Friday, November 26, 2010
Interesting what some not-so-scientific experiments will produce
I shot these with my first Canon L series. Initially, I was disappointed with it. I used it with my 60d and the 5d, both excellent camera bodies. The test shot images paled in comparison with my Zeiss 35mm and 50mm even when I used the 135mm with a tripod and mirror lock. (The price I paid for each of the lens are comparable so I expected similar results. Rude awakening. They're not.) Then out of frustration I relegated the 135mm L to my crappy Rebel XT, which has a crop sensor of 8 mp. (I've banged this camera so many times and I've scratched the sensor while taking the dust off that I think at best it produces only 6 mp... heh... )I decided I was going to keep the lens because I don't like the hassle of shipping it back, and I thought maybe something magical may happen. (I'm a closet Pollyana.)
One day, my cat was sunbathing by the window. And the closest camera I could find was the crappy Rebel XT with the 135mm lens attached to it. Smile for me Mr. Jerry Mew (that's his name). Snap, snap, snap. Reviewed what I shot on the viewfinder... click, click, click until I saw this one thumbnail and I go... whoa... has my vision improved? This has got to be one of the sharpest image this crappy camera ever produced. I surmised that it must have been the combination of the light condition, the camera and the lens assuming all things being equal (they're not really as there are always going to be variables).
On one my our morning walks with the dog, I decided to take the camera with the 135mm for further testing. I don't usually like to shoot with a long lens on walks as I find the images it produce too cropped. I placed the lens on top of the fence to stabilize the camera and shot these cows from a distance. Again, I was amazed at the results. The color saturation was pleasing to the eye (at least for me). One out of five shots was tack sharp. This probably means that the blurry ones were due to operator error (heh).
I'll definitely keep this lens.
My initial conclusion? Sometimes it's best to mix and match cameras and lenses. At least, I think my experience seems to be validated by pro photographer Kirk Tuck (read his blog here). This also tells me that we should not be afraid to experiment and break the "rules". I am encouraged by this seemingly unexpected performance I get from my not-so-scientific experiments. Good stuff.
Story behind the bovine moments:
Having a Cow
Cow A: "Wanna smoke a doobie?"
Cow B: " Dude, are you kidding or do you want this place to explode?"
Someone once said that cows are the least likeable subjects in art. But I felt that somebody has to do it.
Why would anybody be interested in looking at a photo of cows? I don't know. But I thought it interesting (at least for me) that every morning these cows greet us as my wife and I take the dog for a walk. They are creatures of habit. Whenever they miss us, they know something is not right. I usually bring a camera whenever we go for a walk. Just the other day, I decided to document our greeters. In a few years, I anticipate that they will be gone as our little place here gets more suburbanized. I'm just glad to see them while they are still here.