Tag Archives: EOS 7D

Common Blue Damselfly | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

I don’t do much wildlife photography, let alone macro stuff in the field. However, while photographing various species of heather, calluna, erica and daboecia, I was taken by the antics of several damsel flies. Some were hunting, but one couple were busy working on the next generation.
I was using my Sigma 28–300mm ƒ3.5–5.6 on the Canon EOS 7D for the plant work, and had been pleasantly surprised at the macro capabilities. When my colleague pointed out the damsel fly pair, I was initially sceptical I would get anything worthwhile. I was, after all, working handheld, and I wasn’t really convinced the lens would give me good results on something so small.
I perched on a small stool, rested my arms on my knees, and zoomed right out to 300mm. The camera was set at ISO400, and I’d been working in Aperture Priority mode. The insects were quite small in the frame, and the AF couldn’t quite latch on to them. I should point out I’ve adopted the back-button focus system now, leaving the shutter button for exposure reading and capturing the shot. Once the AF locked on, I took my thumb away from the button and kept shooting.
The shot above was 1/500th at ƒ/11, and I seem to have dialled in a negative third of a stop. Aside from some mild detail and contrast enhancement on import in Aperture, and a crop to home in on the critters, this shot is the best of the bunch. I am amazed at the crisp detail in the wings. Such a relatively cheap lens, and it still surprises me.

The sound of pennies dropping

I shoot a Canon EOS 7D. As well as some Canon lenses, I also own some Sigma lenses. I acquired an ƒ/2.8 70–200mm Sigma a little while ago.

Now, something about using Sigma lenses on Canon bodies bugs me. See if you can spot it in this screenshot from Aperture (bear in mind the image was shot using the 70–200mm):

Screen_shot_2012-03-30_at_15

See the lens model at the bottom? It seems the Canon “brain” sees the Sigma lens, but identifies it as an ƒ/2.8 50–150mm plus a 1.4x extender! Do the maths, and you’ll see this odd combination actually works out as a 70–210mm. It’s not just this lens, either. All my Sigma lenses, both EF and EF-S compatible, are reported incorrectly in the EXIF from the camera. Weird but true.

It would be really nice if there was a way to correct this, either in the camera or within Aperture. I haven’t found a way yet.

New Toy

Newtoy

Peering at the back of a camera while it’s pointed at something out of your line of sight is no fun. Making critical focus and exposure adjustments is not easy to do, either. Sharing any resulting video footage or still images beyond a couple of people peering over your shoulder is, well, awkward at best.

That’s why I have acquired a neat little 7in widescreen HD compatible video monitor. It attaches to my EOS 7D by an HDMI cable, and lets me see the LiveView screen without getting a crick in my neck. 

Of course, adjustments still have to be made on the camera, but it’s a lot simpler when you have a larger, clearer screen to look at.

This model supports all manner of pro level features, such as component video as well as HDMI. What attracted my attention was the use of battery adaptors that will let me use the Sony camcorder batteries we have about the place. That means I don’t have to rely on mains power or lugging the laptop on location if I don’t want to.

I am very pleased with it. Best Beloved bought it for my birthday—which isn’t until later in the year, but we do silly things like that sometimes!

Expect more fun short films to appear from my fertile brain over the coming months!

Moving pictures!

I’ve been keen to try out the HD video features of my EOS 7D on a model railway for a while. Yesterday I had the opportunity on a visit to the S7 South East England Area Group’s new venue. For the first time outside an exhibition, the group is able to erect their massive layout Croscombe, and while it is far from complete it makes an impressive sight.

This video was mainly a way to prove to myself the camera can actually do what I want it to do. I think it managed quite well. With some more thought and a better plan, the next session might well produce a better film!