Posts Tagged ‘Robert Huber’

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