November, 2009 Archives

2009 Challenge, Day 334: Toothbrush

November 30th, 2009 Permalink

Day 334/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Toothbrush".

Toothbrush

Day 334/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Toothbrush".

November Challenge, Week Four

November 29th, 2009 Permalink

Here are my shots for week four of the November Challenge: You can see all my shots from the November Challenge here.

Here are my shots for week four of the November Challenge:

Day 22: Thats Not The Point

Day 22: "That's Not The Point"

Day 23: Right At It Like A Neanderthal

Day 23: "Right At It Like A Neanderthal"

Day 24: The Different Debates

Day 24: "The Different Debates"

Day 25: Luchador Caramba

Day 25: "Luchador Caramba"

Day 26: Hold My Port

Day 26: "Hold My Port"

Day 27: Reviving

Day 27: "Reviving"

Day 28: Freemark Abbey

Day 28: "Freemark Abbey"

You can see all my shots from the November Challenge here.

2009 Challenge, Day 333: Three Threes

November 29th, 2009 Permalink

Day 333/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Threes".

Three Threes

Day 333/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Threes".

2009 Challenge, Day 332: Waiting At The Light

November 29th, 2009 Permalink

Day 332/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Wait".

Waiting At The Light

Day 332/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Wait".

2009 Challenge, Day 331: Things Can And Do Go Wrong

November 28th, 2009 Permalink

Day 331/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is “Bridge”.

Things Can And Do Go Wrong

Day 331/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is “Bridge”.

2009 Challenge, Day 330: Candle Decoration

November 26th, 2009 Permalink

Day 330/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Decorate".

Candle Decoration

Day 330/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Decorate".

The Canon 300 f/2.8 From Pro Photo Rental

November 26th, 2009 Permalink

I recently had the opportunity to rent the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens from Pro Photo Rental. Full disclosure: I received this lens at a discounted rate in exchange for writing this review. The rental process itself was very good. The Pro Photo Rental web site is easy to browse, and it’s easy to […]

The Dive

I recently had the opportunity to rent the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens from Pro Photo Rental. Full disclosure: I received this lens at a discounted rate in exchange for writing this review.

The rental process itself was very good. The Pro Photo Rental web site is easy to browse, and it’s easy to find the equipment that you are looking for. There are sections for Canon, Nikon, and Olympus. Lenses, bodies, accessories, and lighting equipment are listed by brand. It only took two clicks to get to the lens I was interested in. The rental calendar is located on the page with the lens, so you can select the days you want the lens right away. The rental calendar is color-coded, showing at a glance the days that the lens is available. This makes it very easy to pick the days that you want the lens, and you know right away that the lens is yours for those days. The checkout process is straightforward and pretty much what you would expect. The return shipping label is included with the shipment, and returning the lens is as easy as putting the return label on the box and dropping it off at the closest UPS shipper. The only thing I didn’t like about the rental process was that there is no email confirmation when the return is received by Pro Photo Rental. I asked them about this, and they assured me that this feature is on the list of things they want to add.

Within a few days, a large case arrived at the reception desk of my office. The receptionist called me and said “There is a strange package here for you”. When I went to pick up the package, I could see what she meant. The lens arrived in a hard plastic case, looking more like something from a James Bond movie than the plain brown boxes that usually arrive via UPS. The interior of the case was filled with high-density foam, forming a pocket for the lens to rest in. It was reassuring to see that the lens was packed and shipped properly. A few test shots confirmed that the lens was in perfect working order.

My first reaction was “Wow, this lens is big!” My next reaction was “Wow, this lens is heavy!” Mounted on my 5D Mark II, it makes the camera body look small. It was time for some shooting! But first, I wanted to see how the 300mm compared to my 50mm. Here are the comparison shots:

At 50mm, Coit Tower does not stand out at all.

At 300mm, Coit Tower becomes the focal point of the photograph.

Most of my photography is in and around San Francisco. I carry my camera with me everywhere, and make time to shoot every day. So to test the lens, I used it as my walk around lens for several days. The lens performed flawlessly. It is very sharp, very fast to focus, and the stabilization makes it easy to shoot handheld. However, the lens is heavy. It is not exactly comfortable to carry around for long periods of time. It also is not a subtle lens. People will definitely notice that you are carrying it. Trying to get candid street shots is more difficult with a lens like this, since your subject may notice that there is a huge lens pointed at them.

Tourist Mocking The Locals

One nice thing about street shooting with a lens like this is that it allows you to capture details that are just too far away to shoot with other, smaller lenses. This image below is of 580 California Street. The statues are at the top of the 23 story building. However, with the 300mm lens, they are easy to capture from street level.
Split Second Decision

The image stabilization, combined with the wide aperture, make it possible to shoot at night without a tripod. Obviously, a tripod would be preferred, but even handheld images like this can be captured:
Golden Waterf/2.8, 1/30th, ISO 3200

Perhaps the most obvious use of this lens is nature and sports photography. I did not have the opportunity to shoot any sporting events with it, but I did attempt to use it for some nature photography. I was able to capture some images that I was happy with, including the diving pelican at the top of this post, and these two photographs. If you look at the original size image of the seagull, you can see the amount of detail that it is possible to capture with this lens.
Walking On Water
Looking For Handouts

If you are looking for a fast, sharp lens with a long reach, the Canon 300mm f/2.8 might be just what you are looking for. It is tack sharp, focuses quickly, and performs like you would expect a high-end lens to perform. Just keep in mind that it is heavy and bulky — quite a bit heavier than the 300mm f/4 L IS. I would also highly recommend Pro Photo Rental for your rental needs. It is easy to find the equipment you are looking for, and the customer service is excellent.

Happy shooting!

You can see all the photos I took with this lens here.

2009 Challenge, Day 329: Kilroy

November 25th, 2009 Permalink

Day 329/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Peek-A-Boo".

Kilroy

Day 329/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Peek-A-Boo".

2009 Challenge, Day 328: With A Few Exceptions Maybe

November 24th, 2009 Permalink

Day 328/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Water Drop".

With A Few Exceptions Maybe

Day 328/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is "Water Drop".

2009 Challenge, Day 327: Missing Audience

November 23rd, 2009 Permalink

Day 327/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is “Audience”.

Missing Audience

Day 327/365 of the 2009 Challenge. The theme is “Audience”.