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Today, Profoto is announcing their brand new B2 monolights–a compact set that in some ways bridges the gap between speedlights and monolights. Incorporating full TTL control if the photographer wishes, the lights are very traditional heads with all battery power and control coming from the battery pack. This pack can easily mount onto your shoulder, over your chest, or even on the ground as the heads can go a fair distance away onto a light stand or even by using a flash bracket that can mount onto your camera–if you’re that type of photographer.

At 280 watt seconds of power, the B2 lights offer more output than your standard hot shoe flash but less than most monolights. In fact, we’re partial to calling them the perfect in-between solution.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

So you’ve got a portrait lens, now what? You want to take portraits, right? You can go right ahead, point your camera and spiffy new optic towards your subject and hope for the best, but you’re not that type of photographer. You want to step it up more. You want to create a photo that makes someone say, “Wow.”

First off, it’s time to get inspired. Then, you’ll need to understand the lens.

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When Olympus first showed us their 14-150mm f4-5.6 II, we weren’t incredibly impressed. Wide zoom range, weather sealing, minimal change of an aperture: okay, it’s got a lot going for it. But we’re always skeptical until we get the unit in our hands.

Olympus chose to recreate the 14-150mm f4-5.6 II, and they did so with the incorporation of weather sealing, sharper optics, and a new body overall. Yes, it’s sharp–but if you’re spoiled by the higher end offerings from the Micro Four Thirds world like we are, there is absolutely no looking back.

But if you’re someone that needs an all in one option, then this lens will probably become your best friend.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm XM1 review images (2 of 6)ISO 2501-40 sec at f - 5.6

Though many photographers will turn their noses away from the kit lens, they’ve continued to improve over the years and manufacturers haven’t ignored them. Sure, the build quality isn’t the best but they can deliver sharp images with beautiful bokeh, and also create images that will otherwise astound you.

The only thing you that need to do is figure out how to use them, and with that comes understanding of your kit lens.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 18-300mm lens review product photos (2 of 8)ISO 8001-55 sec at f - 1.4

We’re admittedly not the biggest fan of superzoom lenses, but the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary is one that is making us take a close look at the category again. Designed for cameras with APS-C sensors, it isn’t the engineering feat that the Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 DI VC PZD is. This is part of Sigma’s Contemporary series, but instead feels like an Art lens in many ways. Designed for the entry level DSLR user that wants an all in one zoom lens and those of us that really hate walking, this lens is one that many folks will fall in love with.

And if you’re the type of person that travels a lot, this could be the all-in-one travel zoom that you want.

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Editor’s Note: This is a syndicated blog post from photographer David Kai Piper. These and the images in this post are being used with permission. Additional BTS images are from Matthew Maddock.

The Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR was just announced, and photographer David Kai Piper has been playing with it for a little while now. Here are his thoughts in addition to extra images that David allowed us to use not originally featured in his blog post.

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