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 Thursday, November 13, 2014
Canon EOS 7D Mark II's Wide Area AF
The large percentage of the viewfinder covered by Canon EOS 7D Mark II AF system is a big deal, at least when shooting in AI Servo AF mode and when there is no time to recompose after focusing. The image shared with this post shows such an example.
 
The horse gallops toward the camera at perhaps 35-40 mph (56-64 kph). I want the rider to be in focus, but the horse's ears and mane strongly compete for the top AF point's attention as the animal quickly moves up and down. Having an AF point so close to the border of the frame allows me to (better) avoid the AF point's attention moving from the rider to the horse.
 
Good examples of situations requiring a wide-positioned AF point include any sports that involve running (track, baseball, soccer, football, field hockey, etc.). When a person is running fast, they lean forward and the head leads the lean. If the subject's eyes are not in focus, the shot is likely a throw-away. To keep the runner's eyes in focus requires an AF point placed on them and at the oft-desired near-frame-filling distances, an AF point positioned close to the frame edge is required. The 7D II has you covered here.
 
Cameras with a lower percentage of the viewfinder covered by AF points require similar subjects to be captured from a longer distance and/or with a wider focal length, meaning cropping is required to achieve the same desired frame-filling result. Cropping of course reduces final image resolution. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's wide area AF system has you covered in these situations, allowing you to fully utilize its 20.2 MP sensor – this capability is a big deal.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 8:25:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Logo
From Canon:
 
TOKYO, November 13, 2014 — Canon Inc. announced today that the Company has been entrusted with the responsibility of processing the 30-meter-diameter multi-segment primary mirror to be incorporated in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) currently under construction near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
 
The creation of the TMT, a next-generation extremely large telescope, is being made possible through the cooperative efforts of Japan and four other countries. Construction of the telescope began in 2014 with completion scheduled for the early 2020s. Japan will handle the processing of approximately 30% of the 492 segments (574 when including replacement segments) that make up the TMT's primary mirror. Of the processing being handled by the team from Japan, Canon is currently responsible for grinding 26 segments and has already begun work.
 
The TMT's primary mirror will comprise an array of 492 hexagonal segments, each of which measures 1.44 meters diagonally with a thickness of 45 millimeters. The segments will be closely arranged, separated by gaps measuring only 2.5 millimeters wide, to create the 30-meter-diameter primary mirror. The primary mirror's construction requires the production of six each (seven when including replacement segments) of the 82 uniquely shaped segments used to create the mirror.
 
The processing work that Canon is responsible for requires that segments be processed at a level of precision measuring less than 2 microns Peak-to-Valley (P-V), a value that indicates differences in surface levels. This degree of precision is comparable to a variation in the surface evenness of the playing field housed in the Tokyo Dome sports stadium of less than 0.2 millimeters. To produce the segments, Canon is drawing on its various optical technologies cultivated through the manufacture of lenses and mirrors, namely grinding and polishing technologies, aspherical surface processing technologies, and measuring technologies. In particular, Canon will make use of its proprietary tools when grinding and polishing the aspherical surfaces to ensure the proper curvature required for each segment.
 
In addition to Canon's involvement in the TMT, the Company provided support for the large-scale optical-infrared Subaru Telescope, also located on Mauna Kea. Canon developed and produced the corrector lens used in the Subaru's Hyper Suprime-Cam ultra-wide-field prime-focus camera. In this way, Canon will continue to use its technologies to contribute to the development of the world's science, technology and natural science fields.
 
Canon will be exhibiting a prototype of a segment from the TMT's primary mirror, which was ground and polished by the Company, at the 2014 International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition (Inter BEE), to be held from November 19 to 21 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, located east of Tokyo.
 
Overview of primary mirror segment production
 
The segments to be used in the TMT's primary mirror are produced by grinding and polishing the front and back surfaces of a circular glass material that is then subjected to spherical and aspherical processing. After cutting the glass into a hexagonal shape and adding holes, it is mounted on a Segment Support Assembly (SSA), a mechanism that enables precise adjustments to ensure the proper positioning of each mirror segment.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/13/2014 5:35:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Apple 15.4
B&H has the Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display (Late 2013 Model) available for $2,799.00 with free expedited shipping. Originally $3,299.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell)
  • 16GB of Onboard 1600MHz DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M Graphics (2GB)
  • 15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • 2880 x 1800 Native Resolution
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, HDMI
  • FaceTime HD Camera, Dual Mics
  • Mac OS X Mavericks
Hoya 82mm Variable Density Filter
Through November 15, B&H has the Hoya 82mm Variable Density Filter available for $119.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $179.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Variable 0.45 - 2.7 Density
  • Reduce Exposure by 1.5 - 9 Stops
  • Greater Control Over Exposure Settings
  • Low Profile, Rigid Aluminum Filter Ring
Post Date: 11/12/2014 2:57:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera
eBay (via Deals-All-Year) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera (review) available for $2,527.00 with free shipping. Compare at $3,199.00 after $200.00 mail-in rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market/import item and therefore not eligible for a Canon USA warranty. The auction advertises a 1-year warranty through the seller.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 2:38:43 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
I've always been very pleased with the quality of prints I receive from AdoramaPix; they have been my preferred print retailer for several years. I regularly take advantage of the AdoramaPix deals I post to the site.
 
Unfortunately, the cost of shipping can often mitigate the savings of purchasing online prints (even when they are on sale). That's why I'm glad AdoramaPix is now offering free standard shipping on orders of $39.00 or more.
 
The best way to take advantage of this program is to keep a running list of prints you want – either to gift to family or friends or simply to keep for yourself – and jump on one of their periodic sales while buying in bulk. This is going to be my new print-purchasing strategy going forward... [Sean]
Post Date: 11/12/2014 1:14:37 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
LensRentals Logo
From now until the end of the year, use coupon code FALL2014 at LensRentals to get 10% off any rental!
 
Details:
 
  • Eligible for any order with an arrival date on or before 12-31-14
  • Can not be combined with any other offers
To support this site, click on the appropriate product review and then click the Rent button beside the camera/lens you want to rent.
Post Date: 11/12/2014 11:58:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
In The 2015 Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests, get a fresh look at over 25 photo competitions worldwide, including new insights on which photo contests are worth your time, and which you should skip.
 
Get details on a long list of photo contests, including:
 
  • Sony World Photography Awards
  • World Press Photo Contest
  • PDN Photo Annual
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Smithsonian Photo Contest
  • Communication Arts Photography Competition
  • Pictures of the Year International
  • Plus many more!
We award each contest a star rating based on factors like entry fee, prizes and promised exposure, plus give you direct feedback from recent winners to help steer you in the right direction.
 
Get the free guide today!
Post Date: 11/12/2014 10:29:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Story Behind the Rainbow over Aspen
Something that all landscape photographers need to know is that the worst weather can bring the best photo conditions. For example, without rain, there are no rainbows.
 
I would like to say that I had spent all day climbing to the top of some remote mountain to capture this image, but ... in this case, I was simply driving from a gas station back to the hotel. When the clouds on the western horizon broke open just enough for the sun to shine under the heavy cloud cover and into the rain, I simply pulled off the road at a safe location and started shooting. In this photo, the very warm-colored last sunlight of the day is illuminating the rain along with an aspen grove at the top of a mountain near the town of Aspen, CO.
 
From a compositional perspective, I would like to have moved the bright aspen grove and mountain peak to the right (or left) to about 1/3 of the way into the frame. To do that would have required me to drive to a new location. Rainbows and the sun shining through small openings in clouds are both fleeting opportunities and I was not going to chance missing the opportunity.
 
The leftmost rainbow was easily the most eye-catching subject, so I placed it in the 1/3 (maybe 1/4) frame position. The strong, bright rain easily balances the bright rainbow and the small, faint rainbow remains in the frame on the right. The dark land in the base of the frame works with the dark cloud at the top of the frame to bring the viewer's eye inward. The near-centered mountaintop then works for me in this case.
 
Without being able to significantly change perspective at this very long subject distance, a telephoto zoom lens allows flexibility in final subject framing.
 
I love unplanned images such as this one. The only requirement (beyond knowing how to use your gear) is being there. So, be there!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Facebook and Flickr.
Post Date: 11/12/2014 9:20:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens
I have loaded my expectations (including observations from a short hands-on time with this lens) onto the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Review page. I think that you and I are going to like what this lens delivers.
 
B&H is taking Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II Lens preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:33:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Tascam DR-22WL Recorder
Adorama has a Tascam DR-22WL Recorder with Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones Bundle available for $169.00 with free shipping. Regularly $218.99.
 
Bundle Includes
 
  • Tascam DR-22WL 2-Channels Handheld Audio Recorder with Wi-Fi
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones, 96dB, 15-20kHz, Black
Post Date: 11/12/2014 7:15:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Sample Picture
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 11:08:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I have loaded an MTF chart comparison onto the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page. Compare the 100-400 L II's MTF charts to those of the 100-400 L, 70-300 L and 400 f/5.6 L. With-extender charts for the new lens are included.
 
Again, B&H is accepting Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens preorders and I recommend preordering early if you want this lens anytime soon. Adorama and Amazon are also accepting preorders.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 10:32:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro Lens for Canon/Nikon available for $544.00. Compare at $749.00.
Post Date: 11/11/2014 9:17:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
While tinkering with the 7D Mark II and its Movie Servo AF feature, I wondered how much of a difference there would be in AF sounds captured by the built-in microphone when using various lenses. So I ran a small test...
 
I set up a the 7D Mark II on a slider so there would be a Movie Servo AF focus shift from a close subject (my Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye) to a distant one (a fence) and tried the following lenses:
 
I moved the slider setup with each lens to get approximately the same framing. Note that ambient traffic was a variable throughout the testing; it may have reduced the apparent AF noise in a couple of the tests. But overall, it was still easy to draw a solid conclusion from the tests.
 
What I noticed...
 
The AF sound was definitely audible in three out of the four lenses, while the fourth (the STM lens) was virtually silent. Coincidentally, there was almost no nearby traffic sound when recording the test with the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, which makes its silence all the more impressive. In addition to being inaudible, the STM lens's focus transition looked much smoother and more natural because the 7D II can customize Movie Servo AF with STM lenses; mine was set to Movie AF Servo Speed (Slow 3).
 
That's a big reason why the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM will be an excellent investment for anyone who has a 7D Mark II (or 70D, for that matter) and wants to create high-quality videos with the convenience of AF. And even though externally recorded audio will always be best (I use a Tascam DR-07 & Zoom H2N), it's nice that you can fall back on the camera's built-in audio when using AF with STM lenses if anything should happen to your main mic(s). [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 7:45:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR + EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens
The Canon Store has the Refurbished Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR + EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens available for 35% off – now only $441.99 with free shipping. Compare at $699.00 new.
Canon Professional Network Logo
From the Canon Professional Network:
"Top wildlife photographer and Canon Explorer Danny Green has long been a fan of Canon’s big zooms, and recently put the new EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens through its paces. CPN Editor David Corfield discovers how he got on...
 
Getting close to nature is what all wildlife photographers will tell you as their main motivation. Danny Green is no exception. As one of the UK’s finest natural history lensmen, his work is beyond compare when it comes to understanding the wild world around us.
 
Of course, in this business the tools help, and as a loyal Canon user Danny has based his business – and won his reputation – around the EF system of incredible lenses. And for the new EF100-400mm zoom, he has nothing but praise...
Read the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/11/2014 7:02:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, November 10, 2014
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens
I share my expectations along with specifications and product images on the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Review page.
 
I can't wait for this lens!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 11/10/2014 9:47:58 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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