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First Impressions: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

I am not easily impressed by anything nowadays, call me blaze if you will. Through a series of unforeseen, though not unpleasant, events I became the owner of a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens today. So, as one does, I mounted it on my camera, a Canon EOS 7D, and shot the first thing that came in sight. I knew off hand that the photo was going to a total fail, no light. I cranked up the ISO to 3200, set the lens to f/4 not expecting much at all, After all, anyone that fires a shutter at 1/15 sec at 50mm handheld should be shot for sheer incompetence.

Was I in for a surprise!!! It’s not tack sharp but… I’ll let the photo speak for itself!

Shot at f/4, ISO3200, 1/15 sec at 50mm with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

I shot this less than 20cm away, I even got a nice low depth of field! The IS is impressive!

Here is a crop of the cover, it’s not 1 to 1 but you’ll get the idea.

Shot at f/4, ISO3200, 1/15 sec at 50mm with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (Croped)

Even my finger print is visible!

I was in for another surprise, here is the same image processed with Lightroom 4 (noise reduction at 100% only)

Shot at f/4, ISO3200, 1/15 sec at 50mm with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM (Croped and proccessed)

I’ll do some more testing but I have the feeling this is going to be my go to lens when I get my new camera.

A stormy evening in Kimberley

There are very few things that leave me in wander, African sunsets are one of these rare occasions where I often forget to pickup my camera and just enjoy the moment. There is something dramatic about African sunsets before or after a storm I cannot explain, it just is what it is.

This photo was shot in the Kimberley in 2007.

A stormy evening in Kimberley by Pascal Parent (PascalParent) on 500px.com

A stormy evening in Kimberley by Pascal Parent

Camera: CANON EOS 300D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm
2 photo panoramic


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Entabeni Lake

I have been digging in my archives for photos worth publishing or re-publishing as it may from 2001 to today. Here is my first in many to come, I am going to try to revive my photo of the day feature, I hope you enjoy going down memory lane as much as I will.

This was taken in 2005 on Entabeni lake in the Entabeni Private Nature Reserve. I remember it well because a ranger told me a strange story that day.

An oriental, probably Chinese, tourist and I will be sharing tourist stories from all over the world, asked him if there was dolphins in the lake. The answer was rather surprising. He replied that the ”Lesser Limpopo Dolphin”, a fictious species, came to give birth to it’s young here every tow years, braving the Limpopo river and it’s many dangers such as crocodiles and some species of small sharks. I found it very amusing as this was obviously geographically impossible.

Entabeni Lake by Pascal Parent (PascalParent) on 500px.com

Entabeni Lake by Pascal Parent

Camera: CANON EOS 300D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 Kit lens


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Teleconverters are they worth it?

CanonExtenderEF2xII

I have herd many times that Teleconverter are useless, they take away too much from the lens native abilities. I agree that they do take away a lot, but I also believe that the Canon EF 2x II Extender has a place in my camera bag. Think of the price of an entry level 800mm lens, now think of the price of a Canon EF 2x II Extender coupled with my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens…

The major drawbacks I experienced are:

  • A loss of about 2 stops
  • Loss of auto focus
  • Extra weight of 280g
  • Compatible with selected EF lenses
  • Needs a support to be useful (Bean Bag, Tripod, …)

The major advantages are:

  • Far cheaper than having to buy a specialised lens
  • L lens with fluoride optics
  • Easy to mount
  • Doubles the selected lens’ reach

It is a “speciality” piece of equipment, getting used to it and it’s acceptable use can be difficult, even with a Image Stabilised Lens such as the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens. So what can it be used for? Any photography where a support can be used, I personally used it for bird, sky photography, paparazzi style photography and the odd wildlife photography but the latter is rather difficult as I used it with a bean bag in the past, I have bought a Car Window Mount since, though I have not field tested it yet.

The major advantage is the reach, with a 400mm lens you will achieve 800mm, however couple with an APS-C camera that brings it to a whopping 1280mm, for birding and sky photography it’s absolutely brilliant and a tripod can (should) be used in both these activities.

Here are some shots done with a Canon 400D, a Canon EF 2x II Extender and a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens.

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IMG_8195_1
IMG_2674_1
IMG_3244_1

As you can see a Teleconverter when used for the right reason can be very useful.