Review: Pentax K-1

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The Pentax K-1 is a camera that is great in many ways. It offers features that Canon, Nikon and Sony just don’t in a full frame DSLR while also keeping the price point fairly modest. Pentax’s strategy for years was always to take professional grade features and bring them down to the consumer and enthusiast. For the most part, the Pentax K-1 does that. With cool things like Astrotracer, WiFi, Composition adjustment, and arguably the weirdest LCD screen in the industry, the K-1 is a camera that will suit the needs of most professional photographers when paired with the right lenses.

Sure, Pentax may not have the more extended dedicated flash and lens support that Canon, Nikon and Sony do (especially in TTL monolights)–but that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be a very capable camera in the hands of an experienced photographer.

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Review: Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 ED SDM WR (Pentax F)

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The Pentax K-1 is probably the greatest thing to happen to many Pentax users in a while; and when you consider some fantastic lenses like the company’s Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 you start to see more and more how someone could almost want to switch systems. The Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 is a weather sealed beast of a lens that works very well with the Pentax K-1 and is designed for landscape, architecture, and Real Estate photographers. But it’s also a generally great walkaround lens if you’re the type that enjoys shooting wide. Like all wides, it can also be used to deliver a very unique perspective when shooting portraits.

With 9 aperture blades in its design and HD coatings to render even more details, there’s a lot to love here.

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First Impressions: Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III (Canon EF)

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I never quite understood the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 series of lenses–they overlap with the company’s 24-70 offerings and the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lenses seemed to be more reasonable in terms of building a kit. But nonetheless, the lenses have always been popular with the photographers that really need the wide to semi-wide angle of view. When the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III was announced, I figured that it made sense to replace that lens. Interestingly enough, these focal lengths are some of my favorite to play with. I swear by the 35mm field of view over the 50mm field of view, and I thoroughly enjoy shooting wider than 24mm when I can.

But to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from the beta version of the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L USM III lens that I tried.

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Which One? The Sony RX1r II vs Leica Q Comparison

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If you wanted to go for a premium point and shoot camera of some sort, then the best of the best is easily awarded to the Sony RX1r II and the Leica Q. With their full frame sensors and fast aperture lenses, they’re bound to be appreciated by many photographers. Both of them have been out for a while now, and with the price differences not too far apart from one another you’re obviously curious about which one you should get. For some, the answer is clear: you prefer a higher megapixel sensor and the 35mm field of view. Others however want to go for the 28mm f1.7 lens and don’t want to fill their hard drives up.

We’ve reviewed both cameras, so here’s what we think.

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Vintage Camera Review: Nikon N2020

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One day last year, my uncle gave me a gift that rekindled my interest in 35mm film photography–the Nikon N2020. My delight to hear him say, “It has a motor focus,” was followed by a chuckle of appreciation. Ever since I was a young boy, he knew how much I loved playing with new toys and this wasn’t really any sort of exception. The Hexar AF is the camera that turned that kindle into a raging, fiery passion; but the N2020 has quite a bit going for it that makes it wonderful in some ways. Quirky, fun, reliable, and compact–I can tell why so many people genuinely loved this camera.

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First Impressions: Sony a99 II

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It’s been years since Sony has updated the a99, and at Photokina 2016 the company announced the successor–the Sony a99 II. Chock full of upgrades like a 42.2MP full frame sensor, hybrid autofocus detection, 4K video without pixel binning, 12 fps shooting capabilities in raw with a buffer of up to 56 images, and a new three way tilting LCD screen there is surely a lot to love here.

We got a chance to play with the camera–like 15 minutes if anything. And though we weren’t allowed to take home sample images, we’re quite impressed with what we’ve seen so far.

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First Impressions: Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2 (Sony FE)

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The first new lens in Tokina’s new FiRIN lineup of lenses is a manual focus offering with electronic contacts communicating with the Sony a7 camera bodies it’s designed for: and it’s called the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2. Odd naming aside from a Japanese company using a Gaelic term, the lens is an all manual focus, manual aperture optic that is well designed from metal and targeted to both photographers and videographers. As a fast, compact, well built prime lens it’s designed from the ground up–and Tokina has done a very good job.

At Photokina 2016, we got the chance to get some personal fondling time with the lens.

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Review: Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

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Compare the Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens to anything else on the APS-C camera market, and you’ll find pretty much no sort of equivalent product. It’s weather sealed, has optical image stabilization, doesn’t change its aperture very much throughout the range, and is built incredibly well. Then tag onto it the fact that it’s made by Fujifilm–one of the best lens makers of all time. Keep moving forward, and consider the fact that you’re putting this glass in front of the company’s excellent X Trans Sensors; designed by Fujifilm but manufactured by Sony. If you’re a sports, photojournalism, wildlife photographer or professional creeper then this lens may indeed by an option that you’ll want to consider.

Announced quite a while back, the Fujifilm 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR may also be the company’s most expensive lens. But if you need something like this, it’s worth every penny.

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