Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 20/02/2011

Ready Steady Go!


The grey miasma of mist has decended over the valley and there is little chance of any wildlife making an appearance. As such, the big lens has been consigned to it’s camera bag, and in it’s place I’ve been using my wide angle lens, something that doesn’t normally see the light of day.

Bought originally for my Canon 5D with it’s full frame sensor, the 17-40mm is not as effective on the Canon 1D4, this having a 1.3 crop factor due to it’s sensor size. On this camera the lens then becomes a 22-52mm, not really a wide angle at these focal lengths, but still a handy lens to have in your arsenal.

This is one of the disadvantages of any form of cropped sensor camera, however what one hand takes away, the other one gives, and any telephoto lense has effectively a greater focal length on such cameras. To this end, when the 600mm lens is connected to the 1D4, it’s focal length is increased to 780mm.

This may seem to be a long enough focal length to suit any need but various lens manufacturers produce extenders which also increases the magnification of lenses they are designed to work with. I think I’ve bemoaned the fact that last year I managed to break my Sigma 2x extender whilst photographing White Faced Duck and Red Crested Pochard. This is still not fixed and so I have, permanently connected to the 600mm lens, a 1.4x convertor which turns the camera combination from 780mm to a massive 1092mm lens.

Not enough? Then adding in the aforementioned 2x convertor results in a mind boggling (ok, not really that mind boggling) focal length of 2184mm; and that’s only with the 1.3mm crop factor of the 1D4. If you were to connect a Canon 1000D/500d/60D then this would increase further to 2688mm*

Camera shy wildlife (or people for that matter) trying to evade the photographers lens really don’t stand a chance with such incredible focal lengths but somehow I still seem to manage to! In fact, as the 600m lens is a fixed focal length – locating the subject can become somewhat of a problem, still it’s a nice problem to have!

I’ve somewhat digressed off the inital subject, which was related to the photo. The GT6 photographed, shares a lot of it’s design qualities with that of the Aston Martin DB5 discussed yesterday. This photo was taken with the 17-40mm (22-52mm – confused yet) lens allowing me to get close to the car to exclude other enthusiasts but still managed to fit the whole of the car in the photograph. A beautiful car in it’s own right but I think I’ll keep my sleek and comfortably sports car (not an MGF as previously mentioned)

*I can show you my workings out if I’m being tested on this.

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