Posts Tagged ‘lenses’

Friday, May 13th 2011

Canon 50mm 1:1.4 II rumour

Canon Rumors just posted a [CR2] rated rumour that a new Canon 50mm f/1.4 II lens is on its way.

This sounds like great news to me, since the current one really isn’t very sharp off-centre when used at the larger apertures.

I’ve been considering switching to Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 for the more consistent sharpness across the frame, but never really felt it was worth the extra money and extra weight. Fingers crossed that the new Canon 50mm f/1.4 will be even better.

Monday, January 25th 2010

Lens Cleaning Tips

Just before I was about to sell my old lens, I searched the web for good ways of cleaning the outsides of a lens.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the weird white stuff that gets stuck between the little grooves on your zoom and focus rings. I guess it’s a mix of salt, grease and dead skin cells. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably haven’t had your DSLR for a full year.

This is what it looks like:

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, dirty.

Anyway, the method that I found is really simple. (And cheap!)

Just find an old toothbrush and fill a cup with warm water. Dip the toothbrush in the water and flick it hard a few times to get most of the water out of it again.

Then you simply brush the mucky areas. Just make sure the toothbrush isn’t leaving pools of water all over your lens – it’ll get into the joins.

Rinse the toothbrush if it gets too dry.

If you don’t drop your lens in the cup of water, you should end up with a lens looking close to new!

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, clean!

(BTW, this is not the lens I sold. The toothbrush method worked so well I went ahead and cleaned all my lenses.)

Friday, January 22nd 2010

Sharpness test: Sigma 17-70mm vs Canon 17-55mm

After having bought my second hand EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 I sold my Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. But before I sent it off to the buyer, I took some test shots for a little comparison of the two lenses.

I set my camera up on my tripod and took shots of our bookcases from roughly 2.5 meters away, at a right angle. I took photos at 17mm, 35mm and 55mm with both lenses, and at each focal length I took photos at f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8.0. (Obviously, the Sigma doesn’t do f/2.8 at 35mm and 55mm.)

One thing I did notice fairly soon was that the Sigma’s autofocus was much less reliable than the Canon’s. For some of the shots I ended up having to manually hunt for the optimum focus distance. The Canon got it right every time.

From each test shot I have cropped out sections from the centre, mid and edge areas. All in all, 66 squares of 300×300 pixels, which I have ordered in (hopefully) pretty tables below.

As you can see in the overview photos, the sections are taken from different places for the different focal lenghts. (To use the areas of the bookcases with most detail in them.)

I’ve put my own conclusion in words at the end, after all the tables.

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

17mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
17mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
17mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

35mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
35mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
35mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Overview of sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

55mm – Centre
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
55mm – Mid
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
55mm – Edge
Aperture Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/2.8 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/4.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/5.6 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS
f/8.0 Sharpness test of Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 Sharpness test of Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS

Conclusions

On the whole, in almost all of the little squares, the Canon is running circles round the Sigma. No pun intended actually.

Surprisingly though, the Sigma looks sharper than the Canon in the centre and mid areas of the frame when using f/2.8 at 17mm. The Canon seems to suffer from some kind of fringing here. (At the edges though, the Canon is better.)

To summarize, it was much as I had hoped and expected. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed with the Canon’s performance at 17mm. At the same time I don’t think that fringing will be very visible with most subjects. It would take a lot of fringing to out-weigh the benefits of having image stabilization.

Thursday, January 14th 2010

First Impressions of the Canon 17-55mm IS

I haven’t done any serious sharpness testing of this lens yet, but so far I’m really liking it. The f/2.8 aperture through the zoom range, the quiet auto focus and the image stabilization are all fantastic.

Or what about this shot through our bedroom window? 17mm, which normally needs 1/30th of a second to be sharp hand-held. Here I got away with 1/3rd of a second, leaning my hand against the window frame.

26288 - 2010-01-12 kl 08.05

That one third of a second feels like an eternity when you’re holding the camera and hear the click … … click.

BTW, if you can explain why the frost is on only one side of the tree branches I’d be very grateful. (It is frost, not snow. And the wind these last few days has been basically non-existant.)

I was also able to shoot a perfectly sharp photo of my wife pulling a silly face in our bedroom, lit by nothing but her computer screen and a 40 Watt light-bulb. Admittedly at ISO 800, but it would have had to be ISO 6400 with my old lens. And my camera only goes to 3200 …

Summary: Looking forward to using this lens for a long time to come!

Sunday, January 10th 2010

Camera bag: Meet Lens

I’ve been saving up for a while, and with some money I was given for Xmas I had enough to get a second hand Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

It took many late nights of on-line research to decide which lens would be the best choice. I’ve been considering the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC (Vibration Compensation) and the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.0 OS (Optical Stabilization). But in the end I decided to hunt down a second hand Canon 17-55mm f/2.8.

Initial reviews of the two other lenses have been so-so. And the Canon has both the constant maximum aperture of the Tamron and the quiet auto-focus of the Sigma.

I’ve managed to get my hands on a two year old copy of the EF-S 17-55mm which doesn’t seem to have been used very much. It really is in perfect condition, and I only paid two thirds of the price of a new one.

I’ll probably post a little comparison between the EF-S 17-55mm and my current standard zoom, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. If nothing else to cure my own curiosity.

By the way, if you live in Sweden and want to buy my Sigma, I’m selling it here.

As always in camera-land, one piece of new equipment will lead to another.

The EF-S is good in many ways, but it definitely isn’t compact. This means that I can’t really fit all my lenses in my current camera bag and the guy who sold me the 17-55 showed me his beautiful Lowepro Slingshot 350 AW. Beautiful as in extremely well designed.

The Lowepro 350 has a smaller sibling, the 300 (which lacks a laptop compartment) which will most likely be the subject for my next saving-up project.

Monday, December 14th 2009

Nice Lens: Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 OS HSM

Sigma has just introduced a new and very interesting lens, the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM.

Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM

When I got my Canon EOS 30D I decided to go for the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5. It is better than the standard kit lens and optically better than the Canon EF-S 17-85mm even if it lacks stabilization.

Sigma’s new lens offers two great improvements:

  • Ultrasonic auto focus motor (HSM)
  • Optical stabilizing

It also features better glass than the old lens, so in theory it should give even more detail. The old 17-70mm isn’t very sharp at the wide end.

I’ve felt that my 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 is the weakest of my lenses when it comes to low light photography. Adding stabilization would make a huge difference. An alternative would perhaps be to get a second hand Canon EF-S 17-55mm 1:2.8 IS.

Really looking forward to reading some tests of the new Sigma.

Monday, April 27th 2009

Problems with Sigma 17-70mm

When I got my Canon EOS 30D three years ago I decided to get the Sigma 17-70mm lens instead of the standard Canon EF-S 18-55mm kit lens.

Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5

On the whole the lens has worked very well, but recently I’ve discovered some odd behaviour from it.

Focus hunting

Firstly, I noticed the other evening that it hunted endlessly for focus without finding it, even though I was aiming at contrast edges which I normally think it would find. Admittedly light was perhaps a little dim, but certainly nowhere near dark.

I’m still not sure if this is a new issue or if the lens has behaved like this all the time. To some degree I know it has, but the hunting I saw now felt worse than anything I’ve seen previously.

Incorrect/jumpy focal length reporting

The second issue I’ve had is this: When using the lens together with my 420EX flash the flash zoom head will keep jumping between different (incorrect) zoom settings. I suspect this is because of the lens sending incorrect focal length data to the camera.

Now I’m not 100% sure this is the lenses fault since I haven’t tried to reproduce the behaviour with another flash. The weird thing is that the focal lengths written to the Exif data in the photos seem correct.

Anyone else who has seen these issues with this lens?

Monday, November 3rd 2008

Judekörs / Chinese Lanterns

Judekörs / Chinese Lanterns

Grannens Judekörs var finare än vanligt i kvällsljuset.

Bilden tagen med det underbara Canon 50 mm f/1.4 vid f/2.5.

Tuesday, March 18th 2008

Interesting: Sigma 50mm f/1.4

Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX DG HSM

Sigma just announced the new Sigma 50mm 1:1.4 EX. Since I’m a bit disappointed with the performance of my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, this might be an interesting alternative if the price is right. (I find the Canon 50mm 1.4 is only usably sharp from about f/2.2.)

Edit: Just realized I published a quick sharpness test of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 last year.

Saturday, June 2nd 2007

New toy: Sigma 10-20mm or Wide angle is fun

I’ve sort-of been wanting a really wide angle lens for a while. You can do so many cool things with them, and they’re actually quite useful as well. For instance, you can easily make really goofy portraits:

Wide angle portrait Sigma 10-20mm

The widest lens I’ve had before was 17 mm, so going down to 10 mm makes quite a difference. Especially in tight spaces and for landscapes. So, having had what felt like my first ever real pay check a few days ago, I ordered a Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 (and a UV filter to go in front of it). It arrived yesterday. Included was a great carrying pouch and a lens hood.

Contents Sigma 10-20mm 1:4-5.6 DC HSM lens hood carrying bag pouch

[@Tommy: Den finns med Nikonfattning också.]

After work and dinner I went out and played with it for four hours 🙂 in town.

First I headed for the historic parts of the town. Basically a large collection of 17th century smithies, now functioning as a tourist attraction with restaurants, etc.

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Tullgatan Rademachergatan

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna Sigma 10-20mm Rademachergatan

This bell tower worked quite well from below I thought. Sadly you can’t actually make out the bell here:

Rademachersmedjorna Eskilstuna klocktorn bell tower Sigma 10-20mm

Close to the old smithies I found what looked like a half deserted factory building.

deserted factory övergiven fabrik Eskilstuna

rusty pipes plumbing rostiga rör

soprum

blue grafitti orange wall

Just as I was going to leave, I saw this bracelet haning on a hinge on the fence:

lonely heart bracelet hanging

The last three photos were taken with my old 75-300mm lens.

Then I headed back home, but got stuck at the church which looked pretty good against the blue sky.

Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna

There were plenty of cool cars rolling around, so I had a go at improving my panning skills. Not sure what the first one is though… some kind of Chevy perhaps?

panning shot photo car

panning shot photo car rover mini

By now it was so dark I decided to go back into town to have a shot at some lit-up fountains that I pass every day going to work.

Going there, the view of the river was pleasing to the eye. I was lucky enough to get a horde of jackdaws in the shot.

wide angle shot Eskilstuna river jackdaws Sigma 10-20mm

Canon 75-300mm IS fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

Sigma 10-20mm fountains lights lit up Eskilstuna fontän fontäner

And a last shot of the church from across the river before I went home. This time I actually did go home.

Sigma 10-20mm Klosters kyrka church Eskilstuna across river Eskilstunaån

I’m getting close to 10,000 photos now. My camera has made 9949 exposures, and out of those I’ve kept 3604, or 36%. Sadly I haven’t printed very many, but I’m planning on making a few enlargements soon to put up on my bare walls.

Monday, January 15th 2007

Quick Sharpness Test of the Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM

In response to this thread over at photo.net I decided to test my copy of the Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM at various apertures.

The question posted in the thread is basically Can the Ef 50mm be used at f/1.4, or is it only sharp at f/2.8?.

Since it is late at night here, my test subject is rather boring. It’s a Volvo brochure laid out flat on my floor:

However, the tiny text is good for showing lens sharpness.

I shot test pictures at f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8. Here are the obligatory 100% crops. I should add that the images where shot with sharpness set to 3 (out of 7) and contrast at -4 in my 30D.

F/1.4

As you can see, at f/1.4 the edges are slightly soft. The edges are sharper at f/2.0, and even sharper at f/2.8:

F/2.0

F/2.8

From f/2.8 and up, the results are pretty similar:

F/4.0

F/5.6

F/8

So, to answer the question: The Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM is not as sharp at f/1.4 and f/2.0 as it is at f/2.8 and above, but I’d say it is definitely usable.

Wednesday, August 23rd 2006

New Lenses – EF 70-300 1:4-5.6 and EF 50mm 1:1.4

On Tuesday I got myself two new lenses: the EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM (phew!) and the EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM.

Canon EF 50mm 1:1.4 USM

I’ve been wanting the EF 50 1.4 for a long time, since it opens new opportunities in low light. On the 30D (with the 1.6x crop making it equivalent of 80 mm focal length with 35mm film) it also works great as a portrait lens.

Canon EF 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 IS USM

I previously had the EF 75-300 1:4-5.6 III, which I got in a kit with my EOS 300 and an EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6. This combination was great for learning, but neither of the lenses were any wonders of sharpness, so now I’ve replaced them both for lenses which can make the most of the 8 megapixels in my 30D. (I have the Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 as my standard zoom.)

With the 70-300 IS I’ll feel more comfortable using the 300 mm end, since the 70-300 IS is very sharp throughout the zoom range, as opposed to the EF 75-300mm that I owned before. Both sharpness and chromatic aberrations when shooting at 300 mm are much better/less severe with the new lens, thanks to a UD lens element (made with Ultra-low Dispersion glass).

Then, of course, the 70-300 also has image stabilizing which can truly work wonders in low light. Or what can you say when you get a sharp picture at the equivalent of 112 mm with a shutter speed of 1/8 sec?

I’ll be adding some images I took with the 70-300 on Monday to my Photography website.

Edit: I have now added two new galleries at my photography website, Now and Then.

Edit: Since this post was made I have re-structured my gallery and the Now & Then galleries don’t exist any more.

Sunday, June 4th 2006

Canon EF 28-90mm vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm

The full title of this should have been Canon EF 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 vs. Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 at ~35 mm, but it got rather long.

I’ve just done a small series of shots at f/4, 5.6 and 8 with the Canon and the Sigma, at 35 mm focal length.

As you’ll see, this test displays more than anything why it’s worth spending some more money on getting a sturdy tripod. Even though I didn’t intentionally change the camera’s position, it has quite obviously moved between the shots.

Below are 100% center crops. The Canon 28-90 is on the left, the Sigma 17-70 is on the right. Oh, and I should say that the Sigma ended up at 36 mm, and the Canon at 35 mm. First up, f/4:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Then we have f/5.6:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Finally, f/8:

100% comparison between Canon Ef 28-90mm 1:4-5.6 and Sigma AF 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5.

Edit: I just realized that I forgot to write some kind of conclusion. The Sigma is a lot sharper at f/4, but it doesn’t get much sharper at f/5.6 and f/8. The Canon is, in comparison, pretty soft at f/4, but improves significantly to f/8. At f/8 the main difference between the two seems to be the colour. The Sigma looks slightly more saturated. I did have the camera WB set to Cloudy, so the difference shouldn’t be because of the AWB treating the photos differently.

Saturday, June 3rd 2006

Canon EOS 30D and Sigma 17-70mm, Second Thoughts

Well, I got my 30D on Monday. (Finally!) I ordered it basically a month ago. Oh boy is this a nice camera… I’ve had the lens since the 16 May, but obviously haven’t been able to use it properly until now.

Canon EOS 30D box

Thought I’d give you a little review of it here. If you’re wondering, I’m not having second thoughts about my purchase. I just thought it would be wrong to title this First Thoughts, since I’ve had it for about a week now 🙂 All the same, it won’t be a complete review – there are plenty of those out there for you already. I’ll just comment on a few different aspects of the camera.

The size of the grip.

This is the main reason I got the 30D instead of the 350D. I’m not so bothered about the 5 frames per second, although it is nice at times. Having tried the 350D with a ~400 gram lens and a flash attached, I am convinced I made the right choice. For me, the 350D was far to small to feel comfortable. I got the feeling I was only holding it with my fingertips.

I actually ordered the vertical grip (BG-E2) as well, but canceled it when I read that it wasn’t very high quality, and sometimes could cause power-cuts. I would definitely like the vertical grip for that last bit of hand to fit onto the camera in landscape orientation, and obviously not having to hold your arm up for verticals would be nice. However, having a battery grip on when using a tripod is not optimal in my experience, which is half the reason I decided to skip the BG-E2.

The 2.5-inch display

This, obviously, is very nice to have. Some have complained about the brightness not being good enough for outdoor use. I agree that the default (middle) brightness setting is a bit low for daylight use, but you just need to up it two notches for it to be fine. However, remember to turn it down again, or your pictures will look overexposed when you review your photos in less light.

The viewfinder

Some mean that the viewfinder of the 20D and 30D is on the small side. I feel it’s just right, probably mainly because of me wearing glasses. With it not being huge, I can easily see all of it at the same time. If it were any bigger I would have to keep moving my eye in relation to the camera to see the edges of the frame.

The USB connection

(See the edit at the end of this post.) My largest disappointment with the 30D must be the non-functional USB-to-computer connection. The CD doesn’t seem to include any so called WIA drivers for the camera, which may be why the connection keeps dying in the middle of transfers. I’ve given up completely on moving pictures directly from the camera, because it seems impossible to move more than a few before the camera disconnects from the computer. I’ve ordered a CF card reader. While some may say that I should use a card reader all the same, I feel it should at least be possible, if a little slow, to transfer pictures straight from the camera. Canon, are you listening?

The Auto White Balance

Some reviews have complained about Canon’s AWB not handling tungsten light very well. My thought is that this is because they don’t want to risk taking the warmth out of photos shot at dawn and dusk. I’d love to hear what you think on the subject – leave a comment if you think I’m right or wrong.

The Multi-Controller

There is a small joy-stick thing on the back of the 30D (and the 20D) which is used for moving around when reviewing photos. One of the custom functions (nr 13, set to 1) lets you use this multi-controller for quickly selecting which AF point to use. I think this should be the default behaviour, since it is much quicker and easier than having to press the AF-point selection button first.

The Sigma 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5 DC

Without having made any direct, scientific comparisons, this lens seems very sharp. Photozone.de have done though, and the charts show that this lens is better than the EF 17-85 IS USM in many ways, apart from the fact that it doesn’t have IS of course. I’ll do a comparison with my EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 later just for the fun. I realize they will be like day and night, optically. They definitely are quality-wise anyway.

The Over-All Feeling

This is a camera I will have lots of fun using, hopefully for many days to come!

Edit: After consulting my fellow photographers in the MBP Forums, I tried reinstalling all the Canon software. If I had read the manual I would have seen a warning to not connect the camera before installing anything. I must have done just that, because it works fine now that I have reinstalled.

Tuesday, April 18th 2006

Really Wanting the EOS 30D + Sigma 17-70mm

Can’t stop thinking about it. The Canon EOS 30D. I got to play around with it last week-end, and ever since, I can’t think of anything else.

I’ve been wondering whether I should get a second hand 20D instead, but I’d really like to have the spot metering of the 30D, as well as the larger screen. The 20D’s 1.8 inch screen feels tiny when you’ve tried the 30D. Also, the direct access to the ISO setting is very useful, so I don’t think I’ll be getting a 350D since you have to use a menu to change the ISO there.

I’ve also read up on the lens tests over at Photozone. I’m a bit skeptical about Canon’s EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS, since it seems to fair rather poorly. It has serious chromatic aberation, vignetting and barrel distortion. The
Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC macro is a much better buy, costing around 3500 SEK (€ 370) compared to the Canon’s roughly 6000 SEK (€ 670). It is sharper (higher resolution) and suffers less from distortion and chromatic aberration. The vignetting is only slightly less pronounced in the Sigma. It doesn’t have the Image Stabilizing that the Canon lens has, but instead it has a larger maximum aperture, by nearly a full stop. (2.8 vs. 4.0.)

Well, we’ll see if this ever becomes more than just a dream… Extremely tempted right now anyway.