Archive for July, 2011

Plettenberg Bay – 2004 and 2011

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

View across Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, in 2004. Photo ©  Zanzig

View across Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, in 2011. Photo © A. Will

Axel Will has contacted me. He is the new owner of the LA VISTA Lodge where we stayed on our trip to South Africa in 2004. Back then I shot a photo across the beautiful Plettenberg Bay which I used for the South African travel report.

I am not following news about Plettenberg Bay closely, so it came as a surprise when Axel informed me that there had been a big flood of the Keurbooms river in 2007 which completely transformed the Keurbooms lagoon. Most importantly, the flood swept away the strip of beach between the mouth and the Lookout Rocks. Axel sent along a photo for comparison that he took from (almost) my location back in 2004. This allows for direct comparison between 2004 and 2011.

If you look closey at the lagoon area on the right hand side on the pictures, you will notice the dramatic change: The large green area is gone, and with it also the parking lots of the beach. Surely enough, the area is still beautiful, and when visiting Plett I suggest to try the LA VISTA Lodge as it has been completely refurbished and looks quite inviting.

Detailed view of the Keurbooms lagoon in 2004. Photo © Zanzig

My new EF 70-200/2.8L IS II USM

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Today, the latest addition to my lens collection has arrived: The Canon EF 70-200/2.8L IS II USM, and it’s image stabilizer really blows me away. I am used to working with the non-IS version of the lens, and it was already very good in terms of image quality, i.e. sharpness, distortion and colors. But this lens, whew, it’s just amazing.

And I can easily prove it. Below is the first test shot. It is 1/50 sec from hand at 200 mm on a 1Ds mark III body. Usually, with the old lens, I would have required at least 1/200 sec, better 1/250 or 1/300, to get a decent shot. But here, the image stabilizer works its magic, and I can shoot at 1/50 sec. I did another test shot: 1/25 sec. at 90 mm, all sharp and clear.

This is probably the best purchase I made in years! Now all those super-dark environments, like churches and meeting rooms, can be shot entirely from hand. No more fiddling around with tripods or monopods.

Yee-ha! Am I excited? You bet.

Test shot from hand, with EF 70-200/2.8L IS II USM on a Canon EOS 1Ds mark III body at 200 mm using 1/50 sec exposure time.

1:1 crop out from test shot above. The “Focus” field is clear and sharp. The image stabilizer has corrected the manual camera shake perfectly.