Sunday, May 9, 2010

Canon 35mm f1.4 test pics - Part II

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There is always a learning curve when it comes to using a new lens. My favorite lens is my beloved canon 400mm f5.6. The irony was that when I first rented the lens and tried it out, I hated it. Hiking around Bolsa Chica, I felt that it was too heavy a lens. Also tracking a flying bird with a 400mm prime lens was very frustrating. I questioned whether this lens was worth the investment. That is until I got home and viewed the pics.

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The same goes with this new Canon 35mm f1.4 lens. I'm not normally a wide angle shooter. I like sniping with my telephoto lenses. I find that I can get cleaner backgrounds that way. Shooting with this 35mm lens, I would get all sorts of random stuff in the background. Also when you have a f1.4 lens, you want to use it at f1.4 to get the most bang out of your buck. Shooting at f1.4 is tricky due to the super shallow dof. Plus with this lens, I can't zoom in and out to adjust my composition.

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After spending a weekend playing around with this lens, I am starting to see the beauty of this L glass. I got this lens mainly to shoot indoors with natural light. Unfortunately all of my kids came down with a cold this weekend. This meant that they all had runny, snotty noses. Noah has been quite cranky which makes him constantly rub his face which flares up his eczema. All of this makes for not so pretty pics.

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But there is something special about the optics and glass in this lens. The contrast is really beautiful and it makes my subjects really stand out from the background nicely. Even though it doesn't have image stabilization, it is very easy to handhold in low light and still get sharp pics.

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Even though it is not a telephoto lens, you can still isolate your subjects well due to the large aperture. I had bought Sandy some bright orange tulips for mother's day. I played around with them shooting with natural window light, front lit and back lit. I also hiked up the Quail Hill Trail right at sunset to try some landscape shots. Out of all the different fields of photography, I shoot landscapes the least. I recently bought a manfrotto tripod, ball head and a polarizing filter to shoot more low light landscapes. However, for that 1st shot, I actually hand held it.


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This Thursday, I will be headed off to Maui for a very short vacation. I get back next Monday morning. I'm gonna try to get in as much shooting as possible. Obviously there is Janet's wedding to shoot. I'm also hoping to get some after sunset, beach landscapes, night scape and surfing pics. On Sunday (the day after Janet's wedding), Sandy and her family will be flying to Oahu for a couple of days. Since I have to go back to work on Tuesday, I will stay in Maui by myself on Sunday and then catch a red eye flight out that night back to California. That gives me pretty much all Sunday to go out and shoot by myself. Wish me luck!

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