Jingle Rails and a New Lens

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This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to visit the Jingle Rails exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indy and managed to capture some decent shots ^^.  More photos after the click.

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The exhibit features models trains steaming around miniature renditions of famous locations in the United States including Mt. Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and more.

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I heard about the event through a local photography club and since I’ve always enjoyed model trains so I was quite excited to check it out.

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Mt. Rushmore made from bark xD

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There were quite a few visitors beside our photography club viewing the exhibit.

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Although I forgot my flash and had to shoot most of my photos underexposed to capture the train movement, I still managed to get a few decent pics :)

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Train going by Old Faithful in the Yosemite replica.

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Grand Canyon (in the background ^^;)

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One of the model trains leaving the Grand Canyon valley.

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Perhaps coolest of all is that there was a scaled replica of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial from downtown Indianapolis.  Was very cool to see a local monument represented among the famous landmarks.

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The sets were all very detailed.  It must have taken quite a bit of work to complete this project.

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Last shot of the Indianapolis set.  The Christmas lights on the monument were a nice feature ^^.

I hope you enjoyed the Jingle Rails photos.  Did you notice anything different about them?  I was using my new ultra-wide angle Sigma 15mm lens for most of the shots.  I’ve been contemplating a wide angle lens for some time now and finally took the plunge after finding a nice deal on the Sigma.

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It’s a rather small lens compared to my others but given its ultra-wide 15mm focal length, it makes sense.  The lens is about 1.5 the size of the Canon f/1.8 50mm lens, a popular lens many people are probably familiar with.  This is my first non-Canon lens.  Why the change?  Mainly because the the Sigma 15mm has a minimum focusing distance about 2 inches shorter than that of the Canon 15mm.  Their about the same price (and quality I would say) but the MFD is a big deal since even a couple inches closer can make a big difference on a fisheye shot.  Plus, it will work well for figure and DD shots ;)

This 15mm lens is classified as a “fisheye” lens because it resembles, well, a fisheye and lets you see objects in an approximately 180 degree angle in front of the camera.  And they really mean it too.  I have found myself accidentally sticking my fingers in the shot just because I was holding the lens with one hand as I normally do when I photograph.  It definitely has a learning curve to it as exposure in such a wide radius can be challenging and positioning of your subject is even more critical due to the fisheye distortion.  But still, it’s an amazing lens and is a ton of fun with shoot with.

Here are a couple sample shots I shot with the new lens.

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It makes for some interesting shots, yes? ^^.  I am having a lot of fun with the lens so far!

Anyway, time head off for the night.  Thanks for viewing :)

9 thoughts on “Jingle Rails and a New Lens

  1. Okazaki-san

    Nice diorama,very well decorated.Ol’ Faithful looked like a lighter flame than water,that’s dangerous,no?

  2. bluedrakon

    I miss my DaD setting up the train platform at Christmas. Fish eye lens are a blast to play with. I always wanted one as they really place a different look on the shots.

    The baby is sooo cute with that lens.

  3. Fabienne

    Ah I love model trains!
    these dioramas and trains are looking so nice :D

    Your lens is very nice as well as the pictures it creates.
    I will buy something like this in the future.
    Well, after I saved enough funds XD

  4. AS

    Sweet shots. The detail you can see is very clear. When I get the money I should really buy one of these cameras. Though i wish they came in smaller sizes lol.


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