Book Review: HOME by Magnum Photos (Collaboration with FUJIFILM)

HOME, a collaboration between Fujifilm and Magnum Photos includes images that will tug at your heart and photos that will make you ponder the meaning of documentary photography.

Photographers who pick up HOME will take pride in knowing that this massive tom contains images from arguably some of the best documentary photographers in the world. To curry the pot even more, they’ll further reinforce their love of Fujifilm, a brand that they surely relate to as many folks will probably own their cameras or shoot the company’s film. And for the most part, HOME does justice to the work of many of these photographers. You’ll have a number of emotions hit you while reading the text from the photographers and looking at the images.

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Extra Image Samples: Nikon z7 with 35mm f1.8

We’ve been actively testing the Nikon z7 for the past couple of weeks; and it’s really not as bad as the internet is making it out to be.

“I think I like this grip more than the Sony!” is what Reviews Editor Paul Ip said about the new Nikon z7 when he held it in his hands recent. Indeed, the internet sat there complaining about a million things in regards to the Nikon z7. But in my testing, I’ve honestly not found it to be too terrible of a camera. Is it behind in some ways? Yes; but so is Canon with their weird Face detection and Sony with their lack of an actually useful touchscreen. Not to mention Panasonic still hasn’t even brought their full frame camera to market yet. But in terms of actual, honest use, it’s not terrible–but there are surely things that are annoying.

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Sample Image Gallery: Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus (Canon 6D)

Hey folks,

I got the brand new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens in and I’ve had it for probably less than eight hours from my publishing this post. But within these few hours that I’ve spent with it, it’s easily becoming one of my favorite 35mm lenses ever made. I really like the Sigma 35mm f1.4, the Canon 35mm f1.4 and the Sony 35mm f1.4, but there’s something about a Zeiss lens that produces absolute magic. Perhaps it’s the fact that one needs to manually focus and then put extra work into actually creating and paying attention to a photo before putting it out there in the world.

The Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Milvus lens was just announced yesterday though and here are a few image samples I’ve done thus far on the Canon 6D.

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Gallery: Sony a9 High ISO Image Samples (And Extended Impressions)

We’re almost done with our review of the new Sony a9 camera; and so far it’s shaping up to mostly be pretty great. This post is to mostly showcase High ISO image samples from the new Sony a9, and before we go on you should know that it does a fantastic job and I personally like the high ISO output even more than I do from the Sony a7s II. The Sony a9 is targeted at the professional photographer who uses the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. But in some ways it also is trying to go after the Pentax 645z, the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX 50s with the wedding photography crowd. For the most part, those photographers will have found one of the best cameras that they can use.

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Gallery Review: Magnum Manifesto at International Center of Photography

“Magnum is…?” That’s the big question behind the Magnum Manifesto exhibit set up at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC. The exhibit commemorates the 70th anniversary of the collective started by some of the most famous names in photography history including Robert Capa and Henri-Cartier Bresson. Magnum Manifesto is also a book–a pretty thick one at that–which delves deeper into the psychology behind some of the photographers but also finds ways to unite them all under the single voice of Magnum. For example, there are handwritten notes from the photographers inside the book that the photographers often wrote to one another. These and much more are in the archives, and it surely a sign of the times when you consider that we may need to get screenshots of the texts the photographers have back and forth today.

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Image Gallery: Fujifilm X100F Samples

Today, I’m really happy to say we’ve got Fujifilm X100F samples in our first impressions post. I’ve been super busy as of late, but I’m pretty glad to finally have the Fujifilm X100F in for review. On paper at least, the camera has a whole lot going for it. And it’s also fair to say that after a really long time, many users are going to be very happy with the camera and the progression it’s taken. Indeed, photographers like Rinzi Ruiz are doing some fantastic work with it. Overall, it’s pretty difficult to take a really awful photo with the camera.

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First Sample Images: Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome (Black and White)

We’ve been waiting for a very, very long time for Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome, and it’s finally here. The film renders an image that is around the same size as 645 film; but one of the problems that it faces is a lack of solid optics and full manual control on a camera. Manufacturers are realizing this more and more though, and so we’re bound to have something soon. We recently purchased four packs of it and ran it through a Mint Camera Instantflex TL70 2.0–which is arguably the best Instax Mini shooting camera on the market. So far it’s proving to be really interesting and far better than the color film. Our review is still underway but here are some of our first impressions.

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The Fujifilm X-T2 High ISO Samples are Pretty Amazing

We’ve got the Fujifilm X-T2 in for review right now and we’re quite impressed so far. The 24MP APS-C sensor offers fantastic resolution and high ISO output though at times the detail loss can be quite telling. In fact, it’s the same sensor that’s inside the X Pro 2–which is arguably the best APS-C sensor on the market right now.

Below, find a number of high ISO images with the EXIF data totally intact.

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High ISO Samples: Sony A7r Mk II

ISO 12,800

ISO 12,800

Today is a day where I’m really, really eating my words. When working on our first impressions post for the Sony A7r Mk II, I kept thinking about how the high ISO results for a 42.4MP Full frame camera couldn’t be that spectacular. Indeed, the low ISO output is quite nice. Then we got the camera back in for testing just yesterday.

At first, I shot at ISO 3200 and was very impressed. Then I took the camera up to ISO 6400 and was also very pleased with the results. But it didn’t stop there.

The Sony A7r Mk II‘s maximum ISO output is 102,400. At 42.4 MP, you’d figure that the high ISO results wouldn’t be that stellar, right?


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How Shooting Film is Helping Me Improve My Photography

Why film? This year I hit a point in my photography where I had learned a great deal, but I realized that I needed something to challenge me. After seeing Chris Gampat shoot film and reading about the form, I finally decided to take the plunge. It felt like a fine way to refine my photography. The first roll, which recently got developed, came out better than expected. The camera, a used Nikon N2020 from B&H, worked much better than expected. It was an interesting learning experience. Film is not dead. It has been re-purposed for shooting when I want to slow down and wander the city looking for arty images. Which one do I prefer? For speed, convenience, and cost, digital. For getting back to the roots of photography, film.

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New York City Comic Con 2011 Ends Today; Here Are Some Photos

For the past couple of days, Gevon and I have been at New York City Comic Con 2011 working on content geared towards photographers heading out to conventions. I’ve been testing the new Phottix Wireless TTL Radio Triggers for Canon EOS DSLR cameras. Additionally, I was playing around with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX, ExpoImaging Ray Flash, 35mm f1.4 L, and my Beauty Dish hack.

For the record: we’ve got a hands on review and a full review of the Phottix triggers in the works. Plus, we’re going to be comparing the Sigma 85mm f1.4 against the Canon 85mm f1.2 in a portrait test. Additionally, we’re going to compare the Orbis against the Ray Flash for Convention center use. Besides all this, we’ve got loads of reviews in the works and my list of articles that I need to write is enormous.

Either way, more content will be coming and I think you’re all going to love it. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos that I shot at NYCC 2011.

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And the Winners of the Bokeh Master’s Kits are…

It’s time to announce the winners of the Bokeh Master’s Kit contest. To enter you had to submit a photo to The Phoblographer’s Flickr Group with the tag, “The-Phoblographer-DIY-Photography-Bokeh-Contest” and we recommended that you become fans of The Phoblographer and DIYPhotography on Facebook.

The winners of this contest are:

Historic Norman, OK (miniature)

J.C Chang


Lionel Fernández Roca

Japanese Magnolia (My Granny called it a Tulip Tree!)

tjs1963 (Terri)

Congratulations to all the winners and to all those that entered. This was a fairly tough decision to make.

If you’ve won, please email me at chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com so that I can arrange for you to get your prize shipped to you.

This contest was sponsored by They are the creators of a great new eBook and also provided inspiration for our Beauty Dish hack.

World Pinhole Day Reminded Me of How Much I Miss Instant Film

Today was World Pinhole Day, and I headed over to Dumbo, Brooklyn to meet up with a couple of fine folks to shoot with pinhole cameras. The meetup was organized by Gave Biderman, the guy behind (and a co-worker of mine). Gabe reminded me of how much I miss and love instant film. The photos in the gallery above were shot with a pinhole camera using an instant back: which is totally different from the Hasselblads I’ve used before and the Fujifilm Instax that I reviewed. This camera seemed to be a bit more like the 20×24 camera that I toured, except a bit more pint sized (4×5 Fujifilm at both ISO 100 and ISO 3000. All the film was also expired.)

Either way, I just want to say that every now and then, we need to get out there and try something new to keep our brain fresh and also make sure that stay versatile. So with that said, shut up and screw up! I sure did today!

Show us what you did to celebrate World Pinhole Day in the comments below. If you’ve got a Flickr account, feel free to embed them in the comments. And also remember that we’ve got a contest going on using our Flickr group.

Three of You Will Win a Free Bokeh Master’s Kit


Photo by GServo

It’s contest time again! This time, we want to see that creamy bokeh goodness in your photos! To enter, you can submit as many photos as you want showing off that bokeh to The Phoblographer’s Flickr Group with the tag, “The-Phoblographer-DIY-Photography-Bokeh-Contest” without the quotation marks (and you can click on that to see how to do it correctly). All submissions must be made to The Phoblographer’s Flickr Group. While we’re on the subject, we’d also recommend that you become fans of The Phoblographer and DIYPhotography on Facebook.

The prize? The top three winning entrants will receive a free Bokeh Master’s Kit. If you don’t remember, we reviewed the kit a while back. The contest runs from April 23rd to 12AM Eastern (NYC) April 30th. The winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

This contest is sponsored by They are the creators of a great new eBook and also provided inspiration for our Beauty Dish hack.

Selections From The Rule Of Thirds Weekly Shooting Challenge

As we stated previously, we’ll be featuring photos from The Phoblographer’s Flickr Group in coordination with our weekly shooting challenges. This previous week’s was the Rule of Thirds. Here are some featured images from the group. Hover over the images to see who shot them.

This coming week’s challenge is “Soft light/shadow portraits” Submit your photos to the group with the tag “The-Phoblographer-Soft-Light-Portraits” and your photos may be featured next week. Now here’s the round up from this week.

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Memories: Take Your Megapixels and Throw Them Out the Window

Self Portrait in Lavender

Here on The Phoblographer, we are advisors that try to give our audience the best advice we possibly can. Though we are a mostly gear and technique oriented blog, there is something very special that we don’t teach you and that no amount of schooling in the world will teach you until you pick up your camera, go shoot, and look at the results.

And at this point you’re probably wondering, “Chris, what the hell are you talking about?”

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Come To Our Education Director’s Gallery Opening!

le Printemps Group art show

Hey everyone, just letting you all know that Sander-Martijn, the Phoblographer’s Education Director, has a gallery opening next week on April 20th from 5-7pm. If you’re in NYC, you should really stop on by. You can see more info on the Facebook page for the event or just read the details down below.

Where:  1199SEIU Gallery: 310 West 43rd ST (between 8th and 9th ave, right by Port Authority)

Time: 5pm to 7pm.

What: There will be many artists showing off their work at this opening. However, Sander is showing 8 pieces – 4 each from Spontaneous Combustion and Naiad. Spontaneous combustion is a series of 10 and Naiad is a series of 8. Both are explorations of transforming a woman using only light and time – to fire and water respectfully. Spontaneous combustion was created in 2007 and Naiad in 2010. Both series are on Sander’s site in the art section.

Also note that Sander-Martijn has his own blog, besides the wonderful work that he does here at The Phoblographer.

Cost: FREE!

I myself will be there, so if you want to meet two of the Phoblographer’s staffers, just leave us a comment here and we’ll be happy to say hello.