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Issue 41 13 Feb – 9 Mar

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Fujifilm gets off to a flyer With 2017 barely into its second month, Fujifilm comes flying out of the traps with not one, but four exciting product launches. So we have an addition to the premium compact range, a whole new mediumformat system and new products in the X-series mirrorless system. And that’s where we’ll start, with the X-T20 Fujifilm’s X-series of mirrorless cameras is headed by the flagship pairing of the X-Pro2 and X-T2. The latest arrival in the family is the X-T20, an enthusiast-level model that shares many features with its higher spec brothers. The X-T20 has a compact bodyform and looks like a scaled-down X-T2, with its centrally located pentaprism housing and retro styling. Dig a little under its elegant skin and you find a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor working in partnership with Fujifilm’s impressive X-Processor Pro. Between the two you get a high speed performance – up to four times faster than the previous model – so you can take great pictures unhindered by a sluggish camera. Start time is a mere 0.4sec, shutter lag a trifling 0.05sec, continuous shooting up to 8fps is possible and autofocus is impressively responsive. Pivotal to the X-T20’s ability to produce images of stunning clarity and low noise is the X-Trans CMOS III sensor. This is optical low-pass filter (OLPF) free, made possible without the risk of false colours and moiré patterns by Fujifilm’s innovative sensor design. The X-Trans concept means that the three individual colour pixels – red, green and blue – are laid out in a 6x6 grid rather than a conventional 2x2 grid which means the sensor layout is effectively random, not regular. It is the regular pattern of traditional sensors that can lead to artefact problems that can ruin photographs, which is why an OLPF is needed to prevent them. Dispensing with it means there is one fewer piece of glass in front of the sensor so picture quality is the best possible and that is fully exploited with

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The Fujifilm X-T20 at a glance Fujifilm X-T20 body only £799, X-T20 and XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II £899, the XF16-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS £1099. Available from 23 February 24.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor X-Processor Pro image processing engine 4K video shooting I SO 200-12,800, expandable to ISO 10051,200 91 autofocus points, up to 325 possible  ustom settings for continuous C autofocus 3in tilting touchscreen monitor  echanical and electronic shutter up to M 1/32,000sec

Fujifilm X-series lenses. Where, incidentally, there is a new addition, the XF50mm f/2 R WR that you can read about over the page. The X-T20’s native ISO range is from 200 to 12,800. There’s the option of expanding to ISO 100 at the low end, 51,200 at the other. Image quality is impressive with rich colours, deep blacks and low noise even at high ISO settings so if you want to shoot available light candids indoors that’s perfectly feasible without compromising the quality of your shots. And sharp shooting in low light is made easily possible by the camera’s autofocusing system. Its advanced design means it is very capable at dealing with low-contrast, low-light and high-frequency subjects like bird feathers or animal fur. Autofocusing is reliable, fast and accurate, and there are plenty of auto options too. If you want face or eye detection focusing, you can select it and you have the choice of using 91 AF points arranged in a 13x7 grid with the central 49 points working on phase detection, but you can go for 325 points that work over the same area but each point is made much smaller. Many photographers like to work with a single AF point, but if you prefer, the X-T20 can be set up to work in a 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 AF point grid or just to wide mode. Simply put, the AF is supremely versatile and massively capable. The very exciting X-T20 is available from 23 February at a body only price of £799. A kit with the XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II costs £899 and it’s £1099 for the camera and the XF16-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. fujifilm.eu/uk

Look inside this cover wrap for the latest issue of Photography News


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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The holy trinity Fujifilm’s family of X-series lenses and optical accessories now numbers 24 products with the arrival of the latest XF50mm f/2 R WR, a short telephoto that offers a fast aperture and high performance in a very compact package

Specs Price £449, available in black or silver Construction 9 elements in 7 groups, 1x aspherical lens Filter size 46mm

© Will Cheung

Fujifilm’s ever-expanding collection of optics for its X-series cameras features lenses for all budgets, needs and preferences. The system’s early focus was, broadly, on high spec, superfast prime lenses such as the awardwinning XF56mm f/1.2 R and that was then followed by cutting edge zooms to give X-users an enviable choice of great options. Recently we have witnessed the arrival of compact primes that offer superb image quality in an elegant and portable bodyform, so we have seen the introduction of the XF23mm f/2 R WR and XF35mm f/2 R WR lenses. These high-performing optics are perfect for general use and also when weight and bulk are important considerations. The launch of the XF50mm f/2 R WR means there is now a trio of compact primes in the X-series lens system covering a popular range of focal lengths – equivalent to 35mm, 53mm and 76mm focal lengths in the 35mm format. The 50mm focal length on Fujifilm’s APS-C format camera gives a short telephoto effect, ideal for shooting portraits (see image), street candids and general scenic work. Its advanced lens coating helps to keep flare down and deliver high contrast, saturated pictures even in strong back-lighting. With an optical construction of nine elements in seven groups including one aspherical extra-low dispersion element, the XF50mm f/2 R WR gives high optical quality throughout the aperture range with minimal distortion, chromatic aberration

Fujifilm XF50mm f/2 R WR

Aperture range f/2-16 in 0.3EV steps 35mm format equivalent focal length 76mm Minimum focus 39cm Lens diaphragm Nine blades Dimensions 60x59.4mm Weight 200g

and flare. Used at its wider apertures, you also get lovely smooth background bokeh, and allowing a more comfortable working distance, it makes this new lens ideal for lovely portraits. The lens couples perfectly on X-series cameras to give very swift, accurate and responsive autofocusing in all sorts of lighting. An internal focusing mechanism driven by a stepping motor means that AF is silent and the lens’s external dimensions are constant regardless of subject distance.

Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 R WR

Mechanically, the lens is sealed to be weather- and dust-resistant and will continue to function perfectly in temperatures as low as -10°C. The XF50mm f/2 R WR is the ideal partner for the X-Pro2 and X-T2, both also featuring dust and weather resistant seals, for shooting in adverse conditions. As with many other X-series lenses, the XF50mm f/2 R WR has a smooth, clickstopped aperture ring in 0.3EV steps for precise exposure control with an A position for auto aperture control from the camera.

Fujifilm XF35mm f/2 R WR

The Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 R WR gives a moderate wide-angle (equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm format) that is ideal for people photography, general scenes and in crowds where there is limited room or it’s impractical to take a step backwards. An advanced optical design featuring ten elements in six groups includes two aspherical lenses positioned in the focusing group to give edge-to-edge sharpness regardless of the subject distance. This elegant, metal-bodied lens is weather sealed for a reliable performance in poor shooting conditions and will continue working flawlessly in temperatures as low as -10°C. Handling is first class with a smooth manual focus barrel if you prefer to take control and the refined aperture ring is firmly click-stopped in 0.3EV steps to enable very precise control of exposure and depth-of-field too.

Completing the triumvirate of elegant, portable primes is this Fujifilm XF35mm f/2 R WR, a lens giving an equivalent view of 53mm in the 35mm focal length. Its view is roughly similar to that of the human eye so this focal length is massively versatile in terms of suitable subject matter. Indeed, if you had the choice of only focal length to take out, this would be it and the compact proportions of the XF35mm f/2 R WR makes this the ideal take-everywhere lens. Its finish, design and handling are similar to the two other f/2 primes in this collection, so you get a weather-resistant design, a smooth aperture ring that is click-stopped in 0.3EV steps and silent internal focusing. The optical essentials are advanced too. Fujifilm has used an optical construction of nine elements in six groups including two aspherical lenses to minimise optical aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness at wide lens apertures and make the most of the Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS sensor.

Specs

Specs

Price £419, available in black or silver

Price £349, available in black or silver

Construction 10 elements in 6 groups, 2x aspherical lenses

Construction 9 elements in 6 groups, 2x aspherical lenses

Filter size 43mm

Filter size 43mm

Aperture range f/2-16 in 0.3EV steps

Aperture range f/2-16 in 0.3EV steps

35mm format equivalent focal length 35mm

35mm format equivalent focal length 53mm

Minimum focus 22cm

Minimum focus 35cm

Lens diaphragm Nine blades

Lens diaphragm Nine blades

Dimensions 60x51.9mm

Dimensions 60x45.9mm

Weight 180g

Weight 170g


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Issue 41 13 Feb – 9 Mar

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Leica’s milestone The Leica M10 is a slim 24-megapixel rangefinder camera and has a guide price of £5600 body only. The CMOS sensor is full-frame 35mm format, and the camera has an ISO range from ISO 100 to 50,000 and can accept Leica M-fit and R-bayonet (with an optional adapter) lenses. It is available to buy now.

Fantastic four from Fujifilm

Continue reading on page 4

A premium compact, an X-series camera and lens and a whole new system are destined for the dealers’ shelves

The Fujifilm GFX medium-format was announced last September but with no news of its pricing or availability. Now, we know both. But not content with launching a whole new system, Fujifilm also launched two cameras and an X-series lens. A new service scheme aimed at professional photographers was also unveiled. Let’s start with the GFX 50S. This 51.4-megapixel medium-format camera will be available from March at £6199 body only with the GF63mm f/2.8 standard lens at £1399. Two other lenses will also be available, the GF32-64mm f/4 wide-

angle zoom and the GF120mm f/4 macro telephoto at £1399 and £2599 respectively. We have a detailed hands-on report on the GFX 50S in this issue. The X-series gained a new member in the form of the X-T20. This 24.3-megapixel camera will be in the shops from late February with a body price of £799 and in a kit with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 for £1099. It’s essentially a smaller, lighter, cheaper and slightly less well specified X-T2. A new lens for the X-series is the XF50mm f/2 R WR. Giving a 35mm format equivalent of 76mm, this is a short

telephoto in the style of the existing 23mm f/2 and 35mm f/2 giving users the option of a smaller, more portable but still fast lens. The XF50mm f/2 will be in the shops from late February at a price of £449. Last, but by no means least, is the Fujifilm X100F, a premium compact with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor that offers high-quality still and video capture together with great handling. The X100F will be available from 16 February and the guide price is £1249. fujifilm.eu/uk


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

News

Fujifilm go bigger Fujifilm’s intention to launch its GFX medium-format camera system in 2017 was announced last year at Photokina and, right on cue, here it is. The 51.4-megapixel GFX 50S is the first camera in the system and it will be available from March together with three lenses. Specific price details were unavailable last year. “At Photokina we said that the price would be well under $10K,” says Adrian Clarke, managing director, Fujifilm Electronic Imaging Europe. “In the UK the GFX 50S with 63mm standard lens, EVF, and other accessories will sell at £7600 which we think is very reasonable in the medium-format market.” He continues to explain the thinking behind the new product: “Some people have asked why we have taken this route, and the big question has been: why not full-frame format? We thought immediately that those who bought our X-series cameras and lenses would be mightily upset if we brought out a full-frame camera system, a betrayal of our APS-C customers. “We also didn’t think the leap in quality from APS-C to 35mm full-frame would be that great given the strength of our X-lenses and X-Trans sensor. “So that is why we thought we should do something different, something that performs at a much, much

higher level in terms of resolution and dynamic range but that is roughly the same size as a full-frame DSLR. That is why we went the medium-format route.” The camera sensor measures 43.8x32.9mm and is a conventional Beyer 2x2 array unit, not the random 6x6 pixel array of the company’s X-Trans sensor, and there is no optical low-pass filter. The sensor works with the X-Processor Pro image processing engine that features film simulation modes, including a new Color Chrome option, and gives an ISO range that tops out at 102,400, with ISO 12,800 being the top native ISO. The sensor’s size means it is very versatile too. You get 51.4 megapixels with the default 4:3 format but other formats are selectable. You may prefer to crop images in post-processing but the GFX 50S gives the option of using different formats at the time of capture and you still get large file sizes. So, for example, if you fancied shooting the 1:1 square format portraits the file size would still be 38-megapixels or if you want to shoot 35mm ratio, ie 3:2, the files would be 45 megapixels. We will be testing the GFX 50S soon but meanwhile there is a detailed hands-on report that includes discussion on the camera’s key features in this issue. fujifilm.eu/uk

Fujifilm’s latest mirrorless model Premium quality in a premium compact Fujifilm has added the X100F to its range of premium compacts. Improving on the X100S released in 2013 and the X100T in 2014, the X100F features a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor with no low-pass filter and a high-speed processing engine, the X-Processor Pro. With an approximate start-up time of just 0.5 seconds, a shutter release time lag of 0.01 seconds and an autofocus that works at 0.08 seconds Fujifilm’s X100F is a speedy compact. With Fujifilm’s Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder the X100F gives you the option of switching between an optical or electronic viewfinder as you please. The X100F also features Film Stimulation modes which have been developed with Fujifilm’s philosophy of colour reproduction; new is the addition of an Acros mode which offers deep blacks and textures for monochrome images with a distinctive style. Design-wise the X100F includes a built-in ISO dial, as well as a focus lever allowing you to change the focus area without having to remove your eye from the viewfinder. The AF system uses 91 AF points with the option of going to 325 smaller

points. The central 49 AF points, covering around 40% of the image area, feature phase detection pixels for precise, very swift AF. Its high-performance Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens has a built-in ND filter, a new Control Ring and an aperture ring. The Control Ring lets you assign functions, such as ISO or Film Simulation, so you can access your most-used shooting modes with ease. When used with the Fujifilm Camera Remote app you can transfer your images and Full HD videos to your smartphone or tablet thanks to Wi-Fi and shoot remotely. The X100F is available from 16 February in black or silver for £1249.

Building on the DSLR-style viewfinder and dial-based operation design of the X-T10, Fujifilm has launched the X-T20; it’s a 24.3-megapixel mirrorless camera that can shoot great stills as well as both Full HD and 4K video. It is due in stores from 23 February. The camera is centred on an X-Trans CMOS III sensor with a native ISO range of 200 to 12,800 and that is expandable to ISO 51,200 at the high-speed end. Ideal whether you are shooting static or fast-moving subjects the X-T20 has an improved AF algorithm offering better accuracy especially with finely textured subjects. Also an AF-C custom settings option lets you choose one of five AF-C presets to suit the movement of your subject. The AF boasts 91 focusing points in a 13x7 array, 42 more than the X-T10, and if you prefer there is the option to use 325 AF points. To suit different subjects, situations and personal preferences, the AF system be set to use a single zone, a small number of zones or all 91 leaving the camera to decide what to focus on. Versatility is increased further with options for face detection. The X-T20 is available in black or silver for £799 body only, or you can purchase it with the XC16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II lens for £899, or with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens for £1099.

Prime time for Fujifilm The Fujifilm XF50mm f/2 R WR is the 24th member of the X-series optical collection and joins the existing XF23mm f/2 and XF35mm f/2 to offer a trio of compact, fast aperture primes that are ideal for travel and general photography. The XF50mm f/2 R WR offers the 35mm equivalent focal length of 76mm so it is a short telephoto and weighs just 200g. Weather and dust resistant the lens can operate in temperatures down to -10°C thanks to its robust design. Optically it promises much too. Featuring nine lens elements in seven groups, as well as an aspherical ED lens both spherical and chromatic aberrations are eliminated. This lens will be available from 23 February in black and silver for £449.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

News

Leica’s milestone The Photography Show

uk.leica-camera.com

Photo 24, version 2017

Yes, we know it is only February and defrosting the car is still a daily chore but we at Photography News have more than half an eye on June – yes, we are already thinking about Photo 24. If you've never heard of Photo 24, it is a Photography News reader event that happens around the longest day of the year, 21 June. We invite photographers of all levels of expertise to come along and spend the day with enthusiastic and like-minded fellow shooters. It's fun, inspiring and there are chances to win prizes with your images. It is also free, and whether your aim is to shoot for the whole 24 hours or just come along for the evening, all are welcome. The only stipulation, as we can only cope with limited numbers and the event is very popular, is that we ask for interested photographers to register for the event by a certain date and we’ll have a ballot. It's the only fair way of deciding who attends. At this time, we have a proposed date and that is Friday 23 June, noon start. This is still to be

Back for its fourth year at Birmingham’s NEC, The Photography Show 2017 will take place from 18 to 21 March, 10am to 5pm: and we’ll be there too! With a variety of seminars, demos, workshops and conferences there’s something to suit all levels of photographers; plus, there’s also the chance to visit manufacturer stands to check out their products and new releases, as well as chat to the expert staff. Tickets are £13.95, or £10.95 for concessions, pro and trade passes are free and students can attend the show for free on the special student day, which is Tuesday 21 March. For the Super Stage, masterclasses or conferences you will need to purchase a separate ticket for each event you wish to attend. As a Photography News reader, you can save £3 on adult entry (pay only £10.95) to The Photography Show – use promo code PNTPS17 to claim when you purchase tickets through photographyshow.com You’ll find the Photography News stand within the food gallery, where you can come and meet the team and grab yourself a copy of the latest issue. We look forward to seeing you there!

© Will Cheung

models. Spectacle wearers will find using the viewfinder much more comfortable thanks to an increased eye distance while field of view has been enlarged by 30% and the magnification increased to 0.73. Exposure is can be manual or with aperture-priority AE mode with the latter operating with a shutter range from 125secs to 1/4000sec. The longest shutter speed in manual is 8secs although the top speed is the same. Connectivity is important nowadays and the M10 does have Wi-Fi for wireless transfer of images to smart devices. The camera can also be controlled wirelessly from a smart device. For maximum image file size, capture in Raw and here you get DNG files so the files are very widely compatible with editing softwares and there is the option of three JPEG files sizes too. The Leica M10 is available at a body price of £5600. Check your local Leica dealer for the stock situation – there is usually an early rush. If you have to wait, that’ll give you the chance to save your pennies.

© Will Cheung

The Leica M3 came out in 1954 and the M dynasty continues to be in robust health and digital capture has been fully embraced. The M10 is a great example of this and it is the slimmest digital M to date, referring to the traditions of the classic film Ms when fast-handling, unobtrusiveness and compactness were key benefits. The M10 has a full-frame CMOS 24-megapixel sensor designed specifically for this camera. The sensor is low pass filter free to help deliver maximum detail and sharpness while its special pixel and micro-lens structure ensures that light even from oblique angles is precisely captured. Impressive dynamic range and contrast are also claimed for this sensor. The sensor is combined with the Leica Maestro-II processor that enables an ISO range of 100 to 6400 with expansion to 50,000 possible and features a 2GB buffer to give a continuous shooting rate of five frames-per-second. Five fps is pedestrian in this day and age but the M10 is still the fastest M to date. The M10 has rangefinder focusing and that has been improved upon compared with previous

confirmed but if you are keen and need to book time off work or want to avoid a clash with your holiday to Benidorm, then that is the date for your diary, subject to final confirmation. Details of how you register your interest, the deadline for the ballot itself and what we have planned will be revealed on our news pages over the next few issues of PN. So, once again, the date is Friday 23 June 2017 (subject to final confirmation): put it in your diary, but maybe just in pencil!

Win prints worth £200 a landscape, a close-up of frost or motorists struggling through snow – the only limit is your imagination. The picture just has to shout ‘winter’ to be in with a chance. Upload images to flickr.com/groups/3347670@N22. There is no fee to enter but you will have to join flickr. com, which is free. Only one photograph per person can submitted and the entrant must be UK-based. Images should be 1500 pixels across and we will contact you if we need higher resolution files to judge or publish. The editor’s decision in this contest is final – for full terms and conditions please see absolutephoto.com The closing date for entries is 5 March 2017 and the winner will be announced in PN issue 42, out the week beginning 13 March 2017. The winner of last month’s close-up contest is Gary Collyer for his superb water droplet shot; so congratulations and well done to him. Go to flickr.com/ groups/3085147@N24/ to see last month's entries.

© Will Cheung

Photography News has teamed up with expert photo printers Lumejet to bring you the chance of seeing your favourite photographs in glorious print. Win this freeto-enter contest and you will have £200 to spend on the Lumejet website; that’s enough for large blow-ups of your very best pictures to hang on your wall or put in your portfolio. With brilliant colours, superb tonality and great light-fast qualities, your Lumejet prints will impress everyone who sees them. Lumejet is passionate about printing great photographs and uses its own developed S200 printer for high-end photographic and commercial print use. This high-resolution printer features the Lumejet RGB Digital Print Head and Fujifilm professional-grade Crystal Archive materials to achieve a unique, ultra-high quality with extraordinary colour fidelity. To be in with the chance of winning £200-worth of your pictures printed by Lumejet all you have to do is sum up winter in one great image. Your entry could be


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

News

Light it up with NanGuang

News in brief Pentax KP Ricoh Imaging has announced details of the Pentax KP. It features a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sized sensor and boasts a top ISO of 819,200. It also comes with a grip replacement system, which allows you to comfortably hold the camera to suit your shooting style. Available late February the Pentax KP has a price of £1099.99, body only and comes in black or silver. ricoh-imaging.co.uk

Two new lighting kits have been added to the NanGuang range, which is available from Kenro. The NanGuang CNT2240C is a ‘bi-colour’ studio light, the largest in the range. This 200W LED uses SMT LEDs to give soft and diffused light, and features dimmer controls allowing you to adjust brightness, colour and temperature from 3200 to 5600K. Priced at £658.20, this kit includes a light head, light stand clamp, diffuser cloth and a 240V AC power adapter. The second kit is the NanGuang Professional Photo/ Video CN900DSP LED Portable Lighting Head Kit, which features a stepless dimming option that can be controlled manually or via DMX. This kit comes with the light head, barn doors, an orange filter, diffuser, extra soft diffuser, power adapter and a fitted carry case and costs £639.96. It has a power output of 54W via 900 LEDs and has the same colour temperature variation of the previous kit.

Samyang Samyang has launched the XEEN 16mm T2.6 Cine lens. Offering full-frame coverage this manual focus lens features X-Coating technology to offer exceptional image quality. Its aluminium housing makes it durable and keeps its weight minimal. Available now the XEEN 16mm T2.6 is priced at £1799.99. samyang-lens.co.uk or intro2020.co.uk?

kenro.co.uk

New from Novo Novo has launched a new range of photo products. The premium ABS hard-shell cases offer protection for your gear with stainless steel hinges, silicone rubber sealing and dice foam inside. Each case features an automatic pressurised air valve release and a click lock closing system. The range features five modules; the Dura 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500, with prices starting from £79. Also recently launched is a selection of tripods, heads and monopods. The T-Series starts from £199.99 and features three four-section tripod kits made from 8x

layered carbon fibre. The legs can be reversed by 180° making it compact for transporting and you can remove one of the legs and add a centre column to create a monopod. The four-section monopods feature soft rubber fastrelease twist locks. The Novo MP-10 has a maximum height of 165cm; the Novo MP-20, 182cm. There’s also a universal monopod stand, the Novo VD-01, with a folding feature; it can attach to both monopod models. novo-photo.com

Two from Tamron The Tamron SP70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is for full-frame and APS-C formats. Tamron went back to the drawing board with this popular focal length zoom and looked at the optical, mechanical and electronic aspects of the lens. It features Tamron VC (Vibration Compensation) technology to minimise camera shake and this lens offers a 5EV benefit. Construction is weather-resistant and it features eBAND coating to defeat flare. It will be available from the end of February in Canon and Nikon fits and the price is to be confirmed. The second lens is a wide-angle zoom for APS-C format cameras. The Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5Di II VC HLD will be available from the end of March at a price to be confirmed. This compact zoom lens features Tamron’s HLD motor for smooth, fast autofocusing with fulltime manual override. It also houses Tamron's VC for sharp shooting at slow shutter speeds.

In print with Epson The SureColor SC-P5000 from Epson features UltraChrome HDX 10-colour pigment and has a 2880x1440dpi resolution output. Designed for professional and fine-art photographic printing it has high-capacity 200ml ink cartridge which supports Light Light Black (LLK) or Violet ink configurations. The SC-P5000 can hold up to 100 sheets of premium paper and can print sizes A2, A2+, A3+, A3, A4 and 17in. Available now the SureColor SC-P5000 is priced at £2154.

Nikon MINI Nikon has joined forces with MINI to deliver 360° immersive footage with its Keymission line, for the launch of the new MINI Countryman. A collection of real-life experiences, enabled by the MINI Countryman have been documented with the KeyMission 360. The aim of the partnership is to inspire exploration and the sharing of experiences. nikon.co.uk

Powerful Panoramics Kenro has announced an upgraded version of its panoramic ball head, the Sevenoak Panoramic Ball Head Pro. By mounting your camera to the rotating ball head you can capture panoramic photos and timelapse videos with ease. The rotation of the ball head can be set in times of 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes and you can also set the rotation angle from 15360°. The ball head has a battery life of six hours and it can be connected to tripods or sliders. The Sevenoak Panoramic Ball Head Pro is available to buy now for £69.99.

epson.co.uk intro2020.co.uk

kenro.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

News News in brief

Free photography festival © Poulomi Basu

FORMAT Festival is the leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media which takes place annually in Derby. With a different theme each year the 2017 festival explores the theme of ‘Habitat’, looking at images that document the world and the changes around us. Celebrating photography, the free festival, which takes place from 24 March to 23 April, presents a variety of international exhibitions, events, open calls, collaborations and much more.

© Sheng Wen Lo

OPOTY finalists revealed The finalists of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2016 awards have been announced. Over 17,000 images were entered from more than 50 different countries. Those named as finalists include UK photographers Pete Hyde, Christopher Roche and Justin Garner. The overall winner will be announced live at the Photography Show in Birmingham on 18 March. opoty.co.uk

formatfestival.com

British documentary photographer Martin Parr will be receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Photography title at the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. The awards ceremony will take place in London on 20 April, and to coincide a collection of rarely seen black & white images taken by Martin Parr in the early stages of his career will be on show at Somerset House. The exhibition will run 21 April to 7 May and Martin will also be giving a talk at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences on 21 April. Tickets to the talk are £25, which also includes a ticket to the exhibition, which is otherwise priced at £8-£11 for adults, depending on which day you attend. worldphoto.org ©Martin Parr

© Martin Parr

Color Confidence inspired by Colour The Color Confidence Inspired by Colour photography competition was launched in January 2016, with one image chosen by the public every month. Violeta Angel, one of the 12 monthly winners, was named as the overall winner with her image, Seagull, and won the grand prize of over £1000 worth of photographic equipment. facebook.com/ ColorConfidence

Martin Parr to receive award

© Chuck Close

Hasselblad Masters 2018 The prestigious Hasselblad Masters competition is now open for entries until 10 June 2017. The 2018 competition sees the introduction of a new Aerial category. The winners will be announced in January 2018. hasselblad.com

Masterclass with Joe Cornish Joe Cornish will be running three masterclasses with The Fotospeed Academy. Interpreting your print will see Joe sharing his experience to help you get the best from your prints. Tickets costs £275 and the dates are 21 or 24 April, at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. fotospeed.com

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2017 The Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2017 opens for entries on 1 March. Entries should show the interaction between people and their environment, and must be submitted as a self-contained series of between ten and twelve images. The winner will receive a cash prize of €25,000, as well as a Leica M camera and lens, while the winner of the Newcomer Award (for photographers aged 25 and under) will receive €10,000 and a Leica rangefinder. There will also be ten prizes of €2500. All of the finalists’ images will be published online and in a magazine. Closing date is 10 April. leica-oskar-barnack-award.com

Saatchi Gallery shows selfies

Saatchi Gallery and Huawei have joined forces to launch a selfie competition asking photographers and artists to submit their creative self-portraits for the chance to have their work shown at the gallery. The competition closes on 12 March and the winner will be announced on 30 March. The winner will receive a special, money-can’t-buy photographic experience and ten shortlisted winners will receive a Huawei smartphone. The competition coincides with the Selfie to Self-Expression exhibition, which looks at the history of self-portraits right up to the selfies of the present day, and is the first exhibition worldwide to do so. The exhibition takes place at the Saatchi Gallery from 31 March to 30 May 2017. saatchigallery.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


10

Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Tell us your club’s latest news, email: clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Clubs

Camera club news If your club has any news that you want to share with the rest of the world, this is the page for it. Your story might be about your club’s success in a contest, or a member’s personal achievements; it could be about a group outing you had recently or when the annual exhibition is on show. Any news is eligible for inclusion, so club publicity officers please take note of the submission guidelines and get your stories in

beaconcc.co.uk/summerlecture. htm

Droitwich gets wild and Scottish! Mark Hamblin is visiting Droitwich Camera Club on 25 March 2017 at 7pm at Droitwich High School with his illustrated talk Wild Scotland: a photographic odyssey. Mark is a wildlife photographer, writer and guide who lives in the Cairngorms National Park. He spends much of his time photographing Scotland’s birdlife, nature and wildest places. In this illustrated talk Mark brings together a portfolio of his wonderful images and speaks about his work on a number of conservation media projects. Mark will be donating a copy of his book Tooth and Claw as a raffle prize on the night. droitwichcamera.co.uk

© Colin Westgate

© Trevor Bell

Harpenden PS’s annual exhibition Harpenden Photographic Society’s annual exhibition takes place this year on Saturday 11 March 2017 at High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden, from 10am to 4.30pm. Always one of the cultural highlights of Hertfordshire’s events calendar, the award-winning Harpenden Photographic Society warmly welcomes all to visit its exciting annual photographic exhibition, which will feature the work of local photographers. Chairman Peter Stevens comments: “HPS’s annual exhibition is a wonderful showcase of the work of local photographers, many of whom are award winning and critically acclaimed for their photography, and they will be displaying the finest examples from their portfolios. Whether you love landscape, portrait, macro street, sport or natural world photography, you will find it all in this exhibition!”

75 years for Farnborough © Kathryn Graham

and closes 1 June 2017. Entry costs £1.50 per image and prizes include Panasonic cameras; the winner gets a Panasonic Lumix GH5 worth £1700. Martin Parr Hon FRPS has agreed to judge the competition and announce the winners at an event at The Swan Theatre, Worcester on 1 July 2017. Results will be published in Photography News later this year. Tickets for the Martin Parr event cost £15 from the theatre box office at worcesterlive.co.uk/ boxoffice.asp or direct from Beacon Camera Club.

© Mark Hamblin

Beacon Camera Club is launching the 2017 Beacon Street Photography Competition to promote this popular genre of photography. “The Club believes street photography is a wonderful method of making social comment and encouraging social awareness,” says the club’s vice chairman Trevor Bell. “It’s also creatively and technically challenging and we hope that the competition will prove appealing to the great many excellent amateur street photographers around. We hope to make this an annual event.” The competition is open to amateur photographers only and online entry is open now at beaconcc.co.uk/streetcomp.htm

Deadline for the next issue: 27 February 2017

We need words and pictures by 27 February 2017 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 13 March 2017. Write your story in a Word document (400 words max). Please include contact details of the club, exhibition or event: website, meeting times, opening times, whatever is relevant. Images should be JPEGs, 2000 pixels on the longest dimension, any colour space, and image credits should be included. If the story is an exhibition or event, please send a picture from the exhibition (not the publicity poster) or one from the event. If it includes people, please identify them. Attach the Word document and JPEGs to an email and send to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

© Kathryn Graham

Beacon hits the streets

How to submit

Colchester victory Colchester Photographic Society maintained their winning streak by taking the North Essex PDI Inter-Club competition for the second straight year. 12 clubs took part, each entering five images with a sixth as a tie-breaker. Colchester took first place, Witham camera club second, with Clacton CC and Great Notley CC tied in third. Colin Westgate was awarded image of the evening with View over Stokksnes. Colchester PS meets every Tuesday evening at 19:30, Christ Church, Ireton Road Colchester CO3 3AT.

harpendenphotographicsociety.co.uk colchesterphotosoc.co.uk

© Kathryn Graham

© Kathryn Graham

Farnborough camera club held their annual exhibition on 28 and 29 January, celebrating the club’s 75th anniversary, with visitors voting for their favourite image. The winner was My Little World by Karl-Heinz Weber from Farnborough’s twinned club Photo-Cirkle in Oberursel , with Two Young Barn Owls by Terry Redman coming in second. As this is a special year, the club invited Leo Rich former president of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain to judge the entries and select the Best in Show. The winner was Get off my Pond by Mark Pirie. Leo said this was a great natural history shot: “It has everything,” he said, “Humour, storytelling, great exposure, fantastic sharpness throughout and still managed to capture the eye looking at you.” The club also included a display describing some of their history and previous images and would like to thank the Princes Mead Shopping Centre for allowing them the space to hold the exhibition. Farnboroughcameraclub. org


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Profile Before the judge

Monty Trent

Join us for our monthly chat with a photographic judge. Monty Trent took up judging as a challenge for his own photography and believes the most important people are the losers

Biography How many years in photography? Like many photographers, I developed an interest in photography during my teens. Home club The first club I joined was Welwyn Garden City Photographic Club. I later joined the RPS and became a member of UPP (United Postal Portfolios). After retiring, I moved to Yorkshire and now enjoy membership of both Leeds and Harrogate Photographic Societies What is your favourite camera? An Olympus OM-D E-M1. I started using Micro Four Thirds a few years ago looking for a lighter second camera for trips. What is your favorite lens? The Olympus 17mm f/1.8 prime. It is equivalent to a 34mm focal length on a full frame DSLR and my go-to lens for street photography.

Some primarily judge a picture by its faults instead of looking at the image and asking what it is ‘saying’. Instead, they concentrate every effort detecting tiny areas of, for example, burnt out highlights or horses with three legs. They insist on the Holy Grail of 100% critical sharpness whether or not the image demands it. Of course, I can’t ignore technical faults but I want to play a small part by looking at pictures as a whole, adopting a constructive rather than a critical approach. I think the most important people in the competition world are not the gong and certificate winners but those whose ‘babies’ fail to make the grade. I want them to feel they have had a fair crack of the whip and come away with some ideas of how to improve their photography. However, it’s true that my most rewarding experience was seeing a club member burst into tears when I awarded her first ever win. Standards vary from club to club. Generally, standards are improving and, nowadays, most members are up to ‘club standard’. The best clubs have the more experienced members and achieve higher standards. Like bridge or chess players we improve

Who is your favourite photographer? That’s a tough question. I have learnt much by looking at photographs and spending time with friends like Colin Westgate, Les Mclean and Hugh Milsom. But if you put a gun to my head it must be André Kertész.

What do you think? Have you seen a photographic judge at work who you’d like to see profiled in Photography News? If so please drop us a line to opinion@photography-news. co.uk with the judge’s name and, if possible, their contact details.

by competing with people better and more experienced than ourselves. Of course, in a contest many pictures don’t make the grade for a variety of reasons. The first is the derivative or unexciting picture. Much of this is as a result of the drive to produce recognisable winning pictures with a high ‘wow’ factor but lack emotional or intellectual appeal. Many people rush to please judges; to imitate fashionable genres or revisit popular tripod holes without bringing anything original to them. I also see too many ‘nice’ pictures that come, un-cropped, straight out © Monty Trent

What awards/distinctions/ medals have you won? LRPS.

© Monty Trent

What is your own favourite photographic subject or technique? People pictures outside the studio followed by landscape. But, I have no favourites. I’m 71 years young: there’s no time to waste. I don’t want to limit myself. I am always trying out new techniques or embarking on a new journey of discovery.

© Monty Trent

What is your favourite photo accessory? This must be my Op/Tech sling strap system.

Like many photographers, I developed an interest in photography during my teens. I developed my own film, made contact prints and later bought a home-made enlarger from a teacher for £4 and spent many a happy night stinking-out the bathroom. I was at Welwyn Garden City Photographic Club for over 16 years and it was there I got into judging. From time to time the East Anglia Federation ran a judges’ workshop to train putative judges and select new ones. I went along one day out of curiosity to see if I could hack it but also because I felt it was a new challenge for my photography. Now I’m a grade C judge. For four years I judged for the EAF at club level. Since moving to God’s own county, I have been placed on the Yorkshire Photographic Union supplementary list. I really enjoy looking at others’ photographs. They stimulate my passion for photography. Learning to comment and appraise (I feel the term ‘appraiser’ is so much better than ‘judge’) photographs is helpful in editing and reviewing my own. Judges come in all shapes and sizes and a few get a bad press.

of the camera without processing. There are only a handful of photographers with the technical skills to achieve perfection incamera. For the rest of us, I am sorry but ‘nice’ is not good enough. It is as important to invest time learning how to post-process our pictures to make them potential prize winners. Software is improving and becoming easier to learn. Google Nik Efex is now available free while applications like Lightroom, Capture One and Topaz are tailor made for photographers. Being constructive when you see a snapshot in front of you is a big problem. The picture might be someone’s first ever entry and harsh criticism would be harmful. But, judges have a duty to be honest as well as constructive: to mark honestly to ensure that there is a real range of marks to distinguish the sheep from the goats. As I said, the most important person in the clubroom is the one who loses. Every entrant should be treated with respect, win or lose. My final piece of advice for club members is to believe in themselves; be bold, brave, daring and original and choreograph your pictures to force a judge’s eye on the vision you are expressing. montytrent.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Advertisement feature © John Nassari

John Nassari

Losing your gear is heartbreaking. Faced with that nightmare, John Nassari took the bold decision to switch system – and hasn’t looked back © John Nassari

© John Nassari © John Nassari

Images Ditching his DSLRs in favour of Olympus’s OM-D cameras has ensured John Nassari’s wedding kit is portable and flexible, and the results top notch. © John Nassari

was a short period of adjustment. The most challenging aspects for John were getting used to the lack of mirror and the inclusion of an electric viewfinder, but he soon got the hang of things. “My first impression was that the OM-D E-M1 was small, quiet, beautiful and discreet!” he says. When it comes to features John highly rates the 5-axis image stabilisation. “It is amazing in low light, giving me five to six stops more light. I can hold and shoot a room at 1/20sec and it’s all sharp.” He also loves the peak focusing which allows you to zoom in really close to focus on a particular area; it’s great for focusing on a bride’s eyes, for example, when she is taking her vows. It’s not just his wedding work that John uses his Olympus kit for, he also shoots portraits and interiors. When shooting interiors he takes advantage of the high res mode, allowing him to produce a 40-megapixel file. As a photographer who regularly travels across

the globe, John doesn’t regret a thing and is delighted that he switched systems. “I can get on a plane and have all of my kit – two cameras, lenses, flashes – in my hand luggage and I don’t get anxious about whether my bag is too heavy or if it’ll fit.” What other effects has the change in system had on John’s work? “I am less conspicuous, I really can argue with great effect that my shooting approach is discreet, unobtrusive and quiet. I can’t imagine carrying two enormous DSLRs with huge lenses, making a loud mirror noise and putting my back out and banging my hip with bodies when I walk any more.” With the recent release of the Olympus flagship, OM-D E-M1 Mark II we asked John if he would be making the upgrade. His response: “Definitely, I used one at a prelaunch session and it blew me away. It’s a massive jump in so many ways!” olympus.co.uk

© John Nassari

At the age of 13 John Nassari was given his first camera by his stepfather. He went on to pursue photography both academically, gaining a PhD and teaching at university level, and professionally, establishing a career as an advertising photographer. His photography has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, and he was named as one of London’s Top 13 Wedding Photographers by the Evening Standard last year. Now focusing on weddings, John also shoots portraits, interiors and documentary. One of his more recent projects saw him spend ten months photographing behind the scenes at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hyde Park. The images were published in a book, 80 at 80, and exhibited in an exclusive private view in the hotel’s ballroom. Originally a Canon shooter, John switched to Olympus when his studio was broken into in 2013, and £36,000 worth of gear was stolen – a photographer’s worst nightmare. After receiving a cheque from his insurer, John realised that he had to start all over again and began to review what gear he actually needed and what it was that he wanted from it. “I realised that I was looking for smaller and lighter kit, a more compact system, a system that I could take around with me in a single medium bag, a bag that I could take on a plane as hand luggage,” John recalls. It was then that he also came to the conclusion that he had been ‘over gear-ing’ on a number of jobs. “I was taking enormous heavy cameras for PR jobs and the images were only being used online, or I was shooting a wedding and getting backache at the end of it, when the pictures were only going to be printed in an A3 book.” With all this in mind, John decided to move away from bulky DSLRs. Having heard good things about the Olympus OM-D E-M1, which was about to be released, he wanted to see what all the fuss was about. “I put the camera through a lot of tests; ISO and noise tests, speed tests, tracking and flash tests, file testing, JPEG tests, macro etc. When I looked back at the images and analysed them I was shocked at the results,” he declares. “The files were smaller than those of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, but when making a print I realised that the OM-D E-M1 could deliver for 90% of my work.” Mainly shooting large-scale weddings John and his team now all use the Olympus system. John has an OM-D E-M5 Mark II as well as the OM-D E-M1 and a wide selection of lenses, which includes the M.ZUIKO 1240mm f/2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.2 PRO, M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO and many more. “The cameras are remarkably robust. In three years some have been dropped and they always work fine. I’ve never had any problems with the electrics either and I get them serviced every year,” he says. As you’d expect when switching camera systems after a long period of loyalty, there


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

15

Interview Profile

Hardy Haase

We take a behind the scenes look at Flaghead Photographic, a leading UK distributor of lenses, lighting accessories and useful photo accessories. Meet its boss...

Biography Years in the photo industry? 48 years (started in 1969 in Germany and in 1975 in the UK) Current location? Poole, Dorset Last picture taken? Grandchildren at Christmas When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A cowboy Dogs or cats? Neither Toast or cereal? Porridge Email or phone call? Phone call or Skype

We are facing a few years of uncertainty that we have no great influence over

Below The Voigtländer Micro Four Thirds range of lenses.

Our readers might not have heard of Flaghead Photographic. Perhaps you could give us a potted history on the company and what inspired you to set it up. A little of your imaging background would be handy too. I started Flaghead Photographic in 2004 after leaving Hasselblad UK Ltd, where I was a director, to start a new working life without corporate stress and pressures. And to be by the seaside…. We moved to Poole to set up a business to import and distribute specialist photographic equipment. I started with products from Quantum, Honl Photo, ExpoImaging and Custom Brackets and grew the business from there. How is business at the moment? What does a distributor actually do and how do you get products into the shops? Business was very good for us last year and this year has started extremely well. We import and distribute products from the USA, Japan, Sweden, and Germany on an exclusive basis, we represent the manufacturers here in the UK and in Ireland. That means stocking and supplying, marketing, advertising, servicing, and repair, plus liaison between the end-user and retailer and the manufacturer to develop existing and create new products. There seem to be only a few independent specialist photo retailers left in the country. Is this a concern from your perspective? No, not for the specialist products we import and distribute. None of them sell in high volume, nor are they aimed at high street shops and their customers. Our products are looked after by a small group of retailers that serve the high-end pro market and the committed enthusiast. Niche market

products can be found quite easily online these days, thanks to Google and the like. Can readers buy products direct from your website? If not, what do you suggest they do if they are interested in buying? We do not sell direct from our website, but customers will find a list of retailers (shops and online) that stock our products. How do you select which brands to distribute? Or do they select you? And what was the first brand you took on? I always keep an eye open for products, new or not yet represented in the UK that would fit in with existing product lines and our way of distribution. Sometimes products get recommended by other importers around the world who are running a similar business to mine and know me. Sometimes manufacturers approach us when they think that we are a good match for them. International exhibitions like Photokina always produce opportunities. I always recommend products I come across to importers in other countries. The first product I took on was Quantum Instruments from the USA. Have you any plans to add more brands to your range any time soon? Or is it a period of consolidation? I am not desperately searching for new lines, but if something comes along that is special and fits into the portfolio, then I would go for it. It would have to be of high quality and fulfill a genuine need and purpose. You have a great range of imaging products, from long established names like Voigtlander and Quantum to TetherTools and Triggersmart. What are the growth areas for you? TetherTools is growing and will continue to do so, tethered photography is a fast growing market and TetherTools is the only company specializing in this specific type of equipment. Voigtländer sales are growing because they make lenses for Leica M-mount, MFT and Sony E mount and demand is growing. Generally the market for third party lenses is more buoyant than ever before and M-mount lenses can be used with adaptors on a wide variety of cameras. We are also seeing growth in the accessory products we sell, such as Custom Brackets, Walkstool and Honl Photo.

There seems to be lots of interest in fast aperture prime lenses with products not just from Voigtländer but also from Sigma, Tamron and Zeiss. Have you any thoughts why so many photographers are buying in such lenses? There are many reasons I guess; in the consumer market the price must be a great factor, there are some very good lenses available at lower prices than the camera manufacturers own. Then we see a growing demand for ‘retro’ lenses, which are manual focus and may have a specific ‘bokeh’. They are often made from metal and have a different feel from modern lenses. And finally there is a market for lenses that are made for outstanding quality, almost regardless of price, size and weight. Also growing in demand are lenses which are to be used for still and video capture, they again have specific requirements such as aperture settings that can be used ‘de-clicked’ and with a good long throw for manual focus. From your perspective and in terms of lenses, is 35mm fullframe the dominant format or have CSC and Micro Four Thirds overtaken it? I don’t know specific numbers or market share proportions, but I would guess that full-frame lenses still represents the largest single market segment. MFT, Sony E, Fuji and other mounts must all be growing in importance, that much is clear. I think TetherTools is your most recent brand. Perhaps you could expand a little of what TT offers for today’s image-maker? TetherTools is the only company specializing in this specific type of equipment. They make cables for USB, HDMI and FireWire connections. All cables are heavyduty, with thick individual strands, high-quality mouldings, radio interference shielded and have gold plated contacts for best possible connectivity. These are the only cables made for the imaging industry to transmit high-res files at great speed. The most popular cables are sold in orange and they have become the industry standard. TT also developed the JerkStopper, a small, inexpensive and insignificant looking accessory that protects the camera socket from damage. And then there are a wide range of accessories that make tethered photography easier, from tables to support your laptop to tablet and phone holders to power-boosting extension cables.

Since December 2016 TetherTools is also offering a wireless tethering option, the CaseAir wireless transmitter. This unit allows images to be transferred via the CaseAir’s own Wi-Fi signal, in JPEG and Raw files. This unit also allows remote control of your camera and its most important features. Lighting – flash and continuous – has seen major innovations over the past few years. Is this reflected in the range as well as the popularity of products offered by Flaghead? We don’t have a studio flash system in our program but our continuous light range from Hedler has been a great success in recent years driven by HMI and recently LED light units. The Hedler Profilux LED 1000 at below £1000 is pretty special. Video is a major growth area generally and more and more cameras offer 4K. Is this an opportunity for you too? Our market traditionally has been in stills photography, but of course we have experienced a convergence of stills and video in the last few years, which has meant that we do supply products such as Hedler and Voigtländer into this market. But none the less, I don’t expect us to move into that market in a big way. With the details of Brexit still to be decided, in your opinion what impact will our exit from the EU have on your business? We already have had to deal with the impact of Brexit! Almost all of our products are imported and paid for in foreign currency, which has meant a steep increase in the cost of products as the GBP weakened in May-June last year. We had to pass some of that increase on by August 2016. We will have to cope as best as we can for the moment and wait to see what new trade deals will bring for us importers. We are facing a few years of uncertainty that we have no great influence over and need to concentrate on areas that we can influence, such as marketing, service and quality of product. Is The Photography Show at the NEC the next opportunity for readers to see your company’s products? Do you know what you will be demonstrating? We are exhibiting at The Photography Show, stand F62, and will concentrate on products such as TetherTools, Voigtländer and TriggerSmart. flaghead.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Camera Club of the Year

in association with

Camera Club of the Year contest 2016-17

Two clubs have already qualified for our final so three more berths to be filled. Make it to our final and five clubs will enjoy a challenging day’s shoot to decide the overall winner

The Photography News Camera Club of the Year 2016-17 is into Round 3 already, so if your club hasn’t qualified for the final shoot-out yet, you only have three more chances. To be victorious, your club has to overcome two challenges. The first is to qualify for the final by coming top of the pile in one of the three remaining monthly rounds. Then the final itself is going to be a day’s photo shoot, the details of which will be released simultaneously to the five finalists. However, what we can reveal now is that the final will be a unique event that will offer a tremendous creative challenge and a never-to-be-forgotten experience for the finalists. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here so let’s start with how you qualify for the final. Your club’s competition secretary (or whoever is going to enter each month) must sign up on absolutephoto.com. Terms and conditions are on the website. Any club or group is eligible to enter so long as there are at least five members. Online groups, internal company clubs and those clubs not affiliated to the PAGB can still enter. Once you’ve signed up, go the Members Area on the top menu bar, click on that and you will see Camera Club of the Year 2016- 17 in the drop-down menu. Select that, then register your club and follow the upload instructions. JPEG files should be at least 1500 pixels on

the longest dimension, under 2MB in size and, preferably, in the sRGB colour space. A club can enter one set of five images from five different members each round. Failure to enter five shots will mean the missing shot/s scores zero; so it’s crucial to enter the full number of images. If, by mistake, six images are entered only the first five will be scored. After the closing date each picture will be scored out of 20 points and the highest scoring club each month will qualify for the final. In the event of tied scores, we will ignore the highest and lowest scores and average out the three remaining scores. If scores are still tied, all five scores will be averaged out. When the issue with that month’s result is published, the scores for every picture entered will be published on the website so you can see how you’ve done. There’s no monthly prize apart from qualifying for the final shoot-out and once a club has qualified for the final it need not enter again. In effect, because each monthly contest is self-contained, ie. it’s not a league system over the period of the contest, you do not have to enter every month. However, clearly it makes sense to give yourself as many chances to win as possible. So, read the entry details again, check out the theme on the opposite page and upload your shots before the closing date. Good luck!

About Fujifilm You might have noticed – on our cover wrap, in the news and reviews pages of this issue – that Fujifilm has had a fast start to 2017 following on from a hugely successful 2016. Three cameras and a new lens launched already with each product aimed at different photographers. Despite the fact that medium-format digital is not mass market, the big news is that Fujifilm’s GFX system has been launched to the world. At an exclusive launch event we got to use the camera and lenses and you can read how we got on in this issue. The first GFX camera is the 50S, a 51.4-megapixel mirrorless camera using a 43.8x32.9mm Bayar array sensor. With its high resolution sensor, ISO range reaching 102,400 and supported by a new GF lens system, many photographers will be giving the new system plenty of attention. All that interest will undoubtedly be fuelled further by its price. The Fujifilm GFX 50S has a price of £6199 and the standard GF63mm f/2.8 R WR is £1399. So you can go medium-format for £7598. That, obviously, is still a sum not to be trifled with but in the context of its market, it is a very competitive price. The Fujifilm X-series has seen another product added to the range, the X-T20. It’s an entry-level X-series camera but it is still packed with attractive features. Probably top of the list

is the APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor that boasts a 24.3-megapixel resolution and works with the X-Processor Pro image processing engine to deliver awesome image quality. Plus, you get fast start-up and enhanced AF performance including improved subject tracking. The X-T20 also has a range of great video features including the ability to record 4K movies with Fujifilm’s renowned Film Simulation modes. What’s more, you get all these fabulous features in a compact bodyform. Body only, the X-T20 costs £799, or £1099 with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 standard zoom. For more details on all of Fujifilm’s latest products please see the Fujifilm website.

fujifilm.eu/uk


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Camera Club of the Year

17

in association with

© Matt Hart

© Matt Hart

© Matt Hart

Matt Hart is an expert street photographer whose work draws admiration from all quarters. His camera system of choice is the Fujifilm X-series. “I like to capture the street scenes without changing the dynamic in the scene by being as discreet as possible,” says Mark. “For this reason I use the Fujifilm X-series for street, and it’s why the black camera bodies and lenses are perfect. “I mainly shoot with prime lenses for the size and fast maximum apertures, and prefer something wide and something long when shooting with two camera bodies. I shoot in aperture-priority AE and auto ISO allowing the ISO to go up to 6400. “I like to shoot around f/4 for most of my subjects. I use single shot AF for stationary subjects and with moving subjects, switch to continuous focus and allow the camera to track the subject as they walk. “I walk about 20 miles a day looking for the trinity of street photography: light, composition and moment. During the day in flat light this can be quite hard so often I wait for the evenings and use shop and street lights to add that extra dimension to a shot. Sometimes I wait in urban areas where I know there will be great light and shadows. “I love harsh contrast in the summer and look for really strong shadow areas and wait for the subjects to walk into just the right position.”

© Matt Hart

Theme 3: the street

lighttraveler.co.uk

Closing date: Midnight 5 March

© Matt Hart

Round 2: wildlife results

© Anne Whiteley

Our thanks go to all the camera clubs that entered Round 2 and made it such a lively contest. We saw many stunning images. Our qualifier from this month’s contest is Exeter Camera Club, who saw off Dorchester Camera Club by just one point. Both clubs were in the shake-up last month too, but well done to Exeter CC on this occasion and very bad luck to Dorchester CC for another bold showing but just missing out. The overall scores are shown here and the individual scores can be seen on the CCOTY gallery at absolutephoto.com .

91

Dorchester Camera Club

90

Great Notley Photography Club

89

Harpenden Photographic Society

89

*New City Photographic Society

88

Windsor Photographic Society

87

Seaford Photographic Society

86

Gloucester Camera Club

85

Harlow Photographic Society

85

Maidenhead Camera Club

85

Princes Risborough Photographic Society

85

Earl Shilton Camera Club

84

Norwich and District Photographic Society 83

© John Baker

© Alan Bastin

Scores Exeter Camera Club

© Sheila Haycox

© Gary Gawler

Preston Photographic Society

83

Colchester Photographic Society

82

First Monday

82

Nuneaton Photographic Society

82

Peterborough Photographic Society

82

Tonbridge Camera Club

82

Wisbech and District

81

Dunholme Camera Club

80

Wokingham & East Berks Camera Club

79

Alba Photographic Society

78

Beckenham Photographic Society

78

Blandford Forum Camera Club

78

West Wickham Photographic Society

78

Park Street Camera Club

77

Consett & District Photographic Society

74

Birlingham Photography Club

73

*Already qualified


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

18

Interview

Instanto Outdoors Professional photographer Henry Iddon has been shooting since his early teens when he had his own darkroom. Now he’s decided to go back to basics with the Underwood Instanto 10x12in camera to explore the changing technologies within photography Interview by Jemma Dodd

How heavy is the camera and how hard was it transporting it to these extreme locations? If we were going out for a proper day shoot, the rucksack with all of the kit and the camera and bits and bobs for the day would weigh about 20kg. Then I’d carry a tripod that weighs about 6kg, then my assistant would have another rucksack with the dark slides and that weighs about 12kg.

Definitely not a one-man job, then? That’s one of the first things that came to light; the Abraham brothers were a double act, the moment you start doing it you think “oh, OK…”. It needed to be a double act. What planning and research was involved? I’ve shot a previous project, called A place to go which is about poignant mountain landscapes and I shot that on 5x4in, so I’m familiar with largeformat. Having said that this camera makes a 5x4in look like a compact. The actual mechanics of using it were in some sense straightforward, but when we tested it first the bellows leaked light and some of the dark slides leaked so we could only use one side of the dark slides. It’s also very susceptible to the wind, being so big, so we had to shoot on very calm days when we could. You also can’t angle it very well when it’s on the tripod. If you were shooting with an SLR you could stand on one foot and lean out and get a quirky angle, but this thing had to be pretty much horizontal on a good solid bit of ground. We would have to try and think of somewhere where I could look across and see where the climber would be, where you could get parallel to the climber without having to look up or down at a steep angle. Everything was planned; we decided that we’d try and shoot areas at specific times. With a limited number of shots how did you decide what to photograph and ensure you’d get it right? As everything was planned, it was just a matter of deciding where the climber was going to be and where they could pause comfortably, because there’s no shutter on the

Above Chris Fisher climbing Nowt Burra Flee’in Thing, Cam Crag, Wasdale, Lake District. Below Below Scafell Crag doing test shots in April 2014 with the Underwood Instanto, a Ross lens and Ilford FP4 10x12in sheet film. Top right Leah Crane on Tourniquet on the Giant Stone, Little Font bouldering area, Kentmere. Bottom right Set- up on a promontory 200m up Wasdale Screes shooting Chris Fisher on Nowt Burra Flee’in Thing. © Henry Iddon

What was it about this particular photographic project? I always like doing something new; if it’s been done before then I’m not really bothered, because it doesn’t move anything forward. The opportunity came to use this camera through The Wasdale Collection and the Mountain Heritage Trust. Instead of doing a recreation – making our own wet plates and recreating old climbing pictures or doing traditional type landscapes – I thought it would be curious to shoot modern climbing, with modern sheet film, but literally through the lens of this old camera, because this camera was owned and used by the Abraham brothers. When they started photographing rock climbing in around 1910 it was a brand new sport. Now we would think of climbing as an extreme sport with sexy connotations, but back then it was basically men in tweed jackets. There’s this whole industry of extreme sports now; I do some of it commercially and people talk about themselves as professional adventure photographers or action sport photographers, but the provenance of the camera goes back to the very early days of that genre. Now you have someone with a GoPro action camera paragliding, but back in those days when the whole genre started they were using big plate cameras. That was the interest for me: to try and fuse together the two things.

I always like doing something new; if it’s been done before I’m not that bothered, because it doesn’t move anything forward

© Henry Iddon

The Underwood Instanto camera was originally used by George and Ashley Abraham during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The two brothers who grew up in Keswick in the Lake District were the first to take the camera into the hills, capturing both landscapes and action shots of themselves climbing. Now over 100 years later photographer Henry Iddon got hold of the camera and decided to follow in the footsteps of the Abraham brothers.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

19

Interview

How long did you spend on each shoot? Most shoots were a day, because it might take three hours to get to where we needed to shoot. It was a three- to four-hour hike to the mountain crag in the Lake District. I would shoot three sheets of film at one location. Did you use any ‘modern’ technology to help get the shots? The film was Ilford FP4 and I also used a modern tripod. Ilford makes custom film once a year to any size you want so they made me some custom 10x12in sheets. On a bright sunny day all I could do was quickly whip the cap on and off for a ‘short’ exposure. If it was vastly overcast I could do it slower, but the difference is negligible. Back in the Abraham brothers’ day they would have done an exposure of maybe three or four seconds because of the slow emulsions. I was using FP4 (ISO 125) it was faster. I could’ve used a neutral density filter

to give me more control on a bright sunny day, but I didn’t want to do that because it was incorporating too much modern technology into it. I deliberately wanted it to have this sort of whimsical randomness, that’s the charm of using film and old technology. I worked with a guy called Peter Guest at Image, fine art black & white printers in London. He would process one of the sheets and then if it was looking overexposed he would reduce the processing time of the next; it was the only way we could control it.

© Henry Iddon

camera, just me taking the lens cap off and putting it back on, so it’s like a one-second exposure. The climber would have to be able to stand or hold the position and then we’d just go for it. I asked most of the climbers to wear white, the shots were in black & white against dark rock so you’d never see them otherwise.

Were there any moments of regret? Well there was one shot that I had to go back and do twice and that was a ten-mile hike. It was just too windy when we got there so we had to go back and do it again. I mean it was a nice day out and we went to the pub afterwards, but it wasn’t ideal because it was quite a walk. Can you talk us through the shooting process and how the camera works? Basically, we’d arrive on site and find a flat area to set the camera up. The camera was sat on a wooden table that was made to fit the tripod. We’d fold it out, put the lens on and then do the shots. If we did one shoot, I’d get home and post the film © Henry Iddon

On a bright sunny day all I could do was quickly whip the cap on and off for a ‘short’ exposure

Left Posts, Knott Rigg, above Newlands Pass which links the Newlands and Buttermere valleys.

to Pete in London for processing, but on occasions I would do two shoots in a day, I had this portable darkroom that I’d set up in a car park. I could then take the film out, put them a light-proof box, reload the dark slides and then go to the next location. That happened a handful of times, but it was the only way I could do it. On a 5x4in you get film in light tight sheaths, but these dark slides are massive and open out wide so I used a portable Paterson darkroom; it’s about the size of a Portaloo. Pete would develop the negative and make a contact print for me on resincoated paper, then I decided the final exhibition prints. He printed them on Ilford Warmtone paper so they’re ever so slightly creamy.

© Henry Iddon

How long did the project take? I applied for the funding in April last year from the Arts Council England and that took several weeks to get. I had shot with the camera two years before. It took me two years rolling in the back of my mind to find the rationale for the Arts Council application. We started shooting at the end of July and took the last shot early January this year. I would have finished in December but we were shooting for BBC’s Countryfile (broadcast on 29 January). Looking back did you achieve what you wanted to? Did you learn anything new from the process? Yes, that it’s hard work shooting with a big camera, it’s a two-man job and you’ve got to shoot in good weather. That’s one thing that really struck me – you can’t shoot when it’s windy or rainy or blustery because the whole thing is a rigmarole. If you look at an old picture taken with an old camera you can be certain it was taken on a nice day, or not a windy one.

Can you tell us about the exhibition? The exhibition Instanto Outdoors is at Keswick museum and art gallery, which is the town where the Abraham brothers were based. The exhibition has 20 of my new images and also some of my cameras going back to the 1980s; even one of my father’s from the 1950s. It shows the cameras I’ve used and the photographs I’ve taken to show how technologies have changed. Ashley Abraham died in 1951 and his older brother in 1965; the change they saw in photography over their careers was the arrival of mediumformat and 35mm. In my 20-year professional career and 35-year photographic career I’ve seen huge changes from film and the advent of digital to iPhones and drones. The exhibition will also include iPhone pictures as well as a drone picture taken in Nepal. There will be skiing pictures I’ve taken with a Nikon DSLR and mountaineering pictures taken on my father’s camera. It shows the changing of technologies. There was always going to be some sort of contextual exhibition with the new images I’d taken, but the idea evolved as I was shooting. There are also some pictures by the Abraham brothers from 1910. They’re printed from scans from the originals, so their original images will be shown as modern-type prints and my new images, taken with the old camera are done as silver halide prints.

The exhibition An exhibition of Henry Iddon’s Instanto prints is on show at the Keswick Museum and Arts Gallery until 12 May. keswickmuseumco.uk


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20 In association with

IMAT LT

E © Will Cheung

Go long

U

Technique

In this, the first part of PN’s Ultimate Guide to Lenses, we look at telephoto lenses: what you need to know when buying, the techniques to improve results, and creative projects you can enjoy with your very own “long ’un”... Words Kingsley Singleton Pictures by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

© Kingsley Singleton

© Kingsley Singleton

Lenses are the lifeblood of creative photography, and the ability to change the lens you’re shooting with is one of the main reasons to buy a DSLR or CSC. So, if you want to improve your pictures, getting a new lens is often the place you should start. But you can also get better shots by improving the way you use the glass you have. In this new series we’ll look at how to choose and use different types of lenses, starting with telephoto models. Telephoto lenses are classified as any lens with a longer focal length than standard. Generally, full-frame standard lenses are agreed to be 50mm; with smaller formats that changes, so in APS-C it is 35mm and with Micro Four Thirds it is 25mm. Standard lenses give a field of view and perspective that’s similar to what the human eye sees, but because photography is often about changing the way we see the world, telephoto lenses are the first upgrade that many photographers make from the ‘kit zooms’ that come with most cameras. Taking an average 18-55mm, or 24-70mm standard zoom for example, you can already shoot fairly wide, but they don’t offer a lot of magnification at the other end, even though they’re technically, or bordering, telephoto. Switch to even an affordable 70-300mm, and you suddenly get a very different view on the world. Now you can fill the frame with far-off subjects, opening up the genres of sports and wildlife photography, as well as improving portraits and offering a different view of landscape scenes. In short, the telephoto is an immensely versatile and useful lens.

PART 1

Pick the right lens

Everything you need to know about finding and buying your next telephoto lens When it comes to choosing a telephoto, there can seem a dizzying array of options. Models can cost anything from under £100, to well over £10,000. Then there are all the different focal lengths available, which govern how much you’ll be able to magnify the subject you’re shooting. Lenses can stick to just one focal length (primes) or offer a selection (zooms), and telephoto zoom lenses can either have constant apertures or variable ones. Size and weight also have a bearing on lens choice, so when, where, and how often you’re going to use the lens needs to be considered. And there’s your camera body to consider; some lenses are designed for large sensors and some for cropped ones, so you need to make sure you’re buying the right one. Matching lens to subject The purpose of a telephoto lens is let you fill the frame with your subject,

providing lots of detail and impact, so the length of lens you need depends on the size of the subject you’re shooting and how close you’re able to get to it. For portraits, short to medium telephoto focal lengths, like 85mm, 105mm or 150mm are common. For sports and wildlife, where subject distance is greater, go longer. 300mm or more is common for these subjects, all the way up to 800mm, which will help you capture even very small, distant subjects. Prime or zoom? Whether to pick a prime or a zoom depends on how versatile you need your framing options to be, the image quality you require and how much you’re willing to spend. Zoom lenses, by definition, allow a range of focal lengths so you can adapt to different types of subject, or the distance they’re from you, without moving your feet.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

21 In association with Focal length If the lens is a zoom, several focal lengths will be marked between the two extremes. If it’s a prime, the lens is restricted to a single focal length and you’ll need to move your feet.

Focus ring The focus ring is used to manually focus the lens, and also, in the right AF mode, to make minor corrections to autofocus.

Lens hood Using a lens hood cuts the risk of lens flare, which reduces contrast and leaves artefacts on the image. It can also protect the front element from harm.

Technique Focus distance window Here you’ll be able to read the focus distance in feet and metres, between infinity and the lens’s closest focusing distance. Maximum aperture This tells you how wide the aperture will open. On many zooms, the maximum aperture will change across the focal length.

Front element The business end is best protected by a suitable protection or UV filter so that it doesn’t get scratched or knocked. Some lenses also feature water and oil-repellent coatings to make cleaning easier.

Filter thread The filter or accessory thread size will vary from model to model. You need to know this if you’re planning to use filters or a filter holder on the lens.

Zoom ring If the lens is a zoom rather than a prime, the zoom ring is used to set the focal length from the widest to the longest settings the lens allows. These correlate to the field of view.

Controls Switches will include features like picking the AF mode, limiting the focusing range and activating image stabilisation, as well as the type of stabilisation used.

© Kingsley Singleton

Your choice There’s loads of spec to look for when choosing a lens, but things like image stabilisation (here, on a Sigma 150-600mm lens it’s OS or Optical Stabilizer), can be vital for successful telephoto shots.

Primes on the other hand tend to offer greater image quality (though of course this isn’t always the case) because of their simplified construction, which often allows wider apertures to be used. Fast or slow? On some, usually more expensive zooms, you can use the same aperture at all focal lengths. Where the maximum aperture is f/2.8 or wider, these are called ‘fast’ lenses. On variable-aperture zooms, as you extend the focal length, the widest apertures will become unavailable. Zooms with a constant aperture, like f/2.8 or f/4 will be larger and heavier than those with a variable aperture, but you get more control over depth-of-field, and more efficient focusing. This applies even when shooting with small apertures because more light is coming through the lens. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t get great shots with a variable zoom though. Whether you need a zoom with a constant maximum aperture depends on the depth-of-field you want to work with, and what kind of light you’ll be working in. The wider the aperture, the easier you’ll find it to blur backgrounds and use faster shutter speeds. Faster speeds mean it’s easier to freeze movement, which is important for sports, wildlife or working in low light.

Tripod collar For greater stability when shooting, the tripod collar lets you mount your glass on a monopod or tripod.

Cropped or full-frame? Focal length is muddied a little when sensor size is taken into account. Lens names are standardised to include the focal lengths they cover, and these suggest the field of view, but if you’re using a camera with a sensor that’s smaller than fullframe (roughly 36x24mm), you’ll need to apply a crop factor. A typical APS-C sensor, as found in many DSLRs has a crop factor of 1.5x. So, a 70-200mm lens becomes effectively an 105-300mm. Similarly, a 50mm can become a useful portrait lens, hitting 75mm. Other popular crop factors are 1.6x (Canon) and 2x (Micro Four Thirds, ie. Olympus). Steady as she goes The majority of telephotos come with image stabilisation, which is a huge benefit. Longer focal lengths exaggerate camera shake and while you can improve results by using a tripod or monopod, image stabilisation is the perfect aid when shooting handheld. Lens makers have unique names for image stabilisation – Sigma calls its OS or Optical Stablizer. So check the lens has it and how many stops of shutter speed it compensates for. A 4EV benefit is common and in theory, this means shooting at 1/15sec is eqiuivalent to shooting at 1/500sec. Of course there are many variables that impact on this.

Lens mount Metal mounts show better build quality and longevity. If you’re likely to be using the lens outdoors a lot, look for weather sealing, too.

The lens’s minimum focus distance is important and dictates how large you can reproduce the subject in the frame compared to a lens with the same focal length, so if closeups are vital to you look to the lenses with the shortest distance. Focusing speed Focusing speed is improved with the latest focusing motors. Sigma, for example, use HSM or Hyper Sonic Motors so you get fast AF that is also effectvely silent. Speed is especially important if you’re shooting moving subjects. Designs with internal focusing and zooming are an advantage, too. In these, the lens size is constant or the front element doesn’t rotate. You might skip over the lens’s filter size, but checking it could save you money; if it’s the same as filters you own they can be reused on your new lens. Higher quality, fast lenses will tend to have large front elements, though, so it’s difficult to avoid splashing out as you’ll be looking at 77mm or 82mm filters. Lenses first Finally, always invest in the best quality lens you can afford: you’re more likely to change your camera body over time than lenses, so that’s where your money should be prioritised, and, if well treated, will serve you well for many years.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Technique PART 2

In association with

Get more from your telephoto lens

Improve your telephoto technique in four easy steps and you’ll soon see the benefit in your pictures... © Kingsley Singleton

1 Fill the frame The point of a telephoto lens is to get you closer to the action, filling the frame with your subject, to make the most of its detail and form. This means not being shy when it comes to how tightly you compose. The problem is obvious in many telephoto shots, which, despite having a great subject, lack impact because there’s too much vacant space around the focal point. The general rule is that if the background or environment isn’t saying something important in the picture, it’s better to crop it out and be more selective. You can leave a little space for the subject to look into, but too much can feel ‘empty’. Of course there are good cases to be made for minimalist compositions, but these are rare in comparison to the main telephoto subjects.

© Kingsley Singleton

✘ 2 Keep the shutter speed up

4 Choose the right aperture and focal length The temptation with telephotos is to push them to their limits, shooting at the longest focal lengths and the widest apertures. But lenses aren’t always at their best at these extremes, and you’ll find that sharpness can fall off, and vignetting can be stronger. So, don’t automatically push your lens to its maximum. Using focal lengths slightly shorter than the maximum helps, as does stopping down the aperture slightly, say from f/2.8 to f/4, or

f/5.6 to f/8. In any case, the optical properties of telephotos mean you’ll still get a shallow depth-of-field at middling apertures. Good composition can help here, too: pick a shooting angle that allows a sufficiently plain background to your subject and you can shoot with smaller apertures like f/8 or f/11, which will not only offer greater clarity, but also help keep more of the subject in focus, from front to back. © Kingsley Singleton

The high focal lengths of telephoto lenses mean that camera shake (vibrations passed to the camera from your hands), are more noticeable than when shooting at shorter focal lengths. Camera shake causes fine detail to blur and if you’re shooting wildlife, it can be particularly noticeable in fur and plumage. The key to beating it is to keep the camera and lens as still as possible when shooting. Image stabilisation can go some way to doing this, but it’s no match for proper technique. For the sharpest results, and if your subject allows it, always shoot with a tripod, bracing the camera further by gently pressing your head against it while using the viewfinder, and also pressing lightly down on the lens. The tripod legs should be extended as little as possible. Many pros who shoot telephoto use gimbal heads which allow lots of flexibility in composition, but you can use a ball-head too; just increase the friction slightly if you have the option, so its movement is firm, but it can still be repositioned. Using a monopod will also increase sharpness, but is more useful for subjects where you’re likely to be panning, or need to change your shooting position a lot. And if you have neither tripod nor monopod, switch on the lens’s image stabilisation and try to brace yourself against a tree, fence, or even use your kit bag for support. If you have to handhold the lens alone, tuck your elbows into your body and support the very end of the lens with your hand to increase stability. Finally, avoid jabbing at the shutter button. Instead, squeeze it gently and control your breathing as you do. It all helps increase the sharpness in the shot. © Kingsley Singleton

It’s not only good camera support that helps improve sharpness, the shutter speed you use is also a big factor. There’s an old rule which states you should be able to match your shutter speed to the focal length you’re shooting at, and you can think of this as ‘1/focal length’. So, if you’re shooting at 200mm, a minimum shutter speed of 1/200sec would be advisable to keep the picture sharp (assuming you can hold the camera fairly still). Using image stabilisation muddies the water a little, because if the technology claims to give you a three stop advantage, you can, in theory, enjoy the same sharpness at 1/30sec as you would at 1/250sec unstabilised. In practise though it’s good to keep as close to the ‘1/focal length’ rule as possible, and just enjoy the extra benefits that image stabilisation brings as a bonus. Therefore, if you’re falling a long way short of the required shutter speed and can’t open the aperture any further, make sure you increase the ISO setting; a little extra noise is better than a blurred image. Another good reason for not relying completely on image stabilisation, is that it makes no difference to subject movement. So you might be safe from camera shake, but get blur if your subject is moving too quickly for the shutter to freeze them.

3 Steady as she goes


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

25 In association with

Technique

Get creative with your long lenses Five simple projects to shoot with your telephoto lens – get out there and try them today! PART 3

Telephoto lenses are great for travel and candid photography because they let you pick out small details in confusing scenes; if you’re in a busy environment, they can simplify things nicely. To find those details, set a long focal length, and make sure you have image stabilisation switched on as the light may be low or changeable. In aperture-priority mode (A or Av), set a medium aperture like f/5.6 or f/8, and a medium ISO of 400-800. Focus up on your subject, composing to remove any clutter and shoot away.

© Kingsley Singleton

1 Look for the details

2 Take a telephoto landscape

© Will Cheung

© Will Cheung

Landscapes aren’t just the preserve of wide-angle lenses; telephotos bring great benefits, like picking out small compositions in the wider scene and compressing perspective, to pack more into the frame to create textured studies. They work especially well from high vantage points, looking down on a landscape. With the camera set to aperture-priority (A or Av) frame up, and set a middling to small aperture like f/11 or f/14. Switch on your image stabilisation and check the shutter speed. If it’s much less than the focal length, increase the ISO to compensate.

A lot of telephoto technique is about minimising camera movement to get the sharpest results, but intentional camera movement can create great pictures, especially if you’re able to follow moving subjects – a technique called panning. Using shutter-priority mode

© Will Cheung

3 Try a telephoto panning shot (S or Tv), set a shutter speed of between 1/15sec and 1/60sec. For fast moving subjects, like cars, you can set a high speed; for slow-moving subjects, a slow speed. Focus on the subject (continuous AF is good here), and follow smoothly, firing off a shot as it passes your position. © Kingsley Singleton

Shooting the moon is a great use of your telephoto lens, but if you’ve ever tried you’ll know it’s quite tricky to do. The first problem is that the moon is smaller in the sky than you might think; about the size of your thumbnail if you hold it up at arms’ length. To get around this problem, you’ll need a very long focal length of 500-600mm, enlarging the moon to a decent size. Each 100mm gives the moon (and the sun) a size of 1mm on the sensor, ie a 500mm lens gives a moon 5mm across. To avoid shake, set your camera on a tripod, and in manual mode (M) dial start with f/8 and a shutter speed of 1/250sec, at ISO 400 – the moon gets a similar level of light from the sun as we do. Focus and shoot, then assess the results. If the moon is too bright, increase the shutter speed, and if it’s too dark, increase the ISO.

© Kingsley Singleton

4 Shoot the moon

5 Shoot a telephoto portrait To easily blur the background in a portrait, frame up on your subject using one of the longer focal lengths you lens allows. Now switch to aperture-priority mode (A or Av) and dial in a wide aperture. You can use the longest setting and widest aperture, but, as mentioned previously, quality can be better if you throttle back a little. Now focus on the subject, shoot and you’ll find them nicely isolated against a blurred background. If you need more blur, try positioning them further from the background and closer to the camera.

Next month In the second part of our Ultimate Guide to Lenses we take a look at wide-angles with what to look for when buying, how to improve results from them, and creative projects to try.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Technique

Boxing clever Lighting Academy

Start your journey into the exciting world of creative lighting effects with PN’s Lighting Academy. This is the place to find out all about how flash and continuous lighting works and how it can be used to improve your shots. This month, two ways to use softboxes for flattering portraits… Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Stripbox alone

Stripbox with backlight

Stripbox alone: A 130cm Rotolux stripbox easily lights Emma at full length, but the thinness of the ’box means light falls away quickly in the background.

Second softbox: Using another softbox behind Emma’s position and directing it back at her and onto the background lifts the shadow areas.

It’s important to pick the right tools for the job; and this is just as true for your lighting technique as for anything else you do. For example, it’s not just the broad type of lighting modifiers you use that change the look of the light. Certainly, the illumination from a spill-kill reflector will look different to a softbox, but so will different sizes and shapes of modifier in the same broad type. When you add in the relative changes you can make in the position of the light, and the power used, lighting possibilities are endless. What’s in the box? Although starter flash kits often come with medium-sized square or octagonal softboxes, they don’t need to be this shape, and there are distinct benefits to using other styles of ’box. A strip softbox (or stripbox) for instance, which is essentially a stretched, thin rectangular shape, offers the same sort of softness, but in a more directed way. In this fashion it’s useful for accent lighting, or for a key light that covers a full-length portrait. Even changing from a square to an octagonal version can give subtly different looks to the shadows, and of course it will change the look of the catchlights in the subject’s eyes, too; a more circular box can look more natural in effect, while square boxes mimic window lighting in their throw of light and in the reflections they create in the eye. The depth of the ’box also changes the spread of light; deeper boxes are more focused, while shallow ones are more diffuse. The overall size of the softbox affects the spread of the light and the softness of the shadows, too. Smaller ’boxes create smaller pools of light, and the smaller the softbox in proportion to the subject, the harder the shadows will be. What’s more, the closer the softbox is to the subject, the softer the light will be. In general, small, distant sources, like the sun, give harder

shadows and more contrast than close large light sources, like a cloudy sky. Using a large softbox In the first of this month’s set-ups, we wanted to use an Elinchrom Rotolux stripbox, which at 130cm high and 50cm wide, is about the same width as many smaller ’boxes, but over twice as high. The reason? It’s a perfect size for lighting standing or full-length subjects, so could be positioned near to Emma on the landing where we were shooting. In contrast, a smaller box wouldn’t have lit her entire height when used from the same distance, and would need to have been pushed back – something we couldn’t do due to the thin walkway. An alternative would have been to use two regular softboxes, but that still wouldn’t have given the same height, and two flash heads would’ve been required. Because of the extra size of the stripbox compared to smaller versions, more power is required to fill it, as well as a sturdy build to the head, to accommodate the extra weight. This month we were using an Elinchrom BRX 250/250 kit; which comes with twin heads, two softboxes (a 66cm Square and a 56cm

Enhanced backlight

A strip softbox (or stripbox)... is useful for accent lighting, or for a key light that covers a full-length portrait

Right In this pic, the light behind Emma was intentionally set to be brighter than the key light, giving a cheerier glow to the background, adding hairlighting, and also further accenting her body shape. Left We used a pair of Elinchrom BRX 250/250 heads for this issue’s shoot, which can be bought in a ‘To Go’ kit with a 66cm Square and 56cm Octa softboxes.


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Technique Good clamshell lighting

Bottom light too bright

Images: Using your softboxes in a clamshell arrangement (one light directly above the subject and another below) provides almost shadowless illumination, so it’s very flattering, creating smooth skin tones. The arrangement on the right is more loose than a traditional clamshell set-up, where you might use the boxes closer together, but it has much the same effect. Just don’t overpower the bottom light (above right), or it can look unnatural.

Softbox size and softbox shadows The size of a light source has a direct correlation to the softness of light it produces. The larger it is, compared to the subject, the softer the illumination will be. Typically, you’ll want a softbox to be at least the same size as what you’re shooting for the softest results, so many portraits use 60-100cm boxes. The danger is that, when using softboxes much larger than the subject it’s more difficult to control the spread of light, so effects can look bland and lack contrast (assuming that’s what you’re after). In these cases, grids can be added to a softbox giving a more directional look, or the ’box can be turned away from the subject for a more feathered look. Right are two shots, one taken with a 30cm square box and the other with a 100cm Octabox. The difference in shadows and catchlights is clear, but there’s no right or wrong usage. As always, experimentation is key!

30cm square softbox

100cm octagonal softbox

Octa, which we put to good use in the second set-up), modelling lamps, cases, a Skyport wireless trigger, and other accessories. Shooting at 1/125sec, f/4 and ISO 100, the stripbox light was placed about 1m from Emma and metered at around 1/8th power (2.3 on the head). It did exactly what was required of it, adding even full-length lighting. However, after a few test shots there seemed too much shadow in the shot, giving more of a low-key look than I wanted. The reason, as mentioned before, is the shape of the ’box; it’s great for lighting a figure, but you’ll see more fall off of light in the background. To compensate I set up another light, behind Emma and down the corridor so that it wasn’t in shot. This was fitted with a 66cm square box and angled back towards her a little, but mostly onto the background. This worked to brighten the location, but also gave a little glow to Emma’s hair and profile. To start with, I shot with the light at the same power to the key light, which worked fine, as it wasn’t striking Emma’s face and couldn’t therefore overexpose it. From there, I also experimented with setting it a couple of stops brighter than the key light (4.3), which gave a cheerier glow to the image. The nice thing here is that it’s simple to work out a two-stop jump as the Elinchrom lights use an easy to understand, common power scale; 2.3 to 3.3 is one stop, so 1/8 to 1/4 power, and 4.3 would be 1/2 power. What’s more, this is standardised across the whole Elinchrom range, so you can match power levels from two different models of head and still know you’re getting consistent output. Clamshell lighting Another look that makes great use of softboxes is clamshell lighting and it’s one of the easiest and most flattering styles you can get from a two-light setup. Herein we were able to use the 66cm softbox and 56cm octabox that come with the BRX 250/250 kit, placing one light above Emma’s seated position and one below. The clamshell name simply comes from those opposing positions of the lights, and with the light softened and directed in this way, it creates a low-contrast, almost shadowless wraparound look, which is very flattering, if that’s what you’re after. You can set the light quite close to the subject, but this will sometimes cause a bit of hot-spotting on their skin, so I started with the square softbox lying on the floor about 2ft below, and the other about 2ft above Emma. Next it’s time to set the power of each light. This can be close to equal, but you don’t want to end up giving the subject a look as though they’re lit from below. It’s also important to meter the lights at the same time; with so much overlap to create the softness, any change in one will affect the whole portrait. Wanting to shoot at f/8 and ISO 100, I metered both lights at 2.0 (somewhere between 1/16 and 1/8 power), but then settled on 1.3 (1/16 power) for the light below, which gave a more natural ratio. Why was the octabox used above Emma and the square softbox below? The square softbox is larger and shallower, and therefore slightly softer in its look, which makes it more appropriate as the fill light in this case; I’d rather any harder shadows were descending, which makes the lighting look more natural. Next month: How to use beauty dishes, honeycombs and feather your lighting for dramatic effects. Thanks to: This month’s model was the wonderful Emma Davis, and we shot on location at the beautiful William Cecil Hotel, Stamford, Lincolnshire.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature

Jeff Ascough captures those once-in-a-lifetime moments for loving couples with his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Find out why it’s his go-to camera... Jeff Ascough began his professional photographic career shooting portraits in 1989 at the age of 21. He originally started working for his parents’ photography company, then three years later set up his own business shooting weddings. “I didn’t have a studio and so weddings seemed to be the easiest route to getting work. I had already covered a few, so it wasn’t difficult to put together a portfolio,” Jeff recalls. “Weddings allow me to be a photojournalist, a landscape photographer, a portrait photographer, and a street photographer all on one day.” To add a more documentary style to his wedding work, Jeff bought his first Canon in 1994 and then went on to buy a Canon EOS 100 while on his honeymoon. He’s also had the EOS-1N and EOS-1V, before purchasing a Leica rangefinder, but switched back to Canon in 2004. “As soon as digital became viable I moved back to Canon with the EOS 1D Mark II and I’ve been using Canon DSLRs ever since,” says Jeff. One of Jeff’s proudest moments was having his wedding work published in The Washington Post. “Here was a major international publication talking about my

wedding images in the sense of them being good documentary photographs, regardless of the content,” he tells us. Now shooting with the EOS 5D Mark IV, Jeff says it is an exceptional camera for weddings. “I’ve used the 5 series almost religiously for weddings since the 5D Mark III. The 5D Mark IV is perhaps the pinnacle of the 5 series development. The extended dynamic range is very useful for white weddings in the summer sun and dark suits in gloomy churches. The autofocus is fantastic in all light conditions and of course it comes with the usual 5 series bulletproof reliability, which is something wedding photographers really need as we only get one chance to shoot someone’s wedding day.” Jeff’s Big Picture (over the page) was taken at a wedding just before Christmas at Beverley Minster in Yorkshire. “The picture shows the groom with the bride’s son waiting for the arrival of the bride. They are both very emotional. To me this shot says so much about the relationship that the two of them have with each other, a relationship that was explored throughout the day. It’s my kind of lighting, too; dark, moody,

The Kit The extended dynamic range is very useful for white weddings in the summer sun and dark suits in gloomy churches atmospheric. The light on the groom’s face is perfect,” says Jeff. “It was shot with the EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens. Exposure was 1/80 sec at f/2, ISO 3200. The camera just did its thing, no special features were used.” Jeff decided to convert his image to black & white to give it more impact. “Emotive images tend to lend themselves to black & white. If you strip away the distractions of colour, you are often left with an image where you can focus on the emotion and story.”

The Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark IV The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV boasts a 30.4-megapixel sensor, 7fps continuous shooting, 61 AF points and an ISO range of 100-32,000.

About the photographer Jeff Ascough is an award-winning wedding photographer based in the North West. Together with his wife Sarah they have covered over 1500 weddings across the UK and Europe. Some of their wedding clients include famous faces such as Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien and Vivienne Westwood designer Pandora Cooper-Key. Jeff has been named one of the top five wedding photographers in the world by the BBC and the You & Your Wedding magazine wedding photographer of the year three times, amongst other awards. jeffascough.com

The Lens EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

© Jeff Ascough

Offering a broad focal range this lens is ideal for weddings, allowing you to capture wide scenes and zoom in for details and candid moments. The maximum aperture of f/2.8 will allow you to create soft background blur to make subjects really stand out.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature Š Jeff Ascough


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature Gear options

Power at your fingertips Stills or video, the Canon range has plenty on offer to help you document those special moments and create memories that can be treasured forever

Adding to its ever-expanding portfolio Canon has recently launched a range of top class, portable products to help both aspiring photographers and videographers get professional quality results. Canon’s award-winning G-series of premium large sensor compact has gained a new family member. The G9X Mark II boasts powerful technologies and DSLR-like specs in a compact body, allowing you to capture high-quality images of any occasion. Canon has also added three new models to its camcorder range, the LEGRIA HF R806, LEGRIA HF R86 and LEGRIA HF R88. All offer Full HD video and a full features set. canon.co.uk

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II The newest addition to the Canon PowerShot G-series features a one-inch type sensor, 20.9 megapixels and Canon’s DIGIC 7 Processor to ensure you capture high-quality images. With a Smart Auto mode that can detect 58 scenes you’ll be able to shoot almost anything with this compact little camera weighing just 206g. A three-inch LCD touchscreen enables easy use, while the lens control ring lets you easily control aperture, shutter speed and zoom. An ISO range of 12512,800 combined with a 28-84mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens mean that even in dark conditions you can capture special moments. A continuous shooting speed of 8.2fps means you can rapidly capture multiple shots to make sure you get that fleeting moment before it’s gone. For those who want to get more creative there’s a variety of photo effects including different picture styles and the ability to adjust saturation and colour tone; plus there’s the option of Full HD video.

CANON LEGRIA HF R86 and LEGRIA HF R88 New in the Canon LEGRIA HF range are the R86 and R88 camcorders. Both offer Full HD video recording and the ability to shoot both slow and fast motion for creative and professional-style footage. Incorporating the DIGIC DV 4 means the R86 and R88 can operate well in low light, so whether it’s the blowing out of birthday candles in a low-lit room, or party guests dancing, you’ll be able to record great quality footage. Both cameras also boast Zoom Framing Assist and an Intelligent Image Stabilizer which helps to ensure your footage is steady and free from camera shake. A 57x advanced zoom offering a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38.5mm to 1853mm provides an exceptional focal range for getting in

CANON LEGRIA HF R806 If you can’t wait to share your mini movies then the newly released Canon LEGRIA HF R806 is the perfect option; not only does it feature Wi-Fi and NFC, but it’s also compatible with FlashAir memory cards so there’s no waiting to show off your captures to friends and family. You can film treasured family moments in Full HD for stunning results that will let you relive every second. Thanks to an Audio Select Scene you can choose from five different modes to allow the camcorder to optimise settings automatically. Combined with a high-sensitivity built-in zoom microphone you can get great sound quality in all sorts of situations. The lens boasts an advanced zoom of 57x, so you can capture great footage whether you’re in the background or up close to the action; with a wide aperture of f/1.8 combined with a DIGIC DV 4 it performs brilliantly in low-light settings. The HF R806 has a vari-angle monitor so you can mix up shot types and angles, and a range of creative filters to add special effects.

close on the action, while an aperture of f/1.84.5 means you can create creative bokeh effects. The LEGRIA HF R88 also contains the WA-H43 wide angle lens adapter, which allows you to fit even more in the frame; great for group shots, capturing wide landscapes or shooting in confined spaces. Ergonomically designed, both camcorders feature vari-angle and weigh just 240g. Built-in filters include Touch Decoration and Cinema Look filters to let you add finishing touches to your recordings, while built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allow you to share footage almost instantly. Built-in 16GB memory means you can start filming straight away and with a long-life rechargeable battery you can keep shooting.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


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Photography News Issue 41 absolutephoto.com

Awards Gear of the year

Photography News Awards 2016 It’s time to recognise brilliant products, innovation and outstanding service in our prestigious annual Awards. The categories cover all key product areas, including everything from cameras and lenses to monitors, filters and memory cards. Voting is free and only takes a few minutes, so check out our nominations and get voting...

The experts at Photography News have made voting easier by shortlisting products in all the hardware categories while in the service categories you are completely free to choose the company that you think deserves the recognition of a PN Award. Voting is open now and will close on 28 February 2017, so you have plenty of

time to consider what you vote for. Go to absolutephoto.com and follow the Awards 2016 link to vote. We have kept the voting process as simple as possible and you don’t have to register or log in. You can vote in as few or as many categories as you want – it’s entirely up to you. But everyone who votes will be entered into a prize

draw after voting closes, and the first name picked out at random will win a 12-bottle case of wine. If you prefer to vote by post, nominate your products by ticking the appropriate box and send the completed form to Bright Publishing, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambs CB22 3HJ.


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Photography News Issue 41 absolutephoto.com

Awards

CONSUMER DSLR Canon EOS 80D Canon EOS 1300D Nikon D3400 Nikon D7200 Pentax K-3 II Sony A77 II

ADVANCED DSLR Canon EOS 7D Mark ll Nikon Df Nikon D500
 Nikon D810 Pentax K-1

PROFESSIONAL DSLR Canon EOS 5DS/5DS R Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Nikon D5 Sony A99 II

CONSUMER CSC Fujifilm X-E2S Fujifilm X-T10 Olympus PEN E-PL8 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80 Sigma sd Quattro

WIDE-ANGLE ZOOM Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
 Pentax-D HD FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art
 Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

PRIME: TELEPHOTO Fujifilm XF90mm f/2 R LM WR Laowa 105mm f/2 STF Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4

STANDARD ZOOM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Fujifilm XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR 
 Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD

MACRO Fujifilm XF60mm f/2.4 R Macro
 Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm f/2.8 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC Macro 
 Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Macro

ADVANCED CSC Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-T2 Leica T Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Olympus PEN-F Sony A6300

PROFESSIONAL CSC Fujifilm X-Pro2 Leica SL Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Sony A7R II Sony A6500

COMPACT Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Fujifilm X70 Leica Q Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V Sony Cyber-shot RX1R Mark II

VIDEO LENS Samyang 21mm T1.5 ED AS UMC CS Samyang 50mm T1.3 ED AS UMC CS XEEN 50mm T1.5 XEEN 85mm T1.5 Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2

TELEPHOTO ZOOM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Fujifilm XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3 Di VC USD G2

SUPERZOOM Fujifilm XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
 Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD TRIPOD: TRAVEL Benro FTA18CC Travel Angel Gitzo GT1555T Kenro Karoo Standard Travel Tripod 104C Manfrotto BeFree Carbon Nest Traveller NT-6264CK Vanguard VEO 265AB

MEDIUM-FORMAT Hasselblad H6D-100c Hasselblad X1D Leica S Pentax 645Z
 Phase One XF 100MP

PRIME: WIDE-ANGLE Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.8G ED
 Samyang 20mm f/1.8 ED AS UMC CS Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
 Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 E Touit

TRIPOD: ALUMINIUM Benro COM37AL Manfrotto 290 Dual Aluminium 3-section Nest NT-6294AK Slik Pro 700 DX Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT Velbon SUB-65

PRIME: STANDARD Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Fujifilm XF35mm f/2 R WR Olympus M.Zuiko ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
 Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
 Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nokton II

TRIPOD: CARBON-FIBRE Benro Mach3 TMA28C
 Gitzo Systematic 3
 Kenro Karoo Ultimate Travel Tripod 401C Manfrotto 055 3-section Nest Systematic NT-5303CK Novo Explora T10


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Photography News Issue 41 absolutephoto.com

Awards

ON-CAMERA FLASH Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Kenro Speedflash KFL101 Metz 64 AF-1 Digital
 
 Phottix Mitros+ Pixapro Li-ION580 ETTL Sigma EF-630

EXTERNAL STORAGE DEVICE Drobo 5C G-Technology G-Drive with Thunderbolt LaCie Porsche Design Desktop Drive Samsung Portable SSD T3 Seagate Innov8 Western Digital My Book (new version)

INKJET MEDIA: FINE ART FINISH Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310gsm Epson Hot Press Bright 330gsm
 Fotospeed Smooth Cotton 300 Signature Hahnemühle William Turner 310gsm Innova Fabriano Artistico Watercolour Rag 310gsm PermaJet Museum Heritage 310

SHOULDER/SLING BAG Crumpler Proper Roady Photo 7500 Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW Nest Hiker 30 Tamrac Corona 14 Tenba Cooper 15 Vanguard VEO 37

COLOUR MANAGEMENT DEVICE Color Confidence GrafiLite DataColor Spyder5PRO DataColor Spyder5CAPTURE PRO X-Rite ColorMunki Display
 X-Rite ColorMunki Smile X-Rite i1Display Pro

PORTABLE FLASH Bowens XMT500 Broncolor Siros 400 L Elinchrom ELB 400 with Quadra HS head Phottix Indra360 TTL Pixapro CITI 600 TTL Profoto B2

MONITOR BenQ PV270 Pro 27in IPS Eizo ColorEdge CG277 27in
 NEC Multisync PA322UHD 32in Samsung 32in UD970 UHD ViewSonic VP2468 INNOVATION Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Dual Pixel Raw Fujifilm GFX mirrorless medium-format system Hasselblad X1D mirrorless medium-format system Nikon D5 – ISO up to 3,280,000 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II superfast continuous shooting Profoto D2 and Pro-10 super-short flash duration

MONOBLOC FLASH Bowens XMS500
 Broncolor Siros 400 S Elinchrom ELC Pro HD Lencarta SuperFast 600 Profoto D2 Westcott Strobelite Plus MAINS FLASH: POWER PACK Broncolor Scoro S 1600 RFS Elinchrom Digital 1200 RX Profoto Pro-10 CONTINUOUS LIGHT Bowens Mosaic2 Bi-Colour LED panel F&V Z400S Soft Bi-color Ice Light 2 Kenro NanGuang CN-900CSA
 Litepanels Astra 1x1 Soft Bi-color
 Westcott Flex Bi-Color mat

PHOTO BACKPACK Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II 
 Manfrotto Pro Advanced Rear Access Nest Diverse 20 Modular backpack Paxis Mt Pickett 20 Tamrac Anvil Slim 15


BEST INSURANCE PROVIDER If you insure your photo outfit with a specialist photographic policy, or you do the odd photography job so need public indemnity insurance, has your provider gone the extra mile?

PROCESSING LAB Which processing lab do you trust with your photos, albums or stationery? If they offer highquality and utterly reliable service at competitive prices, are they worthy of a PN award?

BEST BOOK SERVICE Creating your own high-quality photographic book has never been easier, but there are so many online services. In your experience, which book service offers the best choice of papers and finishes, ease of use and quality product?

MOVIE CAMERA OF THE YEAR Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon XC15 Fujifilm X-T2
 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Sony A7S II ROLLER/HARD CASE Lowepro PhotoStream RL 150 Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 50 Nest Odyssey 10
 
 Panzer Conqueror 31 Peli iM2450 Storm Case Tenba Roadie II Hybrid INKJET PRINTER Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Canon PIXMA PRO-100S Canon PIXMA TS9050 Epson SureColor SC-P400 Epson SureColor SC-P600 Epson SureColor SC-P800

MEMORY CARD Delkin Devices Cinema SDXC UHS-II V90
 Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II PNY Elite Performance SDXC UHS-I/U3 Samsung SDXC Pro Plus UHS-I
 SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II

BEST HIRE CENTRE Perhaps you’ve hired an expensive, exotic telephoto for an air show or lighting kit for a location shoot, whichever, nominate the hire company that has fulfilled your wishes, with a wide product range, punctuality and good customer service.

PHOTO WEBSITE PROVIDER For gallery websites or full-service ’sites with clientproofing and a blog, which provider offers the best range of templates and customisation options together with top-notch customer service?

STUDIO/LIGHTING ACCESSORY CamRanger Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS Lastolite Urban backgrounds Manfrotto Digital Director Phottix Odin II Rogue Flashbender 2 XL PRO FILTER Cokin Nuances


 Hoya Fusion Antistatic filters Hoya ProND family Lee Filters Big Stopper
 Lee Filters Landscape Polariser Marumi DHG Super Circular Polariser

LAUNCH Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

 Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-Pro2
 Hasselblad X1D Nikon D5

BEST RETAILER Whether you shop for your photo kit online or in store, nominate the photo retailer that has you going back time and time again.

INKJET MEDIA: PHOTOGRAPHIC FINISH DaVinci Fibre Gloss Silk 310gsm
 Fotospeed Photo Smooth Pearl 290 Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta 310 Ilford Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Silk 310 Innova Exhibition Cotton Gloss 335gsm PermaJet FB Gold Silk 315gsm

MOVIE ACCESSORY OF THE YEAR Atomos Ninja Flame G-Technology G Drive ev RaW Micromuff family Saramonic SR-AX107 Audio Adapter
 Shape Monitor Cages Syrp Slingshot 360° CAMERA OF THE YEAR 360fly 4K Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K Nikon KeyMission 360 Ricoh Theta S Samsung Gear 360

TRAINING PROVIDER From basic photo knowledge through particular tips and techniques to camera-specific training, in the classroom, studio or out on location, which provider offers the best learning experience, in your opinion?

The details How to vote Go to absolutephoto.com or fill in and post these pages to Bright Publishing, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ. Closing date is 28 February 2017. The results We’ll announce the results in issue 42 of Photography News and present the awards to their deserving recipients at The Photography Show, at Brimingham’s NEC, 18-21 March 2016.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

38

Camera test

In association

Specs Price GFX 50S body £6199, GF63mm f/2.8 R WR £1399, GF32-64mm f/4 R LM WR £2199, GF120mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Macro £2599 Sensor 51.4 megapixels, 14-bit capture Sensor format 43.8x32.9mm Bayer array with primary colour filter with Raw and JPEG capture, no OLPF

Fujifilm GFX 50S At a special launch event held at the Althorp Estate, we got the chance to experience and shoot with Fujifilm’s GFX medium-format system for this preview Words and pictures by Will Cheung

ISO Range ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 50-102,400 Shutter range 360secs-1/4000sec, 1/16,000sec (electronic shutter) Drive modes Continuous up to 3fps, single, remote, self-timer Metering system Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot, average Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV steps, autobracketing available to +/-5EV in 2, 3, 5, 7 frames Monitor 3.2in, aspect ratio 4:3, approx. 2,360K-dot tilt-type, touchscreen colour LCD EVF 0.5in approx. 3,690K-dots OLED showing 100%. Built-in eye sensor Focusing AF with contrast detect sensor with modes including face detection, live view, single point, multi-area, continuous, single shot Focus points 117 in a 13x9 array, 425 possible Video Full HD 1920x1080) 29.97p/ 25p/24p/23.98p 36Mbps up to Approx. 30 min. HD (1280x720) 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 18Mbps up to approx 30min Connectivity Micro HDMI, USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Storage media Dual SD card slots Dimensions (wxhxd) 147.5x94.2x91.4mm Weight Body approx. 920g Contact fujifilm.eu/uk

Above The GFX 50S with 32-64mm f/4 lens was fitted on a tripod with the shutter release partially depressed to lock focus and the button pushed all the way down when the dancers reached the peak of their leap. The shutter lag was minimal so accurately timing the shot was easy. The exposure was 1/125sec at f/13 and ISO 200. Lighting was provided by five mains flash units, two fitted with brollies and three with grids.

The world of medium-format digital imaging has recently changed forever and in a very exciting way. First with the arrival of the Hasselblad X1D system and more recently with the Fujifilm GFX system launch. Both are mirrorless systems that offer key advantages, notably in respect of bodyform – no flipping mirror means bodies can be made more compact and lightweight. The two companies have taken different approaches, though, with Hasselblad going for a lens shutterbased system that has the benefit of flash sync at all shutter speeds while Fujifilm uses a focal plane shutter which means lighter lenses. The first Fujifilm GFX camera is the 50S and I got the chance to get hands-on at the system’s UK launch. Three lenses were also available, the 63mm f/2.8 standard, 23-46mm f/4 and 120mm f/4 macro. I started with the GFX 50S in combination with the 63mm f/2.8 standard lens – this is equivalent to a 50mm lens in the 35mm format. This duo weighs in at 1230g. For reference, a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

with 50mm f/1.4 lens is 1180g and a Nikon D810 with 50mm f/1.8 tips the scales at 1165g. In other words, the GFX 50S’s weight is broadly comparable to a 35mm full-frame DSLR. But weight is one thing and bulk another and the GFX 50S is more chunky than a DSLR and the extended back area enhances that feeling; but it is not a negative thing and the handling of the camera rates highly. This is after using it for two hours and a longer acquaintance might give a different opinion. Right now, my overall impression is very positive, from the control layout, the touchscreen and nice little touches like the ISO and shutter speed dial that gently slope inwards, bowl-like. Power up the camera and it is ready to go in well under one second. Start-up time is comparable to most cameras and very much quicker than the Hasselblad X1D which is around 10secs. Push the shutter release and you get a low-pitched, solid sound. Fujifilm makes a big deal about the lack of shutter shock to maximise image quality and it is the case that

vibration is minimal. Shutter lag is minimal too. One of the scenarios we shot evolved two dancers leaping around with polythene sheeting and lit with flash (image above). Naturally the aim was to take the shot at the peak of the dancers’ leap. Focus was locked with partial depression of the shutter release, which helps minimise shutter lag, with full depression at the right point. I took four shots watching the dancers intently to gauge the right moment to push the shutter button. I treated the Fujifilm camera as I would my usual Nikon and pushed the shutter button a tiny fraction before what I thought was the peak of the leap. Three were spot on in terms of the dancers’ positioning and the fourth one was slightly late which was user error, of course. Impressive: lag was minimal. There are plenty of lovely touches to enhance the handling experience. The sub-LCD monitor on the topplate means you are informed of key camera settings without having to look at the rear monitor or look through the viewfinder. It certainly makes life easier during tripod use.

There are plenty of lovely touches to enhance the handling experience

See the GFX-50S Calumet will be holding GFX days in their London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow stores where you will be able to get hands on with the new mediumformat system. Give them a ring on 0333 003 5000 or pop into one of their stores to find out more. calphoto.co.uk 0333 003 5000


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

39 In association

I shot mostly using the EVF. It is worth noting that this is removable and a multi-angle finder can be fitted. Or if weight is an issue, the EVF can be left off and just live view used. Live view is power hungry but I couldn’t gauge how long a battery would last in this preview. Battery life is claimed at 400 shots – but this figure isn’t qualified as xx% live view and xx% EVF usage. The image you get through the OLED viewfinder is excellent. It has a resolution of 3.69m dots, you see 100% of the image and there’s an eye-sensor for auto switch over from live view. Refresh rate is good and there’s no evidence of moiré on heavily patterned subjects. Arranged along the bottom of the frame is key camera info like shutter speed and aperture and up the left is an exposure scale. The AF system uses 117 points in a 9x13 array, switchable to 425 points – in this case the working area is the same so the AF points are smaller. The focusing system has options like face detection but in this short time I stuck with a single AF point using a thumb-operated focus lever to place the AF point on the subject. The AF point can be varied in size too and there other AF zone options too. Users of X-series cameras will find themselves perfectly at home with this system immediately. Manoeuvring the AF point around is quick thanks to the

Camera test thumb joystick – it is such a great innovation. If you venture too far off the array of AF zones, which is easily done in the heart of the moment the active zone index reappears on the other side of the frame. There is probably an option to stop this, but I didn’t have time to dig around for it in the extensive menu system. The look and structure of the menu system is similar to that seen on the X-Pro2 and X-T2. Focusing is swift, responsive and quiet. Of course it is accurate too. In some dimly lit situations I found it slightly less sure-footed and adjusting the sensor size was worthwhile. Autofocusing is done with a contrast-detect system and the camera initially goes past the point of focus and then back again to get sharp focus. It only takes an instant so it is not a problem in use and it’s typical of contrast-detect AF. In live view, focus point selection, touch focus and shooting are possible with the monitor. Or you can switch them all off if you prefer. The large tiltable monitor is excellent and can folded out for waist-level shooting in vertical and horizontal formats. It is great for composition but also when previewing your work too. Just like a smart device, you can swipe between images, pinch to zoom in and out and double tap – here you get a 100% view of the area where you focused. It is very intuitive.

Above left Taken on a GFX 50S with 32-64mm f/4 lens, fitted on a monopod. The tiltable monitor made shooting from a lower camera viewpoint easy and touch focusing was used to place the AF point over the model’s face. White-balance was set manually to 4200K to give a warm result and the exposure was 1/50sec at f/4 and ISO 1000. The scene was lit by two Lupo DayLED Fresnel spotlights. Left Taken with the GFX 50S and 120mm f/4 lens. The exposure was 1/125sec at f/4.5 and ISO 200. Lighting was provided by six mains flash units, two fitted with softboxes and four with grids.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

41 In association

Camera test

Left The touchscreen works well, in particular when previewing shots. With gestures most of us know from using smart devices it is quick to check sharpness. Above Taking off the lens reveals the large sensor. Whether it will suffer from dust problems, time will tell but the wide lens throat and the large sensor makes manual cleaning easier. Below There are options when it comes to using the camera. The standard EVF allows eye-level shooting but that finder can be swapped for a tilt finder, or removed entirely and live view used. The tiltable monitor then means that waist- or low-level shooting is easy. I liked the touchscreen functionality although inevitably I managed to take a couple of shots of my feet and occasionally the AF point found itself at the extreme of the frame. The only shooting scenario where the camera’s meter got a work out was a boudoir scene lit with continuous lighting, and even here I used manual and the scale in viewfinder. Therefore, judgement on the GFX 50S’s exposure skills will have to wait for the full test. The same applies to ISO. Our cameras were fully working samples but pre-production so that should be borne in mind when viewing the sample pictures here. I shot super fine JPEG and Raw at a variety of ISO settings up to 12,800, and the images reproduced here are straight-out-of-the-camera JPEGs. No Raw converter was available at the time of writing. File sizes were around 28MB for the JPEGs and the Raws 117MB. Assuming 300ppi, the JPEGs give a printable image measuring 27.5x20.6in so that’s bigger than A2 without interpolation. I made a selection of A2 and A3 prints as well as examining images on screen. Looking at my A3 and A2 prints, there is no doubt the GFX system is capable of delivering excellent quality. An interesting comparison would have been with 35mm fullframe and that will come in the full

test, but there’s no denying that the GFX files showed silky smooth tonality, fine detail was very well resolved and noise was low. Summary Two hours with the Fujifilm GFX 50S was a short time so the final verdict will have to wait. Instead we’ll just discuss some good and less good points from our first experience, starting with the cons. If we compare the GFX system with smaller formats, then it’s expensive, bulky if you want several lenses, the 1/125sec flash sync is limited for daylight flash, the lens range (even when six are available) is limited and continuous shooting speed is modest. That’s not a fair comparison though and if we compare like with like the scenario is different. The GFX 50S is very nicely priced, compact and light; some rivals have equally limited lens options and shooting speed is comparable. The flash sync speed is the remaining con and that is only relevant if you mix daylight with flash and a leaf shutter lens (not currently on the lens roadmap) would resolve that. So what are the overall pros? In my view, image quality, excellent, intuitive and responsive handling, compact for a larger-format camera and price – £7600 for the camera and standard lens is truly great value for what you get.


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Accessories test Buyers’ guide

Lens accessories

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You’ve got your lenses, but how do you get the best out of them? Check out our selection of high-quality accessories to protect, store, carry and improve the performance of your cherished glass... 1

Hoya HD UV filter (from £30)

When you’ve splashed the cash on a high-quality lens, it makes sense to match it with high-quality filters. Adding a UV filter not only prevents UV light from entering the lens providing greater clarity, but also offers a measure of protection for your lens. Hoya’s range of HD UV filters, available from 52mm to 82mm in size, features an eight layer multi-coating giving great light transmittance, and also has hardened optical glass that gives plenty of protection against impacts and scratches that would otherwise damage your front element. What’s more, the glass is resistant to oil and water, making it much easier to clean than standard filters, and Hoya’s HD UV filters feature a very low-profile frame, so they can be used with wide-angle lenses with less chance of vignetting. intro2020.co.uk/hoya

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Green Clean Lens Cleaner Wet & Dry sachets (£6)

If your lenses (or your filters) are dirty, you’ll soon notice it, especially when shooting into the light, or at small apertures which make dust, dirt and smudges more obvious. Regular cleaning is vital for optimum image quality, so make sure you invest in cleaning products that not only perform well, but care for your precious glass. Green Clean’s disposable Lens Cleaners come in packs of 10 and have been specifically developed for coated lenses. In each sachet you get one wet and one dry fleece cloth measuring 10x10cm each, so first using the wet wipe, dust, dirt and oil is removed from the surface of the lens, before the dry cloth removes excess solution leaving a streak free finish, ready for shooting. The wipes also have an anti-static quality that repels dust, helping the front element to stay cleaner for longer and as they won’t dry out in their sachets you can keep them in your bag for whenever they’re needed. snapperstuff.com

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Kenko Teleplus DGX 2x MC4 teleconverter (£99)

If you find that your lens doesn’t have quite enough reach and isn’t getting you close enough to sports

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and wildlife subjects, it’s well worth considering a teleconverter. Sitting between the lens and camera body, a teleconverter will extend the focal length, giving a smaller field of view and more magnification. Kenko’s Teleplus MC4 AF 2x DGX multiplies focal length by 2x, so for example your 70-200mm will become a 140400mm. With integrated circuitry connecting lens to camera you get full autofocus (but only with f/2.8 or brighter lenses; on lenses with smaller maximum apertures you’ll just need to focus manually). With a four element design, and high quality multi-coated Hoya glass, optical quality is high, and DGX converters are available in Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts.

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Intro2020.co.uk/kenko

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Kooka Auto Extension Tube Set (from £50)

Fancy turning a regular lens into one that shoots extreme close-ups? Then how about investing in a set of extension tubes. These accessories sit between your lens and camera, and enable a lens to focus closer than it otherwise could, so fit them to something like a 50mm lens and you’ll soon have a handy macro option for a fraction of the price of a dedicated optic. At around £55, this set via SRB comes with 12mm, 20mm and 36mm tubes, so seven different extensions are possible, and they also allow full use of auto focus and TTL exposure metering. Front and rear caps are supplied for protection when not in use, and the set is available in Canon EOS, Canon EOS-M, Nikon, Nikon 1, Sony, Sony NEX, Micro Four Thirds and Fuji X mounts. srb-photographic.co.uk

5

Aaduki camera insurance (from £65)

If you’ve invested in good-quality glass, the last thing you want is to be left (literally) picking up the pieces without proper insurance. Specialist photographic cover is provided by Aaduki, and with premiums from £65, it’s well worth looking into, and all packages include up to £2million in Public Liability Cover, perfect for the next time you drop a 300mm f/2.8 on the bride’s head. aaduki.com

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Just Ltd easyCover Lens Rims and cases (from £12)

Making sure lenses are clean, dry and free from knocks is paramount if you want them to function at their best. easyCover’s Lens Rim packs have silicone rings which sit around the lens to withstand bumps. For around £12 you get a Lens Ring that stretches over the zoom or focusing ring, and a Lens Bumper that attaches to the filter thread. The latter is available in sizes from 52-77mm and has a front filter thread for attaching filters. For added protection in transit or storage, easyCover also makes lens storage bags in six sizes for lenses up to 230mm tall and 110mm in diameter. These have a hard-wearing nylon exterior and a padded inner, zipping at the top. Attachment tabs let you mount the bag to a belt or a backpack. cameraclean.co.uk

7

Panzer Centurion 25L hard case (£125)

If you’re after some real protection when travelling, or storing lenses for extended periods, consider a traditional hard case. The Panzer Centurion 25L is a great example with a rock-hard construction and lots of room. Compare the external (557x348x199mm) and internal (526x275x169mm), and you’ll see there’s a minimum of 30mm of high impact ABS resin between your kit and the outside world; add the modular foam lining and there’s plenty of protection. It also has airtight and waterproof seals, and is shockproof, shatter proof, crush proof, anti-corrosive, chemical resistant and fire retardant. It even floats, up to a weight of 15.8kg (the case itself is 4.98kg, but it’s not like you’ll be scaling a skyscraper with it). panzercases.co.uk

8

Vanguard Alta Sky 49 Backpack (£150)

As your collection of lenses grows, you need to pick the right bag, letting you carry all you need in safety and comfort. A traditional photo backpack is the answer, and Vanguard’s Alta Sky 49 is a superb example, mixing lots of space with some clever features. The large main compartment is fully customisable with enough space to swallow one or two large DSLRs with long lenses attached (up to 300mm f/4), as well as up to six more optics and other accessories. All this can be carried without strain thanks to the bag’s ergonomic Air System back, while its harness takes weight off your shoulders and the waist belt adds stability on the move. Access can be from the top or rear, with highquality zips and double security buckles. vanguardworld.co.uk


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Accessories test

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Manfrotto Advanced Compact 1 rucksack (£79)

Investing in small, light camera systems, like Olympus’s Micro Four Thirds or Fujifilm’s X-series means you don’t need as much space for lenses and can use smaller bags, too. Manfrotto’s Advanced Compact 1 has a customisable padded top compartment for a CSC body, and three or four lenses, and because of the top-loading design you can wear it on your front, and access them while shooting. The bag’s outer is water repellent and a rain cover is included for proper downpours, while the bottom is ballistic fabric making it resistant to tearing and scratching. The lower section is a day sack so you can include personal items there. A well-padded back with breathable mesh and fully adjustable straps complete the picture. manfrotto.co.uk

Lee Filters 100mm 10 Deluxe Kit (£600)

You can have the best quality lenses in the world, but without great filters, you won’t be using them to their fullest. Lee Filters’ 100mm Deluxe Kit can change all that in a single swoop. Yes, it costs as much as decent lens itself, but it’s just as important as your glass in making the most of landscape subjects, and a saving on buying the kit separately. It contains five 100mm glass filters: a Landscape Polariser, a Big Stopper, a 1.2 (four stop) neutral density (ND) medium graduated filter, a 0.9 (three stop) ND hard grad, and a 0.6 (two stop) ND medium grad. You also get the filter holder and a 105mm accessory ring. If your budget can’t stretch to that, try the excellent 100mm Starter Kit at £200. Leefilters.co.uk

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Sigma USB dock (£39)

If you’ve bought a Sigma lens recently – and there’s plenty of reason to with great options like the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM and 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM – you’ll know all about the Sigma Global Vision series. These lenses are themed into Art, Contemporary and Sport lines depending on their design – and can all be plugged into Sigma’s USB Dock. This gizmo, in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts, lets you tweak performance, making adjustments to things like the behaviour of the manual focus ring, the speed and limit of the AF, and the amount of cushioning provided by the lens’s Optical Stabilizer. You can also update firmware more easily. What you can fine tune depends on the lens model, but the process is very easy. Sigma-imaging-uk.com

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Velbon Geo Pod E54 monopod (£79)

Telephoto lenses are more prone to showing camera shake than wider angles and the higher the focal length goes, the more it becomes a problem. Even if your telephoto lens has image stabilisation built in, as most now do, a monopod and suitable head can add vital sharpness to sports and wildlife pics. Try a model like Velbon’s Geo Pod E54 four-section carbon fibre/basalt composite monopod and you’ll give yourself a much steadier shooting position than handholding. The four sections add to a useful working height of 159cm, its closed length is 51cm and at 371g it’s light, too. The leg’s lever locks and rubber foot mean no slips in height, or position and it has a carry strap and foam hand grip for comfortable carrying. intro2020.co.uk

Lenses for Hire (rental 13 from £22)

Got a special event to shoot? Or want to treat yourself to a weekend with a lens you’ve always dreamed of? Then hiring is a great way of getting the gear you want without the outlay. Lenses for Hire offers a superb range of packages, with Canon, Fujifilm and Nikon fits available, and lens prices start as little as £22 for a three-day rental, though of course you can rent for longer. Tasty three-day options include the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM (£52), Fujinon XF 50140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR (£49), and Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6 E ED VR (£55). Delivery (including return via a pre-paid Royal Mail Special Delivery label) is £12, and Lenses for Hire makes sure you’ve got the lens the day before your hire starts. lensesforhire.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature

The photo book: from start to finish The photo book is the best way to show off your brilliant images and you have total control over how it looks. Join us on a behind the scenes journey as we follow the production of a photo book at CEWE UK Whether it’s a family occasion, a holiday to remember or a collection of your finest images, a photo book is a simply wonderful way of presenting your shots. What’s really brilliant is that you have total control over your book and how it looks. CEWE’s Creator Software lets you design how the book looks; so you can have a mix of small and big pictures, choose whether to add words to accompany the pictures or decide whether you want to have coloured pages. It’s entirely up to you and you can either have total control or, if you prefer, you can let the software do the hard work and CEWE’s software can produce a finished book in just a few clicks. You then have a choice of different paper surfaces, page weights, the number of pages and even cover style. There is not much that

1. Orders come in Orders come in via the CEWE Photoworld website and are processed and batch managed. Pictures go through an intelligent calibration system to make sure they look their best while batching orders means all the same book sizes are kept together and printed to maximise workflow and minimise waste. During peak times, like the run-up to Christmas, CEWE runs 24/7 with two 12 hour shifts, and orders are checked regularly to give very fast turnaround.

you can’t customise to give your book of photographs a completely professional look and with CEWE’s help your book will have a professional finish too. CEWE UK is based in Warwick and produces the award-winning CEWE PHOTOBOOK. With its 70-strong full-time team it’s one of the UK’s leading photo book producers. Its premium matt book is one of the most popular lines that it produces for Europe as well as the UK. Photography News visited its facility in the busy time leading up to last Christmas to see exactly what happens in the photo book production workflow. cewe-photoworld.com

There is not much that you can’t customise to give your book of photographs a completely professional look

2. Printing the book’s pages The most important step is to print the book’s inner pages so great care and attention is needed to ensure the best possible results. CEWE’s premium matt books – the most popular product line – are printed on Kodak NexPress S3200 machines. At the start of every shift, standard test pages are printed and scanned to ensure the machines are accurately calibrated, that they’re giving perfect registration and that the colour reproduction is spot on. Once up and running each machine can produce around 100 A4 books an hour, depending on page count.


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Advertisement feature 3. The cover

5. Cover finishing

Meanwhile, cover images are treated and printed on another machine. The same care and attention is needed here, too, and regular checking and calibrating ensure everything is spot on. The efficient batching system means the book cover and the inner pages are married up later in the production process.

The laminated cover is then sealed to a sheet of stiff card to give it strength and heft. The finished cover section is then ready to be united with the book’s innards.

4. Protect the cover Some photo books might only get looked at occasionally while others get used much more often, so they need to be finished to a high standard to cover all possibilities. After the cover image has been printed it is laminated to protect it from heavy handling and to keep it looking pristine.

6. Back to the book

7. The sharpest cut

The printed book pages have been kept together and are in the correct order but of course at this point they are still loose. Gluing the pages is the next step. Several years ago, the gluing step was done completely manually. Now the sets of pages are fed into the gluing machine one at a time and once glued become a book block. The book block now has to be left to cure for six hours before any further work can be done. This is an important – and the longest – step in the production process and can’t be rushed. Poor work at this stage could mean pages dropping out of the book later. At peak times, when CEWE is working all day long, books are turned around in 24 hours.

At this point, the cover is printed and mounted onto stiff board and the book’s pages have been printed. The two sections are brought together and prepared for final gluing and trimming.

8. After trimming The photo book is finished but before despatch to the customer it undergoes a quality control examination. Every book is hand-checked by CEWE’s trained team and any problems rectified. The spine must be in perfect condition, the book block and cover correctly attached and totally square. CEWE offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

9. Despatch Every book is vacuum packed for extra protection during transit before being passed to the despatch department for packaging up and then sending off to the customer.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Interview Pro focus

© Coppermango

Taste of success Words by Terry Hope Pictures Paul Johnston/Coppermango

Food specialist Paul Johnston received a dream commission to illustrate celebrity chef Mark Greenaway’s new book. It turned into a labour of love...

© Coppermango

“I started doing the photography for one of his columns and we built a good working relationship. Mark kept mentioning that he was considering putting a book together but I didn’t know the timescale. Then in mid 2015 he got me in for a meeting and told me he wanted me to do the photography.” What makes Mark’s restaurant stand out from the crowd is his determination to be utterly original, and he approached his book in the same way. Consequently, this is no bland series of recipes; rather it’s an introduction to the whole philosophy behind the Greenaway brand, exploring his values and sharing his culinary ideas. The dishes included are all one-offs, painstakingly conceived and presented in the way an artist might unveil a work of art, and those following the instructions are given carte blanche to come up with their own twists and interpretations. Paul’s task was to interpret every dish so it came across as well on the printed page as it did on the table. He needed to be able to work fast and coordinate everything with Mark and his team. The need to be close to where the preparation was taking place meant he set up his studio, close to the kitchen.

© Coppermango

Mark Greenaway is considered one of the top chefs of his generation and his eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh holds three coveted AA Rosettes. His food not only tastes exquisite; it also looks amazing. Given that kind of background it was no surprise that there was plenty of interest in a book featuring Mark’s outstanding recipes; but the man himself was determined that if he was going to do something it would have to have a personality that matched that of his restaurant. The local suppliers, an essential part of his ethos, would need to feature, while the food had to look as it does at the table – utterly divine, a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. This was the idea behind Perceptions, which won Mark the chef category in the World Gourmand Book Awards. Local photographer Paul Johnston, a food specialist who runs Coppermango, was the man tasked with doing justice to Mark’s culinary creations. And it was a dream assignment in every way. “I started working with Mark after one newspaper sent a sports photographer to shoot his food for a feature,” he says. “He realised that he needed to be working with someone more specialised, and he obtained my details from a PR company that had worked with me.

Images It was important that the images were accurate representations of the beauty of Mark’s dishes on the plate. To help he set up a mini studio each day of the shoot in the basement of the restaurant. Paul also travelled all around the UK to photograph Mark’s suppliers. “Due to the complexity of a lot of the dishes it made sense to do it this way,” says Paul, “so that Mark had his full range of ingredients to hand along with the equipment he needed to prepare the various elements. I would turn up once a week and set up a mini studio, ready for the day’s shoot. Mark was involved in the whole cooking and presentation

process. For dishes he knew well he had a very clear vision of what it needed to look like, while for the newer ones he produced sketches to show where the various components would go before plating up. You can read more in the latest issue of Professional Photo.

Photo Professional This article first appeared in issue 129 of Professional Photo, on sale now. It’s packed with inspiring images and tips for aspiring pros and those already making a living. absolutephoto.com

coppermango.com

You’ll find more insight in the latest Professional Photo – the UK’s best magazine for full-time and aspiring pro photographers


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Camera test Specs Price £2999 body only Sensor 42.4-megapixels, 14-bit Exmor CMOS, back illuminated Sensor format 35mm (35.9x24mm), 7952x4472 pixels ISO range 100-25,600, expansion to ISO 50102,400 Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec plus B, flash sync 1/250sec Drive modes Single, continuous (Hi+ 12fps, Hi 8fps, Mid 6fps, Lo 4fps). In Hi+, up to 54 Raws Metering system 1200 zone multi-segment, centreweighted, spot Exposure modes PASM, sweep panorama Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3 and 0.5EV steps, AEB 3, 5, 9 frames Monitor 3in 1228k dots, tiltable Focusing Phase detect AF with two sensors, detector 1 and detector 2 at the focal plane Focus points Detector 1 79 points 15 cross type, detector 2 399 points, 323 selectable, 79 hybrid cross points Video XAVCS, AVHCD ver 2.0, MP4. XAVC 4K 3840x2160pixels (many more resolutions available) Connectivity HDMI micro, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB micro Storage media Dual slots. Slot 1 multi-slot for MemoryStick PRO Duo and SD, slot 2 SD only Dimensions (wxhxd) 142.6x104.2x76.1mm Weight 849g body with card and battery Contact sony.co.uk

Above While the Sony A99 II looks a chunky DSLR its contoured handgrip means it fits the hands really well helping to give a stable shooting platform.

Sony A99 II £2999 Some photographers want lots and lots of pixels while others want very fast continuous shooting. Some want both and if this is you the Sony A99 II could be your dream camera Words and pictures by Will Cheung Sony stands out among the camera brands as having very strong hands in the 35mm full-frame, APS-C and compact system camera (CSC) segments of the imaging market. Canon and Nikon have powerful stables of 35mm and APS-C DSLRs but both are comparatively weak in the CSC marketplace. The Sony A99 II is the latest fullframe newcomer and as a top-ofthe-range DSLR it is rich with great features, not least being able to shoot at 12fps with exposure and focus tracking and give full-size Raws from its 42.4-megapixel sensor. The sensor is a back illuminated CMOS design boasting a native range of ISO 100-25,600 and expandable to ISO 50-102,400. Pivotal to the camera’s fast shooting capability is Sony’s translucent mirror technology which means there’s no reflex mirror clacking up and down and a very advanced autofocusing system. The downside of the translucent mirror is a less bright viewfinder image

and the A99 II does suffer slightly in this respect. The viewing image certainly isn’t dim but contrast could be better. The camera uses a hybrid phasedetection AF system that uses sensor phase-detection focus points at the focal plane positioned behind the translucent reflex mirror working in combination with an above-the-mirror phase-detection AF sensor. The on-sensor AF system uses 399 points – of which 323 are selectable – positioned to give a wide coverage across the image area and these are overlaid with 79 hybrid cross AF points. The same number of AF points is used in the phase-detection sensor and 15 of these are cross AF points. The central AF point is also highly sensitive enabling pinpoint AF in light as -4EV. The AF zones can be set in different patterns such as wide, zone as well as spot and expanded flexible spot. As you can appreciate, the AF system takes a bit of setting up and

getting used, or you can cut to the chase and do what most pros do and use a single zone and move that around to suit the subject. The upshot of all this AF technology is, according to Sony, ‘fast precise autofocusing for just about any type of subject’. Certainly, the AF is very responsive including with the Sony AF 300mm f/2.8 lens I tried. The many AF points does make the EVF very busy if the sensor points are switched on and you are tracking a moving subject. On a car, I found the zones were flicking on and off the whole time but I suppose that means you know that it is working okay. Tracking was good. At the fastest frame rate, big shiny cars moving in a predictable way was no problem. I didn’t get the chance to try the system on potentially more testing subjects like those with less strongly defined texture like horses or on subjects with less predictable movement like footballers. Definitely has potential, though.

I didn’t experience any serious issues with the A99 II’s exposure system. Keeping the camera in its 1200 zone evaluative pattern and using (mostly) aperture-priority I didn’t get any unredeemable exposures even in strong backlighting. The A99 II does take a bit of getting used to, which is probably no surprise given the camera’s lengthy specification and sophistication. Its body design and control layout doesn’t help either. The right-side back-plate, for example, has nine buttons and controls plus an input dial. Move onto the right-side topplate and there is a good information LCD and another six buttons as well as the shutter release. Time and practice are needed to get to the point where you can confidently and correctly adjust a dial or control while the camera is up to the eye. Perseverance, though, will be rewarded because the A99 II is a very capable and talented picture-taking machine.


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Camera test Performance: exposure latitude A +/-4EV bracket was made in manual exposure mode with the base ISO 100 needing an exposure of 1/160sec at f/8. The Raw images were then recovered in Lightroom with the exposure corrected by the same degree of the original under or overexposure. Pushing the -4EV shot to correct exposure worked well while extra editing was needed to get back contrast to a good level and the colour balance right. The low amount of noise present in the shadows was more than acceptable. The -3EV shot was even better while the -2EV looked almost identical to the correctly exposed picture. Overexposure was well handled too. The +2EV Raw had a very similar level of noise to the correct exposure, although the files did need a curves tweak to recover the same level of contrast. The +3EV sample was impressive too and while there was a minor colour shift, the amount of noise looked the same as the +2EV exposure. The colour shift with the +4EV shot was even greater but the shot didn’t look terrible and noise levels were again low considering the gross overexposure. Overall, the A99 II’s Raws performed well considering the exposure abuse they received.

-1EV

-2EV 0EV

Original image -3EV

-4EV

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

+4EV

Performance: ISO

Original image

This set of ISO shots was taken using a tripod-mounted A99 II fitted with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. The base exposure was 1sec at f/8 at ISO 100. Any incamera noise reduction was switched off. Raws and JPEGs were shot and the images here were Raws processed in Lightroom with no noise reduction. ISO performance was impressive with low noise levels even at the higher ISO settings. Contrast, saturation, detail rendition, depth of blacks and noise were excellent up to ISO 1600 and beyond. In fact I’d have no hesitation shooting at 6400 if the conditions meant I had no other option for critical results. With some noise reduction in software the results would still suit big enlargements. ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

Above An available light scene shot at Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey. The A99 II fitted with the 50mm f/1.4 lens did a great job of recording all the intricate detail of the front grille.

ISO 1600

Overall, the a99 II’s Raws performed well considering the exposure abuse they received

ISO 2500

Verdict Sony has packed a great deal into the A99 II including plenty for video shooters, and being able to shoot 42-megapixel stills at 12fps is impressive, whether you need it or not. On pure figures, Canon and Nikon have nothing close but then I can’t see existing Canon and Nikon users ditching their systems in favour of the A99 II The A99 II is not a one-trick pony, though. It is a flagship DSLR with plenty to enjoy and its results, even at high ISOs, are very good. 25/25 Features The a99 II has a long impressive spec list for stills and video use Performance Very good all round

24/25

23/25 Handling Some aspects very slick, some slightly fussy but good overall

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

ISO 51,200

ISO 102,400

Value for money Respectable for the tech-leading features list

23/25

95/100 Overall You get a great deal of camera for your money Pros AF system, in-body image stabilisation, image quality, feels good Cons Menu structure, touchscreen is de rigueur nowadays


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests

First tests Accessories

We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list Reviews by Will Cheung and Kingsley Singleton

Specs Prices MX300 SATA 2.5in (with 9.5mm adaptor) 275GB £87.59, 525GB £135.59, 1TB £261.59, 2TB £531.59 Availability 275GB, 525GB, 1TB, 2TB Sequential read speed 530MB/s Sequential write speed 500-510MB/s Key features Micron 3D NAND Extreme Energy Efficiency technology Dynamic Write Acceleration Adaptive Thermal Protection technology to avoid overheating Contact Uk.crucial.com

Crucial MX300 SSD from £87.59 You will, in all probability, be using a computer to get the most from your photography, and it is very, very likely that uses a traditional hard drive or HDD. If that is the case, from my experience here your workflow will see an immediate and substantial benefit from a solid state drive or SSD. I didn’t appreciate the magnitude of performance difference until I took the plunge and swapped the hard drive of my Mac Mini (late 2012) for an SSD. Wow! What a difference! I had a while ago installed as much RAM as the Mini would allow (also from Crucial), invested in a system cleaning app, and I work from an external drive, so I was doing all the things I thought necessary to keep a HDD running efficiently, yet my Mac was seriously struggling. The SSD option was the next logical step but I’m no IT expert and the prospect of fiddling around with the innards of a computer was not one I looked forward to with any relish. Now, having been through the process successfully, I don’t know what I was worried about.

Before doing anything I checked the actual installation process just to make sure it was within my skill range. I found videos on YouTube and while it looked a little fiddly – certainly much more so when compared with a desk PC – it didn’t seem too challenging with the right tools. Next I visited the Crucial website where I downloaded its System Scanner app that analysed my computer’s internals and produced a shortlist of suitable SSDs. I bought the MX300 1TB SATA 2.5in for £261.59 and got the tools from Amazon. When the time came, I backed up my computer, initialised the SSD and found a well-lit area to work in. Thirty minutes after I’d started, the Mac Mini was back in one piece, the old HDD out and the new SSD in. It wasn’t too fiddly and the only really awkward stage was getting the SSD to sit correctly, lining up two lugs to matching holes. That took a little while and several goes to sort. I connected the power and screen and fired it up. Hmm, the Mini’s LED came on but nothing happened.

I powered down, dismantled the Mini and tried again. I found I hadn’t been firm enough with the SSD’s connecting lead so I sorted this and tried again. This time, everything worked. Hurrah! I could see the benefits of the SSD immediately. I opened a massive Lightroom catalogue and the previews popped up in next to no time – that is probably an exaggeration but it was very quick, so much quicker than the HDD. Opening a 300MB Photoshop file was really fast too, at least four times faster. Simply, the before and after difference was immense and very, very welcome. WC

Verdict While I used a Crucial SSD for this review and very good it has proved to be in the few weeks it has been in use, this review is also a general SSD call to arms. If your desktop or laptop is HDD and you’re finding its performance sluggish, do consider the SSD option especially if you’re working with big files. The benefit difference is little short of astounding and my workflow is so much quicker. For example, going from preview to preview in a Lightroom catalogue on the HDD was tiresome, so slow that on occasion I’d work from the thumbnails for an easy life. With the SSD, there is minimal lag which makes rating a shoot using large previews a breeze. So, very much a thumbs up for SSDs, and if you do go for one, certainly the Crucial MX300 is worth a serious look. Pros Huge performance benefits, Crucial scanner app Cons You need a few (cheap) tools, fiddly (in the case of a Mac Mini)


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests

Samyang 12mm f/2 £279 Samyang’s product range is growing apace and recently we have seen lenses for full-frame and video users. This manual focus ultra-wide is for mirrorless cameras so suits Canon EOS M, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E and Fujifilm X – I tested this lens with the Fujifilm X-T2. For a fast aperture ultra-wide lens this Samyang is very compact and sits nicely on an X-T2. The lens is manual focus but you know that when you buy it. There are other points to be considered when you get it on the camera though. Comments here relate specifically to the X-T2 and there might be more or fewer set-up parameters depending on the camera it’s attached to. If you want the correct focal length to show in EXIF data the X-T2 has a Mount Adaptor Setting option and here I dialled in 12mm. For exposure, you can use aperturepriority or manual metering. The lens aperture is manual, ie. set f/8 and the lens closes to that aperture immediately, not at the instant of exposure. So that you don’t get a dark viewing image at smaller f/ stop settings, remember to turn off the manual exposure preview in the menu. As the aperture is adjusted there is a short delay as the camera EVF catches up to lighten or darken the provided viewing image. The quality of the viewing images does vary and with small apertures, the viewing image gets noisy in low light. This is obviously a function of the camera and not the lens. In manual metering mode the exposure scale works fine so that can be relied upon for correct meter readings but the f/number reads as f/0 on the monitor and EVF regardless of the setting on the lens so a quick

Specs Price £279 – all fittings Format APS-C, MFT Mount Canon EOS M, Fujifilm X, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds

My enjoyment mainly stems from the fact that this lens is a very impressive performer visual check might be needed if you are uncertain of what you’ve set. The light metering pattern function of the camera still seems to work. This includes the spot meter but there is no metering pattern indicator either in the EVF or the monitor. I rarely manually focus with X lenses but it does happen especially when it’s dark. The manual focusing barrel of Fujifilm X lenses you have to turn anti-clockwise (from behind the camera) for closer subjects. On this lens it’s clockwise so that is one small thing to remember. If you regularly manually focus Fujifilm’s lenses this could be a sticking point until you get used to it. You don’t get the support of focus peaking or the AF illuminator but push the rear input dial and you get a magnified image and that does help with focusing. Of course, with such a wide lens and the potential of extreme depth-of-field with distant scenes accurate focusing on the viewing image is not a serious issue. Move in close and focus is more critical so having a way of double-checking before taking the picture is good. I enjoyed using this wide-angle although it did take me a while to

Original image

Above This set of test pictures using the Samyang 12mm f/2 fitted with a lens shade was taken on a sunny day at London’s Canary Wharf – no flare was seen despite that glaring sun reflection. The camera used was a Fujifilm X-T2 set to ISO 200. The Raws were processed through Lightroom with default sharpening only.

Construction 12 elements in 10 groups Special lens elements 2 aspherical Coatings Nano Crystal System (NCS) Filter size 67mm Aperture range f/2-22 Diaphragm 6 blades Internal focus Yes Manual focus Yes Minimum focus 20cm Focus limiter No Maximum magnification No

Above The Samyang 12mm f/2 is a cleanly designed lens that works very smoothly. The manual focus barrel rotates with the right amount of friction and stays put when you let go. It looks nice too. get used to it. The main thing was remembering to focus which was something I forgot on a couple of occasions, and this is because the viewing image seems fairly sharp more or less wherever the lens is focused. Set 1m on the focus barrel and even infinity is acceptably sharp through the EVF. With the extreme depth-of-field mentioned previously this isn’t a major issue unless you’re at wider values shooting a close-up subject. My enjoyment mainly stems from the fact that this lens is a very

impressive performer. You get very crisp, contrasty, flare-free images almost irrespective of set aperture, so much so that your aperture choice is a depth-of-field consideration rather than having to close the lens to f/5.6 or f/8 for better sharpness. And these positive comments apply to the edges as well as the centre. I’m not saying that wide-open performance is perfect but it is impressive so the benefits of using smaller apertures is less apparent. All round, a fine performer. WC

F/2

F/2.8

F/4

F/5.6

F/8

F/11

F/16

F/22

Distance scale Yes, feet and metres Depth-of-field scale No Image stabiliser No Tripod collar No Lens hood Supplied Weather-sealed No Dimensions 59.4x 72.5mm Weight 260g (Fujifilm X) Contact intro2020.co.uk

Verdict If you like wide-angles (and I do!) the Samyang 12mm f/2 is a little cracker and for Fujifilm users, there are extra reasons to consider it. There is no direct Fujifilm rival. The nearest is a 14mm f/2.8 and the 10-24mm zoom is 2EV slower at f/4. Both are more expensive too though they have the benefit of autofocus among other features. Therefore, with a very attractive price and capable of a very fine performance, this manual focus Samyang ultra-wide deserves serious consideration. Pros Small and lightweight, great price, high performance Cons Minor one: focus barrel rotation direction different from Fujifilm lenses


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests

Sevenoak SK-EBH01 Pro pano ball head £65 Most DSLRs, CSCs and creative compact cameras now have modes that create time-lapse movies; videos where a long passage of time is compressed into a short period. Time-lapses can be created by shooting a sequence of separate photos that you then process into a movie later, or via a ready made video file straight from the camera, and they usually rely on keeping the camera position steady throughout the length of the capture. You can do this using a regular tripod head, but time-lapse enthusiasts like to add some interest by moving the camera slightly between exposures. You can use sliders to move the camera through the scene as you shoot, or rotating heads to pan from a locked position. The Sevenoak SK-EBH01 Pro electronic ball head fits into the latter category. It’s a stubby little unit, much like a sawn-off tree, as its name hints. On top is a wide plate with a grippy rubber surface and a 1/4in connector. This will screw straight into the tripod thread of your camera, but for more control you can either mount another head on top of the unit, or fit an additional head between it and your tripod. As loading weight is a concern (the SK-EBH01 only claims a 2kg loading capacity, and this falls to 1.5kg when the it’s used vertically or upside down) you’ll need a fairly light head and camera, or a head that’s strong enough to support the pano unit (which weighs 600g itself) in addition to your camera and lens. The product information makes it quite clear that the SK-EBH01 is designed for “smartphones, action cams and lightweight DSLRs/CSCs”, so I tested it with a Panasonic GX800 and 12-32mm lens, mounted on

Specs Price £65 Type Motorised panoramic head

an Induro BHD0 ball-head with a combined weight of about 750g. The unit is easy to operate. Aside from the on/off switch there are only three buttons: Duration, Start/Stop and R.T (rotating time). Pressing R.T cycles a red LED through the time the head will turn, with 5, 15, 30 and 60 minute options. Duration sets the amount of turn; a green LED shows which of the 15º, 30º, 45º, 60º, 90º, 180º and 360º options is active. It might have been better called Angle or Degree, but you get used to it. Pressing Start/Stop activates the turn with the red LED in question flashing to show the unit is turning. Pressing Duration and R.T together changes the direction of the turn. The unit doesn’t remember settings when it’s turned off and on again, but it takes seconds to re-apply them. I found reading the LEDs in low light tricky. The lights are bright, meaning it’s difficult to see the markings next to them, so a torch is required (or a good memory); it’d better if the numbers themselves lit up. The flashing Start/Stop light could also be a problem in terms of attracting attention, but I just covered it up with some black tape. A greater level of control would be appreciated and an hour’s timelapse is scant if you’re planning a night shoot of rotating heavens. There are enough combinations here to be serviceable though, and you can manually stop or restart it when the full time or distance has been reached. This does mean touching the unit, which you wouldn’t normally want to do, but so long as it’s outside an exposure and with a gentle hand, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. There’s no lag or countdown between pressing Start/Stop and the

Run time 6hrs Max load 2kg Bubble level No Quick-release plate No Panoramic rotation 360° Powerpack Rechargeable via USB socket Height 66mm Weight 600g Contact kenro.co.uk

Motion was very smooth throughout my testing, and created a lovely panning effect”

Top Although the SK-EBH01 has a relatively low payload limit of 2kg, you can add a head and a light DSLR or CSC. To maximise weight, the tripod head can be swapped to under the unit. Left Layout is simple, with successive presses of the R.T or Duration button used to set the amount and the rate of turn.

unit responding, so you need to factor this into your calculations; ie, using the camera’s self-timer, so that it starts after you start the unit turning to avoid shake. Motion was very smooth throughout my testing, and created a lovely panning effect; it’s the kind of thing that makes you feel like shooting more time-lapse video. It was also very accurate, in terms of the time elapsed throughout the turn, which makes planning the number of shots a lot easier. It’s very quiet, too. I also tried it overloaded with my D800 and 16-35mm f/4 (2.45kg with the head), and it kept performing, with only a slight drop in speed (a 5min, 360º rotation took two seconds longer). Not bad, but expect it to be thirstier on the battery with the extra strain on the motor. It’s claimed to run for up to six hours with a 1kg payload, and this was borne out in testing, so unless you’re making lots of time-lapses at maximum duration, you should get through a fair few sequences. When battery life is low, the LEDs flash and charging is via a USB lead, so you’ll need a suitable car charger or powerpack, if you want to charge it up on location. The unit kept running when charging though, so if you need extended shooting it will deliver. KS

Verdict An easy-to-use piece of kit that’ll put a spring in the step of your time-lapse shots. Build quality is good and it’s well priced, even for sporadic use. Pros Easy to use, well built, good results, decent battery life Cons Lowish maximum payload, some difficulty reading settings, no bubble level, 1hr maximum time


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests Specs Case Relay Camera Power system Prices Case Relay CRUPS110 £94, Relay Camera Couplers from £28.20 depending on camera In the box 1x Case Relay, adaptor for Canon and Nikon couplers, 5mm to 5mm female coupler and 4.2mm female to 5mm female reducer Battery Lithium 1200aMh 7.4V Input DC 5V-2A (type A USB) Output DC 8V, max 2A Barrel jack 5.5mm outside diameter; 2.1mm inside diameter Weight 114g Rock Solid External Battery Pack Price £51.54 Capacity 10,000mAh Type Polymer Input 5A-2A max Output 5V-1A, 5V-2A Charging time 5-6 hours Size 139x70x12.5mm Weight 275g Contact flaghead.co.uk

I got 257 minutes of recording before both batteries died

TetherTools Case Relay from £122.20 A digital camera without power is a very expensive doorstop so power management is an important facet of modern imaging. In all likelihood you are happy with the capacity of your camera’s battery. At least, most of the time. Naturally, it depends on what you’re shooting and there are situations and applications where power beyond the limits of the typical battery is very much a good thing. Remote shooting over a long period, shooting hundreds of night sky shots to stack, time lapse photography or a just a mammoth studio session are some examples. Basically, any situation where power drop-off and even swapping a camera battery over is an issue. TetherTools is a US company specializing in innovative solutions for image-makers of all types. Its expanding product range offers, among other things, kit for tethered cabled or wireless shooting, smart device mounts and fittings, and power options to keep your camera running for as long as you want; which is where the Case Relay Camera Power System comes in. In essence, the Case Relay is a rechargeable battery that you connect to your camera via an adaptor that slips into your camera’s battery compartment. But the clever thing is that the Case Relay itself can be powered from the mains via a USB charger or an external USB 5V rechargeable battery. It means if you need to keep your camera powered up for a very long time you can use the Case Relay connected to a rechargeable battery (or mains) and when that battery dies, you can hotswap to a fresh battery or just let the Case Relay itself take over and there is no interruption in power. I tried the Case Relay system here with a TetherTools Rock Solid 10,000mAh Solid External Battery Pack but you might already own a power pack if you’re a keen smart device user and you can use that. The Case Relay unit has a USB A connection and charging the unit is

Above A very wide range of couplers is available so all you need to do is replace the camera’s battery with the relevant coupler which, in this case, locks into position. done via that interface. Charging can be done via a rechargeable battery pack such as the Rock Solid battery or with a USB mains charger that provides at least 2.1 amps of power. The computer’s USB port is not recommended. The unit’s LED indicates power level – green means full, red empty. The LED glows steadily during charging unless the power source is disconnected or the unit has entered sleep mode. Power from the Case Relay unit to the camera is provided by attaching the appropriate Relay Camera Coupler. The TetherTools website will help you check compatibility and adaptors are available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic

and Fujifilm cameras. The coupler replaces the camera’s own battery and on the Nikon sample I tried, it clicked into place too. I checked the camera’s battery info indicators – the battery info menu item indicated that charge level was 45% even though the unit was fully charged beforehand. To give you some idea of the benefit and performance, I used live view to shoot video footage, a guaranteed way to run down a battery quickly. This also meant I didn’t have to wear out the camera shutter by firing it thousands of times in order to exhaust the various batteries. I used a Nikon D810 that allows 29 minutes and 59 seconds of video recording at a time; let’s say 30 minutes for brevity. With the camera’s

battery I got 90 minutes of recording from a fully charged cell and it had 1% charge left at the end. Next I repeated the process with a fully charged Case Relay on its own. Here I got 130 minutes of recording before the camera died; an extra 40 minutes of recording time with the Case Relay on its own without any external help. In this situation I was video shooting so the last 10 minutes recording were lost, but this gives you an idea of the capacity available. Finally, I fully charged the Case Relay and the Rock Solid battery, connected them together then plugged the duo into the camera with the appropriate adaptor. This time, I got 257 minutes of recording before both batteries died – that’s eight full 30-minute recordings, five more than the camera’s own battery. If this magnitude of performance translates to still shooting, you’re easily going to get several thousand shutter actuations (subject to the camera, working temperature etc). That’s impressive. WC

Verdict Simple idea that works really well. The Case Relay is a great and elegant solution to dealing with the issue of limited battery capacity in specific shooting scenarios. In that context, the price of around £122 including a camera coupler or £174 with coupler and the Rock Solid battery is excellent value for money.

Right On the left, the silver box is the Rock Solid battery, in the centre is the Nikon camera coupler and the Case Relay is on the right.

Pros Does deliver great shooting capacity Cons The camera’s battery info readout was not accurate


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Specialist bird photo trips in Catalonia, Spain, with La Sabina “I’m looking to get so close to raptors and birds from the plains that I can look them in the eye and take lots of photos.” That is what La Sabina’s clients want, and what the company has been helping them to get since 2008. Join La Sabina on a bird photo trip to Catalonia, north-east Spain, and prepare to photograph lammergeiers, Bonelli’s eagles, golden eagles, little bustards, bee-eaters, rollers, vultures and more from private photography hides. A standard bird photo trip with La Sabina includes hides, permits, en-suite accommodation, meals and guiding. Tailor-made programmes are also available for you to select the species and the pace. Within easy reach of Barcelona airport. Prices for a four-night trip start at €795 (£685 approx).

birdingtour.net or birdinginspain.com +34 973 40 20 45 or +34 973 210757 (can be attended in English) info@lasabina.cat or steve@birdinginspain.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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First tests

Slik Lite CF-422 tripod £279.99 The headline feature of Slik’s CF-422 tripod (and the rest of the new Lite tripod range) is that its centre column incorporates a removable LED torch. The immediately question there is, WTF? (Translation: what’s that for?) Well then, sure, at first glance, it might seem like Slik has solved a problem that didn’t need addressing, but the more you think about it, the more useful the addition is. After all, much tripod work is carried out in the gloom of dawn, dusk or in the night itself, and although you could conceivably gaffer tape a torch to any tripod’s centre column, this is a far more elegant solution. It’s not going to fall off, get forgotten, or get in your way. Although you can take the torch out and wield it as normal, for instance to look in your camera bag, I actually found it most useful in creating a pool of light beneath the tripod when working in low light, and also when carrying the tripod around between locations. Of course it should be switched off when exposing, but a simple twist does that. It’s even bright enough to do a bit of light painting if required, but you’ll want to cover the torch’s lens with a red gel if you’re shooting astro, or there’s a risk of being dazzled. The torch screws directly into the bottom of the centre column, so on the downside, that spot being usually

Specs Price £279.99

reserved for a hook, you don’t get the benefit of adding ballast to your legs. The thread will also need to be kept clean to avoid it becoming stuck with grit, and there’s no suggestion that the torch is waterproof, so some care will be required shooting near lakes, rivers and the sea. Away from its headline feature, the CF-422 offers plenty. It’s very slim and light, but also tall and versatile. Weighing just 1103g it extends to just over 178cm and around 143cm with the centre column down. The folded length is 47.5cm, which isn’t the smallest, but still a good length for a travel model. The 143cm height is very workable, and results from shooting with the CF-422 showed all the sharpness you’d expect. Despite its lowish loading weight, quoted at 3kg, the CF422 and its SBH-180DS head didn’t struggle with the Nikon D800 and 16-35mm f/4 G that I mounted on it. It’s a little top-heavy compared to beefier legs, and arguably suited to smaller, lighter cameras, but that’s to be expected. The rubberised twistlocks turn easily and lock firmly, and the legs’ rubber feet give a little extra grip in the wet. The SBH-180DS head is small and streamlined, but what it lacks in size, it doesn’t seem to lose in strength; there’s no lack of stiffness in the lock, and no creep during exposures, even

In the box Legs, head with 6505 quick release plate, integrated LED torch, tripod case and 2x AAA batteries Leg section 4 (22mm top section) Material Carbon-fibre with aluminium centre column Max load 3kg Max height 178.1cm, centre column extended 143cm, centre column retracted Min height 19.6cm Closed length 47.5cm Weight 1103g Contact intro2020.co.uk

© Matty Graham

when the camera was angled. The quick release plate is even tinier, and it could really do with a D-ring to help attach it. As it stands you need a coin for the groove and though it’s not a big deal, it could be a frustration if you can’t tighten it sufficiently. There’s no bubble level in the legs or head, which is an omission at this price, and something else that’s a victim of the streamlined design is the lock for the centre column. It’s quite a tight fit between the knuckles of the collar, and doesn’t feel like the freest of turns because you can’t get your fingers around it. The centre column itself can be inverted, and also split, so only a short column is used. The latter reduces weight (the centre column is aluminium), and allows a wider spread of the legs for low angle shots, but the torch can’t be screwed in. Like many current designs, the CF‑422’s

legs can be inverted through 180º, closing upwards over the collar for easier packing, and it’s here that another of the model’s excellent features makes itself known. This Rapid Flip Mechanism works via simple vertical switches, rather than the levers you normally find, and this means that you don’t need to exert any pressure when changing leg angles. You just flip the switch, angle as required, then flip it closed to lock, or let the mechanism click-lock on its own by tilting a leg. The only downside of stowing the tripod in this way, is that it leaves the torch lens exposed through the collar. The included carry bag is a nice addition. Slightly padded, waterresistant and in a rather natty blue and cream combo, it’s much better than most bundled cases, and comes with a karabiner and carry handle for easier handling. KS

Away from its headline feature, the CF-422 offers plenty. It’s very slim and light, but also tall and versatile

Verdict

Above The LED torch screws into the bottom of the centre column. Left Used in situ, the torch is very handy when shooting in low light, especially when working in a road. Right Keeping the CF-422 so slim results in some compromises; the centre column lock is a bit of a pinch to turn.

The CF-422 isn’t cheap for a travel model, but for your money you’re getting a cleverly engineered, wellbuilt and well-specified tripod with some great features. It’s very light, stable enough for most situations, has a good working height and packs down small enough to fit in a case or carry-on. Pros Light and strong, mostly good handling, built in torch Cons Pricey, a bit too streamlined in places


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

59

Technique PART 5

Camera School

Here we lift the lid on all things camera related, showing how to get better results from your CSC or DSLR and providing all the info you don’t find in the manual. So, stick with us and you’ll soon be wielding your camera like a pro. This month, how your chosen focal length and where you focus affect depth-of-field... Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton Depth-of-field – that part of the image which is considered acceptably sharp – is controlled by the aperture setting of the lens, and broadly speaking, large apertures (f/2, f/2.8 etc) will produce a shallower depth-of-field than small apertures (f/16, f/22 etc). However, other factors also contribute to depth-of-field. Focusing distance The first contributor is the point in the frame at which you focus. The closer you focus to the camera, the shallower the depth-of-field in the image will be at the same aperture. For instance, shooting with a full-frame DSLR and using a standard 50mm lens set to an aperture of f/4, if you focus at 1m, the depth-of-field might only be around 10cm, but focus at four metres, and the depth-of-field will increase to something around 1.5m. To see this in action you can take test shots with your camera in aperture-priority mode, focusing at different points in the frame to see how the depth-of-field changes, or download a depthof-field calculator app for your mobile device. The effect of the focus point on depth-offield is so great that a picture focused closely using a small aperture can actually have a smaller depth-of-field than a picture focused further away at a large aperture. Try this with a macro lens, which by its design will focus very close to the camera, and you’ll see that even small apertures, like f/16, will produce only a shallow depth-of-field, with just a tiny part of the subject kept in sharp focus. Focal length Focal length also has a pronounced effect on the depth-of-field created. For example, you’ll find that using an aperture of f/2.8 at a focal length of 24mm will generate a larger depthof-field than f/2.8 at a 70mm focal length if you shoot from the same camera position. 24mm at f/3.5

Above Knowing how to maximise the effects of aperture on depth-of-field you can adapt your technique to subjects where you want lots of sharpness, or just a little. Of course, this is how photographers usually work – if you need a wider view, you fit a wide-angle or if you want the subject to appear closer a telephoto lens is used. Without altering shooting position using a wider lens gives more depth-of-field. But, if you decide to move closer with a wide-angle or retreat a few metres back with a telephoto so the subject’s size is the same in the viewfinder, the amount of depth-of-field is the same if the same aperture is used. Again, you can test this yourself using a typical standard zoom lens. Frame up your subject in at the longest focal length, and in 70mm at f/3.5

Above Shoot at wide and telephoto focal lengths using an identical aperture and keeping the subject the same size in the viewfinder you’ll find depth-of-field is similar.

aperture-priority mode, set the maximum aperture allowed by the lens (the lowest f/ number). Now focus on your subject and take a shot. Next, stay put and zoom out to the widest focal length and repeat the shot with the same aperture. You’ll find a distinct difference in how much of the subject and the rest of the scene appears to be in focus. For your next shot, leaving the lens at the same settings, take a few steps closer and frame up a shot so the subject is the same size in the viewfinder as the first picture. If you now compare this shot with your first one, you will see that the depth-of-field in both is almost identical. Putting it all together From these basic principles you can see how the aperture settings, the focal length and the point in the frame at which you focus can all be adapted to make the most of different subjects. For instance, if you’re shooting a landscape and want it sharp from front to back, you’d not only set a small aperture, but also use a wider focal length and try not to focus too close to the camera’s position. Or, if you want a portrait with a shallow depth-of-field, you’d use a wide aperture, a longer focal length and focus comparatively close to the camera. NEXT MONTH We’ll take a look at the secondary effects of shutter speed and how that part of the exposure triangle affects moving subjects.

Focus at 50cm

Focus at 1m

Full image, f/3.5

Above The closer that you set the focus to the camera, the more restricted the depthof-field will be, even when identical aperture settings are used. So if you want lots of blur in the background, focus near to the camera, and if you want more sharpness, focus further off.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

60

Competition

Editor’s letter

Time to sell the liver and go big?

WIN!

© Will Cheung

© Will Cheung

A Samsung memory card! Capture life’s special moments across all devices with the ultra-reliable Samsung SD memory cards. Samsung’s latest SD cards can write data at an impressive 90MB/s and read data at an even higher 95MB/s. The cards are also amazingly reliable being water, temperature-, X-ray-, magnet- and shockproof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one massive 64GB Samsung PRO SD card to award to an eagle-eyed winner. Just complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on puzzle@photography-news.co.uk with that word in the subject box by 12 February 2017. The correct answer to PN39’s word search was Time and the Samsung 64GB card was won by E Yacomen of Norfolk. Congratulations to her. samsung.com and search for memorycards

I don’t think medium-format has ever been truly mass market but there was a time when Bronicas, Mamiyas and Hasselblads were common sights among the ranks of keen and pro photographers. With digital, medium-format is most definitely minority interest and that’s principally down to the cost of the cameras but also to the incredible quality possible from smaller formats making a larger format redundant. So much so that many pros and full-frame 35mm shooters have long since gone to mirrorless and Micro Four Thirds formats and haven’t looked back. I recall the early days of digital when 14 megapixels was considered the resolution necessary to match film and we all longed for the Holy Grail of a full-frame 35mm DSLR capable of that. When cameras were three megapixels and APS-C format, that seemed a very distant target, but look where we are right now with 35mm cameras surpassing 50 megapixels. So, you may be wondering what’s causing all the brouhaha with medium-format right now with new models arriving from Fujifilm and Hasselblad. These are still very expensive products with, for instance, the Fujifilm GFX 50S with a standard lens costing £7600. Well, for what it’s worth, I’m very interested in and even excited by what’s going on. Maybe it's because until I moved house two years ago I had four medium-format film cameras under the bed – three have since been sold. I really love working with the larger format. I actually bought a new medium-format film camera last year. It’s a folding plastic 6x12cm job that needs rubber bands to hold it in its folded position but I do enjoy using it. I’ve even started processing my mono films again after a break of several years.

So while I grew up with 35mm format and still shoot that format as well as APS-C and Micro Four Thirds digitally today, there is something beguiling about the bigger image. Last month, I tested the Hasselblad X1D and enjoyed its company. It is a lovely, capable camera that handles shooting indoors and out with aplomb. Also, last month I got to use the Fujifilm GFX 50S for a couple of hours and I have to admit I loved using it. I had the Fujifilm X-T2 alongside it and while the GFX 50S clearly wasn’t as responsive as that camera, it was very, very good. Start-up lag was well under a second, shutter lag was minimal too and handling felt intuitive. There is a detailed hands-on report in this issue, in case you’re reading from back to front. I have made several large prints from the GFX and even though I don’t have the evidence of side-by-side shots from a 35mm DSLR for a direct comparison, there is no doubt in my gut that bigger is better and larger does mean superior. The tonal smoothness and crisp rendition of fine detail just looks amazing – just like the difference between 35mm and mediumformat film. Worth the investment? Obviously that depends on any number of factors: the money, the need, the want. Of the three, I definitely have the last (in spades) and as I don’t want to part with my liver to finance the deal, I’ll stick with smaller formats – for now. I need a cunning plan and with that, it’s time to say au revoir until the next time.

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Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

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Pocket rocket The X100F is the fourth generation model in Fujifilm’s series of premium compacts and it is by far the most powerful yet, making it the perfect take-everywhere camera The Fujifilm X100F at a glance Fujifilm X100F £1249, available in black or silver from 16 February 24.3-megapixel, APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens (35mm equivalent in 35mm format) ISO 200-12,800, expandable to ISO 100-51,200 Mechanical shutter 30secs1/4000sec, electronic shutter up to 1/32,000sec Shutter lag of 0.01sec 3in monitor, 1040k LCD 0.48in EVF 2360k-dot LCD showing 100%, optical finder shows 92% with electronic bright frame display

A lot of people use their smartphone as their everyday snapshot camera and that is fine, but if you want superior picture quality in a device that has all the creative functionality of an advanced camera, then you need a premium compact like the Fujifilm X100F. The X100F is the fourth generation in Fujifilm’s X100 series and it is the most powerful and versatile to date. At the heart of the camera is a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, the same as that found on Fujifilm’s professional cameras. This advanced, highly capable sensor that is free of an optical low-pass filter will let you shoot very high-quality, detailrich pictures and Full HD video footage even at high ISO settings. Its native range is 200 to 12,800 and that is enough to deal successfully with the very low light levels but if you need even more speed the range is expandable to 51,200. Even pictures taken at the high ISO settings, the results are low in noise, well saturated, show very fine detail and shadow details remain deep. The sensor works with the Fujifilm X-Processor Pro to deliver rich, lifelike colour pictures as well as a fast camera performance. The X100F has plenty of creative potential to enjoy too so if you want to exploit the X-Processor Pro fully there is a complete range of Fujifilm Film Simulation modes on offer. These can be applied to still and video images, with Classic Chrome for a more subdued colour rendition and Acros monochrome for smooth, toned shots with rich shadows two popular options. In the

Film Simulation settings there is the further option of adding a distinctive grain look with the choice of two strengths, Strong and Weak. There also is a set of Advanced filters including Toy Camera, Dynamic Tone and Miniature; they are also fun to use and give your shots a very individual look. Fast performance is one of the X100F’s many strengths. The X-Processor Pro enables a very fast start-up time of 0.5sec, shooting interval time of 0.2sec and shutter lag of a mere 0.01sec that means the decisive moment will not be missed by the camera. Autofocus is incredibly swift too with a tested time of 0.08secs. The camera’s AF system is super-quick and it is very versatile too. It features 91 AF points arranged in a 13x7 grid and it can be set to show 325 smaller points across the same 85% of the image area. About 40% of the central area is covered by 49 points and phase detection pixels to give accurate AF in a wide variety of situations including low-contrast, low-light scenes. Six modes are provided to successfully deal with static and moving subjects and there’s a selection of AF zone options available, whether you want to leave it to the camera in Wide/Tracking mode or if you want to take control and use a single AF point. A thumboperated joystick is provided on the camera back and this let you intuitively move the AF point around the image area to ensure correct focus on the right part of the scene. For a great photographic experience, the X100F uses an Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder that gives the option of an optical finder (OVF)

or an electronic viewfinder (EVF). A handily positioned switch on the front of the camera lets you switch between the two options at will depending how you like to work. The OVF gives a crisp image and with no time lag while in Electronic Rangefinder mode a small window helps with focus checking. The EVF gives a 100% field of view and a frame rate of 60fps means a minimal time lag when panning with a subject. Making the most of the sensor and AF system is the integral Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens. This is equivalent to a moderate 35mm wide-angle lens in the 35mm format so ideal for photographing people and scenes giving an image which is not too dissimilar to the field of view of the human eye. The lens’s construction comprises eight glass elements including one aspheric lens arranged in six groups to give sharp, high resolution images free of flare and ghosting. The lens barrel features an innovative Control Ring in addition to the aperture ring. A frequently used function such as ISO or Film Simulation mode can be assigned to the Control Ring for quick selection. There’s also a 3EV neutral density filter built into the lens when you want to use a longer shutter speed or a wider aperture in bright lighting. We’ve only space here to scratch the surface of the Fujifilm X100F compact and there is plenty more to appreciate and enjoy, so with stocks available in-store from later this month, visit your local dealer to see this premium camera for yourself.


Photography News | Issue 41 | absolutephoto.com

Advertisement feature

Bigger is beautiful Fujifilm’s X-series system transformed the world of photography, offering full-frame image quality from a smaller APS-C format sensor. Not one to rest on its laurels Fujifilm has launched the medium-format GFX system, to offer pros and enthusiasts the chance of ultimate picture quality

Announced last year, the Fujifilm GFX medium-format camera system is now officially launched and will be available in-store from this March. On offer will be the GFX 50S camera, three lenses and key system accessories. It’s a high-performance, compact camera system rich in userfriendly features and capable of delivering incredible results. Furthermore, with a dust- and weather-resistant build, the camera and lenses will continue performing unfazed in challenging situations. At the heart of the system is the GFX 50S, a 51.4-megapixel mirrorless camera similar in size and weight to a fullframe camera body. It uses a 43.8x32.9mm CMOS sensor with a conventional Bayer pixel configuration working in conjunction with the Fujifilm X-Processor Pro image processing engine. This leading edge processor enables fast start-up, cuts shutter lag to the absolute minimum, enables quick autofocusing and delivers critically good image quality. This means stunning, low-noise results throughout the native ISO 100-12,800 range and beyond, and the creative option of Fujifilm’s renowned Film Simulation modes that include Acros for mood-laden black & white pictures and a new Color Chrome setting. These modes can be used in combination with the camera’s Full HD recording mode. For still shooting, there’s 14-bit Raw and JPEG shooting including super-fine JPEGs, or both at the same time, with images being recorded onto a pair of SD card slots. The largest Raw file gives an image measuring 8256x6192pixels. At the standard photo resolution of 300ppi, this means a print size of 27.5x20.6in without any interpolation in editing software. If you want even bigger prints, the GFX’s files are

so detail-rich that massive critically sharp enlargements are readily achievable. Another great option made possible by the mediumformat sensor is capturing different image formats incamera without sacrificing file size. For example, shooting a landscape with the panoramic 65:24 format gives a 25MB file that opens up to 8256x3048pixel image or an equivalent 27.5x10in print. If you want to exploit the 1:1 square format for dynamic portraits, file sizes measure 38MB with 300ppi print measuring 20.8in square. Superlative image quality and versatility comes from a camera that offers fast, intuitive handling. The design and layout of the controls is very clear and the inclusion of a sub-monitor on the top-plate lets the user keep track of key camera settings without having to check through the viewfinder or use the monitor. The EVF features a 3690k-dot OLED for a crystal-clear image and 100% of the actual picture area is shown. It’s removable should you want to keep weight to a minimum or it can be swapped for the optional Tilting Adaptor EVFTL1 for a different viewing experience. The rear 2360k-dot 3.2in monitor tilts in three directions and has smart touch functionality. It can be used for focus point selection and even touch shooting. A double tap gives an enlarged live view image for a critical focus check while in preview mode you can swipe through images, pinch for an enlarged view or double tap for a 100% blow-up. The advanced autofocus system uses a 117-point system in an 9x13 array or 425 smaller points arranged in a 17x25 grid covering the same image area. Different zone settings – 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 – are available and in single or smaller zone

The Fujifilm GFX 50S at a glance GFX 50S body only £6199, GF63mm f/2.8 R WR £1399, GF32-64mm f/4 R LM WR £2199, GF120mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Macro £2599 51.4 megapixels, 14-bit sensor ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 50102,400 360secs-1/4000sec, 1/16,000sec (electronic shutter) Continuous up to 3fps, single, remote, self-timer Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot, average metering 3.2in monitor, aspect ratio 4:3, approx. 2,360k-dot tilt-type, touchscreen colour LCD 0.5in EVF approx. 3,690k-dot OLED showing 100% Autofocusing with contrast detect sensor with modes including face detection, live view, single point, multiarea, continuous, single shot

The GFX system will shake up the world of medium-format photography in the same way that the X-series did for APS-C and 35mm image making settings the working area can be moved around with the focus lever joystick on the camera rear. Take a picture and the low vibration shutter makes the exposure with a low-pitched sound. The minimal shutter shock is a key factor in helping to achieve excellent picture quality. The focal plane shutter is built for a minimum of 150,000 actuations and there is the option of an electronic or a mechanical shutter. The speed range is 60mins to 1/4000sec with the mechanical shutter and the top speed is 1/16,000sec with the electronic option. Flash sync with both shutter types is 1/125sec. With such a highly featured camera and the promise of six lenses by the end of 2017, the GFX system will shake up the world of medium-format photography in the same way that the X-series system did for APS-C and 35mm imagemaking when it was launched six years ago. Without a doubt we can look forward to very exciting times ahead.


Issue 41