Lens envy….

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After a bit of self justification I have now invested in a new zoom lens to replace my Sigma 120-400… the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L IS II USM…

Canon EF 100-400mm

The Sigma has served me well but was occasionally hit and miss on the sweet spot for image quality and sharpness… seeing as this range of lens is what I use the most I decided to invest in the best of class… I was not disappointed… this lens is actual awesome!

A few test shots…

This one was done handheld…

…same again a few days later on a tripod just to see how effective IS was…

And of course a moon shot using a 2x Sigma APO teleconvertor
Moon

Really happy with this lens and looking forward to being able to use it properly once race season starts next year at Castle Combe… I also plan to go to Thruxton again for a round of BTCC.

Some links…

Great photography forum and the thread that swayed me towards this lens…
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1411834

Great service from these guys for buying kit…
http://www.wexphotographic.com/

Fantastic pictures from a great photographer that helped inspire the purchase
http://www.photojan.ca/

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Seven years on….

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While preparing for Audi Drivers International (one of the last VAG car shows of the year) it dawned on me that I have now had my S3 for 7 years… this is the longest time I have ever kept a car and the journey with her has been a roller coaster ride to say the least…

I put together a dyno graph of current power vs the power she left the factory with..

Dyno

…and my efforts to keep the car looking as standard as possible as I am a big fan of ‘sleeper’ cars, particularly under the bonnet where most modified cars look ‘modified’ 🙂

oem ++ engine bay

Over the 7 years of ownership she has given me a vast array of emotions… joy and plenty of pain (as anything with boobs or wheels will tend to do lol) but I wouldn’t change it for the world… More importantly she has introduced me to a new world of friends…

I have built on her roots to turn her into the car she is today and in turn she has built on me as a person…

I know this sounds a little sad to me talking about an inanimate object in such a fashion but through this car I have met people and had experiences that have enriched my life and I think that is the point…

There are people that think a car is just a means to get you from A to B… its a tool… its part of your life because it has to be… for me cars are a passion, they are a way of life and add value to it… I wish more people felt this way then there would be less idiots that seem to think its fine to open their doors into your car but we can all dream the dream huh 🙂

One last thing to say is that my car also seems to help others… I get told quite often that my build thread on Audi-Sport is an inspiration to them and helps feed others passion for their cars… this is quite humbling and I am happy that others get something out of this other than me…

I leave you with a few pics of the old girl…

My S3

Interior

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Moonies…

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Recently got back into photography… like most hobbies of mine I tend to drift in and out of them… I recently got back into drumming too but thats back on hold… this is how fickle I can be 🙂

I have some fairly decent kit, Canon 30D and 50D, various lenses etc… most of my photography has been centred around motorsport… more specifically my local track of Castle Combe… I have also been to check out BTCC at Thruxton which was pretty cool… BTCC is one of my favourites…

A few of my shots…

castlecombe_bikes2007

Since getting back into photography I have been reading up a lot about astrophotograpy… being a sci-fi nut its a very interesting subject and having a fairly long lens already I thought I would give it a go…

Did a fair bit of reading up (links at the end) so gave it a go… Became evident pretty quickly that its not as clear cut as it first looks…

I have a Sigma 120-400 lens… this is quite a lot of focal length for the money it cost and to go longer can cost substantially more…

sigma120-400

As it turns out even this is not that much reach to get the moon to fill the frame… still, I had a go and was pleased with the results…

Waxing Gibbous (2015:09:26 20:46:06, 400mm, F11, ISO200, 1/160, resolution 1089 x 726)

Waning Gibbous (2015:09:30 21:11:19, 352mm, F10, ISO100, 1/125, resolution 935 x 632)

Had to do quite a hefty crop to get the images to fill the frame… so invested in a couple of teleconvertors to punch out a bit further… a 2x and a 1.4x… stacked they should give a focal length of 1120mm (400 x 2 x 1.4)

So had another go… the teleconvertors make quite a bit of difference…

Uncropped image at 400mm, no TC’s
uncropped image at 400mm, no TC's

Uncropped image at 400mm, stacked TC’s (1.4x and 2x)

This time I used the EOS Utility software on my laptop to help frame the moon and help focus properly…

The moon is a feisty little thing… constantly moving…

Took a fair few shots, used F11 and a shutter speed of 1/10 second for most of them… ended up with this image…

Waning Gibbous (2015:10:02 23:40:37, 956mm, F11, ISO100, 1/25, image resolution 3392 x 2261)

Pleased with it… resolution is higher as there is less of a crop… this is partially due to it being taken by my 50D rather than the previous two that were on the 30D but the TC’s meant the crop was much less… still need to work on the focus I think as it could be sharper… the TC’s may not be helping of course as you will lose a little image quality through them… the other issue is the effective aperture… my Sigma starts at F5.6 on longest zoom, stacking the TC’s knocked this up to F11…

This is fine as its in the sweet spot but… limits day time use with these and I still need to find the sweet spot in terms of zoom, aperture and image quality… this will have to wait until the moon is rising a little earlier… as of tonight the recorded time the moon will rise is around 23:30pm tonight which in real terms means it will be well after midnight before its in a position for me to capture it from my back garden… I have work in the morning lol…

Should you wish to have a go yourselves then here are a few links to get you going…

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/10/24/how-to-photograph-the-moon-the-easy-way-to-shoot-moon-pictures-with-amazing-detail/

http://www.moonconnection.com/moon_phases_calendar.phtml

https://photographylife.com/how-to-photograph-moon

http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/TRIPOD/TRIPOD4.HTM

Happy mooning 😀

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