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 Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Image quality results from the Canon EOS 5Ds R and Canon EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens Review.
 
With a $200.00 instant rebate available, this lens is a bargain right now. The rebate is scheduled to expire Aug 27th at 11:59 PM EDT, so don't wait if it makes sense to add this lens to your kit.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens in stock with a 4% reward.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/24/2016 9:01:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A 35mm f/1.4 prime lens is a go-to favorite for wedding photographers, street photographers and photojournalists alike. Empowered by its very wide aperture, it's a great story-telling lens that is able to be utilized with great effect in a wide range of situations.
 
If you're looking to purchase a 35mm f/1.4 prime in the near future, you may very well be stuck between two worthy contenders, the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. While they share the same focal length and f/1.4 aperture, there is one important differentiator between them. Read on to find out what that is.
 
First, let's start off with the Sigma 35mm Art. This is the lens that changed the market's perspective of what third-party lens manufacturers were capable of. Introduced in late 2012, it was sleek, stylish and featured fantastic image quality at an attractive price. The impact of this lens's introduction on the value of Sigma's brand cannot be understated; this lens shook up the industry.
 
How impressive was it? Consider this: Out of 320 reviews at B&H for the Canon-mount version (at the time of this post), 89.38% rated the lens 5-stars. Another 8.44% rated it 4-stars. The rest of the ratings (3-stars and below) make up the balance of 2.19%.
 
That's impressive.
 
But for the purposes of this post, we're interested in how the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 compares to the even newer Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM. While the Sigma had a sharpness edge on the original EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, Canon took the sharpness crown back with its introduction of the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM. Both are very good, but the 35L II's corners are noticeably better. The Canon exhibits a little less distortion but doesn't fare as well as the Sigma in the flare department. With all things considered, I feel most will be happy with the image quality from both of these lenses. As such, we must look elsewhere for significant differentiating factors.
 
The two factors which seem to differentiate these lenses most are AF consistency and price. AF consistency can be mitigated; price, not so much.
 
First of all, Sigma has gone to great lengths to ensure its lenses will perform well in the AF department. They even designed their Global Vision lenses to be consumer upgradable via downloadable firmware and the Sigma's USB Dock accessory. The USB Dock can aid in dialing in focus at minimum focus distance, infinity and several points in between. The dock also provides a safeguard that Global Vision Lenses like the 35mm f/1.4 Art will play nicely with yet-to-be-released DSLRs (given time to develop new firmwares).
 
However, calibrating focus to maximize focus accuracy is one thing. Focusing consistently is another. I owned the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art for three years and used it primarily for weddings and events. I can say without hesitation that it did not nail focus as consistently with phase-detect (viewfinder) AF as my Canon USM lenses. The consistency wasn't bad, but the difference was noticeable. Thankfully, there is something you can do to significantly increase your in-focus rate.
 
If using the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art for an especially critical shot, Live View focusing can be utilized to ensure your subjects remain in focus. Because Live View uses the actual data processed by the sensor to achieve focus, any issues with traditional phase-detect AF are bypassed. It may look silly when you're holding your DSLR up like a compact camera, but... the in-focus result will likely be worth the small embarrassment for fleeting moments.
 
While Live View focusing for "can't miss" moments may be inconvenient, it will likely prove a worthwhile concession for many photographers considering the Sigma 35mm f/1.4's biggest benefit over the Canon 35L II – price. Without rebates or special pricing, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art is half the price of the Canon at the time of this post. The Sigma is an incredible value, even when its primary drawback is taken into consideration. On the other hand, important to some is that the Canon has weather sealing to its advantage.
 
If you're a wedding/event photographer who wants the most reliable AF in a 35mm f/1.4 lens (or otherwise requires weather sealing), the Canon "L" is the best choice. It's an easy recommendation if one's budget allows for its acquisition. However, if your livelihood isn't dependent upon capturing fleeting moments with a 35mm focal length that cannot be recreated, or if Live View focusing is a tolerable solution for when the moments matter, then the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art can likely fulfill your needs at a very reasonable price.
 
B&H carries the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lenses.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/24/2016 7:57:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to the Egami Blog, Tamron has filed a patent for a 115mm f/1.4 VC lens.
 
This would be a very interesting portrait lens if it ever came to fruition.
 
Patent Details
 
  • Patent Publication No. 2016-151661
  • Published 2016.8.22
  • Submitted 2015.2.17
  • Focal length =113.000
  • F-number = 1.456
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/24/2016 6:35:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has Miops Camera Triggers available with a $70.00 discount and free shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Trigger Camera and/or Flash
  • Lightning, Laser, & Sound Trigger Modes
  • Smartphone App / Bluetooth Compatible
  • Time Lapse Function
  • HDR Function
  • External Port
  • Adjustable Sensitivity
  • Color LCD Screen
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
The Miops camera trigger has become an important part of my kit. With the ability to trigger the camera via light (lightning, laser) and sound (bottles breaking, balloons popping), the creative possiblities are endless. [Sean]
 
River Street Lightning Bolt Miops Trigger

Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/24/2016 5:57:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
August 24, 2016 - TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that entries for the Nikon Photo Contest 2016-2017 will be accepted between October 17, 2016 and 1:00pm (JST) on January 27, 2017.
 
Nikon Photo Contest 2016-2017
 
The Nikon Photo Contest has been one of the world's largest global photo contests since it was first held in 1969. The objective behind the Contest is to nurture an aspirational community that supports photographers and filmmakers who wish to share important stories and influence the way people think through images.
 
The Nikon 100th Anniversary Award has been added to commemorate Nikon's celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2017. The Next Generation Award, open to those under the age of 30, has been added in response to the fact that roughly half of the entries in the previous Contest were captured or recorded by those under the age of 30. We hope that this new category will help to further extract and encourage the talent of the next generation.
 
In addition, world-renowned graphic designer and art director, Neville Brody, is to be welcomed as the Lead Judge for this Contest. With his appointment as Lead Judge, Brody also redesigned the Nikon Photo Contest logo. He had the following to say about his role as Lead Judge.
 
Comments from Neville Brody
 
"The Nikon Photo Contest is recognized globally as a key place to discover new and rising talent, searching out new insights and rich imaginative power and inspiration. As Lead Judge, I feel that it is my responsibility to continue this great tradition by selecting works that express new ideas and superior quality for introduction to the world. With both excitement and trepidation, I hope that the work performed by other judges and myself will make this a Contest that satisfies all who participate. I am also looking forward to seeing just how participants express their wonderful ideas and creativity through the works they submit."
 
Neville Brody is known for serving in the 1980s as art director for a globally influential London-based magazine, which received the overwhelming support of a younger generation at that time. He currently serves as the Dean of the School of Communication at London's Royal College of Art, a fine-arts university active in the education and cultivation of the next generation of international artists. Brody was our choice for Lead Judge because he is very influential to so many artists, including photographers, who will carry the next generation.
 
Just as with the previous Contest, all Nikon Photo Contest 2016-2017 photography and video categories will accept entries recorded with any digital device, including smart devices, and video entries with a length of 6 to 180 seconds will be accepted.
 
The theme for the Nikon 100th Anniversary Award is "Celebration". In commemoration of Nikon's 100th anniversary, we hope that entries in this category will cast a light on the many joyful scenes to be found around the world. We look forward to receiving works of "Celebration" that are appropriate for Nikon's centennial, and tell a story that can only be expressed by the entrant.
 
The theme for the Next Generation Award and The Open Award is "Future". Future refers to a time that has not yet passed. However, this makes for infinite possibilities. What sorts of futures can be described to the people of the world through images? While no one can predict the future, we look forward to entries that provide a connection to the future of the image-making culture.
 
We plan to announce the Nikon Photo Contest 2016-2017 winners in July 2017, and to hold the awards ceremony in Japan, the home of Nikon Corporation.
 
For more information including prize schedule, click here.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/24/2016 5:26:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, August 23, 2016
eBay (via BuyDig) has the Refurb. Nikon D750 DSLR Camera available for $1,599.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,996.95 after $300.00 instant savings.
 
Note: This is a refurbished item from an authorized Nikon dealer and comes with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/23/2016 2:09:09 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Toshiba:
 
TOKYO – Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that future generations of its FlashAir, an SD memory card supporting embedded wireless LAN communications, will implement “Eyefi Connected” features that the company has been granted the license from US-based Eyefi. Toshiba is targeting the launch of FlashAir with Eyefi Connected features within FY2016.
 
Eyefi Connected cameras offer a range of advanced features, including the ability to toggle FlashAir radio connectivity on and off and features that prevent camera shutdown during data transfers. Eyefi Connected features are available on over 300 camera models from more than 10 leading camera manufactures, including Canon, Nikon and Sony.
 
Eyefi Mobi App for iOS, Android, OS X and Windows will add support for currently shipping FlashAir Class 10 memory cards in August 2016. FlashAir customers simply have to install the Eyefi Mobi App on their device to enjoy instant transfer of their images and back-up photo data to the Eyefi cloud1.
 
B&H carries Eyefi Mobi wireless memory cards.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Toshiba News
Post Date: 8/23/2016 9:26:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Held biennially, Photokina is the world's largest photography and imaging trade show and the 2016 show is scheduled for Sep 20-25 at the Cologne International Expocentre in Cologne, Germany. Canon, Nikon and other manufacturers usually have some great new gear introductions coinciding with the Photokina show and we expect this year to be no different. We will be bringing you details of this year's new gear as soon as we are able/permitted to.
 
Important note: between a lull in new Canon gear introductions, a very large investment in a rewrite of the site's comparison tools (hopefully much faster versions of the tools are coming soon) and normal summertime slowness (due to vacations, etc.) on top of the already high costs of maintaining a content site, we need your support this year more than ever.
 
Please remember to use the links on this site to make all possible purchases (even diapers at Amazon) and especially for preorders of the new gear. It costs you no extra, you get any free goodies/incentives the manufacturers and/or retailers happen to be offering at the time and we receive the support necessary to keep this site going for you. Your support is greatly appreciated!
 
B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon | eBay
 
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/23/2016 8:28:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
eBay (via Deals-All-Year – 99.9% Positive feedback) has the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera (review) available for $952.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,199.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore technically ineligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/23/2016 8:01:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Earlier this year I posted a walkthrough for an eye image I took using the Roundflash Ringflash adapter. While I liked the image, I thought a different lighting setup might work better to highlight the details of the eye (especially the iris). Over the past week I've been trying a few lighting setups and ultimately came to the conclusion that a simple, single light setup provided the best results.
 
Gear Used
 
EXIF: f/10, 1/160 sec, ISO 400
 
Thought Process and Execution
 
The biggest problem with the ring light, straight-on lighting approach was that the finer details in the iris became muted due to reflected light. This time around I decided to try a [near] profile view with the main light located slightly behind the subject.
 
The light source – a Canon 580EX in a 24" collapsible soft box – required precise positioning in order to create a column of light on the iris. The light was placed so that the subject's nose blocked light on the far side of the eye while the natural curvature of the subject's face (and eye) caused most of the left side of the image to be shadowed. I decided to use a white foam core reflector to open up the shadows on the left side just a bit. Note that the reflector is positioned far enough left so as not to create a second catchlight in the eye.
 
And while on the subject of catchlights, I chose a square soft box so that the catchlight would vaguely mimic an open window. The soft box's distance from the subject determined the size of the catchlight in the eye while also dictating soft the shadows were. If I had positioned the soft box further away, the catchlight would have been smaller and the shadows would have appeared less graduated. However, doing so would have required raising the ISO to compensate for the increased distance between the light source and the subject as I was already using full power with the soft box positioned relatively close (about 18") to the subject.
 
Using a tripod, I set the camera at the proper height to allow the subject to stand comfortably while capturing the image. At 1.0x magnification, very slight changes in distance to the subject can have a dramatic effect on focus. Even standing comfortably, the subject would sway a bit (almost imperceptibly unless looking through the viewfinder). This meant that I had to pay attention to the rhythm of the subject's movements in order to time the capture for optimal focus. If I were to shoot this again, I would have the subject sit in an arm chair with their head propped up on a fist to reduce involuntary movement.
 
When photographing an eye, it's also important to pay attention to the ambient light. If the ambient light is dim, the pupil will enlarge and the colorful iris will be reduced. A bright room will help showcase the iris in all its glory.
 
In post-processing, I increased clarity to help bring out details in the iris, increased the saturation a little and made relatively minor adjustments to brightness/contrast. The image shown was cropped moderately (from 5760 x 3840 to 4848 x 3232 pixels).
 
Click on the image atop this post for a higher resolution sample.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/23/2016 7:44:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Tascam DR-100mkIII Linear PCM Recorder in stock with free shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • On-Board A/B Stereo Microphone
  • Records up to 24-Bit/192 kHz
  • Records to SDXC Cards up to 128GB
  • 2 x XLR/TRS Combo Inputs
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Clock Accuracy up to 1ppm
  • AKM AK4558 ADC with 109 dB S/N Ratio
  • Uses Rechargeable Li-Ion & AA Batteries
Note: You may also want to take a look at the Mark II version of this audio recorder which is currently discounted.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/23/2016 6:14:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From LensRentals:
 
Let us help you capture your time off with a new piece of gear! Get $25 off any rental of $150 or more by placing your order to arrive between now and September 2nd! Just use code LABORDAY25 at checkout.
 
*Order must have arrival date between 8/23/16-9/02/16. Must use code LABORDAY25.
 
To support this site, navigate to the appropriate product review and click the Rent button.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 8/23/2016 5:35:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H is offering a free Nikon MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack ($363.00 value) with purchase of the Nikon D810. The camera also qualifies for a $500.00 instant savings.
 
Nikon D810 Features
 
  • 36.3MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • 3.2" 1,229k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p Video at 60/30/24 fps
  • Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-Point AF Sensor
  • Native ISO 12800, Extended to ISO 51200
  • 5 fps Shooting at Full Resolution
  • Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
Free Included Items
 
  • Nikon MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack
  • Watson EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V, 2000mAh)
  • SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC U3 Memory Card (Class 10)
  • Ruggard Commando 36 DSLR Shoulder Bag
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/23/2016 5:22:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, August 22, 2016
Getting both of these lenses is of course ideal (and very highly recommended), but what if your budget allows for only one? Which one should you get? On the surface, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens are quite different in their specs, but with the addition of the Canon EF 2x III Extender creating a 140-400mm f/5.6 IS lens from the 70-200 whenever desired, these two options quickly become rather close in primary specs.
 
In making this decision, the first question to ask is: "How important is a wide aperture to you?" If you are shooting action in low light, especially indoors, the f/2.8 aperture is going to be very important. If you need the maximum background blur in the 70-200mm focal length range, the f/2.8 lens is the better choice. If you simply need the 70-100mm focal length range, the 70-200 is the right choice as the 100-400 can't do that.
 
While the focal length range should play strongly into the decision making process, the 2x extender evens out the playing field between these two lenses. One of the first concerns I have when adding an extender is the impact to image sharpness.
 
Overall, these lenses are both so sharp that image sharpness is not a significant differentiator over the native focal length range overlap. The 70-200 of course needs help from an extender to cover the 200-400mm comparable range. Adding a 1.4x extender to a great zoom lens will cause relatively minor impact to image sharpness, but a 2x extender generally produces a noticeable contrast and resolution impact and that is the case here. The 70-200 performs quite well with the 2x, but the difference in across-the-frame sharpness is noticeable with the 100-400 showing a moderately strong advantage in the 400mm comparison. AF performance/speed also takes a bit of a hit with this extender in place.
 
These two lenses are quite similar in size, weight and price ... until the 2x extender is added to the equation. The 2x adds 2" (50mm) to the length, 12 oz (340g) to the weight and roughly 20% to the cost.
 
Thus, if the longer focal lengths are going to see significant use, the 100-400 L II has the overall advantage including smaller size, lighter weight, lower price, better AF performance and better image quality. Applications I commonly use the 100-400 L II for include wildlife, landscapes and big-field daytime outdoor sports photography.
 
When the wider aperture is needed and/or the 70-200mm focal length range is preferred, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II is my preference. This lens is an excellent choice for portraits, indoor events (including weddings), indoor sports, and many more similar uses. When longer-than-200mm focal lengths are needed only infrequently, adding the 2x to the 70-200mm lens can get the job done.
 
Again, the ideal Canon kit will have both of these lenses in it, but for those that must choose between the two, there is usually a best choice.
 
B&H has the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens ($100.00 instant rebate), 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II Lens ($200.00 instant rebate) and 2x III Extender in stock (with 4% rewards).
eBay (via Deals-All-Year – 99.9% Positive feedback) has the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR available for $5,499.99 with free shipping. Compare at $5,999.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore technically ineligible for a Canon USA warranty. This auction does not include the 64GB CFast memory card and reader found in the currently available Premium Kit.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/22/2016 9:08:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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