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Messages - TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Here's one more example using this technique.   

When the Sky Rolled Back by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

P.S.  I was just told that this lens won't actually hit the market until the end of the year.  I may get one a bit early for testing, but this isn't a "just around the corner" kind of announcement.

It's probably a good idea that they limited the focal length to a 2x time zoom ratio (although we're all greedy for more).  That should allow them to focus on killer optics (and hopefully low distortion).  This could be a real winner for wedding photographers!

I was excited at first, but I really like the extra 5mm at 35mm and the bulbous front that precludes (or makes it a a pain to use) filters is a non-starter for me.  I am very happy with my 16-35 f/4 IS and after taking some shots in really dim lighting the other night, I realize I don't miss f/2.8 all that much.

The bulbous front element is definitely the buzzkill here.

Landscape / Re: Beautiful sunsets
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:43:18 AM »
Does a sunrise break all of the rules?

When the Sky Rolled Back by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 12, 2014, 09:41:04 AM »
DXO can score this however they want, but when they say things like this: "The new Otus 85mm is without question the most desirable and best performing 85mm portrait lens available" I have no desire to continue reading what they are selling.

What are they smoking?  I still haven't figured out what use case there is for this lens.  You can't hand hold this lens for closer portraits wide open.  You can't.  Not while focusing manually. 

What am I missing?  Why is this the Most Desirable and Best performing 85mm?
We did shoot f1.4 portraits back in the old days, where no AF was available. I had the first 50mm f1.2L lens and have lots of good shots with it, wide open.

A major part of being a photographer then was to practice your manual focusing skills. People were also shooting all kinds of sports and wildlife at the time. Very few (if any) shot f1.4 though, but you still had to handle the movement issues. So adding a precision focusing screen to your camera (I use Ec-S on my 1DX), you can clearly shoot portraits handheld with this lens. But you have to practice quite a bit to master it. If you pick up these manual lenses only once every now and then, I agree, you will not make it. I have lots of close portraits taken with the Otus 55mm at f1.4 (and the Zeiss 135mm at f2.0), where focus is exactly where I want it, so I imagine I will be able to do it with the 85mm also.

So are you saying that a well practiced manual focusing photographer could use this lens as an effective portrait lens in close quarters wide open?  What do you think the keeper rate would be hand held?  What percentage of those keepers would use to the fullest extent this very expensive glass?  I think it would be disappointingly low.
One of the first posts here had a link to some real world examples, I even went to the flickr site referenced.  Guess what? No portraits.  Some beautiful photos, but no portraits.

In the past photographers practiced their manual focusing.  Nowdays it is the videographers out trying to perfect this skill.

I agree that this lens could have a place, but my real gripe was with DXO, who doesn't seem to understand the lens other than by its stats.

Shooting portraits wide open manually is not quite as hard as you think, particularly since Zeiss lenses do have focus confirm (which is pretty accurate).  It takes some practice, yes, but better a manual focus lens than one with erratic AF.

This is an interesting approach, although the lack of a price announcement  indicates that these lenses may be a little ways off.  I would guess that one is going to be priced to try to take some of the market from the Tamron 150-600, while the other will be priced more high end.

What I can't really determine from these announcements is where these two lenses really differentiate themselves.  It's not in the specs, per se.  I would assume that one has superior optics along with a more robust build quality.

You've got to give credit to Sigma (and Tamron) for really shaking up the market the past couple of years.  The most exciting lenses released have not been from first party.  Canon's Photokina this year is really underwhelming.  It's a shame, because the lenses they have been producing (though expensive and far between) have been particularly stellar.

I have never purchased a non-canon lens, but I must admit I am interested in this one. Looking forward to the reviews.

I once only owned Canon lenses.  I now have three Tamrons and a Sigma.  Both are doing great things at a great price, compared  to Canon.

That's my story, too. I've even got a Rokinon thrown in there now and am considering keeping the 12mm f/2 Rokinon in the EOS M mount that I am testing right now.

I had a head's up that this was coming, and I can't wait to get my hands on one.  I'm currently testing the 16-35mm f/4L IS, so I have a pretty good frame of reference.  I'm hoping Tamron can get me one before I return the Canon 16-35L so I can compare them head to head.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 04:53:41 PM »
Has anyone noticed that the 'true' max apertures as indicate by the Tstop is nowhere near the manufacturers claim? The Zeis is closer to a f1.8 lens than f1.4 and the rest fare no better....

T value is not aperture value, an f1.4 lens is a "true" f1.4 if the apparent aperture diameter is focal length divided by 1.4. The T value relates to actual light transmission and is pretty much irrelevant with TTL metering stills cameras.

Aperture value is always lower than T (transmission) value because however good the glass is you always lose some.

Quite a few of the latest EF lenses do seem to have a T value that is the same as the aperture: the 24-70 IS, 40 pancake, 24/28/35 IS primes. These are all slower lenses but it does look like Canon are achieving a very high light transmission efficiency - you know - to make up for the sensor.........

LOL - but a solid point, and part of why I was surprised that the T-stop lagged so much with the Otus 85.  I raised the point in my 35IS review that the light transmission between the Sigma 1.4Art and the 35IS wasn't all that big.  The 35IS feels like it has a wider aperture than f/2 (although it actually just REALLY has an f/2 aperture, instead of a f/2.3 or such.)

It's probably just me, but I wasn't blown away by the images in the video.  Maybe I am now just jaded.

I know what you mean.  Several of them seemed really underexposed, but the crops certainly showed the great detail rendering.

Lenses / Re: DXOMark Reviews Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4
« on: September 10, 2014, 03:44:51 PM »
I'm actually surprised by the light transmission issue here.  The front element on the Otus is HUGE (86mm, if I recall).  I would expect light transmission to be better.

Still, watching this video makes it clear how HUGE of a difference there is in microcontrast with this lens:

Where I reviewed the Zeiss Sonnar T 135/2, it literally destroyed my beloved 135L in this regard.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
« on: September 09, 2014, 11:24:39 AM »
I'm currently in the processing of reviewing this lens.  There's not much to criticize; it's pretty great!

Late Summer Bliss by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Here's another example created with this blending process:

Late Summer Bliss by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Not sure which version of photoshop you're using, but certainly on CS6 I'm finding that the stitching is as good as, if not better than, PTGui pro.

You're certainly right about the need to still B&B despite the likes of Exmor, just need to write it in really BIG letters.

I'm using the most recent version of Photoshop, which is CC 2014 edition.

I was really impressed when I moved to the 6D by the ability to pull shadows (and to a lesser extent, recover highlights), but there are still a lot of scenes that require far more dynamic range than what current sensors are capable of recording in a single exposure.

Thanks, Dustin. Looks helpful.

My pleasure.  It was really helpful to me when I learned the workflow.  I like using luminosity masks, too, but that can be a very time consuming process.

This is about a six minute video tutorial on how to easily blend multiple exposures into first a 32bit HDR, tone it in Adobe Camera Raw, and then convert it into a fully editable 16B file with the full range of the blended exposures.  Easy to use, and now that the there is the "Photography" option for Creative Cloud it is also a very reasonable way to get high end landscape imagery.

The link to the brief article and video tutorial is here:

Here is the image that we blend in the tutorial with no processing other the blend of three exposures:

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