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 Thursday, November 21, 2013
Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S Lens
Standard test results, including image quality (ISO 12233 resolution chart sample crops), flare, light fall-off, distortion and measurements & specs, are now available for the Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S Lens.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 11/21/2013 9:16:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 18, 2013
Shenandoah National Park Buck
Field use is incredibly helpful for gear evaluation. As you likely figured out through the newsletter and the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens review, I was able to spend some time in Shenandoah National Park last month. While wide angle landscapes were on the to-capture list, wildlife photography was my primary purpose for this trip.
 
To be more specific, I wanted to know which of three following big white lenses was my favorite for wildlife photography.
 
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Ext 1.4x Lens
Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS II USM Lens
Canon EF 600mm f/4.0 L IS II USM Lens
 
And my answer, as you may have predicted, is "It depends." Each lens has its strengths.
 
From an image quality standpoint, all of these lenses deliver very high pro-grade results. It doesn't matter which lens you pick in this regard. From a "look" perspective, I prefer the more-blurred background, more-compressed look of the longest focal lengths. Again, all of these lenses have very long focal lengths available, but the 600 f/4 has the advantage. The 200-400 L's long focal length comes with the built-in 1.4x extender moved into the optical path, which sets it back one stop in the max aperture comparison. The two primes also did less focus hunting in low light, peripheral AF point scenarios.
 
If you can get closer to your subject and there are obstructions (trees, branches, weeds, etc.) in play, a longer focal length quickly becomes a liability. The farther away you are from the subject, the more likely that these obstructions will factor into your results. The first problem is that obstructions detract from your final image. A branch across your subject's head is not going to be welcomed. And an even bigger problem is that the obstructions can catch the attention of your camera's autofocus system, resulting in a subject that is not even in focus. Such images are throw-aways – if you can even get the photo. In SNP, I had a black bear cub run past me in the thick woods and I was not able to even capture a memory photo as the camera could not lock focus.
 
Because the white-tailed deer in Shenandoah National Park are relatively tolerant of humans, I was able to get closer to my subjects (at least some of the time) on this trip. And because I was shooting with LOTS of obstructions (often in relatively thick woods), getting closer was typically desirable. The 200-400 L quickly became my go-to lens on this trip and has earned permanence in my kit. Having the very long range of focal lengths immediately available when needed/desired, this lens was the ideal choice for this type of photography.
 
I had been pursuing a pair of buck for two hours when the larger of the two finally and suddenly walked out into a clearing. And at the perfect moment, it stopped and became alert. I had diffuse sunlight at my back. The deer's head was framed between the closest background trees and the foreground was uninterrupted. In the very short duration of time that the ideal picture remained available, I would have been very fortunate to get one acceptably-framed picture with a prime lens (due to the sneaker zooming required). But with the 200-400 L, I was able to rapidly capture a number of framing variations.
 
I used the 500 L IS II and 600 L IS II during the trip and they performed excellently, but when the shot really counted, I found myself going with the 200-400 L IS in this location.
 
Check out some images in the Shenandoah National Park gallery.
 
Since many of these images were captured with the big white zoom lens, Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM Ext 1.4x Lens sample pictures are also now available.
Post Date: 11/18/2013 11:02:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 14, 2013
Little Storm
I have updated the Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM Lens review to address the focus shift this lens exhibits. Scroll down the review page until you see the sheet music image. Then start reading two paragraphs above that example.
 
The bottom line is that there is a rearward focus shift, but it is not likely to significantly affect many uses of this lens.
 
I continue to use this lens for many of my general purpose needs. The image shared in this post is one of my recent 24-70 f/4 L IS captures. See it larger and read more about the capture here: Little Storm.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/14/2013 9:07:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens Sample Picture
I added some sample pictures to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens review.
 
This is a gallery that will likely grow as this lens has become a part of my standard kit.
Post Date: 11/13/2013 11:17:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens
Not long ago, I referenced taking "two of the world's best wide angle lenses" with me to Ricketts Glen State Park. The sample picture I shared was taken with the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II Tilt-Shift Lens, but I did not address the other lens I was referring to.
 
As you may have now deduced, the Zeiss ZE 15 was indeed that lens. This awesome lens is now my primary ultra-wide angle lens when AF or a range of focal lengths is not required.
 
Check out the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens Review.
Post Date: 11/12/2013 11:23:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR Lens
Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR Lens image quality (ISO 12233 resolution chart) results are now available.
 
Preorder this significantly improved lens from Adorama or in stock at Amazon.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 11/6/2013 10:02:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, October 24, 2013
Crescent Moon at Sunset
Sample pictures have been added to the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review.
 
Again, make sure you read this review.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/24/2013 12:11:03 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens
I have just added the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review to the site.
 
While your first reaction may be "Who cares?", this lens deserves a look. Canon has significantly improved the image quality in the 55-250 IS STM over the previous 2 models. It is a good deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 10/23/2013 7:40:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, October 10, 2013
 Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Sand Fence Shadows
Just posted: Tokina 17-35mm f/4 AT-X Pro FX Lens Review
 
This time the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM Lens is up on the competition block. Find out how these two lenses compare.
Post Date: 10/9/2013 8:08:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 08, 2013
 Monday, October 07, 2013
Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX Lens
Just posted: Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro FX Lens Review
 
Find out if this ultra-wide angle zoom lens is worth half as much as the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens.
Post Date: 10/7/2013 9:58:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, October 04, 2013
Lens Filter Wrench
Ever had a filter get stuck on your lens? This is an easy way to ruin your shooting day – or trip. The good news is that the tool to solve this problem is probably the least expensive item in your bag.
 
Concluding "Lens Filter Week" is the Lens Filter Wrench Review. Buy several pairs of these.
Post Date: 10/4/2013 9:16:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, October 03, 2013
Step-Up Filter Adapter Ring
When you cannot afford a filter for each of your lens filter sizes, a step-up filter adapter ring is what you need. This is a short review of a very useful product.
Post Date: 10/3/2013 8:40:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Neutral Density Filter
Preventing light from reaching the camera's imaging sensor sounds counterintuitive, but that is what you want a neutral density filter for.
 
Learn more in the neutral density filter review.
Post Date: 10/2/2013 9:04:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Trunk Bay with Circular Polarizer Filter
As I continue to revamp the site's filter reviews, the circular polarizer review is next up.
 
This is the filter I cannot be without.
Post Date: 10/1/2013 8:13:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, September 30, 2013
UV Protection Filter
Welcome to filter week at The-Digital-Picture.com. I have been revamping the site's lens filter reviews and to get things started, let's talk about lens protection filters.
 
There is a big debate over the practice of using a protective filter on your lens and the reasoning behind both sides of the argument has merit. Get my opinion and much more is found in the new UV protection filter review.
 
A UV filter review is not new to the site, but instead of having a review page for each filter size with pages most pointing back to the 77mm UV filter review for complete information, I have consolidated all of the UV filter reviews to one completely-rewritten page. Links to make finding the right filter in the size you need are now presented at the end of the review.
 
Jump over to our Facebook page and give us your take on the protection filter issue.
Post Date: 9/30/2013 8:39:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens
ISO 12233 resolution chart test results are now available on the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens review page.
 
The new 55-250 STM lens shows a nice image quality improvement over the 55-250 IS II, especially at the long end of the focal length range (135-250mm) as seen in this comparison.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 9/25/2013 9:22:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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