Serious photographers can developed a nasty disease. It's called GAS and it can be a very serious condition! I used to suffer badly from this especially as I got more serious about my photography, thankfully I am now pretty much cured.
OK, so before you send the men in white coats to take me away, let me explain what GAS in abbreviated from. Gear Acquisition Syndrome is something that can grip us all. We want to purchase that new lens, camera body, filter system or the latest release of a piece of equipment that will make us an even better photographer. Think I am joking, well, just look at the hysteria that is currently around about the new Canon EOS R5. Granted it will be able to shoot video in 8k, can achieve 20 frames per seconds, has IBIS and a 45 mega pixel sensor. It sounds amazing - if you are into videos and have the computer power to process 8k files not to mention an 8k TV ! 20 frames per second, fantastic - for wildlife and sports as is IBIS. The 45 megapixel sensor will be amazing. The price hasn't been released as yet but my guess it is going to be between £3500 - £3999. I am pretty confident it will be below £4000 as there was an inadvertent disclosure at the recent Canon Press Conference that I attended.
Anyway back to GAS, a couple of years ago I would have been getting the Visa card out and buying on as soon as it was available because I needed one. In reality, I wouldn't have but that's GAS at its worst. Thankfully things are different today. Yes I want to swap my camera bodies to mirrorless, however will I ever use 8k video - nope, do I need 20 frames per second for landscapes - never. IBIS - I use a tripod. 45 mega pixels - my 5dsr has 50. Only advantage I can see it that the dynamic range will be better and the body will be smaller and lighter. Those 2 advantages certainly don't add up to the price tag in my opinion. There are however credible rumours that a EOS R5s in development which is due for release next year. This is expected to have an 80+ megapixel sensor and will be a dedicated landscape and portrait camera. Now that is more like it and would be a great investment.
There have been 2 recent additions however to the camera bag and they were very considered purchases. The first is a Canon 70-300mm 4-5.6 L Lens which is amazingly sharp and built like a tank. At just over 1kg in weight its a heavy lens but less than my 70-200mm f2.8. Its not a particularly fast lens but I rarely shoot below f8 for landscapes unless focus stacking and then that's at f5.6. What it will be perfect for is panoramas and the 300mm will help to compress the image when needed. I also managed to get it for a ridiculously cheap price so it really was a no brainer and will be a welcome addition. Its also small enough to be perfect for some wild field astro photography when on the tracker.
The second lens is a Sigma 12 - 24mm f4.5 - 5.6 which is amazingly wide. Again I got it for a great price off e-bay. By the way both lenses whilst used are in mint condition and if they have been on a camera for longer than an hour I would be amazed.
My 16-35mm is without doubt the lens that I use the most. However even 16mm is sometimes not wide enough for big landscapes and now having the additional width between 12 - 16mm have opened up a high amount of opportunities and gives a totally different perspective when out in the field. Take the top image in this blog - at 16mm the image wouldn't have been possible to create. I have tried in the past and the image just didn't look right. At 12mm the composition now works. 12mm is also a very tricky focal length to shoot at and it needs practise. Only disadvantage is that the front element of the lens is huge and standard filters don't fit. Thankfully over recent years new 150mm filter systems have been developed to sort the issue. That may be a GAS purchase soon! However with bracketing and then blending in photoshop most issues can be overcome with the exception of getting a longer shutter speeds with the addition of an ND filter or taking the shine off surfaces with a polarising filter.
That's it for now. Stay safe everyone and if you haven't checked out the latest workshops then you can follow this link. Also look out for exciting news coming soon about workshops in Helmsley in partnership with Harry and Lisa at Carlton Lodge.
Canon 70-300mm at 125mm, f8, iso 100, 0.8 second. Lee polariser, 3 stop reverse grad and 3 stop ND filter.