Chris Gampat Chris Gampat

All articles by Chris Gampat

 

Photographers in New York Now Have Access to Group Insurance Benefits

Photographers in NYC who work for themselves all know just how difficult it is to pay for health insurance. If you’re single, it’s not uncommon to pay around $700 a month for health insurance. So to help photographers get a broader range of benefits and save them money, American Photographic Artists NY has partnered with Trupo. Trupo was started by the same folks who brought you the Freelancer’s Union and is designed to make the extra things a little bit more affordable. ...
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Review: Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary (Almost a Leica)

When I got the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary in for review, I was pretty shocked at how small it is. I knew and accepted the drawbacks of the lens not being fully weather-sealed and not a faster aperture. But at the same time, I tend to look at review units as what I wanted and what is actually in front of me. After all, that’s the customer experience. To that end, the folks who should go for the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary are those that want and need something super affordable for their L mount or E mount cameras. Sony a7 III users will probably really like it. But at the same time, Sony has its own lineup of small prime lenses that are very affordable. And to be honest, I’m not sure that the person that this lens exists for even has a real camera option at the moment. Pretty much everything that’s L mount is pricey with the exception of Sigma’s FP. ...
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Review: Leica SL2 (The Camera for the Photographer That Prints)

Throughout my review of the Leica SL2, I tried to keep in mind who the camera is for. Before you snarkily say that it’s for those with too much money, the Leica SL2 has a lot of merit and value to it. It’s fantastic for printing with its special 47MP full-frame sensor. It handles image noise very well. In fact, the overall image quality is great. This is partly thanks to the stellar lenses for the L mount. But it’s also got autofocus that can’t keep up with the rest of the market. Couple all of this together with the ridiculously amazing weather sealing rating and you’ve got a damned great camera. But then give it a nearly $6,000 wrapper, and you’ll sit there scratching your head. But with all this said, it’s a very solid camera....
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Why the Leica SL2 Is Good for a Certain Type of Portrait Photographer

It’s no surprise that the Leica SL2 could probably be one of the best options for portrait photographers under medium format. During my time with the Leica SL2 before its announcement, I thought carefully about who this camera is targeted to. And in many ways, I liken it to the Canon 5D Mk II’s launch many years ago. That was a camera designed for the creator–the portrait, landscape, studio and documentary photographer that did things slowly with careful setup. It’s not a speed demon like the Sony a9 II. It’s not designed for those who do sports, photojournalism, etc. Part of this is due to the autofocus system coupled with the fantastic lens lineup that Sigma, Panasonic and Leica all offer. The camera will have issues in low light, but the image quality will always be solid. For that reason, I genuinely think that the Leica SL2 is a great camera for the photographers amongst us that do slow work. Let’s be honest, there’s a ton of you....
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First Impressions: Sigma Fp (Did Sigma Finally Get a Camera Right?)

I’ve been testing Sigma cameras for years, and the culmination of a long list of failures has resulted in the Sigma Fp. For all of those years, I’ve legitimately been in love with the image quality that their Foveon sensors produced at lower ISOs and coupled with their stellar lenses. But I never liked needing to work in their software, their deplorable battery life, the snail’s pace autofocus speed, and don’t forget about the lens mount that no one ever truly cared about despite its analog lineage. With the Sigma Fp, the company joins the L mount alliance and allows photographers to affix Leica and Panasonic glass to the camera in addition to some of their own. Built with weather sealing, much-improved ergonomics, a full-frame sensor, and a small body that is quite obviously aimed at the enthusiast and the cinematographer, the Sigma Fp is still intriguing. Recently, we had five minutes with the camera and found it to be really fascinating. ...
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Review: Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 (A Content Creator’s Dream Bag)

Bags like the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 and others have just become better for photographers over the years. Though I’m still partial to a backpack instead of a messenger, this update feels just a bit special. Arguably, the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 is for photographers. But in use, one could say that it’s for content creators and journalists. Messenger bags over the years have evolved a lot, and the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 shows evidence of that. The internals were updated to give photographers who shoot with mirrorless systems a bit more organization. Further, you can shove a laptop in this bag along with pretty much every tool you’d possibly need. If you’re the type to go for hot shoe flashes, there’s room for that. But if you tote along a Profoto B10 the way I do, you’ll have a bit more trouble. We’ve taken the Billingham Hadley Pro 2020 with us on planes, on trips, on commutes, to meetings, and everywhere. We’re very impressed. However, this is more of a bag for a content creator than a photographer....
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First Impressions: DJI Mavic Mini (The Drone for Everyone)

The DJI Mavic Mini is a super small drone, and it could honestly be the one that really gets over some of my personal issues with drone photography. As a city dweller, working with drones has always been a bit of a scary thing because of the designated zones. As the EIC of a website, I also need to be careful to ensure that we’re always following the laws. This is a mentality that I embed deep within the entire staff here. So for me, the DJI Mavic Mini is something very refreshing. Though we’re familiar with options from Parrot and others, the DJI Mavic Mini is packing in just enough of the technology that we love within the small size. And to be clear about how small it is, the DJI Mavic Mini fit into my skinny jeans. Moreso than any other drone release, I’m incredibly excited about the DJI Mavic Mini....
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Tutorial: How to Shoot Great Portraits with a 135mm Lens

The 135mm lens is a favorite of so many portrait photographers for great reasons. They compress your subject quite a bit, make everyone look fantastic, can be used for headshots and wider portraits, and blur the background into oblivion. While many photographers often reach for 85mm due to having more versatility, those who want even more compression go for 135mm lenses. This can all arguably be solved with a 70-200mm lens option of some sort, but what a 135mm prime lens does is so much better. Luckily, there are a number of great 135mm prime lens options on the market these days and if you want one, here’s what you should know....
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The Loupedeck Creative Tool Is for the Photographer Who Does Everything

If you’re one of those photographers who edges into other mediums, then the Loupedeck Creative Tool is probably going to be the next peripheral you need. Loupedeck has always created pretty strong peripherals for photographers and videographers. And so this latest product is designed to help those who also edit audio and much more. To that end, it’s more scalable and versatile with its ability to integrate with more software on the market. That translates into wedding photographers also being able to cut together a video and edit audio using the same tool–pun not really, but really intended. Although the Loupedeck Creative Tool only uses USB 2.0 A, it has Bluetooth 5 low energy abilities....
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I Told Myself I Wouldn’t Buy Another Leica, But I Was Stupid to Say So

Everything that I can do with a Leica camera, I can do with any other camera out there. What makes them so special are their lenses and how they work specifically with the sensors put into Leica cameras. To be very specific here, I’m talking about the M series. The L mount cameras and the Leica Q series are nice; but they don’t make a lot of sense for the type of work that I do. If I did a lot of photojournalism in war zones, the Leica SL would be a mainstay in what I did. I still own my Leica CL film camera, and after selling my Leica M4P I’ve come to be at peace with myself for letting it go. This camera’s images and the film that is put into it can be replicated with almost anything else. In fact, I’m sure that no would be able to tell what came from my Hexar AF and what came from the Leica M4P. To that end, I accepted that the Leica M cameras were a luxurious item for me and my film photography–but film in and of itself is really a luxury....
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Why Nothing Will Beat the Sharpness of Black and White Photography

While some folks hate black and white, I find there to be special magic to it. Of course, not every black and white image is super sharp. But compared to a comparable color photo, they’re far sharper. Believe it or not, the best way to see how sharp your lens can involve converting your images to black and white. Don’t believe me? Well, look at history. Acros, T-Max and Tri-X are all super sharp black and white films. The images that they create are far sharper than any slide or color negative film out there. With digital, we became so enamored with color. We also were all about fixing it in post-production to make an image look sharper. Now here’s the crazier secret: even if your color photo is sharp, it’s going to look sharper in black and white. Don’t believe us?...
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So You Want to Buy a Leica…You Should Know This

Someone out there will tell you that they’re thinking about buying a Leica. What they typically mean by this is a Leica M camera. The Leica M camera isn’t necessarily for the photographer that has a lot of money. Instead, it’s for the photographer that wants to create and capture photos in a completely different way. The inherent design and functionality of a Leica go against much of what modern tech is. Yet somehow or another, a Leica M can be a better image capturing device than others on the market. In the past few years, Leica cameras have gone down in price and on the second-hand market. So it’s not difficult to find a good one. So if you want a Leica, then we’re going to talk you through the purchasing process....
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The New ILFORD ORTHO Plus ISO 80 Comes in Both 35mm and 120

Landscape photographers are perhaps going to be the most interested in the brand new ILFORD ORTHO Plus film being announced today. Ilford has been teasing on Twitter for a while that something new is coming. And today, they’re releasing the details on the brand new film. When landscape photographers load ILFORD ORTHO Plus into their cameras, they’re going to be treated to something absolutely special. According to Ilford, this film is going to render the scenes in a special way to due its design and the new acetate base. But in addition to that, Ilford is announcing a few other products....
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Review: 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 (This Lens Belong on a Film Camera)

If you look around on Instagram and at reviews of the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 on the web, I’m very positive that the reviewers got a free copy of the lens and hyped it up. I’m even convinced that they’ve done excess editing to the images. But I bought mine with my own money. This has to be one of the most disappointing lenses that I’ve bought from 7Artisans. I purchased the company’s 50mm f1.1 and was given the 35mm f2 for free. Both of those lenses were pretty good. But the 7Artisans 28mm f1.4 is disappointing when shooting with it wide open and adapted to Sony. It only starts to become really worth anything when stopped down past f2.8. However, I’ll state that it has a look–and that look is best achieved on a Leica. It’s nothing compared to a proper Leica lens, and I doubt that the optics are even designed in the same way. But this purchase was a reminder to me that cheap lenses are often an impulse buy. Was I expecting Leica quality? Heck no. I wasn’t even expecting Voigtlander quality. But I was expecting the lens to be better than others on the market when adapted to Sony. Yet somehow or another, this lens absolutely sung to the heavens on Leica bodies....
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What Anyone Getting Into Photography Should Know About Lenses

Do you know what a lens group actually does? Like, why is it necessary? There are tons of articles and videos out there about cameras and the introduction to them, but there isn’t a lot about lenses. Photographers probably don’t understand why specific lenses have a set number of aperture blades. Did you also know that more aperture blades don’t necessarily mean that it’s a better lens? And you probably won’t get better bokeh too? We asked experts at Canon, Sony, and Tamron to share their knowledge with us....
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All I Want Is a New Olympus Pen F Camera with the Best JPEGs Around

Earlier today, Olympus announced their new OMD EM5 Mk III camera with a fair amount of new tech. There’s also some recycled tech inside that comes from their higher-end cameras. There are some of you out there that will deny Olympus and Micro Four Thirds their rights to the camera market, but I’d disagree with you. They’re often tied with Fujifilm for having some of the best ergonomics and I simply think that the way that you approach shooting them is completely different. In the same way that you think about a Leica M or the Leica SL’s use in a different wavelength than you do with other camera makers you should do the same with Olympus. While our entire industry embraces the philosophy of always shooting in RAW and editing later, I’ve gone against that philosophy for a while. Instead, I opted to get it right in-camera as much as possible. We shouldn’t be using post-production as a crutch. To that end, embracing the unique tech inside of Olympus cameras I think is worthwhile. Finally, all of this could have been better emphasized with a beautiful, revamped Olympus Pen F camera....
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Paper Review: MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag (This Is Something Special)

For a very long time, I personally didn’t like much of what MOAB put out in terms of paper. But MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag has really changed my mind. There are lots of different ways that it is different from much of the other papers from Red River, Canon, and Epson. For starters, this paper has a warmer color though still maintains a white look. MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag is also a semi-gloss paper with a contrasty look to it. As a standard, we tend to use a lot of Canon Pro Semi-Gloss papers. But MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag is a very nice alternative considering that many folks tend to print and find that their images look too cold. And so if you’re not calibrating your printer and your screen often or sharing the profiles to one another, then MOAB Juniper Baryta Rag could save you some extra work in post-production....
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An Honest Question: How Much Dynamic Range Do You Really Need?

A question that I’ve been wondering for many years now is just how much dynamic range photographers truly need. We can geek out about it all day and night, but how far does this go before we get into complete negligence of good picture taking methods? Lots of the magic of landscape photography can happen in post unless you have custom profiles on your camera to get it right then and there. The photographers who do this are indeed landscape photographers but rely mostly on their post-production to get those images. Image bracketing and blending is surely a nice tool for creating beautiful HDR images, but we can all agree that any camera these days has a good enough range for most shooting purposes. But from a single image, I truly do wonder how much dynamic range we need....
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Blending Flash with Natural Light (And Getting it Right in Camera!)

“Why can’t I just do this in post-production?” is what I heard asked in a recent event that I went to about mixed lighting and flash. The reason is that many times, a photographer can’t get an organic look and effect to the scene. Further, why work a long time in post-production when you can just get the image right the first time around in-camera? Why can’t you achieve your creative vision without the use of a computer or an app? And why do you need to live by that preset life? In this tutorial, we’re going to walk you through the ideas behind blending natural light and flash....
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Does the Nikon 58mm f0.95 S Noct Really Justify a $7999.95 Price Tag?

Today, the Nikon 58mm f0.95 S Noct Lens is finally fully announced with detailed specs and all. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that the lens will command a nearly $8,000 price tag. That means that this is a lens that commands a higher price point than some medium format mirrorless cameras. Granted, this is a unique lens. Earlier on, we got to play with it. Besides the lens being pretty much as large as my forearm, it’s a manual focus optic. While I certainly understand the value of manual focus lenses, I don’t really condone them being so rotundas. I mean, it’s massive. The Nikon 58mm f0.95 S Noct should quite honestly be badged as a cinema lens and not a lens designed for stills shooting. I’d expect something like this from Zeiss. But with the Nikon Z series system still being so young, it doesn’t make sense for a lens like this to be launched now. But at the same time, I’m torn to say that Nikon needs it....
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Here’s a Way to Justifiably Get More Money for Your Printed Photo

Printed photos are perhaps the most fantastic way for folks to really understand the art of photography. Most folks aren’t printing enough, and that’s because digital screens have taken over our lives. But the moment someone starts to see their favorite photo as a print, their jaw drops. So how do you make someone really pay attention to a print and want to buy one? Well, it’s something that requires you to think out of the box. As with most of art and media these days, you need to create something that folks want to interact with or you need to have interacted with the print in some way. It needs to be made special. It needs to be truly one of a kind....
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Is Annie Leibovitz Right About This? What Do You Think?

What do you think? I wrote an article about making your portrait subjects more comfortable and noticed a great comment. “Annie Leibovitz runs an ad on YouTube etc. in which she says she doesn’t believe it’s the photographer’s job to put the person at ease… whats that about?” This is a great topic. This person is talking...
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Useful Photography Tip #196: The Golden Hour Look Any Time of the Day

Everyone loves the look of the golden hour when shooting portraits. But it’s always available for a short period of time. Don’t worry though, there’s a way to get it at any time of the day. Best of all, this is NOT POSSIBLE IN PHOTOSHOP WITHOUT A LOT OF WORK! The reason for this is because you’ll create an organically looking light in the scene and not just use a gradient. Here’s how!...
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The Portrait Editor Adobe Doesn’t Want You to Know About

Uneven skin tones, awkward face shapes, and unfortunate blemishes must be dealt with in each photo. That means editing the photos usually takes even longer than planning and executing the shoot! The right portrait photo editing software can shave hours off the post-processing stage, so it’s important to use one that not only has all of the features a professional photographer needs, but also makes the work go quickly and smoothly at the same time....
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Review: GNARBOX 2.0 (An Almost-Perfect Drive for Travel Photography)

Although it doesn’t yet feel like a finalized product the GNARBOX 2.0 has steadily improved since we began testing it. While reviewing the GNARBOX 2.0, we discussed our experiences with influencers, photographers, and other members of the press. We have one big thing in common: we travel all the time, and editing on the go...
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Are Cheap Lenses Really Worth it for Photographers?

When you’re first starting out as a photographer, the appeal of cheap lenses is really high. I mean, how else are you going to take better pictures without actually learning how to do something with your camera or lighting? There are tons of cheap lenses out there on the market. Despite a dwindling photography market overall, it seems like cheap new lenses come out of nowhere pretty much every week. It’s wonderful that there is so much variety on the market because of the fact that competition simply makes us all better. But if I really had to think about it, no cheap lens has ever given me a whole lot of satisfaction....
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First Impressions: Fujifilm 16-80mm F4 R WR OIS (A Great Zoom Lens!)

I never thought that a lens like the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS would be made. But in retrospect, it’s one of the most sensical lens options that the company made. This lens is small enough that a photographer would enjoy photo walking with it. But it’s also convenient enough to give a professional a fair working range. At f4 on an APS-C sensor though, I’d argue that this lens should have been a faster aperture option. Combine with one of Fujifilm’s camera options with image stabilization on the sensor, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS will do very well. But even on the older Fujifilm X-T2 that we used, the Fujifilm 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS produced beautiful results....
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The Latest Capture One Style Pack Embraces the Look of Film, Sort of

Today Capture One users can pick up the Reverie style pack that was done with Lukas Pitatek, the founder of LOOKSLIKEFILM. The community known for making photographers who’ve never loaded a roll of Tri-X think that their images look like film is extending their wealth of knowledge via this pack for a cool $39. This includes four color presets, four black and white presets, four soft variants of the color presets, and HSL tones, and grain simulations. They’re available today for purchase, and we took a quick look through them as we’ve had maybe two hours to play with them and write about them for this blog post before publishing....
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3 Ways the Nikon z7 Improved After Its Updates (and What’s Still Wrong)

When the Nikon z7 was launched, it was a camera that perplexed a lot of journalists. Honestly, it didn’t feel like it was ready for the market. There are a lot of odd things about the Nikon z7 and the rest of the Z series. But overall, the company has worked to make it more usable and overall better. These came mostly in the form of firmware updates. However, Nikon did it right by launching some of their best and most essential lenses first. Photographers that like the Nikon way of doing things will probably be attracted to the z7. Indeed, they do a lot of little things different than the entire rest of the industry does. Further, their system is available at a very steep discount as of my publishing this story....
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I Unfollowed Everyone on Instagram and It Became So Much Better

Yes, I know; you’re caught up in the Instagram game. You need to get as many followers as you can. You also need to be interacting with the rest of the community out there. Getting followers and beating the algorithm to get seen is pretty tricky. To be honest, I’d recommend not fighting it and instead of finding other ways to get followers outside of the platform. But if you’re just trying to make the story and post flow more comfortable for you to digest, you’ll be amazed at how simple it is. Everyone wants the return of the chronological feed. But that’s never coming back. So how do you fight it? Well, I spent three weeks eliminating everyone I followed. Then I took a small break. And finally, I followed only a few select folks....
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Are We Done with Clickbait Stories About the DSLR Being Dead Yet?

“HEY GUYS DID YOU KNOW THE DSLR IS DEAD AND MY CLICKBAIT TITLE IS IN ALL CAPS JUST TO GET YOUR ATTENTION?” is what I’ve seen so many YouTube videos and blog posts about in recent times. Yes, it’s true. And a few folks may even argue that traditional cameras are dead because what phones do these days are just so good. Camera manufacturers haven’t done enough to educate and reach out to people about what their cameras do. But the truth today is that DSLRs are dinosaurs. Nikon is releasing the D6 sooner or later though, and I’m not sure why. I’m positive that Canon will follow suit and release a new 1D camera. It makes no sense when DSLRs are outdone by mirrorless in pretty much every way except for build quality. ...
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Review: Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm F4 Macro OIS

While I’m usually not a fan of lenses like the Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro OIS, I have to admit that this one grew on me. Many years ago, a 24-105mm f4 was my bread and butter lens, and many folks have something like it for overall general shooting. But for the type of photography and shooting I do, I found that this lens just isn’t versatile enough. This is an inherent problem of all 24-105mm lenses though. It’s either not as long as Nikon’s 24-120mm or the aperture is just too slow for me. When it comes to shooting in very low light situations, the image stabilization from the sensor and the lens just sometimes isn’t what a faster aperture can give you. Though if you were to really use this lens on any camera, the Panasonic S1R is perhaps the best to do so with. This camera is designed for high resolution shooting that therefore lends itself to better color editing and much more. The Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro OIS is fittingly large to accommodate the Panasonic Lumix Pro series of cameras. But it’s also a lens that I’m not sure every photographer would want or need....
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5 Ways the Fujifilm X Pro 3 Hints at What the Next X100 Camera Is Like

At the Fujifilm X Summit, Fujifilm announced the development of their Fujifilm X Pro 3. This is a camera that we were eagerly anticipating as the rest of the industry kept putting out cameras, lenses, etc. It honestly felt a bit like Fujifilm was pretty quiet on the higher end of the X series in 2019. Understandably, this could cause some anxiety with many Fujifilm users. Indeed, I have a specific camera bag packed fill with Fujifilm gear that I use. Personally, I was getting antsy and wondering how Fujifilm was going to innovate. And what they announced came entirely out of the left field for me. But it also opened up even more questions such as what the next X100 camera will be like....
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Dear Fujifilm: Your Next Camera Will Need Much Better Battery Life

The battery life on a Fujifilm camera is pretty bad, and it’s only now that I’ve realized it. Admittedly, it has been a while since I’ve picked up my Fujifilm cameras. The reason for this is because I’ve been exploring who I am as a creative. The other reason is that I’ve needed to test all this additional gear that’s come out. So when picking up the company’s 16-80mm f4 R WR OIS and pairing it with my X-H1 and X-T2, I was reminded of a problem. The battery life on Fujifilm cameras is pretty awful. It was great for a long time, and then the firmware and tech demanded more juice. Unless you’ve got a vertical grip on your X series camera, I don’t think the battery life is sufficient at all. In one night, I went through two batteries; and that’s unacceptable....
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Review: Sigma 35mm F1.2 Art DG DN (All of the Bokeh, and Weight)

I’m not sure where Sigma got the memo that making the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN into a mammoth beast was a great idea. The last time I knew, mirrorless camera lenses were supposed to be small. However, I have to admit that it seems like only Olympus, Fujifilm and Sony have been sticking to that philosophy. The tradeoff here is a lens that delivers a look unlike anything else out there on the market. The Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN is a lens that really chooses to do things differently. It can be used with a click or de-click, has an f1.2 aperture while providing autofocus, adds weather sealing, and is meant to last. With a price tag that will accordingly leave a lasting hole in your wallet, I pondered whether the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN is worth purchasing. For the duration of my review, I had a lot of second thoughts. But in this case, I don’t think that it’s Sigma’s fault....
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Talking About Cameras and Your GAS in Person Is Pedantic and Boring

“So it doesn’t bring you joy?” is what Marie Kando would say to me if she were listening to me express my feelings on talking about camera gear in person. The situation typically happens when I’m out and about on a photo walk either testing gear or for the personal joy of it. A person will come up to me to start a discussion that will be about my camera. Then the person will find a way to spew their feelings and some sort of negativity my way about gear. If this isn’t the case, it will be a conversation that’s not new, or interesting. More often than not, it will be the same conversation happening over and over again. I think that this is the problem with the current photography community–that so much of it is simply centered on the gear that you’ve got and there is nothing about photography as an art form. If anything, those conversations are null....
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How to Spot a Fake Photographer and Their Smoke and Mirrors

his post isn’t just dedicated to the many photographers on YouTube or Instagram who are trying to become influencers or trying to gain fame, but it’s for generally everyone. However, it has a whole lot to do with photographers and the type of games that they play very often. Misleading audiences and telling lies about how you created an image or how you did something are positively wrong. And if anything, you’re simply teaching folks what not to do–and that’s to not be like you. When the truth comes out, everyone is simply going to remember the lies you told if you’re held to them. Instead, in today’s world, it’s a much better idea to burn out your own toxicity and play the long game....
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Now That the Nikon Z7’s Autofocus Has Improved, You Can Get it Cheaper

Nikon has been steadily working to improve their Z7 camera and now there is a Nikon Z7 trade-in event. After some of the latest firmware updates, the autofocus has improved. Nikon camera users will really appreciate the combination of small size, lightweight, solid build quality and the autofocus abilities that it offers. Couple this with an adapter for F mount glass or using some of Nikon’s pretty good Z mount lenses and you’ve got a winning system with a lot more potential to come. The current trade up deal over at Adorama lets photographers save up to $600 on a purchase. And if you decide to trade-in another product you can get $200 as a bonus too....
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First Impressions: Fujifilm X-A7 (A Curiously Beautiful Camera)

I can imagine the Fujifilm X-A7 slung around a discerning, fashionable photographer. It’s mated to some sort of beautiful vintage optic or one of Fujifilm’s lust-inducing prime lenses. The stunning leather strap that comes with it is only the icing on top. Everything about the Fujifilm X-A7 tells me that it’s designed for a specific crowd. This crowd includes the travel photographer and those used to large phone screens. In the same line of thought, this photographer will like the feeling of the dials, the leatherette cover, and the lack of emphasis on control via the touchscreen. I fully expect these photographers to also use the Auto or Program modes. Best of all, they’ll adore the tilting screen....
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Nat Geo Photographer Ira Block on Processing His Home City After 9/11

“They weren’t panicking.” related photographer Ira Block to me while I sat with him in his NYC loft and examined images from 9/11 with him. “They were instead trying to figure out what was going on.” The image that Ira is talking about is very typical of New York. Though we were all in lots of shock on 9/11, everyone was in a state of confusion throughout the day. Said photo, which is the lead image of this story, was shot by Ira while walking down 7th Ave. The photos Ira took were for himself. Though he’s a National Geographic photographer, Ira isn’t a news photojournalist–but he started out as one. To that end, he wasn’t on an assignment that day; so the images he shot were just for him....
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How Do Polaroids Work? A Look at Modern Instant Film

Polaroids and Instax are some of the funnest ways to take images these days. Millenials are in love with them and taking an Instax image to share with someone else is one of the easiest ways to connect with folks. But believe it or not, not many people believe them to actually be film. In the case of the stuff that Polaroid puts out under the ZINK moniker, they’re not. They’re simply just a print of an image. But real Polaroids are closer to what both Polaroid Originals and Instax make. While the former is a flawed medium embraced by artists, the latter is a medium with its own appeal. Generally speaking, it’s impossible to make someone look bad on Instax. But how that happens is an amazing process....
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5 Quick Tips on Shooting Better Night Portraits with Ambient Lighting

We get it: you want to photograph a moment just the way you see it! Many photographers who shoot portraits at night are really the ones who eventually start to understand how lighting works once they get enough experience. During the nighttime, most of the light we know and see is shut off except for the little bit that are provided artificially. So until you know how to work with strobes, we recommend that you learn how to make the most of the lighting that is just available at night....
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Review: Tokina 100mm F2.8 Macro FiRIN (Sony FE)

When the Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro FiRIN was announced, I was pretty overjoyed at the fact that the company was working to create a focal length that is much different than current options on the market. While Sony has its own f2.8 STF lens, I’m pretty sure that most journalists and photographers can take it or leave it. But with the Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro FiRIN, the company is providing another focal length at a more affordable price point. Tokina’s glass has always been solid–in fact their parent company, Hoya, makes the optics for many lenses that you’re probably using. But they’ve always just been a tad quirky. Sometimes I’ve encountered tactile issues while in the case of the Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro FiRIN I found my ears consistently meeting the unpleasing sound of a loud motor–a thing that I genuinely believed to be buried in the past. If you tend to be a bit more tone-deaf or have worked on construction sites, you’ll probably be able to get over it....
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Here’s Why We’re Sure We’ll See the Nikon D6 Before the 2020 Olympics

Yes, the Nikon D6 is in development. From what the Nikon press release issued for today is saying, it’s going to be targeted to professional photographers. In fact, they’re not even telling us the pricing or the release dates. But we’ve got a great hunch that it’s going to be coming before the 2020 Olympics. Don’t agree? Well, we’re pretty confident that you’d be wrong; and here’s why....
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The Nikon Z 24mm F1.8 S Targets Starscape Photogs for Under $1,000

If you’re using a Nikon Z series camera and know anything about how good the company’s Z mount lenses have been, then you should be very excited about their new Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S. This lens has been designed for the new Z mount system that the company introduced and features things like 12 elements in 10 groups. There is also 9 aperture blades, nanocrystal coatings, and a minimum focusing distance of under one foot away. The Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S weighs less than a pound too while having a large 72mm filter thread on the front. For those of you who love to peep your pickles (I mean, pixels), you’ll be happy to know about the single ED lens element and the four aspherical elements. Like every other lens for the system thus far, the Nikon Z 24mm f1.8 S is weather resistant. You get all this for $999.95. That’s honestly not a bad price tag at all. More sample photos are after the jump....
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First Impressions: Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM (A Portrait Dream Lens)

When portrait photographers pick up the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM, they’ll start to realize the absolute magic that it’s capable of when rendering a portrait subject. I’ve realized that Canon’s lenses haven’t always been about scoring high on DXOMark tests, but that they’re instead designed for the character. Canon’s RF 50mm f1.2 L USM delivers an almost medium format look that’s only possible with an 80mm f2 on a 645 body. And the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM isn’t anything different. Even when shooting wide open with a flash, the look that you get is far unlike anything else that you’ll get. That’s not at all to say that everything else isn’t capable of delivering beautiful images. But a long focal length at f1.2 is something to really behold....
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How to Make Your Photo Look Like a Painting In-Camera

One of the best things about photography is that it can adapt to a variety of other mediums and combine itself to deliver really unique images. Even better, lots of those can be done in-camera without the need for Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Sure, you can shoot it and fix it in post–but why bother? Why not try to get it right in the first place and worry less later on? If you’re a photographer that has a great grasp of the technical side and is very in touch with your artistic side, then this tutorial on how to make images of landscapes look like paintings is for you....
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First Impressions: Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 (Super Sharp!)

In my opinion, the results of Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 will mean a lot for the company. It’s one of three lenses that will determine the success of the L mount alliance in its early stages. Along with the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 and the Sigma 35mm f1.2, these lenses are some of the options most targeted to professional photographers. Sure, Leica has an excellent selection of glass. But let’s be honest: Leica glass also comes at a premium. We’re not sure that most professional photographers will reach for the Leica lenses. But they’ll reach for Sigma and Panasonic due to the price and performance that they offer. And if Panasonic can really fix its autofocus algorithms, the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 will make their cameras an excellent contender against the rest of the options on the market....
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Report: Canon EOS R’s New Firmware Makes AF Comparable to Sony’s

Though folks will really sit there and belittle the Canon EOS R, I genuinely like it. In fact, I see it as a step closer to Canon actually deciding to listen to its customers and the industry. With the news of the latest firmware update too, the Canon EOS R is becoming even better. On a recent press trip, we had the chance to play with a beta version of the latest firmware update. This new update brings with it majorly improved autofocus tracking. Indeed, a room of journalists was seriously pleased with some demonstration videos that we saw....
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The Panasonic S1H and Lumix S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 Want to Beat Sony

Photographers looking at the new Panasonic S1H and Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 may be a bit confused. Afterall, the company was really touting this to be a cinema-style camera. And it also shares a 24MP full frame sensor like the Panasonic S1. The cameras seem to be very similar in a bunch of ways. But the main differences here have to do with video–and the big one is 6K 24p video recording capabilities. Considering that this website is targeted to photographers though, you probably don’t care about that. But let’s discuss what’s important....
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