Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM versus Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART on Canon 5D Mark III

Sigma's new 50mm ART started off life with some bold claims about its resolving capabilities: as good as the Zeiss Otus. It has (mostly) lived up to the hype surrounding its launch, and is legitimately a "premium" lens. You can mention it in the same breath as the pricey Canon 50mm f/1.2L, so how does it fair against the venerable Canon 50mmL in real world terms?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Manfrotto BeFree (MKBFRA4-BH) Tripod Review

Small, strong, or cheap: when it comes to tripods the conventional wisdom is that you can have two but not all three. There hasn't been any product to definitively break this rule, but nevertheless there are whole hosts of photographers who are looking for a tripod that is small, sturdy and cheap. In economics this quest would be known as "rational behaviour." That is to say, it is rational for photographers to want a tripod with these three qualities, even if expecting that one exists is most likely irrational. The Manfrotto BeFree (MKBFRA4-BH) doesn't fulfill this ideal but it does shift the points of the Venn diagram inward by being unarguably small, relatively sturdy, and not exceedingly expensive. Depending on your point of view, that makes it either well-balanced for its price point or somewhat compromised in terms of its design. The truth, as always, is a little bit of both.

Manfrotto 560B-1 Video Monopod with RC2 Quick Release Review

Video is one of the last remaining frontiers of digital photography. Most photographers are comfortable with their stills gear, but video gear is a whole new world to explore. The Manfrotto 560B-1 video monopod is the little brother to the version with the more useful 500 series fluid drag head. The higher-model is more useful, but the560B-1 does have its charm.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eyelead Sensor Gel Stick Review

Eyelead's Sensor Gel Stick is a novel approach to cleaning dust off of your camera's sensor. Rather than blowing or wiping, the product takes the lint-roller approach to lifting dust off of the low pass filter of your camera sensor... that is, by straight up adhesion. To be precise, the cleaning action is a "dab," but the mechanics are the same. This product is reputedly used by the manufactures themselves (Leica, Nikon et al) so is something that is good enough for the camera companies good enough for you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lenspen SensorKlear II Review

SensorKlear II with articulating head and cap
Dust is either the mortal enemy of the modern digital camera sensor or it is an overblown bogeyman that warrants too much concern. The truth isn't somewhere in between; everybody's truth is different. The obvious choice for sensor cleaning is to use a blower, but that's not always enough. Wet cleaning and any other method that involves physically touching the sensor (actually, the sensor filter cover to be precise) is a taunting task for many people. What if the process was actually....easy? Cleaning a cameras sensor will never be a casual affair, but the Sensorklear II is unassumingly user friendly in this regards.