How a Wedding Made Me Not Miss My DSLR

This is the story of how I was reminded that I do not miss the DSLR days, and how I am very happy mirrorless has arrived in full. A childhood friend of my companion got married last weekend and I found myself photographing her wedding, a little against my will. That story needs a bit of context first. My girlfriend was invited to a wedding. She could bring a +1 and, being the boyfriend, that ended up being me. Nothing special. During cocktails, the wedding photographer came down with some sort of food poisoning. She turned red and could barely stand on her feet. After a little bit of panic, my girlfriend had the great idea to remind everyone that her +1 happens to be a wedding photographer who can help out while the hired photographer rested in the back room.

Continue reading…

Pretty and Practical! Langly Paracord Strap Review

The Langly Paracord is a camera strap I was super curious about. This website has reviewed tons and tons of camera straps. But the Langly Paracord seemed particularly fascinating. I had a feeling it would break, but it didn’t. In fact, it ended up holding its own with one of the heaviest mirrorless cameras on the market right now. And overall, I think I’ve fallen head over heels for the Langly Paracord strap.

Continue reading…

You Should Be Hyped for The New Panasonic 24mm f1.8

For more stories like this, please subscribe to The Phoblographer.

Today, Panasonic is announcing their new Panasonic 24mm f1.8 S. This is for the Leica L-Mount–so you’ll be able to use it on their full-frame bodies like the Panasonic S5. We know some folks aren’t the biggest Panasonic S fans, but they’ve taken a major step forward with firmware updates. And if anything, this new Panasonic 24mm f1.8 S will work splendidly on the Leica SL2s, which I think is probably the best L mount camera. For sure, it’s designed for landscape photographers. But believe it or not, you’d be shocked. Panasonic provided us with portrait photos. That means that they’re just that confident about the image quality.

Continue reading…

The Panasonic 25-50mm F1.7 Raises Important Questions about Micro 43

For more stories like this, please subscribe to The Phoblographer.

Panasonic continues to amaze us since the start of the pandemic. Today, they’re announcing the Panasonic 25-50mm f1.7 lens for Micro Four Thirds. This equates to a 50-100mm f3.4 field of view equivalent in full-frame standards. They’re doing what Olympus hasn’t done: making bright aperture zoom lenses. Olympus used to do this when Four Thirds DSLRs were still around, but now Panasonic takes up the banner. They’ve also released cool things like the S5, the Panasonic 85mm f1.8, and the Panasonic 50mm f1.8 soon on the way. This new Panasonic 25-50mm f1.7 lens adds to an already great lineup of lenses co-branded with Leica. It also raises a lot of big questions.

Continue reading…

Why I Don’t Have Much Faith in the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens

Sigma makes good quality optics, but it pretty much stops there.

There are loads of reports right now on the new Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG DN Art Lens. It’s easy to get tempted. If you’re experienced with their lenses, though, you’ll understand that they’re the McRib of lenses. When the McRib drops every year, there’s tons of hype about how wonderful it is. But it always just ends up being mediocre. Yet every year, folks swarm to McDonald’s to experience the shame and regret. That’s how I’ve felt buying Sigma lenses over the years. And I predict that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG DN Art Lens is probably going to be the same.

Continue reading…

The Panasonic 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS Is the Lightest Around

There isn’t a lens like the Panasonic 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 Macro OIS for L mount yet.

I’m going to be the first to admit that I’m really, really liking what the L Mount alliance is becoming. Like Android phones, there’s still a lot of fragmentation, but the pieces are starting to work better. And the new Panasonic 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 Macro OIS is a critical part of the puzzle. The L Mount needs more native lenses that are affordable yet good. I’ve got a ton of faith in this latest offering from Panasonic. Mind you, this doesn’t seem like a Panasonic Lumix S Pro lens, so it’s not their highest grade option. But they’re packing a lot of quality into it!

Continue reading…

The Lens I Regret Purchasing: One Lens Made Me Hate Sony E Mount

Though I’ll praise its innovations, I ultimately ended up regretting the purchase of the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN.

What good is purchasing a lens you’re never going to use? Is it worth it to have a lens in your camera bag or on your shelf collecting dust? Don’t get me wrong–if you’re a collector, then that’s a different story. But if you intend to use a lens for work, then there’s no point in holding onto something unnecessarily. And that’s how I feel about the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN. I messed up. Tempted by the innovation and a tremendous editorial discount from Sigma, I decided to pull the trigger and get the lens for Sony E Mount. Sure, it delivers beautiful images, and there’s something to be said for a fast 35mm lens. On paper, this is a lens that I’m sure you and I both would be smitten for. But in reality, that’s not the case.

Continue reading…

For Your Next Adventure: ProMaster SP528K Tripod Review

The ProMaster SP528K Tripod kit is exactly what most serious photographers need.

Fact: the staff of The Phoblographer is always on the lookout for new tripods. We use them a lot when we’re testing gear. And because of how much abuse we put them through, we tend to break them. None are created equal. In our discoveries for the perfect tripod, we were introduced to the ProMaster SP528K. At under $300, this tripod can get really tall – taller than I am. But the best part about it is the ball head. It’s capable of doing things that much more expensive heads do. It’s not perfect, but at the price point, I’m not sure anything can beat it–and it has us liking a lot of what the ProMaster lineup can do.

Continue reading…

No IS, But the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for Sony FE is $729

The previously teased Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD is aiming to be an all-in-one zoom lens for Sony FE cameras.

If the Sony FE platform needed something, it’s an all-in-one zoom lens. And today, the cat is out of the bag with the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD. Previously teased on their website, this new lens is coming in at $729. For that price tag, photographers are getting a package of all these focal lengths in a lens that’s just under five inches and weighs 20.3 oz. There’s also a 67mm diameter, so there’s extra proof that it’s not all that large. Tamron is also big on pointing out specific apertures at different focal lengths: f3.5 at 50mm, f4.5 at 100mm, and f5.6 at 150mm through 200mm. Believe it or not, these are very important. Tamron is gearing this lens up for rough conditions in making it moisture-resistant. There are lots of good things about this lens despite there being no image stabilization.

Continue reading…

Potential Flaw: The Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Is Missing a Very Big Feature

Can the Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 Di III VXD shape up and get past a few hurdles?

We’re sure everyone is asking why the Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 Di III VXD isn’t going for the extra 20mm to reach 200. The company has expressed many times that it was prioritizing weight, size, and cost. When you look at it from that standpoint, they’re totally right. At its current position, the Tamron 70-180mm f2.8 Di III VXD is a viable option over Sony’s 70-200mm f2.8 and f4 options. The enthusiast and the professional alike could both reach for this lens. But, if we’ve seen anything in the past few years, it’s a couple of significant trends that have been demanded by many photographers across the board. The first is better optics: Tamron’s are excellent, but not always what they claim according to our tests. The other is a big one: the image stabilization.

Continue reading…

Why Are Compact Cameras the Best for Street Photography?

For most, compact cameras happen to be the best things for street photography.

While the answer to “What camera is the best?” is the proverbial “The one you have with you,” some cameras are better suited than others for specific genres of photography. For example, if you wanted to freeze the action at the Daytona 500, you would reach for a Canon 1DX instead of a Pentax 67, just like if you wanted close-up images of Aunt Pearl’s Poinsettias, one of the last lenses you would reach for is a 28mm. Street photography is one of the easiest genres of the craft to get into, and everything from the cameras in phones to 4×5 press cameras has been used for it. But, while the genre is easily accessible, certain kinds of cameras are more appropriate for the task than others. Let’s take a look at why compact cameras are the best cameras for street photography.

Continue reading…

Review: DJI Mavic Mini (Finally, a Drone That’s City Friendly)

The DJI Mavic Mini is a lightweight drone that’s finally making flying in cities more friendly. 

When DJI invited us to their DJI Mavic Mini event, we didn’t know what we’d be seeing. But the DJI Mavic Mini is surely the first drone that has really caught my attention. It’s under the 250-gram weight that the government puts restrictions on. Additionally, the DJI Mavic Mini has image stabilization built-in and isn’t to terribly built either. It folds down and is lightweight. So finally, photographers who dwell in cities have a better option to work with that sort of skirts the laws for drone flight. Of course, you need to exercise caution and common sense. If anything, you should always be a bit more conservative when flying with a drone like this and act responsibly.

Continue reading…

First Impressions: DJI Mavic Mini (The Drone for Everyone)

The DJI Mavic Mini was designed to be a drone everyone can use without hassle that you can bring everywhere.

The DJI Mavic Mini is a super small drone, and could honestly be the one that gets me over some of my personal issues with drone photography. As a city dweller, working with drones has always been a bit of a scary thing because of the designated zones. As the EIC of a website, I need to be careful to ensure we’re always following the law. This is a mentality that I embed within my staff. So for me, the DJI Mavic Mini is very refreshing. Though we’re familiar with options from Parrot and others, the DJI Mavic Mini is packing just enough of the technology we love within a small form factor. To be clear about how small it is, the DJI Mavic Mini fit into my skinny jeans. Moreso than any other drone release, I’m incredibly excited about the DJI Mavic Mini.

Continue reading…

Why Prime Lenses Are So Much Better Than Zooms

Prime lenses are the love of many photographers and for great reasons.

While many photographers will reach for the convenience that a zoom lens offers and fix their photos in post, the photographers who reach for prime lenses tend to think about their images in a completely different way. A prime lens is what many photographers are taught to work with to help them develop not only their photographic eye but also their photographic identity. After this, photographers tend to work and develop new needs and end up changing to different focal lengths. Through and through, prime lenses are the best options over zooms for a wide variety of reasons. But why? HINT: it has to do with making things less technical.

Continue reading…

The Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 S Weighs Over a Pound and Here’s Why

The new Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S could probably have a few advantages over Sony’s 85mm f1.8 FE.

A Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S could be music to the ears of any portrait photographer who has adored their lenses and, with today’s announcement of the lens, other photographers could indeed be humming along to the tune. At the cost of $799.95, the new Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S is giving photographers what could possibly be more than what Sony is offering in its most comparable offering. The Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S weighs over a pound due to the extra elements. While the Sony 85mm f1.8 FE has nine elements in eight groups, the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S has 12 elements in eight groups. Like Sony, Nikon is also making their portrait lens weather sealed. In fact, Steve Heiner over at Nikon tells us, “The entire lens, including moving parts on the barrel, has been effectively sealed.” The Nikon lens will be noticeably larger than the Sony offering if the specs we’re reading are correct.

Continue reading…

Lens Review: Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux (M Mount)

I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux like I did

The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux was offered to me to test after requesting it a long time ago. I’d probably never buy it brand new as I prefer my lenses and cameras to have what we Americans love to call “Patina” to them, and even as it is I’m pretty well set on the M mount lenses I currently own. The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux is quite possibly the ultimate photojournalist’s lens. It has a fast aperture, a solid build quality, and is surprisingly sharp at every single aperture. But even that isn’t the secret sauce to what makes this lens so incredibly special.

Continue reading…

Review: Ponte Leather Co. Camera Lift Strap

Photographers who like backpacks have typically reached for the Peak Design Capture Clip, but if you want a camera strap instead, the Ponte Leather Co. Camera Lift Strap is looking to capture your heart. Made of Canvas, a bit of leather, and some chrome buttons, this camera strap is more stylish than your typical run of the mill strap but still can’t hold a candle to the gorgeous offerings of 4V Design, Tap and Dye, Cub and Co, ONA, Hawkesmill and to some point Holdfast Gear. The camera strap, which we reported on a while back during its Kickstarter phase, is out now and we got some times to really test it out.

The Camera Lift is designed to keep the weight of the camera off of your neck. While it makes the weight distribution a bit easier to handle, it’s not exactly holding true to its promise.

Continue reading…

Review: Canon 5Ds

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 5Ds review image product lead photo (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.2

For years, Canon was a bit behind on the megapixel wars–their highest range was in the 20’s for a long time with both Sony and Nikon trailing ahead and offering higher resolution imagery in a full frame 35mm sensor. But this year, that changed. Back in February, the company announced a 50MP beast of a camera: the 5Ds R and the 5Ds. The former removes the low pass filter and therefore gives users higher detail at the expense of not as great high ISO performance.

The Canon 5Ds doesn’t only have the low pass filter and a 50MP sensor, but it still has the same 50.6 MP full frame sensor. The camera also sports 61 AF points, multiple exposure mode, ISO range to 6400 from 100, 5fps shooting, the ability to use a cropped portion of the sensor, 3.2-inch, 1,040k dot LCD monitor and face recognition during Live View mode.

It seems like it has loads to offer, right?

Continue reading…