My life in cameras 3d: Canon EOS 20D and Canon EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM

It was 2009 and I was earning real money. Time for a new lens. I was still very much into buying new stuff and heard about a thing called “image stabilization” which sounded like a great idea for someone like me who does not like carrying tripods. So I bought the Canon EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM lens which was weird choice. This lens was not designed for digital cameras with an APS-C sized sensor. There was actually a version specifically for those cameras but it was not a great lens. In 35mm terms this would equate to a 45mm to 216mm lens. A very strange focal range especially for city photography. But somehow I made it work. And the image stabilizer was such a great feature that for years this was a must-have for me.

Canon EOS 20D and Canon EF 28-135mm: Examples

Train in front of power plant
“Power and Transport” (2010) Canon EOS 20D and EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM 28mm@F4.5 1/800s ISO 100

I used to travel through the city a lot by public transport and one train line went straight through an industrial area where one can find this power plant. I actually had the privilege of getting a tour inside. Power plants were the epitome of industrialization. This is one was already modernized but you can still see the old brickwork. I liken them to modern day cathedrals. But I think power plants like this will play less of a role in the future with it’s distributed production of regenerative energy.

A daycare center
“From Zero to Nine” (2010)
Canon EOS 20D and EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM 28mm@F4.0 1/500s ISO 100

These buildingw are still ubiquitous in East Germany with it’s history standardized prefab buildings. These were mostly used as daycare centers or smaller elementary schools. Architecturally they are not that great for children and they tend to have a terribly stuffy climate in the summer. It is just a bunch of concrete slabs after all. But this one was remodeled and they made a pretty outdoors area for the children.

A building with orange sun screens
“Protection” (2009) Canon EOS 20D and EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM 53mm@F10 1/320s ISO 100

One of the many new buildings in Berlin. There was most likely a gap still left over from war. Beginning in the 2000s these gaps were built up fast with office and apartment buildings. I like that the designers went for bright orange sun screens.

One of the many buildings of the East German secret police
“Communication” (2010) Canon EOS 20D and EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM 38mm@F5 1/320s ISO 100

This building belonged to the East German secret police (Stasi) and was used to control phone and wireless communication. It was somewhat bomb proof and contained hundreds of hundreds of channel with cables inside. The channels were put under pressure so that they would now at once if someone tried to eavesdrop on a cable. Of course it was also used to spy on the citizens. This is part of the old Stasi compound and well worth a visit. Please if you visit Berlin please skip the corny “DDR Museum” next to the river Spree and visit this place instead.

As you can see from the last two pictures I like to take architectural shots from an angle. Sure nicely level pictures from the front with square angles are great but also somewhat boring. Taking the shot a bit askew gives these pictures a more dynamic perspective. I try to recreate the feeling of raising and tilting your head to get a good view.

I hope you liked this series so far because we are entering the “gear acquisition syndrome” phase. This is also the last time I would use an SLR camera. Shortly after I switched over to mirrorless for good.

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