Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

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ON1 has unveiled new updates for its suite of software, including major upgrades to ON1 Photo RAW and new features in ON1 Photo Mobile. ON1 has also announced the all-new ON1 Portrait AI, which is available as a standalone application and as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Corel Paintshop Pro, Apple Photos and Capture One (at a later date).

ON1 Portrait AI uses machine learning to locate and evaluate each face in portrait photos to retouch and process them without the need for manual adjustments. Dan Harlacher, VP of Product for ON1, describes ON1 Portrait AI as follows, 'This product was created to solve the main problem portrait photographers face, spending way too much time editing individual portraits or entire shoots.' Harlacher continues, '…ON1 Portrait AI is incredibly fast at getting through an entire shoot…'

The new software classifies individual faces in the frame, adds 'realistic retouching' to the skin, eyes and mouth without the use of global retouching. The software also includes other tools for manual skin retouching. Tools include frequency separation, skin shine reduction, blemish removal, face shape sculpting, eye and teeth whitening and more.

ON1 Photo RAW Mobile for iOS, iPadOS and Android devices includes new masking features, allowing users to make specific localized adjustments and effects. As part of the new masking functionality, ON1 Photo RAW Mobile includes ON1's Perfect Brush. The brush includes edge detection features and allows the user to create a precise mask with just their finger. The new masking tools also support the Apple Pencil and Android Stylus. Further, local adjustments in ON1 Photo RAW Mobile utilize ON1's proprietary raw processing engine.

The mobile version of ON1 Photo RAW includes new effects and filters, such as the Dynamic Contrast filter, which ON1 states is the 'gold standard for amazing clarity and detail.' Additional new filters include Curves, Glow and HDR Look. Organization and workflow are improved with the new update as well thanks to new built-in ways to search and sort photos within the app.

ON1 Photo RAW for mobile is available on the App Store and Google Play. Image credit: ON1

ON1's president, Craig Keudell, says, 'ON1 Photo RAW Mobile has been significantly enhanced in a short amount of time and there is more on the way. The addition of creative masking tools and filters helps make it a photography tool everyone will want to use.'

ON1's autumn lineup is rounded out by ON1 Photo RAW 2021, ON1's flagship raw photo editor. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is available for macOS and Windows and includes pro-grade photo organization, raw processing, nondestructive editing, a layers-based workflow and more.

A key new feature in ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is the integration of ON1 Portrait AI. In addition to the new portrait retouching functionality, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 makes it easier for users to organize their images with a new Smart Organize mode. This feature makes it easier than ever before to identify image duplicates, locate groups of photos from the same day or location and the mode can even identify similar images. ON1 states that it is the 'perfect solution for those who want to speed up their culling, improve organization, or even save on storage space.'

In terms of performing localized editing, ON1 Photo RAW Mobile is not the only new ON1 software with new features. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 includes a color range selection tool that integrates edge detection from ON1's Perfect Brush to create flexible gradient masks. You can create color-sensitive gradient masks, which should allow for easier local editing when working with skies behind subjects such as trees and buildings.

Photo RAW 2021 also includes new custom brush shapes. You can select between hard-edge shapes, making it simpler to paint straight edges or opt for more organic brush shapes and textures, which will allow you to paint on something like snow or grass. Further, a new non-destructive healing brush has been added to help remove distracting elements from your images such as dust spots, cables and people from the scene. The new healing brush includes a content-aware mode and a clone stamp mode.

A new full-screen preview mode has been added to the software, allowing the user to view an image without any distracting user interface elements on the screen. When in the full-screen mode, you can still utilize some tools, such as brush tools. There is also a new Quick Slideshow mode so you can show off your images in a full-screen display.

When ingesting images, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 includes new camera-based presets. This means you can set specific editing presets for individual camera models and even individual serial numbers. ON1 says this feature is helpful for users with custom camera profiles or with cameras that have been converted to infrared.

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 includes new local and global adjustment features. Image credit: ON1

In terms of global photo editing tools, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 includes a new Color Replacement filter. It is precisely what it sounds like, meaning that you can select a color in your image and adjust it. For example, you can select the color of a subject's eyes to change them, change the color of flowers in a scene and much more.

When it launches this October, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 will also add a new method to batch process HDR and panoramic photos, introduce color fill layers, present a refined user interface and add new camera and lens support.

ON1 Portrait AI is available now at a special introductory price of $59.99 (regularly $79.99). A free trial download of Portrait AI is available. When ON1 Photo RAW 2021 launches in October, ON1 Portrait AI will be integrated into the new software. For existing ON1 Photo RAW owners, you can preorder ON1 Photo RAW 2021 for $79.99. When you preorder, you will also receive the standalone and plug-in versions of ON1 Portrait AI. New users must pay $129.99 for ON1 Photo RAW 2021. Earlier this year, ON1 introduced a subscription service as well, ON1 Photo RAW 360, which includes all the new products mentioned in this article and is available as low as $7.99 per month. For more information, head to ON1's website.

Posted: September 22, 2020, 6:11 pm

Facebook has announced a new rights management feature designed to give creators more control over their images. On Monday, Facebook product manager of the creator and publisher experience Dave Axelgard said, 'We want to ensure Facebook is a safe and valuable place for creators to share their content.' Key to that goal is the newly announced Rights Manager for Images.

Instagram is the dominant image-based social network at the moment, making it a valuable platform for creators...but it's not without its controversy in the industry. Parent company Facebook is taking steps to address some of the criticism with its new Rights Manager for Images, which builds upon the existing Rights Manager to give photographers control over where their images appear on the social platform.

Rights Manager is a customizable tool found within the Facebook Creator Studio platform, which is built for creators to give them an element of control over their content across both Facebook and Instagram. The tool works by enabling users to add their content, after which Facebook will scan the two social platforms to find the content if it is posted on either.

Reposted content found on another user's Page or profile can be removed or, in cases where it may be beneficial to the creator, the owner can either add an ownership link to the content or simply monitor the repost going forward. Creators have the option of adding exemptions for partners who have permission to share the content so that it isn't flagged by the Rights Manager tool.

The newly announced Rights Manager for Images is described by Axelgard as a new version of the tool that is designed to offer management of photos 'at scale.' As with the original version of Rights Manager, Facebook requires creators to submit an application to get access to the tool.

The application includes selecting which Pages the user may want to protect, what type of rights owner they are (individual, publisher, etc.), the type of content that needs protected and similar details.

Facebook notes that this Rights Manager tool exists in addition to a number of other options creators have, including what it refers to as a 'fast and effective' intellectual property reporting system, as well as a policy for dealing with repeat copyright offenders and more. The tool ultimately gives creators the ability to prevent unauthorized sharing of copyrighted content, potentially bringing an end to reposts on Instagram.

It's unclear how many creators have access to the Rights Manager, which addresses only one aspect of copyright issues on social media. Facebook has been criticized for failing to give Instagram users the ability to limit the sharing of public posts, something that was recently brought to public attention due to a couple of lawsuits earlier this year.

Facebook indicated earlier this summer that it may give Instagram users the ability to disable sharing or embedding posts, which would, for example, prevent media companies from embedding images to get around paying the photographer a licensing fee. The social media company complicated the matter in June when it clarified that its terms of service does not include sublicensing embedded content.

Though this may give creators more control over where their images are embedded, critics have said that it still places the burden on creators to find and police the use of their images due to Instagram's readily available sharing and embedding tools. As well, the presence of these tools implies to users that they are allowed to embed public content on other websites without getting permission from the photographer first, potentially putting them at risk of unwittingly violating a photographer's copyright.

Instagram told Ars Technica back in June that it was 'exploring the possibility' of offering users the option of disabling the embed tool. Such a feature remains unavailable at this time, however, meaning that Instagram users must make their images private if they don't want users to have the option of sharing them.

Posted: September 22, 2020, 5:42 pm

Samsung has unveiled the 980 Pro, its newest high-end NVMe M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 drive, which pushes read and write speeds to ridiculous speeds.

The drive will come in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities at launch and features a PCIe 4.0 interface that, with a compatible motherboard, will offer maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and 5,000MB/s, respectively. Even if you don’t have a PCIe 4.0 motherboard on hand (there aren’t a lot available at this time, as the interface is relatively new), the new 980 Pros can still reach maximum sequential read and write speeds of 3,500MB/s and 3,450MB/s, respectively on an M.2 PCIe 3.0 motherboard.

As tends to be the case with SSDs, the smaller capacity drives will feature slightly slower write speeds (read speeds are the same across capacities). While the 1TB version will top out at sequential write speeds of up to 3,450MB/s via PCIe 3.0, the 500GB and 250GB models will top out at 3,400MB/s and 2,700MB/s, respectively. As noted by The Verge, How-to Geek suggests the slower write speeds may be caused by there being fewer NAND channels in smaller SSDs.

While PCIe 4.0 motherboards aren’t exactly commonplace at this time, it’s nice to see a future-proof SSD that will still improve speeds on the more common PCIe 3.0 interface.

The three capacities will start shipping this month with the 250GB, 500GB and 1TB models retailing for $90, $150 and $230, respectively. There will also be a 2TB version out before the end of the year, but no price has been shared at this time.

Posted: September 22, 2020, 5:16 pm

Online film retailer Analogue Wonderland has started a new curated film subscription service for those who enjoy trying different emulsions. The Analogue Wonderbox service promises to deliver six different 35mm films every two months so subscribers can expand their experience of unusual as well as regular emulsion types and brands.

Covering both color and black and white rolls, the service will offer negative and positive films, and users can expect extra goodies in the packages including offers on processing, merchandise and other free gifts. The idea of the service is to introduce film photographers to different emulsions but particularly to give those new to film, and those coming back to it, a taste of what is available.

The company says each week subscribers will be sent information on one of the films, with an explanation of what to expect from it as well as hints on getting the most from it. All subscribers will get the same films each time so they can discuss their results and post examples of their work. Each month the company will hold a competition for pictures shot on one of the films in the subscription pack.

Analogue Wonderland says that although some films will be cheaper than others the total value of each pack will add up to, or exceed, the cost of the service, and that the goodies, learning and community will make it even better value. There are over 100 films to get through, with a wide range of looks to be explored.

The subscription costs £50 (approx. $65) every two months, with shipping included for those in the UK. Shipping to Europe and the USA costs £12 (approx. $15). For more information see the Analogue Wonderland website.

Posted: September 22, 2020, 1:30 pm

Sony's a7C is a really compact full-frame camera – especially when paired with the new FE 28-60mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. We've been doing plenty of shooting with the combo and have updated our gallery to show you just what you can expect.

Check out our gallery of sample images

Posted: September 22, 2020, 1:00 pm

Pixelmator, makers of the photo editing application Pixelmator Photo, has released Pixelmator Photo version 1.4. The new update includes ML Super Resolution, a new tool designed to enlarge low-resolution photos with a single tap. ML Super Resolution utilizes machine learning (hence the 'ML' in the name) and the processing power available in Apple iPad devices to enlarge photos, illustrations, paintings and designs while preserving and enhancing details, edges and textures.

ML Super Resolution was designed for the newly released iPad Air and was presented during Apple's 'Time Flies' event last week. The app is powered by the new A14 Bionic chip and Pixelmator states that it is the first AI-powered image enlargement tool available on a mobile device.

To enlarge images, ML Super Resolution 'creates a layered representation of the image that is over 100 channels deep, detecting features such as edges, patterns, textures, gradients, and colors.' After this, the channels are upscaled individually and combined back into a single image. Pixelmator states that the process 'requires up to 62 thousand times more processing power than traditional approaches,' something that Pixelmator states is only possible on iPad thanks to recent advancements in iPad performance and the dedicated processor in the Apple Neural Engine.

Tomas Andrijauskas, lead developer of Pixelmator Photo, says, 'The processing power of iPad has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last few years. With these advances, it is now possible to open up workflows that simply were not available in the past. One such workflow is using machine learning techniques to enlarge photos while retaining sharpness and enhancing intricate details.'

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 includes ML Super Resolution, a new AI-powered image upscaling feature. Image credit: Pixelmator

Of being able to show Pixelmator's work during an Apple event, Andrijauskas continues, 'Our team consists of 20 people and is based in a tiny Baltic country. So it is an incredible honor to be recognized by a company as respected and influential as Apple. It also shows that if you work hard to create powerful, beautiful, and easy-to-use products, your work will be recognized, no matter your location or size.'

In addition to the new ML Super Resolution tool, Pixelmator Photo version 1.4 includes a new split-screen view of original and edited images and support for the Apple Pencil's double-tap gesture.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 also includes a new before/after comparison tool. Image credit: Pixelmator

If you'd like to learn more about Pixelmator Photo and its RAW editing tools, check out the overview video below and head to the Pixelmator Photo website.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 is available now from the App Store as a free update for existing users or for $7.99 USD for new customers. Pixelmator Photo requires iOS 11 or later and a compatible iPad device. A list of compatible devices can be found on the App Store product page.

Posted: September 21, 2020, 8:12 pm

Researchers with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and MIT have developed a new type of fisheye lens that is flat and crafted from a single piece of glass. The lens is round, according to the researchers, and it is capable of capturing sharp 180-degree panoramas. This is the first flat fisheye lens made from a single piece of glass, which measures 1mm thick.

Ordinary spherical fisheye lenses are made from multiple pieces of glass designed to bend the light in such a way that it produces circular wide-angle images. The newly developed flat lens instead captures wide-angle panoramas by utilizing 'tiny structures' that scatter light in place of the curved glass elements in more costly spherical fisheye lenses.

The version of the lense introduced by the researchers is made for infrared photography, but the team says that it could be modified for use as a regular visible spectrum lens, as well. The flat design is ultimately more compact and less expensive to produce than spherical multi-element lenses.

The researchers envision a variety of uses for their lens design beyond interchangeable lenses. The thin, flat nature of the design would make it possible to implement the fisheye into smartphones, for example, eliminating the need to use a third-party lens add-on. Similar implementation could be used with laptops, VR headsets and even devices like medical imaging equipment.

MIT associate professor Juejun Hu, one of the researchers on the project, explained:

This design comes as somewhat of a surprise, because some have thought it would be impossible to make a metalens with an ultra-wide-field view. The fact that this can actually realize fisheye images is completely outside expectation. This isn’t just light-bending — it’s mind-bending.

Metalens refers to a flat lens that has tiny structures for focusing light. While wide-angle metalenses aren't new, the researchers note that a single piece of glass without any extra optics have been limited to 60-degrees. The newly published study details how the team got around these restrictions to develop an ultra-wide-angle lens capable of capturing 180-degree panoramas without extra components.

This 180-degree fisheye metalens features a single piece of transparent glass made from calcium fluoride with a lead telluride film on one side. A pattern of 'optical structures' called meta-atoms was carved into the film using lithographic techniques, the result of which were many 'nanoscale geometries' used to bend the light in specific, precise ways.

The carved structures can introduce phase delays into the scattering of the light -- depending on their shape -- to imitate the natural phase delays produced by the curved glass elements in spherical fisheye lenses. The light passes from the carved structures on the back of the lens through an optical aperture on the front of the lens.

Study co-author Mikhail Shalaginov said:

When light comes in through this aperture, it will refract at the first surface of the glass, and then will get angularly dispersed. The light will then hit different parts of the backside, from different and yet continuous angles. As long as you design the back side properly, you can be sure to achieve high-quality imaging across the entire panoramic view.

The study was partially funded by DARPA through its EXTREME program, which tasks experts with developing optical tools 'to enable new functionality and/or vastly improve size, weight, and power characteristics of traditional optical systems.' The agency goes on to explain that EXTREME will 'explore this optical design space and aims to understand the trade-offs, and harness the possibilities, afforded' by Engineered Optical Materials (EnMats).

Via: MIT

Posted: September 21, 2020, 6:19 pm

Today, Adobe published a sneak peek video of its latest Sensei-powered feature coming soon to Photoshop, Sky Replacement.

Similar to the AI-powered sky replacement feature found in Skylum’s Luminar 4 editing program, Adobe’s new feature uses its Sensei AI to determine the foreground from the sky in an image and automatically masks the sky overlay to blend in seamlessly. While Photoshop will offer its own selection of presets, it’s also possible to import your own image of the sky.

Note how even the small details at the top of the structure are preserved and properly masked.

In addition to automatically masking out the sky, the Sky Replacement feature will also automatically tone the foreground of the image based on the color temperature of the sky being shown in the frame. As you can see around the two-minute mark of the above video, using a cooler part of the sunset in an image will result in a cooler foreground while using the warmer part of the sunset will give the foreground a warm, orange glow.

In addition to the automatic adjustments, there are also multiple parameters you can tweak yourself to ensure the sky looks exactly how you’d like. When you’re happy with the results, Photoshop will automatically create new layers for the masks and adjustments so you can further refine the image as you see fit.

Adobe doesn’t specify when we can expect to see this new feature in Photoshop.

Posted: September 21, 2020, 3:32 pm

Tamron Japan has published a statement [machine-translated] on its website noting that two of its three main factories will remain closed through the end of 2020 due to the ‘decrease in global demand due to the worldwide spread of the [novel] coronavirus.’\

This closure extension affects Tamron’s Hirosaki and Namioka factories, which were originally set to open back up on October 1. These facilities, located in Japan’s Aomori prefecture, are two of Tamron’s ‘mother plants.’ Each of these three plants play a role in the lens development process: the Hirosaki plant handles metal processing, assembly and repairs; the Namioka plant processes the lens elements; and the Owani plant molds the plastic components.1

Tamron says ‘the global market has not yet recovered, and in consideration of the uncertainty of the market environment in the future, we will continue to extend the partial closure of the domestic Aomori factory until the end of the year.’ Tamron notes business will continue during these closures, but it could ‘cause inconvenience and inconvenience to our business partners.’

If you’re interested in finding out more about the production process, Tamron Japan has an interesting online factory tour that walks through the steps it takes to manufacture a lens.

1 Tamron Japan

Posted: September 21, 2020, 2:34 pm

The Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm F5-6.3 IS offers an equivalent focal length range of 200-800mm, making it perfect for casual wildlife and motorsports photography. Relatively compact, lightweight and weather-sealed, the 100-400mm also offers powerful image stabilization, which works with the 5-axis in-body system used in current Olympus mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

We took the 100-400mm and an OM-D E-M1 Mark III to the Pacific Raceway here in Washington State recently, to see how it performs.

Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm F5-6.3 IS sample images

This is sponsored content, created with the support of Amazon and Olympus. What does this mean?

Posted: September 21, 2020, 1:00 pm

Optics manufacturer Samyang has released a new lens simulator web app that allows you to see how certain lenses will affect the look of a scene based on sensor size and lens settings.

The web app creates a simulated scene using a cutout portrait of a woman as well as three backgrounds. By changing the sensor size, focal length, aperture and distance, the scene will adjust to show a simulated representation of what the image would like like when the shutter is pressed.

The web app is somewhat rudimentary, but its simulated representations do a good job of showing photography newcomers how crop factors, focal lengths, apertures and the subject’s distance from the lens can impact the look of an image. Samyang also includes an option to select on of its lenses to use as a preset of sorts to see what a given Samyang (also sold under the Rokinon/Bowen brands) lens will produce.

Both Canon and Nikon have lens simulators of their own, so this isn’t exactly an original idea, but it’s yet another option you can try out.

Posted: September 20, 2020, 7:23 pm

The Olympus 100-400mm F5-6.3 offers Micro Four Thirds shooters a whole lot of reach in a hand-holdable lens. We've been putting its versatile zoom range to use ever since it was announced last month, and have updated our initial sample gallery with even more images – including Raw conversions. Take a peek at what it can do.

Posted: September 20, 2020, 1:00 pm

Our team at DPReview TV spent the week shooting with the new Sony a7C. Check out the photos from their review of the camera, including many taken with the new 28-60mm F4-5.6 kit lens.

Did you miss the review? Watch it below.

View the Sony a7C sample gallery

Sony a7C review (DPReview TV)

Posted: September 19, 2020, 1:00 pm

Sony has announced plans to end its camera manufacturing and sales operations in Brazil by the middle of next year. Per Gizmodo Brazil, Sony will continue to sell its consumer electronics, including cameras, in Brazil until mid-2021. However, next March, its production plant in Manaus, Brazil will shut down. The plant has been in business for nearly 50 years.

In a statement to Brazilian employees, partners, retailers and suppliers, Sony said that its exit from Brazil is due to changing market conditions and expected business trends. Clóvis Letie, Sony senior operations manager in Brazil, has stated that operations in Brazil will continue to provide technical support and warranty service for products already sold. You can view an image of the statement in Portuguese by clicking here. Sony issued a follow up statement to Gizmodo as well, which can be seen here.

A screenshot from Sony Brazil's website shows that the new Sony A7C, recent A7S III and A9 II cameras are featured in the interchangeable lens category. These cameras and the rest of Sony's photographic offerings will no longer be on sale in Brazil starting in mid-2021.

In its analysis, Gizmodo Brazil states that the most surprising aspect of Sony's announcement is that the Japanese company is closing multiple divisions at once. It is also worth considering the influence of currency exchange rates and, of course, the ongoing pandemic. Gizmodo notes that Sony's strategy in Brazil has been to slash costs to any sector not generating significant profit, which after the middle of 2021 will result in the last vestige of Sony in Brazil being the PlayStation division.

While market conditions are surely challenging for Sony and other electronics companies, Brazil is a large market to exit. The large South American nation has one of the highest GDP in the world, both by nominal and purchasing power parity measures. Granted, on a per capita basis, the nation of over 200 million ranks much lower. Income is also not evenly distributed, perhaps making it challenging to generate a profit while producing and selling what are essentially luxury items.

The closure of the factory in Manaus will hurt locals. The closure will result in the loss of about 220 jobs, per PetaPixel. In addition to the loss of employment for over 200 people, Sony's exodus from Brazil will certainly hurt photographers as well. This comes only a few short years after Nikon left Brazil.

Another screenshot from Sony Brazil.

A PetaPixel reader writes, 'Personally, I receive this notice like a stab on my back. I invested a lot of money in Sony cameras and lenses, a lot of people too. Sony is already the standard for many professionals, live event, marriages, and advertising small producers…With Nikon already gone a few years, I made the move to Sony. Looks like a bad choice. Now, I will have to sell and buy everything new from Canon.'

This sentiment is likely echoed by many photographers in Brazil. Cameras and lenses are expensive photography is an expensive hobby for many and a way of life for others. Changing brands is not simple nor inexpensive. In the meantime, existing Sony owners can likely depend on ongoing product and warranty support, even after Sony stops making and selling most of its consumer electronics in Brazil.

Posted: September 18, 2020, 6:26 pm

100 best lockdown portraits revealed from Duchess of Cambridge’s Hold Still project

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the UK’s National Portrait Gallery have put together a digital exhibition of the 100 best portraits taken during the lockdown and submitted to the Hold Still photographic contest. The images, centered around the themes of Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness, will become a print exhibition later in the year and will tour the UK.

Set up to document aspects of life in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland during the global coronavirus pandemic, the Hold Still project was launched by the Duchess, a keen photographer herself, in May and was open for entries for six weeks.

Organizers say they received 31,598 entries which were judged by the Duchess alongside the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, a poet, a photographer and the Chief Nursing Officer for England. The judges said they selected the winning images based on the ‘emotions and experiences they convey rather than on their photographic quality or technical expertise’.

We've rounded up ten of the 100 images in the following gallery, but for more information and to see all 100 portraits visit the National Portrait Gallery website.

Making bread

Photographer: James Webb
Location: Colne, Cambridgeshire

This is me and my son Jake making bread together. Baking was something that I enjoyed but didn’t get to do very often. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to bake and enjoy this passion with my children. During this time we started off making flatbreads, cupcakes, muffins and the like, and then moved on to bread. Baking became a daily pleasure we were all able to enjoy together. We've continued to bake as a family and my children have enjoyed learning how to knead dough and the process of proving before baking. Making bread has become the new normal in our house and is a hobby now enjoyed by the whole family.

Glass kisses

Photographer: Steph James
Location: Cowfold, West Sussex

My 1-year-old little boy and his 88-year-old great grandma, who miss each other so much at the moment. I captured this beautiful moment between them whilst dropping off groceries. Kisses through glass.

This is what broken looks like

Photographer: Ceri Hayles
Location: Bridgend

This is what broken looks like. This is operating for 3 hours in full PPE. This is dehydration. This is masks that make your ears bleed because the straps have slipped and you daren't touch them. This is fighting an invisible enemy that becomes more visible each day. This is a face I never thought I'd show the world, but one which I wear more and more. I took this photo to have as a reminder of how far I’d been capable of pushing myself when I needed to. I sent it to my family to tell them what a hard day it had been and they were all so shocked by it. The person they know as being so well put together, always wearing a smile, was not the person they saw that day. Looking back on it now, I feel immensely proud of the commitment shown by myself and my colleagues to provide safe care for patients, even in the depths of a pandemic. We still wear full PPE for all of our cases, and you never get used to it, but I know we’ll keep doing it for as long as it is needed.

Last precious moments

Photographer: Kris Tanyag and Sue Hicks
Location: Chicester, West Sussex

This portrait was taken by Kris, the clinical lead in the care home where Phil lived. Kris took the photograph for Phil’s daughter, Sue who submitted the work. Sue said: ‘As I approached the window my father's smile lit up the world. Probably belying the fact that he couldn't really comprehend why, after normally frequent visits and companionship in his twilight years, his daughter hadn't been allowed to visit for the last three weeks. Easter Saturday 2020 and these precious, intensely emotional moments, will stay with me forever. One week later our wonderful dad, grandad and great grandad passed away peacefully. I can never fully express my gratitude to the carers who, sensing the situation and having looked after my father with love, care and compassion for seven years (as well as my mother for 3 of those years), made those moments possible.’

Kris explains: ‘We devised a plan for Phil to see his daughter Sue via a glass wall and communicate using mobile phones. Hearing our plan gave Phil a burst of energy to go in his wheelchair, hold a muffled conversation, reaching over to put his hand on the glass wall, convinced that he was touching Sue. Struggling to speak but hearing Sue made him so very happy. Their expression of emotion through tearful, smiling eyes and touching hands; the entire conversation was just one amazing moment!’

Funeral heartbreak

Photographer: Bonnie Sapsford and Fiona Grant-MacDonald
Location: Cockermouth, Cumbria

My brother, Barry, lives in the Lake District and could not travel to be with his family when our beloved Gran died of Covid-19 on 3 May 2020. Her cremation took place on 13 May in Edinburgh with only 8 people in attendance – and Barry had to watch it live online – but we were so proud he suitably dressed for the occasion. His wonderful partner, Bonnie took this powerful picture and sent it on to us. The family all missed him greatly and our hearts were shattered at the realisation that our grandmother’s first grandchild could not be with her on her final resting day.

At the end of a shift

Photographer: Neil Palmer
Location: Reading, Berkshire

This is a studio portrait of Tendai, a recovery and anaesthetics nurse, who was born in Zimbabwe, and now lives in my local town - Reading, Berkshire. I wanted to portray her caring side as well as a look of concern and uncertainty that many of us have experienced during this pandemic. It’s why I chose a lower than normal angle and asked her to look off camera, placing her half way down in the frame.

Justin, from the outside in

Photographer: Sara Lincoln
Location: London

Justin didn't know about my project when I turned up at his window with a camera. I just so happened to be across the road, capturing his daughter Safi and her family, who had volunteered to be a part of my 'Outside In' project, which documents my community living life in lockdown, through the window. Safi asked if I wouldn't mind popping over to capture a frame or two of her father and I am very grateful that I did. It was wonderful meeting this brilliant man albeit through the window. We spoke about this project, his art collection and how he manages to keep his plants so well. We talked about how surreal everything is right now, how the weeks have been for him isolating alone and his plans to jet off to France as soon as this madness is over. He finished up by telling me he had a spot of hay fever... A session that wasn't meant to happen, happens to be one of my favourites.

We're really lucky to have a garden

Photographer: Robert Coyle
Location: Sale, Manchester

The weekend is here, lockdown continues and Bernadette and Francis enjoy the garden. One Friday, as I finished emailing at the kitchen table, my wife had taken a chair and a drink outside to enjoy the evening sun. We were doing our best, like the rest of the country, with work, childcare and news of daily death tolls. Our son, had taken to relieving himself on the plants, much to our initial amusement and then slight frustration.

Everyday hero

Photographer: Arnhel de Serra
Location: London

When I drove past Richard I had to do a double-take, as I couldn't believe he was out on his postman’s round in fancy dress. I asked if I could photograph him, and over a few days we got to know each other. Given the doomsday scenario that the media were portraying in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt very strongly that here was a man who had something deeply personal and positive to offer his community. Is it an earth shattering news story? Probably not. As a human interest story however, I feel that his generosity of spirit should be celebrated, and I am delighted that he will be part of this very important project.

Never without her grandma

Photographer: Melanie Lowis
Location: Teddington, London

Millie (5 years old) made a cut out of her much loved grandma (73 years old). Millie sees Grandma almost daily and lockdown prevented the pair from seeing each other. As a retired teacher, Grandma would have made the perfect partner to help Millie with home schooling. The bond between this grandma and granddaughter is truly a special one and when lockdown ends, and the real grandma can return, it will be a very happy and emotional reunion.

Posted: September 18, 2020, 2:26 pm

Venus Optics has announced the release of its latest lens, the Laowa 14mm F4 FF RL ‘Zero-D’ lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems.

The compact ultra-wide-angle lens is constructed of 13 elements in 9 groups, including two aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements. The lens features a 114º angle of view on a full-frame sensor while maintaining near-zero distortion as the ‘Zero-D’ moniker alludes to.

The lens features an aperture range of F4-F22, uses a five-blade aperture diaphragm, has a minimum focusing distance of 27cm (10.6") and uses a 52mm front filter thread. It measures in at 58mm in diameter, 59mm long and weighs just 228g (8oz).

Below is a gallery of sample images provided by Venus Optics:

The Loawa 14mm F4 ‘Zero-D’ lens is available in Leica M, Leica L, Sony FE, Nikon Z, and Canon RF mounts on Venus Optics’ website. All versions retail for $549, with the exception of the Leica M mount, which retails for $649. Shipping will start in late September for all but the Leica M and Canon RF mount versions, which will see the first shipments go out in late October.

Posted: September 18, 2020, 1:10 pm
Aaron ended up picking up a Minolta Maxxum 5 and 28-80mm kit lens for under $20.

Read: The $20 film camera challenge part 1: the hunt

A quick recap: In part one (see link above), I proposed a $20 film camera challenge, the goal being to find a working film camera for less than twenty bucks, shipping included. The search was fascinating: I found lots of point-and-shoot compacts, several intriguing vintage cameras and a surprising number of autofocus SLRs. I had been trolling the waters of low-end Minoltas and was just about to make an offer on a Maxxum 3xi and a zoom lens, when I saw… the camera.

Too good to be true?

It was a Minolta Maxxum 5, a camera that, quite frankly, I had never heard of. It came with what I assume was its kit lens, a Minolta AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 painted in matching silver. The lens hood was present but the lens cap was missing. The seller was here in the Los Angeles area, so shipping was only six dollars.

Asking price: $12 or best offer.

The description didn’t indicate if it was working, just the standard Ebay 'Used' boilerplate, which does include the phrase '…is fully operational and functions as intended.' I figured that was my out if the camera turned out to be broken.

The asking and shipping price were already within my $20 budget, but I am the son of a used car salesman, so I had to try to do a little better. I sent the seller a $10 offer, and it was accepted!

A high-feature camera for a super low price

While waiting for my new cheap camera to arrive, I fired up Google to figure out exactly what I'd just bought. I learned that the Minolta Maxxum 5 came out in late 2001 (well after I'd tuned out the 35mm SLR market, which explains why I'd never heard of it). The Maxxum 5 was part of that market's last gasp. It sat in the middle of Minolta’s lineup, but the features sure made it look like a high-end camera to me. It was as if Minolta was shoveling every feature they could into their 35mm SLRs as film was on its way out the door. Retail price for the body was $403, which is $587 in today’s dollars. I wasn’t able to find any contemporary ads, but I imagine at the time, you could get it with the 28-80mm for just a bit more dough.

The Maxxum 5 was part of the 35mm SLR market's last gasp. It sat in the middle of Minolta’s lineup, but the features sure made it look like high-end

I’ll spare you a laundry list of the Maxxum 5’s features, because it’ll waste too many words and no one will care, but the highlights include 14-segment exposure metering, off-the-film flash metering, 7-point switchable autofocus, and a shutter speed range of 30 sec to 1/4000 sec. It has a depth-of-field preview (yay!), 3-exposure auto-bracketing, and – especially important to me – automatic and manual ISO settings. (I bulk-roll my film, so if the camera has no DX override, I’m stuck.) And the film advances at the lighting-fast rate of three frames per second.

I stopped paying attention to the 35mm SLR market in the late 90s (after all, how could I need anything better than my Canon EOS Rebel 2000?), and frankly I was amazed at the Maxxum 5’s features and configuration options. Cripes, I thought to myself as I skimmed the 127-page manual, who needs a Nikon F100 when you can get one of these?

A sample from the Maxxum 5, shot on Ilford HP5+.

The realities of my sub-$20 camera

Two days later, my camera showed up, and it looked brand new. The lens cap was missing, but there was a UV filter installed, and the glass underneath was spotless. It still had batteries and they had just enough juice to turn on the camera on and fire the shutter. Everything seemed to work – but would it take decent pictures?

I loaded up a new pair of CR2 batteries and some film. I started with a roll of deep-discount Ultrafine Xtreme 100, then splurged on a roll of Kodak Ektar, and followed up with my old favorite, Ilford HP5+. It’s worth noting that these three rolls of film together cost more than I paid for the camera.

It’s worth noting that three rolls of film together cost more than I paid for the camera

Shooting with the Maxxum 5 is good fun. The body and lens barrel are made of plastic, as were many SLRs of the era, and the upside is a light weight. With a strap, cap, and no film, it weighs 612g (21.6 oz), a little heavier than my Sony a6000 and quite a bit lighter than my Pentax ME Super. The autofocus is quick and accurate and there's minimal shutter lag. Aside from the clicks and whirrs of the autofocus and winding motors, the experience wasn’t entirely unlike shooting with my a6000 – no surprise, I suppose, since the Minolta is, technically, the Sony’s not-too-distant ancestor.

But were the photos any good?

When I developed my B&W and picked up the color film from the lab, I was rather pleased with the results. I shot primarily in aperture-priority or program mode, and the Minolta’s built-in meter nailed the exposure on pretty much every shot. As for image quality, well, it’s what you would expect from a kit lens: reasonably sharp, but I’ve seen better. Actually, I’ve seen better from other Minolta AF lenses, which are ridiculously cheap – you can get some damn fine Minolta lenses in the $10 to $40 price range. (I was tempted to fit them to my new Maxxum 5, but that would go against the spirit of the challenge.)

The more I shot with the Maxxum 5, and the deeper I delved into its features, the more I realized that it is, by far, the most comprehensive, feature-rich film camera I own

The more I shot with the Maxxum 5, and the deeper I delved into its features, the more I realized that it is, by far, the most comprehensive, feature-rich film camera I own. Not bad for something that cost me sixteen bucks!

Yes, you can get a great camera for $20 – or less

I set out on this little experiment to see if it was possible to find a decent camera for less than $20. I was pretty sure the answer would be yes, but I never expected to find such an advanced camera in such good shape. Did I just get lucky? At $16, maybe a little. But it only took me a few days of shopping to unearth this gem, and as I speak there are a bunch more Maxxum 5s on eBayfor $30 or less. And I have no doubt there are even better bargains to be found.

Who’s going to take the $20 Film Camera Challenge next?

Posted: September 18, 2020, 1:00 pm

San Francisco-based Breakthrough Filters has announced an all-new EF to RF filter adapter. This is the first EF to RF drop-in filter adapter released not made by Canon.

Breakthrough's EF to RF Drop-In Filter Adapter is loaded with a variety of hardware improvements. The adapter has an all-metal aluminum alloy construction and includes dust and water resistance. The weather-sealed adapter has rubber gaskets around both the filter and rear mounts. The adapter includes a detachable tripod food and accepts mounting plates for ballheads, arca plates and more. Further, the interior has been blacked out to reduce specular reflections.

In terms of compatibility, Breakthrough states that you can mount your EF lenses to RF mounts on cameras such as the Canon EOS R, R5 and R6 cameras and the RED Komodo. The adapter supports autofocus, image stabilization and EXIF data recording.

The Breakthrough EF to RF Drop-In Filter Adapter includes numerous features, such as an all-metal construction, weather sealing and more. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Breakthrough

You can use either Canon's own drop-in filters or filters from Breakthrough. Breakthrough Photography announced many drop-in filters in August, you can learn more about them by reading our coverage.

The Breakthrough EF to RF Drop-In Filter Adapter is available for preorder for $199 USD. The first 500 orders will also ship with a free Breakthrough XF Clear drop-in filter. Shipping is expected to begin on November 16.

Breakthrough offers many drop-in filters for their new filter adapter and for the existing Canon EF-EOS R drop-in filter adapter. Image credit: Breakthrough

This is a sizable discount when compared to Canon's own EF-EOS R Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter. The version that comes with a circular polarizing filter costs $300 and the version that includes a drop-in variable ND filter is $400. If you already own a Canon Adapter and want to purchase Breakthrough's new EF to RF drop-in filter adapter, Breakthrough is offering a buyback program.

After your new filter arrives, you can use an included pre-paid return label to ship your Canon unit back for a refund on your transaction with Breakthrough. Sending a regular Canon EF to RF adapter nets you a $69 refund and Canon's Drop-In Filter Adapter is worth $149.

Breakthrough is offering a Canon Adapter Buyback program for purchasers of the new Breakthrough filter adapter. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Breakthrough

To learn more about the new Breakthrough EF to RF Drop-In Filter Adapter, head to Breakthrough's website.

Posted: September 18, 2020, 12:43 pm

The Sony a7C packs a full-frame sensor and an impressive list of features into a very compact body. But what's it like to use, and how does it stack up against Sony's own a7 III? Watch our full review to find out.

Sample gallery from this episode

Posted: September 18, 2020, 12:00 pm

Fujifilm has announced a version 2.0 release of its X Webcam utility, which makes it possible to use your compatible Fujifilm X and GFX camera as a webcam with popular livestreaming and video conferencing programs.

The version 2.0 update is available for both macOS and Windows users. The small update adds a new settings control window making it possible to change settings on-the-fly. In addition to basic exposure compensation and white balance changes, the settings control window can also be used to change film simulations and more while the camera is connected to your computer.

As with the previous version, Fujifilm X Webcam works with the following Fujifilm cameras: GFX100, GFX 50S, GFX 50R, X-H1, X-Pro2, X-Pro3, X-T2, X-T3, X-T4.

You can download the utility for macOS (10.12 and later) and Windows 10 computers on Fujifilm’s website.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 6:58 pm

Canon has announced a pair of new cameras with built-in printers in its IVY CLIQ range. The new models, the IVY CLIQ +2 and IVY CLIQ2, both produce 3x2in prints that double as stickers and which can be decorated with borders before printing, and both have a selfie mirror around the lens.

The IVY CLIQ2 model features a 5MP sensor and have built-in filters that users access in-camera. The IVY CLIQ +2 has a 8MP sensor and comes with a smartphone app that allows users to preview their images, to decorate them, add text and share them before printing.

The cameras have built-in Zink printers that use heat to bring out CMY dyes already embedded in the paper. Printing a 3x2in picture takes about 50 seconds according to Canon, the cameras can hold ten sheets of paper at a time and users should expect to recharge the battery after 25 prints.

The Canon IVY CLIQ2 (top) and IVY CLIQ+2 (lower) viewed from the top

The new cameras are scheduled to be available this month, along with a new circular sticker paper. The IVY CLIQ+2 will cost $149 and the IVY CLIQ2 will cost $99, while packs of the circular sticker paper will be $12.99 and regular rectangular paper is $9.99.
For more information see the Canon website.

Press release:

The Next Generation of Canon's Instant Camera Printer, IVY CLIQ+2 and IVY CLIQ2, Encourage Snap and Print Stickable Memories – In an Instant

Pre-Cut Circle Sticker Paper also Introduced, Taking prints with an IVY product to Another Dimension

How long is an instant? It could be long enough to snap the camera shutter at the right moment, but short enough to instantly print a photo from your compatible smartphone and share it with friends. In the essence of capturing, printing and sticking your photos, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the next generation of IVY products: The IVY CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer + App and IVY CLIQ2 Instant Camera Printer. Designed with fun at their core and an all-in-one package, the new IVY CLIQ2 instant camera printers boast new features and print color quality improvements.

“This next phase in the IVY product line is a direct result of what the end-user is passionate about when it comes to instant camera printers. Expressing individual style, instant access to printing and the option to stick photos are what make the new IVY products exciting for Gen-Z and Millennial consumers who are looking to think beyond their smartphone’s photography capabilities,” said Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president of the Canon U.S.A., Inc. Imaging Technologies & Communications Group.

IVY CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer + App
True to its predecessor, the instant camera printer + app is equipped with an eight-megapixel1 camera and a selfie mirror surrounded by a glowing light ring of LEDs. The CLIQ+2 also connects to a compatible smartphone and the Canon Mini Print app2. Packed full of fun filters and borders – which are available with seasonal and celebratory themes – the app lets users customize and personalize their prints. Snap-happys also have the option to print from an SD card and the now available Live View allows users to check the image before clicking.

Though the CLIQ+2 is small, it is mighty with the “2 in 1” ability to both snap a photo and print a photo which also doubles as a sticker – if you so choose. Simply peel off the photo backing and stick wherever you like. Don’t let the slim and sleek design fool you – upping the instant camera printer + app ante, the new CLIQ+2 +app has new fresh features to channel all that creative energy, including:

* Three modes directly built into the camera to snap photos, such as:
o Landscape
o Portrait
o Selfie
* Built-in frame and filters – available directly from the camera

Adding another layer of creativity, Zink Pre-Cut Circle Sticker paper is a new consumable to use with the CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer +App. Through the Canon Mini Print app2, the consumer simply selects the “Pre-Cut Sticker” layout option, and then can edit their circular formatted photo to their liking and instantly print.

Available in Rose Gold and Midnight Navy, the CLIQ+2 Instant Camera + App will instantly make a sticking impression on friends and family!

IVY CLIQ2 Instant Camera Printer
Built with a five-megapixel1 camera, automatic-flash and the coveted selfie mirror – users can click, print and stick in an instant. New for the CLIQ2 are the built-in borders and filters that are accessible right from the camera – no app connection is required, and three new matte colors: Petal Pink, Turquoise and Charcoal.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon IVY CLIQ+2 Instant Camera Printer + App and Canon IVY CLIQ2 Instant Camera Printer are scheduled to be available for in-store purchase in September 2020 at an estimated retail price of $149.99* and $99.99*, respectively. Each instant camera printer comes with a starter pack of 10 sheets of 2x3 photo paper.

The Zink Pre-Cut Circle Sticker paper will also be available for in-store purchase in September 2020 at an estimated retail price of $12.99.*

For more information, and the full list of product specifications, visit https://shop.usa.canon.com.

About ZINK Holdings LLC
ZINK Holdings LLC is headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts. One of its revolutionary products is a patented full-color printing technology that allows photographs to be instantly developed on ink-embedded paper without the need of an ink cartridge that would otherwise make digital devices bulky. For more information or to learn more about ZINK™ products, please visit www.ZINK.com.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 5:03 pm

Canon has announced its EOS Webcam Utility is now out of beta for Windows, bringing improved support and additional compatibility with more Canon cameras.

Originally released in beta for Windows, Canon’s EOS Webcam Utility is now an official release. In addition to supporting more livestreaming, messaging and video conferencing programs, the official release also adds support for more cameras, ensuring more than 40 Canon camera models can be used as webcams over USB and Wi-Fi (with compatible cameras).

Below is a list of the programs that will now work with EOS Webcam Utility for Windows:

  • Cisco Webex®
  • Messenger
  • Streamlabs
  • Discord
  • Microsoft Teams
  • YouTube Live
  • LIVE Facebook Live
  • Open Broadcaster Software
  • ZOOM
  • Hangouts
  • Skype
  • Hangouts Meet
  • Slack

As for cameras, below is a list of the models that are currently supported by the official release:

EOS Digital Cameras

  • EOS-1D C*
  • EOS-1D X*
  • EOS-1D X Mark II
  • EOS-1D X Mark IlI
  • EOS 5D Mark III*
  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • EOS 5DS
  • EOS 5DS R
  • EOS 6D *
  • EOS 6D Mark I **
  • EOS 60D *
  • EOS 7D *
  • EOS 7D Mark I1
  • EOS 70D *
  • EOS 77D**
  • EOS 80D **
  • EOS 90D **
  • EOS M200 ***
  • EOS M50 **
  • EOS M6 Mark II **
  • EOS R
  • EOS R5*
  • EOS R6 ***
  • EOS Ra*
  • EOS Rebel SL1*
  • EOS Rebel SL2 **
  • EOS Rebel SL3 **
  • EOS Rebel T3*
  • EOS Rebel T3i*
  • EOS Rebel T5*
  • EOS Rebel T5i*
  • EOS Rebel T6
  • EOS Rebel T6i
  • EOS Rebel T6s *
  • EOS Rebel T7 **
  • EOS Rebel T7i **
  • EOS Rebel T8i***
  • EOS Rebel T100 **
  • EOS RP **

PowerShot Cameras:

  • PowerShot G5X Mark II **
  • PowerShot G7X Mark Ill **
  • PowerShot SX70 HS

* Recently added camera
** USB not included with camera

You can find installation instructions and a link to download the EOS Webcam Utility Official Release for Windows on Canon’s website.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 4:15 pm

Color calibration and measurement specialist Datacolor has introduced a low cost portable color measuring device to its ColorReader range that allows users to take samples and record the exact color of reflective surfaces. ColorReader EZ is said to be 85% accurate and can describe colors in CIE Lab, RGB or HEX languages.

The ColorReader devices are designed to make matching paint colors easier, and the ColorReader EZ can give you the three closest matches from most paint brands, but also is able to give users a match for studio backdrops from Savage Universal.

Photographers shooting products or fashion will be able to measure the color of the subject to ensure it is accurately matched in the final images. The app also shows other colors that are close to the measured subject so that palettes can be created to match a mood or to produce harmonious scenes.

The ColorReader EZ differs from the ColorReader and ColorReader Pro as it uses only one LED to light the subject, it doesn’t use a lens and it doesn’t have its own display – relying on its smartphone app to communicate with the user. The device also uses a button battery instead of rechargeable lithium-ion, doesn’t support as many color formats and is slightly less accurate at 85% instead of 92%. At $59/€67/£65 though, it also costs about half the price of the standard ColorReader. For more information see the Datacolor website.

Press release:

New! Datacolor® ColorReader EZ – The Portable Tool that Simplifies Matching, Selecting and Coordinating Colours

Datacolor®, a global leader in colour management solutions, announces the launch of ColorReader EZ, the latest addition to the company’s ColorReader family of products that includes ColorReader and ColorReader Pro. The recommended retail price is £65 including VAT.

The affordable new device incorporates the company’s advanced colour technology in an easy-to-use tool that simplifies the often challenging and time-consuming process of colour matching and colour coordination both in the paint colour selection and digital workflow processes used by photographers and digital designers.

The portable, Bluetooth® connected ColorReader EZ device works in conjunction with the ColorReader mobile app (available for both iPhone and Android). The ColorReader app displays the exact measurement data in CIELAB, Hex and RGB as well as the three closest paint colour matches from the most popular paint brands. In addition to the RAL and NCS colour standards, the app includes colour fan decks from Farrow & Ball, Sikkens and also the colour set of Savage Universal who specialise in photography backgrounds, which makes ColorReader EZ especially interesting for portrait and studio photographers. In total, up to 20,000 colours are available for convenient access.

Along with their matched colours, users can build and organize colour palettes by project as well as create signature colour palettes that they can quickly share with anyone. The greater level of colour confidence afforded by ColorReader EZ saves users time and money on reworks due to colour error. ColorReader EZ is a must-have tool for anyone whose work or lifestyle includes colour decisions.

“The colour selection process can be a challenge for all of us, since so many factors can affect how we view colour. We wanted to bring a level of ease and colour-confidence to consumers with an affordable product that they would use whenever they needed to make a decision about colour. ColorReader EZ takes the guesswork out of selecting and coordinating colours. It lets you capture colour inspiration where you find it, with an accuracy you can’t get from a smartphone image. It’s easy to then bring that colour inspiration into your own work.” said Stefan Zrenner, Director of Sales & Marketing, Consumer Solutions, for Datacolor.

To learn more about ColorReader EZ, visit ColorReader.Datacolor.com

Disclaimer: The use of third-party trademarks is for identification purposes only and does not connote any affiliation with, or sponsorship or endorsement by, the respective trademark holders.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 3:28 pm

After facing imminent closure, Tetenal is back with a vengeance and has relaunched their online shop. This is fantastic news for analog photographers, as Tetenal has been producing critical photochemicals since 1847, making Tetenal the oldest active company in the photo industry.

In January 2019, we reported that Tetenal Europe faced closure. After going into voluntary insolvency protection in 2018, Tetenal Europe GmbH failed to find new investors and was preparing to close its doors. In February 2019, an employee-led management buyout was accepted and Tetenal lived on.

In an announcement at the time, one of the leaders of the employee-led movement, Burkhardt Mueller, said, 'We respect the heritage and the responsibility for 172 years of photo history that we inherit. Together with the global photo community and commercial partners from the analog photo industry, we will relaunch proven products to ensure reliable sustainable supply for film and photo studios, while developing new business models, products and services.'

A screenshot from Tetenal 1847's new online store.

Jumping ahead to the current day, the wheels are in motion at the new Tetenal. The company is offering a 5% discount on all purchases from their online store using the discount code 'tetenalpromo09'. The company offers worldwide shipping.

Tetenal's relaunch includes new black and white chemistry, including film and photo paper developer, stop, fixer, photo paper tones, stabilizer, wash aids and wetting solutions. If you're interested in traditional wet plate photography, there's emulsion available for that as well.

Tetenal is not content to simply keep producing more of the same, however, it is also working on new products. Tetenal has nearly completed the development of Tetenal Developer Tablets. These E6 and C41 developer tablets are dry chemicals you can dissolve in water to make your own solutions at home. This has two major advantages over traditional liquid concentrates. First, tablets have a lower shipping weight and volume. Secondly, liquids can oxidize, which limits shelf life when using chemicals in small batches. Tablets, on the other hand, are easier to store and have a longer shelf life.

Tetenal has nearly finished the development of effervescent tablet forms of E6 and C41 developer. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Tetenal

It is a big deal for Tetenal to survive. While the company is perhaps best known for its film processing chemicals, it is also a producer of source chemicals for many other companies throughout the world. Tetenal also contributes to digital photography by supplying chemicals to companies such as Epson, Eizo and other inkjet and dye sub media distributors. Tetenal's chemicals are also critical to the motion picture industry.

In an article for PetaPixel, Ludwig Hagelstein wrote an excellent in-depth look at Tetenal since its 19th-century beginnings. It is well worth checking out for those interested in photographic history and analog photography.

Click to enlarge. Image credit: Tetanel

To learn more about Tetenal's history and its product offerings, head to its website. It's excellent to see the company continuing to survive and innovate amid challenging market conditions.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 1:33 pm

What you need to know about Nikon's new Z 14-24mm F2.8 S and Z 50mm F1.2 S

We've known they were coming for a while, but Nikon's mirrorless lens roadmap moved two steps further forward with the launch of the new Z 14-24mm F2.8 S and Z 50mm F1.2 S. Keep reading to learn more about these two premium Z-mount lenses.

Z 50mm F1.2 S

Good news for Nikon Z shooters looking for a standard lens – you now have another option. The new Z 50mm F1.2 S is positioned between the affordable (and excellent) Z 50mm F1.8 S and the considerably less wallet-friendly Z 58mm F0.95 S.

Size and weight

First (and most obvious) things first: This is a pretty big lens. At almost six inches long (without the hood) and with an 82mm filter thread, the new Z 50mm F1.2 S is almost twice as big as the F1.8, and almost twice the weight (1095g, or 2.4lb). Nikon claims that key optics in this new lens are '1, 1/2x larger' than in the F1.8, and the new lens also houses twin STM motors for accurate focus throughout its operating range.

Amazingly, the Nikon 50mm F1.2 S is even larger and heavier than the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM, which weighs in at 950g (2.1lb).

Size and weight

For the historically inclined, the last 50mm F1.2 from Nikon (the Nikkor 50mm F1.2 AI-S) weighed less than 400g (0.9lb) and was only 5cm (2in) long. However, due to the compromises involved in stuffing an F1.2 maximum aperture into the narrow F-mount, it was not, sadly, a particularly good lens. This 50mm F1.2, however, promises to be much better.

Optical construction

Optical construction comprises 17 elements in 15 groups, including three aspherical elements and two 'ED' extra-low-dispersion elements, and both Nikon's Nano Crystal Coating and the newer ARNEO coating for flare, ghosting and coma suppression. Meanwhile, distortion is well-controlled and nine rounded aperture blades should help keep out of focus highlights circular at wider apertures.

Because of the exceptionally wide dimensions of the Z-mount, the rear element of the lens can be very large, helping to keep light rays near-perpendicular when they reach the sensor.

Nikon describes the optical construction of this lens as 'symmetrical', and in theory this should mean that the Z 50mm F1.2 S is capable of high resolution at all apertures, across the frame. This is obviously something that we want to put to the test as soon as we can.

Twin STM focus motors

The Z 50mm F1.2 S becomes the latest Nikon lens to feature twin STM focus motors, which should increase focus accuracy at close distances, as well as being quieter and more power-efficient than traditional Ultrasonic motors. Minimum focus distance is 0.45m (about 18") and of course manual focus is also possible using the large focus ring. As we'd expect, this is 'manual focus by wire' but very finely-geared for precise adjustment.

Nikon promises 'minimal' focus breathing (where magnification changes as the lens is focused), which is good news for videographers.

Handling and operation

There's no getting around the fact that this is a large lens, and it makes the Z6/7 feel pretty small by comparison. We strongly suspect, however, that it will pair well with those cameras when used with their optional grip, and of course any future high-end Z-series camera with a bit more heft.

Handling and operation

In terms of operation, the Z 50mm F1.2 S is also pretty consistent with other high-end S-series Nikon lenses of late. A control ring can be customized for direct control over exposure compensation or aperture (and other things, but those are the two most useful) and an 'Fn' button can be customized via the camera for quick access to various modes and features. Meanwhile an OLED status panel on the barrel shows focus and aperture + hyperfocal distance information. In line with other S-series lenses, the Z 50mm F1.2 S is 'extensively' sealed against dust and moisture.

The Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S will be available in December for $2099.

Z 14-24mm F2.8 S

Nikon's AF-S 14-24mm F2.8 was a wildly popular lens, and for many years it was among the best wide-angle zooms you could buy. Nikon was always going to create an equivalent for its new mirrorless Z mount and here it is: the Z 14-24mm F2.8 S.

Size and Weight

The old AF-S 14-24mm F2.8 is a famously large, unwieldy lens, thanks mostly to its enormous front element. The new Z 24-24mm F2.8 is an altogether more portable option, and considerably lighter (650g / 1.4lb compared to 970g / 2.1lb). That's a weight reduction of 35%.

It's not a small lens by any means, but at around five inches long, it is the smallest and also lightest 14-24mm F2.8 on the market (albeit in a class of only three – the third being Sigma's 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art). Minimum focus is 0.28m (~11in) so get ready to shoot some classic 'wildflowers at sunset' landscapes.

Optical construction

Optically too, this lens is totally different to its nominal F-mount predecessor. This is very obvious from the flat front element, which contrasts very clearly with the large, bulging front element of the older AF-S 14-24mm. And yes, this does mean that you can use screw-in filters, although you'll need to attach the included HB-96 hood to do it, and you'll need to hunt down 112mm filters – not a particularly 'standard' size (or a cheap one), but both Nikon and B+W do make them.

If you don't fancy shelling out for massive new filters, there's also a tray for trim-able 40.5mm drop-in gel filters at the very rear of the lens.

Optical construction

Internally, the new Z 14-24mm F2.8 S comprises 16 elements in 11 groups, including three aspherical and four ED elements. Like the 50mm F1.2, it features both Nano Crystal and ARNEO coatings. Nikon promises "stellar point light reproduction capabilities" and excellent coma and flare suppression, which should make this lens ideal for wide-aperture astrophotography.


The front element is coated with fluorine, to aid with cleaning if moisture and fingerprints should make their way onto the glass. Speaking of which, the Z 14-24mm F2.8 is sealed against dust and moisture.

Price and availability

The Nikon Z 14-24mm F2.8 S will be available in November for $2399 – a considerable premium over the older AF-S 14-24mm, but one that's hopefully justified by its image quality. We'll be sharing sample images as soon as we get hold of a production lens.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 12:00 pm


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