Saturday, 6 November 2010

Cup Weekend Day 3

Day 3 saw me fortunate enough to borrow a lens I'd been thinking about buying, Canon 100-400 IS.  I've been wanting to do wildlife photography for years but I've never been able to justify the big $$ to get started.  So my aim for the few house spent with this lens was to determine if wildlife photography is for me and if the lens is worth buying.

Here's a few of the photos I ended up with:
Crimson Rosella
First bird I shot in the backyard, Crimson Rosella. Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO320

Little Stint
Down at Shallow Inlet this was as close as I could get to these tiny Little Stint's.  Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/640, f/9, ISO200

Trying out panning again with an IS lens, only problem was that I didn't know which IS setting was which. Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/200, f/10, ISO100

Large-billed Scrubwren
Large-billed Scrubwren, even at f/9 the depth of field is very shallow. Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/320, f/9, ISO160

Superb Blue Wren.  The IS is a lifesaver here.  Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/60, f/8, ISO320

Jenny Wren. Canon 50D, 400mm, 1/100, f/8, ISO320

More photos with the Canon 100-400mm in my Flickr stream.

So first up, did I enjoy the wildlife photography experience? Umm, YES! Really enjoyed it so will be looking for ways to do more in the future.

Next, what about the lens? As you can see I shot pretty much everything at 400mm and still had to crop the photos so for birds (particularly small ones) 400mm on a crop body only just cuts it. I was not blown away by the image quality but I hear that at 400mm the canon is better than the Sigma equivalents so I probably won't go with them since it will probably be my most used focal length. The IS is a real life saver when you need the extra depth of field which is most of the time with long focal length. I don't have well practised long lens technique but I was able to hand hold down to 1/60th at times. I also wasn't a fan of the push pull zoom, I find it isn't as smooth (something that may improve with practice) but I also found that when zoomed out, your left hand can't support the lens & body very well. I know people say you need lots of practice with this sort of then but I don't think that is going to change. I found that when zoomed out I'd take my hand off the zoom ring and bring it back closer to the body for support, which helped but means I can't zoom.

The other Canon 400mm option is 400mm f/5.6 which is said to be sharper than the 100-400 @ 400 and it's cheaper but it is lacking IS which I think would be a killer for me.

Anyway I heard a rumour that Canon will be releasing a new version of the 100-400 next year so I might wait till then to either get the new version or pick up a cheaper old one.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Cup Weekend Day 2

Day 2 and I took very few photos, just some rolling hills overlooking Sandy Point, Shallow Inlet and of course Wilson's Prom.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Cup Weekend Day 1

Once again it is Cup Weekend in Melbourne and our family tradition (for the last two years) is to spend it at the holiday house in Sandy Point.
Sandy Point is a small beach town in South Gippsland, Victoria, not far from Wilson’s Promontory and surround by some beautiful scenery.  You can see some of my Sandy Point photos here.
This weekend has several priorities, family, sleep (am recovering from the flu) and photos which can be a challenge to balance.   Anyway I’ve been really excited to get back to shooting so headed off in the afternoon, despite less than thrilling conditions.  I started down at Shallow Inlet where there was some windsurfing happening so I thought I’d practice my sports photography and see if I could learn how to pan properly.  Have a look at the difference between the two photos below.

First photos has shutter speed of 1/1250 and the second 1/100 both shot with Sigma 70-200 @200mm

I then moved onto some bird life

All shot with 70-200mm.  I very nearly bought the Canon 100-400 last week but decided I shouldn't make snap decisions that cost that much money.  After having fun with these shots I might just do it if the Aussie $ comes up a bit more again though there a rumors Canon are replacing it next year.

Then some landscapes

Then some driving in the hills behind Walkerville

Then back to Sandy Point just before the sun set

Was a pretty good day!