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Back by Popular Demand: Sale on Phil Steele Photography Courses

Seeing how you loved his last sale, my friend Phil Steele put these on sale again. Phil's tutorials are the best I've seen; check out his previews and see for yourself. He has a 60-day no-risk money-back guarantee, so you've got nothing to lose and lots to gain. You can watch them from anywhere on just about anything, far better than a book, file or eBook.

SAVE 33%: Secrets of Successful Event Photography.

SAVE 15%: Lightroom Made Easy.

SAVE 15%: Photoshop Basics for Photographers.

SAVE 15%: Pro Portraits with Off-Camera Flash.

 

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

I use Adorama, Amazon, eBay, B&H, NCPS and ScanCafe. I can't vouch for ads below.

Phil Steele Event shooting

Phil Steele Training

05 March 2015, Thursday

FREE: Canon/Arthur Morris Bird Photograpy Lesson.

 

Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM.

NEW: Canon 24mm f/2.8 IS Review.

 

TubeCube 7

TubeDepot TubeCube | 7.

NEW: TubeCube | 7 Review.

An absolurly adoarble little tube amp for $179.95 — and it works great!

 

Canon Deals

Adorama is now offering an additional $250 Mail-In Rebate, on top of the already existing $300 Instant Rebate for a total rebate value of $550! All Cameras are bundled with a Pro Printer Deal and other accessories for free to get you this secret low price.

The Following 3 Canon 5D Mark III Bundles include:
- Canon Pixma Pro-100 Inkjet Printer
- Canon SG-201 Photo Paper Plus
- New Leaf PLUS 1 Year Warranty (Drops & Spills)

Mail-In Rebate Form.


Canon EOS-5D Mark III SLR Body BUNDLED with Pro Printer Deal plus Valuable Accessories FREE: $2,249 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $2,799.00)

Canon EOS-5D Mark III SLR Camera Kit W/ EF 24-105L BUNDLED with Pro Printer Deal plus Valuable Accessories FREE:
$2,849 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $3,399.00)

Canon EOS-5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera Body Kit with EF 24-70mm f/4L IS Lens - Special Promotional Bundle: $2,999 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $3,549.00)

The Following 3 Canon 6D Bundles include:
- Canon Pixma Pro-100 Inkjet Printer
- Canon SG-201 Photo Paper Plus

Mail-In Rebate Form
.


Canon Canon EOS-6D Digital SLR Camera Body, 20.2 Megapixel, Full Frame CMOS Sensor - Special Promotional Bundle: $1,299 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $1,849.00)

Canon EOS-6D Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens - Special Promotional Bundle: $1,699 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $2,249.00)

Canon EOS-6D Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens - Special Promotional Bundle: $1,899 after $300 Instant Rebate and $250 Mail-in Rebate (Reg $2,449.00)

 

Audio Deals

Audio-Technica Pro Monitor Headphones ($169.95 Value) with PreSonus Ceres Studio Monitor Speakers. You get the headphones free with the speakers.

PreSonus Ceres C4.5BT Two-Way 4.5" Powered Studio Monitor Speaker with Bluetooth, Bundle With Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Pro Monitor Headphones, Black: $299.00 (Reg Price Together $468.95) with Free Expedited Shipping

PreSonus Ceres C4.5BT Two-Way 4.5" Powered Studio Monitor Speaker with Bluetooth, Bundle With Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Pro Monitor Headphones, White: $299.00 (Reg Price Together $468.95) with Free Expedited Shipping

PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT Two-Way 3.5" Powered Studio Monitor Speaker with Bluetooth Pair , Bundle With Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Prof Monitor Headphones, Black: $229.00 (Reg Price Together $398.00) with Free Expedited Shipping

PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT Two-Way 3.5" Powered Studio Monitor Speaker with Bluetooth Pair , Bundle With Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Prof Monitor Headphones, White: $229.00 (Reg Price Together $398.00) with Free Expedited Shipping

 

Contax Repair

ToCAD America is giving up on Contax repair, and handing it off to:

Nippon Photo Clinic
37 West 39th Street, Suite # 401
New York, NY 10018
(212) 736-4663

as of April 1st, 2015.

 

New Lenses from Sony

Sony Zeiss 35mm F/1.4 ZA E Mount Lens: $1,598.00

Sony 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS E Mount Lens: $1,098.00

Sony FE 24-240 F/3.5-6.3 OSS E Mount Lens: $998.00

Sony 28mm F/2 E Mount Lens: $448.00

Sony Fish Eye Conversion Lens for FE 28mm F/2: $298.00

Sony Ultra Wide Conversion Lens for FE 28mm F/2: $248.00

Sony Fisheye Converter for E 16mm F/2.8 and E 20mm F/2.8:
$178.00

Sony Ultra-Wide Fisheye Converter for E 16mm F2.8 and E 20mm F2.8: $158.00

One link to them all.

 

02 March 2015, Monday

Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200 and 18-140mm VR.

NEW: Nikon D7200.

Adds NFC and Wi-Fi to the D7100.

 

Also new from Nikon:

Nikon ME-W1 Wireless Stereo Microphone: $246.95. You put it up close, and it sends audio to your camera for recording.


Nikon COOLPIX P900
: $599.95.

 

Sigma Rebates


Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG APO OS (Optical Stabilizer) HSM AutoFocus Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Cameras - USA Warranty: $799.00 after $270 Instant Rebate (Reg $1069.00)

Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG APO OS (Optical Stabilizer) HSM AutoFocus Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon AF Cameras - USA Warranty: $799.00 after $270 Instant Rebate (Reg $1069.00)

All Sigma 150-500mm lenses

Sigma 150-500 review.


Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras - U.S.A. Warranty: $379.00 after $100 Instant Rebate (Reg $479.00)

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras - USA Warranty: $379.00 after $100 Instant Rebate (Reg $479.00)

All Sigma 10-20mm lenses

 

Pentax 645 deal from WPPI

Adorama has the Pentax 645Z Camera bundled with up to $1500 of free products.
Pentax 645Z Medium Format Digital SLR Camera Body, 51 Megapixel, 3 FPS, Full HD Movies, 3.2" LCD monitor: $8496.95 With Free Expedited Shipping and Free WPPI giveaway including these items listed below. ($1500 Value)

Bundle Includes:
Pentax 645D FA 55mm F2.8 AL [IF] SDM AW Lens ($1196.95 Value)


New Leaf PLUS - 3 Year Camera Lens Service Plan with Accidental Damage Coverage (for Drops & Spills) for Product's Retailing up to $1500.00 ($49.95 Value)


ProOptic 67mm Digital Essentials Filter Kit, with Ultra Violet (UV), Circular Polarizer and Neutral Density 2 (ND2) Filters, with Pouch ($35.95 Value)



New Leaf PLUS - 3 Year Digital Camera Service Plan with Accidental Damage Coverage (for Drops & Spills) for Product's Retailing up to $10,000.00 ($199.95 Value)

 

01 March 2015, Sunday

Canon Steals!

Canon has dumped a lot of prices for March:

Canon 5D Mark III: now $2,499.00 at Adorama and at B&H.

Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105 L: $3,099 at B&H.

Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70/4 L IS: $3,249 at B&H.

Canon 6D: now $1,399.00 at Adorama and at B&H.

Canon 6D with 24-105 STM: now $1,799.00 at B&H.

Canon 6D with 24-105 L: now $1,999 at B&H.

Canon 7D Mark II: now $1,699.00 at Adorama.

Canon 70D: now $999.00 at Adorama.

Canon 7D: $849 at B&H.

Canon 7D with 28-135 IS: $949 at B&H.

Canon Rebel SL1: now $399 at Adorama.

Canon Rebel T5 with 18-55mm IS II: now $399, brand new at Adorama.

 

All Canon DSLR savings.

Canon Lens Rebates

Canon Flash and Lighting

All Canon specials

 

5DS or 5D Mk III?

The innocent don't realize that the 5DS doesn't exist yet. It's not out until maybe June, which tells us that Canon is still trying to work out the bugs — otherwise we'd have it today.

Canon early-announced the 5DS to try to stem the tide of less-skilled shooters drifting off to the Nikon D810 based solely on pixel count. (Skilled shooters know that once you get above 10 MP, pixel count is purely a marketing ploy unrelated to print quality.)

The 5DS is for those who just have to have the newest. It's not the best, since it's actually slower than the 5D Mk III, but for the sort of guy who needs a Porsche or LEICA to boost an iffy self esteem or compensate for other shortcomings, the 5DS hits the spot. It's a "numbers" camera, all about the big 50 MP number, like when a wimp buys a 500 HP Mustang.

See also Is it Worth It.

 

27 February 2015, Friday

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

It's a little hard to believe that Leonard Nimoy passed away today since his characters and art are so timeless.

If you didn't already know, he was a very serious fine-art photographer, have studied at UCLA and created work extensively since the Star Trek series.

 

NEW: Take Your Vacation.

Don't let your boss steal your vacation from you; take it and take pictures!

I don't know about where you work, but it's 23º F (-5º C) right now at lunchtime here in New York, so anyone who'd rather go to work than use their accrued vacation must be batty.

It was 80ºF (+27º C) every day in Hawaii last week.

You will never remember an extra week at work by next year, while you will remember your vacation forever. My kids LOVED it last week and still remember our trips to Hawaii back when they were still babies. My mom, way into her 70s now, still remembers vacations she took to my granddad's farm upstate back when she was as little as my kids are today.

All working extra hours does when you're an employee is make your boss richer, not you. You never get rich working for someone else; you have to be in business for yourself. I'm the last one to suggest that buying a professional camera system will allow you to become a successful professional photographer, but it could be a start.

 

Live Leather from New York!

For you leather lovers, you might want to check out this Cecilia Gallery thin leather strap.

It's made in New York, and is a high-quality soft leather strap with a tough inside, so it won't break when someone tries to grab your fancy camera off your neck in seedier parts of the city.

It's thin, so use it on a small camera.

It uses regular split rings to mount to regular lugs the old fashioned way. Personally, I prefer LEICA's own strap that sells for much less and uses much smarter rings that are much faster to attach, while some people prefer nice leather.

I have one of these Cecilia straps, and it's very well made of very nice leather.

 

More Deals


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 now shipping
.


Rebates from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm (instant and mail-in).


$200 discount on Noktor 50mm F/0.95:

Noktor 50mm f/0.95 for Micro Four Thirds: $999.00 after $200 Price Drop (Reg $1199.00) with Free Expedited Shipping

Noktor 50mm f/0.95 for Sony NEX: $999.00 after $200 Price Drop (Reg $1199.00) with Free Expedited Shipping

Noktor 50mm f/0.95 for Fuji X Mount: $999.00 after $200 Price Drop (Reg $1199.00) with Free Expedited Shipping.

 

26 February 2015, Thursday

UPDATED: Canon 5D Mark IV forecast.

 

Watch the Making of an Iconic Photograph

Here is a short documentary about the making of the Earthrise photo as shot by our astronauts on Christmas Eve, 1968.

What they guy who pulled together this data doesn't understand is that Hasselblads shoot with "magazines." Magazines are interchangeable metal film holders. These magazines are light-tight and let you swap different kinds of film at any time on to the back of any camera.

In this case, the guys usually shoot B&W, and only use color when it's needed. In this case, it's hilarious to hear the actual cockpit voice recordings of three guys scrambling to find the color magazine in time to get the shot before it goes away.

We've all seen this icon, and it's inspired the past couple of generations of nature photographers.

 

What's the deal with all the deals?

OK, you caught me: I was out shooting in Hawaii all last week and didn't do any work on the website, sorry, and this week I'm still catching up on my taxes and everything else.

I do have a stack of new gear here to review, like my Nikon D5500 that arrived while I was gone.

I feel funny posting all the deals, but I don't get any hate mail and you folks tend to like a deal as much as I do, so I'll keep posting them if that's OK.

With that said, here's another:

 

Canon SL1 Deal

Canon SL1 and 18-55mm IS STM: $399 (refurbished), and yes, I love buying refurbished when I can. The Canon refurbs I've bought have been just like new and in a new box, just not as fancy a box.

The SL1 is the world's lightest DSLR, and takes fantastic pictures.

 

25 February 2015, Wednesday

Remote Viewer Deal for GoPro — Ends Today

REMOVU R1 Wearable Wi-Fi Live Viewer and Remote for GoPro Cameras: $74.00 (reg 119.00) with Free Expedited Shipping
Deal Expires midnight, tonight.

 

DJI Copter Sale — Ends Today

DJI Phantom 2 Vision + v3.0 Quadcopter with Stabilized 14MP 1080p Camera: $1,099.00 (Reg. $1,299.00) with Free Shipping

DJI Ronin 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer: $2,499.00 after $500 Instant Rebate (Reg $2999.00) with Free Shipping

DJI Phantom 2 Vision + v3.0 Quadcopter with Stabilized 14MP 1080p Camera and Spare Battery: $1,169.00 after $200 Instant Rebate (Reg $1369.00) with Free Shipping

DJI S1000 Spreading Wings Professional Octocopter, Supports A2 and WooKong-M FCs Flight Controllers (Not Included): $2,362.99 (Reg $3,939.00) with Free Shipping

DJI Spreading Wings S900 Hexacopter with A2 Flight Controller System and Zenmuse Z15-GH4(HD) Aerial Gimbal: $3,398.99 after $400.00 Instant Rebate (Reg $3,798.99) with Free Shipping

DJI S1000 Premium Spreading Wings Octocopter with A2 Flight Controller and Zenmuse Z15-GH4 Gimbal for Panasonic GH4/GH3: $5,950.00 after $400 Instant Rebate (Reg $6,350.00) with Free Shipping

 

Canon 7D Deals

Canon 7D: $849

Canon 7D with 28-135 IS: $949

As you can see at my Canon 7D review, while the Mark II is awesome, the original 7D on sale today is still an absolutely fantastic camera — and even better today at half its original price. These are brand-new!

 

Pro Flash Deal

Flashpoint DG400 200 Watt Second AC/DC Monolight, Blue with DG Battery Pack: $229.95 after $20 Instant Rebate (Reg $249.95) with Free Expedited Shipping. Rebate Expires 2/29


Headphones Deal

Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro Semi-Open Circumaural Studio Headphones: $179 after $30 mail-in-rebate (Regular $299.99)

 

24 February 2015, Tuesday

Pro Location Lighting from Adorama

These are high-power professional flash units from Adorama. Adorama's throwing in free commanders and umbrellas, too. A watt-second (Ws) is a measure of flash power. Most flash have about 50 Ws, and my plug-in-the-wall studio flash have 500 Ws. These powerful portables are much more powerful than AA-powered portables:

Flashpoint StreakLight 360 Ws Flash with Blast Power Pack: $399.95 (Reg $519.95) with Free Expedited Shipping.

Flashpoint StreakLight 180 Ws Flash with Blast Power Pack: $349.95 (Reg $449.95) with Free Expedited Shipping.

These deals expire on the 28th.

 

New from Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm / F2.8 ASPH. / Mega O.I.S. Lens:
$399.99 with Free Expedited Shipping

Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm / F1.7 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Lens:
$399.99 with Free Expedited Shipping

$100 price drop on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8: $69.99 (Reg 169.00) with Free Shipping.

 

Now Shipping

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR (Weather Resistant): $1,199.95 with Free Expedited Shipping

 

New Play Lenses

Samyang 135mm f/2: $549. I wouldn't buy this junk-brand manual focus lens. I'd get the fully professional Nikon 135mm f/2 AI-s instead for about $400 used, or a used Canon 135/2L, which adds autofocus, for about $800 used.

Rokinon 50/1.4: $399. Hold on here: a high-tech aspherical 50/1.4 for $400, and it's manual focus? I'm not buying; get the Nikon 50/1.4G for the same price, and it adds autofocus and known superior image quality. If you ask me if I think that the Korean junk-brand has better or worse image quality because it's aspherical, I doubt it. My experience with these Korean lenses is that sometimes they have decent optics, but every one that I've tried has always had at least one defect from sloppy manufacturing.

Lensbaby circular fisheye: $229.95


20 February 2015, Friday

Huge Nikon D810 Instant Rebate!

NEW: Nikon D810 with 24-120 VR: $3,697!

This was $4,596.95, now just $3,696.95 after instant rebate — with
free expedited US shipping. Expires next Saturday the 28th.

 

19 February 2015, Thursday

Free nature and outdoor photography presentation

TONIGHT: My friend, bird photographer Steve Cirone, is giving a presentation at the San Diego Photo Club on Thursday night — free. Be there!

 

17 February 2015, Tuesday

My Fuji X100T makes it easy

Here's a hand-held snap that doesn't look too horrible for a grab shot:

Aulani Resort Pool and Oceans at night

Resort at Night. Fujifilm X100T, handheld against pole, exposure manually set by feel to to 1 second at f/2, +1 exposure compensation, Auto ISO selected ISO 800, Perfectly Clear V2. Bigger.

 

15 February 2015, Sunday

New Savings

These deals all just were announced last night:

NEW: Nikon Lens Instant Rebates. Also at B&H.

NEW: Nikon Bundle Rebates.

NEW: Nikon D4S Kit: $5,997. First time ever on sale.

NEW: Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR II: $2,097. Nikon's state-of-the-art pro tele; most people have paid $2,400.

NEW: Nikon 24-70/2.8 AF-S: $1,687. Nikon's state-of-the-art pro midrange zoom; I paid more seven years ago when I bought mine.

NEW: Nikon 50mm f1.4: $396. I paid $500 for mine and I love it.

NEW: Nikon 35/1/8 DX: $177. These used to sell for $299. I've had mine since they first came out and it's my favorite DX lens.

 

NEW: Fuji Lens Sale!

 

14 February 2015, Valentine's Day

Canon 24mm f/1.4 II

Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II.

NEW: Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II Review.

 

13 February 2015, Friday the 13th

DSLR bargain of the century

Nikon D3100, 18-55 and 55-200mm set for $339 (refurbished).

No, these are not the VR versions of lenses, and yes, I'd definitely buy refurbished. Everything is usually just like new, just in a less fancy box, for a fraction of the price.

For $339 for a top-notch camera (I think it makes much better images than anything from Sony, for instance) and two lenses, it's a steal.

 

Panasonic deals

Up to $200.00 instant rebates on Panasonic lenses.

Instant rebates expire 21 February 2015.

 


12 February 2015, Thursday

 

Now shipping from Fujinon

Fujifilm XF 16-55mm F2.8 Weather Resistant
: $1,195.95 with Free Expedited Shipping.

 

Nikon price drop = LEiCA 28mm finder cheap!

Nikon dropped the price of the Nikon DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder for Coolpix A to $149.00 with Free Expedited Shipping (Reg $399.00). Coolpix A review.

Check this out: this is an all-metal 28mm passive optical finder, which works equally well on LEICA or any other 35mm camera that needs an external 28mm finder. You LEICA M3 and 0.85x finder shooters knows what this means: a brand-new first quality 28mm finder for $149!

 

Brand New from Sigma

24mm f/1.4

SIGMA 24mm f/1.4 for Canon: $849.00 with 4% Rewards and Free Expedited Shipping. (also at B&H.)

SIGMA 24mm f/1.4 for Nikon: $849.00 with 4% Reward and Free Expedited Shipping. (also at B&H.)

SIGMA 24 1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Sigma: $849.00 with 4% Reward and Free Expedited Shipping. (also at B&H.)



DP0 P&S

SIGMA DP0 QUATTRO CAMERA with 14mm f/4. also at B&H.


150-600mm lens

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 for Canon: $1,089.00 with 4% reward and Free Expedited Shipping.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 for Nikon: $1,089.00 with 4% reward and Free Expedited Shipping.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 for Sigma: $1,089.00 with 4% reward and Free Expedited Shipping.

 

11 February 2015, Wednesday

Nikon 18mm f/4

Nikon 18mm f/4 AI.

NEW: Nikon 18mm f/4 Review.

Nikon's first 18mm lens, still cranking out the hits after being introduced over 40 years ago.

 

Don't believe everything you see on the Internet

A reader wrote, all excited by some Canon 5DS versus 5D Mk III comparison he saw someplace that showed the 5DS as obviously superior to the trusty Mk III; still the world's best available DSLR.

Hold on here: ask yourself: where did that website get their 5DS if it's not shipping yet? Did they just dream it, like websites and magazines that just magically get things from Heaven?

Since the one I ordered from Adorama isn't coming until June along with everyone else's, where do people find 5DS to test?

There's only one place someone gets a hold of an unavailable new camera: the manufacturer.

Regardless of brand, when you see live images from unavailable cameras, that means the manufacturer did someone a favor and spotted one to them.

When manufacturers do that, they expect something in return, and it's not unbiased opinions.

When I see anyone reporting hands-on on anything we can't get ourselves, that means they're getting special treatment, which only comes in return for giving that manufacturer special consideration.

"Consideration" is broad thing, too. Commercial media always needs to keep pushing us slowly but surely into buying new gear, and never suggesting that what we have is more than good enough if we'd just spend a little more time learning how to use it.

Sure, I have my own 5DS on order (or on order to order), but that's because I do this all day, every day for a living. To me, the expense is negligible; I sold my last image for $4,000 - less than the price of a 5DS, but for normal people, even the old 5D Mk II is a great camera, and the images from the original 5D are also spectacular, even if the first 5D's ergonomics are clunky.

It all comes down to Is It Worth It - To You? It's never about the gear, unless you're a commercial magazine or website funded by advertising.

 

10 February 2015, Tuesday

Nikon D810A

Nikon D810A and 14-24mm f/2.8.

NEW: Nikon D810A.

The D810A is the astrophotography version of the D810.

It passes the 656 nm hydrogen alpha line and has options for exposures to 15 minutes.

It should ship in late May 2015 to those who order it today.

 

NEW: Nikon D750 kit with 35, 50 and 85mm lenses.

 

Agfa Super Isolette

Agfa Super Isolette (1953-1958).

NEW: Agfa Super Isolette Review.

The world's finest folding 2¼" camera; medium-format in your pocket.

I shot this on Route 66 this past weekend; photos coming when they return from NCPS.

 

09 February 2015, Monday

Nikon is going to kill me

Tom's Welding 06 Feb 2015

Tom's, 06 February 2015. Nikon D810, Nikon 18mm f/4, f/8 at 1/250 at ISO 100. Bigger or Full 36 MP resolution.

 

Colorful old car at night

Route 66. Nikon D810, NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4 AI-s, f/11 at 30 seconds at ISO 100 on $50 Dolica GX600B200 tripod with Mini Magic Ball head, processed in Perfectly Clear. Bigger or full 36 MP resolution.

It's been a long time coming, but for laughs I ran out of the house to this weekend's Route 66 Photo Tour with my D810 — and four vintage manual-focus NIKKOR lenses instead of the usual plasticy zooms Nikon wants you to buy today. Worse, today's plastic AF 35/1.4 G has a rounded diaphragm, so I wouldn't have gotten the awesome sharp star points on the street lights. I might have gotten more flare, too.

I'd never bothered shooting real work today with my classic NIKKORs since I always have a brand-new lens to test, but since what's on my review desk is all Canon right now, I figured "Why not?" and grabbed some favorites from years gone by.

Holy cow, do my images look great: sharp, detailed, colorful and contrasty all over.

Something Canon has never been able to do is use its classic FD lenses on modern cameras. Canon flushed all it's "timeless" FD lenses and their users down the potty in 1987 when it introduced the completely incompatible EOS system we love today. Of course for shooting autofocus, the EOS system is decades ahead of Nikon's system today, which carries so much baggage from its introduction in the 1950s that Nikon today is sort of like Canon in the 1970s: a system of lenses and cameras that had been around through so many iterations that most of us have forgotten what lens works on what camera. Half of Nikon's AF lenses sold new today, like the 50mm f/1.4 AF-D, won't autofocus on Nikon's most popular DSLRs sold today, like the D3300 and D5500.

Anyway, turning this to our advantage, the main advantage of Nikon's DSLRs is that they work perfectly with all our classic manual focus NIKKORs, compete with automatic exposure, automatic diaphragm control, full color matrix metering and EXIF data. Sure we can adapt these to LEICAs and Canons, but we loose everything and even have to stop down the diaphragm manually before each exposure, and open it again by hand for the nest shot, just like it's 1915 again.

It was a blast shooting a modern body with my classic lenses, which feel better in my hand than my LEICA lenses because the NIKKORs focus so much faster and smoother — something AF lenses don't do. My F6 or LEICA have no in-finder level, as my D810 does for use with my manual lenses.

Little did I realize that I've been of so right all along: my 30 and 40 year old lenses gave me results as sharp as all the modern lenses! What we get in buying new lenses is autofocus and Program and Shutter-priority automation modes and VR, but for photography of things that hold still, manual focus lenses do everything we need — and are smaller, lighter and feel so much better, since they are all-metal mechanical masterpieces, not disposable offshored plastic poop.

Anyway, I just got back and am previewing my images, and in a week or so I'll show them to you. The 4 lenses I brought are the:

18mm f/4 NIKKOR AI: optical design introduced 1974. I brought it because I honestly haven't shot with it in a long time. I usually bring a 20mm instead.

35mm f/1.4 NIKKOR AI-s: optical design introduced 1970. I brought this for low-light.

55mm f/3.5 Micro-NIKKOR AI: optical design introduced 1969. This is among Nikon's sharpest lenses; a normal lens that focuses super-close, too. It sells for about $50 today if you know How to Win at eBay.

80-200mm f/4.5n Zoom-NIKKOR AI, the "new" f/4.5 model with the rectangular rear baffle, introduced 1977. This is Nikon's sharpest 80-200, and is also much smaller and lighter than the 80-200 f/4 AI-s. It also sells for about $50 today if you know How to Win at eBay.

These four lenses are more than enough for anything.

Lamp Pole, Barstow Station

Lamp, Barstow. Nikon D810, 80-200mm f/4.5n Zoom-NIKKOR AI at 135mm, f/8 at 1/250 handheld at ISO 100, processed in Perfectly Clear. Bigger or full 36 MP resolution.

 

Lamp Pole, Barstow Station

Crop from above at 100%. If this is 6" on your screen, the full image would print at 50 x 75" (1.2 x 1.9 meters)!

Look at the detail in the glass; and this is with a $50 lens. Nikon never made any junk back in the old days, and today, their manual-focus Nikkors still turn out professional-level work.

 

Lamp Pole, Barstow Station

Home at dawn, Barstow. Nikon D810, 55mm f/3.5 Micro-NIKKOR AI, f/5.6 at 1/125 shot out of a convertible at ISO 100, as-shot. Bigger or Camera-original file.

Not bad for a $50 lens, eh? Nikon definitely does not want you to know that these nearly free lenses work so well, so just ignore this. I shoot most of my work, except tests with my D810 set to lower resolution so I can process all the files faster, but shooting at full resolution for a change, it's astounding what this classic glass can do.

 

06 February 2015, Friday

Canon 5DS

Canon 5DS and EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II.

NEW: Canon 5DS and 5DS R.

It's for real: the world's highest-resolution DSLR.

 

Canon 11-24mm Review

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 L.

NEW: Canon 11-24mm f/4 L.

This is a FULL FRAME lens, the world's widest.

It covers 126º without distortion, keeping straight lines straight.

 

More New DSLRs from Canon

 

T6i: 24 MP APS-C

Canon Rebel T6i (Body Only)

Canon Rebel T6i with 18-135mm IS STM

Canon Rebel T6i with 18-55mm IS STM Lens

 

T6s: 24 MP APS-C, adds a top LCD to the T6i

Canon Rebel T6s (Body Only)

Canon Rebel T6s with 18-55mm IS STM

 

Canon Point-and-Shoots

Canon ELPH 350 HS (Black)

Canon ELPH 350 HS (Silver)

Canon SX410 IS (Black)

Canon SX410 IS (Red)

 

Headphone & Recorder Deal

Beyerdynamic DT 1350 and Tascam DR-22WL Recorder: $250 after two mail-in-rebates (rebate one, rebate two; Regular Price $399.99!)

The DT1350 are similar to my favorite T51i, minus the iPod remote, and with even deeper bass and more isolation at the expense of more headpad pressure.

 

05 February 2015, Thursday

Another Milestone

And I forgot this one, too:

The world's first practical autofocus SLR was announced 30 years ago.

The Minolta MAXXUM 7000 was announced in January 1985.

Its lens mount and AF system live today, sold by Sony who calls it the Alpha mount.

All the MAXXUM lenses work on Sony, and all the Sony Alpha lenses work on MAXXUM. Use the Sony LA-EA4 adapter, and the MAXXUM AF lenses work and autofocus perfectly on Sony's mirrorless cameras. Heck, the MAXXUM 80-200/2.8 AF is scary with how fast it autofocuses on a Sony A7.

 

Deals

Sennheiser Wireless Mic deals with free audio recorders.

 

D5500 now shipping

Nikon D5500 is now shipping.

 

New from Olympus

Here's what was just announced from Olympus:

Olympus E-M5 Mark II Body Only - Black: $1,099.00

Olympus E-M5 Mark II Body Only - Silver: $1,099.00

Olympus 14-150mm F/3.5-5.6 Lens - Black: $599.00

Olympus TG-860 Tough Digital Camera - White: $279.00

Olympus TG-860 Tough Digital Camera - Black: $279.00

Olympus TG-860 Tough Digital Camera - Orange: $279.00

New Accessories.

 

New Pentax AF K Lenses

Pentax 70-200mm f/2.8: $2,299.95

Pentax 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6: $2,499.95

Call me crazy, but as far as I'm concerned, the new Canon 100-400L IS II just replaced all these other lenses - and it costs less.

 

New from Samsung

Also just announced at 5:30 AM NYC time this morning: The Samsung NX500 28 MP APS-C 9 FPS mirrorless with 4K video:


Samsung NX500 Mirrorless Camera w/ 16-50mm Lens (Black): $799.00

Samsung NX500 Mirrorless Camera w/ 16-50mm Lens (White): $799.00

Samsung NX500 Mirrorless Camera w/ 16-50mm Lens (Brown): $799.00

 

04 February 2015, Wednesday

Historical Milestones

10 Years

Wow, I thought Amazon Prime was new and I had just joined.

They just sent me a message; I joined when the program started 10 years ago. How time flies.

 

15 Years

I was so busy traveling and shooting this fall I forgot to notice: this website turned 15 years old back in October.

Wow, I'm the last remaining original 1990s photo website still run by its founder. All the others have long ago sold out. Photo.net is now owned by NameMedia, and D-Preview sold to Amazon a few years ago.

I'm the sole survivor! Long live the independent voice! I'm still just one curious wise guy trying to share what little I know.

 

30 Years

The world's first practical autofocus SLR, the Minolta MAXXUM 7000, was announced in January 1985.

Its lens mount and AF system live today, sold by Sony who calls it the Alpha mount.

All the MAXXUM lenses work on Sony, and all the Sony Alpha lenses work on MAXXUM. Use the Sony LA-EA4 adapter, and the MAXXUM AF lenses work and autofocus perfectly on Sony's mirrorless cameras. Heck, the MAXXUM 80-200/2.8 AF is scary with how fast it autofocuses on a Sony A7.

 

60 Years

I also completely missed the 60th anniversary of Tri-X in 35mm and 120 this fall, which was introduced in those sizes on November 1st, 1954.

While Tri-X had been around for years before as sheet film, Kodak finally made it in smaller formats as 120 and 35mm became popular for newspapers.

Before this, people shot news on 4x5 and didn't need such a grainy film in the small formats.

Tri-X has been the world's largest selling B&W film for many years, and still is today.

Kodak blundered when T-MAX 400 came out and discontinued Tri-X. Kodak's engineers knew T-MAX has less grain and better sharpness, and of course had no idea that when artists get their process down, have no time to waste trying to duplicate the same look with some new film.

Thank goodness Kodak recovered, and today we can get all the T-MAX 400 and Tri-X we want.

 

03 February 2015, Tuesday

Canon 5D Mk III Trick

I just discovered this trick after using my Canon 5D Mk III for nearly three years:

When you've selected an off-center AF sensor, we all know a center-press the thumb controller will reselect the center point (if you've got the menus set to use the thumb controller to select AF areas). That's obvious, but what's not is that if you press the center of the thumb nubbin again, it will return instantly to the off-center sensor you had selected!

Every time you press the center, it swaps between selected and center sensor.

 

Ilford Film Survey Results

Ilford ran a survey of film users. Here's what they found.

here are the latest special sale prices on film.

I'll be shooting T-MAX 100 this weekend on Route 66. in both 35mm and 120. Who knows, maybe it's time for 4x5 as well.

How to Shoot Film.

 

New Tokina Lenses

Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 for Canon APS-C: $599.00 with Free Expedited US Shipping.

Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 Nikon DX: $599.00 with Free Expedited US Shipping.

Tokina Cinema 50-135mm T3.0 Lens for Canon EOS HDSLR Cameras: $4,499.00 with Free 2 Day US Shipping (Pre-Order; Prices Subject to Vary).

Tokina Cinema 50-135mm T3.0 Lens for PL Mount Cameras: $4,499.00 with Free 2 Day US Shipping (Pre-Order; Prices Subject to Vary).



Fujifilm rebates

Special Savings: Fujifilm Lens Instant Rebates.


Headphone deals

Sennheiser MM 70i Ear-Canal Noise-Isolation Stereo Headphones with Mic & Smart Remote (Made for iPhones)
$34 after $10 mail-in-rebate (Regular $61). Expires 02/10

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ω Dynamic Closed Headphones: $130 after $35 mail-in-rebate (Regular $229).
Expires 02/10.

Bose In-Ear Headphones and Earbuds.

 

02 February 2015, Monday

Tiny pancake lenses for Nikon

Nikon shooters are rightfully jealous of the tiny Canon EFs 24/2.8 STM and 40/2.8 STM full-frame lenses.

Here's a hint: until Nikon catches up with autofocus pancake lenses, there are plenty of manual-focus pancake NIKKORs that work great on Nikon DSLRs. Some of them are the:

Nikon 45mm AI-P

NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8 AI-P.

45mm f/2.8 NIKKOR-P, which offers full exposure automation, matrix metering and EXIF data magically on all Nikon DSLRs. Nikon alos made a Guide Number (GN) NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8 for its F cameras from 1968-1977.

 

Voigtlander 40mm f/2

Voigtländer 40mm f/2.

40mm f/2 Voigtländer, which also offers full exposure automation, matrix metering and EXIF data magically on all Nikon DSLRs. It also comes in a Canon mount. It's the sharpest lens here.

 

Nikon 50mm Series E

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 SERIES E.

Easy to find is the Nikon SERIES-E 50mm f/1.8, which comes in both silver as seen here as well as all black. It is only marked Nikon SERIES-E, it is not marked NKKOR.

 

Another favorite I plan to review is the special compact NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 AI-s which you can get for about $60 if you know How to Win at eBay. This special model focuses to 1.45 feet (0.45 meters) and is made with full all-metal NIKKOR manual-focus quality. It was only formally sold in Japan when new 30 years ago, and of course today is everywhere on eBay.

Beware; Nikon also made a crappy version of this with a plastic focus ring that looks the same but doesn't focus as close.

To find one of these gems (it's ultra sharp), once you've found a pancake 50mm NIKKOR with a thin focus ring that's not a SERIES-E, you recognize the good (all-metal, close focussing) version by its serial number starting with 20, 21 22 or 23. The plastic look-alike has serial numbers starting with 40, 41, 43, 43 or 44, but doen't focus as close or as smoothly.

If you're eagle-eyed, the good one has larger rubber focus nubs while the plastic focus ring version has finer ridges.

Be careful, the Japan versions are harder to find. Most of the 50/1.8 pancakes you'll find are the SERIES-E or plastic-focus-ring versions, or of course the regular size (longer) 50/1.8 lenses.

 

Today-only SanDisk Sale

SanDisk Specials.

 

beyerdynamic T1 deal

The beyerdynamic T1 is now only $909. It was $1,400 two years ago, and remains among the world's best headphones. Of course the price fluctuates all the time, so if you need them, get them while you can.

Personally, my beyerdynamic T51i are my favorite under-$2,500 headphones. Everyone should have a pair. They sound better than anything under $2,500 and are super durable and super portable; the best of all worlds. They are so sensitive just plug them into your iPhone and you're done; no amplifiers needed for sound that in some ways is better than the STAX SR-009 Santa Claus brought me.

 

What Was New in:

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

September and October 2014

July and August 2014

June 2014

April & May 2014

March 2014

Jan & Feb 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

2005 ~ 2009

 

Help me help you

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

Thanks for reading!

Ken

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