Category Archives: Photography

Lumix S Pro 70-200 f/2.8 hand-held

Zebra Family at Sunset

One of the greatest features of Lumix cameras, the G and the S series is the incredibly good image stabilization. On the S1R was rated at 6 stops. With firmware version v1.1, the in-body IS system will reduce shake by an additional 1/2-stop, for a total of 6 stops with non-stabilized lenses and 6.5 stops with Dual IS-compatible glass. With the new S Pro 70-200 f/2.8, the stabilization is rated at 7 stops.

This image was captured hand-held with the S1R and the S Pro 70-200 and a 2X Teleconverter. The combined focal length was 400mm. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 800.

Click on the image to view a larger rendition.

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Lilac Breasted Roller

Lilac Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

This bird is one of my absolute favorites. This avian lives in acacia country where there are well-spaced trees, bushy game lands, riverside areas, and cultivated lands. However, they do not associate with human habitation. They are about 14 in. long.

The Lilac Breasted Roller is also referred to as the Fork Tailed Roller or Mosilikatze’s Roller. They typically perch at high points of trees, poles, etc. so the can spot thir prey close to ground level. they will swoop down to grab insects, scorpions, lizards and even small birds.

This specimen was photographed with the Panasonic G9, the Leica 50-200 lens with the 2X tele-adaptor. Exposure triad: f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250.

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My impressions of the new 70-200 mm L mount zoom lens – LUMIX S PRO 70-200 O.I.S (S-E70200)

I had the pleasure of using two of these lenses, albeit pre-production, with two Lumix S1R bodies while on my trip to Tanzania. I used these with and without the 1.4X and 2X teleconverters in order to extend the reach as needed. With the high resolution of the S1R cropping is a viable option.

The Pro S 70-200 has one of the best image quality performance I have seen in a zoom lens in the range. The lens surely must meet or exceed certain stringent standards to be certified by Leica.

Color rendition
Leopard resting
Exposure triad f/63, 1/500 sec, ISO 2000

Tech details: 22 elements in 17 groups, the use of 2 UED (Ultra Extra-low Dispersion) lenses, 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lenses. Magnification .21X with a close focus distance of .95m. Focus range switchable from Full to .95m-5m and 5m to Limit. The lens is 208.6mm (8.2 in) long with a max diameter of 94.4 mm (3.72 in)and weighs 1,570 gm (3.46 lb). Filter diameter 82mm. It is dust and splash resistant and has a working temperature range of -10 C to 40 C (14 F to 104 F). The focus speed is rated at 0.12 sec. at the extended focal length of 200 mm. It has a focus clutch to allow manual – autofocus switching and the lens barrel has three programmable focus buttons. Dual IS – when coupled with a Dual IS2 body the overall image stabilization is rated at 7 stops. The provided lens collar has an Arca Swiss compatible foot.

Superb detail and dynamic range
African Elephant and Calf
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 500

I found that the lens had exceptional focusing speed and now understand why. The lens uses a double focus system. A large linear motor is used for long-throw adjustments and a stepper motor is used for small incremental strokes. All focusing is internal and the focusing lenses are light so as to allow rapid movement during focusing. The focus frame rate is 480 FPS and the lens tracks subjects incredibly well. This combination clearly has the fastest focusing I have experienced in the Lumix lens line-up. The close focus distance is .95m or about 3 feet. Even at this close range, there is no visible distortion. in-fact the has little to no distortion over its entire zoom range even wide open at f/2.8.

Smooth focus fall-off.
Impala Stag
Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
Another example of smooth focus fall-off
Cheetah Yawn
Exposure triad f/8, 1/1300 sec, ISO 3200
Fast action capture
Wildebeast Migration
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 250
Tracking performance with fast-moving subjects
Wildebeast (Connochaetes gnou)
Tracking performance
Impala on the run (one of the fastest four-legged animals)
Exposure triad f/6.3, 1/800 sec, ISO 320
Tracking performance.
Juvenile African Fish Eagle  (Haliaeetus vocifer).
Exposure triad f/11, 1/800 sec, ISO400
Low Light Detail
Lion Family on Kill
Exposure triad f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 2500
Low light longer exposure.
Serval Cat (Leptailurus serval)- 2x teleconverter used. Exposure triad f/5.6, 1/200 sec, ISO12800

For the duration of the Tanzania safari, I never mounted either S1R on a tripod or any other clamp or mount. All images were captured hand-held and the image stabilization was amazing even at slow shutter speeds.

Note: Some images have been cropped and some have a vignette applied for presentation purposes.

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Tanzania – October 2019

My Tanzania photo safari was truly one of the best wildlife photography experiences. I took a pair of Panasonic Lumix S1R full-frame cameras and the Lumix G9 micro four-thirds camera. Various lenses, a tripod, and ball-head that were never used. However, I did mount a Platypod Ultra with a ball-head to the armrest of the Land Cruiser. This provided all the mounting and support I ever needed for both camera systems. Yes I was over the weight allowance but was prepared and prepurchased excess baggage coverage.

The following are a few images captured with the Lumix G9, the Leica 50-200 mm lens and a 2X Tele-extender.

African Elephants protecting a sleeping calf.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/400sec at ISO 640.

I spent the entire time at the Nasikia KasKaz Mara Camp in Northern Tanzania. The camp is a 45-minute drive from the Kogatendi airstrip. My superb guide Moodie is both a bird and leopard expert and a great photographer too.

This next image was captured at one of the many vast grasslands of the Serengeti. These Cheetahs are brothers who stay and hunt together and rarely stray beyond their marked territory.

Cheetah Brothers
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/1000 sec at ISO 640.

Northern Serengeti has an abundance of bird species. It is truly a birder’s paradise. The African Fish Eagle fishing is a fairly common sight along the Mara River. Here I am not sure who is eying who.

Yellow-billed Stork and African Fish Eagle.
The pink flush on the stork indicates breeding status.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/640 sec at ISO 200 EV -0.3.

It was late afternoon when I spotted this Little Green Bee Eater. It grabbed what you see in this beak, swallowed it and then realizing it was not what it thought it was – spat it out with a vengeance.

Little Green Bee Eater.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/800 sec at ISO 1000.

The last image for this post is of a pair of Nubian Woodpeckers. It is most interesting to hear the pair call in unison.

Nubian Woodpecker Pair
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/640 sec at ISO 320 EV+1.3.

Stay tuned for a lot more from this trip.

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ON1 Photo RAW 2020 Released

The 2020 release is available for download NOW. Click on the banner above to get a license or upgrade an existing license.

What’s New ON1 Photo RAW 2020 (14.0.0.7955) 

  • Print module — Whether you need to print contact sheets, a wall portrait or tile multiple photos into package prints, the improved print dialog is up to the task. You can easily print individual photos like before, but now you can also create contact sheets. You can also print multiple photos on one piece of paper to create packages like 2 5×7’s or 4 4×5’s. You can add watermarks and even output to files for sending your prints to the lab. 
  • Date Pane — Exploring your photos by date has never been easier. The new automatic timeline albums organize your photos by year, month and day. If you are looking for pictures of your daughter’s birthday you can easily zoom right to that date.
  • Map View — View where your photos were taken on a map. Explore photo locations and add location metadata to photos that don’t have GPS metadata. You can even search by location address to find photos quickly, without having to add additional metadata.
  • Improved Noise Reduction — The new state-of-art noise reduction algorithm can remove noise while maintaining detail, even with today’s ultra high-ISO cameras.
  • AI Match — Love how a shot looks on the back of your camera, but feel disappointed it doesn’t look the same when you open it? The AI Match function solves that. Using our AI technology that we pioneered for migrating edits from Adobe Lightroom, we can now match your RAW photos look to what you saw on the back of the camera.
  • AI Auto Tone — Everyone loves the one-click auto button in Photo RAW, and we have made it even better. By analyzing thousands of photos the algorithm has learned how to do an even better job, especially on the tough images. It’s like having an expert editor helping you. Now you can even control the amount of auto-tone you want to add.
  • Improved Performance — We take performance seriously. With every update we dedicate time to making things faster. This time we focused on two areas, opening raw files into Edit and brushing with lower-end video cards. You will find both are faster and smoother in practice.
  • Custom Camera Profiles — Now you can get predictable, natural color results by creating custom profiles for your camera and lights. We have partnered with X-Rite, the leader in color management to make this easy. Simply photograph an X-Rite target with your camera, then import it into ON1 Photo RAW, then send it to the X-Rite Camera Profiler software to build a custom camera profile that works inside of ON1 Photo RAW.
  • Color Balance Filter — The powerful new Color Balance filter lets you remove a cross color cast from the shadows or highlights. It can also create unique duotone or tritone tints by adjusting the color and brightness of the highlights, midtones or shadows. Custom color grading couldn’t be easier.
  • Weather Filter — With the new Weather filter in Effects, you can add rain, snow and fog to your photos to create realistic atmosphere.
  • Channel Mixer Filter —  The new Channel Mixer filter in Effects is a multi-purpose powerhouse. Use it for precise black and white conversions, channel swaps for infrared shots or shift entire color ranges like never before.
  • Sun Flare Filter — It’s golden hour anytime with the new Sun Flare filter. You can add realistic sun flares, lens flares and bokeh to your afternoon shots. It’s powered by real photographs from renowned photographer and educator Matt Kloskowski.
  • Revamped Preset Catalog & Extras — Photographers love the unique presets that come with ON1 Photo RAW. They make the perfect starting point for taking your photos to eleven. We have modernized the included preset catalog with over 100 new presets for today’s looks. We have also added over 50 new backgrounds and skies for your masking pleasure.
  • SmugMug Integration — Sharing your best work to the best sharing platform is now built right-into ON1 Photo RAW. Select photos and videos, then publish them to any of your SmugMug galleries. You can even create new galleries and control the size of the photos you upload.
  • Focus Mask overlay — Now you can view what’s in-focus in our photos easily. The new Focus Mask overlay marks the areas of best focus with green so you can compare similar photos and pick out the sharpest photo quickly.
  • Tons of other minor enhancements — Move the before/after splitter, fade presets right from the preset browser, Win install on other drive, UNC paths on Windows, Lossy Canon CR3 support, Visualize brushstrokes with red overlay.
  • Language Support — ON1 Photo RAW is now localized into eleven languages, giving many more photographers access to the best darned photo editor out there. It now supports English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch.
  • Added Support for New Cameras — Canon Powershot G7X Mark II, Canon Powershot G5X Mark II, Canon 90D EOS M6 MK 2, Sony A7R IV, Sony RX100, Sony NEX-C3, Leica V-Lux 5, Fuji GFX 100
  • Added support for Lens Profiles — Canon EF 22-55mm f/4-5.6 USM, Minolta AF 28-75mm F2.8 (D), Nikon AF Nikkor 300mm f/4 IF-ED, Olympus M.30mm F3.5 Macro, Panasonic LEICA DG 100-400/F4.0-6.3, Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8, PENTAX DA* 60-250mm F4 [IF] SDM, Samsung SM-G950F, Samsung S8 wide-angle lens, Samyang SAMYANG AF 14mm F2.8, Samyang SAMYANG AF 24mm F2.8, Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN | Contemporary C 017, Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G, Sony 28-75mm F2.8 SAM (SAL2875), Yongnuo YN 50mm f/1.8, Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4,
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A Red Sunset

The Palouse at Sunset

This was the sunset image from the same evening as the last few posts. After some great light we had an intense rain storm and then the skies started opening up just before the sun set. All the photographers left the butte except one other PSA member and myself. This image was the reward for sticking it out.

Captured with the Panasonic Lumix S1R and the Lumix Pro S 70-200 mm, f/4 lens at 70 mm. Exposure triad: f/11, 1/125 sec at ISO 800.

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Storm Clouds Over Palouse

Storm Clouds Over Palouse

I arrived in Spokane, WA for the PSA Board Meetings and the Conference. It was a long flight from Boston to Spokane but I was not going to pass up the opportunity to take a ride to the wheat fields of the Palouse. The weather did not look good but then bad weather can make for some great images.

Most of the afternoon the fields had barely any light and when there was some it was flat. As the afternoon progressed there were occasional openings in the dark cloud that were letting some light come through. The was a large expanse of rain clouds that were dumping rain while the sun shone through on either side casting some warm light on the harvested wheat stalks.

This image was captured in high resolution using the Panasonic Lumix S1R and the Lumix S Pro 70-200 f/4 lens. Exposure triad: f/11, 1/25 sec, ISO 200. Lens at 70mm. The 1440 x 934 pixel image is about 8% of the original file.

Please click on the image for a larger rendition.

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Cool and Warm

Cool and Warm

When the sun was setting this past weekend (Sept 7, 2019) the moon was about 60% and quite high over the horizon. As the light from the sun was all but gone, the moon shining on the water created this cool/warm juxtaposition in harmony with these old pilings.

The breaking waves in the foreground appear to be trying to blend the warm and cold together. Also, notice the split in the color temperature how the light significantly affected the shadows of the pilings on the right vs. the ones on the left.

These situations remind me of George Eastman’s quote:

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”

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A deep dive into the Lumix S1R Camera

Lumix S1R Full Frame Camera – “it’s the best!!!!!!”

In this episode, TWiP host Frederick van Johnson and I discuss the Lumix S1R full-frame mirrorless camera. Amongst the topics of discussion are the features of this new system, the growing lens line-up, and the assertion that Lumix is not abandoning the micro four-thirds sensor size format.

Click on the logo or CLICK HERE to watch the episode

Learn more about the Lumix S1R: Panasonic USA Website

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Minimalism – Sunset

Rocks at Sunset

The weekend provided great opportunity to explore the Cape Cod shoreline. There are some amazing manmade jetties that present opportunities for minimalist images.

I first shot this composition wide with lots of negative space but realized that with the rocks so small in the frame the beautiful texture was getting lost. So I composed tighter to show much more detail while the image still remained minimal. The setting sun cast some lovely light in the rocks and created a glow in the sand. Although the slow shutter speed remove the detail from the sand, I like the way the color creates a leading line to the rock formation.

The image was captured with the Panasonic Lumix S1R and the Lumix 24-105 f/4 L-Mount lens. A Benro circular polarizer was used to reduce reflections and a Benro 10 stop ND filter was used to slow the shutter down.

Exposure triad: f/8, 60 sec, ISO 100

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