Canon Lenses

Weatherproof L Lenses

According to the popular belief L lenses (the professional line) are supposed to sealed and weatherproof. Weatherproof doesn't mean waterproof. My watch is waterproof to 20 atmospheres. This means that my watch can withstand pressures of 280 pounds per square inch! That's a lot. Weatherproof means that under light rain, the water will not go inside the lens.

So back to our L lenses. Some L lenses are weatherproof out of the box, some L lenses need some filter to make them weather resistant and finally some L lenses are not weatherproof at all.

The Best Lens

I hear "all the time" people saying my favourite lens is ... and then they explain, it's the sharpest, it's the cheapest, it's the lightest...

No it's not, these are just the rationalizations. The real reason is that this lens is the one match their vision. Some people are "wide angle" people, some people are "tele" people...

My favourite lens is the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. Actually that's one of the main reason that I switched from Pentax, with its vastly superior ergonomics, to Canon. It's half of the weight of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and even that is starting to get too heavy for me, especially when I have to hold the camera/lens combo with just one hand because I have the flash in my left hand.

Sarah & Salem the cat Salem the cat charlie-20120419-5323.jpg — ©2012 Syv Ritch -- foto-biz.com: http://www.foto-biz.com/usageterms

Sarah and Salem   click on image for gallery</font size>

The New Canon 40mm f/2.8

The new Canon 40mm f/2.8, aka the hockey puck, aka the shorty 40, is a small FULL FRAME pancake lens. Some people use it on a full frame camera, I use mine on the Canon 7D where the 40mm becomes the equivalent to a 64mm lens. This blog post is not about the optical curves, you can find technical on various websites: http://www.google.com/search?&output=search&q=canon+40mm+f/2.8. This is about photography, about photographs and about people.

First off all, it's a cheap lens. I paid $219.99 which is $9 less than the Canadian list price. It's available at just under $200 in the US.

Nikon with 200-400mm Zoom and a Very Strong Man

Nikon: A Strong Man Look at this guy with his Nikon and his 200-400mm zoom, handheld.This guy is very strong. Remember the old physics classes and the canti-lever: weight * distance. To handhold his 500mm, he needs to bow is legs and arch is back.BTW, he is taking photos of Sandhill Cranes.reifel-20120512-7300.jpg — ©2012 Syv Ritch -- foto-biz.com: http://www.foto-biz.com/usageterms

Nikon with 200-400mm and a Very Strong Man   click on image for gallery</font size>

When I say a very strong man, it's not tongue and cheek. What he's doing is extremely difficult. Remember the old physics class and cantilevers. If I remember correctly, it's weight times distance and the sine + cosine of the angle of the force (or something like that). It's a very big and heavy piece of glass at the front.

Canon: How Old is Your Canon Lens?

In 1986, with the design of the EOS System (Electro-Optical System, EOS started to ship in 1987), Canon started added a date code to their lenses.

Many of the new Canon lenses do not have a date code.

A large number of the Canon lenses have a date code in the form of "UX0311". Often it's on the lens mount.

The first letter, "U", indicates that the lens was made in Utsunomiya factory.

U = Utsunomiya, Japan
F = Fukushima, Japan
O = Oita, Japan

400mm f/2.8 vs. Sandhill Crane Colt

Young Sandhill Cranes are called colts, just like the horses. Here's a photo of a 9 month old Sandhill Crane Colt taken at Reifel Bird Sanctuary.

400mm f/2.8 vs Sandhill Crane The problems with having a 400mm f/2.8. The Sandhill Crane Colt (baby) is much too close for using such a big fixed lens. Actually he could have used a couple of tube extensions for the close focusing. The problem is to focus on what? An eye or the end of the beak?The fixed lens proponents say:

400mm f/2.8 vs. Sandhill Crane Colt   click on image for gallery</font size>

Here's the problem with having a 400mm f/2.8. The Sandhill Crane Colt (the baby) is much too close for using such a big fixed lens. Actually he could have used a couple of tube extensions for the close focusing. The problem is to focus on what? An eye or the end of the beak?

Cleaning Your Lenses

Anybody that knows what she is talking about in the business of photography will tell you that the lenses are more important than the cameras.

  • Cameras become obsolete after 5 years. Do you remember the Canon 20D or the Nikon D40? They were great cameras, then…
  • Lenses last for decades and function day-in day-out. Some camera companies have what everybody in their “right mind” would call a barely OK cameras (there are other words too) but have such fantastic lenses that they get away with it and charge much more than full price until some competition shows up.

Bad Lens Reviews

I was reading the February 2012 issue of a magazine for professional photographers. They had some lens write-ups. I'd like to quote some portions:

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM: “since it's an L lens, you know that it offers top-of-the-line optics with eight elements…”
  • Canon 500mm f/4L IS II USM: “Though formally announced last February, … no estimated delivery date but this monster of a lens will certainly be an impressive upgrade…”

Lens Acronyms

I was talking to Marg who, proudly, showed me that she just discovered that her lens was also a macro. It's one of these, wide angle to extra tele, all in one lens (no name mentioned). The “macro” is not a macro mode, I would call it a close-up mode and that's not even that close. Then I looked at her lens… so many acronyms


Superwoman Photographer

This woman photographer is amazing! She must be from the planet Krypton.

Amazing Woman PhotographerThis woman photographer is amazing! She must be from the planet Krypton. She's an older person and carries a 1DMk4 with a 500mm f/4. She makes her photos *HAND-HELD*. That's 17Lbs/8Kg at the end of the extended arm. That day, the light was not the greatest, low contrast and very cloudy. Either she's super-woman or she uses ISO 12800 or more. Just holding such a big and heavy rig at the end of the arm is hard enough for me. That's why I use a  tripod or at least my monopod, usually set at 2½ feet tall. I wear a knee pad and I kneel down, like Tim Tebow but I was doing it long before he started to play football, so I'm closer to the ground.The way she holds the lens from the  tripod collar, she can't even tuck her arm underneath.snowy-owls-20111231-0867.jpg — ©2011 Syv Ritch -- foto-biz.com: http://www.foto-biz.com/usageterms

This lady photographer is amazing! She must be from the planet Krypton   click on image for gallery</font size>

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