Four Super Sharp Black and White Film Emulsions Worthy of a Good Lens

Film photography is highly valued for the certain sense of softness it can deliver vs digital. But under the right circumstances, black and white film can be used to create and capture photos that are incredibly sharp. In fact, they can easily rival what digital is capable of. Believe it or not, lots of the methods that one uses for digital photography to make a sharp photo can easily be applied to film. So if you’re looking to get some of the sharpest photos you’ve ever shot, check out these four fantastic film emulsions.

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Review: Platypod Pro Max

I’ve had the Platypod Pro Max in my possession for a really long time now; and my lack of getting this review out doesn’t have to do with laziness or priorities, but instead trying to illustrate how it’s actually useful for many photographers. You see, the Platypod Pro Max is marketed as being able to go where tripods can’t. But at the same time, it doesn’t have a lot of the same advantages of a tripod. You can’t extend its height because it’s a flat plate, but you can indeed place it in a variety of other flat surfaces. So with that said you pretty much just secure a ball head onto this thing, then put your camera on and you’ve got something that you’re ready to work with. But then the question begs why you’d still use it to begin with.

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Useful Photography Tip #179: Why Shooting Landscapes With a Rangefinder Can Really Suck

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Medium Format and film rangefinders in particular seem like such a perfect package for going about and shooting landscape photos, right? Or if not, maybe you’ll want to tote along your Leica! But before you do that, you should note that that’s probably a really bad idea if you want to do things right. With digital, this can be easier because getting details in the highlights or shadows is as simple as moving a slider. If you’ve got burning and dodging skills that can be used in the darkroom, then you’ll also not really have a problem when it comes to printmaking. However, if you’re trying your hardest to get it right in camera, then you’re going to be working with a tripod, ND filters, and Graduated NDs.

And that’s where this all becomes a bad idea.

With a mirrorless camera that has an EVF or with a DSLR, you’ll be able to see exactly where the ND filter is covering in the scene. In most situations, photographers position graduated ND filters over the sky and expose for the shadows. But if you’re doing that with a rangefinder, you’re not going to be able to see what’s happening through the lens unless you’re using one of the newer Leica cameras with an EVF. So instead what’s going to happen is you’re going to put the graduated ND filter on in front of the lens and you’re not going to be 100% totally sure how much coverage you’re getting. You can make a guesstimate but that is as great as you’re going to do.

Instead, I tend to want to reach for SLR cameras and mirrorless cameras that have an EVF. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot a great landscape photo with a rangefinder. It’s just much tougher.

Review: Cokin RIVIERA Classic Tripod

One of the biggest problems the photography industry has faced is selling tripods. In fact, it seems that with both lens and sensor based image stabilization seeming to work together, some may argue that you may not need a tripod. And indeed, for many photographers out there, you probably don’t need a tripod for your work. Landscape photographers and long exposure shooters will more than likely always need it. But the rest…

Maybe that’s why Cokin developed the Cokin RIVIERA Classic. You see, this isn’t a standard run of the mill tripod. Indeed, it isn’t a tripod you need per se, but it surely is a tripod you’ll want.

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The Cokin RIVIERA Classic Emulates the Look and Feel of Vintage Tripods

It’s been years and years since we’ve seen any true major innovation in tripods. But Cokin is doing it: the Cokin Riviera is a tripod designed to look, feel and function like vintage tripods. We’re not talking 1970s: but try 1800s. With that said, it incorporates wood and leather into the design.

True to the classic vintage design, Cokin is incorporating wooden knobs, metal dials, and is overall meant to work in conjunction with lots of the vintage/retro designed cameras of today. The wood is Ikoro and the handle (which is made from said wood) is crafted in France. The wood joins knurled aluminum and brushed aluminum for the design and leather to create the tripod. All of these go into the head, which Cokin describes as multi-action with a 360° plate

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New MeFOTO Air Series of Tripods and Monopods are Lighter, Faster and Easier-to-Use

MeFOTO has just launched the MeFOTO Air, a new series of colorful and compact tripods and monopods aimed at photographers on the go. MeFOTO Air offers exceptional value and performance for photographers seeking a lightweight and ultra-portable camera support solution.

MeFOTO Air features HyperLock, MeFOTO’s new leg lock system. Typically, a tripod or monopod features a locking mechanism for each leg section, forcing users to adjust each individually in order to ensure stability. With HyperLock, users need to only interact with one locking mechanism per leg. One small turn unlocks and extends the entire leg, and with a simple reverse twist, the legs lock back into place. This results in dramatically reduced set up and breakdown time, and once folded up the ultra-compact and lightweight tripods and monopods fit easily inside small and medium sized bags. Continue reading…

Review: Manfrotto Advanced Compact With Ballhead Tripod

If you’ve ever used a tripod, then chances are that you’ve most likely looked at what Manfrotto has to offer. The Italian company was, for a while, held in high regard. Then they weren’t held in such high regard (especially with their bags) and very recently they’ve started to step their game up more. The Manfrotto Advanced Compact with Ballhead Tripod is one of the examples of how the company is trying to set standards again for those moments when you need a tripod. While the need for having one seems to be diminishing in the photo market, this tripod will surely serve you during those times when you truly need one–and fit a variety of applications while they’re at it.

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How to Get Better Photos of Fireworks

Lead photo by Michal Ziembicki.

If you’re in the Western Hemisphere, you’re probably celebrating your nation’s Independence Day very soon. Naturally, you’re going to want to take photos and share them on the web for all your friends to like, comment, heart, etc. It’s often a joyous time for all of us; and it should surely be one for you too.

Here are a few tips on how to take better images of fireworks.

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