Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB
877-865-7002
Today’s Deal Zone Items... Handpicked deals...
$155 $100
SAVE $55

$2198 $1998
SAVE $200

$1799 $1599
SAVE $200

$999 $779
SAVE $220

$2397 $1897
SAVE $500

$1299 $949
SAVE $350

$799 $549
SAVE $250

$1499 $1499
SAVE $click

$799 $549
SAVE $250

$2797 $2497
SAVE $300

$1997 $1797
SAVE $200

$549 $499
SAVE $50

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

$240 $175
SAVE $65

$3399 $2699
SAVE $700

$1100 $880
SAVE $220

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Max: a Few Things To Note for Photographers

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

B&H Photo has graciously agreed to send a loaner 16" MacBook Pro 32GB/1TB/32GPU for review/testing, which will arrive when it becomes available, perhaps in a month or so. Get Apple MacBook Pro M1X/M1Pro at B&H Photo.

Recommended specs for 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max
(excepting SSD capacity, go to at least 2TB, preferably 4TB or 8TB)

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

CLICK TO VIEW: 4K and 5K external displays

Photographers looking for the best possible performance in a laptop should be looking at the 16-inch model of the Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max. Several things might not be obvious that are worth being aware of:

Fastest SSD Yet in the MacBook Pro M1 Max, but Will Apps Run Things Faster Because of It?

Only the 16-Inch Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max offers “High Power Mode” for Intensive Usage

Storage and Accessories by OWC Apple 14/16-inch MacBook Pros M1 Pro/M1 Max

If you invest $4K to $6K in a laptop, you might want to use it for up to 5 years, and this model is not boing to be slow by any metric even in 5 years, even if there are faster ones. So you might want to maximize its lifespan by making sure it can be repaired.

AppleCare Now Extends Beyond 3 Years, and Two Ways to Do So

Canon EOS R5, a few Quick Impressions

We’re in the middle of an atmospheric river rain-dump, which started last night around midnight. Rainstorms and snowstorms are awesome (to a point, no hurricanes for me please). This one is just-right, with high winds but not too high and a steady delivery of much-needed moisture—I’ve measured 2+ inches since last night at 11PM. The winds are doing a major autumn cleaning, ripping off small branches and old leaves, strewn everywhere. I’m amazed we still have electricity, but a lot of pruning near power lines was done for the past 6 months all over the area and that seemingly was worth it.

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

I shot a some frames with the Canon EOS R5 from the shelter of my breezeway (normal RAW format, not dual pixel RAW). Several things I noticed immediately:

  • As with many cameras, the auto metering consistently underexposes by 1.5 stops, as proven with RawDigger. This greatly increases noise, making even base ISO 100 images look slightly grainy; it’s like shooting at ISO 320 or worse—automatically robbing you of noise performance equivalent to the last 8 years of sensor improvements! Dial in a lot of +exposure compensation, or shoot on manual and monitor the RGB histogram. What a mindlessly stupid implementation here in the age of “AI” it’s unbelievable that a camera is detuned for image quality in this anachronistic metering way. But most cameras behave this way, maybe all, it’s a matter of degree. No, I don't have highlight priority or some such setting turned on.
  • A distinctive orange-peel texture to images which I have not seen for years since the Sony A7R and also the Sony A7R III. Not not something you’d see with the Sony A1 or the Fujifilm GFX100S and not something I can get on board with. I noticed it immediately; it just leapt off the screen to my eyes.
  • The default multi-area autofocus is an anti-feature: it will pick up any foreground leaf or whatever, making it nearly impossible to take a shot at distance—all shots ruined even at f/8. Of course this can be solved by spot AF or some other focusing setting, and maybe there is a setting to favor distance, dunno yet. But as a default it is godawful. Probably there is also a strong forward focus shift with the Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L too, because the results are just ridiculously massively biased to the foreground.
  • I miss the blackout free super-speed all electronic shutter of the Sony A1 and its 9MP EVF. There isn’t really any going back once you get used to it. But I suppose it’s not fair to compare an about $3899 camera to an about $6500 camera.

Below, I knew the camera had picked up focus on the tree at right, but I thought that f/8 would mitigate it. Not so—the entire backyard remains blurry. Instead, the immediate foreground to the tree is sharp right up to the bottom of the frame. Maybe the lens has a strong forward focus shift that when combined with the maniacally foreground-favoring AF just screws you in total. TBD. I wonder how any average user just doing point and shoot could ever gets a sharp picture with behavior like this. So be careful with the default focusing algorithm—I recommend spot AF (or Eye AF if photographing people).

Backyard, Heavy Rain
f8 @ 1/25 sec handheld IBIS=on EFC shutter, ISO 100; 2021-10-24 12:53:55
Canon EOS R5 + Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 24mm ENV: 62°F / 16°C

[low-res image for bot]
View all handpicked deals...

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
$2198 $1998
SAVE $200

Canon EOS R5 Firmware Update v1.4.0

As any aside, has anyone out there found the Canon dual pixel raw format useful on regular basis?

The brand-new Canon EOS R5 I received on loan from B&H was still at firmware version 1.3.1, so I had to update the Canon EOS R5 firmware.

Kudos to Canon for doing it right, and not the brain-dead “root kit” method as with Sony and some others. That is, you just put the firmware file on the SD card, and go to the menus and it does the rest. That is the way it should be done.

Canon EOS R5

Firmware Version 1.4.0 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:

  • Adds support for outputting 8K/30p/10-bit video signals for ProRes RAW recording to ATOMOS's Ninja V+ recorder* via HDMI.
    * If you have any questions about ATOMOS products, please contact ATOMOS directly.
    * Please note that the recorder may become hot.
  • Adds support for movie recording when the camera is connected to the CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S or CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S EF cinema lenses.
    * Still photography shooting is possible however performance is not guaranteed.
    * Movie shooting in vertical position is possible however performance is not guaranteed.
    * External power supply is required for AF operation during servo zoom operation. When there is no external power supply, AF operation is activated only when the servo zoom is not in use.
  • Adds simultaneous movie recording capability on card 1 and card 2, however RAW movies and RAW(Light) movies cannot be recorded simultaneously on card 1 and card 2.
  • Adds support for the VPG 400 (Video Performance Guarantee Profile), a standard based on the CFexpress 2.0 specification.
  • Improves operation stability when using the RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM and RF600mm F4 L IS USM.
  • Fixes an issue in which, during HDMI connection, if the camera's screen turns off, a zebra pattern is displayed via the HDMI output.
  • Fixes an issue in which sufficient image stabilization effects may not be attained immediately after the start of shooting.

Firmware Version 1.4.0 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.3.1. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.4.0, it is not necessary to update the firmware.

OWC Area 51


Accessories • batteries • cables, docks • hard drives and SSDs • Mac hardware • new and pre-owned Macs • Thunderbolt
... and more!
Mac or PC, iPhone/iPad accessories, more!

Stranger Things in California: Water Falls From Sky, Gets Stuff Wet, “Atmospheric River” Moving in Now

Hotlines were flooded with callers panicky about stuff peppering them from the sky that made them wet. Strange stuff, it wasn’t the usual soot and ash. The scientific consensus is something called “rain”. Weird sh*t. Good thing they have their COVID masks on outside*.

Over the past 3 or 4 days I measured 3/4" of rain, most of that last night. As can be seen it barely penetrates the soil in places, and much of it will evaporate (and has, as can be felt in the humidity). It will start seeds sprouting, but another inch of rain will be needed to get even 1-2 inches down, so hopefully the predicted flash-flood-grade rains on Sunday will deliver that, and more. But I would not want to be at the bottom of a fire-ravaged hillside for this coming storm.

* In a horrifying manifestation of the psychological damage of years of COVID fear-mongering, virtually everyone in Palo Alto in the most vaccinated county in the country (San Mateo) were all wearing their masks outside, in defiance of reason and science. I guess that’s “following the science”, as in trailing distantly behind it.

Continues...

Bone-dry clay soil after 3/4" rain over 4 days
Bone-dry clay soil after 3/4" rain over 4 days
f1.8 @ 1/470 sec, ISO 20; 2021-10-22 10:06:30
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8 @ 28mm equiv (4mm) ENV: altitude 498 ft / 152 m

[low-res image for bot]
Rain predicted for Oct 24
Rain predicted for Oct 24

Last year, I found areas of soil bone-dry about 8 inches down in March, and the soil never got saturated anywhere. The clay soil we have in our yard can soak up a ton of water (closing the 2-inch cracks by XMAS in a good year). I'd guess it takes a foot of rain within a 2-week period to get the soil good and wet down deep.

Recall the record snows of just 5 years ago—long since forgotten. BTW, climate change or not, the world needs cheap abundant energy for quality of life and to reduce human misery. Generation 4 nuclear power is the end game for both, and it is achievable within 20 years with proper leadership, without the horrific human toll stemming from the irrational decarbonization insanity which has become its own religion. As a bonus, Gen4 nuclear solves water supply problems too (desalination). From what I see, environmental destruction from “green” energy is accumulating a massive debt of non-recyclable/non-sustainable toxic waste (solar panels, windmill blades), while obliterating fields of flowers of many square miles in areas once pristine that I visit. That’s not progress. See also: Climate Change Calls for Adaptation, Not Panic

Planting green manure

Meanwhile, I moved 24 yards of compost onto my garden and watered it in a “green manure” of utilizing hairy vetch (vicia villosa) and Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) I am waiting for more rain for the small red clover seeds.

Outsidepride Daikon Radish Cover Crop Seed @AMAZON
Hairy Vetch Legume Seed by Eretz @AMAZON
Red Clover Seed by Eretz @AMAZON

Elsewhere, crows 30-in-a-flock had a feast on my Daikon radish seeds in areas where I had seeded on bare ground. The same ones that shit all over my figs and ruin 80% of them. I like birds, but crows are too damaging and dozens at a time are a destructive nuisance. Tigger doesn’t catch them unfortunately—they’re too fast and too smart and too big. But the big rain dump coming tomorrow should take care of things.


Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

Reader Question: Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max vs Desktop

A consulting client writes:

As you may recall we had a session back in May about my Mac computer issues. A quick recap, includes that I have an iMac with a 2017 iMac 5K 27 inch screen with 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 and 32GB memory.

You suggested replacing my Drobos with 8TB OWC Thunderblade and 48TB OWC Thunderbay 4, which I have done and which sped up my system and works pretty well.

2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"
2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"

I also have a 2014 Macbook Pro that I needed to replace for when I travel. Despite the fact that the then existing Macbook Pros could be desktop replacements you cautioned to wait for the next generation of Macbook Pros that were expected this fall. Of course, they've landed. I've ordered a 16" Macbook Pro with the M1 Max, 64GB of unified memory and 4TB SSD.

Your recent posts seemed to suggest waiting for the next generation of iMacs with the M1 (or later chip), but then I'd have to upgrade my laptop too. So the price between the two would still be hefty. So do you recommend going ahead with the order I've placed, or waiting until sometime next year (we hope) for the upgraded iMacs? If you think this needs a new paid session to discuss, let me know. But if you have an off-the-top-of-head recommendation on the order I've placed (still cancellable), please let me know.

DIGLLOYD: don’t buy a laptop unless you need one for travel or similar. But if there is a real need for a laptop, the 16" Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max can also do desktop duty by attaching a display, keyboard, mouse, peripherals. Do so, and just pretend that it is a regular desktop computer. Unplug it and go for travel—no expensive 2nd machine, and none of the hassles of keeping two machines in sync.

Get Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max/M1 Pro at B&H Photo and SAVE the sales tax.

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

But I only recommend this approach *if* you actually need a laptop. Otherwise, go with the the iMac 5K solution for its wonderful built-in 5K display, for which the laptop screen is no competition in size/pixels. But... you really should get the iMac 5K M1 Max, which does not yet exist.

CLICK TO VIEW: 4K and 5K external displays

OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD
Blazingly fast Thunderbolt 3 SSD!

Up to 4TB capacity, USB-C compatible.

USB-C model also available


Great for travel or for desktop!

Recommended Storage Products for Photographers, Used Macs, Port Expansion, etc

I use both the OWC Thunderbay 4 and the OWC Envoy Pro EX — great products!

The used Macs below are also a very good deal.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock (14-ports) shown below is a must-have for your Apple laptop if you have an external display with DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort. The OWC USB-C Travel Dock is super useful for adding USB-A devices.

CLICK TO VIEW: OWC Deals

OWC ROVER PRO wheels for Mac Pro

No tools or hassle… just place your Mac Pro’s factory feet into the Rover Pro’s polished stainless-steel housings and secure with a few hand twists.

When you’re done moving your Mac Pro around, the Rover Pro makes it just as quick and easy to convert back to the factory feet for stationary use.

Testing the Canon EOS R5 with Canon RF 14-35/2.8L and Canon RF 15-35/4L

On the way for testing (thanks B&H!) are the following:

Canon EOS R5

The Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM is out of stock, a bummer since I had hoped to compare a simple prime lens against the two ultrawide zooms. But the three zooms compared should be very useful/interesting.

UPDATE: FedEx screwed things up again (and again, and again all in the past 6 weeks). The last of the gear was due Friday Oct 22, but it’s still sitting half a continent away, and that means a 3-day delay to late on Oct 25 pushing my travel to Oct 26 and pushing it right into the epicenter of predicted storms which could make getting over the pass on Hwy 50 a headache (the other passes are now closed).

Canon now has a robust lens line. Nothing wider than 14mm (for stills), and no good 3rd-party primes, but a very solid lineup.


Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

Bang for the Buck: $2899 for a Loaded iMac 5K with Gorgeous Display, or $5K for an Apple MacBook Pro M1X?

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

re: Apple 16" M1X MacBook Pro: Can it Beat the 2019 iMac 5K and the 2019 Mac Pro 28-Core for Most Tasks?

I expect the new Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max to outperform my 2019 iMac 5K significantly, and to outperform my 28-core 2019 Mac Pro when ~10 or fewer CPU cores are used for the task. I could be wrong of course, but that’s my prediction. We shall see when the MBP arrives for testing.

Get Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max/M1 Pro at B&H Photo and SAVE the sales tax.

But unless money doesn’t matter much, you’ll pay double or triple for a MacBook Pro system by the time you add a usable external display for photo editing.

Perhaps the about $3999 LG UltraFine 32EP950-B 31.5" 16:9 4K HDR OLED, which is a lot less useful area than a 5K display.

CLICK TO VIEW: 4K and 5K external displays

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

OTOH, for just $2869 you can get a maxed-out 2019 iMac 5K and that’s far better for anyone who works at a desk most of the time. And it comes with that gorgeous 5K screen with twice the pixels and much larger screen area than the MacBook Pro.

NOTE: the OWC refurbished iMac 5K do not come with keyboard and mouse, though I never use the wireless ones myself anyway, preferring the older and far superior wired ones, available used on Amazon.

This 2019 iMac 5K is the one I use for all my work when traveling. It is my favorite Mac of all time, and aside from very long or intensive tasks, it performs to my total satisfaction, just as well as the 28-core 2019 Mac Pro. And you can run macOS Mojave on it instead of buggy abominations like macOS Big Sur/macOS Monterey.

Refurbished 2019 iMac 5K
Make an Old Dog Run Like a Young Puppy
with an OWC SSD

SATA, USB3, Thunderbolt, internal upgrades and PCIe SSD options for Mac or PC.
View All OWC SSDs...

Apple 16" M1X MacBook Pro: Can it Beat the 2019 iMac 5K and the 2019 Mac Pro 28-Core for Most Tasks?

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

B&H Photo has graciously agreed to send a loaner 16" MacBook Pro 32GB/1TB/32GPU for review/testing, which will arrive when it becomes available, perhaps in a month or so. Get Apple MacBook Pro M1X/M1Pro at B&H Photo.

As discussed in Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro Coming For Review, within 3-4 weeks I should have the Apple 16" M1X MacBook Pro here for testing, specifically this model, which is everything I’d want were I buying one, except I’d want the 4TB SSD.

The 10-core Apple M1X system-on-a-chip has 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. As such, it roughly aligns with my 8-core 2019 iMac 5K. And of course the 10-core 2020 iMac 5K is slightly faster than my 2019 model. But might the new MBP show performance superiority over the iMac 5K on real world tasks? I deem it a strong possibility for Photoshop, Lightroom, Zerene Stacker, etc.

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

CLICK TO VIEW: 4K and 5K external displays

OTOH, for just $2869 you can get a maxed-out 2019 iMac 5K with its gorgeous large screen and that’s far better for anyone who works at a desk most of the time.

My main computer on which I do all of my work when not traveling is the 2019 Mac Pro with 28-core CPU and 384GB memory and Vega II video card. The Beast. While I expect it will easily outperform the Apple M1 Max chip in the 2021 Macbook Pro M1X for many-core operations (eg 28 cores vs 8+2 cores), I suspect that the MBP might also trounce the Mac Pro at many tasks, those that can use only a few cores.

Should be really interesting to see how it pans out. Plus, if Apple advances the M1 architecture to an “M2” chip with 16+4 cores and 64 GPU cores, would any Intel-based computer be able to compete with it?

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max/M1 Pro

Apple 14/16-inch MacBook Pros Here, with M1 Max or M1Pro CPU — and Why a Desktop is Often Better than a Laptop 

Consult with Lloyd for any kind of computer purchase, RAID setup, backup strategy, Photoshop optimization, etc.

Get Apple MacBook Pro M1 Max/M1 Pro at B&H Photo. B&H Photo has graciously agreed to send a loaner 16" MacBook Pro 32GB/1TB/32GPU for review/testing, which will arrive when it becomes available, perhaps in a month or so.

The new Apple MacBook Pro models with M1 Max and M1 Pro CPUs tick off most of the boxes I was hoping for, while downgrading the Thunderbolt port situation (3 ports, down from 4, I wanted 4 ports plus MagSafe charging port).

2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"
2021 MacBook Pro M1X 16"

UPDATE: B&H Photo has agreed to loan a 16" MacBook Pro M1X for testing/review.

Apple MacBook Pro M1X/M1Pro at B&H Photo.

Apple 14/16-inch MacBook Pros Here, with M1 Max or M1Pro CPU: What You Need to Know

CLICK TO VIEW: Apple MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max chip

Desktop or laptop?

While I feel the gravity of “new Apple shiny stuff” in wanting the 16-inch/64GB/32 GPU core/4TB SSD model, I cannot figure out what I would use it for. Because I travel in my Sprinter van, a laptop is not needed—I have a home office right in my van.

My travel machine is the 2019 iMac 5K*, safely stowed in the Gator Cases Creative Pro 27" iMac Carry Tote when driving, and powered by a 10kW battery lithium iron phosphate battery pack off a 2000W DC/AC inverter. And the 2019 iMac 5K is astonishingly power efficient given its included display (~45 watts while typing with the screen lit up) and I can run for 3-4 days on the power packs without recharging. Hunching over a laptop with a display with half the pixels and a fraction of the size would be a huge downgrade.

Nor would I use a laptop at home—terrible ergonomics used alone, so it would have to be a desktop computer hooked up to keyboard/mouse/displays with all the hassles of using up most of the ports to connect things. I’ve been down this 'road' before, and to this day my laptop is still a 2015 MacBook Pro Retina, which I hardly use.

If a laptop is to be used for (a lot of) travel and/or casual use in your kitchen or den or waiting in line at the DMV or a photo safari, then it makes perfect sense, of course it does. But you can also buy a $999 Apple MacBook Air to tide you over if such things are infrequent.

The screen size of a laptop and its body-ache-inducing ergonomics/haptics SUCK for anything but modest usage (an hour or less per day, IMO). Therefore, if a laptop is to be used as a desktop replacement for hours a day, you and I are far better off with the form factor of an iMac 5K. Your neck and back will thank you. But if you are willing to attach a display and keyboard and mouse, you can certainly pretend it is a full desktop computer—it is totally capable in that sense.

There is no 'M1 Max' CPU in an iMac 5K yet. And unless an “M1 Super Max” chip supports 128GB memory or more, any iMac 5K will be inadequate for my needs, as I regularly use more than 64GB memory. So I don’t know when Apple ARM technology will have any relevance to me.

OWC Area 51


Accessories • batteries • cables, docks • hard drives and SSDs • Mac hardware • new and pre-owned Macs • Thunderbolt
... and more!
Mac or PC, iPhone/iPad accessories, more!

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Aperture Series: Blue Water among Orange Streambed Boulders, Tenaya Canyon (Sony A1)

This series looks at near-to-far performance at 12mm of the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM from f/2.8 through f/11. For a near-far landscape scene, can f/11 get the depth of field 'job' done, or is a focus stack needed?

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Aperture Series: Blue Water among Orange Streambed Boulders, Tenaya Canyon

Includes images from f/2.8 through f/11 at up to full camera resolution (two focus positions for f/11), plus a 2-frame focus stack at f/11, plus crops.

Making an image this wide on Nikon mirrorless or Canon mirrorless or Fujifilm medium format or the Leica SL2 system is more troublesome. On Canon mirrorless, you can lens-adapter-on the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L. And you can adapt the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art DSLR lens to Nikon mirrorless, again with a lens adapter. But so far, Sony is untouchable for ease and quality of extreme wide angle shooting.

Blue Water among Orange Streambed Boulders, Tenaya Canyon
f11 @ 1/20 sec electronic shutter focus stack 2 frames, ISO 100; 2021-09-28 17:35:51
Sony A1 + Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM @ 12mm
ENV: Tenaya Canyon, altitude 7600 ft / 2316 m, 60°F / 15°C
RAW: LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, +20 Whites, +20 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

NEW: Voigtlander M 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar for Leica M, and Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar SL IIs for Nikon F-Mount

Cosina Japan: Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar for Nikon F-Mount.
Cosina Japan: Voigtlander M 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar for Leica M

Two new Voigtlander lenses will become available soon.

Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar SL IIs for Nikon AIS

Same optical design as the M-mount version, but in a quite different form factor and with the aperture ring close to the camera body, as per typical Nikon AIS fashion. Also, it uses a 9-blade aperture instead of 10 blades and the claim is not made of a true circular aperture. It does NOT include lens hood LH-90IIs.

The F-mount version carries additional interesting in that it is very compact and could be mounted on any mirrorless camera using an appropriate lens adapter, for a highly compact 90mm lens for travel, hiking, etc.

At about $699 (available in silver or black finish), its price is a no brainer for anyone liking this type of lens design and open to manual focus.

CLICK TO VIEW: Voigtlander Lenses for Nikon AIS

Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar for Nikon AIS
Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar SL IIs for Nikon AIS
Focal length: 90mm
Aperture range: f/2.8 - f/22
1/2 stop clicks (?)
Iris blades: 9 blades
Lens hood: LH-90IIs lens hood available separately
Focusing range: 3 ft = 90 cm
Angle of view: 27.5°
Number of elements/groups: 7 elements in 7 groups
Filter thread: 52mm
Weight (as weighed): 9.2 oz = 260g
Dimensions: 2.6 x 1.6 in = 66.3 x 41 mm
Includes: Front and Rear Lens Caps
Lens Hood
Limited 1-Year Warranty

The 90mm f/2.8 SLIIs Apo-Skopar from Voigtlander is a manual focus medium telephoto lens with a Nikon AIS F-mount and is optimized for full-frame image sensors. The newly designed optical system uses Abnormal Partial Dispersion glass for five out of seven elements in seven groups to make images rich, three dimensional in character, and extremely sharp. It has an apochromatic design that makes axial chromatic aberration as close to zero as possible. The manual focus lens is designed for use with SLR-type digital and film cameras and has a precision helicoid for smooth precise focusing action. The shortest shooting distance is 3', making it well suited to portraiture. 


The SLIIs is compatible with Nikon AIS-type bodies with a built-in CPU. Equipped with an AI coupler, it can be used with a variety of bodies from classic film SLR cameras to the latest digital SLR cameras. The nine-blade diaphragm help provide a creamy bokeh suitable for portraiture. The focus and aperture rings are made entirely of metal and feature heavy finger indents with a precise machine knurling for a beautiful appearance reminiscent of vintage lenses, with functionality that enhances the feel of modern manual operation today.

  • Apochromatic design that eliminates chromatic aberration
  • Optical design optimized for digital image sensors
  • Highly rigid and durable full-metal lens barrel
  • Manual focus for reliable focus operation
  • 9 aperture blades
  • Nikon F AIS lens mount Full-size image circle
  • LH-90IIs lens hood available separately

Voigtlander VM 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar SL IIs

With an f/2.8 aperture, this light and compact lens promises high grade color correction. And at about $799 (available in silver or black finish), it has a distinctly friendly price about 1/7 that of Leica offerings.

CLICK TO VIEW: Voigtlander Lenses for Leica M

Voigtlander M 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar
Voigtlander VM 90mm f/2.8 APO-Skopar SL IIs
Focal length: 90mm
Aperture range: f/2.8 - f/22
1/3 stop clicks (?)
Iris blades: 10 blades
circular at f/2, f/4, f/22
1/3 stop clicks?
Lens hood: included, reversible
Focusing range: 3 ft = 90 cm
Angle of view: 27.4°
Number of elements/groups: 7 elements in 7 groups
Filter thread: 39mm
Weight (as weighed): 8.8 oz = 250g
Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.4 in = 53 x 60 mm
Includes: Front and Rear Lens Caps
Lens Hood
Limited 1-Year Warranty

The 90mm f/2.8 Apo-Skopar from Voigtlander is a manual focus medium telephoto lens optimized for full-frame M-mount image sensors. The newly designed optical system uses Abnormal Partial Dispersion glass for five out of seven elements in seven groups to make images rich, three dimensional in character, and extremely sharp. It has an apochromatic design that makes axial chromatic aberration as close to zero as possible. The manual focus lens is designed for use with rangefinder-linked digital and film cameras and has a precision helicoid for smooth precise focusing action. The shortest shooting distance linked to the rangefinder is 3' (depending on the camera used). 

The 10 diaphragm blades help provide a creamy bokeh suitable for portraiture. In addition, the aperture adopts a special circular shape not only at the fully-open f/2.8, but also at f/4 and f/22. This circular shape can create the cinematic flares known as "ball blur" by pointing toward a point light source.

This compact and lightweight lens does not protrude into the viewfinder frame when used on a rangefinder camera.

  • Apochromatic design that eliminates chromatic aberration
  • Optical design optimized for digital image sensors
  • Highly rigid and durable full-metal lens barrel
  • Manual focus for reliable focus operation
  • 10 apertures that become circular at open, f/4, and f/22
  • Bayonet type VM mount
  • High-precision rangefinder interlocking mechanism
  • Full-size image circle
  • Included lens hood can be reverse mounted for easy storage
OWC Area 51


Accessories • batteries • cables, docks • hard drives and SSDs • Mac hardware • new and pre-owned Macs • Thunderbolt
... and more!
Mac or PC, iPhone/iPad accessories, more!

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Aperture Series: Colorful Autumn Forest, Tenaya Canyon Streamside (Sony A1)

I continue to be very pleased with the Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM. One lens to cover 12-24mm... can it deliver imaging performance that both impresses and rivals that of a prime lens?

Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Aperture Series: Colorful Autumn Forest, Tenaya Canyon Streamside

Includes images up to full camera resolution from f/2.8 through f/11, plus crops.

Colorful Autumn Forest, Tenaya Canyon Streamside
f5.6 @ 1/50 sec electronic shutter, ISO 100; 2021-09-28 15:47:03
Sony A1 + Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM @ 24mm
ENV: Tenaya Canyon, altitude 7600 ft / 2316 m, 70°F / 21°C
RAW: LACA corrected

[low-res image for bot]

Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

NEW Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II Available for Pre-Order Oct 14

The Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM II is an all-new design with an impressive reduction in the element count (now 17, down from 23), which results in a 29% reduction in weight from 1480g ==> 1045g! That’s a difference which is easily felt, and it makes the new design much more portable and practical as an all-around shooter.

Whether it raises the performance game to state of the art is unclear. While the element count is way down from 23 to 17, the same number of XA and aspherical and special-glass elements remains the same. But clearly something has changed in a major way that allows 5 lens elements to be eliminated.

As a practical matter and especially with ultra-high speed cameras like the Sony A1, focusing speed and accuracy are critical for a lens of this type, and for that Sony has included 4 high-performance XD linear AF motors. This should leave the old design feeling super clunky by comparison and deliver state of the art performance as good or better than anything else on the market.

Four high-thrust XD Linear Motors and advanced control technology deliver up to 4x faster AF than the SEL70200GM. Focus tracking capability while zooming is improved by approximately 30% compared to the SEL70200GM.

Also of practical note for video usage that is also excellent for stills, “the latest lens design technology reduces focus breathing, focus shift when zooming, and axis shift when zooming”

Available for pre-order October 14 at 10 AM Pacific Time. As always, it helps me if you order using the links on this page and/or from my Sony wishlist, so I get credit at B&H—thank you!

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II

Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

Portable SSDs for Travel Storage and Especially Backup

As a photographer, I travel 4-5 months of the year in my Sprinter van for photography. My travel machine is the 2019 iMac 5K*, safely stowd in the Gator Cases Creative Pro 27" iMac Carry Tote when driving, and powered by a 10kW battery lithium iron phosphate battery pack off a 2000W DC/AC inverter. The 2019 iMac 5K is astonishingly power efficient given its included display and I can run for 3-4 days on the power packs without recharging.

Anyway, a key thing I do after every day’s shoot is to download my images and make several backups. Ditto after working in the van some days, after I have organized and published stuff.

* Laptops are a very poor and hopelessly inefficient solution for the work I need to do—very small screens, terrible ergonomics to ruin your posture and nag your neck, godawful keyboard and a mouse is essential too.

Best SSDs for travel and backup

Over the past few years I’ve worked with 4 or 5 different SSDs while traveling. There are multiple considerations:

  • SSD speed is important, though only to a point. Still, if it’s a big shoot and it was an all day hike and I want to get to sleep, backup speed can be an irritatant if not fast enough.
  • I like to take one SSD with me on hikes as a precaution against break-in/theft. A larger/heavier SSD is a nuisance and poorly suited for my hikes.
  • Durability—over time things can fail.
  • Compatibility: it is very helpful to be able to plug a drive into my laptop (older one), which requires USB-C. A Thunderbolt SSD is incompatible with my older Thunderbolt-2 lapto.

Samsung T5 I have used for several years (not a fan of the "dog" Samsung T7) . One of my four T5’s a bad connector now, but still works. I like them for their compact size and light weight, but they are half the speed of the slowest of the OWC offerings. OTOH, they offer hardware encryption, which has its uses if theft while traveling is a concern.

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron (240GB to 2TB capacities) is my all-around favorite for travel: extremely solid built, twice the speed of the Samsung T5, and still very compact. Up to 2TB capacities make it hard to beat.

OWC Envoy Pro SX and OWC Envoy Pro FX are both superb—the very best performance. These are the drives to get for speed. But being solidly-built enough for a truck to run over them, they feel like solid hunks of metal and they do not fit into a pants pocket, unlike the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron.

Four portable SSDs, USB-C and Thunderbolt.
Car keys to show size/scale

Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

diglloyd Inc. | FTC Disclosure | PRIVACY POLICY | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2021 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.