A Trial of L

Nazeef lent me his 24-70f2.8L so I can check out the focal range on a crop body (upcoming 7D and my 350D), so I put it though its paces. 
Canons 24-70f2.8L is a stable workhorse of many professional photogs, primarily on high end pro , full frame bodies. Its a fast, constant f2.8 lens that’s bulky and solid, colloquially known as ‘the brick’ its built like a tank, and priced almost like it, at $2250nz, cheap compared to the Nikon version! 

I’d asked Naz to lend me his copy as I’m looking round for a new lens to go with the 7D when it turns up, something ‘walk round’ ish, one lens to grab and deal with whatever. 

Picking the lens up from Naz he’s forgotten a body and lens cap, so along for the ride comes a 5D , 580ex and a few other bits n pieces. Not expecting the lens on the day I hadn’t brought in my camera, so the use of the 5D at lunchtime was good. 

 But first , Sarge had given me a bottle of beer to try, Harringtons Wintertide, a winter ale at 6.8% with cloves and honey, a perfect, willing subject.. 


Light was harsh but I head out to the Waimak to see if I can find something landscapy and typical of my shooting. Knowing that the field of view on the 5D should be ~around~ the 17-55 range (on my crop). 

 First, the 5D, coupled with the 24-70, and a battery grip, makes quite a solid, large and heavy lump. But carrying it round for half an hour didn’t seem a chore. And the superior ergonomics of the 5D (echo’d in the 7D) make adjustments a breeze, quick, painless and easy. The viewfinder and LCD are both substantially better than the 350D too. 

First image, a 3 shot HDR – not even the 5D’s 12.9mp full frame sensor could manage this in 1 shot, even with 3 (2 stops bracketed) its a bit of a push: 


5D, 24-70 at 24mm, photomatix then CS4  

I also wanted to see how the lens coped with close up pseudo macro shots, so the prettiest thing I saw growing… a weed… 

The 5D had trouble meetering that for me, though I didnt change the (evaluative) mode it was set on the oranges blew the colour channel quite badly in other shots. But even then the combo provided a stunning quality of image, just about what I expected of a full frame pro body and a top end lens. 

I took some of a stream and the Waimak with the motorway bridge in the background etc, I may publish them later.. 

And so the working  day winds itself up and I head home, swap the lens onto my trusty old 350D and start shooting the cats, as every new piece of kit is supposed to be used for. 

Moglet, as ever, is a willing subject. 

I get about 2 dozen shots of mog rattled off in 2 minutes and upload them to the ‘puter. Wow, every shot crystal clear, pin sharp, all shot at f2.8, nailed focus. The focusing on this lens has to be experienced, (almost) instant, no messing , locked on fast and accurate, I didn’t expect this quite so positively on the 350D. 

Heres a link to a full frame full res unprocessed Mog. 

So far suitably impressed with focus and sharpness I head out for 5 minutes at the beach as the sun heads down. 

Its quite a pleasant evening, theres a whitebaiter working at Shag rock, a fisherman at the river mouth and mans best friend out on his evening constitutional: 

Around the Fooshing man there’s a crowd of willing subjects, Gulls. OK, not exactly rare but here’s me with a new lens and in need of something to shoot, wondering how a 70mm lens in failing light goes with fast moving flying subjects. 



Considering the few frames I shot I have other candidates for posting, I’m pretty sure it was a success! 
I shot a few landscapey scenes and the whitebaiter (probably in part 2) and so far, so good, nothing I don’t like about this lens, especially with having the 10-20, the 24mm start isnt much of a problem so far. 
When I got back I processed a few ofr the images and Pam asked “how come your getting so many good shots”. Professional level fast and accurate focusing lens with pin sharp image quality and contrast, with excelent colours. Mechanicaly and operationaly this lens ‘does the business’ but its not just that either in part 2 , with whitebaiter , we’ll see its real party trick.

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