Articles

This page hosts photography related articles covering subjects such as photographic technique, in-depth trip reports, equipment reviews and other items of interest to photographers.

A brief review of the Canon EF70-300mm f4-5/6L IS

After briefly testing this lens when it was launched in late 2010, I finally purchased one the following April. I have now used it enough to be able to post a useful review.

When first announced this lens came in for some criticism simply for being what it is a fairly heavy variable aperture telephoto zoom. On paper perhaps not a particularly exciting addition to Canon's lens range - unless of course it's exactly what you've been waiting for!

Previously I had to carry both a 70-200mm f4 L IS and a 300mm f4 L IS when shooting landscapes. There were other options available but I felt that this was the best setup in terms of image quality, weight and versatility. The 70-300mm has now replaced both of these in my camera bag when I'm out shooting landscapes, albeit with some compromises.

The good points:     •    Exceptional image quality for a zoom lens, across the whole frame     •    Virtually no colour fringing     •    Compact size (albeit still quite...

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Kruger Trip Report

At the beginning of August Cat and I headed out to South Africa. This was our second wildlife photography Safari in Africa and we were keen to get as much as possible out of our thirteen days!

Our first experience of photographic safaris was back in 2010 when we spent eighteen days exploring Tanzania. Although that was a great experience, neither of us felt that we had been able to maximise the opportunities out there. This time we wanted to try something a little different to a traditional photographic safari, where so much time can be wasted searching for subjects and waiting for opportunities to present themselves, only to find that you're unable to get close enough because you're not allowed out of the vehicle and can't drive off the road. Either that or numerous other vehicles block your view or chase the subject away!

As a professional photographer a trip like this needs to result in enough useable images to be able to cover costs and, hopefully, provide some continuous income in the future. With this in mind we decided that it might be a good idea to split the...

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Stabilise your tripod

It’s all very well having a sturdy tripod, but if you set it up on spongy ground, dead leaves, matted grass and the like then all of the benefits will be lost and you’ll be compromising the sharpness of your images. For this reason I use a set of 12cm long aluminum spikes which screw into the feet of my Really Right Stuff TVC-34 tripod. You'd be amazed at the difference that a set of long spikes can make to the stability of your tripod, particularly in windy conditions. They really anchor the tripod into the ground.

Gitzo’s long spikes are quite expensive at around £70 a set. They also have a large “nipple” at the end of the spike that I feel reduces its effectiveness, as a larger hole than necessary is created when pushing the spike into the ground and therefore a tight fit cannot be achieved. Really Right Stuff’s spikes are not quite long enough to be effective in all shooting conditions. My Slovenian colleague Marko Trebusak has designed what I consider to be a better alternative, which also happens to...

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