Category Archives: Lens

Aquatic Birds of Florida

Before I say anything, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not a videographer.  I captured these clips while I was in Florida during the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, late January 2017.  All these were captured during my photo walks/drives in Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island.  The primary purpose was to tryout the “In Body Image Stabilization” aka IBIS of the Panasonic Lumix G85 camera body.  The camera was used with the Leica 100 – 400 mm lens at its full extension that is an equivalent of 800 mm (most of the time).  All footage was captured hand-held and in many instances during high winds and rain.  

It is important to note, that all the footage was captured before Panasonic released two major firmware updates, one of the camera and the other for the lens.  What this means is that the Dual IS function was not in effect when these videos were captured.  

I was very impressed with the performance of this camera and lens combination and will be doing a comparison to see the impact of the new firmware when I am at the next conference in St. Augustine in April.

To see the video in 4K please CLICK HERE to be directed to YouTube

 

Also posted in Lumix Leica 100-400 mm, Mirrorless, Panasonic, Video, Workshops Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Panasonic GX85 with the Leica 100 – 400mm lens

I received my GX85 a few days ago but yesterday was the first opportunity to try it out.  The GX85 with the Leica 100-400 is a superb combination.  Both these images are considerable crops.  There are two recently fledged Downy Woodpeckers, a male and a female who frequent the back yard.  I am most impressed with the detail from the GX85 (no anti-aliassing filter) and excellent image stabilization.

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Hand-held at 400mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/160 sec

 

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Hand-held at 318mm, IS0 1600, f/5.7, 1/1000 sec

Also posted in Lumix GX85, Lumix Leica 100-400 mm, Mirrorless, Noise Reduction, Panasonic, Photographs, Photography

You don’t need big bucks

Recently, I watched a high-end photo shoot demonstration where multiple Broncolor studio lights and power-packs were used to photograph a bottle of single malt Scotch Whisky.  At least four Broncolor Strobes with Broncolor Strip boxes and focusing light modifiers were used to capture the image. It was an excellent demonstration and the results were great.  Well here is my version:

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Westcott was kind enough to provide me with a set of Rapid Box Strip lights that I decided would have to do the job.

Each Rapid Box Strip was mounted on a light stand and a Nissin DI866 flash head triggered by a Yongnuo wireless trigger was used as the light source.  A third Nissin i40 flash also triggered by a Yongnuo trigger was used as the light for the label on the bottle.  A Rogue Flashbender was formed into a snoot to concentrate the light and prevent any spill.

The camera was a Panasonic Lumix GX8 with the Lumix 35 – 100mm f/2.8 lens. A Yongnuo mounted on the hot-shoe was used to trigger the lights.  Exposure triad: f/7.1, 1/100 sec, ISO 200.  Lens focused at 42mm.

Here is a behind the scenes image.

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Also posted in Lighting, Mirrorless, Photography, Strobes Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Hasselblad X1D

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Hasselblad introduces a rangefinder sized Medium Format mirrorless camera and a new set of lenses too.  This is not a rebranded Sony for sure. Details and specs can be found on their website but of significance is the dual card slots – a first for mirrorless cameras.  Time for Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Fuji to seriously consider dual card slots.

Canon, Nikon – now what?

Also posted in Mirrorless, News, Photography Tagged |

PANASONIC LUMIX G LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm, F1.4 ASPH Lens announced

leica 12mmFollowing up with the release of the exceptional Leica 100 – 400 mm nature and wildlife photographers’ dream lens, Panasonic has announced a new Leica 12mm (24 mm equivalent on MFT bodies) f/1.4 weather sealed wide-angle prime lens.  Suitable for great landscapes and with this f/1.4 speed it will be ideal for astro photography.  This will be Panasonic’s widest non-fish eye prime lens in the MFT lineup.  Hope to have one in my kit for my Iceland workshop in September.

It will be available later this summer for $1300 (rounded).

Here is the press release:

NEWARK, NJ (July 1, 2016) – Panasonic unveiled a new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. (35 mm camera equivalent: 24 mm) digital interchangeable lens for Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera based on the Micro Four Thirds standard. The new 12mm wide-angle lens enables photographers to capture beautiful group, event, and nature photography. It also allows indoor shooting in low lighting and produces an impressive, natural defocusing effect with its F1.4 aperture. In addition, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. boasts a rugged, splash/dust-proof design (when combined with splash and dustproof LUMIX G Mirrorless camera models) to meet the needs of a wide-range of photographic situations.

Integrating two aspherical lenses, two UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses and an ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lens, the lens system is comprised of 15 elements in 12 groups. The adoption of five special lenses makes it possible to meet the stringent LEICA standard for exceptional image quality with high resolution and minimum distortion. In general, flare is commonly seen around the periphery of a point source with many high-speed lenses when a large aperture is employed. However, the new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. achieves high resolution from the center of the image to the corners by suppressing this flare. Users can take advantage of this lens to shoot a brilliant night skies or night scenes containing illumination to capture true-to-life images with minimal blurring and distortion at the edges. The multi-coated lens elements also minimize ghosting and flaring.

Incorporating an inner focus drive system and a stepping motor, the new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. is capable of smooth, silent operation together with the camera’s high-speed, high-precision contrast AF system for both photo and video recording. It is also compatible with the sensor drive at a maximum of 240 fps to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed AF. This stunning AF performance is excellent for recording 4K videos, where precise focusing is essential.

The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. comes with an aperture ring for direct, intuitive aperture control. Nine blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. A highly reliable metal mount assures durability for repeated use. The lens mount, the barrel and the hood are all made of metal to provide a sleek, sophisticated design that matches the entire line-up of LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras.

Specifications:

Focal length 12 mm
Maximum aperture F1.4
Minimum aperture F16
Aperture ring Yes
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Elements 15
Groups 12
Special elements / coatings 2 aspherical lenses, 1 ED lens, 2 UED lenses
Minimum focus 0.20 m (7.87″)
Maximum magnification 0.1×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Weight 335 g (0.74 lb)
Diameter 70 mm (2.76″)
Length 70 mm (2.76″)
Filter thread 62.0 mm
Hood Yes
Also posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, News, Night Photography, Photography, Star Trails, Time-Lapse Tagged , , |

Lucy Vincent Beach – Martha’s Vineyard

 

Lucy Vincent Beach Sunset

Lucy Vincent Beach Sunset. Exposure triad ISO 400, f/25, 60 sec.

Concluded a great photo workshop in Martha’s Vineyard yesterday.  A great group of photographers, and some great locations on the island.  Inclement weather did not prevent us from photographing the opportunities that were presented.  This image is one of my favorites where the last rays of the sun just kissed the rock on the shore at Lucy Vincent Beach.  We stayed on to do some light painting and astro photography before winding up for the night.  (More images to follow)

The Night Sky at Lucy Vincent Beach. 14mm, Exposure Triad ISO 1250, f/2.8, 20 sec

The Night Sky at Lucy Vincent Beach. 14mm, Exposure Triad ISO 1250, f/2.8, 20 sec.

 

Also posted in Mirrorless, Night Photography, Noise Reduction, Photographs, Photography, Sony A7R, Workshops, Zeiss

Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 Lens for Sony E-Mount Announced

batis2818_productThe ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 expands the Batis range of lenses with a super wide-angle lens. For the Sony α system with E-mount the new lens, which features a diagonal angular field of 99 degrees, is currently the shortest full-frame fixed focal length with autofocus. The new ZEISS Batis 2.8/18 with innovative OLED display to show focus distance and depth of field is also impressive thanks to its high image quality across the entire image field. The lens will be available from May 2016.

Features for discerning users 
The super wide-angle camera lens has 11 lens elements in ten groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and seven are made from special types of glass. The Floating Elements design permits constantly high image performance in the focal plane – from the minimum object distance to infinity.
The lens will be available from May 2016. The suggested retail price is US$1,499
Also posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, News, Photography, Sony A7R, Video, Zeiss

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100 – 400mm F/4 – 6.3 lens

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400 mm, Exposure Triad 1/2000 sec at f /7.1, ISO 800

Last week at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife festival I had the opportunity to briefly try out a pre-production unit.  The lens was one of the first pre-production units and a lot has changed since it’s manufacture.  The final units will be way better in image quality, performance and handling.  With that said, I will say I was truly impressed with the way the lens performed.

The Leica 100-400mm is an f/4-6.3 telephoto zoom lens that gives the equivalent of 200-800mm in 35mm equivalence.

The lens has a lockable zoom pull feature, so you can pull the end of the zoom to set the zoom position, or when it is locked, you need to rotate the zoom ring to vary the focal length. The lens has Power Optical Image Stabilization, and high-speed 240fps AF drive, which makes it incredibly fast in focusing performance. It is also, splash and dust proof.

A feature I found most useful was the lens collar and foot that also rotates all the lens function switches. This allows you to easily access these in any orientation, landscape or portrait.

In thumbnail view, hover over the thumbnail to see the focal length and exposure details.  To see a larger rendition of this slide show please click here

Also posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, Photographs, Photography, Product Reviews Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Panasonic announces LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH Power O.I.S. Lens

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Press Release:

Panasonic announced today at CES 2016 a new telephoto lens for its LUMIX G range of Micro Four Thirds System cameras – the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH. Telephoto-Zoom (H-RS100400) with Power Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.).

Small, light and highly durable, the latest addition to Panasonic’s range of interchangeable lenses is perfectly suited for photographing birds and other wildlife in all types of environments.

The lens is constructed of 20 elements in 13 groups and incorporates a number of aspherical and extra low dispersion elements to assure best quality and avoid flaring. The advanced construction of the new Telephoto-Zoom leads to highest quality standard earning the LEICA Logo for a LUMIX Lens once again.

Outstanding image quality and Telephoto-Zoom performance
Elegantly designed with a metallic black finish, the new 100mm-400mm LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR lens from Panasonic provides superb image rendering across the entire zoom range. The lens’ 200-800mm focal length (35mm equivalent) and 0.5x Magnification capability provide highly detailed shots from distance, as well as stunning close up capability– ideal for subject matter regardless of shape and size.

In order to capture steady, vibration free images across the entire zoom range, the lens also incorporates Power O.I.S. to keep unwanted shaking under control and ensure pictures look crisp and clear.

The 100mm-400mm lens is also suited to a variety of photographic styles – with nine diaphragm blades providing a circular aperture to produce a smooth and beautiful bokeh.

Smaller and lighter than other Telephoto-Zoom lenses
When compared with conventional super telephoto DSLR lenses, the latest addition the LUMIX G line up offers outstanding mobility – perfect if you’re travelling and don’t want to pack too much. Similarly, the lens also boasts a durable, gapless construction so you no longer have to worry about unwanted dust or light rain damaging your equipment.

In addition to the lens’ practical size and weight, a compact, two-part tripod mount has also been incorporated to enable faster conversion between landscape and portrait orientation.  While conveniently and speedily turning to the 90 degree angle, the levers for Focus Limiting, Power O.I.S. and the manual focus switch remain right at your fingertips as they do not move when you turn the lens.

The lens also incorporates an integrated, hideaway hood to help you capture that perfect shot, without having to worry about sun glare.

Stunning 4K video capability
Panasonic’s new LEICA Telephoto-Zoom lens is perfectly suited for 4K video recording with its construction assuring the best contrast and colors. Furthermore the Telephoto-Zoom incorporates Panasonic’s high speed and precise 240 fps AF-motor. Due to the modern design, filming can also be conducted silently, so you can get up close to the subject without drawing attention.

As well as high resolution video, the lens’ 4K capability also enables you to take photos like never before. Panasonic’s 4K Photo function – found on LUMIX G cameras including the LUMIX DMC-G7 – lets you extract an 8-megapixel still from 4K video (30fps) easily right on the camera’s screen with a simple fingertip touch.

Key features:

  • Longest focal length for Micro Four Thirds
  • Compatible with Dual Image Stabilization
  • 240fps AF Drive
  • Zoom ring lock
  • Weather Sealing
  • Integrated Quick Shifting Tripod Mount
  • Integrated shift-away lens-hood

The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm lens will be available at www.shop.panasonic.com and valued channel partners for $1799.99 in early April.

SPECS:
Focal Length: 100 – 400mm Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 200 – 800 mm
Aperture: Maximum: f/4 – 6.3 Minimum: f/22
Angle of View: 12° – 3.1°
Minimum Focus Distance: 4.27′ (1.3 m)
Magnification: 0.25x
Elements/Groups: 20/13
Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded
Image Stabilization Yes
Tripod Collar: Yes Fixed – rotating
Filter Thread Front: 72 mm
Dimensions: (DxL) Approx. 3.27 x 6.75″ (83 x 171.5 mm)
Weight: 2.17 lb (985 g)

 

Also posted in Accessories, Mirrorless, Photography

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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