Home  Donate  Search  Gallery  Reviews  How-To  Books  Links  Workshops  About  Contact

KenRockwell.com

December 2013's Updates  Hot Deals
RSS:
 daily   (continuous live updates)
all © 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

< < back to Today's News

Please help KenRockwell..com

Nikon: D800 Df D610 D7100  Canon: 5D Mk III 6D  Fuji  LEICA  All    Ryan Katie

Recommended Cameras   How to Take Better Pictures   random

Twitter     Facebook    Video Tutorials

 

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

I use Adorama, Amazon, eBay, B&H and ScanCafe. I can't vouch for ads below.

Phil Steele Training

28 December 2013, Saturday

Ryan shoots the Minolta SRT-101, 26 December 2013

Ryan shoots the Minolta SRT-101 with MC ROKKOR‑X 50mm f/1.4. bigger.

NEW: Minolta SRT-101 Review.

NEW: Minolta MC ROKKOR-X 50mm f/1.4 Review.

Well, not exactly my usual long-winded full of hot air reviews, but at least some anchor pages as I shoot more with the SRT-101 I just got from my pal Richard, who couldn't sell it even on eBay. I'm amazed; Minolta made so many of these and they are so durable that there are so many more out there that work well that they sell for peanuts.

Don't laugh: a little over 40 years ago when I bought my first 35mm SLR I would have died if I could have afforded an SRT-101!

 

24 December 2013, Christmas Eve

Ken Rockwell Christmas Card 2013

Merry Christmas to all! merrier.

The top two shots were with a Sony A7, 1987 LEICA SUMMICRON-M 50mm f/2, 1/60 at f/2 at Auto ISO 200. They were file shots from earlier this month while playing with the A7. The self portrait is exactly that; Ryan wanted to try the self timer and we rested the camera on a chair.

I shot the two bottom posed family shots on Sunday with my 5D Mk III, Canon 24-70/2.8 L II and 430EX II flash, all on a tripod. Besides the usual ease of getting everyone to smile at once (Molly even peed on Ryan we were having so much fun), it was a bear to light the family on no notice.

It was night, so there was no light other than the dim orange 40W bulbs in a chandelier. I pointed my flash up at the ceiling, which mostly hit the orange walls. I added a white Post-it note to the flash as a catch light. The chandelier lights weren't even lighting us, they only shone up and bounced off the orange walls.

I shot the bottom two at f/5.6 at 1/30 at ISO 3,200. This let the ambient light provide most of the light, with the flash filling in the rest since the chandelier was directly on top of us.

I had to shoot at 2,700 Kelvin white balance since the light was so orange from the 40W bulbs.

I had to gel my flash with both a CTO and 1/2 CTO gel to get it to balance the ambient light. It was still too blue; tough.

I ran all the shots through and Athentech Perfectly Clear to clean them up. Athentech Perfectly Clear almost always improves my photos. I as shot the Canon shots in JPG+RAW just in case, but didn't need the raw files; the JPGs were fine. I hit the JPG+RAW option just in case I needed to rescue anything due to my own stupidity, quite likely with the boss yelling to "just take the picture." The bottom shots are still way too red; tough. If I hadn't gelled the flash, our faces looked purple from the blue flash and orange ambient light!

 

23 December 2013, Monday

It's not too late

I believe all my approved sources from which I get my own things are offering free overnight shipping so you can still shop today for Christmas. Sure beats driving!

For instance, you can get the secret deals of a Canon 6D at Adorama for $1,499; all you have to do is add it to your cart and keep going through the checkout process for the price to drop magically. Since I use it every day, I prefer the 5D Mk III, which is also only $2,699 as you actually check out. Secret deals just for you; I paid $3,500 for my Mark III last year!

 

Nikon Df

I just shared my personal Nikon Df settings file in the usage section of my Nikon Df Review.

 

Olympus 35 SP

Olympus 35 SP

Olympus 35 SP.

Good news: It's been 6 months since I popped in a 675 Zinc-Air hearing-aid cell with a Paul BG adapter into my Olympus 35SP, and the meter is still working perfectly!

 

20 December 2013, Friday

Nikon Df

Nikon Df and 1970 Nikon GN Auto NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8.

NEW: Nikon Df Review.

I've completely re-written it over the past 36 hours with all new data and illustrations based on my past month of shooting. Of course I dumped the Df and grabbed my 5D Mk III for snapping the kids at their Christmas concerts where I want great photos, as opposed to a collectible camera to use with my relic F-Mount lenses.

 

19 December 2013, Thursday

LEICA M TYP 240

NEW: Canon 5D Mk III vs. LEICA M 240 vs. Sony A7 Image Quality Comparison.

 

Need cash? Don't forget that Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

 

The Nikon SB-400 finally sold out. No worries, I'd get another one used at eBay (see How to Win at eBay) long before I bought the crummy SB-300 that replaces the SB-400.

 

CANON GIVE-AWAYS!!!!

Adorama's blowing out a whole bunch of the hottest Canon gear at prices too low to last any length of time. Catch them while you can! Note that most of them are secrets, and require you to start the checkout process to see your actual low selling prices.

 

Canon 5D Mark III for $2,699! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. To get this special price, hit ADD TO CART, then hit CHECKOUT.

 

Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105L IS for $3,239! includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

 

Canon S110 with 8GB SD Card & Canon Leather Case: $190! Includes free 2-day US shipping. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

 

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II for $1,329 after rebate! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS for $899 after rebate! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II for $1,699 after rebate! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM for $129. Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards.This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II: $1,799 after rebate! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

 

Canon SL1 DSLR Body with Lowe-Pro bag and 16GB Lexar card, for $369! Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon 70D for $979. Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon T5i with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM for $699. Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

Canon T3i with 18-135mm IS for $679. Includes free US shipping and 2% rewards. This secret price is probably not shown until after you hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.

 

Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105mm f/4L IS for $3,349 with free shipping and 2% rewards.

To get this price:

1.) Click on the item bundle (price reads $3,899) and click ADD TO CART.

2.) A window pops up with a whole bunch of free stuff that's added. The price still reads $3,899. Scroll down and click CHECKOUT at the bottom of this window.

3.) You see a whole list of items in your cart, and the price still reads $3,899.

4.) Click PROCEED TO CHECKOUT. The price drops magically to $3,349, which is what you pay. Shipping is free, at least in most of the USA.

 

Canon T5i with 18-135mm IS STM for $849.50 (Regular Price $1,049.00), includes Free US Shipping and 2% rewards. (follow the tricks above to get the special price.)

 

Sony RX10, open box, for $937 with free shipping. Regular Price $1,049.00.

 

17 December 2013, Tuesday

Gift Ideas.

Stuck on what to get your favorite photographer? Here are thoughtful ideas everyone will love.

Want a great DSLR for $349 - with lens? Get a refurbished D3100 kit! That's what I'd buy my mom if she asked and tell my friends who ask for a great camera for normal people. (Actually mom's getting a used Nikon N55 for Christmas. She prefers real pictures and her last one broke.)

 

Recommended Canon Lenses

You asked, so here's the couple of Canon full-frame lenses I actually use and suggest.

 

16 December 2013, Monday

NEW: Nikon D5200 iPhone/iPod/iPad App.

Nikon D5200 Users Guide App

Nikon D5200 Users Guide App.

Whew! This app took almost a year to develop to be sure it looks awesome on iPad, iPhone and iPod and the various OSs.

 

Nikon D5300, Sony A7 and Nikon Df

I have my new D5300, but haven't gotten to it yet. I was shooting my Sony A7 all weekend, as well as my Nikon Df. My own LEICA M typ 240 should be here soon, too, so I can finally complete the review I attempted to start in October with a loaned unit.

Fast take on each camera:

The Sony A7 is better than the LEICA M typ 240 for available-light reportage, portraiture, people, action and street photography with the EVF because the Sony just works better — with excellent full-time, full-frame manual focus assist. The Type 240 is better for careful nature and landscape work because the LEICA lenses work better with its sensor; adapted LEICA lenses on the A7 aren't as sharp, especially on the sides and corners, as they are on the typ 240. The A7 charges from any USB port in your car or from AC power or from a USB backup battery in your pocket, while oddly the LEICA's battery lasts longer.

The LEICA M typ 240 is like a Rolex or a Ferrari, and owned by the same discriminating crowd. A LEICA is not for regular people. No one buys a Rolex to tell time or a Ferrari to take kids to school or get to work. The LEICA is bigger than taking pictures, just as any Casio G-Shock keeps better time, is more legible and more reliable than a Rolex.

The Df is also a special camera for the man who knows what he likes. If you're a casual buyer who selects a camera based on features, price, specifications and test reports, get a D610 for less money. If you're a seasoned shooter who knows what you love, you'll prefer the Df. I love mine; the Nikon Df is the most revolutionary Nikon since the Nikon F4 of 1986; even the world's first practical DSLR, the Nikon D1 wasn't revolutionary; it was simply evolutionary. Only the D1's price was revolutionary, not the camera. In the Df, we have the world's first original DSLR that isn't simply a regurgitation of an existing 35mm SLR, as the D1 was a digital adaptation of the Nikon F5 and the D2 was a version of the Nikon F6.

When things slow down I can add my usual excruciating factual detail to each review. Of course my 5D Mark III and 50mm f/1.2 L is what I grabbed today when I finished writing this and actually needed good photos in my son's classroom; the 5D Mark III is superior to anything digital from Nikon or LEICA.

 

Nikon SB-400

Nikon SB-400

Nikon SB-400.

Nikon's best flash, the SB-400, has become more difficult to find. Some say Nikon stopped making it, which is no big deal since you can buy all you want from Adorama from stock, or used at eBay. Unlike digital cameras, flashes should be bought gray market; you're not going to need service or firmware updates for them.

The SB-400 is exceptional. Canon has nothing to compete with it, and the Nikon SB-300 is crummy by comparison, too.

 

13 December 2013, Friday

Last few hours: These were supposed to have expired yesterday, but they still seem active:

To get these secret deals, you have to start the checkout process. You'll see higher prices on their pages and in your cart until you hit ADD TO CART and then hit CHECKOUT:

Canon 70D body: $949 (Reg: $1199) with free shipping and 4% Adorama rewards.

Canon 600EX-RT Flash for $449 (reg. $549) with free shipping and 4% Adorama rewards.

Ricoh GR pocket camera, 16 MP and HD with Lexar 32GB SDHC Card, free shipping and 4% Adorama rewards for $699.

 

12 December 2013, Thursday

NEW: Sony LA-EA4 Adapter review.

Sony LA-EA4 adapter

Sony LA-EA4 Adapter.

This gizmo really works; I can shoot my 1980s Minolta MAXXUM AF lenses with full autofocus on my full-frame Sony A7!

I also just got my Sony A7 less than 24 hours ago. I posted some quick sample shots. I'm loving it; it's better made than the LEICA M typ 240; the M typ 240's EVF is made in China out pf plastic, while the A7's finder is part of the camera which seems like solid metal.

 

11 December 2013, Wednesday

NEW: Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G review.

NEW: Nikon 50mm and 58mm Bokeh Comparison.

Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G Review

Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G.

 

06 December 2013, Friday

NEW: Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 review.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8.

 

NEW: TDK A33 Bluetooth Speaker Review.

TDK A33 Review

TDK A33 Bluetooth Speaker.

A fantastic bluetooth speaker — practically free!

 

More Christmas Deals

Wow! Here's what you really want for Christmas. These are what I shoot when I want it done right and aren't wasting my time testing some baloney camera.

Want to know what I shoot? Here you go:

World's best DSLR: Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105mm f/4L IS: click Buy Together and Save, add the Pixma Pro100 printer for $3,347.00 price after mail-in-rebate. Heck, I paid more than this for just my 5D Mk III body!

Canon's pro ultrawide: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM: Price at Checkout $1, 549, Final Price after mail-in-rebate: $1,349.00. 16-35/2.8 II review.

World's sharpest midrange zoom: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM: Price at Checkout $1,999.00, Final Price after mail-in-rebate is $1699.00. 24-70/2.8 II review.

The Canon tele I shoot myself: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM: Price at Checkout $1,199.00, Final Price after mail-in-rebate: $999.00. 70-200/4 IS review. I haven't seen it this low since I bought mine back in 2007!

More great stuff:

Canon 85mm f/1.2L II USM: Price at Checkout is $1,999.00 and Final Price after mail-in-rebate is $1,799 — with Free Shipping! 85/1.2 review.

Sony SLT-A58 and 18-55 and 55-200mm, HVL-F20M Flash: Price after $50 Adorama Gift Card $498.00.

Canon ELPH 115 IS (16 MP, 8x Optical Zoom) in pink, black or blue: Price in Cart $89.00.

All these prices always move up and down, so get them while you can.

 

04 December 2013, Wednesday

NEW: Nikon D610 review.

Nikon D610

Nikon D610 and 50mm f/1.4 G.

As expected, a super camera, just like the D600, but without the overblown oil spot fiasco.

My D610 page has been completely updated with new Performance and Usage and Recommendations sections.

 

 

03 December 2013, Tuesday

My wife had a dream about me — so I'm in trouble!

You married guys know the drill: you're guilty for whatever you do in your woman's dream just the same as if you really did it. I know you're going get a kick out of what I did last night in my wife's dreams.

As you know, my wife's real job for decades has been pharmaceutical sales. She's extremely good at running around to doctors' offices all day helping them learn about whatever drugs or biotech product she's peddling. That's why I can sit here and help people learn about photography instead of working a real job: because my wife earns the real cashola.

Anyway, in her dream she instead sold cameras door-to-door! She sold to both friends and strangers. She placed the camera orders with her company who shipped them to our house, and she then went out and delivered them personally the next day: just like selling Burpee Seeds or Girl Scout cookies. Don't you love what devious predicaments our own brains concoct for ourselves? Whose side are we on anyway?

All was going well because she's one of the world's top salespeople. She had loads of orders, and loads of cameras came and went each day as she sold boatloads.

There was only one teensy-weensy problem in her supply chain: I was taking the cameras out of their boxes as they arrived and testing them! Boy was she ticked when she went to deliver her cameras, and discovered that her shipping boxes were empty because I was piddling with them!

She was really in trouble because there was an awesome sunset, and all her friends were taking pictures of it — except for the friends whose cameras I had all taken aside to test!

I was all over it; the cameras she sold were all different and I wanted to test each one. I even tried to tell her that I was helping her customers by ensuring all their cameras were AOK, and that they should be thanking me — except that there was this awesome sunset and all her friends wanted the cameras they had ordered!

Heh heh, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

 

Deals

Sorry about all the deals, but here are more today:

Refurbished D600 for $1,399!

Fujinon 14x40 stabilized binoculars for $999. This is what I got myself for Christmas in 2006, and I paid $1,100 for them back then. I still use mine every day

Fujinon 14x40 review.

 

02 December 2013, Monday

Nikon D610

I shot mine all weekend, and should have my review updated later this week.

Capsule summary: fast frame rate, no oil spots, and just like the D600, AF gets stuck in the dark and needs its built-in AF Illuminator.

 

Sigma 18-35/1.8 DX

I also have this Sigma in for review, look for it later this week.

 

Deal-of-the-Day!

Adorama is offering a Deal-of-the-Day each day for the Advent season (one deal each day today though Christmas, just like on our Advent calendars).

 

Cyber Monday Deals

Amazon's Cyber Monday deals.

Amazon's Cyber Monday camera and electronic deals.

All Adorama's deals.

Canon S110 for $219 with free shipping.

Nikon D7000 for $699 new or for $649 refurbished. The D7000 is my top pick for the best DSLR for serious shooters on a budget. It's essentially a DX D610, for 1/3 the price. When I have one or the other in my hand, I can't even tell which I'm using except if I look at the label on the front — or through the finder, in which case the two cameras have the same AF system, but the AF areas cover almost all of the finder in my D7000 instead of just the central region of the D610. I prefer any of these to my D800E or D4 because of their U1 and U2 modes that let me recall all my settings for different kinds of shots instantly.

Canon 5D Mark III mega-kit with 24-105mm L IS, 70-300mm IS USM and 40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon 600EX-RT Flash, 32GB Class 10 SDHC Card and Camera Bag: Reg $5,396.00 Price at checkout $4,399 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon 6D mega-kit with 24-105mm f/4L IS, 70-300mm IS USM and 40mm f/2.8 STM lenses, Canon 600EX-RT Flash, 32GB Class 10 SDHC Card, and Camera Bag: Reg Price $3,896.00 Price at checkout $2949.00, includes Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon 70D mega-kit it with 18-135mm IS STM, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS and 40mm f/2.8 STM, Canon 600EX-RT Flash, 32GB Class 10 SDHC Card and Camera Bag: Regular Price $2,992.42. Price at checkout $2,149.00 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon T5i mega-kit with 18-55mm IS STM, 75-300mm III and EF 50mm f/1.8 II, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case: Regular Price $1,266.75. Price at checkout $859 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon T5i mega-kit with 18-135mm IS STM, 75-300mm III, and 50mm f/1.8 II, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case: Regular Price $1,466.75. Price at checkout $999 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon T3i mega-kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II, 75-300mm III, and 50mm f/1.8 II lenses, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case: Regular Price $723.00. Price at checkout $649 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon SL1 mega-kit with 18-55mm IS STM, 75-300mm III, and 50mm f/1.8 II Lenses, Adorama Flash, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case: Regular Price $1,149.00. Price at checkout $699 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

Canon T3 mega-kit with 18-55mm IS, 75-300mm III, and 50mm f/1.8 II Lenses, Camera Bag, 16GB SDHC Card, USB Card Reader, Tripod, and Adorama Memory Card Case: Regular Price $764.00. Price at Checkout $529.00 with Free Shipping and 2% Adorama Rewards.

B&H's deals.

 

What Was New in:

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

Home   Donate   New   Search   Gallery   How-To   Books   Links   Workshops   About   Contact