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 Thursday, January 23, 2020

From SIGMA:

Firmware update for SIGMA 45mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary for Sony E-mount (v02)

Benefit of the update:

  • It has corrected the phenomenon whereby the image rarely blurs when using the in-body image stabilization.

To update the firmware, please refer to this link.

* After the update, please remove the battery pack from the camera and put it back in again.



Firmware update for SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount (v1.04)

For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable products listed below, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro.

Benefits of the update:

  • It has optimized the operation of Mode 2 in Optical Stabilizer when used in combination with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-21 EF-L.

SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page



Firmware update for SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E / EF-E (v1.29)

Benefits of the update:

  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art for SIGMA SA mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.1.01.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for SIGMA SA mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.1.04.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for SIGMA SA mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.1.03.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for SIGMA SA mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.1.02.

SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page

Post Date: 1/23/2020 5:11:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Just posted: Really Right Stuff MC-34 Monopod Review.

The leg locks are awesome and contribute heavily to making this the best monopod I've used.

The Really Right Stuff MC-34 Monopod is available for order (in stock soon) at B&H.

Please share!

Post Date: 1/21/2020 7:58:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 20, 2020

Just posted: MindShift Gear BackLight 18L Review.

This is a great little backpack for a mirrorless or a small DSLR kit.

The MindShift Gear BackLight 18L is in stock at B&H | Think Tank Photo / MindShit Gear | Adorama | Amazon USA

Please share!

Post Date: 1/20/2020 7:41:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Ready to be impressed?

Roger Cicala of LensRentals has shared a teardown of the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens. Below is from the conclusion section:

As you can probably tell from our struggles doing this disassembly, the Nikon Z lenses are very different than their legacy lenses. They’re also different than what we’ve seen from other manufacturers. That suggests Nikon Z lenses, like Canon R lenses, are a completely new optomechanical design, probably done entirely in-house.

The engineering itself is incredible in most ways. The neatly laid out and solidly adhered flexes reflect the careful design. The taping of every possible point that Loctite or anything else could get in the lens does, too. The design is logical and clean; the difficulties in the tear-down were ours. Now that we know our way around, disassembly won’t be bad at all.

Check out the full Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens Teardown.

Post Date: 1/20/2020 5:17:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, January 19, 2020

It had been two years since I photographed this bull elk and he was #1 on my list of subjects to find on this trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. He didn't let us down.

This year, Mr. Incredibull was a 7x7 (referencing 7 points on each antler) with remarkably long G3s (the third point on each side) and long swords (G4s, the fourth point on each side). This morning found the huge elk in my favorite meadow, with short grass and a clean background ideal for photographing in.

While the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens is not the ultimate choice for blurring the background (compared to the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens for example), it's zoom range has very strong benefits. The 600mm prime does not do 500mm, the focal length needed for this image.

This bull was not moving fast and permitted a large number of images to be captured. I chose this one as a favorite in part due to the leg position, showing nice separation and a bent front leg conveying a sense of action.

I like as many tines as possible to show in antlered animal images. With this bull's head tilted up, the tail of the left antler is hidden by the body. However, I'd rather capture the desirable bugling pose and there is not much that can be done about partial missing antler in this situation. One tine is hidden on the right antler but the shadow brings that one to light. Antler shadows are great.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 1/19/2020 11:23:43 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 17, 2020

From Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd.:

Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE worldwide sales date announcement

Jan 17, 2020

The Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE is the first lens debuting in atx-m series designed to fit Sony E-mount full frame cameras. It is a completely newly designed medium tele photo prime lens in Tokina line-up featuring popular 85mm focal length and fast f/1.8 aperture that is excellent spec combination for shooting portraits, landscapes, street snaps and close up shots.

Sales will commence on February 7, 2020.

High-Lighted Features

  • Simple and sophisticated design and high build quality based on anodized semi-satin finish metal and optical glass materials.
  • Smooth and beautiful bokeh, comparatively round light points in out of focus area thanks to fast aperture f/1.8, large diameter of front glass element and low light fall-off performance.
  • Outstanding resolving ability from corner to corner thanks to 10 glass elements including 1 SD element.
  • Effective ghost and flares care thanks to Tokina's exclusive Super Low Reflection Coating with water, oil&dust repellent abilities.
  • Quiet, speedy and accurate focusing realized by ST-M focus motor actuation.
  • Smooth and precise manual focusing thanks to all-metal made unit and high standard grease materials.
  • Complete data correspondence with camera body that provides full advantage of the latest features of the Sony A7 series such as 5-axis image stabilization, MF assist, Face/Eye Priority AF, Real-time Eye AF and the electronic distance scale.
  • Developed and manufactured in accordance with Sony-licensed specifications.

B&H is taking preorders for the Tokina atx-m 85mm f/1.8 FE Lens for Sony E.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Tokina News
Post Date: 1/17/2020 1:59:23 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

A textured wall in your studio could well be the perfect background for your portrait photos. Even a slight texture can add the feeling of depth and interest to a portrait that a plain wall often can't. Of course not many photographers have the space of a permanently textured wall, so in this video Gavin Hoey walks you through a shoot in his small home studio, where he plans to replace a simple, smooth fabric background with some texture.

After the shoot, Gavin takes you into Photoshop where he passes on some simple tricks to add a gentle texture over the original portrait. He then goes on to blend everything togther by means of a quick color toning technique.

If you're looking to enhance a smooth background with a small amount of texture, this technique opens up a whole new world of background styles.

Post Date: 1/17/2020 5:19:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 16, 2020

Just posted: Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens Review.

This lens is a great addition to Sony's lineup.

The Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens from Lensrentals.

Please share!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/16/2020 8:42:38 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Like most wildlife photographers, I'm opportunistic. Photographing moose wasn't the primary plan for this trip but when this bull showed up, our group didn't question what we were going to photograph next.

I most often encounter moose just before dark and the wide aperture of the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens was very welcomed this evening. The working distance this lens provides is another benefit for photographing moose. Moose are one of my least-trusted North American animals and this one had just locked focus on me.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 1/15/2020 10:01:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

One of my jobs is to make sure that this site, a free resource that hopefully you depend on, remains adequately funded. The costs, in both time and money, of maintaining and developing this site are substantial. You are likely aware that we receive no financial support from Canon, Sony, or any other manufacturer and it is no secret that camera and lens sales are down significantly. That last issue makes acquiring adequate funding significantly more challenging.

Basically, there are five ways you can help support us. The first is my favorite (and it costs you nothing additional), but hopefully you can use at least two or three of these options regularly:

  1. Use the Retailer Links on the Site for Your Purchase of Anything
  2. Direct Support 
  3. Link to the Site
  4. Disable Ad Blockers
  5. Tell Others
The support page clarifies the above options.

We thank you for your support and look forward to serving you long into the future!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 1/15/2020 8:33:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Schneider Kreuznach:

B+W Filter introduces new T-Pro filter range

The filters in the new T-Pro range from B+W are designed with a thinner profile in response to the trend towards ever-compacter camera equipment. The filters are suitable for all focal lengths, including wide-angle and telephoto. The titanium-colored finish gives the T-Pro filters a unique appearance. They are manufactured to the highest standards with minimal tolerances. Brass is used as the base material for the filter ring for high stability and a long service life.

T-Pro filters have a precision glass contact surface; the filter is bonded flat, without any tension, using state-of-the-art adhesive technology. The special functional coating has good sliding properties to make it easier to screw the filter on and off.

The T-Pro filter range starts with the high transmission protection filters 007 Clear and 010 UV Haze. Both are excellently suited to providing mechanical protection and helping prevent any damage to the expensive front lens. The filters also protect the lens against dust, sand, water, fingerprints and scratches. The UV Haze filter additionally reduces unwanted UV effects and tones down the associated blue haze.

T-Pro filters have an exclusive, premium MRC nano coating, B+W’s highest quality broadband coating. This is applied on both sides to enhance the optical imaging properties. As a result, the filters achieve uniform, increased transmission properties across the light spectrum with only a physical minimum of residual reflection (Ø 0.5%). With all-around nano protection on the glass, the filter has a long service life. T-Pro filters have high scratch resistance for good durability, and effective dirt-, water, and oil-repellant properties for simple and fast cleaning. The T-Pro Filter line will be available as of January 15th 2020. The list price starts at 64,90 Euro.

B&H is taking preorders for the B+W T-PRO Filters.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: B+W News
Post Date: 1/15/2020 7:54:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Venus Optics:

Anhui China, Jan 9, 2020 – Venus Optics, the manufacturer who specializes in making wide angle and macro photo lenses under the brand name of Laowa, announce the Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine lens. The new 12mm lens is currently the widest t/2.9 lens that can cover sensor up to both full frame & vista vision size (wider than full frame), making it one of the ideal wide angle option for both professional cinema cameras and mirrorless cameras.

Suitable for both Large format & Super35 cameras

While most cinema camera manufacturers are coming out with large format cameras, the industry is gradually transiting from the common super35 format into bigger format. Taking advantage of this, Venus Optics has re-engineered the optics of their 12mm photo lens and convert it into a filmmaking friendly version for cinematographers to experience a 122 degrees ultra-wide and distortion- free field of view. The 47mm image circle allows cinematographers to use not only on full frame sensors (Size = 43.14mm), but also able to fill the Vista Vision sensors on RED Monstro and the sensor on Arri Alexa LF (Size @ open-gate = 44.7mm) fully.

The lens is also ideal for Super35-sized camera owners with the ultra-wide 17mm equivalent field of view and its future-proof decision when cinematographers need to upgrade to large format cameras. It is also a good companion with the compact cinema cameras like Blackmagic Pocket6k, Z-Cam or Sony A7.

Close-to-zero distortion (Zero-D)

The optical distortion of ultra-wide angle lens is usually a nightmare for DoP. The distortion rate of good wide angle lenses in the market ranges from 2-4%. Venus Optics, however, are able to compress the distortion to a close-to-zero level. In fact, the ‘Zero-D’ claim had been validated by many existing Laowa lenses owners from all around the world. It is proven to be extremely useful for shooting with architecture, indoor, real estate and even vlogging.

Super compact & lightweight

This 12mm lens is extremely compact and lightweight despite of the extreme specifications.

It measures 3.4” (87mm) long and weighs less than 1.5 lb (675g). It can be easily fitted onto any sorts of stabilizations system including handheld gimbals.

The lens is composed of 16 elements in 10 groups with 2pcs of large aspherical glasses. The patented optical design provides an edge-to-edge sharpness and supports up to 8k resolution. Chromatic aberration is also controlled to the minimal.

Focus super close

Venus Optics have also managed to incorporate an extremely close focusing distance. The lens can focus anywhere from 7” away from sensor (<4” from front element) all the way to infinity.

No diopter will be needed in this case. Wide angle lenses usually create a ‘flat’ image with very deep DOF but with this close focusing ability and a fast t-stop, Laowa 12mm is able to create some unique wide & shallow DOF look with pleasing bokeh.

Robust and professional cinema housing

The lens is designed with standard 0.8 mod gears on both aperture and focusing rings for easy installation of follow-focus system. An extended 270° smooth focus throw is designed for accruate focus pulling. The entire enclosure of the lens is made up of aluminum alloy. A 114mm step-ring is included in the package to expand the front diameter to fit with industry sized matte box. Venus Optics have tested with a number of matte boxes in the market and it is still free of vignetting on VV sensor with the matte box installed.

Complete package and 3 different bayonets to choose

The lens comes with three different variants, PL, EF and E mount. The mount is not interchangeable.

Shims with different thickness is also included for users to do flange calibration. The complimentary watertight and crushproof Pelican hard case protects the the lenses from damage during travel.

Specifications

Format CompatibilityFull Frame / Vista Vision
Focal Length 12mm
Angle of view122°
t-stopt/2.9 - 22
Lens Structure16 elements in 10 group
Aperture Blades7
Min. Focusing Distance(from subject to sensor) 7.09” (18 cm)
Max. Magnification1:5
Outer Diameter102mm, Can step up to 114mm
Dimensions87mm×102mm
Weight1.5lb (675g)

B&H has the Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine Lens available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Venus Optics News
Post Date: 1/15/2020 5:27:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 14, 2020

From Sony:

Sony Introduces New GP-VPT2BT Wireless Shooting Grip

Versatile, Reliable and Cable-free Grip for Improved Mobility and Creativity

Building on the growing lineup of cameras and accessories developed for modern creators, Sony today has announced the new GP-VPT2BT shooting grip with wireless remote commander. Ideal for many different types of content creation ranging from vlogs to travel photography / videography to simple everyday use, the new grip offers optimum stability and comfort combined with cable-free connectivity and a reliable dust and moisture resistant designi.

Compatible with a variety of Sony’s latest digital camerasii,the GP-VPT2BT connects easily via Bluetooth® wireless technology, allowing creators to simply aim and shoot without interfering cables or exposed inputs. The new grip includes a useful tilt feature that allows for flexible vertical angle adjustment as well as the ability to switch from normal to self-shooting mode with ease. Additionally, it has an adjustment wheel that can be loosened or tightened to allow for seamless operation with cameras of different sizes and weights. The grip also includes a flip button, indicator light and lock switch, and can be quickly changed into a tripod by simply expanding the bottom portion, enabling easy stable, hands-free shooting.

Sony GP-VPT2BT Wireless Shooting Grip in Hand

The new GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip With Wireless Remote Commander will ship this month in North America, priced approximately $140 U.S. or $180 CA.

i Not guaranteed to be 100% dust and moisture proof.

ii Compatible with a9 II, a9, a7R IV, a7R III, a7 III, a6600, a6400, a6100, and RX100 VII. Firmware must be updated on cameras to ensure compatibility.

 
The Sony GP-VPT2BT will be available for order at B&H and Adorama (these links will work when ordering opens).

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 1/14/2020 9:36:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/14/2020 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 13, 2020

Just posted: Sony a7R IV Review.

It's an awesome little camera.

The Sony a7R IV is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Sony a7R IV from Lensrentals.

Please share this review!

Post Date: 1/13/2020 7:28:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 10, 2020

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

Flash duration is an important concept to understand. The duration of your flash can vary widely based on the gear you use and the power settings you're using. In this episode, Mark Wallace explains flash duration, how to measure it, and why it's essential to understand. Mark explains the difference between T5 and T1 flash duration measurements.

Gear Used

Post Date: 1/10/2020 6:10:09 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 8, 2020

While this entire B&H video is worth watching if you're interested in what the newly introduced EOS-1D X Mark III has to offer, you may want to skip to roughly the 3:10 mark to see the new AF-On Smart Controller in action. As the 1-series's number of focus points grew, using the traditional joystick to switch between AF points became less practical.

The new AF-On Smart Controller seems to be a great solution to the AF selection issue, enabling very fast movement between AF points.

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is available for preorder at: B&H | Adorama | Canon USA Store | Amazon USA | WEX

Post Date: 1/8/2020 6:32:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 25, 2019

For many households, Christmas brings with it many decorations with a tree being the primary one. Installing the tree is often a large job, the result is generally beautiful, and capturing memories of the annual tree is worth the small amount of effort required to do so.

Help the Christmas tree photo from the start by selecting a great looking tree that fits nicely in your space. "Great" is as seen in your eyes. We have a tall ceiling over our tree's location and our tree height is limited to what I can haul home and make stay upright in the tree stand. Another limitation is that the top of the tree must be reachable using only a step ladder (scaffolding is not an option) and with our space not being large in width, it is nice to have enough space to be able to walk around the tree. The kids always want taller and the parents always want shorter. The parents can better tolerate taller if narrower enters the equation. With a narrow tree, height becomes easier to manage (except for the road clearance issue faced when hauling it home across the back of the SUV's Hitch Haul).

When decorating the tree, ensure that the strands of lights are all the same brand and model, or at least that all of the strands share the same bulb color and brightness. I learned that lesson a few years back when I needed to combine multiple exposures to balance out the brightness differences of our dual-brightness tree.

Do you have windows in the frame with your tree? If so, consider photographing during the blue hour which is really the blue minutes as there will likely be only a couple of minutes of ideal exterior brightness to balance with the indoor light levels, giving your images that extra wow factor. Shooting through that ideal time period will ensure the perfect minute is captured. You likely photographed a tree in the same location at the same time a year ago. Reviewing the EXIF information from a prior year's perfect photo will provide a close estimate of the perfect time for the blue minute shot this year. Then ensure you are set up and ready for that minute to arrive.

While reviewing images from prior years, look at the angles you captured to learn what works well and what doesn't. Repeat and avoid those compositions as makes sense. Also, check the camera settings used for the previous images for guidance on this year's camera settings. Note that changing out strands of lights can change the needed settings due to differing brightness.

Often, turning off all of the lights (or at least the brighter ones) in the house, aside from the Christmas lights, will result in the ideal lighting. If there are windows in the image, watch for reflections in those. Block any problematic reflections (such as the numbers on the microwave display) and take advantage of positive ones (such as the Christmas lights). For the image shared here, a couple of Post-It Notes were placed over the thermostat display. Note that double-pane windows may create double reflections.

With only the Christmas lights providing illumination, the environment is dark. While I like to use a wide aperture lens, I don't use a wide aperture for the Christmas tree photo. Stopping a wide aperture lens down to f/16 or so makes each light into a little starburst and stopped down wide aperture lenses tend to produce the best stars. The narrow aperture also makes it easy to keep the entire scene in focus.

Unless your lights are far brighter than ours, you can expect to need a long exposure at f/16. I usually use 30 seconds and sometimes bump the ISO up modestly to keep from having to wait for even longer exposures. Thus, a tripod is needed along with either a remote release or the self-timer used. I don't mind if the individual lights become slightly blown (pure white), but if an extra-bright decoration is in the frame, I will sometimes exposure bracket with an additional image captures.

Long exposures raise another problem for some of us. While most Christmas tree displays will be motionless, they may not always be perfectly so. Unless your Christmas tree is on a concrete floor, there is likely the potential for the floor to vibrate at least slightly when walked on. Hanging ornaments will likely be the first indicators that the floor has vibrated and if swinging, they will be blurred in 30-second exposures. Planning this shoot for when the rest of the family is not home (or is in bed) is a good idea. You might need to stand very still behind the camera for a couple of minutes before capturing the shot.

Think about the camera angle. A completely level camera is often desired for interior photography such as this and adjusting the camera height and distance from the tree provides the composition desired.

For this year's tree photo, I opted to use the Canon EOS R and RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens. The R's 30 MP resolution was very adequate for my needs and the RF 15-35 delivers impressive image quality. In addition, the 15mm focal length was very attractive for this image capture — and it became even more attractive during post processing. Despite being very careful to level the camera, I still managed to get a slightly tilted (0.6°) image. Straightening an image requires cropping (or creating missing details) and the 15mm angle of view gave me just enough additional angle of view to make that adjustment comfortable. Note how little barrel distortion is showing in this uncorrected image.

As soon as the perfect light was captured behind the windows, I pulled the couch and ottoman out of the way and pressed the shutter release of a second camera that was already set up, providing a completely different image.

From my family to yours, we wish you the merriest, joy-filled Christmas ever!


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/25/2019 8:29:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 23, 2019

Sorry - I broke the previous post sometime today - here is the correction

Image quality test results have been added to the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S Lens page.

Go make some comparisons.

The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S Lens is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S Lens from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 12/23/2019 5:38:26 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

When first arriving at a beautiful waterfall, it usually seems obvious to frame it nicely and press the shutter release. After getting that basic (though often important) image on the card, it is time to look for variations and these often incorporate foreground elements.

The last image I posted from Ricketts Glen State Park, On the Ledge at R. B. Ricketts Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park, illustrated the use of interesting rock in the foreground of a waterfall image. Another great waterfall composition strategy involves finding an attractive cascade below the primary falls. Moving in close to those lower cascades increases their relative size, balancing their overall weight in the image.

With good water flow (it was raining on this day), R. B. Ricketts Falls turns into a double falls with streams converging into the pool at the base of their falls. The camera position utilized for this image combined the white water of twin cascades to create an X-factor.

As I've said before, one has to work hard to have a bad day at Rickets Glen State Park but conditions made this an especially great day at this awesome location. The Breakthrough Photography circular polarizer filter was a crucial part of the kit on this day, cutting the reflections left by the wet conditions, leaving richly saturated landscape that provided inviting photo opportunities everywhere I looked. The Canon EOS 5Ds R and the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens were the only camera and lens that came out of my BackLight 26L on this day. They were perfect for the needs encountered on this day.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/23/2019 10:03:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

On cold winters day, being in a warm studio is very appealing. In this video photographer Gavin Hoey shows you how to add warmth to a small home studio shoot by making use of a warm tone wooden background, fabric flooring and and orange colored gel. Gavin also balances the brightness of the flash with 200 battery powered Christmas lights to create a festive feeling portrait.

After the shoot Gavin takes you into Photoshop to do some fine tuning and covers non-destructive cloning to hide the fairy light battery boxes with extra LED's and adds a creative lens flare effect.

Relevant Products Used

Post Date: 12/23/2019 6:40:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, December 20, 2019

From SIGMA:

Firmware update for SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for CANON EF mount

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We would like to announce that a new firmware update for SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for CANON EF mount listed below is now available.

For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable products listed below, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro.

* Before updating the firmware using the SIGMA USB DOCK, please ensure to update SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.5.0. or later for Windows / Ver. 1.5.1. or later for Macintosh

Applicable product

  • SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update

  • It has optimized the operation of the aperture control when the lens is used in combination with SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-21 EF-L.

Applicable product

  • SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update

  • It has improved the AF performance when the lens is used in combination with SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-21 EF-L.

Applicable products

  • SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount
  • SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update

  • It has optimized the operation of Mode 2 in Optical Stabilizer when used in combination with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-21 EF-L.

SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page



Firmware update for interchangeable lens for Sony E-mount

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We are pleased to announce that a new firmware update for interchangeable lens for Sony E-mount is now available.

Applicable products

  • SIGMA 40mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for SONY E-mount
  • SIGMA 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO | Art for SONY E-mount

Benefits of the update

  • It has improved the AF performance.

To update the firmware, please refer to this link.

* Before attaching the updated lenses to the camera body, please remove the battery pack from the camera and put it back in again.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: SIGMA News
Post Date: 12/20/2019 5:28:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 19, 2019

Just because the skies are white doesn't necessarily mean that they should be kept out of the frame. While cloud-covered white skies are sometimes welcomed, especially for the broad even light they provide, they are not usually my favorite for image backgrounds and I often avoid the inclusion of white skies in image backgrounds. However, they can be used to create a sometimes-desirable pure white high key background.

Getting this background is not difficult. Simply find a good subject and align it with the white sky. Note that your camera's meter will want to make a white sky grey (especially if the subject is a white goat) so some positive exposure compensation (or a manual exposure) will likely be needed for such images.

On this day, my daughter and I were chasing mountain goats high in the Rockies and as you have already figured out, the skies were white. The thick cloud cover meant that we could photograph the goats from any angle offered to us without concern for shadows but any sky in the photo was going to be white. Getting into a position that allowed the entire background to be sky and allowing that background to become pure white created a nice portrait.

The versatile and optically-impressive Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was a great lens to have for this trip. It was the only lens I used for photographing the goats.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
124mm  f/8.0  1/1000s
ISO 2000
8688 x 5792px
Post Date: 12/19/2019 10:13:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Godox Photo Equipment Co. Ltd YouTube Channel:

Volodya Voronin is an action, adventure and sports photographer, mainly focusing on extreme sports. Sometimes he gets to dangerous places like mountains and abandoned buildings and works in some really harsh conditions. For him, easy to use, compact flash units from Godox were a good choice for these condition. In this episode of Godox Photography Class, he will show you how these super cool images full of action were all shoot using the Godox AD200Pro and AD600Pro.

Post Date: 12/19/2019 5:22:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Today I'm sharing a small project I took on, meeting a need that didn't seem optimally met otherwise: Do-It-Yourself Rigid Camera Rain Cover.

As I needed this accessory, I thought you might also, thus I'm sharing. This camera cover was inexpensive and easy to make. Feel free to share any ideas you have for improvements.

Post Date: 12/18/2019 8:43:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:

Welcome back to 3, 2, 1…Photoshop! In this episode, Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost shares how to create a simple stop motion animation using Photoshop. Watch this video to learn how to make your static images come to life.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/18/2019 5:16:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Using a new camera often brings acclimation factors and despite having used the Sony a7R IV for a couple of months prior, I was still acclimating to this camera's enormous 120MB uncompressed RAW file size. We were staying ahead of this big old 12-point buck and it finally cooperated perfectly, walking toward us with the sun was at our backs. While capturing images of him approaching, I was greeted by the memory card full message in the viewfinder.

I had filled a 256GB memory card just as the perfect scenario was unfolding. While another memory card was immediately available, the pause was just long enough to miss the pinnacle of the action. Ironically, the workshop participant shooting next to me filled his Nikon D850's 256GB card at almost the exact same second. While we missed some images, the humor of it is realized and that memory is at least of some value. The lesson here is to monitor card capacities closely — or buy cards with enough capacity to outlast any use given to the camera.

Fortunately I had some good pictures from this buck encounter. When the buck was farther away, I preferred a horizontal camera orientation, keeping more of the grass field in the frame. As the deer approached, the horizontal framing became too tight and switching to the vertical orientation shared here made complete sense for the vertically shaped subject.

The vertical vs. horizontal camera orientation is a choice we are always making. Sometimes the choice is easy and sometimes it is not.

One consideration is how the image is going to be used and which orientation is required for that use. If your goal is to get the image on a magazine cover, going vertical is a good choice. Another big consideration is the aesthetics of the scene. Some scenes look better in one of the orientations.

If the horizontal vs. vertical orientation choice does not have a straightforward answer, shoot both. It is often easier to decide when using a computer display and keeping images shot in both orientations may be the right choice.

While the Sony a7R IV's uncompressed RAW file size has required some acclimation, it has not been hard to acclimate to this camera's 61 MP resolution.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/17/2019 10:38:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 16, 2019

Just posted: Wimberley MH-100 MonoGimbal Gimbal Monopod Head Review.

Monopod users can put one of these on their Christmas list. Looking for a gift your photographer friend or family member does not already have? This unique head is just hitting the market and is a great gift option.

The Wimberley MH-100 MonoGimbal Gimbal Monopod Head is in stock at: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA

Please share this review with your friends!

Post Date: 12/16/2019 8:34:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, December 15, 2019

by Sean Setters

Whether for Christmas/Hanukkah, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, MLK Day, or in this case, Thanksgiving, holiday events offer exciting opportunities for documenting family traditions, personal relationships, physical development, and all the joys togetherness brings.

This Thanksgiving, I filmed my family throughout the day, focusing much of the camera's attention on my 14 month-old daughter, Olivia Jane. My hope is that she will enjoy watching videos such as these as she matures, with an eager fascination to see what life was like long before her long-term memory kicked in.

Of course, there's a ton of video filming options available, and while my own video kit is continuously evolving, the following items were what I used while filming that day:

Having only purchased the Canon EOS R about a month before Thanksgiving, this event was my first experience producing video with the camera. Overall, I came away impressed by the camera's performance. The EOS R was just small enough to allow the battery grip to be used with the DJI Ronin-S Gimbal, a feature I appreciated as I didn't have to continuously watch my battery levels throughout the day. Of course, using the battery grip increased the size/weight of the setup, but I didn't find use of the battery grip to be burdensome, especially as filming was limited to relatively short segments throughout the day.

As I don't have any RF mount lenses yet I defaulted to my favorite EF-S/EF-series lenses, the lenses I have historically utilized while filming with a gimbal – the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM and Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. Why use two of Canon's most inexpensive lenses for filming video? Because 1) they're small and light, 2) can be swapped out for one another with very little need for rebalancing the gimbal, 3) their optical performance is surprisingly good, 4) the f/2.8 aperture is wide enough allow for relatively low ISO use when the shutter speed is set to 1/60 second (twice the frame rate of 30 fps), and 5) the lenses' STM AF systems do a very good job transitioning focus between subjects when the camera is set to a subject (face) tracking mode. Note that because the full-frame camera gives me a 38.4mm full-frame equivalent angle of view while using the EF-S 24mm STM, I set the camera to crop mode while using the EF 40mm STM to provide a noticeably different angle of view.

In a previous video, I had used lavalier mics with a couple of Tascam DR-10L Micro Portable Audio Recorders and really enjoyed the results, but this larger family event necessitated the use of a different audio recording solution as I needed to record a number of people. This need motivated my newest audio recording acquisition – the Deity Microphones V-Mic D3 Pro Shotgun Microphone. Looking online, you'll find numerous videos hyping this microphone's performance and value; the hype is well deserved. This is an excellent shotgun microphone, it is reasonably priced, and I'm really glad it's now part of my kit for run-and-gun applications.

So, those are the items I'm now relying on to record family videos in addition to the occasional for-hire filming request (the Tascam DR-10Ls also come in handy for the latter) and are certainly worth consideration when documenting your own family's memories.

Post Date: 12/15/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, December 14, 2019

Everyone loves lighthouses and lighthouse images, right? After awaking to a 4-something AM alarm for three days in a row, I was finally treated to some morning sunlight at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. While some cloud drama would have been welcomed, the white sky created by the solid cloud cover present on the previous two mornings was not as photogenic.

When the sky is clear at sunrise/sunset, there are some expected parameters for landscape photography. One is that the first/last light will be very warm in color and another is that pastel colors will show in earth shadow and the Belt of Venus above it low in the sky opposite the rising/setting sun. These two parameters combine very nicely.

I don't always require myself to use a completely level camera (tilt and roll) for landscape photography but did so in this case, primarily to keep the sides of the lighthouse from leaning. Adding to that compositional constraint was the desire to have the reflections availed by the foreground tidal pool included in the frame. The lighthouse reflection was the primary interest and it was very tightly framed between the surrounding rocks, further limiting the camera position to within that narrow line. With the rocks being indicative of the Maine coastline, having them close and emphasized seemed logical and led to this final camera position.

Should circular polarizer filters be used for all landscape photographs? While CPL filters are easily my most-used filters and I very frequently use them for landscape photography, this was a time when using the effect provided by this filter was a detriment to the final look. Cutting the reflections on the rocks and in the tidal pool created a dark, flat, lifeless look to the foreground rocks and water, detracting significantly from the result. It didn't take long to determine which look was preferable.

Wet dark-colored rocks absorb a lot of light even without a CPL filter and two exposures were combined to ensure that details were retained in those rocks in the final image.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/14/2019 9:38:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 13, 2019

These two brown bears are having a heart to heart in a salmon stream in remote Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Notice the high contrast of the splashing water? Camera AF systems also notice splashes and will often jump to focus on any bright water drops in front of a subject. In this case, the splash was well below the focus point and not an AF issue.

The Christmas special offer on the Brown Bear Chasing Salmon, Remote Katmai National Park, Alaska instructional photo tour is still in place. Sign up along with a spouse or friend and save $500 on the second admission price for this bucket list-grade trip.

Dates: Thu, September 17 to Fri, September 24, 2020

If this trip is calling you, I need to hear from you as soon as possible. Contact me to sign up!


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/13/2019 2:24:15 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Adobe:

Record Fourth Quarter Contributes to 24 Percent Year-Over-Year Annual Growth

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019 ended Nov. 29, 2019.

In its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $2.99 billion, which represents 21 percent year-over-year growth. In fiscal year 2019, Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $11.17 billion, which represents 24 percent year-over-year growth.

"Adobe's phenomenal performance in Q4 capped a record fiscal 2019 with revenue exceeding $11 billion,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe. "Adobe’s vision, category leadership, continuous product innovation and large and loyal customer base position us well for 2020 and beyond."

“Adobe delivered another year of strong revenue growth and expanding profitability resulting in record earnings," said John Murphy, executive vice president and CFO, Adobe. “We are bullish about our opportunities and our ability to continue to deliver strong top- and bottom-line growth."

Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Highlights

  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $2.99 billion in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, which represents 21 percent year-over-year growth. Diluted earnings per share was $1.74 on a GAAP-basis, and $2.29 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $2.08 billion, which represents 22 percent year-over-year growth. Creative revenue grew to $1.74 billion and Document Cloud revenue was $339 million. Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $8.40 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $539 million. Creative ARR grew to $7.31 billion, and Document Cloud ARR grew to $1.09 billion.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue was $859 million, representing 24 percent year-over-year growth.
  • GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $970 million, and non-GAAP operating income was $1.27 billion. GAAP net income was $852 million, and non-GAAP net income was $1.12 billion.
  • Cash flow from operations was a record $1.38 billion.
  • Remaining Performance Obligation was $9.82 billion, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $1.05 billion.
  • Adobe repurchased approximately 2.8 million shares during the quarter.

Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Highlights

  • Adobe achieved record annual revenue of $11.17 billion in fiscal year 2019, representing 24 percent year-over-year growth.
  • The company reported annual GAAP diluted earnings per share of $6.00 and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $7.87.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $7.71 billion, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving record annual revenue of
  • $6.48 billion and $1.22 billion, respectively. Digital Media ARR grew by $1.69 billion during the year.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue was $3.21 billion, representing 31 percent year-over-year growth, and subscription bookings grew by more than 20 percent during the year.
  • Operating income grew 15 percent and net income grew 14 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew
  • 23 percent and net income grew 15 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Adobe generated a record $4.42 billion in operating cash flow during the year.
  • The company repurchased 9.9 million shares during the year, returning $2.7 billion of cash to stockholders.

A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release and on Adobe’s website.

Adobe Provides Fiscal Year and First Quarter 2020 Financial Targets

The following table summarizes Adobe’s fiscal year 2020 targets.

Adobe fiscal year 2020 revenue~$13.15 billion
Digital Media segment revenue~19 percent year-over-year growth
Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR)~$1.55 billion of net new ARR
Digital Experience segment revenue~16 percent year-over-year growth
Digital Experience subscription revenue*~18 percent year-over-year growth
Digital Experience subscription bookings**>20 percent year-over-year growth
Tax rateGAAP: ~11% | Non-GAAP: ~11%
Share count~486 million shares
Earnings per shareGAAP: ~$7.40 | Non-GAAP: ~$9.75

* Includes revenue from SaaS, managed service, ratable term, usage based, and subscription service offerings for Digital Experience
** Includes annualized subscription value of SaaS, managed service, term and subscription service offerings under contract for Data & Insights, Content & Commerce and Customer Journey Management solutions

The following table summarizes Adobe’s first quarter fiscal year 2020 targets.

Adobe Q1 fiscal year 2020 revenue~$3.04 billion
Digital Media segment revenue~19 percent year-over-year growth
Digital Media annualized recurring revenue (ARR)~$360 million of net new ARR
Digital Experience segment revenue~15 percent year-over-year growth
Tax rateGAAP: ~5% | Non-GAAP: ~11%
Share count~489 million shares
Earnings per shareGAAP: ~$1.76 | Non-GAAP: ~$2.23

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 12/13/2019 4:59:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 12, 2019

Just posted: Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens Review.

Tamron has released another winner with this lens.

The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

Rent the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 12/12/2019 7:49:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Sigma:

The SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the launch schedule of “FF Classic Prime Line” , a new series in the SIGMA CINE LENS.

FF High Speed Prime Line has been offering the highest resolving power in its class, that is compatible with 8K shooting with large format sensors, while achieving outstanding compact design. Based on this product line, the FF Classic Prime Line incorporates more non-coated optical elements to achieve unrivaled expression. It retains the high resolution capability that SIGMA CINE LENS is well known for, and offers a unique combination of low contrast and artistic flare/ghost in the image. As with all other lenses from the FF High Speed Prime Line, it creates beautiful bokeh effects to improve creativity.

FF Classic Prime Line has implemented newly developed coatings on the glass elements and offers consistent T value across the lineup (14mm and 135mm at T3.2 and the rest of the lenses at T2.5). This will greatly contribute to the effective workflow in post production. Furthermore, it is compatible with the communication protocol of Cooke “/i Technology”, thus an ideal tool for shooting and editing with the latest technology, such as VFX. A special coating is implemented on the front and rear elements so that the lens durability is ensured as with all other cine lenses from SIGMA.

“Classic Art Prime” is a new solution from SIGMA that is required for the most advanced technology for classical expression. The “look” that FF Classic Prime Line can offer will enable cinematographers to explore new possibilities in movie creation.

  • Launch: December, 2019
  • Only sold as a set of 10 primes.

* From conventional cine lenses, it is not possible to apply for the Mount Conversion Service for this “FF Classic Prime Line”.

Common specifications

  • PL mount (/i Technology compatible)
  • Image circle diameter: FF 43.3mm
  • Illumination circle diameter: over 46.3mm
  • Focus ring: Marked in feet
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm)

B&H has the SIGMA Cine FF Classic Art Prime 10-Lens Set available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 12/12/2019 5:28:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Looking for a lens to carry while hiking? You likely want a compact and lightweight model but do not want to substitute image quality to get those properties. The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens and its sibling 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens are great choices and both are quite remarkable lenses overall.

This afternoon in Acadia National Park found the 17-28 RXD along with a Sony a7R IV in a MindShift Gear BackLight 18L on top of Bald Mountain anticipating a great light show at the end of the day. Unfortunately, that show mostly did not happen. The weather forecast did not hold true and as can be seen in this image, thick clouds ruled the sky.

Just when we thought there was no hope for seeing a sunset, a tiny hole appeared in the clouds and awesomeness shined through. I dropped the tripod into the nearest location that looked compositionally promising and shot a several frame bracket, ensuring that one image had bright foreground detail captured at f/11 and the darkest of two others had a tiny bit of color remaining in the sun. The latter two images were captured at f/22. While f/22 results in softer image quality than f/11, it delivers a larger, better quality starburst effect and the clouds nicely hide the softness in the portion of f/22 capture used in the final image. Note that changing the aperture changes the starburst including the orientation of the star points. When bracketing such images, be sure that most of the images containing the starburst are captured at the same aperture to avoid an awkward appearing composite.

By the end of the first bracket capture, the warm sunlight was no longer reaching the foreground and after a second bracket at a slightly adjusted camera position, the sun was completely cloud-blocked again. The foreground lighting was better in the first set of images and cropping those from the bottom gave me a result similar to those captured in the adjusted camera position.

I seldom use ISO settings above 100 when photographing daylight landscape but you will notice that a setting of 800 was used for this image. Along with the heavy clouds came very strong winds and I was estimating the exposure duration that could be tolerated between gusts. The Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-40 Ball Head held solid and I probably could have used longer exposures — though sun time may not have permitted that.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/11/2019 9:27:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Adobe:

Feature summary | Lightroom (December 2019 release)

Easily contribute photos and videos to a Lightroom shared album

New in Lightroom desktop and mobile

View and contribute photos to any shared group album, using Lightroom desktop and mobile (iOS and Android), in addition to Lightroom on the web. First, click the 'View album' button in the email invite that is sent by the album owner. Then, open the app and click the icon. Under section Shared with You, you can view the album(s) that are shared with you.

If the album owner has provided contribution rights, you can add photos by doing the following: (On desktop) Right-click (Windows)/Control-click (macOS) the album under Shared with You and select Set "" as the Target Album. Then, select photos within Lightroom from My Photos or Albums and press the T key. Click Add Photo(s) in the confirmation dialog box.

Alternatively, select one or more photos in All Photos or one of your own albums. Then, in the left panel, navigate to the desired Shared with You album and drag and drop the photos into the desired shared album in the left panel.

(On mobile) With a Lightroom shared album selected, tap Add photos from the options menu or tap the import icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, and select photos to contribute.

To learn more, see:

Directly import photos from a camera or SD card

New in Lightroom for mobile (iOS)

You can directly import photos and videos from an SD card or other attached media into Lightroom for mobile (iOS). Your iOS device should be running on iOS 13.2 or later to support this feature.

For more details, see Import photos and videos from a camera or SD card in PTP mode.

Export photos in the format of your choice

New in Lightroom for mobile (iOS)

Select the photos you want to export and click the Share icon to quickly access the Export screen. You can export edited photos as JPEG, TIF, DNG, or as the original photo with applied settings. Moreover, you can access export setting options such as JPG Quality, Output Sharpening, Color Space, and File Naming.

For more details, see Export photos from iOS.

Support for new cameras and lenses

New in Lightroom/Camera RAW

Newly Supported Cameras

CameraRaw image filename extensionMinimum Camera Raw plug-in version requiredMinimum Lightroom version requiredMinimum Lightroom Classic version required
Canon EOS M200CR312.13.19.1
Canon EOS RaCR312.13.19.1
Google Pixel 4DNG12.13.19.1
Google Pixel 4 XLDNG12.13.19.1
Leica SL2DNG12.13.19.1
Nikon Z 50NEF12.13.19.1
Sigma fpDNG12.13.19.1
Sony a9 II (ILCE-9M2)ARW12.13.19.1
Zeiss ZX1DNG12.13.19.1

Newly Supported Lens Profiles

ManufacturerLensLens mountMinimum Camera Raw plug-in version requiredMinimum Lightroom version requiredMinimum Lightroom Classic version required
CanonCanon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USMCanon RF12.13.19.1
CanonCanon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS USMCanon RF12.13.19.1
CanonCanon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USMCanon RF12.13.19.1
CanonCanon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DSCanon RF12.13.19.1
SigmaSIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DN C017Canon M12.13.19.1
SigmaSIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN C016Canon M12.13.19.1
SigmaSIGMA 56mm F1.4 DC DN C018Canon M12.13.19.1
SigmaSIGMA 105mm F1.4 DG HSM A018Sony FE12.13.19.1
ZeissZEISS ZX1 (DNG + JPEG)Zeiss12.13.19.1

Other enhancements

Lightroom for mobile (Android)

View profiles of people who have authored interactive tutorials. In the Home view, tap an author's name from a tutorial's thumbnail to access their profile where you can find a collated list of their tutorials. For more information, see Find tutorials and posts from author's profiles.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/11/2019 5:00:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, December 9, 2019

On this day's schedule was giving some great gear a workout and the Sony a7R IV and Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens combination were chosen. These were packed in MindShift Gear BackLight 18L along with a Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with a BH-40 Ball Head mounted and the very early AM hike to Dream Lake ensued.

I don't like to be the second person at a popular location and some may say that I arrived too early for this one. The extra time ensures adequate setup time with some starry sky photography included. The extra time also means that very warm clothes were needed, especially with the wind often encountered here.

I love perfectly still water surfaces in the shade and the mirror reflections those surfaces create. This morning did not provide such and the mentioned wind was relentless.

Between reviewing long exposure, high ISO image captures and the light becoming bright enough for the foreground rocks to be visible, this composition was settled on. I wanted the closest round rock centered between the mountain peak reflections with a clean border around it and the other foreground rocks. The camera was leveled for both roll and pitch. I seldom want a camera that is not leveled for roll when photographing landscape and in this case, I also chose to avoid an upward or downward camera angle that would have caused the straight tree trunks to tilt inward or outward respectively. The focal length was selected to be inclusive or exclusive of details in the scene and the camera height was selected for the final composition. The color balance disparity of the warm first light of the day hitting the mountain mixed with cool shade in the valley below is natural and I love it.

The final image is the result of combining two images using manual HDR blending. As is often the case, those exposures were different with the sunlit areas captured darker (f/11, 0.4 seconds, ISO 100) and the shaded areas coming from brighter settings (f/11, 30 seconds, ISO 200).

As you likely noticed, the longer exposure is dramatically longer and includes a 2x-brighter ISO setting. This exposure was needed to compensate for a 6-stop Breakthrough Photography X4 ND filter (great gift idea) being used. The longer exposure this filter permitted allowed the water to be smoothed, averaging out the reflection details in the lake surface ripples, giving the mountain reflections some definition. A third image (another darker one) was pulled in because some of the trees were less motion-blurred than in the primary image.

The aforementioned gear all performed excellently. It was a superb choice for this event. Of course, the bottom line is that Dream Lake and its rocks rock!


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/9/2019 9:43:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adorama Youtube Channel:

If you're looking for a dramatic, low key portrait idea then Gavin Hoey has you covered with this amazing rim light tutorial. Starting with two bare flashes, Gavin walks you through how to improve the photo by softening the light with a stripbox .

Once you've mastered the basic lighting technique, why not give Gavin's advanced lighting tutorial a go. Getting perfect rim lighting on a bubble is the challenge and Gavin has some great tips to help nail the look. He also has some top Photoshop advice to add extra bubbles after the shoot.

Product Used

Post Date: 12/9/2019 5:26:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, December 6, 2019

From Canon USA:

Firmware Version 1.6.0 incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

  • Support for the RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS lens has been added.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the function or setting value assigned to the control ring may change when the control ring is operated in Eco mode.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the camera may stop operating properly during “auto transfer” when using Camera Connect with a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which high-speed synchronization with use of an external flash may not operate properly depending on the camera’s setting for C.Fn2 “Set shutter speed range”.

Download: Canon EOS R Firmware Version 1.6.0

Post Date: 12/6/2019 4:56:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, December 5, 2019

Smart people told us long in advance that the planet Mercury was going to pass in front of the Sun for many hours on 11/11/2019 and that the transit was going to be visible across a huge swath of the world, including my location on that date, falling during my Shenandoah National Park Workshop.

My first thought regarding photographing this event was that I could take a picture of the Sun anytime and simply use the paint brush tool to drop in Mercury planets wherever desired. While the result would look fine, it wouldn't be nearly as fun or as phsychologically rewarding as experiencing the event firsthand and capturing the real thing. Photographing the Sun is easy and a little black dot in front of it was going to be equally easy to capture so, I packed the required solar filter for the trip.

The Sun was not going to be our primary subject on this day, we didn't have time to shoot throughout the entire many-hour transit, and the cloudy sky made photographing it challenging during the few times we attempted to do so. Still, I wanted to show the entire transit in the final result. To fulfill that goal, I pieced a number of images together and then duplicated a Mercury planet to fill in the entire path across the Sun.

While the Mercury transit does not rise to the level of amazing as the recent solar eclipse, it was still fun to see and photograph.

When photographing the Sun, everything else in the frame is black unless there are clouds being brightly lit while darkening the Sun enough to even out the dynamic range. With black periphery being easy to create during post processing, framing the Sun a tightly as possible becomes the goal. Still, the Sun will not come close to filling the frame even at 1200mm, the longest most photographers will use, on a full frame camera. In a focal length limited scenario, higher pixel density on the imaging sensor means more resolution remaining after cropping and the Sony a7R IV has that. The Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens and FE 2x Teleconverter were used to gain the 1200mm focal length.

Among the many images captured were some with a cloud-caused fiery haze surrounding the Sun. Adding some of these images into the Photoshop stack provided the option of including the haze in the final image as shared here.

Here is a question for you: Since I watched Mercury transit the Sun in an electronic viewfinder, did I really see it?


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/5/2019 11:20:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

Join Host Seth Miranda @LastXwitness as we walks through Capture One 20 with a quick over view of some of the new features

Adorama carries Phase One Capture One 20.

Post Date: 12/5/2019 6:16:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this Quick Look, AB Belinfanti shows us the RODE NTG5, the company's newest high-performing shotgun microphone.

B&H carries the Rode NTG5 Moisture-Resistant Short Shotgun Microphone.

Post Date: 12/5/2019 5:22:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It is generally much easier to photograph deer in a field or meadow than in the forest where tree trunks and branches create obstructions and chaotic backgrounds. However, the forest is where many deer spend large amounts of their lives. Heading into the forest may reduce the odds of getting good images but the increased challenge makes a successful in-the-forest image more rewarding.

While a 600 f/4 lens is an awesome choice for obscuring a distracting foreground and background via blur, the narrow angle of view can be challenging to use in the forest due to the obstructions. A farther away view results in a higher chance of trees and branches being in the way. Despite having a Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS Lens with me in Shenandoah National Park, I mostly used the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens. The images this lens makes are hard to beat and once one acclimates to 600mm f/4 images, it becomes difficult to be satisfied with anything less.

All 600mm f/4 and similar lenses are very expensive but the high price has one advantage: it is a barrier of entry, making it harder for those without such a lens to compete with those having one. In a world with an unimaginable number of images being captured daily, this lens' image quality is a differentiator and those able to make the investment should frequently make use of their advantage.

I was working ahead of this buck (with a somewhat unusual drop tine), looking for openings it might pass through. He came into this opening and cooperated nicely, looking toward the camera. After quickly capturing a few images with the currently-selected focus point, I changed the focus point to a more optimal position in the frame and captured another burst of images before the buck turned its head. I selected the image with the best deer pose (both ears forward and looking toward me) and stitched another of the images captured using the other focus point for a slightly wider overall image.

This image was captured on a bright cloudy day. Clouds act as a giant softbox, eliminating the harsh shadows often encountered in the woods. Images captured in cloudy weather often appear slightly cool and low contrast is also normal for images captured under cloudy skies. Adding a small amount of contrast and saturation and warming the color balance slightly brings the image to life.

The increased challenge, increased reward concept applies to many genres of photography. Welcome ways to increase your challenge!


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/4/2019 9:10:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rocky Mountain National Park is very scenic but some locations within the park have better environments for elk photography than others. Elk go where they want to and little will stop them from doing so, but I have some favorite locations and usually will pursue the elk found in these. This elk was in one of my go-to locations, featuring a low, clean foreground and rocky mountain base in the background.

Elk are very large animals and that means relatively long distances are required to fit them in the frame of a long lens (and for personal safety). Longer subject distances mean increased depth of field and that means the background will be less diffusely blurred. The 600mm f/4 focal length and aperture combination creating a three-dimensional effect that makes the subject stand out from the background is especially valuable when photographing large animals such as elk.

After seeing how sharp the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens was (and experiencing how light it was), I opted to use this lens behind the ultra-high-resolution Sony a7R IV for all of my late summer and fall wildlife photography.

The bull in this photo was moving across the meadow in front of us and this great rut-characteristic chin-high pose was my favorite. The other images captured in this sequence provided a small additional amount of background that, with the lack of distracting details, I later decided to merge with the original image, creating a panorama. With the 61 MP resolution provided by the a7R IV, I didn't need the additional pixels. Moving back and cropping would have been easier from a post-processing perspective but moving back would have resulted in a missed opportunity in this instance (and the original framing would have been fine). Note that this capability likely exists in some of your images — be cautious when deleting the lesser images.

Images captured under a cloudy sky, including this one, usually readily accept some contrast increase and a modest amount was added to this image.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/3/2019 12:28:28 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 2, 2019

Not having thumbs makes catching and handling slippery salmon very challenging for bears and very entertaining for those photographing the action. This bear is deploying one of its catching techniques, pinning the fish down for an easier bite.

What caught my attention in this photo is the colorful salmon tail splashing upward.


I'm getting into the Black Friday/Cyber Monday spirit with a special offer on the Brown Bear Chasing Salmon, Remote Katmai National Park, Alaska instructional photo tour. Sign up along with a spouse or friend and save $500 on the second admission price for this bucket list-grade trip.

Dates: Thu, September 17 to Fri, September 24, 2020

If this trip is calling you, I need to hear from you as soon as possible. Contact me to sign up!

Post Date: 12/2/2019 11:44:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Image quality test results have been added to the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens page.

Here are some comparisons:

Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens Compared to the Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens

Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens Compared to the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 Lens

While there are a plethora of other 35mm lenses, few have the matching f/2.8 max aperture. Use the site's tools to create your own comparisons.

This lens has a $50.00 holiday savings in place. The Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens is in stock at B&H | B&H Used | Adorama | WEX

Rent the Sony FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA Lens from Lensrentals.

Please remember to support us by using our links for all of your shopping needs and by sharing the site with others!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 12/2/2019 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, November 30, 2019

Sony a7R IV and Epic Rocky Mountain National Park Milky Way The Sony a7R IV and Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens teamed for an epic Rocky Mountain National Park Milky Way on this September evening. While chasing elk in rut was our top priority during the RMNP workshops, photographing the night sky was also on the to-do list and a clear RMNP night sky never fails to wow us.

For the Milky Way to reach down close to its reflection requires the reflecting surface to have little obstruction above it. Large bodies of water have distant shores and that distant perspective usually results in lower shoreline sky obstructions. Small bodies of water are more likely to have a calm surface than large bodies but trees and mountains typically get in the way of the little-obstruction requirement. Mountains often bring elevation gain that tends to bring reflection-erasing wind.

This particular small mountain lake is set high enough for the southern view to open up to the sky while being protected from the wind for the perfect combination. I love pointed spruce treetops and always welcome their great character on the horizon. Reflections can be counted on to double the value.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 11/30/2019 9:53:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, November 28, 2019

Today is the day that those of us residing in the USA are celebrating our "Thanksgiving" holiday. As you probably guessed from the name, we set aside this day to give thanks for our abundant blessings. While we should always have a spirit of thankfulness, this day can give that state of mind a significant boost.

We are especially thankful for you, our extended family, and the support you continue to show. Thanks so much for that and we wish you a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 11/28/2019 9:05:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 27, 2019

B&H has the Godox AD400Pro Witstro All-In-One Outdoor Flash for only $419.00 after $230.00 instant savings.

We use the 600 version of this flash constantly in our studio. It works great. Like most of the deals I'm sharing today, this would be a great gift.

Post Date: 11/27/2019 11:27:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 26, 2019

From Sony:

TOKYO, Nov. 19, 2019 – Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced the establishment of Sony AI. This new organization, with offices globally in Japan, Europe, and the United States, will advance fundamental research and development of AI (artificial intelligence).

Sony's Purpose is to "Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology." Recognizing that AI will play a vital role in the fulfillment of this Purpose, Sony AI is being established with the mission to "unleash human imagination and creativity with AI."

Sony AI will combine world class fundamental research and development with Sony's unique technical assets, especially in Imaging & Sensing Solutions, Robotics and Entertainment (Games, Music and Movies), driving transformation across all existing business domains and contributing to the creation of new business domains. In addition, one of Sony AI's long-term goals is to contribute to the resolution of shared global issues extending beyond Sony's business domains.

Sony AI will drive the research and development of AI in both physical and virtual space through multiple world-class flagship projects as well as other explorative research projects, including AI ethics.

Initially, Sony AI will launch three flagship projects in the areas of gaming, imaging & sensing, and gastronomy. The adoption of new AI technologies developed through these flagship projects will be critical to further enhancing the value of Sony's gaming and sensor businesses in coming years. This research will be pursued in close collaboration with the relevant Sony Group business units.

In order to drive these projects and achieve truly innovative research, Sony is eager to work with top global AI talent with an aim to attract world-class AI researchers and engineers. Sony believes that extraordinary innovation requires diversity of both talent and approaches, and this will be reflected in the composition and operation of Sony AI. Recognizing the power and influence of AI technologies, Sony AI will contribute to society through the development of AI that is fair, transparent, and accountable.

Sony AI will be headed globally by Hiroaki Kitano (President and CEO, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.; Corporate Executive, Sony Corporation), and the American site will be headed by Peter Stone.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony News
Post Date: 11/26/2019 5:05:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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