This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For those who like 100% crops

I've written reviews on the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens and how I didn't love it wide open.  Live and learn - it is worth bringing up a couple of points about that statement.

The first is that if you buy a lens to shoot wide open and expect perfect results you will need both perfect technique (for focus) AND an expensive lens.  Most primes have some flaws, and shooting wide open in bright sun is usually on that list of flaws.   I've been disappointed by hearing how great a lens it and then getting mixed results when using it.

Here is a perfect example.  This was shot in slightly overcast conditions, at f/1.4.  Note that the grass looks really good.  I did a little contrast boosting to help it out, but really quite good results.  What you notice, though, is the purple line around the white object on the lawn.  I was able to reduce the purple in the second shot, but still pretty obvious.
The crux of the issue is that you really should use your widest aperature for what it was deisgned - lower contrast, lower light shots.  Stop down to f/2 or f/2.8 for wide open bright day stuff.  Looking at the grass right around the center of the frame you'd be hard pressed to say there were any issues.  Bottom line?  Pay attention to how people use a lens before you take their advice - if you only shoot test charts (white/black high contrast) you'll have a poor picture of how the lens with behave in the field.  And hence why so many mixed reviews on lenses are out there.

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