This past week my mom celebrated her 55th birthday and her friend decided to throw a small surprise party (happy birthday mom!). The party started at 7pm so I figured what better lens to bring than the light devouring Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/1.4 ZE.
As a proud owner of the Olympus EP-2 (E-P2, or EP2) and after having the Olympus EP-3 (also called the Olympus Pen, EP3, and E-P3) in my hands for a while, one wonders if it’s worth the upgrade. Sure, the Olympus EP-3 does much to make it stand out from its predecessor. However, some features may not be notable enough to current EP-2 owners. So is it really worth the upgrade?
When I’m testing a product for The Phoblographer, I like to take at least a day or two to familiarize myself with the product before I really start shooting. I guess you could equate it to test driving a car. You want to make sure you know how everything works before you make any decisions. In this post I’ll be sharing some photos and my thoughts after using the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/1.4 ZE for a few days.
I’d never thought that I’d go so far as to write a posting like this, and even as I type this I’m absolutely terrified of the reaction that I may get. However, I’m a believer in karma, and I’ve only tried to do good in my life. I have no right typing any of this, but I’ve been proven time and time again that nothing comes unless you try or ask.
There comes a point in every siteowners life where they do something like this. I’ve seen lots of my competitors, friends, and acquaintances do this.
I’ve been the owner of this site for around a year and a half now, and I’ve seen it sprout from a small blog that followed #MusicMonday twitter trends to pull in traffic with concert photography, to what will soon turn into a full site and resource. I’ve faced challenges along the way though: the staff has evolved (though many of the former writers are still good friends of mine), monthly site fees, The Phoblographer suffered from a DDoS attack at a moment of extremely good potential (our Fuji X100 review), ideas run dry sometimes, we look for products that we haven’t reviewed, Google changed their pageranking system which forced siteowners to rethink their strategies, I’ve dealt with another attack from the outside, and I’ve been the constant friend to staffers and former staffers as they go through hard times in life.
What has hurt the most though is seeing our revenue dwindle. I’m in no position to ask anyone for resources, and even when commentors are so grateful for the kind and friendly nature that I help them with, I respectfully decline their offers of donations to the site. As it stands at the moment, I will not take donations—I’ve always believed in providing free content to our readers and having all of said content live on the web.
So what can you do to help us?
For starters, the site makes its money through affiliate sales. More specifically, it’s also how staffers are paid. For example, if Mike writes a posting, he uses his own unique affiliate links and codes to Amazon and B&H. If he helped you, you liked the posting, or you connect with him, you can support him by clicking said links in the postings and making a purchase. If he links to a 5D Mk II, you don’t have to purchase a 5D Mk II. If you simply click the link and then peruse the site to go purchase baby food, CDs, books, video games or anything, Mike will receive a commission on that item at no extra cost to you.
The same applies for Sander-Martijn, the site’s Education Director.
And the same also applies for me. As the one who runs this site on a day to day basis and manages the entire operation, clicking the banners on the sides also helps me out.
But even if you’re not purchasing anything, there are other ways to help us. You can comment more, tell us what you want to read about, click the social media (Facebook Like, tweet, stumble, etc.) buttons.
But most importantly, you can keep coming back. I’ve worked hard to build relationships with readers, and I recognize many of you when you comment.
I’ve only had good intentions, and my only intention is to keep having good intentions.
But all I ask for is help.
And even more, I ask for your forgiveness as I apologize for having to write this posting.
Now, I hit the publish button in WordPress, only hoping that all I’ve given you is my best.
Editor in Chief
Going away this summer for a little while? Depending on where you’re going or what you’re shooting, there are specific little items that can make taking photos much simpler for you. Whether you’re traveling to the tropical climates, the frigid cold, perusing another suburb, or venturing in the big city, you’ll encounter slight problems. Here are a couple of items to help make taking pictures easier for you.
Not long ago, my co-worker Matt and I needed to get all dressed up for a wedding video shoot. We’re both the early birds of our departments, and I asked him if I could do a quick couple of portraits with him using the Rokinon 85mm F/1.4. He said go for it. It was around 8:30AM in the morning and the sunlight was very diffused. Previously, we’ve seen that the Rokinon has presented some challenges for me due to the manual focusing. So was it any better this time around?
CORRECTION: ALL ARE OPEN FOR PRE-ORDER
Awesome news: the Olympus EP3 will be available for pre-order from B&H. You can get yours here:
But be sure to also check out:
You can check out our full review here
With today’s announcement of the Olympus EP-3, EPL-3 and Pen Mini, many of you may be trying to figure out which one is right for you. Also, you may not even totally understand what’s new about these cameras and what the differences are from the predecessors. Here’s your guide to getting through all the data.
The Olympus EP-3 (or E-P3 or EP3) has been in my hands for a little bit over a week now thanks to the kind folks over at Olympus. They also sent over the gorgeous new 12mm F/2 (or 12mm F2) lens for review with the camera as well as the new kit lens. This review will not be the special field review that we do with many postings in a journalistic fashion, but instead it will be one super long and thorough review. With a list of defining new features to separate it from the predecessors and other cameras announced, does the EP-3 have what it takes to become a hit?
Recently the generous folks over at Olympus camera sent me an Olympus EP-2 to test out for street photography. As you guys may know, Micro 4/3rds are quite the rage as of late, with their ability to have a small form factor while taking high-quality images that almost rival that of a DSLR. I remember when the original Olympus EP-1 came out, there was the biggest ruckus on the web. Although I never was able to shoot with one, it seemed like a very ideal camera for street photography. With a sexy old-school look that won’t make people stop in their tracks when shooting street photography, I hoped it performed as well as it looked. So is the Olympus EP-2 an ideal camera for street photography? Well, continue reading and find out.
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.
A couple of weeks back, I helped my friend a co-worker Jason Geller with a test and shooting with the Hasselblad H4D-40. When using it, I mostly stuck with the 80mm F/2.8 lens that the camera can be bundled with. Now, 40MP and Medium format is usually above what I’d shoot with (I’m at most a full frame guy and own a Canon 5D Mk II) but I decided to give it a try. I came back floored by the results—especially when I let my creative side (both the dark and the fun) come out to play.
Lomography recently announced the La Sardina camera, and upon going to their launch party, I bought one. It’s a gorgeous camera for the price—and that was very much so a problem to me. With that in mind, I decided to workaround some of the problems that the camera presents. Despite this, I am very well aware of the Lomography way: which is essentially to just shoot and be happy with your results. Years of being screamed at by a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalism professor and experience in the field have taught me to make the best of a situation and to also get through problems that you may encounter. So here’s how I’m getting through mine with this beautifully flawed camera.
Zeiss products have always interested me. How does a company that produces manual focus (along with some AF) lenses survive in today’s world of bigger, better, faster? Most major camera companies manufacture lenses that can focus in a split second while producing stunning results. So why would I ever want to buy a lens that costs more and takes even longer to focus than Canon’s 35mm F/1.4L? Honestly, I don’t know but thousands of people do every year when they purchase a Zeiss lens. There has to be something special about these lenses. So what is it? I intend to find out by testing the Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm F/1.4 ZE.
I used to work in downtown Boston a few years back and I rarely ever took my camera with me because it didn’t fit into my “work bag”. I could have added a camera insert to the bag but it would have made it awkward to carry and I would have had to remove some other important items, like my lunch. The other option would have been to use a camera bag as my work bag but, along with being big and bulky, camera bags do not excel at carrying my day-to-day items. Also, big and bulky bags make you unpopular very quickly on crowded subway cars. So what bag do you use if work/school (laptop, phone, notebook, documents, lunch, etc.) is your focus but you also want to bring along your DSLR? Methinks you should grab one of the new Lowepro ComuDay bags.
Like most photographers, I have enough bags to make any Vogue reading 20 something jealous, but I have yet to find a bag that truly fit my needs. Too big, too small, too padded, not padded enough, looks too much like a camera bag, ugly. The list of things that i can find fault with is long. Until I received my Think Tank Retrospective 30. When it comes to products, gadgets, and toys related to photography, I am generally very quick to find fault. Not today.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest posting from Joseph W Carey
Her name is Mary-Jane: and she is my beloved Olympus EP-2. I’ve compared it against the Fuji X100 before, and many people couldn’t tell the difference between the two cameras’ image quality. But beyond the image quality, there are many reasons why one would want to consider other cameras over the Fuji X100. Now don’t get me wrong, I gave the X100 a very good review and it is indeed a well loved camera, but in the end we must not only remember that it’s the photographer that takes the images but also that some tools are easier to work with than others.
Summer is here, and we’re all feeling the heat. Whether you’re a digital or film photographer, your gear is bound to get hot too. If your gear overheats, problems could be abound: so here are some quick tips on how to keep it all nice and cool.