Basics of the Canon Rebel T5/1200D Lens

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

The following basics apply to the Canon Rebel T5/1200D EF-S lens as well as to certain other lenses that support autofocusing — as always, explore the lens manual for specifics:

  • Focusing: Set the lens to automatic or manual focusing by moving the focus-method switch on the lens. The figure below shows the switch as it appears on the 18–55mm kit lens. On this lens, set the switch to AF for autofocusing and to MF for manual focusing.

    • Autofocusing: Press and hold the shutter button halfway to rev up the autofocusing system.

    • Manual focusing: When in MF mode do not attempt to manually focus when the lens is set to AF; the lens will resist and if you force it you may break it, instead rotate the focusing ring on the lens barrel.

  • Zooming: If you bought a zoom lens, it has a movable zoom ring. The location of the zoom ring on the kit lens is shown here. To zoom in or out, rotate the ring.

    You can determine the focal length of the lens by looking at the number aligned with the bar labeled focal length indicator.

  • Enabling Image Stabilization: Many Canon lenses, including the kit lens, offer this feature, which compensates for small amounts of camera shake that can occur when you handhold the camera. Camera movement during the exposure can produce blurry images, so turning on Image Stabilization can help you get sharper handheld shots.

    When you use a tripod, image stabilization can have detrimental effects because the system may try to adjust for movement that isn’t actually occurring. Although this problem shouldn’t be an issue with most Canon lenses, if you do see blurry images while using a tripod, try turning the feature off. If you use a monopod, leave image stabilization turned on so it can help compensate for any accidental movement.

  • Removing a lens: After turning the camera off, press and hold the lens-release button on the camera, and turn the lens toward the shutter button side of the camera until the lens detaches from the lens mount. Put the rear protective cap onto the back of the lens and, if you aren’t putting another lens on the camera, cover the lens mount with its cap, too.

    Always switch lenses in a clean environment to reduce the risk of getting dust, dirt, and other contaminants inside the camera or lens. Changing lenses on a sandy beach, for example, isn’t a good idea. For added safety, point the camera body slightly down when performing this maneuver; doing so helps prevent any flotsam in the air from being drawn into the camera by gravity.