Monthly Archives: June 2015

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

Received an evaluation unit of this bridge camera this afternoon. The camera has an incredible 24 to 400 mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens that will blow you away.  BTW the lens has the Leica designation.  More on this camera in a future post but this was the first image shot out my back door.  A juvenile male Downy Woodpecker.  Not the best lighting conditions but the camera and lens performed really well.  The crop represents less than 15% of the original image before being resized for this blog.  Click on the image for a larger rendition.

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Posted in Lens, Mirrorless Tagged , , , |

Unique Photo Expo

uexpo-logoUnique Photo is having their 3 day extravaganza the Unique Photo Expo.
June 26th – June 28th, 2015

In association with AIP I am presenting Travel Photography With a Mirrorless Camera on Saturday afternoon. To learn more about this program, check out the following link:
https://www.uniquephoto.com/event/728

The event is at the Unique Photo Superstore located at 123 US Route 46 West in Fairfield, NJ 07004

Details at: https://www.uniquephoto.com/expo
As a special incentive, anyone that mentions AIP at the door will get a $10.00 token which can be applied to any purchase.
AIP will have a table at the event. Stop by and say hello.

 

Posted in Photography

Peony

Peony

“Dusk on the Flower
Of the white peony
That embraces the moon.”
Gyodai – Haiku from the Edo period (1603 – 1868)

This image was inspired by Chinese/Japanese art where paintings of peonies proliferate. In this culture, it is not only the symbol of wealth and status but can also be a metaphor for female beauty. In Western culture the flower was named after the Greek God Paeon. The root of the white peony like many other plants is used for medicinal purposes.

As a photographer the beauty of this flower captivates and inspires me.

Since there is no direct translation of my name into Chinese, I had to create my own “chop” – an an S and a V.

Posted in Composite, Flowers, Mirrorless, Photography, Sony A7R Tagged |

Borrow Lenses 20% Off – Used gear sale

Shop Now - 20% Off All Used Gear

Posted in Photography

Bridging the Gaps

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

June 12, I got to see the Greenway Project’s latest artwork a little over a month after its installation.  Boston’s aerial rope sculpture created by the artist Janet Echelman is an exquisite sight at night.  The ropes are over 100 miles long and the sculpture has nearly 550,000 knots.  It is anchored to a few buildings and lit using multicolored led lights.  A long exposure bridges the gaps between the ropes as I feel this signifies the coming together for all in this great city.

“My sculpture for Boston above the Rose Kennedy Greenway spans the void where an elevated highway once split downtown from its waterfront. Knitting together the urban fabric, it soars 600 feet through the air above street traffic and Pedestrian Park.

The sculpture’s form echoes the history of its location. The three voids recall the “Tri-Mountain” which was razed in the 18th-Century to create lands from the harbor. The colored banding is a nod to the six traffic lanes that once overwhelmed the neighborhood, before the Big Dig buried them and enable the space to be reclaimed for urban pedestrian life.” An extract from the artist’s statement.

Posted in Night Photography, Noise Reduction, Photography Tagged , , |

Rendezvous with the Sensuous

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hosta Leaves

“Every direction offers a lesson in form and aesthetic options; one element after another attracts the eye with texture, color and tension that provokes a spectrum of emotion.”

an excerpt from Rendezvous with the Sensuous: Readings on Aesthetics – Linda Ardito, John Murungi

Posted in Flowers, Lighting, Mirrorless, Photographs, Photography Tagged , , |

Hummingbird Moth Hemaris thysbe

Hummingbird Moth Hemaris thysbe

Hummingbird Moth Hemaris thysbe

The Hummingbird Moth Hemaris thysbe, unlike most moths that are nocturnal or shade loving, is seen on bright sunny days. It is a fantastic hovering species  that flies like a hummingbird and hence its name.

They feed on nectar using a very long proboscis.  Their wings flap at incredible speeds.  This image was captured at 1/1600 sec and I was unable to freeze the wings.

 

Posted in Blur, Educational, Flowers, Macro, Mirrorless, Motion, Photography Tagged , |

Peak Design – CLUTCH – an excellent hand strap


_DSC6904

This is the second in my three-part review of the Peak Design camera strap product line.  Here I review the Clutch.  This is a comfortable and beautifully constructed support strap.  This is no ordinary hand strap, it is not only easy to attach but has a wonderful feel around the back of your hand.

_DSC6910 _DSC6909

The top end is attached to the strap loop of your camera via a looped band that is then attached to the strap using a spring-loaded trap-door style locking mechanism.  The other end is connected via an Anchor Link attached to the supplied camera base plate or your Really Right Stuff compatible plate.

I attached this to all three of my mirrorless cameras and my wife’s Canon 6D.  I found it to be most comfortable when attached using the supplied plate or the RRS plate on my Panasonic GH4 and with the Canon 6D.  On the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Sony A7R the RRS plate extends too far to the right that provides too much slack.  This slack has the Anchor Link clasp interfering with your hand and is not comfortable at all.  However if you use the supplied base plate this is no longer an issue.

Once the Clutch is properly attached it is a breeze to tighten it for a perfect grip by pulling on the tab of the tightening band.  To loosen, you simply lift on the end of the friction loop to release the tension.

As with any hand strap there is a concern of the camera possibly slipping out of your hand and falling to its doom. If this is a concern, you can easily solve this by attaching a second Anchor Link to the base plate and use a to secure the camera to your wrist, using the “Cuff”.

Cuff attached for extra security

Cuff attached for extra security

Specifications (from the Peak Design product page)

  • Weight: 45 g (123 g as packed)
  • Strap length: adjustable from 18 cm (7 in) to 29 cm (11.4 in)
  • Strap width: at the widest point, 51 mm (2 in)
  • Strength rating: Vectran®-corded Anchors can withstand over 200 lbs (90 kg), making Clutch safe for use with the largest of professional cameras

Build quality

Of all the straps that I have used in the past and currently, I find the Peak Design Clutch  to have been made exceptionally well as I have found with the other Peak Design straps. As with the Slide, every component is beautifully constructed, all the stitching is truly well executed. The adjusters, the loops and the tripod plate are all of the highest standards.

I have been using the Clutch to my Panasonic Lumix GH4 for two weeks and am very pleased with the performance. .  With the cuff as added security this is an excellent combination.

My final assessment

This is undoubtedly the most comfortable hand strap I have used.  It is ideal for the lighter DSLR’s and any mirrorless bodies on the market. Of significance is the easy of tightening and loosening the strap.

I would not hesitate to recommend the Clutch and give it 4 1/2 star rating out of a possible 5. The street price is about $40.

To get any Peak Design product click on the logo below for a 10% discount.Logo_Peak-Design_Dark

Posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Product Reviews Tagged , , |

Peak Design – SLIDE – an awesome camera strap

_DSC6901This is part one of a three-part review of three camera straps made by the kick starter company called Peak Design. I had heard about these from a number of sources including my friends at TWiP (This Week in Photography).  Peak Design were kind enough to send me the Slide and the Clutch and I ended up getting the Cuff. After this bit of testing I should consider getting the leash too as you will see from my review.

_DSC6902Let’s start with the Slide which is the most versatile strap in this family of straps. The strap is made of materials similar to those found in automobile seat belts. The two ends of the strap terminate with a unique attachment system made off a spring loaded slide-in connector that connects to a Kevlar loop clip system. The strap is actually two belts fused together in the central area that would typically wrap around your neck or across your shoulder. The fused area has a slight padding with one side same as the belt while the other side has silicone striping to provide enough friction to prevent it from slipping off the shoulder. I find this double-sided arrangement very convenient.  It is so easy to switch between the surfaces for those times you want to use the strap as a slide or have it in it’s nonslip mode across your shoulder. To maintain uniformity there are two adjustment loops at either end. An anodized aluminum metal handle mechanism allows you to extend or retract the length of the strap but you must do on both ends to keep the padded area in the middle.

The Slide strap kit comes with the strap, four Anchor Link connectors, one square Arca Swiss compatible camera plate, an allen wrench on a ring, a carrying pouch and a user manual. These are all nicely packaged in a well-designed box.

_DSC6911

I attached two Anchor Links to either end of my camera where you would typically attach your OEM camera strap. I attached a third Anchor Link to the loop connector of my existing Really Right Stuff extendable camera plate. With three connectors I am able to use the strap in various configurations. The most convenient is across the shoulder where I can easily bring the camera into shooting position with my hand on the grip and index finger on the shutter release with no obstruction. If I need to Carry the camera around my neck, I can easily detach the connector from the base plate and attach it to the free connector at the top. For the various ways you can sling slide I found carrying the camera on one shoulder to be the least secure and also not very comfortable.

Slide - Attached to one side of the camera body

Slide – Attached to one side of the camera body

Slide - Attached for around the neck use

Slide – Attached to both ends for around the neck use

Slide - Attached to one side of the camera body and the RRS camera plate

Slide – Attached to one side of the camera body and the RRS camera plate

For hand holding the camera the I attach the Clutch (more on this in Part 2) by attaching it to the two Anchor Links attached to the side of the camera body top and bottom (RRS Plate).

Specifications (from the Peak Design product page)

  • Weight: 171 g (281 g as packed)
  • Strap length: adjustable from 99 cm (39 in) to 137 cm (54 in)
  • Strap width: 45 mm (1.8 in)
  • Strength rating: Vectran®-corded Anchors can withstand over 200 lbs (90 kg), making Slide safe for use with the largest of professional cameras

Build quality

Of all the straps that I have used in the past and currently, I find the Peak Design Slide to have been made exceptionally well. Every component is beautifully constructed, all the stitching is truly well executed. The adjusters, the loops and the tripod plate are all of the highest standards.

I use the slide mounted to a Canon 6D and on my Sony A7R for about 10 days now and am very happy with the performance. I always like to remove my camera strap when I mount the camera on my tripod so as to prevent any shake as straps tend to act like mini sails in windy conditions. This requires constant disconnecting and connecting Anchor Links. So far, they have all performed extremely well and it appears these will not give or come loose for a long time..

My final assessment

I am very happy with the performance and comfort of this strap the Slide. It is really designed for any camera but my preference would be to use the Slide for heavier DSLRs and mirrorless camera bodies. A slimmer version but with the same wide shoulder padding would be ideal for the smaller minimalist mirrorless bodies.  The Peak Design Leash comes close but does not have the comfort padding.

I would not hesitate to recommend the Slide and give it 4 1/2 star rating out of a possible 5. The street price is about $60. Keep in mind that a small Arca Swiss camera plate will cost you a minimum of $20 – here one is included. This to me is a great bonus.

To get any Peak Design product click on the logo below for a 10% discount.Logo_Peak-Design_Dark

 

Posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, Photography, Product Reviews, Sony A7R