From Aurora Aperture:
Press Release: Aurora Aperture Introduces PowerND Family and an Industry First Rear Mount Glass Filter for Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM Posted on April 21, 2017 Irvine, California, April 21, 2017 – Aurora Aperture Inc., a Southern California startup, today has introduced the PowerND family of high quality fixed neutral density (ND) filters.
The PowerND family consists of three ratings of light reduction capability: ND64 (6 stops),ND4000 (12 stops), and ND65000 (16 stops). Four different formats are available: circular filters from 37mm to 95mm, 100 x 100mm square filters compatible with popular square filter adapters, 150mm circular filters with an adapter for the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens, and the Aurora CR format, an industry first, a rear mount glass filter for the Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM lens.
The 6 stop filter is typically used in low light conditions such as during sunrise or sunset for sub-second shutter speed. The 12 stop filter can slow down shutter speed to minutes in dusk and dawn conditions. The 16 stop filter can do magic on a bright day, allowing photographers to expose up to several minutes or more.
The ND4000 and ND65000 have distinct advantages in having more stops than the typical ND1000 or ND32000. They allow users to avoid diffraction softening by enabling users to avoid very small aperture settings or alternatively allowing for longer exposures. In the case of the PowerND 4000 that means two more stops than the typical ND1000 and for the Power ND65000 there’s one additional stop.
“We introduced a variable ND family last year and it was embraced by photographers and videographers worldwide,” said Jinfu Chen, founder and CEO of Aurora Aperture Inc. “the fixed ND family we introduce today is much more powerful in terms of light reduction capability and offers even better optical performance, along with more formats for different camera lenses.”
A small rear mount filter using Gorilla Glass for the Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM is an industry first. Prior to this users would have to use extremely large filters with diameters up to 186mm with a bulky front lens shade adapter. The Aurora CR format filter mounts in the rear of the lens, making it much easier to carry and lower in cost. Other Canon lenses that Aurora CR format filter can be used in* are the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye, EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 14mm f/2.8L US, EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM, and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM.
Designed in California by Aurora Aperture, the Aurora PowerND filters employ up to 128 layers of double sided nano coating** in order to achieve color accuracy and powerful light reduction capability. Hydrophobic and oleophobic coating is applied to filter surface with PFPE coating. The end result is that water droplet on the filter surface can maintain a static contact angle of 110 degrees, one of the best in the industry.
Availability and Pricing
The Aurora PowerND family will be available through Kickstarter starting in April 2017 and to dealers and direct orders in August 2017. List price starts at US$42 and varies depending on filter format and size.
I know, you thought that you could avoid math if you pursued photography. But, there is one math test that all photographers must pass.
For this test, you need to answer two questions:
1. When was the last date you captured an image that you care about? In the equation above, that's value "A".
2. When was the last date you backed up all of your images with a copy stored at a trusted off-site location? That's value "B".
Subtract your second answer from your first to get "C", a duration in days (or go to hours for a higher precision). I know, date subtraction is not so easy, but ... hopefully the answer involves a small enough number for you to do the math in your head.
If the result is a near-zero value, I congratulate you heartily (0 is the perfect score). You are among a minority. If you needed to resort to a date calculator app to solve this math problem, you are in imminent danger of losing something important to you, perhaps an image collection that has taken a decade or longer to create. If your duration-since-last-backup calculation is multiple days, right now is when you need to do something about this problem. It is only a matter of time until you lose the images captured since your last backup – you can be assured that failure will happen.
If you don't know where to start, buy a few WD My Passport external hard drives at B&H, Adorama or Amazon. I have dozens of these drives, have used them for roughly a decade and have had no failures ever (I know, I'm due). These drives are very small (great for portability to the referenced off-site location), reasonably-priced and, with the latest models arriving in 4TB capacities, they hold a LOT of high resolution photos. Simply copy all of your images (and any other important files) to two or more drives and move at least one to a safe off-site location. Best is to use a rotation of multiple drives that insures all copies are never in the same location. Being a bit paranoid (AKA experienced in these matters), I use a double redundancy approach.
Hopefully you sleep better knowing that your images are safely backed up. If something terrible happens, such as a house fire, you can focus on getting you and your loved ones out of the house instead of making a desperate rescue attempt of a prized image collection.
Timely is that after I initially created this post but before I shared it, the SSD (Solid State Drive) in one of our laptops became corrupt.
Again, right now is the time to shore up your image preservation strategy.
As I mentioned in the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens review, a significant March snowstorm simultaneously arrived with this lens, dumping 19" of snow in less than a day. While that snow volume may seem miniscule to those in some locations, the amount was (or nearly was) a 24-hr record for this area. And, after the snow fell, the wind started. Wind of course brings about snow drifting and I knew where I might find some drifting effects to capture.
A 1 mile (1.6km) jog/hike in knee-deep snow brought me to a mountaintop field just prior to sunset where I successfully found interesting wind-formed wave-like patterns in the snow. The late-day low sun angle meant the patterns were side-lit, emphasizing their shapes along with some color temperature variance occurring between the sun-lit and shaded areas.
One of my favorite uses of wide angle focal lengths is to make close subjects appear large in relation to what is behind them and to keep what is behind them in sharp focus. The 15mm focal length worked great for application of this concept, emphasizing the uneven snow in the field. Note that I had to be careful to keep my shadow out of the frame.
A funny story: I took a somewhat different route back to home and unwittingly stepped over the edge of a bank and into a deep snowdrift. After sinking in well over my waist, the angle of the ground (once I finally reached it) caused me to continue sliding at an angle, leaving me strongly tipped and in about shoulder-deep. Any attempt to move caused me to sink deeper and trying to dig out was ... an unusual experience. Fortunately, the camera and lens were in a Lowepro Toploader Pro 70 AW case, so no worries there and after I brushed off, only the humor of the moment was remaining. Remember – photography can be as much about creating stories as it is about telling them.
If you do not already have an ultra-wide angle lens in your kit, definitely check out the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone or Firefly Lens. Either version of this lens can add a lot of capability to your kit for a low cost.
From the f64 Academy YouTube Channel:
One of the most common questions I receive is "Blake, how do I color correct my photos". For the longest time, I avoided this question like the plague because color correction can be done in so many ways. There are automated methods like selecting the color temperature and even simpler, pressing auto. However, these prescribed methods don't always produce the most accurate results and can sometimes make your image look worse than it did before you started.
I developed a pretty simple three-step method for color correction that is nearly infallible. It uses the vibrance adjustment to find out which color is most dominant, then the principles of color theory to correct for it.
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II firmware v.1.1.1 has been released. See details below. (thanks Trent)
From Canon USA:
Firmware Version 1.1.1 incorporates the following improvement and fix:
Download: Canon EOS 7D Mark II Firmware v.1.1.1
Nikon has published Nikon Technical Solutions | Radio-Controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting Tips for owners of the SB-5000 AF Speedlight, Nikon's first (and so far, only) radio-enabled flash.
OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 24/04/2017 - No matter if it is Star Wars, Harry Potter or Avatar: these days, just about every film features special effects. For many small film productions, having visual effects in their movie would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, making the image fit the look of the footage has required expensive tools – until now. At the NAB Show in Las Vegas, ZEISS presented new metadata technology that makes this possible: the company has equipped its new ZEISS CP.3 XD compact lens family with ZEISS eXtended Data.
ZEISS eXtended Data supports and enhances /i-Technology
What exactly is this? "ZEISS eXtended Data is the first metadata technology which stores the lens distortion and shading – for every single frame," explains Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. "Moreover, all /i-Technology metadata are recorded, including the focus distance, aperture value and depth of field, which is supported by most cameras." This makes the technology ideal for working with visual effects: by using the metadata, it just takes a few clicks to modify the image generated on the computer to fit the lens characteristics, and to then splice it together with the footage to create a realistic image. Distortion and shading can be corrected or even amplified in post-production.
"It used to be that only big blockbusters could take this approach," says Casenave. "Cine lenses that provide metadata are relatively expensive and, up until now, distortion and shading had to be manually measured – a time-consuming and expensive process." However, since ZEISS has incorporated the technology into its compact CP.3 XD cine lens family, low-budget productions can now take the same approach to creating their own special effects. "With ZEISS eXtended Data, we are offering Hollywood technology for everyone, providing small film teams with new creative opportunities."
An end-to-end solution: cooperation with Ambient and Pomfort
With the ZEISS CP.3 XD, ZEISS not only offers the lenses with metadata, but has also given thought to storage and processing. It has teamed up with partners in the industry: the company Ambient has developed the MasterLockit Plus system together with ZEISS. It records all metadata along with a time code in case the technology is not supported by the camera. "This way truly everyone can work with ZEISS eXtended Data, no matter what equipment they use," says Casenave. Thanks to the cooperation with the software developer Pomfort, distortion and shading can be modified on the set in real-time using the Pomfort tool LiveGrade Pro. The film crew already gets a sense of what the final look will be during the shoot. The film clips and lens data can be consolidated and organized with Silverstack, Pomfort's file manager.
ZEISS plans to further expand the new metadata technology in the future. "Our customers will then be able to upgrade to the new version, making the CP.3 XD a long-term investment," says Casenave.
Compact and light-weight
In addition to the metadata, filmmakers have even more reasons to get excited about the new lens family: the ten prime lenses between 15 and 135 millimeters cover full-frame. As is typical for ZEISS, the image has a clean, crisp look, and ZEISS says the image quality is excellent. "These lenses deliver outstanding results, even in light situations with a large dynamic range, i.e. highlights and shadows within the same scene," says Casenave. The maximum speed of the seven focal lengths between 25 and 135 millimeters is T2.1, the 15, 18 and 21 millimeter lenses have a speed of T2.9. With a front diameter of 95 millimeters, the lenses are light-weight and compact. They are particularly well-suited for hand-held filming or shooting with gimbals, Steadicam or drones. ZEISS has also improved focusing: the manual focus is now noticeably smoother. According to ZEISS, it is comparable with the ZEISS Master Primes and can also be operated with a small motor. The focus rotation angle is 300°. The lenses are equipped with an interchangeable mount so that they can be used on almost any camera. In addition to the ZEISS CP.3 XD, there is also a version available without metadata: the ZEISS CP.3.
Price and availability
Initially, a limited number of ZEISS CP.3 XD and CP.3 lenses will be available at dealers.
ZEISS CP.3 XD
retail price (EUR/USD)
|15mm/T2.9 XD||6,400 Euro / 7,490 USD||September|
|18mm/T2.9 XD||5,800 Euro / 6,690 USD||September|
|21mm/T2.9 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||September|
|25mm/T2.1 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||September|
|28mm/T2.1 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||October|
|35mm/T2.1 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||September|
|50mm/T2.1 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||September|
|85mm/T2.1 XD||5,000 Euro / 5,790 USD||September|
|100mm/T2.1 XD||5,800 Euro / 6,690 USD||September|
|135mm/T2.1 XD||6,400 Euro / 7,490 USD||September|
retail price (EUR/USD)
|15mm/T2.9||4,900 Euro / 6,090 USD||September|
|18mm/T2.9||4,300 Euro / 5,290 USD||July|
|21mm/T2.9||3,500 Euro / 4,390 USD||June|
|25mm/T2,1||3,500 Euro / 4,390 USD||June|
|28mm/T2.1||3,500 Euro / 4,390 USD||October|
|35mm/T2.1||3,500 Euro / 4,390 USD||June|
|50mm/T2.1||3,500 Euro / 4,390 USD||June|
|85mm/T2.1||3.500 Euro / 4.390 USD||June|
|100mm/T2.1||4,300 Euro / 5,290 USD||September|
|135mm/T2.1||4,900 Euro / 6,090 USD||September|
From the Nikon Europe YouTube Channel:
A macro lens will help you get up close and personal with your subject, allowing you to capture details that may not even be visible with the naked eye. Enriched detail, together with impressive depth of field separation, also makes these lenses great for more than just macro shots.
If you'd like more information on macro lenses, check out our post Photography 101: What Is a Macro Lens?
I don't often dedicate an entire post to just distortion results for a single lens, but ... I thought the results for this one were remarkable enough to highlight for you. If you are looking for an ultra-wide angle full frame lens that keeps your lines straight (attention architecture photographers), this one should have your attention. Here are some comparisons:
Canon has released their finanicial results for 1Q 2017. See below for more information.
From Canon Australia:
Sydney, Australia, 26 April 2017 – Canon Australia has announced that Season 2 of the brand’s locally produced Tales by Light photography adventure series will stream globally on Netflix from 21 April, following the successful launch of the Season 1 in November 2016.
A stunning cinematic experience, Tales by Light Season 2 builds on the concept established in the first series, following the journeys of acclaimed photographers as they pursue their personal projects. Comprising three in-depth episodes, Season 2 shows the endeavours of the photographers to challenge people’s perceptions through their art.
“The reaction to Tales by Light since it launched on Netflix in November has been amazing and an indication of the appetite for a photography-based series around the world,” says Director of Canon Australia’s consumer imaging business and Executive Producer for the series Jason McLean. “We know that people ultimately want help to unlock their potential with photography regardless of their level and this starts with inspiration, which is ultimately what Tales by Light is about.”
Prior to joining the Netflix documentary content line-up, Tales by Light Seasons 1 and 2 screened initially on the National Geographic Channel subscription network in Australia and New Zealand.
A brand in transition
Canon Australia has been on its own journey for the past several years, moving from the traditional focus on products and features into content and experiences that entertain, educate and inspire with the focus firmly on the photographer and their needs and ambitions.
“We’re now an experience brand dedicated to helping people achieve more with our products,” continues McLean. “Tales by Light is a great example of the value that we can offer and we continue that journey on our local brand site where we provide resources to nurture skills and creativity and celebrate people’s achievements more broadly. Our social media pages are almost entirely user-generated and are thriving communities of creative inspiration.”
Canon Australia was recently nominated in the top-five global sites in the Webby Awards “Best Social - Photography and Graphics” category alongside Red Bull, National Geographic and Nike’s Jordan Brand worldwide.”
WHERE TO VIEW
From the DJI YouTube Channel:
We give casual drone users the changes to fly using the DJI Goggles for the first time anywhere. Experience this incredible new way to fly along side them.
Note: My understading of the current drone regulations would make use of this device outdoors by the drone operator illegal in the U.S. unless a) flying under the Part 107 rule (requiring a remote pilot certificate) and b) a waiver for first-person view goggles is obtained. [Sean]
B&H has the Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens Bundle for Canon available for $1,749.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $2,326.95.
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.00 to 1.01
Download: Nikon 1 J5 Firmware v.1.01
Just posted: Canon EOS 77D Review.
It's a great little camera. The biggest surprise to me? A significantly deeper grip that allows me to hold the camera and up to a medium-sized lens with only the three fingers.
Redesigned Three-Axis Stabilized Gimbal System Lets Professionals Capture Smooth, Steady Footage in Every Situation
DJI, the world’s leader in creative camera technology, today introduced Ronin 2, the three-axis camera stabilizer redesigned to give filmmakers the freedom to capture any scene they can imagine. Based on DJI’s transformative gimbal technology, Ronin 2 has more power and torque to carry larger cameras, is more versatile to be used in every situation, and has more intelligent features to allow for unprecedented camera moves that help realize every creative vision.
“Ronin 2 dramatically improves every aspect of the camera operating experience and is the best stabilizer we have ever made,” said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Manager. “Completely redesigned to meet the needs of today’s camera professionals, Ronin 2 makes it easier than ever to capture stunning cinematic footage under the widest variety of situations.”
A Powerful Platform For Creative Freedom
Ronin 2 gives filmmakers complete freedom to select the right camera for the shot. An enlarged camera cage and 50mm extendable arms support everything from DSLRs to full cinematic cameras and lenses. Powerful gimbal motors ensure sufficient torque to handle payloads up to 30 pounds. Aided by onboard GPS, the powerful encoded motors let Ronin 2 travel at speeds of up to 75 mph while delivering the same 0.02 degrees of sub-pixel level precision that Ronin users have come to expect.
Versatile Mounts and Movements
With a new design and detachable Grip, Ronin 2 brings custom stabilization to the full range of camera mounts that directors rely on. From basic handheld and jib configurations to Ready Rig, plus cable cams, vehicles and drones, Ronin 2 provides a wide range of creative flexibility. A new two-axis operation mode for mounting to Steadicams offers unique and creative movements that were once impossible to perform. The quick release mount makes it easy to transfer seamlessly from one scene to the next, giving filmmakers new freedom to explore every perspective with stability and control. A redesigned dual band 2.4/5.8 GHz remote allows minimized interference for full control during remote and two-person operation at a range of nearly 1.5 kilometers.
Faster To Set Up and Easier To Use
Every detail of Ronin 2 has been improved for quick setup and easy operation. New axis locking levers and fine tuning knobs deliver faster and more precise balancing, while the Auto Tune Stability feature intelligently adjusts motor parameters for optimal use in seconds. A new integrated touch screen with 1,000 nits of brightness lets professionals directly configure the gimbal settings for on-the-fly adjustments and for full control of mounted RED cameras.
Redesigned Frame with Centralized Power
Ronin 2 features a redesigned carbon fiber monocoque style frame, providing the highest quality manufacturing ever in a handheld stabilized camera rig while making the platform durable, lightweight and easy to carry. New fold-away feet enable the operator to set the platform down during handheld filming without the need for a separate stand. A splash-proof enclosed motor design with internally routed power, SDI and data cabling enables worry-free shooting in the most demanding environments.
Integrated power and data ports make Ronin 2 a centralized system for cameras and all accessories without the need for multiple power systems. It features four 14.4-volt (8 amps total) ports near the camera cage, two 12.6-volt (4 amps total) ports near the pan motor, and one P-Tap 12.6-volt (4 amps) outlet on the battery mount.
Dual hot-swappable batteries provide continuous uptime without ever powering down. They are capable of operating simultaneously and independently to provide 2.5 hours of runtime to power the gimbal and a RED Dragon camera. Ronin 2 uses the same ultra-fast charging, high-capacity, self-heating batteries as the DJI Inspire 2, simplifying battery management and guaranteeing reliable power in extreme cold temperatures down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The battery system is fully detachable to provide a portable power supply for any 12-volt P-Tap powered camera or accessory.
Enhanced Intelligent Features
The completely updated DJI gimbal assistant mobile app provides a more intuitive and easier-to-use interface for bringing a cinematic vision to life. It includes new studio-oriented functions to easily capture complicated camera moves that once required specialized expertise or additional equipment.
The new Panorama mode automatically controls Ronin 2 to create still image panoramas that account for the camera sensor type and lens focal length as well as the user-defined overlap rate. Its new Timelapse mode can program multiple movements and camera actions at different points along a route, and view progress in real time. And the new CamAnchor mode lets operators quickly record a preferred gimbal orientation at particular locations, then revisit them with a simple touch as the camera moves from point to point.
The intelligent SmoothTrack system that provides stable images while the camera is on the move has been enhanced with an updated algorithm for keeping Ronin 2 in sync with the operator’s movements. For every scenario encountered by a professional camera, Ronin 2 users can fine-tune how their rig responds to new movements along all three axes.
Ronin 2 will be available in the second quarter of 2017 from DJI Authorized Retail Stores and DJI Resellers worldwide. Pricing will be announced prior to availability.
The SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce that the ultra-wide-angle zoom lens "SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art" and the ultimate lens for portraits and more "SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art" have won TIPA Awards 2017.
BEST DSLR WIDE ANGLE ZOOM LENS: SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art
Constructed with 16 elements in 11 groups, with FLD glass elements, an updated Hyper Sonic Motor with 1.3X torque for fast AF, and use of “the largest aspherical element in the industry”, this constant aperture wide angle zoom is designed for full-frame DSLRs but can also be used with APS-C sensor cameras to deliver a still impressive 18-36mm field of view (approximate, depending on camera model). With a minimum aperture of f/22 and close-focusing capability of 9.4 inches (24cm) at the 24mm focal length range, photographers can create unique images with startling depth of field, while the constant f/4 aperture and 9-bladed rounded diaphragm allows for outstanding bokeh effects.
BEST DSLR PRIME LENS: SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
Aimed at portrait photographers and those who want to create dramatic shallow depth of field effects, this full-frame 85mm lens in SIGMA’s Art series employs SLD (Special Low Dispersion Glass) and one element with a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and a high index of refraction. The lens contains a 9-bladed electronically controlled diaphragm, a hypersonic (HSM) motor for rapid and silent AF, and an AF system with 1.3X torque boost. Quality build features include a durable brass mount and a composite TSC barrel, a material known to provide consistent performance at extreme temperatures and is considerable lighter than other materials that would yield similar benefits.
While the Vibration Control feature alone is going to be upgrade-worthy to anyone using the previous Tamron 10-22mm Lens, the dramatically improved image quality over the copy we previously tested sends an even much stronger signal.
Following are a number of additional comparisons. Not all testing utilized the same camera, but visually accounting for the differences provides relevant comparisons nonetheless.
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Canon EF-S 10-22mm Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Canon EF-S 10-18mm Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 Lens
Tamron 10-24mm VC vs. Nikon 10-24mm Lens
From Nikon Europe:
'One telephone call changed the history of optics in Japan for sure.' Celebrated photographer, David Douglas Duncan, who turned 100 on Jan. 23, 2016, is one of the first photographers we've approached to share his experience with Nikon. Here, he shares how he first came across Nikon and this encounter played a crucial role in establishing Nikon's cameras and lenses worldwide.
'From his coverage of the Korean War, which gave birth to the celebrated book "This Is War!", to his intimate documentation of Pablo Picasso, Duncan has influenced generations of photographers.' (source)
When planning for a big photo daytrip, I usually have a packed-full itinerary carefully planned out and select the day based on the desired weather matching the forecast along with various other factors. But, sometimes even very careful planning does not work out.
This particular day had set up perfectly and I executed the plan, making the roughly 6-hour round trip drive to Philadelphia.
Upon arrival, I immediately discovered that preparations for the NFL Draft ceremonies, including installation of multiple enormous covered stages, had completely taken over the art museum, including the parking area I was planning to use. The backup plan was implemented for parking and the art museum, one of my intended subjects, quickly hit the questionable list.
The morning and early afternoon were forecasted to be cloudy and I drove in rain during much of the trip into the city. While that might not sound like the ideal forecast for city photography, the cloudy skies were going to provide ideal light for interior photography at a large church. Soft light coming in the windows would add life to the interior, but direct sunlight burning highlights into an image would be avoided.
Upon arrival at the church, I found the doors ... locked. The church's website said it would be open. The city employees watching over the area contacted their superiors and were told that the church was supposed to be open. Some church employees were even trying unsuccessfully to get in. About two hours later, the church was still locked and I gave up the wait, moving on to scout for later opportunities.
A blue hour ultra-wide angle view of the art museum entrance was on my to-photograph list for the day, so this was the next shot to be scouted/planned for. Because this view faces somewhat into the setting sun, the ideal blue hour timing was slightly later than another blue hour photo I had planned. I worked through the NFL Draft construction project and a security worker permitted me to go to the top of the art museum steps (the ones "Rocky" climbed) behind the main NFL Draft stage. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the top of the steps, I discovered more large tents covering most of the main entrance. Scratch primary photo #2 from the list.
Scouting the view from the Spring Garden Street Bridge was next on the list. The goal was to photograph the downtown skyscrapers bathed in the warm late day light and a clear sky to the west was needed for that. The skies were forecasted to clear in the afternoon but I was not optimistic of the clearing happening in time. Finally, in late afternoon, the heavy clouds quickly moved past, showing a beautiful blue sky.
I arrived at this location quite early and set up two tripods with a pair of Canon EOS 5Ds R cameras with Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lenses mounted. I waited, watching the perfectly clear sky with highly anticipated success, but alas, just minutes before the sweet light happened, a cloud bank rolled in and shut down the light, erasing major photo goal #3.
With three of five planned image series already failed, the day was not shaping up well, but two photo goals remained. Fortunately, the cloud bank that shut down the city-in-sweet-light image did not make it past the city before darkness and photo opportunity #4, the image shared here, was a home run.
The ideal blue hour light only lasts a few minutes and the ideal time is often easier to best-determine when reviewing the images on a computer at home, so I simply shoot constantly through that short time window. However, a clue to when the time is ideal is when proper f/16 exposures are between 15 and 30 seconds.
Why f/16? Live View with DOF preview showed that I had enough depth of field at f/8 and the images would have been sharper if captured at that aperture, but ... I like the star effect that a narrow aperture creates from the city lights. The straight lines from the city buildings sharpen nicely even at f/16 and I seldom regret this aperture choice for this purpose.
Because I was shooting from an elevated bridge, the camera was able to be leveled (for both pitch and roll), a requirement if keeping the edges of the buildings vertically straight is desired. Another takeaway from this image is that telephoto lenses are great for cityscape photography. Telephoto focal lengths keep distant subjects large in the frame and the city skyscrapers were a primary subject, so keeping them large was desirable.
With the blue hour past and a good set of images captured on two cameras, it was time to make photo #5 happen. The goal was a nighttime photo of City Hall from the center of S. Broad St. and getting there required a 1.6 mi (2.6km) walk. I had been carrying a heavily-loaded MindShift Gear BackLight 26L (including two tripods) all day, but ... whatever it takes is the motto of many photographers. I could rest on the drive back home.
Upon arriving at City Hall, I discovered huge – you guessed it – NFL Draft banners adorning each side of City Hall. While a photo with the banner may have been good for memories of the event happening in this city, it was not what I wanted. I was tired and opted to simply walk back to car.
So, out of 5 potentially great series of photos, I brought only one home with me. While that batting average is not very good, I'm happy with the images I did get and another positive spin is that ... I will not need to do much research to make another day-filled photo itinerary for this city with a hopefully-more-productive result. Alas, the NFL Draft will forever be a memory as there it is, advertised on the large blue billboard near the center of every frame I captured here.
Sony's a9 Mirrorless Camera aimed at sports photographers is now available for preorder. The Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens is now also available for preorder.
Note that the 77D results were copied to create the Rebel T7i results. These two cameras are very similar and the image quality they deliver is the same. Thus, it did not make sense to invest the time needed to test both. Here are some observations:
The lighting on the color chart used for the noise level evaluation is measured for consistency using a Sekonic L-478DR Light Meter. Manual exposure mode is used for test image capture with prescribed exposure settings for each ISO setting and all RAW images are identically processed for the standard results. Interesting is that 77D results are identical to the 80D in brightness, but the images from this copy of the M6, captured immediately after the 77D results, are slightly brighter (by about .25 stops). A set of -.25 EV adjusted results are provided for an equalized brightness.
For the best image quality, should I get the Canon EOS 80D, Canon EOS 77D, Rebel T7i, M5 or M6? The answer to that question is ... it doesn't matter. While there are many feature differences between these models, it would be hard to argue that one delivers better image quality than the others.
April 21st, 2017, Seoul, South Korea – Global optics brand, Samyang Optics announce a new 16mm T2.6 cine lens, designed specifically for video shooting with uncoupled gear rings with T numbers. This launch adds one more lens to the existing 18 cine lenses for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
Since 2012, Samyang Optics has released its cine lenses based on the needs of professional videographers. Satisfied with the image quality of Samyang lenses, videographers continuously requested for cine lenses and as an answer, Samyang launched cine lens line up.
This new launch expands the cine lens line up to a total of 19 lenses: 13 for DSLR cameras varying from 8mm fisheye to 135mm telephoto and 6 for mirrorless cameras varying from 8mm to 50mm.
Inheriting the renowned image quality of Samyang’s wide-angle lenses, the 16mm angle of view is commonly used by directors of photography around the globe for its versatile usage for wide-angled emotional scenes in film and videos. Along with the existing 14mm, 20mm and 24mm, this new lens will realise the delicate changes in the scenes.
As a ‘Total Imaging Solution’ optics brand, Samyang Optics now offers 51 lenses: 2 premium XP photo lenses, 2 autofocus lenses, 19 manual focus photo lenses, 19 cine lenses and 9 professional cinema lenses specifically under XEEN brand.
Launched to complete the Samyang cine lens line up, this new 16mm T2.6 will be available globally from June and will carry a suggested retail price of EUR 599.00. For more information, visit the Samyang social media channels.
From the Nikkei Asian Review:
TOKYO -- Canon probably saw its group operating profit roughly double on the year in the January-March quarter to about 80 billion yen ($733 million), thanks to successful acquisitions and strong overseas sales of cameras and printers.Read the entire article on the Nikkei Asian Review.
Sales apparently grew 20% to just over 950 billion yen. Official quarterly results are due out Wednesday.
Toshiba Medical Systems, which Canon bought last year for 665.5 billion yen, is believed to be responsible for about 70% of the profit boost. Past acquisitions, including commercial printer and surveillance camera makers in Europe, probably also posted strong results.