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 Wednesday, May 28, 2014
LensRentals Logo
Roger over at LensRentals has a bit of a problem. He will soon have so much data (thanks to LensRentals' new optical bench) that he doesn't know what to do with it. Excel experts, he needs your help to present the data in a logical, concise and easy-to-understand way.
 
Here are the details:
 
Platinum Medal Prize: $500
 
To win the Platinum Prize you must write a program or macro that fulfills my wild fantasy – Aaron spends hours collecting data on dozens of lenses, then I push a computer button and beautiful, logical graphs are generated that are easy to follow, present the data and variation, and offers an easy way to compare different types of lenses. I will be a bit flexible on what constitutes pushing a button, but if it takes me hours, it’s not winning.
 
Gold Medal Prize: We will do the lens test of your choice (within limits of our mounts for the optical bench and lens availability) and a $100 rental credit
 
So if you’ve always wanted a comparison between the Canon 18-55 IS kit lens and the Olympus 16-50, or just want your ownt lenses tested, here’s your chance. To win the Gold Medal Prize you develop a fairly simple way to create logical, easy to understand graphs that demonstrate the variation of copies for each type of lens, and offers an easy way to compare different types of lenses.
 
Bronze Medal Prize: Our undying gratitude and we’ll test 2 of your lenses on our optical bench and provide you printouts.
 
To win the Bronze Medal you simply have to demonstrate a graphing method that presents the average (mean) results for multiple copies of a lens in a way that’s easy to follow and understand. If we use your graph methods, you win a Bronze Medal.
 
If you're interested in participating, head on over the the LensRentals website to learn more.
Post Date: 5/28/2014 7:49:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12
Through May 31 (or until inventory is exhausted), B&H has Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 available for $64.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $89.00.
Post Date: 5/28/2014 6:26:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Zoom H5 Handy Recorder
B&H has the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder available for preorder.
 
Features:

  • Modular Mic and Input System
  • Includes XY Microphone Module
  • Four Simultaneous Inputs
  • Uses SD Memory Cards
  • Compatible with H6 Mic Modules
  • Optional Shotgun Mic and XLR/TRS Inputs

Post Date: 5/27/2014 2:53:56 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Rokinon 10mm T3.1 Cine Lens
Post Date: 5/27/2014 2:02:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Manfrotto Bumblebee 220 Pro-Light Backpack
From Manfrotto:
 
Introducing the Pro Light series
 
Designed for photographers and videographers on the move, the new Pro Light bag range offers extremely lightweight construction with maximum internal protection for your equipment, making them the perfect on location carrying solution.
 
Photo Bags
 
Versatile, functional and extremely ergonomic; the Pro Light Photo range offers intuitive solutions for rapid access to your equipment. Simply rotate the backpack to your chest and access your equipment using the fast opening side pocket within seconds, without even having to remove the bag from your body. The Pro Light range includes backpacks and holsters in a variety of sizes to meet your needs
 
Video Bags
 
Shooting on location often requires carrying a lot of equipment. Pro Light video bags feature an advanced harness system, organised internal storage and our innovative removable CPS dividers which together offer unrivalled lightweight protection for your valuable equipment. The video range includes backpacks, shoulder and roller cases offering a solution for all eventualities.
 
Accessories
 
Unpredictable weather conditions are always a challenge. Pro Light rain covers provide waterproof protection for your photo or video camera allowing you to continue your shoot confidently knowing your camera remains dry. Drawstring collars ensure a firm seal around your hands, lens and microphone.
 
New Manfrotto Pro Light Products

B&H carries the Manfrotto Pro Light series of bags and accessories.

Category: Manfrotto News
Post Date: 5/27/2014 1:40:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Datacolor Spyder4 Display Calibration System
For today only, B&H has the Datacolor Spyder4Elite Display Calibration System available for $169.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $249.00.
 
If you missed out on the Amazon Lightning Deal posted earlier today, this is your second chance to get the Spyder4Elite at a great price!
Post Date: 5/27/2014 1:25:33 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens
eBay (via BestPriceOptics) has the Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens (Canon, Nikon) available for $249.99 with free shipping. Compare at $379.00.
Post Date: 5/27/2014 10:49:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Datacolor Spyder4 Display Calibration System
Amazon is featuring the Datacolor Spyder4Elite Colorimeter as a Lightning Deal and is available for $169.99. Compare at $249.00.
 
Jump on this while you can – the deal won't last long.
 
Note: This deal has expired. But good news – for today only, B&H has the Spyder4Elite for an even lower price!
Post Date: 5/27/2014 10:09:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens available for $239.20 with free shipping. Compare at $396.95.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/27/2014 9:02:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 200-400mm L IS Lens Meets Big Bad Black Bear
This was one of the longest, coldest winters that I can remember, and the leaves that have finally appeared, bringing color to the long-monochromatic landscape, have been calling me. While I have not avoided the typical spring landscape shots, I have been looking for creative ways to incorporate the beautiful light green color of the new leaf growth into my images. And then this guy showed up.
 
This is a big black bear. One way to tell that a bear is big is by the size of its ears (small) relative to the size of its head (large). It is also is one of the nicest-looking black bears I have seen, lacking scars and other deformities that these animals so commonly have (bears often do not play well with others). It is in especially good physical condition for recently coming out of hibernation. (Yes, the bear is indeed bad - it has been causing damage to multiple neighbors' properties, primarily targeting bird feeders.)
 
Photographing black bears is usually very challenging. Finding these animals in light bright enough for photography is frequently the biggest challenge. Photography is about capturing light and black, especially in the form of fur, is the absence of light. So, once you find a black bear, properly exposing their light-absorbing black coat is the next challenge. If using an auto-exposure mode, the camera will need to be instructed to under-expose the image by a significant amount. That amount varies depending on the percentage of the frame the bear is consuming and the percentage of the frame you are using for auto-exposure.
 
If the lighting is consistent (or not changing fast), a manual exposure setting is best. Either way, it is hard to completely avoid blocked shadows (pure black with no detail) – especially on the shadowed areas of the bear and especially if there are bright subjects in the frame (because they will become pure white). With a manual exposure locked in (the log is just under blown brightness before I reduce the final exposure of this image), I was free to concentrate on focus and framing.
 
Composition and focusing are two additional bear photography challenges. These animals do not stay still for very long – unless they are staring at what they think is a danger (or perhaps is food) to them (me in this case). The closer the selected focus point is to the bear's eye in the desired framing, the less time you will spend adjusting the framing after establishing focus. This means that the bear is less likely to move before the shot is captured and more images can be captured in the potentially short period of time that the bear is posing. A turn of the head means a new focus distance is needed and then I usually want a different subject framing (to keep the animal looking into the frame) and this usually means a different AF point becomes ideal. Sometimes I use only the center AF point and sometimes I use a more-ideally-located AF point.
 
While I would like to say that I had established this bear's patterns and was waiting for him for long periods of time, this encounter was more divinely-timed with me being able to very quickly capitalize on it. The 200-400 L performed incredibly well as always and the bear did also. The bear's position in the clearing with direct evening sunlight along with brightly-lit green spring leaves in the distant background could not have been better planned. This shot has become one of my favorite black bear pictures and I'm guessing that I will not find a better way to incorporate the spring leaves into a photo this season.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/4.0  1/160s  ISO 640  5262 x 3508px
Post Date: 5/27/2014 8:53:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 26, 2014
AdoramaPix Logo
Through May 27, AdoramaPix has 11x14 Lustre Prints on sale for only $1.75 each.
Post Date: 5/26/2014 2:15:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Wacom Intuos5 Small Pen Tablet
Adorama has the Refurbished Wacom Intuos5 Small Pen Tablet available for $109.99. Compare at $149.95 new.
Post Date: 5/26/2014 10:39:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon 1 J1 with 10-30mm VR Lens
Use coupon code GOODS10 ($16.50 off) at Groupon to get the Refurbished Nikon 1 J1 Mirrorless Camera with 10–30mm VR Lens (Red) available for $148.49. Compare at $299.00 new.

 
From Profoto's YouTube Channel:
 
On May 21, Profoto and photographer Jared Platt did a live webinar on how to shoot senior portraits (and how to make the best use of one flash on location.)
 
Those of you who do not live in the US might wonder what a senior portrait is. Well, it is simply a portrait taken of a student at the beginning of his or hers senior year of high school.
 
Did you miss it? No worries. The webinar was recorded and is now available as a video.
 
B&H carries Profoto gear.
Post Date: 5/26/2014 8:40:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens
eBay (via 6ave) has the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF Lens available for $1,587.62 with free shipping. Compare at $1,996.95.
 
Note: 6ave has mistakingly listed "VR" in the auction's title even though this lens does not feature Vibration Reduction. Also, this is likely a grey market item and as such would not qualify for a Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/26/2014 7:40:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From RØDE:
 
RØDE has today announced a fully updated version of its award-winning Blimp system. The new model is now twenty-five percent lighter, with Rycote Lyre suspension and premium Mogami cabling.
 
The original RØDE Blimp as launched in 2008, and quickly became the best-selling system of its kind. Upon release it was awarded both the European Red Dot and Australian International Design Award – two of the world’s most respected product design awards – recognising the Blimp as a product of sophisticated design, solving a number of challenges faced by location sound recordists.
 
This new version of the Blimp sees a range of functional improvements that make it unquestionably the best windshield and shock mounting accessory available.
 
Building on the system’s existing high level of performance, the Blimp’s shock mounting is now performed by the robust and user-friendly Lyre system, licensed from Rycote. Constructed from a single piece of hard-wearing thermoplastic, the Lyre provides superior acoustic suspension to traditional elastic solutions, and will never wear out, sag or snap. Whereas the previous Blimp required users to reconfigure the elastic suspension for heavier microphones, the Lyre is able to accommodate a range of microphones without any modification, making adjustments in the field even easier.
 
The Blimp’s handle has also been completely redesigned, reducing the product weight significantly, while increasing the ergonomics for handheld use. Housed inside the grip is a heavy-duty Mogami cable which splits via a junction box to a highly-flexible thin cable inside the Blimp, to minimise the transference of vibration to the microphone.
 
In addition to RØDE’s range of shotgun microphones – the NTG1, NTG2 and NTG3, the Blimp also accommodates most shotgun microphones up to 325mm (12 ¾”) in length. It attaches to any standard boompole via 3/8" thread attachment at the base. RØDE also offers the Universal Blimp Mount as an option to remove the handle when the Blimp is being used primarily on a boompole to reduce weight.
 
An artificial fur windshield (affectionately known as a Dead Wombat) is included for outdoor use to minimise wind noise. Additionally a compact folding brush is supplied to maintain the Dead Wombat’s artificial fur.
 
B&H carries RØDE products.
Category: Rode News
Post Date: 5/26/2014 6:56:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, May 23, 2014
Updates to the Site Design
The ability to select between concise and detailed navigation menus is now available. The concise menu is what was previously on the site and remains the default for current and new site visitors. The detailed menu, as shown in the image above, offers direct links to the individual camera and lens review pages. The advantage of the detailed navigation is quick access to these review pages, while the disadvantage is about 70k of additional bandwidth needed to download each page. The detailed navigation may not work well on some devices, especially those with small displays.
 
To select the menu type not currently in use, click on the bottom link in the Review menu drop-down (circled in red in the image above). Alternatively, you can use the "Configure Your Experience" section (also new) on the Help page to do the same.
 
Also new is that the menu bar will now remain at the top of the page as you scroll down. This enables fast access to any section of the site including the detailed reviews menu. Since the top menu bar is always visible, the bottom menu bar became redundant. It has been removed to improve page load speed.
 
These updates were quite intrusive from a coding perspective. Please report any issues you encounter.
 
This site is for you, so please let us know if you have feedback/suggestions. These are always welcome!
Post Date: 5/23/2014 10:35:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 22, 2014
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