BL Blog

The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part II

Gear Talk

I’ve had the D800 for about 2 weeks now, and have shot with it in the studio, out in the Marin Headlands, and a variety of other spots. In this article, I’ll focus on my initial experiences with the Nikon setup, a few of the challenges I faced, and some observations along the way.

Cool Stuff – Week of September 29, 2012

Cool Stuff
Light Painting on film by artist Eric Staller.

Light Painting on film by artist Eric Staller.

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.

  • If you haven’t seen this yet, you totally should. Light painting is all the rage right now, but these were done by artist Eric Staller way back in the 1970s with a Nikon film camera. Um, wow.
  • The way we see it, just about anything from Joe McNally automatically gets a mention in Cool Stuff. Here, he goes over some of his images published in NatGeo. An hour with Joe McNally? Um, yeah!
  • The awesome folks at Vimeo have thrown a lot of video-related tutorials out there for you budding filmmakers. Now, they’ve got one up that should make a few lightbulbs go off in your heads too. Here’s how to use your car as a massive motorized dolly.
  • We’re fans of photographer Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens. Not only is he a working pro, he takes time to help educate the rest of us on various tips and techniques. Here’s his latest, a tutorial on simple corporate portraits.
  • And speaking of photographers we admire, Zack Arias was featured on Complex magazine’s blog as part of a new series called Shots Fired.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

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

Landscape Fan Photo Challenge Winners

BL News

Congratulations to our winners from the first week of our Fan Photography Challenge. Each week, a new theme will be presented to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram community where they can participate by submitting or voting on photos for a chance to win prizes. You can read more details on our Announcing the BorrowLenses.com Fan Photography Challenge blog post.

The top photos from each theme will be included in our “Fan Favorite and Grand Prize Winner” Contest. Our guest judge, Rick Sammon, will select a Grand Prize winner who will walk away with a $1,000 gift card to use on BorrowLenses.com while the Fan Favorite will receive a $500 gift card to use on BorrowLenses.com.

The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part 0.5

Gear Talk

This is a quick ‘n dirty post that’s part of my “Switch” series. Part 1 of the series can be found here.

I was in the studio, working on a quick lighting test. The subject was a violin positioned on a tall chair, and I was moving in and out, shooting the whole thing, then switching to some detail work. I had two SB-910′s on stands, with gels and, occasionally, a Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe on one of them.

The shot you see below was taken with the D800 I currently have for testing, with a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Micro lens.

The SB-910 shining on it has the aforementioned Lastolite softbox on it, as well as a chocolate gel. There is absolutely no post-production on the shot.

I am really, really liking the tones coming off that Nikon. They are, in a word, luscious.

What blew me away was when I zoomed in at 100% to look at the object in focus, the second knob from the left. Click on the image below to embiggen; the smaller size won’t show you what I’m talking about.

Wow. I mean, yeah, I’m going to have to repeat this experiment with a Canon 5D Mark III and the famed 100mm f/2.8L macro as well, but, well, wow.

I’ve always known that this would a rough experiment. I knew I’d have my preconceptions challenged. I guess I was hoping it wouldn’t be this hard.

Cool Stuff – Week of September 22, 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.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

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

The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part I

Gear Talk

This is Part I of a series on moving from an all-Canon setup to an all-Nikon setup for four weeks. Will I go back to Canon at the end of four weeks? I have no idea…

The Gear List

The Gear List

“I’m going to check out a bunch of Nikon gear and go shoot with it for four weeks. Then I’ll write a series of articles about it.”

I grinned at Jim Goldstein, BorrowLenses.com’s VP of marketing, and my nominal boss. He stared back at me, first with a blank expression, then with a knowing glint in his eye.

“You’re looking to switch, aren’t you?” he asked. “And you want to use this idea for a series to test the waters on the other side, dontcha?”

He kinda had me there. I’d been eyeing that D800 ever since it was announced, and was eager to give it a try. More importantly, I really was thinking of switching sides. (more…)

BorrowLenses.com iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative

Cool Stuff Gear Talk

Here at BorrowLenses.com we understand not everyone is impressed enough with the new iPhone 5 to upgrade. For those looking for an alternate upgrade path for their iPhone we’d like to introduce you to our iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative:

Who needs an iPhone 5 upgrade when you can slap a top of the line CP.2 cinema lens on your iPhone 4. This handy dandy solution knocks out two birds with one stone:
1. No need for a vintage filter app. Enjoy a warm hue, vignetted frame and ample dust spots on a lens adapter magnification screen.
2. Enjoy the optical advantage only the Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed Lens can provide.

Everyone who sees you filming with this bad boy on your iPhone will instantly know you’re a DP on the rise. See some example footage below:

Rent yours today:
Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T 1.5 Super Speed EF Mount
iPhone 4 and iPhone EF mount adapter not included.

More images after the jump…
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Sharpness You Can See: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II

Gear Talk

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II at BorrowLenses.com

The much anticipated release of the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II has been the source of much discussion and debate. While the lens has some notable differences than the original Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM (we’ll cover those at the end) the #1 attribute of note is its sharpness. (more…)

The Leica Diary, Part V – Final Thoughts

Gear Talk

After about four weeks of shooting with the Leica M9 and various lenses, I came to a dismaying conclusion.

I am not a street photographer. I don’t like street photography. I get nervous, am unsure, and take terrible street photos.

And, for most of the time that I had the M9, I was trying to be a street photographer.  (more…)

D600, anyone?

BL News Gear Talk

So if you follow us on Instagram or Twitter, you already know this, but for our RSS subscribers and blog readers out there, here’s a quick heads-up: WE HAZ DA NEW D600!

D600 in stock. Burger not included.

D600 in stock. Burger not included.

So whether you’re looking to buy one and want to try it out first, or you’re just curious to see how Nikon’s new “budget” full-frame camera performs, you need wait no longer. Get your D600 here: http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/nikon_bodies/Nikon_D600_Digital_Camera

Cool Stuff – Week of September 14, 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.

  • You probably saw this already, but dangit, how could we not repost this? A seagull takes off with a GoPro? Genius!
  • The big Photokina photography show is almost on us and the announcements are coming hard and fast. We recommend keeping an eye on our friends at PetaPixel; they’ve got a ton of info about announcements from Sony, Nikon, Hasselblad, and more.
  • And speaking of announcements from Nikon, they’ve made a crazy-cool video to show off the video capabilities of their newly-announced D600.
  • Google Glass is starting to make a splash in all kinds of places, including the world of fashion. Here’s a video from Diane von Furstenberg’s 2013 show in New York, captured via Google Glass.
  • Finally, even though we don’t carry any film gear, it makes our hearts glad to see that the old stalwart Rolleiflex TLR analog camera is still being made today.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

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

Finding the Photo in the Cruft

Gear Talk
Nikon D800

Nikon D800

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the power of software to bring out something interesting in images that might otherwise be a wash, but wouldn’t you know it, I’m still capable of being amazed.

I’m currently shooting with the Nikon D800 of late as part of an assignment (more to come on that later), and I was up in the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay Area at night, hoping to get some shots of the brilliantly-lit vista that encompassed San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and parts of the Peninsula area.

Of course, I got up there, and everything was completely fogged in. (more…)

Tilt/Shift: Working With Perspective-Control Lenses, Part 1

Gear Talk
Schneider 50mm on a Canon 5D Mark III

Schneider 50mm on a Canon 5D Mark III

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

Anyone who’s ever shot a building or any other structure from the bottom looking up knows that the bottom-up perspective makes it look like the vertical lines of the building are all converging towards the top. This problem is exaggerated with wider-angle lenses, making many of these lenses unsuitable for certain types of architectural photography, where not having those distortions is key. (more…)

Announcing the BorrowLenses.com Fan Photography Challenge

BL News

Today we’re kicking off our inaugural BorrowLenses.com Fan Photography Challenge on our Facebook page.  Every week from today through the end of October we’ll be running weekly photography contests. By entering you could win as much as $1600 in prizes!

Announcing the BorrowLenses.com Fan Photography Challenge

How It Works
Every Monday, starting today and ending at the end of October, we’ll be announcing a new photography contest theme. You’ll have 1 week to submit your best photo via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For Twitter and Instagram submissions just mention @borrowlenses and include the hashtag #FanChallenge to be automatically entered.  Voting is open during the submission period plus 1 week following. Share your photo with your friends, family and fans and vote once a day to increase your chances of winning. At the conclusion of each themed contest votes will be tallied and a weekly winner will be crowned. Each weekly winner will win a $100 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate and will have their image and web site featured on our Facebook page and blog. Select your best and submit up to one photo per day. In our final week of the fan photography challenge we’ll pull together the top 10 highest vote getters from each theme and include them in our finalists gallery. We’ll reopen voting, with everyone starting at 0 votes, and the highest vote getter will be awarded a $500 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate as the Fan Favorite award. From this same finalists gallery we’ll have a distinguished guest judge select the grand prize winner who will receive a $1000 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate.

Prizes
Weekly theme winners will receive a $100 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate and bragging rights.
The Fan Favorite Prize winner will receive a $500 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate.
The Grand Prize winner will receive a $1000 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate.
Grand Prize and Fan Favorite Prize winners will be selected on or shortly after November 12th, 2012.

Weekly Photography Contest Themes
Contest themes will include Landscape, Architecture, Portrait, Pets, Street, Travel, and Action.

This Weeks Theme & Schedule
Theme: Landscape Photography
Submission Dates: Monday 9/10 to Sunday 9/16 (Midnight PST)
Voting Dates: Monday 9/10 to Sunday 9/23 (Midnight PST)

How To Enter
Step 1: Like BorrowLenses.com on Facebook
Visit us on Facebook: facebook.com/borrowlenses and click on the “Fan Photo Challenge” tab under our profile photo. If you’re not yet a fan you’ll need to “Like” BorrowLenses fan page to access the contest.

Alternatively submit a photo via Instagram and Twitter. For Twitter and Instagram submissions just mention @borrowlenses and include the hashtag #FanChallenge to be automatically entered.

Step 2: Submit a Photo
Each Monday a new photo contest theme will be opened for submissions. Submit your best photos through Saturday by midnight. To enter you’ll be asked to submit your name and email. Optionally you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Step 3: Vote Daily
Voting is open for a two week period starting the Monday each photo contest theme is opened to submissions.  Votes are limited to once a day per Facebook account. If you’re fortunate enough that more than one of your photos makes it into the top 10 vote count per theme, only your highest-voted photo will be counted.

Step 4: Share & Win
Share your submitted photo(s) with friends, family and fans to vote for your submissions. The photo receiving the highest vote count per photo contest theme will win a $100 BorrowLenses.com gift certificate. The entries receiving the 10 highest vote counts per theme will be eligible to win the $500 Fan Favorite and $1000 Grand Prize awards (both BorrowLenses.com gift certificates)

[learn_more caption="Terms & Conditions"] Contest Rules
No Purchase Or Payment Necessary To Win 

Eligibility
To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age. BorrowLenses.com company employees and their immediate family members are not eligible. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents and children. BorrowLenses.com will not verify receipt of entries. Incomplete entries are void. BorrowLenses.com is not responsible for entries that are lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, incomprehensible, illegible, damaged, undeliverable or delayed. Participants may submit one photo per day.

Multiple Votes per Person
Each person may vote once per day. Fraudulent or abusive voting will be monitored and omitted.

Prizes & Winner Selection
Grand prize BorrowLenses.com gift certificate is valued at $1000.00,  Fan Favorite prize BorrowLenses.com gift certificate is valued at $500, weekly gift certificate prizes valued at $100. Weekly winners will be selected from the most voted photos of that weeks theme (Fan Favorite) & a curated selection (Staff Favorite). Weekly winners are ineligible from winning other weekly contest. Grand Prize winners will be selected from the 10 images receiving the most votes from each theme by a guest judge. The Fan Favorite winner will be chosen by our Facebook community from the 10 images receiving the most votes from each theme. Winners automatically grant the use of their name and likeness in the promotion of this and other BorrowLenses.com contests, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. Winners outside of the U.S.A. accept that we cannot ship rentals outside of the U.S.A as we are a U.S. based company. Non-U.S. winners may use their gift certificates when in the U.S.A. We reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in the event that the original promised prize becomes unavailable.

Inappropriate Content
Obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. We retain sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.

Copyrights
Entrants retain copyright to their work and upon submission grant BorrowLenses.com use of their image in relation to the promotion of our photo contest(s), current or future, on our blog, social media web sites and other web properties without any fee or other form of compensation. All photos used to promote this contest are copyrighted by the original photographers.

Rights
By entering the contest, entrants agree to have their submitted name displayed on our website and used by us for any purpose, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. We reserve the right to disqualify users, without notice, and for any reason. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.[/learn_more]

 

The Leica Diary, Part IV – An Unexpected Thing or Two

Gear Talk
The M9 with a 50mm f/2.5 Summarit-M lens

The M9 with a 50mm f/2.5 Summarit-M lens

In this part, I’ll look at a couple of unexpected things I ran into when shooting with the Leica.

Most people who shoot with a Leica assume that the lenses available for it, like the 50mm f/2.5 shown above, are primes. And, for the most part, this is true. I’d certainly had no reason to think otherwise.  (more…)