Archive for Tech stuff (tests etc)

Ljubljana marathon

Just an interesting face that “ran into me” during my testing of Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS. I wouldn’t even bother shooting such an event otherwise (although it was pretty interesting at the end).

Just fooling around with Oly E-PL1

And I also wrote a review that was published on slo-foto.net. All shots were taken with 17 2.8.

Oly EP-2 ART filters

Top shit!

Grainy BW:

Pin Hole:

Pin Hole and added contrast:

You’re going to be able to read all bout the camera in the full review, that’s going to be posted on slo-foto next week.

Sigma 10-20 f3.5 extra shots

Some of you may have read the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 review that I wrote and was published on slo-foto.net . What you couldn’t have seen is these extra photos that I’ve made with it a few weeks before I went to Barcelona to test it (not really to test it, this sounds more than just a bit weird, but I did also test it while exploring this exciting city). So here’s some eye pleasing shots that I’m posting for those few readers that still follow my blog (I know it’s totally my fault for loosing readers due to my neglection of blog).

A few of lens flare resistance test shots :P. I had so much focusing problems during this carwash that I wanted to slam the lens to the ground. I missed so many great moments, girls were really posing to me a few times. And I really don’t know why since it never happened before that nor after that. Focusing was actually pretty fast and accurate at all times and in all lighting conditions. I guess this lens can have big problems focusing against harsh backlight. Though the contrast at given AF point could have never been that low to cause so many problems. It seemed, at times, like I was trying to focus on a completely white wall.

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IMG_1790

IMG_1733-2

I really don’t know how I could have miscomposed and cut a part of such a perfectly round ass (well probably just because of that and lack of professionalism 😀 ). Such a shame!

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My first real attempt of panning. Not a great one, but I kind of like it.

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Sigma 50 1.4 DG HSM

I just got this, according to specs, jewel today. I didn’t to any serious shooting with it yet, I just took some comparison shots, so you can get a feel for the size. I put it side by side with my nifty fifty (Canon 50 1.8) and Canon 85 1.8. Sure, ideally I should use Canon 50 1.4 for comparison, but unfortunately it’s not at my disposal at the moment.

The built is standard EX, with HSM. It has a huge front element with 77 mm filter thread(note that its competitors have a size of 58 mm). This looks really promising, the image quality should be excellent. I can’t wait to try it out on a real session (I planed one for tomorrow, but the weather forecast looks rather bad), to see how it compares to the competition, especially in the f1.4-f2 range. I’ll make a test, which will be published on slo-foto.net and post some samples during the testing on my blog as well.

Here are the comparison shots. As you can see, the nifty fifty looks like a fucking joke compared to Sigma (so much smaller, with tiny glass elements and cheap plastic made along with the plastic mount). Compared to 85 1.8, Sigma is a bit shorter, but noticeably wider, with larger front element and similar rear element. Since I (as I mentioned before) regrettably didn’t have a Canon 50 1.4 to compare it with I can only give you this link to a post where I did a similar comparison with Canon 50 1.8 and Canon 50 1.4 – CLICK.

My 2 cents on Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85 1.4

If you’re one of my frequent readers, then you already know about the Sony alpha 300 kit that I’ve tested last week. The a300 review is already written and is just waiting to be proofreaded, so it’s hopefully going to be posted due tomorrow on slo-foto. In this post I’m going to focus on one of the crown jewels of the Sony lens lineup . I’m not going to draw any concrete conclusions, since that would be very unwise after just five days of mostly bad weather testing, along with two other lenses. I’ll just post some samples and write my thought about various aspects of this lens.

Sharpness is good. Even very good. The lens gets sharp at f1.7 and continues to gain sharpness up to f4. To be honest, I didn’t even try it above f4. It just doesn’t matter to me, wether the lens is sharp at f8. Especially when it comes to a f1.4 lens. And because I’m not a studio photographer. What confused me a bit, is the lack of “microdetails” (skin pores etc) especially when shot at wider apertures. I suspect that might (also) be the result of a rather strong AA filter on a300. I also got the feeling that it’s not as sharp wide open as either of the Canon 85’s. But as I said before, I’m not drawing any conclusion. I’ll let you be the judge of its image quality. So please, leave a comment. CA is also quite noticeable at f2. I know that CA is a common problem with fast lenses. But usually things get a lot better when a lens is stopped down for 1 f stop or more. Bokeh is really smooth and creamy and the colours also seem good, natural, nicely saturated, but not too punchy. I can’t comment on the AF speed, since a300’s AF is pretty slow, but it is accurate, I got the vast majority of wideopen and almost wideopen shots in focus. Built quality is excellent, the housing is made of metal. It gives you a really robust feeling while holding it in your hand. I just don’t understand why it doesn’t have internal focusing, since the lense stretches quite a bit during focusing. The difference in length of the lens between extreme focus distance (min focus distance to infinity) is approximately 2 cm.

Below you can see the samples, so you can judge the lenses image quality for yourself. All shot in RAW and converted to jpg. Downsized samples are slightly sharpened (the first is obviously also desaturated and I’ve added quite a lot of contrast), while 100% crops, of course, aren’t postprocessed. View LARGER, or else you’re just judging the quality of WordPresses downsizing algorithms.

f2, 1/320, ISO 200

f2, 1/250, ISO 200

f1.7, 1/160 ISO 100

I’m not posting the complete shot, because I don’t want him to get his ass whooped by his momma 😀 . The framing is almost identical to the first sample. This one looks best to me, perhaps ISO 200 is already “eating up” microdetails…Both are taken at ISO 100 (both crops are from the same image).

f1.4, 1/160, ISO 100

And below you can see a series of boring sharpness comparisons between different aperture settings. All shot at ISO 200.

f1.4

f1.6

f1.7

f2

f2.8

f4

High ISO 1Ds mkIII samples

Unfortunately there seems to be impossible to get 1Ds mkIII long enough to make a complete review. So there won’t be any review on slo-foto, as I promised. So I’m posting a few high ISO samples, that JD asked for. All the photos were taken in sRAW mode (approximately 5.2 mpix), since I think that it’s insane to shoot snapshots at 21 mpix. You can see a few downsized samples, all taken at ISO 1600 or pushed 1 stop from ISO 800 (exif is included, so I’m not going to write it down below the photos). Taken at a local Texas Hold ’em tournament. It was for the first time that I was glad I didn’t make it to the finals. I had the time to shoot 😀 . Photos are postprocessed (only contrast and slight sharpness added after downsizing).

EDIT: I forgot to mention that all photos were taken with the nifty fifty (50 1.8). And it performed pretty well, I’d say better than on any of the croppers (sharpness seems pretty good at f2.2). Even bokeh wasn’t bad and the colours were ok too. But what fascinated me the most, is the field of view. It’ s awesome, its’ perfect, you can shoot virtually everything with it. And no, it’s not the same as mounting 30 1.4 on 30D. You get the same FOV, but the feeling is just different. It’s the difference that you really can’t put your finger on.

worried

If you can’t maintain your poker face, then put ya glasses on

Checkin’

Bettin’ (I wish I shoot it with the chip in mid air, but it was a one time opportunity, since players usually don’t throw chips around)

100% crop, totally unprocessed of course. I looks amazing to me (not in the D3 class of course, but with almost the double resolution, that’s impossible)

And for the end, a snapshot from slo-foto’s last workshop. He really wants to be a model 😀 . f2, 85mm. Looks pretty nice, right (DOF!!!, bokeh…)?

A nice Sony alpha 300 kit

I got a very nice alpha 300 kit today. I was given the choice to handpick the lenses that interested me. Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85 1.4 was, of course, my first choice. From the rest of the lenses, flasguns etc I decided to take DT 11-18, since UWA lenses are always fun to use. I also got the battery grip, which is amazing. I’ve never seen such awesome ergonomics, my hand becomes one with it.

When I came home with the kit I opened up the 85 1.4 box. Damn, the lens already feels crazy. Such a solid built and you can just feel the cold though metal housing. I feels even tougher than Canon 85 1.2L aka Canonball. I guess it just because Canon is bigger and heavier, so you expect the toughness and massiveness. Besides that I think Canon was a plastic finish…I’m not sure and it doesn’t really matter. What I’m sure about is that it’s top class merchandise. But there is one thing I noticed and find a bit weird. It (CZ 85) changes length during focusing and quite a lot, around 2 cm when you move it from min focus distance to infinity. I wonder how’s this affecting durability, does it get loose in the long run etc. Even my cheap Canon 85 1.8 has internal focusing. But it’s plastic on the other hand.

Here are a couple of the kit’s pics:

1Ds mkIII aka pure gold

The beast is mine. Yeah! Ok, it’s mine for an unknown period of time. Besides being a FF 21 mpix monster it has a few very cool new bells and whistles. The one that became useful almost the same instant that I got it, was the AF microadjustment function. I used it to compensate for the (just a few days ago discovered) backfocus of my 85 1.8. User can adjust it in 40 steps (from -20 to +20). The others are…Well ask google 😉 . Below you can see the before/after difference:

Before calibration

After Calibration

I just have to get me a RAW converter (I’ll probably try Lightroom 2 Beta), so I can finally shoot in RAW. I’ll use it with prime lenses exclusively. I was making arrangements to rent a 70-200 2.8 tomorrow, but I’ll probably just take 50 1.4 instead, which is also available. Along with my 85 1.8, it’ll be a pretty nice combo. It’s just a shame there’s no way to get a 135L. Now that would be a killer combo.

And here’s the pure gold diptych 🙂 :

Pure gold

Canon 450D preview

I got it today, along with the new 18-55 IS lens (kit). I haven’t done any testing yet since it’s cloudy and windy outside and it could start raining any minute as well. The first things that I noticed were the larger display, slightly bigger grip (it does feel a bit better in your hand) and a bit larger viewfinder. But basically it still looks like 400D. Most of the improvements are however beyond what your eyes can see. The new 12.2 Mpix sensor, DIGIC III with 14 bit processing, highlight priority, higher capacity battery and you can now continuously shoot at 3.5 fps. There’s also live view and it takes SD memory cards. I’m not sure about the latter, it sure is fine for those who are swapping their compact cameras for 450D, because they most likely already have SD memory cards. And SD cards can also be used for other purposes, as a storage device in MP3 players etc. On the other hand it’s yet another expense for those who have used CF based cameras. I have to test it with a 256 MB SD card 😮 . I have to get me a larger capacity memory card. If someone can spare one for a week, it would be great 😉 . Menu system has been redesigned as well and it enables features such as direct control of Speedlite flash units from the camera LCD.

The things that I can see as a con are; buffer that can store only 6 RAW images and the reduced number of buttons on the camera. Canon could have also incorporated sRAW. After all, 3 mpix would be more than enough for web publishing and 13×18 cm prints. That would be enough for media coverages and it would save users a lot of space on their memory cards and hard drives. While the user would still enjoy all the benefits that RAW can offer: better DR, more postprocessing options etc.

Here are a couple of Canon press release photos:

I’ll write a review on slo-foto.net and probably post some samples on this blog as well (surely if I’ll get a nicer lens to use along with 450D). Stay tuned 😉 .