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August 2010's Updates

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31 August 2010, Tuesday

Nikon D50

Nikon D50. (review.)

NEW: Nikon D50 User's Guide in PDF.

 

29 August 2010, Sunday

Voigtlander 40mm f/2

Voigtländer 40mm f/2 for Nikon, Canon and Pentax.

NEW: Voigtländer 40mm f/2 Review.

 

27 August 2010, Friday

DEAL: Pentax Optio E90 Digital Camera with 10.1 Megapixels, 3x Optical Zoom Lens, 2.7" LCD, Black $59.95

No, not an exciting camera, but for $60, not bad at all!

 

26 August 2010, Thursday

Canon's Big Week Announcements

Canon 60D

Canon 60D.

NEW: Canon 60D.

NEW: Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

NEW: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

NEW: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

NEW: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM

NEW: Canon Extender EF 1.4x III

NEW: Extender EF 2x III

 

From Canon on the lenses:

The EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is the world's widest fisheye zoom lens, providing professional photographers and cinematographers with a unique optical tool for capturing 180? angle-of-view shots on all EOS Digital SLR cameras.

Canon's first L-series 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens, the new EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens, delivers outstanding sharpness, contrast and color fidelity in a compact, lightweight form factor.

Canon is introducing two new versions of its popular super telephoto lenses, the new EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM super-telephoto lenses delivering incredible image quality at all apertures for professional photojournalists, sports and wildlife photographers.

For professionals and advanced amateurs looking to push their L-series Canon telephotos to the limit, the Company is proud to upgrade its two popular extenders with the new Canon Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF 2x III for additional telephoto reach and exceptional clarity.

Photographers will immediately notice that the latest Canon L-series telephoto lenses and extenders have a more neutral white tone compared to earlier models. This new shade of white will be used with all L-series telephoto lenses and extenders beginning in the second half of 2010. The introductions of these Canon lenses have been timed with Canon's latest camera introduction, the Canon EOS 60D Digital SLR camera, designed for advanced amateurs and emerging professional photographers.

 

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens

With its unique focal length range, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world's widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180§ diagonal angle of view images for all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C, and provides 180? circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS models. Professional photographers and cinematographers will revel in the unique perspectives afforded to them through this lens, particularly when coupled with the highly popular full-frame EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera. Canon's new Fisheye zoom lens features both UD and aspherical lens elements to enhance image quality and is equipped with rubber gaskets and seals to enhance weather resistance. Canon's proprietary SWC (Sub Wavelength Structure Coating) is used to minimize flare and a new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements to make lens cleaning easier than ever.

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is expected to be available in January of 2011 for an approximate retail price of $1,400.

 

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens

Compact and lightweight, yet durable and professionally sharp, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens is the ideal telephoto zoom lens for advanced amateurs looking for that extra reach to bring a subject in tight and close. Providing the power and durability to maximize every shooting opportunity, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens features two UD ultra-low dispersion glass elements for enhanced sharpness, L-series weather and dust sealing for shooting in harsh conditions, improved mechanical design, and streamlined ergonomics to help avoid inadvertent mode switch operation. The shapes of the lens elements and their coatings have been optimized to minimize ghosting and flare to produce high-contrast and high-resolution throughout the zoom range. A sophisticated floating system optical formula optimizes image quality at all distance settings and reduces minimum focusing distance by more than a foot. An updated optical image stabilization system compensates for camera shake up to an equivalent of four full shutter-speed steps, a full step improvement compared to earlier EF 70-300mm lenses. A new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements.

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens is expected to be available toward the end of October for an approximate retail price of $1,500.

 

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the 6th generation of a venerable family of Canon 300mm f/2.8 lenses that began in 1974, and have become famous for their exceptional sharpness, contrast and color fidelity. Ideal for a wide range of applications ranging from professional photojournalism and sports photography to nature and wildlife, Canon's 300mm f/2.8 lenses have always led the industry with new technical advances in every generation. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens carries on this tradition with improved image quality, lighter weight, improved Image Stabilization and enhanced durability making it a great option for handheld work in the field. The optical formula of the new lens has been upgraded with the inclusion of two fluorite lens elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping to reduce arm fatigue, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by 8 percent to 82.9 oz., making it the lightest weight lens in the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 series. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation and has been enhanced through the incorporation of a rolling-ball-friction system in place of sliding parts in the compensation optics barrel for a minimum-friction structure. The overall durability of the lens has also been enhanced through increased usage of magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches and a new fluorine anti-smear coating applied to the front and rear elements.

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $7,000.

 

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens

Quintessential for many sports assignments including baseball, football, soccer and golf, Canon's professional 400mm f/2.8 lenses provide the light gathering capability and long telephoto reach that photographers need to freeze the action and fill the frame . The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the 5th generation in Canon's 400mm f/2.8 series and the successor to the current EF 400mm introduced in 1999. The new lens has been engineered for the ultimate in optical performance through the use of two fluorite lens elements for improved quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping photographers in the field, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by a substantial 28 percent from 189.4 oz to 135.8 oz, making it Canon's lightest weight 400mm f/2.8 lens ever. The Image Stabilizer provides an equivalent of approximately four full shutter speed steps of shake compensation and has been enhanced through the incorporation of a rolling-ball-friction system in place of sliding parts in the compensation optics barrel for a minimum-friction structure. The overall durability of the lens has also been enhanced through increased usage of magnesium alloy and titanium for lens barrel components, together with weather sealing for all exterior joints and switches and a new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements.

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $11,000.

 

Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III

The two new EF extenders are direct replacements of the current extenders offered by Canon as essential accessories for professionals. These new extenders have been designed to provide faster autofocusing and improved autofocus precision with compatible EF lenses. Each extender includes an anomalous dispersion lens element for reduced chromatic aberration and enhanced optical image quality. Each extender also features a newly developed microcomputer that increases AF precision when the extenders are used with a IS Series II EF super-telephoto lens. Both extenders are equipped with rubber gaskets and seals to enhance weather resistance. A new fluorine anti-smear coating is applied to the front and rear elements of both extenders.

The Canon Extender EF 1.4x III & Canon Extender EF 2x III are expected to be available in December for an approximate retail price of $500 each.

 

New Lens Features

In addition to an anti-reflection multi-coating, the front and rear elements of all newly announced EF lenses and extenders are treated with Canon's new fluorine anti-smear lens coating. The fluorine layer is highly oil- and water-repellent so that any oil smears or water droplets on the lens can be wiped off quickly and easily without the aid of solvents using a soft dry cloth. These four new lenses and two new extenders are the first of their type to employ fluorine coating, and it is expected that this new feature will enhance the usability of the lenses during adverse shooting conditions.

The new Series II EF super-telephoto lenses can correct camera shake up to four full shutter speed steps, compared to two shutter speed steps for the original versions. This improvement is made possible by a new low-friction stabilizer mechanism that is not only more efficient than the previous design but also smaller and lighter. Other enhancements to the IS systems of both new super telephoto lenses have enabled quieter operation ideal for use during video capture.

Providing professional sports and wildlife photographers with greater tracking flexibility, Canon has introduced a third Image Stabilization mode option to its new EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses. When mode 3 is selected on the lens, the image stabilization effect will not be seen in the viewfinder. When the shutter button is pressed halfway, the lens will begin detecting camera or lens movement and only during exposure, when the shutter is fully depressed, will the Image Stabilization engage and provide the equivalent of four stops faster compensation for blur-free images. The new Mode 3 is particularly useful when a photographer does not want to see the IS working in the viewfinder while tracking a moving subject.

Helping moviemakers achieve smoother and more appealing focus shifts when filming on EOS DSLR cameras, Canon has included a new Power Focus (PF) mode on the Company's two new super telephoto lenses. This mode allows manual rack focusing to be operated smoothly by turning a playback ring that is normally used for the focus preset function. Both low-speed and high-speed focus shifting are available.

Additionally, a new security slot attachment has been included on both new super-telephoto lenses to allow a wire-type security lock to be easily affixed, a great safety feature for professionals shooting from high vantage points above arenas and crowds.

 

24 August 2010, Tuesday

Loersch Plastic Slide Mounts

My local lab, North Coast Photo (NCPS) has been getting so much film to process that they need to buy more Loersch 35mm slide mounts. If you, or possibly a closed lab of which you know, has any, they'd love to buy them. Call Richard at (760) 931-6809.

 

NEWS: Garage-Sale divers sued for unauthorized use of the Ansel Adams trademark.

As I read it, those garage-sale guys are using the Ansel Adams name to sell prints and posters, but as we all know, that would be making unauthorized use of the Ansel Adams trademark. For instance, you can't make a drink and sell it using the Coca-Cola trademark any more than you could sell tissues called Kleenex or copy machines called Xerox, without permission.

 

23 August 2010, Monday

NEW: I moved Hot Deals next to the "Today's Updates" title.

 

Canon S95

Canon S95.

NEW: Canon S95.

The Canon S95 fixes the flaky rear dial of the S90, and adds a ton more, for $40 less than the price at which the S90 debuted a year ago.

 

20 August 2010, Friday

DEAL: Nikon 16-35mm VR for $1,109 at Adorama. My favorite FX wide lens, whoo hoo!

 

New Video from Marc Silber

Lena Hyde talks about kiddie photography.

If you haven't seen it yet, see Marc's video of me talking about what makes a great picture. I talk a little faster than Lena.

 

NEU: LEICA M9 Color Rendition

This is simply a reorganization of what I've published in several different places.

 

Nikon News

For you early-birds who only saw fluff from me yesterday morning, I've completed my analyses of yesterday's Nikon D3100, 55-300mm VR, 24-120mm f/4 VR, 28-300mm VR and 85mm f/1.4 G AF-S.

Even though Nikon seems to be out of the serious DSLR market (where's my D700x?), that doesn't matter, since the D700, D3, D3s and D3X need no improvement, and what we really need are the fantastic, game-changing new lenses Nikon has been spewing out this year, like yesterday's announcements and the incredible 24/1.4 and 16-35mm VR from earlier this year.

Even though I kid about the lost D700X, what really matters are the lenses, and heck, everyone should have either a 24/1.4 or 16-35mm VR as today's basic FX wide-angle. Good lenses are always a bargain: even the $2,200 24/1.4 still costs half of a proverbial D700X.

Bravo!

 

19 August 2010, Thursday

Japan's Big Week Continues

As expected, Nikon dumped today. I'll be having live updates all day as the news unfolds:

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100 and 18-55mm VR.

NEW: Nikon D3100. Nikon's highest-resolution camera short of the D3X or film, and it sells for only $699, with a lens!

 

Nikon 55-300mm VR

Nikon 55-300mm VR.

NEW: Nikon 55-300mm VR (DX)

 

Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR

Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR.

NEW: Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR

 

Nikon 28-300mm VR

Nikon 28-300mm VR.

NEW: Nikon 28-300mm VR

 

Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF-S G

Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF-S G.

NEW: Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G AF-S

 

NEW: Three more Canon point-and-shoots.

NEW: Canon Rebates.

 

Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro-NIKKOR AI-s

Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro-NIKKOR AI-s.

NEW: Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro-NIKKOR Review.

A bargain for precision incarnate.

 

18 August 2010, Wednesday

NEW: Hot Deals.

As the deals grow, I got tired of having to scroll down three pages just go get here, so they grew into their own page.

I'll list new things here as they pop up, but after a day, you'll find them on the Deals page.

 

17 August 2010, Tuesday

External Drives: Which brand?

A reader asks which to buy. Obviously everyone will have different experiences, but all my Maxtor drives died on me years ago.

Half my Western Digital drives died recently. They were replaced under warranty.

All my LaCie drives still work, even the ones I've dropped: even from three feet onto concrete.

I once dropped one a foot while it was operating, and it died. LaCie graciously sent me a new one under warranty. When dropping drives onto concrete, be sure they are off so the heads are stowed.

Go with LaCie. Mine have been running for years.

 

Compared: Canon 7D versus Barbie Video Camera.

Not shown is that with the Barbie Cam, I'll bet you that you can get into places you'd never get with a 7D, thus better video.

 

RUMOR: Nikon D3100.

 

NEW DEAL: Popular Photography Magazine for a year for $5.00.

 

NEW OLD: You can still buy the Nikon F100 brand-new at B&H, as well as refurbished at B&H, if the Nikon F6 is too much for you (also in-stock at B&H).

 

Do-it Yourself E-6 Processing

If you'd rather not walk to the mailbox or your local lab to develop you color slides (like Velvia), you've been able to do it yourself at home since at least the 1970s with this kit from Kodak, which is sold by Calumet, and in-stock for pickup in NYC at B&H.

My Uncle tried it once in the 1970s, and after all the work, said, "never again."

A reader tried it recently, and it's easy today, especially for temperature control. Here's how he does it, and here are some of his results.

 

Big Week Announcements

First to the plate for Big Week is Canon, announcing the new EOS 7DSV (Studio Version), which adds the ability to lock-out various features so that your studio employees won't screw with anything, as well as the ability to read barcodes and add that data to the files for tracking photos and orders.

Next is Nikon, whom many believe has exited the DSLR market since they have introduced no new DSLRs anytime this decade (I'm not worried, since the D3s and D700 are superb, mature cameras, and more importantly, Nikon is focusing on lenses instead, like the incredible 24mm f/1.4 and world-leading 16-35mm VR), with two new point-and-shoots: the Nikon S1100pj ($350, September 2010) with a very slightly brighter projector than the Nikon S1000pj I already reviewed, and the Nikon S5100 (October 2010, $180), which seems to be just another forgettable point and shoot.

Will Nikon have more in store later in Big Week? Keep watching.

 

LEICA M9

LEICA M9.

NEU: LEICA M9 1.138 Firmware Update.

It seems to work swell.

 

Updated: LEICA M9 User's Guide.

I added my preferred menu settings, since I had to go back and reset them all after the firmware update.

 

NEU: LEICA M9 Color Rendition

 

16 August 2010, Monday

iPod Touch Firmware iOS 4.0.2

I added to last week's Apple iOS 4.0.2 report: Battery life seems fine. I took my iPod Touch off the charger on Friday afternoon, used it heavily all weekend, and by Monday morning, the battery was still half full.

 

NEW CAMERA and LENS ANNOUNCEMENTS

This week and next are Japan's "Big Week," where historically all the new cameras and lenses for the fall are announced.

Keep watching daily to see what comes out.

I'm getting tired of waiting for the D700x and D500x. Maybe it's time to look at the Sony A850, which uses exactly the same 24MP FX sensor as the D3X, but sells for $2,000, complete, including the camera! (Nikon rips us off, asking $2,500 more for the D3X than the otherwise identical D3s.)

I'm expecting the 19th ought to produce something.

The reason I can't be so sure about which of these two weeks is that typically it's August 20-22nd that produces the big announcement each year, but that's this weekend.

 

15 August 2010, Sunday

FRAUD UPDATE: More on the Garage-Sale Hoax.

Is it a crime? As I understand these things, not until money changes hands. Hee hee!

The biggest victim so far is CNN, who bit on this one hook, line and sinker. The NY Times at least did their homework first. News operations hate it when they get conned like this, since far fewer people believe what they report in the future. To a news organization, its value evaporates if people don't trust that what they are reading is true.

 

14 August 2010, Saturday

What makes a great picture

NEW VIDEO: What Makes a Great Picture.

Whoo hoo! I'm on TV again, this time with a short lecture on the most important part of photography.

 

NIKKOR 24mm f/2.8

NIKKOR 24mm f/2.8.

NEW: All Known Nikon 24mm Lenses and Zooms Compared.

This beater professional lens easily outperformed the awful Nikon 24-120mm VR, but that's not news.

 

Friday, the Thirteenth of August

Think Tank Retrospective 10

Think Tank Retrospective 10.

NEW: Think Tank Retrospective 10 Review.

The world's most comfortable bag?

 

NEW: iView and Expression Media User Survey.

If you're an iView or Expression Media user as I am, Phase One wants our input.

 

NEW: iPod Touch iOS 4.02 Firmware.

Good luck on Friday the 13th!

 

12 August 2010, Thursday

3D Photography

Ryan photographed with the Mamiya 1000 DTL

Ryan in 3D. more dimensional.

3D photography has to do with many more things than using two lenses at the same time. Lighting and sharpness variation and color and a zillion other things are more important.

In this case, Ryan is much, much sharper than the background, so he stands out. If I had bothered to get the lighting right, he really would have stood out, but in this case, the background is distractingly bright and I'm too lazy to burn and dodge. Still, the fact that he's so much sharper than the background and the nice, soft side light is what makes him stand out.

Trying to force 3D with two lenses when the subject isn't right is why so much 3D looks like a bunch of flat cardboard cutouts, instead of really looking lifelike.

How did I get Ryan so sharp? By shooting him on the marvelous Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL and AUTO Mamiya/Sekor 55mm f/1.8 lens.

The 1000 DTL is the world's first camera with dual-pattern metering. These patterns are easy to flip with a switch as you're looking through the finder, so it was trivial to go to Spot mode and meter this mostly backlit shot.

 

Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL

Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL.

NEW: Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL Review.

I photographed Ryan with this 1970 Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL and AUTO Mamiya/Sekor 55mm f/1.8 lens, I used a Nikon A2 filter, Kodak Ektar 100, 1/250 at f/8, and an NCPS process and scan.

 

11 August 2010, Wednesday

NEW: Nikon 17mm and 18mm Lens Sharpness Samples and Comparisons.

I compare all known Nikon and Tokina 17mm and 18mm lenses and zooms, and even reference Canon's L lenses, too, in the ultimate ultrawide showdown, which was sparked by:

 

Tokina 17mm

Tokina 17mm AT-X.

NEW: Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X Review.

The world's standard ultralow-cost FX ultrawide.

 

Odd Sheet film sizes

Sheet film can be cut into any size, if you order enough. Here's a list of a few types available from one specialty dealer.

 

10 August 2010, Tuesday

Local Lab?

A reader asked me, even though he has no problem ordering whatever film he needs in advance, if I could please give an update for where to find decent quality, economical, same-time film developing and high-resolution scanning for print film, slide film, and black and white.

I use North Coast Photo (NCPS) daily. I dropped off the Nickelodeon Photo Blaster film yesterday, and need to shoot and drop off some more Velvia 50 today.

I can't possibly list labs for every town on Earth, but I can suggest, if you can't find a lab in your area:

1.) You're looking for "E-6" processing, for slides, and as a general indication of a pro lab. I used to use the yellow pages anytime I visited any town, and today, I'd probably try the "Internet" looking for same.

A reason you want to look for E-6 is that it's a more distinctive search term than "slides" or "black and white," which will recover more than just film labs.

If you can't find a lab easily near you on the Internet, try

2.) Call Fuji or Kodak on their (800) numbers or websites, and if they don't have a list of labs near you, get hold of the salesman for their film processing supplies and equipment for your area. He'll know where the labs are near you.

3.) Even closer than a lab few blocks away is your mailbox. I'm a "want it now" sort of guy, but if I'd cool my pits, mailing my film would save me a lot of time and money wasted driving all over town — twice — to drop off my film. North Coast Photo (NCPS) does tons of work through the mail, both locally, all across the USA, and all across the world.

No matter where you are, if you have mail service, you can mail your work straight to NCPS, instead of dropping it off at some local non-lab near you who merely mails it to NCPS themselves for what local non-labs call their "5 day service." On top of that, you won't have to pay your local non-lab's markup, or waste your time driving there.

I have not tried, but every Wal-Mart and drug store offers mail-away processing to their regional outlab, which as far as I know, all also do slides and B&W. I haven't tried them so I can't vouch for them, and of course these have always been snapshot, not pro, quality oriented. One pro cheapskate tip is that I've been told if you drop a roll of B&W 120 film at Wal-Mart and ask for the smallest size prints, you really do get your film developed with a small set of prints, and because this service hasn't been popular since the early 1970s, that the price hadn't been updated, and I met someone who has them run all his film — for $1.25 a roll! I don't know if that still works.

Pro labs have never been obvious. Even 20 years ago I always had to poke around a while to find my favorite near me. Unlike consumer labs, the serious pro labs rarely advertise, so you have to ask around. This has never changed.

Want huge prints? NCPS has a printer that writes to two-foot-wide rolls of either Fuji Crystal Archive or Kodak metallic paper, for prints 2 feet tall by infinity wide. The prints they spit out always look awesome! They were also playing around with 40x60" prints on real chemically-processed paper (not that giclée inkjet crap), but I don't know how that's developing.

Also try Chrome in San Diego. I've used them for decades. I use NCPS since it's a little closer to me in La Jolla, and because they offer unusually good scanning very inexpensively, so I have them scan everything on every roll as its developed.

 

09 August 2010, Monday

Ken Rockwell's Best Camera

Ryan and the Nickelodeon Photo Blaster.

Ryan and the Nickelodeon Photo Blaster.

What's the best camera? It all depends on you and your style of shooting. What's best for you may not be best for me, and vice versa.

In this case, Paul in Grosse Point, Michigan was kind enough to send me a Nickelodeon Photo Blaster, a plastic toy camera. It's an amazing piece of technology, because it exposes four completely different 12 x 18mm shots on each frame of 35mm film. It has two lenses, over and under, only one of which shoots each time, and the film only advances a half-frame (about 18mm or four perforations) every other time you turn the camera's shutter-charging ring.

As I was exploring it, my 3-year old son Ryan came in to survey, and he immediately grabbed the Photo Blaster and started shooting away. He usually grabs the Casio pocket cameras that sit in docks on my desk, and often grabs my D3 when he's across town visiting my studio, or honestly, he'll grab anything he can.

I found some film, loaded the Photo Blaster, and Ryan's been photographing with it all day.

The key point of all this is that Ryan, for the first time ever, pronounced the Nickelodeon Photo Blaster unquestionably as my "best camera!"

To heck with the Nikon D3, Canon 5D Mark II, Linhof, LEICA, or whatever. To those who know, the Photo Blaster is a lot more fun. We'll see what comes out later.

 

Is Film Going Away?

No. If anything, it's growing in popularity among serious photographers, many of whom have never shot it before. It's waning only among snapshooters like my mom and the general public, not among serious photographers.

Film makers have been discontinuing individual kinds, sizes and packages of film for over 110 years. This isn't anything new, as new films, like Kodak Ektar, replace the older ones. (Ektar just came out in 4x5 and 8x10.) All because a car maker cancels the 2009 models, does it mean they're going out of business?

I don't see film going away, ever, much as AM radio is still with us as it has been since the beginning. See Is Film Going Away?

Oddly, if anything, large format cameras are growing in popularity. As people want to pay attention to what they are doing and fleeing the spray-and-pray mentality of digital, people are going back to large format.

I wouldn't be worried about not getting film for 4x5. 4x5 went out of the mainstream in the 1960s, and still runs strong today. Kodachrome came in large format many decades ago, but got cancelled in I think the 1950s.

I've never bought my film at retail. Even as a kid in the suburbs of New York in the 1970s, local stores never carried what I needed, so I ordered from New York City. Even as I kid, I ordered my film mail-order to get exactly what I want. I've been buying my film non-stop from both Adorama and B&H since the 1970s, which is how I first started using them.

 

NEW DEALS

Point Reyes

Tomales Bay, Point Reyes, shot with SD980. original file.

Canon SD980 IS (refurbished) for $149.95.

Even better, this refurbished one is silver, not the baby blue of the one I used last year.

I've reviewed the SD980; it's the pocket camera that I hailed as replacing the DSLR and for which I have an example gallery at my Point Reyes 2009 gallery.

Don't forget this year's Point Reyes Photo Tour, coming in a couple of weeks.

 

Canon SD1200 IS (refurbished) for $99.95.

A perfectly wonderful camera for less than a good memory card.

 

Canon SD480 IS (red, refurbished) for $59.95.

The SD480 is great as a low-cost camera; if I taught a digital photo class at a school, I'd get a case of these for the students. Heck, I may get one for my three-year-old as soon as I finish posting this.

 

Canon SD480 IS (blue, refurbished) for $59.95.

 

And don't forget that the DSLR with the highest technical image quality of any digital camera less for than $7,000 is the Canon 5D Mark II, available refurbished for $2,199.95.

 

07 August 2010, Saturday

DEAL: Canon S90 for $337 at Amazon. ($345 at Adorama).

That's almost $100 off from a year ago.

 

06 August 2010, Friday

Did Rockwell Switch Brands?

Every time I mention anything other than Nikon, some people go haywire.

Other people ask me to review Canon, LEICA, Sony, Panasonic, Voigtländer, and — gasp — even Tamron and Sigma.

I own a D3, a D40, an SRT-102 and an S90. Everything else I borrow to review, according to what you wonderful folks ask me to review.

For instance, loads of you asked me to review the Canon 7D, so I borrowed one, shot it in Maui last week, and I've already returned it this week.

I review what I do based on what people ask me to review.

Thank you!

 

NEW: Refurbished Nikons.

 

NEW: Photos from Last Week in Maui.

Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center.

Important business had me out to Maui again. This time I brought a Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS for everything. (Warning: family content.)

 

05 August 2010, Thursday

DEAL: Refurbished Canon 5D Mark II for $2,199.95.

Whoo hoo! I doubt I make this point clearly, but the images that come out of the 5D Mark II are beyond anything I get from any other DLSR priced under $7,500. Unless you're getting a Nikon D3X, the 5D Mark II is the best there is: it's light weight, and a fraction of the price of the nearest Nikon.

 

NEW: Canon 7D User's Guide.

Canon 7D

Canon 7D and Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 USM.

 

You Canon 7D users are lucking out. It took me about 15 years after the Nikon F5 was introduced to write my Nikon F5 User's Guide.

 

04 August 2010, Wednesday

Canon 7D

Canon 7D and Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM.

NEW: Canon 7D Review.

This is what I was doing the past two weeks: shooting a Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS.

Now all I have to do is edit and publish all my photos. I had to go to Maui for a couple of weeks at the end of July.

I also added a bunch of sample photos to yesterday's Canon 18-135mm IS Review.

 

03 August 2010, Tuesday

NEW: Direct Comparison of Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, 5D and Nikon D300 at the Test Range.

Is the Canon 7D as good as the 5D Mark II? Of course not. Is it as good as the original 5D? Almost.

 

Busted!

RYan shooting Canon

Ryan shooting an EOS 620 with Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro.

I got a snap of Ryan shooting in his jammies. He is so busted; I put this same image on my home page! I just got back from two weeks of important business in Maui; I've also got shots of Ryan in his jammies picking up our luggage at the airport carousel, hee hee.

 

Canon 18-135mm

Canon 18-135m IS.

NEW: Canon 18-135mm IS Review.

 

02 August 2010, Monday

Update: Garage-Sale Con

The hoax behind the garage-sale negatives has been uncovered. Ha ha! I love a good hoax. Here's the actual evidence.

 

01 August 2010, Sunday

Update: Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS

Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS

Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS.

Things here may have looked a bit slack these past two weeks because I was out standing in my field shooting the Canon 7D and 18-135mm IS lens heavily, and I plan to write up both their formal reviews this week.

I also plan to shoot technical comparisons of definition and noise between the 5D Mark II and the 7D. In other words, is there any visible technical difference between the two? After living with the 7D for two weeks, I started to think it was my 5D Mark II.

 

DEAL: Canon 18-135mm IS for $349.95 at Adorama, in plain white box. I presume that these came as parts of kits, saving $100 from buying it as the stand-alone product in a fancier imprinted box.

 

NEW: Unlike back when I had a real job, you people won't let me slack. You insisted I get some speed numbers for the Moshi Cardette Ultra Card Reader and the Lexar 32GB 600x CF Card, so I just clocked some and posted them at each review.

I'm now curious as to why my 2006 Quad G5 is so much faster for Firewire, and so much slower over USB than my 2009 MacBook Pro. Hmm.

Canon S90

Canon S90.

NEW: Canon S90 User's Guide.

 

What Was New in:

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

2009 back to 2005

 

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!

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The biggest help is to use these links to Adorama, Amazon, Calumet, Ritz, J&R and when you get your goodies. It costs you nothing and is a huge help to me. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places 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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