Voigtlander-Cosina announces 21mm F3.5 lens for Sony E-mount systems

Voigtlander-Cosina Japan has announced its new Color Skopar 21mm F3.5 E-mount lens.

This is the eighth Voigtlander-Cosina lens designed specifically for Sony's full-frame E-mount support. As with past lenses, the Color Skopar 21mm F3.5 features full EXIF support. In addition to having the extra metadata there, this also means Sony's in-body image stabilization should work without issue when shooting with the lens.

The lens constructed of nine elements — including one aspherical element and one anomalous partial dispersion element — in eight groups. It has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/7.87in and uses a ten-blade aperture diaphragm.

The diameter of the lens is 62.8mm/2.47in and the length is 39.9mm/1.57in. It weighs just 230g and features a 52mm filter size.

Below are a collection of sample images provided by Voightlander-Cosina:

The lens is currently available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping in October 2018. Voigtlander-Cosina Japan has it listed for ¥85,000, which equates to roughly $758 at the current exchange rate. Fred Miranda notes though that the price is suspected to be $799 when it lands stateside.

Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session

A portrait session can be a nerve-racking event. There’s so much to remember and prepare before the actual press of the shutter button. It takes a lot of prep work. People don’t always realize what goes into being ready.

Even if you’re an amateur taking pics of your family and friends, there are some important steps to take if you want to capture some really beautiful images. Here are some tips to help you out.

Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session - girl jumping into the water

In some cases, planning for a shoot is really simple. In this case, we took the kids to the beach at sunset to shoot some pics we could share on social media.

Logistics and Planning

This is the part where you discuss the portrait session with your friends or clients. You need to pick a date, location, and a time. You should also discuss backup dates in case the original plan doesn’t work.

If you’re shooting professionally, you need to get the contract signed, collect a deposit and ensure that clients know under which circumstances their deposit (retainer) is refundable.

Image Sharing

If you are taking family pics at a reunion and you intend to share these photos with everyone, consider setting up an online photo album you can send to everyone. It’s much easier to share the pics this way.

Make sure you have everyone’s email so that they can all download the images afterward. It’s a huge pain to email people separately. You’re taking the pictures to stay in control and don’t overwork yourself sending them to everyone. They can take some of the responsibility.

If there are older family members, consider printing out a set of instructions they can use for accessing and downloading the images. I’ve run into that issue before and found myself driving an hour to click download on someone’s computer.

kids running in the water - Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session

Another from the sunset shoot of informal family pics.

The Style and Portrait Session Design

It’s also a good idea to discuss the type of look and feel you want to create in the portrait session. If you’re working professionally, this is really important. Make sure you and the clients are on the same page.

Do they want relaxed, candid images or do they prefer something more formal? Clothing can affect the look of a photo shoot so be sure to discuss attire. If you’re snapping pics at a family event, you probably won’t have much control over the look of the images unless you plan and get everyone on board.

I’ve seen families choose themes like “Old West” for a fun afternoon of photos. At some reunions, I’ve seen groups create a t-shirt they all wear to commemorate the pics.

A friend of mine set up a photo booth at a Christmas party. Everyone was asked to bring one piece of “bling” for their photo. When paired with the props and the background she created, it was a ton of fun.

portrait of a boy by a tree - Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session

In this case, I was working with a family. Prior to the shoot, I visited the home and we discussed possible locations.

Location Matters

The chosen location can also affect the look and feel of a shoot. Consider a big comfy couch in a brightly lit room versus wooden dining room chairs on a studio backdrop. The background can considerably change the feel of an image so plan carefully.

Props

Collect some props for the portrait session. If you’re working with really young people like toddlers, it is really helpful to have things to distract the kids. Teenagers love goofy items they can hold and use for posing.

If you’re working with your own kids, it can be a huge battle to get them to cooperate. I find other people’s kids far more flexible, but if I want to photograph my kids, it’s a huge ordeal.

So think about styling the shoot in such a way that your little ones will cooperate. This might mean including their favorite toy is in the image. That’s okay! Go with it because it’s far better to get a positive, happy image than a forced angry looking smile.

Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session - 3 ladies smiling and laughing

This was another paid session. The family had gathered for a 50th-anniversary celebration. They were dressed semi-formal for the occasion.

Be Informed and Plan Ahead

Make sure you do your research. Know the area in which you are going to be shooting. It’s helpful to visit the site before the shoot so you can be familiar with all the little nooks and crannies.

Plan your route to the photo shoot if you can’t visit before the big day. Download offline instructions to your phone in case you lose your connection. It’s happened to me once that I lost the signal and drove around for ages before I could find the location.

Get Permits if Needed

Double check to be sure you don’t need a permit for shooting at a specific location. Some places require you to buy a permit. So don’t get caught without one.

I know of a family that planned to do photos in the Distillery District here in Toronto only to learn they could not photograph each other when they were halfway through the shoot. I’ve also seen a family get in a lot of trouble for trespassing on private land. All they wanted to do was take a family pic for their Facebook profiles.

So double check that you can visit and use the site you want for the session. If you’re shooting professionally, permits and property releases are a must so be sure to take care of the entire nitty gritty well before the day of the shoot.

Backup Plans are Essential

Have a Plan B. Always! Have an alternative plan at the ready. You never know what may go wrong. Have a family member bring an extra camera (or rent or borrow one) in case yours breaks. Choose an alternate site if the first won’t work.

Just be prepared. The reality is that when things go wrong, they usually go horribly wrong. So try to plan for every possible road bump in advance.

girls in the snow doing a selfie - Tips for Preparing for a Portraits Session

This shoot was planned for months. Friends were happy to join me for a day of photographs in the winter.

Day of the Portrait Session

Always make a checklist of items that you can use to help you pack up and be ready for the photoshoot. It’s really frustrating to leave equipment at home.

Arrive early! This should go without saying. You don’t want to make people wait.

Check the weather forecast and make sure you can contact people in case of emergencies. Get contact numbers from folks.

Be prepared to have fun! Just before everyone arrives or your clients show up at the studio make sure you’ve relaxed a little. I know some photographers who take 5 minutes to have a coffee before shooting. Others will sit and meditate for a few minutes beforehand.

Whatever works for you, just make sure you are confident and enthusiastic before you begin shooting. Your nerves will affect the quality of your work so don’t let them control you.

Conclusion

Photography is so much more than picking up a camera. To take memorable images, you need to put in some effort and plan out the event. So think carefully about the shoot and make sure you have everything ready.

If you are prepared and relaxed you will enjoy the event more, and so will those you are photographing!

girl blowing snow off her hand - Tips for Preparing for a Portraits Session

We wanted to create some of those images where you make snow dust. Of course, there was just too much white space around our chosen location. So sometimes your plans won’t work.

Tips for Preparing for a Portraits Session

We tried a lot of different locations.

Tips for Preparing for a Portraits Session

Eventually, we chose to shoot portraits that were much different from our initial plans.

Finally, make sure you share with us some of the ways you prepare for a photography session. Let’s get a good base of tips together we can use to our benefit.

The post Tips for Preparing for a Portrait Session appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Sony 24mm F1.4 GM sample gallery

Sony's new FE 24mm F1.4 G Master lens is surprisingly lightweight and compact for a wide, fast prime. Having spent a little bit of time shooting with it, we've got some initial images to share. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at this new G Master lens.

See our Sony 24mm F1.4 GM sample gallery

DPReview TV: Sony 24mm F1.4 GM

In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

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Sony 24mm F1.4 GM sample gallery

Sony announces lightweight FE 24mm F1.4 G Master prime

Sony has taken the wraps off of its new full-frame 24mm F1.4 G Master prime lens. Despite that fast maximum aperture, Sony has created a remarkably small and light lens compared to its peers, with a weight of just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). Compare that to the Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art shown below, which is 50% heavier and considerably more bulky, albeit cheaper.

It's a departure from traditional GM lenses, which tend to be large so as to not sacrifice optimal performance. This lens bucks the trend by prioritizing both optical performance and size and weight.

Sony's new 24mm F1.4 GM is significantly smaller than the Sigma equivalent to its left. In hand on a Sony body, it feels more like a F1.8 prime, which is really quite an achievement for a F1.4 lens, particularly one with the optical performance of the 24mm GM.

The 24mm F1.4 GM has a total of 13 elements, including two XA (extreme aspherical) which significantly reduce coma, and three ED elements. Sony's Nano AR coating reduces flare and ghosting, and so far, we're impressed by the lack of distracting flare artifacts and high contrast images even when shooting into the sun. 11 aperture blades yield smooth bokeh and circular out-of-focus highlights even when you stop down to F2.8, as well as 22-blade sharp sunbursts if you stop down further with bright, pinpoint light sources.

Focus is is driven by a new, evolved Direct Drive SSM motor that deliveries 'approximately three times greater thrust' than the previous system, but with high positional accuracy, according to Sony. In our initial tests, it's faster to focus than the Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art, so we're impressed by the speed of focus considering its F1.4 maximum aperture.

Its manual focus ring offers a linear response: a rarity on mirrorless lenses and useful when shooting video. It almost feels like a mechanically coupled focus ring. An aperture ring (with a 'de-click' feature), customizable focus hold button and AF/MF switch are also available. As with all G Master lenses, the 24mm F1.4 is weather-sealed.

Focus is silent, and there's minimal focus breathing. That combined with the linear focusing behavior and small lightweight design makes this lens very suitable for video.

The Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM will ship in October for $1400. Stay tuned for in-depth analyses of the optical characteristics of this lens, but in the meantime you can judge the performance yourself from our sample images, linked below. And if you're itching to assess sharpness, have a look at our aperture progression of a cityscape at the end of our sample gallery.

View our Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM sample gallery

Watch DPReview TV's first impressions

Press Release

Sony Expands Full-Frame Lens Lineup with Launch of 24mm F1.4 G Master™ Prime

New Large Aperture Wide-Angle Prime Lens is the most compact and lightest in its class[i] , with superb sharpness even at F1.4

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 20, 2018 – Sony Electronics, Inc. – a global leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – has today introduced an exciting new addition to their acclaimed G Master series of full-frame E-mount lenses, a 24mm F1.4 prime lens.

Expertly engineered to deliver best in class performance across all aperture settings, the new FE 24mm F1.4 GM (model SEL24F14GM) utilizes Sony’s most advanced optical technologies to satisfy the needs of the most demanding photographers. The new lens is the most compact and lightweight in its classi, measuring approx. 3.0 inches x 3.64 inches and weighing only 15.7 ounces, with a filter diameter of 67mm. Built to meet the strict standards of Sony’s flagship G Master series, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM offers exceptionally high resolution and beautiful bokeh, two qualities that are signature attributes of the G Master brand.

“We are continuing to evolve our lens lineup to maximize the power of our innovative α camera lineup, ” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of imaging solutions at Sony Electronics. “The new 24mm prime brings an exciting new perspective to our flagship lens series. With its incredibly lightweight design and signature G Master quality, our 30th native full-frame mirrorless lens opens up a new world of creative opportunities for today’s photographers, videographers and multi-media creators.”

Realizing consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at F1.4, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM boasts a new optical design comprised of 10 groups with 13 elements, including two XA (extreme aspherical) and three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. The incorporation of two XA elements effectively suppresses sagittal flare[ii] to ensure that point light sources like distant stars can be accurately reproduced, making the FE 24mm F1.4 GM a compelling proposition for astrophotography. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce lens flare and ghosting, even in landscape shots where the position of the sun can be problematic with a normal lens.

This outstanding performance is packaged in an extremely compact and lightweight body weighing it at only 15.7 ounces, a welcome relief for landscape or adventure photographers that are hiking, climbing or traveling over long distances. This advantage is further compounded when the FE 24mm F1.4 GM is paired with one of Sony’s award winning α7 / α9 cameras. The lightweight lens design has been realized in part by the development of a new high power DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) that delivers approximately three times greater thrust than the previous focus system, enabling fast response, high positioning accuracy and quiet operation for both stills and movie shooting.

This incredible lens is also a perfect complement to Sony’s APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras such as α6500 and α6300, and brings the total number of native Sony α E-mount lenses to 48[iii].

In addition to its landscape and starscape shooting abilities, the FE 24mm F1.4 GM also has excellent close up performance of 0.24 meters (0.79ft.) and delivers soft and natural bokeh, a feature that is common across Sony’s entire G Master series of lenses. This is achieved by extreme control over factors like spherical aberration, and axial and lateral chromatic aberration, at the design and manufacturing stages, as each lens is individually tested and adjusted to achieve maximum performance.

The FE 24mm F1.4 GM also includes a number of professional controls that aide ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. These include an aperture ring that allows direct, intuitive aperture control, and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control. There is also a customizable focus hold button, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions.

Pricing and Availability

The FE 24mm F1.4 GM will ship in October 2018 for approximately $1,400 US and $1,900 CA. The lens will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

[i] Compared to other full-frame 24mm F1.4 auto-focus prime lenses. As of September 2018 press release, based on Sony research

[ii] A phenomenon that results in an unnatural spreading of point light sources that appears somewhat like a bird spreading its wings and becomes more pronounced towards the image periphery. It is most common in large-aperture lenses

[iii] Including converters, excluding discontinued models

Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length24 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountSony FE
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades11
Optics
Elements13
Groups10
Special elements / coatingsXA (extreme aspherical) + ED elements, Nano AR coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.24 m (9.45)
Maximum magnification0.17×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeLinear Motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight445 g (0.98 lb)
Diameter75 mm (2.95)
Length92 mm (3.62)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread67 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codeALC-SH154

Fujifilm X-T3 firmware update fixes distortion, memory card lock issues

Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade (v1.01) for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation when using the electronic shutter in continuous high shooting mode. A bug where the mechanical lock on SD cards was ignored has also been fixed, along with unspecified 'slight defects'.

The update can be downloaded here.

Read our Fujifilm X-T3 First Impressions Review

Polarr Deep Crop app crops your images like a pro

Cropping has the potential to turn a good photo into a great one, or even save a shot that would otherwise have ended up in the digital trashcan. Software company Polarr has now launched a new AI-powered app for iOS that should make finding the perfect crop much easier.

Deep Crop's algorithms have been trained to find the most interesting elements in a photo using

using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.

Source image Crop 1
Crop 2 Crop 3

The company also says it has achieved an 20x efficiency boost in RAM and power usage for offline AI- systems, allowing for the app to run locally on your iPhone. This means there's no need for internet connectivity and your image material won't be uploaded to any external servers.

When you launch the app, all images in your camera roll will be displayed, and tapping on a photo will show you suggested crop options. By default, you'll see smart crops of various ratios but it is also possible to specify an aspect ratio.

If you don't like the apps' suggestion you can repeat the process as many times as you like to see more crops. Once you like the result it can be exported or shared in the usual ways.

Source image Crop 1
Crop 2 Crop 3

In its current state Deep Crop is pretty much a one-trick-pony but we'd expect the technology to be integrated into one of Polarr's more comprehensive applications, such as Photo Editor, at some point in the near future. In the meantime the app can help you achieve better crops or simply discover new perspectives when viewing your own images.

Polarr Deep Crop is available on the Apple App Store now.

Polarr Deep Crop app crops your images like a pro

Cropping has the potential to turn a good photo into a great one, or even save a shot that would otherwise have ended up in the digital trashcan. Software company Polarr has now launched a new AI-powered app for iOS that should make finding the perfect crop much easier.

Deep Crop's algorithms have been trained to find the most interesting elements in a photo using

using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.

Source image Crop 1
Crop 2 Crop 3

The company also says it has achieved an 20x efficiency boost in RAM and power usage for offline AI- systems, allowing for the app to run locally on your iPhone. This means there's no need for internet connectivity and your image material won't be uploaded to any external servers.

When you launch the app, all images in your camera roll will be displayed, and tapping on a photo will show you suggested crop options. By default, you'll see smart crops of various ratios but it is also possible to specify an aspect ratio.

If you don't like the apps' suggestion you can repeat the process as many times as you like to see more crops. Once you like the result it can be exported or shared in the usual ways.

Source image Crop 1
Crop 2 Crop 3

In its current state Deep Crop is pretty much a one-trick-pony but we'd expect the technology to be integrated into one of Polarr's more comprehensive applications, such as Photo Editor, at some point in the near future. In the meantime the app can help you achieve better crops or simply discover new perspectives when viewing your own images.

Polarr Deep Crop is available on the Apple App Store now.

Loupedeck is now compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

In June, Loupedeck launched an update to its editing console, including a physical redesign and added Capture One compatibility. Now, a big new software update aims to make the device attractive to an entirely new user group – the Loupedeck+ is now compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro CC, allowing for its use in video editing.

Configuration of the controls is customizable to adapt to your workflow, and configuration setups can be exported for sharing or use across multiple consoles. It is possible to create several LUTs (color lookup tables) for fast and efficient alteration of color and the system also supports flexible timeline navigation, content trimming and clip adjustment.

If Adobe Premier isn't your video editor of choice, you might still be able to use Loupedeck in the future, as the company says it will be rolling out mode video software integrations later this year.

Loupedeck chief Mikko Kesti said in a statement:

"Our mission is to keep on improving the editing workflow, so it's only fitting our next step is in the video editing space. Just like we developed the Loupedeck+ exclusively from community feedback, we felt it was imperative to listen to what our users had to say and make the device's functionality even more well-rounded, providing all the same editing functions that photographers have at their fingertips to videographers. Users can now count on Loupedeck+'s intuitive design and user-friendly approach to enhance their video editing quality and increase their output. Our ongoing partnership with Adobe made introducing these new capabilities with its Premiere Pro CC suite an easy decision."

Loupedeck is now compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

In June, Loupedeck launched an update to its editing console, including a physical redesign and added Capture One compatibility. Now, a big new software update aims to make the device attractive to an entirely new user group – the Loupedeck+ is now compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro CC, allowing for its use in video editing.

Configuration of the controls is customizable to adapt to your workflow, and configuration setups can be exported for sharing or use across multiple consoles. It is possible to create several LUTs (color lookup tables) for fast and efficient alteration of color and the system also supports flexible timeline navigation, content trimming and clip adjustment.

If Adobe Premier isn't your video editor of choice, you might still be able to use Loupedeck in the future, as the company says it will be rolling out mode video software integrations later this year.

Loupedeck chief Mikko Kesti said in a statement:

"Our mission is to keep on improving the editing workflow, so it's only fitting our next step is in the video editing space. Just like we developed the Loupedeck+ exclusively from community feedback, we felt it was imperative to listen to what our users had to say and make the device's functionality even more well-rounded, providing all the same editing functions that photographers have at their fingertips to videographers. Users can now count on Loupedeck+'s intuitive design and user-friendly approach to enhance their video editing quality and increase their output. Our ongoing partnership with Adobe made introducing these new capabilities with its Premiere Pro CC suite an easy decision."

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