On the Myth of the Leica Photographer Who Doesn’t Have a Ton of Money

Despite how folks like to jeer at Leica photographers on the web, you don’t have to be rich to own one.

I bought my first Leica camera when I was in college, and I wasn’t rich. I then sold it because I needed the money, and only in my 30s did I really start buying into their cameras again. But, I’m not rich. I purchased used cameras. I bought film cameras. I bought third party lenses. The system is easy to get into if you just go third party or used sometimes. Sure, there’s the idea and the pride with having the Leica badge on your camera. But if you’re passionate about the cameras and photography, then the badge won’t mean a thing to you. Why you’d buy a Leica in the first place isn’t all about the tech, it’s all about you.

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Edit Images Like a Pro with These Excellent Brushes and Presets

Take your photo editing game up a notch by using these top-drawer brushes and presets.

Brushes and presets. You’ve seen them all before, right? What if we told you that what we are sharing today aren’t just any old brushes and presets: they’re from the best in the business. Get great deals on presets like this Lightroom bundle from Kelvin Pimont, which is just $27 ($395 regularly). Kelvin’s package of LR brushes is a steal at only $19. The outstanding One Light Masterclass from world-renowned photographer and lighting master, Joel Grimes, is just $57 (regularly $197), and his world-class Lightroom beauty brushes are only $27! Get this fantastic free photo composite course from Rikard Rodin, too, and his Rikard’s bundle of dramatic atmosphere brushes is just $27 (88% discount) ! Trust us; they will really make your images stand out! Chris Orwig’s Black and White Masterclass, which is only $19, will have you creating gorgeous photos in no time! To see all the photo editing deals, head past the break.

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The Bokeh From This $59,000 Vintage 102mm f1.9 is Stunning!

The Dallmeyer Super-Six 102mm f1.9 can’t really be found very affordably on eBay.

We’re betting that most of you haven’t heard of the Dallmeyer Super-Six 102mm f1.9. We’ve talked about it before, though, and have seen a few crazy mods for it. But this rare one is for Sony E mount. Better yet, it has full-frame coverage. So if you adore vintage glass, then get your wallet ready. Actually, get the money bags out–because you’ll need them. This particular Dallmeyer Super-Six 102mm f1.9 lens is going for a cool $59,000. With bokeh like this, you don’t need a college education, rent, a car, vegetables, or house renovations. All you need is to fall in love with dem buttery smooth tones.

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Your Camera Sucks. Your Lenses Suck. But How Is Your Creative Vision?

Creative vision outdoes the best camera gear any day of the week.

I’m writing this blog post fully admitting that I haven’t done a truly creative project or even image in a little while. It’s been well over two years since I’ve given myself a project and a few months since I created an image. When I say create, I don’t mean document. I don’t mean put a light in front of a model and just shoot. I mean full set creation, manually controlling every aspect of the scene, an original idea, etc. What I’ve known for many years is that new cameras don’t make you a better photographer. They help you do new things that you couldn’t do before if you use certain features, but at the end of it all, you’re the one who creates the images. And a solid creative can shoot sports with a pinhole camera in a very unique way that only they can do.

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Opinion: Clarity Is the Feature Every Camera Needs

Clarity adjustment should be included with every single camera release from now on.

When the Fujifilm X Pro 3 launched and added clarity adjustment, I was incredibly thrilled. Even better: it seemed to add my changes to the RAW files. “Why doesn’t everyone do this,” I wondered to myself. And then, more and more, I started to see camera manufacturers add the feature. But I think everyone needs it at this point. With so much of a heavy emphasis these days on the post-production aspect, there is a vast need to differentiate between a photographer and a photo editor. A photographer, does most of the work in-camera. But, a photo editor does most of the work in post-production, and that’s created a culture of merely just fixing images in post-production. By adding clarity to a camera’s functionality, a photographer can focus on shooting and continue shooting rather than spending more time in post-production. I think that’s huge.

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Looking for a Good Photography Documentary? Check These Out!

If you want a solid photography documentary, check what we’ve got below!

If you’re passionate about photography, then it’s likely your interest goes beyond the practical aspect of the craft. Your love leads you to consume: other photographs, photo books, tutorials, and the like. A well-made photography documentary is popular with budding photographers and seasoned pros. Thanks YouTube, there are plenty of photo docs you can invest your time in, and gain inspiration and education along the way. Let’s take a look.

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The 10 Most Popular Traditional Digital Cameras According to Flickr

When it comes to traditional digital cameras out in the real world, the DSLR is still king, according to Flickr.

Flickr has seen a little bit of a resurgence of late. The once struggling photo-sharing platform has turned into a buzzing community again. After a quick look at my own Flickr account, I decided to dive deep into the website’s metrics to see what the most popular traditional digital cameras are, according to Flickr’s data. It’s no surprise that DSLRs are still king; after all, there are so many of them out there. Still, Mirrorless cameras aren’t far behind. After the break, we’ll show you the ten most used traditional digital cameras based on figures from Flickr.

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Sony vs Sigma Comparison: Battle of the 85mm F1.4 Lenses

It’s Sony vs Sigma as the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art and the Sony 85mm f1.4 G Master duke it out!

The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art competes directly with Sony’s well-received 85mm f1.4 G Master. Both lenses share an identical focal length and maximum constant aperture. There are other similarities, too: they boast an 11-bladed circular aperture, weather sealing, a customizable focus hold button, a de-clickable aperture ring, and a dedicated focus mode switch. The Sigma even includes an aperture ring lock that the Sony lacks, and costs a fraction of what the G Master does. Did Sigma have to cut any corners to achieve the lower price point? Let’s put these two 85mm portrait lenses head to head and find out in the battle of Sony vs Sigma!

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One Big Problem. Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art Review

The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art is a nearly perfect portrait lens for photographers shooting E or L Mount mirrorless cameras.

Portrait shooters are in for a treat with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art. It’s the spiritual successor to Sigma’s much-loved, mammoth 85mm f1.4 DG HSM Art. Designed initially for DSLRs, Sigma eventually released it for E and L Mounts, but its performance on mirrorless cameras is lackluster. The new Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art is designed for mirrorless cameras. It aims to address both the size and performance issues that plagued its predecessor. We reviewed the E Mount version of the lens, but it’s available for L Mount too.

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Sani/Nation: The Surreal Grief and Loneliness of Quarantine

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers share how they created an image with lighting and minimal use of post-production. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching how to light. Want to be featured? Here’s how to submit.

“I’ve never before included so much practice and rehearsal time for a series’ images,” Christine Ren tells us. We’ve featured her work many times on this site, and it’s always dazzling. “Justin and I spent at least 2-3 sessions of practice shooting at different times of day and with different lighting setups before we layered in sets, props and I brought Sammy in for her and me to rehearse together. All of that incremental prep I think also really shows in the final shots.” The collaboration between Sammy, Christine, and Justin is a result of quarantine. When you’re stuck inside, you tend to become creative. And arguably, we’re in a golden age of creativity right now. At least Christine’s series, Sani/Nation, is big evidence of that.

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Cheap Photo: Don’t Miss These Big Savings On Olympus Lenses

If you shoot with either Panasonic or Olympus M4/3 cameras, you might want to pick up these discounted Olympus lenses.

If you own M4/3 cameras and want some new glass on the cheap, you’re in the right place. There are some fantastic deals on Olympus lenses, including some Pro glass. We have found deals on the Olympus 8mm f1.8 Fisheye Pro, which has dropped to $899. The 12-40mm f2.8 Pro is just $849, and the excellent 40-150mm f2.8 Pro is only $1,349! Looking for even cheaper deals? Pick up the 17mm f1.8 for just $399, the 25mm f1.8 for only $299, and the Olympus 9-18mm f4-5.6 for just $549! Both Olympus teleconverters are also on sale. The 1.4x has dropped to $299, and the 2x teleconverter is now only $379! Join us after the break to see all of the deals on Olympus lenses.

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Polaroid Hopes the Force Is with the New Mandalorian™ Polaroid Now

The Mandalorian™ Polaroid Now camera will be joined by child themed instant i-Type color film too.

Ah, Star Wars. The epic space franchise that keeps on giving will be making waves again this Fall. The second season of The Mandalorian™ will be hitting TV’s around the country in late October. As you might expect, themed merchandise will be flooding shelves at the same time our new favorite Star Wars characters make their return. Polaroid (do you remember them?) has decided to get in on the themed gear action with a new Mandalorian™ Polaroid Now. This release will surely delight all who feel the force flowing through them. Join us after the break for all the details about this themed instant camera and some new child inspired film.

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Explore Your City: Samyang 18mm F2.8 Lens Review

With the Samyang 18mm f2.8, photographers can get unique image quality at an affordable price.

My intro to our review of the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is the last section I’m writing. It’s possibly because I don’t really know how to start it. Why? Well, the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is sort of a one trick pony. It delivers solid image quality on the Sony a7r III. The colors and the contrast are lovely. Couple that with the amazingly low price point and you’ve got everything the Samyang 18mm f2.8 embodies. Yet, if you want the best autofocus performance out of it, you need to buy the Samyang dock. Further, it lacks weather sealing, and that limits you from shooting in the rain (which is honestly one of the best things you could do). So for what it is, the Samyang 18mm f2.8 is pretty decent, but I wouldn’t spring for it.

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How the CIA Made a Checklist on Photographing UFO Sightings

Declassified is an original Phoblographer series that digs deep into historical documents to examine how the government used photography.

In the late 1950s, an anonymous man explored space from his backyard using his telescope. Just like many of you, he was fascinated by what’s out there. And what he found intrigued the CIA. Some probably thought that he was crazy. But a report details the high-resolution photography and emulsions he was using to get the photos. Strange objects were appearing not far from the moon. The CIA received things like this all the time, but the outstanding, high-resolution images this man shot began a vintage X-Files series of investigations. It concerned them enough that they started studies almost 62 years ago.

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Under $600: 8 Portrait Photography Lenses for Mirrorless That Amaze

These portrait photography lenses are well built, sharp, render colors beautifully, and are wallet-friendly.

It’s truly incredible just how far lens technology has come over the last few years. Buying high-quality lenses for under $600 used to be unheard of. Now, you can get stellar lenses for around that price and much less. If you’re an aspiring portrait photographer, you should take a closer look at these six, affordable, portrait photography lenses. When we tested and reviewed them, we were blown away, and we’re sure you will be too.

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Why Do You Think Camera Manufacturers Aren’t Truly Innovating?

Camera manufacturers aren’t innovating at the pace they should be.

Camera manufacturers have lost the tech game. They’re not really considered big tech anymore, and they’re not doing anything truly exciting. It’s evident in many ways, but the most evident way is with consumer spending. Most folks have no reason to buy a new camera. Even more folks don’t have reasons to buy an actual camera at all. So why have one? Well, we’re wondering the same thing, and we discussed it on our latest episode of Pro Camera Reviews.

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Photographer Kat Grudko Has a Secret for Better Boudoir Photography

All images by Kat Grudko. Used with permission.

“I think I have to go with a conductor of a small orchestra,” explains photographer Kat Grudko when describing her boudoir photography. “I feel like it is this big thing (in terms of how vulnerable the subject needs to be), but at the same time while I am shooting I am so zoned into every little detail of my subject that nothing else outside of that matters.” Kat is an ambassador for Profoto and is based in South Africa where she mostly shoots lifestyle work. On the side, she shoots boudoir. Ms. Grudko explains that she’s a sensitive person who believes most creatives need to tap into that part of themselves. It lets them create from a deeper and more genuine place. This, combined with the vulnerability on a boudoir shoot, are fascinating to us. So we asked Kat to dive deeper, discuss being an empath, and talk a little bit of the cosmos.

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6 Fixed Lens Cameras That Make Everyday Shooting Easy

If you like to get out of the door quickly and shoot with minimal fuss, these fixed lens cameras will be perfect for you.

Sometimes, the thought of having to load up your camera bag with accessories and lenses so that you can go and shoot can put a stop to your photography plans. This is where small fixed lens cameras can be game-changers. The thought of heading out with a tiny camera and just one lens can be exciting. Using fixed lens cameras can save your body from all the weight of your gear. You’ll also find that you’re forced to be more creative, which is a plus. If you’re in the market for a camera that you can grab quickly and take along everywhere you go with minimum fuss, these fixed lens cameras might be for you. We have listed six of our favorite fixed lens cameras after the break.

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Photographer Evan Baines Studies How to Make a “Good” Military Portrait

All images by Evan Baines. Used with permission. Be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out his website.

“I think the most consistently interesting thing about this project to me is the tension between the individual and the ‘uniform,'” explains photographer Evan Baines. Evan has been shooting military portraits for a long time now. And over the years, he’s had many challenging scenarios. One of the biggest ones is the portrayal of women in uniform. It started out with his infatuation with history, so everything used to be done in black and white. Evan said it helped emphasize medals very well. But then his creative vision and his gear evolved.

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Don’t Be Afraid! Cleaning Your Camera Sensor the Right Way

Cleaning your camera is something every photographer needs to do at least once.

On last week’s episode of Pro Camera Reviews, we showed viewers how to clean their camera sensor. The audience loved it. And lots of folks have never done it before. It’s amazingly simple to do as long as you’re not afraid. You should also exercise a bit of common sensor. Both Brett and Chris use different methods. And we showed two of the biggest ones on the show.

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