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The Phoblographer Daily
4 minutes | 9 hours ago
Opinion: The Canon 6D Mk III Should Be the Last DSLR They Make
The Canon 6D Mk III would satisfy the hobbyist photographers that the series was designed for. Canon has proven that they’re capable of creating great mirrorless cameras. They’ve also said there will be no more EF lenses made unless there was a specific and high enough demand for them. But that obviously hasn’t stopped third party lens manufacturers. I also think the Canon DSLR deserves one last hurrah. This would be perfectly immortalized in the Canon 6D Mk III. And just think: Canon would basically take existing technologies that they’ve had for years and recycle them enough to not cannibalize their other products. If it ever came to be, the Canon 6D Mk III would possibly be a final hit for all DSLR lovers. Through the Canon EOS R, Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R6, and the Canon EOS RP the company has created a full line of mirrorless full frame cameras. Parts of one or two of them could be use to create a final 6D iteration. While I’m not quite sure it should have IBIS, it could totally use one of the current sensors. The one in the Canon EOS R6 or the Canon EOS RP would work fine. Heck, the one in the Canon EOS R is the sensor in the latest Canon 5D camera. Why not just use that? It’s a pretty good sensor! This camera would have pretty much every other body aspect of the Canon 6D Mk II. It wouldn’t need much more unless they wanted to recycle an old Canon 5D body of some sort. The 6D lineup was always well weather sealed and they were just very good cameras overall. If you needed a backup DSLR, a 6D is a great choice. If you wanted to shoot astrophotography, the Canon 6D Mk III could probably be a great option. Canon could even make the Canon 6D Mk III A for astro shooters. Beyond this, it would make sense for them to take some other tech inside of their 1DX lineup of cameras and bring it down to this level of camera. It wouldn’t cannibalize sales, but instead would be a great way to send off the DSLR lineup of cameras. To really make it sell, Canon should offer it at low price point. They got the Canon EOS RP to a very low price point and the Canon EOS R isn’t that high either. Canon’s final 6D and DSLR camera should be pretty affordable to drive sales of both the camera and the lenses. Then after that, wish it goodbye. The EF mount has done a great job for them for years but it’s obviously time that the RF mount shines. And indeed, it can. It’s very possible for it to do so with all the tech Canon puts into it. Most of all, Canon should prioritize the viewfinder experience. I’d be so bold as to suggest they bring back the technology from the film days where you could look at an autofocus point and it would be selected. But if not, then make this viewfinder, big, bright and beautiful the way that medium format, Pentax, the Sony a900 or the final Olympus DSLRs were. This is of course a very big experience with using the camera. Think about it, Canon. In a time where COVID 19 sees no real end, it’s probably not too difficult to get done.
5 minutes | a day ago
The New Sigma I Series Lenses Are Exactly What the L Mount Needs
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! They’re now called the Sigma I series. Today, the three new lenses were announced to join the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary as a subset of the Contemporary branch. The Sigma 24mm f3.5 DG DN Contemporary is for wide-angle shots. The Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary is for every day shooting. And the weirdest one is the Sigma 65m f2 DG DN Contemporary. Indeed, Sigma has two normal focal lengths. Sony E Mount Doesn’t Need These, But Leica L Mount Does Let’s be honest here, the Sony full-frame E mount doesn’t need the Sigma I Series lenses. In fact, I’m not sure if you’d buy these over Tamron’s fully weather-sealed and super affordable options. In fact, those are the biggest flaws of these lenses. They all have some weather sealing, but nothing like Tamron’s. The Sigma 45mm needs a UV filter on the front to complete the weather sealing. Further, they’re more expensive than Tamron’s lenses. And if you want a minor quibble, they all also don’t share the same front filter thread. Here are the specs that Sigma gives about these new lenses. All I series lenses feature an all-metal body, with high-precision metal internal parts and a metal lens hood. The 24mm f3.5 is a petal-type hood. All I series lenses feature manual aperture rings and knurled surfaces for an enjoyable tactile experience. The 35mm F2 and 65mm F2 lenses feature a newly-designed arc-type auto/manual focus mode switch. The 24mm F3.5, 35mm F2, and 65mm F2 lenses all feature a dust and splash-proof mount The three new lenses each ship with both a plastic lens cap and a magnetic metallic cap. Surely, the E mount doesn’t need these lenses. Instead, the L mount desperately does! It needs more affordable, small, and lightweight glass. So far, the Sigma FP and the Panasonic S5 cameras are the only ones that are small and lightweight. But the system will surely come out with more. The Leica L mount system has a lot of issues. The autofocus needs to be improved, and none of the L Mount makers have agreed to use a unified hot shoe. But at least these lenses will solve the affordability and heft issues. Cost is another issue; comparatively speaking, they’re pricier than other camera systems but don’t necessarily offer a whole lot more. But if you’re a Sony user, you’re probably curious about Sigma’s advantages. Well, the Sigma I Series lenses all have faster apertures, except for the 24mm. Sigma also went for longer focal lengths, where Tamron went for 20mm, 24mm, and 35mm. Sigma’s lenses are made with metal, which some folks might like more. Indeed, I called the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary the closest thing to a Leica I’ve held in a while. And I’m not sure yet about image quality. Without testing the new Sigma I Series lenses, I hypothesize that they’ll be better than the Tamron offerings. Tamron’s lenses are excellent, but I don’t think they’ve brought their A-game yet with the Sony E mount. Sigma 24mm f3.5 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications 10 elements in 8 groups STM autofocus motor 7 aperture blades 4.3-inch close focusing 1:2 magnification 55mm filter thread 7.9 oz for L mount and 8.1 oz for E mount. That’s about as heavy as a hampster or 2/3rd of a can of soup. $549 price point Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications 10 elements in 9 groups STM autofocus motor 9 aperture blades 10.6-inch close focusing 58mm front filter thread 11.5 oz. That’s around as heavy as a basketball. $639 price point Sigma 65m f2 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications 12 elements in 9 groups STM autofocus motor 9 aperture blades 21.7-inch close focusing 62mm front filter thread 14.3 oz. That’s around the weight of an American football. $699 price point
5 minutes | 2 days ago
These Lights Will Help You Become a Better Photographer
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! When you’re first starting out, lighting can be really difficult. We’re just naturally trained to not pay much attention to it. But the skill in photography comes with understanding lights. Best of all, you don’t need the most expensive or highest end lights to get the job done. Instead, it’s easy to do for a few hundred bucks in most cases. For when you’re first starting out, we recommend the following lights to you. How We Selected These Lights If you’re skilled, most people can’t tell if you used a flash or not when shooting a photo. And even more people can’t tell what light was used to shoot an image. Lighting is far unlike camera presets, specialty lenses, filters, etc. They’ve all got different qualities about them. But there are many ways to get to a solution with lighting. So we chose lights that we feel are going to stick with you for a really long time. Nothing here is over the $500 mark. And most importantly, all of these lights are very versatile. Nissin is the priciest, but it can be used for both photo and video. Flashpoint is the most affordable with the best battery life by far. And Litra is flat out the easiest to use. Best of all, we’ve done full reviews of each of these. Nissin MG80 Pro In our review, we said: “When using the Nissin MG80 Pro at a party, I’d accidentally tap the settings or move the scroll wheel. So to prevent that, I locked the system down. After compensating for the exposure by +1 stop, I locked the flash down and kept shooting as needed. It was a breeze. I, for one, am not one to really like shooting with the flash in the camera. Instead, I’d use radio on-camera and have my flash in my other hand with a light modifier on. But in this case, the Nissin MG80 Pro kept delivering an output that I really liked.” Pro Tip: Think of light like it’s a hose spewing water. You wouldn’t shoot someone directly with a blast. But a light, residual spray can be very pleasant! Generally speaking, it’s never a good idea to bounce your flash output directly up and off a ceiling. Angle the head a little bit behind you. Buy Now: Around $399.95 Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 Round In our review, we said: “The Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 that we tested was designed for Sony hot shoes, but it’s also available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Pentax. You can mount it onto your camera’s hot shoe and use it as an on-camera flash. It can also function as an off-camera flash by controlling it using one of Flashpoint’s R2 transmitters. You can even use the Zoom Li-on X R2 as a transmitter to control other lights that use Flashpoint’s R2 (Godox X) transmission protocol: useful for event photographers who prefer having both on- and off-camera lighting options.” Pro Tip: If you’re photographing a person, you’re best off putting a flash in a modifier like an umbrella or a softbox. The rule of thumb: the larger the light source in relation to the subject, the softer it will be. If your subject within the frame is a person’s face, make sure you’re using an umbrella that’s larger than their face to get soft lighting. Buy Now: Around $229 LitraPro LED In our review, we said: “Using the LitraPro is honestly pretty simple. Turn it on, adjust your color temperature and light output intensity, and you’re off to the races. You can also control the LitraPro remotely via Bluetooth from an Android or iOS device using Litra’s free companion app. While you can turn the LitraPro off from the app, turning the light on must be done physically on the LitraPro itself. The light intensity can only be adjusted at 5% increments from the LitraPro itself or via the app. If you’re looking for a constant LED that offers step-less output adjustments, the LitraPro is not the light for you.” Pro Tip: If you’re using an LED, know that it’s nowhere as strong as a flash in the same price point. So you’ll need t...
6 minutes | 2 days ago
A Great Guide For Everyone: Ian Plant's Landscape Photography Course
A landscape photography course from someone who finally gets it. Do a quick search on Google for landscape photography guides, and you’ll quickly get a few million results thrown back at you. Sure, you could pick one of those courses, and you might learn a thing or two. Still, it’s important to know that not all photography courses are created equal. I recently had the chance to sit through and learn from the $29 Ian Plant’s Ultimate Landscape Photography Course. As a landscape photographer myself, I was interested to see what Ian’s course had to offer over others out there. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. Whether you’re a seasoned landscape photographer or a beginner, find out what makes this course so good in our essentials review. One of the best ways to improve yourself as a photographer is to invest in training materials. While I’ve been capturing landscapes for roughly 20 years, I know there are still things for me to learn. We can all learn something new. When we think we know it all, that’s when we start to regress and get left behind. As mentioned above, training courses these days are a dime a dozen, but some are truly better than others. Ian Plant’s Ultimate Landscape Photography Course definitely falls into the better than most category. How the Ultimate Landscape Photography Course Is Broken Down After you buy the course (it’s only $29), you’ll be presented with your purchase. You simply take the code, go to the website that hosts the videos, enter the code, and you’re in. Don’t worry. You can download the videos if you would like to. However, there are many, and you’ll need plenty of storage space. You’ll also get a landscape photography cheat sheet—a 128 page eBook, and a one-year subscription to The Landscape Photography Magazine. Right off the bat, you’ll see that this course covers a lot of ground. After you go through the introduction, Ian Plant gets right into the course. The first half of the course covers everything from Ian’s views on planning and research, the importance of scouting locations by car and on foot, why you shouldn’t take inspiration from others, and his order of operations. He also covers finding compositions and understanding a sense of place. Great Production Value and Easy To Watch The first seven videos are presented in a way in which Ian explains his thought process. Ian explains why he spends so much time scouting locations. How he likes to become connected to the landscape he’s about to capture. Why he hates talking about gear, how it’s not the be-all and end-all, and how your eyes and vision are more important. It’s actually quite a refreshing approach as most guides just jump right into sometimes boring technical demonstrations. Here, you’re going to get to understand Ian and dive a little deeper into his mind. It’s a great way to get to know Ian and his style. It’s also incredibly easy and enjoyable to watch. Watching demonstrations is one thing. However, you can always learn more when someone’s teaching you about their thought process. It can be very eye-opening and can help you approach things differently in the future. The first seven videos range in length from six to fifteen minutes, and they are well put together. You’ll get a lot of of the first half of this course. Find Out How To Save An Extra 20% On This Course and Hundreds More You can now sign up for a Plus Membership from Photowhoa for just $9 per month! This membership will save you 20% on all of Photowhoa’s items. It will also score you six free photography bundles per year too! This is a bargain of a deal at just $9 per month! If you buy tutorials or preset packs regularly, you’ll save a ton! A Deeper Dive Into Techniques The first half of the course covered the whys of landscape photography. The second half of the Ultimate Landscape Photography Course covers the how-tos. There are eleven videos where Ian will teach you about balancing exposures, focus stacking, w...
7 minutes | 2 days ago
New Nikon DSLRs, New F Mount Lenses Muddy Nikon's Waters
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! It’s no secret that Nikon, the once giant of the photography world, is struggling. Sales of the company’s Mirrorless cameras have been sluggish due to a lack of innovation. However, one shining beacon for them has been their DSLR cameras. So, it should really be no surprise that there might be at least two new Nikon DSLRs next year. Apparently, they’ll be released along with some new F mount lenses too. Is this the right move for Nikon, though? Should they just forget about DSLRs and focus on Mirrorless? Let’s talk about this after the break. According to a new report on Nikon Rumors, there will be two new Nikon DSLRs next year. As well as the new cameras, there will be various new F mount lenses as well. This is not entirely shocking, though. We’ve already seen two new Nikon DSLRs in 2020 in the D780 and the D6. The D780 was well received. Photographers who loved the D750 flocked to it rather than to its Mirrorless counterpart, the Z6. The D6 was mocked for being nothing more than a minor refresh to the D5. While we can roll our eyes at Nikon for continuing to produce DSLRs, their Mirrorless cameras haven’t exactly been setting the world ablaze. Maybe they’re on to something. Is’s Nikon’s Future In DSLRs or Mirrorless Cameras? The report on Nikon Rumors also states that between now and the end of 2021, there will be eight new Z mount lenses. These new lenses include five prime lenses, along with a 400mm S and a 600mm S. There will also be two new 60mm and 105mm macro lenses. So, it would seem that Nikon is still heavily investing in its Z mount. However, there was no mention of any new Z mount cameras coming. As we head into 2021, we will have the Z6, Z7, Z6 II, Z7 II, Z50, and the Z5. Sales of the Nikon Z6 and Z7 have been sluggish at best. The Z5 and the Z50 have also suffered similar fates. It’s still too early to tell how well received the Z6 II and Z7 II will be. However, given that they’re basically minor refreshes with features that should have been in the originals, I’ll say people probably won’t rush out to buy them. While these current Nikon Mirrorless cameras are nice, there’s simply nothing about them that makes them stand out. In a world where every camera manufacturer is innovating, Nikon has found a way to release incredibly vanilla Mirrorless cameras that simply do not inspire. That’s not to say they aren’t good cameras; they are, but that’s the problem. They’re just good. They’re not great. It’s no surprise that Nikon’s faithful have decided to hang on to their DSLRs or jump ship to a competitor. The Money’s In Nikon DSLRs Nikon’s reluctance to jump into Mirrorless sooner than they did has hurt the company in so many ways. Nikon was likely scared that new Mirrorless cameras would impact their DSLR sales. So, they released half-hearted Mirrorless efforts to start with. That decision has had a knock-on effect. The fact that Nikon DSLRs still outsell their Mirrorless cameras has proven this. Still, Nikon believes Mirrorless sales will overtake DSLR sales within 60 days. We’re not so sure. Honestly, we’re not sure that Nikon truly believes this either; why else would they be releasing DSLRs instead of going all-in on Mirrorless? Is it because Nikon knows their fans simply don’t believe in the Mirrorless system it has created? Does Nikon realize they screwed up by not coming out with all Mirrorless guns blazing? Perhaps. However, they do know that they create some of the best DSLRs in the business. The D850 is one of the best DSLRs ever made. The Nikon D500 and the D750 are also legendary. Anyone who owns these cameras really has no need to upgrade unless they want eye AF and other Mirrorless bells and whistles. So it makes sense that Nikon would be coming out with new F mount glass. What could the new Nikon DSLRs be? Well, I would expect a D880, perhaps with the 61.2 Megapixel Sony sensor found in...
5 minutes | 3 days ago
The First Prime Lenses To Buy For Your New Mirrorless Camera
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Did you just pick up a new camera during the Black Friday sales? If so, congrats on the new addition to your family. If your new camera came with a kit lens or two, they’ll be fine for a little while. However, if you really want to get the most out of your Mirrorless camera, we suggest stepping up to prime lenses. Prime lenses are sharper, focus faster, and have fast apertures, which means you can create gorgeous bokeh. You’ll notice the difference in quality compared to kit lenses instantly. After the break, we’ll show you which prime lenses you should buy first for various platforms. Not only will you notice a huge bump in image quality with prime lenses, but you’ll also find that they’ll make you a better photographer too. Not being able to rely on a zoom lens will force you to think differently. So, prime lenses will open many doors to new photographers or for photographers who are just new to primes. The prime lenses listed below are affordable. They’ll produce incredibly sharp images. You’ll be wowed at the colors they render and just how fast they’ll obtain focus. If you want to get the most out of your Mirrorless camera, consider buying these prime lenses. Canon RF 35mm F1.8 USM IS In our review, we said: “The Canon RF 35mm f1.8 USM IS is a lens that photographers will pick up if they’re looking for a good 35mm lens for the Canon system that has image stabilization. In addition to that, the image quality is also very sharp for what it is. Then consider the bokeh and the fact that you can not only get this from a 35mm lens, but the f1.8 aperture lets you really blow your backgrounds out. I can’t really complain about the Canon RF 35mm f1.8.” Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now: $499 Olympus 25mm f1.8 (Micro Four Thirds) In our review, we said: “In fact, the 25mm f1.8 is one of the most affordable and bang for your buck lenses out there for the Micro Four Thirds system. In general, we’re quite impressed with the sharpness, bokeh, fast focusing speed (coupled with accuracy), small size, and the overall feel that it is the single-lens that you may want to keep mated to your camera forever. Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now: $299 Pro Tip: These prime lenses will make you interact with the world differently compared to zoom lenses. So, if you’re new to photography and you still need guidance and help to get the most from your gear, have no fear. If you want to learn how to get the most out of your new lens, there are guides that will help you create gorgeous images in no time at all. Fujifilm 35mm f1.4 In our review, we said: “The 35mm f1.4 is truthfully best experienced if not wide open, nowhere past f5.6. Otherwise, you’re doing an extreme injustice to yourself by not taking advantage of the beautiful bokeh and extreme sharpness that the lens has to offer wide open.” Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now: $599 Sony 35mm F1.8 FE In our review, we said: “Photographers, both professional and hobbyist, will thoroughly enjoy the image quality the Sony 35mm f1.8 FE lens produces. With a flash, it’s incredibly sharp when shooting wide open. Stopped down to f4; it’s also noticeably sharp. What photographers will really like is the creamy bokeh that they get combined with the fact that the colors are cinematic. Chris Gampat – editor In Chief Buy now: $748 Nikon 50mm f1.8 Z S In our review, we said: “We found the Nikon 50mm f1.8 Z S’s image quality to be very good in our tests. It’s sharp, has very pleasing bokeh, doesn’t exhibit any major problems, and has an overall beautiful look to it.” Paul Ip – Former Reviews Editor Buy now: $596.95
5 minutes | 3 days ago
The Best Weather Sealed Wide Angle Lenses Under $1,000
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! There are tons of wide angle lenses out there. More importantly, there are a lot of great ones. But not many are under $1,000. And even less of those are weather sealed. These days, that’s the goal for lots of photographers. And luckily, we’ve reviewed a ton of wide angle lenses. So we dove into our archives to find the best weather sealed wide angle lenses. Most importantly, we’ve found some of the most affordable ones and put them in this roundup. How We Picked These Lenses Trust me when I say that we tried to find more zoom lenses. We really, truly tried. As the founder and Editor in Chief of this website, I take a lot of pride in our lens reviews. By far, we’ve got the most lenses reviewed in a lifestyle format of any publication out there right now. And when constructing this list, I went all the way back into early 2018 to look at the lenses we’ve reviewed. The truth is that there aren’t that many wide-angle weather-sealed. Also, we know that Tamron has a bunch of good weather sealed wide angle lenses. But the one we’ve got in this list is arguably the best. Sony 20mm f1.8 G In our review, we state: “The Sony 20mm f1.8 G also features weather-sealing, which means you can take this lens out into the rain with no problems at all. I took it out with me, and the heavens opened up out of the blue, and it just kept on working with no issues at all. The focusing ring has just the right amount of tension, and the size of it makes it easy to use. The aperture control ring is, as you would expect, much smaller than the focus ring, but it feels great. Leave the click mechanism turned on, and you get very satisfying clunks as you turn it. When you put the Click switch to off, you get a smooth spinning, completely silent aperture ring, which makes it ideal for video work. Overall the Sony 20mm f1.8 G won’t disappoint in the build quality department.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $899 Fujifilm 16mm f2.8 R WR In our review, we state: “As you can see from the lead image of this blog post, the Fujifilm 16mm f2.8 R WR lens is weather sealed. Granted, we’ve put our gear through much worse weather before. Fujifilm’s cameras and lenses, when stated to be weather resistant via the the WR designation, are often pretty great. During our usage of the Fujifilm 16mm f2.8 R WR lens, it never failed. However, Spring in NYC hasn’t yielded us a whole lat of rain so far. so we didn’t get to do a major torture test in a real world testing condition. Photographers who mount this lens to their camera for travel work will be happy to know about its sealing abilities. However, due to the size, it’s probably best suited for the X-T3 and Fujifilm X Pro 2 than it is for the X-H1. The XH1 tends to be chunky, and so the 16mm f1.4 R WR could be better suited to it ergonomically.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $399 Nikon 24mm f1.8 S In our review, we state: “The Nikon 24mm f1.8 Z was used extensively in the rain. In fact, we kept it out for a few hours and it kept working. I was very thoroughly impressed previously with how good the build quality of Nikon’s lenses are, but this blew me away. Photographers who need to shoot in less than ideal conditions will feel relieved that this lens will keep working. “ Sample Images Buy Now: Around $996.95 Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD In our review, we state: “Well, we did some pretty crazy things with the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 Di III RXD in the rain. During our testing period, it survived heavy rainfall in NYC during the summer. In fact, we purposely took it into the rain more than once. It continued to work without issue.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $899
9 minutes | 3 days ago
Is This Extra? PhotoWhoa 5100+ Lightroom Photo Presets Bundle Review
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Lightroom presets are good for more than just faster photo edits. Presets can serve as creative fodder when you’re stuck. They can introduce new effects you never thought to try. Presets can also keep the style consistent across an album or photo story. And so, if Lightroom presets can be used for more than just one thing, it makes sense to have more than one preset. Like, 5100+ Lightroom Photo Presets, right? The 5100+ Lightroom Photo Presets Bundle from PhotoWhoa is bound to have presets that suit your work and style. But, you’ll have to sift through thousands of badly named presets to find ones best suited for your work. If you don’t remove the ones you don’t like, you’ll end up stunting Lightroom’s performance speeds. (And, let’s face it, Lightroom needs all the speed boosts it can get.) Features The 5100+ Lightroom Photo Presets pack is divided into 37 sets based on the genre the presets were intended for or a certain style. The set includes: 30 Dream Lightroom Presets 33 Horror Film Lightroom Presets 45 Insta Blogger Lightroom Presets 50 Sports Lightroom Presets 50+ Duotone Lightroom Presets 50+ Newborn Lightroom Presets 50+ Urban Retro Lightroom Presets 60+ Outdoor Lightroom Presets 60+ Portrait Lightroom Presets 80s Lightroom Presets 90 VSCO Lightroom Presets 90+ Moody Lightroom Presets 95 Monochrome Lightroom Presets 100 Film Look Lightroom Presets 100 Skin Retouch Lightroom Presets 100 Summer Travel Lightroom Presets 100 Warm Lightroom Presets 100+ Lifestyle Blogger Lightroom Presets 100+ Nostalgia Lightroom Presets 100+ Winter Story Lightroom Presets 120 Real Estate Lightroom Presets 120+ Fashion Lightroom Presets 140 Black & White Portrait Lightroom Presets 140+ Blogger Lightroom Presets 140+ HDR Lightroom Presets 140+ Premium Lightroom Presets 150 Summer Lightroom Presets 150+ Urban Lightroom Presets 240+ Wedding Lightroom Presets 260 Magic Lightroom Presets 260+ Food Lightroom Presets 300 Premium Lightroom Presets 300+ Film Wedding Lightroom Presets 300+ Vintage Film Lightroom Presets 500+ Wedding Dream Lightroom Presets The set focuses on presets for the entire image, rather than tucking some of those 5,100 inside the brush tools. This is a bit unfortunate since some of the skin retouching presets would have been better used as a brush instead. I don’t mean to state the obvious, but that’s a lot of presets. While I didn’t spend months trying each one, I still found several I really liked. Some of my favorites were tucked in the portrait and film inspired collections, but I also found a few gems in unexpected places, like the pack of 80s inspired presets. I largely use presets for color and contrast in my own work, and there are a few dozen that do well with both. Several presets I tried were also quite odd. One turned the clarity all the way down for that smudge-on-the-lens look. One did nothing but turn the clarity down -5. Several adjusted the white balance, which should really be avoided in presets. (White balance adjustments in presets don’t take into consideration what the original setting was. Unless the photo was shot in the same lighting conditions, you’re going to get a very blue/orange/purple/green image.) “I don’t mean to state the obvious, but that’s a lot of presets. While I didn’t spend months trying each one, I still found several I really liked.” Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis As with any presets, you have to really look at what the preset is doing to your image. I suggest making any tweaks and saving them as a new preset. For example, some film-inspired presets add grain, which you obviously wouldn’t want to use if you already shot at a high ISO. Others have the effects applied on a gradient or radial gradient, which you’ll want to locate and move to the proper position in the image. While I liked several pr...
4 minutes | 3 days ago
Love Shooting in the Rain and Snow? These 35mm Primes Are for You
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! If you can only carry one prime lens in your bag, we can list dozens of reasons why it should be 35mm. 35mm primes are perhaps the most versatile prime lenses out there. 35mm primes are perfect for street photography, documentary photography, weddings, portraits, events, food photography, and so much more. When you throw in weather sealing, 35mm primes become even better. After the break, we’ll share five 35mm primes that can go with you into the toughest storms. If you want to get shots others shy away from when the storms hit, these 35mm primes are for you. These 35mm primes are seriously tough. No matter how hard the rain, how cold it is when it’s snowing, or how hard the wind blows, these lenses will not let you down. They’re rugged. They have rapid autofocus motors. They have brilliant optics, and they render gorgeous colors. Grab one of these 35mm primes, and you’ll be able to shoot no matter what the weather is doing. Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD In our review, we said: “The Tamron 35mm f2.8 Di III OSD is incredibly well built despite feeling plasticky. Tamron’s weather-sealing claims did not disappoint; we subjected it to torrential downpours and freezing temperatures. No matter the weather, the Tamron 35mm f2.8 worked without fail.” Paul Ip – Former Reviews Editor Buy now: $299 Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN In our review, we said: “The mount is sealed with a rubber gasket. In addition to that, there are seals throughout the body of the lens. If I took it out into the rain, I’d be confident in the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN’s ability to shrug it off.” Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now L Mount: $1,499 Buy now Sony E: $1,424.74 Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f1.8 S In our review, we said: “Nikon claims that the Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f1.8 S is “extensively sealed against dust and moisture,” so we obviously had to put those claims to the test. We put the lens through a mixture of inclement weather conditions throughout the streets of New York City as well as in nature up in Cape Cod during late Fall/early Winter, and it never experienced any issues.” Paul Ip – Former Reviews Editor Buy now: $690 Pro Tip: These 35mm primes love being outdoors, and they love the rain and snow. If you want to learn how to get the most out of your new lens, there are guides that will help you create gorgeous images no matter what the weather is doing. Fujifilm 35mm f2 R WR In our review, we said: “The lens is also weather-sealed, which means that it’s really designed to do work for the photographer that demands more from their gear. Pair it with the X-T cameras, and you’ll not only have a fast focusing combination but one that can stand up to the rain. Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now: $399 Tamron SP 35mm f1.4 Di USD In our review, we said: “It has full weather sealing and survived being drenched in the rain here in NYC. If it survived this, we’re sure it’s going to survive whatever you put it through.” Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief Buy now Canon EF: $699 Buy now Nikon F: $699
5 minutes | 4 days ago
We've Tested the Best 85mm Lenses for Every Camera System
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! For some folks, shooting portraits is the toughest thing. Getting over our own mental barriers is a great place to start. Understanding that everyone is human also helps. Best of all, good communication and teamwork make the dream work. And to add a cherry on top, a solid 85mm lens can create a timeless portrait. We’ve tested nearly every 85mm lens currently on the market. This list rounds up the very best 85mm lenses you can get for every full-frame camera system. The best 85mm lens can arguably be the one you have on you. But when it comes to pure image quality, these 85mm lenses can’t be beaten. For even more sharpness, grab a flash. And if you want some softness, try a haze filter. Or, you know, do it in post-production! Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM In our review, we said: “If you’re a card-carrying member of the Canon color science fan club, then you’ll be glad to know that the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM doesn’t disappoint one bit in terms of color rendition. This lens produces images with vibrant and accurate colors, and ooze micro contrast. For most people, shooting in auto white balance will be more than adequate. I personally prefer the added control that custom white balance offers and the results when shooting in daylight (5600K) or tungsten (3200K) white balance are equally impressive.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $2,599 Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master In our review, we said: “The 11 aperture blades here help to create gorgeous bokeh. This is the first autofocus lens to give us that–but years ago Zeiss used to put 17 blades in their lenses for super creamy bokeh. Hopefully, we’ll see more of a return to that type of manufacturing.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $1,798 Pro Tip: The key to using an 85mm lens is posing people. Even the best 85mm lenses won’t necessarily help you there. Here’s a good place to start: everyone has a higher shoulder. Ask your subject to stand straight at you. Look at them carefully. If one shoulder is higher than the other, then direct them to straighten themselves out. Your best tutor is experience. Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art In our review, we said: “Sigma Art lenses are known for their beautiful bokeh. This continues to hold true for the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN. The transition from in to out of focus appears gradual and pleasant. We’ve got the 11 rounded aperture blades to thank for this. Fans of perfectly circular bokeh balls will be left wanting, though. As you move towards the periphery of your frame, bokeh balls will become increasingly oval.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $1,199 Nikon 85mm f1.8 S In our review, we said: “The photographers who most likely will be springing for the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 are portrait photographers. However, we also have to make an exception for those who like to take candids while feeling like they’re a fly on the wall. An 85mm lens does a great job with that. With this in mind, those photographers will surely care about the bokeh. And with nine aperture blades, the bokeh on the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 is fantastic. It’s creamy and beautiful, in fact I haven’t seen boken I’ve liked this much from a Nikon lens since using the 105mm f1.4 prime. Photographers will also be happy with the sharpness, the color, and the fact that there are no technical problems with this lens.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $699 Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD In our review, we said: “For what it’s worth, the Tamron 85mm f1.8 Di VC USD wipes the floor with everyone else’s lenses except for the newest offerings from Zeiss. It doesn’t have micro-contrast but instead, it has a couple of things that have made me change my editing workflow. I generally don’t need to do anywhere as much of a clarity increase and instead what I tend to do when working with this lens is work with the shadows and the individual color channels.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $749
4 minutes | 4 days ago
We've Tested the Best Cameras for Portrait Photography
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Fact: a modern master photographer doesn’t need the best technologies to shoot a great portrait: they need creative freedom and light. But most of us aren’t the best of the best. And until we get there, modern tech can help us. For your convenience, we’ve put together a list of the best cameras for portrait photography. Most folks refer to lenses, but we also believe there are great cameras for it too. How We Created This Roundup We’ve reviewed tons of cameras and lenses. No one is making an awful product these days, so this roundup of the best cameras for portrait photography is based on a few things. First off, the biggest one is autofocus. Face detection and eye detection have become paramount in portraiture. Gone are the days when you manually select a focus point, shoot, the model shifts, and the process is repeated. These cameras all have satisfactory face and eye autofocus tracking. Then there’s image quality. What’s most important to us is color depth. This means that you’ll be able to tweak colors in a portrait to get the most out of your raw files. That’s important given today’s portrait trends. And lastly, we’re putting an emphasis on flash systems. Go into any photo studio, and they’ve probably got Profoto gear. With that said, Profoto AirTTL integration is mandatory. And each of these systems has worked with Profoto to get that done through radio triggers. Beyond all this, the photographer behind the camera is crucial. Having creative ideas, mood boards, and solid communication are beneficial. So let’s dive into our thoughts on the best cameras for portrait photography! Canon EOS R5 In our review, we state: “Face and eye detection is top notch. I’d even dare to say that Canon is better at low light than Sony is. I’ve been saying this for over a year and I know that others agree with me on this. Not only is it faster, but it’s usually more accurate.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $3,899 Pro Tip: Fujifilm’s cameras are incredibly unique. They have film simulations built right into them, so their image quality is unlike anything else. But Canon and Sony embrace a more traditional approach. For those cameras, a good starting point is using Presets. Once you’ve got an idea of where you want to go with your photos, you can modify based on that inkling. Sony a7r IV In our review, we state: “Throughout our time with the Sony A7R IV, tracking focus acquisition was consistently accurate and quick in good lighting. Sony’s Face & Eye AF tech continues to be the most responsive on the market and feels almost intuitive on the A7R IV. Unless you’re shooting with manual glass, the focus and recompose days are a thing of the past when shooting with the A7R IV. The real-time tracking functionality will also make short work of fast-moving subjects, allowing you to nail focus with much less effort.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $3,499 Fujifilm GFX 50R In our review, we state: “For stagnant subjects, the Fujifilm GFX 50R has great autofocus even in low light. Where the problems occur is how they interact with faces and moving subjects. In addition to this, focusing on subjects with strong backlighting is also pretty difficult. The latter is a statement that applies to the entire industry with a few options, mainly Sony, being better. The Fujifilm GFX 50R, like many other options, has eye detection and can prioritize one eye over another. But tracking those subjects through the frame won’t work so well if they’re moving. But if you ask your subject to stay mostly still, you can mitigate the problem.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $4,499
5 minutes | 4 days ago
Bring It with You Everywhere! The Best 28mm Lenses We've Tested
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! If you had to have one lens, what would it be? Some photographers would go for 28mm lenses. If you’re experienced, you’ll know just how versatile these lenses are. In recent years, they’ve become good enough for portraiture. What’s more, many of them are built very well. Couple this with the extra pop some have, and you’ll be hooked. Below are some of the best 28mm lenses we’ve tested. And we’ve used almost every 28mm lens on the market. Sigma 28mm f1.4 DG Art In our review, we said: “The Sigma 28mm f1.4 DG HSM Art has some beautiful image quality to it. A little bit wider than the 35mm focal length, it’s going to be perfect for a lot of photographers who tend to look to a scene and want to capture the world just as how they saw it. In our tests, we found the lens to not only have some beautiful bokeh but also be more than usable for many different applications. Coupled with a great photo editor like Capture One Pro 12, photographers are bound to be able to get a lot out of not only lots of modern RAW file capabilities, but the already great colors of the Sigma 28mm f1.4 DG HSM Art too. We also found there to be no aberrations worth speaking of and lots of great sharpness.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $1,034 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 In our review, we said: “...I have to admit that I like the colors. I’m aware that the image below is in black and white, but it goes to illustrate my points a bit more. The colors are excellent, and even if you want to go colorless, you can create gorgeous images. If you’re looking to create videos with the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4, you’ll get beautiful colors overall. If you’re working with film, just ensure that you nail that exposure right.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $499 Pro Tip: 28mm lenses are sort of an odd focal length. While not as popular as 35mm or 24mm, they’re in a sweet spot. Some folks say they see the world in this focal length. If you’re not sold, then give 28mm a try. We find them to be best for street photography and walking about. But in truth, they’re also good enough to do certain portraits. Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux In our review, we said: “The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux is quite honestly second to none. The closest thing you might compare it to is the Nikon 28mm f1.4, but that is a DSLR lens. Then there is Sony’s 28mm f2, but that is an autofocus lens and f2. There is seriously nothing like the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux. This applies to the quality of the bokeh, the colors, the ease of use, the sharpness, and the overall performance. Believe it or not, even though I was tempted to shoot with this lens wide open most of the time I resisted the urge and stopped it down. The choice was a good one, as I discovered just how incredibly sharp the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux is.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $6,295 Nikon 28mm f1.4 E ED In our review, we said: If you’re a fan of Nikon’s colors, then you’ll be happy to know that the Nikon 28mm f1.4 is pretty much consistent with everything that you’ve come to expect from Nikon. This lens is fantastic is so many areas of image quality parameters. It keeps the distortion down, doesn’t suffer from fringing issues when dealing with images right out of the camera, has nice bokeh, and is pretty darned sharp. For a lens that’s right under $2,000 you have to expect that the quality is just top notch. And in all honesty, that’s all that I’d truthfully expect from a lens like this. Sample Images Buy Now: Around $1,996.95
7 minutes | 4 days ago
A Woman's Perspective on the Nino Batista Retouching Tutorial Series
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Retouching is part art, part technical savvy. The Nino Batista Premium Retouching Video tutorials build on the latter. The series of 30 retouching videos cover topics from retouching skin to perfecting color. Skin is one of the trickiest edits — and as a glamour photographer, Nino Batista does a lot to work with in his edits. Formerly part of Batista’s paid YouTube channel, the retouching tutorials cover more in-depth, advanced skills than the average free tutorial. The videos contain a heavy focus on Photoshop, with some RAW processing in Capture One. Made for photographers who know a few basics but not much else, I picked up a few tricks, even as an avid Photoshop user of more than ten years. Batista covers excellent techniques that are easily adaptable to your own style. Who Is Nino Batista? As a glamour photographer, Nino Batista’s work primarily features female models. His photos regularly appear in lifestyle and men’s magazines, including Playboy and FHM. Batista is also well-known as a photo educator. He regularly teaches retouching techniques, both online and in person. As a co-founder at NBP Pro EDU Retouch tools, he’s also part of the team developing Photoshop plug-ins. Retouching Tutorials — With Plenty of Skin “Tutorials for boudoir photography can easily feel like sitting next to that weird uncle that always makes inappropriate comments at family functions. But, I didn’t find that to be the case here.” A quote from this review by Phoblographer Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis Let’s get the obvious out of the way first; Batista’s photos offer more to retouch than a basic portrait. As a glamour photographer, the photos he works on in the tutorial are typically of women in limited — and sometimes zero — clothing. The models in the online listing for these tutorials wear much more clothing than the photos in the actual tutorials. That’s excellent for photographers learning to retouch skin since there’s so much of it to work with. A skin retouching tutorial on the average portrait won’t include steps for editing the ribcage, for example. The tutorials go beyond just perfecting the face. As a woman, I did not feel terribly uncomfortable watching the retouching tutorials. Batista regularly threw out phrases like “she’s just human” and “common on every human you edit.” He doesn’t objectify or berate. Tutorials for boudoir photography can easily feel like sitting next to that weird uncle who always makes inappropriate comments at family functions. But, I didn’t find that to be the case here. That said, some photographers may still be uncomfortable watching tutorials on glamour or bodyscape. I wouldn’t watch these videos with my kids or my mother looking over my shoulder. If the work on Batista’s Instagram page makes you uncomfortable, then this isn’t the retouching course for you. What’s Included in the Nino Batista Premium Retouching Tutorials? The tutorial set includes 825 minutes of tutorials across 30 different videos. The series includes both short tutorials on a specific technique and start-to-finish edits. Batista works with both Capture One and Photoshop. The videos offer excellent coverage of the different techniques to retouch people for photographers with a little Photoshop experience. Batista covers basic topics like black and white conversions and customizing your Photoshop workspace. More advanced topics are also tackled, including perfecting skin tone and frequency separation. The PhotoWhoa series came after YouTube discontinued its paid memberships. The series includes 30 of those videos. Some, however, are missing — he references a tutorial on Photoshop brushes in one video that’s not listed in the class. The Good There isn’t one “right” way to edit — and Batista teaches to that. He calls his own editing process organic and teaches to that same tune. He talks about what a too...
5 minutes | 5 days ago
Goodbye and Good Riddance: Why I Won't Miss Photokina
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Many of you have seen the news that Photokina is no longer going to happen for the time being. I’ll admit that I always enjoyed my time at Photokina. As an accredited member of the press, I’m not going to miss the abysmal wifi (despite the staff’s incredibly kind and helpful efforts). Nor will I miss the insanity of the show and running from one booth to another through crowds of people walking no better than toddlers teetering about. Large shows are incredibly impractical. For business, they’re nice to get everyone in one spot for face-to-face meetings. But we don’t need those anymore. In fact, we haven’t needed them for a long time. And to me, Photokina’s possible death means we can actually instead spend resources on the photo industry’s sustainability. The Phoblographer has changed a lot in the past year. I look back many times at where we were a year ago and then fast-forwarded to today. We’ve needed to change and adapt. Personally speaking, this feels like the years 2008 and 2009 all over again. We’re in a global recession. Back then, I remember sitting in my cubicle at PCMag and the desk at Magnum Photos. I witnessed hundreds of people get laid off and come out of a room with their faces buried in their hands, sobbing. It was sad, but in retrospect, every single moment was worth it. The tech industry survived and grew. Sure, magazines and print died or became a niche luxury product, but efforts were refocused, and sites grew. Similarly, in photography, digital continued to grow. We went from film to digital, to mirrorless, and then mobile. And Photokina to me represents something that we needed to shed a long time ago. We don’t need trade shows anymore. We don’t need journalists and influencers who are wined and dined. We need transparency and sustainability. The traditional photo industry is in quicksand, and we are all struggling to grasp rope and pull ourselves safely out. My buddy Frederick at TWIP recently spoke to Matthew Jordan Smith. If you don’t know who either of these fine gentlemen are please Google them. Frederick is a US Veteran, and Matthew has done work that always finds a way to make my jaw drop. Matthew recently remarked that Japan sees photography as just a part of life. They no longer see it as art that you hang on the wall. But the West thinks very differently. And these thought differences change things. The photo industry indeed is very fractured. If you’ve been reading this site for a long time, you’ll know that I think we all need to evolve. We need to look at the watch industry—somehow, all those manufacturers survived and stayed alive. New ones even popped up. While the smartphone devastated their industry a long time ago, they recovered. Traditional cameras haven’t taken this seriously in a long time. They don’t find deeper integrations with smartphones. They don’t become objects people genuinely want. A watch geek is far different from a photo geek, but they share a passion for their products. The big difference is that the photo industry still thinks they’re necessary for every single person to have their product, while the mobile phone changed that a long time ago. Photokina cited this as one of the reasons why the show is done for the moment. They think the photo industry is dead. In some ways, they set themselves up for it. For example, most companies rely on Sony for sensors. Years ago, they used to work with Kodak, Samsung, Panasonic, and others. It’s long been time for companies to diversify. We need the CCD sensor back. It can live alongside CMOS. We also need higher durability. And further, we need to either put our money where our mouth is with technology, or embrace our products’ flaws for what they are. In the next decade, there’s no way that every camera manufacturer will outdo Apple and Google in imaging technology and usefulness. So they need to find ways to become a m...
13 minutes | 6 days ago
Celebrate Women with Leica and the Phoblographer in This Contest!
Show us the Women Who Inspire You in our new Portrait Photography contest with Leica. You can win a Leica Q2! We’d like you to join Leica and the Phoblographer in celebrating women everywhere. And just by participating, you can score a brand new Leica Q2. How do you enter? Well, take a picture or share an original picture of a woman who inspires you. Then tell us the story of this woman and why you look up to her. All the details are after the jump. Who: Open to everyone in the world 21+ What: Win a Leica Q2 by entering our special contest with Leica. The submissions will be judged by Editor in Chief Chris Gampat. One person will win the camera, and four runners will win a chance to be interviewed on the site. When: November 12th, 2020 at 12AM EST to December 14th at 11:59PM EST Where: Please head over to our special landing page for a chance to enter! How: Submit one original photo that you’ve shot yourself of a woman who inspires you. Tell us the story of this woman and why she shines so brightly to you. Official Rules OFFICIAL RULES OF WOMEN THAT INSPIRE ME PORTRAIT PHOTO CONTEST 1) Introduction: The Phoblographer LLC and Leica Camera Inc. (“Sponsors”) are conducting a portrait photography contest, titled “Women That Inspire Me” (the “Photo Contest”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PHOTO CONTEST. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.2) Eligibility: Entrant must be 21 years of age or older as of date of entry. Employees of Sponsors, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, and agents and the immediate family (defined as parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents) of each such employees, and all those with whom such employees are domiciled, are NOT eligible.3) Timing: Photo Contest begins at 12:00:01 a.m. E.S.T. November 12, 2020 and ends at 11:59:00 p.m. E.S.T. on December 14, 2020 (“Content Period”). Judging Period will be December 22, 2020 through December 20, 2020 (“Judging Period”). Winner will be announced on December 22, 2020.4) Submission Requirements & Method of Entry:a) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS PHOTO CONTEST. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.b) To enter the contest, entrants much provide their email address and submit one (1) portrait photo of the/a woman that inspires them, and a short (200 words or less) narrative caption of why, via direct upload of an image, Facebook or Instagram via the Gleam platform, at this web address: Please ensure that your image is publicly visible for ease when judging.c) Submissions may be captured using ANY camera system.d) The entry must fulfill all contest requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the Sponsors.e) Entrants may only make one (1) Submission. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of the Sponsors.f) Submissions must not, in the sole and absolute discretion of Sponsors, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Submissions deemed by Sponsors to be inappropriate will be disqualified. Submissions owned by a third party, or the use of any trademarks, service marks, logos, brands, or products owned by a third-party are not acceptable for entry into the Photo Contest.g) Entrant must be prepared to provide a signed written personal release from all person(s) who appear in the Submission authorizing use of their image by Sponsors for specific purposes identified herein. Entrants do not need to send release(s) with Submissions but will be contacted if personal releases are needed. Failure to provide the required...
5 minutes | 6 days ago
We Tested The Best 35mm Lenses for Natural Light Portraits Under $1000
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! The 35mm lens has a certain unique look to it. For many of us, it renders what we see in real life. Combine that with the simplicity that natural light offers, and you’ve got a concoction for fun! Lots of photographers adore the natural light portraiture process. And we’ve used tons of 35mm lenses for just that. In this roundup, we’re taking a look at the best ones we’ve found. For sure, these are the best 35mm lenses for natural light portraits. Even better, we’re keeping them under a budget of $1,000! Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG Art In our review, we said: “Wedding photographers, photojournalists, and event photographers are the ones that would do best with this lens besides the obvious street photographer legion out there. 35mm is such a classic focal length and I personally believe it to mimic my field of view much more than 50mm.“ Editor’s Note: You’re probably wondering why we didn’t choose the newer 35mm f1.2 from Sigma. The f1.4 is a bit softer, and that’s better for skin texture. Sample Images Buy Now: Usually $899 7Artisans 35mm f2 In our review, we said: “The bokeh from the 7Artisans 35mm f2 is very nice to my eyes. It’s not what the f1.4 lenses that I’ve tested have, but it’s still very beautiful in its own way. This is partially due to the design and how subjects tend to bloom with light if they’re backlit. If you love bokeh, then you’re not going to really complain. Instead, you’re going to be more thrilled that you’ve got an affordable lens that can give you solid quality.” Sample Images Buy Now: $289 Pro Tip: Sometimes, the best thing to do with natural light portraiture is to use cover from shadows, leaves, etc. This way, you have the most control over the light. It also means you don’t need to wait until the Golden Hour. But don’t take our word for it! There are tons of others on the web saying the same thing! Nikon 35mm f1.8 S In our review, we said: “35mm is a versatile focal length popular among many photographers, suitable for street, landscapes, portraits, and many other genres of photography, so it made a lot of sense for Nikon to introduce the Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f1.8 S as one of the first lenses for the Z Mount system. Overall, we found the image quality of the lens to be damn good. It’s sharp, has creamy bokeh, and doesn’t really give you an sort of issues when it comes to the image quality. Couple this with the lens being very compact and you’ve got a great product.” Sample Images Buy Now: Usually around $849 Sony 35mm f1.8 FE In our review, we said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Sony 35mm f1.8 FE lens as far as image quality went because their 50mm f1.8 FE is just wrong in my opinion. But their 55mm f1.8 FE is fantastic. And thankfully, the image quality from the Sony 35mm f1.8 FE lens leans more towards the latter. Photographers both professional and hobbyist will thoroughly enjoy the image quality the Sony 35mm f1.8 FE lens produces.” Sample Images Buy Now: Usually around $748 Lensbaby 35mm f2.8 Edge In our review, we said: “The bokeh is really the best thing about the design of the Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge. With eight aperture blades, it isn’t like the 11 the Sony G Master lenses offer but it’s still nice and creamy. Portrait photographers will make the most of this as will anyone who really likes focusing up close and personal on stuff. Tilting the focusing just makes things more and more bokehlicious if you’re into a specific look. Some of the work involved with the Lensbaby 35mm f3.5 Edge is just about messing around and experimenting to see what works. Most photographers can think in terms of straight and linear focusing planes: thinking in terms of shifted planes is rough.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $359
4 minutes | 6 days ago
The 3 Best Stealthy Cameras for Street Photography Ninjas
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! We’re usually the ones that work with interchangeable lens cameras. But personally speaking, all I want is a single good compact camera. Lots have come close. But none are perfect. I want a camera that can do everything. So that means a useful focal length, good image quality, and solid performance. And these cameras are some of the best. What’s more, these are truly Cameras for Street Photography. And that’s very important these days! We’ve gone into our reviews index on the site to look for the best compact cameras. Specifically, we searched for the best Cameras for Street Photography. These cameras have great image quality, large sensors, good lenses, and can nail the shot. In the case of the Ricoh, you’re best off not using autofocus. But that image quality is something special. Of course, these cameras are also very low profile. So you should use them without fear. Just be upfront with your intentions and connect to your own emotions. Capture those moments and interesting geometry. And most of all, always be safe! Ricoh GR III: The King of Stealthy Street Photography In our review, we state: “One of the best things about the lens on the Ricoh GR III is the sharpness of the lens. It’s great even at f2.8. Combine this with the details that the sensor can render and there is no reason to complain. If anything, the images look like bleeding edge sharpness and a bit like older Rokinon lenses when it comes to output.” Sample Images Buy Now: $896.95 Pro Tip: We’ve chosen each of the best cameras for street photography based on their image quality. The Ricoh has this cool Slide film look. Fujifilm can emulate all sorts of films. Leica has this lovely color. To get more out of your street photography, we recommend doing some learning at home with a good course. When you’re ready, go outside and practically apply those lessons you’ve learned. Fujifilm X100V: The Most Reliable for Street Photography In our review, we state: “17×22 prints from the Fujifilm X100V are fantastic. Specifically, we printed images at ISO 6400 on the Canon Prograf-1000 and Canson Infinity Baryta Photographique II. They’re well detailed and clean, but we have to admit that we’ve seen prints from full frame sensors that are more detailed. Either way, it’s fine. I just wouldn’t print super duper large. Like, I wouldn’t print something twice your height and width at ISO 6400.” Sample Images Buy Now: $1,399 Leica Q2: The Toughest Camera for Street Photography In our review, we state: “Working with the Leica Q2 Monochrom centered me mentally. Working with it made me just shut up and shoot instead of sitting here complaining about one thing or another. There are lots of factors adding to this. You’re liberated from ISO issues. You don’t really care about the color depth. And the dynamic range is good enough that you can rely on post-production if needed. The lens is very capable and the autofocus is also very reliable. Because you don’t need to worry about the ISO issues, you don’t have to be afraid of shooting into otherwise nuclear levels. If that doesn’t sound liberating to you, I don’t know that will.” Sample Images Buy Now: $5,995
5 minutes | 7 days ago
Great Bokeh! 5 Lenses That Render Your Photos Like a Beautiful Dream
We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify! Lots of photographers want better bokeh. But to get something truly unique, you sometimes need a special lens. What helps define bokeh are the lens coatings and the aperture blades. Generally speaking, the more aperture blades there are, the smoother the bokeh can be. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. So if you’re looking for that dreamy look in your photos, know that these lenses have great bokeh! Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN Art: The Semi-Wide Lens With Great Bokeh In our review, we said: “One of the reasons why you’d buy the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN is the bokeh. Of course, the photographer who really enjoys bokeh will go for this lens. But for most of us, there is very little practical reason to do it unless you plan on working with special lighting and delivering a unique look. Canon’s 50mm f1.2 RF provides an almost medium format look. But the Sigma doesn’t give me that vibe. Besides the bokeh, the argument for an f1.2 lens would be to use it in low light. But with ISO abilities at 12,800 being fairly decent, I’d make an argument that this is rubbish. So why go for f1.2? Honestly, it’s the bokeh. You really want that slim, sliver of the scene in focus. Again, couple this with off-camera lighting for an even more unique look.” Sample Images Buy Now: Around $1,424 Pro Tip: Autofocusing with super shallow depth of fields is very tough. To get the most of it, use Face Detection. More importantly, use it with Eye Detection. Further, turn of exposure preview mode. That’s the best way to get the most accurate autofocus. Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM: The Fan Favorite with Great Bokeh In our review, we said: “...I’d argue that the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM has just a bit more pop and beauty to it and then I’d highly rate Sony’s Alpha lens. The bokeh on all of them is nice; but what I’ve seen is that the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM’s bokeh isn’t always perfectly round.” Sample Images Buy Now: $2,199 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R: The Lens Most Fuji Users Swear By In our review, we said: “If you’re looking for a gloriously bokehlicious lens for the X series, this is the best that you’re going to get your hands on. For starters, it renders a telephoto field of view and at an equivalent of f2 on a full frame camera when shot wide open. When you import than images into Lightroom, you’ll still realize that a lot will be in focus for an f1.2 lens–and that’s when it’ll hit you that you’re dealing with an APS-C sensor design.” Sample Images Pro Tip: To make a man look more elegant, it’s not only all about the attire, but it’s also about the specific pose. Have him shift his weight depending on which shoulder is the higher one. The lower shoulder should be bright forward more, and the head should be tilted slightly. Combine this with the effects of a shallow depth field to give you great bokeh. You’ll get a better portrait then, for sure. Our site has many posing guides, and there are lots of good ones on the web. Buy Now: $999 Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM: Great Bokeh? You Probably Won’t Find Better. In our review, we said: “Look at that beautifully creamy bokeh! When shooting with the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM, the transition between in-focus and out-of-focus areas is smooth and gradual. Portrait photographers who prefer to shoot wide open will love how this helps isolate their subjects from the environment.” Sample Images Buy Now: $2599 Fujifilm 50mm f1 R WR: Innovation and Great Bokeh! In our preview, we said: “Personally speaking, though, I’m super impressed. I like that it can acquire focus on a subject and give me super-sharp results. Then add in the APS-C sensor’s depth of field benefits. Oh, and that bokeh! Finally, don’t forget about those light-gathering abilities!” Sample Images Buy Now: $1,499.95
11 minutes | 7 days ago
Best Photo Gear: The Phoblographer's Editor's Choice Awards for 2020
Hands down, this is the best photo gear of 2020. The year 2020 has been a long and exhausting one for camera and photography reviewers like us. The challenges presented with the photo industry don’t just involve social distancing: travel has also been limited. Additionally, lots of products just aren’t innovative. So when we put together this list, we went back into our Reviews Index and found only the most innovative gear that really pushes things ahead. Otherwise, we’ve also included products that are simply flawless. Here’s our Editor’s Choice Awards list, and also our favorite gear from 2020. Thanks for all your support, folks. Be sure to check out all the Best Photo Gear in the Phoblographer’s Camera Shop if you’re interested in making a purchase. How We Selected the Best Photo Gear The Phoblographer Reviews staff had a few change-ups this year. We’ve reviewed the Best Photo Gear in different ways, and the folks who do reviews have also changed up. So we’ve been reevaluating how we do reviews. Traditionally, review sites have just been trying to find problems. We do the same, but we’re a lot more strict. We also base our reviews of the Best Photo Gear on innovations, ergonomics, pricing, etc. Pretty much all cameras, lenses, and accessories are good. No one is truly making a bad product these days. But there are very few, truly great products. The products in our proceeding list also explain why we chose the Best Photo Gear. And for more info, you can click on our reviews. Leica Q2 Monochrom: The Most Innovative Point and Shoot In our review, we state: “Working with the Leica Q2 Monochrom centered me mentally. Working with it made me just shut up and shoot instead of sitting here complaining about one thing or another. There are lots of factors adding to this. You’re liberated from ISO issues. You don’t really care about the color depth. And the dynamic range is good enough that you can rely on post-production if needed. The lens is very capable and the autofocus is also very reliable. Because you don’t need to worry about the ISO issues, you don’t have to be afraid of shooting into otherwise nuclear levels. If that doesn’t sound liberating to you, I don’t know that will.” Buy Now: $5,995 Canon EOS R5: The New Workhorse Amongst the Best Photo Gear In our review, we state: “We’ve taken the Canon EOS R5 out into the rain many times. It always withstood the torture. To make the most of this, you need a Canon L lens or a third party lens that’s weather sealed. Only Canon’s L lenses are weather resistant at the moment. Hopefully, that will change. This camera is beefy, durable, and able to handle anything a professional needs. You can trust in its reliability.” Buy Now: $3,899 Canon EOS R6: The King of Low Light In our review, we state: “Staggering is a word I would use to describe the low light performance of the Canon EOS R6. IS0 6400 is nothing to this camera, it continues to laugh at ISO 10,000, and even 25,600 produces images that can easily be used. At the highest of ISO settings, there’s some color noise, as you would expect, but wow, it’s impressive. The lower megapixel sensor really gives the EOS R6 an advantage over other cameras when it comes to low light performance.” Buy Now: $2,499 Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM: Beauty Visualized In our review, we state: “When shooting with the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM, the transition between in-focus and out-of-focus areas is smooth and gradual. Portrait photographers who prefer to shoot wide open will love how this helps isolate their subjects from the environment.” Buy Now: $2,699 Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM: The Old Reliable In our review, we state: “One of the best things about the Canon RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM is the image quality. By and large, I wouldn’t consider this to be a lens about pixel peeping. However, it’s still very sharp if that’s what you’re aiming for. The lens has a character I’ve only ever seen in Canon lens...
13 minutes | 7 days ago
The Biggest Innovations for 2020 in Photography Technology
Follow along with this article by clicking on the Listen to This Article button. Go ahead, give it a try! The year 2020 is coming to a close, and we’ve some cool new things in the photo world. There’s a lot for new photographers and professionals alike. Some of the innovations came in the form of lenses, while others came with cameras. Camera technology itself hasn’t taken a large step forward in 2020, but design leaped forward. With the camera industry in an odd place right now, the next 10 years will be pivotal. The industry needs to evolve. And the industry either needs to be about professional tools, luxury goods, and a cult following. Here are our selections for the most innovative things this year. The Canon Powershot Zoom Is a Novel Concept That Needs Work Don’t call it a camera. Canon ikens their Powershot Zoom to a viewer that can take pictures. In a package not much larger than some Chapstick, you get a 100-400mm zoom lens. It doesn’t have the easiest interface, and it uses a tiny sensor, so you’re not going to use it in dark situations. But still, it’s such a fun spy camera! In our review, we state: “It’s super small. Here in the photo, you’ll see it next to lip balm. It’s incredibly tiny, as you can tell. That also means that it’s pocketable. In fact, I stuffed this, the lip balm, my passport, and two wallets into one pocket of my jeans, and I could walk around just fine. As you hold it up to your eye, your thumb and index finger will control the camera. Ergonomically speaking, this is very comfortable, but you’ve got to wrap your mind around the interface.” Buy Now: $299 The Sony a7c Becomes the Smallest ILC with a Full Frame Sensor and a Viewfinder The Sony a7c turned a lot of heads and also made people scoff. We had our hands on it before the official announcement, and it wasn’t until we put Leica M mount lenses on it that it really started to shine. This is a camera that’s more or less designed for L Mount photographers. If you’ve got a lot of old manual glass, adapt it to this small camera. Shoot with it rangefinder-style. Have fun! The Sony a7c is the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market right now with a viewfinder built-in. It’s not perfect, but we’re very excited and hopeful for the second generation of this camera. In our review, we state: “It’s got a pleasing texture that is very different from other Sony cameras. Notably, it sports a soft leatherette comparable to a broken-in horween chromexcel leather strap. The top portion has this lovely, almost pebbled texture.” Buy Now: $2,098 The Fujifilm 50mm R WR f1.0 Lens Is the First of a Kind The gorgeous bokeh from the Fujifilm 50mm R WR is unlike anything we’ve seen. Not only does it have gorgeous bokeh, but it’s sharp too. Combine this with Fujifilm’s great colors, and you’ll be constantly stunned. Add weather sealing into the mix, and you’ve got very little to complain about. This lens is incredibly innovative because it’s the first lens with an f1 aperture to have autofocus. On the APS-C camera bodies, it will render an f1.5 full-frame equivalent depth of field. It’s essential for any portrait photographer and anyone who likes to shoot candids. In our special report, we state: “Even better, I’m shocked at how it performed in low light and constantly changing light. Around Queens, NY, where we’ve moved offices, there is lots of the cinematic, old school city that has otherwise been left behind. That includes many of the neon signs you find. These signs are great for shoots and testing the autofocus.” Rent It: LensRentals Canon EOS R5 and R6 Can Deliver 8 Stops of Image Stabilization The Canon EOS R6 and Canon EOS R5 were some of the most exciting announcements made this year. There was a lot of controversy around them and a few issues to start, but those proved to be almost meaningless. Too much of a big deal was made out of them. Otherwise, these cameras are spectacular. Are they pricey? Sure. But these...
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