More Photokina announcements are rolling in today and this time it is Sigma, with its headline-grabbing releases of upcoming Art and Sport-series lenses. With stellar lens designs such as the 35mm f/1.4 Art and 50mm f/1.4 Art lenses, we have been waiting for Sigma to release an 85mm f/1.4 Art lens for quite sometime now, so Sigma has finally delivered. The new 85mm f/1.4 Art promises to be a superb lens both in terms of sharpness and bokeh. Although Sigma is yet to provide MTF charts and lens construction images, the fact that there is no aspherical element in the lens design is an indication of the lens being optimized to yield pleasant-looking bokeh without onion rings, something that has plagued other Art-series Sigma lens designs. Its price is a bit steep at $1,199 MSRP, but it is still $400 cheaper than its Nikon counterpart.
Today is a big day for Fuji, because the company unveiled its first digital medium format mirrorless camera with a 51.4 MP sensor, the Fuji GFX 50S. And not only that, but also a total of 6 medium format “G” mount lenses specifically designed for the new GFX 50S: GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR (18mm equiv), GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR (32mm equiv), GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR (50mm equiv), GF 110mm f/2 (87mm equiv), GF 120mm f/4 Macro (95mm equiv) and GF 32-64mm f/4R LM WR (25-51mm equiv) zoom lens. Both the camera and the lenses are in development and they are not finalized yet, but we can expect the company to start shipping the camera with a couple of lenses in early 2017. Although the pricing has not been announced yet, the company promised that the GFX 50S will be well under $10K, which will put it in competition with the Hasselblad X1D-50c. Many would consider this announcement to be groundbreaking and I believe it really is – Fuji decided to skip full-frame mirrorless altogether, focusing heavily on APS-C cameras and now medium format. With Fuji’s ability to design superb lenses with impressive sharpness, color and contrast characteristics, I have no doubt that the GFX 50S will be in demand.
It has been a while since I posted the “How was this picture made #11?” article, where I showcased a very high resolution image of sand particles with tons of detail. The image was massive in size and resolution when I extracted it out of Lightroom. In fact, the image was so big, that I had to downsize it to 4096 pixel long resolution in order to keep the size at less than 10 MB with as much JPEG optimization as I could. When dealing with so much detail, even the highest JPEG compression levels will still yield large files, since there is so much pixel-level data. And that’s what you get when you have an image produced from a sensor that moves one pixel at a time in order to create a super high resolution image! And combined with the power of focus stacking multiple images, you get insane levels of detail from a macro shot like this. So how did I do it? Let’s talk about the specifics of this particular shot.
This summer’s Photography Life road trip has come to an end, but not before a final visit to Olympic National Park. After dropping John off at the Seattle airport, Nasim and I spent a couple of days exploring Washington’s dramatic coasts and rainforests, taking some photos and filming the remainder of our Composition chapter. Hopefully you have enjoyed these quick articles from the road. I certainly have had fun sharing our experiences!
As smartphones are getting better at capturing images year after year, one might be wondering when, if at all, we will see smartphones directly competing with larger cameras. Are we at the point, or perhaps might be soon approaching one, where it won’t make any sense to buy a high-end DSLR or a mirrorless camera to capture professional-looking images? Now that smartphones like the iPhone 7 Plus are shipping with dual lenses (one standard wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens to capture portraits) and some manufacturers are even pushing larger sensors to specifically appeal the photography market, it is no wonder why some photographers might think that a smartphone is all they need to get professional results. During the past few years, I have been using a variety of different cameras with sensors ranging from tiny 1/3″ all the way to medium format, so I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about this particular topic, with some images to represent different cameras and sensor sizes.
When Olympus first announced the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO telephoto lens for the micro-four thirds format there was understandably much enthusiasm for its arrival. After all, it would give users the equivalent field of view of 600mm at F/4 in a far more compact and lighter lens than a DSLR equivalent. I wasn’t personally that aroused by the prospect but curiosity prompted me to ask Olympus if I could borrow the lens to write up a user experience and they very kindly lent me a copy.
Our readers know how much we love the MIOPS Smart Trigger, which we have previously reviewed and praised for its amazing features and capabilities, including the ability to capture lightnings. Now our Turkish friends are unveiling a smaller brother to the MIOPS Smart Trigger called “MIOPS Mobile”. As the name suggests, it is primarily intended to be used with a mobile device such as your smartphone, in order to capture images with your camera. We are excited about the MIOPS Mobile, because it combines the power of your smartphone with the power of this little device in order to capture those unique moments. Utilizing your phone’s integrated capabilities such as the GPS, MIOPS mobile can take advantage of them by offering specific modes, such as “Roadlapse”, allowing one to capture timelapses from a moving vehicle. The MIOPS engineering team made sure to include all the bells and whistles it could into the MIOPS Mobile, so you will find numerous different modes to fire your camera remotely, such as Vibration, Sound, Motion, Distance and the regular Timelapse modes have also been upgraded to now include HDR Timelapses. The connection between the MIOPS Mobile and the camera is wired (connects to the camera’s shutter release port), just like on the MIOPS Smart Trigger, but the connection between the MIOPS Mobile and your smartphone is wireless (via Bluetooth), which means that you do not have to stand right next to the unit in order to trigger action – everything can be done remotely. The product is being launched via KickStarter and with only one day of funding, it looks like it is getting very close to reaching its funding goal.
Working on your photos in Photoshop, you might have come across the situation where you begin to see weird lines appear in places where they shouldn’t be and weren’t before. This issue is especially common for very smooth gradients, such as skies, and can undoubtedly destroy even the most beautiful photo. And unlike other problems, this issue doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything particular; one moment it’s not there and the next time you look at the image – there it is. So, let’s figure out what this is, why it happens and how to fix it.
During the past week, I have been very busy with some university work and with preparations for a month-long road trip through ex-Yugoslavia. However, I still wanted to capture the passage of the Perseids meteors, possibly from a great location. Then, I remembered that two of my friends and I wanted to climb the Monviso, which is the third highest peak in my region at 3841 meters (12602 feet). I combined the two and there we were, driving a two-days journey in the Italian eastern Alps. Astronomers tell us that the peak of the falling star has moved from the former 10th of August to the 12th, but the weather forecast for the 12th was depressing to say the least. Unfortunately, since my camera can’t see behind clouds (yet!) and I don’t like to walk under a torrential rain, the weather was in charge and the departure was moved to the morning of the 13th. Our gear included a tent, sleeping bags and mats, not enough food and water, and some photographic gear: my tripod, a Canon 1200D/T5 and two lenses: a Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 and a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC, along with a remote and three spare batteries. My photographic goal was to make a timelapse of the shower of meteors and possibly capture some images along the way, whereas my climbing goal was to go up as high as possible and maybe coming back alive.
DIY projects are always popular, so we’ve decided to throw another one into the mix. This particular little idea comes from a problem that many photographers have – where do you get a good, small, white/gray surface to use for white balancing your RAW shots in conversion?