Featured Articles and Reviews

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Review

In this review, I will talk about my experience and impressions with using perhaps the finest tripod head I have seen to date, the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube. … [Continue Reading]

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube

Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Review

When Profoto announced their first truly portable setup with the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL battery powered flash last year, the news immediately caught my … [Continue Reading]

Profoto B1 with Battery

Wildlife Photography Tips Part One

I hope the idea I have in my head for this wildlife photography series of articles turns out on paper the way I imagined it and you find some useful … [Continue Reading]

Coastal Grizzly Bear Photo

How to Photograph the Milky Way

Many travel and landscape photographers, including myself, try to avoid shooting scenery with a clear blue sky. As much as we like seeing puffy or … [Continue Reading]

Arches Night Sky by Tom Redd

What is Ghosting and Flare?

When light rays coming from a bright source(s) of light (such as the sun or artificial light) directly reach the front element of a camera lens, they … [Continue Reading]

Lens Flare

Leica M7 Review

This is a review of the Leica M7 TTL .72 rangefinder film camera that I used with the Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron M Aspherical Manual Focus Lens. I had … [Continue Reading]

Leica M7

In The Nikon Df Crossfire – Heart vs Head

The following conversation is entirely fictitious. Any similarities to opinions expressed on this forum or elsewhere are purely coincidental.

Nikon Df - Heart vs. Head

Head: So you are pretty excited about the Nikon Df, huh?
Heart: Absolutely!
Head: Just what is it about this new DSLR that has you so enthused?
Heart: Well, the Df brings us back to what some of us call “Pure Photography.” Sadly, it has been missing for quite some time. Then again, given your analytical mindset, which is utterly devoid of human emotion, I would not expect you to understand such a concept.
Head: Perhaps thinking is a bit over-rated at times, but it does come in handy, particularly when evaluating marketing slogans and attempting to discern the value of various camera models and lens choices. So help me out here – just what have those of us using digital cameras over the past 13 years or so been engaged in – “Impure Photography?”
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Fuji XQ1 Review

This is not meant to be an in-depth review of the Fuji XQ1, because I normally do not like spending time evaluating point and shoot cameras. First, there are too many of them and they recycle every year, sometimes even several times a year. Second, with the rise of the cell phone market with pretty impressive cameras, I just do not see the future of the point and shoot market. And lastly, the XQ1 simply ended up in my hands in error and I did not want to send it back without writing a few words about it.

Fuji XQ1

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How is Your Day Today?

Last week I received an email from one of our readers, Tim Smith, with a link to a video called “Gratitude” from Louie Schwartzberg. It was so beautiful, that it brought tears to my eyes. We often get so busy with our daily routines that we tend to forget how great life is and how unique each day is for us to enjoy. This unique beauty is one of the main reasons why I got so hooked on photography – and I am sure your story is similar…

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I did!

Sensor Gel Stick Status and International Shipping

Lola and I have been crazy busy this week, fulfilling all pre-orders for the sensor gel stick. Over 400 orders have been processed and we’ve finally caught up, which is a huge relief! I know that some of our readers have been frustrated with the delays – we really apologize for all this. Having a short supply and a boatload of pre-orders has not been easy. In addition, we are still learning our ways around the new order system and trying to find better ways to ship more efficiently. The good news is, we are now much more efficient with the handling and shipping process, so we will hopefully handle the load much better going forward.

We still have about 100 units left, but those are all called for through the pre-orders. If you have placed a pre-order before Christmas, you should have received an email notification from our system, asking to make the payment (please check your spam/junk folder if you have not received anything yet). Please make sure to complete this step ASAP, so that we can send the rest of the units. Meanwhile, all new pre-orders are on hold, awaiting for the new shipment – we want to make sure that all of our customers that pre-ordered get their sensor gel sticks, instead of having to wait for the next batch.

Sensor Gel Stick

We also have great news – International shipping options are now open! We are shipping to most European countries, Australia and New Zealand. If you live in a different country and would like us to consider the option of sending there, please use the Contact Us form and let us know which country you want the sensor gel stick to be shipped to, including information on customs and potential taxes (best that you research in advance and provide us with this information). While we will do our best to ship to most countries, please understand that we might refuse to ship to certain countries due to US regulations, high probability of theft, etc. In some cases, we just don’t want the potential headaches with shipping and tracking orders.

Happy holidays!

Last Chance for Year End Savings

Nikon’s “Buy Together and Save” instant rebate program is expiring today (it will not be extended anymore), so B&H is offering a free UPS Next Day Air shipping for orders to arrive to your home before the end of the year. If you want to see a detailed list of cameras and lenses that are available for this rebate program, along with our recommendations, please take a look at this article that I posted on Black Friday. In short, this particular rebate program applies to all current and older Nikon DSLRs and a long list of DX and FX lenses. Once you add a camera body to the cart, you can stack as many lenses as you want, increasing the total savings.

Nikon Buy Together and Save

Refurbished Nikon D800 DSLR has dropped down to $2,399.

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Nikon D610 / Canon 6D / Sony A7 Giveaway Winner

Thanks to our friends at Fstoppers, we also organized a Nikon D610 / Canon 6D / Sony A7 Giveaway, which ended on Christmas, just like our Fuji X-E1 kit giveaway (congrats to Charles Lennox once again!). This giveaway was much bigger than the Fuji one, because we received a total of 33523 entries (Facebook and non-Facebook participants combined). Actually, the number was much bigger than that (over 40K), but all those were fake accounts that were disqualified. With all the fake email addresses from yahoo.de, inbox.ru, mail.ru, bk.ru, gmail.com and hotmail.com, and a boatload of freshly created Facebook accounts, it took me a while to clean up the list to make it fair to all real participants.

Well, it is now time to announce the lucky winner, who gets to pick his favorite camera. Once again, we are using the services of random.org to pick the lucky winner and it looks like the winner is…

Fstoppers PL Winner

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And the Fuji X-E1 Kit Winner Is…

Our giveaway for the Fuji X-E1 + 18-55mm lens kit is now over. While I thought I could manage to pick a winner last night, sorting through all the comments (for non-Facebook participants) and entering them into a spreadsheet and then eliminating all the fake entries (there were many!) took me a while for both giveaways that are taking place. Lastly, I had to contact the winners and get their response for confirmation purposes. As before, I used the services of random.org to pick a random winner among all of our readers and Facebook fans. The total number of entries for this particular contest were 9373. So with the drums rolling, let’s see who the winner is:

Fuji X-E1 Winner

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Merry Christmas!

To those of our readers that celebrate Christmas, on behalf of the Photography Life team, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

May your home be filled with joy, love, health and happiness!

P.S. Don’t forget that we will be giving away two big presents tonight. The Fuji X-E1 + 18-55mm lens kit, along with a full-frame DSLR/mirrorless of choice (Canon 6D, Nikon D610 and Sony A7). Stay tuned for the big news and good luck to everyone!

Sony A7 and A7R Red Dot Flare Issue

Just as I have suspected, the Sony A7 and A7R cameras are not immune to the Red Dot Flare issue, thanks to the short flange distance. The effect of the red dot flare can be significantly reduced if the rear lens element has non-reflective coating applied to it. In the case of the two below, the Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 ZA handles flare a little better due to its optical design, but the red dots are still all over the place. Both shot at f/16, pointing directly at the sun.

Sony A7 and 28-70mm Red Dot Flare

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How to Use the Sensor Gel Stick

In this video, I decided to cover a couple of important aspects of using the sensor gel stick. First, I wanted to show what the product looks like when shipped and what it comes with, then answer some of the most frequently asked questions by our readers (see below for the text version), before actually showing how to use the product on a camera sensor.

DISCLAIMER: Not responsible for any potential damage of the camera due to misuse of the product! Please watch the video carefully and follow the instructions step by step.

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