Sigma’s new Classic Art Prime Cine and /i Technology PL lens kits to sell for $44K

Sigma has announced the pricing and availability for its upcoming Classic Art Prime Cine and /i Technology-compatible Cine Art Prime PL-mount lenses. These are variants of its Art Cine Prime with simpler coatings for a classic cinema aesthetic. The company plans to release the Classic Art Prime Cine line as a set of 10 lenses in January 2020 for $43,999; these lenses will only be available as part of the full set.

Unlike the Classic Art Prime Cine lenses, the /i Technology-compatible versions will be released for individual purchase in two different batches, the first going up for sale later this month and the second going up for sale in late January 2020. The lenses will be available from authorized dealers.

The /i Technology versions communicate shooting metadata to camera bodies that are compatible with Cooke's communication protocol.

The following /i Technology-compatible lenses will be priced at $3,899 each with availability listed below:

  • 20mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
  • 24mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
  • 28mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
  • 35mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
  • 40mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
  • 50mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
  • 85mm T1.5 (late December 2019)

The remaining three new /i Technology-compatible lenses will be priced at $5,499 each:

  • 14mm T2 (late January 2020)
  • 105mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
  • 135mm T2 (late January 2020)

The movie Top Gun: Maverick scheduled to hit theaters early next year was shot using early versions of Sigma's new FF High Speed Prime /i Technology-compatible lens, according to the company. As the name indicates, these lenses are compatible with the /i Technology communication protocol from Cooke Optics.

Photography podcast ‘The Group Chat’ launches with critical look at the preset market

A new photography podcast called 'The Group Chat' has published its first episode: 'Presets and Why They Suck.' The episode is free to watch on YouTube, where hosts Christian Gideon and Nick Goodwin discuss why presents 'are so detrimental' to the photography industry.

In a statement to PetaPixel, The Group Chat co-creator Gideon explains, 'Our first episode is a hard-hitting look at why the industry of selling presets to photographers is mostly BS.' As the comment indicates, the podcast episode contains adult language and may not be suitable for certain environments.

Additional information about the show, its creators, and their workshops can be found on The Group Chat website.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Lamps

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Lamps appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

This week’s photography challenge topic is LAMPS!

Lamps can be beautifully designed, and they can add lovely ambient light to your photos.

Whatever form they take, we’d love you to go out and capture their many looks and feels in this week’s challenge!

They can be color, or black and white. They can be a small part of a wider composition or you can focus in on their fine details. They can add light to a portrait, or a still life scene, or an interior architectural scene, or they can be street lamps in a landscape – the decision is yours!

So, check out these inspiring pics, have fun, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Check out some of the articles below that give you tips on this week’s challenge.

Tips for Shooting LAMPS

3 Tips for Photographing Mixed Lighting in Interiors

Stealing Light – Using Street Lights for Portraits

4 Tips to Help People Photographers Shoot Interior Spaces

3 Easy Tips for Photographing Details in a Scene

Shooting Details to Tell a Visual Story

Architecture: Photographing Exterior Details

Tips for Getting Started with Still Life Photography

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSlamps to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Lamps appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

Sigma Japan confirms the release date for its L-mount 40mm F1.4, 105mm F1.4 ‘Art’ lenses

Sigma Japan has confirmed (machine-translated)the L-mount versions of its 40mm F1.4 DG HSM and 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lenses, will start shipping on December 20, 2019.

Sigma says the control algorithm for the two lenses has been optimized to ensure full AF drive and body communication functionality for L-mount camera systems.

The two lenses will retail for roughly the same price as their Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma SA and Sony E mount counterparts. B&H currently has the 40mm F1.4 DG HSM for L-mount and 105mm F1.4 DG HSM for L-mount available to pre-order for $1,399 and $1,599, respectively.

Gear of the Year 2019 – Carey’s choice: Sigma 45mm F2.8

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Sigma's 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens is, in many ways, not a great lens for pixel-peepers. It exhibits some fringing, it isn't particularly sharp, and it has a pretty pedestrian maximum aperture. But I really enjoy it anyway, and it's served as a reminder that any given lens doesn't have to be perfect to be fun.

I first got to shoot around with the 45mm F2.8 Contemporary on a trip to Japan for the release of Sigma's fp, their staggering 35mm F1.2 Art, and the newly designed 14-24mm F2.8 Art. No surprise, the little 45 mil was easily overshadowed by its headline-grabbing brethren. But during my time on that trip, it was glued to the a7R III I was using while traveling from one locale to another. The biggest reason for that is that the lens itself is so small.

Sigma fp | ISO 160 | 1/100 sec | F4

Small gear is unobtrusive and far less intimidating for subjects, and this definitely has an impact on the way I take pictures: namely, I take more pictures of people when I'm working with less intimidating gear. I also just tend to take pictures more often, as I'll always have a smaller camera and lens combo slung over my shoulder, whereas larger gear is more likely to be tucked away in a bag when I'm not actively using it.

We've touched a bit on the Sigma 45mm's image quality at the outset out of this article, but I'd like to backpedal a bit. The biggest 'issue' with it is uncorrected spherical aberration, essentially trading-off some sharpness for more attractive bokeh: a deliberate decision on Sigma's part. And I have to admit that there's something about its rendering that I find appealing. I also appreciate its very close minimum focus distance, which helps you get shallower depth-of-field than you might expect with an F2.8 aperture, though images get a bit hazy if you're focusing very close with the aperture wide-open.

Sony a7R III | ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F2.8
Taken with a pre-production lens

And then there's the build quality. The 45mm Contemporary is not weather-sealed, which is a big disappointment; especially considering how well it pairs with Sigma's fp, which is very well-sealed throughout. But the lens still has a premium feel, with its all-metal build. The focus ring is so perfectly damped that I fiddle with it all the time even though I'm exclusively an autofocus kinda guy, and the aperture ring has just the right amount of clickiness to it. Autofocus is very fast, and works well with the DFD technology in Panasonic's S1-series of cameras.

There is room in the market for less 'serious' tools that are still excellent in actual use

I think my main grumble concerns the price. It's currently still hovering around its launch price of $559 USD, which is unequivocally a lot of coin for a slow, non-weather-sealed prime lens that has, perhaps, a bit more optical 'character' than people may expect nowadays.

Sigma fp | ISO 100 | 1/125 | F8

On the other hand, I'm pleased that Sigma is making it. It's a company with a portfolio chock-full of glass that was created with size and weight considerations taking a back seat to optical excellence. There is room in the market for smaller, lighter, less 'serious' photographic tools that are nonetheless engaging in actual use. That's the type of tool the Sigma 45mm F2.8 is, and I hope it's not the last lens of its type we see from Sigma.

Sample gallery

How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters

The post How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

black-and-white-digital-filters-photography

When we think about black and white photographs, we generally associate them with an absence of color.

This is certainly not the case.

Like all photographs, black and white images are made from light, and light consists of innumerable wavelengths that produce the colors we see with our eyes. With black and white photography, we might not see the saturation of colors the same way, but the luminance values of these colors remain the same whether we view them in color or black and white.

This is why it’s so important to shoot digital black and white photos in RAW mode so that we can later manipulate these intact luminance values to control the contrasts within our digitally-converted black and white photos.

Black-and-White-digital-filters

All of this is based on the use of physical “color” lens filters, which filter out different wavelengths of light to produce varying contrast effects in black and white photography.

A red filter produces dark, dramatic skies in landscape photos while orange filters can radically reduce the appearance of freckles and other skin blemishes in your portraits.

Of course, this means carrying a set of filters with you constantly and also compensating for the slight reduction in light with adjustments to your exposures.

Black-and-White-digital-filters

But what if I told you that your DSLR or MDC (mirrorless digital camera) most likely has all of the color filters you will need for outstanding black and white work right at your fingertips?

I know, I was initially just as surprised as you are. Read on.

Black and white digital filters

Real black and white color filters work to filter out other wavelengths of light that don’t fall into the color spectrum of the filter. This means red filters allow red wavelengths to pass, blue allows blue, etc.

The cool thing is, many major camera manufacturers have seen fit to include digital amalgamations of these color filters. They could very well be slightly buried in your camera’s settings, but Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic all offer models which sport built-in black and white color filters.

As always, your camera user manual is your best friend. However, you may often find these filter options (if you have them) in the monochrome settings of your digital camera. In our example, I’ll be using a Canon 5D MKIII.

Black-and-White-digital-filters

I’m about to say something not usually encountered when it comes to digital photography these days – when using these digital black and white filters, it can be best to shoot JPEG…not RAW.

Sure, you’re going to lose some post-processing leverage, but seeing that you can see the effects of your filter choices and you likely intend to end up with a black and white photo anyway, there’s not much reason to save the color information with a RAW file.

The wonderful thing about digital black and white filters is that you can enjoy real-time feedback of the filter effects.

Which filter to use?

We’ve touched on a few of the circumstances where color black and white filters are best suited. In most cases, your digital camera will have a set of digital color filters from which to choose: red, yellow, orange, green and blue. These options, however, will vary. For instance, my 5D MKIII has no blue filter option.

Have a look at some examples and each of these below. I’ve used the same scene to show the varying effects of each filter. I’ve also listed a few quick scenarios that may help you choose a particular filter setting.

Here’s the original color photo for reference:

Image: Color image with no in-camera black and white filters applied.

Color image with no in-camera black and white filters applied.

Red Filter

This filter is a great way to pump in instant drama to most black and white landscape photos.

Black-and-White-digital-filters

Notice the immediate darkening of the blue sky with the red filter

The red filter drastically reduces the transmission of blue wavelengths, thus darkening blue skies and making clouds pop. Some scenes can take on an almost infrared appearance.

Orange Filter

Taking it down a notch from the heavily-apparent effects of the red filter, the orange filter produce similar, yet subdued, contrasts to its red cousin.

How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters

Orange color filters are great “general purpose filters” for adding in contrast to your black and white photos. They darken blue skies and help to bring out the appearance of clouds.

For portraits, they work great for reducing skin blemishes like moles and freckles.

Orange filters are also great for reducing atmospheric haze and fog.

Yellow Filter

A yellow color filter produces effects even less “in your face” than the orange filter. A yellow filter is a good option for bringing out the contrasts of foliage and can also be a good choice for a general black and white photography filter when the orange filter is a bit too harsh.

How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters

The next two filters are less useful for most shooters but still bear mentioning. Well, not less useful, but perhaps not found as commonly in black and white photography as the other color filters I’ve mentioned.

Green Filter

Of course, this filter allows the transmission of green light. This makes it a good choice for flower and foliage photography as it helps to add contrast between the often green-colored stems and leaves of the plants. All while providing separation from the different-colored flowers and blossoms.

How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters

Green filters can also brighten blue skies but not as much as the last filter we’re about to discuss.

Final thoughts on in-camera digital filters…

Digital photography has made many things easier and more accessible for photographers. Even more fortunate, many of the same tried-and-true technical and optical principles still apply to our digital cameras. Built-in digital black and white color filters are just one of the many benefits of our brave new digital age.

Black-and-White-digital-filters

Many popular camera manufacturers have included digital black and white color filters with their digital camera offerings, so check your particular model.

Black and white color filters allow you to add instant strength and contrast to your black and white photos.

Depending on your particular scene or subject, you can produce amazingly powerful black and whites before you ever download them from your camera. Color black and white filters have long been a standby of serious photographers, and it’s great to see them still holding their own, albeit in a more modern, digital incarnation.

So go out and try these black and white digital filters, and share your photos with us in the comments section!

The post How to Achieve Awesome Black and White Photos with Digital Filters appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Adam Welch.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

The post 7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

tools-for-photographing-children

When it comes to photographing children at portrait sessions, most often it’s not the gear that gets them to enjoy the session or has them laughing. In this article, we are going to share the best tools for photographing children that are not gear related and useful for every portrait session with children.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

1. The squeaky chicken (rr any noisy toy)

When it comes to tools for photographing children, there is nothing more fun than a toy that makes noise. A weird, interesting, noisy, and curious squeaking chicken is all of those things and more. They come in various sizes and offer lots of ideas for getting the attention of smaller children and laughs from older children.

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

This is the chicken that I have. When squeezed, it makes a sound that is able to capture anyone’s attention. As you can see it gets used quite a bit.

Use the toy as a way to get the child’s attention toward the camera. A great tip is to bang your head with it and pretend that it hurt in a fun and interesting way. Children love unexpected reactions, and you’ll definitely get big smiles using the chicken.

You can also play hide and seek with the chicken popping it from behind you in a different direction each time. The child won’t know where it’ll pop up from next! A huge hit!

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

These laughs are brought to you by the chicken hitting me on the head. Camera is on a tripod to avoid shaking.

When the children are a bit older, you can plop the chicken, or any other noisy toy, on your camera and ask “Hey, where did my chicken go? Have you seen it?” This can get a great reaction out of the child and also keep their attention as a fun way to look at the camera long enough to shoot off a few frames.

2. Bribes

This one is a staple for all children at portrait sessions, but first, make sure you consult with the parents before the session to know if bribery is okay.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

Ask your clients if you should bring candy or if they can bring a favorite treat for the child when its time for the session. Only use in emergencies since children can lose interest if they have to continuously work for it.

A small lollipop or chewable candy works wonders when you need them to smile. You can bribe them with a taste or piece. Make sure to work quickly, though, because they’ll want that bribe instantly!

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

Here we used two different games with the parents. The swing game while they walked and the tickling game. Smiles all around!

3. Play games

Games are probably not going to get you many of those photos where the children are looking at the camera, however, they will bring about some smiles and great photos of the family interacting. Luckily, you don’t need much for this other than some interesting games for all ages!

One that works great with children is to pick them up, especially for the younger age group. Have mommy and daddy tickle them too.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

Another one is to ask the family to look at each other and make some silly faces! Children love to make silly faces. You can ask them to do one with silly faces and then one where they smile big at the camera!

Chase is a great game, just make sure you focus fast and can capture the motion! Children are pretty quick and mommy and daddy will also get a kick out of chasing their little one around while getting big laughs!

Peek-A-Boo is a great game to play with smaller children under the age of 3! They know it so well from playing with their parents that when you do, it will seem familiar. They might even want to play along! Play peek-a-boo from behind your camera or use a toy to hide and pop out. Both work really well to grab the attention of the child.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

A game that gets the biggest laughs is also when you get close and tickle them and then back away quickly. Only, the next time you go in to tickle you don’t actually tickle. It’s good to say “I’m gonna get you” as you play this game so they anticipate the game!

This trick works best when you have an assistant so that you don’t miss any shots. If you have to do this yourself, try and put your camera on a tripod with a wireless shutter release so you get the smiles even if you’re not at your camera. That works wonders! If the parents don’t want contact, have one of them play the game with their child and it can also work to get lots of laughs!

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

Also, children are great at making up games. So when they start to play, have everyone play along and then ask them to smile or look your way! Sometimes you’ll get the child looking at you and other times you will get great interaction among the family members. Both make great additions to the final gallery of images!

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

Children are great at playing games, let them have fun and they’ll look at the camera soon enough.

4. Children’s playlist

When it comes to tools for photographing children, consider music. Children love music. So it would be a good idea to have a playlist on your phone of all the classic favorites like Wheels on the Bus, The Ants Go Marching In, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and others.

Also, ask your clients what the child likes to listen to as far as music goes and create a specific playlist for that session.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

A good plus would be to have a small external speaker so you can have it on location. That way, you don’t really have to move or hold onto your phone for the songs to hear the songs. External speakers also sound a lot louder than just your phone, which can grab the attention of the child.

5. Mommy and Daddy

One of the best tools for photographing children is Mom and Dad! Using mom and dad as a way to get the attention of the child can help because the children can recognize their voice and identify them quickly, even when they are very young!

Have the parent stand behind you or at least very close to the camera. That way, when the child looks at them, it’ll seem like they were looking at the camera.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

It’s also fun to play games while the parent is close to you and have them bonk your head or act like daddy farted. That one works best when the children are around 4 years old and usually gets a laugh out of them.

Getting the parents involved in the fun makes the child feel more comfortable around you, who is new to them or maybe not so familiar. Have the parents toss the child up into the air or just raise them up high and smile.

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

They can also go exploring, dig in the sand, and walk hand-in-hand with the parents if they’re willing to participate! It will get a lot more laughs and more authentic expressions from the child.

This tool works great, especially when the child isn’t cooperating, or it’s difficult to get their attention. The parents know their child best and can help get those smiles, and they’ll be glad to help!

6. Using the Uh-Oh method

When a child is small, typically around 3 years and under, the sound of “uh-oh” can get their attention much more than a solid “no”.

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

Using “uh-oh” can be a great way to get a child’s attention and stop them from doing something that is not allowing them to look at the camera or follow instructions. Of course, they’re young, and sometimes won’t follow instructions at all, so using “uh-oh” can divert them much better.

7. Props

Props work for various reasons as they can help with the session set up and overall look. However, when it comes to children, props help keep children engaged and, most often, in one spot.

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

Speak with your clients and see what props will work best for the age of their child(ren). For little ones perhaps cars, blocks, and plush toys work. For a bit older children, perhaps a kite, picnic set up, or game works best.

Look for items that add to the session rather than take attention away from your clients. Choose toys or props that are neutral in color or go with the color scheme.

Tools-for-Photographing-Children-that-are-not-Gear-Related

In conclusion

7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime!

While your gear is important during portrait sessions, especially with children, adding in games, toys, and noisemakers to your set of skills and gear can really change the way they experience the session. Your clients will thank you for providing a fun experience for everyone, all while capturing great images of their children!

Do you have any other tools for photographing children that are not gear related? Share with us in the comments!

The post 7 Tools for Photographing Children That Will Get You Great Shots Everytime! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jackie Lamas.

This Chrome extension makes Instagram ‘likes’ visible again

Over the past several months, Instagram has steadily removed publicly visible 'likes' from content posted on its platform, a decision that has polarized users. As the company explained earlier this year, hiding 'likes' removes the competitive feel from the platform, encouraging users to focus on the content, not how many people are engaging with it. A new Web browser extension changes that.

Called 'The Return of Likes,' this new Chrome extension enables users to view like and comment counts on images when browsing Instagram using a Web browser. 'Instagram has stopped displaying the number of likes and comments in some areas,' developer Socialinsider explains, '[and] that makes the life of a Social Media person very complicated so we thought about lending a hand.'

'The Return of Likes' extension is available in the Chrome Web Store now; it doesn't appear to be available for any other Web browsers at this time.

Profoto A1X studio light and Off-Camera Kit now support Fujifilm cameras

The Profoto A1X, a model the company says is the smallest studio light d on the market, can now be used with Fujifilm cameras. The new support covers the Profoto A1X AirTTL-F model, as well as the Off-Camera Kit featuring a button-free trigger and the Profoto Connect.

The Profoto A1X AirTTL-F studio light connects to a camera's hot shoe, offering up to 450 full-power flashes, a rapid full-power recycling speed at 1 second, as well as 20 wireless channels and an updated UI from the previous A1 model.

The A1X likewise features a 6.9cm (2.75in) round tilting and rotating head with 76W of flash output via an LED modeling light, as well as auto-zoom functionality with a manual override, support for high-speed sync (HSS), shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000s, and a built-in white-on-black LCD.

The Profoto A1X AirTTL-F studio light for Fujifilm is available from B&H Photo now for $1,095; the A1X Off-Camera Kit for Fujifilm is currently listed for preorder at $1,195.

The Motorola One Hyper tosses a 64MP main cam, 32MP selfie cam inside a $400 phone

Smartphone manufacturer Motorola has launched a new model that features a 64MP rear camera and a pop-up selfie camera with a 32MP sensor. The Motorola One Hyper comes with 128GB of internal storage, can accept microSD cards of up to 1TB to boost storage and has 4GB of RAM.

The device will run Android 10 and uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 platform with its 2GHz Kryo 460 octa-core CPU, and is powered by a 4000mAh battery that Motorola claims provides up to 38 hours of use. The phone’s screen measures 6.5in, all of which can be used to display images as the selfie camera pops up out of the top of the phone instead of shooting through the main screen as happens in smartphones with 'teardrop' or 'punch hole' selfie cameras. The 19:9-screen has a resolution of 1080x2340 pixels, which equates to 395 pixels per inch.

The main camera offers users a choice of the 64MP sensor or a secondary 16MP sensor, both of which use a F1.9 aperture. A further 8MP rear-facing camera is fitted with a wide angle lens that has an angle of view of 118° — about 13mm on a full frame camera — and an aperture of F2.2.

The rear camera can shoot RAW files as well as JPEGs, and offers auto modes that shoot when a smile or a wave is detected and will also suggest modes according to what its AI thinks the subject is. Video can be recorded in 4K at 30p and FHD at up to 60p, while slow-motion modes are also available.

The Motorola One Hyper has both a USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio port, features NFC and Bluetooth 5.0, and can take on a full day’s charge in ten minutes using the optional 45W charger. It costs $399 in the US and will cost £269.99 in the UK later this month.
For more information see the Motorola website.

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