This In Focus interview is with The Founding Members of Remember My Baby and was conducted by Sarah Fitzgerald-Jones. Sarah says :- This interview we bring you is from three of the co-founders of the charity Remember My Baby Nicky Heppenstall, Ruth Trotter and Cheryl Johnson. Remember My Baby is a remembrance photography charity only launched […]
Archive for month: August, 2015
#Canon’s latest wide-angle tilt-shift optic promises a higher quality over the entire imaging area and a wider range of lens movements over its predecessor.
As is usually the case with tilt-shift lenses, this optic isn’t inexpensive, costing around £1430. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it performs.
Build quality is typical of Canon’s L series lenses, with a robust textured black finish made from a combination of high-quality plastics and metal and the bayonet is metal. As a result, the lens has quite a bit of weight for its size and feels very solid, tipping the scales at 780g. Even so it balances well with the Canon EOS 6D body used for testing.
Although this lens has electronic contacts for focus confirmation and exposure, focusing needs to be performed manually, as is normal for tilt-shift lenses. Manual focusing is a pleasure, thanks to the well damped, smooth action of the focusing ring. The #camera will confirm focus at the selected focusing point with a beep as normal. Closest focus is 21cm, which should be ideal for shooting in cramped environments, or even for close-up images.
The controls for tilt and shift movements are smooth to operate and the amount of force needed to turn the dials can be easily adjusted using another set of smaller dials by each control, which can also lock the lens at the desired setting. An additional switch to lock the tilt setting in place is also present. The lens can be shifted up to 12mm off axis, or tilted by up to 8.5 degrees, which provides plenty of scope for adjustment. A hyperfocal scale is marked onto the lens barrel although these values will only apply is no tilt movements are set. Both tilt and shift movement can be rotated independently, allowing tilt and shift movements to be aligned with each other if required or for shooting in portrait or landscape orientation.
Using the lens centred, with no shift, sharpness in the centre of the frame is already outstanding at maximum aperture, with excellent clarity towards the edge of the 35mm frame and this is the case until the lens is stopped down beyond f/8. With the lens fully shifted, sharpness hovers around very good levels furthest from the optical centre between f/3.5 and f/16.
Chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled across the entire image area, with fringing remaining below a quarter of a pixel width at all aperture settings.
Due to the nature of the lens, it isn’t possible to accurately measure the falloff across the whole image circle with Imatest. Across the normal 35mm frame with the lens centred, the corners of the image are 1.6 stops darker than the image centre at maximum aperture and uniform illumination is achieved with the lens stopped down to f/5.6 or beyond. As is the case with other tilt-shift optics, applying a severe tilt or shift will darken the image in the viewfinder.
Only a minute amount of barrel distortion was detected by Imatest, with only 1.04% barrel distortion being present. This extremely low level of distortion should rarely need correction in image editing software.
Those looking for similar functionality on a budget may consider the Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC lens. Although this lens has no electronic coupling with the camera, it does cost under half what the Canon optic does, being priced at around £650.
As you may expect for a top of the range Canon lens, this optic delivers superb clarity and is packaged in a robustly built and well-designed body. The controls for applying lens adjustments are easy to adjust and overall this lens should more than satisfy the needs of anyone after a tilt-shift optic.
However, the price of over £1400 is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when there is an alternative available for under half the price. The high price may make it difficult for many to justify, especially for a lens as specialised as this.
The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.
Chromatic aberration is the lens’ inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Lens Review – Gary Wolstenholme finds out how the wide-angle tilt-shift S-E 24mm f/3.5L II from Canon performs when put to the #test.
The #Olympus Stylus SH-2 is a compact travel zoom #camera that offers a 24x optical zoom lens, a 16 megapixel sensor, 3inch touch-screen and built-in Wi-Fi, along with a retro-styled camera body. 5-axis image stabilisation helps keep photos and video steady, and the camera has a number of advanced shooting modes including manual shooting, time-lapse video creation, live view composite shooting, nightscape mode, plus raw shooting.
The Olympus Stylus SH-2 offers a 24x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-600mm in 35mm terms, f/3.0-6.9 in a pocketable metal and plastic camera body. 5-axis image stabilisation works for stills and video, which will help when using the optical zoom, shooting in low light, or recording video handheld. On the back is a 3inch touch-screen, with a 460,000 dot resolution.
The camera features classic styling, similar to the Olympus PEN series, as well as the film camera, the Olympus TRIP 35, and as a result looks more interesting than most compact cameras available.
Built-in Wi-Fi connects to the Olympus Image Share app and is available for Android and iOS devices. OI.Share lets you use it with compatible Olympus cameras for remote shooting, image transfer, image editing, and geotagging.
The camera has iAuto mode to automatically choose the best settings for the scene, and an automatic panoramic shooting mode makes it easy to create panoramic shots in camera. There are a number of scene modes including a Super Macro mode that lets you focus on subjects just 3cm away from the front of the lens.
The camera has a 1080p Full HD 60p movie mode, as well as time-lapse movie recording. It’s also possible to shoot photos while recording video without interrupting movie capture. A fast 240fps High-Speed Movie mode is available, albeit at a reduced resolution.
The classic styling of the camera looks very good, some would even say cool, with a solid black band across the middle, and silver metal plates across the top and bottom. Textured black plastic grips on the front and back of the camera may give the camera a stylish look, however they aren’t as grippy as rubber and therefore we’d recommend using the provided neck / shoulder strap. The camera has good build quality, although the battery and memory card compartment cover uses quite thin plastic.
You can use the 3inch touch-screen to set the focus position and shoot photos, simply by pressing the screen. However you can’t use the touch-screen to select and browse the menu options. The camera has a mode dial on top, along with a small number of buttons and controls, making the camera easy to use. The info button can be used to change what’s displayed on the screen and the camera features a dual-axis electronic level.
The 4-way pad is used to cycle through the camera menus. The shooting settings are displayed down the right hand side of the screen, with the available options listed dependent on the mode you are in. The rest of the settings are available via the menu button, and there is built-in help in the camera to help explain the options and settings.
Wi-Fi features – The camera features built-in Wi-Fi and the free Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) app enables easy sharing of files (RAW / JPEG / MOV) with connected smart devices. Geotagging with GPS location information. Remote control of the camera from a smart device lets you set the zoom, self-timer, white balance and exposure (ISO, shutter speed, aperture), shooting and drive modes, AF area, and shutter. You can also edit images with custom signatures, Art Filters, and stamps.
Battery life – Battery life is rated at 380 shots according to Olympus / CIPA test results, which is very good for a compact camera, although extended use of Wi-Fi and flash is likely to reduce the battery life further.
Speed – We took a number of shots to test the camera’s responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Focus and shutter response are both very quick. After shooting 16 JPEG images, it takes 22 seconds for the camera to write the images to the memory card.
The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Olympus Stylus SH-2 Review – Reviewed, the Olympus Stylus SH-2 a compact camera with a 24x optical zoom lens, and classic styling, but with modern features like built in Wi-Fi and a 3inch touch screen.
The new #card provides speeds of 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write. Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC cards also allow users to shoot full 1080p HD video and 3D video as well as transfer files faster. In addition to the new 512GB capacity, this card is also available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.
The 512GB capacity card, which is backed by a lifetime warranty, is available for £186.13 via the Kingston Digital online store. For more information, visit the Kingston Digital website.
This month, you have the chance to win a 2 year Ultimate LayerSpace website package, and a 2 year Advanced LayerSpace website package! 1st Prize: 1x 2 year Ultim…
Kingston Digital Release 512GB Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC Card – Kingston Digital continues to expand its Class 10 UHS-I SDHC/SDXC line-up with the addition of a 512GB card.
There was widespread excitement among photographers last week when #Nikon announced a follow-up to the most widely-used zoom in its professional lineup – the 24-70mm.
Adding a new Vibration Reduction system to reduce image blur from #camera-shake, the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR also incorporates a Silent Wave Motor that should give it AF speeds up to 1.5-times faster than those of its predecessor, the 24-70mm f/2.8G.
Nikon Ambassador Kate Hopewell-Smith was invited to try out the lens for a month before release, and we managed to secure some time with her for a chat about her first impressions. Scroll down for out interview and to see some more of Kate’s images taken with the new lens.
Kate Hopewell-Smith: My two main bodies are a Nikon D4S and a D3S, and I have quite a bunch of lenses. Before this, in terms of portraiture, my favourite would probably be 70-200mm. I love the 85mm and I’d have probably said, to be honest, something like a 35mm prime would be the wider angle or focal length lens that I’d take out to portrait shoot.
KH-S: I got contacted directly from Tokyo, as they were looking for two photographers to work with the prototypes – there are only two prototypes and they chose a landscape photographer in New Zealand and me, which is pretty scary! The prototype they sent me was the D810 and the 24-70mm VR.
KH-S: When they first contacted me about it, I told them it’s not my favourite lens at all. But when it arrived and I got it out of the box I was like, ‘Wow!’ I wasn’t prepared for the weight and the size; it’s heavier and bigger than the original and so, in that sense alone, it’s a significantly different lens. I had it for about a month and the most important things they wanted me to test was shooting with it wide open, at f/2.8, at both the 24mm and the 70mm end and then to test the VR functionality with slow shutter speeds.
KH-S: It was pretty remarkable; I’ve had a complete renaissance – and I’m not just saying this because I’m a Nikon Ambassador! I got asked in an interview on Wednesday what lens I’d take with me on a desert island, and before I’d never have said the 24-70mm. But now having spent a month with it, and having photographed everything from headshots to environmental portraiture, I think it’s an incredible lens. I’d still miss the compression that you get from longer focal lengths, but in terms of having one lens that can deliver massive versatility, I was amazed! It’s an incredibly smooth lens to work with and very sharp, with a very noticeable difference in edge-to-edge sharpness.
KH-S: It was fantastic, but generally Nikon lenses are. It was honestly a pleasure to work with. It was heavy, although not as heavy as the 70-200mm, but it’s quite a comfortable weight. I didn’t have a problem with it.
KH-S: It’s not something I actively noticed. It didn’t make me shoot or feel any differently. I was able to shoot the way I shoot. At f/2.8 it was incredibly sharp. I also did some work on slow shutter speeds, shooting some horses at f/10 and it produced some incredible quality images. I was actually gutted to send it back to Japan! I shot two weddings within a week of sending the lens back and I’m now shooting wider focal lengths more frequently than I did before. I got in the habit of doing that because I had to shoot at the 24mm end a lot more, and I really enjoyed the results.
KH-S: Definitely! It’ll be an upgrade for me. Globally it’s Nikon’s best-selling lens – most pros have one and I can imagine people who’ve had their lenses and have worked them very hard for a while will definitely consider the upgrade. Also, the VR is obviously very helpful for wedding photography – if you’re a low-light photographer then it has a lot of benefits!
I part disagree with Simon. Nikon’s VR detects panning so it works when following action at 90 degrees to the pan direction. I understand no other system does this. Extra smooth backgrounds are possible combining panning and Nikon VR. Nikon’s VR can also stabilise the main subject at perhaps 1/10 while allowing blur in say hand movement. Some photographers might want to use this for creative effect. The 24-70 range is not as commonly used for moving subjects as 70-200. Nikon’s VR, like any lens aid, has limitations some of the time but makes possible more creative effects than any other f2.8 24-70 lens.
One thing everyone seems to forget about VR (or its #Canon equivalent) is that although it’s very good at dealing with camera movement, it does nothing at all for subject movement…. So great if you’re photographing an inanimate object at 1/10th sec, not so great if you’re photographing a subject who is talking, walking or moving their hands,
In this issue, Jeremy Walker explains how to shoot dramatic contre-jour landscapes – plus we test the Canon PowerShot G3 X and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
We chat to Nikon Ambassador Kate Hopewell-Smith, who has had a chance to try out the new version of Nikon’s most popular zoom lens. Find out how she got on
“With digital images, overexposing can ruin your photos at the dreaded ‘255 white level,’” Lachman writes. “But with C41 color film, it’s really the inverse relationship, with detail getting lost with under-exposure. But in terms of over-exposure, it theoretically has no limit.”
To test this “limitlessness,” Lachman took a roll of C-41 120 medium format film and shot the same scene with various exposures that ranged from -3 stops under correct exposure to +6 stops over.
Now here’s the trick: with a professional-grade film scanner, a ton of detail can be obtained from frames that look completely unusable. Here’s what the scanned photos look like:
“Turns out you can overexpose nearly 6 stops until the scanner starts losing the ability to shoot through the negative,” Lachman says. “What I took away from this is that film basically can’t be overexposed, it can just be too dense for the scanner to be able to shoot through the negative. But the information will always be there.”
Want to see how much you can overexpose C-41 color negative film and still get usable shots? Photographer Daniel Lachman of Retro #Camera Review decided to film out recently after coming across a broken Mamiya 645E with a busted light meter.
This #In Focus interview is with Robin Gregory and was conducted by Sarah Fitzgerald-Jones. Sarah says :- I would like to introduce you all to a great friend of mine whose work I hugely admire. Robin works hard in the construction industry but also enjoys one of the best hobbies ever, Photography and the art of […]
The Canonet QL 17 GIII was the final iteration of #Canon’s consumer friendly compact rangefinder series produced up until the 1970s. The QL 17 features a 40mm f/1.7 lens, along with a leaf shutter capable of speeds up to 1/500th of a second; flash sync is available at any speed setting. The QL 17 features a shutter-priority autoexposure mode and has parallax correction marks through the viewfinder. Metering is handled by a built-in cdS cell above the front lens. The maximum supported film speed was 800 ASA.
The Electro 35 GSN was a film #camera designed in the early to mid-seventies; it featured an electronic blade shutter and was able to sync flash units up to the camera’s maximum shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. The camera featured a 45mm f/1.7 Yashinon lens. Opposite of the Canonet QL 17 GIII, the Yashica Electro 35 featured an aperture-priority auto-exposure mode. Metering on the unit was handled by an element on the front of the unit. The silver Electro 35 GSN was also available in black under the ‘GTN’ model designation. The maximum supported film speed was 1,000 ASA.
The Hexar AF was a film camera designed by Konica in 1993. When the company began selling the camera, they labeled it as a high-end point and shoot camera comparable to the Leica CM. The attached 35mm f/2 lens is wonderfully sharp with a high level of contrast. Being manufactured in the 1990s, the unit features an infrared autofocus system for quick focusing. The unit can be operated in automatic, aperture-priority, and manual modes. Despite the shutter only being able to handle speeds up to 1/250th of a second, the Hexar can support up to 6400 ASA speed film. Automatic parallax and angle correction, along with a ‘stealth mode’, make this camera an excellent choice for street shooting.
The Hi-Matic E was one of the many film cameras produced as a part of the company’s 35mm rangefinder lineup. Our favorite model, and the one featuring the best value, is the Hi-Matic E. Released in 1971, the Hi-Matic E was one of Minolta’s last ‘high-end’ variations of the series. The camera featured a 40mm f/1.7 Rokkor lens with a fast shutter speed of up to 1/1000th of a second. The Hi-Matic E features the same automatic exposure system as the Yashica Electro. A unique aspect of the Hi-Matic E was that the system had no actual diaphragm, the shutter blades would open to the correct aperture. The maximum supported film speed was ASA 500.
The G2 was a film camera released in the mid-1990s featuring interchangeable lenses and an electronic autofocus system that featured both continuous and single focus modes. The G2 itself featured a top shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second while in manual mode and 1/6000th of a second while in aperture priority. The G2 remains praised for its excellent build quality and high-quality available lenses from Carl Zeiss. Lenses ranged from 16mm to 90mm focal lengths, with the 45mm f/2 Planar being regarded as one of the sharpest 35mm lenses of all time.
The CLE was a film camera designed as part of a joint partnership between Minolta and Leica in 1972. The CLE was first released in 1981 with a focal plane shutter capable of a max shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second. The camera featured Minolta’s TTL flash technology and Leica’s M lens mount system. The included through-the-lens CdS exposure meter is coupled with an aperture priority mode for automatic shooting; a manual mode is also available. Considering that the CLE accepts Leica M mount lenses, Minolta teamed up with Rokkor to create three more affordable lenses: 28mm f/2.8 wide angle, 40mm f/2 standard, and 90mm f/4 telephoto. The maximum supported film speed was ASA 1600.
Getting into analog photography can be an exciting proposition; maybe you find the medium more delightful, or you just want to learn more about the times of yesteryear. Either way, we have assembled a list of some of our favorite rangefinder-style analog cameras, ranging from the friendly and affordable Canonet QL 17 GII to the pricey yet exuberant Contax G2. We know that we may not have everyone’s personal favorites, but the list below is filled with cameras we know you’ll enjoy. If you are just getting started, you are going to want to focus on the shutter speed, film speed, and exposure modes you are going to want to use. Also take note of the included fixed lens or available interchangeable lenses for your system. Unlike digital photography cameras that feature constantly changing image sensors, your film can be switched out at any time – so simply find a body that matches your needs.
Back in January 2014, Olympus expanded its OM-D mirrorless camera lineup by introducing the affordable E-M10, touted as “the OM-D for all.” By eschewing weather-sealing and some other features, Olympus was able to shave hundreds of dollars off the price tag. Now, as the original E-M10 nears its 2nd birthday, Olympus is ready to announce its successor, the E-M10 Mark II.Digicam-info just published the first leaked photos of the upcoming camera. It will reportedly also be available in silver and black, and will feature a redesigned physical interface and grip.