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 Friday, January 25, 2019

In his video, photographers Jay P. Morgan and Ed Rudolph discuss several of the clamps Rudolph uses for professional food photography. Note that all of the products discussed also work well for general product photography and the beefier items work well for all types of studio and on-location photography, including portraiture.

Gear Discussed in the Video

Also relevant:

Post Date: 1/25/2019 9:26:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III Lens is all about speed and fast-moving subjects ideal for the 400mm focal length are scarce in my location right now. The race cars are all being re-built in preparation for the next season. With a layer of snow on the ground, outdoors sports are in the off-season. The ski slopes benefit from the snow, but the closest is hours away. The horses, however, are always ready for some galloping and provide a convenient subject for an AF performance testing session.

This American quarter horse's name is "Nugget", as in "gold nugget", referencing the coat color. "Gold" also reflects the parent's perspective of what it costs to keep a horse. The positive in this investment is that the kid's have had to do most of the horse maintenance work, teaching them responsibility and how to work hard. The horses are of course fast and fast makes them good focus performance test subjects. An added benefit of such testing is some nice pics of the kid(s), as long as the camera and lens perform well of course.

And to that matter, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III Lens combo performed stellarly. They performed so well that they created a bit of a problem. It took forever to go through the well-over-2,000 images captured in this session as most were keeper-grade. With a great camera and lens, one's brain needs to be retrained to be OK with deleting really nice images. I keep telling myself that.

With steady lighting conditions (solid clouds), the setup for this shot was easy. Using manual mode, the shutter was set to 1/1600, a setting that I know works well for freezing galloping/cantering horse and similar action. The aperture was set to f/2.8 to let in as much light as possible and to create the strongest background blur possible. Having the shallowest depth of field possible also emphasizes the AF precision. The ISO was then adjusted until the snow was slightly overexposed, causing the brightest areas to blink while reviewing test images on the LCD. With the exposure locked in, I could concentrate on composition.

The AF mode was of course set to AI Servo (continuous) and the top-center AF point was selected with the surrounding points assisting (the horse bounces a lot, making it difficult to keep a single point on the rider's head).

While this camera and lens combination is handholdable, shooting it from a monopod is still more comfortable (especially for long shooting sessions) and doing so made tracking the subject easier.

Nugget was not moving very fast in this frame, but I liked the heavily-clouded sky in the background, making the subject pop with a bit of a high-key look. Note that snow is a great reflector and gives images a different look, usually in a positive way. I'll share other images of this horse in fast motion in the review. Some of these images will show another way this lens can make the subject pop – by strongly blurring the background.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/2.8  1/1600s
ISO 400
3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 1/25/2019 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 24, 2019

by Sean Setters

Before I delve into my new appreciation for the 35mm focal length, let me first explain why I've never really savored using the 35mm focal length (until now). Typically speaking, I'm either shooting portraiture in a studio with a small, carefully selected backdrop or outdoors where my goal is to minimize any background distractions. In these situations, longer telephoto primes (or a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom) are helpful in capturing a frame filling subject while blurring the background to oblivion. But there are times when a larger scene needs to be documented, such as when the subject's environment provides a desired context.

This past December my wife and I spent a weekend in Atlanta celebrating Christmas with my extended family before heading off to New Orleans for two weeks to celebrate Christmas with her family. For both trips, I packed the following camera and lenses (as well as a few accessories) in a Lowepro shoulder bag:

You probably noticed a pattern in my selected lenses – they're all primes. While packing, I reasoned that most of my photographic opportunities over the holidays would be indoors, often in relatively low light situations. The wide apertures available in these primes meant that I wouldn't have to rely on a shoe-mount flash to obtain my desired image brightness level while employing action stopping shutter speeds at low-to-moderate ISOs (for optimal image quality).

In theory, having a wide range of focal lengths covered sounded reasonable. In practice, however, I used one lens about 95% of the time – the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM. And that got me wondering, "Why does a 35mm prime lens work so well for holiday family photography?"

Abby Holding OJ Christmas 2018

A 35mm prime lens provides an angle of view that can highlight a subject while providing vital environmental clues that give the photos context. The background blur a 35mm lens prime lens is capable of helps to isolate the subject, yet the background is still more or less recognizable enough to place the subject firmly in that particular scene. And when it comes to family holiday photography, background details such as the decorated tree, food and other family and friends in the room help to document the holiday spirit that resonated at the time.

Vicky Christmas 2018

The 35mm lens distorts subjects less (with the same framing) than a 24mm lens, especially when your subject is placed near the edge of the frame. And while a 50mm lens can be used for holiday photography, the relatively small rooms I was photographing in and the close proximity of my subjects meant that a 35mm lens simply worked better for capturing the bigger picture. The highlight of the trip was Alexis' family's decorating of the Christmas tree. For them, the tree decorating event is bigger and celebrated more fervently than Christmas Day, and my 35mm prime lens helped me capture it all.

Vicky Phone Christmas 2018

Besides holiday photos, a 35mm prime lens can be extremely useful for wedding, indoor event, documentary and street photography, predominately for the same reasons as listed above. The birth of my daughter was another instance where a 35mm prime was one of my most-used lenses over a several day period. While I may not have been a huge fan of 35mm prime lenses in the past, a 35mm prime has quickly become one of the most important – and most used – lenses in my kit.

If you don't already have a 35mm prime lens in your kit, now would be a great time to investigate the options found below.

Relevant Information

Post Date: 1/24/2019 8:14:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Sigma:

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

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

This firmware allows compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function to enable correction matching the optical characteristics of each lens. It also corrects the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when the function is enabled. In addition, it improves the functionality. Furthermore, phenomena particular to some lenses when they are used in combination with the Canon “EOS R” and their “Mount Adapter EF-EOS R” or “Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R” that we announced on January 16th, 2019 are also improved on by this firmware.

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

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

SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update:

  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.

SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update:

  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.
  • It has improved the AF speed when the lens is used in combination with some cameras.

SIGMA 18-300 mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount

Benefits of the update:

  • It has ensured compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function, which enables correction matching the optical characteristics of the attached lens.*
  • It has corrected the phenomenon that abnormal images appear or operation errors occur when Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is enabled.
  • It has become compatible with EOS R’s “1.6x (Crop)” to be set automatically as well as with “Scene Intelligent Auto Mode”.

* Compatible Canon camera models:EOS R1, EOS-1D X mark II, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D mark IV, EOS 6D mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 8000D(EOS Rebel T6s, EOS 760D), EOS 9000D(EOS 77D) , EOS Kiss x8i(EOS Rebel T6i, EOS 750D), EOS Kiss x9i(EOS Rebel T7i, EOS 800D), EOS Kiss x9(EOS Rebel SL2, EOS 200D)

1 When the Digital Lens Optimizer is switched [OFF], but “Peripheral illumination correction”, “Chromatic aberration correction” and “Distortion correction”, located within the in-camera Lens Aberration Correction function is switched [ON], the appropriate corrections can be achieved in accordance with the optical characteristics of each lens.

Download: Sigma Optimization Pro



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

Phenomena particular to some lenses when they are used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ” that we announced on October 26th, 2018 are improved on by this firmware.

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

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

SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount

Benefit of the update:

  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby it may occasionally stop recording while shooting video.

SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount

Benefit of the update:

  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby the response to the AF operation is intermittent when starting to shoot with the subject completely out of focus.

SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art & SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for NIKON F mount

Benefit of the update:

  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby it may occasionally show overexposure when narrowing down the aperture from F5.6 while shooting.

Download: Sigma Optimization Pro



We are pleased to announce that a firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E and EF-E is now available. This firmware makes the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 compatible with the latest firmware of SIGMA interchangeable lenses. For customers who own the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro* by connecting it to a computer using the supplied USB Cable.

* Before updating the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 firmware, please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to ver. 1.5.0 or later.

SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E

Benefit of the update:

  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for SIGMA.

SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E

Benefits of the update:

  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.00.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for CANON EF mount.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA CINE LENS FF High Speed Prime Line 28mm T1.5 FF for CANON EF mount and 40mm T1.5 FF for CANON EF mount.

Download: Sigma Optimization Pro

Post Date: 1/24/2019 6:34:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 23, 2019

My apologies if I missed an important keyword in that title.

Regardless of what the event was named, the show was spectacular. I hope that you were able to take it in and, even better yet, photograph it.

The sky visibility forecast for everywhere within a long drive provided little hope of this eclipse being viewable. Unexpectantly, the problem, remnants of a significant winter storm, began to move out just in time and the sky started to clear about an hour before the eclipse began. With the full moon peeking out of breaks in the clouds, the hope became strong enough to warrant the effort to photograph the event and I scrambled to put a plan into place.

Also seeming to meet the definition of spectacular were the near-zero-degree (-18° C) temperatures accompanied by very strong winds those of us in much of the east/northeast US were required to endure for 5 hours (some short indoor warm-up breaks were taken). Admittedly, the temperature made shooting through skylights from inside the house a very attractive option, but donning many layers and going outdoors became the plan. While the skies cleared beautifully for the full eclipse, the wind remained an issue and wind is an especially big stability problem when photographing with a large, long focal length lens. Setting up next to a solid fence significantly aided with this issue and also took some of the bite out of the wind chill.

The composition plan was easy. The moon was going to be high overhead and that meant incorporating foreground elements in the frame was going to be very challenging, so making the moon as large in the frame as possible was the choice. That meant 1200mm, a combination of a 600mm f/4 lens and a 2x teleconverter.

For a solid base, the UniqBall IQuick3Pod 40.4 Carbon Fiber Tripod with spiked feet installed (for use in snow) was perfect. Simply stick the spikes into the ground and use the IQuick3Pod's leveling base feature to quickly level the tripod head platform. A gimbal head makes using big, long lenses easy and the Really Right Stuff FG-02 Fluid-Gimbal Head is awesome (the RRS PG-02 is also excellent). With a level base, the gimbal-mounted lens will always be level with only tilt and pan adjustments, both very simple to make, requiring attention while tracking the moon. It is much easier to keep a tightly-framed moon centered in the frame with a gimbal head than with a ball head. Shooting at a strong upward angle can be a challenge with a gimbal mount as the camera body can impact the tripod before a high-enough angle is reached. I'll talk more about that issue soon.

Looking through a viewfinder with the camera directed at such a hard-upward angle is tough, but the D850's tilt LCD made subject framing easy in this situation. An angle finder is another great option for shooting upward.

What is the best exposure for photographing a lunar eclipse? That depends mostly on the varying brightness of the moon and that changes by season and it also changes during the eclipse. When the moon had direct sunlight reaching it, f/8 (my max aperture with this setup), 1/200 and ISO 200 with a -1 EV adjustment in post worked well. During this time, I opted to capture brackets of up to 9-stops to use for adding as much detail as desired to the dark portion of the moon during post processing. A Vello ShutterBoss II Timer Remote Switch made vibration-free capture easy.

Once the moon was completely in the earth's shadow, it became very dark and 1200mm exposures became very challenging. The blood moon image in the center of this frame was captured at f/8, .6 seconds and ISO 6400. Getting tack sharp details from a subject that is over 221,000 mi (356,000 km) away does not happen and these settings do not help.

Photographing the lunar eclipse brought back great memories of the 2017 solar eclipse (a bit ironic is that event occurred in extreme heat for many of us). A similar post-eclipse scenario now faces those of us who photographed it. We have a large number of images capturing the entire eclipse progression and want do something with them. While each individual eclipse image may be great, likely none of your friends want to see all 300 (OK, 800) of them. The friends will be interested in a partial eclipse image or two and perhaps one from totality, but then eyes glaze over and they start checking their Instagram account. Creating a lunar eclipse progression composite is a very logical way to tell the full eclipse story in a single, interesting image.

The method for creating the lunar eclipse progression composite is the same as that shared in the How to Create a Solar Eclipse Phase Composite Image article (skip the HDR part). The arrangement options for such a composite vary greatly. The left-to-right option shared here works well, but this unique ultra-wide aspect ratio is a bit awkward to share online and will not typically be as easily viewable/displayable as closer-to-square arrangements.

Also ultra is the resolution able to be created from such a composite. This one measures 52000 x 5500 pixels for a 286 MP (over SmugMug's max file dimensions limit I learned) final image (the .PSD weighs in at 3.19 GB) looking for a long hallway wall to be displayed on. Those not able to frame the moon tightly in-camera can crop heavily and still have a high resolution result from the composite technique.

Sure, getting images requires some effort. Getting to bed well after 2:00 AM means being tired the next day and it took about an hour under the covers to get my core temperature back up. But, at least a day or two later, only the rewards remain. The memories of this lunar eclipse, with the images to buoy them, will remain a lifetime.

What is the subject calling you right now? Get motivated and go for it!


A larger version of this image (it needs to be seen much larger) is available on Flickr or my SmugMug site.

Did you photograph the recent lunar eclipse? We invite you to share your images and tips below.

Post Date: 1/23/2019 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

According to several sources (Nikkei Asian Review, BBC, Fortune), Sony's European headquarters in Weybridge, UK (greater London area) will be merging with a newly created subsidiary in Amsterdam, Netherlands to avoid complications brought about by Britain's exit from the European Union (Brexit). Sony's Amsterdam subsidiary is scheduled to be up and running in April.

Posted to: Sony News   
Post Date: 1/23/2019 12:53:31 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this video, Adobe Product Manager Meredith Stotzner demonstrates how to set the Targeted Adjustment Tool as the default selection method when using relevant adjustment layers.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 1/23/2019 7:37:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

During CES, Christopher Schodt (Video Producer at engadget) sat down with Canon Senior Technical Specialist Drew MacCallum and Nikon Senior Technical Manager Steve Heiner to discuss the recently released EOS R and Z 7 / Z 6, the impact of mirrorless technologies on camera and lens design and their respective benefits to consumers.

This is one of the first times I've seen two higher-ups from Canon and Nikon sitting side-by-side and discussing newly released products. I found the respect the two technical specialists show toward each other and their opposing brands quite refreshing. [Sean]

B&H carries the following:

Post Date: 1/23/2019 7:02:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 22, 2019

In this video, photographer Daniel Norton demonstrates how to create a high-key look with only two lights.

Related Products

Post Date: 1/22/2019 2:21:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Kenko:

Kenko is proud to announce details and availabiliy of their TELEPLUS HD pro series of teleconverters.

The TELEPLUS HD pro series replaces the previous TELEPLUS PRO300 series, with redesigned optics and multi-layer coatings, to match contemporary high-resolution DSLR cameras and lenses. The HD pro series joins the existing, new-generation TELEPLUS HD line up (1.4x and 2x types) as a superior series in terms of optical design and coating quality.

* available in Nikon F and Canon EF mounts

Optical Improvements

Optical construction has been redesigned by implementing additional optical elements and improved multi- layer, anti-reflection coatings to maintain the original performance of new-generation DSLR cameras and lenses.

Communication with the Camera

HD pro teleconverters are equipped with all electrical contacts to support communication between the camera and the lens. The focal length and aperture values are recorded in EXIF data and converted to the actual shooting values with the teleconverter attached.

High-end External Finish

The external design has been re-finished in a black leather tone to perfectly match with the latest lenses and DSLR cameras.

Compact Size

With approx. 0.79" (2 cm) in height for the 1.4x type and 1.57" (4 cm) for the 2x type these small, compact and convenient to carry tele converters will extend the focal length of the lens providing the photographer a great chance to shoot even more impressive images.

Kenko's new TELEPLUS HD Pro Teleconverters are available now at Kenko-Tokina authorized retailers.

B&H has the Kenko TELEPLUS HD pro DGX Teleconverters in stock with free expedited shipping.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Kenko News
Post Date: 1/22/2019 7:16:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this episode, David Bergman provides tips for using the hot shoe stand that comes with most external flashes. Have you lost your original Speedlite Foot? Don't worry – you can buy a replacement.

Post Date: 1/22/2019 6:12:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, January 20, 2019

The fast frame rate of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II caught this high-stepping fawn with a couple of leg joints high in the air, making the already adorable animal look even cuter.

Joining me in Shenandoah National Park this spring? Learn more here.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
350mm  f/5.6  1/1000s
ISO 640
5203 x 3469px
Post Date: 1/20/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 18, 2019

On the evening of January 20 (Sunday night), North/South America, Greenland and Iceland will be treated to a total lunar eclipse – or blood moon – with the full moon at perigee (supermoon).

At this point, the full moon will appear about 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its farthest distance from earth (full moon at apogee, a.k.a. micromoon). Want more information and tips for photographing a lunar eclipse? B&H has you covered.

Here are the details for a couple of cities on the east coast and west coast (from timeanddate.com):

New York City, New York, USA
Duration:5 hours, 11 minutes, 33 seconds
Duration of totality:1 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
Penumbral begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:36:29 pm
Partial begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 10:33:54 pm
Full begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 11:41:17 pm
Maximum:Jan 21, 2019 at 12:12:14 am
Full ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 12:43:15 am
Partial ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 1:50:39 am
Penumbral ends:Jan 21, 2019 at 2:48:02 am

San Francisco, California, USA
Duration:5 hours, 11 minutes, 33 seconds
Duration of totality:1 hour, 1 minute, 58 seconds
Penumbral begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 6:36:29 pm
Partial begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 7:33:54 pm
Full begins:Jan 20, 2019 at 8:41:17 pm
Maximum:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:12:14 pm
Full ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 9:43:15 pm
Partial ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 10:50:39 pm
Penumbral ends:Jan 20, 2019 at 11:48:02 pm

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Eclipse News
Post Date: 1/18/2019 6:28:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 17, 2019

B&H has the Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens available for preorder in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E and Sigma SA mounts.

Product Highlights

  • Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16
  • Two FLD Elements, Three SLD Elements
  • Three Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Weather-Sealed, Protective Front Coating
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/17/2019 3:07:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

The Sony Alpha a6400 is available for preorder at B&H, Adorama and Amazon US.

Product Highlights

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Real-Time Eye AF & Real-Time Tracking
  • XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • Internal UHD 4K Video, S-Log3, and HLG
  • S&Q Motion in Full HD from 1-120 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
  • 425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points
  • Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 102,400

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/17/2019 12:49:56 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the PHLEARN YouTube channel:

Today Aaron breaks down how to help any set of eyes look their absolute best in Photoshop. Learn to sculpt the highlights and shadows using Curves, enhance and change colors with Solid Color Fill Layers, and apply professional sharpening with Unsharp Mask.

Download the Sample Image here.

Post Date: 1/17/2019 7:26:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 16, 2019

From Tamron:

Dear users and potential purchasers of Tamron interchangeable lenses.

Thank you for using Tamron products and for your continuous support.

We would like to announce that we have clarified compatibility for general operations (*1) of the following Tamron Di & Di II lenses with the latest version of lens firmware (*2) when used with the Nikon Z6 and Nikon mount adapter FTZ.

*1 Defined to work on existing DSLR cameras
*2 Firmware for Nikon Z7 (announced on November 16th and 22nd, 2018)

Compatible models for general operations

  • SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041) for Nikon
  • SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A032) for Nikon
  • 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028) for Nikon
  • SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A025) for Nikon
  • SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022) for Nikon
  • 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037) for Nikon

The lens firmware can be updated with the separately sold TAP-in Console.

Post Date: 1/16/2019 6:20:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 15, 2019

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 15, 2019 -- Sony Electronics Inc. today announced a major upgrade to its a9 mirrorless camera that will be available via a firmware update.

Sony's revolutionary a9 camera will receive several major enhancements to its award-winning autofocus (AF) performance and image quality, as well as receive a variety of new features that are designed to improve the overall workflow for professional photographers. In addition, new firmware updates for a7R III and a7 III will be available that update these cameras with the latest enhancements including Real-time Eye AF performance and add interval recording capacities.

"These new firmware upgrades demonstrate the strong commitment that Sony has to our customers," said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Imaging Solutions at Sony Electronics. "Their voice is critical to everything we do, and being able to provide our customers with new capabilities is a source of great pride for Sony."

Firmware Ver. 5.0 and Ver. 6.0 for a9

The upcoming firmware version 5.0 for a9 adds Sony's newly developed Real-time Tracking mode for object tracking. This mode utilizes Sony's latest algorithm—including Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition—and processes color, subject distance (depth), pattern (brightness) as well as spatial (distance) information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and precision. When photographing or videographing humans or animals, face and eye position information is recognized by AI and the subject's eyei is monitored in real time with extremely high tracking precision. In addition, "Tracking On" helps initiate real-time tracking at any time by simply pressing a custom-assigned buttonii and "Touch Tracking," which quickly activates through the touch screenii.

With this new firmware version 5.0, Sony's acclaimed a9 camera will receive advanced "Real-time Eye AF," the latest version of Sony's acclaimed Eye AF technology. This exciting new capability employs AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye location data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF. In all autofocus modes, the camera can automatically detect the eyes of the subject and activate Eye AF with a half press of the shutter button, and the camera will seamlessly track the eyes at all times when in AF-C mode. The new firmware will also enable photographers to select the preferred eye (left or right) of their subject as the focus point.

Other focusing capabilities that will be available with the new firmware include Touch Pad, Touch Tracking, an extended phase-detection AF aperture range that has been increased from F11 to F16, and Fast Hybrid AF for movie shooting that provides smooth, automated focusing for movies.

Image quality will also be enhanced with the new a9 firmware version 5.0, specifically in the areas of color reproduction. The camera will more accurately account for subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations in elements like the sky. There is a new auto white balance algorithm that gets added as well, which produces more consistently balanced images while burst shooting. Other new functions for efficient controls and data management include My Dial and Dual Slot media menu improvement, rating and protect functions.

In addition to the several new capabilities, the firmware also adds compatibility with Sony's new Imaging Edge Mobileiii application - the successor to the PlayMemories Mobile application. The new Imaging Edge Mobile application features a 'Transfer & Tagging add-on'iv function to assist professional workflow. This allows photographers to transfer images from their camera to their smartphone during capture using the FTP transfer functionalityv, and adds support for including IPTC metadatavi on transferred images.

Version 6.0 firmware for the a9 camera will add Eye AF for animal eyesi, an exciting new feature for wildlife photographers that will enable interval shooting functionality for creating time-lapse moviesvii.

The new system firmware update version 5.0 is scheduled for launch in March 2019, and version 6.0 is scheduled for Summer 2019.

Firmware Ver. 3.0 for a7R III and a7 III

Sony's popular a7R III and a7 III full-frame cameras will both receive enhanced Real-time Eye AF performance with the upcoming firmware version 3.0. This will be available in AF-C mode with a simple half-press of the shutter button. Real-Time Eye AF for animalsi will also be available.

The cameras will also receive interval recording functionality that will allow for simple creation of time-lapse moviesvii. The new feature can be set for anywhere between 1 and 60 seconds, with a total number of shots from 1 to 9999. AE tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted to "High", "Mid" or "Low" during interval recording, allowing for reduced changes in exposure over the shooting interval.

The new system firmware update version 3.0 is scheduled in April 2019.

i Accurate focus may not be achieved with certain subjects in certain situations
ii Function must be set via the menu beforehand
iii A successor application of PlayMemories Mobile. Existing PlayMemories Mobile users can use this by updating PlayMemories Mobile
iv Add-on mobile application for 'Imaging Edge Mobile'. Available countries: US/Canada/UK/France/Germany/Hong Kong/China/Australia/Japan. User registration is required to use this application.
v Compatible with ILCE-9 with firmware update Ver.5.0 or later, ILCE-7RM3, ILCE-7M3
vi IPTC metadata for digital image metadata is a standard created by the IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council)
vii The latest version of "Imaging Edge" 'Viewer' and PlayMemories Home desktop applications is required

Additional Information

Post Date: 1/15/2019 3:04:47 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Manfrotto US (a Vitec Group company) has posted the following warning to its site:

Buy only from US AUTHORIZED DEALERS and get the benefits of our WARRANTY program.

If you buy from an unauthorized dealer you will not receive any US warranty or technical support. View full list of NON-AUTHORIZED DEALERS.

In the warranty section of Manfrotto's site, the company provides a supplemental warning:
Additionally, if you purchase any Manfrotto product from an unauthorized dealer via Fulfilled By Amazon you will not receive any U.S. warranty or technical support.
Third-party lens manufacturers have adopted similar policies in the past (e.g., Tamron), but what's unique about Manfrotto's warning is that they specifically list unauthorized retailers in addition to the usually-provided authorized retailers.

While the authorized retailer warning isn't necessarily included on their other brands' websites, a Vitec Group representative I spoke with clarified the policy. I was told that the authorized retailer requirement for warranty claims / technical support applies to all the Vitec Group brands, including:

  • Avenger
  • Bowens
  • FeiyuTech
  • Gitzo
  • Gossen
  • Joby
  • Lastolite
  • Lowepro
  • Manfrotto
  • Metz
  • National Geographic

So, if you want warranty protection, make sure you only purchase from authorized retailers.

Vitec Group US Authorized Retailers: B&H | Adorama | Amazon US (3rd party sales excluded)

Post Date: 1/15/2019 6:57:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Markins products are now available for special order at B&H. Available products include:

Post Date: 1/15/2019 6:37:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Profoto YouTube Channel:

Chinese photographer Alexvi creates a Dystopian vision of the future at an abandoned steel plant.

B&H carries the Profoto B10.

Post Date: 1/15/2019 6:35:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 14, 2019

Product Highlights

  • Holds 2 Pro DSLRs, 4 Lenses, 17" Laptop
  • Holds a DSLR & Attached 400 f/2.8 Lens
  • Front Zip Lid Closure with Hinge
  • Exterior Zip Pockets
  • Zippered Interior Lid Pockets
  • Padded Touch-Fastening Dividers
  • Side/Top Grip Handles & Tripod Attach
  • 2 Rear Transport Wheels
  • Built-In TSA Combination Zipper Lock
  • Water-Repellent Fabric & Rain Protector

B&H has the Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Air-55 available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Manfrotto News
Post Date: 1/14/2019 11:26:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this video, Adobe's Benjamin Warde demonstrates why the Quick Develop module in Lightroom may be more useful than you first thought.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 1/14/2019 6:28:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Watch as Adobe Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost provides thirteen tips for working with curves in Photoshop.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 1/14/2019 6:23:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, January 13, 2019

With wildlife photography, being at the right place at the right time is a key to success. Of course, being in the right place for a lot of time improves the odds. During this week, I spent time around groves of brilliantly-colored maple trees and on this morning a big bull elk obliged, summiting a distant ridge in the early morning sunlight.

The bull was not in a hurry and, as you probably guessed, I captured a lot of images of it (at 9 fps). This image stood out to me primarily because of the elk's position. Its position in the opening gave it high contrast against the still-shaded background. With viewers' eyes drawn to contrast, the elk is able to command attention over the brilliant red maple trees. The position of the bull's legs, all visible and showing movement, works well. The head angle is usually important and the slightly-toward-the-camera angle is usually a good one.

Shooting at very long distances in direct sunlight usually results in significant heat wave distortion when using a high magnification focal length. Because the sun was just beginning to reach this area, the heat waves were not yet an issue and that problem was avoided.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/140s
ISO 140
8379 x 4664px
Post Date: 1/13/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 11, 2019

From Sigma:

The SIGMA Corporation is pleased to release the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art.

The classical angle of view with the latest lens design

28mm angle of view used to be a representative wide-angle in the era of film cameras, and attracts many fans even today. To accommodate the request from many photographers who expressed the strong interest in using the familiar 28mm with Art line quality, SIGMA produces the SIGMA 28mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art, based on the know-how gained through development of the Art F1.4 prime lens lineup released so far. This newest traditional wide-angle lens, advantaged by the latest design and materials, as well as the processing technologies, is now available from SIGMA’s Art line.

Accessories: Case, Hood (LH828-01) supplied
Corresponding AF mounts: SIGMA / Nikon F mount / Canon EF mount / Sony E-mount

SIGMA, Nikon F mount and Canon EF mount are scheduled to start the shipment in January, 2019. Launching date of Sony E-mount is not determined yet.

Sigma 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Preorders: B&H | Adorama | Wex

Post Date: 1/11/2019 6:17:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 10, 2019

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

The Docu Series 24 Pictures A Second focuses on following and hearing from working professionals in the film, tv, and pro-video industry. In this episode, colorist Josh Bohoskey of The Mill walks through the color correction of a new, and stylistically specific, narrative piece with Framework Productions. After detailed discussion with style references, each moment is graded and then layered, creating a look that is both visually cohesive and narratively supportive. From saturating and desaturating to keying and tracking, the thrust of the story and every other element combine and even "pop" under this execution of the color-vision.

Featured Products

Post Date: 1/10/2019 6:29:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

San Jose, USA, January 9, 2019 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced the new Lexar Professional 633x SDXC UHS-I card with 1 terabyte (1TB) of memory.

Shoot and record more of what you love without changing cards with this high-capacity 1TB memory card that supplies the space you need for capturing all the action. Designed for your mid-range DSLR, HD camcorder, or 3D camera, the Lexar Professional 633x SDXC UHS-I card lets you quickly capture, and transfer high-quality photos and stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video**, with read speeds of up to 633x (95MB/s)*. This Class 10 card leverages UHS-I technology to deliver high-speed performance to get the shot you want, while providing the reliability you need.

“Almost fifteen years ago, Lexar announced a 1GB SD card. Today, we are excited to announce 1TB of storage capacity in the same convenient form factor. As consumers continue to demand greater storage for their cameras, the combination of high-speed performance with a 1TB option now offers a solution for content creators who shoot large volumes of high-resolution images and 4K video,” said Joey Lopez, Senior Marketing Manager.

All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. The 1TB Lexar Professional 633x SDXC UHS-I card is available now at an MSRP of $499.99. It also comes with a limited-lifetime warranty. For more information visit www.lexar.com

Lexar will be exhibiting at this year’s CES, Las Vegas, Nevada January 8th – 11th, the world’s largest consumer technology show.

B&H has the Lexar Professional 1TB 633x SDXC UHS-I Memory Card available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Lexar News
Post Date: 1/10/2019 5:49:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 9, 2019

From ProGrade Digital:

CFexpress 1.0 Memory Cards Provide Read Speeds of up to 1400MB/s to Maximize Workflow for Professionals

LAS VEGAS, NV, CES JANUARY 08, 2019 – ProGrade Digital, founded with a mission to provide the highest quality professional grade memory cards and workflow solutions, is taking part in a technology demonstration highlighting its CFexpress 1.0 card teamed with Thunderbolt 3.0. Professional photographers using the Nikon Z series cameras are demonstrating workflows, both mobile and desktop, as paired with the ProGrade Digital CFexpress card plus Thunderbolt 3.0-enabled personal computers. The presentation is taking place at CES in Central Hall 10048.

“ProGrade Digital is delighted to be participating in this technology demo highlighting the speed of the ProGrade Digital 1TB CFexpress card and Thunderbolt 3.0 within the digital workflow,” said Wes Brewer, founder and CEO of ProGrade Digital. “With read speeds up to 1400MB/s, this technology provides peak performance for offloading cinema-quality video and still image files at speeds that are at least three times faster than ever before.”

ProGrade Digital CFexpress 1.0:

  • Fully compliant with CompactFlash Association 1.0 specification
  • XQD host interoperable with firmware support
  • 1,400 MB/s continuous read speed capable; write speed 1000MB/s
  • Certified to perform at a minimum sustained transfer speed of 400MB/s
  • Dimensions: 29.6 mm x 38.5 mm x 3.8 mm
  • Metal enclosure/encasement to endure high temperatures and provide better thermal conductivity
  • Built-in thermal throttling to protect card and its content in the event of overheating

B&H carries ProGrade Digital products.

Post Date: 1/9/2019 11:39:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

by Sean Setters

Canon USA often offers excellent rebates on their PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printers. Not long ago, I took advantage of one of those rebates and received my PIXMA PRO-100 shortly afterward.

Aside from the great build quality of the printer itself, I was thoroughly impressed by the box that the printer was shipped in. I realize that reading that previous statement may invoke a quizzical look on many site visitors' faces, but hear me out. Not all cardboard is the same, and the cardboard used in the PIXMA PRO-100's packaging (it's likely the same for the PRO-10 as well) is extremely rigid and durable, a fact that was clearly evident when I attempted (and eventually succeeded) in cutting out the barcode for rebate claim purposes.

Why would someone care about the quality of cardboard? Well, if you're like me, you may have a decent amount of 8.5 x 11" photo paper lying around because you took advantage of a couple of great printer paper deals which tend pop up every now and then. However, 8.5 x 11" is rarely a requested print size; more often than not, an 8 x 10" print is desired. It's easy enough to produce an 8 x 10" print on an 8.5 x 11" piece of paper, but cutting is required to make that print fit in most 8 x 10" frames.

While scissors are certainly an option for accomplishing the task, if you're like me, you may have trouble cutting in a straight line. Even though a print with slightly not-so-straight edges will rarely be noticed once it's in the frame, handing such a print over to a customer is a bit embarrassing. We strive to produce the highest quality photos possible, so why would we hand over a print that gives the impression of a low quality product without exquisite attention to detail?

My solution for obtaining clean, straight cuts on my prints involves an X-ACTO knife (with plenty of spare blades), a stainless steel ruler and cardboard. Before the PIXMA PRO-100 arrived, I had been using whatever cardboard box was in the recycling pile waiting to be picked up (usually an Amazon box). But I often didn't have a large enough box on-hand to make the required cuts, and even if I did, a single project made the box unusable for future projects because the cardboard was too weak to endure multiple uses. A single PIXMA PRO-100 box top panel, on the other hand, has sustained multiple uses (I've created about a dozen prints with it) and shows no signs of imminent failure. And when (or possibly, "if") that panel ever becomes too worn to do its job, I've got another panel waiting to take its place.

Everyone who has received a hand-cut print from my Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer has been extremely happy with the quality of the finished product. Of course, the quality of the photos and the quality of the printer deserve most of the credit for my clients' satisfaction, but the printer's box top also deserves some credit for helping me to produce those high quality 8 x 10" prints.

Oh, and by the way – select Canon Printer Paper products (including 8.5 x 11" sheets) are on sale at B&H for a limited time.

Post Date: 1/9/2019 7:11:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 8, 2019

From the MAC Group:

New York, NY – January 8, 2019 – X-Rite Incorporated, the world leader in color management and measurement technologies announces a public beta release of ColorChecker Camera Calibration software v1.2, an updated version for photographers working with Capture One software that now includes TIFF file support. This allows them to quickly and easily create custom ICC Camera profiles to maintain consistent color control from capture to edit.

Photographers can now create and save custom ICC camera profiles for virtually any lighting situation utilizing either an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo or ColorChecker Classic target together with the X-Rite Camera Calibration software v1.2. Whether working in a DNG or ICC workflow, camera profiling ensures that a user can obtain accurate color at capture based on specific lighting, camera and lens combination during any given shoot, saving valuable time in edit.

“It’s been a long-standing request from Capture One users to be able to take advantage of our ColorChecker products to produce ICC camera profiles.” says Liz Quinlisk, Global Business Unit Manager, Photo & Video at X-Rite Incorporated. “It’s been something we’ve been working on and now our customers can immediately try out this pre-release software and provide feedback on any suggestions for improvement.”

The public beta software is now available free of charge. To register and download the software for Mac or PC and view a step-by-step instruction guide, simply go to xritephoto.com/cameraICC.

B&H carries X-Rite ColorChecker products.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: X-Rite News
Post Date: 1/8/2019 2:05:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From DJI:

Remote Lets Pilots Fly Newest Mavic Drones Without A Mobile Device

DJI, the world's leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, continues its tradition of making aerial technology accessible to everyone by introducing a powerful new remote controller for its drones at CES 2019. The Smart Controller features an ultra-bright display screen and controls optimized for DJI drones, allowing pilots to fly the newest drones without using a smartphone or tablet. DJI will also be exhibiting its full lineup of consumer drones and handheld imaging products at its booth at CES 2019, including the new Osmo Pocket stabilized camera, and will host exciting workshops, hands-on product demonstrations and more. Attendees can find DJI in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth #25602.

Smart Controller Expands Pilot Options

The DJI Smart Controller expands the ecosystem of accessories built around DJI's industry leading drone technology. Using a crisp 5.5”screen built into the controller itself, the Smart Controller allows pilots to quickly get their drone in the air without the need to connect a mobile device. It can be paired with DJI's newest drones including Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro[1] which use DJI's OcuSync 2.0 video transmission system, displaying vivid images in Full HD resolution. Drone pilots can take advantage of its compact, highly portable design that has been optimized for use in direct sunlight. It features an ultra-bright display with an output of 1000 cd/m2, twice the brightness of standard smart phones. A customizable Android dashboard supports DJI GO 4, DJI Pilot[2], along with various third-party apps such as editing programs. The DJI GO 4 app also touts several new features including SkyTalk, that allows pilots to livestream the drone's camera feed to social channels including Facebook, Instagram and WeChat so that anyone can experience the thrill of flying a drone. Another new feature is DJI GO-Share which easily transfers imagery from the Controller to your mobile device. The DJI Smart Controller brings a new level of reliability when flying, with 2.5 hours of battery life and the ability to operate in adverse temperatures as cold as -4° Fahrenheit and as hot as 104° Fahrenheit.

Price and Availability

The new Smart Controller will be available for purchase beginning January 8th, 2019 for the retail price of $649 USD. Combination packages of the Smart Controller with Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom will be available as well.

Adorama has the DJI Smart Controller available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: DJI News
Post Date: 1/8/2019 12:43:41 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube Channle:

Adobe’s Creative Residency program provides a year of financial and creative support to artists growing their careers. Learn more and apply here.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 1/8/2019 11:58:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Just posted: MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L Review.

The MindShift Gear FirstLight series cases are really nice. After falling in love with the 40L, and hearing the same report from so many site friends, I opted to give the 30L a try and ... it is just as nice.

The MindShift Gear FirstLight 30L is in stock at Think Tank Photo (MindShift Gear) | B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 1/8/2019 9:01:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 7, 2019

From Canon USA:

MELVILLE, NY, January 7, 2019 – It’s easy to love going to the office when your office is wherever you want it to be. Road warrior, traveling sales person, start-up founders – whatever the title, work doesn’t have to take place within the confines of a traditional office. Using lightweight, portable and versatile office equipment – work can happen anywhere. That’s why Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a portable mini projector, the new Canon Rayo S11, allowing business professionals and consumers to mirror their smartphones, project photos, videos and documents, and play audio files wherever the job takes them.

With the ability to run for up to two hours completely wirelessly and share presentations from a USB drive or internal storage, the art of business pitches and presentations can now be refashioned thanks to the Rayo S1 and its variety of features. Users can showcase PDFs, word-processing documents and slide presentations, as well as host conference calls where office space is limited. The Rayo S1 projects up to 84 inches, giving users the ability to take their presentations on the road. In addition, the transition from office life to home life is seamless. The Rayo S1 can easily integrate into family activities making it the quintessential tool for projecting movies at sleepovers and playdates or sharing photographs during family gatherings. The pre-installed Canon Camera Connect app allows for connection to compatible Canon cameras.


"The average person’s workday isn’t the traditional nine-to-five within an office - it’s early mornings, late nights and being on-the-go. In order to align with the consumer’s needs, it is necessary to provide business equipment that matches the work lifestyle of today,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "With its sleek design and compact size, the Rayo S1 effortlessly fits into a consumer’s work life as well as their home life.”

At the core of the Rayo S1 is portability – weighting 0.5 pounds and measuring 4 inches x 4 inches in size. The projector is a small but mighty image solution featuring 4GB of internal storage as well as:

  • A smart touchpad for easy navigation
  • Compatibility with select wireless mouse, keyboard and presenters
  • The ability to connect and mirror a smartphone or tablet
  • On-screen QWERTY keyboard to type
  • Built-in power bank for charging mobile devices
  • 3 Watts Bluetooth speaker
  • Built-in web browser
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Built-in Canon Camera Connect application
  • Android OS
  • Tripod mount

The new Canon Rayo S1 is scheduled to be available for purchase in May 2019 at an estimated retail price of $259.99.

B&H will carry the Canon Rayo S1 Mini Projector.

Post Date: 1/7/2019 11:31:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this episode of Two Minute Tips with David Bergman, David explains the benefits of using an L-bracket on your camera.

Warning: Once you get used to using an L-bracket, you may find living without one to be quite difficult/annoying. I always factor in the cost of a Really Right Stuff or Kirk L-bracket when purchasing a new camera. Be sure to choose the correct model to fit your camera; if you intend on using a battery grip, you'll need to purchase an L-bracket specifically designed to fit your camera+battery grip combination. [Sean]

Post Date: 1/7/2019 10:25:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Stories are great. Sometimes a picture tells a story and sometimes a story comes from getting the picture. One afternoon during a fall photo trip to Colorado, we headed to Owl Creek Pass. This area is very scenic, especially with fall colors.

The dirt road over the top of this pass can be questionable after a rain (at least without an off-road-capable vehicle) and we had plenty of rain but opted to give it a go with the small Ford Edge AWD SUV we had rented. At a relatively high elevation, we discovered that the road was being worked on and by the time we reached the top, we were bottoming out on loose gravel being dumped (tailgated) onto the road. By maintaining forward momentum, we made it over this rather long obstacle but were then greeted by a thick mud road surface until finally reaching the top of the pass.

As we went over the top, the serious question was whether or not we should risk going down the other side. That answer was quickly provided in the form of a 6-wheel-drive grader coming up the other side. It was mostly sideways and consuming the entire width of the relatively narrow road. The large machine had its rear scarifier down and was tearing up the road surface, preparing it for a fresh layer of stone similar to what we had just driven through. The decision to turn back was easy and immediate with a strong sense of that get-out-while-you-can feeling.

While on our way back down the mountain (it is easier to plow stone when going down hill), beyond the active road construction area, the sun broke through the clouds and we stopped to take pictures at the next clearing. Very few people were around this rather remote area, but a couple was at this spot taking a selfie. My daughter asked them if they would like us to take their picture, volunteering me to do so. They were quite happy about that and I quickly obliged while very anxious to get my shot before the small hole the clouds passed and the sunlight again was again shut off.

Looking at my hat, purchased in Hawaii over 5 years prior, the young guy asked if I had been to Hawaii. Turns out that he was a crew member for the boat company I had sailed with during the Canon Hawaii product announcement event only a few weeks prior. He showed me pictures on his phone of the boat I had been on. What are the odds that?

We chatted for a while and I of course captured a large number of images of this spectacular scene while doing so.

Direct sunlight shining under heavy clouds is at the top of my favorite lighting scenarios list. When the light is this good, the image results can be striking without much processing. The standard picture style was used to process this image and no additional contrast adjustments were made. The biggest processing challenge was to determine which image to share with you.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
50mm  f/9.0  1/180s
ISO 100
6516 x 4344px
Post Date: 1/7/2019 7:43:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Canon USA:

Join Canon Explorer of Light Joel Grimes as he takes you through his portraits session with the Canon EOS R and Canon tilt-shift lenses. Go behind the scenes throughout the entire workflow; from capture, to edit, to print.

Learn more about the gear used here:

Post Date: 1/7/2019 7:39:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Laowa:

Featuring a 113° field of view, close-to-zero distortion & affordable pricing, Laowa 9mm f/2.8 DL Zero-D is a dream lens for DJI Inspire 2 pilots.

Anhui China, 3 Jan 2019 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to introduce the widest lens currently available for the DJI X7 cameras on Inspire 2 drones, Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D DL.

The new DL mount has the same specifications and optical performance as the existing Fuji X, Sony E and Canon EF-M mounts launched in 2018. All of them feature an ultra-wide 113° angle, cover Super35-sized sensor and have a close-to-zero distortion. The Laowa 9mm is significantly wider than the currently widest DL lens (i.e. 80°) in the market, allowing aerial cinematographers to capture more in limited distances. The ultra-fast f/2.8 lens also provide more flexibility to do night time aerial videography.

The lens is carefully designed to reduce the optical distortion to a close-to-zero level. It allows straight lines to be perfectly retained and saves videographers tremendous time in post-processing. Venus Optics is reputable in producing distortion-free lenses for multiple systems including the widest f/2 lens for full frame E-mount cameras (i.e. Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D).

The size and weight of the lens have also been compressed to the minimal in its class. It weighs only 210g (0.46 lbs) and 60mm (2.36 in) long. This compact and lightweight lens comprises of 15 elements in 10 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extralow dispersion elements. This optical design successfully minimizes the distortion and chromatic aberrations to its lowest but at the same time, delivers a superb optical performance. A 49mm filter thread is also included for cinematographers to use with ND filters.

Specifications

Focal Length9mm
Max. Aperturef/2.8
Angle of View113°
Format CompatibilitySuper35
Lens Structure15 elements in 10 groups
Aperture Blades7
Filter Thread49mm
Dimensions60 x 53mm
Weight210g
MountsDJI DL

Pricing & Availability

The retail selling price of the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D DL mount in US is USD $499.00 (ex- VAT). Pricing may vary in different countries.

The lens is now available to order from Venus Optics authorized resellers and is available to ship immediately.

B&H carries Venus Optics Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lenses (DL mount will likely be available soon).

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Laowa News
Post Date: 1/7/2019 6:19:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, January 6, 2019

I love Pronghorn most because of their colors. But, they have many other great qualities. The dark, semi-heart shaped horns are one and that mohawk hair style is great.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/2000s
ISO 2000
3948 x 2632px
Post Date: 1/6/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, January 5, 2019

From ProGrade Digital:

Get Simultaneous Transfer of Files from Cards in Both Slots at Speeds of to 10Gb/s (1.25GB/s)

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 04, 2019 — ProGrade Digital, founded with a mission to provide the highest quality professional grade digital memory cards and workflow solutions, introduces and announces immediate availability of its newest product, the SD Dual-Slot USB 3.1, Gen. 2 Card Reader, $79.99 USD. As with all other ProGrade Digital USB 3.1, Gen. 2 workflow readers, files on each card transfer simultaneously at speeds of up to 10Gb/s (1.25GB/s).

“Many of today’s professional cameras have two SD slots, so it is only natural that ProGrade Digital’s newest USB 3.1, Gen. 2 workflow reader be a dual-slot for SD cards,” said Wes Brewer, founder and CEO of ProGrade Digital. “Based on the successes of earlier workflow readers, we know that our patent-pending magnetic base, compact rugged design and inclusion of two USB cables (Types A to C and C to C) really resonates with both professionals and prosumers. The dual-slot reader for SD cards provides just one more choice for our customers.”

The Prograde Digital USB 3.1, Gen. 2 Dual-Slot SD Card Reader is available on Amazon.

Post Date: 1/5/2019 9:18:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

When going afield, I often have some image goals in mind. Being opportunistic, taking advantage of every opportunity afforded, is always the primary plan with wildlife photography, but looking for opportunities to capture the goal shots is also part of the plan.

When viewed straight on from the front, most animals appear symmetrical and that is a look that can often work well in an image. One of my goal shots for this trip was a head-on image of a bugling bull elk (cow elk do not bugle) with its head and antlers characteristically laid back. Put that elk in a meadow with a strongly blurred background and I'd be even happier.

This shot nailed the head position I was looking for and most of the other aspects were in line with the goal. The elk's body position is nearly ideal, but the bull seemed to have its neck shifted slightly, breaking perfect alignment. Few sets of antlers are perfectly symmetrical and this set has some side-to-side variation.

I'll be attempting to one-up this image in the fall.


Coming with me?

A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 1/5/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 4, 2019

It is time to put some to-be-anticipated events on the calendar. Consider this a personal invitation to join me for one or all of the following instructional photo tours. Photographers at all skill levels are welcome!

Shaking Brown Bear, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Brown Bear Chasing Salmon, Remote Katmai National Park, Alaska

Thu, September 17 to Fri, September 24, 2020

Feel free to contact me with your destination request.

Post Date: 1/4/2019 8:29:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

These days, digital cameras support various types of memory cards such as CompactFlash, CFAST, XQD, Sony MemoryStick and – the focus of today's article – the ultra-popular Secure Digital (SD/SDHC/SDXC).

If you have ever been shopping for SD memory cards, you likely noticed a lot of different numbers of symbols on the cards' labels. Although seemingly cryptic, those numbers and symbols reveal important information about a card's performance, and whether or not that memory card is right for your intended use. So let's take a closer look at a typical SD card's label to see what information is available.

Secure Digital Memory Card Label (SanDisk)

Format

In 1999, SanDisk, Panasonic and Toshiba jointly introduced the Secure Digital memory card format (later referred to as Secure Digital Standard Capacity, or SDSC) in an attempt to improve upon the existing MultiMediaCard (MMC). The following year, those same companies formed the SD Card Association to develop SD standards and promote the new memory card format. In 2006, the SD Card Association outlined the SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) format in the second version of its SD specifications with support for memory cards up to 32 GB and speeds up to 25 MB/s. Later, the development of Ultra High Speed bus systems would increase the speeds available for SDHC memory cards. Three years later, the SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) format was introduced supporting capacities of 2 TB and speeds of 104 MB/s with the addition of the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed) bus standard. When UHS-II was introduced in 2011, speeds up to 312 MB/s became possible. In 2018, The SD Card Association developed the SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) format with support for 128 TB and speeds up to 985 MB/s.

Card TypeSupported
Capacity
Supported
Bus Speed
File System
SDSCup to 2 GB12.5 MB/sFAT12/FAT16
SDHCup to 32 GB25 MB/sFAT32
SDXCup to 2 TB312 MB/sexFAT
SDUCup to 128 TB985 MB/sexFAT

Max Read Speed

The max read speed indicates how fast the data from the memory card can be read under ideal circumstances. On some cards, an x-rating value is displayed. The x-rating is based on the original data transfer speed of CD-ROMs (150 KB/s). Because there may be a significant discrepancy between read speeds and write speeds, max read speeds (and x-ratings) are not truly indicative of the kind of performance you can expect from a memory card when used in your camera (where write speeds are significantly more important). Note that some manufacturers list separate max Read/Write data specs to clarify their card's performance, and the SD Association's introduction of Speed Classes (and Video Speed Classes) also help to clarify SD memory cards' performance (more on that later).

x Speed RatingApprox. Max
Read Speed
300x45 MB/s
400x60 MB/s
633x95 MB/s
1000x150 MB/s
2000x300 MB/s

UHS Class Speed

UHS-I and UHS-II cards (more on these later) may list a UHS class rating to designate the minimum write performance for the card, with U1 indicating 10 MB/s and U3 indicating 30 MB/s or more.

Capacity

Listed big and bold, and probably what most consumers pay the most attention to, is the memory card's capacity. Of course, a larger capacity means more images/videos can be saved before running out of room.

Video Speed Class

In order to cater to the needs of videographers, the SD Association created a Video Class Speed to designate the minimum sequential writing speed of the card. The number following the "V" indicates the minimum number of MB/s the card is capable of sequentially writing. In the example above, the card is minimally capable of writing 30 MBs of data to the card every second.

Bus Interface

An SD memory card's UHS (Ultra High Speed) rating indicates the maximum amount of data that can physically move into and out of the card. Along with the SDXC standard released in the SD Association's v.3.01 specification standards (2009), the UHS-I standard was also introduced. UHS-II and UHS-III soon followed allowing for even greater bus speeds, but these technologies required a second row of pins to be added to memory cards. The latest UHS bus iteration is dubbed "UHS Express" and has a theoretical limit of 985 MB/s.

Bus InterfaceBus Speed
UHS-I12.5 MB/s (SDR12)
25 MB/s (SDR25)
50 MB/s (SDR50, DDR50)
104 MB/s (SDR104)
UHS-II156 MB/s (FD156)
312 MB/s (HD312)
UHS-III312 MB/s (FD312)
624 MB/s (FD624)
UHS-Express985 MB/s (FD985)

Speed Class

Speed Classes 2, 4 and 6 support write speeds to a fragmented card of 2, 4 and 6 MB/s respectively. Class 10 cards, on the other hand, support a minimum of 10 MB/s sequential writing to a non fragmented card in addition to utilizing a high speed bus mode. As you can see, there's a lot of room for a Class 10 memory card to exceed the minimum spec, which is probably why the other class ratings (such as UHS/Video) were implemented.

Speed ClassMin. Seq.
Write Speed
Suggested Use
Class 22 MB/sSD Video
Class 44 MB/sup to 1080p/30p
Class 66 MB/sup to 1080p/30p
Class 10, U1/V1010 MB/sup to 1080p/120p
Class 10, U3/V3030 MB/sup to 4K/120p
Class 10, U3/V6060 MB/sup to 8K/120p
Class 10, U3/V9090 MB/sup to 8K/120p

Which memory card should I get for my camera?

In short, the memory card that has a sufficient capacity, the performance necessary to meet your most data-hungry needs and falls within your budget range. Keep in mind that SD memory cards are backward compatible; even if a memory card maxes out the capabilities of your camera to record data to it, you may find the extra performance useful when a) transferring images or video to other devices via a card reader or b) when your next camera offers features such as higher resolution images and/or video.

Secure Digital Memory Card Suggested RetailersB&H | Adorama

Post Date: 1/4/2019 8:28:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

B&H is set to host the second annual Depth of Field – Professional Portrait, Wedding and Event Photography Conference next month on February 5-6, 2019.

From B&H:

B&H Photo Video Pro-Audio is proud to present the second annual Depth of Field conference. Over the course of two days, photographers looking to elevate their craft will experience the hottest gear, hands on demonstrations, interactive experiences, portfolio reviews, inspirational and motivational speakers and more!

RSVP now to guarantee your free ticket and be updated with the event’s agenda, a complete list of speakers and details about special events at Depth of Field.

What to Expect

Inspirational lectures from iconic photographers and industry leaders; fully equipped studios and models with which to build your promotional body of work; one-on-one portfolio reviews; advanced lighting and workflow demonstrations… plus the Depth of Field Challenge!

Keynote Speaker, Albert Watson

As one of the world’s most successful and prolific photographers since 1970, Albert Watson has created some of the most iconic images ever seen in art, fashion and commercial photography. From portraits of Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Jobs and beauty shots of Kate Moss to Las Vegas landscapes and still-life photographs of King Tutankhamen artifacts, Watson’s diversity and body of work are unparalleled. His striking photographs and stunning hand-made prints are featured in galleries and museums around the globe.

Regiser for the Event

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: B&H News
Post Date: 1/4/2019 6:09:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 3, 2019

LensRentals has posted a teardown of the Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens.

From the LensRentals Blog:

So what did we learn today? Really, not a lot. The Sony 400mm f/2.8 G is exactly what we expected; a very solidly built lens that is everything construction-wise you would hope for in a big beast of a super telephoto that costs $12,000. It has excellent weather sealing, heavy-duty engineering between the barrel segments, a very solid chassis, and components that all appear up to the task.
Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS Retailers - B&H | Adorama

Post Date: 1/3/2019 12:48:11 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Just posted: Robus RC-5570 Vantage Carbon Fiber Tripod Review.

This is an impressive tripod with an equally impressively low price.

The Robus RC-5570 Vantage Carbon Fiber Tripod is in stock at B&H.

Post Date: 1/3/2019 7:42:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Irix:

We would like to announce and confirm that there are no issues with Irix lenses, as regards their general operation for the Canon EF mount in their current line-up when used on the Canon EOS R camera, and as released by the Canon Corporation via their Canon EOS R Adapter (Canon EF to Canon EOS R mount).

Thanks to this, it is possible to control the aperture from the camera, information about the distance transmitted to which the lens is focused, and to save full information about the exposure parameters in the EXIF format.

Compatible Irix lenses:

  • Irix 11mm f/4
  • Irix 15mm f/2.4
  • Irix 150mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro

B&H carries IRIX lenses.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: IRIX News
Post Date: 1/3/2019 6:29:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Daniel Norton Photographer YouTube Channel:

In this video I put to the test my statement that if you only have one light, an Octagon softbox is the best and most versatile modifier for portraits.

Gear Used

Profoto B1X - B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Profoto Air Remote - B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Profoto 3’ RFI Octa - B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Profoto RFI Speedring for Profoto - B&H | Adorama | Amazon

Post Date: 1/3/2019 5:16:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Just posted: Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM Lens Review.

Having the RF 28-70mm F2 L mounted is like having a kit full of prime lenses mounted at the same time.

Get in line now – the first delivery of these lenses didn't fill the initial demand. The Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM Lens is available for preorder at B&H (expected in stock on 1/7) | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM Lens from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 1/2/2019 8:05:46 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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