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Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L

17tse
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible
Cons:
None - worth the price. This is big and heavy but well worth the size and weight for what it does.

I can't add anything to the other reviews. I can only say that as a long time architectural and interior photographer, this and the series II 24mm TSE lenses are a dream come true. Both are just very very amazing lenses and I really can't think of any way they could be better. (Unless technology some day allows them to be made smaller and lighter without compromising the image quality.)

 
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

24tse
Review Date: Apr 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,199.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible - almost too good to be true.
Cons:

There isn't much to add to the other reviews except to say it is hard for me to believe a lens can be this good.

I have been an architectural photographer for almost 30 years. I used the series I version of this lens for about 7 years and just received this series II version a few days ago. My series 1 version was a pretty good sample being quite sharp. I tested the two versions against each other in a variety of situations and found:

There is no c/a in the version II lens - the old lens had quite a bit but I could remove it in the raw conversion stage.

The new lens has much less vignetting - straight and when shifted.

The new lens can shift a bit further.

The new lens is sharper at the edges.

The new lens seems to have no distortion. The old lens had a bit.

The new lens is quite resistant to flare. (The old one was pretty good too.)

I shot a job with it today and the images are really great.

I also have the 17mm TS-E lens and that also is incredible. It is really hard to understand how they could make a 17mm lens with such a big image circle with such great results.


 
Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 Tripod Legs

product_83
Review Date: Nov 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very quick to open and close due to the flip lock levers. I can unlock all levers and hold the tripod upside down and the legs will close instantly. Quite sturdy too.
Cons:
The locking mechanism for the center column.

I like this tripod but have worn out the nut in the locking mechanism of the center column three times. (I disassembled it and replaced the myself with ones I got at a hardware store - metric thread.)

This wear is somewhat from the way I use it and somewhat from the design. With a camera such as a 1D body in vertical position on my geared head, the camera is pretty far off center. This makes the center column bind a bit and encourages me to really tighten the locking screw to make sure that is securely locked - rather than just patially stick from binding.

I have the Bpro model that allows the center column to be turned sideways. I didn't find this feature as useful as I expected and since have bought an Induro AX214 which I like much more. The method of booming the center column is better. This is the best and most versatile tripod I have found for 35mm work - especially for tight spots shooting home interiors. (Gitzo makes a similar model but the Induro is a little taller and much less expensive.)

At last count I have 13 tripods (Linhofs, Foba, Gitzo, more) so I am pretty particular. Some will be getting sold when I find the time.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Concerns...
Cons:

I am a long time user of the original 16-35 on a 1Ds and 5D for architectural interiors. After reading the reviews here and other places I thought I'd upgrade to the series II (Now that DxO supports it.)

I tested the series II in a store in comparison with my series one version and was disappointed. My main interest was to see if it performed better at 16mm at f8 (a typical aperture for me.) I didn't see much differnece but liked the original better. At f2.8, I the original was sharper at the center.

Some observations - the series II did not focus accurately (focused closer than it should have.) So I shot a series of images at slightly different distances to get pairs with matching focus. I also noticed that at f8, the star pattern from light fixtures was more prominent with the new series II.

Here's a link to illustrate -

http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/16stars.jpg

I've posted some hi res high quality jpeg test shots to my web site if anyone wants to examine them. I am concerned that the series II lens I tested was a poor sample but I don't know. I plan to contact Canon for their opinion and then see if I can find a "better" sample to test.

Here are the links so you can download and compare the large files. (9+ megs each) I tried to be consistent enough to get meaningful results but these are not scientific tests. I left the EXIF data intact. (The old lens f8 sample shows a green spot on a camera case in the middle top of the shot. This was flare form a light above that didn't occur when the lens was moved a tiny amount.)

F8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

F2.8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_2.8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

Thse were all converted with DPP to minimize softare influence on the files and have no sharpening added. I also converted with DXO to see how the lens optimization works on the two lenses.

Opinions are welcomed.


 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

16-35II
Review Date: Sep 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Concerns...
Cons:

I am a long time user of the original 16-35 on a 1Ds and 5D for architectural interiors. After reading the reviews hear and other places I thought I'd upgrade to the series II (Now that DxO supports it.)

I tested the series II in a store in comparison with my series one version and was disappointed. My main interest was to see if it performed better at 16mm at f8 (a typical aperture for me.) I didn't see much differnece but liked the original better. At f2.8, I the original was sharper at the center.

Some observations - the series II did not focus accurately (focused closer than it should have.) So I shot a series of images at slightly different distances to get pairs with matching focus. I also noticed that at f8, the star pattern from light fixtures was more prominent with the new series II.

Here's a link to illustrate -

http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/16stars.jpg

I've posted some hi res high quality jpeg test shots to my web site if anyone wants to examine them. I am concerned that the series II lens I tested was a poor sample but I don't know. I plan to contact Canon for their opinion and then see if I can find a "better" sample to test.

Here are the links so you can download and compare the large files. (9+ megs each) I tried to be consistent enough to get meaningful results but these are not scientific tests. I left the EXIF data intact. (The old lens f8 sample shows a green spot on a camera case in the middle top of the shot. This was flare form a light above that didn't occur when the lens was moved a tiny amount.)

F8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

F2.8 -
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/new_16_2.8.jpg
http://goldsteinphoto.com/16_35/old_16_8.jpg

Thse were all converted with DPP to minimize softare influence on the files and have no sharpening added. I also converted with DXO to see how the lens optimization works on the two lenses.

Opinions are welcomed.