Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Enjoying the Dog Days of Summer

This past Saturday was the long awaited Dog Days of Summer festival in downtown Denton. Id missed the past 2 years of it because I always had something going on, on the exact day of it. But not this year! I was ready and waiting. Emily, Zita and I were to meet up with our friends Beau and Sarah with their Golden Retrievers and small dog at around 10am. Of course this event would provide a wealth of photo opportunities! I wanted to travel light since I knew I'd have Zita's leash in hand as well. So no big camera bag with multiple lenses this time. Bummer. No worries. I removed my battery grip from my 30D and selected my 28-70mm f/2.8 Sigma lens as my only lens for the day. I figured it would give me all the range I should need for doggie shots and the wide f/2.8 aperture would be perfect for portraits.

There were a couple times during the day when I wished I could have switched over to the 200mm. But, I made it work out alright. I managed to get several quality shots I was happy with. Although the one thing that annoys me about this lens is how it handles sunlight when its anywhere but directly at my back. For some reason this lens creates sun flares more easily than any lens I know. And it also seems to blow out images with lots of sun, easier than any of my canon lenses. Getting a decent shot in normal sunlight often requires really stopping down to f/6.3 or smaller. And thats when shooting even at ISO100 with a polarizing filter. Overall the lens is "alright". I can see myself selling it and putting the money into the upcoming Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 IS lens being released in a few months. I suppose this is the classic case of "you get what you pay for". This Sigma lens runs about $300. The Canon lens im waiting for will run around the $1200 range. Ouch... I know.

Anyhow, back on topic. The Dog Days festival was a blast. Our little Heeler, Zita, had a ton O fun and was exhausted when we got her home. Went to sleep on the floor ASAP. Another great thing about this festival is the free stuff. Frisbees, chew toys, snack and doggie bandana's are handed out to all. You can bet we'll be looking forward to next years as well!

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