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Shutterbug - June 2018

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THE HOTTEST TIPS, TRICKS, AND EXPERT ADVICE TO MAKE YOU A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER
TOOLS, TECHNIQUES & CREATIVITY
THE
HOW-TO
ISSUE
COVER PHOTOGRAPHER
PEPPER YANDELL’S
CAR PHOTOGRAPHY
TIPS WILL REV YOUR
CREATIVE ENGINES
WE TEST
SONY A7 III MIRRORLESS CAMERA
SONY CYBER-SHOT RX10 IV
SUPERZOOM CAMERA
STARTER CAMERAS FOR
NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS
«
«
«
PLUS
HOW TO TAKE AMAZING
LANDSCAPE PHOTOS
IN THE MOUNTAINS
June 2018 ¥ shutterbug.com
© Pepper Yandell
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SHJU18
CONTENTS
JUNE 2018 • VOLUME 47 • NUMBER 8 • ISSUE 573
TOOLS
18
ASK A PRO
Scott Kelby Answers
Your Photography
Questions
by Scott Kelby
20
TECHNICALLY
SPEAKING
How to Check and
Correct Autofocus
by Seth Shostak
24
GEARED UP
How to Choose a
First Camera for
New Photographers
by Joe Farace
28
THE GOODS
This Month’s Picks
for Our Favorite New
Premium Photo Gear
by The Editors
REVIEWS
32 SONY A7 III
Sony Goes Back to Basics
With Its Lower-End
Full-Frame Mirrorless
Camera
by Dan Havlik
40
SONY CYBER-SHOT
RX10 IV
Sony’s Premium
Superzoom Camera
Offers Faster AF and 24
FPS Burst Shooting
by George Schaub
SHUTTERBUG (ISSNO895-321X) is published bimonthly in Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct, and Nov/Dec by AVTech Media Americas Inc, 1212
Avenue of the Americas, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA
to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to SHUTTERBUG, PO Box 420235, Palm Coast, Florida 321420235. Printed in the U.S.A.
Copyright © 2018 by AVTech Media Americas Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reprinted without written permission from
SHUTTERBUG. For information on display rates or media kits, please write: SHUTTERBUG, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10036, (321)
225-3144. Subscriptions: US—One Year (12 issues) $22.95, Canadian $34.95, Foreign $46.95 (including surface mail postage). Payment in advance, U.S.
funds only. Single Copies $4.99 (US), $5.99 (Canada). (800) 829-3340.
6 | JUNE | 2018
50
HOW TO BUY
A TRIPOD
Advice for Purchasing
the Right Camera
Support
by Jon Sienkiewicz
54
GOING DARK
How to Build and Equip a
Photographic Darkroom
by Gary Miller
58
HIGH TIMES
How to Shoot Landscape
Photos in the Mountains
by Ron Leach
© Dan Havlik
TECHNIQUES
48 READY FOR YOUR
CLOSE-UPS?
How to Use Telephoto
Lenses for Maximum
Impact
by Ron Leach
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Exposure: F/6.3 1/250sec
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CONTENTS
JUNE 2018 • VOLUME 47 • NUMBER 8 • ISSUE 573
60
NARROW YOUR FOCUS
How to Use Lines,
Patterns, Colors, and
Textures to Create
Eye-Catching Images
by Jeff Howe
64
PRO’S CHOICE
Top Pro Pepper Yandell
on How to Shoot
Car Photography
by Jack Neubart
DEPARTMENTS
12
EDITOR’S NOTES
14
FULL FRAME
16
TALKING PICTURES
68 PICTURE THIS!
81
FINAL SHOT
READER SERVICES
78
HOT STUFF
64
8 | JUNE | 2018
Bottom: © Pepper Yandell; top: © Lawrence N. Berke
68
ON THE COVER
Our fierce cover shot of a 2016
Lamborghini Aventador SV
was taken by commercial
automotive photographer
Pepper Yandell. He shot the
image for HRE Wheels in a
small garage right behind
NASA’s Johnson Space Center
in Houston, Texas. In keeping
with his mantra “the more
exotic the car and location,
the better,” the background is
a composite from the salt flats
in Nevada. Captured with a
Canon EOS 6D with a Canon
EF 24-105mm f/4L lens,
Yandell lit the Lamborghini
with his trusty Profoto B1
battery-powered monolight
that he brings with him on
every shoot. When retouching
the car, he was “careful to
allow the yellow color to be
represented naturally.” To
learn more about how Yandell
shoots vehicles, turn to page 64.
PRESENTS
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An Insight Into
Subjects and Workflow 3:00pm
Traveling Light
While Filmmaking 1:30pm
Griffin Hammond travels light with an unobtrusive
filmmaking style that grants him speed and better access as a documentary
producer. He’ll share the equipment and techniques for lighting, audio and
camera operation that he’s used on projects around the world.
Join Andrei as he takes you through his initial beginnings,
where he started, how he got into photography and how he transitioned
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inspiration behind his stunning fine art images and how he captured them.
MICHELLE TURNER Beyond the Golden Hour 4:30pm
SPONSORED BY
Do you wish that you could shoot in gorgeous light all the time? Join Michelle Turner for an inside look at how she uses her Fujifilm cameras
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SATURDAY JUNE 9 •
SANDY PUC
Portrait Photographer
Keynote Presentation 10:30am
Sandy Puc believes in photography’s unique power to connect people, even
over great distances and spans of time. She expresses this idea of connection
in her work as a photographer, entrepreneur, educator and philanthropist.
SAL CINCOTTA
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Creating Windows
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From being charged by hippos to sitting in the nest of the
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Creating Portraits
with the Profoto A1 1:30pm
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will show you final images and how to set them up.
Storytelling Portraits
with Natural Light 3:00pm
Join Disney’s Photo Mom and Sony Artisan, Me Ra Koh, as she shares her
best tips and tricks to capturing storytelling portraits with natural light.
Learn how to create mood, enhance emotion and engage your subjects.
DAN WESTERGREN North/South 4:30pm
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Join Dan as he begins his polar obsession by skiing the last degree to the North Pole, and hear about his experience with the Fujifilm GFX in
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SUNDAY JUNE 10 •
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JEN ROZENBAUM
The Art of Fashion 10:30am
In this in depth talk, Nikon Ambassador Dixie Dixon
will share her favorite fashion photography techniques
and secrets that will make every person you shoot look their best. Dixie will
cover lighting styles, types and modifiers that suit your model, choosing the
right gear and how to get that beautiful connection our of your subjects.
TERRELL LLOYD
Light: The Ultimate
Story Teller 12:00pm
Photography is nothing without light. In this Keynote, Jen Rozenbaum will
share her journey of female empowerment through photography and how
she uses light to help the stories come to life.
SPONSORED BY
Athletic/Sports Portraits
Using Canon Speedlite 1:30pm
Terrell Lloyd will show you how to shoot portraits using from one to four
speedlites on gray seamless, hi-key white, and lo-key black backgrounds. He
will also discuss how to use one to two speedlites on location.
SPONSORED BY
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ME RA KOH
Intro to Travel Photography 3:00pm
Join Sony Artisan, Me Ra Koh, as you dive into the world of travel
photography. If you love travel and want to improve the storytelling
element in your photos, this keynote is for you!
VIEW ALL CLASSES AT PHOTOCONLA.COM
1212 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, 18TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10036
EDITOR'S NOTES
EDITOR'S
NOTES
CHANGES AND
PASSINGS
NEWS ALERT: Shutterbug is going international! Well, in a manner of speaking. In
late March 2018, Shutterbug’s media group, the Home Tech Network, was purchased
by the UK-based AVTech Media Ltd company. The Home Tech Network’s six brands
include Shutterbug along with Stereophile, Sound & Vision, AnalogPlanet, Audiostream,
and Innerfidelity. As a result of the sale, Shutterbug will change to a bimonthly
schedule, but otherwise, the magazine and our website (Shutterbug.com) will remain
the same. This new purchase by AVTech Media also opens up Shutterbug to a larger,
international audience and that’s a great thing. I think the Home Tech Network’s
General Manager (and our resident fearless leader) Keith Pray said it best in a press
release to announce the deal in March.
“The sheer power and breadth of this newly formed group allow for endless
possibilities,” Pray said. “Having a truly strong foothold in the United Kingdom,
United States, and international markets will help us further grow.”
I thought I’d share this news to both introduce you to our new parent company
and to assure you that Shutterbug is in good hands. With so many changes going on
in the media landscape and, in particular, in the photo industry, it’s safe to say that
this has been a rocky time for photography magazines. One need look no further than
the case of Popular Photography, which only a year ago unexpectedly folded after 80
years in business. With this new deal in place, Shutterbug is moving forward with the
goal of reaching more and more photographers around the world. While Shutterbug’s
offices will stay in the United States, you might start to see our brand popping up in
unexpected places overseas. Stay tuned!
On a sadder note, I’d like to mention another big change in the photo industry.
Canon icon and all-around good guy Chuck Westfall passed away in March and
everyone who knew and loved him is still in mourning. Along with being a technical
expert and press spokesperson for Canon U.S.A. for over 35 years, Chuck was one of
the few Americans with the knowledge and respect to provide trenchant input on
camera design directly to his Japanese counterparts. As our writer Jason Schneider
noted in a memorial article about Chuck on Shutterbug.com, Chuck had the uncanny
ability to answer the most challenging technical questions off the top of his head. He
was also the kindest and most humble person I have ever worked with. Chuck will be
sorely missed.
I would also like to note the sad passing of a smaller and furrier member of my
extended family. Our beloved Maine Coon cat Rufus passed away a few days ago and
my wife and I are heartbroken. In 14 years, Rufus was a loving home office companion
and frequent model for camera tests. He never knew a desk he didn’t want to jump
on when you were working, or an image he didn’t want to photo bomb with his furry
floof. He could be a rapscallion but he was also a big pussycat who had the delightful
habit of crossing his paws like an English lord when he sat. He too will be sorely
missed.
EDITORIAL
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
DAN HAVLIK
MANAGING EDITOR
ANDREA K. TURNEY
EDITOR-AT-LARGE
GEORGE SCHAUB
ART DIRECTOR
JEREMY MOYLER
WEB/SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
RON LEACH
CONTRIBUTORS
STEVE BEDELL, JOE FARACE, SCOTT KELBY, JAY MCCABE,
HOWARD MILLARD, JOSH MILLER, JACK NEUBART, MARIA PISCOPO,
DEBORAH SANDIDGE, JASON SCHNEIDER, SETH SHOSTAK,
JON SIENKIEWICZ, BARRY TANENBAUM, STAN TRZONIEC, JOHN WADE
SUBSCRIPTIONS
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12 | JUNE | 2018
F: shutterbugmag T: shutterbugmag I: shutterbugpix
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CREATIVITY / FULL FRAME
LIGHT SHOW
It’s always good to pay attention
to the weather forecast. When a
small storm popped up on the
weather radar on photographer
JP Gregg’s smartphone before
a 4th of July fireworks show in
Venice, Florida, in 2017, he knew it
might make for an interesting
photo op. Boy, was he right! “My
hunch was correct,” Gregg says.
“Once the fireworks started going
off, there were more lightning
strikes than fireworks it seemed.”
His decision to wait until the rain
stopped to set up his photo gear
for some long exposures was a
wise one. It meant that he had the
previously crowded beach virtually
all to himself. “What normally
would have been a crowded
situation was now nonexistent. I
could not believe my eyes and ears.
I set up my Sony A6000 on the
Joby mini tripod from my backpack
and quickly used my smartphone
as a remote control. Just a few
options later on screen and I was
up and running. The camera was
in Manual mode and I set the
exposure time for 10 seconds and
the ISO at 100.” Not everything
went smoothly, however. “What
was really frustrating was that
every time I pressed the remote
shutter, it took about 60 seconds
for the camera to come back to life.
At least I was able to get off a few
shots, but I missed double the
amount. However, I learned about
an important feature called Long
Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR).
Research in Shutterbug magazine
helped me out tremendously and
now I turn off the LENR when
needed and I am ready for any
thunderstorm!” You can see more
of Gregg’s work on his Instagram
page @floridahotshots.
© JP Gregg
14 | JUNE | 2018
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 15
CREATIVITY / TALKING PICTURES
HOW A FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER ADDED SURPRISE TO
THE PICTURE By Barry Tanenbaum
SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Wave the camera around during a long exposure and
produce a colorful mood-and-motion photo.
That’s what crossed my mind when
I saw this picture, but the photographer
was Michael S. Miller, and I knew him
to be a thoughtful, deliberate maker of
images—none of which looked like this.
His realms are street photography, people
photography, and the American landscape,
and he’s a workshop instructor in a
number of disciplines. Obviously there was
more to explore.
“It’s been very rewarding to me as a
photographer, especially one who teaches,”
Miller says. “The light dancing project is a
change from the documentary or factual
photographs that I take and those I see
from my students.”
The idea came from photos he took of
his students as they were photographing
fireworks. “I wanted to create a different,
handheld look. I thought, What if I just
turned during a fireworks burst? It
progressed from there, with the added
element of having some control over what
I was doing.”
16 | JUNE | 2018
For these photos he needs a projected
light source coming toward the camera—
could be neon lights, car lights, fireworks,
or in the case of this photo, the classic
carnival lights of a tilt, whirl, and twirl
ride. A projected light source will be more
intense, and Miller can gauge his exposure
according to that intensity. “It’s going to
be stronger than the surrounding area,”
he says, “so the exposure can drag—but I
can also use a deeper f/stop so things that
aren’t lit very brightly are going to go to
black and allow all the colorful lights to
stand out even more.”
From his experience with various
light sources, and knowing how quickly
or slowly he’ll move the camera, he has
guidelines for exposure. “I choose my ISO
based on how dark it is—a city scene with
a lot of lights is going to be bright, so I can
reduce my ISO, but if I want to isolate
something like fireworks and have a lot of
black sky around it, I can go a little higher
in the ISO and deeper into my f/stops.”
Michael S. Miller’s light dancing
photographs and his landscape, street,
and people images are at msmpix.com,
as is information about his Visions
Photographic Workshops.
Tech Talk: Michael S. Miller took the photo with a
Leica M (Typ 240) and a Leica Summicron-M 50mm
f/2 lens. The settings were eight seconds, f/4, ISO 100,
manual exposure, and center-weighted metering.
© Michael S. Miller
LIGHT MOVES
LIGHT
MOVES
The subjects and the light sources
guide his movements. “If I have a lot of
lights in the picture, and there are a lot of
focal points of light, like a lit-up bridge,
or a Christmas tree, I tend to want to do
really tight circles, and that would mean
just wrist movement.”
He’s also combined tight circles
with a bit of linear movement in longer
exposures—likely two to eight seconds—
using deeper f/stops to keep the pictures
from being overexposed.
It’s opportunistic, even incidental
photography. “Inspiration often comes
from not wanting to photograph
something I’ve done many times before,”
he says.
While control is always a factor, and
he keeps in mind categories of lights and
scene conditions, the ongoing project is
about experiment, discovery, and surprise.
There has to be a fun factor in his capture
of what he calls “the serendipitous
movement of light.”
And fun is always a really big deal. n
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TOOLS / ASK A PRO
GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY? PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
AND PHOTOSHOP EXPERT SCOTT KELBY HAS GOT ANSWERS.
By Scott Kelby
A picture in a computer hard drive is
sent to a printer for printing via a USB
cable. The same picture from the same
computer from the same hard drive is sent
to the same printer via Wi-Fi. Will both
prints be of the same quality or will there
be some minor unnoticeable differences?
VICTOR PALACIOS
Not that you could ever see with the
naked eye. I know what you’re thinking:
the Wi-Fi version has to be compressed to
travel via the Internet, but the file is already
compressed as a JPEG. When you send your
images to be printed by a lab, like Bay Photo
or Mpix, you’re sending the images via their
web page—over the Internet and over Wi-Fi.
Yet the prints look stunning (provided the
images looked stunning to begin with). If
there is a difference (and I don’t think for all
practical purposes there is), you would not
be able to see the difference with the naked
eye. I think you might be overthinking this
one just a bit. ;-)
Why have camera manufacturers
stopped putting manuals in their packages? If you’re out in the field shooting
and have a problem, you have to go home,
get on your computer using the software
to see what to do, then go back out to that
location and hope not much has changed.
could just convince the flash manufacturers
of that.
What would your recommendation be
for backing up and enjoying photos while
traveling? I shoot in Raw, use Lightroom
to organize and edit, am willing to travel
with an iPad but not a laptop, and I will not
always have reliable Internet available.
I have thought about shooting in both
Raw and JPEG and putting the JPEGs on
my iPad so they can be enjoyed before we
get home but I do want to back those Raw
files up as well.
MELINDA TWOMEY
I like your idea about putting the JPEGs on
your iPad, so you can enjoy the images while
still on your trip. However, I would recommend a different storage device for your Raw
photos, something like the WD My Passport
Wireless SSD, which has a built-in SD card
reader. That device is also super fast, you
can connect a USB card reader, and you don’t
need a computer to use it—one button backs
up your entire card. At $229 for the 250GB
model, it’s not cheap, but you’ll sleep better
knowing your Raw files are safe, and you can
use it for more than just one trip. Plus, this
two-location thing will work nicely, because
you’ll have your originals on the My Passport
and a backup with your JPEGs on your iPad.
JAMES WHITE
Two reasons: the printing and shipping
costs a printed manual would add, and most
folks don’t read them anyway. Since all the
manufacturers still make manuals, I recommend googling your make and model, then
downloading the PDF of the manual to your
phone. Now you will always have the manual
with you, plus it’s searchable. You won’t miss
that printed manual one lick.
When using a flash, why is the First
Curtain Sync the default? What is wrong
with leaving the setting at Second Curtain
Sync? This is the most realistic setting
for night photography of a moving object
with lights. Why is this the wrong setting
for all other times?
AL KESSLER
I’m with you on this one, Al. I think it
should be the default setting. Now, if we
18 | JUNE | 2018
thumbnail used by the operating system.
CTG is a file used by your camera itself and
it got transferred when you imported your
images. No harm done, but you can’t open
those files. The XMP file is generated from
your Raw file and it includes a list of any
changes you made to the Raw file in Camera
Raw inside of Photoshop. It’s a Text file, and
while you don’t need to open it, it does contain the changes you made to your original
Raw file, so you don’t want to throw it away.
If you chose JPEG when you saved your file,
you’ll find the JPEG file in there somewhere,
too, so you can ignore those other files.
When I’m saving some of my photos as
JPEGs, why do some end up as .THM, .CTG,
and .XMP? Then when I try to open them,
it says not recognized. It also happens
when I save them to PS. I have no problem
saving to PSD.
JAMES WHITE
It sounds like you’re using Windows XP
and you’re seeing auxiliary files that accompany your image file and are not designed
to be opened by you. For example, THM is a
I recently purchased a Sigma 70-200mm
lens for my Nikon D7100. I have begun to
develop toned forearms like Popeye as it
has some weight to it but I do find it a bit
much to haul around an ice rink. I have
also purchased a monopod as most of my
shooting is of ice hockey games. I like to
mix in portrait orientation shots during
the games so I’m looking for suggestions
on a ball head that allows a quick switch
from portrait to landscape while providing
a solid connection.
TYLER BARNETT
First, look at switching to the Nikkor
70-200mm f/4, rather than the Sigma f/2.8,
because it’s literally 40% lighter (and around
the same price). You will still get the reach,
but without all the weight. As far as quickly
switching to portrait, your Sigma 70-200mm
(and the Nikkor) has a collar that goes
around the barrel so you can connect your
camera to the monopod, via the lens. The
black knob on the side of that collar is for
quickly rotating your camera from landscape
to portrait mode in two seconds flat. So, no
need to buy a ball head. You wouldn’t be
happy with how hard it is to go full portrait
on most ball heads anyway, especially during
game action, as it would just take too long. n
Scott Kelby is a photographer, Photoshop Guy, award-winning author of more than
50 books, and CEO of KelbyOne, an online education community dedicated to helping
photographers take the kinds of images they’ve always dreamed of. You can learn more
about Scott at his daily blog (scottkelby.com), or follow him on Twitter: @scottkelby.
Editor’s Note: Ask a Pro is a Q&A column from professional photographer, writer, and educator Scott
Kelby. Scott is here to answer all your photography-related questions, so if you have something you’d
like to know, e-mail him at editorial@shutterbug.com (with “For Scott Kelby” as the subject line) and
your query could be featured in the next edition of Ask a Pro.
¨
Santa Cruz, California
TOOLS / TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
HOW TO CHECK AND
CORRECT AUTOFOCUS
TIPS FOR FINE-TUNING YOUR AF TO GET SHARPER IMAGES
20 | JUNE | 2018
Autofocus results on a target about eight feet
in front of my camera for a Nikkor 85mm lens at
f/1.8. Left: With no tuning of the autofocus. Note
that the sharpest focus is beyond the centerline.
Right: After tuning.
yes, stunned—to see that the sharpest
target lines were about three inches
beyond where I had focused! I sank into
my easy chair, swallowed a Valium, and
contemplated the meaning of life.
After that, I consulted my user manual
(not an easy thing for a male) and figured
out how to fine-tune the autofocus for
this lens. Not hard, but slightly different
for every camera. You can see the
improvement in the figure, above.
Is this a big deal? After all, it was only
about a 3% error, and inconsequential
in most shooting situations because
depth of field would more than hide it.
But when you’re working in low light at
long focal lengths—not an uncommon
circumstance—you might be thankful
to have spent the hour or two it takes to
check things out, and possibly give your
camera a tune-up. n
Seth Shostak is an astronomer at the SETI
Institute who thinks photography is one of
humanity’s greatest inventions. His photos
have been used in countless magazines and
newspapers, and he occasionally tries to
impress folks by noting that he built his first
darkroom at age 11. You can find him on
both Facebook and Twitter.
© Seth Shostak
you focused—well, start digging in those
camera menus.
Rather than dirty my floor tile with
newsprint, I designed a simple focus target
to make this process easier. When this
story goes online on Shutterbug’s website,
we’ll provide a way to download the target
for free at Shutterbug.com. Just print it
out and lay it down at a distance from your
camera that’s roughly 25 to 50 times the
lens focal length.
I chose to test my Nikkor 85mm f/1.8
lens, which I often use for portraiture.
Autofocus for longer lenses is more critical,
given their shallow depth of field.
I laid the target about eight feet in front
of my tripod, which was tilted downward
so that my camera’s field of view was
centered on the rectangle. Starting with
my lens grossly out of focus, I activated
autofocus. When it was locked in, I took
several shots.
A few caveats: This procedure works
best for fixed-focus lenses, although you
can certainly try with your zooms. Be
sure your camera is solidly mounted and
take care to trip the shutter with either
a cable release or the self-timer. Shoot
with your lens wide open, and have plenty
of light on the target. This last point is
important.
I didn’t expect much of a problem
from my trusty Nikon D800. After all,
it’s as reliable as doggy love. But when I
inspected my test images, I was stunned—
Ç
IT’S TIME TO SHARPEN UP
your pix. Modern DSLRs
generally rely on what’s
called phase difference
autofocusing: basically, a
rangefinder scheme updated
with new technology. But
as we described last month,
this technology uses a second
optical path within the
camera, independent of the
lens-to-sensor path used to
make the photo.
Well, when there are two
of anything, they’ll never
be identical—excepting
protons, electrons, and other
elementary particles! Given
manufacturing tolerances and the routine
punishment you visit on your camera, it’s
possible that these two paths are slightly
different. Sure, your autofocus oughta
focus. But it could be off.
Manufacturers are aware of this
problem and often give you a way to
“tune” or “microadjust” the autofocus.
The adjustment is generally buried among
endless camera menus, but a quick web
search will tell you if your equipment has
this capability.
Shutterbug readers are always keen to
get the best technical performance from
their gear, so if tuning up your DSLR’s
autofocus is possible, why not? You can
find plenty of accessories—ranging from
$5 to $60 and more—that will help. But
before you go to trouble and expense,
here’s a way to swiftly determine whether
you’ve really got a problem.
Think about it: How can you know if
your autofocus is really producing the
crispest image? You could just tape a
newspaper to the wall, make a photo (using
autofocus), and see if it’s sharp. Better yet,
have a range of targets and see which is
most sharp, so that—in case the autofocus
is off—you’ll know whether your camera is
focusing too near or too far.
The simple way to do this is to spread
that newspaper on the floor and shoot
it from an angle—say, from a tripod five
or 10 feet away. One of the lines of type
is going to be sharp, and if it’s not where
By Seth Shostak
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AF-S 28-300 G VR E++ ................$699
AF-S TC-14 III NM ..........................$389
AF-S TC 20E III NM ....................... $339
SONY
CANON
T1i E+ .................................................................. $139
T2i E+ ..................................................................$229
T3i E+ ..................................................................$289
T4i E+ ..................................................................$339
T5i E++ .............................................................. $409
5D E+ ..................................................................$369
5D MK II E+ ....................................................$799
5D MK III E+.................................................$1474
1D III E+.............................................................$499
1DS II E+ ...........................................................$569
EF 28 f1.8 E++...............................................$369
EF 50 f1.2 L E++ .......................................$1099
EF 50 f1.4 E+ .................................................$249
EF 8-15 f4L NM ...........................................$949
EF 24-105 f4 L IS E+ ................................$499
EF 100-400 L IS E .....................................$699
FUJIFILM
X100S E++ .......................................................$569
X-T1 E+...............................................................$539
X-E2 E++ ...........................................................$359
X-Pro1 E++ ......................................................$389
X-Pro2 E++ ................................................... $1239
XF 35 f1.4 R E++ .........................................$439
NIKON
D5200 E+ ........................................... $329
D90 E++ .............................................. $199
D7000 E++ ......................................... $379
D610 E++ ............................................ $949
D700 E+ .............................................. $679
D800 E++ ........................................ $1099
AF 18 f2.8 D E++ ............................ $619
AF 20 f2.8 E+ ................................... $269
AF 105 f2.8 D Micro E++ ............ $319
AF 60 f2.8 Micro E+ ...................... $229
AF 135 f2 DC E+ ............................. $949
AF-S 24 f1.4 E++ ...........................$1249
AF-S 28 f1.8 E ................................. $279
AF-S 35 f1.4 E++ ...........................$1249
AF-S 35 f1.8 E+ ............................... $429
AF-S 50 f1.4 E++ ............................. $279
AF-S 60 f2.8 Micro E+ ................. $339
AF-S 85 f1.8 E++ ............................. $359
AF-S 85 f1.4 NM .......................... $1299
AF-S 16-35 f4 VR E++ .................. $799
AF-S 24-70 f2.8 VR NM ........... $1899
A5000 E+ ......................................................... $199
A5100 E+ .........................................................$289
A6000 E+ .........................................................$309
A6300 NM ......................................................$769
A7 E++ ................................................................$739
A7 II NM ........................................................ $1074
A7R II E++ .....................................................$1899
FE 50 f1.8 E++ .............................................. $139
FE 24-70 f4 OSS E++ ...............................$689
LEICA SCREW
III E ....................................................... $299
IIIc E ..................................................... $199
IIIf E- .................................................... $199
IIIg E- ...................................................$599
3.5 f 3.5 Elmar E ............................. $279
50 f2 Summitar E ......................... $199
135 f4.5 Hektor E ............................ $95
LEICA M
M3 DS blk repaint E++........................$1199
M6 E .................................................................$1299
M7 silver NM..............................................$1999
M8 silver E++ ..............................................$1699
35 f2.8 Summaron E+...........................$749
35 f3.5 M3 E++ ............................................$449
50 f2 Summicron DR E++ ..................$999
50 f2 Summicron E++ ...........................$599
135 f2.8 Elmarit E++ ...............................$299
135 f4 Elmar E++ ....................................... $199
135 f4 Tele-Elmar E++ ...........................$499
135 f4.5 Hektor E.........................................$95
Universal Polarizing M M ...................$299
SF-20 E++ ......................................................... $129
LEICA R
R4 E ........................................................ $89
R4S E+ ................................................. $139
R7 E+ ................................................... $299
35 f2.8 2Cam E+ ............................ $289
35 f2.8 E++ ........................................$449
50 f2 2Cam E+ ................................ $299
50 f2 E+ .............................................. $399
90 f2.8 2Cam E++ .......................... $349
135 f2.8 2Cam E- .......................... $149
250 f4 E++ ......................................... $349
28-70 f 3.5-4.5 ROM NM ............$599
35-70 f 3.5 E+ ................................... $299
2X-R NM .............................................. $99
BRONICA
ETRS Kit E+....................................... $249
ETR 40 f2.8 MC E++ ...................... $159
ETR 75 f2.8 MC E+ .......................... $49
ETR 75 f2.8 PE E++ ....................... $129
ETR 150 f 3.5 PE E++ .................... $139
ETRSi Prism E++ ............................. $249
SQ 80 f2.8 PS E++ ......................... $149
HASSELBLAD
500C/M E+ ......................................................$299
503CW E+ .....................................................$1199
500ELX E+ ......................................................$249
50 f4 C E ..........................................................$349
80 f2.8 CF E+ ................................................$499
150 f4 C E .......................................................$279
150 f4 CF E++................................................$399
180 f4 CF E+ ..................................................$399
2X Vivitar E++ ..................................................$59
Winder CW E++ ..........................................$349
NC2 E ....................................................................$49
PME Acute E++ ...........................................$289
PME45 E+ ........................................................$749
PME90 E++ .....................................................$499
Ext tube E+ .......................................................$49
Polaroid back E+ ..........................................$39
MAMIYA 645
35 f3.5 N E++ ................................................$349
55 f2.8 C E+ ......................................................$99
150 f3.5 C E+ ...................................................$79
150 f3.5 N E++ ................................................$99
Pro 120 back E+ ............................................$49
Polaroid Pro back E+ ................................$49
MAMIYA RB/RZ
RB67 Pro kit E+ ..........................................$249
RB 65 f4.5 C E ................................................$99
RB 65 f4 KL E ............................................... $179
RB 150 f4 SF C + discs E+ ................... $129
RB 180 f4.5 C E .............................................$79
RB 180 f4 Soft DL E++ ........................... $149
RB 250 f4.5 E ................................................$119
RZ67 body E+ ..............................................$299
RZ 50 f4.5 E+ ................................................ $179
RZ 50 f4.5 ULD E+ ....................................$599
RZ 65 f4 L-A E+ ...........................................$249
RZ 75 f4.5 W Shift M .............................$499
RZ 180 f4.5 W E ............................................$89
RZ 250 f4.5 E+ ............................................. $129
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RZ 120 Pro II back E+ ...............................$89
RZ Polaroid back E+ .................................$49
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
75 f4.5 Shift SMC E+ .......................$449
135 f4 Macro Tak. E- ..........................$89
150 f2.8 Tak. E ..................................... $129
200 f4 Tak. E ............................................$89
200 f4 SMC E++................................... $139
300 f4 Tak. E-...........................................$99
Ext Tube Set E........................................$69
OTHER
Mamiya C330 Pro + 80 E ....................$249
Mamiya C330 Pro S + 80 E++ ..........$399
Mamiya 55 f4.5 E...................................... $149
Mamiya 180 Super E+........................... $169
Rolleicord III E++ .......................................$349
Rolleicord IV E+..........................................$199
Rolleicord Vb I E++ ..................................$699
Rolleiflex Automat E++ ........................$329
Rolleiflex 3.5 MX E++..............................$599
Rolleiflex 3.5F III E++ ...........................$1799
Rolleiflex 6006 2 kit E++ .....................$799
Rolleiflex 6008 kit E++ ........................$1199
Yashica-Mat 124 G E ..............................$199
Yashica D E++ .............................................. $149
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58 f5.6 Grandagon E+...........................$299
58 f5.6 Technikon E+ .............................$349
90 f8 Super Angulon E........................ $199
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135 f5.6 Sironar-N E++ ..........................$299
135 f5.6 APO-Symmar E++ ...............$449
150 f5.6 Nikkor-W E+ ............................. $199
180 f5.6 APO-Symmar E++ ...............$449
210 f5.6 Sironar E ..................................... $199
210 f6.3 Computar E++ ........................ $199
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250 f6.3 Fujinon-W E++ ....................... $219
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12” f6.8 Dagor E.........................................$249
600 f12 Fujinon-T E++ ...........................$499
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645 Kit E+........................................................$379
645 120 f4 Macro E+ .............................. $219
645 80-160 f4.5 NM................................$249
645 FA 45 f2.8 NM...................................$399
645 FA 80-160 f4.5 E++ ........................$379
67 45 f4 SMC E++ ......................................$279
67 55 f4 SMC E+ ........................................ $179
67 75 f4.5 SMC E+ .................................... $179
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TOOLS / GEARED UP
Ç While on a trip to Acapulco, I carried a Leica D-Lux 2 with me almost
all the time and this image proves that you can also make interesting
sunset images with point-and-shoot digital cameras. The D-Lux 2
lets you capture images in a 16:9 ratio, so this is the full, uncropped
image that I made of the beach. Like many similar cameras, this was
made in one of the scene modes (Landscape) that the camera offers.
GETTING
GETTING
STARTED
STARTED
HOW TO CHOOSE A FIRST CAMERA FOR
NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS By Joe Farace
“The truth is out there.”—Chris Carter, The X-Files
© Joe Farace
WHEN IT COMES TO PURCHASING a first camera for new
photographers, you can seek recommendations from a friend, or
members of a camera club (if you belong to one), or the person
behind the counter at your favorite store. You can even consult
reviews from blogs and YouTube. You can also choose not to do
any of these things.
Disclaimer: The following advice is the author’s opinion based
on his many years as a photographer and does not and cannot
represent all of the possibilities, people, places, and things in
the country or world for that matter. Or to quote Dennis Miller,
“That’s just my opinion and I may be wrong.”
As I was saying, your friend, and this applies to club members
as well, is only going to suggest cameras that validate their
decision, which may or may not be a good fit for you based on
how and what you photograph and ergonomics (something that’s
often overlooked until after a purchase). People are like rainbows
and come in all sizes and shapes. Some of us have large hands,
some medium, while others, especially the young, have
small hands.
Retail is a mixed bag because not all stores sell all
brands, so you’re just going to be sold what’s on the shelf.
Salespeople, especially at big box stores, typically get
spiffs—a bonus paid by camera manufacturers—so your
recommendation is going to be one that pays them the
most cash. For stores that stock all brands of cameras,
and I mean all brands, there are exceptions. Build a
relationship with one person who will be your go-to for
advice on camera purchases. If they know you will be a regular,
they’ll take care of you.
As far as online advice, my advice is to be skeptical. Some
bloggers and YouTubers who write/talk about cameras are paid
by manufacturers and are hardly unbiased. Others are unabashed
fanboys who love one brand, hate the rest, and love to talk. All
writers, including myself, have biases, which may be based on
how a particular company treated them when they had a service
problem, asked for information, or requested a review unit and
the company decided that, like Wayne and Garth, “they were not
worthy.” We’re only human after all. Some writers are biased
about the type of camera: DSLR vs. mirrorless. Yet, according
to the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), sales of
DSLRs decreased by 10% when compared to 2016 but mirrorless
camera sales increased by 40%.
I hate to be the one to break it to you but when looking for a
new camera for yourself or a new photographer, you’re going to
have to do some work, some research. Read camera specs in this
magazine and on manufacturers’ websites and don’t be blinded by
megapixels. My first DSLR in 2002 was the 6MP Canon EOS D60
(not 60D) and I delivered many photographs to happy clients shot
with it.
At some point you’re going to have to hold the camera in your
hands. If you can afford it, trade shows are a no-stress way to get
a sense of a camera’s ergonomics. I’ve always said, “If there’s one
thing you don’t like about a camera initially, you’re going to hate
it later.” A better alternative is free camera store events. Retailers
like Mike’s Camera in Colorado and Northern California sponsor
events where they lend cameras and you
get to handle the camera and later see the
Below left: Panasonic
Lumix GM5; below
photos on your own computer. During my
right: Panasonic
car show PhotoWalks, I let people shoot my
Lumix GX9
24 | JUNE | 2018
cameras with their memory cards so they
can see the results.
So what are my recommendations?
Where to start…
AS VW USED TO SAY, THINK SMALL
As Americans we love big stuff. Among the
big stuff we love are cameras. They can’t
make them too big for us. Nikon’s Df being
the exception that proves this rule. Nikon
lovers, including my wife, wanted a digital
Nikon FE2 but the company gave them a
Topcon. When it comes to cameras for new
photographers, I think size matters.
Panasonic’s Lumix GM5 is a small
camera that measures 3.9x2.4x1.3 inches,
while Canon’s tiny EOS SL2 is 56% taller,
93% thicker, and weighs 115% more.
The Lumix GM5 is solidly made with a
magnesium alloy shell and aluminum top
and bottom plates, has a 16MP Micro Four
Thirds sensor (18x13.5mm), built-in Wi-Fi,
and HD video recording. It offers focus
peaking, picture-in-picture magnification
for manual focus,
a three-inch
touchscreen LCD,
and interchangeable
lenses. The GM5 was discontinued but
used copies are available at affordable
prices from Shutterbug advertisers or eBay.
These days the camera closest to it is the
Lumix GX9 ($997, with a 12-60mm kit
lens) but it’s slightly wider, taller, thicker,
and weighs 8.34 ounces more.
Who’s It For: New shooters with small
Above left: Canon EOS
Rebel SL2; above
right: Olympus OM-D
E-M10 Mark III
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TOOLS / GEARED UP
hands or street photographers looking for
a compact yet discreet camera—especially
in black—with interchangeable lenses.
Why I Like It: The GM5 is beautifully
crafted, almost jewel-like, yet delivers the
performance of a real camera that’s better
than any point-and-shoot or cell phone.
Not to pick on Canon’s 24.2MP EOS
Rebel SL2 ($549, body only) because it’s an
affordable solution for someone who feels
comfortable shooting something from
the big two. And it’s small. Compared to
Canon’s own EOS 80D, it’s 12% narrower
and shorter, weighing 9.7 ounces less. The
SL2 has a DIGIC 7 image processor with
ISO sensitivities up to 25,600 (expandable
up to ISO 51,200). It has a three-inch
vari-angle touchscreen and can shoot
continuously up to 5 frames per second
(fps). The camera has a nine-point Dual
Pixel CMOS AF system with control via
the touchscreen à la the iPhone. It even has
a microphone jack for high-quality audio
when shooting video, something lacking in
most entry-levels cameras. The SL2 also
has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth
linking to a smartphone or tablet.
Who’s It For: Canon shooters upgrading
from a superzoom and older DSLR
photographers looking to downsize but not
wanting to give up on megapixels.
Why I Like It: It may be small but it’s still
a real EOS camera with all of the positives
associated with that.
If you like the looks of a DSLR but want
a mirrorless camera, the 16.1MP Olympus
OM-D E-M10 Mark III ($649, body only)
is perfect. Since I picked it as one of my
favorites in my February 2018 column,
let me suggest Oly’s “middle child,” the
16MP OM-D E-M5 Mark II ($1,099, body
only). It is 1% wider, 46% thinner, 8%
shorter but weighs 1.5 ounces more than
the Canon EOS SL2. The E-M5 Mark II
has a magnesium alloy body sealed against
26 | JUNE | 2018
Above left: Olympus
OM-D E-M5 Mark II;
above right: Nikon
D3400
dust and liquids
and operates in cold
weather down to 14
degrees Fahrenheit.
It offers five-axis image stabilization,
providing five stops of compensation, and
supports ISO sensitivities up to 25,600.
Its clever sensor-shifting feature lets you
create a 40MP image by capturing and
then combining eight images of the same
scene in camera. The E-M5 Mark II shoots
HD video, although that’s never been an
Olympus strong point. The camera has
an articulated three-inch touchscreen
LCD, although I hear the Mark II has EVF
issues. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you quickly
share your images.
Who’s It For: Either the OM-D E-M10
Mark III or OM-D E-M5 Mark II would be
a good first camera for a new photographer
or anyone wondering about the versatility
of the Micro Four Thirds system.
Why I Like It: I own and shoot an
Olympus OM-D E-M5 and it’s an
amazingly capable camera.
THE LARGE AND SMALL OF IT
New photographers may lust for a Nikon
D5 ($6,496, body only) but might be better
served by the 24.2MP D3400 ($496, with
an 18-55mm kit lens). The D3400 is 23%
narrower and 38% shorter than a D5 and
weighs 33 ounces less. Its EXPEED 4
image processor provides ISO sensitivities
from 100 to 25,600 and the sensor and
processor combination provides 5 fps
continuous shooting as well as HD video
recording. The sensor lacks an optical
low-pass filter, producing better sharpness
and resolution for photos and videos.
The D3400 features SnapBridge that
uses Bluetooth connectivity for wireless
sharing of images to mobile devices. The
body has a three-inch LCD screen for
live view capture and image review. For
new DSLR owners, the D3400 features
a Guide Mode to help produce a specific
photographic look or technique. Tip:
While Nikon is proud of using the same
lens mount since Jurassic times, there are
compatibility issues with some lenses and
bodies. Take time to read up on it.
Who’s It For: New shooters who, as Paul
Simon once sang, want a Nikon camera.
Why I Like It: The Nikon name still
carries a strong influence, especially with
new photographers, so the D3400 is as
good a place to start as any.
The 24.3MP Sony A6000 ($648, with
a 16-50mm kit lens) has a BIONZ X image
processor with ISO sensitivity up to
25,600, continuous shooting up to 11 fps,
and the ability to produce HD videos (not
movies, Kong: Skull Island is a movie).
It uses phase- and contrast-detection
methods to acquire focus and has IBIS to
minimize camera shake. A tilting threeinch LCD incorporates Sony’s WhiteMagic
technology for 100% frame viewing in
bright conditions. A Multi Interface
shoe lets you attach external flashes,
continuous lights, or a microphone. The
16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 retractable kit lens
produces the equivalent field of view of
24-75mm.
Who’s It For: Photographers who like
classic styling in a compact package.
Why I Like It: I’ve never even held a Sony
mirrorless camera but they have an almost
cult-like following, so there must be a
reason for that.
The Fujifilm X-A5 ($599, with a
15-45mm kit lens) is a mirrorless camera
with a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and
an updated processor Fuji says is 1.5 times
faster than previous models. It weighs 1.1
pounds with the 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit
lens. The X-A5 permits 4K recording, Full
HD video, as well as a 4K Burst Function
that lets you produce stills at 15 fps, so you
can select the best frame. The camera’s
AF system has phase-detect points. A
Portrait Enhancer Mode ensures skin
tones are rendered “in a pleasing way.”
Features include focus stacking to adjust
depth of field, a dedicated selfie mode,
and automatic merging of 4K images. The
X-A5 has a maximum ISO sensitivity of
12,800, with Bluetooth connectivity for
transferring files to a smartphone, tablet, or
to the optional instax SP-3 printer ($184).
Who’s It For: Photographers who want
the big pixels from
an APS-C sensor in
a compact package.
Why I Like It: Like the Sony, I’ve never
held a Fuji mirrorless camera in my paws
but my pals at the pool hall seem to love
them. And I like the styling of the retro
brown model. n
Above left: Sony
A6000; above right:
Fujifilm X-A5
Up until a few years ago almost all of Joe
Farace’s photography, not counting an
occasional side trip into film photography,
was made using Canon EOS cameras.
Increasingly all of his personal photography
and some of his Shutterbug images are
made with Olympus and Panasonic
cameras. You can see some of the images
made with all of these cameras on
joefarace.com. To find out when Farace’s
next car show PhotoWalk is check out
joefaraceshootscars.com, which also has
a blog with lots of useful information
along with a Gear page listing the major
components of all his camera systems.
TOOLS / THE GOODS
4K NEWBIE
The compact EOS M50 mirrorless camera
represents a milestone for Canon. It’s
the company’s first EOS M-series camera
to offer 4K video recording. While that
might not sound particularly innovative
considering there are several mirrorless
models out there that shoot 4K, it shows
Canon is now taking this category of
camera seriously. And the Canon M50 looks
like a serious shooter, boasting a 24.1MP
APS-C CMOS image sensor and a new DIGIC
8 image processor in a sleek camera body
(available in either black or white) that
can fit in a coat pocket. Other key features
include a three-inch, vari-angle, rear
touchscreen LCD—another first for an EOS
M-series camera—and an OLED electronic
viewfinder with touch and drag autofocus.
The M50 also has Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth
wireless connectivity, automatic image
transfer to compatible devices while
shooting, and a new silent mode.
Canon EOS M50
$779, body only; $899 as a kit with the EF-M 15-45mm
f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens in both black and white; $999 as a
kit with the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and the
EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM in black only
usa.canon.com
MOVIE STARTER
The Nikon D850 full-frame DSLR
is already a powerful tool for
videographers but Nikon recently
added some creative options for
budding filmmakers. The new Nikon
D850 Filmmaker’s Kit is a custom bundle,
which includes the camera, some great
Nikkor glass, and other essentials for
video creation. Along with the 45.7MP
Nikon D850 DSLR, the kit comes with
three fast prime lenses, including the
AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED lens, the AF-S
Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G ED lens, and the AF-S
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G lens. The Nikon D850
28 | JUNE | 2018
Nikon D850 Filmmaker’s Kit
$5,499
nikonusa.com
Filmmaker’s Kit also contains an external
4K Atomos Ninja Flame External Recorder/
Monitor with accessories, the ME-W1
Wireless Microphone, an extra EN-EL15a
battery, and the ME-1 Stereo Microphone.
Also included are custom foam inserts for
protecting the gear when carried in a hard
case (sold separately).
SECOND COMING
Ricoh Imaging, the parent company of
Pentax, made a splash when it introduced
the Pentax K-1 in 2016. The company’s first
full-frame DSLR, the K-1 had been hotly
anticipated for years and was extremely
popular upon release due to its robust
feature set and surprisingly affordable
price tag ($1,999). So, what does Ricoh/
Pentax do for an encore? The Pentax K-1
Mark II, of course. Like its predecessor,
the new model boasts a rugged, compact,
weather-sealed body and uses the same
36.4MP full-frame anti-aliasing CMOS
sensor. The new camera also retains the
proven in-camera shake reduction system
of the earlier model, as well as its sensorshift capabilities that capture four images
of the same scene and merge them into a
single super-resolution image. It also keeps
the just under $2,000 price. Here’s what
the Pentax K-1 Mark II adds: an additional
sensor-shift feature called Dynamic
Pixel Shift Resolution mode, for shooting
superior ultrahigh-resolution images
without the use of a tripod—adding to the
camera’s appeal for nature and landscape
photography. Contributing to the K-1 Mark
II’s ability to capture images with optimum
sharpness, contrast, and color rendition
is a new accelerator unit designed to
minimize noise when shooting at high
ISOs—even at the camera’s maximum
sensitivity of ISO 819,200. The Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1 Mark II
$1,999
us.ricoh-imaging.com
Mark II boasts five-axis, five-step shake
reduction technology that compensates
for horizontal and vertical movement,
in addition to pitch and yaw. Ricoh says
the camera’s advanced stabilization
system has a compensation range of up
to five steps. Another great feature for
outdoor photographers is the camera’s
3.2-inch flexible, tilting LCD monitor that
can be adjusted to any angle desired—
horizontally, vertically, or diagonally—with
a single movement. The Pentax K-1 Mark
II offers additional viewing options, with
a bright optical viewfinder that has
a nearly 100% field of view. Other key
features of the Pentax K-1 Mark II include
high-speed continuous shooting, Full HD
movie recording with a number of creative
capabilities, a built-in GPS module, and
much more. (The optional Pentax D-BG6
battery grip, shown in the image, is sold
separately for $246.)
SLEEK ZOOMER
Tamron’s compact and lightweight
70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD zoom lens is a
high-performance telephoto featuring
a constant maximum aperture, fast
and precise AF capabilities, and superb
resolution throughout its range. Also
known as Model A034, the new 70-210mm
f/4 Di VC USD utilizes Tamron’s powerful
Vibration Compensation (VC) technology
and has a class-leading 1:3.1 reproduction
ratio for striking images of small subjects
as close as 37.4 inches. Designed for
outdoor photography, the new Tamron
70-210mm f/4 boasts moisture-resistant
construction and uses a durable, protective
fluorine coating on the front element
that’s safe and easy to clean. The lens
measures just under seven inches in length
and weighs barely 30 ounces. Thanks to
a smooth internal focusing system, the
length of the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 doesn’t
change during zooming, so “zoom creep” is
nonexistent. The lens is also designed with
a nonrotating front element for convenient
use of polarizing filters. The new Tamron
70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD is constructed
with 20 elements in 14 groups, and uses
three low-dispersion elements to maximize
image quality and control chromatic
aberration and other optical anomalies. n
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD
$799 (in Canon and Nikon mounts)
tamron-usa.com
THE GOODS spotlights the hottest premium photo
gear out there. If you have a product you’d like
considered for The Goods, e-mail images and info to
editorial@shutterbug.com.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 29
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TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
SONY A7 III
SONY GOES BACK TO BASICS WITH ITS LOWER-END
FULL-FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERA By Dan Havlik
to be saying, the A7 III is a premium
model worthy of its pricier full-frame
stablemates: the high-resolution A7R III
and the speedy A9 mirrorless cameras. I
was at the Las Vegas press conference and
got to test out the 24.2MP A7 III over the
following few days. Here’s what I thought
of this premium basic mirrorless camera,
which debuted at the slightly higher but
still reasonable price tag of $2,000.
WHEN SONY ANNOUNCED THE A7 II
in 2014, it did so in an unusual fashion.
First, the company unveiled the camera
at Sony headquarters in Tokyo, Japan,
and initially gave no indication the A7
II would even be available in the United
States. Then, less than a week later, Sony
acknowledged that the 24.3MP A7 II
would indeed go on sale in the U.S. for just
under $1,700, but announced the news
with little fanfare, making one wonder
how much the company was behind this
so-called “basic model” in Sony’s E-mount
full-frame mirrorless camera line.
Since that somewhat subdued A7
II announcement, there have been
rumors and speculation about when and
if a sequel to the camera would arrive.
During the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait
Photographers International) show in
Las Vegas in late February 2018 it finally
did and this time, Sony rolled out the red
carpet for the new A7 III in a flashy press
conference that was live-streamed around
the world.
So much for “basic,” Sony seemed
32 | JUNE | 2018
All photos © Dan Havlik
CAMERA BUILD, LAYOUT & HANDLING
The Sony A7 III looks virtually identical
to the 42.4MP A7R III ($3,200) with the
same minimal, modern camera design in a
relatively compact body and a comfortable
grip. At approximately 22.4 ounces, the A7
III weighs just a smidge less than the A7R
III but has basically the same magnesium
alloy frame and polycarbonate build with
basic dust- and moisture-resistance. If
you’ve followed some of our coverage of
how the A7R III was not able to stand up
to a weather sealing test from Imaging
Resource, you will know that neither it
nor the A7 III are built with professionallevel water-resistance, particularly in the
area of the battery door, which is prone to
leaking. While I did not shoot with the A7
III in rainy weather, I did use it extensively
while photographing dune buggies in the
desert outside of Las Vegas (you can see
a sample photo in this review) and it had
no operational problems in that seriously
dusty environment. If you do, however,
expect to be shooting regularly in wet
professional
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TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
conditions, I would not recommend the
A7 III nor the A7R III. I hope that Sony
addresses this water-resistance issue with
its future cameras because this will be
a deal-breaker for some photographers,
which is unfortunate because otherwise
these models offer pro-level quality.
Moving on, the design of the A7 III will
be familiar to anyone who has shot with
Sony’s top mirrorless cameras previously.
As I mentioned in my review of the A7R
III in the March 2018 issue of Shutterbug,
DSLR fans who like heavier and more
robust cameras might find the smaller
A7 III to be less ergonomic. As with other
models in this line, I found the A7 III’s
grip to be slightly short, with no place for
my pinkie finger. You do get used to it, but
I’d advise using a camera strap at all times
with the A7 III, particularly if you have a
zoom lens attached because the camera
can slip out of your hand.
The lower price tag for the A7 III means
you get a lower-end electronic viewfinder
(EVF) and rear screen compared to the
A7R III. The A7 III’s EVF is an OLED
panel with 2,360k dots of resolution and
a 60 frames per second (fps) refresh rate,
which is slightly less resolution and a
slower refresh time than the A7R III’s
« The A7 III had no
problems capturing
gorgeous images of
models in the studio.
Colors really pop in
this shot. Technical
info: Sony A7 III, FE
85mm f/1.8 lens; ISO
1600, f/4, 1/320
second, 85mm.
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This image shows
three things the A7 III
is good at: keeping up
with the action,
locking in focus in low
light, and capturing
surprising amounts of
detail. I wouldn’t,
however, recommend
actually shooting in
the rain with it.
Technical info: Sony A7
III, FE 24-105mm f/4 G
OSS lens; ISO 2000,
f/4, 1/400 second,
73mm.
«
TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
The good news with the Sony A7 III is
that it inherits many of the features of
the A7R III but at a considerably lower
price. The Sony A7R III was one of our
favorite cameras in 2017, earning a coveted
36 | JUNE | 2018
When in Vegas, you’ve got to get a photo of
Elvis. This image of the King and a Vegas showgirl
has tons of detail, which proves that 24MP is
sometimes all you need. Technical info: Sony A7
III, FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens; ISO 250, f/4, 1/30
second, 30mm.
Ç
EVF and it’s noticeable. I’m not a huge
fan of EVFs to begin with and I found it
hard to judge exposure while using the A7
III’s EVF. Like the A7R III, the A7 III has
a three-inch tilting (but non-swiveling)
rear screen, which helped with composing
down low and overhead shots. The A7 III’s
screen has less resolution than the A7R
III’s screen (921k dots vs. 1,440k dots),
and it’s hard to judge sharpness or image
quality on the display. But again, the A7 III
is $1,200 cheaper than the step-up model
so some corners had to be cut.
While I liked that the rear monitor has
touchscreen functionality, you can only
use it for still photography, and it’s only for
moving the focus point: the actual focusing
is done with the shutter button (or AF-On
button). The A7 III adds a multi-selector
joystick on back along with a control
wheel and 12 buttons. Although four
buttons and the four “directions” on the
clickable control wheel are customizable,
customizing them is confusing, even with
the help of the massive online help guide.
Speaking of confusing, as has been noted
in many reviews, Sony’s camera menu
system and cluttered screen iconography
is the pits. It might seem like a minor
quibble, but this poor user interface saps
some of the joy out of picture taking.
Shutterbug Top Clicks award. The Sony A7
III doesn’t quite earn Top Clicks status,
but it’s a damn fine camera for its price.
While the A7 III has nearly half the
resolution of the A7R III, it’s got the
same 10 fps maximum burst speed with
full autofocus/autoexposure tracking
but with a bigger buffer of 177 JPEGs/89
Raw images. This came in very handy
while photographing the dancers in the
rain shots included in this review, and
dune buggies in the desert. The Sony
A7 III also has an electronic shutter
option with silent mode, which could be
used for stealth wildlife photography.
Other carryovers from the A7R III are
five-axis image stabilization; 4K video;
1/8000 second maximum shutter speed;
improved battery life; dual card slots
(with support in one slot for UHS-II type
SD); and Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. The
A7 III also borrows from the speedy A9’s
autofocus system, including the same 693
points of phase-detection AF covering
93% of the sensor.
The A7 III doesn’t have the A7R III’s
pixel shift multi shooting feature, which
lets you combine four Raw images into one
very large image on a computer. But I’ve
found this feature to be limited because
it’s only designed for still subjects such as
landscapes in calm weather.
I shot this image
through the dusty
window of a helicopter
over Lake Mead,
outside of Las Vegas.
Landscape
photographers might
prefer the higherresolution A7R III but
the A7 III does pretty
well in its own right.
Technical info: Sony A7
III, FE 24-105mm f/4 G
OSS lens; ISO 100,
f/6.3, 1/100 second,
24mm.
«
The A7 III’s autofocus
system is inherited
from the A9 sports
camera and it’s a good
one. The camera was
able to quickly and
precisely lock in focus
on the cocktail in a
darkly lit bar. Technical
info: Sony A7 III, Sony
FE 85mm f/1.8 lens;
ISO 3200, f/1.8, 1/40
second, 85mm.
«
IMAGE QUALITY
The Sony A7 III’s image quality doesn’t
reach the heights of the Sony A7R III
but that’s understandable. The A7R III
produced some of the best image quality
we’ve ever seen from a full-frame camera.
Even though the A7 III can’t match the
resolving power or the level of detail of
its slightly older sibling, it’s actually not
that far behind despite having 18+ fewer
megapixels. Take, for instance, the image
of the model that’s included in our Table
of Contents on page 6. While I shot the
photo in a controlled studio setting with
professional lighting, I was amazed at
how much detail the A7 III was able to
capture. In particular, the perspiration
around her nose and the hair on her arms
are incredibly vivid, maybe too much so. If
this photo were for a commercial client, I’d
probably need to soften some of the detail
in post.
In low light, at higher ISOs, the A7 III
acquitted itself well, performing even
better than the A7R III, which crams
more pixels onto its full-frame chip by
making them smaller with less lightgathering area. The Sony A7 III had less
noise than the A7R III and virtually no
visible degradation at up to ISO 6400.
I got relatively clean results even at
ISO 12,800, such as in the image of the
dancer extending her leg on the ladder in
the simulated rain scene. There is some
softening of her skin tones but the image
TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
is surprisingly crisp. In bright, outdoor
light the A7 III fares even better. Despite
shooting the aerial photo of Lake Mead
and the surrounding terrain through the
dusty window of a helicopter, there’s tons
of detail in the shot. The window also did
not prevent the image from attaining good
sharpness and pleasant color, despite the
bright late afternoon conditions. Test
images in this review were shot with the
Sony A7 III and the following Sony lenses:
the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS and the FE
85mm f/1.8.
The A7 III gets a big upgrade from its
predecessor with video. It can now shoot
4K across the entire full-frame sensor,
whereas the A7 II was limited to 1080p
HD. In our testing, 4K video from the A7
III was on par to the A7R III, with good
dynamic range (8.7 f/stops at low ISOs
and 8.0 at high) and solid white balance
at low ISOs (0.8), albeit less so at higher
ISOs (1.6). Overall, visual noise was
largely kept in check, and 4K quality was
on par to even higher-end DSLRs, such as
the Nikon D850.
CONCLUSION
If you’re interested in trying out what
a premium full-frame camera is like
«
The A7 III’s 10 fps continuous shooting is great
for capturing action. While the camera’s basic
weather sealing might not hold up in a rainstorm,
it had no problem with dust while photographing
dune buggies in the desert. Technical info: Sony
A7 III, FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens; ISO 100, f/4.5,
1/640 second, 102mm.
«
The A7 III fared even better at high ISOs than
the A7R III. This image was shot at ISO 12,800 and
noise and distortion is kept to a minimum.
Technical info: Sony A7 III, FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS
lens; ISO 12,800, f/4, 1/1000 second, 72mm.
38 | JUNE | 2018
but don’t want to make a huge financial
investment just yet, there is really no
better place to start than the 24.2MP Sony
A7 III. While a few corners have been cut
on this model to hit its sub-$2,000 price
tag—such as with the lower-resolution rear
screen and EVF—it’s really not that far
removed in image quality from the top-of-
SCORECARD
the-line A7R III. Plus, it gives you 10 fps
continuous shooting in both mechanical
and silent modes, five-axis optical in-body
image stabilization, an autofocus system
that’s on par with Sony’s A9 sports camera,
and 4K video recording with full pixel
readout. Landscape photographers who
need massive amounts of resolution might
want to consider the pricier A7R III,
which has a 42.4MP full-frame chip. For
everyone else though, the A7 III should be
more than enough camera for them. The
only major problem I have with both the
A7 III and A7R III is the inferior weather
sealing, which can be an issue if you shoot
in wet conditions. In just about every other
respect though, the Sony A7 III is far from
basic. n
PROS
›Pro-level features at a more affordable
price
›10 fps continuous shooting in
mechanical and silent modes
›4K video
›Low noise at high ISOs
CONS
›Inferior weather sealing
›Lower-resolution rear LCD screen and
EVF
›Confusing user interface
professional
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TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
SONY CYBER-SHOT
RX10 IV
SONY’S PREMIUM SUPERZOOM CAMERA OFFERS FASTER
AF AND 24 FPS BURST SHOOTING By George Schaub
and enthusiasts who like to have one
camera/lens combo that covers just about
every imaging contingency, it might just
fill the bill. I recently had an opportunity
to test the camera while on a trip to Spain
and was eager to put it through its paces.
SPECS & FEATURES
The obvious place to start is with the lens,
a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*, which contains
six aspheric elements: it’s a comparatively
fast 25x zoom that has an f/2.4 max
aperture and only drops to f/4 when you
begin to zoom out to the longer ranges.
When working in standard format and
using AF, the lens can focus as close as 1.2
inches to infinity at the 24mm setting and
28 inches to infinity at the 600mm setting;
a seeming anomaly is that when shooting
at 250mm the minimum focusing distance
is more like 55 inches.
The specs on this seemed confusing, so
INTEGRAL ZOOM LENS CAMERAS are often referred to as “bridge” cameras: the idea
being that they bridge the gap between compact and DSLR models. If there’s a bridge
connection here it’s in the rather incredible zoom range of the Sony Cyber-shot RX10
IV ($1,700, retail price) that spans the far shores of 24-600mm equivalency. While a
camera/lens combo of this capability is necessarily larger than a DSLR body alone, and
at first glance may seem like a candidate for shaky shots when zooming to the longer
focal lengths, the RX10 IV takes full advantage of Sony’s built-in Optical SteadyShot
image stabilization system (4.5 EV shutter speeds) along with any corrective optical
adjustments applied to the various focal lengths via the BIONZ X image processor.
40 | JUNE | 2018
the RX10 III, used contrast-detectionbased AF, which was noticeably slow.)
The Sony RX10 IV is not a camera
you can slip into your pocket, being
5.25x3.75x5.12 inches in size and
weighing in at 2 pounds, 6.7 ounces
with card and battery. But for travelers,
landscape and sports photographers,
The lens measures about 2.5 inches long
when at rest (24mm) and a good six inches
when zoomed fully. An aperture “click”
switch allows you to choose between click
stops ( 1/3 increments between stops) or a
smooth transition; a focus hold button on
the right of the barrel; and a focus delimiter
switch, used to limit focus search to within
10 feet to infinity.
Ç
Both dust- and moisture-resistant,
the Sony RX10 IV superzoom camera
contains a 20.1MP one-inch-type
stacked phase-detection AF Exmor RS
CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip. There
are two key operative phrases here
that speak to its overall size and image
quality: the one-inch sensor allows for
a “smaller” camera with such a long
zoom range, while phase detection
speaks to the improved autofocus
(AF) performance—claimed to be an
incredible AF response time of 0.03
seconds—critical when you zoom far
into the reaches, and when capturing
action images. (Sony’s previous model,
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TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
« The back of the camera has a large tiltable (up
and down but not side to side) LCD screen that is
your visual access to making settings. You can
also touch-focus on the screen. There’s also a
nice and bright EVF. Regular readers of my
reviews know that I am not a big EVF fan, but I
must say this one impressed me as highly usable
and clear.
I reached out to Sony to get an explanation:
their reply was that constructing a lens
such as this required this midstream, if
you will, focusing distance change in order
to make it a more reasonable size, and that
this was not uncommon among lenses of
this focal length range.
The large and bright XGA OLED EVF
provides 100% field of view and contains
2.35 million dots with a wide-range
diopter and five-step brightness control,
while the three-inch tiltable LCD contains
1.44 million dots. The screen does not
swing side to side and does not enable
folding into the body to protect it. The
view switches automatically when you
move from the EVF to the monitor, and
vice versa.
Focusing modes include single and
continuous, as well as manual. Focusing
areas are legion and selectable via
touchscreen and “quick” menu control,
with 315 points in phase-detection AF
and 25 in contrast-detection AF. You can
choose, for example, center, flexible spot
(with expandable available as well), and
lock on AF. There is a touchscreen option
for selecting a focusing point.
The Sony RX10 IV’s continuous
shooting mode can be set at up to 24
frames per second (fps) for a 10-second
burst, impressive numbers that mean
you won’t miss the (automated) decisive
I photographed this flamenco performance on a
stage lit by small spots using AWB and Auto ISO
set at a max ISO 3200 and 1/60 second minimum
shutter speed on Program exposure mode. The
lens was zoomed to 110mm (all focal length
settings in captions are equivalents). Grain at ISO
3200 is noticeable but certainly not
objectionable, given the low light. Camera
exposure was f/4 at 1/200 second at ISO 3200.
moment. (The previous camera could
shoot up to 14 fps bursts.) You can also
“frame grab” from the RX10 IV’s 4K video
capability, yielding an 8MB still from video
sequences. There are the three standard
metering pattern modes, plus a highlight
compensation mode.
There are numerous image control
options, including contrast, saturation,
and SRGB and Adobe RGB color space
options, plus a myriad of “picture effects”
and “creative styles” that allow you to play
with many different “looks.” These include
intriguing effects such as Retro Photo,
HDR Painting, Panorama, Posterization,
and the like. Plus there are the requisite Av,
Tv, Program, and Manual exposure modes.
The fastest mechanical (leaf type, in
lens) shutter speed available is 1/2000
second: there’s also a selectable (via the
menu) electronic shutter that, thanks to
the stacked CMOS sensor with its very fast
readout speed, allows shutter speeds as
fast as 1/32,000 second. The slowest speed
on Auto is four seconds, while in Bulb, Tv,
© George Schaub
«
42 | JUNE | 2018
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TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
as well, including SteadyShot enabling
(which I encourage you to keep on), zoom
functions, and more.
It takes some practice to move through
the menus but basically it’s done by
turning the knurled control ring on the
back in combination with a deft touch of
the outer edges of that same ring to make
selections. There is a kind of quick menu,
which I accessed via the “Fn” button on
the camera back and then I scrolled and
chose via the back knurled ring. This came
in quite handy in the field.
The lens itself, the star of the show,
measures about 2.5 inches long when at
« In the Reina Sophía museum I photographed a
woman in a colorful jacket contemplating a
Magritte painting, curious how the Illustration
effect would reinterpret the painting. Curiously,
photographs of abstract work, such as those by
Cubist and Constructivist painters, only added
contrast and did not alter the paintings much,
showing how those artists “saw” as if looking
through the Illustration effect “filter.”
«
While photographing inside the amazing Toledo
Cathedral I noticed a photographer putting his
camera on the floor to get a shot of the vaulting
and paintings of the ceiling. Having a tilting LCD
monitor meant I could shoot in much easier
fashion. Exposure at ISO 1000 was f/3.2 at 1/30
second, a testament to the good work of the RX10
IV’s image stabilization system.
HANDS ON
As formidable as the zoom range, the Sony RX10 IV itself is large
in hand, with a host of buttons, dials, and menu options. A large
grip protrudes forward on the right-hand side and the entire body
is covered with a good “grippy” surface.
Although the camera comes with a basic instruction manual
that can get you started, you will need the Help Guide to really
get into the many options and functions the RX10 IV provides.
This is available as a download only, which you will need to read
and practice with before even thinking of going out into the field.
I am not a fan of this method of communication, particularly
because it is of no use when you are out on a shoot unless you
take a tablet as your companion, or want to print out the booklet
and carry a binder.
To navigate the menus you choose the “set,” including still,
movie, connectivity, playback, and custom setups. To give you
an idea of how deep the menu goes, the still settings are 14 layers
deep and the movie mode is four. However, if you are in the
Camera 2 settings, which start out with the four movie setups,
you get six more (to me, hidden) camera and function setups
44 | JUNE | 2018
Photos © George Schaub
and Av it’s 30 seconds. Note that the “native” ISO range is 100 to
12,800, plus a “push” to 25,600 when you enable Multi-Frame NR
(note that video is limited to ISO 12,800). As to connectivity, there
are numerous input and output terminals, including a microphone
mini-jack, and Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Last but not least is the Sony RX10 IV’s impressive AF
acquisition speed of 0.03 seconds, and while I did not have the tools
to measure this, the camera fairly zipped into focus when in the
field. As with use of all long-range zoom lenses, be careful to lock
onto the nearest object within the frame. I only say this because
many folks are not used to working with this long a focal length
optic and proper focusing point placement is critical to success.
TOOLS / FIELD REVIEW
performer in low light. The LCD offers
many display options, although I like a
clear screen when composing, and was very
helpful in swapping settings as I worked.
IN THE FIELD
Please see the images and accompanying captions for comments
on camera usage and results. After acquainting myself with the
various and numerous options and parameter settings I came to a
fairly easy way of working with the Sony RX10 IV.
First, I set up my Auto ISO to maintain a minimum shutter
speed of 1/60 second and a max ISO of 3200. For street work I
worked with Program exposure mode, working with the Shift to
alter aperture/shutter speed combinations. I changed aperture
via the click stops on the lens. I set up my main attributes using
the “Fn” button quick mode and assigned the drive mode to the C1
button on the top.
I worked with AWB (Auto White Balance) for interiors and
daylight to outdoor images. I made some use of the Picture Effects
(available via the “quick menu”) and admit to getting hooked on
the options. I zoomed using the lens ring, although at times used
the automated zoom that surrounds the shutter button for a quick
leap into the longer ranges.
I found the EVF to be very sharp and clear and an excellent
46 | JUNE | 2018
Photos © George Schaub
«
«
This equestrian statue in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor
rest (24mm) and a good six inches when
was graced with a swirling fabric installation by
fully zoomed (600mm). If you count the
artist Janet Echelman. Image was exposed at
f/7.1 at 1/250 second at ISO 100 with a 24mm
(included) “tulip” lens hood, a must when
focal length.
shooting in the field, you can add 1.5 inches
to the overall length. There are some
To give you an idea of what a long range zoom
“digital zoom” capabilities (essentially
can offer you, I stood in the same spot and
zoomed to 591mm (according to metadata) to
cropping to attain an even longer focal
focus right on the eye of the horse. Light
length effect) but I don’t recommend them
conditions altered the aperture to f/4.
unless absolutely necessary. There’s an
aperture “click” switch that allows you to choose between click
stops (1/3 increments between stops) or a smooth transition; a
focus hold button on the right of the barrel; and a focus delimiter
switch, used to limit focus search to within 10 feet to infinity,
which makes for faster AF on longer distance subjects.
One more item of interest: the battery charger. There isn’t
one, at least not the separate charger setup/wall plug-in I am
accustomed to. Rather, there is a USB-type setup that is akin to a
smartphone charger that plugs directly into the camera. You can
use a car charger, etc., so there are some practical convenience
factors here. And yes, you can buy an optional Sony dedicated
battery pack and battery. This, for me, turned out OK, but judging
from the chatter on the web, this approach gets mixed reviews.
CONCLUSION
In all, the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV is as
complicated (or, if you will, fully featured)
as you want it to be, or as simple as you
like. Most folks will opt for the latter
option, or somewhere in between. Getting
acquainted with the various routes
through the very rich menu took some
time, but after a while I found it to be a
great traveling companion that responded
to every picture possibility. In fact, this
is a superzoom camera I would strongly
consider as my main workhorse for candid
street and travel work in the future.
Without a doubt, this is a camera you
can customize to the nth degree to fully
explore your imaging effects and options.
While it’s best to start out slowly to fully
learn just what the Sony RX10 IV offers,
you might find, as I did, that this rather
remarkable camera will reward you with
a flexibility and range of options that few
other integral lens “bridge” cameras can
provide. n
¨
Santa Cruz, California
TECHNIQUES / USING TELEPHOTOS
READY FOR YOUR
CLOSE-UPS?
HOW TO USE TELEPHOTO LENSES FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT
By Ron Leach
LONG LENSES ARE EXCITING TO USE because they enable us to view and capture
images with far greater magnification than what we can see with our eyes. They also
deliver dramatic, compressed perspectives and enable photographers to isolate subjects
from busy backgrounds.
Telephoto lenses are available in both
fixed focal length and versatile zoom
configurations, and the longer the lens,
the less inherent depth of field it provides
at any given f-stop. Short telephotos, in
the 85-135mm category, tend to be the
least expensive, are easy to use hand-held,
and are ideal for portraiture because they
enable you to fill the frame with a subject
from a comfortable working distance.
True “telephoto effects” begin to
appear with lenses longer than 135mm,
and by selecting wider aperture
settings you can exaggerate compressed
perspectives and use shallow depth of
field to eliminate distracting background
elements. These moderate telephotos, with
focal lengths up to 300mm, are a great
choice for travel photography, shooting
sports/action photos, outdoor concerts,
and other types of scenes in which you
48 | JUNE | 2018
can’t readily approach a subject.
Extreme telephoto lenses, in focal
lengths of 400mm or longer, tend to be
heavy, unwieldy, and expensive, with far
more limited applications. But if you’re on
a whale-watching trip, or photographing
wildlife from great distances, these lenses
are usually the only way to get the job done.
It’s important to remember that, as
with all lenses, the power delivered by a
telephoto lens depends upon the size of the
sensor in your camera. So, while a 400mm
lens on a full-frame body is just that, a
400mm lens on a camera with an APS-C
format sensor provides the cropping of
a 600mm lens. And this same lens on a
Micro Four Thirds camera performs like
an 800mm super telephoto.
Keep in mind that telephoto lenses
not only magnify your subject, but
they exaggerate camera movement and
atmospheric haze as well.
Therefore, you’ll have to take
special precautions if you
want to achieve images with
the same razor-sharp clarity
as those you capture with
less powerful lenses. A sturdy
tripod, a high-quality UV
filter, and a custom lens hood
will all help improve your
results.
Back in the days
before digital cameras
with sophisticated image
stabilization systems, there
was a simple rule for handholding long lenses: namely,
use a shutter speed that’s the
inverse of the focal length
of your lens (or preferably faster). So,
when shooting with a 400mm telephoto,
for example, the idea was to use a shutter
speed of at least 1/400 second. That’s
no longer necessary, as modern camera
shake technology typically provides an
advantage of three to five steps.
Precise focusing techniques are still
important, however, because of the narrow
zone of sharpness inherent to telephoto
lenses, and there are a few things you can
do to maximize results. When shooting
portraits, it’s usually best to set your
focus point on the subject’s eye that’s
closest to the camera. For sports/action
photography, and other scenes with fastmoving subjects, you can increase your
batting average by panning with the
camera while using the fastest shutter
speed that lighting conditions permit.
Whether you choose a prime lens
or a zoom, lenses with fast maximum
apertures enable you to make the most of
telephoto effects, by enabling the use of
faster shutter speeds when you need them.
The wider f-stops of these lenses are also
critical for minimizing depth of field when
that’s what you want to do.
Telephoto lenses with an f/2.8
maximum aperture (or f/4 with longer
telephotos) are bigger, heavier, and
far more expensive than their slower
counterparts. They also require larger and
more costly filters. But if you can afford
premium glass, you’ll be able to achieve
some truly eye-popping results! n
© Ron Leach
Ç When photographing wildlife
with a long lens, it’s often best to
focus on the subject’s eye that’s
closest to the camera. This
captive eagle was captured at
relatively close range with a
90mm lens on a Micro Four Thirds
camera — yielding the same
cropping as a 180mm lens on a
full-frame camera.
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Leica 90/2 & Leica 90/2,8mm lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $499 / $1299
Leica 90/4 Macro Elmar Chrome & black Mint- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 135mm f2,8 & f4 M lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Leica Black Paint Original Leica Lenses & Cameras . . . . . . . Wanted!!
Leica M Lenses Wanted!!
Call Sam: 1-888-534-2272 High price paid $$$$$
Leica SLR
Leica R8 with DMR complete with box Mint- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2499
Leica R8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $499 / $799
Leica R7 Ex++/ M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $449 / $595
Leica R6 Ex+/ Ex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $499 / $699
Leica R5 / RE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$195 / $399
Leica R5 with 50/1,4 Summilux -R (marks on glass) . . . . . . . . . . . .$849
Leica R4 / R4s / R3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$195 / $399
Leica 19/2,8 Elmarit-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wanted
Leica 21-35/3,5-4 Vario-Elmar-R ROM w/box M/LN . . . . . . . . . . .$2799
Leica 24/2,8 Elmarit-R , Leica 28/2, 8 Elmarit-R . . . . . . . . . $699/$1199
Leica 35/1,4 Summilux-R, Leica 50/1, 4 Summilux-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 35/2 Summicron-R ROM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 60/2,8 Macro-Elmarit-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 90/28 Elmarit-R w/box Mint, Leica 100/2,8 Apo Elmarit . . . . Call
Leica 100/2,8 Apo-Macro-R & Leica 90/2 Summicron- R . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 135/2,8 Elmarit-R, Leica 180/2,8 Elmarit-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 180/2, 8 Apo Elmarit- ROM Mint/- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 250/4 Telyt-R Ex++/M- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 280/4 Apo Telyt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wanted
Leica 400/6,8 Telyt Ex++/M, Leica 28- 90mm Asph . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica 500/8 MR Telyt-R with Leica box, case & filters Mint- . . . . .$899
Leica 35-70/3,5 Vario-Elmar-R E67 German, Leica 35-70/3,5
Vario-Elmar-R E60, Leica 28-90mm ASPH ROM, Leica 75- 200mm
& 80-200/4 Rom, 70-210/4 Vario- Elmar-R, Leica 105-280mm/4 .2 .
Vario-Elmar-R with box Mint- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3699
Leica 2X Apo & 1,4X apo Extender Mint- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica S cameras & lens System New USA, Demo & used . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica R USED lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wanted
Rare & Vintage
Silvestri Camera with 4 lenses & finder in case Mint- . . . . . . . .$3999
Leica M4 black paint camera w/ Leica 35/1,4 black paint Rare . . Call
Nikon S3 Limited Edition Black W .50mm f/1 .4 Lens NEW . . . . . . Call
Gandolfi Camera with lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Wisner Technical field Camera 4x5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica Q 24MP
Full Frame Camera
Wista Field Camera 4x5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Schneider super-angulon 8/90 lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Schneider symmar-s 5 .6/210 lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Schneider symmar-s 5 .6/120 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Schneider G-claron 9/305 lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Canon F1 camera w/16mm, 20mm, 35mm, 28mm, 50mm,
85mm, 135mm, 200mm lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Leica Screw Mount & Leica Copies/Canon & Nikon RF . . . . . In Stock
Leica IA/Ig/Ic/If/Std blk/II-D/ IIIg/IIIc/IIIf/ IIIa/IIIb II/III/IIIa/IIIb Call
Leica SM lenses 21mm to 500mm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Leica Visoflex I, II, III & Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Leica Copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Leica S cameras & lens System New USA,
Demo & used in stock! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
ZEISS USA Dealer
New Lenses for Leica M / Nikon / Canon / Sony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Contax (in stock-Please call)
Contax RTs/RTs III . ST, AX, G1, G2, Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Contax Tvs, TVs III,T2, T, T3, T4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Contax lenses in stock: 15mm, 16mm, 18mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm,
45mm, 50mm, 60mm, 85/ 1,4mm/ 85/ 1,2mm/ 100mm/ 135mm/
180mm/ 200mm/ 300mm/ 500mm / 28-85mm / 70- 200mm/
100- 300mm / 80-200mm
Nikon
Nikon DSLR & Nikon F/F2/F3/F4/F4s/F5/F100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Nikon Lenses: 300/2 .8G AFS ED VR II, Nikon 70-200/2 .8G AF-S VR
ED VRII, Nikon 16- 35/4G AF-S ED VR, Nikon 24-120/4G AF-S ED
VR, Nikon 50 AF-S 50/1 .8G, Nikon 70-300/4 .5-5 .6 AFS VR
GIF-ED, Nikon TC-20EIII AF-S Teleconverter 2x Aspherical, Nikon
TC- 14EII AF-S Teleconverter 1,4X, 35/1,4 AI, 35/3,5 PC, Zeiss:
21/2,8 ZF, 28/2 ZF, 35/2 ZF, 50/2 Makro ZF, 85/1,4 Otus ZF,
100/2,8 Maro ZF . Nikon 14/2,8 AF, 20/2,8 AF, 24/2,8 AF, 28/2,8
AF, 28/1,4 AF, 35/2 AF, 50/1,4 AF, 50/1,4 AFS, 60/2,8 AFS, 85/1, 8
AF, 105/2,8 AF, 105/2,8 AFS VR, 135/2 AF DC, 180/2 .8 AF ED,
200/4 Micro AF, 300/4 AF ED, 14-24/2,8 AFs, 17-35/2,8 AFS,
17- 55/2,8 AFS, 20-35/2,8 AF, 24- 70/2,8 AF, 24-120mm AF, 2870/2,8 AFS, Zeiss F Nikon mount lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Nikon S3 black w/50/1, 4mm lens Ltd edition LN- . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Nikon & Canon Rangefinder Cameras & Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Nikon & Canon Digital SLR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Medium Format & Others
Linhoff S .Technica V 6x9 camera w/2 lenses, finder,
backs, Ex++ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1499
Rollei SLX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
Rollei TLR 3,5F & Rollei 2,8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WANTED $$$$
Hasselblad- 503Cx ,500CM, 500C, SW, SWC, 2000FC . . . . . . . . . Call
Hasselblad SWC with finder & back Ex+ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Hasselblad 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 110mm,150mm, 250mm,
350mm,500mm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Hasselblad H2 Kit w/70mm H-lenses:
50/3,5; 210/4mm w/box M- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Call
Alpa, Canon & Nikon Rangefinder, Contarex Zeiss,
Rollei, Sinar Leica copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Stock
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TECHNIQUES / TRIPODS
HOW TO BUY
A TRIPOD
ADVICE FOR PURCHASING THE RIGHT CAMERA SUPPORT
By Jon Sienkiewicz
YOU NEED A TRIPOD. If you shoot video, panoramas, fireworks, time exposures, selfies,
or macro work in addition to general picture taking, you may even need two tripods.
Selecting a tripod that matches the way you work is important, and not at all difficult if
you approach it in the right way.
The Granddaddy of all Image
Stabilization (IS) systems is on the floor
at your favorite camera shop right now,
waiting for rediscovery. The technology
has been around for centuries and has
been intertwined with photography since
the beginning. It’s the one tool we all
should use more often, because it’s the
only accessory that will improve nearly
100% of our images.
I hear ya, your camera has built-in IS.
To me, the fact that image stabilization in
cameras and lenses is so popular is proof
positive that you need a tripod.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not putting
IS down. It’s a great and tremendous aid
in many and sundry situations. But not all
situations.
LET’S BREAK IT ALL DOWN
There are many different kinds of
tripods, so it’s easier to wrap our minds
Ç
British tripod maker
3 Legged Thing offers
a variety of highquality products with
interesting names and
remarkable features.
50 | JUNE | 2018
around them if we divide them into five
basic groups: Pocket, Tabletop, Portable,
Medium Duty, and Sturdy Duty/Studio.
The category names suggest their primary
application. Photographers who mainly
shoot wildlife, for example, should
consider Portable models, but shouldn’t
overlook the other styles.
Pocket tripods slip easily into a bag or
purse and are very handy at restaurants,
the zoo, mountain climbing, and other
places where you may not want to lug
something bigger. They support the
weight of a compact digital camera and
can be a real lifesaver when you’re trying
to shoot an impromptu family group
picture or selfie. If the Pocket model is
short and sturdy enough, it might support
a mirrorless SLR, but be careful not to
overload it. In all cases, look for one that
has some sort of adjustable head, even if
it’s basic.
Tabletop tripods are excellent for
macro shots, group pictures, and other
situations where the camera can be
positioned on a flat surface other than the
ground. They’re light and small and easy
to pack so they are perfect for travel. In
some situations, like when you’re trying
to shoot close-ups of an aquarium, they’re
better than a full-size tripod because they
can be positioned on the table close to
the tank. Many photographers press the
adjusted legs of a smaller tripod against
their chest to gain additional stability—
immovable, and almost always used with
a specialized head. This is the domain of
professional photographers who generally
buy a specific type of tripod to fit a specific
need.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS
There are eight characteristics common
to all tripods. The matrix on the following
page indicates the specifications and
materials most often associated with
each particular type of tripod. These are
offered as guidelines, not hard-and-fast
The Oben TT-100 Table Top
Tripod. Load Capacity: six
pounds; Max Height: 4.2
inches; Collapsed Size: 7.5
inches. About $34.
«
sort of like a skeletonized shoulder stock.
Portable tripods are great for hiking,
biking, and that casual flight on a SpaceX
Falcon 9 rocket. They are so light and
easy to carry you won’t regret lugging one
along. All will support a digital (or film)
SLR but use caution if you use a long zoom
or a heavy telephoto, especially if it’s front
heavy. They come up a bit short in the
height extension area, but the trade-off
is fabulous portability. Often, they can
be lashed to the bottom of a backpack or
gadget bag for easy transport. I keep one in
my car trunk at all times.
Medium Duty tripods fill the gap
between the lightweight portables and the
heavyweight Studio tripods. This category
has many attractive models available.
They’re a great choice for video cameras
because they are extremely stable and
most accept a pan head. You’ll find all
sorts of configurations with and without
sophisticated ball heads, fluid heads,
pan heads, and so forth. If you prize light
weight yet need a sturdy platform, look
into the models that have carbon-fiber
legs. They combine the best of both worlds,
and although they’re worth it, they tend to
be a bit more expensive.
Sturdy Duty/Studio tripods are just
that. They are big, sometimes nearly
rules. For instance, most Medium Duty
tripods extend to a length between 48 and
60 inches, but there are exceptions to be
found on both ends of the scale.
Also please note that the Maximum
Load Capacity figure is an approximation.
If you’re slinging heavy gear, read the
tripod specs or check the manufacturer’s
website. Many people are unaware how
much their camera-plus-lens combination
weighs. That’s where to start.
IMAGE STABILIZATION—ON OR OFF
WHEN USING A TRIPOD?
Your camera, of course, likely comes
equipped with built-in image stabilization.
Your natural inclination may be to think
that if one stabilizing system is good, two
must be better. Right? Wrong. Nearly
all manufacturers say, “Turn it off.” If
you’re still in doubt, try it for yourself
and examine the results. Most in-camera
anti-shake systems get confused by the
rock-steady condition that’s created by a
tripod and try to compensate for the lack
of movement, producing unsharpness in
the process. Go figure.
Sometimes the tripod head is part of
the tripod, and sometimes it’s sold with
the tripod as a package. Even when they
are sold separately, most manufacturers
recommend which pieces work best when
combined. For general use, the most
common is the three-way ball head that
allows pans, tilts, and rotation on vertical
and horizontal axes.
« The Joby GorillaPod Magnetic Mini for pointand-shoot and other small cameras. It offers
the additional advantage of magnetic feet
(think car hood). About $14.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 51
TECHNIQUES / TRIPODS
Gitzo’s 100-Year Anniversary Edition Tripod with Ball Head,
Limited-Edition Traveler Tripod ($1,499). Only 1,917 tripods
made. Comes with certificate of authenticity. May not be
practical for field use, but ain’t it gorgeous?
OTHER POPULAR FEATURES
Not shown in the chart—because there’s
an endless array of variations—are the
special features some tripods offer. Some
have reversible center posts that allow you
to position the camera quite close to the
ground. Others have slip joints that enable
each leg to be extended at a different
angle. Some provide hooks from which you
can hang a bag full of sand for additional
stability on a windy day. After you find
a model that seems to meet your needs,
check out the additional features.
TYPICAL TRIPOD
SPECIFICATIONS
POCKET
Don’t underestimate the importance
of the tripod feet. They’re usually rounded
rubber with retractable spikes for gripping
outdoor surfaces. Tip: If you’re working in
mud, use duct tape to secure a crutch tip
(available at many pharmacies) over the
foot to prevent debris from infiltrating the
mechanism.
MATERIALS MATTER
Check the materials used for all parts of
the tripod, not just the legs. The spider,
or hub where the legs attach, can be
TABLETOP
PORTABLE
aluminum or hybrid synthetic. More
expensive models use magnesium alloy
or other lightweight metals. Confirm that
adjustment knobs and handle arms are
durable and well made. And look for the
little extras. Many tripods come with a
case, and some models feature a spirit-type
bubble level that many find indispensable.
Finally, of course, there’s the matter
of price. Don’t let the price be your only
guide. A good tripod will last you a lifetime
but a cheap, clunky one will end up in the
garbage or at a garage sale. n
MEDIUM DUTY
STURDY DUTY,
STUDIO
Size Collapsed (inches)
3 to 6 in
5 to 12 in
12 to 30 in
24 to 36
More than 36 in
Weight (pounds)
Less than 1 lbs
Less than 3 lbs
3 to 7 lbs
7 to 12 lbs
More than 10 lbs
Maximum Height
Extension (inches)
Less than 12 in
Up to 12 in
24 to 48 in
48 to 60 in
Over 60 in
Maximum Load
Capacity (pounds)
Up to 2 lbs
Less than 4 lbs
5 to 9 lbs
9 to 15 lbs
More than 15 lbs
Head Type Available
None or Ball
Ball, 3-way Ball
Ball, 3-way Ball
3-way Ball,
Fluid, Pan
3-way Ball,
Fluid, Pan
Feet
Rubber Non-slip
Rubber Non-slip
Rubber, Spike
Rubber, Spike
Rubber, Spike,
Custom
Leg Locks
Friction
Friction, Twist
Twist, Lever
Twist, Lever
Lever, Custom
Common Material
Plastic,
Aluminum
Plastic,
Aluminum
Aluminum,
Carbon Fiber
Aluminum,
Carbon Fiber
Aluminum,
Carbon Fiber
52 | JUNE | 2018
TECHNIQUES / DARKROOM
HOW TO BUILD AND EQUIP A PHOTOGRAPHIC DARKROOM
Ç
GOING DARK
GOING
DARK
One of the author’s early darkrooms, using the
plywood sink design. The sink had hot and cold
running water and a temperature control unit,
plus it could hold four 11x14-inch trays. The room
also served as an office, hence the desk and light
box at left. The enlarger is an Omega D2, capable
of enlarging 35mm through 4x5-inch negatives.
This black-and-white print was developed in the
darkroom in the photo.
By Gary Miller
The cost of used darkroom gear has
been reduced to bargain levels, mostly due
to the explosion of digital photography.
I recently paid $125 for a complete set
of darkroom equipment, including a
Simmon Omega B-22 enlarger, a 50mm
lens (for 35mm film), a 75mm lens (for
6x6 or 120 negatives), plus trays, easels,
custom timers, etc. The former owner even
included several boxes of usable paper and
dozens of reference books and magazines.
There are similar opportunities online
or via your local newspaper or shoppers’
guides, tag sales, etc.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Step one is to evaluate and measure your
available space. The ideal setup is one
54 | JUNE | 2018
where you have running hot and cold
water, but lack of this is not a deal-breaker.
A closet, guest room, garage, or basement
can all serve as locations. Here, not
necessarily in order of importance, are
the requirements:
1. Ability to make your selected space
dark, although a changing bag will make
do for the critical task of loading film
into tanks. The “dark” for the remaining
processes can have a small amount of light
leaking in, but not much.
2. Access to running hot and cold water. A
sink with automatic hot and cold running
water is ideal, but many photographers
accomplish wet tasks on a counter and
go to a nearby laundry or bathroom to
complete steps like film or paper washing,
cleaning up utensils, etc.
3. Sufficient room for the enlarger and
related accessories (paper safe, lenses,
negative holders, canned air, etc.).
4. Adequate ventilation. Film and paper
chemicals are toxic, so decent ventilation
is a must.
5. Some kind of flat workspace—it can be
a borrowed kitchen or dining room table—
for trimming and mounting prints.
6. A source of music, if you like. Printing
can be enjoyed over many hours’ time,
and good music soothes the savage beast.
Some say it can even determine the
quality of prints.
SETTING IT UP
Location can be simple. Over the years I
have built darkrooms in a converted coal
bin, closet, guest room, basement (even
one huge 15x20-foot basement room!),
attic, and garage. Your darkroom can have
a regular swinging door, bifold doors,
All photos © Gary Miller
The renaissance in film photography these days has created the need for a “wet”
darkroom. It’s a fun alternative to digital printmaking. Nothing beats watching an image
come to life in the developing tray. Unfortunately, many photographers think building a
darkroom is expensive, time-consuming, and difficult. This is not true.
or even drapes to separate it from the
rest of the house or apartment. It can be
permanent or temporary. We once set up
a darkroom in the basement of Clowes
Hall in Indianapolis to give patrons
prints (shot before an opera performance)
afterwards. So, the only limit to the space
issue is your imagination.
The ideal darkroom is neither too
big nor too small. Too big and you’ll tire
yourself out walking from one area to the
other. Too small is, well, too small and
difficult to get things done easily. Think
of ideas like using a small swiveling stool
to swing around from the wet to dry sides,
or a small chair on wheels. Make sure,
if possible, to install comfortable tile or
indoor/outdoor carpeting underfoot to
ease fatigue.
Another consideration is what kind
«
The author’s current
darkroom, in the
basement of a small
house. At left is a
radio, an enlarging
timer, and a paper
safe. In the center is
an Omega B2 enlarger,
which handles 35mm
and 6x6cm negatives.
An adjustable 11x14inch easel is on the
baseboard, and to the
right are three 11x14inch trays. Everything
sits on two stainless
steel kitchen work
tables.
« Planning, using
drawings or even
models, helps in
making effective use
of space.
«
A little model made
from paper gives you a
better idea of what the
final product looks like.
The construction style in our example
is to attach 1x2-inch “furring strips” to
the plywood to provide framework. The
3/4 -inch plywood will then be attached to
the 1x2-inch strips. Four 2x4’s are used
as legs. The plywood pieces will be glued,
and some pieces (like the inside of the
sink) will be painted with outside enamel
paint. In our example we are going to
have a sink 60x24x8 inches, a dry side
36x24x 3/4 inches, and a partition in
between 24x 96x 3/4 inches. This will allow
four 11x14-inch trays to fit inside the sink.
If you have less width, you can always use
the fourth tray in a laundry room or on a
rack, etc. And if you need 16x20-inch trays,
simply enlarge the dimensions.
Paint the pieces with contact cement
on both sides, then use a clamp or another
of work will you be doing for the most
part. A darkroom designed for 16x20inch exhibition prints is different from
a darkroom whose output is mostly
8x10-inch prints. The size of trays, print
driers (and style of drying), and basic
workspaces are key issues. Perhaps
you only want to develop film and scan
the negatives. Or make a lot of small
enlargements from many negatives to
create small subject-specific albums.
The possibilities are endless. The key to
success is to plan ahead.
One design takes two sheets of 4x8-foot
plywood and cuts them up into various
pieces to make both the wet and dry
“units.” Have the lumberyard cut the
pieces of plywood into two pieces, each 2x8
feet (to fit into the car). You can further cut
the pieces and fit them together as shown
in the sketches and model. You can change
the dimensions to fit your space.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 55
TECHNIQUES / DARKROOM
supply the perspiration). Ironically, after
carefully planning a plywood sink and
dry table, we ended up using two stainless
steel kitchen work tables.
EQUIPPING YOUR DARKROOM
Now that you have the basic dry side and
wet sink or workspace finished, it’s time
to start equipping the darkroom in order
to develop film or make prints. The steps
are simple, and you can accomplish them
no matter what size, shape, and location of
your darkroom.
Developing film, the obvious first
step, is usually done by using a plastic or
stainless steel film developing tank. The
advantage of the latter is that you can
immerse the tank in a bath of water to
maintain a desired temperature. Stainless
reels also dry quickly, so you’re ready for
the next batch of developing. Plastic takes
longer and the film will stick more easily,
making them difficult to load.
Of course, complete darkness is
required to load the tanks with film. Even
a little bit of stray light can fog film. If
you don’t have complete darkness, use a
changing bag; the rest of the steps can be
carried out in daylight.
This is not an in-depth article on
darkroom technique, rather an overview
of building and equipping a darkroom in
relation to functionality. A quick tour of
dealer catalogs will offer plenty of choices
in equipment, including chemicals for
all the steps required. Interestingly,
more products are being introduced
to the marketplace as interest grows.
After developing comes a quick rinse in
water or short stop, then fixer (or hypo,
«
56 | JUNE | 2018
A plastic hanging
closet clothes
protector keeps film
clean while drying,
especially in a dusty
basement
environment.
«
person to hold the pieces of plywood
together while you screw in brass screws.
After you put the pieces together, you
now have the two elements (sink and
dry side) ready to finish and install. The
sink ideally should have a mixing valve
to provide hot and cold running water,
and a drain in the bottom corner (make
the bottom slope down from front to back
and left to right). Paint everything with
primer, then outdoor enamel paint. After
the paint is dry caulk the inside of the
sink with silicone or similar caulking,
then fasten each element to the wall with
screws or brackets.
As you can imagine, there are countless
variations on this basic design. You can use
wide stainless steel shelves, installed in a
staggered manner, to hold the trays and a
basic tool kit drawer to hold the enlarger.
A visit to your local hardware store or box
store will provide a lot of inspiration (you
Stainless reels and
tanks are easy to
clean, dry quickly, and
during use can be
immersed in water to
maintain desired
temperature. A
32-ounce tank holds
two rolls of 120, or four
rolls of 35mm.
as it’s sometimes called, rapid or regular
variety). A good washing is then followed
by a 30-second dip in a wetting agent and
then you can hang the film up to dry.
Now comes a critical step. In many
darkrooms, there is enough dust floating
around to ruin negatives (the resulting
spots demand retouching). The answer,
though, is simple. Get a plastic hanging
closet clothes protector and you have a
cheap yet effective dustproof film dryer
(cut out the bottom to allow full rolls of
film to hang).
The next step is creating a contact
sheet. Many photographers like to use
archival plastic negative sheets like those
from Print File, in which case cut the
negatives into strips according to format.
Then place the negatives on top of a piece
of photographic paper. Although there are
all kinds of contact sheet devices for sale,
all you need are two pieces of glass, slightly
larger than the paper (usually 8x10 inches
in size). Place the negatives in strips on top
of the paper. Adjust the aperture to about
f/5.6 and try about 10 seconds of exposure.
A little practice (or a test strip) will give
you the correct aperture and time for an
average roll of negatives.
Developing trays can be purchased at
your dealer or you can use Rubbermaid
dishwashing tubs. You need at least four:
developer, short stop (can be water), hypo
(fixer), and wash.
«
Seeing your print
emerge out of your
darkroom is satisfying,
to say the least.
« An inexpensive
safelight can be
screwed into a
common photo
reflector or lamp
socket.
The step that requires some additional
design thought is how to wash film and
prints. Whether it’s a darkroom with
running water or you use the laundry or
kitchen sink, a simple dishwashing pan
with a set of holes drilled along the bottom
will do the job. Just start the running
water and the fixer will settle to the
bottom and thus be washed out. In order
to save water, use a hypo (fixer) removal
agent before washing. Resin-Coated (RC)
paper, incidentally, needs only about 10
minutes of washing.
The last step is drying prints. A simple
drying solution is a book with blotter
pages, available from most dealers. You
could also build a small cabinet with
window screen shelves.
For enlargements, the only additional
equipment needed is an easel for holding
paper (try eBay), a focusing aid for the
sharpest results, a paper safe to make
handling paper easier, a timer (a foot
switch is a help here), a safelight, and a
white light for examining prints in the
hypo.
So those are the basics of building your
own darkroom. Have fun! n
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 57
TECHNIQUES / LANDSCAPES
Ç Shooting in the vertical format helps
accentuate the height and power of
distant peaks.
I prefer to travel light on long hikes,
so my list of camera gear is pretty basic:
one camera body, a fast wide-angle lens,
a short telephoto zoom, and a lightweight
tripod or monopod. And because there
is more ultraviolet light in the thin
mountain air than at sea level, I always
have a UV filter on each of my lenses—not
only to eliminate the bluish tint that’s
common to photos taken at altitude, but
also to protect my expensive glass from
blowing dust and damage.
A polarizing filter is also very
helpful for darkening pale blue skies
and eliminating reflections from water,
snow, and shiny rocks. The only other
“accessory” I bring, whenever possible,
is a hiking companion who can serve
as a model and give a hand if anything
untoward happens (like a twisted ankle).
HOW TO SHOOT LANDSCAPE PHOTOS IN THE MOUNTAINS
By Ron Leach
NOW THAT THE RIGORS of winter photography have faded, and spring is upon us,
it’s time to pack your gear and head for the hills. Here are a few tips for making great
landscape photos during a trip to the mountains.
BE PREPARED
Whether you’re planning a day trip, or
intend to do some camping, it’s important
to remember that weather conditions
change rapidly in the mountains.
58 | JUNE | 2018
Temperatures drop as you gain elevation,
and you may even encounter remnants
of snow at higher altitudes. So, plan
accordingly, and make sure to pack rain
gear, warm clothing, and plenty of water.
GO VERTICAL
Another common mistake when capturing
the splendor of the peaks is forgetting
to shoot images in the vertical format. A
vertical perspective helps accentuate the
height of distant mountains and makes
them look far more imposing. You can also
add variety to your images by moving in
tight to capture detail shots of interesting
objects like alpine flowers, rocks, or trees.
And remember that “human accessory”
we mentioned earlier? Don’t forget to shoot
a few environmental portraits during your
hike. Including a person in the scene is a
All photos © Ron Leach
HIGH TIMES
CONSIDER LIGHT & COMPOSITION
The quality of light in the mountains
changes dramatically as the day
progresses, and what appears to be a
gentle, sloping peak in the morning can
be transformed into a rugged, imposing
form by late afternoon. It’s best to avoid
the harsh midday light and do your
shooting early and late, when the sun is at
a low angle to the horizon. Shadows are
dramatic at these times, and mountain
scenery will stand out in great detail.
Thoughtful composition is important
with all forms of photography, and
absolutely essential for capturing powerful
landscape scenes. When shooting in the
mountains, it really helps to experiment
with camera angles, avoiding the common
mistake of composing photos with the
horizon bisecting the shot. Shooting from a
low perspective is one way to create images
with impact, as is including an interesting
foreground element, like a boulder or tree,
when using a wide-angle lens.
horizon. That way you’ll add some extra
depth of field to the midrange of the shot.
great way to provide a sense of scale to the
majesty of the surrounding landscape.
Another important consideration for
scenic mountain photography is choosing
a proper point of focus. I rarely, if ever,
focus on infinity—even when my subject
is a mountain on the skyline. That’s
«
Diagonal lines and repeating patterns can be
helpful compositional tools.
«
If there’s a bright moon in the sky, be sure and
do some shooting at night.
because doing so “wastes” whatever depth
of field falls behind your faraway subject.
When using wide-angle lenses, with
their inherent broad zone of sharpness,
I typically focus at a point two-thirds of
the way into a scene and let depth of field
handle the rest.
Even when using telephoto lenses,
with their narrower zone of focus, I often
experiment with small aperture settings
and a focus point that’s a bit closer than the
ADD EMOTIONAL IMPACT
You can add emotional impact to mountain
landscape photos by carefully positioning
yourself relative to the sun. For
silhouettes, or images with high contrast,
try shooting into the sun. Conversely,
shoot with the sun at your back to capture
photos with brilliant, saturated colors.
And to emphasize the rugged shapes of
jagged mountain scenery, try positioning
the sun to one side of the camera position.
If your mountain sojourn takes you
up to the snow line, be sure to take your
exposure reading off the white stuff, and
dial in a stop or two of EV compensation—
otherwise, you’ll end up with gray, dirtylooking snow. And if you’re lucky enough
to be in the mountains when a bright moon
bathes the landscape with soft light, be
sure to do some shooting at night.
A trip to the mountains not only
provides great photographic opportunities,
but it is also really good for the soul. As
Ansel Adams once remarked about the
power of a great mountain, “It speaks in
silence to the very core of your being.” n
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 59
TECHNIQUES / DESIGN ELEMENTS
AS ADVENTUROUS AS IT MAY BE, I am not a professional nature
or travel photographer circumnavigating the globe in search of
new and exotic destinations—maybe in my next lifetime. The nice
thing about visiting new destinations is that you’re exposed to
new subject matter to keep you thoroughly engaged and fired up
from a photographer’s perspective. While I do go on short annual
vacations, which energizes my photographic juices, my vacations
are just that, short.
Let’s face it, the vast majority of our lives are contained within
a fairly small radius of our homes, which for me is about 20 miles.
Consequently, on a daily basis I tend to see the same things over
and over. When time allows, I go to different venues, but this may
only be for several hours on a weekend. If you’re lucky enough to
live in an area where you have distinct seasons, your possibilities
will be expanded. However, in South Florida where I reside,
the seasons consist of warm, hot, and hotter—intermixed with
humidity and rain. Hence, throughout the year there is little
change in the scenery. That said, it’s not too long before I’m seeing
the same subject matter and, if I’m not careful, my photography
60 | JUNE | 2018
SPOIL ISLAND
SNAG
The trunk of the
tree provides a
leading line into
the image. In
addition, the trunk
provides a lot of
texture in contrast
to the sky and
water. Technical
info: Fujifilm X-T2,
18-135mm lens;
f/13, 1/100 second,
ISO 200, handheld.
«
HOW TO USE LINES, PATTERNS, COLORS,
AND TEXTURES TO CREATE EYE-CATCHING
IMAGES By Jeff Howe
WETLAND
VEGETATION
I came upon these
reeds reflecting in
a wetland, which I
thought created a
calm, peaceful, and
tranquil scene. I
placed the line of
reeds horizontally
to reinforce that
feeling. Technical
info: Nikon D7200,
18-200mm lens;
f/11, 1/125 second,
ISO 100, handheld.
«
NARROW
YOUR
FOCUS
will go stale if I don’t retrain my eye.
Rather than viewing the larger vista and all that it has to
offer, I’ve trained my eye to pare down an area and focus on what
it has to offer in regard to lines, patterns, colors, and textures.
Having narrowed my focus, I’m amazed at all of the possibilities
I continue to see no matter how many times I revisit the same
destinations or travel the same roads.
« DYING DAISY
The curved line of the
stem provides the viewer
with a slow and calming
tour to the center of
interest. Technical info:
Nikon D300, 105mm lens,
Manfrotto 055CXPRO3
tripod, Acratech ball head;
f/36, 0.50 seconds, ISO
200.
«
THE SWAMP
Having arrived early at the
University of Florida’s
stadium (aka The Swamp)
prior to graduation, my
eyes were immediately
attracted to the pattern
provided by the seating.
The only thing that would
have strengthened the
image would have been a
jogger running up the
stairs to break the
pattern. Technical info:
Nikon D7200, 18-200mm
lens; f/8, 1/160 second, ISO
100, handheld.
center of interest. An unsuccessful leading
line will take the viewer into the image,
but if there isn’t anything to hold the
viewer within the image, the viewer will
immediately exit the image. Some of the
best leading lines will start at the lower
left-hand portion of the image and travel
toward the right.
Lines and how they are composed in an
image can evoke or reinforce an emotion
or mood with the viewer. Vertical lines
can be used to imply strength, height,
power, and an overall uplifting mood,
PATTERNS
The repetition of lines, shapes, or colors
can produce very interesting and powerful
images. Although easily overlooked in your
day-to-day life, patterns are all around you
no matter how ordinary and commonplace
the surroundings. When presented with an
interesting pattern you want to emphasize
or break it.
To emphasize a pattern, you want
to zoom in close to fill the frame with
the repetitive pattern and eliminate all
other conflicting elements. Personally,
I find images involving broken patterns
more powerful. These images involve
a reoccurring pattern that has been
interrupted or broken. Patterns can be
broken with a complementary subject or
color, or through the elimination of one of
the repeating objects. Imagine an image of
hundreds of chairs set up for a graduation
All photos © Jeff Howe
LINES
Lines in photography may be an actual
subject such as telephone wires, a road, or
the stem of a flower. On the other hand,
an image may consist of an implied line
that is not an actual line, but rather a line
that is implied based on how the subject
is composed within the image. Depending
on the subject and how you compose it,
the main or leading line in your image
will lead the viewer through the picture.
Ultimately you want a line that leads the
viewer straight to the main subject or
whereas horizontal lines usually denote
tranquility, calmness, and peacefulness.
Diagonal lines can imply energy, action,
force, or motion, while curved lines take
the viewer on a slow and meandering tour
of the image. Ideally, you want a line that
guides the viewer throughout the image.
Consequently, that’s why S-curve lines are
so desirable in images because they slowly
take the viewer on a visual tour of the
entire image.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 61
TECHNIQUES / DESIGN ELEMENTS
«
BICYCLE RACK
The bicycle created a much more powerful image
by breaking the repetitious pattern associated
with the bicycle rack. Technical info: Fujifilm X-T2,
18-135mm lens; f/4.3, 1/80 second, ISO 200,
handheld.
CUTLEAF EVENING PRIMROSE BLOSSOM
The windblown primrose blossom sitting atop a
bed of duckweed provides two bright, bold, and
contrasting colors to grab the viewer’s attention.
Technical info: Nikon D300, 105mm lens; f/5.6,
1/125 second, ISO 200, handheld.
«
where all but one is in unison, or a bowl of
black marbles with one white one. If you’re
working with a still life subject, then you
can intentionally manipulate the subject
or in your digital workflow depending on
your final vision.
Pay close attention to where the break
in the pattern is located in the frame in
order to create the most powerful image.
The rule of thirds may play an important
role in this selection. Also, I find that
repetitive patterns are best displayed
when the depth of field is maximized,
which will dictate a high f-stop and the use
of a tripod.
COLORS
We’re all familiar with the complementary
color pairs on the color circle: red and
green, blue and orange, and yellow and
violet. Obviously, I don’t find these specific
color combinations out in the field too
often. I’m attracted to any subject that
offers bold, bright colors—something that
really grabs the viewer’s attention. Several
criteria to keep in mind when creating a
successful image with contrasting colors:
1. An image with good color contrast can
62 | JUNE | 2018
look great even if it has little or no tonal
contrast.
2. Color saturation will affect the
overall intensity of the image. The more
saturation, the greater the color contrast.
3. Tonal contrast will become more
prominent with less color saturation.
4. Saturation can be adjusted through the
use of a polarizer filter, in-camera film
simulation, and/or post-processing.
5. Color contrast works best if the area
represented by both colors does not equate
to a 1:1 ratio. Shoot for around 1:3.
6. Limit your image to two colors. If you
introduce other colors, the color contrast
will decrease, making the image less
engaging and powerful.
TEXTURES
Sometimes a subject doesn’t have lines,
patterns, or colors to offer, but instead
textures. Something as simple as tree
bark, rust, or peeling paint can make for a
beautiful abstract image. One of the most
effective ways to show detail, and make
an image appear three-dimensional, is to
emphasize texture. But how do you make
the most of the natural texture that exists
in the subject?
1. Begin with a subject that has some
HISTORIC HOUSE
I was immediately
attracted to the
complementary colors
associated with this
doorway and
vegetation. In
addition, the circular
lines of the vegetation
aid in keeping the
viewer’s eye inside the
center of interest.
Technical info: Fujifilm
X-T2, 18-135mm lens;
f/5, 1/125 second, ISO
200, handheld.
«
interesting texture such as an old rusted,
weathered vehicle. Don’t attempt to create
texture where texture doesn’t exist such
as a smooth surface that will have little
discernible texture.
2. Use side lighting (artificial or natural)
to create shadows that will accentuate the
texture. If side lighting is not available
or you don’t like the effect of shadows in
the image, the contrast in color may aid in
revealing the texture. If necessary, color
and/or tonal contrast can be adjusted
in post-processing to provide additional
contrast in the texture.
3. Use a filter effect in post-processing
(e.g., Google Color Efex 4 Detail Extractor
filter) or other technique to bring out some
structure associated with your subject, but
use it very conservatively.
No matter how mundane or often I
frequent a particular area, if I narrow my
focus on what the surroundings have to
offer in regard to lines, patterns, colors,
and textures, I’m rewarded with endless
possibilities. n
To see more of how Jeff Howe uses lines,
patterns, colors, and textures in his
photographs, visit jeffreyhowe.zenfolio.com.
«
JATROPHA PETALS
The rain droplets aid in providing a more threedimensional, textured feel to this image. In
addition, the leading line associated with the leaf,
originating at the top left corner, leads the viewer
directly to the center of interest. Technical info:
Nikon D300, 105mm lens, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3
tripod, Acratech ball head; f/20, 1/4 second, ISO
200.
« TRUCK
Old rusty vehicles are usually a good source of
texture and potentially contrasting colors.
Technical info: Fujifilm X-T2, 18-135mm lens; f/10,
1/60 second, ISO 500, handheld.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 63
TECHNIQUES / PRO’S CHOICE
DRIVE
SLEEK
Sometimes a photo shoot goes off without a
hitch, as was the case here for Lexus, featuring
the Lexus LC 500. “This was overall a very relaxed
and easy shoot involving my Profoto B1.”
Technical info: Sony A7R III, Sony 24-105mm f/4 G;
ISO 100, f/9, 1/250 second.
Ç
TOP PRO PEPPER YANDELL ON HOW TO SHOOT CAR
PHOTOGRAPHY By Jack Neubart
to shoot his brand-new Audi TT. Yandell
became hooked, although it took another
few years—2014, to be exact—before he’d
make the full commitment and go pro.
Eschewing the conventional photo
studio, Yandell shoots his cars in a
variety of indoor and outdoor settings.
Shooting on a remote location, however,
especially on foreign soil, is not without
its challenges. There are always variables
I SPOKE WITH PEPPER YANDELL
only days before he left for Dubai on an
automotive assignment. In fact, while
he does shoot domestically, many of his
jobs take him overseas, to the United
Arab Emirates, Europe, Asia, and South
America. And sometimes the work even
extends to aviation. But the project doesn’t
end in camera.
Much of Yandell’s work involves
painstaking retouching and compositing.
And even before he heads out on
assignment, he has a vision of how things
should go, tempered with an ability to
adapt to any situation once he arrives on
location. Yandell’s approach is one that
reflects a stalwart devotion to detail and
an indefatigable desire to do the job right.
REVVING HIS ENGINES
Interestingly, Yandell didn’t start out
as a car photographer. Far from it. He
64 | JUNE | 2018
started out largely shooting portraiture
and landscape. Then, eight years ago, fate
stepped in when a good friend asked him
to be encountered. But there are ways to
minimize the uncertainties.
As Yandell points out, “The biggest
challenge is the fact that you’ve never
been to this country. You are not
intimately familiar with the culture, the
available locations, weather, or unique
shooting conditions. I always prefer to
scout locations myself (using Google
« ALPHA
“This was the photo that really started it all for
me. It was my first full composite that received
worldwide acclaim. It’s hanging in the garages of
royalty around the world. HRE Wheels + Gas
Monkey Garage printed and sold thousands of
posters of it, and it’s landed me several big
clients.” Shooting this black Gas Monkey Garage
Ferrari F40 “in a boring lobby of a small office
building” was the main challenge that mandated
Pepper Yandell’s approach. He light-painted the
vehicle with a Neewer LED lamp. Technical info:
Canon EOS 7D, Canon 24-105mm f/4L; ISO 160,
f/9, 8 seconds.
YANDELL’S MANTRA: HAVE FUN
Two words that describe a typical day for
Yandell are relaxed and spontaneous. “I
never try to take myself too seriously,” he
says, “and I’m always open to letting the
plan change if a better shot, location, or
idea presents itself. I started this career
having fun and I do everything I can to let
that spirit live. When shooting overseas,
I would say that this attitude is only
heightened. I make sure to take breaks,
to enjoy the opportunity I’ve been given
while doing what I love.”
Adding to all this is a quest to show a
vehicle in a fashion we haven’t seen before.
“The more exotic the car and location, the
better,” Yandell observes. “I love putting
cars where they typically aren’t seen,
such as Lamborghinis on top of glaciers,
or McLarens under the Northern Lights.
I love strong contrasts, vivid colors, and
powerful compositions. A healthy mix of
natural beauty and surrealism.”
STROBE LIGHTING
Whether he’s shooting surrounded by four
walls or in an expansive, outdoor setting,
Yandell only uses one strobe: the Profoto
B1 battery-powered monolight that he
brings with him anywhere and everywhere
in the world. “Strobe lighting is used as
YANDELL’S TOP FIVE TIPS FOR ASPIRING
AUTOMOTIVE PHOTOGRAPHERS
1. Shoot as much as you possibly can: different
cars, different colors, and different locations.
Every shoot will provide a unique challenge,
and a great opportunity to learn and grow.
2. When shooting for private owners, always
be as respectful as possible of their cars and
their privacy. They’re giving you their time and
money to help you build your portfolio.
3. When bidding for a commercial shoot, never
sell yourself short. Set a realistic number for
your time and efforts. Sometimes you have to
say no and lose a job without a proper budget.
4. Fight complacency. Always work to push
yourself out of your comfort zone. Try new
things, styles, and methods. Growth never
comes from working comfortably.
5. Surround yourself with people whose work
and attitude you respect. Help them when
needed, and learn from them when possible.
Never step on their toes or steal their clients,
and always respect the work others do.
All photos © Pepper Yandell
«
ZENITH
Yandell shot this Porsche 918 Spyder for the car’s
owner. “Although the owner has a very nice
garage, it was a tight space, and I still had a lot to
clean up in post.” For his lighting, Yandell turned
to his trusty Profoto B1 portable, adding
reflectors and diffusers as needed. “This was the
first time where I felt truly happy with a high-key
result. I always tend to stay in the darker, more
dramatic range when editing, but this was an
exciting change of pace.” Technical info: Canon
EOS 6D, Canon 24-105mm f/4L; ISO 160, f/9, 1/125
second.
Earth), as that is half of what makes a
great on-location image. I do, however,
frequently consult with locals on spots
they recommend for a shoot, so I at least
have a starting point to begin my search.”
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 65
TECHNIQUES / PRO’S CHOICE
a tool to complement natural lighting,
by accentuating certain body lines or
features of a car. I always try to use both in
harmony.
“I can see how it appears as if I’m
walking around a car with one light
blasting blindly and hoping for the best.
However, I’ve shot so many different cars—
colors, shapes, environments—I typically
know exactly how I want to light it when
I first start shooting. I use a one-light
method as I find it most efficient. Blending
the light layers together in Photoshop
has become second nature. I would spend
more time trying to fiddle with multiple
lights if I took that route than simply
moving around with one.”
HOW-TO VIDEOS
One of Yandell’s car photography how-to
videos, “Liberty Walk Lambo Composite,”
takes us through his process as a time-
FEAR AND LOATHING
“I was only able to shoot this Liberty Walk
Lamborghini Aventador in a dark empty parking
lot after the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market
Association) show in Las Vegas. I couldn’t let such
an amazing car be represented by such a boring
location. A full composite was in order.” Shooting
for Forgiato Wheels, Yandell spent nearly eight
hours working in Photoshop, “but worth every
minute.” Lighting here came from an AlienBees
B800. Technical info: Canon EOS 6D, Canon
24-105mm f/4L; ISO 160, f/9, 1/125 second.
Ç
66 | JUNE | 2018
lapse. He explains: “In this composite, I
took a blue Lamborghini I shot in a dark
empty parking lot in Las Vegas and, using
Photoshop, showed it as if it were driving
down one of the brightest, most well-lit
stretches of road in the U.S., namely, Las
Vegas Boulevard. It was important for
me to add actual light reflections into the
paint and windows of the vehicle, as that is
naturally what occurs when a big shiny box
of metal drives down such a road.” (See the
finished image below.)
But it didn’t stop with just the addition
of reflections. The stationary vehicle had
to appear as if it were moving. “There
YANDELL’S FAVORITE GEAR
“The 24-105mm f/4 lens, whether it was my
previous Canon one, or the current Sony one.
The focal length range and sharpness at f/9
this lens provides has proved invaluable, and is
a mainstay in my work.”
are many methods of getting wheel
motion when taking a motionless vehicle
and turning it into a motion shot,” he
notes. “For this particular shot, I spun
the stationary wheels using Spin Blur
in Photoshop, and then took a close-up
shot of a stationary Lamborghini brake
caliper and masked it back in behind the
blurred wheel, since calipers do not spin.
With shots like this one, very minimal
work is done in Lightroom, I tend to do
only finishing touches like bringing up
shadow levels, clarity, and lens profile
corrections.”
He acknowledges that “the key
steps differ greatly for every photo and
what the end goal is. But the principal
philosophy behind every edit is to arrive
at a believable result where the first thing
« NATURAL
“This shot of a Chevrolet Silverado is still one of
my favorites simply because of how easy it was to
capture. I spent maybe five minutes in post
editing. This image was a single exposure,
straight out of camera with slight color
adjustments. I had the driver do a burnout to
throw up all the dust, and the sun did the rest for
me.” This image is from a shoot for Chevrolet.
Location: Pahrump, Nevada. Technical info:
Canon EOS 6D, Canon 24-105mm f/4L; ISO 160,
f/9, 1/400 second.
«
BUILT
Shooting this black custom Chevrolet Chevelle
for Chevrolet in a busy garage was a challenge,
Yandell admits. He lit the car with a Profoto B1, as
is his wont, light painting with a Pixelstick. “I first
envisioned this as being much brighter. But after
playing with it, I realized the darker tones were
more befitting the intended mood, so I ran with
that.” Location: Chevrolet headquarters, Detroit,
Michigan. Technical info: Canon EOS 6D, Canon
24-105mm f/4L; ISO 160, f/9, 1/125 second.
a viewer thinks is ‘Wow! Cool image’ and
not ‘Wow, that’s Photoshopped.’ If every
image looked as it did straight out of
camera, it would be a boring world for us
car photographers.”
Depending on the shot, the time
Yandell has to spend in postproduction
varies greatly. “The longest I’ve ever spent
on one image is around 10 hours. But I’ve
also spent as little as 30 minutes on an
image for a large commercial job. It really
just depends on the end result desired,
and the location and demands afforded by
the shoot.” That said, he does spend “100
percent more time in post” than he does
setting up the lighting for a shoot.
cars. “I have met a very good group of
people there, passionate about their
vehicles and their hospitality. I have
always felt welcome and like family, and
all of my clients and friends there are eager
to assist me in creating whatever imagery
I can dream up.” Judging from his truly
amicable demeanor and eagerness to get
the job done, that attitude on the part of
his clients is easily understood.
Pepper Yandell takes automotive
photography into overdrive. He doesn’t
settle for the tried and true. Instead he
takes it to the next level, on untested
ground, all the while sitting in the driver’s
seat, his hand firmly on the shifter. n
SHOOTING FOR PRIVATE CLIENTS
Many of the vehicles Yandell shoots,
especially overseas, are for private
owners who take special pride in their
cars. Working one-on-one with the
owner affords him an indulgence a car
photographer rarely, if ever, sees on
assignment: he gets to drive many of
these luxury cars. And that, judging from
Yandell’s videos on his site, is where much
of the fun lies.
“It’s well known that I have driven
almost every exotic, sports, and luxury car
that’s out there,” Yandell says. “I have a
good driving reputation among my clients,
and they trust me to take care of their cars
and at the same time deliver great images.”
Having traveled extensively overseas,
Yandell confesses that “Dubai, without
question” is his favorite place to shoot
Pepper Yandell operates out of Dallas,
Texas, and Dubai. To see more of his work,
visit pepperyandell.com; on Instagram: @
pepperyandell. Yandell is also enthusiastic
to share his expertise and knowledge in his
workshops at liveclasscommune.com.
Jack Neubart (jackneubart.com,
Instagram: @pixelperfexion) has
authored numerous books and articles on
photography over the years.
WHAT’S IN YANDELL’S GEAR BAG
› Sony A7R III
› Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G lens
› Profoto B1 with Air Remote TTL-S
› DJI Mavic Pro
› Hoya CPL filter
› Manfrotto carbon-fiber tripod
› Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head
CREATIVITY / PICTURE THIS!—READER’S ASSIGNMENT
OUR FAVORITE READER
PHOTOS: BIRDS
HERE’S AN ASSIGNMENT that was for the
birds. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Yes, we were
looking for photos of birds and we wanted
your best shots. From our daily perusals
of our Galleries on Shutterbug.com, there
are clearly a lot of bird photographers out
there, so we expected this assignment
to be highly competitive. And it was. We
received more submissions for this Picture
This! assignment than for any assignment
before. We were not merely looking for
the perfect shot of a bird in flight with
its eyes captured at the requisite level of
tack sharpness. Those images are nice but
we’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands,
of them in Shutterbug’s Galleries. We
wanted your best bird shots to have an
artistry and intimacy that showed our
fine feathered friends in their own unique
light. While we had a tougher than usual
time deciding on our favorites because
there were so many great entries, the
following 10 images really took flight!
68 | JUNE | 2018
« « PRETTY IN PINK
Leona Benson captured this unique
pose by a flamingo at the Woodland
Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington,
with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i and a
Tamron 18-270mm lens at f/5.6,
1/500 second.
© Leona Benson
« SNOWY EGRET ON A
DANGEROUS RIDE
Look closely and you’ll see that this
Snowy Egret photographed by
Linda Sarmento is actually on the
back of an alligator. She shot it
hand-held in Central Florida with
a Canon EOS 70D and a Sigma
50-500mm lens at 200mm, 1/640
second, ISO 100.
© Linda L. Sarmento
STRENGTH
IN NUMBERS
Jola Charlton shot
this adorable photo
of a flock of
ducklings with a
Canon EOS 5D Mark
III at 560mm, ISO
200, f/8, 1/500
second.
«
© Jola Charlton
« THE DANCE
“My concept is
threefold:
visualization; the
camera; and post
to reach the
visualization,”
Sheldon Buckman
explains about his
approach. “Post may
be a little or a lot,
depending. It is art.
Whether it is fine or
not is up to the
viewer.” The image
is of two young
Tricolored Herons.
Buckman captured
it with a Canon EOS
40D at f/5.6, ISO
640, 1/3200 second.
© Sheldon Buckman
CREATIVITY / PICTURE THIS!—READER’S ASSIGNMENT
ARCHES
RAPTOR
“This is a photo of
a beautiful Roughlegged Hawk
composited on a
red sandstone
background with
motion blur
added,” Scott
Hamilton notes.
“The hawk was
photographed on
January 29, 2018,
at the Bear River
Migratory Bird
Refuge in Brigham
City, Utah. The red
sandstone
background was
photographed last
year at Arches
National Park,
Utah. Photoshop
CC was used for
the compositing
and motion blur. A
Nikon D850
camera fitted with
a Nikkor 200500mm f/5.6 lens
was used to
capture the image
of the hawk. The
camera was set
for continuous
shutter and focus.
Settings were
1/1000 second,
f/11, 500mm, ISO
180.”
Ç
© Scott Hamilton
70 | JUNE | 2018
« RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH
“A Red-breasted Nuthatch pokes
its head into the sunlight,” Tim
Nicol says about this exquisite
bird image. He shot it with a
Nikon D7100 and a Tamron 150600mm lens at 600mm, ISO 250,
f/8, 1/500 second.
© Tim Nicol
BEGINNING MEAL SEARCH
“Against the glow of a striking
early sunrise, an Anhinga begins
its flight pattern for a dive into
the water seeking a morning
meal,” Linn Smith writes. Smith
captured it with a Canon EOS 5D
Mark III with a Canon 300mm
lens at f/2.8, 1/1600 second, ISO
800.
«
© Linn Smith
«
PREMIER PREDATOR
Luke Dedic shot this photo of a
soaring eagle in Junction City,
Oregon. “I was driving down the
highway and saw the eagle on top
of a phone pole,” Dedic recalls. “I
pulled over and got this shot as
he took off to circle over a field
filled with sheep.” Dedic captured
the handheld shot with a Canon
EOS-1D X and a Sigma 500mm f/4
lens. Camera settings were
1/3200 second, f/4, + 2 exposure
compensation, ISO 500.
© Luke Dedic
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 71
CREATIVITY / PICTURE THIS!—READER’S ASSIGNMENT
« BALD EAGLE LANDING
“This image was taken as part of a photo
excursion to a raptor conservatory in
Southern Ontario, Canada, on a day when it
was snowing lightly and the temperature
never exceeded 10 degrees Fahrenheit,”
Charles Bartolotta writes. “The bird was
allowed to perch at a distance of about 50
yards away. The bird’s handler placed some
raw meat on the nearer post and the bird,
upon seeing the meat, came flying in for it. I
followed the bird with the camera on
continuous focus and captured this image as
he was about to land. I felt the snow in the air
gave the image a cold mood and I felt that
mood was enhanced by the monochrome
conversion.” He shot it with a Nikon D700 and
a Sigma 150-500mm lens at 190mm, f/5.3,
1/2500 second, ISO 400.
© Charles Bartolotta
HORNBILL AT DUSK
“This Yellow-billed Hornbill
seems to be peering into the
encroaching dusk,” Lawrence
Berke says. “The South African
sky had a pink tinge to it, which I
purposefully oversaturated.” He
used a Fujifilm X-T2 and a 100400mm lens at 204mm, 1/2000
second, f/5.6, ISO 500, + 0.3
exposure compensation.
«
© Lawrence N. Berke
72 | JUNE | 2018
OUR NEXT ASSIGNMENT
THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT
THERE’S A TRADITIONAL
Scottish poem that goes:
“From ghoulies and ghosties
and long-leggedy beasties
and things that go bump
in the night, Good Lord,
deliver us!” Considering
that this assignment is
slated for our October 2018
issue, we thought it’d be
the perfect time to have
our readers submit scary
images for Halloween. These
can include anything from
haunting black and whites
of old houses, to creepy
color shots of abandoned
hospitals, spooky landscapes,
or hair-raising macros
of insects. Heck, even a
ghastly portrait of a friend
in vampire makeup would
qualify. The assignment is
deliberately wide open; any
photo you think will give
someone goosebumps can
be submitted. Just be sure to
have a spooktacular time! n
HOW TO SUBMIT ONLINE
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
CREEPY CASTLE
To be honest, I had a harder time than expected finding a
suitable sample shot for the “Things That Go Bump in the
Night” assignment. This photo, with the help of a little
Photoshop plug-in magic, just qualifies though. It’s an
image I captured of the crumbling castle of the infamous
Marquis de Sade in France. Known for his, at the time,
unusual sexual proclivities—the word “sadism” is taken
from his name—the Marquis de Sade holed up at the
castle to escape the various scandals that dogged him
during his life. Located at the top of a village in the
«
Deadline for submissions:
July 1, 2018
(Images will appear in our
October 2018 issue.)
Go to Shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right
side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If
you already have registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries
you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is
free. Use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some
systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit Shutterbug.com.
Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the
magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images.
Select and prepare your images. There is no limit to how many images you
can submit, but keep it to a reasonable amount. We only accept files at a
maximum 20MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10
or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine
upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher
quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have
exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.
Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use
the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that
images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well
as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline
date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your image
will still reside in your own gallery.
In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and
your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think
relevant. If you submit images with an enhancement through software
beyond contrast, exposure, and simple saturation adjustments please
indicate the software and “filter” used to attain that effect. We reserve
the right to edit comments as needed.
6.
7.
8.
9.
township of Lacoste, I photographed the castle (or, more
accurately, the château) during a trip to France in 2004
with the original Canon Digital Rebel. To add some drama,
I recently applied the Dramatic BW 2 preset in Skylum’s
Intensify plug-in to the image. It should be noted that the
Marquis de Sade’s exile in the Château de Lacoste, as it’s
known, didn’t last long. He eventually had to flee to Italy
after employees at the château complained of his sexual
mistreatment of them.
© Dan Havlik
Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to upload the image.
You retain copyright on the image.
We will choose the images after close of the due date.
Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.
PLEASE NOTE: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual
or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and
especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy
of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is
chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate
the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/
tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet.
By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any
depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form
available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you. If
you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with
Picture This! in the subject line.
DEADLINE FOR THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT SUBMISSIONS:
July 1, 2018. Images will appear in our October 2018 issue.
UPCOMING TOPIC: Shadows
DEADLINE: August 1, 2018 PUBLICATION DATE: November 2018
PLEASE NOTE: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the
image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the
magazine and on the website(s) of AVTech Media Americas Inc.
WANT TO SEE IMAGES SELECTED FOR PAST PICTURE THIS! ASSIGNMENTS?
Go to Shutterbug.com and click on Picture This! in the “Features” menu at the top of the homepage.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 73
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CREATIVITY / FINAL SHOT
A GRITTY LOOK
On October 8, 2013, at the
Petersen Events Center in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Nine Inch Nails delivered a
blistering concert complete
with a five-song encore.
For Shutterbug reader
Tony Brandstetter, part of
the magic of that performance
was hearing the powerhouse
vocals of backup singer
Lisa Fischer, who is perhaps
best known for touring with
The Rolling Stones. During a
solo, Brandstetter captured
this riveting shot of Fischer
belting it out with his Canon
PowerShot ELPH 115 IS.
Wanting to “recreate the
industrial sound of the music,”
in postproduction he processed
the image in Photoshop and
used a Daguerreotype layer.
“The Daguerrotype is a texture,”
he explains, “and I placed that
texture over the image and
adjusted the exposure on the
texture—this is to see more or
less of that texture on the
photo. That faded, spotted
texture I think represents
the grunge feel of the music.”
We couldn’t agree more.
© Tony Brandstetter
Every month we feature an image in Final Shot from Shutterbug’s online Galleries on Shutterbug.com.
SHUTTERBUG.COM | 81
Luminar 2018
Celebrating Great Photography
photo by Matthew Jordan Smith
try it for free | skylum.com/luminar
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