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 Monday, March 14, 2016
After researching potential Philadelphia photography locations, I decided to make the sunset and blue hour view of center city from the South Street Bridge my priority. After conveniently parking at the Penn Museum parking garage, I carried a MindShift Gear BackLight 26L full of gear a short distance to the bridge to finalize my scouting. As expected, the bridge piers could be photographed from, eliminating the potentially major mid-span issue of bridge movement caused by vehicle traffic. Satisfied with my plan, I went on to explore the great Philadelphia riverfront and some of the inner city.
 
I came back to my bridge position about an hour before sunset, setup two tripods and cameras and began taking some long exposures using 6 and 10-stop Breakthrough Photography neutral density filters, capturing the setting sun bathing the city in warm color. Warm color turned into orange in the sky for another nice set of images. But, the best was yet to come.
 
When the lights in the city became sufficiently bright relative to the sky, the images took on significantly more sparkle – exactly what I was looking for. While I have a very good idea of when this time is happening, I shoot images from before the expected time until the color in the sky is gone. I later select the image captured at the most-ideal time as it is most easily discernable in post.
 
A 30 second exposure was ideal for eliminating moving people from the image (the riverfront walkway was filled with walkers, joggers, bikers, etc.) and for blurring the water. While a far wider aperture would have provided an adequate depth of field for this image, but f/11 and f/16 create larger starburst effects from the lights. An even narrower aperture will create even larger stars, but I find the detail-softening effects of diffraction to become too strong for this purpose beyond f/16. At this capture time, f/16 at 30 seconds needed ISO 200 for the desired brightness. I could have gone to a 1-minute exposure and ISO 100, but with long exposure noise reduction turned on, that means 2 minutes per image and I wanted a faster capture rate.
 
Post processing adjustments to this Philadelphia skyline image were primarily adding saturation along with a minor curves adjustment. Often the case when photographing city lights is that some areas of the photo are illuminated more strongly than others, often the photogenic tops of skyscrapers go pure white first. To counter this issue, I captured bracketed exposures and selected a 2-stop shorter variant to put the color and details back into the triangular-shaped gridded roof-top on the BNY Mellon Center building via an HDR process. I usually remove airplane light trails, but ... the up-curving arc, to my eye, seemed to work in this image, so it remains.
 
I mentioned using two complete camera and tripod setups. I was using a pair of Canon EOS 5Ds R cameras with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens on one (capturing a wider image including the west side of the Schuylkill River) and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens on the other, capturing a more-tightly framed image emphasizing the city's great architecture with the riverwalk providing a strong leading line into the frame. The two cameras in simultaneous use essentially doubled the take-home from the prime time of this day's shoot.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image. If you find these tips useful, please share them in your circle of friends!
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 3/14/2016 10:09:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Just posted: Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens Review.
 
You don't want surprises from a Zeiss Otus lens. Hopefully you will find none in this review.
 
B&H has the Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 3/14/2016 8:27:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Profoto:
 
Add color to your palette with Profoto OCF Gels
 
Ever since the company was founded in 1968, Profoto has been strongly associated with the colors black and white.
 
Now, Profoto releases its first tool for shaping light in color – the OCF Gels.
 
There are 20 different OCF Gels to choose from. Ten of them are color correction gels for balancing your flash with ambient light. The other ten are color effect gels used for creative purposes, such as creating a colored highlight or background.
 
All 20 OCF Gels are pre-cut to fit Profoto Off-Camera Flashes, and mounted with a unique snap-on solution. No need for scissors or tape. Just flip through the wallet that the OCF Gels are stored in, take your pick and place it in the OCF Grid&GelHolder, snap it on, and you are good to good. Looks better, works better.
 
The OCF Gels are sold in three different kits. The OCF Color Gel Starter Kit includes ten of the most popular gels plus the actual OCF Grid&GelHolder and two gel attachment pieces, allowing you to switch gels fast and easy.
 
The OCF Color Correction Gel Pack includes 20 color gels in orange, blue and green for balancing flash light with sunlight, moonlight and fluorescent light respectively.
 
The OCF Color Effects Gel Pack includes 20 gels in Rose Pink, Gold Amber, Light Lavender, Just Blue, Deep Straw, Chrome Orange, Scarlet, Peacock Blue, Magenta and Yellow.
 
Being a fully integrated part of Profoto’s Off-Camera Flash system, the OCF Gels can be used with the B1 and the B2 Off-Camera Flashes, as well as any of the OCF Light Shaping Tools.
 
The OCF Gels are available from March 7. The OCF Color Gel Starter Kit is sold at a recommend price of €90/$99, while the gel packs are sold at a recommend price of €50/$59.
 
B&H has the Profoto OCF Gels available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Profoto News
Post Date: 3/14/2016 6:04:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, March 13, 2016
The owner's manual for the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II is now available for download. (thanks David!)
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II available for preorder (choose the "Premium Kit with 64GB Card and Reader" as it is the same price, a $300 savings).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/13/2016 12:20:08 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 11, 2016
Image quality results from the EOS 5Ds R and 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens Review.
 
I have long recommended the 70-200 f/4L as a good value lens. For a relatively low price, it has L-grade build and good image quality.
 
The bargain-priced Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens (on sale for $129.99 in refurbished condition at the Canon Store) is not the same grade lens and is APS-C-only, but it has image stabilization and has cast some shadow over this L lens in terms of bargain-ness. Here is the image quality comparison at 200mm f/5.6.
 
The other lens that has reduced interest in the 70-200mm f/4L is the IS variant, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens. In addition to adding the versatility of image stabilization, this lens has better image quality. Here is the 200mm image quality comparison. The IS version costs significantly more.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens in stock with a $50.00 instant rebate.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 9:08:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Japan has posted official sample images for the newly announced EOS Rebel T6.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T6 available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 8:32:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Retouching Academy Vimeo Channel:
 
Felix Hernandez Rodriguez is a conceptual and commercial photographer and graphic designer from Cancun, Mexico.
 
Today he shares his Guide to Toy Photography & Focus Stacking, which is designed to help all enthusiasts in this genre create realistic images by using a few handy tricks, some plastic toys and a bit of imagination.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 3/11/2016 7:06:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sigma:
 
Thank you for your patronage to SIGMA products.
 
We would like to announce the availability of a new firmware update for the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports in Canon and Nikon mount, as well as the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary in Canon and Nikon mount. This firmware update can be installed using SIGMA Optimization Pro, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK.
 
The latest firmware update improves the AF algorithm of SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM lenses and further enhances AF speed by optimizing HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) drive control. It is expected to increase autofocus speed by approximately 20%, to a maximum of 50%, during normal shooting as well as when using “Speed Priority” set through SIGMA Optimization Pro.
 
For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable products listed below, please update the firmware using SIGMA Optimization Pro.
 
For customers who do not own a SIGMA USB DOCK, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA representative for details about updating the firmware free of charge.
 
Applicable products
 
  • SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports – Canon and Nikon mount
  • SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary – Canon and Nikon mount
Benefit of this firmware update
 
Improved the AF algorithm to further enhance AF speed
 
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
 
B&H carries the Sigma 150-600mm lenses and USB Dock.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 6:24:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Enjoy greater control over your images with new Connect Station CS100 Smartphone App and firmware update
 
London, UK, 10 March 2016 – Today Canon unveils it will launch a dedicated companion smartphone app for its Connect Station CS100, available on iOS and Android from late March. The Connect Station CS100 Smartphone App will allow you to upload images to, and download from, your smartphone or tablet; browse and select images to view on your TV screen, as well as rename albums and add comments.
 
To complement this, Canon also announces the release of an automatic firmware update for the Connect Station CS100, available from late May, which will deliver enhanced levels of control and even easier access to your image library.
 
The Firmware 2.0 update will add the following functionalities to the Connect Station CS100:
 
  • Quick, bulk, uploads – import bulk images from your PC to the Connect Station CS100 using the new, simple drag and drop interface
  • Easy image exports – transfer your Connect Station CS100 images to a wider range of devices
  • New Connect Station App features – the firmware will also add a feed of all your images stored on the Connect Station CS100 and is viewable on your smartphone and tablet. You will also have the ability to search by date and album name
  • Support for 13 new languages – Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish, Hungarian, Ukraine, Turkish, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian
The Connect Station CS100 is a unique image-storage device that helps you bring your photos and movies together. Acting as a hub for your images and videos, you can import via NFC, the new mobile app, as well as USB, SD and CF cards. Once stored, you can relive your special moments back on your home TV, or wirelessly on your smartphone, tablet or PC, and even share images online for friends and family to view.
 
B&H carries the Canon Connect Station CS100.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 5:52:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a design and optical formula patent for an EF 28mm f/1.4L USM.
 
Patent Details
 
Patent Publication No. 2016-31414
 
  • Published 2016.3.7
  • Filing date 2014.7.28
  • Focal length 28.00
  • Fno 1.45
  • Image height 21.64
  • Overall length of the lens 125.07
  • BF 38.73
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 5:45:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Canon Imaging Plaza YouTube Channel:
 
Significantly reduce the chromatic aberration of the blue light.Introduction of BR lens technology to dramatically improve image quality. Introducing BR lens technology mounted on the EF35mm f/1.4L II USM.
 
B&H carries the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/11/2016 5:37:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 10, 2016
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
It’s entirely true that many casual amateurs and even a few experienced photographers regularly shoot pictures with their smartphones, because they’re handy, and the images are “good enough.” For some, they’ll never feel the need to move past the imaging threshold of shooting selfies to post on social media sites.
 
But even the most casual of these users knows in his or her heart that the photographic world extends far beyond what’s possible with a smartphone. And some of these users are ready to make that move to their first interchangeable lens SLR, knowing that the investment will reward them with superior images, and lifelong potential with interchangeable lens access. Canon’s EOS Rebel models are the point of entry for many of these new users, and Canon’s latest Rebel entry — the EOS Rebel T6 — is perhaps better-suited for these users than any previous Rebel models.
B&H has the Canon Rebel T6 available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/10/2016 2:22:03 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Venus Optics:
 
An apodization element is incorporated to produce images with smooth and creamy bokeh while maintaining excellent sharpness at the focal plane.
 
Anhui China, Mar 10, 2016 – Venus Optics, the Chinese camera lenses manufacturer who had launched the world’s Widest 1:1 Macro lens last June, has just released another extraordinary lens, Laowa 105mm f/2 (t/3.2) Smooth Trans Focus Lens for DSLR cameras.
 
The new Laowa 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens incorporates an unique optical design with an apodization (APD) element next to the aperture. The APD element resembles the function of an ND filter which becomes thicker towards the perimeter, gradually reducing the amount of light transmission towards the periphery to produce a soft, natural and beautifully diffused out-of-focus rendition (or called bokeh).
 
The new Laowa 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens offers two separate diaphragms. The stepless 14-bladed perfectly circular aperture, in conjunction with the apodization element gives this lens the ability to produce smooth and pleasing bokeh. It is also useful for videographers to control the amount of light passes through the lens. The 8-bladed aperture is to determine the effective aperture opening (f-number) and the depth-of-field formed.
 
The lens houses with 11 elements in 8 groups with 1 piece of High Refractive elements, 3 pieces of Low Dispersion elements and 1pc of Apodisation element. This optical design is proven to deliver images with extreme sharpness and limit the chromatic abberations at its lowest. Floating design is also adopted to ensure a superb performance even in close focusing distance. The enclosure of the lens is fully made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha and Pentax K mounts are available.
 
The Laowa 105mm f/2 Smooth Trans Focus lens will be available at authorized resellers and at the English official website (http://www.venuslens.net). The recommended retail price without tax is USD 699.00.
 
Note from Sean: Laowa has sample photos for the lens on its website, but... the sample images appear to have been heavily edited in Photoshop CS5. For example, here's the full EXIF from Sample Image #1.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 3/10/2016 11:16:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX Lens in stock with free shipping.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 3/10/2016 9:55:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon USA:
 
Become the next Internet sensation with built-in Wi-Fiand NFC connectivity
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., March 10, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its newest entry-level DSLR camera, the EOS Rebel T6. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera offers easy sharing of high quality photos and videos to popular social media sites via compatible smartphones and other mobile devices* as well as Canon’s Connect Station CS100.
 
“Smartphone users passionate about photography and ready to take that next step to creating their best images and videos ever will appreciate the ease-of-use and affordability of the new EOS Rebel T6 camera,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “With the latest addition of the EOS Rebel T6 camera, the Canon EOS Rebel series continues to be one of the most popular DSLR camera lines on the market.”
 

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera offers a wide range of features including:
 
  • 18.0 Megapixel Canon CMOS (APS-C) image sensor and high-performance DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for excellent image quality and speedy operation.
  • ISO 100–6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting from bright light to low light.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for easy sharing to smart devices, social media sites and the Canon Connect Station CS100 device.
  • 9-point AF system (including one center cross-type AF point) and AI Servo AF provide impressive autofocus performance with accurate results.
  • High-performance Optical Viewfinder helps facilitate quick and accurate focusing by firmly framing and capturing the subject at hand.
  • Large, 3.0-inch LCD monitor with 920,000 dots for easy viewing and reviewing.
  • Full HD video mode for high quality, easy-to-use video capture.
Missed Photo Ops a Thing of the Past
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera provides a wide ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 12800), making it ideal for shooting both still and moving subjects in a wide variety of lighting conditions ranging from low light to bright sunny days. In addition, the camera is capable of shooting high-resolution 18 megapixel still photos continuously up- to- three frames per second (fps), with predictive autofocus to help keep every image sharp and clear, even with moving subjects.
 
The Scene Intelligent Auto mode in the Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera analyzes the image, accounting for faces, colors, brightness, moving objects, contrast and whether the camera is handheld or on a tripod. Scene Intelligent Auto mode then chooses the exposure and enhancements that can bring out the beauty in virtually any scene or situation. Simplifying DSLR image capture, Scene Intelligent Auto mode lets you concentrate on composing images without puzzling over settings.
 
Another exciting addition to the Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera is a new ‘Food Mode’ on the mode dial for the foodie or blogger to easily capture stunning images of the food they love. This mode enhances the color and brightness of the food images while at the same time making the images ready to share. Other fully automatic exposure modes include portrait, night portrait, landscape, sports, and close-up. Additionally, the easy-to-use Full HD video mode captures sharp, high-definition video up to 1080p resolution with the choice of automatic or manual focusing. Creative filters such as Fisheye, Toy Camera, Miniature, and Soft Focus give users additional ways to create fun and imaginative images to enjoy, print and share. The camera’s new “white priority” Auto White Balance setting enables users to create images with a more neutral tone when shooting under incandescent lighting. In addition to all the automatic modes, the new Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera provides complete manual exposure and focus controls plus RAW image output for advanced amateur photographers and photography students.
 
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera is compatible with the entire Canon EF and EF-S lens system including over 60 current models enabling users to capture their world in different perspectives ranging from Fisheye to Super-Telephoto. Scheduled for availability in April 2016, the estimated retail price of the Canon EOS Rebel T6 camera will be $549.99 when bundled with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II standard zoom lens.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS Rebel T6 available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/10/2016 6:12:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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