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ISSUE 81 22 Sep-19 Oct 2020 photographynews.co.uk
Join us for a tour around the world of lenses Speedsensation fromFujifilm
Fujifilm adds to its XF range with the launch of the world’s first autofocus f/1.0 lens
Join the Photography News team for the latest news, views and gossip from the vibrant world of imaging. In episode 10, PN ’s editor Will Cheung – together with editorial director Roger Payne and contributing editor Kingsley Singleton – mull over the latest in lens developments, with lenses getting longer and faster to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of today’s image creators. Plus, they reveal their next prospective purchases and explain why. Also in this episode, the chaps are joined by special guest expert insect photographer Ann Healey ARPS, who has invaluable advice for everyone interested in tackling this rewarding and very challenging photographic genre. Click below to enjoy episode 10 – and please share with your photographer friends, too. Go to the website for all previous Photography Get even more fun from your photography with The Photography News Podcast Click, listen, enjoy
FUJIFILM ANNOUNCED ITS intention to add a 50mm f/1.0 to its XF system about a year ago and here it is, due in the shops towards the end of September. It’s the world’s first autofocus f/1.0 lens for mirrorless cameras and its short telephoto focal length (76mm equivalent in 35mm format) makes it an ideal portrait and event photography lens. For a lens of this speed, the 50mm f/1.0 is remarkably compact and not heavy at 845g. Its 12 elements in nine groups optical construction features one aspherical element and two ED elements to help the lens deliver high-resolution, ghost-free images throughout its aperture range. With the right subject, distance and background, the lens and its nine rounded diaphragm blades is said to deliver soft, beautiful bokeh, especially at f/1.0. Autofocus is handled by a DC motor for fast, accurate focusing even when shooting wide open at f/1.0 where depth-of-field is very shallow, and it’s compatible with the face/eye detection AF systems of X Series cameras. During manual focus, the focusing barrel has 120° of rotation to help precision focusing. Other key features include 70cm minimum focus, a 77mm filter thread and 11 environment seals,
ensuring reliable performance when the conditions are less than ideal. The Fujifilm XF50mm f/1.0 R WR is priced at £1499 and it is available from 24 September.
PN had the chance to enjoy a pre-production sample of this exciting lens – see page 4 for a hands-on report and further details. • fujifilm.eu/uk
News Podcast episodes • photographynews.co.uk
2 Photography News | Issue 81
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Sony’s full-frame minimarvel Sony strengthens its full-frame line-up with the A7C, the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera
EDITOR’S LETTER WILL CHEUNG
The Sony A7C is a richly featured full-frame camera with a 24.2-megapixel resolution, five-axis image stabilisation, 4K video and advanced AI-drive autofocusing with real-time tracking, and it’s all packed into a body that weighs 509g and is a similar size to the brand’s popular APS-C format offerings. The autofocus system uses a 693-point phase detect system that covers 93% of the image area and that’s supplemented by 425 contrast detect points. Key benefits include real- time eye AF for humans and animals, real-time tracking and touch tracking for stills and video shooting. The camera’s native ISO range is
We’ve seen some fascinating lens developments in recent times, many of them fuelled by the move to mirrorless cameras and the opportunities offered by lens mounts that are wider and have shorter flange depths. To be fair, this was something promised by the camera and lens manufacturers, so they are delivering on this. We have seen exotic lenses like the Nikon 58mm f/0.95, which show what’s possible, but they’re not going to be big sellers, and others, such as Canon’s RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM 10x superzoom lens, have a mass market focus. I’ve always been a slow adopter. It took years for zoom lenses to usurp primes in my camera bag but, of course, times change and now I couldn’t imagine life without zooms. But I always struggled with superzooms, even though I have tested more than my fair share. Early examples had no appeal, with their modest maximum apertures, not very useful minimum focusing distances at the wide end and average at best optical skills. But just like every lens type, superzooms have progressed and now they offer a decent performance, hence they are big on my horizon right now. I’m keen to travel lighter, so I’m rapidly approaching a crossroads where the options are going prime, staying with zooms but going for slower options, or taking a scalpel to my zoom collection and investing in a superzoom. I’ve spent the past few weeks testing the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD for this issue and it has impressed me greatly. But the Tamron superzoom is not the only lens that crossed my desk in the past month. I had an Olympus ED 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS telezoom
to test and got some time to enjoy a pre- production sample of a FujifilmXF 50mm f/1.0 RWR lens. The Olympus 100-400mm is equivalent to a 200-800mm zoom in the 35mm format, so it’s seriously long, yet remarkably compact for such a lens. It’s great fun to use, although it needs care and I can see it having great appeal among nature/action photographers. Easier to use in terms of shutter speed selection is the Fujifilm 50mm, because f/1.0 is so fast. If anything, the struggle is at the high speed end, so it’s just as well FujifilmX Series cameras have electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32,000sec. Fast lens apertures have preoccupied photographers since time immemorial and, of course, howmuch light you get on to the sensor/film is really important. On SLRs, it also means you have the benefit of a brighter viewing image, which makes manual focusing easier. Buying a new lens is not like buying a pair of socks – it’s a serious business. In normal years, a good time to check out a prospective purchase (of all things imaging related) is at The Photography Show, which usually takes place at the NEC. This year, TPS is a virtual festival taking place 20-21 September – and registration is free at photographyshow.com We’re getting used to chatting, meeting and eating virtually, but I’ve not been to a virtual show before, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to see talks and demos that I can’t usually get to because I amworking on the PN stand, so at least that’s a benefit. What’s more, it’s all free, too! For your diary, next year’s TPS returns to the NEC on 18-21 September 2021.
100 to 51,200 with expansion to ISO 50-204,800 and Raws are captured in 14-bit.
Sony has also announced a new zoom lens that is the perfect partner for the A7C: the FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 standard zoom. This retractable design zoom is dust and moisture resistant, focuses as close as 30cm and, with its linear motor, is fully compatible with the camera’s advanced focus- tracking features. The A7C is available this October at £1900, while the FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 is expected in January at a guide price of £450. sony.co.uk 17 Buyers’ guide to lenses The choice of lenses has never been greater. We take you through some of the more interesting options 20 Big test: Nikon Z 5 Nikon’s attack on the entry-level
3 News Panasonic launches the S5, a high-spec, 35mm mirrorless camera with great hybrid credentials. Plus, a hands-on report on Fujifilm’s amazing XF50mm f/1.0 lens 6 Word search Your chance to win a Samsung 256GB microSD card 9 Club news In normal years, September is the month when camera clubs start meeting up after the summer break, but 2020 is no normal year…
10 Ultimate kit: for portraits Improve your people pictures with our guide to what you should have in your bag 14 Make the Switch Reader Pat Barbour’s journey to mirrorless began on a holiday to Cuba, and she hasn’t looked back since
comes in the form of its Z 5 24 First tests
Our monthly tour of what’s exciting and new in the world of photo kit
Issue 81 | Photography News 3
FujifilmXF50mm f/1.0 RWR hands on PN’s editor Will Cheung tries out Fujifilm’s latest prime lens
be even better, the pictures I got out of this lens looked impressive. A few tripod shots of a brick wall also showed that the lens is very respectably sharp edge-to-edge at f/1.0. A proper resolution test will come when we get hold of a production sample. Across the frame, light evenness was very good from f/2 onwards and there were signs of gentle vignetting at wider apertures, but that’s easily correctable. In terms of the lens in use, I found the autofocus to be fast and sensitive with the camera in single point and zone AF modes. I did have the camera in AF+MF mode so I could tweak focus if needed – which I did quite often – but that’s because depth-of-field is very limited at the wide apertures, so precision is extra important. So far, so good. The XF50mm f/1.0 R WR is a fabulous lens and will undoubtedly appeal to documentary, social and street photographers. For such a fast optic, its price isn’t outrageous. Of course, final judgement will be reserved until we get to try a production sample. fujifilm.eu/uk
In the short time I had with the lens, I went for a walk around the town, keen to shoot as much as possible at the wider apertures – no point having a f/1.0 lens and using it at f/11. It was sunny and the required shutter speed was over the 1/8000sec top mechanical speed, but wasn’t a problem as the X-T4 automatically switched over to the electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000sec. Of course, it’s when the light levels drop that fast lenses like this come into their own, enabling shake-free shots at medium ISO speeds for the best possible picture quality. The X-T4 has a five-axis 5EV benefit in-body image stabiliser, which obviously helps a great deal but not every buyer of this lens will have this body. So to see what sort of shutter speed I could get, I turned off the stabiliser and took sets of images at a range of slow shutter speeds. In this simple test, I think I’d be confident at shooting handheld at 1/30sec for pin-sharp shots without IBIS; with IBIS switched on I had a decent three out of five success with 1/2sec. Bearing in mind that my sample was pre- production and a full production sample could
A year after shelving the idea of an XF33mm f/1.0 lens, the XF50mm f/1.0 is available from 24 September with a guide price of £1499. I had the chance to use a pre-production sample fitted on an X-T4. The lens weighs 850g and the X-T4 610g, so it is slightly front heavy, though not excessively so and the lens sits comfortably in the left hand. There’s no lens image stabiliser, the aperture ring is click-stopped in 0.3EV steps with an A setting, like most XF lenses, and the broad manual focus ring is large with a smooth operation. Fujifilm tells us the manual focus responsiveness is greatly improved in this lens. The XF50mm f/1.0 is autofocus with a DC motor, not with the linear motor found on other XF lenses. I found AF quick, responsive and smooth, with a quiet whirr as the focus motor leapt into action. In quiet situations you will pick up the sound of autofocusing on video. The lens is compatible with the camera's face and eye detect systems. If you prefer to focus manually, the lens covers the whole focusing range in one third rotation of the focusing barrel. Manual focus is
selected from the camera body and there’s not the pull/push AF/MF clutch that’s found on some XF lenses. The lens focuses to 70cm and the filter thread is 77mm, a popular size. ABOVE It’s when there’s not much light around that fast lenses come into their own, but it’s important they perform well at their widest apertures. This image was taken on a pre-production lens and final lens quality may vary, but the signs are very promising. This was shot on a Fujifilm X-T4 at ISO 800 with an exposure of 1/850sec at f/1.0
Remembering cheetahs Leading nature photographers contribute to the latest book in wildlife series
The Photography Show goes virtual Enjoy the UK’s biggest photography show from the comfort of your sofa – and it’s all free
Remembering Wildlife series has sold more than 18,000 books since the first one was published in 2016 and raised over £634K for 45 projects across 23 countries. The fifth book in the series is all about cheetahs and features contributions from many leading nature photographers. “With only 7100 cheetahs left in the wild, we must act now. Their plight is incredibly severe and they need our attention more than ever,”
said Remembering Wildlife founder Margot Raggett. The new book is being launched at a special online event on 15 October with general admission tickets costing £23 each. The book is £45 plus postage of £4.10. There’s a one-week exhibition of images from the book, running between 12 and 16 October at London’s La Galleria Pall Mall. rememberingwildlife.com
The Photography Show & The Video Show usually takes place at the NEC in March, but with the lockdown, it was pushed back to September and then cancelled as an actual show. However, it’s now running as a two-day virtual event on 20 and 21 September. Photographers and video makers of every level are invited to register and it’s free – and of course being virtual means you
can enjoy the show from the comfort of your home. There will be more than 100 virtual exhibitors and a full timetable of talks, tutorials and demos, as well as opportunities to buy from the exhibitors at special show prices. To register and for full details of events, please visit the website below. photographyshow.com
Editorial team Editorial director Roger Payne Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 firstname.lastname@example.org Digital content writer Lee Renwick email@example.com Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Sub editors Elisha Young and Felicity Evans
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Design team Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Laura Bryant Design & ad production Man-Wai Wong Distribution Distribution and subscriptionmanager Phil Gray email@example.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
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.
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4 Photography News | Issue 81
Laowa goes wide and close Laowa adds two lenses to its ever-growing stable
Vanguard’s new tripods Accessory specialists launches four new models and six travel ones
Starting with the wide, Laowa’s new manual focus 11mm f/4.5 FF RL is a rectilinear ultra- wide lens with an extreme 126° angle of view and weighs just 254g. It is also compact enough to take 62mm screw- fit filters. The lens has 14 elements in ten groups and includes two aspherical and three extra-low dispersion elements to keep distortion and chromatic aberrations to a minimum. With a close focusing distance of 19cm, you can get in close for powerful perspective effects Stocks are due late September and the lens costs £769 for L-Mount, Nikon Z and Sony E fits and £869 for the Leica M version. For macro shooters, Laowa has introduced a manual focus 50mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO, the first 2X macro lens
Vanguard’s VEO 3+ collection comprises four models, the VEO 3+ 263AB and 263AP are aluminium and cost £229.99, and the carbon fibre 263CB and 263CP are priced at £299.99. Highlights include a multi- angle central column that doubles as a multi-mount with the included VEO MA-1, which allows extra kit such as a light or microphone to be attached,
fast to use twist leg locks and one leg with the central column combines to make a monopod. Vanguard has also introduced VEO 3GO travel tripods with six models now available – three carbon fibre and three aluminium. Prices start from £109.99 for the aluminium 204AB to £229.99 for the carbon fibre 265HCB. vanguardworld.co.uk
Sigma redesigns a classic Sigma has announced a new 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens for mirrorless cameras. Priced at £999, this lens has been designed from the ground up for cutting-edge performance on mirrorless Sony E-mount and L-Mount cameras. sigma-imaging-uk.com
for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It is priced at £409. You get twice life-size magnification at its 13.5cm minimum focus and a full focusing range makes this lens ideal for portrait and general photography work, too. It has a 14 element in ten group construction with three extra- low dispersion glass lenses and weighs just 240g. laowalens.co.uk
Panasonic’s hybridpowerhouse The Lumix S5 is Panasonic’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera. It’s compact, attractively priced and has a feature set that will appeal to still and video shooters alike
Creativity at your fingertips Luminar AI is the first image- editing software fully powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The range of tools covers different subject areas, including Atmosphere and Sky Enhancer for landscapes and Iris, Body and Skin for portrait and beauty photography. Luminar AI costs £59 (or £52 for early bird customers) and is available for Mac OS and Windows as a standalone application and plug-in. skylum.com Amazing editing made easy PaintShop Pro 2021 and PaintShop Pro 2021 Ultimate use AI for more creative options and to save time, costing £69.99 and £89.99 respectively. New features in PaintShop Pro include AI Denoise, AI Upsampling and AI Artifact Removal, plus there’s an enhanced photography workspace that’s compatible with touch and 4K devices. paintshoppro.com
LUMIX S5 AT A GLANCE › 24.2 megapixels › 35.6x23.8mm CMOS sensor › 14EV plus dynamic range › 2.36k dots EVF › L-Mount › 3in touch monitor › ISO range 100-51,200, expansion to 50 and 204,800 › 1728 multi-zone metering pattern › Dual SD card slots, one UHS-II compatible › Contrast detect AF with face, eye, head and body detection › In-body five-axis sensor shift stabiliser › 4K 3840x2160 full-frame video › MOV and MP4 formats › Dust and splash resistant › Microphone and headphone sockets › Dimensions (wxhxd) 133x97x82mm › Body weight 714g
When Panasonic launched its full- frame Lumix S series a couple of years ago, the company made a great deal of its no-compromise approach to explain why the S1 and S1R cameras were bigger than their Canon, Nikon and Sony mirrorless rivals. Remarkably, its new Lumix S5 is a richly featured full-frame camera that’s smaller and lighter than the S1/S1R and it’s actually even more compact than the Micro Four Thirds Lumix GH5. The S5 is keenly priced, too, at £1799 for the body only or £1999.99 for the kit that includes the Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Pre-order the S5 before 30 September and you can claim a free DMZ-XLR1 microphone adapter or a Sigma 45mm f/2.8 lens. The Lumix S5 boasts 24.2 megapixels and its sensor is claimed to handle a 14EV plus dynamic range, while its native ISO range is 100 to 51,200, which is expandable to ISO 204,800. Also featured is Dual Native ISO technology, which uses two circuits for each pixel, resulting in minimal noise shooting videos at ISO 640 and 4000. Five axis in-body image stabilisation gives up to a 5EV benefit, and fit a lens with OIS and you get Dual IS2 with up to 6.5EV benefit. The in-body stabiliser also comes into play for high-resolution shooting of static scenes where eight shots (Raws or JPEGs) can be merged in-camera to give 12,000x8000 pixel Raws. The camera’s autofocus system is contrast detect, and features a greatly
While the S5’s still shooting features are impressive, this camera is also aimed at the massive market sector of video creatives, so its movies skills are even more notable. It is capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit external recording via HDMI output and up to 30 minutes of 4K 30/25p 4:2:2 10-bit video internal recording. Shoot 4K 30/25p 4:2:0 8-bit video and there’s no time limit on internal recording thanks to the camera’s very efficient heat dispersion. Shooting modes include 4:3 4K anamorphic at 50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p, 4K/60p
improved algorithm using advanced deep-learning technology for real-time face, eye, head and body detection and tracking. The AF system is said to work well even when a subject is moving quickly or turning their head away. Low Light AF mode gives the S5 the ability to focus in light as low as -6EV. Other key features include dual SD card slots (one is UHS-II compatible), Live View Composite mode, USB charging, 6K photo burst mode at 30fps and a new high capacity battery, capable of giving 470 images.
interval shooting and 4K HDR for realistic recording of highlight and shadow areas of a scene. Plus, there’s an array of pro-oriented video shooting assist features including time coding, NTSC/PAL and zebra pattern. With its strong stills/video feature set, full-frame sensor and its price, the Lumix S5 has the potential to be a massive success. panasonic.co.uk
Issue 81 | Photography News 5
Tune intoThe Photography News Podcast
A D L P B J P Y P O C E T E L B A T Z F P J N R E T N E Q I J J K O T N L C F E U M B B L T I D E G C Q Z T F C W B E R A W T F O S N U W O R K F L O W Q J E R N M N I O A Z P Z R E V U A E E R U J G P K E E E S E Z N L T A F N U S E Z R V M G D T Q W W L P K C Y H R R I X E E T T K S S A A N L E C H S L D M W W P I S T R O K E M B I I H R E Y A L A X F N Z A I H J N X Z H T O O L S C G Z F C Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung Evo Plus 256GB microSDXC memory card with SD adapter, offering read speeds of 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 £51.99 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with that word in the subject box by 12 October 2020. The correct answer to PN79’s word search was ‘heal’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by R Gillet from North Somerset. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards A Samsung memory card! WIN!
Let the Photography News team tickle your eardrums with photo chat, hints and tips, and special guests. Our podcast is a must-listen for everyone interested in photography – and it’s free! Join the Photography News team (editor Will Cheung, editorial director Roger Payne and contributing editor Kingsley Singleton) for an audible feast about photography. With subjects as diverse as best-ever lenses and favourite cameras, to what they would take on a desert island and expert hints and tips to inspire your picture- taking. Plus, we’ll have special guests from the imaging trade join us, too. There’s also the chance for you to get involved as well, so if you have questions you would like to put to our experts, have something you want to get off your chest or have ideas for future podcasts, please email us at: email@example.com The Photography News Podcast is available on the magazine’s website, Apple Podcasts and Spotify, or use the bit.ly addresses provided in the panel (right) to listen to the episodes on YouTube.
EPISODE 10 bit.ly/3kvaPYL The exciting world of lenses is mulled over, plus we have special guest expert insect photographer, Ann Healey ARPS EPISODE 9 bit.ly/3aRFFqM PN shoots big-sky landscapes, bugs and drooling dogs, plus an interview with Dom Gurney of Epson EPISODE 8 bit.ly/3gfBuXJ The team pick their Desert Island Kit and explain their choices EPISODE 7 bit.ly/2OFzY4S The team nominate their best ever lenses, past and present EPISODE 6 bit.ly/2OILQ6f Landscape special with an exclusive interview with master landscaper, Charlie Waite EPISODE 5 bit.ly/2OGTUUT Advice for astrophotography and long exposures, plus why you should consider back-button focusing EPISODE 4 bit.ly/32DsXtt The team reveal their self-portraits, plus why photography contests are worth the effort EPISODE 3 bit.ly/2WHeQQ3 Inspiration for lockdown shooting and the team’s choices for their best-ever DSLRs EPISODE 2 bit.ly/2ZKreAT Shooting at home special with product photography in the bath and astrophotography from the comfort of your own home EPISODE 1 bit.ly/3eUk3KU Advice for at-home shooting and the team’s favourite cameras
Find your perfect paper with Permajet Permajet’s new digital guide explains what you should look for when selecting a paper to best show off your photographs
One of the beauties of digital printing is the vast choice when it comes to paper. But that choice can be overwhelming, too, and that’s why Permajet has produced The Knowledge Vol 1: The Art of Paper Selection . This free download discusses the ins and outs of inkjet paper, covering different finishes, how each paper looks and what image type suits which paper finish. It's all supported by great images and commentary and
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6 Photography News | Issue 81
Issue 81 | Photography News 7
8 Photography News | Issue 81
SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club
Smethwick open for entries The 46th Smethwick International Exhibition of Photography is open for entries. This year, the exhibition is projected images only, with the usual three print sections replaced by three additional PDI sections. The six sections are: Open Colour, OpenMonochrome, Nature, Creative, Scapes and Travel. Please send us your news
The deadline for submissions for inclusion in the next issue of Photography News is 2 October.
Online entry closes 5 November with judging/selection on 13 to 15 November. smethwickinternational.co.uk
Chester PS Chester PS has been holding a variety of online activities during the lockdown including competitions, photo quizzes and a special interest online discussion group. The forthcoming season is being held online using Zoom and in addition to the usual competitions,
a variety of speakers are booked, with topics ranging from food photography, macro, composition and press photography. Visitors are welcome to book in advance for individual talks, which cost £5. chesterps.org
It’s Loughton CC’s 75th anniversary this year but, like many groups, has scaled back its 2020 programme. “We’ve moved to Zoom for presentations and competitions, and that will continue this season,” said publicity officer Thelma Banks.
However, its annual exhibition did go ahead in a small area next to its usual meeting place. “The judging process was videoed to club members wishing to join Alison Jenkins doing the selections,” added Thelma. loughtoncameraclub.org.uk Crosby CC Crosby CC has put together an exciting schedule of online talks this autumn, with events scheduled through to December. The club will then decide on whether to return to in-person meetings from January 2021, depending on the situation. “Things may look a little different at our meetings, but we’re still offering the same informative talks, coupled with the chance to enter your best images into competitions,” said Steve Sefton, Crosby’s president. crosbycameraclub.net
Thanet’s weekly meetings from this month are being held via Zoom, returning to normal from January 2021, circumstances permitting. The full programme for next season will be published on the club’s website. The club’s annual membership fee is £35 and £4 is payable for each meeting, but this does not apply to virtual meetings. isleofthanetphotographicsociety.co.uk Thanet CC
Clacton CC Clacton CC’s first online presentation is on 18 September. Taking place over Zoom, they’re free for members and for non-members, there is a £3 fee. For details of Clacton’s programme, visit the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org clactoncameraclub.co.uk
For the first time ever, Amersham Photographic Society’s annual exhibition is being presented virtually on YouTube. Its 68th annual exhibition video was created by a team of club members and contains work frommany of Amersham’s members across a variety of photography genres. “Since lockdown, we have needed to find new and innovative ways to maintain the club’s activities,” said member Patrick Hudgell. “Our meetings, sub-groups and tuition sessions are now all held on Zoom, but our usual annual exhibition could no longer take place. The virtual exhibition we created is a wonderful solution and has the benefit of allowing people from all across the world to view and appreciate our work at their leisure. We hope that your readers enjoy seeing some of our Amersham PS
Chichester Camera Club is another that has taken its annual exhibition online. “It was with great sadness that we had to cancel our annual exhibition at the Assembly Halls this year,” said club selection committee chair, Peter Rocchiccioli. “The club has explored different ways of displaying our work to the public, so we are extremely grateful to The NoviumMuseum for their collaboration in this online showcase. It is available for viewing through to this December. If you enjoy the show, please pass on the message to friends and family.” thenovium.org/ChiCameraClub Chichester CC
Sandhurst Camera Club had well over 1000 YouTube views of its first online exhibition. It was so successful, it will run alongside live shows when the club restarts. youtu.be/ZRrxOXkLlNI Sandhurst CC
ABOVE This picture was wrongly credited last month. The image is entitled Reach for the Sky by Martin Leech CPAGB
members’ amazing work.” youtu.be/FsysNWboVxY
Issue 81 | Photography News 9
Face up to better portraits
Invest in some of these must-have accessories, and you’ll soon be shooting better portraits
Hähnel Captur Remote
One of the biggest steps in using off- camera flash is getting your lights firing without a physical connection to the camera. Hähnel’s Captur Remotes make this really easy and, at under £60, they’re an affordable way to get started, too. Powered by two AA batteries and with a range of up to 100m, these Captur remotes are compatible with a huge range of cameras and if you want to use more than one flash, just add another receiver. The Captur can also be used as a remote shutter release, so you’re covered there, too.
LIGHTING IS ONE of the most important aspects of portraiture, and that’s true whether you’re working with continuous light, speedlights, studio flashes or available light like the sun. It’s also important to remember that, while lighting can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on your technique and camera settings, it’s the style of lighting that really sets the tone and mood of a portrait. The human face is an object, and therefore moving the light source around it or changing the output of the light will change the way it looks. This is an approach called modelling, and it’s done by positioning lights exactly where you want them and by modifying the output of the light.
With the right kit, light can be quickly changed from direct to oblique, soft to hard, broad or narrow; however you feel it best suits the look you want to create. To light with freedom, you’ll want lights that are versatile and easy to use, as well as modifiers that let you shape their output just as you want. And it helps to have specialist bags and cases to transport and store kit, too. Of course, it’s not just about the lighting itself. Portrait backgrounds are also instrumental in the success – or otherwise – of a portrait. Check out this month’s top portrait gear picks and you’ll be well on the way to better pictures.
A roller bag is perfect for portrait work, because it lets you carry a wider range of kit than a simple backpack. Think Tank’s Airport Advantage XT has a large 33.8x45.7x19.1cm internal capacity, so it’s capable of holding larger lights as well as your camera gear. Inside, there are also lots of options for storing batteries, cards, filters and other small accessories. The bag itself is light at 3.1kg, and moves freely on its composite wheels with an extra-tall handle to make steering it much easier. Along with its durable build, it also has lockable YKK zips for extra security. Think Tank Airport Advantage XT
PocketWizard Plus Transceiver The PocketWizard Plus Transceiver is a high- end flash trigger/receiver that gives amazing
performance in terms of features, reliability, range and adaptability. With a choice of 32 channels to use, it’s easy to trigger your lights, even in very busy environments, and the Plus III’s Auto-Sensing technology switches between transmitter and receiver as needed. What’s more, it has a range of up to 500m and can trigger lights at up to 12fps.
Another great option for beginners with off- camera flash is Calumet’s Pro Series trigger. This 2.4GHz trigger and receiver set has a range of up to 100m, and can be set to one of four different channels, in case you want to control different sets of lights in your location, or need to work at events where others are using lights, too. Running off four AAA batteries, the Pro Series has an easy-to-read status LED to help with setting up. Calumet Pro Series set
Pixapro CITI600 TTL
No bigger than many camera lenses, the B10 is a lightweight but powerful battery-powered monolight that opens up all sorts of possibilities on location. With a maximum output of 250Ws, it has five times the power of the average speedlight and light is delivered across a versatile ten stops. With its clean and simple interface, the B10 is easy to use, even for beginners, and it’s compatible with all Profoto’s AirTTL remotes, as well as the Profoto A1 when used as a trigger. Plus the B10 is compatible with over 120 Profoto modifiers, including the full OCF range.
This is a battery-powered monolight that has all sorts of handy features, including TTL exposure, high-speed sync and stroboscopic modes. Using IGBT technology, it’s also capable of extremely short flash durations up to 1/10,000sec, making it a great option for freezing subject movement. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack gives around 500 bursts on full power, and its 600Ws power can be controlled over a nine-stop range from 1/1 to 1/256 in third increments, and it also has a built-in 2.4GHz wireless receiver.
Kenro’s KFL101 is an affordable and powerful flash that’s compatible with both Nikon and Canon systems, making it a very handy gun to have around. The KFL101 offers high- speed sync up to 1/8000sec and can be used as a wireless master in Canon’s E-TTL and Nikon’s i-TTL modes. Powered by four AA batteries, it has a maximum output of GN58 (at ISO100, 180mm), and uses an automatic zoom head to help direct its power. Its angling head also comes with a built-in diffuser, and a stand and case are supplied.
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One of the mainstays of portrait lighting, a reflector lets you bounce light back into shadows to make more even and flattering illumination. Lastolite’s Halo Compact design is aimed at greater portability than traditional reflectors. It uses a collapsible aluminium frame, which the reflector’s fabric then clips on to and, when broken down into its case, it measures only 6.5x27x6.5cm and weighs just 335g. As well as the supplied silver/white fabric, a diffuser can also be fitted to the frame. manfrotto.co.uk Lastolite 82cm Halo Compact Reflector £68
Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite 2
Honl Photo 1/8in Speed Grid
Many photographers rush to flash modifiers that spread and diffuse light, but those which focus it can be just as useful. A honeycomb, like Honl’s 1/8in Speed Grid, attaches to the front of a speedlight and narrows the beam, meaning you can use it more accurately and create more contrast in your lighting. Made of polycarbonate, the Speed Grid attaches using a strap and covers an area of 89x58mm, so it’s big enough to fit most speedlights. There’s also a 1/4in Speed Grid version with a looser honeycomb and therefore a broader throw.
If you want softer and more flattering results from your speedlight flash, one way is to increase the size of the flash emitter – the larger the panel is in relation to the subject, the softer the light will be. At 22x22cm, the outer diffuser panel of the Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 is far larger than that of an unmodified flash, so shadows are softer and contrast more even, and there’s also an inner scrim to further diffuse the light. This modifier has a folding design so it’s quick to erect and can be easily transported – and a neat travel bag is included.
Creativity Backgrounds Compact Deluxe stand and bag
If you’re using backgrounds, you’ll need something to support them. So, as well as supplying an amazing range of backgrounds and other creative gear for portraiture, Creativity Backgrounds stocks stands. In this deluxe version, both stands and the horizontal support are telescopically adjustable, so height can be varied from 1.4m to 3m, while the width can go from 1.4m to 3.8m. To complete your set-up, grab a roll of 1.35x11m paper, available in loads of colours, for only £35.
Rogue FlashBender V3
Long favoured by photographers who need to get better results than an on- camera speedlight alone can allow, the latest Rogue FlashBender is version 3. This flexible, reflective panel can be fitted to almost any flashgun, and when the flash is fired into it, it creates a larger source of light, softening results. Because of the flexible nature of the material, it can also be twisted into shapes that channel the light rather than spread it if required. Like previous versions, the FlashBender V3 can be easily slid into a laptop compartment or similar for easy travel.
Packing a host of neat features, Kenko’s AI Flash AB600-R is a good bet for photographers looking to step up their use of flash. Its tilt-and-swivel head allows easy bouncing of flash off walls and ceilings, and the best angle is automatically calculated for ideal results. The AB600-R also supports wireless control via its 2.4GHz radio signal. It has power of GN60 (at 200mm, ISO 100), a manual or automatic zoom head covering 18-200mm and takes four AA batteries. Kenko AI Flash AB600-R
SRB 30cm 2 in 1 Reflector kit
If you’re after specific colours and textures in a backdrop, look no further than Club Backdrops, which supplies an amazing range of backdrops in both vinyl and canvas. Perfect for portraits, the canvas backdrops measure 1x2.1m, and have a high-quality finish and an authentic look, with all the designs being created in-house and printed to order. A single backdrop will cost around £55, but there are offers to save on multiple orders, so dive in for a look. Club Backdrops
This neat little reflector adds gold and silver shadow-filling options and, at only 30cm wide, it’s small and light enough for your subject to easily hold one-handed just out of shot. The silver side gives neutral fill light, while the gold has a warmer and more summery look. For an ultra- portable appeal, it also folds down to only 10cm. There are 50cm, 80cm and 110cm sizes available, too, ranging from £11 to £16.
MagMod Basic kit
Attaching quickly and easily to most speedlights and giving great results, the MagMod Basic kit combines silicone rubber with magnets to give a huge range of light-shaping possibilities. This basic set includes the MagGrip, which stretches over the speedlight’s head, and two modifiers – a MagGrid honeycomb and MagGel holder with a standard
set of gels to insert, including CTO and frosted versions. There’s also a Transmitter Band to attach a radio receiver, and a pouch to put it all in.
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Photography News and Profoto have joined forces to offer three readers a unique photo experience. Plus, you will get the chance to have your images featured in these pages! Sign up for ProfotoAcademy Live ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
THE PROFOTO ACADEMY LIVE event gives you the chance to shoot using the latest Profoto lighting kit with professional models in a variety of scenarios, with support provided by Profoto ambassador Hannah Couzens (right) and Profoto’s technical experts. The Photography News team is also on hand for assistance, as well as to record the event for future issues. This very special event is open to photographers of all levels, even if you have never shot in a studio before. All you need is an enjoyment of people photography and a willingness to learn. Of course, the health of everyone attending the day is a paramount consideration, so health and safety measures and social distancing will be implemented according to the current government guidelines. Our exclusive shoot takes place on 30 October 2020 at Natural Light Spaces, a pro studio based at Weedon Bec, near Northampton. Getting to the studio is at your own cost, but once there, refreshments and lunch
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HSS shooting modes, and 300m in manual flash. The B10 Plus is fully compatible with more than 120 Profoto light-shaping tools, including the OCT range, and works with the Profoto app, too, which is available on Android and iOS. With such an amazing specification in a readily portable package, the Profoto B10 Plus is without doubt a leading light of the modern age. profoto.com
Reflector, and the unit is fully charged and ready to go again in just two seconds. Equip yourself with an Air Remote TTL trigger – available for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony – and you can enjoy the shooting convenience of wireless TTL flash and the creative opportunities offered by high-speed sync (HSS) flash. With the trigger comes a working range of up to 100m in TTL and
Profoto’s B10 Plus is a battery- powered studio flash that delivers a remarkable amount of output for its compact size. About the size of a fast aperture telezoom lens and weighing just 1.9kg, the B10 Plus delivers a mighty 500Ws of flash output at full power, and you get 200 high-power bursts from a single battery. To give you an idea of output, a full-energy burst gives an aperture of f/22.7 at 2m and ISO 100 with an OCF Magnum
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Who’s in Charge? taken on Fujifilm X-T2 and XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR at 16mm. Exposure 1/500sec and f/4 at ISO 800
Make the Switch After taking up photography nine years ago, Pat Barbour has gained distinctions, won competitions and is president of her local photographic society. She’s also progressed froma full-frame DSLR camera outfit to a FujifilmX Series system. Here’s her story ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
of the learning process. [Pat has an ARPS, AFIAP and DPAGB.] The journey to Fujifilmbegan on a travel photo trip to Cuba in 2015. There were ten clients on the trip and three were using Fujifilm. The trip was great. We got a brief to shoot to during the day and after dinner you would show your three best pictures. I was so impressedwithwhat the three Fujifilmusers were getting and I felt, rightly or wrong, that I was limited bymy equipment. Also, they were
with a lens for each. He said, “Try these for a couple of weeks and see which you prefer”. I ended up buying the Canon with a pile of lenses. Niel carried themhome for me. In fact, when we go on trips, Niel still carries kit for me. It has been incremental learning since then, watching what other people do with their cameras and which pictures they put into competitions, seeing what does well. I have done distinctions too as part
first evening I turned up, everyone had a camera except me. On the tutor’s advice, I bought a Canon bridge camera, did the course and joined the Doncaster Camera Club, introducingme to a great group of people who encouragedme to enter competitions. I was enjoying photography, so I went back to the helpful man at Jessops and told him I was ready to buy a DSLR. He lent me a Canon EOS 5DMark II and a Nikon body,
When I turned 50, my husband Niel said tome, “What would you like for your birthday?” I replied, “How about a camera?”, even though I’d never held one at that point. So we went to the local Jessops and I said to the gentleman there, “Sell me a camera”. He, very reasonably, asked what sort of photography I did and I said I didn't do any. The sales guy hesitated, bless him, and suggested I do a course first. So I booked an eight-week evening course – on the
PAT BARBOUR ARPS Pat is a GP in Ealing, London, and President of RTPS
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THE KIT PATOWNS
FUJIFILM X-T4 The X-T4 is Fujifilm’s most powerful camera so far, delivering a no-compromise performance for stills photography and video recording. At the X-T4’s heart is a fourth-generation 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor working with a X-Processor 4, giving cutting-edge image quality and ISO performance, and this is the first X-T camera to feature a five-axis in-body image stabiliser, giving a benefit of up to 6.5EV. Not to mention weather resistance, a top shooting speed of 15fps and a new larger battery for greater shooting capacity.
XF18-135MM F/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
This Fujifilm lens has a 7.5x zoom range, giving coverage from 27mm to 206mm in 35mm format terms, making it the ideal all-rounder for a wide range of subject matter. Key features include an inner focus mechanism working with a linear motor to give very fast, silent autofocus, suitable for stills photography and video filming. Also on board is an advanced optical image stabilisation (OIS) giving up to 5EV benefit.
“I thought a Fujifilm set-up, whichwouldbe lighter andmore discreet, wouldbe better forme”
became amember of Richmond & TwickenhamPhotographic Society, an important step as it enabledme tomake local friends who sharemy passion for photography. I’mnow using an X-T4 and X-T2 together with six Fujifilm lenses. When I want to travel light, I fit the XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LMOISWR, which is my take-everywhere lens. I like the Fujifilmcameras somuch, because everything – all the dials and all the numbers – are visible, conveniently placed and they are intuitive to use. The Covid-19 pandemic has been horrible for everybody, but for me it has opened up some opportunities. I never used to pick upmy camera between holidays, but because we have been home, I have started taking my Fujifilmkit to Richmond Park and have been photographing the kestrels, owls, woodpeckers and deer. These subjects are onmy doorstep, but I have been blind to them. I love wildlife photography now as much as travel. All I want now is a longer Fujifilm lens – something that goes up to 600mmwould be nice.
walking roundwithmore discreet kit that was lighter in a hot environment. When I got home, I bought a FujifilmX-T1 and XF18-135mm f/3.5- 5.6 R LMOISWR. At that point, I was not thinking of swapping systems – I just wanted a lighter set-up I could use occasionally. I’d always aimed to have the best equipment set-up and for the equipment not to limit me. I thought I had this, until the Cuban trip. I realisedmy set-upmight not be the best, especially for travel photography, which is what I shot most of the time. In fact, until the pandemic, I only picked upmy camera when I went on holiday andmost trips were based around photography. So I thought a Fujifilm set-up, which would be lighter andmore discreet, would be the better option. I bought a FujifilmX-T2 in November 2016 and I have not used my Canon gear since. Recently, I asked myself what’s the point of all that kit sitting in a drawer. So I’ve just sent off a box of my Canon kit toMPB. It’s also worthmentioning that wemoved to London in 2017 and I
XF100-400MM F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
TOP Boy With Charcoal Bowl, Fujifilm X-T2 and XF50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR at 98mm; 1/500sec and f/5, ISO 640 BOTTOM LEFT The Decorator, Fujifilm X-T2 and XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR at 24mm; 1/1000sec and f/4.5, ISO 400 BOTTOM RIGHT Owl, Fujifilm X-T4 and XF100-400mm f/4.5- 5.6 R LM OIS WR at 400mm; 1/500sec and f/4.5, ISO 800 Perfect for action and nature photography, this lens gives the 35mm format equivalent focal length range of 152-609mm. Its advanced optical design of 21 elements features five ED lenses and one Super ED lens to minimise chromatic aberration, which can be a serious issue with telephoto lenses, and to help deliver high-resolution images with plenty of contrast. It also has an optical image stabiliser with a 5EV benefit to help sharp shooting with slower shutter speeds.
FREE 48-HOUR FUJIFILMLOANS
The Fujifilm Connect loan service means you can try specific Fujifilm cameras and lenses in your own home free of charge for up to two days (including delivery). Loans can be extended, and if you decide to purchase it afterwards, Fujifilm will refund your loan fee. For full details of this special loan scheme, go to fujifilm-connect.hireacamera.com/en-gb
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