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Messages - JVLphoto

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Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:18:02 PM »
The tokina still seems like the best WA out there, half the price of the 16-35 similar price to the 17-40 with a constant 2.8 aperture much sharper than both and nearly as sharp as the Nikon 14-24.

Shame like the Nikon it cannot take any filters which is where the 16-35mm wins. Also the Tokina Nikon and 16-35mm weight a fair amount more than the 17-40. Touch choice but the 16-35mm is a ridiculous price for its performance compared to the rest of the market.

Which tokina are you talking about? I was trying to specifically say "Canon" as in the brand. I've definitely been interested by the third party options but haven't had much chance to use them.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:16:35 PM »
"Canon’s current and undisputed king of wide-angle zooms is the 16-35 f/2.8 L II"

Canon branded? Yes. For use on Canon DSLR? No, sadly. The Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 on adaptor, maybe.

If I counted every lens and lens adapter out there my head would explode ;)

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:15:59 PM »
Is the 17-40 really a metal body? Mine appears to be engineering plastic as the main body with a metal zoom ring.

I didn't look anything up to make sure, it *feels* metal, like my 24-70, 70-200, 24 tilt shift and not plastic like the 100mm L... I could be wrong and I'd correct it in the review if we find otherwise.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
« on: September 09, 2013, 12:13:49 PM »

Thanks for a nice review.  I always enjoy reading these.

In the review:  "The lens focuses internally, but there is some movement at the front element which means true-weather proofing can only be achieved with an additional filter."

I understand the filter comment -- virtually all lenses require filters for true front-element weather sealing. 

But I thought the 17-40 was both internal focusing and internal zooming (like all the 70-200s are)... so why is the front element moving at all?  The sentence quoted above would imply that zooming moves the front element.

Please clarify, thanks.

- A

Hey yes, the front element moves in and out when zooming by about 5mm , but the filter ring is on the edge and is constant. And yes, pretty much every lens isn't truly weather sealed without that front filter (which I don't use), but I don't want people to be even *more* confused.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 100 f/2.8L IS Macro
« on: August 12, 2013, 08:37:43 AM »
I made a choice and since members have been kind enough to post some advises, I believe it is my duty to contribute in articulating my review of the lens (and choice).

I ended up buying the Canon 100L and not the Sigma 150mm.

+ Sharpness: excellent

+ Color and dynamic range: very good (though the tint seems to be a bit on the pink side, easily fixable in post-p)

+ Very versatile: great portrait lens (love the 100mm length / compression on a FF), interesting length for landscape photos (although I wished several times I had a zoom)

- Bokeh = barely decent. I wish it could provide the Bokeh quality of the Canon 50 1.4

- A bit short on a FF for tiny insect macro. By the way, to remedy this, could someone tell me what would be better a (series of) Tube(s) or an Extender x1.4 or x2 ?

- Autofocus seems a bit slow. But maybe I have a bad copy. And lately I have noticed I have an unsual low rate of keeper. Focus misses the mark - nothing is in sharp focus not only at 2.8 but even till 7.1 (and it's not shutter speed issue, neither an IS turned on issue). Not sure if it is an AFMA issue or if my 5D3 has a problem. My 5D3 does its job in terms of AF with the 17-40 but it was impossible to get more than a 2/10 keeper rate with the 50 1.4 that I ended up selling (same problem - nothing in focus).
I read some people ship their body + lens to canon to make sure everything is okay. Is this free of charge?

Thanks for reading.

That's not my experience with the lens at all - for enlarging insects you'll want an extension tube to be able to focus even closer (extenders would allow you to shoot from farther away, but not necessarily frame the insect better).

Focus could be an issue on the focus limiter switch? And I'll also note that f/2.8 on a macro photo is incredibly thin, and I wouldn't expect much to be in focus at that. Have you tried a live-view manual focus, with IS off, on a tripod just to be absolutely sure? If that doesn't work then yeah - best to send it in while it's still under warranty.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 50 f/1.2L
« on: July 24, 2013, 03:57:44 PM »
f1.6? Show us samples with f1.2... this picture could've been taken with a 50mm f1.4, too. We want to justify the 50mmL 1.2   ;D

It's hard to justify, that's the whole point I think - but build, and optics are *there* just not worth it for everyone. Read: People who aren't rich.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
« on: June 25, 2013, 10:26:14 PM »
Glenn argues that the 600mm gives 1.44x more magnification than the 500 (i.e. (600/500)^2) not 1.2 (600/500). But, is that relevant? The resolution of a lens, the most important factor, is a linear function of focal length, not of length squared. For example, a 600mm lens will give the same size image as a 500mm at 20% further away, not 44% further. When you use binoculars, you talk about x8 vs x10, i.e. the linear magnification, not x64 vs x100, the square. A 600mm lens would seem to me to be a 20% increase in reach, not 44%.

But isn't he talking about an increase in pixels on the subject, not reach? I'm not doing the math here (nor will I... nor do I really care) but the point he's trying to make is that the lowered minimum focus distance allows a drastic increase in the maximum magnification of the objects shot.  Helps when you have to crop down/print etc.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
« on: June 25, 2013, 10:23:04 PM »
But, does anyone use a super tele here and NOT take pictures of birds?

How about a squirrel?

EOS 1D X, EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/320 s, f/4, ISO 6400

Actually, it also makes a very nice indoor portrait lens.  For example, this one which was a handheld shot at 1/160 s:

That's a nice squirrel.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
« on: June 12, 2013, 12:25:50 AM »
It is more than a year after the the-digital-picture review for example and says less and gives less detail in more words. As for focal length, it says nothing about the performance with the 1.4x and 2xTCs, and doesn't even mention the latter. It says that one con is the weight, but it weighs far less than the 400, 500 and 600mm f/2.8 - f/4 primes and gives IQs not much worse than them with the TCs. The reviewer just doesn't realise that the high quality 300-600mm range in a relatively light package is what this lens is all about.

I have to say I somewhat agree with this. I was quite excited to see that a new review of this lens had been posted (though let's be honest we all know what the conclusion is going to be), and wow those pictures of the owls - amazing! But it was written (as he readily admits) by someone that does not really need, or use that focal length on a regular basis. This is a very expensive lens, though still much cheaper than 400 f/2.8 II, so really the amount of people who are "wondering" whether a 300 f/2.8 is what they need are going to be few and far between, as it is so specialised.

I think the reviewer would have been much better off writing about the 70-300L f/4.5-5.6 IS, because they are focal lengths where he seems to spend more of his time, and as it is much more affordable and versatile it has a much broader potential market base.

When I read it, I found this last part of the conclusion very interesting:

And while my curiosity was piqued, I think for the more specialized super-telephoto focal lengths, I should step aside and let someone else handle those reviews.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Reviews are tricky things and my favourites are tdp when it comes to lenses. I do think a lens review should only be written by someone that uses the focal length in question frequently rather than someone who is wondering about the extra reach.

I, for example, am saving for the 400 f/2.8 ii but of course have my eyes open for new reviews on the 300 (hey it's a lot cheaper) and the new 200-400 1.4x (but that is not f/2.8 so I doubt it is a realistic option).

Did I say I love the pictures of the owls! Awesome shots.

Yup, you'll find anything in that focal range covered by someone other than me... it took *that* lens to realize it, though, since I had been pretty good with everything up until then (including the Canon 200 f/2.0 L IS).  I'd love to have a look at Sigma's new 120-300 f/2.8 though, since, like I said, having the reach when necessary sure is handy.

Also, putting my money where my mouth is, I ended up buying a 1.4 teleconverter to have with me and stick onto my 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II.

Sorry the article didn't live up to your expectations, I struggled with it as it is, and you'll be in for a treat when the other telephoto reviews come in.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II
« on: June 12, 2013, 12:18:10 AM »
Thanks for the review. I notice that you use it as I do these days... With flash. It really does create a cool effect when used as fill in with such a wide lens.

You have that almost backwards, I shoot pretty much everything with flash, and figure out a lens to fill in the space  :P

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II
« on: June 12, 2013, 12:14:43 AM »
So i am looking for a lens to shoot group portraits. I have the canon t4i and will upgrade to full frame in the future. i shoot both indoor and out. so sometimes i have prob in low light. I like bokeh. so should i be getting the 17-40 or a prime lens like a 24mm? or the 16-35? or maybe should i get the 24-105 for handy dandy reasons? i want my first l lens .

Well, my recommendation for group portrait's wouldn't be to shoot them at f/2.8, since you may not get everyone in the shot in focus.  You'll certainly have more control over the depth of field with the 24mm f/1.4 but, again, not great for groups unless they're all lined-up along your focal plane.  You will likely never see a lick of nice bokeh with the 17-40, if you get something close at f/2.8 you will with the 16-35.

The 16-35 is the better of the two, and with higher ISO's being made available to us every day, the level of light a lens lets in is of less concern to me than if I can make the shot - whatever it may be.  Just remember how distorted objects (and people) become at the sides.  I don't think you can really go wrong with the 16-35 in your case, just be aware that just because you can shoot at f/2.8, doesn't mean you should.

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II
« on: June 12, 2013, 12:09:12 AM »
Well-balanced, real review. Thanks Justin. I also like how you throw in you personal biases (your 24 TSE sidebar), it let's us know your approach to shooting and why "you" may or may not like something about a lens.
It's interesting how we photographers all have our own needs, which evolve over time.
I've owned both lenses, 17-40mm & the 16-35mm (which I still own...but would kick to the curb if Canon ever delivers a 14-24mm like the Nikon! LOL!)....I only owned the 17-40mm for about 2 weeks (it was the 1st lens that I had purchased after my kit 24-105 that came on my 5DII).
The one thing that really bothered me immediately about the 17-40mm (something I feel that Justin missed), was the "short throw" on the wide end of the zoom ring..say from 17-24mm. There is almost no throw. It feels truncated and that when zooming to the wide end I had no latitude to adjust my field of view. That REALLY bother "me". The lens did not seem well-balanced because of that factor. Also, I found the softness at f/4 to be disappointing.  I ended up shipping the lens back to the seller for a full return of purchase price (something I have never done since with an L lens), and purchasing the 16-35mm L II. Although I gulped on the price, as Justin reports, I found it to be a better lens in every way and I never looked back, (my retirement fund may have,though  ).

Thanks!  I'll be writing my 17-40 f/4 L review next, and will definitely touch on those points in it.  Obviously, since it was my first lens ever, I definitely have had enough time with it!

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
« on: May 15, 2013, 11:31:29 PM »
If that was the purpose of your writing, then you should not have called it a review but should have chosen a more appropriate title.  As it was, you led the reader to expect far more than you delivered. If you called it "My first try with a 300mm lens", then I would not have complained. But the simple title "Review - " without any qualification raised anticipation to expect what wasn't there.

Ah Alan, I can't stay mad at you, I'm only arguing because you're right and I'm completely self conscious when I know something isn't great.

I have an extra level of respect for you after reading this: "That last sentence is opinionated twaddle from the Ken Rockwell school of creative writing."

On that too, we see eye-to-eye.

So, can you help out people who come to the forum here? Add your own thoughts and experiences with the 300mm f/2.8 L IS II - as someone who has truly put it through it's paces and have a level of expertise that many don't. Tell us what you think!

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
« on: May 15, 2013, 11:25:03 PM »
300mm 2.8 is beyond my pocket but am seriously thinking about the new Sigma 120-300 2.8 S. Would love to see a IQ comparison between the two. No doubt the 300 would be superior but for less than half the price of the 300 the zoom with my 2x III is probably the closest I would ever get to a fastish super tele.

I'd love to get my hands on the Sigma too. It presents an exciting value proposition to many of us who don't always need the 300mm length, but would like to have it when possible.

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