Camera Gear Review News (Page 15) RSS Feed for Camera Gear Review News

 Monday, June 30, 2014
Just posted: Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens Review
 
Warning: Reading this review may create a very strong desire to add this lens to your kit. Read with caution.
 
Of course, B&H stands ready to ship a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens to you, quenching that desire.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/30/2014 8:13:47 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 26, 2014
Image quality and distortion test results along with standard product images have been added to the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens review page.
 
I was very anxious to get my hands on this lens. With well over 1000 shots captured with it so far, I am now loving this lens and expect it to become one of my most-used lenses. The 16-35 f/4L is very sharp across the frame, AF is very fast and extremely accurate and IS works very well.
 
Here are a couple of relevant comparisons:
 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS Lens compared to Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II Lens
 
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS Lens compared to Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L Lens
 
Completion of the full review is my current highest priority.
 
B&H has the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/26/2014 8:41:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 23, 2014
Just posted: FocusMaker DSLR Focusing Tool Review
 
Want to add some dramatic focus pulls to your DSLR video? The FocusMaker might be just what you're looking for...
Post Date: 6/23/2014 12:21:50 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Image quality test results have been added to the Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM Lens Review page.
 
More test results for this lens are coming.
Post Date: 6/17/2014 7:16:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 16, 2014
Image quality, distortion and vignetting results have been added to the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review page.
 
B&H has this new inexpensive ultralight ultra-wide angle lens in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/16/2014 6:23:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, June 10, 2014
 Thursday, June 5, 2014
 Wednesday, June 4, 2014
 Monday, June 2, 2014
Image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements have been added to the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens Review page.
Post Date: 6/2/2014 7:49:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 30, 2014
The Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX Lens Review page now includes image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements.
Post Date: 5/30/2014 8:37:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 29, 2014
Image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements have been added to the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II Lens Review page.
Post Date: 5/29/2014 9:55:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 13, 2014
It has been 2-days short of a year since the last Canon L lens announcement (for the ultra-expensive, but amazing, EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x Lens), so you are not likely surprised to hear that I have been experiencing ever-increasing new-L-Lens withdrawal symptoms. Well, that anxiety has just been lifted. The long Canon pro gear drought has just ended thanks to the announcement of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens.
 
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens review page contains a preview of the lens including:

With a moderate price tag and an impressive-looking MTF chart, I highly recommend that you preorder this lens immediately at B&H to preserve your place in line. This will likely be a very in-demand lens and has the potential to be hard to get for some time. You can always cancel a preorder, but getting a good place in line is far harder to accomplish later.

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/13/2014 12:01:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 5, 2014
Just posted: Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens Review
 
Find out what I think of a lens with a focal length range untouched by a competitor.
Post Date: 5/5/2014 8:13:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Image quality, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs/measurements and product images have been added to the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM Lens review page.
 
One interesting comparison to make is the Sigma 50-500mm OS Lens compared to the Tamron 150-600mm VC Lens. Select the focal length and aperture to base your comparison on.
Post Date: 4/29/2014 8:47:59 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 28, 2014
Just posted: ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBender Review
 
For a modest cost, the Rogue FlashBender system can transform the light quality coming from your speedlite into something special.
 
Check out the entire line of Rogue FlashBenders at B&H.
Post Date: 4/28/2014 8:03:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 25, 2014
Just posted: Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 Review
 
If you have a tripod and a Canon camera sporting an "N3" port, you want a TC-80N3 in your kit.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/25/2014 8:21:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, April 24, 2014
That became a pertinent question for me lately as the SDHC/SDXC memory cards I've most recently purchased came without the little plastic case included. While I think the manufacturers should include the inexpensive cases by default, none have yet asked me for my opinion. The other problem is that I've started to accumulate a variety of memory card case sizes that have become at least slightly annoying to deal with.
 
I was looking for something very compact but wanted at least a little protection for the cards. My memory cards are usually kept in other cases or my pocket where they have an additional layer of protection afforded them.
 
For me, the right solution was found on eBay. For $6.95 with free standard shipping, you get 10 small plastic cases just large enough to comfortably hold SDHC cards. I purchased two lots and now have all of my cards neatly stored in much less space than the pre-latest-purchased cards consumed.
 
If you prefer the more protective, larger case size or if you need to store CompactFlash/CF cards, this eBay auction may have the cases you are looking for. Same seller and same price.
 
For more rugged and larger capacity memory card cases, check out B&H's memory card case category. Notable entries include those from Ruggard, Pelican and Think Tank Photo.
Post Date: 4/24/2014 1:09:07 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Just posted: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review
 
With excellent image quality and great design, this lens becomes the easy 50mm AF lens choice. AF consistency remains this lens' biggest weakness.
 
With the demand this lens is seeing right now, I suspect that the 50 Art is going to be hard to get for some time. Preorder the Sigma 50 Art Lens now at B&H for earliest access.
Post Date: 4/22/2014 7:51:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Image quality, vignetting and distortion test results along with specs/measurements and product images are now available on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens review page.
 
Here are some direct comparisons you might be interested in:
 
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens (at f/1.8)
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens (not the "Art" version)
Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon Lens
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* Lens
Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Makro-Planar T* ZE Lens
 
The Nikon 50mm lens results are also available, but they are captured using a Nikon DX3 vs. the Canon EOS-1Ds III. Use your discernment in making these comparisons.
Post Date: 4/15/2014 7:54:24 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 14, 2014
Just posted: 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter Review
 
Learn what I consider to be the ultimate 10 stop neutral density filter and why.
 
I have a drop-everything review to work on right now, but with a lot of work done on the black filter review, I'm going to turn it loose. These filters are very useful and can easily turn mundane images into impressive ones. I intend to revisit this review with samples pictures and more suggestions.
Post Date: 4/14/2014 9:13:36 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Just Posted: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens Review
 
With excellent image quality and a moderate price, the Sigma 150 OS is a great option for a long focal length macro lens.
Post Date: 4/8/2014 7:59:11 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 31, 2014
Just posted: Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D DSLR Camera Review
 
While experienced DSLR photographers are not going to find this new camera too drool-worthy, the T5 is a very nice upgrade from the Rebel T3 / 1100D. Highlights include a higher resolution imaging sensor, a larger/higher resolution LCD, significantly improved video capabilities and a rubberized grip surface.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/31/2014 9:36:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 28, 2014
I posted a Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D ISO Noise Comparison to the site.
 
Use this page to compare the high ISO noise of the Rebel T5 / 1200D to eight different Canon DSLR cameras. Decide with your own eyes if Canon has pushed the APS-C image quality boundary with this brand new camera model.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/28/2014 9:37:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 25, 2014
In the latest tips article to be added to the site, I explain How to Calculate Lens Working Distance.
 
While this distance is easy to calculate with a tape measure or other distance measurement tool, you can also use the site's Lens Specifications and Measurements tool to obtain this information without leaving your seat.
 
Those having read the yesterday-posted Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens Review will recognize the discussed formula.
Post Date: 3/25/2014 9:49:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 24, 2014
Just posted: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens Review
 
This is a nice lens with great image quality. And it has a huge $300.00 instant rebate available right now, making it a bargain.
 
B&H has the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens in stock.
Post Date: 3/24/2014 8:11:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 21, 2014
Standard product images for the Sigma 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens have been added to the comparison tool.
 
The link will show the big Sigma 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens beside the medium-sized Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens and the smaller Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens.
 
The Sigma 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens review page has addition on-camera product images.
Post Date: 3/21/2014 11:36:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 20, 2014
 Wednesday, March 19, 2014
A handful of sample pictures have been added to the Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens review.
 
I regard the Sigma 24-105 f/4 OS is one of Sigma's best-ever lenses. This lens is in stock at B&H.
Post Date: 3/19/2014 8:48:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 18, 2014
A handful of sample pictures have been added to the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens review.
 
This lens continues to see demand exceeding supply. Preorder now at B&H.
Post Date: 3/18/2014 9:10:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 17, 2014
A handful of sample pictures have been added to the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Lens review. Some sample pictures include small tips to incorporate into your own photography.
Post Date: 3/17/2014 8:29:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 14, 2014
Just Posted: Vanguard BBH-200 Ball Head Review
 
This Arca-Swiss quick release plate-compatible ball head has great looks coupled with great functionality including a very smooth and strong ball and locking mechanism. It is one of the best heads I've used and is another contender for your kit.
Post Date: 3/14/2014 9:55:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 13, 2014
Amazing is how strong and rigid such a small tripod can be: Gitzo GT1542T Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Tripod Review
 
B&H recently lowered the price on the GT1542T by about $100.00.
Post Date: 3/13/2014 10:20:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, March 12, 2014
There are two significant reasons why you want use a carbon fiber tripod – and one significant reason why you might not want to buy a carbon fiber model.
 
The Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod Review provides the reasons to answer the big "Is carbon fiber worth the extra cost?" question.
Post Date: 3/12/2014 9:08:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Have you seen Manfrotto's latest 190 Series tripods? The new MT190 tripods sport a sharp, innovative design while retaining the great functionality and value they have long had.
 
Just Posted: Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum Tripod Review
Post Date: 3/11/2014 8:10:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 10, 2014
I have been using and loving Gitzo Systematic Carbon Fiber Tripods for a very long time and have finally picked up the latest iteration of my favorite model in this line. What I found was that this release upgrade includes more significant improvements than I expected. Check it out:
 
Just posted: Gitzo GT3542LS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Review
Post Date: 3/10/2014 9:24:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Just Posted: Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Review
 
As I hinted last week, especially for the price, I think that you are going to be very pleased with the image quality this lens delivers.
 
This lens remains in high demand and short supply. If you are interested in adding this lens to your kit, preorder now at B&H.
Post Date: 3/4/2014 12:15:48 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 27, 2014
Image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with some product photos have been added to the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Review page.
 
The Tamron 150-600 VC Lens vs. Canon 100-400mm IS Lens comparison is what many of us have been waiting for.
 
Especially for the price, I think that you are going to be very pleased with the image quality this lens delivers. I hope to have a full review of this lens completed in the near future.
 
B&H is taking preorders for the Tamron 150-600mm VC Lens.
Post Date: 2/27/2014 7:32:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Just posted: Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 Distagon T* Lens Review
 
This lens was announced with a LOT of hype. It is definitely worthy of such.
Post Date: 2/25/2014 9:20:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 20, 2014
Just Posted: Oben CT-2491 Carbon Fiber Tripod Review
 
There are a huge number of tripods availabe right now. The Oben CT-2491 is a better choice than most.
Post Date: 2/20/2014 8:09:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Canon has not provided an abundance of information on the new flash, but the images now available on the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II Flash Review page will enlighten you at least somewhat. The new LCD control panel is an obvious major improvement.
 
You will also find a link to CPN's MR-14EX II page at the bottom of the review page. This page has perhaps the most MR-14EX II information found anywhere.
 
I have and occasionally use the Canon Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash. I did not get a full review of this flash completed, but will try to get the version "II" review done more expediently.
 
B&H is taking preorders for the MR-14EX II.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/19/2014 9:16:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Just Posted: Oben BC-139 Ball Head Review
 
Add the Oben BC-139 to your short list. It is a great ball head with a great price.
Post Date: 2/18/2014 10:07:55 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, February 17, 2014
Specifications and product images (including comparisons of both) have been added to the Canon EOS Rebel T5 / 1200D Review page.
 
Perhaps most relevant is the Canon EOS Rebel T5 vs. T3 comparison.
 
And perhaps most interesting, as suggested by commenter "SLClick", is the Canon EOS Rebel T5 vs. T2i comparison. "I loved the T5 from the moment I saw it. When it was called a T2i." [SLClick] These cameras are very similar from a specifications perspective.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 2/17/2014 8:18:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, February 10, 2014
Just posted: ExpoImaging Rogue Flash Gels Universal Lighting Filter Kit Review
 
Learn why you need gel filters for your flash and learn how this kit can take your flash photography to another level.
Post Date: 2/10/2014 8:48:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 7, 2014
In the Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter review, I included a photo of a large spoonful of tiny balls of candy. I thought you might appreciate knowing more about this image, so I'll share the recipe:
 
1. Clamp a melon-baller (my large "spoon") over a clean black back-painted glass surface using a Delta Clamp and fill it until overflowing with cookie/cake sprinkles (the tiny balls of candy).
 
2. Tripod-mount a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR in manual mode with settings of 1/160, f/16 and ISO 100.
 
3. Mount a Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter to the 5D III and configure a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash as a slave.
 
4. Attach a Rogue FlashBender Softbox XL to the 600EX-RT.
 
5. While handholding the flash and softbox, trigger the image capture using a Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote.
 
The result is this image. While the reflection created by the Rogue Softbox is not as smooth as those delivered by more expensive softboxes, the reflection is not bad. One might think that a cloudy sky was the source the reflection.
 
Overall, I like the bright candy colors in this otherwise monochromatic scene. Images like this are easy to create with the right gear available.
Post Date: 2/7/2014 9:14:27 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Just posted: Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens Review
 
From image quality and build quality perspectives, there are few lenses that compare to the Zeiss 135mm.
Post Date: 2/5/2014 7:34:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, February 3, 2014
Well, the flashes did not take their own picture, but they at least self-lit this one. You may recognize the above image from the recently-posted Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash review. I thought you might want to know a little more about the somewhat unusual image.
 
This shows 6 Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash units lighting themselves. The flashes were triggered from a Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR with settings of ISO 100, f/11 and 1/200. I used a Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art Lens set to 57mm.
 
The six flash units are in their included shoe stands and their heads are angled to -7 degrees (slightly downward). The flashes are sitting on a black back-painted glass desk surface. I am standing on a stool with my feet just under the glass table top and leaning forward until the center AF point was centered in the reflection of the lens. Yes, reflections of me in the glass were an issue. I partly resolved this problem by wrapping a black fleece jacket around my legs.
 
You would not believe how well this setup lights up dust and other imperfections in the glass. I microfiber-cloth-dusted immediately before and a couple of times during this shoot. But the strong angled light across the black surface still found lots of dust and made it glow. Photoshop's Dust and Scratches noise filter quickly removed most of the dust problem. I used the history brush to restore details that were removed with the dust (including the flash names).
 
Here is another similar image: Speedlite Art
Post Date: 2/3/2014 8:33:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 31, 2014
Just posted: Canon Speedlite 90EX Flash Review
 
With the just posted Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash and Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT reviews, I guess that I could deem this Canon Speedlite week. Today's review covers Canon's smallest, lightest and least expensive flash – the 90EX.
 
While it was introduced and advertised with the Canon EOS M, the 90EX flash is compatible with all Canon EOS DSLRs. The 90EX has very low power output, but its optical wireless remote control capabilities are a huge value.
 
Read the full review to learn more about this great little device.
 
For great deals on the 90EX, check out the white box version at B&H ($99.00) or this eBay auction ($65.89).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/31/2014 8:38:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 30, 2014
Just posted: Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT Review
 
If you read the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash Review, you are already familiar with the ST-E3-RT. Basically, extract the 600EX-RT's radio wireless system, LCD, switch panel and foot, and put them in a housing just large enough to hold those parts and two AA batteries. What you have is an ST-E3-RT.
 
The ST-E3-RT is a great addition to a radio wireless flash kit. For an instant kit, get the Canon ST-E3-RT Transmitter & 2 Speedlite 600EX-RT Kit at B&H for $1,119.95 with free shipping. Basically, you are buying an ST-E3-RT and getting two 600EX-RT Speedlites for $416.48 each.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 1/30/2014 8:36:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 29, 2014
You better get a tissue and, if you are in public, rest your chin on your hand to avoid the embarrassment of being seen with your mouth wide open, because the image quality of the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens is jaw-dropping and drool-worthy.
 
You will now find image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs, measurements and eye candy available on the Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* ZE Lens review page. Results in all of the tests are best-in-class.
 
Let B&H satisfy the Zeiss 135mm craving I'm sure that you now have.
Post Date: 1/29/2014 8:59:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 28, 2014
by Sean Setters
 
Those of you who have been following the site will know that I recently upgraded everything relating to support – new tripod (Induro 8X CT314), ballhead (Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1), and Arca-Swiss style plates and clamps. But doing so left me with a bit of a problem.
 
For the past few months I had been thoroughly enjoying shooting panoramic images with my Manfrotto 303plus Panoramic Head and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens. However, shooting panos was cumbersome (at best). Using the panoramic head meant changing out my regular ballhead every time I wanted to shoot panos. If I wanted to be able to shoot normal images and panos in the same outing, I had to bring tools to do the replacement in the field. And the 303plus was no picnic travel with; it was heavy, bulky, and just plain awkward to lug around because of its shape.
 
But now let me step back just a bit. Why do you need a specialized head just to capture panoramic images? Couldn't you just rotate the camera on the tripod and get the same results?
 
Well, not exactly. The issue with trying to create panoramic images with a standard head is that the images don't stitch together very well. Because you aren't rotating the camera & lens around its nodal point, you get parallax errors which make stitching significantly more challenging and time consuming. Basically, things simply don't line up.
 
A panoramic head allows you to move the camera so that the pivoting occurs over the lens's nodal point thereby elminiating parallax errors and leading to easier (and less time consuming) stitching. If time is money, then a panoramic setup is worth its weight in gold.
 
After some research, I found a few products that, once assembled, would replicate the functionality of the 303plus head while giving me several other benefits:
 
The new pano rig...

  • Simply clamps into my existing ballhead using an Arca-Style plate. No more changing out heads everytime I want to do a pano.
  • Is smaller, lighter and less bulky than the 303plus (largely due to my camera's newly installed L-bracket).
  • Is cheaper than most pre-fabricated pano heads.
  • Is faster to level through a simple ballhead adjustment. The 303plus required leveling the setup by adjusting tripod's legs.

If you're keeping score, that's a win-win-win-win.

Manfrotto 303plus vs Sunwayfoto Pano Setup

Components of the new setup:

  1. Sunwayfoto DP-60 60mm QR Plate [$23.00]
  2. Sunwayfoto DDP-64M Indexing Rotator [$119.00]
  3. Kirk QRC-1.75 Quick Release Clamp [$55.00]
  4. Sunwayfoto DPG-210 Multi-Purpose Rail [$49.00]
  5. Sunwayfoto DDB-53 Bidirectional Clamp [$59.00]

Thats a solid panoramic setup for $305.00 (and significantly cheaper than many pre-made pano rigs). If you don't already have an L-bracket, then you'll only be able to shoot in landscape orientation. The L-bracket gives you the option to use a portrait orientation for more vertical real estate in your pano. One limitation of this setup is that you can't shoot 360-degree spherical panoramas with it; but for standard panoramas, it works very well.
 
Keep in mind that there are options for swapping several of the components above. I originally purchased the Kirk QRC-1.75 Quick Release Clamp to use in my BlackRapid to Arca-Swiss Plate conversion, but found that the longer tension screw handle allowed the clamp to fit perfectly on the Sunwayfoto DDP-64M Indexing Rotator. If I were buying the compenents again, I'd probably pick up a Sunwayfoto Discal Clamp 64mm With Long Handle instead. You can also purchase a longer rail if you want to shoot with a larger lens. However, make sure that your ballhead can support the weight of a moderately heavy camera/lens combination in an offset position. You can even forgo getting the Indexing Rotator & QR plate and simply rotate the rail/bi-directional clamp via your ballhead's panning base for an especially inexpensive setup. That said, I prefer using the Indexing Rotator for easy, consistent capture.
 
All in all, I'm really happy with my new pano setup. The Sunwayfoto products seem well-made and durable. A few days ago I created a 360-degree panorama in a local business, The Lamp & Lighthouse (click image to view a larger version):

The Lamp and Lighthouse Panoramic Image

I shot the panarama above using a 5D Mark III and the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. I corrected the lens distortion with PTLens (although some distortion still exists), stitched the pano using Hugin and polished it up in Photoshop CC.
 
Tip: When leveling your setup, ignore the bubble levels on your gear. Depending on design tolerances, bubble levels can be anywhere from "pretty close" to "completely useless." Use your camera's built-in electronic level for the best results.

Post Date: 1/28/2014 7:39:09 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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