Truland Photography

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

A Really Cheap, Versatile Lens

If you look at the photo of the new backpack in my last post, you'll notice that a central compartment is being taken up by a lens hood which is usually on the 85mm lens. Nature abhors an empty bag compartment.

I was checking prices on a cheap, Canon kit lens, the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM, and ran across an offer to good to be refused. This lens has a NSRP of $399, Canon sells refurbished copies for $320, MPB sells like new copies for $240 and for some reason, Lens Rentals is selling like new former rentals (10 rentals max) for $140.

The lens costs $18 for a 7 day rental along with $25 shipping. It could be that hardly anyone rents a lens they can afford to buy and which costs less to rent than the shipping. I don't know how many they have available but it is still listed after I bought mine.

The lens has some interesting features like close focusing to .4X and 7 stops of image stabilization with my EOS R6. The image quality is also pretty good. Here is a sample at 105mm and f/8 processed with DxO Photolab 6 which you can click to zoom in on beyond 100%.

The empty compartment is now filled.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A New Backpack

Unfortunately, a whole new set of lenses usually requires a different bag. After trying different ways to use the bags I already have, I decided to take advantage of a sale to pick up a Lowepro Flipside BP 300AW III backpack.

The biggest issue was the new lenses are much smaller in both diameter and length than my previous lenses and the bags ended up being much larger than necessary. Unless I filled in spaces with things I didn't really need to carry around like flashes and tripods.

This backpack only weighs a little over 8 pounds with the gear and opens from the front of the backpack, which is up against your body when carrying. This lets you put the bag down on the ground to access the gear without getting the part that's against you wet and dirty.

Here is a shot of the gear in the bag. You can read a review of the bag at

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The RF STM Lens Quartet is Complete

I received the RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM lens yesterday and tested it out this morning. Here is a focal length comparison of the four lenses overlooking Saratoga Lake.





You can see some photos from Saratoga Spa State Park with the 85mm lens here.

Monday, September 11, 2023

28mm Pancake on the EOS R6

Here is what the RF 28mm f/2.8 STM pancake lens looks like on the R6. This photo has the Minolta lens hood for my MC W.ROKKOR-SI 28mm f/2.5 lens on the RF lens. They both have 55mm filter threads.

On the R6 is a Leofoto L plate for attaching to tripods and monopods in either portrait or landscape orientation. It also keeps the small camera body and lens combinations from falling into the vertical spots in my shoulder bag.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Waiting for the RF 85mm f/2

MPB has received my gear and, following their final evaluation, I will be getting a "like new" copy of the RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM lens and a healthy transfer to my checking account. This will be the third copy of this lens I've owned, both times trading it in when I wanted to try something new.

Something I didn't have when I owned the lens previously is an R series body with built in stabilization. With my previous RP and R bodies the lens provides a claimed five stops of stabilization. The EOS R6 coordinates its stabilization with the lens based stabilization to provide a claimed eight stops of stabilization.  I look forward to this level of stabilization as my other RF lenses do not have their own stabilization and when you use EF lenses with the adapter there is little to no improvement over the lens stabilization alone.

The RF 85mm f/2 is also a half macro lens with hybrid stabilization and it should be almost perfect for shooting still life type photos in poor lighting conditions such as under a forest canopy.

The four lenses I will have are 16mm, 28mm, 50mm and 85mm. None are slower than f/2.8. The three longer focal lengths are each 1.75 times the focal length of the next wider lens. I can't imagine what a 16-85mm f/2.8 lens would weigh and cost. Nothing like that exists.

Unrelated, here is a photo with the RF 16mm f/2.8 lens from the other day.

I've been trying to come up with an apt analogy for the change from professional grade, very fast EF prime lenses to the consumer grade, slower and smaller RF prime lenses. I came up with going from a MacBook to an iPad. Some things you won't be able to do and some things you won't be able to do as well but it's lighter and more agile, still extremely useful and, in some ways, more fun.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Maybe Another Transition

I took today off from my daily park visits during this nice stretch of weather. It was overcast in the early morning and I couldn't think of anywhere I really wanted to visit. So I didn't.

I've been going over my recent photos and looking at what the settings were and comparing them to other options. With my use, it's rare that f/1.2 or f/1.4 does something that f/2 can't do as well. I find myself shooting the faster EF lenses at f/2 or even f/2.8 in order to get enough depth of field so that the background is recognizable. 

I'm considering shifting from the EF L grade lenses to RF STM prime lenses. While there is certainly a quality difference in terms of build quality and "on paper" image quality, in practice it most likely isn't that noticeable. 

Reasons for the change would be to have more numerous focal length options with me at all times without relying on a slower zoom lens. The EF 24mm f/1.4L lens and adapter alone weighs 760 grams. The 16mm, 24mm, 28mm and 50mm RF STM lenses together weigh 705 grams. 

I'm not totally decided yet but It would be a slightly cash positive transition with the 6D and 24-70mm f/4L, 24mm f/1.4L, 35mm f/1.4L and 50mm f/1.2L lenses going out and RF 16mm f/2.8, 24mm f/1.8, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/2 lenses coming in along with the 50mm f/1.8 I already have.

I could actually leave out the 24mm and 35mm STM lenses and have a rather complete kit while gaining about $800 more than with those lenses added.

[UPDATE 9/6/23: I'm going to go ahead with the transition. The outgoing gear is packed up and I've received the first two lenses already, the 16mm and 28mm lenses. Some photos from this morning are at]