eguipment

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Christmas Gift Ideas and Stocking Stuffers for Photographers

Monday, November 26th, 2012
My Take: I found this article by Mark Laurie from 2011. Most of it still applies for 2012 so I decided to share it with you. I deleted a few suggestions and added some links to help you shop for the items.

A Master Photographer shares his popular annual list of gift ideas to help give you some ideas for the photographer on your holiday shopping list. These aren’t just the normal things, though, but cool stuff that they will ask, “Wow, where did you find this?” Finding a gift for a photographer can be tricky – where does the non-photographer look? Well, here you go, from the fun to the serious, along with the obscure. This will make it easy for you.

1. Canon/Nikon Mugs store. Not really a camera accessory but I think these are just fun. Just be careful you don’t grab the real lens and pour coffee into it.

2. Wacom tablet. They come in different sizes with the Bamboo line for the starters, and the Intous line for the real creative types. Once they start using this to work on their images, the mouse will feel like a puck! Starts at $125. Most camera stores carry this.

3. Exotic lens. Bigger budget? Buy an exotic lens, super wide angle Fisheye, long telephoto or a macro lens. If you aren’t knowledgable about what you are buying, always buy the same brand lens as the camera.

4. The Eye-Fi. It’s not just a memory card, but a wireless transmitter so you can upload your images to the computer or your favorite photo sharing site. You can also get cards to work with smart phones and the iPad. $99 Click to continue »

Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6715164

Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.

Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.

Click to continue »

Review: Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Summary: The Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag is roomier than expected. Not only does it hold my Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Tripod with a Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head on it but I can also store two more heads in the bag. This bag is really heavy duty!Manfrotto MBAG80PN Padded Tripod Bag

  • Recessed zippers
  • Comfortable carrying handle
  • Easy access even with the bigger video tripods
  • Thermoformed padding

Review: As I stated in the summary, the bag is very roomy. At first, I wasn’t so sure that my tripod and head were going to fit because I have the optional Manfrotto 204SPK3 Retractable Rubber Spiked Feet attached. Click to continue »

Selecting the Best Tripod

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

There are many different tripods on the market and selecting the best tripod to fit your needs can be daunting. The following is a list of criteria to consider:

  • Price
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Construction
  • Load capacity
  • Ease of use
  • Special features

The main purpose of a tripod is to provide stability and prevent camera movement. Keep that in mind as we look at each criteria. Click to continue »

Review: Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera HeadSummary: I can’t recommend this head unless you have lightweight equipment. I really like the compact style but it droops too much with a long lens.

Review: I have used the Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head with a variety of lenses and the head doesn’t tighten enough to prevent droop with a long lens. I really wanted to like this head because it is light and compact. I intended to use it for landscape and architectural work. On a positive note, it does use the same quick release plate as my other Manfrotto heads and works well with a wide angle lens. This head can also be twisted into some unusual positions.

Manufacturer’s Description: An innovative 3D Head unlike any other! Cast from lightweight magnesium, the head can be positioned in virtually any position to get the exact framing of the image. The lock-system using spring-loaded conical joints allows greater flexibility than any other 3D head whether mounted on a tripod centre column or lateral arm. The rubber grip knobs provide finger tip control and won’t poke you in the eye like conventional handles do. The 460Mg is the ideal head in combination with the Carbon Number One line for 35mm SLRs and medium format cameras. This replaces the Bogen Manfrotto 3437.

I am still searching for the best head to use for landscape and architectural work. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

Searching the web for the best product deals...

Product prices and availability are are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Best Canon Lenses for Portraits

Sunday, November 27th, 2011
My Take: This is a good article about Canon lenses that are on sale during the holiday season. For some of them, the price is so low that you will have to put the lens in your cart to see the price because Amazon says the price on the item is lower than the manufacturer’s “minimum advertised price.” Don’t worry, Amazon makes it easy to take the item out of your cart. The one that looks like a bargain to me is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras. Being able to get an L series lens for under $600 is definately amazing. The only down side for this lens is that it doesn’t have IS, image stabalization. Since I usually use a tripod, the lack of IS isn’t a deal breaker for me.

The Holiday Season is right around the corner, and that means fantastic sales! It also means fighting for parking space and waiting in lines only to find out that the things you wanted to get for your friends and loved ones aren’t in stock.

This is where on-line shopping comes into play.

Not only do you not have to deal with the undue stress that comes with shopping at the malls, but you can be guaranteed that what you want to buy I in stock. On-line companies have even gone one step further by offering steep discounts on high-demand items.

So what do you get for your favorite photographer? Well, there are a bunch of lenses that Canon has out on the market this year, and they make the perfect gift for the person who loves taking pictures, but may not have the special attachments to take those detailed, wide angle, long distance, or even underwater shots. Canon Lenses are by far the most adaptable and widely used by professional photographers and home users alike.

Let’s take a look at a few of the great lenses Canon is offering during the Holiday Season.

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras

Most users and reviewers sum this lens up as being “outstanding.” The Canon Ef 85mm has an extremely sharp focus, which makes it ideal for portrait shots. The Ef 85mm also gives you control in low lighting, as well as giving you fantastic depth-of-field ranges. It’s a little on the heavy side, but the Canon Ef 85mm is easily portable, durable, and well worth the money.

Pros: Extremely durable; Fast accurate auto-focus; incredible depth of field

Cons: Bulky; A little on the high-end

Canon EF 180mm f3.5L Macro USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

This is by far one of the best telephoto lenses for beginners and professionals alike. The Canon EF 180mm AF Telephoto Lens is rugged and durable (perfect for photojournalists, nature photographers, and outdoor events), but comes packed with features. The EF 180mm has a long macro lens, which is fantastic for getting your subject matter in full detail at long ranges. The Canon EF 180mm will work at long ranges for both long zoom and close-up shots, and will also allow you to de-focus the background to let your subject matter stand out.

Pros: Ultra-sharp imagery; Superior design

Cons: Heavy; Comes with 72c adapter for macro flashes

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

The EF 70-200mm USM Lens comes from Canon’s Luxury Lens Series.Known for being extremely durable, the Canon EF 70-200mm USM is also very lightweight and portable, with metal mountings.

This Canon L-Series Lens is perfect for taking incredible shots of moving objects – birds, cars, players at a sporting event, kids running through the house. The Canon EF70-200mm’s built-in Ultra Sonic motor allows you to take clear and sharp pictures of moving object, while allowing you to toggle between auto and manual focus, so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the action while fiddling with settings.

Pros: Fast auto-focus; 4-Stop IS; Incredibly sharp images; Superior design and quality; Lightweight

Cons: A little on the pricey side – until you see the quality of your pictures

Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift Lens for Canon SLR Cameras 

With the Canon TS-E 90mm Lens, you have complete control over the tilt, shift, and rotate adjustments. This means that you can place your subject matter at the angle your want, form the position you are in to take a picture.

The Tilt option of the Canon TS-E 90mm allows you to adjust which objects are in and out of focus while taking a portrait shot. The Shift option gives you control over perspective distortion So if you want things to be enhanced or corrected, you can take care of that by using this lens, rather than dealing with photography software after you’ve already taken your picture. The Rotate function gives you complete control over the sharpness of the focus then taking specific portraits.

Pros: Ultra-sharp images; Superior design and lens quality; Consistent picture quality

Cons: According to reviews and users, there aren’t any.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

This is without a doubt the best Canon portrait lens on the market today, combining blindingly fast focus speed and pinpoint accuracy. The Canon EF 135mm has response functionality, such that you can get focused on your subject matter in microseconds.

Portraits come out ultra-sharp, and you can use the Canon EF 135mm to blur anything within a 3-foot radius of your subject matter. This means your portrait shots will come out crystal clear, and no one will be distracted by anything other than your subject matter.

The EF 135mm from Canon is light and portable, making it easy for taking wherever you go. The Canon EF 135mm is a fantastic multi-purpose lens, but in the field of portrait shots, the EF 135mm gets nothing but rave reviews from professional and consumer photographers alike.

Pros: Super-fast focus; Ultra-sharp images; Full field-of-view focus control

Cons: None!

This is just a handful of the Canon lenses on the market for the Holiday Season. There are ten in total, but this is a good overview of a few of the best. The great thing is, that even with the Black Friday rush, many dealers are offering these lenses (and the rest in the Canon line) at up to 40% Off the in-store and catalog prices.

Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6705051

Video: Finding the No Parallax Point of a Lens

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Finding the no parallax point of your lens mounted on a panoramic head can be a task. This video does a great job of explaining how to do it.


Follow this link to read my review of the Panoraurus panoramic head.

This link leads to my post, “How to Shoot 360×180 Degree Panoramas with a Panosaurus Panoramic Tripod Head.”

Photography Gift Ideas under $50

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Some of the products listed below are under $50 because they are on sale.

Tiffen 58MM Circular Polarizer Glass Filter

A polarizing filter is mandatory. It darkens skies, makes blue skies bluer, removes glare, and should be in every photographer’s kit. Be sure to get the correct size filter for your lens.

CowboyStudio NPT-04, 4 Channel Wireless Trigger Receiver

This set is designed for photographic studio and on-location work to trigger various flash lights. The transmitter is attached on the hot shoe of the camera while the receiver is plugged into the studio flash. Each receiver works with one studio flash. You can also get an extra receiver and still be under $50. 

Timer Remote Control RS-60E3

If you are interested in taking long exposures or time-lapse photos, you will need an external remote. Make sure that you get the model that will work with your camera. This remote will work with the following cameras:

  • Pentax K100D,K110D, K10D, *ist Ds2, *ist D, *ist Ds, *ist, *istDL, *ist DL2
  • Samsung GX-1L, GX-1S, GX-10
  • Canon EOS 30, 33, 50E, 300, 300V, 3000, 50, 300D (Digital Rebel), 350D (Digital Rebel XT), 400D (Digital Rebel XTi), 450D (Digital Rebel XSi), 500D, 1000D

If you have a Nikon, try the following link: LCD Digital Timer Remote Control (MC-DC2) for Nikon D Series Digital SLR Cameras (Check Compatibility)

Cowboystudio Backlight Strobe Flash Studio Photography Kit

This inexpensive studio flash requires AC power. It is a slave flash that will fire when your primary flash fires.

Serif PanoramaPlus X4

  • Powerful, easy-to-use digital-photo-stitching software
  • Create stunning panoramas in just 3 easy steps
  • Easily import photos and movie clips to create panoramas
  • Edit and enhance panoramas with simple-to-use correction tools
  • Save and share panoramas to share with family and friends

Eye-Fi Connect X2 4 GB Class 6 SDHC Wireless Card

The Connect X2 is Eye-Fi’s entry level SDHC card. Automatically upload photos and videos to your computer and to your favorite site – they’ll just land there already organized. Choose from 25 websites, including Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and more.

  • 4GB Memory to store up to 2000 photos or 90min or video
  • Upload JPEG photos & videos fast through your home Wi-Fi network thanks to built in 802.11n speed
  • Get email, Facebook, or Twitter alerts when your photos are uploading online
  • Photos and videos can automatically land in date-based folders of your choice on your computer or even directly into iPhoto for Macs

If you want more capacity and features, take a look at my review of the Eye-Fi Pro X2 SDHC card.

Photography Tip: Levels

Friday, November 11th, 2011

You may have noticed the bubble levels on your tripod and tripod head. Use them! Each serves a different important function. The following is a list of level and tripod related tips:

  • The level on your tripod itself is used to ensure that your tripod doesn’t fall over. If you are using your tripod on uneven ground and the legs are different lengths, the level can be used to center the center column of the tripod over the legs which centers the weight of your camera over the legs so that the tripod will be less likely to tip over. If the tripod is level, the center column will be perpendicular to the ground.
  • Another important tip for your tripod is to always have one leg toward the lowest ground. Let’s say that you have positioned your tripod on a hill with the camera pointed up the hill. One tripod leg should be toward you rather than two legs. The single leg toward you will be more stable and the tripod less likely to tip over. The tendancy is to always have two legs toward yourself so that it is easier to approach the camera. This is the time to not do that.
  • Add weight to your tripod. I know, you bought a carbon fiber tripod so that it would be light and easy to carry but, while shooting, you may need some extra weight to keep it from moving. Tripods often have a hook on or near the center column of the tripod. I have a backpack camera case that I hang under my tripod.
  • The bubble level on your tripod head is used to ensure that your camera itself is level.
  • If you shoot a lot of landscapes, you will want to invest in one more kind of level. It fits in the hotshoe of your camera and can be more accurate than the round levels attached to your tripod head. I use a hot shoe level to make sure that the horizon is level. There are times when I am taking long exposures at night and I can’t even see the horizon. I use the level to make sure the camera is level and I know the horizon will also be level in the photograph. I only need to illuminate the level to see it, not the subject. Works great and I highly recommend that you get one.
  • For panoramas, you can use the hotshoe level to ensure that your lens is parallel to the gound. That is what I do when I am using my Rokinon Fisheye Lens to take a 360×180 degree panorama. I mount the camera on a Panosaurus panoramic head and make sure the tripod is level, the head is level, and finally that the camera is level and the lens is parallel to the ground. If everything isn’t level, software such as Hugin will have difficulties stitching the shots together. Click here to read my article about using a Panosaurus panoramic head to shoot a 360×180 degree panorama.