Thursday, November 15, 2012

That's Why I Love My Canon 5D

Canon 5D Mark III + Canon 50mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4 - mix of florescent, tungsten, other playground colors and my flash

One of the greatest benefits of my switch to full frame was the colors and skin tones, for some reason both the 5D Mark II and Mark III gave me better skin tones and colors than I was able to get from the 550D or the 60D. They have more tolerance and are more forgiving with mixtures of different light sources.

Take the example above, this was shot at a children playground which is mainly lit with florescent, and there are various yellow/red/green rotating lights, and some tungsten to make things more challenging, I was shooting at ISO 3200 with the Canon 50 1.4 wide open, I metered for the background, and used on-camera bounce flash (with no gels) to light my subject. I was bouncing from a wooden ceiling. I always have my 5D set to auto white balance, it is that good, and I got the picture you see above, no tweaks apart from a hint of black and contrast. Really Cool.

Same as above, but shot at f/2 this time

The shot above is from the same swinging chair, but from the other side as you can see from the trees in the background, the fiery color on his head is from a tungsten lamp just above (the swing spins, and moves up and down, this was up, near the tungsten light source). I admire the resultant colors and white balance once more, no tweaks from my side. This is what I saw at the time.

Did you notice the octagon shaped OOF light above his knees? This is my only gripe with the Canon 50 1.4 (after figuring out the correct MFA value of course), I love the OOF highlights to be rounded, even at f/2 if there are several light sources in the background, it will look like that, and it looks more pronounced as you stop down. I will try out a couple of brand new 50 1.4 Sigmas in a couple of weeks, if I find one that focuses accurately with my 5D3, out goes the Canon and in comes the Sigma.

Same lighting scenario, 50 f/1.4 @ f/1.4, this time you can see the lights and the bounce surface

One more example from the same location, shot wide open at f/1.4 (the 5D3 focusing system is a bless, that bull was moving and bucking around trying to throw off its rider on the ground), this time you can see the lights and the wooden ceiling from which I was bouncing my flash. .

See the different light sources? Why do they do this? Canon 40 STM Pancake, wide open @ f/2.8

Another location, this time we were indoors, for some reason I can't quite understand, they were using both tungsten and CFL lights hand in hand, in the same row (look above the kid's head), both have totally different color temperatures, once more, the 5D3 with auto white balance got everything just as I saw it, bravo. This was shot with the Canon 40mm Pancake wide open, I have mixed feelings about this lens, but I decided to keep it a while longer before deciding whether to keep it or sell it. It has nice bokeh, and is very sharp wide open, checkout the 100% crop below.

100% crop, Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake, wide open


Canon 5D Mark II: First Impressions
Story & Review: Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 60D & Canon 6D
Canon EF Lenses Chat: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Review
Hands On: Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake


  1. Excellent Pics mate. Excellent.

  2. One question though. 50mm 1.4 is considered a lens that is not designed for Action / moving objects. How did you manage to use that lens while your kids were moving around ?

    1. Thanks for your comments, I don't know how the 50 1.4 is not designed for action, it has suitable focusing speed, and the rest goes to the camera.
      I always use AI Servo focus, and always put my single focus point where I want it to be, thus if my subject moves, the camera tracks his movements, I rarely use single focus. And unless my subject is moving very eratically, I hardly get out of focus shots.

  3. Thanks that explains a lot.


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