Sony A7R Image Sample (12)

One of the biggest challenges that many photographers face is yielding sharp photos when hand-holding a camera. Many end up with blurry images without understanding […]

Twin Peaks

During our recent photo walk in San Francisco, where we had over 30 Photography Life readers join us for some awesome time together, one of […]

Sony A7R

Sony unleashed the Sony A7 and the A7R in October of 2013. With the Sony A7 aimed for general use sporting a 24 MP sensor […]

Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2

Read this in-depth review of the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 manual focus lens with detailed information, specifications, image samples and comparisons to other Sony FE lenses

Death Valley Infrared (3)

Now that I have my Nikon D800E converted to infrared (big thanks to Ilija at Kolari Vision for an amazing conversion job and Bob Vishneski […]

Not_equivalant_f28

A few months ago we wrote an extensive article on sensor crop factors and equivalence. In that post we covered several topics: the history of […]

Visualization: The Hunt for the Light

Visualization (4)

In my recent essay on visualization, I discussed the historical and modern day significance of this concept in photography as well as the role that a composition card serves in bridging the vision in the mind to its tangible realization into an image. In this follow-up essay, I will discuss the interplay of other critical aspects of visualization that accompany, if not transcend, the tangible aspects.

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High Magnification Macro Photography on a Budget

Macro Photography (5)

Hey folks, my name is Siddhant Sahu, I am a 16 years old aspiring photographer from India. I have been shooting macro photographs for about a year now and I would try to encapsulate all I have learnt along my way in this short article. I believe that macro photography has the power of entering in a whole new world of tiny creatures. In fact with only modest piece of equipment you can shoot high magnification macro photographs. It’s good to mark the behavior of insects and how close you can approach some of them, but then again these are wild animals and there is no way to predict how exactly they will behave, each subject can be different, each background can be different. But with digital photography there is no penalty to shoot thousands and thousands of photos, and eventually someday among those thousands photos one particular would be usable enough. Anyone is capable of doing this, you don’t need the greatest lens or the newest camera out there. Macro photography is physically exhausting, challenging and requires a lot of patience and time consuming but you can get amazing results with fair piece of equipment.

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Nikon 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Review

Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E VR

During the past few years, Nikon has been slowly replacing its high-end super telephoto lenses with newer technology using lightweight fluorite lens elements, shredding off a lot of weight and making additional improvements to lens designs, making the already strong lenses even better. After the 800mm f/5.6E VR monster, it was time for Nikon to update its legendary 400mm f/2.8G VR with the newer version, so that’s how the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL VR came to life. Although Nikon is planning to update every super telephoto lens in its line-up with lighter lenses featuring fluorite elements (which includes the 200mm f/2, 300mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 lenses), Nikon decided to start with the 400mm f/2.8, because it is one of the lenses that would get the most benefit from the fluorite lens design. Weighing in at a whopping 4.6 kg, the previous generation 400mm f/2.8G VR was a monster of a lens to handle and impractical to hand-hold (it was quite a bit front-heavy). Although it is quite a versatile lens and works remarkably well with all three Nikon teleconverters, its weight and size were its main disadvantages, making a lot of photographers opt for other super telephoto Nikkor lenses like the 500mm f/4 instead. The newly designed 400mm f/2.8E FL VR is a whole different lens in comparison – weighing 3.8 kg, the lens is now similar in weight as the 500mm f/4G VR, which is a great engineering achievement! Let’s take a closer look at this lens.

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Upcoming Reviews

Nikon D5500

I will be traveling out of country in April and before I leave, I have a few days to try to work on some reviews. Whether I will manage to produce a lot of content before my departure or not, I am planning to finish up the task upon my return. Lots of gear came out during the last year and having started my Sony mirrorless camera reviews, I intend to complete a few of those as well. Below is the list of gear that I currently have, which I am planning to review as soon as possible:

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Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead Review

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Pro Ballhead

Every once in a while I like going back and taking a fresh look at the tools that I have been relying on for years. During my last trip to Death Valley and the California mountains, I met a few photographers who I spent some time with, talking about what photographers generally chat about – camera gear and our favorite photography spots. One photographer had a very similar setup as mine, using a Gitzo Systematic tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. His ballhead had a different quick release plate than mine, so we started chatting about the differences in the setup and what we both like and dislike about the BH-55. After this discussion, I realized that I have never written about the BH-55 at Photography Life, although I have continuously relied on it for years and take it with me everywhere I go. In a way, I have gotten emotionally attached to this remarkable ballhead and it has become an indispensable tool for my photography work.

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Is There Really Anything ‘Wrong’ with Digital Camera Sales Volumes?

CIPA Data

There have been some interesting debates lately about what’s ‘wrong’ with the digital camera market as people try to understand the rather dramatic decline in unit sales that has been happening over the past 4 or 5 years, with volumes down by half from their peak. I let my old, porous brain muse on this for a while and have some perspectives to share. One way to look at this situation is to simply accept that there is nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with the camera market at all in terms of sales volumes. From a macro-economic perspective we could view the digital camera market as functioning exactly as every other market has done when a breakthrough technology burst onto its stage. If we look at the history of various product markets the basic rise and fall of market volumes are predictable when they have been impacted by fundamental technological shifts – in the case of cameras it was of seismic proportions going from film to digital. When any kind of ‘game changing’ technology takes hold in any market there are initial and dramatic volume surges as consumers leave their current technology and adopt the new one. That huge upward spike in initial demand then declines quickly as soon as the initial ‘change-over’ market demand for the new technology has been met. Product life-cycle planning is based on these fundamentals.

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Content Sharing Contest: Poll

Content Sharing Contest

What an amazing month it has been – ever since we announced the Content Sharing Contest, we have received many submissions from our dear readers. In fact, we have been a bit overwhelmed by the response, which is why it took us some time to go through the submissions, pick out the ones we felt like were suitable for the site and get the articles published. On this note, I would like to thank everyone for participation. If your article did not get published, please do not feel disappointed, as it does not mean that your work is bad or not worthy of getting published. It just means that there was stronger content that we felt was more engaging and educational for our readers. I would also like to apologize for not being able to respond to every submission, as I have been swamped with travel and other work in March. We published a total of 20 articles and you can see all of them by clicking this link. Now that the contest is over, it is time to decide who gets the grand prize, the Sony A6000. I went through each post and discussed the submissions with some of our team members at PL and picked our favorite articles. Below is the list of our favorite five authors. Now we need your help in determining who provided the best content and deserves the grand prize. I know it will be no easy task to pick the winner, but your feedback is important, since the content was provided for you, our dear readers.

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iPhone 6 Plus Camera Review

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Image Sample (12)

It has been a while since Apple announced the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus and although I have had my Plus model for about 6 months now, I have not had a chance to provide feedback on what I think about this phone when used as a camera for occasional snapshots. Although I initially could not understand the point of such a large phone that is now known as a “phablet“, it did not take long before I was convinced that I wanted the iPhone 6 Plus. My main reason was reading – I no longer had to pinch with my fingers to zoom in to be able to read small text on a website. The larger surface area gave a lot more room, making it possible to use the device for email and web surfing. This meant that I could ditch my iPad and only carry one additional device when I needed to work, for which the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 fit the task perfectly, being a real laptop and not a laptop wannabe like the iPad is. After getting the iPhone 6 Plus, I realized that the built-in camera is actually pretty decent for photographing in daylight and when I do not have a real camera with me. It is certainly no Nokia Lumia 1020 or Samsung Galaxy S6, but I was not in a quest to find a phone with the best camera anyway. I was moving up from an older beat up iPhone and did not feel like switching to another system, so the built-in camera was certainly not a priority. I will be honest, I am not an iPhoneographer and I am not planning to be one anytime soon, so please take this review with a grain of salt. I only used the basic, built-in tools for capturing images, although I am aware of the fact that one can use third party apps to do plenty of cool stuff with the camera on the iPhone 6.

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