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Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part II

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Every Thursday, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

In Part I of this series, we talked about the standard types of PocketWizards, covering the Plus II and Multimax triggers. Now, we’ll tackle the newer, more complex types of PocketWizards, called the ControlTL series.

About the ControlTL series

ControlTL stands for “Control The Light”, and it’s PocketWizard’s way of giving photographers even greater power over their lighting setup. There are several items that make up the system, from triggers designed specifically for studio flashes like the Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 lights, to small flash-specific triggers like the Nikon SB-900 and Canon 580EXII.

(more…)

Weekly Recap – November 7, 2011

Gear Talk

Welcome to the Weekly Recap. Today’s post recaps new and newsworthy items related to photography from around the web for the week ending on November 6, 2011.

  1. In case you missed it, Canon made its Hollywood debut last week. Lots of hoopla and a $20,000 camera in EF (standard Canon lens mount) and PL-mount version. Martin Scorcese and Vince LaForet both made appearances.
  2. Not to be outdone, outspoken and brash CEO Jim Jannard of RED trumped their introduction with his own – a $10,000 RED Scarlet-X that shoots 4K resolution at up to 30p.
  3. Of course, Canon added a very Jobsian “One more thing” nugget at the end of its presentation, announcing an HDDSLR that would capture 4K footage at 24fps in MotionJPEG.
  4. Lawsuits against photographers filed by angry clients isn’t exactly old news, but this one takes the cake. Actually, this guy wants his photographer to pay for his cake. And the rest of his wedding, apparently, so he can restage the whole thing SIX years later. After he’s been separated from his wife. It was enough for Anderson Cooper to add him to the Ridiculist.
  5. What is it these days with the law and photographers? First there’s the guy above, suing for $48,000. Then, an Oakland cop fires a rubber bullet at a photographer. And somewhere along the way, a Milwaukee photojournalist was arrested while covering an Occupy Milwaukee protest. Photography is not a crime, people!
  6. At least the folks in New Hampshire have it right. A judge there dropped wiretapping charges against a man for recording a police officer during a traffic stop.
  7. Going back to new gear releases, Panasonic unveiled the GX1, it’s newest Micro 4/3 camera. The category continues to grow…
  8. Our friends at DPS have a list of their top 10 photographic accessories, as presented by their readers.
  9. The folks at DIYPhotography have a rundown of the latest, greatest, most cutting edge camera flash technology – from 150 years ago.
  10. And finally, because everyone who shoots Canon knows that white lenses are better than black, one photographer painted his sub-$100 50mm f/1.8 lens white, with a red ring. Presenting: the 50mm f/1.8L (not really ‘L) lens.

And… fight!

Gear Talk
RED vs Canon

RED vs Canon

Canon says hello to Hollywood.

For a few years now, Hollywood has had a burgeoning love affair with Canon’s EOS HDDSLRs, using them in productions ranging from Transformers to Captain America to TV shows like House. Now, Canon is making its formal entrance bid into Hollywood with the $20,000 Cinema EOS C300. Check out Canon’s new site dedicated to all things Cinema EOS.

More importantly, check out our friend Vincent Laforet’s post on his newest video, Mobius, shot with the C300. There’s an awesome behind the scens video, both embedded here for your viewing pleasure.

Mobius from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

 

Mobius :: Behind The Scenes from Blake Whitman on Vimeo.

The camera looks pretty impressive and the video, if Mobius is any indication, is of excellent quality. The Super35 sensor is a 4K sensor, but captures a 1080p file, and Canon has a DSLR concept that can capture 24fps in the MotionJPEG codec at 4K resolution.

Yeah, we’re salivating.

3 hours later, RED unveiled new specs, pricing and availability of their answer to the C300, the Scarlet-X.

And what a coup – the Scarlet-X is all grown up. 5K at 12fps (that’s 14 megapixel stills at 12 frames per second) and 4K at up to 30fps, incredible dynamic range and a price that starts at $10,000. A fully equipped package, ready to shoot, minus lenses, is $14,000. It has the same sensor as it’s big brother, the EPIC; the difference in the two – besides the price – is the processing power in the camera’s brain; the EPIC can handle higher frames per second at higher resolutions because of it.

Um, wow.

Since canon announced the C300 before RED put their announcement out, we’ve yet to hear what Canon’s reps think of the Scarlet-X. Either way, as the folks at Pixiq say, “The battle for amateur filmmakers is about to commence, and things are are about to get properly interesting…”

Tip of the week: Using a gimbal head

Tips & Tricks

Every Thursday, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

Canon 1D MK IV on a Wimberley gimbal head

Canon 1D MK IV on a Wimberley gimbal head

One of the questions we get quite often from our customers is about photographing wildlife using long lenses. Here at BorrowLenses.com, we carry a wide variety of those lenses, like Canon’s 500mm, 600mm and 800mm lenses, as well as Nikon’s flagship 500mm and 600mm lenses.

These are large lenses and can weight in excess of 10lbs, making hand-holding them incredibly impractical. A tripod is very important to have, but so is having the right kind of tripod head. A regular ballhead would work fine if your subject was stationary for the most part, but wildlife – particularly birds – aren’t known for staying still. Ballheads also pose a threat to your delicate lens as their heavy front elements have been known to cause the entire setup (lens, tripod, ballhead) to pitch forward if the tension is released too quickly.

The best solution? Say hello to our littler friend, the gimbal head. Made by vendors such as Custom Brackets and Wimberley, these heads allow you to mount large lenses in a way that makes them almost weightless and lets you move the lens in a free and easy manner using just your fingertips.

(more…)

Weekly Recap – October 31, 2011

BL News

Welcome to the Weekly Recap. Today’s post recaps new and newsworthy items related to photography from around the web for the week ending on October 30.

  1. It’s not news, but it is newsworthy – The folks over at The Photoletariat have posted an awesome video about vendor-client relationships. Many of our customers here at BorrowLenses.com will connect with this right away.
  2. Burn, a riveting documentary about firefighters in Detroit was filmed using helmet-mounted Contour HD cameras (much like the GoPro cameras we rent). The documentary needs funding, however, so go over to the project’s Kickstarter page and help out if you can.
    BURN – Footage shot with Contour HD helmet cameras from Tom Putnam on Vimeo.
  3. Here’s your slo-mo video of the week: Waves, shot at thousands of frames per second..
  4. Adobe Photoshop 6 might just go with a Lightroom/Aperture-like theme. AppleInsider has a sneak peek into the next version of the popular image editing software.
  5. Google+, which is getting a LOT of love from photographers, is now giving some love back. Google has introduced the Creative Kit, which allows you to add filters to your uploaded images.
  6. The folks over at Phaidon press have released the third in a series of one-minute tips from National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. McCurry took one of the most iconic photographs in the world, the June 1985 cover of National Geographic, called “Afghan Girl”.
  7. File this under the “What? Why?” department. Nikon is reportedly looking at acquiring the WebOS operating system from HP.
  8. Look! Up in the sky! It’s… a ball? No, it’s the future of aerial camera systems, says Petapixel. The Japanese ministry of defense has apparently gone off and invented a spherical flying device. Amazing.
  9. APhotoEditor.com has an interesting read on shooting with your conscience. It’s not the first time that a photographer has turned down a client on principle, but it’s always interesting to hear about it anyway.
  10. And, because it’s Halloween and we can’t very well leave this recap without a costume-related piece, here it is: A working Nikon camera costume.

Weekly Recap – October 24, 2011

BL News

Welcome to the Weekly Recap. Today’s post recaps new and newsworthy items related to photography from around the web for the week ending on October 23.

  1. Petapixel is reporting that “A couple of scenes in “The Avengers” were shot with the iPhone 4. We’re pissed. We’ve been training on our RED, for heaven’s sake! Now we have to do iPhone training?
  2. From the “I want it now” department, the Canon 1Dx replaces the 1D Mark IV and 1Ds Mark III.
  3. Sony halts production of the NEX-7 and Reflex Alpha 65 due to the floods in Thailand. Looks like the D800 announcement might be called off because of that too.
  4. Got motion blur in your images? The next version of Photoshop might be able to fix that for you. Adobe releases more details on a deblurring tool demoed at Adobe Max 2011.
  5. Need more megapixels? How’s 200? Go behind the scenes of a vintage Ferrari shoot with the Hasselblad H4D-200MS.
  6. Canon makes changes to its Canon Professional Services program. It’s now easier to become a member.
  7. Getty images is getting sued for using the pine-tree-shaped car air fresheners in some of their stock images. Looks like a judge agreed with the air freshener company, because Getty just lost a round in that case.
  8. There’s a new fund to honor the memory of fallen photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libya this year. Donate to the fund at Democracy in Action.
  9. A couple of weeks ago, Olympus’ CEO was fired. Now, it looks like the scandal goes deeper. Corruption! Fraud! Embezzlement! All the makings of a TV movie.
  10. New Hero! Everyone’s favorite action sports camera, the GoPro Hero, is now available in a new iteration, the HD Hero 2. Now Jeb Corliss has to do his wingsuit thing all over again with the new cameras.

Tip of the week: Offloading your images quickly

Tips & Tricks
The iPad 2

The iPad 2

Every Thursday, we post a photography-related tip. These tips are inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

This week’s tip is inspired by something that we’ve heard asked many times; with today’s high resolution cameras, a 4GB, 8GB or even 16GB memory card may not be enough to hold all your images from a shoot, so you’ll need a safe way to offload the images and resume shooting.  (more…)

Weekly Recap – October 17, 2011

BL News
The FaceBook App for iPad.

The FaceBook App for iPad. Image courtesy FaceBook.com

Welcome to the Weekly Recap. Today’s post recaps new and newsworthy items related to photography from around the web for the week ending on October 16.

  1. Facebook releases iPad app: Why should photographers care? Well, apparently, it makes your photos bigger. And bigger, as they say, is better.
    http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/facebook-ipad-app/
  2. Thailand floods, Nikon affected: The floods in Thailand have reached Nikon’s factories there, the company says. Price hikes on Nikon products to follow, rumors say.
    http://nikonrumors.com/2011/10/10/thailand-flooding-reaches-nikons-factories.aspx/
  3. Everyone – including 500px – has an app: Just a few days ago, a third-party company released an iPhone app for 500px.com, the popular photo sharing site. Now, the company has its own app for the iPad.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/500px/id471965292?mt=8
  4. Ouch: This is why everyone needs to wear a GoPro. Yes, we know. It’s textbook schadenfreude.
    http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/cyclists-collision-with-hartebeest-filmed-with-gopro-helmet-camera/ 
  5. New Canon and Nikon cameras soon: From the “We’ll believe it when we see it,” category.
    http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/12/canon-and-nikon-may-both-announce-new-dslrs-by-months-end
  6. And we ask again: Fuji, will it focus? Fuji announces pricing and availability of the “Baby X100″.
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1110/11100710fujifilmx10price.asp
  7. More from the “Want it!” category: One camera plate to rule them all.
    http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/13/the-m-plate-one-camera-tripod-plate-to-rule-them-all
  8. Film is going away. Again. Really, this time: Chalk this under the “Haven’t we heard this before?” department? For the record, I still shoot some film.
    http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/film-fading-to-black 
  9. Kickstarter, part 1: Not just for cool iPhone and iPod accessories, Kickstarter can also fund some awesome photographic projects. National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig goes to Chernobyl on a crowdfunded budget.
    http://blog.photoshelter.com/2011/10/success-in-crowdfunding-the-long-shadow-chernobyl/
  10. Kickstarter, part 2: They asked for $20,000. They got just under half a million. Here come the Cineskates.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jj1/cineskates-camera-sliders?ref=live 

New gear: Sony F3L

BL News Gear Talk
Sony F3L body

Sony F3L body

Well, it’s here! We’ve been waiting for Sony’s newest CineAlta series product to come in for some time now and we’re pleased to have it in our inventory. The F3L sits somewhere between the RED and the EX3 in the lineup of pro video bodies we offer, and it’s a perfect addition to our growing list of video products. Take a look at the specs on it:

  • Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor
  • PL mount
  • 35mm Cine lens compatibility
  • Dual SxS card memory slots
  • 1920 x 1080 HD, Native 23.98p
  • Variable frame rates
  • Slow –mo (over-crank)/High-speed (under-crank) dial on body of camera
  • Internal ND filters
  • 5600K CC (electric color compensation) filter
  • Focus-assistance functions
  • HD/SD-SDI BNC outputs, Dual XLR inputs
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI Output
  • Genlock, Timecode
  • Optional S-Log/LUT workflow
  • Output to an external recorder in 10-bit 4:2:2 or 10-bit RGB (with upgrade option)

The F3L is targeted at professional, higher-end filmmakers and cinematographers. It matches up with the series of PL mount lenses we carry (more to come soon). If you have any questions about it, please call us at (650) 508-3370 and ask to speak with a video specialist.

Tip of the week: An adaptable camera system

Tips & Tricks
A Zeiss CP.2 lens on an Olympus E-P2

A Zeiss CP.2 lens on an Olympus E-P2

Every Thursday, we will post a photography-related tip here. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

Today we’re going to talk about a video camera called the Panasonic AG AF100. The AF100 is from a family of products that adhere to the Micro Four-Thirds standard. So far, Olympus and Panasonic are the two manufacturers making cameras for this standard, but a number of other manufacturers have also signed on to produce add-ons for it. Sigma, Carl Zeiss, Lensbaby and Voigtlander, all venerable manufacturers, have signed on to make lenses for it. (more…)

Weekly Recap – October 10, 2011

BL News

Welcome to the Weekly Recap. Today’s post recaps new and newsworthy items related to photography from around the web for the week ending on October 9.

  1. Apple.com, in tribute to Steve Jobs

    Apple.com, in tribute to Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs, 1955-2011: The greatest visionary of our time passed away last week. You’ve already read this all over the web, seen it on TV, but no news recap would be complete without mention of the passing of this icon.
    http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/

  2. Staged Photojournalism: How much of the photojournalism you look at is staged? Photographer Ruben Salvadori takes a hard, critical look at that question in this provocative and very disturbing video.
    http://iso1200.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-really-photojournalism-real-behind.html
  3. California photographers, pay up – quick! Didn’t pay your model as soon as the shoot was done? Tsk tsk. You might just get sued, thanks to an obscure labor law in California.
    http://www.petapixel.com/2011/10/05/photographer-looking-for-people-to-do-their-job-without-pay/
  4. Adobe announces stuff. Everyone’s happy. Everyone’s mad. Just another Monday? Adobe announced a slew of new products at the MAX 2011 conference. Some things made people happy (Adobe Photoshop for tablets! Yay!).  Other things made people mad (Adobe Photoshop for tablets! Boo!). Adobe’s own Terry White has a nice roundup here:
    http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/8848
  5. Google+ for photographers: A really good set of videos, courtesy of Scott Kelby. Definitely worth a view.
    http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2011/archives/22120
  6. Yes, but will it focus? The guys at Fuji are planning a competitor to the Micro 4/3 format. Because we don’t have enough competing small-factor interchangeable lens formats.
    https://twitter.com/#!/fujiguys/status/121950934426337280
  7. It’s real! No it’s not! One of the best demos we’ve ever seen of inserting 3D items into an image. Bad Photoshop jobs might be a thing of the past. PR departments at BP and in Iran rejoice.
    http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/rendering-3d-objects-into-photographs/
  8. Is that a microscope in your pocket? More cool stuff from the “must have now even though I have no earthly use for it” department. The geeks at UC Davis have turned the iPhone’s camera into a microscope. No, you don’t need to upgrade to the 4S – unless you want Siri to tell you what horrible disease she sees in the magnified images.
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/uc-davis-iphone-tweak-turns-camera-into-disease-spotting-microscope/
  9. Cancer is cruel and unforgiving, and now it looks to take Photojojo founder Amit Gupta too. Minorities are underrepresented in bone marrow donation banks. Please help.
    http://tumblr.amitgupta.com/post/11102689089/two-weeks-ago-i-got-a-call-from-my-doctor-who-id

Pros you should know: Syl Arena

Photographers

“Pros you should know” is an ongoing Q&A series with photographers that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com admire and follow.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Welcome to the first in a series of articles talking about some of the professionals in our field that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com think you should know. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Syl Arena. (more…)

Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Welcome to a recurring feature on The Blog @ BorrowLenses.com. Every Thursday, we will post a photography-related tip here. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I.

A few of the PocketWizard products on our site

A few of the PocketWizard products on our site

The increasing interest in off-camera flash has led to a number of our customers requesting PocketWizards to trigger off-camera flashes. The problem is, there isn’t just one single PocketWizard available to rent – there are no less than a half-dozen transmitters you have to chose from and just as many receivers. (more…)

Meet the staff: Alexandria “2.0″ Huff

BL News

This is the first of a series of posts introducing the staff at BorrowLenses.com to you, our customers. 

Alexandria "2.0" Huff

Alexandria "2.0" Huff

BorrowLenses has always had a tradition of hiring people who genuinely love photography to fill our ranks. There’s a pretty wide range represented here, from enthusiasts to working professionals, from videographers to still shooters, from landscape artists to sports photographers. This series will introduce you to each one of those people in turn.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Alexandria “2.0″ Huff. (more…)

Tip of the week: Choosing a photo bag

Tips & Tricks

 

Our Bag Choices

Our Bag Choices

Welcome to a recurring feature on The Blog @ BorrowLenses.com. Every Thursday, we will post a photography-related tip here. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

This week’s tip (or, more accurately, collection of tips): Choosing a bag to lug your gear around in. (more…)