Thursday, September 21, 2017

Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM Review

Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM Review
September 2017, Carl Garrard

Canon EF 24-70mm F/4L IS USM Review- Not many DSLR lenses encourage me these days as much as the affordable, weather resistant, macro capable, excellently built Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM. From the quality of the boxing to my pixel peeping scrutinized shots, this zoom lens is very impressive and versatile for its price. Built quality is L level phenomenal, speed of focus is fast, its macro capability is a big bonus and nearly unheard of in this category. It seems to pair nearly perfectly with the Canon EOS 6D- it's size, weight, weatherproofing, and handling is dynamite on this body. It may not have the mid telephoto range of the older/newer 24-105 f/4L (II), but, image quality is better (especially distortions). It's also more compact, has much better macro capability, and it's nearly the same price as the older 24-105 f/4L model at about $749.00-$899.00 USD. Used copies are available for a bit lower, but there aren't too many of those yet. Read on to hear what my thoughts are on this lens. These days I'm shooting less with DSLR's, but this lens needed to be reviewed here for my readers.





Canon EF 24-70mm f/4.0L BEST CURRENT PRICE

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ricoh GR II Review

Ricoh GR II Review
September 2017, Carl Garrard
Ricoh GR II Review- No, I'm not late reviewing a camera that was announced in 2015 or anything (ducks for cover)... I mean, its only been two years plus since Ricoh announced it, and I'm just now finally getting around to reviewing the GR II. I will get a pass from my friends at Ricoh though, since they know I've always been a fan of Ricoh cameras in the past. Considering that I've personally met with a few friendly Ricoh representatives from Japan long before they purchased Pentax, and, that I've owned every digital GR model made, I thought I ought to at least dedicate some time for a short review on the latest GR here. And with the review I'll include some notes on this camera that haven't really been mentioned  before in other online publications. Note that this review is solely based on using the GR II with latest firmware v3.00, which few reviews were based on. Ricoh's are some of my favorite cameras in the world. Lets see how I like the newer GR II.


Ricoh GR II Digital BEST NEW PRICE

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Leica M9 Rangefinder Review (Diary Part II)

Leica M9 Rangefinder Review (Diary Part II)
September 2017, Carl Garrard

Leica M9, Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7 Ultron (Image shot with M8)
Leica M9 Rangefinder Review: Since I've decided to switch to a rangefinder as my main camera system, life has been simpler. My creativity along with my passion for photography, seem in full swing again. Sometimes I reflect with a heavy heart when I realize that I almost lost both of those vital components that make photography so special to me. All of my life I've understood the value of a less is more philosophy, but as I get into more mature years I realize the rewards of living your life that way. Since publishing my M8 article I've been active. I've been making new contacts, having discussions with other passionate like-minded photographers, planning more, and looking forward to my next photo outings. I continue to hone my technique using a rangefinder camera. For those of you who are considering getting into rangefinders with a limited budget, this article will serve as a practical point of view when comparing the Leica M9 with the Leica M8. In a way, this is really a part II to my M8 article. This is my fourth rangefinder article here, and likely won't be the last.
Leica M9 Best Current Price

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Photo of the Week: RSM Sunrise (Hurricane Lidia)

Photo of the Week: RSM Sunrise (Hurricane Lidia)
September 2017, Carl Garrard
This photo was a quick grab with my Canon 6D early in the morning when remnants of Hurricane Lidia reached us from Southern Baja, California. I took several shots in the morning with two cameras, my Leica M8 and the Canon 6D. I realized later on that my clock on my 6D is one day ahead. Both were shot on the same morning, you can see the clouds are the same in the central area. Interesting how both cameras rendered the scene so much differently. I think I'm going to have to go with the Canon 6D shot here as being my favorite, perhaps because of the wider 24mm vs. 45mm perspective of the M8, and richer mid tones. I wanted to share my favorite sunrise I've taken all year with two different cameras.



Canon EOS 6D (BEST CURRENT PRICE)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Leica M8 Rangefinder- Diary of Realigned Obsession

Leica M8 Rangefinder- Diary of Realigned Obsession
September 2017, Carl Garrard

Today's article reveals a personal confession of a past gear obsession and a subsequent simultaneous realignment of priorities. This article is more about photography than a review of a camera, but we'll get into that in a bit. My purpose here with publishing this article is that I hope to echo some thoughts and struggles of other photographers, and that by way of having honest disclosure to you. In short, I’m sharing because I care about the world of photography in which we thrive. Like us all, I am human and just as susceptible to making disadvantageous choices once in a while. In this article I reveal my thoughts on newer camera gear, why I've decided to simplify my main camera system, and why ultimately I chose a rangefinder such as the Leica M8 for this task.



Leica M8 Best Used Price

Monday, August 21, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K Review - The Pocket FZ1000

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K Review- The Pocket FZ1000
July 2017, Carl Garrard

So I'm out and about on a hike recently shooting with one of my favorite compacts, and I run into a pretty rare bird of prey that lands on a branch not too far on the other side of the hill from me. I sneak up and find him, get him sighted on my camera and zoom all the way in. I make a few shots of the Coopers Hawk. I know full well that I don't have the zoom range with this camera to get close enough for an excellent shot, but at least ill be able to crop the image later and document him. After I post the image online, I'm thinking, well... it would be really nice to have a  small compact camera with a longer zoom that I could grab much closer shots of this bird with. It was time to look at the market again and see what I could find out there. More of the story continued...
Panasonic DC-ZS70K Lumix Amazon Best Price

Monday, July 10, 2017

NIKON D7200 Review- PC's First Nikon DSLR Review

NIKON D7200 Review- PC's First Nikon DSLR Review
July 2017- Carl Garrard

For no logical reason, I just haven't got around to doing a Nikon DSLR review here just yet. Regardless, I've used a few Nikon DSLR's here and there, and I'm pretty familiar with the system overall. However, as prices came down and the new D500 and D7500 were announced, I realized that Nikon still had a top performing second generation APS-C DSLR that should get some light on our website. I like to write reviews about cameras that are a great price or bang for the buck and report them to you. As I see it, there's no APS-C DSLR out there today that can give you better image quality, or a such a stacked feature set for its current market price. As camera manufacturers reach the point of diminishing returns on features for new cameras, value for the dollar continues to increase for cameras that are only one or two generations older, and still available new. So if you are like me, and buy 2nd or 3rd generation tech to save some cash (while still preserving your needs in a device), this review is for you!
Nikon D7200 Best Current Amazon Price

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Full Spectrum Photography With The Sony RX10

Full Spectrum Photography With The Sony RX10
May 2017, Carl Garrard

Photo Courtesy: Spencers Camera
So hello all! With some desire to create of late, I've set out on a new personal photographic project. The project I've started is one of making images that stretch my comfort level and imagination. My goal in part I suppose, is to make images that are less common than what we are all used to seeing on a daily basis. We humans in the civilized world are awash in constant stimulus, images, and distractions everywhere around us. My hope, and part of my goal, is to create images that sooth the feeling of  constant bombardment, and can momentarily give us a rest from all the hyper over-stimulation. Images I hope, that can give us pause, help us relax and see things in literally a different light. Images that make us wonder and guess at their subject type, and also to stretch our idea of what reality really is. I've even dedicated a small sub-blog to this goal, called Project Impulse (www.project-impulse.blogspot.com).

Sony DSCRX10/B Best Amazon Price

Friday, March 3, 2017

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review- The Modernist's Rangefinder

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review- The Modernist's Rangefinder
March 2017- Carl Garrard


Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review: Getting excited about a camera design these days doesn't happen that often around here. I guess I'm a bit numb to the fact that there are so many similar models being produced with very few practical differences. Only some cameras really stand out as unique and different. Panasonic's LX100 is far from being a boring copy of a copy, and instead the LX100 is a unique and appealing proposition in the camera market for serious photographers. Even though it's been out for more than two years, and I'm sure a successor is due soon at some point, the LX100 stands out to me as the most capable camera for it's size of any digital camera offered today as of the date of this article. Panasonic's LX100 also has a quite lovely looking design if utility and practicality are your idea of style and grace (it's offered in black or silver). This review will be published in parts, I'll update the article as I go.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Very Low Price!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Lens Review

Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Lens Review
February 2017, Carl Garrard

Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Lens Review: As lens names grow longer and longer, so too does the list of features and quality you get for your money these days. Panasonic's Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Vario-Elmarit is the first in a new high quality series of zoom lenses they are offering this year. Basically, they are high end Leica zoom lenses for less money than .. uh... Leica's Leica lenses. Um, anyways, so yeah it's a premium high end zoom lens with freeze proof weather sealing, fast 9 blade aperture, all metal construction, and built in image stabilization. Add that this lens is super quick focusing with a very quiet focusing mechanism, and you just might have one of the most versatile zooms made for any lens mount currently on the market. At $998.00 retail, you'll pay the price for it too. And I could care less about the price for what I'm getting. So lets see just how good this lens really is. If you want to check the latest price at any given time, well, see below.
Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4