Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rediscovering 17mm


So, I was on vacation with the family in Washington, DC. While I always love being on vacation with the Familia I also use these opportunities to take pictures...something I can never get enough of.

I went with a straight forward kit consisting of the below, taking some things I knew I would need and others I hoped I would use.

- 5D Mark II
- 24-105 f/4 L
- 17-40 f/4 L
- 70-200 f/2.8 L
- 580 EX II
- Tripod
- Other misc. items like batteries, etc.

Now, I knew I would use the camera, duh, and the 24-105 as it is a great travel lens so that was a given. However, I had my doubts about the 70-200 and the tripod. I was pleased I got to use the 70-200 even though it was only once, but I did. I did not get to use the tripod, no surprise, I brought it for night photography but was too tired after all the walking during the day to go back out at night.

What was a pleasant surprise was my 17-40, a lens I've always enjoyed but don't get to use as often as I like. It has been months since I had a need for it and I new I would need it when indoors at the various Capital Buildings and Monuments, but boy did I forget what it can do in the simplest of applications. Take the picture above as an example.

Its a simple portrait of my wife and son standing in front of the US Capital Building. Using a standard range lens I would have to back up quite a bit to get them in the picture, resulting in a lot of useless space a need to crop, etc. With the 17-40 on I was able to get nice and close, keeping them as the center of attention while getting the whole Capital Building in the background. Short of a a slight angle fix (something a lot of my pics from the trip needed - I seem to have been tilted the whole time) has no cropping, you just have a love that about a lens.

So my wish for everyone is that you go out and use a lens you have not touched in a while. Force yourselves to do so. You know why you love these lenses and why you keep them, you just need to go and remind yourselves by seeing some real world examples.

Oh, and have fun.