Food, Work and Travel... China November 2018 with the RF 35mm f1.8

December 26, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Motivation

Shortly after my New England trip -where I made the road trip with the EF-M 32mm f1.4 - my first RF lens was delivered: The RF 35mm f1.8 IS STM. Therefore the next Idea was to take this lens with me - together with the EF 85mm f1.4 L IS USM and the Milvus 15mm f2.8. Quite a nice combo....

Quite compact this combo...

The lens has two switches, AF on of - no limiter of the reach interestingly and Stabilizer on off....

But the most impressive part is the weight:


 

As a comparison:

  • 5D Mk IV with the EF 35mm f1.4: 1735g
  • 5D Mk IV with the EF 35mm f2: 1323g
  • EOS R with the RF 35mm f1.8: 971g

Well the 971 g is pretty handy.... It feels close to nothing - in comparison to the 5D4. But how it does work, Is this package great?

 

Some Remarks on the gear

Aside of the EOS R I do carry a little Manfrotto tripod with me. it is light weight and small.

I adapted Arka Swiss.on the little tripod for more versatility....

But it is sturdy enough to carry the EOS R with the RF 35mm. I made some shots with the pretty heavy Milvus 15mm f 2.8 - but this is the limit - or a bit above...

The Trip

A business trip as usual... Hotels, Meetings, and Restaurants. I did not shoot every time and everywhere, but I did shot a lot.... And luckily before flying to Japan I had a Saturday off - where went to Hangzhou, a beautiful town west of Shanghai with a scenic lake were we made a hike around....

What you will see - a bit of everything... 

Shanghai

The first day was arrival, a customers visit, a dinner....

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Arrival at a Holiday Inn. These machines you see everywhere. Big Brother is watching you - Chinese visitors have to register - and take a photo wherever they arrive. We stayed at 4 different hotels - I checked in 6 times - and everywhere has been these machines...

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Shanghai... and its bridges over the Bund River... They are scenic.. but tricky to photograph..  181209_R_1199.jpg181209_R_1199.jpg

Aside of all luxurious things you see in China... there is still the old and poor - like this moto cycle.... 

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The lobby in my Holiday Inn... They do have pretty nice culpures... just before lunch....

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Restaurant in China... there is so much different. In this case: you scan the barcode, than you get the menu and you order in your smartphone... no waiter....

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Tasty food.. in this case just a kind of tofu....  181209_R_1232.jpg181209_R_1232.jpg

and a delicious chicken.,.. Chinese style. with the head....

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I do love this shot of the man selling fruits on the street in the suburbs of Shanghai, Hongqiuao. A place getting more and more familiiar to me...

Changchun

Changchun is an industrial city 3,5 flight hours north east of Shanghai... 

In the morning I was picked up at 6... In the evening we had dinner with the customer.

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What is typical in China: the menu. There are nicely shot images of each dish, and there is a long discussion of what's special what's to recommend etc...

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Please who says that the German "Kölsch" or "Alt" Beer is offered in schnapps glasses... go to China....

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It is phantasmic to shoot food with a macro lens....  181209_R_1267.jpg181209_R_1267.jpg

This image off pretty tasty silk worms had blown me away, not because of the food but because of bokeh....   Using macro distances the bokeh is pretty pleasant and creamy....

Wuhan

Fron Changhun we took an evening flight to Wuhan...Center of the Chinese optics valley.

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This was the hotel we stayed. Arrival at 1 am the next day morning.. Pretty long day.... But i like to make decent shots handheld....
 

We visited couple of companies there. Pretty amazing ones by the way.... And in the evening guess what: we ent out for dinner...

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We had been in the City of Wuhan. And i liked these sculptures...

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These sculptures are pretty unique. And the offer you pretty nice images... even handheld... 181209_R_1291.jpg181209_R_1291.jpg

The proof: same procedure as every restaurant....

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delicious fish..

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some pork with vegetables 181209_R_1299.jpg181209_R_1299.jpg

And a Wuhan specialty: a dried Yangtse sweat water fish - tasty but many bones....

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Next morning in a park in Wuhan... Here are some CA visible., but limited - and no lens corrections applied - Lightroom does not has any data about this lens yet....

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In the evening - back in Shanghai and after another dinner - you find the images in the slide show - I took a mobike back to my hotel. And I saw this food stand. Street photography and food photography at the same time... I love this image....

Trip to Hangzhou 

On Friday late afternoon we started our trip to Hangzhuo. 

Hangzhou is a province capital (Zhejiang) with more than 9 Mo inhabitants. It is located is on the southern end of the old Grand Canal - which is 1000 years old..... This Canal as well as the West Lake are both Unesco World heritages... 

 

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Traveling with the bullet train...  The Hongqiao Station is located in the "city" airport of Shanghai.. and its organization as well as its size is pretty impressive... 181209_R_1375-Bearbeitet.jpg181209_R_1375-Bearbeitet.jpg

Just a view out of the window of the train....autumn in China....

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Whenever you ride by bullet train the window are like a filter. But for me the important thing was the amount of green houses you see in certain distance from the big cities....

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Arriving in Hangzhou - again a modern train station........

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A Taxi ride from the station to the hotel... the amount of devices here is pretty impressive....

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So many moto cycles.... and all of them are electrical....

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Later we made a short walk to the Maojiabo lake close to our hotel

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For these images I put my camera on a very small tripod normally used for iPhones... It is a bit modified with an Arka Swiss adapter and it works just fine...

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I do lieg these round bridges and its reflections...

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The interesting part of this lake is that you find little huts to sit at the lake....

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Relly relaxing, watching sunsets 181209_R_1462.jpg181209_R_1462.jpg

And sometimes a boat shows by... this time handheld....

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Next stop: dinner.... (Astonishing?) 181209_R_1482.jpg181209_R_1482.jpg

These are knuckles of pork....

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A single one of them,,,,

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and a very close up....

It was one of the best pork knuckles ever.....

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And a chicken foot. They are tasty. I like them....

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And this is the place where we stayed over night. Really a recommendation....

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Next morning...

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I made a little walk around the hotel and I found some beautiful looking spots...

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The bridge to the garden in the atrium of the hotel was pretty nice....

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A Buddha was there, too...

 

Breakfast... starting with Chinese tea....

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One remark on this image: it is one of the rare images where the background blur is a bit busy.. Not as busy as Canon´s Nifty Fifty, but definitely more busy than the 35mm F1.4L _MkII

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Some decoration on the table....

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I like a decoration like this old grammophon on the breakfast buffet...


After breakfast we started our hike around the famous Hangzhou western lake...

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The hike was pretty nice. I like this big stones in areas where normally the ground would be pretty moody...

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All trails ant walkways are nice an well maintained...

 

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Some small things around

 


 

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And another small thing... again: the macro functionality of the lens shines in these situations...

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But the like and the way everything is arranged looks really nice!!

 

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An invitation?

181209_R_1638.jpg181209_R_1638.jpg Street photography... in silent mode... the EOS R as well as the 35mm are a perfect combo... (The girls where happy with my photo was well...)

There is an Island in the middle of the Lake called "Three Pools Mirroring the Moon" - were this photo was taken

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Since the whole gardening approach was build 1000 years ago and you see many black and white images I thought some black and white photography is adequate... or?

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It was beginning of December when I was there. But the colors were still looking like autumn... But I can live with it...

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Next stop: lunch break.. A chicken in the clay egg...

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Another style of Chicken.. delicious as well ....  181209_R_1668.jpg181209_R_1668.jpg

Pork and fish...

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ans some dumplings... 

After lunch there was no more food needed that day....

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This is something really special... women taking pictures of women making "funny" gestures...  The funny part is: this is a female game. Only women are doing this... no men with men, no men with women.... And I do have no explanation for this...

181209_R_1677.jpg181209_R_1677.jpg There are nine million bicycles in Beijing... this wonderful song of Katie Melua becomes more visible whenever you visit Chinese cities....

And the orange ones are mobiles... today the cities are occupied with bicycles to rent... which is pretty simple and effective.... very handsome...

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What´s to do if you have only a 35mm lens, but the shot should be wider: take a panorama. It is so easy. Lightroom makes it really easy and the results are very amazing, or? 181209_R_1682.jpg181209_R_1682.jpg

Even if it is not astonishing for many people - but the crowd was immense walking around the sea.... 

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This is another popular shot of the bridge with Hangzhuo. Well this photo could have been processed as black and white as well....

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I tried a little exercise: panning while shooting... it os not that easy but if you set up the camera properly you get some nice results...

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... and sometimes you get some nice reactions, too...

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tea break in the park.... 181209_R_1778.jpg181209_R_1778.jpg

It is really joyful to have some tea in China...  181209_R_1780.jpg181209_R_1780.jpg

This was the tea house itself. By accident I shot this image with 1/8 s... and it is still really sharp. Thx to OIS....

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While walking home there was some light show under preparation... We had no tickets and we had to return to Shanghai. But what we have seen over the fence was pretty enough, or?  181209_R_1793.jpg181209_R_1793.jpg

This image is one of my favorites of this series, definitely... 

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The gate was another shot which I like very much.... 181209_R_1808.jpg181209_R_1808.jpg

Ehen we were walking home the boats driving back home had been just lively. But I preferred to take this shot with 3.2s exposure time with a sturdy support on a stone bridge....

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This shot was one of the rare shots - ISO 800, f8 and 2.5s exposure time. But look at the nice stare.... 

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Leaving Hangzhuo I do like how the lady was lightened by the screen. again low light... 181209_R_1830.jpg181209_R_1830.jpg

At the other station of Hangzhuo,.. just before leaving.,.. 181209_R_1832.jpg181209_R_1832.jpg

Two other shots... classical street photography.... 

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What's next... Look at the amount of luggage....
 

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We had to pick up our tickets here... and look at the crowd... Sometimes China can be different...

 

Verdict

Traveling full format in a small package is just fun. The EOS R with the RF 35mm f1.8 is very enjoyable - just according to its light weight and its pretty decent performance. 

But there is lot more to say about this lens.

  1. The image quality is pretty decent.
    1. It is tack sharp wide open
    2. The bokeh is pretty pleasent
    3. Flare is pretty much controled
    4. Chromatic aberrations are small
    5. But a few direct comparison shots are showing that the 35mm f1.4 L has more to offer - but for 3x more money - what is fair
  2. Autofocus ist quick, silent and accurate
  3. OIS gives a 5 stops according to Canon - my slowest handheld was 1/8th second accidentally....
  4. Weight and size are really small and lightweight - the lens is much smaller that the Zeiss Batis for Sony E-Mount - which is maybe the only direct competitor on the market.
  5. And due to the 0.5 magnification factor it is delivering unique images no other 35mm Full Frame lens is offering - as fare as I know.

I do hope that Canon will release -beside their technology demonstrating lenses like the RF 55mm f 1.2L- similar travel glass like an RF 85mm f1.8 IS STM.... or a smaller 14/15mm f2.8 lens - but here we can live with 3rd party like Samyang - who hopefully bring out something useful for RF as well.

From then on traveling Full Format will become a no brainer...

Today the EOS R and the RF 35mm f1.8 are a great travel companion.  It is close to the EOS M5 with the 32mm f1.4 but it tops it. The M5 is the most minimalistic travel companion, but the R is more versatile.... 
 

Miscellaneous 

All Photos werde taken with the EOS R and the RF 35mm f1.8 IS STM.

Only the product shots were taken with the EOS M5 with the 32mm f1.4 STM. But the image with the scale not - this one was taken with the iPhone X.

I do plan a comparison of both lenses with the reference: 

  • EF-M 32mm f 1.4 STM
  • RF 35mm f1.8 IS STM
  • EF 35mm f1.4 L USM II as reference.

I hope to be able to make this exercise soon.

If you want to have some minutes of relaxe enjoy the photos as slideshow or just the gallery.

Please have fun and enjoy.

 


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