Easter expedition …Pt.1

This Easter Sunday saw us at the Glen Afton Line open day. This small Bush Railway is a great chance to view and ride on some of the less well known work horses of yesteryear. There are several Heritage Rail clubs and societies dotted around New Zealand and most offer an interesting day out.

I will be going back in winter to get more images as there was simply too much to see and too many people for us to contend with this day.

We took four cameras with us, the Canon 1000d, Pentax MZ-6, Fujifilm HS20 EXR, and the good old Samsung S6.  The film images will be a couple of weeks away as I haven’t finished the roll of film  in the camera, 22 images taken on the day but theres another 14 to use yet.

All the digital cameras did well, the DSLR moreso but the HS20 was still up to the challenge and I got some images I wasn’t expecting from the HS20.

I have edited the first batch of images and these are from the Canon and are a mixture of black and white edits and colour. In some cases the same image was edited both B&W and colour primarily because they lent themselves to such treatment.

As always click each of the thumbnails for a full resolution image. Use F11 in your browser to go full-screen. Some of the images look the same but are either different focal lengths  or different edits of the same image. Part 2 will contain the Canon colour images.

Canon EF-S 55-250 IS ii

The new (to me) Canon EF-S 55-250 IS ii arrived in the post today fortunately all in one piece.

It was advertised as lightly used and in mint condition. I can report thats exactly what it was. I had the opportunity to have  a small play with it. Right from the outset it showed promise and it quickly became evident that this was going to be a nice addition to the equipment list. The photographic shelves are looking a little better stocked as of today.

The gear rack
Top row left to right — Pentax SF-7 with speed-light, Pentax MZ-6, Canon 1000d, Fujifilm s5700, Fujifilm HS20EXR. Bottom row filters & remote for the Canon, Pentax 100-300 lens, Pentax 28-80 lens, Pentax F1.8 50mm lens, Canon EF-s 55-250 & Canon  EF 75-300

It would be nice to see the Fuji XE3 on the shelf but thats a ways off at the moment. Back to the new lens. It does have a tendency to hunt, but I’ve found that it seems to perform best using the centre AF point rather than using the auto multi point for AF. Coupled with the metering set to evaluative this seems to work best.

I was then presented with one of the toughest task you can get, namely photographing a Fantail.  These native birds never sit still for more than a couple of seconds. Even when you think they are still, snapping off a few images will prove that to be not the case, they are almost constantly on the move. This is a tough ask for this lens as it really needs an f2.0 lens or better to really get these little birds crisply in focus. Fast glass equals faster shutter speeds and higher ISO.

I’m also noticing that the 1000d’s sensor really isn’t as crisp as some of it heirs when pushed hard. I’m finding that is many cases the 1000d has plenty of detail but the output is similar to  a high quality 35 mm SLR. Perhaps a 1200d body or similar may well be the next shelf item.

However I did mange a few that I will deem keepers for now until I get better at using this lens and finding the various sweet spots it has.

So far it looks like its money well spent and I’m pleased it turned up today as it will be going with us tomorrow on the photo expedition.