The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

Henry’s Camera here in Ontario does a very smart thing.  Every year they hold a camera show where they bring the reps in from all over to show and discuss their equipment and what not and then they create one of the biggest camera stores you’ve ever seen along one wall of the venue.  Is it a bid to separate you from your money?   Sure it is but their show discounts do make it worth it and you’re not going to find a greater collection of gear on hand anywhere.  It also puts a spin on the usual sales paradigm.  These are reps looking to sell you on their product and they’re pretty frank when the competition is literally fifteen feet away.

You’re chances of getting away with your wallet intact are slim.

It’s always a good idea to go in knowing what your after and holding to that line.

My plan was to go in and just get a bigger memory card, which I did, a nice 64GB 120mb/s unit at a very reasonable price but then I saw a neat film emulation software, so there went another hundred bucks.  My doom came at the Sigma Lens booth.  They had a very nice f5-6.5 150-500mm Zoom at a reasonable $900.  with tax it’s a chunk of change but I was in the market for a new zoom that can keep up with the 7D at full rock and roll.  Still that’s a chunk of change and not an amount I’m going to drop without doing some research and talking to my wife about it.  I’ve also just reoptioned a script so I’ve got some cash coming in to cover the bulk of it and after checking out the reviews and talking it over with my other half, I picked the lens up this morning.

Seeing as the show venue was down by the airport, what better way to test it out than to shoot some aircraft on the flight line taking off?  It creates a number of obstacles.  For one, you’re shooting through a chain link fence.  Yes, you will be focusing out the chain link but it does make it harder for the lens’ auto focus to work especially in servo mode.  For another, you’re shooting through the heat shimmer rising from the acres of tarmac and concrete that make up the taxi and runways.

It’s as good an acid test as any.

So I decided to shoot an Air Canada 737 on take off.  You can see all of the bad stuff come into play over the sequence.

f6.3 at ISO 400 1/2000 500mm (800mm Corrected).  Still pretty crisp at a good 150 meter distance from me.

So there you have it, a decent sequence under pretty crappy conditions and the lens held it’s own.  Of course the true test is going to be next motorsport event.


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