BL Blog

Gear Talk

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…)

The Best Nikon for Night Photography

Gear Talk

Want to know what the best Nikon camera is for night photography? David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses on the night sky. Kingham puts all of the major Nikon bodies to the test in this guest blog post.

Daylight Savings Time is Here: Don’t Forget to Change Your Camera’s Clock

Gear Talk

Set time and date manually

Unlike your computers, tablets, and smartphones, the clock in your camera doesn’t typically do the “Spring forward, Fall back” routine required to keep its clock accurate. If you don’t go in manually to change the time and date on you camera, the EXIF data it stamps your files with will have an inaccurate time/date stamp.

While it’s not the end of the world if your photos show a time that’s an hour off, having your clock accurate is always a good thing. Knowing the exact time an image was taken can help you if you want to replicate the exact atmospheric conditions in a landscape shot at a later time, for example.  Having accurate timestamps is especially important if you’re doing any kind of geo-tagging of your images using a GPS tracker or your iPhone to record a GPS track file and apply it to your DSLR photos in Lightroom or Aperture.

(more…)

Shooting Fast Action with a D800E

Gear Talk

Nikon D800E

When you think of fast-action photography, the D800E isn’t exactly the first camera that comes to mind – and with good reason. At a top speed of 4 frames per second and a buffer that will fill up pretty quickly with those massive 36MP files, it’s not a camera that lends itself to that kind of photography easily.

If you’re in a pinch, however, and need to be able to use the D800E (or the D800) for a bit of fast-action work, there are a few things you can do to get a bit more performance out of this camera.

(more…)

Kodak’s First Canon-based DSLR: A 1.3 Megapixel Slice of Photographic History

Gear Talk

Learn more about the EOS-DCS 3, Kodak’s very first Canon-based digital SLR–a 1.3 megapixel, no-LCD, nearly 4-pound behemoth that cost around $16,000!

Shooting On the Go With the Olympus OM-D

Gear Talk

Not too long ago, I switched to the Nikon D800E with a series of prime lenses for all of my primary photography. I love the Nikon, and it’s proved to be a fantastic system, capably handling just about everything I’ve thrown at it.

The downside is that it is, truly, a system. A big, heavy system. I quickly found myself looking for a smaller, carry-around camera for some of my more photojournalistic endeavors, and immediately turned to the family of mirrorless cameras out there for an answer.

Of these, there is no shortage. You have the awesome Sony NEX-6, which I’ve raved about in the past. There’s also the Sony RX-1, the Panasonic GF3C, the Fuji X-Pro1, and the subject of this article, the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Olympus OM-D

Olympus OM-D

I’ve had the Olympus OM-D E-M5 for the past few weeks now, and have been using it as my primary “take everywhere” camera. It’s small size, lens selection, and great image quality combine to provide a system that’s flat-out my favorite in this category. In this article, I’ll present my experience shooting with this little thing, rather than a full-on technical review.

(more…)

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.

 

Our Take and Test Footage on the Canon 1D C DSLR with 4K Video

Gear Talk

Canon has added yet another camera to their cinema line, the 1D C. This addition gives professional and novice filmmakers alike a formidable number of shooting choices, not to mention access to a wide variety of cine-lenses. Get our take on it!

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Puts the Microscopic Within Reach

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is more than a lens–it is like a portable microscope with the ability to fill an entire 35mm frame with the texture of something as small as a grain of rice. Learn more about one of BorrowLenses.com’s most unique lenses!

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…)

Quick Tip: Optimize Canon 5D Mark III Write Speeds – Avoid Using SD Cards

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Photographer Jeff Cable discovered something interesting about the 5D Mark III when he was doing some high-speed shooting–it’s slow, but only under certain circumstances. Click here to read more about when and when you should not use the SD slot in the 5D Mark III.

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.

(more…)