Category Archives: Photography

Canon Extender 2x III teleconverter review

In this review, I do a review of the Canon Extender 2x III teleconverter. I rented this from Lensrentalscanada.com along with a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L lens and the 1.4x III teleconverter hoping to get some amazing bird photos. After over 1000 shots with the lens alone, the 1.4x and the 2x teleconverters, my sad conclusion is that the lens alone probably gave me the best results.

Sure the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters do zoom in the image by 1.4x and 2x respectively, but they also deteriorate the image quality by a good amount, so taking a photo without the teleconverter and cropping it down usually gave very similar results without many of the inconveniences that comes from using a teleconverter (lost of 1-2 stops of light which sometimes disables autofocus on some lens/camera combinations).

All photos in this video are as-is .jpgs coming right out of the camera with no post-processing. Definitely some post-processing would improve some of these, but I want to show the files as they come, not after spending hours refining a RAW file. I first show the full image, then I zoom in 1:1.

Canon Extender 1.4x III teleconverter review

In this review, I do a review of the Canon Extender 1.4x III teleconverter. I rented this from Lensrentalscanada.com along with a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L lens and the 2x III teleconverter hoping to get some amazing bird photos. After over 1000 shots with the lens alone, the 1.4x and the 2x teleconverters, my sad conclusion is that the lens alone probably gave me the best results.

Sure the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters do zoom in the image by 1.4x and 2x respectively, but they also deteriorate the image quality by a good amount, so taking a photo without the teleconverter and cropping it down usually gave very similar results without many of the inconveniences that comes from using a teleconverter (lost of 1-2 stops of light which sometimes disables autofocus on some lens/camera combinations).

All photos in this video are as-is .jpgs coming right out of the camera with no post-processing. Definitely some post-processing would improve some of these, but I want to show the files as they come, not after spending hours refining a RAW file. I first show the full image, then I zoom in 1:1.

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L lens review a great super telephoto lens for bird photography

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In this video, I do a review of the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L lens. This is a great super telephoto lens for bird photography. The image quality on this lens is superb, and the build quality is even more impressive. Made from solid metal, I’d feel safe carrying this in the woods in case I need to knock out a bear or two.

The major downsides are the aperture and lack of image stabilization (IS), which may or may not be deal breakers depending what you take photos of. Using a 400mm lens, the depth of field is really small, so I realistically probably wouldn’t use a lens at f/2.8 or even f/4 too often, unless the subject was far enough away. With aperture of f/5.6 at a distance of 6 feet on a full frame camera such as the Canon 6D, you get a depth of field of 0.2 inches. In metric, at 2 meters, you get a depth of field of 0.65 cm. An aperture of f/2.8 would half those depths of field, which would make it unusable for most situations.

As for lack of IS, if you’re doing bird photography at 1/2000 or faster shutter speeds, the images should be sharp with or without IS. If you plan on using this lens indoors in bad lighting conditions, though, prepare to use ISOs in the 12’800 to 102’400 and wishing your camera could go in the millions of ISO.

The lack of IS is much more an issue for video work, where I’ve had some success handholding it and applying the warp stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Pro. It doesn’t turn it into tripod-steady footage, but closer to steadycam footage, which is usually quite acceptable.

Using a teleconverter, though, the image quality dropped quite a bit, and the aperture of f/8 (1.4x) and f/11 (2x) disabled the autofocus on my Canon 6D camera, which made this lens quite harder to use. But used without any converters, the autofocus was fast and accurate.

Overall I quite enjoyed renting this lens, and I’m looking forward to comparing it to other similar lenses such as the Canon 100-400mm L and the Tamron 150-600mm lens. My guess is the zoom versions would be more versatile in parts because of the zoom, but also because of the image stabilization, but for image quality, I believe the 400mm f/5.6L would come out on top by a large margin.

Lens Rentals Canada review

In this video I do a review of the Lens Rentals Canada camera and lens rental service: www.lensrentalscanada.com

I wanted to test out the Canon 400mm f/5.6L with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters for some wildlife photography. I’m still not decided which lens I would like to purchase, if any, so renting seemed like the most logical choice.

For a very affordable price, I was able to rent the lens and teleconverters for 10 days, which gave me plenty of time to test things out and take some great wildlife photos.

I received the lens the same week I put in the order, and it came in pristine quality. The lens and teleconverters were perfectly clean, and everything was in like-new condition.

I picked up the lens at my local Canada Post office on the expected delivery date, and on the last day of the rental I dropped it off to the local Canada Post office. It came with all the pre-paid paperwork, and the local Canada Post office helped me removing the old data and putting the new one in.

For a very small amount, you can add a damage waiver where if the lens accidently gets damaged, you only have a 10% deductible to pay and they take care of repairing or replacing the lens. The few dollars extra this costs is definitely worth it to give the peace of mind in case the worst happens. Thankfully everything went well and I returned the lens in the same condition I got it (except probably not as clean), so I thankfully can’t comment on this add-on service, but online reviews I read seem to be favourable even in those cases. :)

So if you live in Canada and want to rent out a lens for a special project / vacation, or want to rent backup gear for a wedding or other event, I definitely recommend checking them out.

My biggest disappointment is their third-party selection is quite small. There are a couple of Tamron lens I’d love to test which they don’t yet have in stock, but I noticed they did add some other third party lenses in the last 6 months, so there’s still hope for the future.

Take panoramas using the Nodal Ninja NN4 with RD16 II advanced rotator

In this video I show you how I use the Nodal Ninja NN4 with RD16-II advanced rotator to take my panoramas.

The important thing with panoramas is to do everything manually to ensure the images stitch well together. That’s why I use manual exposure, manual white balance, and manual focus.

Find the No Parallax Point on a Nodal Ninja NN4 with RD16-II for better panoramic photos

In this video, I show how to find the No Parallax Point (NPP) which is sometimes called Nodal Point, which helps you take better panoramic photos which will stich together with less errors.

The panoramic head I’m using in this video is the Nodal Ninja NN4 with RD/16-II rotator, which I find works quite well, although this technique should work with other brands and models also.

How to upgrade the firmware of a Canon EOS DSLR camera

Since a new firmware (1.1.4) came out for the Canon EOS 6D, I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and make a video about how to upgrade the firmware on a Canon DSLR camera. Each camera and upgrade could be a little different, so do make sure you read the instructions, but this should be pretty standard.

Some important things to consider:
1) Read the instructions that come with the file.
2) Always make sure you have a full battery. If the battery goes off mid-way, you risk bricking your camera (i.e. turning it into an expensive brick).
3) Some firmware updates have a limit for how large a memory card you can use for this. For the 6D 1.1.4 they recommend 64GB or smaller, but some other firmwares might even be 32GB.

How to link two Canon Speedlite 600 ex rt flashes using the built in wi fi radio trigger

In this video, I show how to configure two Canon Speedlite 600 EX-RT flash units using the built-in Wi-Fi radio transmitter.

I will go over how to set up the IDs so they connect, how to go from ETTL to Manual, and how to setup ratios.

Let me know if you’re interested in more of these videos!

Studio JPIC 2013 Year in Review and 2014 Preview

In this video, I do a recap of what I have been up to in 2013 and what’s to come in 2014. If you hover over any video, a link should appear to bring you to it in a new window.

Happy New Year everyone!

How to change a camera battery and memory card – Photo Tutorial 101 Take Control of your – Episode 4

In this video, I show how to change a battery and memory card in a DSLR, mirrorless or any other camera. Each brand can be slightly different, but the general idea remains the same for all cameras.