From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
June 23, 2017, Commack, NY- Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world's first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and provides a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.) is Tamron's accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.
|Angle of View (diagonal)||75°33' - 4° (for APS-C format)|
|Optical Construction||16 elements in 11 groups|
|Minimum Object Distance*||17.7 in (0.45m)|
|Maximum Magnification Ratio||12.9|
|Length**|| for Canon 4.9 in (123.9mm)|
for Nikon 4.8 in (121.4mm)
|Weight|| for Canon 25 oz (710g)|
for Nikon24.9 oz (705g)
|Aperture Blades||7 (circular diaphragm)|
|Image Stabilization Performance|
(For Canon : EOS-80D is used / For Nikon: D7200 is used)
|2.5 stops (CIPA Standards Compliant)|
|Standard Accessories||Flower-shaped lens hood, Lens caps|
|Compatible Mounts||Canon, Nikon|
Surprisingly, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lenses are scheduled to start shipping tomorrow, the day immediately following the acceptance of preorders (source: B&H).
Late last month, Canon announced that they planned on purchasing roughly 14 million of its own shares with a 50 billion yen outlay ($450 million dollars). At the time, I remarked that Canon could only afford 12,976,343 shares with the allocated investment at the then-current stock price.
Canon has completed its stock acquisition ahead of schedule, obtaining 12,776,100 shares at a cost of 49,999,720,400 yen ($449,040,488.95 USD), which works out to approx. $35.15 USD per share. At the time of this post, Canon's stock is currently trading at $35.05 USD. [Sean]
We expect there to be high demand for these lenses; be sure to preorder early if you want to receive your lens ASAP. Be sure to use the links above to support the site.
Update: Adorama also has the lenses available for preorder.
I've been using The Photographer's Ephemeris for several years now and it's one of the most useful photography apps I've found. By the looks of it, the app is getting even better. I'm hoping an Android version is not too far down the pipeline. When the iOS app launches, you'll be able to find it here. [Sean]
From The Photographer's Ephemeris:
The Photographer's Ephemeris 3D (TPE 3D) is a unique natural light visualization tool for outdoor and landscape photographers. It’s a 3D map-centric Sun, Moon and Milky Way calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.
Watch a sunrise from the future in a rich simulation of sunlight, moonlight and starlight set against the actual topography of your planned shooting location.
Need to see when the arch of the Milky Way will rise between two mountain peaks? Need to see what time in the afternoon the valley will lose direct light in September? Watch the light unfold under clear skies hours, days, weeks or years before you’re actually there in person.
We plan to soft launch TPE 3D in select markets (including Ireland and New Zealand) on Tuesday, June 20 2017.
We expect to make the app available worldwide on Tuesday, June 27.
TPE 3D requires iOS 10. It runs on all devices that support iOS 10, but more modern devices benefit from higher detail in the 3D topography and higher resolution shadows and stars.
We plan to launch TPE 3D as a paid app, selling individually for $19.99 in the US ($30.99, Australia, 21,99 € Eurozone, £19.99 UK, based on current Apple pricing tiers).
A bundle will be available making TPE 3D available to users who already own TPE and/or The Photographer' Transit at reduced price. The bundle will launch at $24.99 in the US, for all three apps.
That means that if you have already paid $8.99 for TPE, you can purchase the bundle to add TPE 3D and TPT for $16.00. If you already own both TPE and TPT, you can complete your bundle for $12.00, representing a 40% discount off full price for TPE 3D.
(All pricing is subject to change.)
We expect to offer a pro subscription for future enhancements such as satellite maps and full offline support.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported financial results for its second quarter fiscal year 2017 ended June 2, 2017.
A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release and on Adobe’s website.
“Digital transformation continues to be the burning agenda for creative professionals, enterprises, governments and educational institutions,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe. “Adobe is the go-to company for creating world-class digital customer journeys from design to delivery to measurement and monetization.”
“Adobe continues to execute well, with another quarter of record revenue and operating profit in Q2," said Mark Garrett, executive vice president and CFO, Adobe. “We're excited about the strong business momentum we have as we enter the second half of fiscal 2017 and remain confident in our ability to drive strong revenue and earnings growth in the future.”
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (June 19, 2017) - Gitzo, a pioneer in many of the most advanced, revolutionary technologies for professional camera equipment, is celebrating one hundred years of outstanding innovation and technological leadership by launching an exclusive magnesium limited-edition travel tripod - the 100 Year Anniversary Edition.
Gitzo initiated the travel tripod era, creating products designed to be companions for life. The world’s most inspirational brand of tripods and heads is celebrating its first centenary of tradition, innovation and expertise that have made it a beacon of excellence in the photographic world. No other manufacturer has so consistently broken the boundaries of possibility, passionately devising and producing the means through which photographers turn vision into reality.
To mark the occasion, Gitzo has launched the new 100Y “DEFINING TOMORROW” logo, referencing infinity and the creations the company has yet to roll out.
The innovative 100 Year Anniversary Edition Tripod is not just a celebratory photography support. It is the ultimate high-performance professional tool featuring unique design and the very latest technology. This highly desirable flagship product will be available worldwide in an exclusive limited edition of just 1917 pieces, referencing Gitzo’s year of foundation, with the number of each piece laser engraved on one leg (1/1917 to 1917/1917).
The 100 Year Anniversary Edition Tripod introduces a brand-new magnesium spider, emphasized by a black finish and titanium color details that make this model outstandingly stylish. It has Gitzo’s latest Traveler Series 1 technological features, including state-of-the-art Carbon eXact tubing and 180° leg folding mechanism for the ultimate strength, the Traveler G-lock mechanism, making it compact, strong and ergonomic, together with a brand-new Center Ball Head for superior smoothness and precision. Moreover, the limited-edition tripod features an ergonomic strap made of genuine Italian leather with a carbon fiber look for extreme comfort in use.
The 100 Year Anniversary Edition Tripod is presented in a highly refined, black branded chest with leather detailing containing the tripod and its accessories, the tripod’s certificate of authenticity signed by Gitzo’s CEO, and includes the name of the craftsman who created each specific piece.
The 100 Year Anniversary Edition is available for $1,499.99 in the U.S. and is exclusive to select dealers.
The tenth lens in the ZEISS Milvus series for DSLR cameras already shows its many benefits at full aperture
OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2017-06-21 – ZEISS has launched a new lens for full-frame DSLR cameras from Canon1 and Nikon2 on the market: the ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35. Now the tenth lens in the Milvus family, the ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35 is particularly suitable for portrait photography thanks to its speed. "The high maximum aperture enables the subject to stand out clearly against the background, and the photographer can achieve creative combinations of focus and blur," says Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. "The manual focus enables very exact focusing, and the creamy bokeh provides an excellent image look. And even at full aperture the image quality leaves nothing to be desired.” The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35 is also perfectly at home in landscape photography: "The 35-millimeter focal length is a genuine all-rounder." Like all lenses in the ZEISS Milvus family, it is protected against dust and splashes and, according to Casenave, even bad weather is no problem. The metal barrel gives the lens its robust and durable character.
Practically no chromatic aberrations thanks to a new optical design
With aspherical lens elements, special glass materials and advanced correction, ZEISS has given the lens a completely new optical design. “This means the photos are practically free from chromatic aberrations," says Casenave. Thanks to their excellent edge-to-edge imagery the ZEISS Milvus lenses are designed for high-performance digital cameras. "The resolutions of camera sensors are constantly becoming higher, and this also increases the demands made on the lenses. For ZEISS Milvus lenses this is no problem. They are a solid investment in the future."
Also suitable for filming
The ten lenses in the ZEISS Milvus family, ranging between 15 and 135 millimeters, are also suitable for film productions: the manual focus with a large rotation angle can be operated with the aid of a ZEISS Lens Gear with a follow-focus system. The de-click function allows the aperture to be set continuously in the version for Nikon3 cameras. A further benefit for filming: ZEISS has matched the color characteristics of the ten lenses. Filmmakers can therefore switch between the focal lengths and still have a uniform color look. "This facilitates editing enormously," says Casenave.
Price and availability
The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/35 will be available from specialist dealers and in the ZEISS Online Shop from July 2017. The recommended retail price is 1,999 euros.
B&H has just added three more videos to its Optic 2017 presentations on YouTube. The latest three videos include:
Previously Posted Optic 2017 Presentations
There is certainly something airy and graceful about the Hollywood Golden Age and Chris Knight is one of the few photographers that can transfer the sensation of celluloid and silver to a modern-day photo shoot. Here Chris explains how to create grand and cinematic portraits using the Profoto D1 and a set of Profoto umbrellas.
Have you ever wondered what kinds of Lightroom adjustments were made to an image you found online? Now, there may be an easy way to find out.
Assuming that the JPEG image in question was saved with all EXIF information intact, a website called Pixel Peeper can display the camera and lens used, exposure settings and exactly what types of adjustments were made to that specific image in Lightroom.
I loaded a few images into the tool and it seemed to work as advertised. Give it a try and see what you think. [Sean]
by Sean Setters
Here's a seemingly simple question – "What is your camera's image resolution?"
Before you answer, let me warn you. If you're simply going to recite the "Effective Pixels" value listed in your camera's specifications, you'll be incorrect. Your camera's advertised resolution is different than the resolution of the recorded images. In fact, your camera's image resolution is a little lower than the widely accepted value.
Want proof? Multiply the pixel dimensions of your camera's highest image resolution setting and compare it to the advertised camera resolution. For convenience, I'll list a few examples below.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Image Dimensions: 6720 x 4480
6720 x 4480 = 30,105,600 pixels (30.11 MP)
Stated Resolution: 30.4 MP
Canon EOS 80D
Image Dimensions: 6000 x 4000
6000 x 4000 = 24,000,000 pixels (24.00 MP)
Stated Resolution: 24.2 MP
Image Dimensions: 7360 x 4912
7360 x 4912 = 36,152,320 pixels (36.15 MP)
Stated Resolution: 36.3 MP
Sony a7R II
Image Dimensions: 7952 x 5304
7952 x 5304 = 42,177,408 pixels (42.18 MP)
Stated Resolution: 42.4 MP
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Before I explain why the maximum image resolution is slightly smaller than the advertised effective pixels resolution, it's important to first understand the difference between the total and effective pixel specs. The term "total pixels" refers to the total number of pixels found on the sensor. The term "effective pixels" refers to a subset of the total pixels which fall within the image area.
So the area outside the portion of the sensor used for recording the image accounts for the difference between the total pixels and the effective pixels. But, the question remains: What is the reason for a discrepancy between the advertised effective pixels and the actual number of pixels in the image?
The answer is that manufacturers use specially allocated pixels within the image area to aid in noise reduction, dark noise cancellation and other various image processing tasks. These pixels are not recorded in the final image, but can enhance the quality of the final image. Thus, the difference between the effective pixels value and number of pixels found in the final image equals the total number of specially allocated pixels used for the various processing tasks.
The next time someone sees one of your images and asks, "How many megapixels is it?", don't recite your camera's advertised resolution but instead pull out your calculator to give them the precise answer.
That said, does the difference really matter?
What do you think? Were you surprised? Let us know in the comments.
The Accent AI Filter is part of new Luminar Neptune – a major update to Macphun’s best-selling photo software.
San Diego, CA – June 15, 2017 – Macphun, the California-based developer known for making complex photo editing simple and user-friendly, today launched the update to its award-winning photo editor Luminar.
The most significant innovation in Luminar Neptune is a new photo filter powered by the artificial intelligence technology developed in-house by Macphun’s Research and Development Lab. The new Accent AI Filter allows anyone to create stunning images with a single slider instead of using dozens of adjustments and controls. It takes just a second and one swoosh of a slider to remarkably improve a photo.
The Accent AI Filter in Luminar uses artificial intelligence to analyze different areas of an image based on its structure, objects, dark and light zones, colors and other parameters. As a user moves the slider, the filter intelligently and automatically “understands” what each area on the photo is lacking and improves it. Moving the slider can also adjust the intensity of changes, making the picture look more natural or revealing a more dramatic look, depending on the desired effect.
To put it simply: the Accent AI Filter in Luminar is a substitute for dozens of traditional controls like shadows, highlights, contrast, tone, saturation, exposure, details and many others. It eliminates tedious manual editing for hobbyists who want superb quick results and creates a fantastic foundation for further advanced image manipulation for pro photographers.
“Our mission to make complex photo editing tasks simple and fun led the team at our R&D Lab to explore Artificial Intelligence technology for image enhancement,” said Kevin La Rue, Vice-President at Macphun. “The Accent AI Filter emerged as a ground-breaking way to make perfect images instantly, incorporating the power of dozens of filters into one convenient tool.
This is something other photo software is missing; and what’s more important, it’s something that all photographers will greatly benefit from,” concluded La Rue.
Luminar Neptune also introduces a new workspace called Quick & Awesome?. As the name implies, the workspace consists of 3 essential filters which quickly create fantastic results: the aforementioned Accent AI Filter, Saturation & Vibrance and Clarity. Using the Accent AI Filter gives users amazing instant results, however if there is still fine-tuning to be done, the other two filters can quickly help improve the photo without any extra effort.
Luminar Neptune includes many other updates: plug-in integration with Aurora HDR 2017 and Creative Kit allows users to seamlessly access their favorite features from Macphun’s other products. Faster masking/brushing?, an improved Vignette filter and better memory management? are among other notable changes.
The latest update of Luminar is available for Mac only. In July however, Macphun will be launching a “public beta” of Luminar for PC to give Windows users the first taste of the powerful all-in-one photo editor for creating bold images in minutes.
To stay current with the latest news, and to sign up for access to beta test versions when available, visit https://macphun.com/pc.
New feature highlights in Luminar Neptune:
Pricing (with coupon code "THEDIGITALPICTURE")
$49 / 49€ / £46 / AU$69 for anyone who already owns Macphun photo software
$59 / 59€ / £55 / AU$84 for all new users
Free trials are available at macphun.com/luminar.
From 4:00 - 6:00pm Eastern Time this evening, B&H is hosting "Understanding Solar Photography with Christopher Witt and Todd Vorenkamp," a live panel discussion aimed at helping you get the most out of the upcoming total solar eclipse (August 21).
The world of solar photography is beautiful yet complicated. As humans we’ve had a natural inclination to look skyward and wondered what we could learn from the mysterious points of light. Those stellar stars, have driven the engine of curiosity that has led humans to build civilizations, plant our crops and guide sea wary sailors back to port. Because of this, we have a better idea of how the universe works. At B&H we want to inspire our customers to again look skyward and record your findings for future generation to learn from and enjoy. The B&H Event Space is happy to host Christopher Witt and Todd Vorenkamp who will not only inspire but really break down the world of astrophotography, whether you have questions about which filters one would use for certain shooting conditions, or which mount will work for your camera. They’ll make sure you are out shooting the stars in no time.B&H also carries solar photography and eye protection equipment.
B&H has posted a number of its Optic 2017 presentations to YouTube including:
B&H has been releasing videos periodically, and it looks like there are still several to come (6, I believe).
Firmware Version 1.1.1 incorporates the following fixes
Nikon Commemorative Products Now Available for Order
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Corporation announced the release of commemorative products and special collection items celebrating the company’s 100th Anniversary, which takes place on July 25, 2017. Authorized Nikon retailers will be accepting orders for these commemorative products and special collection items starting today, June 15 through August 31, 2017.
The commemorative editions of these Nikon models were developed specifically to show the company’s appreciation to all the photographers, creators and customers around the world. These special edition products reflect the tradition, innovation and advanced technologies that Nikon has cultivated over the past 100 years. In addition to these commemorative models, a special collection of unique items will also be released.
Nikon D5 and Nikon D500 100th Anniversary Editions:
The Nikon D5, Nikon's flagship FX-format digital SLR camera, is available in a dark metallic gray finish and displays an engraving on the bottom noting Nikon’s contribution to the study and exploration of space. An anniversary booklet detailing Nikon’s contributions to space exploration is also included. The 100th Anniversary Edition Nikon D500 comes with an exclusive metal case, where the commemorative logo and serial number are engraved. The case also contains a commemorative body cap and embossed leather strap. The Special Edition D5 and D500 will be sold for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $7,999.95* and $2,799.95*, respectively.
NIKKOR and Binocular 100th Anniversary Editions:
The NIKKOR Triple f/2.8 Zoom Lens Set features three f/2.8 maximum aperture zoom lenses that truly embody the NIKKOR brand name. The set is comprised of the “three big dragons”, best known as the wide-angle AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, the medium AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR, and the telephoto AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lenses. The NIKKOR Special Edition lens set will be sold for a SRP of $7,999.95*.
A commemorative edition of the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR will also be available, and comes with a display of individual glass elements that make up the internal workings of the lens, as well as a special stand and case. This lens will be sold for an SRP of $3,999.95*.
The WX 7×50 IF and WX 10×50 IF binoculars are commemorative models which offer incredibly wide fields of view that are clear and sharp all the way to its edges. A special logo is printed on the bottom of the binocular's central shaft, and an exclusive serial number is stamped on the top. In addition to the standard strap supplied with the binoculars, the models will come with a WX leather strap pressed with the commemorative logo. These special editions of the WX 7x50 IF and WX 10x50 IF binoculars, will be sold for $5,999.95* SRP and $6,399.95* SRP, respectively.
The classically designed Nikon 8×30E II, is considered to be one of Nikon’s most popular binocular models. Its 63.2° apparent field of view is realistic, and the application of a multilayer film coating to all lens and prism surfaces ensures that the field of view is bright and clear. The commemorative edition has an exclusive metallic gray finish and a printed logo on the strap and case. These limited edition binoculars will be sold for a SRP of $799.95*.
100th Anniversary Special Collection Items:
In addition to Nikon 100th Anniversary products, Nikon has also announced the availability of several special collectible items. Nikon partnered with Swarovski***, the world's leading crystal manufacturer, to create an elegant crystal reproduction of the Nikon Model I, specifically designed by the team at Swarovski for a $1,499.95* SRP, available exclusively through the Nikon Store.
Nikon will also offer a collection of lapel pins that represent the company’s most historic and popular products, as well as the corporate logo for $269.95* SRP. Additionally, Nikon will be offering premium camera straps made of Italian leather for a SRP of $99.95*. Additionally, Nikon will have 100th Anniversary Miniature Nikon F Camera available for a SRP of $139.95*.
U.S. Market Specific Nikon 100th Anniversary Commemorative Products and Special Collection Items:
To further celebrate Nikon’s history, Nikon Inc. has produced premium vintage t-shirts showcasing one of Nikon’s most iconic past logos (NIPPON KOGAKU). These shirts will be available for purchase beginning on July 25, 2017 for a SRP of $24.95* on nikonusa.com.
Additionally, Nikon Inc. has produced a series of 10 limited edition camera posters showcasing some of the iconic cameras created throughout Nikon’s history. These posters, measuring 19.5” x 19.5” inches, are matted and framed to a size of 23.5” x 23.5” and will be hand-numbered and available as a limited edition; only 100 numbered posters will be produced for each design. Pricing will be $150 SRP* per framed poster, and will be available sometime in July, 2017 through nikonusa.com in partnership with Level Frames.
Lastly, Nikon Inc. will be producing a 100th Anniversary premium leather camera bag in partnership with the ONA brand. These premium bags are made with genuine leather and will have the 100th anniversary and Nikon logos embossed. These bags will go on sale on July 25, 2017 and will be available for an SRP of $399.95*.
For more information including pricing and further details about Nikon’s 100th Anniversary commemorative products and special collection items, please visit www.nikonusa.com/100th.
From the TamronVids YouTube Channel:
Watch the process of Tamron’s industry-leading 3-business day repair service. Tamron USA took dramatic steps to increase the number of repair technicians that work on photographic lenses as well as customer service staff. Internal systems were changed to accommodate the inspection of lenses received by noon of each day and route the lenses to the proper technician for expert repair. Repaired lenses are then given top priority in the distribution center to ensure the product is on its way back to the customer within the established guidelines.
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Written by Ken Sklute and Dave HenryRead the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center. Click here for more CDLC articles with tips on photographing the upcoming eclipse.
Since the earliest days of photography, scientists worked at making a successful image of the corona during a total solar eclipse. The first correctly exposed photograph of the corona during a total solar eclipse was made on July 28, 1851 by daguerreotypist Johann Berkowski at the Royal Prussian Observatory at Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, in Russia). The exposure was 84 seconds during maximum eclipse. Numerous attempts were made earlier, but Berkowski’s image was the first correctly exposed image.
A cropped and enhanced version of the original Berkowski daguerreotype of 1851 clearly shows that not only did Johann Berkowski correctly expose his 84 second daguerreotype, he was the first to document the solar flares, known as prominences, emanating from the sun's surface. This daguerreotype became the benchmark for later photographic attempts.
Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and on to today, photography has played a significant role in science. Correct exposure though, makes the photograph useful.
This one should get some traction.
The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama. A free Sigma UV Filter ($69.95 value) is currently included.
by Sean Setters
Several years ago when I was first exploring the wonderful world of off-camera flash, radio triggering options were very limited with rudimentary capabilities. It's amazing how much the radio triggering market has changed since then.
Now, in addition to the basic triggers of ye olden days, we have radio triggers that can remotely adjust the power levels of compatible flashes or even adjust power levels automatically via TTL technology. In other words, there has never been a better time to explore what radio-triggered off-camera flashes can do for your photography.
If your current flashes support radio triggering – like the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT – then you don't need anything else. However, if your flashes or studio strobes don't feature radio triggering, or if you need to incorporate non-radio enabled flashes into your radio flash setup, then radio flash triggers will be worth looking into. And on that note, there are a few things to consider when arriving at your preferred choice of radio trigger.
Type of Connection
First, it's important to understand how these radio triggers connect to our shoe mount flashes (and possibly studio strobes). Radio triggers primarily connect to compatible flashes in one of two ways, either by a cable connection or via a hot shoe (and most of those triggers featuring a hot shoe can also trigger via a cable connection).
The most common type of sync port found on shoe-mount flashes is a PC terminal. These sync ports have been an industry standard for decades, but... they are not my personal favorite type of connection. First of all, PC cables are not very robust (easily damaged) and they sometimes disconnect from the socket when a flash is handled with the cord attached (though locking PC compatible ports mitigate this issue).
A far simpler solution, however, for triggering a shoe-mount flash is to use the flash's mounting foot. Many newer radio triggers feature a built-in hot shoe that your off-camera shoe-mount flash simply slides into. In my opinion, this is the best triggering solution as it eliminates the need for cables which can easily be lost, damaged or simply not long enough (or inconveniently too long) for a specific application.
Transmitter/Receiver or Transceiver
In addition to the type of connection a radio trigger features, it's important to understand whether a specific triggering system is built on separate transmitters and receivers or if a single device can act as both, i.e. is a transceiver. In regards to the separate transmitter/receiver systems (such as Vello FreeWave LR, Radiopopper Nano), a significant pitfall is that is that a single transmitter failure (without a spare transmitter to fall back on) will render all of your receivers completely useless. Alternately, a single device failure in a transceiver setup (such as the PocketWizard Plus/FlexTT* or Cactus V6) means that you only lose the ability to trigger one flash, not the entire group, as any of the devices can act as a transmitter.
In some cases, a company may even produce radio receivers that are completely compatible with camera brand master flashes or transmitters, thereby allowing the use of older (non radio enabled) flashes to be used in an otherwise radio-enabled setup.
One of the primary advantages of radio triggering technology is that it eliminates the line-of-sight requirements for trigging off-camera flashes as well as boosting the range even if line-of-sight positioning of flashes is possible.
For instance, Canon Speedlite's optical flash triggering system has an advertised range of 32.8 ft (10m) outdoors and 49.2 ft (15m) indoors. And technically speaking, line-of-sight isn't always required indoors if surfaces are available for the master flash's transmission to bounce off of in order to communicate with slave flashes.
Now contrast the previously mentioned optical triggering range with that of typical radio triggers advertising anywhere from 300 ft (91.4m) to 1,600 ft (487.68m).
Suffice it to say, most photographers will never need to trigger an off-camera flash from 300+ ft away, but... it's nice to know that your flash will fire when you need to position it in a location that exceeds the capabilities of optical triggering.
Brand Longevity and Backward Compatibility
Another thing to consider when shopping for radio triggers is the likelihood of the brand remaining in the radio triggering market for the foreseeable future and whether or not they have displayed a commitment to backwards compatibility with previous generation devices. One example, PocketWizard, has been producing flash triggers for more than 15 years with newly released products always being backwards compatible in terms of radio frequency.
Basic / Advanced Triggers
In regards to radio flash triggers, there are basic triggers and advanced triggers. Basic triggers transmit/receive only one highly relevant piece of information – FIRE! Because they are relatively easy to design and manufacture, there are a wide range of companies that produce these very-easy-on-the-budget triggers. While most of the triggers will work as intended most of the time, you may experience or occasional misfires and you'll likely forego high build quality with flash triggers at the lowest tier pricing level. Examples of basic triggers include the PocketWizard PlusX, Radiopopper Nano, and Yongnuo RF-603C.
On the other end of the spectrum, advanced triggers provide a myriad of features that make them more versatile and/or more convenient for those working in a professional (or semi-professional) atmosphere. Some advanced triggers are capable of:
Not all advanced triggers feature all of the capabilities listed above, but most offer at least some of them. The extra features of advanced triggers compared to basic triggers come at a higher cost, of course, but the price differential translates to significantly increased convenience and versatility. Examples of advanced flash triggers include the PocketWizard FlexTT*, Phottix Laso, Cactus V6 and Yongnuo YNE3-RX .
Which radio trigger is right for you?
If you're just exploring off-camera flash for the first time, it's probably a good idea to invest in a set of basic triggers. Why? Because all of the extra features afforded by advanced triggers can complicate the off-camera flash learning process. Basic triggers require manual flash power adjustments and therefore simplify the "cause and effect" learning process. Once basic lighting principles have been conquered, the value of the advanced triggers' full feature set can be fully appreciated.
Then again, nearly all advanced radio triggers can replicate the functionality of basic triggers. So if you're ready to jump down the rabbit hole, but still inexperienced with off-camera flash, you can invest in an advanced flash trigger system and use them as basic triggers until you're ready to explore the augmented feature set.
Other Photography Lighting 101 Posts
Performance, Quality & Comfort, Redefined
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (June 13, 2017) – Manfrotto, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, has launched the new Pro Light Bumblebee bags - perfect for professional and amateur photographers and videographers who work outdoors and want a reliable carrying solution. With this collection, users can stay comfortable in the harshest of conditions despite high temperatures, extreme cold or high humidity.
The new Pro Light Bumblebee family is an exceptional assortment of high-performance camera backpacks and messenger bags which perfectly embody Manfrotto’s Italian heritage. This family introduces Manfrotto’s unique-to-the-market breathable harness system that greatly reduces photography gear fatigue, allowing image makers to cover more ground and locate the best spots for the perfect shots.
Inside, the bags’ innovative designs safeguard the latest professional equipment options. The renowned Camera Protection System (CPS) dividers take extra care of camera bodies and lenses. They are fully adjustable and built to distribute weight evenly and avoid tension to the body.
The new Manfrotto Bumblebee backpacks are designed to take stress and heat off the shoulders, neck and lower back and feature Manfrotto’s state-of-the-art AirSupport breathable harness and back panel, adjustable sternum support, shaped hip and waist support systems. A side handle helps users put the pack on or take it off, while elastic side pockets keep water bottles outside the critical gear zone.
The removable Manfrotto CPS insert safeguards equipment right at the heart of the pack and keeps it organized with the efficiency of a portable studio:
The entire internal space is padded to protect camera gear but can be also configured to accommodate accessories and personal gear as well. The main zipper comes with four pullers, which can be divided by a stopper into a top and lower compartment. Just open the top zipper for rapid access to frequently used contents from above.
A smart NeverLose tripod connection secures both longer and shorter tripods on the side of the pack. The connection straps are stitched in the side pocket and can be tucked away when not in use for a tidier appearance and to prevent straps getting lost.
The bigger Bumblebee-230 PL also features a lens pouch located in the waist belt. When not in use, the pouch can be flattened by tightening the webbing strap. (This feature is not available in Bumblebee-130 PL.)
Manfrotto’s new Bumblebee Messengers have significantly raised the bar for their category: a combination of flawless design and reliable performance, they meet all the needs of demanding professionals who travel light and fast. Like the backpacks, the messengers’ body-gripping fit and 3-point AirSupport harness system is breathable and perfect for prolonged outdoor use. The length of the strap can be rapidly adjusted using the EasyGrip buckle.
Despite their compact size, they hold a substantial amount of professional gear:
These bags introduce the XtraSecure handheld gimbal-carrying solution - a stretchable band that holds the gimbal’s moving parts so it can be taken out quickly. The area can also be used as a traditional lens compartment if there is no gimbal in the bag.
Manfrotto’s Bumblebee Messengers feature a secure silent quick-access flap. When shooting in quiet environments (e.g. during a ceremony), apply the NoiseFree Velcro silencer to keep a low profile. The broad front organizer keeps everything on hand. There are two bungee cord straps to hang a small tripod, monopod or selfie pole, which are also protected by the front flap. The Bumblebee Messengers can hold a gripped DSLR body when you take out the laptop from its compartment.
All the bags of the Bumblebee collection come with a DuoFace sun/rain cover to protect from rain, reflect sunlight and keep the gear cool and dry all day long.
The following models are now available nationwide (links below go to B&H):