Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hasselblad Demo Day at Beau Photo...

Click on the image to register for this event with Hasselblad USA!

Available to see and demo at the event will be the H5D medium format digital system, including the new 24mm ultra-wide as well as the HTS tilt-shift lens adapter.

For more info, contact Greg King at Hasselblad Bron, Inc. - 

Arrived! Fujifilm X-E2 kits...

We just got a shipment of Fujifilm X-E2 kits, with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R OIS zooms, both in black and silver. After fulfilling our initial pre-orders, we still have a very small number available at the moment. Unfortunately, body-only X-E2 units are not scheduled to arrive until the first week or December, or thereabouts. Since I am waiting for a just an X-E2 body myself, most likely my detailed review will be delayed until then as well unfortunately.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lunch with the new Nikon Df DSLR...

[Update 11/21/2013]: A few people have already asked about my impressions on how suitable the viewfinder is for manual focus of older lenses. A very good question and one that I forgot to address in my writeup. Sadly, the focusing screen is not interchangeable, so there are no options for split-image or micro-prism collar screens. It seems to be pretty much the same screen as a D800 so, like virtually every other DSLR on the market, it is not particularly easy to judge sharpness when manual focusing with some slower or dimmer lenses. However the focus confirmation light does work with old MF lenses, so that might help in some situations. It may turn out that the screen is slightly better on the Df, but since I did not have the time to do any side-by-side comparisons, I cannot say for sure at this point. My gut feeling though is that it is not significantly different from a D800 screen.

[Update 11/25/2013]: One thing I realized today was that I made no mention of the shutter sound. It is far quieter and smoother sounding than other Nikon pro bodies like the the D800, D3S or D4. In fact, movie stills photographers will be all over the Df probably, since even inside a sound blimp, other Nikon pro bodies can still be loud enough to be an issue on some film sets. I also corrected my focus point comparison to D7000 instead of D7100. I had forgotten that the D7100 was upgraded to 51 points. One more note is that I really only had a scant few minutes before and after having lunch to actually handle the camera, maybe 10 or 15 minutes in total, and I had no other camera with me to compare the viewfinder to. To reiterate, my gut feeling is still that it really is no better for MF than a D800, but I certainly could be wrong. Note that there are third party companies that might be able to install an aftermarket focusing screen, but it is definitely not user replaceable and I wonder if you might lose some functionality with an aftermarket solution (grid-lines, focus points etc). There may be warranty concerns too? The only thing I did do back at the store was compare the shutter sound to a D4, just to confirm my impressions of how much quieter it was. That is why it is weird I forgot to mention it. People also have asked me about image quality, but both were preproduction units that I was not allowed to download photos from. I was assured by Nikon that it should essentially be the same as the D4.

I had an opportunity to spend my lunch break with a couple of Df bodies (and some Nikon reps), a black and a silver one (the cameras, not the reps), courtesy of Nikon Canada. The Df was announced a few weeks back and I have been hesitating to write a report until I personally had a chance to play with one. There seemed to be some contradictory info online and I didn't want to repeat any incorrect information myself. Following are my first impressions of the camera's ergonomics and how I see it fitting in Nikon's DSLR lineup...

Friday, November 15, 2013

NEW! Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R wide-angle lens...

Update [11/16/2013]: for consistency, the shot of my father that I had done purely in Lightroom for the original version of this post, I reprocessed in PhotoNinja and added a 100% crop view as well. I also added exposure data below the last few shots. Lastly, I provided a slightly more detailed description of why I use PhotoNinja and mentioned one of its current limitations.

We have finally received our shipment of the new Fujiflm XF 23mm f/1.4 R lenses and I have now had the opportunity to shoot with a production lens a few times. We have fulfilled our preorders and now have a handful in stock for sale. Yes, I did buy one myself. What do I think of the lens so far? In a word: stunning!

The weather, and my lack of time, have conspired to prevent me from shooting with it much yet but what I have seen so far impresses me. With luck, I will have a chance to use it some more over the next few days. Update: my First Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4R Tests gallery is now up and there are a few high-resolution images below as well...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Profoto B1: The Game Changer! Pre-order yours NOW!

Profoto has just announced an amazing new product, the B1. How is it different from all the other strobes and speedlights out there? They took what's good in those other flashes and put it all into one easy to use and powerful unit. Not a speedlight and not a monoblock, Profoto's "Off camera flash" allows you to be creative in ways you've only dreamed of. With Profoto's AirTTL remote, you'll have full TTL flash control right from your camera. With battery power and no cables or cords, you can take the B1 with you to the remotest of locations and put it wherever you want, with the power and speed that sets the B1 apart from the competition. What's more, is that you will have access to the huge selection of light shaping tools that Profoto lights are known for, and you'll have an off-camera flash that you will actually want to use and one that can deliver truly professional results.
  • Patent pending AirTTL technology.
  • Exchangeable, integrated battery provides up to 220 full-power flashes per charge.
  • Cordless design and wireless Air technology allows you to shoot without cords and restraints.
  • Quick burst capability eliminates the risk of missing that perfect shot waiting for the flash.
  • 500w/s adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments over a 9 f-stop power range give you both power and precise control.
  • Compatible with Profoto Light Shaping Tools.

We are accepting pre-orders now for delivery mid-December. Call or email Ken in prosales...

Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash            $ 2094.95
Air Remote TTL-C for Canon              $ 414.95
Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon             Available in Spring 2014