Archive for August, 2020

Phase One announces $13K 90mm F5.6 lens for its XT Camera System

31 Aug

Phase One has announced the release of the Rodenstock 90mm F5.6 lens, the latest in its growing collection of glass for its XT Camera Systems.

One of the stand-out features of the XT-HR Digaron-W 90mm F5.6 is its 120mm image circle, which is large enough to account for the 24mm of shift the XT Camera System offers on both the X- and Y-axes for correcting perspective distortion.

The lens, which Phase One suggests is designed with landscape and architectural photography in mind, features an aperture range of F5.6-F22, uses an electro-magnetical shutter (1/1000th-60 min) rated for over 500,000 actuations, has a 72mm front filter thread and uses a five-blade aperture diaphragm. It measures in at 160mm (6.3”) long, 107mm (4.2”) wide and 90mm (3.5”) in diameter, with a weight of 1,200g (2.65lbs).

The MSRP of the Rodenstock XT-HR Digaron-W 90mm F5.6 is $ 12,990. It’s available now through authorized Phase One Partners.

Phase One is also teasing another Rodenstock lens, which it says will be over 100mm (<40-degree angle of view) and will be announced by the end of the year. Phase One says ‘several [optical designs] are under investigation, exploring the best balance of image circle, lens speed, size, weight, and complexity.’

Press release:

Phase One Adds 90mm Lens to XT 150MP Camera Offering

Brings Large Format Feel to Full Frame Medium Format Field Camera

COPENHAGEN, Aug. 31, 2020 – Phase One today announced a remarkable new lens for its breakthrough XT Camera System: the Rodenstock 90mm. Embodying characteristics and workflow elements familiar to those shooting large format, the focal length of this lens offers outstanding sharpness and unbeatable image quality: with minute depth of field, uniform bokeh, and precise focus.

In concert with the powerful and highly integrated Phase One IQ4 Infinity Platform – a camera platform flexible enough to support evolving technology – this newest of Phase One’s Rodenstock lenses puts the XT camera in a class by itself.

Designed for landscape photography, the XT Camera System’s ability to shift 24mm on both the X- and Y-axes allows photographers to correct all perspective distortion and also to create panoramic/stitched images at tremendous scale/resolution. Since the 90mm’s 120mm image circle far exceeds the XT’s movements, this lens uniquely delivers perfect uniformity throughout all camera movements or flawless uniformity throughout camera perspectives. The combination of f/5.6 and a 67° angle of view uniquely focuses the subject.

All five available Rodenstock lenses are fitted with the Phase One designed and digitally integrated X-Shutter — an intelligently controlled electromagnetic shutter born from Phase One’s experience with industrial applications. It ensures robust handling for the long term.

The XT – Rodenstock HR Digaron-S 23mm f/5.6 is the highest quality wide-angle lens available.

The XT – Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 32mm f/4 is an exceptional quality wide-angle lens with a large image circle and almost no distortion.

The XT – Rodenstock XT – HR Digaron-W 50mm f/4 is an ideal balance of a “normal” focal length perspective and wide-angle aesthetic, a close equivalent to human vision.

The XT – Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 70mm f/5.6 is a normal focal length lens with impeccable image quality and a large image circle.

XT – Rodenstock HR Digaron – W/SW 90mm f/5.6 is the longest focal length lens and largest image circle with exceptional image resolution for getting closer to your subject.

“The 90mm focal length defines the ‘feel’ of large format photography,” said Drew Altdoerffer, Product Manager at Phase One. “When it comes to Large Format aesthetic, this is the focal length artists have in mind and a longer focal length is a welcome addition to the XT.”

To hear more about this newest lens and how it fits into the existing family of lenses, please see:

Availability and Pricing

The XT Camera System is available now through Phase One Partners worldwide:

The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price for the XT – Rodenstock HR Digaron – W/SW 90mm lens is $ 12,990.

The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price for the XT IQ4 150MP Camera System, including a lens is $ 58,990.

All camera systems are sold with a 5-year limited warranty, including an uptime guarantee of the IQ4 Digital Back and unlimited lens actuations for the warranty period.

For more information, please go to: or book a demo on:

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Understanding Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X High Res Shot modes

31 Aug

Olympus has introduced several groundbreaking technologies in its cameras over the years, including high-performance multi-axis stabilization, and high-resolution shot modes, which combined multiple exposures to create a single, much larger final image.

The technology is complex, but the idea behind the classic tripod high res shot mode (introduced in the OM-D E-M5 Mark II) is simple: the camera’s sensor is shifted in minute increments across multiple exposures, so that the scene is ‘covered’ by more pixels. Those images are then combined in-camera to create a single, higher resolution photograph.

The Olympus E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X offer two high-res shot modes, ‘Tripod’ and ‘Handheld’

Today’s flagship OM-D E-M1X and E-M1 Mark III include the latest iteration of this feature, alongside a new mode: ‘Handheld high Res Shot’. Handheld High Res Shot mode enables ultra high-resolution images to be captured without the need for a tripod.

In Handheld High Res Shot mode, blur from camera shake is avoided thanks to a powerful in-camera stabilization system, which compensates for any accidental camera movement during this process.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X feature a powerful inbuilt stabilization system. This system is also used in the cameras High Res Shot modes.

Choosing the right High Res Shot mode

The E-M1 Mark III’s high-res shot modes are available for those times when you want more than the camera’s normal resolution of 20MP. Which of the two modes you choose will depend on the kind of subject you want to capture.

With both the OM-D E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X, the maximum output resolution of 80MP is available in ‘Tripod’ mode, while in ‘Handheld’ it is possible to capture images of up to 50MP.

Tripod mode (max 80MP)

  • Download Tripod High res shot mode (80MP) sample
  • Download conventional (20MP) sample

This is a great mode for architecture, interiors and still life or reproduction work – basically, any scene where nothing in your subject is moving. With your camera steady on a tripod, and a stationary scene, you’ll be able to get the maximum resolution out of the system.

In ‘Tripod’ High Res Shot mode, the E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X’s sensor is shifted in tiny increments across multiple exposures. These exposures are automatically combined in-camera to create an 80MP file.

In this mode, your camera shifts the sensor eight times, in increments of one micron, capturing one exposure per adjustment. These images are then combined automatically to create a single 80MP photograph in either JPEG and / or Raw file format.

Use for:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape (on a still day)
  • Interiors
  • Still life
  • Macro
  • Night sky

Handheld mode (max 50MP)

  • Download Handheld High res shot mode (50MP) sample
  • Download conventional (20MP) sample

Handheld mode is great for situations where you want more resolution, but you either don’t have a tripod handy, or you want to shoot something where slight movement in your image is unavoidable, like a posed portrait, or landscapes.

In ‘Handheld’ High Res Shot mode, the E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X capture 16 images in quick succession, and combine them to create a 50MP file. The cameras’ powerful inbuilt stabilization system is employed to reduce the risk of shake.

In this mode, the E-M1 Mark III captures 16 exposures very rapidly, totaling 320MP of data, and combines them to create a single 50MP image. The sensor-based stabilization system does double-duty, turning on and off throughout the sequence of exposures, helping to prevent excessive movement due to motion blur, and analyzing the amount of camera movement that occurs during the sequence. The camera uses this information to automatically align the images for the final image and clone out any blurred areas.

If too much motion is detected, the camera will flash a warning to let you know.

Use for:

  • Landscapes
  • Portraits (static)
  • General photography at wide / medium focal lengths
  • Any situation where a tripod isn’t practical / allowed

Tips for using High Res Shot modes

  • With the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X it is possible to hand-hold exposures down to four seconds*. Used in combination with Handheld High Res Shot mode, this makes it possible to capture long exposure nighttime photographs.
  • For best results with Handheld High Res Shot mode, shoot at wide and medium focal lengths, where the image stabilization system of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III and E-M1X is most effective.
  • Because it combines 16 exposures, Handheld High Res Shot mode also cancels out a lot of noise. Try switching to handheld High Res mode in low light situations for better image quality at high ISO settings.
  • When shooting in High Res Shot mode, avoid shooting at very wide apertures, especially for scenes with out of focus objects in the foreground. You’ll get best results at smaller apertures, where more of your scene is in focus.

* Exact performance is dependent on lens and focal length

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Canon EOS M7 Rumored to Arrive in 2020 With Dual Card Slots, 2.36M-Dot EVF

31 Aug

The post Canon EOS M7 Rumored to Arrive in 2020 With Dual Card Slots, 2.36M-Dot EVF appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon EOS M7 rumor

With most photographers focused on Canon’s new EOS R models, rumors of another couple of Canon EOS M cameras have mostly flown under the radar. This includes talk of a potential EOS M7, as well as a rumored EOS M50 Mark II.

And information continues to leak, including recent Canon EOS M7 specifications; if the rumors are accurate, it’s shaping up to be one impressive camera.

Canon Rumors suggests we may get:

A 32-megapixel sensor.

In-body image stabilization.

A 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder.

12 frames-per-second shooting.

Dual card slots.


Nice, right?

Unfortunately, the same set of rumors also puts the EOS M7 price at $ 1599 USD, which is significantly more expensive than either the EOS M50 and the EOS M6 Mark II. But if the EOS M7 is, as many have speculated, a higher-end, durable APS-C mirrorless model from Canon, this pricing could make sense.

Now, the features listed above are unconfirmed (Canon Rumors marks them as CR1), so take them with a pinch of salt. But the EOS M7 has long been a topic of discussion, including speculation of the camera as a mirrorless replacement to the Canon EOS 7D series, which was a favorite set of DSLRs among bird and wildlife photographers.

If the latter is true, the EOS M7 should, first and foremost, be an action photography camera. This is hinted at by the (relatively) fast continuous shooting specification, as well as the dual card slots, but we’ll have to wait and see regarding its durability (the 7D series was known for its large, tough bodies).

Interestingly, Canon Rumors also mentions the possibility of the EOS M line drawing to a close in 2021, with Canon focusing entirely on the EOS R lineup, including (perhaps) an APS-C EOS R model. If such a rumor were true, then the EOS M7 and the EOS M50 Mark II may be some of the last EOS M bodies we ever get.

Of course, this is also completely unsubstantiated, so just keep an eye out for related news in the future!

Now over to you:

What do you think about the rumored specifications for the Canon EOS M7? Is it a camera you’d be interested in? Also, do you think that Canon will truly discard its EOS M lineup? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post Canon EOS M7 Rumored to Arrive in 2020 With Dual Card Slots, 2.36M-Dot EVF appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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Video: What it’s like to photograph Formula 1 in 60 seconds

31 Aug

It’s not just hockey that’s seeing sports photographers change the way they have to operate during events. Like many other sports during this global pandemic, the Formula 1 season is quite different than usual, with an altered schedule and different race tracks than expected, but as with all sports, there are still photos that need to be taken.

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Who’s ready for another episode of My Job in 60 Seconds? ? This week meet Steve, our team photographer since 2010! From Schumacher to Senna, Hamilton to Hakkinen, Steve’s photographed all the greats in @f1 during his impressive career!

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As part of its ‘My Job in 60 Seconds’ series the team hosts on Instagram, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team photographer Steve Etherington shares what it’s like to photograph the pinnacle of motorsports at a time when team personnel and fans are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the video, Etherington shares what it is he does on a race weekend, how the social ‘bubbles’ put in place have changed how he shoots and more. It’s a great, albeit quick look into shooting Formula 1 — something Etherington has been doing every race weekend for 28 years.

You can find more of Etherington’s work on his website.

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5 Quick Reasons to Use the Nifty Fifty for Landscape Photography

30 Aug

The post 5 Quick Reasons to Use the Nifty Fifty for Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Tim Gilbreath.

The 50mm prime lens, commonly known as the Nifty Fifty, is a lens that even inexperienced photographers have likely heard of. Most of us know it for its outstanding qualities; it’s an inexpensive, high-quality, prime lens that is in plenty of photographers’ bags around the world and is one of the most popular lenses of all time.

What we might not think of a Nifty Fifty as, however, is a lens normally used for landscape photography. The field of view is tight, and the lens doesn’t possess a focal length wide enough to usually be considered proper for this sort of work.

But I have. For four years, the 50mm f/1.8 has been my workhorse for portfolio building (which is primarily nature and landscape), and even though I’m branching off with other lenses, I can’t stress the usefulness of the Nifty Fifty. And I’m not alone.


My primary reasoning for using the 50mm instead of going out and buying a proper wide-angle lens such as a 35mm or even wider?


I was diving back into photography, and I was on an extremely tight budget. After buying my camera, spending $ 500 on a lens simply wasn’t an option. It didn’t take long for me to hear my fellow photographers sing the praises of this wonderful lens: cheap, fast, and sharp. Right up my alley.

There are no tricks or immaculate revelations here, and you won’t likely become famous for taking only landscape shots with 50mm lenses. But there are a few reasons why shooting landscapes with a 50mm lens can produce great results.

Giving it a try can only improve your photography and make you a better observer of the world around you.

Focus on what’s important

We think of landscapes as sprawling, wide shots that include many elements in one frame, but do they have to be that way? Can we not capture the beauty of the area around us in a tighter package? The rolling hills and an interesting tree in an outdoor scene are more than enough to create a photo that provokes thought.

The Nifty Fifty makes it easier to focus on whatever is most important in your photo, while still capturing enough around the subject to lend it scope.

The Nifty Fifty makes it easier to focus on whatever is most important in your photo, while still capturing enough around the subject to lend the shot scope.

Shooting at this focal length forces us to focus on the most important parts of what we’re seeing around us. Trimming the fat, as they say. In doing this, we’re also training ourselves psychologically to do the same in all of our shots.


Landscapes usually require very good sharpness, and 50mm prime lenses excel at that. No extra moving parts normally required for zooms makes for a crisper, sharper result. As with most lenses, the Nifty Fifty sweet spot isn’t wide open, but more in the f/4 to f/5.6 range. And narrower apertures will still yield excellent results.

The 50mm prime allows you to capture very sharp images

The 50mm prime allows you to capture very sharp images.

Take your time

Since the 50mm is a prime lens, you’ll get an added benefit (or detriment, depending on how much you care for walking): The single focal length means you can’t just shoot from anywhere. Instead, you’ll need to move around to find the best angle and distance. This automatically forces you to think about your shot a bit more, which is always a good thing.

The 50mm allows you to think differently about the landscape or subject you're framing, and to make more creative choices.

A 50mm lens allows you to think differently about the landscape or subject you’re framing and to make more creative choices.

With a zoom, you’d adjust focal length without even thinking until the scene is framed in a way that looks good. But what if that isn’t the best angle or distance? The Nifty Fifty will give you the incentive to take a chance and try something different, whether it be an angle, a distance, or a perspective.

No wide angle…or can there be?

Of course, there can! The 50mm gives you a gentle push into playing around with some panoramic shots. Three, four, five, or more shots can be stitched into a flattering wide-angle composite, sometimes with even more dramatic results than a single wide-angle shot.

By stitching together shots, we can create a panorama that gives us the wide field of view we're looking for

By stitching together shots, we can create a panorama that gives us the wide field of view we’re looking for.

Lightweight is king

If you’re serious about landscape photography, you’re probably already lugging around a considerable amount of gear. Camera bodies, other lenses (you don’t go out with just one lens, do you?), tripods; the list goes on.

The last thing you need is more heavy lenses when you’re out and about, right? Do you know what the Canon 50mm f/1.8 weighs? 4.6 ounces (130 g). It’s short, sweet, and light to boot.

At the end of the day, all lenses and focal lengths have advantages and disadvantages, and the case can certainly be made for using wider glass. But, as a teaching tool, the 50mm prime lens is a great option for your landscape photography; it will make you think a bit differently about your photos and easily provide you with clear, sharp images.

The post 5 Quick Reasons to Use the Nifty Fifty for Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Tim Gilbreath.

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Check out the Raws: Canon EOS R5 sample gallery update

29 Aug

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Canon’s EOS R5 seamlessly blends high speed with high resolution resulting, generally, in great images. As we press on with our full review, we’ve revisited our gallery now that we have ACR support and dug into some of our Raw images to see what the new, 45MP sensor is really capable of.

View our updated sample gallery

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Create Beautiful Indoor Portraits Without Flash (NSFW)

29 Aug

The post Create Beautiful Indoor Portraits Without Flash (NSFW) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ed Verosky.


Ed Verosky is a professional photographer and author based in New York. In this article, Verosky explains how to create portraits using natural and ambient light only. To learn more about achieving great lighting in any situation, check out Verosky’s popular eBook, “100% Reliable Flash Photography.“

Note: This post contains one image with very mild nudity (in fact, so mild you might not even see it).

For me, using flash can be the most efficient way to create a high-quality portrait. There’s nothing like it for an editorial shoot when you need that combination of full lighting control, minimal shooting time, and predictable results. Sure, you have to know what you’re doing to make it come together like that. But that ability comes with knowledge and experience.

Mastering flash means mastering your light in any situation. Sometimes, however, there is beautiful light to be found, just waiting there for you to use it. Natural and constant ambient light can be your best friends if you have a little time and flexibility with the environment and your subject.

Constant light, as opposed to flash/strobe lighting, will allow you to see and adjust its effect on your subject and the environment in real-time. This is a great way to learn about lighting placement and this knowledge and experience will certainly carry over into your flash portraiture. As I like to say, “light is light,” meaning that the principles of lighting a subject and the environment are essentially the same whether the light source is a quick “flash” or a constant illumination.

The main difference is that the flash is capable of producing a more intense light but with too short of a duration for the photographer to see the effects of its position on the subject in real-time. With constant lighting, you can casually move the lights and your subject around and know instantly how the changes will affect the portrait you’re making. With a few test shots to check exposure, you’re good to go.

Lighting setups

Natural light. Window light is just about the most beautiful light you can find when the conditions are right. It can serve as a huge softbox and be manipulated with any combination of window dressings such as blinds and curtains. Simply place your subject nearby the window and let the light create much of the portrait’s drama. I like to position the subject so that there is plenty of shadow to one side, providing many options for classic portraiture looks.


Window light narrowed with curtains. ISO 800, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec.

Household lights. You can also make great use of simple household lamps. I like to remove the shades off the room lights and utilize them as bare bulb light sources. To start off, just position the main light in front and to one side of your subject, preferably several inches higher than their head. This will give you a classic lighting pattern to work with. A second light may be placed farther back from the subject and serve as a backlight or kicker, which will add dimension.


A setup consisting of two household lamps, minus the lampshades. The kicker is behind Kelly ,and the main lamp is almost directly in front of her, just to camera right. ISO 800, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec.

Camera settings

My general advice for any indoor shooting is to think “fast and wide.” Your initial camera settings should be a balance of the highest ISO possible that will still provide acceptable noise levels for your purposes, the widest aperture your lens will allow, and the fastest workable shutter speed.

Of course, each of these controls is interrelated and integral to overall exposure, so you’ll have to make some adjustments and concessions for the environment you’re working in, and for the effect you’re trying to achieve in your shots.

Fortunately, most DSLRs are now capable of low noise even when using high ISO speeds, so most room lighting and even low natural light won’t be a problem for you. But even if your camera happens to produce lots of noise at higher ISOs, that isn’t necessarily a big concern. Either leave the noise as is, or bring some of it down in post-processing using your choice of available noise reduction techniques.

Many photographers actually artificially add noise back into their images in order to reproduce the look of film, or otherwise reduce the super-clean, slick, digital look coming out of the camera. Simple advice: Don’t worry about the noise unless it gets in the way of the image you’re trying to create.

Another thing that will really help with achieving beautiful portraits in lower lighting situations is a fast lens. By “fast,” we’re referring to a lens with a wide aperture of at least f/2.8. The wider the aperture, the more light the lens allows to pass through in a given unit of time. This will give you more freedom with your ISO settings (as they won’t have to be so high to compensate for less light coming in through the lens), and faster shutter speeds (as they won’t have to be so low to compensate for less light coming in through the lens). Lenses with wider apertures also have the capability of shallow depth-of-field, which can greatly add to the interest and mystique of your portraiture.

Shutter speed is an important consideration not just because of its effect on overall exposure, but also because of potential blur with lower shutter speeds. As with ISO, however, the effect of supposedly less-than-optimal shutter speeds is what you make it. You might find an occasional blurry image makes a rather artistic statement. Every portrait doesn’t have to be as sharp as a tack.


Another household lightbulb setup, featuring Chris. I used a bare household lightbulb off to camera-left to illuminate her on one side and the background at the same time. The main light is coming in from camera right. ISO 800, 85mm, f/1.8, 1/60 sec.

So, with those factors in mind, you might want to try the following exposure combination as a starting point and adjust according to your needs:

  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Aperture: f/2.8 (or the widest possible for your lens)
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter Speed (target): 1/100 sec. or higher.

In Aperture Priority mode, your camera will automatically set the shutter speed for you while you control everything else. You’ll have to pay attention to your shutter speed to make sure it isn’t falling so low as to create unwanted blurring. Again, these are just starting points. With a stationary pose and a steady hand, I’ve managed handheld shutter speeds as low as 1/15 sec. and produced good results. You might also want to try your camera’s Manual mode to maintain full control of your settings. If your lighting conditions are going to be fairly static, I’d recommend it.

Also, you will most likely benefit from shooting in your camera’s RAW (NEF) format so that critical adjustments, like white balance, exposure, and contrast, can be made easily and with minimal loss of information in post-processing. Although white balance settings aren’t actually imposed on the RAW file, you can set white balance as you wish during shooting in order to get an idea of what the final image might look like. Plus, a chosen WB setting will tell your processing software what color temperature and tint settings to best start off with for each image.


Window light illuminates Satu. ISO 800, 50mm, f/4, 1/200 sec.


Aside from the creative post-processing possible with your ambient light images, there are some things you might want to address in the initial post-processing effort:

White Balance: Not all light sources produce the same color temperatures. Despite what they look like to our eyes, the camera will record various types of household lighting (fluorescent, tungsten, daylight balanced) and natural light (sunset, cloudy, shade) as producing different color casts.

So if you are shooting a portrait using a bright tungsten light as your subject’s main light, but you have a strong window light coming through in the background, you might have an undesirable color mix to deal with.

Fortunately, you can correct these types of color mismatches in post-processing by making a general white balance setting choice in your software and selectively altering the offending colors in specific parts of the image. If this isn’t something you’d like to worry about, then don’t. The colors might be acceptable just the way they are. If not, you always have artistic color-altering effects and even black and white conversion options. So, it’s all good.

Noise Issues: I personally like a little noise in my images most of the time. But if you had to use very high ISO settings to get your shots, and have the need to bring some of the noise down, there are a number of good built-in, stand-alone, and plug-in software options to handle this. I will occasionally use the noise reduction tools in Lightroom or my Photoshop Noise Ninja plug-in, for example.

Natural and ambient light photography indoors can be a great way to learn the finer points of lighting your portraits. The actual experience for you and your subject is also worlds apart from the strobe and studio effect of working with flash. Unlike outdoor shooting, indoor work without flash can introduce problems having to do with lower lighting situations. Using some of the advice above, you should be able to handle the challenges of low-light portraiture and come away with great-looking images.

If you would like to learn how to get amazing light in any situation, check out Ed Verosky’s eBook, “100% Reliable Flash Photography.” It’s a great resource that has helped thousands of photographers improve their use of flash and ambient light for portraiture.

The post Create Beautiful Indoor Portraits Without Flash (NSFW) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Ed Verosky.

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DPReview TV: How to start a YouTube channel Part I – the gear you need to get started

29 Aug

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own YouTube channel? In this video, the first in a series, we talk about the basic gear you’ll need to get going – all for under $ 1000.

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

  • Introduction
  • Camera
  • Lavalier microphone
  • On-camera microphone
  • Tripod
  • Memory cards
  • ND filter
  • Your basic kit

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Venus Optics unveils an 11mm F4.5 ultra-wide-angle lens for full-frame mirrorless systems

29 Aug

Venus Optics has released its latest lens, the Laowa 11mm F4.5 FF RL lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems.

The ‘FF’ and ‘RL’ initialisms in the name of the lens refer to the lens’ full-frame (FF) and rectilinear (RL) design. The fully-manual lens is constructed of 14 elements in 10 groups, including two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements, which results in a 126-degree angle of view on full-frame cameras.

Despite its compact size, the lens features a 62mm front filter thread, making it ‘the world’s widest rectilinear lens with a front filter thread for full-frame mirrorless cameras.’ Other features include an aperture range of F4.5-F22, a five-blade aperture diaphragm, a minimum focusing distance of 19cm (7.4”) and rangefinder coupling on Leica M-mount cameras.

The lens measures in at just 63.5mm (2.5”) long, 58mm (2.3”) wide and weighs just 254g (8.9oz). Below is a gallery of sample images, provided by Venus Optics:

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THe Laowa 11mm F4.5 FF RL lens is available to order now from Venus Optic’s website for Leica M, Leica L, Sony FE and Nikon Z mounts. The Leica M version costs $ 799, while the other mounts cost $ 699.

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Video: What it’s like to photograph hockey games inside the NHL ‘bubble’

29 Aug

Like many professional sports, the National Hockey League (NHL) is playing its playoff-only season in a containment bubble to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 amongst its ranks. In addition to the players, this bubble also requires all team personnel, photographers included, to quarantine and work inside empty arenas that would normally be filled with fans.

To highlight how this looks for the photographers and editors inside their respective bubbles, the NHL has published a behind-the-scenes video showing what goes on before, during and after a game.

Throughout the six-minute video, we hear from NHL Images Senior Manager, Kara Bradley, as well as NHL photographers Chase Agnello-Dean, Mark Blinch and Dave Sandford. Each of them share their experiences thus far, showing that while not much different than shooting a regular game from a capture standpoint, the sheer number of games played back-to-back makes it difficult to get images turned around and remote cameras set up.

Here are a few fun stats from the video:

  • Photographers usually operate five cameras at once: two handheld (typically one wide-angle and one telephoto) and three remote cameras (usually one at center ice and one at each net)
  • The photographers average 15,000 steps a day, many of which are up and down stairs and rafters to set up remote cameras and strobes
  • Around 3,000 images are taken in low-scoring games while high-scoring games can see upwards of 7,000 images captured
  • So far most of the photographers have shot around 46 games in just 21 days

Having shot plenty of hockey games myself, I know how challenging even a single game in a night can be. To be shooting two a day — in addition to auxiliary shots before and after the game — for nearly a month straight is absolutely absurd. In the words of Dave Sandford from the video, ‘it’s like groundhog day here.’

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