This week, I was excited to get back some of the 8×10 film that I shot in Death Valley last month. One of my favorite parts of landscape photography is seeing my photos come to life on a light table for the first time. (Then again, one of my least favorite parts is if they didn’t turn out…)
Luckily, they look pretty good this time! Or, at least, they do so far – I still need to get all my B&W shots from the trip developed, including some from the ultra-large format 12×20 beast. So, I’ll reserve my final judgment until I see those photographs.
In the meantime, here’s a quick roundup of the biggest news from last week in the photography world.
- Sirui announces the world’s lightest full-frame anamorphic lenses: The 50mm T1.9 and 75mm T1.9 are anamorphic lenses both featuring a 1.6x squeeze factor. They come in two different versions, one with blue flare and one with neutral-tone flare. The weight depends on the lens mount and focal length, but it ranges from just 390 to 472 grams (0.86 to 1.04 pounds). Available for Nikon Z, Sony E, Canon RF, Fuji X, Leica L, and DJI DL mounts for $999 (early-bird pricing) or $1299 (MSRP). They’ve already raised about $300,000 on Indiegogo.
- Godox announces a retro flash: The Godox Lux Cadet is an old-school style flash with solid specs for the $94 price. The petal-style reflector on the front of the flash should help spread out the light and make for interesting catchlights. The flash is light (171 g / 0.38 lbs) and fairly bright with a guide number of 32.8 feet at ISO 100, 28mm.
- Meike’s AF 85mm f/1.4 now shipping for $470: If you want an autofocus-capable 85mm f/1.4 on a budget, this lens could be right up your alley. The April announcement suggested support for Sony E, Nikon Z, Canon RF, and Leica L, although so far it’s only available for Sony and Nikon.
- A new color film from Harman: Ilford’s black and white films are arguably the best on the market today, and now we’re seeing their parent company Harman develop a color film for the first time! Harman Phoenix 200 is a 35mm roll film that is currently in the experimental stage, with lots of grain and deep, saturated colors. Harman says they’ll be improving the formula over time in response to demand.
The Rumor Mill
Nikon could be working on a highly desired firmware update
One of the very few things that I found disappointing about the Nikon Z9 (and the Nikon Z8, by extension) is that the pre-release burst mode is JPEG-only. This mode is extremely useful for capturing fast, unexpected moments of action where you need more than just good reaction speed. It was useful enough that I broke my own rule (always shoot RAW!) and embraced it for dragonfly-in-flight photography last year. Now, Nikon Rumors has said that Nikon could be working on a firmware update that will bring pre-release RAW to the Z8 and Z9, among other possible upcoming improvements.
Via Nikon Rumors
Canon has another batch of wild lens patents
Lens patents do not always lead to real lenses – in fact, it’s rare that they do. Even so, patents give us a sense of where a company is thinking for their future lens releases. That’s why Canon’s new set of five patents for defocus-smoothing lenses is so interesting. There’s a 28-70mm f/1.6-2, 35-70mm f/1.8-2, 70-135mm f/2.5, 70-200mm f/2-2.8, and 80-150mm f/1.8, all with the “DS” label. Which one would you most like to see?
Good Deals and New Sales
There’s going to be no shortage of good deals in the photography world from now until the end of December, even if you missed out on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals last week. Here’s the big holiday deals page on B&H where you’re sure to find something that piques your interest, or even something that could go on your Christmas list.
Some of the best deals I see are:
- Samsung 2TB portable SSD (was $180, now $100)
- Zoom H1n recorder with built-in microphone (was $120, now $60)
- 4-pack Apple AirTags (was $100, now $90)
- Pelican 1510C studio case (was $352, now $240)
- Benro MeFOTO Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod (was $300, now $120)
- GoPro Hero 10 bundle (was $500, now $250)
- Benro Series 3 Induro Carbon Fiber Tripod (was $475, now $250)
More Pages of Interest
Sony’s recent announcement of an optional, paid firmware update to add custom gridlines to the a7 IV caused some mixed reactions. Some businesses that use cameras (like for dentistry, cruise ships, IDs, etc.) will no doubt find it worth the price, while some photographers definitely laughed at the $150 price for such a seemingly basic feature. Dpreview has a great analysis on what this could mean for the future of firmware updates.
25 photos have been shortlisted for the People’s Choice category of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Take a look through the gallery for some inspiration and to vote for your favorite. I’d like to throw my weight behind photo #10, the photo of a bat taken by one of Photography Life’s former writers, Dvir Barkay!
A large solar storm happened earlier this week, and auroras were visible much closer to the equator than normal. Here are some from Minnesota, from Wisconsin, and Iowa – not places normally known for viewing the Northern Lights! Some people in my home state of Colorado also got to see them, although it was cloudy by me. No worries, just another thing for my bucket list.
Photo Theme Challenge, Week #26
I can’t believe we’ve already been doing weekly photo challenges for half a year! I’m constantly amazed by the quality of work submitted by our readers, and I love the inspiration it provides each week. If you’ve participated in these challenges before, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks.
Week #25 Results
We’ll start with a great photo from PRG Lagarde:
I love the emotional impact of that photo and the careful processing to make it stand out.
Next is a classic still life by Bhoward:
It’s a well-arranged scene that tells a story about the owner of those books, almost like a portrait without a person in the photo.
Finally, I liked the detail of this close-up photo by rjbfoto:
The high-contrast, high-saturation look makes this minimalist photo appear very striking.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their photos this week, and don’t forget to post to this week’s electric challenge here!