Winchester Photo Challenge

Yesterday afternoon the Hursley Photo Club hit Winchester for a two hour photo challenge. I made the mistake of starting up at the Great Hall but quickly realised that it was far too dark inside to be shooting without a tripod. Unfortunately it was also pretty grey outside with the blue skies from the morning having clouded over. I wandered down towards the Cathedral where many of the others had congregated. There were some great shots to be had of the Light Division buglers having a fag break outside. Sadly, I wasn’t sufficiently bold to take them (or at least don’t have a sufficiently long lens!).

What I lacked in quality I made up for in quantity and spent a while last night whittling them down to an initial fifty. None of them really stand out but with a bit of suitable post-processing I think I’ll manage to find three that I’m sufficiently happy with to enter the fray.

If I didn’t know already, I’m now even more convinced that I need to fork out for a tripod and telephoto lens but I’m no nearer deciding what to get. On the tripod front I’d like something fairly light and compact. I know these criteria are at odds with what a tripod is for, but without them I’m just not going to take it anywhere. Lens wise, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is about what I’m after but for the same sort of money I could be tempted by the EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM. Then I start to think about putting the IS back in or maybe moving up to the f/2.8L for some low light action photography. And before you know it I’ll have spent over a grand on some beast of a lens which will need a tripod of its own!

One Response to “Winchester Photo Challenge”

  1. martyc says:

    The telephoto question is a tricky one alright. In the end it is going to come down to how much you want to spend. I have to say in my experience, IS is invaluable, even just for composing a shot, at the longer end, and provided you’re not worried about subject motion is great for typical English weather. Take this for example:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/skink74/352988758/
    Lucky he was fairly still at that point but 1/40 at 300mm is pretty good.
    Looking at test charts and results on various sites it seems there’s little to chose between any of the options optically, so it’s a question of how wide do you want it, and whether you want IS. Worth considering is the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 though, nearly half the price of the Canon, but no IS.
    Then again, I bought the 70-300 DO so you might not want to listen to me 😉

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