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 Tuesday, December 1, 2015
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
"What story are you trying to tell? When you begin to make decisions about your photograph, it is important to consider the story in your image. Are you photographing the food alone, specific ingredients, the chef, the staff or the season? Each decision you make about what to include or not include in your image will help with the story."
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/1/2015 6:14:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Joe McNally shows how to blend light with existing light in this behind the scenes video. Join him as he demonstrates Nikon's CLS system at Ralph's Donut shop in Cookeville, TN.
 
Note from Sean: I can't shake the feeling that this donut shop looks really familiar to me. :-)
 
B&H carries the Nikon D810 and Nikon Speedlights.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 12/1/2015 5:38:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, November 30, 2015
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R and Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III along with MTF measurements have been added to the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
Standard and on-camera product images are also available.
 
There are many comparisons that can be made with these results, but ... no other lens provides the 20mm f/1.4 equivalent. Here are two comparisons to get you started:
 
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art vs. Canon 24mm f/1.4L II Lens
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art vs. Nikon 24mm f/1.4G AF-S Lens (different camera formats)
 
B&H has the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/30/2015 8:07:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 26, 2015
My family wishes you and yours a great Thanksgiving!
 
The busyness of life pulls us down and consumes our time and energy, making it is easy to forget how blessed we really are. On this Thanksgiving holiday, make a conscious effort to take your attitude of gratitude to the next level. You and those around you will be thankful that you did!
 
Visit the turkey picture page for a few more details about this photograph.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/26/2015 7:33:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 25, 2015
From the Canon Professional Network:
In recent years, the photographic industry has called for clearer criteria on entering and judging World Press Photo Contest submissions. The World Press Photo Foundation has answered this call for the 2016 Photo Contest by publishing a new code of ethics, revised entry rules, and a transparent description of the judging and verification processes. The 2016 Photo Contest changes are part of a new strategy which the World Press Photo Foundation devised during a five-month review involving 17 consultations with photographers, editors and publishers at events in 15 locations worldwide.
 
Entries to the highly anticipated annual World Press Photo Contest are regarded as visual documents and are therefore expected to be an accurate and fair representation of the scene the photographer witnessed. The first entry rule concerning manipulation was enforced in 2009 and in the 2014 Photo Contest World Press Photo began requesting photographers submit original camera files. The challenge being addressed now is making contest participants more aware of what counts as manipulation.
 
Managing Director of World Press Photo, Lars Boering, says: “In the past two years 33 entries, out of a total of 240 in the second last round, were excluded, and one story was disqualified after the award. If we want pictures to be documents and evidence, we cannot accept the addition or removal of content, even if it is just ‘tidying up the image’.”
 
As photographs are at risk for manipulation during every stage in the photographic process – capture, production, publication, and circulation – the World Press Photo Foundation has introduced a new code of ethics and committed to continued use of independent digital analysts and a fact-checking team to review original camera files, metadata and caption accuracy.
See the entire article on the Canon Professional Network for full details.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/25/2015 8:11:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Karl Taylor YouTube Channel:
 
In this video Karl Taylor and Urs Recher demonstrate how to shoot a simple 3 light portrait using Siros lights and softboxes.
 
B&H carries Broncolor Siros lights and Broncolor light modifiers.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/25/2015 6:16:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, November 24, 2015
B&H has the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/24/2015 8:07:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon USA:
 
Wide Range of Digital SLR Cameras and Lenses Are Eligible, Even if Given as Gift, for Complimentary 13-Month Coverage
 
MELVILLE, N.Y. — Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, launched a promotion for CarePAK PLUS (which includes accidental damage protection) just in time for the holidays. Now through Saturday, January 9, 2016, Canon's CarePAK PLUS is available at no cost to customers who purchase from a list of six professional Canon EOS DSLR camera bodies and eight EF USM lenses plus “kit” lenses on eligible camera bodies from a Canon Authorized Dealer. Providing protection from accidental damage like coffee spills to additional hardware coverage from excessive wear and tear on mechanical and electrical issues, CarePAK PLUS coverage lasts 13 months from the date of product purchase. And as an added bonus, CarePAK PLUS is transferable, meaning the customer can give the product as a gift this holiday season and the benefits will transfer.
 
“This complimentary CarePAK PLUS promotion was developed so photographers can focus on capturing family festivities during the holidays, or shooting professionally on assignment, without having to worry about the costs and anxiety associated with accidental damage,” said Eliott Peck, senior vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A., Inc.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “By offering this promotion to our customers, we’re letting them know we stand firmly behind them and if it’s needed they can count on Canon’s 100 percent U.S.-based customer service.”
 
Eligible Canon cameras and lenses include:
 
Camera Bodies/Kits
 
Lenses
 
In addition, any lens included within a kit with an eligible body will be covered. For example, if a customer purchases the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens kit, the lens will be covered since it is included in the box with the body (also known as a “hard bundle”).
 
The CarePAK PLUS promotion provides protection from kids, pets, and life including accidental damage such as drops, spills, power surges and other unforeseen events. It also includes additional hardware coverage from excessive wear and tear on mechanical and electrical issues. Those that do require a repair under this promotion will also enjoy priority service, free return shipping and support direct from Canon, never a third party. Canon’s CarePAK PLUS gives consumers the confidence that their product will be serviced by Canon factory trained technicians using only Genuine Canon parts. Customers who activate the complimentary CarePAK PLUS offer after taking delivery of their covered product will also have the option to extend the coverage for up to three years from date of purchase at an additional cost.
 
Details of the promotion are available at http://www.usa.canon.com/carepak-plus including the terms and conditions and the link to register eligible products.
 
B&H carries Canon gear which features their excellent Service and Support staff.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 11/24/2015 9:47:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
 
Demonstrating the strength of our award-winning service and support, we helped Gloria, a 91 year-old grandmother with almost no photography experience, put together something very special for her family. Watch as she pulls off the impossible.
 
B&H carries Canon gear which features their excellent Service and Support staff.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/24/2015 9:04:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Since I recently declared what I thought was World's Most Beautiful Lens, I thought that it would only be fitting to share what I thought was the world's ugliest lens. Problem is ... I find all lenses beautiful, so singling out a lens for this award was challenging for me. To quickly narrow down the candidate field, I limited this award to only lenses currently available for retail purchase in new, unopened box condition.
 
Looking completely past performance and functionality, I'm going to pick the Nikon 16mm Fisheye Lens. There were some Tokina lenses that had my attention, but ... sorry Nikon.
 
The 16's gnarly (not in the good way) design elements include a short, built-in lens hood, crinkle paint finish, coarsely patterned focus and aperture rings, a part sticking out, lots of white paint (with a little yellow and orange thrown in) and an aperture ring marked in two different font sizes. The nearly $1,000 price tag really sets off this homely (by the North American definition) looking lens.
 
Your turn. Which lens do you think is most in need of a design modernization?
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/24/2015 7:50:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, November 23, 2015
Just as many retailers depend on the Christmas holiday shopping season for their necessary support, we depend on your support during the Christmas holiday shopping season to keep this site going (and to keep it free to all). Our support page details the various ways that you can help keep us going, but the primary way we receive the necessary operating revenue is through your purchases. At no extra cost to you, starting your shopping using any links on the site provides the significant percentage of what is needed to keep us going. Note that support comes from the purchase of anything, not just camera gear. And while the Christmas shopping boost is as important for us as it is for retailers, making this site your first stop when shopping year round is even better.
 
The first reminder I want to share is that, just because you see a sale advertisement this Christmas season, including those mentioning "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday", doesn't mean that the price being advertised is a great one. Many of the items printed large or displayed large on a web page are at the same "sale" price as they have been for quite some time and are available for the same price (or less) at other retailers. For example, ads for Canon cameras and lenses often utilize an existing rebate to promote a "special" and B&H probably has the same or better price.
 
My second reminder, primarily for those of us in the USA, is that, even though start of the Christmas shopping season is ever-earlier, the Thanksgiving holiday is yet to come. Do not skip anticipation and celebration of this great holiday. Plan now for a special time of giving thanks with family and friends. You and those around you will all benefit from this celebration and the state of heart that giving thanks brings with it.
 
I'll get us started by saying, thanks for your continued support! It is greatly appreciated. Without you, this resource would not exist.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/23/2015 8:17:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A couple of years ago I finally converted all my Manfrotto RC2 Quick Release plates and clamps to the Arca-Swiss standard. Looking back, I don't know why I waited so long.
 
Arca-style plates and clamps lock down your gear so well that they've become the industry standard in camera support. And thanks to the system's popularity, you can buy Arca-style plates and clamps from a myriad of manufacturers, meaning there's a brand to fit nearly every budget. As there aren't a lot of technologically demanding aspects of the plate and clamp system, I oftentimes buy well-reviewed (and significantly less expensive) plates and clamps from the cheaper brands like Sunwayfoto and Desmond. Generally speaking, I've been very happy with these price conscious brands.
 
Unfortunately, there's a small catch. Even though the Arca system is indeed an industry standard, there still seems to be some variation in the widths of plates among the wide range of manufacturers. If you're using a typical quick release clamp that is tightened with a knob, the slight variation in plate widths is no problem and you can use any plate with utter disregard for the brand name. But if you're using a clamp with a lever release, things can get a big trickier.
 
A lever release is designed to clamp down with a sufficient amount of tension at a very specific width. Even though the clamp can typically be adjusted to different widths, the adjustment usually requires the use of a hex key. If you're using several plates from a range of manufacturers, the adjustments necessary would be less than convenient when switching between cameras. This is the exact problem I experienced with a recent QR plate purchase.
 
Backstory
 
I own a Glidecam HD-4000 that I use for video production. As I wanted to use the gimbal stabilizer with more than one DSLR, I decided to use an Arca-style clamp on the top to make switching out cameras faster and easier. Finding just the right QR clamp proved challenging as I needed one whose clamping mechanism did not extend beyond the bottom of the base of the clamp. That requirement ruled out all of the knob style clamps I came across. The one product I found that worked was the Desmond DLVC-50 Lever Clamp (seen above). Its tensioning lever does not extend past the base of the clamp meaning that it can sit flat on top of the Glidecam. Its "skeleton" design saves weight and the hole in its lever makes it easy to tighten and release even with the camera in place. I adjusted the clamp with the included Allen wrench so that it provides the optimal tension when used with my Kirk L-brackets and the setup worked well – but not perfectly.
 
I'm a huge battery grip fan and both my cameras have L-brackets designed for use with the battery grip. And while using a battery grip with the Glidecam works, it's trickier getting everything balanced when the weight of your camera and lens sits that much higher off the stabilizer's base. Therefore, I bought a universal QR plate for the times I wanted to use the Glidecam with a battery grip-free camera. Unfortunately, the plate proved very slightly narrower than the Arca-style plates on the Kirk L-brackets, meaning that the plate would slide back and forth in the clamp when tightened.
 
To prevent this, I could of course adjust the clamp so that it was properly calibrated for the new plate. However, I wanted to leave the clamp's adjustment as-is just in case I wanted to use it with a DSLR with the battery grip attached (for times when extra battery power trumps ease of stabilization). I considered returning the plate and getting one from another manufacturer in the hopes that the new plate would fit better. But then I had an idea...
 
The Fix
 
Gaffer tape.
 
Or in this case, technically speaking, spike tape (a narrow width gaffer tape). I cut the gaffer tape so that it would fit along the lower half of the groove where the QR clamp should come into contact with the plate. Two small strips (one on each side) was all it took to provide the perfect amount of friction between the plate and the clamp. If I had needed an even smaller adjustment, could have used gaffer's tape only on one side of the plate.
 
Will this solution work forever? Probably not. With enough use, the tape would likely wear down enough to warrant replacement. However, my guess is that because the tape is consistently being squished against the plate via the clamp, it'll stay in place relatively well. It should only experience wear during the mounting and unmounting of the camera, thereby leading to a relatively long lifespan for the fix.
 
In the end, a $12.50 plate and a few cents of spike tape worked just as well for my needs as buying a comparable Kirk-branded, $50.00 plate. Gaffer's tape never ceases to amaze me when it comes to its usefulness in photography.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/23/2015 8:45:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, November 20, 2015
The other day, I looked over a large, steep, grassy clearing on our property. I quickly noticed a round orange object approximately 400' below. The bright color caught my attention, the round shape caused me the think it was a pumpkin and I later hiked down to confirm my guess.
 
What I found was a medium-large pumpkin with deep bear teeth marks in it. Upon my return to the house, the girls informed me that the pumpkin was from our deck. The bear had carried the pumpkin away and likely, at some point, put it down, only to have it roll hundreds of feet down the hill. While the bear story is one for our memories, the fact that orange stands out so much is the lesson for today.
 
Orange is a fall color and a primary source of that orange comes in the form of pumpkins. It is quite likely that one will show up at your house in the fall and if not, a neighbor likely has one that you could borrow. Or, take the family to the farm or market, photograph your people there and then bring home some color to work with. At home, spend some more time getting creative with your color source, increasing the color orange in your portfolio.
 
Then, print your own fall decoration for next year, perhaps in the form of a metal print (love these).
 
This simple image was captured in the shade of our front porch. I explored various angles on the subject, trying to consume the entire frame with it. This angle seemed to work nicely.
 
After you have your orange, explore the yellows and other colors available in the other fall favorite, gourds!
 
Camera and Lens Settings
35mm  f/1.4  1/500s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/20/2015 7:55:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 19, 2015
Image quality results have been added to the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens page.
 
Unlike many of the new Zeiss Milvus lenses, this model has a new optical design. The difference between the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 and the previous version of this lens is dramatic! Nicely done, Zeiss!
 
Here are some more comparisons that you might be interested in:
 
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Lens
Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Lens
 
Another comparison that warrants discussion is the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 vs. Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens. The Otus retains the lead in center of the frame performance, but ... the Milvus is sharper in the corners. Adding support to these results is the MTF comparison between these lenses. This performance combined with a price tag that is far less than half of the Otus is going drive popularity of this Milvus lens model.
 
B&H has the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 Lens in Nikon mount in stock with the Canon mount version available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/19/2015 9:28:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
The answer to the "When opportunities arise around the house, which lens do you grab?" question for me is often whichever lens(es) I happen to be evaluating at the time. Some lenses are more easily pressed into general purpose use than others, largely due the focal length(s). Fortunately, 35mm focal length-containing lenses have been very popular lately and that focal length is great for general purpose use.
 
Especially great was when I was putting the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens through its evaluation. Not only does this lens have the right focal length, but it also has a wide aperture, ideal for those around-the-house needs and often ready to capture high quality images without any additional lighting needed. That this lens has such great image quality at that f/1.4 max aperture is especially great.
 
On this day, Brittany came home tired and took a moment to relax with the dog that is of course tired and relaxing most of the time. My currently-mounted lens was the 35 L II and it allowed me to snap a few cute pictures using only ambient window light.
 
What is your favorite around-the-house lens?
 
Camera and Lens Settings
35mm  f/1.4  1/100s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 11/19/2015 9:01:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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