Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back in Denmark, Kumquat and A New Lens :-)

I Traveled back to Denmark for Christmas and New Year as usual. The trip is a bit of a story in itself, landed after 23 hours of flying in Heathrow. Nearly got caught there because of the snow, but after sitting in the plane 1h30m they finally managed to find a truck that could pull the Hamburg flight away from the gate and we where off .. without my suitcase! The bus I had expected to take from Hamburg airport to Denmark left as I was giving the British Airways staff my Christmas address.

Took a train to Hamburg city center and found the Hauptbahnhof. Got a ticket and made it to Århus at exactly the same time as the bus I had hoped to catch was scheduled to arrive, despite the train leaving Hamburg 1h30m later! Well done DB (Deutsche Bahn). I teamed up with a nearly 2 hours late Gemma arriving from København (Copenhagen) and another 2 hours later we were in Balling. Exciting stuff - suitcase ended up being 4 days late, but what does that all matter when you are "home" for Christmas and the new lens was in Gemma's hand luggage :-)

The lens is a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO Macro DG HSM and is a part of the Sigma EX family of lenses. I was very much in doubt which type of lens I should go for after my initial purchase; wide or macro? There is no doubt that my setup needs something wide, I have nothing below 50mm and I shoot a camera with a crop sensor. However, my interest is not landscape and I did not need to read much about macro photography before I was sold :-)

After deciding on macro it took next to no time deciding on the 150mm f/2.8 Sigma, it is simply one of the best macro lenses out there. Photozone likes it a lot and apart from being fantastic as a macro lens it gives me the possibility of giving the Bigma a rest when birding in a dark Queensland rainforest without compromising too much on reach .. yes, I know there are better lenses for that, but they cost lots of $$$ :-)

Reality is that this macro stuff is seriously difficult. The only real macro shot in this blog post is the close-up of the Phalaenopsis. To get that dept of field (DOF) I exposed for 5s at f/16 ISO 200, the picture is straight from camera and it has not been cropped!

Considering that Danish winter days are approximately 2/3 pitch black I decided to use more time playing around with the lens wide open. I managed to capture a quite unique and delicious combo of Lise's home-bake with blue cheese and kumquat marmalade; Danish brekkie with an Australian twist .. I had forgotten the Vegemite, how lucky was that ;-)

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