Friday, 23 January 2015

A wider viewpoint

Readers of this blog know that one of my targets in life is to do photography on a budget. So recently I did something very out of character and actually spent a considerable amount of money on a new lens.

Now we need to put this into context. To some a "considerable" amount of money is anything over £1000. The photo blogs are full of individuals who seem quite happy to buy the latest camera bodies plus the lenses to go with them, seemingly money being no object.  However for me anything over £100 seems a wasteful extravagance.

However recently I have been aware of gaps in my lens collection. Specifically at the low and high ends of the focal range. As I was perusing e-bay (always dangerous waters to travel), I noticed a Tamron SP AF 10-24 mm f/3.5-4.5 for sale. So I put a bid in, in the belief (hope) that I had no chance of winning.

I was therefore quite surprised when my bid was the highest.

So for the princely sum of £200 I find I had added a wide angle zoom to add to my lens collection. Now to me £200 seems a lot, but it is slightly mollified (so I to tell myself [and my wife]) that it is roughly half the price of what I would need to pay for it, if I bought it new.

Once I finally got my hands on it, I realized I hadn't got a clue what I was going to do with it. So as with all new toys I started playing with it.

The 1st surprise was how far everything seemed away. Being used to my superzoom 28-210, I had grown accustomed to framing everything using the lens. However you couldn't do that with this. In truth the difference between 10 and 24 mm is quite small, and you do wonder whether a 10mm prime would be just as useful, without the zoom complexity.

The next problem was the size if the  lens. Most of my filters are 62mm, This is 77mm and I found to my dismay I didn't even have a cokin adaptor ring for that size of lens and my filter stepper set stopped at one size to small. So now I am faced with the dilemma of whether to buy a set of 77mm filters.

In hindsight it would made more sense to buy all my filters at 77mm and fit them via an stepper adapter,  but that would of increased the cost. Alternatively I could of invested in a Cokin type system, but they are so bulky. In the end I got around the problem by attaching two plastic cokin type ND filters to the lens and camera through the use of two elastic band.

Anyway below are some examples of my first attempts with my new toy...

Wide Angles close up tend to distort features. However this is not always a bad thing and can produce some intetresting effects especially in portraiture 

A typical wide angle landscape shot. The main issue with a wide angle seems to be the need to have lead in lines. Fortunately the sun being behind me allowed shadows to fulfill that function including one of me

Close up of architecture can suffer from converging lines, and wide angles are especially susceptible to that. However it can also be used to create interesting surreal effects.  

Again some distortion, but the wide angle means I can get the whole church in

Again playing with distortion, the towers lend themselves to converging lines by emphasizing there size. This was taken with my jury rigged filter modification.

This is where wide-angles come into there own by allowing the camera to take in far more of a landscape.

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