Retirement time for a dependable workhorse!

I am going to do some tweaks to my photography kit. Over the coming weeks I will be selling some lenses, and buying a couple of replacements for the wide end of my photography kit.

I will be saying goodbye to the Samyang 14mm 2.8, Canon 16-35mm 2.8L II and Canon 45mm 2.8 TS-E.

Why the change?

Certainly without a doubt the 16-35mm 2.8L II is a great lens, a real workhorse. I have got a lot of great images from it. Its been with me around the world, a few times in fact.  It’s typical Canon L, reliable, dependable and well made. I like its metal body, constant length, good image quality, weather sealing and its versatility. The 16-35mm range is great for all wide angle photography.

I have had the lens since I got it new in 2012. I do think it’s time to move on though. We now have a different market, more competition, and some very good unique offerings. The Tamron 15-30mm 2.8 VC, 16-35mm 2.8L III, 16-35mm 4L IS. Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 Art and Sigma 12-24mm f4 Art lenses are strong alternatives, which really show the older lens is getting long in the tooth.

Oddly though, it is the 16-35mm’s versatility that is its undoing for me. I think zoom lenses make you lazy, and I enjoy working with prime lenses. The range of the 16-35mm meant that I was often using it – too much. I also think that nowadays every man and his dog has a 16-35mm lens which just makes it less appealing to me somehow. I like to be different. You are not going to stand out if you do what everybody else does!

I will be selling the Samyang 14mm 2.8 lens which I got a couple of years ago. Fun inexpensive lens on fullframe. It gives you access to 14mm on fullframe for little money, and also has good image quality. But the mechanics are horrible, and it just isn’t nice to use in the field. The all manual lens has no AF confirm chip, which make it difficult to use on the run. The distortion profile is also horrendous! Just unacceptable. It was fun for a bit, but I personally will not be missing this lens.

Finally, the 45mm 2.8 TS-E also must go L. I really like this lens, even with its quirks. I will miss this lens, it’s a lot of fun to use, and unlock creative possibilities that are truly unique to tilt-shift lenses. I need the capital for other lenses, and besides, there is a new 50mm 2.8L TS-E Macro lens announced which will drive down the prices of the 45mm version. The 45mm was released in 1991… and it does show. The mechanics are fantastic, and it’s a pleasure to use. However, the optics are not perfect. It’s sharp at close distance from f2.8-16, but at medium and far distances, it’s not that strong a performer. It also does not focus close which the newly announced 50mm version will fix, increasing its appeal and usefulness.

So what are we getting!?

I am going to boost my wide angle coverage and get the new Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 Art and 18mm 2.8 Zeiss Milvus. These lenses offer excellent mechanics, build quality and optics. Both are sharper than my 16-35mm 2.8L II was and offer less distortion. The Zeiss Milvus 18mm 2.8 lens will be great for landscape and architecture, and offers amazing image quality. There is a certain look to Zeiss images, their colour and rendering are truly unique. The Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 Art is a brand new option, which will back up the 18mm 2.8 while giving easy access to 14mm.

I plan to buy the 50mm 2.8L TS-E Macro some time in 2018, likewise, I might get the 12mm 2.8 Laowa or 11mm f4 Irix lens for some extreme wide-angle fun.

I look forward to playing with the new lenses, and I’m sure they will offer a lot of great pictures! Of course its not about the gear, but more the dedication to photography, experimenting and learning. One belief I have though is that you should invest in the lenses, and buy the best you can. Bodies and sensors come and go.

Happy shooting!

Landscape Gallery


Nothing like being in a beautiful part of the world, with nice light and a camera! Getting up early and going out with your gear to watch the sunrise is certainly always rewarding.


 

 

Cambodia album is up!

Hey everyone!

I have added an album from Cambodia! Great place for photography, so much history and culture. Click below to see the full album!

Hope you enjoy the photos.

IMG_8339

Young sales woman gives demonstration

 

FULL ALBUM

Wilsons Promontory Hiking Trip

Hey Guys!!

Over the Easter break my partner and I went hiking in the famous Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. We went for 4 days, camping along the way. The map below details the route we took.

Wilsons Promontory Hiking route. 4 days.

Wilsons Promontory Hiking route. 4 days.

Of course, I had to bring my DSLR and photograph the beautiful landscapes. But when carrying your home with you on your back though, this isn’t so easy. You really have to limit the gear you take on hikes. We had about 35km to cover, and taking all my photography equipment wasn’t an option.

Weather conditions can also be unpredictable, and you must ensure you take steps to protect your camera equipment. For this trip I wanted to keep it simple. I took along the following gear;

  • Canon 5D Mark III body with grip and L-bracket.
  • Canon 16-35mm 2.8L II lens
  • Hoya UV filter (helps with weather sealing on the 16-35L lens)
  • B+W Kasemann MRC CPL filter
  • Lee 100mm filter holder
  • Lee Little Stopper (6 stop ND filter)
  • Lee Big Stopper (10 stop ND filter)
  • Lee 0.9 Pro stop 3 stop ND filter
  • Lee ND graduated filters
  • Remote for 5D Mark III
  • Slik Pro 713 CF II Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • Giottos MH1301 Ballhead

 

Here are some tips for managing your photography gear on a hiking trip;

  • Take only gear that you really need. Make sure you don’t forget anything!
  • Make sure you have a way of protecting them from the weather, I used a dry sack which could fit my camera with lens attached.
  • Bring a polarizing filter! CPLs help to deepen skys, saturate colour and remove unwanted reflections.
  • Bring a lightweight, but sturdy tripod
  • Make sure your batteries will last the distance, keep them warm in cold climates.
  • Take time to take photos, plan breaks around the best light for photography.

 

Here are some results from the trip!! All taken with 5D Mark III and 16-35mm 2.8L II lens

 

Australia album now up!

Hey everyone! I have created an album from Australia. I hope to make albums from all the places I’ve traveled, but this one is special. Australia is home to me, and I’ve lived here 15 years so far. Below are some tasters. Be sure to checkout the album here:

Australia

 

Bradmill

Some images from the spooky abandoned Bradmill. The old factory is in Melbourne’s inner city, and the property is set to be sold for $120m AUD, but negotiations seem to have stalled… Good place for photography in the meantime!

Vietnam

Vietnam is a great place for photography! The streets are bustling, landscapes are vibrant and the people are charming. I’ve traveled to Vietnam four times now and i’m absolutely in love with the place!