September 17, 2014, 07:41:40 PM

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Topics - ahsanford

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Lenses / Canon EF 16-35 F/4L IS -- Reviews are trickling in...
« on: June 26, 2014, 02:34:50 PM »
And Bryan Carnathan at TDP is first:

Please post links to any reviews that you see on this thread.  My rental of this lens just arrived -- can't wait to put it through it's paces this weekend.

- A

Lenses / EF 16-35 F/4L IS corner samples & comparison
« on: June 22, 2014, 03:26:21 PM »

From Phil Aynsley at, we have some corner comparisons of the new EF 16-35 F/4L IS against the EF 16-35 F/2.8L II and the TS-E 17mm F/4L:

Hardly a comprehensive look, but it's clearly showing some corner improvement over prior lenses.

- A

Hey all,

PZ finally got to testing the Sigma 50 Art, but for some odd reason their first review is on APS-C and not FF.  I expect that to be remedied soon, but here are the crop results:

Shockingly, they found it to not suck to a very high degree.  Stellar resolution numbers on their test rig (a 50D, I believe).

They did flag a small focus shift when stopping down, though -- that's the first I've heard of this.

But FYI on another highly satisfied reviewer with the 50 Art.

- A

Lenses / New EF 16-35mm F/4L IS lens hands-on video and still samples
« on: June 11, 2014, 12:16:02 PM »

FYI for those eager to see the new 16-35 F/4L IS -- a short hands-on video and some sample shots are here:

Most important thing I learned (see 1:30 in the video):

It's internal zooming/focusing if you define that as nothing protrudes past the filter ring of the lens.  But there is no front element that covers the entire lens, so that zooming motion leaves a sliding surface that is exposed to the elements.  If you've shot a 50L, the relationship is similar (but obviously being a prime, that sliding is a focusing motion and not a zooming motion). 

For me, that's technically internal zooming/focusing for length but not for access to dust/moisture;  with (say) a 70-200 lens, that zooming motion is entirely captured behind a front element, which I have to say gives me a little more peace of mind when shooting in the elements.

Yes, normally I would UV or CPL this lens for handheld use anyway, but with an ND grad setup that you use right on the lens, this could be a potential for dust/moisture to get into the lens.  Seaside landscape shooters -- do you care about this?  (I never bought an ultrawide since I moved to FF, so I don't know if this is similar to the 16-35 F/2.8L or 17-40 F/4L and you've been coping with this limitation for a while anyway...)

He also goes on to say IS doesn't do much in wide angles... for video.  [Cue drum fill.]  If it gives me 3-4 more stops of handholdability in low light for my stills, this lens will be golden IMHO.

Links to sample images are here:

- A


All, I am building a camera cabinet out of some CD/DVD storage filing cabinets:

So it's foam time now!

I'm of two minds with this, and I'd like everyone's thoughts:

1) I love camera bags' modular divider systems as I can rearrange things easily, but foaming and velcro-ing four 34" x 20" trays will take serious time.  I've seen rectangular foam inserts for satchel bags, but nothing this big -- Is anyone aware of a shortcut or pre-set kit that might help?

2) I also have seen folks get Pick n Pluck foam ( to build specialized cutouts that tightly hug gear.  As impressive as this looks, I don't think I need that level of protection for a home cabinet that will not be on wheels.   I'm also worried that Pick n Pluck is a one-time deal and I often like to rearrange the organization of my gear.  But talk me down -- has anyone used it?  What has your experience been?

3) Is there another option that might work?

Also, I was thinking a relatively thin (1/4") neoprene/foam mat on the floor of each tray -- one big sheet across the entire shelf that the dividers would subsequently go on top of.  Can people recommend a good material for this?  (I know that seems like very little bottom padding, but the real threat to the gear is side to side motion with a jarring opening or closing, right?) 


Software & Accessories / Recommended storage for gear in your home
« on: June 01, 2014, 05:13:31 PM »

I'm at the point where I can't get all my gear into my biggest bag any longer, I'm always playing the 'bag game' before each shoot.  This entails shuffling my gear amongst my various bags until I have what I need in one bag and then I'm off.  Further, everything is tucked away super efficiently, but that's a pain to move from one bag to the next.

So rather than buying a bigger bag, I thought I'd get a large storage solution for my home.

I am looking for a home storage solution that:
  • Will sit in a dedicated place in my office as if it were a piece of furniture or office storage.
  • Requires no major unstacking, lifting out of dividers, deconstruction, etc. to get gear out.  My office is fairly crowded and I don't want to unstack a few tubs or cases to get at a particular piece of gear.
  • Note:  this storage solution will never been in sunny, rainy, dusty or humid environments -- it will 100% of the time be indoors.

I'm basically looking for a large tool box for camera gear.  I have in my mind something not unlike a Craftsman tool chest that has numerous drawers to slide out and access various lenses, accessories, etc.

Pelican immediately came to mind, but I'm generally seeing 'tackle boxes'/foot-locker designs and not a quick-access set of drawers like in an office filing cabinet.

Have any recommendations that might fit the bill?


EOS Bodies / Canon + Fuji Mirrorless Rumor?
« on: May 23, 2014, 12:20:38 PM »
This very site posted this...

...then took down the link from the main page and the forum link to discussion on it.

Did someone ask them to take it down?   ::) 

(I highly doubt it, but I thought I'd put it out there.  Whoever conjured up this decidedly wild rumor to CR1 status is undoubtedly high-fiving him/herself right now.)

- A

Third Party Manufacturers / New Nikon D800s... Why?
« on: May 21, 2014, 02:53:33 PM »
Just saw this link going around the rumor sites:

And I had a question.  Why does Canon employ a longer lifecycle on the more flagship bodies like the 1D, 5D, 7D, etc. (in fairness, usually with larger functional upgrades when they do rev those designs) when Nikon seems to put out somewhat watered down upgrades on a more regular basis? 

I've been reviewing Northlight's nice release timeline ( and it looks like other than the D300S line, Nikon's been releasing the more premium bodies at a pretty steady 2-3 year clip while Canon guys are on a 3-5 year cycle.

I'm not calling one company's approach better than the other -- I was just curious.  Why rev the D800 at this point in time?  Is it deemed in desperate need of an upgrade compared to the 5D3 right now?  A big AF upgrade would be great for Nikon users, but why not wait until the next super-duper FF sensor rolls out and make a bigger splash then?

- A

Lenses / POLL: Why everyone reeeeeally wants a 14-24 F/2.8L lens
« on: May 14, 2014, 03:03:40 AM »
Just curious what the true need is for those clamoring for a 14-24.  Is it to have a wide zoom as sharp as Nikon's legendary lens, or is it there something very important about that specific 14-24 FL?

In this poll, you can't have both.  If you had to choose one over the other, which would you take?

- A

Lenses / Sigma 24mm F/1.4 Art lens is apparently in the works!
« on: April 22, 2014, 05:33:55 PM »

The Sigma Art sharpness train keeps on rolling:

And you can't blame them.  That's another fast Canon prime that's only sharp in the center wide open (see graphic from photozone). 

Sorry for those pining for an 85 Art, but at least according to Photo Rumors, the 24 Art is next.

- A

Lenses / Canon teaser for 4/24 announcement -- new fast prime?
« on: April 21, 2014, 08:59:02 PM »

Check it out:

I have no idea how Photo Rumors came to the conclusion that it's a fast prime, but FYI regardless.

I'll be the first to say that this would be a great time to unveil the non-L 50mm F/nooneknows IS lens before everyone gives their ducats to Sigma.   :P

- A

Bryan Carnathan's most excellent TDP website has posted a very nice head to head of IQ of the Sigma 50 Art against 7 similar focal length primes, including the Canon L, Canon 50 1.4 and the Zeiss Otus:

His IQ comparisons are fun if you haven't used them before.  You mouseover the sample shot and the arrow indicator flips to show what image is being shown.  You can change the aperture and see what changes, and he'll eventually even run the same test on crop body (note: he only has FF data on the new Sigma 50 right now). 

By my eyes on these sample shots, the new Sigma Art thoroughly trounces the Canon 50L (as expected) and the Canon 50 F/1.4 (though it's pretty similar after F/4 or so).  The Zeiss, to me, looks sharper wide open, esp. in the corners.  Maybe that's what +$3k buys for you.  :P

Of course, this is not the end-all be-all for a lens review.  I'm sure Bryan will write quite an opus on this one in the next week or two.

But it's looking good.  Have at it and see for yourself!

- A


with all the great Canon Store refurb deals doing on of late, I thought about picking up the 135 F/2L.  With the sale, it would be $696 including shipping, which is a terrific deal.

That lens has a stellar reputation:  this forum and the tests/reviews I've read agree that this lens is an impressive performer.

My only pause in snatching one up is that I already own the stellar 70-200 F/2.8L IS II, and I have to wonder.  Is being one stop quicker really that valuable?  Is the bokeh that magical?  Is it that extra-bit sharper over one of the sharpest zooms made?

Thoughts?  Knowing that I have the 70-200, if I picked the 135 up, would it just sit in my bag for dedicated portraiture work?

If it helps with your answer: 
  • Besides the 70-200, I use a 5D3 with a 24-70 F/4 IS, 28 F/2.8 IS, 40 F/2.8, 50 F/1.4, 100 F/2.8L IS and a 2x T/C.
  • Enthusiast only -- not a pro.

I appreciate the guidance!

- A

Lenses / Poll: How good do you think the Sigma 50 F/1.4 Art will be?
« on: March 21, 2014, 09:23:05 PM »

Odd ranking categories to be fair, but they were the best I could run out quickly.  Given the hype & Sigma's recent track record, I've not offered the possibility that the lens is a dud.

Take 'performance' to mean whatever you choose.  I realize that comparing AF and MF lenses together is impossible given that some folks *must* have AF, but indulge me.

Curious to see how this comes out.  Thanks for voting.

- A

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