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 Thursday, March 26, 2015
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Image quality results from the 1Ds III and 7D II have been added to the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens review page.
 
I am a member of the waiting-for-the-24-Art-Lens club. I have been very anxious to see what level of performance this lens would turn in. Though the chart used in the image quality test is tough on a lens' performance, it mirrors what I am seeing in real world results. While I am not amazed by this lens' wide open performance, it is at least as good as the FAR-more-expensive Canon 24mm f/1.4L II and it is razor sharp when stopped down slightly.
 
Here are some comparisons:
 
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art vs. Canon 24mm f/1.4L II Lens
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art vs. Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS Lens
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art vs. EF-S Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art vs. Nikon 24mm f/1.4G Lens (different camera systems)
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art vs. Sigma 24mm f/1.4 EX Lens
 
I hope to have this full review completed in the next week or so. Stay tuned.
 
Initial inventory of the 24mm Art lens did not satisfy preorders. B&H has the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens available for preorder with "coming soon" as the expected arrival date.
Post Date: 3/26/2015 10:04:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon 7D II and 100-400 L II Get Close to a Royal Tern
There was a small flock of royal terns on the Captiva, Florida beach just north of Blind Pass and Sanibel Island. It would have been easy to stand and capture distant photos of the flock resting in the sand, but I was looking for something better. By lying down in the sand and moving forward slowly, the beautiful birds allowed me to get quite close without showing any signs of stress. So close that I had to zoom out somewhat to get the framing I selected for the bird in this photo.
 
That the 100-400 L II focuses so closely is a big benefit when the subject is small and you want to fill the frame with it or a portion of it. The close focusing is also useful in situations such as this one – when I got too close. As I said, there was a flock of birds and I was photographing various birds as their positions and behaviors warranted my attention.
 
A low shooting position often has the benefit of a clean background (the sky in this case) and provides a nice angle on most small birds and animals located on the ground. To make shooting while lying flat in the sand easier, I utilized a NatureScapes Skimmer Ground Pod II. To help darken the sky in the background, I used a circular polarizer filter.
 
Early and late in the day sunlight often provides the best lighting for bird photography, but nice images can be made at other times of the day. This royal tern photo was taken at 11:44 AM. At this time of the day, the sun is near its highest point, making shadows harsh and the color temperature of the light cool. By carefully timing the shutter release, I was able to catch bird positions that minimized shadows (especially on its head) and that included a catchlight in the eye. Sunlight reflecting on sand also helps minimize shadows (though not as well as the snow that was on the ground at home on that date does).
 
With a white bird in full sunlight and under a cloudless sky, the exposure decision was easy. Lock in manual mode settings that included a shutter speed fast enough to stop any movement present (there was lots of action happening), an aperture that provided adequate depth of field and an ISO setting that caused the brightest areas of the photo to be *just* below blown (pure white) in brightness.
 
The 7D Mark II and 100-400 L II performed extremely well on this trip. The alert among you will notice that the reported full size pixel dimensions for this image are larger than those native from the 7D Mark II. I framed this bird tight to the top of the frame and used Photoshop's context aware fill to extend the canvas, creating more sky in the final image. This tactic created a modestly higher resolution image overall. Another option for increasing resolution would have been to capture a similarly-focused second frame with more upward angle, taking in much more sky for later stitching to the bird image.
 
I spent hours focusing on these birds and will try to share some additional images when I get time.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+ and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
360mm  f/8.0  1/1250s  ISO 160  5472 x 3932px
Post Date: 3/26/2015 8:38:04 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Logo
TOKYO, March 26, 2015—Canon Inc. announced today that the Company's interchangeable-lens digital cameras (digital SLR and compact-system cameras) have maintained the No.1 share worldwide in terms of volume within the interchangeable-lens digital camera market for the 12-year period spanning 2003 to 2014.1
 
Canon develops the key components, namely the CMOS image sensors, image processors and interchangeable lenses, employed in its interchangeable-lens cameras. The most advanced of these technologies are incorporated across the Company's entire product lineup, spanning from professional-use flagship cameras to entry-level models, enabling the Company to maintain the top global share by offering a robust product lineup that effectively responds to the needs of a wide range of users.
 
In 2003, the dawn of digital SLR cameras, Canon introduced its breakthrough EOS Kiss Digital (EOS Digital Rebel or EOS 300D Digital in other regions). This groundbreaking camera, which featured a compact, lightweight design and was offered at a competitive price, set the stage for growth in the digital SLR market and enabled the Company to capture the top share of the global market. Since that time, Canon has continued to launch epoch-making new products, including the EOS-1D series of digital SLR cameras targeting professional users, and the EOS 5D series, which paved the way for digital SLR video recording thanks to its full-frame sensor employing a video-capture function.
 
In October 2014, targeting advanced-amateur users, Canon launched the EOS 7D Mark II, which has garnered high acclaim from the market for its fast continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second and superior autofocus performance. It is thanks to Canon's impressive camera lineup, including the EOS 7D Mark II, that the Company has maintained the No. 1 share in the market for 12 years running. Furthermore, in April 2014, Canon celebrated an impressive lens-manufacturing milestone with the production of its 100 millionth EF-series interchangeable lens for EOS cameras. The Company's extensive EF lens-series lineup, which currently comprises a total of 97 models,2 is one of Canon's biggest strengths, helping the EOS series to realize a wide spectrum of imaging possibilities and rich visual expression.
 
Aiming to further strengthen its wide product lineup, Canon introduced five new camera models in February of this year. The new lineup comprises the EOS 5DS and 5DS R, which achieve the world's highest pixel count among 35 mm full-frame sensor digital SLR cameras,3 the EOS 8000D (EOS Rebel T6s or 760D) and EOS Kiss X8i (EOS Rebel T6i or 750D in other regions) entry-level digital SLR cameras, and the EOS M3 digital compact-system camera, which achieves greatly enhanced AF performance.
 
B&H carries Canon DSLR cameras.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/26/2015 6:49:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 25, 2015
AdoramaPix Logo
From AdoramaPix:
 
This March marks a year since we moved AdoramaPix to our new home in Brooklyn, New York. The motto on the Brooklyn flag is, "in unity, there is strength." It has been a year of growth and we remain dedicated to working with our clients to bring you the best printing and products at the best value in the industry.
 
Take this opportunity to celebrate our first year in Brooklyn!
 
Promo Code: PXEVSP30
Expires: 03/29/15
Post Date: 3/25/2015 6:49:14 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
Just 12 steps to better SEO!
 
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, the most important question you can ask yourself is: how can I improve my SEO so my photography business is easily found online? The SEO Guide for Photographers, re-released with the newest, most relevant information answers this question and gives a lay person’s low down on the oft-misunderstood world of search engines. This Guide will help you gain a better understanding of Google Analytics, become familiar with SEO lingo, and help you understand why you’re not topping the search list on Google.
 
Inside the Guide you’ll find:
 
  • How Google’s search engine works to find and rank results
  • The factors that directly influence your SEO
  • How PhotoShelter can help with your SEO
  • How to perform backlink analysis
  • How long it will take to see results
Plus, dive in and start improving your SEO today with 12 actionable steps you can take - from “basic” to “expert” we’ve got you covered.
 
Download your copy of The SEO Guide for Photographers today!
Post Date: 3/25/2015 6:44:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2 Lens
B&H has the Lomography Petzval 85mm f/2.2 Lens in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/25/2015 6:29:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens
Just posted: Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens Review.
 
I was looking forward to giving this lens a try and it didn't disappoint in most areas including image quality.
 
The early popularity of this lens has kept it out of stock at most retailers. B&H has just received a shipment of the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens and is showing in stock at the moment. I doubt that this stock will last very long – don't wait to order if you want this lens.
 
Other in stock options: At least one lens is available at Amazon and several are available on eBay right now.
Post Date: 3/25/2015 9:00:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon COOLPIX A Digital Camera
Cameta Camera has the Refurbished Nikon COOLPIX A Digital Camera available for $329.00 with free shipping. Compare at $399.95 refurbished.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/25/2015 7:37:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon PowerShot S110 Digital Camera
The Canon Store has the Refurbished PowerShot S110 (Black) available for $129.99. Regularly $254.99.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/25/2015 7:29:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Nikon D5300 with AF-S 18-55mm VR II Lens
eBay (via PhotoVideo4Less) has the Nikon D5300 with AF-S 18-55mm VR II Lens available for $499.00 with free shipping. Compare at $796.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore ineligbile for Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/24/2015 10:46:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
Through Saturday, use the following coupon codes to save 30% on acrylic, metal and canvas prints at AdoramaPix:
 
Print ProductCoupon Code
AcrylicPXACSP30
MetalPXMTSP30
CanvasPXCNSP30
Post Date: 3/24/2015 9:26:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
X-Rite i1 iSis 2 Automated Chart Reader
From X-Rite:
 
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – March 24, 2015 – X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in color science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, today announce an important update to its popular i1iSis Solutions family of automated chart readers for prepress/premedia, photo and pressroom color management and profiling. The new i1iSis 2 and i1iSis 2 XL use i1 spectral technology to accommodate M0, M1 and M2 measurement illumination conditions which help manage the complexities of measuring optically brightened substrates now commonly used in grand format, premedia and digital press applications.
 
“For anyone in prepress, digital print or the graphic arts production process that spend time measuring charts, the new i1iSis2 is a must,” said Ray Cheydleur, Printing and Imaging Portfolio Manager of X-Rite. “This automated chart reader, is built on our award-winning i1 spectral technology and reads up to 2,500 patches printed on a single A3 page in just minutes, saving valuable operator and production time. Now users have the ability to capture M0, M1 and M2 in a single chart measurement cycle.”
 
The i1iSis 2 integrates seamlessly into a user’s workflow and is available in two models:
 
  • i1iSis 2 XL: Reads up to 2,500 patches on a single A3/Tabloid sheet in just 10 minutes.
  • i1iSis 2: Reads up to 1,500 patches on a single A4/Letter sheet in just 8 minutes.
The X-Rite i1iSis 2 and i1iSis 2 XL come with built-in vision systems that offer high tolerance for how charts are aligned as they are fed into the system, automatically correcting for misalignment. Barcode reading for chart identification adds further ease of use and error reduction.
 
With the i1iSis 2 and i1iSis 2 XL, users are able to:
 
  • Capture full spectral data for the charts they measure;
  • Use with i1Profiler software to accommodate a variety of inks and substrates in any viewing condition using Optical Brightening Compensation (OBC);
  • Assure compliance with new ISO standards for M-Series measurement illumination conditions; and
  • Spend less time on press profiling and more on taking care of customers.
The i1iSis 2 and i1iSis 2 XL are XRGA compliant. The X-Rite Graphic Arts Standard (XRGA), an X-Rite calibration standard for graphic arts instruments, includes new advances in color technology and changes required to meet ISO-13655. As XRGA-compliant instruments, the i1iSis 2 and i1iSis 2 XL ensure high quality data exchange and workflows in environments where different instrumentation is used.
 
For more information about the X-Rite i1 Solutions for Color Management, visit http://www.xrite.com/i1isis-2-automated-chart-readers.
 
To upgrade to the latest version of the i1iSis 2 automated chart reader, please visit http://www.xrite.com/i1isis-2-loyalty-promo.
 
B&H carries X-Rite products.
 
Note: I realize this is a second generation product, but I can't help thinking X-rite missed a good opportunity to change the product's name from "iSis" to something less relevant on today's political landscape. [Sean]
Category: X-Rite News
Post Date: 3/24/2015 8:50:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens review.
 
To say that this is an awesome lens seems like an understatement.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/24/2015 8:36:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Paul C. Buff Dies at 78
From the Paul C. Buff Website:
"With great sadness we announce that our founder, Paul C. Buff, passed away this week at the age of 78. He has been living with his beloved wife of 16 years, Deborah, and their extended family in their secondary home in Mobile, Alabama for over a year and passed away in this home with his family around him. Those of us who have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Paul have lost an invaluable mentor, an inspiring leader, and a treasured friend. The world has lost one of its most creative and adventurous pioneers.
 
In the coming weeks, we will celebrate Paul’s unique and extraordinary life, giving customers, employees, and friends the opportunity to share their tributes and memories. But first, we must take time to pause and grieve the loss of a man who had such a great impact on us all. If you wish to offer condolences in the mean time, we invite you to email them to CelebratingPaul@paulcbuff.com.
 
For years, it has been our mission to advance Paul C. Buff, Inc. in the spirit of innovation and originality upon which it was founded. With gratitude for everything that Paul has taught us, we honor his memory by continuing to serve our customers with the outstanding products, support, and Golden Rule standards that he initiated."
We wish to convey our sincerest condolences to the Paul C. Buff family, his coworkers and friends.
Post Date: 3/24/2015 7:23:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens available for $568.12 with free shipping. Compare at $699.00 after $100.00 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: 3/24/2015 6:55:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 23, 2015
Macro Rose at 1.0x Magnification and Magnified by Extension Tubes and 1.4x Teleconverter
When it comes to macros, I generally like to get as much magnification as possible. This means I'm usually shooting at minimum focus distance so my tiny subjects fill the frame.
 
The Canon macro lens that would give me the highest native magnification – the MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro lens – is not part of my current kit. As such, I wanted to see just how much magnification I could get out of the gear I already had available to me, namely the EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, a set of Kenko Extension Tubes and a Kenko 1.4x Teleplus PRO 300 DGX Teleconverter.
 
As for the subject, I took Bryan's advice and bought some roses at a local florist. Sure enough, the flowers worked well for my test. But better yet, my girlfriend loved them. So if you're ever looking for a good macro subject, keep this in mind – your significant other will likely appreciate any excuse you have to buy more flowers.
 
For lighting I used one camera-mounted Canon Speedlite 580EX set to ETTL mode and diffused by a RoundFlash Magnetic Ringflash Adapter. While I knew the Roundflash would produce a rather flat look to the image, I was curious to see how the reflections of the ring light would show up in the water droplets. As you can see, it created a relatively interesting and not too unflattering reflection. However, I'm sure it's a matter of taste.
 
The tripod-mounted EOS 5D Mark III's camera settings were f/10, 1/200 sec and ISO 200 - 800 (depending on the shot).
 
This first example shows the central part of the rose using the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro's minimum focus distance.
 
Macro Rose at 100mm Macro Minimum Focus Distance
 
For aesthetic purposes with this particular subject, I would usually just stop right there. I don't believe getting more magnification out of this subject will improve the image, but for the purpose of this test I wanted see just how much magnification I could get out of the equipment I had at hand. Consequently, I added all three Kenko extension tubes (12 + 20 + 36).
 
The extension tubes reduced the minimum focus distance thereby increasing magnification with the consequence of losing infinity focus. That's not a problem, of course, as we're utilizing the opposite focus extreme. The following image shows the difference that the extension tubes make.
 
Macro Rose at 100mm Macro with Kenko Extension Tube Set
 
The central part of the rose is now considerably larger in the frame. Keep in mind, though, as our minimum focus distance decreases, so does our depth-of-field. At this point, depth-of-field is already very limited even at f/10.
 
For the final image, I mounted the Kenko 1.4x teleconverter behind the lens and then mounted lens/teleconverter in front of the extension tubes.
 
Macro Rose at 100mm Macro with Kenko Extension Tube Set and 1.4x Teleconveter
 
As you can see, the addition of extension tubes and the teleconverter have had a huge effect on how much magnification we can get out of the macro lens. The combination is a little cumbersome to work with, so using a tripod is highly recommended (if not completely necessary) if you are wishing to try this for yourself.
Post Date: 3/23/2015 11:26:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
 
Need a perfect project for a weekend crafting session? Create a customized photo candle that will be sure to light up any room in your home!
 
Supplies Needed:
 
Post Date: 3/23/2015 11:54:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera (review) available for $1,999.00 with free shipping. Compare at $2,499.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/23/2015 10:22:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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