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 Monday, April 25, 2016
by Sean Setters
 
There are several variables that can have an adverse effect on image sharpness. Therefore, it's important to isolate each variable to try to determine the exact source of the problem in order to help formulate a solution that aids in achieving sharper images.
 
1. Subject and/or camera movement (Shutter speed is too slow)
 
Probably one of the most common sources of image softness is motion blur, either caused by subject movement or camera shake. Thankfully, diagnosing and counteracting the problem are fairly straightforward.
 
Diagnosis
If you notice sharp areas of your frame, but moving subjects are blurred, you know that your shutter speed was not fast enough to freeze action. If you notice a fairly uniform blur across the entire frame, but the blur is directional (with sharper contrast lines running in a specific direction), or else your images' EXIF information indicates a relatively slow shutter speed for the focal length was being used, then your images likely suffer from camera shake induced by the photographer.
 
For more conclusive results, you can conduct a Control Test (found at the bottom of this article) to see what kind of sharpness you should expect when subject and/or camera movement has been eliminated from the equation.
 
Solution:
Fortunately, the solution to the problem is also straightforward – use a faster shutter speed. How fast? That's a tricky one, but... "as fast as it takes" is the true (but seemingly unhelpful) answer. Fast action (i.e., sports) may require a shutter speed in the 1/500 - 1/2000 second neighborhood. For more static subjects, a shutter speed of 1/focal length [or with more dense sensor cameras, 1/(focal length * 2)] is a good place to start. Experience is often the best teacher when it comes to determining the optimal shutter speed for obtaining sharp images in any specific situation.
 
If your subject isn't moving, using a tripod (or some other form of solid stabilization) and 2-second timer (combined with your camera's mirror lock-up feature) can help eliminate the effects of camera shake.
 
One thing to note is that wider aperture lenses will allow you to use faster shutter speeds while keeping high-ISOs at bay. If you notice that you must use a very high ISO to freeze motion because the maximum aperture of your lens is f/5.6 at the focal length you require, it might be worth considering upgrading to a lens that features a wider maximum aperture at that same focal length (or focal length range).
 

2. Autofocus not calibrated properly
 
It only takes a small amount of front or back focus to make your subject(s) look unsharp. If your camera and lens are not calibrated properly to work together at achieve perfect focus, your subjects will be noticeably soft. Keep in mind, even a top-performing AF system may miss focus occasionally. Calibrating your AF will help if your lens is consistently focusing at a point in front of or behind your intended plane of focus.
 
Diagnosis
The easiest way to tell if your lens is front or back focusing involves shooting several image of a distant, high-contrast object in the grass that's roughly the same height off the ground as your camera (shooting propped on a knee and pointed at a yard sign usually works for me). Reviewing the images on the LCD, the blades of grass and/or ground in focus should be on the same optical plane as the object you are trying to focus on. If the grass in focus is noticeably behind or in front of the original plane of focus, then your lens may not be properly calibrated for use with your camera body.
 
Solution:
If your DSLR features Autofocus Microadjustment, then a little testing should help you determine the optimal setting in order for your camera and lens to focus properly. If your camera does not feature AFMA, then you'll need to send both your camera and lens to the manufacturer's service department for calibration.
 
For cameras with the AFMA feature, you can dial in an adjustment to correct for front and back focusing. However, you'll need to figure out what value works best. My suggestion is to read John Reilly's excellent article "AF Microadjustment Tips" and try the setup explained in the section titled "The better DIY approach."
 
For DSLRs without the ability to adjust focus in-camera, you have a few of options. The first option is to exchange the lens (if it is a recent purchase) and hope that the next lens is better suited for your camera. The second option is to modify the lens firmware yourself if that option is available to you. Both Sigma and Tamron offer optional devices such as the USB Dock (Sigma) or TAP-in Console (Tamron) which allow you to modify focus parameters of compatible lenses. The third option is to send your camera and lens to the lens manufacturer (either OEM or third-party) to have them specifically calibrate your lens to your camera body.
 

3. Surpassing your camera's DLA (Diffraction Limited Aperture)
 
If you're not familiar with the concept of DLA, the take a quick look at Bryan's full explanation here. However, a quick explanation of DLA is the approximate aperture at which diffraction begins to negatively impact image sharpness. The DLA value is derived by multiplying a sensor's pixel pitch (in microns) by 1.61. For example, the DLA formula for the EOS 7D Mark II with a pixel pitch of 4.1µm would be 4.1*1.61 = f/6.6.
 
That means that for the absolute sharpest results at the point of focus with the 7D Mark II, you should limit your aperture to f/6.3 (the next lowest aperture that the camera can be set to) or lower. If you'd like to see an example of the degradation that can occur when using apertures significantly narrower than the camera's DLA, check out these image quality comparisons. That's not to say that you should never use apertures smaller than the DLA; sometimes a small trade-off in overall sharpness is preferable to obtaining an increased depth-of-field.
 
Diagnosis
If you notice that your images are taken with apertures at or above the camera's DLA value, then your images will likely show varying degrees of diffraction (narrower aperture = visibly more diffraction).
 
Solution:
Fortunately, this cause of image degradation is easy to correct – use an aperture wider than the camera's DLA (which can be found by referencing the site's Camera Specifications Comparison tool).
 

4. Heat waves
 
If you are using a fairly long focal length and focusing on subjects relatively far away, any heat source between you and that subject can cause heat waves which will negatively impact image quality. Common sources of heat waves include hot sand and asphalt, but even flowing water on a cold day can be a culprit.
 
Diagnosis
Many times, heat waves are pretty easy to pick out. They cause your distant subjects to have a rippling look to them. The rippling effect will be especially noticeable when cycling between peview images that were captured in a burst sequence. You can also try photographing nearby subjects that do not have obvious sources of heat between you and that subject. If your nearby subjects are sharper, then heat waves may be contributing to the loss of sharpness visible in your distant subjects (though, this test does not conclusively isolate heat waves as the sole cause, as an incorrectly calibrated AF may lead to similarly unsharp distant objects).
 
Solution:
As Bryan says in his Are Heat Waves Destroying Your Image Quality?:
What can you do about this problem? Heat waves are an image quality factor that you generally can't spend money to put behind you. For example, a sharper lens and a better camera are not going to be helpful. Selecting a different location, a different time of day and/or a different day completely or even a different season is often the best solution. A cloudy day with low temperature fluctuation may work for your image.
 
Many times, the photographer does not have control of the day and time of a shoot and will need to deal with the issue. Sports photographers typically fall into this group. For example, auto racing often takes place mid-day on asphalt tracks and photographers capturing these events will encounter this distortion.
 
If opting to shoot through the heat waves, move closer if possible (but not dangerously so – referring to the auto racing scenario). The less air that light passes through, the less likely that heat waves will cause strong distortion. Also, capture lots of images to allow selection of the least-influenced and to give your camera opportunity to lock in proper AF distances.

5. Low quality lens
 
It's no secret that some lenses are simply better than others. If you're using the 18-55mm lens that came bundled with your camera, you probably won't be surprised to learn that a different lens may allow you to get sharper images. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need a more expensive lens (though that may generally be the case). For instance, our tests show that the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM is sharper at f/2.8 than the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens is at 55mm | f/5.6 (even though the kit zoom lens retails for $50.00 more than the prime).
 
Some may question my comparing a zoom lens to a prime, but I think it's a relative comparison from an image quality perspective. If you want to maximize sharpness, you may want to consider a set of prime lenses for a few reasons. For one, the low-to-mid range primes are quite affordable. For another, primes typically feature wider maximum apertures than zooms at their comparative focal length (which, as described above, can aid in obtaining sharp images by allowing for faster shutter speeds to be used). And finally, primes are typically sharper than zooms when compared at the zoom's maximum aperture at that specific focal length (because, inevitably, the prime is stopped down).
 
Diagnosis
Perform a Control Test (see below) to see what kind of performance your lens is capable of. Analyzing the images, see how the fine details are resolved compared to our Image Quality Test Results at the same aperture setting (or closest setting if we didn't test that exact aperture). If your results are similar, you know that your lens is performing normally from an image quality perspective. If your results are noticeably less sharp, and you've eliminated the other softness-inducing causes mentioned above, then see cause #6.
 
Solution:
If your lens is producing the best image quality that you can expect from it, but the sharpness level is below your satisfaction threshold, the solution is simple – upgrading your lens will be necessary to improve the sharpness of your images. The hardest part, of course, will be choosing which lens will represent the best upgrade for your needs. On that note, here are some helpful resources:
 

6. Lens malfunction
 
If you've ruled out all of the other causes of blurry images found above, then a lens malfunction is likely the culprit robbing you of sharp images.
 
Diagnosis:
Perform a Control Test. Compare your results to our own Image Quality Test results captured using a similar focal length/aperture/camera body for reference purposes. If your images appear noticeably soft by comparison, or else one side of the image appears significantly softer than the other, then there's a good chance your lens has a decentered or misaligned element (or some other design anomaly).
 
Solution
If you suspect your lens is exhibiting signs of malfunction, you'll need to contact the lens manufacturer to arrange for a repair. It may be beneficial to show the manufacturer control images to illustrate your concerns. If the item is under warranty, then the repair costs should be covered by the manufacturer (though shipping your lens securely to the repair facility – and insured – may result in a moderate amount of cost).
 
After the lens has been serviced and returned, it's a good idea to perform the same Control Test (and compare the new results to the old results) to ensure the repair was completed successfully.
 
So that's our top 6 reasons why your images may be blurry. Hopefully this list can help you "stay sharp" when capturing photographs on your next outing!



Control Test Setup
 
Here's what you do to find out how sharp your lens can be under ideal circumstances:
 
  1. Mount your camera on a steady tripod and focus on a subject that is roughly 50x the focal length using 10x Live View manual focusing (a good focusing target can be found here). If using a test chart, be sure to angle the test chart so that it is exactly parallel to the end of the lens, ensuring the focus plane runs flat with the test chart.
  2. Set the camera to RAW capture, Neutral Picture Style with a sharpness setting of 1 (for Canon cameras), Av Mode with an aperture of f/5.6 (or alternately the aperture you use most as long as it is below the camera's DLA), mirror lock-up and 2 second delay and take a picture.
  3. Repeat the process 5 or 6 times refocusing between every shot.
When analyzing the results in post-processing, be sure that your software is not applying automatic image corrections to preview images. Pick the sharpest test sample for your sharpness control image.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/25/2016 9:57:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 22, 2016
Kids, especially young ones, can generate a large volume of artwork. Sources include school, home, church and other events. When this art happens, the question in parents' minds becomes: "What do I do with these treasures?" While these memories have tons of value, that value may not be high enough to justify a room addition to the house just for art storage. The solution? Implement an artwork workflow that first involves digitizing.
 
Photograph the artwork (scanning also works great for flat art sized within the scanner's capabilities). Once the artwork is in digital format, the uses for it are nearly endless. Load the images into a digital picture frame or other electronic device for playback in a slide show. Print a collage from large numbers of these art images. It might be fun to pull this print out for display at a graduation party or other life milestone event. Put the images into a scrapbook (paper or digital). Memorialize life.
 
The digital artwork files take up nearly no space and they can be available for a lifetime and beyond. A large benefit to digitalized art is that it can be backed up, providing resiliency to the original artwork and, if backed up to an off-site storage location, resiliency extends beyond the house should something terrible happen.
 
Once the art projects are digitized, implement a FIFO (First In, First Out) art posting workflow utilizing the refrigerator, a door or any surface that works well in your home. As the available space fills, the oldest work of art enjoys a quiet, parent-guilt-free trip to the trash can (when the creator is in bed or away). Keep a few of the most-treasured pieces and enjoy the photos of the rest.
 
Once the kids start creating long-term-display-worthy art, you may need to up your game also. A more advanced approach includes capturing high resolution images permit reproduction at a high quality level. But, more advanced, does not have to mean complicated.
 
My daughter (Brittany) has developed a drawing skill over the years and, when she puts a bigger effort into a project, I make sure that I get a photo of it. My light source is the first priority. I want the art to be very evenly-lit. Because of light fall-off, this means that I minimally need equal light from at least two sides or even better, a light source so far away that the light fall-off is no longer noticeable across the paper. The latter, in the form of sun, is uncomplicated, easy and what I usually use for flatwork.
 
Some considerations for using the sun as the light source include the angle and the color temperature of the light. Shooting too early or too late in the day may cause your art to take on an undesired color warmth. The camera angle (directly in line with the art) must be such that reflections of the sun are not a problem. The light angle on the art must not over-emphasize the texture of the material, and a cloudy day may be needed to photograph 3D works of art using this light source. The latter may work best outdoors, but I shoot flat art placed on the floor where the sun is shining directly through a window or door, often in the mid-late afternoon (depending on the time of the year).
 
With the artwork in place, setting up the tripod is the next task. Care must be taken to not cause any hint of shadows on the art. This means that the sun is shining between two of the tripod legs. The higher the tripod is raised, the less likely the legs are to influence the lighting. To avoid any perspective distortion (including keystoning of rectangular art), the camera must be positioned directly over the subject.
 
Note that a tripod with a center column that can be adjusted to horizontal orientation makes positioning a camera straight downward easier. Also note that a camera positioned on a horizontal column can easily become unbalanced – use this feature with care.
 
Selecting a lens is another important step. In addition to good sharpness across the entire frame (keeping the corners of the art sharp), lack of linear distortion is important as barrel or pincushion distortion will change how the art appears. The choice of focal length is also important, but since the tripod can be raised or lowered to achieve optimal framing, there is often a range of focal lengths that work well. A prime lens is often the best option. If using a zoom, select one that has low or no distortion at a focal length that can be used for ideal subject framing (use our lens distortion tool to find this). Note that gaffer taping the zoom ring in position may be necessary to prevent gravity zooming when the camera is facing straight down.
 
While a flat piece of paper photographed from directly above requires very little depth of field and permits a very wide aperture to be used, most lenses are at least modestly sharper when stopped down and most show some vignetting or peripheral shading when used at their widest apertures. Thus, using an aperture narrower than necessary for adequate depth of field may be beneficial (use our lens vignetting tool to find the ideal aperture). While narrower than max aperture is likely desired, using a too-narrow aperture may result in a less-sharp result. Try to use an aperture that is wider or not too much narrower than the diffraction-limited aperture (look for the DLA spec for your camera in the camera specifications tool). If unsure about aperture selection, use f/5.6 or f/8.
 
With the aperture selected, the proper shutter speed for a desired-brightness at ISO 100 should be determined. Note that a mostly white paper is going to need an exposure that is brighter than the camera calls for. Ideally, shoot in RAW format with the brightest RGB (Red, Green or Blue) color value captured being at the right side of the histogram. Then adjust the brightness as necessary during post processing.
 
To capture the image without any camera motion, select mirror lockup with a 2-second delay in One Shot drive mode, use the 2-second self-timer drive mode with mirror lockup enabled or use Live View with 2-second self-timer drive mode selected. A remote release can be used in place of the 2-second self-timer, but ... I don't usually bother getting this accessory out.
 
Focus and take the picture. Review the result, making any adjustments needed.
 
Once setup, many similar-sized works of art can be photographed in rapid succession. I will often setup for the larger piece of art and not change the tripod height for modestly smaller works unless they are deemed very important.
 
Modern DSLRs produce a very accurate color balance when photographing under direct sunlight, but capturing a photo of a custom white balance target at the same time as the art may be good idea. This is an especially good idea if under cloud or shade lighting or using alternate light sources. This CWB image can be used to properly adjust the color balance later if needed.
 
If you are documenting the work of more than one child, consider having them sign or initial their art prior to photographing it. Otherwise, you may find it hard to differentiate between artists' work in 20 years.
 
Start now. Make plans to photograph the artwork around your house and begin your own artwork workflow.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/22/2016 10:45:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens in stock with free expedited shipping*.
 
* Any orders placed now at B&H will be processed after they reopen at 10am on Sun May 1.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 4/22/2016 8:19:53 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.
 
The Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC) is an excellent value at only $9.99/month.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/22/2016 6:55:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the Vello FlexFrame Softbox for Portable Flash (8 x 12") available for $24.95 with free shipping. Regularly $44.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Fits Most On-Camera Flash Units
  • Reduces Harshness and Softens Shadows
  • Durable Fiberglass Frame for Fast Setup
  • Removable Front Diffuser
  • Reflective Silver Interior
  • Mounting Tabs for Quick Attachment
  • Touch Fastener Cinch Strap
  • Drawstring Carrying Case
Note: Any orders placed now at B&H will be processed after they reopen at 10am on Sun May 1.
 
I keep a couple of similar products (of different sizes) stashed away in my lighting bag which are typically used for outdoor macro shots. Using the pop-up flash controller on a tripod-mounted 7D II (or the ST-E2 mounted on the 5D III), I can simply hold the off-camera flash with a small softbox attached with one hand and fire the camera with the other. [Sean]
 
Orange Flower Macro Oct 2015
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/22/2016 6:00:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 21, 2016
From Western Digital:
 
New Color Designated Line Features up to 8TB Capacity with Optimal Performance, High Capacity and Enhanced Reliability for Datacenter Applications
 
IRVINE, Calif. – Apr. 19, 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the expansion of its award-winning color portfolio with a new line; WD Gold datacenter hard drives. WD Gold datacenter hard drives are designed for a broad range of applications – including small- to medium-scale enterprise servers and storage, and rack-mount datacenter servers and storage enclosures. WD Gold drives are currently available at select U.S. distributors, resellers and through the WD Store.
 
With purpose-driven designs for the datacenter, WD Gold datacenter hard drives are launching with a new, high-capacity configuration of up to 8TB that offers HelioSeal helium-technology for performance, ideal capacity per square foot, power efficiency and low power consumption for datacenter environments. WD Gold datacenter hard drives feature an optimized design with an 8TB option that helps reduce the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of servers and storage systems, benefiting IT administrators challenged with growing storage capacity needs on limited budgets. WD Gold hard drives will also include a premium dedicated support line for customers worldwide.
 
"Western Digital has a proven history of providing award-winning purpose-driven products for unique requirements of each application environment, like WD Red, WD Purple and WD Blue drives," said Brendan Collins vice president of product marketing, Western Digital Corporation. "WD Gold is a pinnacle part of the color portfolio strategy and another step in creating optimized drives for the markets we serve. Our continued goal is to deliver the most competitive and reliable solutions on the market."
 
WD Gold datacenter hard drives include:
 
  • Improved power efficiency – New electronics enhance power efficiency up to 15 percent. HelioSeal technology enables up to 26 percent lower power consumption
  • Better performance – Up to 18 percent sequential performance improvement over previous generation WD Re 4TB datacenter drives, and up to 30 percent improvement in random write performance over previous generation WD Re 6TB datacenter drives through media-based cache, and up to 3x improvement over competitive offerings
  • High reliability – WD Gold incorporates best-of-breed design, manufacturing and test processes to achieve one of the highest reliability ratings in the industry – 2.5 million hours MTBF (8TB offering)
  • Dedicated Premium Support Line and WD Gold Model Numbers – Western Digital offers a 24/7 premium support line for WD Gold customers and can be reached at U.S.: (855) 559-3733; International: +80055593733. WD Gold model numbers:
    • 8TB: WD8002FRYZ
    • 6TB: WD6002FRYZ
    • 4TB: WD4002FYYZ
B&H has the WD Gold Series Hard Drives available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/21/2016 12:39:01 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Refurbished Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens available for $534.95 with free shipping. Compare at $1,096.95 new.
Just posted: MindShift Gear FirstLight 40L Camera Backpack Review.
 
I've been looking for a great long lens backpack for a long time. This is the one I was waiting for. It works great for holding large amounts of smaller gear as well.
 
B&H has the MindShift Gear FirstLight 40L in stock. Or, buy directly from MindShift Gear.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/21/2016 10:48:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Lexar:
 
Reader Designed for Management of Video and Photo Content from Sports and Aerial Cameras to the Latest iOS Devices
 
Milpitas, CA – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory products, today announced the Lexar microSD Reader, allowing users to easily offload content from their sports camcorder or aerial camera to an iPhone or iPad. The small, portable reader features a Lightning connector for quick transfer of files on the go, allowing users to view and playback photos and videos on their Apple device*. It also works with an easy-to-use and free file management app on the App Store.**
 
“Users who are looking to capture more content in real time while on the move can find it challenging to manage that content, especially in an iOS device,” said Steffi Ho, product marketing manager, Lexar. “Shooters can now take advantage of the large screens and connectivity of their iOS devices by editing and uploading content captured on their action sports and aerial cameras wirelessly. Users no longer need to wait until they’re back in front of their main computer at home or in the office to upload content captured on-the-go.”
 
The new microSD Reader also allows users to offload files and store more on the card, creating more device space to capture content on the go. It also provides an easy way to move files from Android or other microSD-based device to an iPhone or iPad, and swap content between iOS devices. It has a small, portable design that makes it easy to take on the go, and its Lightning connector fits with most iOS cases, providing simple plug-and-play functionality. Furthermore, the microSD reader works with a free file management app on the App Store, allowing users to back up files when connected.
 
All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. The new microSD Reader is available for purchase in April 18, 2016 with an MSRP of $41.99, and includes a one-year limited warranty.
 
B&H carries the Lexar microSD Memory Card Reader with Lightning Connector.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Lexar News
Post Date: 4/21/2016 6:39:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the AXRTEC AXR-A-1040BV Bi-Color LED Light Panel with V-Mount Battery Plate & DMX available for $499.95 with free shipping. Regularly $899.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 3200 to 5600K Variable Color Temperature
  • 13 x 8.26 x 1.9" Panel Size
  • 45° Beam Angle
  • 100 to 10% Dimming
  • Integrated Barn Doors
  • V-Mount Battery Plate
  • DMX Adapter
  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Remote Control
  • 100-240 VAC Power Adapter
  • White Diffuser
From Sigma:
 
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
 
Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of “SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3 for Windows” and “SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3 for Macintosh”, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
 
This download service is for SIGMA USB DOCK users and/or SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 users who are using our interchangeable lenses from our Art, Contemporary and Sports product lines.Please be sure to download SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3 to use the SIGMA USB DOCK and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 effectively.
 
Benefit of SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3:
 
SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3 for Windows
 
  • It has enabled compatibility with SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
  • It has enabled compatibility with Windows 10.
  • It has corrected the phenomenon where click-and-drag operation for the Focus Limiter adjustment slider is not possible when the check box to switch the primary mouse button from the left to the right is ticked in Mouse Preferences within the Windows Control Panel.
SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.3 for Macintosh
 
  • It has enabled compatibility with SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
  • It has enabled compatibility with OS X El Capitan 10.11, and Condition of Operation has changed to Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 and 10.11.
  • When adjusting the timing of the MF switch function, it has corrected the icon which shows the amount of the focus ring rotation.
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
http://www.sigma-global.com/download/en/
 
Please ensure the SIGMA USB DOCK has the latest firmware installed.
 
B&H has the Sigma USB Dock in stock and the Mount Converter MC-11 available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News,
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 4/21/2016 5:05:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, April 20, 2016
As close to vertically level as possible is often the ideal camera position for photographing a bird, especially one swimming. Of course, when a bird is swimming, perfectly level would mean a nearly or partially submerged camera. I don't recall seeing an underwater housing for a birding lens and I therefore prefer to be high enough above-water to keep the lens dry.
 
On this day, I was sitting on the ground at the edge of the creek with two tripod legs and one of my own legs in the water. Though I was bending over uncomfortably hard to get to a low-positioned camera, all was good with the setup. That is, good until I heard two Canada geese getting into a squabble. Two very loud geese were taking flight from mid-stream and headed directly toward me. While that shouldn't be a problem, they were watching each other instead of where they were going.
 
It didn't take long to realize that I was directly in their trajectory. I raised a foot to block the rapidly incoming fowl and held the camera and lens tightly with both hands. Minimally, the first goose crashed hard into my boot. I say minimally because I turned my head just prior to impact and I'm not sure if the second goose crashed also or was able to correct itself in time (wish I had video of that). There was lots of flapping and ... lots of water covering both me and the gear.
 
I quickly sacrificed the remaining dry areas of my shirt to dry the camera and lens. Fortunately, both were weather sealed and fine, but ... I still don't like to take chances and like to keep the gear clean – much more than I cared about my shirt.
 
Capturing interesting behavior is always a goal of photographing wildlife, but this behavior was a bit over the top and ... I was unprepared to capture it. The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L Lens would have been ideal for this accident scene. The best I could do was photograph the rude goose after the incident.
 
While photography is often used to tell a story, very often photographing creates stories. This day gave me a story that I'll long remember. Go photograph frequently and you will likely have many interesting stories to tell.
 
Disclaimer: No geese were harmed in the making of this image.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 4/20/2016 10:32:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Nikon:
 
MELVILLE, NY – Nikon has released the Android version of the SnapBridge app, which enables constant connection of a compatible Nikon digital camera to a smart device*(1) using Bluetooth low energy technology.
 
SnapBridge Microsite: http://snapbridge.nikon.com/
 
SnapBridge is an app that offers users a number of convenient services by utilizing Bluetooth low energy technology to enable seamless connection of a Nikon digital camera to a smart device, all while consuming very little power.
 
SnapBridge can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. The iOS version of the app is scheduled to be available from the App Store later this summer.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/20/2016 8:14:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Nikon D500 User's Manual is now available for download.
 
B&H has the Nikon D500 available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/20/2016 8:05:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce that two Nikon digital SLR cameras, the D5 and D500, have been awarded the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016, sponsored by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen.
 
The Red Dot Award: Product Design is a world-class award presented to products released over the past two years that exhibit superiority in terms of a total of nine aspects, including innovation, functionality, ergonomics, ecology, and durability.
 
2016 is the 61st time the Red Dot Award: Product Design has been held. Winners selected from roughly 5,200 entries from 57 countries around the world will be on display at a special exhibition to be held from July 5 to July 31, 2016 at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen Germany.
 
B&H has the Nikon D5 and D500 available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/20/2016 7:03:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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