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Issue 59 12 Sep - 7 Oct

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Seven readers use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II to shoot pictures good enough for this month’s front cover

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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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Shoot the cover challenge Cover image by Rod Orrell “To have my picture on the front cover has absolutely blown me away and made my day, I can’t stop smiling. To be published on the front cover of such an illustrious magazine is a privilege and the start of more to come, I hope. “Thank you to PN, Olympus, Jay and Tara for giving me this opportunity. “I’m already an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II owner but I still wanted to attend the event. The day was a huge success because I could trial more lenses and the Olympus team gave me plenty of advice and showed me where to set up various settings in the menu, ie. back button focus.

I am continually amazed at what the OM-D E-M1 Mark II has to offer. “I’ve recently moved to Olympus from a full-frame DSLR. Last year, I went on holiday with my full-frame camera and some lenses, which was a mistake because it was so big and heavy. Then I happened to read a profile on a professional photographer who had switched from fullframe, so I did the same going to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Everything on the body is within reach and the twoway function lever means I can shoot without having to take my eye away from the viewfinder – and I can see the result in the viewfinder, too.”

Alan Gordon “A few minutes with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and I was up and running. The camera has so much potential and far exceeds the capabilities of my full-frame DSLR in terms of functions. The five-axis IS is stunning, which together with the 60fps shooting rate opens up opportunities for low-light sports and wildlife images. “For portrait work the ability to move the focal point to the right place was good. I adapted the camera for back button focusing, too, which is what I am used to. “I used nine lenses during the day from the 7-14mm fisheye zoom to the superb 300mm f/4 prime. I was surprised at the image quality from the 12-40mm f/2.8 lens. The 45mm f/1.2 is a lovely lens but focus on the leading eye is hyper-critical with such a shallow depth-of-field at its wide aperture settings. The diminutive 45mm f/1.8 does a great job for the money and it’s so

Behind the scenes

Clive Trusler

light. The 60mm macro 2.8 also doubles up as a very creditable portrait lens and makes for some interesting facial detail shots – so this is a really good-value alternative. “The OM-D E-M1 Mark II was a delight to use and the overall impression is of a professional camera with unexplored potential and performance.”

“Firstly, just to say thanks to Olympus for providing the opportunity. I’m not sure that many other manufacturers provide such support and encouragement for their customers. “I’ve owned Olympus cameras for seven years and recently upgraded to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II because it is so good. It is a complex camera and whatever you want to throw at it there is a way of setting it up to cope with the situation. You have the whole package in one camera and now I have five lenses, yet the whole lot fits in one case for travel.”


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Photography Produced by

Issue 59 12 Sept - 7 Oct

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Street style

On test: Panasonic GX9

Tips from a pro for street shots to be proud of Starting page 19

Compact, feature packed and a great price See page 32

Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories from the world of photography

Camera school Using polarisers – all you need to know See page 43

Fujifilm’s new generation With a new sensor, new processor and the fastest AF so far seen in a Fujifilm X-series camera, the X-T3 kicks off Fujifilm’s fourth generation with a bang When a camera maker takes an existing model name and adds Mark II after it, you know the changes are minor. But when the model number changes you know you are in for a serious uplift, and that certainly seems the case with the Fujifilm X-T3. It is the first Fujifilm X-series mirrorless camera with a backside illuminated sensor (BSI) and it embraces its innovative X-Trans technology. So its photosite layout is in a 6x6 configuration rather than 2x2 to defeat moir and false colours without the need for an image quality-sapping optical low pass filter.

Add the powerful new Processor 4 imaging engine, which is three times faster than current models, and you know the X-T3 is going to be a camera to be reckoned with. Fujifilm says its autofocus is 1.5x faster and significantly more accurate in terms of fast subject tracking, face and eye detection and in low-light situations. Significant advances in the X-T3’s video skills, a body refresh and a higher-resolution electronic viewfinder are other headline features of the new camera. fujifilm.eu/uk See more on page 3

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Canon and Nikon go full-frame mirrorless The two giants have finally gone mirrorless with new mounts and lens systems, while still keeping a close eye on their SLR heritage… continue reading on pages 4, 5 and 6


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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Fujifilm’s new generation

Spec at a glance Price £1349 body only Sensor 26.1-megapixels, BSI X-Trans CMOS 4 with X-Processor 4 image engine

The Fujifilm X-T3 is the fourth generation interchangeable lens X-series camera, and at its heart is a new, 26-megapixel backside illuminated X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. The X-Trans technology means the sensor features Fujifilm’s 6x6 photosite array that defeats moire without the need for an optical low pass filter, and gives fullframe quality from an APS-C size unit. Being a BSI design – the first X-series camera with a BSI sensor – means light delivery to the recording pixels is more efficient, so this should mean ISO performance is better than ever before in a Fujifilm camera, for exceptional image quality across the ISO range. The sensor’s surface includes four times more phase detection pixels – 2.16 million – compared with previous cameras, covering almost the whole frame to give superior all-round AF performance even in very poor light. The AF system is rated at -3EV, so will work with scenes lit by candlelight. More AF benefits are possible because image processing is handled by the new X Processor 4 that features four CPUs, to deliver a processing speed three times faster than current models. Thus, AF speed is said to be 1.5x quicker than current models and will deliver greater accuracy and better eye/face detection (eye detect is now possible with continuous AF). Improved phase detection algorithms mean AF tracking of quickmoving subjects during continuous shooting is significantly enhanced. The X Processor 4 also enables a world first: the X-T3 is the first mirrorless APS-C or format camera to give 4K/60P 4:2:0 10bit output recorded to internal SD card. HDMI output is available simultaneously.

Sensor format 23.5x15.6mm (APS-C), 6240x4160pixels ISO range 160-12,800, expandable to equivalent ISO 80, 100, 125, 25,600, 51,200 Shutter range 15mins-1/8000sec, 4secs to 1/32,000sec (electronic shutter), B mode up to 60mins, 1/250sec flash sync Drive modes Up to 30fps (with electronic shutter, 1.25x crop) up to 60 frames burst in lossless Raw compression. 20fps whole APS-C format, up to 34 frames uncompressed Raw Metering system 256-zone metering with multi, spot, average and centre-weighted Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV, AEB up to nine frames Monitor 3in, 1040k dots touchscreen showing 100% of image Viewfinder 3.69million dots OLED EVF

Above The X-T3 is the first Fujifilm X-series model to have a backside illuminated sensor. Fujifilm’s popular Film Simulation modes also benefit from the new processor, and the X-T3 is the first X-series with Color Chrome (from the medium-format GFX 50S). There is ETERNA cinema mode and more adjustability with the standard monochrome and ACROS modes. The EVF has a 3.69million dot LCD with a 0.005sec time lag and 100fps refresh rate that helps accurate framing of moving subjects, while a new Sports finder mode means you can see subjects before they enter the shot. There is also a digital microprism manual focus assist feature. For action shooters, the X-T3 can work at 30fps (with a 1.25x image crop) with AF and AE

tracking, while the effect of rolling shutter has been halved compared with existing models. There is a Pre Shot feature (with a 1.25x image crop and electronic shutter) where the camera starts shooting up to 20 shots with partial depression of the shutter release and up to 20 more when the shutter release is fully depressed. Other benefits include a lockable dioptre adjustment knob, larger control and mode dials, and a more intuitive touchscreen. The Fujifilm X-T3 is available from 20 September in black or silver, with a body price of £1349 or £1699 with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens. The optional MHG-XT3 grip is £299.

Focusing Intelligent hybrid AF with single, continuous and manual focus modes Video DCI 4K (4096x2160), 4K (3940x2160), full HD Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, HDMI type D Storage media Two slots: SD/SDHC/SDXC Dimensions (wxhxd) 132.5x92.8x58.8mm Weight 539g body with battery and card Contact fujifilm.eu/uk

Hands on with Adam Duckworth If you are used to the handling of any of Fujifilm’s recent cameras then it’s fair to say you will have no problems getting to grips with the new X-T3. The body may now be a four-piece design and some of the control dials have been altered, but the camera is the same size and has the same controls Fujifilm users are used to.

If you have a background in old-school film SLRs then you’ll have no issues either, thanks to the traditional layout with knurled control rings for ISO and shutter speed. Even users of modern DSLRs with swoopy plastic bodies will have little trouble adapting to the retro-style controls as the X-T3 can be customised to work like a Nikon or Canon, with two control wheels changing major settings. It remains a cool-looking camera that is simple to use, quickly and efficiently. Add on the new and slightly larger battery grip and it feels far better balanced with larger lenses. It’s a shame there is no dedicated AF-ON button on the back for back-button focusing, however.

In terms of actually using the camera, little has changed from the X-T2. But internally it’s a whole new camera, based around a brand new 26.1-megapixel backside illuminated sensor with a much faster processor, allowing a huge boost in speed, focus and video spec. The super-fast sensor readout has enabled huge changes in the AF system, which now has 425 phase detect autofocus points that give 99% coverage when using single-point AF, and focuses down to -3EV, two stops better than the X-T2. Fujifilm says it focuses 1.5 times faster than the X-T2, has improved face detection and now has eye detection in continuous focusing. In use it certainly locked

on well to static subjects, even in darkened rooms. When shooting cars at speed, it occasionally hunted a little when I first half-pressed the shutter, but quickly acquired and locked on focus. The AF is adjustable for tracking speed and sensitivity, with different presets for different types of action, and these make a big difference to how the AF performs. The new 100fps viewfinder – the same as on the flagship X-H1 –

has a tiny bit of lag but is still quick enough to make sports shooting easy. Action is helped by the frame rate as it rattles through at 11fps with continuous AF using the mechanical shutter, but switch to the electronic shutter and it leaps to up to 20fps. Checking out the JPEG files, the colours are bold even in standard setting. The noise is very well controlled and the files are detailed and sharp.


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

News Spec at a glance Prices Z 7 body £3399; Z 7 with 24-70mm f/4 kit £3999; Z 7 with FTZ adapter kit £3499; Z 7 with 24-70mm and FTZ adapter kit £4099. Lenses 50mm f/1.8 S £599; 35mm f/1.8 S £849; 24-70mm f/4 £999; FTZ adapter £269 Sensor 45.7-megapixels BSI CMOS sensor Sensor format 35mm full-frame 35.9x23.9mm, 8256x5504pixels ISO range 64-25,600 (expandable to ISO 32 and 104,800 equivalent) Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec plus B, flash sync at 1/200sec Drive modes Fastest rate 9fps Metering system Matrix, centre-weighted, spot, highlight weighted Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV Monitor 2.1m dot tilting 3.2in touch screen, 100% frame coverage Viewfinder 3.6m dot EVF Focus points 493 phase detect points in single AF covering 90% of the image area – usable in single-point, pinpoint, dynamic area, wide area, auto area Video 4K UHD 3840x2190 at 30p, 25p, 24p. 1920x1080 at 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-C, USB-C Other key features Five-axis image sensor shift IS Battery EN-EL15b (USB) rechargeable, ENEL15a can be used but with lower capacity and no USB recharging Storage media 1x XQD slot Dimensions (wxhxd) 134x100.5x67.5mm Weight 675g body with battery and card Contact nikon.co.uk

Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless system unveiled After much rumour-mongering, video teasers and crystal ball gazing, the Nikon Z system is finally here

The launch of a new camera is a special event; the launch of a whole new camera system is up another notch, especially when it is something as eagerly anticipated as the Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless system. Now it’s here. Has the wait been worth it? Well, that depends on your perspective. If you’ve wanted to go mirrorless and were frustrated by Nikon’s inactivity, then you have already switched. And if you’ve hung on in the hope that Nikon would eventually go mirrorless with something worth waiting for, then your patience might well have been rewarded. The Z  6 and Z  7 are the two cameras that were announced, together with three lenses and a lens adapter, and just to show its commitment to its new enterprise, Nikon also revealed a lens roadmap that takes the system up to 2020. There is no doubt that Nikon is taking the Z system very seriously and its stated aim is to regain the number one spot in the full-frame camera market. Kicking off this mission are two physically identical bodies that have different specs; an exciting move which gives prospective Z owners a choice. The Z 6 (what happened to the Z 1 and Z 2?) is the entry-level model with a 24.5-megapixel resolution, an ISO 100-51,200 range (expandable

to ISO 50 and up to 204,800 equivalent), 273 AF points covering 90% of the image area and a top shooting speed of 12fps. No Z 6 samples were at the launch so the floor was left to the Z 7. This

boasts a 45.7-megapixel CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 64-25,600 (expandable to 32-102,400), a phase detect 493 AF point system covering 90% of the image and a top 9fps shooting rate.

Shared system features include a high-resolution EVF, tilting touch monitor, robust weatherproof build, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity and the new EXPEED 6 processing engine. The Z system is the first from

Hands on with Kingsley Singleton After going hands on with the new cameras and lenses, I was impressed without being blown away. A full-frame Nikon mirrorless body has been a long time coming and the Z  6 and Z 7 seem to match the competition in most areas. That said, who cares about the competition? The first thing a Nikon mirrorless camera needs to do is hold onto the faithful who might well wander off to Sony’s A7R III. The good news for Nikonians is that the Z 6 and Z 7 feel like proper photographic tools. They’re not flimsy pieces of tech. They seemed to handle beautifully, and I was instantly at home with the layout and menus. The only head scratcher was working out where

the AF mode selector had been moved to. Eventually I found it mapped to the Fn2 button by the lens. Problem solved. The EVF seemed excellent, and that’s a big deal, as screens have always been second best to optical for me. Also impressive was the focusing speed. My D850 is no slouch, but there are benefits to a hybrid AF system that a DSLR simply can’t replicate. I’m hoping it’ll solve the perennial problem of keeping pace with an on-rushing spaniel. The smaller size and weight of the new cameras is good, but it’s not vital for me, bad back or not, and I’d still have to carry my wide and telephoto lenses plus the FTZ adapter now, anyway, so it’s a moot point.

Battery life and the single card slots are a worry. Won’t the benefit of less weight be taken up by carrying extra spare cells? I’ve also go used to dual card slots, so I’m reluctant to go back to just one. Overall though, the Z system cameras and lenses really

impressed me, and particularly so considering the engineering of a new lens mount. Nikon has hopefully future-proofed itself with the bigger mount when it could have just lobbed a mirrorless set-up behind the F mount. The benefits could be huge.


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Nikon’s tiny long telephoto

Above Nikon has worked hard on the ergonomics of the Z system so the initial impressions of handling are very positive. Nikon to feature a body-integral VR system that works in five-axes and gives a claimed 5EV benefit. The Z system is based on the new Z lens mount which is wider (it has a 55mm inner diameter) than the existing Nikon F mount and can thus allow faster maximum aperture lenses. A 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is already in development. For the legions of existing Nikon owners the accessory FTZ lens adapter, which is in effect a posh extension tube, allows their existing lenses to be fitted to Z cameras with AE or full AF/AE compatibility

– obviously this depends on the specific lens. With the FTZ, lenses without Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system will benefit from the VR system within the camera; those with it will get both lens and camera VR working together. So far, we haven’t mentioned video capabilities and yes, the Z system is well endowed here too. The Z 6 and Z 7 allow 4K UHD (3840x2160) 30p movies as well as Full HD/120p movies. Movie shooting is possible with electronic VR, Active D-lighting and focus peaking, plus there is

timecode support and N-Log with 10-bit HDMI output (to an external memory device). The Z 7 will be on sale first from late September onwards. The body only costs £3399, with the 24-70mm f/4 £3999 and the kit with the 2470mm and FTZ adapter £4099. The Z 6 will be on sale later in the autumn, again in various packages. The body only price is £2099, with 24-70mm f/4 £2699, with 24-70mm f/4 and FTZ adapter £2799. The Z lens prices are: 50mm f/1.8 £599, 35mm f/1.8 £849, 24-70mm f/4 £999 and FTZ adapter £269.

Although the Z system was the main launch for Nikon back in August, the company also introduced a super compact long telephoto lens, the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR with a guide price of £3699. The use of a Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element has enabled the designers to produce a really compact lens for its focal length. This 500mm weighs 1460g which is roughly the same weight as Nikon’s 70200mm f/2.8 and half the weight of a typical 500mm lens. The lens also features a Vibration Reduction system with a 4EV benefit.

Hands on with Will Cheung I’ve proffered the view to anyone who cared to listen that I thought Canon and Nikon were making a mistake in not going for full-frame mirrorless earlier, but then who knew Sony would do such a great job with its products? So good, in fact, that many long-term Canikon devotees are defecting to the

electronics giant. Consequently, Canikon are playing catch-up. However, as a Nikon owner, I have to say that first impressions are that it has done a great job with the Z system. I am not saying the Z 6 or Z 7 are Sony killers, but they could keep Nikon owners who are keen to go mirrorless, loyal.

I really loved how the Z 7 felt and handled. I have a D850 and the Z 7 has the same solid feel. The handgrips and control layout are not a million miles apart and I think I could happily use them side-by-side and not struggle finding the right control or menu item. The EVF is excellent, truly impressive. I did direct side-byside comparisons with a couple of high-end mirrorless cameras and the Nikon Z 7's EVF was clearly superior to my eyes. I know some people will still bemoan the fact that it is not an optical finder, but they really need to get over themselves. In the less than perfect lighting of the launch venue the AF was slick, responsive and accurate. Fitting an 85mm f/1.8 and FTZ adapter showed no obvious deterioration in AF performance. Promising signs here, and it is great to have a Nikon with a focusing area that almost fills the full-frame format. The single XQD card slot is a

slight concern. I do like the belts and braces of two card slots, but the XQD card design is physically more robust than SD which might help mitigate any concerns. Maybe. XQD card prices coming down would be nice, though. Of course, what is important is image quality and this is something I can’t comment on. At the press launch, we could take shots but not on our own cards so we were

left to check our shots on camera monitors which really tell us little. We were shown projected images shot on the Z 7, the D850 and some unnamed rivals, and the Z 7 shots were – surprise, surprise – clearly superior. But then you don’t spend millions on a new product (be it a camera or a cola) and show it being inferior to the opposition at launch, do you? So, we’ll see – and I for one, can’t wait!


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

News Spec at a glance Sensor 30.3 megapixels, CMOS Sensor format 35mm full-frame, 6720x4480pixels ISO range 100-40,000 (expandable 50 to 102,400) Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec, flash sync 1/200sec Drive modes 8fps with fixed focus, 5fps with AF tracking Metering system 384 multi-zone, centre-weighted, spot, partial Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-3EV Monitor 3.2in articulating touchscreen, 2100k dots Viewfinder 3690K dot EVF Focusing Contrast detect (sensor), phase detect Focus points Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 5655 points Video 4k 3840x2160 @30p/24p/23.98p and 480Mbps and 120Mbps Connectivity USB 3.1, HDMI mini, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Other key features USB in-camera charging (with LPE6N), Dual Pixel Raw support, CR3 (Raw and C-Raw) Storage media 1x SD slot Dimensions (wxhxd) 136x98x84mm Weight 660g body with battery Contact canon.co.uk

Canon joins the full-frame mirrorless club The Canon EOS R is a completely new camera system, designed from the ground up and founded on an innovative lens mount. The RF mount has a 54mm diameter, 20mm flange back distance, and features 12 connecting pins for even greater freedom when it comes to designing lenses. The first camera in the EOS R system is the EOS R, a 30.3-megapixel model featuring the DIGIC 8 processor that offers features such as the Digital Lens Optimizer, which corrects lens aberrations. Headline features include the world’s fastest AF and amazing low light sensitivity, down to -6EV. The AF system features Dual Pixel CMOS AF and 5655 selectable AF points with touch and drag functionality, and the ability to track at 5fps – the camera’s highest shooting rate is 8fps with fixed AF. A very high resolution, 3.69million dots, shows 100% coverage and is optimized for low-light shooting, so

More from Canon Canon also introduced three lenses this month: the world’s lightest 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4 lenses for its EF lens system and, at the other extreme, a 32mm f/1.4 STM for its EOS M system. The 32mm f/1.4 STM gives an effective 51mm (35mm equivalent) focal length so makes for an ideal standard lens, giving a natural perspective. Fourteen elements

in eight groups, Super Spectra Coating, and 23cm close focusing are key attributes in this compact lens weighing just 235g. The EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM weighs 2840g (previously 3850g) while the EF 600mm f/4L IS III is 3050g (previously 3920g), and both lenses feature IS systems with 5EV benefit, new coatings and weather seals. Prices to be confirmed.

accurate composition is possible in really dark situations. The EOS R’s ergonomic design includes a weather-proofed body with almost every control customisable and a comfortable handgrip. Also featured is a customisable multifunction bar controlled by a slide or touch motion. Further options are possible with all RF lenses, which will have a control ring that can be set to alter functions, such as ISO or exposure compensation, so you can adjust settings while the camera stays up to the eye.

EOS R prices • •

• • • •

EOS R body £2349.99 EOS R with RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and EF-EOS R mount adapter kit £3269.99 RF 50mm f/1.2L USM £2349.99 (below left) RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM £1119.99 (below right) EF-EOS R mount adapter £99.99 Control mount ring adapter EF-EOS R £199.99

Available from December 2018 • RF 28-70mm f/2L USM lens £3049.99 • RF 35mm f/1.8 macro IS STM lens £519.99

Video is featured, of course, and the EOS R can capture 4k video with 12 stops of dynamic range (at ISO 400) and 10-bit output via HDMI with Canon log. The EOS R system will feature four lenses by the end of the year, with two available at launch, and the Canon mount EF-EOS R adaptor means existing EF and EF-S lenses can be used. The Canon control mount ring EF-EOS R and Canon drop-in filter mount adaptor EF-EOS R give more functions. The first two lenses on offer are the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM (its natural perspective, L lens image quality and super-fast maximum aperture being the big selling points); and the RF 24105mm f/4L IS USM. The IS offers a 5EV benefit while the Nano USM AF is fast, smooth and quiet, suiting both still and video shooting. Later in the year we will see the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM and RF 35mm f/1.8 macro IS STM. The EOS R is available to pre-order now and in the shops from 9 October.

Hands on with Terry Hope The case for full-frame mirrorless has been firmly established for some time now and it’s really good to see Nikon and now Canon finally joining the party, big time. Canon’s launch of its new R system to the UK press took place against the slightly surreal background of a theatrical leap 400 years into the future, staged by a group of actors in a cavernous Hoxton warehouse, but at least we got the opportunity to shoot the proceedings on a fully functioning camera, with the choice of any one of the four new lenses to partner it. I opted to work with the RF 24-105mm f/4L

IS USM, which is due to be the kit lens in one of the outfits Canon is offering, and it was a great allrounder: lightweight and well balanced. Meanwhile, the dimly lit, atmospheric surroundings were a great test for the low light abilities of the outfit, and it passed with flying colours. For a start, the EVF offers incredible quality, probably the closest to an SLR direct view that I’ve seen and providing a brighter view than the eye could see – handy, given the conditions. I relied throughout on AF, and this responded in the blink of an eye, very much supporting Canon’s

assertion that it was capable of working in the darkest situations, even by candlelight if necessary. Although it wasn’t necessary in the situation I was in, I can also confirm that the camera operated in complete silence, which could be crucial for those in wedding or tense sporting situations. So quiet is the whole process that, at first, it can be difficult to believe that the shutter has actually fired, but Canon has thought this one through and there is confirmation in the viewfinder that the shot has been successfully taken. A very positive first view then, and clearly a lot of thought has

gone into what is not so much the launch of a new camera but the unveiling of what will become a complete system in time. The

signs are good and, given Canon’s pedigree, you sense they know exactly what will be required to make it all work.


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Panasonic goes premium The built-in lens is a 3.1x zoom, a Leica DC Vario-Summilux with an 11 element in eight group construction giving the 35mm format equivalent of 24-75mm with an aperture range of f/1.7-2.8. The lens features a 3cm minimum focusing distance in macro mode at the wide end – normal minimum focus is 50cm. Viewing can be done via the high resolution 2760k EVF or using the fixed 3in 1240k dot touch screen. Burst shooting at 11fps is possible in single-shot AF mode with 5.5fps in continuous AF while AF itself is done with a 49 zone system that has a selection of modes and includes Starlight AF for autofocusing on stars. For creative straight-out-ofcamera JPEGs, you have the option of Panasonic’s picture-style setting and here a L.Monochrome D mode

Sensor 17 megapixels, 4736x3552 pixels Sensor format CMOS Micro Four Thirds, 17.3x13mm ISO range 200-25,600 (expands down to ISO 100) Shutter range 60sec-1/4000sec, 1sec-1/16,000sec with electronic shutter. Time (approx 30mins) Drive modes Continuous, up to 11fps Metering system Multi-segment, centre, spot

with grain effect has been added so you can adjust the setting to produce individual looking shots. Other notable features include Panasonic’s 4k photo features, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a

versatile exposure system including compensation up to +/-5EV and USB battery charging. The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II has a guide price of £854 and starts shipping on 1 October.

were down to me. For example, I found I could move the AF point with my nose when I lifted the camera up to the eye. The LX100II has some nice trick features. I know you can crop to your heart’s content on

Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV Monitor Fixed 3in touch screen Viewfinder 100% coverage, 2760k dots Focusing Contrast detect. 49 points, multi area, selective single zone, centre

Hands on: Will Cheung

the computer but that LX100II has image format bracketing, although this is in JPEG only. So you can get 3:2, 16:9, 4:3 and 1:1 image formats in-camera. To be clear, it is just the camera giving different crops of the same shot.

L. Monochrome D is a picture style filter mode that gives more options when it comes to in-camera JPEG monochrome capture. In this mode you can fine-tone contrast and tone as well as add grain. Setting the various parameter options is easy enough, is fun and there are many creative options. It is one of the most versatile JPEG modes I’ve used and that is impressive. There was nothing I didn’t like about the camera, although a tilt screen would have been nice. The £849 guide price sounds expensive for a compact, but the reality is that the LX100 II is a well specified camera with plenty of useful features that take it well beyond the realm of being a mere compact. It has massive potential and its rugged design mean it is very likely to give many years of faithful service, Overall, I was impressed with the Lumix LX100II.

Video 3840x2120 @30p/100Mbps, 3840x2120 @24p/100Mbps Full HD 1920x1080 Connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI micro, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Image ratios 4:3, 16:9, 1:1, 3:2 Image stabilization Yes, optical Storage media 1 SD slot Dimensions (wxhxd) 115x66x64mm Weight 392g Lens focal length 24-75mm (35mm equivalent) Maximum aperture F/1.7-2.8 Minimum focus 50cm (normal range), 3cm (macro mode) Contact panasonic.co.uk

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Professional Photo issue 150, on sale from 13 September, focuses on the world of commercial photography and how you can maximise your profits in this challenging market. In the feature The Big Leap, five photographers working in very different fields tell their stories of how they successfully turned to commercial imaging. From what kit to use and lighting to how to follow current trends and marketing advice, everything is discussed in detail. The big launch of the month is the Nikon Z system and all you need to know is in the issue. Use the coupon opposite to buy one of two issues of Professional Photo from WHSmith and save £1 off the usual £4.75 cover price.

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I had a couple of hours on the streets of London’s East End in company with the LX100 II. In that time I shot I took 284 shots, a dozen clips of 4k video, used the monitor a great deal and did much menu scrolling. At the end the battery was still showing two bars, about 50%, which seems good to me. The option of USB charging is a great feature to have as a back-up – I think all cameras should have that option. For street shooting, being able to set exposure compensation quickly is important so here on the LX100 II I chose the rear lens ring to adjust compensation so it is available almost instantly with the left hand even as you shoot with the right. You also have +/5EV instead of +/-3EV with the actual compensation dial. Out of my test shots the camera showed itself to be very accurate with its exposure and focusing. If there were focusing errors there

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Panasonic has updated its Lumix LX100 premium compact, so now we have the LX100 II. At its heart is a 21.7-megapixel sensor which gives an effective 17-megapixel file in the Micro Four Thirds format with a max file size of 4736x3552pixels. The larger sensor means you can shoot different aspect ratios while maintaining big files so you have image ratio options of 4928x3288 (3:2), 5152x2904 (16x9) and 3552x3552 (1x1). In JPEG mode you can even shoot all four image sizes in one go with format bracketing – this is essentially the camera giving all four crops in-camera from one shot. The CMOS sensor works in conjunction with Panasonic’s Venus processor to give vibrant, realistic colours and high-quality images within the ISO 200 to 25,600 range – expansion to ISO 100 is available.

Spec


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News

The power of small by Profoto Swedish lighting brand Profoto has enjoyed a string of successes with its innovative products, and that looks set to continue with the just announced B10. To give the B10 some context, the existing B2 system features really small 250Ws flashheads powered via cables and a separate battery pack, while the B1X is similar in size to a typical monobloc, offers 500Ws output and is powered by an onboard rechargeable battery. The B10 offers the benefits of the B2 and B1X systems. It is a very compact 250Ws lighting unit that has an on-board rechargeable liion battery so has the attributes of power, portability and is cable free. Furthermore, the B10 is a fullyfeatured light head that meshes with existing Profoto accessories. So, the vast range of light shapers fit without the need for any adapters and you get through-the-lens flash and manual control using the AirTTL radio triggers with a 300m working range. Triggers are available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Sony camera systems. “We designed the B10 to be small,” said Göran Maren, product manager at Profoto. “Just a little bigger than a medium-sized zoom lens. That means

you can fit it in your bag with the rest of your gear and because it’s cordless and lightweight, it’s easy to bring and set up anywhere. That said, this is in every way a Profoto light, so the power and quality of light is essential. “Every part of the B10 has been designed to help the photographer to be more creative with light on location. We felt that the more flexibility we built in, the more an image creator can adapt to any issues or opportunities that a location might offer.” The B10 is more than an advanced flash unit and it incorporates a continuous LED light that has brightness and colour temperature controls for maximum flexibility. And speaking of flexibility, the B10’s mount can be taken off so the unit can be attached on a standard camera tripod, and the light can continue to be used while the battery is being charged. Smart connectivity is also on offer with the Profoto app and you can control settings remotely. Finally, prices. One B10 head costs £1410 and the Duo kit is £2820 while a spare B10 li-ion battery costs £180. We’ll be testing the B10 soon. profoto.com

Even more from Nikon

Tamron’s wide flagship

Not content with launching an entirely new system this month, Nikon has also introduced an APS format DSLR, the D3500. As with its usual camera-naming protocols, the more digits in the product name the more consumerlevel the product so you know by definition that the D3500 is aimed at the entry-level DSLR user.

It is 24.2-megapixel with an ISO range of 100-25,600 and the ability to shoot Full HD movies. It has a continuous shooting rate of 5fps and has good connectivity too with Snapbridge. “The D3500 is the perfect entry into the world of photography,” says Tim Carter, head of product management, Nikon Northern

Europe. “Its comfortable design and helpful shooting modes make it easy to capture images to be proud of. Plus you can connect a world of Nikon lenses to it. The D3500 with the AF-P DX 1855mm VR lens costs £499, and £479 with the non VR lens. nikon.co.uk

Tamron’s ongoing programme of updating its core lenses continues and here is the latest variant of its popular ultra-wide zoom, the SP15-30mm f/2.8 DI VC USD G2. The G2 (Generation 2) features Tamron’s new AX (Anti-reflection eXpand) coating which is designed to control light rays from the lens’s peripheral areas which can have a negative impact on image quality. Optical design has also been updated. An XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical)

element and multiple low dispersion (LD) elements aim to limit distortion and lateral chromatic aberrations. Finally, a Dual MPU system and enhanced AF control algorithm improve AF speed and accuracy. No price for this G2 lens is available yet – the first version is currently around £910. The Nikon version is on sale from 21 September and the Canon fit option from 12 October. intro2020.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Two from Samyang Samyang only had manual focus lenses a while ago, but that is changing. We now have its first AF lens for Nikon cameras. The AF 14mm f/2.8 F is available now at the price of £649.99. It features faster, more accurate and quieter AF than previous 14mm f/2.8 lenses, while its optical construction has been updated too. Two aspherical elements, four high refractive elements and one extra-low dispersion glass element feature in its optical make-up to help give high resolution results

with minimal distortion and chromatic aberrations. Samyang’s 85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS is a manual focus lens for mirrorless APS-C sensor cameras, giving a 35mm format effective focal length of 135mm and 170mm with Micro Four Thirds. Priced at £319.99 and also in the shops this September, this compact and lightweight lens will be available in Canon EOS, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E fittings.

AF14mm f/2.8 F

85mm f/1.8 ED UMC CS

intro2020.co.uk

Samsung’s storage solution The Portable SSD X5 is a solid state drive with Thunderbolt 3 offering a write speed of 2300MB/s and a read speed of 2800MB/s – a 20GB file can be transferred in just 12 seconds. A full metal body, shock resistant internal frame and rugged housing means it can withstand a drop of

two metres. Dynamic Thermal Guard technology and a heat sink help to avoid overheating. The Portable SSD X5 is available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes at £359.99, £629.99 and £1,249.99 respectively. samsung.com/portable-ssd

News in brief

Lastolite’s instant old look Lastolite’s latest collapsible 1.5x2.1m background is Vintage Tobacco/Olive to give your shots an olde worlde feel. Both colours have a dark vignette to the edges for that timeless feel and the product can be used with Lastolite’s magnetic background support system. The Vintage Collapsible Tobacco/Olive background has a guide price of £180.95. manfrotto.co.uk/lastolite

Solar Technology's new battery chargers Solar Technology has added new battery chargers to its range. The CamCaddy 2 costs £24.99 and is a universal charging unit thanks to its sliding contacts. It comes with a USB connection lead and can be powered from a laptop, desktop or USB mains/car plug. The FREELOADER SiXER is a solar-powered charger and costs £69.99. This rugged unit can be attached to a bag or rucksack with supplied Velcro straps.

The Supercharger 5W costs £49.99, it features high density solar cells and operates in temperatures from -20°C to 60°C. You can buy the lot in an Off Grid Photographer bundle for only £135. The kit works together to recharge virtually every camera battery, regardless of the time of day. solartechnology.co.uk/ solar-chargers

New stereo book George Washington Wilson was an internationally renowned stereo photographer back in the mid-1800s. His work is celebrated in a new book by professor Roger Taylor with an introduction by Brian May. It costs £30. londonstereo.com

Correction In last month’s Photo 24 contest results, we spelled David Sansom’s name incorrectly. Our apologies go to David for the error.


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News

Shh! Quiet – Leica at work

Screens from Philips

Philips has introduced three screens suitable for use by enthusiast and professional photographers that feature its latest technologies. The curved 328E9FJAB, priced at £229, has Quad UD resolution and gives crystal clear images. Its three-side frame suits multi-screen set-ups. The 272P7 VPTKEB and 328P6VJEB, priced at £599 and £469 respectively, both have Ultra Clear 4k resolution, the 272P7VPTKEB with a 27in screen and the 328P6VJEB with 32in, and equipped with UltraWide Color technology for a wider colour spectrum. If features is what you need the 272B7QUPBEB at £399 has enhanced connectivity including a USB-C docking feature while CrystalClear Quad HD gives great looking images.

The Leica M10-P is a full-frame rangefinder with a CMOS sensor giving a resolution of 24 megapixels. The M10-P is essentially the M10 but with a new shutter making the M10-P the quietest digital M to date. Also new is a touch function for faster focus checking in live view and playback modes, more convenient browsing in review mode and fast access to key features. The M10-P body is on sale at £6500 with the option of either black or chrome finishes. uk.leica-camera.com

Colour management for beginners XP Distribution has introduced the X-Rite Colour starter kit that is aimed at newcomers to the dark art of colour management who want an accurate colour workflow but without spending a fortune.

The X-Rite ColorChecker Gray Balance card is a pocketable grey reference card and helps the camera to get the exposures spot on. The other half of the kit is the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile, an easy-to-use monitor display

calibration device. Free from technical complications, in a few mouse clicks the Smile allows users to get a colour accurate display. The kit is on sale for £89. xpdistribution.com

Save on Datacolor kit

philips.co.uk/c-m-so/ monitors

Buy a Datacolor product, online or from a stockist, before 30 September and you can save up to £150. The products in this offer are Spyder5PRO, Spyder5ELITE, S p y d e r 5 C A P T U R E P R O, Spyder5ELITE and SpyderCHECKR. By buying a qualifying Spyder product you also get a free 90 day Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan. Datacolor has also teamed up with Fujifilm Fotoservice Pro where you get a one-off 50% discount off premium print products with the purchase of a qualifying product. Find more details on these offers on the website.

Lakeland glory © Alison Guy

For the second year The Heart of the Lakes holiday cottage company is running a photo contest for 12 images to grace its 2019 calendar. The calendar will be hung at all of its 360 properties. The calendar theme is ‘The Lake District – Stunning in all seasons’. So feel free to submit any number of photographs highlighting spring, summer, autumn and winter – showcasing how beautiful the Lake District is across the year, with a particular focus on the areas around Ambleside, Buttermere, Keswick, Wasdale and Keswick. Closing date for entries is 10 November 2018 and entry is via the company’s website, address below. heartofthelakes.co.uk/ news/article/lake-districtphoto-competition

datacolor.com

Three more Befrees Manfrotto’s Befree tripod series has been very popular and three more travel tripods have been added to the range. The Befree 2N1 (above left) is the most versatile. It is an all-in-one solution: so a tripod one instant but in a few steps a leg detaches to give a robust monopod.

The aluminium 2N1 is available in two versions, the Quick Power Lock (leg levers) and the M-lock (twist locks), and both sell for the same price, £199.95. The Befree Nerissimo is an elegant, aluminium tripod with a matt black finish. It’s priced at £174.95 and will be in the shops in October.

Finally, there’s the Befree Live QPL. This tripod sells for £224.95 and offers the performance of the Befree Advanced combined with the fluidity of the Live head but with leg lever locks for image-makers who prefer them. manfrotto.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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 (right) and get your stories in

Droitwich CC has an exciting programme of events lined up to cater for all tastes and abilities. There will be workshops on various photographic topics, a range of visiting speakers and also monthly competitions. In addition, the club organises regular days out for members where they can benefit from the knowledge of more experienced photographers. Dave Hull, publicity officer, says: “No matter what type of camera you use or what level of experience you have, you will receive a warm welcome at Droitwich CC and will

learn more about this very popular hobby.” The club meets Mondays, 8-10pm, Chawson Barn, New Chawson Lane, Droitwich WR9 0AQ. For further details visit droitwichcamera.co.uk or email publicity@droitwichcamera.co.uk Above Watching and Listening, by Droitwich CC member Ric Harding, was awarded a Gold Medal by Smethwick PS in the 2018 Nature Print section.

gloucestercameraclub.co.uk

loughtoncameraclub.org.uk

Barking PS’s first meeting saw an attendance of 57, and the objective of the society was to ‘Encourage the art of photography in all its aspects’. Over the years it has had visits by Lord Lichfield, Terence Donovan and David Bailey amongst others.

In its heyday there were 100 members and it was the club to beat in competitions. Membership is now down to 30, but all are highly committed members keeping the original objective alive. There’s a rich and varied range of favourite subjects amongst the

Stafford PS Stafford PS member Judi Dicks scooped the prestigious Three Counties Open Photographic Exhibition 2018, sponsored by Keele University, Staffordshire, with her image ‘Rainy Day at Kew’. Along with a cash prize, there was also the opportunity to hold an exhibition at The Centre Space Gallery, Spode Museum, Stoke-onTrent. This was held in August. Proceeds from print sales and cash donations were given to a local charity, The Donna Louise Trust.

Stafford PS meets every Tuesday at the Northfield Centre, Stafford, from 7.30 until 10pm.

Knaresborough CC Knaresborough CC programme has something for everyone. Club chair Phil Robbins said: “Our programme has been created by our members. A range of practical evenings will feature back-to-basics camera technique, how to produce photo books and how to prepare audio

membership ensuring interesting, informative and often humorous meetings. New members are always welcome. Meetings are on Thursdays at Eastbury Manor House, Eastbury Square, Barking, Essex IG11 9SN, starting at 7.30pm. barkingphotographicsociety. co.uk

Eastbourne PS © David Noton

Loughton CC meets in the Lopping Hall, Loughton 1G10 4LF, every Wednesday, 8pm to 10pm. There’s a varied programme, including talks by visiting speakers, competitions and workshop evenings. A small studio group meets at intervals throughout the year. Loughton CC’s annual exhibition takes place in the Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Essex IG10 1HD, from 28 October to 24 November and entry is free.

Barking PS celebrates its 70th

© Judi Dicks

© Mike Dobson

Loughton CC

We need words and pictures by 28 September 2018 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 8 October 2018. If you want to submit, follow these guidelines: yy Write your story in 250 words or fewer. Include the club’s website, meeting times, what the event is, opening times, entrance costs – anything relevant. yy We need an image for every story. JPEGs, 2000 pixels max on the longest dimension, any colour space, credits should be included in your text. yy We DO NOT use posters or images with words on the image front. yy Before the above deadline, attach the text document and JPEGs to an email and send to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Droitwich CC

© Richard Boenke LRPS

Gloucester CC kicks off its new season with a new premises and new website. The club now meets at Pineholt Village Hall, Hucclecote GL3 3SN. Gloucester’s exhibition runs from 20 to 27 October at St. John’s Church, Northgate Street, Gloucester. It is open daily from 10am till 4pm (except 21 October). St. John’s Church is right in the centre of Gloucester, not far from the famous docks. Entrance is free and members will be in attendance to talk about the images and hopefully encourage one or two visitors to join the club.

Deadline for the next issue: 28 September 2018

© Ric Harding

© Bob Train

Gloucester CC

Here’s how to submit

Members £2, non-members £3.50. staffordphotosociety.org.uk

visual. We want to continue to attract new members by creating a friendly environment where photographers can simply enjoy their hobby or take it further.” The group meets at 7.45pm on Wednesdays at Chain Lane Community Centre, Knaresborough HG5 0AS. knaresboroughcameraclub. blogspot.com

Eastbourne PS is a vibrant group and during a packed season will have practical sessions on Friday club nights, inspirational speakers and competitions, plus Tuesday workshops on a range of topics. On 24 November, the club is hosting an afternoon with David Noton who will be showing some of his photography, described by BBC Wildlife magazine as ‘a collection of jaw-droppingly beautiful views of some of the most spectacular places on earth’. Tickets are available through Eventbrite or events@ epscameraclub.co.uk epscameraclub.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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Technique Candid moments

Shoot the streets The huge interest in street photography has been fuelled by any number of reasons and smaller, silent cameras is certainly one of them. As most of us live in towns and cities, accessibility is another. The main reason, though, is the challenge of taking great pictures of unrepeatable moments without the need for loads of kit. All you need to do is acquire some simple skills and that is what Brian Lloyd Duckett, a master of the genre, is offering over the next four pages Word & pictures by Brian Lloyd Duckett

Overcome your fears of street photography •

Be quiet. If your camera’s beeps, clicks and blinking lights can be turned off, turn them off. Shoot people absorbed in what they’re doing – they won’t notice you.

• •

Work quickly – take your shot and move on. Avoid eye contact. You’ll find this much easier if you don’t make eye contact with people on the streets – before, during and after your shot. If necessary, shoot from the hip to disguise what you’re doing – but don’t rely on it. Getting in close is often a good principle in street photography but not an absolute rule. Get as close as you’re comfortable with but keep pushing yourself to get a little closer every time. Always have confidence in the belief that you are not doing anything wrong – and keep telling yourself this. You’ll be more confident if you know the law: street photography in a public place is perfectly legal in the UK and you don’t need anyone’s permission to take their picture.

© Brian Lloyd Duckett

1

Most of us have some level of discomfort with photographing people in the street and we all deal with it in different ways. Some people fight the feeling and shoot away regardless; some will just give up and shoot something different; others will learn a new set of skills to help them deal with such difficulties. Make street photography a habit. The more you’re out there doing it, the more comfortable you will feel. Here are some ways in which you can minimise your fears. Spend a whole weekend working on this – remember, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Right Taken in London with a fast shutter speed of 1/1600sec.

Become a great observer © Brian Lloyd Duckett

Right Harsh light gives contrast and strong shadows, playing on the bright green wall and setting the scene for the furtive looking figure peering out from behind it.

2

The best street photographers are good observers of life; they soak up all the detail, watching body language and anticipating what might happen next. We need to be super-aware of what’s going on around us and be able to predict the actions of others so that we are in a state of readiness to capture a moment. Think of it as being able to ‘read’ the streets. You need to be curious, always thinking about what’s round that corner, who’s inside that shop or what is behind that door. Be nosey and it will pay dividends. You should also pay more attention to others than to yourself; many street photographers are not sufficiently observant because they’re so self-conscious about

how they look or behave. Nobody is interested in you – focus your attention on others. If you’re serious about street photography, you need to chase good light. Find subjects and backgrounds which are bathed in it. Don’t be afraid of contrast – your job is to record, not to flatter – and rejoice in strong directional light. Look at the light, in terms of its quality and direction, and use it to your advantage. Also, look at detail on the streets; the ability to recognise important detail and make connections will help set you apart as a street photographer. So, walk slowly and get into the zone. Pay attention to your senses – the sights, sounds and smells of the streets will give you constant feedback as to what’s going on around you.


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Technique Shoot projects find little inspiration, or when there is nothing happening, they will give you the impetus to go out and shoot pictures in an organised manner. They can provide you with a clear endgame – whether in the form of a photo book, set of prints, exhibition, web gallery or blog – which will spur you on to produce a tangible, worthy body of work. They allow you to tell a story. While it is perfectly possible to do this using just a single image, think about how much more powerful that story can be if told using a cohesive set of images, edited and sequenced in a logical order. One of the most satisfying outcomes of a project is to share your work and there’s a real sense of achievement when you see your images in a gallery, on a website or in the pages of a book.

© Brian Lloyd Duckett

3

Street photographers often struggle to find sufficiently interesting subject matter and so resort to randomness. We’ve all seen the many thousands of street shots on the web which are of random people, in random places, doing random things. There is no sense of narrative, no theme and no connection between the images. So, to add real impact to your work, organise your shooting around projects. A project is a collection of images – a distinct body of work – which is generated around a specific theme. It allows you to build a strong narrative, using images to tell a story. There are three good reasons why you should develop the project mindset. Projects give you focus and direction. On days when you can

Be invisible!

Set it and forget it © Brian Lloyd Duckett

4

• • • •

backpack and tripod; a messengertype shoulder bag will allow you to access your gear more quickly than a backpack will. A smaller bag is always better than a big one; it will look less obtrusive and there is a tendency to overfill big bags with loads of gear you shouldn’t need. Use a small camera/lens whenever possible to do so. Try standing on the same spot for a while – people will start to ignore you. Make yourself unapproachable by wearing sunglasses and earphones. Shoot ‘past’ people – you can aim a wide-angle lens into the distance beyond your subjects while still getting them perfectly positioned in your frame.

5

Street photography shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, from a technical perspective, things couldn’t be simpler. So that you’re in a state of constant readiness and able to react quickly to scenes evolving around you, set your camera up at the start of the day and don’t touch those settings until the light changes. Here’s an approach that works: • Set ISO 1600, an aperture of f/8 and aperture-priority AE mode. • Using a relatively high ISO will give you a fast shutter speed (aim for at least 1/200sec) which will help minimise subject blur or camera shake (either of which will ruin your shot – the tiny amount of extra noise won’t). An aperture of f/8 or smaller is recommended so that you get enough depth-of-field to record context in a scene. These settings are a good ‘walk-around’ compromise, making sure you get the shot.

Any fine-tuning can easily be done using the exposure compensation dial – to retain detail in the highlights, for example. With certain cameras, like the Fujifilm X Series, you can see all the settings – the full exposure triangle – on the top of the camera without needing to delve into menus to make changes on the fly. However, if you find a nice background or scene and you have time, always change your settings to suit the conditions. Preset focus. AF is quick but manual means not missing an opportunity which might happen because of the fractional delay or the camera focusing on something other than your subject. Setting a distance of, say, 3m, with a wide-angle lens and an aperture of f/8 means you have enough depth-of-field from two metres to 10 metres and beyond. Working like this will allow you to put all your mental energy into finding the subjects, composition and timing. © Brian Lloyd Duckett

Above Blend in to capture light moments, enhanced here by the surreal background. We tend to be more effective when we blend into the background and not identified as photographers. If people see you with a big camera and long lens round your neck, the chances are they’ll stop what they were doing, turn away or just walk off – and you’ll miss your shot. Here are a few tips to help you remain invisible on the streets: • Wear dark clothing and walk slowly – both will help you blend in more. • Try shooting from the hip (much easier if your camera has an articulated screen). • Avoid eye contact with your subjects. • Work quickly and quietly. • Travel light – avoid the giveaway signs of a photographer like a big

Left Storytelling is paramount to successful street photography, allowing viewers to create their own narrative. Does this tough looking character own the small yapping dogs? Where are they going and why?

Above Shadows and silhouettes make a strong image while ISO 1250 and f/8 give flexibility.


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Technique Be prepared A big part of street photography is spotting and capturing ‘the moment’. You have an incredibly short window in which everything is just right for the perfect shot – but how many times do you miss the opportunity? Not only do you need to be alert and in the zone but your whole shooting modus operandi must be geared towards reacting instantly to events on the streets. As you walk around, continually make compositions in your mind so that when you see the right shot, all you need to do is raise your camera and press the button. If you restrict yourself to only ever using one camera/one lens for street photography, you’ll find this process becomes instinctive.

Follow these simple guidelines to help ensure you get the shot: • Always have your camera on and with the lens cap off • Have everything pre-set so that your camera operates like a point-andshoot model • Always have your finger ready on the button • Use a wrist strap so that your camera is in your hand and ready to go – and never walk around with your camera in the bag. • Use a prime lens – zooming wastes precious milliseconds. • Never, ever, hesitate: as soon as you spot the opportunity for a shot, take it and worry about it later. The chances are you’ll never get the same opportunity again.

© Brian Lloyd Duckett

6

Look for the unusual in the usual

© Brian Lloyd Duckett

7 Above Be camera-ready for the moment so you don’t miss it.

A group of six people simply walking down the street doesn’t necessarily make for an interesting image. But if five of them were wearing red coats and one was wearing a yellow coat, then you may have something. Street photography is often thought of as being witty, playful or even mischievous while we, as street photographers, are good at spotting the odd, the absurd, the peculiar, the unusual. And, the great thing is, the more time you spend on the streets, the more you spot this stuff. But you need to really look for it. When you’re on the streets you must keep your eyes open for things that are out of place

or simply odd. We humans sometimes do peculiar things and, if you’re in the right place at the right time and are quick enough, you’ll be there to record them. Look out for: • Sequences or series of things where you would normally find only one of them. • Odd gestures or unusual body movements. • Juxtapositions, where one thing is placed in front of or behind the other, creating a witty situation. • Big contrasts (thick/thin, modern/traditional, yellow/ bl and so on). • People doing things which make them look awkward – such as carrying unusually big or heavy loads.

Above Juxtaposing two completely different elements can create a mischievous third – in the form of a Chaplinesque moustache.

Wait for it always be on the lookout for an interesting background. It doesn’t matter too much what it is – a brightly coloured wall, an elegant staircase, a humorous billboard – but you’ll almost certainly need another element to make the background work. Whatever that element is – a man with a dog, perhaps, or a woman in a red coat – you need to find the best position for your composition, set your camera up and wait. As you’re walking the streets, look at everything around you and assess its potential. Is the light superb? Can you make a witty composition out of it? Would it make a good abstract? Some of the best shots come from the most unlikely of backgrounds.

© Brian Lloyd Duckett

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There’s a lot of luck involved in street photography – being in the right place at the right time – but you can make your own luck. Much of it is about the moment but there’s another, less reactive side. Waiting is a big part of street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson, despite being known as the originator of the ‘decisive moment’, would often see a suitable background and then wait for as long as it took for the right element to come into the frame to complete the scene. Think of it as fishing: you set the bait, cast your line and wait for the fish to bite. So, when you are scanning the streets looking for material,

Left: Pick your spot and wait for the picture to come to you. This scene was captured at 1/420sec, f/8 and ISO 200.


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Technique Shoot wide

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© Brian Lloyd Duckett

With most forms of street photography we are interested in the narrative: context is king. It is of little use, therefore, to shoot a lovely crisp headshot from down the road on a 300mm lens, when any interesting or relevant background is excluded from the composition. Who is the subject waving to? What is he laughing at? Why is she shaking her fist? We really do need to know what’s going on! Look at some of the work of the great street photographers – Alex Webb is a great contemporary example – and see how they manage to get close to their subjects while incorporating enough of the background to make a visually interesting composition. They have only been able to do this by using a wideangle lens. A wide-angle lens of between 24mm and 35mm (full-frame equivalent) will take you to the heart of the story. It will get you close to the action with a sense of involvement which will come across in the final image. If you want to capture the true emotion in a street scene you should be close enough to become a part of that scene – and then the viewer will feel part of the scene also. Prime lenses are preferable to zooms: they are smaller and therefore more discreet, lighter and faster to use – zooming takes too long and makes you a lazy composer.

Don’t obsess about gear

ABOUT STREETSNAPPERS © Brian Lloyd Duckett

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Street photography is a simple pleasure and you need very little in the way of gear to become a highly competent operator. There’s probably no other genre of photography where you’ll see some people take better pictures with an iPhone than others can with a Leica. Look at the work of some of the greats such as William

Above Street photographers are unseen observers – whether from a slight distance or close-up to the heart of the story they are revealing.

Klein, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank: they produced stunning images using basic film cameras with none of the bells and whistles we have today. Don’t be at all concerned with what kit you have. Whether it’s an old film SLR or the latest mirrorless model, you can excel at street photography with the right mindset and an eye for the moment. Let’s face it, it’s a great feeling to have the latest gear, and perhaps we gain an element of

Left Long lenses aren’t part of a street photographer’s armoury. This was taken on a compact digital camera.

confidence from it, but does it really make us better photographers? Probably not. So, don’t spend your money on that latest lens or even bigger sensor – instead invest in books, education and travel. Visit galleries and study the work of the great photographers; learn the theory of light and composition; experiment with an old film camera; take a workshop. All of this will help make you a better street photographer.

Brian Lloyd Duckett is the founder of StreetSnappers, a business which specialises in street photography education. With a maximum of six participants, these weekly workshops take place in cities around the UK and in Lisbon, Venice and Prague, and offer a solid grounding in street photography styles, approaches and techniques. He also runs a weekend Masterclass workshop for intermediate street photographers and offers one-toone tuition and mentoring. Brian lectures to university students and to camera clubs and his first book, Mastering Street Photography, has become a best-seller. His next book, 52 Assignments: Street Photography, will be published by Ammonite Press in October. streetsnappers.com brian@streetsnappers.com @streetsnappers


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature

Shoot people pictures to win

Take the Profoto Portrait Challenge With a superb Profofo A1, the world’s smallest studio light, to be won and four monthly prizes of a Profoto reflector, this free-to-enter contest was not to be missed. The four monthly winners will be judged against each other and the image judged to be best overall picture will win the Profoto A1 Last month’s topic was for self-portraits, a potentially challenging subject, both technically and aesthetically, and probably not helped by the fact that many photographers are camera shy.

WINNER

Mike Martin “I needed a mugshot which was the reason I took my self portrait. I shot it in the dining room, camera on tripod released with the self-timer, pre-focused and flash bounced off ceiling. Took two frames, and knew immediately that it was going to end up as a monochrome image. “I started by converting the image in Adobe Lightroom, then applied one of my recipes in ON1 Effects. It is a custom pre-

set made out of a number of different actions including a grunge filter, bit of HDR and a mono conversion at highish opacity to give the muted colour. The result was much better. Looking at the image, although a fairly tight crop, I was a peeved that my shoulders weren’t level and one side of the image went to the corner while the other didn’t, so messed with the cropping. I liked the half face as there’s less of me to look at!”

I messed with the cropping... I liked the half face as there’s less of me to look at! Over the last few issues we've asked for your best beauty portraits, environmental portraits, character portraits and self portraits. In the next issue of Photography News, out from 8 October, we will be announcing the overall winner – selected from the winning images in each individual category – of a Profoto A1.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Profoto Portrait challenge over the past four issues. We have our four monthly winners now so the judges from Photography News and Profoto will pick the photographer who

will receive the overall prize of a Profoto A1. Since its launch a year ago, the A1 has proved to be a very popular light used by keen enthusiasts and professional image makers alike, so the winner will enjoy their prize.


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature Runner-up: Perry Tatman

Runner-up: Steve Buesden

The big prize: Profoto A1 The Profoto A1, the world’s smallest studio light, is a professional quality lighting solution designed for the modern image creator who wants to sculpt and shape with light.

The A1’s innovative round flash head with its unique design fresnel pattern diffuser, powerful 76Ws output and the ability to use magnet-fit light modifiers means this light has huge creative potential. Add a li-ion rechargeable battery with the capacity for 350 full-power manual flashes, TTL or manual flash control and an integral LED modelling light, and you have a unique lighting tool that can be used on or off camera. Finally, the A1 meshes totally with Profoto’s lighting system, whether that is with mains-based units such as the D2 or the brand’s Off Camera Flash system, with the B1X and B2 perfect partners for the A1. With AirTTL Remote built in you have wireless connectivity and, with the A1 as the master unit, four groups of Profoto lights in TTL or manual mode can be controlled. Win this contest and you will receive a Profoto A1 and you’ll get to enjoy its creative delights for yourself.

profoto.com

Wayne Richards


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Interview

Jerry Webb Profile

Adrenaline, a low boredom threshold and getting in close with a wide-angle lens are the core tools in this photographer’s armoury – and his dramatic images show what a potent mix they are © Jerry Webb

PN: Can you tell Photography News readers a bit about yourself please? What’s your background and what do you do for a living? JW: A bit of a mix really. I do earn from photography but could never earn enough to live on. My primary work is as an event designer – creating graphics and environments for corporate events, something I have done for over 20 years. Prior to that I worked in publishing, initially as a graphic designer, then magazine designer and for six years as an art editor. My work has always been image based and, since my teenage years, art has always inspired and consumed me. PN: How long have you been taking pictures seriously? JW: Truthfully, a short time. Treating my photographs seriously has happened relatively recently. Considering what I am doing, why I am doing it and what and how my work communicates is a reasonably new experience. I have given it little thought for most of my photographic life. It has had the net effect of making my photography more difficult and more challenging. Getting bored with what I produce is probably one of the best facets of my personal photographic process, although at times this can be very demoralising. PN: Do you belong to a camera club? JW: I have belonged to Brighton and Hove Camera Club since 2007 and have looked after the programme, in some shape or form, for the last six years. PN: You have a very distinctive style. How did that come about, or did it just evolve over time? JW: It has certainly evolved. In 2008 I was photographing landscapes in colour. I grew to love both photographing people and black & white photography, interests that came quite early on. Getting closer to my subject and realizing how closeness changed the nature of the image was a lesson that was learnt over a longer period. Shooting from within rather than from afar is always more desirable and more effective. I don’t often use

Images Jerry's current favourite image is this shot of boys at a local lido; it captures the exuberance and vitality of youth.

For me proximity is everything. It may be a photographic cliché, but the closer the better, always and without exception


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Interview © Jerry Webb

© Jerry Webb

Images Jerry likes to shoot moving images and also embraces wide angles and getting up close to his subjects. telephoto lenses, they rarely provide either the photographic experience or the end drama. PN: Are you working on a particular project or is this just the way you prefer to work? JW: Trying to shoot to a brief requires both a different mind-set and another set of skills, skills I do struggle with. I have just started a couple of projects for the summer and I do find projects difficult. I am acutely aware that my best work is instinctive, in the moment and spontaneous. For me adrenaline is a fundamental component in taking pictures. My two projects, ‘Greed’ – a more political look at excess wealth, status and power – and the much more physical ‘Crowds’, will be largely set in the City of London. Setting myself projects that are more journalistic than stylistic and more thoughtful than impulsive

provides me with my biggest and most difficult photographic challenge yet.

I love the sense of tension and discomfort photography is able to create

PN: When you go out shooting, do you go out with a specific purpose in mind? Or do you go out and see what you can get? JW: I am generally quite reactive in my photography. Completely open minded. I find consciously looking for one type of picture or another restrictive as I am naturally distracted. When I’m working, the job in hand is my priority, however shooting to a slightly broader and more intuitive brief has often paid dividends for clients in the past. PN: Are you a machine-gunner or are you a minimalist shooter? JW: I often take moving subjects so generally take three or four photos at a time when

shooting – that kind of energy has always caught my eye – so I’m not exactly a ‘minimalist shooter’. However, over the years, with experience, an increasing dislike of editing and a greater sense of what I want, I have considerably reduced the amount of photographs I take. These days I think more about how and what I take and equally, what I don’t want. I have been guilty in the past of filling up the card with rubbish, taking pictures which even at the time of taking, I knew were unusable.

© Jerry Webb

PN: What camera kit do you use? JW: My principal camera is a Nikon fullframe D610 with a Sigma 12-24mm lens. I have recently bought a lightweight Nikon AF-P 10-20mm, which I love because it’s so light. I am about to buy a Fujifilm X-T2 with a 10-24mm, which will provide me with a few other things I need other than the weight, most notably a shutter that you can’t hear in the next street. PN: You like wide-angles and getting in close and shooting from low viewpoints. Has that approach caused you any hassle from your subjects? JW: It’s true I shoot people very close. Early on I got into a few disagreements but these days I am more expert at handling people © Jerry Webb


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Interview © Jerry Webb

© Jerry Webb

and much calmer in my approach although the need for candid pictures (as opposed to talking to people) has become paramount. For me proximity is everything. It may be a photographic cliché, but the closer the better, always and without exception.

PN: What do you do with your images, apart from the exhibitions? Have you published any books?

Contact

PN: From your own portfolio, which is the image you are most proud of? JW: At the moment it is my swimming photograph (shown previous page). It was part of a commissioned job, shot for Saltdean Lido during last summer’s opening. I had very little time, bland hoardings needed to be avoided and the pool was awash with half naked children and suspicious parents. Me and the camera got soaked as the six diving lads plunged into the water in front of me. Luckily all the consent forms were dealt with by somebody else. Normally I think my pictures are much better than they are and checking them later on the laptop is a disappointment. This one I knew I got right. The unbridled fearlessness of youth.

PN: How do you process your images? JW: I use Photoshop for lots of added contrast. Sometimes I use Nik software to scuff up the picture a little, make it a bit more gravelly as the rougher feel suits my photography. Water on the lens, distortion, lens flare, noise, blown out areas are all generally welcomed and left in. I love the sense of tension and discomfort photography is able to create. Calming, beautiful, easy-on-the-eye photography is not really my thing. PN: Do you print your work, ie. proper printing using inkjet papers? JW: I don’t print my work. I have it printed commercially for exhibitions and any print sales.

JW: I have a number of self-published books and have had two projected exhibitions in Brighton (with Jo Teasdale). Next year there needs to be something quite new.

Images Jerry uses Photoshop and Nik software to add texture and character to his pictures, with scuffs, noise and grain.

PN: What plans do you have for your photography in the future? JW: I’m determined to see both these projects through, although they will both take time. I also want to have an exhibition next year in my home town, Brighton and Hove.

To see more of Jerry’s work, visit his website: jerrywebbphotography.com


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Show preview

Buyers’ guide

Photo keener What should you be excited to see at this year’s Photokina show? Find out right here...

Every two years the photographic world meets at Cologne’s huge Koelnmesse exhibition site for Photokina – one of the world’s leading photo shows. Photokina is an event that covers the entire imaging market, enabling companies to launch new products and attendees to try out all the latest gear. In 2016

nearly 1000 companies were represented and the floors were trod by almost 200,000 visitors from 134 countries. Photokina covers everything from cameras, camcorders and smartphones to studio equipment, lighting systems, processing software, printers and printing

services, photo books, frames and albums, so whatever you’re looking for you’re sure to find it. And as well as kit there are photo shoots, workshops, lectures and exhibitions. We’ll have a full rundown of all the new launches at Photokina in the next issue of Photography News, but right now here’s

Nikon’s bright future – Hall 2.2

One of the first chances to get hands on with Nikon’s new mirrorless Z system will be at Photokina. The Z 6 and Z 7 bodies will be available, as will the new lenses and FTZ lens mount adapter. The stand will also feature the recently announced D3500 DSLR, 125x zoom Coolpix P1000, and the hugely successful 45.7-megapixel D850. As for lenses, there will be the ultra light and compact AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR and the AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED – Nikon’s first telephoto lens to boast a built-in 1.4x teleconverter. Joining the gear are Nikon ambassadors, including photographers Nadia Meli and David Yarrow. nikon.co.uk

Sigma’s Art class – Hall 4.2

Sigma continues to produce some of the best lenses around, covering a wealth of lens mounts from full-frame and APS-C DSLRs to mirrorless systems – and Photokina is your chance to get up close to them. Recent releases to get your hands on include three excellent additions to the company’s Art range. There’s the 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art, which is sure to be a hit with landscape photographers, and the 70mm f/2.8 Macro Art for strikingly detailed close-up photography. Finally, portrait photographers will want to get to grips with the 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, a brilliantly sharp lens that gives a stunningly shallow depth-of-field. As well as showcasing the company’s lens range there will be presentations from pro photographers at the event. sigma-imaging-uk.com

what’s whetting our appetite for the show. Photokina 2018 runs from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 September, and doors open at 10am each day, closing at 6pm, or 9pm on the Friday. photokina.com

Kase Filters on point – Hall 5.1

Kase Filters will be showing off its growing product range at Photokina, including its new slimline 1.1mm toughened glass filters and its range of lenses designed for mobile phone cameras. The latter are available in four types: wide angle, fisheye, macro and telephoto, and are compatible with virtually all modern phones, including the iPhone 6, 7 and 8, Samsung s7 and 8, Huawei 10 and more. Visitors will also be able to see the difference in weight and durability of the new 1.1mm Slim filters, compared to regular 2mm versions. The new filters are protected against scratches and drops, while a coating works to repels water, oil and dirt, all the while keeping colours neutral. kasefilters.com

Permajet’s passion for printing – Hall 3.1

PermaJet, the award-winning inkjet media supplier, is expanding two of its product ranges at Photokina, introducing new papers and canvases. The two new canvases are called P4 100% Cotton Canvas 360: an archival quality, 100% cotton matt canvas with a subtly textured natural white surface, available in A3+ sheets and 17in to 44in rolls; and P5 Bright White Matt Canvas 350, a 20/80 polyester/cotton blend, with uniform weave and texture, a matte bright white surface and high water resistance, available in 24in to 60in rolls. There are also new paper types for dry lab printers, with matt, prism, artist, pearl and metallic finishes, for use in Epson, Noritsu and Fujifilm DryLab printers in sizes from four-inch to A4. permajet.com

Rotolight Masters of Light – Hall 2.1

As well as launching several exciting new products at Photokina and showing off its exciting range of continuous lighting for stills and video, including the award-winning NEO 2, AEOS and ANOVA PRO 2 lights, Rotolight is featuring three of its top Masters of Light ambassadors. During the show there will be a series of talks and demonstration on continuous lighting from Jean Noir and Peter Müller (Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 September), and Jason Lanier (Thursday 27 September). Jean’s work is focused on people and editorial mainly using NEO 2 lights, while Peter Müller also concentrates on portraits using the Rotolight Anova family. Jason Lanier is a wedding specialist who has taught hundreds of photographers all over the world. rotolight.com

Canon aims for mirrorless – Hall 3.2

Canon has launched its new EOS R mirrorless camera as well as several new lenses. The EOS R uses a 30.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and boasts an ISO range of 10040,000 (expandable to 50-102,400). This is backed by a DIGIC 8 processor, and while there are several new RF lenses (including an exciting 28-70mm f/2) EF and EF-S lenses can be mounted using adapters. Canon is also showing its EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM, claimed to be the world’s lightest professional super telephoto lenses in their class. There will also be talks and seminars from Canon experts throughout the four-day show. canon.co.uk


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Show preview Tamron’s wide-angle wonders – Hall 4.2

There are two new lenses to excite landscape fans on Tamron’s stand this year, both of them ultra wide-angle zooms. The Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 is a full-frame Canon or Nikon fit model that builds on its predecessor’s award-winning design with an XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical) element, as well as multiple LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements, and a newly developed AX (Anti-reflection eXpand) coating has been applied. It’s been weather sealed for year-round shooting, too. There’s also the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD, a compact and light model weighing 460g and measuring only 90mm long. Tamron ambassadors will be on hand throughout Photokina to talk about the company’s full range of optics. intro2020.co.uk

Lee Filters’ landscape essentials – Hall 2.1

Landscapers’ favourites Lee Filters will be announcing several new products at the show, as well as giving photographers the chance to use its winning product range. Amongst the highlights are its Reverse ND filters, designed for sunrise and sunset. Fitting Lee’s Seven5, 100mm and SW150 systems, in 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 strengths, they’re most dense in the centre, rather than at the top, and have a totally smooth gradation. Also on show are Lee’s ProGlass IRND filters. Originally designed for the film industry, they’re made of 2mm-thick, optically flat glass, with 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, 1.8, 3.0 and 4.5 (15 stop) strengths available, all promising to be free of colour casts, with extremely accurate stop values. leefilters.com

Profoto’s power of 10 – Hall 2.1 and Hall 4.2

Photokina will be your first chance to see Profoto’s new B10 cordless off-camera flash, which provides five times more light than a speedlight and does it with a natural and soft fall. Also usable as a continuous light for stills and video, it has a dial to adjust brightness and colour temperature, and is compatible with Profoto’s compact and lightweight OCF series of light shapers. The B10 can also be triggered and controlled from any Profoto AirTTL remote or a Profoto A1 unit from up to 300m away, in either TTL or manual control, at any time. It’s designed to function with the Profoto smartphone app, too, so take a look if you’re at the show. profoto.com

Manfrotto on the move – Hall 2.2

Manfrotto is bolstering its travel tripod range with three new Befree models, all of which get their first airing at Photokina. The small, light and strong Befree travel tripod range has been successful with enthusiasts and is joined by the Befree Live QPL, Befree 2N1, and Befree Nerissimo. The 2N1 is an all-inone solution that allows the tripod to be converted into a robust monopod in just a few steps; the Live QPL (Quick Power Lock) takes the existing Befree Live aluminium and carbon versions, and adds Quick Power Locks to the legs instead of twist locks, and comes with a video head. Finally, the Nerissimo blends high quality materials with a new matte black finish for hobbyists and photographers with an eye for design. manfrotto.co.uk

Panasonic’s show and tell – Hall 3.2

Panasonic’s superb range of Lumix G Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses will be on show at Photokina, including the top-of-the-tree GH5S with its amazing video capabilities, and the GX9, which boasts a 20.3-megapixel chip, superfast 30fps 4K photo mode and impressive tilting EVF. Alongside all the great kit, Panasonic has assembled an impressive range of professional Lumix G users, explaining how they use these cameras and lenses to make amazing images. Panasonic’s seminars and talks run on each of the show’s four days and include every subject you could want, from how mirrorless cameras are changing sports and action photography to getting better travel, wedding and astrophotography pictures. panasonic.co.uk

Sony shows its stars – Hall 5.2

Sony is hitting Photokina with full force to show off its latest mirrorless wonders. The superfast A9 and high resolution A7R III bodies have taken the photography world by storm, with amazing image quality and blisteringly fast AF and frame rates. This year they’re joined by the stunning FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens that’s sure to be coveted by sports photographers. Also from Sony is a new series of ultra tough SD cards – the Sony SF-G TOUGH range comprises UHS-II SDXC spec cards, boasting 18x the strength of standard SDs. Sony claims the cards are shockproof up to five metres, waterproof and bend-proof. They’re also fast, with write speeds of 299MB/s. sony.co.uk

Fujifilm goes fourth – Hall 4.2 and Hall 5.1

Fujifilm’s stand is sure to be a big draw at Photokina 2018. Alongside several exciting new camera releases is the much-expected X-T3, which sees a complete upgrade on its predecessor and kicks off the X-series fourth generation. The X-T3 has an allnew backside illuminated 26MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and a new X-Processor 4 image processing engine. These combine for superb image quality, enhanced subject tracking autofocus and blackoutfree burst shooting. Not only is the X-T3 the world’s highest resolution APS-C camera, it’s also the only one to shoot 4K video at 60P with 10-bit. Visitors to the Fujifilm stand will also be able to try out the full range of X-series lenses, and enjoy talks from Fujifilm pros. fujifilm.eu/uk

Pixel makes perfect – Hall 5.2

Pixel makes an amazing range of photo accessories including flash units, continuous LED lighting, wireless flash triggers, shutter releases, camera cases, battery grips and filters. Check out the stand to see the full catalogue, including the new K80 high performance LED, which has a slimline design, durable metal construction, and built-in wireless control. There’s also the X900 speedlight for Canon and Nikon, which uses a lithium battery for recycle times of less than 1.5sec and up to 700 shots. If you’re a Sony A7SII, A7RII or A7II user there’s the new AG-C2 battery grip, which enables two battery use, doubling shooting time while improving the ergonomics of vertical shooting with its replicated position of the camera's main controls. pixelhk.com

Lexar’s memorable return – Hall 2.1

Lexar has long been one of the biggest names in digital storage, so head along to its stand at this year’s Photokina to find out all about its new products. The Lexar range is expanding, with new SD, microSD, CF and XQD card options, readers and solid state drives (SSDs) to name but a few. Of particular interest are its portable SSDs that sync with Lexar Professional Workflow products, letting you create a hub of card readers and drives to speed up transfer and improve your editing speed. There’s also the very impressive Lexar Professional 3500x CFast 2.0 card with blistering transfer speeds of up to 525MB/s, and the Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards with speeds of up to 300MB/s. lexar.com


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Camera test

Panasonic Lumix GX9 Specs Price £599 GX9 body only, GX9 with 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 G £779, GX9 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Mega OIS G £689

The mirrorless bandwagon rolls on relentlessly and Micro Four Thirds is the format of choice for many. Panasonic’s latest mid-priced Lumix is sure to have great appeal to would-be mirrorless newbies

Sensor 20-megapixels Live MOS with Venus engine with Supersonic wave filter Sensor format Micro Four Thirds 17.3x13mm, 5184x3888pixels Aspect ratios 4:3, 1:1, 3:2, 16:9 ISO range 200-25,600, expands down to ISO 100 Shutter range 60-1/4000sec, 1/16,000sec electronic, Flash sync 1/200sec Drive modes Single, burst at 9fps, 4K photo, post focus Metering system Multi 1728 zones, centre-weighted, spot Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV steps, AEB 3, 5, 7 frames at 0.3, 0.6, 1EV steps Monitor 3in tilting, 1.24k dots, touch screen Viewfinder 2.76k dots, 100% coverage, 0.7x Focusing Contrast detect (sensor), multiarea, centre, selective single- spot, tracking, touch, face detect Focus modes AFS, AFC, AFF (flexible) Focus points 49 Video formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264 Video modes 3840x2160 @ 30p, 24p 1920x1080 @ 60p, 30p, 24p 1280x720 @ 30p Connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI, Wi-fi, Bluetooth Other key features Built-in flash, USB charging, five axis dual IS Storage media 1xSD card Dimensions (wxhxd) 124x72x47mm Weight 407g body only

Words and images by Will Cheung Panasonic currently offers three distinct groups of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. The GH series is primarily for videographers; the G is for serious still shooters; and the GX is aimed at keen photographers who demand great image quality, a versatile feature set and high performance.

It’s in the last-named group where the recently introduced Lumix GX9 sits. It sells for £599 body only, or £689 with the camera including a kit 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom, which puts it at the top end of the GX family. A look down its extensive feature list and you can’t help but be impressed. It’s a Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20-megapixel resolution from its LiveMOS sensor,

A look down its extensive feature list and you can’t help but be impressed

Contact Panasonic.co.uk

Left Plenty of features has not meant a compromise in build quality for the GX9, although a few minor handling niggles do arise.

has 4K video photo features and the option of keeping your shooting simple, or if you want to take control, you can. Mid-range cameras can often come at the price of less substantial build in preference to packing in features, but that is definitely not the case with the GX9. While it is not weather-proofed, the body has a reassuringly robust feel that belies the GX9’s price. In terms of control layout it is pretty conventional, and we’ll take a body tour in a minute, but let’s start with a feature that is different: the EVF viewfinder eyepiece, top left of the body. It might appear standard but it isn’t. A gentle push from below and it folds up so you can look down into it. Getting your eye at the right position takes a little practise, and you can find yourself almost poking yourself in the eye with the eyepiece if you are not careful. The idea, though, of giving the option of close-up scrutiny of the scene while shooting from a waist-level or a lower camera viewpoint works well. So, the GX9 gives you the choice of using the flip-out, touchscreen


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Camera test Performance: exposure latitude For our Raw exposure latitude test, we shot this set at ISO 200 using the Lumix GX9, fitted with a Leica VarioElmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 lens. The shots were bracketed in manual exposure mode, with the correct exposure being 1/100sec at f/8. The Raws were processed and exposure corrected in Lightroom CC with no noise reduction applied. The Lumix GX9’s Raws have decent latitude, and viewed on my test shots you can get

it wrong by -4EV and +3EV and still retrieve an image that you can use. Yes, it’s true there is evidence of noise with underexposure at -4EV and -3EV but it is not too heavy and neutral in colour. With a little effort in post processing the +3EV shot can be recovered. Shots poorly exposed by lesser degrees can be recovered with no issue at all, and match the correctly exposed image, so I think all round Panasonic’s Raws perform with a good deal of credit.

Original image

The AF system also has face/eye detection and tracking modes monitor as a waist-level finder but if you prefer you can use the foldup EVF finder. By the way, you still get the auto switchover between the monitor and eyepiece even when it is in the up position. The EVF image is good, with high resolution and no image smear when panning, with the choice of having camera settings either outside of the image frame or sitting on the image. As is typical on MFT cameras, the 3in monitor, which is a touchscreen, dominates the rear panel, with controls along the top ledge and right side. The rear-mounted buttons, while fine to use, are low profile, close to being level with the body, so you need to be precise using them (doing so with gloves is not easy at all). I found some tricky, even with bare hands. The AE/AF button, for example, has a lip surround, and you need to be very positive with your thumb pad to push it in.

Below The downside of a generously sized touchscreen is that you may accidentally change settings with your nose...

That applies to the rear input dial, too, access to which is slightly awkward, with the protruding thumb grip getting in the way. But its action is smooth and pushing it in to confirm settings is no problem. The AF system uses 49 points across the image and there’s the option of custom multi-zone, where you can set 21, 13 or five zones active, and these zones can be moved around the 49 zone area. There is also the option of a wide single zone or a pinpoint option. The AF system has face/eye detection and tracking modes, too. The size of the active area in tracking is fixed but you can move it around the frame, while the same applies to the face detect setting and here the size of the active area can be altered. The AF system generally worked really well, and the option of using the touchscreen while your eye is up to the EVF is a nice feature – even though you’ll find your nose can move the AF point around. If you prefer to move the AF with the four-way cursor, that also works, although it is a two-touch operation. The two input dials can adjust number of zones or AF point size, depending on what’s set. The four-way cluster and menu set buttons are marginally more raised and that helps using them. The fourway cursor is also used to move the focus point or zone around the image. The AF point/zone can also be moved by finger using the touchscreen, even when the eye is up to the finder eyepiece whatever its position. The only rear-mounted control that is easy to use is the focus control where you can switch between single-shot AF, continuous AF and manual focus. The exposure compensation dial does not feature a locking mechanism but it is firmly click-stopped and recessed far enough away from the body’s edge that setting it unintentionally is not an issue.

-4EV

-3EV

-2EV

-1EV

0

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

+4EV

Images Raws from the Panasonic Lumix GX9 recover well from abuse, particularly underexposed shots. With overexposure the highlights can recovered on the +2EV shot, but less well on the +3EV frame.


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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

Camera test The minor downside of its design is that using it needs a little force from your thumb and the action is on the taut side. Panasonic led the way when it came to 4K photo features and the GX9 is blessed with several options. In 4K photo function you can shoot at 30fps and get file sizes of around 8MB – that is 3328x2496pixels in 4:3 aspect ratio, so large enough for decent size prints. Other aspect ratios can be set, so 1:1 gives 2880x2880pixel images. You can then just view the footage using the control keys on the monitor and pick the image you want to save as a separate JPEG. As you are shooting video, you can in effect shoot hundreds of frames, but of course you have the headache of previewing and selecting images. Sequence composition is a fun feature – from 4k footage you can create multiple exposure images very easily in-camera, and it doesn’t take long. You also have the option of Post Focus, which results in JPEGs with plenty of depth-of-field. In this mode, the camera shoots video footage as the lens automatically adjusts focus, from near to far. The process takes a few seconds, so you need to keep the camera steady and of course the subject needs to be static. There are other limits, too, with respect to the mode’s effectiveness – great

Images Good features and build make for a very capable camera.

differences between the near and far subjects might mean the merged image does not work, or if you’re using a wide aperture where the bokeh changes significantly through the focusing range, you can end up with strange effects. An image shot in Post Focus can then give you the option of whether you want the camera to automatically merge your shots, or you can select the point of focus so you can have a good degree of control. I enjoyed using the Lumix GX9. It has a positive feel, has some nice features like the flip-up EVF, and it turns in consistently good results. I did have a few minor handling niggles, though. The low profile buttons and the rear input dial access have already been mentioned. I also found the touchscreen could be frustrating when using the EVF, although this is no reflection on the GX9’s touchscreen and just a generic whinge. I found, for example, the selected focus point was not where I had expected it to be, ie at the centre, because I had inadvertently touched the screen in the course of lifting the camera to my eye. Or I managed to set or change something by touching the screen with my nose. All told, with consistent autofocus, exposure and auto white-balance performance, good high ISO skills and feature set, the Lumix GX9 showed itself a capable camera.

Verdict The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is a very capable mirrorless camera with much to like about it, including decent handling and picture quality, and at this price level it is a worthy contender for your cash. Also, with the many lens options available from Leica, Olympus and independent brands as well as from Panasonic itself, you buy yourself into a very versatile camera system with plenty of potential to grow into. Features  23/25 Articulating EVF and monitor, plus 4k photo features, so rates highly Performance  23/25 AF, exposure and white-balance skills all sound Handling 22/25 Some aspects could be better, but nothing serious Value for money 23/25 The Lumix GX9 is a good value-formoney buy Overall 91/100 The Lumix GX9 shows why Panasonic is a leading player in the mirrorless market Pros EVF, good AF, solid build, image quality Cons Some minor handling niggles

Performance: ISO This set of low light shots were taken with the Lumix GX9 on a Manfrotto Beree Advanced GT tripod. The lens was a Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 and the exposure at ISO 200 was 1sec at f/5.6. In-camera noise reduction was turned off and the Raws processed in Lightroom CC, again with no NR applied. Images were viewed on-screen at 100%. Go back a few years and Micro Four Thirds could be noisy at quite modest ISO speeds, impacting seriously on image detail, and that noise could be off-puttingly

colourful, too. Decent enlargement was not an option if you wanted high-quality results. How times have changed for the better – the Lumix GX9 did well in the ISO test and if you have to resort to speeds in the higher reaches of the camera’s ISO range, then you will find it a very good performer. At the sub ISO 800 speeds, images were very clean, detailpacked and nicely saturated. By the time you get to ISO 1600 and 2000 there is evidence of noise, especially in smooth areas of mid-

tones. Nevertheless, the files at such speeds are still very usable for serious enlargements, particularly after some noise reduction in processing. Venture further up the ISO scale to 3200 and noise is more apparent and heavier, although not too obtrusive even when viewed at 100%. Fine details begin to suffer from the beginnings of break-up from this speed and this continues at the higher settings, although even at ISO 6400, overall image quality is still pretty decent.

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

Original image

Above The GX9 turns in a more than decent ISO performance.


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Imaging kit

First tests

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 LS-P4 £179 comes with tripod adaptor and rechargeable NiMH battery; LS-P4 video kit £199. Video kit includes KA334 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, tripod adaptor, hotshoe adaptor, rechargeable NiMH battery Inputs 3.5mm mini-jack Recording media 8GB internal memory, removable MicroSD card Recording format FLAC/PCM(WAV)/MP3 Dimensions 108.9x39.5x14.4mm Weight 75g (with battery) Contact olympus.co.uk

Olympus LS-P4 £179 If you shoot video, whether for professional presentations or for your vlog, you know how important sound quality is. Grotty sound is an instant turn-off, so if you want more followers or repeat viewers, work on your sound and don’t rely on the microphone built into your camera. A separate microphone is an option, but so too is a good quality sound recorder like the Olympus LS-P4. This is a high resolution sound recorder and a reliable playback music unit, so it has a dual purpose. It is powered by an AAA cell. A NiMH rechargeable one is supplied, and fully charged this has enough juice for nearly 40 hours of use. Should you run out of power away from base, it will run from an alkaline AAA battery. Or just plug it into a USB charger or computer to charge up. The unit has an 8GB internal memory, which allows for plenty of recording – in PCM mode you get nearly 12 hours; MP3 mode in 128kbps and this extends to over 129 hours. A slot takes a MicroSD card, so potential for masses of recording time or for your music. Three on-board microphones are available, one left, one right and one centre. The centre one can be switched off. The microphones’ recording angle can vary – perhaps for recording one person on stage – or broaden out when you’re conducting an interview. These options are in the menu system. Here, you can adjust the microphones’ sensitivity to suit the situation, set a lowcut filter to reduce background noise or set sound quality. There is the choice of PCM (WAV), FLAC or MP3 modes. PCM and FLAC are lossless formats, the former is uncompressed so takes up more storage, the latter gives uncompressed quality but with less space used. MP3 is a lossy format and widely supported.Speaking of

playback, you can add index points during recording or in playback, so you can quickly access key points afterwards. Recording level, the zoom microphone and the low-cut filter can be adjusted during live recordings. The unit comes with a screw-in adaptor. For recording an interview between seated subjects, this lifts the microphone end off the desk’s surface for cleaner recordings. The LS-P4 can be stood upright, and the adaptor has a 1/4in screw thread for fixing to a tripod. Buy the video kit

version of this device and you get an accessory to fit the LS-P4 into a camera hotshoe. Playback quality through the built-in speaker is okay but this is normally only used to check that the unit is working or when you are transcribing, so hi-fi quality is not usually an issue. If you want to use the LS-P4 as a music playback unit you have the option of hardwiring or Bluetooth, and here the sound quality is very decent – and it saves your phone battery/memory, too. WC

You can add index points during recording or in playback so you can quickly access key points afterwards

Above The USB connector neatly slides into the recorder’s casing when not in use for charging or file transfer.

Verdict The Olympus LS-P4 is a very neat, good quality device that performs really well whether you are recording notes or an interview, or doing something more serious. A good value-for-money device that performs very well. Pros High recording quality, battery capacity, 8GB of onboard memory, extra capacity of MicroSD card, solid build, compact Cons Nothing


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs

Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro £399 1:1

Price £399 Format 35mm and APS-C Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax K, Sony FE Construction Eight elements in six groups Special lens elements One low dispersion element Filter size Not applicable Aperture range F/2.8-22 Diaphragm Eight blades

2.5:1

Internal focus N/A Manual focus Manual only Minimum focus 17.3cm at 5x, 23.4cm at 2.5x Working distance 40mm at 5x, 45mm at 2.5x Focus limiter No Maximum magnification 5x lifesize Distance scale No. There is a magnification scale Depth-of-field scale No Image stabiliser No Tripod collar Supplied Lens hood No

For years, lens makers have been abusing the word ‘macro’, adding it to any lens with a half decent close focusing distance. But macro should mean that a lens can focus close enough to give a lifesize or 1:1 magnification. This means that if you photograph, say, an SD card which measures 15x11mm, then the image will appear that size on the sensor. A half lifesize or 1:2 ratio would give a 7.5x5.5mm image. This Laowa lens delivers 2.5x to 5x lifesize so ideal for keen close-up photographers, and attractively priced at £399. I tried it with its dedicated tripod collar which has an Arca Swiss compatible foot, costing £34.50 extra.

There’s no focusing barrel. This lens is a one-trick pony – but what an impressive trick

2.5x

5x

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/4

F/4

Weather-sealed No Dimensions 82x65mm. Increases to 137mm when extended Weight 400g Contact laowalens.co.uk

Test shots I did a range of test shots from f/2.8 at f/16 at 2.5x and 5x using a Japanese 1000Yen note. The shots were taken on a Nikon D810 mounted in a Novo T20 Explora carbon fibre with the shutter released using a 10sec selftimer and three seconds exposure delay mode.

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/8

F/8

F/11

F/11

F/16

F/16

The lens is very compact, so small in fact that it looks out of place on a full-frame Nikon D810 body. While the tripod collar is useful, the centre of gravity of the camera/lens is just about in favour of the body, so you might prefer the camera fixed to the tripod. You’ve probably used a typical macro lens where you get focusing from infinity down to its minimum focusing distance, so ideal for scenics, portraits and general shooting. You don’t get this versatility with the Laowa lens – it only focuses at 17.3cm at 5x and 23.4cm at 2.5x. That’s it, and there’s no focusing barrel. This lens is a one-trick pony – but what an impressive trick. All you get is a magnifying barrel and to focus means moving the camera back and forth. You need to get in physically close, too. At 2.5x the lens front is just 4.5cm from the subject and 4cm at 5x, and that can make getting light onto your subject a challenge but here a ringflash can be a godsend. The film plane to subject distance also changes as magnification alters – from 17cm at 2.5x to 20.5cm at 5x. The lens barrel extends, too, by about 5.4cm as you increase magnification from 2.5x to 5x. The lens has a manual aperture control so the optical viewfinder gets dark as you stop down. In practice, composing and focusing even at f/4 and f/5.6 can be a challenge and by the time you get to f/8 and beyond it is nigh on impossible. Using the D810’s live view is easier and viewing and focusing is fine at f/8. Using the lens handheld is possible but isn’t easy and you need steady hands and fast shutter speeds to get sharp natural light shots. Optically, the results you can get from this lens – when everything goes right – are very good, especially with sharpness at the centre of the frame. I did shots at 2.5x and 5x and I’d be happy with the results from f/2.8 down to f/8. Given the issues of using f/11 and f/16 that works out fine and you can enjoy plenty of crisp detail at the wider settings. But actual lens quality is not that much of an issue – you are more likely to get failures due to poor technique than the lens’ skills. You can’t say that this is an easy lens to use because it’s not. But once skills are learnt and a method of working that delivers results discovered, then you can get some amazing shots. WC

5:1

Images above To give you can idea of what’s possible with the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 Ultra Macro, we used a 21x24mm definitive stamp which was lit with two studio flash units. An aperture of f/8 was set on the Laowa. 1:1 lifesize, shot with a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. 2.5:1 lifesize shot with the Laowa 25mm. 5:1 lifesize shot with the Laowa 25mm.

Verdict The Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro is a remarkable lens and great value at £399. But it is not a lens for everyone. Working at such close distances and high magnifications is a challenge. This isn’t just with focusing but also with camera shake and, with live subjects, the issues of movement and the very limited depth-of-field. However, when all is said and done, if you yearn to explore the world of extreme close-up photography, this Laowa lens is a great and affordable way to start getting involved. Pros Great price, compact, high image quality, offers fresh creative challenges Cons Manual aperture gives dark viewfinder image, making composing and focusing tricky


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Price £59.95 Colour Blue or grey External dimensions 28x19x45cm Internal dimensions 27x18x44cm Camera compartment dimensions 27x11x20cm

Manfrotto NX CSC Backpack £59.95 Changed to a smaller camera system? Then it makes sense to rethink how you carry it about. A bag designed for big DSLRs is not going to carry smaller gear as well as one specifically designed for the job. This Manfrotto NX backpack will take a mirrorless body and several lenses, with space for personal bits and bobs, including a laptop up to 15 inches in size.

Tablet compartment dimensions 25x2x20cm Weight 790g Contact manfrotto.co.uk

Specs Price £65.95 Colour Blue or grey External dimensions 25x13x44cm Internal dimensions 24x12x40cm Camera compartment dimensions 24.5x10x16 cm Tablet compartment dimensions 25x2x36 cm Weight 680g Contact manfrotto.co.uk

The bag is small and light, and doesn’t feel like much of a burden at just under 1kg. In testing, I stowed a Fujifilm X-Pro2 body with XF50140mm f/2.8, XF18-55mm f/4-5.6 and XF56mm f/1.2 lenses. The removable camera pod fitted these easily, with space for another lens, but I couldn’t fit the 50-140mm in when mounted, unless it was lengthways; and while the dividers are highly customisable, the longer ones are too short to fit crossways. You could adapt the fit, but it would be less secure. The NX backpack will also take a small drone, like a DJI Mavic Pro. Access to gear is easy. Though there’s no quick access feature like a side panel, you can swing it around by one strap and get to your gear one handed if required. The rear-opening design offers a measure of protection from thieves, and allows you to put the bag down on its front, so you won’t transfer any muck to your back. There are three inner pockets on the camera compartment flap, all of a good size, but they can’t be sealed. The top compartment is roomy, and has some internal pockets, though again there are no fastenings on them.

Above This backpack has plenty of space for bodies, lenses and more. There’s a map pocket on the front and a ‘hidden’ zippered sleeve by the back panel, as well as mesh pockets on the sides, and straps for a tripod. In motion the bag was comfortable, and while there’s no sternum strap or belt, it’s unlikely the bag will be heavy enough to need them. The synthetic outer is water repellent up to a point, and the zips have storm flaps, but there’s no waterproof pad on the bottom, or all-weather cover, so that would be a good addition if you’re likely to be caught in serious weather. KS

Manfrotto NX Sling V2 £65.95 Here’s another lightweight solution in Manfrotto’s NX range, the NX Sling V2. Like all slings it’s designed to be small, light and provide quick access to gear. It weighs 680g unloaded and so is barely noticeable on the back, and will take a small DSLR or CSC with a lens and two other lenses within its camera insert. The latter sits inside the main compartment and you can fit other items around it, like a folded jacket. There’s also a 13-inch laptop pocket, two zipped inner pockets and a map pocket on the front. I fitted the same kit as above with no problems, plus an iPad 2. The insert itself works well. It’s adaptable to a point, with two dividers that can be moved to grip gear, it’s well padded, and has a zippered mesh lid to stop anything falling out. But it doesn’t fill the length of the bag and is held in by a single Velcro strip. Therefore it wallows around as you tip the bag and doesn’t feel as secure as it would if it had more Velcro, or was stitched in. That’s not to say gear was falling out – it stayed protected, but just felt unsteady as I moved. The zips have an easy action, and storm flaps to help see off rain; water beaded off the synthetic outer in our splash test, but there’s no rain cover or waterproof pad on the bottom. The back panel is well cushioned, though a little stiff; you can feel a plastic board within it. The Manfrotto logo-shaped contoured padding on the back looks nice, but isn’t much good

as an ergonomic fit. The adjustable main strap is thick, well padded, and was reasonably comfortable during a walk. As I’m tall, though, on bringing the bag around to my side, the padding ran out and the nylon strap chafed, but I only noticed this when wearing a T-shirt. For females, sling bags can be a problem, as the strap needs to go across the chest. Opinion was split in the office on whether this one was comfortable, so best to try before you buy. KS Right The NX Sling V2 feels very well made, and while its camera compartment felt a bit unsteady, gear was well protected inside.

Verdict Sling bags, by design, will fit some people better than others due to the placement and angle of the strap, so each is worth trying to see what’s comfortable for you. This model is well made, a couple of quibbles aside, and gives quick, easy access to gear. Pros Gear is well protected, good build quality Cons Won’t fit all body shapes, camera compartment felt a little unsteady in transit.

Verdict A tidy and well-made backpack, ideal for small systems, or even a medium-sized DSLR with an extra lens. The camera compartment gives plenty of protection, and the additional pockets allow plenty of expansion for lunch, extra clothing and so on. Pros Light build, rear opening, lots of storage and good protection Cons No all weather cover, belt or sternum strap. No sealing for internal pockets


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

40

First tests

Fotospeed’s fantastic four From £17.99 Fotospeed offers a comprehensive range of inkjet papers compatible with dyes and pigment inks, and we decided to take a closer look at popular offerings in its Photo Quality paper collection. It features attractively priced products for day-today use.

For my test prints I used a selection of known files, after making my own ICC profiles using an X-rite i1 Studio outfit. Prints were checked under daylight-quality LED lighting. Fotospeed offers free generic profiles for most popular printers, although not for the Epson SC-

PF Lustre Duo 280

Photo Smooth Metallic Pearl 290 Gloss 275

Matt Ultra 240

Papers coated to accept ink on both sides are fairly rare, but there is a need for them (for instance, to make your own greetings cards, photo book or for a portfolio book). Whatever the purpose, the key thing is that there is no show -through, ie the image on one side is not visible through the other. To test it properly I printed tonally rich images on both sides so there was plenty of ink and any show-through would be obvious. Just a word on set-up – you need to consider what you are printing for and how images will be viewed. For my purpose (an A4 upright album for flip-over viewing) I had one image the right way round and then inverted the next one. I did my first print and immediately flipped it over and did the second one. Common sense would dictate I should allow some drying time – even though Fotospeed says the paper is instant dry. I just wanted to see if there would be any issues using the material this way. There aren’t – no smudging or scuffing of the first image. If you hold a Duo print up to the light, yes, you can see the print on the other side, but once in my album no problem at all. Print quality is first rate, and the smooth sheen rather than high gloss is lovely, and it’s resilient to handling, too.

If value for money is what you want there is a clear reason for trying Photo Smooth Pearl 290. Buy a box of 50 sheets of A4 and it works out at 49p per sheet – box sizes in this size are 50, 100 and 500 sheets. There is also a very wide range of sheet (and roll) sizes on offer, too, so ideal for outputting family shots, proof prints, or even photographic flyers or business cards. The paper is 290gsm, so a decent weight for most purposes, and the finish offers a smooth, fine lustre. Texture is fine, and gives decent resistance to general handling. I was delighted with the paper’s output quality, with prints showing natural but lively colours, solid blacks and clean whites. Delicate hues and saturated primaries were handled equally skilfully so there’s not much to grumble about. If I had to nit-pick I’d say other papers give richer blacks but generally, I really liked what I saw.

The odd one out in our Fotospeed overview is this material, the only matt finish paper here and at 240gsm, the lightest, too. Oh, and it is also the cheapest – an A3 sheet costs 67p. Therefore, it’s ideally suited as a proofing paper before you output onto your favoured top-end fine art paper, which probably costs several times more. That said, it is a very fine material in its own right. It has a clean white base and the finish is a very smooth matt. My test printer, an Epson SC-P800, has a matt black ink tank which helps to get the most from the material, so I used that for final prints. But I also used the photo black ink option when I was proofing before outputting onto a glossy finish paper. Either way, I was more than content with the paper’s capable rendering of my test shots. Like most matt papers, blacks lack that bottomless pit look that you can get with the leading gloss baryta papers – but they were still rich, while highlights remained nicely clean, too. Colour accuracy rates highly and I liked the way the primaries, secondaries and the delicate pastels were rendered. Saturation was not at the levels I would expect from a non-matt paper but they certainly were not disappointing, just more restrained, as expected.

P800 printer with Epson inks, the combination I used here. It also offers a free custom profile service on its own branded products (see the website for details). WC Fotospeed.com

I can appreciate why Fotospeed called this paper Metallic Gloss – I’m not convinced it’s the right name, but then I don’t have an alternative. It is definitely gloss and there is a sheen on the printed surface that does have a mirror-like shimmer, but is it metallic? You decide. Anyway, whatever it’s called this is a lovely material with a whippy, plastic feel and a base on the creamy/yellow side of neutral. The difference is very clear when compared directly with its three companions in this test. Indeed, you can see its creamy look even viewed in isolation. Regardless of its base, the paper performs well, delivering accurate, saturated results with a touch of vibrancy and an impressive level of contrast without being over-the-top or aggressive. Blacks were neutral and solid, too. Pastel hues were well rendered, with perhaps slightly more zip than other papers.

Specs

Specs

Specs

Specs

Price A4 25 sheets £25.99 (£1.04p per sheet), A3 25 sheets £52.99 (£2.12p per sheet)

Price A4 50 sheets £24.49 (49p per sheet), A3 50 sheets £43.99 (88p per sheet)

Price A4 25 sheets £26.99 (£1.08p per sheet), A3 25 sheets £52 (£2.08p per sheet)

Price A4 50 sheets £17.99 (36p per sheet), A3 50 sheets £33.49 (67p per sheet)

Availability A4, A3

Availability 6x4in, 5x7in, 8x10in, A4, A3, A3+, A2, panoramic (210x594mm); rolls – 17in, 24in, 36in, 44in and 60in

Availability A4, A3, A3+, A2, panoramic; rolls – 17in, 24in and 44in

Availability A5, 6x4in, 5x7in, 8x10in, A4, A3, A3+, A2; rolls – 17in, 24in, 36in, 44in and 60in

Weight 290 gsm

Weight 275 gsm

Weight 240 gsm

Features Natural white base, wide colour gamut, instant dry, pigment and dye inks compatible

Features Neutral white base, gloss, wide colour gamut, instant dry, pigment and dye inks compatible

Features Bright white base, matt finish, wide colour gamut, pigment and dye inks compatible

Verdict

Verdict

Verdict

Verdict

PF Lustre Duo 280 serves a need and does so very well indeed. It is nicely priced, too, if you consider that you have two printing surfaces per sheet. Just make sure you get your set-up right and the printer is clean, however, to avoid wastage.

Photo Smooth Pearl 290 is a lovely paper and capable of a performance that belies its price. Add the extensive size range and I can see why this paper is so popular.

Fotospeed’s Metallic Gloss 275 paper is a slightly unusual paper and while it won’t appeal to everyone I can see it having a great many fans, especially among commercial photographers.

The flat smooth finish of Matt Ultra 240 is very tactile while its printing attributes suit images with a more delicate colour palette. I shouldn’t forget to mention the material’s low price.

Pros Value for money, extensive size range, good output Cons Very small thing – blacks aren’t the deepest

Pros Gives good, punchy but controlled results, the ‘metallic’ finish does work well Cons Creamy base and finish won’t appeal to everyone, relatively expensive

Pros Extensive size range, attractive price, great for finished prints as well as proofing Cons Like most matt papers, lacks depth and punch, lightweight at 240gsm

Weight 280 gsm Features Bright white base, double sided finish, wide colour gamut, instant dry, pigment and dye inks compatible

Pros Double sided, print quality, surface Cons Nothing


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

41

First tests Specs

Nik Collection 2018 by DXO £59

Price £59 Compatibility Adobe Lightroom (3 through to 6/ Classic), Elements (12 on Mac/13 on Windows through to 2018, apart from HDR Efex) and Photoshop (CS5 through to CC2018) Windows 7 (64-bit) with Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 Mac OS X 10.12, 10.13 Contact dxo.com

I enjoyed using this suite and found it full of potential, both creatively and in terms of control Analog Efex Pro 2

Silver Efex Pro 2

Google Nik’s collection of image editing plug-ins was extremely popular for two compelling reasons. One, it was very good and even more importantly, it was free. All good things come to an end, though – DXO bought the collection from Google and now offers the Nik Collection 2018 by DXO. The free collection is still available from DXO but it will not be supported, so if you have any issues you’re not going to get much help from DXO. Of course, the 2018 version will be supported and you won’t be surprised that this comes at a price: £59. Like a great many photographers I have been using the free Nik plugins for a while now, so I know I won’t

be alone in asking the inevitable question: ‘I am happy with the free version, so do I need to spend £59?’ Before trying to answer that question it is worth introducing the Nik Collection 2018 by DXO to those who do not have any history with these imaging plug-ins. The collection, available for Mac and Windows, supports Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements, and comprises seven plug-ins: Analog Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 4, Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Viveza 2. See the caption below for a little more detail on what the key ones offer. DXO has worked on the collection to make it more stable, so while the

Dfine 2

Vizeza 2

Analog Efex Pro 2 Emulates the effects of vintage cameras with a great deal of control. Also has interesting options like toy cameras and multi-exposures. Dfine 2 Reduce digital noise in your images with this plug-in. You can adjust contrast and colour noise independently while built-in profiles mean there is an effective auto option. Silver Efex Pro 2 An incredibly flexible and controllable monochrome converter capable of film-like results. Offers plenty of presets for good starting points. Viveza 2 A plug-in that allows selection adjustment of the colour and tonality of your images. Here the screenshot shows how you assess the effect of control points.

interfaces are very similar what’s going on behind the scenes is different. In my test, I didn’t get any crashes or hanging so that is a good sign. The 2018 version is fully compatible with the latest Windows and Mac operating systems and it supports Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Having installed the 2018 version, my old free ones were overridden so I couldn’t make a direct comparison, but according to the DXO website individual plug-ins have gained extra features. So, for example, Analog Efex Pro 2 has gained six new camera settings and the ability to use control points, using U Point technology. Control points is a big thing and I use them all the time in Silver Efex Pro 2. They let you adjust areas of the image very easily without the need for layers or selection masks. You can place control points on any part of the image and adjust their size, effect and strength. If you need to lighten an individual’s face in a group portrait you can, and if you want to lighten several faces at the same time, this can be done by grouping control points together. Enlarging a control means you can adjust a bigger area. The control point feature is a very powerful and effective tool and available in most of the suite, although what can be controlled obviously varies. Taking Silver Efex as an example, there are seven parameters that can be controlled as well as size: brightness, contrast, structure, amplify whites, amplify blacks, fine structure and selective colourisation. In Raw Sharpener, all you get is size and opacity control. I enjoyed using this suite and found it full of potential, both creatively and in terms of control. Being able to very precisely control my monochrome conversions in Silver Efex Pro 2 was a high point, and being able to reduce digital noise hugely and automatically on high ISO shots using Dfine was another. WC

Above Color Efex Pro 4: an extensive set of very versatile filters including film emulation options. Filters can be combined, too, and recipes saved for repeat use.

Verdict Well, is it worth spending £59 for the Nik Collection 2018 by DXO? In a word, yes, regardless of whether it is new to you or you are currently using the free version. In pure money terms, the collection costs less than £9 per plug-in – a large glass of wine in a London pub can cost more, and the plug-ins will last longer. If there is a downside it’s that you can’t cherry pick individual plug-ins because you may not want them and you have to buy the whole suite. That said, the collection offers photographers great creative potential, and that is impossible to put a value on. Pros Value, capable of great results, U-point technology, you make your own custom filters Cons Not available individually


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

43

Technique

Camera School Here we lift the lid on all things camera related, showing how to get better results from your mirrorless 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 polarising filters work, and when to use them Words & pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Without polariser

With polariser

In the pantheon of photographic filters, polarisers are vital. Their effects cannot be replicated digitally; they change the look of a picture in ways that software cannot. Like an ND filter, a polarising filter blocks light, but instead of controlling the overall intensity, it instead blocks only light that’s reflected along certain angles from the subject. The filtering of this light reduces glare, controls reflections and, thanks to the more diffused light, boosts saturation and improves contrast. There’s no doubt that polarisers can improve the look of scenes, particularly those with light reflecting from water or rocks, or where the light is hitting foliage. With polarisation taking place, the amount of glare is reduced and the picture is more calming. With water, for instance, you will often be able to see what’s beneath the surface of the water more clearly because the reflection on the surface is removed. Another benefit is in making blue skies more intense. The removal of reflections also works on shiny subjects like paintwork, plastic and glass, so it’s useful when shooting cars or products. But reflections from bare metal aren’t reduced. WHAT TYPE OF POLARISER DO YOU NEED? Polarising filters come in two types, linear and circular; this denotes how they polarise the light, not the physical shape of the filter. Linear polarisers don’t tend to be used with digital cameras as they disrupt the metering and AF systems, so don’t buy one unless you’re happy to work with manual exposure and manual focus. For that reason, linear filters do tend to be cheaper, though. Although you can buy square polarising filters and use them with a filter holder, polarisers are almost always of the screw-in type as this makes them easier to use, especially in conjunction with other filters. You just need to pick the one that matches the filter thread of your lens. Alternatively, if you’re using a filter holder that accommodates a screw-in polarising filter, pick the matching size for that. HOW TO USE A POLARISING FILTER The amount of polarisation from the filter is controlled by rotating it; this is achieved by the filter incorporating a bezel that can be turned while the filter is attached. However, a polarising filter’s effect is dependent on the camera’s view in relation to the sun. The polarising effect is at its greatest when you’re facing 90º to the sun; ie. at a right angle. This should be fairly easy to calculate with your eyes, but if in doubt, you can also gauge

Images Here the use of a polarising filter reduces the reflection on the water and glare from the lily pads, making colours in the scene clearer and richer. The reflection isn’t completely removed due to shooting at 16mm where the angle is too wide for the effect to be even. it by pointing your index finger at the sun and raising your thumb so it’s perpendicular to your index finger; wherever your thumb is pointing while your index finger is pointed at the sun the greatest effect of the filter will be. Next you just need to rotate the filter itself, which determines which angles of light are filtered, so look through the viewfinder as you do it or on screen to gauge the effect. Because a polariser is blocking a portion of the light being recorded by the camera, you’ll notice that there’s a fall off in the brightness of an exposure as the polarisation increases. Therefore if you’re shooting in aperturepriority mode (A or Av), the shutter speed will lengthen. The change in exposure depends on the amount of polarisation, but is around one to two stops. Therefore, if the unfiltered exposure is 1/60sec, with two stops of polarisation the shutter speed will be 1/15sec. POLARISING FILTERS AND FOCAL LENGTHS Because the amount of polarisation is relative to the position of the light source in the scene,

using wide-angle lenses can give polarised shots a patchy look. For example, if you’re shooting horizontally with a lens that has a 100º angle of view, and aiming it at 90º to the light, the right and left edges of the frame will only be 40º to the light, and therefore the effect will be less obvious there than it is in the centre of the frame; the polarisation is fading away from the point of maximum effect. The same goes for any panoramas you’re making, as the effect will obviously increase and decrease across the width of the image. One solution to this is to not use the filter at its greatest effect, which can stop pictures looking unnatural anyway. Or you can use a longer focal length to hide the fall off. Cropping the edges of the image in processing will also reduce the patchy effect.

NEXT MONTH ALL ABOUT WHITE-BALANCE AND HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

44

Competition

WIN!

Editor’s letter

Innovate or bust? Photography thrives on innovation and there have been many notable examples: 35mm format film, autoexposure, autofocus and the zoom lens are just a few that instantly spring to mind. And before you up put your hand up and ask ‘what about digital’, of course I haven’t forgotten filmless capture. A big step came in 1954 with the first camera with an instant return reflex mirror, so you now got an (almost!) uninterrupted throughthe-lens view of the subject. Come forward several decades to digital and the next obvious step was mirrorless TTL cameras – obvious in hindsight at least. Now you can still see the image through the lens but without this costly, sensitive, noisy and vibration-generating mirror flapping up and down. Nor do you need a bulky pentaprism that directs light from the lens up to the viewfinder eyepiece. It wasn’t quite reinventing the wheel but it was pretty darn close. When the notion of mirrorless started to catch on, it was probably no surprise that the two SLR giants, Canon and Nikon, were tardy in their response. After all, these brands have serious history and financial commitment to reflex photography. I say tardy but what I really mean is non existent because it took Canon several years to come out with its EOS M system. Now (cue, very loud fanfare,) Nikon has finally jumped on the mirrorless bandwagon. (I’ve ignored the Nikon Series 1 on the simple premise that no serious Nikon SLR user would have thought it a good idea to properly switch over to it.) Whether it is a case of better late than never or just in the nick of time we will see, but what I do know is that Nikon’s new full-frame Z system is potentially something quite special. True, I have not used it properly yet but everything so far is positive and Nikon has a strategy for it including a lens road map for the next couple of years. Plus there’s excellent compatibility with Nikon-fit lenses, an impressive feature set and one of the best electronic viewfinders I have seen so far. Speaking of innovation brings me to The Royal Photographic Society. There’s not much fence-sitting when it comes to the RPS and it’s an organisation that promotes imaging or it’s an elitist clique. But as a member for over half of my lifetime by definition I think it does

A Samsung memory card! Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung EVO Plus 128GB microSDXC memory card with SD adapter offering read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s. Samsung’s latest cards are also ultra reliable and are water, temperature, X-ray and magnet proof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one 128GB Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £78.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on puzzle@photographynews.co.uk with that word in the subject box by 7 October 2018 and the winner will be randomly drawn from all correct entries received. The correct answer to PN57’s word search was Fish and the Samsung 128GB PRO+ card was won by Richard Hoare from Norfolk. samsung.com/uk/memory-cards

more good than harm. There is still a bit of the old boys’ (persons!?) network feel about it but things do seem to be changing – and for the better. Take, for example, its innovative Hundred Heroines campaign. The RPS wants your nominations for women who have benefitted photography. They might have inspired or challenged you or alerted the world to a particular situation. Frankly, I think if the idea had come along ten years ago I’d bet my pension on the fact that the old boys would have kicked it into the long grass. The fact that the campaign is up and running is a credit to the RPS and you have until 30 September to get your nominations in. It is open to all so please give it some thought and take part. Who are my nominations? I have a few ideas. Annie Leibovitz, Mary Ellen Mark, Diane Arbus, Fay Godwin and Sarah Moon all inspired me to take photography seriously back in the seventies while Sue Davies OBE, founder of The Photographers’ Gallery definitely deserves recognition. More up to date, I have Julia Fullerton-Batten and Lara Jade on my list. You will certainly have your own ideas, so post your nominations on rps100heroines.org and keep up to date with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now, RPS, how about Hundred Heroes?

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Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature

Our thanks go to Jay McLaughlin Olympus Brand Visionary Jay McLaughlin was the expert for our cover shoot, which took place at Park Cameras’ Burgess Hill store, and our thanks go to them for the use of their studio facilities. Jay has always been interested in photography. Having originally studied graphic design, he was made redundant in 2006 and suddenly found himself in a position where he had an opportunity to consider a change of direction.

“I’ve always been a visually driven and creative person,” he says, “so I went out and bought myself a DSLR. From that point, I knew who I was.” Within six months, Jay secured his first magazine cover. Within a year he was shooting for the nationals. Current work includes fashion and celebrity editorial shoots alongside commercial and advertising projects. Jaymclaughlin.co.uk

Above Our challengers with model Tara Sumner, Jay McLaughlin, Clare Harvey May from Olympus and PN editor Will.

Ian Arnold

Josephine Johns

“For 26 years I was a professional wedding photographer but had a heart attack 11 years ago. Eighteen months ago I started back into photography and for me, the lighter the camera the better as I can’t close my fingers. “I will admit I’ve never used Olympus cameras before but found using the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and lenses a great experience. I am looking into getting one on loan to test out in different locations. I really like the idea of having two card slots for peace of mind. As far as lenses are concerned, I’ve only ever used primes and found the 45mm f/1.8 lens a great focal length for people photography, and it is very compact, too.”

“I am already committed to the Olympus system and have one lens, the 12-40mm f/2.8, for my OM-D E-M1 Mark II so it was a real treat to use such a variety of lenses. The day was also a great opportunity to pick the expert brains from Olympus. “I love photographing people, anyone from my daughter to work colleagues. Ideas for pictures just pop up in my head – I

David Beasley “I enjoy travel, doing at least one long trip a year and I do location model shooting, too, so I often have a roller case with two fullframe cameras and several fast aperture lenses. It’s a substantial amount to carry around. “I have frequently looked at smaller format cameras other than fullframe but have always decided against changing due to concerns on image quality. “This event gave me an excellent opportunity to try out the latest Olympus equipment including taking some side-by-side shots with my

did one shoot with a naked woman, covered in metres of red silky fabric on a wet rainy day at the beach. My favourite shot of the day was

of Tara with some feathers I’d brought along as props. I did this with the 45mm f/1.8, which is an absolutely gorgeous lens.”

Keith Polwin

existing full-frame camera. "Overall, I was honestly very surprised at the sharpness achieved by the Olympus lenses. It certainly easily stood comparison with my full-frame camera. I’m taking

a four-week trip to Japan in 2019 so this event has certainly given me much to think about in terms of making the change beforehand, and giving myself sufficient time to become familiar with a new system before I go.”

“Before the event I was interested in buying the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II to replace my fullframe gear and it was useful to gain experience actually using it in combination with the wide range of lenses on the day. “I am particularly interested in the camera because of the Pro Capture capability with its very fast shooting rate for my bird photography, and focus bracketing for insect macro work. I know many experienced nature photographers who have switched over for those reasons, and it is light, too, so it seems ideal for travel and carrying around on location. After seeing and getting the chance to

use the OM-D system today I am now even more convinced on switching over.”

Thinking of switching? If you are currently a DSLR camera user and the idea of a smaller, lighter, more portable and incredibly capable camera system appeals, please check out the website: itsnotyouitsme.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 59 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature Specs Price £1499.99 body only Image sensor 17.3x13mm 4/3in Live MOS sensor Resolution 20.4 megapixels, 4608x3456pixels Image stabiliser Five dimension, sensor shift body IS with 5.5EV benefit Viewfinder EVF with 2360k dots, showing 100% of image Monitor Vari-angle 3in touchscreen Focus system 121 point AF – all target, group target (nine or five area), single target. 800 points – manual selection in magnified view mode. Focus bracketing mode 3-999 shots Exposure system PASM, live time, live composite, i-Auto, scene modes, art filter, photo story Compensation +/-5EV in 0.3, 0.5 and 1EV steps. Auto bracketing 2, 3, 5, 7 frames ISO range 200-25,600 Sequence shooting 15fps. Silent mode 60fps. Pro Capture mode 60fps Shutter speeds 60secs-1/8000sec, bulb up to 30mins Dimensions (wxhxd) 134.1x90.9x68.9mm Weight 574g body with battery and card

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus lenses Specs Price £849.99 Construction 14 elements in 9 groups Filter size 62mm Minimum focus 20cm Dimensions (dxl) 69.9x84mm Weight 382g

Specs Price £1099.99 Construction 19 elements in 14 groups Filter size 62mm Minimum focus 30cm Dimensions (dxl) 70x87mm Weight 410g

Sitting at the top of Olympus’s impressive range of Micro Four Thirds cameras is the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. In a remarkably compact package is a hugely sophisticated, robust camera with the ability to produce professional standard results in the most demanding situations. The 20.4-megapixel image sensor is capable of lifelike results full of detail and crisp definition but there is much more to it than professional standard image quality. In continuous shooting the camera can deliver full-size Raw files at 15fps with full autoexposure and autofocus tracking. With focus and exposure locked, there is the potential of Raws at 60fps. You get even more with Pro Capture mode where the camera starts buffering full resolution images, up to 35, as soon as you partially depress the shutter release. Fully depress the shutter release and the camera starts recording pictures, so in practice it means you have the chance to go back, by up to 35 frames, to find your ideal shot. Autofocusing is accurate and sensitive so delivers great results in low-contrast lighting situations, thanks to its 121-point cross-type phase detect sensor system, which also does a great job in tandem with the camera’s fast shooting capabilities.

GE AR USED O F R THE COVER SHOOT

To reinforce the OM-D professional credentials there is a growing range of M-ZUIKO Pro lenses, with nine currently available

M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO The ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO is arguably the ultimate standard zoom for Olympus OM-D cameras. Its coverage (equivalent to 24-80mm in the 35mm format) means it can deal with a wide subject range and its fast, constant f/2.8 aperture means lowlight shooting is handled with ease. It is compact, too, making it an excellent lens to take everywhere yet it is dust-, splashand freeze-proof, so built to withstand use in the most demanding situations. Optically, it’s highly capable, with a 14 elements in nine groups construction, and its accurate and responsive AF system ensures the most is made of the lens’s potential. The focusing system is very fast and sensitive even in low light, and if you need to, the lens’s Manual Focus Clutch allows instant switching to manual focus.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO In so many ways, the 25mm f/1.2 is the perfect standard lens. With its 50mm view in the 35mm format the lens gives an image view and perspective similar to that of the human eye. Its compact bodyform makes it ideal to leave on the camera while its super-fast aperture opens up all sorts of creative shooting possibilities including smooth creamy bokeh. It is no slouch when it comes to picture quality, with its advanced optical construction of 19 elements in 14 groups featuring special glass to minimise aberrations and maximise resolution. Image quality is further enhanced by Olympus’s unique Z Coating Nano, designed to keep flare and ghosting to a minimum for crystal clear pictures.

Specs Price £1099.99 Construction 17 elements in 11 groups Filter size 72mm Minimum focus 15cm/45cm Dimensions (dxl) 77.5x116.5mm Weight 561g

Specs Price £1199.99 Construction 14 elements in 10 groups Filter size 62mm Minimum focus 50cm Dimensions (dxl) 70x84.9mm Weight 410g

M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO Superzoom lenses are very versatile, capable of successfully handling most photographic subjects. This Olympus lens – which gives the equivalent coverage from 24mm to 200mm in the 35mm format – also has the advantage of being very compact for the focal length range on offer and features a constant maximum aperture throughout. It also incorporates its own two-axis image stabilisation (IS) system, which meshes seamlessly with compatible OM-D cameras to give a powerful, very effective five-axis IS system, enabling sharp tripod-free shooting even at very slow shutter speeds. Picture quality, thanks to advanced optics and Olympus’s unique Z Coating Nano, is also first class.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO This is the ideal portrait lens, giving the 35mm format focal length equivalent of 90mm, and its super-fast maximum aperture makes it perfect for low-light shooting or when you want very shallow depth-of-field with soft bokeh background effects. The lens focuses as close as 50cm for powerful framefilling shots, too. Autofocusing is achieved with an inner focusing system so it is swift, quiet and accurate, suitable for stills and movie shooting. Add robust build quality – it is dustproof, splash-proof and freeze-proof – and you have a first class, very versatile lens capable of excellent image quality.

Photography News 59  

Issue 59 of Photography News

Photography News 59  

Issue 59 of Photography News