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!!
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