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Posts by: Sohail

The Big Chips Are Coming

Gear Talk
Hasselblad H4D60

Hasselblad H4D60

This is something we’ve been considering adding to our inventory for a long time now, and I’m pleased as punch to let you all know that we’re now going to be carrying our very first Medium-Format system.

We’ve got two cameras for rent – the H5D40, a 40MP body, and the H5D60, a 60MP body. The H5D60 has a slightly larger sensor, too, and both cameras produce 16-bit RAW files that’ll weigh in between 60 to 80MB each. For comparison, the D800′s 36MP RAW files come in at about 35-40MB.

On a side note: Lightroom users, rejoice! Hasselblad has been working closely with Adobe to further integrate the images from these monster cameras into your workflow. That lowers the bar for photographers looking to dip their toes into Medium-Format.

Of course, we’re going to be carrying a nice compliment of lenses as well, ranging from a 300mm f/4.5 to a super-wide 24mm f/4.8 (which equates to about an 18mm lens on your full-frame DSLR).

Hasselblad cameras and lenses

Hasselblad cameras and lenses

The cameras are still unreleased, however, and while we anticipate getting the gear at the end of March/April, please bear in mind that it may be later. We look forward to seeing what our customers do with this outstanding system.

 

Cool Stuff, Week of January 19, 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 begin this week’s Cool Stuff with photographer and teacher Zack Arias’ guest entry on Scott Kelby’s blog. Four years ago, Zack made a similarly awesome and inspiring video for Scott; this one is, I think, even better. Check out the video below, then head over to the article for some solid advice.
  • This one’s for the video geeks out there. Dale Grahn has been a color timer on a variety of different films, including Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan and The Lion King. Now he has an iPad app out that helps teaches color grading to aspiring video pros.
  • Speaking of one for the video geeks out there, this one’s also for you – and for the time-lapse fans as well. Omni-Tracker is a San Jose-based company that recently started a Kickstarter campaign for their new product, called the L’il Mule. Check it out here (the campaign already has 200% funding), and watch the video below, which features footage from BorrowLenses.com alumni Seventh Movement.
  • From our friends over at the Profoto blog comes an outstanding behind-the-scenes look at Gregory Heisler’s portrait of Michael Phelps. Check out the video below, then head over to Profoto’s Master Series page for more videos from the master of portraiture.
  • Here’s something a bit more philosophical for image makers of all ilk. Daniel Milnor, whose blog Smogranch is one of our favorites, lays out some first-rate inspiration in a recent post called, “Blurb tip: Learn from Bruce Lee.” Though on the surface it’s about the company he works for, there’s a fantastic message there about following your heart.

 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.

Powerful Portrait Inspiration With Steve McCurry’s iPad App

Photographers

Steve McCurry is one of the most prolific photographers alive today. His photograph for National Geographic’s June 1985 cover of Sharbat Gula (also know as the “Afghan Girl”) is one of the most recognizable portraits in history, and his imagery has graced NatGeo’s pages many, many times since.

McCurry has repeatedly proven himself an absolute master of the portrait. His street portraiture, especially, carries tremendous impact. He has an uncanny ability to capture his subjects’ essence, distilling it in a split-second into an image that can range from haunting to exciting and everything in-between.

Steve McCurry iPad App

Steve McCurry iPad App

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Mirrorless Magic: Spending Time With the Olympus OM-D

Gear Talk

When we recently received the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (there’s a mouthful for you) in our warehouse, I wasted absolutely no time in snagging one of the bodies and taking it for a whirl. My “whirls” usually last a few weeks so that I can put the camera to use in a variety of different ways, and given the feedback I’d heard from other photographers about this diminutive body, I was eager to put it through its paces.

Two weeks later, I have my conclusion: Olympus has an absolute winner on its hands.

The gear

The Micro-Four-Thirds platform isn’t a closed-loop system. Olympus and Panasonic both make bodies for it, and there’s even an MFT-based version of the enormously popular Blackmagic Cinema Camera on the way. Panasonic, particularly, has two lenses that I decided were going to be my go-to lenses for this test: the 12–35mm f/2.8 and the 35–100mm f/2.8 lenses.

The Gear - OM-D, Panasonic 12–35mm and 35–100mm

The Gear – OM-D, Panasonic 12–35mm and 35–100mm

Together, these cover the equivalent of the 24–70 and 70–200mm lenses in 35mm terms, giving me the focal lengths used by most photographers. Because the OM-D features a 5-axis, in-body stabilization, that entire focal length is stabilized as well. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of January 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.

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

Cool Stuff – Week of December 31, 2012

Gear Talk

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.

 

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

The Softbox Cheat Sheet

Gear Talk
Profoto Softboxes

Profoto Softboxes

A while back, we put together an article on how to use softboxes with your light of choice. At that time, I mentioned that we’d be putting together a cheat sheet that would allow you to figure out which softbox could go with which light, and what you’d need to make it work. Well, that cheat sheet is here.

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Cool Stuff – Week of December 16, 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.

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

Is the Canon 6D Under-Exposing? UPDATE: No, It’s Not.

Gear Talk

Final Update and Winners of the BorrowLenses.com Gift Certificate, Friday, December 7, 2012 11:35 AM

Okay, we found the cause of the D600 bodies’ overexposure. Turns out, it WAS damage, not a defect. In the damaged bodies, the little prong that actually pushes the aperture closed was bent, as you can see in the image below. The top one is of one of the damaged D600′s, while the bottom is of an undamaged D7000.

No idea what caused this, but there you have it.

Winners of the $50 BorrowLenses.com Gift Certificate: K.G. Wuensch, who left the suggestion that led to our discovery of the cause of the overexposure on the D600 bodies is, unfortunately, not based in the U.S., and so is unable to use the certificate I promised him. He has, instead, requested that his prize be entered into the pool for the general drawing. So we now have two gift certificates to give out.

I entered all the commenters’ names into a list randomizer at random.org and the two names at the top are our two winners.

The winners of the gift certificate drawing.

The winners of the gift certificate drawing.

Congratulations to David Johnson and Michael Clark! Please email your contact info to sohail.mamdani at borrowlenses dot com, so I can send them to you.

Once again, thanks to everyone for your fantastic support and feedback. 

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Cool Stuff – Week of December 1, 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.

  • Heads up, video shooters (more specifically, Nikon video shooters on the D800/E). The guys over at Pixiq have a nice little tutorial on how to set up your D800/E to output clean video via HDMI to an external recorder.
  • We love our time-lapse stuff, and this one, showing the fall colors in Central Park, NYC, has a lot of eye candy for us. Thanks to Jamie Scott for an awesome job.
  • Canon’s EOS-M is a bit late to the mirrorless party, and apparently, it has some issues. Issues that the guys over at The Camera Store are only too happy to poke fun at.
  • Cheetah! Running! 1200fps! Watch!
  • And finally, here’s something more to make your jaw drop. These slo-mo videos were made from still photographs. Yep, you heard me. Still photographs.

 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.

Building on the Sony NEX System

Gear Talk
NEX–7

NEX–7

Sony’s NEX cameras have been taking the mirror less camera market by storm of late, coming out with models that repeatedly and substantially improve on their predecessors. And, as these models have evolved, the number – and quality – of add-ons for them have increased as well.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways of building on the NEX series of cameras – which now include some fantastic video-specific offerings from Sony as well.

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Understanding Softboxes

Gear Talk

Off-camera strobes and other forms of lighting have become remarkably approachable over the past few years. The knowledge and information that were once the sole province of pros working with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in studios or on location is now all over the internet for the taking.

We carry a fair amount of lighting gear, and given that we cater to the novice as well as the pros, we also answer a number of questions about one particular piece of lighting gear: the softbox. Over the phone, via email, and through our social networking outlets, we respond to queries ranging from the number of stops a box’s diffusion fabric will eat, to “What’s a speedring?”

This article is designed to help you understand the various pieces of a softbox and how it is used with a studio light like the Einstein E640 or the Profoto D4 heads we rent.

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The BorrowLenses.com Holiday Gift Guide

Gear Talk

Welcome to the first ever BorrowLenses.com Holiday Gift Guide. Here, we’ll be listing some of our favorite cameras, lenses, and accessories that you should consider for the photo geek you’re shopping for. We’ll break this list down by category, so you can easily find something for the shutterbug in your life, no matter what their experience level is.

Let’s start with that all-important question – what camera should I rent?

Cameras

We broke this section down by category, from pro-level to the new mirrorless cameras.

Nikon D800Cameras (pro-level)

  • Nikon D800 or D800E
    • It’s received some of the highest ratings ever given to any camera by testing company DxO, and has been universally lauded as having some of the best dynamic range capabilities ever packed into a DSLR, and is competitively priced, too.
  • Others to consider:

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Cool Stuff – Week of November 25, 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.

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

Tilt/Shift: Working With Perspective-Control Lenses, Part 2

Gear Talk
Nikon 85mm f/2.8D PC-E

Nikon 85mm f/2.8D PC-E

This is Part 2 of a series on using Tilt-Shift or Perspective-Control lenses. In this part, we look at the “Tilt” functionality of these unique lenses. Part 1, which covered “shift” functionality, can be found here.

At some point in time, we’ve all seen photos where the subjects – usually views from high-up of cars, buildings, people, etc. – appear to be miniaturized versions of reality. This is perhaps the most the most often-seen result from using tilt-capable lenses like the Nikon 85mm PC-E.

In this part of our series, we’ll explain how this effect is achieved with tilt-shift lenses.

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