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 Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Because the new Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R have such extreme resolution, image quality test results from these cameras show only a small subset of the test chart details compared to even the highest resolution camera previously included in this tool. I lamented about the loss of details yesterday and promised to work on a solution. My first pass at this solution is now live.
 
For any results captured with the 5Ds or 5Ds R cameras, an additional three crops are presented below the original three. This strategy allows the new cameras to be integrated into the existing tool while preserving the integrity of the previously existing results. The new crops include the numbers from the chart that are just outside of the original center, mid-frame and corner crops.
 
You can test drive the enhancement here. Feedback and better ideas are welcomed!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/23/2015 8:21:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 22, 2015
With a 5Ds and a pair of 5Ds R bodies in house, you can guess what my current priorities are. First up:
 
Resolution chart test results have been added to the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R review pages.
 
The first thing that you will notice is how large the test chart details are in the 100% crops. These cameras deliver simply incredible resolution. Here is a 5Ds R vs. 5D Mark III comparison. A huge list of other cameras can be selected for this test lens, the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens. I suggest using an f/4 or f/5.6 aperture for comparison purposes (for highest lens resolution without effects of diffraction)
 
The second thing you might notice is that some of the chart details, including the numbers, do not fit into the 5Ds/5Ds R crops shown in the image quality tool. I miss these details and am working on options to include them for these bodies. Your ideas are welcomed.
 
The first link included on this post shows a comparison between the 5Ds and 5Ds R. Both are impressively sharp even at the very low sharpness setting ("1") used for these crops. The 5Ds R is slightly sharper than the 5Ds, but with the sharp horizontal nearly-parallel lines, the 5Ds R shows slightly more moiré. I have been finding it challenging to find 5Ds R moiré, but a small amount does show on this chart image.
 
Much more to come.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds in stock and the 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/22/2015 7:31:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Just posted: Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review.
 
This lens is a strong contender to the extremely popular Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens (Canon mount) in stock. The Nikon and Sigma mount versions are available for preorder.
Post Date: 6/10/2015 10:17:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens review.
 
I know, the image in this post includes a 1D X body, but ... I don't have any product images with the 7D II mounted. :) I'll have the full 150-600mm Contemporary review completed this week.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
Post Date: 6/9/2015 11:06:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 8, 2015
The "Which is better?" question is frequently being aimed at the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens and the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, the first major entry into the 150-600mm lens category. These two lenses are direct competitors, sharing many features including USD/HSM AF, OS/VC, build quality and lightweight design. From the image quality perspective, here is the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary Lens vs. Tamron 150-600 VC Lens comparison.
 
At the wide end of the focal length range, the Sigma is sharper with a wide open aperture. The Tamron is 1/3 stop wider at some of the comparison focal lengths (200mm and 400mm) and to be fair, I am comparing those focal lengths at the widest equal aperture. At 200mm, these two lenses are very similar in sharpness wide open. At 300mm, I'll give the Sigma a slight advantage and at 400mm through 500mm, the slight advantage swings to the Tamron, though the Sigma's corners are better at 500mm. At 600mm, the Tamron has a very slight center-of-the-frame advantage and the Sigma has a larger corner-of-the-frame advantage.
 
Stopping down to f/8 reduces most of the sharpness advantages one lens has over the other. The Sigma has sharper corners at 150mm and 500mm, but the Tamron has sharper corners at 400mm. The Sigma is noticeably sharper at 600mm, especially in the mid and peripheral portions of the image circle.
 
The Tamron has slightly stronger pincushion distortion and has more noticeable CA. The Sigma has more vignetting with a wide open aperture, averaging roughly .5 stops of stronger corner shading over most of the focal length range except at the 600mm end where the the difference is only about .2 stops. Stopped down to f/8, the vignetting difference at the long end remains small, but the Tamron holds an edge in the wide end corners. Corner shading differences at f/11 are not going to be noticeable except perhaps in 300mm corners.
 
This image quality comparison does not place either lens with a clear lead and either lens can be justified, perhaps with decision emphasis being placed on the focal length expected to be most-valued. Here is a list showing additional differences between the Tamron and Sigma Contemporary versions of the 150-600mm lenses:
 
  • I found the Tamron's autofocus to be more consistently accurate at the wide end, but the Sigma's was more accurate at the long end.
  • The Tamron is modestly less expensive.
  • The Sigma has an optional dock, with various advantages including custom switch programing, AFMA, firmware update capability, and much more.
  • The Sigma is extender compatible.
  • The Sigma's OS system offers mode 2 and I found the Sigma's stabilization more effective at the long end of the focal length range.
  • The Sigma's zoom rotation direction is the same as Canon's; the Tamron's zoom rotates in the opposite (Nikon standard) direction.
  • The Tamron has slightly wider (1/3 stop) apertures over some of the focal length range.
  • The Sigma's focus ring has modestly more rotation (150° vs. 120°).
  • The Tamron has a smoother, larger, easier-to-use manual focus ring.
  • The Sigma has a smoother diameter.
  • The Tamron has lower profile switches.
  • The Sigma better-facilitates push-pull use.
  • The Sigma has a multi-position focal length lock while the Tamron only locks at 150mm.
  • The Tamron weighs slightly more, but has a 2x heavier tripod ring, allowing it to weigh slightly less with that ring removed.
  • The Sigma has a replacement ring for the removed tripod ring.
  • The Tamron's hood is larger.
  • The Tamron focuses slightly closer, but shares the Sigma's 0.20x maximum magnification spec.
  • The Tamron's warranty is 6 years vs. the Sigma's 4 year warranty (in the USA).
Which lens is better?
 
I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer here, but I lean slightly toward the Sigma, partially because these lenses are going to most frequently be bought for and used at the 600mm focal length and, at least at f/8, the Sigma holds the optical advantage at 600mm.
 
Get Your 150-600:
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
 
B&H has the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 6/8/2015 9:15:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens review.
 
This lens is not performing amazingly at the widest apertures, but stopped down to f/4, it is performing very impressively for the price. B&H has the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/2/2015 7:29:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 1, 2015
Just posted: Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens review.
 
Very nice lens. Hopefully, after reading the in-depth review, you will feel like you have virtually used the 150-600 Sports.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder.
Post Date: 6/1/2015 10:53:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 29, 2015
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens review page.
 
We know that this lens has the same optics as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens. Here is the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM compared to the 50mm f/1.8 II.
 
Look at this lens' image quality at f/4 and then look at the price tag. Very nice.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/29/2015 8:23:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 28, 2015
Image quality results from a second lens have been added to the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens review page.
 
The results from the first Tamron 28-300 VC we tested were ... not good. The second lens is "clearly" superior to the first and the results from this lens are now shown as the default sample "1". Here is a comparison between the two Tamron 28-300mm VC PZD lenses.
 
Here is an interesting image quality comparison: Tamron 28-300mm VC PZD Lens compared to the Canon 28-300mm L IS Lens.
 
Specifications, measurements and standard product images along with a variety of on-camera imagery are also now available for this lens. Here is an interesting size comparison: Tamron 28-300mm VC PZD Lens vs. Canon 28-300mm L IS Lens.
 
The price differential is nearly as large. B&H has the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 5/28/2015 8:46:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I'm deep into reviews of the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports and Contemporary lenses. While their names differ by only one word and their image quality appears very similar, these two lenses are dissimilar in many ways. Here is my list so far:
 
  • Sports lens is nearly 2x more expensive
  • Sports lens is significantly more-ruggedly constructed
  • Sports lens is significantly heavier – including the hood, measured in-use weights are 6.96 lbs (3.16kg) compared to 4.49 lbs (2.04kg)
  • Sports lens is moderately larger in both length and diameter (especially with the hoods in place) and the zoom extension is a bit longer
  • Contemporary lens has a 1/3 stop wider aperture over a small subset of the focal length range
  • Contemporary lens has a larger zoom ring with no contour in diameter mid-ring
  • Sports lens has a more-serious manual focus ring that is significantly larger with much more grip surface
  • Contemporary lens utilizes smaller (but still large) 95mm filters vs. 105mm
  • Contemporary zoom ring rotates 146° vs. the Sport's 126°
  • Sports lens has very rigid aluminum hood with rubberized end and thumbscrew lockdown vs. bayonet mount lightweight plastic hood
  • Both lenses feature a rubberized push/pull zoom grip surface, but the Sports has a ridge for a more-sure pull-back grip
  • Sports model has a smoother and stronger non-removable tripod mount ring and foot with a better-positioned lock knob, click detents at 90°, a much larger (and removable) foot with 3 threaded inserts (vs. 1) and dual neck strap attachment points
  • Contemporary model has a removable tripod mount ring with a rubber-like replacement ring
  • Sports model has a classier look
  • Contemporary lens has a lower profile switch bank
  • Based on side-by-side testing at multiple times, my perception is that the Contemporary focuses slightly faster, but the Sports has been more consistently accurate at the wide end
  • Sports lens has integrated shoulder strap on the back of its case while Contemporary lens has removable neck strap that attaches to opposite sides of its case
  • Sports lens has dust & splash proof "construction" while the Contemporary has a dust & splash proof "mount"
  • Sports lens has two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion with performance similar to flourite) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements vs. one FLD and three SLD glass elements
  • Sports lens has 24 elements in 16 groups while the Contemporary has 20 in 14
  • Sports lens gets water & oil repellent coating on both front & rear elements while the Contemporary gets this coating on the rear element only
I hope to have these full reviews completed soon.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder (Sigma mount is in stock).
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in Canon mount in stock with other mounts available for preorder.
Post Date: 5/27/2015 9:32:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens review page.
 
Note that product images for this lens are included both large and small lens comparison tools with some images being cropped in the small lens format. Here is an example comparing the Sigma Sports, Sigma Contemporary and Tamron 150-600mm Lens in the small lens tool. These three lenses are also very interesting to compare in the other tools.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens in Canon mount in stock with Nikon and Sigma mount version available for preorder.
Post Date: 5/26/2015 8:51:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 19, 2015
 Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Image quality results from a second lens copy have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens review page (full review coming soon).
 
The first link shared in this post compares the latest-tested lens ("2") to the prior-tested lens ("1").
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens available for preorder.
 
 
Addressing an FAQ: Will the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens Be Tested?
 
Absolutely. At just over half the price of the Sports model and at about the same price as the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, the Contemporary lens holds a lot of interest. A great feature is that it can be found in stock.
 
A retail copy of the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens is scheduled to arrive today. Test results should be available in the near future.
Post Date: 5/13/2015 9:57:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Yesterday, Canon celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens by announcing the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens. Many have long been waiting for a new 50mm lens from Canon, and that the lens appeared to be a significant upgrade while retaining essentially the same ultra-small size/weight and the same ultra-low $125.00 USD price tag definitely produced smiles.
 
Then, "Juck" commented below the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens announcement post that the STM's "MTF chart is identical to the mk II version". At the same time, I was re-sizing and overlaying the STM and II MTF charts in Photoshop and trying to determine if I downloaded one of the wrong charts. The charts were sized differently, but they were showing the same line plots.
 
I of course could not mentally rest without knowing what was going on, so I asked. In answer to my "Does the new 50mm STM contain the same optics design as the 50mm f/1.8 II?" question, Canon U.S.A.'s extremely knowledgeable Chuck Westfall responded:
 
"Yes, the optics of the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM are the same as the original EF 50mm f/1.8 and EF 50mm f/1.8 II."
 
Am I disappointed? Yes. I of course want all new lenses to be optically better than the prior version.
 
Is using the same optical design in the new lens a bad decision on Canon's part? No, not necessarily. People loved the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens, otherwise known as the "Nifty Fifty", because of the decent prime-grade image quality it delivered at a really low price tag – the lowest of all Canon lenses.
 
The 50mm f/1.8 II left many other upgrades wanting and the 50mm f/1.8 STM addresses many. Here is a list of some differences between these lenses:
 
  • 7 rounded aperture blades vs. 5 non-rounded (no more pentagonal bokeh)
  • Metal lens mount vs. plastic
  • A much improved manual focus ring
  • STM vs. Micro Motor (should be faster and much quieter)
  • FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing
  • 13.8" (350mm) MFD (Minimum Focus Distance) vs. 17.7" (450mm)
  • 0.21x MM (Maximum Magnification) vs. 0.15x
  • 49mm vs. 52mm filter size (though not really an advantage from my perspective)
  • Narrower f/22 aperture available vs. f/16
While more difficult to specify aside from the metal lens mount, I have to expect the 25-year-newer lens to have better build quality (my original 50mm f/1.8 II broke in half for an unknown reason).
 
The 50mm f/1.8 is very popular today, and with this list of upgrades coming for the same price, the 50 f/1.8 STM is certain to be at least as popular.
 
B&H is accepting Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens preorders with shipments expected to start Thu, May 21.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 12:32:24 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Noise test results have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel T6s and T6i review pages. As these two cameras share identical imaging sensors and processing pipelines, the same test results are shown for both cameras.
 
Here are some comparisons that you might find interesting (select ISO settings to compare):
 
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 7D Mark II
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS Rebel T5i/T4i
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 5D Mark III
Rebel T6i/T6s compared to the EOS 70D
 
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (body and kit) and Rebel T6s (kit) in stock. The T6s body-only remains available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/12/2015 9:52:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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