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Sunday, 14 October


Portrait Lens Shootout: 85mm vs. 105mm vs. 135mm vs. 200mm PetaPixel

Heres a 5-minute video showing a portrait lens shootout I recently did at 85mm f/1.4, 105mm f/1.4, 135mm f/1.8, and 200mm f/2.8. If you are looking for a portrait lens, you cant go wrong with any of these focal lengths. Each focal length serves a specific purpose and will give you a slightly different look/perspective.

Without getting too technical, I found that there really isnt much difference between all four lenses optically the differences are more apparent in the working distance and perspective that they each have to offer.

I enjoy 85mm f/1.4 because of the working distance in relation to the model along with the wide aperture for creamy backgrounds and its physically smaller size. 105mm f/1.4 really surprised me and I felt it gave me the best of both worlds when it comes to 85mm and 135mm in terms of working distance, perspective (compression) and background blur.

Here are the portraits from the shootout:

Full Body

85mm f/1.4

105mm f/1.4

135mm f/1.8

200mm f/2.8

Waist Up

85mm f/1.4

105mm f/1.4

135mm f/1.8

200mm f/2.8



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Saturday, 13 October


First image of the new Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 mirrorlessrumors

Nokishita leaked the first images of the soon to be announced new Zeiss Otus 100mm f/1.4 lens. There is yet no info about pricing and official release date. As usual expect this lens to be available in native Canon EF

The post First image of the new Zeiss Otus 1.4/100 appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.


Skylum showcases their new Sky Enhancer tool for Luminar mirrorlessrumors

Skylum pre-announced the new Sky Enhancer feature (full announcement blog post here). Its going to be released as a free Luminar update on November 1. If you plan to buy Luminar use our code MIRROR to get a $10 discount.

The post Skylum showcases their new Sky Enhancer tool for Luminar appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.


Why Youll Never Find a Camera Thats Been to the Moon on eBay PetaPixel

NASAs Apollo Program was an audacious mission to send astronauts to the moon a national goal set by President John F. Kennedys in a bold speech in 1961 that was an ongoing part of the Cold War.

NASAs use of photography aboard spacecraft originated during the Mercury Program when John Glenn carried two cameras during his Mercury-Atlas 6 program: 1) a Leica 1g for ultraviolet spectroscopic photos, and 2) a modified Ansco Autoset (which was a rebadged Minolta Hi-Matic by the Ansco Company) which took the first human-shot, color still photos.

Astronaut Wally Schirra had been using a Hasselblad 500c for his personal photography and suggested medium format to the NASA managers in charge of photographic equipment. NASA engineers modified the camera for space removing excess weight, modifying the controls to accommodate space suits, and commissioning a custom back to hold more film. The results were so satisfying that NASA contracted Hasselblad to build kits designed specifically for space missions.

Wally Schirra examines the Hasselblad camera alongside Deke Slayton (L), and Gordon Cooper

By the time Apollo 11 made mans maiden voyage to the lunar surface, as depicted in First Man, Hasselblad had been an important part of the space program. Neil...


A Message from a Spider to Arachnophobes PetaPixel

Hi, my name is Charlie and Im a giant house spider. I share my house with a human macro photographer named Maxim Piessen. My roomie loves to take photos of insects and other small organisms. We have always been on the same wavelength.

Hes been able to capture a lot of insects using his camera. I did the same using my web. He shows people the small things in nature. I I Euhm I just scare people? Apparently, I dont have the best reputation.

With so many people being afraid of me (apparently you humans call them arachnophobes), I thought it was about time to jump from key to key on this laptops keyboard and tell you my side of the story. After an intensive brainstorm session with Maxim, we came to the idea of trying to understand why people fear me so much and to counter-argue these misconceptions.

Thus far, you have already read 2 paragraphs. Reading is boring, isnt it? Even with 8 eyes and reading 4 times as quick as you do, I feel the need for visual imagery. Although I have the privilege to have 7 legsI lost one during one of many adventuresa camera is just a bit too heavy for me AND as you all know, its difficult to take high quality selfies. Luckily, my roomie agreed upon my request to supplement my text with photos.

After Googling Why are people scared of me?, I found an interesting Quora thread titled, Why are people scared of spiders?.

The most viewed and most up-voted answer: Because theyre silently creepy, wall-crawling, web-spinning, abundant egg-laying, hell-spawn creatures on Earth.

I must say, this is a very objective answer full of scientific facts. Lets try to portray this answer in the following photographs:

Spooky, isnt it? This could be the poster of the next blockbuster horror movie. I would almost say Im a (handicapped) hell-spawn creature on Earth. You dont even see the real me. Im silently creepy and my shadow will haunt you in your dreams.

I really love how you can add a negative connotation to the word spider by using creepy descr...


Kodaks New Digitizing Box is a Simple Way to Bulk Digitize Film and Prints PetaPixel

Kodak has announced a new service called the Kodak Digitizing Box. Its designed to help people digitize large collections of old family memories with minimal hassle.

To get started, a customer requests one of four box sizes: 3, 10, 20, and 40 piece boxes.

Each piece can be a film roll, an audio tape, or a set of 25 photos. A wide range of media formats can be converted.

Once the box arrives, the customer places all the old photos and analog memories theyd like converted inside the box.

The pre-paid, pre-addressed box is then shipped back to the service.

After every item in the box is professionally digitized over about 5 to 6 weeks, the customer is then sent DVDs, a USB drive, or digital downloads of the files (along with the original items that were sent).

To give customers peace of mind, the box is tracked at every step of the process and 12 email updates are provided along the way.


Where to Focus in Landscape Photos and How to Shoot Sharper Shots PetaPixel

Ever wonder where you should be focusing when shooting a landscape? Heres a 9-minute video by Nature TTL featuring renowned photographer and Nikon Ambassador Ross Hoddinott. In it, Hoddinott discusses both focusing and advice for shooting sharper photos.

Hoddinott sheds light on one of the main things to trip up a number of photographers: where do you actually focus in a landscape photo? A rough and ready approach of a third way into the image might seem good enough, but there are other methods to try too.

Hoddinott doesnt rely on the hyperfocal distance calculation either, finding that it leaves the background to drop off and become a little soft. Instead, he relies on a method called double distance focusing. This is where you take the closest point in the foreground, double the distance to it, and focus at your new focal point.

Hoddinott also covers a number of other ways in which you can improve your sharpness in images, with tips ranging from the basic use a tripod, to the more overlooked things like arming yourself with a viewing loupe to properly review images in the field.

Watch the full video above to understand focus point choice and image sharpness properly in landscape photos. You can also subscribe to the Nature TTL for more nature photography tips and tutorials.

The video above was produced by...


Sony E-mount Wasnt Designed for Full Frame, Leica Exec Says PetaPixel

As the mirrorless camera wars are heating up, the major players are touting their cameras designs, features, and specs as being superior to what the competition offers. Leica is firing some shots at Sony, the current market leader in the space: Leica claims that Sonys E-mount wasnt designed for full frame cameras.

That claim was made by Stephan Schulz, Leicas head of professional products, in an interview with Red Dot Forum at Photokina 2018.

Schultz was asked about Leicas L-mount and Sonys E-mount. Both mounts first appeared on APS-C sensor cameras the L-mount on the Leica T (Typ 701) in 2014 and the E-mount on Sonys NEX-3/NEX-5 in 2010). Schultz says that the L-mount was designed with full frame in mind.

The L mount was developed in order to have all kind of autofocus optics for full frame with sufficient diameter, he tells Red Dot Forum. And on the other side, in order to realize to compact lenses for APS as well. It was not developed for APS. It was always designed with full frame in mind, even though we came to market with APS first.

Schultz says that Leica was already developing its SL system and its full frame lenses while it launched the Leica T.

Leicas L-mount originally appeared on the 2014 Leica T Type 701 (left) before appearing on the 2015 Leica SL Type 601 (right).

On the other hand, Schultz claims that Sony didnt have full frame in mind when it developed the E-mount.

Thats a big difference with the L-mount versus the Sony E-mount, Schultz says in the interview. They started the mount with the NEX, which was APS, but Sony didnt have full frame in mind at that time. So, they had some challenges in making the lenses work for full frame. The Leica L-mount is much bigger which gives us more flexibility.



How I Shot the Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from an Airline Cockpit PetaPixel

Oakland Center are you talking to that traffic at our 9 oclock position? We got a yellow light out there and its coming up pretty fast. This unusual radio transmission to Air Traffic Control from a Southwest Airlines jet caught our attention on an otherwise routine flight between New Orleans and San Francisco.

It was the edge of night and we were cruising at 38,000 feet through a sleepy section of airspace above Nevada. The faintest glow of red dusk light remained along the western horizon but the rest of the sky had fallen into darkness.

Better get ready to take a video, I joked to my first officer. Were in the middle of UFO country, right near Area 51, maybe well get

Hey, I think I see it, he cut me off while pointing out our left front window.

A small, but intense, yellow light was streaking up through the desert sky.

Holy crap!

The streak of yellow was a good 50 miles away and it appeared to be moving parallel to us but in the opposite direction.

I instinctively reached down to grab my camera. I always keep a Canon DSLR and an assortment of lenses close at hand for moments just like this one. Every airliner has a little cubby hole next to the pilot seats where we formerly stored our chart kits filled maps and company manuals. These days we store all those documents on an iPad and the vacant chart cubby is the perfect place to stash a camera bag.

The moment I pulled out my camera the mysterious, fast-moving light disappeared.

Air Traffic control came over the radio responding to the curious Southwest pilots, Yeah, Southwest they said theres a Falcon 9 launching out of Vandenberg. Thats probably what youre seeing.

And then the yellow streak reappeared, but now it was significantly higher. It was at or above our altitude and accelerating rapidly.

I had no idea how long the rocket would stay visible and my camera was still set up for the street photography I had been doing earlier in New Orleans. The flight deck was too dark to read camera dials without wasting valuable seconds turning on the interior lights. I made a snap decision to just go for a shot, better to try and fail than miss the opportunity while messing with camera settings.

I knew I had left my camera in aperture priority mode, so I cranked hard on the thumb dial to open my lens to f/2.8 while lifting my camera to my eye. Then I set the ISO to 3200 and exposure compensation to -3 EV while composing a photo through the viewfinder. The autofocus struggled to latch onto the tiny light from the distant rocket but it eventually caught and I fired off a few photos.

Those first photos were garbage, all motion blur and camera shake. Auto modes werent going to work. If I was going to get a usabl...


Facebooks 3D Photos Have Arrived PetaPixel

Facebook announced today that it has begun rolling out 3D photos. Viewable both in the News Feed and with virtual reality headsets, 3D photos bring a scene to life by adding the facets of depth and movement.

After capturing a photo using the Portrait mode on a compatible smartphone, you can share that 3D photo on Facebook to allow viewers to scroll, pan, and tilt while looking at it. Its like youre looking through a window, Facebook says.

The technology uses the depth map data stored in Portrait mode photos captured with the iPhone 7+, 8+, X and XS. Theres no mention of support for Googles dual-pixel Portrait mode photos captured with the Pixel line.

Heres a quick video on creating 3D photos for Facebook:

This feature is also less advanced than the 3D world reconstructions teased by Facebook back in May 2018. Theres no word yet regarding if or when well see that available through Facebook.

3D photos are viewable online and in VR starting today, and the ability to create and share them will be rolled out to all users over the coming days.

Friday, 12 October


BCNranking September sales report: EOS-M 50 is the top seller in Japan mirrorlessrumors

The EOS-M50 was the best selling camera in September according to BCNranking. And Cipa released the August sales report and there is not meaningful change of course with sales being on par with last year.  

The post BCNranking September sales report: EOS-M 50 is the top seller in Japan appeared first on mirrorlessrumors.


5DayDeal 2018: $2,500+ in Tools and Resources by Top Photographers for Just $89 PetaPixel

Each year, photographers from around the world look forward to a bundle filled with tools and resources contributed by top names in photography, in a concerted effort to raise money for incredible causes, while providing photographers exclusive digital products discounted as much as 97%.

Full disclosure: This article was sponsored by 5DayDeal.

Lindsay Adler, David DuChemin, Joel Grimes, and Trey Ratcliff are amongst current and past renowned photographers who have contributed to this digital bundles of tools and resources purposed to save photographers thousands of dollars while raising millions for deserving charities.

Organized by 5DayDeal, the annual initiative has raised over $1.4 million for a plethora of charities in nearly 5 years since its inception. Photographers of all levels are also benefiting from the creative approach to collaborative philanthropy. The bundles, which are marked down by as much as 97%, are filled with training and tools to assist creatives in the advancement of their abilities, careers, and artistry.  Check it out today!

The sale of these bundles have funded such achievements as: life-saving rescues of human trafficking victims, surgeries made possible by medical ships providing much-needed care to impoverished coastal regions, spirit-lifting camps for children beset with cancer, distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and so many more.

Each year, 5DayDeal chooses 4 charities to raise money for and they...


Neuroaesthetics: Where Science Meets the Art of Photography PetaPixel

Art is something we all enjoy in one way or another. We assume it is a subjective subject, but there may be an objective angle that we can observe art from. Perhaps art isnt subjective at all? Neuroaesthetics is a scientific approach to art in the way it is both produced and consumed, and this gives us a basis for figuring out what makes art art!

The description is in the name. The beginning Neuro- is Greek for the nervous system which finds its roots in our brain. Aesthetics is also Greek and it most directly translates to I perceive, feel, or sense. So, we can discern that this study of Neuroaesthetics deals directly with the way our brain perceives and feels about the signals it is receiving. This may be any of our five senses and may even extend past what is immediately present and rely on past experiences as well attached to the individual.

How we react to different stimuli defines art. The colors, shapes, and sensation of movement interact with our minds in unique ways that cause us to feel something. The something that we experience is what Neuroaesthetics attempts to figure out. Does art follow a set of rules? What makes humans inclined to feel something about art, and more importantly, why does art make us feel these ways/where does this feeling come from?

How is it Studied?

While it is still a relatively new field of study only being fully defined 2002, there is a combination of varying fields preceding it that establish grounds for how it may proceed. The study of Neuroaesthetics uses the functional brain anatomy along with an understanding of psychology to learn about how they work in tandem with the human perception of art and how that impacts the person as well. It also uses a historical perspective with evolutionary biology to learn where we came from in order to get to where we are today in relation to art. This is what links back to the cave drawings our earliest ancestors drew thousands of years ago. It is figuring out why they did them and how those show their relationship with the art on those cave walls linked to their lives.

The brain has a very direct impact on how we create and interpret art. There are different areas of the brain where specific activities are related to. These linkages could be studied and connecte...


How Teenage Photographer John Kraus Shoots Rocket Launches PetaPixel

John Kraus is an 18-year-old photographer living on Floridas Space Coast who has captured dazzling photos of major rocket launches over the past few years. VICE News followed Kraus to a recently SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and aired this short segment showing how the photographer works (it starts at 22m01s).

Still frame by VICE News Tonight/HBO

Kraus is given special access at launches as a member of the media.

I feel like its a viable career option, and thats why Ive decided to go all-in on it, Kraus says. I really want to show what the space programs doing. I want to show how great space is to the everyday person.

Here are a couple of the photos Kraus captured at the launch using his remote cameras.

In addition to setting up his remote cameras, Kraus also stepped into a swap 10 to 12 miles north of the Cape for an off-site shot. He risked encountering gators or venomous snakes, but hes the photo he was able to create through his efforts:

Kraus previously showed us the result of placing his cameras 45 yards and 300 feet away from launches. He also shared...


This Alien-Themed Maternity Shoot is the Stuff of Nightmares PetaPixel

Maternity photo shoots are usually tender moments showing expectant parents lovingly anticipating the birth of a child. But one couple decided to go a different route: their maternity shoot pays homage to Alien. Yes, the classic 1979 science fiction horror film.

Warning: This article contains humorously gory photos that some may find disturbing.

It all started after Todd Cameron found an Alien Chestburster model at a garage sale. Since his wife Nicole didnt want a serious maternity photo shoot, Todd had the idea of using the xenomorph model for a lighthearted series of maternity photos.

The Nanaimo, British Columbia-based couple created their own costumes and props and enlisted the help of friend and local photographer Li Carter, who photographed them over the course of an hour in a pumpkin patch.

This is what resulted:


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