I’ve seen the future of film... and it is bright. In the next few weeks I will be interviewing companies that are pushing the film photography industry forward. As the large film companies cut film stocks from production, these people are pushing forward. Developing new films, cameras, products, and services. This week, I start with CineStill.
Photokina saw some really awesome product announcements, one release that you might have missed was the Voigtlander 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens for Sony's FE mount. This weird little lens is will come in Leica's M mount but will not, I repeat, will not, work on Leicas due to the lack of helicoid for focusing. Rather, it's been designed to be used with the VM-E close foucs adapter.
Ever since the Sony a7S was released, the photography world has been abuzz about its incredible low-light performance. The folks at California based Carbon Studios were motivated to test just how well the a7S would perform under the dim natural lighting conditions of a full moon. Enter their latest short film, “Moonlight.”
Oregon based photographer and filmmaker Ben Canales decided to take his shiny new iPhone 6 Plus to the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to create a short film to show off the power of the new pop tart sized phablet. The resulting footage is great, but is Ben in fear of losing some business to iPhone cinematographers?
Earlier this year at WPPI in Las Vegas, I stopped by the Benro/MeFoto booth to tell the team how much I loved the MeFoto tripod... but it was lacking in just a few places for a traveling videographer. Yes, the MeFoto was really compact, light weight and quick to set up, but I wanted clip locks and a smooth video pan head without sacrificing the size and weight the MeFoto offered. It seemed like an impossible request, until seven months later they delivered me the Benro Aero.
Schneider has just announced three beautiful new DSLR lenses for still photography. Their lenses have long been the gold standard in cinema glass and they're bringing that level of craftsmanship to these three manual focus lenses. The arms race towards ultimate optical performance is getting very interesting. The latest full frame digital sensors are finally starting to push lens design's limits and these should be near the top performing lenses available when they release.
Austin Mann recently got hold of the new iPhone 6 Plus after Apple’s Keynote at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. In partnership with The Verge, he set out on an amazing adventure through Iceland with the phone in tow. His reason? He wanted to put the iPhone 6 Plus camera through the test to see how much has improved since the iPhone 5s. His results? From focus pixels, focus control, time-lapse and slo-mo, Apple has made all the right improvements and innovations with their iSight camera. The new features are “enabling iPhone users to better capture and share life” says Mann.
Over the past month I've been hard at work testing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema (BMPCC) camera in a variety of situations for an Fstoppers review (since they updated the firmware, it's like an entirely new camera). While that review is still in progress as of today, I did want to talk to you guys about one piece of equipment that made shooting with it a great experience: the Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds Adapter for the BMPCC.
The old photographers’ saying, “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” sounds like a self-serving flattery when it comes out of the mouth of a photographer, yet has never been more accurate than today. Its ironic how, as a professional photographer, I posses the knowledge of manipulating the most sophisticated gear and cameras available, yet when I shoot an image on the iPhone the resulting image is an embarrassment. Rushing to my defense I’ll utter each time, “I’m a terrible iPhone photographer…” So when I see amazing images, shot with the iPhone, I’m impressed with what can be achieved.
Quick update: Sigma's newly announced 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens (unveiled last week) already has a confirmed price point: $1,999. It will be available some time in October, with a specific date not yet given. At that price point, it's much higher than the Tamron we reviewed earlier this year, so Sigma must believe the performance and build quality to outperform the Tamron.
Though they are excellent for photographers, Pelican seemed to fall into the industry rather than build specifically for it. But with options between the ubiquitous Velcro inserts and foam, there hasn't been a lot to complain about in the design and function. They do exactly what they claim to, extremely well. However after using Lowepro's first attempt at hard cases, I can now see room for improvement. I think the perfect hard case is somewhere in between the two brands' offerings, but Lowepro is closer to the mark.
MindShift Gear used the excitement of Photokina to announce two brand new backpacks that will feature the companies award winning technology in a lighter and more compact photography pack. With travel photographers in mind, MindShift Gear has released these new backpacks, entitled the rotation 180º travel away, and the slightly smaller rotation 180º trail.
Hasselblad and PhaseOne are officially flip-flopping as PhaseOne just added its no-WiFi IQ150 following a much earlier IQ250 announcement and Hasselblad is now releasing a WiFi-enabled version of its H5D-50c. In addition to WiFi, the new version brings several firmware-related improvements that will find their way into the current H5D-50c and CFV-50c models via a future update.
Last year, I reviewed the Profoto B1 Strobe, and named it the best strobe on the market today. Phottix is looking to take that crown with their newly released Indra500 TTL, a 500w/s studio strobe with an optional battery pack. What puts it ahead of the competition? How about TTL built in, as well as High Speed Sync.