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 Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Len
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs, measurements and standard product images have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens review page.
 
Note that product images for this lens are included both large and small lens comparison tools with some images being cropped in the small lens format. Here is an example comparing the Sigma Sports, Sigma Contemporary and Tamron 150-600mm Lens in the small lens tool. These three lenses are also very interesting to compare in the other tools.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens in Canon mount in stock with Nikon and Sigma mount version available for preorder.
Post Date: 5/26/2015 8:51:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I live in a fenced-in property which is situated squarely in the middle of a medium-sized town. I have often used the fence that borders my driveway as a background for various portraits. It's clean, simple, and works well especially when it falls just out of focus.
 
As the winter months transition into spring, however, sections of the fence would become covered in vines. In previous years, I did everything I could to avoid using those sections of fence for my portraits. I considered them a hindrance for tarnishing my clean-looking background during the warm and inviting seasons perfect for portraiture.
 
But as I walked to my mailbox last week, it finally hit me. "Why don't I use the vines for a tightly framed portrait? Hmm..."
 
I must have past that particular section of the fence 500 times over the past three years, but it never occurred to me to actually feature the vines in a portrait. A few days later Amanda and I decided to give it a go.
 
I set up a tripod mounted 7D Mark II with my favorite portrait lens, the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. So why would I use the 7D Mark II in place of my primary body, the 5D Mark III? For this particular portrait, there was little appreciable difference between the two bodies. I didn't need the full-frame performance gains at high ISOs (I shot this using ISO 100) and I didn't need the shallow DOF advantage either as I would be using a relatively narrow aperture (f/7.1) to keep the details of the background recognizable.
 
Considering the f/7.1 aperture, you might wonder why I chose the EF 85mm f/1.2L II. As I said, it's my favorite portrait lens. The fixed 85mm focal length is a flattering focal length for portraits and the lens is especially sharp when stopped down (although, depending on the subject, extreme sharpness may not necessarily be a beneficial quality when it comes to portrait lenses).
 
For the main light I used a monolight diffused by a Mola Demi beauty dish fitted with a HoneyGrids Universal Grid. The background light was provided by a Canon 580EX Speedlite flash fitted with an Opteka OSG18 1/8-Inch Universal Honeycomb Grid. Using the grid on the main light and positioning it so that it pointed downward limited the amount of light that spilled on the background allowing me to easily control the luminosity of the background with the Speedlite. The grid on the Speedlite kept its light from striking the subject and concentrated its output in a more focused area on the background.
 
This is what the setup and fence looked like:
 
Amanda in front of Vines Setup

I believe similar results could have been achieved with lower cost lights and modifiers (a speedlight with a gridded softbox, possibly?).
 
When post-processing the final image, I actually reduced the luminosity of the background preferring the leaves to be a little darker than what I captured in-camera. I also used a selective color mask to make the shadows appear cooler/more bluish in tone. I was going for a Renaissance painting look for the portrait, and the edits helped push the image in that direction (in my opinion).
 
The takeaway from this shoot is aptly summed up by the title. With spring in full swing, beautiful backgrounds are popping up everywhere. Take a minute to scan your surroundings – even in your own yard – to see if there's something you've been overlooking just like me. :-)
Post Date: 5/26/2015 7:58:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 5/26/2015 7:49:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens available for $674.00. Compare at $799.00 after $100.00 instant savings.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Post Date: 5/26/2015 6:56:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, May 22, 2015
GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camera
eBay (viaGoPro_Certified) has the Refurbished GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camera available for $129.99 with free shipping. Compare at $199.99.
 
Features
 
  • Wearable, mountable design
  • Immersive, wide-angle capture of your favorite experiences
  • Built-in Wi-Fi enables remote control via optional Wi-Fi Remote plus live video preview and playback with the free GoPro App
  • Rugged housing is waterproof to 197’ (60m)
  • Compatible with all GoPro mounts
Post Date: 5/22/2015 12:42:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D810 DSLR Camera with 24-120mm Lens
B&H has the Nikon D810 with AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens available or $3,696.95 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $4,596.95.
 
Includes:
 
  • Nikon D810 DSLR Camera
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens
  • SanDisk - 16GB Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10)
  • Ruggard - Commando 36 DSLR Shoulder Bag
  • Watson - EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V, 1800mAh)
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 12:30:06 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Professional Services Logo
Nikon Professional Services members in the USA are now eligible for a 20% discount on repairs.
 
An excerpt from the NPS Member Discount FAQ reads:
Q: How do I schedule a NPS member repair?
A: Qualifying NPS members schedule repairs via: https://repair.nikonusa.com/ProductEntry
Select NPS member radio button and enter your NPS member # on the contact data step.
 
Q: Am I eligible for the NPS member 20% repair discount?
A: 20% repair discount is available only to full status NPS members in good standing who are incompliance with the NPS Member Terms and Conditions at the time the repair is requested.
 
Discount is taken off the base repair cost before applicable taxes and does not include shipping charges. Valid only for repairs on Nikon products (excluding Nikon 1 and COOLPIX products) made at Nikon Inc. Service Centers in New York and California that were received by Nikon Inc. directly from the NPS Member and not via a Nikon Authorized Repair Station or other third party. Discount offer may bediscontinued at any time at Nikon's sole discretion. Offer is not valid for previous repairs.
 
Q: When is the discount applied?
A: Once your equipment for repair is received at either Nikon Inc. Service Centers in New York or California and is written up by Nikon Inc., you will receive a Nikon Service Estimate/Acknowledgement email. On the Nikon Service Estimate/Acknowledgement email, download the pdf or select the link to view discount.
 
Discount reflected on line item—Repair NPS Discount
 
You will see the final discount listed in the charges breakout section on the Invoice Repair document packed in with the repaired item(s). The discount may not be reflected on the initial schedule a repair self-service process or the product repair packet documents.
To learn more about Nikon Professional Services, check out the official NPS wesite.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 8:58:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B+W 77mm 3.0 (10-Stop) ND Filter
Amazon is featuring the B+W 77mm 3.0 (10-Stop) ND filter as a Lightning Deal and is available for $73.99. Compare at $90.41.
 
Need a protective filter? Amazon is also featuring the B+W 77mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M) as a Lightning Deal and is available for $49.99. Compare at $59.75.
Post Date: 5/22/2015 8:34:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary
From Sigma:
 
SIGMA 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary F/SIGMA and F/NIKON are scheduled to start shipping towards the end of this month.
 
B&H carries the SIGMA 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary lens.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 8:11:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just Reflections by the Canon 24-105mm IS STM Lens
Sometimes, I find images comprised of only reflections more interesting than images containing only the subjects being reflected. To capture such an image requires a reflective surface and something to be reflected in it.
 
Most locations share a similar nearby reflection source: water. When water is the reflective surface and there is at least a small amount of motion on the water surface, no two photos will be the same. You can capture 20 images from a tripod-mounted camera and still have no duplicates. Such images can sometimes work together for a low-effort collection.
 
Water in motion is ... in motion. To stop motion requires an adequately short shutter speed and to achieve stopped motion in this frame, I opted for ISO 400 (vs. the least-noisy ISO 100 option). The final image has very little noticeable noise and the small waves are not showing blur.
 
For this image, I found a brightly colored boat as the reflective subject and adjusted my position until I had what I felt was ideal framing. I especially like how the top and bottom borders of the frame are relatively uninterrupted by lines in this composition.
 
Keep in mind that reflection images often benefit from increased contrast and saturation in post processing.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
105mm  f/10.0  1/40s
ISO 400
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:30:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Suspension Mount
B&H has the Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Suspension Mount available for preorder with free expedited shipping and an expected availability date of June 15.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Broadcast Quality Condenser Microphone
  • Rycote Lyre Shock-Mount
  • 40 Hz to 20 kHz Frequency Response
  • Lightweight
  • Lower Noise and Higher Sensitivity
  • 9V Battery Powered
  • 1/8" Mini-Jack Output
  • Two-Step High Pass Filter
  • Three-Position Level Control
  • Includes Camera Shoe Mount
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:48:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshop Touch App Icon
Yesterday we posted a video where Adobe's Bryan O'Neil Hughes was showing off what's in development for mobile platforms, mainly the handling of large resolution files, the healing brush and liquify features. However, I failed to notice the accompanying blog post at the time.
 
In article, Hughes announces the end of Photoshop Touch:
"Sometimes building for the future means we need to make hard choices and today I am also announcing that we are discontinuing Photoshop Touch. For those of you who have been using Photoshop Touch, thank you and please continue creating amazing work with it; while it will no longer be available in stores as of May 28th and we won’t ship further updates, it will remain completely functional on your devices for the foreseeable future. For further information on how this change could impact your workflow, please visit here.
 
Photoshop Touch was available across platforms and so I’d like to leave all of you on Android with some good news – we’re actively developing new mobile applications for Android and will share those with you very soon."
For what it's worth, I have Photoshop Touch on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and I've only used it a handful of times. While decently capable as an editing app, it wasn't quite as intuitive as I thought it should be.
 
Maybe Adobe thought so as well?
 
For whatever reasons, the app will be removed from app stores on May 28. If you'd like to grab a copy of the app before it's gone, now's the time to snatch it up (Android | iOS). Otherwise, Android users have something to look forward to – we just don't know what or when exactly that will be.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:42:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit
For a limited time, B&H has the Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit available for $59.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $99.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern
  • Durable Aluminum-Alloy Construction
  • AA Battery Powered
  • Shockmount and Stand Mount Included
  • Camera Shoe Adapter Included
  • Foam Windshield and Furry Wind Muff
  • Cushioned Hand Grip
  • Foam-Padded Hardcase and Cables Included
Post Date: 5/22/2015 6:34:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 21, 2015

 
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
 
Get a sneak peek of an early prototype of Adobe's mobile retouching from Bryan O'Neil Hughes.
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) includes Lightroom CC across desktop, web and mobile, Photoshop CC and Photoshop Mix (for iPhone and iPad).
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/21/2015 4:26:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D750 DSLR Camera
With one of the most vague descriptions I have ever seen in a firmware update, Nikon has released firmware version 1.01 for the D750.
 
From Nikon:
 
Changes from “C” Version Firmware 1.01
 
  • Camera operation is now more reliable.
Download:
Nikon D750 Firmware v.1.01
 
B&H carries the Nikon D750 DSLR camera – now more reliable than ever. ;-)
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/21/2015 2:02:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
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