The first thing you reach for when a rainbow shows up is of course a camera, but ... what is the first lens you reach for? Probably one with wide angle focal lengths, enabling you to get as much of the rainbow in the frame as possible. That is often a great choice, but ... what if the landscape does not support a wide angle composition?
Especially if you find rainbows intriguing (where else can you find the entire visible spectrum separated and displayed brilliantly?), you will, over time, likely accumulate many average rainbow photos. These will have a narrow arc of color running through the image with whatever scene happens to be in front of you at the time, including houses, streets, power lines, etc. The rainbows always look great, but eventually ... something more is needed for the image to be worth keeping. With plenty of average rainbow images on my hard drives, I now often keep driving, working, etc. while admiring a rainbow as a so-so landscape is no longer a good enough supporting background.
Especially when facing a rainbow with a just-average landscape surrounding it (or, when there is a partial rainbow), consider grabbing a telephoto lens to photograph it. With a narrower angle of view than wide angle lenses, telephoto lenses can make great images with a less scenic background available, allowing the rainbow's beauty to be isolated from less-desirable surroundings. If the sun is high enough, a short telephoto focal length (70mm in that example) can even keep some of the arc in the frame. Zooming in to 150mm permits more surroundings to be excluded (an entire town in that case).
For the image I'm sharing here, I zoomed to the longest focal length I had available. A benefit of that 400mm focal length was that the amazing colors of the rainbow filled a much higher percentage of the frame than a wide angle focal length would have provided. It also made the sheets of rain more prominent within the rainbow.
Yes, an even longer focal length would have filled an even higher percentage of the frame with color and 600mm through 800mm focal lengths should also be considered for rainbow capturing at times. But, as mentioned, I didn't have a longer lens available. However, a benefit from having 50 megapixels of resolution is that this image can be cropped considerably and still retain very high quality, a result that can still be output to a large size. While I contemplated cropping (and still may create that variation), I decided to share this one as-captured with additional elements supporting the color. I like the ocean providing a base and context for the storm and the shading variations to the sides of the rainbow help indicate the heavy storm's presence.
The heavy, dense rainstorm approaching over the Atlantic was a welcomed sight on this afternoon (from an imaging perspective at least). The direct sunlight reaching the storm created an intense display of color that lasted long enough to ... allow me to create more images than I needed. I admit to capturing some wide angle images of this scene with the lens I was already using prior to reaching for one of my favorite telephoto zoom lenses. After installing and adjusting a circular polarizer filter, I captured a variety of images, including both camera orientations, a variety of focal lengths and sometimes with clouds passing in front of the rainbow worked into the compositions.
This rainbow image was captured in North Caicos, but aside from the water color, it could have been over any large body of water. I mentioned that wind was an issue on this entire trip and, with a storm approaching, the wind was especially strong while photographing this rainbow. With the sun at my back and the wind in my face, I left the lens hood in the pack. The filter was completely shaded by the lens and large hoods become a source of vibration in the wind. I sat on the ground with my elbows on my knees, my left hand holding tightly over the lens mounted to a retracted Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Carbon Fiber Tripod. With the camera's eyepiece pressed against my eyebrow, the setup was completely locked down and my sharp image rate was nearly 100%.
Rainbows are made possible by the right weather conditions and ... the weather can be unpredictable. But, when your next rainbow shows up, consider chasing it with your telephoto lens.
Earlier this year, we reported that XUME Adapters had been quietly acquired by Manfrotto. A spokesman for XUME told us at the time:
"XUME is a Manfrotto product as of September 2016. They haven't done a lot of press yet but will be doing an official re-launch soon."
It appears that Manfrotto is now ready to begin actively marketing the XUME adapters alongside its new lens filter lineup.
Providing precision and ease to capture every shot
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (February 7, 2017) – Manfrotto, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, has launched a new, groundbreaking Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite, a combination of Manfrotto’s successful high-quality lens filters and innovative Manfrotto XUME magnetic adapters. The new Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite enables professional and amateur photographers and videographers to avoid the hassle and frustration of changing filters while subjects wander or light slips away. With the Manfrotto Filter Suite, photographers instantly and precisely connect the filter to their lens so that they never miss the perfect shot. The Manfrotto Lens Filter Suite is comprised of a Manfrotto Lens Filter, a Manfrotto XUME Lens Adapter and Filter Holder plus an optional Cap (available only for 77mm diameter). It is the perfect choice for long exposures, wedding photography, macro, architectural photography, fine art photography – any style requiring the use of filters.
Manfrotto’s camera lens filters are built to the highest quality standards. They feature flawless multi-coating which minimizes reflection and maximizes light transmission, consistently delivering the effects photographers wish to achieve. Each filter is provided with a practical, reusable storage case, ensuring the highest level of protection off-camera. Depending on the model, Manfrotto filters feature reliable water-repellent, oil-repellent and anti-static characteristics.
UV filters block out UV light, preventing it from entering the lens, reducing blurring, haziness and blue casting.
Circular Polarizer filters enhance color, contrast and saturation as well as removing undesirable reflections from non-metallic surfaces.
Neutral Density filters help control exposure times by reducing the amount of light hitting the camera sensor without altering the color of the scene.
Protect filters provide maximum protection against scratches, oil and moisture, without affecting overall image quality.
Manfrotto XUME Adapters are the revolutionary magnetic solution which securely locks filters onto lenses, quickly and easily. Photography gear stays safe in-use with the filter magnetically secured to the lens. Manfrotto XUME accessories are safe for the lens’ focus mechanism, media cards, drives or other electronics.
Unique to the market, Manfrotto’s XUME Adapters:
Install in an instant.
Are secure; no moving parts and completely safe to use.
Have very low profile rings and are completely unobtrusive.
Manfrotto XUME Filter Holders and Manfrotto XUME Lens Adapters are now available nationwide in eight sizes: 49mm, 52mm, 58mm, 62mm; 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm. The Manfrotto XUME CAP is available only for the 77mm size. Manfrotto Filters range in price from $19.99 to $134.99 and Manfrotto Xume Adapters range in price from $10.99 to $34.99.
Sigma Corporation of America recently clarified its Gray Market Service Policy which went into effect January 1, 2017. In it, Sigma USA warns that not only will it refuse to repair gray market items for free under warranty, but that it will charge a $250.00 service fee on top of the parts and labor costs for repairing gray market goods. See below for Sigma USA's new official Gray Market Service Policy (we bolded part of the last sentence for emphasis).
As of January 1, 2017, any product that is not imported by the Sigma Corporation of America or purchased from an unauthorized Sigma USA Dealer will not be serviced under warranty regardless of the service required. The Sigma Corporation of America Service department will service these products for a minimum $250 charge in addition to the required parts and labor charges at the owner's expense.
New Full-frame 85mm F1.8 Mid-telephoto prime lens and Compact Radio-Controlled Flash also announced
Sony today introduced two new lenses for their popular line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras.
Sony’s new lenses include one of their flagship G Master Series – an FE 100mm F2.8[i] STF GM OSS mid- telephoto prime lens (model SEL100F28GM) built to deliver breath taking bokeh with a unique STF (Smooth Trans Focus) design, and a new compact, lightweight FE 85mm F1.8 mid-telephoto prime lens (model SEL85F18) that is a welcome addition to the bag of any hobbyist or enthusiast photographer looking to create amazing portraits.
Sony also introduced a new powerful, compact flash (model HVL-F45RM) with radio-controlled wireless communication that is ideal for professional shooting with Sony’s line-up of a7 full-frame cameras.
FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS Telephoto Prime Lens
A specially designed mid-telephoto, full-frame prime lens, the new 100mm STF is built to produce truly unique, magnificent and beautiful bokeh while maintaining the exceptional standard of resolution that is showcased throughout Sony’s entire line-up of flagship G Master series lenses, making it a powerful photographic tool for any portrait, fashion, nature or wedding photographer.
These impressive defocus capabilities are made possible by the lens’ advanced optical structure, as it features a newly designed 11-bladed aperture and a unique optical apodization lens element. Similar to a neutral density filter that increases in density towards the edges, the apodization element creates beautiful transitions of in-focus to out-of-focus areas within an image, making for exceptionally soft, smooth bokeh that adds depth and dimensionality. This allows the subjects to stand out against beautifully defocused elements in both the foreground and background, producing an image that is naturally pleasing to the eye. The design of the lens also ensures that vignetting is kept to an absolute minimum, ensuring optimum image quality.
Additionally, the new 100mm lens supports both contrast AF and focal-plane phase detection AF[ii], and has a high-precision, quiet direct drive SSM (Super Sonic Motor) system that ensures exceptionally fast and accurate AF performance. The SEL100F28GM also offers up to 0.25x close-up capabilities with a built-in macro switching ring, built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation, a customisable focus hold button, AF/MF switch, aperture ring and is also dust and moisture resistant.[iii]
FE 85mm F1.8 Telephoto Prime Lens
The new SEL85F18 mid-telephoto prime lens offers an extremely versatile, lightweight and compact telephoto prime lens solution for a variety of Sony camera owners ranging from working professionals to emerging enthusiasts that have stepped up to an APS-C or full-frame camera for the first time. With its wide F1.8 aperture, it can produce impressive, exceptionally sharp portraits with soft background defocus that take advantage of its 85mm focal length and wide F1.8 maximum aperture.
The new prime lens features a 9-bladed circular aperture mechanism that ensures smooth, natural looking bokeh, and a double linear motor system to allow for fast, precise and quiet focusing. It also has a focus hold button that can be customised and assigned together with functions in the camera body like the popular Eye-AF feature. There is a smooth, responsive focus ring and AF/MF switch and the lens is also dust and moisture resistant.iii
New Compact Radio-controlled Flash
Sony’s new HVL-F45RM flash enhances the radio-controlled lighting system capabilities of their growing system, offering a compact professional shooting solution when combined with the currently available wireless remote controller FA-WRC1M and receiver FA-WRR1.
The new flash, which is designed to complement the compact bodies of Sony’s E-mount camera line-up including full-frame a7 models, produces a maximum lighting output as expansive as GN45[iv]. This ensures sufficient illumination even when shooting with bounce lighting or high-speed-sync (HSS) flash. The radio capabilities of the HVL-F45RM allow it to be used as a transmitter or a receiver at up to 30m (approx. 98 feet[v]), making it an ideal fit for creative lighting with multiple flashes. Additionally, unlike optical flash systems, radio-control flashes do not require a direct line-of-sight between components to function properly, while also minimising any impact that bright sunlight has on signal transmission and control.
The HVL-F45RM flash has an impressive battery life of up to 210 bursts, and can tilt up to 150o vertically, a complete 360o horizontally and up to 8o downward to maximise versatility. Usability has been maximised with a new large, bright and highly visible LCD display, an LED light, dust and moisture resistant design3 and a revamped menu system that mimics those of Sony’s newest camera systems.
Pricing and Availability
The new lenses and flashwill start shipping in March 2017. The SEL100F28GM will be priced at approximately €2,000, the SEL85F18 will be priced at approximately €650 and the HVL-F45RM will be priced at approximately €480.
MELVILLE, N.Y., February 7, 2017 – On February 5th, top sports photographers from across the country gathered in Houston to cover the Big Game between the teams from New England and Atlanta. With an estimated 75 percent* of the photographers in the Houston stadium using Canon EOS DSLR cameras and EF lenses, Canon’s iconic white lenses filled the sidelines from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. In addition to the EOS DSLR cameras and EF lenses on the sidelines, Canon’s line of HD broadcast lenses were also used extensively to help deliver the game to more than 110 million television viewers.
“It’s an honor to see yet another major sporting event where the country’s most talented and acclaimed sports photographers captured exciting moments with Canon equipment. These images will be seen by millions of people around the world and will forever be etched in sports history. We understand there are many equipment options for professional photographers and Canon is honored to serve these professionals and provide assurances that both our products and support live up to the requirements and expectations of our devoted customers,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
A full complement of friendly and knowledgeable staff from the Canon Professional Services (CPS) team, a fixture at major sporting events throughout the year, were on site at the stadium for most of the week leading up to game day providing comprehensive equipment maintenance, extensive equipment loans and expert technical support to the major photo agencies and individual professional (or media) photographers covering the game.
For veteran sports photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Damian Strohmeyer, this was his 30th time covering the big game as a professional, and he was well stocked with Canon cameras and lenses. "Leading up to the game, I always make sure to meet with the Canon Professional Services team to run through my settings and firmware, and ensure that my gear is as ready for the big game as the players are," Strohmeyer said. "During the game, there's so much action that you can't be worried about how your equipment will perform. Depending on where the play is, I need to stay prepared for anything that may happen, with no time to switch lenses. For this reason, I used three EOS-1D X Mark II cameras, equipped with EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lenses. After the game, I switched to an EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM wide angle lens for post-game reaction shots. Everything performed fabulously, and my images came out looking great!"
Canon Professional Services will be proudly attending to professional photographers at over 30 events this year including major sporting, auto racing, Hollywood, and political events throughout the year.
* Based on Canon U.S.A., Inc., survey and data, as of February 6, 2017.
Think you know your Nikon camera? You might reconsider after spending an afternoon with Nikon Technical Sales Representative, Alex Podstawski. Join Alex as he shares some of his favorite tips and tricks for making digital images better.
If you own any of Nikon’s DSLRs, than this seminar is made just for you! During this informative seminar, you'll discover things about your Nikon DSLR that will help you take your picture creation to a whole new level.