Truland Photography

Thursday, April 30, 2015

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L and Extender 2XIII

I've had several long lens options over the years for wildlife, etc including the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM and EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lenses, both of which I've used with 1.4X extenders. Lately I've been using a somewhat consumer level EF 70-300mm f/4-5/6 IS USM lens which, while decent, is a bit lacking in a couple of respects. It's noisy, the barrel extends with both zooming and focusing and rotates with focusing, and there is no full time manual focusing.

I recently completed a transaction with a photographer from the Boston area in which I exchanged my 1.4XII extender for a 2XIII extender. I hadn't had the opportunity to try this extender out much until this morning when I paired it with my Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L USM lens, giving me a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens.

During a walk on Peebles Island I tested the combination out on both scenic shots and the ever present White-tailed Deer. I'm pretty happy with the image quality of this combination and while not as sharp as the 400mm prime lens, the ability to zoom out and focus closer than the 400mm lens somewhat balances out the equation.

Here some shots from this morning, all made with this lens combination attached to an EOS 7D body.

215mm, f/5.6, 1/6000 sec., ISO 800

390mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec., ISO 800

White-tailed Deer do not look their best this time of year, what with molting and all. These are all different individuals.

390mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800
390mm, f/5.6, 1/3000 sec., ISO 800

400mm, f/8, 1/2000 sec., ISO 800

I went for a little extra depth of field on the last shot with f/8 and managed to get the zoom ring all the way up to 400mm. I'm not used to using zoom lenses for these kind of shots and need to get in the habit of insuring that I've got the zoom ring where I want it before I hit the shutter.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Keeping it for Indoor Events

As I've mentioned, I'm migrating back to Canon lenses from my experiment with Sigma lenses designed for my smaller crop sensor bodies. I've sold three of the Sigma lenses so far and the one which hasn't had much interest - probably due to cost - is the 50-150mm f/2.8 APO EX DC OS HSM lens.

This lens has a field of view equivalent to an 80-240mm lens on a full frame body. Traditional options in this range are 70-200mm lenses which have a field of view equivalent to a 112-480mm lens. This Sigma is a very nice lens but I found it a bit lacking for field sports back in the Fall. Where it excels, however, is indoor events where the range between 50mm and 70mm (80-112mm equivalent) can be quite useful and where the extreme long end of the 70-200mm is usually not needed. The optical stabilization also helps with slower shutter speeds which are sometimes necessary with indoor events.

So, I decided to use the Sigma for a flute choir concert yesterday. My kit was the Sigma lens, a Canon 7D body and a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Here are a few that show the range of the Sigma lens. For all the photos you may visit

50mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec., ISO 1600

76mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec., ISO 1600

118mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec., ISO 1600

150mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec., ISO 1600

So, since this lens has been discontinued by Sigma I think I'll hang on to it for events like this. For outdoor sports, a non-IS Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L will do fine.

UPDATE: 5/4/15 - Well, I decided to put the lens back up for sale and it sold today on eBay for my asking price. My current plan is to use those proceeds, proceeds from other Sigma lans sales and the sale of one of my 7D bodies to purchase an EOS 6D body. Now that I've got the EF 70-200 f/2.8 zoom and EF 28mm f/1.8 prime lens I've got enough to get started back with a full frame body.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter in Church with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

I'm not a gigantic fan of variable aperture lenses but there's no reasonable Canon option for ultra wide coverage on an APS-C sensor body. Sigma has a constant f/3.5 lens with 10-20mm coverage but I've discovered that I feel more "at home" using Canon's DPP processing software and that will only correct aberrations for Canon lenses.

Accordingly, I've been reversing my migration from Canon to Sigma lenses although I'm still focusing mainly on lenses designed for the smaller sensors, the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 non IS for sports notwithstanding. In any case, I brought along the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM to Easter services this morning.

My intention was to shoot wide open at various focal lengths at ISO 1600 in order to keep shutter speeds up for the hand held shots. Since I have 10mm images shot at f/4 I obviously didn't achieve that intention. But luckily it was a sunny morning and there was enough light coming in through stained glass windows for decent settings.

It's obvious which of these shots is a five file HDR composite. The exposure information is for the normally exposed image.

10mm, f/4, 1/60 sec., ISO 1600

12mm, f/4, 1/45 sec., ISO 1600

10mm, f/4, 1/60 sec., ISO 1600

22mm, f/4.5, 1/45 sec., ISO 1600