Category Archives: Star Trails

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, Lens, Mirrorless, News, Night Photography, Photography, Time-Lapse Tagged , , |

Light of Cape Cod – Photo Workshop

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A 4 day 3 night photo workshop that includes lodging and site fees

Mid Spring in Cape Cod is a multi faceted photo opportunity with truly spectacular scenics and some wildlife.  The tourists have not crowded the roads and traffic is not a nightmare.  This very special workshop is for all levels of photographers from beginner to advanced.  The Cape provides some of the most incredible landscapes and seascapes and the light during spring is exceptional.  We will explore and photograph the Cape’s classic sea shore, sand dunes, light houses and some wildlife (including migratory birds).  We will determine schedules and locations based on weather forecasts, tides and sunrise/sunset times.  We may even explore the opportunity to do some night photography.

(CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS)

Also posted in Educational, Macro, Night Photography, Photographs, Photography, Stacked Image, Time-Lapse, Workshops

Iceland – Sept 17 – 25, 2016

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Plans for the 2016 September Iceland photo tour and workshop have been finalized.  Exceptional fall colors and if luck prevails, the Aurora Borealis will make this trip exceptional.

From the western peninsulas of Snæfellsnes and Reykjanes to the exquisite south coast including the exquisite black sand beaches and icebergs in Jökulsárlón and surrounding areas this trip is designed for all levels of photographers.  This trip is limited to a maximum 10 participants.

All Iceland photo tours and workshops for the past 4 years were fully subscribed within a few days so please register as soon as possible.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Also posted in Horses, Mirrorless, Night Photography, Photographs, Photography, Time-Lapse, Workshops Tagged , , , |

Martha’s Vineyard – Memorial Day Weekend Workshop

MVIn case you’ve missed it, Adventures in Photography (AIP) has organized a 5 day/4 night workshop on Martha’s Vineyard over the Memorial Day Weekend  where I will be instructing.

This is rare opportunity for photographers and their non-photographer partners to share some quality time together.

Photographers get to photograph the beauty and charm of this unique island community while their non-photographer partners explore the charming New England character of Martha’s Vineyard.

Adventures in Photography (AIP) has reserved all of the Ashley Inn’s 10 rooms from May 22nd until May 26th. We can accommodate 20 people based on double occupancy. The Ashley Inn is an upscale B&B and breakfast is included.

We still have a few rooms available but expect that they will sell out.

For a full description of this Adventure go CLICK HERE

Also posted in Educational, Night Photography, Photographs, Photography, Presentations, Stacked Image, Time-Lapse, Workshops

Star-trails in the Southern Hemisphere

Finding Polaris or the North Star is easy in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, finding Sigma Octantis is very difficult. The star lies in the constellation of Octans and has a magnitude of 5.5 making it barely visible even on a clear night.  One can use the Southern Cross to make an attempt at locating its position but it will never be really accurate.  I did my best and set up my cameras to do a time-lapse.  This was the night Germany played Brazil in the World Cup.

My tripod and camera must have aroused the curiosity of the night security guard at Eagle Island Camp.  He kindly moved my rig to a more secure position on the tiles of the swimming pool.  This was after 395 images had been captured with about 105 to go.  Sequence disrupted but in my opinion the stack is interesting.  Sigma Octantis is in the top left corner of the frame – INVISIBLE.

Stars in Africa are incredibly bright as indicated by the EXIF data.  These images were captured using the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the 12 to 35 mm Lumix Vario lens.  Exposure triad: f/2.8, 13 sec, ISO 200 – no noise reduction required.

In hindsight, I should have added an ND filter and increased the exposure to 25 seconds or closed down the aperture to f/4.  This would have extended the individual trails.

Your comments would be appreciated.

Eagle Island Star Trail

Eagle Island, Botswana –  Star Trail

Also posted in Africa, Composite, Mirrorless, Motion, Night Photography, Panasonic GH4, Photography, Stacked Image, Time-Lapse, Workshops Tagged |