Visiting Canon HQ & 80D with EFS 18-135mm Nano USM

Canon HQ _ THE VIEWFINDER copy

Ohayo gozaimasu ..uh …Good morning”

I had the pleasure of visiting Canon HQ in The Netherlands for their newest DSLR camera, the EOS 80D with the new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM. This wasn’t announced yet so we had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Of course reviewing this new unannounced gear was great but also visiting Canon HQ …

The first thing that popped my mind when entering the building was the idea of seeing lots of Japanese people …well that wasn’t the case. It seemed like there were a lot of people from India and still a lot of Dutch people. So that Japanese language refreshing course (some books from my shelf) wasn’t needed …

EOS 80D & EFS 18-135mm Review

As I said earlier the camera was announced so we, my colleagues and I, secretly had to shoot the review video (down below) inside this meeting room with doors closed. If that wasn’t enough already we also had one of the Canon employees to accompany us the whole day, just to make sure we didn’t say anything strange for the review of leave this room.

I’m not about to go in-depth about the 80D and the new lens. What I can say is that it has an improved sensor technology which makes it faster and better with auto focus. What I honestly miss with this new camera is the lack of 4K video, I mean the 70D was the first DSLR that could do video with autofocus and great quality.

The new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM had a nice physical upgrade and the ability of mounting an autofocus adapter for an auto zoom functionality.

In short, my visit to Canon HQ was a nice experience, the people were friendly and quite cooperative.

 

Gear hands-on review: Canon 135mm f/2 L

canon 135mm lens review THE VIEWFINDER

A lens I’ve been willing to try out for a while …the legendary tack sharp lens. After testing it I have to admit that it’s quite the lens, indeed tack sharp and fast focus. The lens is well build, has a large focusring and such a beautiful front element.

Still, after using it I have my doubts of the usability of this lens. I mean, we’re talking about a 135mm lens which is perfect occasionally . Mostly it’ll be to narrow, so I me see myself changing lenses already.

Shooting wide open it shows a bit of vignetting but stopping it down to f5.6 it’s as good as gone.

I will try this lens some time on a shoot to really experience the usability of this lens. I’m honestly curious how it performs.

Have you shot with this lens? What do you think?

Personal: Gear reviewer …a suitable job!

new job reviewer

Hey people …I recently started a new job opportunity at the largest photography specialist of The Netherlands, Kamera Express. A job that’s make it possible for me to be busy with photography/ video gear every day of the week ….(and yes, getting payed to do so). This way I’m not only busy with photography itself, but also with the more technical side of it.

To make it even more interesting I’m also the presentor/ reviewer for their YouTube channel, for which I review the latest gear both photography and video (Dutch only). I’d say this is quite a suitable job for me;)
(still a bit new with reviewing in front of a camera …so please be gentle with me when watching the videos^_^)

The reason I decided to share this news with you guys is to explain my low acitivity on the blog lately …also been busy shooting more for our Dutch website THE VIEWFINDER STUDIO.

Gear: Red Rings ….Canon 85mm f1.2 L II

canon 50mm f1.2

Here’s a small share about the legendary, Canon 85mm f1.2 L II lens. I decided to mount it on my DSLR for a few minutes and it was a nice experience. The barrel alone is quite a thing ….it is bulky but that’s because of all the glass elements within it.

In short …
I only got it mounted for a few minutes so there’s no deep review here. What I can say is that the lens performs good, but not good enough looking at the price tag. The photos show a lot of color fringing, nevertheless it does a good job at minimizing the vignetting at f1.2. The lens itself it heavy of course, but the worst thing is the slow focus. If I had owned this lens it would probably fill a empty space on my shelf because on the streets I need fast focus and less weight. But hey …it would be a pretty thing standing on my shelf 😉

Gear: Highly spoken of ..Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art

sigma 50mm art - copyright THE VIEWFINDER-0109

“..a piece of art.”

Before I get into this nice piece of glas,  let’s answer some of the common general questions I get: Why Sigma? Aren’t they just a cheaper imitation of the Canon lenses?

I get why people sometime ask me these questions, because yes Sigma used to produce cheaper versions of Canon lenses (also other brands). So several years ago one bought a Sigma lens to get a more affordable lens with almost the same quality. But that’s in the past now! Sigma launched their ‘Art’ series lenses, which aren’t only better in performance but some are even more expensive than the Canon lenses. Now when you decide to purchase an Art lens of Sigma you want to get the best in performance and build quality.

Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art
One of the most spoken Art lens is the 50mm f1.4, which seems to be even better than both the 50mm f1.4 and f1.2 of Canon. That’s why I decided to test this nice piece of glass.

This new lens is perfect for portrait and wedding photography. It’s great to see Sigma making such professional lenses. Thanks to the f1.4 the depth of fields is shallow and good for isolating the subject.

Build
The 50mm lens is well designed and solidly build, as expected of an Art lens. I like the simplicity of its design and the large focus ring. There’s only a MF/AF switch on the barrel and of course the nice shiny ‘A’ logo. The weight and size of this lens is too much for me …walking the streets with this lens would be quite uncomfortable with a tired wrist at the end of the day. When comparing this lens to my Canon 50mm f1.8 II the Sigma really is large, heavy and professionally build.

Performance
When looking at it’s performance it does the job. The photos are sharp, shot fully open at f1.4 the centre is sharp but unfortunately it shows quite some vignetting. Closing the aperture to f2.8 makes the vignetting disappear and the photograph more useful, for me that is. When doing studio work, this lens could be your choice.

Conclusion
Yes, Sigma made one piece of ‘art’. The quality it delivers is good and the build is professional.  No doubt about it. If you need a lens that gives the best quality, the Sigma Art is the lens of choice. It may be heavy and large, but that’s needed to get the quality and light sensitivity. I already got the 24-105mm Art lens for most my shoots, which works perfect. The 50mm Art a nice lens for a shoot, wedding and especially studio work. For me I’d rather mount my Canon 50mm when hitting the streets, it’s smaller, lighter and also gets the job done (with less quality). On the streets it’s not only the quality that matters, the more practical use of the lens is more important in my honest opinion.

Gear review: Canon 100mm f2.8L Macro IS

canon 100mm f2.8L review lens gear | ©THE VIEWFINDER-8042 title

This lens review was about to happen right? First it was the lower budget Canon 100mm f2.8 and now it’s time to review the high-end L-version of Canon. And after testing this lens I truly had trouble bringing it back to my partner Camex, who make my gear reviews possible.

This isn’t a lens which pops up in your mind when doing street photography, because it’s a macro lens. However the macro function can be very convenient, because you can shoot up close and gives you great details.

(Click for larger image)

I shot with it and it’s great ….yeah also a bit expensive and chunky. This lens delivers good portrait shots and Continue reading “Gear review: Canon 100mm f2.8L Macro IS”

Lens review: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro USM

canon 100mm macro lens review gear | ©THE VIEWFINDER-7938 title

“…see how it performs on the streets.”

You probably asking yourself why testing this macro lens? You don’t even shoot flowers or insects?! ….Well, that totally correct. Still it’s a nice lens and definitely one to consider. This lens, with its macro capability, is the perfect portrait lens. Especially to take shots real close to get nice face of clothing detail shots.

So I took this Canon 100mm f2.8 macro USM (made possible by my partner Camex)with me to see how it performs on the streets. Luckily I spotted this woman who was willing to pose for me as I was testing this lens. I took a nice full-body shot and also a macro shot of the Channel logo of her handbag (see below). Continue reading “Lens review: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro USM”