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Topics - wearle

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Landscape / Geminid Meteor Shower Composites
« on: January 06, 2015, 01:28:05 AM »
To all,

Here are four Geminid Meteor Shower composites I created from two nights of imaging. They were taken on the nights of December 13th and 14th.  I took approximately 5500 images using four cameras.  I used two 5D2, one 5D3, and one 1DX.  I rented the 5D3 and a Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 lens. 

The first composite was created from 18 images. Each image was a 60 second exposure at ISO 3200 unguided on a German equatorial mount. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D2 with a Canon 14mm f/2.8L lens stopped down to f/4.0.  Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.

The second composite was created from 24 images. Each image was 20 or 25 seconds at ISO 5000 on a fixed tripod. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D3 with a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L lens stopped down to f/4.5. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.

The third composite was created from 18 images. Each image was 20 or 25 seconds at ISO 5000 on a fixed tripod. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D3 with a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L lens stopped down to f/4.5. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.  There was a very faint aurora that began just after moonrise.  I could not see it visually, but the camera easily picked it up.  Since the underlying image was taken after moonrise and later in the night, I had to remove some of the meteors from the second composite since they were outside the field of view; however, I was also able to add a few new ones.

The final composite was created from 30 images. Each image was 30 seconds at ISO 6400 on a fixed tripod. The camera was a Canon 1DX using a Canon 8-15mm f/4.0L lens at approximately 8.5mm with an aperture set to wide-open. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.  The crescent Moon had just risen, illuminating the underside of the cloud feature in the east. The shadowed feature at the bottom is a bird house.

Thanks for looking,


Lenses / Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Request for Samples
« on: February 04, 2014, 02:09:53 AM »
To all,

I'm still trying to figure out if I got a lemon.  I have received it back from Canon repair, and they replaced the G3 assembly.  It is much better than what it was but my Canon 24mm f/1.4L outperforms it from f/2.2 onward.  I would consider my Canon 24mm f/1.4L lens to be average.  Since I only have one other sample (a rental) of what the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens can do, I really have know idea what to expect of this lens.  The rental was awesome.  It was sharp throughout the field of view. 

Would it be possible for the owners of this lens to send me high resolution images of a landscape or cityscape showing what this lens can do under the following conditions:

  • Focused at infinity
  • Shift and tilt set to zero position
  • Camera level to ground (i.e. no tilt)
  • One image taken at f/4.0
  • Final image taken at f/8.0

You can send me E-mail privately or a link on this thread. Basically, all my images taken with this lens are somewhat soft near the center edges and progressively get worse in the corners.  At this time, I would estimate the "sharp" area of coverage to be a 30mm circle around the center. 

You can either post JPEG images of 100 percent crops of the center sides or privately E-mail me a high resolution JPEG full image.   Please no masterpieces, just test shots that aren't worth a dime.  :)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Lenses / TS-E 24mm Poor Performance - Take 2
« on: January 17, 2014, 09:56:25 PM »
To all,

I appreciate all your comments in the last post.   

I went back to the hill and took some daylight images.  Please, take a close look at the image below, especially the left-hand side.  I focused on the road near the center.  This would be considered infinity which is what the lens was indicating.  The lens has both the tilt and shift at the zero position.    There was no wind.  I used a sturdy tripod and a remote release.  Thoroughly looking over the image, I would have to say this is the worst performing lens I've ever seen.  Only a small area around the center is focused.  The left had side is horrendously out of focus.  At these distances, everything should be in sharp focus, except perhaps the closest few feet.  As mentioned before, focusing at infinity at f/4.0 with a 24mm should yield a plane of sharp focus from 16 feet to infinity.

I would love to here your comments based on this new image.

Emigrant hill non-shifted TS-E 24mm

Perhaps a lens element or two is out of alignment.  I don't know, but something is definitely wrong with it.



Lenses / TS-E 24mm Poor Performance
« on: January 16, 2014, 10:35:51 PM »
To all,

I rented this lens before I purchased it new.  The rental appears to be an excellent copy so I was hoping the one I purchased would be too; unfortunately, it was a disappointment compared to the rental.

I tested this lens using stars.  Stars are the toughest test for a lens, but they really show the lens' aberrations quite easily.  I would like your thoughts and opinions on this lens.  For example, is it a poor copy?  If so, what do you think is wrong with the lens (e.g. De-centered, field curvature, etc.)?  I have sent this lens to Canon for repair.  I felt it had a De-centering problem.  Upon return, the De-centering problem seems fixed, but now it seems to have a very bad field curvature problem.  I'm no optics expert so perhaps something else may be wrong with lens.   I plan on sending the lens back again with more data showing the problem I'm experiencing.  I have included several links showing the rental lens and how it compares to my lens at each stage.  The images are approximately 1.5 MB each.

I focused using LiveView with a 10X loupe using the belt stars of Orion near the center of the frame.  The stars are trailing slightly due to using a fixed tripod.

As mentioned before, I just can't imagine how a $2200 lens can perform so poorly, especially since it is designed to cover 67mm.  My TS-E 17mm is substantially better wide-open (see the last link).  It is possible I have too high of expectations for the TS-E 24mm or just have a very bad copy.  :-[

Rental non-shifted

Rental shifted 10 degrees

Purchased non-shifted

Purchased shifted 10 degrees

Purchased non-shifted "fixed"

Purchased shifted 10 degrees "fixed"

Purchased TS-E 17mm for comparison



Lenses / Focusing Problem with 600mm f/4.0L IS II with 1.4X Extender
« on: February 11, 2013, 09:31:57 PM »
To all,

I've been having a difficult time getting sharp images with the Canon EF 600mm f/4.0L IS II USM and the Canon 1.4x EF Extender II.  Basically, I shoot from my Toyota Tacoma with the lens/camera combination resting on a BLUBB (bean bag).  I turn the vehicle off while taking images.  I've tried where the focusing ring is on the bean bag and not on the bean bag.  Will the movement of the focus ring during AF impact the overall image quality?  That is, is the focus ring turned off during AF?  I've tried placing my hand over the tripod foot, over the hood and under the hood for added stability.  While looking through the view finder I find the had over the hood appears to work best.  I see very little if any movement during this phase.  I took around 600 images of the eagle, and saved only 17 marginally sharp images.  This is a terrible hit to miss ratio.  I have attached several images to show the common out of focus images.  What's really interesting is the strange catch light pattern in the eagle.

I've tried every AF combination and AF pattern available on the Canon 1Dx to no avail.

It is possible that the problem lies with me (i.e. poor technique); however, I've read several articles relating to  proper super-telephoto techniques and try following them as best I can.  If anybody lives near Pendleton, Oregon and is an expert at proper super-telephoto techniques, I would enjoy your company for an afternoon along the Foothills of the Blue Mountains.



Landscape / Geminids over Pendleton, Oregon
« on: December 16, 2012, 07:05:32 PM »
To all,

Mother Nature finally cooperated with the timing of an astronomical event.  It was mostly clear for the first half of the two nights of the Geminid meteor shower. I rented a Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 which, by the way, turns out to be one of the most awesome wide-angle lenses I've ever worked with.  You would not believe how well this lens is corrected, even in the corners.  I stopped it down slightly to f/3.5.  You can see some minor aberrations in the extreme corners; otherwise, it is very well corrected. The Carl Zeiss lens really puts the Canon 14mm f/2.8L lens to shame.

I extracted 31 meteors from thirty 25 second exposures.  Although the meteors occurred throughout the evening of December 13, the true radiant was derived from the underlying background image. It was definitely an excellent meteor shower. It was pretty chilly at 24 degrees with a 15-20 mph wind. There is fog and low clouds in the valley below obscuring most of the cities.

Thanks for looking,


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