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"Otus in Action"
Quebec. I took along a load of the best glass to get the job done, including the Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II, Tamron 45mm f/1.8 VC, Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2, and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS. A lot of very wide aperture lenses - my gear backpack was HEAVY! My wife snapped this photo of my with my spare camera that she was holding while I went out near the edge to get a better shot towards the resort down below with the Otus 28mm. True story - a minute later my leg went through the "ground" all the way to, well, let's just say the top of it. Turns out the "ground" I was on was actually the tops of trees that were so deeply buried in snow that it seemed like ground. My leg was actually dangling in the air on the other side! You can see more photos from the Otus here: http://bit.ly/Otus1428IG or watch my "First Look" video about it here: http://bit.ly/Otus1428FL

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #rokinon #samyang #XP85 #SP85

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The Drift (Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

I've been doing some interesting walks recently - on snowshoes, and just trekking along the open expanse of the Ottawa River, which is frozen fairly solid at this point. It is amazing how similar the effects of drifting snow and open spaces are like being in a desert full of sand. There are formations here and there made by the wind and environmental effects. I found this particular mound and slabs of rock near what must typically be a tiny little island in the river. I didn't have the typical snowshoe light kit with me, but instead had two full frame cameras in a harness with two large, heavy manual focus lenses attached. One is the massive, incredibly expensive Zeiss Otus 28mm f/1.4, which I used for this photo. The Otus delivers an image with a lot of potential for processing, with a surprisingly flat contrast profile (Otus lenses are usually extremely contrasty). It's definitely a specialized instrument, but an incredible one nonetheless. See more photos of it and from it here: http://bit.ly/Otus1428IG

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #zeiss #otus1428 #canon5dmarkiv
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"Bokehtastic Machine" (Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

The new Samyang XP/Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2 is definitely a bokeh machine. Not only does it have a bigger maximum aperture than most of the competitors (save the Canon 85L II), it creates bigger, softer bokeh highlights than the competition even at equivalent apertures. If you loving backgrounds out of focus, then you may fall in love with this lens despite it being manual focus only. It is a beautiful lens to focus, and produces stunning results. This shot is stopped down to f/1.4 (odd to say that!!) and yet the background is just so incredibly creamy. I break down the overall image quality and bokeh from the lens in this new video episode: http://bit.ly/SP85IQDA

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #samyang #XP85 #rokinon #SP85
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"The Unbearable Weight of Cuteness"

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

We have been "kitten shopping" for this little Bengal Cat from a friend who breeds them, and this is the one that we have settled on. It will still be a few weeks before he comes home with us, but "Cherokee" has already stolen our hearts with a serious dose of cuteness. The Bengal cats are a domesticated breed arrived at from crossbreeding with Asian Leopard cats to get the "wild" markings, coloration, and athleticism balanced with the gentleness of domestic cats. Bravo to the 5D Mark IV for allowing me to get a clean image at ISO 6400 (in a very dimly lit room) and the 35L II for give me great sharpness even at f/1.4.

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #canon #5DMarkIV #35LII
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"What About Me?" (Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Review)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

The look here is pretty clear, "Hey Dad, what about me?" I got this look as I was shooting from a low space where Bella, our Cavalier Spaniel, couldn't get to. she had plowed through the snow till this point, but was desperately frustrated that she could get no closer. She just looked too cute there buried in the snow, and I though you would enjoy this shot. I used the new Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens for this shot, and my review of that lens has gone live today. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/can70300 | or watch it here: http://bit.ly/70300YT. I think Canon has done a solid job in delivering a nice upgrade to the V1 of the lens.

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #canon #70_300ISII
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"Dome of the Rock"

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

I wanted to take a step back from lens reviews and the gear of 2017 to share a travel photo from a couple of years back. I keep a gallery of images that I'd like to post to social media at some point but haven't yet (there are over 1000 images in that gallery!!). This is one of them, and it struck my fancy today as I'm a bit weary of shooting winter right now! This is a (hopefully) unique framing of the world famous Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel. The sky was fairly featureless, but I used that to my advantage by using a circular polarizer and really deepending the color of the sky against the warm, golden tones of the dome along with the ancient archway in the foreground. The low point of view allows the eye to travel up the stair to the beautiful architecture of the Dome.

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #domeoftherock #jerusalem #withmytamron #24_70VC 
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"The Teacher" (Samyang/Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

Shooting portraits with a manual focus lens takes a bit more work, but if you can overcome that obstacle, the new Samyang XP/Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2 lens is one of the nicest portrait lenses I've used. It just handles skin tones, bokeh, and light falloff really nicely. This is a portrait of my wife (a teacher), who is trying to adjust to the glasses that she now needs. I guess she just looks more like a teacher now :) I've released a video where I analyze the build and design of the lens here: http://bit.ly/SP85mmFL | You can also see a photo gallery (including more from this shoot) here: http://bit.ly/SP85Gallery |

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #samyang #rokinon #SP85 #XP85 #canon #5DMarkIV
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"The Princess" (Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

I am really, really impressed with both the build quality and the rendering from the exquisite new Samyang/Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2. I've released a video where I analyze the build and design of the lens here: http://bit.ly/SP85mmFL | You can also see a photo gallery (including the out of camera version of this shot) here: http://bit.ly/SP85Gallery | I shot this wide open at f/1.2, and it is remarkable how there is great sharpness on the eye where I focused. The best part of this lens, though, is the gorgeous bokeh and transition to defocus. I've layered in some texture here, so this shot is darker than the original, but I was going for more of a classical portrait look here.

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #samyang #rokinon #SP85 #XP85
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"Steeping" (Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2)

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

I know, I know - we don't buy f/1.2 lenses to shoot them at f/8, but I needed the depth of field for this shot. I took a series of shots with the new Rokinon SP 85mm f/1.2 (it will show up incorrectly as the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II) with the kettle pouring water over the bag and the steeping process. I liked the result, but I wanted a little more kick. Some rim and back lighting. So I added one of the extremely powerful little LumeCube lights behind the mug to illuminate the interior. I liked the end result much more, and it also helps illuminate the steam rising off the top, too. Hmmm, I think I'll go steep myself a hot cuppa, now! See more photos here: http://bit.ly/SP85Gallery

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #samyang #XP85 #rokinon #SP85 #canon5dmarkiv #lumecube
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"Jay"

© 2017 Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott

Here's another moody portrait from my session with Jay. I've done a little heavier processing here, layering in some texture and crushing the blacks to allow some critical details to emerge from the shadow. The end result is one that I personally like. I'm releasing a video that analyzes the sharpness the of the new Canon EF 70-300 IS II USM lens as some reports were that it really wasn't much of an improvement over the previous generation. If you are considering this lens, I think you will enjoy this episode: http://bit.ly/70300Sharp

#photodujour #dustinabbott #photography #portrait #canon #5DMarkIV #70_300ISII
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