Review: Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L (Don’t Call it a Fanny Pack)

Though it can be used as a fanny pack, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L is much more versatile.

When the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L came in for review, I was almost put off by it. You see, the Peak Design Messenger bag left a very bad taste in my mouth because of how little thought was put into making it both versatile and comfortable at the same time. But after a few emails between the Peak Design team and I, I learned that the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L is perhaps one of the best bags for a photographer who wants to carry a minimal kit for a day out. If you’re a biker in a big city and you don’t want to feel as if you’re carrying the equivalent of a small person, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L will ensure that doesn’t happen. It’s small and so it really only houses a camera with a lens (and perhaps an extra lens), along with small pockets for a bit more stuff. I often bring it out when I’m shooting film. But one of the absolute best things about it is that it doesn’t look like a camera bag at all.

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Review: 4VDesign LUSSO LARGE TOP Camera Strap (Super Comfortable)

The 4VDesign LUSSO LARGE TOP camera strap is designed for big DSLR cameras. Unlike the company’s Lusso Slim, it’s also, well, large. The strap, which will find a great home with photographers who use medium format film cameras and DSLRs alike, is designed to harbor a lot of weight accordingly. Part of this is due to its very large shoulder pad, but the other part is due to its beautiful yet durable construction. The Italian leather straps are handmade in Italy, but they’ve also got quite a bit of canvas integrated into the design. And of any strap that I’ve used for DSLRs recently, this strap has some of the best construction I’ve seen.

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The Meyer Optik Primoplan 75mm f1.9 Can Cover Fujifilm’s GFX 50S’ Sensor

With the new Meyer Optik Primoplan 75mm f1.9, you’ll get bokehlicious portraits

Just in time for the holidays, we’re getting a brand new lens announcement in the form of the Meyer Optik Primoplan 75mm f1.9. This new lens is a revamped and improved version the company is creating for $629 to the backers of their IndieGoGo project. The lens will be able to focus down to 1.8 feet away, which is very good for a lens like this. It’s also bound to be manual focus, have a metal exterior, and best of all–it can cover Fujifilm GFX 50S and Hasselblad X1D sensors. Essentially that means it will have more or less a normal field of view, while with full frame 35mm sensors it will be more telephoto.

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The Canon AE-1: The SLR That Helped Make Photography Simple

“The surprisingly affordable Canon AE-1: so advanced it’s simple.” that was the slogan behind an American commercial featuring the now well known Canon AE-1 SLR camera. It was such a hit because of the features that it offered, the automatic program exposure, and the variety of lenses available offered at a very affordable price point. When it launched in 1976, it cost $250–which was 40% more affordable than cameras from other companies at the time according to “Canon Historical Sketch: 1937-2007“.

While the Canon AE-1 was quite the successful product, it’s development was at one point halted. In 1975, a net loss from problems related to Canon’s calculators resulted in a major slowdown of its release. Yes; for those of you who don’t know, Canon makes calculators.

In April of 2016, the Canon AE-1 will be turning 40 years old. In those 40 years, it’s had quite a history.

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Comparison: Canon 35mm f1.4 L II vs Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 35mm f1.4 L II vs Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art Product photos (2 of 7)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.0

Go back to 2012: Sigma announced a brand new 35mm lens that would help to launch the company’s new Global Vision program. That Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens would go on to win award after award after award and make Canon’s then aging 35mm f1.4 L look seriously antiquated. Since then, Canon has had three years to respond; but in truth they had almost 20 years to put out a new version.

Earlier this year, we got that response. The company put out their 35mm f1.4 L II: an update to the previous lens that includes new optical coatings, weather sealing, and a new exterior.

But how do the two stand up next to each other?

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The New Fujifilm 16mm f1.4 is Fujifilm’s First Weather Sealed Prime Lens

XF16mm_Front Upper View


Fujifilm is announcing their new 16mm f1.4 lens today; and it’s quite the shocker. For starters, the Fujifilm 16mm f1.4 is the company’s first weather sealed prime lens–which we’ve been waiting for for a while now. This 24mm equivalent lens is not only weather sealed, but features the push/pull focusing ring for quick access to manual focusing mode and a working depth of field scale.

The new Fujifilm 16mm f1.4 R WR can focus as closely as 6 inches, the newest auto focusing motors which the company claims allow it to focus within 0.11 seconds and can work in temperatures down to 14°F. As far as construction goes, the new lens has 13 elements in 11 groups, including two aspherical lens elements to control spherical aberration and distortion, and 2 ED glass lens elements to reduce lateral and axial chromatic aberration. The elements also have a nano-GI coating that reduces ghosting.

Best of all, it is said to have nine aperture blades–which also means that even though this is a very wide angle lens, it should have really nice bokeh at the right distance and aperture setting.

The FUJINON XF16mmF1.4 R WR will be available in May 2015 for USD $999.95 and CAD $1149.99.

Review: Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus (Nikon F)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus product photos (5 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

“Do whatever you need to,” was the response given to me by the other editors of the Phoblographer when asking about budget for the review of the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens. When we were calling it for review, it was also decided that I’d handle it–afterall, this is probably the single most important lens that anyone has created this year (with Sigma’s 18-35mm f1.8 being a close contender.) Then you add in the fact that we only had this lens for 10 days (we usually test a lens for an entire month before publishing a review) and you’ve got one of the most challenging reviews that we’ve ever done.

When Zeiss created this lens, they decided that it shouldn’t have a single compromise on the image quality. It was also designed for high megapixel DSLRs. The image quality is reflected in the price tag–which is just under $4,000. Indeed, it isn’t a lens that we believe everyone will go out and buy.

And while our thoughts on the lens are overwhelmingly positive, we encountered a couple of situational problems that made the lens’s functionality somewhat tough at times.

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First Impressions: Panasonic GM1

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GM1 first impressions Photo Plus Expo 2013 (7 of 7)ISO 64001-40 sec at f - 2.5

When the rumors of the Panasonic GM1 first emerged and talked about the camera being smaller than Pentax’s Q series, we laughed and thought that it really couldn’t be possible. Then when it was announced, our jaws dropped. Panasonic not only managed to create a camera smaller than the Q, but they also packed a larger sensor into it while making the build quality absolutely freakin’ spectacular.

Though I’m not very much a fan of small and cutesy cameras, the GM1 isn’t cutesy. In fact, it’s still very much so a serious snapper in a size almost comparable to some point and shoot cameras.

At a Panasonic party during Photo Plus Expo 2013, we had the chance to play with the GM1 for just a little bit.

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Build Your Own 3D Printed Camera


There are some cameras that are being made via Kickstarter using 3D printing, and then there are those that you can build all by yourself. In this case, Instructables has a tutorial on the latter. Specifically, it allows you to construct an SLR with a full film advance. It’s called the OpenReflex, and shoots at a constant 1/60th shutter speed. Sound familiar? Lomography’s cameras often shoot at a single shutter speed with the exception of bulb mode and those that purposely allow for more manual controls.

When looking at this camera, I couldn’t help but think of the Konstruktor which was just released. One big difference though is that it is compatible with any lens–or so they claim.

Check it out for some of your very own DIY fun and hacks.

Via Instuctables

Olympus’s New EP5 Is Lip-Bitingly Sexy

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EP5 images (5 of 8)

Today, Olympus is announcing the brand new EP5 that has been highly rumored for a while. It’s been quite some time since the flagship Pen camera received an update but that update was well worth the wait. First off the camera has the same sensor as the OMD EM5 but boasts a couple of differences that in some ways make it better than the OMD. The focusing is faster, it sports focus peaking for manual focus users, and has Wifi built in for starters. But otherwise, it has an aluminum body, no weather sealing, a flip up LCD screen with barely any external screws to the entire build, and an interesting new design layout.

Tech Specs and more images are after the jump. But also be sure to check out our first impressions and our comparison to the Olympus OMD EM5.

Editor’s Note: The EP5 is available body only for $999.99 in black, silver and white or with the 17mm f1.8 and new VF-4 viewfinder for $1,449.00 in black or silver.

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