Profoto D2 AirTTL, The World's Fastest Monolight!

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Profoto D2 AirTTL Monolight, the World's Fastest Studio Strobe by NY Fashion Photographer, Antonio Martez

When Profoto added TTL, High Speed Sync, and studio-level power to the Profoto B1 battery-powered monolight, it was revolutionary. But the newest flash, which the company describes as the “World’s Fastest Monolight,” is built to take the Profoto AirTTL system to the next level with even faster and more powerful lights. The Profoto D2 500/1000 AirTTL monolight may set the new standard for power and speed in studio lighting from everyone’s favorite Light Shaping Company.

 

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I say studio flash because, unlike the Profoto B1 and B2 flashes, the Profoto D2 needs to be plugged-in to a wall outlet or other a/c power source. The B1 and B2 both utilize a lithium-ion battery system, allowing them to be extremely portable. The D2’s lesser mobility will not affect shooters that tend to shoot in a studio or a controlled environment; there are always outlets to plug in your lights. The design of these heads make them just as small and easy to set up as the B1’s, just with a cord that you can run into any outlet or generator. Still portable, but way more powerful.

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The original Profoto D1 is a workhorse studio light that is known for it’s consistent power and color output, and reliability. The Profoto D2 will most likely be no different, except…

THE UPGRADES!

Here is the upgrades and feature list for the Profoto D2, highlights in bold:

  • Available in 500 and 1000Ws adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments over a 10 f-stop power range to give you both power and precise control.
  • Bursts up to 20 flashes per second with flash durations up to 1/63,000 of a second.
  • High Speed Sync up to 1/8,000s.
  • Shoot in TTL or manual mode.
  • Fully integrated with other AirTTL flashes like B1 and B2.
  • Built-in reflector for maximum output and minimizing of stray light.
  • High-resolution display with a superior, intuitive interface.
  • Optional Quartz flashtube for high-volume pack available.
  • Compatible with 120+ Light Shaping Tools from Profoto’s renowned light shaping system.

Behind the impressive specs of the D2 is the same solid build quality and a pretty familiar menu system to any that has used Profoto lights. Profoto knows what works and they keep it simple and effective. The Profoto menu may take a minute to get used to, but once you get the hang of it you are off to the races.

While I will need more time with the Profoto D2 to make any final judgements, my experience with it was nothing short of impressive. I don’t need to exaggerate, since it really is doing things that no other flash on the market can do. It covers all the bases for a studio flash, and stays pretty portable when taking it on the road. Plus, as always, when you shoot Profoto lights you get to use the myriad Light Shaping tools that really make the lighting work. The only thing that would hold anyone back from owning this flash would be budget. With Profoto’s track record, the serious shooter would make a worthy investment for years to come with this monolight. If you are looking to bring your studio into the 21st century or are simply looking for a light that does almost anything you would need it to, than this is your flash.

TetherTool Tether Table Aero

Tethertool's Tether Table Aero

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The Tether Tools Tether Table Aero 📸🔛🖥 is one of the best tethering support systems on the market. Made from lightweight aluminum alloy, its light and durable for all your tether needs. 

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The Tether Table Aero provides photographers, such as myself, with a stable portable tethering platform.  It's perfect for daily studio use and the ideal out-of-studio workspace.  Its light weight enough to fight inside a backpack to be transported but the Tether Table Aero comes with its own protective carrying bag.  It attaches easily to virtually any tripod or light stand and is compatible with all standard mounting hardware. It's compatable with 4 different mounting options.  

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There are 6 different sizes and two finish options to suit your needs.

Photo Credits:  TetherTool.com

Instagram Shuts Down Bot Service, Instagress

Instagram - 1, Instagress - 0, as Instagram Shuts Down Bot Service

Score one for authentic interaction. This past week, Instagress, a prominent Instagram bot service, folds after being "requested" to do so by Instagram...or should I say forced closed by a Social Media Powerhouse.

It's no lie that bot services have become a real issue on Instagram and other social media platforms. If you spend any time on the platform, you've undoubtedly received one of those generic comments and/or follow/unfollows.  Does automating your posting platform, diminishes the authenticity or brand value of the platform?

Organic vs Automating has been a battle since the beginning of social media.  Instagress was one such service, but as of last week, visitors to the site will be greeted with a page that indicates it has been shut down by request from Instagram along with an offer to subscribers to request a refund. There are numerous such services out there, and it remains to be seen if this is part of a larger effort by Instagram to clear the platform of such services. Such an effort to combat bots and fake followers would present a major shift in many users' experience with the app. 

Automated Photo Studio Shoots Video and Stills Without a Fashion Photographer

StyleShoots Live let's fashion stylist & model shoot multi-platform content on their own without a Fashion Photographer on set. 

The world's first "smart studio". See how StyleShoots Live redefines the way brands can capture stills and video of their models and lifestyle shoots using a revolutionary photography system that doesn't need a Fashion Photographer. Learn more at http://www.styleshoots.com/live

As a pro, I have enough to worry about in this "everyone’s-a-photographer age", a Dutch company called StyleShoots has created a robotic machine that can cut fashion photographers out of the picture completely. The new StyleShoots Live machine allows a stylist, a makeup artists, a hair stylist and model capture video and stills, without the use of a fashion photographer. This photo booth on steroids allows anyone to control lighting, backgrounds, camera movement and motion, editing (I'm assuming they are cutting the Digi Tech out as well), and other creative aspects through the use of a built-in iPad.  Export finished files can be produced in a wide array of formats via 4K video or high-resolution photos.

The StyleShoots Live incorporates a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 24–105mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM lens, along with 12 high-CRI LED panels custom made by Rotolight and a white sided reflector for bounce and a black side for shadow. A 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro serves as the control panel, while an embedded Mac Pro processes all of the data using proprietary software. 

StyleShoots isn't going to put fashion photographers out of business, but this cyborg studio can let creative directors from brands pump out a whole lot of photographic content with very little help and minimum budget constraints. It can let enterprising and innovative studio photographers automate their process without the use of an assistant. 

 

 

The Sigma 135mm 1.8 DG ART Series Portrait Lens

The Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG Art Series Lens

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The Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG Art Series Lens has sparked excitement in the portrait photography world, just as the previously released Sigma 85mm F1.8 DG ART Series lens has done in the 1st quarter of 2017.  Will this lens be a new game changer to its direct competitors & proprietary lens from Nikon & Canon?  Let's Wait And See!!  Check back soon for the review of the Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG ART lens for Nikon

But as a New York based Fashion Photographer, I am definitely planning on adding this lens to my arsenal of lens once its released to purchase, and Adorama will be the retailer of choice.  I have owned the Sigma 150mm 2.8 MACRO lens for the last 5 years, and it truly has been the workhorse for my beauty photography work.  I can't wait to see how well this Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG Art lens will pair with my Nikon D5 FX camera body.  If it is anywhere as awesome as the Sigma 85 F1.8 DG Art Lens, then expect some great NYC fashion portraits to grace the galleries in mid 2017.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SIGMA 135MM F1.8 DG ART on The Sigma Photo Blog or "click" on link below to Sigma Photo website. 

THE SIGMA 135MM F1.8 DG ART: A FIRST-LOOK