Photography News Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories Prize word search / Win a Samsung 256GBmicroSD memory card Summer Festival / The latest photo and video kit, plus ideas to get you shooting A W A R D S 2019
ISSUE 78 16 Jun-13 Jul 2020 photographynews.co.uk
Big test: FujifilmX-T4 / The best X-T camera yet? Almost certainly
Open for business?
EXCLUSIVE In episode 6 of The PN Podcast: Charlie Waite in conversation with PN’s editor Will Cheung Listen to it for free!
Lockdown is easing , but the new normal, whatever this will look like, is still some way off. The good news for many of us is that non-essential shops are opening up , but will it be business as usual on our high streets? THIS ISSUE OF Photography News went to print as non-essential retailers were reopening. At least, that was the case in England and Northern Ireland, while in Scotland andWales, at the time of writing, no date for reopening had been set. Photography News contacted a few well-known photo retailers to see what their immediate plans were. On the whole, there was an optimistic response. “Our England stores are opening with reduced hours,” saidWex’s Paul Wareham. “We’re also adopting a one-to-one policy, so the customer is accompanied by a member of staff during their store visit. It means the customer can touch and feel products as normal, then we can identify what has been handled and sanitise it ready for the next customer.” The health and safety of staff and customers is paramount, with many retailers taking steps to prepare the stores for the safety of all concerned. “We will be limiting numbers in-store and there’ll be lots of cleaning – of general surfaces, but also wiping cameras before and after every touch,” explained Roscoe Atkins of Park Cameras. “Our Burgess Hill store will be opening. For our London
CharlieWaite is one of the world’s leading landscape photographers and founder of the Landscape Photographer of theYear contest. In the podcast, he offers advice for photographers during
lockdown, his thoughts on the latest LPOTYand his involvement as a judge for TheArts Society IsolationArtworks Competition. See the show and vote for your favourite artist here: bit.ly/3hi1iTX You can listen to the episode for free on the PN website,Apple Podcasts, Spotify or YouTube. • photographynews.co.uk
store, we are trying to work out how safe it will be to travel on the tube, as this is the biggest issue. We will no doubt have to find a way, like other businesses, but perhaps we will review our opening times to avoid rush hours.” Wilkinson Cameras has opened Preston, Liverpool, Warrington, Kendal and Carlisle stores. “Further stores will be opening in the following weeks, assuming all goes well and the Covid-19 situation doesn’t worsen,” saidWilkinson’s David Parkinson. “The new retail world will be very different from the old retail world. However, our staff are keen to return and make the customer experience as normal as possible.” Among the many imponderables is how busy stores will be. Andy Sands of Chiswick Cameras said: “We’re opening Wednesday to Saturday to start with and going to six days probably in July. We’re allowing two customers in the store at a time to ensure social distancing, but apart from that, it should be quite normal.”
A click and collect service is another option retailers are considering. Jason Mitchell of Cameraworld said: “It is not possible to open properly and observe social distancing. However, we are open for a click and collect service from our Stevenage and Chelmsford stores. Customers can discuss their needs with us at the door, over a counter and make purchases there also. This is also an ideal opportunity for customers to drop off their part-exchange items for valuation.” However, the situation is different in Scotland andWales. Steve Byford is MD of Ffordes Photographic , near Inverness. He said: “The shop may not open until later in June, if not July, but we’ve put things in place, like protective screens at counters, masks, gloves and sanitiser stations. We’re also looking to put in an appointment and telecom system to keep everyone safe.” The situation is new to everyone and evolving, so if you’re keen to go shopping, please check stores are open before leaving home, or shop online.
2 Photography News | Issue 78
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Samyang expands its lens range Three new lenses are announced by leading Korean lensmaker Samyang: one autofocus and two manual focusmodels
EDITOR’S LETTER WILL CHEUNG
Samyang’s latest AF lens is an AF 85mm f/1.4 RF designed for Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras. This high-spec lens features an advanced optical construction of 11 elements in eight groups, with four high- refractive lenses (HR) and one extra low-dispersion (ED) lens, designed to give leading-edge image quality across the frame. The lens is weather sealed, minimum focus is 90cm and the filter thread is 77mm size. Availability is late June with a price of £599. The two manual focus lenses are mark 2 versions of its popular and much-respected MF 14mm f/2.8 and MF 85mm f/1.4 lenses. Both are designed for full-frame and smaller formats and will be sold in Canon EF, Canon EOS M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, 3 News New lenses from Samyang, updated software from DxO and a vlogging sensation from Sony 5 Prizeword search Solve the puzzle correctly and you could win a Samsung 256GB micro SD memory card 6 Club news No physical meetings or exhibitions, yet the club scene remains vibrant – just in a different way 17Make the Switch: DavidMcKibbin We meet a PN reader who has made the leap to mirrorless, and his pictures are awesome
So, what are your plans for the new normal? As this is a photography magazine, I’m asking what your plans for your camera are, not what you’re having for dinner! Or do you even have any at this early stage? Actually, I’ve read several stories online this week that make hiding away indoors for the rest of the summer an attractive option. Idiots tombstoning off Durdle Door, visitors causing ‘significant problems’ and leaving ‘toilet waste’ in the Lake District and portable barbecues causing fires in the Peak District. Good grief ! Of course, everyone is entitled to enjoy our country’s delights, but they should respect it, too, and take their rubbish home with them. With non-essential shops opening in England and Northern Ireland, are you tempted for a trip out to flex the credit card? And if so, what’s on your shopping list? A nice shiny new camera or lens, perhaps? With The Photography Show 2020 cancelled and a virtual two-day event planned, if you were saving your pennies for a spending spree at the NEC, that avenue of pleasure has gone. If you do want to touch and feel a prospective buy, you’ll have pop into your local photo dealer. Many are open, so that’s definitely an option. Believe it or not, on a day-to-day basis, I have shot more frames during lockdown than I normally would have done. That’s quite remarkable, because I had two photo trips planned back in April so I probably would have shot thousands of pictures. Yes, it’s true my subject matter is more much restricted and actually not very interesting, but even on sunsets alone I am up into the thousands of frames – howmany I keep is another matter. Why sunsets? Well, we had a sunset most days inMay and the nearest hill is a ten-minute stroll, plus it’s high enough to watch the sun sink into the distant horizon. Basically, it’s an excuse to get some postprandial air, enjoy the sunset vibe and shoot a few (thousand!) snaps
with various bits of kit I am testing. And, of course, every sunset is different, too. Not only is my photo library of sunsets growing exponentially, my catalogue of water droplets and oil-on-water patterns has grown hugely, too, and I am still doing self-portraits (up to 17 at the last count). The self portrait- thing started with The Photography News Podcast as an idea to keep listeners occupied during lockdown. If you didn’t knowwe had a podcast – we do and it’s free on our website, photographynews.co.uk, and on Apple Podcasts, YouTube and Spotify. Catch the PN team chatting through their latest exploits, answering listener questions and generally chewing the photography cud. At one point, I had the mad idea of doing a self-portrait 365. That idea got the boot once I’d Googled ‘self-portrait 365’. I found several – and very good they were, too – but it was significant that the photographers were young and pretty and I’mneither. They were also fit, enjoyed leaping around and were skilled with makeup. It’s a big fail fromme on those points, too. Nevertheless, I sat down with a sketch pad and ‘imagineered’ ideas. Some were easy, many less so, but I didn’t want to just turn the camera on myself and grab a snap. One image, shot close to the camera with an 85mm lens wide open at f/1.8, took loads of attempts, simply because I couldn’t get the focus right. I put a lighting stand where I was going to stand, manually focused up on it, moved into the shot and still missed focus on my eyes. By taking the shotgun approach, ie self-timer set to nine shots with a few seconds’ gap in- between each and moving slightly from frame to frame, after a lot of frames and several hours messing around, I got the shot. Was it worth it? Probably not, but I happily passed an evening. I promise to get out more before we meet again, so stay safe and enjoy whatever you get up to.
Nikon F and Sony E-mounts. Both have gained an aperture declick option, a nine-blade diaphragm and weather sealing around the lens mount area. The 14mm f/2.8 has 14 elements in 11 groups and features five advanced lenses to minimise distortion and spherical aberrations. This lens also has a focus lock and sports a minimum focus of 28cm. With a built-in lens hood, no filter size is quoted. The 85mm f/1.8 has nine elements in seven groups and features a hybrid aspherical lens to optimise performance.
Filter size is 72mm and minimum focus is 110cm. Prices range from £359 to £439 depending on model and lens fitting and both are available now. The final piece of news from Samyang is its summer savings promotion, which runs until 28 June with savings up to £250 off guide price on a wide range of lenses. For more details, visit the website below. intro2020.co.uk bit.ly/SamyangInstantSavings
21 Buyers’ guide: printing services Whether you go small, large or panoramic, or choose canvas, block or acrylic, there’s a dazzling array of options out there. Now’s the time to get your best shots into print
8 Photo kit Mirrorless cameras
have brought along new opportunities for exciting, high-performing lenses.
We explain why 11 Camera technique
Lockdown is easing, so it’s time to set yourself some local photo projects 14 Video technique
26 Big test: FujifilmX-T4
It’s the first X-T camera with an image stabiliser built in and its video offering is impressive, but it comes at a price. It’s one worth paying, we reckon
Improve your videos with the addition of some extra kit
Issue 78 | Photography News 3
Datacolor is 50 Datacolor is celebrating its 50th
birthday by offering the SpyderX Photo Kit at the special price of £199, a saving of £200, while stocks last. The kit includes the SpyderX Elite, SpyderCheckr 24 and SpyderCube, so all the hardware you need for an accurate colour workflow from capture to output, and it all comes in a smart case. spyderx.datacolor.com/ spyderxphotokit
NewSonymade for vlogging
The Sony ZV-1 is aimed at vloggers and is designed to capture great-looking videos without any complex set-up
At the Sony ZV-1’s heart is a 1-inch (13.2x8.8mm) Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a 20.1-megapixel resolution and 4K video. It has a vari-angle LCD screen that can face forwards, a directional three-capsule microphone with a windscreen supplied and a recording lamp.
Key features include the built-in 9.4-25.7mm zoom lens that gives the equivalent of 24-70mm in the 35mm format, a Soft Skin mode for smooth, natural-looking skin tones, a bokeh feature and real- time eye AF. The ZV-1 is priced at £699. sony.co.uk
Pentax has IBIS In last issue’s feature on mirrorless cameras, we said that in-body image stabilisers were the province of mirrorless cameras. We obviously managed to overlook the fact that Pentax has an IBIS system for its DSLR system and it is featured in the current entry-level K-70 and the pro-level K1 Mark II. Thanks to PN reader Philip Clewer for pointing out the error and apologies to Pentax and Pentax owners for any inconvenience caused. ricoh-imaging.eu/uk_en
Vanguard’s new backpack range features three sizes: T 37M for mirrorless/small DSLRs; T 45M for DSLR and larger mirrorless models; and T 48 for pro DSLR models, priced at £99.99, £129.99 and £149.99, respectively. All are available in stone, black and navy blue and made from high-quality, scratch-resistant materials. vanguardworld.co.uk
Turn your FujifilmXor GFX camera into a webcam Fujifilm’s free newXWebcam software (Windows only) turns your Fujifilm camera into a high- quality webcam. You can even enjoy the Film Simulation modes and other advanced settings. Compatible cameras include the X-T2/3/4, X-H1 and GFX 50S/50R and 100. fujifilm-x.com/global/support/download/ software/x-webcam
For the content creator AKG’s latest bundle is designed for discerning podcasters, video producers and content creators
The AKG Podcaster Essentials bundle includes an AKG Lyra USB microphone, AKG K371 headphones, Ableton Live 10 Lite recording software, a four-part Berklee Online recording class and a full set of audible
cables, including a headphone splitter. The AKG Lyra USB is 4K compatible and is capable of Ultra HD grade 24-bit/192kHz audio resolution with four optimised capture modes to deliver pro-level results without fuss,
while the AKG K371 headphones are pro studio headphones that offer comfort in a compact design. The AKG Podcaster Essential bundle is on sale now for £249. soundtech.co.uk
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 Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editors Elisha Young and Felicity Evans
Advertising team Group admanager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org Senior sales executive Jemma Farrell-Shaw email@example.com Key accounts Mike Elliott firstname.lastname@example.org
Design team Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Laura Bryant 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 78
Take your images to the next level with NikCollectionbyDxO DxO has updated its popular set of Nik Collection plug-ins, bringing inmajor changes to improve the photo editing workflow
D X L S K K V Q S V V V K V H Y G L L T V E B D B O I Z E N Q G O O R M T H V T A T O I U O I O E Q E B C D H N P S L N W E T E A O C L A E E I R N L C Y E E T I D Z T I F W A J T S Y Q I S O E M W A S I X B R W P R I R V C V J P X I W O L X F C O L C P B E M K M Q A A N M U W I P Y Q K I S P N P R V W O B N O A T L E N V S P A R V J D H G C O E F R C A B L E F S T C S G M Z W M H A H U R I U 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 £74.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with that word in the subject box by 12 July 2020. The correct answer to PN 76’s word search was ‘final’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by A Parker of Guisborough. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards› ASamsung memory card! WIN!
DxO has announced a major upgrade to its popular Nik Collection by DxO, a set of creative plug-ins for non-destructive editing in Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic and DxO PhotoLab. The change is evident as soon as you open the Nik Collection plug-in in Photoshop, with a new-look Nik Selective Tool. This tool is icon-led, making it easy to identify each plug- in, and it can be quickly collapsed to save screen space in Photoshop with one click. A big workflow change is the
new ‘last edit’ feature. This lets you apply the last-used presets with a single click, making it convenient to process a batch of images in the same style. There’s a quick edit option in Photoshop, which allows the last-used settings to be applied via the new Nik Selective Tool without even having to open the plug-in interface. Silver Efex Pro and HDR Efex Pro also allow direct access to favourite presets. In Lightroom Classic, the new plug-in lets you enjoy non-destructive workflow with the TIFF multipage file format, which combines the input image, the saved Nik editing parameters in separate layers and the output image all in the same output file that you can revisit later. It means you can enjoy lots of experimenting and keep all the files to decide which you want to keep later.
The suite’s new plug-is Perspective Efex. This plug-in automatically corrects horizons and uprights, as well as the distortion of subjects at the edges of wide-angle pictures. It can be used creatively, too, and there’s the miniature effect to simulate a shallow depth-of-field, with the option of two blur gradients and adjustable placement and intensity. There’s also the option to change the number or shape of aperture diaphragm blades to vary the bokeh effect. The Nik Collection 3 by DxO (Mac and Windows) is available until 30 June 2020 at a special launch price of £86.99 instead of £125, and £49.99 instead of £69 for the upgrade. A fully functional one-month trial version is available from the company’s website. dxo.com
No showuntil 2021 This year’s The Photography Show, due to take place this September at the NEC, has been cancelled This year’s The Photography and The
Video Show have been cancelled. Instead, there’s a virtual imaging festival on 20 and 21 September, and next year’s show at the NEC will take place 18-21 September 2021. Jonny Sullens, head of events at Future, said: “While we believe that there’s nothing quite comparable to the benefits of the live show, we know that the decision to take The Photography Show and The Video Show online this year and return to the NEC in 2021 is the best solution for our community during these unprecedented times.” He continued: “Of course, we’re very disappointed not to be making the annual trip to Birmingham, but we’re really excited about what the virtual event can offer. The virtual platform we’re using is incredibly versatile and provides us with a fantastic opportunity to try something new, showing off photography and video in
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a different way. We look forward to seeing everyone in September, albeit virtually!” The virtual show is free to attend and all entry tickets and passes booked or confirmed for the March 2020 event are valid for the 2021 dates. photographyshow.com
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Issue 78 | Photography News 5
SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club
Stafford PShits 125
Stafford Photographic Society was founded in1895, making it one of the oldest photographic societies in the Midlands. Sadly, the club’s plans for this momentous occasion have been scuppered. However, the society is conducting its meetings via Zoom, which will continue throughout the summer with competitions and Q&A sessions. It has been another successful year for the society in national competitions. In October 2019, Stafford PS came eighth
in a countrywide competition run by the PAGB. Two of the members achieved personal success: Tessa Bramall’s image of a crested grebe with chick gained maximummarks, and Judi Dicks was awarded the David Lowe Medal for her mono version of A Rainy Day at Kew. The society had further success in April by coming first in the Midland Counties Photographic Federation PDI
Championships by ten points. staffordphotosociety.org.uk
Since lockdown, North Fylde PS has started producing a monthly newsletter for its members, with the aim of continuing it until September. It was the brainchild of Alison Bonner, with Matt Polke helping. The May newsletter sent to PN had an impressive range of content, frommembers’ images to stories and techniques, including shooting star trails. Well done to the North Fylde PS team for its commitment to its members. northfylde-ps.co.uk North Fylde PS
Clacton CC arranged for online judging for its remaining two main competitions. The Portrait competition, judged by Roger Hance FRPS, was won by Jeff Cranwell with his image, English Rose. It was taken at Mark Coventry’s Studio in Clacton-on-Sea, with model Megan Vickers. The club’s Picture of the Year competition was judged by Ron Tear ARPS, and this was won overall by Martin Leech CPAGB, with his monochrome image entitled Reach For the Sky. The club’s season ended with a competition for members to submit two images they were able to take during their personal locked-down, isolated circumstances. Judging was done by Matt Clarke CPAGB using Zoom, and the winner was Tony Carrotte with his image, entitled Predator. clactoncameraclub.co.uk
Woodford and Wanstead PS has been hosting weekly Zoommeetings since March. Club secretary Chris Saunders says: “The lockdown has had a silver lining for us, because we’ve been able to get presenters and judges who would have been unavailable to us because of cost. Our programme secretary has been getting people from all over the UK. We’ve also
been inviting friends from abroad to attend. One of our members is stuck in India, but is attending despite the time difference. “We also hold a monthly projected image competition. The week after the competition, we show all the pictures again. The authors tell us about their images, and other members provide useful criticism.” woodfordandwansteadphotosoc.co.uk
DronfieldCC Dronfield CC has been keeping active
Thanet CC Thanet CC has been keeping members busy with a series of monthly lockdown challenges set by the club’s chairman, with members sharing their images on Flickr. These images, along with an updated picture gallery, will be on the club’s website in due course. The challenge for May was ‘flatlay’, which gave members plenty of scope for experimentation. Eddie Bradley created this lovely image of a VE Day tea party. isleofthanetphotographicsociety.co.uk
Calling all clubs
during lockdown by moving to weekly Zoom meetings, including lectures. The club has even developed its own interactive online scores submission system for internal club competitions. The image shown is by Ian Smith, who won the club’s shoes and/or feet contest. The club has also established closer ties with Matlock CC, with members invited to attend each other’s virtual meetings. dronfieldcamera.org
We would love to hear from all clubs with your lockdown plans. Please send emails to clubnews@photography-news. co.uk . The deadline for the next issue is 3 July.
6 Photography News | Issue 78
In association with
8 Focus on lenses Mirrorless cameras offer many advantages over their DSLR counterparts with their (mostly!) smaller bodies. One that might not be apparent immediately is their wider lens mounts, which bring along the opportunity for higher-performing lenses
11 Click-start your summer of photography The lockdown situation is gradually easing, so going out with your camera is possible, as long as you observe social distancing. Here are some photo ideas to get your creative juices flowing, without having to go too far
14 Power to accessorise You can shoot decent videos with just a digital camera, but adding a few extra accessories will greatly enhance your results. Over these two pages, we have a host of suggestions for gadgets, some essential, some not, that are worth thinking about
Go to photographynews.co.uk for more exclusive Summer Festival photo, video and technique content
Issue 78 | Photography News 7
In association with
Last month, we looked at the pros andmassive potential of mirrorless cameras. Now’s the time to look at the vibrant world of lenses and themany options to check out
NEWCAMERA SYSTEMS means new lens mounts and, with the arrival of mirrorless, we’ve seen plenty of them since the first mirrorless camera – the Panasonic Lumix G1 in 2008, which sported the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) fitting, a standard shared by Olympus. Since then, we’ve seen Canon with two newmounts, Fujifilmwith two, Nikon with two (which included the now- discontinued Series 1), and Hasselblad, Sony and Leica with the L-Mount, also used by Panasonic and Sigma. Newmounts are needed to support the new technologies that have come along with mirrorless cameras, and also offer great opportunities for the lens designers and manufacturers. For photographers, though, at least to start with, it’s not plain sailing, because they are probably already committed to an existing system, so even if a DSLR user likes the idea of using mirrorless, it might not be feasible to embrace it. Switching systems, whether you do it all in one go or piecemeal, is an expensive exercise and not one to take on with your eyes shut. Once you have made the big decision, for the camera body you might need to invest in different spare batteries/cards or buy another L-grip or remote release. But these are minor headaches compared with the pain that comes with sorting out the lens system. You might have a set of fast aperture zooms for your existing camera and getting like-for- like replacements is going to be pricey, even if you do get a good trade-in deal. Of course, much depends on whether you are switching systems totally or whether you’re aiming to run both DSLR and mirrorless systems side by side, which might be the case until you make the final decision or build up the budget to get all the required lenses. The three most recent lens mounts have been for full-frame systems: the Canon RF mount, the Nikon Zmount and the L-Mount, designed by Leica and now also used by Panasonic and Sigma under the L-Mount Alliance. In the case of all three mounts, much was made of the wide inner diameter and short flange focal distance (the distance from the mount to the sensor), offering the lens designers greater opportunity to flex their creativity and to produce faster, more compact and very high-performing lenses for full- frame as well as APS-C formats. The Nikon Zmount is currently the widest full-frame lens mount and that has an inner diameter of 55mm and a flange focal distance of 16mm, a specification that allows lenses as fast as f/0.95.
That’s great in principle, but the fact is that while the manual focus Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is now available, it tips the scales at 2kg and has a price tag of £8299, so it’s one for collectors and photographers with deep pockets. While not quite matching Nikon’s achievement, Canon has an RF 50mm f/1.2 and from Panasonic there’s an S Pro 50mm f/1.4 (an incredibly sharp lens), selling at £2350 and £2299 respectively. More affordable, relatively speaking, than Nikon’s beast of a lens. Sigma is in the position of being a leading independent lens manufacturer and it offers outstanding products in DSLR and mirrorless camera fittings, but it also has a keen interest in the camera market. Its latest product is the fp, the world’s smallest full-frame digital camera, which is fitted with the L-Mount. Sigma already has a raft of high-spec Art lenses, such as the 14mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/1.4, so with its commitment to the L-Mount Alliance, it’s not surprising we are seeing lenses coming out in that fitting. The Sony E-mount, for full-frame and APS-C cameras, has a short flange focal length of 18mm and inner diameter of 46.1mm, which is narrower than other full-framemirrorless mounts andmight limit the opportunities. The mirrorless revolution is not just withMFT, APS-C and full-frame formats – it has taken place in medium format, too, with the FujifilmGFX and Hasselblad X1D systems. Not having a reflex mirror has allowed larger format cameras to shrink, and these cameras are popular for outdoor and studio use alike. Both are new systems, but already both have ten lenses to choose from. Fast aperture, high-performing lenses aren’t just the province of the full-frame systems, and there are plenty of great options for the smaller format FujifilmX Series and the MFTmount supported by Olympus and Panasonic. One smaller format lens mount with less support is the Canon EF-M fitting, although there is a 32mm f/1.4 and a few choices from Sigma. Just to pick a few highlights from Fujifilm’s 29-strong XMount lens system (with 16 prime lenses), there’s the XF16mm f/1.4 and XF56mm f/1.2, and due later this year is the XF50mm f/1.0, which will be the world’s fastest autofocus lens. For MFT, there’s plenty of fast aperture, quality glass from Olympus and Panasonic, including the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2, the M.Zuiko ED 8mm f/1.8 (the world’s first fisheye of this speed) and the M.Zuiko ED 25mm f/1.2.
ABOVE The original Nikon F-mount, first seen in 1959, is still in use, here worn by a D850. Its inner diameter is 47mm and its flange focal distance is 46.5mm.Wind the clock forward nearly 60 years and there’s the Nikon Zmount, here on the Z 7. By comparison, its inner diameter is 55mm and the flange distance just 16mm. Buy the Nikon FTZ adapter for £269 and F-mount lenses can be used on Zmount cameras – this aspect of continuity is an important sell. Canon has the equivalent adapter for its mirrorless system, too RIGHT AYorkshire Dales red grouse photographed using an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with an Olympus 300mm f/4 lens.With the 2x crop of the Micro Four Thirds format, this lens is the equivalent of a 600mm in the 35mm format, yet it is very compact and portable for a lens of this focal length
ABOVE Fitting a lens of one brand on to a camera from another was always possible, but rarely with a full focusing range. That’s totally changed with mirrorless bodies. Here, the lens was a Nikon F-mount 500mm f/5.6 with a 1.7x teleconverter giving an 850mm lens. Attached to a FujifilmX-T4 with its 1.5x crop factor and the equivalent focal length is 1275mm in the 35mm format. A Fotodiox Nikon F-mount to FujifilmX Series body adapter was used and you get infinity focus
8 Photography News | Issue 78
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So far we have concentrated on mirrorless lenses from the marque brands themselves, but there are plenty of high-spec optics from independent makers, especially for Sony E- and MFTmounts. Third-party makers are usually driven by expected demand so, as the popularity of Canon R, FujifilmX and Nikon Z cameras grows, it will be a surprise if we don’t see more optics from independent brands. But so far the choice isn’t as wide now, although Laowa is one brand with offerings in those mounts. It is true, though, that many existing independent DSLR fit lenses will work on mirrorless Canons and Nikons via the appropriate adapter. As well as the L-Mount, Sigma also has options for Canon EF-M, MFT and Sony E-mount, but there’s nothing yet for Canon EOS R, FujifilmX or Nikon Z. Tamron’s latest zoom is a Sony E fit 70-180mm f/2.8, which is remarkably compact for a high-spec, fast aperture telephoto zoom. Tokina has its Fírin family for Sony E cameras and recently came out with a 85mm f/1.8. Another new Sony E fit lens is the really compact Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8. Continuing our tour of mirrorless options, we have Zeiss with its Batis, Loxia and Touit lenses for mirrorless models. Voigtländer has lenses for MFT and Sony mirrorless mounts and you can’t help but be tempted by its Nokton lenses. These are manual focus lenses with superfast maximum apertures, such as the 40mm f/1.2 for Sony E and five f/0.95 lenses for MFT cameras. Amid all the marketing noise about mirrorless, you might think all interest in DSLR lenses had long gone Well, on the contrary, for the simple reason that there’s a huge number of DSLR owners out there. DSLRs continue to sell well because they offer great value and many photographers prefer using an optical viewfinder, so we’re still seeing innovation in that market. Last year, we tested the Irix 11mm f/4 for Canon EF and Nikon F, an incredibly wide rectilinear lens, and fromNikon we had the 500mm f/5.6E, a remarkably compact lens of this focal length. It’s an exciting time for the imaging industry, with so much innovation and an ever-evolving landscape. You might think that’s good or bad, or you might not care at all because you’re content with what you have, and that’s perfectly fair. After all, it is the end result that matters. What this new technology offers are different ways to realise the final result – that’s part of the fun of modern imaging. And Photography News is on hand to keep you up to date with all the latest revelations. “It’s an exciting time for the imaging industry, with somuch innovation ”
In association withmpb.com MPB makes trading in and upgrading your photo equipment fast, easy and safe. All imaging brands are catered for and the MPB service is not just for cameras of all formats and lenses, but it also buys and sells accessories like flashguns, bags and tripods. If you are trading in your existing kit, whether for cash or looking to part-exchange, the process starts by going to the mpb.comwebsite. To sell, all you do is start entering the name of the kit you have and you’ll find, as you type, that a drop-down menu appears. The odds are, your itemwill be on it, so just click on the right product. Next, you fill in your details, specify whether you are selling for cash or trading in and then describe the item’s condition – again, using the drop-down menu. With that done, just hit the ‘Get an instant quote’ button, and a short while later you will get an offer. If you accept it, just carefully box up your kit and agree a courier collection date. There’s no extra cost to you. Once MPB has looked at your kit, checked that it matches your description and that’s it’s in working order, you’ll get a confirmation email and payment or delivery of your new kit organised. The process really is that simple and painless, so if the idea of changing gear appeals or you just want some cash from your unwanted photo kit, visit mpb.com now.
ABOVE Vestrahorn in Iceland, captured using a Nikon Z 7 with a 14-30mm f/4.5 zoom at the 21mm setting
Pick and mix lenses
Using adapters to allow the mixing and matching of lenses of different mounts on camera bodies is far from new. But you could rarely achieve infinity focus or any connection between the body and the lens for autofocus or exposure control with DSLRs. The situation has changed totally with the arrival of thinner-bodied mirrorless cameras and their shorter flange
focal lengths. Infinity focus is no longer an issue and, in
many cases, autoexposure and autofocus is possible as well.With cameras boasting in-body image stabilisation, there’s a potential benefit there, too. Most lens adapters are optics free, so the lens’s optical performance is unchanged, but we are seeing some that do feature
Nikon lens on a FujifilmX-T4 via a Fotodiox adapter. Focus is manual, aperture control is basic and there’s limited EXIF data, but you get infinity focus and the benefit of a 1.5x crop. For the 70-300mm zoom here, the effective range in 35mm terms is 105-450mm
Canon and Nikon, when they introduced their new full-frame mirrorless systems with new mounts, also brought out adapters (Canon has three) to keep their legions of owners happy. So, they could invest in the new cameras while retaining full use, including autofocus, of their existing lenses. Whether you are keen to enjoy lenses from your current system or old legacy lenses on a new mirrorless body, the option is out there. It always pays to just double- check compatibility and what features are offered before buying.
optics. That does means an impact on optical quality.
Sigma’s MC-11 mount converter lets you fit Canon EOS EF fit or Sigma SA-mount lenses on to Sony E-mount camera bodies. Sigma’s APS-C lenses (DC/DN) can be used with APS-C Sony bodies with no extra setting
fotodioxpro.com metabones.com ukdigital.co.uk
NEXT MONTH Build your dream camera system
ABOVE Nikon’s FTZ adapter means most Nikon F lenses can be used on Zmirrorless bodies with autofocus and autoexposure
Go to photographynews.co.uk for more Summer Festival content. Features coming up this month include how to fix lens distortion in post production and caring for your lenses
Issue 78 | Photography News 9
10 Photography News | Issue 78
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CLICK-STARTYOUR SUMMEROF PHOTOGRAPHY
Now, as we’re easing out of lockdown, we can all broaden our horizons with a range of superb subjects close to home. Here are a few ideas and techniques to get you shooting
For some photographers, shooting scenics can be a box- ticking exercise. They go and get ‘the shot’ and move on to the next well-known location. That can be a thrill, for sure, but the real pleasure of photography is often in finding a great new view of a place that you thought you knew back to front. There are plenty of ways in which you can do this, and of course you don’t need to go far from home to do it. First off, try to change your perspective. Whether you’re shooting in your town or your local countryside, follow some new paths and routes to see if they turn up interesting views that you’ve not seen before. Height is also a way to change your viewpoint. If you can find high buildings or hills as vantage points, great. From these new angles, look for new ways to frame subjects using lead-in lines like roads, rivers and streams, too. Another way to change your view is by shooting with unfamiliar lenses. If you normally wander local beauty spots with a standard zoom, try switching it for an ultra-wide or super telephoto lens. A travel zoom like a 28-200mm or 18-200mm is great for this, and the long end will let you frame distant subjects in a way that’s new. WE’VE ALL TRIED to make the most of shooting at home during lockdown, and if you’re anything like the PN team, you’ve racked up some serious hours on still lifes, self-portraits, back garden star trails and more. See local landmarks in a new light
But, of course we’ve all been itching to get out and shoot with a bit more freedom. There have been many subjects denied to us over the last few months, and while we still need to shoot responsibly and take care, lots of
photo opportunities are now back on the table. So, from outdoor portraits and local landscaping, to wildlife and more, let’s get stuck into this month’s Summer Festival big tent of technique.
Become a true bokeh master ABOVE Strong, smaller pinpoints of light in the backgroundmake for lovely bokeh effects, so position your subject carefully tomake the most of the scene
Shooting portraits with a shallow depth-of-field looks great and it helps your subject stand out from their surroundings, but how do you get the amount of blur that you want? And how can you make that blur look as good as possible? First off, you can increase the size of blur – or bokeh – in several easy ways. Start off shooting in aperture- priority mode, and dial in an f/ number that’s near to or at the widest setting your lens allows – the lower the f/number, the wider the aperture setting and the more blur you’ll get in the picture. One thing to be mindful of is that your focusing needs to be spot on, so take care and make sure the eyes are sharp. The aperture setting available to you depends on the model of lens you’re using, and can also depend on which part of a zoom lens you’re shooting with. On many zoommodels, the aperture get smaller as you zoom
in and magnify the subject, but this doesn’t mean you can’t get some great blur. In fact, as you zoom in, the background will become enlarged compared to the subject, which makes it look more blurred compared to using the same apertures and framing wider. So if you’re struggling to get enough blur, zoom in and get your subject to stand away from the background, too – the further they are from it, the more blurred it’ll look. You can also improve the look of blur by shooting with the light behind your subject.Whether that light is sunshine through leaves, or windows and fairy lights after dark, a wide aperture should turn it into disks and give your portraits some real sparkle. Also, remember that you can blur foregrounds as well as backgrounds in portraits. Shoot your subject through trees or flowers and you can frame them with a neat bokeh border.
ABOVE Capture familiar sights in a newway simply by shooting at a different time, using filters or using a lens that’s hasn’t had an outing for a while. Or maybe you have something different like a fisheye lens or Lensbaby to try
You can also bring filters into play. Places that you thought weren’t special can be ‘pepped up’, so don’t forget your polariser and grad filters. You’ll find the former particularly useful if you’re shooting around water or in town, where it will minimise glare,
reduce reflections on glass and water, and reveal riverbed detail. Finally, no matter where you are, great light will always be your friend, so make sure you time your local shoots for the beginning and end of the day – or even after dark.
Issue 78 | Photography News 11
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Go on a local safari
ABOVE & BELOW Apotential project to try now before they disappear is to capture signs of the lockdown
You don’t need to go far to shoot wildlife. In fact, with the right technique and gear, you don’t even need to leave your garden. (But now you can if you want to, thankfully.) So if you want some animal action close to home it’s time to hit the parks, reserves, riverbanks and woods. So, is fieldcraft or gear more important? Well, the best wildlife photographers employ both, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend weeks sitting in a ditch waiting for that one perfect specimen or spending a fortune on a super telephoto lens. Fieldcraft is really about getting closer to the subjects you’re shooting. And, for starters, you can improve yours simply by slowing down. If you act in a predatory way, wildlife will think you’re exactly that. Get into your location and take a seat or lie down so you’re shooting at the same level as the subjects. The longer you wait, the less interested animals will be and the closer they’ll come. Outdoors, dress sensibly – plain grey, brown, green and black clothing is fine. When it comes to shooting, keep your shutter speed up to 1/500sec and more. This will help you freeze movement and will offset any shake, which can soften pictures when shooting with a long lens. Boost your ISO if you need to, as it’s better to have a grainy picture than a blurred
Start an outdoor project
Throughout the lockdown, The Photography News Podcast has been suggesting lots of home shooting project ideas, but now’s the chance to broaden your horizons and take on some outdoor projects, too. So what are you going to do? Because of limitations, projects still need to be done close to home, but there are plenty of great things you can get up to in your own town. How about something based on the emerging economy of your town as it gets back to normal? You could shoot a series of street-style pictures on market days – of course, while following social distancing guidelines. If you want something less people-based, there’s plenty to
shoot when it comes to street furniture or architecture. Try something that will have longevity and take on more importance over the years, like documenting the shop fronts of your town. Or you could try shooting the same local landmark from a variety of views. The most important thing is to find something that really inspires you. And when you do, why not put a cherry on top of your lockdown project by finishing it off in a book or a set of prints? After all, if you’ve followed something to completion, you should give it the treatment it deserves and show it off to as many people as possible! Check out this month’s Buyers’ Guide, where you’ll find our pick of printing services.
ABOVE Sit quietly on a park benchwith your camera at the ready and local wildlife will come to you.With birds, you can always entice themwith some food. Or just use the longest lens in your armoury and practise your fieldcraft skills
one. And if you have image stabilisation, use it. As for lenses, longer models will always give you a better chance of filling the frame. Super telephoto zooms like Sigma’s 150-600mm or 60-600mm are
a great solution for wildlife. But remember that it’s not all about creating ‘portrait-style’ images – if you don’t have quite the reach you need, use the limitations of the lens to add context to the animals’ environment.
NEXTMONTH Shoot all day and all night
Go to photographynews.co.uk for more Summer Festival content. This month, find out how to shoot stitched panoramas, plus how to take great shots of the sunset, safely
12 Photography News | Issue 78
Issue 78 | Photography News 13
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POWERTO ACCESSORISE Start shooting videomore seriously and the size of your camera outfit could grow very quickly. With the latest digital cameras, you don’t need amassive bag of kit, but a few extra accessories will make your life easier. Of course, some items you’ll already own for your still photography, but youmight have to invest in a few extra essentials. That’s what we’re discussing in this feature – explaining what you definitely need and what can wait
ND filters Neutral density filters are important for still photography, because they let you set an aperture or shutter speed to deliver your envisaged result. However, while ND filters are optional for stills, they’re essential for video. With video, an ND filter helps you set a shutter speed to conform to the 180° shutter rule, which is the relationship between video frame rate and shutter speed. For natural-looking video footage of moving subjects, you should use a shutter speed that is twice that of the video frame rate. So shoot video at 24fps or 25fps and you need a shutter speed of 1/50sec and 1/60sec at 30fps. In bright light, achieving those relatively slow shutter speeds is difficult without overexposing your shots. You can set a lower ISO, but that’s limited in how far you can go, or set a smaller aperture, but you may not want the effect of greater depth-of-field. So the best way to control how much light reaches the sensor is to use an ND filter. A handy set of fixed value NDs might be a 4x, 8x and 16x, reducing light passing through by 2EV, 3EV and 4EV, respectively. If it’s really bright and you want to shoot at wide apertures, there’s the option of combining a couple of NDs. For video, there’s the option of a variable ND filter, which works on the principle of cross polarisation and is made from two polarisers fitted in the same mount, one fixed and one in a rotating mount. Rotate the filter and the amount of light transmitted can be altered within the filter’s working range. A variable ND with a 2x to 32x range means you can vary the exposure from 1EV to 5EV and any setting in-between. Stronger variable filters are available to 8EV or 9EV, but one thing to watch with this filter type is the X-shape effect that can result towards maximum cross polarisation. Variable NDs come in a wide range of different strengths. The 77mm fit Marumi variable ND with a range from 2.5x to 500x costs £171 and the same size Novo Excel Pro ND8-2000 gives a light reduction from 3EV to 11EV at £80. Shown above is the K&F Variable NDX 2-32 range distributed by Swains in the UK, which costs £43.99 for the 52mm fit. intro2020.co.uk kenro.co.uk swains.co.uk ukdigital.co.uk
SHOOTING HIGH-QUALITY video footage with a digital camera is easy, but once you start getting into the medium, your demands and expectations will increase, fuelled by the realisation that the equipment you own isn’t enough to achieve the results you want. Inevitably, your attention will turn to the huge range of kit available to further your video skills, and at a huge range of prices, too. But before you get sucked in by the prospect of buying yourself some nice presents, you need to think about what it is that you really, really need and what could be a very expensive luxury. Naturally, what you need depends on how far you want to take your video making. Is it just some footage to show the family or something for your social media? Or are you imagining more serious vlogging for your YouTube channel? Or maybe, at this time, you have an eye on the future and you’re thinking more commercially? Over these pages, we cover some options to at least get you thinking. Hopefully this will help you take your moviemaking to the next level. For more advice and technique, please go to the Summer Festival section of the Photography News website at photographynews.co.uk
Editing software As with stills, once you have your video footage, you need do some editing to make the most of what you have. This might be fairly basic, like cutting down your footage from hours to minutes, adding title and end credits, and exporting it in a suitable format. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (Mac) and Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac andWindows) are probably the best known and are pro-level softwares. Final Cut Pro X is £300 and Premiere Pro £19.97 per month on an annual plan, or £238.42 yearly pre-paid. But there are plenty much cheaper softwares. Adobe
Premiere Elements 2020 is £86.56, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is £71.08 and Filmora9 is $69.99 for a lifetime plan. DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 (Mac,Windows and Linux) costs £269, but the powerful Revolve 16 version is free. VSDC’s Video Editor x64 (Windows) is also free and versatile. adobe.com apple.com/uk blackmagicdesign.com/uk/products/ davinciresolve filmora.wondershare.net videosoftdev.com
LED lights There has been a revolution in continuous lighting in recent years and it’s all thanks to the humble LED. Now LEDs have enabled powerful, compact lighting units that are fully controllable in terms of colour temperature, and they run cool, so you’re not going to fry your subjects. LED lights come in a great variety of types and sizes, starting from small battery-powered units that fit in the camera’s accessory
shoe (ideal for close-range fill-in) to mains-powered studio units featuring hundreds of individual LED bulbs. A popular unit is the Manfrotto Lykos 2.0, a water-resistant LED light with Bluetooth, with 60 LEDs giving 3500-6500K colour temperature control and an output of 1500 lumens at one metre. It costs £259.95. LED technology has also opened up new avenues for the
lighting boffins to exploit. Some units, like the Nanlite Pavotube range distributed by Kenro, do more than just deliver a continuous light, with their ability to simulate effects like a flashing police siren, lightning storm and fireworks, and have the choice of hundreds of different solid colours that you can fine-tune in terms of power and saturation. manfrotto.co.uk kenro.co.uk
RIGHT The Manfrotto Lykos 2.0 is a water-resistant LED with an output of 1500 lumens at 1m
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