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 Tuesday, January 12, 2016
For a limited time, B&H has the E-Image EK60AAM Fluid Drag Video Head and Tripod available for $179.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $359.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 17.6 lb Capacity Fluid Drag Tripod Head
  • Sliding Balance Plate with Safety Lock
  • Spring Loaded Counterbalance System
  • Fixed Tilt and Pan Drag
  • 75mm Claw Ball
  • 2 Stage Tripod with Mid Level Spreader
  • 31 to 63" Height Range
  • Independent Leg Adjustments
  • Removable Anti-Slip Pads / Spike Covers
  • Travel Soft Case
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 5:12:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 11, 2016
The New York Public library recently released 180,000 of its digital scans into the public domain. The works include manuscripts, sheet music, stereoscopic photographs as well as maps that are free to use for any purpose.
 
These images should be especially useful to those photographers who like to combine and overlay images for graphic art or illustration purposes. A rather interesting tool for browsing the images can be found here. [Sean]
 
From the New York Public Library Blog:
 
Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!
 
The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves. Online users of the NYPL Digital Collections website will find more prominent download links and filters highlighting restriction-free content; while more technically inclined users will also benefit from updates to the Digital Collections API enabling bulk use and analysis, as well as data exports and utilities posted to NYPL's GitHub account. These changes are intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers, and Internet users of all kinds. All subsequently digitized public domain collections will be made available in the same way, joining a growing repository of open materials.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 2:08:34 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Nikon Europe YouTube Channel:
 
The wait is over. The Nikon D500, our latest DX-format flagship is here! A class-leading DX-format digital SLR camera that condenses the power of an FX-format Digital SLR into DX-format agility with always-on connectivity & powerful 153-point AF system and much more.
 
D500 Primary features
 
  • Powerful 153-point AF achieves superior subject acquisition performance across a wide range of situations
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps for up to 200 shots (14-bit lossless compressed RAW)
  • Unique benefits of a compact DX system — added agility in telephoto shooting
  • 4K UHD video, suitable for professional productions
  • New EXPEED 5 image-processing engine achieves sensitivity up to ISO 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000).
  • Touch-screen, tilting 8-cm/3.2-in. high-resolution monitor ensures more comfortable shooting for professionals and advanced amateurs.
  • SnapBridge support lets you link with a smart device via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (optional) enables high-speed wired/wireless LAN communication
B&H has the Nikon D500 DSLR Camera and MB-D17 Battery Grip available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/11/2016 1:31:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Photoshelter:
 
Ready to make 2016 your best year yet?
 
The 2016 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you create a strong business plan, target the clients you want, and make more money this year.
 
Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:
 
  • Define your products & services
  • Determine your audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix your finances
  • Tune-up your website
  • Build your Search Engine Optimization
  • Get social
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients
Build your photo business plan and stick to it this year. Get started with these smart business tips packed into an easy-to-read workbook.
 
Download your copy of the The 2016 Photo Business Plan Workbook today!
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 12:14:16 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Review.
 
The focal length range is great.
 
B&H has the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/11/2016 8:28:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
According to the Egami Blog, Sigma has filed a patent for a 120-600mm f/5-6.3 optical design which could indicate that the current 150-600mm Sports and/or Contemporary models may receive an even larger focal range when replaced.
 
Description of Patent
 
Patent Publication No. 2015-203827
 
  • Published 2015.11.16
  • Filing date 2014.4.16
Example:
 
  • Zoom ratio 4.66
  • Focal length 125.15 250.18 583.80
  • F number 4.86 5.84 6.50
  • Total angle of view 2? 19.47 9.76 4.18
  • The image height Y 21.63
  • Overall length of the lens 314.20 371.31 424.96
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 5:25:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the GigaPan EPIC Pro Robotic Camera Mount available for $595.00 with free shipping. Regularly $995.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Automatically Captures Panoramic Images
  • Gigapixel Panoramas with Amazing Detail
  • For Camera & Lenses up to 10 lb (4.5kg)
  • Free GigaPan Stitch Software Download
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack and Charger
  • Digital Trigger Cables Included
  • Includes Camera Mount Vice/Clamp
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 5:15:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, January 9, 2016
B&H has the Tamrac Zuma 7 Photo/iPad/Netbook Triple Access Backpack available for $34.95 with free shipping. Regularly $119.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Durable 600D PolyTek Exterior
  • Cordura Nylon Lining/Waterproof Coating
  • Holds DSLR with 6.5" (16.5 cm) Lens
  • Holds Several Extra Lenses Plus Flash
  • Holds Tamrac's ZipShot Mini Tripod
  • Triple Access System
  • Foam-Padded Compartment for iPad
  • Mesh Pockets - Adapter/Card/Battery
  • Larger Pockets - Small Camera/Phone/iPod
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/9/2016 8:34:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, January 8, 2016
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Refurbished Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens available for $469.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,096.95 new.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/8/2016 1:28:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Focus Camera has a Canon 5D Mark III + 24-105L, Battery Grip & 50mm f/1.8 II Bundle available for $3,099.00 with free shipping. Compare at $3,099.00 without battery grip and 50mm lens.
 
Bundle Includes
 
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  • Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB CompactFlash Memory Card
  • Extra third-party battery
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/8/2016 9:35:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
While attempting a few macro shots yesterday, I was inspired to turn my lens on a subject that has always fascinated me because of its intrinsic beauty and complexity – the eye.
 
Gear Used
 
EXIF: f/10, 1/80 sec, ISO 320
 
Thought Process and Execution
 
As I wanted a macro shot of the eye, my lens choice was easy. However, as I wanted to get as much magnification as possible, I stacked all three of the Kenko Extension Tubes behind the lens. This shortened the minimum focus distance allowing me to get even closer to the subject for a larger than 1.0x maximum magnification.
 
How much larger? Well, let's see.
 
With the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM...
 
Update: I revised this section to make the calculation simpler.
 
Magnification = Native Maximum Magnification + (Extension Length / Focal Length)
Magnification = 1.0 + [(12 + 20 + 36) / 100]
Magnification = 1.0 + [68 / 100]
Magnification = 1.0 + .68
Magnification = 1.68
 
Note that the magnification value assumes we are working at Minimum Focus Distance.
 
Another factor we need to consider is the effective aperture in this scenario. As magnification increases, the effective aperture gets narrower. Here's how the effective aperture is calculated:
 
Effective Aperture = Aperture Setting + (Aperture Setting * Magnification)
Effective Aperture = 10 + (10 * 1.68)
Effective Aperture = 10 + 16.8
Effective Aperture = f/26.8
 
Working with this kind of magnification brings with it a couple of challenges. One challenge is that your depth of field becomes very thin. Even at f/10, there's only a sliver of the image that's in focus (the reflection of the top eyelashes). And on top of that, a higher than 1.0x magnification makes the viewfinder very dark. Minimal DOF combined with a dark viewfinder makes precise focusing a challenge to achieve.
 
And because of the very narrow effective aperture, a lot of light is needed for a proper exposure. In this case, I used a manually controlled, shoe-mounted Canon 580EX set to nearly full power (at ISO 320) in order to obtain a decent exposure. Of course, the RoundFlash Ringflash Adapter I was using resulted in a certain amount of light loss from diffusion, but I felt it was the best modifier for the look I was going for and well worth the penalty of a slightly higher ISO.
 
As far as the shutter speed goes, there was no specific reason I chose 1/80 second over anything else. In this particular instance, any reasonably fast shutter speed would work (even one that would likely show motion blur during at normal magnifications). That's because the light captured in this scene is provided entirely from the flash which has an extremely short duration. In effect, the shutter speed was the flash duration.
 
I typically use a tripod when shooting macro subjects. But in this case, using a tripod seemed a bit impractical. That's because with such a small DOF, I thought it would be easier for me to adjust the camera back and forth slightly to achieve focus rather than try and direct the subject to move her head the same amount. I also typically use 10x Live View to aid in manual focusing when shooting macro subjects. But in this case, using 10x (or 5x) Live View would have had two big consequences: the inability to see the entire framing and a loss of stability needed for precise manual focusing (as my eye would not be on the viewfinder).
 
I overcame focus challenges by sitting on the coffee table in front of the subject and bracing my elbows against my knees with the camera pressed firmly to my face. This gave me a relatively rigid platform where I could sway ever so slightly forward and backward as the subject stared straight into the lens. This also allowed me the ability to easily adjust framing on the fly for slightly different looks between shots. I concentrated on timing my shots when the reflection of her top eyelashes looked sharpest (a challenge with the dark viewfinder, but not impossible). After several attempts, I finally had the framing and focus that I wanted.
 
In post-processing, I increased clarity to help bring out details in the iris, upped the saturation a little and made relatively minor adjustments to brightness/contrast. The image is uncropped.
 
You can find a full resolution version on my Flickr photostream.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/8/2016 8:58:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for an EF-M 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 DO IS STM.
 
Patent Description
 
Patent Publication No. 2015-232674
 
  • Published 2015.12.24
  • Filing date 2014.6.11
Example 1
 
  • Zoom ratio 5.27
  • Focal length 55.04 135.00 290.01
  • F-number 4.60 5.18 6.30
  • Angle of view 13.94 5.78 2.70
  • Image height 13.66 13.66 13.66
  • Overall length of the lens 136.00 175.46 192.00
  • BF 35.50 35.50 35.50
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/8/2016 5:24:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Tamrac 5725 Zuma 5 Photo/Laptop Shoulder Bag (Black/Burgundy) available for $24.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Holds DSLR, 7.25" Lens, 3 Lenses, Flash
  • Or Holds Mirrorless Camera System
  • Holds iPad or 14" Laptop
  • Holds ZipShot Tripod/Accessories
  • 600 Denier PolyTek Exterior
  • Dual Mesh Pockets for ZipShot/Water
  • Three Front Windowpane Mesh Pockets
  • Foam Padded Interior / Movable Dividers
  • Zippered Closure / Quick-Release Buckle
  • Adjustable Shoulder Strap/ Top Handle
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/8/2016 5:12:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 7, 2016
Our friends at MindShift Gear just released what might be the three lightest weight outdoor photography backpacks ever (the new UltraLight Single 16L backpack weighs in at a slim 1.9 pounds, including rain cover). The UltraLight Sprint 16L, UltraLight Dual 25L, and UltraLight Dual 36L side-panel designs allow quick access to cameras, lenses, and accessories without having to take off the bag.
 
The backpacks also offer generous space for personal belongings, zippered storage, a hydration reservoir and electronics. Additional features include an integrated tripod mounting system and highly breathable shoulder straps. The UltraLight Dual 25L and UltraLight Dual 36L include a removable camera compartment and shoulder strap that can be worn separately when you wish to drop your full pack and set off with even less weight.
 
From MindShift Gear:
 
SANTA ROSA, CALIF – Outdoor photographers can now go faster and farther with what may be the lightest photo daypacks ever: The UltraLight series from MindShift Gear. The UltraLight Sprint 16L, UltraLight Dual 25L, and UltraLight Dual 36L side-panel designs allow quick access to cameras, lenses, and accessories without first having to take off the bag. The backpacks also offer generous space for personal belongings, zippered storage, a hydration reservoir and electronics. Additional features include an integrated tripod mounting system and highly breathable shoulder straps.
 
The UltraLight Dual 25L and UltraLight Dual 36L also include a removable camera compartment and shoulder strap that can be worn separately when users wish to drop their full pack and bag a peak with even less weight.
 
“All aspects of the UltraLight backpacks were refined with weight in mind, including lightweight fabric, thinner webbing, lighter buckles, and shoulder straps with less padding,” said Doug Murdoch, MindShift Gear’s CEO and lead designer. “This allows the outdoor enthusiast to be able to go farther and faster as they are not weighed down by their pack.”
 
GEAR CAPACITY
 
UltraLight Sprint 16L:
 
  • Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and one to two standard zoom lenses, or primes
  • Holds one compact DSLR (Rebel, 3300 or 5300 series) and one to two lenses
  • Fits up to a 10” tablet or most 1.5 liter hydration reservoirs
  • Nine liters of capacity for personal gear
  • Maximum lens size: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to a DSLR body
UltraLight Dual 25L:
 
  • Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and one standard zoom lens or two primes
  • Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and two to three lenses
  • Fits up to a 15” laptop or most 2.5 liter hydration reservoirs
  • Fourteen liters of capacity for personal gear
  • Maximum lens size: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to a DSLR body
UltraLight Dual 36L:
 
  • Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and two to four standard zoom lenses
  • Holds one gripped DSLRs (1Dx or D4s) and two to three standard zoom lenses
  • Fits up to a 15” laptop or most three liter hydration reservoirs
  • Twenty liters of capacity for personal gear
  • Maximum lens size: 24-70mm f/2.8 attached to body with 70-200 f/2.8 detached
MATERIALS
 
Exterior: For superior water resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. It also has high-quality YKK Fuse zippers, 100D nylon shadow rip-stop, 420D high-density nylon, 210D velocity nylon, 320G UltraStretch mesh, 350G airmesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
 
Interior: 200D poly, velex, high-density closed-cell foam, belly-o mesh, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
 
PRODUCT DIMENSIONS, VOLUME & WEIGHT
 
UltraLight Sprint 16L
External Dimensions: (25 x 47 x 15 cm)
Camera Compartment: (24 x 14 x 12 cm)
Tablet/hydration compartment: (24.5 x 27 cm)
Volume: 16 liters
Weight: 1.9lbs (includes rain cover)
 
UltraLight Dual 25L
External Dimensions: (26 x 55 x 17 cm)
Camera Compartment: (23 cm x 19 cm x 13 cm)
Laptop/hydration compartment: (26 x 40 cm) W x H
Volume: 25 liters
Weight: 2.8 lbs (includes rain cover, removable shoulder strap, removable camera compartment)
 
UltraLight Dual 36L
External Dimension: (28 x 60 x 22 cm)
Camera Compartment: (25 X 25 X 16.5cm)
Laptop/hydration compartment: (26.5 x 49cm) W x H
Volume: 36 liters
Weight: 3.3 lbs (includes rain cover, removable shoulder strap, removable camera compartment)
 
MindShift Gear has the Ultralight Sprint 16L, Dual 25L and Dual 36L daypacks in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/7/2016 3:10:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Pittsburgh, home to three rivers (Ohio, Alleghany and Monongahela), is also home to great reflections and many bridges. The reflections of the city, however, are usually color blurs due to wakes from boat and barge traffic. Thanks to the wave-rebounding solid vertical river walls, the waves seem to never dissipate and when planning this long daytrip, I was visualizing a creamy-smooth river of color during the blue hour and later. What I found on this day was ... no boat traffic and very different images than I had visualized. Different in a good way, I think.
 
The most difficult part of this image capture? Being there.
 
To take the actual picture, I simply stood on the north shore of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail river walk, centered between the Robert Clemente and Andy Warhol bridges, set the aperture to f/16 to get the star burst effect from lights, adjusted the framing to level (both pitch and yaw to keep the buildings and their reflections vertically straight) and pressed the shutter release (mirror lockup with 1 second delay).
 
The RAW file post processing was not challenging. In DPP, highlights were reduced (-5), shadows were boosted (+5) and saturation was added. While this result was very good, I opted to brighten the reflection in the water slightly (1/3 stop) using a simple HDR process. Two 16-bit TIFF files were created (one at -.83 EV and one at -.5 EV) and combined in Photoshop.
 
Being in Pittsburgh for the day meant renting a car the night before (4 drivers with 2 cars is not working so well), driving 4 hours, hiking roughly 3 miles with a full MindShift Gear BackLight 26L (including two tripods, extra cloths, food and water) and overall, being outdoors for 9 hours with temperatures in the teens and twenties (°F). I arrived home at 2:30 AM and got up to return the car in the AM.
 
The beauty of our brains is that, in a few days, the only thing I will remember is having spent a great day in a beautiful city and the images will last for a lifetime. I'm ready to go back.
 
Another beauty is the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens that I was "focused" on for the day. I referred to this lens as a "scapes" lens and it performed excellently in its cityscapes roll this day.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/7/2016 12:52:27 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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