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 Tuesday, June 27, 2017
From Lensbaby:
 
Create soulful, striking portraits with our Velvet 85 art lens. Compose impressionistic masterpieces with a soft overlay at bright apertures, straight out of camera. Use darker apertures to bypass glow and make images with a crisp, film-like aesthetic.
 
Building on the strengths of our bestselling Velvet 56 lens, Velvet 85 combines lustrous skin tones with the added compression and sublime bokeh of high-quality 85mm portrait lenses. Use its macro capability to capture the most compelling details.
 
Velvet 85 is currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping July 11th in the order in which they are received.
 
B&H will carry the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8 lens.
Category: Lensbaby News
Post Date: 6/27/2017 7:31:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this video, Scott Kelby shares how Photoshop's script Image Processor works to convert a folder full of images into JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs (or all three at once) while also applying any Photoshop Action during the process.
 
Note: Scott Kelby forgot to cut the video so as not to include the batch image processing in real time. Once he stops talking at 2:56, just fast forward to the 4:00 mark to see the rest of his commentary.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 6/27/2017 5:59:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, June 26, 2017

 
AdoramaPix has an interesting new product for showcasing your photography – Wood Prints. In these specialty prints, the wood grain actually shows through the lighter parts of your image.
 
Wood grain prints are 3/4" thick, water and heat resistent, feature sanded edges and arrive with predrilled mounting holes.
 
And through July 2, use promo code PXWOOD15 to save 15% on your AdoramaPix Wood Print.
Post Date: 6/26/2017 11:51:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
If you have been following our news page/feed, you know that a solar eclipse is coming to the USA on August 21st, just under 2 months away. While nearly 2 months may seem like a long time, solar filters have been in high demand and you can't count on the ones you want being in stock at the last minute. Retailers have purchased a finite amount of stock in anticipation of the demand, but as solar eclipses are so rare, you likely shouldn't assume retailers will refresh inventory of the otherwise-relatively-low-demand items once they run out.
 
In addition to simply acquiring your solar filter, you should be practicing with your camera, lens, tripod and filter setup well in advance of the big day. That will give you time to determine if your gear and techniques are adequate.
 
And keep in mind, even if you aren't located in an area allowing for a view of the total eclipse, much of the US will be able to enjoy a strong partial eclipse that's worth viewing and/or photographing.
 
Solar Eclipse 2017 Percentages Map

We have posted some great information about photographing the eclipse, so start making your plans and order necessary equipment sooner rather than later. Please heed the warnings about not looking at the sun directly, especially through a long focal length lens. Even some solar filters are not safe to look at the sun through. Permanent eye damage can happen before you are aware of it. While shopping for solar observation glasses, be sure that the glasses meet ISO 12312-2 guidelines for safety.
 
Solar Eclipse Photography Articles
 
Post Date: 6/26/2017 7:18:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this presentation, Chris Nicholson delves into what the park system offers to the photographer, and how to best research and prepare for a trip to explore the artistic opportunities within. Learn how to travel safely and photograph in the various environments found in the parks, including desert, alpine, forest and coastline. Many locations will be discussed.
 
Discover where to find valuable information about iconic and secret photo locations, how to stay powered up in the outdoors, and ideas for supplementary gear that will make a photo project more productive and enjoyable.
Post Date: 6/26/2017 5:37:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, June 25, 2017
Catchlights in a subject's eyes are usually desirable in a photograph. A bright reflection in the eye creates a sparkle that brings the subject to life. While this applies to human subjects, it also applies to wildlife subjects.
 
This mother black bear (I know that she is a mother because she stashed her 2 cubs high up in a huge hemlock tree 100 yards/m or so behind her) was hunting for food in the woods in Shenandoah National Park. The woods were quite dark due to a heavy tree canopy, but there was a small clearing in the direction the bear was headed. I moved ahead of her and positioned for what I envisioned being the ideal situation that could develop ... and the bear was unusually cooperative.
 
The clearing of course had an opening with sky visible. Sky, especially the sun if the sky is clear, is bright and can create the desired catchlights. However, the angle on the eyes still must be correct to get that reflection.
 
A key point here is that bears generally walk with their head hanging down low and a downward viewing angle on animals' eyes seldom results in a catchlight. This is another good reason to get level with (or even below) your animal subjects, increasing the likelihood of catchlight reflections being created.
 
The other issue created by the head-down walking is the that bear's head falls below most of the beautifully-rich-green plant life in this area. While a bear back showing above the green plants may be interesting, visible eyes are usually required to pass for a keeper image for most serious bear photographers.
 
So, in order to see the eyes in this location, I needed the bear to look up. In a case where I couldn't have planned things any better, this bear hit the clearing, stopped and looked around.
 
This was a randomly moving animal. Though it was not moving fast, it was moving most of the time and its was a bit unpredictable, including making 180° direction changes at times. I had the camera in M (Manual) mode, but was using the camera's autoexposure system via the Auto ISO setting. With these settings, I could simply roll the top dial to get the shutter speed I thought I needed at any moment.
 
If the bear stopped walking (though even then it was always moving its head from side to side), I immediately took insurance shots at confidently-fast shutter speeds and then quickly began shooting bursts at longer exposures in attempt to get some even higher-grade images without motion blur (the longer shutter speeds resulted in lower ISO settings for lower noise). The 1/250 setting used for this image is not close to stressing the capabilities of this image stabilized lens at 560mm on a monopod (used over a tripod for setup speed), but the bear was still moving some. Fortunately, the 1D X II image quality is extremely good at the auto-selected ISO setting of 2500 used here. When the bear began moving, I quickly rolled the top dial to get an action-stopping shutter speed again.
 
The vibrant green foliage in Shenandoah National Park works very well for wildlife images. The wet bear hints at the recent weather conditions. There had been dense fog and a considerable amount of rain and as the 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 2500 camera settings hint, this image was captured under heavy cloud cover.
 
Though this bear appears to be lit by flash, no flash was used. The lighting is all natural ambient light. The bear's position in the opening meant that just enough cloudy sky was visible to brighten the scene and create a nice sparkle in the bear's eyes.
 
So, those are some lessons from a momma black bear. Hopefully you found something said here to be applicable to your own photography!
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
560mm  f/5.6  1/250s
ISO 2500
5262 x 3508px
Post Date: 6/25/2017 12:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, June 23, 2017
Yesterday we reported that the 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Art and Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art lenses were scheduled to begin shipping today based on information posted by B&H on the items' product pages. However, B&H has changed the availability expectations on their website as follows:
 
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens – "Coming Soon"
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens – "End of Jun 2017"
 
However, Sigma posted press releases today which state that both lenses are scheduled to begin shipping in "July 2017."
 
So... it looks like preorder customers will be waiting a little longer to receive their new lenses.
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 6/23/2017 10:47:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results from the Sony a7R II have been added to the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens page.
 
The first comparison I wanted to see was the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G vs. f/2.8 GM OSS Lens. When set to f/4, the f/2.8 lens becomes clearly sharper, (mostly). There are many combinations to explore.
 
The Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 6/23/2017 9:20:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From SIGMA:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
Sigma Corporation would like to announce a firmware update for the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for Nikon is now available. By updating the firmware, the lens will offer improved AF performance.
 
For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro.
 
Applicable product
 
  • SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for Nikon
Benefits of this firmware update
 
  • It has improved the AF performance.
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/23/2017 9:11:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Tamron:
 
June 23, 2017, Commack, NY- Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world's first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and provides a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.)[2] is Tamron's accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • The world's first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto
    The new Model B028 is the world's first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food.
  • Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro
    The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.
  • Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron's basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses
    Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8 in. and a weight of 24.9 oz.[3] A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron's philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.
  • HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction
    The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron's exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.
  • Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm
    Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The shake-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses
    The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses[4]. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.
  • User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use
    With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.
  • Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product
    The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens's firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.
  • External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use
    While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens's functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.
Specifications
 
ModelB028
Focal Length 18-400mm
Maximum Aperture F/3.5-6.3
Angle of View (diagonal) 75°33' - 4° (for APS-C format)
Optical Construction16 elements in 11 groups
Minimum Object Distance*17.7 in (0.45m)
Maximum Magnification Ratio12.9
Filter Size72mm
Maximum Diameter79mm
Length** for Canon 4.9 in (123.9mm)
for Nikon 4.8 in (121.4mm)
Weight for Canon 25 oz (710g)
for Nikon24.9 oz (705g)
Aperture Blades 7 (circular diaphragm)
Minimum Aperture F/22-40
Image Stabilization Performance
(For Canon : EOS-80D is used / For Nikon: D7200 is used)
2.5 stops (CIPA Standards Compliant)
Standard Accessories Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens caps
Compatible Mounts Canon, Nikon
Model B028

* The minimum object distance may change if camera is used in live view mode.
** Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.
 
B&H has the Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD Lens available for preorder.
Post Date: 6/23/2017 5:44:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, June 22, 2017
Surprisingly, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lenses are scheduled to start shipping tomorrow, the day immediately following the acceptance of preorders (source: B&H).
 
Trusted Retailers
 
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art – B&H | Adorama
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art – B&H | Adorama
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 6/22/2017 8:36:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Late last month, Canon announced that they planned on purchasing roughly 14 million of its own shares with a 50 billion yen outlay ($450 million dollars). At the time, I remarked that Canon could only afford 12,976,343 shares with the allocated investment at the then-current stock price.
 
Canon has completed its stock acquisition ahead of schedule, obtaining 12,776,100 shares at a cost of 49,999,720,400 yen ($449,040,488.95 USD), which works out to approx. $35.15 USD per share. At the time of this post, Canon's stock is currently trading at $35.05 USD. [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/22/2017 7:04:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The wait is almost over; the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art lenses will be available for preorder from B&H at 1:00am Easter Time (roughly 2 hours after this post).
 
We expect there to be high demand for these lenses; be sure to preorder early if you want to receive your lens ASAP. Be sure to use the links above to support the site.
 
Update: Adorama also has the lenses available for preorder.
Categories: Preorders, Sigma News
Post Date: 6/21/2017 10:02:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has most of Apple's recently announced MacBooks and iMacs in stock with free expedited shipping.
Post Date: 6/21/2017 12:34:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
I've been using The Photographer's Ephemeris for several years now and it's one of the most useful photography apps I've found. By the looks of it, the app is getting even better. I'm hoping an Android version is not too far down the pipeline. When the iOS app launches, you'll be able to find it here. [Sean]
 
From The Photographer's Ephemeris:
 
The Photographer's Ephemeris 3D (TPE 3D) is a unique natural light visualization tool for outdoor and landscape photographers. It’s a 3D map-centric Sun, Moon and Milky Way calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.
 
Watch a sunrise from the future in a rich simulation of sunlight, moonlight and starlight set against the actual topography of your planned shooting location.
 
Need to see when the arch of the Milky Way will rise between two mountain peaks? Need to see what time in the afternoon the valley will lose direct light in September? Watch the light unfold under clear skies hours, days, weeks or years before you’re actually there in person.
 
Availability
 
We plan to soft launch TPE 3D in select markets (including Ireland and New Zealand) on Tuesday, June 20 2017.
 
We expect to make the app available worldwide on Tuesday, June 27.
 
TPE 3D requires iOS 10. It runs on all devices that support iOS 10, but more modern devices benefit from higher detail in the 3D topography and higher resolution shadows and stars.
 
Pricing
 
We plan to launch TPE 3D as a paid app, selling individually for $19.99 in the US ($30.99, Australia, 21,99 € Eurozone, £19.99 UK, based on current Apple pricing tiers).
 
A bundle will be available making TPE 3D available to users who already own TPE and/or The Photographer' Transit at reduced price. The bundle will launch at $24.99 in the US, for all three apps.
 
That means that if you have already paid $8.99 for TPE, you can purchase the bundle to add TPE 3D and TPT for $16.00. If you already own both TPE and TPT, you can complete your bundle for $12.00, representing a 40% discount off full price for TPE 3D.
 
(All pricing is subject to change.)
 
We expect to offer a pro subscription for future enhancements such as satellite maps and full offline support.
Post Date: 6/21/2017 10:32:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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