BL Blog


Leverage Multiple Camera Platforms with Adapters

Gear Talk

Recently, I completed a shoot for an article written by our own Alex Huff for 500px’s ISO blog. For it, I returned to my trusty old 5D Mark II and an even older lens: a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 AiS lens that’s at least 30 years old.

For me, the results were well past what I’d expected from the setup.


Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks

Tips & Tricks

It’s safe to say that an African safari is on most wildlife photographers’ destination wish list. It is a trip many will never get the chance to do due to the extensive travel and time requirements as well as the significant financial expense. However, for those lucky enough to set out on the incredible journey it’s not as simple as picking a destination, hotel, and plane ticket. There is a significant amount of preparation and planning that must be done ahead of time. advocate and wildlife photographer David Bernstein recently returned from his epic safari trip and graciously shared a few tips he learned along the way. Bernstein started out using a humble Rebel series camera and over time grew into being what he calls a “photo-naturalist”, taking pictures of landscapes and wildlife with an affinity for birds. This article is meant to help you plan for an African photo-focused safari and address many of the things to consider before embarking on the journey of a lifetime.


Cool Stuff — February 21, 2015

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a recurring feature where we post our favorite links, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

Cool Stuff articles are culled from BLFlip, the official Flipboard Magazine of If you’ve got an iOS or Android device, you can download the Flipboard app for free now.


Atomos Shogun First Impressions

Gear Talk

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a few tips for folks shooting with the Atomos Shogun external monitor/recorder. I’ve had some time to put my unit through a few shoots and have some first impressions to share.


5 Quick Tips for Shooting with the Atomos Shogun

Gear Talk
The Sony A7s (in a custom cage) connected to the Atomos Shogun

The Sony A7s (in a custom cage) connected to the Atomos Shogun

We recently received the Atomos Shogun external monitor/recorder, a bit of gear a lot of customers have been eager to work with for some time now. We’re currently putting it through its paces and will have sample footage for you soon, but for now, we thought we’d put together a few tips and tricks that we’ve found useful when shooting with the Atomos Shogun


The Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS Lens is Ready for Your Next Video Shoot

BL News Gear Talk

We have a new cine lens for rent – the FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 G OSS. It’s ideal for both the Sony FS7 and the Sony a7S but will mount on any E mount camera. It is ideal for run-and-gun style shooting, documentary filmmaking, and any other cinematic use where portability is important. Here are some features that really stand out about this lens and why should you shoot with it. (more…)

A Comparison of 50mm Lenses

Gear Talk
There has been a sizable number of 50mm lenses that have flooded an already saturated market in the past 5 years. For example, there is the affordable and dependable Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G (~$200), the much talked-about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art (~$1,000), and the luxurious Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus (~$4,000). What are the major differences between these (other than the Zeiss being a 55mm) and the collection of other 50mm lenses out there? When is it better to splurge rather than shoot more modestly? We quickly put 19 lenses to the test, old and new, to see how they compare to one another.  All images were captured on the Sony Alpha a7R with a Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Smart Adapter IIIMetabones Nikon G to Sony NEX Adapter, and a Sony LA-EA3.


Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Photographers Tips & Tricks

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish.


Quick Look at the Sony HVL-F60M Flash with LED Video Lights

Gear Talk

Sony has started releasing cameras and flashes with hot shoes that abandon the previous proprietary Minolta-style hot shoe which means the Sony HVL-F60 pairs well with the NEX line, the RX line, and the A99. This is also our first flash gun that is suitable for both photographers and videographers thanks to the inclusion of a mini LED panel on the flash head. (more…)

Small Cameras with Big Impact: Traveling Light without Compromising Quality

Gear Talk

Don’t get us wrong – we LOVE our big cameras, especially those pro bodies with huge, high-quality glass. Lugging it around, however, is not so ideal – especially while on vacation or during situations where there just isn’t a lot of room to shoot.

High-quality sensors are coming in smaller and smaller form factors, which is good news for globe-trekking photographers or for those who simply need to pack lightly. These small cameras are perfect for:

  • Hiking to get that great sunrise/sunset shot from a high vantage.
  • Inconspicuously taking candids out on the street.
  • Using auto or fully-manual settings on a simplified system.

Here are 5 recommended small cameras with incredible image quality: (more…)

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

Gear Talk

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.

(more…) Fun at the 2013 NAB Show: Day Three

BL News Gear Talk is at the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas! If you are here, too, please come visit us in booth #C9550! We have great cameras for folks to try out and other surprise goodies, including a chance to win a free rental from us! Not at NAB? That’s ok – take a virtual tour with us below. Here are some of the shots we were able to take during quick breaks. See more here and here.

New Zacuto Stabilization Shoulder-Mount Rigs Available to Rent at

Gear Talk

Zacuto makes high-quality, USA-manufactured videography and photography accessories and stabilization rigs for pro-level cameras and DSLRs alike. Shoot like a pro for a fraction of the price! Get familiar with our new kits.

Cool Stuff, Week of February 1, 2013

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 love it when one of our own gets a nod from someone we admire. Our very own Alex Huff was mentioned in this week’s episode of Photography Tips and Tricks, by none other than R.C. Concepcion. Have a look at the end of the video below.
  • The Sony RX1 has become a favorite around these parts; check out this Russian-made turret universal optical viewfinder that seems to work perfectly with it.
  • Any time Philip Bloom does a gear review, we tend to drop everything and listen. Here, he breaks down the Canon 1DC for you. As usual, it’s a thorough, full-featured review.
  • This one’s for the retouchers among you. The guys at PhotoShelter have established a reputation not just for being a great photo hosting service, but also for bringing you some fantastic original content via their blog. In this webinar, they talk to veteran retoucher Amy Dresser about her process and technique – and it’s worth watching every second.
  • And finally, from the “If he opens his mouth to talk, you should be quiet and listen department,” the Phillipines’ 24/7 cable news network, ANC, sat down with Joe McNally for a really good interview.

 And now, for the Roundup!

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

Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster Adds Full Frame Versatility in the Crop Sensor Video World

BL News

Learn more about how this adapter can widen your lenses and give you an extra f-stop for a full frame effect on cropped sensors.