Thursday, June 27, 2013

Capture One Flash Control

Saul has asked me to let you all know that Capture One - the professional image control system from Phase One - has added a new studio plug in that enables it to work with the Profoto lighting system.

It provides wireless light control from your Mac computer up to 300 metres away. The system can offer 8 channels and 6 groups for multiple light setups. You'll need certain things to make it work:

Intel-based Mac computer with 2GB of RAM and 10 GB of free hard drive space.

Mac OSX system 10.5.8, 10.6.4, 10.7.1 or later.

Capture One Pro 6 software.

Profoto Air USB transceiver.

It seems to be a free item that you upload from the company once you have all the necessary parts. Please go to the Profoto website on your computer for further details.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Selfies - Showing You Who You Really Aren't

We have all seen the dreadful selfies that our friends send us on Facebook. Horrid things taken with mobile phone cameras - men take them in the bar and women take them in the toilet - and the worst of them squeezed through Instagram or some other filter until they turn brown and fuzzy. The saddest of them are seized by other viewers and batted endlessly around the net. ALL of them are stored somewhere in Langley, Virginia or Beijing or Moscow to bolster some data base or other. Perhaps they make trading cards of them...

Selfies do not need to be bad - they can be rather good evocations of what we look like or who we are. They can also be projections of who we want other people to think we are. Self-promotion is the lifeblood of a lot of industries these days - from dentistry to photography to design bureaux. It is all legal, if a little narcissistic, and if you can stand the shame of it you can put yourself on the back of a bus or the face of the moon quite happily.

Every camera we sell takes selfies - from the compacts through the bridge to the big DSLR's. Any time you see the little symbol for a self timer you can turn the lens on yourself and blaze away. Even if there is no self-timer, there is generally a remote release available that you can trigger off. The better class of compact has a pop-up flash and internal computer power to balance what happens with the main subject and the background - you get a very even sort of exposure. All the big TTL flashes on the DSLR's will do this too.

Beware of the low camera angle that will reveal all your chins - if the flash fires as well you may look like a Hollywood monster. Set the camera to look at you from your eye level and you can't go wrong....actually you can, but if you keep snapping away and deleting the ones that make you look like Gomer Pyle, you will eventually get a good one.

Do not be surprised if the camera sees you in a different way than your bathroom mirror does - your bathroom mirror, and you, see you in reverse. Unless you are taking selfies with a dageurreotype camera you will have to accept the physical evidence as is. Yes, that is your hair. No, it will not look better if you dye it. Yes, that is your body. Yes, it will look better if you diet...

All joking aside - self portraiture has been accepted and welcomed by all art media. For an artist who has made other good things it is a real contribution to future generations - your friends may not care a damn what you look like but someone in 2500 AD may marvel at it!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We Sell On Sale And You Win - Panasonic FZ60

Yay. We have a big 'ol new stack of Panasonic FZ 60 cameras downstairs and Saul sez we are cheaper than our competitors! We this is your chance to come in a score a travel bargain.

The Panasonic FZ60 is a long zoom camera -a bridge camera if you will, that takes your photo possibilities far beyond the little compacts. If you are setting out on an African safari or wish to participate in the Canadian government's program to feed tourist to the polar bears at Churchill, you can take this camera with you and be confident that you will bring back great images.

You see, 24 x zoom is nothing to be sneezed at, and even if you do sneeze, the power OIS optical stabilizer will help to dampen it down. The lens is from the Leicaq company - a Vario-Elmarit f: 2.8-5.2. that zooms from 4.5 to 108 mm. The 4.5 means a very wide shot indeed and you'll also be pleased with the macro capability.

There is a high-speed burst shooting capability that will allow 10 frames per second - useful for when the bears get one of the other tourists - and you can also shoot the camera as a full HD 1920x 1080 video.

This package is complete with a fitted case - have a look at the image - small enough and sturdy enough to go on any tour.

Best bottom line - We sell the entire kit for $ 349. And there are a stack of them ready to go. Yay.

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Students! - No More Naked Lenses!

I know you are a struggling student and I know you have no money and I know you are trying to make great art with your Canon DSLR...and I have a great idea for you.

Stop looking at the internet and the camera magazines and the secondhand cabinet. Count over your pennies, give up drinking at the student tavern for a week, and come in and get yourself a Canon 50mm F 1.8 EF lens and the proper accessories for it.

The proper accessories are a UV filter to protect the front of the lens from the fingers of your fellow students and a lens hood to protect your images from light flare. It is okay to have flair in your images, but not flare...

The 50 is about the most accurate small lens you will ever find for your little Canon - and remember that it is a red-dot lens and can go onto your Canon 1Dx when you become an international iconic superstar. It has great bokeh and can also make the background blurry, depending on which school you go to. It does good portraits so try to make friends with the good-looking students. It also does good art copy, so you can add the artists to your list.

It is light and fast. If you are trekking in the mountains with your Canon DSLR, or just fleeing from the authorities through dense bush, you'll appreciate not having to carry extra weight.

Best of all, the whole box and dice that you see on the heading image is only $ 169.45 complete with a year's warranty. No, you can't have a discount - that is cheap as chips as it is. You can get your normal 10% discount on ink, paper, film and chemistry.

Note to the non-student: the 50mm lenses of any manufacturer are generally the bargains of their respective ranges. They are, by now, probably the most developed of the glass, and can be the most accurate lenses in any lineup. YOU need one too.

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Reverse Engineering In The Studio

We all know how reverse engineering goes in the commercial world - A Chinese company rep sends a new European product to his factory, they take it apart and make computer plans, then turn on the CAD-CAM machines and churn out low-priced copies. 

Their advertising office adds a vaguely-European name to it and then floods everyone's emails with promotion. This accounts for the Montgomery-Fitzhugh ffitch-ffitch Smythe tripod range from Guangzhao. It's a long way from Harrow to Herro...

It also works in the military field - wayward B-29s are interned by the Russians and Heigh-Ho here come 847 Tupolev 4 bombers. 

Well, a conversation yesterday with an artist alerted me to the fact that we sometimes have to do a little reverse engineer thinking in our camera shop. You see the artist wanted to take photographs that would serve as guides for her own paintings - portraits - and then wanted images to be available for further commercial reproduction. Once she had finished a canvas, she wanted a camera and lens combination that would be able to photograph the artwork for full-size reproduction.

So here's the reverse - I could have said a small-frame Nikon or Canon DSLR for the initial shots, but that would leave it wanting for the art copy. I could have said a moderate telephoto for the portraits, but that wold have made the art copy difficult - these are going to be large canvases. Zoom lenses and art reproduction are problematical due to distortion. Compromise, compromise.

In the end the best balance seems to be a Nikon D600 with a 50mm f:1.4 G lens or a Canon 6D with a 50mm f:1.4 EF lens. There will be more discussions about the business of lighting for portraits and flat artwork, but funnily enough some of the simple Elinchrom D-lite and RX sets are perfect for both applications.

It is good when a project like this can be looked at in detail right form the start - potential difficulties can be avoided - and it is also fascinating to think how many ventures would benefit from being seen and engineered in reverse.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Kata Casket - Studio In The Field

Anyone who has ever tried to carry an entire set of studio monoblock flash units, stands, cords, and light shapers to a shoot outside their own studio knows how difficult it is. Everything has sharp edges, delicate parts, and a mind of its own. You CAN be tripped up and strangled by inanimate objects, particularly if they have discussed it amongst themselves beforehand...

Beat them. Store them safely and securely in the Kata PALMS-2 rolling casket. It will hold three monoblock heads, three stands, folded umbrellas, cords, and reflectors - in short a complete studio light setup. It is padded and armoured on the edges that will hit the ground, and the rolling wheels are extendable to the side for extra satability. Look at the sad pictures - the editorial studio is currently full of people and I have to use the yard... - the casket is a big blue one with the characteristic yellow Kata lining.

If you are a constant user of a field studio, you might elect to replace one of the monoblock heads with a camera and one of the tripod spots with a folding backdrop. Then you can really be portable - everything in one case.

Note that the casket is also big enough to hold earth from your own country if you need somewhere to sleep during the day...

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Well That'll Teach You...

See what you get for opening this blog on Monday morning. You'll know better next time.

My sentiments exactly when I went to a family party last Saturday. It was a cheerful affair - a 21st birthday - and things seem to have moved on somewhat form the 1960's. In this one the boys did eventually mingle with the girls. The girl guests were still better dressed and better looking than their male counterparts, but at least the strict segregation of sexes has been relaxed - no morre keg to stand around.

Where was I? Taking party photos with the D 300 in a dark cave of a restaurant in Cottesloe. SB700 on top, diffuser on the front, 400 ISO and TTL Bl. 1/125 of a second and f:8. It could not have been easier - push the victims together ( " Grip and Grin, Kids..") press the little button on the front of the handgrip, and look round the place to see where the girl with the tray of spring rolls had gotten to. Every. Picture. Worked.

I expected no less as the Nikon system has a seamless integration of the pre-flash, the camera computer, and the main shot. The little diffuser on the front of the SB 700 is not as good as a Gary Fong Lightsphere II but if you angle it a little it spreads things out. You will get enogh power from the flash for a good shot with a little of he ambient light as well - if you want more ambient, drop the shutter speed a couple of steps and open up a stop. Simple.

I found it sobering to watch some of the partytographers try to do the same thing. Equipment ranged from telephones to full-frame DSLR's , and the former more successful than the latter. I zeroed the settings on the DSLR and set it up for the lady who was using it but I am afraid she was not convinced that it was a good idea - she changed them all evening. I do not envy her the time she will spend on post-production...

Moral of this is simple - it is moral to be simple when the situation demands. Nothing is fully automatic, but you can set yourself up to be nearly so, and then just go and trust to your eye to find the subject. And make sure that you watch the kitchen door, because that is where the girls with the trays of food come from.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Plain Jane

The Ricoh GRD series of digital compact cameras have always been a little understated in appearance. They are magnificently capable machines - as evinced by their selection for some of the roughest walk-around work out in the bush. They take a beautiful pictures. They are one of the best handfuls for larger fingers. But they are plain.

The surface coating is rough, and has been designed to be so. It wears well and grips like anythng. he lens is micro-sharp. It focusses to crazy close. There is an effects button on the LHS that calls in all sorts of sepia, miniature, toned effects.

It is the sort of camera that you can just pack and use all the time.

In store now.

The model? Plain Jane.

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Rig For Silent Running

You can tell them in a minute when they walk through the doors. Bronzed, fit, unkempt*, badly dressed*,  thousand-yard stare...the adventure photographers. If they are wearing really, really bad thongs they are underwater adventure photographers - these are the ones I wish to address today.

I admire your courage. I read the shark reports and I am amazed that you venture into the water. Have YOU read the shark reports? Well, next time you do, could you please take one of the Nikon or Olympus underwater cameras with you. We have a fine new batch of hem in stock and they are simple to use.

You won't be able to go taking pictures of the THRESHER - these cameras generally finish at about  5 to 10 metres - but they are shock resistant and well able to cope with surf and sand. Indeed we wish more people would take them onto the beach and not try to make the average dry-land compact camera do this service. The number of people who bring compacts in with sand jamming the lens mechanisms is mind-boggling - and none of them ever admit to having been down to the beach...

The underwater cameras make use of the capabilities of extremely small sensor cameras to bury this and a zoom lens mechanism in the body of the camera behind the pressure-sealed glass plate - nothing extends out in front of the device. There is a decent wide angle and a zoom, and they generally support a video recording. Dare I say it - a better deal than the currently-fashionable bicycle camera.

Still, you'll have to decide that yourselves. If you need to go really deep with a really big lens and a really big camera, you know that you will need a really big housing and some serious flash. Darren Jew, the underwater expert, has just such a Canon outfit and he has whales pose for wonderful portraits.

We can supply the cameras and lenses - for the big housings I recommend the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut. Ask for the LOS ANGELES class housing.

* Be fair, be fair - this also describes a number of wedding photographers...

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Scrub That Sucker Clean, Baby!

Those of you old enough to remember the 1970's may remember where - that - line comes from.

The real reason we are featuring lens cleaning products is that we have so many of them and you all need them. This town is full of dirty glass, as any day at our or repair counter will attest. The wise people have dirty filters on clean lenses and the foolish people have dirty lenses, but that is another tale - today it is the question of cleaning glass.

Firstly - do not get it dirty. Use a lens caps and keep your fingers out of the lens hood -and if you are subject to environments that are dusty, brush or blow it off the glass with a blower or a soft brush. If the environment includes oil, fingerprints, dog nose prints, or fragments of egg-salad sandwich with mayonnaise, you will have to go on to the active cleaning.

Look at the head and tail images. These products are all designed to get after those heavier contaminants. You'll see three packets of dry lens tissue - soft one-use paper that can be safely wiped over glass. I would recommend that you either use a commercial eyeglass spray cleaner to wet one of these, followed by a dry wipe with a second tissue, or resort to the good old el-cheapo alternative of one drop of washing-up liquid in a glass of distilled water. Do not use drinking alcohol to wipe over the glass surface, particularly do not use Midori or Advocaat.

A packet of these dry tissues are a good partner to a couple of the Hama Feuchtreinigungstuchen. Say that late at night and see what materialises in the dark....

If you are caught out in the field, away from the washing-up liquid, he best cleaners are the Hoodman Lens Cleanse packets. They are a wet then dry combo and can remove anything organic. Highly recommended by Ernest, the fussy technician.

Last on the list are the microfibre cloths - these are available from several manufacturers, including one with our shop logo emblazoned on it. Use them to keep the small bits of oily smear at bay - they can also be washed out when they become fouled.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Save The Dates - WAPPA

Normally we are enjoined to save the whales, or Julian Assange, or the Burrup Peninsula. Occasionally all three together - an intriguing concept. In this case the AIPP WA Council wants you to do something altogether less political and more fun - they want you to come out to their WAPPA Exhibition at the Moore's Building in Fremantle and participate in the event.

Firstly, the submission deadline for the entries to the exhibition has been extended to last Monday. I do hope you have either gotten your prints to Fitzgerald Photo Labs two days ago or can set the transmogrifier on your temporal spatulator to go back and do it. Or just try your luck anyway.

Secondly, on the 21st at 2:00 PM there will be a Retrospective seminar - past winners talking about their prints and their views of the industry.

At 5:00 PM the exhibition officially opens when they officially draw the first cork and cut the first cheese. Please bring friends, family, and past clients to see the VIP event.

Thirdly, June 26 will see a series of floor talks from this year's category winners.

Fourthly, and in this case it will be on the Glorious Fourth ( 4th of July, kids...) there will be seminars from Brook Desmond, Tony Hewitt, Kelly Feil, and Russell Barton.

Later in the day there will be portfolio reviews and a business Question & Answer session - potentially the most helpful and valuable portion of all for new practitioners.

Please go to the AIPP website and see more detail - and book yourselves in for some of the events.

PS: Saving dates is easy - make sure they are dry and press them together on a plastic container. Seal it well and they'll keep for years.

Nikon Deals - Buy A Newspaper Now!

If you are in Western Australia today, buy a WEST AUSTRALIAN newspaper. If you are in one of the eastern states, look on our website. If you are accessing this blog from somewhere else in the world, apply to emigrate to Australia, fly in, say hello to the friendly beagle dog at Perth Airport, then go to the news stand and buy a copy of the paper. If the friendly beagle seems to want to spend a good deal of time with you, expect to make other new friends...

But back to the newspaper. In about 15 pages is a full-page advertisement for the dale of NIKON cameras,lenses, and flashes here at the shop. The savings over the rrp are truly amazing - the Nikon people have a new emphasis on shopping for their products locally, and we are fully supportive of this.

You'll see a great selection of bodies - both DX and FX, and a good spread of prices to match entry, enthusiast, and pro level. The flashes are a screaming woot woot steal of a bargain - I use two of them myself - -and there are some gems amongst the lenses.

We're racing to the end of the financial year - an occasion when even the staid accountant will relax and  tell you to go out and spend. This is a good chance to get real value for your...or someone else' I have found Nikon equipment to be a sound trouble-free investment over the years and good glass like this is never out of photographic fashion.

PS: Those of you Sherlockians who correctly observe the leading image will be able to tell me the name of the ship. Go on - this is an intellectual challenge...

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Special Treat For You, My Dear - Care To Try One?

With apologies to Uncle Walt for the leading is a report on three new lenses on the Camera Electronic shelves.

Rokinon is not a name that has cropped up here in the shop before. We got to see some of their DSLR lenses recently and were mightily impressed. So much so that we ordered some to test out - both in Nikon and Canon mounting.

The first is the longest - the Rokinon 85mm f:1.4 lens. It would appear to be full-frame, and is available in either mount. The lens is purely manual focus with a well-damped action on the focusing ring. It is marked as focusing as close as 1 metre and the infinity mark is floating to cope with variation. The lens mount is metal, finely machined, and since the lens is MF anyway, suitable for darn near any Nikon DSLR or film SLR.

Aperture is click-stopped to f:22. The lens barrel is very finely finished and I note that the basic barrel structure is cold metal. A lens hood, and F/R caps are supplied.

The 24mm lens by Rokinon is F:1.4 - that is exciting as it is. Very similar construction to the 85mm but with a petal lens hood and a red trim ring. Closest focus is 25 cm. (!). It is a weighty lens - there is a good barrel and a lot of glass in there. Not an inconsiderable thing to carry. Remember that it too is purely manual focus.

Shortest of the lenses is the 14mm f:2.8 Aspherical. It is an extremely wide-angle experience for Nikon users and is a little daunting with the forward bulge of glass. You can't detach the petal lens hood, and filters might be problematical, but it will certainly gather in all you want from an interior or landscape shot. I count 13 elements on the lens diagram.

Best news of all is that photographers can experiment with these lenses without risking the bank account - the 85mm is $ 399 - the 14mm is $ 499 and the 24mm is $ 749. That is as cheap as chips and chips aren't multicoated...unless you count the salt.

And in case you are wondering, the model is Amanda and in real life she is the sweetest person in Perth - nothing at all like the wicked queen.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Do It In STYLE....

If you are going to use a Leica camera you are going to pay money out. A lot of money. There is no doubt about this - it is one of the givens of the situation. As a Leica person, you might complain about it to us and try to get things cheaper, but you secretly love it. It marks you as different from the people who don't have enough money for Leica cameras.

If you are going to do it, you might as well do it in style. If your style is gaffer tape over the red dot and a piece of binder twine for a strap, go ahead. I can only imagine that you are doing it so that you won't stand out in the crowd...of people who have their shoes tied on with binder twine. Your photo essay will be fascinating.

If you would like to be seen as a little more sophisticated, may I suggest you look at a few of the offerings from Artist & Artisan and Leica themselves - the A&A cloth straps are superbly stitched and as you can see come in red or black. the Leica straps are leather and come in all shades. Note the cute little Thumbs Up button for the shutter release.

Finally, please note the classic style of the Leica ball head - generally paired with the folding tabel-top tripod legs. Solid heavy chromed casting and look at the speed lines turned into the ball portion to allow it to work even in grubby conditions. That is style!

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Calling All German Flyers - Billingham Has Your Bag

If you are going to choose the best of German camera equipment - Leica - you really should give some thought to choosing the best way of carrying it - particularly if you intend to go out on he street or travel in aircraft.

Street photography is, by its very nature, fast and discreet. If it is slow and obvious, it comes into the category of argument photography, followed by fist fight photography, followed by arrest photography. Those of you who do not wish to use your new Leica M camera with the 0.95 Noctilux lens as a fighting flail should elect to house it in a good bag and haul it out only when you need it to take pictures.

Leica themselves do make very good bags for this - there are satchels and neoprene cases and fitted  cases for a number of their cameras, and some of them are masterpieces of fine design and leather work. If you want a Leica bag, buy one with full confidence.

Walther Benser used to make fitted cases as well that were module systems for the film Leicas - you bought little leather boxes for each lens you had then tried to fit them together like a Chinese puzzle into a stiff leather box. Very much the enthusiast's device, but impossible to access quickly.

Billingham, on the other hand, have just delivered a case designed and marked for the Leica M series of cameras. The bag is supplied inside a characteristic silver Leica box and is further wrapped in a soft fitted Leica-marked black cloth bag. Undoubtedly there is a You-tube video of someone somewhere unwrapping undoubted boon for those Leica users who are unsure of how to open a cardboard box.

The more confident user will note that the bag has ample space and three interior compartments in the main section for the camera body plus a lens as long as 135mm in the down position and for two smaller lenses on either side. The diagram suggests that you will be carrying a 21 and a 50 Noctilux, which we would also be delighted to sell to you. Don't stint yourself - there is also a digram of an MP camera body there so remember to pick one up before you leave.

The Billingham cloth and leather-trim quality are all there, with a Khaki twill and medium tan trim. The shoulder strap has their deluxe pad included. The zipper pulls are the tradition solid brass.

Please note the dedication tag on the bag itself....Leica.

This bag will attract admiration from other Leica users while remaining discrete enough to pass the attention of the average camera thief on the street. Dedicated Billingham bag thieves will zero in on it and attack you instantly, but if you are incautious enough to flaunt this sort of thing at Leica camera club meetings you have only yourself to blame...

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Friday, June 14, 2013

A Big Nikon Day Is Coming Up With Kristian Dowling

If you have a hankering to be a celebrity - to see how to shoot celebrities - to see how to light celebrities -  then the next Nikon Workshop Day is just for you.

Kristian Dowling will be shooting you in fine style - and here is your chance to dress to impress - at the Subiaco Arts Center in July. He will be showing and telling as well as shooting from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Arts Center located at 108 Hamersley Road, Subiaco.

This is an opportunity to learn lighting from someone who has been involved with the leading Hollywood stars.  For $ 95 per person it is a bargain.

You can book a place - and places will be limited -  online by looking us up on Facebook. It can also count toward your professional accreditation - as well as being spectacular fun.


Strange Creatures - Glimpsed Briefly Though The Mist

I cannot decide whether the macro bracket featured in the lead image should be marketed as the " Muhammud Ali" or the " St. Hubertus". It seems to replicate the characteristic postures of each of these legends...Suffice it to say that it is actually a pretty useful way of suspending a couple of small flashes out in front of your camera and macro lens to light up the closer subjects. It has a metal coupling foot to let it slide onto your Arca-style ball-head block and is quite light. A clever idea for macro workers.

The big black angular objects looming out of these images are Custom Brackets flash holders with camera rotation mechanisms built into the base. They are perfect for weddings or reportage - also fine for Steampunk. The quality of the machining on the brackets and the materials used are of such a quality as to shame their competition. I must be honest - these brackets have been here as long as I have  and I have a decided ambition to outlast them so will someone PLEASE come in and buy them at a very low price. You will benefit, and so will I.

The Velbon bracket is younger - it is a device to allow you to couple big telephoto lenses and small DSLR cameras into one structure for better balance on a tripod head. Why it has not gone yet, I do not know, as there are people all over Western Australia struggling with odd rigs that would benefit from this accessory.

The black Tokar brackets were originally designed to allow pirates to keep a sandwich and a bottle of beer attached to their wooden legs while they watched television. Photographers have adopted them as a good means of keeping accessories attached to tripods in a studio during a shoot. People really are ingenious these days.

And finally, the SOB bracket. I've met many SOB's in my time, but it has been rare to find any that actually advertise themselves so clearly. Those of you who want to hold a speed light and fire it into an umbrella while mounting it on a light stand will recognise the design. Good product. Good price. Love to talk to the executive of the JJC company who thought of the name...

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flash Bang Wallop! New Leica Vario News! Here! Now!

Pardon the exuberance, and be grateful that Blogger only allows a moderate size of font - otherwise we would have a WAR DECLARED! banner above this post.

The New Leica X-Vario that we blogged about on Wednesday night at 9:00:15 ( to comply with the advertising embargo. Oh it is all intrigue in the camera game...) is HERE! NOW!

Brent the Storeman is prising it out of the packaging with a jemmy bar as I type and you can come in to the shop and give it a test shot today - provided there is a bit of German electricity in the battery.

Saul is beside himself. You can add whatever punchline you want to that one, but do come in and have a look at the new camera.

Uncle Dick

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More Than Just A Change Of Clothes - New Sigma

I have been watching the Sigma range of lenses over the last five years - not just as a salesperson, but as a user of their wide angle 8-16mm lens on my Nikon camera. As I explained before, I spent my own money to buy one, use it in the studio and at weddings and car shows*, and amdelighted with the results.

In examining the lenses, I have noted a constant change in the presentation of them. of course the mounts - whether Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc - remain constant, but the barrel finish and control rings seem to change quite a lot. I've seen smooth aluminium anodising, matt plastic surface, crinkled paint surface, and any number of patterns for the rubber rings. Some of these seem to be more successful than others in resisting the grubbiness of he fingers that grip them.

What intrigued me today in looking for a blog topic was a comparison between the 30mm f:1.4 lens of six months ago with the current new 30mm f:1.4 Art lens. The barrel finish is different - sure - and the mounts are the same - sure - but the big surprise comes in looking at the front element.

I had expected to see the same glass in each mount. No way - the filter thread is 62ΓΈ in each case but the front element size in the new Art lens is half the area of the older lens. Both are coated, of course. If they are both f:1.4, and the exit pupil of each lens is roughly the same,  how the heck can one be half the size of the other?

Different lens formulation is my guess - so we are not just getting the old wine in a new bottle. As the 30mm focal length is perfect for my DX-sized camera...equating to 45mm in the old film camera speak...I think it is time to do some real personal studio tests on the new Art lens to see what it produces. I shall report.

Uncle Dick

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