BL Blog

Posts by: Sohail

Op-Ed: My Time With the Fuji X100s

Gear Talk

It’s been a while since I first got my hands on the Fuji X100s, and in that time, I’ve carried this little thing with me just about everywhere I go (including on my honeymoon). I’ve also gotten a few questions about it that range from my general opinion of the Fuji cameras, to what settings I shoot with.

In this Op-Ed, I’ll answer a few of those questions and also put down some of my thoughts about why this camera has turned out to be the sensation that it has. It’s not a full review – for that you’ll have to head over to the one I wrote for Chase Jarvis’ website.

First, the questions….

(more…)

Cool Stuff — July 2, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a recurring feature where we post our favorite links, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

Cool Stuff articles are culled from BLFlip, the official Flipboard Magazine of BorrowLenses.com. If you’ve got an iOS or Android device, you can download the Flipboard app for free now. (more…)

Cool Stuff — June 25, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a recurring feature where we post our favorite links, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

Going forward, the Cool Stuff articles will be culled from BLFlip, the official Flipboard Magazine of BorrowLenses.com. If you’ve got an iOS or Android device, you can download the Flipboard app for free now. (more…)

Cool Stuff — Week of May 27, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • We rent a lot of fancy video gear, but if you find yourself up at over 13,000 feet needing, for example, a boom or dolly or jib, you might be well-served watching this video from our friend Chase Jarvis on how to improvise when necessary. (more…)

The Hasselblad Is Here: First Impressions and Sample Shots

Gear Talk

The Hasselblad H5D40 medium-format digital camera is here, so of course we had to give it a go. We pressed a number of our staffers into service as models, and went through an impromptu portrait session.

Sample images as well as first impressions after the jump.

(more…)

Nikon’s Biggest Gun: A Review of the New 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens

Gear Talk

Introduction

Until recently, Canon’s 800mm f/5.6 lens has been about the longest lens currently in production by one of the big manufacturers. The longest lens on the Nikon side has been the 600mm f/4, which I took out for a spin not too long ago.

Now, Nikonians have their own cannon (yes, pun intended) to play with. The Nikon AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is finally shipping, and we’ve got them in our inventory for rental. I took this behemoth out for a test to see just what Nikon packed into it. Last week, I posted sample images from that shoot; here’s the full review.

(more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of May 13, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more. (more…)

Sample Images from the Nikon 800mm f/5.6

Gear Talk

I’ve been out testing the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 lens we just got in, and have a few sample images to share. I went out to the Redwood Shores region of the San Francisco Bay Area to shoot the skimmers that show up around here every spring, and got a handful of other birds as well. The full-up review is coming soon, so stay tuned for that. (more…)

Cool Stuff — Week of May 6, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • First, from our friends over at PetaPixel, this one gave most of us butterflies just thinking about it. Actually doing this? No thank you. But we’ll watch the video anyway.
  • Our tablets (like the iPad) are getting increasingly powerful, and Adobe has a plan to put that power to good use. The fun stuff starts at 18:09 in the video below.
  • Budding photojournalists, heads-up! The folks over at Fotopedia have launched an iPad app that lets you create and view stories on the go. If you haven’t checked out Fotopedia, you should – they have a pretty nice platform for telling photo stories.
  • We love our timelapses, but this one takes the cake. Two months of an Antarctic ice breaker’s journey, compressed into 5 minutes.
  • And finally, to those who have a hundred questions about photography, here are your answers. Zack Arias, photographer and educator extraordinaire, has taken the best of his Awesome “Photography Q&A” Tumblr and turned it into an awesome book.

 And now, for the BorrowLenses.com Roundup!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Cool Stuff – Week of April 23, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • This one falls into the “Ooops, how’d I miss that?” category. Canon is presenting a series on time-lapse photography with none other than Vincent Laforet. Part 2 is now out, and is embedded here for your viewing pleasure. (more…)

Playing with Nikon’s Big Guns.

Gear Talk
Nikon D4

Nikon D4

Not so long ago, I did a post about Canon’s new “Big Guns”, the 600mm f/4 II and the 1Dx. We’re now waiting for Nikon’s newest super-tele, the 800mm f/5.6, to ship, but I thought I’d take the newest flagship camera from Nikon out for a spin with the venerable 600mm f/4 that they’ve had out for a while.

 

Nikon 600mm f/4

Nikon 600mm f/4

(more…)

Cool Stuff, Week of April 7, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

 And now, for the BorrowLenses.com Roundup!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Small Flash, Big Box: Using the LumoPro Flash Bracket

Gear Talk The LumoPro Flash Bracket

There’s no shortage of lighting modifiers for small flashes like the Nikon SB–910 on the market today. From the Apollo softboxes we rent, to grid kits, snoots, umbrellas, and beauty dishes, small flash has really come into its own, especially for photographers working on location.

Now there’s a new accessory for Strobist-style shooters that will let you use a much wider variety of softboxes with your existing small flashes, including the high-end modifiers from companies like Profoto. I used it with two Profoto softboxes a couple of weeks ago for a portrait, with excellent results.

(more…)

Blowing out the Background

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks
Ben on a greyish-blue background.

Ben on a greyish-blue background.

The image above was not shot on a white background. It has a minimal level of adjustment in Lightroom to it, mostly to clean up the edges, but that’s about it. It was taken in front of the greyish-blue wall in the lobby of the BorrowLenses.com offices in San Carlos.

The thing about a relatively light-colored background is that it lends itself to a surprisingly large number of options for photographers. Though grey backgrounds work best for this, you can with some tweaking, turn just about any light-colored background — grey, blue, beige — completely black, as I demonstrated in this article on how to kill your background completely.

In this article, I’ll show you how to blow out that background completely to make it look like you’re shooting in front of a white backdrop.

(more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of March 24, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • The shootout at Gulf Photo Plus is always a fantastic thing to watch. Luminaries such as Greg Heisler, Zack Arias, and David Hobby have been past participants. Here’s the latest one.
  • Joe McNally talks to Marc Silber about lighting. A good, quick 4-minute video that’s more about philosophy than technique.
  • Speaking of Joe McNally, if you haven’t seen his photo from the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, here it is.
  • Now, we’re not going to be able to provide the castle, the swimming pool, the giant print or the model, but we will soon have the Hasselblad H5 line of cameras in our rental inventory. Here’s what photographer Henrik Sorenson did with one of these gorgeous machines.
  • And finally, via our friends at PetaPixel, the story behind some amazing portraits taken with an iPhone and a $10 lamp.

 

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.