Helios 44-2 Lens, My Thoughts
When I was sixteen my father bought me my first SLR, it was a Zenith, probably an EM. All I remember was that it had a screw on lens and it had a very rough, hard to press shutter release.
A few months ago I came across a YouTube video by Christopher Frost, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5pjD_akRR8. This man is amazing, over the past few years he has reviewed well over a hundred Canon lenses and I must have watched them all. Anyway after watching this video, I was intrigued because this was the lens that was on the Zenith. So, I decided to find one of these lenses, after all they can be picked up for under £30, and sure enough I found one on eBay. Wow! was I in for a surprise, I turned out to be a pretty sharp lens and the swirley Bokeh is to die for, although a bit tricky to achieve in the first place. I had to get an M42 to EF adaptor for this lens, about £10-15 on Amazon. This is a lens I get out when I've got some time on my hands because it does take some getting used to, a bit heavy, awkward and stiff, watch the video and you will see what I mean. Never-the-less this is one lens I now carry in my bag wherever I go. Thank you Christopher for taking me back to my youth.
First of all, I must say I was not impressed with this lens when I tried it out on my camera in the shop (Park Cameras in London). I could see some chromic aberration or colour fringing in the viewfinder, not a good sign, it has a plastic mount and it has a very small maximum aperture. But, something said I had to own this lens and as far as wide angle lenses go, this was selling for a bargain price.
I have been using this lens now for a couple of weeks short of a year and I can tell you this has become, by far my favourite lens, staying on my 70D almost 100% of the time especially when I go walkabout anywhere in London. The chromic aberration I saw in the shop has not reared it's ugly head and it's turned out to be quite a sharp lens. For the type of photography I use this lens for, I use a tripod most of the time, so the speed of the lens has not been an issue at all and as far as the plastic mount is concerned, It has not fallen off my camera, yet. Considering how much I use this lens, that is amazing. Highly recommended for anyone with an APSC sized sensor Canon, contemplating wide angle photography.
For in depth review of almost any Canon lens, you can't beat this guy:
Notting Hill Carnival 2015
One of the best carnivals ever. I don't know what carnival the press went to, but it wasn't the Notting Hill Carnival I was at. More pictures here
London Street Art
If you are into photography or art then a visit to Shoreditch is a must. It is a free open air art gallery and a wealth of amazing photo opportunities, and it is constantly changing. No matter how many times you go, you never know whats around the next corner. You soon learn to recognise the works of different artists like Eine, Stik and of course Banksy. I found my recent photo walks turning into treasure hunts There are guided tours of course, but where's the sport in that?
If you would like to see more, here is a link to my Flickr album or just click on the image above:
Fun with an old kit lens
I have always fancied a wider angle lens then what I have at the moment, but can never justify getting one because wide angle lenses can be pretty expensive, especially for something that is going to sit in my camera bag for most of its life. I'm not sure what kind of use I would get out of one, so I thought I'd do a trial, I borrowed my sister's Canon EFS 18-55mm kit lens (18mm is wide enough) and decided to head into town.
One place I've been meaning to check out is One New Change, EC4M 9AF, because I've heard they have a rooftop terrace there with amazing panoramas of London, an ideal place to try some 'wide- angle photography'.
The two lenses I normally carry around are my EF 70-200 f4 L and my EF 40mm f2.8. Two lovely basic lenses and exceptional value for money too. This makes the 18mm of the old kit lens seem quite wide, hopefully it's enough to help me make my mind up weather I need one or not.
I have also been intrigued by Canon's new 24mm STM Pancake lens, just released in November, so more often I would set this old kit lens to 24mm just to see the results of this focal length on my crop sensor 70D.
If anything, I have been quite impressed by the images out of the kit lens, as long as you know its limitations, you will get quite pleasing results out of it, it's a matter of finding that sweet spot. Anyway, the question, do I need another lens? Absolutely not! I have tried to keep my lens collection down to a minimum, preferring to rent instead, this keeps me from making expensive mistakes that I can't afford. However I am only human and the 24mm pancake is very tempting, I like the field of view, not too wide and not too tight, and on my camera and I think this will be ideal for street photography, which I intend doing a lot more of in 2015.
A rainy evening at the fair
If there is anything that makes me want to grab my camera and go out shooting, it's rain. On this particular occasion I went out with a local group of photography enthusiasts to shoot the Carter's Steam Fair, which on this particular rainy night was located in a park in Reading. Friendly faces, glorious colours and wonderful vehicles made it an evening to remember.
October 26th, 2014
100 Years of Leica Photography
October Photo Walks
Before I go out on a photo walk, I decide what lens I am going to be using, and I like to stick to that lens. Two of my favourite lenses are my Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM and my Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L. These lenses are incredibly sharp, reliable and consistent, considering their modest price tags (as far as Canon's lens prices go that is).
Anyway, so far this month, not counting my weekly visits to Snow Hill in Windsor to see my friends the the Windsor Great Park Red Deer, I have been to Greenwich again. There seems to be a lot to discover in Greenwich, like the market, the Naval College, the Observatory with its amazing vistas of the City and beyond.
Apart from photography, I also enjoy painting and twice yearly I take part in Maidenhead's 'Art on the Street'. which is an amazing experience. I get to meet lots of wonderful people and show off my paintings. So, after queuing up early in the morning to sign up for This year's December 'Art on the Street', I decided to take a walk along Maidenhead's riverside path. It is a beautiful place and it's hard to believe that this is the river Thames flowing past.
The question was asked. How I have got by without the internet all this time, I do not know.
My name is Mel Sebastian. I am a graphic designer and photographer living in beautiful Berkshire. I have been interested in photography from as far back as I can remember. At my age, that probably means about 3 days. Anyway, my dad was a very keen amateur photographer and what I learned from him has been invaluable to me through the years, and photography has been a source of so much enjoyment for me.