Monthly Archives: February 2012

A New Nifty Fifty

Posted by Caz on Tuesday, 28th February 2012

I’ve had my original Canon 50mm EF 1.8 lens since I got my first film SLR back in 1990. It’s been a stalwart since then, but it was beginning to look rather long in the tooth – although still solidly built, it had a very old focus mechanism which tended to hunt about in low light or with 12mm extension tubes fitted. It was also very noisy.

Canon 50mm EF f/1.4 USM

Canon 50mm EF f/1.4 USM

I decided to upgrade recently. I would have loved the 50mm EF f/1.2 L USM but that really is silly money… So I settled for the more reasonably-priced 50mm EF 1.4 USM. It’s still faster, quieter and more accurate than the old model!

It arrived while I was away in Florida, and on my return we were treated to 3″ of snow – so its first few outings were in the cold weather to grab some test shots.

Barbed Bokeh - Open Wide at f/1.4

Barbed Bokeh – Open Wide at f/1.4

Fence Friday - Galleywood Edition

Fence Friday – Galleywood Edition

Then I took it on two successive weekend street photography shoots in London – Brick Lane and Portobello Road. Both times I used it exclusively and it proved to be an excellent lens for the street genre.

Red Coat #1

Red Coat #1

Slung Over My Shoulder

Slung Over My Shoulder

Day #1520 - Three Seasons

Day #1520 – Three Seasons

Today I took it out for another spin and made this image for Day #1520.

I’m looking forward to using it a lot over the coming months, especially as I’m attempting Flickr’s 50 days of 50mm challenge this year. With this cracker in my arsenal, it should be no hardship!

Chelmsford Photowalk #38

Posted by Caz on Monday, 27th February 2012

We didn’t get to do a walk in January, and I thought I might be on my own this month, but in the end I was able to combine CFDPW38 with the GNPC Special Interest Group‘s trip to see Point to Point racing at Marks Tey yesterday.

The course is great for access – as long as you are sensible and stay out of the horses’ way, you’re pretty much allowed where you like. This meant some great vantage points to catch the races in progress.

I took along my 100-400mm EF f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens for some shots. It’s a monster, but I use it all too infrequently and thought it would be a great opportunity to get the best out of it. The sun was in and out all afternoon – when it shone, the light was glorious. This shot nearly made it for Day #1518:

Flying Over Fence Two

Flying Over Fence Two

Here are the rest of the collection:

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Back On The Streets

Posted by Caz on Saturday, 25th February 2012

After my trip to Brick Lane last week, I decided to go with the London Flickr Meetups group to Portobello Market today and see if I could get some more street shots. The weather was sunny again – which can make lighting difficult as there is often bright sun and deep shade in the same scene. But at least it wasn’t as cold as last time!

I was pleased with my images from the day, and also photographed two more Strangers for my project, Michelle and Shayna. This lady with the huge barnet nearly made it as Day #1517‘s image:

Red Coat And Barnet

Red Coat And Barnet

Here are the best of the rest:

Street Wise

Posted by Caz on Monday, 20th February 2012

Yesterday I went to London with friends from GNPC to do some steet photography. It’s not my strongest genre, and is something I often find difficult and uncomfortable. Consequently, I struggle a bit and the results are frequently variable too!

We visited Columbia Road Flower Market, Old Spitalfields and Brick Lane. By the time I got to Brick Lane I think I was in a better mindset and so got some reasonable shots. I even managed to talk to another great Stranger for my project, Johnnie. He had so much fun dancing along with his friends to some rap music, that I had to choose their image for Day #1511. Here are the best of the rest:

Sharing A Snack, Brick Lane

Sharing A Snack, Brick Lane

Buskers - Columbia Road

Buskers - Columbia Road


Red And Black Checks - Brick Lane

Red And Black Checks - Brick Lane

Skull Specs - Brick Lane

Skull Specs - Brick Lane


Clocked - Brick Lane

Clocked - Brick Lane

Serving Up - Brick Lane

Serving Up - Brick Lane


Rising Steam - Brick Lane

Rising Steam - Brick Lane

Fortunately, the day also provided a great opportunity to really give my new Canon 50mm EF f/1.4 USM lens a run out. It proved to be excellent for street work, pretty unobtrusive, easy to work with and fast, fast, fast. It produced great bokeh in the right conditions. I used it all day, despite having the 10-22mm wide angle with me. I’ll be doing a longer review of it soon, but for the moment, suffice it to say that I love it!