The EOS R makes my EF lenses shine

Now that I have really started to dig into the features and capabilities of the EOS R, I am surprised again and again about how much difference the Dual Pixel Autofocus system makes, compared to having a separate autofocus sensor like I had in my EOS 6D.

It is not that the 6D were bad or had trouble focusing. Far from. It was really good at focusing, even in bad light.
But I had to micro adjust every single one of my lenses to get the most out of them. And sometimes, no matter how much you adjusted, there would still be times where the focus seemed a bit off.

My Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is the perfect example. It is a lens that is notoriously known for being hard to adjust correctly.
On some lenses, mine included, you would be challenged to find a micro adjustment that were spot on, both when focusing close to infinity and close to the near limit.

A whole new lens

I actually managed to adjust it to a point where both ends were acceptable, but from time to time it would just miss focus.

On the R, it is like having a whole new lens. It is sharp at all distances, focus is spot on every time. And I didn’t even have to micro adjust.
You can’t even do that on the R because It uses the image sensor to focus, instead of a separate sensor.

This is perhaps one of the most overlooked advantages of this new mirrorless prodigy.
It wasn’t a feature I had given much though before buying the R, but it really is a big deal.
Not only can I use all my EF lenses (and even EF-S lenses) using an adapter, but I can use them with better or as good results as I have been used to on my native EF Mount 6D.

The image in this post is taken with the EOS R and Sigma 50mm f/1.4.

Review: Stories of Home

I just finished reading the eBook “Stories of Home” by photographer Kate Densmore.
I had been looking forward to reading it for a while, but other things kept distracting me until now. In retrospective that were a bit silly as the lessons learned in this book could have been really useful to have practiced through the long dark winter.

Kate Densmore specializes in taking pictures of families in their “natural habitat” and judging from the many beautiful pictures in the book, she prefers a 35mm lens and really knows how to put it to good use.

The book, coming just short of 200 pages isn’t the kind of book that offers advises about choice of focal length, ISO and other technical stuff, even though these issues does pop up from time to time. No, it is more the kind of book that tells you what to look for when you want to capture the big (and little) moments in family life. So, if you are looking for a recipe-book, Scott Kelby style, you will be disappointing. But, if you are interested in a more guidance oriented approach that more describes which moments to look for and what to try to avoid, you have come to the right place.

Kate Densmore writes in a straight-forward way that describes her way of working in a very private and intimate environment, and the way she writes really emphasizes that this is less about the technical aspects of photography and more about learning to captures moods and telling stories.

The book is split up in three parts, each covering different aspects of the topic:

  • Documentary Family Photography
  • Everyday Fine Art
  • The Art of an Ordinary Day

Each part guides you through the process of capturing the special moments of your family life, be it on special occasions or just a regular day and throughout the book you find beautiful pictures that are used to underline the points made in the text, and you also find some creative exercises, which in some cases seems to have been thrown in as an afterthought. (Or maybe I am just not the kind of guy who throws the book over his shoulder to pursue some creative exercise).

You will also find interviews with three other family photographers, which share their motivation and workflow. This works well as it sometimes gives the same takeaway point, but put in other words.

All in a very good book, well worth the price. it has given me some new inspiration and shown me what family photography can also be. Most people regard family photos as merely snapshots, but maybe we should actually put more effort into these pictures as they really cover the most precious moments in life. As Kate Densmore writes in the conclusion:

“Treat your everyday images like art. Respect yourself and what you do, and honor your story and the story of those you love. No one is ever going to care about your work unless you care, deeply.”

I highly recommend reading this book. You can buy it over at Craft & Vision

A lesser Photographer Reviewed

Photographer CJ Chilvers has just published an eBook named just like the amazing blog he is running, A Lesser Photographer

For those who do not know this blog, here’s the basics:
More gear is not the way to get better pictures. Being more adventurous and creative is.

If you haven’t been reading the blog, this book is a great starting point for getting into his way of thinking.
The book is basically built on the many blog posts CJ Chilvers has published in the past. In a way this is a good thing, as many of the things he’s been writing about have some good take away points. But it is also a bit drawback for the people who already dig his philosophy.
Still, I do not feel cheated. The book collects all the essential information and points in one place, making it feel much more complete and drives the points home in a much more concise way.

Apart from that, the book contains some beautiful full page slogans, which I, had it been my book, would have offered as posters too.

Having read the book I am even more convinced that buying more gear is not the way to go and I will definitely revisit this book again.
Even though much of the material is taken from a blog, I will still recommend this book to every photographer who are getting ready to get rid of the urge for more gear and focus on taking great and unique pictures instead.

You can buy the book “A Lesser Photographer” here.

(This post was originally written in Danish)

A new tool: Lightroom

For a really long time I have bee trying to find an application that could handle my entire editing workflow, all the way from when I put an SD card in my computer and to when I am ready to publish or print a finished image.
Up until now I have mainly been using Canon DPP, which is an excellent application, but a bit limited in some places. So I have been using Paint Shop Pro as a supplement, along with some plugins from Topaz Labs.

In my search for a better tool, I have tried Corels Aftershot Pro which I think have a lot of potential but also a lot of weaknesses.
It doesn’t help much that Corel seems to have doubts about what they want to do with it.

I also tried Lightzone, and even though it seems like a powerful tool, it isn’t really intuitive to use.

Finally we have the “big player”: Adobe Lightroom. My problem with Lightroom has always been the price, but the reviews has been excellent, so I have been weighting for or against for a while.
Now if have decided and bought a license at a favorable price.

Until now I have only started configuring and learning the basics but already I am convinced that it is a good and well thought out application.
In some ways it is a lot like Aftershot Pro (or is it the other way around) but the user interface is much more intuitive.
Using an application with a lot of users also makes it easier to get help from forums or tutorials.

I al looking forward to digging deeper into the finer details of Lightroom and hopefully it won’t be long before I can publish my first picture edited in Lightroom.

(This post was originally written in Danish)