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New toys!

A few weeks ago the lens hire company I??ve used in the past were offering two weeks hire for the price of one over the Christmas break so I decided it would be rude not to take them up on the offer. I??ve used it as an opportunity to test drive a couple of lenses I??ve been wanting to try for a while now ?? the Canon 18-200mm zoom and the Canon 100mm L macro lens. They arrived at the crack of dawn today and I??ve had a great time putting them through their paces. The 18-200 is a cheaper lens than many of the ones I already have but there is a certain appeal to having one lens that covers a wide range, especially for holidays. As we??re hopefully finally going to be able to take a holiday in 2012 the idea of travelling light is very appealing but I wanted to be sure it wasn??t too much of a compromise before I consider shelling out the cash for one. On my way home from Goodwood this morning I stopped and used it to shoot a lone tree I spotted recently in the middle of a field and, at first glance, it seems to be a very capable lens. I??ve got two weeks so I??ll make sure I try it out in lots of different settings before I send it back.

The second lens is one I??ve been hankering after ever since Canon released it a couple of years ago. While I love my little 60mm macro lens it is very short and for some subjects (insects for instance) that shortness means you have to get closer than is really practical. The fact that this new version of the lens has image stabilisation is a huge bonus and something that Nikon shooters have had on their equivalent lens for years. I was using it on a tripod to shoot a safety pin this afternoon when Lucy came into the music room to investigate what I was doing. By this stage it was getting pretty dark so I stuck my ISO up to 6400, the aperture to f2.8 and hoped the IS would do its business. Boy, was I pleased with the results. Under normal circumstances 1/30 of a second is beyond my hand-holding abilities but I think the resulting image, taken at that speed, is nothing short of a miracle. I can see the courier is going to have to prize this lens out of my hands when he comes to collect it in a fortnight??s time!!

Lucy is always fascinated when I shoot still life images - she usually wants to bat my subject onto the floor!

I love the razor-thin depth of field this lens gives at f2.8 - offering endless creative possibilities!

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    There are 17 comments, add yours!

    • # Lukesmom

      Great photos! I can see why you are pleased!! I just love reading your narrative, too!

      2011.12.21 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Brenda Nelson

      It's difficult for me to imagine that you could take better photos than you already do! But, these are so remarkable, Helen! I love the reflection in the cat's eye, plus the miniscule focus on the pin! Wow - you have whole new worlds open to you (at least for a few weeks!)!! And thanks for the sweet note on my scrapbook post today!

      2011.12.20 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # David Swatton

      I'm very much of the "travel light" mind and my standard lens is the Nikon 18-200mm. I love it despite it being stupidly expensive.

      2011.12.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sandra Vermeulen

      That portrait of Lucy is ... oh, I do not find the words ... !! "Beautiful" does not say anything that come close to what I think of it!

      Have fun and please let us see all your playing results of both lenses.

      2011.12.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Josy

      And indeed, I believe that your two lenses are going to work wonders.
      You have two weeks to try, and in my opinion it's going to be difficult to choose... But it's Christmas soon... No? :))

      2011.12.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Gerd Korts

      I have the 100 as well and it is really a winner lens. Great shots. Perhaps you will take one advice from a multi traveller, always when I travelled light I suffered because for sure you will run from one situation into another where you miss one of your special lenses. Travel nearly naked but don´t leave one lens at home.

      2011.12.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Hannah Evans

      These are great pictures! I especially like how in the cat picture, the picture is black and white but the eyes of the cat still make an impression on the viewer! great job with these!

      2011.12.19 Edited Reply Cancel