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Archive for March, 2013

Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens.

I’m not a big fan of Zoom lenses, i prefer prime lenses, so imagine shooting with a kit zoom lens for serious photography !!! I did use the Canon 18-55mm IS kit lens on my Canon XS for family photos but never for serious photography. Not long ago i bought a 7D and 400mm/5.6 L for my wildlife photos and also a set of Extension tubes. I like to try my lenses with Extension tubes to see how they performs, sometimes they are good but sometimes not so good.

So lets start with regualr distance shots without Ext. tubes, i took some photos with my 7D to see if that little lens can stand the 18Mp sensor ?

All shots taken in RAW and processed in LR and PS.

Here is a shot of my 2 young girls:

Taken with 7D and 18-55mm IS, handheld with IS activated.

Set at 32mm, 1/30 sec. at f/5.6, ISO 500, handheld with IS.

Here is a crop from the shot above, i zoomed-in to 100% in PS. From the TIFF files with no PP and sharpening, just resized and saved as JPEG.

Some tests with Extension tubes.

7D with 18-55mm IS with 34mm of Ext. tubes on tripod.

Set at 37mm, 1/80 sec. at f/8.0, ISO 200, tripod.

Some photos taken inside my house, sorry for the boring subjects!

7D with 18-55mm set at 44mm with 13mm Ext. tube, ISO 400, 1/200 sec. at f/8, handheld.

Zoomed at 100% and cropped in PS with no sharpening.

Same cropping but with PP and sharpening set at 90 % and radius at 1.0.

Close-up of my SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f4.0.

At 45mm with 13mm Ext. tube, ISO 125, at f11, tripod.

Zoomed at 100 % with PP and same sharpening as above.

At 24mm with 13mm Ext. tube, ISO 125, at f11, tripod, same crop with same PP.

Well at normal distances that lens is sharper than i was expecting and certainly can be use for serious work if needed especially from about 20mm to 45mm where i found it to be at it`s best on my sample. Also it`s not too bad for close-up work, sure not as good as a real Macro lens but can be useful to shoot close-up at 24mm.


From Pentax to Canon 7D + 400mm/5.6 L for wildlife.

I’ve been a Pentax user for the last 25 years and really like their cameras and lenses, but currently there isn’t a 400mm lens that is available with fast AF and also there is no autofocus TC-1.4X available . After some long thinking i finally decided to sold my Pentax-67 M*400mm/4 EDIF, which is a great lens but it’s a fully manual lens and quite heavy at around 3700 gr. I wanted a lighter lens with fast AF  and a TC-1.4X, so i choosed the Canon 7D and the 400mm/5.6 L, the Canon 400mm/5.6 L  is only 1250 gr, so it is 3 times lighter than my Pentax 400mm lens was.

I went to the Ecomuseum of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue (on the western side of Montreal), it’s like a Zoo but the animals are either injured or born in captivity so they can’t be released in the wild, they use them for education.  I like that place to test a new camera, lens or TC that i will use for wildlife. I tried different ISO settings and aso the TC-1.4X II, wanted to know if my kit had BF or FF problems.

Good news, looks like my combo don’t need any AF adjustment. The 2nd photo is a crop of the 1st one.

ISO 500, 1/800 sec. at f/5.6, tripod.

Testing the TC 1.4X II, taken W/O at f/5.6, sharpness is still very good !

ISO 800, 1/320 sec. at f/5.6, tripod.

It’s little cousin had something to say.

ISO 640, 1/500 sec. at f/10, tripod.

Miam ! Miam !

ISO 500, 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Close-up of the Wolf.

ISO 320, 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Ducks on Ice.

ISO 500, 1/500 sec. at f/6.3, tripod.

Sleeping time for the River Otter.

ISO 640, 1/320 sec. at f/11, tripod.

First impressions

– The AF is fast and accurate, no needs to adjust it.

– IQ of the 400mm/5.6 L is at least as good as my Pentax-67 M*400mm/4 EDIF.

– ISO performance is about the same as my K20D, need more experience with the 7D to draw more definitive conclusions.

– The IQ with the TC-1.4X II is very good even W/O.

– I will need some times to get faster using the 7D, but it’s easier than i thought it would be considering the differnt disposition of the buttons and menu with a Pentax DSLR.

– I like the silent mode and 8 Fps.

– I prefer the pad on the Pentax DSLR, with the 7D you have to turn the pad (like my NEX-3), i guess i will get use to it.

– The weather sealing is not as good as with Pentax but i ordered a waterproof sleeve for my kit.

– The lens release button should be on the other side of the lens mount, it doesn’t feel right on the left side ?!?!

I think i will like that combo for wildlife photography, needs some times to really get fast and efficient with it but i’m already pleased with it.


Animals at Omega Park.

Omega Park is like a zoo but the difference is that most animals are free and you drive your car on a dirt road to see Elk, Deers and other wildlife. Bears, Wolf and Coyote are in big enclosures which is normal with all those Deers and Elk !

You don’t always have a great angle to shoot since you can’t get out of your car, so you have to hanhold your camera and shoot from the inside of your car. I like to go in different seasons since there is something new to shoot everytime. The following photos were shot this winter in March. I used my DA*50-135 and Pentax-645 FA300mm/5.6 for most of the shots but i also used my NEX-3 with the 18-55 kit lens for those close encounters.

Here is a snapshot of how it looks while you drive in the Park, they are all waiting for you to have Carrots.

Sony NEX-3 with 18-55 kit lens.

Arctic Wolf in it’s enclosure.

Pentax K20D with Pentax-645 FA300mm/5.6

Red Deer.

Pentax K20D with Pentax-645 FA300mm/5.6

Red Deer close-up.

Pentax K20D with Pentax-645 FA300mm/5.6

White-Tail Deer waiting for carrots !

Sony NEX-3 with 18-55 kit lens.

Wild Boar along the road, they are frequent and funny to observe.

Sony NEX-3 with 18-55 kit lens.

Buffalo.

Pentax K20D with DA*50-135.

Buffalo

Pentax K20D with DA*50-135.