I got my Canon 6D last Thursday. After my test shots of Lucky, then the kids and my wife, I was ready for more. I headed downtown on Sunday night for a bit of street photography. I wanted to see what this puppy could do armed with a 50mm f1.4 lens.
Before I get into it, I’ve happily discovered that the 6D has already broken new ground. It’s going to radically change how I take my most important photos. With a fast prime like my 35mm f2 or 50mm f1.4, I can shoot anywhere in the house at basically any light level. I shot perfectly sharp and decent photographs at night with two very dim compact fluorescent lamps and the glow from the TV. And even with the f4 zoom (I got the excellent 24mm – 105mm f4 L zoom as my “kit” lens) I can still shoot in most places. The camera might jump up to ISO 10,000 or so but the images were acceptable.
Sunday night is a nice time to go downtown. There is a good supply of on street parking and it’s free. The usually noisy and crazy 6th street is remarkably calm. I parked on Congress Avenue and walked several blocks south and turned left to my destination. On the way, I shot this detailed older building on Congress. Up top, you see a boring daylight photo — made better in black and white — shot at the beginning of my photo walk. The night shot, from my trip back, has some good details even at ISO 2500. The deep blue adds interest making it a worthy color image.
I like the 50mm lens a lot more, now that it is a true 50mm. On my 7D, with the 1.6x crop factor, the 50 acts like a 80mm. I tend to like wider and not telephoto so this is a welcome change. My 50mm was always that vaguely sharp, dreamy lens, especially since I tend to shoot it wide-open at f1.4. Somehow, on the full frame 6D, it seems to work better. Possibly because I’m not magnifying the “unsharpness” by the 1.6 crop factor. It’s nowhere near as good as my Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 which, on my Olympus also acts as a 50mm. That lens is fantastically sharp even at f1.4, I wish I had it for the Canon.
The short outing was a success and I got a bunch of keepers. Expect to see a series of postings, with images, over the next week. The real world testing phase with the Canon 6D has begun — today, merely a quick intro. Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll test the 6D versus the Olympus. Remember, I don’t grade on absolute quality. I’m very much a price – performance kind of guy. Or in this case, more aptly, It’s going to be a weight – performance comparison.
UPDATE: More photos from my 6th street photo walk.
Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.