Photoshop actions

  Reviews by: dtolios  

View profile View recent posts View reviews Add dtolios to your Buddy List
Metz Metz 54 MZ-3 / MZ-4

Review Date: Dec 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice, A (auto) mode, E-TTL compatible for HSS and fill-in, More reliable exposure in A than 420 EX in E-TTL
Good but not great build quality, no build in bounce card, not that great recycle times.

I bought the Metz 54 MZ-4i with the SCA-3102 adapter in 2005 to work with EOS SLRs...the flash was tried on EOS 30 (film, ELAN 7 in US), EOS 20D, 5D and 50D.

The reason the flash was bought over the Canon equivalents was the A (auto) mode at which the flash overrides the not so reliable E-TTL metering found in Canon Speedlights. It's a decent Nikon-like approach, though it still lacks...

Indeed, in A mode the flash does seem to out-class in consistency and power the 420 EX - the only available for comparison flash I had. Its obviously more powerful, and that's good as I mostly use it for bounce flash.

The second flash-head for eye-catch effects even when the main flash is bounced is a nice feature, but I rarely use it.

Build quality is nothing impressive, but not that bad as ppl write...I wouldn't think Canon Speedlights are really better, even the 5xx models.

Battery life seems decent, and recycle times are also decent, but not that fast. The interface is not great, but you can learn how to use in in an afternoon of fooling around, even without the not-so-great manual.

It works fine with my generic plastic diffuser, bought from ebay for $5 or so.

Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM

Review Date: Dec 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,025.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice focal range, very positive AF, bright 2.8 + IS
Mediocre sealing = dust sucking. I guess building quality could be addressed to fix that with a lens in this price range

Overall the lens is very good. Nearly no other lens in the market had the features offered (2.8 throw-out the focal range + IS) when the lens was bought 2years ago, and itís still way better than the 3rd party offerings.
I have used the lens with 20D, 50D and 7D bodies and the superiority to the Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD is evident.

The non VC (IS) version of the above lens is arguably one of the best offerings out there for cropped bodies, but the Canon tops it even in sharpness where Tamron is very good (at least both the copies I had experience with).
Color rendition with the EF-S 17-55 IS is good, better than the Tamronís and close to the EF 17-40L I was using before. Unfortunately the 17-40L wasnít even mounted on a cropped body after the 17-55 IS was part of my kit.

What really is impressive is how better bodies like the 50D and the 7D focus with the Canon EF-S 17-55 IS. In low light situations, where both the 17-40L and the Tamron 17-50 would hunt a bit, the 17-55 positively locks the subject Ė and thatís not only with the center AF point. Also the USM motors are a vast improvement over the mechanic noises the Tamron produces, but I think thatís a given already.
Bokeh is also better rendered through the 17-55 IS than the Tamronís offering.

The build quality of the EF-S 17-55 IS is pretty good, identical to most prosumer grade Canon lenses like the 28-135 IS which is fine, forgetting the fact that this lens retails for more than $1000, where most comparably built EF/EF-Ss retail for less than $600, and examples like the 17-40L or the 70-200 f/4 L boost far more in this department for just $650 or lessÖI guess canon was being snob at the point of designing this lens, and all of its semi-pro/pro bodies were heading away from the APS-C. Should a 7D model was present at that point, I believe the 17-55 IS would be better made (and probably a bit more expensive).

In practice, the lens is more than rigid enough, but dust is steadily sucked into the body because of the vacuum created by the zooming action, and trapped behind the front glass element(s). This has more of a psychological than visual impact, as though it doesnít look pretty, has no visible degradation effect to the final image as all those dust particles are too small to obstruct enough light to create a shadow, and too far from the lensís focal / focusing point to be visible.

The lens uses 77mm filters, which are not cheap, yet not uncommon for the average photo-kit in its target group.