BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > BIMMERPOST Universal Forums > Off-Topic Discussions Board > Photography/Videography
 
Heel & Toe Apparel
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      05-28-2011, 12:46 AM   #1
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

Product reviews thread

Seeing as a lot of us in here are interested in the best deal, and the best products, i figured maybe this forum needed a review thread based entirely on our own experiences.

So i'll start off with 2 recent aquisitions.

580EX II Speedlight:

I got my hands on a new toy today. I picked up an 580EX II flash.... man that's a nice unit... Build quality blows the 430EX away along with all of features and abilities.

With the 580ex on my 5D mk II, the master and slave drives work seamlessly and i could hope for better.

On the other hand, however, if trying to use a pocket wizard to trigger the 580ex II, do not expect the master and slave drives to co-ordinate with each other when trying to use both the radio and the infrared transmitters together. This only works when the master is on the camera and no radios are involved.

This doesn't bother me at this point in time because if i were doing a serious shoot, i would likely pick up a full lighting system and another pocket wizard to control it with.

It is very easy to use both types of flash at this point with the infrared slave drives when using the 7D as the master. They both sync perfectly and provide great coverage together. This will be the same situation for anyone using the 60D and i believe (but not certain) the T3i also has this feature to control flashes.

Obviously the infrared network has it's limitation with line of sight as opposed to radio, but through my experience, you have to be at some pretty extreme angles to not have the flash triggered properly.


It is also worth noting that a whole new world was opened up to me when i purchased my 7D back in the fall and was able to remotely trigger flashes placed just about anywhere i wanted. I always wished this was an option on the 5DmkII without having to purchase add ons. Now that i have the 580ex, i can treat the cameras more equally when it comes to off camera flash photography.

And to anyone who might have the 430ex or the 580ex, it might be worth grabbing another so that you can further explore the world of flash photography.

Anyways, long story short... I wish i had put out the extra few dollars back in the summer when i bought the 430ex and just grabbed the 580ex instead, they are worlds apart, and i wish i knew that before now.

One important note to to all this. The 430ex II does not connect with radio controls, so pocket wizards and any similar type items you may come across won't work with it. This is something i wish i knew as well which i was buying my first flash. So that is a huge point in the favor of the 580ex II.
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 01:06 AM   #2
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

Canon 135mm F2.0 L:

I picked one of these up a couple of weeks back. The weather wasn't very agreeable, so i haven't really had much opportunity to test it out untill recently.

I attempted a quick photoshoot the other night, and i made sure to use the 135 as one of my lenses to get some practice with it.

I found that on a crop body, it does bring a subject very close if you're doing portraits, so you end up having to step a long way back just to get the shoulders in the shot. On the other hand, on a full frame camera, it's just about right. I'm still comfortable close to the subject, and i'm getting head and shoulders in the shot.

at such a short range it is very easy to play with the depth of feild provided by the F2 aperture opening. I found myself often shooting at F2.5 or F2.8 just so i could keep the hole face in sharp focus. At F2, if a subject is on an angle, it's very easy to have one eye sharply in focus while the other isn't, so that is best left for when someone is looking fairly straight on towards the camera.

The 135mm F2 L is much smaller then I had originally expected, which makes it an ideal lens for many applications. For example, some sports stadiums are not accepting people with lenses over 4 inches, so at 135mm and F2, this is (as far as my research tells me) longest focal length to be able to have such a wide aperture.

I'm sure many of you have heard this before, but the 135 has a very nice creamy bukeh. The way it transitions from something so sharp to something so creamy is impressive. And the same can be said for the colour and contrast.

overall, my limited exposure to this lens has been a good experience, and i'm looking forward to testing it out much harder in the future.
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
vachss
Captain
27
Rep
814
Posts

Drives: Z4 Coupe
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ventura County, CA

iTrader: (1)

Agreed about the 135L. Bought one when I shot crop and it never really worked for me, so I sold it. After I got the 5D2 I picked one up again and it was like a different lens - perfect for portraits and impromptu street shooting. Definitely keeping it this time.
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
I can imagine it would be tough to use on a crop body. My new 85mm has been an eye opener when it comes to filling the frame. I was shooting a jazz quartet and was surprised how far I needed to back up to get all four guys in the picture. Same with some shots of my wife. You really need 6' of separation just to get head and shoulders.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
TL
Brigadier General
TL's Avatar
United_States
82
Rep
3,101
Posts

Drives: Happy on H&R coil overs
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Hub

iTrader: (3)

Garage List
2008 335xi  [0.50]
Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
I can imagine it would be tough to use on a crop body. My new 85mm has been an eye opener when it comes to filling the frame. I was shooting a jazz quartet and was surprised how far I needed to back up to get all four guys in the picture. Same with some shots of my wife. You really need 6' of separation just to get head and shoulders.
i had to get a 35mm cause my 50mm forced me to move too far from the action on my D7000. Mike Lee also had to get a 35mm for his EOS-1D Mark IV (surprised it's a crop body)
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TL View Post
i had to get a 35mm cause my 50mm forced me to move too far from the action on my D7000. Mike Lee also had to get a 35mm for his EOS-1D Mark IV (surprised it's a crop body)
it's a 1.3 crop, so not as sever as the Nikons or Canons.
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
I've got the 35mm as well. I love the primes (also have a 50mm f1.4), but for walking around you really need a good mid-range zoom like the 24-70mm L or the 24-105mm L. Lesson learned by walking around NYC.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
I've got the 35mm as well. I love the primes (also have a 50mm f1.4), but for walking around you really need a good mid-range zoom like the 24-70mm L or the 24-105mm L. Lesson learned by walking around NYC.
write a review
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by The1 View Post
write a review
I will once I find a way to finance one of the two.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #10
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
I will once I find a way to finance one of the two.
didn't you rent one? I got confused somewhere.
Appreciate 0
      05-28-2011, 06:45 PM   #11
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by The1 View Post
didn't you rent one? I got confused somewhere.
No, I never did. I decided I didn't want the responsibility for a lens that pricey while traveling and walking around NYC.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-02-2011, 09:18 PM   #12
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Canon 85mm f1.8

I've had ample opportunity to play around with this lens in various conditions and I'm impressed with it over all. It can be very sharp when the light is right. But CA is severe with high contrast areas, especially between bright white and black. I was following a thread on POTN in the lens sample image section where a very talented photographer posted an excellent image of a model. The model was sitting at a table with white napkins standing in the typical pyramid style you see in restaurants. The area in the background behind the napkins was dark and the CA around the napkins and the glassware was very noticeable. The photographer stated that the one thing he didn't like about this lens was the tendency to show dramatic CA, and he's right. In the first image below the black-and-white striped dress was a CA nightmare before I cleaned it up.



Here are a couple shots taken with different settings. The CA is evident in both. These are 100% crops, but even with the full image at reduced magnification, you can still see the CA.

Crop 1 ISO200 f2.8 1/15



Crop 2 ISO400 f1.8 1/60




But in images with less dramatic contrasting edges, the CA is non-existent. It is here that the lens shines. The sharpness yields very nice 100% crops, as in the images below. The first image is the full shot reduced in size. The second image is the full shot at 100% and cropped to 800x600.





I'm looking forward to trying more portrait shots with this lens. That is, after all, the lens's main claim to fame. For less than $400, this lens is a bargain.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter

Last edited by M_Six; 06-03-2011 at 03:36 PM.
Appreciate 0
      06-03-2011, 12:12 AM   #13
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

great write up and examples the cat seems to be posing for you.

are you finding the CA is visible at any aperture setting? or mostly when shooting wide open?

This lens may be on my "to get" list one day in the future, we'll see how much portrait stuff i get into before then.
Appreciate 0
      06-03-2011, 03:39 PM   #14
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
I edited the post above. The shot of the guys at Union Square was actually taken with my 50mm f1.4. I forgot that I had changed lenses. The new shots are from Grand Central and were taken with the 85mm f1.8. The CA is even more evident.

The shots of the cat were at f1.8 and ISO200, but were shot at 1/320. No CA there, but no white areas either.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Canon 70-200mm F4L (non-IS)

I rented this lens and sadly got little use out of it due to a variety of reasons. The shots I did take came out nice for the most part, but this lens really exemplifies the usefulness of IS. Without the IS I had a really hard time keeping the center focus point on a small target with the lens set at 200mm. Even with a monopod it was hard to hold it still. For many shots this wouldn't be a big deal. But if you were trying to focus on the eye of an animal or bird, you'd never do it at that focal range. At least I wouldn't be able to. I have no problem doing so with my 55-250mm IS at full zoom. DC had mentioned all this back when I was talking about buying one of these, and he was right.

You also need a good deal of light to shoot this lens hand held. Trying to get 1/focal length is hard at 200mm in less than sunny conditions without ramping up the ISO into the noisy range. Accordingly I don't see this lens as being something I'd use a lot. I briefly considered ponying up the extra dough for the IS version, but that puts me in the same dollar range as the 24-105mm F4L IS, which seems to me to be a far more utile lens.

I need to give it more thought, but the idea of having my 10-22mm and the 24-105mm as my two primary lenses appeals to me. Pretty much all the range I'd need in just two lenses.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 04:11 PM   #16
Chewy734
Major General
United_States
268
Rep
6,799
Posts

Drives: 2006 BMW 330i ZPP, ZSP
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN

iTrader: (15)

Mark,

The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is nearly half the price of the f/2.8L IS II (~1200 savings). Would you recommend that one over the f/2.8L IS II?
__________________

Currently for sale: [19" LC818 wheels]
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 05:05 PM   #17
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
Mark,

The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is nearly half the price of the f/2.8L IS II (~1200 savings). Would you recommend that one over the f/2.8L IS II?
I can't really recommend either way as I haven't used the 70-200mm F4L IS or the 2.8L IS. But I do know the 2.8L IS is a much heavier lens and as you say, far pricier. I think the real decision would be between the F4L IS and the 2.8L non-IS, which is close in price. The 2.8L non-IS is a couple stops quicker, which would be nice, but you're still dealing with trying to hold it still when not using a tripod. The weight only exacerbates that problem.

Dave might be the one to ask about these lenses. He has a better feel for speed vs cost vs weight. He was spot on when he suggested it's worth the extra bucks to go with IS on the F4L. Makes that lens far more useful, I would think.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 05:47 PM   #18
Chewy734
Major General
United_States
268
Rep
6,799
Posts

Drives: 2006 BMW 330i ZPP, ZSP
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN

iTrader: (15)

yeah, I wasn't planning on getting a telephoto without IS. I shoot mostly without a tripod, and I know it'd be nearly impossible to hold that still at such long focal lengths.

I really want to test out the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens. It seems great for such a small form factor.
__________________

Currently for sale: [19" LC818 wheels]
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #19
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
yeah, I wasn't planning on getting a telephoto without IS. I shoot mostly without a tripod, and I know it'd be nearly impossible to hold that still at such long focal lengths.

I really want to test out the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS lens. It seems great for such a small form factor.
Careful with that one. I've read some so-so reviews about it. Seems there may be some QC issues with some. B&H Photo has a few reviews which criticize the sharpness and The-digital-picture.com site seems to confirm this.

Quote:
My biggest disappointment with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens is the lack of sharpness for the price of this lens. The 70-300 DO is soft wide open, but shows noticeable improvement by f/8. The 70-300 DO's sharpness leaves the much less expensive Canon EF 70-300mm non-DO IS USM Lens a serious consideration for those needing this focal length range. The non-DO has an even wider aperture at some focal lengths (the DO aperture starts at f/4, goes to f/4.5 @ 90mm and to f/5.6 @ 185mm). Canon's 70-200mm L and 100-400mm L lenses are superior in sharpness to the 70-300 DO.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 06:34 PM   #20
Mr Tonka
Gone riding...
Mr Tonka's Avatar
United_States
4002
Rep
1,715
Posts

Drives: women away.
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sweatypeninsula

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewy734 View Post
Mark,

The 70-200mm f/4L IS lens is nearly half the price of the f/2.8L IS II (~1200 savings). Would you recommend that one over the f/2.8L IS II?
I don't have any experience with the F4 version but i do own the 2.8is. A few friends have th f4 and all bitch about using in low light conditions. I can not complain one bit. Great lens, nice and sharp and fast. IS works well and the fact that the IS has two modes is a bonus. Really nice when panning with subjects moving horizontally. The weight while using it doesn't affect me, but having it on my back for a few hours can be taxing. Although, i usually have that and a 27-70 2.8 in the bag as well which is heavy in it's own right.

They way L glass holds it's value made it an easy decision for me.
__________________
http://www.m3post.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic59612_1.gif
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 06:44 PM   #21
M_Six
Free Thinker
M_Six's Avatar
United_States
964
Rep
5,878
Posts

Drives: 2012 MB C300 4matic
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Foothills of Mt Level

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by MP0WER View Post
They way L glass holds it's value made it an easy decision for me.
This is no small consideration either. I see folks selling L glass on CL that they bought a few years ago and they're asking 90% of the new price. I know they're making a profit over what they paid. I'd almost say it's a good financial investment if you can keep your glass in pristine condition. You really can't lose money on it.

That said, $2500 isn't exactly pocket change.
__________________
Mark
markj.pics

"I know rocks. Rocks are hard."
-T. Walter
Appreciate 0
      06-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #22
The1
Major General
Canada
59
Rep
5,121
Posts

Drives: white 135
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KW ontario/vancouver temporarily

iTrader: (0)

the 70-200 F4 IS is a really sharp lens. The IS does make a massive difference on it. I`ve shot it both ways about a million times. (on or off)

with it off, you need a nice sunny day to be able to get nice crisp shots with high shutter speeds, but once you walk into shade and shoot, you have to be on your toes paying attention.

F4 is reasonably quick, especially for a telephoto, so as for as compromises go, it's better then most, if not all non "L" series telephotos for being a fast lens. It is also excelent that you have a consistent aperature opening throughout the focal range of the lens. The benefit of this is you don't have to touch your exposure when zooming in and out, which is fantastic.

The real benefit of going to the 2.8 is really only the gain of a narrower depth of field. which when you're shooting long distances, you're not going to notice it anyhow. if you're using it for portrait work however, the benefits are huge!

As far as weight goes, the F4 IS is nice and light and as a result a great lens to have in your backpack. I have the 100-400mm L series, and it is a beast in comparison, and it doesn't keep a consistent aperture setting, which annoys me.

The 70-200 is a nice useable focal range to have when paired with the crop body cameras. It's a fairly similar amount of zoom to what i can do with a 100-400mm placed onto the full frame camera bodies.

As for the 70-300 DO I intended to rent it to test, but I ended up with my 135mm and just lost all interest in trying it out. For the amount of money, it seems like poor quality to dollar ratios. I don't want "acceptable" photos for the money i'm spending. Especially if i have to used the lens stopped down a lot just to get the quaility up. I'm never going to get nice out of focus areas as everything will always have to be in focus to get a reasonable shot. I've also read, you really have to pay attention to where your light is coming from because the lens flair can be disasterous.
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:21 AM.




m3post
m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST