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Messages - TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Pricewatch Deals / Re: Deal: Exclusive Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Savings
« on: November 21, 2014, 07:02:10 PM »
Wow, that's fabulous to get a discount on this lens so soon after release.  My written review is just getting the finishing touches (it will go live next week), but my video review just went live for those of you debating whether or not to buy.

The video review can be seen on YouTube here:  http://bit.ly/1xXyVhf

Lighting / Re: R.I.P Metz Speedlites.
« on: November 20, 2014, 07:20:40 PM »
Very sad day for a strobist. One of the best makers of alternative speedlites is going under.

All demise reports on German online news only referred to them as a manufacturer of tv sets. Since Metz obviously didn't even manage to promote what they're manufacturing at all, the bankruptcy is no surprise :-\

For those who aren't intimate with German law: The current state of affairs doesn't mean the end of Metz, but simply states that they cannot pay their bills. Now an appointed expert will have a look what can be salvaged - so the flashes might very well be continued if they are expected to be profitable sooner or later (again).

Exactly.  My contact tells me that an administrator has been appointed to run the business for now.  I would be very surprised if they cease manufacturing altogether.  I just personally consolidated to  using their new 64 AF-1 flash units exclusively - they are fabulous, and have unparalleled power.

Reviews / Re: Samyang/Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Review (Text + Video)
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:37:17 AM »
Nice review.  With the Rokinoin costing about a 1/3 I would not expect the same performance as the Canon version.  But it seems workable at the smaller apertures. Like many things in photography, it is all a matter of compromise.

Thank you for posting your review.

You're right.  That's the bottom line...unless someone has really deep pockets.  I shot this vertorama (two frames) yesterday before returning the lens, and I think it did a pretty great job for something like this...but that was also using it in optimal conditions. 

I'm using the Zeiss Otus 85 a lot at the moment, and I love it, but it won't be going into my kit because I simply can't afford it.  That's real life...

Reviews / Re: Samyang/Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Review (Text + Video)
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:06:39 AM »
P.S.  I will be getting the 24mm f/2.8 pancake at some point in there, too.  No stock in yet.

Also queued for when stock is available:  400mm DOII and the unicorn.  At some point I will put the new Sigma 150-600 head to head with the Tamron, too.

Reviews / Samyang/Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift Review (Text + Video)
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:02:51 AM »
Hello, all.  I will be releasing a series of reviews over the next month or so.  Up first is the Samyang Rokinon 24mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift.

Text Review:  http://bit.ly/1xPLbAo
Video Review:  http://bit.ly/1qs5RPi
Sample Gallery:  http://bit.ly/1vsNH1N

Larch Season by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Reviews in the pipeline:  Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART (next week), Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T, Metz 64 AF-1 flash units, Vanguard ABEO Pro 283AT + GH-300T head, Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4, Canon 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 STM, and Zeiss 50mm f/2 Makro-Planar.

Here's another from the same outing.
Hello, Winter 2014 by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

Check out the fine detail in this wide open image.  This lens is just amazing!

The other unique thing about shooting landscapes wide open like this is that it produces almost a tilt/shift effect in the foreground (although more rounded).

Amazed at the ability to shoot landscape images at f/1.4.  These conditions would have produced soft images with lots of CA from most lenses.  This image has only had a RAW conversion.  I came home with a large number of such images that really blew my mind.  I was shooting in a snowstorm at f/1.4, and yet everything in the focal range is beautifully resolved.  No CA to be seen...

EOS Bodies / Re: A Real EOS M Replacement Coming Soon? [CR1]
« on: November 18, 2014, 10:00:07 AM »
I'm with those that think that some kind of EVF is important.  In many settings the LCD is fine, but as some have pointed out, in bright sunlight it's value is completely undone.  Furthermore, my reviewing of lenses longer than the 55mm limit that existed before have made me realize how difficult telephoto shooting is with a LCD only.  It is a jittery, imprecise experience.  The 55-200 STM and the Tamron 18-200 highlight the need for an EVF.

My other priority would be the DPAF.  That would help address the other issue shooting telephoto (AF speed and accuracy) and make the camera more well rounded. 

I am actually consistently impressed with the sensor on the M.  I recently used a 60D for a review and the RAW files out of the M were much cleaner than the 60D files.  I like the camera enough that I certainly would consider investing in a worthy upgrade.  I also think the lenses made so far for the system are "pro" enough - they just need to fill some of the holes in the lineup.  A true macro lens and a good 50mm would be a great start.

Lenses / Re: EF 35mm f/1.4L II to Finally Come as Well? [CR2]
« on: November 14, 2014, 06:36:21 PM »
I am completely satisfied by the 35IS at this focal length.  Beyond being sharp and having IS, there is one other HUGE quality - it is the most accurately focusing lens that I have used to date (and I have owned or reviewed something like 50+ lenses over the past few years).  It never misses.  I am currently reviewing the ART 50mm right now, and it is an excellent lens, but the focus accuracy of the 35IS is head and shoulders above it.

I agree with those who are looking for a 50mm equivalent of the 35IS. I'm not interested in my prime lenses being so big.  I often carry them to compliment zooms, and the Sigma 50 ART (although a very tempting lens) is actually longer and heavier than the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8.

I've got the Otus 85mm in hand for review right now - talk about a BIG, heavy prime!  Wow.

Here's a couple of other random images from the first bit of fooling around with it

Just because everyone needs to have a cat shot with a lens that costs $4500  ;D

My review copy arrived from Zeiss today.  I've only had a chance to shoot a few, but that focus ring is to die for.  So amazingly smooth and accurate.  Microcontrast on the lens is amazing.  It really renders the fine details like nothing I've seen...when it's focused!  I've softened the tone curve and desaturated a bit for the "look" here.

I've had the lens since about August 12th, here are some of the shots I've gotten from it with a 5d mkii.  It's not always the fastest focuser but I haven't really had any trouble with it back or front focusing.  Wish it was a bit sharper at 600mm but other than that it has been a great lens.

That is a beautiful series of images.  Very nice!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Portrait of your "Best friend"
« on: November 06, 2014, 03:32:43 PM »
Dirty but happy as can be.

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