lens review

photography: how good / sharp do your lenses need to be?

Olena, who I photographed during a recent individual workshop in New York.

camera settings:  1/320 @ f/3.5 @ 800 ISO  (available light)

I was trying out the new Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 VC (B&H) for the images I shot during this workshop. (It comes in a Canon version too.)  It appears to be a fantastic lens. Build quality is good. The feel of it is good. The zoom ring has a nice throw. And it features stabilization! Nice touch.

However, shooting other images at wide open aperture, I wasn’t sure I was happy with the edge performance. Zooming in on the image on the back of the Nikon D4, I felt my Nikon was sharper.

So I decided to do a few comparison test shots between the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (B&H) and the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 VC (B&H) that I had for review purposes, as well as my trusted Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G (B&H)

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review: Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye zoom (lens review)

Venturing out again after posting a few images with the Canon EF 8-15mm f/fL fisheye zoom lens, I tried for a more diverse range of images to show what this lens is capable of … and also compare it with the Canon 15mm f2.8 fish-eye lens to see how the brand-new zoom lens stacks up against the older fixed focal length lens.

I was brave enough to try this lens at 15mm for some funky urban portraits of a model, Kate. Bendy! The trick here is to keep as even as possible and not tilt the lens up or down, or else you risk making your subject look cartoonish. So I crouched down a bit, and worked at belly-button level, keeping the camera as level as possible.

camera settings: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ 320 ISO

I think the image works, but I do believe a fish-eye is a limited lens in terms of portraits. Even full-length portraits. As mentioned in the previous article on this lens, the fish-eye look can quickly feel over-done when there is a great number of images with the same look. The distorted view that a fish-eye gives, tends to pulls too much attention to the lens’ effect itself.

Next up, I photographed dance performers working at a promotional event.
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review: Nikon 85mm f/1.4G

October 22, 2010

review: Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4 G

So after a slight delay, my copy of the brand-new Nikon 85mm f1.4G (vendor) actually did arrive. I was itching to try it out on a photo session, and yesterday afternoon had Jessica model for me. During the short photo session, I used the new 85mm f1.4G and the classic 85mm f1.4D side-by-side. As you can see in the photo above, (Just like the older version of this lens), the new lens’ extremely shallow depth of field and superb bokeh, give backgrounds that just melt away.

My first impression already is that lens is even better than I anticipated …

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