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 Friday, April 21, 2017
April 21st, 2017, Seoul, South Korea – Global optics brand, Samyang Optics announce a new 16mm T2.6 cine lens, designed specifically for video shooting with uncoupled gear rings with T numbers. This launch adds one more lens to the existing 18 cine lenses for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
 
Since 2012, Samyang Optics has released its cine lenses based on the needs of professional videographers. Satisfied with the image quality of Samyang lenses, videographers continuously requested for cine lenses and as an answer, Samyang launched cine lens line up.
 
This new launch expands the cine lens line up to a total of 19 lenses: 13 for DSLR cameras varying from 8mm fisheye to 135mm telephoto and 6 for mirrorless cameras varying from 8mm to 50mm.
 
Inheriting the renowned image quality of Samyang’s wide-angle lenses, the 16mm angle of view is commonly used by directors of photography around the globe for its versatile usage for wide-angled emotional scenes in film and videos. Along with the existing 14mm, 20mm and 24mm, this new lens will realise the delicate changes in the scenes.
 
As a ‘Total Imaging Solution’ optics brand, Samyang Optics now offers 51 lenses: 2 premium XP photo lenses, 2 autofocus lenses, 19 manual focus photo lenses, 19 cine lenses and 9 professional cinema lenses specifically under XEEN brand.
 
Launched to complete the Samyang cine lens line up, this new 16mm T2.6 will be available globally from June and will carry a suggested retail price of EUR 599.00. For more information, visit the Samyang social media channels.
Post Date: 4/21/2017 7:09:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 20, 2017
From Tamron USA:
 
April 20, 2017, Commack, NY- Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Shiro Ajisaka), a leading manufacturer of precision optics, has announced that its SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022) has been awarded with the "TIPA Awards 2017/ BEST DSLR TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS" hosted by the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association).
 
Award Citation Excerpt
 
This long-range zoom is built for full-frame DSLRs but can also be used on APS-C DSLRs to deliver an incredible 225-900mm focal length range (approximate, depending on camera). Tamron's improved VC (vibration compensation) offers a 4.5 stop advantage with three modes for a variety of shooting scenarios. The lens incorporates three low dispersion elements to aid in the elimination of chromatic aberrations and is constructed with 21 elements in 13 groups, with a minimum focusing distance of 86.6 inches (220cm). Other features include eBAND and BBAR coating to help reduce ghosting and flare, a fast ultrasonic silent drive ring-type motor, and leak-proof seals on the metal barrel.
 
B&H carries the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 Lens (review).
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 4/20/2017 9:04:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
In this video, we take our first look at Canon's latest addition to the compact servo lineup. The new 70-200mm T4.4 Lens keeps cinematographers and ENG videographers in mind with servo compatibility, full manual control, and parfocality. With color-matching to the existing cinema EF line, and gear-matching to Canon's previous 18-80mm lens, the 70-200mm T4.4 brings a classic zoom range into new, versatile form.
 
B&H will carry the Canon 70-200mm T4.4 Cine Zoom Lens.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 7:23:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Manfrotto:
 
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (April 19, 2017) – Manfrotto, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, announces the launch of the new Nitrotech Video Head - a revolutionary head that combines the most successful features of Manfrotto’s Video Heads range with the ground-breaking, unique-to-the-market nitrogen piston mechanism which guarantees continuous counterbalance during use.
 
The Nitrotech N8 Video Head securely supports a load up to 17.6 lbs. The new head features a precise, continuous counterbalance system which effortlessly and safely holds and operates a wide array of video camera models. The variable fluidity function on both pan and tilt allows for smooth, judder-free movement. It also features a 3/8” Easy Link equipped with an anti-rotation function that enables an external monitor or other accessories to be mounted.
 
Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Video Head Close-up

This new video head also features a side-lock sliding plate mechanism that allows for a safe, quick and easy camera attachment. The Nitrotech head has a flat base mount with a standard 3/8” thread that is highly versatile for different support combinations (tripod, slider, rig or crane).
 
Manfrotto’s game-changing N8 Nitrotech Video Head makes a strong impression at first sight through its distinctive and impactful design, which emphasizes this core breakthrough technology.
 
Key features include:
 
  • Breakthrough nitrogen piston technology for precise, continuous counterbalance
  • Variable pan & tilt fluidity for smooth and accurate shooting
  • Easy link connector with anti-rotation to support off-camera accessories
  • Side-lock sliding plate attachment
  • Secure 17.6 lb. load capacity
  • High-impact, groundbreaking design, superior quality materials
The Nitrotech N8, first model in the Manfrotto Nitrotech line, is also available as a system in the following configurations: MVKN8CUS and MVKN8TWINMUS.
 
B&H carries the Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Video Head.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 6:41:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From DJI:
 
April 13, 2017 – DJI, the world's leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, Thursday, introduced a new addition to the Phantom family – the Phantom 4 Advanced - offering creators an affordable way to capture aerial imagery with a more powerful camera and more precise controls. The new Phantom 4 Advanced model improves on the original Phantom 4, giving photographers a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and a mechanical shutter that lets them explore all the creative possibilities that a flying camera can provide.
 
The Phantom 4 Advanced's upgraded camera is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second. The more powerful video processing now supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps or H.265 4K at 30fps, both with a 100Mbps bitrate. Excellent optical performance, sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with high dynamic range and more image detail needed for advanced post-production.
 
Similar to the Phantom 4 Pro, it comes with many key intelligent features that allow smooth automatic flight modes, including Draw, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Gesture and Tripod. Equipped with the FlightAutonomy system made up of 5 vision sensors, forward-facing obstacle avoidance system, dual-band satellite positioning (GPS and GLONASS), and ultrasonic rangefinders, the Phantom 4 Advanced is able to hover precisely in places without GPS and fly in complex environments.
 
The Phantom 4 Advanced+ version offers a 5.5-inch 1080p screen integrated into the controller. The screen is more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices, making it an ideal aerial imaging solution for outdoor use. In addition, creators can now do more with the Phantom 4 Advanced's increased storage capacity using a 128GB microSD card and a flight time extended up to 30 minutes.
 
For those who are ready to take their aerial camera work to the next level, the Phantom 4 Advanced is truly the most affordable, intelligent and powerful flying camera you can find.
 
With the introduction of the more affordable, yet powerful Phantom 4 Advanced, the Phantom 4 model will reach its End of Life (EOL) on April 30, 2017. DJI will continue to provide after sales support to Phantom 4 customers and they can continue to enjoy flying their aircraft using the DJI GO 4 app.
 
The US retail price of the Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced+ is USD1,349 and USD1,649, respectively. It will be available at authorized retailers and the product will start shipping on April 30, 2017.
 
B&H has the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced and Phantom 4 Advanced+ quadcopters available for preorder.
Post Date: 4/20/2017 5:45:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Among the categories that lenses can easily be grouped into, one of the least understood is the "tilt-shift" category. As such, we invite you to explore the latest installment in our Photography 101 series to find out what tilt-shift lens capabilities make them unique and alluring to photographers.
 
Photography 101: What is a Tilt-Shift Lens?
 
Check out our other posts in the Photography 101 series:
 
Post Date: 4/19/2017 7:50:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Nikon Europe YouTube Channel:
 
Nikon's history in Space began with the Nikon Photomic FTN, a modified Nikon F camera that was used aboard the Apollo 15 in 1971 and Nikon cameras have been aboard every manned space flight since. This film, edited by SmugMug Films, is a compiled time-lapse video using thousands of still images. The bright flashes are lightning strikes hitting the earth, watch and enjoy.
 
This is the first of many remarkable moments, both big and small, which we will be sharing in the lead up to Nikon 100th Anniversary! Stay tuned for more.
 
B&H carries Nikon DSLRs and lenses.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/19/2017 5:54:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, April 18, 2017
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Choosing a lens to photograph the upcoming total solar eclipse in August takes a lot more consideration than the camera body to be used because the camera is simply a light-tight box that records the image produced by the lens.
...
Choosing a lens to photograph the sun or moon depends on how large of a sun or moon disk you want. The size of the disk is controlled by two things: your DSLR’s sensor size and the focal length of your lens.
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
 
B&H carries the gear you'll need to photograph the solar eclipse safely (checkout will be available at 9:00 PM ET tonight).
Post Date: 4/18/2017 5:37:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sigma:
 
Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Firmware v.1.01:
 
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that 3D-tracking does not work when it is attached with TELE CONVERTER TC-1401 on a Nikon DSLR.
* For this update, it requires the firmware of the SIGMA USB DOCK for NIKON to be Ver.1.01 or later.
* Before updating the firmware of the 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for NIKON, Please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to Ver1.4.1 or later for Windows, or Ver1.4.0 or later for Macintosh.

 


Sigma USB Dock Firmware v.1.03
 
  • Compatible with SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C017.


SIGMA Optimization Pro Download
 
B&H carries the Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM Sports Lens and USB Dock and has the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens available for preorder.
 Monday, April 17, 2017
Roger Cicala of LensRentals has created a "Random Photo Marketing Generator" to help camera gear manufacturers sell their products. The following are a couple of samples that were generated when I tried the tool:
 
Sample #1
Using space-age technology including multiple floating elements and the industry’s most accurate autofocus system, this lens can take your professional performance to new achievements. See the world with a dramatic perspective you never dreamed was possible. Capture life in a way you’ve always wished you could. Designed with the sports photographer in mind, our newest lens provides the edge-to-edge performance needed to take your photography to profitability. Like all of our products, this lens is in a class of its own.
Sample #2
We joyfully announce the world’s first lens combining all-metal construction with fully computerized assembly, creating a lens that will be treasured by cinematographers and collectors alike. Capture life in a way lesser beings have always wished they could. We have created a game-changing new standard in photography that will amazingly improve your images. We are pleased to offer the world’s finest wide-angle lens, featuring 4 really, really low dispersion elements, 2 aspheric elements, and our new anti-glare coatings providing unparalleled flare resistance while providing amazing resolution. See your surroundings with a remarkable perspective you never knew was possible.
We expect Canon, Nikon, Sony, Tamron, Sigma & Zeiss will be slimming down their marketing departments in the not-so-distant future in favor of the free online tool.
Post Date: 4/17/2017 2:16:26 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 14, 2017
From the Professional Photographers of America:
 
Time to Act: Contact Your Representative Today!
 
There's a bill in the House of Representatives that needs our attention now!
 
H.R. 1695 allows the position of Register of Copyrights to become a Presidential Appointee, picked from a list of recommendations from the Senate.* This is positive for all photographers, ensuring that someone with ample knowledge of I.P. and the Copyright world will lead the U.S. Copyright Office in an unbiased manner as it begins to undergo the modernization process. This bi-partisan bill will help guarantee that the Copyright Office will be able to serve all creative artists the way it was designed to.
 
Please take 30 seconds to ask your representative to support HR 1695.
 
Send a Letter to Congress
 
Additional Info
 
Note: And while you're at it, you may want to send a second letter to your representative expressing support for Net Neutrality. [Sean]
 
* In PPA's original publication, they mentioned that the list of recommendations would be provided by the "Judiciary." However, my understaning of the resolution is that the recommendation list would be provided by the Senate. [Sean]
Post Date: 4/14/2017 2:40:38 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the TheImagingAlliance:
By Jackie Augustine
 
Premium drones drive steady sales, while lower cost drones fly off shelves during the holidays
 
Port Washington, NY, April 10, 2017 – According to global information provider, The NPD Group, U.S. dollar sales of drones more than doubled in the 12 months ending February 2017, with a 117 percent increase year-over-year. While premium drones (priced $300+) fueled revenue growth, increased distribution and assortment during the holiday season helped drive unit demand for drones priced between $50- $100.
 
During the first two months of 2017, drones with a price tag over $300 drove 84 percent of dollar sales and nearly 40 percent of unit sales. According to NPD’s Store-Level Enabled Retail Tracking data, in that time period, drones sold for $1,000+ saw the highest rate of sales, which identifies the fastest turning products, while drones sold between $300 and $500 had the second highest rate. When comparing items sold in the $300-$500 price range, there is a clear consumer demand for premium features. Drones with auto pilot capabilities sold nearly five times more quickly than drones without, while drones that feature follow mode functionality, which programs the drone to follow the user, sold 19x more quickly than drones without (two months ending February 2017).
Read the entire article on the TheImagingAlliance.
 
Ready to pick up a drone for yourself? B&H carries a wide assortment of drones.
Category: Drone News
Post Date: 4/14/2017 11:06:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/14/2017 6:44:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 13, 2017
by Sean Setters
 
Are you curious to know how awesome your image is? Would you trust a computer algorithm to judge the merits your photo?
 
The developers at EveryPixel have created a tool to distinguish good stock photos from not-so-good ones.
 
From EveryPixel:
We are building a stock image search engine. And we want it to be the best search tool for stock image users ever. At the moment we can search across hundreds of millions of stock images and unfortunately not all of them are great. Far from it. And this is where our aesthetic detector comes in handy. There are two very important tasks it can accomplish:
 
1. Automatic Image Curation
Neural network would estimate a visual quality of every image and apply aesthetic score to every file. Later on this data would take part in the overall mix of ranking factors and help improve search results by bringing aesthetically better images to the first pages.
 
2. Bad Stock Image Terminator
There are lots and lots of unforgivingly bad stock photos. Neural network would detect photos with the lowest aesthetic score and literally weed them out from the search results.
For fun, I uploaded a few photos from my most recent portrait session. One of the images (seen atop this article) was rated very highly by the tool, while others from the same session were determined to have a much lower probability of awesomeness.
 
EveryPixel Neural Network Awesomeness Image Analyzer 2

EveryPixel Neural Network Awesomeness Image Analyzer 3

While there is certainly some entertainment value in uploading a few images to the tool to see how they score, the real beauty of this neural network analyzer is its ability to fairly accurately generate key words/tags for your images. Using the suggested tags when uploading images to your preferred social media platform may prove extremely beneficial in allowing your work to be found by those who should be most interested in seeing them.
by Sean Setters
 
Not long ago we posted a video where photographer Jordan Matter used shop window lights for downtown nighttime portraiture. I thought it'd be fun to try my hand at some nighttime portraits using whatever light that downtown Savannah, GA had to offer and see if there were any additional lessons I could learn along the way. I contacted a local model I've worked with on a few occasions, Hunter, and asked if she'd like to experiment with downtown portraiture; she readily agreed. The following are a few things I took away from the downtown session.
 
Trustees Theater Entrance Savannah,GA

1. Finding sufficiently bright shop window light can be tough, but alternative downtown lighting options may be available.
 
I typically rely on off-camera flash for portrait lighting, but I was determined not to on this occasion. My goal was to use whatever light I could find in downtown Savannah for creating the portraits. Knowing a thing or two about downtown Savannah, we chose Broughton Street as the most likely candidate for finding brightly lit shop windows.
 
Unfortunately, while there were some shop windows that were somewhat well lit, I wouldn't consider them sufficiently well lit for my preferred portrait exposure parameters. However, the lights in front of the Trustees Theater proved more than sufficient from a brightness perspective. And even though all of the lights were positioned overhead, the huge area that the lights occupied created a very soft light that proved very flattering for portraiture.
 
Hunter Downtown Nighttime Portrait 2

2. A very wide aperture and a relatively close subject may not be enough to completely eliminate background distractions.
 
While the Trustees Theater may have been perfect from an illumination standpoint, it proved problematic from another standpoint as it located next door to one of the most popular hangouts in Savannah, Leopold's Ice Cream shop. The theater's location combined with its proximity to a busy ice cream shop (with a long line of customers snaking out the door) meant that we had to pause numerous times so that nearby pedestrians could move out (or farther out) of the frame. However, it wasn't until I was reviewing the images later that I realized that the chairs outside Leopold's were a bit too distracting for my taste. It's true that I could have used an even wider aperture (I used an f/1.6 aperture in the image above), but... I'm not sure just how much that would have helped. Of course, choosing a different framing could have eliminated the distraction, but one of the points of using a wide aperture was to create enough blur to render background elements unrecognizable. No matter, care should always be taken to ensure that background elements do not detract from the main subject.
 
Hunter Downtown Nighttime Portrait 1

3. You will likely need a confident subject if shooting in populated areas.
 
If shooting along a busy street, you'll want to make sure your subject is confident enough to deal with the attention that he/she will inevitably garner. Thankfully, Hunter proved quite adept at dealing with the attention of passersby without missing a beat. However, a less confident subject may require scheduling similar downtown shoots during a less busy weekday evening and/or at a less popular location.
 
Hunter Downtown Nighttime Portrait 5

4. Always remember to us a white/color balance target.
 
I was actually on my way back to my parking space after the session when I realized I had forgotten to capture an image of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport under the neon lights of the Trustees Theater entrance. Not wanting to turn around and walk the three blocks back to the theater, I reasoned that I could get the color balance "close enough" in post without it. However, being red-green colorblind and without any great color-neutral objects in the frame, color balance became nearly impossible for me. In fact, I had to return to the same location the following evening to take a picture if the color target in order to get a decent skin tone in the images.
 
Note that because the neon light of the theater entrance was a vastly different color than the lights illuminating the street and surroundings, the background light took on a noticeably reddish hue. And while that hue may not be what I had imagined when setting up the shoot, the important thing is that the skin tones have an appealing warmth to them and the hue even makes the background look a little more interesting to me.
 
You may not be colorblind like me, but shooting a color target can help automate the sometimes tedious process of color balancing. It's definitely made my life easier (when I remember to use it).
 
Hunter Downtown Nighttime Portrait 4

5. I won't be giving up my flashes anytime soon.
 
While I thoroughly enjoyed the convenience of this shoot, with the ability to simply set my exposure, position the subject and snap away, I felt more than a little "boxed-in" by having to limit myself to shooting in a single location and pointed in a single direction (the direction with the most interesting, street light illuminated background). A small off-camera flash setup consisting of two flashes, one (or two) foldable soft boxes, radio triggers and color gels would have allowed me to get similarly-lit results anywhere (or I could have used a single light - possibly with a reflector - as the main source and a rim/hair light behind the subject). This setup would have been more cumbersome overall, but it would have also provided more flexibility.
 
Final Thoughts
 
Education is the key to understanding what's possible. Experience teaches us how to deal with the unexpected, giving us the confidence to react and think on our feet. If you come across an idea that sparks your interest, grab your camera and try to replicate the results and/or put your unique spin on the concept. By doing this over and over again, you'll gain the experience needed not only to recognize but to make the most out of the opportunities that abound for the inspired photographer.
Post Date: 4/13/2017 6:48:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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