The Best Lenses for Night Photography: A Case for Rokinon Primes

The Best Lenses for Night Photography: A Case for Rokinon Primes

David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses (pun intended?) on the night sky. He set out to find the best astrophotography and night photography lenses for their price point. Discover why Rokinon lenses may transform how you shoot. The Best Lenses for Night Photography by David Kingham Prime vs Zoom What do you want in a lens for night photography? The most important factor is how much light a lens will let in so that we can shoot at lower ISOs– this means apertures of f/2.8 or greater (f/1.4 being preferred). Most zoom lenses only go to f/2.8 and, while they are perfectly okay for night photography, they are not the ultimate lenses to use. Enter the prime lens! A prime lens is a fixed-focal-length lens that is designed to have much larger apertures. If you have looked into the major manufacturers’ primes (Nikon, Canon, Zeiss) you may be thinking I’m crazy right now because they are expensive (unless, of course, you rent them)! I went on a search for lenses with the ultimate quality-to-price ratio. Rokinon Lenses In this search I’ve become a huge fan of Rokinon brand lenses. These are also branded under Samyang, ProOptic, and Bower. They are all the same lenses, just with different names. Rokinon seems to be the more common name in the US. The following lenses are relatively cheap compared to the pro-series Nikon or Canon lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8 (also available in Canon mount) Rokinon 24mm 1.4 (also available in Canon mount) Rokinon 35mm 1.4 (also available in Canon mount) Rokinon 85mm 1.4 BorrowLenses.com has the following Canon cinema lenses available to...
BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

First, a confession: I’m a Nikon shooter. However, the first digital camera I ever really learned how to use was a Rebel T2i (was a film shooter prior to that). I have had a soft spot for the Rebel series ever since, despite being currently married to a D800. They are fantastic cameras and the T5i is no exception but, to be honest, it just isn’t at all exceptional when compared to its 2012 predecessor, the T4i. In comparison to the T4i, the T5i… Maintains the same 18.0 megapixel CMOS sensor as its predecessor, the T4i. Maintains the same hybrid sensor that allows for that smooth and quiet continuous auto focusing in STM (STepping Motor) lenses. Adds Scene Mode to the modes dial. Also, the mode dial spins all the way around. Small change, but nice. Maintains the exact same LCD menu as in the T4i. Changes how one accesses the different Scene Modes. I feel it is now slightly more difficult on the T5i. On the T4i, you can select HDR Backlight Control, Handheld Night Scene and Night Portrait on the dial itself. On the T5i, the dial must be set to SCN and then you have to navigate between the above-listed scenes using a combination of the Q-button/print button and the scroll wheel. Boo to that. My personal theory for why they set it up this way is that now firmware updates can include new Scene Modes without the dial being considered out-of-date in its labeling. If Scene Modes are your thing then this could prove exciting for you. Maintains the exact same menu, info, and Live...
Top Ten Tips for Amazing Amusement Park Photography

Top Ten Tips for Amazing Amusement Park Photography

Kristopher Rowberry is the creator and host of Great American Thrills and an anchor at 1590 KLIV: Silicon Valley News. He is an extreme theme and amusement park enthusiast and knows the ins and out of taking photographs at one of America’s favorite attractions. If you’re heading to an amusement park this summer with camera in tow, be sure to read this tips first! Top Ten Tips for Amusement Park Photography by Kristopher Rowberry There are few places on Earth that allow you to use the full feature set of your camera skills and most people don’t think that place would be the grand old American amusement park! I’m here to show you how to get spectacular shots, while having fun at the same time. My Favorite Arsenal: Nikon D800 Nikon 14-24mm Nikon 24-70mm Nikon 70-200mm VR II 3 circular polarizing filters Lowepro Flipside 300 Backpack For most of my action shots, I shoot at a high shutter speed to avoid blur in the daylight (about 1/4000th of a second and above) and adapt my ISO settings accordingly depending on sun or shade. TIP #1: If you intend on going on any rides or attractions, assume your gear isn’t coming on board with you. While you’re spinning around in the air, your gear is on the ground and vulnerable to theft. Take this into consideration when packing your backpack the night before. Consider using an “All Day Use” locker so you can secure your items and not worry about your equipment being stolen while on rides. The $5-$15 investment is well worth it.  TIP #2: Check the park press page...
Lighting and Photographing White Seamless Background Headshots

Lighting and Photographing White Seamless Background Headshots

I photographed the staff headshots for both BorrowLenses.com and Zenfolio.com using just a white wall as my background. Lighting basic higher-key headshots is an essential skill for most photographers. Here is a step-by-step guide for how I lighted the scene to create that seamless “white room” effect. Lighting Gear I Use For a large space, I use the following items: Elinchrom BX-RI Kit x 2 Elinchrom 39″ Rotalux Deep Octabox Elinchrom Octa Light Bank – 74″ Sekonic 358 Lightmeter The Elinchrom BX-RI Kit comes with two small umbrella softboxes which are perfect for using on your background strobes because their black backing prevents unwanted light from spilling onto your model. For a small space, I use the following items: Flashes, any brand that allows off-camera shooting, x 4 Black-backed umbrellas x 2 Small-to-medium sized beauty dish or softbox, such as the Photoflex OctoDome nxt Extra Small Kit. 3′ or larger softbox or octabox, such as the Westcott 28″ Apollo Kit. These can be varied for budged and taste. Just remember the essentials: 1 large light modifier as your key source. The larger the source, the softer the results–especially with a diffuser. 1 smaller light modifier as your fill. A reflector may also be used but may not produce as even and soft results. 2-4 umbrellas or softboxes for your wall or white paper backdrop. Placement of the Lighting Gear I place my key above my subject by several feet, pointed downward at them and facing them at a right or left-leaning angle. I place my fill on the opposite side at a similar angle and below the subject by...
Kodak’s First Canon-based DSLR: A 1.3 Megapixel Slice of Photographic History

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

The San Francisco Chronicle ran this photo on the front page of the paper the day after the 49ers won the Super Bowl in 1995. The picture shows Jerry Rice, whose 10 catches for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns tied his own record for most touchdown receptions in a Super Bowl and the 49ers became the 1st team to win 5 Super Bowls. However, that wasn’t the only remarkable event of Super Bowl XXIX. The above picture was shot on Kodak’s very first Canon-based digital SLR–a 1.3 megapixel, no-LCD, nearly 4-pound behemoth that cost around $16,000. The image above was the first taken on this camera and published in an American newspaper. This photo of a legacy marks the beginning of a revolution for digital imaging. When this photo was taken (you can see more from the set here), the Canon EOS-DSC 3 hadn’t even been released to the public yet (it would be released later in 1995). The camera was, in essence, a modified Canon EOS-1N film camera and modified Kodak NC2000e digital camera back put together. Kodak produced all of the major electronic components while maintaining the Canon EF lens mount. Approximately 189 images could be stored on a 260MB hard disk PC card and, with only 5 focus points and a maximum continuous shooting speed of 2.7 fps in 12-frame bursts, Chronicle photographer Fred Larsen did a tremendous job capturing these sports shots. Larsen, purportedly, had only had the camera for a couple of hours before having to go out on assignment with it. He nailed this shot with the help of a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L USM, which would have had an effective focal length of around 510mms on the...