Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Full-Frame Samyang Lenses Now Available for Sony A7 / A7R

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Two months ago, Samyang announced that it planned to release five of its full-frame lenses with Sony E mount. The company says the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC, 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC, T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt-Shift, 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC and 85mm f/1.4 AS IF UMC are now available for purchase. All of these are manual-focus lenses originally designed for SLR cameras.

PMH 2014 Grant

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The Photographic Museum of Humanity (PMH) has issued the call for entries for the 2014 PMH Grant, an international photography contest offering $4000 in cash prizes. The jury features Alec Soth (Magnum Photos), Iata Cannabrave (Brzilian curator, creator of the Latin American Photography Forum of Sao Paulo), Olivier Laurent (Associate Editor for the British Journal of Photography) and Diana Markosian (PMH 2013 Grant New Generation Prize winner). The deadline for entries is 26 February 2014.

Website: PMH 2014 Grant

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Review

Mark Goldstein
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The Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R is an ultra-fast standard prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a classic focal length of 53mm in 35mm terms, is the Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R a must-have lens? Read our Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 R review to find out...

Shooting Shallow

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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FlixelPix has published a new 38 page guide to depth-of-field. The ‘Shooting Shallow' ebook takes photographers through the concept of depth-of-field as well as addressing the application of 'shooting shallow'. Divided into three sections. Concepts, Camera and Practice, the ebook explains the concepts of depth of field and bokeh, teaches readers about the theory and application of DOF, and provides a number of tips and practical examples. The 'Shooting Shallow' ebook costs $5, but you can get a 20% discount by using the coupon code shooting at checkout. This offer is valid until 30 December 2013.

Apple iPhoto 9.5.1

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Apple has released an update to iPhoto. Version 9.5.1 fixes a bug that could cause print previews to render incorrectly, and includes a number of stability and performance improvements. The upgrade is available now on the Mac App Store.

Zeiss Confirms Plans to Release Otus 85mm f/1.4

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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In reply to a question raised by a commenter on the company's lens-themed microsite, Zeiss has confirmed that "[t]he next lens of the ZEISS high-end lenses family will be the Otus 1.4/85." Posted via Facebook, the enquiry originally concerned the company's plans on wide-angle lenses but the company would only confirm the planned release of the Otus 85mm f/1.4 - saying it "will be available at your local dealer in the course of the year 2014" -, declining to comment on "possible other focal lengths."

The Great Photo App

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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The Great Photo App by Baglan Dosmagambetov is a photo education app for the Apple iPhone and iPad. The app teaches users about the concept of exposure and its main variables - aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity - as well as depth of field, camera lenses and much more. The Great Photo App is available on iTunes priced at $0.99.

Olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 Clip-On Photo Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Olloclip has launched a new Macro 3-IN-1 photo lens solution for Apple iPhone 5 & iPhone 5S users. Experiment with the three different magnifications (21x, 14x, 7x) to photograph small objects like coins, stamps, rocks, relics, insects, plants, gems, circuit boards, and even your own skin. Small enough to fit into a pocket or palm of the hand, the olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 clip-on photo lens ships with bespoke "Instafocus" hoods that are specially designed to diffuse the light and facilitate focusing. The lens will be available from 20th December for £59.95 / $69.99.

TPOTY Winners Revealed

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions
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The winners of this year's Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) prize have been revealed. The top prize – the Cutty Sark Award for the Travel Photographer of the Year 2013 – goes to British photographer Timothy Allen for his B&W images of the mud mosque replastering festival and Dogon life in Mali, and his studies of individuals in Wales and Bhutan. The Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2013 is 14 year old Jonathan Rystrøm from Denmark, while the 14 and Under Young TPOTY category was won by 10 year-old Patria Prasaysa from Indonesia.

Instagramers Photo Prize

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Competitions, Websites
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The Instagramers Gallery - billed as the world's largest online photo gallery that also has two physical locations in Miami and Madrid - has announced the Instagramers Photo Prize featuring a grand prize of $100,000. Open to all Instagram users worldwide registered with InstagramersGallery.com, the Instagramers Photo Prize also offers daily prizes worth $1000 every day from now until 30 April 2014. The overall winner will be chosen from the daily Photo of the Day finalists.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Plustek OpticFilm 8100 Review

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessory Reviews
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The Plustek OpticFilm 8100 is an affordable film scanner with an optical resolution of 7200dpi, a low-power LED light source, multi-sampling and multi-exposure capabilities, and version 8 of LaserSoft Imaging’s acclaimed SilverFast scanning software. Read our Plustek OpticFilm 8100 review now...

Akvis NatureArt 5.5

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Software
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Akvis has released version 5.5 of its NatureArt for Windows and Mac OS X. This update adds a Share option that lets you post your images from the program to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Google+, changes the installation process for Windows, adds support for raw images from various cameras, fixes bugs and adds compatibility with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Additionally, the plug-in variant gains compatibility with Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12, and Corel PaintShop Pro X6. Pricing for Akvis NatureArt starts at $72.

Braun Vidi Proof Digital Camcorder

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras
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Kenro has announced the UK availability of a waterproof digital camcorder, the Braun Vidi Proof. In addition to recording Full HD videos, the Braun Vidi Proof camcorder can also capture 5-megapixel stills. Other features include a self-timer and a 2.0 inch LCD screen. The camera is powered by two AA-sized batteries, and records photos and videos on microSD memory cards. The suggested retail price is £103.80.

Benro Smart Series Shoulder Bags

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Kenro, the UK and Ireland distributor of Benro products has announced the availability of the Benro Smart Series Shoulder Bags. Manufactured from 1000*1000D PU coating material, the bag is highly durable The Smart Series is available in three variations (10, 20 and 30), the largest of which holds a capacity of 1SLR, 3 lenses, 1 flash plus most 12 inch laptops. Prices range between £35.34 and £48.

Fantasea Line FG16 Underwater Housing

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The Fantasea FG16 underwater housing is now available in a bundle with the Canon PowerShot G16 digital compact camera. The Fantasea FG16 maintains full access to all camera controls and functions while providing waterproofing down to depths of 60 metres / 200 feet. The Fantasea FG16 is available now for $575 / €530. The camera+housing bundle retails for $999.95.

FLTR Launches

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones
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FLTR, the world’s first-ever weekly magazine dedicated to smartphone  photography and published exclusively on the iPhone, has launched today. Created by the team behind the British Journal of Photography, FLTR includes exclusive interviews with both amateur and professional photographers highlighting the latest techniques, apps, devices, trends and accessories in smartphone photography. Edited by Olivier Laurent, associate editor of British Journal of Photography, FLTR is now available to download from the Apple App Store.

Mastering Photoshop Layers

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Books
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Mastering Photoshop Layers: A Photographer’s Guide by Jürgen Gulbins is a new title from Rocky Nook. The book teaches readers about building and working with multiple layers, creating and using layer masks, using layers to retouch your images, blending modes, Smart Objects/Filters, timesaving shortcuts, and much more. The 300-page volume is available for $44.95. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Zoner Photo Studio 16 Review

Matt Grayson | Software Reviews
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Zoner Photo Studio 16 is an affordable all--in-one software program for the keen photographer, covering everything from downloading your images, editing and managing them, then sharing them. Can it compete with the likes of Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop Elements? Read our Zoner Photo Studio 16 review to find out...

Tamron Announces Launch Date for its SP 150-600mm Lens

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses
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Tamron has announced the launch date of the new Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD ultra-telephoto zoom lens. This all-new ultra-telephoto zoom lens features Vibration Compensation, an Ultrasonic Silent Drive focus motor, eBAND coating and a 4x zoom ratio. Mounted on APS-C DSLR cameras, it has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 233mm to 930mm. The optical formula incorporates 20 elements arranged in 13 groups and an iris diaphragm with nine rounded aperture blades. The Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens will be available in the USA on 17 January 2014.

Leef PRO Memory Cards

Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories
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Leef has announced its new PRO line of memory cards. Featuring a processing speed of 300X, Leef PRO microSD and SD memory cards comply with the UHS-I specification, and come with a 5-year limited warranty. Each Leef PRO microSD memory card includes an adapter for compatibility with SD slots. Leef PRO SD and microSD cards are available for pre-order now.