October 24, 2014, 03:10:05 PM

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Messages - TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Hello everyone,

My newest review, the Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS for Mirrorless systems, has just gone live.  I would be delighted for you to help me get the news out.  I liked this little wide angle option so much that I added it to my own kit.  I tested it on an EOS M body, but my observations cover the other mirrorless systems that this lens is available for.

The written review is here:  http://bit.ly/1uEJNwl
The video review is here:  http://bit.ly/1otFd7L

Both have a lot of sample images and real world observations.  The written review also has linkage a gallery with a lot of images, including some full size samples for download.  Take a look!

Lens Image Gallery:  http://dustinabbott.net/2014/10/rokinon-12mm-f2-ncs-lens-gallery/

My Conclusion:  In summation, this lens is (at least to me) one of the most exciting options available in the EF-M mount. It is a lens well situated for producing some “WOW” pictures from this compact system (along with the other camera systems that it is produced for). It has a very nice build quality, well-functioning manual controls, and has exceptional image quality even wide open. It’s a great focal length, has great color rendition, and is a lot of fun to use. It’s greatest challenge is that Canon makes a great compact wide angle zoom that has AF, IS, and costs no more. But it’s greatest asset is a fully usable f/2 aperture that is 2+ stops faster than the Canon zoom. That made the difference for me; I added this lens to my own kit at the end of the review period. It really boils down to your own personal priorities. The good news: I don’t think you can really make a bad choice here. Just be prepared to do your own focusing if you choose the Rokinon.

Partly Sunny by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Here's a 600mm shot wide open that I took yesterday.

Gone Away... by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

The lens is great - I just don't do a lot of this style of photography (or even particularly enjoy it).

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: October 21, 2014, 04:31:36 PM »

My old beat up Soviet era Helios 44-2 rarely disappoints me.  It looks like garbage but takes amazing pictures:

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: SMC Takumar Lenses
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:20:12 AM »
Here's a selfie taken with a Super Tak 50mm f/1.4 and a 60D (used the 60D's articulating screen to watch focus.) The detail rendered in the skin is pretty amazing!

The Man with the Scarf by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

150mm Super Tak

Fade to Memory (Explored August 14th, 2012) by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

55mm f/1.8
Gathering Dust - Explored January 30th, 2012 by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

28mm f/3.5

Cold as Ice by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

I could share images from these lenses all day - they are still amazingly competent.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: SMC Takumar Lenses
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:13:48 AM »
I've taken a lot of photos over the years with Takumars.  The 50mm f/1.4 is also a winner, as is the 28mm f/3.5.

The 150mm f/4 is a very nice compact telephoto option that is actually a really great portrait lens.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon Announces CN20x50 Cine-Servo Ultra Zoom Lens
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:12:01 AM »
Sounds amazing...but I can only image what this puppy is going to cost.  More than my car, I suspect.

Probably a few of you have visited my site before to read reviews, but anyway:  www.dustinabbott.net.  There are plenty of links there that lead to the other places my work is shared.

Reviews / Re: Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Review (EOS M and NEX)
« on: October 10, 2014, 11:32:59 AM »
Thanks for the review, Dustin!  It would be nice to see a comparison versus the EF-M 55-200 if you get the chance.  Granted it's not sold natively in the US, but sourcing it from Canada is easy enough.  It is interesting how quickly the Tamron gets to f/5.6 (near 50mm) and see how that stacks up against Canon's 55-200.  Given how small the EF-M 18-55 is, carrying an extra lens for the M system is not as large a penalty compared to FF.

I tried to get Henry's in Canada to send me one.  I have written an article for them before, but they have had a big turnover and the new contact that "my guy" got me never returned my email.  I agree completely that this is the logical comparison, though.  If status quo ever changes with Henry's I'll definitely do a comparison.

EOS-M / Posted: Tamron 18-200mm VC for EOS M Review
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:58:32 AM »
Hello all.  This is a very interesting option for M owners because it provides both reasonable tele performance along with a truly all-in-one solution that is very portable (though the lens is on the large side for an EOS M).

The review post/links are here:  http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=23194.0

There is a written review, video review, and image gallery with some full size samples.

You can also go straight to the review site that has all of those links: 

P.S.  I will be going live with the Rokinon 12mm f/2 lens in the next week or so.  #catoutofthebag - I liked it so much that I bought it and added it to my kit.

Reviews / Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC Review (EOS M and NEX)
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:52:57 AM »
Here is a new review of the Tamron 18-200 VC for mirrorless bodies.  I was pretty impressed with this lens other than the fact that it is a bit on the large side for the tiny bodies it is mounting too.  I’ve done both a written review:


A video review:


And a lens image gallery with some samples/full size images for download:


For those of you with either an M or a NEX, this is a pretty compelling choice because the IQ is very good.  It makes for a really convenient all in one package or something to bring along to compliment a more focused DSLR setup (with primes, etc...)

The Moira River by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Dustin, very effective use of the 14mm FL, nice compositions. Thanks for sharing. I find 14 mm challenging on FF cameras.

Filters are very expensive.  I actually enjoying using the 14mm focal length as I find it very dramatic.  It does require a completely different way of thinking in composition, though.

P.S. Everyone:  I was out in the field with Camdiox filter.  Unlike the homemade solid ND filter I made (using LEE film), the Camdiox combined with the Samyang/Cokin ND grad produced a magenta cast.  Bummer.  It seems to be fine on it's own, but I really got it mostly to use in combination with the ND grad.  Something doesn't agree there.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM
« on: October 09, 2014, 10:56:19 AM »
This lens remains one of my absolute favorites.  It doubles as a relatively easy to pack along, super sturdy landscape lens:

Valley of Autumn by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

It's color reproduction always impresses...

Always hitting us with really good (and much needed) reviews, thank you for that!

And awesome tie :P

Thanks!  Here's one more example:  I did the light painting and everything in a single frame - this is unedited, SOOC.  It can really produce dynamic images.

Rain Keeps Fallin' on My Head by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Thanks for the review, Dustin. :)

I'm on the market for a wide angle landscape lens that could double as an astro/starscape lens, and this filter holder would make the Samyang 14/2.8 a great candidate for it. Do you have any info about the pricing? I saw some for sale in Italy on ebay at 229€, which i think is just too much for just the filter holder.

Wow - that price is way too high for just the filter holder.  If you are in Italy, you might want to consider taking a look at the UK site - http://www.samyang-lens.co.uk/samyang-sfh-14-filter-holder.html.  It is under 30 pounds for the filter holder.  This is the solid ND filter that I just got for the system:  http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Camdiox-165mm-Neutral-Density-ND8-Filter-3-stops-for-Samyang-160-Hitech-Lee-165-/400777816095?pt=Camera_Filters&hash=item5d5038281f.  I see from the box that they also make a ND16 (which might be even more valuable), but I haven't see one on Ebay yet. 

Distribution is really weak for this system, but it is very effective.  The ND grad is the single biggest deal to me.  Here's another single frame shot that I just took with the system that I have literally given only a one click processing to up the contrast and saturation a bit.

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