Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hell and Pasque Flowers

This weekend I managed to finally go photographing a bit.
Since a week snow is gone and with the warm temperatures here in the south of Germany things are getting green and colourful again.
So on Thursday I went to a valley near Regensburg called "Höllbachtal" and I was received by an old sign showing me the direction "To hell" :-). It was the first time I visited this place and I am sure it will not be the last one. I arrived a little late and had backlight in the morning. I tried different shots and also made some panoramas.

Here are some images:

Canon 7D - Sigma 24/1.8 - Tokina 12-24/4 - Tamron 28-75 - Tripod

I tried my Tokina 12-24/4 for panoramas, but I found the distortion at 12mm very heavy and difficult to use for panoramas. I prefer much more my Sigma 24/1.8 , which has delievered perfect results so far.

Yesterday morning I was looking for some flowers and only found a few ones. It is still a little early here for them. In 1-2 weeks it should be a lot better and i hope to get some more results.
I was looking for some Pasque Flowers and I was lucky enough to find a few of them.

Canon 7D -Sigma 150/28 - Sigma 24/1.8 - Tokina 12-24/4 - Beanbag

Sebastian Erras
Wildlife Photography - Sebastian Erras

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Impression of the Canon 7D

Last year in November I bought a Canon 7D. The 7D fullfilled nearly all my expectations to a camera for wildlife photographers. It has a fast frame rate, a newly improved AF, enough MP, lightweight, Live View and Video.
Unfortunately I didn't had time to test my 7D for wildlife photography yet. So last week I went for a week to Belgium to give it a try with the short-eared Owls. Last year I shot hundreds of images with my Canon 1DIIn the Sigma 500/4.5 EX HSM and the 1.4x or 1.7x konverter. I was curious to see if the 7D could hold up to my beloved 1DIIn.

So here are my first impressions.

Resolution and Noise

The one point I was most curious about was, if the Sigma 500/4.5 EX HSM (with konverters) could deliver enough resolution for the 18MP of the 7D.
After my first day of shooting Herons and Grey Partridge and viewing the results I was definitely relieved to see that I shouldn't have to worry:

Here is an image I shoot at ISO 5000 and a 100% Crop (click on the image to see the full version)

100% Crop
Canon 7D - Sigma 500/4.5 EX HSM + Kenko 1.4x TC - f8 - 1/1000s - ISO5000 - Window Mount

I was quite impressed by the resolution at ISO5000. If I see some of my images which I shoot at ISO1600 with my 1DIIn than the 7D is a good step forwards.

I also made some images ath different ISO settings and put the 100% Crops togehter into 1 image:

The images were processed with Aperture 3 and no Noise Reduction was applied.

AF Performance:

Light conditions were not the best during the week I was in Belgium. It was grey the whole day with no sun. So it was a difficult situation for the AF and a good one to test the AF performance under difficult light situations for me.
With the modified Kenko 1.4x konverter the AF worked very good. Just as I was used to with my 1DIIn. In One Shot Mode the AF locked quickly on my subject. I also tried the Soligor 1.7x Konverter, which used quite often with my 1DIIn. Under this light conditions the 7D had quite some problems to lock focus on the subject and AF was not really a pleasure to use. I will have to test the 1.7x konverter with sunlight to see if performs better then, but under grey conditions it didn't work well for me.
I am very happy with the Kenko 1.4x Konverter and the AF performance in One Shot Mode. I didn't really get a chance to make test in AIServo Mode. I hope that I will get some chances in the near future.

Here are some more images from that week:

I hope that I will be able to shoot some wildlife images with my 7D in the next months.

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