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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…
(more…)

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…)

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…)

Hard at Work

BL News

Dragging my carcass out of bed at 4:30am on Labor Day, I hauled myself over to the Marin Headlands to shoot for a piece on Tilt-Shift lenses. To my surprise, I found fellow photographer and BorrowLenses.com VP of Marketing Jim Goldstein already there, hard at work as well.

Cool Stuff – Week of September 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.

  • We begin this week with this riveting and powerful video on the impact of the world’s most powerful videos. There’s a lot missing from this video, but I think we’ll all agree there’s something to be said for the core message here.
  • Black and white photographers are almost fanatical about their art and craft. Here’s a pretty cool video (in B&W, natch!) that might help explain why.
  • The next vid comes to us from our friends at PetaPixel – have YOU heard of Flam Wenders?
  • Let’s face it, we’re a gear company. And as a gear company, we salivate over new stuff just like everyone else. So we’re stoked to see two new cameras from Canon, the C500 4K video beast, and the original C300’s little sibling, the C100.
  • And finally, because we must – the Leica 1600mm f/5.6. Cost: just over $2 million. Erm, no. We will NOT be carrying this lens for rent.

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.

Playing With Canon’s New Big Guns

Gear Talk

Canon’s 1Dx and 600mm f/4L IS II lens have been two of the most sought after (and repeatedly delayed) items in their inventory for the past year or so. Now, Canon is finally shipping them with some regularity, and we took this opportunity to put this new combo through its paces.

I love photographing birds. A few years ago, I started with a Canon 100-400mm lens and a Rebel XTi, and shot from the comfort of my car. Eventually, I moved up to a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 600mm f/4, or a 500mm f/4 lens.

The 1D MKIV/600mm combo became a favorite, and I managed to capture some really cool images with it that are part of my Natural History portfolio.

Humingbird shot with a 1D Mark IV and the Mark I 600mm lens

Humingbird shot with a 1D Mark IV and the Mark I 600mm lens

Of course, since then, Canon has introduced its successor to the 1D MKIV and the 600mm f/4. The 1Dx takes over where the 1D MKIV left off, introducing a bigger sensor and better high-ISO performance, among other things, whereas the new 600mm Mark II comes in at slightly shorter and much lighter than its predecessor.

I took this combo out for a spin to see if it would match up to my old favorites. As with my previous reviews, I focus more on the shooting experience out in the field, rather than lab tests and results. (more…)

The Leica Diary, Part III – Focus

Gear Talk

Part I of the Leica Diary can be found here. Part II can be found here.

Zone focus.

Those are the two key words you need to know about focusing with a Leica. If you’ve used a rangefinder before, you already know this; if you haven’t, then read on.

Leica cameras don’t focus like the DSLRs, ILC (Interchangeable Lens Compacts like the Olympus E-P2), or point-and-shoot digitals that we’re all used to. For one, Leica lenses are all manual-focus lenses. For another, unlike most other digital cameras today, you’re not focusing through the lens (TTL). You’re actually using a separate viewfinder to do the framing and focusing for you.  (more…)