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Topics - Invertalon

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Lenses / My 24-70 II review... With photos!
« on: September 25, 2012, 01:36:47 AM »
I just wanted to write a little review on this lens, comparing with past lenses and being as honest and humble as I can be about this new Canon offering... I will throw in some pictures at the end taken this weekend at the Aviary... Click on the image to view at full resolution at my Flickr page.

When announced, I was really excited... But the lack of IS was a worry, especially for the price. Once reviews start coming in (mostly LensRentals article) it got me really intrigued, to say the least. I was able to find one at PC Nation on Thursday last week in stock (no pre-order) and had it overnighted to me. I got it Friday along with all my gear back from CPS for check/clean and calibration (great timing to say the least!). In case you are wondering, I am selling off my trusty 24-105L and the 35L I had to fund this lens.

Pulling it out of the box I was surprised at the weight, or lack of. After reading so many complaints about the weight and all that of the old one, although I knew they did weight reductions, I was really shocked to feel how light it was compared to what I was expecting. It honestly feels nearly identical to the 24-105L... No longer will weight be a factor for this lens, IMO.

Build quality is excellent, as you would expect. Very smooth focus ring and a very smooth, fluid zoom ring. Very well dampened with a slightly different feel than the 24-105L. The large use of plastics does not bother me one bit and it still feels very high quality. The zoom-lock is a very nice feature for me, as I generally walk with my lenses hanging downward. It does not 'cheapen' the lens one bit. It is actually a very nice feature.

The lens simply put, performs incredible. I was really not expecting it to be as good as it is! From 24mm to 70mm wide open, the level of detail and contrast is extremely impressive. Colors are beautifully rendered requiring very minimal post work. The images taken this weekend required less than 30 seconds of edit time each. Out of focus areas are extremely smooth and pleasing, even with busy backgrounds... Unlike the 70-200 II which can get 'harsh' and busy looking at times, this lens did not show this one bit. Backgrounds really melt away at longer focal lengths and near MFD at 24mm.

Compared to the 24-105, the images simply pop more, for one. Less distortion, much less CA (if not non-existent) and vignetting. Many images taken this weekend give a near 3D look you only get with amazing detail and microcontrast. I really enjoy the 24-105L, but it does not reach the type of detail this lens can render. In fact, compared to my 70-200 II, I find the 24-70 just as good, if not superior in terms of sharpness. I think the 24-70 II and 70-200 II combo will be my workhorse combo for many years to come, no doubt.

Edge sharpness is really good... An image at f/8 below shows the entire image and extreme 100% crops (photobucket compression here may lower the resolution a little... The rest are on Flickr)... Not the best image (poor actually, but the only one I had stopped down to show!).



I also found the lens to have probably the quickest AF I have used. Regardless of the light level, it zips right into place and locks on extremely fast. Even in very dark conditions it has no problem what so ever.

Overall, I am more than impressed with this lens. Even given the steep price point given the lack of IS, I don't think I will really miss it... The image quality alone makes you forget that one downfall this lens has. The prime IQ from 24mm to 70mm wide open is stunning, the build quality is top notch and the AF speed is extremely impressive...  There is nothing not to love about this lens (minus price for some). It has become my favorite lens in the very short time I have owned it. It just may top my "Canon's Best List" for those I have used, including the 35L, 85L, 135L, 300/400L and a few others. It really is that good.

6M3C0602 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0625 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0626 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0649 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0651 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0672 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0721 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0741 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0788 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0799 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0635 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0659 by invertalon, on Flickr

6M3C0719 by invertalon, on Flickr

EOS Bodies / Canon BG-E11 Grip Unboxing! Including Fitment Pictures
« on: May 24, 2012, 04:46:12 PM »
Got my grip today from Allen's Camera... This is the nicest grip Canon has released yet. Fitment is seamless. No play between the body/grip, feels great in the hand, buttons feel identical to main body. The joystick on the grip does sit farther away then on the body, so you have to do some muscle-memory relearning when switching to use the grip  ;D Makes the 5D3 feel extremely sold, I love it...  Same excellent soft grippy material as the body, the curves are a big improvement on the old boxy grips.

They did include a new carrying pouch for the extra battery magazine.

Very happy with the purchase though! I think it did deserve a price increase relative to the previous generation grips (5D2 grip was what, $240?)... I don't know if it was $100 more deserving, $50 may have been more fair... But either way, I am happy with my purchase.

Here are the pics!

IMG_0077 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0078 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0079 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0080 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0081 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0083 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0084 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0090 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0089 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0088 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0087 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0091 by invertalon, on Flickr

IMG_0085 by invertalon, on Flickr

EOS Bodies / Examples showing HTP working with RAW files - 5D III
« on: May 23, 2012, 11:36:13 AM »
In the Dpreview review, they claimed that HTP (highlight tone priority) also benefits the RAW files. The general consensus is that it only benefited JPEG's, but that looks to be proven incorrect.

I took a series of sample images to compare side by side. Here are a few examples:

First one...  This was AFTER I applied -100 whites and -100 recovery in LR4. Left side is HTP on, right is HTP off.

Untitled-1 by invertalon, on Flickr

Here is a second example. This is the RAW images, unaltered. Tripod mounted, live-view focused and manual mode taken within seconds of each other.

1 by invertalon, on Flickr

Now this after I applied -100 whites and -100 recovery. You can see some more detail retained on the left (on) side.

2 by invertalon, on Flickr

Finally, another area of the picture above on a blown out white house. This is after recovery of -100 whites and highlights. You can see more detail in the ON side.

3 by invertalon, on Flickr

So as you can see, HTP is giving more highlight headroom as Dpreview has claimed. No longer just for RAW files!

EOS Bodies / Weather Sealing: 5D3 vs. 5D2 vs. D800 Diagrams
« on: April 26, 2012, 11:13:17 AM »
I put together the weather-sealing diagrams from Canon and Nikon on these cameras and it looks like the 5D3 is more robustly sealed. The 5D3 is also quite a bit better then the 5D2 it replaces with a larger use of gaskets around many of the dials. Canon seems to have done well sealing this body for the elements. Both bodies look great though in general.

I notice the 5D3 has additional sealing in the top LCD, the mounting brackets for the camera strap, tripod mount, diopter adjustment wheel and two switches on the back of the D800 which lack any sealing (from these diagrams). Not sure of the function of these switches so I don't know if sealing would be required, but I am guessing they would be. But who knows :D

Just a little side by side comparison:

And the 5D2:

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