I continue to use my Canon 5D MK I DSLR 35mm 'Full Frame' camera with my
Canon L lenses and I will not be selling the system. However, I still
wish to purchase a new FF camera and hopefully in 2017 I can find one that suits me.
As this next FF camera purchase will be my last serious investment, I
want to make sure that whatever the system (whether I remain with
Canon or move to another manufacturer) it will provide me with the
latest FF technology and especially a compact and lightweight
weatherproof body with the manual handling that I require.
The 35mm 'full frame' experience is a very hard act to follow
a photographer who already owns Nikon or
Canon professional lenses the decision
to abandon 35mm 'full frame' and move to a smaller APS-C sensor or Micro 4/3rds format cannot be
In combination with large optic lenses there is nothing quite
like the 'RAW' image files from a Canon or Nikon 'full frame' camera. These
files offer exceptional fine detail with high end image quality and the ability
to greatly expand the dynamic range with the minimum of post processing
The leading 'RAW' image file software packages which can be downloaded and purchased at an affordable price are Adobe Lightroom and PhaseOne Capture One.
Today you can purchase a Canon 'full frame' system which is relatively compact and lightweight especially if you search for the correct prime lenses. The Canon 6D DSLR camera is one of the smallest 'full frame' DSLR cameras available.
I have one favourite Canon prime lens that I will never sell off and to the masses it remains virtually unknown. The Canon EF 100mm f2 USM Lens features a large aperture and compact size. The first lens group moves for rear focusing, and sharp, crisp pictures are obtained at all apertures. The background blur is ideal for portraits and the USM autofocuses the lens quickly and quietly. As this lens features a Canon EF (Electro-Focus) lens mount, you can use it on a Canon full-frame camera.
I have put together a small purchase list for a FF system which is ideal for portraits, pulling in landscapes and for street photography -
Canon 6D DSLR Camera
Canon 100mm f2 USM Prime Lens + Canon ET 65 III Lens Hood
95MB/s SDHC Memory
£43.20 Vat Inclusive
Canon LP-E6 Spare
£64.95 Vat Inclusive
The Canon 6D DSLR camera is already renowned for it's low light shooting capabilities and this camera will deliver clean images in very low light (e.g. night shots) up to ISO:3200.
This shot (click to open a 1650 pixel size) of my grandson was taken when he was on the move and I used the older Canon 5D MK I DSLR camera and the Canon 100mm f2 USM prime lens. It was captured at ISO:800, aperture f2 (wide open) shutter speed 1/80sec and the image was so sharp that I softened everything but the eyes and lips -
35mm 'Full Frame' DSLR
Camera - Second Hand?
There are a few
5D MK I DSLR
camera bodies available on
the internet from reputable
is probably a very nice
inexpensive route into 35mm
'full frame' digital
photography for around
I am still using my 5D which
I purchased back in 2006
when I started out with
is now regarded by some as a
classic camera. I did my
research on the Internet and
at the time is was probably
the best value
money 35mm 'full frame' DSLR
available. I also purchased
a couple of lenses, the
Canon 24-105mm IS L zoom kit
the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS MK I L
zoom which both delivered
excellent image quality and
very nice colours from
the camera. These lenses are
also available second hand.
then I was post processing
my 'RAW' image files using
Canon's DPP software
came bundled with the camera
processing to convert them
to jpeg images without much
and the two lenses are not
that compact and
lightweight, however when
one is fitted to the camera
and in your hands, with the
other one in a light
backpack, the weight
is fairly evenly distributed
and not that
bear. Both lenses have 77mm
optics and suck
in the light providing a
beautiful view through the
camera optical viewfinder.
the ultimate test
for weight stress,
during my 2008 trip to Egypt
when I carried the system
around in a Lowepro 300
Flipside backpack which
zip on the inside
against your back
and making in
much harder for a thief to steal any
kit. I need not have
worried, because in 2008, Egypt
especially Cairo, was a very
safe place for tourists with
soldiers and policeman on
every street corner.
I carried the 5D and the two
lenses in that backpack all
over Egypt, in Cairo, on the
cruiser down the Nile,
through many temples and
whilst the 24-105L was great
for the closer shots, the
70-200L was able to stretch
across the Nile from the cruiser and grab some land
scenes, although today, a 70-300mm
lens like the inexpensive
Tamron SP 70-300mm VC Di USD
a lighter and more compact
zoom lens would probably
be a better choice of lens
for travel. I use a Tamron
Alpha A57 camera
and it is great for image
My girlfriend did not
appreciate the photographic
attention that Egypt
received but it was a once
in a lifetime trip. I
usually keep a series of
travel images down to about
I reached around 600 for
Egypt. I post processed the
'RAWs' in batch mode using
Canon's DPP software
web link below is from the jpegs
gathered in Lightroom)
and one of these days, I
will get around to tackling
them again using Adobe
Lightroom - Check out this
link for an extensive view
of Egypt with a full index
of the sites -
A Canon 5D MK I DSLR camera
'RAW' file post processed
using Adobe Lightroom 5
The other day my grand children came to visit and although it was a hectic time
it was also very enjoyable. Its amazing how a couple of kids can light
up your heart and faced
with twin boys shuffling around on their rears
(not yet walking)
the ideal camera combo to catch their innocence was my 'old faithful'
the Canon 5D MK I DSLR
camera and Canon 100mm f2 USM prime lens.
I wanted to get some portrait shots captured
indoors in natural light from the window - without flash. The 5D was set
for auto white balance, multi-area metering, centre spot autofocus on
the top of their noses, ISO:800 and the lens
aperture wide open at f2 which gave me a reasonable shutter speed of
The viewfinder has a very clear red rectangle outline around the centre
spot focus point which makes selecting the nose area during a very
slight lull in movement a piece of cake.
These images were taken 'hand held' whilst the kids were moving
about and the 'RAW' image files were processed in Adobe Lightroom 4.1
software. They were slightly cropped, softened, slight vignetting added
and the eyes and the mouths brought back to sharpness using the
The Canon 100mm f2 USM lens has a 'wafer thin' depth of field at
aperture f2 which is obvious in the images. It is not the ideal aperture
to use for portrait work but in low light and when needs must, it
delivers an incredible sharpness which has to be turned down in post
My 6 year old Canon 5D 'Classic' MK I DSLR camera remains my firm
favourite and provided the ISO rating is not over stepped and the final
print size is kept reasonable, it is up there with the best DSLRs, even
the latest and greatest.
Shooting 'RAW' digital stills has certain advantages that are
worthy of note -
The 'RAW' image file retains all of it's file data
There is greater control in noise vs. image quality when
post processing 'RAW' image files
Recovery of blown highlights, dark foregrounds is more
likely when post processing 'RAW' files
From the 'RAW' file you can post process at very high
levels for 'Fine Art' and 'Photographic Art' prints
'RAW'file can be post processed and converted to produce a jpeg and/or tiff image
The jpegs and tiffs can be converted into colour, black
and white, even sepia formats
The frame speed of the camera can be kept reasonably high
(shooting 'RAWs' only)
NOTE: The new Leica Monochrom Digital Rangefinder only
shoots black and white 'RAW' files
During my travels abroad
(last 6 years) and for projects, I always shoot 'RAW' image
files. My favourite combo is my Canon 5D MK I DSLR camera and
Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L Zoom lens. Seriously, this combo is 100%
accurate and my autofocus keeper rate is very high. The secret
(of course) is shooting in 'RAW' file format where the
slightest uneven light can be eased in post processing.
I don't find the combo heavy, in fact I have never complained
when carrying it around abroad and it never seems to bother
anyone when I am shooting street photography. These are examples
of one 'RAW' image file that was shot in the Valley of the
Queens in Egypt and has been post processed into a black and
white sepia version as well as a 'softened' colour variant using
Adobe Lightroom 4.1 Software -
Some links in my web to other
image samples and more on the Canon 5D combo -
has a favourite camera digital sensor format - for some it is Micro
4/3rds with it's 2x crop, whilst for others it is APS-C with a 1.5x or
1.6x crop and of course many prefer a 35mm 'full frame' sensor without a
I have used all three formats and each has it's advantages as well as
disadvantages but it is always the 35mm 'full frame' camera (whether in film or digital sensor)that I return to
and enjoy the most. I like the lens perspective,
50mm lens to produce a 'natural eye' viewing of a scene where there is
neither extension or compression distortion. The
depth of field control is
more pleasurable and the 'RAW' files that the camera produces are
exceptional to work with in post processing. The new Canon 5D MK III
DSLR camera sure seems great but I wish that I could purchase a 'full frame' digital
sensor camera in a smaller body style, something along the lines of the
new Fujifilm X-Pro1 but Nikon and Canon just keep churning out those
larger DSLR bodies and heavy lenses. It's a pity because once you have
enjoyed using 'full frame' it's real difficult to give up
the format even if the camera is larger and heavier than you would like.
Lenses have always been the driving force, the image quality is
important but then so is the long-term investment, which is well worth
taking into consideration when making a purchase. These days, as I get older, I prefer an
autofocus lens with a manual override (best of both worlds) but I
could live with a Leica, Zeiss or Voigtlander manual focus lens, as long
as the camera focus mechanism could deliver. In fact some of my most
enjoyable lenses are 'second hand' Nikon AI-s lenses which I
currently use on a Nikon FM3a 'film' SLR camera and are easy to manually
I am fairly sure that Canon will bring out a 'mirrorless' digital camera
to compete with Panasonic and Nikon, which will probably have small and
lightweight Canon lenses but it is not a road I will take unless of
course the camera is a 35mm 'full frame' variant? Now that would be most
excellent, a Canon 35mm 'full frame' mirrorless digital camera (body
like the new Fuji X-Pro1) with a couple of small and lightweight
'prime' lenses in the same bag alongside a new Panasonic GH3 Micro
4/3rds (video/stills) camera with my Lumix 100-300mm zoom lens with it's 200-600mm
'field of view' - 'PEFECT' as Pop Larkin would say!
This is an image captured with my Canon 5D MK I DSLR 'hand held' and my
Canon EF 100mm
f2 USM lens. The girls are my cousins grandchildren and the image
settings are ISO:200, aperture f4, shutter 1/400sec and the center point
focus was on the right eye of the girl on the left. Even at f4 the 100mm
lens has quite a narrow 'depth of field' on a 35mm 'full frame' camera
and due to the body positions on the plane, the eyes of the girl on the
right are ever so slightly out of focus - much more evident in the full
size version. The image has been softened in Adobe Lightroom, contrast
and saturation adjusted, some light vignetting applied and the
sharpness of the eyes brought back using the adjustment brush. The Canon
100mm f2 USM lens (my version) is razor sharp, even at f2 and
will show up flaws in the skin like craters on the moon.
The weather here in Edinburgh, Scotland (as usual) is a mixture
of continual heavy rain, a very cold east wind and the only option is to
stay indoors. At least my new roof has been fitted to the house, so no
more leaks and it looks beautiful with it's new Marley tiles. My thanks
to Harris Builders who are based at Bannockburn, Stirling, who
worked hard, completed a superb job and at a very fair price!
For the moment I have put the purchase of a new 'full frame' DSLR camera
aside and as I forecast, the new Canon 5D MK III and the Nikon D800 have
had their share of 'wrinkles' that are currently being sorted out with
firmware and hardware fixes. Looks like a purchase later in the year
(probably the 5D MK III) after Canon have released all their new DSLR
models but hopefully the new Panasonic GH3 Micro 4/3rds digital camera
will appear before the summer is finished and I can get to use it with
my current Lumix MFT lenses?
So I have started to mess around(once again)
with photographic art and have spent more time on developing my post
processing skills. The following image was taken with a Canon 5D
MK I DSLR + Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L Lens and the 'RAW' file was post
processed, softened and sharpened in places using Adobe Lightroom 4
software. There is more impact from the image when it is printed out or
digitally displayed in a larger size, so it is quite difficult to
demonstrate the 'overall' effect on my website.
considering purchasing a Wacom graphic tablet and pen to use with Corel
Paint software to take my photo images to the next level. For the moment
I am having fun developing my post processing skills and soon I will
make the leap into actual painting.
My articles regarding my thoughts and attempts at Photographic Art -
I have been using Adobe Lightroom 3 software for all my post processing
and recently I upgraded to version 4. Probably the best
improvements are the extras in the adjustment brush which now includes a
greater range of editing features. I decided to test them out on some
images and really push the possible effects that could be achieved.
I had some old 'RAW' images of cemetery headstones taken with my Canon
5D DSLR and my Canon 24-105L lens, so I thought I would bring out the
'gothic' in them or at least try! It is not wise to creep around a
cemetery in the dead of night to take pictures in the moonlight
especially as the gates are usually locked but the end results might
prove more realistic vs my results. However, these images were captured
in broad daylight and in both cases it was a very sunny day.
Normally with such images, I might use HDR software to create an
atmosphere in the final rendering, to raise the contrast, the dynamic
range and adjust the saturation so that the image appears just a little
'spooky' and more akin to a graveyard setting. These type of images
never usually appear 'completely' natural, especially in colour and it
often obvious that layering, dodging and burning, HDR or a combination
are involved in the process but in any case I wanted to push the
effects - I like the black and white conversion image.
The post processing was fairly simple, flatten the entire image by
greatly reducing the clarity, add some vignetting and reduce the
exposure to darken the entire image. Use the adjustment brush with all
it's extra features to paint the adjustments on the headstones - temp,
tint, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, saturation and
sharpness - also includes adjustments for noise and moiré.
Dodging and burning to highlight or darken different parts of the
headstone is easy to apply and can be applied on top of previous brush
adjustments. I did not spend a great deal of time on the images, it was
just a basic exercise to test out the adjustment brush. Even better the
graduated filter also has all those extra features.
Over here in the UK we don't get the same levels of storm light as the
USA or other countries prone to violent lightning storms. Storm light
in the UK is more muted but nevertheless it is an amazing 'light effect'
created by a heavy dark sky, often with flashes of vibrant blue peaking through
and shafts of sunlight striking the landscape amongst the darkened
When it does occur, it is a photographers dream come true and one reason
to always carry a camera. The visual effect is usually awesome to behold
but often short lived. Landscapes are invariably the shots of choice in
such circumstances but the effect (although not to the same extent)
can still be seen in other scenes. These images were captured down at Matlock
on the edge of the
Peak District in England at the 'Steam Festival' and all day, during our visit, the light effects
kept changing every few minutes as the heavy clouds rolled over,
breaking like waves in the sky and letting the sun shine through. What a rush and what a dilemma as Carol
kept dragging me away from my photography.
I managed to get in some shots that day, but given more time, I
could have found more interesting subjects and produced even better
results. These two images were captured using my Canon 5D MK I DSLR and
my favourite Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L lens. They were taken under duress
(my excuse) and the combo was hand held. The 'RAW' files were
processed yesterday in Adobe Lightroom 4 software with only minor
adjustments to saturation, contrast, brightness and sharpness. The 2nd
image was taken under amusing circumstances, because as I took the shot,
I saw the man
searching through his box with a tiny tractor standing alongside - I
could not resist shouting, "are you looking in there for the driver" and the
This image was taken with the same combo and it is my favourite. Again
post processed the same way as the other two images.
When you are out and about on the 'street' taking pictures, does the
size of the camera matter?
I have never been a avid street photographer, I find that unless I have
a definite plan, a project to capture specific subject material at a given
location where it is in abundance or I am prepared to wait for a
prolonged period until that subject appears, then street photography
invariably consists of many shots and very few results. However it has
to be accepted that even if one shot amongst many turns out a gem, then
it can be worthwhile and deliver a sense of achievement.
I have used all sorts of cameras for street photography,
35mm film SLRs,
digital compacts, Micro 4/3rds compact, APS-C & Full Frame sensor DSLRs.
I have never experienced any awkward problem using any of those cameras
but I do tend to stick to planned projects and events where I am never
perceived as an nuisance.
This first image was captured at the Edinburgh
Festival with a Canon 450D APS-C sensor DSLR with a Canon 100mm f2.8 USM
Macro lens fitted. It was a day when the street was busy, cameras were
everywhere and nobody seemed to mind getting their picture taken. The
combo delivered a very nice 160mm 'field of view' which allowed me to
stand back a bit and achieve shots through the spaces in the crowds of
people. Shooting with a 'prime' lens can be difficult, especially
at 160mm but the results are often most excellent and you can achieve a
very nice out of focus effect in the background.
The 'RAW' file settings are ISO:200, Aperture f3.5, shutter 1/640sec and
developed using Adobe Lightroom 3 software with adjustments for
contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness.
I often use my larger 'Full Frame' DSLR for street photography,
especially on holiday.
It's size has never drawn much attention and if anyone does purposely
look at what I am doing, I invariably produce a nice smile which seems
to settle any concern. I know that many street photographers like to get
right in amongst the action, mingle with people and even ask them to
pose but it is not my style.
I am not exactly invisible but I do like to remain further back and I
find that a zoom lens offers greater flexibility when you are shooting
through crowds or attempting to isolate the 'primary' subject from the
background. A 'prime' lens can achieve the same but with a 'fixed' focal
length it is annoying when you miss a shot on occasions where the
subject is too close. This image was captured with
a Canon 5D MK 1 'Full Frame' DSLR and a Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L
The 'RAW' file settings are 84mm, ISO:200, Aperture f4, shutter 1/1250sec and
developed using Adobe Lightroom 3 software with adjustments for
contrast, brightness, saturation and sharpness.
Wikipedia - "Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was
an American amateur
street photographer who was born in New York but grew up
in France, and after returning to the US, worked for about
forty years as a
nanny in Chicago. During those years she took about
100,000 photographs, primarily of people and cityscapes most
often in Chicago, although she traveled and photographed
Canon 5D MK 1 DSLR camera and a Canon 24-105L IS zoom lens is
not that heavy as a walk around solution.
have used this combination on all my holidays since 2006,
barring 2010 when I tried out my compact Panasonic GF1 Micro
4/3rds camera and Lumix 14-45mm OIS zoom lens. I can tell you,
that having used a 5D 'full frame' sensor camera and the smaller
GF1 compact there is nothing that can beat the 'full frame'
perspective for those shots that are special even if it means
carrying a larger and heavier rig!
I like using the LCD of my GF1 but for sheer pleasure in taking
pictures, there is nothing better than peering through a
5D's viewfinder and through the 'optics' of a 77mm lens which is
sucking in all that light! The Canon 24-105mm IS f4 L is an
I often read about photographers complaining about the weight of
their DSLR and how they have sold of their 'full frame' camera
and lenses to purchase a compact solution like Panasonic and
Olympus amongst many other 'mirrorless' camera systems with
interchangeable lenses. I could never give up my 5D DSLR for a
compact, I may use them side by side to compliment each other
but parting with my Canon 5D is unthinkable. Even if I purchased
a new variant (Canon 5D MK III) I still would never sell off the
I can carry the Canon 5D/24-105L combo around my
neck all day using it's supplied shoulder strap and usually I
also cup the camera in my right hand lest anyone have a go at
stealing it. I never really notice the weight and when I am
using it, I slip the rig into various styles of shoulder bags
but my favourite bag is the
Lowepro 65AW 'Top Loader Pro'(check out the Lowepro site video)
which has enough room for the camera with zoom lens fitted plus
filters, spare memory and battery.
Kai Wong from DigitalRev
provides some tips in his landscape video -
I enjoy landscape photography, in my Lowepro Flipside 400AW backpack I carry the following 'reduced'
Canon 5D MK I
'Full Frame' DSLR Camera
Canon 1.4x + 2x
Canon 24-105mm f4
IS L Lens
f2.8 IS L MK I Lens
Lee Pro Filter
Kit + 77mm Lens/Bracket + Universal Hood
Spare Battery +
tripod with a 468MGRC2 Ballhead (slips in bag outside holder)
I used to lug around
Kata HB-207 Backpack full of gear including my 'prime' lenses. The
HB-207 is an awesome backpack and brilliant to use. However it is for
younger men without neck problems, unfortunately I have to travel light
The Voigtlander 40mm Ultron f2 SL II Aspherical lens is probably one of the smallest and
lightest lenses you can
use with a 'full frame' digital sensor DSLR
This beautiful 'pancake' prime lens can slip neatly into your pocket or
in the front or side pocket of a shoulder bag. For those photographers
that want a 'middle road' between the 35mm and 50mm focal length, the
Voigtlander 40mm Ultron f2 SL II lens is the ideal solution for a broad
spectrum of photography. According to Ken Rockwell, it does not display
coma on bright points of lights, thanks to it's aspherical glass
element, which means it should be good for night street photography?
This lens not only shrinks down the size and weight of 'full frame' DSLRs like the
Canon 5D MK II and the Nikon D700 it is an ideal 'prime' to slip in
alongside a 70-300mm zoom lens to lighten your 'full frame' camera bag
and yet provide an answer for that low light or macro solution, should it arise.
From Robert White website -
"The 40/2.0 Ultron SL II
lens is a new incarnation
of the famed 'pancake' 40mm lens
from Voigtlander. This version will
be available in Pentax K (PK)
bayonet mount, Nikon AI-s mount, and
Canon EF mount with the added
attraction of an in lens CPU like a
P Nikkor for electronic metering
coupling and full multi mode
operation with AF and Digital SLR
cameras. The 40/2 Ultron is
supplied with a stylish dome type
lens hood and an accessory close up
lens to give a maximum magnification
ratio of 1:4 (1/4 life size on 35mm
film) at a focus distance of 25cm.
The rear element is made from ultra
high refractive index glass, with
both its surfaces aspherical. On a
DSLR with an APS C sized sensor, it
behaves as a short portrait lens (equivalent to 60mm in 35mm terms) when
taking the field of view crop into account"
The following video shot with the 'full frame' Canon 5D MK II DSLR and
the 40mm Ultron, displays it's movie capabilities but remember this
is a 'manual focus' lens and with it's depth of field scale on
the barrel, it is also ideal for pre-setting a 'depth of field' for stills
I know that many photographers sneer at the thought of using manual
focus lenses never mind laying out the money to purchase them but they
bring an enormous diversion to your photography. I own a few 'second
hand' manual focus lenses in the Nikon AI-s range - a 28mm, 50mm and a
135mm which I roll out from time to time on my
Nikon FM3a 'Film' SLR camera and I
thoroughly enjoy the experience. My Nikon uses a split/image focus
screen which makes manual focus (through the lens) great for achieving 'optimum'
focus accuracy and today Nikon AI-s lens can still be picked up second hand
alongside new ones. There are many suppliers who sell 'second hand'
manual focus lenses and
Grays of Westminster is one well
The Nikon AI-s range of lenses can also be used with some of the higher
specified Nikon D series of 'Full Frame' DSLR cameras such as the D700,
D3 and D3X which have an electronic interface with the lenses. In some
cases, a split/image (rangefinder style) focus screen can be retro
fitted to the camera although the standard one remains most excellent as
BOTH are demonstrated in the Zeiss video below.
I started photography in a time when manual focus lenses and 'depth of
field' scales were in vogue and now they are returning with a vengeance
- thanks to DSLR camera video systems! As well as Nikon there are
others, such as Voigtlander and Zeiss who have both maintained the 'high
standard' of manufacture for most popular film SLR, digital SLR and
film/digital rangefinder cameras.
Autofocus 'prime' lenses in themselves are a sheer joy to use but manual
focus lenses bring a new dimension to photography for photographers who
have only used autofocus lenses. The interaction with a 'Film' SLR, DSLR
or a 'Film' or Digital Rangefinder 'full frame' camera using a manual
focus lens really does engage a higher thought process regarding your
photography and I claim a higher state of satisfaction when the final
image comes through. Using the 'depth of field' scale for video is an
added bonus and both Voigtlander and Zeiss are renowned for their smooth
'focus movement' using the ring on the lens barrel.
I could leave it just there but if you want to go the whole 'diversion'
hog, I tell you there is no greater satisfaction than using a 35mm
'Film' SLR or Rangefinder camera, a manual focus lens and some Kodak Ektar colour film
Living with Film.
This is a video of a Zeiss manual focus lens being used on a Nikon DSLR
I regularly use my Canon 5D MK 1 DSLR and my Canon 50mm f1.4 USM lens and
thoroughly enjoy the 35mm 'full frame' experience. The combo is
reasonably lightweight and not that large overall (thanks to the lens
size) and easy to carry around - no neck or shoulder pain!
Kai is talking to the converted, my 50mm was the first lens that I
purchased back in 2006 and it is the ideal focal length on a 'full
frame' digital camera to match the human eye. It is the middle ground
between extension and compression distortion - a lens for virtually all
When used on a 'full frame' digital sensor DSLR like the Canon 5D, the
Canon 24L MK II is an excellent and
lens to have.
Many photographers will use this lens purely for landscapes but it's
f1.4 wide open aperture is very capable and even more so when it is
stopped down to f2.8 where it is razor sharp.
The-Digital-Picture.com wrote - "The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II USM
Lens is, without question, Canon's best-performing (optically and
physically) and best-built 24mm autofocus lens. It is also
Canon's widest angle lens with an aperture wider than f/2.8 - a full 2
stops wider than all wider angle Canon lenses. This lens looks great,
feels great and functions superbly"
I have the older version, the Canon 24L MK 1 lens and I continue to use
it on my Canon 5D MK 1 'Full Frame' DSLR. The newer version is
marginally better and for that reason it is not worth purchasing to
replace mine. I always shoot 'RAW' file format, so post processing
addresses the differences between mine and the newer version.
I should imagine that the Mark 1 version is starting to appear 'second
hand' and is well worth looking out for!
The Canon 24L is a lens which is ideal
for shooting landscapes, city scenes, indoors in low light and also
night photography. The above image was captured using my OLDER
VERSION - the Canon 24mm f1.4 USM L MK 1 lens and my Canon 5D
'12MPixel' Sensor MK 1 DSLR. It was shot at ISO:800, aperture f1.6 and
shutter 1/100sec to attempt to 'freeze' movement. The 'RAW' file was
post processed in Adobe Lightroom with slight cropping and adjusted for
brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpening - there was no noise
The image quality is not bad, considering it was a very dark night, the
primary subject was moving quite fast, the camera was 'hand held' and
set at ISO:800 with the lens almost 'wide open'. The metering was set
for evaluative with centre spot autofocus on the roadway, held by a half
shutter press and the scene realigned whilst I waited for the bus to
near the pre-determined focus area before taking the shot. Overall the
bus image quality is excellent considering it's speed and the camera was
set for single shot mode. The white signs on the front of the bus are
slightly blown and as a result appear out of focus but the fittings
inside it and the man on the top deck can be clearly seen as can the
other signs on the front. You can see other people inside at the back on
the lower deck and a Christmas parcel on the top shelf of the upper
deck. The depth of field at f1.6 is reasonable and the areas outwith it,
remain identifiable but with hindsight, I might have managed a shot at
aperture f2.8 with a 1/50sec shutter speed and achieved a sharper image
It's been snowing here today in Edinburgh, the weather is appalling as
there is also a mixture of sleet and wind. I suppose it's great weather
for the Pandas arriving and apparently they love to roll about in the
snow but I stayed
indoors and did some conversion work using Lightroom.
I have been using 'Microsoft FrontPage Software' for years to create my
photo displays and I still use it for my main web work (I have
Microsoft Expression Web 3 but I still prefer FrontPage) and
'gradually' I have been using Adobe Lightroom software to convert the 'old' photo displays over to Lightroom photo
This is one image that was converted in Lightroom for display in this
in my Colour Image Section. It has brightness, saturation, contrast and
sharpness applied and was shot 'hand held' using my Canon 5D MK 1 DSLR with a Canon
24-105L IS Zoom Lens.
Lightroom is relatively in-expensive, when you compare it to Adobe CS5
and it is able to deliver a great deal of power in collecting those
'RAW' image files from various 'store' directories on the PC hard drive,
cataloging them and facilitating 'fast' post processing, as well as the
copyright stamp, to create single jpeg and multiple images in a web for
viewing. I have been working today on an 'old' Prague 'FrontPage' sub
web - so I deleted it and by using Lightroom it was a breeze to start all over again with
those stored 'RAW' files from my PC.
Canon 5D MK1 DSLR camera and the Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L Zoom lens make
for a great combination when travelling and works well in all sort of
conditions, especially when taking pictures from moving boats. I don't
have any problems with the weight around my neck using the shoulder
strap as I also 'cup the rig' in my right hand for extra support which
eases any neck or shoulder pain. I can use the rig all day by supporting
it in this manner.
The greatest single problem that I have with my web images is that I
keep far to many. I just hang onto images that are okay but nothing
great. It's the memories they invoke that is at the heart of it all. I
would like to add all my 'personal stuff' but the web space would
quadruple, especially if I added in all the 'film' digital scans from
the last 50 years.
For more image samples from the Canon 5D + 24-105L combo please visit my
Early on in the year, I wrote a blog and then moved it to an article on
Black & White photography. At that time I wrote -
"To be a photographer or a digital artist that is the question? Whether
it is nobler in the mind to 'authentically' photograph the scene and
risk suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism and
misfortune or to take up extensive post processing to avoid a sea of troubles and
so alter the image to one's perception".
I guess a number of readers think I prefer natural images and hate post
processing and they would be right but that does not mean that I dislike the
actual methodology of post processing - it's the time it takes and the work involved that I
hate. The finished image may prove to be a huge improvement on the
original and provide a great deal of 'self' satisfaction but many, after
half a hour of work, are binned. Perhaps if I spent more time actually
learning how to properly post process images and used better software
like Adobe CS5, it might become less of a chore?
This image is one of my latest post processing efforts using a 'RAW'
file and Adobe Lightroom. It was taken today with my Canon 5D MK1 DSLR
and my Canon 50mm f1.4 USM Lens (hand held). We were walking the dogs
down at the riverside and it was a cloudy sky and the rain had started
when this shot was taken. I applied contrast, saturation, sharpness and
some vignetting - it has not been cropped.
Some camera 'RAW' files are easier to work with than others, especially
if the camera and lens produce excellent dynamic range and a good
control of highlights in the original image that is captured. It has
always been about the right location, the subject, the correct camera
settings, the correct mix of 'natural light' effects, rather than using post processing
software to create them. It is much harder these days to find a digital
sensor camera that can 'produce' the same dynamic range of professional
colour film in a 35mm full frame or
format 'FILM' camera.
For some photographers, criticism of their talents and photography can
be hard to live with. A professional photographer goes out, takes the
pictures and for whatever the purpose, weddings, fine art, etc, it is a
business, a job, and he sells them on. Most photographers who are into
photography as a hobby and most advanced amateurs have long realised
that there is no substitute for spending some serious time in getting to
know the camera and lenses they are using.
Once the shutter is fired and whether it be a jpeg straight out of the
camera or a 'RAW' file which has more latitude - it
is often the case, that the image does require some
tweaking in computer software to 'lift' the final presentation and make it more appealing to
the eye - I should know, with my 'limited skills' I have done it myself!
One of the first lenses
that I purchased back in 2006, was a Canon 24mm f1.4 L MK I. I use it
for landscape photography on my Canon 5D DSLR but I have had the most
fun using it on a Canon 450D DSLR where is delivers a 38mm 'field of
view' and makes for a very nice 'everyday' combination.
Kai Wong at
DigRev has reviewed the newer
version of it, the Canon 24mm f1.4 MK II L Lens.
I use the Canon 100mm
f2 USM lens on my Canon 5D MK I DSLR and I reckon it is one of the
finest around. I used it to capture the image of my 'grandson' in the
main picture of this blog page which was softened in Adobe Lightroom and
converted from the original colour 'RAW' file.
However, there is an even better lens and that is the 'manual focus'
Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro-Planar T* lens - see the video!
When I travel abroad, I invariable take my
Canon 5D MK I DSLR and my Canon 24-105L Lens. As a backup, I always
take along the Canon 50mm f1.4 USM Lens and pop it in a corner of my
The 50mm f1.4 is probably one of the cheapest Canon lenses available and
it was my very first purchase. For the life of me, I don't know why I
have taken it for granted and why I don't use it more?
The lens is a pleasure to use on my Canon 5D and most suitable for 'low light' shots
at aperture f1.4 wide open and especially for night shots, even when the combo is hand held.
The lens hood can be reverse fitted and the lens is lightweight and compact in
three shots were all taken 'hand held' with the aperture wide open at f1.4
with the Canon 5D DSLR. The 1st one is a ISO:1600 example and the
remaining two are ISO:800.
All the reviews that I have
read, state that the Canon 50mm lens is soft at f1.4 and sharp
thereafter but I have no
complaints regarding it's performance at f1.4 wide open.
This 'sunset and boats' image was taken at aperture f5.6 with the
shutter speed raised to 1/800sec to 'freeze' the boat movements on the
I love the colours from this lens with the 'full frame' Canon 5D MK I
DSLR camera and all the images in this article were shot as 'RAW' files
and post processed in Adobe Lightroom. Very little post processing was
applied, no noise reduction and only slight tweaks to saturation,
contrast and brightness.
There is a serious bonus to using this lens on a Canon 5D MK I DSLR and
that is, there is usually very little to 'post process' when converting
'RAW' files to tiff and jpeg formats.
The Canon 50mm f1.4 USM Lens specifications are -
7 Elements in 6 Groups
Fast f/1.4 aperture
Standard 46° angle of
USM focus motor with
full-time manual focus override
I often visit the
'photographic gear' forums for other peoples opinions on emerging
I am amazed just how many photographers write about giving up their
'full frame' sensor camera, usually a Canon 5D MKII DSLR for a Micro
The old clichés are spouted, it's too heavy, it's too big and I hate
lugging it about when travelling abroad. The lenses are massive and my
shoulder bag is becoming larger.
Personally, I think it is a 'unfulfilled' condition, like a person with
gets fed up with it, sells it for another one and then wishes they had
kept the original one.
They should invent a proper name for this condition, not 'gear head'
because it is not the desire to purchase gear for gears sake, I think it is
the subconscious hidden desire to find fulfilment in your
I have always wanted a more compact and lightweight DSLR but not at the
expense of losing the performance from a 'full frame' digital sensor.
Other than for financial reasons, why would anyone in their right mind spend all that money to finally own
a 'full frame' sensor camera and some nice lenses, then flog it all for
a Micro 4/3rds camera or even a APS-C sensor camera?
I use my GF1 kit for a few weeks and then
put it down and pick up my Canon 5D MKI DSLR, what a blast
and vice versa............there is nothing quite like a
'full frame' DSLR and there is nothing quite like a GF1 Micro 4/3rds
If I had to select only one
lens to use on a permanent basis with my
5D Mark 1 DSLR camera it would be the Canon 24-105L Zoom.
This lens is not without its 'wrinkles' but they are easily overcome,
either with very careful photography or at worst with
a little work in
software post processing. The image quality combined with the dexterity
of the lens more than makes up for it.
The only time that I leave this lens at home is when I want a change and
concentrate on using my Canon 'prime' lenses or use another camera
This is the ultimate 'travel' lens on a 'full frame'
digital sensor Canon DSLR camera. It will not let you down whether you
are standing on 'terra firma' or shooting images from a moving boat or
peering through the dead of night under street lamps or indoors without
flash, for that magic picture and perhaps that 'once in a lifetime'
picture. It also makes for most excellent monochrome images!
I have travelled a great deal with this lens and for more more
information about my 'travels' with some image samples
Canon 24-105L L Lens
This lens is now
available in the UK in ZE (Canon) and ZF
The reviews are mixed for image quality at f1.4 which for 'street'
photography on a 35mm lens is desirable to produce excellent 3D bokeh
style images. More on the reviews at
This Zeiss lens is beautiful but large, heavy and it seems that to
combine it with a Canon or Nikon 'full frame' sensor DSLR, I would have to endure a camera and lens
weighing around 1,670g in my hand. Certainly for 'street' photography and 'niche' projects it will require
serious consideration but it is an unlikely
When will Nikon and Canon recognise that I am not the only photographer
who desires a top quality 35mm f1.4 lens with a 'full frame' sensor DSLR
camera that are both compact and lightweight.
It is no coincidence that Henri Cartier-Bresson preferred a 50mm
lens on his Leica
‘Film’ rangefinder camera. Henri was a man that started with art and
painted the scene as caught by his eye.
Henri’s 50mm lens produced a true 50mm ‘field of view’ and delivered
an image very similar to a scene as seen by the human eye and with
minimum distortion. It also provided the ‘optimum’ camera to subject
to background distance ratio, depth of field and on subjects
(especially the entire body of a person at a reasonable distance
away from the camera) he had the ability to create a 3D effect where
the person is separated from a blurred (out of focus) background
with a creamy smooth bokeh effect!
Today’s version of his kit is the Leica
M9 digital ‘full frame’ rangefinder and Leica
50mm f1.4 ASPH Summilux M manual focus
Many photographers have abandoned the
lens on a ‘full frame’ sensor digital camera and prefer the 35mm
‘wider’ lens for their everyday shots. A 35mm focal length lens will
provide a wider ‘field of view’, where the background is pushed
further back from the primary subject and a photographer can still
manage to create a 3D and bokeh effect,
especially if the lens has excellent image quality when wide open at
aperture stop f1.4 or f2. However, the photographer has to take up a
position much closer to the subject, especially when capturing the
full body of a person and the effect will never match the
perspective of the 50mm lens.
I am still hunting around for the perfect 35mm lens for my Canon 5D
MKI DSLR but most are too large, heavy and lack the desired image
quality when used wide open. Sometimes I figure that a 35mm is a
mistake and I should stick with a 50mm. My current favourite choice
for an upgrade would in fact be a ‘manual focus’ lens - the
Zeiss 50mm f2 ZE
Makro Planar. I would prefer an autofocus lens but the
Zeiss is probably the leader for image
For an interesting review on the Zeiss 50mm f2 ZE
Makro Planar, visit Photozone