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New on the market, the Swiss designed Korean made IRIX Firefly 15mm f2.4 represents a really high quality option for landscape and architecture photographers on a budget. Below are some shots of the Mount Royal Universtiy Riddell Library and Learning Centre.
It offers low distortion with a conventional spherical shape and requires relatively minimal software correction.
Some of the quirks include vignetting throughout most apertures; this, of course, being most severe wide open at f2.4. Additionally, the results are mixed with flaring and ghosting. Although I have not tried this, other reviewers have demonstrated a very peculiar intense circular flare when pointing the lens directly to the sun. Hasn't been an issue for me so far.
As with all ultra wide lenses, there needs to be some love and attention given to a plumb and level composition. This generally make even lighter work of your post processing workflow. The Irix is very easy to compose and work with in the field.
You might have noticed by now that my images seem to be stuck using f8. This is perhaps because of one of the most unique aspects of this lens. As a fully manual focus lens, the Irix is likely one of the only contemporary lenses to have included a marked infinity + hyperlocal distance scale. The only thing its missing is an aperture ring on the lens for those craving a nostalgic vintage lens experience. Not only this, but they have created a mechanical friction point at infinity focus (the infinity click). This allows you to find infinity focus by touch. Combine this by setting the aperture to f8, f11, or f16 and you can achieve edge to edge focus, likely down to a few feet in the foreground. Finally, you can lock the focus position at any distance if you are shooting architecture and landscapes without resetting or adjusting focus throughout the shoot. Can't wait to get an ND filter for this, ...except that its a 95mm diameter. YUP 95mm. At least Irix provides a rear gelatin filter slot for a more cost effective option.
But wait, there is more. With the ability to open the lens up to f2.4, and by focusing on your subject close to the front element, you can exercise some creative licence and get some pretty intense perspectives, ....and bokeh.
All in all the Irix is a cost effective, low distortion, fast, well built and well designed ultra wide angle lens. Some more reviews of this lens can be found below. One of my favourites is from Christopher Frost on the Blackstone version of this lens:
Nikon D800 w 80-200 f2.8 + Canon 50D w 70-300 IS f4.5-5.6
Tell me which is which.
Some more shots with the older FD 35-105mm f3.5
Testing a collegues Canon FD 35-105mm f3.5 Macro still pleasantly surprises us with what legacy glass can do. The images we took with the Sony A7, exhibit traditional Canon FD "blueish goodness". This zoom lens has some trouble taking advantage of the sensors' 24 MP full frame, as one might expect. Hence, the images are little softer than the FD 28mm f2.8 prime we tested earlier. But overall, good sharpness, and a constant aperture. A good walk-around lens.
Below are some samples at a variety of focal lengths
Out and about today testing the Canon 28mm f2.8. The images are pleasing with good colour balance. Stopped down the images were generally sharp with some minor softness in the corners. Wide open was still good at f2.8. Not bad for a 30 year old lens with dated coatings. Let us know your thoughts.
No AF, but no problems. With focus peaking and MF Assist on Sony A7, its still relatively easy to zero in on a razor sharp depth of field. The Canon EF 50mm F1.8 has admittedly a very indeterminate manual focus. But, once disengaged from the AF mechanism, it still moves freely. Great way to utilize Canon EF glass. Primes are still the best way to fully utilize the capacity of this sensor. Next step, legacy FD glass. Stay tuned.
This body is a such a gem paired with the Metabones Mark IV EF to FE mount. ICPix has been playing with the Sony a7 + EF glass and can report this body paired with this adapter gives really good results with all our EF lenses inclusive of Autofocus. We have tried the Canon 17-40 f4, 70-300 IS f3.5-5.6, 85 f1.8, and Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6. Its not all rosy because the autofocus can search a while especially in low light. WE also found that the only lens in our stable with no autofocus operation is a dated EF 50 f1.8 (plastic fantastic). But even this, as with all the lenses listed, can utilize manual focusing and in many cases relatively rapidly. This is due to the focus peaking function of the Sony A7. We were also able to use a 430EX Speedlite under manual control. We look forward to using this lovely combination on coming shoots and will post images as soon as we can. In the meantime check out a couple of reviews from our friends at The Camera Store and samples here:
May the coming year bring you and your families the peace health and all the best.
Well we finally took our retro ICPix 1992 website, which started in 2008, and finally brought it into 2014. Squarespace lets us focus on the content and we hope to keep the site fresh with new work and more frequently. If you visit and happen upon this blog, let us know your thoughts.
One for the University of Calgary Downtown Campus and the other for the SAIT Polytechnic Parkade along with Bing Thom Architects. Both of these projects have been previously photographed by ICPix and featured in this blog.
Congratulations to MTA
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The Kinetic Facade is live on the University of Calgary Downtown Campus. ICPix will photograph and video this very soon. In the meantime, take a look at this youtube video from one of my collegues at MTA:
(see the cover and page 32)
(his work is a favourite of ICPix)
The curved facade is made of zinc "scales" and it wraps the corner. This is a good catalyst for downtown Calgary. The Parkade is being constructed to the west and is part of this complex. If approved it will boast a "kinetic" facade which feature hundreds of "scales" on pivot joints that will ripple with the motion of the wind. Give us your comments on the building or the photography. Enjoy.
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