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 Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera (review) available for $299.00 with free shipping. Compare at $399.00 new.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for Canon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/4/2015 1:35:32 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera (review) available for $449.00 with free shipping. Compare at $599.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/4/2015 11:34:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens available for $649.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,296.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not eligible for Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/4/2015 10:35:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sean's Self-Portrait: Through the Looking Glass
I've always liked the idea of photographing myself through a lens. However, lenses are designed to project an image flipped and upside down. As such, shooting a portrait looking through the lens leaves you with either an upside down subject or otherwise everything else topsy turvy. True, I could simply correct the flipped and upside-down portrait in post-processing, but I just didn't like that idea (I prefer in-camera solutions if possible).
 
Another thing I didn't like about the self-portraits taken through a lens that I had come across before is that they usually had a distinct selfie vibe to them. That's because the subject was typically holding the lens in front of the camera thereby mimicking the outstretched phone in hand capture. When creating my version of the the self-portrait, I wanted it to be different. But until recently I never figured out how to execute an image that avoided those traits.
 
However, while putting the lens caps on my Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter yesterday, I realized something – the teleconverter doesn't flip the image. Of course, that makes perfect sense as it's only supposed to magnify the projected image circle of the lens in front of it, not transform it in any other way. The teleconverter may not be a traditional lens, per se, but it was the answer I had been looking for.
 
So yesterday I attempted to take a self-portrait looking through the 1.4x teleconverter. It was a little challenging to get it right, but I finally got what I wanted.
 
Capturing the self-portrait meant overcoming a few challenges. The first thing I needed to do was figure out a surface on which I could set up the teleconverter. I originally planned on standing for the self-portrait, so I needed a table that that was relatively high. Not surprisingly, I didn't have a table that stood 4 1/2' off the ground. I ended up mounting a video slider onto one of my tripods to allow for an adjustable surface for the teleconverter to rest upon. I leveled the slider so that I could lay something across it (in this case, a clipboard for rigidity and a white 2-pocket folder on top). However, when trying to balance the teleconverter on its edge, I noticed that it was a little front heavy and tended to fall forward. I actually adjusted the ballhead so that the slider was tilted away from the camera just a bit so that the teleconverter was properly balanced. This adjustment meant that my standing portrait became a sitting portrait instead (not a problem, as only a small part of me would be seen anyway).
 
I set up my Canon EOS 5D Mark III + EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro on a second tripod and pointed it at the teleconverter.
 
Framing and focus were the next big challenges to overcome. The solution to both problems came in the form of DSLR Controller and a battery-powered wireless router. With the battery-powered wireless router attached to my camera (via USB) and my Samsung Galaxy S4 loaded with the DSLR Controller app, I was able to see what the camera was seeing (Live View). This allowed me to adjust my position in the frame so that the teleconverter [almost] completely obscured my position behind it aside from my portrait in the projected image circle. DSLR Controller also allowed me to manually adjust focus using 5x and 10x magnification making obtaining focus fast and easy.
 
The final challenge was lighting. I tried several different setups before finding one that I really liked. The main light is a radio triggered Canon Speedlite 580EX (precursor to the 600EX-RT), camera left (facing subject) diffused by a Glow 24" Collapsible Softbox with a grid in place. The rest of the light in the scene is provided by a radio triggered Canon Speedlite 580EX placed just to the right of the camera's position which was bounced off the ceiling. I flagged this flash with a Rogue FlashBender (Large) to keep direct (harsh) light from hitting the subject area. Without the flag in place, a more distinct shadow would have been cast on the wall in front of my face.
 
With everything set up I tried several iterations of the self-portrait before ultimately settling on the one above. It had everything I wanted – decent pose, good lighting, and a right-side up portrait, foreground and background. It was a fun and rewarding exercise – the image was even featured on Flickr Explore last night (click on the image above for a larger version).
 
But more importantly, I figured out a solution to an image that's been rattling around in my head for quite a long time – the experience of problem solving is worth more than the image itself as it will [hopefully] lead to even better images in the future.
Post Date: 3/4/2015 8:36:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens (review) available for $939.00. Compare at $1,069.00.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Post Date: 3/4/2015 9:18:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
RØDE Microphones Logo
From RØDE:
 
RØDE Microphones is excited to announce that the ‘My RØDE Reel’ international short film competition - first launched in 2014 to huge international acclaim - will return in 2015, with an increased total prize pool of more than $200,000 in prizes.
 
My RØDE Reel’s inaugural competition saw RØDE receive a staggering 1,120 entries from 76 countries worldwide, with nine category winners sharing a total prize pool of over $70,000, making it the largest short film competition of its kind.
 
Entrants to ‘My RØDE Reel’ are required to create a short film of three minutes or less, as well as a behind-the-scenes reel that features a RØDE product being used during the production of the film. RØDE has provided an entry pack that steps through the process, as well as templates for scripting, storyboarding and more, available now by registering at www.myrodereel.com.
 
There are three main awards and prize packs of filmmaking gear available to win -- a Judges’ Film award for the best short film in competition, a Judges’ BTS award for the best behind-the-scenes reel, and a publicly voted People’s Choice award for the most popular short film. Each of these award winners will be presented with an enviable production filmmaking kit valued at more than $40,000.
 
Additional technical and genre awards and prize packs are available for Best Sound Design, Best Soundtrack and more, and for the first time in 2015 RØDE has announced a Young Filmmaker award, to acknowledge and encourage entrants under the age of 18.
 
Joining an incredible list of sponsors and bringing the 2015 total prize pool to more than $200,000 are Atomos and Freefly Systems, supplying their Shogun 4K RAW Recorder and MOVI M5 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer respectively to multiple prize packs. They join an already illustrious list of sponsors including BlackMagic, Carl Zeiss lenses, Miller tripods, RedRock Micro rigs, SmallHD and Teradek monitoring equipment, Kessler sliders and jibs, ThinkTank Photo bags, Event studio monitors, G-Technology storage solutions, software from Adobe and RedGiant, licensing credit from The Music Bed and Film Supply, and of course plenty of RØDE microphones. A full list of the prize packs is available at www.myrodereel.com.
 
Once again, RØDE has brought together a respected judging panel for ‘My RØDE Reel’ that includes inspirational pioneer filmmakers Philip Bloom, Ryan Connolly, Vincent LaForet and Rodney Charters.
 
“Last year’s My RØDE Reel was really one of the best film competitions I have ever judged.” commented Philip Bloom. “The calibre of entries from all over the world was superb. I can’t wait to see what we get this year, it’s going to be even better I am sure.\"
 
"I’m really excited to engage with the next generation of filmmakers and to see what they come up with in the RODE Reel competition in 2015” added Vincent LaForet. “2014 was an impressive year and I can’t wait to see what they come up with this time!\"
 
Putting its “money where its mouth is”, RØDE has put together its own short film plus a complete series of behind the scenes tutorials to highlight the production process. Hosted by filmmaker Clinton Harn and the RØDE Production team, the course guides viewers through the filmmaking process from pre-production through to shooting and on to post-production.
 
Entries for ‘My RØDE Reel’ are open from March 2nd and close June 1st. All entrants will receive the exclusive 2015 My RØDE Reel Directors T-shirt, and a free subscription to Hollywood DP Shane Hurlbut’s “Inner Circle” online community.
 
Visit www.myrodereel.com now to learn more.
 
B&H carries RØDE microphones.
Category: Rode News
Post Date: 3/4/2015 6:16:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Zeiss OTUS 55mm f/1.4 Distagon Lens
For a limited time, B&H is featuring a $100.00 instant rebate on all Zeiss photographic lenses.
Post Date: 3/3/2015 1:19:13 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 6D with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens
eBay (via Big Value Inc) has the Canon EOS 6D with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens available for $1,699.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,999.00 after $300.00 instant rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/3/2015 1:12:56 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens
For a limited time, B&H has the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro FX Lens (review) available for $549.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $629.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/3/2015 12:59:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
eBay (via 6ave) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (review) available for $596.44 with free shipping. Compare at $1,149.00.
 
For what it's worth, the EF 24-105mm L is the lens I use to fill my general purpose needs. I bought the lens via one of the eBay deals posted to the site and now I don't know how I ever lived without it. I use it much more often than I ever thought I would. At this price, it's an especially great deal. [Sean]
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/3/2015 12:48:37 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS M with EF-M 18-55mm IS STM Lens
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/3/2015 12:42:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The 7D II and 100-400 L II Rocked in SW Florida
I took my own advice and left the crazy cold N 40° latitude (-4° F/-20° C) for the warmer weather of Florida and just over a week of (primarily) bird photography. Although I had a 5D Mark III and 1D X along, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II was glued to my hand for most of this trip and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was glued to the camera most of that time. As noted in the title, this combination rocked and with relatively-cooperative birds, my take-home is a bit voluminous.
 
The subject shown here is a Great Blue Heron in breeding plumage. To capture this image, my first priority was to get in line between the sun and the bird with the low, late-day sun creating good subject lighting. By maneuvering to a slightly lower vantage point than the bird, I was able to create a background composed completely of blue sky. No distractions there.
 
A big challenge remaining was to get the bird properly aligned for a pleasing composition. A side-on angle to the bird with the head straight or turned slightly towards the camera usually works great. The challenge in getting that angle was that the bird, especially its head and neck, was constantly moving. I selected the top-right AF point in the center block of AF points (closely aligned with the bird's eye) and when the bird was in a position that worked for me, I quickly captured the image.
 
I was shooting handheld for maneuverability and setup speed reasons. The 7D II and 100-400 L II combo's size and weight are especially nice for this type of shooting.
 
Some are asking if the 7D II images are sharp enough for serious work and I can assure you that the answer is "Yes." EOS 7D II images are very sharp. Because ultimate image sharpness capabilities are not completely discernible from reduced-size images, I have made the full-size version of this image available for download here. You are granted a license to use this image for personal gear evaluation purposes including further processing of the image. This is a 10.2 MB .JPG file that was sharpened very lightly. Sharpen to your taste (perhaps add a little saturation) and then follow the plane of sharp focus through this image to see what the 7D II and 100-400 L II can do.
 
A medium-sized version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
182mm  f/8.0  1/500s  ISO 100  5472 x 3648px
Post Date: 3/3/2015 11:07:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens (review) available for $801.16 with free shipping. Compare at $899.00 after $50.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/3/2015 11:20:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Spider Holster Rain Cover and Water Bottle Holder
From Spider Holster:
 
Adding to our Spider Monkey line, we're pleased to introduce our Rain Cover and Water Bottle Holder!
 
Protection from the elements
Our Rain Cover is designed to cover your camera body (with vertical grip) and lens (up to 70-200mm) while it sits in your SpiderPro or Black Widow holster.
 
It’s super-compact and lightweight, but unfolds nice and big to easily cover your pro gear. And it has an adjustable elastic outer-band so you can cinch it around your camera for maximum protection from the elements!
 
Hydration at your hip
Simply attach the Spider Monkey base to your belt (or ours), insert your water bottle into the Holder, then slide the Holder into the base.
 
Quick-draw your water bottle (using one hand!), by pressing the release tab at the top of the Spider Monkey base to unlock your Water Bottle Holder and lift it out. Instant refreshment on any shoot.
 
B&H carries the Spider Holster Camera Rain Cover and Water Bottle Holder.
Post Date: 3/3/2015 8:30:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Datacolor Spyder4PRO Display Calibration Kit with SpyderCHECKR 24
B&H has the Datacolor Spyder4PRO Display Calibration Kit with SpyderCHECKR 24 available for $139.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $218.00.
 
Kit Includes
 
Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash
Through March 5, B&H has the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery-Powered Flash available for $1,995.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $2,095.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Optional Remote Control with Air TTL-C/N
  • Full E-TTL II with Canon Cameras
  • Full i-TTL with Nikon Cameras
  • 500W/s, 9-Stop Power Range
  • Lithium-ion Battery Powered
  • Up to 220 Full-Power Flashes
  • Flash Duration: 1/19,000 - 1/1,000 Sec
  • High Speed Sync to 1/8,000 Sec.
  • LED Modeling Lamp, 20 fps Burst Mode
  • 0.1 - 1.9 Sec. Recycling
Post Date: 3/3/2015 7:24:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Westcott Flex 1-Light Daylight Kit
For a limited time, B&H has the Westcott Flex 1-Light Daylight Kit available for $599.90 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $699.90.
 
Kit Includes
 
  • Flex Daylight LED
  • Flex Dimmer Extension Cable
  • Flex 1/4 Stop Diffusion Front
  • Flex X-Bracket Mount
Note from Sean: I got to see the Westcott Flex series at Imaging USA 2015. The flexible LED-powered lights are impressively bright at full power. I remember having to squint when walking by the booth featuring the lights.
Post Date: 3/3/2015 7:20:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens
Through tomorrow, B&H has the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens available for $429.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $479.00.
Post Date: 3/3/2015 6:59:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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