Samsung Is Making a Smartphone Camera That Should Make Astrophotographers Very Excited

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Dec 052019
 
Samsung Is Making a Smartphone Camera That Should Make Astrophotographers Very Excited

Smartphone users might see an interesting development with the release of the Samsung Galaxy 11 next year as the phone is rumored to feature a camera sensor that is specifically designed for low light photography.

Like many smartphone manufacturers, current Samsung models feature “Bright Night,” a software-based feature that uses AI to stack multiple images to create a better exposed photograph. By contrast, this would be a dedicated low light camera on the back of the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy 11. It’s said that Samsung is also working on a “Night Hyperlapse” mode for capturing low light time lapses.

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Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras
Dec 052019
 

The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens is less than half the price of Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. Does this lens live up to the hype?

I had a chance to finally use the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD which was notoriously backordered for months and months after its release. Surprisingly, the lens’ performance blew past my expectations, especially when it came to sharpness. A couple things I never really paid attention to before testing were its weight and size, but it really was impressive to hold in my hands and feel that difference. It does not seem like a full frame f/2.8 zoom lens.

What I Liked

  • The Tamron is more affordable than Sony’s 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens.
  • It’s very sharp and the resolution holds up on the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV.
  • Slim and light for its class; has a 67mm filter size.
  • The continuous autofocus kept pace with Real-time Eye AF in a studio setting.
  • Some level of weather resistance. Not sure if it’s the lens mount’s rubber gasket making a good seal, but it’s a notably tight fit to get on and off the camera body. I guess if it’s doing its job, that’s a good thing.

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Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2 Macro Lens Review

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Dec 032019
 

I couldn’t find a great deal about this lens online, so I thought I would film a review with a of mixture of test shots and looking at how I have used the lens in my own portfolio. Here are my thoughts.

From a Canon shooters point of view, the Carl Zeiss Milvis f.2m Macros lens is a more expensive offering than the own brand’s pro line. It doesn’t have as many features due to a lack of true 1:1 marco, autofocus, and image stabilization. So, this lens is certainly not a versatile tool. However, it does offer a lot for a certain type of photographer. 

For me, the lens offers incredible details as well as a beautifully rendered image, especially when wide open. The lens gives the image a look that can’t be achieved with the Canon offerings, partially due to the f/2 aperture, but also due to the way that Zeiss constructs their lenses. 

Although the test shots don’t show any huge gains over something like a Canon USM or L lens, when put to practical use, the rendering, colors, and build quality are superb. What is really impressive is how sharp the lens is wide open and the way that the lens can control highlights. It wasn’t something that I noticed until I shot the same scene with some Canon lenses and realized that it was the lens causing the highlight to blow out in a rather unpleasing way.

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Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Aputure 120d MK II with Spotlight Mount Review
Dec 032019
 

Our colleague, Nino Leitner, originally went hands-on with the Aputure 120d MK II back in April of 2018 at NAB and since then the light has shipped and we’ve even reviewed the 300D MK II, but it’s time to circle back and put the 120d MK II to the test. Along with the fixture, this is the perfect opportunity to try out the brand new Aputure Spotlight Mount. The full review of the light and new accessory is below: 

Image Credit: Graham Sheldon

Aputure LS C120D II LED COB Light:

I recently reviewed the MC series and the new 300D MK II and it seemed like an oversight to not spend more time with the 120D II. As a longtime user of the first generation 120D, I was particularly interested in the design updates in the second generation. Is it worth upgrading? Or, if you own the original 120D are you okay waiting? Let’s dive in.

On paper, the 120D MK II boasts a 25% output improvement over the MK I and it also balances out of the box to 5500 kelvin, versus the 6000 kelvin of the first generation. You could always correct that 400 Kelvin difference in the older version to “standard daylight” using gels, but I prefer a fixture that works out of the box in either 32K or 56K as it’s just easier to use in most situations and matches other light brands better. Also, color temp correction gels are feeling a little old school these days given the ubiquity of RGB panels that allow precise kelvin color temperatures to be dialed in with a quick button press.

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Nikon D850M vs D850: A Comparison of Monochrome and Color DSLRs

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Dec 022019
 

Nikon introduced the Nikon D850 in 2017 with a 45.7-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) Nikon-specified/Sony-designed/TowerJazz manufactured sensor. The Nikon D850 is regarded as one of Nikon’s best cameras and continues to range at the top of consumer DSLRs.

Full disclosure: I’m the president of MaxMax.com, which makes the monochrome D850 (D850M), and this article is blatantly self-promoting. That being said, everything happens to be true.

My business MaxMax has been converting a limited range of cameras to monochrome since 2009. After being encouraged by The Desert Fireball Network of Curtin University in Australia to convert a Nikon D850 to monochrome, MaxMax decided to try it.

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Panasonic S1 & Canon FD lenses – Full Frame, 10-bit Recording Kit Under $3500

 Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic S1 & Canon FD lenses – Full Frame, 10-bit Recording Kit Under $3500
Dec 022019
 

Are you playing with the thought to enter into the 10-bit full frame filmmaking world but think it’s prohibitively expensive? Here is a sub $3500 suggestion. If you are willing to invest money and time, the combination of working with the Panasonic S1 equipped with Canon’s FD lenses is fun and a good reason to collect some older items too.

Panasonic S1 with the Canon FD 35mm f2 lens. Image credit: Gunther Machu

If you are like me, an enthusiast hobbyist who is digging the full frame look but don’t want to go back to 8-bit codecs,  then I’m sure we are sharing the same dilemma. I’ve started filming 10 years ago with a Panasonic GH1 and later moved to the original BMPCC camera but the full frame “look” always fascinated me and 8 vs 10-bit became a deal breaker when choosing my next camera.

My Wish List When Considering a Camera

  • a full frame sensor camera to get this creamy shallow depth of field with fast primes
  • a robust 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal codec
  • the cam has a LOG image picture profile that provides good dynamic range and is flexible enough for grading in post
  • in body image (sensor) stabilization  (IBIS) would be great
  • the audio department should provide good sound quality with a headphone output, of course
  • a good viewfinder and/or screen is mandatory
  • decent battery life
  • lenses should cover wides and moderate tele and should be fast (below f4, ideally f2) – otherwise you would defy the purpose to go for full frame
  • in addition, the lenses should provide robust mechanics, a buttery smooth focus throw to allow for precise manual focus adjustment with hard stops at close and infinity focus
  • I don’t like messing with rigs, external recorders, HDMI cables, and all the auxiliary stuff and need a compact footprint
  • As a hobbyist, I just don’t want to spend more than $3500 all in all

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ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 1-5X Super Macro Lens Released – Extended Working Distances

 Gear  Comments Off on ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 1-5X Super Macro Lens Released – Extended Working Distances
Dec 022019
 

ZY Optics announced a new Zhongyi Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro lens. It offers 1-5X magnification and extended working distances. The closest working distance at 5x magnification is 3.93” (10cm) and at 1x magnification it is 10.7” (27.2cm). This fully manual lens is made out of metal, covers full-frame sensors, and comes in a variety of lens mounts. It is available now for $499.

ZY Optics Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro lens. Background image credit: Richard Wong

ZY Optics (Zhong-Yi optics) is a Chinese company manufacturing affordable lenses under their brand Mitakon (Zhongyi). Their newly announced Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 lens brings 1-5X magnification macro feature with extended working distances. What are its features?

Mitakon 85mm f/2.8 Super Macro Lens

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