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All images by Roland Albanese. Used with permission.

Photographer Roland Albanese has has had a long history of loving the great outdoors. Born in 1977, he was a member of the Italian Freestyle National Team for Mogul Skiing. With a love of photography since he was young, an accident confined him to a bed for a while where he learned even more about how to create better photos. When he recovered, he went out there to photograph birds.

Roland has quite the portfolio of great bird photographs, and he talked to us about how difficult it really is to shoot great photos of birds.

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ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

While many photographers love to work with softboxes, there are many other light modifiers out there. But the single most versatile light modifier out there is the umbrella–and more specifically the convertible umbrella. An umbrella can function as many different light modifiers and the right one can be all you need in your lighting kit. Indeed, it’s a simple to use and very effective light modifier that gives you the most bang for your buck.

To understand why, you’ll need to understand more about how the umbrella works.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X Pro 1 35mm f1.4 X Series lens review (6 of 7)ISO 1600

Right now, if you purchase a Fujifilm X Pro 1, 35mm f1.4 and 18mm f2, you can get the entire package for $948 with free shipping. Indeed, we still use the Fujifilm X Pro 1 for our testing and the camera’s quality is still very top notch.

Not interested? There is still a dead where we found number of lenses from pretty much every manufacturer and mount for under $200. Go take a look.

We’ve also found discounts of at least 10% on over 4,000 camera lenses over at Amazon, some at over 25% off, 50% off, and 70% off.

Still in effect, here are some that are 25% off, but there are also lots of wide angle lens options available.Plus, there are discounts on 50mm f1.8 (nifty 50) lenses.

More discounts are after the jump.

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Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.01.35 AM

Today, DXOMark has released their findings and tests with the new Sony 90mm Macro f2.8 G OSS lens for Sony FE mount cameras. Of all the ratings on the site, this lens is one of the company’s sharpest and is only behind the Sony 55mm f1.8. Tested on the Sony A7r, this rating places it even ahead of the Sigma 35mm f1.4. In fact, the top 10 list is dominated by Sony and Zeiss with a bit of Sigma and Nikon slipping in there.

So what does this mean? Creatively speaking, nothing really because of just how great modern software is these days and that creativity doesn’t really rely on gear.

However, it should do more than enough to hush the complaints of those that say that Sony’s FE system doesn’t have a lot of lenses for their system. Both Sony and Zeiss have made lots of offerings for the still growing system. We’ve got lots of primes, lots of zooms, and many essential focal lengths.

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Editor’s Note: This piece is syndicated from Marius Vieth’s blog. It and the images here are used with permission.

THE MOMENT OF HORROR

No. No. Please, no. A moment of terror for every photographer out there. I opened my photo bag, took out my cam to take a picture of the street filled with warm sunset light and then it happened. Imagine this moment in slow-motion. While listening to music with my noise-cancelling headphones I raised my cam in order to look through the viewfinder. Surprised by the incredibly bad auto-focus I realized with cheery music in my ears how the lens had suddenly unhooked from the cam and fallen all the way down to the ground in the worst way possible. BAM!

Overwhelmed by the moment I slowly looked down while holding the 5D Mark II body in my hands. I looked over to my friend who was making a phone call next to me on the bench with question marks in my eyes. That just didn’t happen. The exclamation marks in her wide-open eyes begged to differ. It did happen. I had just smashed my brand new $1600 L-lens, which is the only one I own: a Canon EF 24mm 1.4.

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Yes, you’re reading that number right. The world’s fastest aperture zoom lens for full frame DSLRs will run you less than $1,000 before taxes. Today, Sigma is announcing that their 24-35mm f2 will cost $999 when it hits retailers this month.

To recap, this lens has updated AF algorithms that should make it one of the fastest lenses to autofocus. Of course, the fact that it’s also a wide angle lens sure does help. The 24-35mm f2 is said to boast large-diameter aspherical lens elements, one “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass, and seven Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements with two aspherical lenses.

Beyond this, the silent and inner autofocusing has manual focus override, nine aperture blades, 18 elements in 13 groups, and weights 33.2 oz.

When the Sigma 24-35mm f2 launches, it will be available for Canon EF, Nikon F and Sony A mounts.