As you know, I recently got a second hand Canon 350d / Digital Rebel XT from eBay, and I paired it with a Canon 28-80 f3.5 lens that was fitted to my EOS 50e Film SLR. I've also just got a M42-EF Lens Adapter, so that my old Praktica Film SLR lenses and macro tubes will fit. What this means is that I've got a new camera and a number of new lenses to learn, and yesterdays photowalk was the first time I got to play around with them.
It was an overcast evening, but any time to shoot is a good time to shoot, so to start I stuck the M42 adapter onto my 350d, added the Soligor 90-230 with a couple of Macro Tubes, and headed out into our garden.
Using this old zoom with macro extension tubes means that I can get really magnified shots, without having to push the lens right up against the subject - great for insects, etc. I was probably about 2 feet away for the above photo. The Depth of Field is small, and if I want to use a tighter aperture I've got to focus first then "stop down" to get more of the subject in focus, but the long focal length, combined with a tight aperture means that camera shake is a real problem, so I tripod really is ideal.
Another advantage to being able to shoot macro from a distance is that I can use my Rebel XT's built in flash without having to worry about the lens casting a shadow, so I'll be playing around with that in the future too.
The above was again shot with the Soligor Zoom, combined with extension tubes, hand-held, up into one of the rose bushes in our garden. The light was poor, and at 1/80th of a second I was lucky to get a shot that wasn't too blurred, but it shows potential. A bit more Sun, a higher shutter speed, and some water droplets sprayed from my trusty trigger spray and it could have been very nice indeed.
All these photo's were shot in RAW, then worked on in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS3. I did my usual curves, b&w, colour adjustment and levels work, then on a couple I applied Noise Ninja and some selective high-pass filter for sharpening.
Just messing about with this one, seeing if the Soligor was up to my typical "brick" shots. I was shooting hand-held, through a chain fence, and it looks OK, if a little wonky!
Another test shot for the Soligor - this time at full zoom, and stopped down (I think!) to F5.6. I had to rest the big lens on the railing at Forton Lake Bridge, and again, it came out OK, and would be better with some nicer light.
I used my Canon 28-80mm F3.5 lens for this one, and again, it came out OK, but I really need some better lighting conditions (or go HDR) for my usual b&w "look".
As I was looking through the shots, and the meta-data, I discovered that my 350d is "stamping" the old owners name into the exif info for each shot, so I'll have to install the Canon software and change it to me!
Overall, an interesting walk, but it does feel like I'm starting again, camera wise, getting used to the different strengths, weaknesses, buttons and settings of my new camera and lenses. One good thing about this is that it's forcing me to freshen up my photography and try new things, or old things in a new way. I'm experimenting again, which is always a good thing for any photographer.