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 Sunday, March 20, 2022

I was in Lone Pine, CA and the Alabama Hills facing the prospect of a clear sky at sunset. While blue is one of my favorite colors, some clouds in the sky with a fiery glow are an even better end-of-the-day option.

The sun setting in a clear sky casts a beautiful warm light, ideal for landscape imagery. However, the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, including 14,505' Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous USA, blocks the warm color temperature of the late-day sunlight long before it reaches most of this valley and its formations.

There is one reliable way to get a colorful sky during a clear sunset. The Belt of Venus will rise opposite the sun with the earth's shadow following it, and reflecting the Belt of Venus in a body of water doubles the available color.

Mono Lake is over 2,600' higher than Lone Pine, CA, home of the Alabama Hills. This location has a less-obstructed west view and lacks the close tall mountains to the east. That combination provides early visibility of the Belt of Venus, where it appears strong in color

Photographing the tufa tower limestone formations at Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve had long been on my to-do list, so the second round of adventures for this day began.

Upon arriving at the lake, the car thermometer said it was cold out — upper 40s or low 50s? However, it was too hot in the sun to dress warmly.

I opted to go light, grabbing a tripod, two cameras and lenses in Lowepro toploader cases, and no extra clothes. The plan was to scout for the optimal sunset shot, return to the car for everything else, and then capture the selected sunset scene.

After finding a location that worked for the reflection plan roughly a mile into the adventure, I no longer had the energy to make the rather difficult two-mile round trip to retrieve the warm clothes (and flashlight).

The pair of Canon EOS R5 bodies mounted to Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS and Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS Lenses were perfect for the opportunities presented, and the Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-40 Ball Head held them solidly.

The expected temperature drop was a concern, but I was still very warm. The neutral density filters were still in the SUV, but the smooth water left nothing moving to blur.

Eventually, the sun went low in the sky, the tufas had warm light on them, and many photos were captured. However, the real show began when the Belt of Venus and the earth's shadow moved into view. The Belt of Venus and its reflection nicely framed the tufa formations and their dark blue earth shadow background. This show was over in minutes, but working fast with two cameras provided many image variations within this timeframe.

The show would have been over fast regardless of the sky progression because the temperature plummeted into the 20s as soon as the sun set, and shivering made tripod use mandatory. As the dirt road was closer than the car (and the flashlight was in the car), I opted for a direct path to the road, expecting that the opportunity for getting lost would be reduced and hoping that firmer footing would be gained. It didn't take long for this decision to be deemed questionable, and the "Would anyone ever find me if I went down in the massive, over-my-head sagebrush that I was climbing over?" question entered my mind.

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending, and the Belt of Venus provided the desired sunset color on this evening. Keep this sky color option in mind for your next clear day sunset — or sunrise — shoot.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 3/20/2022 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 17, 2022

Just posted: K&F Concept EP324C Multifunction Carbon Fiber Tripod Review.

This tripod, especially with the high-quality ball head included, is an excellent value.

Order the K&F Concept EP324C Multifunction Carbon Fiber Tripod from Amazon USA | B&H | Adorama

Please share!

Post Date: 3/17/2022 7:42:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 14, 2022
 Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Learn more at B&H. Preorders go live on Friday, 3/11, at 8am ET (don't forget to use the links in this post to place that order).

Apple 10.9" iPad Air with M1 Chip 5th Gen, 64GB, Wi-Fi + 5G, Starlight

Apple Mac Studio Early 2022

Apple Studio Display - Standard Glass - Tilt-Adjustable Stand

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Apple News
Post Date: 3/8/2022 5:58:53 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 3, 2022

Just posted: Really Right Stuff Ascend-14 Long Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod Review

This tripod (and lots of other gear) and I just returned from 9 days of photographing landscapes in eastern California. Though very expensive, the Ascend-14 is an outstanding performer – despite its small size and light weight.

Post Date: 3/3/2022 9:32:34 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 22, 2022
 Monday, February 21, 2022

Just posted: Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review.

This is another great member of the Sigma I series.

Order the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens from B&H | Adorama | WEX

Please share!

Post Date: 2/21/2022 7:31:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, February 20, 2022

Recently, I shared another weasel image from Rocky Mountain National Park. Today, I share what it was looking for. More specifically, the weasel was looking for this ground squirrel's young to take back to its own young.

Wildlife encounters often provide the opportunity to capture multiple images. While capturing multiple images of the same pose is a good idea, ensuring that minimally one is sharp, with ideal focus and lack of motion blur, there is little value in having more than one image of the same pose and subject framing in the keepers folder. However, photographing a different pose (or scene framing) has great merit. Different is good, and better is ... even better. Therefore, constantly look for ways to improve upon your images already on the card.

While ground squirrels are not too difficult to photograph, they are not always posed on a rock with a distant green background as nicely as this one. After aligning the subject against a distant background while maintaining a favorable body position (angled slightly toward the camera) and capturing the insurance (or memory) shots, improving upon what was already captured became the goal.

The ground squirrel was sounding an urgent alarm to the rest of the family, and its mouth briefly opened very wide with each warning chirp. Simply timing the shot for the toothy chirp added that extra something I was looking for, evoking emotion, at least in context with the weasel story.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 2/20/2022 7:19:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, February 19, 2022

The Really Right Stuff Ascend-14 Long Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod with Integrated Ball Head (this is the model you want) is in stock at B&H.

Though very expensive, this tripod is an outstanding performer despite its small size and light weight. Full review coming soon.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: In Stock Notices
Post Date: 2/19/2022 7:32:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 18, 2022

From Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd.:

Tokina SZ 8mm F2.8 X FISH-EYE and SZ 8mm F2.8 E FISH-EYE worldwide sales date announcement

Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. is proud to announce the sales release of the Tokina SZ 8mm F2.8 FISH-EYE lens for Fuji X and Sony E (APS-C) camera mounts. SZ series offering a range of exciting products with specific features and valuable advantages.

Sales will commence on March 15, 2022.

The Tokina SZ 8mm F2.8 FISH-EYE is a compact and lightweight fast, ultra-wide prime, manual focus, full-frame fisheye lens designed exclusively for APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras. The line-up includes models for Fuji X and Sony E APS-C size camera mounts. Emphasized perspective and unique distortion makes this lens attractive for both still photographers and videographers.

Thanks to a compact, lightweight design and manual focus the Tokina SZ 8mm F2.8 FISH-EYE MF can be appealing to young active content creators from the price perspective. The suggested genres are landscape, nightscape, interior, architecture, street snap and pet photography. An ultra wide angle of view, unique perspective effect and a compact design allows this lens to be used for creating viral images for Social Networks such as Instagram as well as Vlogging.

Highlighted Features

  • Lightweight (280g) and compact (overall length 52mm) construction.
  • Fast f/2.8 lens for compact APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras.
  • High quality built and sophisticated exterior design.
  • Clickless aperture ring for smooth operation in video shooting.
  • Minimum focus distance of 10cm to include close-up objects in front of a wide background.
  • Detachable bayonet type hood to use with full-frame mirrorless cameras for achieving circular fisheye effect.

 
Get your Tokina lens at B&H.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Tokina News
Post Date: 2/18/2022 7:32:43 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 17, 2022

It is great to see imaging sensor technology moving forward. Jump to 5:44 to see and read about the 2-layer transistor pixel stacked CMOS imaging sensor under development:

Post Date: 2/17/2022 10:24:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, February 16, 2022

From Sony:

Sony Electronics’ is the No. 1 Mirrorless Camera Brand and No. 1 Mirrorless Lens Brand for 2021 in North America

2021 Marks the 8th Consecutive Year that Sony Holds the #1 Share in Full-Frame Mirrorless

SAN DIEGO, CA – February 16, 2022 – Sony Electronics Inc. – a worldwide leader in digital imaging– continues to lead the industry in bringing mirrorless technology to the world. Following a year of innovative product introductions such as the Alpha 1, Sony Electronics announced today that it was the number one mirrorless camera brand[i] and full-frame mirrorless camera brand in 2021[ii]. This past year also marks the 8th consecutive year Sony has held the #1 position in full-frame mirrorless cameras[i]. And lastly, Sony has announced it was the number one mirrorless lens brand in 2021[iii] as well.

The success of the lineup of full-frame cameras, including the Alpha 7S, Alpha 7R and Alpha 9 series, has been paramount to Sony’s strong sales numbers. These have been complemented by the popularity of the Alpha 7 III, which continued to be the No. 1 selling full-frame interchangeable lens camera line for the 4th year in a row[iv]. For lenses, Sony’s full lineup of 65 different E-mount models highlighted by their flagship G Master™ series continues to drive industry growth.

Additionally, newer innovations such as the new Alpha 7 IV have started to set early sales records. For the week of December 19-25, 2021, the Alpha 7 IV had the highest single-week sales of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera line in the last four years[v].

“We are always listening to our customers’ feedback, advancing our innovation and creating the best possible tools for all types of content creators,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “Finding new ways to empower our community is our top priority and we are honored that so many continue to choose Sony to tell their stories and bring their creative visions to life.”

A variety of additional stories and exciting new content shot with Sony products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, Sony’s community site to educate, inspire and showcase work from fans and customers of the Sony Alpha brand.

Footnotes

[i] Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Mirrorless Detachable Lens, Based on Dollars, Annual 2021.

Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, Canada, Detachable Lens Camera, Mirrorless Detachable Lens, Based on Dollars, Annual 2021.

[ii]Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Mirrorless Detachable Lens, Annual 2021.

Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, Canada, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Mirrorless Detachable Lens, Based on Dollars, Annual 2021.

[iii] Source: Sony Internal Research, U.S., Lenses Filters Adapters and Caps, Imaging Accessory Type: Prime Lens and Zoom Lens, Lens Mount Type: Canon EF-M, Canon RF, Sony E-Mount, Fujifilm G, Fujifilm X, Hasselblad, Leica, L-Mount, Nikon 1, Nikon Z, Leica M, Jan 2021-Dec. 2021.

[iv] Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Camera Family, Based on Units, Annual 2021, Annual 2020, Annual 2019, Annual 2018.

[v] Source: The NPD Group/Weekly Retail Tracking Service, U.S., Detachable Lens Camera, Digital Lens Type: Mirrorless Detachable Lens, Camera Family, Based on Dollars, Jan 2018-Dec 2021.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 2/16/2022 6:19:21 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

I shared a pair of weasel images (Curious Weasel, Weasel Carrying Ground Squirrel) captured while hanging out with (mostly waiting for) a pair of weasels in Rocky Mountain National Park. One of my favorite aspects of these images is the strong background blur that makes the subject boldly stand out.

While many of you following this site might find this advice basic, the basics are important, especially for those starting out, so let's talk about some background blur basics today.

1. Get Closer to the Subject

Moving closer requires a shorter focus distance. The shorter focus distance takes the background out of focus, increasing the blur.

2. Position Against a More Distant Background

Positioning the camera and lens so that the background is farther from the plane of sharp focus increases the blur. Orienting the shooting position to avoid the closer background trees, rocks, buildings, etc., makes a more significant blur happen.

3. Use a Longer Focal Length Lens

A longer focal length increases the magnification of the background details, which increases the blur.

4. Use a Wider Aperture

A wider aperture creates a shallower depth of field. That effect increases the background (and foreground) blur.

5. Use a Camera with a Larger Imaging Sensor

A full-frame camera takes in a wider angle of view than an APS-C model using the same focal length lens. A wider angle of view requires a 1.5x (Sony) or 1.6x (Canon) longer focal length or a position considerably closer for the subject to remain the equivalent size in the frame. Both of those options are already on this list.

Today, the interchangeable lens most adept at blurring the background is the Sigma APO 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG Lens set to 500mm f/2.8. However, a reality check after looking at that behemoth's price and specs (B&H | Adorama | Amazon) leads us to consider the second most background blurring capable lens. The next best choice is one of the 600mm f/4 options.

While not small or inexpensive, the 600mm f/4 lenses reward the owner (or renter) for their expense and carrying effort by creating differentiation in their photos. A 600mm f/4 lens on a full-frame camera, such as the outstanding Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens and Sony Alpha 1 Camera combination used for this example can melt the background into a pleasant color blur. That blur can make a subject pop from even a busy, distracting environment.

Keeping small subjects such as the weasels relatively large in the frame makes the getting close blur aspect happen by default. Of course, keeping these hyper little creatures in the frame at this distance is quite challenging. Fortunately, I guessed right at this time, being in the ideal position when the weasel paused to look around.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 2/16/2022 10:21:58 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Image quality, vignetting, and distortion test results along with specs, measurements, and standard product images are now available on the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens page.

Here are some comparisons to get you started:

Compared to the Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G Lens

Compared to the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens

Order the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens from B&H | Adorama | WEX

Please share!

Post Date: 2/15/2022 8:12:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, February 14, 2022

A late May snowstorm left a dusting of snow at lower elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park. The ponderosa pines filtered the snow, leaving an interesting pattern of white among the trunks, which called for a photo. I always look for excuses to include these red-colored trunks in the frame, and the snow opportunity seemed a good one.

Thick clouds provided even lighting, but the bright white sky seemed to detract from this composition. Thus, keeping the sky out of the frame was a goal, and achieving that goal meant selecting a long enough focal length to exclude the white.

The three tree trunks positioned 1/3 into the frame worked well for the foreground, and the camera position was adjusted to optimize juxtaposition of the remaining trunks in the frame. A fully leveled camera kept the trunks as straight in the frame as possible.

With the desired composition established and locked down on a Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod and BH-40 Ball Head, the remaining issue was achieving the desired depth of field. For this image, I wanted everything in the frame to be sharp. Unfortunately, at 35mm, that was not happening at the still-sharp apertures (I seldom use an EOS R5 aperture narrower than f/11).

Fortunately, the Canon EOS R5's focus bracketing feature made capturing the motionless scene in sharp focus easy. Focused on the closest foreground in the frame with Focus Bracketing enabled, the camera automatically captured the set of photos necessary to cumulatively have the entire depth of the scene in sharp focus.

Selecting the stack of images and then the Depth Compositing Tools menu option in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) created the all-in-focus 16-bit TIFF file that was further edited in Photoshop. Primarily, spot sharpening some of the merged image seams in the image finalized the stacking task.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 2/14/2022 11:15:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 11, 2022

All Sony A-Mount DSLR lenses are denoted "This product is no longer available at the Sony Store" at Sony Japan.

You can still get your Sony A-mount lens at B&H.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony News
Post Date: 2/11/2022 12:52:08 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From WD:

Western Digital Comments on Production Status of its Joint Venture Flash Memory Manufacturing Facilities

San Jose, Calif. - February 09, 2022

Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) today announced that contamination of certain material used in its manufacturing processes has occurred and is affecting production operations at both its Yokkaichi and Kitakami joint venture, flash fabrication facilities.

Western Digital's current assessment of the impact is a reduction of its flash availability of at least 6.5 exabytes. The company is working closely with its joint venture partner, Kioxia, to implement necessary measures that will restore the facilities to normal operational status as quickly as possible.

About Western Digital

Western Digital creates environments for data to thrive. As a leader in data infrastructure, the company is driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data. Our data-centric solutions are comprised of the Western Digital®, G-Technology™, SanDisk®, and WD® brands.
 

Ordering any needed WD, Western Digital, G-Technology, and SanDisk flash products immediately from B&H seems like a logical plan. Also logical would be for the supply of alternative options to be impacted.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: WD News
Post Date: 2/11/2022 8:07:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, February 9, 2022

From Delkin Devices:

Delkin Launches 8K-Ready BLACK CFexpress™ Type A Memory Cards

A different form factor than CFexpress™ Type B (physically smaller) yet still capable of utilizing the same PCI Express technology, Delkin’s BLACK CFexpress™ Type A memory cards boast recording speeds reaching up to 790 MB/s for flawless cinema-quality video capture, including UHD 8K @ 30fps (400 Mbps) in the Sony a1. They also support RAW continuous-burst shooting without delay, never missing those precious split-second moments!

“Smaller and even more powerful than SD cards, CFexpress™ Type A memory cards are establishing a new standard for future storage solutions” says Jenn Sherry, Delkin's Retail Sales & Marketing Manager, “With mirrorless cameras slowly moving more into the cinema realm, offering modes that are extremely data-heavy, it has become even more essential to provide a memory card that can meet these demands. The market is small at the moment, but we are optimistic about the potential growth of CFexpress™ Type A and its future adoption in the next-generation of cameras.”

Delkin BLACK CFexpress™ Type A memory cards are also capable of offloading data at speeds reaching up to 880 MB/s, ensuring the quickest, most efficient data transfer from card to computer for immediate file access and sooner post-production start time. Each BLACK CFexpress™ Type A memory card has undergone extensive testing to ensure full functionality and performance in today’s high-end cinematic hosts, including the Sony® a1, a7S III, a7 IV, FX3 & FX6.

In addition to their “Lifetime Warranty” policy, Delkin continues to offer a unique built-in insurance policy for their BLACK memory cards, known as the “48-Hour Replacement Guarantee”. Delkin will replace any non-working BLACK card within 48 hours or less (not including weekends - in the US and UK), prior to receiving the non-working card. Cards can also be replaced over-the-counter at any authorized Delkin BLACK reseller. Additional information on Delkin BLACK CFexpress™ Type A memory cards can be found here: www.delkindevices.com/cfexpress-type-a.

If BLACK wasn't enough, Delkin is also offering an alternative option under their POWER line. Delkin POWER CFexpress™ Type A memory cards provide the same pro-level performance as BLACK, but do not include the added benefits of serialization or the company's 48-Hour Replacement Guarantee. These cards have also undergone the same testing as the BLACK cards, so users can rest assured and feel confident that what they are using will work as expected in their camera.

Order Delkin CFexpress memory cards from B&H (Type A cards coming soon).

Post Date: 2/9/2022 10:35:54 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Tamron has posted Full Year 2021 Financial Results.

Page 4 provides a quick-read summary.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 2/9/2022 7:56:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Sigma Corporation of America:

SIGMA Announces 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary, the 7th and Widest Lens in the All-Metal I series of Premium Compact Primes

Ronkonkoma, NY – February 9, 2021 – SIGMA Corporation of America, the US subsidiary of SIGMA Corporation (CEO: Kazuto Yamaki. Headquarters: Asao-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the SIGMA 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary lens, part of SIGMA's I series.

This new lens is the widest in the I series released to date. Equipped with a metal, knurled, petal-type lens hood, this ultra-wide prime is compatible with 62mm threaded front filters. It is also an addition to the fast F2 aperture group of I series lenses alongside the 24mm F2 DG DN | C, 35mm F2 DG DN | C, and 65mm F2 DG DN | C. All F2 I series lenses feature a distinctive arc-type AF/MF switch and stylized barrel design near the "Made in Japan" marking.

The fast F2 maximum aperture and total optical performance makes this a natural choice for astrophotography, along with landscapes, cityscapes, street photography, low-light interiors, and other nighttime situations. Due to its wide focal length and compact size, this 20mm lens is also an ideal choice for handheld vlogging and video streaming. And the ability to mount front filters, such as neutral density filters, for video and long-exposure landscapes on such a fast-aperture ultra-wide will be appreciated by many content creators.

The SIGMA 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary lens will be available in the U.S. at SIGMA Authorized Dealers for a retail price of $699 on February 25, 2022.

Preorders

Preorder the Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens from B&H | Adorama | WEX

Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Mount

Exclusively for mirrorless cameras | Compatible with full-frame cameras

Dynamism in the palm of your hand

  • I series | Premium Compact Primes for mirrorless users
  • New standards of optical performance for the Contemporary line
  • Exceptional I series build quality with a compact form-factor

Supplied accessories:

Magnetic metal lens cap (LCF62-01M), Petal-type lens hood (LH656-03), Front Cap (LCF-62III), Rear Cap (LCRII)

Available mounts:

L-Mount, Sony E-mount

* The appearance and specifications of the product are subject to change.
* This product is developed, manufactured and sold based on the specifications of E-mount which was disclosed by Sony Corporation under the license agreement with Sony Corporation.
* L-Mount is a registered trademark of Leica Camera AG.

#SIGMA #SIGMA20mmF2Contemporary #SIGMAContemporary #SIGMAContemporaryPrime #SIGMADGDN #Iseries #SIGMAIseries

Exceptional optical performance and superb build quality give photographers the joy of creating images – introducing the new ultra-wide SIGMA 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary

This all-new full-frame premium compact prime for mirrorless systems is the latest addition to SIGMA's I series lineup, combining a bright maximum aperture of F2, an ultra-wide 20mm focal length and stunning optical performance. The lens boasts an exceptionally small form factor, weighing in at just 370g and measuring just 72.4mm in length*, which makes it a highly practical optic that is portable enough for everyday shooting. It's ideal for landscapes, wide-angle portraits, weddings and interiors, and is particularly well-suited to astrophotography owing to its very well-controlled sagittal coma flare. It is the fourth I series lens with an F2 aperture, joining a 24mm, 35mm and 65mm, which together make a well-matched lens set for L-Mount and Sony E-mount users. *Figures are for L-Mount

Remarkably, the 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary is almost identical in size and weight to the very compact SIGMA 24mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary. A sleek, all-metal design, with a signature I series magnetic lens cap, a manual aperture ring and exceptional production quality means using this lens is a highly intuitive and satisfying experience, making the photo-taking process even more enjoyable. This sharp and beautifully built I series prime, the SIGMA 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary captures the essence of the I series, bringing a new level of user experience – the pleasure of owning and using a lens.

Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens with Hood

[Key Features]

1. I series | "Premium Compact Primes" for mirrorless users

The SIGMA I series features full-frame compatible lenses that offer new value to mirrorless systems. The combination of superb optical performance with a level of compactness that is perfectly suited to smaller and lighter modern mirrorless cameras will bring you new opportunities for a perfect shot.

SIGMA is aware that in today's world we have a wide range of camera choices, especially with the increase in mobile phone ownership. But with many photographers looking for something more than something that simply captures images when they choose to own a camera and lens, I series lenses offer the ultimate combination of superb optical performance, outstanding usability and compact form-factor.

SIGMA's excellence in development and production technologies has been built up since our founding in 1961 and became increasingly sophisticated with the introduction of the SIGMA Global Vision brand in 2012. With this as a base, SIGMA has given careful thought to the quality of the products, the feeling of using it and the pleasure of owning it. This is how the I series was born.

Sigma 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lenses

2. New standards of optical performance for the Contemporary line

The 20mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary achieves the highest level of optical performance even at the widest aperture setting of F2 from the center of the image to the periphery. Based on the latest optical design technology, the lens construction includes three high-precision glass-molded aspherical lens elements, one SLD element, and one FLD element to suppress a range of optical aberrations. The result is clear and sharp images even in the extreme corners of the frame. By focusing on the suppression of sagittal coma flare, which is difficult to correct in post-processing, accurate reproduction of very bright points of light has been achieved. This also provides extremely detailed results across the entire image, especially important for night sky photography.

The lens' optical design, as well as its Super Multi-Layer Coating and Nano Porous Coating (NPC), ensures very minimal flare and ghosting even when shooting into bright light sources. This makes it much easier to photograph backlit subjects and still achieve punchy, high contrast results.

3. Exceptional I series build quality with a compact form-factor

All I series lenses have an all-metal construction. The precision-cut aluminum parts not only give the barrel a sleek, stylish finish, but provide superb durability that improves the quality of the entire product. Metal materials are also used in internal structures that slide with the operation ring for added robustness.

These high-precision components crafted with SIGMA's cutting-edge metalworking technology are also used in SIGMA's CINE LENS lineup for professional cinematographers and provide a tactile, ergonomic feel that make the lens a pleasure to use. The cover ring between the focus ring and the aperture ring has hairline processing that is also used for the rear cylinder of the Art line. This covering functions as a finger hold when attaching or detaching the lens.

[Additional Features]

  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 11 groups, with 1 FLD, 1 SLD and 3 aspherical lens elements
  • Inner focus system
  • Compatible with high-speed autofocus
  • Stepping motor
  • Compatible with Lens Aberration Correction
    *Function available on supported cameras only. Available corrections may vary depending on the camera model.
  • Supports DMF and AF+MF
  • Nano Porous Coating
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Aperture ring
  • Focus mode switch
  • Petal-type lens hood (LH656-03)
  • Magnetic metal lens cap (LCF62-01M)
  • Mount with dust and splash resistant structure
  • Support for switching between linear and non-linear focus ring settings (for L-Mount only)
  • Compatible with SIGMA USB DOCK UD-11 (sold separately / for L-Mount only)
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Every single lens undergoes SIGMA's proprietary MTF measuring system
  • 9-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • "Made in Japan" craftsmanship

Learn more about SIGMA's craftsmanship here:
https://www.sigma-global.com/en/about/craftsmanship/

[Key Specifications]

The figures below are for L-Mount:

Lens Construction: 11 groups, 13 elements (1 FLD, 1 SLD, 3 aspherical)
Angle of view: 94.5°
Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture: F22
Minimum focusing distance: 22cm / 8.7 in.
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:6.7
Filter size: 62mm
Dimensions (Max. Diam. x Length): 70 x 72.4mm / 2.8 x 2.9 in.
Weight: 370g / 13.1 oz.

[Accessories: Supplied]

Product Name / Barcode
Magnetic metal lens cap LCF62-01M: 0085126 938659
FRONT CAP LCF-62 III: 0085126 929817
PETAL-TYPE LENS HOOD LH656-03: 0085126 939809
REAR CAP LCR II (L-Mount): 0085126 937256
REAR CAP LCR II (Sony E-mount): 0085126 929879

[Accessories: Optional]

Product Name / Barcode
SIGMA USB DOCK UD-11 for L-Mount: 0085126 878696
SIGMA WR PROTECTOR 62mm: 0085126 930936
SIGMA PROTECTOR 62mm: 0085126 931063
SIGMA WR UV FILTER 62mm: 0085126 930677
SIGMA WR CIRCULAR PL FILTER 62mm: 0085126 930806

[Announcement]

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 2/9/2022 6:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, February 7, 2022

Just posted: Impact Folding Wheeled Base Stand Review.

Why did I wait so long? These light stands are sooo much nicer than what I replaced.

Order the Impact Folding Wheeled Base Stand from B&H (on sale — $63.00 instant savings on the 8.5' model, $33.92 on the 11' model) or Amazon USA.

Adorama has a few Impact Folding Wheeled Base Stand (11') in stock.

Please share!

Post Date: 2/7/2022 9:14:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Do you use VRBO to rent lodging? I do so regularly.

Please use the new VRBO link on the support the site page to order your rentals.

Using the links on this site to make your purchase costs you nothing additional, but the small commission realized from that action helps us continue to serve you. Thanks in advance!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 2/7/2022 8:52:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 4, 2022

B&H has used Canon EOS R5 and Sony Alpha 1 cameras in Stock.

Also, the used Sony lens inventory has grown nicely, with many sought after models available.

Post Date: 2/4/2022 8:09:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 3, 2022

I tend to overshoot. While taking too many photos ensures that the optimal shot is on the card, that practice adds to the mental and time challenges of culling the results. The performance of the Canon EOS R5 and RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens combination increases that challenge.

In addition to getting the optimal shot, the extra images are sometimes useful for additional purposes. One of those purposes is illustrated here, making panorama processing possible.

After selecting the favorite animal position, I decided that including more background would improve the composition. The two selected images were manually merged in Photoshop.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 2/3/2022 12:47:36 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, February 2, 2022

We were at the gold mine to photograph picas, but the picas were not especially cooperative. However, a willow ptarmigan, a far less common subject for me, came by to show off his incredible camouflage, posing for a few photos.

As is often the case, the Canon EOS R5 with the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens mounted was an ideal combination for this opportunity.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
500mm  f/7.1  1/400s
ISO 320
7340 x 5345px
Post Date: 2/2/2022 9:58:35 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Sony's third quarter 2021 financial results are available on the Investor Relations page.

Presentation (track I&SS for the Imaging and Sensing Solutions segment)
Financial Statements
Supplementary Information Webcast

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Financial Statements
Post Date: 2/2/2022 7:33:15 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Tokina:

Tokina atx-m series E mount lens firmware update announcement

Dear Customers,

We sincerely thank you for your continued patronage and support of Tokina lenses.

We have found that some Tokina atx-m E mount lenses (below) may be subject to possible compatibility difficulties with upcoming camera firmware updates, or certain camera models to be released in the future.

In light of this, we would kindly ask that you check the firmware version of your lens, and update it accordingly if necessary. Steps on updating your lens' firmware can be found below. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Target models

Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE (EAN code: 4961607634486) Tokina New atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE (EAN code: 4961607640418) Tokina atx-m 23mm F1.4 E (EAN code: 4961607634585) Tokina atx-m 33mm F1.4 E (EAN code: 4961607634622) Tokina atx-m 56mm F1.4 E (EAN code: 4961607634639)

Update requiring products

Lens models with [02] stickers affixed to two sides of the package are the latest version. A firmware update is required for lens models that do not have this sticker affixed.

You can also check the version by selecting [MENU] ?[Setup]?[Version Display] in your camera. If the version display shows Lens Ver.02, the latest firmware is installed. Versions prior to "02" require a firmware update.

Firmware update procedure

Tokina atx-m 85mm F1.8 FE

Please contact Tokina support center directly or contact Tokina Official distributor in your country. In the message title please write: "Tokina atx-m 85mm firmware update request".

Contact form is here. Tokina Official distributor list is here.

Tokina atx-m 23mm F1.4 E | Tokina atx-m 33mm F1.4 E | Tokina atx-m 56mm F1.4 E

Please kindly update the firmware by yourself. The firmware update procedure is described in Downloads section.

Contact Information

Please use our Feedback form to contact Tokina support center for any questions or support on the matter.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Tokina Firmware Updates
Post Date: 2/2/2022 7:17:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Bull elk fights are exciting to watch, but most don't end well for one competitor or from a photography perspective. When elk fight, they lower their nose down, leaving the most important parts of a wildlife composition, the eyes and heads, occluded by the thick, tall grass common in the fight venues.

Another frequent hindrance to a good elk fight photo is being in the right position to photograph a single bull with a long prime lens. A second bull in the frame often requires at least twice the working distance, and the fight may be over by the time that distance is traversed. Also frequent is for one elk's back side to turn toward the camera, blocking all of the action.

The story was different on this day. The versatile Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens was mounted on the EOS R5 when the fight broke out, and the grass and weeds were thin and short.

Despite the excitement, I remembered to roll the shutter speed to 1/3200 (M mode, auto ISO, wide-open aperture) to freeze the action. The lens was zoomed to a focal length that contained the erratic action and focused on the mix of antlers and heads. Holding the shutter release down in continuous shooting mode ensured that this short fight produced a solid number of keeper images.

In this image, both bulls' eyes are visible, and the flying dirt helps to portray the intensity of the battle between these big bulls. Adding to my interest are the seemingly indifferent cows, along with the calf leaping out of the danger zone on the right side of the frame.

I often process my images to honor the original 3:2 aspect ratio, but that practice is not always optimal unless the end-use dictates such. Elk fights are often compositionally wide, and in this case, a wide crop seemed appropriate.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
176mm  f/5.0  1/3200s
ISO 320
7096 x 3999px
Post Date: 2/1/2022 12:30:54 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

The Capture One 22 (15.1.0) release notes provide the full details on this update.

From Capture One:

Remote collaboration made easier

Whether you’re working across different time zones or just in different rooms – get instant feedback on photoshoots with our newest service Capture One Live.

Just share the link with clients and teams anywhere in the world and they can immediately view, rate, and color tag photos as they are captured directly on any device. Plus, we're working on adding many more features like comments and easier watermarking over the coming months.

To see for yourself how it can make your remote collaboration easier, access your 5 free Live Sessions now – just make sure you’re on the latest version. And to get you started, we’ve released an expert tutorial you can check out here.

Get Capture One at B&H.

Post Date: 2/1/2022 7:09:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 31, 2022

From Sony:

A new update to the latest version of the Visual Story app is now available for iOS (click HERE to download) and Android (click HERE to download). In addition to an overall improved user experience, the update Version 2.2 will include the following enhancements:

  • iOS and Android versions of the Visual Story app will now be the same.
  • Both iOS and Android versions will be able to upload videos to Live Gallery.
  • Both iOS and Android versions will be able to upload video via USB direct, SD card and from the phone gallery/library.
  • Improved Live Gallery and Story Gallery experience with added SNS links for sharing.

Visual Story on iOS is available to download for free HERE.

Visual Story on Android is available to download for free HERE.

Learn more about Visual Story here.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 1/31/2022 12:54:50 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Sony Electronics Inc.:

The Canadian Press Makes Sony Electronics its Exclusive Provider for Imaging Products

Canada’s Largest News Organization will outfit all journalists with Sony cameras and lenses

TORONTO, CANADA – January 31, 2022 – Sony Electronics, a global imaging leader, and The Canadian Press, Canada’s trusted national news agency, announced today that Sony would be the exclusive imaging products provider for the media company.

With more than 180 journalists, The Canadian Press produces real-time, bilingual multimedia news published by major digital, broadcast and print media. The switch to Sony will mean the photojournalists and videographers at The Canadian Press will use a variety of Sony cameras and lenses including the Sony Alpha 1 and Alpha 9 II products to quickly capture hundreds of powerful editorial photos and videos every day, ranging from large-scale global sporting events to local Canadian news, politics and lifestyle content.

“We are honored to announce this collaboration with The Canadian Press, a leader in delivering news and best-in-class multimedia content across Canada,” said Mark Saddleton, Sony Canada Country Head and Director of Sales. “The journalists at The Canadian Press have a front row seat for Canada’s biggest events across politics, sports and entertainment and we are delighted to support their visual storytelling.”

“Sony’s innovative technology takes the high quality of our visual journalism to a whole new level,” said Malcolm Kirk, President of The Canadian Press. “More than 600 media clients rely on our online CP Images archive as the go-to destination for contemporary and historic multimedia imagery of Canada’s people, places and events. That’s why we were looking for more than just a camera provider. We needed a true partner committed to helping us deliver first-rate visual journalism.”

“Sony’s commitment goes beyond providing lightweight equipment for handling fast action, hostile situations, and extreme weather conditions, without sacrificing image quality,” said Megan Leach, who manages visual journalists at The Canadian Press and heads up the planning and packaging department. “Our journalists truly appreciate how the silent camera performance allows them to stay behind the scenes, but more importantly, that Sony is responsive to our feedback.”

“From the outset, they’ve taken a relationship-driven approach to the upgrade, which will bring a unified look to our coverage since all our staff photographers and reporters will be shooting with the same brand of cameras for photos and videos for the first time “They understood the ongoing training and support was as critical as the technology. We’re thrilled to have their support as we expand our visual coverage and meet the future needs of our industry.”

The roll out of Sony imaging kits to Canadian Press journalists is already in progress, with distribution planned throughout early 2022.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 1/31/2022 9:35:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 27, 2022

Learn more about the just-announced Rokinon AF 135mm f/1.8 FE Lens for Sony E at B&H.

Posted to: Sony News   Categories: Rokinon News, Samyang News
Post Date: 1/27/2022 12:50:01 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 24, 2022

Just posted: Sony Alpha 7 IV.

The a7 IV is a solid upgrade to its predecessor, the a7 III. While considered a basic model, the a7 IV has an excellent feature set, including an excellent AF system and considerably improved resolution. This camera is a good value.

Order the Sony Alpha 7 IV at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

Please share!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/24/2022 7:20:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, January 23, 2022

Elk calves were at the top of this Rocky Mountain National Park photo trip priority list. However, finding portrait volunteers was quite challenging. Challenge does make success sweeter.

Elk calves spend most of their time bedded, and bedded calves are much harder to find than those up on their hooves. Another challenge was finding the angle to photograph a bedded elk calf. The babies often go down amongst dead trees, brush, and other obstacles, and often, there are no good angles.

The camera angle shown in this image was the only one that worked for this calf, one of only a few bedded calves that were optimally photographable during this week.

Baby animals bring a cuteness factor to images that is hard to beat. So, start making plans to find the babies this spring.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 1/23/2022 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, January 22, 2022

The name of this forest fire came from its origin, but "Troublesome" was an understatement. If there could be any consolation, the fire's destruction provided unique photo opportunities.

Once again, a telephoto lens, the excellent Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens in this case, got the call for a landscape scene. The long focal length permitted a small section of the forest to be isolated. The bright curved lines of the blown and burnt tree trunks stood out in contrast to the charred forest floor.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
451mm  f/8.0  1/60s
ISO 160
8192 x 5572px
Post Date: 1/22/2022 8:56:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A heavenly light directs the eye to a pair of bighorn sheep ewes standing guard over a bedded lamb on top of this Badlands National Park ridge.

I was photographing the large thunderhead moving in when these bighorn sheep showed up. Then the cloud opened just wide enough to put a spotlight on the sheep.

I love it when wildlife photography and landscape photography combine.


A larger version of this image is available here.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
135mm  f/11.0  1/250s
ISO 100
8192 x 5464px
Post Date: 1/19/2022 9:57:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hummingbirds are fascinating, and a worthy challenge to photograph.

I was looking for elk (in Rocky Mountain National Park), but this broad-tailed hummingbird was consistently landing on the same branch, and spending a few moments waiting for that to happen resulted in some nice images.

Hummingbirds are tiny, and despite getting relatively close with the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens mounted, I was still focal length limited. As I said in the just shared mountain bluebird image, a high pixel density imaging sensor can save the day when deep cropping is required. The Sony Alpha 1's 50 MP resolution provided a good enough final image resolution.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 1/17/2022 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, January 17, 2022

The mountain bluebird is one of my favorite birds, and like many of my favorite birds, the color of this one is spectacular.

While this bird is relatively common in Rocky Mountain National Park, getting a good photo of one remains challenging. This morning, I was searching for elk when a bluebird landed in front of me, sitting long enough for a few photos.

Despite having the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS Lens mounted, I was focal length limited, and getting closer would have frightened the bird. A high pixel density imaging sensor can save the day when deep cropping is required. In this case, the Sony Alpha 1's 50 MP resolution provided a good enough final image resolution.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 1/17/2022 6:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Noise test results are now available on the Sony Alpha 7 IV page.

Create some comparisons. I'll get you started:

Sony Alpha 7 IV vs. Sony Alpha 7 III noise comparison.

Already a best seller, the Sony Alpha 7 IV is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

Please share!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/11/2022 8:04:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, January 9, 2022

I spent most of a day trying to stay far enough away from this buck to keep it in the frame. What a great problem to deal with.

Finding the ideal clearings in the woods was an even more significant challenge. Foreground obstructions, background distractions, and mottled light problems were high on the day's list of photography challenges.

Challenge reducing was the impressive performance of the Canon EOS R3 and RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens, immediately snapping focus on the eye I was looking at, capturing the ideal moments in time. Being able to position a focus point anywhere in the entire frame instantly is incredible.

This buck was in the woods, and the woods are full of distracting lines. As is often the case, the Canon RF 600mm F4 L IS USM Lens blurred the background distractions away. Few lenses, primarily only the 400 f/2.8 and 800mm f/5.6 options, can compete with 600mm f/4 background blur.

As mentioned, foreground obstructions were on the challenge list this day, and a downside to using the 600mm focal length in the woods is finding a clear path to the subject. The key is to predict where the animal will go (or where you most want it to go) and be in position when it arrives.

We typically want wildlife subjects to appear large. Especially when photographing whitetail deer, I frequently shoot from close to the ground as long as the surroundings provide a good line of sight. This camera position increases the likelihood of a catchlight in the animal's eye, adding life to the animal.


A larger version of this image is available here.

Post Date: 1/9/2022 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 7, 2022

Image quality test results from the Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM Lens are available on the Sony Alpha 7 IV page.

FE 135mm test results from the Sony Alpha 1, Sony Alpha a7R IV, and Sony Alpha a7R III are available for direct comparison. Additionally, many cameras have been tested with the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens, making the Sony Alpha 7 IV vs. Sony Alpha 7 III comparison available. That comparison shows the IV's significant resolution increase.

Order the Sony Alpha 7 IV at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

Please share!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 1/7/2022 10:24:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Sony a7 IV is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 34 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box a7 IV ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  6. insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size)
  9. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting Menu, 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formating)
  12. Shooting Menu, 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting Menu, 6 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  14. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  15. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  16. Shooting Menu, 10 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  17. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  18. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  19. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  20. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  21. Focus Menu, 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S
  22. Focus Menu, 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  23. Focus Menu, 3 Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  24. Focus Menu, 5 Peaking Display: On
  25. Playback Menu, 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  26. Playback Menu, 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  27. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  28. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder, press [enter]
  29. Setup Menu: 4 Custom Key/Dial Set.: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode); Rear Control Wheel: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  30. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  31. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  32. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  33. My Menu: Format; Shutter Type; Steady Shot; Face/Eye Subject; Anti-flicker Set.; Flash Comp.
  34. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust your setup as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 2, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 7 IV

Order the Sony Alpha 7 IV at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 1/6/2022 12:25:29 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Just posted: Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens Review

Upgrading to this lens can be fully justified by multiple enhancements, especially including sharper image quality and lighter weight.

Get the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens at B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX (in Stock)

Rent the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens from Lensrentals.

Please share!

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Camera Gear Review News
Post Date: 12/29/2021 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, December 28, 2021

As I maintain a mixed kit of Sony and Canon gear, I was anxious to see how the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens compared to the equivalent Canon lens, the RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the two lenses appear near equals. The Canon lens seems slightly sharper in the center of the frame from 70mm through 135mm, but any sharpness difference is not meaningful as a differentiator. At 200mm, the Sony lens has about one stop less peripheral shading to its advantage. The Canon lens has slight pincushion distortion at 70mm vs. a tiny amount of pincushion distortion. Both lenses trend toward pincushion distortion as their focal lengths are increased, with the Canon lens having less distortion than the Sony lens by 100mm and through 200mm. The Sony lens shows more color blur in the mid focal length range and blurs corner stars slightly more. The Canon lens produces slightly better specular highlight bokeh and slightly better points on sunstars.

The Sony lens mounted on an Alpha 1 in either AF-S or AF-C mode does not focus slowly, but the Canon lens with an EOS R5 behind it focuses noticeably faster in side-by-side testing. Neither lens makes much noise when focusing, but the Sony lens is slightly quieter.

The Sony lens is compatible with teleconverters, adding the versatility of up to the 140-400mm range with the 2x mounted. However, the teleconverter magnification is not without impact to the image quality, especially with the 2x in the optical path.

Most will find the smaller retracted size vs. fixed size the biggest differentiator between these lenses.

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens vs. Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens comparison shows, as seen in the comparison image above, the Canon lens measuring considerably smaller — when retracted. The compact Canon lens size is easier to stow a camera backpack and similar cases. Zoomed to 200mm, the Canon measures 0.27" (7mm) longer. Lenses maintaining a fixed size favor in-the-hand use, giving the Sony lens a different advantage.

When zoomed, the elements inside the lens move and repositioning elements can change the balance of the lens — regardless of the external size changing. However, the large objective lens elements remaining in position are advantageous in this regard, and the Sony lens maintains slightly better balance throughout the zoom range.

The Canon lens is slightly wider.

The Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens was introduced as the "World's Lightest Large-aperture Telephoto Zoom Lens", qualified to full-frame F2.8 70-200mm telephoto zoom lenses that support autofocus. The Sony lens is indeed lighter than the Canon lens, but the measured in-use (with tripod foot and hood) difference is only 2.9 oz (53.2g). Of that difference, 1.6 oz (13.3g) is in the hood weights. Few will find significance in the weight difference between these lenses.

The Sony lens features a front-positioned focus ring. Positioning the zoom ring toward the back of the lens provides a better balance for handheld zooming. Impacting the Sony lens's advantage is the aperture ring positioned behind the zoom ring. The aperture ring is a Sony lens feature advantage, but only for those intending to use it. Making space for the aperture ring shifts the zoom ring forward modestly, farther forward than the Canon lens's zoom ring.

The front element positioned farther forward of the mount gives the Sony lens a modestly better handheld balance at the wider focal lengths. The balance difference equalizes by the longer focal lengths.

Switches add control, but they also add complication, and the aperture ring adds two switches to the design. The zoom lock switch adds one to the Canon side of the equation, and the Sony DMF switch takes the count back to a two-switch lead. It is easier to tactilely find the Canon lens's switches, and the Canon lens's switches are less recessed and easier to use.

The Sony tripod hood is fully integrated and considerably smoother. However, the Canon lens's entire tripod collar can be removed (erasing the weight difference). The Sony lens collar's 90° marks are easier to align, and its tripod foot is removable (and replaceable with an integrated dovetail mount).

Consuming space utilized by the Sony lens's tripod collar is the Canon lens's control ring. Note that this ring can control the aperture.

The Sony lens has three focus hold buttons, and its hood window is tighter.

The additional fixed lens barrel length provides room for the Sony lens to have a longer focus ring.

At review time, the Sony lens costs $1.00 less than the Canon lens.

The bottom line is that both lenses are outstanding. Photographers deciding their camera brand choice at lens selection time will need to look carefully at the differentiating features between these lenses, along with those of the other lens models destined for their kit. In the end, most photographers with a Sony kit will choose the Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II Lens, and most photographers with a Canon kit will purchase the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens.

Post Date: 12/28/2021 9:46:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 27, 2021

From Tamron Japan (translated):

Tamron Co. , Ltd.

20mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F050)
24mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F051)
35mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F053)

Notice regarding use

Thank you for your continued patronage of Tamron products.

Our lenses 20mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F050), 24mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F051), 35mm F / 2.8 Di III OSD M1: 2 (Model F053) for Sony. We have confirmed that the following problems occur for E-mount, so we would like to inform you.

phenomenon

In combination with the a7 IV, AF switches to MF when shooting movies.

We are currently investigating and will provide details on the "Support Information" page at a later date.

In addition, customers who have registered with TAMRON BASE and wish to receive an e-mail newsletter will be notified by e-mail newsletter as soon as the details are available.

Support information here >>>
Registration is to TAMRON BASE here >>>

To customers, apologize from the bottom of my heart that you apologize for the inconvenience.

Learn more:

Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Lens Review
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Lens Review
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 Lens Review

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Tamron Announcements
Post Date: 12/27/2021 8:22:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 24, 2021

My family and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! As always, we hope that your Christmas season is filled with great meaning, great memories, and of course, great images.

Our Christmas tree represents a huge amount of work (primarily for my girls), and the results of their effort deserve preserving in a high quality image. After photographing the annual Christmas tree in the same location for 25 years, I have a few go-to shots dialed in.

An ultra-wide-angle focal length usually gets the selection. In addition to fitting the tree and surrounding space in the frame, this angle of view makes the room appear big, creating a more dramatic look.

There seems to be an outstanding ultra-wide angle lens choice introduced each year, and I seldom capture the tree photo with a lens previously used for that task. The Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens captured the Christmas 2020 tree, the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens captured the 2019 tree, and, going a bit narrower for a different look, the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM Lens took in the 2018 tree.

Which lens got the call for 2021? The impressive Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens.

At this time of the year, I know that I need to take pictures bracketing 5:15 PM by a few minutes to have deep blue sky color showing through the windows with the exposure balanced for the Christmas lights inside. No, I can't remember this time from year to year, but a calendar item reminds me (and EXIF information from the prior year's photos can be referenced).

F/16 images from any current digital camera, and especially from cameras with ultra-high pixel density, show a slight softness due to diffraction. However, I like the starburst effect that narrow apertures, such as f/16, create from point light sources, such as the candles in the windows.

Yes, compositing pictures taken with different apertures, f/8 and f/22 for example, could provide larger starbursts and sharper images, with still adequate depth of field. However, the points on the star rotate as the aperture is changed. This means that each entire starburst must be carefully contained to only one of the images during compositing in order to avoid misalignment.

Getting technical: if in-camera focus shift correction is combining with focus breathing, one image may be slightly magnified relative to the other, further complicating the compositing process.

Using f/16 with a little extra sharpening keeps the process simple — and the results are still very nice.

With only the tree and other decorative lights on, the exposure needs to be long — 30 seconds at ISO 160. The exposure duration means that only a few images can be captured during the perfect deep blue sky time.

Long exposures also mean that the tree ornaments must be still to avoid motion blur, and the floor vibrates when walked on, making the ornaments swing. One person walking across the room at the wrong time could eliminate one or two exposures from that short period. Thus, the photo day is (usually) selected for when I am home alone at 5:15 PM.

Setup starts about 30 minutes prior to the optimal shooting time. Due to lack of space for this composition, some furniture was moved out of the camera position. The LED thermostat light is blocked with sticky notes, oOttoman wheel tracks in the carpet are pressed out, etc.

The vertical lines in the windows (or sometimes a wall unit) on the right side of the frame look best when running parallel to the edge of the frame. Thus, a camera position leveled for both tilt and roll is usually selected. In this case, the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens especially impresses with its lack of geometric distortion (no correction was applied to this image), rendering the window frame straight.

I am fortunate to have a range of tripods to work with, and holding the Sony Alpha a7R IV and FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens combination steady indoors is not a support challenge. However, when shooting on carpet, I prefer a tripod with some weight (or spikes) to press into the carpet fibers, decreasing movement. The Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Mk2 Tripod and BH-55 Ball Head handled this job nicely.

With that, another Christmas tree photo is in the archives.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/24/2021 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, December 23, 2021

Lensrental's list of the Most Popular Photography & Videography Gear of 2021 is up.

Interesting is that Canon took 13 out of the 19 positions, with the Canon EOS R5 in the #1 slot. Sony took all but one of the remaining positions.

Reminder: Purchase a Lensrentals gift card and get a bonus card for 20% of the value! No coupon code required. This offer ends 12/25/2021.

Renting is a great option for trying new gear or for getting otherwise unaffordable gear to use for short periods of time.

Post Date: 12/23/2021 8:36:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

Bad news regarding the chip shortage from Sony Marketing Inc. (translated):

Dear customers,

Notice and apology regarding temporary suspension of orders for digital imaging products

Thank you for your continued patronage of Sony products.

Currently, with regard to digital imaging products, parts procurement is delayed due to the effects of global semiconductor shortages.

Therefore, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers at the Sony store as follows for specific models with tight supply.

In addition, we will inform you as follows because there is a change in the supply status of some products that are subject to suspension of order acceptance.

Suspension of order acceptance We will consider resuming order acceptance of the target product while observing the status of parts supply, and will separately inform you on the product information page.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers.

We will do our utmost to deliver the product as soon as possible, and we appreciate your understanding.

Record

Update date and timeproduct nameAbout supply status
December 23, 2021
Stop accepting orders
Digital SLR camera: a6600 series / a7C seriesAfter December 23, 2021, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers' orders at the Sony store.
Production completed on December 23, 2021Digital single-lens camera: a7 II series / a6100 seriesAt the time of the announcement on November 19, 2021, the a7 II series / a6100 body (black) was designated as a “product subject to suspension of order acceptance”, but since there is no prospect of future parts supply, 2021 Production will be completed on December 23rd.
December 3, 2021
Stop accepting orders
Digital single-lens camera: VLOGCAM ZV-E10 seriesAfter December 3, 2021, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers' orders at the Sony store.
November 19, 2021
Stop accepting orders
Digital single-lens camera: a7 II series / a6400 series / a6100 body (black)
Shotgun microphone: ECM-B1M
Professional camcorder: PXW-Z190
After November 19, 2021, we will suspend the acceptance of orders from our distributors and customers' orders at the Sony store.
Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Announcements
Post Date: 12/23/2021 7:46:08 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The top of a mountain in Acadia National Park is a great location to take in a sunset. Better still is to extend that sunset photography opportunity into night sky photography.

It is hard to make a bad composition of the milky way, but adding an interesting foreground usually improves nightscapes. My eye is naturally drawn to mountain peak markers, and the Bald Peak marker was available.

The next step in composing this image was determining the ideal balance of the marker with the milky way, and the camera position illustrated here seemed optimal of the accessible shot locations.

The Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM Lens is one of the best nightscape lenses ever made. While the ultra-wide f/1.4 aperture is one of this lens's key nightscape advantages, the 24mm f/1.4 depth of field is shallow, too shallow to keep this sign and milky way sharp. Thus, this capture required an image focused on the peak marker and another focused on the stars.

Post-processing the two image stack was simple. The images were layered into a Photoshop file, and a layer mask was added to the top layer. Painting the mask black reveals that portion of the layer below, the peak marker and rocks in this case.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/22/2021 9:31:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, December 21, 2021
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