Friday, June 29, 2012

Minolta MD 85mm f2 - Another Sample

Driving is back -- NEX-5N & Minolta MD 85mm f2

The reason I have not used this lens much, is due to the very stiff focusing ring.  To gear addicts like me, properly calibrated, and well maintained equipment is a big factor in enjoying the picture taking process.  Sticky, stiff, choppy focusing is a real downer.  You feel it every time you take a picture.  This, however, does not stop me from liking this fabulous lens.  In some ways, the smaller size and lighter weight makes up for the 1/3 stop of light loss to my other favourite portrait lens - the Minolta MC-Rokkor 85mm f1.7.  Probably for this reason, the 85mm f2 is very popular portrait lens choice.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 M42 - First Look

The Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 is a sister lens of the Chinon 55mm f1.4.  Aside from their size difference, they look very similar, as the picture shows below.  Both are possibly made by Tomioka and probably share the same optical formula, as the pictures from both have same kind of look to them.

There are at least two versions of this M42 mount lens.  The one below shows the older (probably the original) version, and there is also one with rubber focusing ring.  Not really sure what the differences are, as I don't have the other version.  I would imagine the later model would have better coating.  Also, there is a K-Mount version as well.

Chinon 55mm f1.4 on the left, Chinon 55mm f1.7 on the right. Click for larger picture.

This lens is quite inexpensive.  Often selling for about $10 to $50 depending on condition.  The build quality, like most of the lens of its kind from the same era, are excellent when you compare it to how the entry level lenses are built today.  Remember, this f1.7 lens is the cheap version of the f1.4 version, but the built is identical to the expensive f1.4 counterpart.  Even after many decades, the focusing is still supremely smooth with just the right amount of damping.  Turning the focusing ring will remind you that you are holding and using a precision instrument.  Simply joy for the senses.

Fence -- NEX-5N & Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 wide open.  Click for larger.

If the lens simply looks good and feels good in the hand, but performs poorly, it would be just a nice paper weight.  Fortunately, beauty is more than skin deep.  Wide open, contrast and sharpness is not great, but even very expensive lenses would perform better stopping down a little.  This is not to say that you can't use the lens at f1.7.  In fact, for portraiture, it's quite fine using f1.7, as long as you can find the focus point.  From f2.8 to f5.6, this lens shines.  Sharpness and contrast rivals today's auto focus 50mm f1.7/f1.8 lenses.  Even the edges are very good at f5.6 on APS-C sensor.

Ship - NEX-5N & Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 @ f5.6. Click for larger.

I find the bokeh quite acceptable, but it's a subjective thing.  Certainly there are lenses that produce better bokeh, but we are looking at a very cheap lens here. I don't have anything to complain about, when taking into the consideration of cost, and its good built quality.

Would you pay more for the f1.4 version for 2/3 of a stop more light?  If the price is not too great, I would say yes, but this lens is great for people who just want to test the waters on manual focus lenses.  It's well built, optically competent, and most important of all, it's cheap.  You can get beautiful pictures out of a lens like this.

Lock - NEX-5N & Auto Chinon 55mm f1.7 @ f1.7

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Photo Essay: Around My Work Place in Infrared - Part II

This is the second part of a three part series on Infrared around my work place.  Today I headed west toward Bathurst on Queen street.  As always, this is a very busy section of the city, especially at lunch time in a nice day like today, when many people just wanted to go out for lunch and enjoy the weather.

I started from Spadina & Queen.  This intersection is one of the busiest in the area, partly because many people get on or off here from streetcars.

Spadina & Queen North East Corner -- Canon 20D IR & Penatx-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

Hot Dog Stand -- Canon 20D IR & Pentax-M 20mm f4.

In the picture above, the same hot dog stand has been here for many years in this spot.  It opens 24 hours.  It almost becomes a fixture at the north east corner.  On the left of the picture, you can see my colleague Mark, with a camera on his right hand.  If you like street photography, you will love Mark's pictures on Flickr.  Mark is a collector and user of vintage cameras/lenses.

Trees -- Canon 20D IR & Pentax-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

Even with a very ordinary and boring street scene, infrared makes it look different and interesting, and the false colours adds some weirdness to it.

St. Stanislau R. C. Church -- Canon 20D IR & Pentax-M 20mm f4.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kowa 102mm f1.9 Super Prominar Projection Lens Samples

This is the third Kowa projection lens I have.  The others are 50mm f1.2, and 76mm f1.9.  Though not a big player in 35mm photography arena, Kowa did make some 35mm cameras with interchangeable lenses.  I still have one of them sitting in a box somewhere.  It also made/makes spotting scopes, medium and large format lenses, movie camera lenses, and of course, projection lenses.   All the Kowa lenses I have, I like them, especially the 50mm f1.2 projection lens.  It is one of my most used projection lenses.  Generally, the Kowa projection lenses are very sharp, including this 102mm f1.9.  But, like most projection lenses, the bokeh is not at all desirable, though not really objectionable either.  But, for $10, who would complain?

Bokeh -- NEX-5N & Kowa Super Prominar 102mm f1.9. Click for larger.

Rose -- NEX-5N & Kowa Super Prominar 102mm f1.9. Click for larger.

Eatery at the edge -- NEX-5N & Kowa Super Prominar 102mm f1.9.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Using Long Lenses with the Sony FDA-EV1S Eelectonic View Finder

One of the reason I got the EVF for the NEX-5N was to help get more usable pictures with longer lenses.  If you have ever tried using long lenses, even a 135mm lens, without the EVF, you will know that it is difficult to focus, because the narrow angle of view magnifies the shakiness on the LCD screen.  If you are taking pictures in bright light, the washed out picture on the LCD makes it even more difficult.  By focusing with an EVF, the lens is somewhat more stabilized as the camera is held against your eye.

To me, focusing through the view finder is far more natural than holding the camera at arms length, which compromises camera stability. Still, it's quite difficult to focus with long lenses due to narrow angle of view, but much better than without EVF. Is it worth buying the Sony EVF for the 5N?  I would say yes, though I think the price is pretty steep for an EVF.

Blue flowers -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6. Click for larger.

The requisite cat picture -- NEX-5N & Meyer-Optik Primotar 180mm f3.5. Click for larger.

Highlight -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6. Click for larger.

Couple -- NEX-5N & Birns & Sawyer 150mm f3 Cine Lens

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Time for Affordable Full Frame Cameras from Canon

You have to hand it to Nikon for the great effort with their recent business direction: delivering desirable new cameras [D800/D800E], exploring new territories [J1/V1], and the up coming affordable full frame camera D600, rumored to have a price tag around $1500.  Where is Canon?

If anything, it should be Canon who should introduce the first affordable, in the $1500 range full frame camera.  Canon was an innovative and aggressive company that pioneered the camera industry's many firsts: Full electronic lens mount [EF], Image Stabilization [IS] on lenses, Ultrasonic [USM] Motors on lenses, first commercial use of APS-C sized and full frame CMOS sensors, DO optics, first affordable DSLR [Rebel 300D], first affordable full frame DSLR [5D] and more.  It's CMOS sensor was the envy of its rivals with ultra low noise and high resolution in its day, while the competition was still using CCD sensors whose low light capabilities were limited.  But times have changed.

Nikon was always behind Canon both in low noise and high resolution sensors, but it has turned itself from a follower to a leader since the D3/D700.  And now the high resolution D800 that caters to the pros who need the megapixels; the D800E for those who want the ultimate resolution; the J1/V1 to fill the mirroless gap; the imminent introduction of the [hopefully] affordable D600.  Meanwhile, Canon has finally given the 5D III the AF it deserved, and with a very small increase in resolution, many expect the image quality and dynamic range of the sensor to be spectacular, but alas, it isn't so.

Since the AF fiasco of the 1D Mark III, Canon seems to have lost their Mojo.  Every camera introduced since then has been ho hum with little or no innovation.  Sure, the 5D Mark II has been a huge seller, only due to the addition of video in a full frame sensor.  The basic camera was nothing spectacular.  The fact that it's the only major camera maker that still does not have a mirrorless solution tells us something about how conservative they have become.  Canon has become the follower.

For the last few generations of Canon's imaging sensor, there are little or no improvements in image quality and dynamic range.  If anything, image quality has gone backwards with the introduction of the 18MP sensor.  I owned the Rebel 550D (T2i) and 7D, but I couldn't stand the noisy/mushy image quality at its base ISO, compared to older Canon cameras or other others of the same time frame.

I know I am only a one of Canon's customers, but I am the typical of many Canon users who already own a Canon body and looking for something better than the competition to upgrade to. If I didn't already own so many Canon lenses, I would have been an EX-Canon user two years ago.

It's time for Canon to take control and be the innovative company that it used to be.  Wow us with real improvements in sensor design.  Create a new market like you did with the original 300D,  and step out of the comfort zone, and be a leader.  Because, Nikon is eating your lunch.  If you don't wake up, it will be all over your dinner table.

Flowers in evening sun -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Essay: Around My Work Place in Infrared - Part 1

I have been working at Spadina and Queen area for the last 13 years.  If I could manage, I would usually go out and do some shooting during my lunch hour.  Regular readers will no doubt see many pictures of the same places.  Even with a lot of activities in the area, there is only so much you can shoot.  So, I decided to shoot the area in infrared (IR) to get different looks.  This will be a mini-series once a week for three weeks.

 This is Part I.  Hope you enjoy it.

Black Bull Patio -- Canon 20D IR Modified & Pentax-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

Starbucks on Queen & John Sts -- Canon 20D IR Modified & Pentax-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

Giant Tree in Grange Park -- Canon 20D IR Modified & Pentax-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

[Yellow] Roses -- Canon 20D IR Modified & Pentax-M 20mm f4. Click for larger.

Old Buildings at Grange Park -- Canon 20D IR Modified & Pentax-M 20mm f4.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunset Clouds

clouds -- NEX-5N & Jupiter-9 85mm f2 LTM. Click for larger.

Clouds are a fascinating natural phenomenon.  We know what cloud is, how it's formed, and yet, at least to me, it seems to possess mysterious powers.  We feel the pressure and uneasiness with the forming of low hanging dark clouds before the storm; we marvel at the natural beauty of the clouds that interact with the setting or rising sun.  Clouds can affect our mood and change our feelings, and clouds are infinitely variable -- you never know what shape they will take.

Monday, June 11, 2012

3D Photography

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of meeting cinematographer and film maker, John Tran, son of Hai Tran -- owner of Vintage Visuals, which I have bought many lenses from in the past.  John brought a copy of his documentary "Daddy Tran - Life in 3D", which I watched partially on TVO a while back.  The documentary was filmed by John and directed by his talented and beautiful wife Siu Ta.  You can see a trailer on Youtube.  The film was about John's father, who is an obsessive collector of cameras and lenses, who eventually turned his hobby into a successful business.  This documentary resonates with me because I see some of his characters in myself. Well worth your time to watch it.  It comes up occasionally on TVO and maybe available for borrowing in Public Libraries.  John also brought with him some of his father's 3D pictures and a viewer.

The only thing I knew about 3D photography was the toy-like 3D viewers you see (or used to see) in tourist stores.  They typically have ten slides with the size of a thumb nail.  It was interesting, but that's about it.  The ones that John showed me was shot mostly in Velvia slide film in square format.  Not sure what size but might be two inch square.  When I looked at it the first time, I almost fell off my seat.  It was simply stunning.  The picture seems to jump out at you in beautiful colours, and in glorious 3D!  I never knew 3D pictures could be this gorgeous.  Hai Tran is a prolific and accomplished photographer.  The landscape pictures of Calgary's many parks are absolutely fantastic.  After looking at the 3D pictures, the ordinary pictures will look flat and lifeless.  Now I can see why some people are so obsessed with this medium.  It's addictive, because that's what our eyes were created to see -- in 3 dimensions.

For sure this is not a hobby for everyone. For one thing, the slides are prohibitively expensive if you shoot medium format, and I am sure it takes considerable amount of time to master through trial and error.

Roses -- NEX-5N & Kodak Cine Ektar 63mm f2. Vignette is naturally caused by the lens. Click for larger.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Photo Essay with Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4 DKL

There was a gathering on Grange Park yesterday about Native land rights.  I like this kind of occasions for photography purposes.  Didn't know about this before hand and I just I happened to be there testing out the Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4 DKL lens.  Perfect opportunity to photograph something different than the usual places/subjects.

Spectators -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4.  Click for larger.

Drummers -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4.  Click for larger.

Mohawk from the side -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4.  Click for larger.

Mohawk from the back -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreunach Arton 90mm f4

True Photographer -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Arton 90mm f4. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Canon T4i -- Hybrid CMOS Sensor

Beauty -- NEX-5N & Tewe 200mm f3.2 Cine Lens. Click for larger.

Canon has introduced the latest Rebel -- 650D or T4i with some interesting new features.  Among them is the hybrid CMOS sensor that has a phase detect capabilities built on the image sensor itself, à la  Nikon V1/J1.  Personally, think this is the future of sensor design and where all of Canon's sensor will have this feature in the future.  There are many benefits: reduced cost of the camera when this feature replaces the dedicated phase detect AF sensor, faster auto focus in live-view, continuous auto focus in video mode, and more importantly, when combined with contrast detect auto focus, a far more accurate auto focus system than just phase detect AF, as we know contrast detect AF is more accurate than phase detect.  With AF built right on the image sensor also means that even by itself, it will be more accurate because that's basically what the image sensor sees.

Without doubt, the coming Canon EVIL camera will have a hybrid AF sensor.  With this, the Nikon J1/V1 will no longer have any unique capabilities over the competition (at least for Canon).  I want to see this feature refined to a point where the on-sensor AF will replace the dedicated AF sensor, to achieve near 100% focus accuracy.

Will this be the beginning of the end for back-focus and front focus, that's so dear to the hearts of DSLR users?  I hope so.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Canon FL 55mm f1.2 Samples

Here is another Canon FL f1.2 lens in 55mm focal length.  We looked at the FL 58mm f1.2 last time, and the bokeh leaves much to be desired. It's also not very sharp wide open, compared to other Canon f1.2 lenses.  The FL 55mm f1.2 was a replacement lens for the 58mm f1.2.  It has better multi-coating, but not the Super Spetra Coating (S.S.C) on the later lenses, but a precursor of it.  The look and feel is very similar to the FL 58mm f1.2.  Even though both lenses have an 8-blade aperture, the FL 55mm f1.2 is more rounded whereas the FL 58mm f1.2 is edgy.  That probably has something to do with the (slightly) better looking bokeh of the 55mm f1.2.

Three Doors -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.

Optically, the FL 55mm f1.2 is quite sharp wide open. Again, not as good as the later 55mm f1.2 S.S.C or the nFD 50mm f1.2, but better than the FL 58mm f1.2.  From f2 on, the lens is very sharp.  From experience, most of these fast lenses are very good when stopping down only one stop.

Bokeh -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.

I do enjoy using this lens.  It's not as big or heavy as the FD 55mm f1.2 S.S.C and focuses very smoothly.  It also has a A/M switch for the aperture, not that it's important when used on EVIL cameras, as the adapter would always engage the lens in stop-down mode, essentially having a built-in manual aperture switch.

A nice lens to shoot in low lights, for sure.

Pigeons on grass -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sony RX100 Large Sensor Compact

The rumors have proven to be very accurate for the Sony RX100 large sensor compact camera.  For sure, this camera will give Canon a run for its money against the G1X.  Almost from every aspect, the Sony RX100 is better, except the swivel LCD screen, very high ISO, or, the awful optical viewfinder that probably nobody uses.  Sadly, the price is not very cheap at $650.  It's $150 less than the Canon, but I think it's still too high, though I understand that there aren't too many large sensor compacts on the market, and they can ask for higher price.  When the flood of larger sensor compacts from Panasonic, Sigma, Nikon and Canon come into the market, we should see price of around $400, like the current high end compacts.

I checked out some of the sample pictures from the Sony RX100 from dpreview, they look great to me, even at ISO 1600, it's quite acceptable.

Let the large sensor compact war begin.

Primary Colours -- NEX-5N & Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.4 HFT QBM. Click for larger.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Wave of Large Sensor Point & Shoot Coming?

I believe Sony was the first manufacturer to make a large sensor point & shoot camera with the R1.  I had an R1 briefly, but was turned off by the ONE frame RAW buffer.  It was a slow camera and was as large or larger than some DSLR.  The image quality was definitely very good compared to the P&S from the same era.  The Carl Zeiss lens attached to the R1 was excellent; possibly still one of the best lens on any non-interchangeable-lens camera.  Too bad Sony didn't continue to refine this camera and make it better.

Years later, we have the Sigma DP series, which use a Foveon 3-layer sensor.  The Sigma DP series are a niche market product and have not sold in large quantities, due to high price and unrefined design of the cameras.  Of course, there was the Leica X1, but it was priced out the wazoo.  The Fuji X100 caused quite a stir in the market and has been one of the more successful large sensor point & shoot cameras.  Let's not forget Canon, which is now the only camera maker without an EVIL camera, but they introduced the G1X large sensor compact in a much smaller form factor than the R1.  The sensor is smaller than the APS-C size, but image quality is on par with today's sensors.  But, at $800CAD, the G1X is way too expensive for more people.  It's more expensive than most entry level Micro 4/3 and NEX systems, which offers the advantage of interchangeable lenses.  But now, the upcoming Sony RX100 may change the high end point & shoot market.

What is happening is inevitable.  The smart phone has been killing the low end point & shoot camera market in recent years.  Camera manufacturers are forced to differentiate their cameras from the smart phones, and offer something unique to buyers of dedicated digital camera.  The larger sensor, in my opinion, is one of the best unique features, which cell phones will not have for a foreseeable future.

The RX100 has some impressive specs, which in many ways are better than the Canon G1X, especially the lens and video.  The one inch sensor used in the RX100 is the same size as the Nikon V1, but at twice the resolution at 20 MP, vs 10 MP on the V1.  Personally, I think the one inch sensor is the perfect compromise for a compact point & shoot camera.  The sensor is small enough for some tiny lenses, but large enough to offer much better image quality than the normal point & shoot.  I do think that Sony has gone pixel happy again and cramp 20 MP on this one inch sensor.  A 12 to 14 MP would be a more sensible option.

The pricing of the RX100 will ultimately determine how successful this camera will be.  If priced in the same ball-park as the Canon G1X, Sony will be shooting themselves in the foot.  I think they should price this camera competitively to capture the serious point & shoot market, and quickly introduce variant products, perhaps fix focal lens with fast aperture.  A large sensor point & shoot with a 28mm f1.8 or 24mm f2 would very welcome, which will cater to many of the people who consider this sort of camera as backup to this M4/3 or NEX or DSLRs.

I guess we will see soon enough.

Majestic looking cat -- NEX-5N & Tewe 200mm f3.2

Monday, June 4, 2012

Schneider-Kreunach Retina-Tele-Xenar 135mm f4 DKL Sample

Flowers -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Tele-Xenar 135mm f4 DKL. Click for larger

I do not like lenses with very long minimum focus distance, and this Schneider Tele-Xenar lens has a four meter (or 14 feet) minimum focus distance.  Totally rules out any sort of close ups.  The picture above is the best that I have been able to get.  In comparison, the Tamron 135mm f2.5 has a "close focusing" of 1.2 meters (4 feet).  This limitation really detracts from the fun of photography.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 DKL

The Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 was one of the standard lenses that came with the Kodak Retina reflex cameras.  Naturally, it has a DKL mount.  Few years back, I bought a small box of DKL lenses from someone who said he used them as props.  There are couple of the 45mm f2.8, three or four 85mm f4 and I believe one or two 90mm f4, all Schneider lenses.  I used a few of them briefly with my 1D III with the EOS-DKL adapter, but though expensive, the adapter was very badly made, which makes using lenses on it a pain.  Add to the fact that these lenses have pretty slow maximum aperture, which makes the optical viewfinder dark.  Consequently, they didn't get much use. 

Xenon 50mm f1.9 on left, Xenar 45mm f2.8 on the right. Note focus handle on the Xenar.

EVIL cameras change all that.  The small aperture didn't affect much of the electronic viewfinder, except when the light is very dim, then the picture in viewfinder gets very grainy.  In general use, EVIL cameras are perfect for these kind of lenses.  I have already written about the Xenon 50mm f1.9 DKL, which I like a lot. This Xenar 45mm f2.8 is much smaller it can be considered a pancake lens, if not for the very thick adapter.

Cool Bike -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 DKL. Click for larger.

I think the biggest complain about this lens is the one meter minimum focus distance, similar to most rangefinder lenses of the same focal length.  The fact that it has an f2.8 maximum aperture doesn't help if you try to shoot any close up pictures, or get shallow depth of field.  No, this lens is not suitable for this purpose, but good as a general purpose lens.  In fact, I am quite happy with it.  It's a very sharp lens when stopping down a bit but the corner is note as good as that of the Xenon 59mm f1.9 wide open.  The Xenar 45mm f2.8 is softer at the corners at f2.8.

Big Digger -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 DKL. Click for larger.

From f4 on, the lens is very good.  It's a great walk around lens.  Set the aperture to f5.6 or f8 and shoot.  With the help of the EVF and peaking level, it's very easy to focus, though the focus travel is pretty short.  For the low price, I think it's good value for the money, for a well made German lens.  It's also very beautifully made and gorgeous to just look at and play with.

Man at work -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 DKL. Click for larger.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 - First Impression

I have recently upgraded Dillon's Canon Rebel XS to a slightly better XSi.  The XS has a very shallow RAW buffer (two or three frames).  The XSi came with a EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6.  I have always wondered how the consumer version of the image stablized tele-zooms lens compared to the L series.  When the newer 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS came out, I was very tempted to buy one, as it got really good reviews from users, but hard to justify it since I already have the 70-200mm f2.8 IS.  So I was eager to try this entry level tele-zoom.  

Looking at you -- Canon XSi & EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS wide open at 250mm. Click for larger.

I shot with it during my lunch break last week with the Rebel XSi.  Let's say that there is no surprises.  I got what I expected.  This lens is often bundled with the 18-55mm kit lens with the Rebels, and is a nice complement to the kit lens.  Focus is not very fast, being a lens with Arc-Form Drive (AFD) motor, instead of the more speedy and quieter Ultrasonic (USM) motor.  As such, you can't adjust focus manually in AF mode, like you can with a USM lens.  For the intended user group, I don't think this would be a problem, if most users who use this lens know the difference at all.

Nick Nacks -- Canon Rebel XSi & EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS.  Click for larger.

The lens can focus relatively close.  At the long end, you can get pseudo macro images.  Not a substitute for a macro lens, but enough for most people to do some occasional close up shots.  However, the best feature of this lens is the IS and the versatile focal length.  The IS works really well.  I would say it's about as good as the one on the 70-200mm f4L IS; if not, it's pretty darn close.  Very effective and useful, especially at the long end.

Grocery Delievery -- Canon Rebel XSi & EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 at f8.

Image quality wise, it reminds me of the original 75-300mm f4-5.6 I used to have.  Not spectacular, but very acceptable.  Not very sharp wide open, but stopping down to around f8 or f11, it's quite all right.  This lens is pretty well corrected for purple fringing and flare control.  I shot without a hood and noticed no flares in my pictures.  I would say most people who this lens is targeted to, would be happy with the image quality.  The 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS is probably better, and works on full frame, but this lens is much cheaper, especially on the used market; often selling for $150 or under.  Personally, I would not be happy with the image quality, as I am used to the 70-200mm f2.8L/70-200mm f4L IS, but if I don't have these lenses to compared to, I am sure I would be satisfied.

Girl on Bixi bike -- Canon Rebel XSi & EF-s 55-250mm f4-5.6 @ f5.6

Friday, June 1, 2012

Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8 Sample

Waiting -- NEX-5N & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 45mm f2.8

The arrival of the DKL-NEX adapter ignites my interest in the DKL lenses, which I have quite a few.  The older DKL-EOS adapter was very badly made.  Besides, using multiple adapters (DKL-EOS-NEX) is not normally a good idea as the tolerance of each adapter would add up and this might affect the picture quality, especially the flatness may not be good enough to give an even plane of focus.

The Xenar 45mm f2.8 is very small and pancake like, but of course when mounted on the NEX-5N, even pancake lenses would look big with the adapter.