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Issue 68 16 Jul-12 Aug

Panasonic Lumix G90 The ultimate stills/video hybrid? Our test verdict page 46

news Fun with filters What filters you need and why page 16

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

Going mirrorless Check out your full-frame options page 12

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Canon powers on Canon has added two PowerShot models to its top-end compact range, plus there’s news of an impressive wide-ranging 10x zoom for its EOS R system Canon’s PowerShot G series has gained two models, the G5 X Mark II and the G7 X Mark III, priced at £849.99 and £699.99 respectively with availability from August. Both are richly featured pocketable compacts with such attractions as 20.1 megapixels using a new 1in stacked CMOS sensor, 30fps Raw burst shooting and uncropped 4K video. Both models share many features and functions but they have been designed with specific consumers in mind. The G5 X Mark II is targeted at existing Canon EOS DSLR users and keen photographers while the G7 X Mark III is aimed at vloggers and content creators. On the lens front, the Canon mirrorless EOS RF system now has six options, the latest arrival being the 10x 24240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM, a lens priced at £899.99, and ideal as a one-lens solution. It was one of the six lenses listed in Canon’s lens roadmap due for a 2019 launch and joins the RF 35mm f/1.8 macro as the only two non-L lenses in the RF system at the moment. Its advanced 21 elements in 13 groups construction gives high-quality images and it is the first Canon full-frame lens with an integral 5EV Dynamic image stabiliser. Autofocus is handled by Canon’s Nano USM to give swift, accurate and very quiet focusing making this lens ideal for video as well as still shooting. Bundled with the EOS RP, the package costs £1999.99 so there’s a saving of £300 on the items bought separately. Read more on page 3

PN EXCLUSIVE

Time to try mirrorless In an exclusive collaboration with Fujifilm, Photography News is delighted to offer readers the chance to try an X Series or medium format GFX system camera with two lenses for a free two-week loan. See page 4 for more details and visit photographynews.co.uk/maketheswitch to apply and for full terms and conditions. Also read in this issue (page 31) about how reader David Pratt got on when he took up our offer and enjoyed two weeks with the Fujifilm GFX 50R.


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Canon powers on Shared key features

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II and G7 X Mark III 20.1 megapixels resolution 4K video (no crop) 1in CMOS stacked sensor 31-point AF system 3  0secs to 1/25,600sec electronic shutter I SO 125-12,800 range, extended to 25,600 2  0fps continuous shooting mode 30fps Raw Burst mode Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II £849.99 New pop-up EVF 8  .8-44mm lens f/1.8-2.8 (24120mm 35mm equivalent) Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III £699.99 8  .8-36.8mm lens f/1.8-2.8 (24100mm 35mm equivalent) Livestreaming Microphone input

Canon’s popular family of top-end PowerShot G series compact cameras has gained two new members, the G5 X Mark II and the G7 X Mark III. The new arrivals will sell alongside the existing G5 X and the G7 X Mark II for the foreseeable future. Both new PowerShots share a great many key features. They share the same new 1in stacked CMOS sensor giving a 20.1 megapixels resolution and working with Canon’s DIGIC 8 image processor. The stacked sensor design allows for a native ISO range of 125 to 12,800, top 30fps Raw burst shooting, 20fps continuous shooting and a top electronic shutter speed of 1/25,600sec. However, the cameras have different lenses: the G5 X Mark II has a 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 (35mm equivalent); while the G7 X Mark III has a shorter 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8. There’s a pop-up EVF on the G5 X Mark II while the G7 X Mark III is monitor only but offers livestreaming and a microphone input. Canon’s product marketing specialist David Parry explains the thinking behind this approach. “We are targeting two different types of consumer with the G5 X Mark II and the G7 X Mark III,” he says. “We know quite

Sony goes super long Sony has added two powerful telephoto lenses to its G Master series line-up. The FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS is a super-telephoto lens and Sony’s longest prime to date. The second new lens, the FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS zoom, features built-in stabilisation, high resolution throughout the entire zoom range and is compatible with Sony’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. The FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS and the FE 200600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS ship in August and cost £12,000 and £1800 respectively. sony.co.uk

Images Canon’s product marketing specialist David Parry shows off the two new PowerShot G series compacts

often the people buying the G5 X use EOS at the moment and are looking for something smaller and lighter while the G7 X Mark II seems to be taken over by vloggers. “We see the G5 X Mark II being the companion to your EOS,” David continues. “It has a new 5x zoom lens which covers from 24-120mm in 35mm terms and there’s the maximum aperture of f/1.8-2.8 plus a nine-blade diaphragm. Also the EVF has changed so it is a pop-up style, which means we can make the body significantly smaller.” “The G7 X Mark III comes in two colours, in black and silver or black – it’s the first time we’ve offered two colours on the G7 X and we’re targeting this camera towards the vlogging market. The big thing

this camera has is livestreaming which is something not every other manufacturer has got, so you can livestream directly to YouTube with this camera, which is pretty cool. It has vertical position movie shooting too, because people will actually do movies in a portrait orientation for Instagram and the camera will recognise this and won’t automatically flip it when it comes to processing.” The G5 X Mark II and the G7 X Mark III are priced at £849.99 and £699.99 respectively and are available to pre-order now. Both cameras are available with a battery kit at £50 extra om the above prices. Sales start in August. Canon.co.uk

Canon’s one lens wonder Canon’s EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera system welcomes a new lens, the RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM zoom, making six now available in the system and only the second non-L lens. If you want just one lens for your photography this 10x zoom that weighs just 750g could be the one for you. It makes the most of the opportunity given by the innovative EOS RF lens mount to produce a high-quality but compact zoom, and it features a Dynamic Image Stabiliser that gives a 5EV benefit whether you are shooting handheld stills or video. The lens’s advanced optical construction boasts 21 elements in 15 groups that includes aspheric and ultra-dispersal lens elements and Canon’s renowned Super Spectra lens coating.

Autofocusing is handled by Canon’s Nano USM technology. Nano USM combines the benefit of Canon’s STM and ring USM focusing technologies and uses Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus across most of the 35mm frame. The result is smooth, silent and fast autofocusing. The massive focal length coverage allows huge creative potential and this is enhanced further by the lens’s impressive 50cm minimum focusing distance. The RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM costs £899.99 or buy it with the EOS RP camera at the moneysaving price of £1999.99, which is £300 cheaper than if the items are bought separately. The EW-78F lens hood is an optional extra costing £34.99. This lens will be available from this September.

New converter and firmware from Olympus

Key features

Canon RF 24-240mm f/46.3 IS USM zoom £899.99 21 elements in 15 groups 5EV image stabiliser Nano USM AF activator Minimum focus 50cm Aperture range f/4-6.3 to f/22-38 72mm filter thread 7 diaphragm blades Weight 750g

The M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20 can be attached to the Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 IS and 40150mm f/2.8. It goes on sale this month with a price of £399.99. Olympus has also announced firmware updates for its OMDs. The first release is for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Firmware 3.0 adds AF performance utilising the OM-D E-M1X’s AF algorithm, reduced high ISO noise and focus stacking using three to 15 shots. For the OM-D E-M1X, Olympus has released firmware version 1.1, which offers USB Raw Data Edit with the free Olympus Workspace software. Olympus Workspace version 1.1 has the addition of focus stacking for compositing up to 999 shots. Firmware can be downloaded from olympus.co.uk/firmware


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Canon adds portable projectors

PN EXCLUSIVE

Time to try mirrorless Photography News has joined forces with Fujifilm to give readers the unique chance to borrow a Fujifilm camera and up to two lenses of their choice for free. This loan is for up to two weeks so you’ll have plenty of time to shoot your favourite subjects to help you make the right decision. There’s a wide range of kit available, from the best-selling X-T3 to the impressive medium format GFX 50R. For the X-T3, you’ll have 29 X Series lenses to pick from, but

you’ll only get to pick two, so choose wisely! If you’re a landscaper, you could go for the XF14mm f/2.8 R or XF16mm f/1.4 R WR. For general shooting you could try the XF1655mm f/2.8 R LM WR or XF50140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR. For wildlife, you might want to consider the XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. Visit fujifilm-x.com to see the latest lens range. As part of the campaign, your Fujifilm images and your

thoughts on the outfit you borrowed will appear in PN, so this is the chance to get your work featured on these pages, too. If you want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity, head to photographynews.co.uk/ maketheswitch. There is no closing date, but there is sure to be huge interest in this amazing offer and we have limited stock, so please don’t delay. In the first instance, fill out the form on our website and upload five images that represent your usual photography. We will be in touch if you are selected.

Canon has expanded its range of portable projectors with the additions of the LV-WU360, LV-WX370 and LV-X350. Each features a high-brightness and lowmaintenance lamp unit, offering a long lifespan for a portable unit and strong optical performance. All three models can produce between 3500 and 3700 lumen brightness with a projection range up to 25ft. They use three LCD panels to produce 10-bit

photographynews.co.uk/ maketheswitch

*Subject to terms and conditions, which can be found at photographynews.co.uk/ maketheswitch

Tamron for Sony

Kenro launches new Forza lights

The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lens is available for Sony FE full-frame mirrorless cameras. It features a constant f/2.8 aperture and delivers edge-to-edge highresolution and contrast, weighs just 420g and takes 67mm filters. The lens’s autofocus drive system is powered by the RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) which enables highspeed, high-precision and quiet operation for shooting both still photography and video. Additionally, the lens features a moisture-resistant construction with a hydrophobic fluorine coating to repel fingerprints, marks and dirt. The 17-28mm RXD is also

Established brand NanGuang has been rebranded to NanLite to reflect its position in the LED lighting market. To launch the brand, a range of Forza monolights has been announced by official distributors, Kenro Limited. Forza monolights each feature one COB LED and are promised to produce impressive brightness for their power and size. The Forza 500, a 500W light, is the most powerful light in the series and it can produce a dazzling 66,300lux at one metre. The mid-range model is the 300W Forza 300, that produces up to 43,060lux at one metre.

Key features

Hasselblad X1D II 50C CMOS sensor: 50 megapixels, 8272x6200 pixels Format: Hasselblad 3FR Raw Sensor: 16-bit sensor, capable of 14EV ISO range: 100-25,600 Storage: Dual UHS-II SD card slots Continuous shooting: 2.7fps in Raw Monitor: 3.6in, 2.36-million-dot touch

fully compatible with various camera-specific features including fast hybrid AF and eye AF. The Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD lens will be available from late July at £899.99. tamron.eu/uk/

The third is the entrylevel Forza 60, which draws 60W and produces up to 11,950lux at one metre. All three units possess CRI (Ra) 98 and TLCI 95, with a colour temperature of 5600K. They feature stepless dimming 0-100%, and a number of built-in special effects such as flash, storm, TV, and flickering (faulty) bulb. The lights are controlled by a panel, separate from the light unit. This allows for easier access to controls when the light itself isn’t easily accessible, and the light can also be controlled via 2.4G

New from Hasselblad The Hasselblad X1D II 50C builds on the X1D-50c with a raft of improvements over its predecessor, and is available body only at £5400. At the X1D II 50C’s heart is a 43.8x32.9mm CMOS sensor, which is 1.7x larger than the 35mm format. It provides 16bit capture capable of dealing with a dynamic range of 14EV.

The X1D II 50C features a 3.6in 2.36-million-dot touch display, the largest currently available on a medium format camera. The EVF has also been enhanced by an OLED with 3.69 million dots. Other features of the X1D II 50C include a faster refresh rate, reduced shutter lag and blackout time between frames,

faster continuous shooting and a faster start-up time. Hasselblad has added the XCD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom which sells at £4860. This is an internal focus zoom and features a lens shutter with speeds from 68mins to 1/2000sec with full flash sync. hasselblad.com

colours and deep blacks. All three projectors offer a range of connectivity options including LAN, USB and HDMI. Audio output is also possible directly from the projectors thanks to a built-in 10W speaker. The Canon LV-WU360, LVWX370 and LV-X350 are available from August with prices of £820.80, £547.20 and £513 respectively. canon-europe/projectors

wireless signal or DMX. All three lights can be battery powered, with the Forza 60 taking Sony NP-F type batteries, and the 300 and 500 each taking Sony V-Mountstyle batteries. The 60W model retails for £249.95, the 300W for £874.95 and the 500W for £1649.95. kenro.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Manfrotto’s new Befree and adapter The new Befree GT XPRO travel tripod is designed for photographers who seek a compact and versatile tripod to take on creative adventures. The tripod comes in aluminium and carbon fibre versions, and is the first travel tripod to feature both Manfrotto’s 180° foldable legs and its built-in 90° column mechanism, housed in the tripod’s top casting. Weighing in at 1.76kg for the carbon fibre version and 2kg for the aluminium version, the Befree GT XPRO has the locking power to support an impressive 10kg load. Leg position is secured with Manfrotto’s M-lock system. The included 200PL-PRO rubberised plate increases camera grip and makes it fully compatible with the Manfrotto RC2 and Arcatype head plates. The aluminium Befree GT XPRO costs £269.95, with the carbon fibre

X-Rite ColorChecker now in different sizes

version priced at £409.95. Manfrotto has also introduced the Top Lock Travel Quick Release Adaptor that is compatible with all Arca type camera plates and L-brackets, designed so that the Befree tripods’ legs can fold fully around the head ensuring portability of the kit is not compromised. It is also the first adapter on the market fully compatible with the Befree 494, 496 and 498 ball heads. The adapter removes the need for additional adapters between the top lock and Manfrotto head system. Ultimately, the adaptor makes the Befree tripod range and applicable ball heads fully compatible for photographers using ArcaSwiss fit plates. The Top Lock Travel Quick Release Adaptor costs £34.95.

The ColorChecker Classic target can be used during photo or video capture to create custom DNG and ICC camera profiles, colour grade video footage, or compare, measure and analyse differences in colour reproduction. It’s now available in five sizes: Nano, Mini, Original, XL and Mega. The Nano measures 1x1.75in and the Mega is 60x40in. The ColorChecker Video target is now available in three sizes – Original, XL and Mega. This target can be used by DITs, editors and colourists. colorconfidence.com

manfrotto.co.uk

Fisheye zoom from Pentax Gitzo adds new head Gitzo’s 3-Way Fluid Head is designed for all photographers and looks to enhance framing accuracy. The head features a quick-release plate/holder with 90° rotation, compatible with Arca plates. Weighing less than 1kg, the head safely supports a load up to 13kg. Thanks to Gitzo’s new cartridge fluid formula, the 3-Way Fluid Head promises smooth movement with no stick-slip, even in extreme conditions. The 3-Way Fluid Head is compatible with all Gitzo tripods and costs at £439.95. manfrotto.co.uk

Photography news

Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire, CB22 3HJ www.bright-publishing.com ISSN 2059-7584 When you have finished with this newspaper, please recycle it

The Pentax-DA 10-17mm f/3.54.5 ED (IF) is a fisheye to ultrawide-angle zoom for its K-mount digital DSLRs. On an APS-C format camera you get a 180° diagonal field of view at the 10mm setting so there is plenty of potential for dramatic perspectives by getting in close or changing camera viewpoint. The lens features multilayer HD coating to ensure high contrast images free of ghosting and with edge-to-edge sharpness. The exterior has also been totally redesigned so it looks similar to the latest DA and D FA-series lenses and matches Pentax’s current DSLRs. It now features a removable lens hood. Take this hood off and this lens can produce nearly circular images on the fullframe K-1 and K-1 Mark II. The lens front element features SP

(Super Protect) coating to repel water, grease and dirt, which makes it easier to clean if you do catch it with a finger smudge. The 10-70mm f/3.5-4.5 will sell for £499.99 and availability is from August. ricoh-imaging.co.uk

Innovative cases from Tenba Tenba’s Cineluxe bags, the Pro Gimbal Backpack 24 and the Roller 24 case, feature industry-first designs that allow videographers and photographers to carry kit like never before. The Pro Gimbal Backpack 24 allows a fully assembled gimbal to be carried safely inside, allowing the user to build their rig in advance and arrive on location ready to shoot, while the Roller 24 case is Tenba’s largest roller case to date, offering space for a complete rig and a range of accessories. Both feature a ‘doctor’s bag’ style opening system meaning they occupy the same space when open as they do closed and ensuring easy access. Additionally, both bags are built to last and feature water-repellent 1680D ballistic nylon (exterior), ripstop nylon (interior), seatbelt-grade webbing, YKK zips and reinforced stitching.

Editorial Team

Advertising Team

Design Team

Editorial director Roger Payne

Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com

Design director Andy Jennings Senior Designer Laura Bryant Designers Man-Wai Wong

Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 samscott-smith@bright-publishing.com

Distribution

Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 willcheung@bright-publishing.com Digital editor Jemma Dodd jemmadodd@bright-publishing.com Publishing intern Lee Renwick Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young

Key accounts Chris Jacobs 01223 499463 chrisjacobs@bright-publishing.com Key accounts Mike Elliott mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com

Distribution and subscription manager Phil Gray philipgray@bright-publishing.com

Publishing Team Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck As well as your local camera club, you can pick up Photography News in-store from: Cameraworld, Castle Cameras, Jessops, London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Wex Photo Video, Wilkinson Cameras

The Pro Gimbal Backpack 24 and the Roller 24 case bags cost £365 and £412 respectively. tenba.com

Photography News is published 11 times a year by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Photography News is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Photography News that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

News

Following Syrp’s first generation Genie Mini, the company’s first app-controlled device, the Genie Mini II has been launched with a host of features to build upon the previous model. The Genie Mini II will have the ability to create keyframed movements by controlling

path and speed on all axes, as well as capture ultra-wideangle 360° panoramic images. Additionally, the new motion controller will be compatible with future releases, including auto exposure ramping, timelapse compiler and camera control features.

© Thomas Sweetman

Syrp launches pocket-sized motion controller Technology within the Genie Mini II includes Wi-Fi, USB-C and Bluetooth 4.2, ensuring compatibility with release-date and future app features. The Syrp Genie Mini II costs £239.95.

Image Overall winner 2018 syrp.co

Cewe UK Historic Photographer of the Year now open winners Commenting on the awards, Dan said: “Last year saw an incredible array of entries covering everything from abandoned second world war sea forts to haunting images from Chernobyl and atmospheric ancient cities consumed by desert sands. We’re now laying down the gauntlet for this year’s awards to challenge entrants to match and even better those astonishing images.”

© Daniel Burton

Supported by television network History Hit, Historic England, television channel HISTORY, AHFAP and All About History magazine, the awards are open to image makers everywhere, and it’s free to enter. There’s the option of the Historic England category for photographers and the History Short Filmmaker category for videographers. The overall winner will receive a cash prize of £400, while the Historic England category winner will receive a behind-thescenes heritage experience from Historic England. This year’s judges include broadcaster and historian Dan Snow of HistoryHit.TV.

historicphotographeroftheyear. com Image Overall winner 2018, Daniel Burton

With over 448,000 entries, the Cewe Photo Award with prizes worth over €250,000 is officially the largest photo competition in the world. UK-based photographers Thomas Sweetman and Graeme Youngson have been announced as two of the three latest monthly winners. The overall winners of the competition will be announced in an awards ceremony in the Museum Of Natural History in Vienna on 26 September. cewe-photoworld.com/ cewephotoaward

Advertisement feature

Prints for pleasure “Stunning is often the word used to describe our latest aluminium ChromaLuxe panel prints. Deep, vibrant and punchy colours simply pop out, making any image a real statement piece” Derek Poulston, sales & marketing One Vision Imaging

Weekend city breaks give you the chance to sample great locations, and new sights mean fresh opportunities for great images to show off at home, as PN’s editor Will Cheung shows here. “I used an ultra wide-angle lens for this early evening shot of the ceiling of Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest active

shopping centre and a major city landmark, which dates back to 1865. Its fabulous ceiling cries out to be photographed and I’m sure every visitor to Milan is happy to oblige, and I couldn’t resist either. “I used One Vision’s aluminium ChromaLuxe print service, because I wanted every nook and

cranny of the fabulous ceiling recorded crisply. The result is stunning, with brilliant detail rendition and rich colour saturation, too. A great memory of a fabulous weekend.” onevisionimaging.com 0845 305 2685

One Vision aluminium ChromaLuxe prints If you want the ultimate high-definition wall display, the One Vision aluminium ChromaLuxe print service is the one to go for. Images are fused directly though a sublimation process on to 1mm-thick, specially coated aluminium for a high-gloss, durable and waterproof finish. Pictures show exceptional clarity and detail, making the most of the latest highresolution cameras. Sizes start at 12x12 up to 60x40 inches, with prices from just £42. Prints take seven days and are supplied ready to hang.


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Photography News | Issue 68 | 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 you want to share with the world, these are the pages 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 read and take note of the submission guidelines (right) and get your stories in

© John Cridland

Knutsford PS’s annual exhibition takes place 3 to 31 August at the Knutsford Library, Toft Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 0PG. Opening times are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (Saturday & Wednesday 9am to 1pm). Event organiser Peter Spooner said this year’s event will display some of the best 2018/2019 competition images. Knutsford PS starts on 3 September. Meetings are held in the Brook Street Chapel Hall, Adams Hill, Knutsford WA16 8DY, Tuesday evening 7.55pm to 10pm. New members are made very welcome. knutsfordps.org.uk

chesterps.org amershamphotosoc.com

Wensleydale’s annual show Wensleydale CC’s annual exhibition will be hosted by the Leyburn Bolton Arms. The exhibition displays a diverse range of members’ images, many of which will be available to purchase to raise funds for the club. A popular feature of the club’s exhibitions is its Retrospective View, a projected display of images of life in the Dales from the club’s archive, dating back to the beginning of the last century. It will be of interest to anyone

curious about the area’s history. For visitors with questions about photography, members will be on hand to offer practical guidance. The exhibition runs from 16 to 18 August, 12 to 6pm, in the upstairs function room at the Leyburn Bolton Arms. Entry is free. The Wensleydale CC meets Monday evenings from 16 September to early April. © Paul Taylor

Knutsford PS

Chester PS starts its 2019-20 season on 3 September at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, when Colin Jarvis will be talking about his Mono Moods. Speakers for the club’s autumn programme include Ian Beesley, Craig Magee, Gary Jones and Mark Reeves. Visitors are welcome at talks, £5 on the door.

Harpenden PS has announced that its Photographer of the Year 2018/2019 is Peter Wilson. The club holds many internal contests where images are scored by an external judge. These ratings are then added up towards a cumulative tally. Peter said: “I am delighted to become this year’s Photographer of the Year. My interests range from macro to studio portraits. I tried to show a wide range of these photos this year and it is very rewarding that they have been recognised by the judges.” HPS chairman, Peter Stevens commented: “It’s a great achievement to win our

Photographer of the Year award. The winner has to show consistently high levels of technical and creative skills, and Peter Wilson has certainly done just that. I’m delighted to offer many congratulations.” HPS’s new season kicks off 3 September. harpendenphotographic society.co.uk

wensleydalecameraclub.co.uk

Isle of Thanet Isle of Thanet PS’s AGM was held in June and trophies awarded. Cherry Larcombe won the Advanced Photographer of the Year award, whilst Steve Hewitt was Intermediate Photographer of the Year. Advanced Print winner was Laura Drury, whilst Ken Butcher received the Mick Talbot Trophy for the best wildlife photograph. Laura Drury was elected chair for the next year. She said: “I am

Harpenden PS

© Peter Wilson

eastwoodps.co.uk

Chester PS © Patrick Hudgell

Eastwood PS completed its 2018 to 2019 session with a win in the Glasgow and District Photographic Union Image League final. The final was strongly contested by the six winning clubs from the preliminary rounds. Eastwood won the Lizars trophy by just a single point with a unique double being completed when the judge, Peter Paterson, awarded Eastwood’s John Hannah the top medal for ‘Goshawk Dismantling’ (above). The club resumes on 5 September at Albertslund Hall, Newton Mearns.

We need words and pictures by 4 August 2019 for the next issue of Photography News, which will be available from 13 August 2019. 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

Amersham PS Amersham PS has its 67th annual exhibition from 20 to 24 August. The venue is St Michael and All Angels Church in Sycamore Road, Amersham. Chairman Hilary Bailey noted: “This is a fabulous location for our exhibition and we are delighted that the church is kindly allowing us to use this amazing space once more. As well as being extremely convenient for visitors it is also a light and spacious building which is ideal for showing off our members’ work.” Entrance to the exhibition is free and doors are open from 10am to 6pm.

Deadline for the next issue: 4 August 2019

© Keith Fitzpatrick

© John Hannah

Eastwood PS

Here’s how to submit

Above From left to right: Steve Hewitt, Cherry Larcombe, Laura Drury, Ken Butcher

delighted to take on the role of chair and look forward to developing the club over the next year. We have an exciting programme of talks lined up and opportunities for members to help each other develop their skills as well as have some fun. Everyone interested in photography is welcome.” The club meets at Ramsgate Football Club at 7.30pm on Mondays, with the new season starting on 2 September. isleofthanetphotographicsociety. co.uk

Settle Photographic Group Settle PG’s annual exhibition features over 80 images and will be on display in Settle shops and businesses from 31 July to 19 August. They will then be transferred to Clapham village hall for the exhibition, 24 to 26 August. Entry is free. settlephotos.org


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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Techniques Words by Kingsley Singleton

Full throttle

Though the mirrorless revolution started with crop-sensored bodies, there’s now healthy choice of full-frame cameras, promising the image quality of DSLRs with the groundbreaking features of mirrorless. Here we look at the main contenders...

There’s no doubting the benefits of moving from a DSLR to a mirrorless system, but with so many enthusiast photographers currently toting fullframe DSLRs, stepping down to a cropped sensor was always a bit offputting. Fortunately, as mirrorless shooting has gathered pace and credibility, so has the number of full-frame bodies increased. Last issue, we looked at mirrorless bodies with APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, but this time out we’ll examine the full frame models from Sony, Nikon, Canon and, more recently, Panasonic. The difference between croppedsensor and full frame mirrorless cameras is basically one of image quality. A larger sensor – full frame being roughly 36x24mm – means that resolution can increase

without image quality suffering, or that photosites can be less tightly packed at equivalent resolutions so images are more free of digital noise, especially at high ISO speeds. Fullframe sensors will also likely have superior dynamic range meaning it’s easier to capture highlight and shadow detail in a single exposure. Pound for pound, a larger sensor is also capable of producing a shallower depth-of-field than a smaller sensor when equivalent lenses are used, so it’s an attractive option if you want blurred backgrounds. On the downside? Pushing more data means bigger buffers and more powerful processors are needed. And larger sensors are more expensive to make, so this all means that full-frame mirrorless cameras are significantly more expensive than cropped-sensor

versions. Lenses need to create a larger image circle to cover the sensor, and this means they, in turn, need to be larger – and most likely heavier and more expensive than cropped equivalents. So despite the claimed advantages in portability, full-frame mirrorless cameras are likely to be larger and heavier than cropped versions – though still smaller than DSLRs. Of course there are other benefits of mirrorless cameras, too, like exposure preview in the EVF for more accurate working, improved autofocus speed and accuracy thanks to contrastreliant modes like Eye AF, silent shooting for candid photography, and in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) so you don’t need IS-equipped lenses to tackle camera shake. IBIS is also a great boon for video shooting.

Sony

Mirrorless mainstays Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras have revolutionised the market and forced other manufacturers to catch up Fan boys might argue the toss, but there’s really little doubt that Sony currently rules the roost in full-frame mirrorless cameras. There’s a reason for that – it’s been at it the longest, and most of its cameras are now on their third generation. The full-frame range offers plenty of choice with the A7 III, A7R III and A9 meeting different requirements. All three have back-illuminated CMOS sensors, two SD card slots and in-body, five-axis image stabilisation

and excellent AF. And while some competitors can struggle with battery life – mirrorless being a more powerhungry platform than DSLR – Sony’s Z battery is a corker. Rated for 710 shots, it will likely give you double that. Tackling the models in turn, the £1829 A7 III is the all-rounder. Versatile and relatively affordable, it uses a 24-megapixel chip and allows shooting at up to 10fps. The middling resolution also means the A7 III is ideal for lowlight work, and has impressive dynamic

Above The Sony A9 has gained a great reputation for its ability to handle fast action and has an amazing AF system

Above Sony's A7R III boasts a 42-megapixel full-frame sensor and is renowned for its image quality

range. The AF system is excellent and covers 93% of the frame – much more than you’d find on a DSLR. Next comes the camera that inspired many photographers to switch from DSLR to mirrorless, the £2699 A7R III. This is Sony’s high-resolution model, with a 42-megapixel sensor, and the ability to record uncompressed 14-bit Raw files. It’s a combination that provides stunning detail, dynamic range and the ability to make big crops and still end up with files large enough for printing, so the A7R III is a natural fit for both landscape and studio photographers. At the top of the Sony tree is the £3399 A9, which utilises unique stacked sensor technology to provide features that are, frankly, streets ahead of its competitors. For instance, where all

other mirrorless cameras have a slight viewfinder lag or blackout, the A9 has no perceptible delay at all, and this lets you shoot sport and action subjects with no interruption. It’s the same story when it comes to shooting speed and AF performance. The A9 shoots full-res Raws at 20fps, which is faster than any DSLR can manage, and does it all with AF running. Sticking with AF, like the other Sony models, the A9 enjoys excellent face and eye detection, but adds lots more focus points – 693 for increased speed and accuracy. With 24 megapixels, the resolution isn’t remarkable, but it does mean the A9 can offer exceptional high-ISO performance and dynamic range, too. One of the only gripes of Sony’s system is its menus. Moving from a

rival system can be a challenge in itself, but the menus on Sony’s cameras can be maddeningly oblique with very useful functions hidden away, or named in obscure ways. Still, it’s a small price to pay for all the other excellent features.

sony.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

13

Techniques Sony lenses

Nikon

The Z factor A mature system Just as with its bodies, Sony has had the time to build an impressive range of lenses, and the range is almost complete. At one end there are affordable zooms and at the other are Zeiss and Sony designed pro-level G Master zooms and primes – up to the 400mm f/2.8. The pro-spec lenses aren’t small or light, and that means adding a 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master zoom will pretty much negate the body’s advantages in size and weight. Of Sony’s own lenses, there are plenty of fabulous options, but look out for the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master, which is a superb landscape option and supports filters more readily than the 12-24mm f/4. For portraits and street work the FE 135mm f/1.8 G Master and FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Planar T* Lens both excel in sharpness and for sports and action the FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OSS G Master is a versatile option. When it comes to third-party lenses, there’s plenty of support too. For example, Zeiss with its Batis and Loxia lenses and Sigma with its Art and Sport ranges both offer excellent build and image quality.

Nikon’s Z series full-frame mirrorless bodies are already a hit with Nikon users and the system is growing well It’s now nearly a year since the launch of the Z 6 and Z 7, but fair to say that Nikon, like Canon, was a latecomer to the full-frame mirrorless party, allowing Sony to rip through several generations of camera, while the Z series is still on its first. It’s a testament to the engineering then, that both cameras are actually really competitive, and this makes switching seem very attractive, especially if you’re an existing Nikon user. There’s no doubting the Z series’ quality though, and in some aspects it’s the market leader. For instance, for our money, the Z 6 and Z 7 have the best electronic viewfinders out there, being closest to an optical viewfinder in feel, but with all the benefits of mirrorless design

like focus peaking and exposure preview. Taking to an EVF can be a sticking point for DSLR users, but the Z series 3690k dot EVF is bright, clearer and only begins to stutter at very high frame rates. Nikon clearly worked hard to get this right, and it shows. The Z series cameras function and feel very similar to high-end Nikon DSLRs, even down to the menus, so moving from one to another is very straightforward. And in a nod to playing catch-up, Nikon introduced the an FTZ mount converter at launch (bundling it with some cameras for only about £100 more) to aid the transition, so Nikon’s F mount lenses work seamlessly on its new bodies with full AF and AE functions.

Above The Z 7 is Nikon’s flagship mirrorless model

Above The Z 6 is externally identical to the Z 7 but has a lower resolution and is more suited for video shooters Outwardly, the Z 6 and Z 7 are identical, but they’re very different beasts aimed at different users. The £3099 Z 7 uses a 45.7-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which is proven to have great dynamic range, work very well in low light, and designed without an optical low-pass filter and matched with the mount’s native lenses – or high-end F-mount glass – detail is immense. The Z 7 has an ISO range of 64-25,600 and on-chip phase-detect AF has 493 points covering 90% of the frame, so anyone coming from a DSLR will notice an instant improvement there. As well as the usual modes, at launch the system had only face detection, but eye detection has just been added via a firmware update. Continuous shooting is decent, though the top rate of 9fps means working without AE and avoiding 14-bit Raws. The Z 7 also packs in handy features, such as an in-camera 4K time-lapse mode, which can be shot using the electronic shutter to save actuations. The £1900 Z 6 is lower resolution but faster, and more of an all-rounder. Like the Z 7 it uses a back-illuminated sensor, this time of 24.5-megaapixels and with an optical low-pass filter to reduce moire. Despite the lower pixel count,

Nikon lenses

New glass, better pictures

Above More lenses, including third party options, are coming out for Sony E-mount

Nikon launched three lenses along with its Z series bodies, which felt a bit anaemic at the time. Now the range has grown a little though, and with third party support also arriving, there’s plenty to enjoy now and look forward to. It’s by no means complete though, so you really need Nikon’s FTZ mount converter to fit your F-mount lenses while you wait for dedicated mirrorless versions to arrive. Specifically designed for the new Z mount, there are currently 24-70mm f/2.8 and f/4 zooms, a wide-angle 1530mm f/4 zoom, and 35mm and 50mm f/1.8 primes. Optically, all of the lenses are superb, boasting excellent sharpness wide open which is well held in the

corners. The f/2.8 zoom also features an L-Fn function button on the lens barrel, as well as an integrated OLED lens information panel. This year should also see a 24mm and 85mm f/1.8, a 70200mm f/2.8 and a 58mm f/0.95 lens. In 2020 we can expect a 50mm f/1.2, 20mm f/1.8 and 14-24mm f/2.8 zoom. Samyang is the first well known third-party name to produce lenses for the Z mount, and currently fills two holes in Nikon’s own line-up with the 14mm f/2.8 Z, and 85mm f/1.4 Z. There’s also the delicious-sounding Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 III, and five lenses from Kipon all with an f/2.4 aperture covering focal lengths from 24mm to 90mm.

Above The Z mount lens choice is growing, from Nikon and third party brands too

stills are brilliant and noise performance is excellent through the 100-51,200 ISO range. You can also shoot up to 12fps, though, again, this is without AE and in 12-bit Raw. AF options take a slight hit from the Z 7, but you still get 273 points with on-chip phase-detection and 90% coverage. Focusing is speedy, but can struggle a little in low light. Back to the similarities and both cameras use in-body image stabilisation, which is compatible with existing F-mount lenses, so you get benefit there. Build and handling wise, the Z series makes no compromises, operating in the refined and intuitive way you’d expect from a manufacturer of such pedigree; they’re weather sealed, too. Battery life is quoted at over 300 shots, which doesn’t sound like much, but in our experience, they’ve gone near double that. Both cameras use a single XQD slot, and this has split opinion. Many photographers are now used to the security and expandability of two-card recording, but XQDs are theoretically much tougher than SDs and faster, too. Overall, from a standing start it’s fair to say Nikon has done a lot right.

nikon.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

14

Techniques Canon

Panasonic

A new EOS Canon’s full-frame EOS R system looks to build on its DSLR dominance Canon’s EOS-R range launched at the back end of 2018, so like NIkon it’s had its work cut out in order to challenge the dominance of Sony’s full-frame system. But Canon has been busy since, and is certainly putting lots of effort into fleshing out its system. The EOS RF is a completely new lens mount, and the engineering should result in lenses with better optical performance and faster camera-to-lens communication. Canon has so far launched two fullframe mirrorless bodies with impressive if not extraordinary feature sets. The £2399 EOS R was the first in the range to launch, with a 30.3-megapixel CMOS sensor at its heart, and equipped with an optical low-pass filter to defeat moire patterns and false colours. It’s therefore very similar to that found in the EOS 5D Mark IV, but backed up by a faster DIGIC 8 processor. ISO range is 100-40,000. As you’d expect, the body is much more compact and lightweight than a similarly spec’d DSLR and weather sealing is built in. The layout of the controls will have a familiar feel for those who are regular Canon users, although the new multifunction bar, which lets you control programmable functions like ISO and white-balance, takes some getting used to. There’s tremendous scope to customise the camera to your personal preferences though, for example in stills shooting, 14 buttons or controls can be customised, with up to 41 options. Autofocus has been upgraded on the EOS R. The dual pixel phase-detection AF has 5655 selectable autofocus points and the system is responsive, smooth

Above Panasonic has taken a no-compromise approach to its S series and the cameras and lenses are substantially built

Canon has two camera options at the moment, the entry-level EOS RP (above) and the more advanced EOS R (right)

and very fast, focusing down to -6EV. Thanks to the touch AF function, you can also choose the precise area in a scene that’s to be the centre of focus by using your thumb and dragging the AF point to where it’s needed. More recently, Canon followed up the EOS R with the £1399 26.2-megapixel EOS RP, its price tag making it the most affordable full-frame mirrorless model on the market. At just 485g, it’s smaller and lighter than the R, but still features top-end tech like Dual Pixel CMOS AF, up to 4779 selectable AF points, a DIGIC 8 processor and 14-bit Raws. Both the EOS R and RP lack in-body

image stabilisation, which is enjoyed on most other mirrorless bodies cropped or full frame, and even some DSLRs. This caused some dismay at launch, but the RP does use a Dual Sensing IS (camera and lens) system offering 5-axis stabilisation up to 5EV, though you’ll need dedicated RF lenses for it to work.

canon.co.uk

Canon lenses

A new standard Both the Canon EOS R and the RP bodies come with an EF lens adapter as standard, so right away you’ve got a huge number of lenses to choose from the existing EF range. In terms of dedicated RF lenses, there’s not a massive selection, but like Nikon’s Z series, that’s totally understandable – the system has been around for less than a year. At the same time as the new mount, Canon announced a 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, a 50mm f/1.2 L USM, a 28-70mm f/2L USM and a 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM, all of which rated very well in our tests. Recently launched is the 85mm f/1.2L, which should excite portrait shooters, and coming after that are a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 15-35mm f/2.8, a 70200mm f/2.8L IS and a 24-240mm f/46.3 IS, plus a ‘DL’ version of the 85mm f/1.2L with a much smoother look to its

bokeh. And most recently a 10x zoom has been launched, the RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM. Check out our news story one page 3. And just as with Nikon, Samyang has stepped up to the RF plate with two

manual focus options, assisted by focus peaking through the EOS R and RP’s electronic viewfinders; the 14mm f/2.8 RF and 85mm f/1.4 RF. Lensbaby is also making optics for the RF mount, so far including the Composer Pro II.

S class and L glass Panasonic ready for full-frame fight Despite being heavily entrenched in the crop-sensor side of the mirrorless market with its Micro Four Thirds Lumix G Series, Panasonic wants a piece of the full-frame market, too. Enter the Lumix S1 and S1R, which actually seem to eschew the idea of mirrorless being smaller and lighter, in favour of a more workhorse styling. The new system is built around the L-mount designed by Leica for its SL cameras, so there is entrenched lens support – and more lenses added with Sigma joining Panasonic and Leica in the L-Mount Alliance. Much like the way Sony and Nikon have gone, Panasonic gives us the £2199 S1, a lower resolution all-rounder with a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, and the £3399 S1R which has a whopping 47.3-megapixel sensor for richly detailed stills. They have slightly different ISO ranges, of 100-51,200 for the S1 and 100-25,600 for the S1R, but other than that, both cameras have twin card slots, up to six-stop Dual Image Stabilisation when OIS lenses are used, and a high-resolution 5760K OLED EVF display with adjustable refresh rate of 60 or 120fps, and a handy option of three different magnifications. The S1R’s 47.3-megapixel resolution is the highest of any full-frame camera so far, mirrorless or DSLR, and produces 8368x5584 pixel files, but if you need something even larger, it has a high-resolution mode that gives an equivalent resolution of 187 megapixels. Here, eight shots are taken with the sensor moving between them. As well as existing Leica L-Mount lenses fitting the new bodies, many of which are quite glorious and gloriously expensive, Panasonic announced three of its own lenses at launch, a 70-200mm f/4, a 50mm f/1.4 and a 24105mm f/4 Macro, the zooms including Optical Image Stabilisation, and all of them weather resistant like the bodies.

Above Panasonic S series cameras use the L-Mount, sharing that technology with Leica and Sigma. That does mean there will be many more lens options in time

On top of that, Sigma, as part of the lens mount alliance, recently announced that 11 of its Art and Sport lenses have been re-engineered to be in L-Mount with three due on sale this September.

panasonic.co.uk


15

Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature

Competition

Wedding Photographer of the Year: Round 4

Discover the theme for Round 4 and find out the winner of Round 2

Marie’s winning image was captured at Carlton Towers, a Grade 1 listed, Victorian Gothic country house in North Yorkshire. Given the weather, Marie decided to create a dramatic shot with the couple and the incredible feature entrance. Marie is now in the running to be named Wedding Photographer of the Year 2019, and will also receive a Bellissimo album from Loxley Colour. © Marie Anson

For Round 2 of our Wedding Photographer of the Year competition with Loxley Colour, we asked you to submit your fine-art wedding shots, and there was such a strong batch of entries that our judges really had their work cut out for them. Now that the judging has been completed, we can reveal that the Round 2 winner is Marie Anson. On finding out that she’d won the fine-art round, Marie said: “I am so shocked (in a good way) as to me this is such an honour and validation, given the esteemed judging panel and the very high standard of entries from many other incredible photographers. I am absolutely delighted! “There is so much talent in the wedding photography industry, so to have my work recognised in such a way is very humbling and also an acknowledgement that I must be doing something right. “I am so elated – ‘I'm chuffed to bits!’ as they say in Derbyshire!”

Round 2: winning image

Here is what the judges had to say: “I love the composition, crop, lighting and atmosphere. It looks a little like a painting and you are drawn straight to bride and groom, too” Natalie Martin “The reason I have chosen this image is that it has a really lovely atmospheric feel to it” Kevin Pengelly

Round 4: Bridal Portrait © Brett Florens

Get inspired Here are some beautiful bridal portraits from some of the judges – Brett Florens and Paul Callaghan – to help inspire your entry. © Paul Callaghan

For this round, we want to see your bridal portraits, and with it being the bride’s big day the pressure to get the perfect shot is on. Most bridal portraits will show the bride in the setting of their stunning wedding venue with their dress on full show, or be a shot from the back showing off the details of her dress. But maybe you’ve gone for a close up, with the bride holding her bouquet, or her veil blowing in the wind. Last year’s Wedding Photographer of the Year, Natalie Martin, has this advice: “At the end of the day, this is the bride’s biggest day and emotion and expression will play a big part in it. However, as well as that it must be technically excellent, especially with the light and pose. If some element of creativity can be created by composition and added to the other elements, the photographer will be in with a good chance of being on the shortlist.” Remember, the bridal portrait is all about the bride and showing off how beautiful she looks.

Submit your Round 4 image at photographynews.co.uk/ weddingphotographeroftheyear before 12 August to enter. Full T&Cs can be found at the link above.


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

16

Technique

Filters Essential guide to…

There’s something satisfying about getting stuck in to the camera. See overleaf for some brands to consider. Here, we focus on which filters no photographer should be without

Words and pictures by Will Cheung

The polariser If you buy only one filter, make it the polariser. This unassuming plain grey filter can achieve effects not possible in software. The vast majority of modern cameras need a circular polariser. This is not a reference to the filter’s physical shape, but to the way the filter’s crystals are laid out. So a circular polariser can, in fact, be square. The other polariser type, linear (which can be circular or square in shape, too), is relatively rare now anyway. In the right situation (and this is important) a polariser can intensify colour, kill reflections off water and glass, cut down glare and saturate blue skies. It’s also handy as a weak neutral density. But it can also have no effect at all. It all depends on the light and situation. On cloudy days, there is not much polarised light around, so the polariser hasn’t got much to work with. On bright days, however, sunlight strikes a surface and bounces off in all directions, ie it is polarised. Now if you use the polariser, most of that light scatter is cut out, so you get better saturation and no glare. With reflective surfaces such as glass and water, shoot straight on and there is no effect. Move so you With polariser

Right This is the Marumi magnetic filter polariser in place. It is screwed into the adapter ring, then the filter holder itself attached. Above The polariser is then rotated using the holder’s drive wheel and extra filters can be then added in front are positioned around 45° to the surface, rotate the polariser and you will see reflections are minimised. For more on the science of this, check out ‘Brewster’s angle’ on the web. If you are new to polarisers, the best thing is to learn when a polariser works and when it doesn’t. In different situations, even when you are not intending to take a shot, just hold it up to your eye and rotate it and see if there is any effect on the scene. Most polarisers come in a mount that allows the filter to

be rotated while on the lens and it is important to adjust the filter and shoot when the effect is at its best – this might not be when the effect is at its strongest. There are also polarisers that come in a fixed frame and can be rotated via another mechanism,

like the drive wheel used by the Marumi system. Finally, here are three user tips. First, only fit the polariser when it has a genuine benefit. Don’t leave it on the lens constantly, because the near 2EV light loss can mean blurred shots due to slower shutter

speeds. Second, with ultra-wide lenses, blue skies can look patchy, so watch out for this. Third, in some strongly lit situations, a perfectly good blue sky can look almost unnaturally black. All in all, though, a polariser is very much a good thing.

No polariser

Above Enhanced skies and minimised glare can be achieved with a polariser. Here, a Marumi polariser was used. The non-polarised shot was exposed at 1/320sec at f/9, while 1/100sec at f/9 was needed for the polarised image. Look closely and you can see that the window reflections (particularly those far right) have been cut down in the polarised image


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Technique Protection filters

The graduate If you look at a landscape, your brain tells you there is detail in the (usually) darker foreground and the (usually) brighter sky. But a camera sensor is not quite so able – and that’s where the graduate filter plays a vital role to help you balance the contrast in your shots. Graduate filters are half clear and half coloured. Different colours are available, but easily the most useful are neutral grey grads. These come in different densities, typically from 1EV to 3EV, although fractional densities in various transitions (how the filter changes from clear to toned) are available. Soft (gradual tonal change) and hard (much more pronounced tonal change) filters are common. Faced by a scene, the first thing you need to know is which density filter will suit. Start with a meter reading from the foreground. You can use an autoexposure mode provided you keep track of your settings and use compensation to get the right exposure, but it makes more sense to use manual. Let’s say the reading from the foreground is 1/125sec at f/8. Now take another reading from the sky. Should the sun be in the frame, aim the lens to one side of the sun. If that reading is 1/125sec at f/22, that is 3EV brighter, so you need a 0.9 ND to produce a better balance.

With graduate

It’s simple: do you prefer to ruin your expensive lens or a much, much cheaper protection filter? Just protect your investment with a screwin protection, skylight or ultraviolet (UV) filter to keep off dust and water. It’ll also take the brunt of any knocks so offers physical protection, too. Prices vary depending on coating and frame quality, but to take a couple of popular examples the Marumi Slim MC Lens Protect filter costs £19 for a 77mm fit or £47 for the same size Hoya Pro1 Digital UV filter. Putting a piece of glass (regardless of quality) in front of your lens might create issues with flare, so if it does, just take it off for that shot and replace afterwards. If you intend on using a filter system or any of the filters we have suggested in this feature, the same advice applies. Not only will using as few filters as possible keep quality loss and flare risk down to an absolute minimum, it will also avoid any risks of vignetting with wide-angle lenses. However, with the odd exception, protection filters are worth their weight in gold, so ignore them at your peril.

No graduate

Above Using a Fujifilm GFX 50R and 23mm f/4 lens, the camera in manual exposure mode was angled down and that gave a 1/60sec at f/13, ISO 100 meter reading. A reading with the camera aimed up but away from the sun gave 1/500sec at f/13 – a difference of 3EV. A Marumi magnetic frame 0.9 soft ND grad was used to hold sky detail with the settings for the foreground used. Both shots here are unedited so there’s more potential in post Then you have to decide which transition to use – this assumes you have the choice, of course. Generally, a hard grad is best when you have a clean obvious horizon – the sea, for example – but if the horizon is broken up by trees or buildings, the soft-type grad is the better option. Now all you have to do is position the grad in the best place by sliding the filter up and down in the holder or rotating the filter holder. Do this while using the viewfinder or live view.

Make your exposure using the settings you determined for the foreground. If you are using autoexposure, sliding a grad filter in place can fool the camera into thinking the light levels have gone down and thus give more exposure, which negates the point of using a grad. Just use exposure compensation to give a correct foreground exposure. Another type of grad is the reverse grad, specifically for sunrise/sunset where the brightest area is a little above the horizon.

These filters are half clear and half toned, too, but the graduated area is stronger just above the halfway point where the toned area starts and gets weaker as you progress towards the top of the filter. Which type of grad to buy depends on what you shoot, but it makes sense to have a selection. A pair of 0.6 grads (one soft, one hard) can be used in combination. If you shoot mostly scenics in bright light, you could add a 0.9 hard, while if sunrises/sunsets appeal, then add a reverse ND.

Neutral density (ND) filters ND filters are overall grey filters used to cut down the amount of light reaching the sensor or film, which are available in a wide range of strengths. Weak NDs are 2, 4 and 8, which absorb 1EV, 2EV and 3EV of light respectively. Mid-range NDs are 16, 32 and 64, which absorb 4EV, 5EV and 6EV. Then we have extreme NDs, which are 500, 1000 and 32,000 that absorb 9EV, 10EV and 15EV of light. Even stronger ones designed for solar eclipses are also available. Before we drown in numbers, the accompanying table should help (right). ND filter strengths are expressed in filter factor and also in optical density and light loss. Here we’ve quoted light loss and optical density. On the left of the table we start with the unfiltered shutter speeds of 1/125sec and 1sec and on the right the new shutter speeds with the relevant filter or filters in place. NDs give you the chance to use the aperture or, mostly, the shutter speed you want to achieve the previsualised effect. For intentional camera movement shots, for example, or for scenics where the 6EV, 10EV and 15EV NDs are popular because they allow the use of very long exposures to blur movement within the scene. Creamy water, streaky clouds and blurry windblown trees, for example.

Original shutter speeds

Above Neutral density filters give you options with your shutter speeds that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Here the metered exposure was 1/8sec at f/11 and ISO 50. Fitting a Marumi 64x ND (6EV) meant an exposure of 8secs at f/11 was possible

But NDs also have a use for people shots too. In bright light with a fast lens aperture you might run out of shutter speeds so an ND filter can help you out. Or if you’re mixing flash with daylight an ND filter means you can set the correct flash sync speed or use a wider aperture to throw backgrounds out of focus. Most NDs are truly neutral but that can change when you move into the stronger filters and there could

be a colour shift with shots coming out cooler or warmer than you might expect. Buy a new ND and it is worth trying it in AWB, using preset whitebalances or various manual Kelvin settings to check out its effect and neutrality. Shoot Raw and correcting any colour shift can be done in editing but if you shoot JPEGs or prefer a more neutral look in-camera use a manual Kelvin or do a custom WB with the filter attached.

ND filter stops/ optical density

1/125sec

1s

0

1/125sec

1s

1

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

11

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

21

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

1/125sec

1s

24

New shutter speeds (Rounded to standard camera shutter speed when applicable)

0

1/125sec

1s

0.3

1/60sec

2s

2

0.6

1/30sec

4s

3

0.9

1/15sec

8s

4

1.2

1/8sec

15s

5

1.5

1/4sec

30s

6

1.8

1/2sec

1min

7

2.1

1sec

2min

8

2.4

2secs

4min

9

2.7

4secs

8min

10

3.0

8secs

16min

3.3

15secs

30min

12

3.6

30secs

1hr

13

3.9

1min

2hr

14

4.2

2min

4hr

15

4.5

4 min

8hr

16

4.8

8min

16hr

17

5.1

16min

32hr

18

5.4

30min

64hr

19

5.7

1hr

128hr

20

6.0

2hr

256hr

6.3

4hr

512hr

22

6.6

8hr

1024hr

23

6.9

16hr

2048hr

7.2

32hr

4096hr


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Buyers’ Guide

Filters for all

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering when to use a filter and what is the best option for you, then check out our top picks from some of the best filter makers on the market KENKO FILTERS – OPEN A WORLD OF IMAGINATION Kenko has an optical manufacturing tradition that dates back to 1957 and is the largest supplier of camera filters in Japan. Kenko produces a full range of photographic and optical accessories. It is also one of the largest companies specialising in binocular manufacturing and supplies one of the world's leading brands. In both the fields of photographic products and optical goods, it holds the number one share in Japan. Kenko filters are grouped into three main categories: KENKO AIR FILTERS These are UV filters which are suitable for use as a permanent lens protector, as they will protect the front of your lens from dust, moisture and scratches. They absorb the ultraviolet rays which often make outdoor photographs look hazy and indistinct, especially at altitude or in distant landscapes. KENKO SMART FILTERS Available in UV, circular polarising and ND (neutral density), the Smart filters feature multi-coating to prevent flare and ghosting. They have been optimised for use with digital cameras and are ideal for use on wide-angles.

KENKO REALPRO FILTERS Available in UV, circular polarising and ND (neutral density), these filters feature antistain coating (ASC), which represents a new generation of Kenko coating technology. Thanks to a new formula of coating material, the surface of the Realpro filter will cause moisture and water droplets to bead up and slip away, leaving the filter clean. You will therefore not need to clean the filter very often, making maintenance easier and safer. Due to the smooth surface of the filters, dust and smudges do not stick to the glass and can be wiped away smoothly and easily. This is a great feature for photographers who often find themselves shooting outdoors in rough weather conditions. Kenko’s anti-reflection multicoating technology provides maximum light transmission and protection from flares and ghosting, for clear and sharp images every time. The filters also have slim frames, making them ideal for use on wide-angle lenses to avoid vignetting, and have been optimised for use with digital cameras. intro2020.co.uk

COKIN FILTERS – EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY Using a filter is a totally different approach compared to using software. Filters are used 'live', during shooting, for instant results. Even if post-processing is part of the workflow, Cokin believes that using a filter is a means to express creativity in the moment. Placing a filter in front of a lens takes no more than a few seconds. The outcome is immediate, and you can share it, without having to spend hours of post-processing. Photography happens while shooting, not sitting behind a computer. The three different sizes of Cokin filter systems can be attached and removed in three simple steps. They support multiplediameter adapter rings, for use with several lenses, and offer great flexibility. The wide array of available filters opens a world where the only limit is your imagination. The original Cokin Creative filters are available in three sizes (84mm wide, 100mm wide and 130mm wide). They are made from CR39 (an optical resin which is widely used in optics for its high resolution, being far

superior to polycarbonate). These filters offer flexibility, affordability and offer great optical performance for shooting a wide range of subjects. The new Cokin EVO holders are made from aircraft grade aluminium and are particularly suited for use with the new Cokin Nuances Extreme filters. These filters are

made from toughened optical Schott glass and come in a range of solid and graduated ND (neutral density) variations. They have very strict specifications in terms of optical performance and offer high density filters with no colour cast. intro2020.co.uk


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Buyers’ Guide HOYA FILTERS – THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR Every Hoya filter is the result of decades of research, know-how and complete precision, backed by full quality control. The finest materials are carefully mixed by an automatic V-blender for absolute uniformity. After being melted with highly sophisticated equipment, this material is then precision moulded with automatic direct pressing equipment. The pressed blanks are next then slowly and continuously cooled to prevent any strain and are then polished by high-speed, double-surface polishing machines that assure precise surface quality and perfect flatness. Next is the coating process, which improves light transmission ability. The transmission characteristics are checked by spectrophotometer, after which an ultrasonic cleaner removes any foreign matter from the surfaces. Only after passing all of Hoya's quality control tests are the filters assembled, finished and made ready for shipment to customers across the globe. Some other manufacturers claim to have ‘coated’ filters. But this coating is often only applied to the front side of the glass, not both sides like Hoya filters. Also, the coating on some filters is painted on or applied as a cold spray that wears off quickly or can even flake off. Hoya offers a wide variety of superior quality filters for use in all imaging applications. It is important to select the best filters for your needs, as choosing inferior brands can deteriorate the performance of your highquality lenses. Hoya filters guarantee you the highest standards of performance so you can create the best images. In order to fully understand the wide range available, Hoya filters are grouped into several categories, as follows:

KASE FILTERS – CAPTURE WITH CONFIDENCE The Kase Wolverine series filters are ranked as some of the best optically by independent reviews and their toughened glass construction adds extra durability and peace of mind. Kase Wolverine filters are not indestructible but are rated to be tougher than standard glass filters, hopefully withstanding an occasional accidental drop, allowing you to keep shooting great images. With no discernible colour cast, you will be able to capture true scene colours and the optical quality of the glass will give you great sharpness. The special metallic nano electro-coated glass makes Kase Wolverine filters scratch resistant, water-repellent, anti-reflective and easy to clean, making the Kase Wolverine series a joy to use in the field, no matter what conditions you shoot in. The Kase Wolverine filters are available at 100mm, in hard and medium grads of 0.6 and 0.9, small grads at 0.6, 0.9, 1.2 and 1.5, as well as reverse grads at 0.9 and 1.2. Also in the range are neutral density filters, at ND64000, ND1000, ND64 and ND8, as well as specialist filters which includes the Kase Night Kit, light pollution filter and 100mm centre grad at 1.2. kasefilters.com

Without

With filter

GENERAL FILTERS This group includes everyday filters which can be left on your lenses, such as UV and polarising. These are the first filters that every photographer should ensure they own. UV or protector filters should be constantly fitted to a lens to give improved clarity and colourbalance, as well as offering protection to your lens. Polarising filters have several uses, such as eliminating unwanted reflections, increasing colour saturation and enhancing contrast. CREATIVE FILTERS Although similar to general filters, they produce a subtle, but realistic result which may be used to artistic effect. They are also suitable for use as everyday protection filters and may be combined with other types such as circular- PL

and UV for enhanced effect. In this case, we recommend the use of Ultra-Pro, Revo or NX-10 series filters which have thin rings and multicoating to avoid vignetting and ghosting.

possibility of colour shift over a period of time, such high-quality filters are coated or multicoated on both sides. This maintains the desired effect and gives a long service life.

COLOURED FILTERS As their names suggests, these filters use Hoya coloured glass. They are used for colour correction of different light sources, or for controlling contrast with black & white images. When shooting black & white images, these filters can be used to control the rendition of each colour in a scene as a different shade of grey. The colour of the glass used in all these filters is carefully controlled and to reduce the

SPECIAL EFFECT FILTERS These Hoya filters make it possible to add many different special effects to your pictures, such as starbursts, close-ups, softening and multi-images. It is simple to achieve outstanding creative or unusual results and take special photographs for memorable occasions such as weddings, birthdays and holidays.

H&Y – REDFINING PHOTOGRAPHY H&Y has been in the UK in its own right for just over a year. But in reality, the company is over ten years old, with three factories and a workforce of over 700 people. This is because it is the manufacturer of many other brands of filters you might be more familiar with. And yet, it is new to market in the UK, and until now most commonly known for its innovative magnetic attachment system for retro-fitment to Lee Filters, Formatt Hitech and NiSi system holders and filters. However, H&Y’s offering has now increased to include a wide range of glass filters, plus its own holders and other accessories. Of course, this all relies on using its patented magnetic attachment method. What makes the filters special is the fact that they are made from toughened Corning Gorilla Glass 3; that’s the same glass and surface coatings as a modern smartphone. As such, these filters are incredibly strong, and especially high resolution with minimal colour deviation. Colour accuracy, the blend of ND effect across the image area, the optical sharpness, even tangibility tests

(including wearing gloves, and how water runs from the surface or wipes off and doesn’t smear);in all, H&Y rated especially high, or highest of all. The H&Y holder is manufactured from aluminium with a clever rear element drop-in slot for either a circular polariser (included), or optional ND or ND circular polariser filters. The holder design is both slim, and easy to use. It’s also provided with four lens filter adapter rings to get you started, excellent value in all for £200. H&Y is distributed by PhotoTEQ who has just launched a special promotion of 3 for 2 on magnetic filter frames to adapt your current system to magnetic attachment. photoTEQ.com

intro2020.co.uk


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Advertisement feature

The attraction of circles Round screw-in lens filters are often perceived to be the poorer relation of square filter systems, yet they have many advantages, especially for outdoor and travel photography. The Kase Wolverine Circular Magnetic Series capitalises on these plus points. The filters fit in front of the lens on a screw-in magnetic adapter and can be snapped on and off with ease, and rotated with speed and precision. In addition, up to three filters can be stacked and their low profile minimises vignetting risks.

Matt Holland Photography News: Tell us about yourself. Matt Holland: I’m a creative designer from south England. For the past ten years I’ve worked as an outdoors guide for the Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh Award. I’m also a fulltime multimedia designer working with the outdoors media company, MyOutdoors, testing and reviewing equipment. In addition, I run workshops and do trips for my own photography, so I lead a busy life. I’ve been shortlisted and a finalist in the Outdoors Photographer, International Garden Photographer and Royal Horticultural Photographer of the Year competitions and my work, design and photography, is used globally.

For peace of mind, the filters are made from toughened B270 optical Schott glass, and independent reviews have shown the filters are drop proof up to 1.5m and higher. Filters feature nano coatings on both sides to defeat flare and reflections, and are hydrophobic, ensuring the filters are easily cleaned when working in wet weather. We asked two outdoor photographers to put across the case for Kase Wolverine Circular Magnetic Series round filters.

Key features & prices Kase Wolverine Circular Magnetic Series filters are available in two sizes, 77mm and 82mm, and both are available in four- and five-piece kits. The four-piece kits cost £220 (77mm) and £225 (82mm), and comprise 3EV ND, 6EV ND, circular polariser, magnetic adapter, magnetic lens cap to fit over magnetic adapter, and soft leather pouch. The five-piece kits also include a 10EV ND and cost £280 (77mm) and £285 (82mm). Magnetic snap-on filters Toughened pro ND Glass Virtually no colour cast Scratch resistant Water and dust repellent Simple to use in the field Lightweight design

kasefilters.com

PN: What’s your photography style? MH: My personal photography specialises in the outdoors, particularly mountainous regions, which goes hand-in-hand with my drive to go out hiking, scrambling and camping. For me, the outdoors comes before photography and is a means of escape. However, photography is a great way to document my adventures. PN: Why Kase round filters? MH: I love using Kase Wolverine Circular Magnetic Series filters. They are perfect for the outdoors, and are exactly what I need for my work, from capturing cloud movement to long exposures by the coast. They snap on and off when I need. Plus, any water on the filter just wipes off with no smudging and if they fall out of my bag or pocket, I can rest assured they won’t smash. Check out my throw test on youtu.be/YToM7HoB1vE Instagram: @mihollandphoto

Richard Fox Photography News: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Richard Fox: I am a semi-pro/obsessive hobbyist landscape photographer. I’m based in Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor, but I’m moving to Scotland soon. I’ve been capturing Dartmoor and Devon, as well as other areas in the UK and abroad, for many years. I run one-to-one training and small-group workshops, and have given talks to many camera clubs over the years.

© Matt Holland

PN: What’s your photography style? RF: I’m a traditional landscape photographer and mostly capture in the small hours of the day, namely sunset and sunrise; I have a particular passion for misty conditions. Chasing mist is one of the most rewarding things I do but also the most frustrating, given I must go hunting for it. I also enjoy capturing seascapes, which is where I use circular filters the most.

PN: Why Kase round filters? RF: I gave up graduated filters when I switched to Sony Alpha cameras, which give plenty of dynamic range to play with in post-processing. However, for circular polarisers and ND filters, I turned to Kase filters, which are optically superb; but when the light changes quickly or you need to stack them, things get fiddly. The Kase Wolverine Circular Magnetic Series solves those issues and, like the rest of the Wolverine filter range, the filters are optically impressive. The system allows you to swap filters quickly and easily, and the slim mounts avoid vignetting when several filters are used together. They are very lightweight, too. Instagram: @richard_fox_photography

© Richard Fox


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Events Reader event

London meetup

London’s streets are paved with photographic gold and never fail to deliver great pictures. We chose the capital as the location for our first photo meetup precisely for this reason. Taking pictures is often a solitary pastime, but when the chance to meet up and enjoy some social interaction arrives, photographers embrace it with open arms, hence the idea of the meetup. It gives the chance to share ideas, techniques and just talk photography. We will be planning more and if you have any location suggestions please email the editor on willcheung@bright-publishing.com. We’ll be announcing details in print, on our website and on social media. Our summer meetup took place on 21 June, the longest day, with a very loose shooting brief: start at 5pm at a local pub, talk through any plans, shoot for as long as you want and use Facebook to keep in touch. Most readers finished late and several carried on the following day. Thanks to all who supported the event. Top Chung Hu: joiner created from images shot with a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and 18mm f/2 lens Above left Ann Healey: shot using an iPhone X Above Mark Stone: shot using a Fujifilm X100F, 1/125sec at f/8 and ISO 200 Far left Adrian Furner: shot with a Nikon Z 7 with 2470mm, exposed at 1/80sec and f/16 Left Gareth Danks: shot using a Fujifilm X100F, 1/320sec at f/8 and ISO 3200


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Events

Taking pictures is often a solitary pastime, but when the chance to meet up and enjoy some social interaction arrives, photographers embrace it with open arms

Above David Jenner, shot using a Nikon D850, exposed at 90secs at f/11 and ISO 64 Right Peter Karry: shot on a Sony A99 Below right Colm O’Laoi: shot on a Nikon D7500 with an 18-105mm Below Martin Janes: shot using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 24-105mm


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Advertisement feature

Wonderful works for your wall Whether you’re looking for a canvas print, boxed frame or maybe even a special, coloured mount, Colorworld Imaging has everything you need to make your image truly stand out Colorworld Imaging has been producing framed prints for several decades now, meaning the team has an immense amount of experience in choosing mouldings and mount colours. The team’s collective experience also means a great amount of knowledge has been developed on how to produce

a high-quality framed print across the range of mouldings offered by Colorworld Imaging. Business development manager Mike Brydon tells us more. What should people consider when deciding which product is best for them? There are a number of factors you should identify that will help you choose the right product. Ask questions such as: where will the frame be hung in the house or business? What type of style is the customer looking for? Modern, contemporary or traditional? Also, keep in mind the size that is required. A small frame on a huge wall can be very easily lost and can lose its wow factor, while a traditional mahogany frame with gold mount board wouldn’t work very well in a modern house with white walls, so it’s important to choose the right product. Here at Colorworld Imaging, we are more than happy to offer our suggestions if customers would like a sounding board to bounce ideas off. Would you recommend certain products, paper types or frames for specific genres? Over the years, the print media used has developed significantly, which means the customer has a greater choice. Fine-art papers can have a dramatic effect on an image, so it’s important to make the right choice. Rolling landscapes look fantastic on fine-art paper, as do stunning portraits and artwork. Colorworld Imaging also offers metallic paper from Kodak, which looks amazing for most images.

Discover the range BOX FRAMES Available in sizes 8x6 to 34x13 inches, Colorworld Imaging box frames allow your prints to be mounted flush, meaning your images ‘pop’. You can choose from satin, gloss or metallic finishes, and black, silver, beech and gold frames. Bespoke sizes are also available on request. CANVAS WRAPS AND MDF FRAMES Printed on high-quality inkjet prints, canvas wraps and MDF frames are laminate-sealed to protect your image and come ready to hang! Sizes are available from 10x8 to 40x36 inches, and bespoke sizes available at request, with framing options of 12mm or 18mm MDF to choose from. CANVAS BOX FRAMES Using the same printing and material as the canvas wraps, the canvas box frames are framed with either a black-wash or white-wash moulding, with the canvas wrap positioned 10mm inside, still allowing you to see the sides of the wrap. Sizes are available in 10x8 to 40x36 inches.

FRAMED PRINTS There are 34 wonderful options to choose from in a wide variety of sizes and colours, which include black, silver, bronze, champagne, mahogany, tan, pale beech, taupe, blue and many more.

MOUNT BOARDS Once you’ve chosen the frame option which is best for you, there are nine mount board colours to choose from: beaujolais, black, bottle green, charcoal, cobalt blue, ivory, polar white, white and sepia.

Which wall products are the most popular? We find that different products appeal to different markets, ie we sell more canvas prints in the schools’ market, while framed prints sell more in the portrait and landscape market. Our relationships with our key suppliers like Lion and Larson-Juhl (formally Aqadia) give us access to a vast range of mouldings that, even if we don’t stock them, we can obtain the mouldings at a customers’ request. Do you have anything new in the wall product range? Colorworld Imaging has been developing a new manufacturing procedure that allows us to create frame mount board in any colour. Although there are a lot of different mount board colours available, sometimes a customer is looking for an exact match to something. Simply tell us the hex colour code and we will produce your mount board to that exact colour and, for a limited time, there is no additional charge for this service. colorworldimaging.co.uk


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Interview Photography News: Can you share the story of how you came to photograph celebrity portraits and where it all began? Rory Lewis: Portraiture became my foremost passion. I finished university with a good degree and returned home to continue developing my work. To my surprise, I began to receive commissions – at first individuals needing portraits, then models requiring model portfolios and eventually businesses requiring portraiture for advertising and campaign photography. In 2007, my success allowed me to start my own photography studio, working with clients both locally and nationally, and eventually internationally. When my work was first acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 2011, I knew I was producing something amazing. Celebrities were a natural progression, as I was offered more commissions to capture them. PN: Of all the disciplines within photography, what drew you to portraiture? RL: I’m a historian and always have been. I’m rarely without my head in some history book or magazine. My camera is an excuse to touch history – it gives me the opportunity to access the remarkable, work with historical figures and meet extraordinary people. PN: How do you ensure your photographs are so unique and stand out among your peers? RL: So much of the portraiture commissioned in the press and print industry is reluctant to take risks. I try to challenge that safety and introduce moments of spontaneity and awkwardness. When I am commissioned by a company, I always make sure I have one moment at the end – which I like to call my dessert – where I’ve finished my brief and I have that person to myself. You shouldn’t waste your moments. In a lot of my sittings I only have five or ten minutes, so I have to break the ice with my subject very quickly. I like to keep them in continuous motion and direction in order to capture the movement of their thoughts. When I was shooting Sir Patrick Stewart, I realised we are too used to seeing him play the hero, so I asked him to play the villain. We captured a series of portraits that made him into a Richard III or Machiavellian character. When I’m working with an actor, I like them to act. I’m always waiting for that moment of spontaneity in expression. I ask them to move and express themselves, and I try to work them into a frenzy. I don’t think photographers do that enough. PN: The balance of creativity and technical skill in your portraits makes them very distinctive. Can you describe some of your processes and techniques? RL: My equation is this: 20% lighting + 80% direction = The Portrait. Keep it simple – lighting is easy, direction is hard. This is where the true talent of a photographer is found. The photography studio is a stage, your subjects are performers, whether a politician, soldier, actor or corporate boss. You must become a director of people. This takes confidence and imagination. If you lack imagination, then seek a higher imagination from fine art. PN: How do you approach your subjects and does this differ between different subjects? For example, celebrity portraits vs the ‘soldiery’ portraits. RL: There is no difference to my approach. At first I examine the subject, whether celebrity, politician, or the soldiers regiment, and read their biographies or history. I then look at previous depictions of the subject. Finally, I look to fine art

to see how painters approached similar portraits. From this cocktail, I derive my inspiration. For instance, I was recently commissioned to capture a portrait of former prime minister David Cameron, serving as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016. It was one of the most challenging sittings of my career. I began by looking at other portrait photographers’ representations of Mr Cameron. I then examined Mr Cameron by watching clips and reading his biography, which I do for famous subjects. I then turned my study to fine art and saw how similar figures have been represented in history. My motivation is history: it always has been to record subjects as historical beings. My idea was to capture Mr Cameron as a meditative statesman. Brexit has left the UK in very uncertain times, and I wanted to seek inspiration from a portraitist who had recorded political figures during a period of uncertainty. Researching all the greats, I found Sir James Guthrie. Guthrie was a Scottish painter, best known in his own lifetime for his portraiture, although today more generally regarded as a painter of Scottish realism. Sir James received a commission to paint portraits of all those statesmen who had served in office during the first world war. Of all his depictions, two sketch studies really stood out: the first was that of Herbert Henry Asquith, First Earl of Oxford, and a British statesman and Liberal Party politician who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. The second portrait was of William Ferguson Massey, prime minister of New Zealand. The first world war was indeed a very trying period in British history. Guthrie sketched Asquith and Massey in a very complex and meditative state, almost reflecting on their past and careers as heads of state. With this inspiration in mind, I explained my ideas to Mr Cameron and he was pleased with the mood board and style of portraiture I wanted to evoke. The session took place in June of this year and from a short sitting of around 30 minutes, I directed Mr Cameron to assume a series contemplative and thoughtful expressions. Mr Cameron was indeed an easy sitter, inquisitive and delightful to work with.

Images A portrait of David Cameron looking meditative (left) and a shot of Sir Ian McKellen (right), inspired by the painter Holbein

A Portrait Rory Lewis:

of the

Portrait Artist

PN: Of all of the people you’ve photographed, do you have a favourite person to work with, or maybe a portrait that stands out as your favourite? RL: Sir Patrick Stewart – such an icon of the stage and screen. The sitting with him offered me the opportunity to catapult my style to a wider audience. In my style of simplicity, the portrait is all about the ocular. I focused Sir Patrick’s gaze across the lens, not into it, and an incredibly receptive Sir Patrick rapidly obliged me with a wonderful series of provocatively poised expressions. After working for just ten minutes, I was already happy with the results I was getting. This then provided me with the opportunity, for the last few minutes, to experiment and, most importantly, to enjoy my time with this compelling and absorbing subject. Rather than looking to the familiar heroic roles that Sir Patrick

Ahead of the rerelease of his acclaimed Northerners exhibition, we talk to Rory Lewis about his inspiration, process and past work Words by Lee Renwick Images by Rory Lewis


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Interview


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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Interview the Hammer Horror Convention in London. Writing another letter to be delivered on the day of the event, I was delighted to receive a reply a few days later, and David agreed to sit for a portrait session in London. I wanted to capture a portrait of a more seasoned experienced David Warner for my Northerners portrait exhibition. I have been a fan of David for many years, seeing his cult films and TV appearances from childhood. Now it was my chance to direct David and create some striking portraiture. The sitting was very memorable. David was astonishing, creating expressions and emotions that almost hold the viewer. After the session, I contacted the National Portrait Gallery, who then acquired one of the images for their permanent collection. PN: You’re currently offering photography workshops. For anyone thinking of attending, can you give an insight into what they’d learn? RL: My workshops are practical tuition sessions, giving participants plenty of time to learn the skills they are taught. This enables attendees to work with professional models on the day and capture amazing photography for their portfolio. My workshops teach lighting, direction and camera techniques and attendees walk away with vital knowledge and practical skills. I’m also looking forward to teaching a new series of workshops on the headshot, which are Images Sir Patrick Stewart (left), a “complex and vigorous character”. A portrait of David Warner (below) – Rory Lewis’ first portrait acquired by the National Portrait Gallery

Stewart’s name is inherently synonymous with, I directed Sir Patrick to assume the fierce, vengeful expressions of a calculated villain. What emerged from this part of the session was a complex and vigorous character, embodied by energy and animation; a side of Sir Patrick that I thoroughly enjoyed watching unfold in front of my lens. Though just a short 20 minutes, my sitting with Sir Patrick has been one of the most rewarding of my career so far. The chance to show what I can do and influence other photographers with my style of portraiture, to work with a level of client that consistently interests and inspires my work and, above all, to work with a true British icon. PN: Is there anyone you haven’t photographed who you would love to? Or how about a famous portrait taken by another photographer that you wish you’d taken? RL: Nadav Kander is the only portrait photographer I follow. Viewing his sitting with Sir Mark Rylance, I find myself wanting to capture Sir Mark’s portrait in my own style. PN: Can you tell us any memorable highlights from your career so far? RL: By far my sitting with Sir Ian McKellen is one that springs to mind. I invited Sir Ian to sit for a portrait session while he and Sir Patrick Stewart were performing Waiting for Godot in the Cort Theatre in New York and was flabbergasted when he accepted. I travelled to Sir Ian’s home in London, where I felt truly humbled to photograph this titan of the stage in his own surroundings – he even had Gandalf’s sword hanging on a clothing rack like an umbrella! I was faced with the curious task of celebrating an immeasurable acting talent and so I sat and

I like to keep my subjects in continuous motion and direction to capture their thoughts pondered for a minute. We drew inspiration from his prominence as a Shakespearian performer and decided on a style of portrait reminiscent of the renaissance artist, Holbein, using lighting to preserve the intimate detail and wisdom found in his expression. Winning the Portrait of Britain two years in a row has also been a highlight. Both my portraits that won promoted diversity, of which I’m extremely proud. I hope to make this my third year, fingers crossed. PN: What would you say is your greatest achievement as a photographer? RL: I would have to say my first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery. I now have seven portraits in the gallery collection. The first to be acquired is the one I consider my finest. The subject was actor David Warner (pictured right). A well-known English actor on both sides of the Atlantic, he avoided a professional portrait sitting since Sir Cecil Beaton coaxed him to it in 1965 at the age of 24. At 72, I managed to coax him into sitting. I wrote several letters to David’s various representing agencies both in the UK and USA; alas without a reply. Not giving up, I discovered via social networking that David was attending

taking place in LA, New York, Amsterdam and London using techniques I’ve developed as a world leader in the headshot industry. To sum up, The Headshot Photography Masterclass is designed for any photographers who are looking to gain beneficial knowledge from me in order to develop a new skill set when photographing people. So, whether photography is your fulltime profession or you are a passionate hobbyist who can’t seem to put your camera down, this workshop is for you. PN: You have an exhibition coming up at Wex in Manchester, can you tell us more about it? RL: Northerners: An Exhibition has been a labour of love since 2011, featuring a collection of portraits from a cross section of northern celebrities, sports personalities, actors, politicians and people encountered throughout my career who have all added to the fabric of the north. It features sittings with Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Karl Pilkington and Craig Charles. I’m looking forward to showing the exhibition to the public.

See the exhibition Rory Lewis’s 2014 exhibition, Northerners, sponsored by Epson, opens on 1 August at Wex Photo Video in Manchester with free entry. For more information, please visit events.wexphotovideo.com rorylewis.studio


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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Advertisement feature

Light without limits About Hannah: Hannah Couzens has run her high street portrait studio for the past 12 years. Her work ranges from celebrities, actors and musicians to corporate headshots and family portraits. After living and working as a photographer in New Zealand photographing everything from the All Blacks to real estate, she returned home and opened her first studio aged just 22. Hannah has gone on to win four business awards and is still the youngest candidate ever to achieve a licentiateship (aged 19) and associateship (aged 28) with the BIPP. Hannah uses Profoto D1s, B1s, B2s and B10s with just about every modifier you can think of! Light shaping is her passion. hcphotography.co.uk

Hannah Couzens tells us how working with Profoto’s B10 lets her shoot powerful portraits without compromise, pretty much anywhere “They’re just so practical,” beams Hannah Couzens when we ask about her experience of shooting with Profoto’s B10 location lights. “They’re really compact, really well designed and just don’t let you down at all. I actually think there was a huge gap in the market for a light like this – maybe a gap we didn’t even know was there.” For photographers like Hannah, it seems the B10 is proving a perfect blend of portability, power and versatility. And combined with the slimline and lightweight OCF range of modifiers, it’s opening creative possibilities for lighting on location. “The size of them is one of their biggest strengths,” says Hannah. “With lights like this, I’m able to fit absolutely everything into my backpack for a shoot – cameras, lenses and lights, all into the same bag. The B10 is almost the same size as an f/2.8 standard zoom. So if I know I need two lights, I just swap out a lens. And the low weight also means that if I’m working with an assistant, they can just hold the light for me.”

“If you think about how things used to be,” she says, “and how many bags you’d need to carry about because of the size of location lights, or their battery packs, and accessories, the B10s seem even more incredible. Combined with the small size and weight of the Profoto OCF modifier system it means I can travel on the Tube in London, and not necessarily have

to drive to location shoots, or trek across fields and fences to find the best locations, as in the examples here. With the B10s, I will often use a magnum reflector, silver and white beauty dishes, 2x3 softboxes and the 2ft Softbox Octa, and it’s a joy to travel with.” One of the drawbacks of smaller lights can be lower energy, but for Hannah this hasn’t been the

case with the Profoto B10, which has the equivalent output of up to five speedlights. “Despite its portability, the B10 still chucks out the power when you need it,” she says, “but knowing it was a 250Ws head, I did think, ‘am I going to be able to overpower the sun here?’ when I started. That’s the beauty of also using the OCF Magnum, you’ve got two extra stops of light due to its focusing power, so you’re turning a 250Ws into a 1000Ws head, with that to help you out. And of course if you want more power in a similarly small package, there’s now the B10 Plus.” Working with natural light, as with the examples here, Hannah has also come to rely on the B10’s HSS mode, allowing her to shoot at faster shutter speeds. “I shoot a lot of wide-aperture portraits,” she says, “so I love that it can slip into HSS whenever I need it. I just can’t imagine going back to using something without it. That’s the thing with the B10s. I can shoot creatively without having to think ‘can I do this?’. There are no limitations.”

Bringing out the purple For this shot in lavender fields a mix of sun and cloud provided Hannah with some uncertainty, but also the opportunity to creatively problem solve with the B10. “We were lucky to have a sunny day with scattered clouds, and I was actually waiting for cloud cover before shooting in the lavender as the colour was so much more vivid in the shade,” says Hannah. “I didn’t want the light to spill everywhere and especially not to light up the lavender, for that reason. So I chose a focused light shaper, the 2ft OCF Softbox Octa, which also has a shape that I love. It’s circular, so keeps natural locations looking that way. I prefer to use circle light shapers when shooting outside to keep things looking a little more natural. In the end, using one B10 with the OCF Octa I was able to add a little bit of fill flash on to Georgia’s face and put a catch light in her eye.”


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Advertisement feature A trip into the barley

Profoto Academy Learn more with the Profoto Academy and sign up to My Profoto at profoto.com/uk/academy

Profoto B10

The sun decided to make an appearance during this set-up, so Hannah brought out the OCF Magnum to balance the bright and overhead ambient light. “I loved the clouds and blue sky,” says Hannah. “The sun was intense but this enhanced the barley. The downside is that due to the time of day and the overhead sun,

there were some hard shadows forming under Georgia’s eyes and nose. I wanted to lift the shadows but keep the light quality the same on Georgia so I chose the OCF Magnum, with the B10 placed in the same direction as the sun, to lift the shadows but not to lose that hard sunlight feel.”

Adding some warmth

In another set-up in the field, the cloud cover created quite a cold-looking image, so Hannah added a little warmth by

adding a ½ CTO gel to one B10 to create a subtle hair light. “The other B10 with a 2ft OCF Octa was my key light to pop a catch

light and some fill on to Georgia's face so I could keep the blue sky behind without her becoming underexposed.”

Just a little larger than the A1, but still no bigger than many camera lenses, the B10 is a lightweight battery powered monolight that opens up all sorts of possibilities on location. For instance its small size and low weight means you can more easily use multiple lights for a more complex arrangement. With a maximum output of 250Ws, it has five times the power of the average speedlight, and light is delivered in a versatile fashion through 10 stops of control. But that’s not all. The B10 also packs in a powerful and highly controllable modelling light, allowing you to set the brightness and colour, so it’s perfect for shooting movies or in adding continuous light to a scene. Even more control is provided by the B10’s range of light shapers, as it’s compatible with over 120 Profoto modifiers including the full OCF range of softboxes, umbrellas, beauty dishes and more. With a clean and simple interface,

Specs Power 250Ws across 10 f/stops Recycle time 0.05-2s Modelling light 2500lm, dimmable 10010%, adjustable 30006500K (+/-500K) Wireless Yes, up to 300m HSS/TTL Yes, up to 100m Measurements (WxLxH) 11x17.5x10cm Weight 1.5kg Contact profoto.com

the B10 is easy to use even for beginners and highly versatile, too. Being compatible with all Profoto’s AirTTL remotes, as well as the A1 as a trigger, it can even be controlled using the Profoto app, where you can set everything from the mode to the power.


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Advertisement feature

Make the switch Find out what happened when avid landscape photographer David Pratt swapped his Nikon D850 for the Fujifilm GFX 50R

David Pratt Landscape photographer, based in northeast England

My earliest memory of photography is having a small Hanimex 110 film camera as a child, but I didn’t use it a lot because getting film developed wasn’t cheap and pocket money was scarce! It wasn’t until October 2007 that I realised how much pleasure I took from taking and sharing photographs, but I soon made up for lost time. By the end of that year I had dived in with both feet, buying a Nikon D300 DSLR, Nikkor 18-200mm, Nikkor ‘nifty fifty’ 50mm and a Sigma 10-20mm.

My lens collection continued to grow and although I loved them all, it was the Sigma 1020mm wide-angle lens that really opened up a new world to me. I had never seen such a wide field of view. I’d seen images in magazines and online, but hadn’t realised what really went into making them. Over time I’ve refined my shooting technique, vision and processing style, as well as focused more on the kind of photography I love most: landscapes. My current gear is

based around a Nikon D850 with a variety of lenses, covering everything from fisheye to 500mm telephoto. I still love working at the wider end of the focal length range, though. For a while now I’ve been curious about what larger-than-35mm-format photography has to offer. A lot of the great landscape photographers over the years have used large format film cameras, but having never really used and developed film, I wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to get into.


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Advertisement feature

I found the GFX 50R’s size and weight to be comfortable in the hand and well balanced Medium format digital technology, however, has been on my radar more and more as it becomes smaller and more affordable. The Nikon D850 is often compared to medium format in articles I have read, but I had never done any comparison myself, so the reviews always had to be taken with a large pinch of salt. I was thrilled when I found out I would be able to see the real differences with my own eyes. I chose the Fujifilm GFX 50R because of its portable design, which is convenient for travelling or hiking, plus its affordable price point. In order to properly test the camera’s capabilities, I wanted to shoot places I’d shot before, at focal lengths I knew I could work with. I therefore chose the Fujinon GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR and GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR lenses, because they were the widest available and gave me fields of view I was familiar with in 35mm equivalent terms (that is, 18mm and 36mm, respectively). Upon first receiving the GFX 50R, I found its size and weight to be comfortable in the hand and well balanced, plus the quality of the EVF was excellent – clear and detailed. Being able to set up the camera to use the viewfinder, or the back screen or both is a nice feature. It shows just how well-thought-out and mature the functionality and menu systems from Fujifilm are. All the buttons and dials felt well placed, and being able to set the aperture

by turning a ring on the lens was intuitive when working on a tripod. Plus, the ability to change the ring to controlling aperture via a command dial on the camera body was useful for shooting handheld. For the first outing, I took the GFX 50R to one of my all-time favourite locations, St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay. When I arrived I was a little nervous, because I could see a great sunset shaping up and I was apprehensive about not being able to capture some of the fantastic light starting to show with a new camera I was unfamiliar with. I started firing shots and I remember thinking, ‘I hope this camera is getting this!’ When I got home and downloaded the Raw files, it became clear that I need not have worried – the shots were better than I had hoped. My initial impression was mild shock at how sharp the images were across the full frame. The camera hadn’t missed a beat and I’d captured some of the best light I’ve ever seen at St Mary’s. Such success on my first outing filled me with confidence in the GFX 50R, and it only grew the more I used it. I love photographing water generally, not just at the coast, so I also took the camera to Roughting Linn and Hindhope Linn waterfalls, both in Northumberland. The dappled light at Roughting Linn was challenging, but the dynamic range of the GFX 50R was up to the task and it was no problem


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Advertisement feature


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Advertisement feature The kit David used

Fujifilm GFX 50R The Fujifilm GFX 50R is a mirrorless digital camera equipped with a largerformat 51.4-megapixel sensor measuring 43.8x32.9mm. This camera’s compact rangefinder-style design and weatherresistant construction makes it the ideal tool for photographers on the move who value high resolution.

GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR This super wide-angle lens is perfect for landscape and architectural photography. It offers an equivalent focal lenth of 18mm in 35mm format, minimum distortion for such a wide angle of view, plus dust and weather resistance.

GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR A highly versatile wide-angle lens enjoying an equivalent focal length of 36mm in 35mm format. The GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR offers a wide maximum aperture, plus dust and weather sealing, all inside a compact, lightweight body.

Get involved If you’re looking to make the switch to Fujifilm and want to be featured in Photography News, then visit the website below. Fill out the form and you could be selected to borrow a Fujifilm camera and two lenses for up to two weeks, free of charge! Terms and conditions apply and can be found at photographynews.co.uk/maketheswitch

at all processing the Raw files to produce images I was pleased with. Hindhope Linn was looking greener and more overgrown than I’ve seen it for a while. Both locations offer numerous compositions and can push a camera sensor’s ability to capture the full dynamic range. Taking the Fujifilm kit to such familiar places meant I knew I would definitely get some shots, so it allowed me to concentrate on trying out the equipment. As I explored the camera, I discovered more and more useful features. Being mirrorless meant there was no need to cover the viewfinder to prevent light leak when taking an exposure. I habitually flip down the viewfinder blind on my D850 and not having to do that was nice. The option to switch to an electronic shutter was also excellent, reducing vibrations to ensure the sharpest possible images. With regard to controls, the camera was very easy to use. Even though the metering

The option to switch to an electronic shutter was also excellent, reducing vibrations to ensure the sharpest possible image

of the GFX 50R was excellent and I was immediately confident it was capturing the scenes I was seeing, in scenes with such contrasting light, it was reassuring that the auto exposure bracketing feature was so easy to set up and put into action. The focus peaking feature was also really helpful, plus the customisable function buttons were extremely flexible. I set one to bring up the electronic level when pressed – super handy when working on a tripod. In terms of image quality, I found the GFX 50R and lenses to be incredibly sharp – from edge to edge right into the corners. I was shooting into the sun at sunsets at St Mary’s Lighthouse and there was no lens flare at all, and no noticeable chromatic aberration. The other big difference I found was the colours being captured in the Raw files. I shot using auto white balance like I normally do on my D850 – but the temperature and tint numbers I was seeing in post were like nothing I’d seen before. The transition of tones was beautifully smooth, from blues to purples to oranges to yellows in a sunset – all perfectly captured. The shades and saturation of greens around the waterfalls were also fantastic, so natural, vibrant and true to life. I would definitely recommend trying out Fujifilm kit. Reading product reviews is interesting, but there is no substitute for giving equipment a proper field test yourself. When I applied to try the GFX 50R I wasn’t convinced there would be a lot of difference between it and my current Nikon D850 – but I was wrong. I think the image quality of my Nikon kit is excellent, but for landscapes I found the Fujifilm GFX system to be sublime. The value for money in terms of image quality of the GFX system is extremely impressive and it’s something I’ll be very seriously thinking about in the future. david-pratt.co.uk @ttarpd


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Club profile Club biography Membership 143 members Subscription Basic annual subscription is £65 Meeting time and place Every Wednesday 7.30pm-9.30pm. The club meets all year round. Unit 13, Montpelier Central, Station Road, Montpelier, Bristol BS6 5EE

Specialist groups Digital and studio Annual exhibition None. The Salon tours local clubs Contact Chairman Jeff Hargreaves, chairman@bristolphoto.org.uk Web address bristolphoto.org.uk

Bristol PS BPS has been going for over a century and has its own clubhouse. Chairman Jeff Hargreaves takes us on a tour of his club

Photography News: How long has your club been going now? How long have you been a member? Jeff Hargreaves: The club was founded around 1866, so it is over 150 years old. The original name was the Bristol & West of England Amateur Photographic Association – we were the first organised photographic society in the city. I have been a member for 14 years. PN: Bristol PS is one of the few clubs with its own premises. How did that come about? JH: Over the years we met at various locations around the city. Our club rooms were at 42 Park Street, but these were destroyed, along with the club’s valuable permanent collection of prints, in the major air raid of 24 November 1940. It was thanks to a generous bequest from the late Fred Matthews FRPS that we were able to buy a permanent base. He joined the club in 1954 and was a committee member for many years. After much searching, we moved to our wonderful new home in Montpelier in May 2015. PN: Can you outline what the club offers in terms of facilities? JH: Our clubhouse has two floors. The main meeting room can seat

© Derwood Pamphilon

Facilities Bristol PS has its own two-floor clubhouse. The main meeting room can seat 100+ people with a stage at the front. There is a projector and a sound system. Part of the main room can be converted into a studio

Meet the clubs

100 people. It has a stage, projector screen and ceiling-mounted digital projector. We have print display racks on the projector wall and the prints can be displayed on two TV screens for improved viewing. The main meeting room has a smaller area that is used for serving tea and coffee. There is a small kitchen suitable for preparing hot drinks and buffet-style catering. Part of the meeting room can be converted into a studio, which includes a Hi-Glide track system complete with various flash units. There is a backdrop support with a number of coloured backdrops. On the first floor there is another smaller meeting/committee room, again fitted out for both print display and projected image equipment. It also has an area for models to change. PN: Can you give our readers an idea of your club’s membership in terms of age and experience? JH: We have a very wide range of experience and interest in the various genres of photography. We have workers in wildlife/nature, landscape, studio, sports, macro, travel, street/photojournalism and many other interests. The average age is, like most clubs, over 60. In terms of skill level, we have many members with

RPS, PAGB and FIAP distinctions. With the Royal Photographic Society distinctions, we have 14 Licentiates, 23 Associates and eight Fellows.

We have a very wide range of experience and interest in the various genres

© John Chamberlain FRPS

PN: Can you give us an idea of skill level within the club? JH: We have a full range of experience levels within the club and we try to cater for them all. For example, we have an interest group to encourage younger members, called ‘Beyond the Wall’. This group meets monthly with a variety of subject and location shoots. We also have an advice group for prints, which is run by two members who are both FRPS and experienced judges. This is for people to show their work and receive advice for RPS/PAGB distinction applications.

© Ann Mead

© Jeff Hargreaves


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Club profile © Mike Martin

We have met all year round for a very long time and have visits from photographers

donated by a member. We also run the Bristol International Salon of Photography. The salon started in 1947 and we now accept digital projected images, but next year two print sections are to be introduced. We get on average 12,000 images and it has been up to 16,000 with images from over 60 countries worldwide. It is affiliated to FIAP, PSA, PAGB and GPU.

© John H Green

PN: Do you have competitions? JH: We run several each year. A bimonthly print competition and a bimonthly projected image comp. They both have three sections: club, intermediate and advanced. There are also annual competitions, and we run two panel competitions. The President’s cup is for three digital images with entry limited to those who havn’t won before and are all ARPS, EFIAP or DPAGB. The Open Print competition consists of a panel of five prints on any related subject. This year we have introduced a creative competition with a trophy

© Steve Field

PN: We see you are a club that meets all year round. What is the thinking behind that and are your summer meetings well attended? JH: We have met all year round for a very long time and have visits from nationally known photographers. Our attendance is on average 60 to 70 members every week all year round. The programme can be found on our website. PN: What about practical evenings and club location trips? If not, do you have (or intend to have) such activities? JH: We do have off-site activities and location trips during the year. There are also various groups of people who go overseas for wildlife, landscape etc on photography trips. PN: Do you have specialist sub-groups in the club? JH: We have an active studio group, which meets for photo sessions to learn how to use the kit. Experienced BPS members use the studio for their own work mainly with models. We have a monthly digital imaging group, too, where members

can bring their images to show and get advice. There are also Photoshop and Lightroom demonstrations. The club also runs a photography course for 12 weeks each year, starting in September. We have a maximum of 40 students and teach them the various genres of photography. Members with the appropriate experience give the lectures and tutor the shoots. We have a web-based system to both market the course and collect applications and payment. This course fulfils our aim to promote photography in the community and fulfils part of our charitable status.

Calling all clubs Do you want your club featured in Photography News? Your club can be big or small, old or new, online or bricks and mortar, connected to a company or not, packed with beginners or members with strings of letters after their names. Our door is open to everyone. Please email the editor at willcheung@bright-publishing. com in the first instance and we can go from there.


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Buyers’ Guide

Do it yourself Get instant prints when you need them with DIY photo printing Have you ever thought about printing your own images? Or maybe you used to but haven’t done so for a while? Printing your own images allows you to see the results instantly, and with so many

paper options on the market, for chemical and inkjet printing, you’re really spoiled for choice. Check out our selection of papers to help you get started on your printing journey.

Darkroom papers

There are few prints that can compare to a beautiful, black & white silver halide print. This traditional form of printing has reestablished itself as photographers return to film and head back into the darkroom. While some film photographers choose to scan and inkjet print their negatives there are many who still prefer to experience their image appear in a tray of developer. The enjoyment and satisfaction of the process being second only to the quality of the print. Darkroom printing is as much a part of the creative process as capturing the image in camera. While digital photographers turn to Photoshop and Lightroom, printers use techniques such as dodging and burning while the image is being exposed on to the paper to create their final result.

For darkroom printers there is a superb amount of choice when it comes to picking a paper. Black & white papers are often the most used for home and college darkroom set-ups as they are the easiest to print and widely available with Ilford offering the greatest choice and quality. This includes a choice of base (resin coated, fibre, cotton rag), grade (fixed grade or multigrade), tone (cooltone, neutral, warmtone) and surface (glossy, pearl, matt, semi-matt, satin). Ilford darkroom papers also come in a huge range of sizes so check out ilfordphoto.com for options. To find out more about picking the perfect black & white darkroom paper visit ilfordphoto.com/pick-the-perfect-paper/

Fotospeed Legacy Gloss 325 When printing, not only do you want to make sure you have the best photo paper for your image, but you want to make sure the colours you’re printing are exactly the colours you expect them to be. Fotospeed, the UK’s premier photographic paper brand offers complimentary custom and generic ICC paper profiles. Implementing colour management ensures that your colour maintains its integrity from capture through to print. By implementing ICC profiling at the printing stage of the process, coupled with calibration and profiling of your monitor you can ensure that your colour is carried with total accuracy. All devices capable of displaying/ outputting colour do so using their own interpretation. Therefore, they can all be different. Have you ever been into a TV showroom and seen a bank of the same TV showing the same programme but each one displaying the colour slightly differently? The same is true for inkjet printers and monitors. This individual interpretation is the reason you (quite likely) don’t get what you see on screen represented on your paper output. A profile is a correction/adjustment file which understands how the output device (screen or printer) is interpreting the colours and adjusts them to meet the ICC standard. Generic profiles are a perfect, quick, simple option for giving the user a profile which they can use with their printer, ink and paper combination to give a good feel of how an image will look on a paper – perfect for trying out test packs. A generic profile will never be

as accurate as a bespoke ICC Profile as whilst it will have been created for the same printer, paper and ink combination, it is not your specific printer. You can download generic profiles free from the support section of the Fotospeed website. Bespoke profiles are built in the same way as a generic profile but with one major difference. They are built using the information from your specific printer ink and paper combination and are therefore tailored specifically for your set-up. Bespoke profiles are free for all Fotospeed papers. Print in confidence and try Fotospeed’s newest paper: Legacy Gloss 325. Legacy Gloss 325 is a 100% cotton fine art paper, with an unglazed gloss surface, high D-Max, and wide colour gamut, making it the paper of choice for both colour and black & white prints. When used in conjunction with pigment inks, Legacy Gloss 325 ensures a print life of more than 85 years. Award-winning professional UK landscape photographer Antony Spencer says, “Legacy Gloss 325 is a standout paper from the Fotospeed range. It oozes quality and is particularly well suited to my monochrome images; especially the images with a little more contrast.”

Fotospeed offers one of the most comprehensive range of inkjet papers on the market. If you are unsure as to which paper best suits your requirements, check out the test papers and swatches are available at fotospeed.com


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Buyers’ Guide

Spectrajet Photo Glossy Papers 200gsm and 270gsm Available in two different weights, the two Spectrajet Photo Glossy papers offer a high-gloss inkjet print paper for excellent results with a water-repellent and scratchproof coating. The base is perfect for a wide variety of inkjet printed photographic styles including portraits, travel, architecture and landscapes. With a very white gloss base, Spectrajet Photo Glossy papers produce true-to-original results. Both substrates offer a long life and superb resilience. The microporous receiving coating produces excellent photographic prints. The best thing about these papers is

just how they feel! When handling them you feel like you’re holding a high-quality piece of photographic paper. It’s hard to do the look and feel of these papers justice in words, it’s only when you hold one in your hand that you experience the true tactile nature of the paper. The Photo Glossy 200gsm paper is available in A4 and A3 sizes whilst the 270gsm paper is available in A4, A3, A3+ and A2 sizes. The 270gsm version is also available in rolls from 17in right up to 60in. tetenaluk.com

Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk 310gsm

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic features a special silvery, shimmering surface finish. The high-gloss premium inkjet coating with a unique metallic effect guarantees impressive printing results with bold colours, deep blacks and perfect reproduction of colour and detail. Within the market there was no real fine art inkjet paper with a metallic coating available, but that niche was filled by Hahnemühle who added a cotton-based fine art inkjet paper with a unique metallic coating to the Digital FineArt Collection. Photo Rag Metallic was born – the first FineArt inkjet paper with a metallic baryta coating. Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic is a 340gsm FineArt inkjet paper with a specially formulated inkjet coating for fine art use. The natural white cotton paper contains no optical brighteners and has the characteristic Photo Rag surface structure and sumptuous feel. The sophisticated silver metallic effect underscores the image and makes motifs with metallic elements, reflections, ice and glass, architecture and landscape shots, as well as black & white photographs with high-

Ilford Gold Fibre Silk inkjet paper has long been a favourite of all types of photographer. Apart from its reproduction qualities, what has made it such a favourite down the years is the consistency of the product. This means that you should be able to print an image using the same settings and under the same conditions, from different boxes of the media produced at different times, without any noticeable difference in each print. Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Silk is a 310gsm weight paper. It features an inkjet layer coated directly onto a true baryta (barium sulphate) layer and fibre base to produce images with exceptional gamut for vivid colour reproduction as well as creamy whites

and velvety blacks for the unique look of traditional silver halide photo paper. Due to its longstanding popularity, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk is available in a wide variety of pack sizes and roll widths. In sheet format you can choose from A4, A3, A3+ and A2, each in a pack size of either 25 or 50 sheets. In roll format you can buy 12m roll lengths in 17in, 24in, 44in and 50in widths. Distributed in the UK by Tetenal through a variety of resellers, it’s no surprise that in their brochure, Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk is listed as a bestseller across all of the different formats available. tetenaluk.com

contrast tones and shine. Photo Rag Metallic is also acid- and lignin-free. What makes this metallic paper different compared to others in the market is its various features. Firstly, Photo Rag Metallic has a paper base made from 100% pure cotton fibres and it is the only cotton paper in the market with a metallic effect. Secondly, the texture – Photo Rag Metallic has the classic Photo Rag surface texture given by natural wool felts which makes it unique for a metallic paper. Other metallic papers have a very smooth surface due to their resincoated base material. This also affects the feel of the paper. Photo Rag Metallic has a beautiful tactile feel which adds to the fine art character of this special paper. Other metallic papers feel a little more artificial due to their resin-coated and non-textured base material. Photo Rag Metallic is also praised for being a paper that can last for several hundreds of years therefore it is very well suited for longterm applications. hahnemuehle.co.uk


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Interview Image From Mark's series entitled 'Flowers and swirls' with liquid flowers created with water and ink

Profile

Mark Mawson Mark makes his living as a professional photographer specialising in liquids. As he explains, it can be a challenging and often unpredictable subject Words by Will Cheung Images by Mark Mawson

Photography News: Mark, welcome to Photography News. Not all of our readers may have heard of you, so can you introduce yourself with what you do and how long you’ve been doing it? Mark Mawson: I’ve been passionate about photography, both stills and motion, for over 30 years. After school, I studied photojournalism and then worked in newspapers in London for several years. Following that, I started to do more magazine work and moved into shooting fashion and portraits. That led me into also doing advertising work, which is what I do now, specialising in underwater work and shooting liquids. PN: What got you into photographing liquids for a living? MM: I shot my first liquid series as just a fun, personal project, which I titled ‘Aqueous’. I had the idea for quite a while and during some down time, I decided to give it a try. I had seen lots of ink-in-water images but I wanted to produce something that had more ‘body’ to it, so I experimented with different paints and dilutions until I was getting what I wanted. It worked so well that I decided to do more of it and it became quite well known. I had an exhibition of my first series and spent days deciding what to call it before I came up with the name ‘Aqueous’. Following this work, I started to get commissions to shoot for advertising purposes and this is when I decided to specialise in liquid photography.

PN: You must have a studio full of specialist lighting kit and water tanks. Or is that just our perception? MM: This is correct! My studio is full of many tanks of various shapes and sizes, all used for different purposes. I use Elinchrom studio lighting, it was one of the very first lighting systems I used many years ago, and I have kept using it since as it has never let me down. PN: What is the biggest challenge you face in your style of photography? MM: The unpredictable nature of liquids is by far the biggest challenge I face when giving clients what they want. I can control the process to a certain extent but the unpredictability means that I have to do many shots to make sure the perfect one is captured. Sometimes it happens early on and I stick with that shot, and other times I have to keep trying if I am after something specific. PN: What are the technical differences in working with different liquids? MM: There are different kinds of liquid such as oils and water-based liquids, but technically I find them to be similar. Obviously the way in which each liquid is lit will vary depending on what I am trying to achieve in the shot. Clear oils, for example, may need to be backlit where as a liquid that has more of a solid look about it, may need to be side lit to bring out the texture and shape that it produces. In order to ‘freeze’ any moment they make, I use a high-speed flash.


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Interview

PN: Do you think up the concept for a shoot; or is that driven by clients? Or is it a bit of both? MM: It is a bit of both. I’m usually approached by an advertising agency with a concept for a shoot and will give them my opinion on whether or not it is feasible, and how I would go about creating it. For my personal ideas, I roll them around in my head for some time before I start to shoot them, from ideas about shapes, to colour pallets. My entire ‘Aqueous’ series is the perfect example of ideas that I have rolled around before executing them. PN: Can you give us an idea of what camera and lighting kit you use for a shoot?

MM: I use Hasselblad H series cameras with Phase One digital backs. This is purely based on personal taste, due to the fact that I have used them ever since I made the digital switch from my Mamiya RZ67 in 2005. As I’ve mentioned already, I use Elinchrom lighting.

My clients always want to achieve exact colour in their advertising

PN: Tell us about your workflow, especially with colour management, which is obviously critical in your work. MM: I always shoot Raw and process the files in Capture One Pro software. Colour management is very important in my work, as my clients always want to achieve exact colours in their advertising. Whether it is to match some clothes, or a shade of coffee or paint, I have to ensure that everything looks how it should. I use Datacolor’s SpyderX to ensure my monitors and printers are all calibrated and producing true colours. With calibration taking less than two minutes, I am able to calibrate all of my monitors twice a month, ensuring colour accuracy throughout my workflow. PN: Your website has some personal work. What do you prefer to shoot when you are not shooting liquids? MM: I love shooting cinematic scenes, ones that tell stories and have a lot of atmosphere within them. In these scenes I enjoy using people and creating mystery shots by having them do something in the picture that isn’t very clear to the viewer, making them think and wonder what is going on in the image. This resembles the multiple aspects people can see in my liquid work, with everyone seeing something different, from faces to creatures – a little bit like seeing an object in the clouds. PN: If readers want to shoot liquids, how would you advise them to start? MM: There are many variations of liquids to shoot, from splashes in mid air to ink in water. If

Above Mark Mawson's studio is well equipped with tanks, specialist gear and lighting to achieve his stunning images

you are doing splashes, make sure everything is covered up in plastic sheeting; it’s amazing how far splashes travel. Other liquid work can be done in a fish tank or even a small glass – I would encourage everyone to just experiment to see what you like. It might also be worth noting that liquid photography is a rather laborious process to shoot, with a lot emptying and cleaning of tanks to be done both before and after each shot. The images created do make it worth it though!

About the Datacolor SpyderX

Mark Mawson uses the Datacolor SpyderX to calibrate his monitors. Two versions of the SpyderX are available: the Pro at €179 and the Elite at €279. The SpyderX Elite is featured in the SpyderX Capture Pro kit which also includes the Spyder LensCal, Spyder Cube and Spyder Checkr and you get all this for €399. spyderx.datacolor.com


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Check out a selection of the courses we offer Whether you are completely new to photography and want to learn the basics, or a professional seeking more advanced training, we have the tools you need to advance your skills and set yourself worlds apart from the competition. Let us help you discover your potential through our online photography training platform. We offer extensive courses, for all abilities. Below is a selection from our main courses, which are available to members. Portrait Photography Our portrait photography classes provide a complete guide for taking amazing portraits — from understanding studio equipment and lighting theory, to how to use one, two, three and four lights for creative lighting setups. We also cover how to shoot business portraits and work on location.

Product Photography These classes include fantastic product photography tips and tricks, professional product photography secrets and different product photography lighting setups. Whether you want to learn how to photograph jewellery or wine, we have you covered.

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Landscape Photography Our ‘Essentials’ section will teach you the basics of apertures, shutter speeds, focal lengths and an understanding of the f-stop scale that will show you how to capture beautiful landscape shots. Alternatively explore our ‘Advanced’ section, which covers filters, RAW files, shutter speeds and more.

Post Production Learn essential Photoshop tools in our ‘Photoshop for Photographers’ course or take it to the next level with our ‘Advanced Photoshop for Photographers’ course, presented with pro-retoucher Viktor Fejes. These practical demonstrations also cover CGI and 3D modeling.

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What’s coming up at

Meet the man behind it all

We create content that our members want. From live talk shows with leading photography figures, to live step-by-step photography workshops, insightful blog posts, discounts on top brands and not to mention fresh courses to add to our extensive collection.

Articles on our Blog Each month we release various articles on our blog which offer a wide variety of content that covers all things photography. Technical challenges, equipment guides and the science behind photography are just some of the things we discuss on our blog.

New Courses We release at least two new courses every month, along with two live shows. Each of these classes provide a step-by-step guide that allows you to not only see how a professional photographer works, but to understand the concepts and how to apply them yourself.

Competitions and Prizes You’ll also find the answers to how to photograph jewellery, how to focus stack in Photoshop and what the best camera is for you. You’ll find top tips from award-winning portrait photographers, equipment lists from Hasselblad masters and behind the scene peaks at some of our latest projects. We really do have something for everyone. Some of our newest releases include ‘The science and challenges of moon photography’, ‘Identifying & overcoming the challenges of a high-end product shoot’ and ‘How to photograph liquid splash shots’. Watch out for our next post, coming soon, ‘Pricing your photography’.

From essential photography skills to advanced post production, our photography classes include studio and natural light portraiture, fashion, product, food and landscape photography. We also have a section dedicated to the business of photography, where you’ll learn what it takes to run a successful photography business.

Our quarterly competitions, which are based on a particular theme, allow us an opportunity to give back to our members. To date, we’ve given away some incredible prizes, including Canon 5D Mk IVs, Broncolor Siros Lighting Kits and top Manfrotto tripods, to name just a few.

Professional Workshops Renowned for his unique way of teaching, Karl is often commissioned by leading photography brands to host workshops around the world. He hosts his own workshops, including the hugely successful ‘A Visual Journey’ workshop with world-renowned photographer Tim Flach.

His unique way of teaching and clear instruction has led him to work as a consultant and presenter for Hasselblad Camera Company, Broncolor Lighting and Adobe as well as appear on the BBC. His training is also used by top universities and education providers around the world.

His delivery, his manner, his ability to convey enthusiasm and to educate, there’s nobody else that speaks like him. The way he teaches people step by step, there is always something to learn… Karl was born to do what he does.” Daniel Killoran, Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Karl regularly travels around the globe as a photographer, ambassador and educator for leading players in the industry and his own range of courses have become the benchmark for effective, entertaining and inspirational training.

Gain exclusive behind the scenes insight You name it, we have done it and showed you how. Learn all the photographic secrets in our tutorial videos, which capture all the behind the scenes action. Follow step by step in the comfort of your office or home as Karl guides you through how he achieves top quality images.

Some of our newest releases include a Clinque style advertising shoot (where Karl replicates a Clinique-style advertising image, demonstrating every stage along the way) and a complete compositing course presented with professional retoucher Viktor Fejes.

Live Critique

Up and Coming Live Shows We’ve got a number of exciting live shows coming up. We’ll be welcoming a Hasselblad technical expert to the studio for a live talk show to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landings. We’ll be discussing the science of challenges of

Karl Taylor is a professional photographer with over 20 years experience and is commissioned by leading global companies for his precise attention to detail and his exquisite control of light. Recognised as an expert in the industry, Karl is a global ambassador for Hasselblad Camera Company and Broncolor Lighting.

photographing on the moon, looking at unseen images and also see one of the original moon cameras. Live member’s picture critiques are a popular feature and we do multiple of these each year. For our next critiques, Karl will be looking at product and portrait images, offering his feedback and advice on members pictures.

These popular live critiques provide a unique opportunity for members to submit their images and receive professional feedback and advice from Karl. He highlights the positives, advises on how to improve on the negatives and demonstrates effective retouching techniques.

Later in the year we’ll also be welcoming leading photographers such as Jonathan Knowles, Erik Johansson and Kamilla Hanapova for our live talk show.

Karl showing his members how it is done with his recent commercial work Karl Taylor remains very active as a contemporary leading figure in commercial photography. His current insight and success in the industry is invaluable in helping other aspiring photographers.

Not only does Karl Taylor run an online teaching platform, but he remains a leading figure in the commercial photography industry. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Karl is the ideal figure to learn from. He has extensive experience, is contemporary and aware of the constant evolution ongoing in the world of photography. From state-of-theart new equipment to technical and social shifts in photography, Karl knows it, has tested it or discussed it on camera for all his members. Karl has worked on numerous commercial projects throughout his career and continues to regularly shoot for leading businesses and global companies. As a professional photographer, he also understands the impact photography can have and that we have a social responsibility to use this medium in the best way possible. The image on the left Karl shot for a marine pollution campaign which received due recognition when it was nominated for the Prix Pictet award — the global award in photography and sustainability — and was used by multiple environmental organisations and scientists to help raise awareness about this global crisis.

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It was also featured by the BBC News site, where the video recieved nearly a million views, further raising awarerness to this important issue. Karl’s thoughts on the campaign,

I started by asking myself what does plastic affect? The answer I came to was our children and our future. As humans and parents our children are one of the most important things and we only want the very best for their future. I knew that I had to include something that would grab people’s attention.”

To discover more about Karl and his work, visit karltaylor.com His education platform can be seen at karltayloreducation.com and is available for £14 per month or choose from our discounted annual, two year and lifetime plan options.

Imagine what you could achieve if you reached your potential.

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Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

Camera test

Panasonic Lumix G90 Panasonic’s latest introduction in the MFT market is a hybrid camera offering a tempting mix of still and video functions and options – it’s attractively priced, too Specs Prices Panasonic Lumix G90 body £899, with Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph OIS zoom £1079, with G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 £1259 Sensor Live MOS sensor with supersonic wave cleaning filter, 20.3 megapixels Sensor format 17.3x13mm, 5184x3888pixels in 4:3 format ISO range 200-25,600, ISO 100 extended Shutter range 60secs to 1/4000sec. B to a maximum of 30mins Electronic shutter 1sec to 1/16,000sec Flash sync 1/200sec Drive modes Up to 9fps with mechanical/ electronic shutter Burst speed 30fps Metering system 1728 Vzone, centre-weighted, spot Exposure modes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV steps Monitor OLED, 2.36k dots, eye sensor Viewfinder OLED, 3in, 1040k dots, 100% view Focusing Contrast AF with DFD technology, working range -4-18 (ISO 100) Focus points Up to 49 points, single zone, custom multi, pinpoint AF, tracking 4K photo 30fps Video 4K 3840x2160 24p/25p/30p Full HD 1920x1080, MP4 format Image stabiliser Five-axis in-body image stabiliser, 5EV benefit Connectivity USB 2.0, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Other key features Creative filters, integral flash GN9 (ISO 200/m), time lapse, silent shutter, live view composite, headphone and microphone input, dust and splash resistant Storage media 1xSD card Dimensions (wxhxd) 130.4x93.5x77.4mm Weight 533g body and battery Contact Panasonic.co.uk

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Words and images by Will Cheung Panasonic’s recent energies have gone into its full-frame mirrorless S Series and very impressed with it we are, too. Of course, the brand is also seriously committed to the Micro Four Thirds format so it is good to know that Panasonic hasn’t taken its eye off that particular ball. The Lumix G90 is its latest arrival in the MFT market and it has the potential to be a still/video hybrid. It is a mirrorless 20-megapixel camera using a Live MOS sensor and features Panasonic’s latest image stabilisation mode called Dual I.S. 2, which offers a 5EV benefit, 4K video with no limit on recording time (assuming enough memory and battery, of course) and a fully articulating monitor to attract vloggers. That is just the tip of the feature iceberg; the G90 can also shoot at 6fps with AE/AF tracking, has 4K photo features, including focus bracketing and a

contrast detect AF system using the brand’s Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology. It also has live view composite capture, too, which will appeal to keen astro shooters among others, because it means brighter, lit areas of the scene do not burn out while you gain more detail in dark areas. In this mode, the camera (in manual mode) takes a series of exposures at set times with its electronic shutter for up to three hours and combines them as it goes along and saves them as a single file. You just watch the image build and stop the exposure when you want to. For a camera at this price level, the build is impressive and the G90 feels robust in the hands. Then there’s the added benefit of being dust and splash resistant, while the hand-grip is a good size and perfect for my hand. It’s actually a relatively large MFT camera and significantly bigger than, say, my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II – this is not a criticism and actually a good thing.


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Camera test

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Performance: 4K focus features The G90’s 4K burst shooting mode lets you get creative with focusing. In Post-Focus/Focus Bracketing modes the camera shoots a burst while automatically, incrementally and seamlessly adjusting autofocus from near to far between shots.

FULL-FRAME

With Post-Focus, this in-camera feature lets you decide what plane of focus you want sharp after the fact and the result can be saved as a JPEG. In Focus Stacking, you select the nearest and furthest points of focus

NEAR FOCUS

required and the camera merges the relevant frames to give a final sharp image. Or just let the camera merge the whole sequence for maximum depth-of-field. The four shots below illustrate how the focus bracketing works.

FAR FOCUS

Image The Lumix G90 is perfect for vloggers as the monitor is touch sensitive and swings out sideways and can be swivelled to face forwards Ergonomics generally rate highly with several shooting operations easily controllable with the right hand. The on/off switch can be operated by the thumb once you get used to it, so the camera can be switched on as it’s brought up to the eye. Around the shutter button is the front input dial and sitting nearby are three buttons for white-balance, ISO and exposure compensation. The movie record button is nearby, too. All four buttons have different surface finishes, so once you’re used to them, there’s no problem using them by feel while the eye is up to the viewfinder. The rear command dial is designed for right thumb use and at its centre is the Fn1 button, although it is not marked as such. There are no fewer than 11 function buttons, 1 to 4 then 9, 10 and 11 are physical controls, while 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are virtual and sit on the monitor. There is a number of options for each – for capture the minimum is 63 options and the most is 67, which includes restore and off. In playback mode, you get 15 options in Fn1 and Fn3. The rear panel layout is logical and similar to what you see on most cameras, although there is no focus lever. The back scroll wheel is a four-way control, too; the top, right and left being Fn buttons 9, 10 and 11 respectively. Also on the back is the focus control with the usual AF, continuous AF and manual options and Fn2 is the Q Menu by default. Generally, handling is very good and there is massive potential for user customisation for a camera at

this price level – all you have to do is remember what you assign to each function button. The menu is pretty thorough in terms of what you can do and it is pretty logically laid out, too. I especially liked the C/spanner layout. Enter this menu and there are five category headings (Exposure, Focus/Release Shutter, Operation etc) and select one of these and you leap straight into the relevant section among the 52 individual menu items under this overall heading. The monitor is touch sensitive for menu setting and AF point selection and it swings out sideways and can be swivelled to face forwards, so ideal for vloggers. It’s perfect, of course, for waist or low-level shooting, too, or you can fold it facing into the body for the ‘shooting film’ experience. One thing I found frustrating was with the eye sensor when using the monitor swung out to one side. I’m right handed so by reaching across, I managed to switch from monitor view to EVF without meaning to. Five-axis image stabilisation is getting to be a common sight in the mirrorless camera landscape and it is an important feature, especially for handheld video shooting. The G90’s Dual I.S. 2 five-axis in-body system works well. Dual I.S. 2 combines in-body sensor shift and in-lens optical stabiliser to give up to 5EV benefit, which is about 1EV better than the original Dual I.S. – existing OIS lenses need a firmware update. I did test shots using the mechanical shutter and with the supplied 12-60mm zoom at

Images Normal JPEGs shot with the 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6. When you shoot 4K, you get a cropped image as you can see in the shots above. Using the camera’s touch monitor, focus was selected on the front flower. Here, focus was selected on the stem of the rear flower

STACKED IMAGE

Images This is the stacked image with the near and far focus points selected and the Lumix G90 does the merge in-camera. The images are full-frame, so you can see the final image is cropped

Lumix G90 burst mode There is massive potential for user customisation for a camera at this price level The 4K burst mode gives you 30fps and then you can take a still 8-megapixel file from the video footage. These five shots are from a sequence – we used every fifth shot.

The resulting file is 3328x2496 pixels, so big enough for a photo quality A4 print without any software interpolation. The enlarged frame of the gull’s head (shown far

right) gives you an idea of the impressive image quality possible. Taken on the Lumix G90, fitted with the 1260mm zoom. These images are used full-frame.

IMAGES The enlarged section (right) of the gull’s head, taken from the middle frame of the five images above, shows how good an 8MB still from a 4K burst mode can be


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Camera test the 60mm with shutter speeds from 1/60sec down to 1/2sec. I was consistently getting sharp stills down to 1/8sec, which is a sound showing. In video, there’s the option of E-Stabilisation, which aims to correct jitter by using the lens and camera stabilisers, plus an electronic five-axis hybrid image stabiliser. The technology worked impressively – the image remained reasonably steady even while walking slowly. Shooting 4K does mean a significant image crop, so you should be aware of that. As a guide with the 12-60mm zoom, a still image at 18mm gives roughly the same image view as 12mm on video. Shoot Full HD and there’s no crop. The Lumix G90 features Panasonic’s V-log L that is capable of handling a contrast range of up to 12EV and gives a flatter, more detailed image for colour grading. It

For burst shooting you need a fast UHS Speed Class 3 card and the camera can get warm if you do a lot of it Right A twilight exposure taken on the Lumix G90 using an exposure of 10secs at f/5.6 at ISO 200, using live view composite mode Below JPEG taken with the in-camera monochrome mode

is a feature used by the serious video users among us and enhances the G90’s hybrid qualities. Panasonic was really the first to popularise 4K burst shooting to benefit stills shooters and it is available in many of its models. With the mode set, just press and hold down the shutter release and the camera takes a series of 30 images in one second. You don’t get full resolution images but they are still eight megapixels – images measure 3328x2496 pixels – but burst shooting means you stand a great chance of capturing that special fleeting moment.

The G90 has three 4K burst modes. Standard 4K Burst helps you capture fast-moving subjects and you just keep your finger on the shutter button for as long as you want to cover the period of action. 4K Burst S/S helps you capture unpredictable moments and here you press the shutter button to start recording and press it again to stop. In this setting, you can add markers (by using Fn2) to help you go back to the shots you want. Finally, there is 4K Pre-Burst where you can partially depress the shutter button and images are taken, but not written to card until you press the

shutter button down fully and then you get images taken in the previous one second. For burst shooting, you need a fast UHS Speed Class 3 card and the camera can get warm if you do a lot of it. Battery life is also impacted. The other possible issue is that, because an electronic shutter is used, subjects moving fast horizontally may be distorted or you may get banding across the image under fluorescent lighting. Bursts can be checked in-camera and the images you want saved as separate JPEG files. However, this does take up time and battery

Performance: ISO and digital noise Original image

Eastbourne pier at twilight was the subject for the ISO test. The Lumix G90, with the 12-60mm, was fixed on a Benro FIF28CIB2 tripod (also tested in this issue and shots taken with in-camera no noise reduction. The exposure for ISO 200 was 1/10sec at f/8.

The Raws were processed in Lightroom with default settings. Digital noise levels were impressively low right up to ISO 800 and no reason why this speed can’t be used for critical purposes. Image quality did start to fall away as noise started to take a grip from ISO 1600 onwards.

ISO 200

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

Above The smaller Micro Four Thirds image format does mean that digital noise and image deterioration kicks in at lower ISOs, compared with larger formats. That said, the Lumix G90 delivers a high level of image quality up to ISO 1600

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Camera test

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power. Or you can save a fivesecond burst as separate files with 4K Photo bulk saving. If you prefer, 4K bursts can be uploaded to the computer and there it will be treated as an MP4 motion picture file. In Lightroom, you can scroll through the burst and then export the frame you want as a JPEG or TIFF file as normal – or you can save whole bursts as still files. With fast action or if your coordination is not up to it, the burst modes are a godsend and while eight-megapixel JPEGs is limiting in terms of editing and ultimate quality, it is more than adequate for most situations and for most users. At the seaside, I tried capturing gulls enjoying the strong breeze. I

With fast action or if your coordination is not up to it, the burst modes are a godsend Verdict Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras are popular for a very good reason. They perform well, are rich in great features and sell at decent prices. Its Lumix G90 is typical of what I’d expect from this brand and it is a fine camera with great potential.

Features  23/25 Very rich in features, but 4K video crop is a small minus

Above With the Lumix G90’s good high ISO showing (ISO 1600 was used here), image stabiliser and soft shutter release, shooting handheld at slowish shutter speeds wasn’t too much of an issue

struggled with the camera in normal continuous shooting mode, but 4K burst mode got me shots I couldn’t manage with normal shooting. You can see one of my gull sequences on the first pages of this review. I prefer taking control of focus zones, so I used single zone or pinpoint AF for stills and multizone or zone focus for video. With no focus lever, I set Fn10 (right push of the scroll wheel) to give me Focus

Area Set. One push and I could move the AF point around. Or use the touchscreen to move the AF point, while the camera is up to the eye. The camera’s AF was quiet, swift and responsive, generally performing well when the conditions were good. However, it did seem to me less sure-footed and didn’t lock on when the contrast was low or with small subjects against a fussy backdrop, even when a single AF

point was in use. A helping hand, either by switching to manual or focusing on a nearby, more defined, part of the scene and then reframing the image was needed. Overall, the Lumix G90 was a fine camera to use, but with so many function options it took a while to set-up for my needs. However, there is lots of customisation potential for a camera at this price level and build quality is impressive, too.

Handling  23/25 Lots of actual and virtual controls make for sound handling Performance 23/25 Exposures very good, AF could miss on occasion. Value for money Rates highly

Overall 93/100 With impressive stills and video skills, the G90 has a lot going for it Pros Versatile monitor, solid build, image quality, good handling, 4K photo settings Cons Battery life, 4K video crop

Performance: exposure latitude Original image

To assess how the Lumix G90’s Raws stood up to exposure abuse, I shot a seven frame at 1EV steps bracket of a sunlit scene. Then using Lightroom, I corrected the abused images. The metered correct exposure was 1/500sec at f/9. Underexposed shots recovered best, at least in terms of colour, contrast and tonality. This was at the expense of noise, which was evident at -3EV and got marginally better at -2EV. However, by -1EV the noise level was

-3EV

-2EV

-1EV

0

+1EV

+2EV

basically the same as the correctly exposed shot, so the image looked clean and correctly coloured. With overexposure, noise is not usually the issue but high contrast and false colours can be an issue. The +3EV frame had burnt-out highlights and no amount of fiddling and editing in Lightroom could do much about it. The results from the +1EV and +2EV frames were corrected with no fuss at all and the recovered Raws looked as good as the correctly exposed frame.

IMAGES The exposure latitude of Raws from the Lumix G90 was found to be pretty decent. Underexposure and overexposure by 2EV still gave files that recovered very nicely

24/25

+3EV


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Photography News | Issue 68 | 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 & Kingsley Singleton

Specs Available for Canon, Nikon and Panasonic Type Radio Working range 240m with TTL; 365m with basic triggering Groups/channels 52 channels/3 groups High speed sync Yes, up to 1/8000sec TTL metering Yes Battery 2x AAs (60+ hours), USB Dimensions (LxWxH) 9.2x7.3x3.6cm Weight 153g (with batteries) Contact pocketwizard.com

Above Ten years after launch, the FlexTT5 has features that are still relevant and reliable. You’ll need one in the camera’s hot-shoe and one for each flash you want to trigger

PocketWizard FlexTT5 £169 Back when strobism was really taking off, PocketWizard was the big name. Affordable and versatile, its radio triggers let you fire speedlights off-camera in a way camera manufacturers’ systems couldn’t rival, so with a couple of PocketWizards and a cheap flash you’d be making great pictures. Other companies have now caught up, and radio triggers are cheap and commonplace, so ten years since its launch, does PocketWizard’s FlexTT5 Auto-Sensing Transceiver still appeal? We went back to the Nikon-fit versions to find out, testing on both a Nikon D850 and D810 with an Interfit Pro-Flash TLi-N speedlight. The FlexTT5 has been around for a long time, but there’s a reason for that. It’s a mature and stable system, with a set of features that are still relevant and reliable – mainly full TTL and high speed sync. Though it can be used with other PocketWizard units, including the similarly spec’d MiniTT1 transmitter, the TT5 unit functions as both a transmitter and receiver. It’s therefore possible to stick a few of them in your bag and not worry you’ve left a vital link at home. In syncing, PocketWizard suggests following a particular order. With everything off, you add one TT5 to the hotshoe and another to the flash, then switch on the flash, the radio triggers and finally the camera. With channels and groups aligned on the units, pressing the Test/Learn button syncs them, announced by a flash. It’s suggested you do a test shot at 1/125sec to calibrate, which we did. So, not exactly plug and play, but just a method to get used to. On a couple of occasions during testing I lost sync, but just repeated the sequence and regained it. Following that, everything’s almost eerily simple. With the D850 or D810 in Auto FP mode, the TT5’s ControlTL function lets you shoot up to 1/8000sec without engaging any special function on the trigger, so you can shoot wide

open or at very fast shutter speeds with no problem. The flash’s effect reduces as you push upwards, but that’s normal for HSS, and pics showed no curtain shadow as you’d normally get beyond sync speed. TTL also functioned well, for example shooting in aperture-priority it almost always produced a good exposure. It did overexpose when shooting wide open at f/2.8, but this was quickly fine-tuned with flash exposure compensation. Layout on the TT5 is clear and simple with group and channel switches, and the Test/Learn button, and though the only indicator is a small LED, it tells you all you need to know: a slow blinking green says you’re ready to shoot; blinking amber or red is time to change batteries; a much faster red blinking tells you syncing has gone wrong. There are also two 3.5mm jacks on the rear for plugging into flash heads via a cable or using the TT5 and a remote camera trigger. It takes two AA batteries and these are rated to last up to 60hours. At the front is an antenna, which can be adjusted to improve range, and opening it out reveals a USB port for updating firmware. It’s important to do this, as though our test units arrived at v3.8, this has since been updated to v3.9 to include the D850, and shooting with the older firmware showed curtain shadow over 1/250sec. The updater also allows custom options like trimming the high-speed sync response, but it’s more than most users will require. There’s a hotshoe on the top side for mounting an oncamera flash. The unit’s range is quoted at 240m with full TTL function, and well over 300m without. The maximum is based on ideal conditions, and though no line of sight is needed, environmental factors will affect any radio signal. I tested it up to 70m, in woodland, with no problems. Beyond that it got patchy, but the range was still far more than I would expect to need.

Above The FlexTT5s allowed us to shoot a full length portrait from range Build-wise, the TT5 is solid enough, though not spectacular, and it’s certainly not small by modern standards. Size shouldn’t be much of an issue, though its projection may limit some modifiers. Underneath, the foot is glass-reinforced resin, not metal, and though there’s a mounting screw, it’s quite far offset, so all the weight of the trigger is pushed to one side. It looks unbalanced, and means the flash doesn’t sit central to an umbrella, but it didn’t cause any problems on test, and if you fit a regular flash stand to the foot, it lines things up better. KS

Verdict Despite its vintage, the FlexTT5 put in a good performance. It can’t provide quite the sophistication of a dedicated remote, but it’s all you need for most circumstances: solid, reliable and with great range. Pros Simple set-up, TTL control and high speed sync, range Cons Not that small, more expensive than some


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First tests Specs Prices £1349 Format Full-frame Mount Nikon F, Canon EF, Sigma Autofocus Yes with manual override Construction 24 elements in 22 groups Special lens elements 9 x FLD and 1 x SLD elements Coatings Super Multi-Layer Coating, Fluorine on front element Filter size 82mm Aperture range F/2.8 to f/22 Diaphragm 11 blades, rounded Internal focus Yes Minimum focus 120cm Focus limiter Yes, 3m to infinity and full Maximum magnification 1:4.8 Distance scale Yes Depth-of-field scale No Image stabilizer Yes Tripod collar Yes Lens hood Included Weather-sealed Yes

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports £1349 Sigma’s 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport completes the company’s lineup of cutting-edge f/2.8 zooms, and it’s available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. On paper, its features put it on par with the Canon and Nikon versions, but the 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport costs a lot less. It’s £1349, undercutting the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS III and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E VR by over £700. But can it compete in build, handling and results? Broadly, yes. It packs a tremendous punch compared to its price tag. The lens’s build is excellent, with a brass mount, magnesium alloy barrel and bags of weather sealing, but this comes at a cost in weight. At 1800g it’s well above the Canon and Nikon competitors. But its weight is really all there is to criticise. Despite the heft, it handles quite well, with a large, grippy zoom ring. If you’re a Nikon user like me, you might occasionally forget it turns the ‘wrong’ way when composing, but, at less than 90º, the throw is short enough for this not to be a problem. Behind the zoom are three function buttons. Defaulting to AF lock, these can be customised to other functions like AF-On, or specific AF modes, and worked faultlessly with the D850 I used for testing. The 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport includes a tripod collar with a handy Arcacompatible foot, but though the latter can be removed using an included Allen key, the ring itself can’t be. That’s a pity, as it might have shaved a few grams off

Image The 70-200mm f/2.8 Sport puts in an excellent performance at a great price the weight, and support isn’t as vital on a 70-200mm as longer lenses. I also found the foot got in the way as I moved my hand towards the manual focus ring. The lens felt well balanced on a big DSLR body like the Nikon D850 with MB-D18 grip. On smaller bodies, it felt quite front heavy, but not problematically so. The advantage of using it on an APS-C sensor is you’re getting a 105-300mm f/2.8, which is quite a tasty prospect. At the long end, I’d expect to shoot handheld with confidence at 1/200sec, but with the Optical Stabiliser’s four-

stop advantage, I got almost all shots sharp at 1/13sec, accounting for subject blur. It’s possible to go slower still, and I got sharp results down to 1/4sec, but the hit rate will drop depending on your handling skills and subject. There’s an OS mode for panning, accessible from the lens barrel, too. AF performance is excellent, locking on and holding moving subjects in focus with the tenacity you’d expect from a pro lens, and it’s speedy, moving from near to far with a real snap. AF is also quiet, so potentially usable in discrete situations. Minimum focus is 1.2m, the

70mm

135mm

200mm

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/4

F/4

F/4

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

Dimensions (dxl) 94.2x202.9mm Weight 1805g Contact sigma-imaging-uk.com

same as the Canon version, but gives up 10cm to the Nikon f/2.8E. That doesn’t sound a lot, but could mean the difference between grabbing a shot and having to move your feet. AF can be limited to 3m to infinity if you have foreground obstructions, and along with AF and MF there’s an MO mode, where the manual focus ring overrides AF. The MF ring operates perfectly, with a long throw that improves accuracy when making minor adjustments. Image quality is excellent. The lens uses nine FLD (Fluorite Low Dispersion) and one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements, and their effect is clear. For one thing, there’s almost no sign of fringing, and though there is some vignetting, particularly wide open, it’s mostly gone by f/5. Flare is minimal, although we did get a few blooms shooting in the sun, but contrast is kept high thanks to the coated elements. We found sharpness excellent, too. In the centre, at 70mm, it’s brilliant wide open, hits a peak around f/5.6, and tails slowly off from there, but it’s still really good even past f/11. In the corners it’s less good, but not by much, peaking from f/4 to f/8. At 135mm, the lens seemed sharpest wide open, and improved in the corners to f/8. It was a similar story at 200mm, with the lens being sharpest from f/2.8 to f/5.6 right where you want it. KS

Verdict F/8

F/8

F/8

F/11

F/11

F/11

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/22

F/22

F/22

The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sport is a high-quality, versatile and comparatively affordable lens when you consider the big name competition. It’s exceptionally well made, handles nicely and gives beautifully sharp pictures at every stage of its zoom. The weight may be an issue for some, but it depends on your shooting style. That said, I did find it more of a drag for extended shooting than I did the Nikon version. Overall, it’s highly recommended. Pros Image quality, AF, build, price Cons High weight, can’t remove tripod collar


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Prices £949 What’s in the box Profofo A1X, battery, charger, case, dome diffuser, bounce card, wide lens, flash stand, USB 2.0 lead and mains lead Power output 76Ws Power output range Nine stops Flash exposure compensation -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps) Number of flashes 450 full power Groups/channels 6 groups, 20 channels Flash duration 1/800 to 1/20,000sec Trigger modes RF up to 300m; master or slave TTL and HSS up to 100m Modelling lamp Yes Modes TTL and manual Recycling 0.05 to 1.0sec High speed sync Yes, up to 1/8000sec Power supply Rechargeable li-ion battery Dimensions (wxhxd) 108x75x165mm Weight 560g Including battery Contact profoto.com

Profoto A1X £949 Just about two years after the original A1’s launch, Profoto has updated its distinctive speedlight in the form of the A1X – bettering the original in several ways, but certainly making it no bigger. It’s available in Canon, Nikon and Sony fits, the latter of which is new. The A1X is exactly the same size and weight as the original, and therefore no larger, or heavier than your average speedlight. The original felt very solid and well built, but the A1X takes this on a step. Moving the tilt and swivel head is significantly stiffer and quieter than the A1. I had no problem with the original A1 head in that regard – it certainly wasn’t floppy as some speedlights are – but the head did move if you gave it a good shake, and its clicking was quite obvious. The A1X does neither of those things – it’s rock solid and only shifts when you want it to. On the same score, the head’s zooming mechanism noise is more muffled, suggesting there’s extra protection there, too. In handling, the A1X, like the original A1, is a dream to use. Anyone who’s tried to fathom a new flashgun will find relief in the A1X’s simple menu and buttons. In fact, they’re so easily understood, that some markings on the buttons have been removed since the A1. It’s so much better than having tiny hieroglyphics showing you need to press three things at once. You get a bright and simple display that’s updated from the A1 to look just like

Images The Profoto A1X is incredibly simple to use, even in full sunlight, but some might find the price prohibitive

Profoto’s B10 units (though the A1 can also be updated to this refreshed look via firmware). At maximum brightness I found it easy to read even in full sun, which was great. Like the A1, a switch on the side swaps mode from TTL to manual, and the main dial operates power from 2.0 to 10.0 covering nine stops of adjustment with 0.1 steps. Each full stop is a doubling of power, just like on Profoto’s other flashes, so there’s a good commonality there, and adjustment via the wheel is extremely quick. My only wish would be to make the scale the same across all Profoto products – integrating the A1X with other heads is easy, but the scales don’t match in term of pure output. The main display also shows channel and group, zoom setting, and battery life in a simple bar. The latter works fine, but isn’t as accurate as a percentile, and it’d be great if it showed how many flashes were left at the current power setting. The main menu is also super-clear and easy to use and has also been updated to match the B10. Activated by the centre button, it’s a long list, but that’s fine as it means you don’t have to hop through many menu levels. Everything is clearly labelled and I didn’t have a single moment of

head scratching, or wondering what or where something was. At 76Ws, power output is identical to the A1, and the familiar rounded flash emitter gives a softer look to the fall-off of light than a rectangular head. This can be improved further with the included dome diffuser, and light from the unit looks great. It comes with a wide lens and a bounce card, but at this price, some gels would be nice to help with colour balancing indoor light. I shot a mix of images in TTL and manual including lots of fill flash pics on a very sunny day. Shooting in TTL with the A1X off-camera and triggered by an A1 mounted on my Nikon D850, I found results excellent, needing only a little positive compensation to balance the sun. In aperture-priority, shooting at f/2 and ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 1/2500sec, the A1X slipped into high speed sync mode faultlessly and had no problems with punch at a distance of about 5ft. Basically it has plenty of juice and there’s a Hi-S Boost mode too. Triggering the A1X was also a breeze, and adjustment was easy both in TTL and manual modes; my only criticism being that the A1 I used as a trigger didn’t show the resulting power, just my alteration.

Anyone who’s tried to fathom a new flashgun will find relief in the A1X’s simple menu and buttons

It’ll connect up to 300m, though you’re not likely to need that much, and closer up the connection is rock solid. You can also use the AirTTL remote, Profoto’s new Connect trigger, and there are 12 more channels available than on the A1. Battery life and recycle times on the A1X have both been improved, and it’s claimed you’ll get 450 full power flashes from the new unit, compared to 350 before. In practice, I shot about 200 images, many on full power, and the A1X was on about half battery at the end, so battery life is certainly good. The added benefit of the lithium battery is you don’t get fading performance. Recycle times are faster than the A1, too, but only by 0.2sec at the top end. KS

Verdict Profoto made great claims when the original A1 was released, calling it ‘the world’s smallest studio light’. But the simplicity of control, excellent build and handling of the updated A1X makes good on this idea. The A1X is a real joy to use, and while the price – around £100 more than the A1 – is obviously a significant outlay, its quality does not disappoint and the improvements justify the increase. Pros Simple control and superb quality of light as before, but now with even better build, extra channels and more battery life. Sony shooters get to play now, too. Cons The price will be a stretch for some


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First tests Specs Prices FIF28CIB2 £240 (carbon fibre), FIF28AIB2 £140 (aluminium) In the box Tripod, ball head, set of spike feet, tools, carry bag Legs material Carbon fibre Max load 14kg Folded length (with head) 46.5cm Leg sections Four Leg angles Three set positions Max height (centre column down) 1.39m Max height (centre column extended) 1.65m Minimum height 46.5cm – the centre column can be reversed for even lower shooting Weight (with head) 1.72kg Head Benro IB2 ball head with ball lock, pan lock and friction control Head max load 16kg Plate fitting Arca compatible, PU60 plate supplied Drag control Yes Panning lock Yes, separate Bubble level Yes, on plate Contact benroletsgo.lpages.co/ifoto-fif28series benroeu.com

Images The Benro FIF28CIB2 has reverse-folding legs, a ballast hook for your camera bag and adjustable ball head friction

Benro FIF28CIB2 £240 Benro’s tripod collection goes from strength to strength, and four models have been introduced in its iFoto travel collection. The iFoto range offers great value alongside excellent performance. The four new models are the FIF19 and the FIF28, both offered in aluminium and carbon-fibre versions. It is the FIF28C that is tested here. All four come complete with the IB2 ball head, so these are ready-to-go kits. The IB2 head is a solid unit that is Arca-plate compatible, and its locking mechanism worked perfectly with the various plates in my collection with the locking knob that can be pulled out to accept slightly broader plates. Head positioning is controlled by two locking knobs (a pan lock and the main ball lock) with the ball friction adjusted by a third knob. Having ball head friction adjusted by a third knob is handy, but it also means it can be caught and the head tautness altered inadvertently. It works well enough, but I’d be tempted perhaps to gaffer tape down the friction knob at my preferred sweet spot. Around the head’s base is a blue collar marked with degree settings. Moving to the legs, you can’t help but admire the tripod’s smart looks and compact size. Its legs can be reversed folded, which is standard on many pods, and you have a tripod complete with head that will readily fit a medium suitcase or a large hand baggage roller. If you prefer, you can take the tripod in its padded case as hand or hold baggage. One leg is detachable and usable (with the centre column and head) as a very handy monopod. Its minimum height is 86cm and maximum camera platform height is 1.73m. The legs have four sections with secure locking twist grips that lock rigidly in place without the need for brute force. A firm twist is sufficient to lock the legs firmly in position, and even leaning with full body weight on an erect tripod did not cause the legs to slip. The twist grips are dust resistant, with smooth sliding legs that glide out but, like most tripod legs, they are not sand resistant. I did venture down to a sandy beach and the legs did get wet and sand covered, so the locks had a gritty action. I rinsed and cleaned the legs and locks, and reassembling the components afterwards once they were dry was a simple process. Two pieces of white

You can’t help but admire the tripod’s smart looks and compact size

plastic have to be held in place during reassembly and that is as technical as it gets. After a good clean, the legs were back to their smooth, grit-free action. The centre column features a ballast hook that you hang your camera bag from should you want to enhance tripod stability or just keep your kit bag off the muddy ground. I took the FIF28CIB2 on several scenic shoots and was delighted with its performance. I used APS-C, fullframe and medium format cameras on the tripod in a variety of situations, including with extreme long exposures, and I was very happy with its performance, whether low down or with the centre column fully extended.

For very low-level shooting, removing the ballast hook and reversing the centre column is a fast job. With the centre column fully extended, the camera platform is just over 167cm off the ground – more than enough for most shots – and even at that height, rigidity rates highly. Of course, care was needed (the electronic shutter, cable release or self-timer all played their part) and when it was windy, standing there as a human windbreak was required, too. But overall, I thought the tripod’s stability belied its modest stature and it is certainly a unit I am happy to tote around the landscape without me thinking it too much of a burden. WC

Verdict A compact yet rigid and versatile carbon-fibre tripod complete with a quality ball head selling for £240 is a compelling proposition, which makes the Benro FIF28CIB2 thoroughly deserving of serious consideration. It is an excellent device that performs impressively and comes highly recommended. Pros Great to use, portable, spiked feet and carry bag supplied Cons Just one bubble level on the head’s mounting plate not ideal


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs Prices £569 What’s in the box Deep bayonet lens hood, solid lens case, lens collar, two caps Format 35mm full-frame Mount Canon EF, Nikon F Autofocus No Construction 12 elements in nine groups Special lens elements Three extra low dispersion, four high refractive elements Coatings Neutrino coating Filter size 77mm Aperture range F/2.8-32 Diaphragm 11 rounded blades Internal focus Yes Manual focus Yes, with lock function Minimum focus 34.5cm Focus limiter No Maximum magnification 1:1 Distance scale Feet and metres, IR index Depth-of-field scale No Image stabilizer No Tripod collar Yes, with Arca compatible foot Lens hood Supplied Weather-sealed Five seals to prevent dust and water Dimensions (dxl) 87x128mm Weight 840g Contact swains.co.uk

Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro £569 Irix lenses are designed in Switzerland and made in Korea. Currently three manual focus primes are on offer, this medium telephoto macro, and two ultra wideangles, an 11mm f/4 and 15mm f/2.8. We’ll be testing these two wides in forthcoming issues of PN. The two Irix wides are available in two optically identical but different build-quality versions, but there is just one 150mm with what Irix calls its Dragonfly finish, a lightweight composite construction with metal components inside and at the rear of the lens for durability. There is no denying the lens’s fine build and cosmetics. The manual focusing barrel is rubber covered with a protruding rib which is at 11 o’clock when the lens is focused in infinity; perfect for my resting thumb. The focus action is smooth, with a three-quarter turn of the barrel taking you from infinity to its 34cm minimum focusing distance. Metric and imperial focusing distances are engraved on the barrel together with the magnification ratio. Focusing is also internal so there is no change in the lens’s physical size as you move in closer. It means there’s no issue with the lens’s shadow getting in the way with close-up subjects. At the far end of the lens is a locking ring so once you have focus achieved the barrel can be locked in position. This is handy but you need to make sure the focus barrel does not shift while you engage the lock. I had a Nikon-fit sample and used it on a D850 body. The pair makes for a substantial but nicely balanced outfit with the centre of gravity towards the body. The lens is fitted with a removable tripod ring with an Arca foot. Use this and the body is the senior partner when it comes to balance so you need a firm locking ball head to take the strain. There are no click-stops on the tripod foot and its rotating action is a tad coarse but it does its job. I tested the lens with distant and close-up scenes with the D850 with the pair fixed onto a Gitzo Systematic

Test

F/2.8

F/4

F/5.6

F/8

There is no denying the lens’s fine build and cosmetics

Below With the Irix lens giving a subject magnification of 1:2. The exposure was 1/125sec at f/16

4 tripod with an Arca Swiss ball head. I also shot handheld close-ups. In an ideal world, the lens would have an image stabilizer, but there isn’t one so you need a camera support, fast shutter speeds and steady hands (or all three) to get the most from this lens. I did handholding tests down to 1/30sec. I got the odd sharp shot at 1/30sec and 1/60sec and had a little more success at 1/125sec, which I’d consider the safest slow shutter speed for sharp shots. Focusing is a challenge because 150mm gives little depth-of-field even at small apertures so you need to be extra critical when you’re close up. The camera’s in focus confirmation LED helps or use live view on a tripod. Optically, when everything falls right this lens proved to be a very capable performer at close quarters as well as normal shooting distances. Detail was crisply resolved and sharpness was consistently good across the 35mm frame. A capable optical performance was seen at f/2.8, with a strong centre and slightly soft edges which got better at f/4. It was at f/5.6 when image quality across the frame really perked up giving high-quality results. If ultimate quality is what you want, shoot at f/8 or better still at f/11, which gives images with impressive detail across the frame. Diffraction starts to have an impact at f/16 and at f/22, image softens slightly and f/32 is probably best avoided if you want critical results. There was some vignetting at f/2.8 which eased at f/4 and went from f/5.6 onwards. Flare was well under control too and there was no evidence of any serious ghosting or low contrast issues when shooting towards the sun. WC

F/11

F/16

F/22

F/32

Verdict Buy the Irix 150mm f/2.8 and you’ll need to hone your shooting technique to get the most from it. There is no image stabilizer and even at relatively high shutter speeds (1/60sec, 1/125sec), camera shake is a risk, and you need to be critical with focusing when you are close up because there is so little depth-of-field. That said, this Irix lens delivers a fine optical performance and with the potential of 1:1 magnification the Irix 150mm f/2.8 selling at £569 is nicely priced and certainly worthy of a serious look. Pros Lifesize 1:1 magnification, Arca tripod foot, internal focusing Cons No image stabilizer


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests Specs

G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile SSD £129.95

Prices 500GB £129.95, 1TB £219.95, 2TB £399.95

Verdict

Availability 500TB, 1TB, 2TB

There is no denying that the G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile is a quality device, solidly built and fast. But it is expensive compared to the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD tested on this page and the Samsung Portable SSD T5. It does offer higher levels of protection though, so if you need a drive for the most challenging conditions, then this G-Tech drive could be the one for you.

In the box G-DRIVE mobile SSD, USB Type-C to Type-C cable, Type-C to Type-A cable Compatibility Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, 10 and Mac OS 10.10 and newer. No driver needed Interface USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 2) Hard disk technology SSD

Pros Great looks, reliability, fast Cons Expensive, big compared to rivals

Read speed Up to 560MB/s Water and dust resistant Up to IP67 Shockproof Droppable from 3m, 1000lb crush resistance Operating temperature 0°C to 35°C Dimensions (wxhxd) 5x1.45x9.5cm Weight 86g Contact g-technology.com

Specs

G-Technology has an impressively broad product range of storage options – portable and desktop. G-Tech and Sandisk are brands owned by Western Digital and both are renowned for their quality storage products. G-Tech is better known for its desktop storage products, while Sandisk is famous for its memory cards and USB flash drives. However, the area of portable storage is where there is some brand crossover. G-Tech’s rugged G-DRIVE mobile SSD series is available in three capacities, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, with

high performance, solid build and portability as the big selling points. Transfer speeds are up to 560MB/s via the single USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and two short cables are supplied in the box: USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A. The unit features IP67 water and dust resistance and is built to survive a three-metre drop. Plus, it is rated with a 1000lb crush-proof rating. The drive has a very similar footprint to the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD tested on this page (below), but the G-Tech is about twice as thick and over double the weight.

The unit’s extra girth is accounted for by its protective rubber housing, which features deep grooves that reveal a blue inner case. The grooving and an aluminium core help to dissipate heat and avoid overheating. I tested the unit with the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app and then moved data around, timing using a stopwatch. I used a USB 3.1-compatible MacBook Pro and an older 16GB RAM Mac Mini with USB 3.0. With the Blackmagic test the G-Tech write speed was found to be 435.9MB/s and read was 431.9MB/s. Using the Mac Mini, 51GB of data

took 611 secs to write and 718 secs to read, which equates to 83.4MB/s and 71MB/s respectively, which shows the limit of USB 3.0. With the USB 3.1-compatible laptop, however, the timings were 98 secs for read, giving a speed of 520MB/s and a write time of 135 secs, so a speed of 377MB/s. That was impressive. I used the G-Tech (and the Sandisk) for a couple of weeks, carrying them around side-by-side. And I even took them away on a business trip, too. It is true they both performed reliably over this period. WC

Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD From £86.99

Prices 250GB as tested here, £86.99, 500GB £199.99, 1TB 190.99, 2TB £382.99

Verdict This Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD is an impressive unit, small and fast – and it proved reliable. In fact, I liked the 250GB unit so much, I bought the 1TB version (which, incidentally, runs slightly cooler than the 250GB version) as my backup drive when travelling. Enough said.

Availability 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB In the box Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD, USB Type-C to Type-C cable, Type-C to Type-A adapter Compatibility Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10 and Mac OS 10.4 and newer. No driver needed Interface USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 2)

Pros Size, reliability Cons Slowish write time, 250GB version gets warm

Hard disk technology SSD Read speed Up to 550MB/s Water and dust resistant Up to IP55 Shock and vibration resistant Up to 1500G, 10Hz-2000Hz 5gRMS Shockproof Tested to withstand water for three mins. Shockproof up to 2m on a concrete floor, vibration resistant Operating temperature 0°C to 45°C Dimensions (wxhxd) 5x0.9x9.6cm Weight 40g Contact sandisk.co.uk

The need for fast, portable and reliable storage has never been greater, which is why we are seeing more SSD drives like these ones from Sandisk and G-Tech (tested above). Its petite body form makes it truly pocketable, yet it’s designed to be rugged and durable at the same time. It’s a great-looking unit, too, with rounded-off corners and a cutout in one corner so you can hook it up to your keyring, maybe – you’d need quite a big diameter keyring to do that, though. SSDs have no moving parts, so reliability is good and, in the case of this unit, it is water and dust resistant to IP55 standard and is designed to survive

a drop from 2m. There is just one port, a USB 3.1 (Gen 2) and a short USB Type-C to Type-C cable is included in the box. To get the most from the SSD drive, you need a compatible computer port. An USB-C to USB-A adapter is included in the box, too, so no problem using this drive with non USB-C machines, although performance will be less speedy. The lead and the adapter are both good quality and they click into place securely. The unit comes with Sandisk Secure Access 3.02, so you can passwordprotect content so, if you and the drive part company for any reason, you know your secrets are safe.

Its petite body form makes it truly pocketable, yet it’s designed to be rugged and durable at the same time I tested the Extreme SSD with a 3.1Ghz MacBook Pro and an older 16GB RAM Mac Mini with USB 3.0 using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app and by moving 51GB’s worth of data around. The Blackmagic test showed a read speed of 421MB/s and a write speed of 268MB/s. In my 51GB test on the Mac Mini, I got a read time of 798 secs and a write time of 820 secs, which in data transfer terms is 63.9MB/s and 62.2MB/s, so decent. Using the

Macbook with USB 3.1, you can see the drive’s potential with a read time of 108 secs and a transfer speed of 472MB/s, but the write time of 365 secs and speed of 139MB/s was less impressive I used this (and the G-Tech drive) over several weeks, taking them both abroad as backup. I didn’t manage to disrupt the quality performance of both units and the only very minor negative point was that the 250GB unit seemed to run quite warm, but that was it. WC


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk


Photography News | Issue 68 | photographynews.co.uk

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Competition

Editor’s letter

Winter’s coming

WIN!

A Samsung memory card! Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung EVO Plus 256GB 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 256GB Samsung EVO Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £74.99 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 11 August 2019 and the winner will be randomly drawn from all correct entries received. The correct answer to PN66’s word search was Lens, and the Samsung 256GB EVO Plus card was won by Jane Williamson from Basingstoke. samsung.com/uk/memory-cards

Okay, I’m being a mite melodramatic – but it is true that the days are getting shorter from now on in. On 21 June, the longest day, we had a PN meetup in London; and thanks to all those who turned up. It was an informal gathering of readers with no set-up agenda, but it was a great chance to spend time with like-minded souls enjoying their picture-taking around the capital. That said, a few readers gave themselves a mission, none more so than Chung Hau, whose task was mission impossible. He decided to photograph 24 London high streets in 24 hours. “I’m never doing that again... not all in 24 hours, at least,” he told me. “I’d picked them according to their proximity to each other although I seriously misjudged that as well! I ended up with 11 final panoramas because 13 didn’t stitch properly.” Nevertheless you have to admire Chung’s commitment to his task. In 27 hours he walked over 53k steps and 22 miles and took 452 pictures. Go to bit.ly/2X3JJf5 to see his project. That is some going and better than anything I managed. I’m not even going tell you my step count, although it was five figures (just about!) and I didn’t have a plan of any sort. I knew I wanted to explore Brick Lane and Shoreditch, Soho in the early hours, shoot some modern architecture and perhaps a few markets. No projects, just stuff washed down with a couple of glasses of wine. To be frank, I wasn’t feeling that inspired to do anything too strenuous, and that was

simply due to the fact I was exhausted before I started. I’d spent the previous few days walking to and from poppy fields and had clocked up quite a few miles with a weighty photo bag on my back. Yes, I know poppy fields are clichéd and over photographed, but I’m easily pleased and I like poppy fields, so I’m very happy photographing them. Besides, they aren’t that common so the novelty value applies. With the help of Facebook friends I found three locations to explore. One spot I had some success at, another was past its best and one had potential but was surrounded by a high fence with private signs every few metres. The landowner forgot the barbed wire and a watchtower with machine gun-toting guards. Looking at my OS map app I did see that a public footpath went round the back of this field so I decided to take a walk to see if I could get any closer. I could, and the fencing eventually ran out and I could see a lush patch of poppies about 50m away. However, as a lawabiding, scaredy-cat snapper I didn’t venture off the public path. That evening, all I achieved were an aching back, nettle stings and several very itchy insect bites. Oh, the joys of summer photography. I hope you you’ve had better fortune in your picture-taking, and until next time, keep it going.

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Photography News 68  

Photography News 68

Photography News 68  

Photography News 68