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Recently, a major theft happened when LensProtoGo’s Concord, MA location was broken into and $600,000 worth of lenses and accessories were stolen. In a blog post from the company, they reassured customers that their orders will still be going through.

A large amount of Sony, Canon and Nikon gear was taken and a giant hole in the wall was left. But Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron, and Fujifilm gear was also taken. LensProtoGo released the serial numbers of the products for people to check in case they go ahead and purchase some used gear sooner or later. Be sure to check the number of your product, and consider the fact that grey market products aren’t always what they seem to be despite being cheaper.

What’s even more puzzling is that these thieves seemed quite smart in some ways to go after more lenses than camera bodies since lenses tend to hold more value for a longer amount of time. There have been reports of thefts happening when Canon DSLR bodies are gone but over $20,000 in lenses are left alone.


Lenshare image

While many photographers here in New York cry when B&H Photo and Adorama are closed on the critical part of the weekends, the more savvy amongst us go ahead and rent gear instead without spending lots of money on an investment that may take longer to pay for itself.

A new Kickstarter initiative is looking to make renting cameras, lenses and photo equipment even simpler. It’s called LensShare and it’s an app by photographer Mike Lerner. Lens Share works by having users rent gear through its own community and therefore creating a peer to peer renting platform–letting you reach out to local creatives to make money and some sort of barter. Of course, no one will have the ability to buy in bulk the way that the big retailers and rental houses do, but instead this app is all about connecting photographers locally. Users can set price rates and show off what gear they have available after a user visits your profile. After this, you just message back and forth and figure business out.

The Kickstarter is asking for $15,000 to get started; and we see it excelling the most in the busier creative cities like NYC, LA, San Francisco, Charleston, Portland and a few others. The video demo is after the jump.

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Urban Lights Marius Vieth

Recently I had the unique chance to meet world-famous photographer Steve McCurry. You probably know him from his most-known photo “Afghan Girl” with the green-eyed girl covered in a red veil. Thanks to one of my awesome followers on Facebook (thanks again Amanda), they put me on the photographer’s guest list for this rather exclusive event in Amsterdam. Since there were only a few people there, I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions and talk to him for a while. These are the seven golden rules to success I learned from him.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Otus 85mm f1.4 review images Lulu (1 of 4)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.2

Dear Mom,

No, I won’t charge the friend you literally just met $30 for portraits. Would you do a Real Estate rental for free? No, I’m not just going “Click Click” and that’s all. There is a lot more work than just that that goes into proper portrait taking and it starts with you.

You, and all other human beings are self-conscious. It’s simple for you to say “Oh no, I don’t look good in that photo, don’t share it.” But do you know how much work goes into making you look good?

Let me explain.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Horween CXL Camera Strap product images (4 of 8)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

It’s very easy to think that a new camera or a new lens is the answer to a photographic impasse. I have, on many occasions, scrolled through seemingly endless eBay listings of cameras I can’t afford, but they hold an allure because they’re new to me and ostensibly better than what I have. Yet, a new camera won’t make me or anyone a better photographer. Will it up the image quality on a technical level? Most probably, but it won’t up the photograph’s emotional resonance. The camera is the first step towards making photographs, but once a creative block sets in, a new (or used) camera or lens won’t do anything but make a hole in your bank account. There are things besides gear that can rejuvenate you.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tokina 70-200mm f4 Pro first impressions samples (6 of 8)ISO 1001-1000 sec at f - 4.0

When any photographer starts out, they have a vast journey ahead of them. Photography has so many different paths and intertwining roads that it can be tough to navigate on the path to either becoming a professional, semi-professional, or hobbyist. It takes refinement and what you’ll find is that you’re going to shed skin in order to keep growing and changing like an animal sheds an exoskeleton.

Here’s some advice that we have for the folks who are on the journey to finding their own photographic style.

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