It is a long time ago that I last flew in a light aircraft. So to be commissioned to take aerial photographs of a property in Port Elizabeth was really exciting.
The Two Seat Skyranger with Owner and PilotJohn Huddlestone (L) and Mitchell Hill (R)
After completing the commissioned shoot we flew out to Swartkops River Mouth and then back along the coast to Cape Recife. From there we flew over the Soccer Stadium and a few other landmarks before heading back to the airport.
Some sample images:
Some tips for aerial photography:
The long anticipated replacement to the original Canon 100-400 L lens finally became available towards the end of 2014. This is about 15 years after the launch of the original 100-400 lens! Is the new version a worthy successor to the original? And how does it compare to the competition?
This mini review of the new Canon 100-400 L IS II is not technically inclined but based on real life usage. There are no charts etc. Only my personal experience and comments as well as sample images. I will also compare the new Canon 100-400 L IS II to the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD.
The IS works extremely well. Hand held at 400mm and 1/100th second produces consistently sharp images. At this shutter speed the only blur is because of subject movement.
I prefer the new twist action to zoom over the old push pull method. Not that I ever minded the push pull action. Some will also argue that twist action is better because it doesn't suck dust into the lens.
Closest Focusing Distance (perhaps the best feature of the lens!)
Blue Quail Birdf5.6, 1/250th sec, 300mm
Below are some sample images taken with the Canon 100-400 IS L MkII. These images were shot in RAW have been processed in Lightroom - mainly to boost the contrast a little.
King Vulturef10, 1/250th sec, 400mm African Elephant Malef6.3, 1/800th sec, 312mm
Green Tree Iguanaf9, 1/160th sec, 241mm Plains Zebra Grazing on Green Grassf5.6, 1/300th sec, 300mm African Elephant Herdf6.5, 1/800th sec, 400mm
Controlled Test and Comparison
The 100% crops are all exactly as they were shot and processed by the camera. Exposure was manually controlled. Identical exposures were used for each lens.
All images at 400mm zoom unless stated otherwise.
Left: Canon f5.6, 1/1000th sec, 400mm Right: Tamron f5.6, 1/1000th sec, 400mm
Tamron 100% crop from above image, f5.6
Left: Canon f8, 1/500th sec, 400mm Right: Tamron f8, 1/500th sec, 400mm
Canon 100% Crop from above image, f8
Canon 100% Crop, f8
Tamron 100% crop from above image, f8
Left: Canon f11, 1/500th sec, 400mm Right: Tamron f11, 1/500th sec, 400mm
Accurate Focusing and Speed
Size and Mass
400mm maximum can be a bit short for some wildlife and sport situations
Don't forget you can see my complete portfolio at Shutterstock or Dreamstime. I hope to have lots of images taken with my new Canon 100-400 MkII uploaded there very soon!
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this review and my conclusions were not influenced in any way. The opinions stated here are my own. I have tried to be as balanced and objective as possible in this review.
I had the opportunity to test the AI server focus mode and panning on IS mode 2. The subject was fast moving karts on a local race track.
The AI server focus was almost flawless! I am very impressed with how accurate it is. Panning was not as successful but this is mainly due to my lack of technique, not a fault of the lens. However, I still managed a few panning keepers as well.
Panning Mode 2ISO100, f16, 1/250th sec AI Server FocusISO800, f8, 1/5000th sec
I can confidently recommend this lens as a superb sports and wildlife lens as well as very good for portraits and even semi-macro shots.
Chroma Key (or green screen photography) is a simple way of shooting a subject and then replacing the background from another image.
There are three main things to remember when shooting green screen:-
Click on the slide show below to see the effect a different background can make! Notice how even the strands of hair are perfectly extracted and seamlessly fit over the new background. The whole process of extracting and replacing the background takes about 3 mins or less in PhotoKey 6!!!
I have been wanting to photograph a puppy for a long time. The photography part I can manage but to get someone to agree to loan a puppy for an hour or two was very difficult.
Anyway, I finally found a pet shop with puppies that would let me take a puppy from the shop for an hour or two.
The shoot was fairly simple and I had my friend Anne as the assistant and dog handler. Below is the lighting setup. The "studio" was the lounge of my house.
I dumped my trusty Canon 100-400L lens for the new Tamron 150-600mm. Talk about taking chances! Anyway, after much deliberating I jumped in the deep end and placed my order. My Tamron arrived two days later and I nervously opened the box and unpacked it.
Canon 100-400mm - at 400mm F5.6 1/60th - Handheld
Tamron 150-600mm - at 400mm F5.6 1/60th - Handheld
Here are 100% crops for comparison:
I feel that the Canon wins here due to better contrast, but with a little editing I think the Tamron will match the Canon. Anyway, pretty good for hand held shots at 1/60th and 400mm!
The next morning I did a more controlled test. The camera was set to manual for accurate comparison. The camera was tripod mounted and the timer was used to release the shutter. No artificial light was used.
I feel the Tamron slightly out performed the Canon in image quality. Both lenses focused equally fast. Bokeh was excellent on both lens.
Canon 100-400 at f8, 1/200th sec, ISO100, Tripod Mounted 400mm zoom
Tamron 150-600 at f8, 1/200th sec, ISO100, Tripod Mounted 400mm zoom
And here are crops of the above images:-
To me the Tamron has picked up slightly more detail but image quality for both is superb.
Backlit waterbuck - focus is on the right hand side waterbuck's forehead. f11, 1/160th secThe image is a bit soft but this I think is due to the slow shutter speed.
Heading back home I felt anxious but confident at the same time. I was not disappointed!! The lens performed very well and produced sharp images. I had no problem in deciding that the Tamron had officially replaced the Canon for me. The real bonus? The extra reach! That extra 200mm makes a big difference. Of course all the shots I took were on Single Shot and I am yet to try the Servo mode with this lens. But I could hand hold at 1/250th second and get sharp images so I am sure the Servo mode will work very well.
Overall I am very pleased with this lens so far. I think Tamron have a real winner!
Warthog, 1/640th sec, f10, 600mm
Zebra, 1/5000th. f5.6, 300mm
These following images have been slightly edited, mainly a bit of cropping and a small contrast boost.
Focal Range and Length
Excellent VC (Vibration Control)
Accurate Focusing and Speed
No carry case
95mm Filters will be expensive
Max aperture at 600mm is f6.3
Don't forget you can see my complete portfolio at Shutterstock or Dreamstime. I hope to have lots of images taken with my new Tamron uploaded there very soon!
Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this review and my conclusions were not influenced in any way. The opinions stated here are my own. I have tried to be as balanced and objective as possible in reviewing this lens.
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