I’ve been spending the better part of the week processing my photos for my master’s project. The trips to Chicago were surprisingly productive. And the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens that I’ve been borrowing from my dad–I briefly reviewed it here early this year–proved to be invaluable in the city. Sure, the images aren’t as sharp as they would be with a 70-200 lens, but it’s a smaller, less “obvious” lens for street shooting: the black barrel doesn’t draw attention to itself.
As always, comments and criticism welcome! And more photos after the jump!
Chicago and the river that bears the city’s name are a large part my project about Asian carp: the river is a conduit through which the fish are likely to find their way into Lake Michigan. (In all fairness, they have already found alternative routes that take them into Lake Erie.) Here, then, are a few more photos of this city that is the seat of so much controversy.
A few images from Berkeley, Illinois, where I took the Metra West line to get into Chicago a couple of weeks ago to play tourist at Wendella Boats. I think it’s fitting to show some of the rail infrastructure surrounding the city as rail would be one of the alternatives for carrying the cargo that barges currently push in and out of the region.
Also, I’ve been experimenting, perhaps too much, with leaving my large-aperture lenses wide open even mid-day for the selective focus and natural vignetting that you can get…and then enhancing the latter a touch in Lightroom. Don’t worry–I’m sure it’s a phase that I’ll get over sooner rather than later. At least the vignetting part!
On Sunday, Salmon-a-Rama wrapped up with angler Roger Hellen taking the grand prize of $10,000 for his 41.5 pound Brown trout caught on Thursday. It was the final day of the tournament, and I knew that it was a make-or-break day for me as I needed a few more interviews and some different images. I was tired of hauling all of the lenses that I had been taking with me every day, so in favor of the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens that is my standard telephoto, I borrowed my dad’s 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens–one of only two Canon lens that intentionally diffracts light to create a more compact lens. (The other is my longest lens, the 400mm f/4 DO IS.)
I’m hoping to put together an audio slideshow of Salmon-a-Rama that could stand alone from, as well as become a part of, my master’s project on Asian carp and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
This past weekend, my parents came to visit me in Columbia and my dad brought with him his new 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS zoom lens. It’s the only other “diffractive optics” lens made by Canon–the other being the 400mm f/4 DO IS super telephoto that he and I co-own with Dad. I’ve been curious about this lens for a while now, which is an obvious interest given that I have been more than impressed with the 400mm DO.
It’s an impressive zoom range: sure, there’s the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens that I already own, and combined with a teleconverter you would get the same zoom range, but that combination weighs 2.3 pounds (1.05 kilograms), whereas the 70-300mm DO weighs 1.6 pounds. Add to that the cosmetic appearance of the lenses: the 70-200 is a white lens, and stands out in a crowd, but the 70-300mm’s only distinguishing mark is the green line around its barrel. And why not the other 70-300mm lens? The DO should be sharper, although I cannot do a side-by-side as I would need a 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS lens to test, but one thing is certain: it is more compact.
My time with this lens was relatively short, and the photographic opportunities somewhat limited, but I was pleased with the results that came from the lens. Was it tack sharp every time? Nope. But it’s difficult to say how much of that was the 5D Mark II”s somewhat haphazard focusing abilities and how much was the lens?
What I can say is that, while this lens could never replace a dedicated 70-200 mm lens, I could easily see using this lens in lieu of its more “professional” cousin for travel photography because it’s smaller, lighter, and makes images that I would still be more than happy to frame or to sell. Go to Europe and take this lens and the 35mm f/1.4L and you’d be set for street photography!