Yongnuo 100mm f2 Lens Details

Here is a link to full sized example photos on Flickr:

You can pick this lens up on Amazon here.

Here is a crop of one 100MM@f2 photo at 100% without additional editing:

I’d personally consider that is producing a nice amount of detail, especially without any editing. There are a large number of factors involved from the distance to the subject to others like hand/shutter shake.

The Youtube review:

Notes I wrote up why making the review:
– From the manual it lists the lens as having 9 aperture blades and a minimum aperture of f19, which is confusing because both of my cameras go to f22.
– Minimum focus distance is 0.9 meters or around 3 foot with a 0.14 times magnification. This isn’t a lens you will be getting close focus and high magnification with!
– The lens comes with caps but no lens hood. It does have a 58mm filter thread, which is a standard size.
– The lens has a nice weight to it at around 449g. It is sized around 76x83mm (3×3.25in).
– The lens exterior is a mixture of metal, plastic, and rubber. The back half is a plastic similar to the Nikon 50mm f1.8g lens, but the front is a substantial feeling metal. The filter thread is metal and is high precision machining.
– The lens comes with a USB port intended to be for adjusting the lens or adding new firmware. I haven’t seen any news or details on those offerings. I’m hoping they will eventually show up due to a few quirks.
– The lens has a built in DC type motor for focusing. It’s louder than Nikon’s silent wave motors by quite a bit.
– Most lenses in this focal length and price point are manual focus. Keep that in mind.
– The lens has a switch on the side in a standard spot to cycle between MF and AF.
– This lens does not have quick shifting capability, so you must use the switch to do manual focus. When the lens is in AF mode, the focus ring rotates freely, but does nothing. In manual focus mode you can feel the focusing elements being connected with the focus ring. The focus ring will not stop when you reach the limit on either end of focus, but there will be more resistance to rotation. This is the standard way lenses of this era work in manual focus mode.
– So far in my testing, autofocus is pretty average, but not as good as say the 50mm f1.8g that I have. The lens will get to nearly being in focus quickly, but locking sometimes takes a bit of time. Without focus beep or indicator in the camera on, it’s sometimes hard to know. I do a decent amount of focus and recompose and have had the lens try and fail to focus when I shift the camera (thinking that I had gained focus already. Focus accuracy appear to be good once it gains focus. I’m hoping for firmware improvements. The focus does feel consistent once I adapted to how the lens focuses. I was getting much better with it on the 3rd outing).
– Manual focus is not bad on this focal length and maximum aperture. The ring has a nice grip and is smooth to rotate.
– To put things into perspective, my old Sigma 100-300mm f4 lens is much less consistent than this one.
– I did take the lens out at night to a local park (D600) and didn’t have any focusing issues within my expectations. Not bad!
– Live view focus is garbage. Hopefully this will be fixed in firmware. Pretty much unusable.
Exposure issues:
– The lens appears to not communicate properly with cameras about exposure. Maybe it’s partly because the lens reports f22 minimum aperture when the manual states f19 as minimum? It’s hard to say, but something needs to be fixed.
– With the Nikon D750 I have to apply around +2 to +2.67ev to match the exposure I was getting with my Nikon 50mm f1.8g lens.
– With the D600 I have to apply around +0.7 to +1.0ev to match the exposure I was getting with my Nikon 50mm f1.8g lens.
– I’m really hoping that the lens receives a firmware update to improve the situation. It’s not a show stopper, but a hassle for sure.
Image quality details:
– I’m liking image quality so far. I see a nice amount of detail even at f2.
– I feel like they optimized this lens to be strong at wider apertures with a much less dramatic improvement at smaller apertures. That’s totally fine with me in this case.
– Out of camera RAWs seem a bit low contrast at times. Easily fixed in post.
– The lens would probably be helped a lot by a hood. It’s odd they didn’t include one.
– Will there be lens profiles for this? I don’t stay current on Adobe stuff, but Acdsee doesn’t have a profile.
– I plan on using this lens with the D600 more than the D750. When I double up on cameras like having a wide plus telephoto. This will kinda-sorta replace the Sigma 100-300mm f4 when I feel 100mm is enough.
– USB firmware updates will be the difference between a quirky value lens and a good lens.
– I’m liking image quality from the lens. I’ll simply say the rendering is appealing outside of its tendency for lower contrast.

Posted in Lens | Tagged , , , , | Comments

It’s been a while! (Cosplay Photos)

Hey, it’s been a while! I’ve still been taking photos as usual, but this website hasn’t seen updates in a long time. A lot of my updates go on my Photography Banzai Facebook page due to convenience. Personal websites, in my experience, don’t get much traffic with articles like this. Most of this site’s traffic are my old Pentax equipment reviews.

Here are a few photos I took at a local cosplay photography meetup. The meetup is usually centered around photos with horses that we have available, but we still mostly just take photos of the cosplayers by themselves. It’s really just a big group of friends hanging out and enjoying a mutual hobby (while we also eat, drink, and have a bonfire). Stuff like this is what it’s all about!

Now on to the equipment talk. The equipment I pull out when I’m serious is still Nikon DSLRs.

Cameras and Lenses (use both at once most of the time):
Nikon D600 with a 50mm f1.8g lens:
This was attached to my backpack’s strap lugs directly across my chest.
An easy to use setup with that great normal focal length. It’s extremely dependable and easy to get nice portrait or full-body photos.

Nikon D750 with a Sigma 100-300mm f4 lens:
This was attached to a shoulder strap by the len’s tripod mount.
I had bought this lens to see if it would give me a certain look I was going for. For the most part it did. Both the camera and lens were pretty unfamiliar to me. I’ve had the lens for a decent amount of time, but didn’t have any big uses for it until this event. The camera body was a last minute thing due to a local shop that had a good deal on it used. Auto-focus was at time hit-or-miss, which I’m not too surprised about given the age of the lens (It doesn’t even focus in live-view). Excluding how many photos I had to discard due to auto-focus, the sharpness and qualities are pretty great. Zoom it out to 300 at f4 and you will get some unique isolation of subjects. I just wish there were current 100-300mm f4 lenses being sold, because I’d probably consider one in the future. I know Sigma has a 100-300 f2.8, but it isn’t cheap and it’s probably too big to easily handhold (not cheap compared to what I paid for this used lens). Overall, I’ll probably keep it around, but still wish the auto-focus was more consistent. Part of it could be my technique that I will be working on. The lens is pretty front-heavy.

Light modifiers:
All I had with me were reflectors (5-n-1 with diffusion). The photo above with the vibrant blue sky was using the largest one for diffusion of the sun and the smaller one for fill light. It worked out nicely thanks to the help of two friends than held them while I took the photos. Huge reflectors are a challenge to use, but do things that are hard to accomplish with anything else. My 5ft tall reflector worked out nicely, but I’m thinking I should have gone even larger.

A few improvements I’d make:
I’d like to pick up a quality double camera strap. It would make it easier to manage the two cameras I think. The issue is that good ones are not cheap! I’d also consider a larger 5-n-1 diffuser/reflector. Blocking out daylight sun is a great use for them when I perfect spot is not in the shade. I also need to work on properly using that Sigma 100-300mm lens. As I had mentioned, it isn’t ideal due to how old it is, but I think some of my issues were due to how front heavy it is (that’s one think I can improve on).

The nice thing about this photo meetup is that I can take my time and try to grow as a photographer. Conventions are usually not ideal for that.

Posted in Cosplay, People | Tagged , , , , , | Comments


It looks like my site was down for a day or two. My host was retiring a server and had to transfer me to one of their newer ones. It looks like they must have done some things by hand which resulted in my PhotographyBanzai.com site CMS not being able to connect to the database. It was an easy fix, but I didn’t pay attention to which day they were doing the transfer (and didn’t verify it worked afterward).

Posted in News | Tagged , | Comments

Editing Tip: Using a game controller to review and cull photos.

In this video I go over using a PS4 DualShock controller when reviewing and culling photos. It’s an ergonomic and quick way to go over large numbers of photos in your initial review process. In my case I use Adobe Bridge CS5, which has limited support for keyboard shortcuts.

You can use whatever controller you want as long as you have the ability to mimic keyboard inputs. The DS4Windows program I use has full macro support, which is great.

Here is how I have mine set up:
– D-pad
= The arrow keys on the keyboard so you can navigate through the photo list.

– top triggers
== no rating, 5 star rating
== CTRL+0 and CTRL+5

– top buttons
== left is -1 rating, right is +1 rating
== CTRL+, and CTRL+.

– triangle button
== show only 5 star rating in the photo list

– x button
== clear the photo list filter

– square button
== -1 thumbnail size

– circle button
== +1 thumbnail size

– the trackpad works as the PC mouse

Here are a few extras I added after making the video:
– left analog joystick up
== jumps to top of photo list
== home key

– left analog joystick down
== jumps to bottom of photo list
== end key

The PS4 controller drivers:

Adobe Bridge shortcut list:

Posted in Editing And Software, Tips and Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | Comments