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Buying guides updated with Panasonic DC-G9

17 Jan

Now that we’ve completed our review of Panasonic’s Lumix DC-G9, we’ve updated its entry in our Best Cameras Under $ 2000 and Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guides. The G9 is Panasonic’s flagship stills camera, and earned a Silver Award with impressive stabilization, burst shooting, and solid image quality.

Head to our buying guide hub for help finding the right camera by both price and use case.

Read our Best Cameras Under $ 2000 buying guide

Read our Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guide

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Kodak Super 8 camera footage showcased in newly published sample reel

17 Jan

During CES 2016, Kodak announced plans to resurrect its Super 8 format via the launch of a new Kodak Super 8 camera, one that will blend analog and digital technologies. Following that announcement was a hands-on look at the new Super 8 camera during CES 2017, but an actual product launch is still forthcoming. Getting us closer to that point is Kodak’s latest update on the project: it’s showcasing footage recorded with the Super 8 camera during CES 2018.

The new Kodak Super 8 camera is a hybrid of sorts, pairing a 3.5″ LCD “viewfinder” with an 8mm film cartridge for a simultaneous digital and analog experience. A control wheel is paired with the display for controlling the camera in lieu of touchscreen functionality or manual controls. This is joined by a Ricoh 6mm F1.2 prime lens and C-mount compatible with additional lenses.

True to its hybrid nature, the new Kodak Super 8 camera also features an integrated SD card slot; audio is recorded to the media card, whereas the film cartridge is mailed to Kodak after recording is finished. After developing the film, Kodak mails it back to the customer, and also uploads the content to the cloud where the customer can download a digitized version.

As noted by Cinema5D, Kodak also released a podcast about a month ago with an update on the Super 8 project. A firm launch date and price haven’t yet been provided, but the Kodak Super 8 camera is expected to launch this year at a price between $ 2,500 and $ 3,000 USD.

Via: Cinema5D

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

AT&T decision to drop Huawei Mate 10 Pro reportedly made under pressure from US Congress

17 Jan

According to a report by Reuters AT&T’s decision to not sell the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, currently one of the best camera smartphones, in the US might have been made under pressure from the US Congress.

According to the report, lawmakers did pressure the communications company to drop its plans to offer Huawei’s devices to customers. AT&T is also being urged by Senators and House members to put an end to its collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer on standards for its 5G network.

The report claims that companies are being told that doing business with Huawei, China Mobile and other Chinese companies could reduce the chances of procuring government contracts. “The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications,” said Michael Wessel of a US-Chain security review commission. “China’s participation in setting the standards and selling the equipment raises many national security issues that demand strict and prompt attention.”

According to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government

In addition, Congress has proposed a bill that would prevent any government agencies from working with the Chinese company. The proposal says that, according to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government, and that Chinese security agencies can make use of Huawei equipment to spy on US businesses.

As one would expect, Huawei insists that its technology does not come with any built-in tools for access to US communications infrastructure. The company also told Reuters that its equipment is used by 45 of the world’s top 50 carriers, for all of whom security is a priority.

The good news is that If you are based in the US and did like the Mate 10 Pro’s camera performance in our full review, you’ll still be able to purchase the device, just not through a carrier. Instead you can buy the unlocked version on Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS sample gallery

17 Jan

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Sony hosted us for a few days in Hawaii to shoot with the company’s newest E-mount lens, the 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS. It’s been more than four years since Sony introduced an E-mount APS-C lens, emphasizing that its design maximizes corner-to-corner sharpness. We put it to work capturing Honolulu’s vibrant Chinatown and the spectacular landscapes that the Aloha State is known for.

See our Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS sample gallery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

8 Tips for Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

17 Jan

“I really don’t need any more photography equipment in my gear bag”, said no photographer ever!

We all know that is this far from the truth. Even if you have not voiced this thought out in the open, you have certainly thought it. Especially when you see a photographer that you admire rave about a certain piece of gear that they absolutely cannot live without.

We, photographers, get very upset when strangers compliment our gear over our skill. Yet we seem to fall into that same trap when we don’t quite get the shot we really want.-If only I had that fast lens, if only my camera could handle a low light situation, if only I had image stabilization on my lens, or if only I had a camera that takes more frames per second, etc., etc., etc.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

Before you get ready to give up on the gear you have, I encourage you to look at your pictures with a critical eye and analyze if it is truly a gear limitation versus user error or inexperience. Now, I am not saying that the user is at fault in every situation. I will admit that in some situations gear is very important. For example, photographing a leopard chasing down its next meal or that sports car as it races around the track.

But in most cases, depending on your skill level AND the intended use of your pictures, you can get the shot with the equipment you already own. Here are some tips to help you.

#1 Perfect your composition skills

There are several different composition techniques that you can use to take your photographs from boring to interesting. Often just a small change can create a big impact. Are you finding yourself using the same center focused composition time and again? Try using the rule of thirds instead. Are you always photographing at eye level? Change your perspective and perhaps photograph from top-down or at a 45-degree angle.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

A cloudy gloomy day in Vridhavan, India gave me the perfect opportunity to capture reflections on this relatively still river. I intentionally chose an off-center composition to add additional interest to this image.

#2 Take your camera everywhere

If you are really serious about improving your photography, one of the first things to do is to understand your gear. The best way to do that is to take lots of photos. Take your camera with you everywhere you go.

If you really want to improve your photography, you have to take lots and lots of photos. By taking lots of pictures, you will start to understand how to use your camera in different lighting conditions and what works and what doesn’t. You can only do this if you give yourself many different opportunities to photograph different subjects in different lighting situations.

Take this a step further by actually taking and using the gear you want to perfect. If you own a DSLR but find it too heavy or cumbersome, then perhaps it is time to buy a simple point and shoot or smaller mirrorless camera.

Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear - horse photos

I am always carrying my camera to the barn where my kids learn horse riding. There are so many interesting stories that unfold and the lighting is quite challenging especially during winter so it gives me a chance to practice difficult lighting techniques as well!

#3 Learn to read and analyze light effectively

One of the most important elements of photography is light and yet it is amazing how many photographers don’t understand this important concept. Also, not all light is equal.

Light changes during the day and different types of light can affect images differently. Morning light is different from afternoon light which is different from evening light (a.k.a golden hour) which is yet again different from blue hour. In order to really improve your photography, you must learn to distinguish these different types of lighting situations and how to effectively work in each situation.

Dark and Moody Lifestyle Equestrian Photos - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

I saw this image long before I even took the photo. Just something about the light filtering from the right, the catch light and even the color of the horse just made this one of my favorite equestrian photos of all times!

#4 Use a tripod

A tripod is a very useful tool for you as a photographer. It opens up new opportunities for creative photography like low light or night photography. You can experiment with the light at night to capture really beautiful images.

A tripod can let you capture sharp images of non-moving subjects and blur out moving subjects, creating very interesting photographs. You can take this a step further by using a remote trigger that will also enable you to take long exposure shots without fear of camera shake.

#5 Learn to photograph in manual mode

Your camera is a pretty sophisticated piece of machinery with a pre-programmed brain (shooting modes). These modes can be found on the top dial of your camera and are generally labeled as P (Program), M (Manual), Av/A (Aperture Priority), and Tv/S (Shutter priority), plus other automatic modes.

Manual mode (or M on most cameras) is much like using an old film SLR, when they didn’t have buttons that do it all for you. Being the only option, photographers were forced to learn to use their cameras in Manual. In doing so, they fully learned how their cameras worked. Once you know how to properly use your camera, it becomes much easier to spot where you’re going wrong and to fix it.

Semi-automatic modes are good for some situations but, once you know how to properly shoot in Manual, you’ll find there’s no need for them and you’ll get better results on your own. Manual mode also gives you the freedom to make mistakes, freedom to bend the “rules” of photography, and in turn, gives you the freedom to excel in your art.

Car in a foggy day along a ridge road - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

Manual mode on your camera gives you so much flexibility in terms of getting creative, photographing in different conditions and also allowing you to experiment with different techniques.

#6 Find great locations to photograph

Don’t just sit at home and expect great pictures to happen. Find local and state parks or perhaps even national parks that might be close to you (by close I mean within an acceptable driving distance) and look for potentially good spots for photography.

When shootig landscapes, you will have to envision your image to see what could look good and what may not. For example, a still lake is a great way to produce a mirrored image where the clouds, trees, and other objects are reflected on the lake. For portrait photography, drive around and see if you can find locations that will look good in the background.

The great thing about portrait photography is that a good background is often easy to find like a white wall, an old building, or an interesting fence. Use your imagination and you will soon be finding great spots all around you.

Custer State Park Outdoor Photos - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

#optoutside and I guarantee you will find amazing things to photography. Just being outside in nature changes our perspective and lifts the mood!

#7 Understand basic post-processing

Exposure or brightness, contrast, color balance, and tone/tint are some of the basic things you can fix in an image. There are many free post-processing software out there in the market that you can use to make basic adjustments to your image.

If you want to learn advanced editing techniques there are many options for you like Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar, etc. Adobe has great creative editing programs that are subscription based (a fee every month). Maybe invest in these programs on a trial basis and see if they will suit your editing needs.

 Custer State Park sunset photo - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

I have a certain style of how I like my photos and I always look for elements that will work well with that style. I have a relatively easy hand in terms of editing my photos – minor adjustments in exposure, contrast, tonality and shadows/highlights and I am done. My preference is to keep the natural look and feel of my images intact – just my personal style of photography!

#8 Photograph in RAW

If you are still using JPEG for your pictures, it is about time to move to RAW. Most of the newer cameras today are capable of recording images in RAW format, so give it a try. A RAW image is called “raw” for a reason – it is an unprocessed image with a lot more colors to work with than a JPEG image.

It might not look great at the back of the camera when you take the photo but when you import it into your editing software, you have a lot more options to adjust to give it the look and feel you want. One caveat is that RAW  images do take up more space than JPEG, so you might have to invest in memory cards with more storage and a larger hard drive.

Custer State Park Paddle boarding in Lake Custer - Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear

When we visited this state park, there were a lot of wildfires that were burning in the neighboring areas, so the sky had this general pink glow all throughout! By photographing in raw and editing in post, I was able to retain the look as I remember seeing the park when we visited!

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you understand your existing gear a little bit better. Sure, you may have reached a point in your career where an upgrade is absolutely required and essential.

If not, rather than investing more money in gear that you may not be ready for, try to improve your craft with what you have and a little extra effort.

The post 8 Tips for Rocking the Photography Equipment You Currently own Versus Buying New Gear by Karthika Gupta appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
 

HTC U11 Eyes smartphone features a dual selfie camera with live bokeh

17 Jan

HTC has launched a new variant of its U11 smartphone called the HTC U11 Eyes, and it’s built specifically for selfie takers (cue eye roll). The name “Eyes” refers to the handset’s chief feature: dual front-facing cameras, which resemble a pair of eyes and bring features like live bokeh and post-focusing to selfies.

HTC packs some other premium features into the model, including an 18:9 ratio Full HD+ 6″ Super LCD 3 screen and a “flagship camera” on the rear, but other than the front-facing camera, the handset is more-or-less the same as the regular HTC U11.

The front-facing camera is comprised of dual 5MP BSI sensors behind F2.2 aperture lenses, which support Full HD 1080p video capture in addition to stills. The selfie cameras produce “studio-quality portraits,” claims HTC, with Bokeh Mode being the most notable feature. In that mode, selfie backgrounds are blurred in real time, though users also have the option of adjusting it manually after the fact.

The model’s front camera also supports Screen Flash, HDR Boost, Voice Selfie, Auto “Beautification,” Auto Selfie, and Selfie Panorama. The rear camera, meanwhile, features a 12MP HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4?m pixel, BSI sensor, OIS, F1.7 aperture, an LED flash, and UltraSpeed Autofocus. HTC has included a “Pro Mode” with manual control for its rear camera, including 32-second long exposures, Raw support, and manual control.

Cameras aside, the HTC U11 Eyes has a high-capacity 3930mAh battery that supports up to 28.8 hours of talk time (depending on the network) as well as Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, IP67 water- and dust-resistance, Edge Sense squeezing support, HTC USonic audio tech, active noise cancellation, and Face Unlock.

Availability outside of China and pricing isn’t clear. Engadget reports that its “local sources” put the price potentially at HK$ 3,200, which is equivalent to about $ 410 USD and 334 EUR.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

16 Jan

Grunge. It’s a great look for gritty, edgy, photos, and you couldn’t have it simpler than doing it in Luminar 2018. In this article, you’ll see how to examine Presets and use elements from those Presets to create your own custom Grunge look. Presets are fantastic, but the best way to improve your processing is through your own creative process. So let’s get started.

Grunge look.

Find the right image for a grunge look

Open the photo you want to process. I have a winter woods scene here. It’s already moody, and you’ll find that using a photo that will benefit from a grunge look is a good place to start. No point starting with happy sunny day shots as it really doesn’t fit the style.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Presets

As Luminar has a huge number of Presets, you should begin there. If you don’t see the Presets at the bottom, click the Presets panel icon, it’s the third one in from the right on the top toolbar. From the Categories, choose Dramatic. Two of these look appealing for a grunge look; Dramatic Grungy and Dramatic Look.

Dramatic Grungy opens a custom Workspace with three filters: Dramatic, Clarity and Structure.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

You’ll notice that Dramatic Look also uses three Filters. Dramatic is there, but the others are Raw Develop and Vignette.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

The Dramatic Filter is common to both presets, and there are other filters that are in one and not the other, so perhaps a good start is to combine the five filters from both presets into your own custom workspace.

Custom Workspace

You can reset the image by going to Filters panel, clicking on “Custom Workspace” and choosing “Clear Workspace”. This gives you a fresh start to create your own grunge workspace.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Click Add Filters. You can find some of the filters immediately. Raw Develop, Structure and Vignette are in the Essentials section, Clarity is in Issue Fixers and Dramatic is in Creative. If you don’t see a filter immediately, just type a few letters in the Search box at the top of Filters Catalog to restrict the view to match.

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a Clarity slider in Raw Develop, so you could choose to leave out the Clarity filter. But you might want even more Clarity and this allows you to double up the effect, and mask it to only apply to certain parts of the image.

Finally, add one more filter to this set; Cross Processing. This will allow you to color tone the final look.

Raw Develop

The Raw Develop filter is where you use Luminar’s processing to bring out the most from your Raw file. This Raw file (as per most) is a bit flat to start, so needs some tweaking. Reducing Highlights and increasing Shadows will open up the photo a bit more, while decreasing Blacks and increasing Whites will add to the contrast of your photo. At some point, you may want to decrease the saturation of the photo, but for now, use Raw Develop to get the most out of your photo.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

The Photo is still a little cool toned so a bump in Temperature to 6000k will fix that and sit better with the tones in the photo.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

You can leave Clarity at zero here and come back later if you want to add more.

Structure

What makes a photo grungy? Think of the things and feelings grunge evokes; dark, moody, edgy, and gritty. The Structure filter can definitely do the Edgy bit. Your Amount slider can go from really soft at -100, to really nasty at +100. 60 seems to look good for this photo.

Softness changes your internal contrast in the photo. A setting of 30 keeps the skin from getting too blown out. Of course, if you want more of the effect in the background you could erase the effect a little on the subject using the masking tools.

The final slider is Boost, which does indeed boost the effect. 60 looks great here. We’re already well on the way to making a grungy photo.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Vignette

Vignette darkens or lightens the corners of the photo via the Amount slider. To draw attention to the center of your photo, you should darken the edges. Your first step should do is click Place Center, then click on your subject. That will target the area for the middle of the vignette to keep lighter.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

To see your Vignette edge easier, set the Feather to 0, with Amount turned way down.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Using Size and Place Center, get the best position and radius for your vignette. Use Roundness to get the best shape; to the left, it’s more rectangular, to the right it’s rounder.

Don’t worry if it looks too obvious, this is just for getting the placement and size right as it’s easier to see this way.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Finally, set the Feather to soften the edge of the vignette, and set Amount to the final darkness you want.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Edge vignette applied.

Clarity

Contrast darkens shadows and lightens highlights. Clarity tends to work away from these areas and work more in the mid tones. It’s a grit filter, so add your grit here. 100 is way too much, and 40 looks better here.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Dramatic

You’ve already gotten quite a bit of drama to the image, so only a hint of this contrast-based filter is needed. The Dramatic Filter is one to play with for this.

If you want to retain color, set Saturation up to full. Adding Contrast and Local Contrast will increase both the darker and lighter aspects of the photo, so Brightness is there to compensate for whichever is stronger. In this photo, you’ll find reducing it is necessary.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Cross Processing

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

While this was originally a way of changing colors by processing film in the wrong chemicals, Cross Processing is now more associated with color toning a photo. Luminar uses city names to define their various toning options.

You should try each one with the Amount slider up high to find one you like. After looking at all the cities, I came back to Tokyo, which I’d found pleasing immediately. Then you can dial the effect back using the Amount slider until you find the look you want.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Reprocess

The image is now suitably dark and gritty, but probably a little too dark. A quick trip back to Raw Develop to bump the Exposure slider will fix this.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Saving Presets or Workspaces

Now is the time to save what you’ve set up. If you like your work, you should consider creating either a Preset to repeat the exact look you have here or set up a Workspace to have all the filters open for you to begin working from scratch (or both).

To save your Preset, click Save Filters Preset at the very bottom right corner of the screen. A dialog appears allowing you to name and create your new preset. This will allow you to apply all the same filters and settings to any image with one click. Of course, you can always adjust any of them to suit the image or dial it back using the amount slider on the preset.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

To save your new Workspace, go to the top of Filters, then click on Custom Workspace. From the drop-down menu and choose “Save as New Workspace”.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

Name the Workspace and create it.

How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018

The new Workspace will now appear in the Workspaces list and will be selected (check mark next to it). Now it is available for you to use with any image. Clicking it will open those same five filters but not apply any of the settings.

Other options

Here is the before and after to show the full grunge effect.

Before.

Grunge look.

With the look solidified, you could potentially add a texture to add even more grit to your photo. So, check out how to do this in our article How to Apply Creativity to Your Images with Texture Overlays Using Luminar.

As you’ve seen, Luminar 2018 has great tools that you can use to achieve your processing goals quickly and repeatedly. Now, go out and grunge!

Disclaimer: Macphun, soon to be Skylum, is a dPS advertising partner.

The post How to Create a Grunge Look with Luminar 2018 by Sean McCormack appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
 

Leica announces APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 lenses

16 Jan

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Leica has announced a pair of short telephoto lenses for its SL full-frame mirrorless camera. (They’ll also work on the company’s crop-sensor ILCs, such as the TL and CL, with a 1.5x crop.)

The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 ASPH lenses feature an apochromatic design to reduce chromatic aberration, a single aspherical element and minimum focusing distances of 0.5 and 0.6 meters, respectively. Both lenses have a maximum magnification of 0.2X and have a ‘Dual Synchro Drive’ focusing system which can traverse the entire focal range in 250ms, according to Leica.

The 75mm and 90mm lenses have the exact same dimensions (73 x 102mm) and filter diameter (67mm) and nearly the same weight (700 vs 720 grams). Both are sealed against dust and moisture.

The new APO-Summicron-SL lenses will ship in February. The 75mm model will retail for $ 4750 while the 90mm will set you back $ 5150.

Press Release

Leica Camera Unveils New Prime Lenses for the Leica SL-System

The new APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH lenses embody superior performance and the finest engineering in compact designs

January 15, 2018 – Today, Leica Camera announces the first two editions of a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL-System; the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. that will be available in February for photographers across the country. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s lightning-fast autofocus and, as with all SL-Lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany with exceptional materials for a long work life, even withstanding the rigors of professional use while always providing superior image quality.

The focal lengths of these two SL-Lenses are ideal for all types of photography, and truly shine when used for portraiture. While the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH., for example, captures exceptional natural portraits, the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. is a classic telephoto focal length for portraits with the often sought-after compression between the subject and background, ultimately creating the ideal aesthetic for exquisite pictures of people. Another great feature of these new lenses is their fast and silent autofocusing, meaning the photographer does not have to wait to take the perfect shot to quickly capture their subject’s best look, even for a moment.

Both the construction and design of the new, cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the continuing innovation in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. State-of-the-art, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies were developed specifically for the production of these lenses. The results of these developments are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, allowing for greater portability, but also in their excellent imaging performance. As the Leica SL-System continues to evolve with new capabilities and lens options, the addition of these two primes further round out the Leica SL native lens selection, which now encompasses two zoom lenses and three prime lenses. Current Leica SL customers continue to receive new lens options at their disposal that can bolster their current capabilities, and new users have more selection than ever before.

Additionally, these lenses feature a new, faster autofocus system, as well as a considerably shorter close focusing limit for tight portraits of their subjects. The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). Thanks to this advanced focusing drive, the entire focusing range can be fully travelled in only around 250 milliseconds, providing photographers the confidence that they will always be able to instantaneously capture their subjects in crystal-clear sharp focus.

As both Summicron-SL primes deliver extremely high imaging performance at their largest f/2 aperture, the lenses are also ideal for photography in low-light or difficult lighting conditions. The Leica promise of ‘maximum aperture is a usable aperture’ also applies to the new SL-Lenses. Users can rest assured that their lens is capable of creating a tack-sharp photograph in any situation. Meticulous attention was paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections in the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses. Together with optimizing the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coatings to each lens surface reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. Thus, photographers get a lens that always creates images with beautifully strong contrast, where other lenses may suffer from distracting flares and ghosting effects that detract from the photo.

All glass elements in any optical imaging system, including camera lenses, can sometimes refract certain colors of light at different lengths. Thus, not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are always focused at the same point – the result of this imperfection is chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing. In order to reduce chromatic aberration to a hardly perceptible minimum, both new Summicron-SL lenses are Apochromatic, or in short, APO, corrected, allowing photographers to capture photos in high contrast situations without a distracting purple or green outline along backlit subjects. Further supporting this optical achievement, most of the eleven elements of the optical system, one of which is aspherical, feature anomalous partial dispersion and are manufactured from sensitive and specially formulated, high-quality glass. Without all of these state-of-the-art lens corrections, images could suffer from fringing, flares, ghosting or distortion. These incredibly well-corrected glass optics are what make a Leica lens special and so crystal clear.

The APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February. Both can be purchased at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers. In the second half of 2018, the SL-System will even further increase its prime lens arsenal with the launch of a Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm/90mm F2 ASPH lens specifications

  Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm F2 ASPH Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm F2 ASPH
Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 75 mm 90 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Leica SL
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2
Minimum aperture F22
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 11
Groups 9
Special elements / coatings 1 aspherical
Focus
Minimum focus 0.50 m (19.69) 0.60 m (23.62)
Maximum magnification 0.2×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 720 g (1.59 lb) 700 g (1.54 lb)
Diameter 73 mm (2.87)
Length 102 mm (4.02)
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 67 mm
Tripod collar No

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Google Arts & Culture app can find your fine art doppelganger

16 Jan

Google’s Arts & Culture app was first launched in 2016, offering “virtual access” to some of the most famous art collections in the world, and many stories about arts and culture from around the world. The latest update of the app, however, makes use of Google’s extensive knowledge of machine-learning-based facial recognition, and the front camera of your smartphone, to find your fine art doppelganger… just ’cause.

The new feature lets you record a selfie and receive a list of portrait artworks your self-portrait resembles. While the user interface is extremely simple, Google is using highly sophisticated facial recognition algorithms to compare your facial characteristics to the portraits among the 70,000+ works of art in its Google Art Project database.

To try it out, download and install the app and scroll down to the “is your portrait in a museum?” icon on the front screen. From there, you simply capture an image of your face, and the system will analyze which which work of art you most resemble.

Looking at some of the results on Twitter and other social media, it is fair to say that the feature generally does a pretty decent job in matching selfie subject and piece of art; however, among the examples we have posted below, you’ll also see the occasional slip-up.

Unfortunately, it appears that if you are, like myself, living outside the US, you are currently out of luck as the new feature has not been rolled out globally yet. Hopefully this will happen soon though. If you are based in the US, you can find Google Arts & Culture on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How To Get Bitcoins Without Mining

16 Jan

Why am I talking about Bitcoin here? Because everyone is? Not exactly. For one, you can now exchange bitcoin into dollars and that can buy some nice photo gear. If only there was a way to get bitcoin without spending thousands of dollars building a rig that sounds like an airport runway in your basement and destroys your electric bill. Continue Reading

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