Canon and Sony News for Aug 2018 (Page 3)

 Thursday, August 9, 2018

From the Elinchrome YouTube Channel:

For his recent Dakine assignment, Paris Gore was tasked with shooting an action photo and supporting images for a two-page ad featuring men's biking apparel.

Paris's rig-it-on-a-tree approach is a perfect, albeit unique, example of what you can do with the compact, lightweight and powerful ELB 500 TTL lights. Even if you are not shooting a world class mountain biker in the middle of the woods…. yet.

See the behind the scenes write-up here.

B&H carries Elinchrom ELB 500-series gear.

Post Date: 8/9/2018 6:07:54 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

With a little less than 2 weeks left to go before the announcement, Nikon has released another teaser video for its mirrorless camera.

From Nikon USA:

We’ve pursued the development of the ultimate camera for many years. Our new mirrorless system further embodies our spirit of manufacturing cameras without compromise.

Posted to: Nikon News   Category: Teaser Videos
Post Date: 8/9/2018 5:46:46 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, August 8, 2018

From Epson:

Second-Generation FastFoto, the World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner, Offers Versatile Solution for Scanning, Restoring, Organizing, and Sharing Photos

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Aug. 7, 2018 – Epson today expanded its high-speed scanning line with the new Wi-Fi enabled FastFoto FF-680W High-Speed Photo and Document Scanning System. The FF-680W scanner is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner, scanning thousands of photos – as fast as one photo per second at 300 dpi3 at up to 36 photos per batch. Building on the success of the FastFoto FF-640 scanner, the FF-680W scanner offers worry-free scanning for a variety of media types and sizes, including postcards, panoramic photos up to 36 inches and Polaroid photos as well as convenient photo restoration, editing and smart file organization tools. Families can scan, restore and organize collections of photos for quick and easy sharing, archiving and enlargements with the new FF-680W scanner. And, with the Easy Auto-Upload feature, the FastFoto scanner software makes it simple to share images to cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive4.

“Epson recognized the need for a fast and easy scanning solution that enabled people to digitize photos held captive in shoeboxes and albums stored away in closets and attics, and vulnerable to natural disasters, fires and floods,” said David Hawkes, product manager, Scanners, Epson America, Inc. “FastFoto unlocked a new market with the introduction of the FastFoto in 2016, making it affordable and feasible to preserve a family’s legacy. The new FastFoto FF-680W incorporates feedback from customers with a host of new features, making it easier to bring memories of yesterday back to life using the latest digital technology.”

Featuring Epson ScanSmart software, the FastFoto FF-680W scanner is also a powerful document scanner. Using the intuitive software users can easily scan, organize, email, and store important contracts, receipts, documents, and files. In addition, easily edit documents and save time with automatic file naming, plus powerful productivity tools. With built-in Nuance OmniPage Optical Character Recognition (OCR), users can create searchable PDFs, plus editable Word and Excel files.

FastFoto FF-680W Scanner Features:

  • World’s Fastest Personal Photo Scanner2 — scan thousands of photos as fast as 1 photo per second at 300 dpi
  • Preserve Your Priceless Photos — SafeTouch Technology for worry-free scanning up to 8.5" wide, plus postcards, Polaroid photos and panoramas
  • Second-Generation Epson FastFoto Software — scan, restore, organize, and share precious memories; offers intelligent file organization tools
  • Flexible Scanning — offers modes for easy sharing (300 dpi), archiving (600 dpi TIFF) and enlarging (1200 dpi5); handles multiple sizes in one batch
  • Powerful Document Scanning — includes Epson ScanSmart Software with OCR; scan receipts, tax records, wills, and more, up to 45 ppm/90 ipm6
  • Easy to Connect — includes both USB and wireless connectivity for flexible placement
  • Perfect Picture Imaging System — bring new life to old photos with auto enhancement, color restoration, red-eye reduction, de-skew, crop, and rotate
  • Easy Auto-Upload and Backup — instantly share your memories as you scan via Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Single-Step Technology — capture both the image and any handwritten notes on the back in a single scan

Pricing and Availability

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner (MSRP $599.99) is now available through select major retailer stores.

B&H has the Epson FastFoto FF-680W Scanner available for preorder.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Epson News
Post Date: 8/8/2018 9:05:15 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:

There more to an overhead portrait then simply looking down on your model, there's the background, lighting and styling to consider. In this video photographer Gavin Hoey takes the overhead portrait idea on location and uses an area of green grass as his background. He also shows how working in the right kind of light can make a big difference and then adds some flash and props to create the final shot.

After the shoot Gavin takes you through his editing steps to create a photo which has a warm, faded summer fashion look.

Related Products

Post Date: 8/8/2018 7:55:28 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From Canon USA:

Firmware Version 1.0.1 incorporates the following fixes:

  • Fixes a phenomenon in which some images captured with the Adobe RGB color space may not successfully transfer to a smartphone.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which some JPEG images, that were converted from RAW images may not successfully transfer to a smartphone.

Download: Canon EOS M50 Firwmare v.1.0.1

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Firmware Updates
Post Date: 8/8/2018 5:58:17 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, August 7, 2018

In this video, Julieanne Kost provides tips for working with guides in Photoshop CC.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 8/7/2018 12:27:11 PM ET   Posted By: Sean

Nikon has released its financial results for Q1 2019 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. The operating profit in their Imaging division has grown from Q1 last year and Nikon attributes that growth to the following:

  • While the DSLR market shrinks significantly due to expansion of ML cameras, the D850 is still highly evaluated even after a year from its launch: exceeding the sales forecast in all regions and the product mix has been improved.
  • Decrease in expenses such as marketing purposes, and defer of advertisement expense, resulting in increase of operating profit.

Interestingly enough, while Nikon forecasts an 11.3% reduction in Imaging Products revenue for the fiscal year, it's projecting an increase in operating profit of ¥2.8 billion yen (approx. $25 million USD) year-over-year.

Posted to: Nikon News   Category: Nikon Financial Results
Post Date: 8/7/2018 7:15:00 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From the Canon Digital Learning Center:

When we were little, every summer my Dad would take my sister and I backpacking. He carried all the gear, while we were left to carry the most important things: our stuffed animals and water bottles. One year, driving back at night after a long day of backpacking on our way out of the mountains in the Eastern Sierra, California, my Dad pulled over to watch a meteor shower. We laid on the ground looking up at the sparkling night sky. There were so many meteors, one after another. I was in awe and amazed. When we saw a shooting star, my dad would say, “Make a wish.” I was so happy that night because I got to make dozens of wishes!
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Post Date: 8/7/2018 6:06:59 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From Lensbaby:

A tool to inspire. A tool to be bold. A tool to build memories.

Portland, OR (August 7th) - Lensbaby—makers of award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories—announces the launch of their most playful and accessible lens yet, the Sol 45.

“Sol 45 opens up a new creative experience for those who want to dip their toes in the Lensbaby pool,” said Craig Strong Lensbaby Co-Founder and CCO. “Sol inspires visual artists to find new and fun ways to see their world by creating unique images in camera - no filters needed.” The Sol 45 responds to those curious and insightful individuals who desire intention, imagination, and passion within each experience they live. This fixed aperture lens features an ease-of-use that injects the classic Lensbaby energy into images while creating a fun photography experience that benefits from the creation of unique photos that are representative of the users’ passions. Users simply identify a subject in frame, bend the lens toward it, rotate the focus ring to bring subject into focus and shoot, ultimately creating a tack-sharp circular area of focus surrounded by bold blur and smooth bokeh. In addition, users can bring the lens’s bokeh blades - situated on hinged arms hiding at the edge of the lens - into the lens’s field of view. These bokeh blades add subtle lines of texture in-camera to the bokeh, creating stylized texture effects that many photographers only experience post-edit.


Since 2004, Lensbaby has challenged photographers to make their creative process one that distinctly captures the voice they find behind the camera. Today, the Sol 45 opens this door to all creatives, regardless of skill level. Enthusiast DSLR and mirrorless camera shooters, especially those who are newer to Lensbaby, now have the opportunity to experiment with the brand’s iconic look for an affordable price of $199.95.

The Sol 45 is made specifically for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, and is compatible with Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Sony E, and Fuji X. The lens will also be available in a 22mm version specifically for Micro 4/3rd shooters. The Micro 4/3rd community is a passionate group who has embraced Lensbaby for years, all while longing for lenses tailored specifically for them. The Sol 22 was developed in a 22mm focal length (44mm equivalent) to serve these photographers.

The Sol 45 will be available for purchase at select Lensbaby-authorized retailers for $199.95 on August 7th, 2018, and the Sol 22 will be available for purchase in September.

B&H has the Lensbaby Sol 45 lens available in stock with free expedited shipping.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Lensbaby News
Post Date: 8/7/2018 5:56:29 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, August 6, 2018

The team over at LensRentals has disassembled the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS II Lens for your viewing pleasure. You can find the complete details here.

Rent the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens via LensRentals.

Post Date: 8/6/2018 10:15:49 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens Review.

Small, light, nicely-built and a decent performer, especially for being cheap.

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens from Lensrentals.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 8/6/2018 8:37:16 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From Tamrom:

August 6, 2018, Commack, New York – Tamron announces the launch of a new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, the 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037), for 35mm full-frame DSLR cameras. The vision behind the Model A037 is that of an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that has a separate concept from SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A012), with superb image quality and easy portability. At just 3.5 in in length and 16.2 oz. in weight, it is the smallest and lightest in its class. The focal length ranges from an ultra-wide 17mm that is suitable for professional landscape photography to a standard 35mm perfect for snapshot photography. As for F-stops, the wide-angle end is a large aperture F/2.8, and at the telephoto end is a fast F/4. The Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating help to enhance the user's photographic experience. For those looking to try out an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for the first time, as well as having a lens that is easily portable, the A037 is the definitive choice. The lens will be available in Nikon mount on September 4, 2018 at suggested retail price of $599. The launch of the Canon mount model will be announced at a later date.

Product Highlights

  • High-performance imaging for shooting vast landscapes in sharp detail
    The optical construction (15 elements in 10 groups) uses four LD (Low Dispersion) lens elementsto minimize axial chromatic aberrations that can occur with ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses. With two properly positioned GM (Glass Molded Aspherical) lenses, distortion and other aberration can be satisfactorily corrected as well. Being the smallest and lightest in its class and dedicated to high quality imaging, the engineers have paid particular attention to size. The lens has also been carefully designed to allow peripheral point image reproducibility and thereby facilitate a high degree of sharpness and contrast. The Minimum Object Distance (MOD) for the entire zoom range is a short 11 in., so background blurring is still possible when opening the aperture and approaching the subject close-up with this ultra-wide-angle zoom.
  • Advanced coating technology along with proprietary ghosting analysis simulation technology enabled the high level of backlighting control
    Resistance to backlighting is extremely important for wide-angle lenses as they are often subjected to strong light sources. The Model A037 has a high level optical construction that repeatedly employs comprehensive ghosting analysis simulation. The BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating is highly effective in reducing reflection, allowing ghosting and flare throughout the entire zoom range to be controlled.
  • OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) enables both excellent AF speed and drive noise reduction
    The AF drive system employs an OSD (Optimized Silent Drive) to ensure quiet operation. Through the innovative optimization of the system that includes AF system speed reduction gear, Tamron could greatly reduce the drive noise in comparison to conventional AF types with built-in DC motors. AF performance and speed have also been vastly improved. Thus, even if silence is required, AF can be employed without having to worry at all about noise creation. The Model A037 can provide superlative AF precision for exact focus even when shooting moving objects, as well as outstanding trackability.
  • Circular aperture to produce a smooth-edged bokeh
    A 7-blade diaphragm is configured to retain a smooth, circular-shaped aperture opening even when stopped down by two stops from the wide-open aperture. This produces a smooth-edged bokeh in background light spots and avoids rugged aperture geometry.
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
    Seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops to provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature affords an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.
  • Fluorine Coating
    The surface of the front element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water- and oil-repellant qualities. The front surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture or oily fingerprints, allowing for much easier maintenance. The coating also provides an enhanced level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years.
  • Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory
    The new A037 is compatible with the optional TAMRON TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product that provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling users to easily update a lens's firmware as well as customize features including fine adjustments to the AF.

Specifications

ModelA037
Focal Length17-35mm
Maximum Aperturef/2.8-4
Angle of View (diagonal)103°41' - 63°26'(for full-frame format)
78°46' - 43°29'(for APS-C format)
Optical Construction15 elements in 10 groups
Minimum Object Distance11.0 in.
Maximum Magnification Ratio14.9
Filter Size77mm
Maximum Diameter3.3 in.
Length*for Canon 3.6 in.
for Nikon 3.5 in.
Weightfor Canon 16.2 oz.
for Nikon 16.2 oz.
Aperture Blades7 (circular diaphragm)**
Minimum Aperturef/16-F/22
Standard AccessoriesLens hood, Lens caps
Compatible MountsCanon, Nikon

* Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.
**The circular diaphragm stays almost perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture.

B&H has the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 DI OSD Lens available for preorder.

Post Date: 8/6/2018 6:02:19 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, August 3, 2018

From Canon UK:

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Thursday 2nd August 2018 – Canon Europe has today unveiled the Canon Zoemini, a lightweight, pocket size and portable photo printer, featuring ZINK (zero ink) technology. The Canon Zoemini connects seamlessly to the Canon Mini Print app via Bluetooth for instant printing of photos and social media snaps in a matter of seconds. The Canon Zoemini prints out personalised 2x3 inch (5 x 7.6cm) photos, straight from a mobile phone, tablet or social media apps.

The Canon Zoemini is the perfect accessory for people who enjoy printing and sharing special moments with family and friends, wherever the mood takes them. The Canon Zoemini will inspire people to unleash their creativity, thanks to an abundance of on-trend filters, frames and AR effects through the Canon Mini Print app, free to download from the App Store and Google Play from 5th September 2018.

Whether it’s a special family occasion, holiday or simply meeting up with friends, the Canon Zoemini encourages creativity, with easy to print, peel-and-stick photos that can be used to personalise everyday items such as laptops, mobile covers, bags, mirrors or bedroom walls. School bags can also be decorated with a photo collage of friends, families, pets or even a carefully crafted selfie.

Fitting comfortably in the palm of a hand, handbag or pocket, the compact and sleek device comes in a choice of three enticing and distinctive colours: Rose Gold/White, White/Silver and Black/Slate Grey.

The Canon Zoemini features ZINK technology, meaning zero ink is required. The rechargeable battery-powered portable printer comes with a starter pack of 10 x Canon ZINK photo paper (peel-and-stick back, smudge-free, water and tear resistant), with additional paper available for purchase in packs of 20 or 50.

The Canon Mini Print app also features a tiling function, enabling the creation of larger posters or images made up of four or nine prints, as well as over ten unique collage templates that prints a 2x3 inch photo. From retro selfies to playful animal face filters, the Canon Zoemini provides the ability to customise and quickly print off memories. In addition to Instagram and Facebook, the Canon Mini Print app lets users connect with Google Photos and Dropbox, so they can print their physical copies of their most treasured memories while out and about.

Weighing just 160g and with dimensions of 118mm x 82mm x 19mm, the Canon Zoemini will be available to purchase from 5th September 2018.

Key benefits:

  • Compact, slim and lightweight, can fit in pockets or small bags
  • Inspires creativity with on-trend filters, frames and AR
  • Prints tear-proof 2x3 inch (5 x 7.6cm) photos with innovative ink free ZINK technology
  • Prints sticky-sided pictures to decorate walls, laptops and mirrors
  • Connects effortlessly via Bluetooth to the Canon Mini Print app (iOS & Android)

What’s in the box:

  • The Canon Zoemini Photo Printer* (Rose Gold/White, White/Silver and Black/Slate Grey)
  • One pack of Canon ZINK Photo Paper (10 sheets of Photo Paper and 1 SMART SHEET)
  • Micro USB charging cable (USB A to Micro)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Regulation Sheet

About Canon Mini Print App

A mobile device must be connected to the Canon Zoemini Photo Printer via Bluetooth and the Canon Mini Print App, available for free on the App Store and at Google Play. Compatible with mobile devices running iOS 9.0 or later, and Android devices running Android 4.4 or later.

The Canon Zoemini will be available in Rose Gold, White and Black from September 2018 with an RRP of £119.99/€139.99.

Posted to: Canon News   Category: Canon Announcements
Post Date: 8/3/2018 2:00:50 PM ET   Posted By: Sean

In this video, Profoto brand ambassador Jared Platt breaks down the lighting in several of his images and explains the motivation behind the chosen light setup and how the result enhances the story behind the images.

B&H carries Profoto gear.

Post Date: 8/3/2018 8:23:05 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

Installing a Sony firmware update on an alpha a7R III and other similar series cameras involves downloading the updated firmware, connecting the camera to the computer via a USB cable and executing the downloaded software. When instructed to do so, the software does its task, leaving the camera in an updated state.

I need to clarify that last statement: it leaves the camera in an updated state if all goes as desired. After attempting to install Sony a7R III Firmware v.1.10, my camera had only a little red access lamp illuminated on the back. While that was concerning to me, cycling the camera power fixes most camera (and computer) problems and I immediately took that option. Unfortunately, the light remained on. Especially with the buggy early firmware of the a7R II, I wasn't worried. I simply removed and reinserted the (fully charged) battery. Still, the only sign of life was the red light.

I was leaving for a more than 1 week long photo trip the next day. I have backup cameras that I could have taken instead of this one, but I didn't have any more Sony cameras and I intended evaluate some Sony lenses while traveling. Right, installing updated firmware just before leaving wasn't the brightest idea, but things are crazy here and ... that was when I found time to get the task done.

Anyway, what you really want to know is "What should I do when a Sony firmware update leaves only the red access light illuminated on the back of the camera?" Re-installing the firmware upgrade, potentially multiple times, (usually) solves this problem. It was that easy for me and hopefully it will be that easy for you.

I don't know why the firmware update failed the first time but worked the second time and that is a problem (and a waste of time and energy). But, that the camera was working again in a short period of time was ... sweet. And now, if you experience the same problem, you will know what to do.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 8/3/2018 8:04:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan

From Datacolor:

Making color management simple with an easy-to-follow guide that starts with the basics

Zurich, Switzerland, 1st August 2018 - Datacolor, a global leader in color management solutions, has today launched an extensive color management eBook for photographers and videographers. ‘Spyder5 eBook: Color management can be easy’ is a six-chapter guide providing practical advice to help any photographer or videographer understand color management, from the basics to the advanced. Chapters will be published in three-week intervals and sent to readers once they have registered online. Those who download the eBook will also receive 20% off the Spyder5Pro and Spyder5Elite. The first chapter is now available for download from the Datacolor website here.

"We repeatedly found that even after more than 20 years of digital photography, color management is regarded as a difficult and complex topic and is therefore often neglected. Users often have difficulties with achieving accurate color reproduction and maintaining the brightness of their images in photo books or prints," says Stefan Zrenner, Global Director of Sales and Marketing Consumer Products at Datacolor. "With our free eBook, we want to make our color management know-how accessible to everyone and show that this topic is not complicated at all."

The eBook explores the basics of color management, calibrated photography, and the steps needed to reproduce accurate colors on the monitor, when printing at home and through print service providers.

What to expect from ‘Spyder5 eBook

Chapter One – Understanding Digital Color
The first chapter will walk you through which color measuring instruments you need for color management, and why you should work with RAW data.

Chapter Two – Taking Calibrated Photos
Chapter Two is a guide to the first step in the color workflow – camera calibration. The chapter focuses on the tools available for calibration, obtaining evenly-balanced contrast with the SpyderCUBE, achieving color balance with the SpyderCHECKR, and razor-sharp autofocus using SpyderLENSCAL.

Chapter Three – Monitor Calibration
Discover how to initially calibrate your monitor and find out what a colorimeter can do for you during this process. Chapter three will also teach you how to control ambient light and demonstrate the options a soft proofing tool can offer.

Chapter Four – Fine-adjusting Monitors
Chapter Four delves deeper into monitor calibration, with a focus on making extended calibration settings, and an explanation of what an advanced analysis entails. Learn how to calibrate two monitors, and find out what different elements you need to pay attention to when calibrating a complete studio and a projector.

Chapter Five – Printer Profiling for Accurate Prints
The penultimate chapter teaches you all you need to know about printer profiles, and explains how to check if your printer and printer driver are working properly. Find out what you need to be aware of when working with a Spectrocolorimeter and discover Datacolor’s measuring technology.

Chapter Six – Monitor Proofing and Media
The final chapter deals with your questions on the final stage of your workflow – exploring how to proof your images on your monitor, and what to consider when printing your photos by yourself, on paper, canvas, and foil. The chapter will also tell you all you need to know about monitor proofing during photo printing from a service provider.

Each chapter also contains a detailed glossary of color management terms. The first chapter of the eBook is now available for download from the Datacolor website here.

Post Date: 8/3/2018 7:41:33 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, August 2, 2018

The My Nikon LIfe YouTube Channel has released a teaser video which boldly proclaims "Gateway to a New Dimension" and shows the new mirrorless mount. Below is a screenshot if you'd like to save yourself 30 seconds.

Nikon Mirrorless Mount Teaser Screenshot

Posted to: Nikon News   
Post Date: 8/2/2018 7:38:31 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

by Sean Setters

I thoroughly enjoy lightning photography, but until recently, I had never seriously attempted to capture lightning during the day. Soon after receiving the MIOPS Camera Trigger, I tested the device during a daytime thunderstorm to see how well it worked. Site visitors interested in lightning photography are often curious if a triggering device will work in the daytime, and my test revealed that the MIOPS Camera Trigger worked perfectly under even relatively bright conditions. The same cannot be said about other lightning triggers I've tried.

Even with a good camera trigger, lightning photography during the daytime presents a problem. How do you balance the exposure so that the lightning bolt is visible in the bright sky while keeping the foreground details from being silhouetted?

The best answer I've come up with – a graduated ND filter and a covered shooting location.

The image above of the Savannah River was taken just before 7:00pm (an hour and 23 minutes before sunset). While it wasn't as bright at 7:00pm as it would be with midday sun, relatively few opportunities for lightning will be photographed in conditions that bright. The storm clouds that bring lightning typically block out the sun or at least darken the sky in the area being photographed to some degree. However, the darkening rarely lowers the sky's exposure to that of the ground beneath it. That's where the graduated ND filter comes in. For this shot, I mounted my 5D Mark III, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, MIOPS Camera Trigger on my tripod which was set up under the Savannah Belles Ferry Waving Girl Landing, adjacent the Marriott Hotel along the Savannah River. To the end of the lens, I attached a 100mm filter holder containing a Cokin NUANCES Z-Pro Soft-Edge 2-stop Grad ND. By positioning the filter in the holder so that it primarily covered the sky, I was able to better balance out the exposure between the ground/river elements and the sky.

Remember when I mentioned that a covered shooting location was an important part of this technique? While a lens hood will often prevent rain from accumulating on your front lens element or protective filter, the use of a 100mm filter holder and filters precludes the use of a lens hood. With a much larger surface area to gather water droplets and ultimately impacting image quality, a location that protects the entire camera rig from rain is ideal. Of course, if photographing a storm from a vantage point where it isn't raining, no covered location is necessary. Unfortunately, storms tend to move and photographing lightning is very much a waiting game. If it isn't raining in your location, the same may not be true 10 minutes later.

And while I'm on the subject of rain, here's some advice: invest in some type of waterproof camera backpack for transporting your gear to and from your shooting location. I recently picked up a used Lowepro DryZone 100 – predecessor to the now available Lowepro Dryzone 200 – and it's been perfect for these types of outings. The DZ100 and DZ200 are completely watertight, have plenty of room and are comfortable to wear for moderate distances even with a tripod strapped to the back (although the waist strap sits high on my 6'2" / 1.88m frame). If you're serious about photographing in extreme conditions, pick up a Lowepro DryZone 200 or similar bag.

Figuring out your desired exposure level for daytime lightning photography is easier than for nighttime lightning photography. At night, a lightning bolt becomes the primary light source for the sky – where it bounces off of nearby clouds – and, if not illuminated by artificial light, the ground. It usually takes a few test shots and a little bit of luck to determine the optimal exposure settings for a given nighttime storm. You can typically vary the shutter speed until the ground is sufficiently bright enough at your chosen aperture and ISO, but that aperture and ISO are keys to determining the brightness level of the sky that results from a lightning strike. That said, if your shutter speed is too long, you may record multiple lightning strikes within the same image which will cause a substantially over exposed sky. In other words, sufficient skill and a little bit of luck are important in getting properly exposed nighttime lightning shots.

On the contrary, lightning doesn't typically impact the brightness level of the surrounding sky to a consequential degree during the daytime, generally speaking, unless there is a significantly thick blanket of dark clouds overhead. Therefore, you can set usually set your exposure to slightly underexpose the sky and your lightning will simply pop out against the underexposed background, such as in the example above. The ease of setting an exposure really paid off in this case. The lightning bolt I captured is the only lightning that occurred within my camera's field of view while I was photographing on this particular evening.

In post processing, I darkened the sky a bit further by reducing the luminosity of the blue channel and increased the image's overall contrast and saturation.

The following day I photographed from the same location around 3:30pm and while I didn't catch any lightning, the retreating storm provided an inspiring view.

Storm Over the Savannah River

As you can see, one benefit of attempting to photograph lightning during the day is that, even if you are unsuccessful, the clouds may reward your effort. I used the Cokin NUANCES Z-Pro Soft-Edge 2-stop Grad ND for this image as well.

If you don't have a graduated ND filter in your kit, you can combine multiple exposures to arrive at a similar result (under-expose the sky in the lightning shot and combine that with a brighter ground exposure). However, any elements that move during the exposure that reside within the field between those two images (the part that simulates the graduated part of the ND filter) will have to be dealt with on an individual basis with specific masking. I've worked with exposure blending quite a bit over the last few years, and while some extreme exposure latitude situations can certainly benefit from the technique, I've really been enjoying the use of graduated NDs lately. I suppose I'd rather spend more time in the field setting up the camera to capture the image I want (or very close to it) as opposed to spending more time in front of my computer attempting to create a similar image.

Post Date: 8/2/2018 6:35:35 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Anhui China, Aug 1, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, are proud to announce the Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe Lens, a unique & revolutionary macro tool.

Laowa 24mm f/14 2x Macro Probe is the world’s first consumer-grade probe lens that was developed to provide photographers and videographers with a new perspective and remove their shooting barriers while using conventional macro lenses.


Below are the key features of this lens.

Bug-Eye Perspective
The new Laowa 24mm Probe lens can create a Bug-Eye perspective that cannot be done by conventional macro lens. Not only can it focus really close (2cm @ 2:1) and show a great amount of detail and texture, but also achieve a compelling wide angle 'Bug Eye' view (84.1°). More background details can then be included into the shots to create a very informative and stunning macro bug-eye perspective. For telephoto macro lenses, the subject will fill most of the frame and appear isolated from the surrounding environment instead.

2:1 Magnification to Infinity Focus
The new Laowa Probe covers a focusing range from 2:1 macro magnification to Infinity Focus. Photographers can take advantage of the 2:1 maximum magnification to shoot really small bugs/objects and reveal details that cannot be seen by naked eye. The wide focusing range (from Macro to infinity) is also particularly useful for videography as both finer details and environmental background can be captured in one shot.

Deep Depth-of-Field
The wide angle design also means much more depth of field at close distance (compared to the telephoto macro lens) so that more background details will now be visible. Being able to focus so close but still having a deep depth of field is a BIG advantage for both studio and wildlife shooting. The less blurry background allows the habitat of the subject to be visible in your photo.

Waterproof front lens barrel
The front barrel of the lens is waterproof and it can be used to shoot in any environment. This makes shooting in liquid no longer a limitation. The waterproof design also implies that shooting in super dusty environment or with fine powders are not going to be a problem.

40cm long & Tubular Lens Barrel
Thanks to the 40cm (15.7") long barrel, photographers can focus really close to the subject but still keep themselves and cameras distance away. This unlocks the possibility of shooting in areas which were not accessible in the past. E.g. Shooting a frog hiding in the bushes using our Probe lens, compared to getting a telephoto macro lens super close to avoid leaves blocking your subject. The long lens barrel also allows photographers to keep a safe distance away when shooting lethal animals. The big camera body and lens will no longer 'alert' the subject too.

Tiny 2cm lens tip
The tiny 0.2cm-in-diameter lens tip unlocks the possibility to get very low to the ground level to capture a 'delicious' perspective and maximize the visual impact. The viewers will be like walking on your shooting subject (e.g. Pizza) now. Moreover, you can insert the lens into tiny caves, bottle or burrows to shoot. The smaller lens tip also enables proper lighting hitting onto the subject whereas typical macro lenses with larger lens barrels will block most of the light.

LED Ring Light at the tip
A LED ring light (powered through the micro-USB slot on the barrel) is mounted at the tip of the lens to provide additional lighting for focus assistance and video shooting.

Full frame coverage
The Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe can cover both the standard 35mm full frame and Super35 image sensor.

Lightweight The new Laowa weighs only 1.04 pounds (474 grams) and it’s super light and easy to carry.

The lens has one of the most complicated optics design and houses with 27 elements in 19 groups to deliver the exceptional image quality. Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony FE mounts are currently available for standard version. A cine version with click-less aperture and focus gears in Arri PL mount is also available to order.

Availability
The lens is expected to retail at USD 1,499/pc (ex-VAT). It is currently available to preorder via Kickstarter at a discounted price. The earliest expected delivery date is September. The lens will also be available via authorized resellers from October onwards.

You can find more information on the lens via Kickstarter.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Venus Optics News
Post Date: 8/1/2018 11:32:57 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

From Think Tank Photo/MindShift Gear:

Combined company will drive premium camera bag innovation

Santa Rosa, CA – Think Tank Photo Inc. (“Think Tank”) and MindShift Gear LLC (“MindShift”), innovators in premium camera bag design, today announced the merger of the two companies, creating an integrated product suite for professional and advanced photographers. The merger is effective today, and the companies have immediately combined their business operations.

The combined company will be privately held and operate under the Think Tank brand. MindShift will continue as a distinct product line for outdoor photography bags and accessories. Doug Murdoch, Think Tank's founder, president, and lead designer, will continue as Chairman of the Board and president of the combined company. Corporate headquarters will remain in Santa Rosa, CA. “We celebrate a milestone today as we formally join two of the top brands in camera bags and photo accessories, Think Tank and MindShift,” said Doug Murdoch. “Combined under the Think Tank umbrella, and with MindShift's powerful position in the outdoor photography market, we will draw on our decades of experience to push the boundaries of carrying solutions and enhance our reputation as The Choice of Working Professionals.”

Over the past 15 years, Think Tank and MindShift have delivered some of the most innovative and successful carrying solutions addressing the needs of professional and serious photographers and videographers. These solutions cover the full spectrum of a photographer’s needs including genre-specific features, transportation needs and rapid access to camera gear – enabling them to “Be ready before the moment.”

Murdoch continued, “Both Think Tank and MindShift are growth companies focused on chasing an enormous opportunity ahead of them. By combining operations for both companies, we can streamline access to our complete product line, making it easier for our international distributors and retail partners to do business with us.” Combined, Think Tank and MindShift products can be efficiently distributed throughout the world and in hundreds of retailers in the United States.

Use our links at Think Tank Photo and you'll get a free gift and free ground shipping with your purchase ($50.00 minimum purchase required).

Post Date: 8/1/2018 9:43:28 AM ET   Posted By: Sean

Just posted: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens Review.

A lot of Sony-based photographers will want this lens in their kits.

The Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens from Lensrentals.

B&H also has a used Sony 16-35mm f/4 Lens in stock for only $1,009.95.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 8/1/2018 7:30:00 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan

From the Greg Benz YouTube Channel:

Normally, panoramas are pretty straight-forward. But if you're also blending multiple exposures, things seem a little more complicated. But Lightroom offers a simple solution to do both with a set of RAW images, learn how in this tutorial.

Post Date: 8/1/2018 7:59:11 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
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