Still trying to catch up, Part I
Well, I still find myself a week behind and trying to catch up with my photos, while trying not to post everyday. That’s been made worse, as over this past weekend, I brought the second camera body and one of my shorter lenses each day. Give me two cameras and I take twice as many photos. 😉
The photos from this weekend won’t appear here, but I’m going to relay what I found out while it’s still fresh in my mind.
The EF S 15-85 mm lens is a fine lens, it even comes close to being useful for macro photography, however, it can’t compete with either the 300 mm prime lens or the Tokina 100 mm macro lens as far as sharpness when shooting very small subjects. Of course, I’m being overly picky, and if the 15-85 mm lens was the only one that I had for macro photography, I’d be happy with it. I would still use it in a pinch if I had to, but with two other lenses better suited for such photos, I’ll reserve the 15-85 mm lens for landscapes, which it does a superb job of.
That said, I could see myself taking the 15-85 mm lens along with me on days when I use the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens) for wildlife because of the shorter lens’ versatility. The 15-85 mm will do both landscapes and a credible job of macros if any such photo ops come up.
The Tokina 100 mm macro lens is as sharp or sharper than the 300 mm prime lens. I used it handheld on Sunday, which really isn’t the way to get the best out of it, but it was too hot and muggy for me to lug around my tripod. Besides, I was walking a busy trail, and using a tripod wasn’t a wise thing to do. I was still able to get subjects full frame that I had to crop down images shot with the 300 mm prime to get to the same size in the image shot with the Tokina. On top of that, because of the shorter working range with the Tokina, inches rather than feet with the 300 mm prime, it opens up more possibilities as far as composing the photos that I shoot.
I did have problems getting the exposure correct with the Tokina, part of that was me, I didn’t believe the LCD display when I checked my images. I think that another part of the problem was one of those obscure camera settings.
The engineers at Canon are fully aware of the short comings of some of their lenses. So, they program their lenses and cameras to compensate for that. For example, when I use the 15-85 mm lens, the camera body “knows” that and adjusts the way that it records images to make the images look better than they would if the compensations for that lens weren’t programmed in. I had that setting set wrong. The engineers at Canon don’t program their bodies to improve the images shot with another brand of lens. Gee, I wonder why? 😉
One more thing about the Tokina, and possibly the 300 mm prime lens. They may be too sharp, with too much color saturation, and other things as far as image quality for the camera settings that I am currently using. Some of you may remember that the Canon lets me store three sets of offsets pertaining to image quality. At first, I was dialing in one set of offsets for each lens I owned at the time, but by the end of the summer, I found that all three lenses did well with the same settings. Those are all zoom lenses. I then set the offsets for good light/poor light, and that has worked well.
However, some of the images that I’ve shot lately using the two prime lenses are telling me that I should back the camera body’s compensations for those two lenses, some of my photos have actually been too sharp, the colors too dense, and so on. Here’s an example from the 300 mm prime, and remember that this image has been reduced in quality for posting here.
To me, that photo looks faked, or if it had been “juiced” in post-processing. It wasn’t, it was “juiced” in the camera body when it was recorded. I think that I will back off the compensations for the two prime lenses, and that I’ll end up with settings for my zoom lenses, another for my prime lenses, and a poor light setting for the zoom lenses. For the prime lenses in poor light, I’ll use the good light setting for the zoom lenses, at least for now.
Anyway, the Tokina macro lens and the Canon 300 mm prime make an awesome one-two punch for flowers, insects and other small subjects. That’s like the Beast and the Canon 300 mm prime making a great one-two punch for birding and wildlife.
And, the reason I’m putting this in this post is so that I remember what I’ve done in case the setting changes I make don’t work. 😉
Now then, for the old photos.
After my bad photo of a woodchuck in my last post, here’s a better one.
A cedar waxwing exercising its feathers.
I know that I shouldn’t post any more squirrel photos, but they are such clowns that I can’t help myself.
This male cardinal was in a singing war with another nearby male, I wish the lighting had been better for this one.
I was wrong about the meadowlarks not nesting here this year, it may be due to the weather that they didn’t act the same as last year. Then, a flock of meadowlarks showed up and stuck around for a week or more, with the males singing daily as they courted the females.
This year, the flock showed up, and only stayed a day or two, with very little singing. I don’t know if the same pair is nesting here again this year, maybe because of the long winter we had, once they arrived, they did away with the long courtship, and got right to nesting. And, I do where their nest is, but you won’t see any young meadowlark photos, I avoid nesting birds.
You may see a few more than the three photos of motherwort that I’m posting here today, as I am determined to get a good close-up of how complicated each of the small flowers are.
From the bad photos too good not to post file. I was going to try for a photo of the reflections on the water, but a mallard photo-bombed me as I was about to press the shutter release.
She did her best to splash me. I was only a few feet from her, so I couldn’t keep her in focus or freeze the action.
Then she gave me that innocent ” What did I do” look.
Then, as if to make up for ruining my shot of the reflections, she moved a short distance away where I could get all of her in the frame to dry her wings. That was nice of her, as I like these next two, if only the leaves didn’t intrude on the left.
I found out that there are really two woodchucks that have moved into the burrow near the creek.
Well, I’m caught up to this last weekend’s photos, so I guess that it’s time to stick a fork in this post, it’s done.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!