Archive for February, 2020

Hands-on with the latest Nikon Z lenses, AF-S 120-300mm F2.8

29 Feb

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S

The Nikon booth at WPPI is bustling with visitors hoping to listen to a free educational session or get their hands on some of the latest Nikon gear – we’ve at least done the latter, and taken some photos to share with you. Nikon announced these two Z lenses earlier this month and the 120-300mm F2.8E telephoto zoom last month, and this is our first change to get up-close and personal with them.

Let’s start off with the Nikon Z 20mm F1.8S, pictured here on a Z7 camera body. The 20mm F1.8S looks right at home in Nikon’s growing lineup of S-series prime lenses for its mirrorless system, with solid construction and a large, well-damped manual focus ring. The silver ring near the base is indicative of its ‘S’ designation.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S

A peek at the front of the lens reveals – well first of all, some dust – but also that the Z 20mm F1.8S uses a 77mm filter thread. The optical construction comprises 14 elements in 11 groups, with three ED and three aspherical elements. It also employs Nikon’s nano-crystal coating to combat flare.

The Z 20mm F1.8S can focus down to 20cm (7.87″) for a maximum magnification of 0.19x.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S

At the rear of the lens, we can see a rubberized gasket surrounding the large metal Z-mount. Like all of Nikon’s S-series primes, the 20mm F1.8S is sealed against dust and moisture. You can also get a glimpse of the lens’ nine aperture blades, which should produce some brilliant sunstars (we’ll investigate further when we get a copy to evaluate).

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S

On the side is the sole control point on the Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S aside from the focus ring – an autofocus A/M switch. The Z 20mm F1.8S balances very well on the current Z6 and Z7 bodies, and should be a particularly useful lens for astrophotography and video. Or, place it on a Z50 and get a 30mm-equivalent field of view on Nikon’s APS-C Z-mount offering.

The Nikkor Z 20mm F1.8S is expected to be available next month, March 2020 for a suggested retail price of $ 1049.95 USD.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3

Next up, we have the Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 lens. It’s intended as a do-it-all travel zoom, complementing the existing Z 24-70mm F4S and 24-70mm F2.8S lenses Nikon has already released for the Z system, and offering the greatest zoom range of any Z-series lens to date.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3

Here it is at full zoom; its length nearly doubles, but thanks to a reasonable 570g (1.26lb) weight, it doesn’t become ungainly or off-balance on full-frame Z-series cameras. Also visible in this image is a ‘Lock’ button that keeps the lens locked into the wide-angle position for travel, to help combat ‘zoom creep’ from the occasional bump or jostle while you wander around. There’s also a slim but customizable and well-damped manual focus ring near the base of the lens as well.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3

From the front of the lens, we can see that the Z 24-200mm takes 67mm filters. This lens has a complex optical formula of 19 elements in 15 groups, and uses a special Arneo coating to reduce flare. The minimum focus distance is 50cm (19.69″), giving a maximum magnification of 0.28x. A total of seven aperture blades should produce some pretty nice sunstars on this lens as well.

Hands-on with the Nikkor Z 24-200mm F4-6.3

A rear gasket on the Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 is physical proof of Nikon’s claims of ‘drip and dust resistance,’ which is always a nice touch on a lens that is really designed to travel with you wherever you go, for just about any focal length you might need.

This lens also comes with built-in stabilization, which Nikon says works in tandem with the in-body stabilizers on the Z6 and Z7 cameras. If you want to use this on a Z50 which doesn’t have an in-body stabilizer, you can still expect up to 5 stops of compensation. This will definitely come in handy when you get to the maximum 300mm equivalent reach on an APS-C sensor.

Nikon has said that the 24-200mm F4-6.3 will be available starting in April 2020 for a suggested retail price of $ 899.95 USD.

Hands-on with the AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E

First announced back in September, then with a release date given in January, we’ve finally gotten a chance to see the Nikon AF-S 120-300mm F2.8E FL ED SR VR in the flesh metal. No surprise, it’s a pricey optic at $ 9499.95 USD, but one that we expect will be put to good use by a variety of sports, action and wildlife photographers. Those letters in the name stand for electromagnetic diaphragm, fluorite elements, extra-low dispersion elements, short-wavelength refracting element and vibration reduction. Oh, and there’s Arneo coating to combat chromatic aberrations as well as flare. In other words, there’s a lot of optical technology in this lens.

Here, you can see the lens mounted to the company’s latest sports DSLR flagship, the D6.

Hands-on with the AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E

In this view, you can see the name plate, serial number and a window displaying focus distance on the top of the lens. There’s also a customizable ‘Memory Set’ button on the side.

But speaking of focus distance, the lens can focus down to 2m (78.74″) at all focal lengths, for a maximum magnification of 0.16x.

Hands-on with the AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E

Around the side are all of the control options on this lens. There’s an autofocus mode switch, a focus limiter, vibration reduction switch, a memory recall switch and a switch for the focus confirmation beep. Mounted right on the tripod collar are also lugs to which you can attach neck straps; Nikon is touting this lens as one you could use handheld if needed.

Being able to use a lens like this handheld is always a plus – but bear in mind, it weighs 3.25kg (7.17lb) so a monopod is probably still a good bet for extended shooting.

Hands-on with the AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E

Around the front, we have a massive front element with fluorine coating to help repel moisture and oil. The filter thread is pretty sizable at 112mm, but many users will simply keep the lens hood on, which somewhat tempers the need for protective filters.

The AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm F2.8E has an optical formula of 25 elements in 19 groups, and a nine-bladed diaphragm. Nikon claims a high degree of weather-sealing as you’d expect from a lens of this caliber.

That’s a wrap

And that’s a wrap from the Nikon booth at WPPI 2020 in Las Vegas. If you missed it, we also have a dedicated hands-on look at the Nikon D6, pictured above. Let us know what you think of Nikon’s latest lenses and cameras in the comments below.

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Sigma shows EF-M mount primes for Canon cameras at WPPI

29 Feb

Hands-on with Sigma’s APS-C primes for Canon at WPPI

Sigma’s DC DN EF-M primes have been the talk of the town for EF-M mount users for months now, but they’ve been in relatively short supply (we’ve only got the 56mm F1.4 in the DPReview offices so far). But during our time at WPPI, we got a chance to see all three in-person and find out how they balance on Canon’s latest APS-C mirrorless flagship, the EOS M6 Mark II.

Pictured above is the most compact of the three, and the most recently released – the 56mm F1.4 DC DN. Offering an equivalent focal length of around 90mm (remember, Canon’s APS-C crop is 1.6x), it’s a fantastic option for portraits. Actually, in the EF-M system, it’s really the only native option for portraits, though you can of course make do with the kit zooms or adapt DSLR lenses.

As you can see, the 56mm is light on external controls, with only a large, rubberized manual focus ring on the exterior that is smooth and well-damped.

Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN

Around the front of the lens is a 55mm filter thread, and down the barrel are nine aperture blades. The lens weighs 280g and feels dense without being heavy, and balances exceptionally well on the EOS M6 Mark II. It will focus down to 0.5m (~20″) with a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.14x.

The optical formula is composed of 10 elements in six groups, including one ‘super-low dispersion’ element. Unfortunately, there’s not much to see around the back of this lens. There’s no rear gasket for keeping out moisture or dust on any of this trio of lenses.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN

Up next is Sigma’s 30mm F1.4 DC DN. This lens is basically going head-to-head with Canon’s EF-M 32mm F1.4, but we don’t mind a bit of competition. The Sigma gives you a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 48mm, while the Canon gives you 51.2mm. That type of difference is unlikely to really influence your purchasing decision, though the Canon’s much greater magnification ratio (0.25x to 0.14x) and higher price point ($ 479 to $ 339) might.

In any case, the Sigma 30mm F1.4 balances quite well on the EOS M6 Mark II, being a bit lighter than the 56mm F1.4 but a bit longer as well. A well-damped rubberized focus ring is likewise the only external control.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN has an optical formula of nine elements in seven groups, with one of those elements being aspherical and another being double-sided aspherical. There are nine aperture blades and the front filter diameter is 52mm.

We actually reviewed this lens back nearer to its release, and on a Sony APS-C camera, we found it to be excellent.

Read our review of the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for Sony E-Mount

Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN

Last and largest is the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN. It’s actually one-and-a-half times longer than the 56mm F1.4, and the heaviest of the three by 125g, or more than a quarter of a pound.

This lens is likely to be of interest to EF-M users, who up until now had only one native wide-angle lens at their disposal: the excellent (but slower-aperture) 11-22mm F4-5.6 zoom. This 16mm F1.4 should be a great option for lower light shooting, events, astrophotography and more.

It balances fairly well on the EOS M6 Mark II, but is a bit front-heavy. It’s not a very comfortable combination in the hand on Canon’s grip-less EOS M200.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN

Down the barrel, past the 67mm filter threads, we see a nine-bladed aperture, just like the other two. This should be great for creating 18-point sunstars in landscape scenes. In addition to being the biggest, it’s also the most optically complex of the group, with 16 elements in 13 groups, including a total of seven specialty elements, and it can focus down to as close as 0.25m (9.84″) for a maximum magnification of 0.1x.

Hands-on with Sigma’s APS-C primes for Canon at WPPI

And that’s it for Canon’s trio of DC DN F1.4 prime lenses, now becoming readily available for EF-M mount. We find that these lenses make an enormous difference in the appeal of Canon’s mirrorless APS-C system, but what do you think? Are you planning to pick any of these up for yourself? Let us know in the comments.

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ON1 announces upcoming Android, iOS mobile app set to ship ‘in the first half of 2020’

29 Feb

ON1 has announced it’s currently working on ON1 Photo Mobile 2020, a mobile app for Android and iOS that will be able to both capture and edit Raw images. The app will also sync with ON1 Photo RAW for desktop computers, with the ability to view, edit and sync images across devices.

Not much information is given on the teaser page, but from what information is available, it seems the app is part mobile camera app, part editing tool, with many features taken from ON1 Photo RAW. ON1 says the capture component of ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 will offer ‘pro-level controls you are familiar with on your interchangeable-lens camera’ and ‘is packed full of advanced features.’

As for editing on-the-go, ON1 says the app will offer ‘ the same power as […] in ON1 Photo RAW.’ Specifically, ON1 mentions the ability to enhance shadows, remove distractions, lighten/darken areas ‘and more.’ Put in more parallel terms, it sounds like ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 will offer highlight/shadow controls as well as a healing brush-style tool. Presets and local adjustments will also be available within the app.

The app will also sync with ON1 Photo RAW on your computer to ‘push edits […] back to ON1 Photo Mobile using ON1 Sync,’ a process that provides ‘a complete, open, photo editing and organizing system,’ according to ON1

ON1 says ‘ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 will be available in the first half of 2020’ for Android and iOS devices. No pricing information has been given at this time.

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DPReview TV: Shoot Pentax 110 lenses on Micro Four Thirds!

29 Feb

Between 1978 and 1985 Pentax sold the Pentax Auto 110 (and later, the Auto 110 Super), a miniature SLR system built around Kodak’s small-format 110 film cartridges. The 110 system is no longer with us, but thanks to an almost identical frame size, its lenses are a perfect match for the Micro Four Thirds system. Join us as we discover the joy of using vintage Pentax 110 lenses on a modern digital camera.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

  • Introduction
  • Brief intro to the Pentax 110 system
  • Which lenses do we have?
  • Aperture
  • Sample images
  • Frame size and lens coverage
  • Sharpness
  • Should Pentax join Micro Four Thirds?
  • Conclusion

Sample gallery from this episode

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ISO Has NOTHING To Do With Exposure! What?! (video)

29 Feb

The post ISO Has NOTHING To Do With Exposure! What?! (video) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

Off the back of one of our previously published articles about the exposure triangle, one of our readers shared his video with us stating that ISO has NOTHING to do with exposure! So technically, does it belong in the “Exposure” Triangle?

What? I hear you say.

Well, check out this video from dPS reader, Chris Lee, aka pal2tech.


Chris states that ISO has nothing to do with the light hitting the sensor. It is, instead, “amplifying the electrical charge in the sensor’s photosites…each photosite then sends the electrical charge into the camera’s analog to digital converter, which then turns the voltage into a digital value.”

What? I still hear you say?

Also, Chris states that ISO does not create “noise” but only amplifies what is already there in the image. Phew.

Just watch the video. It makes way more sense, and it has good humor!

Thanks, Chris.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please share them with us in the comments below.

You may also like:

  • What Your Camera Can’t See
  • Your Camera’s Metering System Explained
  • Image Resolution Explained – Seeing the Big Picture
  • RAW Files: Digital Manifestations of the Emperor’s New Clothes
  • Color Management Can Be Easy
  • Understanding the Basics of Color

The post ISO Has NOTHING To Do With Exposure! What?! (video) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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Organizers say Photokina 2020 is still set to go according to schedule, despite growing COVID-19 concerns

29 Feb

This week, representatives from Koelnmesse, the organization behind Photokina 2020, sat down for a press conference in Cologne, Germany to address, amongst other details, concerns surrounding whether or not Photokina 2020 will take place as cases of COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe.

At the press conference, Koelnmesse Vice President, Christoph Werner, said ‘At this time, there is no reason to halt a large-scale event like [Photokina 2020],’ according to translated text from DC Watch. This statement was made even after consulting with the World Health Organization (WHO), the German Federal Ministry of Health and local authorities, according to Werner.

‘At this time, there is no reason to halt a large-scale event like [Photokina 2020]’

Kai Hillebrand, Chairman of the German Association of Photography, further elaborated at the press conference, saying ‘As long as the health authorities do not announce that trade fairs should be stopped in Europe, [the decision to participate] will be at the discretion of the exhibitors.’

In mid-September, well before the rise of the COVID-19 virus, Leica, Nikon and Olympus were confirmed to have dropped out of the tradeshow. Three months later, on December 6, Photokina confirmed Canon, Panasonic and Sony would be present for the 2020 event. No more than ten days later it was confirmed by PetaPixel that Fujifilm, too, would be absent from the show.

Between the departure of four major brands and the ongoing Coronavirus concerns, it doesn’t look promising for the Photokina 2020, despite being three months out. That said, until further notice, it seems as though everything is still set to go according to schedule, even as WHO raises the global risk of COVID-19 from ‘high’ to ‘very high’

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Meyer Optik Görlitz will return once again, this time at Photokina 2020

29 Feb

OPC OPTICS announced on Tuesday that it will revive the Meyer Optik Görlitz brand it acquired in late 2018 with a debut at Photokina 2020 in Germany later this year. The company will bring half a dozen new lenses with it, including the Trioplan 100, Trioplan 50, Trioplan 35, Primoplan 75, Primoplan 58 and the Lydith 30.

The Meyer Optik Görlitz saga is a long one. The brand returned from the dead in 2014 when it was acquired by Net SE, which revived the lenses by using Kickstarter campaigns. Fast-forward to 2018 and Net SE was revealed to be insolvent; Kickstarter backers didn’t get their lenses and weren’t able to get refunds, either.

That led to the brand’s acquisition by OPC Optics in late 2018, something that soon resulted in a frustrating revelation: Meyer Optik Görlitz Nocturnus and Somnium lenses produced under Net SE were modified versions of Chinese and Russian lenses. OPC Optics disclosed the findings, saying that it would temporarily discontinue both of those ranges.

In the company’s most recent announcement this week, OPC Optics Managing Director Timo Heinze discussed the upcoming Photokina plans and the lenses that will premiere there, saying:

‘All lenses are completely developed and manufactured in Germany with the utmost care and attention to detail. The exclusive image design features of Meyer Optik Görlitz lenses enable the user to stand out from the crowd with an individual image language. We are proud of the high-quality realization of our product developments, but even more proud of all the impressive and unique results that photographers have created so far and will create with the new versions of Meyer Optik Görlitz’s lenses.’

Each lens will be presented at Photokina 2020 alongside 10 large format prints captured with the product. As of the latest report, the trade show is still set to go and will take place in Cologne, Germany, from May 27 to May 30.

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How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

29 Feb

The post How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ramakant Sharda.


Macro photography is a very interesting subject for photographers. People love to shoot small objects like insects, flowers, waterdrops, etc. With macro photography, a photographer can show the tiniest details about the subject – details that are not possible to see with the naked eye. Today, let’s find out how to amaze viewers by taking colorful and razor-sharp macro photos of flowers.


What you’ll need to capture razor-sharp macro photos of flowers

Camera body

You’ll be taking photographs, which means you will obviously need a camera body. But which camera body is good for macro photography – a full-frame or a crop-sensor camera?

Different photographers have different answers to this question. Each body has advantages over the other. With a crop-sensor camera, you can get a larger focal length with the same lens so that you don’t have to get very close to the subject. A crop sensor also gives you a deeper depth of field as compared to a full-frame body, which means you can keep more of the subject in focus.

On the other hand, a full-frame body reveals more details because of the larger sensor size. It also performs better in low-light conditions. So, ultimately, all bodies are good for macro photography, whether you have a crop-sensor camera or a full-frame camera, or whether it’s a DSLR or mirrorless.



Lens choice is important in macro photography.

A true macro lens gives you 1:1 magnification, which means the size of your subject can be the same as your sensor size. In other words, if you have a full-frame body that has a 36mm x 24mm sensor size, you can fill the entire frame with a subject that is 36mm x 24mm in size. This gives you the opportunity to get really close to the subject and capture all the details.

However, don’t worry if you don’t have a dedicated macro lens. You can use extension tubes or a reverse ring with two lenses. Alternatively, you can use a cheaper option called macro close-up filters.

Flash and diffuser

A flash is a very important piece of equipment in macro photography. It helps you take razor-sharp pictures and capture bright colors. It also helps you avoid blurry images resulting from the shake of the camera.

A flash diffuser is equally as important as the flash. It softens the light and brings out the details and colors. You can use a mini softbox or domes or MagSphere, or you can simply put a diffuser cloth in front of the flash or bounce it with a white card.

You can use the flash on the camera hot-shoe or, if you have wireless flash triggers, you can use the off-camera flash. This will give you better results, but you will need someone to hold it.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

Things to remember:

1. Depth of field

The first thing to remember when it comes to getting razor-sharp macro photos of flowers is depth of field (DOF). DOF is very important in macro photography. If you are shooting with a true macro lens with 1:1 magnification and your aperture is f/4, you’ll get only 1-2mm of total DOF. So, chances are, you won’t get everything you want in focus.

The solution is a smaller aperture. With an f/16 aperture, you can easily get 5-6mm total DOF and have everything you want in focus.

However, with such a small aperture, you’ll need lots of light. That’s why a flash is necessary for macro photography.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

2. Focusing

Many photographers suggest that manual focus is better for macro photography, but I disagree with them.

I always use autofocus when taking macro pictures.


Because it’s easy, it’s fast, and you have fewer chances of taking out-of-focus pictures because both hands are free to hold the camera.

Just make sure that your hands and camera don’t move between focus lock and taking the picture.

3. Background

To achieve razor-sharp macro photos of flowers, you should always consider the background. In most cases, the background will be blurred, but, still, it should be clean and have contrasting colors.

4. Look from different angles

When we take photos of flowers, we usually take them from the top or the side. However, sometimes a flower can be very beautiful from the back, too.

When you are searching for a subject to shoot, always look it from different angles so that you can see and click something extraordinary – something that others can’t.


5. Dead flowers can be great subjects, too

We always try to take photos of fresh flowers, but sometimes dead flowers can be great subjects, as in the following image. When a flower is dead, and all the petals have fallen, it starts preparing seeds.

Sometimes those seeds look very beautiful and can be good subjects to shoot macro.


6. Shoot in RAW

To achieve razor-sharp macro photos of flowers, always shoot in RAW format because RAW files contain more details. Therefore, when you sharpen the image and enhance the colors in post-processing, you’ll get better results.

When you open a RAW image in post-processing software, it’ll look dull and lack sharpness, colors, and contrast. Don’t lose heart after seeing this. After a little bit of post-processing, it can often be better than a JPG image from the camera.

How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers

7. Keep your hands steady

A tripod is not a useful tool in macro photography because you’ll need to click at unusual angles.

If you have a moving subject, like insects, chances are, they’ll go away before you set up your tripod. So, it’s better to take photos with a handheld camera. Keep your elbows inside, which will give you support and lower your chances of camera shake.

8. Practice and be patient

If, after doing everything you have read in this article, you take photos that aren’t coming out sharp, don’t be disheartened. Have patience, and keep practicing. Eventually, you’ll get razor-sharp macro photos of flowers.


Keep clicking and share your pictures here. If you need help, just ask me. I am always here to assist.


You may also like:

  • 5 Quick Tips for Outdoor Macro Photography
  • 7 Different Ways to Approach Macro Photography
  • Just Dew It – Fun with Macro Dewdrop Photography
  • How to take Great Flower Photos without a Macro Lens
  • 5 DIY Macro Photography Hacks for Stunning Macro Photos (on a Budget)
  • Reverse Lens Macro – How to Make Macro Photos with “Backward Thinking”
  • How to do Extreme Close-Up Photography with a Macro Bellows
  • 5 Camera Settings That All Macro Photographers Should Know


The post How to Take Vibrant, Razor-Sharp Macro Photos of Flowers appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ramakant Sharda.

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How to Use Radial Composition in Photography to Create Awesome Images!

29 Feb

The post How to Use Radial Composition in Photography to Create Awesome Images! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.


Radial composition (also known as radial balance) is a tool used to influence balance and impact within a photograph. In this article, we’ll look at some of the in’s and out’s of radial composition in photography.

Image: f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 500

f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 500

What is radial composition?

The term radius refers to the distance between the center of a circle and its outer edge. Therefore, radial composition means imagery that radiates outward from a particular point.

One common example of this is the wheel, with spokes radiating away from the central hub.

Another example would be flowers, with petals fanning out from the flower head.

radial composition diagram radius

By using radially orientated lines, shapes and forms, the eye is attracted to a central point within an image, creating emphasis. In this way, radial composition can appeal to our sense of momentum, generating visual movement. Some radial compositions even trick the eye into perceiving actual movement within in a fixed image.

In addition, lines that diverge into a central point also cultivate a greater sense of depth within a photograph. However, keep in mind that not all radial compositions need to be constructed of circles!

In the right context, you can use rectangles, triangles, waves, lines, spirals, or other forms to cultivate radial composition.

radial composition diagram

The history of radial composition

Because of its visual energy, radial compositions have been an enduring presence in visual art and culture. For example, ancient petroglyphs carved into rocks depict spirals and labyrinths as well as lines radiating out from a central focal point.

Rich with symbolism and sacred meaning, the mandala features in numerous religions and beliefs. In Greek mythology, the Sun god Helios was often depicted with a crown of radiating lines. These lines were understood to indicate radiant light, signifying the rays of the sun.

During the Renaissance, radial composition was used to emphasize important figures within a scene. In Assumption of the Virgin by Titian, subjects are seen to radiate away from the main figure (Mary) and a circle of radiant light frames her upper body. In Raphael’s School of Athens, famous philosophers are emphasized by the radial properties of the surrounding architecture.

radial composition smashed glass

f/4.0 1/640 ISO 320

Modern art

Inevitably, radial composition has been a strong compositional feature in modern visual art. A famous example is Kandinsky’s circle paintings that radiate pulses of color. Dada artist Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel also takes advantage of the radial structure of the wheel to evoke both a sense of motion and stasis.

In photography, there are countless variations on the use of radial composition. Taken in 1920, Edward Steichen’s Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon makes use of radial composition to emphasize the subject within the ancient Parthenon. In Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Children Playing in Ruins, the child subjects are framed by a hole in a wall within the ruins of a city.

How to Use Radial Composition in Photography to Create Awesome Images!

How to cultivate radial compositions

Radial composition relates to visual elements that expand from or center around a central point in an image. Eyes, flowers, snail shells, doorways, fireworks, tree rings…there is an abundance of opportunities to capture radial subject matter.

Fluid radial elements create a harmonious flow throughout the image, whereas sharp, erratic lines generate a scene of energetic movement.

Archways, staircases, reflections, plants…you can find radial features in all genres of photography. You can even create radial imagery through camera movement or abstraction.

radial composition camera tossing2 seconds f/4.0 ISO 100

You can also use radial composition as a tool to emphasize a given subject. Framing an aircraft aligned with the halo of the sun’s rays, or photographing a portrait with the sitter positioned within a window or door frame can seem easy enough. However, incorporating simple radial elements into your composition can add much more depth and impact to your image.

Image: f/6.3 1/400 ISO 100

f/6.3 1/400 ISO 100


From landscapes to architecture and everything in between, radial composition can add impact and depth to your photography.

Keeping an eye out for radial compositional opportunities can lead to engaging material that guides the viewer’s eye around the image more effectively.

Do you make use of radial composition? Share your images in the comments below!

The post How to Use Radial Composition in Photography to Create Awesome Images! appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

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Vivo’s latest concept phone comes with ‘gimbal-like’ main camera stabilization

29 Feb

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo uses its APEX line of concept phones to showcase the latest mobile technologies and has just presented its latest version, the 5G-enabled APEX 2020 which puts a lot of focus on the cameras and display.

The first highlight is a 16MP periscopic tele camera on the back which, according to Vivo, offers an optical zoom range of 5x to 7.5x, more than the currently longest smartphone teles.

It’s not quite clear at this point how the ‘optical’ zoom is achieved but it’s fair to assume computational imaging methods will be used to achieve the upper end of the reach. In any case, performance should at least be on at least a similar level as the Huawei P30 Pro or Oppo Reno 10x Zoom which both offer a 5x optical tele lens.

Despite the impressive zoom reach the camera module is only 6.2mm thick, allowing for a slim design and only minimal camera hump.

The main main camera comes with a 48MP Quad-Bayer sensor and a stabilization system that goes way beyond what we’re seeing on current phones. The entire camera appears to be hinged in a gimbal-like structure that is capable of counteracting much more severe device motion than conventional systems. Vivo claims the new system extends the stabilization angle by 200 percent and says the design was inspired by the eyeballs of a chameleon, which freely rotates in its socket, allowing the animal to observe its prey.

The 16MP camera at the front works in similar was as we’ve already seen from Oppo and Xiaomi, and is hidden under the display which turns transparent as soon as the shutter is triggered, allowing incoming light to hit the lens. The area right above the camera also features six times larger display pixels to allow for better light transmittance. Like on the main camera, 4-in-1 pixel-binning is used to decrease image noise and increase dynamic range.

The camera also has the ability to remove passers-by in the background in real time and a ‘Voice Tracking Auto-Focus’. The latter uses audio data from the microphones and visual data from the camera to ‘focus’ audio recording on a scene’s main subject, minimizing background sounds, similar to Samsung’s ‘Zoom-in Mic’.

Other features include a ‘120-degree FullView Edgeless Display’ which measures 6.45 inches and offers a 2,330 x 1,080 resolution in its AMOLED panel which wraps around both edges at 120 degrees. This means bezels are invisible when the device is viewed form the front. There’s also Vivo’s third-generation Screen SoundCasting technology, which casts sound through the screen, eliminating the need for speaker holes and allowing for better environmental protection.

As it is appropriate for a showscase device such as the APEX, the 2020 version is powered by Qualcomm’s top-tier chipset Snapdragon 865 and runs the latest Android version 10.

We won’t find out how the APEX 2020 performs given it is unlikely to ever hit the market in its current form, but we hope some of the features of the concept phone, especially the camera elements, will make it to one of Vivo’s production devices in the near future.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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