Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gadget Review: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

Last Christmas, the wife gave me a new gadget: the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. I was thinking of upgrading my 50mm f/1.8 lens and, I guess, she read my mind.



There was nothing wrong with the f/1.8 lens but the USM difference was a great deal for me. And also, the full-time manual feature of the f/1.4 is also a big plus.

But of course, the bigger aperture is what makes this, above all else, much better than the f/1.8.











The lens is heftier than the f/1.8 though it isn't that heavy. And of course, the build quality is much better.

The lens performed admirably! It is quick to focus and the pictures produced are tack sharp. The f/1.4 opening makes this a very good low-light photography companion.

I tried using the lens for street photography and got pretty successful pictures.











However, some may find the lens too limiting in its scope, too narrow. It is a 50mm lens after all.

The lens is a non-image stabilized lens so you should not get much longer than 1/50th of a second (the inverse focal length rule). However, my shot of the ride on the left was taken at 1/5s, so your mileage regarding this might vary also. I guess, so far, I really have steady hands. ;)

But of course, one of the best application for such a lens is for portraiture. It may be too short with a full size sensor like in the Canon 5D Mark II but it's perfect for the Canon 7D because of its 1.6 crop factor.

But, heck, I like it with whatever camera I use. :)











Here are some of the photos of the wife taken with the lens. My picture, in turn, was taken by the wife.

So, all in all, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens is a very good lens. This may now be my favorite lens! Oops! Don't let my 24-105 hear that.... :)

And I thank the wife for it! :)


Highly Recommended!

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Shots of the lens were taken with the Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 IS USM f/4L lens. All the other photos were taken using a 5DII and the Canon EF 50mm USM f/1.4 lens. 

Want the best backpack for your DSLR? Check out my review of my favorite, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW, here and here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

San Francisco Cable Car





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Shots made with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 IS USM f/4L lens. Want the best backpack for your DSLR? Check out my review of my favorite, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW, here and here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Lesson for New Photographers: Do Not Chimp

Wikipedia defines chimping as "The habit of checking every photo on the camera display immediately after capture".

Needles to say, this is bad.

See, when you chimp, there is a great chance that you will miss the action happening just in front of you.


So, learn how to use your camera, train your eye, and you will be able to use your camera instinctively without looking at pictures each time you press the shutter. This way, you won't miss the shot. :)

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Shot made with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. Want the best backpack for your DSLR? Check out my review of my favorite, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW, here and here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy MLK Day




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Shots made with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 IS USM f/4L lens. Want the best backpack for your DSLR? Check out my review of my favorite, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW, here and here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Magnificent Mile in Retro

A little piece of home...



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Shots made  with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM. Post-processing done in Adobe Lightroom 3. Want to know about my favorite backpack, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW? Check out my reviews here and here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dilemma in Photography Land

All things considered, I am still relatively new to photography. Even though I used a film-SLR about a century ago, I only had my first DSLR at the tail end of 2008. As the years progressed, I upgraded my kit lens, replaced my DSLR, won another, got a telephoto zoom lens, got a couple of speedlites and accumulated a plethora of lens filters, camera bags...

But now, there is a dilemma simmering in my head. And it all started with Trey Ratcliff.

In this blog post, Trey said that DSLRs are a dying breed. While in one, Scott Bourne posted his agreement.

As I've said, I am still a newbie when it comes to photography.  So, I still need to gather some stuff for the photography that I want to do. For example, I want to do some macro photography but my currents lenses cannot accomodate that. All professional photographers say that you should remove your flash from your camera because off-camera flash is the best for portraiture; and you cannot do that unless there is a way to control your flash units when they are not attached to your DSLR. (It's a good thing that my Canon 7D can control my off-camera speedlites but the infrared remote won't work outdoors...) I've still got to have light modifiers, light stands... The list goes on and on...

I even have my wish list at the ready here.

Now what about what Trey and Scott said? Well, these guys are titans in the world of photography and what they say definitely carry weight. Now, if the DSLR is a dying species, how come camera makers are still churning out the big cameras left and right? Well, companies are like that, it's in their DNA and they would want you to buy their stuff even if they know that the next phase is already here.

Now, here is the real dilemma:

I still want to do macro photography and I still want to get a real macro lens - and at 100mm, it'll also be a great portrait lens. I still want to move my speedlites off camera so that I'll be able to make beautiful portraits. So the question is, do I still want to expand my DSLR collection knowing that, five to ten years from now, DSLRs will just be used by those who absolutely need them, if at all? (Note what Scott said about fast sports and wild life photography.)

If point-and-shoot cameras can shoot something like these now...



...imagine what they can do five years hence?

And the future is here! A point-and-shoot with the size of a sensor almost as big as my 7D?!? Well, if it can be called a "point-and-shoot"...

Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma...

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Both photos shot, yes, with a Canon Powershot SX230 HS.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Unbearable Lightness



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Shot made with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-105 IS USM f/4L lens. Want the best backpack for your DSLR? Check out my review of my favorite, the Lowepro Versapack 200AW, here and here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jelly Fish at the Shedd Aquarium










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All photos shot by the wife using a Canon Powershot SX230 HS. My review of the camera can be found here. Want a really good case for your point-and-shoot? Check out my review of the Lowepro Dublin 20 here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year from the Windy City


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Fireworks at the Navy Pier shot with an iPhone4 and post-processed using Instagram.

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