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 Friday, December 23, 2016
What would a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens review be without a sample portrait? The problem was that the schedules of my most-potential subjects were crazy and the weather had been mostly not very nice since the lens arrived.
 
When I saw my best opportunity, time was short, it was raining lightly and with the associated heavy cloud cover, outdoor lighting from the massive overhead softbox was very flat. Fortunately, the giant softbox makes lighting easy (and the f/1.4 aperture means that the low light levels were a non-issue). All that was needed was a form of shade to give some direction/shape to the light. I simply had my subject stand at the edge of a porch roof. The white columns and white window trim background was able to be melted away with the aid of the shallow depth of field this lens can produce.
 
The diffusely-blurred and neutrally-colored background does not compete for attention with the primary subject and the red scarf adds just a touch of Christmas color.
 
When capturing portraits with a very shallow depth of field, the closer eye minimally needs to be in focus. If the subject is looking directly at the camera, both eyes can be in focus, but if there is any other head angle, a decision needs to be made and the closer eye should get priority. At this lens' minimum focus distance with the maximum aperture in use, even the eyelashes will not be sharp when ideal eye focus is achieved. Pushing the plane of sharp focus to the closer iris or very slightly farther away will give the best look to the image (shifting focus slightly closer makes the eyelashes sharper, but the more-distant eye becomes even more blurred).
 
The camera height for this portrait was slightly higher than the subject's head angle. This camera angle keeps the subject's mouth (mostly) in focus (another desirable goal) and usually provides an ideal portrait look. Having the subject shift their head toward the camera slightly helps tighten the skin around the jaw line and un-squishes the neck area. At least for female subjects, I often ask for a slight head tip as also seen here.
 
The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is an awesome choice for portraiture. It makes a great look easy to capture.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
85mm  f/1.4  1/250s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Post Date: 12/23/2016 10:51:53 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 22, 2016

 
From Redbull:
Hopefully by now you've seen the incredible imagery created when Mick Fanning went to Norway and surfed beneath the spectacular Northern Lights. The shoot took place in Lofoten, a far flung speck of a town on Norway's smashed plate of a coastlne. The surf is consistent, the aurora borealis is anything but.
 
Fanning teamed up with Norwegian photographers Emil Sollie and Mats Grimsæth as they sought to capture that one elusive moment of surfer and natural phenomenon squaring off, and no one ever said that was going to be easy.
See the entire article on the Redbull website.
Post Date: 12/22/2016 9:05:28 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H is offering free next day delivery on many of its most popular items up through 4:00pm today Eastern Time.
 
Need some ideas? Here are some resources you may find useful (not all of the products mentioned below will qualify for free next day delivery).
 
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 12/22/2016 10:30:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From SIGMA:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
Today, the SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the availability of “SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for Windows”, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
 
This download service is for users of the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 who are using our interchangeable lenses from our Art, Contemporary and Sports product lines or SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 SA-STTL.
 
Please ensure you download SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for the effective use of the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
 
Benefit of SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1
 
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that the information of adjusted value etc. in the [History of Connected Products] may disappear when activation of the software is repeated*.
* this could only happen in the software environment that SIGMA Cine Lenses, SIGMA Mount Converter MC-11 and SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 SA-STTL were connected in the past.
 
SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for Windows is available to download here.
Post Date: 12/22/2016 9:58:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
Changes from Firmware Version 1.1 to 1.2
 
  • Fixed an issue that would in rare circumstances cause parts of photographs to be recorded in black-and-white.
Download: KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.2
 
B&H carries Nikon KeyMission action cameras.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 12/22/2016 9:40:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 21, 2016
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
By Ted Hesser
 
This article will detail practical lessons learned in the vertical pursuit of rock climbing photography. Special attention will be paid to the task of carrying a DSLR around in the mountains and up on the rock wall.
See the entire artile on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Post Date: 12/21/2016 12:25:59 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality results have been added to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens Review page.
 
The first logical comparison is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II vs. I. We first tested the version I lens over a decade ago, but the recent copy we acquired for testing on the 5Ds R turned in better results, looking quite impressive for the price of the lens.
 
You will likely find the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II vs. 70-300 L comparison interesting, along with many of the other comparisons available in the tool. We will be sharing results from the 1Ds III (for backward compatibility in the tool) and also from the 7D II for APS-C format comparisons.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Lens in stock.
 
With a $250.00 instant rebate, the older lens is looking like an especially great bargain right now. B&H has the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens in stock for only $399.00 with free next day delivery (USA) and 4% rewards.
 
Update: Here's an even better deal! For a limited time, the Canon Store has the Refurbished Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM available for $219.99.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/21/2016 8:02:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens for Canon available for preorder.
 
Other mount versions are either in stock or anticipated to be in stock soon.
Post Date: 12/21/2016 6:19:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Just posted: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
 
This may be the wide aperture 85mm lens you have been waiting for.
 
B&H has the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens in stock (Nikon) and available for preorder (Canon and Sigma).
Post Date: 12/20/2016 8:23:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 19, 2016

 
From the DigitalRev In-Focus YouTube Channel:
 
Learn the history of Adobe Photoshop in 3 minutes.
 
This video is dedicated to anyone who has ever frantically scrolled through the history menu, tooled around with layer styles for hours on end or been baffled by the pen tool.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 12/19/2016 1:50:25 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just posted: Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter Review.
 
The Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter arrived on my doorstep about 6-weeks ago, yet it only took a few days to fully appreciate the value this inexpensive (only $39.95) accessory can add to one's kit. If you currently own an EOS 5Ds/5Ds R or 7D Mark II, this easy-to-pack accessory is definitely worth consideration.
 
If you were a bit underwhelmed by the W-E1's announcement, be sure to read our full review to discover a few details that may surprise you. (Sean)
 
The Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter is available for preorder at the following retailers:
B&H | Adorama | Canon Store | Wex Photographic
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/19/2016 8:56:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Shenyang China, Dec 19, 2016 – Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has released a new compact Super Macro Lens for full frame cameras, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens and it features a high reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1.
 
Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is very compact in its class which allows photographers to capture extremely fine details or patterns with ease. The lens is capable of creating unbelievable macro images ranging from 4x to 4.5x magnification. Users no longer need to DIY or use any extension tubes to reach high magnification shooting. It incorporates a 6pcs of elements in 4 groups structure which delivers impressive resolution from corners to corners. Weighing merely 0.5 lbs (230g) and 6cm long, it is a perfect companion for wildlife and outdoor shooting. The wide angle of view and close focusing distance allows you to compose creative images with more information included into the frame. Greater magnification (up to 13:1) can also be achieved by stacking extension tubes or bellows. The high magnification is also extremely useful for scientific purposes.
 
Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f 2.0 4.5X Super Macro Lens Sample Image

The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X mounts are available.
 
Pricing & Availability
 
Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is now available to ship and purchase at ZY Optics authorized resellers and at our official website (http://www.zyoptics.net/). The Recommended Retail price is USD 199.
 
Note: The sample image posted above as well as the sample images published on Zhongyi's website have been [rather heavily] edited in Photoshop Lightroom 6.5. For more details, check out the full EXIF information for the fingerprint sample image.
Category: ZY Optics News
Post Date: 12/19/2016 7:28:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, December 17, 2016
Most of the time, images of wildlife approaching are better than those of wildlife going away. The problem is, where the wildlife is going to go is not always predictable. It is much easier to follow wildlife than to stay ahead of it.
 
These incredibly-cute twin white-tailed deer fawns were with their mother and she was meandering through the woods, feeding in a seemingly random manner. I was constantly adjusting my position, trying to be in the right place as they passed through a potentially good scene.
 
When I saw the adorable little fawns headed for a fern-bordered clearing, I immediately saw the potential image and moved into position. I couldn't have requested a better direction, though they came through very fast. With the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II in high speed burst mode, I was able to capture a string of images as they came through. The fast frame rate afforded me the opportunity to be quite selective, choosing my favorite body positions. This one stood out to me for the symmetry in the fawns' stride along with their head positions.
 
Photographing in the woods with direct sunlight reaching through the canopy makes lighting very challenging. The giant overhead softbox that a cloudy day creates resolves that problem and this day had been perfect. There was direct sunlight in the early morning, providing great warm lighting in the fields of Big Meadows. As the sun rose and the lighting cooled, cloud cover rolled in and provided great light for photographing in and near the woods all day long. This image was captured at 2:39 PM on a late spring day.
 
But, just because the lighting is good does not mean that the animals will be there. Deer typically feed early and late in the day and finding them mid-day can be challenging. Many photographers don't feel that mid-day is worth their time. Perhaps I'm not that smart, but ... this mother had two hungry little ones to feed and was in need of additional meals. I was out hunting for subjects and our paths crossed.
 
As I've mentioned before, a monopod is faster to setup and adjust than a tripod and the monopod was a key part of my kit on this encounter. Being able to set up fast enabled me to position myself closer to where the fawns currently were, making the ideal position prediction more accurate.
 
Another fawn photography tip I'll share is the timing for fawn photography. You will probably agree that fawns are their cutest just after birth, before they grow very rapidly. But, newborn fawns are not as active as those a week or two old. The newborns stay hidden in their beds a significant percentage of the time, making them harder to photograph. If your time is short and you want your encounter rate increased, consider timing your photography trip for a week or two later than you would for just-born fawns.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/5.6  1/500s
ISO 2500
5212 x 3474px
Post Date: 12/17/2016 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 16, 2016
Image quality results from the Nikon D810 have been added to the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E AF-S FL VR Lens page.
 
B&H has the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E AF-S FL VR Lens in stock.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 12/16/2016 8:27:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has submitted a patent for an RGBW 12 sensor array.
 
Patent Details
 
  • Release date 2016.12.8
  • Application date 2015.4.15
  • RGBW 12 array
  • Generate resolution data and color data, synthesize resolution data and color data, upconvert, process with mosaic processing (Bayer conversion), demosaic order
Want more information regarding this patent filing? Check out Canon's full US Patent below.
US 20160309130 A1: Apparatus, system, and signal processing method for image pickup using resolution data and color data
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 12/16/2016 8:25:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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