Impressions of Naturkundemuseum Stuttgart

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After the quarry we drove to Stuttgart and parked the car next to Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde.
As a kid I loved dinosaurs and I still have distant memories of visiting this museum a few times. Things have changed quite a lot from what I can recall, of course. And as expected it proved to be a great place to try out some of the powers of the 7D and the new lenses.

The difficult light conditions in many parts of the museum call for two things if you want to shoot with natural light: a great lens and usable high ISOs.
I only realized later what an excellent lens the EF-S 15-85 mm is (clearly the best glass in my bag now), but the flexible ISOs were a big help right away. I shot mostly at ISO 1600 and though there is of course noise, the resulting images are sharp and very usable. I tried out ISO 3200, too, and even this was still good.

I am impressed!

The photo of above skeleton is taken with the EF 35 mm lens. I like the composition, the depth of field and the sharpness. It took me several attempts, however, to shoot a photo with this lens to best the very first one I took with the image stabilized EF-S 15-85 mm.

Above is a great shot of an ichthyosaurus (or so I think). I initially wanted to crop it down to the plate with the fossil only, but then realized that keeping the seats in the front would result in a more interesting composition.

Below a collection of photos I took while strolling through the museum, trying out my new gear.

The following dinosaur head really got Alex’ attention. And I must admit that even though the presentation is corny and is in principle just riding the Jurassic Park wave, it’s nicely done and easily captivating.

In one of the rooms a beautiful, dark skeleton of a predator is on display. Cool, but extremely hard to take a photo of. My first try was to use its claws in loose combination with one of the other exhibits in the background…

I then spent a long frustrating period of time with trying to get an interesting photo of the full beast. But however hard I tried, I just did not manage to find the right angle. I thus went for a compromise and chose what I hope comes across as powerful image of the skeleton’s head.

After this we were nearly done with the museum.
Here’s a shot of another skillfully crafted diorama:

Alex took many more photos of those nicely done dinosaur dioramas, while I was focussing more on the skeletons.

Alex: Ich mag die angezogen lieber…

Finally, we also quickly dropped by the section with the amber inclusions where some unfortunate entrapped critters and plants are on display.

In conclusion, the 30 photos I kept today are pretty good. Some of them I think are great. Some of this greatness is owed to the lenses, but some of it clearly can be attributed to the 7D.

What a camera!
Handling, image quality and performance are stunning, especially when you come from a true consumer grade camera. I’ve still got much to learn, but while being simply intimidated by it yesterday night, today I can say that I’m confident I will be able to ride this bronco.

Yee-haaaw!

2 responses »

  1. Ah, nice photos you made with that 7D gold piece! – I thought difficult light conditions call for a tripod primarily, don't they? ;-)

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