The Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens

There are not a lot of native lenses found in the Canon EF-M series, but this is changing with a number of new offerings. There is a new 18-150mm general purpose zoom that looks pretty good.  The new lenses include a rather specialized lens, the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM, a purpose built macro lens.

EOS M5 and 28mm f/3.5 macro lens
EOS M5 and 28mm f/3.5 macro lens

This lens is different. The lens is designed from the start to be a macro lens, not a general purpose lens that also does a little macro as a secondary feature.  There are a number of features that are quite unusual found on this macro lens.

The first, and most obvious feature is the built-in ring light, a rather useful feature in very close macro photography where light is everything. A set of bright white LEDs is arranged on the front of the lens behind a diffuser. The LED’s are powered by the camera, no separate battery is necessary.

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Observatory Still Life Gallery

Often you just need to take note of the small scenes that make up daily life. Over the years I have made an effort to photograph these scenes, there is so much richness in our everyday existence that too many do not notice…

Milky Way Gallery

Shooting the Canon EOS M5

The Canon EOS M5 is the latest offering by Canon in the mirrorless form factor. Offering the same sensor and much of the performance of the mid-range DSLR’s, the mirrorless bodies are far smaller. This allows the photographer the chance to use these cameras in places a full sized DSLR would be too cumbersome.

The Canon EOS M5 and the 22mm f/2 EF-M lens
The Canon EOS-M5

I am a veteran of the original M and the M3, carrying both cameras extensively. From Nicaragua to Alaska, and around the islands, I have used these little cameras to capture some excellent images.

I had issues with the original, returning my first copy. I eventually gave the camera another chance and have learned to like the capability the cameras provide a mobile photographer. I carry the camera on the job atop the incomparable Mauna Kea, a place where you always want a camera handy!

A trio of EOS-M's, including the original M, the M3 and the M5 (left to right)
A trio of EOS-M’s

The critics have not been kind to the previous M series cameras. While they are decent cameras, offering excellent photo quality, they have lagged behind the competition, particularly the Sony mirrorless, on the features.

The M5 marks a change in this, several reviews from the key sites note that M5 performance and features places it among the best on the market in terms of features and cost. The comment echoed by several critics… This is the camera Canon should have built to start with.

Yeah… I wanted one.

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From the Archive – San Xavier del Bac

Another set of images from the slide archive as the digitization project continues.

San Xavier del Bac
The front of Mission San Xavier del Bac south of Tucson
This time we visit the old Spanish mission of San Xavier del Bac south of Tucson seen here during a visit in 1996.

I visited the mission several times over the years, it can be very photogenic. A little patience will allow the photographer to catch the beams of sunlight from the upper story windows illuminating some of the saints and other icons found in this richly decorated church.

The photos are obviously from scanned slides. In the original frames the film grain is readily obvious, I use a little luminance noise reduction in processing to remove some of that. The super color saturation was not added in digital processing, it is very much part of the original slide.

Gallery of Blooms

2016 A Year in Photos

In retrospect 2016 was not a bad year. I can look back on a collection of photographs that document my life. I am reminded of all the things that occurred in 2016, it is a set of good memories that deserve to be remembered well…

Sodium Light

The golden yellow glow that has dominated the night for generations is disappearing.

Tenakee Docks at Night
Fishing boats under sodium lamps haunt the Tenakee docks
Low pressure sodium has been the standard technology for outdoor lighting for generations. the soft yellow glow is familiar to anyone who has lived in any urban area, coloring lives and countless photographs of the night.

The yellow glow of sodium light has been both celebrated and reviled. While the glow can be attractive in night scenery it also creates inhuman tones in faces and photos of people. Movies have been shot under sodium lights, songs reference the golden glow. Astronomers both professional and amateur prefer the lights as the light can be easily filtered from view.

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