Long Term Review: Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS Lens

Every photographer has a go-to lens that helps them to accomplish their daily tasks. What’s yours? Mine was (and in some ways still is) the Canon 24-105mm F/4 L IS. It has been by my side through paparazzo work, weddings, portraits, events, sports, and it has even been my casual walkaround lens. Used on the many cameras that have passed through my hands during reviews, it has been a mainstay on either my Canon 7D or 5D Mk II: always remaining ready to be used in an instant.

This long term review will cover the two years I’ve spent using this lens and will summarize the faults and strengths of this beloved piece of plastic with the heart of glass.

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Field Review: Fujifilm X100 (Day 4)

Improvisation—it’s what every photographer needs to do at times in order to achieve the photo they want. In my case, I did this with lighting. Last night, I stayed in (due to allergies) and tried to photograph a lens for a friend of mine since he wants to sell it. Now here’s the problem: my 7D, 5D Mk II, flashes and lenses are in the hands of good friends helping them to shoot weddings. My EP-2 is with another friend being tested for long exposure photography. So that left me with the Fuji X100, the flash on the camera, and the light from my Visisble Dust SensorLoupe.

To play catchup, I’ve tested the film modes, took the Fuji X100 with me to a small celebration for Cinco De Mayo with co-workers, and expolored a slew of problems: especially the metering. The day before that, I compared it to the Olympus EP-2 and was just getting a feel for it.

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Photography from the Shoe Level

Often overlooked, but extremely important is a photographer’s footwear. I am by no means vain. I pride myself in being perpetually out of fashion. Nonetheless, I do understand proper shoes. A huge part of photography is being on our feet. We  are either photo walking, doing long photo shoots in studios, or shooting landscapes. Most of  the time we are walking or standing. 25% of your body’s bones are in your feet. If your feet are uncomfortable, it will affect your photography eventually, mostly affecting your stamina or your mood.

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The Complete Nikon D7000 Review

The Nikon D7000, a DSLR falling between the Nikon D90 and the D300S on Nikon’s charts, is a fantastic camera. Commercially available around $1200 USD since last fall, the Nikon D7000 is a great bang for your buck. It produces great images with its 16.2 MP CMOS sensor, 2,016-segment RGB meter and 39 points of auto-focus. The dual memory card slots can take SD, SDHC or SDXC. The D7000 also continues Nikon’s tradition of great low light performance with high ISO capabilities. The camera shows that Nikon is working very hard to make better DSLRs.

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The Complete Sony a580 Review

Sony a580

As 2011 rushed to a close, so did my opportunity to get a new camera. When I purchased a580, B&H had one left in stock. I pounced on the opportunity, and from there, my photographic career took a new turn. The a580 packs a 16.2 MP sensor with 95% OVF coverage – 100% in Focus Check Live View mode. The camera is also Sony’s first traditional DSLR with video functionality. Continue reading…

Review: Impact Strobros Beauty Dish

The Impact Strobros Beauty Dish is a bit of a weird item, but it’s still very useful for what it does. Primarily used in portraiture, beauty dishes mimic the look of a softbox. What’s special about them though is that it is easier to change the color temperature of the light: which is easily done by switching out the disk in the middle of the dish. With that said, it isn’t an item for everyone and this review was actually a very big learning experience.
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Shooting The Presidents of the United States With Nikon as a Canon Shooter

Concerts are where you go to see some artists truly just be themselves, and capture it on camera if you’re allowed to. I’ve shot concerts before, mostly with Canon gear. However, I’ve also used the Nikon D300s and D3s: but this was a while ago. To keep my knowledge of the other system fresh, I borrowed a co-worker’s D700and 24-70mm F/2.8 ED for a week. Here are some of the experiences I had while shooting the Presidents of the United States promote their new song for the Pokemon Black and White release.

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Field Test: The Nikon D7000 (Day 5)

I’ve enjoyed my time with the Nikon D7000. It is a quick, easy-to-use camera, with comfortable controls and a nice set of features. Nikon has created a compelling new lineup of cropped-sensor “prosumer” cameras, with the D3100, D5000, and D7000. The D7000 gives up only a little ground to its D300s big brother, including a beefier body, faster frame rate, more autofocus points, and a few ergonomic upgrades (like a dedicated autofocus button). The D7000, however, doesn’t feel dumbed down or cheap. It has proven to be a great camera, one that I was happy to have along to both professional shoots and family outings.

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How Faster Lenses Can Save Your Flash’s Battery Life

Faster lenses (i.e. those with a wider maximum aperture) are often the ones that will preserve the battery life of your flash. Keep this in mind when photographing events, weddings, portraits, photojournalism, or concerts. This is even more true for flash modifiers like the Orbis and Gary Fong Lightsphere that bend the shape of the flash output but lose light in the process. There are ways to get the most out of your flash output. Besides using it wirelessly to place the light anywhere you want, there are many factors that new photographers should keep in mind to be super-efficient with their flash output. Additionally, knowing that faster lenses can save you lots of trouble in the end is critical. Before you read this post, you may want to open up our recommended Canon lenses post in another tab. Also keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune on these lenses.

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Could This Be the Canon 85mm F/1.2 L II? I Doubt It!

I found an old posting at Velodramatic via some internet forums that didn’t seem to get any buzz. Granted, it is an old posting, but it still brings up a very big point. The 85mm F/1.2 L isn’t terribly old, but there are some issues with it: like slow USM. Now, I have the 85mm F/1.8 (one of my highly recommended lenses) and haven’t found that I needed to have Image Stabilization built in. However, the L version is quite a bit heavier and I could easily understand why someone would perhaps want it. It is used by wedding, portrait and other photographers.

Though I have my doubts about this concept being real, I consider this image rendering to be a huge fake because I highly doubt it would focus out to 70 feet. However, this would be a very interesting move for Canon because of the fact that the 85mm F/1.2 L is used often in cinematography in addition to some of the current favorites. Adding IS to it would make a bit more sense. If it has the other focusing modes that their new zooms and primes, then they would be trying to prep it for other uses. It would be a viable option against the Zeiss cinema prime that we had hands on with before, though it would also be very different.

Do you think this could really happen? Let us know in the comments below.

Clarification: the writer says the lens is a fake. But consider the trends that Canon’s technology is following and the way they are moving forward with their lenses. Features from the higher end lenses often trickle down to other ones.

Battle of the Flagships: Olympus E-5, Pentax K5, Canon 7D, Nikon D300s: Which is Better?

This is it: the moment you’ve been waiting for if you’ve been trying to figure out which camera to purchase or which one is best for you. After completing long, exhaustive testing of the Pentax K-5, Canon 7D, Nikon D300s and Olympus E-5, we are proud to announce the battle of the flagships shootout. Let’s go!

Editor’s Note: This is a joint posting written by Editor in Chief Chris Gampat and Lead Analyst Matt Beardsley.

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to The Histogram (Part 1)

In these days of the digital SLR, we’ve all seen these weird graphs, jagged and erratic like the output from some radioactive geological experiment. Most modern cameras allow quick access to these cryptic readouts. They come in a range of sizes and colors, instant review, live feedback, even histograms for every color channel. So are they useful? Can they help us to take better photos? In this quick 3-part series, we’ll dive into the power of the histogram and, hopefully, share a few handy tips.  Continue reading…

Field Review: The Pentax K-5 (Day 5)

We’ve come to the end of our time with Pentax’s premier 35mm DSLR. It’s a camera that has earned attention for it’s well-regarded image quality, rugged build, and top-tier ergonomics. I’ve enjoyed shooting with the Pentax K-5 and wanted to wrap up our review series with a detailed exploration of this camera’s image quality. I set out to test it at the limits of photography and am really impressed with the results.

Before reading you can check out my findings on this camera for portraits, used at a wedding, in tough weather, and my initial feelings.

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Field Review: The Pentax K-5 (Day 4)

This week, I took our Pentax K-5 along on an engagement portrait shoot in the scenic Oakland hills, and – for the third field test in a row with the robust little Pentax – it was raining. I will say, without hesitation, that we have tested and proved the weather sealing of both camera and 55mm f/1.4 DA* lens. In our previous entry (here) I discussed both the camera’s discreet and capable handling while photographing a wedding (a rainy wedding) and a critical issue of purple fringing in certain images.

Before reading this posting, you may want to read about it used at a wedding, in tough weather, and my initial feelings.

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The Most Popular Postings For 2010

One year ago on December 28th 2009, I sat on my bed and said to myself, “I’m tired of being unemployed and unproductive. And so I started ThePhoblographer.com, and it has taken off in ways that I haven’t even thought were possible for a site started on a Macbook, on my bed, while in my pajamas. It’s been a crazy year and the staff and site have evolved. There are even more changes to come (like us moving to a faster server and a slight redesign and better search bar.) I’m straying off the topic though: here are the top 20 postings of the past year according to WordPress (though our other analytics have different numbers.)

Which One Should I Buy: Canon 60D? T2i? or 7D? More stats 75,771
Which One Should I Get?: Canon S95 vs Panasonic LX-5K More stats 49,050
The Best Budget Lenses More stats 32,752
Hands On: Nikon D3100, D7000 and the SB-700 Speedlight More stats 25,019
The Canon 7D vs Nikon D300s In Shooting Concerts More stats 24,955
Hands on and Hands Off: Olympus EPL-1 More stats 22,710
Hands-On: Canon S95 More stats 20,117
The Ultimate Wedding Photography Checklist More stats 17,774
What Would You Do With a Lens This Long? More stats 17,022
Leica V-LUX 20 Review Based on The Panasonic ZS-7 More stats 15,545
Long Term Test: Canon 7D Vs Nikon D300s More stats 14,608
Hands On: Sony A55, A560 and 24mm F2 ZA SSM More stats 14,473
The Complete Canon PowerShot S95 Review More stats 14,162
Field Test: Apple iPhone 4 Camera More stats 12,919
4 Reasons Why You Should Get the Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic LX-5 More stats 12,815
Pentax K-5 Beats Out Canon 5D Mk II, 7D, Nikon D700, D300s More stats 12,227
Canon Announces 60D and Lens Updates More stats 11,702
Hands On Review: Panasonic ZS-7 More stats 10,923
Lens Sharpness Test: Sony 16mm F2.8 vs Panasonic 20mm F1.7 More stats 10,726
The Worst Excuses I’ve Ever Heard For Not Wanting to Pay a Photographer Appropriately More stats 10,165

Three Hints On How Canon Will Try to Kill The Sony A55

Earlier last year, I tried the Sony A55pellicle mirror camera—and I liked it! Everyone in the industry touted it as cutting edge and breakthrough technology. On a different note, there were also lots of consumers saying that they were going to wait and see what Canon and Nikon were going to come out with (as they say with mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.) Well, I’ve uncovered information hinting towards a Canon version a while back, but kept very quiet about it because I wanted to see the new technology that may be coming out: and I have seen good things. Here is how Canon will try to kill the Sony A55.

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