Cool & weird photos, Bob. I like them! The contrast range looks great, and it looks like it probably took a lot of work to get it right. Just one bit of critique, if it's OK: the color ones look oversharpened (at least on the screen), so much so that it distracts one; a sort of unnaturally "sparkly" look. Or was that intentional?
If you don't mind my asking, just how unacceptable was the curvature problem with the 24-105 lens? Other than that and the flare problem (which it sounds like Canon is fixing...?), were you happy with it?
Lisa - the sharpening isn't even a factor other than for the Black & White work. Like I warned when I introduced this topic, there was digital manipulation at work. I think all of the color images went through a surreal application of Photoshop's "Poster Edges" filter. I did straight color shots as well, but when I looked at the "poster edges" versions and compared, the effect pleased me a great deal. I do not claim these to be documentary photographs. They are photo illustrations at this point. My reason for showing this work here is to get folks to see what can be done when one actually plans ahead to go over to the "dark side" of digital manipulation. The site was so abstract, I figured I would exploit its graphic characteristics. Close to 100 other photographers (in 4 sessions) were busy doing the documentary stuff. (Except for one fella that brought a suitcase full of ladies' negligee props for his scenes, no kidding.)
Obviously, as straight color shots, this would represent quite bizzare sharpening. Every once in a while I like to shake things up to make life interesting. I still have all the straight source files if I ever need them.
The curvature problem with the 24-105 was the worst I ever experienced with any lens - period. 24 is pincushioned beyond belief; 105 is so barreled it is a joke. Fortunately, PTLens had presets already for this lens, so correction was automatic.
If it wasn't for the flare and the curvature, I would rank this as a reasonable member of the L class lenses; however, even my 17-40 L and 70-200 f/4 L seem to be better build. Maybe the extending barrel during zooming is irritating me. The replacement I am trying to get, the 24-70, also extends the barrel to zoom, so I can't be too picky.
I don't know, as my skills get better, I really see the value in high performance glass. Having the 5D keeps me concentrating on precision imagery. (Of course, the paradox is that I ran all those files through the Photoshop "Poster Edges" filter to destroy any possible image precision. Heh-heh!)