A year ago I published my first post on this website. Although the post is hardly worth while mentioning it was the beginning of this blog. 🙂
In addition to this one year celebration I added new gear to my collection. I never really hang the camera around my neck but tend to hold it more in my hand or hang it on my shoulder. Somehow the standard strap that comes with the camera always seems to be in the way when shooting. So I was looking for another solution and came across the BlackRapid Classic (RS-4) Strap. It basically hangs the camera up side down by a strap that goes across the torso. Instead of the strap being attached to the sides of the camera it’s now attached to the tripod socket. It enbles you to grab it immediately without anything getting in the way. The camera can also be easily unhooked from the strap itself. All in all, a perfect solution for me. It even comes with an R on the shoulder. Which makes total sense looking at my name. 🙂 Having said that, I do like to look of the Canon straps more (colors and font).
With some city trips coming up I have been looking for another wide angle lens suitable for architectural shots. The kit lens (18-55) doesn’t deliver the best pictures and the 35mm (which qualifies as a wide angle) isn’t simply wide enough on a crop body sometimes. So I wanted a lens that’s suitable for wide shots (especially with NYC coming up later this year) that delivers better images than the 18-55 and is wider than the 35. Eventually I narrowed it down to 3 lenses. The Canon EF 24mm f/2.8, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM and the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L. I sticked to EF lenses since I want to upgrade to Full Frame in the ‘near’ future.
In the end I realized that 24mm, just like the 35, on a crop wouldn’t be wide enough for me and went for the 17-40mm. I usually prefer fast lenses (in case of low light situations, shallow DOF) but figured that I will be using this lens a lot for shooting architecture outdoors in the first place. That makes the requirement for low apertures a lot less. My wishlist does contain the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. This will enable me to use the lens in low light situations where flash isn’t allowed (or night photography) without having to carry around a (heavier) tripod.
The 17-40mm is ‘cheap’ for an L lens. It’s about the same price as the 24mm f/2.8 (even cheaper now that I got it with the Canon Cashback) and half the price of the 16-35mm. f/2.8 for a prime lens wouldn’t be my first choice anyway. I would go for f/1.8 or lower instead.
The lens does feel really solid and looks very nice (got to love the red ring :)). The big advantage is that L-lenses come with the lens hood (plus the newly introduced center-pinch lens cap) and a case included. This lens is also one of the lightest wide L lenses available which will make a difference when having to carrying it around for days. 🙂
Here’s to another year. Hooray!