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 Monday, January 18, 2016
Introduced in 1976 and discontinued in 1998, the Nikon 13mm f/5.6 is often dubbed "The Holy Grail" because of its ultra-wide angle of view with minimal distortion. It was only available via special order during its production run making it one of Nikon's rarest lenses.
 
However, a Nikon 13mm f/5.6 lens has just appeared on eBay. If interested in bringing home this ultra-wide, ultra rare lens, a significant emptying of the wallet will be necessary.
 
The serial number of this particular lens translates to a production year after 1982.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/18/2016 7:06:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the Rotolight NEO On-Camera LED Light available for $259.95 with free shipping. Regularly $399.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 3150 to 6300K Variable Color Dial
  • 1077 Lux Brightness at 3' Distance
  • Color Temperature & Brightness Display
  • 9W Power Draw
  • 0-100% Flicker-Free Dimming
  • CRI > 95, Skin Tone CRI > 99, TLCI > 91
  • Flicker Free at Any Frame Rate
  • Accepts 6x AA Batteries
  • 1/4"-20 Threaded Hole, Swivel Shoe Mount
  • AC Adapter & D-Tap Cable Included
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/18/2016 5:15:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, January 15, 2016
The bears I encountered in Katmai National Park were primarily catching salmon, eating salmon or resting. I thought this bear chillin on a mound of dirt looked humorous.
 
Leave your caption for this image in the comments.
 
Friday seemed like a good day for sharing this pic. A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/15/2016 10:49:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Through this weekend, use promo code RULEOF3RDS ($30.00 off) at BuyDig.com to get the Refurbished Nikon D800E DSLR Camera for $1,969.00 with free standard shipping. Compare at $2,049.95 refurbished.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/15/2016 11:05:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Sunpak Quantaray Collapsible Handheld Mic Boompole (aka Sunpak Quantaray Compact Aluminum Monopod with Ball Head) available for $9.95 with free shipping. Regularly $29.95.
 
Features
 
  • Load Capacity: 3 lb
  • Max Height: 60.6"
  • Closed Length: 16.5"
  • Leg Sections: 3
  • Weight: 14.4 oz
  • Single-Lock Ball Head
  • Twist Locks
  • Neck Strap and Waist Clip for Chest Pod
  • Foam Grip
Note: With a load capacity of only 3lb, this monopod doesn't make much sense for use with most DSLR cameras, in my opinion. However, it should work decently well if used as a collapsible mic boompole instead, though you might need a 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 Reducer Bushing for compatibility. :-) [Sean]
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/15/2016 8:42:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Think Tank Photo:
 
The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) today named Think Tank Photo as the winner of the 2016 J. Winton Lemon Fellowship Award. The honor is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. Previous winners include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Adobe Systems.
 
Think Tank Photo Founders Photo 10th Anniversary

Founded in 2005 by designers Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm, and Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice and veteran photojournalist Kurt Rogers, Think Tank is a group of designers and professional photographers focused on studying how photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. By focusing on “speed” and “accessibility,” it prepares photographers to Be Ready “Before The Moment,” allowing them to document those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic talents.
 
“When we started Think Tank over 10 years ago, we vowed to serve the needs of NPPA members and other working photographers,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s CEO and lead designer. “It is an extreme honor to be named for such an illustrious award, especially by an organization we hold in such high regard. We believe photojournalists and other press photographers and videographers serve such a high purpose in helping convey the truth, especially in settings where they often have to put their lives at risk.”
 
Winton Lemen was a charter member of the NPPA. In 1952, after a distinguished career as a news photographer at the Rocky Mountain News, Pittsburgh Press, and Buffalo Times, he established the photo press markets division of the Eastman Kodak Co. and served as the firm's liaison with news photographers.
 Thursday, January 14, 2016
You were shooting madly throughout the year and now, during the dark, cold months of winter, you have settled down to process and post your successes. The problem is that your desk is cold and that your wrist, where so many blood vessels are located, rests directly on that cold desk, radiating the coldness into your hand. When your hand is cold, your entire body feels cold.
 
My right hand is cold most of the winter. For years I have been hunting for a solution and until now, a variety of mouse pads with some insulation capability were the best solution I've come up with, but they fell far short of keeping my mouse hand warm.
 
On my latest search, I came across a heated mouse pad. While this is not the first such model I have found, it is the first one that didn't have some restrictive tent-like or glove-like structure over the pad. It was inexpensive, looked like it would work well for its primary function (a surface for the mouse), had a decent appearance (we're photographers – appearance matters) and I didn't deliberate very long before ordering one.
 
For the price, I didn't have very high expectations for build quality, but I was far from disappointed with what I got. The basic, nondescript, 8 7/8 x 10 1/4" (225 x 260mm) mousepad design features a smooth, 7 3/4 x 9 3/4" (197 x 248mm) matte aluminum surface (great for mouse friction and response) surrounded by matt black ABS plastic (white is optionally available). Four non-slip feet hold the pad in place.
 
Creating heat generally involves electricity or burning something and fortunately the designers chose the former option for this product. Included is an approximately 5' USB cable that appears designed to plug into and draw power from the computer's USB port.
 
Upon plugging in the USB cable, my Dell XPS laptop immediately informed me that a device was requesting more power than the port had available. I rely heavily on my laptop and that message sent a little chill down my spine, but no harm was done. I unplugged and instead used an A/C to USB wall outlet adapter.
 
The next issue was trying to decide which switch position on the provided USB cord was "On". This determination became easier when I realized that there was a faint blue light emanating around the port when the switch was in the "On" position.
 
As you would expect with a low-draw power source, the heat isn't instant. But, the warm-up time isn't bad and the amount of heat provided after warm-up seems ideal for me. The great news is that my wrist and hand now stay toasty warm on even the coldest days. Eventually, even the mouse even becomes slightly warmed, at least near its bottom.
 
With the heated mouse pad on my desk, winter has become a little brighter. Sometimes it is the little things that make life better and the heated mouse pad may have been the best money I have spent recently.
 
The heated mouse pad is available at Amazon.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/14/2016 11:22:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
For a limited time, Adorama has the Audio-Technical ATW-1701L System 10 Camera Mount Wireless Microphone available for $239.99 with free shipping. Regularly $449.95.
 
Audio-Technica ATW-1701L Features
 
  • Digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation for ultimate sound quality and dependable performance
  • Operates in the 2.4 GHz range - completely free from TV interference
  • Ultra compact receiver size with multiple mounting options
  • Selectable balanced and unbalanced output jacks with level control for use with most cameras and recording devices
  • Internal rechargeable 12 hour battery
  • Separate headphone port and volume control for local audio monitoring
  • Multi-pairing function to link a single receiver with up to eight body-pack or handheld transmitters
  • Three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time and space
  • Automatic frequency selection for seamless, interference-free operation
  • Extremely easy operation with instantaneous channel selection, sync and setup
Included:
 
  • ATW-R1700 Camera-Mount Wireless 2.4 GHz Receiver
  • ATW-T1001 System 10 Digital UniPak Transmitter
  • Lavalier Microphone
  • Hot- or Cold-Shoe Adapter
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/14/2016 8:42:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
January 14, 2016 – TOKYO – Nikon is pleased to announce the release of two new COOLPIX cameras, the COOLPIX A100, a slim and lightweight stylish model that can be easily taken anywhere, and the COOLPIX A10, a model powered by common AA batteries that makes capturing high-quality images fun and easy.
 
The COOLPIX A100 has an effective pixel count of 20.1 megapixels, and is equipped with a 5x optical zoom (10x when Dynamic Fine Zoom is used) NIKKOR lens that covers the wide-angle 26mm to telephoto 130mm (equivalents in 35mm [135] format) range of focal lengths, all in an extremely portable, slim body with a depth measuring approximately 19.8mm and a weight of approximately 119g. It is a stylish model equipped with a number of features that make taking and editing photos fun. For example, Scene Auto Selector makes capturing beautiful, high-quality photos easy with the camera doing all of the work, and functions such as Glamour Retouch are easier to use with adoption of a new Creative Slider.
 
The COOLPIX A10 has an elegant body that offers an effective pixel count of 16.1 megapixels, and is equipped with a 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens supporting a range of focal lengths that begins at the wide-angle 26mm (equivalent in 35mm [135] format). Users can easily enjoy taking beautiful, high-quality photos using Scene Auto Selector mode, which automatically selects and applies the optimal scene mode, and retouch functions including Special Effects and Quick Effects have been enhanced. What's more, the A10 is powered by readily available AA batteries, allowing users to respond flexibly should the batteries become exhausted on unexpected outings.
 
Release dates and suggested retail pricing are unknown at this time. [Sean]
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/14/2016 7:35:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From PocketWizard:
 
New Key Features:
 
Compatibility with Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11.2):
 
Apple made significant structural changes in OS X El Capitan (10.11) compared to previous versions of the Mac operating system. As a result, PocketWizard Utility beta version 1.63 required significant work to integrate El Capitan’s differences.
 
Make sure you are using the latest iteration of El Capitan, OS X version 10.11.2. Previous OS X versions of El Capitan, 10.11.0 or 10.11.1, have only received minimal testing with this Utility and will not be tested further. Testing against OS X version 10.11.3, currently in developer and public beta, will commence soon. If you are using 10.11.3, we would appreciate any reports you may have about this Utility’s functionality in that OS.
 
Utility 1.63 remains reverse-compatible with the previous 5 versions of Mac OS X:
 
  • Yosemite (10.10)
  • Mavericks (10.9)
  • Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Lion (10.7)
  • Snow Leopard (10.6)
If your Mac OS X version is Leopard (10.5) or earlier, or you are using a PowerPC-based system, try PocketWizard Utility version 1.54. It will not have the latest features of version 1.63, but should still work for most PocketWizard products with the exception of the Plus III and Plus IV.
 
Continued compatibility with Microsoft Windows:
 
Both this beta version 1.63, and the prior official Utility version 1.58, are fully compatible with modern Windows versions:
 
  • 10 - Version 1511
  • 8.1 – Version 6.3.9600
  • 7 – Version 6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Other versions of the Microsoft OS, like 8 (prior to 8.1), 7 (no service pack), Vista, 2000 and XP were not tested for this release, but the Utility may still function. Operation in these operating systems is not officially supported.
 
Added support for the PocketWizard Plus IV:
 
This Utility will be ready to support the PocketWizard Plus IV when it launches (estimated Q1/2016).
 
Simplified and Improved Workflow:
 
Based on your feedback, we have incorporated many improvements to streamline the Utility especially around firmware updating:
 
  • Dramatically simplified firmware updating. Reduced and removed dialogue boxes and buttons to speed the process up, especially when “Advanced Mode” is unchecked
  • Clarified the notification system that reminds you when a firmware update is available
  • New radio firmware is automatically downloaded upon program install and launch if there’s an internet connection available. This speeds the firmware update process for multiple radios and allows for updating later when there may be no internet connection
  • Removed the “Apply Changes” confirmation dialogue. Now, when you click Apply Changes, your settings are immediately updated. Please wait for the radio to reconnect (see it reappear in the Utility) to allow the changes to be completely applied as well as visually verify the changes you just made
  • Reduced, removed, and clarified dialogue boxes in several places
  • Moved Save Profile, Load Profile, and Replicate to the advanced area. Tick the “Advanced Mode” checkbox in the lower left corner (by the blue gear) to reveal these features
Other Improvements:
 
  • Incorporated the latest security certificates for Mac and Windows operating systems
  • Improved offline operation for a smoother experience when an internet connection is not available. This is in addition to workflow improvements noted above
  • Added a delete feature to the Device Inventory. Device Inventory is located under the Settings Menu. Click the blue gear in the lower left corner to access it. When a radio is deleted from Device Inventory, the information is immediately and permanently deleted
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the context help window would be empty on some computers
  • Fixed other minor display issues
For full details including installation instructions, please refer to the PocketWizard Beta Utility 1.63 Release Bulletin.
 
B&H carries PocketWizard gear.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/14/2016 5:37:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 13, 2016
They don't take Christmas decorations down on December 26th, but ... the crowds will be lighter than before Christmas. Public Christmas displays, including large Christmas trees frequently found in towns and cities, make great photography subjects. Photographing these displays after the crowds leave can make life easier for the photographer (and your social schedule will likely be cleared). Though the Christmas anticipation feelings may have subsided, the resulting photographs can be as good or better than those captured before the holiday.
 
When do they take down public Christmas decorations? That answer varies greatly, but on this particular year, the large Christmas tree on display at PPG Place in Pittsburgh was scheduled to be taken down on Jan 26th. Part of my pre-trip planning involved asking that question. On January 5th, a very cold Tuesday afternoon, the crowds at the ice skating rink were light, but ... timing the photograph with the ice being cleared for the Zamboni to do its resurfacing work meant a completely empty rink.
 
To add an extra element to the image, I aligned the sun with a small hole in the Christmas tree and used a narrow aperture to create a strong starburst effect.
 
Setting the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens to 11mm will take in a VERY wide angle of view. Pointing 11mm upward will cause buildings to strongly lean inward.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
11mm  f/16.0  1.30s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 11:14:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H has the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX Lens available for preorder with an expected availability at the end of February.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 11:23:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Note: While this is primarily a tongue-in-cheek article, all the facts presented are accurate to our knowledge. [Sean]
 
Both Bryan and I recently had images featured in Flickr's Explore. Bryan's image was a view of Pittsburg during blue hour and mine was a shot of the Tybee Island Pier with stars shining above it. As such, Bryan and I had a brief discussion about the formula that Flickr uses to determine each day's most interesting – and thereby Explore worthy – images.
 
If you're not familiar with Flickr, the Explore feed is basically a gallery that Flickr uses to feature the most "interesting" (their term, not mine) images that have been uploaded recently.
 
I mentioned to Bryan that while I was unsurprised that his image made it to Explore, I was very surprised that mine had. Why? It was never posted to a single group (which can garner a lot of views) and didn't seem to have much activity after being on Flickr for almost an entire day. When I went to bed, I the picture had about 50-60 views and one favorite. But when I woke up the next morning, I found the image had been viewed roughly 3,000 times and had garnered almost 50 favorites while I was sleeping and the stats continued to rise. For some reason, the activity from my contacts alone had pushed the image into Explore (but what that activity was, I'll never know).
 
The algorithm used to determine Explore worthy images (via an "Interestingness" calculation) is proprietary to Flickr and, by all accounts, top secret. There's no doubt that the formula is tweaked from time to time, but what is known is that views, favorites and comments are all positive factors. But if your image is posted to a large number of groups, that can count against your image in the calculation. So that's basically all we know. But does Flickr actually weigh the actual subject matter into the Interestingness equation? Or to put it anothe way, are some subjects more likely to boost your image into Flickr's Explore?
 
Then Bryan sent me an email around 7:45pm last night. It read,
"I just figured it out. Buttons are the key subject to get into today’s Explore pool. Why???"
I wish someone could have seen the look of confusion on my face. I had absolutely no idea what Bryan was talking about. Buttons?? What are you talking about, Bryan?
 
Then I took a look at Flickr's Explore feed. My jaw dropped. Buttons were seemingly everywhere. Shirt buttons, coat buttons, pants buttons, political buttons, computer and game controller buttons...
 
That's when I decided to collect some data.
 
I captured a screenshot of Flickr's Explore feed and analyzed the first 50 rows containing a total of 145 images. Of the set, 26 of them featured buttons as the main subject, or very nearly 18% (17.931% to be exact).
 
Now, I would completely understand if 18-20% of the images in Flickr's Explore featured landscapes, animals, people or buildings as the primary subject matter. But buttons?!
 
Which begs the question – do specific subjects get more weight on any specific day in the Interestingness equation (allowing for an image theme), or was the surprising number of buttons shown in Flickr's Explore yesterday just a really big coincidence?
 
The world may never know.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 8:42:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via RobertsCamera) has the Refurbished Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera available for $349.00 with free shipping. Compare at $459.95 refurbished.
 
Note: This is a Nikon authorized reseller of refurbished equipment and therefore the camera comes with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/13/2016 5:52:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 12, 2016

 
Mitch Aunger of Planet5D noticed something odd in one of Nikon's official videos demonstrating the capabilities of their new flagship DSLR, the D5.
 
At around the 4:00 mark of My Nebraska ( seen above) you'll notice a time lapse showing the moon and the stars over Nebraska. The issue is that you can see stars passing over the shadow side of moon, which simply isn't possible. For that to be possible, those stars would have to be between the Earth and the moon.
 
Nebraska Time Lapse Screenshot

That means, most likely, two time lapses have been combined and layered for that particular sequence.
 
Of course, Nikon never prefaces the video by saying that it has been created with stills taken straight out of the camera. And we'd expect some minor editing to take place for a time lapse sequence such as the one shown. But as Mitch rightly asks,
"...how much post-processing is OK in a promotional video for a new camera?"
Should edits be taken so far as to defy the laws of physics when promoting the capabilities of a new camera?
 
Check out the full post over at Planet5D and then let us know – what do you think?
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 1:48:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
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