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 Monday, June 15, 2015
Tamron has created a site dedicated to its implementation of Japanese-style manufacturing – "monozukuri."
 
The site offers two virtual tours (seen above) which provide details on Tamron's lens manufacturing and assembly processes.
 
B&H carries Tamron lenses. For more information on Tamron lenses, check out Bryan's Tamron Lens Reviews.
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 6/15/2015 8:13:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, June 14, 2015
Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR Camera Body
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR Camera in stock with free next day delivery.
 
Considering the demand we've already seen for the EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R, I'm surprised that B&H received enough stock to cover all their 5Ds preorders. I'm not sure how much stock they have left over, so be sure to take advantage of the in stock status now if the 5Ds has been on your wish list.
 
Update: Amazon also has the camera listed as in stock.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/14/2015 8:41:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, June 12, 2015
Canon Digital Learning Center Logo
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
"Did you know that, instead of scrolling through a ton of menu options, you could personalize it with your favorite commands? In your EOS camera, go to “MY MENU SETTINGS,” hit “REGISTER TO MY MENU,” and select the settings you want. Then exit and press the “SET” button to quickly access your new custom menu."
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/12/2015 12:02:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
TriggerTrap announced smartwatch support in early May with one notable exception – Apple Watch. Now, Apple's popular smartwatch is fully supported in Triggertrap Mobile and Triggertrap Timelapse Pro's "Wearables" mode.
 
The Triggertrap Mobile Dongle (review) is available direct from Triggertrap.
Post Date: 6/12/2015 9:44:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Sigma has produced several videos over the years highlighting their manufacturing facility at Aizu, Japan. In this particular film, we follow Kyohei Kashiwagi, a technical specialist in Sigma's Customer Service division. Throughout the video, Kashiwagi elaborates on the difficulties of servicing lenses and explains which issues prove most troublesome.
 
B&H carries Sigma lenses; also check out Bryan's Sigma Lens Reviews for more information.
Post Date: 6/12/2015 8:54:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, June 11, 2015
Desmond DMH 01 Tripod Tilt Head with Neewer Bidirectional Quick Release Clamp
by Sean Setters
 
Not long ago I picked up a new monopod and wanted to purchase an Arca-compatible tilt-head for it. And while there were many options to choose from, one particular head and clamp combination proved to be the most economical and versatile choice.
 
The problem with most tilt-head/clamp combinations is that the clamp is oriented in a specific direction – the direction best suited for using a long telephoto lens with a tripod ring/foot. But what if I want to also use the tilt-head with a camera and lens combination without a tripod foot?
 
The normal solution to the problem is to use the supplied hex key to loosen a bolt, rotate the clamp, then tighten the bolt again. Then once you want to use a lens featuring a tripod foot again, you've got to rotate the clamp all over again.
 
I wanted an easier solution that was also easy on my wallet. With most Arca-compatible tilt heads priced north of $100.00, I was hoping to find a head/clamp combination that came in under that budget.
 
Here's what I came up with:
 
The Desmond Tilt-Head is designed with square, Arca-compatible dovetails on both the top and the bottom of the head. This design feature was key to my purchase decision. Why? Because with an Arca-type dovetail on top, I could use the second item – a bidirectional quick release clamp – to easily change the orientation of the clamp on the fly without the need for a hex key. This makes the monopod much more versatile because it can be conveniently used with any camera/lens combination that the monopod will support. All you need to do to change the direction of the clamp is loosen the lower quick release knob, rotate the clamp 90 degrees and retigten. How simple is that?
 
Desmond DMH 01 Tripod Tilt Head with Neewer Bidirectional Quick Release Clamp Close Up

 
And as far as the budget is concerned, the two items combined are well under $100.00 (just slightly more than $70.00, actually) and they seem to work great so far. If you're like me and want to be able to quickly change the orientation of your monopod head's clamp, then the items listed above may be just what you're looking for.
Post Date: 6/11/2015 12:12:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Canon Logo
From Canon:
 
Canon WFT-E7 Wireless File Transmitter
 
Firmware Version 1.2.0 incorporates the following improvement:
 
  • Support has been added for the EOS 5Ds / EOS 5Ds R.
Please note that an interface cable is required in order to update the WFT-E7 to Firmware Version 1.2.0.
 
Connection Requirements:
In order to connect the Canon WFT-E7 with the Canon EOS 5Ds / EOS 5Ds R the following items are needed:
 
ItemsWFT-E7
Firmware Version installed1.2.0 or later
Interface Cable"IFC-150AB II or "IFC-40AB II"

Download: Firmware Version 1.2.0 for the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A
 


GPS Receiver GP-E2
 
Firmware Version 2.0.0 incorporates the following fixes and improvements:
 
  • Fixes a phenomenon, in which, in rare cases, the signal acquisition indicator on the GPS Receiver GP-E2 display “Slow blinking (Signal acquired)” even if a signal is not yet acquired.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which new log files may not be saved correctly if the built-in memory of the GPS Receiver GP-E2 becomes full.
  • Support for the EOS Rebel T6s/EOS 760D and EOS Rebel T6i/750D cameras has been added.
  • Support for the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R cameras has been added.
To update the firmware of this product, Canon’s Map Utility software that is bundled with GPS Receiver GP-E2 is required. Furthermore, before updating the firmware, use Map Utility to save any GPS log files in the GP-E2’s built-in memory to your computer. After the GPS log files are saved to your computer, make sure to delete the log files from the built-in memory of the GPS Receiver GP-E2 before updating the firmware.
 
Download: Firmware Version 2.0.0 for the GPS Receiver GP-E2
 
B&H carries the Canon WFT-E7 Wireless File Transmitter and GPS Receiver GP-E2.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/10/2015 10:32:16 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
LensRentals Logo
Roger Cicala has posted about an interesting little critter he found in a recently returned Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
"I've been blogging about testing and taking apart camera equipment for almost a decade. Lensrentals.com has many thousand lenses these days, and they all get used frequently. When you have lots of lenses and they get used frequently, stuff gets inside them.
 
Usually the stuff that gets inside is dust. Our repair techs open up and clean dust out of more than 100 lenses a week. Not because the dust matters a bit in a photograph; it doesn't. But because people still seem to think it does. People also, for reasons I can't understand, seem to think that weather sealed lenses are less likely to get dust in them than non-weather sealed lenses. I'm not sure why they think this, but they do.
 
Sometimes the stuff that gets inside them is interesting and we get to blog about it. We found a spider, complete with web, inside a lens once and yesterday we got to add a new item to our 'found inside lenses' collection; a nice, fat, fly. And not just a fly inside a lens, but one way down deep inside a weather sealed lens. So deep that it took 4 hours of work to get it out."
Check out the amazing, illustrated article on the LensRentals Blog.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 6/10/2015 1:57:48 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter with 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Gimbal Stabilized 4K Camera
  • Camera Takes 12MP Still Photos
  • App for Monitoring / Camera Operation
  • Gimbal Control Dials on Transmitter
  • GPS for Enhanced Stability and Failsafes
  • Auto-Takeoff / Auto Return Home
  • Vision Sensor for Indoor Flight
  • Up to 23 Minutes Flying Time
  • Intelligent LiPo Flight Battery
  • Mobile Device Holder Included
Post Date: 6/10/2015 1:08:51 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Just posted: Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens Review.
 
This lens is a strong contender to the extremely popular Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens (Canon mount) in stock. The Nikon and Sigma mount versions are available for preorder.
Post Date: 6/10/2015 10:17:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
B&H Photo Video
From B&H:
 
Legendary portrait photographer Gregory Heisler is joining B&H for a live discussion involving his hands-on experience with Canon's latest groundbreaking DSLRs, the 50-megapixel 5Ds and 5Ds R.
 
Panel Guests
 
  • Gregory Heisler - Award winning portrait photographer and educator
  • Rudy Winston - Photographer and technical advisor for Canon
  • Larry Becker - Featured trainer and consultant for Canon USA
Live Streaming Date & Time:
June 15, 2015 @ 3pm EST
 
Be sure to bookmark the event streaming page.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 6/10/2015 8:36:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens review.
 
I know, the image in this post includes a 1D X body, but ... I don't have any product images with the 7D II mounted. :) I'll have the full 150-600mm Contemporary review completed this week.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
Post Date: 6/9/2015 11:06:40 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
As is often the case, I created a self-portrait to gain more experience with a technique that I rarely employ – using a ring light as fill light.
 
A ring light is often used as a main light in high fashion, high key situations. The on-axis light is flattering because minimizes the look of flaws in skin. Using the ring light as a main light can get a bit stale after a while largely in part because of its conspicuousness. How often do you view the world with a bright light emanating from your eyeballs?
 
Using a ring light as a fill light is nothing new; it's an often used technique of David Hobby – the Strobist – and it was through his blog that I was first introduced to the concept. The ring light works particularly well as a fill light because, being on-axis with the lens, it doesn't leave a telltale shadow. Then again, the catchlights in a subject's eyes will always give away your fill light technique if he/she is looking at the camera (a circular catchlight is hard to miss). However, you can also remove the catchlight in post if desired.
 
I've used several different ring lights over the years, but my favorite is the RoundFlash Ring Flash Adapter. Why? Because it's compact when folded down, lightweight, and relatively easy to incorporate into a standard portrait session.
 
With the goal of practicing ring light use, I dusted off last year's Halloween costume (the hat and glasses, at least) to once again take on the role of Walter White, aka Heisenberg.
 
For this particular setup I used a tripod mounted Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. A Canon Speedlite 580EX (forerunner to the 600EX-RT) flash was mounted in the camera's hot shoe and fitted with the RoundFlash Ring Flash adapter. As noted, this light was dialed down and acting like a fill light. Its light allows detail visibility in the shadow areas without leaving a discernable shadow of its own. The rim lights were provided by two more 580EX flashes set slightly behind me on both sides. The flashes were bare and zoomed in a bit (50mm, I think) in order to reduce their spill onto the background. And speaking of the background, I used a fourth 580EX flash to illuminate it – a Botero #023 Collapsible Background (Dark Grey) – from below. I lit the background just enough so that its mottled grey surface vaguely resembled smoke or fog behind me.
 
I used manual power settings for each of the flashes to reduce the number of variables involved and employed one of my favorite self-portrait tools – DSLR Controller + TP-LINK Portable WiFi Router – to frame the shot, focus and trigger the camera. The off-camera flashes were triggered via optical slaves (but yes, ETTL optical triggering would have worked just fine in this situation).
 
One thing I should note here – if a subject is wearing glasses, lighting can be a bit challenging. In this case, looking straight into the camera would have caused a very distracting glare in the glasses. To deal with the glare, I simply angled my head downward just enough so that the majority of the reflection did not appear in the lenses.
 
As you can see, the ring light did a good job of allowing me to keep the bulk of my face dimly illuminated without leaving a telltale shadow of its own. The shadow cast by the ring light would have been visible behind me (evidenced by a dark halo) if I hadn't used a background light to illuminate that area.
 
In short, the ring light is more than just a one-trick pony. Sure, it can be used as a bright key light for a high fashion look, but the ring light really shines (pun intended) in its ability to reveal details and control contrast when used as a fill light.
 
You can find a larger version of the image on my Flickr photostream.
Post Date: 6/9/2015 10:07:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, June 8, 2015
Spring Photography Tips: Baby Animals
Spring is when most baby animals make their entry into the world and who doesn't love a baby animal photo? Baby animals are the definition of cute.
 
Create your spring baby animal photography plan now (regardless of the season you happen to be reading this tip in). Determine what your baby animal subject(s) is(are) going to be, determine where they are located and plan on being at the right location to photograph them when they are introduced to the world.
 
This year, my animal of choice was the white-tailed deer. Newborn whitetail fawns are about the cutest animal on the face of this planet. They are also full of energy and very playful, making them very fun to watch.
 
My selected location for white-tailed deer fawn photography was Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park. Whitetail fawns are born in late May and Early June, and I made it a priority to be there in that time-frame.
 
Watching the weather forecast about a week out, I booked a lodge room for one night. I know, that date was too far away for anyone to accurately predict the weather, but I needed a bit of planning time. The weather forecast was for "cloudy" and that meant I would have decent light all day long and wouldn't need to concern myself with harsh shadows even in the woods.
 
A couple of days later, the forecast changed to sunny and another day later the National Weather Service began calling for about 80% chance of rain for both of the days I would be there. I prepared for rain (rain gear for both me and the camera equipment along with a large umbrella). What I didn't plan for was heavy fog the entire two days and I really didn't expect it to rain most of the time I was there, but that was reality.
 
While I sighted many deer, those with fawns were not interested in being in view of photographers (even when approached in a vehicle). The fog drastically reduced contrast and cut realistic photo distances down to 30' (10m) at times, so approaching was necessary. After a long day, what I really felt like doing was hitting bed early the first night, but I continued the effort. That perseverance was rewarded when watching a doe in front of some bright ferns at the edge of the woods.
 
The ferns made an interesting background and as I was photographing her, she was bleating. Deer bleat to communicate, so I knew that there was another deer or a fawn nearby. With no warning, the cutest little fawn came bouncing out of the woods and began nursing.
 
The adorable fawn drank with fervor and I shot similarly, capturing nearly 200 images in the about-8 minute long encounter. While the fawn drank, the mother cleaned it and when the fawn finished drinking, it peered out from under the mother, providing additional poses including this one (I also like this image cropped tighter, emphasizing the fawn and removing the bright ferns). Then both went back into the woods and darkness came over the scene soon after.
 
While my trip overall was not one of my more productive efforts, but 8 minutes with one of the world's cutest animals produced a series of images that made the effort worthwhile.
 
On this trip with ultimate image quality being my goal, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II and Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS (used for this image) were my wildlife lenses of choice with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III mounted behind them. When hiking longer distances, I carried the 100-400 L II and also used it from the car at times when the light was strong enough. The 200-400 L was my choice when the light waned and often used it on a monopod when not moving too far from the car. Both lenses and the camera performed amazingly.
 
Determine which baby animal you want to photography this or next spring and create your plan to photograph it!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
258mm  f/5.0  1/320s
ISO 1600
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 6/8/2015 12:04:39 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Tamron 150-600 VC Lens Compared to the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary Lens
The "Which is better?" question is frequently being aimed at the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens and the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, the first major entry into the 150-600mm lens category. These two lenses are direct competitors, sharing many features including USD/HSM AF, OS/VC, build quality and lightweight design. From the image quality perspective, here is the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary Lens vs. Tamron 150-600 VC Lens comparison.
 
At the wide end of the focal length range, the Sigma is sharper with a wide open aperture. The Tamron is 1/3 stop wider at some of the comparison focal lengths (200mm and 400mm) and to be fair, I am comparing those focal lengths at the widest equal aperture. At 200mm, these two lenses are very similar in sharpness wide open. At 300mm, I'll give the Sigma a slight advantage and at 400mm through 500mm, the slight advantage swings to the Tamron, though the Sigma's corners are better at 500mm. At 600mm, the Tamron has a very slight center-of-the-frame advantage and the Sigma has a larger corner-of-the-frame advantage.
 
Stopping down to f/8 reduces most of the sharpness advantages one lens has over the other. The Sigma has sharper corners at 150mm and 500mm, but the Tamron has sharper corners at 400mm. The Sigma is noticeably sharper at 600mm, especially in the mid and peripheral portions of the image circle.
 
The Tamron has slightly stronger pincushion distortion and has more noticeable CA. The Sigma has more vignetting with a wide open aperture, averaging roughly .5 stops of stronger corner shading over most of the focal length range except at the 600mm end where the the difference is only about .2 stops. Stopped down to f/8, the vignetting difference at the long end remains small, but the Tamron holds an edge in the wide end corners. Corner shading differences at f/11 are not going to be noticeable except perhaps in 300mm corners.
 
This image quality comparison does not place either lens with a clear lead and either lens can be justified, perhaps with decision emphasis being placed on the focal length expected to be most-valued. Here is a list showing additional differences between the Tamron and Sigma Contemporary versions of the 150-600mm lenses:
 
  • I found the Tamron's autofocus to be more consistently accurate at the wide end, but the Sigma's was more accurate at the long end.
  • The Tamron is modestly less expensive.
  • The Sigma has an optional dock, with various advantages including custom switch programing, AFMA, firmware update capability, and much more.
  • The Sigma is extender compatible.
  • The Sigma's OS system offers mode 2 and I found the Sigma's stabilization more effective at the long end of the focal length range.
  • The Sigma's zoom rotation direction is the same as Canon's; the Tamron's zoom rotates in the opposite (Nikon standard) direction.
  • The Tamron has slightly wider (1/3 stop) apertures over some of the focal length range.
  • The Sigma's focus ring has modestly more rotation (150° vs. 120°).
  • The Tamron has a smoother, larger, easier-to-use manual focus ring.
  • The Sigma has a smoother diameter.
  • The Tamron has lower profile switches.
  • The Sigma better-facilitates push-pull use.
  • The Sigma has a multi-position focal length lock while the Tamron only locks at 150mm.
  • The Tamron weighs slightly more, but has a 2x heavier tripod ring, allowing it to weigh slightly less with that ring removed.
  • The Sigma has a replacement ring for the removed tripod ring.
  • The Tamron's hood is larger.
  • The Tamron focuses slightly closer, but shares the Sigma's 0.20x maximum magnification spec.
  • The Tamron's warranty is 6 years vs. the Sigma's 4 year warranty (in the USA).
Which lens is better?
 
I don't think that there is a right or wrong answer here, but I lean slightly toward the Sigma, partially because these lenses are going to most frequently be bought for and used at the 600mm focal length and, at least at f/8, the Sigma holds the optical advantage at 600mm.
 
Get Your 150-600:
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens in stock.
 
B&H has the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens in stock.
Post Date: 6/8/2015 9:15:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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