allows you to trade in your old iPhone for Amazon credit. It's definitely something to consider if you've got your eye on the new Apple iPhone 6
This announcement from last month flew under my radar. Better late than never! [Sean] PORTLAND, Ore, – August 19, 2014
– Lensbaby, one of the world’s leading makers of creative-effects camera lenses, today announced the availability of the Sweet 50, a 50mm selective-focus optic compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System for DSLR, mirrorless and motion picture cameras.
The Sweet 50 optic is a 50mm selective focus optic with a 12-blade adjustable aperture ranging from f/2.5 through f/22. Along with controlling depth of field, the aperture controls the size of the sweet spot of focus. The Sweet 50 is part of the Lensbaby Optic Swap System and is mounted to the DSLR, mirrorless or motion picture camera via the Composer Pro lens body. Product specs:
Pricing and availability
- Manual focus
- Curved field of focus optic (creates a spot of focus surrounded by blur)
- Two multi-coated glass elements in one group
- Minimum focus distance: 15 inches
- Maximum focus distance: Infinity
- 46mm front threads
- Compatible with Lensbaby Composer Pro, Muse, Control Freak and Scout lens bodies
The Sweet 50 will be available on September 16 at Lensbaby-authorized photo specialty stores worldwide. It will sell for $299.95 (MSRP) with the Composer Pro lens mount or $119.95 (MSRP) for the optic only. B&H
carries the Lensbaby Sweet 50 optic
(via BigValueInc) has the Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens
available for $389.99 with free shipping. Compare at $499.00. Note:
The camera deal listed here is not advertised as coming with a Canon USA warranty and is likely a grey market item.
From ZEISS: OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 09/09/2014
– This year during the IBC in Amsterdam (September 12-16, 2014) ZEISS will present another highlight for discerning cinematographers at its booth 11.F50: prototypes of a servo unit for the high-end ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 cine lenses.
With the CZ.2 15-30/T2.9, CZ.2 28-80/T2.9 and CZ.2 70-200/T2.9, ZEISS has set new performance standards for cine zooms. Equipped with an exchangeable mount (IMS), the CZ.2 lenses can be used flexibly on virtually all current and future camera models. The full-frame cine zooms (36x24mm) are suitable for HDSLR cameras, as well as for professional HD video and cinema cameras. All lenses in the ZEISS Compact Zoom family already correspond to 4K production standards.
With the new modularly-built ZEISS Servo Unit which will be shown in Amsterdam, cinematographers can leverage all of these advantages for situations when there is no direct access to the lens, for example on a crane, on rails or a Russian Arm. The servo unit also supports the comfortable operation of the zoom when using a shoulder camera, thus allowing the ZEISS Compact Zooms to be used conveniently for reportages.
The ZEISS Servo Unit was specially designed for the three ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses and can be flexibly used with all three of them. The user-friendly surface of the cine zooms enables them to be operated manually and, if desired, with follow-focus systems or the new ZEISS Servo Unit attached. The main unit controls aperture and zoom through powerful electric motors. A sensitive rocker switch allows for smooth zooming as well as fast changes in the image crop. An integrated iris motor enables the automatic control of the aperture via the camera. A manual operation of the aperture is, of course, still possible.
The new ZEISS Servo Unit can be controlled directly on the hand grip, through broadcast demands, or via wireless lens control systems, as is often the case for cranes.
Unique for the ZEISS Servo Unit is that no tools are needed for assembly, which can save time in critical moments. With a snap-on mechanism, the main unit can be exchanged easily, fast and without tools between the three different ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses. For each lens, this is done with a sleeve and installation plate. In addition, the optional focus unit can be mounted on the main unit with little effort, and adjusts quickly to the respective lens during lens changes. Electricity to the servo unit can be supplied via a PL-mount with contacts (at the zero position), through the camera interface cable, or externally. For ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses already available on the market, the necessary modifications for the contacts on the PL-mount can be carried out by ZEISS Service.
“The new ZEISS Servo Unit for the Compact Zoom CZ.2 family consistently expands the creative uses of our cine zooms, which have a growing fan community among professional cinematographers, production companies and in the rental business,” said Helmut Lenhof, Product Manager with ZEISS Camera Lenses. “Flexibility and longevity were our guiding ideas when developing the Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses and these principles are reflected in the patented interchangeable mount system (IMS) and the optical design for the full frame. The ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 lenses are therefore growing in step with the requirements of their users. The new servo unit is a powerful component that lets cinematographers flexibly extend the use of their CZ.2 lenses, whether for professional film productions or on a hand camera for reportage, documentary, and live events.”
During the IBC 2014, ZEISS will again present its comprehensive product portfolio of lenses for movie productions and HD video: ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2, ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic, ARRI/ZEISS Master Prime, ARRI/ZEISS Ultra Prime, ZEISS Compact Prime CP.2, and SLR lenses for HD video. Visitors to the booth will be able to test ZEISS lenses on a large variety of the latest camera models, as well as meet and talk to experts on site.
The official market launch for the new ZEISS Servo Unit is planned to coincide with the NAB 2015. The total price of the system, including the focusing element, is expected to lie between € 5.000 and € 6.000 or US$ 7,800 and (net price). Orders can be taken starting April 2015. B&H
carries ZEISS Compact Zoom lenses
By Sean Setters
Last month I posted about my experience regarding shooting headshots for Kim Frick-Welker
, a local actress and theater director. The gist of the post – trust your instincts and find a way to capture the images that are in your imagination (even if the client hasn't asked for them specifically).
The point became relevant once more as I was shooting headshots for Billy Hollis
, software designer, at his home in Nashville this weekend. Billy told me that his last headshot was "...taken about five years – and fifteen pounds – ago" and he was ready for an update. He wanted a few different versions of his headshot for display on social media, conference bios and various marketing tools. The only shot he specifically asked for was the "...boring, traditional on-white headshot." Other than that, I could shoot whatever I thought was appropriate (indoors or outdoors).
We decided to start with outdoor shots as the sky was overcast which provided a good, soft ambient base to work with. I found a spot behind his tool shed that provided an interesting combination of elements – a tree trunk, some limbs and an old window surrounded by weathered bricks. I used Canon EOS 5D Mark III with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and a Canon 580EX diffused by a 24" Glow Pop Soft Box
(camera right) to light the subject and a bare 580EX to light the background (camera left). His favorite from that series is shown at the top of this post.
Moving indoors, I created a white background setup by placing a Botero #037 Collapsible Black/White Background
behind the subject (lit with three flashes). I used the same Glow softbox for the main light (camera right) and added a 580EX reflected into white umbrella
for fill light (camera left). As I was firing my off-camera flashes with manual triggers, the first shot was simply a test shot to dial in the power of my lights; it was a throw-away. I'm usually pretty close on the first shot after setting up my lights. However, I had forgotten to change the aperture on my camera when moving to the indoor setup. With my camera set to f/3.5, my test shot was extremely over-exposed. I nearly deleted the picture right after seeing it, but I didn't.
Realizing my mistake, I set my camera to f/6.3 and the next exposure was in the ballpark. But after reviewing the images the next day, I kept coming back to the horribly over-exposed test shot. Something about it captivated me. I sent it to Billy and he's now using it as his Twitter profile picture
. New lesson learned – make sure and take a good look at your "throw-aways" before actually throwing them away.
After about 20 minutes of shooting (trying various shirts and poses), Billy had the standard headshot on white that was a "must-have" request.
But while we were shooting the headshot on white, I started formulating another shot in my mind – a profile shot. So before packing up, I asked him if he would like to try one more setup. He readily agreed. I asked him to change into a black shirt while I made a few changes to the setup.
While he was changing, I turned off all of the background lights and flipped the Botero background around to its black side. I then took my mainlight and placed it on the left side just beside of (and slightly behind) where Billy was standing. I added a grid to the softbox and angled it away from the background to keep it from spilling onto the background. I remove the umbrella from my fill light, added a Honl Speed Grid
and moved it to the right side to illuminate the back of Billy's head. The shots that followed were undoubtedly our favorites from the day.
So again, let me reiterate something that I mentioned in the Kim Frick-Welker headshot post:
"It may sound obvious, but here's something to keep in mind – anyone who hires you was likely impressed with the work you've already created. So if a shot really inspires you, it will likely inspire your client as well – so try to devote a few minutes to getting the shot you want to get, even if it's not a part of your agreed shot list."
It was true then, and it was true again this weekend. Trust your instincts and shoot for yourself. Never leave your best shots on the table. ;-)