More with the Canon T100

I have three more lenses to practise with on the Canon. First of them is the standard ‘kit’ lens; 18-55, which is an unremarkable performer by anyone’s standards.

Chick-a-dee, dee, dee, dee.

On the whole, not awful. But of course mostly shot at the 55mm end as I rarely use wide-angle. Or even short telephoto.

The second lens is the heavily used 75-300mm which is a bit stiff in the zoom and doesn’t render quite as good as we’d want. But it’s still not bad.

Crossed wires, or BC Hydro shouldn’t hire ravens to do line work.
More scenery.

The third lens is the 40mm ‘prime pancake’, which is a very odd focal length for either full frame or APS-C. But the lens itself is quite sharp and a decent performer.

Two ravens overhead. You wouldn’t expect to take bird pictures with a 40mm (64mm on the T100).
Still more scenery. Colour adjusted to get the blue out of the snow.

So … what have I learned from this?

1). The Canon is easier for me to use (even discounting the Nikon’s increasing defects) because I can see the view more easily.

2). The Canon is more difficult to use because of the need to swap lenses to get even close to the Nikon’s range of focal length (due to the difference in sensor sizes).

3). I would need a much longer zoom lens (like 600mm at least) to come close to the range I normally use for wildlife shots, and those cost a lot of money.

4). I would need to slow down my shooting style because the Canon can’t ‘shift modes’ as quickly as the Nikon, and the general use of it requires more time – especially with swapping lenses.

There is no perfect way to go because they don’t make an ‘ideal’ camera design for my needs. A 4/3s camera like the Olympus E410 I have would be close, but there are very few lenses for it. The modern micro 4/3s cameras don’t have optical viewfinders, so they would not be good with my eyesight (even my Sony a6000’s finder is too small and too dim). Since the only choice I have is to use the optical finder cameras I already have, I’ll go with that.

More slowly, more carefully, and more to come.

Bird friend

Male pileated woodpecker showed up to snack on suet.

Shot through the window.

Video version: Pileated woodpecker

Away in the trees.

Snowed yesterday, going to warm up and melt and make ice so I’ve got to get the driveway cleared.

When 50(mm) is 80(mm)

In continuing my ‘practising’ with the Canon T100, I shot the next series of images using the 50mm f1.8 Canon EF lens. There were a large number of pictures that weren’t any good. This was due not only to the usual factors, but also because I don’t normally shoot in that focal range (equivalent to 80mm on a 135 film camera). Also, the weather was grey much of the time and when you shoot on a grey day you get grey images. But here are the very few that turned out acceptable.

Scenery #1
Scenery #2
Lone cone
Bird on a branch
Clouds of fluff
Bird in the clouds

This lens is better on the Canon 1Ds (full frame) where the focal length is ‘normal’ and both are well-suited to landscape photography.

In the past couple of weeks I have passed on some equipment offered because I figure if I can’t make use of what I’ve got there’s no sense in getting more. I will be shooting additional ‘practice’ shots with the T100, utilising the short-range zoom and some adapted fixed focal length manual lenses (the Super Takumars mainly). I still have a great deal of difficulty using the viewfinder, even though it is much larger and brighter than the EVF on the old Nikon P610. This has nothing to do with the camera, and everything to do with my failing vision. Perhaps I should try firing blindly around me with a wide-angle lens and see how that goes. Probably wouldn’t be any worse than trying to take pictures on purpose.

I have also dug out the Sony A6000. Originally I intended to try and sell it again, but failing that I might as well see if I have any more luck shooting with it. It’s smaller and lighter, which has both advantages and disadvantages. It also adapts old lenses more readily, which is good because Sony E lenses are very expensive. But these days, what isn’t?

Answering the riddle

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

Practice, practice, practice!

Here I am practising with the Canon T100 and 55-250mm lens.

Big black bird (raven).
Cold sun. Taken through the window on a -34C day, but that’s okay because it’s supposed to be ‘soft’.
“Dogs and cats don’t get along.” (Marley & Squeak)
Zig-zag. I like a bit of ‘real life abstract’.
Bitty brown bird (junco).
Light, shadow, texture, pattern.

So what’s the score? One out of every seven pictures shot was ‘acceptable’. Not very good, but an improvement over the Nikon’s one out of ten. The reasons for the improved performance are several: the Canon has a larger, brighter viewfinder which is easier for me to see through (although I still mis-framed shots); its autofocus is faster and more dependable (although again I missed shots because the focus points are little black dots and my eyes have their own ‘little black dots’ built-in); the zoom is a mechanical ring, not motor-driven that sometimes locks up as the Nikon does; the sensor is larger, higher resolution, and not failing; the lens isn’t loose and wobbly.

I miss the Nikon’s excellent (actually better than the Canon’s) lens resolution and its extreme zoom range, though. But it is nice to know the camera isn’t going to just fail randomly as its worn-out predecessor does. The battery lasts longer too. I’ve had the T100 for three years now and bought it to replace the P610, but it was hard to give up a camera that so perfectly fit my shooting needs. Now those needs have changed and I have no choice (many of the shots missed with the Nikon were due to my just not being able to see what I was doing with it).

Next step is to put the fixed focal length ‘prime’ 50mm on it and shoot some more, although I dislike having that limitation. I also need a much longer than 250mm lens for my usual wildlife photography, but that will have to wait for now. (It’s been waiting for three years, what’s a little longer?)

Footnote: it was -40 Thursday morning, but it’s headed for above freezing next week. This weird weather continues to complicate things.

Gray Jay on a gray day

Canada’s National Bird, the Gray Jay (aka Whiskey Jack).

Not many birds about these days; the cold weather sent them south or into hibernation (yes, I know).

The news from around the country and around the world is pretty depressing and often stupid, so let’s skip that.

(This is me trying to dig up good news.)

Let’s see, Stats Can says inflation is “holding steady” at 6.9%. That must be ‘per day’ because I just bought a flat of canned dog food and it was 50% more expensive than last month. I opted out of some of my dental treatment – to save $60. It was over $100 as it was. Well gasoline went down a few cents. No doubt it will be back up when I need to get some more. The wood supply is good; I’ll split some more tomorrow. Haven’t yet used up even what’s in the centre of the shed.

Anyway it’s warmer and I did get a bunch of errands done. Guess I’ll make it “Western Wednesday” and put on a movie or two while the laundry does its thing in the machine.

On the whole nothing bad happening. (Just ignore the big, wide world.)

Hated Holiday: Halloween

Of all the stupid, useless, meaningless holidays on the calendar (and in Canada there are a lot, including a huge number of statutory ones which are just an excuse for not working and costing the economy) Halloween is the worst. It is more commercially and socially corrupted than even Christmas, and has lost all its original meaning (not that there was any great significance to it in the first place). I have never been an ‘active participant’ in this farce, and reject all its trappings.

However, I can use it as an excuse to do certain types of pictures so …

Somewhere in the universe …
Amidst a twisted forest …
Something strange lives …

Killing frost

Okay, it’s Winter here now: -4C this morning and hasn’t warmed up more than 1 degree in the past two hours. I’m not even going out in it to take a picture of it, whatever it looks like. Instead, here’s a turkey:

Okay, it’s a ruffed grouse.

Otherwise …

Wood hauling is going well, except for being a lot of work. Bigger load capacity = takes more time and effort to load and unload. Truck is managing it, except for not being as fast as the Nissan even when empty because it can’t take the turns. Also the “check engine” light came on after less than five hours driving. It has since gone off again, but not before I’d made an appointment to have it checked. Ford has a service bulletin on it in fact. Anyway, the thing is still horrible to maneuver: at home I take the trailer off and turn it around separately, then reconnect it; that’s easier than trying to do the whole thing together, even with the ‘rear marker sticks’ added to the trailer. Oh I have to fix the suspension again; that road is a terror.

Anyway, three loads has got me three rows full and start of a fourth. So far, so good.

Unfortunately the cold is going against me, and it’s supposed to start raining next week. Cold + wet = slippery. Slippery woods, slippery roads. Right now I’m in town with too many little chores to do up – and a wife making more all the time – some of which really needed warmer weather for. Funny, but for all the cool temperatures I can still sweat through my clothes in short order when working with the wood. Possibly because some of the rounds are 50 lbs. each and … well pretty much a ton of weight per load.

Rocky shore.

It won’t be long before there’s ice showing up. Of course the water line will freeze first. Pretty early in the year to be losing so much heat, and somewhat surprising after the Summer’s roasting. On the plus side I’ve only one more electrical outlet to install. Whether I get that done this year remains to be seen. No big deal if not. I did not get the stain put on outside, so that’s not happening until next season.

Nor have I got results back from the biopsy. Can’t say “no news is good news” because it’s just no news. Had another pain attack in the middle of the night. The inconsistency of the circumstances surrounding these attacks discounts the cause/effect scenario of most possible diagnosis. Oh well …


What next? We wait and see.

One final note: Dave McKeegan’s Facebook fiasco. I don’t really use that abomination of a social media platform anymore, and his experience is similar to mine with Ego-bay.