Sunday, September 28, 2014

Transitions, Transitions

So, I've been migrating from some good Canon L lenses to Sigma lenses designed for crop sensor bodies since I made the decision last Winter to concentrate on that type of camera and sell my EOS 5D Mark II. Whether all this was wise or not is sort of irrelevant as it's done and over with.

Sure, logically, a changing interest from sports and wildlife photography to event coverage, photojournalism type photography might suggest just the opposite migration from crop bodies to full frame bodies. Can't argue with that.

If I'd kept my Canon lenses I might just be doing that but Canon has been bugging me with things like releasing the latest version of their image processing software so that it will only work with files created by newer full frame bodies. And they haven't supported the smaller sensor DSLRs with good quality lenses designed for those bodies like Sigma has. There is one exception, however, the new EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens which will sell for $149 when it's available in November.

I love the kit I have built with Canon EOS 7D bodies and Sigma EX DC lenses. The 7D is, however, a five year old design and while it excels at many things, it has fallen behind in some other respects. Which brings me to my point. With Canon announcing the EOS 7D Mark II recently, the path forward from this five year old camera is clear. Or is it?

Since I no longer have weather sealed lenses, do I need weather sealed bodies? If I don't have lenses for action sports and wildlife, do I need the ten frames a second shooting speed of the Mark II? And If I don't, what is the alternative?

One of the features I miss from my EOS ID Mark III is the ability to bracket more than three images. The EOS 7D mark II will bracket 2, 3, 5 or 7 images. But so will the EOS 70D.

The 7D Mark II has an upgraded 20 Megapixel sensor. But so does the 70D.

The 7D Mark II has a remarkable new autofocus system. But the 70D has the autofocus system from the original 7D, a marked improvement over the previous cameras in the XXD line and one I've never felt lacks anything.

The 7D Mark II has GPS but not WiFi. The 70D has WiFi but no GPS. Which is more useful? For me, I think WiFi.

The 7D Mark II new will cost more than twice what a used 70D will cost. My used 7D bodies with a grip, CF cards, remotes, etc. would bring in more than enough to fund a transition to 70D bodies. Worth thinking about.

In any case, I was out shooting yesterday morning along my usual walk and took in some fall scenery in Oneonta, NY in the afternoon. Here are some examples, all HDR processed.


Mohawk River from Van Schaick Island looking toward Peebles Island

Monument in Soldiers and Sailors Park, Waterford, NY

Yager Hall, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY

Elmore Field, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tugboat Roundup 2014

Last evening saw the arrival of the boats for this year's Tugboat Roundup at Waterford, New York, the Eastern terminus of the Erie portion of the New York State Canal System, located at the confluence of a branch of the Mohawk River and the Hudson River. The arrival of the boats is a colorful event which I always try to attend - at least in nice weather. Yesterday was warm, in the high 80's with a nice breeze.

Last year I shot this event with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. My blog entry from that occasion is located here.

This year I used my two Canon EOS 7D bodies, one with the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS lens and one with the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS lens. Captions will indicate only the focal length and exposure information. A full gallery of this year's shots is located at http://trulandphoto.zenfolio.com/tugboatroundup2014.


118mm, f/5.6, 1/750 sec., ISO 100

110mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec., ISO 100

40mm, f/5.6, 1/350 sec., ISO 100

76mm, f/5.6, 1/750 sec., ISO 200

50mm, f/2.8, 1/2000 sec., ISO 200


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Women's College Soccer

One of the reasons that I decided to sell my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens is that I was no longer expecting to be shooting a lot of outdoor field sports. And while that is still the case, yesterday afternoon I did shoot a scrimmage between Hartwick College women's soccer and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

As I was not directly on the field as I was used to when shooting high school soccer, I needed something longer than the Sigma 50-150mm lens with which I replaced the Canon zoom. Since it was an afternoon match I was able to get away with an f/4 lens so used my Canon 1.4XII extender with the Sigma lens. This now 70-210mm f/4 lens was long enough to capture action on my side of the field and the lighting was good enough that I could shoot at ISO 400 and f/4 or f/5.6 and still have shutter speeds of 1/2000 a second and faster. I have no complaints about the image quality of the Sigma zoom with the Canon extender.

If I were on the sidelines, I think the 150mm length would be fine with the 1.6x crop factor of my Canon 7D bodies. And the 50mm wide end would let me shoot closer action than I could with the 70-200mm lens. It's possible that at some point over the course of the season I could get that opportunity.

Here are five shots from yesterday's scrimmage. I did some cropping from 3:2 to 4:3 format to unclutter the sides of the images.