Fstoppers Gear Reviews
Peak Design is a camera accessory and bag maker that began on Kickstarter, producing the Everyday Messenger bag. They designed the Everyday Messenger in cooperation with photographer Trey Ratcliff, who supposedly had quite a bit of input on its usability. Peak Design recently released three new bag lines following its most recent take to the crowdsourcing site that started it all for them. I supported the campaign and, after a bit of a run-around with a delivery service clearly feeling the pre-Christmas rush, received the Everyday Tote in time for this review.
This week, ON1 Software released their new Photo RAW 2017 processor. It functions as both a raw processor and a simple editing workflow that can be used as a standalone application or as a plugin within various other editing applications such as Lightroom. In this article, we will take a quick look at Photo RAW 2017 in order to provide some first impressions on what ON1 is touting as one of their most powerful tools to date.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hours browsing sites like B&H Photo Video comparing different tripods, tripod heads, and their features. You may also take it a step further by watching reviews until your eyes burn before you decide to finally make that decisive click and add one to your shopping cart. It’s an understandable practice if you ask me. Perhaps you’re in the market for the best travel tripod money can buy. If that’s the case, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod.
Do you live tied down? Weighed down by the ball and chain? Feel like you're living with a leash on? No, I'm not talking about your love life, I'm talking about that tether cord attached to your camera. In-studio or on-location tethering has become a necessity, especially if you're working with clients. The thought leader in their cable tethering technology, Tether Tools, has created their latest product, Case Air, to help make photographers live free again.
After shooting flash for a handful of years, I have acquired a small arsenal of lights that are suited for different needs. I have the large studio lights that are great for overpowering the sun, small hot shoe flashes that have the ability to use features like TTL and high-speed sync, and then video lights that allow me to see exactly what my light is doing before I take an image. So when I saw that the Phottix Indra500 TTL could do all three, I was instantly intrigued.
The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.
Blackmagic sent me one of their 4.6K URSA Mini Cameras to play with, and after just a few short days of messing around with it, the URSA Mini certainly made an impression. A RAW, 16-bit, 4608 pixel-wide impression to be specific. In short, this camera system is a beast, and comes at a price point that is very attractive.
More and more photographers are starting to adopt a minimalist approach to their photography gear. What this means is that users want and need smaller bags that accommodate their gear. Having a small camera body and a couple lenses is almost useless if you have to let them rattle around in larger traditional camera bags. Fashioned after WWII army backpacks, the Wotancraft Scout shoulder bag has the looks and size to fill this need, but does it have the functionality to stand out in the growing market?
In early October, Sony announced a new addition to their a6000-series of APS-C mirrorless cameras. This camera, the a6500, is the new flagship of Sony’s crop-sensor line and costs $400 more than the previously released a6300. So what are we getting for that extra cash? Check out my first hands-on look of the 24.2-megapixel Sony a6500.
Canon has always been known for its fabulous portraits lenses: the 85mm f/1.2 and the 135mm f/2. I used to own and love both of them, with a preference for the first. When I bought into the Nikon system, I was afraid I would miss these two optics. But truth be told, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 is at least as good as its Canon equivalent if not better! Regarding the 135mm, that’s a whole different story as the Nikon’s is quite old now. However, they recently announced the 105mm f/1.4, and I had the chance to put my hands on it for a few weeks! Let’s see how it compares with other portrait lenses and if it could potentially replace a 135mm.
Since the broad commercialization of photography, many brands of cameras have graced the shelves of camera stores across the world. Canon, Nikon, Leica, Mamiya, Pentax, and others have become common names in the lexicon of photography. However, of all the camera manufacturers, few have become as synonymous with quality as Hasselblad. Since I began shooting in 2004, I'd always heard how wonderful these machines were but never had the opportunity to play with one, as even a complete used system can command well over $2,000. Well, I finally got my grubby little hands on one: the Hasselblad 503CW. Spoiler alert: it's pretty sweet.
This is a quick review of something very simple: a charging cable. "A charging cable?" you may wonder. "Now, why would anyone care about that?" Well, the cable reviewed is a special kind of cable: it combines an Apple Lightning connector and a micro-USB connector. That is nothing new, but it is done well here and actually a much more useful thing than you'd expect.
With the (mostly) positive reception to the Fujifilm 35mm F2 WR lens, following its launch earlier this year, the announcement a sibling 23mm F2 WR lens was in development caused quite a stir amongst Fuji X-Mount shooters. So much so, that when the lens finally started shipping, supply quickly became an issue, with many struggling to get hold of this prized new lens. But now the lens is finally hitting mainstream retailers in decent numbers, I thought it would be a good time to take a proper look at Fujifilm's latest lens.
We all work with expensive gear, but sometimes, we don't want the world to know that we're carrying the monetary equivalent of a nice car on our backs. Brevitē recognized and addressed that earlier this year with its announcement of the Rolltop and Rucksack, both of which embody the look of a fashionable backpack over a specialized gear-hauler. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, that's exactly what the bags are. The Rucksack serves that purpose quite well while also providing the sort of discreet look that many photographers desire.
I am a photographer who started shooting with daylight only, and I moved to discover new possibilities of lighting only after mastering daylight and craving more tools to create the desired images in my head. I don't believe the idea that you have to have all the possible equipment to be a good photographer or that the equipment makes you the photographer. My credo was always to master what you have available and only afterwards move to a new tool. This way, you can have all the understanding of your tools and avoid a bulk of unnecessary equipment.
Think Tank has long been regarded as one of the go-to companies for bags for the working photographer, and their line of Airport and Airport Security bags in particular are considered by many to be the gold standard of rolling photo bags. The newly released Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0 adds some small improvements to an already fantastic bag, helping ensure its continued reign as the king of this category.
Luminar is Macphun’s latest editing platform, and it’s the company’s first try at an all-in-one solution that can go head-to-head with Adobe Lightroom and Apple’s discontinued Aperture programs. Still in beta, Luminar recently received an update that helped improve speed and fixed over 300 small bugs, making it nearly ready for its public release on November 17. So, how does it hold up to platforms such as Lightroom?
The rain washes heavily onto the window, and I’m sitting in the candle-lit windowsill with a pint of inky black ale and a good book. That book is Alexandre Deschaumes’ forthcoming “Voyage Éthéré” (Ethereal Journey); a collection of his work over the past years. Following the release of his Blu-Ray documentary, “La Quête d'Inspiration” (The Quest for Inspiration) by Mathieu le Lay, Alexandre looks to be on the path to becoming increasingly known for his work. And with good reason.
Lemkesoft's Mac-only GraphicConverter has been around since 1992. Version 10.2 has just been released, and now integrates into Apple's Photos app. This makes it a great small tool for light editing of images in the Apple ecosystem. Time to quickly review an indispensable little piece of software that doesn't get much love or recognition.
One of the best things about shooting film is that there are so many cameras to choose from! Of course, your wallet may disagree with me. The number of formats, combined with the different brands, form factors, lenses, and options make shooting with film almost impossible to get bored with. If you're at all familiar with my articles on Fstoppers, you know that I tend to focus on film and bringing it to a new audience. To that end, I've created a new video series profiling various film gear, some of it well known, some not so much! In my quest to learn about and use different systems, I hope you'll learn along with me. First up, a medium format rangefinder style camera from Fujifilm: the GF670.
Macro lenses are fun to play with, and besides they are essential for most photographers, in terms of their versatile usage areas. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro HSM is one of Sigma’s long-termed produced lenses, and I had a chance to review this lens before the “Art” version comes out.
Improving night photography is an ever closing gap riddled with tech-tips, tricks, and expensive gear. The Star Adventurer by Sky Watcher-USA seeks to be the reasonably, all-in-one option to improve your starscape photography. The built-in tracking head and accompanying accessories are the perfect companion to viewing and photographing the night’s sky.
Good nightscape shots have to be captured under ideal conditions. Well, just a cloudless sky will get you started anyway. I’m always looking for the next best piece of gear and darkest location myself. And around the start of this month, a particular dark location got proper recognition as the Dutch second Dark Sky Park. So let’s put location and gear together in this review of the Samyang 12mm f/2.8 for full-frame cameras.
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I have owned and used more camera bags than any human being should. Some are better than others, and virtually all of them have pronounced trade-offs. Wotancraft is a company that has risen to prominence in recent years by producing bags that meet that rare intersection of top-tier form, function, and quality at a reasonable price. Today we're taking a look at one of their flagship bags for mirrorless shooters, the Ryker, to see what it's all about.
This one hurts. I don't think I've ever written a review for a product that I wanted to like more than this one. From its beginnings as a Kickstarter back in 2014, large format film photographers have been drooling about this camera. Finally, a low cost camera that, at about $300, would make 4x5 photography accessible to the masses. But, long story short, The Intrepid Camera just doesn't live up to its promise. Read on to find out why.
With my recent jump into shooting more and more with my mirrorless system, I have been looking for a camera bag that better fit the smaller kit. So when I got the chance to test out the Everyday Sling from Peak Design, I jumped at the opportunity. With how popular their Everyday Messenger was, in addition to completely destroying their Kickstarter goal for the new set of bags (going over their goal by more than $6 million), I knew it had to be a good bag. But once I got the bag and used it for a couple days, I was surprised by just how much I liked it.
It happens almost every time I scan some film. I look at my developed film on the computer and think, "That's a pretty cool shot. I wonder what my settings were?" Shooting film is amazing, but sometimes it becomes a pain in the rump to remember what you were doing when you shot a specific photograph, since there are no digital markers to log your work for you. Enter: Photomemo. It's a small, lightweight logbook that's specifically tailored to be a film shooter's friend.