Victorian Christmas Market - Rik McRae

Victorian Christmas Market

21st November 2015

I wanted the chance to try out the new lenses Santa will be bringing me this year, just to make sure they are the right ones for where I am right now with my photography. The Victorian Christmas market in Gloucester's Quays development was the perfect opportunity. I took my Canon 7D mkII with an EF 8-15mm f4L fisheye and an EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM. I also took along an EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM, as this is my normal walk-about lens.

Grubby dude

I shot this guy with the 24-105mm f4L. I used the extra reach of the 105 end (compared to my normal 17-55mm) to isolate the subject. I used the moderately fast f4 to focus the attention on the guy's face and get a nice blurred background. I didn't manage to get a catchlight in his eyes, but I'm not too disappointed. Overall, I love the texture in the guy's face and makeup. The actors who put on these events put their all into it and make it a fun day out for visitors.

A different point of view

Funky fish-eye effects. I got low down and used live view to frame this up. The chap in the wine stall to the left of frame asked if I was crazy, but I just love the freaky perspective you can get with this lens. I have been adding a fisheye effect in post for years and while you can get the look, you can't get the incredible field of view. The look you get with a fisheye lens isn't to everyone's taste but I love it.

The EF 8-15mm f4L fisheye includes a great feature for APS-C bodies. There is limit switch, that stops the zoom at about 9.5mm. This gives pretty much the same diagonal fisheye effect as a 15mm lens on a full frame body. This lens also covers the 15mm diagonal and 8mm circular fisheye options, which is nice to have in the bag for when I move up to a full frame body in the future.


These things are awesome!

They are like piped doughnut sticks with a crispy outside and fluffy inside. We had ours with sugar and cinnamon... well it was a Christmas market. A plate full of these and a nice coffee made a great breakfast treat on a family day out.

This is another shot with the 24-105mm and the colour and contrast is so much better than what I am used to. The EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 is no slouch. It's a very sharp lens and there are situations where the extra stop and wider field will come in very handy. But that extra little L really does make a difference.

So... do I think Santa made the right choice with these two lenses? You bet!

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