As we look forward to 2012, I'm reassessing my needs in terms of both camera and lenses based on what's currently booked and likely to be booked over the next few months. My first acquisition was the 7D and I'm very pleased with it overall. My next purchase, just received last evening, was a Canon 28-135 F3.5-5.6 IS lens. And because it arrived last evening, I decided to put it through my typical lens testing regime to make sure all was well.
This lens may seem a bit add at first glance. I owned a version of this lens in 2008 and eventually sold it to buy my trusty EF-S 17-55 F2.8 IS -- a great lens that has served me very well. However, the 17-55 is ideal for shooting show formals but is actually too sharp for studio portraits of people and not long enough for show candids. When I went back and looked at both the shows I shot with the 28-135 in 2008, and the studio work, I really liked the color, contrast and overall IQ of the lens and, especially, how flattering it was to skin wide open in my studio work. And, stopped down, it's plenty sharp. I had 4 covers published in 2008 and all were shot with that lens.
So, to help finance the 7D, I sold the 17-55 and have replaced it as my "normal" lens with the 28-135. After I completed my round of tests with fences, brick walls, and other banal stuff, I took the lens out for a quick sampling of some of the things I typically shoot when I'm not working -- macro or semi-macro shots of flowers etc. These images were all shot in my back yard and they are all "native" with no extension rings or close-up lenses. Just the 28-135.
First up, a lovely blue flower that continues to bloom now well into the Fall. I can't remember the name for the life of me but I love those blooms. Focus was on the inside of the flower.
Next, the Hybiscus that flanks our driveway, also still in bloom. Focus on the gold stalks.
As I was shooting, I noticed a Black Vulture circling overhead and decided it would be a good idea to get back into my exercise program
And lastly, there are the Lady Margaret Scarlett Passion Flowers blooming like crazy along the fences. This shot is focused on the top stamen.
And this shot is focused on the body of the flower, the white part.
So, this particular lens has passed my tests and is now part of the kit. Next up for purchase is the Canon EF 70-200 F4.0L IS which is planned for purchase right after Xmas. That will give me two zooms that should be able to handle 99% of the work I have booked as well as all the personal shooting needs I have in the short-term. Anything outside of those situations I can handle with a rental.
Hope you enjoy my "test shoot".