Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Current Lineup II

There have been some changes since I posted a picture and list of my current equipment back in August. You can read that blog entry here.

Since then I've replaced a 50D body with a second 5D body, replaced the 400 f/5.6L with a 300 f/4L IS and sold the 17-40 f/4L and 100 f/2.8 macro. I've also added a Canon Speedlite 430EX II with a Gary Fong Collapsible Lightsphere.

I've also decided to keep the first generation 1.4X extender in order to have one for each of the "white" lenses, just in case. Here's a picture of the current kit, minus items like filters, remotes, etc.

Powershot G11, Speedlite 270EX w/ omni bounce, ISO 500, f/3.5, 1/60 sec.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Really Shallow Depth of Field

I was out hiking yesterday with a 5D and the 300 f/4L IS with the 1.4X extender on a monopod. There wasn't much in the way of wildlife to shoot so I fooled around with making closeup pictures of fungus, moss, etc.

One of the reasons I picked up the 300 f/4 IS was because of its minimum focusing distance of less than 5 feet. When you add an extender (teleconverter) the minimum focusing distance doesn't change. So, with the lens and extender, I had a 420mm focal length lens which focused at less than 5 feet, resulting in a maximum magnification of .33x. This is more magnification than any Canon combination other than a macro lens and plenty close for most uses. The lens I replaced, the EF 400 f/5.6, has a minimum focusing distance of 11.5 feet and with the 1.4x only produces .18x magnification, without IS or autofocusing (due to the small aperture).

As I wasn't intending to shoot closeups, I didn't have a tripod and even with the monopod and image stabilization I needed to keep the shutter speed up to prevent blurring. So, even at ISO 400, I couldn't go with an aperture smaller than f/8. The picture below of hair-capped moss shows how narrow - or shallow - the depth of field is at that magnification.

Canon EOS 5D, EF 300 f/4L IS, 1.4Xii Extender, ISO 400, f/8, 1/125 sec.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ornamental Grass

Just two closeups of ornamental grass tassels. It's nice to enjoy being outdoors with the temperature in the 60s. Pretty soon it'll be snowing again.

These were taken with the 5D and 100 macro. I may just hang on to that lens.