By request, I have added two smaller lenses to the big lens comparison tool. Allowing a smaller lens to be placed beside one classified by the site's product image tool as "big" allows a better visualization of the size of the larger lenses.
The two selected "small" (relatively speaking) lenses are 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. These were selected because they are among the most likely lenses found in one's kit prior to stepping up to one of the big guns (and I have them in my own kit, meaning they were immediately available). Those looking at Nikon lenses can still use the smaller Canon lenses for comparison purposes as these are very similar to their closest Nikon equivalents in size.
As I mentioned before, I have implemented "responsive design" on the site. Browsing the site on smaller devices including phones and tablets should be easier since the initial update. Many additional improvements are now implemented including most of the tools now being mobile-ready. One exception that remains is the Lens Image Quality Comparison Tool. Since looking at 100% resolution crops is the primary purpose of this tool, letting images resize to a smaller browser viewport is defeating to its purpose. Until I come up with the right solution, I'll let this one break out of the browser window size.
Look for the 400 DO II review to be completed early next week. I have a second copy of the Sigma 150-600 Sports Lens coming in this week. That lens will be the next priority on the to-do list. The Sigma 150-600 Contemporary Lens should also be arriving any day now. There is a lot of interest in telephoto zoom lenses right now and I'm anxious to see how these new lenses compare to the previously available Canon 100-400 L IS II and the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.
We have found that Live View Mode cannot be used on the EOS 8000D (Rebel T6s / 760D) and EOS Kiss X8i (Rebel T6i / 750D) released on April 17th 2015 by Canon Inc. with some of SIGMA’s Canon mount interchangeable lenses. For those who own the lenses, we are going to provide a firmware update free of charge.
PhenomenonWhen the Live View Mode button on the camera body is pressed, the operation stops without displaying images on the rear LCD monitor.
Products and Serial Numbers that require the firmware update
17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM
No. 12651501 or later
18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM
No. 13044001 or later
APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
No. 12713001 or later
APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
No. 12902001 or later
120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports
No. 50064494~ 50347793
APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM
No. 12669751 or later
17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM
No. 12665001 or later
18-200mm F3.5-6.3?DC OS HSM
No. 12851001 or later
18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
No. 12656101 or later
APO 50-150mmF2.8 EX DC OS HSM
No. 12839001 or later
APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
No. 12676440 or later
APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM
No. 12971601 or later
* For lenses that have been repaired in the past, they may require the firmware update even when the serial number is not listed above. In case the mentioned camera does not display images on the rear LCD monitor when Live View Mode button on the camera body is pressed, the firmware update is necessary.
We will make a further announcement when the firmware update becomes available.
For those who own the SIGMA USB DOCK, it will be possible to update the firmware of 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports through SIGMA Optimization Pro. We will also announce its availability when the update is available.
* If you use the SIGMA USB DOCK with 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, even when the lens does not require the update, its firmware will be updated to the new version.
* For those who use APO TELE CONVERTER 1.4x EX DG or APO TELE CONVERTER 2x EX DG with the 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports, please contact your nearest authorized subsidiary / distributor of SIGMA for further support.
This service supplies software that can be used to update the D4S camera “C” firmware to version 1.20.
Before proceeding, select Firmware version in the camera setup menu and check the camera firmware version. You will not need to download or install this update if the firmware listed above is already installed.
Modifications in firmware v1.10
Commander mode can now be selected for Custom Setting e3 (Optional flash) when an optional SB-500 flash unit is attached. *
The Auto and Flash white-balance options can now be used with the LED light on the optional SB-500 flash unit.
Auto white balance is now more consistent.
There is no longer a limit on the number of shots that can be taken in a single burst at shutter speeds of 4 s or faster when a continuous-release mode is selected in exposure mode S or M. *
There is no longer a limit on how long the shutter can remain open when “Time” is selected for shutter speed. *
We have changed how focus points are displayed in the viewfinder if the camera is rotated between “wide” (landscape) and “tall” (portrait) orientations with Focus point and AF-area mode selected for Custom Setting a10 (Store by orientation) and different focus points chosen in each orientation. We have also changed how focus points are displayed in the viewfinder if a lens focus function button is pressed with AF-area mode selected for Custom Setting f19 (Lens focus function buttons).
Some help text has been changed.
The following issues have been resolved:
If the user focused using the AF-ON button before shooting in continuous-release mode, the frame rate would drop under the following conditions: AF-S selected for focus mode, Single-point AF selected for AF-area mode, Focus selected for Custom Setting a2 (AF-S priority selection), and AF-ON only selected for Custom Setting a4 (AF activation).
When an AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E lens was attached, “Err” would be displayed in the top control panel and pictures could not be taken under some exposure conditions.
Images would sometimes fail to display correctly during image review if playback zoom was used while the memory-card access lamp was lit.
Images would not clear from the display if an optional WR-1 wireless remote controller was used with On selected for Image review in the playback menu.
The camera photo info display would not show the correct range for pictures taken with an optional flash unit in distance-priority manual flash mode (GN).
When pictures taken using a PC-E lens were viewed in Capture NX-D and other Nikon software, the Metadata would list the lens as type E rather than type D.
The photo information display for movies, movie stills, and photos taken with the Silent shutter-release option would sometimes list incorrect values for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity.
If the camera was connected via HDMI to 4K a compatible TV, neither the camera nor the television would display menus correctly.
Volume sometimes could not be adjusted if indicators were hidden during movie playback.
If both XQD and CompactFlash cards were inserted in the camera when it was connected to a computer, the computer would not recognize the XQD card.
It is early spring here in the northern hemisphere and flowering trees, if not already in full bloom, will be so very soon.
While the spring flowering trees are incredibly beautiful, I find them a challenge to compose into an image I like. Part of the problem is that, when the trees flower, most other trees remain leaf-less and low in their color-rating. Lack of leaves reveal highly detracting power lines in many of the landscapes where these trees are planted. This leaves sky, green grass and man-made objects to provide the other good colors to compose with.
So, how does one create a good photo of this subject? A solution that often works well is to fill the frame with only the flowering tree or trees. In this case, I found a very large, densely-flowered tree, moved back to create a compressed perspective and zoomed in to frame only the flowers with a narrow aperture keeping the entire frame remaining in focus. The result is a pattern of complexity that fills the frame. I positioned the larger limbs visible in the picture so that their lines lead the viewer's eye into the frame. The bright color of the flowers becomes the predominant color of the final image.
Working with the same concept of filling the frame with the color of the tree, a close perspective with a wide aperture can be used to blur the background flowers as illustrated here.
If working with a wider angle focal length, the background is more likely to become part of the image. In this case, consider getting above the tree to use the often-bright-green spring grass as the background. Bright green often complements the color of the tree(s). Another advantage that getting higher sometimes affords is a better angle on the flowers in the image. Dogwood tree flowers, as illustrated in the just-referenced image, typically face upward. Looking downward from a ladder allowed me to see the full flower being isolated with shallow depth of field.
Incorporating flowering trees into portrait images is a strategy loved by many. My advice is to make sure that the tree colors do not steel the viewer's focus from the primary subject, your person. Using the fill-the-frame and blur-the-background strategies again work well for portraits. Use a telephoto focal length and wide aperture to isolate the subject against a completely blurred background of flowers.
Winter is past and the winter-like landscape is about to awaken, bursting into vibrant color. Go capture it!
Ability to track and focus on any subject with tap-to-focus ease wins four best of show awards at NAB introductions
Hollywood, CA and Dallas, TX - Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable professional cinema accessories, today announced Halo, a system for video production that solves the challenge of accurate focus control by dynamically mapping and tracking subjects, and providing an easy to use interface for manually selecting or automatically tracking subjects for focus.
Introduced at NAB 2015, Halo was quickly recognized for its potential to shift the industry, creating intense buzz and earning three Best of Show awards.
Focus re-designed from the ground up Incorporating the same technology cars use for collision detection and avoidance, the Halo Explorer creates a real-time scene map, combining pinpoint accuracy with up to 180 degrees of view. Artificial intelligence precisely identifies all your subjects (people and objects) and tracks their distance and location in real-time. The beautifully crafted user interface shows birds-eye view of all subjects, and enables anyone to tap-to-focus, or drag to follow focus with visual audible and haptic feedback. Halo becomes the technician, handling the intricacies of focus so operators can concentrate on the creative performance.
We often refer to this as our Avatar product, says James Hurd, Chief Revolutionary at Redrock Micro. We had to wait five years for technology to catch up so we could deliver a something that solves focus and does it cost-effectively. This quote references Director James Cameron's famous quip that he waited 10 years for technology to evolve before he was able to shoot the groundbreaking feature film Avatar.
Designed for today's production environments and creative shots Production never has time for long setups, extra gear, or constant tweaking. The Halo Explorer is small and lightweight, and lives on your camera. There is virtually no setup or configuration, just power on, and you?re ready to go. Halo also performs brilliantly in a wide range of situations: total darkness or bright light (even heavy backlight), with or without human faces. Halo components can be moved between the camera and your remote AC, wherever it makes the most sense. A light footprint and wide range of usability use make Halo intensely practical.
A valuable tool for a crew of one or a crew of one hundred
Productions at any level can benefit from Halo. High-end productions can use Halo for precise reference and focus assist. Solo operators can use Halo for completely autonomous focus tracking. Any amount of assistance or automation is your choice. Whatever your camera and lens, and whatever your level of expertise for focus control, Halo is incredibly effective, easy to use and understand, and profoundly affordable.
B&H is offering a bundle deal where you can get a free 12-month subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom, $119.88 value) with the purchase of a Nikon D750 DSLR body. This is an especially good deal as the camera also qualifies for a $300.00 discount for a limited time.
Benro adds new flat base video head and tripod kits to their video lineup
North White Plains, NY – April 15, 2015 – Benro today announced the expansion of their S-Series with the S7 Video Head and Tripod Kits at NAB. The S7 is designed for filmmakers and videographers demanding compact and versatile solutions with a full set of features.
The S7 Video Head follows the same flat base head design that the S-Series is known for. The flat base provides much needed versatility for mounting on sliders, jibs and half ball adapters.
“We’re excited to add the S7 to our S-Series lineup and we think this will be the perfect balance of features and size. Having a fully featured compact system is ideal for the filmmaker on the go,” said Brian Hynes, Benro’s brand manager for marketing. “The S7 is perfect for everyone from the student filmmaker to documentary crews.”
S7 Video Head features include:
15.4 lb (7kg) payload capacity
65mm flat base
4-step counterbalance (0-3)
Continuous pan drag
Continuous tilt drag
Independent pan lock
Independent tilt lock
Illuminated bubble level
Tilt range +90°/-50°
Includes 501 compatible QR6 plate
S7 Tripod Kit features include:
Available in Carbon Fiber or Aluminum
15.4 lb (7kg) payload capacity
65mm Flat base head paired with 75mm half ball adapter