A New-To-Me Lens

I bought a new (to me) lens!

It’s been a long time since I purchased a lens for my camera. I’ve been using my Canon 17-55mm and 70-200mm lenses for several years, first with my Canon T1i and now with my Canon 77D camera.

I’ve been doing a lot of night photography. While photographing the aurora borealis or the Milky Way, I’ve found myself wanting a wider angle lens than the 17-55mm lens. Don’t get me wrong, that lens is a great lens for night photography, with a speed of f/2.8 and great sharpness.

I did some research and considered a few lenses, including a fully manual Rokinon 10mm lens, but what sealed the deal for me was stopping by Photo Central here in Winnipeg. I talked with one of the people there and she showed me a few of their used lenses. I ended up choosing this one:

Camera lens

This is a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens. 10mm is a pretty wide angle! It’s a little slower than my “old” f/2.8 lens, but not horribly slow.

After I purchased it, I was itching to try it out. I knew the Churchill-Winnipeg VIA train was coming into town that evening…


Containers on a train

My first few shots with the lens were pan shots or blur shots of an eastbound container train at CN’s Diamond.

Containers crossing a railway track

So far, so good.

VIA 692

VIA Rail train

I decided to set up at mile 21.80 for the VIA train. I was a little too casual about getting there and setting up, so I didn’t have any video equipment set up, nor was my drone ready to go. No matter – it meant I could concentrate on taking photos.

VIA’s shorter prairie streamliner rolled past me at 18:30 with a typical consist: two locomotives, a baggage car, two coaches, a Skyline, a Chateau sleeper and a Manor sleeper.

(VIA 6443, VIA 6458, VIA 8612, VIA 8137, VIA 8140, VIA 8515?, Chateau Bienville, Osler Manor)

So far the lens was giving some nice “big sky” views.

CN 2502 East

Big grain train on the prairie

I was hoping for a westbound train. The setting sun would look great on the nose of the locomotive. Alas, the next train was another eastbound, led by CN 2502 and 2314 at 18:45.

This time I was ready for video, with an old iPhone on my tripod and the drone in the air.

CN 3092 East

20 minutes later, a third eastbound train! This was pretty much a carbon copy of the previous setup, except that I located the drone east of the signals to get a different perspective.

This was another general freight train with CN 3092 and 2966, passing me at 7:05 PM.


Blue railway sign

Between trains, I was taking photos with the “new” lens, seeing how it performed. I was quite satisfied with it. It’s sharp and fast enough for my daytime needs, at least.

Closeup of camera lens

There is some distortion at the widest angle (10mm), but I expected that. You’ve seen distorted photos taken with fisheye lenses, so a wide angle lens like this will have some of that distortion. You can correct some of it when editing, but not all.

That was a nice evening being outside and photographing trains.

I had to go pick up my daughter, but I decided to come back out to try the lens at night – since making night photos was why I bought this lens.

More to come.

Just One More Thing

I just finished reading “Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond“. This is a collection of speculative fiction* from authors who are people of colour. I really like collections like these because I can read stories that have different perspectives than my own European-influenced viewpoint. I also get the opportunity to find new-to-me authors like S. P. Somtow (an amazingly talented person), Junot Díaz (whose Monstro was amazing) and Indrapramit Das.

Not every story is great – there were a few real turkeys in the anthology, in my opinion – but there were some fantastic stories well worth reading.

This book led me to reserve several books from my local library to read more of these authors. Time to expand my horizons a bit more.

* Speculative fiction seems to be the new term for science fiction / SF / sci-fi. I think it is more inclusive than science fiction, because it includes horror, alternative futures, and so forth that aren’t “sciencey”.