“… The TOUGH SD cards feature the world’s first one-piece molded construction and rib-less design with No-Write Switch, making them far less vulnerable than conventional SD cards. In a bend test comparing the TOUGH SD cards to the standard, the TOUGH SD came out as 18 times stronger. These new cards also have the highest grade dustproof protection and are waterproof for up to 72 hours at a depth of 15 feet.
The cards boast an ultra-fast write speed of up to 299 MB/s – fast enough to support continuous shooting of high-resolution images and 4K video. When it comes to transferring those files to your computer, the cards’ read speeds of up to 300 MB/s makes the process take only seconds….”
World Photo Day – This day, also referred to as World Photography Day, “the worlds largest photography celebration started as an idea in the bedroom of Korske Ara, a young photographer in Canberra, Australia. Passionate about connecting people, telling their stories and inspiring positive change in the world, Korske started on an epic journey to change the world through photography.”
What is in Katrin Eismann’s camera bag
Sony Alpha α7R III mirrorless digital camera with Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM zoom lens.
Sony FE 24-105mm f/4.0 G OSS lens for 35mm sensor and APS-C Sony E-Mount cameras.
Sony RX0 1.0″-Type Sensor Ultra-Compact Waterproof/Shockproof camera.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV digital camera with fixed Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 8.8-220mm f/2.4-4.0 zoom lens, equivalent to 24-600mm in 35mm sensor.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI digital camera with fixed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 9.0-72mm f/2.8-4.5 zoom, equivalent to 24-200mm in 35mm sensor.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II digital camera with fixed Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2.0 lens and 42MP 35mm sensor Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor.
Sony Alpha α6500 APS-C/Super 35 sensor digital camera.
Sony E 16-70mm f/4.0 Vario-Tessar T* ZA OSS zoom lens for APS-C/Super 35 cameras.
Sony E 10-18mm f/4 OSS zoom lens for APS-C/Super 35mm cameras.
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS prime lens for 35mm sensor cameras.
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4.0 G OSS zoom lens for 35mm sensor cameras.
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM zoom lens for 35mm sensor cameras.
“… The ‘Be Alpha’ campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship ‘Alpha Female’ program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony’s thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon….”
Details about Sony’s coming ‘Alpha Female’ program thread of the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign have yet to appear online but this is the very first time to my knowledge that any camera maker has done anything to address the huge imbalance in opportunities for and representation of female photographers and moviemakers.
It is likely that concrete information about the ‘Alpha Female’ program and the ‘Alpha Female’ photographers and moviemakers involved in it will begin appearing during the ‘Be Alpha’ campaign launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City.
I hope that the ‘Alpha Female’ program will be a beacon to all aspiring and established female photographers and moviemakers everywhere, not just limited to the USA, and inspire all camera and other hardware manufacturing companies to make a real change for the better.
Coverage of Sony products, as well as those by Canon and Nikon, has been sporadic here at ‘Untitled’ but Sony’s ‘Alpha Female’ program as well as the other two camera makers’ coming high-end mirrorless cameras are incentive to try to persuade all three brands to assist us in writing about their products with firsthand experience.
Another such incentive is Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming’s creation of Sony and Canon inclusive Leeming LUT Pro, “the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table (LUT) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading”.
“Multi-camera shoots are now much easier, because you are starting with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading. Once all your cameras have been corrected, you can optionally use the specially matched Leeming LUT Quickies™ for a one-touch creative grade designed to work seamlessly with the common baseline of Leeming LUT Pro™ corrected footage.”
Alpha Universe – Artisans of Imagery – 7 female artisans out of a total of 39 as at Thursday August 16, 2018.
World Photo Day – “Founded in 2009 by Australian photographer, Korske Ara, World Photo Day has taken over 7 years to grow into the global photography celebration it is today…. In 2016, World Photo Day reached a global social audience of 500 million people around the world, inspiring photographers around the world to share their stories.”
Help support ‘Untitled’
Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.
“A few weeks ago, our founder, CEO and main investor Stefan Immes had a serious traffic accident, which he barely survived. Although we have been able to talk to him and although, for a very short time of the day he has become the astute, humorous and positive entrepreneur we know, it is now clear that due to the severity of the injuries he will not be able to continue running the company in the foreseeable future.
For a company of 15 employees only, this entails a large number of changes. Currently, we are in the process of reorganization and are trying to establish a working system as no successor regulation can yet be found for the Net SE Group. For this reason, we are currently undergoing a restructuring process with an as yet unknown outcome for the individual divisions….”
Other Meyer Optik Görlitz lenses as of August 2018
Meyer Optik Görlitz Primoplan P75 75mm f/1.9 lens
Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 lens
Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 lens
Sad news indeed about Meyer Optik Görlitz CEO Stefan Immes and I hope that the company can successfully reorganize and get back into full production of its innovative and revived art lenses.
I wish to see more, not fewer, makers of these characterful lens types in the world and would hate to see the end of the Meyer Optik Görlitz initiative especially given their aims as stated in their latest Kickstarter campaign:
We restored the Meyer-Optik brand to build lenses that are distinguished in their uniqueness. Today, our lenses are made for those who want more than standard shots for their everyday photography. These lenses are special hand-made optics designed for the artistic photographer who craves a special unique look.
Although I appreciate the precision of most contemporary lens designs, I have had practical firsthand experience of antique and revived historical lenses aka “fine art” or “art” lenses and know there is a place for them in almost every photographer’s and moviemaker’s gear kit.
I wish the Meyer Optik Görlitz company the very best in their reorganization, and look forward to them reviving and updating many more famous and historical lenses in future.
Meanwhile I am glad to know that other companies such as Lomography are also on the classic lens revival trail and look forward to one day being able to try out a cross section of such lenses.
“This product is custom designed for Sony A7RIII, A7III and A9 cameras. Both the base plate and the side plate are of Arca-Swiss standard. It mounts to the camera’s tripod socket and extends 20mm height for more comfortable gripping. The side plate is detachable and slidable as per your needs. Accessories such as hand straps, and Metabones adapter support 1764 could be attached to it, providing more stability….”
SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7RIII/A9 2122, SmallRig Cold Shoe Mount 1593 and SmallRig Lens Adapter Support 1764
I was browsing through the pages of the SmallRig video camera accessories website this morning when I handed upon what appears to be the company’s very first L-bracket, for Sony’s Alpha a7 III, Alpha a7R III and Alpha a9 mirrorless 35mm sensor format hybrid stills/video cameras.
This is an exciting development especially as SmallRig’s design provides for mounting on Arca-Swiss tripods heads or adapters, allows access to the cameras’ batteries, and looks sturdy and well-machined.
L-brackets can come in handy when using hybrid cameras for video and stills, in portrait and landscape format, swapping rapidly from one to the next.
Some manufacturers such as 3 Legged Thing make universal L-brackets that can fit a range of cameras with varying degrees of usability and ability to easily access batteries, media cards and other essential hardware features but there is no question that custom L-brackets designed to fit their intended camera perfectly are the best option by far.
Regrettably though, custom L-brackets are not always available for specific cameras nor are they always designed and manufactured in the way one might desire.
For example, I am still looking for a good enough L-bracket for my beloved Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 hybrid professional rangefinder-style camera.
The GX8 remains one of my favourite and most-used professional-quality cameras for stills photography and video even though it was supposed to be “superseded” or “updated” by Panasonic with the enthusiast-level Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9, a marketing misstep about which I have written in several articles here at ‘Untitled’.
I and a good many others are still waiting for Panasonic to come up with the actual professional-quality rangefinder-style successor to the GX8.
Meanwhile, getting back to L-brackets, the best GX8 L-bracket so far had vanished from sale just before I discovered it, though its design was far from perfect and was neither as advanced as SmallRig’s solution for the Sony A-series cameras nor as affordable.
Nor did that disappeared GX8 L-bracket offer the option of attaching a special cold shoe for mounting microphones or other accessories off to the camera’s side, or a lens adapter support below the lens while securely screwed onto the L-bracket itself.
I ended up buying a GX8 camera cage from SmallRig as a form of consolation gift to myself, but a cage and an L-bracket are two different things made to solve two different sets of problems even though, as SmallRig has illustrated in its Sony L-bracket product page, an L-bracket can be useful to moviemakers too.
I encourage SmallRig to consider making L-brackets for other cameras.
“Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation has commercialized the “IMX294CJK” Type 4/3 back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with approximately 10.71M-effective pixels for the expanding security camera market.
The “IMX294CJK” is the first in-house image sensor for security cameras to adopt the Type 4/3 format, and realizes output of the number of pixels needed for 4K at 120 frame/s (in ADC 10-bit output mode). In addition, use of a large-size pixel achieves SNR1s of 0.14 lx*1, and use of a Quad Bayer pixel structure (see Figure 1) realizes an HDR (High Dynamic Range) function with no time difference, enabling video imaging with a wide dynamic range….”
With the ending of the major photography trade show in Australia, chances to see and try before you buy have become even more rare than they have ever been, so I was grateful for the small display of mirrorless cameras and lenses at one side of the expo opposite the two DSLR makers.
It was good to see Fujifilm’s X-E3 again and I caught up with the new Sony Alpha a9 camera so many colleagues have been raving about, but the star of the show for me was the Olympus table.
Panasonic was mysteriously absent and all the poorer for it given how beautifully its Lumix cameras go together with Olympus’ M.Zuiko Pro lenses for cinematography and photography, especially given their unique manual clutch focus option.
Super wide-angle lenses present something of a quandary when it comes to filters, given they often have wide convex front lens elements that prevent easily attaching screw-on filters.
Using such lenses for video presents even more of a quandary, especially for solo operators working in documentary moviemaking who must travel light, are self-funded and must watch their budgets.
Travelling light, working handheld and keeping your camera rigs small, neat and discrete rules out traditional moviemaking standbys like matte boxes holding large, costly square or rectangular filters which are fine for feature filmmaking and slower, more deliberate approaches.
Luckily several optical filter makers have turned their efforts to the problem of attaching filters to convex-fronted lenses like the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro, though until recently all such filter adapter solutions have only worked with big slide-in glass or plastic filters 100mm, 150mm or 165mm square or wide.
And then, I came across a hitherto unknown camera filter and accessories maker by the name of STC Optical & Chemical in Taiwan, and discovered they are offering a screw-in lens adapter for the M.Zuiko Pro 7-14mm f/2.8 and an adapter for Panasonic’s own 7-14mm lens, the slower Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 Aspheric zoom, also with a convex front element.
I have yet to come across any hands-on reviews by cinematographers of the STC Olympus 7-14mm filter adapter but have been researching the availability of high quality 105mm UV, circular polarizing and ND filters in density values suitable for moviemaking.
STC Optical & Chemical’s Screw-In Lens Adapter for Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro Lens
STC lens adapter on Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro
STC lens adapter on Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro
Screw-in lens adapter for Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro by STC Optical & Chemical, plus 105mm STC UV filter
Given the brightness of sunny days like today, a 6-stop maximum density is not dense enough and will need to be supplemented with fixed, single value ND filters, abnegating the utility value of variable NDs in the first place.
I have no firsthand experience with Aurora-Aperture products but 4 to 11 stops ND seems more useful.
Another possibility, or more appropriately hope, is that STC Optical & Chemical may choose to supplement its current 105mm 6-stop ND filter with more.
One typical fixed neutral density filter set contains 2, 4, 6, 8 and sometimes 10 stops, while another comprises 3, 5, 7, and 9 stops.
If I can find the answer to the variable or fixed circular ND filter set question for the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro 7-14mm f/2.8 filter, then the lens and its filter solution will go straight to the top of my documentary video hardware wish list followed by the M.Zuiko Pro 17mm f/1.2, 25mm f/1.2 and 45mm f/1.2 professional-quality prime lenses.
I have made enquiries about their relevant products to STC Optical & Chemical and will report back here soon.
Of STC’s current Olympus Screw-In Lens Adapter packages, I am tempted by the adapter plus UV filter for stills photography, the circular polarizer for architectural photography and city scenes in video, and the 6-stop ND with the hopes that 2, 4, 8 and 10 stops ND filters will be appearing soon.
Or I may opt for either of STC’s Ultra Layer Variable NDs if they become available in a diameter of 105mm.
Breakthrough Photography – Step-Up Ring – top-quality traction-framed brass step-up rings with the largest being 95mm to 105mm, so to use 105mm filters on smaller diameter lenses you would need to nest step-up rings.
Cosyspeed – The OLYMPUS 25/1.2 Street-Review – Thomas Ludwig writes that “The OLY 25/1.2 has a certain magic and I would describe it’s special character in the way it closes the gap between a pronounced three dimensional look and a portrait friendly (lower) level of micro contrast…. I don’t know how the OLYMPUS engineers made it, but they found a way to give it a lot of 3D pop while micro contrast is on a natural level.”
“Remain inconspicuous while shooting with Think Tank’s new Spectral Shoulder Bag. A magnetic Fidlock clasp enables quiet, one-handed access your gear — then locks automatically when closing the flap. An additional zippered closure gives you piece of mind while traveling and can be tucked away when you’re actively shooting. Constructed with durable yet stylish materials, the Spectral Shoulder Bag offers Think Tank quality and ingenuity at a reasonable price.”
Think Tank Photo’s new 3-strong leather-free Spectral line of shoulder bags is a refreshing change from the leather-trimmed product revisions it has released in recent years.
Based on Think Tank Photo’s information about the Spectral 8, it may prove to be a useful one-camera, several-lenses option for slow and steady documentary photography or cinematography with, say, a Røde VideoMic Pro+ in place of the 50-140mm zoom lens.
Think Tank Photo Spectral 8 shoulder bag with Fujifilm camera and lenses.
Think Tank Photo Spectral 8 shoulder bag with Fujifilm camera and lenses.
Think Tank Photo Spectral 8 shoulder bag with 3 Legged Thing Albert travel tripod.
An Evolving Focus
The company’s marketing email and website product shots are increasingly featuring mirrorless cameras and lenses in addition to its tradition emphasis on DSLRs, with focus on Fujifilm APS-C and Sony digital 35mm mirrorless camera though Panasonic’s increasingly popular Lumix M43/Super 16 hybrid stills/video cameras have yet to make an appearance so far as I can tell.
Both moves are welcome and I would love to see Think Tank Photo add Panasonic’s GH5 and professional lenses for video and stills, for example, to its product shot scheduling.
I note that 3 Legged Thing’s also increasingly popular tripods are also starting to feature in TTP marketing material.
Seeing gear that one actually uses being featured in emails and web pages helps make better-informed purchasing decisions given many of us often do not live near a good bricks-and-mortar stockist where one can try-before-buy and so must rely on sight-unseen purchases at online retailers in other countries.
Not all mirrorless cameras and lenses have the same dimensions nor do they fit in the same bags, I have often discovered, so photographic evidence of good fit is incredibly useful and helps avoid purchases one soon comes to regret.
The Ever-growing Scourge of Mould
Leather, and certain plastics, are susceptible to the growing epidemics of mould infection popping up in places like Sydney with the onset of major climate change.
Although it has proven possible to chemically remove mould from the surface of leather and some synthetic materials, mould spores remain beneath the surface ready to spring into action should the weather change yet again.
As a result, we have had to throw out many leather and leather-trimmed products including camera bags to avoid the risk of mould and mould spores spreading to our photographic equipment.
We have been shocked to discover expensive bags made of synthetic fabrics infected with mould and mould spores too, though not all woven plastics are susceptible.
There are two other considerations in the use of leather in constructing and decoratively trimming camera bags, cruelty and environmental responsibility.
My Plea for Leather-Free
Industrial agriculture’s animal husbandry practices are inherently cruel, and contribute huge amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, apparently to a greater extent than emission from motor cars.
I wish to see camera bag and accessories makers take up the challenge to go 100% leather-free and pro-vegan from now onwards.
Seercam, continuing the tradition the company set under its former brand name Motion9, has produced a cage with all the often unique and always top-tier design and manufacturing values for which the brand has become respected.
Some of Motion9’s first camera cages were created for groundbreaking, popular cameras like Blackmagic Design’s BMPCC aka Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH4.
Some Motion9 Camera Cages
The Motion9 website appears to no longer be available but I have located some archive images of the company’s cages for the BMPCC, Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras, from left to right below.
It is no secret that I am a fan of Seercam’s cages due to their design and manufacturing quality, and consider them the default go-to cages whenever acquiring a new camera. That consideration is well supported by their sturdiness and ability to safely support attaching all the third-party accessories upon which moviemakers have come to rely.
While it is true that some other cage makers come up with cheaper, lighter and smaller cages, usually designed in the screw-tapped-ribbon style consisting of a narrow aluminium loop in one piece or screwed-together around the camera, Seercam’s unibody cages offer protection and thoughtful design features rarely seen elsewhere.
Seercam’s Cube 6X for Sony α6500, α6300 and α6000
I will add more and larger photographs here as I receive them.
It is often the little things that make all the difference. In the case of the Cube 6X, that includes Seercam’s customary silver-anodized screw-in righthand finger support, two built-in cold shoes with the option of attaching more as needed, pinky finger support on the base of the cage, and cage-mounted push-button video recording functionality allowing easier and faster access than the sometimes bizarrely positioned video buttons to be found on Sony cameras.
I rarely shoot video without mounting my camera in a cage, the only exception being when I attach a battery grip, and enjoy the extra grip, added protection and counterbalancing of large, heavy zoom lenses that well-designed cages such as Seercam’s afford.
Good grip and balance is even more important in small cameras the size of Sony’s Alpha α6n00 Super 35/APS-C mirrorless range.