We had snow which then changed over to freezing rain the day before. The following morning was very slippery so I took this picture through my window as the sun was coming over the horizon and shining through the trees.
The purpose of this post is to show you the quality, sharpness, etc. of the Sigma 17 – 70 mm lens zoomed all the way out to 70 mm. I took the following picture handheld at f/9, 1/640 sec.
The following image is a crop showing the bird in the tree. Note the sharpness of the bird and the tree limbs, and no chromatic aberration either.
Note that these images have not been altered by me in any way other than for the crop. The picture was taken in raw format and what you see is the image as processed by Adobe Lightroom 5.7 with their standard settings.
I am still in the process of deciding whether I will use this combination of camera and lens as my walk-about setup for outdoors or whether I need a longer focal length lens. Based on what I have seen so far I am leaning toward “making-do” with just this setup for my DSLR camera and lens preference.
I took this picture while I was seeing how well the Sigma 17 – 70 lens focused up close, and while looking at the result I was reminded that I should probably tell you some more about why I have pursued a lighter, more easy to hold camera system that still lets me practice photography. You have read enough about my back problems, but it isn’t the only problem. My hands are also a big problem, and at the moment they are giving me more grief than my back. I have arthritis in my back and hands.
Have you ever found yourself using both hands to lift a can of beer at the end of the day? I sometimes find myself doing that to keep from dropping it, especially if I have carried and used a camera much during the day. This is another reason why I am exploring lighter-weight cameras with better grips and changing what I photograph to fit an easier to use format.
There is a positive side to my life. Physical changes force me to try new things. I have gotten tired of photographing the same things in the same way, and I now have an excuse to look for, and try new things … new cameras and lenses and new subjects and techniques.
I like the Canon SL1 camera well enough that I purchased the Sigma 17 – 70mm (f/2.8 – 4) zoom lens for it. I am still checking it out under various conditions but so far I like the features for the cost. I took the above picture with it at the 70 mm end of the zoom while I was out with my first walk with it.
I have also taken some indoor pictures of people with it and it performed OK. The Canon exposures and white balance of all pictures are a lot more pleasing than I get with my much heavier and more expensive Pentax K-3 camera. As of now, I plan to switch and photograph with the Canon SL1 and the Sigma lens for a while to see how well I adapt to it. So far the reduced weight and easier carrying of this system outweighs the few advantages of the too-heavy K-3 and longer lenses and it should work for most of my projects at Homewood.
The Canon SL1 with the 24 mm prime lens and the 17 – 70 mm Sigma lens are working out to be a very good, inexpensive setup for most of my photography. The two major issues facing me are longer focal lengths and photographing close to people. I need to figure out if I can have an adequate amount of fun photographing with the 70 mm limitation. If I miss the longer focal lengths I will have to decide what to do about it. The other issue is about photographing in and among people. The combination of the Canon shutter noise and DSLR form factor are not ideal among people. I need to decide if the Ricoh GR focal length works well enough for that kind of photography.
The sun has set on my longest project of the year. That was photographing the work of the model railroaders here at Homewood at Plum Creek as they built and prepared their displays for their annual open houses during the holidays. I finalized that project by creating a video with the images.
The reason that I am mentioning this on my blog is that many of the pictures that I now take are not shown on my blog due to privacy reasons. This creates a slight dilemma for me since I have less and less time to find and take pictures to display. While I have already decided to take on another major long-term project from now until the end of the year, and while such projects usually mean fewer pictures for my blog, I am not giving up on my blog. There will be gaps between posts, but I have some additional ideas in mind for other projects outdoors after it warms up. If I go forward with them, these might generate some interesting pictures for this blog.
The changing nature of my photography is also having an impact on my cameras and lenses and I hope to be writing about some of those changes as time goes on. I will also be having more to say in the future about my past purchases of the Canon SL1 and the 24 mm pancake lens. In addition, I will be mentioning some other pending acquisitions as well as about how the sun is setting on some of my cameras and lenses … maybe on the majority of them.