Review: Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 (Nikon With Focus Confirm Chip)

The Rokinon 35mm f/1.4 Wide Angle Lens is not your typical lens. Like the Nikon 24mm f1.4 G, which I tested so many moons ago, this is a well-built, wide, prime lens. It is balanced and great at capturing details. The lens handles very well. It is a  manual focus lens, but that’s not a drawback, though. The Rokinon 35mm f1.4 keeps the price nice and low. Rokinon is good for this. We have tested lenses from Rokinon like their 85mm 1.4 and their 24mm f1.4 and they have all been reasonably priced. This is the first time I’ve worked with a lens that was manual focus. Testing this lens on a Nikon D700 and a D90 was a much better experience than I thought it be.

What did I think of this lens? Let’s find out.

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Review: Sony 30mm f3.5 Macro (Sony E Mount NEX)

Sony’s 30mm f3.5 Macro lens for their NEX camera system is a bit of an odd man out. It isn’t the most popular lens or the one talked about the most vs their 24mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.8 (both very positively reviewed here on the Phoblographer.) But when the NEX 7 came in for review, I asked Sony to test it out.

Not only did I test it by itself, but I also used Kenko’s latest adapters with the lens. Rendering a near 50mm equivalent field of view, this is also the NEX system’s slowest prime lens with a weird lens hood.

But does it really deserve to be treated like an odd duckling?

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Review: Vanguard Heralder 38 Camera Bag

Vanguard isn’t as well known in the photo industry as the likes of Think Tank, ONA, Domke, Lowepro and others; but the tripod manufacturer does indeed make camera bags as well. Around Photo Plus of last year, they showcased their new Heralder camera bag: a case targeted at the urban warrior type of photographer (and a perfect candidate for most of The Phoblographer’s staff.) The Heralder 38 camera bag is at the top of their food chain, but is it good enough for you?

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Making the Most of Window Lighting for Your Photography

I do not know what it is like for other photographers but natural light from windows is very appealing. Photographically, it can be your best friend. This type of light can be used to minimize your mobile kit, especially when it comes to food photography. Natural light from a window can also give still life and product shots an interesting look. If you are photo walking and want to get some quick food and coffee shots, a window can be a great tool that will, mostly, be there for you when you need it.

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Useful Photography Tip #8: Give the Bride and Groom a Moment to Breathe

Wedding couple 2
wedding couple

wedding couple

Let me first admit that I’m not a wedding photographer. I’ve photographed a grand total of four weddings. However I have learned a few things in the ones I’ve done. If you’re a full time wedding photographer perhaps this tip sounds obvious, but if you’re not and find yourself shooting one, this might be something you wouldn’t think about.

Remember your telephoto lens – If there’s one thing that’s true for practically any wedding, it’s that the bride and groom don’t really get any time just for them. The whole day is packed with things to do, people to talk to, food to eat, dancing to do. Many couples will later admit they barely remember the day and that kind of sucks. What I do is ask them for a bit of time, often between the ceremony and the reception. After warding off the hordes of other people with their cameras trying to get the same shots as me, I put the longest lens I own on my camera and  find somewhere where they can be alone for a while. Then get out of the way and wait till they forget there’s a camera 50-100 feet away from them. They’ll appreciate and remember those moments forever while you make sure they do with the intimate, personal and unposed shots you’ll be able to capture.

Wedding couple 2

Wedding couple 2

If like me you don’t use a telephoto lens in your normal photography often enough to invest in one, this is a good time to pull out the Tamron 18-270mm (available for Canon and Nikon). Read our full review here. Lastly, also take a look at our Ultimate Wedding Photography Checklist.

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Shooting Occupy Wall St With Micro Four Thirds: Tips on the Documentary Style

One of the members of Anonymous wears her mask backwards during preparation

We’re written a lot about street photography and documentary photography on the site, but one of the biggest issues that we haven’t covered are protests. Here in New York City, a movement called Occupy Wall St is currently underway—protesting corporate greed and corruption by having members and supporters camp outside of Wall St. At the time of writing this story, the general mainstream media hasn’t covered it yet; but it did make the front page of the New York Times.

Photos of protestors and photographers alike being thrown down and arrested are around the web. However, not many people are showing another side of the story. To avoid being arrested, I shot with a Micro Four Thirds camera that didn’t look professional.

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Review: Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro

I have a deep passion for macro photography. When I got into DSLR photography, I bought the 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro to multitask as my zoom and my macro lens. Lately though, I wanted a more specialized lens for macro photography. With the 70-300mm I have to zoom lens all the to the widest focal length, then switch to macro mode, etc. With the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro, I don’t have to do that. This is why I chose to test it out. So does it make the cut for my photography?

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Lens Therapy: Nikon DX Lenses Under $300

A lot of Nikon photographers think they need to spend thousands, on lenses, to take great photos. They read all the information available and think they know the best of the best. However, they cannot always afford these lenses. Some even let this hold them back. They can though, save money or think differently, especially if they are Nikon DX(D7000 , D3100, D300s)  shooters. There are lenses available, under $300 USD respectively. These lenses will allow them to shoot most styles of photography, and do it well. It’s not always the gear, its person behind it.

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Field Review: Lomography DianaF+ 38mm & 20mm Fisheye Lenses with Nikon F Mount

Ever since I learned about them, and Chris Gampat got his hands on them, I wanted to test the Diana F+ lenses out. There was something interesting about going lo-fi with things—the idea of mixing up the everyday rotation and doing something a little different is attractive. These lenses are meant for The Diana F+ Camera, but Lomography came out with a nifty F Mount so that you could use them on your Nikon cameras.

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The Best Lenses for Sony Alpha Mount DSLRs Under $300

Sony a58

Sony a58

Though they’re not as much of a household name as Canon or Nikon, Sony has become a formidable force in the world of digital photography. Consult our reviews index for lots of our Sony reviews. But we know that any camera is nothing without the lens. Following the tradition of our Best Budget Lenses list, we’ve got a specialized index of some of the best Sony lenses under $300. So which ones make the cut?

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The Answer to Focusing Problems May Lie in the Past

No matter how great your camera’s focusing is, there is always something better that will come out. This has been the mantra of technology for years: however, in the digital age of photography, many companies are looking back to the past for ideas. And indeed, the past is repeating itself—translucent mirror cameras, the rise of rangefinder-type cameras, taking film models and simply making them digital, etc. With that in mind, you should consider two focusing systems that I’ve recently experienced myself that absolutely floored me.

However, they also left me scratching my head and wondering why we’re not using them right now.

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Long Term Review: Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS Lens

Every photographer has a go-to lens that helps them to accomplish their daily tasks. What’s yours? Mine was (and in some ways still is) the Canon 24-105mm F/4 L IS. It has been by my side through paparazzo work, weddings, portraits, events, sports, and it has even been my casual walkaround lens. Used on the many cameras that have passed through my hands during reviews, it has been a mainstay on either my Canon 7D or 5D Mk II: always remaining ready to be used in an instant.

This long term review will cover the two years I’ve spent using this lens and will summarize the faults and strengths of this beloved piece of plastic with the heart of glass.

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On Sharing Photos on Flickr

Flickr is a great place to share your photography. We previously had a posting on how to get more page views on Flickr, but I wanted to go into the social media side of things. I am not a fan of Facebook so Flickr is my site of choice for sharing my photography. It’s very difficult for me to imagine not sharing my photography. There is a clear difference between photography for profit and photography for sharing. Continue reading…

The Phoblographer’s Checklist on How to Not Kill Yourself in a Photo Studio

Studio Death
Studio Death

The worst case scenario is someone dies in your studio

There are many dangers when working with studio equipment. Here is a list of some of the more common dangers and what you can do to minimize these risks. In addition to the specific recommendations, almost all of these issues can be avoided simply by taking your time and thinking about what you’re doing—but some of these mistakes can be made by other people around you that are inexperienced in the studio. You have to pay attention to their actions as well. Use common sense, every shoot is different. I include a safety checklist that should be followed every time you are using studio lights and equipment whether in a professional studio, a home studio or on location.

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The Dream Team: The Right Nikon Lens For You

I recently created a B&H Wish list. It was mostly lenses. I am planning on how and what to save my money for. When I was done, the sub total of the list was $14,891.10. I mentally fainted. After putting myself through this, I came to the conclusion this list was mostly lenses I wanted but not needed. Have you ever thought about what lenses are essential to your photography? I’ve been thinking about his a lot recently. As I evolve as photographer and learn, I’ve been developing a lens force, or my team of lenses that I absolutely need.

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The Complete Nikon D3100 Review

This is it, and it looks good, the Nikon D3100. When I had my first hands-on I had hopes for this camera. Nikon did not let me down. If you are looking to buy an entry level DSLR camera, or a low cost one, the Nikon D3100 will be on your list. I have used it thoroughly, and had more fun with the Nikon D3100 than I thought I would. The Nikon D3100 has improved on the D3000, which I did not like. With its size, 11 points of autofocus, 95% viewer coverage, great metering, ISO capabilities and 14 megapixel CMOS DX sensor, it’s a very capable camera .

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What Style of Photography Do You Shoot?

You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again” -Unknown

I do not know where there quote comes from, but it holds true in my photography philosophy. As a perpetual photo student I have been deciding what style of photography I want to be strongest in. While I do not want to dedicate myself to one thing, I do want to be good in a few. I have been researching the various styles of photography. I need an adventure: something beyond food, landscape, and street photography. I have attempted a little Photojournalism and Fashion. In this series, I will be delving into the different styles of photography out there.

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