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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…)

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.

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…)

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…)

Cool Stuff – Week of August 24, 2012

Cool Stuff
8X10 Impossible Project test by Tim Mantaoni.

8X10 Impossible Project test by Tim Mantaoni.

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!

Loads of news to share here as well – new locations, new specials, and new gear.

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

Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Photographers

Vincent Laforet is a filmmaker and photographer that belongs in any reasonable list of Notable Storytellers. Long before he became one of the pioneers (some, including me, would say he is the pioneer) of making films with video-capable DSLRs, he was a staff photographer for the New York Times – and a Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer at that.

Get Your Gear On With the Canon 1Dx

Gear Talk

We’ve been waiting for this bit of kit for a long, long time. The 1Dx is finally here, and we run through a bunch of the features of Canon’s flagship body. This full-frame camera is set to replace the 1D mkiV and the 1Ds mk III. We show off the high frame-rate, some AF features, compare ISO settings and give a general rundown of this exciting new professional DSLR.

The 1Dx is available for rent now at http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/Canon_EOS_1D_X_Digital_SLR

“Bullet-Time Backflip” sequence by:http://cargocollective.com/emotiveimage/

BLCast Episode 3 – An Interview With Andy Biggs

BL News
Andy Biggs

Andy Biggs

Welcome to Episode 3 of BLCast, the official podcast of BorrowLenses.com.

Taking a photo safari through the African wilderness is something that every landscape and wildlife photographer thinks about. Andy Biggs was so taken with the idea that he eventually left a cushy job to spend more time exploring the continent with his camera in hand. Today, he’s a premiere landscape and wildlife photographer specializing in Africa, leading extensive photo tours through countries like Tanzania, Botswana, and South Africa.

Elephants and Clouds, from Andy's "Timeless Africa" gallery. Image Courtesy and Copyright © Andy Biggs.

Elephants and Clouds, from Andy's "Timeless Africa" gallery. Image Courtesy and Copyright © Andy Biggs.

I caught up with Andy just before he left for an extended series of back-to-back safaris that would start in South Africa and eventually end in Namibia. Andy was kind enough to talk turkey about his photography, his travels, and his company Guragear, which makes some of the best photo bags on the planet.

Andy Biggs’ website is http://andybiggs.com. His blog can be found at http://www.theglobalphotographer.com/. His company, GuraGear, makes some amazing photo bags, so be sure to check them out as well. Andy is also active on Twitter as @andybiggs, so be sure to follow him there.

Lion Siblings, from Andy's "Timeless Africa" gallery. Image Courtesy and Copyright © Andy Biggs.

Lion Siblings, from Andy's "Timeless Africa" gallery. Image Courtesy and Copyright © Andy Biggs.

You can listen to the podcast right here via the embedded player, or you can subscribe to the BLCast feed in iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/blcast-official-podcast-borrowlenses.com/id509556349.

Android users (and iOS/RSS users using third-party podcasting apps), we have a feed for you too: http://borrowlenses.libsyn.com/rss.

As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Cool Stuff – Week of April 13, 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.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, suggestions and feedback in the comments section is always welcome!

Tip of the Week: Use a Tilt-Shift Lens for Panoramic Photos

Tips & Tricks
Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

Every week, 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]

There are many ways to create panoramic images. You can start with a really wide-angle lens, then simply crop down to a long, narrow band to create a “faux” panorama. You can also use the built-in panoramic functions of cameras like Sony’s NEX and Alpha series, as well as Fuji’s X100 and X-Pro1. You can also simply take a series of pictures and stitch them together in Photoshop, or, if you’re really into panoramic photography, you could rent a pano-head from us, like the ones from Nodal Ninja.

Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite ways to create panoramas. All of the methods above have some shortcomings that make it a bit harder to create good panos. Using a wide-angle lens and cropping, for example, leaves me with a lower-resolution file than I’d like. The built-in pano features in some cameras is neat, and I do use them (as shown in Figure 1), but they’re also relatively low-res JPEGs. Pano heads are great for this sort of work, but you have to find the “nodal point” of each lens you want to use, and that takes quite a bit of work. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of April 06, 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.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!

Tip of the Week: Behold the Frankencam!

Tips & Tricks
The Frankencam: A Canon 5D Mark II with a Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G lens

The Frankencam: A Canon 5D Mark II with a Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G lens. Image Copyright © Sohail Mamdani

The practice of swapping lenses between platforms via adapters isn’t something new. Back in October 2011, for example, we wrote about using Canon, Nikon, and Leica lenses with Micro 4/3 cameras. Similarly, you can use an adapter to mount Nikon lenses onto Canon cameras, but until recently, this was limited to a smaller subset of Nikon lenses.

The “D” lenses from Nikon, the ones with manual aperture rings like the Nikon 35mm f/2, could be used via an adapter on Canon cameras. You could manipulate the aperture manually on the lens, and set the shutter speed on your camera. DSLR video shooters quickly took to these lenses for this very reason.

(more…)