Quick Review: Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Urban Collapsible Concrete Backdrop

The Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Urban Collapsible Concrete Backdrop have seriously changed my opinion about using backdrops.

This post may sound like an ad, but it genuinely isn’t as I’ve followed FTC laws since the first days of this blog. Instead, it’s just heartfelt praise for pretty much everything about the system (with the exception of folding the damn backdrop back down into a portable configuration). Many photographers probably have some sort of at home studio setup. I know some who use paper and I’ve always instead reached for muslins and canvas. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to go around Etsy to find painter’s canvases that were on the floor to prevent paint from damaging said floor, cashmere blankets, Persian rugs, etc. But with the Manfrotto Magnetic Background Mount and Lastolite Concrete Backdrop, you get a real solution to a problem you never really thought you had simply because we’ve been doing things in a certain way for so long. Backdrops typically need to be thrown over a bar of some sort and then adjusted. But with this combination, you can throw that idea out the window.

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Ken Hermann Documents the “Leftovers” of the Vietnam War

All images by Ken Hermann. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Some of the most poignant stories of conflict were taken during the long and costly Vietnam War. From November 1955 to April 1975 — almost twenty years — photojournalists documented the chaos and destruction that ravaged the region of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. More than four decades later, some explosive remnants of the war still remain scattered and hidden in these parts. It’s the turn of Copenhagen-based photographer Ken Hermann to document the efforts of the men who take care of these lethal leftovers.

The Vietnam War may be long over but its remnants are still injuring and killing hundreds of civilians annually. This was what Ken found out and wanted to tell in his recent documentary project titled, Leftovers from the War. The title is a reference to what he called a “lethal legacy” of unexploded ordnance, or UXO, and landmines that still lie hidden in those areas of conflict.

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FUJIFILM and Magnum Photos Collaborate to Bring Images of HOME

The collaboration brings together 16 Magnum photographers to explore the subject of HOME.

FUJIFILM Corporation and Magnum Photos have partnered for a major collaborative project titled HOME. This venture brings together 16 photographers and will culminate in a ten-city exhibition, a photobook, and series of events. The project is set to come to life through the images of some of the biggest names in photography: Olivia Arthur, Antoine d’Agata, Jonas Bendiksen, Chien-Chi Chang, Thomas Dworzak, Elliott Erwitt, David Alan Harvey, Hiroji Kubota, Alex Majoli, Trent Parke, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Mark Power, Moises Saman, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth, and Alex Webb.

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This Zoom-Nikkor Lens was Once the Longest-Reaching in 35mm Photography

This impressive manual focus Zoom-Nikkor Lens was the longest-reaching super telephoto zoom lens for 35mm photography until 1990. 

Looking for a noteworthy zoom lens to add to your collection of vintage gear? If you do a lot of wildlife or sports photography, you might want to keep an eye out for this rare 360-1200mm f/11 AI-S ED Zoom-Nikkor lens on ebay. A listing of this lens priced it at US $29,998, but there’s a good reason behind this. With the help of extensive information from mir.com.my, we can piece together the history of this impressive Nikon lens.

The 360 – 1200mm f/11 was hailed as the world’s longest-reaching true telephoto zoom lens before the massive Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm f5.6~8s P ED-IF was introduced. It was remarkable for having the advantages of a modern zoom lens and powerful magnification of an ultra-telephoto lens in a relatively compact, fast-handling package.

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The New TetherTools TetherPro USB-C Cables Promise to Make Your Shoots Easier

Tether Tools aim to make tethered photography more streamlined with their new TetherPro USB-C cables.

Tether Tools, a provider of workstation solutions for photographers, has recently announced adding a line of TetherPro USB-C Cables to their cable products. With tethered photography now a big part of many photographers’ process, these cables promise to improve the experience beyond the limits of dongles, hubs, and inadequate connections. Whether you’re thinking of shifting to a tethered workflow or improving your existing setup, this new cable line could be interesting to you.

This line of TetherPro USB-C Cables is comprised of USB-C to USB-C cables, and USB-C to USB-A cables for use with USB-C cameras such as Hasselblad H6, Fujifilm X Series, Panasonic GH5, and Sony a7R III. There are also TetherPro USB-C cables available for photographers who have cameras with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports but have upgraded to USB-C computers. Want to extend your existing USB cables to a USB-C computer port? Simply use the 15-foot USB-C to USB-A Adapter to join them together. The TetherPro USB-C to USB-C Cable also comes in lengths of up to 15 feet.

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Review: Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary (Sony E Mount)

The Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary is one of the best APS-C lenses the company has produced.

When testing the Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens, I realized that in many ways it’s a perfect lens for photographers who use Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras. It’s around a 24mm f1.8 field of view when shooting wide open, and can suit the needs of many photographers due to its versatility. Of course I’m talking about the focal length and how good it can be as a walkabout lens, but I’m also speaking to the autofocusing abilities, pure image quality, and the little bit of weather sealing the Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary boasts. The f1.4 aperture gives it the ability to shoot in very low light and also get beautiful bokeh when photographing people or things. As I found out with the Sony a6000, it’s also pretty solid for video.

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Capture One 11.01 Brings Fujifilm X-E3 Support and Lots of Bug Fixes

If you process with Capture One then there is a new update on the table for you, and we recommend updating right away.

Phase One has just updated their RAW processing software Capture One to version 11.01 which adds support for the Fujifilm X-E3 as well as support for eight new lenses from Olympus and Leica. Beyond that, the update was focused on fixing a lot of the bugs users had experienced since updating to the major update release of version 11.0. Continue reading…

Review: Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR (Fujifilm GF)

With the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR, many photographers who love primes could have a favorite lens.

When Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR, I was incredibly excited. While most folks would think of this lens and something closer to the normal range, one needs to remember that this is medium format. It’s something closer to my beloved 35mm field of view. In the older days of medium format, lots of photographers reached for primes like this. With modern Fujifilm’s glass, coatings, and designs you can be sure the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR is quite a performer. This is a lens that will easily find its way in the hands of professional photographers. Then you consider the weather sealing, the 35mm f2 equivalency with the compression of a 45mm lens, the feel, the relatively small size, and the overall lightweight system that the Fujifilm GFX is and you get yourself a fantastic option.

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