Archive for March, 2007

Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich

Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich
photographed using Canon EF 16-35 mm, at 16 mm setting
Copyright © 2007 Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich

Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich
photographed using Canon EF 16-35 mm, at 35 mm setting
Copyright © 2007 Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

Flower

Flower, photographed using Canon EF 16-35 mm, at 35 mm setting
Copyright © 2007 Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

Yesterday I received (probably, hopefully) the final piece for my collection of working lenses – the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM. It’s an extreme wide angle lens, allowing for wide panoramas or extreme close-ups. Certainly not suitable for any everyday shooting, but very good for special occasions. I shot the three photos above this morning with the 1ds mark II, using a Hoya Pro1 Digital UV filter. I just wanted to see how extreme the wide angle would look like on a full format sensor chip. My other body, the 1d mark II N, has a correction factor of 1.3, so on that body the lens will be more like a 21-45 mm. Also interesting, but I wanted to experience the maximum.

In short: This lens is amazing. Even at the 16mm setting there is no distortion, and the chromatic aberration is minimal (I could correct the first two photos above in Photoshop Lightroom, using a setting of -15 Red/Cyan). There is absolutely no Lens Vignetting to be seen, even when using aperture 22. The minimum foucs distance is about 28 cm (11 Inches), and again, the lens delivers crisp, undistorted images (see image # 3). Just the Chromatic Aberration needs to be kept an eye upon (-6 Red/Cyan, +11 Blue/Yellow for the third shot). I will post a few more pictures under “real-life” conditions (working under pressure) as soon as possible.

I can honestly say I really like this lens.

P.S.: Here’s the detailed info for the images above:
a) 1/100 sec at f22, ISO 200, 16 mm setting, Temp Auto (5050K)
b) 1/125 sec at f22, ISO 200, 35 mm setting, Temp Auto (5050K)
c) 1/320 sec at f5.6, ISO 200, 35 mm setting, Temp Auto (4600K)

The Canon manual that should have come with your EOS camera

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Stefan Steib of Hartblei made me aware of a free guidebook for professional photographers using Canon EOS cameras. Apparently this has been published by Canon USA, so that you have to go to Canon’s U.S. pages in order to see it.

The 7.6 MB file is a 92 page PDF document, and it is certainly worth the download. They put two pages next to each other, which makes reading on the screen a bit cumbersome, but the content is an interesting read, especially for beginners with Canon EOS cameras. Clustered into two main groups, “Shooting” and “Data Processing”, the book explains the complete digital workflow in detail, from equipment selection to using the camera, and finally post-processing your images for professional use. I personally find the tips for shooting (pages 32 to 47) most interesting, because it helps me to improve my daily work on location. Many photos provide excellent examples of different settings and workstyles (though the PDF format does not bring across all the fine details of the examples).

I think this book should have come with the camera, even if some of the tips do not apply to everyone. It’s what every user of an EOS should have. For semi-pros and pros it is a must.

Canon’s EOS Digital Photo Guidebook for Professionals

Time Warp to March 5, 2006

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

While re-reading the previous post (about the big CO2 scam that’s currently going on), it struck me that I had previously unpublished photos on my hard disk that I shot on March 5, 2006. It had been snowing heavily throughout the night, and in the morning it was still snowing like crazy. It was very quiet (not unpleasant at all), and everything was covered with 15 inches of snow. Yes, that’s true – it’s exactly one year ago that our street in Munich looked like this:

 

Frundsbergstrasse on the morning of March 5, 2006
Munich’s Frundsbergstrasse on the morning of March 5, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

Frundsbergstrasse on the morning of March 5, 2006

Munich’s Frundsbergstrasse on the morning of March 5, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

Street Sign Volkartstrasse corner Frundsbergstrasse on the morning of March 5, 2006

Street Sign Volkartstrasse corner Frundsbergstrasse on March 5, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress 

The CO2 Scam

Monday, March 5th, 2007

If you have been to Europe this winter, you might have noticed that something essential was badly missing: snow! And it’s true – we had almost no snow in Munich this season. Even worse: a good number of holiday makers were not able to use their skis in the Alps. Some might think that this was just an unusually warm winter as it happens from time to time. I remember well last year when we had lots of snow (and people were complaining loudly as well). So we all could move on, attributing this to the weather.

But not our politicians! This unusual warm winter has given them the new enemy they have been looking for since 9/11. It’s an enemy bigger than any living (or dead) terrorist, and defeatable only within the next twenty to fifty years, if at all. This enemy is – “the global warming”. Just open any newspaper or watch any TV newscast, I bet that you will read and hear the words “global warming” and “CO2″. It is apparently the perfect reason to demand new obscure taxes from us and create new ridiculous laws. Some countries have already forbidden plain light bulbs! Now, how about plasma screens or SUVs? They seem to be wasting so much more energy than light bulbs. Probably this was just a test, to see whether the CO2 story could work. So far it has worked beautifully, and soon they will be able to force upon us whatever comes to their minds, from prohibiting cars in a certain color to drinking beer at a restaurant or using the toilet at 3 am in the morning. Hey is that a book you are reading? Sorry mate, we can’t afford to cut trees any longer for paper, you know, due to the CO2 and the global warming and stuff! So, starting next year you’ll have to pay $0.01 annual paper tax (APT) per page for all your books.

But seriously, the first politicians see the potential to finally keep the people in the country and have them spend their money in-country (instead of abroad). And all that without building any walls! “Germans should rather take a bicycle and drive along the river Rhine instead of going overseas”, demanded one German politician a few days ago. However, when it comes to their travel behaviour, politicians do not want to step back. They are so important that they have to use the biggest cars and do trips to 3rd world countries with beautiful beaches.

I believe that this whole global warming story is probably the biggest scams of all, and I am not alone. A search for “CO2 scam” delivers a number of very interesting results. Next time, when you hear or read about “CO2″ and “global warming” and the consequences for us as citizens, please remember this post. Don’t be fooled by our politicians!

Ah, and if you can’t travel because of the high taxes, why not have a look at my travel photos?

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Update 03-JUL-08 – Apparently now others are picking up on the inconsistencies in the official storylines as well, e.g. The Register. Please also make sure to read my review of Michael Crichton’s excellent State of Fear.