Photography News Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories The big listen / Check out The PN Podcast ISSUE 82 Big test: Canon EOS R5 / 2020’s top dog Macro magic / Kit to make the most of your close-ups this autumn Nikon Z is ready for thedual 20 Oct-23 Nov 2020 photographynews.co.uk
The full-frame mirrorless battle is joined by two new powerful dual-processor models – the Z 6II and Z 7II NIKONHAS EXPANDED its mirrorless Z series with the full-frame Z 6II and Z 7II. These are incremental upgrades, but there’s still plenty to look forward to. The cameras use the same sensors and ISO ranges as before – 24.5-megapixel BSI CMOS and 100-51,200 in the Z 6II; 45.7-megapixel BSI CMOS with no optical low-pass filter and 64-25,600 in the Z 7II – and have identical five-axis IBIS systems. However, the real leap is in processing power. Both cameras host dual Expeed 6 processors – a first for Nikon – with the extra grunt increasing frame rate to 14fps on the Z 6II and 10fps on the Z 7II. The buffer has been enlarged, too, allowing 124 Raws and 50 Raws respectively, or 200 JPEGs on either body. Both bodies have the same number of AF points as before – 273 and 493 – but the dual processing power allows ‘vastly improved’ AF tracking performance across stills and video. To speed up handling, AF areamodes now include new ‘Wide Area AF (L-people)’ and ‘Wide Area AF (L-animals)’ options. The dual theme continues with two card slots. The original Z 6 and Z 7 had a single XQD slot, but the new bodies can record to
The X-S10 is the first in a new camera series from Fujifilm that targets current non-Fujifilm owners, as well as those invested in the brand. It’s a compact, lightweight camera designed to offer great handling thanks to a large handgrip and a control layout that includes a function dial, two control dials and a focus joystick. Leading-edge picture quality is guaranteed with the X-Trans CMOS 4 26.1-megapixel sensor and X-Processor 4 combination seen on other Fujifilm cameras, including the X-T4, and the X-S10 has a five-axis in-body image stabilisation system that claims 6EV benefit. A big attraction of the X-S10 is its price. It will be sold body only or with three lens combinations – it’s £1299 with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. See more on page 4, including a hands-on report. • fujifilm.eu/uk A very significant sector of the camera market is APS-C format and, with the help of its new X-S10, Fujifilm aims to be top of the pile Fujifilm targetsnumber onespot
either XQD/CFexpress or SD cards. Both cameras offer up to 4K/60p or Full HD 120p slow-motion video, as well as pro-spec N-Log, HDR and Raw output. Also announced is a vertical grip. The previous models could only use a simple battery pack, but the newMB-N11 grip has a proper vertical shutter release and other controls.
Available towards the end of this year, the Z 6II body is priced at £1999, and for the Z 7II body it’s £2999. The original cameras will continue in the range for the time being, too. • nikon.co.uk
2 Photography News | Issue 82
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Aflash for life fromProfoto
The Profoto A series has redefined portable lighting and the A10 is the latest model to be announced
EDITOR’S LETTER WILLCHEUNG
It is compatible with Profoto Air, AirTTL and the Connect triggers. It works with the Profoto iOS app and, new on this model, there’s built-in Profoto AirX Bluetooth sync technology, making it possible for the A10 to be used with any capturing device, including smartphones. profoto.com
When Profoto launched the A1 in 2017, it was marketed as the “world’s smallest studio light” because it gave light-shaping performance to on- and off- camera shooting. The A10 is the next step forward in this lighting family. It shares the same key features with the two older models, including the unique round head that accepts magnetic-fit modifiers, 76Ws output and TTL/HSS shooting.
Well, we’re over six months into a pandemic, and while getting out is easier, the situation is still challenging for everyone and even as I write the lockdown situation is changing in some parts of the UK. On a brighter note, autumn is my favourite photographic season, with nature offering up a wonderful palette of colour, often accompanied by mists and great light. It’s a compelling time for photography and I love to be out as much as I can with my camera. To be honest, though, I’m not sure how that is going to work out this year. For example, one of my favourite autumn locations is Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, about three hours drive for me. You must book in advance (like most venues at the moment) so just jumping into the car when the weather conditions look promising might not work. One thought is that I’m going to set the alarm clock for predawn and try to shoot early in the morning for those aforementioned mists and great light. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound especially radical, but it is because I’m fundamentally a night owl by nature, most definitely not an early riser. So, this requires a serious lifestyle change. That means Horlicks and a Hobnob at 9pm instead of 1am – what greater show of commitment can there be than that? I’m going to stay local, either walking to the nearby nature reserve or driving no more than 15 minutes. My batteries are charged, the memory cards formatted and the camera bag is by the door. I’m all good to go. Actually, I’m keen to hear your plans for this coming autumn, so if you have any thoughts and want to share them with fellow readers, please do. I’m looking for contributions for The Photography News Podcast as well, so please feel free to email us on email@example.com. If you didn’t know we had a podcast, we do. See the story in this issue’s news pages for details and links to the episodes we have had to date. It has been fun chewing the photographic cud with my colleagues Kingsley Singleton and Roger Payne for the pod, and although we have not physically seen each other for over six months, it’s given us a chance to catch up, too. If you’re a member of a camera club, many of you are probably well into the flow of meeting, competing and learning virtually, with perhaps the occasional, socially distanced, limited numbers shoot thrown in. I know many clubs were not even thinking of having physical clubroom meetings until early 2021, and with the evolving situation, even that might be optimistic. Unless the situation takes a turn for the better, at this rate, we might be looking at the entire club season being virtual. Of course, we have to stay optimistic, hoping for the best while planning for the worst. Everyone’s health and safety remains paramount. Speaking of which, I’m off for my flu jab. See you for our double issue, due out on 24 November. Until then, have a great one.
KEYFEATURES › Maximum output 76Ws, 90° tilt head with 360° rotation, TTL, manual and HSS flash mode › 9EV (2.0 to 10.0) output range › 9EV (2.0 to 10.0) HSS range › Auto and manual modes › Rechargeable li-ion battery › 450 full power flash bursts › 0.05-1sec recycling time
4 News The lowdown on new cameras from Fujifilm and Nikon, the latest lenses from Laowa, Samyang and Tamron, and bags from Lowepro and Think Tank, and more 6 Wordsearch Your chance to win a Samsung 256GB microSD card 9 Club news The latest news from camera clubs
18 Big test: Canon EOS R5 Canon’s flagship mirrorless camera under the PN microscope. So, is all the hype about this 45-megapixel, 8K video full-frame camera justified? 34 First tests The latest hardware and one of the UK’s leading printing services on test, including the Novo Mantis T3 tripod, BenQ’s SW321C and DS Colour Labs
16 Make the Switch Long-time Nikon DSLR owner Brian Houghton makes the leap to Fujifilm’s mirrorless X Series. He tells us why 28Workflowbuyers’ guide Your journey to great pictures should be as smooth as possible. Check out our advice for a perfect workflow
around the country 10 Get closer
Hardware and tips to help you get in close for great pictures this autumn
Issue 82 | Photography News 3
Fujifilm targets number one spot
FUJIFILM X-S10 AT A GLANCE › £999 with XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.5 OIS PZ › 465g body weight › Five-axis IBIS, 6EV benefit › Enhanced AF › X-Trans CMOS 4 and X-Processor 4 › 4K video, Full HD/240p › Auto/SP mode has been improved › 18 Film Simulation modes with graphic explanation › 20fps continuous shooting, uncropped › 30fps with 1.29x crop › Compatible with Fujifilm Webcam software
Hands-on with Fujifilm X-S10 The X-S10 is a small camera and, even with my average-sized hands, a compact body form can be an issue with handling. But not here. The X-S10’s handgrip is excellent and provides a secure grip without my fingers being cramped for room. I did walk around with the X-S10 in my hand ready to shoot, and that is helped with an on/off switch on a collar around the shutter button. Its body weighs 465g, so combines really nicely with the XF18mm f/2. To help keep body size trim, the X-S10 uses the NP-W126S battery, the same cell used on most X-T series cameras. The body’s limited acreage inevitably means controls are on the small side, but they are good to use positively, and that included the AF-ON button. I also found using the focus lever was fine without having to adjust my grip.
Fujifilm has its X-T, X-Pro, and X-E series of APS-C format mirrorless cameras, and now we have the first model in the new X-S series: the X-S10 , a camera designed to have popular appeal and help the brand get to the market-leader spot in this format
tracking and face/eye detect. Low-light AF is impressive, with the phase detect systemworking down to -7EV (with the XF50mm f/1.0 RWR lens). Fujifilmhas installed an in-body five-axis image stabiliser in the X-S10, and this unit is 30% smaller and lighter compared with the X-T4’s. Its quoted benefit is 6EV, so 0.5EV less than the X-T4, and you get this with the vast majority of the XF lenses. You won’t be surprised to learn that the X-S10 is blessed with a good range of video features. Top of the list is uncropped DCI 4K at 29.97/25/24/23.98fps and that’s supported by 4:2:2 10-bit recording via the micro HDMI port, a 3.5mmmicrophone port and headphones can be connected via an adapter in the USB-C socket. Other notable features include a built-in flash, enhanced output with the Auto/SPmodes, which includes the option to shoot Raws, dedicated movie record button and it accepts NP-W126S batteries – the same cells used inmost X Series cameras. The X-S10 is also compatible with Fujifilm’sWebcam software. The X-S10 is available as a body and also in three lens combinations. The X-S10 with the XC15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ is £999, with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LMOIS is £1299 and with the XF16-80mm f/4 R OISWR is £1399. fujifilm.eu/uk
THE NEWX-S10 is a camera designed to appeal to image makers looking tomove tomirrorless who demand great stills and video performance, super handling and an affordable price. Furthermore, its control layout and overall body design is targeted at people who aren’t traditionally Fujifilmphotographers. So you get handgrip that is larger than youmight expect on a small camera and this gives a solid grip even when paired with a telephoto lens. There are front and rear control dials, a function dial for making quick changes (its default is to select FilmSimulation settings and there are 18 options on this model) and a dedicated focus joystick. There’s also an ISO/function button, PASMdial with four custom positions, while the rear flip-out monitor offers touch focusing and shooting. At the camera’s heart is Fujifilm’s X -Trans CMOS 4 26.1-megapixel sensor that works in conjunction with the quad-core X-Processor 4, the same combination seen in the brand’s top of the range X-T4, so we’d expect image quality to be of the highest order. Using the electronic shutter, burst shooting at 20fps is possible and you can up this further to 30fps if you shoot with the 1.29 crop. Burst shooting with the mechanical shutter is 8fps. Autofocus is fast too, with an enhanced performance of 0.02sec andmodes include
The two unmarked function dials are part of design concept of broadening the appeal to non-Fujifilm users and they worked fine. The left dial’s default function is for Film Simulation modes, but this can be assigned to a multitude of functions including ISO, while the one for the right thumb is exposure compensation only. The X-S10 is not weather-sealed, but I took it out in the rain anyway. Of course, I tried to keep it dry as much as possible, but its performance and handling were unimpaired despite the inclement weather. I shot at a variety of ISO settings, but as the sensor and processor are the same at the X-T4, I expected a good showing and so it proved, with my shots showing low digital noise at mid to high ISO levels with impressive sharpness and impressive colour rendition. Until we get a full production sample, I can’t offer any firm judgement on the X-S10 but I found it a nicely featured camera that handles really well.
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Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix S5 First look at Panasonic’s latest full-frame camera that has the credentials to be a hugely popular still/video hybrid
Lens round-up It has been a hectic month for new lens announcements
Tiny Tamron tele The 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD is Tamron’s first lens extending to 300mm for mirrorless cameras. It is the world’s smallest lens of its type, weighing in at just 545g and measures 148mm long. Key features, apart from its compact size, include moisture- resistant build, and 15 elements (including a low-dispersion lens) in ten-group construction. It also has a RXD stepping motor for super- quiet autofocusing and it accepts 67mm filters. This lens is available in Sony E-mount and priced at £649.99. transcontinenta.co.uk
Panasonic’s latest arrival, the Lumix S5, is a full-frame mirrorless that’s even smaller and a few grams lighter than the Micro Four Thirds-format Lumix GH5. The comparison with the brand’s GH5 is relevant as that camera has a fine reputation with its video skills, and the Lumix S5 is being touted as a still/ video hybrid. I had the Lumix S5 with the 20- 60mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom. That lens is interesting in itself, because most standard zooms stop at 24mm or 28mm, but to have one go as wide as 20mm is handy for those who enjoy shooting widescapes. On the downside, f/5.6 at 60mm is nothing exciting. The Lumix S5 fits the hands well and feels reassuringly solid. There’s no give in the body and the controls are positively click-stopped, so unintentionally changing the settings is unlikely to be an issue. In terms of performance, it’s the autofocus system that Panasonic says has been substantially improved in the Lumix S5 compared with the S1/S1R. It’s still a contrast detect system, but the autofocusing algorithm has been reworked to give more positive, more accurate responses when tracking moving subjects. It’s more capable at dealing with small subjects and eye recognition is better, too. I took the camera out for an evening walk in the sun with the camera set to shoot JPEGs and Raws. Exposures
Laowa’s range of imaginative lenses continues with the 14mm f/4 FF RL Zero-D, a full-frame lens for mirrorless cameras that’s super compact, weights 228g and accepts 52mm filters. Its construction features 13 elements in nine groups and that includes two aspherical and three extra-low dispersion lenses to suppress distortion. This super-wide lens is available in Leica M at £699 and in Sony E, Nikon Z and L-Mount fittings at £599. laowalens.co.uk
Benro Rhino tripods out now
Benro’s line-up of carbon-fibre Rhino tripods has four models on offer, catering for photographers of all needs, whether travelling light or setting up for a studio shoot. There’s a reduction in overall weight without impacting on handling or performance. The £200 FRHN05CVX20 is the smallest of the four models and weighs just 1.2kgs, measures 35cmwhen folded and will take a maximum load of 10kg. The largest tripod is the top of the range £290 FRHN34CVX30 that extends to over 170cm and has a max payload of 20kg. Benro has launched a range of tripods and ball heads
were consistently accurate, even in contrasty light, and autofocusing seemed capable, too. I used it most with single point AF for stills, but ventured into multizone for video. I didn’t have an S1/S1R handy to do a side-by-side comparison, but I found the S5 responsive and its AF did acquire focus efficiently. There is the usual contrast-detect characteristic of going through the focus point and back, but the process was quick and smooth, as well as being accurate. I found this the case, even as the light faded, so long as the AF point was directed on something with detail. It’s early doors, but so far, so good and with the Lumix S5 at £1800 body only, it’s nicely priced, too. panasonic.com/uk
Three VX ball heads have been launched to accompany the new tripods. All feature 360° pan movement, an Arca-compatible plate, quick-release platform and a safety catch to prevent accidental removal. benroeu.com
Get close with Sigma
The Lowepro Protactic bag range offers high levels of protection with good access to the contents and modular style. The range has gained four new members: the BP 300AW II backpack, the MG Lowepro expands Protactic range
Remembering Cheetahs Last month, we covered the news of the launch of the latest Remembering Wildlife book, Remembering Cheetahs , and the
The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro Art brings close-up photographers an appealing new lens option. This mid- telephoto is dust and splash proof, uses a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) for fast, quiet AF and will be available for both E-mount and L-Mount users. The lens is available from 23 October 2020, priced at £699. sigma-imaging-uk.com
160 AW II messenger and two top-loaders, the TLZ 70 AW II and TLZ 75 AW II. Prices are £159.95, £115.95, £69.95 and £79.95 respectively. lowepro.com/uk
supporting exhibition. At the time, the exhibition was going to be an actual one in London, but with the ever-changing pandemic situation, the exhibition is now virtual, which means everyone can enjoy the
pictures. Stunning images, so well worth a look. bit.ly/34HtzOq
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 editor Elisha Young Junior sub editor Jack Nason
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Issue 82 | Photography News 5
Z W G Z T N H A N D S I W V K E R T Z W E F D O D S E N I C U K S C L C M F H A L K A W T L R C E Q R J Y N O C A C A I D T K N T S E H D B H I R B S H O Z S D A T M O V O G R M S I A H L P U E I W R R X X R B L V J L Y I N C D E D I H L Y L E S E Y E T S L R E R R U P R C U U I N K S L H S E R F L G C R K C S L B X I T G A N B C E I C P H T E S O N S R E T R A U Q N L O W J C P V T E E T H X 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 22 November 2020. The correct answer to PN80’s word search was ‘dragon’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by Mrs MWalsh, Cheshire. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards A Samsung memory card! WIN!
For your listening pleasure
Kick back and enjoy some quality time with the Photography News team
podcast is available on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube (the bit.ly addresses below take you to YouTube) and below are the summaries for the episodes to date. photographynews.co.uk
We’d like you be get involved in The Photography News Podcast, so if you have any questions you want to put to our experts, have an opinion you want to share with the team or have ideas for future podcasts, the email address is email@example.com . The
EPISODE 11 bit.ly/33Q5l5c The PN ’s team musings on autumn, including locations, techniques and what kit to have to make the most of this glorious season 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, explain their choices and invite you to get in your ideas, too EPISODE 7 bit.ly/2OFzY4S The team nominate their best-ever lenses, past and present, as well as how to plan for your next landscape shoot
EPISODE 6 bit.ly/2OILQ6f Landscape special with an exclusive interview with master landscaper, Charlie Waite EPISODE 5 bit.ly/2OGTUUT Astrophotography and long exposures advice, plus a look at 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 your own home EPISODE 1 bit.ly/3eUk3KU Inaugural episode with advice for at-home shooting and the team’s favourite cameras
Great thinking from Think Tank Leading bag brand Think Tank adds two innovative products to its extensive range of kit-carrying solutions
Think Tank’s designers have worked hard on two smart-looking, fully featured backpacks: the Backstory 13 and 15, priced at £175 and £205 respectively. The bags have a rear-opening panel for complete access to contents, and a top panel allows you to get kit out quickly, with dedicated pockets for a laptop and 10in tablet. Other features include expandable water bottle pockets, top and side grab handles, a front pocket organiser for essentials and a tripod strap. The Essentials Convertible rolling backpack (£259) has an excellent capacity, capable of taking two camera bodies, one with a 70-200mm telezoom,
several extra lenses and a 16in laptop, and conforms to the hand baggage guidelines of most airlines. While the Essentials Convertible can be used as a conventional roller bag on hard surfaces, you can also deploy the stashed backpack straps and get it on to your back.
The harness system is contoured for a good fit and there’s an adjustable sternum strap. Other features include YKK Fuse lockable zips, 8cm wheels, and handles on three sides. A tripod mounting system is included, too. snapperstuff.com
HAIR HANDS HEAD KEYLIGHT LENGTH
BRUSH EARS EYES FEET FULL
SMILE TEETH THREE
PORTRAIT QUARTERS SELECTIVE
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6 Photography News | Issue 82
Issue 82 | Photography News 7
8 Photography News | Issue 82
SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club Brighton&Hove CameraClub
The deadline for submissions to be included in the next issue of Photography News is 13 November. Please send us your news
Brighton & Hove Camera Club’s ongoing, free and open-air Beach Exhibition has been refreshed, crucially maintaining Covid-19 compliance. Sited on purpose-built stone gabions on Brighton’s shingle beach – directly in front of The Grand Brighton – are 48 A1-sized, weatherproofed prints. These have been updated with an entirely new display that will continue well into 2021. You can find more of the coming season’s open exhibitions listed on the website, which you can find below. There’s also a YouTube video on the show at bit.ly/34aoQEv Meanwhile, the club continues to attract wide participation on Zoom and membership places are still available. bhcc-online.org Bungay CC
Field End Photographic Society
person, meetings are relayed to their homes. After the club’s last open print competition, the judge, Kathy Chantler, said she had been ‘wary’ of attending a face-to-face meeting; but seeing that the club’s procedures were followed fully by members, she felt ‘comfortable’
Field End PS, based in Ruislip, Middlesex, has found a way to continue to meet in person and still cater for members unable to attend. Meetings usually take place in the local Methodist church hall. The club has worked with the hall’s custodians to put together a comprehensive risk assessment, keeping members as safe as possible and meeting government guidelines. For those unable to join in EnfieldCC Enfield CC’s exhibition is taking place at the Dugdale Centre, 39 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS (dugdalecentre.co.uk) until 7 November. It has always been a well-received event in the borough and, this year, it’s featuring mounted prints. In the past, the exhibition has often led to newmembers joining the club. All visitors are welcome. Admission is free and there is an opportunity to vote for your favourite photographs.
North Fylde PS’s season has started with three Zoom talks. They were led by Lee Sutton, Sean Conboy FRPS and retired NUJ professional and club member, Wayne Paulo, who has worked for the National Football League in the US and photographed eight Super Bowls. The club’s members (in groups of six) also went out to photograph the Blackpool Illuminations and the results may be part of the club’s next online exhibition. northfylde-ps.co.uk
and would recommend the procedures to her own club. fieldendps.org
Bungay CC’s annual exhibition has been cancelled because of the pandemic, so the club is holding an online exhibition of members’ work on 28 November. All the images are new, having not been used for previous competitions or exhibitions. They will appear in an online gallery with an audio and visual presentation that you can find on the club's website. bungaycameraclub.co.uk
Isle of Thanet CC
Thanet CC’s season got under way with Zoom talks given by Leigh Woolford from South Wales and Kieran Metcalfe from Greater Manchester. The results of the club’s lockdown challenge were also announced, with member Peter Brewer declared the overall winner and chairperson Laura Drury being the runner-up. For the challenge, members had to produce an image for each subject. These included: Leaves, Order, Cooking, Keys, Doorway, Outdoors, Washing and Naughty. The club’s annual membership fee has been held at the previous year’s level of £35 and non-members are able
There are refreshments available in the centre. enfieldcameraclub.co.uk
Leicester Forest PS
CheltenhamCC is currently holding its 2020-21 programme on Zoom and is also running online training. Print competitions have been suspended until next season. They will be replaced by online aggregate colour andmonochrome PDI competitions. Other annual PDI and AV competitions continue to run as normal. For this season only, CheltenhamCC’s annual subscription is just £5. cheltenhamcameraclub.co.uk CheltenhamCC
Leicester Forest PS’s annual exhibition continues until 30 October. It is a 3D virtual reality exhibition, so visitors can explore the rooms independently or be guided around the exhibition. The exhibition is free and can be found on the website’s home page. lfps.org.uk
to attend virtual meetings at a cost of £5 per session. isleofthanetphotographic society.co.uk
Issue 82 | Photography News 9
The season of mists andmellow fruitfulness offers photographers the opportunities to hone their close-up andmacro shooting skills – but you need the right kit. Here’s our pick of great gear to help you get in close Get in close this autumn
Pack it in
against your back designed to help air flow? Other factors to ponder are carrying handles, straps or pockets to take a tripod; number of pockets; and protection levels. For more on camera bags, check out the buyers’ guide in this issue of Photography News . Lowepro: lowepro.co.uk Shimoda: shimodadesignseu.com MindShift Gear andThink Tank: snapperstuff.com Tamrac: intro2020.co.uk Tenba: tenba.com Vanguard: vanguardworld.co.uk
The photo backpack is the ideal outdoors camera bag, offering good capacity and carrying comfort, plus there’s plenty of choice out there in terms of style, capacity and protection levels. We all have differing needs when it comes to handling and usability, so good advice if you want to buy a bag, is visit your usual photo retailer and try candidates for yourself. Right now, that’s not so easy, but visit the bag-makers’ websites and you’ll see illustrated capacity guides that should help, although it doesn’t give you any idea how a bag behaves in the field or how comfortable it is fully laden. Key things to look for are the width and the level of padding in the shoulder straps; are waist and sternum straps fitted?; and is the area of the bag that’s resting LEFT The MindShift First Light 30L is a large backpack at £260, and has plenty of capacity for your photo hardware, but also for essential extras such as waterproofs, food and drink
and that you will be happier if you’re warm and dry. If you’re working at ground level, pack a kneeling mat or kneeling pads for comfort and a heavy-duty bin bag to keep your trousers clean and dry. A bin bag is also useful to sit on or, if it’s muddy, to rest your photo backpack. If you visit your local outdoor shop, check out the small rucksack covers, which make for great camera protectors when the heavens open, and microfibre travel towels to wipe down your kit if it gets wet. Conditions change quickly, so the last tip is to be prepared. Charge your batteries, have plenty of memory and pack your kit in readiness. Good luck!
AUTUMN BRINGS ALONGmany wonderful picture opportunities, especially for photographers keen to get up close and personal. To make the most of the colourful leaves and fungi, having the right kit helps. You can achieve a lot with your usual camera and lens, but supplementing your outfit with some extras will really help fulfil the scene's potential. Start with good self preparation – decent walking shoes or boots, dressing in layers topped with a water- and windproof jacket and a hat. Gloves are worth considering and so too are hand-warming packs. Basically, dress for comfort, bearing in mind that weather can change quickly
shot and the results can be stacked in software either dedicated for the job or in well-featured editing softwares such as Affinity Photo. A few cameras have focus stacking, which is focus bracketing taken one stage further, with the images being merged in-camera. Focus stacking is a great technique to have in your armoury, but it needs a static subject and, ideally, a camera support – although handholding is possible.
worry about. If it gets too annoying to work with, use manual focus. To check depth-of-field, you can use your camera’ preview facility, but with a tripod it’s easier and more effective to take a test shot and have a close look at the preview, making sure it’s sharp where you want it and tweaking the focus if not. Many cameras have automatic focus bracketing, which shoots a number of pictures, automatically varying the distance between each
The closer you get, the less depth-of-field you get, so even at f/11 or f/16, you might only get a few millimetres of sharpness. This means you need to be very critical with focusing, so using a tripod is very much a good thing, because it gives you that stability. When you get towards minimum focus, autofocus macro lenses can rack back and forth trying to find focus, regardless of how good the camera’s AF is, so it’s nothing to
ABOVE This 50-frame focus bracket was shot on a Fujifilm GFX 50R with the 120mm macro lens and the merge was done using Affinity Photo. Each exposure was 1/60sec at f/5.6, ISO 400
10 Photography News | Issue 82
Lensmatters How close you can get to a subject obviously depends on the minimum focus of your lens. That distance,
this feature, but let’s start here with macro lenses, which are designed to focus in close and give a high level of performance at near distances. Most macro lenses have standard or telephoto focal length,
however, can be changed with the help of accessories such as extension tubes and close-up lenses, which we also discuss in
so they suit subjects like portraits and scenic, too, but their forte is being able to get you in close – close enough to achieve life-size (1:1 magnification ratio) or at least half life-size (1:2 ratio) reproduction. Going for a telephoto macro lens gives you a more comfortable working distance and can help avoid problems like you or the lens casting a shadow over the subject and there’s room to add an extra light without it being in shot. We’re seeing a few specialist lenses that offer even more magnification, enabling twice life-size (2:1 ratio) to even five times life-size (5:1) for extreme close-ups. If a lens of this type takes your fancy, check out the specialist Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro lens, which is
ABOVE Laowa has several eye-catching products for close-up work. This image by Nicky Bay (nickybay.com) was taken on the recently announced 50mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, which costs £409
standing favourite is the Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD, a lens recently brought right up to date with enhanced vibration compensation and its focusing skills are better than ever. Irix: swains.co.uk Laowa: laowalens.co.uk Samyang: intro2020.co.uk Sigma: sigma-imaging-uk.com Tamron: transcontinenta.co.uk
available for full-frame cameras and costs £399. Laowa has also recently added a 100mm f/2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO lens to its range and it’s available in a wide range of DSLR and mirrorless fittings. If your macro tastes are more conservative, there are plenty of suitable lenses from the camera makers, as well as third-party brands – there’s a list (right) of independent brands. A long-
ABOVE LEFT The Irix 150mm f/2.8 is a manual focus macro lens available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs that focuses close enough for life-size magnification and, handily, the focus barrel can locked in place. It’s priced at £597 ABOVE RIGHT Tamron’s SP 90mm f/1.8 Di VC USD is a popular and highly regarded macro lens capable of life-size magnification at its minimum focusing distance
Let there be light
A small LED panel or light is a popular option, because they are portable, there’s no need for any cables or triggers and they’re controllable, not just in terms of power output, but often also white-balance, with some models allowing the colour temperature to be adjusted. They are also energy-efficient so you get plenty of working time with a set of batteries or a full charge. Manfrotto’s Lumimuse is a very portable rechargeable LED light available in three sizes – 3, 6 and 8 – the latter in two options, including one with Bluetooth for wireless control. All can be used handheld, on a mini tripod or on the camera’s accessory shoe. The Lumimuse 3 costs £44.95.
A flashgun, an LED panel, torch or a small reflector are all options if your dim scene needs a helping hand. Subjects like fungi benefit hugely from a splash of light just to add modelling or to boost the contrast a bit. But don’t overdo it, because you want to keep the scene looking natural. If you’re thinking of using your flashgun, a modifier gives softer highlights and shadows for more natural-looking effects. Honl, Lastolite and Rogue are among the many brands in the modifier market. Another option is the ring flash and for Canon and Nikon, the Kenro Macro Ring Flash at £139 is one of the best. It comes with eight lens adapter rings has LED modelling lamps and offers manual and TTL flash modes.
Although not as compact as the Lumimuse, the Nanlite LumiPad 11 is an LED light panel that retails for £54.99, and it offers adjustable colour temperature within the 3200K to 5600K range and is powered by a Sony NP-F type battery. Honl: flaghead.co.uk kenro.co.uk Lastolite&Manfrotto: manfrotto.co.uk Nanguang&Nanlite: kenro.co.uk Rogue: colorconfidence.com rotolight.com ABOVE Kenro’s Macro Ring Flash gives almost shadowless lighting and has manual and TTL auto flash metering. It costs £139, comes with eight lens adapter rings and is compatible with Canon or Nikon DSLRs
ABOVE Teleconverters increase the len’s effective focal length, but leave the minimum focus untouched so you can get greater magnification. These ones pictured are made by Kenko
minimum focusing distance, meaning you get a bigger image. Many camera brands offer teleconverters in their ranges, although often they are designed to fit and work with a limited number of lenses. That's the case with some third party brands too. Kenko has 1.4x and 2x converters available in its Teleplus range. The premium 1.4x HD Pro DGX converter costs £219, while its cheaper brother sells at £149. Kenko: intro2020.co.uk Tamron: transcontinenta. co.uk
Teleconverters are accessories that fit between the camera body and lens, so in this way are similar to extension tubes, and these effectively increase the focal length of the lens. A 1.4x converter will change a 100mm lens to 140mm and a 2x converter will make it a 200mm. Converters have optics so do impact on the lens’s optical performance and there is a light loss, too – 2EV in the case of a 2x teleconverter. For close-up shooting, what a converter offers is an increase in focal length, but without altering
ABOVE The Manfrotto Lumimuse range of ultra-portable LED lights is ideal for location shooting. This is the Lumimuse 8 (also available with Bluetooth to work with an app) with eight LEDs giving an output of 550 lux at one metre
Issue 82 | Photography News 11
Catch the tube
are more equal than others and many are not worth the money, especially the cheaper models. Expect to pay at least £100 for an aluminium-alloy model and £150 for a carbon-fibre pod, and then you need a suitable head and good ones start from £50. With this level of budget, you can get a decent pod for smaller mirrorless models, but if you shoot full- frame, perhaps with long lenses, you’ll need a bigger budget. Here’s a couple of models for your shortlist. The Novo Explora T10 is a carbon model, weighs 1.34kg, has one detachable leg to make a monopod and costs £169.99. With a load capacity of 15kg, it’ll take any camera/lens
There are any of number of reasons why you should use a tripod for tackling seasonal close- ups. You might be shooting under the tree canopy, as fungi like gloomy areas, meaning you need smaller apertures for good depth- of-field and it gives you time to contemplate the shot. Also, despite the amazing skills of the latest image stabilisation systems, they don’t truly compare with the stability of a tripod. So, the need for a tripod is clear, but which one? There are literally hundreds – probably thousands – of different models out there. It is true that while tripods all are fundamentally the same – they have three legs – some
ABOVE Shot taken with the support of the Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO using a Fujifilm GFX 50R with an exposure of 1/20sec at f/9 and ISO 200
pairing you care to throw at it. Manfrotto’s Befree series has proved very popular and the GT XPRO is the first in the family to feature a special centre column mechanism, making shooting straight down a piece of cake, so perfect for flatlays. Plus, this compact, lightweight pod is not too much of a burden for long walks. The carbon version is £415.95 and the alloy model £208, both prices include the 496 head.
Benro: benro.eu/uk FLM: snapperstuff.com Gitzo: gitzo.co.uk Leofoto: leofoto.com Manfrotto: manfrotto.co.uk Novo: ukdigital.co.uk PeakDesign: transcontinenta.co.uk Vanguard: vanguardworld.co.uk
LEFT 50mm lens,
minimum focus, no extension tube
RIGHT 50mm lens, with 12mm tube
IMAGES Here are two tripods that offer more flexibility when it comes to camera set-up, making shooting autumnal close-ups easier. The Vanguard VEO 3+ 263CB (right) is an innovative carbon tripod with a multiangle central column and costs £299.99 complete with ball head. The Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO (above) is offered in carbon and alloy, priced at £415.95 and £208 respectively, complete with the 496 ball head
LEFT 50mm lens, with 12mm and 20mm tubes
An essential for close-up macro work is the Wimberley Plamp II. It’s an articulated arm with a spring clamp at one end to attach it to your tripod (or a ground spike, fence etc) and another clamp at the other to hold your subject (plant stem, branch etc) or a reflector. It is a great gadget to have in the camera bag just in case and it’s priced at £52. bobrigby.com A firmgrip
Fuss free close-ups
RIGHT 50mm lens, with 12, 20, 36mm tubes
Increase the distance between the sensor/film plane and the lens has the benefit of giving much closer focusing – that’s what extension tubes do. Available from the camera brands, as well as third parties, these are non-optical accessories, so your lens’s performance is unimpaired. They often come in sets of three that can be used individually or in combination, offering a range of magnifications. The Kenko Tube Set DG comes in 12mm, 20mm and 36mm and costs £150. Many of the latest extension tubes allow autoexposure and, in some cases, autofocus. Moving the lens further away from the imaging plane means less light reaches it, so extra exposure is needed, so having tubes that allow these auto functions is a benefit. You can calculate how much magnification using this formula: New magnification = native lens magnification + (extension length/focal length). The other option is trial and error with a splash of experience. Kenko: intro2020.co.uk
Just like any filter, close-up lenses screw on to the accessory thread of your lens and allow the lens they are fitted to focus closer than normal. This means these are very easy to use – and they are compact, too. Also, because they are clear glass, there is no filter factor to take into account. These accessories are available individually, but they are also often sold in sets of three and their diopter rating tells you how strong they are, with higher numbers being the stronger. Close-up lenses can be combined for a higher magnification, but adding glass in front of the lens can impact on image quality. Marumi Achromat close-up lenses are available in +3 and +5 strengths. For reference, the 58mm size DHG Achromat 330 +3 lens costs £68.35. Hoya sells close-up lenses in sets of three with +1, +2 and +4 in a padded pouch. These HMC filters come in thread sizes from 46mm to 77mm, with prices from £53 to £73.
Hoya: intro2020.co.uk Marumi: kenro.co.uk
ABOVE The Plamp II is like having an extra hand, perfect for keeping your subject steady or, as here, for holding a reflector
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Issue 82 | Photography News 13
Spotlight onHähnel ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
Hähnel is a long established name in imaging accessories, but in the fast-moving world of retail, the company recognised the need to branch out to survive some years ago. So, PN caught up with Chris Hähnel to talk about Hähnel’s latest strategy and introduce the newnames in its product portfolio
HAHNEL INDUSTRIES STARTED up in Germany and opened a production company in Ireland, which is where the company is now based. It’s well-known for its excellence in imaging accessories and if you visit any reputable photo retailer, you'll very likely find a display of its innovative products. Indeed, you may own a Hähnel remote release, rechargeable battery or flashgun. The brand’s reputation for innovation is second to none and you don't have to look any further for evidence of this than the popular proCUBE2. It’s a battery charger, but no ordinary one. Available for a host of brands and camera models, the charger features intelligent microprocessor- controlled charging for two batteries simultaneously – but add a plate and it can charge four AA cells from the mains or in the car. It’s a great innovation and it’s products like this that has cemented Hähnel’s reputation as leaders in the photo accessory sphere. “For more than 30 years we concentrated on selling our own products and with our smaller product range compared with other distributors, we could bring more dedication, focus and attention to what we sold,” says Chris Hähnel,
ABOVE Chris Hähnel
director of Hähnel Industries. “But as the photographic market levelled off and then started to decline, we looked at our strategy and said OK, the world is changing so it was time to change that strategy. That’s how we became a distributor of other brands in the UK and Ireland, and we started to gradually broaden our base. “Obviously the brands that we deal with now did not come about immediately and we were very selective about the brands we brought on. What interests me, for example, is if you look at Leofoto and Litra and our own brand, is that there are lots of common denominators. They are all high-quality products, very much design driven and none really compete at the bottom end of the market." Of the current brands in Hähnel’s portfolio, Litra was the first with a small, unique product range. “We often get feedback that Hähnel products are over-engineered and that’s something I am happy to be guilty of, and I think Litra products are the same. The lights are incredibly well engineered for their purpose and I am very comfortable with that philosophy,” he says. Next came along Tokina lenses. “Such an iconic brand in our industry. I have been involved in marketing lenses since 1986 and when Tokina lenses approached us and shared its roadmap, they also gave us the confidence that they were looking for a long-term distributor in the UK and Ireland. I am a firm believer
in the optical quality of its great products and the brand has huge potential. Tokina is going through a rapid change at the moment with an aggressive product roadmap for 2021-22, and it’s diversifying its current range, which is very much DSLR-based at the moment, to more mirrorless products,” says Chris. “A big change in the lens business over the last few years has been the success of mirrorless and the lens market is now very fragmented in terms of mounts. It’s no longer just Canon EF and Nikon F mounts and we have several significant lens mounts in the market.” It was about a year ago, that Hähnel took on the distribution of Leofoto tripods and heads. “The reaction to this brand has been absolutely phenomenal,” says Chris. “What interested me in the brand was that the products are exceptional and they are carbon fibre only, but also what goes on in the background and the consistent way the brand goes to market across the different countries of Europe, which helps photo specialist retailers. “Lastly, we have Zhiyun, a market leader in gimbals with solutions for creatives across the world and who are at the forefront of technology and always pushing boundaries.” In these precedented of times, it’s clear that Hähnel is well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead, not just with its own product line-up, but with the distribution in the UK and Ireland of world-renowned quality brands. Let’s focus now on those brands. Hahnel.ie
Zhiyun gimbals Zhiyun is a multi-award winning, market-leading manufacturer of motorised gimbals for phones, stills and video cameras.
Highlights in its range include the Weebill S, the Crane 2S and the Crane 3S. The small and lightweight Weebill S suits mirrorless and DSLRs, and has plenty of versatility for creative shooting. For larger cameras, such as the Panasonic S1H, the Crane 2S is the gimbal of choice, while the unique modular Crane 3S has a payload limit of 6.5kg. Zhiyun has a solution for creative people everywhere, helping the user capture better quality photos and video footage. zhiyun-tech.com/en
“We oftenget feedback that Hähnel’s products are over-engineered and that’s something I’mhappy tobe guilty of”
14 Photography News | Issue 82
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