A Trip to The Library of Birmingham / by John Winfield

Tuesdays are just another day of the week, but this Tuesday I got myself a new toy. 

The Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 is a standard zoom that I bought to replace my Canon 17-55mm kit lens. I haven’t had a standard zoom for nearly a year now, so I was pretty excited to go test it out.  Strangely on one of my days off the sun was shining and so I decided to go to Birmingham and check out the new Library. 

The Library of Birmingham opened in September 2013 and replaced the older really rather dated looking Central Library. The Dutch architect firm Mecanoo designed the library; this is rather apt as the building almost looks as if it is covered in giant pieces of Meccano laid out into a lovely design. It is a really striking design; the overlaid circles theme runs throughout the whole building, the paving in the sunken atrium being a good subtle use of this.

The theme continues inside. Although the building is covered in a circular design, it’s quite apparent that it is a very large square shaped building. Inside however there are very few straight edges, this helps to dull the blow of how big the building actually is.  The spaces feel comfortable instead of large lonely and imposing, it is extremely modern and would be a wonderful place to study. 

The building also has several viewing platforms that allow you to get panoramas over the “beautiful” Birmingham skyline. Up on the platforms I started thinking about my new lens and how it was performing. The standard zoom is a wonderful tool in photography and is something that can go unnoticed. This lens does everything I ask of it and does it without me really knowing it. It creates lovely sharp images and that constant f2.8 aperture helped out because although the day started out sunny it didn’t last. This lens is a great addition to my camera bag.


I also took one of the cameras off of The Shelf out with me and when I get photos back and sorted I will be posting about it.