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 Wednesday, August 19, 2015
SanDisk Logo
From SanDisk:
SanDisk SSD Concierge Service provides full support during SSD upgrade process
MILPITAS, Calif., August 18, 2015 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced the first SSD upgrade service with live video support. The SanDisk SSD Concierge Service offers full support for SanDisk solid state drive (SSD) installations and is designed to simplify upgrades for consumers of all technical backgrounds.
“Many customers understand the benefits an SSD can bring to an aging laptop but they also feel anxious about performing an upgrade by themselves,” said Philippe Willams, director of product marketing, SanDisk. “The SanDisk SSD Concierge Service’s step-by-step live support will give consumers the confidence to install an SSD and enjoy the benefits of speed, performance and reliability.”
Upgrading an aging laptop with an SSD can greatly improve performance and is more cost effective than purchasing a new one. With advanced flash memory storage and significantly faster speeds, SSDs outpace traditional hard-disk drives (HDDs) in every performance category. In addition, SSDs run cooler, create less noise, and use less power, which helps extend laptop battery life, and reduce the strain on limited system resources.
Through the SanDisk SSD Concierge Service, consumers will have all of the tools required to upgrade their laptop successfully. This includes the hardware and software necessary to migrate data as well as install the new SSD. Once data has been successfully migrated, consumers will have the ability to schedule a video conference via mobile device with a SanDisk technician, who will walk them through the final steps of removing the existing storage device and installing their new SSD. The SanDisk SSD Concierge Service will support all SanDisk consumer SSDs.
Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk SSD Concierge Service is available through Amazon for $39.99*.
* SSD not included; sold separately.
Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 8/19/2015 8:58:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera
eBay (via RobertsCamera) has a Refurbished Nikon D7100 with 18-55mm & 55-300 VR Lenses Bundle available for $699.99 with free shipping. Compare at $896.95 new (camera only).
Bundle Includes
  • Refurb. Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera
  • Refurb. Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Lens
  • Refurb. Nikon AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
Note: These items are factory refurbished and come with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/19/2015 7:40:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D4s DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon D4s DSLR Camera Body available for $3,999.00 with free shipping. Compare at $5,996.95 after $500.00 instant savings.
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore ineligible for a Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/19/2015 6:34:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Revo SR-1500 Dual Grip Shoulder Support Rig
For a limited time, B&H has the Revo SR-1500 Dual Grip Shoulder Support Rig available for $99.95 wth free expedited shipping. Regularly $159.95.
Product Highlights
  • For Camcorders and HDSLR Cameras
  • Shoulder Pad & Handgrips
  • Highly Configurable
  • Rod Clamp with 1/4"-20 and 3/8"16 Screws
  • 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 Mounting Threads
  • 22" 15mm Rods Included
  • Solid Aluminum Construction
Post Date: 8/19/2015 5:36:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Hoya 77mm HD3 Circular Polarizer Filter
From Kenko Tokina USA:
Kenko Tokina Asks Photographers: Is Your Shot Hoya Tough?
Kenko Tokina Debuts New Hoya HD3 Series of Professional Photographic Filters Designed for Extreme Environmental Conditions; 4X Stronger than Standard Optical Glass; 800% Harder Coatings than Previous Generations

Huntington Beach, CA – August 18, 2015 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is proud to introduce the new Hoya HD3 series of professional photographic filters. The HD3 UV and Circular Polarizer filters give photographers the ability to capture high-quality images in extreme settings without loss of color balance, contrast, or clarity due to adverse environmental conditions. Additionally, the new filters’ light-weight and rugged design means no scratches, stains or damage to the front of the lens. The Hoya HD3 filters are 4X stronger than standard optical glass and the antireflective coatings are 800% harder than previous generations while offering a stunning 99.7% light transmission rate. To learn more about Hoya’s HD3 UV and Circular Polarizer filters, visit
Professionals Agree: Hoya HD3 Filters Are the Amazing
Professional photographers are raving about the optical quality of their pictures using the new Hoya HD3 filters. Award-winning photographer Hudson Henry found the new filters vital for a recent European photo shoot.
“The UV filters are amazing. I leave it on while shooting sunburst photos without seeing any noticeable degradation,” says Hudson Henry. “These UV filters are like perfectly clear armor. It's especially handy for conditions with dust, crowds of people, salt spray, and sweat.”
Extreme photographer Stan Moniz, a longtime Hoya user, raved about the new filter series.
“These filters are so durable and so easy to clean, it allows you to do things other photographers haven’t done and get images that haven’t been captured before,” says Stan Moniz. “These filters are the bomb to use. I can’t understand why a professional photographer wouldn’t always have these on them.”
The HD3 Series of Filters
The new HD3 series of filters consists of a UV and Circular Polarizer in common sizes ranging from 37mm to 82mm. Building on the brand’s reputation for producing the toughest filters on the planet, Hoya engineers have developed a new ultra-hard nano-coating formula in addition to a new process for applying layers of antireflective coating to the HD3 glass. These two factors combine to yield a coating that is 800% harder than the optical coating on the previous generation of filters.
The HD3 UV professional filter features a new 32-layer proprietary coating system that greatly reduces or eliminates reflections on the surface of the glass and yields a 99.7% light transmission rate. This means the filter has virtually no effect on the color balance, contrast, or clarity of the final image. Additionally, the hardened, antistatic top-layer is water repellent, stain and scratch resistant, and cleans easily when smudges or fingerprints are introduced to the surface.
The optical glass in the new HD3 UV professional filter is made in Japan, using Hoya’s exclusive HD hardened glass that is 4x stronger than normal optical glass (UV only).
The filters in the new HD3 series utilize a lightweight, one-piece, low-profile aluminum frame to house the glass. This one-piece design allows the filter to maintain perfect parallel alignment to the sensor plane for maximum sharpness, while the low-profile frame eliminates vignetting when used on ultra-wide-angle lenses.
Hoya HD3 filters were developed in conjunction with Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. and intended solely for U.S. distribution.
B&H carries the Hoya HD3 filters.
Category: Hoya News
Post Date: 8/18/2015 1:31:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
LensRentals Logo
Roger over at has published a full teardown of two cinema primes, the Zeiss 85mm CP.2 T2.1 and more affordable Rokinon Xeen 85mm T1.5. Roger does a good job of explaining the differences between the two lenses and provides us his thoughts on the build quality of each.
Post Date: 8/18/2015 1:21:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the ExpoImaging YouTube Channel:
Erik Valind demonstrates how to creatively add color to shadows with 3 flashes and some Rogue FlashBender 2 gear. Flash photography lighting video tutorial, techniques and tips.
Gear Used
Post Date: 8/18/2015 12:45:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Summer Photography Tips: Plan Your Fall Foliage Trip
Why am I posting a fall foliage photo for a summer photography tip? Good question – Let me explain.
Anticipation is one of life's greatest feelings.
Strive to create anticipation for your clients and also in your own life. One of my favorite anticipations is for a photo trip and, while many lament the end of summer approaching, my favorite time of the year to photograph is when the leaves change color. This time of the year is primarily in the fall season, but ... the leaves in some of the most-scenic areas are reaching peak color just as the summer season comes to an end.
Many landscape photographers share my affinity for fall and photographers with interests other than landscape photography can also benefit from the brilliant colors. For example, portrait, sports, car and many other photographers can find the colorful fall backgrounds advantageous. If it is summer and your fall trip(s) is(are) not planned, don't wait any longer.
If colorful leaves are the desired subject, a location experiencing that color during your time there is important. While that timing can change from year-to-year, influenced by water and temperature, trip planning should use historical averages for decision making. There are many fall foliage maps available to help with destination and date planning.
My last fall foliage photography trip was to Colorado, including the San Juan Mountains, a location sure to be found on all USA fall foliage maps. For this image, I used a telephoto lens to bring the snow-capped mountains in close, making them appear large in the frame. A break in the heavy cloud cover provided beautiful lighting and the low-hanging cloud added the extra element I am always searching for.
While your fall foliage photo trip may be best planned even earlier than summer, if summer is here, wait no longer. My big fall trip is planned, but ... I'll let the destination be a small anticipation for you.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 8/18/2015 9:28:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that its Nikon DX-format digital SLR camera, the Nikon D5500, is the recipient of the European Consumer DSLR Camera 2015-2016 award presented by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA).
This makes the second major award the D5500 has received this year, as it was also the recipient of the TIPA Awards 2015 Best Digital SLR Entry Level Award, presented by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).
The Nikon D5500 is a digital SLR camera that offers an effective pixel count of 24.2-mega-pixels, and is equipped with a Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, and the EXPEED 4 image-processing engine. These features combine for superior image quality and rich power of expression. The D5500 is also equipped with a touch screen vari-angle LCD monitor that supports intuitive touch operation, as well as a built-in Wi-Fi function. In addition, adoption of a monocoque structure has helped to make this slim digital SLR the world's lightest with preserving strength durability.
Reasons the D5500 was selected as recipient of the European Consumer DSLR Camera 2015-2016 award (summary of EISA comments):
The D5500 is a digital SLR camera that offers a deep grip for a firm and steady hold despite its compact and lightweight size. It offers one of the highest effective pixel counts in its class, 24.2-megapixels, and is equipped with a number of advanced features, including a Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter, and an AF system offering 39 focus points, optimal for capturing moving subjects. It also supports a broad range of standard sensitivities, from ISO 100 to 25600. This camera is equipped with all of the features photo hobbyists require for capturing and sharing images, including a vari-angle LCD monitor, which supports shooting from any angle, as well as touch operation, and a built-in Wi-Fi function, which enables wireless transfer of images.
B&H carries the Nikon D5500 DSLR Camera.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/18/2015 9:48:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Lowepro Photo Sport 18L & Nova Sport 35L AW Shoulder Bags
Adorama has the Lowepro Photo Sport 18L for $7.95 and the Nova Sport 35L AW for $16.95 after an $8.00 mail-in rebate. Both bags qualify for free shipping.
Post Date: 8/18/2015 9:03:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, August 17, 2015
I've used the Spiffy Gear Light Blaster periodically since authoring a review of the strobe-based projection aid nearly two years ago. Over that time I've used the Light Blaster in several different ways. With a brand new studio space (giving me more room to work than my previous place), I decided to illustrate some of the different ways you can utilize the Light Blaster for creative portraiture with a series of (yep, you guessed it) self-portraits.
The Standard – Using the Light Blaster for Backgrounds
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Used as Background

The most common use for the Light Blaster is to project an interesting background for your portrait. It's relatively easy and straight forward to use the Light Blaster in this way. However, you need to make sure to control all the light sources in your scene as stray light can wash out the projected background. Notice that the left side of the image above is slightly more washed out than the other side which is a result of me using a reflector as opposed to a gridded softbox for fill.
Here was the setup:
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Used as Background Setup

The main light was provided by a Canon 580EX flash diffused by a gridded softbox while the fill light was provided by a reflector positioned just out of the frame. I used another 580EX (camera left, gridded) as a rim light and a final 580EX provided the light being projected by the Light Blaster. Note that I had to use my widest angle lens (a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8) to create a projection wide enough to fill the wall behind me and I had to pose carefully so as to hide the Light Blaster during the shot.
Projecting an Image onto the Subject and Background
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Lighting the Subject and Background

This was one of the techniques I used when creating the Light Blaster Review. This is a relatively challenging technique because of the multiple planes of focus you must consider when creating this type of image.
One plane of focus you must consider is that of the lens attached to your camera. That one's pretty straight forward as you can increase (or decrease) depth-of-field by adjusting your camera settings. The other plane of focus is more troublesome because you can't vary the aperture of Canon AF lenses that aren't attached to the camera (in other words, the lens attached to the Light Blaster). Unless that lens is fully manual (and in most cases it won't be), your lens will be projecting the image using a wide open aperture meaning you must choose a working distance and focal length which are optimal in terms of making use of the projection and obtaining the depth of field necessary for the effect.
While I was eventually able to overcome the challenges and produce an effect I liked, the projection on the background was not perfectly in focus (although I think the slight out-of-focus text looked good in that particular image).
Projecting an Image onto the Subject (But Not Onto the Background*)
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Lighting the Subject Not Background

This is probably the second-most utilized technique when using the Light Blaster. If you have enough working space, you can position the Light Blaster so that it strikes the subject yet doesn't appear in the background. That may sound simple, but it's a little tougher than you may think.
The problem is that for a full-sized projection to cover your subject, pointing the Light Blaster straight ahead is best. However, that leaves you with the projection very noticeable in the background. You can compensate for this by independently lighting the background (blowing it out) or you can avoid the situation by angling the Light Blaster in such a way that its projection doesn't fall into the background of your composition.
Depending on the space you have available to you, it may be difficult to position the Light Blaster perfectly so that it lights the subject in a pleasing way while not also appearing the background. If you position the Light Blaster too high, it may not light your subject's eyes when looking at the camera. In my first attempt, the projection fell onto the lower part of my frame in the background when used at the height necessary to light my eyes. I dealt with it by cropping the image so as not to show that part of the frame. When showing the image to Bryan, he wasn't terribly impressed by the attempt. He challenged me to create an image with "more power."
More power, eh?
I'm glad that Bryan challenged me to make a better image, as the one shown above turned out to be one of my favorite self-portraits ever. The Light Blaster was positioned similarly as in my first attempt (high, pointed downward) and a couple of rim lights were used to help define my outline. Instead of cropping out the part that was "contaminated" by the Light Blaster's projection, I used it heighten the effect of the image. That's why there's an asterisk on this section – the projection did hit a small portion of the background (and that turned out to be a good thing).
The out-of-focus (OOF) areas of the projection which fell onto the background looked a little bit like flames to me, except that they were greyish in tone. The projection was not perfectly centered, either, which led to a black area on the left side.
Here's the straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) image:
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Lighting the Subject Not Background SOOC

I cloned a section of the OOF area on the right side, flipped it horizontally, set the layer blend mode to "Lighten" and placed it over the lower black portion of the left side of the frame. I then created a new layer set to "Color" blend mode and painted the OOF areas behind me with a yellow color. The alterations transformed the OOF areas into something reminiscent of flames which added to the overall intimidating, tyrannical look I was going for.
The setup looked similar to this except Speed Grids were used on the rim light flashes:
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Lighting the Subject Not Background Setup

Using the Light Blaster with In-Camera Multiple Exposures
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster Used in Multiple Exposures

You can also use the Light Blaster when capturing in-camera multiple exposures to create interesting and creative images. For the above image, I pointed the Light Blaster at a wall and projected a slide contained in one of the Spiffy Gear Blaster Creative Kits (think it was the Backdrops one, but I'm not 100% certain). I then set my 5D III to Multiple Exposures (Additive) and chose the Light Blaster slide as my base image.
Using the Additive setting in Multiple Exposures mode will cause the lightest pixels in each exposure to stand out. I took advantage of this by using gridded rim lights to burn my profile into the original image. Full disclosure: I was really lucky with the placement of my eye within the frame. The fact that my eye just happened to occupy a dark area in the slide meant that it became a big focal point in the image. I converted the in-camera multiple exposure to grayscale in post.
Of course, you can achieve multiple exposures in post-processing simply by layering your images and changing the blend mode to "Lighten." And in that case, you certainly aren't limited to the specific Light Blaster slides you own. But there's a certain elegance to capturing the image you want in-camera, and it can certainly be more fun to do it that way.
As you can see, there are many different ways that a Spiffy Gear Light Blaster can be used for creative portraiture. Another great thing about the Light Blaster is that purchasing used 35mm transparent slides on eBay allows for an endless variety of backdrops and projections to use.
List of Gear Used
Spiffy Gear Light Blaster
Spiffy Gear Blaster Creative Kit
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC
Induro 8X CT-314 Carbon Fiber Tripod
Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 Ball Head
Matthews Maxi Kit Steel Stand (9.5')
Avenger Light Stand (Black, 12.6')
Avenger F600 Baby Offset Arm
24" Collapsibe Softbox for Shoe-mount Flashes
Impact Collapsible Oval Reflector - Soft Gold/White - 41x74"
Radio triggers
Shoe Mount Umbrella Adapter & Umbrella Swivel
Female Hotshoe with Miniphone Jack
5/8 Inch Spigot with 1/4"-20 Threaded Stud
Honl Speed Strap
Opteka 1/8" Universal Honeycomb Grid
35mm Transparent Slides
Post Date: 8/17/2015 8:24:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tamron Logo
From Tamron:
August 17, 2015 – Saitama, Japan – Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Morio Ono), a leading manufacturer of precision optics, has announced that the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) has presented its "European DSLR Zoom Lens 2015-2016" award to the world's first* F/2.8 ultra-wide-angle zoom to offer image stabilization, Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A012).
Excerpt from the Award Citation of the EISA Jury
"The Tamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD is quite simply a revolutionary design, being the first wideangle zoom to combine a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture with optical stabilisation. It covers a focal length range suitable for landscape photography, interiors and architecture thanks to the low optical distortion, but can also be used for street photography and atmospheric portraits. The optical performance is exceptional and provides a high level of contrast and detail. The autofocus and image stabilisation systems are highly effective, too. Build quality is high, with moisture resistant construction. It's a large and heavy lens, but great value for money."
Tamron Lenses that have received the EISA Award
The receipt of this prestigious award marks the 17th year Tamron has won an EISA Award, and the 10th consecutive year since 2006.
Year AwardedProduct Name
1992-1993SP AF35-105mm F/2.8 Aspherical (Model 65D)
1993-1994AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D)
1997-1998SP AF90mm F/2.8 MACRO [1:1] (Model 72E)
1999-2000AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model 185D)
2000-2001AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical -IF Super? (Model 371D)
2002-2003AF28-300mm Ultra Zoom XR F/3.5-6.3LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model A06)
2003-2004SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model A09)
2006-2007SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] (Model A16 )
2007-2008AF18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model A18)
2008-2009AF28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model A20)
2009-2010AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO (Model B003)
2010-2011SP70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD (Model A005)
2011-201218-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD (Model B008)
2012-2013SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)
2013-2014SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD (Model F004)
SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A009)
2014-201516-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO (Model B016)
SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A011)
2015-2016SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A012)

B&H carries the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD.
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 8/17/2015 5:29:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Corel PaintShop Pro X7 Ultimate
For a limited time, B&H has Corel PaintShop Pro X7 Ultimate available for $34.95 with free shipping. Regularly $99.95.
Product Highlights
  • Magic Fill Technology
  • Text and Shape Cutting Tools
  • Color Materials Palette
  • Quick Preview for Instant Effects
  • Smart Edge & Image Dialog
  • XMP Support for RAW Files
  • Perfectly Clear by Athentech Imaging
  • Reallusion FaceFilter3
  • Creative Collection Pack
  • Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP Compatible
Post Date: 8/17/2015 5:09:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, August 16, 2015
LensCoat 3 Axis Hot Shoe Bubble Level
For a limited time, B&H has the LensCoat 3 Axis Hot Shoe Bubble Level available for $11.95 with free shipping. Regularly $29.95.
Product Highlights
  • Levels Camera on 3 Planes
  • Mounts to Hot Shoe
Post Date: 8/16/2015 8:06:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma Logo
From Sigma:
The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce that the best-in-class optical performance lens "SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art" and a masterpiece of hyper-telephoto zoom lens "SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports" have won EISA Awards 2015-2016.
SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
The Sigma 24mm F1.4 is a superb lens, combining exceptional resolution with very low distortion and chromatic aberration. However it's not just the incredible sharpness of this large-aperture wide-angle lens that’s impressive, but the overall look of the images, including the smooth, attractive rendition of out-of-focus regions. The construction is excellent too, with an ergonomic design and smooth manual focus ring, and autofocus is fast and silent. Available for the most popular DSLR systems, the Sigma lens is exceptional value compared to its direct competitors, and most importantly produces consistently attractive pictures with the minimum of fuss.
SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports
Specially designed for wildlife and sport photographers, this state-of-the-art lens is a new standard for telephoto zooms. Build quality is exemplary, with dust- and splash-proof construction for use in the great outdoors, and the zoom can be locked at all marked focal lengths. Images are very sharp, aided by an improved optical image stabilizer (OS) that helps to avoid blurring from camera shake. Autofocus is fast and quiet, and compatibility with the Sigma USB dock gives scope for user customisation of settings, along with the possibility of firmware updates. For sports and wildlife photographers it's in a class of its own.
* EISA is the unique association of 50 special interest magazines from 20 European countries. All EISA member magazines meet to decide which of products analyzed in their publications during the past year deserve the coveted EISA Award. The six categories under consideration are: Photo, Video, Audio, Home Theater, and Mobile Electronics Equipment Devices.
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 8/16/2015 7:18:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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