pretty easy it's the complete guide

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system

John will cover the full range of Canon lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon Lens Design
  20. Canon Lens Composition
  21. Canon Lens Shape
  22. Canon Lens Coating
  23. Canon Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon Super Zooms
  30. Canon Wide Zooms
  31. Canon Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!