Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My favorite lens - Canon L series 24-70mm, f/2.8

A week or two after Camp Hollywood, I decided to invest in a new lens. The Canon L series 24-70mm, capable of f/2.8 though the whole range. To date (2009) this is still my favorite go-to lens. I love this lens and I only wish I had bought it earlier. Don't get me wrong. There are other lenses I want now, but this one has been good for just about anywhere I go, and I highly recommend it.

As noted in my earlier Camp Hollywood Photography blog entry, I was dissatisfied with the lens length. 50mm was okay, but not great. So right before Lindy on the Rocks (Denver), I bought this Canon lens. It's a bit hefty, but it's great for indoor dance photography. The zoom range is enough for close-ups and also enough to get a dancer across the room. Now, you still can't get a headshot across the room or anything, but you can get a full head-to-toe shot, which is generally what I'm trying to get at a dance competition.

So the lens took its maiden voyage at Lindy on the Rocks, and I was really happy with its performance. There were a few minor glitches, like me forgetting to reset the color temperature for daylight in the Sunday competitions, but for composition and clarity, I was very happy with the quality of photos. A bunch of friends used them for their myspace avatars, so I guess others were happy with the photos too. So while I rated my Camp Hollywood photos as "fair to good, no excellents," I thought the Lindy on the Rocks photos were mostly good, with a few great ones.

Some of my favorites were:

I actually used this one as the basis for an oil painting this year(2009).

I don't know if I've ever seen anyone pancake as high as Shannon. This was a very memorable moment to me.

Solo Charleston contest... You can probably guess it was extremely dark here, and I was actually really impressed that the camera got what it did. For reference, in this last one, I was using:
  • Exposure: 1/40 sec
  • f-stop: f/2.8
  • ISO: 3200 (H mode)
  • focal len: 24mm

It's a pretty long exposure, but I did have the monopod to help me.

But even now, I wouldn't do it any differently. Actually, I take that back. I believe I was still shooting JPG and not RAW. I had my reasons back then, but now, I see it as a big mistake.

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