You might someday find yourself working within the overall vision of someone else – like an editor, an art director or, in this case, a director of photography – when shooting on assignment for publications as big as Sports Illustrated. Limited time with your subject and being asked for simple lighting against a simple background isn’t uncommon in this industry. So how would you go about getting the type of photographs your employer wants plus creating a dramatically lit and colored set for yourself?
When I got a chance to try the new Fuji XF56mm f1.2 I jumped at it, not just because it was substantially cheaper and lighter than the Canon 85mm f1.2 II I’d played with last year, but because this lens is a clear shot across the bow at Canon and Nikon, with a lens aimed at professional portrait shooters. This was a new line in the sand, but could this thing play with the big boys?
Last month, Lytro announced their second generation light field camera they call Illum. The Illum system is clearly geared at serious amateur and professional photographers interested in experimenting with variable focus photography. This new mini-documentary features photographers using the Illum system, the technology behind it, and their creative process.
Last month, the guys at PetaPixel reported the first successful recovery of stolen gear due to the service Lenstag. In related and more recent news, this past weekend a pawn shop in Boston, Massachusetts did a little detective work of their own to recover a stolen Nikon D3100.
Sony posted some pretty staggering losses last week, and Nikon is apparently not faring much better as the company stock value fell "4 percent to 1,567 yen, its lowest close since March 2011. The company announced net income of 46.8 billion yen for last fiscal year, missing its own forecast of 50 billion yen.*" When peering at the chart of stock value over the last year, it's not a great outlook.
Sony's high ISO full frame compact camera announced earlier this year finally has a price: $2,498. It's more than the a7r and a7 and probably more than some of you guessed. That said, the performance of the ISO is impressive and if they are able to solve the rolling shutter issues with a firmware update it stands to be a heck of a camera. In addition to pricing, we also have specifications for the new full-frame compact, and B&H is now accepting pre-orders.
Just the other day, Canon announced the 16-35mm f/4L IS lens. The general announcement was left with confusion, anger, annoyance and felt an awful lot like when Canon announced the unnecessary 24-70mm f/4 IS back in 2012. Between these announcements and others much like it, as well as general quietness on announcing an updated 50mm lens, we have to ask...What’s the problem, Canon?
Nikon provided a new video highlighting the benefits of using its fluorine coating, first used on the just-announced updated 400mm f/2.8 lens. In addition to adding a certain clarity to the image because of its antireflective properties, the new 400mm f/2.8 benefits from the fluorine coating's ability to repel just about anything that might hit it. I want this on all of my lenses!
Sony, a company I think many of us really want to succeed in the imaging space, posted their fiscal year results that ended March 31, 2014. The company reported a $1.29 billion loss overall with the imaging division down 2% over last year, the third straight year of losses for the division.
Finally, the last Nikon product announcement for the day: Nikon has just rolled out the new Nikon 1 S2 mirrorless camera system, an update to the 2013 Nikon 1 S1. The new S2 features a 14.2 MP sensor (up around 4 MP from the S1), shoots full-HD 1020p video, and fires at 20 FPS. It comes in four colors, and will have a price of $446.95 (including the kit 11-27.5 f/3.5-5.6 kit lens).
If you plan on picking up the newly announced Nikon 400mm f/2.8E you'll definitely be interested in looking into the new TC-14E III, Nikon's latest 1.4x teleconverter. This baby will boost the focal length of your lens by 1.4x, only reducing the light by one stop. This will effectively turn your 70-200 f/2.8 into a 98-280 f/4.0, or that new 400 f/2.8 into a crazy 560mm f/4.0.