I picked up a great deal over the weekend. I found a used, but in perfect condition Canon 17-40 f4L for a steal. I love shooting super wide, but I didn't have one for any of my full frame cameras, so I was delighted to add this option for a very reasonable price. I didn't waste any time heading on a little photo wander to try it out. As luck would have it I had a great day to photograph. The sun was shining and there was a nice crispness to the air. The thing about shooting with a super wide is that scenes you are used to and things you take for granted take on a whole new dimension. The familiar can suddenly look new and interesting. even just looking through the lens can be an exciting journey.
I set off on a tangent down Grafton street and through Temple Bar. Ok, if you don't know the city that won't mean very much to you, but Grafton Street is the main shopping district, and Temple Bar is supposed to be the cultural quarter of Dublin, although I've heard less pleasant descriptions of it. Both of these areas offer some interesting photo opportunities as they both have interesting architecture and interesting people frequenting them.
In between these two areas is Trinity College and Dame Street. The area in front of Trinity is always a hive of activity and tourist busses frequent the spot. I actually love the Dublin Tourist busses as they're really vibrant and really stand out. They are a nice colour too. It's kind of sad that I pay this much attention to it, but any way.
I didn't really take many shots of Temple Bar in the end. I just kind of hurried through it to get to the river although I did get this nice shot of the sun shining on one of the buildings.
The light was gorgeous. A little harsh, but nothing a little careful shooting and a bit of lightroom tweaking can't handle! Oh, and I also caught this shot of the Stig's Courier Cousin walking past theHa'Penny Bridge Inn
I've taken dozens of shots of the Ha'penny Bridge but shooting it with an ultra-wide lens really adds to the drama.
Once I finished soaking up the sunshine and sights around the Liffey, I headed over to O'Connell Street (Dublin's Main Street) to get a shot of some of the landmarks there. Even though I've shot the street many times I've always wanted to shoot the spire and the GPO with an ultra wide angle lens. The GPO is a dramatic building and needs a dramatic perspective, and the spire is just huge! The advantage of using a wide is that you can get closer to it and still get it in shot. Luckily I got an extra little bonus in that they had just put up the Christmas Tree in front of the GPO.
I headed back towards the south side after getting the shots I wanted. The low sun was really bright but I had some fun shooting into it. I'm amazed how well the Canon 5DII handles shooting into the sun. You actually get a really ncie effect and it doesn't go too "digitally" at all. Of course, there's only so far you can push it but still. When I shoot with my Nikon I don't get the same filmic look when shooting into the sun. It's not bad, but I think there's something nice about how the Canon handles it. Ok, with that little bit of technical jargon (and potential flame bait) out of the way, back to the pictures!
Finally as I headed back to the Luas (Tram) I walked back up Grafton Street into the low winter Sun.
In terms of the lens itself, there's not much I can say about it that hasn't already been said. It's quite an old lens (well, a few years) so it's been reviewed to death by now. It's of typical quality for a Canon "L" series optic and it's very sharp. There's some chromatic aberration all right, but if you use Lightroom and check the automatically remove box you'll never even see it.