Let’s be honest with ourselves. We don’t always need to bring four or five lenses, two camera bodies, and a portable lighting studio with us every time we leave the house. Sometimes it makes sense to own a lightweight secondary grab-and-go day pack that offers more than just camera storage. In this article I take a look at the Mountainsmith Spectrum, a $90 split-use backpack that’s ready to rock.
A good camera strap is something that a lot of people don't find important until they actually try a good camera strap. I have found that getting the camera off of my neck and onto my shoulders to make a world of difference while shooting and especially the day after shooting. This becomes even more important when you are dealing with the added weight of carrying dual cameras. Enter the Clydesdale Pro-DLX from RL Handcrafts.
I have always preferred simplicity when it comes to lighting portraits. When connecting with a model or subject, especially when working without assistants, I hate having to deal with several lights or various flags, cutters, and bounce cards. This way I can work the camera and move around without having to worry about tripping over my whole setup, and my subject feels more comfortable without obtrusive equipment crowding them. Also, if the model can move around a little, I feel that I can get far more natural poses when they aren't confined by specific lighting. My favorite lighting tool to "keep it simple" with is the Westcott 7-foot Parabolic Umbrella.
As a former standard zoom lens user, I noticed that 28mm was one of my most preferred focal lengths according to the metadata in my image catalog. Seeing this choice that I've made subconsciously, as well as the obvious advantages of using primes, I finally decided to switch all my zoom lenses with primes. The Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G was my final choice for a wide-angle prime. So far, it looks like I've made a good decision.
Hard drives are cool again. What used to be just a repository for data has evolved into a multifunctional device that can store data, back up your memory cards in the field without a computer, charge your phone, and even act as a WiFi hotspot. The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro can do all those things, making it an intriguing option for those of us who desire portability and capability in one device.
There are all kinds of things designed to make the job of carrying around camera gear easier: bags, hard cases, totes, rollers, etc. But there's something we always have with us (I hope): our clothing. SCOTTeVEST took note of this and created the Revolution jacket, designed specifically with photographers in mind.
The world's fastest zoom lens for 35mm full frame cameras is the Sigma 24-35mm f/2, and it's one way to follow up from making the world's fastest zoom for APS-C. Sigma has been making hit after hit for a few years now, leaving their "budget" lens brand stigma in the dust behind them. Having a 24-35mm may seem like an odd focal-length range that wouldn't be too useful, but I have found it to be an excellent range for a lot of the work I do in editorial and family portraiture. Let's start with just how it fits in my camera bag.
Earlier this year, Pentax released the K-1, its first foray into the digital full-frame market and a camera surrounded by a healthy dose of excitement and intrigue. I've had the chance to use it and some of the new system lenses for the past month. It's a fun and highly capable system that could be just the ticket for many photographers.
As a solo business owner, I find a good portion of my time has me tethered to a screen. For me, that means being at home in my office as I work on a desktop. I prefer having a large monitor to work on and the cost/performance ratio of laptops was prohibitive when looking at a primary machine. Recently, I also have found myself wasting a lot of time in between shoots - either waiting for the next shoot to start, or on public transport twiddling my thumbs - that could be used much more effectively. So, I decided to invest in a new laptop, and my searches took me to the Dell XPS 15 UHD.
I’m a huge fan of gimbal stabilizers, and absolutely love how easy it is to get dreamy, floating footage with these relatively inexpensive accessories. A lot of attention has been on products like the MoVi and Ronin, but other manufacturers have stepped up their game and are making products that are just as competitive in terms of features and price. One such item is the Moza Lite II, which I’ve been reviewing for the last few weeks.
The iconic AlienBee has been one of the most popular strobe units ever since their debut in 2001, and for good reason. Developed to be the perfect balance of price and quality (which is something that's tricky to pull off in the world of gear) their reputation spread quickly. Sure, you can always spend many, many, many thousands of dollars on studio lights in order attain top quality equipment, but it's never been easy purchasing a strobe rig when more restrained budgets are a concern. Enter Paul C. Buff.
Sometimes being a "creative" really sucks. But it's also the best thing to be in the entire world. But did I mention it can suck? Well if you feel like you're in a rut, then watch this preview, and prepare to be inspired. Today, Musicbed released their feature-length documentary, "Make," which explores why creatives continue, well, creating.
We spend thousands of dollars on the best cameras and lenses, but we often forget about the smaller accessories that come between us and our subject. Switching out your eyepiece for something better is an extremely underrated and cheap improvement you can make, and from special coatings to magnifiers, you actually have a few more options than you may have known.
Hasselblad is touring the country (and the world) with prototypes of the new 50-megapixel X1D camera and the two lenses launching alongside it. Priced way below any other Hasselblad on the market (and in line with Pentax’s 645Z), the X1D ushers in unparalleled portability while creating a entirely new segment: the medium format mirrorless camera. Earlier this week, I got a few minutes with this interesting hybrid.
Pelican cases have long been an industry standard for top-of-the-line protection of cameras, lenses, lights, hard drives, and all other forms of fragile video or photo gear. Their new “Air” line of cases bring that same protection, but at a lower weight. I got to try the Pelican 1535 Air out and see how it performed on a travel video job.