Nikon let us down softly with a barely a glimmer of information Tuesday as it announced development of the D850
Walking around the modern gallery Luhring Augustine Bushwick, a signature photo aesthetic holds true, while themes of adolescence, sexually-explicit black and whites, captivating retro movie posters, and artwork by Adam Rolston—emulating an empty Trojan Condom packaging box. Filmmaker, photographer, and art collector Larry Clark has created decades of artwork that illustrate his arousing yet cathartic experiences, referenced in the photography book Tulsa, and controversial insight of drug abuse, underage drinking, along with hypersexual teens in films like Kids and Marfa Girl. The capturer of moments has recently unveiled his personal collection of art, titled “White Trash”—an inspiration throughout the years to continue to create films and more recently dive into his love of painting.
Last month, a website called Pixel Peeper launched with the ability to determine which Lightroom edits were made to an image.
Red is known for making ultra high resolution cinema camera systems with vaguely menacing names like Weapon and Dragon. As of today, they’re also in the smartphone business.
Red’s first foray into the smartphone market is the Hydrogen One, which the company plans to ship in the first quarter of 2018.
Details are rather vague at this point but the big selling point of the Hydrogen One appears to be its 5.7-inch display, which can playback not just 2D content but holographic “four-view” content, 3D video without glasses and augmented reality.
The phone will run on the Android operating system. Red says it will also run a proprietary audio algorithm to convert stereo sound into multichannel audio.
Like Red’s cinema cameras, the Hydrogen One will be modular with a high-speed bus to support forthcoming accessories. The phone can also double as a monitor and interface for Red Scarlet, Epic and Weapon camera systems.
The Hydrogen One will have a USB-C connection and a microSD card slot. Of all the specs Red mentioned in its release, there’s no word about the phone’s camera or imaging capabilities. It’s primarily being hyped as a high-quality media playback device.
Red plans two versions of the phone, one in aluminum for $1,195 and the other in Titanium for $1,595–though they note that those prices are subject to change.
INTRODUCTION: 12-24MM F4 DG HSM ART
The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art lens is the lens you have been dreaming of for landscape, architecture, travel, automotive, train, and nature photography. Featuring a constant f/4 aperture for bright viewing and quick focusing, impeccable corner-to-corner sharpness, and impressive close-focusing capabilities, Sigma has given photographers every reason to upgrade their ultrawide glass right now.
Beyond the first impression when you pick this beauty up—namely, an immediate sense of the pro-level quality of the lens—there is in the end the satisfaction with the remarkable detail this lens resolves. Beginning at 12mm, picking up 122° or more than one-third of the world around you, this lens reveals intricacies that you would never see with the naked eye. While you might expect good center sharpness—the 12-24 has this in spades—the edge and corner sharpness is excellent, too. Add to this contrasty, nicely color-balanced images, and little distortion, and you have the perfect tool for prize-winning photography.
Highlights of the Sigma 12-24mm:
- Wide aperture providing bright viewfinder images throughout zoom range.
- Robustly built for decades of pro-level use.
- Contrasty, spot-on color rendering, and super, super sharp!
The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 lens offers the pro-level performance previously only available in fixed-focal length lenses. From sunrises and sunsets to wildflower and waterfalls, from buildings and bridges to cars and trains, this ultrawide zoom fits nicely into the Art lens line-up already made legendary by the 20mm 1.4 DG HSM, 24mm 1.4 DG HSM, 35mm 1.4 DG HSM, 50mm 1.4 DG HSM, and 85mm 1.4 DG HSM.
DESIGN & FEATURES
The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM lens is one of the Sigma Global Vision Art lenses. Sigma’s Art lenses are known world-wide for their ground-breaking designs, superlative image quality, and rugged construction. Upon picking up the 12-24mm, you will immediately be greeted by this quality feel.
Built for use on full-frame cameras, the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 is finished in matte black. On the one hand, it is certainly not diminutive in size, measuring 4” in diameter and 5.2” long, but, on the other hand, this lens is not all that large considering its full-frame designation, widest focal length of 12mm, and constant f/4 aperture.
A petal hood petal hood, extending 1.25” beyond the front ring, plus its matching front cap, makes the lens look a bit bigger than lenses with removable hoods. The built-in hood is important on this lens insofar as the front element bulges out about 1/2” past the front lens ring. The front cap, lined with a velour-like ring inside, fits snugly and smoothly. It provides secure protection during shoulder-slung use yet slides off pleasingly well when ready for action.
The 12-24mm f/4 is well-built in other ways. Its 40.6 ounces may seem on the heavy side, but, like the overall dimensions, this is not excessive considering the combination of ultrawide views and the constant fast aperture. Its glass consists of 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. The design incorporates FLD glass, which performs similarly to Fluorite components.
Focusing is smooth and precise. The HSM motor provides fast, quiet operation in autofocus. For manual operation, the 1/2” front ring is well-damped, turning 130°. The minimum focusing distance is an impressive 9.4” at 24mm, allowing close-up magnifications up to 1:4.9.
Zooming is accomplished with the 1/2”“ rubber ring toward the aft of the lens. Rotation is smooth and well-damped, describing 70° of rotation. While the front element moves in-and-out during zooming, the generous petal-shaped hood protects throughout its range. Regardless of the camera’s position, from upside down to pointed straight up, no zoom creep occurs.
The Sigma 12-24mm ships with the built-in hood, a slide-on front cap, a rear cap, and a padded case. As with all the Sigma lenses, it is covered by a four-year manufacturer’s warranty.
HANDLING IN THE FIELD
Shooting with this wide-aperture, full-frame glass is just plain fun. Gone are the days of squinting through small, variable aperture lenses that make it hard to see in anything but mid-day lighting. As I have pointed out elsewhere, namely in my reviews of the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art (which I explored here) and the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art (which I explored here), Sigma is committed to making wide-aperture, constant-aperture, pro-level zooms. The Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM is no exception. Insofar as it remains at f/4 throughout its range, viewfinder shooting is efficient even at the ends of the day, at night, or in dark indoor locations. In addition, the fast glass makes autofocusing a snap. Images are locked in immediately.
One of the most enjoyable things about shooting with the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 is the instant, amazing results, namely brilliantly sharp images showing up on your LCD. Take a picture of an landscape and then review it: sharp, center and edges. Shoot an interior: sharp. Shoot at night: sharp. Are you getting the idea that this lens is sharp?! If you have been taking pics with another ultrawide, you owe it to yourself to try this one out. I predict that you are going to be blown away by how much detail this lens can resolve.
While the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 is a sizeable lens, it feels great on my Nikon D800E. With its good balance, fast maximum aperture, and short focal lengths, this lens easily hand-holdable for many situations. Zooming is butter-smooth and well-damped as you frame your subject. In low light situations, manual focusing is certainly possible but gets a bit tricky on the wide end. Autofocusing is quick at all focal lengths, even indoors or at the ends of the day.
Wide angle lenses are the bread-and-butter of nature and travel photographers. While I wrote here about the merits of shooting with the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art (which I explored here), sometimes you do need more wide angle reach. The extreme focal lengths of the Sigma 12-24mm help capture stunning images in locations such as gorges and are a must for sunrise and sunset photography.
For geological reasons, cascades often form in narrow gorges, which leave photographers trying to depict frothy water in cramped quarters. Such was the case when I visited Cumberland Falls State Park in southern Kentucky. The main waterfall, Cumberland Falls, is large and in, by waterfall standards, a fairly wide gorge. Even there, however, wide glass was required to pick up the gorge, falls, and foreground details, such as the overhang rock extending from the fall to my vantage point. Zooming to 18mm helped define the foreground, middle ground, and background subjects, a fine recipe for creating a sense of three-dimensionality.
After shooting the main falls, I hiked down the opposite side of the gorge, where Eagle Falls is tucked in a small valley off the main gorge. For this plunge, I zoomed out to 12mm to capture the falls, slump blocks, surrounding rock faces, and nearby trees. (See photo above.) Having an ultra-sharp, ultrawide in your bag is just the ticket for waterfall photographers.
Another advantage to shooting the 12-24mm with a high resolution camera is that you can shoot wide and then crop as you see fit later. As a calendar photographer, this is a real benefit. I can capture a scene in great detail and count on fitting it to various rectangular and square formats, as well as cropping in to increase the balance with each particular aspect ratio. The shot of Anglin Falls (below at the end of feature) was taken at 12mm and then cropped to an 8×10 ratio, still retaining great detail.
For sunrises and sunsets, I love to start wide, zoom in when the sun reaches the horizon, and then zoom back out. Right before sunrise and right after sunset, the sky fills with colors. For modest crepuscular displays, focal lengths in the 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm may be enough, but when the sky really lights up, there is nothing like having 12mm at your disposal. Indeed, for most sunsets I find myself setting ‘er as wide as she’ll go.
An example: After returning home from a photo trip, I pulled into our drive shorty before sunset and glanced at the sky. I could see beautiful clouds to the west and color starting to fill in. I jumped in my truck, drove to the top of a nearby glacial hill, and began shooting. Every frame I took that night was at 12mm as the sky lit up with colors from east to west.
SEE MORE ABOUT THIS BLOG By David FitzSimmons:
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.
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.
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…
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's Tether Table Aero
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.
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.
There are 6 different sizes and two finish options to suit your needs.
Photo Credits: TetherTool.com
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.
StyleShoots Live let's fashion stylist & model shoot multi-platform content on their own without a Fashion Photographer on set.
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 F1.8 DG Art Series Lens
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.