Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Lens in Action

VIA 6446 in Winnipeg
Here are the first shots with my new 50mm lens. I went to St. James Junction on Tuesday to shoot the Hudson Bay. I arrived on time but VIA did not. It turns out the engine crew were waiting for the doors to close, so I made a quick trip to A&W for lunch and returned just before the Hudson Bay crossed Waverley Street. I climbed to the top of the giant snow pile near the diamond to get some height, and took my shots.
VIA train 693 aka the Hudson Bay
VIA 693 had engines 6446 and 6413 on the head end, and the same Skyline (8511) that I saw a week before.

I am impressed by the clarity of the images. Granted, I had good light, but the details like the trucks on the engines really pop with this lens. However, there was one issue I had not anticipated.
Starring of the headlights
I was surprised to see this "star" effect with the headlights. It is not specific to the lens but is due to a narrow aperture (in this case f/9.9). The technique is described here and here.

My other lenses did not show this because they are not capable of such a narrow aperture. The EF 50mm lens can use apertures from f/1.8 (widest) to f/16 (narrow), whereas my kit wide angle lens can go from f/3.5 to f/5.6. This is something I'm going to have to watch for! The good thing about using a narrow aperture is you get a wide depth of field, meaning more of the photo is in focus. If you're confused about aperture and depth of field, read this. I found it helpful.

The great thing about photography is there is always more to learn. I have a LOT to learn!


_Don said...

Been reading you blog for a bit now (love the pictures) and watching your evolution with the new camera.

Careful, you've reached the edge of a slippery (and expensive) slope. Before you know it, you're going to want fast glass all the time, and f5.6 will be too slow. I know, I'm there now :-) f2.8 is as "slow" as I'll accept.

Canadian Train Geek said...

I think I've already started sliding down that slope, Don!

It all started when I was shooting trains standing next to a friend using a good SLR, and being a bit frustrated by how much better his pictures looked.

The problem is that you can throw a lot of money at your equipment and there is always something a bit better out there... at this point I need to get better at using the equipment I have. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!