With the side effects of the Australian Federal Government’s demand that foreign online retailers sign up to become government goos and services tax collection agents yet to become clear and obvious this soon after the scheme’s July 1 commencement date, Chinese camera accessories maker SmallRig has dodged the bullet by setting up a dedicated SmallRig store on Amazon Australia.
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos responded to the Federal Government’s demand that Amazon UK and Amazon USA become unpaid tax collectors by refusing to sell Australian customers at all from those two sites from July 1, instead bouncing them to the controversial Amazon Australia website, often criticized for having too little stock and too high prices.
SmallRig’s Australian Amazon store does not appear to offer the vast selection found on SmallRig’s website nor its unique Co-design and Pre-order functions but it is at least, a start and seems to contain some of the more popular item categories for which SmallRig has become famous since its founding in 2007, cages, handles, quick release plates, clamps and more.
I recommend that Australian readers make their purchases through the Amazon Australia SmallRig store to encourage SmallRig to add more of their products to it.
I have not yet made any foreign online purchases since July 1 from retailers that have refused to sign up to the Australian Government’s GST collection scheme, so have not put the new system to the test.
I hope, though that the Government is offering a fallback for purchases from those stores such as routing them through the Australian Customs service for GST collection on items where it has not been charged at point of sale.
Prior to July 1, the Australian Government only required 10% GST to be paid on items costing $AU 1,000.00 or greater.
Now all items purchased by Australian residents from overseas suppliers are required to have GST collected.
I was checking some references for my latest article on colour photography great Joel Meyerowitz when I came across the image featured in this article’s header above. Yes it is true, Joel Meyerowitz is teaching an online course on photography for Masters of Photography and I am sure it will be worth every single cent of its US$170 course fee.
Walk with Joel in all his 34 lessons as he takes you on this truly inspirational photographic journey and shows you how to stay alive to the meanings and possibilities of the world in front of you. With Joel as your guide, you will learn how to find your creative voice and identity and apply it to your own photographic subjects. Join in and share your course photographs with Joel’s student community and get them critiqued. You will also get your own course certificate from Joel too.
For over 55 years, universally acclaimed, award-winning photographer, Joel Meyerowitz, has been one of the world’s greatest image-makers. Although Meyerowitz is a street photographer in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, he transformed the medium with his pioneering use of color. As an early advocate, he became instrumental in changing the attitude toward color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. Meyerowitz’s work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, and he has published more than 25 photography books. He was the only photographer to gain unrestricted access to Ground Zero after 9/11, which produced a body of work that led Meyerowitz to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2002.
Meyerowitz is a Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of both the NEA and NEH awards, an inductee to the Leica Hall of Fame, an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society and a recipient of their prestigious Centenary Medal. He has taught at Princeton University in New Jersey and at The Cooper Union in New York.
It is also pleasing to see that Albert Watson is teaching one of two coming courses, with the third being taught by Steve McCurry. I hope some great female photographers will present future courses on the principle of “if she can see it, she can be it”.
“… As I waited, my eye was drawn to the rows of digital displays hanging throughout the departure lounge. Normally displaying advertisements and train departure times, instead these boards were illuminated with a series of photographic portraits.
This was part of Portrait of Britain, a collaboration between the British Journal of Photography and the digital billboard operator JCDeaux, who came together to display 100 portraits of contemporary Britons on digital signage across the country….”
“… Reuters is launching a grant program which seeks to recruit and develop a diverse new generation of photojournalists to tell original human stories from around the world.
Reuters is offering up to eight $5,000 USD grants to passionate photojournalists or photojournalism students who are interested in working on photo assignments and projects to advance their abilities and tell new stories….”
“Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally pay for TSA Pre-check status. New rules state that in standard security lines, cameras will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening. According to new procedures announced by the TSA today, any electronic device larger than a cell phone will need to be removed from its case or bag and placed in a bin with nothing above or below it.
Now, not only will your laptop need its own bin, but potentially every camera body, lens, flashgun and tablet in your carry-on bags will need to be placed in bins for X-ray screening. A photographer traveling with a full complement of gear for a shoot is going to need to budget a little extra time for all of the un-packing and packing at the airport.”
Camera cage and accessories maker Seercam is about to release its extension kit for the company’s Cube GH5 camera cage and has kindly shared a set of photographs of the kit in situ on the cage and as part of a big Cube GH5-based rig. To all those moviemakers asking which accessories makers are building cages that can be safely stacked high with monitors, recorders, microphones, handles and more, Seercam’s Extension Kit for Cube GH5 is the answer to your prayers.
The extension kit contains a rod holder to accomodate rods of various lengths for mounting extra gear and even a camera left side handle.
The folks at Seercam tell me that they are currently working on their own custom external battery pack, similar to the one depicted in some of these product shots. Unlike Motion9’s CubePower battery pack that “could not be sold overseas”, the new Seercam battery pack will be designed and manufactured to enable it to be sold overseas. More details will be forthcoming as development proceeds.
This is great news for those of us shooting long takes or through long days with the GH5, which apparently eats up battery power faster than its younger sibling, the GH4. Although I am partial to camera-mounted battery grips like Panasonic’s DMW-BGGH5, Seercam’s custom battery solution looks like a smarter and more versatile alternative.
For what felt like the longest time, Fujifilm staff members acknowledged privately then publicly that the company needed to do better on video, first with the groundbreaking Fujifilm Finepix X100 – which I use for shooting documentary stills to this very day – then through the X-E1, X-Pro1 and X-T1 and their smaller, more affordable companion cameras.
Fujifilm’s current flagship cameras, the X-Pro2 and X-T2 are the ones where they have finally begun to get it right for video, but there is some way to go yet, as indicated by Paul Leeming’s letter to Fujifilm citing the GH4 and GH5 as exemplars.
Panasonic was the first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC) maker to start to get it right so far as video goes, with Panasonic’s Lumix GH4 cementing that company’s position as masters of the Super 16/Micro Four Thirds sensored, eminently portable, day-long usable ergonomically-advanced documentary video and stills camera.
The GH4 and now GH5 have not been adopted only by documentary moviemakers. Paul Leeming shoots feature films with his GH4 and now his similarly-rigged GH5 camera after moving away from the RED Super 35 cameras he owned and rented out for some years.
Veydra’s Mini Prime lenses filled a yawning gap in matched set lens options for Super 16 moviemakers relying on the GH4 and now GH5, and, with Duclos Lenses’ announcement of their X-Mount adapter, a subset of Veydra’s lenses is poised to do the same for Fujifilm’s X-T2 and rumoured “ultimate APS-C camera” for stills and video.
Fujifilm’s X-Mount lenses have been eyed-off by video professionals familiar with their Fujinon broadcast and movie production zoom lenses, for some time and for good reason, as Matthew Duclos shares in his post about the X-Mount adapter:
Any Fujifilm fan (including myself) knows that Fujinon makes some amazing lenses for their X line of cameras. They’re fast, lightweight, sharp, and relatively affordable. I firmly believe lens quality and selection is what sets Fujifilm apart from the rest of the mirrorless pack. But for motion picture work, the current lineup of Fuji X lenses simply isn’t going to produce good results. Will they get the job done? Sure… They’ll be good enough.
There is a difference between the needs of higher-end motion picture cinematographers and other moviemakers for whom stills lenses can be good enough for shooting video. Fujifilm seems to have recognized that with their recently released Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9 zoom lenses but there is no sign they will be coming up with videocentric prime lenses any time soon.
Veydra Mini Prime lenses for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds and Super 35/APS-C
Veydra 12mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super16/Micro Four Thirds only.
Veydra 16mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds only.
Veydra 19mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds and Super 35/APS-C.
Veydra 25mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds and Super 35/APS-C.
Veydra 35mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds and Super 35/APS-C.
Veydra 50mm T2.2 Mini Prime
Veydra 85mm mini prime lens with metric scale, for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds and Super 35/APS-C.
That is where five out of seven of Veydra’s Mini Primes come in. All seven of them provide a well-spaced set of focal lengths from 12mm through to 85mm, in 35mm equivalent terms from 24mm to 170mm for Super 16 cameras. The Veydra subset suitable for Super 35 cameras like the X-T2 and its successors covers 19mm through to the 85mm focal lengths.
Veydra primes for Super 16/Micro Four Thirds cameras
12mm – 24mm, in 35mm equivalence
16mm – 32mm, in 35mm equivalence
19mm – 38mm, in 35mm equivalence
25mm – 50mm, in 35mm equivalence
35mm – 70mm, in 35mm equivalence
50mm – 100mm, in 35mm equivalence
85mm – 170mm, in 35mm equivalence
The Veydra team was working on a wider lens than 12mm but had to abandon the idea as it would have been prohibitively expensive and oversized. Pity, as a 21mm equivalent or wider makes for excellent scene-setting and interiors shots.
Veydra primes for Super 35/APS-C cameras
19mm – 28.5mm, in 35mm equivalence
25mm – 37.5mm, in 35mm equivalence
35mm – 52.5mm, in 35mm equivalence
50mm – 75mm, in 35mm equivalence
85mm – 127.5mm, in 35mm equivalence
The 12mm and 16mm lenses vignette on Super 35 cameras. Wider focal lengths than 19mm would come in handy, so may have to be sought from amongst Fujifilm’s prime lenses such as the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R or XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR with their clutch manual focus option.