Thoughts on Coming to Terms with 135mm Lenses

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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As a photographer, I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between lenses of differing focal lengths. I’ve used full-frame lenses as wide as 10mm, as long as 1200mm, and just about every focal length in between but, for some reason, 135mm lenses have never resonated with me.

Give me an 85mm or 105mm lens and I’m happy. Ditto 150mm and 180mm lenses. But mount a 135mm lens on my camera and something in my creative soul curls up and starts rocking back and forth in fetal position. Why? I don’t know, but when a friend recently bequeathed me his late father’s 1969-vintage Nikon F camera system, low and behold, the first lens I pulled out of the bag was a 135mm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q. Oh, happy days…

If it wasn’t for the fact I had a positive experience reviewing a Zeiss Milvus 135mm f/2 ZF.2 this past year, I might have let the lens sit in the bag for another decade or two, but I really liked the Zeiss 135, so I decided to give the lens a try.

Unlike modern 135mm fixed primes, many of which allow you to focus as close as 2.6’—or about a quarter life size, the 135mm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q only focuses down to a paltry five feet, which is fine for head-and-shoulder photographs but a total no-go when it comes to capturing tight facial close-ups. This was a key reason I found my earliest 135mm lens so frustrating to use.

I was about to toss the lens into a box of yard sale specials when I decided to give it a second chance to win me over. I mated the lens with my Sony A7R II using a Metabones Nikon F to Sony E-mount lens adapter and headed north up Ninth Avenue to see what I could see.

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Sonic Scoop, with Bob Mallory, Part 1: Home Studio—Acoustic Treatment

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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In Part 1 of this three-part series, Justin Colletti, of Sonic Scoop, and Bob Mallory (producer and engineer for Avatar Studios and Paste magazine), introduce you to the materials and construction methods needed to make your own acoustic panels for a home studio. From framing to covering, they discuss the ins and outs of assembling the panels, and the common problems that can be addressed by using them.

Listen to A/B comparisons of acoustic guitar and voice-over in the original untreated room, versus the room with the home-built acoustic panels. Later in the video, recordings of full-range pink noise are played through studio monitors in the untreated room, and then in the acoustically treated space. A real-time analyzer is shown for visual comparison of the different resulting frequency responses. Tune in to Parts 2 and 3 to explore monitoring, speakers, headphones, mic techniques, mic lockers, and more.

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New From MOTU: the 828es Interface

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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Mark of the Unicorn’s interfaces are known to be solid, dependable, workhorses—or, should we say, “work-unicorns?” Either way, you’ll surely be pleased to know that the company is releasing a brand new 28×32 interface called the 828es; we at B&H are proud to announce its addition to our warehouse.

The 828es uses the same well-regarded ESS Sabre32 DAC chipset found in MOTU’s flagship interface, the 1248. Thus, this device will give you 123 dB of dynamic range and a roundtrip latency as low as 1.6 milliseconds at 96 kHz sample rates. With USB, Thunderbolt, or AVB/TSN Ethernet ports, you’ll be able to connect with a plethora of devices—and at high speeds, to boot. With a dual-LCD design, you’ll clearly see the activity of every input and output easily; you’ll also be able to access hardware settings with minimal effort.

On the front of the unit, you’ll find combination XLR-1/4″ jacks for mic or instrument sources, as well as two headphone jacks, each with its own volume knob. The rear of the unit gives you eight 1/4″ inputs, eight 1/4″ outputs, 1/4″ jacks for timecode, two 1/4″ sends, and main outs in the form of two XLR connections. On the digital side, you’ll note the MIDI I/O courtesy of five-pin DIN connections, as well as S/PDF, optical, and wordclock I/O. Here you’ll find the Ethernet, USB, and Thunderbolts ports, as well.

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All in all, this interface—fully utilized—will provide connections for up to 256 audio channels (128 in, and 128 out). It can even connect to your iOS device with a standard camera connection kit. Of course, this being a MOTU interface, there are hefty digital offerings, as well, with a 48-input digital mixer boasting flexible matrix-style routing, seven stereo aux busses, three groups, access to 64 network inputs, and a wide array of DSP-powered effects. With 32-bit floating point processing, the 828es’s DSP engine gives you ample headroom and ensures a quality sound as you route signal to any destination you desire.

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5 Reasons You Need a Dye Sub Printer Now

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Dye-sublimation printers, like these from Mitsubishi, offer some unique advantages over the more common inkjet options you may have been using to print your photographs. They offer exceptional speed, great quality with a smudge- and water-resistant surface, and an ink/media setup that makes it incredibly simple to track usage and remaining paper. Those benefits make dye-sublimation, or dye-sub, printers outstanding options for setups you may not have even thought of, and can dramatically improve your business offerings. Here are five good scenarios where dye sublimation printing makes sense, and could save you time, money and heartache.

Photo Booth

Create a professional photo-booth experience like you’d find in amusement parks or shopping malls. Models like the Mitsubishi CP-D90DW even offer full color with surface lamination, and can print 4 x 6″ prints in fewer than 8 seconds. Add some novelty hats, fake moustaches, or colorful backgrounds, and you’re set for a day or night of awesome memories. For an even more complete experience, pair it with popular Photo Booth software applications like these that work with Nikon, Sony, and Canon cameras, and even a hobbyist can turn out a carnival-like experience with their photo booth. Need even more help on setting up a photo booth? Check out this article, or even consider these ready-made solutions. With its system flexibility, click here to watch how many ways you can set up the CP-D90DW.

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Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset

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Virtual reality used to mean you had to shell out the big bucks for the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive or go mobile with the Samsung Gear VR. But now, with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update, VR will be more accessible, thanks to the Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset.

The Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset is designed to be a natural extension of your computer. With it, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows in a virtual environment, play VR games, travel the world through holo-tours, watch 3D, 360°, and 4K videos, browse websites, or even be productive in Microsoft Office suite.

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Housing dual 2.89″ LCD screens, each eye will get a resolution of 1440 x 1440, for a total of 2880 x 1440. The field of view is 110°. The Lenovo Explorer headset may not be wireless, but it does have a lengthy 13.1′ Y-cable with built-in USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.0 connectors. You can use the Lenovo Explorer headset in a 11.5 x 11.5′ area without the need for additional external sensors.

The Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset provides a variety of ways that you can interact. There are optional Motion Controllers from Lenovo that provide a natural, fine-tuned experience. These controllers use Bluetooth wireless technology to connect. You can also use a Microsoft Xbox controller, as well as the classic keyboard-and-mouse combo. If you’re looking for a more hands-free approach, Cortana Voice can provide limited interactions.

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Leica Announces Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2

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A legendary lens with a limited run of just 3,000 units, the original Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 was a unique offering from Leica that focused on creating a dreamy, soft image. Today the company has revealed a modern recreation of this optic that manages to retain the classic look in both its rendering and its exterior. Claiming to have an optical design like the original, the new Thambar also features a single coating on the elements to help protect the glass over time. It also comes with a center spot filter that will provide an even deeper effect if so desired. Furthering the look is a stepless 20-blade aperture diaphragm for exceptionally smooth bokeh even stepped down.

Made in Germany to Leica’s exacting standards, this lens is exceptionally durable and features the same proportions as the original with black finish and red and white aperture scales, for working either with or without the included filter, respectively. It also focuses as close as 3.3′ with a long throw for the focusing ring. Additionally, it comes with a metal lens hood, metal lens cap, and a hard leather case in a vintage brown color that complete the classic look.

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Lensbaby Reveals Limited Edition Velvet & Twist Gift Set

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Lensbaby wants to make it easy for you to find the perfect present for your photographer friends and family members, with the creation of the Limited Edition Velvet & Twist Gift Set for full-frame Sony E, Canon EF, and Nikon F-mount cameras. This kit packs in three of Lensbaby’s most popular lenses: the Velvet 85mm f/1.8, Velvet 56mm f/1.6, and Twist 60 Optic with Straight Body, each with its own unique traits and capabilities. The Velvets both are similar, with a soft glow when used at wider apertures and 1:2 magnifications ratios, while their slightly different perspectives lend themselves well to different shooting styles and subjects. The Twist 60 Optic, on the other hand is quite different, with a twisted bokeh surrounding a sharp center of the frame. Additionally, this kit has a few extra accessories bundled in, including two custom lens cases, a large 14 x 14″ lens-cleaning cloth, and a Lensbaby-branded wrist strap. Please check out our sample gallery below the Order Now button!

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AdobeMAX and B&H Team Up for Creative Professionals

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How many creatives does it take to change a light bulb? If you work as a creative professional, you know the answer is—it depends. Is the client readily available for meetings? Do you have the right designer? A competent copywriter? Are your post-production needs being met, or do you need to order a boatload of new or outdated equipment? Does the light bulb have a due date attached, or is it okay staying dark until the accountant okays the budget?

In other words, it’s complicated.

AdobeMAX, which is the creativity conference for professionals in the creative field, looks to answer these questions and more. The five-day event (two days of pre-conference, and three days of conference) takes place October 16 through October 20, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and stands as one of the largest confluences of creative minds in the country, if not the world. You’ll discover new techniques and boost your career in more than 300 sessions in five areas, including Creative Careers, Graphic, Web and UX Design, Illustration & Creative imaging, Photography and Video.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Adler will kick off the event, and other celebrity speakers like Mark Ronson, Kumail Nanjiani (from the hit series, Silicon Valley), famed photographer Annie Griffiths, and actor/director Jon Favreau will round out the tableau. You will also hear from lead creative minds at Adobe, Refinery 29, IBM, LinkedIn and more.

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Rokinon Expands AF Line with Full-Frame 35mm f/1.4 for Sony E

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Rokinon has been doing a great job in its quest to create high-quality, feature-rich, affordable optics, which is furthered today with the release of the AF 35mm f/1.4 FE Lens for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. The lens is a top-tier choice, with its fast f/1.4 maximum aperture that works with a nine-blade diaphragm to help produce images with shallow depth of field and smooth bokeh. To ensure sharp aberration-free imagery at any setting, there are two aspherical and two high-refractive index elements in the optical design, as well as an Ultra Multi-Coating, which help combat aberrations and flare, respectively. Also, as a departure from Rokinon’s numerous past offerings, this lens is part of the relatively new autofocus series, which incorporates a fast, quiet, and internally focusing motor for rapid subject acquisition.

While optimized for full-frame cameras, this 35mm is fully compatible with APS-C systems, where it provides 52.5mm equivalent focal length. The lens is durable with all-metal external construction and it features a large focusing ring, which provides manual override capabilities. Additionally, it comes with a lens hood that can be reversed for storage.

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Now at B&H: The Sound Devices MixPre-10T Portable Recorder

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Sound Devices has been a long-respected name in the world of professional portable mixers and recorders. Extending its MixPre line is the latest and largest of the group, the MixPre-10T, a 10-input, 12-track recorder. Its feature set is designed to appeal to location recordists, production mixers, musicians, or anyone seeking a blend of high-resolution audio, versatile functionality, and modern convenience in a compact and sturdy package.

Its ten inputs include eight XLR-1/4″ combo jacks and a stereo 3.5mm aux input. Eight Class A Kashmir microphone preamps with built-in analog limiters feed 32-bit A/D converters, for accurate recordings at sample rates up to 96 kHz. On the output side, the MixPre-10T offers two TA3 balanced outs and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Additionally, it boasts solid timecode support, including BNC, Aux, and HDMI timecode connectivity, integrated timecode read and generate functions, and the ability to stay locked even during a power loss. Flexible routing can be performed via the touchscreen LCD, which is designed for readability and ease of use, and offers Basic, Advanced, and Custom operation modes.

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Record to an SD, SDHC, or SDXC card, use the MixPre-10T as a USB audio interface for your preferred DAW, or do both simultaneously! Avoid losing precious content by utilizing the Auto-Background Copy feature, which empowers you to record to an SD card while duplicating the files to a USB flash drive.

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Power can be supplied from AA batteries, Sony L-Mount Li-ion batteries, an AC adapter, or via a 4-pin Hirose connection. In addition to flexible powering options, the MixPre-10T offers versatile control methods. Operate it from the built-in LCD or via a free app on an iOS or Android device. It has internal Bluetooth Smart for a simple link-up with the app, which provides control, metering, and sound reports.

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