Vintage Film Camera Review: Pentacon Six TL (6×6 Square Format)

There are only a few cameras that have been coined “an SLR on steroids” in the medium format camera world, and one of those is the Pentacon Six TL. The Pentacon Six TL is a medium format SLR camera similar in style to its more famous rival the Pentax 67. It doesn’t use interchangeable backs but instead opts for one of the quirkiest ways of loading a camera perhaps ever. Shooting square format 6×6 images, it’s also prone to problems like frame overlap unless you’re careful. Though if you can work with its quirks, you’ll have yourself a solid SLR camera that is reliable otherwise.

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Review: Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Canon EF)

The Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 is an entry point into one of the most popular telephoto zoom lens options out there–and it’s actually a damned fantastic one. Tamron has always created lenses that are high quality, affordable, and built pretty well.But with the Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2, they’re seriously taking the cake here. This lens offers weather sealing, the same top notch image quality that they’ve been pushing with the new SP lineup of lenses, and image stabilization to boot. So if you’re a portrait photographer, we’re already well aware that you’ve been eyeing a 70-200mm f2.8 lens of some sort.

And if you’re looking for an affordable option, then this is it.

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Film Camera Review: Ilford XP2 Super Single Use Camera

Ilford has been making their Ilford XP2 super single use camera for a while now, but with the resurgence that the industry is seeing in using disposable cameras, I figured I’d review them. Call it a disposable camera if you will, but they’re the only black and white disposable cameras on the market with the exception of the new offerings from Lomography. Oddly enough, they were also designed to be developed C41 vs black and white. Well, that’s odd for some–Ilford XP2 can typically be shot at around ISO 50 to ISO 800 on the same roll and due to the process, the images will come out pretty well. The Ilford XP2 super single use camera makes a whole lot of sense for fun, but there’s also quite an interesting quality that would please me if it were used for concerts, documentary work, or even just weekend shenanigans.

Indeed, the Ilford XP2 super single use camera is very much the antithesis of what a lot of film photographers strive for with absolutely perfect quality and sharp lenses. Instead, this camera is a slap in the face to them–and instead it’s just about a look and getting a different reaction from your subjects.

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Review: Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD (Canon EF-S)

The Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is a lens that has been sorely needed for a while: it delivers a wide angle zoom option to APS-C DSLRs while putting in weather sealing, good autofocus performance, light weight, and overall great image quality. It’s a fantastic option for the photographer that has been looking for a way to shoot wide landscapes and cities with their APS-C DSLR while on vacation–or even just for fun. When you consider the weather sealing abilities built into the lens along with the relatively recent major improvements that Tamron has been making to their lenses, there is almost no reason to not consider the Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD lens.

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Review: FlashQ Q20 Miniature Flash/LED Light

The FlashQ Q20 is a response to the need for small, simple to use flashes that also do double duty as LED lights. For today’s creative content creator, it’s a dream–but the implementation of the FlashQ Q20 is something far more likely to be in the hands of an amateur or photographer getting started than an actual working photog. To be fair, it doesn’t seem like it was designed to take on the likes of Adorama’s Flashpoint, B&H Photo’s Impact, Godox, Yongnuo, etc. Instead, the FlashQ Q20 sort of fills a totally different niche. Though it’s marketed as being versatile and easy to use, my independent analysis believes the opposite to actually be true–to a point.

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Review: Canon 77D

The logic behind the Canon 77D is one that in some ways doesn’t really make sense to me. But if Canon believes that it will get them sales, then so be it. However, with at least three Rebels, two mid tier, and one high end tier APS-C camera there’s a lot of head scratching to do. I mean, why not do something similar between the 5D series and the 1D series? Or between the Canon 5D and 6D? Either way there are surely a number of really interesting things about the Canon 77D such as the 24MP APS-C sensor, the interestingly pleasant ergonomic controls, the autofocus that almost never missed a shot, and Canon’s incredibly simple and straight forward menu interface that I wish everyone else would get half as right.

Though to be fair, it shouldn’t be this expensive.

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Review: Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is the third lens addition to the f2 weather sealed compact prime offerings from Fujifilm–and in many ways it’s an excellent portrait lens. But it’s also great for much more than that. You see, Fujifilm developed the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR lens to be pretty versatile. It can focus fairly close and it has weather sealing built into the design. Combine this with naturally sharp optics, fast autofocus performance, and the not too large size and you’ve got yourself a pretty powerful, compact longer focal length.

Most photographers picking this lens up may opt for shooting portraits. In all honesty, there are better options for portraiture in the Fujifilm X series system, and also a few fantastic third party options. But if you’re the type of photographer who shoots candids on the streets and like to do street portraits, you may want to give this lens a try. Yes, the street photographer and the street portrait photographer are the ones who will want to go for this lens.

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Vintage Camera Review: Minolta Maxxum 7 (Minolta a7)

No, this isn’t the Sony a7, but the Minolta a7 is perhaps one of the best film Alpha mount cameras that you can still get your hands on used. While the Minolta a9 is considered the flagship, there are features built into the Minolta a7 that can make it much more appealing. For starters, it’s much lighter. And there is also a built in data back that lets you change a whole lot of parameters in a very simple way.

And to be honest, it’s one of the best autofocusing film SLR cameras I’ve ever used–completely putting a lot of what Canon and Nikon created to shame.

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