*Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4 – Power, finesse, fashion and function. A user review…

Hello dear friends.  There has been no secret here on the bloggings, surrounding my desire to find the perfect 85mm lens.  It has become my own photo gear holy grail, and a fun journey it has been.  I’ve owned, sold, used, borrowed or rented at least a dozen different 85mm (or equivalent) lenses for a few different systems over my years.  It’s probably the single most fascinating focal length, for me.  The most popular classification for a lens of this focal length, is going to be portraiture.  It balances minimal distortion, with flattering spacial compression when working at traditional distances for portraits, and is a go to for many portrait photographers.  I do like a good portrait session, but a mid range tele lens like a nice, fast 85mm can offer much more than merely head and shoulder shots.  I want to look at this lens on its own at first.  How sharp is it?  Bokeh?  What kind of value does is present at its price point for a photographer like me, or you?  Later, I’ll be comparing this lens to a couple other fast portrait lenses that I have  here on the blog, but for now let’s see how this beautiful new Sigma Art lens stands on its own…

Continue reading

*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

P1050568

Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

Continue reading

*Using the Kipon EF to m4/3, smart adapter. Things are getting interesting w/ @adorama

kipon ef to m4/3 af adapter

The Kipon EF Lens to Micro 4/3 mount smart adapter is a fairly big deal.  Not just because it enables aperture adjustment for the electronically controlled EF line of lenses when adapted to a micro 4/3 camera body, but it has also bridged the proprietary technology to gain the use of full auto focus and lens based image stabilization capabilities.  Having followed a fairly similar path into the micro 4/3 world as I would imagine many others, I came from a long standing investment in the Canon system.  I still shoot my Canon full framers, and have compiled some very nice glass over the years that tends to sit on the shelf more often now that I shoot the micro 4/3 system.  I’ve been waiting for a solution to merge my two beloved systems, and Kipon has produced it.

Enter the new, Kipon EF>m4/3 Smart Adapter. Come on in for some insight and my experience over the last month…

Continue reading

*A weekend with the Canon EF 200-400 f/4 L IS USM zoom lens.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens

What a weekend.  Sore arms and shoulders and my eyes are still recovering from the sun glare off the water, this weekend found a large, North American regatta fall into our backyard.  As a sponsor of the regatta (representing two sponsoring companies) I was able to talk my way onto a customer and friend’s chase boat.  Of course, it provided me an opportunity to rent one of Canon’s super tele monster lenses, so that’s what I did.

C’mon in to see some shots and read my thoughts on the EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens…

Continue reading

*Sony 5 axis IBIS vs EF Lens Based IS vs Panasonic 2 axis IBIS Comparison

 

 

ibis vs ois

Stabilization.  A term that, before a handful of years ago meant “tripod,” or physical bracing technique, has grown to provide various hardware solutions within our camera system of choice.  We as consumers have been lucky to have stabilization options within most all digital camera systems, and while image stabilization isn’t going to remedy all problems, it is certainly a nice feature to have.  

I’m awaiting a new Panasonic GX8 to arrive within the next couple weeks which will boast a new, dual IS system incorporating both an on sensor IS and lens based IS solution, but before that time, I wanted to really see how the first full frame, 5 axis on sensor/in body image stabilization (IBIS) system from Sony compares to a very good lens based image stabilization (IS) system in the Canon EF lenses, and a better than often credited 2 axis IBIS system from Panasonic’s first foray into on sensor stabilization, in the GX7.

Come on in to see my three different comparisons between these three different offerings, and see if there is a clear winner.

Continue reading

*Lens by lens on the Sony a7II…

lens by lens on the sony a7ii This is purely a personal journey here.  A little retrospective look back at the last couple months to see what I’ve been getting out of the new Sony a7II  (Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera -Body Only- at B&H HERE).  I tend to spend a lot of time looking at specific things in regard to a lens or camera for the blog here, and I figured I’d compile a few shots from the combination of lenses I’ve been using.  I have mostly used my Canon EF mount lenses via the Metabones adapter (review on that HERE), but have recently acquired the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 because I felt the camera deserved to also be shot with a high quality native mount lens, plus I was curious to see how it handled this new, crazy feature all the kids talk about in auto focus. Click any image below to see a larger version, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. Less talk, more rock as it were.  Without further ado… Continue reading

*Sony a7II, a game changer? My take on Sony’s newest FF cam, a user review.

p1190748-version-2

I’ve been shooting with the Sony a7II full frame, 24 megapixel mirrorless camera for almost a month now, which has given me a bit of time to really get a feel for it.  I don’t like to review cameras that I’ve not had the ability to fire off a few thousand shots with, so I’ve been using this camera almost exclusively since I got it, and now feel a bit better about praising and lambasting Sony on a few points.  C’mon in for my initial thoughts, and a few performance based tests…

Continue reading