Posted on April 26, 2018
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.
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.
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.
Posted on May 7, 2017
Last weekend my wife and I decided to have a short road trip to Salzburg and Hallstatt in Austria. Salzburg is just 2:15 from where we live, and we had not been there before, but heard a lot of good things about it. I ended up with a lot of photos from the two days, so I”ll split the posts – so here is Salzburg!
Salzburg was pretty amazing, but lots of tourists… After a while I get people phobia, so if you are like me, make sure you arrive early! Salzburg has lots of rich history, and its wealth came from salt mines in the region. Salt was used extensively in the past as a food preservative. Today Salzburg is a vibrant city, with cool markets, a lovely river and cosy cafes. The main reason tourists come here however is to get a glimpse of the Salzburg’s glamorous past, which is easy. The city has many wonderful old buildings, small alleyways and imposing courtyards.
You can spend days in Salzburg, but we only had one. We strolled around on the cities many steep paths and eventually made it to the fort, over looking the city. You can take a tram up to the fort, but you should walk up, as you will see a lot on the way. The fort was built to protect the city and its wealth in salt from its enemies. The fort was expanded many times, and never breached.
The city has lots of nice shops to look at. Some are still trading salt today, like to cool and trendy place below. Some good places for coffee too, and if you don’t feel like walking, but can take a horse carriage around the city instead.
Here are some more of my favorite photos from the trip to Salzburg!
Posted on January 11, 2017
My wife and I recently visited the Munich BMW Museum for my birthday.. yes, I know, a brave wife but we did go shopping in Munich afterwards! I took the opportunity to take some photos along the way. If you are interested in cars at all, you shouldn’t miss a visit to BMW Welt and the BMW Museum.
It is also possible to take a factory tour, however on this occasion we didn’t have time for that. Photography is allowed in all parts of the museum. In the BMW Museum part, you cannot bring in backpacks, which have to be put in lockers in the dressing room. I decided to go for an abstract style of photos to try and match the modern technological feel that BMW gives. I therefore used my 45mm f2.8 TS-E lens for most of my photos. This tilt shift lens can be a challenge to use when shooting from the hip in a fast paced environment like the BMW Welt, but I like the results. There is good light in most parts of the museum.
BMW of course make some excellent sports cars today, and all the current models can be seen and touched at the BMW Welt (BMW World). The Welt building is remarkable, modern German design, and is a treat in itself. It was opened in 2007 and apart from showcasing the vehicles on display the building is also used for conferences, meetings and promotional events. In Munich, this is where buyers take delivery of their new BMW. In addition to all the BMW cars on display, they also have BMW bikes, the Mini, Rolls Royce and technological innovation on display. If you are looking for a souvenir, BMW has that covered too with a large gift shop. There are also a couple of very nice Cafes where you can sit sipping good coffee while enjoying the view!
The BMW Welt scores 4.7 out of 5 on Google reviews, and is well worth visiting. Parking is provided under the museum for a reasonable fee. The BMW Welt itself is free of charge.
Official information in English can be found here: http://www.bmw-welt.com/en/
Some 200m from the BMW Welt is the Museum. BMW has a long and interesting history in motorcycles, aircraft engines, cars and race cars. I really enjoyed this excellent exhibition. It is well organized, and the classic exhibits contrast well with the fast paced BMW Welt. Again, the building is very impressive, and there are many special treasures in store, such as early motorcycles from the 1920s, their first cars, a very nice selection of famous race cars, an M-Power room, and much else!
Also interesting is the exhibits from BMW in the 1940s, when they were roped into the war effort. One of the worlds first jet engines can be seen here, originally intended for the worlds first jet fighter, the ME262. Another interesting war time engine produced by BMW is the BMW 801, a powerful 14 cylinder radial aircraft engine built in large numbers for aircraft such as the Focke Wulf FW190 and Junkers Ju88.
One of the things which impressed me the most was BMW’s commitment to racing. Every car nut knows how successful the 1990s BMW M3 was in racing, but that’s not the whole story. The museum shows a long line of famous race cars, right from the early days to the present day. There are many famous engines on display as well, such as the 1980s turbo monsters, a 1.5 liter engine producing some 1200hp.
Finally, I also really enjoyed the glimpse into the future the museum provides. There are a few prototypes, and current models which lead the way in technical development, such as the impressive i8 and i3.
All in all a great experience. Here are a few tips for photographers if you are thinking of visiting;
I hope you enjoyed this little write up. If you did, be sure to follow my blog!
Posted on March 18, 2016
Product Photography is the art of photographing items or products for business use or just for fun. Special lighting and sharp close focusing lenses is used to bring the best out of the product. Good product photography is essential for marketing and sales. Nobody wants to buy a product with a photo which looks as though it was taken on a phone!