It’s 2021, and Pixel Peeping Has Ruined the Photo Industry

The ideas behind pixel peeping are creating a culture that’s been prevalent for two decades, and that needs to take a hike.

For the past two decades, photographers have asked the industry to engineer the fun out of lenses and software. It would’ve been one thing if it was just one side of photography doing it, but it was both. First, the manufacturers tried to create more clinical lenses. They’d champion their MTF charts to show how perfect the lenses were. But then Adobe, Capture One, and others did the same. They came up with better colors, Upright, Dehaze, and a lot more. So if your photo wasn’t too clinical to begin with, it could get a second round of plastic surgery in post-production. Further, the entire industry in the past decade has been all about fixing it in post-production. But 20 years have been enough, and it’s time to stop. It started with pixel peeping, and went beyond that.

Continue reading…

Add Drama and Flair to Your Images Easily: Boris FX Optics Review

The Boris FX Optics suite is a powerful, easy-to-use photo editor that puts tons of effects at your fingertips.

There are dozens of photo editing suites on the market right now. Apart from Luminar, which offers AI editing features, the rest are just basic editors that allow you to change exposure values, remove blemishes, crop, and so on. Optics, from Boris FX, is different. While you can indeed make basic changes with Boris FX Optics, this package is more about adding flair and drama to your images through effects such as lightning, shadows, fog, stars, and more. We’ve had a short time to get to play with the Boris FX Optics suite. Is it right for you? Find out in our review.

Continue reading…

Leica, Voigtlander or Zeiss: Answering the Questions You Should Know

Leica, Zeiss, and Voigtlander have long been three companies that really compete with one another.

I’ve been considering writing this article for a long time: I know it’s information that someone will want. In the battle between Zeiss, Leica, and Voigtlander, it can be tough to figure out which is the best option. There are many different parameters, and you can always consider which one is best for you and your needs. Each lens manufacturer makes a variety of options for the market, and each one also makes excellent optics overall. In many circles, they’re seen as overpriced in comparison to the Asian made optics. But after years of testing and owning lenses from all of these brands, I’ll tell you that each of them has something unique to them. The right one for you just depends on your needs.

Continue reading…

Brush up on Your Hasselblad History With This Quick Video

Whether you’re a Hasselblad fan or not, you’ll appreciate the quick lesson on the iconic brand’s history and what makes its optics still one of the most trusted today.

Hasselblad remains one of the best known photography brands today. But apart from the premium price tag, it actually has a pretty colorful history and an outstanding track record in optics. If you’re not yet familiar with it, advertising and fashion photographer and Hasselblad ambassador Karl Taylor makes a brief mention of it in his short video.

Continue reading…

The Travegon 50mm F2.5 is a Quality But Affordable Boutique Lens

The trend of smaller optics companies making boutique lenses through crowdsourcing continues.

It seems like almost every new Kickstarter campaign we become aware of is some sort of new boutique lens with excellent optics, historical significance, and a price tag that makes it a luxury item for most of us. Well, now even other boutique lensmakers have caught onto this, and today we have one such lens, but one that has been specifically designed to be a more affordable option, attainable by anyone. Continue reading…

Lensbaby Announces 46mm Macro Filter Kit to Expand Lens Capabilities

These new creative macro filters will extend the capabilities of your existing Lensbaby optics.

It’s always nice to be able to use something you already have and to get something more out of it, right? Well, Lensbaby is taking a step outside of their usual path and, rather than releasing a new lens for us, they have this new filter kit that will give you some special capabilities with your existing Lensbaby optics. Continue reading…

First Impressions: Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f2 (Sony FE)

If you’ve known anything about Venus Optics and what they’ve been doing for the past couple of years, you’ll know they entered the manual focusing lens world and are promising a zero-distortion 15mm f2 lens to be delivered soon for the Sony full frame E mount. At Photokina 2016, we got a chance to meet with the company to give the lens a bit of a try on the original Sony a7. So far, it seems like they’re holding themselves very closely to their claims.

To be fair, I tested a pre-production unit and our reps tell us that the production version of the lens will be around 30% better.

Continue reading…

The Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f/2 is Bokehlicious


Venus Optics is today announcing a brand new lens for DSLR cameras. It is a 100m f2 lens that is all manual focus and has a metal exterior. With a maximum aperture of f2, it also has 11 elements in 8 groups as well as 8 aperture blades. The imaging circle offers full frame coverage, which works well with Sony A mount, Canon EF, NikonF and Pentax K mounts. However, they’re also making a version for Sony FE mount cameras.

The Venus Optics Laowa 105mm f/2 (as it’s called) can also focus as closely as a little under three feet. It will ship out in May for a price of $699. Sample photos are after the jump.

Continue reading…

The Basics of Photography: O for Optics


Today, we continue our educational series on the Basics of Photography with the letter O for Optics. We already covered a number of topics pertaining to lenses in previous articles, but there is a lot more to optics than meets the eye (pun intended). In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important aspects of optics, and explain some of the most common terms and concepts.

Continue reading…

Moving Beyond Your Kit Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 70D First Impressions product photos (8 of 8)ISO 2001-50 sec at f - 5.6

You’ve bought your first camera  and now you have some good shooting time beneath your belt. You’re waiting to move beyond that kit lens and there is some money burning your pocket, begging to be spent on new glass.

When I’m asked for advice on what a photographer’s next lens should be, my response is usually, “What do you like to shoot?” The answer to this is the best way to determine what the next lens should be. With that in mind, here are my recommendations for the lenses which should follow your kit lens.

Continue reading…

GoPro’s New Hero 3+ Has Some Slight Improvements


The action camera that everyone has always loved has been upgraded today. The GoPro Hero3+ contains some slight improvements over its predecessor, but doesn’t seem to be as jaw dropping as when the original Hero 3 dropped. The 3+ has upgrades in the form of being 20% smaller in the Black Edition, 33% image sharpness according to the company, a new auto-low light mode that will adjust the frame rate (though one of the big rules of videography is that you never touch your frame rate) and 30% better battery life. The company’s silver edition (which isn’t as fancy pants as the black) can shoot 1080p at 60fps, and 720 at 120 fps.

The Hero3+ are available now for pre-order with prices starting at $299 for the Silver, and $399 for the black.

The Phoblographer’s 5 Recommended Lenses for DSLR Street Photography


With street photography, the optimal word when it comes to lenses is “primes”. Fixed focal lengths are the better choice for this particular genre of photography, and not just for their better image quality. Yes, zoom lenses provide you the flexibility of several focal lengths within one lens, but that’s not necessarily an advantage when working on the street.  Those critical moments that happen in front of the camera are often so fleeting that they can be easily lost while turning the zoom ring to the appropriate focal length. A fixed focal length eliminates that. You know exactly what you have to work with as soon as you attach the lens to the camera. At that point it becomes all about composition. Prime lenses are also faster or offer a wider aperture (f1.4, f1.8 or f2) than most zoom lenses. This can be particularly important when you are shooting under low light conditions. That not only impacts your exposure options, but it also improves the effectiveness of the camera’s autofocus system when working under dim conditions. Though some people may start off street photography using “discrete” telephoto zooms, the best photographs involve proximity to the subject and the moment. So, it’s often focal lengths of 50mm and wider that make up the heart of a street photographer’s kit. Here are the focal lengths that I believe should be in a street photographer’s camera bag.

Continue reading…

Toshiba’s New 20 MP 1/2.3″ Sensor Pushes the Limits (of Pixel Miniaturization and Diffraction)

Toshiba 2013 TCM5115CL 20 mp sensor

Even though we’re constantly hoping that one day the megapixel race will come to an end, this does not seem to be happening any time soon. Only shortly after Nikon’s launch of the megapixel monster D800/D800E, which packs a whopping 36 million individual photon collectors onto a 36x24mm full-frame sensor (figures previously achieved only in medium format cameras), Toshiba now announces a new 1/2.3″ compact camera sensor that sports 20 megapixels and is capable of 60fps 1080p HD video.


Continue reading…