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 Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm Sports Lens Compared to the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary Lens
I'm deep into reviews of the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports and Contemporary lenses. While their names differ by only one word and their image quality appears very similar, these two lenses are dissimilar in many ways. Here is my list so far:
 
  • Sports lens is nearly 2x more expensive
  • Sports lens is significantly more-ruggedly constructed
  • Sports lens is significantly heavier – including the hood, measured in-use weights are 6.96 lbs (3.16kg) compared to 4.49 lbs (2.04kg)
  • Sports lens is moderately larger in both length and diameter (especially with the hoods in place) and the zoom extension is a bit longer
  • Contemporary lens has a 1/3 stop wider aperture over a small subset of the focal length range
  • Contemporary lens has a larger zoom ring with no contour in diameter mid-ring
  • Sports lens has a more-serious manual focus ring that is significantly larger with much more grip surface
  • Contemporary lens utilizes smaller (but still large) 95mm filters vs. 105mm
  • Contemporary zoom ring rotates 146° vs. the Sport's 126°
  • Sports lens has very rigid aluminum hood with rubberized end and thumbscrew lockdown vs. bayonet mount lightweight plastic hood
  • Both lenses feature a rubberized push/pull zoom grip surface, but the Sports has a ridge for a more-sure pull-back grip
  • Sports model has a smoother and stronger non-removable tripod mount ring and foot with a better-positioned lock knob, click detents at 90°, a much larger (and removable) foot with 3 threaded inserts (vs. 1) and dual neck strap attachment points
  • Contemporary model has a removable tripod mount ring with a rubber-like replacement ring
  • Sports model has a classier look
  • Contemporary lens has a lower profile switch bank
  • Based on side-by-side testing at multiple times, my perception is that the Contemporary focuses slightly faster, but the Sports has been more consistently accurate at the wide end
  • Sports lens has integrated shoulder strap on the back of its case while Contemporary lens has removable neck strap that attaches to opposite sides of its case
  • Sports lens has dust & splash proof "construction" while the Contemporary has a dust & splash proof "mount"
  • Sports lens has two FLD (“F” Low Dispersion with performance similar to flourite) and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements vs. one FLD and three SLD glass elements
  • Sports lens has 24 elements in 16 groups while the Contemporary has 20 in 14
  • Sports lens gets water & oil repellent coating on both front & rear elements while the Contemporary gets this coating on the rear element only
I hope to have these full reviews completed soon.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder (Sigma mount is in stock).
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in Canon mount in stock with other mounts available for preorder.
Post Date: 5/27/2015 9:32:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From PPA:
 
PPA’s See The Difference Campaign Educates Consumers on the Value of Hiring a Professional Photographer
 
Atlanta, Ga. – May 26, 2015 – Photographers looking for a new way to help their clients See The Difference between professionals and amateurs need look no further than Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
 
Consumers may not have all the necessary information to understand the difference between a professional and an amateur photographer. PPA’s See The Difference campaign shows consumers “the difference” when evaluating photographers. PPA photographers can also download free videos, logos, customizable brochures, and other educational materials to share with their clients.
 
PPA has rolled out six new videos to help photographers educate their clients and prospects. Whether a photographer specializes in wedding, high school senior or family photography, these new videos will help consumers see the value in hiring a professional.
 
  • #PhotoFail Wedding Video – Brides-to-be read true horror stories and talk about why it’s so important to use professional photographers to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments.
  • Moments You Can’t Get Back Video – Real moms share heart-wrenching stories about their families and discuss how professional photographers helped them preserve family memories.
  • See The Difference Professional Photographers Make Video – Real moms and newlyweds discuss the benefits of using PPA photographers and are surprised when their photographers walk in with framed photos from a recent session.
  • High School Seniors Video – Real high school seniors explain what they are looking for in senior portraits and how hiring a professional photographer gave them great photographs!
  • Wedding Video – Newlyweds talk about the importance of investing in professional photographers because at the end of their big day, their wedding photos were all they had left.
  • Family Portraits Video – Real families talk about how their photographers captured their families’ unique personalities and the importance of preserving moments they will cherish forever.
Learn more about how PPA photographers can leverage this campaign as well as what else PPA is doing to reach and educate consumers with See The Difference and consider joining PPA.
Post Date: 5/27/2015 9:42:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Logo
From Canon USA:
 
Customer Service and Support Facility Recognized for Environmental Stewardship by the U.S. Green Building Council
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., May 27, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that the Canon Experience Center, located in Costa Mesa, California, has been awarded LEED Gold certification, a recognition by the U.S. Green Building Council for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. Officially opened in November 2014, this Center offers award-winning service and support to customers, clients and partners - ranging from repair operations, on-site educational programs and a nearly 5,000 square-foot state-of-the-art showroom that displays products ranging from the PowerShot family to the Cinema EOS lineup to large format imagePROGRAF printers. The 38,000 square-foot facility was renovated with environmentally conscious elements aimed to help secure the certification.
 
"The Canon Experience Center is yet another example showcasing Canon U.S.A.'s ongoing commitment to sustainable and responsible buildings and operations," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "By designing and constructing the building to LEED Gold, Canon continues to build on its legacy of looking to the future. Its investment in sustainable building today will pay dividends to all of us for years to come."
 
Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building rating system that recognizes buildings, homes and neighborhoods that are designed, constructed, operated and maintained to be environmentally responsible and resource efficient. The level of LEED certification earned is determined by the number of credits achieved in key areas within each of the LEED credit categories, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.
 
The Canon Experience Center features several environmentally conscious elements that help meet LEED requirements, including:
 
  • More than 95 percent of the existing building was utilized to extend the life cycle of the standing building stock, conserve resources, reduce construction waste and reduce environmental impact during renovation.
  • More than 75 percent of all construction waste was diverted from landfills through waste sorting and recycling.
  • The use of native vegetation for landscaping helped reduce reliance on irrigation systems and reduced outdoor potable water consumption by over 50 percent.
  • The use of efficient, low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the space helped obtain a 40 percent indoor potable water savings.
  • The facility uses 38 percent less energy than conventional buildings through the use of efficient lighting fixtures, motion sensors and an efficient HVAC system.
"Canon is committed to helping to build a more sustainable environment for generations to come," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We are proud to be recognized for our sustainable efforts and conduct operations with our customers in a facility that demonstrates this commitment."
 
The Canon Experience Center joins two of Canon's other properties that have earned LEED ratings. Canon Americas Headquarters, located in Melville, New York is the largest commercial property on Long Island to achieve LEED Gold certification, and Canon's distribution center in Norcross, Georgia was awarded LEED v4 certification in the "Building Design and Construction - Warehouses and Distribution Centers" category - the first warehouse to receive this version of LEED.
 
BCCI Construction spearheaded the renovation construction of the Canon Experience Center; Ware Malcomb was responsible for the architecture and interior design. For additional information about the facility and its offerings, visit usa.canon.com/cec.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 5/27/2015 8:59:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Sponsors Hack the Visual
From Canon UK:
 
LONDON, 27 May 2015 – Canon, a leader in imaging solutions, is sponsoring the ‘Hack the Visual’ 48-hour hackathon event, to engage with talent in London’s Tech City and support the creation of new digital imaging ideas and applications to enrich people’s lives.
 
The event, organised by Imaging Mind – 26 to 28 June at IDEALondon – aims to bring together over 100 participants and challenge them to uncover the hidden possibilities of imaging and technology and bring new perspectives on visual culture.
 
“Digital technology has transformed visual culture over the past couple of decades. With almost one trillion images forecast to be taken this year alone, we believe the way people will live with photos will be profoundly different in the future. We see a huge opportunity to innovate in this field by embracing today’s creative technologists,” says Alberto Spinelli, Director of Digital Services at Canon Europe.
 
“Last month we acquired London based start-up Lifecake, accelerating the development of our digital consumer services proposition. The Hack the Visual event will help us to build relationships with more talent in this space that we can potentially help nurture and grow and pave the way to broadening our digital ecosystem,” Spinelli continued.
 
“Anyone with a passion for visuals, regardless of whether that stems from a technology or an art perspective, is welcome. The best ideas are generated when teams come from a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. We want people to embrace the true spirit of a hackathon, to share, collaborate, have fun and really run wild with their ideas." commented Floris van Eck, CEO, Imaging Mind.
 
Canon will provide prizes at the event and will continue to look for opportunities to collaborate and further explore the winning concepts with the finalists.
 
Details on the Hack the Visual event and how to register as a participant in the competition can be found at www.hackthevisual.com
 
Follow Hack the Visual on twitter @imagingmind
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon UK News
Post Date: 5/27/2015 7:45:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the ExpoImaging YouTube Channel:
 
Lindsay Adler demonstrates how to create a classic hollywood glamour, film noir portrait by using off-camera flash and Rogue 3-in1 Flash Grids. Flash photography lighting video tutorial, techniques and tips.
 
B&H carries ExpoImaging Rogue products.
Post Date: 5/27/2015 7:25:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
 
Nikon 1 V3 Firmware v.1.10
 
Changes from “C” Version Firmware 1.00
 
Camera Control Pro 2 Version 2.22.0 is now supported, allowing the following operations to be performed:
 
  • The settings for connected cameras can be adjusted from Camera Control Pro 2.
  • The Camera Control Pro 2 live view window can now be used for still photography and movie recording as well as to select the AF-area and adjust camera settings.
  • Camera Control Pro 2 now supports best moment capture.
Download: Nikon 1 V3 Firmware v.1.10
 


UT-1 Communication Unit Firmware Version 2.4
 
Changes from Firmware Version 2.3
 
  • The D810A is now supported.
Cameras That Can Be Used to Update UT-1 FirmwareUT-1 firmware updates can be performed with the following cameras:
 
  • The D810, D810A, D750, D7200, and D7100
  • D800 and D800E firmware versions “A” 1.10/“B” 1.10 or later.
Note: Other cameras can not be used, but updates can be performed for you by a Nikon-authorized service representative.
 
Download: UT-1 Communication Unit Firmware Version 2.4
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/26/2015 1:24:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R DSLR Cameras
Canon Asia has posted a two-part developer's interview with the team that designed the EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R cameras. There is a lot of technical information in the articles, but I'm finding the material to be quite fascinating so far (I'm about midway through them right now). [Sean]
 
Canon 5Ds / 5Ds R Developer's Interview Articles
 
[Part 1] Achieving “Speed”, “Comfort” and “Quality”
 
Questions Answered:
 
  • First of all, can you tell us more about the development concept of the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R?
  • Can you describe more on the aim and intention on the naming of the models?
  • So now there are five models in the full-frame EOS lineup. Please tell us how the new models are positioned and the division of roles among them.
  • What are the target subjects respectively for the EOS 5DS and EOS 5 DS R?
  • Can I also use these two models for handheld shots and snapshots?
  • What about the internal structure of the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R? Are they identical except for the availability of a low-pass filter cancellation feature?
  • The price for the EOS 5DS R is slightly higher. Why is this so?
  • When choosing a lens, what are the points that users need to bear in mind?
  • In what ways are the features and performance enhanced by the use of dual DIGIC 6 image processors?
  • Is there any reason behind the common number “5” for the 50-megapixel resolution and the continuous shooting speed of 5 fps? Was it intentional?
  • Can you tell me more about the enhancements made on the new image sensor, including how you were able to achieve a resolution of about 50 megapixels?
  • The pixel count is more than double that of the EOS 5D Mark III. What were the technological breakthroughs that made this possible?
  • Wouldn’t it be possible to increase the speed if parallel processing were performed by multiple digital front-end processing circuits?
  • Is 16-channel readout drastically different from that by eight channels?
  • How different is the depictive power compared to the class of cameras with about 20 megapixels?
  • Can you explain how the low-pass filter cancellation feature cancels the low-pass filter effect?
  • Besides the restoration process being carried out by low-pass filter 2, is the structure of the EOS 5DS R the same as other models?
  • Why is it possible to restore the extraordinary ray?

[Part 2] Technology Behind the “Ultra-High Resolution”
 
Questions Answered:
 
  • What were the enhancements made to the AF system in response to the larger pixel count?
  • What was the reason for not changing the AF sensor? Was it because the performance of the system on the EOS 5D Mark III was good enough?
  • The maximum resolution of about 50 megapixels and the continuous shooting speed of about 5 fps are simply remarkable. Are there any efforts that are worth special mention?
  • What changes were made to the existing firmware following the upgrade of the pixel count to about 50 megapixels?
  • How is the mirror vibration control system different from the existing ones?
  • Am I right to say that both the existing and new vibration control systems make use of cams, but differ fundamentally in the way the cams are used?
  • Wouldn’t it consume a lot of battery power if the mirror is driven only by the motor?
  • Generally, it is said that camera shake becomes more prominent with a higher pixel count. Is it possible to eliminate all shake-related issues simply by raising the shutter speed?
  • Is there an easy-to-understand way to determine the shutter speed based on the focal length?
  • What are the advantages of the new user-selectable shutter release time lag setting?
  • What efforts were devoted to the body structure and material when addressing camera shake?
  • I realised that a new “Fine Detail” Picture Style has been added when I looked at the features in greater detail. How is it different from the existing Picture Style effects?
  • Can you provide a simple explanation for the entry-level users on the [Fineness], [Strength], and [Threshold] parameters in the sharpness setting?
  • Can you tell us how we can make good use of the Crop Shooting feature?
  • What does the Customizable Quick Control feature do?
  • Compared to the EOS 5D Mark III, what advancements were made to the movie feature?
  • What is the biggest reason for inheriting the design of the EOS 5D Mark III?
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds /5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/26/2015 10:16:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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
 Monday, May 25, 2015

Canon has initiated a new ad campaign that offers insight into the ramifications of bringing your DSLR with you versus leaving it at home.
 
As you can imagine, things usually work out well for the protagonist when the Canon DSLR is within arm's reach. ;-)
 

 

 

 
B&H carries Canon DSLR cameras.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 2:13:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Professional Services Logo
Canon USA's Rudy Winston has authored an excellent article for CPS which explains the challenges of shooting with an ultra-high megapixel camera and how to deal with them.
 
Think 1/focal length is a fast enough shutter speed to stop camera shake? Think again.
 
This will be an excellent and valuable resource for anyone who has preordered a 5Ds / 5Ds R or anyone considering upgrading to one of these 50.6 megapixel DSLRs.
 
Check out Rudy's tips on the Canon Professional Services.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 7:29:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Professional Services
Canon USA's Rudy Winston has authored an article for CPS highlighting the differences between the EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R and the 5D III.
 
From Canon Professional Services:
"Current EOS 5D Mark III shooters, who may be considering moving to the new high-resolution EOS 5DS (or the EOS 5DS R, which removes the effect of low-pass filtration), may wonder if anything changed on these new cameras because the new models look practically identical to the proven Mark III camera. Rest assured, there are some new rewards waiting to greet 5D Mark III owners who step up to the new cameras. We can’t touch on every single one, but we’ll try to give an overview of many of the new details.
 
Obviously, the biggest is the move to a 50.6 million pixel CMOS image sensor – more than doubling the pixel count from the Mark III model. You’ve no doubt seen discussion of this, so we’ll go a bit more beneath the surface. Everything we discuss here applies to both the EOS 5DS and 5DS R models."
Topics Covered
 
  • Shooting Information icons
  • Electronic Viewfinder Dual-axis Level
  • AF point illumination in AI Servo AF
  • Exposure Compensation icon appears any time it’s active
  • 150,000 pixel RGB metering sensor
  • Flicker Detection
  • EOS iTR AF
  • Metering during Live View shooting
  • Auto White Balance (AWB) — White Priority
  • Fineness and Threshold added to each Picture Style setting
  • Fine Detail Picture Style
  • The mirror and mirror lock options
  • Bulb timer; Interval timer
  • Custom Quick Control Menu
  • USB 3.0 connectivity
  • My Menu: Create additional menu screens
  • Movie Servo AF
  • Time-lapse Movie
  • Customize shutter button
Read the entire article on the Canon Professional Services website.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 7:17:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, May 22, 2015
B&H Logo
Todd Vorenkamp was asked to take B&H's most expensive used lens – the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM – out for a spin. In his Explora article, Vorenkamp touches on the history and mystique of Canon's rarest big white lens and describes the logistics involved in shooting with the 36 pound beast.
 
The B&H used department has the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM in 9+ Condition available with free expedited shipping!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 9:41:08 AM 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
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