Samyang 35mm f/1.4 Review

Samyang 35mm f/1.4

This is an in-depth review of the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC, a manual focus prime lens designed for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung and Micro Four Thirds mounts. While I will be referring to this lens as “Samyang” in this review, please keep in mind that you can find exactly the same lens under different names such as Bower 35mm f/1.4 and Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 in the US. In fact, the South-Korean lens manufacturer Samyang Optics sells its lenses to different companies like Vivitar, Falcon, Rokinon, Walimex, Bower and Pro-Optic, which simply re-package the lens and imprint their logos / add tags and sell them. Interestingly, while the lens is exactly the same, these brands are sometimes sold at different price points too (probably due to differences in packaging). The lens I tested for this review is the “Samyang” version, supposedly branded and packaged by the original manufacturer.

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Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Review

Sigma 35mm f/1.4

This is an in-depth review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art prime lens that was announced at one of the largest photo shows in the industry, at Photokina in Germany on September 17, 2012 for Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts. The announcement came on the same day with Sigma’s new restructuring of its lens lineup, with three new categories that would differentiate different types of lenses: “Contemporary” for small and lightweight consumer lenses, “Art” for professional zoom and prime lenses and “Sports” for long lenses targeted at sport and wildlife photography. Being a professional-level lens targeted at a variety of photography needs, including portraiture, landscapes and travel, the 35mm f/1.4 is the first Sigma lens that falls into the “Art” category.

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ONA Brooklyn Review

Ona Brooklyn (1)

I am not a big fan of lugging around a backpack full of gear while photographing events. That being said, I have done it ample amount of time and each time I get tired of carrying a backpack around. Even though Nasim makes it very light for me, I end up returning the backpack to the car and walk around with a DSLR, along with one lens. At times, I ask Nasim to carry my gear in his backpack, so that I can change lenses if needed. But this is not practical if we are shooting in two different locations. Getting tired of this situation, I decided to look for a solution.

I first came across ONA bags in one of the Facebook photography groups I was part of. The first thing that caught my attention was the design of these bags. Lots of girls do care about what they carry around and so do most men. After-all, what we carry around is our image. This is a review of an ONA Brooklyn satchel, which we ended up purchasing.

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Nikon 80-400mm VR Review

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

On March 5 of 2013, Nikon released the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, the long awaited update to the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR that was released over 13 years ago as Nikon’s first lens to sport image stabilization (Vibration Reduction) technology. I have been impatiently waiting for this lens update for quite some time now for a number of reasons. First, it is the only Nikon budget lens that can reach 400mm focal length without teleconverters. Second, it is a very versatile lens with a huge zoom range, which can be quite useful for outdoor sports and wildlife photography. Third, it is a relatively lightweight lens one could hand-hold for extended periods of time, especially when compared to any of the Nikon super telephoto lenses. And lastly, the old Nikon 80-400mm VR had a very slow autofocus motor and it was almost unusable for anything that moves, making the Nikon 300mm f/4D pretty much the only “budget” telephoto choice. So this much-needed, long overdue update was certainly welcomed by many of us Nikon shooters.

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Impact Super Collapsible Background Review

Impact Super Collapsible Background 4

Studio backdrops are a great way to transform a space. There are all different sorts of backdrops but I wanted a backdrop that folds up easily and doesn’t require lugging around a bulky backdrop stand. I also own some paper roll backdrops and it is so tough bringing out of the studio. What I like about this backdrop is that compact when stored, but unfolds to be the perfect size backdrop for shooting portraits. This is a review of the Impact Super Collapsible Background.

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Impact Reflector Panel Review

Impact Reflector Panel 3

A reflector is a light shaping tool. When shooting indoors, I often like to have a reflector handy to bounce light back onto my subject. For example, if my subject is standing next to a window there is more light on one side, than the other side. A reflector is helpful to soften the contrast of the window light. Reflectors can be used to bounce studio lighting as well. This is a review for Impact’s Reflector Panel.

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Nikon D7100 Review

Nikon D7100

This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D7100 DSLR that was announced on February 20, 2013, along with the Nikon WR-1 wireless remote controller. Although I have been shooting with the Nikon D7100 for about two months now, I specifically postponed the review, because I wanted to thoroughly test it and also make sure that I test at least two samples of the camera. I have been very concerned about Nikon’s latest rushed product launches with dust, oil and autofocus issues, so my intent was to examine the camera in detail and test all of its capabilities in various environments for this review.

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Impact Reversible Muslin Background Review

Impact Reversible Muslin Background

This is a review of the Impact Reversible Muslin Background. When I’m shooting portraits in the studio or on location, I sometimes want to use a backdrop that is not a seamless paper. Why? Seamless can be too uniform in color and also difficult to transport. I have always wondered what it would be like to shoot some portraits on a muslin background with subtle color variations, so I decided to grab one of these made by Impact and try it out.

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