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 Monday, June 3, 2013
Samyang 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Lens
The Samyang 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt-Shift Lens Review is now available.
Note that this lens, like the other Samyang lenses, is (or likely will be) also sold under Rokinon, Bower, Pro-Optic and Walimex brand names.
Post Date: 6/3/2013 8:32:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 30, 2013
Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Lens
Image quality samples (ISO 12233 resolution chart crops) and distortion test results are now available on the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Lens Review page.
Check out the difference in "Aperture Max by Focal Length" between this lens and the non-PZD predecessor in the lens specifications and measurements tool.
Post Date: 5/30/2013 8:47:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens
The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens Review page has been updated to incorporate the newly-available information about this lens.
Links to the USA and UK press releases, the development announcements and also to some early user reports are provided.
I am very optimistic about the image quality that this lens is going to deliver and excited about what this lens will do for me.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/15/2013 11:37:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 13, 2013
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens
The full Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens Review is now available.
I'll be adding this lens to the Canon general purpose lens recommendations page. I had trouble getting a good copy, but the lens I now have lens delivers excellent image quality.
Post Date: 5/14/2013 8:50:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 6, 2013
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens
Standard test results (ISO 12233 resolution chart/image quality, flare, distortion, vignetting, specs & measurements) have been added to the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens review page.
The new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens, the "| A" version, is a significant upgrade from the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Lens, the "EX" version, in terms of build quality. Unfortunately, the image quality has not been so upgraded.
Post Date: 5/6/2013 9:41:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 2, 2013
Canon EOS Rebel T4i
Sample pictures have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 600D and Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens reviews.
I know, those reviews were completed long ago. It's just that I finally was able to take the time necessary to get the photos onto the site. Both sets of pictures are the same - just view one of the galleries.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/2/2013 8:52:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 1, 2013
 Monday, April 29, 2013
 Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
The Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens review page now has links to ISO 12233 resolution chart image quality samples, distortion & vignetting test results and measurements.
Post Date: 4/16/2013 9:16:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 12, 2013
Canon EF 85mm L II USM Lens Sample Picture
Since we were discussing the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens yesterday, I thought I would put up some fresh sample pictures for that lens. Hopefully you will find them - or one of the included tips - interesting and helpful.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/12/2013 10:44:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens
I included the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II Lens in my indoor action sports lens recommendation list. Some, in a politely-constructive way (always very appreciated), are questioning my logic for doing so. The big reason for this questioning is due to the 85mm f/1.2L II's focusing speed. This is not the fastest Canon AF system.
So the question: "Can the EF 85mm f/1.2L II Lens be used for sports action photography?" is one that I want to answer today.
The short answer is "Yes".
Here is a very slightly cropped sample photo I captured with a Canon 1D X:
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens Sample Sports Picture
Is it sharp? That is a good question because it is easy to make web-sized images sharp. Even with very light sharpening ("2" in DPP), the eyelashes are sharp as shown in the screen capture below. The screen capture is lower quality than DPP's RAW conversion (the sharpening is not as clean), but I want to show the active AF point placed on the jaw line:
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens Sample Sports Picture AF Point Overlay
Close and fast approaching subjects present a challenge to the autofocus systems of both cameras and lenses. This runner was very close and moving fast. She was on the inside lane of the track and I was off of the track *just* far enough to not disturb the race. It is going to be hard to get much closer to any action - and dangerous to get that close to anything faster. The 1D X has proven very impressive to me, making it a great choice for finding the limitations of the lens. This shot and a significant percentage of my other 85 f/1.2 action images are in sharp focus.
Adding to the challenge of capturing in-focus action sports images with this lens is the razor-thin depth of field at f/1.2. Maintaining a focus point on the same plane of focus as the in-action subject's eyes is a challenge. Do not expect an in-focus hit rate as high as with some good f/2.8 lenses - though the 85 f/1.2L II bested some other non-Canon f/2.8 lenses I was testing at the same event.
You of course do not have to use a wide open aperture, but ... f/1.2 is a leading contributor to the major awesomeness of this lens. It is seldom too dark to stop action with an f/1.2 aperture as the in-action subject's ability to see becomes an issue.
Actually, it can be too bright to shoot sports at f/1.2 unless you have the right DSLR camera. Shooting under full sunlight as shown in the sample above? You need a DSLR with 1/8000 shutter speed capability (only higher end models have it) along with ISO 50 to keep images dark enough to avoid blown highlights in some scenarios. These were the settings used in the sample above. Alternatively, a neutral density filter can be used.
Returning to the autofocus speed question ... Can other Canon lenses focus faster than the 85 f/1.2L II? Yes. But, this 85mm f/1.2 action sports sample is far from a 1-off autofocus accident. My overall focus hit rate is decent with this lens.
Can any other Canon lens produce the same sports image look?
No. I love this lens.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/11/2013 9:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, April 8, 2013
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens
If you have been following this blog/new page, you know that I have been making a big effort to get good image quality results from the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens. This is currently the only full frame-compatible lens available in the 24-70mm focal length range with both an f/2.8 max aperture and Vibration Control - a combination that many of us find very attractive.
Evaluating this lens, as I hinted, has been very problematic. The first lens I bought had a serious image quality issue - Tamron wanted it back for analysis.
The second lens I bought performed well, but was noticeably softer on the right side - the side that shows in the site's ISO 12233 image quality tool. I suspected decentering and sent the lens to Tamron for repair/adjustment.
The lens came back from repair performing worse than before I sent it in. Tamron sent me a shipping label to take a second try at the repair.
The results from the second repair, the fourth test, are now found on the Tamron 24-70mm VC Lens Image Quality page. And, <drumroll>, they look very good!
We spent over a full week testing this lens model for the ISO 12233 chart test alone, but persistence has paid off ... I think we have an as-good-as-it-gets copy in our hands now. This process has not said good things about the quality control for this lens model, but again, the image quality looks very nice to me.
What is not looking good is this lens' AI Servo AF performance. This lens has not been able to accurately focus on subjects moving toward or away from the camera. One Shot AF has been working fine, so this lens has plenty of great uses available for it. More to come.
B&H has the Tamron 24-70mm VC Lens in stock.
Post Date: 4/8/2013 8:19:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 28, 2013
Canon EOS 60D ISO 12233 resolution chart test results for most current Canon lenses are now included in the site's camera lens image quality comparison tool.
As you can imagine, this was a big project for us. The 60D will become the standard EF-S Lens test camera and we will continue to test EF Lenses with the 60D as time permits.
Though the 60D results are useful in same-camera comparisons, you will find that results from this camera are not as sharp as results from the 1Ds III and other impressive Canon full frame cameras - even though identical test and processing settings (with a very low sharpness setting) were used. The T4i would deliver sharper results at the same processing settings (comparison), but the T4i has increased high ISO noise visibility as a result. There is a trade-off. The 60D results can also be given a higher sharpness setting. You are welcome to load 60D results into your favorite image processing application to see how increasing sharpness changes the results for the lens you are interested in.
Interesting spec: There are now 25,344 crops from 8,448 ISO 12233 test images available for review on the site.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/28/2013 8:25:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 11, 2013
Gura Gear Bataflae 32L Camera Backpack
I'm just back (and somewhat recovered) from a 2+ week photo trip to Hawaii (Maui, Big Island, Kauai & Oahu). The trip was a great experience with lots of stories to tell and photos to share - though rain, thick cloud cover and high winds left some potential great photo opportunities on the list for another trip.
First up is a review of the Gura Gear Bataflae 32L. This is an excellently-designed backpack that worked out very well on this trip.
Even if you are not in the market for a high-end backpack, you might like the Kilauea Volcano night photo - and the brief summary of shooting the 500 L II in the rain.
Post Date: 3/11/2013 9:23:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 14, 2013
Just Posted: Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens
The full review of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens has just been posted.
Check out the macro capabilities featured in what could perhaps be Canon's first EF zoom lens worthy of a "Macro" designator in its name. Then share the review with your friends. Thanks!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/14/2013 10:16:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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