Archive for the ‘Canon Product Reviews’ Category

Review Of Canon 14mm L Lens & Canon MP-E 65mm Lens

April 20, 2009

ef14_28liiu_586x225Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 14mm f/2.8
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 11 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 114° (on full-frame cameras)
Focus Adjustment: AF with full-time manual
Closest Focusing Distance: 7.9 in. / 0.2m
Filter Size: Gel filter holder at rear of lens
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.2 in. x 3.7 in. / 80mm x 94mm
22.8 oz./645g (lens only)

The 14mm f/2.8L II is the widest rectilinear EF lens offered by Canon Currently. It is a redesign on the 14mm f/2.8L I. The redesign added weather resistance (rubber seal around mount, sealed switching), two aspherical elements, one UD element and a brand new cap design. The new version is much sharper and a bit heavier. It also exhibits a much lower degree of Chromatic aberration. This lens is easily noticeable by its extremely large, curved front element and fixed lens shade.

© Robert Huber

© Robert Huber

The first thing i noticed about this lens when using it was the front element. If purchasing this lens for myself, I wouldn’t leave the store without a case to store it in. This is an expensive lens and the front element is extremely vulnerable to damage. Another thing i noticed very quickly after using it was how amazingly silent and fast the autofocus worked. I’ve used many USM lenses before, but i was really not expecting it to be this quiet. It was extremely accurate too. I did catch a bit of flare in a few shots, but with a lens of such a wide angle it is a bit difficult to maintain your desired angle sometimes while excluding things such as a glare or the sun directly.

14mm, even on a crop sensor camera, is a very wide angle. When shooting handheld, it is very easy to see your shoes or some tripod legs in your shots with a lens this wide. Sometimes such a wide angle is a blessing, forcing you to slow down and pay more attention to all of the small details that will fill such a large frame. Other times, it will be a curse. Perhaps when trying to shoot architecture, being forced to wait while people walk out of the frame.

For many people, spending a great deal of money on a single focal length (particularly such a wide angle) may not be worth it. But for anyone shooting close quarters architecture, landscapes or interiors, this lens is great.

mp-e65_28_1-5x_586x225Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 65mm 1:2.8
Lens Construction: 10 elements in 8 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 18° 40′
Focus Adjustment: Manual
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.24m / 0.8 ft. (from film plane to subject)
Filter Size: 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.2″ x 3.9″, 25.8 oz. / 81.0 x 98.0mm, 730g (lens only)

The 65mm MP-E is a very special lens. It is the only lens in Canon’s line that allows for true photomicrography, or rendering images on a 35mm frame actual size or larger. It comes with a standard lens cap and a tripod collar. Although this lens does utilize 1 UD element and is built to a rugged standard, it does not carry the “L” designation.

When I first began to test this lens out, I got a bit frustrated. Trying to operate this lens without having a firm understanding of both how it works and what I wanted to photograph, I just ended up putting it away after a bit. Once I read a few reviews and got a better grasp on the special purpose of the lens, I was prepared to try my hand at it again. Armed with a tripod, a hand release, and a few flashes, i took action.

© Robert Huber

© Robert Huber

Once you understand the limitations this lens gives you, it really is a tool of exploration. I Ran around my house and yard and photographed everything that didn’t run from me. When you see that the lens magnifies by five times you don’t think much of it, but when reviewing the images on a 21-inch widescreen monitor you really get an understanding of the difference between macro and micro.

In a few of the reviews I read before using this lens I saw that some people were shooting this lens handheld. I didn’t try my hand at this so much. Being the perfectionist that I am, I prefer the hand release method. Another reason I prefer the hand release was less obvious until I actually began shooting. Due to the high magnification factor any slight vibration, movement of subject, or wind can destroy your shot. Given the slim depth of field afforded by this lens, this is understandable. Another issue I ran into while using this lens was that of a very dim viewfinder image. This is easily dealt with by using the live view function with exposure preview.

In concusion, this lens is a great deal of fun. It allows you to explore everyday objects in a way that you may have never thought of before.

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Robert Huber reviews the Canon 16-35 L II Lens

April 10, 2009

Filter Size: 82mm
f/Stop Range:
2.8-22
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9′ (28cm)
Magnification: 1:4.5
Zoom/Focus Control: Two-touch
Angle of View: 108-63°
Groups/Elements: 12/16
Length: 4Posts.4″ (112mm)
Maximum Diameter: 3.5″ (88mm)
Weight: 1.4 lb (635g)

The canon 16-35mm L II lens is considered by many to be one of the most important lenses in the L-series lineup. It replaced the original 16-35mm L in 2007. As one would expect, it carries the classic build quality of all Canon’s L-series lenses. It uses an 82mm filter thread up front- a first for Canon. A UV filter is recommended to fully weather seal this lens, and if using a full-frame camera one may want to pick up a slim-framed version to avoid slight vignetting at 16mm. The ring USM in this lens focuses very quickly and accurately, and very close to the lens at all focal lengths. I measured about 7 inches or so. Distortion is evident in the wider focal length range of the lens, which is something that should be expected from a lens this wide, and it will be particularly more evident on a full-frame camera. The focus and zoom rings are very well placed, and have an excellent feel to them.

© Robert Huber

© Robert Huber

I used this lens to photograph some promotional shots for a band “Future Future” that I have been photographing for some time now. After working with them for a while, they expressed to me the desire to be photographed with a wider angle lens in order to make them appear “bigger”. I used the lens on a crop-sensored camera, and found it very effective in the field. We shot at dusk with some off-camera lighting, on a tripod to get some nice dark blue skies. The lens autofocused perfectly, even in the rapidly depleting available light I was given. The lens had a much higher resistance to flare than I expected, which allowed me to place my lights very close to the edge of the frame, even aiming directly towards the camera to back-light.

In conclusion, this lens is an extremely well-built lens that is designed primarily for the professional market. It would work extremely well in the hands of a photojournalist or travel photographer, but is undoubtedly a welcome addition to any camera bag.

Canon TS-E 24mm Hands On

March 30, 2009
© Robert Huber

© Robert Huber Photography

With the announcement of the new 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses from Canon (version II), we decided to do a comparison review of the two different versions, to be released in two parts. We will be testing the 24mm versions.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 24mm 1:3.5
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 84° (without tilt or shift)Image circle dia. 58.6mm.
Focus Adjustment: Manual focus, Overall linear extension system
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.3m / 1 ft.
Filter Size: 72mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.1″ x 3.4″, 1.3 lbs. / 78.0 x 86.7mm, 570g

This lens offers the user the ability to make tilt and shift adjustments, which are perpendicular to one another. The lens can be rotated in order to facilitate the use of these adjustments in both directions, but they are always perpendicular to one another. Upon purchase, you can send this lens to Canon and they can make the adjustments parallel to one another (at your expense). Build quality of this lens is very solid. There is a heavy feel during focus, which allows one to be very precise. Out of all three ts-e lenses currently available, this is the only one to be considered as “L-series”. Unlike many of the other L-series lenses, this is not a weather sealed lens. There is a small amount of chromatic aberration towards the edges of the image circle when shifts are taken very far.

The first thing some people may ask about this lens would be, what is it used for? Why would someone want to spend so much money on a lens if such adjustments can be made so easily in Photoshop? The quick answer: they can’t. Although you can make small corrections for convergence in Photoshop, essentially you are not doing the same thing. There is also one thing that can be done with this lens that is impossible to replicate in Photoshop: the Scheimpflug principle.

The Scheimpflug principle allows a person to control the angle of the plane of focus in relation to the angle of the film plane. When pointing the camera at a downward angle towards a flat surface which is not parallel to the film plane, this lens will allow you to put said flat surface in perfect focus, regardless of aperture.

tsa

© Robert Huber Photography

That being said, Scheimpflug is not so easy to employ with this lens. It is much easier in my opinion to put a loupe on a ground glass to check focus than to take 50 different shots and zoom in on a tiny LCD screen. Nonetheless, this lens is quite fun to use. It has a very close focusing distance, and the adjustments are more than ample. When you move the lens around they don’t seem like much, but they really do let you do quite a bit.

In conclusion, this is a great lens for anyone doing close quarters still life or product work, but the restriction of rotation leaves a bit to be desired.

Canon 50mm 1.2 L Series Lens Review

March 17, 2009
© Robert Huber Photography

© Robert Huber Photography

The Canon 50mm 1.2L is a newer L series version of another popular 50mm, the 1.4. Primary improvements to the prior released 50mm (1.4) include better weather resistance,  and better resistance to ghosting/flare. In quick comparison, it is quite easy to see (and feel) the superior build quality.
A quick look at the mount will show a nice rubber seal, a great improvement over the old lens. Canon suggests the use of a UV filter on the front to completely weather seal this lens.
This lens shoots excellently in very low light! During use, it has been commonly said that this lens tends to “hunt” for a focus, this is solely due to the razor-thin area of sharp focus allowed by such a small aperture- a problem very easily overcome by use of the full-time manual focus ring offered. The resistance to flare offered by this lens is quite amazing.
I used this lens to photograph a band performance that was back-lit, and found it very easy to use the stage lights as “rimlights”, with absolutely no incidence of flare. The lens is very fast in daylight also, allowing buttery-smooth out of focus backgrounds that are truly to die for.  With the advent of many 2.8 zoom lenses out there many people forget about the magic of a standard prime lens, I truly believe this lens is a must-have for any portrait or photojournalist style photographers out there. When used on a crop-sensor body, it allows one to get just out of the comfort zone for some excellent portraits.
ef50lusm_586x2252

Canon 50mm 1.2L

Focal length and max aperture: 50mm f/1.2
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups
Diagonal angle of view (full frame): 46 Degrees
Close focus distance: 1.48 ft/ .45 meters
Filter size: 72mm

CANON U.S.A. Receives 2 DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out Awards

March 4, 2009

Canons Award Winning MP980 Printer

Canon's Award Winning MP980 Printer

LAS VEGAS, March 3, 2009 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today received two DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out awards for fine art photographic printing at the 2009 PMA International Convention and Trade Show. Canon is proud to announce that the Company received DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out awards for both the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9100 60-inch large format printer for “Inkjet 50 inches Wide or More” category and the PIXMA MP980 Photo All-In-One (AIO) printer for “Black and White, Best B&W with grayscale inks” category. The Digital Printer Shoot-Out award winning prints are on display at PMA 2009, March 3rd – 5th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Decided by a panel of judges, the award-winning prints won based on the “overall quality of the digital print.”

CANON U.S.A. Receives 2 DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out Awards

Color, Style, & Photographic Expertise Inspire New Powershot Line-Up From Canon

February 17, 2009

Canon Powershot Line-Up 2009

Canon Powershot Line-Up 2009

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 17, 2009 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced 10 new PowerShot cameras that offer an array of photographic options for the entry-level consumer right up to the photo enthusiast. Whether on a family vacation, swimming in an ocean or out for a night on the town, the new line-up of PowerShot digital cameras enable consumers to customize their photographic experience to their personality with color, style and features galore.

Most PowerShot cameras for 2009 feature Canon’s exclusive DIGIC 4 Image Processor, with proprietary technology which accounts for the camera’s higher performance levels, including improved signal processing speed and higher image quality. This new chip paves the way for a host of features including Canon’s new Smart AUTO. Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper camera settings based on the specific shooting conditions of each scene, ensuring that all images are accurately focused, exposed, stabilized and white-balanced before the shutter is even pressed. Using data derived from Canon’s Optical Image Stabilization, Genuine Face Detection and Motion Detection Technologies, Smart AUTO automatically adjusts a multitude of settings including brightness and hue, during various shooting situations. Another enhancement available with select PowerShot models is Blink Detection Technology, which uses the Face Detection function to display an icon after shooting with a warning that someone’s eyes were closed (such as when blinking) during shooting. Unlike other systems which prevent users from taking a photo, Canon’s Blink Detection Technology lets users know immediately whether there’s any need to reshoot the image, thus providing a far more intuitive experience.

A third technological advancement with select PowerShot cameras is Active Display, which is used for quickly switching between images during playback. Instead of culling through a long line of images, via a control dial, Active Display advances pictures simply with a gentle shake of the wrist, making the viewing and sharing of pictures more fun and enjoyable.

“The power of the Canon PowerShot series is its ability to enhance consumers’ enjoyment of photography through its unique combination of ease-of-use, affordability, and personalization,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “We are excited about this year’s PowerShot line-up because Canon’s cameras are loaded with advanced technologies and design options, thus enabling consumers to have the ultimate photographic experience.”

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS and SX200 IS Digital Cameras: The SX series cameras are designed for tech-savvy consumers looking for a little gusto in their camera with affordable high-power zoom performance. Packed with features sure to please, the new PowerShot SX1 IS and SX200 IS Digital Cameras offer an array of shooting options enabling the user to choose a product that is customized to fit their needs and enhance their overall shooting experience.

Canon PowerShot D10 Digital Camera: Consumers looking for an all-around waterproof, freeze proof and shockproof camera should look no further. The Canon PowerShot D10 Digital Camera, a first of its kind for Canon, comes equipped with a 12.1-Megapixel resolution and 3x Optically Stabilized Zoom lens, making it an ideal companion for thrill-seekers of all types. This uniquely styled camera is amazing for capturing high-resolution images and off-camera editing. The PowerShot D10 Digital Camera can withstand depths up-to-33-feet deep, is freeze proof from 14 degrees Fahrenheit and shockproof up-to-four feet.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS, SD960 IS, SD780 IS and SD1200 IS Digital ELPH Cameras: Whether the activity du jour involves dancing ’til dawn, attending a black-tie gala or a quiet evening for two, Canon’s colorfully clad Digital ELPH Cameras are there to capture the magic of the moment and preserve the memory for years to come. Their substantive and stylish box and circle design, and striking colors, are the perfect complement to any situation and offer both the fashion-forward and feature-hungry photographer an all-in-one must-have camera.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS, A1100 IS and A480 Digital Cameras: From the tentative first-timer to the passionate photographer, the PowerShot A-Series product line provides the ever-present convenience and cost-effectiveness of being power driven by two AA batteries. With bright, bold, new colors, no wonder the A-Series line is a convenient must-have among consumers.

Color, Style, & Photographic Expertise Inspire New Powershot Line-Up From Canon.

Canon PowerShot G10 Firmware Update

February 11, 2009

Firmware Update (Version 1.0.2.0)

This firmware update corrects the following phenomenon.

Phenomenon:

If RAW images are captured by continuous shooting under the ISO 1600 setting, abnormal data is recorded and a magenta cast appears in the second and subsequent RAW images. This phenomenon also occurs in the second and subsequent recorded RAW images captured by single shooting, but only if the LCD monitor display mode is set to the OFF position.

This phenomenon cannot be confirmed when images are played back on the camera’s LCD monitor. It can only be confirmed if image processing software (such as the Digital Photo Professional software bundled with the product) is used to develop RAW images on a PC.

Canon PowerShot G10 Firmware Update.

CANON U.S.A. Honored ” MFP Line Of The Year” & 6 “PICK” Awards

January 13, 2009

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF820 – BLIs Pick for Wide Format of the Year

Canon imagePROGRAF iPF820 – BLI's Pick for Wide Format of the Year

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 13, 2009 – For the sixth time since 2000, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has received the prestigious “MFP Line of the Year” award from Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI), as well as six additional “Pick of the Year” awards for the imageRUNNER, imagePROGRAF and imageCLASS lines.

<!–LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 13, 2009 – For the sixth time since 2000, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has received the prestigious “MFP Line of the Year” award from Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI), as well as six additional “Pick of the Year” awards for the imageRUNNER, imagePROGRAF and imageCLASS lines.

–> Awarded once a year, the “MFP Line of the Year” is bestowed upon the vendor whose product line is determined the best overall based on the cumulative test results from BLI’s rigorous, two-month laboratory evaluation. During the testing and selection process, among the many factors considered are reliability, image quality, productivity, connectivity attributes as well as the breadth of each vendor’s line and its solutions.

In addition to the “MFP Line of the Year,” Canon received six “Pick of the Year” awards for the imagePROGRAF iPF820 in Wide Format, the imageRUNNER 3245i for Segment 4 Monochrome MFP, the imageRUNNER 3225 for Segment 2 Monochrome MFP, the imageRUNNER 3235i for Segment 3 Monochrome MFP, the Color imageRUNNER C2550 for Segment 2 Business Color MFP, and the Color imageCLASS 9170c for Small Workgroup Color Multifunction Printer.

“Canon is honored to receive these prestigious accolades and awards from Buyers Laboratory for our ability to provide customers with innovative products that greatly improve the end-user’s experience,” said Sam Yoshida, vice president and general manager, Marketing & Field Sales, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “These awards are a testament to Canon’s commitment to providing a range of products and features that meet the diverse digital imaging needs of today’s printing environments, and we look forward to carrying this momentum into the new year with the launch of more products suited for the marketplace.”

According to Daria Hoffman, managing editor at BLI, “Canon has won an astounding 23 MFP ‘Picks’ since 2005, including more MFP ‘Picks’ than any other vendor this year, three additional ‘Outstanding Achievement’ awards and numerous other ‘Picks’ for its wide format devices, scanners, fax-centric MFPs and printers. All those ‘Picks’ add up, giving Canon the most consistent quality of products across all spectra of the digital imaging industry”

Press Release.

Do You Shoot With A Canon?

December 5, 2008

If you shoot with a Canon or you’re considering a Canon you are going to want to be a part of this!

The Unique Photo

SuperStore

123 US Highway 46 (West)
Fairfield, NJ 07004  

 

 

Unique Photo, Inc.

973-377-2007

 Unique Photo is holding Canon demo days on the afternoon of Friday, December 12th, all day Saturday and Sunday December 13th and 14th, 2008

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canon 17-40 f4L USM Quick Field Review

December 11, 2007

According to Canon, the 17-40 f4 L is one of their best selling lenses. After having used one in the field for a week, I can see why. When I reviewed Canon’s 70-200 f4 L , I called it one of the best buys in their entire 64 lens system. Without any hesitation whatsoever, I can say the same thing about this attractively priced ($629.) L series wide-angle zoom.

The focal length of this lens is ideal for a wide range of subjects whether as a 17-40mm on a full-frame, 22-52mm on a 1.3x, or a 27-64mm on a 1.6 crop camera. The f4 aperture is fast enough for all types of outdoor photography. For indoor and event photography, you will need to use a flash or boost up your camera’s ISO speed.

At 1.1 lbs, the 17-40 f4L is neither extremely light or too heavy. It balances nicely on all of Canon’s DSLR camera bodies. The lens feels very solid and it is well built. I carried a 17-40L all day on a 10-mile hike and was never bothered by its size and weight. The lens is constructed of a hybrid metal and plastic compound with a polycarbonate barrel. The flat black paint finish along with the trademark L series red ring is very professional looking. The lens is weatherproof and sealed against both moisture and dust. Canon does recommend the use of a UV filter for complete weather sealing.

The 17-40 f4L USM is a two touch design with the focus ring positioned near the end of the lens barrel and the zoom ring located near the lens mount. Auto focus performance is extremely quiet and lightning fast. This is a true internal focus lens. Both the zoom and focus mechanisms are completely internal so there is no extension of the lens. In my opinion, one of the most impressive features of the 17-40L is its super smooth manual focusing and zooming controls. The manual focus ring and zoom control have large, textured, rubberized surfaces that are comfortable to use and fast to operate.

The 17-40L is a digital optimized lens, and incorporates Canon’s latest lens coatings. The design of the lens includes three aspheric elements and one Super UD glass element (Utra-Low dispersion). My test images were very sharp at all apertures, but best by f8. I think most users would be unable to see a difference in sharpness between this lens and primes when shooting in the middle aperture range. Color quality and contrast levels were both excellent, typical of Canon’s L lenses.

As a side note, in a recent meeting I attended hosted by Canon, their technical representatives stated the image quality of the 17-40L is every bit as good as both the old and new versions of the much more expensive and one stop faster 16-35 f2.8L.

I had just one concern bout this lens. Like many other wide zooms, the 17-40L showed a rather high degree of barrel distortion noticeable in my scenic and landscape photography. At the 17-24mm settings on my 1Ds full-frame camera, trees were rendered as bowed lines and the horizon was portrayed as a wavy rather than straight line. When I zoomed into the 26 to 40mm range, the level of distortion was much improved. For many types of photography, this distortion isn’t going to be a problem; however, architectural and landscape photographers should be aware of this phenomenon.