The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part I

The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part I

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… “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. Two of my idols, David Hobby and Joe McNally, both shoot Nikon. Nikon’s CLS (Creative Lighting System) for their external flashes is world-renowned, and is a traditional area of strength for that brand. As someone who uses lighting a lot these days, I had seen what all the fuss was about and wanted to put it through its paces for my own shoots. “Well, no, I’m not looking to switch,” I told Jim. “But if it happens as a result of my experiment, well…” Jim’s a good sport, and we both agreed that it would be worth it to see what a Canon shooter with an open mind would feel about moving wholesale to Nikon gear. So,...

On the Profoto Blog

Our recent Tip of the Week was picked up by the wonderful folks at Profoto and mentioned on their blog. If you haven’t been by there, you’re missing out – they post a ton of great stuff that’s worth looking at even if you never use a single piece of Profoto gear. We warn you though – watching some of their videos will induce a pretty severe case of Profoto lust. Don’t say we didn’t warn you… Visit Profoto’s blog at profoto.com/blog, and check out their mention of our piece...
Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

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 blog@borrowlenses.com. This week, we bring out our favorite lighting videos. Whether it’s about small flashes or studio strobes, lighting is something we get an awful lot of questions about. So, we decided to put together a short list of our favorite lighting-related video tutorials to help you get going. These are paid videos, but are worth every penny, since the instructors are some of the best in the business. Joe McNally’s “Language of Light”: Joe is easily one of the best lighting instructors in the world, and his “Language of Light” DVD set is pure genius. Whether it’s shooting a family portrait, or hanging off the back of a truck to capture speeding downhill skaters, Joe does it all and does it incredibly well. He’s funny, engaging and eloquent, and while he doesn’t make it look easy, he does help you understand his methods and techniques, letting you learn a lot in the process. David Hobby’s “Lighting in Layers”: David Hobby became famous for starting what is now considered to be the bible of small flash photography websites. Strobist.com has become the go-to site for folks looking to learn about lighting with small flash, and to his credit, David pretty-much gives away a ton of information for free there. His “Lighting in Layers” DVD, however, ratchets things up...
Pros you should know: Syl Arena

Pros you should know: Syl Arena

“Pros you should know” is an ongoing Q&A series with photographers that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com admire and follow. 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. Syl Arena’s profile is pretty distinctive. If you want to spot him in a crowd, look for a head of fiery red hair. Chances are, if it sticks out in a halo, it’s Syl. Friendly, gregarious and blunt, he’s likely also talking to five people at once about everything from small flashes to motion and more. Syl first gained a steady following as a teacher and photographer when he started into the wilderness that was Canon flash photography at that time. His book, The Speedliter’s Handbook, is now considered required reading for anyone getting into Canon Speedlites, and has been recommended by no less a master than Joe McNally. The level of detail and effort that went into the book is staggering, especially when you consider that Syl was suffering from major back issues at the time. But if you think that speedlites are all that Syl is into, you’d be wrong. As you’ll see below, he’s into a whole lot more, from studio still shoots to location video shoots. Talk to him and you get the sense that Syl isn’t going to be known just as the guy who pretty-much conquered Canon flash photography. We were fortunate to get Syl to take time out of his schedule to answer the Q&A...
Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I

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

Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I. 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. Since there are several combinations of cameras and lights you could be using, this blog entry won’t focus on giving you the list of things you would need for each imaginable combination. Instead, we’ll focus on the basics of PocketWizards and help you figure out what you’re going to need. The Broad Categories of PocketWizards In essence, PocketWizard’s products can be broken down into two key areas: Standard PocketWizards (also called PWs in the lingo) and ControlTL PocketWizards (ControlTL = Control The Light). We’ll address standard PocketWizards today, with a tip on how to select and use ControlTL PocketWizards in a future tip. Standard PocketWizards These are the original PocketWizards, the ones that are the mainstay of many professionals, if not most. They are both transmitters and receivers (called transceivers) and can be used interchangeably. There are two products in this category. PocketWizard Plus II This is the workhorse of the photographic industry. Relatively small and simple to use, it runs off 2 AA batteries and has four seperate channels it can use for transmission. These are considered to be the most reliable PocketWizard, and they see more use than any other version of PocketWizard as well. So, how would you use this? Here are a few combinations. You have a camera...