Tag Archives: canon

Satechi Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Trigger Wireless Timer Remote Control Shutter

61H484DFmTL._SL1500_I first heard about the Satechi Bluetooth Wireless Timer about a year ago while researching various intervalometers for use with time-lapse videos.  It sounded like the answer to my prayers.  Control your camera settings from your iPhone?  Only $45.00?  Count me in!  So, I splurged.

It turns out that, at least in this case, you get what you pay for; it’s a piece of junk with serious limitations even on it’s best days.

I’ve read some really bad reviews out there about connectivity issues with the Bluetooth features of the device and thought they were mostly bullshit since mine connected just fine – at first.  It eventually had the same issues everyone else has experienced, and they haven’t stopped since.  You can hold your iPhone an inch away from the Satechi device and it will connect, and two seconds later it will tell you that it’s moved out of range, if you can get it to connect at all.

That said, even when it connected without a hitch, it had serious limitations.  Most notably with it’s “timed” intervalometer features.  You basically put your camera on it’s bulb setting and you can program how long the shutter stays open, how often it opens, and how many times it opens from your phone.  Sounds good, right?  Except for the fact that you can only program in hours, minutes, and seconds.  The lowest shutter setting is one second.  That would work great for night photography, if you could get it to work, but what about daylight photography?  One second is a long time for your shutter to stay open in the daytime, even stopped down with low iso settings.  Add to that an extra second or two if you have your long exposure noise eliminator set, and you have a recipe for a really screwed up intervalometer.

Bottom line, it’s a great idea but it just doesn’t work.  Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Update:  I’ve found some videos on YouTube that clearly explain how to repair the connection with your phone.  So, that works fine now.  It’s a little tricky though; you have to go into your general settings on your phone and disable the original bluetooth pairing before it will let you repair it.


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BorrowLenses.com November Savings

For anyone wondering, I rent my gear from BorrowLenses.com.  No other rental company that I know of beats them on pricing.  Depending on where you live, shipping can be a little much since they charge you for both ways up front, but unless you live in a major city, you’re going to have to pay for shipping no matter who you rent from.

For the rest of this month you can save 10% by using the following code at checkout:  turkeygear13

Plus, if you order now and end your rental on Thanksgiving day, they will give you four days free because they’re not open.

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Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens Review

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM Lens


I never did finish my review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1 Lens, but I will say that it was truly an amazing lens.  It broke my heart to have to send it back.

This week I’ve rented the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM Autofocus lens for my Canon 60D.  I know that this lens has been around for a while and there are some very mixed reviews out there.  Having just sent back the 35mm, I am more confident in Sigma glass than ever before, and my hopes are high.

My first thoughts after unpacking the lens are that it’s a little on the heavy side, but very solid.  I shot some quick portraits with my daughter and I am impressed with the quality of the portraits.  Of course the real test will be either this weekend or the following when I take it out on the streets of New York City.  My biggest problem with the 35mm on the city streets were that it was very restricting.  On my cropped sensor Canon 60D it’s basically a 54mm lens, so it’s not really wide enough to just shoot from the hip and it’s not long enough to shoot from a distance.  I became very used to shooting with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L which I rented for almost a year before I realized that I had paid for the lens twice over and still didn’t own it.  Now, I know that the 35mm is a very fast lens, but I hardly ever used it wide open.  I usually like to shoot around f/8 or f/11 unless I’m in the subways when I may open it up to f/5.6 or faster.

So, all of this boils down to will this Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM Autofocus offer me the best of both worlds.  With a maximum aperture of f/2.8, it’s a faster lens than the Canon 24-105mm f/4L, and it should offer the flexibility I like when out shooting.

So far though, I must say that focusing in low light (interior tungsten) is a major problem for this lens.  It’s slow.  Really slow.  Mind you my living room in the evening is not lit very well, but you’re literally holding your breath while you wait for it to focus and hope your subject hasn’t moved.  In the case of my five-year-old, that was more difficult than you might imagine.

More details to come as the next two weeks roll on.  I rented this one for a little longer since I have a portrait shoot on Saturday.  For now, this will have to suffice:


It’s only been a few days with this lens and I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed with it.  There is some serious purple fringing on high-contrast edges when viewed at 100%, and the focus itself is just soft at all apertures.  It’s still not a bad lens, but I won’t be adding it permanently to my camera bag.  Actually, if I didn’t need it for Saturday, I’d probably send it back early and try something else.



Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 @70mm, f/11, 1/160s

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Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens Review



I’ve been reading a lot of really good reviews lately about the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens.  At almost half the cost of a new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, I figured it was worth a look.  I rented one for a week from BorrowLenses and I must say it definitely lives up to the hype.

Part of the Art series of lenses from Sigma, the lens is compatible with the Sigma USB Dock.  This allows you to connect the lens to your computer, and, using the included Sigma Optimization Pro software, to update firmware and other parameters such as focus specifically tailored to your needs.

The DxO Marks for the lens clearly blow the Canon lens out of the water, and it definitely stands up to the test.  On my Canon 60D, the lens is closer to a 50mm lens than a 35mm lens , but it still works great for street photography and portraiture.

I’ve tried a few tests with exceptional results (see the self-portrait at the end of this post).  Chromatic aberrations are practically non-existent.  There is slight distortion, but compared to the more expensive Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, it’s hardly noticeable.  I read some reviews with people complaining about slow focus and I was a little worried, but it focuses just as fast as any glass I’ve ever tried and is quieter by far than most.

The real test will come this Sunday when I head to New York City for the day to shoot some street photography.  I’ll post some shots then.

Details for the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens are as follows:

The 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras fromSigma is the first entry into Sigma’s Art series of professional lenses, with an emphasis on artistic expression and the creative potential of the lens. With a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, floating inner focusing system, and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) you’ll have quick and accurate control over the artistic effects achieved by the lens’ high quality elements.

For wide angle photography, this 35mm lens and its circular 9-bladed f/1.4 aperture ensure excellent brightness and blurred background (bokeh) effects. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions.

The lens’ Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and floating inner focusing system ensure that you experience quick, quiet and precise autofocusing whenever you need it. Adjust focus using either autofocus (AF), or full-time manual focus, without having to switch camera modes or change settings – just flick the switch from AF to MF.

For greater build quality and strength, all metallic parts and the new Thermally Stable Composite compound material (TSC), are housed internally. Its brass made bayonet mount has both high accuracy and durability, and a special treatment is applied to its surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term daily use.

Aperture Range: f/1.4-16
With a bright maximum aperture of f/1.4 this lens allows you to capture images with beautiful defocused background bokeh effects in darker conditions – using faster shutter speeds and lower ISO sensitivities.
Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM)
This lens’ motor is driven by ultrasonic waves to provide quiet, high speed autofocus. This Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures high speed and quiet AF as well as full-time manual focus override by rotating the focus ring.
Floating Internal Focus System
For stable focusing, this lens moves its inner lens groups without changing the lens length. It also compensates for astigmatic aberration and provides extremely high optical performance for close-up photos.
Minimum Focusing Distance: 11.8″
This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 11.8″ so you can capture wide-angle close-ups from nearly a foot away.
Anti-Flare Super Multi-Layer Coating
This lens’ coatings reduce lens flare, internal reflections and light scattering that can occur between the surfaces of its glass elements.
USB Dock & SIGMA Optimization Pro Software
Because of its redesigned series of lenses, Sigma developed proprietary software (SIGMA Optimization Pro) and an optional USB docking system that allows you to update the lens’ firmware and adjust its parameters such as focus. The 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1 Lens is compatible with the USB Dock.
Special & “F” Low Dispersion Elements
This lens incorporates “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which have performance equal to that of fluorite, and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements. By optimizing the power alignment of the lens, chromatic aberration has been corrected, achieving high image quality through the entire focusing range.
DG Lens for Digital & 35mm Film SLRs
This is a large-aperture lens with wide angles and a short minimum focusing distance. Because of its great peripheral illumination, or lack of vignetting, it is an ideal lens for DSLR Cameras and traditional 35mm SLRs alike.
Sigma’s Artistic A-Series Lens
Sigma has organized all of its interchangeable lenses into three product lines: Contemporary, Art and Sports. The Art line delivers high-level artistic quality with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power. The SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM is the first lens from the Art line. Developed with an emphasis on artistic touch, Sigma’s Art line lenses are designed to meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome above compactness and multifunction.
Front Filter Thread Diameter: 67mm
The 67mm front filter thread is fixed, allowing rotating polarizing filters to be used with the lens.
9x Circular Aperture Blades
With nine circular blades, the lens’ diaphragm delivers very pleasant, soft bokeh background effects.
Brass Bayonet Mount
This lens incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. A special treatment to reinforce it is applied to the surface, giving it greater strength and making it highly durable for long-term use.
Ease Of Use
For better usability, the designs of the lens cap and AF/MF switch have been improved, as well as the rubberized lens hood attachment. In order to ensure accuracy and precision, all metallic parts and the new Thermally Stable Composite material are housed internally.
Quality Control & Sigma’s MTF “A1″ Measuring System
Sigma used to measure lens performance with the standard MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system, using conventional sensors. However, they have since developed a proprietary MTF measuring system – dubbed “A1″ – using 46MP resolution Foveon direct image sensors. Previously undetectable high-frequency details are now within the scope of their quality control inspections.
                                                                                       Canon 60D, Sigma 35mm f/1.4
                                                                                       35mm, f/11, 1/160s
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