If there is one lens manufacturer whose heritage exudes excellence, it’s Zeiss. They are the Ferrari, the Lamborghini of camera optical glass and with that reputation comes their, usually, extremely high price. And much like a Lamborghini, the Zeiss is a no-frills powerhouse that does one well-designed thing: as the Lamborghini is fast, the Zeiss is sharp. Zeiss’ latest telephoto prime is no exception, and the 135mm f/2.0 APO SONNAR is truly magnificent. [more]
Lowepro’s new DryZone bags come in two different models, a 40-Liter backpack (40L) and a 20-Liter duffel (20L). Lowepro has been making bags for years, and these are a new entry into their DryZone series. These new bags have an IPX6 waterproof rating, which means they can take a significant amount of water blasted onto them and keep your kit dry. Think rappelling through a waterfall or taking on some white water rapids in a small boat. This review will focus solely on my experiences with the 20L and how well it performed. [more]
The Nikon 200mm f/2 VR II is one of those lenses you always read about, but short of running into a professional sporting event, an affluent amateur, or Ryan Brenizer you just don’t see them. They’re rare and they’re expensive, but besides the obvious lust factor of the lens, is it any good?
Shock, dismay, joy, and envy. These emotions have been running wild since Sigma announced their new 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens. It’s the first lens in our modern age to maintain that open of an aperture through a zoom range and it’s also equipped with auto focus. This type of innovation has been unheard of from Sigma until recently, but now it’s almost expected. The main question I wanted to answer about this lens was: “Is this lens for real, or relying too heavily on the hyped, somewhat gimmicky nature of that innovation?” [more]
Tim Hetherington, without a doubt stands high among the elite of war photographers.
There is no way that one can possibly encompass the magnitude of an individual within the pages of a single book. Alan Huffman makes that attempt with his biography Here I am: The Story of Tim Hethergington, War Photographer.
The FujiFilm X100S appears to be the camera everyone is seeking this summer. The upgrade to the highly successful X100 has promised faster speeds and additional features and the early reports have been singing its praise. So much praise, in fact, that Zack Arias recently made the statement that it will single handedly kill the DSLR in its tracks. But will it? [more]
Large, imposing and drop dead gorgeous, the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM AF is one hell of a lens. Sigma has done an outstanding job in recent months producing some top quality lenses and they didn’t let up on the gas with the first Sport category offering in their new global vision. With two levels of optical stabilization, a wide open f/2.8 aperture, crazy fast and accurate AF and a beautiful body build, you want this lens, even if you don’t know it yet. [more]
The Nikon 135mm f/2 DC is a bit of a gem in the portrait game but as the title might suggest, you might not have heard of this lens. This may be due to one of a few reasons: The primary being that it’s a reasonably old lens; it hasn’t been updated optically in its nearly 25 years in the Nikon lineup. Another being that even if you have heard of it, it’s probably because it has gotten a bad reputation as a “soft focus” lens due to its unique Defocus Control feature. [more]
Sigma, hot on the heels of the outstandingly successful 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, has been releasing and announcing new lenses in their Global Vision realignment like crazy. Recently they released the 30mm f/1.4 lens for APS-C cameras, and I had high expectations for it after being told that the president of Sigma was aiming it to meet the performance set by the 35mm. So did it? [more]
Monopods, once really only useful in a handful of situations, have evolved into irreplaceable members of our creative arsenals due to the advent of high quality video being produced in DSLRs. The idea of a “video monopod” might frighten video purists, but there are those such as Patrick Hall and myself who swear by them. Manfrotto’s version was a fantastic foray into the medium, but slightly pricey. Benro recently released their more affordable versions, and I was more than ready to see if they were able to hold their own. [more]
Beauty retouching can be an arduous task in any photographer’s workflow. The amount of detail that can go into retouching a glamor portrait can easily run into several hours. Learning the secrets of the pros can be even more difficult. Julia Kuzmenko McKim has made learning easy with her new book entitled ’Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography‘ [more]
I’m a strobist by heart. When I first got into photography, I didn’t even begin shooting portrait work until after I had gotten at least a flash. That purchase, quickly turned into studio strobe after studio strobe until I found that I was completely controlling all light sources during my shoots. So who better to review SLRLounge’s latest DVD, ‘Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop’, right? [more]
While walking the floor at WPPI, there was one item we kept seeing over and over again: the MeFoto tripod. It seemed like everyone had one, and we had never heard of the brand. So we spoke with the guys at the MeFoto booth who agreed to let us test them out. Now after using all three sizes of MeFoto tripods, I can see why they were everywhere: they’re excellent. [more]
As a wedding photographer, I run around a lot and need to be ready for any moment. Because the day of a shoot can always bring surprises, I have a motto of always being prepared with extras of everything. Usually this means my assistant or I lug around a bag or two with extra flashes, batteries, and other accessories. I’m always looking for things to help me smooth out my work flow and make any wedding day easier to handle. So, when Spider Camera Holster released their new Spider Monkey for camera accessories at WPPI 2013, I was eager to try them out. [more]
For those photographers who do most of their work on the move, finding light-weight equipment that can really adapt to different situations is a tall order. Sometimes, even the most compact tripod or light stand still won’t fit into spaces or stay out of the way. The gratuitously named Nasty Clamps aim to amend that situation with their attach-anywhere attitude. [more]