August/September 2015

September 28, 2015 

Let’s All Climb to the Top. At Photoshop World in Las Vegas in August, automotive photographer Tim Wallace made a point that I wholeheartedly agree with, and which I need to amplify. Article on

Nikon Glass Protector. Nikon today quietly announced the LPG-001 Protective Glass overlay for D4s, Df, D810, and D750 DSLR LCDs. Article on

Photoshop Elements Turns 14. Photoshop Elements got its near-annual update. What’s new? Another handful of Photoshop and Lightroom features have made it downstream to Elements. Article on 

Fujifilm X-T10 Camera Review. As do many camera makers, Fujifilm has taken a seminal product (the X-T1) and attempted to make a more affordable version that mimics the original as much as possible, but at a lower price. Review on

Fujifilm 10-24mm Lens Review. Quite a bit of glass is inside the lens for its size: 14 elements in 10 groups, and quite a bit of that glass is “special” (four aspherical and three ED elements). Review on

Fujifilm 18-135mm Lens Review. At 18-135mm (28-200mm equivalent), this lens qualifies as the do-everything superzoom type. With most of these superzooms there are always tradeoffs being made. Review on

Fujifilm 40-150mm f/2.8 Lens Review. Here we have a lens that a lot of people were waiting for. Coupled with the 16-55mm f/2.8, the notion was that you’d have a DSLR type of fast zoom lens set now in the Fujifilm X lineup. Be careful what you wish for. Review on

September 23, 2015 

Don’t Look Down: Climb to the Top. Here’s what my brain told me after I gave it a rest from the daily grind of the Internet: climb to the top. Article on

September 21, 2015 

The Rumor Mill is Working Overtime. I popped back into civilization earlier this month to find that wild rumors were flying all over the photographic scene. Article on

Shooting with Just a D7200. Amongst other things in my month off, I spent a bit over two weeks in Africa. Most of that time was dedicated to shooting 4K video for a client, but since we were traveling through the Okavango Delta, the wildlife possibilities were attractive enough that I wanted to bring a still camera with me, too. Article on

What a Difference a Decade Makes. I have no easy way of proving the assertion I’m about to make, as I don’t still own the older cameras I’m going to mention. Still, I trust my eyes, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking deeply at various tests made over the years that both I and others I trust did. Article on

Rokinon announced 21mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 lenses for the Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, m4/3, and Sony E mounts. 21mm f/1.4 data page50mm f/1.2 data page

I’ve updated the sansmirror site so that “next page” and “previous page” links are available virtually throughout, which should help with navigation on mobile devices. These links appear just under the article title. I’ll be doing that with the dslrbodies site shortly. 

September 17, 2015 

Petty Annoyances. I get a lot of gear moving through the offices, and it always amazes me when companies that should know better get the little things wrong. Article on

Finally, Desktop WiFi.  For years I’ve been pointing out that the camera companies just don’t understand workflow. They put technologies into their gear and then underutilize them in terms of user solutions. Article on

September 15, 2015 

The Crux of the Matter: Trust. Some of you might not remember Jean-Louis Gassée, former CEO of Apple. Still others of you may remember him but not think all that highly of him ("he’s no Steve Jobs...”). Personally, I’ve found him to be an insightful writer on technology via his Monday Note blog. Article on

D7100 and D5200 Get Firmware Updates. Article on

September 14, 2015

Let’s Ban Smartphones. If one wanted to walk from Spot A on the Las Vegas Strip to Spot B, one would have to dodge constantly stopping-to-selfie folk. They stop in front of you, they take up room to get their selfies, then they stay in your way while they show the image they just shot to the friends and family they’re walking with. ;~)  Article on

Mitakon 25mm f/0.95 lens for m4/3 mount data page

Posted September 11, 2015

Zeiss Names Another Lens Line. The ZF.2 manual focus lenses at Zeiss just got a full rethink. Now named Milvus, Zeiss has re-designed and re-introduced a six lens set for the Nikon F mount (and Canon EF-S). Article on dslrbodies.com21mm data page35mm data page50mm f/1.4 data page50mm f/2 macro data page85mm data page100mm data page.

Jumping Between Cameras. On my break I was juggling six or seven cameras, all but two of them new to me. I can say without equivocation that trying to do anything when jumping back and forth between six different user interfaces and designs is an exercise in frustration. Article on

Nikon 2014 Annual Report. Nikon published their 2014 Annual Report while I was offline in August, but I’ve now had a chance to read it and have the following comments. Article on

Sony Completes the Mark II Upgrades. Today Sony announced the final Mark II upgrade, the A7s Mark II. As with the other A7 models, the new camera gets a bit of body work to refine the hand position and controls, 5-axis image sensor stabilization, and improved autofocus. Article on sansmirror.comA7s Mark II data page

Tamron Introduces Two f/1.8 Primes. Tamron has joined the prime parade with two new lenses, the 35mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8. Both lenses cover the full FX frame, both lenses feature Tamron’s vibration control system (VC), and both are priced at US$600. Article on dslrbodies.com35mm f/1.8 data page45mm f/1.8 data page.

Posted September 10, 2015

Good Luck, Canon. Canon has announced that they’ll finally bring the EOS M3 mirrorless model into the US in October, along with the missing M lenses. Price for the body alone will be US$580. The 11-22mm f/4-5.6 will be US$400. Article on

Olympus Introduces, Suspends EM-10 Mark II. The expected second version of the EM-10 has shown up, with minimal specification changes to this small m4/3 camera. Article on Data page for EM-10 Mark II.

Speedlights on Nikon 1’s. One of the big complaints by many Nikon 1 users is that the Nikon 1 system can’t use the standard Nikon DSLR flashes and related items (such as Pocket Wizards). Indeed, the whole “proprietary” nature of the Nikon 1 coupled with Nikon’s absurd pricing and availability issues are the most frustrating things about the Nikon 1. Article on

The GH4 Gets V-Log. Panasonic announced the GH4R and new firmware for the GH4 at IFA Berlin in August. Article on

New Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens. Panasonic announced a new 25mm f/1.7 lens to their lens lineup at IFA Berlin in August. Article on sansmirror.comData page for the 25mm f/1.7.

New Wireless Flash Trigger for Fujifilm X. RoboSHOOT-X is a new remote flash trigger and control system for Fujifilm X series cameras. For flash control it supports up to four groups of Manual or TTL flash, plus control over additional functions such as zooming of the flash head. Article on

August 6, 2015

Nikon Q1 Financial Results. It’s a new fiscal year, so how’s Nikon doing so far? Surprisingly good according to Nikon. Article on

August 4, 2015

Three More Nikkors You’ll Be Interested In.  Nikon today introduced three new F-mount lenses, two of which are likely to be of some interest even to DX users. Article on dslrbodies.com24mm f/1.8G data page24-70mm f/2.8E data page200-500mm f/5.6E data page.

Fujifilm Returns to Forensics.  Back in the days when Fujifilm had (Nikon-based) DSLRs, they targeted the forensic photography niche with cameras that had wide, unfiltered spectral abilities, from UV to visible to near-infrared light. Today Fujifilm announced the X-T1 IR, which is a version of its top-end mirrorless camera that does the same thing. Article on

August 3, 2015

Note: Since a number of people don’t fully understand E-type lens compatibility, I have added a section on it in my Making Sense of Nikon Lens Acronyms article and notes about compatibility in each of the database entries for E-type lenses. E-compatible is not a new thing. We’ve had such lenses for seven years now, but because the 16-80mm f/2.8-4E DX and 300mm f/4E lenses are targeted at a broader, more general, and often consumer audience, a lot of folk using older cameras missed the compatibility story when it first appeared. Short version: pro cameras since the D3 and consumer cameras after 2009 are fully compatible with E-type lenses, older cameras won’t let you set the aperture (aperture is stuck at maximum aperture).  Update: I made a few small clarifications and corrections on the Acronyms page.

What We Learned from the Latest Nikon Owner Survey. Last week NikonUSA sent a survey to an n sample of people for which they had email addresses. The survey itself was a strange concoction: a set of poorly chosen either/or statements, most of which weren’t actually opposites, followed by a “what are you going to buy” hammer at the end. Article on

New Nikon Lens Rebates. As always when Nikon offers lens-only rebates, I go lens by lens with an analysis of whether these are deals you should be interested in or not. These new rebates are in effect already and last until August 28th. Article on 

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