It is a fact that as content creators, we are always in need for more storage. Thanks to all the latest and greatest cameras on the market that offer incredible detail with their high resolution sensors, we find ourselves constantly reassessing our storage requirements. Old computers are getting too slow to handle all the media and data we have to deal with, while storage solutions that used to be good enough a few years back do not seem to cut it anymore. Our clients have become technology-savvy and they are now demanding to see high resolution media files to deliver exceptional experience to their viewers, so we have to keep up. While building a fast computer for photography needs is definitely not for everyone, one does not have to go through the same process when assessing storage needs. Since there are a number of great, low-cost storage solutions out there that do a phenomenal job and provide excellent connectivity options, I have been in favor of such arrays instead of running a beefy tower computer. One such array that I recently have been introduced to, is the QNAP TVS-882T. In this review, I will provide detailed information about the TVS-882T and compare it to my Synology DS1815+ that I have been running for the past few years, along with the latest DS1817+ that I will be thoroughly testing soon.
This is an in-depth review of the flagship Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens that was released in October of 2016. Every seven to ten years, Nikon updates its top-of-the-line lenses with the most current technology and tries to push the performance envelope to a whole new level. After a long wait, Nikon finally delivered the new generation 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR in a lighter and more versatile package. Nikon completely redesigned the lens from the ground up, featuring a fluorite lens element to make it roughly 100 grams lighter, an “E” type electronic diaphragm, an updated Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilization mechanism and a drastically different optical formula featuring a total of 22 elements to deliver superior sharpness across the frame. The lens elements have also been treated with all the latest lens coating technologies, including Nano Crystal Coat and fluorine coating in order to reduce ghosting and flare, as well as repel dust and moisture from its front element. Based on user feedback, Nikon also took care of the focus breathing issue that was present on the VR II version of the lens. Ever since the lens was introduced to the market, I have had a chance to shoot with a couple of samples of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, so my experience and review are based on many months of shooting with this lens.
This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 19mm f/4E PC, also known as PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED, a special purpose wide-angle lens designed for architecture, cityscape and landscape photography. “PC” stands for “Perspective Control”, but I will refer to this type of lens as “tilt-shift” in this article. Architecture and cityscape photographers often work with straight lines and tilt-shift lenses give the ability to avoid the convergence of vertical lines by shifting the lens upwards or downwards. Landscape photographers often want to keep everything in focus, especially when dealing with close foreground objects. Stopping down to very small apertures results in diffraction, which impedes sharpness. Tilt-shift lenses offer an alternative to stopping down by tilting the plane of focus, putting both closest and furthest objects in focus. Focus stacking in post-processing software is another way to achieve maximum focus without stopping down excessively, however, the technique also has its pros and cons, making tilt-shift lenses unique in their own ways. The ability to apply selective focus on a particular part of the image via lens tilting allows distant subjects to appear “miniaturized”, although this effect can be reproduced in image editing software, as well.
In this article, I’m going to review the Palette Gear Expert Kit. This is a control surface that consists of buttons, dials and sliders, all of which are meant to be used with a variety of photo and video editing programs. They can also be used with everyday computer operation such as web browsers and operating systems. Personally, I use it with Lightroom for working with photos, Premiere Pro for working with videos, and Chrome for web browsing.
This is a quick review of the FotodioX Nikon F to Fujifilm G-mount adapter, which allows mounting Nikon G-type lenses on the new Fuji GFX 50S camera. While it is always ideal to use native lenses on any camera system, the idea of using a lens from a different camera system on a mirrorless camera can be appealing for a number of reasons. Aside from potential savings, one can take advantage of the mirrorless technology (see mirrorless vs DSLR for details) and use the ability to zoom in on a subject while framing to potentially yield a higher number of in-focus shots compared to a DSLR. In addition, lens adapters also open up opportunities to use specialty lenses that are not yet available for the system, which in the case of the new Fuji GFX 50S, is certainly worth looking into, since the system is very new and only three native mount lenses are available at the moment. While shooting with the Fuji GFX 50S, I wondered how well my Nikon lenses would do on the medium format camera, so I decided to give the FotodioX Nikon F to Fuji G-mount adapter a try.
When Tamron introduced the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC a few years ago it really shook things up (Model A011, but hereafter I’ll call it the G1 for simplicity). Priced just over a grand, the G1 offered people the chance to get into wildlife photography without dumping five figures into a supertelephoto prime lens. Not only was it inexpensive, it was surprisingly sharp as well; much sharper than many of us expected a lens in that price range to be. Sigma followed up a few months later with not one, but two 150-600mm zooms, then Nikon joined the fray a year later with its Nikon 200-500mm zoom.
This is an in-depth review of the Fuji X-Pro2 mirrorless camera, an upgrade to the top-of-the-line X-Pro1 of the X-series cameras that was announced in January of 2016. It is hard to believe that it has been five years since Fuji first announced its mirrorless X system with the launch of the Fuji X-Pro1, along with the first three lenses. It was a pretty rough ride for Fuji, since the system looked very appealing and yet the initial feedback and reviews indicated that the camera was full of bugs and autofocus issues. But despite the negative reactions, Fuji did not give up, since it wanted to make the X system successful at all costs. Within a year, the X-Pro1 was transformed into a whole different camera – major firmware issues were taken care of and the AF system became much more polished and reliable. Fuji decided not to leave its original customers behind, letting them get the latest and greatest through “Kaizen” firmware upgrades. And although Fuji released a bunch of new X-series cameras, the X-Pro1 continued to receive firmware feature upgrades for another 4 years, something no other manufacturer has done in the past. That level of commitment did not go unnoticed by the photography community, creating a large and loyal Fuji fan base. After a long wait, Fuji finally revealed the much anticipated X-Pro2 that many photo enthusiasts and professionals have been waiting for. Last Christmas, an amazing gift from FujiFilm Italia gave me the opportunity to experience the Fuji X-Pro2. Since Nasim also had some thoughts to share with PL readers after using the camera for a few months, we decided to combine our efforts into a single review.
This is an in-depth review of the Fuji X-T2, a second generation mirrorless camera in its class that was announced in July of 2016 as a replacement of the X-T1. It has been a few years since the Fujifilm X-T1 shook the photography world when it was announced, thanks to its amazing ergonomics, superb autofocus system, great image quality and a strong line of lenses, making the X-T1 one of the most desirable mirrorless cameras on the market. It took two years for Fuji to bring out the much anticipated update in the form of the Fuji X-T2 and given the status of its predecessor, the expectations were very high, making it tough for Fuji to deliver something truly outstanding. With the X-Pro2 already out, many of us thought that there would be very few differences between the two. However, Fuji engineers did manage to pack many more features into the X-T2 to make it stand out from the X-Pro2, with 4K video, faster EVF, faster continuous shooting rate with a grip, dual UHS-II memory card slots and a slightly lower price, making it a truly appealing camera on its own. In this review of the Fuji X-T2, I will be taking a closer look at the camera, which I have been heavily using for the past 4 months. The X-T2 was not an easy camera to obtain and Fuji is still struggling with meeting the heavy demand, which speaks volumes about the positive perception of the camera by the photography community.
After I had a chance to test and review the JPEGmini Pro software, I realized how powerful this software is not just for exporting images and being part of a Lightroom workflow, but also for many other uses, including optimizing images that are already sitting on our large storage devices. Another use I immediately thought of, was the web server where Photography Life traffic originates from. Given how much traffic PL serves worldwide on a day-to-day basis and the fact that images alone account for roughly 5 Terabytes of traffic per month, the thought of being able to compress JPEG images using the JPEGmini engine was something that I really wanted to implement sooner than later. So I embarked on a new project – to save both traffic and money in the long run for PL, using the JPEGmini server.
Photographers Beware: this is a very technical review of software that is not related to photography. I decided to publish the review at PL, since I feel that other photography-heavy websites could hugely benefit from implementing the JPEGmini server.
Ever since it was introduced back in 1993, the DC Nikkor 105mm f/2 DC has been a classic – it was one of the most favored lenses for film portrait photographers and when digital came about, many photographers continued using the stellar lens to create stunning portraits. It took Nikon 23 years to bring out an update in the form of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED – a drastically different lens in every way. Although Nikon decided to eliminate the de-focus control feature on the new 105mm, the biggest change is in fact the maximum aperture: at f/1.4, it is a much brighter lens compared to its predecessor. A full stop brighter, which is a huge difference for a portrait lens of this class. With this update, Nikon claimed another “world’s first” title, since no other manufacturer has ever been able to make a 105mm telephoto lens with such a wide aperture.