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Gear Talk

Fuji Meets Leica: One of the Best Street Cameras Gets Even Better

Gear Talk

To hear some photographers tell it, Fuji is the new Leica. The company, which saw rave reviews for its X100, has been on something of a tear of late. What began with an interesting concept morphed into a camera with a cult following, and was followed up by an entire system that has turned much of the photo world on its head.

The X100s, for example, is a body we can’t seem to keep in stock (though it is right now – go get it before it sells out again!), and the interchangeable lens-capable X-Pro1 is one of the finest low-light performers we’ve ever seen in a body that size. That X-Pro1 has now gotten a breath of fresh air. Fuji seems to be the sort of company that really listens to its users, and with the latest firmware update, has made a lot of those users very, very, happy indeed.

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Small Cameras with Big Impact: Traveling Light without Compromising Quality

Gear Talk

Don’t get us wrong – we LOVE our big cameras, especially those pro bodies with huge, high-quality glass. Lugging it around, however, is not so ideal – especially while on vacation or during situations where there just isn’t a lot of room to shoot.

High-quality sensors are coming in smaller and smaller form factors, which is good news for globe-trekking photographers or for those who simply need to pack lightly. These small cameras are perfect for:

  • Hiking to get that great sunrise/sunset shot from a high vantage.
  • Inconspicuously taking candids out on the street.
  • Using auto or fully-manual settings on a simplified system.

Here are 5 recommended small cameras with incredible image quality: (more…)

Rolling Stone Contributing Photographer Drew Gurian on the Leica M9

Gear Talk

Drew Gurian is a music and portrait photographer based in New York City. For the past five years he has been the first assistant to long-time photojournalist and National Geographic photographer Joe McNally. Last month, Gurian shot the Wakarusa Music Festival, which included running a backstage portrait studio. He used a Leica M9 from BorrowLenses to shoot the event. Read about why Gurian chooses Leica for this work. (more…)

Tips for Setting Up Your Kino Flo BarFly

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

ABOUT BARFLY

Our Kino Flo BarFly 200D 2-light kits and BarFly 400D 1-light kits are professional, energy-efficient lighting systems ideal for filmmakers and photographers alike. They produce 3200K and 5500K (daylight) temperature lighting from florescent, dimmable 55W lamps inside Kino’s signature modular fixtures. Each bank can be switched on and off for full stop exposure changes. The kits also come with:

  • Gel Frames (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit). Note that these kits do NOT come with gels. You will have to apply the gel yourself to the provided gel frame using a non-destructive adhesive (also not included).
  • 90 Degree Grids (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit)
  • True Match Quad Fluorescent Lamps with padded mini case.
  • 55QK32 55W KF32 Quad Lamps with padded mini case.
  • Light stands (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit).
  • AC Power.
  • Heavy Duty Kino-branded  Case.

These kits are a fantastic option for those seeking all-in-one kits that produce very natural-looking light that is intuitive to shape because what you see is, generally, what you get. However, they are less intuitive to set up. Please take note of the following tips to prevent bulb breakage and other kit issues. (more…)

Lenstag: Discouraging Camera and Lens Theft One Registered Serial at a Time

Gear Talk

UPDATE: Lenstag, the service that collects serial numbers from your gear and keeps them in a registry to be flagged and indexed online if they get ever stolen, now has free apps for iOS and Android in multiple languages. Some features include: gear name auto-complete, picture-taking of your gear right from your phone, easy and immediate flagging, and more. Lenstag aims to curb theft by making it harder to resell stolen items.

Download it here:

• http://lens.tg/ios
• http://lens.tg/android


Lenstag is a new, free service that collects serial numbers from your lenses and cameras and keeps them in a registry to be flagged in the unfortunate event that they get stolen. By locking down a serial as belonging to its owner, the reselling and pawning of stolen gear becomes increasingly discouraged. The more people who register the gear, the more effective the registry system is. Stolen serials are indexed online, so checking up on a serial before purchasing in the resell market is easier than ever. We have already registered our gear and want to give a few pointers on finding your gears’ serials. There are a lot of numbers listed on cameras and lenses and not all of them are unique identifiers–be sure you have the correct number! (more…)

BorrowLenses Street Photography Package Shoot Off: Leica, Fuji, and Nikon V1 Reviewed

Gear Talk

Save time while also saving money with our new Photography and Videography Packages. Packages are a convenient way to rent a group of items with 1 click, whether it be a collection of prime lenses or various parts needed for a successful studio lighting setup. Our Street Photography Packages feature mirrorless bodies for their lightweight and inconspicuous (while still stylish) design–great for on-the-go candid shooting. Ben Revzin of ShouldIGetIt.com took three of our Street Photography Packages for a spin to see which set was the most, well, street savvy! See his results in the video review below. (more…)

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….

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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.

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Transitioning from Point-and-Shoot to DSLR: Understanding Full Frame vs Crop Frame Sensors

Gear Talk

Upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera to a digital SLR camera can be daunting, especially when you start hearing people carry on about what kind of sensor to get and you have no idea what they are talking about! The following will help you understand sensor size and how it can be a factor in your photography. This information will better equip you with the knowledge you will need to successfully choose your next camera.
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Nikon D7100 – Cropped Sensor for Night Photography?

Gear Talk

Want to know how the Nikon D7100 stands up to the challenge of night photography? David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses on the night sky. Kingham put the Nikon D7100 to the test to find out if its cropped sensor is worth considering as a viable choice for night shooting, especially when compared to the similarly-priced Nikon D600.

Nikon D7100 – Cropped Sensor for Night Photography?
by David Kingham (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.

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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…)

The Best Lenses for Night Photography: A Case for Rokinon Primes

Gear Talk

David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses (pun intended?) on the night sky. He set out to find the best astrophotography and night photography lenses for their price point. Discover why Rokinon lenses may transform how you shoot.


The Best Lenses for Night Photography

by David Kingham

Prime vs Zoom

What do you want in a lens for night photography? The most important factor is how much light a lens will let in so that we can shoot at lower ISOs– this means apertures of f/2.8 or greater (f/1.4 being preferred). Most zoom lenses only go to f/2.8 and, while they are perfectly okay for night photography, they are not the ultimate lenses to use.

Enter the prime lens! A prime lens is a fixed-focal-length lens that is designed to have much larger apertures. If you have looked into the major manufacturers’ primes (Nikon, Canon, Zeiss) you may be thinking I’m crazy right now because they are expensive (unless, of course, you rent them)! I went on a search for lenses with the ultimate quality-to-price ratio.

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The Poor Man’s Tilt-Shift: Freelensing Your Way to a Specialty Lens

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

While we’ll never condone the wanton destruction of a lens (especially one of ours), sometimes a little home reverse engineering can do wonders–or at least make for a fun weekend project. This is exactly what photographer Jay Cassario did over at Lightshop. He took a $120 lens and converted into a tilt-shift, saving himself about $1,000. Of course, he could have just rented a tilt-shift lens from us but that is not the point! Read all about Jay’s  (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

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