ISSUE 85 9 Feb-8 Mar 2021 photographynews.co.uk
Big test: Nikon Z 7II / Worth the upgrade?
Prize word search / Win a Samsung 256GB microSDmemory card Time for nature / Exclusive book excerpts and a chat with the authors Fujifilm launches two systemcameras Lightning-quick out of the starting blocks, Fujifilm kicks off 2021 with a dazzling array of exciting products in the X Series and medium format GFX system
Sony A1 ushers in newera The full-frame Sony A1 combines high resolution, breathtaking shooting speed and awesome autofocusing skills – and that’s just scratching the surface of this camera’s epic feature list The Sony A1 looks an extraordinary camera, probably the most accomplished full-frame mirrorless camera the world has seen so far. It’s based on a new back-illuminated, stacked 50.1-megapixel Exmor RS sensor that works with a super-powerful Bionz XR processing engine. It means that the A1 can shoot at 30fps continuously for 165 JPEGs or 155 compressed Raws with AF/AE tracking. This is with the camera’s silent, vibration-free electronic shutter without blackout and with minimal rolling shutter distortion. The A1’s 50.1-megapixel sensor can deliver a 15EV dynamic range at low sensitivities and its native ISO range is 100-32,000, with low noise and high resolution at the higher speeds. Shoot in APS-C format and you still get 21 megapixels and, with static scenes, if you want the maximum resolution, the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode results in 199-megapixel files. The Sony A1 body is £5499 and goes on sale in March. For more, see page 3. sony.co.uk
weighs 900g. The camera also features a five-axis in-body image stabiliser with up to 6EV benefit. The GFX100S is available to buy from 4 March, with the competitive price tag of £5499 for the body. Finally, there’s a new lens for the GFX system: the GF80mm f/1.7 R WR, the world’s fastest aperture AF lens for medium format cameras. This lens also goes on sale from 4 March, at a price of £2099. See inside for more on both Fujifilm cameras and all the new lenses. fujifilm.eu/uk
FUJIFILM offers its X-E series rangefinder- style mirrorless cameras for those photographers who want a portable camera, without losing the option of interchangeable lenses. The X-E4 is the latest model announced in the range and is due to go on sale from 4 March, with both black and silver options available, at a body price of £799. Partnered with the new XF27mm f/2.8 R WR, the X-E4 costs £949. Internally, the X-E4 features the same 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 that have been deployed very successfully in Fujifilm models, including the X-T4 and X-S10. These are models that we have tested in previous issues, so image quality and ISO performance should be impressive. There have been some key design updates compared with its predecessors. Notably, the X-E4 is the first camera in the family to have a monitor that can be
flipped up to face forwards and this has been achieved without compromising its compact body form. The X-E4, weighing just 364g and measuring 121.3x72.9x32.7mm, is easily the most compact camera with the latest sensor/ processor in the company’s current line-up. Fujifilm’s X Series lens system continues to expand with the launch of the XF27mm f/2.8 R WR and XF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lenses, which are priced at £419 and £729 respectively and are scheduled to go on sale from 18 March. Fujifilm’s second new camera is the GFX100S, a 102-megapixel medium format camera. It uses the same back-illuminated CMOS sensor (that’s 1.7x bigger than full-frame 35mm) and quad- core X-Processor 4 as the GFX100, and houses it
in a highly portable, compact body that
2 Photography News | Issue 85
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The incredible Sony A1 goes where no camera has gone before with a multitude of skills, such as being able to shoot 50-megapixel images at 30fps and flash sync at 1/200sec with its electronic shutter NewSony marks anewera
If life were normal, it’s about now I’d start gearing up for The Photography Show at the NEC and looking forward tomeeting readers, seeing old friends and spending a fewquid. Last year the showdidn’t happen inMarch and the rearranged September event became a virtual weekend festival. There’s a virtual event again this spring, 6 and 7 March, with an actual showbeing planned for September. You’ve got to applaud the organisers for trying tomake the most of the horrible situationwe’re in. I hope the line-up of talks and presentations for the virtual event is good enough to enticeme to switch on the PC. I didmake an effort last September andwas looking forward to the virtual talks, because at the actual show I rarely get the chance to see speakers. But the fact is I didn’t get to the end of any of the talks/ presentations, because they were on the dull side of not very interesting. Just not very engaging and the whole process a little clunky . It’s rare that I leave the NEC without having given the credit card a good pasting, too, so at the virtual festival, I couldn’t resist a look at what the dealers had on offer. My credit card remained in the wallet. I know I’msimply asking for hate emails from the speakers, the retailers, sponsors and the organisers, but the fact is sitting in front of the computer at home watching a presentation (recorded or live) does not make for compelling viewing. And I’msuremy credit card remained untouched because there wasn’t the chance to browse a huge range of kit andmake impulse buys.
All in all, last year’s virtual event didn’t work for me, but it probably did for many. If it did, please feel free to email me, or use podcast@ photographynews.co.uk and tell me what you liked. Of course, despite my previous experience, I will no doubt check out this year’s event just because it’s unlikely I will have anywhere else to go. Fingers crossed, though, that the actual showhappens andwe’ll see you there – for your diary, the proposed dates are 18-21 September. Show or no show, the year has startedwith a bang in terms of top- end kit, with Sony introducing the A1 and Fujifilmwith the GFX100S. I appreciate both are top-end cameras with serious price tags and way out of reach for most of us, but for pro action/agency photographers (in the case of the A1) and social/ commercial photographers (with respect to the GFX100S), I’d have to say they seem incredible value, with remarkable feature lists. I can’t wait to try them, because they look amazing. Until next month.
BY ANY MEASURE, the Sony A1 looks like a sensational camera. Its resolution is 50.1 megapixels with a new full-frame, back-illuminated stacked Exmor RS sensor that works with an upgraded Bionz XR engine that has eight times more processing power than the Bionz X used in the A7R IV and A9 II. All that power is needed, because the A1 can shoot at 30fps continuously for 165 JPEGs or 155 compressed Raws with AF/AE tracking, making 120 calculations every second. This drops to 20fps with uncompressed or lossless compressed Raws and these speeds are with the camera’s silent, vibration-free electronic shutter and without blackout. Rolling shutter effect is an issue with electronic shutters and moving subjects, while flicker is a problem in artificial light, but the A1 has the technology to deal with these potential problems. The electronic shutter can also work with electronic flash, making the A1 the first camera to offer this – the flash sync speed in full-frame is 1/200sec and 1/250sec in APS-C format. Switch to the mechanical shutter and full-frame flash sync is 1/400sec and continuous shooting is possible at 10fps.
Other headline features include five-axis image stabilisation, 4D autofocus using 759 phase detect AF points covering 92% of the image area, and 425 contrast detect points, human/eye/bird detect AF, real-time tracking AF, two CFexpress Type A slots and 8K/30p video recording. The Sony A1 goes on sale this March with a body price of £6499. sony.co.uk
But the A1 is not all about speed. Its 50.1-megapixel sensor can deliver a 15EV dynamic range at low sensitivities and its native ISO range is 100-32,000 with low noise and high resolution at the fastest speeds. Shoot in APS-C format and you still get 21 megapixels and, with static scenes, if you want the maximum resolution, the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode results in 199-megapixel files.
What’s inside 03 News New cameras and lenses galore and we’re only in February 08 Word search Your chance to win a Samsung 256GB microSD card 11 Club news Camera clubs continue to meet virtually, but their enthusiasm remains unwavering 14 Make the Switch Vicki Portanier loves to travel and can’t wait to rack up more air miles when the pandemic is finally over
18 52 Assignments: Nature Photography This new book has ideas for every week of the year. As a taster, we have three to get you thinking, plus interviews with the two authors 22 Camera supports buyers’ guide Many cameras and lenses have amazing skills when it comes to defeating camera shake, but none of them can beat a tripod. Here’s a truckload of leading models to consider 27 Printing and presentation buyers’ guide Nothing beats seeing your pictures in print, so whether you print yourself or upload images, here’s our pick of the best services and kit around
30 Big test: Nikon Z 7II Nikon’s latest flagship full-frame mirrorless gains a second card slot and an extra imaging processor, but are the changes worth having if you already own a Z 7? 34 First tests PN 's monthly trawl of new arrivals in the imaging market. This month features a eclectic mix, from sling camera straps to LED lights and a double-sided paper. l Blackrapid Delta and Nicole Elliott camera straps l Tokina atx-m 23mm f/1.4 X
l Litra LED lights: Torch V2.0, Pro and Studio l Permajet Double Sided Lustre 295 paper
Issue 85 | Photography News 3
A double from Permajet Leading paper brand Permajet
adds a fourth option to its range of double-sided paper
Double-sided printing paper offers huge potential if you want to get creative with your home photo printer. You can make your own business or personalised greetings cards, posters and calendars. You can also produce prints for your slip-in page portfolio book, or even use the double-sided prints themselves in a Permajet Snapshut Folio as your individual showcase. Permajet’s Double Sided Lustre 295 features a fine, stippled surface on a clean, white base and its 295gsm weight gives prints a gratifying heft. Its credentials for quality results are impressive, with good colour saturation and deep blacks, meaning it suits colour and mono images of every genre. The price for a box of 25 sheets of A4 Double Sided Lustre 295 is £24.95 and 25 sheets of A3 is £47.95. If you buy in bulk, however, you can save cash – ten 25-sheet boxes of A4 costs
Portable and very powerful The FujifilmX-E4 is the most compact and portable camera in the company’s mirrorless X Series. But that doesn ’ t mean any compromises and it ’ s a highly featured, very capable camera
£239.95. Other sizes in the range are A3+ and A2 and the paper is available to buy now. This issue, we also test out this impressive new paper – see page 38 to find out more. permajet.com
points across almost 100% of the image area and it’s quick enough to acquire focus in as fast as 0.02 seconds. Its skills with moving subjects are good too, thanks to an advanced AF tracking algorithm, plus there’s assistance from Fujifilm’s latest face/eye detection autofocus. Naturally, the X-E4 has Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes – 18 are featured in this camera, including Eterna Bleach Bypass. There’s a wide selection of video shooting options and it can shoot oversampled 6K footage to give 4K/30P 4:2:0 8-bit video to the internal SD card, or 4K/30P 4:2:2 10-bit video via its HDMI port. The X-E4 goes on sale from 4 March, with the body (in black or silver) at £799. The X-E4 with the new XF27mm f/2.8 R WR is £949 and the body with accessory kit is £899. Optional accessories include a MHG-XE4 metal hand grip that’s compatible with Arca-Swiss (£79.99), a BLC-XE4 leather half case (£69.99) and the TR-XE4 thumb rest, which fits in the hot shoe to give extra comfort when using the camera (£59.99).
PHOTOGRAPHERS of all interests love portability, especially if there are no sacrifices when it comes to performance and versatility. The Fujifilm X-E4 is the ideal camera for the shooter who wants to travel really light – the body weighs just 364g – yet still have the potential of interchangeable lenses and all the options of a highly specified piece of kit for shooting stills and video. The X-E4 is a 26.1-megapixel camera that uses the same renowned sensor/processor combination found in several X Series cameras: the APS-C format X-Trans CMOS 4 working with the quad-core X-Processor 4. PN has tested cameras with this sensor and found it impressive, delivering excellent quality and low digital noise images even at very high ISO rates. Despite its slim body and light weight, the X-E4 has a tilting LCD for convenient low- and high-viewpoint shooting and can even face forward for vlogging and selfies. It is also the first in the X-E range to feature a flexible monitor. Focusing is handled by an on- sensor phase detect system with AF
FUJIFILM X-E4 KEY FEATURES › £799 (body only) › £949, X-E4 and XF27mm f/2.8 R WR kit › 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor › Quad-core X-Processor 4 › 180° forward-tilting LCD › 8fps shooting › Exceptional AF and low-light performance › Fast, intelligent hybrid AF › Face and eye AF › Almost 100% coverage on-sensor phase detection AF › DCI 4K/30p video capture (no crop) › Accepts NP-W126S lithium-ion battery › 1x SD card slot › 364g (body only) For more details on the X-E4 and all the new releases from Fujifilm, please visit the website. fujifilm.eu/uk
ABOVE Permajet’s new Double Sided Lustre 295 works well for colour, as well as for mono images
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4 Photography News | Issue 85
Issue 85 | Photography News 5
Big is beautiful The fourthmember in Fujifilm’s GFX family is the GFX100S, a 102-megapixel medium format camera that is portable, versatile and impressively featured
with pixels covering almost 100% of the imaging area. It also works down to light levels of -5.5EV and can acquire focus as quick as 0.18 seconds. An updated focus algorithm also helps to track subjects in Tracking AF and Face/ Eye AF modes. The GFX100S body is weather- resistant and there have been some design innovations, too. These include a freshly designed AF lever, a PASMdial with six custom options and an EVF that is fixed – unlike the GFX 50S’ – and this has a 3.69 million-dot resolution. Also, next to the mode dial is a stills/ video control to enable fast switching between shooting methods. Fujifilm’s range of Film Simulation modes includes a new one, Nostalgia Neg, bringing the total on offer up to 19. The new setting gives amber toned warm highlights and boosted shadows to preserve detail, for a look reminiscent of seventies colour films. In video, the GFX100S records 4K/30p and DCI4K/30p movie footage at 100, 200 or 400Mbps with a recording time of up to 120 minutes. For pro video makers, the GFX100S can record 4K/30p in 12-bit Raw via
THE GFX SYSTEMwas introduced to bring medium format digital to a wider audience by offering more affordable and portable cameras to quality- conscious photographers. There are currently three GFXmodels – the GFX100, GFX 50R and GFX 50S – based on the 44x33mm format, which is 1.7x larger than 35mm full-frame and what Fujifilm terms as large format. Full-size files open to 11,648x8736 pixels. The GFX100S has the same core imaging technology as the GFX100, featuring the 102-megapixel CMOS Bayer array sensor and quad-core X-Processor 4. Compared with the GFX100, however, it is in a body that’s much smaller and 500g lighter. And at £5499 (body only), it’s a lot cheaper. The weight and size savings are the result of a new 22% smaller and 16% lighter shutter mechanism that is still very durable with a minimum 150,000 actuations. There is also a new 10% lighter and 20%more compact in-body image stabilisation mechanismwith a claimed benefit of 6EV – better than the 5.5EV gain of the GFX100. The autofocus is handled by an on-sensor phase detection system,
FUJIFILM GFX100S KEY FEATURES › £5499 (body only) › Magnesium alloy body
› 44x33mm format › 102MP resolution › Backside-illuminated CMOS sensor › Quad-core X-Processor 4 › Upgraded Intelligent hybrid AF › Phase detection autofocus pixels cover almost 100% of the sensor › Weather-resistant › New style focus lever › Nostalgic Neg Film Simulation › 5fps continuous shooting › IBIS 6EV benefit › Fixed 3.69M-dot EVF › 3.2in LCD monitor with 2.36M dots › 12-bit ProRes Raw 4K/30p › 1.8in LCD top-plate sub monitor › NP-W235 battery (gives 460 shots)
top-plate LCD and a high-resolution, multi-shot pixel shift mode that gives a 400-megapixel resolution. The GFX100S is available to buy at £5499 body only from 4 March. fujifilm.eu/uk Sony’s new G Sony’s had a busy month. Not only has it launched the A1, the company has also found time to unveil the FE 35mm f/1.4 GM. Its optical construction includes two extreme aspherical lenses to assure high-quality images and smooth bokeh. Autofocus is delivered via two silent Sony XD (extreme dynamic) linear motors, so it ’s great for video shooters and capturing stills on the street or in nature. For handling, there’s a focus hold button that can adopt other functions and a focus mode switch, as well as an aperture ring that can be de-clicked. It’s also dust- and moisture-resistant and has a fluorine-coated front element. The FE 35mm f/1.4 GM is available to pre-order now, priced £1499. sony.co.uk
HDMI or 10-bit Raw to the internal SD card. There are also H.264 and H.265 compression modes available, as well as F-Log and HLG settings. Other headlines include dual SD card slots, both UHS II-compatible, a 1.8-inch
› Two SD card slots › 900g (body only)
WIN a K&F carbon-fibre tripod
The K&F TC2535 tripod is perfect for travel and for walking around town. It’s a carbon-fibre model, so it’s super lightweight, and worth £120. Enter our free contest for a chance to own one. For more info on the TC2535 tripod, check out our review in the previous issue, PN 84. To be in with a chance of winning the TC2535, just answer the following question: What material is used for the K&F TC2535’s legs? ATitanium B Magnesium C Carbon fibre To enter, go to photographynews.co.uk and follow the link. The closing date for entries is 8 March 2021
Samsung drives on Samsung has introduced new models to its global series of bestselling consumer SSDs Samsung has released the 870 All SSD components have been designed in-house to ensure
EVO SSD – its latest 2.5-inch SATA solution that combines class-leading performance with reliability, making it ideal for dependable storage. The 870 EVO also incorporates Samsung’s latest V-NAND and MKX controller, which give it impressive read and write speeds of 560 and 530MB/s, respectively.
total compatibility, with the latest EVO 870 offering approximately 30% improvement in sustained performance compared with the 860 EVO series. Prices start from £38.79 for the 250GB version and go up to £395.49 for the 4TB model. samsung.com/ssd
and the first correct answer drawn after that date wins a TC2535 tripod.
Good luck! swains.co.uk
6 Photography News | Issue 85
New glass with class Fujifilmhas introduced lenses to both its X and GFX systems, including the eagerly awaited 70-300mm long telephoto zoom
FUJIFILM’S LENS ROADMAP for the X Series features three lenses destined for launch in 2021. Two have been confirmed to reach the shops this March: the XF27mm f/2.8 RWR and the XF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 LMOISWR. The XF27mm f/2.8 RWR pancake- style lens – equivalent to a 41mm lens in the 35mm format – is optically the same as the original XF27mm f/2.8, with a construction of seven elements in five groups and one aspherical lens. What it has gained is an aperture ring that locks in the A position, as well as weather resistance. It weighs just 84g, measures 23mm long and accepts 39mm fit filters, so it’s the perfect lens to travel really light with an X Series camera. It’s on sale from 18 March, priced at £419, and comes complete with a dome-shaped lens hood. Meanwhile, the XF70-300mm f/4.5- 5.6 LMOISWR is an important lens, because it fills a need for a compact, long telephoto zoomwithin Fujifilm’s X Series. In the 35mm format, this lens is equivalent to a 107-457mm focal length, so ideal for nature and sports photography. Physically, the XF70-300mm f/4.5- 5.6 features 17 elements in 12 groups, including one aspherical and two ED lenses, and an optical image stabiliser with a 5.5EV benefit. It is also weather- resistant and has a 67mm filter thread.
Weighing 580g and measuring 132.5mm, this lens is portable and compact, too. It’s also compatible with Fujifilm’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. With the latter fitted at 300mm, the XF70- 300mm f/4.5-5.6 gives the 35mm equivalent of a 914mm focal length. Other notable features include a linear motor for smooth, quick and quiet AF and a minimum focusing distance of 83cm, giving a magnification of 1:33x (equivalent to 1:2 half life-size in 35mm format). It is on sale from 18 March 2021 with a guide price of £729. Also due for launch is the GF80mm f/1.7 RWR for the GFX system, on sale for £2099 from 4 March. This lens is the world’s fastest aperture AF lens for a medium format system and gives a focal length equivalent of 63mmwith the 35mm system, making it suitable for a range of subject matter. The optical construction comprises 12 elements in nine groups, including one aspherical element and two Super ED elements, to deliver high image quality at all apertures, control aberrations and give a smooth bokeh. Autofocus is performed by a powerful DCmotor to drive the focus group of six elements, and the lens supports face/eye AF. fujifilm.eu/uk
FUJIFILM XF27MM F/2.8 RWR KEY FEATURES › £419 › Weather-resistant
› Aperture ring with A position lock › Supports 6.5EV IBIS (with X-T4) › Fast AF › 39mm filter size › 34cm minimum focus › Weighs 84g FUJIFILM XF70-300MM F/4.5-5.6 R LM OISWR KEY FEATURES › £729 › 107-457mm equivalent in 35mm format › Weather-resistant › Aperture ring with A position lock › Linear motor AF › 67mm filter size › 83cm minimum focus › 5.5EV benefit OIS › Compatible with Fujifilm 1.4x and 2x teleconverters › Weighs 580g FUJIFILM GF80MM F/1.7 RWR KEY FEATURES › £2099 › Weather-resistant › F/1.7-22 aperture range › DC focus motor › Fluorine-coated front element › 77mm filter size › 70cm minimum focus › Weighs 795g
Fujifilm firmware update The latest firmware released is for the X100V, X-T30 and X-Pro3
Firmware v2.0 for the X100V and v1.40 for the X-T30 adds webcam support, including Fujifilm Film Simulation modes, to add a
personal touch to web chats, while v1.30 for the X-Pro3 offers improvement to OVF/EVF. fujifilm.eu/uk
New from Leica Firm announces a special-edition camera and the return of an iconic lens
Leica has unveiled a limited-edition M10-P Reporter body, priced at £7100. It shares identical specs with the M10-P, but it has a unique dark-green finish and a durable Kevlar trim with diamond-weave texture for extra grip. According to Leica, the darker body armour gradually becomes the same colour as the top and base plates when exposed to sunlight, giving each camera its own unique look.
The debut Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 was launched in 1966 and only 1757 were made. The new Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2 ASPH is closely related to the original in terms of build and the results that it delivers. It is available in black at £6500 and if you want to be one of the 100 people in the world to own the limited-edition silver finish, it costs £13,500. store.leica-camera.com/uk
Issue 85 | Photography News 7
F O C A L S I Z A G X G T N U O M D C T E T A G S P E E D J B L S T U D I O P T L W I O B N M I Z W U G R I I U F S O S H U T T E R C O E R T S U L L U M F R S R O I R E T N I Z P O R J F T R Q E Y C Y B W E Q A U K N R I J P O D T L T N A U V V Q M K Y L R M L H I D A E R H T E M P C B R E T N I R P H X I R I J U D O A A P S R A U S P O R D W O N S N I Y T R E W O H S W T Q T C G E D A H S Z 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 Samsung Evo Plus 256GB microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £51.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Complete the word search below, and you’ll find that one word in the list doesn’t appear in the grid. Email us at email@example.com with that word in the subject box by 7 March 2021. The correct answer to PN 83’s word search was ‘hoar’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by G Morgan of Sheffield. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards A Samsung memory card! WIN!
Mastering Lighting & Flash Photography is a new book aimed at enthusiast photographers keen to improve their lighting technique. Author Richard Bradbury, who is an award-winning pro photographer, demonstrates how you can master different Improve your lighting skills forms of studio lighting to make the most of its creative potential. And it’s not just technique that Bradbury covers, he also discusses what is the best lighting kit to buy for a wide variety of situations. The book costs £19.99. ammonitepress.com
Take better pictures with your ears JoinThe Photography News Podcast every fortnight for the latest news, views and advice from the PN team and special guests
PN team, please do get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every fortnight, the Photography News team – editor Will Cheung, contributing editor Kingsley Singleton and editorial director Roger Payne – get together and chew the photographic cud with picture-taking advice, the latest hardware developments and what the team has been photographing themselves. The team is always open to feedback, opinions and questions you may have, so if you have any ideas for the pod, want to share your views about the current state of image-making or want to put a question to the
That’s precisely what PN reader,Trevor Rudkin, did. “I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your podcasts. I was a bit late in beginning to listen to them – I started 17 January 2021 – and in three days I listened to all 17 available on the website. It’s like having three photographic mates in the room chatting away while I process some images or check Facebook,” he wrote. • photographynews.co.uk
ABOVE ‘Blood painting’ is an indoor shooting idea discussed in episode 18 of The PN Podcast. Check it out at photographynews.co.uk
HERE’S HOWTOTUNE IN Every podcast is on the Photography News website: photographynews.co.uk/podcast-library . Or you can go to our YouTube channel using the bit.ly address below. Subscribe and hit the bell if you want to be notified when a new episode is posted bit.ly/2Kz5By4
EPISODE 6 Landscape special, including an exclusive interview with master landscaper, Charlie Waite EPISODE 5 Advice for astrophotography and long exposures, plus why to use back-button focusing EPISODE 4 The team reveal their own self-portraits and say why contests are worth the effort EPISODE 3 Inspiration for lockdown and the team’s choices for their best-ever DSLRs EPISODE 2 Shooting at home special with product photography in the bath and the challenge of astrophotography from home EPISODE 1 Inaugural episode with advice for at-home shooting and the team’s favourite cameras
EPISODE 18 National lockdown v3 and new indoor shooting techniques for you to try EPISODE 17 Why you should set yourself some photo projects for 2021 – it’ll improve your work EPISODE 16 The final episode of 2020 takes a look back at the year and the team dream about what Santa has in store for them bad weather is a part of life. Here, the team talks through their techniques for dealing with the difficult conditions EPISODE 14 The dark arts episode and the team’s advice for making the most of night photography EPISODE 13 Indoor portraits and the best lighting techniques to use are discussed. Plus, handy tips to get your photo mojo back EPISODE 15 In the depths of winter,
EPISODE 12 PN chats with Matt Barker, MPB founder, the successful online used photo equipment retailer EPISODE 11 The PN team muses on autumn, including locations, techniques and what kit to own to make the best of it EPISODE 10 The world of lenses is mulled over, plus our special guest is expert insect photographer, Ann Healey ARPS EPISODE 9 PN shoots big-sky landscapes, bugs and drooling dogs, plus an interview with Dom Gurney, from Epson UK Ltd EPISODE 8 The team select their Desert Island Kit, explain their choices and invite you to submit your ideas, too EPISODE 7 The team name their best- ever lenses, past and present, discussing their worthiness
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8 Photography News | Issue 85
Issue 85 | Photography News 9
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SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club
Axholme CC Almost a year into the pandemic, every camera club and photographic society has had to find newways to keep members enthused, inspired and actively shooting. Here’s how Axholme CC, a small rural club, has handled the past unprecedented year. Our thanks go to Bob Fish, Axholme CC’s publicity officer and treasurer, for the story
We want your contributions If your camera club has news you want to share with PN readers, please send it in. We welcome all stories; you might want to share details of an exhibition, contest success or a member’s achievement, such as gaining a distinction. Of course, clubs are meeting and exhibitions are taking place virtually, but there’s plenty of newsworthy moments we want to share. Please read the following guidelines before sending in your submission: Write your story in 250 words or fewer in a Word or Pages document. Please include the club’s website, meeting times, what the event is all about, opening times or entrance fees – any relevant detail is helpful. Every story should have at least one image. JPEGs should be at least 1500 pixels on the longest dimension (bigger is fine), use any colour space and, ideally, have the photographer’s name in the file name. We do not use posters. Send your contribution to clubnews@photography-news. co.uk with the text document and image attached. Deadlines for the upcoming issues of Photography News ISSUE 86, out from 9 March, deadline for contributions: 26 February ISSUE 87, out from 13 April, deadline for contributions: 2 April ISSUE 88, out from 11 May, deadline for contributions: 30 April
LAUNCHED AS A sociable camera club in the fifties, Axholme Camera Club, in North Lincolnshire, provided an opportunity for residents of the Isle of Axholme to meet and discuss their shared love of photography. As the club entered the new millennium, membership declined to single figures, and the club was close to folding. However, digital cameras came along and, with a successful National Lottery grant, it experienced an overwhelming revival in fortune. Membership rocketed to more than 60 people, resulting in the club joining the Lincolnshire Photographic Association in 2003 and, two years later, it joined the North East &Midland Photographic Federation. The past year has brought many challenges that club members have had to work hard to overcome. From the outset, the committee realised the importance of retaining members’ interest and enthusiasm, as well as
the need to provide an innovative programme of events that would help allay the confines of Covid-19. Holding true to its commitment to inspire, challenge and support, the club has utilised Zoom to maintain a full schedule. This has allowed members to hear presentations from photographers across the UK, France and Australia, which is a real boon to a small club with limited resources. It’s fair to say that members, speakers and judges initially had little, if any, experience of Zoom, but those with the time and dedication took it upon themselves to find a way forward. Of course, there were some minor technical hiccups along the way, but now everything runs smoothly. The club has also committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of those in the community by providing opportunities to progress their photography skills, raise self-esteem and offer avenues for positive social
interaction. Consequently, Axholme CC has reached the shortlisting stage of Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champion for spring 2021. One other significant development that has arisen from the pandemic is the creation of a new website. Two months of hard work by a dedicated team of four has seen an instructive and developing website built that celebrates the club’s achievements, promotes members’ work and is informative to the general public. The club’s present chairperson, George Fiddler, expressed his and the committee’s gratitude and congratulations to the team for a job well done. e-voice.org.uk/axholmecameraclub
From architecture to vegetables, Thanet tackles it all
Thanet members enjoyed two fascinating talks throughout January. The first, on architecture and street photography, illustrated how using different angles can achieve some very interesting shots. The talk clearly inspired one club member, Eddie Bradley. His experimental photograph, The Turner Contemporary Re-imagined (bottom left), displayed a new side to the Turner Contemporary, an art gallery in Margate, and achieved top marks in the year’s first open competition. The runner-up was Paul Norris for his photograph, Winter Light (above left). For its members’ evening, chairman Laura Drury chose the topic, iconic images. These differed from famous photographs, with Laura selecting categories, such as
the world’s most viewed and the top ten most expensive photographs. She also discussed unusual images that had become highly valued, almost as works of art. These included vegetables, and Laura encouraged members to use these as subjects during lockdown, because they are readily available and pose an interesting challenge for photographers of all abilities. The club also took part in its first ‘battle’ of the year against Herne Bay Camera Club. Judge David Kissman, from Nottinghamshire, provided an excellent critique of the 40 images submitted by the clubs. Thanet won with the highest score. We are grateful to Herne Bay CC for hosting the online event. isleofthanetphotographicsociety.co.uk
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ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Be a total show-off There’s nothingmore fulfilling than taking pride in your images andmaking themost of them at home. Here are six presentation ideas fromWhiteWall product manager, Jan-Ole Schmidt
Tip 1: The statement piece: one wall, one picture The statement piece is hung alone. This can be effective in small rooms or in nooks. Find a place of honour for a particularly beautiful, eye- catching or cherished image. You can create a really great interplay between different statement pieces by displaying single pictures on multiple walls of the same room. Tip 2: The wall art cluster You can think of a wall art cluster as organised chaos. It is an arrangement of numerous, tightly grouped pictures on one wall. It is important that there’s some sort of method to
Tip 4: All in a row It looks great when multiple pictures of the same size are hung evenly in a horizontal or vertical line. If you have pictures of different sizes, but would still like to hang them in a row, you can align them along one of the frame’s edges or along an imaginary axis through the middle. Tip 5: The chessboard A chessboard is a clear geometric concept for presenting many pictures of the same size. The pictures are hung above and next to each other with even gaps on all sides. I’d highly recommend using an even number of pictures for this and making the gaps
ONE WALL-FILLING LANDSCAPE? Or maybe several smaller pictures of different sizes hung at various heights? For those looking to fill walls with art, take note: the right arrangement is what really counts. As a photographer, Jan-Ole Schmidt has learned a few helpful tricks for effectively displaying your own photographs on the wall. His advice starts with the preparation. “You want to make sure that everything turns out perfectly, so before you hang anything, make a sketch or lay your pictures out on the floor to get an impression of how they look together and the overall effect of your arrangement,” he suggests.
the madness, though. The pictures should be ‘connected’ in some way, whether that means images with a similar artistic approach, identical or similar frames or passepartouts, or pictures of a similar size. A common element brings a certain harmony to the display. Tip 3: On an axis This picture-hanging concept is a classic and is also great in rooms with low ceilings. Simply align the centre of each picture along an imaginary axis. You can hang the pictures in a horizontal or vertical line, but it’s best to keep the distance between them the same.
equal in size on all sides, just like a real chessboard. Tip 6: The split image One image – split into multiple pieces. The pieces need to be the same size, and they should be hung in a row, not too far apart and with the edges level. A triptych is a classic example, and WhiteWall offers a splitting function that can divide pictures into four individual pieces.
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Issue 85 | Photography News 13
Make the Switch ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Keen enthusiast photographer Vicki Portanier has travel in her blood and, like all of us, she’s longing for the days when overseas travel is normal again. Meanwhile, to remind us of how it used to be, here’s a selection of images from her most recent trip
PHOTOGRAPHY IS A hobby and a passion of mine that I took up more seriously about eight years ago. Before that, I took pictures as references for my drawings and paintings. Then I decided I was probably better off just taking pictures – and that’s when I started getting more interested in photography. I started by using a Nikon DSLR, a D7200, which I think I bought because I saw it being advertised or read about it somewhere. I loved it and bought some lenses that suited travel for it. A little later I discovered Fujifilm. I think this was again reading about the
Fujifilm X Series and seeing adverts, but also seeing the results from Fujifilm cameras – and I liked what I saw. In particular, I really liked the colour reproduction Fujifilm cameras gave, so I bought the 16-megapixel X-T10. I thought I’d try it to see if I liked using it and would move up from there to a more advanced model in due course. For a while, I took both cameras on various trips and found that I appreciated and enjoyed using the X-T10 more than the Nikon. To me, it was a very intuitive camera to use and, as I expected, I liked the colours I was getting from it.
Once I decided I was happy with the X-T10, I progressed to the 24.3-megapixel X-T2. I’m not a professional, but I thought going to the X-T2 would help me get more from my picture taking, and I think it has. I ended selling the Nikon kit simply because I wasn’t using it any more. There was no point keeping it, so it was sold and the money went towards another Fujifilm lens. I still have the X-T10 and the X-T2, but I have added another body: the X-T3. Now I use that camera and the X-T2, often in tandem. For example, the other day when we had snow, I went
out to the local park very early before sunrise and I took the X-T2 with the XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR fitted and the XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR on the X-T3, because I thought I might encounter some wildlife, which is another keen interest of mine when photographing. I often take the two-body shooting approach when I’m travelling, too, although obviously it depends where I am and the situation. When I was shooting the street markets in Vietnam, for example, I used just one body paired with the XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.
VICKI PORTANIER Enthusiast photographer, Molesey Photographic Club
IMAGE Fruit on a yoke, street scene taken in Hoi An, Vietnam. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm. Exposed in manual mode at 1/500sec at f/5, ISO 500
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THE KIT VICKI OWNS
FUJIFILM X-T3 The X-T3 combines Fujifilm’s unique back-side illuminated 26-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor with the powerful X-Processor 4 image processing engine to produce richly detailed images with striking, true-to-life colour. It has an ISO range of 160-12,800, extendable to 80-51,200, lightning-fast AF and a blistering 20fps burst mode.
XF55-200MM F/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Portability, versatility, great handling and high
ABOVE Market colour, shot in Bac Hà, Lào Cai province. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 at 43mm. Exposed in manual mode at 1/250sec at f/5, ISO 2000 BELOW Bac Hà market, shot in Bac Hà market. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 at 58mm. Exposed in manual mode at 1/250sec at f/5, ISO 3200
That trip to Vietnam (which is where the pictures used here were taken) was my last trip and happened just before the pandemic broke out last March. It was nice when I was there and we could still travel around without a problem, but getting a flight back was interesting! I shoot mostly travel, but I do enjoy wildlife as well, and that’s why I have the XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which is a light lens for such a powerful telephoto zoom. It’s handholdable, too, obviously helped by the OIS, which is very beneficial. My favourite two lenses are the XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS and XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, and I use them a lot. They really suit travel photography as they are light and compact. I recently bought a XF35mm f/1.4 R, because I wanted to start shooting with prime lenses. I added a XF56mm f/1.2 R, too, because I want to do more portraits, and I will once the pandemic is over. I haven't got any more trips planned for 2021 yet, because everything is so uncertain, but I would love to go to Laos and Cambodia and I’d be happy to go back to Vietnam as well, because it is an amazing country. Oh, for the days when we can all travel freely again! “In the street markets of Vietnam, I used just one body with the XF18- 135mmf/3.5-5.6 RLMOISWR”
performance are the key characteristics of this compact telephoto zoom that gives the equivalent focal length of 83-300mm in 35mm format terms. Handling is first rate, too, so it is a fabulous lens to use.
XF18-135MM F/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Perfect for travel, this superzoom has a 7.5x zoom range, giving coverage from 27mm to 206mm in 35mm format terms, making it very versatile. Key features include an internal focus mechanism working with a linear motor for fast, silent autofocus and advanced optical image stabilisation (OIS) giving up to 5EV benefit.
XF100-400MM F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
Perfect for action and nature photography, this lens has a focal length range of 152-609mm (35mm equivalent). Its design features 21 elements, with five ED lenses and one Super ED lens to minimise chromatic aberration. The OIS has a 5EV benefit for sharp shooting with slow shutter speeds, especially at longer focal lengths.
FREE 48-HOUR FUJIFILMLOANS The Fujifilm Connect loan service means you can try specific Fujifilm cameras and lenses in your own home free of charge for up to two days (including delivery). Loans can be extended, and if you decide to purchase it afterwards, Fujifilm will refund your loan fee. For full details of this special loan scheme, go to fujifilm-connect.hireacamera.com/en-gb
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Issue 85 | Photography News 17
A year’s worth of inspirational projects is presented in 52 Assignments: Nature Photography produced by professional nature photographers, Ross Hoddinott and Ben Hall. As a taster, here are three abridged excerpts from the book, plus interviews with the two authors Fall in love withnature
Assignment 08: Worm’s-eye view
“Aworm’s-eye viewemphasises your subject, andhelps you to obscure clutter” so it becomes more out of focus. For example, a messy or distracting surface – such as grass, water, fallen leaves, snow or sand – will be rendered so out of focus that it simply records as a wash of colour, producing a far more aesthetically pleasing result than from shooting higher up. This technique is best applied with a telephoto lens with a focal length of more than 300mm, together with a large aperture. The narrow zone of focus created by this combination will help your subject really pop out of the picture. Your focusing will need to be pin- point accurate – always focus on an animal’s eye. So now set out to capture a series of four ground-level images and share them on your website, or social media feed.
For this assignment, be prepared to get down and dirty. We want you to lie down on the ground and take a photograph of nature at a low level. Lying down reduces disturbance and allows you to capture more intimate and striking images of nature. It is also an excellent way to create a natural eye-to-eye perspective. A worm’s-eye view emphasises your subject, and helps you to obscure clutter and distraction by reducing the foreground and background to a hazy blur. By shooting with your lens at ground level, you will obscure almost all recognisable detail either side of the lens’s plane of focus. This is because, when you lie down, you place extra distance between the subject and its background,
researching will be time well spent. With the Covid pandemic still some way from going away, now’s the perfect time for a spot of research, reading books or going online. Of course, there is also all the learning you will get from actually doing it. And, as is usually the case in photography (as with life), the more practice you do, the better you’ll get. Then there’s the kit to be considered, which depends on which subject tempts you most. With birds and mammals, for example, it’s usually the need for long telephoto lenses; for plants and insects, lenses that focus really close are essential. We’re using a very broad brush here, but you get the idea. Anyway, to get your creative juices flowing, please check out 52 Assignments: Nature Photography and get thinking about the natural world.
NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY is more popular than ever before and even though nature photography is challenging, fun and rewarding – with such a huge diversity of subject matter – whether your taste is for big game (when travel is possible again), or for insects in your back garden, there’s something for everybody. But having an interest is one thing, capturing it is quite another, and that’s the challenge. Fieldcraft and knowing your subject are really important, so if you’re new to nature photography, or thinking of broadening your natural horizons, the time that you spend
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“Having an interest is one thing, capturing it is quite another”
LEFT Low-level photography can be uncomfortable for the photographer, but the results can look bold and extremely intimate
Assignment 17: Perfect storm
either light or heavy rain, background choice becomes important. A dark background will make the rain appear more prominent, so look for areas of shadow to shoot toward. So the next time it rains, get your waterproofs on, go out and begin this project. Over time, collect four of your best images showing wildlife battling the elements.
Many effective images are taken in extreme weather conditions. Falling snow, stormy skies, churning seas and even rain can add an extra element to an image that tells a story and draws the viewer into the subject’s world. Your brief here is to make the most of adverse weather, and to do that you must know how to best exploit it. Snow, for instance, can be used to create a feeling of exposure and extremity. Try heading into the hills to capture subjects against an expansive and desolate landscape. Give the subject space in the frame to accentuate the element of weather. This, in turn, can lead to a feeling of solitude, adding power and feeling to your images. Stormy weather and high winds can churn up the sea, creating a real sense of wildness – the perfect scenario for capturing seabirds in flight. Rain, too, can add its own special type of atmosphere. When shooting in
RIGHT A fast shutter speed will freeze falling snowflakes as white spots mid-air
TECHNIQUE l Shoot at a high ISO in low light. It is better to have to reduce the resulting noise in post-processing than shoot a soft image that cannot be improved later. l On dark, overcast days, the light will often lack contrast and mean your camera’s autofocus system will struggle. Switch to manual focus for consistent results.
l A fast shutter speed will freeze the motion of rain droplets or snowflakes, while a slow shutter speed will render them as streaks. l Snow will fool a camera into underexposing,
so dial in plenty of positive exposure compensation and check the histogram. l Invest in a waterproof cover to protect both your camera and lens.
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