Jun 232014
 

Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 on the Fuji X-Pro1

By Axel Friberg

Dear Steve,

This spring I bought the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 from Ebay and a Metabones adapter for my Fuji X camera. Not the speed booster one. I wanted to get something close to a 135mm full frame equivalent on my APS-C sized sensor. A 90mm lens would have been ideal, but most 90mm’s out there have an f-stop of f/2.0 and I wanted something faster. I started looking at different 85mm lenses which would give me a 127,5mm FF equivalent. After some research, I decided to go with the Canon FD lens – The predecessor of the first generation Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens. Since I wouldn’t be able to use autofocus anyway, I went with the non-AF version. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Best regards!

Axel

1-250s, f-1.2 ISO1600 (overexposed by 1 stop)

1:125s f:1.2 ISO500

1:125s, f:1.2 ISO500

1:160s, f:1.2 ISO2500

1:850s, f:1.2 ISO200

1:4000s, f:1.2 ISO200

 

 

May 192014
 

One year with Olympus E-P5

By Baris Parildar

Hello Steve, first of all I appreciate everything you do for photographers. Your website and youtube channel have tons of great information. I check your website almost everyday and enjoy it. Thanks for letting me share my pictures with your audience. This is my first ever article about photography. I started taking pictures with a Canon T2i 3 years ago. And my life has changed so much since then. Photography and video making suddenly became our passion in life with my girlfriend. We spent almost all our weekends taking pictures, hiking, discovering new things about photography and sometimes making small videos. After using my T2i for 2 years, I came to a point that I started thinking about having a smaller camera with me all the time. T2i is not even a heavy DSLR. But I was usually carrying 2 camera bodies and 4-5 canon lenses. I had times thinking about leaving my camera and lenses in the middle of the long hikes. It is really though to carry all that stuff for hours.

So I decided to get on the mirrorless wagon. I checked out almost every camera out there and decided to go with Olympus. My first choice was the E-M5. I had the chance to play with the camera for a week. I got used to it so fast. Auto focus and sharpness was so good. I couldn’t believe my eyes when comparing it with my Canon shots. Only problem was the color reproduction. It took me a while to learn how to edit the color of OLYMPUS RAW files in Lightroom. I figured out that it was different. Not worse than Canon, just different. I needed to handle it more carefully. That week the new E-P5 came out. I found the look cooler than the E-M5. Since the sensor was the same, image quality would be the same. I bought the E-P5. And never left it at home for a year. Olympus 9-18mm is my main lens. It’s one of the best landscape lenses I’ve ever tried. I mostly shoot directly into the sun. It handles everything great. Almost as good as Canon L lenses. My everyday street photography lens is the Panasonic 20mm f1.7. This is all I need for quick shots even for some macro photography. I use it at f2 for portraits and don’t need anything more. I had the Olympus 45 f1.8 for a while but I had to sell it. That is a great lens too. Recently bought a Panasonic zoom telephoto and using it quite a bit lately.

I am so glad that I made the switch from Canon to Olympus. I don’t think I would be able to take half of the shots I took with a bigger camera body. Having a small camera lets you take it anywhere you want. And another great thing about this is, everybody thinks that you are an amateur photographer when you have a tiny camera with you. You are invisible with a mirrorless camera. I just love the look of people at me thinking I have no idea about photography. I show up next to photographers with huge full frame dslr bodies with my little E-P5 and most of the time I get the shot I want with a little effort and no back pain. I use 500px as my main portfolio website now. One of my shots with the E-P5 made it to “the most popular photo” on 500px which is a great honor for me. I get inspired so much with all those great pictures on that website everyday. I like to edit my photos. Some people may find them processed too much but I don’t think about what other people think when I edit my photos. Depending on how I feel, I might over process or sometimes don’t even touch anything on my photos. It totally depends on how I feel about the photograph and how I want to reflect my feelings.

Here are some samples from my one-year journey with the Olympus E-P5. I feel lucky to have such a great camera.

Thank you very much again for giving me this opportunity.

Baris Parildar.

 

Here are the links you can find more about my photos:

Personal website: www.barisparildar.com

500px: http://500px.com/Barisparildar

Instagram: http://instagram.com/barparildar

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89927345@N03/

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May 192014
 

Experimenting with Digital Infrared

By Alexandra Shapiro

A few years ago, I began experimenting with infrared, or IR, photography (mostly landscapes). I am still a beginner when it comes to IR photography, and am constantly amazed at some of the stunning IR images that others produce. Although many of your readers may already be experts, I hope some find these thoughts and experiences useful.

Infrared light is not visible to the human eye, but can be captured on certain types of film and digital cameras. With film, it is necessary to use an infrared filter that blocks most or all visible light while allowing infrared light to pass through. This generally requires the use of a tripod and long exposures, as well as special infrared film. Most digital cameras filter out infrared light, so they are not great tools for infrared photography. However, there are companies that will convert a digital camera so that it can be used for infrared photography; you can also buy a conversion kit and do the conversion yourself. This is not for the faint of heart, since you can ruin a camera if you are not careful; most people probably use conversion services instead.

After doing a fair amount of research on various conversion companies, I decided to convert an older model camera using lifepixel (www.lifepixel.com). There are lots of potential pitfalls with the conversions, and not all cameras or lenses work well. There are a number of conversion companies that repeatedly get negative reviews, with users reporting that their conversions were botched, but Lifepixel consistently gets excellent reviews. They will convert a fairly wide range of cameras, and their website has detailed information on any unique traits of particular camera models that they convert. Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony mirrorless cameras apparently work very well, as do many Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

In addition, Lifepixel (like other conversion services) has several different types of infrared filters to choose from. The filters are installed inside the camera, after the filter that the camera came with to prevent IR light from passing through is removed. You can choose an IR filter that produces only black and white images, or a color filter. You can also choose a “full spectrum filter” that lets visible light as well as infrared light pass through to the sensor. This gives you more flexibility, but you will probably need to use IR filters on the lens to get IR effects.

During the conversion process, the camera is also adjusted to ensure that metering and auto-focus are adjusted for infrared light. Unless you send a lens for calibration, the camera’s auto-focus is adjusted based on a standard lens used for that manufacturer’s cameras. For example, Canon DSLRs are adjusted using a Canon 50 1.8 II lens unless you opt for the custom calibration service and send in the lens you prefer to have the camera calibrated with. Of course, fixed-lens cameras are calibrated using the built-in lens.

I like the look of black and white infrared, but prefer using a color IR filter to have the added flexibility, since obviously color images can be converted to black and white. I started with a small Canon DSLR, because I already had several good Canon lenses. I found a good deal on a refurbished Rebel T2i, a model that had been discontinued, and sent it to Lifepixel for conversion with their “supercolor” filter. I recently decided to upgrade to full frame and found a deal on eBay for a used Canon 5D (original version) that had already been converted by Lifepixel with an “enhanced color” filter. The IQ with the 5D is noticeably better than with the T2i, but there is a downside: the 5D does not have a live view function, which can be very useful with IR photography. Also since it is an older camera the LCD is small and the menu system and ergonomics generally are not as nice as on newer Canon models.

In order to get proper white balance, and have the most flexibility with the images, it is best to shoot raw. On many converted cameras, you can set a custom white balance that will allow you to use your LCD to check whether the white balance is correct. However, on some models (for example, certain recent Nikon DSLRs) that is not possible; the image will look quite reddish on the LCD, and you will need to use conversion software to fix the white balance in post. IR photography requires a fair amount of post-processing in any case. Most websites say that to fix the white balance (or to have your raw conversion software recognize the custom white balance you set in the camera) you have to use the camera maker’s raw converter. However, I recently learned you can create a preset for Lightroom’s “camera calibration” setting that allows you to convert your images from raw in Lightroom instead. This link has instructions for how to do this (http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/2013/07/15/setting-white-balance-on-infrared-images-with-lightroom-with-video/). I now do all my raw conversions in Lightroom instead of using Canon’s raw conversion software.

My workflow is generally as follows: I import my raw images into Lightroom and use the camera calibration preset I created so I can see them with the custom white balance set in-camera. Then I perform adjustments to white balance, sharpening, and exposure in Lightroom, and export to Photoshop CS6 to make further edits after the raw conversion. The first step in Photoshop for me is usually channel-swapping, which is useful for getting the “deep blue sky” effect that many interesting IR images have. This involves changing the red channel to 0% red and 100% blue, and changing the blue channel to 0% blue and 100% red. Then if I want to keep the image in color I play around with levels and other adjustments to get whatever effects seem most interesting. For black and white, I generally convert using plug-in filters from Alien Skin Exposure 5 or Perfect B&W 8.

When I first started, I noticed that sometimes the images seemed very soft, or did not have the dramatic contrasts or deep blue skies or white foliage I was hoping for. I found that I could get sharper images when shooting in bright sunlight (the harsh sunlight in the middle of the day is great for producing dramatic IR landscapes); using small apertures (I prefer F8 to F16). Sometimes the AF is off, but if you have a camera with live view or an EVF it is easy to correct that with manual focus.

I shot the first eight images below during Steve’s Valley of Fire workshop this past February. That was the first time I used the 5D; the lens is Canon’s 24-105 L. The remaining images were taken with the T2i and various lenses; those were shot in Austerlitz, New York and Big Sky, Montana.

More of my photos can be found on this flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/27953454@N07/

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Valley of Fire Canon 5D 2

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T2i 4

T2i 5

May 082014
 

10 Days in Israel with the Sony a7 and vintage Canon FD Lenses

By Thomas Neumayer

Due to the reviews about the Sony A7 on this nice site I recently upgraded from my NEX-5 to an A7, and I am happy with the choice.

I am just an enthusiast photographer. Coming from analog times, when I first used my fathers two-eyed 6×6 Rolleiflex as a teenager (darkroom and all), then a Canon F1, I am now still using vintage Canon FD Lenses on my A7, with, to my eye, very decent results.

I just spent 10 days in Israel, together with my wife and my one year old little Ella, and I’d like to share this journey here photography wise. Please, have compassion for the fact that my little daughter darling appears quite frequently on the pics, I cant’ help it.

We first spent some days in Haifa, then went to Jerusalem for a couple of days, and then, after having spent an intense afternoon at the shores of the Dead Sea, went by car to a resort some miles north of Tel Aviv to spend two more days at the sea.

I brought my a7 and my nex5, and the following lenses: (All Canon FD) 15mm 1:2.8 s.s.c., 17mm 1:4 (new), 24mm 1:1.4 L, 24mm 1:2.8 s.s.c., 35mm 1:2 s.s.c., 50mm 1:1.4 s.s.c., 85mm 1:1.8 s.s.c., 135mm 1:2.5 s.s.c. and a Canon 75-200mm 1:4.5 (new).

Anyway, I found myself using predominantly the 35mm 1:2, the 24mm 1:2.8, the 85mm 1:1.8 and the 75-200mm Zoom lens, since my wife favores it.
All of them produce a nice bokeh, in my opinion, especially the 35mm and the 85mm.

Due to the manual operation of the lenses the exif data lack the aperture value, but for most of the pictures I remember it, more or less.

Some words about the shooting experience with the a7:

Mostly I used the camera in time automatic or, especially in low light environments, in auto iso mode. Even if I agree with the critics who condemn the A7s preselection of 1/60th of a second in auto iso in contrast to an adjustable value, I still found this function very usable. A bit eery, when you come from analog school.
Being also used to spot light metering (Canon F1) I nonetheless found the integral measure mode more practical on the A7, for a number of reasons: first, the process of manual focusing can be quite demanding here! Depending on focal length, f-stop and distance from the object the DOF is only an inch or even less, so, it becomes very tricky, if you have an unpredictably and fast-moving object, like a toddler…
Then, unfortunately, memorizing a given value cannot be done with the half press of the shutter release button, like with the NEX-5, for example. That slows me down considerably when using spot measurement. (Hello Sony, fix this in a firmware update!). So I use the integral measurement, and due to the ample contrast capacity of the A7 of more than 10 f-stops there is a reassuring margin of exposure adjustment in post processing available.

Otherwise, taking pictures with the a7 is as easy as green tea, it is quite close to the shooting experience from analog times, thus made me feel at home immediately. And, I love the decided shutter sound!

The EVF is a marvel and didn’t make me want for the optical one, exept… one or two times, when extreme sunlight came in from the back, like on some occasions at the dead sea; but here a more ample eyecup would certainly help.

Some words about the post-processing:

I use Lightroom 5.4. I love the possibility to play around with colour, contrast, exposure etc.
Often I find myself using some Fuji-colour presets (sorry, Steve!) found on the internet which I then modify to my needs.
As for lens correction I underwent the tedious task to calibrate all my lenses using Adobe Lens Calibrator, only to find out that I cannot integrate the resulting files into Lightroom 5.4 in a way that they are available for lens correction there – in LR 3 this had worked! (If anybody has a useful tip here, please don’t hesitate to let me know!)
So I used the correspondent Canon EF presets instead, and they seem to fit nicely (not done much work since FD times, eh, Canon?). Anyway, I found CA, vignetting and lens distortion not to be a problem anyway, using these old lenses with the A7. Even with the 15$ adapter that I use.

Now, the pictures in chronological order of our journey:

 

Haifa, Carmel beach.
Canon FD 35mm 1:2 s.s.c. @ 11, ISO 200, 1/250s

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 Acco near Haifa.

Canon FD 75-200mm @200mm 1:4,5 (new) @ 8, ISO 800, 1/750s

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 Acco near Haifa

Canon FD 17mm 1:4 @5.6, ISO 800, 1/200s

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 Acco near Haifa.

Canon FD 75-200 @75mm 1:4,5 @ 8, ISO 1600, 1/160s

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 Bazaar in Acco near Haifa.

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 4, ISO 1600, 1/500s

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 Jerusalem Bus Terminal.

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 5.6, ISO 1600, 1/200s

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Jerusalem Breakfast, tomato sauce!
Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 5.6, ISO 1600, 1/500s

_DSC1453

Jerusalem, Old City
Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 5.6, ISO 250, 1/60s

_DSC1495

 Jerusalem, Old City

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 8, ISO 400, 1/60s

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 Jerusalem, at the wall of Old City

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 2, ISO 250, 1/60s

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 Jerusalem, Dinner

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 3.5, ISO 4000, 1/60s

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 Jerusalem, after dinner.

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 3.5, ISO 4000, 1/60s

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 Jerusalem, breakfast situation

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 8, ISO 160, 1/60s

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 Jerusalem, Old City

Canon FD 35mm 1:2, s.s.c. @ 4, ISO 400, 1/60s

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 Dead Sea, Mineral Beach

Canon FD 24mm 1:2.8, s.s.c. @ 8, ISO 100, 1/125s, polarization filter

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 Dead Sea, Mineral Beach

Canon FD 24mm 1:2.8, s.s.c. @ 11, ISO 100, 1/200s, polarization filter

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 Dead Sea, Mineral Beach

Canon FD 24mm 1:2.8, s.s.c. @ 16, ISO 100, 1/45s, polarization filter

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 Dead Sea, Mineral Beach, Ella in arabian tea tent

Canon FD 24mm 1:2.8, s.s.c. @ 4, ISO 100, 1/250s, polarization filter

_DSC1607

Dead Sea, Mineral Beach
Canon FD 135mm 1:2.5, s.s.c. @ 8, ISO 100, 1/200s

_DSC1625

 Tel Aviv

Canon FD 85mm 1:1.8, s.s.c. @ 4, ISO 200, 1/1000s

_DSC1669

 Tel Aviv

Canon FD 85mm 1:1.8, s.s.c. @ 5.6, ISO 200, 1/4000s

_DSC1673

 Tel Aviv

Canon FD 85mm 1:1.8, s.s.c. @ 4, ISO 200, 1/6000s

_DSC1679

 Tel Aviv

Canon FD 85mm 1:1.8, s.s.c. @ 5.6, ISO 800, 1/60s

_DSC1696

Final word:

So, I hope you enjoyed the reading. I enjoyed the writing!

As a last word on this trip: I liked very much the warmness and friendliness I met in many people in Israel. The people coming from all parts of the world, I found the predominant international spirit very refreshing. Just religious fanaticism gives me the creeps.
If you feel like, I’d be delighted to have some feedback on these pictures!

My professional website (non-photographic): http://www.loesungsseite.de

Apr 162014
 

Photography, Education, Exams

by Tim Hogendoorn

Documentary photography; one of those magical things in live I love.

My name is Tim Hogendoorn, 23 years old and living in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
From the year 2010 I have been studying photography in Rotterdam and this year in May, is my graduation.

From the beginning of my study I saw students following the same routine of photography as there has been for years on my school, and many other photography academies: studio portraits.
It is not in a way I felt the urge to be different, but I found myself not being able to express my feelings in that way.

I started experimenting with street photography but quickly wanted to tell stories with my photographs, searching for people who had extraordinarily jobs and telling their stories.

That is also what I did for my exam of my current photography education.
I stayed at a circus family for about a week. Taking photos of the shows, but especially when they were not working or preparing for work.

After being in this study for four years now, and photographing three of those years solely on film, this was my first digital series.
I gave digital a try a couple of times before, but not really feeling it untill now: I bought a really nice second hand 5d mark ii and am using my analog Nikon lenses on that body with just an adapter ring.
The look of the old Nikon Nikkor 35mm 2.0 AI on the 5d sensor is lovely…

The full series can be seen on my website. (like me on facebook and keep up to date with my work: http://tiny.cc/ng9eex )

I wanted to share my experience with the readers of stevehuffphoto because I am a daily reader myself, keep it up Brandon and Steve!
(recently I went on a photography trip to Chicago (my first time in the US: WOAW!), and I would love to be sharing that new series in the near future as well!)

All the best,

Tim Hogendoorn
www.timhogendoorn.nl

Barani_5453 Barani_5601 Barani_series_11_5384

Apr 072014
 

Seven years with one camera

By Amirali Joorabchi

Hi steve , hi everybody!

I’m AmirAli , a reader of this awesome blog for about two years. I’m 23 , live in Tehran. I do painting and photography as an enthusiast. I started photography when I was 14-15. As a gift my family bought me a Canon 400D and a 50 f1.8 and if I’m right I have this set and been using it for about 7 years ! Well it’s 10mps , ISO800 isn’t clean , ISO1600is only usability in monochrome , the LCD is 2.5″(240k). The camera and two lenses weighs in at about 850g…and yes I’m still using it !

This lest seven years that has passed by..well, photography has changed a lot (which you all know better than me). The wave in digital photography started with Canon 350D (affordable DSLR for everyone) then led to this following seven years. Companies got competitive with each other , introducing new models like a mad man ( canon 40D/50D… Nikon D80/D90… Canon 5D/5DmarkII Nikon D700/D800/D610 Sony A900/A800/A99 , then mirrorless Olympus , Panasonic , Sony , Fuji…).

The more technology went further , the more prices came down , which now you have so many affordable options (heck you can buy a full frame for 1600$ which weighs less than 500g). In theory this should help people but , instead , it turned out to be a huge problem for us!

For example it became like an idea that “because a pro photographer has that camera/lens then he can take pictures that I can’t”. So I started to blame the gear and I thought if I had better camera I would have made a better photographs. This is the point when your endless loop starts (even if you are aware of the fact that getting new gear won’t make you any better), where you buy new cameras when the one you have is already very qualified. Jumping from one system to another or jump from one brand to other. You fall into this endless loop where you waste time and sources on the wrong side of the photography.

I was about to fall , but a wise photographer told me this: “Changing your gear won’t change your view , it only replaces the last window with a new window to the same view , you’re the one who should change the view “ It hit me really hard. I still didn’t know about composition , lightening , color management… My VISION was weak yet I blamed the camera that I still have. He showed me that how much VISION is more important than gear , that your vision can create beauty , you have to train it to get the most out of it. Although the truth was clear but still resisting the new gears was hard. I get another advise : “loan and play with the new ones , the hype will come off of your mind”. I took the advice and it worked most of the time.

I tested Canon 40D , Nikon D90 , Canon 1DsII , Canon 5DII , Sony A900 with zeiss 85F1.4 (this lens didn’t came off ever) , Canon 17-55F2.8 , 24-70F2.8 , 14F2.8 , Nikon 80-200F2.8 , 18-135… . All of them are far better than my set , but using them I realized that my results weren’t that different… if not worse ! The brand was different , the format was different , the lens different , but my vision was the same. Yes , new gear makes it easier to take photos like more pixels , better ISO , better OVF/EVF… . These things are not necessary to capture a master piece. These are tools to help us create. But the features has spoiled lots of photographers’ minds. A slight change in light/composition can make a mediocre photo into a master piece , yet we waste our time wondering about gear…

Well , the question is , which is worth to you more ?

1.Having G.A.S and taking mediocre images , or

2.Mastering your vision and taking eternal images

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Mar 242014
 

faces

The faces of Mysore India

by Neil Gandhi

Hey Steve,

Often times, images do not do justice to true experiences.

With photography, one must diligently spend time and live within the realm of their subject to establish the reason that makes them “click”. In that recognition, one discovers a sense of realization that is sometimes larger than life itself. Walking around a bustling Devaraja Market filled with beings just like me, I realized how different I was from them. Most of them had never left the city of Mysore in South India. Most of them probably never will. Initially, I felt a sense of sadness. Then I asked myself “Why would they?”. There is so much beauty that encapsulates them.

These images were captured during my trip in December 2013, where I visited one of my favorite photographers named Christine Hewitt to immerse myself in photography and learn from her experience. Mysore, birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga, draws yogis from all over the world who come to this city to grow their practice. It is a city of royal heritage, with an existing royal family and king, and features a beautiful palace, art galleries and some truly exquisite temples surrounding the city. Most importantly, it is the people who define this city and bring it to life. The joy and love in their faces, especially the children is heart-warming to experience. Street photography comes to life here, as you witness some interesting and extremely willing subjects. They live life with a quiet sense of confidence and content. They breathe because they choose to. These are their stories.

Gear: All images taken with a 5D MIII and a 50mm f1.4 or a 24-70 f4.0L. Post-processing in Lightroom 5.

About me: I am Neil Gandhi, an amateur photographer who pays for his camera gear and travel with a job in software marketing. Based out of Austin, TX. Connect with me on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/neiljpgandhi

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Feb 212014
 

Myanmar Traditional Boxing

By Nikko Karki  - www.nikkokarki.com - - http://blog.nikkokarki.com

 

Fighting once a month with nothing but wraps covering their hands, young Burmese men continue their country’s traditional sport, perhaps one of the most brutal in the world. In the olden days, there were no rounds, no points, the only way to win was by a total knockout or concession by the opponent. The men I met had no sort of ego or bravado. Their quiet disposition and positive outlook on training, fighting and life, is unlike a traditional mindset.

Training with broken hands or other seemingly debilitating injuries is not dismissed with any sense of martyrdom, but sincere dedication and selflessness. It was a privilege to witness their humble approach to life, living happily and compassionately as they dedicate themselves to their training.

 Canon 5D mk III - Carl Zeiss ZE 35mm f/1.4 Distagon - Carl Zeiss ZE 100mm f/2.0 Makro planar

Photographer’s note:

I made this film in a day and a half, after spending about a week training and getting to know the fighters. It was truly an honor and privilege to get to know them and I greatly look forward to returning to learn more about Lethwei, Myanmar traditional boxing.

First, a couple of pics of me training with the guys:

NIKKO AND THE GUYS

NIKKO TRAINING

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 1

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 2

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 3

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 4

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 5

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 7

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Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 18

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 19

Nikko Karki © 2013 Lethwei 20

Feb 202014
 

Greetings from West Africa

By Devesh Uba

Dear Brandon and Steve,

Let me begin by congratulating you guys for the wonderful website and the always inspiring resources/articles you have there. My favourite sections are ‘daily inspiration’ and off course the reviews. Keep up the great work!

I am Devesh Uba, an Indian national currently living and working in Lagos (Nigeria), from past eight months or so. I have been doing photography over a decade now and I love people and street photography. I happen to do more colour than Black and White, but I do enjoy Black and White a lot and there are phases when I only do Black and White.

Here in Nigeria I am fascinated with the colours, smiles and the culture of this country. I am trying to capture it and share it with the world through my blog and Flickr, and I will be really happy if they are selected in the ‘daily inspiration’ section of your website. I use a basic DSLR Canon 550 D with a Canon 35mm F2 (prime) mostly for streets. Here in Nigeria it isn’t safe to walk on streets with your camera (especially for an expat), so sometimes I take pictures from my car when in hostile areas.

Links to my work are:

Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/deveshuba

Nigerian Photoblog : snapitoga.tumblr.com

Thank you.

Regards from West Africa,

Devesh Uba

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Feb 032014
 

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

My/the dream team for architecture:

Sony A7R with Canon 17mm/4 TS-E

By Dierk Topp

First I would like to mention, that I am not a Pro, I take pictures for my own pleasure and sometimes for others.

I bought the Canon 17mm TS-E for use with the ordered Leica M240, but when I got the M240, I sent it back after 2 days. The main reason (besides many others) was, that the focus field in life view was fixed in the center. Using tilt lenses with a focus only in the center of the frame is useless, and for shooting a portrait session, when you want the focus on the eyes is useless with a focus control in the center of the image, and shooting stills from a tripod with a fixed focus field in the center is useless as well.

I ended having no FF body for this lens! So I tried to use the 17mm TS-E with my Leica M9 and the MM and it was no problem. I used the 18mm finder for a rough composition and very often had to do only one or two test shots (no live view!) till I got, what I wanted (you will find two images from the M9 at the bottom).

When then the A7R arrived in October 2013, I discovered a big problem: my Metabones adapter Ver.1 was unusable, it is blocking the edges and the vignetting made it unusable. But I found the info, that the new Metabones Mk. III supports FF and I was very happy, when I got it a few days later and it worked perfect.

Why using a tilt/shift lens?

If you know about tilt/shift lenses, there is not too much to say about shooting this combination.

If not, here is an excellent post on shooting architecture with shift lenses:

Let me quote a few sentences, I hope you don’t mind James?

  • Point your camera up at a tall building. See how the lines of the building converge to the top of the frame? That’s an extreme case of perspective distortion. For a shot like that, sometimes it looks cool. But back up a good bit, zoom out, and try to shoot the entire building. More times than not, you’ll notice the verticals are not perfectly straight. It’s extremely difficult to get it right handholding the camera and trying to guess. That’s because in order to have no perspective distortion, you have to have the capture plane, be it film or digital sensor, parallel and plum with the building.
  • There is a lot of misunderstanding about tilt/shift lenses. Basically, it’s a lens that projects an image circle much larger than the frame it intends to cover. Then, it is allowed to be moved independently of the camera body to anywhere within the projected image circle.

If you are interested in the tilt function of this lens, you find an excellent description here at the site from Keith Cooper:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/using_tilt.html

Now let the images speak for themselves.

  • images made with f/8 and tripod
  • as the camera is on a tripod, I very often just shoot additional shifted images and have more freedom during PP for stitching
  • very often prefer a different aspect ratio than what I get out of the camera and stitch images by shooting two or three frames with different shifted lens. And very often I shift the lens more than recommended and decide later, if I have to cut the outer (blurred) part of the image. With stitched images there is plenty of resolution for that. But you have to plan that during shooting.
  • if I want to get a wider angle of view and shift up (or down), I use two images with the lens shifted left and right up by 30° or 60°
  • if you have a close foreground and/or have to avoid parallax error with slightly differing images from moving the front lens by the shifting, you can use the special “Canon TSE Tripod Collar” from Hartblei: http://www.hartblei.de/en/canon-tse-collar.htm, this collar is mounted on the front part of the lens and keeps it in exactly the same position, while the rear part of the lens including the camera is being moved for shifting.
  • my post processing: LR 5.3, B&W conversion with Nik Silver Efex PRO2, stitching with PTGui or MS ICE (free for Windows)

The A7R or ILCE-7R with the Cannon 17mm/4 TS-E on Metabones smart adapter III

(I took the pictures with the NEX-6 and Micro Nikkor 85mm/2.8 PC, also a tilt/shift lens, on a Metabone adapter, tilted for more DOF)

the lens on this picture is shifted up for about 9mm, as you can see on the scale on the lens in the middle of it.

The front part of the lens for tilting is not tilted, you can see it on the second picture below.

The Metabones MK III adapter supports the electronic diaphragm and correct EXIF, this lens is manual focus (as all shift lenses) and I could not test the AF support of the adapter.

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

and here are some images made with this fantastic combination:

One shot shift up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

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This one stitched of two shifted images (shift left and right), no HDR, 11.000×5.000 pixel

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift, stitch of 2 shifted images

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This is a 1:1 crop of this picture

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

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Gut Trenthorst

again from two stitched images, but this time the shift was 30° up to the left and right, to get the view upwards

Gut Trenhorst, A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of two shifted

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from two shifted images (no HDR, the sensor has no problem with this high contrast!)

Gut Trenhorst, A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of two shifted

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Now some pure architecture shots

 This is just a standard shot, lens shifted up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

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HavenCity, Hamburg

Shifted full 12mm up, recommended is 8 to 10mm on the long side, the top of the building is getting blurred!

HafenCity Hamburg

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If the camera is perfectly aligned, buildings tend to look strange, as if the top is getting bigger,

just a bit perspective distortion could look more natural.

HafenCity Hamburg

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Bad Oldeloe, Germany

stitch of two images, shifted down and up

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images

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Three images, shifted left, center and right

image size 12.000×5.000 pixel

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images

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… the same, three stitched images

A7R with Canon 17mm TS-E, stitch of shifted images

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and Hamburg, Speicherstadt

Three images shifted, 11.000×5.000 pixel

Speicherstadt Hamburg

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…and two images, shifted up 30° left and right, 9.200×5.000 pixel

Speicherstadt Hamburg

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Last but not least:

You can even use this lens on a range finder. Here are two images made with the Leica M9 with a cheap adapter. I used the 18mm finder on the M9 for rough composition and one or two shots, till I got it right. The M9 has no live view for controlling the image before the shot! And for the electronic aperture you need a trick with an extra Canon body.

 The Marienkirche, Lübeck, Germany

Mail Attachment

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This is a special combination of shifted lens up on the M9 and rotating the camera on the tripod for much more than 120° view. I shot many very much overlapping images to make sure, that it will work for stitching – and I think it worked :-)

Leica M9 with Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift

Thanks for your interest and I hope, you find it informative and useful … and sorry for my English :-)

More images are on my flikr:

Canon 17mm TS-E tilt/shift (including A7R) and the Sony A7R images

thanks and kind regards

dierk

Jan 222014
 

2013 in just twelve images on different formats 

by Bjarke Ahlstrand

Last year I did a – one year – 2012: 12 months, 12 images, 12 cameras / lenses in total guest report for Steve. It was tough to make, it’s really hard to narrow down a big production to just one image per month, but very rewarding as well.

So I decided to do the same this time around. Those familiar with my work, either here at Steve’s site or my own www.oneofmany.dk will notice that I’ve been drifting slightly towards film and large format recently. The slow process has been healthy for me mentally and photographically speaking. I shoot less images, but work harder for each one, and it’s a thrill to learn new skills — especially ones that aren’t linked to Photoshop.

2013 was a good year for me in many ways, and also challenging. Sometimes I feel I’m balancing between being creative and obsessed, both when it comes to shooting portraits as well as using new cameras and lenses, hehehe. I still treasure my Leica M9-P more than anything else, but the artistic freedom (and limits) the large format view cameras give are very inspiring. Nowadays, whenever I grab a digital camera, I miss the selective focus / shallow depth of field while shooting large format extremely open, but also the tonality and amount of detail that I get from even 100-year-old non-coated lenses. An 8×10″ is approximately 60 times digital full frame, and a Swiss built large format Sinar camera, be it 60 years or 6 years old, is at east 60 times more fun to operate than a modern Canon/Nikon.

Well, here are 12 images, one for each month, all shot on different cameras, formats and lenses.

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FILE: 1 – January – 8×10 – silver shade polaroid

Miss Roxy – Arca Swiss 8×10″ – 305 mm Kodak Portrait Lens (ca. 1930) @ f/4.5 – Silver Shade Polaroid

1 - january - 8x10 - silver shade polaroid

The Impossible Project revived the 8×10″ Polaroid, when they purchased the last production machine from the bankrupt Polaroid plant in Mass, USA, and had it moved to their European headquarters in Holland. The Silver Shade Polaroid, the only one being made in the 8×10″ large format size, isn’t exactly black and white, but still nice to work with, as long as you can live with chemical defects, and manage to get your hands on an antique Polaroid processor which is need to pair the 8×10″ negative with the positive (large format doesn’t work like the old peel-apart Polaroid cameras and film!). Miss Roxy, my assistant posed for this image, which was shot with quite a few tilt and shifts on a 1970s Arca Swiss camera, and the lens mounted on the camera is a wonderful, wonderful 1930s soft focus Kodak Portrait Lens.

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FILE: 2 – February – Hasselblad h3d

Zombieboy – Hasselblad H3D-39 – 150 mm Fujinon HC @ f/5.6

2 - february - hasselblad h3d

When it comes to sharpness, tonality, color and file quality, no digital camera beats the 39 megapixels Hasselblad medium format monster. And yes, I’ve shot the Nikon D800, but it doesn’t even come closer, and neither do the lenses. The Hassy is slow and heavy and really suffers if you go past ISO200, but if you treat it like a film camera, it works excellent, and the resolution it offers is utterly amazing even though it’s a few years old now.

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 FILE: 3 – march – 4×5 – sinar polaroid

Anker – Sinar P2 4×5″ – 240 mm unknown 1860s Petzval lens @ f/3.8 – Expired Fuji Polaroid

3 - march - 4x5 - sinar polaroid

I love the fast lenses! Everyone who’s ever shot a manual f/1 lens, like the Noctilux, Nokton or Sonnetar, knows how difficult it is to achieve a somewhat precise focus. But when you move to the large format, in this case, the 4×5″ film format, things get waaaaay more difficult control — and if your lenses were made in 1860 instead of 1960, you add to the difficulty aspects, but the reward is equally bigger, if you nail it. And even though the output material is an old expired Fuji Polaroid, the depth of field and detail is amazing. It was shot a night-time, using only my Ikea table lamp as the light source — and two small light candles which I place behind him.

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FILE: 4 – april – 5×7 – kodak 2b wetplate collodion berlin

Alex – Kodak 2B 5×7″ – 150 mm Rapid Rectilinear @ f/8 (ca 1890) – wetplate collodion

4 - april - 5x7 - kodak 2b wetplate collodion berlin

Mmmmmhhhh, the smell of ether :-) When I had a chance to join a wetplate collodion seminar in Berlin, held by American David Puntel, I simply had to attend. What a fine (and difficult) process. I’m sure most of you have heard or read about it elsewhere, so I won’t go into the tech/chemical aspects, but just recommend everyone into photography to try the 1850-1851 photography process, which is very rewarding. It sharpens your senses, and you really consider, plan and compose your image, before pressing the shut… ehh, correct that, you don’t use a shutter for this, because the old lenses have none, and you need a lot of (day)light. You just remove the darkslide, take off the lens cap, and let the subject, in this case animation director, Alex Brüel Flagstad, sit absolutely still for 14 seconds. This was a so-called half-plate which is a tiny bit smaller than 4×5″. Notice the silver nitrate on my fingers. It took months before it disappeared.

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FILE: 5 – may – Leica m9-p 35 summicron

Assistant+Artist shot by oldest clone – Leica M9-P – 35 mm Summicron @f/2 (1st version, anno 1964)

5 - may - Leica m9-p 35 summicron

A rare shot of me in action. I am placed one the right with the dark cloth on my head, while planning a 4×5″ Ektachrome dias portrait shoot. My oldest son, Hjalte, shot this behind the scenes photo with the Leica M9-P and an old 35 mm Summicron that I’d just purchased from conflict photographer Jan Grarup, whom I guess is the only real documentary/war professional who actually shoot with Leica for a living. Jan exchanged his old glass in favor for the new Voigtländers, so I got his old 35 mm Summicron. The first version of the classic lens really shines on the M9-P, which is still my all-time favourite digital camera, due to portability and quality (as long as you don’t enter the 640+ iso’s, hehe) and not least lenses, lenses, lenses.

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FILE: 6 – june – leica m typ240 apo-summicron

Katja naturelle – Leica M Typ240 – 50 mm Apo-Summicron Asph @ f/2

6 - june - leica m typ240 apo-summicron

I don’t have a Typ240, I just borrowed one along with the new 50 mm Apo-Summicron Asph for a day. With my love of cameras, I have of course considered the Typ240 many times, but every time I hold one, it just doesn’t feel like my kind of camera. Can’t exactly say why, and I know it beats my older M9-P technically speaking, I just think the CCD sensor of the old Leica renders better/differently (at lower ISOs). The new 50 mm Apo-Summicron, on the other hand, whauuuuh, that one would be a nice addition to my collection of Leica 50′s (Noctilux Asph, Summilux Asph, Sonnetar, Jupiter-3, Summitar, Summar), but the price tag… well, I guess I’d rather buy 10 antique Petzval lenses for my large format cameras… Or a Monochorme. But it sure is nice, resolution wise almost matching the medium format Schneider Kreuznach, Rodenstock and Fujinon HC lenses, just so much smaller. This image is straight out of camera, no adjustments, and wide open @ f/2.

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FILE: 7 – july – 8×10 – Dallmeyer 2A Petzval f4 – Fuji Velvia 50

Katja Nun – Sinar P2 8×10″ – 300 mm Dallmeyer Petzval 2B (ca 1870) @ f/3.8- Fuji Velvia 50

7 - july - 8x10 - Dallmeyer 2A Petzval f4 - Fuji Velvia 50

Same subject as before, my girlfriend Katja, only this time around she was shot on a 140 year old Dallmeyer Petzval lens. The Petzval lenses are famous for their swirliness around the edge and utter sharpness in the center. They’re extremely fast (f/3.8 – f/4 on large format is like f/1 on kleinbild 35 mm in-depth of field terms, and if you tilt-shift the camera it’s even more extreme). I shot this on an old, expired 8×10″ Velvio 50ISO dias in the very last evening light, and she had to sit still for half a second. With the light passing and time it takes to re-focus, load the film holder (which only holds two images, one on each side), removing the darkslide and wait for the camera to stand still, you only have one chance, so you often miss a shot. Especially sharpness wise as the depth of field is extremely small. But not this time around. Of course what you see here is a low resolution file, but the original 8×10″ positive – and scanned file amazes me. If only 8×10″ dias weren’t so tough to come by (and expensive) this would be my preferred medium. But hopefully you get a glimpse of the sharpness and bokeh this old lens produces…

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FILE: 8 – may – 4×5 – Linhof 135 mm

Viking Viggo – Linhof Technika IV 4×5″ – 135 mm Symmar @ f/5.6 – Ilford Delta 100

Picture 211

Now and then it’s nice to go offline. Away from mails, text messages, facebook, hell — even stevehuff.com! Especially if you have kids who are always online, and addicted to it. So this summer, my clones (ages 14 and 9) and I spent one weekend as vikings at a historic “reservation”. The offspring agreed to leave every electronic device at home, as long as I did the same. So I bought my Linhof Technika IV and 5 filmholders, so I would be able to shoot maximum 10 images through out a whole week. It turned out to be somewhat of a challenge, as there were many nice photo opportunities and, for once, I had a lot of time on my hands. But I guess the slow-photography-dogma was therapeutic to me, and when I got home and developed the ten sheets of film, I was thrilled that 7 out of 10 turned out very well. This one is my favorite. I was chopping wood but discovered that Viggo was playing with a kitten behind a tent, so I located the Linhof, guessed the light (1/8th of a second at f/5.6 on a Ilford Delta 100 sheet film), called his name and pressed the shutter. I adore the old school documentary-ish vibe it has to it. This is film when it’s best, and I couldn’t have done something with this tonality had it been a digital camera. Playing viking for a whole week, I sure missed my Leica, but the large format “portable” Linhof proved to be a worthy companion (it was my first time using the German 1960s mechanical metal marvel — the Leica of large format! It’s extremely well-built, like a Leica).

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FILE: 9 – september – leica monochrome 50 mm sonnetar f1

Mrs Madsen On The Roof – Leica Monochrome – 50 mm MS-Optical Sonnetar @ f/1.1

9 - september - leica monochrome 50 mm sonnetar f1

I adore the Monochrome, and I wish I owned one. Every time I borrow one, I love and loathe it at the same time. It’s so extravagantly priced and immensely simple, but it just works — especially with old lenses. Or old lens designs, as is the case with this crazy handmade Japanese lens, the Sonnetar, based on the Sonnar design, but taken to extremes; both size wise and in aperture terms. Wide open its f/1.1, a little hard to handle, but produces dreamy images with out of this world background bokeh (it’s after all made in Japan). I don’t think Steve has had a review or guest report with images taken with this lens, which I bought directly from Japan earlier this year, but if there’s a demand for it, I might do a small review and supply some samples (it handles color images very well as well). It’s very cheap compared to the Noctilux, and performs way, way, way better than the horrible Cosina (Voigtländer) Nokton f/1.1.

FILE: 10 – october – 8×10 – direct_positive_paper

Afghan Princess – Sinar P2 5×7″ – 360 mm Voigtländer Heliar (ca anno 1903) @ f/4.5 – Ilford Direct Positive Paper

10 - october - 5x7 - direct_positive_paper 

I often shoot paper negatives on large format. It’s a cheap way of testing new lenses (paper is way cheaper than negatives), but you always have to either make contact prints in the dark room or scan it and invert it Photoshop. Enter the very nice Ilford Direct Positive Paper, which is sort of a mixture of classic photo paper and polaroid. You shoot it in your 4×5″, 5×7″ or 8×10″ film holder, and when you develop it (in paper chemicals – and under red light) it transforms from a negative to a positive. A bit like wet plate collodion, except this is far easier and less dangerous, chemically speaking. So I’d recommend this to everyone shooting large format, as it’s very pleasing to see the result directly after you’ve shot your image. In this case I did a portrait of an Afghan (refugee) princess with a fantastic 110 year old 36 cm / 360 mm Voigtländer Heliar portrait lens, which even survived a fire some ten years ago and has cement between the elements! Those old Voigtländer lensus unlike the new Cosina-branded ones for Leicas and micro 4/3s are very well made, and perform excellently, even one hundred years are they were made. The Direct Posistive Paper is rated somewhere in between ISO1 and ISO3 and is most suited for pinhole cameras, as it’s very contrasty, but I think it’s nice for portraits as well, as long as you learn to balance your light a bit. For this I used a flash, or was it three ProFoto generators :-?

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FILE: 11 – november – 1913 goecker studio wood camera expired 809 polaroid

Jesper – Goecker Wooden Studio Camera (1913) 8×10″ – Dallmeyer 3B 300 mm Portrait Lens @ f/4 – Expired (1995) 809 Polaroid

11 - november - 1913 goecker studio wood camera expired 809 polaroid

I buy a lot of old gear, and I always appreciate spending time with the old time pros or collectors from whom I get my gear. In this case, I bought some old Linhof cameras (4×5″ and 5×7″) from an old master about to retire. He had been a pro for 45 years (!), and never went digital. In his hay days he developed 2000 5×7″ prints every day! Both color and b&w. He also had an old (dating back to 1913) wooden studio camera in his studio and I immediately fell in love with the old beauty. A 100 year old camera, which still works like a dream. It was equipped with a gigantic Petzval-design portrait lens, the Dallmeyer 3B. Neither camera nor lens had any shutter, which – unless you shoot wetplate or paper negatives – actually can be somewhat of a problem due to the (short) exposure times. But fortunately the old pro found a box of old 8×10″ 809 Polaroid’s, a film I’d never shot before, which expired back in 1995. He doubted I could get anything out of the remaining 4 polaroid’s in the box, but I did. This image was shot only with the light from my living room lamp, using my HAND as a shutter for approximately one second. I absolutely love the final result – what you see here is a plain scan of the image I shot. Notice the text lines next to his face – they come from the “negative condom” or protection sheet that the polaroid’s were wrapped in. Somehow, during the 18 since (since expiration date) some of the text managed to creep unto the negative. Pure light magic.

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FILE: 12 – december – canon 5d mark iii

Teen Clone – Canon EOS 5D Mark II – Canon 24-50 mm II @ f/4

12 - december - canon 5d mark iii 

My oldest clone never wants to be photographed because he’s 1) a teenager 2) thinks his father is embarrassing 3) doesn’t like cameras or photography 4) has braces and pimples all over his face — BUT — he also needed to give his mother, my ex-wife, something for x-mas, so he bought a frame, and asked if I would do a portrait. I did two, actually, an 8×10″ analogue, but then I snapped a test shot with my Canon, and it turned out best. Yes, that’s right. I do digital light metering tests before using precious sheet film / polaroids! I practically never use the Canon camera, as it’s big and has no personality and uses auto focus zoom lenses, hahaha. Well, snobbing aside, its video capabilities talk for them selves, but it is of course the 5D Mark III is a very capable professional tool, very rarely failing in any way. But I still prefer an old Leica, Linhof or an old wooden studio camera :-)

I guess that concludes my 2013 in just twelve images on different formats, cameras and lenses.

Perhaps I should mention, that I’m in the process of my building my own 20×24″ ultra large format camera, so perhaps you’ll see an image from that alongside a Minox next year, hehe.

Best,

Bjarke

www.oneofmany.dk

Jan 162014
 

How about some Canon or Nikon Coffee? Great deals on these LenZcups!

Just noticed that B&H Photo are now selling these famous lens cups/mugs and thermos bottles and at pretty nice prices. If anyone reading this is like me…then these may be something cool to grab (I ordered two t his morning). Every morning I wake up and within 2 minutes am at my machine making my 1st cup of coffee. Being such a photography and camera gear geek I wondered just today why I never picked up one of these cups! Especially since most of these are under $13!

I have seen these in the flesh before and they felt solid and nice. They are more of a conversation starter or for those of you who live to shoot. The thermos? Also very cool as you can bring it along on your photo journeys. Who here has ever left the house at 4Am in search of some nice scenery? I have and having a camera lens thermos would have pepped me up that extra percent :)

In any case these are now for sale and in stock at B&H photo starting at under $13. So click the link here to SEE ALL OF THEM! 

Enjoy!

PS – If you are a Leica shooter, yes, you can get a Leica mug as well – check it out HERE.  (image of Leica directly below)

71JcSHGrfdL._SL1500_

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and the Canon/Nikon offerings…

IMG_359195 1020865 1020868 1020870 IMG_359121 IMG_359122 IMG_359209

Dec 302013
 

My 12 for 2013 

By Adam Anderson

I enjoyed Jason Howe’s Top 12 for 2012 very much, and its message distills the ‘less is more’ philosophy that resonates strongly with my own photographic intent. My life would likely improve a great deal if I was able to translate this philosophy to other areas.

Jan to Dec 2013 are convenient bookends for a significant time in my life and photography. I moved to Sydney for a 12 month tryst with the city, its surrounding landscape and my Zeiss Ikon ZM rangefinder. I also got to try a bunch of other camera and lens combos which I will give my brief thoughts on. Stricken with Gear Acquisition syndrome, my ownership period of these non-Ikon devices was short and featured a great deal of anticipation and subsequent remorse. Not unlike a good night out! So, in the spirit of the cost vs. benefit of brief liaisons with the opposite sex, I’ll chalk up my short ownership period of these cameras as a worthwhile experience.

I tried to keep this sample of 12 fairly objective since my own emotional attachment to places, people and experiences doesn’t always make it through the lens. Regardless of the photos that made the grade, this year I found myself preferring film to digital, 1×1 aspect ratio and b&w to colour a lot of the time. Hardly groundbreaking revelations to any seasoned photographer, but fun to use tools for someone like me who was excited to expand his horizons beyond MS Paint as the foundation for his digital image manipulation workflow.

The cameras:

Zeiss Ikon ZM and 35mm Biogon C 2.8

The ZI is my favourite by far and most used. It gives classic rendering with the 35mm biogon which is beautiful with negative film. I cannot give enough praise to the Ikon’s wonderful viewfinder, the convenience and reliability of its Automatic exposure mode and its overall ergonomics and handling. Steve often talks about the necessity of a camera to motivate its inclusion on outings and no camera and lens has been more motivating for my photography than this setup. I had all my film developed and scanned by Foto Riesel in Sydney. They are the best photo lab I’ve used and tolerated my “Selfies on film with a wide-angle lens” phase.

Canon 6d and 40mm f2.8 pancake

This was a neat setup. The 6D is compact for a DSLR, is solid and has a simple but useful control layout. It delivers fantastic IQ on all counts and great low light performance. It really ticks the boxes for what’s important for me in a DSLR. It survived me getting lost in the Australian wilderness several times. I regretted upgrading to the d800e.

D800e and 50mm 1.4g

I had a love hate relationship with this camera. I loved the sharp, detailed results it produced when everything was right. The various metering modes were often way off, under and overexposing at inconvenient times. The AWB was not as natural as the 6d. After the 6d’s interface and layout I found Nikon’s menu structure and controls convoluted. Not to mention the bayonet was designed on opposite day. Perhaps more time spent with this camera would have yielded a happier relationship. More likely my experience is akin to learning to drive in a Formula 1.

Mamiya 7 and 65mm f4

This was my first foray into medium format and the results blew me away. I already have quite an economical shooting style so 10 frames per roll wasn’t too restrictive. Once you get the hang of the centre weighted lightmeter it’s a breeze to use on AEL mode to really nail exposure. It’s easy to load on the go and the controls are basic but very functional. My favourite film for this camera was Fuji pro 400h. My favourite photographic technique with this camera was loading the film incorrectly and getting only 8 exposures instead of 10.

Thank you Steve for your website and your bandwidth, and your readers for their attention.

Canon 40mm 2.8 STM

D800e 50mm 1.4 G

Mamiya 7 65mm Pro 400h

D800e 50mm 1.4g

D800e 50mm f2 auto nikkor

Zeiss 35mm Biogon C Tri-x

Zeiss Biogon 25mm Portra 400

Zeiss Biogon C 35mm Portra 400 -1

Zeiss Biogon C 35mm Portra 400 -2

Zeiss Biogon C 35mm Tri x

Zeiss Biogon C 35mm Portra 400 -3

Zeiss Biogon C 35mm Tri-x

Dec 112013
 

titlejames2

Around the World with the Sony Nex 7 and the Metabones Speedbooster

By James Vanderpool – His website is HERE, his Facebook is HERE

Hello all. I’ve been a fan of Steve’s site for a while, among others. I’ve always liked his real world reviews, and one thing that seems to not have many reviews in terms of photography is the speed booster from Metabones. (The vanilla way to get full frame in mirrorless!) I got the Nex 7 in about July of last year and had been using it almost weekly on photo trips. Though I was mostly pleased with the camera, there were a few things I was unhappy with like the low light performance and APS-C cropping of my all manual full frame lenses. When this adapter came out, I was extremely excited and purchased it almost immediately. Some things turned out like I expected, but there were a few surprises.

The very first time I used this adapter was shooting an event for a Roller Derby team. The adapter really came in handy that day, because the scrimmage was indoors and light was fading fast. I was able to get shots at much lower ISOs than I thought possible.

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One thing that did surprise me was the focusing. When I first got my adapter it couldn’t focus any lenses to infinity. Though I had read it about it online in EOS HD’s preview of the Metabones adapter, I hadn’t thought it would make it to the final product. This was really annoying, actually, as the farthest away I could focus was about 15 feet! (Which is why I’m almost stepping in on the action in all of my shots there, haha.)

The next day, I had the opportunity to be an assistant on a portrait shoot for the Derby team. The adapter really felt better suited for this sort of work. I could get in real close to get some amazing shots, and it worked wonders for isolating the subjects. You can see in two of my shots below that I also appreciated the extra space it gave me over a standard APS-C adapter.

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It took me a while to figure out how to properly adjust my adapter. To fix it: I had to 1) find tiny screwdrivers, 2) guess and test. Both steps took a few days, but number 2 was particularly difficult. The biggest problem was remembering that there wouldn’t be as much detail in landscapes (my testing method) as there would be in the standard adapter. When I remembered this, I checked my 35-70 zoom at 35mm with the standard adapter against my 50mm with the Metabones. They matched up, mostly. Since I don’t want to take up all Steve’s storage space, I won’t show all the photos I took but there are a few good examples of low light, landscapes, and street you should see. (Demonstrating speed, wide-angle, and ability to focus in an unstaged environment.)

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The next place I went to in my travels was Shanghai. Truthfully, I was only there for a 24 hour layover. But when I got an offer I proffered my wallet and went on a tour. (When was I going to be in Shanghai again?) I only took along my 50 1.4 for this trip. No tripods, no wider angled lenses. I had a lot of landscape shots, and a few street. I spent the most time (about two hours) in the Shanghai Pearl. When I got to the top I really wished for my tripod, but so it goes. Make do.

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I was able to stay in San Francisco for quite a while after I got back on account on free-living space. It is, to my mind, the perfect city for photography. You can walk anywhere and everywhere is beautiful, has character, and is full of history. I wish I could live there and photograph forever, but alas, it’s a pretty big investment to live there with no job already lined up. I’ll have to content myself with images for now and plan to visit again in the future.

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So by now you’ve seen the ISO, the shutter speed, and the lenses I use. I tried to keep ISO below 200 when possible, but I also tend to use my camera on shutter priority when not shooting landscapes. Before I get a bit deeper into the pros and cons of this adapter, I wanted to be sure you saw the pictures I shot with it. Though I may not be as talented as some of the posters on this site, I’d like to offer these as proof that yes, the Metabones does give your APS-C camera most of the characteristics of a full frame. Yes, you can take good pictures.

Now, for you detail oriented types.

Ergonomics

You know what my second favorite thing about this adapter’s ergonomics is? It’s small. With my 50 1.4 on the Nex 7, it’s barely larger than the 24 1.8 E-mount I started with. Considering that A) it gives a full frame field of view, and that B) on the Metabones adapter, it’s effectively f/1 in terms of light gathering (but not depth of field!) that is quite an incredible feat. Even my 35-70 3.4 is APS-C sized when you consider that it’s about an 24-50 f2.3 equivalent. Eat your heart out Sigma! (Only 17.6 oz, compared to the Sigma 18-35′s 28.8.)

My favorite thing about this adapter’s ergonomics is the tripod mount on the adapter. It is incredibly sturdy, so you can mount other accessories on an accessory. Madness! My personal favorite is my L-bracket from Really Right Stuff. Why not just mount it on the camera? Well, unless you have really expensive tripods you will always have a bit of drop between when you lock the camera into place on the tripod and when you let it go to take the pictures. This is especially a problem using the Nex 7 with my Contax lenses, as they’re often heavier than the camera. (I suppose with light enough lenses that wouldn’t be a problem, but then you wouldn’t be considering this article would you?) By attaching the camera to the tripod at the adapter instead of the camera, you change the center of gravity and make focusing much easier.

What bugs me, ergonomics-wise? Well, I can’t put my camera in the bag with the L-bracket attached. Time to bust out the Alan wrench!

Resolution

Now for the details! If you read the white paper, or the lens rentals blog post about the adapter you’ll know that resolution is better in the center with pretty much any lens. Also with any lens, it’s worse in the corners. Well, how bad? Have you noticed it?

At lower apertures, I wouldn’t focus anywhere near infinity. I’ve had a few photos I had to throw away because the corners were bad enough to distract from the image. However, this problem mostly clears itself up at higher apertures. Not entirely, but I don’t think you noticed and I certainly wouldn’t be afraid to print large. Here’s one last picture of San Francisco, followed by a ~90% crop at f/8.

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So, if you’re worried about corner softness just remember this: it’s only a few blades of grass.

Focusing

After the initial troubles with infinity, I found this was easier to focus on my Nex 7 than the standard Novoflex adapter due to the increased control over depth of field. In generous light, I don’t even need to use focus magnification to get critical focus. When the light isn’t so generous (admittedly 80% of the time) I still need to use focus magnification, but it’s a quicker process of getting in range before I activate my focus magnification function.

That being said, this will not make it easy to focus on fast-moving subjects like athletes, or even subjects just moving at street speed. It takes time, practice, and in the case of sports hundreds of exposures. (With the 50 1.4. My 100-300 4.5-5.6 was much easier to focus, but that is telephoto lenses, smaller apertures, and an APS-C depth of field.) Even though this allows you to use film lenses with most of their functions intact from 35mm it will not replace a split prism or rangefinder focusing system, let alone pro level phase detection autofocus. (For pro phase detect, think Canon 1 DX/C.)

Compatibility

My one true disappointment with this adapter was that it wasn’t compatible with all of my Contax lenses. My 100-300 4.5-5.6, a beautiful (if massive) lens had stabilizing metal flanges coming from the lens mount. Due to the glass elements of the Metabones adapter, this was impossible to mount. Other large lenses might run into the same problems.

Protection

Those same lens elements that stop me from mounting my 100-300 lens also protect my sensor from harm. A silver lining, indeed.

Well, in a little over 1500 words now I’ve told you everything I know how to tell you about my adapter, and a little bit about the travels I took it through. Feel free to ask me any questions about the adapter I didn’t already think to answer, or give me comments or criticism about some of my photos. I’m still learning.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the article!

Sep 112013
 

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REVIEW: The Canon 6D with Sigma 35 1.4 and Canon 85 1.2L

A Canon DSLR with POW, WHAM, BANG and two lenses with a little bit of Magic Dust Included.

Yes I know this Canon 6D camera and  the mentioned lenses have been reviewed by many others and is old news, but I had an opportunity to try these out for a week and decided to give it a whirl. So what you will read here is my experience using and shooting a DSLR after not really seriously shooting with one for a long time. The Canon 6D has intrigued me and I am happy that I was able to test it out with these two stellar lenses. Below is my experience.

DSLR’s are STILL hot

It has been said by more than one photographer in this ever growing mirror less world that “DSLR’s are still hot”. Yep, even with the rise in smaller and powerful mirrorless camera creation and sales, the DSLR still outsells the little mighty ones by a good margin. I saw it first hand while visiting New York City for a 2 day trip to a special Olympus event. I would say that 85% of those I saw on the street were using a DSLR of some sort, mainly Canon Rebels. Why is that? Well, there are many reasons, one being is that many newbies to Photography and those upgrading from little P&S cameras want to look “pro” and to do so requires they get a new Canon Rebel or starter Nikon DSLR..or so they think. 

The Canon 6D and incredible Sigma 35 1.4 ART series lens

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Yep, that is the mindset of many who are delving into photography and 95% of them know nothing about the smaller and sleeker mirrorless offerings that brings with them a similar image quality in a fraction of the size. Why is that? Because they want a large DSLR so they look pro or look cool.  This is a fact. I speak with many newbies every day who email me for advice and they want to know if they should get a Rebel or a Nikon D whatever to start out with. I ask why they want a DSLR and they usually say “my freind has one and I love it” or “it is professional and I want to be a pro” or “The Best Buy guy said the Canon Rebel is the best for quality”. Etc, Etc. I now tell them to check out this steal of a deal which is a starter DSLR style camera with an APS-C sensor called the Sony Alpha 3000. $399 with lens. But even that won’t do it for some because they want a Canon or a Nikon.

So yes, many people out there are getting into serious photography and they feel that to be serious they need a DSLR, the camera that their neighbor or friend has or the one that Best Buy told them was the best, which is usually a Canon Rebel.

But this is only the beginning of why DSLR sales remain strong.

The Canon 6D and the 85 L 1.2 II at 1.2 in a low dimly lit restaurant. One color, one B&W (both from RAW) Low light is NO problem at all for this combo. Click it to see the clarity at 1.2 and its ability to suck in the light. 

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Others buy DSLR’s for pro work, which I agree with. If I was shooting pro work day in and day out every single day (depending on what the work was) a DSLR would make its way into my kit for those times when the Leica M or RX1 just would not work or when an OM-D body would not work (macro or long tele). At that time I would then have to decide if I wanted a Canon, a Nikon or a Sony DSLR. Yes, Sony is an option as they make some cutting edge cameras, including some pretty nice DSLR’s. In the past I have owned a Canon 5D and a Nikon D700. I loved both but to be honest, I enjoyed the D700 more because at the time I preffered the Nikon color and rendering but I always went back and forth on that.

DSLR’s are a hot item even today and there are benefits to using them (as well as the cons of weight and huge size) depending on what it is you shoot. They are well established with a plethora of lenses available from macro to tilt shift to extreme fast telephoto primes to exotic superfast primes. Long story short, they offer everything anyone could ever need for creative photography. The new Mirrorless cameras of today that are so hot can also offer this in a much smaller package but even years after their inception, the lens choices, while great, are not as plentiful as they are with a Canon or Nikon or even Sony DSLR and DSLRS can be had from $300 and up to $8000 or more. So there are choices.

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But to be honest, these days I know that it is ALL ABOUT THE LENSES! Nikon and Canon have some amazing stellar glass in their DSLR lineup but Canon has one or two (expensive) jewels that Nikon can not compete with (in MY opinion) due to the unique looks these Canon lenses give. In fact, there are insane amounts of lenses available for the Canon and Nikon systems including some damn good Zeiss options and now Sigma. But in the Canon lineup there are a few jewels for sure..well, MANY jewels but one has always had a spot in my heart and another lens in the L lineup is close behind and it does not come cheap.

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The main lens I speak of is the Canon 85L 1.2 (version 1 or 2) and the Canon 50 L 1.2.

Being full frame lenses with HUGE front elements and a light sucking 1.2 aperture, these lenses are HUGE, FAT, HEAVY and loaded with abilities that can make almost anyone with an ounce of skill into an abstract artist. NOTHING renders like an 85L 1.2 lens and it is more like a big fat paintbrush than a camera lens. Many have nicknamed it “THE KEG” because it looks like a mini keg of beer. It is large but it sure can pull off a special and one of a kind look.

The way it can “paint” your subjects is quite remarkable and while not everyone enjoys this look, when used sparingly or in certain portrait conditions it can be jaw dropping and sometimes even haunting. Not even a Leica Noctilux can render like a Canon 85L and when I say that I am not discounting the Noctilux, as I prefer the Noctilux look by a slight margin (as it is quite different) but when we put things into perspective, the Canon 85L is a $2000 lens. The Canon 50 L 1.2 is under $2000. The Leica Noctilux is $10,995 just for the lens alone.

Canon 6D and 85 L 1.2 II at 1.2 – Beautiful.

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Late night in Times Square – Canon 85L II and 6D at 1.2 – I love the bokeh this lens creates but Bokeh is a personal thing..some may love it, some may hate it. I like the 3D pop this lens gives and it is sharp wide open at 1.2. 

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and the same, wide open but I did crop this one a bit

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So for $4000 today one can buy a Canon 6D full frame sensor DSLR which is equal in IMAGE quality to a Leica M 240 (just larger, bulkier and heavier especially when these lenses are attached) and an 85L 1.2 lens. For $18,000 one can buy a Leica M 240 (if you can find one) and a Leica Noctilux 0.95 lens. A difference of $14,000. Take another $3500 for the Canon setup and add in a Canon 24L and a Canon 50 L 1.2 and you are at $7500, still less than HALF of the Leica M and Nocti combo. Of course if Leica is in your blood and brain, as well as in your heart and soul, none of that matters. Just putting into perspective. Also, never underestimate the power of a smaller, lighter, more discreet camera as it will make you want to shoot more and take it with you everywhere. Something a DSLR does not do for me.

But keeping it 100% real, while Leica is a true beautiful work of art in itself, and performs amazingly well, the Canon 6D with a lens like the 85L 1.2 is just as capable if you do not mind lugging around a DSLR and HUGE lens attached, and let me tell you..it is HUGE and slow to AF. But HEAR THIS:

from 2005 with a 5D Mk I and 85 1.2 (original V1)

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The 85 L 1.2 II is one reason alone to jump into Canon if you are eyeballing a full frame DSLR and if you have the cash to spare at $2000 for the lens alone, I highly doubt you would be dissapointed. The lens has a perfect 5 star average review rating at B&H Photo with over 500 reviews written. Pretty damn impressive, and I agree with those reviews, it is a 5 star lens without question. Remember, I owned one for a long while years ago. If I owned a Canon 6D or 5D today I would own this lens without hesitation. It’s one of my top two fave lenses ever made, by anyone. A Leica 50 Summilux ASPH is the other :)

The Canon 85 1.8 is MUCH cheaper, why would I buy the 85 1.2 II?

Do not let those who say the Canon 85 1.8 is just as good as the 85 1.2 II L fool you, as it is not. PERIOD, END OF STORY. IN fact, it is not in the same ballpark in the ability to render a “UNIQUE” image in the style of the L.  As I said, no lens on the market for 35mm renders like a Canon 85L. There is a reason it has achieved legendary status. The only problem is the cost, weight, size and slow focus. But to those who own and love the lens, these things do not matter as it is the output that counts and if you want that “look”, the 85 1.8 will NOT give it to you. I should know, I owned both back in 2005 and struggled when I clearly saw the differences in each shot as I wanted the 1.8 to be just as good so I could save some cash.

I kept the 85L back then, owned it for a year or more and sold it because it did not get enough use. Even though it was amazing, it was too large and heavy for me so it was only brought out for certain occasions. Never was it a daily shooter.  That is the one drawback of the lens. It is a BEAST but what a beautiful beast it is. If I could afford just to buy one and hang on to one for those moments where it would come in handy, I would.

Wide Open this lens renders like nothing else. These two images were shot at night and the 6D with the 85L never failed to AF, it just was a bit slow to AF. Still, worked every time.

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Yes, the 85 1.8 will be smaller, lighter, faster and much less expensive but it will not match the 85 1.2 in sharpness wide open, color rendition, build quality or light sucking ability. Take a Camera like the 6D and 85L 1.2 into a dimly lit room and you can still shoot. Your images will look like they were shot during the day, even without a flash and the Bokeh will be mind numbing in some situations, but in a good way. It’s an amazing hunk of glass and there is a reason many buy it even when already owning the much cheaper 85 1.8.

It may be a surprise to many of you to hear me praise a huge and heavy DSLR lens, but I have always loved the 85L when used on a full frame Canon. While I have not owned a DSLR in many years, I still know that they are amazing tools and with the right set of lenses, hard to beat.

That 85L has some serious MOJO at 1.2 and can suck in the light to make it appear there is much more light than there really is on the scene. It’s one of the few magical pieces of glass that does this very well, with nice Bokeh and sharpness even wide open.

Remember to click each image to see the larger and better version! Another three shot at 1.2 from a distance, at night!

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DSLR’s. Don’t you HATE DSLR’s Steve?

No, I do not hate DSLR’s but for me they are a no go in my personal life just due to the size, weight and yes, even high cost involved if you want “the best of the best”, which I always do (Certain cameras have spoiled me over all of these years). But mainly, the SIZE is the killer for me. Carrying around a bag with just a Canon 6D, Sigma 35 1.4 and Canon 85 1.2L is NOT pleasant for a casual stroll or day out with the family but at the same time, a DLR such as the Canon 6D can make incredible photos while being smaller than the larger 5D series, so for many the weight and size may be worth it. Yep, the 6D is a almost mini 5D in my opinion with excellent ergonomics, easy controls, simple menus and fast operation (though I find the normal AF no faster than my old OM-D E-M5) but it is still large as it is indeed a DSLR. This problem could really be solved with smaller and much less expensive lenses but me, if I go for a full frame DSLR, I would want the 85L and 35 1.4. End of story.

The 85L 1.2 has some very intense Bokeh. The shallow DOF possibilities are intense with this lens. 

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Yes Indeed! The Canon 6D is a Jewel in the DSLR World

It takes a lot for a DSLR to grab my attention and the 6D has done just that due to many reasons. It’s smaller size, it’s amazing sensor, it’s ergonomics and controls, and of course, the amazing glass possibilities.

The Canon 6D is feature packed with a 20.2 MP full frame sensor, Digic 5+, ISO from 100-25,600 and 12,800 video ISO, 97% optical VF, 4.5 FPS shooting, 11 Point AF, Dual layer metering and even WiFi built in. Canon included it all in this one and the good news it that the camera is easy to use, set up and even hold. No manual needed as it was easy to navigate the menus, easy to change settings, and overall a joy in the usability department.

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The Canon 6D comes in a slightly smaller package than the 5D MkIII while retaining the same image quality with some improvements in low light. It looks nice, feels nice and has everything I would ever want if I were to go for a DSLR. Nikon has its comepeting camera, the D600, which I have yet to try, but I know the differences between Canon and Nikon and for me, it comes down to COLOR. Canon has always had a unique way of rendering colors and their L prime lenses have a “Canon Look”, which believe it or not, is indeed there. I can always spot an image taken with a Canon DSLR. I used to have a thing for Nikon color but today I like them equal 50/50.

Liberty Text – 85L II wide open 

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Many of you who have followed me for years know that I have only reviewed a small handful of DSLR’s. The Nikon D90, Canon 5D MkII, and Nikon D700 with a quick look at the D800. I also took a look at the Sony full frame A99 offering and the older Canon 7D and the Sony A57. That is about it but I may be forgetting one or two.

BUT, I am one who will tell you right now that you can achieve the same or similar IQ as what this 6D gives you (with say a 50 1.4 lens) from a Sony RX1 or Leica M 240 (using a 35 1.4 lens) which are MUCH smaller, MUCH lighter and just as easy to use. You can achieve what a Canon 7D gives you with a Sony NEX or Olympus E-M5 with the right lenses. All in much smaller packages that are just as well made, with amazing lens choices. You can even use the 85L on a Leica M 240 or Sony NEX with the right adapters so if you want an amazing lens but shoot Leica, it could be worth trying out the 85 on a Leica :) For some special fun, if you own a Canon DSLR try THIS lens out.

The Sigma 35 1.4 ART series lens on the Canon 6D. Under $1000 and IMO beats the Canon 35L in just about every area.

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A DSLR such as the Canon 6D is hard to ignore for what it offers the enthusiast or pro photographer. Smaller than 5D Size, Speed, Full Frame Performance, Low Light Abilities, and choice of glass. Cheap to Expensive. If you love your lenses then choosing a Canon DSLR can be exciting due to all of the choices out there. My 1st Canon was the very first Canon D30 with an old 24-85 Standard Zoom. Back then it was the only game in town beating all others to the punch. I loved that camera but it was my only real choice. The Canon 6D kind of gave me that nostalgic feeling again but what comes out of the 6D destroys what came out of that very 1st Canon D30 many years ago.

I am not going to do a long detailed techie in depth review on the 6D as there are probably hundreds of them online, mostly all will give you a better DSLR review than me as A: I only have the 6D setup for 7 days and B: I have been out of the DSLR loop for years. What this post is mostly about is the glass, the two lenses I used with the 6D as well as my real world thoughts on using a DSLR after shooting smaller cameras for the past 4-5 years. I can tell you this though: I much prefer this 6D to the old 5D and 5DII as well as ANY of the APS-C sensor DSLR’s. I also prefer it to my old Nikon D700. It’s a special DSLR that gets just about everything right, but I was only able to just scratch the surface in my 7 days with it, and to be honest, on two occasions I had the 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 along with the 85L in my Amazon cart just to own for the 85L alone. I know a good thing when I see it and the Canon 6D, if you do not mind the DSLR size and weight, is amazing. I was thrilled with the IQ, responsiveness and resulting files.

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The Sigma 35 1.4 Art Series

The Sigma 35 1.4 Art Series is SUPERB and under $1000 is well worth it especially since when I compare real world images, it is right up there in quality with a 35 Summilux ASPH, just MUCH MUCH larger. 

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This was shot from the hip at night with the 35 1.4 at ISO 4000 without NR – click it to see the real world noise result

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Sigma has come a long way since the last time I shot with some of their DSLR lenses. Many years ago I owned a 15mm lens from Sigma and it was large, looked kind of ugly and performed well though was loud when focusing. Today with the new Art series Sigma has stepped it up 10 notches and now competes head to head (and in some cases surpasses) with Nikon and Canon at their own game.

This 35 1.4 ART lens is superb on the full frame 6D. Corners are sharp, color is rich and saturated and right, bokeh is very nice and beautiful, the lens is built VERY well and looks sweet. In fact, if the Sigma and Canon L 35 were the same price, I would still buy this Sigma. It is that good. In fact, it delivers images just as nice as the $5000 Leica 35 Summilux (though 5X the size) when I look at them and compare qualities side by side. THAT is impressive.

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When reviewing images for this quick review I was blown away by the rich files, the sharpness and micro contrast coming from this combo of 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 (be sure you click on them for larger, and those with large high res displays you will see what I mean). It really did remind me of shooting a Leica M9 or M with a 35 Lux ASPH (the image quality). While the setup was on the heavy side and hurting my back after 7 hours of carrying it, I could not fault the image quality or performance of this setup.

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Below is a FULL size from camera image with the 35 1.4 at 1.4 – click it for full size

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Size Comparison: SIgma 35 1.4 next to a Nikon V1 with 18.5 1.8 Attached

Just for fun I put my V1 next to the Sigma. They are about the same size with a lens on the V1. :)

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My final word on the Canon 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 and Canon 85L 1.2 II

You guys know me..I love my small but high quality mirrorless cameras. The Sony’s, The Leica’s, The Fuji X100′s, the Olympus, The Panasonics, and even the Nikon 1. I love them because they are small at a fraction of the size of a DSLR, a fraction of the weight and they offer sensors from Micro 4/3 to APS-C to full frame. In most cases, these new high powered and good looking mirrorless cameras compete head to head with DSLR’s even though DSLR owners will say otherwise (they refuse to believe it).

DSLR’s have their place as they are polished and refined. They have been around for much longer and manufacturers have been able to tweak, improve and build DSLR’s that are quite amazing when you think about it. For under $2,000 the Canon 6D is now the DSLR I would own if I decided to purchase a DSLR. It is not as large as the NIkon D800 or Canon 5D series and it feels great in my hand. In fact, if I plopped on a slower non L lens that was thin and semi fast, I would not have any issue with the weight or size. It is these nice premium lenses that really jack it up.

The camera is a winner, but most of you already knew that. But it is the 1st DSLR in a while  that got my attention enough to want to review it, and I am glad I did. I loved shooting it around NYC and came away with some cool shots. So if you are looking for a DSLR that performs just as good as the big guys (5D, etc) then take a long serious look at the Canon 6D. I think it offers the most for the money in the full frame DSLR Canon world.

As for the lenses, both of these are AMAZING. The jaw droppingly beautiful 85 L 1.2 II is expensive but a fraction of what a modern day new Leica lens costs and it has a 92% MOJO rate. By that I mean, it has character galore and there is no other lens like it and no other lens will do what it does. There are some that are close and some that are similar but nothing renders like an 85L 1.2 II. Ask any of the tens of thousands of owners of this lens and they will tell  you the same.

The Sigma 35 1.4 has given me a new respect and outlook on Sigma. They mean business and this is evident in this new Art series of lenses. Just like their tiny 30 2.8 lens for the NEX system that I reviewed, the 35 1.4 ART lens is a killer 35mm option that offers speed, design, and IQ that is mouth watering good. I’d buy this lens in a nano second if I splurged for a DSLR like the 6D because I enjoy the 35mm focal length.

So all in all I had fun with this setup and while it did kill my shoulder after a few hours and I did hesitate to pull it out of my bag a few times due to the intimidating size and I did get looks when shooting on the street with that 85L, the results were fantastic. If I had more time with it, or  took it on a portrait session in a nice wooded area with some nice misty lighting the results would be breathtaking. :)

If I did not have so many cameras now I would seriously consider this set. I was tempted quite a few times over the past week as it was. Great stuff. My question to you is, would you like  to see more DSLR reviews like this on the site? If so, let me know. :) I have a trip to Dublin Ireland in 3 weeks, maybe I can review the next in line.

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WHERE TO BUY

You can buy a 6D almost anywhere but as always, my preferred shop is going to be B&H Photo or Amazon. I have shopped with both of these establishments for YEARS and they never let me down.

Buy the Canon 6D Body:

B&H Photo

Amazon

Buy the Canon 85L 1.2 II:

B&H Photo

Amazon

Buy the Sigma 35 1.4 ART Series Lens:

B&H Photo

Amazon

A few more shots from the Sigma 35 1.4, most direct from camera. Enjoy!

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HELP ME TO KEEP THIS SITE GOING AND GROWING!! IT’S EASY TO HELP OUT & I CAN USE ALL THE HELP I CAN GET!

PLEASE Remember, anytime you follow my links here and buy from B&H or AMAZON, this helps to keep my site going. If it was not for these links, there would be no way to fund this site (and the cost these days to keep it going is pretty damn high), so I thank you in advance if you visit these links. I thank you more if you make a purchase! I have nifty search bars at the upper right of each page so you easily search for something at either store! I currently spend 10-14 hours a day working on this site and the only way that I can pay for it is with your help, so thank you! Currently my traffic has been increasing but my funds to pay for the site has been decreasing, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Even if  you buy baby food, napkins or toothpicks at Amazon it helps this site, and you do not pay anything extra by using the links here. Again, you pay nothing extra by using my links, it is just a way to help support this site, so again, I thank you in advance :) More info is here on how you can help! If you enjoyed this article/review, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page and also be sure to join me on twitter, my facebook fan page and now GOOGLE +

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