Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards

We visited Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards on Memorial Day to do some wine tasting and tour of the wine cave. Neither one of us had heard of this winery (although the name sounds vaguely familiar), I selected this winery because of the wine cave and a chance to try new things. Continue reading Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards

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Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

Specification

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM on Canon EOS Rebel XTi/400D.

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Introduction

2007-02-11 - Stripes Bui - 006This is the lens that my dad purchased to use with his Canon EOS 5D. This lens definitely wouldn’t be my first choice if I had a 5D, it’s kind of like buying a Ferrari but filling up with 87 unleaded, but to each his own I guess. My dad and I traded lens for a while back (just to try), my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM for his Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.

I didn’t use the lens as often as I would have liked to, a combination of bad weather days and being busy, but I used it enough to get a general idea of the lens.

Weight and Dimensions

Well compared to the Canon L series lens, this lens feels like nothing. At about 540g, it is almost half the weight of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM’s 950g. It is also smaller, coming in at 78.4mm x 96.8mm. Very easy to carry my Canon EOS Rebel XTi around with this lens attached.

Construction

This lens is made of nothing but plastic. The only metal on the entire lens are the screws and the lens mount. There is some noticeable “wiggle” when the barrel is extended to its full length of 135mm. Turning the zoom room feels ok, not very smooth though. The focus ring is the same.

Unlike the L series lenses, you definitely do not want to drop it at all.

Field Test

The focal range on this lens is excellent! 28mm to 135mm is very nice to have in one lens. I did find starting at 28mm is definitely not wide enough for me, especially on a 1.6 frame of view crop factor, turning this2007-02-11 - Stripes Bui - 026 28mm to 44.8mm. But on the other hand, having a lens that is versatile such as this is great, especially when you have no idea what kind of reach you need to get a shot.

The IS is a great feature to have, as with all the other lenses that have IS also. This lens needs it a bit more so because of it’s maximum aperture of 3.5. IS does drain the battery, so use it when necessary if you need to conserve battery juice.

Because its a small and light lens, but covers an expansive focal range, I find this lens is perfect for hiking or just walking around. This lens performs quite poor in low light because of its maximum aperture. You’ll have to dial up the ISO.

Worth mentioning is that there is some noticeable barrel distortion at 28mm which becomes pincushion after 45mm.

Getting nice bokeh from this lens is difficult for two reasons, f/3.5 and a 6 blade aperture. Easiest way to accomplish it is to stand close to the subject but using a long focal length.

Final Thoughts

This is actually a pretty good lens for the features versus price. You’re getting a great range, 28mm-135mm, ring type USM, limited macro and IS all for under $500. It’s actually quite amazing that Canon decided to include not only IS but ring type USM that is generally found on the more pricey lens such as the L series. For those that don’t know, ring type USM is the super fast and quiet focusing system that Canon utilizes that allows for Full-Time Manual (FTM) without having to toggle a switch. Nikon’s equivalent to this is AF-S.

This lens also has limited macro capabilities like the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, which is great for people who take macro shots occasionally but not enough to spend money on a true macro lens.

The build quality isn’t so great, but perhaps I’m biased and the optically quality is decent. This is a very popular lens with many users from beginners to pros alike, can’t go wrong with it.

A great lens for those on a budget and also a great backup lens.

How To Open Word 2007 files in Older Word

I’ve been hearing about how new documents created on Word 2007 are not compatible with older versions of Word. Since our office has not received our volume licensing codes yet, I hadn’t been able to play with Office 2007. Apparently today was my first issue with Word 2007 files. Continue reading How To Open Word 2007 files in Older Word