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 Sunday, July 19, 2015
Lowepro Fastpack 100 Backpack (Red/Black)
Today only or while supplies last, B&H has the Lowepro Fastpack 100 Backpack (Red/Black) on sale for only $29.99. Regular price is $69.99.
 
Features
 
  • Water-resistant Backpack
  • Side Entry Camera Compartment
  • 180° Access Panel
  • Fits D-SLR Camera Kit
  • Adjustable Dividers
Post Date: 7/19/2015 7:29:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 17, 2015
Question?
by Sean Setters
 
I've been doing a fair amount of long exposure images lately as I've been testing out my latest filter acquisition, the ROCOLAX 77mm 15-stop ND. Unfortunately, light leakage through the viewfinder spoiled many of my early test shots. The best way to get rid of the light leakage is, of course, the often overlooked accessory that Canon includes free with your camera – the Canon Eyepiece Cover. I say "overlooked" because many people never notice the handy little tool attached to their OEM camera straps (or realize its function).
 
The problem, though, is that I do not use the 5D Mark III's camera strap (instead I use a BlackRapid strap modified for Arca-style plates). Not using the OEM strap means I had no convenient way to keep the small, seemingly easy to lose Canon Eyepiece Cover with me.
 
At first I considered finding a place in my main camera bag for the eyepiece cover, but I realized that I often use my smaller camera bag when shooting these types of shots. That means I'd need to remember to transfer the eyepiece cover every time I intended on shooting long exposures while using the smaller bag (and knowing myself, I would forget it 90% of the time).
 
The second thing I considered was storing the eyepiece cover in my tripod bag. That made a bit more sense as I'm always using the tripod when shooting long exposures. However, I realized that I don't always take the tripod bag with me on long exposure outings (especially around town). I sometimes simply set up my camera on the tripod (with a remote timer attached) and simply put the compacted-down setup in my car. That way I'm ready to hit the ground running as soon as I get to the location (all I have to do is extend the tripod legs). So storing the eyepiece cover in the tripod bag wouldn't work.
 
Keeping the eyepiece cover with the tripod – not the tripod bag – seemed to be ideal. I tried to search for a small bag to attach to my tripod. However, I didn't find anything specifically designed to be strapped to a pole. I reasoned that I could use a bag designed for a belt loop and simply find a strap to fit around the tripod leg, but that seemed like a lot of work (and added bulk / expense) just to keep the small rubber eyepiece cover with me. And depending on the size of the bag, it might make storing the tripod in my tripod bag more difficult as there isn't much "wiggle room" in the bag as it is.
 
While looking at the Canon Eyepiece Cover in my hand, I realized that the eyepiece cover's design held the solution to my problem. It was designed to fit on the thin part of the OEM strap, so I should simply strap it to my tripod with a strap something similar in size. And as luck would have it, I had the perfect strap sitting in a tool drawer – a thin hook & loop cable tie.
 
I had to cut a little bit off the edge of a cable tie in order for it to fit in the eyepiece cover's slots and then cut it to a length that fit well around the tripod leg. Once cut to size, the eyepiece cover fits perfectly around the tripod leg. The cable tie proved to be the best possible solution for my needs as it keeps the eyepiece cover on the tripod at all times (extremely convenient) while also remaining low in profile (not bulky). And if the eyepiece cover molds to the curve of the tripod over time, that's ok – it'll stretch to fit the eyepiece just fine.
 
Here's what my setup looks like:
 
Canon Eyepiece Cover and Timer Remote Solution: Cable Ties

As you can see by the picture above, I'm also using cable ties in another way. I realized that cable ties could also be used to attach my TC-80N3 Timer Remote firmly to the tripod as well. Up until now, I typically used the center pole's weight hook to keep the timer from dangling from the camera (instead it would dangle from the cord a short distance from the timer). But in windy conditions, the constant swaying movement of the timer could lead to softness in the long exposure images. To counteract this, I would sometimes physically hold the timer to keep it from swaying (not an optimal solution to the problem). The timer cable already had a tie attached to it; all I needed to do was add one more cable tie around the tripod leg to complete the windproof setup.
 
Of course, cable ties are also extremely handy for their intended purpose, too, which is why I had them within arm's reach when looking for a solution.
 
Have you used cable ties to creatively solve a photographic need of your own? Let us know in the comments.
 
Update: Site visitor John has suggested an even cheaper, practical solution – attach a piece of gaffer tape to the camera dome and use it to cover the viewfinder when needed. Keep in mind, though, that long-term use of gaffer tape can leave a sticky residue on the surface of whatever it's stuck to (even though it's designed to be removed cleanly under normal use). I'd suggest replacing the tape periodically to avoid this.
Post Date: 7/17/2015 8:11:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Vello Universal White Balance Disc
For a limited time, B&H has the Vello Universal White Balance Disc available for $17.95 with free shipping. Regularly $24.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Quick and Accurate Custom White Balance
  • Portable with Easy-to-Use Handle
  • For Digital Photo and Video Cameras
  • For In-camera and Post-production Use
  • Works with Lenses of Up to 95mm Diameter
Post Date: 7/17/2015 6:52:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, July 16, 2015
Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens
From Sigma:
 
Sigma Corporation Announces Pricing and Availability of 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art Lens
 
Market’s first F2 full-frame zoom available in late July for $999
 
RONKONKOMA, NY — July 16, 2015 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens and camera manufacturer, today announced that the new Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art lens will become available in late July for the street price of $999.
 
The 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art lens is the market’s first full-frame zoom that allows photographers to carry one fast aperture lens that can do the work of three popular fixed focal length lenses – the 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. It includes an optimized autofocus (AF) algorithm for smooth, fast, and accurate focusing, a manual focus (MF) override functionality, and is made of Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) reducing its size and weight.
 
Built upon the impressive versatility offered by Sigma’s 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art lens, the new 24-35mm continues the Art line tradition of top optical performance that’s comparable to Sigma’s 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art. It offers optimized lens power distribution, and minimizes spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration and field curvature. The Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art lens also features a video-friendly, inner focusing system that eliminates front-lens rotation, enhancing the lens' stability as well as a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) that ensures a silent, high-speed AF function.
 
“The combination of fast, constant aperture and zoom versatility will make this lens exceptionally popular for photographers who crave the convenience of wide angle zooms, paired with the performance of fast, wide primes,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “The Art lenses have raised the bar for total imaging performance, and this lens is going to make a lot of photographers very happy.”
 
As with all new lenses under the Global Vision categories, every 24-35mm will be tested using Sigma’s own modulation transfer function (MTF) measuring system, “A1,” in the company’s factory in Japan. It is compatible with Sigma’s USB DOCK, which allows photographers to update the lens’ firmware, adjust focus points and customize full-time MF function settings by using Sigma's Optimization Pro software. Sigma’s exclusive Mount Conversion Service, which enables users to easily convert the lens’ camera mount between supported versions, is also available for a fee. The lens will be available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts.
 
The Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art lens will also feature:
 
  • Large-diameter, aspherical lens elements, which require advanced technologies to produce, one “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass, and seven Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements with two aspherical lenses. The advanced optics and optimized lens power distribution minimizes spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration and field curvature, resulting in outstanding optical performance
  • A video-friendly, inner focusing system that eliminates front-lens rotation, enhancing the lens' stability and allowing use of circular polarizing filters
  • A Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) that ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. Smoother AF is achieved when the this AF algorithm is optimized
  • Full-time MF by rotating the focus ring of the lens while auto focusing
  • A nine-blade, rounded diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image
  • Specifications: Lens construction containing 18 elements in 13 groups; a weight of 33.2 ounces; a diameter and length of 3.4 inches by 4.8 inches, respectively; a minimum aperture of F16; and angle of view (35mm) of 84.1° to 63.4°; minimum focusing distance of 11 inches; and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.4
Preorder the Sigma 24-35mm Art Lens
 
B&H is accepting Sigma 24-35mm Art Lens preorders.
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 7/16/2015 9:19:40 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon D7100 with 18-55mm VR and 55-300 VR Lenses Bundle
eBay (via RobertsDigital) has the Refurbished Nikon D7100 with 18-55mm VR and 55-300 VR Lenses Bundle available for $699.99 with free shipping.
 
Bundle Includes
 
  • Refurbished Nikon D7100 DSLR Camera
  • Refurbished Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX VR Lens
  • Refurbished Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Lens
Note: These are factory refurbished items and therefore qualify for a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 7/16/2015 11:42:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Vanguard Alta Pro 253 CB 50 Tripod w/ Ballhead
For a limited time, B&H has the Vanguard Alta Pro 253 CB 50 Tripod w/ Ballhead available for $179.95 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $329.95.
Post Date: 7/16/2015 6:08:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Creative Fireworks Photography
Fireworks are captivating, especially from a photography perspective. But even a captivating subject can become mundane over time.
 
The local fireworks show happens annually during the summer and attending has become our family tradition. This is not a New York City East River-scale fireworks show, but it is well done, is relatively low effort to attend and is very easy to photograph. After photographing the show over many years, I've grown somewhat bored with the same-old imagery and have been looking for something different. While I have a great unobstructed view from a close distance, the area is void of additional subject matter to include in these shots.
 
A technique that is showing some popularity right now is to utilize manual focus ring adjustment during exposure to change the appearance of the fireworks. When in focus, fireworks blasts appear as thin lines arcing through the frame during long (bulb) exposures. When out of focus, those lines become thick. If you rack focus during the exposure, those lines can be made to vary in thickness.
 
Focus Blur to Sharp Fireworks
 
Go from out of focus to in focus to create a many-faceted star-like subject as shown above. Do the opposite and the narrow lines grow thick as they expand:
 
Sharp to Focus Blur Fireworks
 
A key to long exposure photography is visualization and this technique will exercise your brain in this regard. But, there are no rules and the technique is not hard to try.
 
Before the shoot, establish the ideal focus distance mark in the focus distance window or using the distances printed on the lens. Note that this may not be at the full rotation extent of your focus ring and the subject may become blurred at focus distance longer. This is true even though fireworks photographed at a safe distance would be considered at infinity. Remember the ideal setting and have a small, dim (to not bother others nearby) flashlight handy to allow re-establishing of sharp focus. As Tony suggested (in the comments), Follow Focus device (even an inexpensive model) can work great for this purpose as long as the slected model cannot be rotated beyond set stop points (or care is taken to avoid this).
 
Ideally, press and hold the remote release to open the shutter immediately when a rocket is launched. As the rocket explodes, adjust focus smoothly until the burst goes dark and stop the exposure.
 
How much rotation to give the focus ring depends on the focal length, aperture and lens being used. A telephoto focal length is going to create a stronger blur more rapidly than a wide angle lens. A wide aperture will create a stronger blur more rapidly than a narrow aperture. Lenses have differing focus ring rates that also need to be accounted for.
 
The rate of focus adjustment also plays a role in the final shape of the blurs.
 
Use your creativity to expand the focus blur technique. For example, capture two subsequent explosions with the focus ring going in opposite directions. Or just leave the entire explosion blurred.
 
There is no reason that you cannot mix your standard fireworks photos with your creatively blurred versions.
 
Fireworks
 
Too late to get creative in the field this year? Edit your fireworks photos in Photoshop or your favorite image editing app. Experiment with the blur filters available to you there.
 
The fireworks images on this page were photographed a Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens at about 47mm. This lens and focal length permitted an easy full extent focus adjustment. The camera was a Canon EOS 5Ds R. With the incredible resolution this camera offers, I framed the fireworks slightly wider than I typically do. This meant more cropping, but fewer large bursts went out of the frame.
 
For the fireworks images on this page, I utilized a 2-stop neutral density filter. Without this filter, the softening effects from diffraction would have been noticeable with the required f/16 aperture. The filter permited a sharp f/8 aperture with properly exposed bursts.
 
Fireworks Tentacles
 
Are you bored of the standard fireworks pictures you capture regularly at your easy-to-attend location? Are you tired of the thin lines of color in your fireworks images? Get more frame coverage from your fireworks color by making them out of focus.
 
Learn more about fireworks photography.
Post Date: 7/15/2015 10:47:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon D3200 DSLR Camera
eBay (via BuyDig) has a Refurb. Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm Lens & Wireless Adapter Bundle available for $269.00 with free shipping.
 
Bundle Includes
 
  • Refurbished Nikon D3200 24.2 MP 1080p DX-format Digital SLR
  • Refurbished Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Nikkor Lens
  • Refurbished Nikon WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter for Nikon Digital SLRs
  • Nikon Deluxe SLR Camera Bag- 11714D
Note: The camera body, lens and wireless adapter are factory refurbished and come with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 7/15/2015 8:25:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Amazon Celebrates Prime Day
The hype is over; the day is here: Amazon Prime Day is upon us. The picture above says it all, "More Deals than Black Friday."
 
Unfortunately, only Prime customers are eligible for the deals. If you're not already a prime member, it's worth taking a look at as the benefits include:
 
  • Free 2-Day Shipping
  • Prime Photos
  • Prime Instant Video
  • Prime Music
  • Kindle Owners Lending Library
I must admit, I'm seriously considering getting the iRobot Roomba 595 today... [Sean]
Category: Amazon Deals
Post Date: 7/15/2015 7:46:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
RODE Microphones Logo
A new messsage is now adorning the top of Rode's homepage:
Important information about purchasing from Amazon in the US.
 
RØDE Microphones does not authorize Fulfilled By Amazon. If you purchase any RØDE microphone from an unauthoized dealer via Fulfilled By Amazon you will not receive any US warranty or technical support.
Here is a screenshot of a "Fulfilled by Amazon" listing:
 
Rode Fulfilled by Amazon Seller

Amazon sells many Rode products directly, and those would indeed be eligible for the standard Rode warranty and technical support.
Category: Rode News
Post Date: 7/15/2015 7:11:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Ruggard Fabric Camera Rain Cover (Black)
For a limited time, B&H has the Ruggard Fabric Camera Rain Cover (Black) available for $29.95 with free shipping. Regularly $69.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • For Canon DSLRs
  • For Nikon DSLRs with Square Viewfinders
  • For Lenses 7 to 14" Long
  • Fits Lenses with 4 to 4.5" Diameter
  • Water-Resistant Protection
  • Camera-Access Control Window
  • Eyepiece Port for Viewfinder
  • Adjustable Lens Barrel Sleeve
  • Three Assorted Eyepieces with Caps
  • Drawstring Case
Post Date: 7/15/2015 6:44:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, July 14, 2015

 
From SanDisk:
 
With more capacity and improved user experience, the new SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick gives consumers even greater flexibility to share and access photos and videos between their favorite devices
 
MILPITAS, Calif., July 14, 2015 – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today expanded its mobile storage portfolio with a new wireless mobile flash drive, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick. This new drive enables easy sharing, transferring and accessing of photos and videos between mobile devices and computers. Building on its award-winning SanDisk Connect Wireless family, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a higher capacity, up to 128GB, a new app and cool, compact design – all at a great price.
 
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick now gives consumers even more freedom to save and access photos, videos and other files from their favorite Wi-Fi-enabled devices. As consumers continue to embrace premium mobile features such as high-quality photo capture and Full HD video, SanDisk’s new wireless storage device is designed to meet their quickly growing storage needs, at an affordable price. The availability of up to 128GB of capacity allows users to effectively double their mobile storage for greater flexibility on the go.
 
“We live in an era where we are truly living a mobile lifestyle. We use our devices to capture life’s moments, and work in a way that was never before possible - all of which has created the need for a new generation of mobile storage,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. “The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is designed to give people a simple, intuitive way to save and access all of the great content they create and consume across multiple devices, without breaking the bank.”
 
Share Wirelessly With Multiple Devices
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick works with smartphones, tablets and computers1. Whether in a briefcase or in a pocket, the new drive allows users to wirelessly access media or transfer large files; save and share photos and videos; or stream HD videos and music to and from mobile devices – up to three at a time. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is capable of supporting a single stream for up to 4.5 hours on a single charge. With its USB connector, users can also connect directly to a computer to save and transfer files instantly. The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick delivers access that empowers users to take control of their content anytime, anywhere.
 
Seamless App Experience
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features an intuitive app, the SanDisk Connect app, which enables nearly effortless management of content between people’s favorite devices including, iOS and Android devices; Fire tablets; and Macs and PCs – all via password-protected Wi-Fi connectivity. Available for download through the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore for Android, the new app also enables other cool features like auto-back up of photos and videos from the camera roll to the drive.
 
Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick features a one year warranty is now available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB at U.S. MSRPs ranging from $29.99-$99.99.
 
Amazon carries the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick.
Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 7/14/2015 4:22:42 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro microSD Memory Card
From SanDisk:
 
microSD format instrumental in expanding market for smartphones, extreme photography and other devices
 
July 13, 2015, MILPITAS, Calif. & SHANGHAI – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced it has shipped more than two billion microSD cards since it started commercial shipment of the technology ten years ago. The company commemorates this milestone on the eve of Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
 
Invented by SanDisk in 2004, the microSD format was initially known as TransFlash. In 2005 SanDisk contributed the technology to the SD Card Association who renamed and released the final specifications for the microSD format on July 13, 2005. This format has become the most popular removable memory card in SanDisk’s history. Collectively, SanDisk’s two billion microSD cards could store an estimated 11,103 billion megabytes (MB)* worth of memory – the equivalent of more than 100MB of flash storage for every man, woman and child that ever lived on Earth.
 
The microSD card —which reduced the size of removable memory cards by approximately 75 percent —has played a pivotal role in a wide variety of consumer markets. For example, the vast majority of “point of view” or action cameras — the fastest-growing segment in digital imaging — are based around the microSD format.
 
The microSD format has also helped propel the smartphone market by giving both manufacturers and consumers greater flexibility and freedom. Approximately 75 percent of smartphone models on the market today contain microSD slots, according to data from Strategy Analytics1. Google included microSD slots in two of its fastest-growing and largest mobile product segments — Android One, its mobile operating system for sub-$200 phones, and phones designed for emerging markets. Android M, Google’s next mobile operating system, and Windows Mobile both permit consumers to run applications directly on microSD cards and/or increase the primary storage capacity of their devices.
 
“Demand for storage never stops growing. We will soon see smartphones with multiple-aperture lenses, phones capable of shooting UltraHD video and applications for taking and viewing virtual reality environments,” said Shuki Nir, senior vice president, corporate marketing and general manager, Retail, SanDisk. “microSD memory cards will also be instrumental in the growth of the Internet of Things by lowering the barrier to experimentation. Two billion is just the beginning, and we look forward to contributing to future technologies enabled by the microSD format.”
 
A decade of SanDisk microSD technology:
 
  • The first microSD cards featured capacities starting at 32MB. SanDisk’s latest microSD form factor card is a microSDXC that offers up to 200GB of capacity, a 6,250x increase in just 10 years.
  • It took three years for CompactFlash cards to reach one million shipments. By contrast, over one million microSD cards were shipped in the first full quarter of availability.
  • On average, SanDisk has shipped 6.34 microSD cards every second since the formal unveiling of the specifications.
  • If you lined up SanDisk’s two billion microSD cards end-to-end, they would extend 18,451 miles or three-quarters of the way around the world.
  • In 2014, SanDisk announced the 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I memory card, a twist on the format that enabled the company to vertically stack up to 16 memory die in the same card and expand capacity without changing the footprint of the device. Each memory die in this microSDXC card is thinner than a strand of hair.
  • In 2015, SanDisk introduced the 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I memory card, Premium Edition, a high capacity for the form factor, upping capacity by 56 percent in just one year.
  • SanDisk flash memory cards have held the number-one market share position worldwide for 13 straight years.
With more than 5,000 patents, SanDisk positively impacts many markets through its flash memory innovations. In recognition of its achievements, SanDisk was named a Thompson Reuters 2014 Top 100 Global Innovator, an honor the company has received for four consecutive years.
 
B&H carries SanDisk microSD memory cards.
Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 7/14/2015 4:02:51 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D800 DSLR Camera
eBay (via BuyDig) has the Refurbished Nikon D800 DSLR Camera available for $1,649.00 with free shipping. The subsequent model, the D810, retails for $2,996.95 after $300.00 instant savings.
 
Note: This is a factory refurbished item and therefore qualifies for a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 7/14/2015 12:28:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Benro C1182TB0 Travel Flat II Transfunctional Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head
Post Date: 7/14/2015 11:14:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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