Monthly Archives: June 2017

Tilt Shift

Yes – I finally got one! It is the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L ultra wide angle lens. Here are some technical specifications and unboxing photos:

  • Focal Length: 17mm
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 104º
  • Lenses / Groups: 18/12
  • Shift Range: ±12mm
  • Tilt Range: ±6,5°
  • Aperture Range: f/4.0-22
  • Rounded Aperture
  • Manual Focus Only
  • Internal Focusing

After evaluating the pros and cons of investing in such a specialized piece of equipment, I decided to take the step and see how it can improve my architectural and urban photography. What kept me from acquiring the Canon TS-E 17mm for a long time was obviously the price – Amazon currently sells this lens for USD 2.100. However, a tilt shift lens offers some really unique features that I would like to mention:

  • Probably the most interesting feature is that a Tilt Shift lens can help avoid parallel lines to converge on an image
  • The lens provides an incredibly high resolution and sharpness even in the corners due to the large image circle
  • An asperical lens reduces image distortions
  • Four ultra-low dispersion lens elements reduce chromatic aberrations in the corners
  • Sub-wavelength structure coatings minimize ghosting and flare
  • Independent Tilt and Shift Sliders
  • The entire lens can rotate ±90° to switch between landscape format and upright format
  • Locking screws prevent accidental shifts and tilts
  • L-Series – the lens is extremely well made and durable due to metal structure and weather sealing
  • Includes Canon LP1219 soft lens case

With these features, the Canon TS-E 17mm is predestined for architectural and real estate photography. When holding the lens in my hands for the first time, I wasn’t expecting so much weight – but this is totally fine as it will be set up on a tripod 90% of the time. Due to the L-qualification, the build quality is top of the line. I am fascinated by the precision how every moving part slides when moving the tilt or shift units. There is even a protective rubber-like surface between the tilt and shift parts that prevents dust or spray water from entering the gaps – although I am not planning to use it in the rain. The focus ring has a convenient size and rotates very smoothly. Manual Focus is certainly something to get used to, but it still works pretty good when keeping the shutter button on the camera half-pressed while focusing and waiting for the camera to indicate an in-focus situation with a short beeping sound. Altogether, I am looking forward to taking it on my next journey!!

OnePlus 3T Review

Hi there!

About two months ago, I have upgraded my smartphone to the OnePlus 3T. OnePlus is a relatively new player in the smartphone industry. While their first launch of the OnePlus One in 2014 is not long ago, the company has quickly gained popularity through it’s simple strategy to offer high-end smartphones at mid-range prices. Therefore, the current price for the 64 GB version of the new OnePlus 3T is around USD 440. As I have already tested it quite a bit, I think it’s now time for a short review. Let’s first take a look at the specifications and some unboxing photos while sharing my preliminary impressions below.

Unboxing the OnePlus 3T

Basic Parameters

Weightrd. 160g
MaterialAnodized Aluminum
ColorGunmetal
Operating SystemOxygenOS based on Android
CPUQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821
Quad Core, Kryo™: 2x 2.35 GHz, 2x 1.6 GHz
GPUAdreno™ 530
RAM6GB LPDDR4
Storage 64GB / 128GB UFS 2.0
SensorsFingerprint sensor, Hall sensor, Accelerometor, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor and Electronic Compass
PortsUSB 2.0, Type-C / Dual nano-SIM slot / 3.5 mm audio jack
Battery3,400 mAh (non-removable), Dash Charge (5V, 4A)
ButtonsHardware keys and on-screen navigation support
OtherAlert Slider, Custom icon packs, Gesture Control,
(Display On + Display Off), OnePlus Shelf, Vibration motor, RGB LED notification light

Connectivity

Network 4G LTE (Cat.6)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
BluetoothBluetooth® 4.2
NFCNFC Enabled
PositioningGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou

Audio

SpeakersBottom-facing speaker
MicrophonesDual-microphone with noise cancellation
FeaturesOnePlus Music
TechnologyDirac HD Sound®

Display

Size5.5 inch
Resolution1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) / 401 ppi
Bezel0.755 mm
Cover GlassCorning® Gorilla® Glass 4
TypeOptic AMOLED
Aspect Ratio16 : 9
FeaturesNight Mode Display, Light / Dark Theme, Accent Colors

Rear Camera

SensorSony IMX 298 Sensor, 16 MP, 1.12 µm
OISYes
EISYes
AutofocusPDAF
Aperturef/2.0
Video4K resolution video at 30fps
Slow Motion720p video at 120fps
RAW Image supportYes
Lens CoverSapphire crystal lens cover
FeaturesAuto-HDR, Dynamic Denoise, Manual Control, HQ

Front Camera

SensorSamsung 3P8SP Sensor, 16 MP, 1.0 µm
EISYes
AutofocusFixed Focus
Aperturef/2.0
Video1080p video at 30fps
Auto selfieSmile Capture

If there is one thing that can describe the Oneplus 3T – it is speed! Even though I’ve got used to the phone for two months now, I am still impressed by the reactivity and performance. Until today I have not seen any other phone with faster fingerprint-detection to unlock the phone. Another noteworthy feature is the large battery in combination with the DASH speed charger system. The battery keeps the phone powered for almost two days and the DASH system recharges it within one hour.

Software-wise, the OnePlus 3T runs the latest version of Android 7, and receives frequent updates. The apps launch very rapidly and I haven’t observed any software crashes or irregularities since I got the device.

The camera app can either be launched via the home screen icon or by simply dragging the camera symbol on the lock screen. For anybody interested in all camera app features and it’s performance, there is a very comprehensive camera review on dpreview.com. For the purpose of this review, I will summarize the camera quality by showing some photos that I have recently taken with the rear camera of the OnePlus 3T:

As far as the build quality is concerned, the aluminum case feels very solid and has smoothly rounded edges. The transition between the case and the screen is precisely made with no large gap. On the side, there are push buttons and a slider, all of which appear to be pretty robust. (I need to emphasize on the button quality because on my previous smartphone it was a failure of the physical power on/off button that rendered the old device unusable. Although the outer material of the smartphone doesn’t give an indication of the actual electronic switch unit that is used on the inside, but the button feels different from the other smartphone when pressed so I hope this one won’t degrade over time). It is a rather large device, but it still feels very safe to hold it one-handed. So far, I am extremely happy with my choice and can recommend it even to demanding users in good conscience.