Shooting Parties: How to Use Your On Camera Flash

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Hexar AF color film july 4th weekend (13 of 19)

One of the essential tools of any party photographer is an on-camera flash. It’s important when it comes to dimly lit situations or when there just isn’t enough light on a subject’s face. For the person trying to get into it, doing this can be tough and intimidating because they have no idea how to use a flash and simply pointing it forward and shooting isn’t always the best idea either.

So here’s how you do it.

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Initial Thoughts: Sony FA-WRC1M and FA-WRR1 Radio Flash Transmitter/Receiver


During a recent Sony Press trip, I had the opportunity to test out the new Sony WRM1M and WRR1 Radio flash transmitter and receiver. The units were pre-production models and demonstrate that Sony is serious about the whole wireless flash game. Interestingly enough, Canon is the only other company to have developed their own radio flash system and many otherwise reach for those from third party companies.

The FA-WRC1M wireless radio commander as well as the FA-WRR1 wireless radio receiver are designed to work with Sony’s new multi-interface shoe (pretty much every camera since around 2011) and uses a 2.5GHz radio to communicate with one another. Together, they can control 15 flashes in five groups of flashes at a maximum range of 30 meters (or 98 feet). They can also do HSS, manual flash control, TTL, and is otherwise capable of syncing to 1/250th.

During my short time with them, I was both pleased and disappointed.

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The Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Lens for E Mount Has 11 Aperture Blades


The full frame Sony E mount lineup of lenses already has two 50mm offerings in the form of the 50mm f1.8 and the Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8–and today they’re getting a third in the form of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras. This latest offering boasts dust and moisture protection, 11 aperture blades (like the 85mm f1.4 G Master before it), advanced aspherical elements, extra-low dispersion elements, and the Zeiss T+ coating that minimizes flare and gives your images lots of punch–just like standard Zeiss glass does.

Like many of the company’s other f1.4 prime lens offerings, this lens has an aperture ring, an SSM motor, and an overall nice feel to the body. When it launches this month, you’ll be able to score one for $1,500. Details on this lens and much more from Sony (with some re-announcements) are after the jump.

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Review: Fujifilm X-T2

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X-T2 review initial product images (5 of 12)ISO 2001-550 sec at f - 2.8

Editor’s Note: In conjunction with the changes we’ve been doing here on the site, we’re once again changing our review format. First impressions reviews will be completely replaced with a fuller and fuller review that will be updated overtime. Readers will be given notifications on when the full review is complete. Each section will also be rated with stars and an overall cumulative rating. Additionally, comparisons will be made. If parts seem incomplete it’s because they’re still being worked on.

“Should someone really upgrade?” is a conversation that I had with a colleague of mine about the Fujifilm X-T2 after getting a chance to look at it for a little while. On paper, the camera seems to have a number of significant advantages over the X Pro 2 such as the addition of 4K video and a heat sink that can do this. Plus there are more autofocus points. Of course, both the X Pro 2 and the X-T2 are better than the X-T1.

When you look at the Fujifilm X-T2 what you see is a camera that essentially looks and functions the same as its predecessor. A few things are beefier like the SD card door for example. The camera’s finish also lends itself to a more solid feel. But otherwise the camera will feel very much at home in the hands of an experienced Fujifilm camera user. However, there isn’t much of a reason for a hobbyist to upgrade–at least from our initial thoughts.

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Review: KONO! Kolorit 400 Tungsten Film (35mm)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Kono Kolorit 400 Tungsten Film 35mm product photos (3 of 3)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

Consider the recent rise in Tungsten film and you get a great explanation for why the KONO! Kolorit 400 Tungsten Film could be so popular with portrait photographers. Like CineStill 800T, this film is a Tungsten film and designed to be shot in doors, in cloudy weather, during the night, etc. It’s very much unlike daylight film and my favorite way of using it is to often just use strobe lighting to get the best effect that I can.

Combine this with the fact that Tungsten film often delivers what are in my opinion better skin tones than Kodak Portra and the fact that emulating this look and the tones in digital is pretty tough, and you’ve got yourself a very good option to use this little analogue beauty.

Editor’s Note: This is our experimentation with a full, single page post as part of our evolving website redesign. Let us know your thoughts.

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The Hasselblad X1D is the World’s First Mirrorless Medium Format Camera


Check out our first impressions of the camera!

For everyone that has dreamed of a digital version of the Mamiya 7 series of cameras; the Hasselblad X1D is bringing you truly one step closer to that reality. Today, the company is the announcing the world’s first mirrorless medium format camera. At the heart is a 50MP sensor with a cropped 645 sensor at the sensor area of 43.8 x 32.9mm. It’s capable of doing ISO 100 to 25,600. Additionally, it boasts dual SD card slots.

The Hasselblad X1D is handmade in Sweden and represents a totally new lineup in the company’s cameras. It has autofocus lenses, flash sync of up to 1/2000th, shoots HD video, has built in WiFi, and includes dust proof and weather proof construction.

More features are after the jump.

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The Phoblographer Explains: How TTL Flash Metering Works


One of the biggest things that makes no sense to me as a strobist photographer is why we don’t have any sort of universal TTL flash metering system. Instead of that, every single camera manufacturer has their own for the sake of being able to compete with one another while delivering flashes that essentially all do the same thing. It’s a hassle for photographers moving from one system to another. To understand this and my reasoning, you need to understand how TTL Flash metering works.

And trust me; it’s a whole lot simpler than you think.

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How to Buy a Flash: a Photographer’s Guide

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Shanny EX600 EF flash samples portraits (1 of 4)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 2.8

Buying a flash for many photographers is pretty complicated. It’s simple enough for most people to understand megapixels, RAW, etc because camera manufacturers put enough marketing into it to do so. But they unfortunately don’t do enough to market their flashes and what they’re capable of. Instead, you as a photographer need to go into forums, stores, etc to figure it out.

Just like trying to explain why someone needs more megapixels or a better lens to a complete layman, it can be tougher to make someone understand why they need a new flash or how to buy one for two reasons: they don’t understand it, and they don’t understand or think creatively in terms of what it can do.

So here’s a breakdown.

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