Photoshop actions

  Reviews by: tororo  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add tororo to your Buddy List
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

Review Date: Feb 17, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Low CAs, 2.8, 16mm, USM, build quality, weather shield
Flare, filter size, weight

My very good copy of 17-40L started to have some focus issue after years of heavy use so I looked for another good copy of 17-40L but no luck even after trying several new copies. I gave up and decided to go for 16-35mm 2.8L II instead. I tried just a few new copies and was able to find a very good copy without any decentering issue.
Comparing with 17-40L, I immediately noticed that 16-35L II is more prone to flare but it has less CAs. 17-40L is easier to handle due to its light weight and smaller filter size. However, it is actually nice to have 2.8 for more versatile photography with ultra wide angle.

Here are some sample shots.

16mm at f2.8:

30-35mm at f8-11:

16-20mm at f8-11:

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM

Review Date: Nov 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Center sharpness at 1.4, build quality, flare resistance, AF accuracy, USM
No weather shield, nervous bokeh at wide aperture (but this is normal for any wide-angle lens with aspherical lens elements)

This lens produces amazing center sharpness even at 1.4. The bokeh is far from ideal, but acceptable, which is the tendency with any wide-angle lens with aspherical lens elements. EF 35/2 is totally unacceptable due to very nervous bokeh.
If you don't need AF, go for Samyang 35/1.4 or Zeiss 35/1.4. The center sharpness and bokeh quality are on par with 35/1.4L but the corner sharpness at wider apertures is better than 35/1.4L. Nikon 35/1.4 AIS produces unacceptably nervous bokeh.

Samples at wide open:

Samples showing nervous bokeh at wide open:

Low light samples at wide open:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Review Date: Jun 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp even at wide open, smooth bokeh, hybrid IS

Really sharp already at wide open and bokeh is very pleasing smooth. It's fantastic for landscape photography, let alone for macro photography. Hybrid IS is very useful too. Highly recommended for all Canon users!

A few examples:

Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

Review Date: Jun 1, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Creativity, sharpness, bokeh quality
None (Shift can cause CA but you can remove/reduce it very well in post-processing)

This is definitely the most versatile and useful TS-E lens on full frame for creative photography.
There are not many lenses that can deliver both amazing sharpness and pleasing smooth bokeh in the focal range of 40-60mm, and this is definitely one of them with great T/S function.
If you are after creative photography, this can be your everyday lens as well.

Example of tilt use in everyday snapshot:

Example of shift use for panorama (4 images stitched):

Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T*

Review Date: Apr 4, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Build quality, light weight, size
Really soft border/corner from 1.4-2.0. Even at 2.8, corners are very soft.

I tried many 50mm from six different brands (including Leica's summilux and Canon's 50/1.2) and I expected really good results from this lens. However, as some other reviewers mentioned, the performance between 1.4 and 2.8 turned out to be pretty disappointing. I sold this lens and bought Makro-Plannar 50/2 which is very sharp from corner to corner even at wide open! Bokeh is much better as well.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Review Date: Mar 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Sharpness from wide open, build quality, contrast
AF inaccuracy, very nervous foreground bokeh at wide apertures

This was the only Sigma lens that I thought I would keep for a long while.
After having tested many 50's on 5D Mark II, I was pretty amazed with the center sharpness from wide open with this lens (there seems to some copy variations though). I also liked the build quality and contrast that this lens produced.
However, as many people noted, the AF accuracy of this lens is totally unreliable, especially between 1.4 and 2.8.
Another major issue for me was the very nervous foreground bokeh, which is also mentioned on photozone.

After a little while, I sold this lens and got Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2 which is going to stay with me for a long time.

Here are some images taken with Sigma 50/1.4.

You can see the nervous foreground bokeh at wide apertures:

Sharp throughout the entire frame when stopped down to f8:

Great center sharpness even at very wide apertures:

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, focal range, build quality, image quality, light weight
AF inaccuracy in low light

Great walk-around lens for landscape photography. This is the lens that I use on 5D II for traveling/backpacking when it's not possible to take a tripod.
IS works so well that you can even capture the flow of waterfalls to some extent by hand-held. In lush dense low-light forests, AF hunts or misses sometimes.

A couple of examples taken with this lens:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Review Date: Jun 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, noise control (high ISO), lightweight, 21mp, full HD
None for landscape, portrait, product shooting. Not fast enough for sports.

For me, camera is just a tool so I'm always willing to change if there is any better option for my use, however, full frame high image quality, superb noise control at high ISO, 21MP, full HD video..all of these in this lightweight yet solid body is just second to none at this moment for travel/landscape/nature photographers who need lightweight gear.
I provide images to various travel/nature magazines including National Geographic and airlines' in-flight magazines, and it would be impossible to do my projects with 1Ds Mark III, Mamiya ZD, Pentax 645D, etc for its weight and size. I'm thinking about getting Pentax 645D for projects which do not require trekking or kayaking.

Examples taken with 5D Mark II (a few shot with 5D)

Tamron 28-75MM F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)

Review Date: May 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Weight, size, 2.8, sharpness, price, filter size, bokeh (for zoom)
Build quality, slow AF, vignetting at wide open

When I cannot take EF 24-70mm 2.8L due to its weight and size, I take this lens and it has been doing the job. Sometimes you don't know if the image (shot at F11) was taken with EF 24-70mm 2.8L or this Tamron lens. However, you need to get a good copy. If you are not sure, I suggest sending your copy to Tamron for tuning.
The build quality and AF are the downside of this lens. Bokeh is not bad at all for this type of zoom lens.

Quite a few images that I sell thru Getty Images and other stock agencies are taken with this lens.
A few examples:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Review Date: May 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice bokeh, sharp, light-weight, fast USM
CA at wide open

Focus is fast and very accurate. Sharp and nice bokeh.
85mm 1.2L was too heavy and also wide open was not very good so I kept this one.
At wide open, you have to be careful with what you shoot since CA at wide open can get hefty depending on the subject.

Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8

Review Date: May 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, creativity (T&S), build quality, bokeh and superb manual focus ring

This is the most useful TS-E lens for me. I own this lens for many years and I never stop loving it. Just perfect.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

Review Date: May 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, fast USM, good build quality, weight, contrast
No IS, vignetting at F2

I can't really think of any negative aspect. If I have to say, I would like IS and less vignetting at F2.

A couple of examples taken with this lens at wide open

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Review Date: May 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Flare-resistance, contrast, colour, sharpness (F11~ @ 17mm), weather sealing, zoom-range, light-weight, USM, price.
Nothing for landscape photography

Some people are not happy with soft corners at 17mm at f4-f8 with this lens. But for landscape photography (which you stop down anyway), this is not an issue as it gets as sharp as 16-35mm F2.8L II at F11. I also own 16-35/2.8L II but for stopped-down landscape photography, I would take 17-40/4L because of the weight and size. Just like any zoom lenses, it's necessary to try at least a few lenses to find a good copy without decentering. A few of my shots that were published on National Geographic were taken with this lens.

Some examples taken with this lens: