New Photos – Sofia University

Sofia University, Saint Climent of Ohrid stockphoto by John rocha at johnrochaphoto.netCaption:

Sofia University “Saint Climent of Ohrid” and Metro Station in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Description:

Sofia University “Saint Climent of Ohrid” is Bulgaria’s foremost traditional university and the view has lately changed with the addition of a metro station.

Photo Comments:
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Some time ago I bought a Samyang 14mm wide angle lens to use with my full frame Canon 5D Mark 11.

I had a number of reasons for this:

My previous wide angle provision was 28mm and I wanted something similar to the 17mm wide angle I used on film in my pre-digital days.

I had a look at offerings from Sigma and Canon but in the end went for the Samyang.

Not only is it a lot cheaper but I prefer, when I can to use fixed focal length lenses. My experience of zoom lenses is that they’re less good at their shortest/longest settings.

Another reason was that I was looking for a dual purpose lens – one that would still be wide on a crop sensor camera. This more or less ruled out some of the Canon offerings.

Of course there’s the quality question.

I think people expect problems with wide angle lenses especially in terms of distortion and corner sharpness.

In real world picture taking – not photographing test charts or brick walls – wide angle lenses are often used to photograph subjects which demand enormous depth of field.

Subject matter at the edges and corners is often extremely close to the camera. Tilt a bit and you’ll have your feet in.

Of course this is not a general purpose lens and so another aspect is price – this is a manual focus lens and it’s relatively inexpensive.

What about the quality?

Well I read a few reviews first and some of the conclusions were pretty startling:

Most reviews were positive emphasising the high resolution.

The most negative review I read was by Ken Rockwell. Perhaps, as he said, it might have been a sampling problem.

I was most impressed by the DxO optics result which scored the camera lens combination with a high 28 points.

In practice there are lots of things to think about:

One point for me is that in the past I usually used a square Bronica as my main camera.

This meant that I had no problems choosing vertical or horizontal formats and also the increased film area meant that I could compose very loosely with plenty of free space in my pictures – the cropping came after.

Now it’s a bit different but with a full frame camera and 21 megapixels to play with the situation’s a little similar in that cropping to 18 or even 12 megapixels leaves plenty of quality and the equivalent of a 17-20mm lens.

Anyway, it’s early days but this lens certainly give me a chance to take superwide pictures.

For this photo I used liveview to give me accurate focus and rested my camera on one of the station railings.

As this lens is manual I find the best idea is set my camera to aperture priority.

After manually stopping the lens down the camera selects the appropriate shutter speed.

If I don’t like it after checking the histogram I can compensate manually.

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