Vintage Camera Review: Bronica ETRS

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All images and review by Edward Inzauto.

Just like the pros, getting “that full-frame look” is a growing desire among enthusiast amateur photographers. The topic is a trend in gear-obsessive online discussion and a bug in the brains of those who feel that only a larger sensor will allow them to fully express their creative visions. And while many have taken advantage of the fact that buying into the full-frame DSLR and mirrorless camera market is less expensive than ever, still others will find that the upfront cost of a modern full-frame camera body and compatible lenses is still a significant and insurmountable barrier to entry.

But what if you could go bigger than full-frame — even-fuller-frame, per se — for significantly less money? Well, my friend, you absolutely can. The solution you’re looking for is medium format film, and one fine entry-level option for exposing that timeless, removable, chemical “sensor” technology is the Zenza Bronica ETR line of cameras.

Editor’s Note: All processing was kindly done by the Lomography Gallery store here in NYC. You should check out all the services that they can do.

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Review (In Progress): Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 (Full Frame E Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 FE product images review (3 of 8)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.8

The release of the Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4 for full frame E mount cameras begs the question “just how many 50mm lenses does one need?” In truth, just one–but the strategy is a smart one for the company. You see, years ago camera manufacturers used to offer loads of different lens options. You’d get a 50mm f1.8, f1.4, f2, etc. Leica still does this and to some degree, Zeiss does too. But with Sony, you’re getting something different.

This new lens isn’t part of the company’s G Master series of optics and instead it’s a lens that was created in collaboration with Zeiss. It boasts dust/moisture resistance, 11 aperture blades, and other cool features including Zeiss T* coatings that are bound to give you that Zeiss-like look though probably not as clear as their Milvus lineup of lenses.

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.

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Review: Nikon D500

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D500 product images (2 of 10)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.5

For years now, Nikon has said that the higher end lineup of the Dxxxx series of cameras were the replacement for the old D300s. But then they admitted that that wasn’t true, and like a rare find in the lands of Ancient Egypt, photographers got excited all over again with the announcement of the Nikon D500. Indeed, they have great reasons to.

The Nikon D500 is a camera that packs a punch–enough of one to fulfill the needs of both pros and high end enthusiasts. With a beefy build quality, fantastic autofocus, highly revamped ergonomics and a touchscreen on the back, there’s a whole lot that can be accomplished with this camera.

Editor’s Note: we’re trying a brand new review format. Each section will be individually evaluated and then added up for a tally. From there an evaluation will be given. Additionally, we will be making comparisons in each section.

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Which One: Fujifilm X Pro 2 vs Fujifilm X-T2

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Did you know that Fujifilm has two flagship cameras in the X series lineup? For many of you looking to upgrade or switch, it will be a question of the Fujifilm X Pro 2 vs the Fujifilm X-T2 when it comes to purchasing. It’s a bit insane, but the company’s reasoning for this has to do with the fact that they’re offering both a rangefinder style and an SLR style camera body for those that want them. It makes sense–Panasonic does the same thing.

At the moment of publishing this post, we’re just comparing specs here. However, we’re supposed to test the Fujifilm X-T2 very soon and we’re going to update it accordingly.

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Best Bokeh on a Budget: 16 Lenses Under $350

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC mirrorless extra sample photos (26 of 46)ISO 1001-500 sec at f - 1.4

When you’re looking for great bokeh, you don’t always need to spend lots of money on lenses. Sure, higher end lenses can end up having better bokeh, but through use of depth of field effects, maybe a flash and careful subject placement you can create images that have bokeh that pops.

We’ve scoured our Reviews Index for a number of lenses with great bokeh and that are available for no more than $350. Check these out!

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First Impressions: Hasselblad X1D

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Hasselblad X1D product images (13 of 13)ISO 6401-50 sec at f - 2.8

Editor’s note: With this post, we’re testing a new offering from our current redesign: full screen blog posts. Please let us know your feedback as we’re eager to keep building a better Phoblographer for you all.

If you think about any of the companies who have contributed much to the world of photography gear, there shouldn’t be a doubt in your mind that Hasselblad is on that list. With the company’s new X1D announced earlier today, I’ve got no doubt in my mind that they’ve reached out and touched the millennial generation of photographers in the digital world in the same way that the 500C has touched them.

The Hasselblad X1D features a 50MP cropped 645 format sensor–that is to say that it isn’t a full frame 645 sensor but instead still larger than a 35mm sensor. The camera also incorporates the use of leaf shutter lenses that let you shoot with a flash to 1/2000th with full sync, autofocus, an EVF, a touchscreen LCD, and interesting features such as a mode dial that locks and unlocks by simply pressing it up and down.

But even more amazing: it’s pretty small–honestly if you could imagine a Sony a6000 series camera, put a big sensor in it and make it around the height of some DSLRs then reduce the weight and depth significantly, you’ve got this camera.

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Review: MacPhun Tonality

Chris Gampat La Noir Image MacPhun Tonality review sample (1 of 1)ISO 1001-320 sec at f - 7.1

This is a syndicated blog post from La Noir Image. If you want to see more content like this, please support our Kickstarter.

Nik Software is now free, but there are lots of other options that can help you create better black and white images for a little bit of money. Take MacPhun’s Tonality for example: consider it the closest thing to blending Adobe Lightroom, RNI Films, and Instagram. Designed for mostly enthusiasts, Tonality had some of the same people working on it that used to produce Nik Software’s products. However, it also slates itself in a spot where it makes sense for the serious photographer since it can also function as a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop.

If you’re using Adobe Lightroom, then you’ll want to right click an image, and choose to edit it in Tonality CK if you purchased the MacPhun Creative Kit. Otherwise just Tonality works fine. Lightroom will copy the file, create a TIFF (if you choose that, and I strongly suggest that you do) and then open up Tonality for you.

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Vintage Camera Review: Yashica Electro 35 GTN

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If you play with film (and many of you readers do) you’ve probably been aware of the Yashica Electro 35 GTN at some point or another. It’s not the more famous Yashica Electro 35 GSN, but according to photographer Ade Torrent, it’s still quite a beaut.

Ade runs the Old Cameras YouTube channel and he prefers the Yashica Electro 35 GTN and an Olympus rangefinder. However, we thinks it’s a bit large. The camera has a fixed lens with an f1.7 aperture and a 45mm focal length  It’s also an aperture priority only camera.

His channel reviews vintage cameras, does giveaways, etc. And the video on the GTN, which is after the jump, is very worth the view.

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