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19 October 2017, Thursday

New manual-focus from Zeiss

Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 for Nikon

Zeiss Milvus 25mm f/1.4 for Canon

 

16 October 2017, Monday

New from Canon

Canon G1 X Mark III 

LH-DC110 Lens Hood for G1 X Mark III

PSC-6300 Deluxe Soft Case for G1 X Mark III 

WP-DC56 Waterproof Case for G1 X Mark III

 

13 October 1999, Friday

18 years of KenRockwell.com!

Even better than Friday the 13th, it is 18 years ago today that I put KenRockwell.com on the air.

This website is now eligible and registered to vote in al 50 US states, as well as every province in Canada, all 31 states and the D.F. in México, as well as every department in France. Other registrations are rolling is as I write this (most are automatic through ICANN), and this website now can buy alcohol and sign up for military service.

Whoo hoo!

 

One More Week

Our two awesome High Sierra and Yosemite fall workshops start Monday, 23 October 2017.

Hope to see you there.

 

More on the Big Screen

A difference between an Apple monitor and using a 4K TV as your monitor is that your keyboard brightness controls no longer do anything - but the TV has an ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness automatically, so it's a wash.

With its ambient light sensor my Samsung TV varies, in my office depending on how I have my lights set and the time of day, between LV 6 to LV 10 in white areas — a 16:1 difference in screen brightness.

Also be sure to increase your mouse tracking speed at System Preferences > Mouse.

 

10 October 2017, Tuesday

I LOVE the Big Screen!

I finally figured out how to get 4K at 60 FPS with the 55" curved-screen Samsung UN55MU8500 monitor I use with my Mac Pro as I first mentioned a few days ago for an incredible desktop experience.

All you need for 4K at 30 FPS is a 4K TV (4K is the same as UHD; HDR or 3D isn't necessary) and an 18 GHz HDMI cable; I use the Amazon Basics which are great for 4K/60. Plug in the TV via the HDMI jack on your Mac Pro and you're good - but only at 30 FPS and at about 8-bits. With only 8 bits I see some banding in the sky of the desktop image in the Mac High Sierra OS 10.13, and at only 30 FPS the image and mouse response is slower than usual. Here's how to spend under $30 to get to 60 FPS for smooth, live mouse response and smooth 10-bit color:

 

1.) Get either of these DisplayPort to HDMI active adapters:

1a.) UPTab Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0a active adapter or

1b.) Club 3D CAC-1170 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 active adapter.

I bought both of these because the first one wouldn't work. It turns out the problem was with the TV settings as I'll explain below; either of these work fine.

They both work as well as the other. The Club 3D CAC-1170 is smaller and costs a little less, while the UPTab has better customer service which lead me to figure out how to fix the problem as I'll explain below. Club 3D never figured it out, but instead led me to install needless software which would have needed to be purchased after a demo period (SwitchResX) and dangerously muck around in Terminal, none of which worked — and which is why I then bought the UPTab adapter as suggested by one of you great readers.

 

2.) Plug the adapter into a Thunderbolt port on your Mac (not the HDMI port).

 

3.) Plug your HDMI cable from the adapter and into your 4K TV.

 

4.) Believe it or not with all this state-of-the-art gee-whiz equipment, Samsung TVs requires you to go into a secret menu to activate what you paid for! Otherwise, the Samsung TVs stay stuck at 8-bit 30 FPS. To activate 60 FPS and full color, you have to:

4a.) Press the House button on the remote that came with the TV.

4b.) Click Settings, then down to General, then right and down to External Device Manager.

4c.) In External Device Manager, click down to HDMI UHD Color.

4d.) Select the HDMI input you use (or select them all if you like), and click it. You'll see the grey dot turn green.

4e.) Click down and click Close.

4f.) Click the House button on the remote and the return (left U-turn) button on the remote to make the TV menus go away, and you're done.

5.) To confirm the resolution and frame rate at which your Samsung monitor is operating, click the center button of your remote. You'll see a gray bar along the top with the information. If it says 3840x2160 / 60p HDMI UHD Color, you're done.

6.) In case you forgot, select the Movie picture mode for best quality:

6a.) Press the House (Home) button on the remote.

6b.) Click left to Settings.

6c.) Click up to Picture Mode.

6d.) Click the center button a few times to Movie. The other modes are brighter, but too blue and oversharpened. The other modes are to make the TV look as bright as it can; the Movie mode makes it look as good as it can.

6e.) Click the house button again to make the menu go away.

6f.) Don't select the GAME or PC modes in other menus, as these often lock-out the Movie mode you want and force you into the too-bright and too-blue "flamethrower" picture modes.

 

07 October 2017, Saturday

Great Optical Drive

I have one of these little USB drives I use with my iMac 5K, since I'm always ingesting and reading CDs and DVDs. I rarely burn anything, but I have quite an archive on optical discs and buy music on CDs to ingest to iTunes as I want them encoded (128 or 160 kbps VBR AAC); these formats sound indistinguishable from the original music and let me fill my devices with twice as much music than with 256 or 320 kbps files; I'm a music lover, not a bit collector). Yes, all my backups to CD from 2001 still read just fine, thank you. I usually use Fuji CDRs.

Seeing how neat the one little drive is on my desk with the iMac, I decided to get one to try to replace the huge pair of Lacie 52x CD-R and 24x DVD-R drives that sit on my desk I use with my Mac Pro.

I figured I could invest an extra $57 in the name of science and go whole-hog modern and get this Pioneer Blu-Ray (and DVD and CD) reader-writer. Whoa! While I have yet to bother with any Blu-Ray discs, the Blu-Ray drive works much better and faster than any of my other drives for reading DVDs. I have no idea why, but it slews and gets everything mounted on my desktop faster, and does whatever I need to do faster than my older drives.

Even if you don't care about Blu-Ray, definitely consider this drive if you want a tiny optical drive for use with driveless computers. It needs no separate power supply; just plug into USB 3 and you're done. It's great on a desk as the OPEN button sits on top of the drive; it's top-load.

 

Making Bigger Better

Some of you asked more about the 55" monitor I use with my Mac Pro I mentioned the other day:

 

Logistics

Plug the TV in with an HDMI cable to your Mac that has an HDMI port, like the Mac Pro, and the monitor just works and you can configure it under System Preferences > Displays like any other monitor. The OS doesn't care if you plug-in via Thunderbolt or HDMI.

Yes, at only 30 FPS there will be a little lag and this isn't for playing games. I use my Mac Pro for production, not for games. The huge increase in workspace more than makes up for any lag, which I didn't notice after a little while.

I still haven't gotten to 60 FPS. I'm going to try this adapter next.

 

4K

You have to use a 4K TV for this. A regular HDTV has only half the resolution (1,920 x 1,080 versus 3,840 x 2,160) and doesn't achieve anything over a regular monitor.

 

Internet connection to the TV?

When setting up the 4K TV, you don't need to connect it to your WiFi network — unless you want to use the TV to watch Netflix while your computer is off doing other things. Ditto for an antenna; no need unless you want to watch free over-the-air HDTV when you're not using the computer.

 

Versus a 5K iMac?

The resolutions are similar.

A 55"4K TV is twice the size as a 27" 5K iMac, but at half the linear resolution.

The iMac has an ultrasharp Retina display that crams all this resolution into a normal-sized screen.

A 55" 4K TV has the same resolution, but spread out over a huge screen twice the size, but at the same DPI as a normal computer monitor.

I prefer the huge monitor because I'm over 30 years old and everything is more spread out. All my software works perfectly on the 55" monitor. Media Pro still doesn't take advantage of the Retina display, working at only half the Retina Display's resolution, but used with the 55" display, works flawlessly at the higher resolution.

The Retina display works in concert with the Mac OS to render everything at the right size, making the concept of pixels obsolete.

The 55" 4K TV as monitor keeps the pixels and sizes all as on a normal computer monitor, just with four times the display area to get four times as much work done. (OK, a 45" 4K TV is about the same 106 DPI as a computer monitor, the 55" makes everything look about 20% bigger so I don't have to squint at the small stuff.)

I don't mind crazy big. Normal people would probably prefer the 5K iMac as it look much more reasonable siting on a desk — and it's so much more beautiful when turned off.

 

Color Calibration

While I don't need it, I do plan to get a basic calibrator and run it. With anything other than a CRT, calibrate once and they never drift. I've never seen colors change when I come back and calibrate the same LCD years later.

 

Audio

Audio is the same as whatever you're already doing. Of course you also can use the stereo speakers built into the TV if you like; configure them in your Mac at System Preferences > Sound.

I just happen to like a nice Hi-Fi system on my desk, and the same gear I'm already using, as well as optical disc drives and card readers all fit great under the middle of the screen since its stands are at the two far ends.

I crossover to my subwoofers at 40 Hz because it sounds much better than crossing over at 80 or 100 Hz in the middle of the music band. Crossovers do nasty things to music, especially if you place the subwoofers anyplace other than in the same place as your main speakers, even if you have a crossover with programmable delays.

The speakers are 18" (50cm) away from my ears; I don't need to send the critical 40~100 Hz band to the subwoofers to get more SPL, but I do need the purest and unadulterated sound across the music band. Crossing over at 40 Hz keeps more of the music on my desk where it sounds best rather than send it to the corners of my office where the subwoofers sit, and also lets me use the subwoofer level control on the crossover as a much more efficient bass and loudness control than if I crossed over at 100 Hz.

No, I'm not bothering with the bass alignment filter (equalizer) for the 805s. I'm trying to keep this simple.

Yes, I am using two pairs of audioengine stands to angle the 805s. Tilted back the 805s sound fantastic, but sitting flat on the desk the tweeters are closer to my ears than the woofers and sound way too bright.

 

Silence

The monitor is silent. It only draws about 65W from the wall depending on brightness, so I don't hear any fans and it doesn't get hot.

 

Overall

I think this is the best monitor ever. I can see everything I'm doing, and have a load of stuff up at the same time. I can see loads of thumbnails, they are a lot bigger than thumbnails, and they are just as sharp as they are on a smaller monitor.

In Photoshop I rarely have to zoom in or out; I have so much resolution that I can see all the details and dust as I edit, and I can see this even with the complete image on my screen. Marching ants on the PhotoShop CS6 I use look as they always do, there are just a lot more of them on the huge 55" monitor. On the 5K iMac, they are tiny and harder to see because the pixels are half the size on the 5K iMac.

For showing photos, the 55" 4K is the biggest and brightest you've ever seen your photos. The 5K iMac is awesome, but 55" is twice the size (four times the area), and ultra bright.

I measured the 55" (diagonal) TV, and the display area is 27 x 48" — not a bad size to see your photos from arm's length!

Of course you need to be good at hooking up TVs and computer monitors to get this to go. It's a simple hook up, but you do have to plug it in. The funny part is the Mac just does everything automatically, but you have to program the TV in a few places for setup.

 

05 October 2017, Thursday

Bigger is so much better

Samsung 55" 4K UHD TV as computer monitor

Samsung 55" 4K UHD TV as computer monitor. bigger.

It works! Now that 4K UHD TVs are so inexpensive and my Mac Pro has an HDMI output, I finally bought a 55" curved-screen Samsung UN55MU8500, plugged it in and saw what happened.

The more square inches of screen in front of me, the more work I can do. It's like having a big enough table to lay out your work without having to pull things on and off the shelf as you work on them.

I've been using a 30" Apple Cinema HD Display since about 2006, and bought a second one in about 2010 and used them both on my desk. I paid about $3,000 for my first one.

I prefer a curved screen as I'm only siting arm's length from it. This really helps seeing the corners.

It has the same pixel-to-pixel sharpness as other computer displays, but a whole lot more pixels. Things only display about 20% bigger than on a regular monitor; the whole point is so many more pixels and things I can put on this screen at the same time, and still be able to read it all. Of course photos look better than you've ever seen them, with more resolution than anything other than a 4K or 5K iMac.

I prefer this TV model as it is supported by two little stands on left and right; not one big pedestal in the center. This way I have a lot of space for extra drives and card readers and Hi-Fi gear under it. My Mac Pro connects via a mini TOSLINK optical cable (to avoid ground loops) to my Benchmark DAC1 HDR which is connected my Heathkit AD-1702 stereo subwoofer crossover. Above 40 Hz goes to an Apt Power Amplifier One under my desk which feeds the B&W Matrix 805 on top of my desk, and everything below 40Hz feeds a pair of B&W ASW800 subwoofers for proper stereo. I also have an Amazon Echo Dot connected to the Benchmark DAC1 with a 3.5mm to RCA cord which works as a much better radio tuner than anything else off-air for local radio.

Colors are just fine, and I haven't bothered to run any calibration. It's not 1997 anymore; TVs are very well calibrated and of course my Mac recognizes it as a rec. 709 display and uses the appropriate canned profile. HINT: set the MOVIE picture mode and all is good; the TV naturally comes set to a different picture mode which which is too bright, too blue and oversharpened.

Any 4K UHD TV has 50% more horizontal resolution than my 30" displays.

My Mac only drives it via HDMI 1.4 at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels at 30 FPS. I tried this Display Port Thunderbolt adapter that claimed to let me get to 60 FPS, but even with SwitchResX, didn't let me run at 60 Hz. I gave up on 60 Hz (let me know if you know how).

I've seen external 4K computer monitors, but hated them because these wimpy things were too small (like 27" to 35"), so all the menus, cursors and pallets were too darn small, and I couldn't figure out how to get all of them in all my software to look right in the Mac OS.

Running a 45" TV would have everything like menus display the same size as a typical computer LCD display, which is usually about 106 DPI.

My 55" TV is perfect, making everything about 20% bigger, and I sit 20% farther away for less eyestrain.

I could go 65" but then it's a long way to the top of the screen. As-is, my eyes are naturally in the middle of the height of the screen.

My 55" looks just like my Cinema Display, but it has so much more surface area on which to work. It has twice as many pixels, meaning I'm seeing twice as many thumbnails on my screen above in Media Pro as I sort out what I have.

Cheaper TVs have two potential problems for desktop use. The first is that they get dim off-center, so if you're only 2 feet away, the sides and corners will look too dark and you'll have a big hotspot in the middle that you wouldn't see 15 feet away.

Also the cheaper sets oddly have the LCD panel about a quarter inch (6mm) in front of the backlight, and the backlight is the same size as the LCD. No problem at normal TV distances, but when you're looking at the left or right from two feet away, quite a few pixels on left and right can't be seen because the backlight would need to be oversized to cover them from an angle. This would be no problem for TV viewing, but forget about it if it cuts off a scroll bar or similar computer detail.

Of course photos look stunning on this giant, but for production it's great to see twice as much as I'm mucking around with files and photos. It's not that I now have three huge vertical columns instead of two on a 30" monitor; the important thing is I have 2,160 tall vertical pixels to display so much more that I don't have to scroll anywhere near as much to see what I have on a web page or Finder listing. I never liked any monitor as much as my 30" displays because newer displays had the same 2,560 horizontal resolution, but less than the 30" 1,600 pixel vertical resolution. Height is important, in fact, an ideal photo monitor would be square, as that lets us show horizontal and vertical photos with equal sizes.

You can get the Samsung UN55MU8500 at Amazon, at B&H, and at Crutchfield. You'll need an HDMI cable; I use the Amazon Basics which are are rated to 18 GHz for 4K/60.

I mentioned that the cheaper models didn't work well for viewing up close due to backlight design problems. Of course fancier 4K TVs work great, just that I use this monitor for production, not showing my work to clients, so I don't need "better" monitors like OLED. I just need accuracy and lots of room.

 

03 October 2017, Tuesday

Apple Aperture in Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra

In case you were curious, I just updated my Mac Pro, and my v3.6 copy of Aperture seems to run just fine like everything else. So does Dreamweaver CS5 on which I write this website, Photoshop CS6 and the Perfectly Clear plug-in to optimize and prep my photos, and Media Pro 2.1 which I use for sorting out what I shot.

If anything, Finder runs a zillion times better than it did an hour ago before I updated my OS.

For an even better High Sierra experience, be sure to come on either of our two awesome High Sierra and Yosemite fall workshops coming in October 2017. See. Shoot. WIN!!!

It's never a gamble to update; I use Super Duper to make a bootable copy of my drive, and if I didn't like the new OS or there's a problem, I simply boot from my backup of the original, run Super Duper from this backup drive and copy from the backup drive back to my computer's drive, reboot, and I'm back where I was. It's that simple. I will need Super Duper v3.0 beta 2 for the new file system for my SSD in High Sierra.

Only my ancient Extensis font management program doesn't run, so it's time for me to put my hundreds of fonts where they belong and let the OS handle them. Graphic artists: any suggestions? I presume the OS natively can manage its own fonts today; back in 2003 I had just as many fonts and the computers of that day slowed to a crawl trying to keep all those fonts active at once.

And oh yes — of course Safari runs ultra fast, and Finder runs faster than it ever did.

All my other crazy programs run, like Canon Digital Photo Professional (used for reading Canon EXIFs), AudioLeak Leq for seeing how badly dynamically compressed are most of the high-resolution remasters of classic rock music (my original 1980s CDs are better), Phase One Capture One that I never use for RAW files, and I forget what else.

So far, awesome!

Bravo!

 

Nikon 70-300mm VR

Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR.

Updated: Nikon 70-300mm VR.

It came out in 2006 before FX digital; I brought its page up to date.

 

Updated: Nikon Lens Compatibility.

I added the latest AF-P compatibility in light of the D600 and D610 firmware updates that let them work great with AF-P lenses.

 

29 September 2017, Friday

Nikon Refurbished Sale

D3400 w/18-55: $359.95.

D800E: $2,049.95.

D800: $1,699.95.

D5600, 18-55 & 70-300$619.95. 

Nikon D3400 w/18-55 & 70-300 in red or black: $424.95

 

Coolpix P900: $449.95.

Coolpix A900: $264.95.

Coolpix B500 in red or black: $179.95.

 

CoolShot AS Laser Rangefinder: $214.95.

CoolShot 40i Golf Laser Rangefinder: $199.95.

6x21 CoolShot 40 Golf Laser Rangefinder: $184.95.

6x20 CoolShot 20 Golf Laser Rangefinder: $139.95.

 

All items refurbished, a great way to go if money matters.

 

26 September 2017, Tuesday

Fooling around with my iPhone 7 Plus as I wait for my Nikon D850 to arrive:

Big Spider

Big spider gets ready for Haloween. (iPhone 7 Plus at 4mm at f/1.8 at 1/1,650 at Auto ISO 20, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

Actually his body was only about a half inch (a centimeter) around.

 

Yellow and Blue Building

Yellow and Blue (iPhone 7 Plus at 6.6mm at f/2.8 at 1/847 at Auto ISO 20.) bigger.

 

22 September 2017, Friday

Sony 50mm f/1.8

Sony FE 50mm f/1.8.

NEW: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 Review.

 

20 September 2017, Wednesday

iOS goes to 11

Yes! I just updated a bunch of my devices, and yes, iOS 11 is faster, smarter, better looking and more legible than iOS 10.

I read that Photos from iOS cameras are now stored internally in a new HEIF format (no longer as JPG), but not to worry: I import them to my Mac with the Image Capture program native to the Mac OS, and they all appear as JPG.

The new HEIF internal format allows file sizes of half what they were at the same quality and also allows greater bit depth, for better-looking images that take half the space.

Running low on storage? I had 24GB free an hour ago with iOS 10.3.3, and updated to iOS 11.0, I now have 30GB free.

Bravo Apple!

 

Are my user-guide apps being updated?

No. They won't run on iOS 11.

Many of those apps were from before the invention of the iPad, a long time ago before we had cellular data coverage almost everywhere and before iPhones (the only iOS devices at the time) could save and play PDFs.

Thus in the old days you often had no way to access the Internet while shooting out in the boonies, and you couldn't save a PDF manual for offline reference in iBooks, either. Thus came my user guide apps for easy offline reference in the old, much less connected world.

Today we have live cellular data almost everywhere; even Ryan and Katie have unlimited data plans that seem to work everywhere, and you can save and read all the PDFs you want offline.

You don't need the apps anymore, since my apps simply repackaged the same data you can read online linked from each camera's review.

Just look at my guide live on my website online or get a PDF from the camera maker or if I have one of mine for a particular camera loaded into iBooks to read offline and you're good.

I have my own favorite old apps, like FlipClock65, that won't run on iOS 11, but no big deal. I keep a farm full of old iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads, and if you don't, eBay sure does. I buy old iPhone 4s for about $25 I use as music players and security cameras that I keep on the old iOS for just this reason.

Don't worry about iOS 11; my 10-year-old son Ryan has been been running iOS 11 as beta on all his devices (his iPhone 5s and I forget what else) and even the beta runs great. Ditto for the new Watch OS; he's been running the beta on his watch and it's flawless.

 

NEW: Kodak PRINTOMATIC self-printing digital camera. Wow!

 

Another NEW Old Classic: The timeless 1955 Shure SM-55 — now in perfect-pitch black!

 

15 September 2017, Friday

BREAKING NEWS: Tamron 100-400mm for Nikon and for Canon.

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4k HDR.

NEW: How to set up a complete Apple TV home theater with only one remote!

NEW: Apple TV 4k, also in 64GB version for gaming nuts.

 

NEW: Sony true 4K home theatre projector. Can't wait to see my photos on this one!

 

NEW: Apple Watches.

 

NEW: Polaroid Classic Cameras — again!!!

I mean, holy cow, you can buy SX-70s again!

 

NEW: Sony RX0 and RX10 Mk IV.

 

11 September 2017, Monday

Sony Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 FE Review

Sony Zeiss FE Planar T✻ 50mm f/1.4.

NEW: Sony Zeiss FE Planar T✻ 50mm f/1.4 Review.

 

07 September 2017, Thursday

New from Fuji:

XE-3 (comes as body-only, or kit with 23/2 or kit with 18-55, and all of this comes in black or in silver, and you can see all these and accessories here).

XF 80mm f/2.8 Macro for the usual Fuji cameras.

GF 45mm f/2.8 for Fuji's mezzo-format GFX.

 

Weird D750 flare problems?

If you see some weird flare in your image files when you have a very bright light along the top edge of the frame, Nikon has a D750 shutter recall to take care of it.

If you have one of the affected cameras, you're lucky because Nikon probably will replace your old shutter with a new one for free, and clean and check your camera thoroughly. One reader even had his rubber grips replaced, all for free and with free shipping both ways!

 

06 September 2017, Wednesday

DEAL: Canon 70-300mm IS, filters & more goodies kit. $249.95. This is the original 70-300 IS that sold for $650 two years ago, not the newest instant-focussing 70-300 IS USM II.

NEW: Pentax KP DSLR Camera with 40mm Lens.

NEW: Sony RX0.

NEW: Ricoh THETA V 360 4K Spherical VR Camera

DEAL: $240 off Samsung Gear 360 Spherical VR Camera: $109 final price!

DEAL: Canon G5 X w/PIXMA PRO-100 Printer: $649 after rebates.

 

05 September 2017, Tuesday

NEW: Olympus trade-in program.

 

04 September 2017, Labor Day

Hasselblad Reviews

Hassleblad 503 CX with 80mm f/2.8 CF lens, A12 back and waist-level finder.

Updated: Hasselblad.

While there aren't any new reviews (and many need to be completed), I added an overview and general system recommendations to my Hasselblad index page. In other words, I added what those of you considering a step-up to Hasselblad need to know to get started.

 

31 August 2017, Thursday

NEW: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, also at B&H.

 

Mirrorless or DSLR?

I'm often asked about getting a Sony A6500 versus a DSLR.

For me the biggest difference is having a live electronic finder through which I can set menus and see big, brilliant playback even in broad daylight. The pictures are the same.

Gotchas are that mirrorless is more expensive than a similar DSLR (look at the Canon SL2 or Canon T6 or Nikon D3300 or D3400 for half the price)

If price matters, the Sony A6300 is the same camera as the A6500, and so is the A6000. The only differences between them are a few minor features with huge differences in price. If one of the new features is important to you, get that camera, but for normal people, I just bought my mom an A6000 which is far more than she'll ever need for anything.

If size is the matter, be sure to use small lenses. With the A6000 series, the tiny 16-50mm lens is ideal. Isn't portability the whole reason you're paying more for mirrorless?

You can do the same thing in full frame. Just know that while full-frame mirrorless cameras are small, their lenses are just as big and heavy as full-frame DSLR lenses, making the real difference whether or not you want to pay more than a DSLR for the luxury of in-finder playback and menu setting.

 

30 August 2017, Wednesday

Canon 85mm f/1.4

Canon 85mm f/1.4 L IS USM.

NEW: Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Review.

 

Nikon Refurbished Deals

Refurbished have always been like new, minus the fancy box. They usually have a 90-day warranty, and no worries: they have a money-back guarantee if you don't like them.

Nikon D500: $1,499.95, refurbished.

Nikon D5600, 18-55mm VR AF-P & 70-300mm AF-P (not VR): $679.95, refurbished.

 

Think Tank Spectral 15

NEW: Think Tank Spectral Shoulder Bags.

Think Tank has new shoulder bags with a magnetic Fidlock clasp for one-handed use. They lock automatically when closed.  They also have a new low prices for Think Tank, while retaining their world's best quality.

 

29 August 2017, Tuesday

NEW: Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift. Also at Adorama.

NEW: Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Tilt-Shift. Also at Adorama.

NEW: Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift. Also at Adorama.

 

NEW: Canon M100 & 15-45mm. Also at Adorama.

NEW: Canon M100, 15-45mm & 55-200mm. Also at Adorama.

 

NEW: Canon MT-26EX-RT dual macro flash. Also at Adorama.

 

NEW: Canon ES-84 hood. Also at Adorama for 90mm TS-E.

NEW: Canon ET-83E hood. Also at Adorama for 85/1.4.

NEW: Canon ET-88 hood. Also at Adorama for 135 TS-E.

 

25 August 2017, Friday

Ryan and 5th grade teacher

Ryan meets his new fifth grade teacher. Fuji X100F, flash ON, f/2 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 400, as-shot. bigger.

 

Katie and 4th grade teacher

Katie meets her new fourth grade teacher. Fuji X100F, flash ON, f/2.2 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 400, as-shot. bigger.

When it comes to how to get the best people pictures under any random light, it's my Fuji X100F.

These two snaps are made in auto-everything mode with the built-in flash. This camera does the most amazing job of balancing flash with ambient light and giving great colors every time, the first time, under just about any kind of light.

Sure, I could get close to this with my other cameras after making a lot of settings by trial-and-error, but the reason I grab my Fuji X100F for people pictures is that I can grab these shots with everything else going on at meet-your-teacher, and the Fuji X100F gets these results right out of the camera with every shot. These are as they came out of the camera without editing.

I don't have to focus either. Face and eye recognition just finds people, assigns AF points and grabs focus. All I have to do with my Fuji X100F is point and shoot, and I look like a genius!

 

24 August 2017, Thursday

Nikon D850 Review

Nikon D850 and 24~120mm VR.

NEW: Nikon D850.

 

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 FE GM

Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS.

NEW: Sony 100-400mm GM Review.

 

21 August 2017, Monday

Eclipse Shadows

Eclipse shadows, 9:53 AM.

iPhone 7 Plus at 4mm at f/1.8 at 1/563 at Auto ISO 20, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Ryan and the Eclipsee

Ryan and the Eclipse, 10:08 AM.

Image projected on paper from a Russian 20x50 spotting scope mounted on my Bogen Manfrotto 3275 410 Geared Head on my big Gitzo 1228 tripod, iPhone 7 Plus at 4mm at f/1.8 at 1/1,996 at Auto ISO 20, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Family viewing the eclipse

Family viewing the eclipse, 10:33 AM.

iPhone 6S Plus at 4.2mm at f/2.2 at 1/615 at Auto ISO 25, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

18 August 2017, Friday

How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse.

NEW: How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse.

Deal: Meade EclipseView 60mm f/13 Telescope with Solar Filter - $89. Get a 1.25" to T-Mount adapter and then an adapter to go from T-mount to Canon, to Sony or to Nikon and you're done; this scope is 800mm f/13.3; but has no clock crive for time exposures.

Deal: Save $300 on the Lunt Solar Systems 60mm f/8.3 HA Single Etalon Refractor Solar Telescope - $1,699.

 

Deals

Adorama's offering $5 for every online quote for their Trade-in Department.   

Save $250 on the Profoto B1 500 Air TTL Battery-Powered 2-Light Location Kit: $3,898 + Earn $390 in Adorama rewards!

Save $100 on the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery Powered Monolight Flash - $1,995 + Earn $200 in Adorama rewards!  Expires 08/20

DJI Mavic Pro Drone $1,009.

Brenthaven Collins Slim Briefcase, Graphite  $30.

Save $30 on the FotoPro Carbon Fiber Tripod with Built-In Monopod & Ball Head - $159

Save $20 on the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod - $59.88.

Save $130 on the Nest Cam 3MP Indoor Security Camera, 1080p HD Video, Wi-Fi, Black - $169.

 

14 August 2017, Monday

Sony 28mm f/2 Review

Sony FE 28mm f/2.

NEW: Sony 28mm f/2 FE Review.

Fast wide for Sony full-frame, or fast normal for Sony APS-C.

 

10 August 2017, Wednesday

Sony 24-240mm review

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS.

NEW: Sony 24~240mm Review.

This lens takes awesome photos of anything in any light. This isn't 1997; you don't need f/2.8 to shoot action outdoors at night when every Sony camera still looks great at ISO 25,600.

The 24-70/2.8 GM and 70-200/2.8 GM are fantastic lenses if you don't have to carry them or change them, but this lens is smaller than either of them and covers 20% more zoom range than both of them combined, and it focuses just as fast and just as close.

Isn't the whole reason you went mirrorless was to carry less? The less I carry, the faster and farther I go, the more I see, and the more and better pictures I take. If I wanted to carry big zooms or fiddle with fixed prime lenses, I'd shoot the LEICA, Nikon or Canon systems I already own.

This is really the only lens you need for Sony full-frame mirrorless. It focuses instantly and lets my A9 run at 20 FPS all day and the pictures look great.

if I was some blogger, fauxtographer or YouTuber who talked more than he shot I might have the luxury of making fun of an all-in-one zoom as I sat in an office or coffee shop, but as guy who has to produce real photos every day and has no problem getting people to pay me thousands of dollars for shots I've made with kit lenses, this do-everything lens helps me shoot and produce rather than sit around talking about it.

 

08 August 2017, Tuesday

Today Only: Canon T5i w/18-55mm & free printer: $599 after rebate.

In Stock: Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Full-Frame.

Olympus Deals.

 

06 August 2017, Sunday

Solar Eclipse gear.

 

02 August 2017, Wednesday

Canon 50mm f/1

Canon 50mm f/1.0

Canon EF 50mm f/1.0 L USM.

There's a Canon 50mm f/1 on eBay for $3,359 from a dealer I've used before. Get it while you can; I paid $4,000 for mine a few years ago and the price has been going up from there.

Canon 50mm f/1 review.

 

Nikon D3300 Deals

I prefer my D3300 to the newer D3400. I don't use Bluetooth, and prefer the D3300's more powerful flash, better lens compatibility and sensor cleaner over the newer D3400.

The D3300 is back at Ritz for $379.95 complete with the better AF-P lens as a gray-market item, which is how I got mine.

You can also get the USA version at Adorama, at Amazon, at B&H or at Crutchfield for a record low of $479 including the older 18-55mm VR II lens.

I'd get the gray-market version from Ritz for $100 lens with the better lens any day. I don't think there's a more competent camera dollar-for-dollar or ounce-for-ounce anywhere.

 

29 July 2017, Saturday

Weekend Deals

See these deals on Rokinon Lenses. All deals include 2% Adorama rewards and free Shipping.

Save $320 on the OSD Audio Sound Stage 2.1 All-in-One Bluetooth Audio Sound System - $99.

Save 50% on the Samson C01UCW USB Condenser Microphone, Hypercardioid Polar Pattern - $35.

Save $200 on the Lenovo Erazer X315 Gaming Desktop Computer - $500.

Save $155 on the Sachtler 1002 Ace M GS System with Ace M Fluid Head, Tripod  - $500. Whoa, Sachtler is good stuff; the best for professional video field capture. I'm surprised you can get anything from them for just $500.

 

28 July 2017, Friday

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5.

NEW: Sony Minolta 28~135mm Review.

This old classic works great with the Sony A9 and LA-EA4 adapter.

 

Sony Minolta 20mm f/2.8

Sony Minolta 20mm f/2.8.

UPDATED: Sony Minolta 20mm f/2.8 Review.

I added sample images and updated it for use with the Sony A9and LA-EA4 adapter.

 

27 July 2017, Thursday

Nikon 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye

Nikon 16mm f/3.5, AI-updated.

NEW: Nikon 16mm f/3.5 Fisheye Review.

Nikon's sharpest 16mm fisheye, and works great on FX cameras.

 

MacBook Pro Clearance

All are 15", Space Gray, Late 2016 with 16 GB RAM, touchbars and AMD Radeon Pro 460 GPUs:

Quad 2.6GHz, 256GB SSD $2,199.

Dual 3.3 GHz, 1 TB SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550 (not AMD) $2,449.

Quad 2.9 GHz, 512 GB SSD $2,549.

Quad 2.7 GHz, 1TB SSD $2,599.

Quad 2.9 GHZ, 1TB SSD $2,699.

Quad 2.7GHz, 2TB SSD $2,999.

Quad 2.9GHZ, 2TB SSD $3,099.

Quad 2.6GHz, 2TB SSD $3,199.

 

25 July 2017, 100 Years of Nikon

Nikon D850

Nikon D850 and 50mm f/1.4 AF.

TEASER: Nikon D850.

Sorry if I can't get excited, but Nikon has told us absolutely nothing about what it might be. Yawn!

 

Nikon D810 Deal

The Nikon D810 is down to $1,997, refurbished.

When I've bought Nikon-refurbished products, they were just like new, except they came in a plainer box. Remember you can return them if you don't love them, and they also come with a basic warranty as well.

 

22 July 2017, Saturday

More Refurbished-by-Nikon Deals

Nikon D800e: $2,199.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D800: $1,849.95 (refurbished). I've compared the D800 to the D800e, and they are essentially the same.

Nikon Df w/50/1.8 Special Edition: $1,795 (refurbished).

Nikon D610: $1,099.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D2X: $999.95 (refurbished). Where did they drag these up? The D2X was announced in September, 2004! It's over 12 years old. It's an ancient professional 12MP 5FPS camera. Avoid this unless you run a museum of useless objects. The D2X was the last of the old Gen 1 Nikons, even a refurbished D3200 below has way better image quality. If you want pro build quality and high frame rates, I prefer the newer D2Hs, which sells used for about $150 if you wait and know How to Win at eBay.

Nikon D7200: $749.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D7100: $599.95 (refurbished). The best buy here for serious shooters. It's the same or better than the newest D7500 for half the price.

Nikon D5500 w/18-55 VR II: $549.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D5500: $499.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D5300, 18-55 & 70-300: $599.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D5300 (gray body color): $449.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D5300: $379.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D5200: $339.95 (refurbished).

Nikon D3200: $249.95 (refurbished). A screaming deal! The D3200 is a great camera that takes the same pictures as everything else.

Nikon MB-D10 grip for D300 and D700: $159.95 (refurbished).

 

Nikon 70-200/2.8 G VR II: $1,699.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 24/1.4G: $1,449.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 16-80 VR: $749.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 10-24mm DX: $679.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 28-200mm FX: $399.95 (refurbished). Ancient product from 1998~2006; see my review from 2006. I'd get it used over eBay instead, and I'd get the newer, better G version instead as well.

Nikon 85/1.8 AF: $349.95 (refurbished). Another oldie, and a fantastic lens.

Nikon 55-300 VR: $229.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 50/1.8G: $169.95 (refurbished).

Nikon 18-55 VR II: $99.95 (refurbished).

 

Nikon SB-700 flash: $246.95 (refurbished).

 

Deals

Save $20 on the Apple Magic Keyboard - $69 after rebate.

Save $220 on the Canon imageCLASS MF628CW All-in-One Wireless Color Laser Printer - now $180.

Save $125 on the Asus Zenbook Pro 15.6" Ultra HD 4K Touchscreen Notebook Computer - $1,375.

Save $120 on the DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter w/ 4K HD Camera + 2 Extra Batteries + Charging Hub - $999.

Save $160 on the 3 Legged Thing Albert Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod System with AirHed 360 Ball Head - $340.

Save $400 on the SmallHD 702 Lite 7" Monitor With Pro Accessory Bundle - $999.

Save $130 on the Dell Alienware 15 R2 15.6" 4K Ultra Touchscreen Quad Core Gaming Notebook Computer - $1,059.

Asus Chromebook 13.3" Notebook Computer - $269.

Panasonic GH4 w/12-35mm f/2.8: $1,495 ($1,000 off).

Panasonic GH4 body with storage kit: $998 (500 off).

Panasonic GX85 w/12-32mm: $498 ($300 off).

Tokina 14-20mm f/2 for Nikon and for Canon: $599 ($200 off).

 

20 July 1969, The End of Impossible

Man on Moon.

48 years of American dominance.

 

18 July 2017, Tuesday

Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5

Voigtländer 20mm f/3.5 SL-II.

UPDATED: Voigtländer 20mm f/3.5 Review.

Still the sharpest, smallest ultrawide you can get for Nikon.

 

This page not loading?

If it didn't you wouldn't be reading this, but just as an FYI, a few people have emailed me when they couldn't get this page to load.

I have no idea why, but in every one of these cases, simply clearing their browser's cache cleared the problem.

If anyone actually knows why this is and knows how I can fix this for good, I'm all ears.

 

17 July 2017, Monday

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL.

The world's best 70-200mm, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL has dropped $200 to $2,597 at Adorama, at Amazon and at B&H. It's been $2,799 ever since it was announced last year.

This month the Sony 70-200/4 G rose $100 to $1,498 from $1,398 and the Canon 70-200/2.8 L IS II rose to $1,949 from $1,899.

Not that it matters since you gotta shoot what fits your camera, but this makes the Nikon now the same price as the Sony 70-200/2.8 GM while the Canon 70-200/2.8 L IS II remains as the best buy in pro 70-200 lenses. The Canon has the same build and optical quality as the Nikon and is better than Sony, but costs much less than either.

The Nikon is the best of these mostly because it has superb optics, is extremely well built and focuses closely. All of the Sony, Canon and Nikon 70-200/2.8s have superb optics, but the Sony lacks a fluorite element and has more distortion than the others - but focuses a little closer.

The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL is expensive because it's good and it's new and it has VR and a fluorite element.

The Sony 70-200/2.8 GM is expensive because it's good and it's new. It lacks fluorite, is offshored to Thailand and only has a plastic filter thread; you're paying for the novelty of Sony.

The Canon 70-200/2.8 L IS II is as good as the Nikon, complete with a metal filter thread and a fluorite element, but since this Canon has been out since 2011, it's well discounted since Canon has paid off their development cost — so it's the biggest bargain of these big three. The only gotcha is that this Canon lacks focus lock buttons. The Canon was $2,400 when it came out in 2011. It just happens that $2,400 in 2011 is the same as $2,597 in 2017; this Canon is top-notch, but much less expensive today than the others.

 

13 July 2017, Thursday

UPDATED: Nikon 70-300mm VR AF-P Compatibility.

I clarified which cameras work with it or not. It's compatible with a different set of cameras than any of the other AF-P lenses. Arrgh!

Do you think I like spending my afternoons trying to explain all this for Nikon? No! I'd much rather Nikon's stuff just worked, or that everyone just shot Canon and saved us all the hassle. I don't like that I have to explain that Nikon lenses only work on random cameras, even if Nikon is selling them new today. It doesn't matter that most of us have been shooting Nikon since the 1970s when they were the leader; that was 40 years ago and things change.

Canon's EOS cameras and EF lenses have all been 100% compatible with each other ever since they were announced in 1987. The newest Canon LCD-display lenses work great with my ancient 1980s EOS 35mm Canon SLRs, and my oldest 1980s EOS lenses all work great on my newest 5DSR.

Nikon's slowly killing themselves by having so many lenses and cameras which are all sold new today that won't work with each other. Nikon is crippled by having four incompatible AF systems (screw-AF, AF-I, AF-S and AF-P) and three incompatible aperture systems (F, AI, G, and E). Nikon today still sells new screw-AF, AF-S and AF-P lenses with AI, G, and E diaphragms.

Canon on the other hand designed their EF mount from scratch for 1987 with electronic focus and electronic diaphragm control from the very beginning, while Nikon has only recently introduced some lenses with electronic diaphragms.

Nikon's VR system doesn't work with many of their cameras from before the 1990s, while Canon's IS system works with every camera they've made since 1987, film and digital.

What this means is that Canon has had everything working together perfectly from the start, while Nikon is crippled with almost 60 years of trying to use the same ancient F mount which came out in 1959 and adapting it to do "just one more thing" as time went on. While Nikon looked smart in the 1980s adapting their 1959 mount to do autofocus, Canon ticked off their existing customers when they trashed their old FD mount and started from scratch with the new and then-incompatible EOS EF mount in 1987. Today 30 years later Canon look like geniuses since everything works, while Nikon can't even explain clearly which cameras work with this new AF-P lens and I have to instead!

Today I'd buy a Sony or Canon long before putting much money into new Nikon. The Sony A9 is AWESOME and way ahead of everyone else for action. It shows us what everyone else will be trying to do in 5 years: silent 20 FPS full AF shooting. It's a totally new camera you have to get to believe.

Sony has a huge advantage in mirrorless because Sony has been making and innovating electronic image sensors at least since the 1960s when electronic image sensors were TV camera vacuum tubes. They've been a world leader in CCDs at least since the 1980s. They invent half of what's new in CCD and CMOS sensors, and when they want to do something truly amazing, like design a radically new sensor from scratch for the A9, they do it like no one else on Earth can.

Nikon's stuck in a rut as they've always gotten their sensors from Sony. Is it just me who finds it odd that Nikon has introduced no cameras with new state-of-the-art sensors in them ever since about 2013 when Sony introduced its first full-frame camera, the A7? Nikon had 36MP in the D800 back in 2012 and has never done anything better. I think Sony cut Nikon off from it's cream-of-the-crop, reserving the good stuff for itself. Canon makes their own sensors, which is why they keep innovating with the 5DSR, for instance at 50 MP.

 

11 July 2017, Amazon Prime Day

Nikon 70-300mm DX VR AF-P

Nikon Full-Frame 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E VR AF-P.

NEW: Nikon Full-Frame 70-300mm VR AF-P.

 

Amazon Deals

Here are Amazon's top deals of the year, like the Echo Dot Alexa voice controlled wizardess for just $34.99 and the full-sized Amazon Echo Alexa for just $89.99!

My wife loves her Amazon Echo in the kitchen, and I plug my Echo Dot into the AUX input of my audioengine B2 speaker for great sound.

They're always on, so if I ask for something like the weather in Dubai or other people ask it to run a kitchen timer or play Celine Dion music for the dogs, it just does. You never have to touch it; it just works like the voice-controlled computer in the original Star Trek.

 

Adorama Prime Day Deals

Save $150 on the Rotolight Sound & Light Kit - $99 with Free Shipping

Save $950 on the Speedotron Black Line 4803cx LV Power Supply - 4,800ws (220V International Model) - $2,000 with Free Shipping. Look out, the description says it won't work in the USA; needs 220V.

Save $214 on the Phottix Indra360 TTL Studio Light and Battery Pack Kit - $785 with Free Shipping.

Apple 7.9" iPad Mini 4 Wi-Fi 64GB, Gold  - $329.

Apple 15" MacBook Pro w/Applecare - $2.799.

B + W 77mm #102 4x ND Filter - $16.99.

Manfrotto 190Go! 4-Section Aluminum Tripod Kit with Center Ball Head, 61.4" Max Height, Black - $199.88.

Lowest prices ever on Flashpoint lighting!

Save up to $400 on Top Wacom Cintiq Pen Displays! See here, here and here.

Fender Limited Edition 120V '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Guitar Amp - $799.

 

10 July 2017, Monday

LEICA TL2 Review

LEICA TL2.

NEU: LEICA TL2.

It's a 24MP APS-C mirrorless that would compete against the Sony A6300 — if LEICA was mortal.

 

NEW: Nikon EN-EL15 battery recall.

 

09 July 2017, Sunday

NEW: Nikon Lens Sale!

This is a sale, also called "instant Rebates." There's nothing to mail in, but Nikon doesn't want us to get used to these low sale prices as yen/dollar exchange rates vary.

These are at Adorama; B&H also has them:

 

DX

35mm f/1.8G - $166.95, and Includes 52MM Digital Essentials Filter Kit. My favorite DX lens, for a lot less than I paid, with free shipping.

10.5mm f/2.8G Fisheye - $596.95, and Includes Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

12-24mm f/4G DX - $946.95, and Includes 77mm UV Wide Angle Thin Filter and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

 

FX

14-24mm f/2.8G - $1,696.95, and Includes FocusShifter DSLR Follow Focus & Rack Focus and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

24-70mm f/2.8G - $1,696.95, and Includes 77mm Digital Essentials Filter Kit and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping. This one on sale is the same one I own, not the newer VR version which costs $2,400.

24mm f/1.8G - $696.95, and Includes 72mm UV Wide Angle Thin Filter and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition , with free shipping.

28mm f/1.8G - $596.95, and Includes 67mm Digital Essentials Filter Kit and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

50mm f/1.4G - $396.95, and Includes 58mm Digital Essentials Filter Kit and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, the world's best 70-200 - $2,596.95, and Includes 77mm Digital Essentials Filter Kit and Corel Digital Creative Software Kit - Suite 2 Elite Edition, with free shipping.

 

For Sony

Rokinon AF 35mm 2.8 Full-Frame for Sony E Mount: $399.

 

08 July 2017, Saturday

Fall Color!

We've got two workshops coming in October. They run right after the other, so if you're traveling to one, you should do both — but different organizations are doing registrations, so it might not be obvious.

California's Eastern Sierra, Monday~Thursday 23~26 October 2017.

Yosemite, Thursday~Sunday 26~29 October 2017.

 

Metabones Canon EF to Sony E Adapter Review

Metabones Canon Lens to Sony Camera Adapter.

NEW: Metabones Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Mark V Adapter Review.

 

07 July 2017, Friday

Gotta love my X100F

Katie at the Park

Katie at the concert in the park. (Fuji X100F, no flash, f/3.2 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 400 at Auto Dynamic Range 200%, Perfectly Clear). bigger.

A typical snap from last week at the park. Sharp kid, soft background.

 

Deals

Robo C2 3D Printer - $599.99.

Acer Desktop Computer - $189. Wow, windows PCs are this cheap today?

Acer Desktop Computer - $239.

Samson USB Microphone - $50. Yet another Neumann copy.

Ibanez IJD100S Acoustic Guitar & road kit - $119.00.

 

06 July 2017, Thursday

Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8 Review

Minolta (Sony) 80-200mm f/2.8 APO.

NEW: Minolta High-Speed AF 80-200mm f/2.8 APO.

Sony bought Minolta in 2006. This professional lens has the Sony Alpha mount. The Sony LA-EA4 adapter makes this lens completely compatible with Sony's hot new mirrorless E-mount cameras with fast autofocus and 100% data interchange.

 

05 July 2017, Wednesday

24 Hour Drone Sale

Starts Wednesday, 05 July at 12:01 AM and ends at 11:59PM NYC time, Wednesday:

Yuneec Breeze 4K Self Flying Quadcopter with Camera -  $299

Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter with GCO3+ 4K Camera - $799

Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter with GCO3+ 4K Camera - $949; includes 2 Batteries, Backpack and, ST16 Transmitter

Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter with Intel RealSense, and GCO3+ 4K 3D Mapping Camera - $1,199; includes Backpack

 

04 July 2017, Independence Day

How to Photograph Fireworks

Fireworks!!! (Nikon D800E, Nikon 24mm f/1.4 G, program auto gave f/1.4 at 1/30 at Auto ISO 6,400, Matrix meter, autofocused once on Ryan then set to MANUAL focus to hold, VIVID Picture Control at +3 Saturation, A3 M1 AWB.)

How to Photograph Fireworks.

 

Grado SR80e Review

Grado SR80e.

NEW: Grado SR80e Review.

The world's most accurate $99 headphone and made in USA.

 

Grado SR80e Review

Grado SR325e.

NEW: Grado SR325e Review.

Made in USA.

 

July 4th Sales

Adorama's July 4th Sales.

B&H's July 4th specials.

Rokinon 50mm T1.5 Cine for Nikon: $359.95.

In stock: Canon 35mm f/2.8 Macro for APS-C (EF-S).

 

02 July 2017, Sunday

Canon 18-55mm IS II

Canon 18-55mm IS II.

NEW: Canon 18~55mm IS II Review.

A basic lightweight lens, ideal for lightweight cameras.

 

30 June 2017, Friday

MindShift just introduced some new sling bags called PhotoCross.  They have a slim profile while fitting a tripod, laptop, and have zipper pulls that can be easily opened with gloves. 

MindShift PhotoCross

MindShift PhotoCross bags.

 

29 June 2017, Thursday

Canon 6D Mk II

Canon 6D Mark II and 24-105mm IS L II.

NEW: Canon 6D Mk II.

Live discussion at B&H coming at 7PM NYC time (6PM Central, 4PM West Coast).

 

Canon SL2

Canon Rebel SL2 with Canon 18-55mm IS STM.

NEW: Canon SL2.

 

Ten Years of the iPhone.

The first iPhones shipped on 29 June 2007.

It has changed the entire world; first world, second world and third world.

What's next?

 

28 June 2017, Wednesday

Sony Curved Sensors

As you'll see in my Sony A9 review, I figured out why adapted lenses, especially wide ones, work so much worse than Sony's own lenses on Sony full-frame mirrorless.

While Sony's sensors look flat to the naked eye, the internal structure of the micro lenses and other layers through which the light must pass make the sensor appear curved optically depending on the position of the lens' rear nodal point. Making flat sensors is much less expensive than curved ones, so if Sony has figured out how to make a flat sensor perform as if it's curved, which has optical benefits just like our own eyes, bravo!

Just look at my sample images and you'll see that it's acting as a curved sensor with wider adapted lenses. This is easy to confirm for yourself with your own adapted wide lenses: just see where you have to focus manually in the center versus the sides, and you'll see that you need to focus differently. I don't know or care precisely why this is, but it's what I've been seeing for years.

Bravo again for Sony, but this supports my previous discoveries that other brands of lenses don't give top-notch results when adapted. See Canon versus LEICA on Sony, and my original ground-breaking work from four years ago that showed that even basic camera-brand lenses on their own brand of camera way outperform mongrel mixes of the finest lenses and finest cameras of differing brands.

It is thus proven that adapting lenses is fun for hobbyists, but for the quality I demand, it's a lens of the same brand as the camera (or the Zeiss lenses sold by Sony for their own cameras).

Sony's newest 12-24mm G and 16-35mm f/2.8 GM way outperform my finest Canon and LEICA lenses on the Sony A9.

 

June 27th was Tuesday

As you noticed yesterday, I listed it as Monday. So? It felt like a Monday to me.

This is how you know this is a real, hand-crafted website, not some robot-written automated garbage like half of the Internet today.

 

27 June 2017, Tuesday

Video Recorder Sale

Blackmagic Video Assist with HDMI and 6G-SDI Recorder, 5" Monitor 1,920 x 1,080 Display  $395 (reg $495)

Blackmagic Design Video Assist 4K 7" Touchscreen LCD Monitor with Ultra HD Recorder  $595 (reg $895).

 

24 June 2017, Saturday

NEW: Full-Frame Ultrawides Compared.

A comparison of today's hottest full-frame ultrawides. The good news is that ever since 2007, all these lenses have had superb optical performance.

 

Sony 12-24mm f/4 G

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G.

NEW: Sony 12-24mm f/4 G Review.

An awesome lens with flawless optical performance, a total winner for Sony!

 

Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 FE GM

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM.

NEW: Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Review.

Another awesome lens with flawless optical performance.

 

Deals

Rokinon 24mm T1.5 Cine for Canon - $419.95.

Rokinon 50mm T1.5 Cine DS for Nikon - $349.95.

Rokinon 50mm f/1.2 for Sony E - $349.95.

Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 for Olympus E - $299.95.

Panasonic GX85 w/12-32mm, free $100 Gift Card & 45-150mm Lens - $697.99.

Canon SX540 HS - Price in Cart $349.95.

Canon MF726CDW Color Laser Printer - $259.99.

Dell XPS 13.3" InfinityEdge Touch Notebook - $1,099 with Free Shipping.

 

Video

My friend Phil Steele has a new video talking about UV Filters. Here's also my page about Filters.

 

23 June 2017, Friday

Tamron 18-400mm

Tamron 18~400mm.

NEW: Tamron 18-400mm.

For APS-C.

 

New 14mm f/1.8 Ultrawide from Sigma

14mm f/1.8 ART full-frame.

World's first f/1.8 14mm ultrawide.

 

New From Think Tank Bags

SKB Modular hard cases.

Summer Sale: Up to 30% off on loads of things at the Outlet Center. My favorites there are the leather Retrospective bags.

Here's the niftiest part: since you know me, you get a free gift and free shipping with your order.

 

Light Sale

Save $200 on the Orlit Rovelight RT 610 HSS TTL Monolight with On Board Power (Bowens Mount) - $499.95 with Free Shipping, with TTL transmitter for Canon and for Nikon. Usually sells for the same price without TTL Transmitter.

 

21 June 2017, Wednesday

NEW: Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4

Manual focus, 72mm filters and straight 9-bladed diaphragm..

The Nikon version is an AI-P style lens with a CPU chip and an aperture ring to work with almost every digital and 35mm Nikon. Also at B&H.

It also comes in Canon EOS Mount, also at B&H, and is manual-focus only.

 

16 June 2017, Friday

Nikon 100th Anniversary

Nikon has some special editions, expected to ship around 26 July 2017:

Nikon D5 100th Anniversary Edition, also at Adorama.

Nikon D500 100th Anniversary Edition, also at Adorama.

Nikon 70-200/2.8 FL 100th Anniversary Edition, also at Adorama.

Nikon 100th Anniversary Edition 3-lens set , also at Adorama.

Nikon 100th Anniversary Edition Leather Case.

Nikon 100th Anniversary Edition Leather Strap.

100th Anniversary Miniature Nikon F.

100th Anniversary Pin Collection.

 

Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR

Nikon 16-35mm VR.

Updated: Nikon 16-35mm VR Review.

I brought this page up to modern high-resolution standards.

 

Weekend Deals

Panasonic GX85 w/12-32mm - $697.99  in Black  or in  Silver. Includes: also the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ASPH Lens  and a $100 Adorama Gift Card!

 

Rokinon and Samyang Weekend Specials includes 2% rewards and free shipping:

Rokinon 12mm F/2 Ultra Wide, Sony E Mount  - $289

Rokinon 12mm f/2 for Fuji - $289

Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye for Canon - $199

Samyang 8mm f/3.5 for Nikon - $229

Rokinon 50mm T1.5 Cine for Canon - $399

Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine for Canon EF - $399

Samyang 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC Manual Focus Lens 

Nikon with Chip - $229

Sony E-Mount - $279

Canon Mount - $279

 

SLR Magic 25mm T0.95 Cine, Micro Four Thirds  - $299.95.

X-Rite ColorMunki Monitor Calibration - $99

Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6" Notebook - $679.00

 

15 June 2017, Thursday

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 FE GM Review

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS.

NEW: Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Review.

 

Canon 70-200mm f/4

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM.

Updated: Canon 70-200mm f/4 L USM

I updated my page to modern broadcast standards. This is a $599 bargain, with great optics and construction quality, including a fluorite element, at a low price but with no image stabilization. This is a lens for people who use a tripod or shoot in good light and don't need IS and want the smallest, sharpest lens they can get.

 

Deal: Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ OLED Monitor & Recorder, HD/2K/UHD/4K Recording over HDMI or SDI: $1,495, was $1,795.

 

Deal: Atomos Shogun Studio 4K: $2,495; was $3,495. It's a 7.1" Shogun Studio 4K HDMI/12G-SDI HD Monitor & Recorder.

 

14 June 2017, Wednesday

B&H Father's Day Sales.

 

New video about new videos

My friend Phil Steele has a new video showing the Zhiyun Smooth 3 stabilized iPhone support. This gizmo holds your phone as you move it around and keeps it pointed in the same direction the whole time.

 

13 June 2017, Tuesday

SLR Magic Sale

8mm f/4 for Micro Four Thirds - $269 (Reg Price $349)

17mm T1.6 Micro Four Thirds & 52mm MK II Variable Neutral Density 0.7 to 1.8 Filter - $299 (Reg Price $499)

35mm T 0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens  - $899 (Reg Price $899)
Micro 4/3 Mount 
E Mount  

50mm T 0.95 Hyperprime Cine Lens, Micro Four Thirds - $699 (Reg Price $999)

50mm F1.1 Cine, Sony FE Mount - $279 (Reg Price $399)

Cine 75mm F/1.4, Sony E-Mount - $349 (Reg Price $499)

Anamorphot 1.33x 40 Anamorphic Adapter for M4/3 and Super 35/APS-C - $639 (Reg Price $799)

APO Hyperprime Cine 50mm T2.1 PL Mount - $1529 (Reg Price $1799)

50mm T2.8 2x Anamorphot-CINE, M4/3 - $2599 (Reg price $3099)

50mm T2.8 1.33x Anamorphot CINE, PL Mount - $5499 (Reg Price $6499)

52mm MK II Variable Neutral Density Filter - 0.7 to 1.8 (2.3 to 6 stops) - $109 (Reg Price $159)

62mm MK II Variable ND, 2.3 to 6 stops - $119 (Reg Price $169)

77mm MK II Variable ND, 2.3 to 6 stops - $129 (Reg Price $179)

82mm MK II Variable ND, 2.3 to 6 stops - $139 (Reg Price $189)

 

09 June 2017, Friday

Sony A9

Sony A9 and 24-70mm f/2.8 GM.

NEW: Sony A9 Review.

NEW: Sony A9 User's Guide.

I'm impressed; the A9 is better than the hype. It silently shoots at 20 FPS, and does it with superb autofocus. It's a new chapter in photography.

I love how Sony is actually innovating. After seeing mostly devolution from Nikon as they've been fading away the past few years, I love seeing a company take a problem by the horns and innovate the heck out of it.

The A9 has a new kind of sensor that lets them pull images off the sensor much, much faster than ever, also giving a live EVF view that doesn't stutter or even need to blink as we shoot.

For high-speed shooting, there is nothing like the A9 — and it only costs 2/3 of what the slower, louder pro DSLRs do.

Bravo, Sony!

 

Sale: MacBooks on Sale.

 

07 June 2017, Wednesday

New from Apple

Here's the new Mac OS High Sierra, iOS 11, watch OS 4, iMac Pro, iMacs, iPad Pro and HomePod.

 

Deals

Most with free shipping:

Canon PRO-2000 24" Professional Printer - $1,999.99.

Panasonic G7 w/14-42mm - $497.99.

Vanguard Carbon Fiber Monopod - $79.99.

Westcott WrapAround Dimmable LED Light w/Spare Battery - $489.99.

Cineo Remote Phosphor LED Lighting Kit, 3200 & 5600 Panels - $309.99.

Brenthaven Collins Slim Briefcase - $29.99.

Sony PXW-FS5 4K XDCAM Camera : Body only  - $4,749 after rebate, w/18-105mm E-Mount Zoom f/4 G OSS Lens - $5,249 after rebate.

Fender PM-2 Acoustic Guitar - $499.

Fostex TH-900 Mk 2 Headphones - $949.99.

Blue Microphones Snowball USB Condenser Microphone - $37.99 after MIR.

Dell Alienware 13 R3 13.3" Notebook - $1,249.00.

Ricoh SP C250SF Color Laser Printer - $134.99.

 

06 June 2017, Tuesday

Nikon Sale

Nikon Sale. All come with filters, software, and lens cleaning accessories, and ship free.

Nikon 24mm f/1.4G: $1,796.95, and includes a Tiffen 77mm UV filter and Corel software.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G: $176.95 and includes a 58mm Filter Kit and Corel software.

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G Micro: $246.95 and includes a 52mm filter and Corel software.

Nikon 10-24mm: $796.95 and includes a 77mm Slim Filter and Corel software.

Nikon 16-35mm VR: $996.95 and includes a 77mm filter and Corel software.

Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX: $1,196.95 and includes a 77mm slim filter and Corel software.

Nikon 35mm f/1.4G: $1,496.95 and includes a 67mm Filter Kit and Corel software.

Nikon 80-400mm VR: $2,096.95 aand includes a 77mm Filter Kit and Corel software Kit.

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR: $2,196.95 aand includes an 82mm Filter Kit and Corel software.

 

Fuji Sale

Fujifilm X-Pro2: Add the lens you want ansd save $300:
Add XF 35mm F/2 R WR LENS - $1,799.90
Add 23mm XF Lens - $1,849.90
Add XF50 mm F/2 R WR LENS - $1,849.90

X-T2 with Vertical Power Booster Grip: Add the Power Grip  and Save $230
Black - $1,699.94 With Free Accessories 
Graphite Silver Edition - $1,899.94 
18-55mm Kit- $1,999.94  

X-T2 VERTICAL POWER BOOSTER GRIP - $229.99  

Save $450 on the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens w/Free Accessory Bundle -   $1,899.95 Add the teleconverter for FREE
Add XF2X TC WR Teleconverter FREE
Add XF1.4X TC WR Teleconverter FREE 

Save $500 on the XT1
X-T1 Body Black - $799.95  
X-T1 Body Graphite Silver - $999.95 
X-T1 Kit with XF 18-55mm Lens - $1,199.95  

Save $200 X100T with Free RODE Video MIC- $1,099.95 
Silver  - Black 

Save $200 on the Fujifilm X-T10 Mirrorless Body With Free Accessory Package
Black  - $599.95 
Silver  $599.95 
X-T10 with 18-55mm OIS Lens Silver - $899.95  
X-T10 with 18-55mm OIS Lens Black - $899.95  
X-T10 with XC16-50mm Lens Kit - $699.95  

 

Rokinon Deals

12mm f/2 APS-C On Sale Today Only.

35mm f/2.8 AF for Sony E on sale today only.

 

03 June 2017, Saturday

New: Funinon 50-135mm T2.9 cine lens in Sony E-mount.

 

02 June 2017, Friday

Tokina 300mm f/2.8

Tokina 300mm f/2.8 AF AT-X.

NEW: Tokina 300mm f/2.8 AT-X AF.

 

01 June 2017, Thursday

Nikon 28mm f/1.4 E

Nikon 28mm f/1.4E.

NEW: Nikon 28mm f/1.4 E FX.

 

Canon EOS M6

Canon EOS M6 and EF-M 15-45mm IS STM.

NEW: Canon EOS M6 Review.

 

Canon EVF-DC2

Canon EVF-DC2.

NEW: Canon EVF-DC2 Review.

 

What Was New in:

May 2017: Nikon 10-20mm DX VR, Nikon 8-15mm FX Fisheye, Canon 77D Review, Canon Rebel T7i Review, Canon 18-55mm IS STM Review, Springtime in Yosemite, Irix 15mm f/2.4 Review, Sony 16-35/2.8 GM, Sony 12-24/4 G, Fuji X100F Review, Laowa 12mm Review, Olympus TG-5.

March & April 2017: Nikon D7500, Nikon 19mm PC-E review, Nikon D3400 review, Sony A7 Mk II review, Nikon D5600 review.

February 2017: Canon 77D, Canon Rebel T7i, Canon EOS M6, Sony 24-70/2.8 GM, Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM , Sony 70-200mm f/4 G OSS, Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS, Sony FE 85mm f/1.8.

January 2017: LEICA M10, Fujifilm GFX 50S, Fujifilm X100F, Nikon D5600.

November & December 2016: Fuji X-A10.

September & October 2016: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL, Nikon 19mm PC-E, Sony A6500, Sony RX100 Mk V, Sony Alpha 99 II, Canon EOS M5, Canon EF 70-300 IS II USM, Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro.

July & August 2016: Canon 5D Mk IV, 16-35 IS II, 24-105 IS II, Nikon D3400, Nikon 105mm f/1.4, Fuji XT-2.

June 2016

April & May 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

September and October 2014

July and August 2014

June 2014

April & May 2014

March 2014

Jan & Feb 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

2005 ~ 2009

 

Help me help you

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

Thanks for reading!

Ken