In my experience, there are two kinds of great lenses. The first is the kind that gets the job done. These lenses are technically amazing and produce extremely high-quality images. The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art is one of those lenses. It produces sharp, high-contrast images time and time again. But it doesn’t really have character — a feeling — of its own. This brings me to the second category of great lenses. Every now and again a manufacturer produces something truly special, a lens with qualities that can't be measured on an MTF chart or in lab testing. Nikon's Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G is one of those lenses.
A few months ago I got an email from Rhino Camera Gear asking if I would like to beta test their new slider. I didn't really know anything about this product and I quickly forgot about it until it showed up at our office a few days ago. I had no idea that this would be one of the most impressive products I've tested in years.
The guys over at Alpine Labs have announced a new Kickstarter campaign to fund their follow-up time-lapse motion control system, the Radian 2. Packed with the same features as the Radian, this new version adds a wireless preview of your time-lapse and complete control of your camera via USB allowing you to change camera settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO while shooting. But one of the most welcomed features is the ability to pair the Radian 2 with select sliders adding motorized slide movements to your time-lapse making Radian a complete motion control time-lapse platform.
The legendary photography brand LEE Filters, founded in 1961, has announced a new version of their popular SW150 filter system specially designed to be compatible with a broader range of ultra wide-angle lenses. This system is designed to adapt filters to ultra wide-angle lenses with built-in petal sunshade lens hoods and without screw threads.
As a fairly established photographer, many beginners ask me what camera to buy to get started. What’s more important: body or lenses? Or is it the brand? My standard advice has always been to buy a cheap, used body and save your money for quality lenses. A beginner just doesn't need a high-end camera. That’s easy to say, of course, when you shoot on a Nikon D800 with some pretty nice glass. Perhaps it was time to do a little experimenting of my own to see what, if any, difference there was between a top end camera and something cheap.
May is upon us, wedding photographers. Its the beginning of the season and we need to prepare ourselves for the long haul. Sure, we could brushing up on lighting techniques, talk about new lenses, buy faster cards, or argue about presets, but what we really need to think about are the intangible must-haves. The greens socks, my friends. That's right, I said socks.
Coming off of its previous reputation as an extreme budget brand when it came to DSLR lenses, Sigma has now had well over two years to fend off quality concerns with their restructured Global Vision lineup that began with the superb 35mm f/1.4 Art lens. Since then, Sigma’s Art-, Contemporary-, and Sport-series lenses have proven themselves better than or on par with their Nikon and Canon counterparts for far less capital; and the 24mm f/1.4 Art gives us no reason to suspect the new direction doesn’t have a clear vision to go global.
CrossFit is taking the world by storm. With 11,000 affiliates and growing, it has become a great way to get into shape and is an untapped resource for photographers to sharpen their skills. I started shooting CrossFit as a member in 2010 and learned many things along the way. This is what I learned and how you can improve your skill set.
The legendary photography company Leica has announced the new M Monochom (type 246) camera, a follow up to the M Monochrome black-and-white shooting rangefinder. The new digital camera boasts a faster Maestro image processor, 2 GB buffer memory, 24-megapixel black-and-white full-frame sensor, live-view zoom, focus peaking, and 1080p Full-HD video.
If you aren’t familiar with the work of Dave Lehl, it’s about time that you change that. Dave is not only one of the top photographers in the snowboard industry, but he consistently creates work that transcends genres and has landed him gigs shooting for a list of clients that includes the likes of Red Bull, Nike, and Lamborghini. He has been published in nearly every major snowboard magazine including the covers of Pleasure Mag and Transworld Japan’s photo annuals.
GoPro today announced it has plans to acquire the virtual reality software company Kolor. The France based company develops tools for spherical 360-degree videos and panoramas. With the rise in VR technology hardware like the Oculus Rift, purchased by Facebook in 2014 for $2 Billion, it's easy to see what GoPro has planned for their acquisition.
Sony today announced a price drop in their inaugural a7, making it Sony's first full-frame, mirrorless camera below $1,000. This $300 instant savings over the original $1,300 price tag is fantastic news for photographers looking to add a solid mirrorless camera to their gear bag. Retailers like B&H, are selling the body for $998 with free shipping. Check out Fstoppers' take on the a7 and a7R when first announced back in November 2013.
Do you want your sensor to shift in-body to create a higher-resolution image? Want 4.5-stop image stabilization built into the body so we can benefit from its use with any lens? Want to be able to decide for every shot exactly what level of anti-aliasing you want in order to balance moiré and sharpness? It’s all possible with the new 24-megapixel, APS-C Pentax K-3 II. And, it'll likely be possible in their rumored full-frame camera. Pentax is great, but why aren’t we seeing the “bigger” brands pony up with groundbreaking features?
With budget options for aerial video becoming more affordable, while the quality and abilities of the cameras they host getting better, I knew it was only a matter or time until I got my hands on such a system. Even though I was a little skeptical from the onset, I’m pleased to say that the DJI Inspire is a phenomenal drone/quadcopter unit for adding dramatic footage to video or still projects, even for first time users.