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Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Aperture Series: Maple Trees in Sunken Area (Nikon D810)

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP.

This aperture series is at the full 12mm shift along the long axis.

It evaluates field curvature and focus shift and as it turns out, it is an outstanding example that is a must read for any Nikon 19/4 shooter.

Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Aperture Series, 12mm shift: Maple Trees in Sunken Area(Nikon D810)

Includes dual series from f/4 to f/11 at image sizes up to 28 megapixels with large crops.

__METADATA__
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Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Aperture Series: Evaluating Sharpness at 12mm Shift Along the Short Axis (Mosaic, Nikon D810)

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP.

This aperture series is at the full 12mm shift along the short axis. It complements the full 12mm shift series along the long axis.

Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Aperture Series at 12mm Shift, Short Axis: Mosaic at Dusk (Nikon D810)

Includes dual series from f/4 to f/9 at image sizes up to 28 megapixels with large crops.

The image is not exactly level; the built-in leveling indicators of the Nikon D810 are good only to 1% or so, which is not nearly good enough. The leveling is off by about only 0.3% here, but it is visible. Meticulous work should utilized the grid overlay, but it was getting dark and I was in a hurry and it’s slow going to make sure things are exactly level.

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Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Dual Aperture Series: Evaluating Sharpness at 12mm Shift (Mosaic, Nikon D810)

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP and my October overview of Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E.

The Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E is in effect a medium format rectilinear fisheye lens projecting a huge image circle. To maintain high image quality over a 35mm frame at 19mm is a challenge, but to do it over an area 4X or so larger is a major challenge indeed.

Accordingly, something has to give, and it seems that the “give” is in allowing a significant amount of field curvature, such that that the placement of focus becomes a key determinant for image quality when fully shifted, particularly when shifted the full 12mm along the long axis of the frame.

On a hunch based on what I saw in the first few shots, I explored focus placement on a planar subject, and I was handsomely rewarded with a finding that is essential reading for anyone using the Nikon 19mm f/4 PC-E. This evaluation presents two aperture series from f/4 through f/11, each with its own focus.

Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Dual Aperture Series at Maximal Shift: Focus Placement is Critical

Includes dual series from f/4 to f/11 at image sizes up to 28 megapixels with huge crops.

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Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E Initial Coverage (updated with reader comments)

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP and my October overview of Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E.

The price of $3396 is well earned as the Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E looks to be the best tilt-shift or shift lens I have ever seen, and I’ve gone through virtually all of them for 35mm and several for medium format.

Nikon is on a roll, what with this amazing performer following on the heels of the class-leading Nikon 105mm f/1.4E. This is one trend I want to see continue.

If you are a pro using a tilt-shift lens for your work, RUN (don’t walk) and get this lens. It’s a no-brainer. Ditto for anyone looking for gobs of megapixels on a D810, or perspective correction or for changing the plane of focus via tilt and swing. This is a lens you buy for itself, with the camera an accessory. And please use my link so I get credit.

Two pages of initial coverage are now published:

Shifting for Stitching: Double the Camera Megapixels*

Examples: Corrected vs Uncorrected Lateral Chromatic Aberration

Tomorrow I will be posting an astounding aperture series with a finding that is an absolute must-read for anyone shooting this lens.

As for adaptation to Sony, I’ll be checking if it performs well on the Sony A7R II. But coverage will be in DAP (lenses are always reviewed in their native publication regardless of camera).

*The Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E is essentially a rectilinear fisheye lens that covers a large medium-format size image area. Shifting captures an image area that is off-center. By combining these images, a much larger capture area is possible.

Below, results of a 72-megapixel 3-frame stitch created by a fall of 12mm + center frame + rise of 12mm.

72-megapixel 3-frame stitched image result
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Eric B writes:

I noticed that you were speculating about using the Nikon 19mm PC-E on Sony E mount cameras.

Are there adapters that allows Nikon E or G lenses with electronic aperture, such as all of Nikon’s PC-E’s, to operate on other cameras? I am not aware of any but did at one time look for something to allow me to use my PC-E’s on my Fuji X cameras and was unable to find anything.

DIGLLOYD: I have not tested these adapters as yet and they might not work at all with Nikon "E" lenses (they are stated to work with “G” lenses, but E lenses are electronic aperture control with no mechanical lever).

Michael E writes:

Nikon 19mm T/S is fascinating. Have you tried focus stacking with a shallow stack, to see whether you can overcome the focus challenge that you point out?

DIGLLOYD: Not yet, but it of course will work well. Should be possible (especially with tilt when tilt is appropriate) to do some crazy good things with DoF.

Jason W writes:

Assuming adapters existed, is there a reason you couldn't use the 19mm PC-E unshifted on the Fuji GFX or an Alpa 12 FPS and get an equivalent 15mm FOV? It's basically a medium format lens, yes?

DIGLLOYD: focal length is focal length, that is, 19mm is 19mm on any camera, any format. It's the image circle (angle of view) that varies in size to cover the format: APS-C, full frame, medium format, etc.

Image Circle as Photographed on tracing paper
Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

A 19mm can project an image circle that is (for example), ~28mm in diameter, ~43mm in diameter (full frame) or 63mm in diameter (shift lenses for full frame). A lens might project an image circle large than needed to cover the format, but things usually go whacky outside the format area (such as field curvature). See the Zeiss Touit 12mm, 32mm, 50mm examples on full frame Sony (Touit line is marketed for APS-C cameras) for superb examples of image circle size.

The Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E has an image circle at f/4 at infinity focus of about 63mm. Stopped down it is likely around 68mm.

But to your point—an 18/19mm lens on the 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor of the Fujifilm GFX would be equivalent in angle of view to a 15.6mm on the Fujifilm GFX (calculating for long edge of frame). Which is huge plus for the Fujifilm GFX over the Hasselblad X1D—the X1D has no shutter and thus the Nikon 19mm could not make an exposure (not having an in-lens shutter). Of course an electronic adapter would be required.

The Nikon 19mm f/3.5 PC-E has an image circle more than sufficient to cover the GFX sensor area at high quality and even allow some shifting range, since its image circle is at least 63mm in diameter, versus the nominal 43mm for ordinary full frame lenses. Lenses like the Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 might work, but the corners of the 43.8 X 32.9 frame might be black or of poor quality.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E

Pieter K writes:

Many thanks for the 19mm coverage especially the mosaic with full shift over the length.

I do architecture as a core business and know exactly the problem with these PCE lenses - sharpness over the whole image is a compromise.

I sold the 24mm PCE cause it would fail on your mosaic test at any aperture. Mind you it was introduces at the same time as the 12MP nikonD3.

I was wondering do you ever use split view on the d810.. for finding the right compromise it works quite well.. (also when you use tilt).

Your coverage of the sigma art 85+ this 19mm PCE is enough to make my contribution for DAP the right choice.

It also was much appreciated that you put the Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4 in for comparing the Sigma Art.

DIGLLOYD: the Nikon 24mm f/3.5 PC-E is a poor performer. The entire Nikon PC-E line is badly in need of an upgrade to the quality level (optical and mechanical) of the Nikon 19/3.5 PC-E. Ditto for /dap.CanonTSE17Canon TS-E lenses at 45mm and 90mm.

Nikon D810 split view: I never learned to use this, but I ought to, it seems. Good reminder.

Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4: as a rule I do not cross post, because it fundamentally undermines the viability of my business. But for this case I had to have a superior reference lens to show the relative performance. I really must have at least some solid percentage of subscribers at the “everything” level to remain in business, so I cannot do such things often. Any active subscriber can upgrade to “everything” (except software) for $200/year.

Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Water Safety: Steripen Deal vs MSR Guardian, Life Straw

I wrote an in-depth review of the MSR Guardian water purifier last summer. Since then I’ve consumed about 150 liters of water pumped from streams and lakes, out of its rated life of 10,000 liters. It is a full-on water purifier which removes bacteria, protozoa and viruses.

On sale today at half price at B&H Deal Zone is the SteriPEN Classic 3 UV Water Purifier.

While the MSR Guardian is superb (see my video on my review page on how it is used), I’ve ordered a SteriPen to try out (never used before so I cannot speak to its efficacy from personal experience as yet), because it is much more compact, and sometimes my North Face Recon daypack is stuffed so full of gear that I cannot carry the MSR Guardian.

David C:

I am curious about one of the company’s claims: that it removes viruses. have you seen a review anywhere that confirmed that claim by actually testing it? if yes could you please send me the link? I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but it’s a big claim and a big part of justifying the price.

DIGLLOYD: the claim is misleading in this sense: the SteriPEN removes nothing. Rather, it kills the nasties with UV light. I had a conversation with a reader some months ago, this reader having used it extensively and he is confident that it kills the nasties quite effectively, including viruses.

Personally I would much rather use a true water purifier (not “filter”) like the MSR Guardian water purifier because it not only removes bacteria, protozoa and viruses, but also removes crud: sediment, mosquito larvae and whatever else might be in the water. The issue is that the MSR Guardian weighs a pound and is the size of a 1L Evian water bottle, so it is often problematic to squeeze into my pack and I have gone (very) thirsty on some all day hikes when I did not bring along two full liters of water (one liter is never enough in the high country).

A water filter option is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. It is very compact and weighs hardly anything. I have one, but I have not used it as yet. And it does not remove viruse, which is probably not an issue in the high Sierra, but would be an issue with poor water quality in some areas.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Must-have expansion for 2016 MacBook Pro
Thunderbolt 3 • USB 3 • Gigabit Ethernet • 4K Support • Firewire 800 • Sound Ports

2016 MacBook Pro: Cannot Sustain Performance Under Load

Mac wish list •  all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo • all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models •  all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

While testing the 2016 MacBook Pro, a consistent pattern of declining performance was observed. For example, with 10 iterations of of the Photoshop sharpening test, the 2016 MacBook Pro declined in performance by 23%. No such decline was seen on the iMac 5K or 2013 Mac Pro.

This differential helps explain why the 2016 MacBook Pro is slower than the 2013 MacBook Pro on the Lightroom import test.

2016 MacBook Pro: Cannot Sustain Performance

This finding may be of keen interest to anyone processing video or importing into Lightroom or any task that incurs a sustained load.

NuGard KX Case for iPhones and iPads
Outstanding protection against drops and impact!
Excellent grip for wet hands, cycling, etc!

2016 MacBook Pro TESTED: Photoshop Filters

Mac wish list •  all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo • all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models •  all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

Following up on the other Photoshop and Lightroom tests, this set of tests offers a detailed look as to how the 2016 MacBook Pro fares with respect to its desktop peers and the 2013 MacBook Pro when there are no memory constraints.

2016 MacBook Pro: Photoshop Filters

The late 2015 iMac 5K and 2013 Mac Pro are leaps and bounds ahead of the laptops.

2016 MacBook Pro vs other Macs: Photoshop filters
USB-C Dock for MacBook

4 USB3 ports, 1 USB-C port, SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, audio ports, HDMK 4K port!

Finding a Deal, FAST

Consider the following buying challenges.

I’ve reworked my deals pages.

In an instant, you can find deals by brand or by category and filter by percent discount. Give it a try, and thanks for buying through the links on this site, so I get credit.

Click on the percent savings to instantly require a savings minimum. Choose by brand or by categories I’ve curated specifically for photographers.

4TB Internal SSD
for 2013 Mac Pro
Free how-to videos and tools included, 3-year warranty

Want a Fast Lens for Micro Four Thirds? HandeVision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 is 71% Off

This is about as fast as it gets, though f/0.85 on Micro Four Thirds is equivalent to f/1.7 on full frame, in depth of field terms.

At about $549 (a whopping $1350 off), it might be a fun buy for the M4/3 shooter. Limited supply at this price according to B&H.

Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 Lens for Micro Four Thirds Mount

2016 MacBook Pro TESTED: Lightroom Import RAW Files

Mac wish list •  all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo • all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models •  all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. Lloyd gets credit if you buy through site links.

See my in-depth coverage of the 2016 MacBook Pro at MacPerformanceGuide.com.

Disappointing on two counts: the 2016 MacBook pro and Adobe’s algorithms:

2016 MacBook Pro: Adobe Lightroom Import RAW Files with 1:1 Previews

Between the minimal or negative improvements with Photoshop and this inferior performance with Lightroom, the 2016 MacBook Pro surely deserves being sent back to its maker.

2016 MacBook Pro: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Import 52 Canon 5DS R 50-megapixel raw files with 1:1 high quality previews

Hasselblad X1D-50C: Delayed Again

See my Hasselblad X1D-50C wish list at B&H Photo.

If you order the X1D, please use my link so I get credit. B&H is loaning me the X1D, and so readers ordering through my links are important.

See also Hasselblad X1D-50C: Reader Comments and Hasselblad X1D-50C: 50-Megapixel Mirrorless Medium Format.

Delayed 2+ months back in September, the Hasselblad X1D is now delayed again (verified through my contacts at B&H Photo as of today). I’m actually glad for this, since I have too many other items to deal with right now (Nikon 19mm, Nikon 70-200, Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8).

Who the heck does Hasselblad they think they are, Leica? “Hassleblad” for those who have pre-ordered. But better to work the bugs out and do it right than ship prematurely as Leica does.

Fujifilm has wisely not promised anything more than a vague availability date for the Fujifilm GFX. But the way things are going, maybe Fujifilm will beat Hasselblad to market.

This whole “announce and ship someday” stuff is an ill-advised practice, and it shows poor planning and unrealistic leadership. Working in the software industry as an engineer for 25 years, I saw it all the time—so obvious and yet the people in charge are generally clueless, wishing for milk and honey to spout from rocks, so to speak.

Hasselblad X1D-50C shipping status 01 Dec 2016
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Photoshop + Lightroom for a Year for $88

I see $10 a month for Photoshop and Lightroom as a bargain for any professional.

Today only, Photoshop and Lightroom CC 12 month subscription is only $88.95, which is $7.41 a month. Compared to my cell phone bill, it is less than the tax.

Deal ends at midnight tonight, EST.

...

It neatly solves another nuisance for me: one purchase, vs the monthly $9.99 charge, each of which I have to enter in my accounting program to balance the books. As I have two subscriptions, that’s 24 annoying entries per year. I called Adobe and they refused to allow billing on a year basis.

So now I can pay once, save $31 X 2 = $62 and make only two accounting entries per year.

Update: gah! There is a limit of one (1) purchase only (I tried!):

Please note: You have exceeded the limit for ADCCPP12MS-Creative Cloud Photography Plan (12 Month Subscription, Download). You currently cannot purchase additional quantity. The item has been removed from you cart

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase at B&H Photo. An email like the one below will be sent.
  2. Login to existing Adobe account (if any); cancel current membership.
  3. Logout of Adobe account
  4. Click the redeem link and enter code.

Voila—a year of the plan at reduced cost.

Electronic download info for Adobe Creative Cloud

Mark C writes:

This seemed like a good deal, so I went ahead and bought one myself. When I cancelled my existing plan, however, Adobe stated I would be charged $54.95 as a cancellation penalty. That’s 50% of the $119/year cost of the photography plan. I did go ahead and cancel and then added the newly purchased plan via the redemption code. That all worked, but I was still on the hook for the fee.

I had to call Adobe, and the guy had to talk with his supervisor. In the end, they credited me back the fee, but it was a hassle. They started out saying it was in my “contact” for the yearly membership, etc.

Just wanted to let you know there may be others that run into this scenario.

Regardless, thanks for the heads-up on the deal.

DIGLLOYD: Interesting... I was on a month to month $9.99 plan and no mention was made of any cancellation fee when I cancelled. Sounds like a criminal (used loosely) policy by Adobe.

Camera Repair in Taiwan

Just passing this along as FYI for anyone in that neck of the woods.

Bryan S writes:

Thank you for the '2013 Camera Repair in Taiwan' post. I know it's been a few years but it is still helping. The shop fixed my Lumix at low cost and in just a few days.

DIGLLOYD: it’s nice to know such posts are useful. Prior post from 2013, with contact info for the shop.

Michael G writes in his 2013 post:

I'm in Taiwan this week for Computex. I brought along the Canon 7D that I just purchased. I got it second-hand and saved a bundle. But when I looked at some of my photos, I noticed a smudge in all of them! I used the sensor cleaning system with no luck... but when I locked up the mirror, I could see the smudge right on the sensor.

Is it dirt, dust or... did the guy sell me a camera with a broken sensor?

When I googled Taipei camera repair, nothing useful came up. I went to the camera area and found it by luck. I first went into a normal camera store. They blew in compressed air, without any luck. I then came across the "real" repair place by accident.

Luckily, I found the Quan Tai Camera Repair shop, at Number 60, BoAi Road, Taipei. It's easy to miss this shop... it's a hole in the wall on a street filled with large camera stores. (BoAi is the camera neighborhood in Taipei). When I walked in, I knew I was in the right place, because there were two techs repairing cameras, and one of them was deep inside a Hasselblad. I knew a Hasselblad owner wouldn't trust just anyone to repair his camera.

Sure enough, 30 minutes and $20 later, my sensor was de-smudged and dust-free. So there you go... if you're ever in Taiwan with a broken camera, Quan Tai is the place to go.

DIGLLOYD: well, it’s not exactly a repair in the mechanical sense, but comes pretty close.

Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

My Workhorse Display Just Dropped to $1649 (NEC PA302W)

The NEC PA302W just dropped $500 (although it says $100, that's because it dropped to a lower price then $100 instant rebate on top) and is now available at an outstanding price of $1649 with the SpectraView II color calibration software and hardware.

The PA302W GB-R LED backlighting affords an incredible gamut and outstanding grayscale neutrality—better than the white backlights in most displays which may measure neutral but have a visible magenta tint to the eye.

The NEC PA302W is my workhorse display on which I do all my photography work. It is a 30-inch 2560 X 1600 wide-gamut display with true hardware calibration (not faux calibration). The PA302W calibrates to within 1 delta-A accuracy and has a gamut greatly exceeding AdobeRGB in some areas (like reds).

I also use the NEC PA322UHD 4K display (3840 X 2160), but due to pixel density, I still do all my photo evaluation on the PA302W, because its 2560 X 1600 resolution with much lower pixel density makes evaluating images for sharpness much easier. And its gamut is significantly wider than the PA322UHD. As a 30-inch display the 2560 width is easy on the eyes (pixel density) and the 1600 height is substantially more working room than the typical 1440 height of most display (1440 feels squeezed and cramped to me compared to 1600).

The about $1109 NEC PA272W (2560 x 1440 pixels, 27") is of similar quality and color gamut, also with hardware and software calibration. But I greatly prefer the greater working space of 2560 X 1600 on the PA302W (vs 2560 X 1440 on the PA272W), plus the pixel density of the PA302W is lower, which makes for easier image evaluation for sharpness.

See my reviews of NEC wide gamut displays.

NEC PA302W wide gamut display

Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E: First Impressions

See my wish lists at B&H Photo including my Nikon wish list.

See reviews of tilt/shift lenses in DAP and my October overview of Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E.

The price of $3396 is not for the faint-hearted, but it speaks to the unusually strong efforts that Nikon has made with the 19mm f/4 PC-Nikkor.

My first (and so far very limited) impression is that this is by far the best PC-E lens Nikon has ever delivered, as one should expect from the nearly double price.

For example, below is an actual pixels crop from the short end of the frame at full 12mm shift. The sharpness and the freedom from color fringing at this extreme are both unprecedented for a Nikon PC-E lens. It seems (to be proven out) that this performance is superior to any tilt/shift lens from Canon or Nikon or any other vendor. If that proposition pans out, then the Nikon 19mm f/4 PC-E may be one of those lenses that one buys a camera for as an accessory.

My review of the the Nikon 19mm f/4E ED PC-E is coming to DAP.

Update 30 Nov: pouring rain today, so I’m not going to be able to shoot outdoors at all.

Note: on Retina/HiDPI screens this crop may look blurred because it is pixel doubled. Click to view at actual pixels.

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E: actual pixels crop from the short end of the frame at full 12mm shift
__METADATA__

 

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED PC-E
Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Budget Macs

For the biggest savings, OWC sells used Macs as well as factory sealed Apple refurbished Macs with full 1 year warranty. For example:

B&H Photo has Mac deals and AppleCare deals. Several budget choices below.

Expiring today Nov 30: 30 Apple Deals.

Prices as of the date this ad was first posted:

Shootout: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art vs Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4 (Siemens Chart, Nikon D810)

Get Sigma DG HSM Art and Zeiss Milvus at B&H Photo.

The Lundy Beaver Ponds and Snowy Spur of Mt Conness series both showed disappointing performance with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

One can make the “bad sample” argument. Accordingly, I obtained another copy of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM (brand new also), and pitted both against the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 on a Zeiss Siemens chart at close range, to see if the results would echo the field shootout findings.

...

This shootout compares two samples of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art to the Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 on a Siemens star chart.

  • Sample #1 of the Sigma 85/1.4 is the lens used for the November 2016 three-way shootouts and examples; it was brand-new out of the box for that work.
  • Sample #2 of the Sigma 85/1.4 was brand new out of the box and never shot prior to this test.
  • The Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 was about a year old, and has seen field use over that time.

Shootout: Sigma 85/1.4A (Two Samples) vs Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4 (Seimens Chart, Nikon D810)

One center crop from f/1.4 through f/4 for all three lenses makes a compelling confirmation.

   
Zeiss Milvus 85/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

LED light deals

See my reviews of LED lights.

For $199 with free shipping this is a killer deal at 60% OFF. I just ordered one. Flash deal ends at 13:00 PST, act soon! DEAL OVER

Update: the 60 watt version (twice as wide) is on for a 2 hour flash sale until 4 PM PST. DEAL OVER

Another deal: $505 off Dracast LED1000 Silver Series Foldable Bi-Color LED Light .

The Cineo Matchbox (see my review) with remote phosphor was one of my favorites.

View all LED lights with CRI of 95 or better sorted from high to low price or from lowest price to highest price.

Dracast LED1000 Silver Series Foldable Bi-Color LED Light

My Articles on the Zeiss Lenspire Site

I’ve published a number of articles over the past year on the Zeiss Lenspire site.

Published today is Macro and Close-up Shooting, Especially Outdoors.

Other articles at lenspire.zeiss.com:

These articles are also available here on this site.

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Aperture Series: Sunlight on the Beaver Pond (Nikon D810)

Get Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art and Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at B&H Photo.

See my reviews of Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and more.

This aperture series from f/4 through f/11 shows how well the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art handles flare into a direct intense light source along with bright clouds and deeply shadowed areas.

 
Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art

The ability to maintain contrast (minimize flare) is critical in such situations so that shadow areas can be opened up with detail, but not haze. It is particularly important with a camera like the Nikon D810 at ISO 64, because the camera has a tremendous dynamic range—the lens has to not limit that dynamic range (the Canon 5DS R would have been in trouble on this image)

Also treated here are field curvature and focus shift. The example is highly instructive and should prove very useful for anyone shooting the Sigma 12-24/4A.

In my review of the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art in DAP:

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Aperture Series: Sunlight on the Beaver Pond

Includes images up to 28 megapixels along with many large crops, all from f/4 through f/11.

Especially at 36MP on up, the photographer must place focus wisely for the subject matter, not just the “1/3 in” rule and not even just the near/far relationships, but also anticipating and compensating for a lens with focus shift and field curvature, which requires special care based on the shooting aperture.

Sunlight on the Lundy Canyon Beaver Pond
__METADATA__
OWC 480GB Thumb Drive
only $270

What Lloyd uses in the field for a carry-around backup.
Fits just about anywhere, tough aluminum case.

Really Right Stuff: Free Shipping for a Few Days + a Price Increase

When I go shooting, Really Right Stuff tripods are what I count on. While I manage to shake loose a part or two every six months or so (the rubber screw-in feet for example), the tripod are rock solid and the service is outstanding.

Update: B&H Photo now carries some Really Right Stuff products.

My favorite tripod for all around use is the TVC-24L, that is, if I have to carry a tripod for miles, it is just right. I actually prefer shooting with the TVC-34L even more, but I don’t like the 'carry' aspect. The "L" versions are very important to working in steep terrain, since the extra leg length may be mandatory.

Really Right Stuff TVC-34L
USB-C Dock for MacBook

4 USB3 ports, 1 USB-C port, SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, audio ports, HDMK 4K port!

Cyber Monday Deals

Thank you for using my links. Just click through any link on my site and I get credit for everything that goes into your cart once on that site in that session.

Availability and time frame for special pricing may be limited in some cases—don’t delay.

Callouts

4TB Internal SSD
for 2013 Mac Pro
Free how-to videos and tools included, 3-year warranty

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III Examples: Lundy Canyon Area (Canon 5DS R)

These examples include a mix of single frames and focus stacked images intended to show off the potential of the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L IIIfor landscape work.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III: Lundy Lake and Meadows

Includes images up to 28-megapixels.

Images are striking on the late 2015 iMac 5K.

Below, fog from Mono Lake dissipates over the mountain tops as a violent wind whips the late fall foliage.

 
Lundy Creek
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Wet Aspen Trunks After Rainstorm, Lee Vining Canyon
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Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Aperture Series: Two Aspen (Nikon D810)

 
Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art

Get Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art and Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at B&H Photo.

See my reviews of Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and more.

This aperture series from f/4 through f/11 is an an exceptional demonstration of wild and whacky field curvature and focus shift, yet with outstanding image quality if one is willing to accept and work with these behaviors in the field. Tips for field use follow in the conclusions.

Depth of field tables are useless fantasy for a lens like the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art. Image quality in practice depends strongly on focus placement in a scene and how that is optimal for the subject matter, which must also take lens behavior into account.

In my review of the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art in DAP:

Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Aperture Series: Two Aspen

Includes images up to 28 megapixels along with many large crops, all from f/4 through f/11.

Especially at 36MP on up, the photographer must place focus wisely for the subject matter, not just the “1/3 in” rule and not even just the near/far relationships, but also anticipating and compensating for a lens with focus shift and field curvature, which requires special care based on the shooting aperture.

Two Aspen with View of Lundy Canyon and Peaks
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Black Friday Specials, Links (updated @ 16:50 PST Nov 26)

See also all my B&H Photo wish lists.

Thank you for using my links.

Just click through any link on my site and I get credit for everything that goes into your cart once on that site in that session.

Prices and availability may be limited to hours in some cases — don’t delay.

OWC computer deals

See a long list of OWC Black Friday specials.

Apple and computer deals:

Callouts:

Destroying to Make the Picture

The very popular Lundy Canyon is suffering a scourge of too much visitation.

I’m aghast. This tree and several others were broken off like this for no other reason than to make a picture; they are not in the way of anything like a path, but are broken off to clear the view—as is obvious standing there for the line of sight. Someone simply broke down what was “in the way”. The offense is petty, and yet it is not: anyone willing to do this in a high traffic area deserves condemnation. Even in a low traffic area, there can be no argument for breaking off a young tree like this to make a shot. Even a clean cut would have showed more care.

Anyone who damages what they are photographing like this is a vandal, pure and simple. No matter how good technically or artistically the resulting image might be, it irrevocably becomes an act of destruction and vandalism that obliterates any value it might have.

The Lundy meadows are also being trampled down badly. Cars have now mashed-down reeds and grasses nearly to water’s edge in places. Foot traffic has pounded down deep paths anywhere near the road there is non-soggy footing (as well as areas on the main trail). And then was that chaperoned group of teenagers stomping up and down on the beaver dam last year. Gah!

This wide gamut of this type of stupidly destructive behavior is why I am adamantly against posting GPS coordinates, with virtually no exceptions making sense, because it only takes one jackass to ruin something. Any anyone lacking the spirit of exploration has no business being in the wilderness anyway. GPS coordinates are a recipe for destruction of sensitive places, even if the intent is not otherwise ill (think trampling fragile areas). I loathe the Sierra Club, which brought 30-40 visitors in one large group into one of my favorite canyons about six years ago—one I have visited for 30 years—I have watched the creekside degradation accelerate year over year.

Landscape Vandalism in Lundy Canyon
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Castor canadensis makes clean cuts at least. But beware of walking through waist-high summer foliage, or these sorts of cuts at knee to groin height could impale and kill.

Landscape Vandalism in Lundy Canyon
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James G writes:

I agree wholeheartedly that we often “love" our wild places to death. While, for my part, I want to see more people (most of all my kids) get off the couch and get outdoors we need to foster the same respect in our natural places that we expect in our private and public spaces - our homes, shops, schools, etc.

One note to other photographers that might help - I carry a couple of long bungee cords and some lightweight nylon cord with me when out in the wild for the purpose of holding or pulling back an intrusive tree or bush branch being careful not to tweak anymore than is necessary in the interest of the plant. One end goes on the plant and the other end to my camera backpack. If it looks like it’s not in the plant’s best interest, I try a different composition or move on.

DIGLLOYD: one solution. But anyone willing to break off trees is not likely to pause to consider it.

TESTED: OWC 40TB Thunderbay 4 Mini SSD

Get OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini and OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini RAID Edition at MacSales.com.

Following up on yesterday’s overview of OWC 40TB Thunderbay 4 Mini SSD, here is performance.

There looks to be cruising room here for 4K raw video capture. Or any hyper demanding task for writes and even better for reads.

Read more about the OWC 40TB SSD...

Tested using disktester fill-volume --xfer 128M with diglloydTools disktester

Write @ 1137 MiB/sec = 1192 MB/sec, Read @ 1359 MiB/sec = 1425 MB/sec
Test size 37.0 GiB = 39.37 GB in 1000 37.0 GiB files

 
SoftRAID showing a 40TB RAID-0 stripe SSD in OWC Thunderbay 4 MIni

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