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 Monday, January 12, 2015
Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens on 7D Mark II
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens review.
 
As expected, the 7D II results show sharper details and slightly more resolution. The bottom line is that this lens is a bargain.
 
B&H has the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/12/2015 8:12:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, January 11, 2015
Christmas Cactus Flower: Background Color by Gel
Once a year (though always well after its namesake Christmas holiday), our Christmas cactus blooms. The plant itself is nothing special to look at, but the flowers are quite beautiful.
 
The biggest challenge for this annual photo opportunity is finding a pleasing background to go with the flower. I've done the easy on-white and on-black options many times and I've used various color cards behind the flower. I needed a new option and the Rogue Flash Gels provided just that.
 
I placed the cactus pot on my shooting table (I'm using an Elinchrom model). This table has a white Plexiglas surface with a large sweep up the back. An off camera Canon 600EX-RT with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox installed was placed on the table in front of the selected flower and a second 600EX-RT was positioned to light the back of the table independently. Both flashes were sitting on their shoe stands and the flashes were triggered by an ST-E3-RT Remote Transmitter.
 
By placing a Rogue Flash Gel on the background flash, the white shooting table background became the gel color. The background color could be changed by simply replacing one gel with another and the currently selected color could be made brighter or darker by simply adjusting the flash output (done directly on the ST-E3-RT). I worked through various color options provided in the gel kit and decided that the pink color complemented the Christmas Cactus flowers best. As you see here.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook.
Post Date: 1/11/2015 7:27:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, January 10, 2015
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens and Lines in the Sky are Enough
Sometimes, for me at least, clouds alone are enough for an image. In those situations, I'm usually looking for something dramatic or unique (and sunrises or sunsets most frequently qualify as such). While I wouldn't go as far to say that these clouds are dramatic, they are definitely unique.
 
The lines of clouds were so broad that they completely filled a 15mm full frame format DSLR angle of view. While I captured many images of these clouds, I settled on this one to share. What I like is the larger clouds diminishing to smaller ones (due to perspective) as they angle through the frame into the distance.
 
With unique clouds in the frame, it is unlikely for an image to be repeatable.
 
Sometimes, for me at least, clouds alone are enough for an image. In those situations, I'm usually looking for something dramatic or unique (and sunrises or sunsets most frequently qualify as such). While I wouldn't go as far to say that these clouds are dramatic, they are definitely unique.
 
The lines of clouds were so broad that they completely filled a 15mm full frame format DSLR angle of view. While I captured many images of these clouds, I settled on this one to share. What I like is the larger clouds diminishing to smaller ones (due to perspective) as they angle through the frame into the distance.
 
With unique clouds in the frame, it is unlikely for an image to be repeatable.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
15mm  f/8.0  1/25s  ISO 100  5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 1/10/2015 8:50:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 9, 2015
Yongnuo YN560 IV Speedlite Flash
You've likely heard about Yongnuo's EF 50mm f/1.8 II clone, but this news is even bigger – B&H now carries Yongnuo products (including the aforementioned lens).
 
Now, instead of purchasing directly from Chinese importers (which can lead to long shipping times), you can now purchase your budget-friendly Yongnuo items from B&H. And better yet, if there is any issue with your Yongnuo product, B&H's customer service can take care of it. If you're wanting to try Yongnuo gear, this is the retailer you want to purchase from.
Categories: B&H News, Yongnuo News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 12:21:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Some Subjects Beg to be Centered in the Frame
Some subjects beg to centered in the frame and one of the first of such subjects that come to my mind are products. Products are often rendered large in the frame, showing as much detail as possible in the space allocated for them on a web page, product catalog, etc. Today's product is a smart phone – an iPhone 5 to be specific.
 
I first shared this iPhone photo in the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash review and obviously, the ring flash is the source of the bright reflection. Ring lite flash reflections in my photos is not usually my preference, it probably does not help sell the product in this case and I typically avoid these, but ... sometimes creatively using the open and close parenthesis reflection can work for at least an artistically creative purpose.
 
This phone and the glass under it is on are both black and highly reflective. To avoid other reflections on the phone and glass, I had a piece of black velour material between me and the subject and the ambient lights were turned off to create a black room. To get the flash reflection perfectly centered, I utilized the reflection of the MR-14EX's focusing lights while working straight overhead.
 
Working in the dark with only the focusing lights made perfectly aligning and centering the subject with the camera perfectly positioned over the phone a big challenge. I'll just say that more than 1 photo was required to get it right. I might have very slightly tweaked the image borders in Photoshop also – when the borders of an image are solid white or black in color, it is easy to manipulate the image boundaries.
 
The overall result in this case is an image that you probably have not seen before (other than in the aforementioned review).
 
Camera and Lens Settings
100mm  f/13.0  1/200s  ISO 100  5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 1/9/2015 11:37:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Reuters Logo
From Reuters:
Jan 9 – Reuters (by Reiji Murai) – Canon Inc and other Japanese electronics companies want to bring production of some goods back home, reversing a years-old trend of overseas manufacturing as a rapid decline in the value of the yen makes local goods more competitive.
 
The yen has tumbled some 8 percent since the Bank of Japan last eased monetary policy in October and is now trading near seven-year lows. Since late 2012, it has lost a third of its value due to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflationary economic policies.
 
The steep slide has raised costs for firms highly dependent on raw material imports as well as those that manufacture abroad.
 
Now, Canon says it wants domestic production to return to 60 percent of overall output in three years, up from around 40 percent. "From now on, new copier, camera and printer products will be built at domestic factories and as they replace older products, the volume of goods made overseas will fall," said company spokesman Hirotomo Fujimori...
Keep in mind, most of Canon's higher end cameras and lenses have always been manufactured in Japan. [Sean]
 
Read the entire article on Reuters.com.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 9:42:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Want to know more about Canon lens technologies? Look no further! This Canon promo video does a great job of explaining the benefits of each one in beautifully illustrated detail.
 
From Canon Global:
 
EF lenses surpassed the 100-million-unit mark in April 2014, which is Canon’s first-in-the-world* achievement. This video explains in detail some of the cutting edge technologies that Canon developed over the years, including new optics, actuators and coatings.
 
*Based upon Canon's research, as of April 22, 2014
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 9:09:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
CPN's Inside Canon EOS Utility 3 Software Banner
From the Canon Professional Network:
"The release of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 4 software in mid-2014 was accompanied by an updated version of its EOS Utility software – version 3. EOS Utility 3 acts in tandem with DPP 4 and enables you to download images from a camera’s memory card to your computer, remotely control the camera to capture new images or edit camera settings, such as the image owner’s name. You can then organise and process the imported images in Digital Photo Professional 4. EOS Utility 3 features improvements to form and function and the increased integration between Canon’s two free apps helps to streamline the shooting, importing and editing process. Indeed, you can now launch EOS Utility 3’s Live View window and remote camera shooting panel from within the Digital Photo Professional workspace, which allows the two packages to work together as a tighter team. CPN writer George Cairns takes a closer look at the capabilities of EOS Utility 3 and how it works alongside DPP 4..."
Canon EOS Utility 3.x is available from Canon USA. You must enter a compatible camera model number to download the software.
 
Compatible Cameras with EOS Utility 3.x:
 
  • EOS-1D X
  • EOS-1D C
  • EOS 5D Mark III
  • EOS 6D
  • EOS 7D Mark II
Check out CPN's Inside EOS Utility 3 for more information.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 7:34:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
 
To users of the Nikon D750 digital SLR camera
 
Thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.
 
On December 29, 2014, we announced that we were looking into measures to address the issue reported by some users, namely that when photographing scenes in which an extremely bright light source, such as the sun or high-intensity lighting, is positioned near the top edge of the frame, flare with an unnatural shape sometimes occurs in images captured with the D750 digital SLR camera.
 
To correct this issue, Nikon will inspect and service at no cost the camera’s light-shielding components and adjust the AF sensor position. We plan to initiate this service at the end of January and will announce further details, including instructions for requesting servicing, shortly.
 
Please direct inquiries regarding this matter to Nikon Customer Relations by phone at 1-800-Nikon US (1-800-645-6687), 9AM–8PM EST, Monday to Friday (closed certain holidays) or online here.
 
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused, and ask for your continued patience and understanding.
 
Once again, thank you for choosing Nikon for your photographic needs.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/9/2015 6:20:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 8, 2015
Canon Austria Facebook Image Promoting Connect Station CS100 with Mystery DSLR
Canon Austria posted a very interesting promotional image for Canon's new Connect Station CS100 on its Facebook account yesterday. On the left side of the image you can see a small part of a DSLR sitting on the desk. Look even closer and you'll notice it doesn't match any of Canon's curently available DSLR cameras...
 
Here's a closer look:
 
Glimpse of Unannounced Canon DSLR
 
The camera features an articulated LCD screen, a top LCD panel and a sideways multi-function lock switch. It looks like it could be a successor to the EOS 70D, but who knows?
 
Update: Site visitor David T. makes a good point – the absense of an AF-ON button means this is likely a Rebel / xxxD series camera. The last xxD camera that didn't feature an AF-ON button was the EOS 30D.
 
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 3:41:19 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 1/8/2015 1:42:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Joby UltraPlate 208 with Hand Grip
From Joby:
 
Petaluma, CA, January 6, 2015 – JOBY expands its collection of Pro Series tools for photographers and videographers with the launch of two, Arca-Swiss compatible accessories: UltraPlate 208 and Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208. Designed to be portable, practical and versatile, these precision-built tools provide easy set-ups and a variety of workflow possibilities for today’s active shooters.
 
“The success of our original UltraPlate inspired us to create additional tools for more complex DSLR rigs and action video set-ups,” said Kate Farmer, JOBY brand manager. “The UltraPlate 208 is an extended quick-release plate that includes eight ¼"-20 mounting holes. The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 includes a comfortable and secure grip for grabbing steady photos and footage, along with the new quick-release plate. Both offer thoughtful and durable construction, plus ease-of-use – hallmarks of the JOBY design philosophy.”
 
The UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $29.95) is flexible tool for shooters who like to change up gear with lots of combinations, but without a hassle. It works with the JOBY Ballhead X and other Arca-Swiss compatible tripods. Eight mounting holes can support an wide array of gear: a DLSR, action camera such as GoPro, JOBY GorillaPod Arm or Locking Arm, flash unit, microphone or even a smartphone when paired with a JOBY GripTight Mount. The UltraPlate 208 is crafted of high-quality, machined aluminum for long-lasting strength.
 
The Hand Grip with UltraPlate 208 (US MSRP $49.95) serves as a simplified, but super-durable rig and includes the Arca-Swiss compatible and extended quick-release plate, plus a removable Hand Grip. This power combo may be used to set up a DSLR and action video camera in tandem for quick and easy transitions from stills to motion without having to waste time on gear changes. The durable, aluminum and silicone Hand Grip is lightweight and textured for a comfortable hand feel, plus also includes an additional ¼"-20 mount.
 
Joby HandGrip UltraPlate208 for Video Setup
 
(Shown with optional accessories)
 
B&H has the Joby UltraPlate 208 and UltraPlate with Hand Grip available for preorder.
Category: Joby News
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:42:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator
Just posted: Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Review
 
The Airport Accelerator and I spent a great 10 days together this fall. If this pack is the right size for you, it is unlikely that you will find a better option.
 
B&H has the Airport Accelerator in stock.
Post Date: 1/8/2015 8:21:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
Ready to make 2015 your best year yet?
 
The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you create a strong business plan, target the clients you want, and make more money this year.
 
Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:
 
  • Define your products & services
  • Determine your audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix your finances
  • Tune-up your website
  • Build your Search Engine Optimization
  • Get social
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients
Build your photo business plan and stick to it this year. Get started with these smart business tips packed into an easy-to-read workbook.
 
Get the free guide.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 11:33:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Air Clarity: The Big Enemy of Ultra-Long Distance Landscape Photography
The sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park and the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains behind them are a common target for landscape photographers. To compress the dunes against the mountains requires a long distance perspective and if the dunes are to be large in the frame, a long telephoto focal length must be used. Fortunately, the road leading into GSDNP provides easy access to the that long distance perspective and sharp telephoto lenses are readily available. Unfortunately, there are other issues to be dealt with.
 
Haze (including that caused by smoke, dust and air pollution) kills contrast and heat waves are potentially seriously damaging to image sharpness.
 
The haze/air clarity problem is nearly always at least somewhat of an issue when shooting from this distance and the best way to combat haze during the capture is to use a circular polarizer filter. This filter will not completely eliminate the haze, but it definitely helps. The best way to reduce haze after the shot is by increasing contrast. Both were used for this photo.
 
Far harder to control is the major issue I dealt with at this time of day in GSDNP and that is heat waves. Aside from moving closer (which changes the composition) or choosing another time of the day (or another day completely) to shoot, there is little that can be done about heat waves. Heat waves can be problematic at even short distances (and complicate outdoor comparison testing of lenses).
 
Being at this location at the right time and day is ideal and both air clarity and heat wave issues can be mostly avoided with the right timing. Locals of course have that timing luxury, but I had only half of a day to spend at this location. I was intent on maximizing my time and embracing what I found.
 
Many prefer to shoot this location early and late in the day (and I photographed until dark), but I found the dune shadows to be harsh at this time and also-liked the more-subtle tonation of mid-afternoon lighting on the dunes. In this case, I was able to run bands of color through the frame horizontally with the first snow of the season forming the top non-sky layer. Even though I was using the extraordinarily sharp Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens and a circular polarizer filter, the end result has a soft painterly effect (visible at full resolution) thanks to the heat waves.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Be sure to like or follow if visiting those pages.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 9:54:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini, Filter Hive Mini and House of Cards
Our friends at MindShift Gear just released three new products for outdoor photographers.
 
Providing rapid access for filter changes, the Filter Nest Mini and the Filter Hive Mini offer protection and ease in compact cases. For those who do not need the capacity of larger filter cases, these offer a great option for keeping filters at the ready. The Filter Nest Mini fits four round filters (up to 82 mm) including a variable ND. The Filter Hive Mini fits four square/rectangular filters (up to 4 x 6 or 100 x 150 mm).
 
The new House of Cards lightweight memory card wallet offers convenient storage and protection for your memory cards. Offered in easy-to-locate Tahoe Blue color, photographers can quickly find and organize six CF and three SD cards. The built in business card holder makes for easy identification. Its orange colored elastic band offers silent access plus additional wallet security. The House of Cards’ removable tether clip allows it to be worn on the outside for quick access.
Post Date: 1/7/2015 7:39:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens Construction
Nikon added yet another two-letter abbreviation to its lens lexicon today – PF – which stands for "Phase Fresnel." Below you'll find information on the new technology.
 
From Nikon USA:
 
Phase Fresnel
The PF (Phase Fresnel) lens, developed by Nikon, effectively compensates chromatic aberration utilizing the photo diffraction phenomenon*. It provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance when combined with a normal glass lens. Compared to many general camera lenses that employ an optical system using the photorefractive phenomenon, a remarkably compact and lightweight body can be attained with less number of lens elements.
 
A general interchangeable lens forms an image on an imaging plane, using the photorefractive phenomenon. The degree of light refraction differs depending on the color (wavelength), and image formation is performed in the order of blue (B), green (G), and red (R) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). The color deviation referred to as chromatic aberration induces color bleeding, resulting in a deterioration of observed or captured images.
 
With PF (Phase Fresnel) lenses, on the other hand, image formation is performed in the order of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) starting with the portion near the lens (see the diagram below). By combining the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens with a refractive lens, chromatic aberration can be effectively compensated.
 
Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens
 
Chromatic aberration compensation with the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens
 
B&H has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 12:58:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon hdAlbum Promo Image
In a world where Canon has a strong foothold in the consumer imaging (camera) and office imaging (printer) markets, Canon has decided to create a product that fills a niche where the two markets converge. Meet the hdAlbum.
 
Our first reactions when reading the press release – "Where are they going with this?" and "I'm not too sure about that printer name."
 
So, what do you think about this announcement from Canon? Where do you think they're going with this? Do you think the printer could be better named?
 
Let us know in the comments
 
From Canon:
 
Customizable Photo Books Printed on Canon DreamLabo 5000 Offer Vivid Colors and High-Detail Imagery
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., January 6, 2015 - Dedicated to preserving memories, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced hdAlbum, a new premium and professional lay-flat photo album service that allows professional photographers and consumers to create customizable photo albums. Printed exclusively on the Canon DreamLabo 5000, hdAlbum enables users to share memories from special events, vacations and life's special moments with family and friends in a memorable keepsake.
 
"Canon is committed to providing individualized experiences to our customers through the use of our high-quality technology and service," said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "The new hdAlbum service is a user-friendly platform that will allow customers to capture and share their memories and experiences with their loved ones for years to come."
 
After downloading the free hdAlbum creation software on their computer, users have the ability to layout each photo with ease by using the auto-arrange feature or custom-design option. The pages are then printed on the DreamLabo 5000, Canon's inkjet production photo printer that uses FINE high-density printhead technology. To achieve high-quality images and help users' favorite memories come to life, the device prints with seven dye-based inks at up to 2,400 dots per inch to provide a wider spectrum of colors, sharp details and photo-realistic production.
 
Unique Photo, one of the largest privately owned photographic supply distributors in the world is the first retailer to offer hdAlbums to its customers.
 
"Offering an hdAlbum has allowed us to expand our product line to offer premium photo albums at reasonable prices," said Matt Sweetwood, president, Unique Photo. "The high-quality and craftsmanship of an hdAlbum is impressive. Our customers claim they have never seen a photo book this good."
 
There are five album sizes available, including portrait, eight inches by 11-inches; landscape, 11-inches by eight inches; and square, eight inches by eight inches, 10-inches by 10-inches, and 12-inches by 12-inches. With paper selections of Premium Canon Luster or Glossy inkjet media, all albums utilize a post printing hinge-style binding process and can include up-to-100 pages. To enable full customization, users have a diverse selection of backgrounds, layouts, and templates to make the album a one-of-a-kind piece.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/6/2015 9:36:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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