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Messages - TWI by Dustin Abbott

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1
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:29:23 AM »
For the record, I disagree with the "Sigma is clinical" assessment. I've seen a lot of images that look wonderful from that lens. I lean towards the Canon mostly because they both look great and the price difference is significant.

From some of the images that I have seen posted on the web the out of focus or 'bokeh' of the Sigma has, on first impression, looked really good. However I think that the transition from in and out of focus is quite abrupt, at least when compared with the 35L. That lens has a proper ground glass aspherical element, and I do find that on lenses when this is used there is a more 'glassy' or 'liquid' quality to the out of focus area. I'm guessing that the Sigma is pretty highly corrected for chromatic aberration to get the sharpness, and I'm sure it doesn't use a ground glass aspherical element, and the out of focus is a little more 'plasticy'. ( I'm being really scientific here).

I wonder if this is what Dustin is relating to ?

The EF 35 IS will use a moulded element, but as with the other Canon mid range primes the bokeh transition is good. Pretty clever stuff for such a sharp lens.

You've expressed it better than what I could have.  The Sigma is unquestionably one of the finest lenses produced thus far in terms of absolute sharpness.  I personally would trade a little of that sharpness for a smoother transition into defocus, but that is a matter of preference.  I find the 35IS does this very nicely, and so it was my choice.

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Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:44:48 PM »
Reading your review for the third time. Seriously considering this lens. On my third read, you are starting to sound like a pirate  ;)

"The Sigma is incredibly sharp, but to me eye it seems like there is an imbalance between sharpness and “creaminess” in the defocused region."

Ayyyy, ye caught me, matey...

3
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 17, 2014, 08:29:08 AM »
Dustin,

As always, thanks for an awesome, down to earth review. You always get me thinking.

I will say I was a bit disappointed in your YouTube review. Not in the content, but in your voice! In my mind's ear, I assumed you would sound like you were off the set of Strange Brew (you are from Canada, right?) so this Southern Illinois accent you are sporting threw me off  ;D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZCI39NWZ5g

Seriously, thanks for the incredible effort I'm sure it took you to pull this off.

Oh, I do have a question. As a fellow 6D shooter, I am curious to know if, with available light, you use the other focus points outside of the center one. Do you ever find yourself locking in focus with the center and recomposing? Personally, I am embarrassed to say that I am just starting to experiment with my other focus points.

Southern Illinois?  That's interesting.  I was actually born in California, raised in Arizona, and have been in Ontario (Canada) for the last nearly 17 years.  Maybe all of that = Southern Illinois. :)

I do use the outer focus points at times.  I almost never have all point activated.  I primarily do use the center point and recompose, but I don't hesitate to use other focus points when I am shooting more deliberately. 

5
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 15, 2014, 08:39:55 AM »

Glorious Decay by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Very nice photo Dustin - I don't have experience with the Sigma 35 1.4 Art, but that photo looks pretty good to me!  However, I wonder if the Tamron 24-70 VC could have produced something pretty similar?  I don't believe my Sigma 24-70 2.8 could - it's just not that sharp at 2.8.

More than you might think.  You could achieve a similiarly shallow DOF by shooting near the minimum focus distance and zooming in to 70mm, but that would change the framing.  The 35mm is sharper (though the Tamron is no slouch).  The bokeh is also a bit softer with the prime. 

Still, I know what you are saying.  If you owned none of the options, I would say the Tamron is the most versatile tool, and I have been really pleased with my results from it.  I just enjoy primes, though, and I have enjoyed having the 35IS in addition to the Tamron.

6
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 13, 2014, 02:51:14 PM »
Another nice review by Dustin. I do like seeing what a lens can do when it's not just shooting a test chart!

My (very much unprofessional) $0.02 ... I currently have the 35IS and it's growing on me, but I'd call it a very nice lens rather than an amazing one. 

Perhaps my biggest reservation about the 35IS relates to the 40mm pancake.  Comparing them:
- my feeling is the 35IS is a little sharper, but there's not a whole lot in it
- my feeling is the 35IS has slightly better colour and contrast, but there's not a lot in it
- my thinking is the 35IS has slightly nicer bokeh, but there's not a whole lot in it
- the 35IS has noticeably faster and quieter AF - but that's not to say the pancake is bad in those respects, so query how much difference this is likely to make in practice (no doubt it depends in large part on what you're shooting)
- the 35IS feels more substantial and hence makes you think it may have better build quality - but I have no idea whether, in reality, the 35IS is likely to be any more durable.  (In this case I strongly suspect it is likely to be more durable than the pancake, but all the same I get sick of reading lens reviews which seem to equate weight with build quality, and conclude anything light weight is lesser quality.  Isn't that like saying something made of steel is always a higher build quality than something made of titanium or carbon fibre?)
- of course, the 35IS has a one stop aperture advantage (which you'd rather have than not), and IS (worth at least another 3 stops - which allows you the choice of longer shutter times or lower ISO)
- the 35IS has 67 filter thread, which means you may already have filters you can use on it (unlikely with the pancake)
- the extra 5 mm of width (in the focal length) is noticeable on the 35IS but again, it's not very different - and to the extent there is a difference, each has its pros and cons
- much better focus ring

Weighed against that, the 35IS is around 3x more expensive than the pancake, substantially larger and over 2.5x heavier (even if it still ranks as a relatively small and light lens in the bigger scheme of things).

So, my question remains about the value of the 35IS compared with the pancake.  The 35IS clearly offers more flexibility in that if you want to be able to handhold shots of still subjects in low light, the 35IS is way in front.  If you're subject is moving, the 35IS still has the advantage but the gap is much closer.  If you have enough light though, the 35IS's IQ advantage doesn't seem to be that great really, so if you're using it in well lit conditions, it's less clear to me whether that advantage is worth the extra cost/weight/size.

Put another way, and taking the position most people can hand hold a 35mm or 40mm lens at 1/60 second in most circumstances (noting the debate in one of the other message threads about whether 1/focal length is a suitable guide or if these days it's closer to 1/double the focal length, I'll use a compromise here), if you'll use the lens in circumstances where you want to handhold shots at shutter times longer than 1/60 second, the 35IS offers a clear advantage (and more so as you get into the 1/30 second range and longer).  Otherwise, though, you're paying quite a lot more for only extra stop of shallow depth of field ability, and a few other things which may be of limited practical value to some people (eg the better AF).

Even so, I'm enjoying shooting with the 35IS at the moment.  That could be just the "new toy" effect though - I'll see over the next few months how much use it gets.  I do agree though with person above who commented on how small the 6D becomes with the pancake on it - which is of value to me, given I tend to use this lens as a general walk around lens.

Dustin, if you have time, it would be great to hear your thoughts on what you see the 35IS adding to your kit compared with the 40 pancake, and also compared with your Tamron 24-70 VC.

I don't disagree with you whole line of logic here, which is the primary reason that I parted with the earlier version of the 35mm f/2.  It needed to be frequently stopped down to f/2.8 anyway, so the light advantage was diminished vs. the 40mm. 

Still, I do have all three lenses, and I find that the images from the 35IS are just enough "extra-special" that I prefer them.  Here is a guy that has used the 35IS both often and well:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/michael_kafka/.  His images, in part, sold me on the fact that the 35IS could do some special things.

Here's the thing:  zooms are tools.  I just got back from traveling out of the country to shoot a wedding.  I took two zooms of the f/2.8 variety (Tamrons, actually).  Both stabilized.  Between the two lenses I could shoot just about every shot imaginable.  The flexibility of a zoom means that you get the shots you need when the pressure is up.

But primes are fun.  I own primes because I love photography.  You take a little more time with a prime, and you have to think a little more, but you get images that remind you of why you love photography.  Unique images.  More creative images.  Right now at home we are slowly trudging out of winter and there isn't much to shoot.  But I can go out and shoot something simple like this old leaf, have fun processing it, and then share an image that a lot of people will like.  That is the joy of a prime lens.

Glorious Decay by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

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6D Sample Images / Re: Shooting in Namibia with the Canon EOS 6D
« on: April 13, 2014, 02:39:13 PM »
Some pretty images, Craig.  The 6D/70-300L is definitely part of my travel rotation.  Look forward to your return!

8
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 12, 2014, 09:42:28 AM »
Thanks Mac, I had noticed that too, it is on the press release I linked to earlier, I had just read through the whole thing and realised where some confusion might have arisen originally.

Like I said, I wasn't trying to make an issue of it, just pointing out a simple E&O.

P.S. How's that 1DX coming on? Notice much difference between it and the 5D MkIII files?

I've made some minor revisions.  Thanks for the feedback.

9
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 12, 2014, 07:34:28 AM »
Still no correction of the incorrect IS information though.........


Do a Google search of the lens + Hybrid IS and see what you find.  I understand what you are saying and it isn't a Hybrid IS system in the sense of the system on the 100L, but most review sources refer to the IS system in the lens as "Hybrid".  From FredMiranda, for example:

"The EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM Standard Prime Lens from Canon adds hybrid Image Stabilization (IS) to a rear focusing system and ring-type Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) for not only quick and quiet autofocus, but steadier shots in low-light conditions. Optimized lens coatings help ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting, and full-time access to manual focus is provided while in autofocus (AF) mode allowing you to quickly switch between the two as you need them."

I don't know why you are making such an issue of this, but hopefully this will help...


First, I don't see that mentioning it twice is "making such an issue".

Second, why do a Google search? Copy and pasting something that is wrong does not make it right. More confusing for many, Canon actually have a feature called Hybrid IS, but it is not on this lens.

Why not just look at the Canon press release? "Canon Standard Prime Lens with Optical Image Stabilizer: EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens"

The manual: You can use the Image Stabilizer in AF or MF mode

The Spec sheet: OIS box

I appreciate you are brand building, however propagating erroneous information is not a brand I would expect you to want.

The fact that you also misrepresented what the IS actually does in panning mode is also frustrating. Your reviews are very nice, your supporting images a very welcome break from the usual journalist churn it out rubbish that is so common. You know how to take a photo and you actually use the gear to its potential rather than write about what you are given with no enthusiasm or knowledge in the hopes of a promotion to the motoring division of a big publishing house.

That I am asking for simple errors to be corrected shouldn't be seen as a negative, I am trying to help and make your branding authoritative.


Thank you for explaining where you are coming from.  I can now appreciate what you are trying to say.  There are a few posters on this site that seem to love to attack me regardless of what I write.  I will further investigate both of your points and make changes if warranted.

10
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 11, 2014, 06:32:50 PM »
Still no correction of the incorrect IS information though.........

Do a Google search of the lens + Hybrid IS and see what you find.  I understand what you are saying and it isn't a Hybrid IS system in the sense of the system on the 100L, but most review sources refer to the IS system in the lens as "Hybrid".  From FredMiranda, for example:

"The EF 35mm f/2.0 IS USM Standard Prime Lens from Canon adds hybrid Image Stabilization (IS) to a rear focusing system and ring-type Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) for not only quick and quiet autofocus, but steadier shots in low-light conditions. Optimized lens coatings help ensure exceptional color balance while minimizing ghosting, and full-time access to manual focus is provided while in autofocus (AF) mode allowing you to quickly switch between the two as you need them."

I don't know why you are making such an issue of this, but hopefully this will help...

11
Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Available for Preorder
« on: April 11, 2014, 02:02:39 PM »
What I really want to see is images that show some of the "drawing" ability of the 50L.  That wonderful delineation.  I would also really like to see some shots that show the transition bokeh.  I don't ever get why so many early product shots from review sites (of large aperture primes) are of either scenics or large objects 10 feet or so from the lens.  Show us some nice portrait type shots or more artistic narrow DOF shots - you know, the kind of shots that people actually buy lenses like this to take!!

12
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:27:41 PM »
It was a difficult choice between the sigma and the canon for me

I really liked the canon and the IS but I decided for me the extra sharpness wide open and extra stop of light of the sigma was worth more, but that was when prices were equal with the big drop in price the canon is alot more appealing especially because its ALOT smaller and lighter.

And that is exactly why I do feel that Canon made a mistake with initial pricing.  There are those that argue that a high price for early adopters is the way to go and perfectly justifiable.  It may be justifiable, but it is also a mistake, IMO.  How many others like you would have purchased the Canon instead of the Sigma if the initial price had been $200-300 less for the Canon?  This excellent lens has had next to zero buzz because it was initially overpriced.  Contrast that with, say, the new Tamron 150-600mm, which has a waiting list of months everywhere in large part because it is a a good lens at an excellent price.  For that matter, look at the "shorty-forty".  It seems like it has ended up in just about everyone's bag (including my own).  Would that have been the case if it was even $100 more expensive?

I don't even use my 40mm very much, but I don't sell it because it represents such a small investment that it is worth hanging on to.

speaking of the tamron I've been using it a bit and the images I am getting from this lens are frigging amazing, did a zoo trip to shanghai zoo a few days ago with it. I would have posted images sooner however i have so many tack sharp images of lions, tigers etc that i'm having a hard time culling it, it's down to analysing slight facial variations of the animal to work out which ones i like best. Sorry to go OT but it was your review that made me jump onto the bleeding edge with this lens which is amazing because I was a confirmed tamron hater until this lens came out. :D

The last 5 Tamron lenses have all been great (70-300, 24-70, 70-200, 90mm macro, and 150-600).  My Tamron 24-70 is my most used lens, and when I travel it is my first choice.  I liked a few Tamron lenses previously (28-75mm and 17-50 f/2.8), but they were the "bargain choice".  The new Tamrons are competing on merit, much like several of the new Sigmas.  That's great news for consumers.

Glad you are enjoying yours!

13
Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 09:22:25 PM »
Dustin,

Did you have a chance to use the S35 personally?  I would have guessed the S35 would have been a better match to your 24-70 f/2.8 VC because the difference in aperture is greater.

The size/price advantages of the recent Canon IS lenses compared to their L counterparts are large, but I often wonder what is the point of the 24 and 28mm f/2.8 IS when the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC is priced near 1k.  It seems to me that Canon didn't think someone would deliver a 24-70 f/2.8 VC when it decided to design the new 24 and 28 mm lenses.  If Sigma sells its new 50mm f/1.4 for about 1k, I can see a Canon 50 f/1.8 IS meeting the same fate as the 35 f/2 IS because I don't think Canon would sell it for 300 or less.  If the price is 500 or more, most people would prefer to upgrade/get a better zoom than for a single focal length.

That was pretty much my same line of logic initially.  I didn't see a big advantage when I have the Tamron and like it so much.  Still, I have found that the images from the 35IS are pretty special, and 2) I do love primes.  There is something about them that stretches your creativity a bit more.  The size difference is enough that I frequently will take the 35 when going out for a walk.  I just got back from going out of the country to shoot a wedding, though, and I packed only two lenses - a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8.  It's hard to beat the flexibility of a zoom for event work.

14
I got a 44M-4 about a month ago along with a fotodiox adapter for my 5d mkii.  It does have mirror hang so I put a very thing rubber band in between the adapter and the lens.  The lens now doesn't focus to infinity but it does allow for a little bit closer focusing distance and stopped all the way down you can get everything in focus.  Love the lens so far but haven't gotten to use it to much yet, but I picked mine up for $10 with a body at a thrift shop, friend ended up wanting the body and gave me more then what I payed for the whole thing, so far I have made a profit on this lens without even selling a print!  Below are some fun shots with the cats eye bokeh.


Really fab shots.  Great examples of the unique character of the lens.  It is a special one to me!

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Reviews / Re: 35/2 IS Review by Dustin Abbott
« on: April 10, 2014, 10:28:06 AM »
It was a difficult choice between the sigma and the canon for me

I really liked the canon and the IS but I decided for me the extra sharpness wide open and extra stop of light of the sigma was worth more, but that was when prices were equal with the big drop in price the canon is alot more appealing especially because its ALOT smaller and lighter.

And that is exactly why I do feel that Canon made a mistake with initial pricing.  There are those that argue that a high price for early adopters is the way to go and perfectly justifiable.  It may be justifiable, but it is also a mistake, IMO.  How many others like you would have purchased the Canon instead of the Sigma if the initial price had been $200-300 less for the Canon?  This excellent lens has had next to zero buzz because it was initially overpriced.  Contrast that with, say, the new Tamron 150-600mm, which has a waiting list of months everywhere in large part because it is a a good lens at an excellent price.  For that matter, look at the "shorty-forty".  It seems like it has ended up in just about everyone's bag (including my own).  Would that have been the case if it was even $100 more expensive?

I don't even use my 40mm very much, but I don't sell it because it represents such a small investment that it is worth hanging on to.

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