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Archive for March, 2017

Mar
31

The Library of Congress has acquired photographer Bob Adelman’s archives

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (004.00.00) © Bob Adelman

On March 20, the Library of Congress announced that it has acquired photographer Bob Adelman's archives, a massive collection containing 575,000 images. An anonymous donor gifted the collection, which now resides with the Library's Prints and Photographs Division. According to the Library's announcement, the collection contains 50,000 printed photos, while the rest of the archives are composed of slides and film negatives.

Adelman, who was born in 1930 and passed away last March, was an award-winning American photographer well known for his iconic photos of the Civil Rights Movement. Adelman's work spans approximately forty years, documenting topics including racial issues, poverty, immigrant experiences, mental illnesses, addictions, and more. Perhaps best known from Adelman's work are his photos of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King.

Via: Library of Congress

Mar
31

Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with two different camera sensors

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

It appears that as with previous Samsung flagship smartphones, the brand new Galaxy S8 and S8+ will, depending on region, come with different camera sensors. Since the launch users have spotted versions with Sony IMX333 and S5K2L2 ISOCELL image sensors. The latter is made by System LSI, which is a subsidiary of Samsung.

The situation is the same for the front camera. One version features a Sony IMX320 imager, the other comes with an ISOCELL S5K3H1 sensor. That said, there is no difference between the two versions in terms of camera specifications. In both main cameras the sensor is a 1/2.55" 12.2MP variant with Dual-Pixel AF. With an F1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization the lens specification is identical as well. Sensor size in the front camera is not known at this point but all models come with an F1.7 aperture and face-detection AF.

Considering camera specifications are identical on all models and presumably so will be image processing, we should not expect any noticeable differences between the two versions, but if we get the chance, we'll try and find out if there is any variation in image quality.

Mar
31

Visiting the ‘Niagara of the West’: Idaho’s Shoshone Falls

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

After visiting Idaho on a road trip, Resource Travel's Michael Bonocore fell in love with the state, and moved there just three months later. One spot he hadn't yet visited was beautiful Shoshone Falls, which is 45 feet taller than world-famous Niagara Falls and arguably as spectacular. 

After a two hours in the car wondering if the light from the setting sun would still be there when he arrived, Michael struck gold:

'I didn’t take into account the fact that the sun would stop hitting the wall of water straight on well before the actual sunset time. But, as the diffused light cascading across the roaring waterfall, I was able to start getting some nice, evenly lit photos.

'And then, it happened.'

Find out what ensued and see even more photos from Michael's trip at Resource Travel. He's also provided some tips on shooting the falls should you end up visiting.

Mar
31

Visiting the ‘Niagara of the West’: Idaho’s Shoshone Falls

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

After visiting Idaho on a road trip, Resource Travel's Michael Bonocore fell in love with the state, and moved there just three months later. One spot he hadn't yet visited was beautiful Shoshone Falls, which is 45 feet taller than world-famous Niagara Falls and arguably as spectacular. 

After a two hours in the car wondering if the light from the setting sun would still be there when he arrived, Michael struck gold:

'I didn’t take into account the fact that the sun would stop hitting the wall of water straight on well before the actual sunset time. But, as the diffused light cascading across the roaring waterfall, I was able to start getting some nice, evenly lit photos.

'And then, it happened.'

Find out what ensued and see even more photos from Michael's trip at Resource Travel. He's also provided some tips on shooting the falls should you end up visiting.

Mar
31

Lensrentals proposes ‘Roger’s Law of Wide Zoom Relativity’

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Trippy stuff - this is MTF data from nine copies of the Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II, at 16mm. Nice and sharp in the center, less so at the edges. That said, all nine of these lenses test as 'good' samples. 

Arch lens nerd Roger Cicala has probably handled more lenses this week than an average photographer might use in a lifetime. And recently, he's been busy testing multiple copies of several popular wideangle zooms to try and prove what he calls 'Roger’s Law of Wide Zoom Relativity'.

Simply stated, Roger's 'law' states that wideangle zoom lenses are virtually always sharpest at the wide end of their zoom range, softening as the lens is zoomed. Although many of us have often wondered whether this is the case, Roger's exhaustive testing proves that it holds true over multiple copies of several modern lens designs, all the way from Nikon's 14-24mm F2.8 to Canon's stunning new 16-35mm F2.8L III.

Averaged MFT charts for nine copies of Nikon's 24-70mm F2.8VR on the left, and data from the older 27-70mm F2.8 on the right. Advances in lens design are obvious from increased sharpness and better consistency across the zoom range. 

What does this mean for the average enthusiast photographer? Just that if you're the kind of shopper that obsessively tests and returns lenses which aren't up to your requirements (cough, cough - Rishi...) you can save a lot of time by only testing the wide end. 

Also of interest is just how good some modern lens designs are. Compared to its predecessor, the new Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III's MTF charts are extraordinary. Likewise Nikon's 24-70mm F2.8 VR, compared to the lens it replaced.

Thanks as always, Roger, for testing nine copies of everything so that we don't have to.

Read Roger Cicala's full blog post at LensRentals.com

Mar
30

770 The Biggest Failures

Filed Under Digital Photography Tips

Chris has a closer look at failed photo-related crowdfunding campaigns, Job needs advice on a 3D camera and Gerald wonders about the difference between a linear and a circular polarizer. Plus: the review of the current Slack photo challenge.

RECEIVE EMAIL FOR NEW EPISODES

Links:

Photo tours with Chris Marquardt:
» May 2017: Svalbard — Arctic (sold out)
» Oct 2017: Bhutan — The Happiness Kingdom (sold out)
» Jan 2018: Ladakh — Chadar Trek
» Aug 2018: Ireland — Giant's Causeway
» Sep 2018: Norway — Lofoten Fantastic Fjords
» Oct 2018: Morocco
» all photo tours

The post 770 The Biggest Failures appeared first on PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM THE TOP FLOOR.

Mar
30

How the heck do you pronounce ‘bokeh’? PGN settles it once and for all

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

'Why are we here?' 'Is there life on other planets?' 'How do you pronounce bokeh?' Photo Gear News might not be able to help us answer all of our burning questions, but they have offered a definitive answer on that last one.

At this year's Photography Show in the UK they polled a number of attendees on their version of the correct pronunciation. Not surprisingly, responses were varied. For all of our sakes, though, they got the definitive answer and put the matter to rest once and for all.

Mar
30

Leica launches 9-lens Thalia series for cinematographers

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Leica has announced a new range of cinema lenses that is aimed at photographers looking for a classic vintage look and exceptional bokeh. There will be nine focal lengths in the Thalia series that almost mirror the focal lengths the company offers its S medium format customers, but this new range is designed to cover a wider picture area to suit users of the Alexa 65, the VistaVison and Super 35mm formats.

The all-prime set-up comprises:

  • 24mm T3.6
  • 30mm T2.9
  • 35mm T2.6
  • 45mm T2.9
  • 55mm T2.8
  • 70mm T2.6
  • 100mm T2.2
  • 120mm T2.6
  • 180mm T3.6

Leica says it hasn’t gone for a super-sharp image but rather provides a look that many cinematographers search for by using older lenses with digital sensors. It claims the images are ‘clear without being overly sharp and focus is smooth and forgiving without looking soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with accurate color rendition.’

The iris of each lens features 15 blades arranged in a mechanism that produces a circular aperture throughout the complete range of stops, according to Leica. The company says that this creates ‘a cinematic bokeh that comes alive with character. Out-of-focus elements maintain their structure, which further adds to the sense of dimensionality in the image.’
For the size of the covering circle the lenses are said to be relatively compact and lightweight, and each has a diameter of 95mm. The lenses will be available in PL mount and come with /i Technology contacts for metadata transfer.

No price has been announced yet, but these are going to cost more than one week’s pocket money. For more information see the CW Sonderoptic website.

Press release

Leica Thalia: New Lenses for Big Picture Cinematography

Responding to the increasing need for character-driven, large-format optics, CW Sonderoptic introduces the Leica Thalia series of prime lenses. The set of 9 spherical lenses provides an image circle of 60mm diagonal, which covers ARRI Alexa 65, VistaVision, and Super 35 film and digital formats while maintaining a consistent look and feel through all focal lengths.

The focal lengths of the lenses include 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm. The lenses are available in PL mount and offer /i Technology metadata contacts in the mount. The lenses maintain a 95mm front diameter and matched focus and iris ring locations for consistent accessory use. For large format lenses they are also incredibly compact and lightweight, with lengths between 4.9”-6.9” (124.5-175cm) and weighing between 2.4-3.75lbs (1.06-1.6kg).

One of the most unique features of the Leica Thalia lenses is their iris design, which maintains a circular shape through the entire aperture range. In addition to always being round, the bokeh is smooth, distinct and full of character, which helps the out of focus elements maintain structure and shape without falling apart.

Although the lenses are based on the Leica S medium format lenses, they feature significant optical and mechanical changes, including: increased image circle, new coatings, new iris design, 270° rotation cam focus mechanism, and entirely new mechanics and housings. Additionally, the 55mm lens is a completely new lens.

“The look of these lenses answers what we have heard from many cinematographers, and not just in regards to image circle,” said managing director Gerhard Baier.

“While they are new lenses, they do offer many of the characteristics that have encouraged cinematographers to pair older lenses with digital sensors. They are clear without being overly sharp. Focus is smooth and forgiving without appearing soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with an accurate color rendition.”

The Leica Thalia lenses will be on display at the CW Sonderoptic booth at NAB (C4345) and will start delivering in Summer 2017.

For more information visit the product page at www.cw-sonderoptic.com/leica-thalia/ or contact us at sales@cw-sonderoptic.de.

Mar
30

Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM C available for pre-order for $800

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

The Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens introduced last month during CP+ has launched for pre-order at $800. The telephoto lens is described by Sigma as both lightweight and compact, offering a dustproof and splashproof design alongside a front lens water- and oil-repellent coating to help keep the glass clean.

Four SLD glass elements complement the Contemporary lens' Super Multi-Layer coating to decrease both color fringing and chromatic aberrations, and they are joined by a nine-blade rounded diaphragm. Optical image stabilization works alongside the Hyper Sonic Motor autofocusing system to provide sharp images. Sigma bills this lens as offering 'exceptional performance at lower shutter speeds.'

Specs:

  • Lens Construction: 21 Elements in 15 Groups
  • Angle of View:  24.4º -- 6.2 º
  • Min to Max Aperture: f/22 -- f/5 - 6.3
  • Max Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.8
  • Min. Focusing Distance: 5.25' (1.6 m)
  • Filter Thread: 67mm
  • Dimensions: 86.4 x 182.3mm/ 3.4 x 7.2in
  • Weight: 1160 gram / 40.9 ounce

The new Sigma Contemporary lens is currently listed as available for pre-order on B&H Photo with a shipping date of 'end of May 2017.' The lens is also listed on Sigma's website, but it still reads 'Available Soon' with no pre-order option.

Via: NikonRumors

Mar
30

Throwback Thursday: Nikon D70

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

In 2004 I had to make the same grueling decision as many fellow photographers: Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) or Nikon D70 - which one was to become my first digital SLR? The Canon, which had been launched in August 2003 was the first true consumer-level DSLR and had been on my wish list for a few months when, in January 2004, Nikon threw a curve ball and launched a direct competitor to the EOS 300D: the D70, the company's first sub-$1000 digital SLR.

The D70 shared quite a lot with its 2-year-older sibling D100, including a six megapixel CCD sensor and the MultiCAM 900 autofocus system. It did not have the option to attach a hand grip and came with fewer custom functions and a plastic body but offered better  performance as well as improved image sharpness and detail when compared to its more expensive cousin. 

The D70 also had more manual controls and was more customizable than the Canon EOS 300D. After reading Phil Askey's D70 review in April 2004 it quickly became clear to me that the D70 was the way to go. Phil wrote in his article that the Nikon D70 was 'a camera which is a significant step ahead of the EOS 300D in terms of build quality and feature set and a match, and in some instances better from an image quality point of view.' He went on to conclude that 'There's no risk involved in the D70's slightly higher price compared to the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel), it's absolutely worth it.'

 The Nikon D70 next to its closest rival, the Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel).

Despite Phil's in-depth testing and analysis, I have to admit that one of the main reasons I favored the D70 over the Canon did not have anything to do with image quality or manual controls: with its black body and slightly beefier dimensions the Nikon simply looked much more professional and business-like than the silver-colored and slightly plasticky-feeling Canon.

Eventually the final decision about which camera to get was taken out of my hands anyway. My parents gave me a D70 kit with two entry-level Sigma lenses for my 30th birthday and they had no idea what they'd just done. I had been a keen amateur photographer before, but the D70 took things to a whole new level and triggered a true obsession with digital imaging. Virtually my entire spare time was spent either shooting and editing images, reading about photography or communicating with other photographers in online forums such as the ones on this very website

Three years later I applied for the position of camera reviewer at Dpreview.com and, after a fairly intense interview process, Phil and Simon offered me the job. Working at Dpreview meant that I suddenly had access to virtually any camera on the market and the Nikon got less use but I still own the camera today. It has simply had too much of an impact on both my career path and life to ever sell it.

Read our Nikon D70 review