I had some good photos at MWW 2013. I tried to use light more this year but this area is still a challenge for me. Sails are bright and sailor's faces are often in the shade. I also had good success with moving the focus point around and Canon's active servo focusing. I've done this enough now that I don't have to think much about it. The result is sharper focus and the ability to use wide open lenses.
Having fun learning how to take advantage of the ocean swells down here.
ISO 400, 200mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec
This weekend the sun and I were at odds. It seems that with some wind directions and sun angles, it's difficult to get the sailor's faces out of the shadows. It was a great weekend for backlit sails though.
I rented a Canon 300mm f/2.8 IS Mk I lens this weekend for the Thistle Pacific Coast Championships in Eugene. It's a beast of a lens. There is no way I could lug this thing around all day on the water and hold it steady to shoot. It's only $50 for the weekend though and I'll see if I can get some good shots with it. The depth of field at f/2.8 will be very short but it focuses quickly and the IS seems to do the trick. I'll plan to shoot at 1/2000 sec or faster.
This lens is $5799 at Adorama. It's the Mk I version. This year the Mk II came out and it's a cool $7299. ProPhotoSupply.com here in Portland rents them for $50 a day. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday so a Friday rental is good for the weekend and you can pick it up at 3pm on Thursday.
I've been shooting a little at home to get used to it. Here's a photo of some flowers from the backyard. The bokeh is pretty amazing. I may have to get the 70-200mm f/2.8 after all. With the 1.6 crop factor on my Canon 7D, this 300 lens acts like a 480mm. That's going to be a chore to hold still when shooting from a rocking boat. Check back later for results.
1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250
The more I use it, the happier I am. This is my second year with my Canon EF 70-200mm IS f/4 lens. Usually I would have shelled out the extra $$ and purchased the f/2.8 version of this lens but it was a cool $1000 more and all the reviews said that the f/4 version was just as sharp and much lighter. After a full day on the water and 1000-2000 images, lighter is better and I'm perfectly happy with the sharpness.
a good discussion of the lens options for Canon DSLRs and yes, there is still part of me that wishes I had the f/2.8 version but then how would I ever save money for that 300mm f/2.8 IS lens I'm wanting? <grin>
When shooting with a polarizing filter out on the water, I find that at 1/2000 sec and an f/4 aperture, I'm only at 200 ISO. On my Canon 7D, that's a perfectly good ISO speed to produce low-noise images. If I had the f/2.8, I could crank up the shutter speed even more though and there lies my problem. In the back of my head I keep hearing a voice saying to me that I'd like the other lens better, even though it cost so much more.
ISO 200, 200mm, f/4.0 1/2000 sec (click for full-size image)
There have been discussions about the impact of image stabilization when shooting from a moving boat. All I can say is that YES, it does help but that you ALSO need to be using a fast shutter speed. I'm now starting with 1/2000 sec and going faster if I can. Try some sample shots and you'll see the difference right away. The ability to use faster shutter speeds might be offset by the narrow depth of field f/2.8 gives you. Getting your focus right in a crowded field of moving boats is a chore, even in Canon's servo mode.
I hope to rent the 300mm f/2.8 lens next weekend and we'll give that a try. It's only $50 a weekend so I'd have to use it for 100 weekends before the break even point for buying it. ;-)
restored Century runabout this weekend. It's a great looking boat and it was fun to be out on the water with it. My Tolman Skiff photoboat was just able to keep up with it at 37mph but I think after they have the twin carburetors dialed in, I'll be left behind.
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