Photography News 76 WEB

Photography News Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories Prize word search / Win a Samsung 256GBmicroSD card Big test: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III / A tiny class-leading camera reviewed Stay home / Brilliant photo inspiration for the Great Lockdown A W A R D S 2019

ISSUE 76 21 Apr-18 May


Episode two of our new podcast is out right now, and you can listen for free via the Photography News website, onYouTube or on Spotify. The podcast aims to bring you the latest news and techniques in an entirely newway, but most importantly, to connect with you, our readers. In the second episode, editorWill Cheung sits down with contributing editor Kingsley Singleton and editorial director Roger Payne to discuss photo techniques to try at home, including shooting star trails from your window, product photography in the bath and some flash advice. Elsewhere, the trio talk sorting and selling old gear, photographing bubbles and oils, whileWill’s chopsticks make another surprise appearance. We’d love you to contribute to future episodes of the podcast, so please do get in touch. Send us any questions you have about kit or techniques, share what’s been working for you when shooting indoors, tell us your favourite photography stories and let us knowwhat you’dmost like to hear in future episodes. Most importantly, make sure you listen to get some gems of photographic advice from editorWill Cheung and the PN team. Listen to The Photography News Podcast We’ve launched a Photography News podcast – and we want you to get involved

The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD sports a fast maximumaperture, while being light and compact

Inside, Tamron has worked on the lens’ design and its construction of 19 elements in 14 groups contains a number of special elements. There’s one moulded glass aspherical element, two hybrid aspherical lenses, one XLD (eXtra low dispersion) element and five LD (low dispersion) elements. The advanced optical design ensures a superb imaging performance throughout the aperture and focal length ranges. Physically, the 70-180mm f/2.8 features moisture resistance, a 67mm filter thread, a minimum focus of 85cm, making it very usable for close-up shooting, while a fluorine-coated front element allows for easy cleaning. The Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 is due to launch on 14 May at £1349.99. •

THE TAMRON 70-180MM f/2.8 Di III VXD telezoom joins the brand’s 17-28mm f/2.8 wide zoom and the 28-75mm f/2.8 standard, offering Sony E-mount owners the choice of three lightweight and compact zoom lenses with a fast, constant aperture throughout. The new telezoom measures 149mm and weighs 810g, making it a good partner for Sony’s latest mirrorless cameras, both APS-C and full-frame models. Autofocus is handled by two newly developed VXD (Voice-coil eXtreme- torque Drive) linear motors, providing quick, pinpoint autofocus even for moving subjects throughout the focal length range, whether shooting stills or video. The lens is also compatible with Sony’s specific focusing features, such as Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF.

To get in touch, send an email to: . •

2 Photography News | Issue 76

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At the time of writing, with a third of the world in some sort of lockdown and the situation liable to change at any time, Photography News asked leading imaging brands about their activities, thinking, customer care strategies and future plans during this unprecedented period Industry lockdown initiatives


The world is a very different place from when we last met. In my pre-lockdown editorial last month I said: ‘…and now the world is struggling to come to terms with coronavirus; who knows what the future holds for travel, trade and life itself ?’ My colleagues thought I was being doom-laden, but here we are in a situation no one could have predicted back in early March: where staying at home is the right thing to do and there’s no date when lockdown measures will be relaxed. And who knows what the world will look like when the crisis is over? It’s at this time of year that photo magazines are generally full of which landscape techniques to try, which great locations to visit and what events you can look forward to photographing. Well, all that is out of the question right now, but if you are short of inspiration, check out our Stay Home feature in this issue. In a bizarre way, it was rather fun putting it together. My favourite location is now the kitchen. It’s not an especially nice or well-appointed kitchen, nor is it warm and equipped with a TV, but it’s my studio. I’ve never been a good still-life or tabletop photographer and I used to be very envious of photographers who could conjure up great images out of nothing more than stale cheese, a few candles and an empty Mateus Rosé bottle. But in past few weeks, the evenings spent messing around in my studio have flown by. Creating patterns with food colouring is my current favourite technique, and trying to capture water droplets is fun, too. I had been messing around with water droplets for a few months pre-virus and have just bought some xanthan gum and guar gum – to thicken water – which was delivered the other day. In fact, the only face-to-face contact I have had in the past three weeks is with the courier when we indulge in a non-contact doorstep quickstep – followed by a thorough hand washing, of course. Shooting for this feature has also been keeping me up very late. We had three consecutive clear nights, so I balanced my Nikon on the window ledge of my back bedroom and shot the stars. I can’t recall the last time I used the camera’s intervalometer

and getting my head around it took a while. My plan was to create star trails by stacking lots of images shot with relatively short exposures, not take one very long exposure, thus avoiding digital noise and burnt-out bright lights. So with the camera’s interval timer, I set 250/300/450 shots with an exposure of 10secs at ISO 800. Next, I set an interval of 3seconds between each shot. I started the camera and went back to the TV for an hour or so. I later checked the camera and I found I had only a fraction of the shots I should have had. Hmm, user error I thought, so I changed things and tried several times with the same result. Anyway, by the time the third night arrived I’d remembered what I’d done in the past with interval timers, in-camera and on a remote release, for long exposures. To get what I wanted in my example above was not to set an interval of 3secs, which to my mind seemed logical (ie the interval between one shot ending and the next one starting), but you had to set 13secs so a shot was taken every 13 seconds – 10secs actual exposure and 3secs the gap in between shots. Obvious really, but watch for this if you give the technique a try. Check out this month’s Stay Home feature for the final result, and a bunch of other tips to keep you busy at this time. In other news, the first Photography News Podcast is available to enjoy – actually, depending on when you read this, episode two should be up, too. Episode one features me and my two long-time photography colleagues, Roger Payne and Kingsley Singleton, mulling over (among other things) our favourite cameras and explaining what photographic project we have got to keep us busy during lockdown. It’s a great listen, trust me, and to check it out, please go to – and it’s free! Finally, this issue has fewer pages than normal. This, of course, is a result of the pandemic and normal service will be resumed as soon as the situation allows. Meanwhile, the next issue of Photography News will be available from 19 May. Until then, all the best and stay home – until the advice changes.

components. With safety and wellbeing pivotal, we have taken steps to limit the spread of the virus by reducing our service operations. Our service department, along with the rest of Nikon Northern Europe, will also be working away from the office during this time in order to limit the risk of infection. This will effectively halt the regular repair service we provide. With this in mind, we ask customers not to send equipment to us while we take these precautionary measures, as we cannot yet say when we will be able to resume ordinary

service levels. Calls and emails will be handled as usual and we will continue to update customers as the situation develops. It’s fair to say these are challenging times, but we want to ensure our customers, employees and the wider photographic community stay motivated and inspired. We have recently launched #CreateYourLight to encourage photographers and photography enthusiasts to pick up their cameras and share their own unique

NIKON UK In response to Covid-19, Nikon is putting the health and safety of customers and colleagues first and will continue to monitor the situation in line with government guidelines. UK operations have moved to remote working and this was tested as early as February to prepare for lockdown. We fully intend to operate business as usual. Naturally, there are some delays to the production and delivery of new product lines due to restricted air travel – this has limited the delivery of crucial

Continue reading on page 4

Big test: Olympus OM-DE-M1 Mark III page 18 Olympus’ popular pro camera gets a makeover with an improved in-body image stabiliser, a new autofocus system and a modified control layout that includes the arrival of a focus joystick Indoor optics: buyers’ guide page 22 Essential kit for shooting the


page 4

What are the imaging industry’s leading players offering during the lockdown? Prize wordsearch page 5 Solve our puzzle and you could win a Samsung EVO Plus 256GB microSDXC card Club news How two camera clubs have successfully taken to virtual meetings to keep members active and engaged page 11

Stay home

page 12

Inspiration to keep your photography moving forward in these challenging times Make the Switch page 15 PN reader Paul Burwood is the latest to take up our exclusive offer of a free-two week loan of a Fujifilmmirrorless system

great indoors First tests


page 24 Join us for our latest foray into the world of imaging hardware

@photonewsPN @photonewsPN


Issue 76 | Photography News 3


Industry lockdown initiatives Continued frompage 3

be made available to stream free of charge. New videos will be uploaded regularly and feature tips, tricks and tutorials for anyone interested in photography. Canon Connected is designed to inspire, inform and entertain our community of photography enthusiasts, while providing educational content that will help them develop new skills. Search for ‘Canon Connected’ on In addition to this, to enable our community to connect directly with Canon, we are also launching Canon Live: a place to get advice on all Canon products from our team of experts, seven days a week, through our new Live Chat service. Canon Live will also showcase a series of free online live events from ourselves and our retail partners. KENRO Despite these unprecedented circumstances, we’re committed to continuing to offer you great service, and dispatching your orders efficiently and safely. We are currently operating as usual, with reduced staff numbers in our warehouse strictly following government social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines. We have so far been able to offer an uninterrupted service, with deliveries and orders unaffected by the present crisis. We appreciate your patience and continued business, and we offer you our best wishes during this difficult and uncertain time. MANFROTTO UK With the continued spread of Covid-19, our thoughts are with those who have been personally affected. Our top priority is to keep our colleagues and customers safe as we do our part to reduce the spread of the virus globally. Even as cities across the globe come to a standstill, this is a time where we have seen people from all walks of life come together to support each other. The undeniable beauty of these gestures continue to inspire us as we search for new ways to create, express and imagine more, together. Stay strong, stay safe. At Manfrotto, we are creating different stories on topics like food photography, time-lapses and architectural photography, providing tips to train those specialties during

this period. We are also providing free access to a photography course developed by one of our ambassadors, Karl Taylor, to all our clients, as well as free access to a photo editing tool called Skylum to all our clients (Gitzo and Lowepro are also participating to this initiative). We are taking part in a new initiative in collaboration with Boom agency: a contest among a pool of photographers with the primary goal to show though photography the scenario imposed by Covid-19 emergency (tears, moments, places people, love, family, loneliness, fear, hope etc). We are also organising different giveaways and offering a 15% discount and free shipping on purchases made through our website. MPB MPB is looking to play our part to help photographers and videographers through the current stuck-at-home situation. Many creatives are sat indoors with more time on their hands than they normally would, and we feel now is the perfect time to answer all of those burning questions they might have about kit but never thought to ask. With that in mind, we’ve launched #askmpbanything, an initiative aimed at giving photographers and videographers the answers. Ask us anything you want to know about kit, and our team will answer as many questions as we can. What’s the best way to clean a lens? Can you recommend any budget Canon EF portrait lenses? From tips to recommendations, we’re excited to answer your kit questions. Visit the sites below to send us a question or share it on social media using the #askmpbanything hashtag. KASE FILTERS Kase UK continues to offer our amazing customer service, although customers might experience a little extra delay in delivery due to our and our courier’s safe working practices. The majority of deliveries are sent via DPD that uses a contactless system in place with timed delivery slots. Our warehouse team is working on skeleton staff and we are following government advice to keep everyone safe. We are fortunate that we had virtual working practices in place so

no office staff have to relocate and our management and support teams are working normally. We want to give something back to our professional photographers we work with, so 10% of all sales via our website will now be put into a support fund for those that are in mind. We also want to reward customers, so we are pleased to offer a 5% discount code – use the code PRO5KASE at checkout. LOWEPRO At Lowepro, we always share with our community the joy of exploring new outdoor locations, going into the nature and capturing its beauty in a picture. For our own good, from now, and for the next few weeks, we should step back and simply enjoy our time at home. And we want to make the most of this time, sharing our passion for photography. We aim to make this time more pleasant and lighter, sharing new exciting ways to experiment your passion for photography and travel, while staying safe and sound, close to our families. We continue to travel together, but with imagination. So we asked our trusted Loweprofessionals to stand with us in this difficult time and help inspiring our community, to #capturelifeathome. Spending more time at home gives photographers the chance to think back to their greatest photographic adventures and their most meaningful travels. And to be grateful for having the chance of exploring the real beauty of nature. Our Loweprofessionals, and our community are invited to share the greatest picture from their favourite travel, and state what they learnt and why they are grateful. Finally, our online store is also open offering a 15% discount and free shipping on purchases. PANASONIC In these unprecedented times, the Lumix UK team is doing all it can to keep photographers, videographers and creators inspired at home through online events with our retailers, regular ambassador Q&A sessions on our social channels, and tips and tricks to get the most of out of your camera. Continue to watch this space!‹

stories of life in lockdown. The community is open to photographers of all levels and genres using any equipment. To help inspire and educate our followers, we will also be working with brand ambassadors, influencers and Nikon School staff to share hints and tips on how to make the most of shooting at home. We express our sincerest condolences to all those affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and pray for the speedy recovery of all those taken ill. The Imaging Warehouse – whose brands include PermaJet, On-Line Paper, Premier Ink, and Nova Darkroom – is working hard to keep its staff safe while still fulfilling customer orders. Now that we must stay at home, many of us are finding ways to keep ourselves entertained and reconnecting with our hobbies, which for all of you reading this will include photography and printing. Though times may be difficult, we remain united in our creativity – so now more than ever, we hope that you find solace in your art. Pick up your camera (whether it be film or digital), get stuck in with editing THE IMAGING WAREHOUSE those photos you’ve been meaning to get to for years, dust off your printer and find joy in your creations. And most of all, stay safe. FUJIFILM UK During these uncertain times, Fujifilm is committed to remaining a source of support and inspiration to the photographic community, encouraging people to embrace their creativity through photography

while staying at home. Therefore, Fujifilm has launched its Stay Creative at Home campaign on its X Stories blog and via social media. Tune in each week for new tips, exercises and techniques to try out at home, alongside FAQs with product specialists, and get involved by sharing your images via #FujifilmFromHome. The first instalment, Make a Splash With Your Indoor Shooting, is live on fujifilm-x. com/en-gb/stories/make-a-splash-with- your-indoor-shooting OLYMPUS UK We’re focusing our efforts on making sure photographers stay at home – and stay inspired with photo project ideas, technical support and guidance to help them through this crisis. We’re also running a series of Facebook Live events with our experts – keep an eye on Image Space for future details of events – and are working to produce shorter tip or project videos to give our photographers ideas! We’re proving that there’s no need to leave the house to take superb photographs: all you need is a bit of inspiration and perhaps some free technical support from one of our Olympus experts. Here’s the link to our virtual one- to-one sessions that people can book on to: olympus-guru-sessions CANON UK To help people through this period of lockdown, from mid-April Canon is launching a new content hub for photography enthusiasts called Canon Connected. The hub will feature exclusive video content produced by a variety Canon Ambassadors, experts and Canon’s wider community. The videos will

Editorial Team Editorial director Roger Payne Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 Head of digital content Daisy Dickinson Digital content writer Lee Renwick 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 Senior sales executive Jemma Farrell-Shaw 01223 492240 Key accounts Mike Elliott

Design Team Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Laura Bryant Designers Man-Wai Wong, Lucy Woolcomb, Bruce Richardson, Emma Di’Iuorio Distribution Distribution and subscriptionmanager Phil Gray 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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O S H G G A U T O A I L E T A R B I L A C D U M E T F J G S P Z A N B P G E F A Q R I F C S N U A J F R O H F C I F R J R N B C X O D O P I R T O H E N D B L P U E E U T S G I G I E B G E F F S E L C J D N A M H B I T S E E N J S A T Y N Z M S J M E S N I T G R T K H K I E U D M T D X O G I Z M A E Y U E E O S P G R L E E H W T B Y E L L O W G T X U N S E V O L G I R F L E Y E S U N S E T X V 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 with that word in the subject box by 17 May 2020. The correct answer to PN 74’s word search was ‘face’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by J Close from East Sussex. • ASamsung memory card! WIN!

LeeFilters launches newsystem

The LEE85 Filter System is designed for photographers looking to travel light Lee Filters’ new LEE85 system offers compact system camera owners new possibilities and replaces the existing Seven5 system, which is being discontinued. Centred around a compact and lightweight aluminium holder, the new system features the same design as its predecessor, with an adjustable, easy-to-use locking dial and space for up to three filters, plus a clip-on polariser. The new system is available in four kits – Discover, Develop, Aspire and Deluxe. Each kit

comes with a pouch to hold the system and filters, as well as three adapter rings in 72mm, 67mm and 58mm sizes. Additional rings are available to support lenses in sizes from 37mm to 72mm. The system is available to purchase later this spring, with prices to be confirmed.

Two newprinters fromEpson Aimed at discerning photographers, the SureColor SC-P700 and SC-P900 photo printers sport many sure-to-please features

Epson’s SureColor SC-P700 and SC-P900 share many of the same features and have the smallest footprint and the lightest weight in their classes. The SC-P700 produces prints up to A3+ and the SC-P900 up to A2, and both include three different paper paths to accommodate a range of print media, including fine-art materials. Both also use Epson UltraChrome Pro10 ink sets and feature black-enhance overcoat technology for a black D-Max value of 2.95, rich colour reproduction and an

expanded blue colour gamut. An important change from their predecessors is that both photo black and matte black inks are always available. With the smallest footprints in their respective classes, a 4.3in LCD optical touchscreen and a new auto sheet feeding system, both printers are sure to have a wide appeal. The Epson SureColor SC-P700 and SC-P900 cost £679 and £1087 respectively and are available later in the spring.

New Eizomonitor unveiled Eizo’s latest full 4KUHD resolutionmonitor offers outstanding performance, producing gamuts including 99%of Adobe RGB. Other features include contrast of 1000:1 and brightness of 350 cd/m². The CS2740 features a USB-C port, The Eizo ColorEdge CS2740 promises one solution for all





ultra-sharp and richly coloured images. Eachmonitor is individuallymeasured and configured in the factory. Once home, it’s capable of a 90-second calibration using the Eizo ColorNavigatior 7 calibration software and EX4 sensor. Colour accuracy is aided by themonitor’s 16-bit colour depth and coverage of all conventional

allowing users to connect and work froma laptop with no separate docking station or additional power supply unit. There are also four USB downstreamports, a DisplayPort and an HDMI port. Guide price is £1526.


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TIPA is an international organisation comprising 26 imaging magazines from across the globe, including Photography News . The TIPAWorld Award winners in 40 categories represent the wide range of products and services that make up the imaging industry today, including inkjet papers, imaging software, storage media, accessories, lighting, monitors and more. TIPA chairman Thomas Gerwers says: “Given the extraordinary circumstances the world and our industry face today, we felt that we should continue with our efforts in recognising the best imaging products of 2020. of award winners had to adapt to the circumstances, we maintained our usual rigorous standards in our considerations.” For a full list of the 2020 TIPAWorld Award winners, along with award citations, please visit Worldbeaters The Technical Image Press Association announces the winners of the TIPAWorld Awards 2020 “We believe that now more than ever our support of the industry and the people who work so hard, be it in production, distribution or marketing, deserve credit and our thanks and appreciation for their efforts to continue to develop new and exciting products and grow into the future. Of course, while the process of nomination and selection

















































































Issue 76 | Photography News 7



Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is one of the bestselling lenses in the market, with a compelling combination of fast constant aperture, weather-resistant design and an impressive autofocus and optical performance. Photography News editor Will Cheung took it out for a pre-lockdown shoot to the Yorkshire Dales, with landscape and waterfalls very much in his sights SETTING THE STANDARD

F or most photographers, a high-quality standard zoom is their workhorse, called upon to deliver outstanding performance in a wide range of situations. Designed specifically for Sony E-mount cameras, Tamron’s 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD has all the qualities demanding workers expect from a leading standard zoom, and it comes in a compact body form. The lens’s focal length ranges fromwide-

angle to short telephoto is extremely versatile – suitable for all sorts of subject matter, from interiors and close-ups to landscapes and portraits. Its fast f/2.8 maximum aperture is constant throughout the lens’s range, which helps you shoot at camera-shake defeating shutter speeds even when the light is less than ideal. For a constant fast aperture standard zoom, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is compact and very

nicely balanced, not front-end heavy, as can be a characteristic of this lens type. It suited the Sony A7R IV full-frame model very nicely indeed for handheld shooting and is a combination that you can carry around all day without exhausting yourself. That’s evenmore important when the aim is to do some walking and shoot some scenic views, because I was going to shoot on a tripod tomaximise the optical skills on my 61-megapixel resolution camera.

Speaking of its optical skills, this Tamron lens sports a cutting-edge construction. Out of its 15 individual lens elements, five of them are aspherical or low dispersion tomake the most of fine detail within a scene and tominimise optical aberrations, plus Tamron’s BBAR (Broad-Band Anti Reflection) coating does a great job of defeating flare and ghosting.

Of course, an advanced optical design counts for nought if the lens’s autofocus system is not up to scratch. Tamron’s RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) is used to give a precision, whisper-quiet performance, making it ideal for video as well as still image making. The AF system certainly meshed expertly with the Sony A7R IV, which probably has the most advanced AF system currently available, proving to be sensitive and impressively sure- footed with the camera’s eye/face detection features. I was very pleased to see that Tamron’s standard zoomhas weatherproofing on its long list of features. Withmy plan of shooting “Its smooth performance meant that it just integrated into the picture- takingworkflow”

LEFT This composition was made at Aysgarth Falls with the lens set to 43mmand f/7.1. The camera’sAF point was placed on the rock, and with somuch water in the falls after a very wet early spring, even amoderately slow shutter speed of 1/3secmeant there was plenty of blur within the scene – very impressive.

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LEFT Stone barns, drystone walls and the tapestry of rolling small fields make for compelling subject matter. This scene was captured using the 28- 75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD at 57mmwith an exposure of 1/250sec and f/6.3. ABOVE The picturesque Cauldron Falls atWest Burton was the location for this shot. There was dappled light at the cascades at the forefront of the scene and the falls themselves were in the shade, while sun was falling directly on the camera position. Tamron’s unique BBAR lens multi-coating ensures a flare-free result with plenty of contrast retained with the scene. The picture was taken with the lens set to 28mm and an aperture of f/11. The camera was tripod-mounted to allow a long shutter speed – 2secs in this case – to blur the water.

SPECS ›  Price £699

›  Mount availability Sony E ›  Optical construction 15 elements in 12 groups ›  Special elements 1x moulded glass aspherical element, 2x hybrid aspherical lenses, 1x LD (low dispersion) element, 1 XLD (eXtra low dispersion) element ›  Moisture resistant Yes ›  Autofocus motor RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) ›  Aperture range F/2.8 to f/22 ›  Minimum focus 19cm (wide), 39cm (tele) ›  Diaphragm Nine blades ›  Maximummagnification ratio 1:2.9 (wide), 1:4 (tele) ›  Coatings BBAR (Broad-Band Anti Reflection), fluorine coat on front lens element ›  Filter size 67mm ›  Dimensions (dxl) 73x117.8mm ›  Weight 550g › Contact

some waterfalls and the ever- changeable spring weather in the hills, that is a quality I thought could prove very handy. Indeed, the same applies to the fluorine coating on the lens’s front element. Lenses with a fluorine protective coating are a fairly recent innovation and not one fully appreciated until you get the front element wet or if you accidentally touch it. The coating just makes it so easy to clean and is a big benefit when shooting in inclement weather or situations where there’s the challenge of water spray. Wiping off water drops from a normally coated front element can result in very smeary results and are beyond usable unless you are after a dreamy, smudged result. With a fluorine-coated front element, a wipe with a microfibre lens cloth will remove any water without smearing and leave the lens front pristine, ready to continue shooting with no sacrifice

of image quality. Luckily for me, the weather for this shoot was very kind and the lens only got splashed when I ventured too close to a powerful water cascade striking a photogenic rock. Onmy shoot, the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD proved a great companion. I have already discussed its compact body form, weather resistance and capable performance and these qualities were very welcome, but the thing which is less easy to quantify is the lens’s user-friendly, easy-going nature. Its smooth performance meant that it just integrated into the picture-taking workflow. I didn't have to stop to think about using the lens, because it just did its job so seamlessly, leaving me free to concentrate on the important matter of what was in front of me. For me, that’s the ultimate accolade.

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Camera club SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club With the country in lockdown, club seasons have ended early, while exhibitions, events and lectures have all been postponed or cancelled – including those we publicised in the last issue. But it is not all doomand gloom, and thanks to the internet and conferencing software, many clubs are continuing to havemeetings, talks and competitions – and all done virtually. Photography News caught upwith two clubs using conferencing software We would love to hear from all clubs with your lockdown stories. Please send emails to . Deadline for the next issue is 8 May. Calling all clubs

Fstop FotoGroup STEVE MUNDY: “We were very proud that, just two days after the lockdown was announced on 23 March, we ran our first virtual meeting online using the videoconferencing platform, Zoom. We had over 20 members fully participating with a discussion on the work of Margaret Bourke-White. The platform chosen proved to be very easy to

connect to, even for the less technically savvy members, and went without a hitch. We even managed to include one of our members who is currently stranded in Trinidad. “We chose to use Zoom for its ease of use and wide compatibility. We particularly wanted a system to facilitate the active discussions, along with the ability to present high-quality images. The whole set-up was extremely easy, and while the free version is for

Croydon Camera Club

MIKE FARLEY: “Croydon CC ran its first virtual meeting 1 April for the fourth round of our DPI competition. “As the club’s chairman, I led the meeting and the event was popular. We had one of the highest ever entries for a digital competition, 75 in all, with a good turnout of participants. Most people coped well with the Zoom software, but it was worthwhile having two practice sessions beforehand and I’d written a guide for members who were uncertain about the technology. One thing I would add is that I’d asked participants to use meaningful names rather than nicknames. It makes it easier for everyone to know who is present. We also knew from earlier testing that we could run DiCentra, our competition software, and everyone could view the images. “At the start of the meeting, I ran through what was going to happen so everyone was aware of the process. I

also made sure everyone could see the judge, Rob Bonfield, when he introduced himself. “I‘d spoken to the judge beforehand. Unlike a normal meeting when judging is on-site, he made sure he saw everything beforehand, because we do not want to rely on the image quality of a videoconference. “During our run-through, he mentioned a couple of images which did not look quite right on his monitor, but I saw the same effects he described when I viewed them on my own screen. “There were some lessons for us. It is better to have one person to host the meeting and manage Zoom and another to operate the competition software. We did overrun slightly, but we will be able to manage the timing better next time.” Croydon CC meets every Wednesday

up to 100 attendees, it is limited to 40 minutes, so went for the paid version to accommodate our longer meetings. “Members joining the meeting were sent an invitation with a link, which for most platforms requires a small program to be downloaded on first use. We have users connecting with Mac, PC, iPad and even a simple web browser and our members connected up without any problems, because it’s that simple. “The only thing that has caused a minor issue for a few members is that many desktop PCs do not have a microphone or camera as standard. We do encourage active discussion so a microphone of some description is key, and fortunately they can be bought

quite cheaply these days. Also, the ability to allow any member to share their desktop with the group certainly makes presentations easy without forcing everything through one person. “Following the resounding success of our first meeting, we have also added another evening meeting each week – Tutorial Tuesdays. “In these trying times, and with some members self-isolating, it was a real hit as it made it very easy to continue the love of photography along with the social contact and interaction that has become the core of our group.” New members are always welcome, so if you would like to know more, please visit or drop Steve an email at

evening (except during August). c

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Technique Stay home – dophotography Photo ideas, tips and advice to keep you busy during the great lockdown. Some will keep you busy for a 15minutes or a few hours, others several days and even longer. For some, you need to spend somemoney and get in extra items like food colouring – some you can do right nowwith what’s in your home. Of course, we are assuming that the lockdown is still in force by the time you read this, but if in the unlikely event that it isn’t, thenmight we politely suggest you get yourself outside with your camera

1. Set up a website With somany social media channels available, many people don’t bother with a website, but having your own does means it is all about you, you, you. Amazing Internet offers three levels of package: bronze, silver and gold, starting from£5 a month. A free 30-day trial is available and sign-up is quick and easy – no credit card needed for the trial period. A range of attractive, photographer-friendly templates is on offer in the Portfolio series and the site is easy to populate with words and pictures

4. Pet project Our pets are part of the family, whether it’s a guinea pig, rabbit, cat or dog, so don’t overlook themwith your camera. With a dog, take your camera out when you are enjoying your short time outdoors, or just get the flashgun on the camera and shoot indoors. The light from your flashgun will be much improved if you use a bounce modifier for consistent results andmeans you don’t have to rely on the colour of your ceiling or walls. Modifiers like those offered by Magmod, Rogue and Honl give good bounce andmost work well with TTL flashmetering, too. As with human portraits, shooting from the same height as your animal subject is a good thing. That’s easier with larger pets, so for smaller ones it’s time for the camera’s tilting monitor and shoot low. If your camera has it, touchAF is handy, too. Honl: Magmod: Rogue:

3. Photograph your valuables Like it or not, bad things happen.You canmake the insurance claimor police report easier by shooting serial numbers, jewellery, your camera kit and other valuables. One tip: write the serial number with some key details if you have them on a sheet of paper and shoot it next to the item. You can use your smartphone so shots are automatically backed up. If you shoot with the camera, put the shots somewhere secure and memorable, such as your cloud. If you shoot Raws, process themand save a in future-proof format, such as JPEGs or DNGs. Speaking of insurance, Best Insurance Provider in the PN 2019Awards wasAaduki.

2. Try a new software Serif’sAffinity Photo won the Photography News 2019Award for Best Image Editing Software – and a very powerful and impressive piece of imaging kit it is, too. It is available as an outright purchase rather than amonthly subscription and has all the features such editing tools, selection tools and layers that most photographers find essential, as well as nice extras like focusmerge to deal with your focus bracketed images. Affinity Photo usually costs £48.99 for an outright purchase, so it is great value for money given its power and feature set, but if you want to try it first, download the demo version for Mac,Windows or iPad (£19.99).

5. Sell your unwanted kit It’s the opportunity to have a clear-out of things you don’t need or use any more, and time to cash in on unwanted kit. MPB is a used kit specialist andmakes trading in kit a simple process. Go to the website, fill in the details of what you have and its condition, and get an instant quote. If you like the sound of the offer, say yes and box it up ready for an insured collection. Once the gear is received by MPB, it’s checked over and you get a confirmed final offer. If you’re happy, it’s just a matter of supplying your bank details for payment.

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6. Mix oil and water In clear glass bowl filled with water, pour in cooking oil (sunflower was used here) and place the container over something colourful like Christmas wrap. For lighting, two Profoto B10 heads fitted with softboxes were placed either side of bowl, allowing a lens aperture of f/16 at ISO 100. Another option is to place your container on a tablet with some bright colours on show – just make sure you protect your device with food wrap or clear plastic sheeting. In this case, the lighting levels are much lower so shutter speeds are longer, whichmeans you can’t gently swirl the oil/water around as you can with flash, and youmight need a tripod. You will need to focus quite close, so youmight need a macro lens, or a lens with an extension tube or close-up lens fitted. See this month’s Buyers’ guide for some close-up kit. Experiment with the amount of oil and try gently stirring oil and water to get some lovely, ever-changing patterns. After a short while, the oil and water separate out, so will need another stir. Patterns change all the time and every one is unique – so shoot quickly! You canmake oil bubbles smaller by mixing in a few drops of washing-up liquid.

7. Shoot food colouring Raid the larder for food colouring dyes – or check out the baking section of the supermarket. There are two ways of doing this, so it depends what you have and what you prefer, but both are fun. Shoot from the side and you can go for patterns as a drop of food dye enters the water and spreads out. Effects vary, so try dropping fromdifferent heights – different colours react differently as they splash into the water, too. Or use the method featured here and shoot from above. Pour clean water into a glass dish, add drops of different colours starting with the lighter hues and gently disturb the water – use a chopstick – to produce lovely patterns as colours merge and coalesce. In this instance, a Nikon D850 with a 105mmmacro lens was used and lighting provided by an Hähnel Modus 600RT flashgun. The technique was nominated by PN ’s editorWill Cheung in the first Photography News Podcast as his method to explore during lockdown. The podcast, which featuresWill along with PN colleagues Roger Payne and Kingsley Singleton talking photography, is free to enjoy online.

8. Gomonochrome We went black & white for our image using Affinity Photo, the software we featured in tip number 2. A selection of presets gets you going, and then you can fine-tune the result from there with an extensive range of adjustment tools. Most of the tools in the adjustment palette have presets, so you can produce great mono conversions with a just a fewmouse clicks and let the software do the heavy lifting to start. Then you can refine and tweak to your taste later.

9. Shoot skyscapes Take your camera with you when you go for a walk and photograph skies or shoot from the garden or balcony.All but the blandest skies have photo potential, either as images in their own right, or for replacing dull skies in other images. Blue skies often benefit from the use of a polariser, with the neutral-looking filter cutting down polarised or scattered light within the scene, thus reducing glare and enriching colours. For scenics, the areas of most polarised light where a polariser has the greatest effect are 90° to the sun – not directly into or away from the sun, but to the left, right and above. Rotate the polariser and shoot when the effect looks best to you; it might not always be when the effect is strongest. Marumi offers a range of graduate and neutral density filters as well as a circular polariser for use with its filter holder.

10. Starry, starry night A tricky one, but achievable, even if you live in a town and you have to shoot through a window. If you have a garden and can find a spot away fromsecurity and street lighting, that’s a great option, but it means you have to stay outside with the camera.Whether you’re indoors or outside, the required kit and technique are the same, but check the weather – you don’t want any cloud cover.Many cameras have an intervalometer feature that lets you take a series of shots over a period of time so once you set off the camera, you can let it do its thing. If not, your remote releasemight have the feature. Failing that, you’ll have to fire each shot manually (which is rather tedious). Rather than doing one very long exposure, it’s best to do a series of much shorter ones that can be stacked together using StarStaX, a freemulti-platformstacking software. Start by doing a test shot with a wide-angle lens. Point the camera skywards and use live view and manual focus to focus – don’t assume setting infinity focus will work. Next,make an exposure (start with 10- 20secs at f/4 at ISO 1600) and carefully check the result bymagnifying the image to check that those tiny pinpoints of light are sharp. If not, refocus and try again. Once you have exposure and focus sorted, set the intervalometer to give 100 or more shots. with a couple of seconds between each, and set off the camera. When the shots are done, process them to taste and export as JPEGs to stack in StarStarX.

11. Try a new printing paper If you already print at home, you probably have a few old favourites that you’ve grown to love, but times and tastes change so now is a good time to check out what other surfaces are on offer. Permajet has an extensive and impressive range of inkjet media and it has recently launched TitaniumGloss 300, a lovely metallic finish paper, and an updated version of its very popular FB Gold Silk 315. Check out the First Tests in this issue for a test of the former, while FB Gold Silk 315 will be tested for the next issue.

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