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Updated: 15 min 29 sec ago

Women Photograph is a directory of female photographers

5 hours 59 min ago

Women Photograph is an online directory of female photographers. What started as a spreadsheet has grown to a database over 500 members strong thanks to its creator Daniella Zalcman, a freelance documentary photographer. We asked her a few questions about her experiences, the directory and its origins.

What has your own experience been like as a female photographer in a male dominated field?

At the beginning, it was definitely tough. I started stringing as a news photographer in New York when I was 19, and it was very much a boy's club back then. Getting anyone to take me seriously was always a challenge, and I can't tell you the number of times I had a male photographer try to adjust the settings on my camera for me or make a joke about the size of my lens. There was a lot of casual sexual harassment that I think I and many of my female colleagues normalized for a long time — sometimes it's just easier to shrug and move on. But I've done enough shrugging.

Now, I'm a relatively established photographer and I spend most of my time working on long form documentary projects on my own. I rarely interact with news photographer scrums, or even assigning editors, so I'm able to avoid the more frustrating interactions. But I see young women coming up in the field, and I see the attrition rates between photojournalism school and photographers in the first 3-5 years of their careers, and I know what they're going through. And something needs to change.

What inspired you to create Women Photograph? How did it start?

It started with a Google Form last July. I was frustrated by the number of photo editors who were telling me they didn't know where to find women photographers, so I wanted to have a resource on hand that would render that excuse invalid.

How many photographers are included now?

Right now, the private database (which includes more complete information like e-mails, phone numbers, languages spoken, geographical areas of expertise, HEFAT/PPE info, and so on) has 525 members. The site is a little slower to build out because it requires that each photographer send me an image and I'm manually entering them all — so it's probably at around 300 right now.

What’s the response to it been like so far?

It's been great! It's provoked a lot of good conversations, which is really what I'm hoping for. If the presence of this site at least makes photo editors who traditionally rely on the same cadre of male news photographers think about their hiring practices, then I think that's a good start.

Why do you think it’s important to hire female photographers?

This isn't just about equality in hiring practices — though obviously that's important to me too. It's about making sure that the people in charge of visually documenting our diverse, complex world are diverse themselves. We can't look at everything through a predominantly white, male gaze — that's irresponsible and, frankly, colonial. We need our storytellers to be as diverse as our audience and our subjects.

Categories: Photo News

2016 Challenge of Challenges winners announced

7 hours 59 min ago

The votes have been tallied and we have a winner! DPR member cand1d's image of a glowing sunset in Bagan, Myanmar takes top honors in the 2016 Challenge of Challenges competition. The photo is one of almost 1000 challenge-winning entries. See how your votes ranked the top 25 images, and head to our challenges page if you're feeling inspired.

See the 2016 Challenge of Challenges Winners

Categories: Photo News

Neural network converts Game Boy Camera images into color photos

9 hours 59 min ago

We've seen a lot of research lately that uses neural networks to upsample low resolution images and the results have been impressive – even a little creepy. Google recently showcased a system that can turn a low resolution 8x8 input image into a 32x32 sample that's remarkably close to the original image. Inspired by recent breakthroughs, research engineer Roland Meertens found another application for neural networks – one that's highly relevant to our interests. He created an application that turns low-res, monochrome Game Boy Camera images into photorealistic color images.

Original images in the center, Game Boy-ified images on the left and image generated by neural network on the right

A network must be trained, and training means feeding it input images. To create a training data set, Meertens gave some 'real life images' a Game Boy Camera treatment by re-creating them in four shades of black. By comparing the Game Boy-ified images with the originals, the network is 'taught' how to convert the images to color. With the network trained and ready, Meertens began testing it on celebrity photos as well as images from the Game Boy Camera (including the game's mysterious character at the top of the page).

Finally, Meertens uses the application on an image taken with the Game Boy Camera. Naturally, it should be a selfie, as it is here. If you have all of the necessary components, taking a photo with the Game Boy camera is easy. Getting it onto your computer is another story. Lacking a specialized cable, Meertens did his best to photograph the Game Boy screen. As a result the lighting is slightly uneven, which affects the output from the network, but the re-creation is still pretty darn cool. Our hats are off to him.

Categories: Photo News

Sigma announces 14mm F1.8, 24-70mm F2.8 and 135mm F1.8 Art lenses

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 21:00
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Sigma has released a trio of its high-end 'Art' lenses: two primes and one zoom. All three are designed for full-frame Canon, Nikon and Sigma bodies.

The first is the ultra-wide 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, which Sigma claims is the 'world's first and only F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens.'  The lens has 16 elements, three of which are FLD (low dispersion) and four are SLD (super-low-dispersion). It also has a large (80mm) aspherical front element to reduce distortion and 'deliver outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.' The 14mm F1.8 has 9 rounded aperture blades, a minimum focus distance of 27cm/11in and a ring-type ultrasonic (HSM) focus motor.

Next up is the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Art. This lens features three SLD and four aspherical, nine rounded aperture blades and optical image stabilization. The lens is weather-sealed and made of a combination of metal and 'thermally stable composite' material. The minimum focus distance of the 24-70 is 37cm/1.5in and it uses 82mm filters.

Last, but certainly not least, is the 135mm F1.8 DG HSM telephoto prime. Sigma says that this lens 'offers the [...] resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs.' It has a hypersonic (ring-type ultrasonic) focus motor that delivers fast (and 'exceptionally stable') focus speeds, while an acceleration sensor 'detects the orientation of the lens' so the AF system can respond to 'varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity.'

The lens has 9 rounded aperture blades, dust and splashproof construction, and a weight of 1130g/40.2oz.

Pricing and availability for all three lenses will be announced at a date to be determined.

Press Releases:

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM
Introducing the world’s first and only* F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens

A true high-speed lens that delivers a new dimension of visual experience

*Among interchangeable lens for digital SLRs as of February 2017

  1. 14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience
  2. Seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line
  3. Other features 

A true high-speed lens that delivers a new dimension of visual experience

In taking photographs of starry skies or other celestial scenes at night, or of the seashore with a wide perspective, a large-diameter lens is a strong ally, since it allows the capture of a moving subject by adjusting shutter speed without relying on ISO sensitivity. With its full-frame 35mm coverage, 14mm focal length for an ultra-wide angle of view, F2 barrier-breaking F1.8, the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the true high-speed ultra-wide-angle lens for which so many photographers have been waiting. Although some zoom lenses are available that can cover 14mm, the large diameter delivering F1.8 brightness is a singular advantage. Going beyond fast shutter speed, this lens can capture a swarm of fireflies with crystal clarity, a beautiful bokeh effect, and outstanding control of light streaking.

【Key features】

  1. 14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience

By leveraging its extreme angle of view and the dramatic perspective this creates, an ultra-wide-angle lens can get up close and personal with a subject while at the same time taking in a vast background—an example of photography going beyond normal human vision.

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art combines the extremely deep depth of field that comes from an ultra-wide angle of view with the extremely shallow depth of field that comes from F1.8 brightness. The result is a sharply captured subject set against a vast background dramatically blurred with a beautiful bokeh effect. It is a highly impressive mode of photographic expression that until now simply has not existed.

  • Minimized chromatic aberrations

Three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass elements help minimize transverse chromatic aberration, which tends to be noticeable in shots taken with ultra-wide-angle lenses. The result is outstanding image quality from the center of the image to the edges.

  • Featuring a large-diameter aspherical lens element

The SIGMA 12-24mmF4 DG HSM | Art was the first SIGMA lens to feature a large ⌀80mm aspherical lens element. Building on the expertise derived from this success, the new lens features a large ⌀80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens as its front element. This technology has made possible the 14mm F1.8 specification—the first of its kind.

  • Minimized distortion

Serving as the front lens element, the large ⌀80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens effectively minimizes distortion. Offering excellent peripheral brightness, this lens delivers outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.

  • Distinctive bokeh effect

Even at the 14mm ultra-wide-angle of view, F1.8 brightness makes possible a very shallow depth of field with the subject standing out dramatically against a bokeh background. It’s the unique mode of expression that only a large-diameter lens can deliver. 

  1. Seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the seventh prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

  1. Other features
  • Fast AF with full-time manual override

Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type

  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM
Top-level performance optimized for the era of ultra-high-megapixel cameras
  1. The large-diameter standard zoom ideal for today’s ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras
  2. OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot
  3. Lens barrel designed for high rigidity
  4. Other features 

The definitive large-diameter standard zoom lens for any shoot

What photographers demand from the 24-70mm F2.8 specification is much more than outstanding image quality. They want all the features that make this a go-to lens for a wide range of photographic opportunities, including optical design ideal for the latest ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras, hypersonic motor (HSM) for high-speed autofocus, optical stabilizer (OS) with powerful stabilization effect, dust- and splash-proof mount with rubber sealing, and a metal barrel for a stable, rigid feel. This all-new 24-70mm F2.8 lens from SIGMA delivers the performance and functionality that help pros succeed in news, nature, and many other fields of photography.

【Key features】

  1. The large-diameter standard zoom ideal for today’s ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras 
  • Outstanding optical performance

Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass lens elements and four aspherical lens elements help minimize optical aberrations. To ensure outstanding image quality from the center to the edges of the photograph, the optical system minimizes coma, which causes points of light to streak, and transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control, The optical system also minimizes distortion, which can be particularly evident in wide-angle shots, resulting in excellent optical performance throughout the zoom range.

  • A 24-70mm F2.8 lens that meets the high standards of the Art line

SIGMA has continuously pioneered 24-70mm F2.8 lenses that are a step ahead of the times. The first model of this specification, SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL DF, launched in 2001. Representing the fourth generation of the family, the new SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art accomplishes a challenging feat in optical design: incorporating optical stabilizer functionality in a large-diameter standard zoom. By leveraging all of its design and manufacturing expertise, SIGMA has ensured that this new lens fulfills the uncompromising requirements of the Art line for image and build quality.

  • Bokeh that is a cut above

At wide-open aperture, this lens offers outstanding photographic expression. The area in focus is extremely sharp, while the background exhibits a beautiful bokeh effect with only slight spherical aberration. Since large-diameter zoom lenses are often used at wide-open aperture, SIGMA has paid close attention to the shape of the bokeh, aiming for perfect circularity. 

  • Incorporating advanced aspherical lens processing technology

Aspherical lenses necessitate refined expertise in the design and manufacturing of advanced, high-performance lenses. SIGMA’s first products to feature this technology were the SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art, which both incorporated a large ⌀80mm aspherical lens as their front lens element. Building on the success of these predecessors, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology. Moreover, SIGMA processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

  1. OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot

Designed for advanced utility in a wide variety of situations, the optical stabilizer (OS) offers a powerful stabilization effect. The newly designed large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3 times the torque of its predecessor and exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds.

* Based on CIPA's guideline. Measuring at telephoto end, when it is attached to the camera with 35mm image sensor.

  1. Lens barrel designed for high rigidity

Since large-diameter standard zoom lenses tend to serve as a go-to lens and see frequent use, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art is designed to stand up to the challenging shooting environments that pros encounter. To this end, the lens barrel contains a large amount of metal, while the external moving parts feature thermally stable composite (TSC), which is resistant to thermal expansion and contraction. This structure contributes not only to the outstanding optical performance of the lens but also to its high rigidity and confidence-inspiring build quality.

  1. Other features
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof design

Since the area of the lens most vulnerable to dust and other foreign bodies is the mount, rubber sealing helps provide peace of mind. In addition, the front lens element features a water- and oil-repellent coating that helps the lens perform well in the rain, near water, and in other challenging conditions.

  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included

The Nikon mount version of this lens includes an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that allows it to receive the appropriate signals from the camera body. This feature ensures precision diaphragm control and stable Auto Exposure (AE) performance during continuous shooting.

Note: Functionality may be limited on some camera bodies.

  • Fast AF with full-time manual focus
  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM
With F1.8 brightness, this telephoto lens for full-frame cameras further strengthens the Art line’s prime options
  1. The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance
  2. Fast and nimble autofocus photography
  3. Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line
  4. Other features  

Introducing the ultimate 135mm telephoto featuring top-level performance

135mm telephoto lenses are often categorized as the foundational telephoto, the first one to add to a lens collection. This focal length delivers a strong perspective compression effect, while the large diameter with F1.8 brightness provides a dramatic bokeh effect. By minimizing axial chromatic aberration, the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art makes this bokeh effect not only impressive but also beautiful while delivering superb contrast and sharp image quality in every shot. It offers the outstanding resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs. By incorporating its latest innovations in design and optical glass and rethinking every aspect of the lens, SIGMA has ensured outstanding image quality all the way to the edges, establishing the new standard in 135mm telephoto lenses.

With resolution so crystal-clear that individual hairs can be discerned in a portrait, this large-diameter lens also delivers a beautiful bokeh effect, giving photographers everything they need. It is ideal for close-ups and full-body shots, with subjects standing out against a pleasantly blurred background. In addition to standard portraits, including bridal shots, this lens is a top performer for live events, with its super-fast autofocus capturing subjects with ease.

【Key features】

  1. The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance
  • Image quality optimal for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs

To deliver the ultra-high resolution that brings the best out of 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs, the focus mechanism features SIGMA’s floating system. No matter what the distance from the subject, this lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image. By minimizing distortion as well, the lens delivers impeccable image quality—no need for digital adjustment during image processing.

  • Ideal for portraits requiring a dramatic bokeh effect

The 135mm focal length delivers a stunning compression effect: even fairly close to the subject, the telephoto ring allows the photographer to establish a variety of dramatic perspectives. The compression effect truly shines in both close-ups and full-length portraits, making composition easy. Moreover, the large diameter with F1.8 brightness makes possible a body shot with an impressive bokeh background. In sum, this lens puts a full menu of compositional options at the photographer’s fingertips.

  1. Fast and nimble autofocus photography

The large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers two benefits. It delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds. The acceleration sensor detects the orientation of the lens, allowing the autofocus system to respond to varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity. Along with the optimized AF algorithm, these features deliver fast autofocus photography. In addition, the focus limiter makes AF highly responsive to distance from the subject for even more nimble performance.

  1. Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM|Art is the sixth prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

  1. Other features 
  • Fast AF with full-time manual override

Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type

  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof construction
  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM / 135mm F1.8 DG HSM specifications  Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM ArtSigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM ArtPrincipal specificationsLens typePrime lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length14 mm135 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA BayonetApertureMaximum apertureF1.8Minimum apertureF16Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements1613Groups1110Special elements / coatingsThree FLD and four SLD elementsFocusMinimum focus0.27 m (10.63″)0.88 m (34.65″)Maximum magnification0.1×0.2×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalFocus notesFloating focus mechanismDistance scaleYesDoF scaleNoFocus distance limiterNoYesPhysicalWeight1170 g (2.58 lb)1130 g (2.49 lb)Diameter95 mm (3.76″)91 mm (3.6″)Length126 mm (4.96″)115 mm (4.52″)SealingYesColourBlackFilter thread82.0 mmHood suppliedYesTripod collarNo Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length24–70 mmImage stabilizationYesLens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA BayonetApertureMaximum apertureF2.8Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements19Groups14Special elements / coatingsThree HLD and four aspherical elementsFocusMinimum focus0.37 m (14.57″)Maximum magnification0.21×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleYesDoF scaleNoPhysicalDiameter88 mm (3.46″)Length108 mm (4.24″)MaterialsMetalSealingYesColourBlackZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockNoFilter thread82.0 mmHood suppliedYesHood product codeLH876-04Tripod collarNo
Categories: Photo News

Sigma Announces 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM lens

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 21:00
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Sigma has announced the 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM, a relatively compact and lightweight optically stabilized super-telephoto lens with with a dust and splashproof mount. The lens weighs 1160g/41oz, is 182mm/7.2in long, and the lens' front element has a 67mm diameter filter thread.

For zooming, the lens utilizes a standard twist mechanism, or the front of the lens can be pushed or pulled. It can focus down to 1.6m/5.2ft, and features a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8. The optical design comprises of 21 elements in 15 groups with four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements and a hypersonic motor with an updated algorithm.

Pricing will be announced at a later date.

Press Release

SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM

 Introducing the light bazooka-a new approach to the ultra-telephoto zoom

  1. Top performance with the specification and functionality of a more expensive unit
  2. Compact packaging with uncompromising image quality
  3. Push/pull zoom mechanism incorporated
  4. Telephoto plus macro functionality
  5. Other features 

A compact body and top performance in one complete package

An ultra-telephoto lens with an optical stabilizer (OS) system has several advantages. The OS allows the photographer to take photographs in unstable circumstances. The narrow angle of view makes it possible to dramatically compress perspective and flexible handling of the background. The photographer can thereby make the subject appear to jump out of the image, with the area in focus impressively sharp and clear. Nevertheless, ultra-telephoto lenses have traditionally had some disadvantages as well. As the nickname “bazooka” implies, they have tended to be big, heavy, and therefore burdensome to carry around. With the goal of creating an ultra-telephoto lens that is far more accessible, SIGMA incorporated all of its latest technologies into SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary. With its outstanding combination of optical performance and compactness, this is an ultra-telephoto lens that is a joy to carry and use. While keeping the robust functionality and exceptional image quality of an ultra-telephoto zoom lens intact, SIGMA has achieved amazingly compact packaging enclosing 400mm optics. Introducing the new and greatly enhanced “light bazooka” ultra-telephoto zoom lens.

SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary offers the compact size, lightweight, and high cost performance of a 70-300mm lens while delivering 400mm telephoto performance. This approach results in a tempting new ultra-telephoto choice for photographers. Offering a combination of stunning image quality and outstanding functionality, this lens satisfies the needs of pros and amateurs alike.

【Key features】

  1. Top performance with the specification and functionality of a more expensive unit

Since its release, the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary has won photographers over with its strong fundamental performance and exceptional image quality. The new lens retains all of this performance in a compact 400mm ultra-telephoto zoom package with a filter size of just ⌀67mm and weight of just 1,160g. Yet it also comes with the full range of features and functions expected of an ultra-telephoto zoom: optical stabilizer (OS), hypersonic motor (HSM) with updated algorithm for fast autofocus, focus limiter, and more. In addition, this uncompromising specification becomes customizable with the available SIGMA USB Dock accessory.

  1. Compact packaging with uncompromising image quality

In designing this lens, SIGMA strived to push both compactness and image quality to the limit. Four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass lens elements and an optimized power distribution help minimize optical aberrations. Moreover, by taking special care to minimize transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control, SIGMA has ensured outstanding image quality throughout the zoom range. 

  1. Push/pull zoom mechanism incorporated

For quick control of the angle of view, the zoom ring incorporates a push/pull mechanism in addition to the regular twist mechanism. The exclusive lens hood has also been designed to accommodate push/pull zooming and overall lens maneuverability. By making it possible to adjust the angle of view instantly, this lens gives photographers an even better chance of getting that crucial shot.

  1. Telephoto plus macro functionality

With a minimum shooting distance of 160cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.8, this lens can shoot either from a distance or up close. 

  1. Other features
  • Dust- and splash-proof mount

Since the area of the lens most vulnerable to dust and other foreign bodies is the mount, rubber sealing helps provide peace of mind.

  • All-new optical stabilizer (OS) unit with exclusive algorithm

Featuring a newly developed gyroscopic sensor and a new and exclusive algorithm, the all-new OS unit provides a powerful stabilization effect. An acceleration sensor detects camera shake in any direction—horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. This technology allows the OS to stabilize the image very effectively, regardless of whether the camera is being held in horizontal or vertical orientation.

  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included

The Nikon mount version of this lens includes an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that allows it to receive the appropriate signals from the camera body. This feature ensures precision diaphragm control and stable Auto Exposure (AE) performance during continuous shooting.

Note: Functionality may be limited on some camera bodies. 

  • Rounded diaphragm 
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Compatible with the newly developed tele converters
  • Fast AF with full-time manual override

Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type

  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK (Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible)
  • Available Mount Conversion Service (Allows use with another camera body)
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan (With outstanding craftsmanship)
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | C specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length100–400 mmImage stabilizationYesLens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA BayonetApertureMaximum apertureF5–6.3Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements21Groups15Special elements / coatingsFour SLD elementsFocusMinimum focus0.16 m (6.3″)Maximum magnification0.26×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight1160 g (2.56 lb)Diameter86 mm (3.4″)Length182 mm (7.18″)SealingYesColourBlackZoom methodPush/Pull (extending)Power zoomNoFilter thread67.0 mmHood suppliedYesHood product codeLH770-04Tripod collarNoOtherNotesRotating or push/pull zoom.
Categories: Photo News

Fotodiox Pro launches five GFX lens adapters

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:58

Fotodiox Pro has launched five new lens adapters for the forthcoming Fujifilm GFX medium-format system. This will allow lenses from other systems to be used with the GFX 50S, though as Fotodiox's website points out, not every lens will give great results. All tilt-shift lenses and many full-frame lenses longer than 50mm will cover the GFX's sensor, but anything wider will produce vignetting.

The new lineup features adapters for the Canon EF-Mount, Nikon F-Mount, Olympus OM-Mount, Mamiya 645, and Contax. The adapters are priced at $150 with the exception of the Mamiya 645, which is priced at $170.

The adapters are made entirely from metal with chrome-plated brass mounts and a 'precise fit and solid connection.' The company also says it uses 'enhanced craftsmanship and high-tolerance construction for demanding professionals.'

Finally, Fotodiox cautions, 'This is a manual adapter, so lens functions that rely on electronic communication with the camera body (autofocus, AE metering, image stabilization, etc.) will be disrupted.' All five lens adapters are available from the company's website now.

Via: ThePhoblographer

Categories: Photo News

Irix introduces super wide-angle 11mm for full-frame DSLRs

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:16

New optics manufacturer Irix has announced a second extreme wide-angle lens for full-frame DSLR users that will join the existing 15mm F2.4. The new lens is a manual focus 11mm F4 which will come in two versions – Blackstone and Firefly – like the company’s first lens.

Constructed using 16 elements arranged in 10 groups the lens offers a nine-bladed iris with apertures from F4 to F22. Electrical contacts allow users to control aperture values from the camera body and for aperture values to be recorded in EXIF data.

Irix says this new 126° lens is unique because it exhibits only 3.13% curvilinear distortion on a full-frame sensor and shows test images to back up the claim, along with MTF charts that describe the expected resolution.

Available in mounts for Canon, Nikon and Pentax the lens is weather-sealed and comes in rugged or lightweight versions. The Firefly model is 12% lighter than the Blackstone, but the Blackstone is made from aluminum-magnesium alloy, features a metal-grooved focusing ring and has an anti-scratch coating. Those working in low light conditions might be glad of the Blackstone’s engaged markings that glow in the dark. As the forward element of both versions is so large, and the angle of view so extreme, the company has integrated a filter slot at the back of the lens for 30x30mm gelatin filters.

There is no indication yet when the lens will begin shipping but it is listed for sale on the company’s US website, with the Blackstone version costing $825 and the Firefly $595.
For more information see the Irix website.

Categories: Photo News

OPPO to announce 5x zoom smartphone technology at MWC

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 10:25

It appears smartphone maker OPPO is planning to announce a smartphone camera with a 5x zoom at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that is starting next Sunday. Today the Chinese company has sent out a teaser email which hardly included any technical detail but a 'Go 5x Further' logo and  the 'So close you can feel it' tagline, strongly suggesting the novelty will be camera-related.

The lack of proper zoom is still one of the most significant limitations of mobile photography and if OPPO were to launch a smartphone camera with an optical 5x zoom that doesn't increase device proportions too much, it would be a real step forward, making the 2x dual-camera designs of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus or LG G5 look rather outdated. 

“This remarkable achievement is the result of an extensive, year-long R&D process, combined with OPPO’s unparalleled expertise in smartphone imaging technology. We chose MWC to unveil the ‘5x’ technology in the belief that we can inspire the industry to aim higher, and continue to create pioneering products that give amazing experiences for consumers,” Sky Li, OPPO Vice President and Managing Director of International Mobile Business, said.

OPPO isn't a big name outside of Asia, but it is the the current number one smartphone brand in China with 16.8% market share and the world’s fourth best-selling smartphone brand for the second year running. We don't know at this point if the announcement will be for a development project or a market-ready model, but we have seen OPPO putting emphasis on camera features and performance in the past, so we're definitely looking forward to it. We will be on location in Barcelona, so look out for for more detail next week.

Categories: Photo News

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm F4E sample gallery

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 04:00

The Nikon 19mm F4 is a wide-angle tilt-shift, or as Nikon calls it, Perspective Control lens. It offers the ability to independently rotate the direction of tilt or shift, making it the perfect tool for keeping those parallel lines straight when working with architecture or interiors. We also took it for a bit of 'freelensing' and got experimental with the tilt function.

Take a look at what is possible when you're given complete control in our real world sample gallery.

See our Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm F4E ED sample gallery

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Categories: Photo News

First look video: YI 4K+ action camera shoots 4K/60p and stabilized 4K/30p

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 03:00

The YI 4K+ uses the latest generation of Ambarella processing chip, making it capable of 4K/60p video capture. It can also shoot impressively smooth 4K/30p footage using electronic stabilization. Other standout features include a 2.2" Gorilla Glass touch display, the best user interface of any action camera on the market and USB-C connectivity.

We're eager to spend more time putting the YI 4K+ to the test. Keep your eyes peeled for an updated 4K action camera roundup coming this spring.

Categories: Photo News

2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year: winning photos announced

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 03:00
2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year

'Dancing Octopus' Gabriel Barathieu/UPY 2017 

The winners of the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year compeition have been announced, and the photos are absolutely spectacular. The overall winner was Gabriel Barathieu with his image of an Octopus taken in the Lagoon of Mayotte on Mayotte Island.

He says, 'In the lagoon of Mayotte, during spring low tides, there is very little water on the flats. Only 30 cm in fact. That's when I took this picture. I had to get as close as possible to the dome to create this effect. The 14mm is an ultra wide angle lens with very good close focus which gives this effect of great size. The octopus appears larger, and the height of water also. Also, I didn't need flash because I had lots of natural light.'

2017 British Underwater Photographer of the Year

'Out of the Blue' Nick Blake/UPY 2017

Kukulkan Cenote, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Kukulkan Cenote on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula forms part of the Chac Mool system and is noted for the spectacular light effects as the sun penetrates the darkness. I left my strobes behind for the natural light shot I wanted and positioned myself in the shadows of the cavern. Moving my eye around the viewfinder, I could see that the rock outline of the cavern around me made for a pleasing symmetry and I adjusted my position to balance the frame. The light show flickered on and off as the sun was periodically covered by cloud and as it reappeared, I beckoned to my buddy and dive guide, Andrea Costanza of ProDive, to edge into the illumination of some of the stronger beams, completing the composition. My journey from diver to underwater photographer has brought many amazing photographic opportunities and I feel humbled and privileged that this image has achieved such recognition.

2017 Up and Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year

'Oceanic in the Sky' Horacio Martinez/UPY 2017

The Brothers, Egypt

This was my first Red Sea experience, and my first live-aboard-based photo workshop, so everything was interesting... but arduous. We were on the last dive of the day and I ventured a tad deeper to get closer portraits of the Oceanic White Tips, when I noticed this shark patrolling in the distance. I took a few shots to expose for the sun beams and the surface, and was pleased by the dreamlike effect. Oceanics are great subjects for close ups as they are anything but shy. Yet, every now and then it is great to try and capture their apparent loneliness, their wandering, and their independence in the big blue.

2017 Most Promising British Underwater Photographer

'Orca Pod' Nicholai Georgiou/UPY 2017

Tromso, Norway

Orcas are easily the most beautiful, intelligent and confident animals I’ve ever had the honor of spending time with. This photo was taken during an amazing week freediving with wild Orca in Norway. The days are quite short in winter and the water was around 5 degrees but we wore a thick wetsuit and of course with Orca around, the cold was quickly forgotten. The light had a really nice colour from the setting sun as this graceful pod of Orca swam by nice and close. It was a moment which will be hard to top and I'm glad to have this image to share it.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Frozen Hunting' Fabrice Guerin/UPY 2017 

Andenes, Norway

Judge's comments:

A stunning behavioral image of a humpback in shallow water scattering herring taken in very tough conditions. The photographer did very well in very dark waters to record this breath-taking scene sharply.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Finally Whalesharks' Patrick Neumann/UPY 2017

Gorontalo, Indonesia, Central Sulawesi

Although I have been diving for more than 30 years with over 3000 dives, I had never saw a Whaleshark before. When I was working on a liveaboard in Thailand twice the whole boat saw one but not me and my group. Among my friends it was already a running gag. If you want to see Whalesharks don`t dive with Patrick. On our latest trip through Indonesia a friend told me that recently there are some around the Gorontalo area so we changed our plans and went there to end my whaleshark dilemma. We drove out to the divesite and everything was perfect. Very good visibility, no waves and a bright sunny day. Now only the big guy had to be there to make it really happen. When we entered the water there was not one Whaleshark... but 6 of them! You can imagine my happiness.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Views at Dawn' Pasquale Vassallo/UPY 2017

Miseno, Gulf of Naples, Italy

Over the past few months, my photographic work has focused primarily on the large presence of species of jellyfish Rhizostoma pulmo, in the Gulf of Naples. In this picture a couple of crabs, Liocarcinus vernalis species, are its tenants.
When the jellyfish rub the sandy seabed, the crabs jump on it and get carried to different areas.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Humpback whale feeding on krill' Jean Tresfon/UPY 2017

A few miles offshore from Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Every summer hundreds of humpback whales gather off the Cape Town coast in a massive feeding aggregation. Working as part of a film crew I was privileged to have a chance to photograph this phenomenon. Although the water visibility was really good, inside the krill patch it was much reduced. Without warning the whales appeared just metres away with their pleats distended as they surfaced with huge mouthfuls of krill. Realising that they must be feeding deeper down I descended into the darker water to find the thickest concentration of krill. Suddenly a humpback appeared right in front of me, its huge mouth wide open as it sieved the water for the tiny crustaceans. I took several images before it disappeared into the gloom and then I was surrounded by a multitude of massive bodies as the rest of the pod took its turn to feed. Not a little intimidating! 

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Big Red' Guglielmo Cicerchia/UPY 2017

Giannutri Island, Italy

During the dive I found a fishing net in which many fish were trapped still alive. They were struggling to get free. Using a slow shutter speed and zooming during the exposure I wanted to emphasize the attempt to break free from the fishing net. 

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Imp of darkness' Damien Mauric/UPY 2017

Isla Fernandina, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

On his visit to the Galapagos islands, Charles Darwin was revolted by the animals' appearance, writing: "The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large, disgusting clumsy Lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl & seek their prey from the Sea. I call them 'imps of darkness'. They assuredly well-become the land they inhabit." The marine iguana are all but monsters. Endemic to the Galapagos, it's a rare privilege to share a moment underwater with this animal now considered as an endangered species.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Green Turtles in the rays' Greg Lecoeur/UPY 2017

Tenerife, Spain

During a diving trip to Tenerife, I came across these green turtles. It was early morning and the sunbeams pierced the surface. I adjusted the setting of my camera and I waited for the turtles to come close enough to trigger my camera. After a little while, the turtles were circling around us and it was a great opportunity to photograph them.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Clownfish Swirl' Katherine Lu/UPY 2017

Semakau, Singapore

I shot this photo in the local waters of Singapore where the visibility is 3m on average. Scuba divers I know are always surprised that I dive there and most don’t even know there is great macro right off our shores. I wanted to do something different and turn a nudibranch commonly found in our waters into a piece of art. I have always been fascinated by bubbles and the inspiration for this photo came about when I was reading about aquatic plants that produce oxygen bubbles from photosynthesis. The images of the bubbles sticking to the green leaves had an abstract quality and hence came the idea to create Nudibranch Art.

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Prey?' So Yat Wai/UPY 2017

Anilao, Phillipines

This photo was shot during a blackwater dive in Anilao. Even though the larvae mantis shrimp (left) is very small, it still a predator which uses its raptorial appendages to hunt. Has it spotted the prey and is ready to pounce?

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Competition' Richard Shucksmith/UPY 2017

Shetland Isles, United Kingdom

I was out off the coast making images for SCOTLAND: The Big Picture - a project about re-wilding that produces images to amplify the case for a wilder Scotland. Hundreds of gannets were circling the boat looking for the fish that were being thrown over the side. Suddenly a single bird dives and the others seeing it as an indicator and 20, 30, 40 birds are diving at once. Because of this behaviour competition between gannets is always going occur creating several gannets diving for the same fish. I could hear the birds as they hit the water right above my head just before they appeared in front of the camera. A great experience. 

2017 Underwater Photography Awards

'Capturing History' Tanya Houppermans/UPY 2017

Wreck of the U-352, North Carolina, US

An underwater photographer lines up a shot of the conning tower of the wreck of the U-352 off the coast of North Carolina, USA. During WWII, German U-boats patrolled the waters just off the east coast of the U.S. In May 1942 the U-352 fired upon the USCGC Icarus but missed. The Icarus retaliated, and sunk the U-352 in 120ft of water 26 miles southeast of Beaufort Inlet. During this particular dive the visibility was especially good, so my goal was to capture wide angle images with as much of the wreck in the frame as I could get. As I was lining up the shot, a fellow photographer was focusing on the conning tower, so I decided to include him in the image to give a sense of scale to the wreck.

Categories: Photo News

Photography fundamentals explained

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 03:00

Want to brush up on some basic concepts? Here you'll find detailed explanations of some of the fundamentals of digital photography. Get your science on and impress all your friends at the next dinner party.

234Sources of noise part two: Electronic NoiseMay 13, 2015 at 19:09

Following on our look at the effects of shot noise, our attentions turn to the electronic noise added by your camera. In this second part of the series, we look at read noise and how your sensor's behavior defines what your camera is capable of and consequently, how you should shoot with it. Read more

99The effect of pixel size on noiseMay 3, 2015 at 07:26

A quick look at the effect of sensor size and pixel size on noise.

713What's that noise? Part one: Shedding some light on the sources of noiseApr 27, 2015 at 16:00

How would you react if you were told that the aperture and shutter speed you choose make more difference to image noise than the ISO setting? You might be surprised to discover that a lot of the noise in your images doesn't come from your camera at all: it comes from the light you're capturing. Our own Richard Butler explains. Read more

2348What is equivalence and why should I care?Jul 7, 2014 at 10:00

Equivalence, at its most simple, is a way of comparing different formats (sensor sizes) on a common basis. Sounds straightforward enough, but the concept is still somewhat controversial and not always clearly understood. We thought it was about time we explained - and demonstrated - what equivalence means and what it doesn't. Learn more

0Sense and SensitivitySep 29, 2009 at 19:19

Sensitivity (ISO) in digital imaging is the subject of quite a lot of confusion - it's becoming common to hear talk of manufacturers 'cheating with ISO.' Here we look at why sensitivity can be hard to pin down, why we use the definition we do and how it's really as complicated as it can seem.

3Behind the scenes: extended highlights!Sep 23, 2009 at 19:19

Sensors, sensitivity, exposure and dynamic range (blog post)

Categories: Photo News

The good, the bad and the ugly of aerial photography - part 4: technique

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 03:00
A glacial river in Greenland

Getting your settings right is important when shooting from the air. Due to low light and strong vibration, many images from this shoot turned out blurry.

In the previous article in this series, I talked about the equipment one might use for aerial photography. So what about technique, and especially camera settings? What should you consider when shooting from the air? 

The important thing to remember here is that you’re shooting from a moving, vibrating aircraft instead of from stable ground. This simply means that in order to keep your shots sharp, you’ll need to use a high shutter speed. Remember that the compensation mechanisms in stabilized lenses are meant to deal with human movement, not high-frequency vibration, and will thus offer little help. Same goes for your own hands’ stability: even if you’re rock solid, the aircraft is not, and you should always bear that in mind or suffer the consequences (as I unfortunately have in the past).

Depending on the angle of view, I’d recommend shooting at least 1/400th of a second to make sure the shot is sharp enough, preferably even faster, and faster still if the focal length is long. When shooting from a plane, expect to need even faster shutter speeds, as wind can often move the lens and even change the zoom settings, as it sucks the lens out of the window. To keep your shutter speed in check, don’t be afraid to use a higher ISO setting. I frequently use ISO 400, 800 and when it’s darker even 1600 and 3200. Having a bit more noise and less dynamic range is a much better alternative to having a blurred shot. You can also use relatively wide apertures, since the subject is far away and depth of field is therefore large.

Shooting at ISO 800 is a no-brainer when light is low and you're in a Cessna.

While I talked about equipment in the last article, I left one piece of gear to this article, since I wanted to link it to exposure times: Gyroscopes. These are contraptions which use rotational inertia to counter movement and vibrations, allowing the photographer to use much lower ISO values and longer exposure times while maintaining stability and sharpness. Unfortunately, they are large, heavy and very expensive, which leave them out as an option for the casual aerial shooter such as myself and most photographers with me. I personally don’t have any practical experience with gyros, but hopefully I'll get to try shooting with one in the future.

Another point on technique: it’s very beneficial to shoot in fast-continuous mode. Even if exposure times are high, you never know when the vibrations take their toll on camera stability. Shooting the same image 2 or 3 times will significantly increase the chances that at least one of the exposures turns out crisp.

Another reason to shoot in continuous mode is HDR. HDR is surprisingly possible in aerial photography, and I use it in cases of extreme global contrast. Take for example the image below of the Holuhraun volcanic eruption in Iceland. Taken at night, the lava was quite a few stops brighter than its black surroundings, and so I used exposure bracketing together with continuous mode to quickly shoot two shots of the same scene with different exposure times, which were later combined using Photoshop.

 With the lava many stops brighter than the surroundings, I had to use HDR to get this image.

Another surprisingly possible technical feat is panoramas. As long as all parameters are in check, there's really no reason not to pano from the air, and one can really get interesting results that way. This is especially important due to aerial photography's equipment limitation – when you're stuck with one or two lenses, shooting a panorama allows you to achieve a wider angle of view.

A 2-shot panorama taken from a Cessna above the mountains of Lofoten, Arctic Norway. Due to the aircraft's movement it was a bit of a difficult stitch, but still very possible and worthwhile.

In the next and final article in this series, I’ll survey several of my aerial shoots.

Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer, photography guide and traveler based in Israel. You can follow Erez's work on Instagram, Facebook and 500px, and subscribe to his mailing list for updates.

If you'd like to experience and shoot some of the most fascinating landscapes on earth with Erez as your guide, you're welcome to take a look at his unique photography workshops around the world:

Land of Ice - Southern Iceland
Winter Paradise - Northern Iceland
Northern Spirits - The Lofoten Islands
Giants of the Andes and Fitz Roy Hiking Annex - Patagonia
Tales of Arctic Nights - Greenland
Saga of the Seas and The Far Reaches Annex - The Faroe Islands
Desert Storm - Namibia

More in This Series: Selected Articles by Erez Marom:
Categories: Photo News

Yongnuo YN 85mm F1.8 lens now available

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 00:01

Yongnuo has announces its full-frame 85mm F1.8 lens, for Canon and (eventually) Nikon mounts. This budget-friendly lens, which closely resembles Canon's 85mm F1.8, first surfaced a couple of months ago. It features 9 elements in 6 groups, as well as a 0.85m minimum focusing distance, a 58mm filter diameter, and an overall weight of about 460g/16oz. It's offered Canon EF mount now, with reports pointing to a Nikon version coming soon.

Yongnuo announced the launch on its Facebook page, where it is also giving away three lenses for testing. The lens features an AF/MF switch and according to its B&H listing, gold-plated contacts. The new lens is priced at $177 at B&H, but is currently backordered.

Via: PhotoRumors

Categories: Photo News

iPhone 8 expected to replace Touch ID with 3D facial recognition

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:09

Given 2017 is the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, many expect Apple to come up with a few special features for this year's generation of its smartphones. A high-end model with 5.8" edge-to-edge OLED display is widely rumored and according to a note from J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall, this top-of-the-line device could do away with the Touch ID fingerprint reader and introduce 3D-facial recognition with a front-facing laser scanner as a security feature to Apple smartphones.  

Removing the fingerprint reader would be an important step to make the edge-to-edge display possible and would also reduce user frustration in wet conditions when Touch ID doesn't work well. Additionally, it could potentially be more secure, making it ideal for Apple Pay and other mobile commerce applications. Eventually the technology could also be used for augmented reality purposes but according to JPMorgan this is not expected to happen before 2018. 

The research note also claims that, based on economies of scale, the 3D recognition technology could also make it onto the lower level models of the 2017 iPhone line. The scanner is said to add $10 to $15 per module to the iPhone 8's bill of materials. In combination with the OLED display, glass casing, and related increased production cost this could mean that the new top-model will cost upwards of $1000.

What's your view on the new technology? Would you prefer it over a fingerprint reader, and be willing to pay a premium for it? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Photo News

Metropolitan Museum adds 375,000 scans of artwork to public domain

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:39
“[Advertisement for Sarony's Photographic Studies]” by Napoleon Sarony (American (born Canada), Quebec 1821–1896 New York) via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has added 375,000 images to the public domain, each showing a scan of copyright-free artwork in the museum's collection. Every image has a Creative Commons 'CC0' license, meaning they can be used for both personal and commercial purposes, and can be edited or used as parts of other projects.

This photo release follows the Museum’s Open Access of Scholarly Content initiative launched back in 2014, which made 400,000 photos available for non-commercial use. This latest photo release represents a slight change in the Museum's policy: that all of its photos of public domain works are now accompanied by a CC0 public domain license.

Talking about this move, Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley said:

Today, The Met has given the world a profound gift in service of its mission: the largest encyclopedic art museum in North America has eliminated the barriers that would otherwise prohibit access to its content, and invited the world to use, remix, and share their public-domain collections widely and without restriction. This is an enormous gift to the world, and it is an act of significant leadership on the part of the institution.

The newly released public domain photos can be located using the search tool on the Creative Commons website.

Via: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Categories: Photo News

Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF Bokeh Demystified

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 07:30

Sony's new STF (Smooth Trans Focus) 100mm F2.8 GM OSS uses an apodization (APD) filter to create very smooth out-of-focus regions/highlights both in front of, and behind, the focal plane.

But how exactly does it work? Sony has published a video demonstrating the principle, and the effect. Take a look:

The apodization element is a circular graduated neutral density filter that lets in more central light rays than peripheral light rays. This smooths out transitions between out-of-focus elements, leading to quite unique imagery.

The APD element is a (circular) graduated neutral density filter inserted into the optical path of the lens. Out-of-focus light rays that are either converging in front of the focal plane, or diverging behind the focal plane, have a gradual radial softening (seen as darkening of the more oblique rays in front of or behind the focal plane). This yields less interference between out-of-focus light rays and, so, less 'busy' and simply smoother bokeh. 

What's the real-world impact? Have a look at the image comparison below, which compares the foreground and background bokeh with and without the APD element:

The APD element leads to smoother foreground and background bokeh. Note how out-of-focus highlights are smoothed, and this applies to everything. There's a cost though: sometimes I like sharp, enlarged de-blurred out-of-focus highlights, which you won't get with this lens. But what you will get is smooth, creamy bokeh.

We've had very little time with the lens, but our initial impressions of image quality are extremely positive. If you'd like to learn more about the lens, visit the company's dedicated page on this lens over at Sony Alpha Universe, then take a look at the phenomenal MTF curves on Sony.com's site. Yes, this is a sharp lens, but with beautiful bokeh. And image stabilization, to boot, which, combined with IBIS on most E-mount cameras, will allow you to use slow-ish shutter speeds to maximize light gathering, minimizing noise.

Sony's E-mount system is becoming increasingly hard to ignore for professional results. With the release of the 100mm STF GM and 85/1.8 lenses, Sony is rounding out a format that already accepts arguably the largest lens lineup in history (thanks to its short flange distance). But the importance of a native lineup cannot be over-stressed, as it is native lenses that benefit most from Sony's AF technologies.

A note on autofocus...

Similar STF lenses tend to be manual focus or contrast detect-only, since peripheral light rays - the very ones the filter is designed to block out - are necessary for traditional phase-detect sensors to function. However, since (at least Sony's) on-sensor PDAF sensors can still use more central light rays for focusing, focusing does still work, remarkably well in fact with the a7R II, even indoors, wide open. That's quite an achievement, in no small part due to the excellent focusing system of the a7R II. What's more, movement of the focus element(s) is incredibly fast, thanks to the excellent Direct Drive SSM mechanism we've seen in blazingly fast-to-focus lenses like the FE 35mm F1.4 and FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM.

In other words, I was able to use to the 100mm STF to focus on faces, even using Eye AF, in fairly low indoor lighting, despite the T5.6 rating at a F2.8 aperture. More tests to follow, but that's nothing short of impressive.

The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS is already shaping up to be a spectacular lens, adding to an already well-rounded, serious E-mount lens lineup.

Categories: Photo News

Leica SL gallery update

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 07:19
Image taken using a Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm F2 adapted using the Leica M-Adapter T and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. ISO 2000, 1/125 sec, F2. Photo by Carey Rose

As we move towards completing our full review of the Leica SL, we've been toting it around town just about everywhere, from the grit of Pioneer Square to...well, the grit of a dim living room rock show. Whether you want images at ISO 50 or ISO 50,000, we've got you covered - including an adapted Minolta M-Rokkor lens to boot. 

See our updated Leica SL sample gallery

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Categories: Photo News

Silkypix Development Studio Pro8 released with new clarity slider and B&W controls

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 01:30

Japanese software developer Ichikawa Soft Laboratory Co. has released a new version of its Silkypix Development Studio Pro application that introduces a number of new tools and functions. Version 8 of the Raw adjustment and conversion program adds a clarity slider to the tool-set, that can be used to emphasize or smooth-out differences in neighboring tones to deliver more or less tonal impact in an image.

Users can also now take more control of black and white conversions using the Monochrome Controller Function that allows a range of colors to be lightened or darkened to simulate the use of colored optical filters over the lens of a camera loaded with black and white film. For selective enhancements a brush tool has been added to the Partial correction tool kit which the company says will make it easier to create rounder selection areas for adjustment.

Those who like to shoot underwater will be glad of a dedicated tool for correcting the color of images recorded in a range of sub-aqua conditions which reduces the impact of color-loss and shift at various selectable depths. Silkypix also now allows a single license to cover three computers and the company says it has cleaned up the user interface to make it more straightforward to use.

The program, and variations on it, is favored by a number of camera brands as an in-the-box raw converter given away with their cameras, but the full version can be purchased on-line from the manufacturer for 22464 JPY (approx. $200/£160). A 30-day free trial is also available. The program supports raw files from 613 cameras, it is claimed. For more information see the Silkypix website.

Press release

Product release announcement, high quality RAW development software high-end version “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8 download version”

The product concept of SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8

“SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8” is the latest development in the SILKYPIX series, aiming at “enhancement of functions for finishing photographs that meet the photographer’s expectations” and “a comfortable and enjoyable RAW development software.” In this version, we have added “Clarity” and a “Brush” to the “Partial correction tool,” which have been requested by many customers. In addition, it has been equipped with a “Monochrome controller” specialized for monochrome adjustments and a “Underwater photo controller” specific for underwater photography. This RAW development software will be a strong support so you can create your own works.

SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8 major features

Clarity adjustment
A “Clarity” parameter has been added to the “Tone” adjustment item to adjust the luminance level of each pixel based on information from surrounding pixels. Increasing the effects of “Clarity” will make it possible to finish the details of the subject in a bold picture, so it is effective when you want to finish bold scenes with a hazy surrounding. In contrast, by lowering the “Clarity” you can finish with a soft ambience like with a soft focus, so you can use it to effect with women and children’s photography.

A Brush added to the Partial correction tools
A “Brush” that makes it possible to select correction areas more freely to “Partial corrections” was added in “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro7.” Using the “Brush” makes corrections easier even in difficult areas of “circular correction filter” and “gradual correction filter.” More creative adjustments have become possible by making partial corrections that do not take the form of the subject.

Strengthening the Monochrome Controller Function
A Monochrome Controller function has been installed specialized for adjusting monochrome pictures. Eight kinds of “Color filters” can be selected, and it is possible to reproduce filters when shooting monochrome photographs on your screen. In addition, since the “Lightness” can be adjusted for each hue, you can make a thorough finish to your black and white photographs. Even beginners of black and white photography can easily switch between color and monochrome images after applying parameters in the preview display, so you will be able to intensify the understanding of effects on monochrome photographs due to changes in color.

Underwater Photo Controller Installed as a Function for Correcting Dedicated to Underwater Photography
A function from “SILKYPIX Marine Photography” for RAW development software dedicated to underwater photography has been installed into “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8” called Underwater photo controller. With this Underwater photo controller, you can correct the bluishness that is difficult to adjust with the normal white balance by using “White balance for underwater.” It also features “Color restoration,” which actually reproduces colors lost in water, as well as “Muddy reduction” to eliminate murkiness in water.

Focus Peaking Function Installed
A Focus peaking function has been installed to detect the parts focused on from adjacent pixels in the image, and to display them with colors added to those parts. With this function, you can clearly check the area of focus.

Improved User Interface
We have improved the design to be clean and simple to make it possible to concentrate on adjusting images. In addition, the layout has been changed to make it easier to understand for those using adjustment functions for the first time. Also, you can now change the background color of the preview display according to your preference.

One License Can Be Used on Three Computers
In recent years, more and more people own multiple computers, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, etc., sometimes using both Windows and macOS. With such changes in the industry, “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8” is now available for use on three computers with one license.

New function / Improvement list

  • Tone – Clarity slider addition
  • Partial correction tool – brush addition
  • Monochrome controller
  • Underwater photo controller
  • Warning indication – Focus peaking addition
  • Preview display Select background color
  • Choose Rating Display / Non-display under the thumbnail display
  • Improved User Interface
  • One License Can Be Used on Three Computers

SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro8 download version (Win/Mac) license price

Regular list price
New license
28080 JPY (tax included)

Upgrade license
Customer who already has following license can purchase one license for your one product license.
Upgrade target products:
SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro, Pro5, Pro5 for Panasonic, Pro6, Pro7, Pro7 for Panasonic
11232 JPY (tax included)
Upgrade target products:
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0, 4.0, 6, 7
16848 JPY (tax included)

Special price for bundle products
Customers for (bundle version) SILKYPIX series which were shipped with the cameras and lenses
22464 JPY (tax included)
[Target products]
SILKYPIX Developer Studio SE version
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 4.0 for TAMRON
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 4.0 for CASIO
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 for PENTAX or LE

Categories: Photo News

Crash drones over and over again with Microsoft's open source simulator

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 01:00

Microsoft has released a free, open source simulator to help engineers test drones in a photo-realistic environment. The AirSim, as it's called, offers a space for developers to run simulated flights again and again, gathering data and seeing how a drone's onboard perception systems react to a complex environment. Naturally, that's a lot cheaper and less time-consuming than studying repeated real-world drone crashes.

The cross-platform software supports manual or programmatically controlled flights, and thanks to its open source nature, data gathered from test flights can be easily used to create new algorithms to guide drone operation. There you have it – hundreds of simulated drone crashes aren't just amusing to watch, they may be actually useful.

The code is available for download via GitHub.

Categories: Photo News