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

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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Lens

Completing my migration from Canon lenses to Sigma EX DC lenses is the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM lens. So, my lens lineup now consists of the two Sigma zooms which give me focal lengths from 17mm to 150mm and the 10mm fisheye, all with a fixed maximum aperture of f/2.8 together with the 30mm f/1.4 lens.

Because of the change to third party lenses I will have to learn how to use Lightroom as the lens correction tools in Canon's DPP software only works with Canon lenses. I have dabbled a bit and have successfully fixed some purple fringing with Lightroom so it'll just be an adjustment period while I learn all the controls.

Here are two shots illustrating the focal length range of the 17-50mm zoom which has the field of view of a 27-80mm lens on a full frame camera These were made from Lock 4 looking toward Lock 5 on the Champlain Canal in Waterford, NY.



Here are a couple of shots along the trails on Peebles Island:

30mm, f/4, 1/60 sec., ISO 800

17mm, f/4, 1/45 sec., ISO 800

Finally, here are a couple of three file HDR images made from Peebles Island.