Canon and Sony News for Mar 2018 (Page 2)

 Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Image quality test results have been added to the Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens page.

Like the other two TS-E L lenses simultaneously introduced, the Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens has been hard to find in stock, but Amazon, Beach Camera and eBay have this lens at the moment. Orders are being taken at B&H and Adorama.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 3/21/2018 7:44:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From B&H:

Explore Your Field In-Depth
B&H is proud to present the first annual Depth of Field conference. Over the course of two days, we aim to help beginner portrait, wedding and event photographers build their portfolios and learn new skills, while steering intermediate and advanced shooters to the latest innovations, shortcuts and gear via interactive events, demonstrations, workshops and more. Depth of Field is sure to entertain, enlighten and empower.

Dates: April 24th-25th, 2018

Location: The Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York City at 33rd Street & 7th Avenue NYC (conveniently located across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden).

Speakers:

  • Lindsay Adler (Master of Ceremonies)
  • The Colagrossis
  • Elaine Zelker
  • Jay Cassario (Leica Ambassador)
  • Jennifer Moon
  • Jerry Ghionis (Nikon Ambassador)
  • Josh Helton
  • Laurent Martin
  • Mary Angelini
  • Matt Johnson
  • Mindy Veissid
  • Neil Clipper
  • Rob Adams

What To Expect
Over 30 top exhibitors will share their craft at the Depth of Field launch. In addition to a dedicated lecture stage and continuous Livestream feed, you can also take advantage of five, fully-equipped studio setups to allow guests to try out the latest cameras with live models, props and more.

Register Now

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: B&H News
Post Date: 3/20/2018 7:13:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 19, 2018

Now live: Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review.

A big shout of thanks goes out to John Reilly for his effort in creating the review of this tiny lens!

The Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 3/19/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, March 17, 2018

Upon arriving home late last night, tired after an 11 hour drive, I learned of the passing of Chuck Westfall. I felt like I had been punched in the chest.

I had the privilege of meeting with and talking to Chuck on numerous occasions and considered him a friend. Likely, most of those who watched or listened to Chuck, or simply read what he wrote, considered him their friend as well. Although incredibly intelligent, highly professional and always relevant, Chuck had a special way of conveying friendship.

Chuck's name was, and long will be, synonymous with the Canon brand. Chuck was always ready to listen and willing to answer any question presented to him. One could always expect the right answer to be clearly explained and ... it was usually delivered immediately.

Thanks for everything, Chuck! You will be greatly missed!

Chuck Westfall

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 3/17/2018 10:15:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 16, 2018

The New York Times has posted a job opening for a Photo Director. Here are the details:

From the New York Times:

The New York Times is a worldwide leader in photojournalism, earning multiple Pulitzer Prizes and World Press Photo awards in recent years and establishing standards for excellence and innovation that have been deeply influential across the industry. Photography is a central part of our identity. It’s how we bear witness to events that matter, and our Photo department is one of the treasures of our newsroom.

Now we’re looking for someone to lead this talented and diverse team and to become part of the visual leadership of the organization. We want to continue integrating photography and other forms of visual journalism into the fabric of our report — as closely as our words.

This role is one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism, and we’re seeking candidates with a rare combination of journalistic experience, organizational expertise and extraordinary visual talent.

Candidates should demonstrate excellence in all aspects of photo editing, including:

  • Daily leadership of a large staff of photo editors and photographers who work across the globe, covering all subjects.
  • Candidates should be able to maintain high journalistic standards and sustain a level of excellence that makes photography a core component of The Times’s identity.
  • Sophisticated news judgment and a compelling vision for how The Times can produce world-class journalism and innovative storytelling. We’re looking for a strong digital sensibility, including the ability to recognize emerging techniques and platforms and a clear understanding of how to define a modern photo desk.
  • Strong grasp of feature and portrait photography and the ability to improvise visual solutions for news coverage that may not be obviously visual.
  • Sharp eye for talent and ability to recruit a diverse, first-rate team of photo editors and photographers.
  • Strong management skills. Able to motivate and guide a large and complex organization, including responsibility for staff members in harm’s way.
  • Sophisticated sense of design and how photography contributes to the overall visual excellence of The Times.
  • Deep understanding of the collaborative nature of work in the Times newsroom.
  • Candidates should know how to maintain highly-productive relationships with other visual units including Video, Graphics, Design and development teams, and they should be able to develop strong relationships with reporters and news desk editors.

Apply to be the New York Times Photo Director

Post Date: 3/16/2018 11:28:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Adobe:

Creative ARR Exceeds $5 Billion in Q1 FY2018

March 15, 2018 – SAN JOSE, Calif. – Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported strong financial results for its first quarter fiscal year 2018 ended March 2, 2018.

Financial Highlights

  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion in its first quarter of fiscal year 2018, which represents 24 percent year-over-year revenue growth.
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.17 on a GAAP-basis, and $1.55 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $1.46 billion, with Creative revenue growing to $1.23 billion and Document Cloud achieving revenue of $231 million.
  • Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $5.72 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $336 million. Creative ARR grew to $5.07 billion, and Document Cloud ARR grew to $647 million.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue was $554 million, which represents 16 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Operating income grew 50 percent and net income grew 46 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew 43 percent and net income grew 64 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Cash flow from operations was $990 million, and deferred revenue grew 25 percent year-over-year to approximately $2.57 billion.
  • Adobe repurchased approximately 1.6 million shares during the quarter, returning $301 million 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.

Executive Quotes

“Adobe’s outstanding growth is driven by enabling our customers to be more creative, work smarter and transform their businesses through our relentless focus on delivering innovation and intelligence across our solutions,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe.

“Our leadership in the large addressable markets we created, combined with Adobe’s leveraged operating model, contributed to another record quarter in Q1," said Mark Garrett, executive vice president and CFO, Adobe.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/16/2018 8:51:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

The University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) has posted a behind-the-scenes look at capturing its latest class picture.

Post Date: 3/16/2018 7:52:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Redrock Micro:

Burbank California - Disney | ABC Television Group and Disney Research has selected Redrock Microsystems to license certain Disney technology and patents, and will work with them to bring resulting products to market.

"Disney has a rich heritage of developing technology to enhance the tools and systems of tomorrow," said Anthony Accardo, Director, Research & Development, Disney ABC Television Group. "We look forward to working with Redrock to develop and launch technologies that we think will add tremendous value for productions industry-wide."

Under terms of the agreement, Disney has licensed technology and patents to Redrock aimed at improving mobilized video production. Redrock is currently integrating Disney and Redrock technologies to release generally available products. These products target small crews, solo operators, independent productions, and field broadcast applications including news, sports, and event coverage.

"When Disney approached us, we immediately recognized how wide ranging this technology is for improving field production," said James Hurd, President, Redrock Micro. "We've come to appreciate the innovation Disney brings to the table, and this relationship makes perfect sense: marrying Disney's advanced technology with Redrock Micro's proven product designs and delivery."

B&H carries Redrock Micro products.

Post Date: 3/16/2018 6:51:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Canon Digital Learning Center:

by Rudy Winston

Here’s a relatively new Canon feature in mid-range and upper-end EOS DSLRs that I think flies a bit under the radar for many photographers. But every time I use it, I’m grateful that we have it as an option. I’m speaking of Canon’s “AE Lock with Hold” feature, which is an option within the camera’s Custom Controls (in the Custom Functions menu) on the following cameras:

  • EOS-1D X Mark II; EOS-1D X
  • EOS 5DS; EOS 5DS R
  • EOS 5D Mark IV; EOS 5D Mark III
  • EOS 6D Mark II; EOS 6D
  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • EOS 80D; EOS 70D

See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Want to know more about one of these cameras? There's a treasure trove of information available right here.

Post Date: 3/16/2018 5:34:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 15, 2018

From the Canon Digital Learning Center:

When it comes to real estate photography, nothing will have a more positive impact on your target audience than an eye-catching image or video. If you’re a photographer hoping to take your real estate or architectural photography to the next level, here are some helpful tips!
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Post Date: 3/15/2018 1:20:24 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Nikon:

KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.5

Changes from Firmware Version 1.4 to 1.5:

  • Uncompressed equirectangular video of the view through the lens can now be output via the HDMI connector together with audio from the camera microphone. See the online manual for more information.
  • Fixed an issue that caused visible variation in contrast in images recorded using Active D-Lighting.

Download: Nikon KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.5



ViewNX-i (for Mac) v.1.2.12

Changes from Version 1.2.11 to Version 1.2.12

  • Fixed the following issues with NEF (RAW) images shot with On selected for Auto distortion control:
    • Attempting to edit the images or add ratings or other information would result in ViewNX-i quitting unexpectedly when the images were saved.
    • Selecting Add additional information to files in the preferences dialog when attempting to transfer the images using Nikon Transfer 2 would result in Nikon Transfer 2 quitting unexpectedly.

Download: ViewNX-i (for Mac) v.1.2.12

Post Date: 3/15/2018 8:50:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Novoflex:

The new Modular Tripod of choice for discerning professionals looking for the sturdiest, modular support solution

For almost four years, the NOVOFLEX TrioPod tripod collection has been lauded as the most innovative tripod system on the market. The Product Innovation Team at NOVOFLEX is proud to announce the expansion of this tripod series with a modular, high-capacity tripod system, the TrioPod PRO75.

Exceptionally stable and modular with immense load capacity.

The basis for the all-new TrioPod PRO75 is the advanced tripod spider, which offers exceptional stability and immense load capacity. Thanks to the reinforced design of the individual components and new 8-layered carbon fiber legs, this modular tripod can be used for even the heaviest photo and video equipment.

The system can be purchased with 3 or 4 section carbon fiber legs plus two mini legs for maximum versatility.

In addition to the recommended new tripod legs C3930 and C3940, existing TrioPod legs can also be used with the new TrioPod PRO75 as well. With the optionally available carbon leg extensions, a total height of 79 in./2.0 m is possible. Short 2-segment carbon fiber legs C2820 are also available allowing you to achieve completely new perspectives and are even compatible with the existing TrioPod and QuadroPod Systems.

Features

  • Maximum Load Capacity – 143 lbs/65 kg – Maximum holding capacity for maximum protection.
  • Removable Base Plate – A new feature of the tripod spider is the removable base plate that easily be detached and replaced with the optional leveling ball (MBAL-PRO75) or a geared center column (TRIO-CC-PRO75).
  • Unmatched Versatility – To build your tripod to meet the needs of any job the PRO75 can fit most 75mm accessories, even from other manufacturers. The optional leveling ball (MBAL-PRO75) can also be used with any other tripod you may have with a ¼” & 3/8” connection.
  • Self-Locking Geared Center Column – The innovative 3/8” studs on both ends of the geared center column provide an extra measure of security and compatibility by taking the load off the ¼” threads. The column itself can be adjusted by 19 in./48 cm.
  • 7 Leg Lock Positions for Any Situation – For shoots on level surfaces, the TrioPod PRO75 spider allows the legs to be set at 23°, 45°, 65°, and 87°. Should you find yourself in a more confined space, a further locking position of 155° enables you to support the tripod against vertical surfaces. Particularly innovative is a new 43° angle that allows the tripod to flip upside down quickly for ground-level work, eliminating the need to reverse the center column and/or tripod head. For easy packaging, the legs can also be folded up at 180°.
  • Ground Level Work
  • Easy Packaging

The TrioPod PRO75 is available in two kits:

  • TRIOPROC3930 – consisting of TrioPod PRO75 tripod spider, (3x) C3930 3-segment carbon fiber legs, (2x) A1010 mini-legs, a tripod bag and multi-tool.
  • TRIOPROC3940 – consisting of TrioPod PRO75 tripod spider, (3x) C3940 4-segment carbon fiber legs, (2x) A1010 mini-legs, a tripod bag and multi-tool.

The two QLEG-A1010 mini-legs that are part of the kits can be screwed into the accessory thread creating limitless possibilities: Add one leg to smooth your workflow by attaching your camera bag, keeping your tripod weighted and giving you quick access to your equipment. Alternatively, replace two legs to create a “leaning pod” and achieve a new variety of creative perspectives for your boundless imagination.

B&H carries the Novoflex TrioPod PRO75.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Novoflex News
Post Date: 3/15/2018 8:41:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

B&H has the FEISOL TT-15B Mini Tripod and Ball Head available for preorder.

Bryan reviewed the original sans-ball head Feisol TT-15 and came away impressed with the mini tripod. He even used it when photographing New York City from the top of Rockefeller Center. I added a TT-15 to my kit soon after and it has proven extremely useful when carrying a traditional tripod would be inconvenient or simply not allowed. [Sean]

Product Highlights

  • Load Capacity: 18 lb
  • Maximum Height: 8.1"
  • Minimum Height: 4.7"
  • Leg Sections: 1
  • Weight: 14.1 oz
  • Includes Ball Head
  • Three Variable Leg Angles
  • Anodized CNC Milled Aluminum
  • Carbon Fiber Constructed Legs

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/15/2018 7:37:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Canon USA Store has the Canon EOS Rebel T7 with EF-S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 IS II Kit available for preorder.

It's interesting the Canon is keeping this DSLR all to themselves; it still isn't available for preorder at any authorized retailer, at least as far as I can find, even though the body was announced almost 3 weeks ago.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/14/2018 1:24:33 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

If you've never watched a GPP Shootout, you're in for a real treat. The GPP shootout pits three (usually well-known) photographers against one another, tasked with taking a portrait, under the same conditions, on stage, with a relatively short time limit. What makes it interesting is that the host of the event always throws the participants a curveball, so you get to see how well the photographers think on their feet and what kinds of images they produce under strenuous circumstances.

This year, the photographers competing for the GPP Shootout Champion bragging rights were Nick Fancher, Zack Arias and Zack's son, Caleb Arias.

Check out all the GPP Shootouts for more great entertainment.

Post Date: 3/14/2018 1:09:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Last week, we reported that Sigma had released firmware updates for several of its Global Vision-series lenses. The updates was designed to allow compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction. However, it seems the updates may have had unintended consequences.

A site visitor noticed that after updating his Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens' firmware to v.2.00, his lens exhibited noticeable backfocusing which required a -8 setting at various focus settings to correct via the Sigma USA Dock.

As I had yet to update my own Sigma 50mm Art's firmware, I decided to see if I replicate the issue. I tested the lens' performance on my 5D Mark III and 7D Mark II and the lens focused accurately with no AFMA value applied in-camera or in-lens (via the USB dock) with firmware v.1.00. After updating Sigma Optimization Pro to the latest version, I upgraded the Sigma 50A's firmware to v.2.00. After the upgrade, the lens required a -6 AFMA correction to be applied either in-camera or in-lens (at all focus distances) for accurate autofocusing.

Note that the Sigma 50mm Art lens' AF was advertised as being adjusted in its specific firmware release notes for "an improved focus accuracy during Live View mode."

We're interested to know whether or not the AF recalibration is necessary for all of the lenses whose firmwares were updated, or if it's only the Sigma 50mm Art that's experiencing the issue. So if you have one of the following lenses and you'd like to provide your feedback, apply the latest firmware update and let us know if your lens required recalibration for accurate AF.

  • SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary Canon

Let us know how it goes in the comments.

Post Date: 3/14/2018 12:51:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

B&H has Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Kits and Accessories available for preorder.

Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Slider Highlights

  • Extendable Alloy Slider
  • Carriage has a Built-In Flywheel
  • Alloy End Caps with Quick-Release Legs
  • Supports up to 70 lb
  • Includes Soft Carry Bag

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/14/2018 10:51:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

I'll add one "Do" to the list: DO charge your batteries just before you plan to fly your drone. If you don't start your flying session with a fresh battery, you may get a low voltage warning under certain circumstances that will cause your DJI drone to automatically land even if the battery has more than half a charge in it. [Sean]

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

Creating drone videos of your holiday or adventure is simple, but there are a few things to consider to get things just right. In this episode, Mark Wallace explains some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” he’s learned while creating videos using his DJI Mavic Pro during his travels.

Post Date: 3/14/2018 8:25:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Now live: Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens Review.

This will be the most-used lens in many Sony kits.

The Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens is available for order at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 3/14/2018 7:45:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the Canon Digital Learning Center:

A wide variety of photographable wildlife is available to everyone, in fact many may live close to your home. How do you find suitable spots where photographable wildlife is plentiful?

Start with the Internet
A tremendous amount of wildlife information is easily found on the Internet. Search for potentially wildlife-rich places in nearby national parks, nature centers, lakeshores, state and city parks, seacoasts, public swimming areas on local lakes, boat docks, fishing lakes and hunting areas. And don’t forget local, state, and national wildlife refuges. Most of these places are open to the public.

See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Post Date: 3/14/2018 6:34:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Adobe's Creative Cloud Plan prices are going up April 16, 2018. Here are the details (from Adobe):

Our current STE Student/Education, Creative Cloud Photography and Acrobat CC plans will see no pricing adjustment.

Prices will vary by plans, for example:

  • Creative Cloud for Individual Single App plans will increase to $20.99 per month from $19.99 per month or $1 per month
  • Creative Cloud for Individual All Apps plans will increase to $52.99 per month from $49.99 per month or $3 per month
  • Creative Cloud for Teams All App plans will increase to $79.99 per month from $69.99 per month or $10 per month

For an annual plan, the price will not change until the following annual term.

Adobe announced this price increase this past October at MAX 2017.

Want to lock in the current rate? B&H sells annual Creative Cloud licenses.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/13/2018 12:52:03 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

This week, Julieanne Kost gives three tips for navigating documents in Photoshop.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 3/13/2018 11:28:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

by Sean Setters

Before we delve into the different techniques for capturing focus stack images, it's important to understand why focus stacking is an important tool, especially in regards to macro photography. Focus stacking allows you to gain more DOF (depth of field) so a larger portion of your frame can be in sharp focus. Your DOF is determined by the relationship between format size (full frame or APS-C), focal length, aperture and focus distance. Macro photography, especially as magnifications of 1.0x (or greater) are achieved, necessitates focusing on very close subjects, which in turn produces a very shallow DOF even at relatively narrow apertures.

For instance, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and an EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens set to f/5.6 with a subject distance of 11.8" (the lens' minimum focus distance), your DOF would be approximately 0.08" (2.03 mm). Switch out the 5D Mark IV for an EOS 7D Mark II and the DOF would change to 0.05" (1.27 mm). Note that if a 7D Mark II were used and the framing remained identical between the two cameras, the APS-C 7D II's DOF would be greater than the full frame 5D Mark IV's (see FOVCF).

With such a shallow DOF at f/5.6, why not just use a much narrower aperture to gain more DOF? There are two main reasons. The first is that even if you used f/16 with the 5Ds R under the shooting conditions listed above, your DOF would only increase to 0.23" (5.84 mm) which still won't be enough DOF to cover your subject under a lot of macro shooting conditions. And the second (probably more compelling) reason is that the cameras listed above have DLAs (Diffraction Limited Apertures) of f/6.7 and f/6.6, respectively. Noticeable sharpness and contrast penalties are incurred when using apertures significantly narrower than a camera's DLA, so shooting at f/5.6 allows you to obtain the sharpest image within your DOF.

In short, focus stacking allows us to obtain exactly the DOF we desire in a scene while maximizing sharpness at the same time (assuming an aperture wider than the camera's DLA is used).

Now that we've established why focus stacking is important in regards to macro photography, let's dive into ways you can capture the images necessary for focus stacking.

Really Right Stuff Macro Focusing Rail

Fixed Focus, Variable Camera Position

A perennial favorite for macro shooters is the use of a focusing rail to move the camera forward/backward at set intervals. Focusing rails are typically adjusted by rotating a screw on which the camera platform sits (or otherwise the platform freely slides along the rails until clamped into position) with markings provided to make precise interval shooting a breeze.

Move the camera forward so that the new plane of sharp focus overlaps with the previous shot and activate the shutter button. Repeat as necessary until the desired DOF has been captured.

If you prefer an automated solution, Cognisys, Inc.'s StackShot Automated Macro Rail can be programmed to do the work for you.

Note that if your macro lens features a tripod ring, you could attach an inexpensive macro plate (one with scaled markings) to the tripod ring and manually slide the camera, clamp, shoot and repeat to capture your focus bracket. This approach isn't as convenient and won't likely be as precise as using a geared macro rail, but it is much less expensive.

One issue that you may run into when using macro rails is that your perspective changes as you move the camera. However, most focus stacking programs are designed to properly align source images even with the perspective change.

Variable Focus, Fixed Camera Position

For this technique, the camera is mounted to a solid support system (typically a tripod) and images are taken as the lens' focus distance setting is changed to move the plane of sharp focus forward or backward. This can either be done manually by very carefully and minutely rotating the focus ring in between shots or the process can be automated through various camera remote platforms (CamRanger, CamFi, DSLR Controller). For the sample image atop this post, I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro (and some extension tubes) to capture 17 RAW files while manually adjusting focus from the nearest in-focus element to the farthest.

Varying focus does not lead to perspective change. However, if the lens exhibits focus breathing (many do), the scene will be framed slightly tighter or looser as focusing is adjusted throughout the imaging sequence, making details larger or smaller in the frame. This change isn't typically an issue for most focus stacking programs.

Which focus stack capture technique should I use?

As a lens's maximum magnification is only achieved at its minimum focus distance, moving the camera position will enable you to achieve the lens' max magnification throughout your image sequence. Also, manually moving the camera via a macro focusing rail can enable you to capture a more precisely spaced set of images compared to manually varying focus (automated systems would likely be equal in that regard).

A focusing rail will not work as well for scenes with a lot of depth as your camera's travel distance will be limited to the length of your rail. In those cases, varying focus will be your only option. If you are on a limited budget and want to give focus stacking a try, the variable focus method doesn't require an investment in specialized equipment, making it much easier to just hit the ground running when the inspiration strikes.

Which focus stacking software should I use?

There are a few programs dedicated to focus stacking and at least a couple of general image editing programs have a focus stacking feature built-in. I decided to try three of them with the same stack of images to see how they compared.

To capture the stack images, I used the variable focus technique, manually adjusting focus between shots. Here's what the nearest focused and farthest focused shots looked like in the 20 shot sequence at f/5.6:

Focus Stack First and Last Shot

After processing, here were the results:

Photoshop CC Focus Stack

Adobe Photoshop CC - Auto Aligned, Auto Blend Layers (Stack Images with Seamless Tones and Colors)

Affinity Photo Focus Stack

Affinity Photo - Focus Merge

Helicon Focus Pyramid Focus Stack

Helicon Focus - Pyramid

Helicon Focus Weighted Average Focus Stack

Helicon Focus - Weighted Average (Default settings - Radius 4, Smoothing 2)

Each of the programs used did a decent job assembling the in-focus areas of the focus stack, but there were some notable differences. Photoshop seamed to do a great job assembling the in-focus areas, but it didn't handle the transitions to out-of-focus areas very well, especially in regards to areas showing depth. Affinity Photo seemed to do a better job handling the areas that troubled Photoshop, but it produced noticeable halos throughout the image.

It's important to note that Photoshop and Affinity Photo have very limited (if any) focus stacking options to allow for tailoring the stacking algorithm to best suit a given set of images. Affinity Photo provides no customization options for focus stacking while Photoshop CC gives you the option of Automatically Aligning the source images (highly recommended) in the Scripts/Load Files Into Stack dialogue box and provides two checkmark options – Seamless Tones and Colors and Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas – in the Edit/Auto Blend Layers/Stack Images dialogue.

On the other hand, Helicon Focus provides three separate algorithms for stacking – Weighted Average, Depth Map and Pyramid. And if you choose Weighted Average or Depth Map, you can choose specific Radius and Smoothing settings. The Radius setting adjusts how large of an area is analyzed around each pixel. Low Radius settings enable fine details to be better resolved, with an increased risk that halos will appear in the image. The Smoothing setting dictates how the in-focus to out-of-focus transitions will appear, with higher settings enabling a softer transition.

In the end, I liked the Helicon Focus Weighted Average result best, and with the ability to adjust its algorithms' variables, Helicon Focus will likely prove most adept at producing pleasing focus stacking results. But if you already own Photoshop CC or Afffinity Photo, give their focus stacking features a try to see if they work well for your needs.

Post Date: 3/13/2018 10:10:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 12, 2018

Just posted: Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens Review.

It's a lot like the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L, and that's a very good thing.

The Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens is in stock at Amazon | Canon Store | Beach Camera | eBay.

This lens is expected soon at B&H | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 3/12/2018 9:53:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

This video is designed to get you started in the world of headshots VERY EFFECTIVELY with minimal equipment. First you’ll learn how to set up your speedlite for on-camera as well as off-camera wireless use. You’ll also learn many styles of lighting that can be achieved with just one simple Speedlite. We’ll cover several different light modifiers, how their characteristics vary and why to use one modifier vs. another.

Post Date: 3/12/2018 8:05:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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