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 Friday, January 17, 2014
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From creativeLIVE:
 
FREE Online Course with John Greengo - January 20-24
 
Are you ready to reach your full potential as a photographer? Join professional photographer John Greengo for a five-day online course on of the fundamentals that will help you achieve your artistic goals. From shutter speeds to depth-of-field and much more, you’ll learn the core concepts every successful photographer needs to know. Whether you’ve just purchased your first digital camera or are a seasoned pro looking for a refresher, this course will give you the skills to take your work to new heights.
 
Enroll Now!
Post Date: 1/17/2014 12:32:03 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D5200 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Nikon D5200 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens available for $529.99 with free shipping. Compare at $746.95.
 
Caveat Emptor:
Note that the camera deal listed here is not advertised as coming with a Nikon USA warranty and is likely a grey market item. The auction indicates that a warranty is included, but that warranty may be a BigValueInc warranty. If such, BVI's warranty only covers parts for 1 year and labor for 90 days.
 
BigValueInc's positive feedback rating is at 99.3%. That is a good rating (and has been improving), but not a stellar rating. We have received a couple of reports of buyers receiving the wrong product when purchasing from this merchant, so be sure to keep all supporting documents if taking advantage of this offer. eBay trusts "BigValueInc" enough to call them a "Top Rated Plus" seller and to list their auctions as "Daily Deals". We have had a good first-hand experience with them (here and here).
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/17/2014 12:08:56 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this YouTube gem, Peter Read Miller shares images and discusses his experiences spanning 30 years of shooting for Sports Illustrated. It's a little over an hour long, but it's a great insight into the mindset of a sports photographer and the preparation necessary to get unique and compelling sports images.
 
Around the 15:00 mark, check out Peter's use of the Canon EOS 1D X's multiple exposure feature to capture fencing. Very cool. [Sean]
Post Date: 1/17/2014 8:36:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Lens
From Sigma:
 
The SIGMA 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM F/SIGMA with F/NIKON fittings are scheduled to scheduled to start shipping towards the end of this month.
 
B&H has the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM lens for Nikon available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 1/17/2014 6:23:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 16, 2014
SanDisk Ultra Plus Solid State Drive (SSD)
eBay (via Buy) has the Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB 2.5" SATA III Solid State Drive (SSD) available for $129.99 with free shipping. Compare at $164.62.
Post Date: 1/16/2014 3:26:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Think Tank Photo Logo
From Think Tank Photo:
 
When we launched Think Tank in 2005 one of our cornerstone products was the largest backpack we've ever released, the aptly named Airport Addicted. It was the first backpack designed to hold large lenses (e.g. a 400mm f/2.8 with lens hood and a 300mm f/2.8), as well as multiple SLR bodies and a laptop computer, that fit within domestic airline carry-on requirements for overhead storage compartments.
 
Win One and Fill It Up-on Us!
Fresh from our product archives, how would you like to win one of our very last Airport Addicteds, in pristine condition? Plus, you can select $300 worth of any other Think Tank Photo gear that you want to be packed inside of it! To enter, all you need to do is to send us one of your favorite photos taken in 2013. This random drawing ends on January 31st. Don't wait, enter now!
 
The Airport Addicted comes with a seam-sealed removable rain cover and shoulder straps that tuck away for storage, stretchable Span-Kodra front and side pockets for storage of cell phones, clothing, water bottles, and other items, a monopod/tripod mounting system, and lockable zipper sliders.
 
Note: Use the links from this site to get a free gift with your purchase of $50.00 or more at Think Tank Photo!
Post Date: 1/16/2014 12:38:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Hoodman HoodLoupe Professional LCD Screen Loupe for 3
B&H has the Hoodman HoodLoupe Professional LCD Screen Loupe for 3" Displays available for $64.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
 
If you don't already have a loupe for your LCD screen, I highly recommend picking one up. It makes viewing the LCD screen in bright sunlight much, much easier. [Sean]
Post Date: 1/16/2014 10:25:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp Ballhead
by Sean Setters
 
I recently upgraded my ballhead to an Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp. First impression – I really liked the Z1 ballhead. It's a very solid piece of equipment. One thing I didn't like, however, was Arca-Swiss's newly re-styled quick release clamp. Therefore, I decided to purchase a Really Right Stuff BS-AS II clamp instead.
 
When my replacement clamp came, I prepared to disassemble the Z1 clamp using a wrench and an appropriate hex bit. Using a reasonable amount of force, the bolt didn't budge.
 
I steadily increased pressure until the wrench began to rotate. When I disengaged the bit from the bolt, I noticed that my bit looked like the beginnings of a corkscrew. The bolt had never loosened; instead, the bit had failed (and was ruined).
 
Not wanting to accept defeat (and reality), I thought I'd give a regular allen (hex) wrench a try. Nada. I used so much force that the allen wrench began to twist in the bolt. "Alright, " I said to myself, "...something's not right."
 
After a call to the US-based Arca-Swiss Representative, I learned that Arca-Swiss is now designing their heads to feature "non-interchangeable" quick releases. They're using an epoxy/glue to solidify the assembly bolt in place. The only "official" way to replace your clamp (and keep your warranty intact) is to send it to Precision Camera Works in Chicago, IL, the only authorized service center for ARCA-SWISS ballheads in the United States. There is a flat fee of $30.00 for replacement.
 
When I inquired as to what motivated Arca-Swiss to make the change, their US Rep mentioned three reasons:

  1. When customers replaced their QR clamps, some of those "Arca Style" clamps were actually incompatible with Arca-Swiss's own plates. Therefore, Arca-Swiss was losing plate sales.
  2. Some customers were actually damaging their heads when replacing the QR clamps. Warranty claims submitted from these replacement attempts were "...quite expensive."
  3. A third-party manufacturer had produced a "lever-release" style clamp that was similar to Arca-Swiss's design. The third-party manufacturer was able to do this because of a patent filing error on Arca-Swiss's part. Arca-Swiss decided to stop "subsidizing" the third-party company by introducing barriers to customization.

My Thoughts:
 
First off, I'm not a fan of "closed systems." I don't appreciate it when a company makes it more difficult for me to customize a device for my own use. I understand Arca-Swiss's desire to capitalize on their product line. They developed a support system that has become an industry standard; it really is superior to everything else I've seen.
 
However, if people are consistently trying to replace Arca-Swiss's current QR clamps with a competitor's product, what does that say about the current QR clamps that Arca-Swiss offers? Instead of forcing consumers to keep the OEM QR clamps by introducing barriers to change, why not win them over with a design that leaves customers ultimately satisfied with the OEM clamps as-is?
 
In the end I decided send my ballhead to Precision Camera Works for the QR clamp replacement. The Z1 is a truly remarkable ballhead and the one I want to be using for the foreseeable future. That said, I want it my way.
 
B&H carries the Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 ballheads.
 
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Post Date: 1/16/2014 9:22:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D800 DSLR Camera
eBay (via BigValueInc) has the Nikon D800 DSLR Camera available for $2,330.03 with free shipping. Compare at $2,796.95.
 
Caveat Emptor:
Note that the camera deal listed here is not advertised as coming with a USA warranty and is likely a grey market item. The auction indicates that a warranty is included, but that warranty may be a BigValueInc warranty. If such, BVI's warranty only covers parts for 1 year and labor for 90 days.
 
BigValueInc's positive feedback rating is at 99.2%. That is a good rating (and has been improving), but not a stellar rating. We have received a couple of reports of buyers receiving the wrong product when purchasing from this merchant, so be sure to keep all supporting documents if taking advantage of this offer. eBay trusts "BigValueInc" enough to call them a "Top Rated Plus" seller and to list their auctions as "Daily Deals". We have had a good first-hand experience with them (here and here).
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/16/2014 8:25:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm VR Lens
eBay (via BuyDig) has the Refurbished Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm VR Lens available for $359.99 with free shipping. Compare at $526.95 new.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/16/2014 8:19:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From Adobe:
 
Adobe Kicks Off 2014 With Innovations Across Essential Design Tools
 
Adobe today shipped new features across its flagship design applications and services, as part of a major Creative Cloud release. Additional new features in Photoshop CC include the groundbreaking Perspective Warp, which changes the viewpoint from which an object is seen, and linked Smart Objects that radically improves collaboration – updating the final design automatically if the reference file is changed.
 
Also, new features in Adobe Illustrator CC and InDesign CC revolutionize how designers work with type by seamlessly connecting to the Adobe Typekit font service. It’s now possible to integrate Typekit fonts into print projects, PDF files, DPS apps, and more, while new functionality in InDesign CC reduces the frustration of missing font errors by automatically searching the Typekit desktop font library for options. Dozens of new and enhanced features and services in today’s update will help designers and other creative professionals work more intuitively and efficiently.
 
Note: Adobe also added 3D Printing to Photoshop CC. You can read more about the 3D Printing update in the official press release.
 
Learn more about Creative Cloud on Adobe's Website.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 1/16/2014 7:26:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Logo
TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that total production of NIKKOR lenses(1) for Nikon interchangeable lens cameras reached eighty-five million at the beginning of January 2014.
 
In 1959, Nikon (then Nippon Kogaku K.K.) released the Nikon F as well as the first NIKKOR lenses for Nikon SLR cameras, including the NIKKOR-S Auto 5cm f/2. The NIKKOR tradition has continued over the many years since that first lens was released. What's more, Nikon continues to expand its lineup of interchangeable lenses for Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses, the first of which was released in October 2011, bringing total lens production to eighty-five million.
 
Nikon has steadily expanded its lineup of NIKKOR lenses incorporating advanced optical technologies cultivated over the years.
 
In August 2013, Nikon announced the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, an approximately 7.8x high-power normal zoom lens that covers a broad range of angles of view and is compatible with Nikon DX-format digital SLR cameras.
 
In October 2013, Nikon added the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G, a fast normal lens compatible with Nikon FX-format digital SLR cameras that proposes new photographic creativity possible only with NIKKOR lenses, to its lineup. Since its release, the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G has been extremely well received for its ability to minimize sagittal coma flare(2) for rendering of point light sources as sharp points with no distortion or fringes across the entire frame, even at maximum aperture.
 
In September 2013, Nikon announced the world's first(3) waterproof and tough 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 (included in the Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof zoom lens kit) and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 along with the Nikon 1 AW1 advanced camera with interchangeable lenses. The current 1 NIKKOR lineup is comprised of eleven lenses, and Nikon will continue to expand and enrich this lineup.
 
In September 2013, Nikon deployed its Optical Performance and Total Image Analyzer (OPTIA), a new measurement device that is able to measure all forms of aberration in interchangeable lenses for cameras, as well as a dedicated image simulator. Utilization of OPTIA and the dedicated image simulator not only enables greater control over resolution, but also development of lenses with control over varying characteristics of individual lenses, an aspect for which NIKKOR lenses have always been so well received.
 
The NIKKOR brand
NIKKOR is Nikon's brand of photographic lenses. The NIKKOR name arose from adding "r "—a common practice in the naming of photographic lenses at the time the name was established—to "Nikko", the Romanized abbreviation for Nippon Kogaku K.K., the original name used when the company was established.
 
Nikon's own high-quality standards are applied to all stages from initial design and development to final product release for design that responds to user needs, and production system and inspections that ensure the superior quality of NIKKOR lenses.
 
Nikon's lineup of lenses for cameras with interchangeable lenses currently consists of more than 80 types of lenses, including ultra wide-angle to super-telephoto lenses, fisheye lenses, zoom lenses, micro lenses, and PC-E lenses that support a wide variety of applications, as well as 1 NIKKOR lenses for advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses.
 
In 2013, Nikon celebrated the 80th anniversary of NIKKOR lenses with a variety of activities conveying the advantages of NIKKOR lenses, including creation of the "Eyes of Nikon" photo collection, a collection of images by photographers active globally. Nikon will continue to develop and release high-quality products that appeal to users the world over.
 
(1) Interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Nikon 1, Advanced Cameras with Interchangeable Lenses
(2) A phenomenon with which the edges of pinpoint light sources in photos of night landscapes and the like appear distorted to resemble the outspread wings of a bird in flight
(3) Among interchangeable lenses for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses available as of September 9, 2013. Statement based on Nikon research.

 
B&H carries Nikon NIKKOR lenses.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/16/2014 6:42:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Flickering Lights
"Why are some of my pictures dark?" is a question I see with some frequency. And the dark images usually have the same cause.
 
In the latest photography tips page, I show some examples of what flickering Lights can do to your exposures.
Post Date: 1/15/2014 12:23:41 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From SmugMug Blog:
 
Two years ago, Montreal/Toronto-based photographer Benjamin Wong was a mining engineer who took pictures on the side. In 2012, he quit his engineering career and threw himself into photography full time. He’s now an award-winning photographer admired for his “epic, surreal, fantasy storytelling.” Today with the official launch of Ben’s spotlight in SmugMug Films, he’s shared more details about himself, his background, and exactly how he crafted those exquisite angel wings.
 
Read SmugMug's interview with Benjamin Von Wong.
Post Date: 1/15/2014 9:04:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
DxO Logo
From DxO:
 
January 15, 2014 - DxO Labs announces the immediate availability of DxO Optics Pro v9.1.2 for Mac and Windows. This upgrade means that DxO Optics Pro 9 now supports the Panasonic Lumix GM-1, the Nikon 1 AW1, and the iPhone 5s.
 
DxO Optics Pro 9 includes powerful tools for processing RAW and JPEG images. Its revolutionary PRIME denoising technology restores the finest details even in images taken at very high ISO. In addition, the software provides amazing optical and geometric corrections along with the DxO Smart Lighting tool, which intelligently optimizes exposure and contrast.
 
New DxO Optics Modules
DxO Optics Pro v9.1.2 benefits from the addition of new DxO Optics Modules: 160 new camera/lens combinations can be found in the library, which today counts 17,000 available DxO Optics Modules.
 
DxO Optics Modules contain information about the characteristics of each camera and lens. This unique database enables DxO Optics Pro 9 to automatically correct distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and lens softness with an unrivaled level of quality.
 
Availability and New Year’s sale
The Standard and Elite editions of DxO Optics Pro v9.1.2 for Mac and Windows are now available at photo resellers at a special discount price through January 31, 2014:

ProductOrig. PriceSale Price
DxO Optics Pro 9 Standard Edition$169$99
DxO Optics Pro 9 Elite Edition$299$199

B&H carries DxO Optics Pro 9.

Category: DxO News
Post Date: 1/15/2014 8:38:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Jessops Logo
From Amateur Photographer:
 
Jessops’ unsecured creditors, who include customers and suppliers, were owed around £115m – more than twice the amount feared when the chain collapsed under former owners a year ago, it has emerged.
 
The total value of unsecured creditor claims has risen to £114.8m - 135% higher than originally estimated, according to a new report by administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
 
PwC had estimated the figure to be less than £50m when the chain collapsed in January 2013, closing its 187 stores and shedding 1,500 staff.
 
The administrator says unsecured creditors are not likely to receive more than 0.2% of what they were owed.
 
Read the rest of the article at Amateur Photographer.
Post Date: 1/15/2014 7:36:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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