Benro X-Series Travel-Friendly Gimbals

Benro is entering the crowded gimbal market with a whole line of gimbals from small models for smartphones, all the way to the 3XD Pro for larger camera builds. All of the gimbals have been designed for easier travelling, with foldable designs. 3XD & 3XD Pro The 3XD looks like all of the other single-handed … Continued

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Meyer Optik Görlitz sets its sights on a late summer lens relaunch

The re-revived optical brand Meyer Optik Görlitz is set to release the first of its new lenses within the next couple of months and promises more ‘realistic and attractive’ prices for this model and those to come. New owners OPC Optics plan to offer ‘optimised’ versions of six of the existing Meyer Optik lenses as well as to introduce a completely new lens later this year.

Two lenses, the Somnium and the Nocturnus, have been dropped from the range since it was discovered they were modified third party lenses from Russian and Chinese manufacturers, OPC says, during a review of the whole portfolio of optics. The lenses that will be released will be:

  • Trioplan 100mm F2.8 II
  • Trioplan 50mm F2.9 II
  • Trioplan 35+ F2.8 II
  • Lydith 30mm F3.5 II
  • Primoplan 58mm F1.9 II
  • Primoplan 75mm F1.9 II

OPC Optics MD Timo Heinze says that each lens has been studied and assessed for optimization of both optical and mechanical design, and that improvements have been made – in resolution and contrast for the Trioplan 100 II. This will be the first lens to be released, followed by the Trioplan 50 II, the Lydith and then the Primoplan 75.

A completely new lens called the Primagon 50 F2.0 will follow ‘probably’ this year. This will be a completely new lens in every sense, as the original Meyer Optik Gorlitz only used this name for a 35mm lens.

This all sounds like positive news from the new owners of the brand, but plenty of goodwill from photographers will be needed as so many lost money backing the numerous and quick-fire Kickstarter and Indigogo campaigns launched by previous owner Net SE before it went bankrupt. The new company appears to be preparing to sell finished products direct from its own website though, so future purchasers won’t be taking such a risk.

While the press release below states that prices haven’t been finalised yet the company website is advertising the Trioplan 100 F2.8 II for €999, but it’s not accepting orders. The Trioplan 50 F2.9 II and the Lydith 30 F3.5 II are advertised at €899. For more information on these lenses and the company background see the Meyer Optik Görlitz website.

Press release:

Renewal of the Meyer Optik Görlitz portfolio on schedule

  • Optimization of the first lens completed
  • Further new versions of previous lenses in progress
  • First completely new development finalized / more to follow
  • Cooperation with Fotomuseum Görlitz & the City of Görlitz

Bad Kreuznach – Meyer Optik is pushing the revision and optimization of its existing portfolio and has already completed its first projects. The developments are thus on schedule and the first Meyer Optik lenses developed and produced by OPC will be available in late summer 2019.

“We have analyzed the entire existing portfolio, identified optimization potential and categorized it according to effort. This approach now enables us to efficiently optimize lens by lens and to publish in a timely manner,” explains Timo Heinze, Managing Director of OPC Optics. “We are currently in the prototype phase of the first optimized lens and are confident that we will achieve an increase in the mechanical quality and imaging performance of this and all other lenses. Depending on the individual lens, the scope of these improvements and changes will of course vary. The unique image language of every individual lens will be retained of course.”

Optimization of the first new version finalized
During the analysis process it turned out that the first new edition will be the Trioplan 100. This new Trioplan 100 II is currently in the prototype phase and will be the first revised lens to be released.

“The previous Trioplan 100 is a good lens and its success proves it right. We have received an unbelievable number of enquiries about the availability of the Trioplan 100 and see many posts in the social media from satisfied photographers who proudly present their Trioplan pictures. Our technical analysis also showed that the previous Trioplan 100 is simply a good lens, and yet we were able to introduce and implement improvements here and there. This applies on the one hand to the mechanics and on the other hand to the optics itself in terms of contrast behavior and resolution. We are confident that our current prototype tests will confirm this and that we will be able to start serial production immediately after completion of the test series,” explains Heinze.

Further improved, new editions in progress
Also, under development are the Trioplan 50 / 35+, Lydith 30 and Primoplan 58 / 75, which will receive a complete redesign of the mechanics and outer geometry. In addition, the optical calculations and the glass itself will of course also be put to the test and examined for optimization potential.

Of these lenses, the Trioplan 50 will now be completed next, followed by the Lydith 30 and the Primoplan 75. The optimization work will then be completed with the Primoplan 58 and the Trioplan 35+.

With the Trioplan 50, the mechanics and outer geometry as well as the optical calculation were completely revised so that a better haptic and a considerably improved imaging performance are to be achieved. These theoretical optimizations must now be verified in real use. The necessary prototypes are currently in production and will then be extensively tested.

The selling prices of the new versions are not yet fixed. However, we are working hard to optimize production and internal processes so that the new lenses can be offered at realistic and attractive prices without compromising quality and precision.

First completely new development finalized / more to follow
As already announced, Meyer Optik will also launch completely new lenses on the market. Under the venerable name “Primagon”, a completely new lens will probably be launched this year. The elaborately constructed design consists of 8 lenses in 6 assemblies and will appear as Primagon 50 f2.0. Further details such as an exact publication date, prices, available mounts, technical details, etc. will be published in due course.

Cooperation with Fotomuseum Görlitz and the city of Görlitz
Meyer Optik will work closely with the Fotomuseum Görlitz and the city of Görlitz in the future. Among other things, the 5th Photo Festival in Görlitz (30.08. – 22.09.2019), which is organized by Fotomuseum Görlitz e.V., will be supported by Meyer Optik. As a part of this event, employees of Meyer Optik / OPC Optics will be on site during the opening weekend and will be happy to talk to anyone interested.

About Meyer Optik Görlitz
Meyer Optik Görlitz has a long history as a German manufacturer of high-quality lenses. Founded in 1896, Meyer Optik Görlitz has been in almost continuous existence for around 120 years. Thanks to the creativity which makes the Meyer Optik Görlitz lenses possible, the brand enjoys huge popularity worldwide – today as much as always.

About OPC Optics
OPC Optics was founded as a company in 2016 and is based in Bad Kreuznach. In addition to providing technical advice for projects and contract measuring of optical components, OPC Optics is primarily known as a specialist in high-precision aspheric and spherical lenses, as well as double aspheric lenses, achromatic lenses and assembly units. Its customers include companies involved in photography, medical technology, automotive and laser technology. With state-of-the-art machines, OPC Optics focuses on providing the highest possible quality and precision in the manufacture of glass lenses. As a result of comprehensive documentation of the entire process, from molten glass to raw glass processing, right through to the finished lens, OPC Optics is trusted by customers all around the world.

You Have Just 1 More Month to Enter My RØDE Reel and Win $1M in Prizes

There is $1M worth of prizes up for grabs, but the final day to enter is quickly approaching to enter My RØDE Reel.

Now in its 6th year, My RØDE Reel is one of the biggest short film competitions in the world with over 14,000 filmmakers vying for that sweet grand prize of $1M worth of gear to be won across 28 categories, including the brand new “The Trailer Is The Movie” category, which offers the winner a $50,000 scholarship to Full Sail University.

However, the clock’s ticking and that final entry date of August 28th is almost here! So, if you’ve procrastinated on entering, maybe seeing all the prizes you could win will motivate you.

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ARRI Launches New Remote Head That’s a Real Gamechanger

Once again, ARRI is making all of our lives easier.

ARRI’s new Digital Encoder Head (DEH-1) is the first digitally-encoded head that can communicate through LBUS.

The DEH-1 will enable shooters to remotely control their tripod with Cartoni technology to communicate through ARRI’s LBUS protocol that is connected to the Stabilized Remote Head (SRH-3). The DEH-1 is a standard ARRI designed fluid head that attached with any Mitchell flat based tripod or support and with an adjustable drag system for precise pan and tilt movements, the DEH-1 is intuitive and easy to use, and promises to be a smarter alternative to using a wireless joystick or hand wheel.

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Why the Z-Cam E2C Is Your New Best Friend

This might be the best 4K cinema camera on the market.

For under $800, the E2C may be the smallest and most affordable 4K camera out there right now. It’s also one of the best things to happen in the history of human events.

Z-Cam’s new E2C 4K Cinema Camera looks awfully familiar. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they look a hard look at Blackmagic’s Micro Cinema Camera and then took a look at how they could put their own 4K spin on it.

Capable of recording 4K 10-Bit H.265 video through DCI, at up to 300 fps, as well as 8-bit H.264 at up to 120 fps. By contrast, the 1080p BMMCC boasts 13 stops of DR. But it’s also HD, not UHD, sSo E-Cam has the advantage there, and can shoot full HD at up to 60 fps as well. The micro four thirds image sensor of the E2C is capable of up to 11.5 stops of dynamic range when shooting with Z-Log2.

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Watch How You Can Make Your Movie Look More Cinematic

To give your sets the perfect cinematic look, you might want to think messy.

In filmmaking, no one likes the look of a sterile set that has no personality or clutter. I see this a lot as a festival screener and can pick out immediately when a team might have skimped on set design.

Usually the filmmakers are utilizing a rented house or apartment, and all they’ve done is added some family photos in the background. The rest of the place looks like a hotel room. It feels sterile and unrealistic.

Really, for a more authentic backdrop, the filmmakers should be making a mess.

The team over at The Film Look has put together some easy tips for making your work look more real and more cinematic. Check out their video below.

Start with the script

When you’re handed a project, you might be given a basic description or slugline like “INT. BASEMENT – NIGHT.” Then you’re given the characters involved and hopefully what they’re doing.

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Facebook Live Stream directly from the JVC GY-HM250 4KCAM camcorder

JVC has announced a major upgrade to its family of GY-HM250 4KCAM compact handheld camcorders that streamlines connectivity to Facebook Live. The free upgrade, available here, includes a new ‘Facebook Live‘ menu that makes the connection process easier. According to JVC, the GY-HM250 the first fully integrated Facebook Live professional camcorder in the industry. It … Continued

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Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D – world’s widest rectilinear lens for the Fujifilm GFX

Laowa has unveiled the pricing and availability of what they claim is the world’s widest rectilinear lens for the Fujifilm GFX camera system, the Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D GFX lens. Laowa 17mm f/4 Zero-D GFX is a 13.5mm equivalent ultra-wide angle prime specially designed for Fujifilm GFX camera system. The 113°ultra-wide perspective makes it an … Continued

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How Scientists Accurately Colorize Hubble Telescope Images of Space

How Scientists Accurately Colorize Hubble Telescope Images of Space

The Hubble telescope has provided us some of the greatest images of the observable universe we’ve ever seen, but they’re black and white as standard. So how do scientists know what color to make them?

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See How This Famous Children’s Book Series Was Photographed

See How This Famous Children's Book Series Was Photographed

The photo-illustrator of the popular “I Spy” series is interviewed about his process on the creation of the incredibly detailed book series. This includes the styling, behind the scenes, and yes, the cameras he used.

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The Best Filmmaking Deals of the Week (8.1.19)

With an $850 price drop, the Panasonic EVA Super 35 cinema camera takes center stage on our Deals of the Week.

This week in deals: two Super 35 cinema cameras get a big price drop— the Canon EOS C100, down $500, and the Panasonic EVA1, down a massive $850. If you’re in the market for some Sigma glass, you can save $200 on the 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART lens, or if you’re looking for some portable (and super cute) lighting, you can get 17% off of the Lume Cube AIR Bundle which comes with Joby GorillaPods. And finally, Adorama is offering a huge $750 discount on the Ready Rig GS Stabilizer + ProArm Kit for those with a special coupon code.

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Kodak is Trying to Bring Back the Photo Kiosk with the M1 Order Station

Remember those old photo printing kiosks you used to find in convenience stores and pharmacies? Kodak is trying to bring these back into vogue by releasing the M1 Order Station: a printing kiosk that seeks to “capitalize on consumers’ interest for photo products by offering high-quality prints from their smartphones.”

Walk into a Walgreens or CVS in the United States, and you may be able to find the remnants of a photo printing kiosk somewhere in a dingy corner at the back of the store. If you’re lucky, it might even be working. But you’re just as likely to find something that’s broken, and you’re almost certainly going to find a machine that’s out of date.

That’s what Kodak Alaris wants to fix with the M1 Order Station. This “scalable” little photo printing kiosk is built to be used with smartphones instead of SD cards or thumb drives (although those still work), making it easy to grab a few prints, create a collage, or make a custom card during an impromptu trip to replenish your paper towels or pick up some NyQuil.

Admittedly, announcing the release of a new photo printing kiosk in 2019 seems… quaint. Almost like releasing a new VHS player with smartphone connectivity. Then again, holding a print—even a snapshot of friends or family—is an incredibly satisfying experience and the reason why instant film cameras are doing so well.

If something like the M1 Order Station makes its way into pharmacies across the US, will people actually use them? Will you suddenly start seeing 4×6 prints all over the place again? Or will the few of these that are actually ordered and installed simply collect dust until they become smartphone-connected versions of their defunct predecessors? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in finding out more about the M1, head over to the Kodak Moments website. And if you like keeping up with the latest off-the-cuff ideas from the once-iconic brand, check out the smartphone-powered cardboard “film scanner” they released earlier this year.

DJI’s Professional Digital FPV System : Will This Change FPV Droning for Good?

DJI's Professional Digital FPV System : Will This Change FPV Droning for Good?

FPV drones have been on the rise the past few years but have had some minor issues with long range transmission and video signal. With DJI’s new digital FPV system, there is a good chance all of that can change and more people can easily adapt to a new type of flying.

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The Photo Rock Bar Wants to Replace Bulky Sandbags with a Better Solution

It’s not often someone “reimagines” an established bit of kit, but that’s what the folks over at Photo Rock Bar have done. This strange looking weight for tripods, light stands and boom arms is meant to replace ye old sand bag with something more convenient and versatile.

The Photo Rock Bar came to our attention earlier this week when we were contacted by one of the contraption’s creators. As you can see from the images below, the Photo Rock Bar consists of a tubular nylon case that attaches directly onto your tripod or C-Stand using two removable straps. Inside the zip-up tube are 7 lbs worth of removable weights made from recycled steel.

When strapped down correctly, the creators of Photo Rock Bar promise that it will “not move or sway and cause movement or vibration problems like hanging weight bags can.” And if you really need some stability, it’s compact enough that you could even attach multiple Rock Bars to a single tripod or stand.

Here’s a closer look:

Even if we don’t think the Rock Bar will completely replace sandbags for photographers, it’s an interesting alternative that could legitimately be more useful in many situations. To learn more about this product, head over to the Photo Rock Bar website where you can purchase one for yourself for $45.

Benro launches X Series gimbals for DSLR, mirrorless, and smartphone camera systems

Benro has unveiled its new X Series family of gimbals for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and smartphones. The product lines feature the Benro X Series 3XM, 3XD, 3XD Pro, 3XS and 3XS Lite, all of which can be folded for more compact storage.

Benro X Series DSLR and Mirrorless Gimbals

The Benro X Series line for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras features the 3XM for payloads weighing up to 3.9lbs, the 3XD for weights up to 8.3lbs, and the 3XD Pro with a dual-handle design and the ability to carry ‘most cameras.’ All three models feature a foldable handle and are designed to maintain their ‘balanced configuration’ for rapid deployment and use.

The 3XM gimbal weighs 1.9lbs and is designed for mirrorless cameras. This model features an interchangeable battery that lasts around 12 hours per charge and a design that enables the gimbal to be rotated 90-degrees for ideal use in underslung mode. When folded for storage, the 3XM is only around half of its unfolded height. This model costs $399.

The 3XD model is designed for DSLRs with a total capacity up to 8.3lbs, meaning it can handle, as an example, the Canon 1DX Mark II with the 24-70mm lens. This gimbal features the same 90-degree adjustable handle offered on the 3XM, but also with a 45-degree roll motor offset to increase the camera’s rear LCD visibility. This model is priced at $499.

Rounding out the X Series for DSLRs is the 3XD Pro, a T-shaped dual-handle model with support for underslung and handlebar configurations. This model can likewise be rotated 90-degrees and eliminates the need for a balancing stand. A microphone can be mounted to this model’s crossbar and plugged into a 3.5mm input on the handlebar or near the gimbal head.

The model also features mini HDMI ports near the gimbal head and on the crossbar for displays mounted on the gimbal’s mounting points. As well, operators can connect the gimbal to and control certain camera models directly. This model is available for $699.

All three Benro X Series gimbals work with a companion smartphone app featuring calibration and adjustment features, access to functions and support for upgrading firmware.

Benro X Series Smartphone Gimbals

Joining the three new DSLR and mirrorless camera gimbals is Benro’s X Series line for smartphones. This product family features the 3XS and 3XS Lite, both offering a foldable design and compact sizes for storage in tight spaces. Both the 3XS and the 3XS Lite sport a clamp design for accommodating differently sized smartphones and both can be rotated between portrait and landscape orientations using a button.

As well, both gimbals are designed to provide access to a smartphone’s ports in either orientation. A 2000mAH battery powers both the 3XS and 3XS Lite, offering up to 24 hours on a single charge. Smartphone control, including over the gimbal head and shutter/record/zoom/focus functions, are available both on the gimbals and in the products’ companion app.

Likewise, both models feature a 3.5mm input for an external microphone, a 1/4″-20 threaded mounting hole and a built-in cable passthrough. Unlike the 3XS Lite, the 3XS model offers both wired and wireless charging, the latter of which is applicable to smartphone models that support wireless charging.

The Benro X Series 3XS Lite is available for $99 and the 3XS for $129.

The H&Y Magnetic Filter Holder Enhances the Ergonomics of Your Landscape Photography Workflow

The H&Y Magnetic Filter Holder Enhances the Ergonomics of Your Landscape Photography Workflow

Ergonomics may not be something that is directly discussed in the workshops and classes you’ve attended on landscape photography but as one progresses further into the craft, one will realize that equipment that allow you to adjust and adapt promptly to sudden changes in the scene are crucial in getting the shot that you want.

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Behind the Scenes: Grueling Lifestyle Shoot on an Active Volcano in Ethiopia

Photographer Joey L. is known for pushing himself to capture stunning imagery. From his documentary work on the frontlines of the fight against ISIS, to A-list celebrity and commercial work, he never shies away from a physical or creative challenge. His most recent commercial shoot was both.

The ad campaign featured the ZAAF Collection, a premium lifestyle brand created by Joey’s friend and personal hero Abai Schulze, and whose bags are made entirely in Africa. For this special campaign, Schulze wanted to highlight the heritage of her homeland and place her brand in several of “the unique locations that people don’t really know about” in Africa.

“There are so many stereotypes about my homeland,” says Schulze in the short doc above. “With a shoot like this, you can break that narrative.” And so the duo chose to capture this campaign in the Danakil Desert, one of the most remote regions in Ethiopia and hottest places on Earth.

This is not your standard on-location shoot. “Our crew climbed an active volcano, camped for days without electricity, and yet we somehow managed to photograph an advertising campaign in one of the hottest places on Earth,” explains Joey on his blog.

The shoot included several days on the rim of the active volcano Erta Ale (which last erupted in 2017), a day in the Dallol Sulphur Springs where the rotten air smell was sometimes overwhelming and the temperature reached an unbelievable 46°C (114°F), and some gorgeous imagery captured on the Afar Salt Plains.

The resulting images have that high-fashion sheen that you expect from commercial work. And yet they were all captured in grueling conditions, sometimes after hours of hiking and days without showers or electricity. Keep that in mind as you scroll through some of the images below, which Joey kindly allowed us to share:

It’s easy to see why Joey says the ZAAF Collection photo shoot, “will go down as one of my top 5 favorite photoshoots of all time- a special project for both the overall vision as well as the journey creating it.” To experience the whole process of creating these images, watch the behind-the-scenes documentary above and then head over to Joey’s blog to see all of the images he captured.

(via Fstoppers)


Credits: All photos by Joey L. and used with permission.

Venus Optics’ Laowa 17mm F4 Zero-D lens for Fujifilm GFX cameras is now available to pre-order

Nearly a year and a half since first revealing it, Venus Optics has officially opened up pre-orders for its 17mm F4 Zero-D lens for Fujifilm GFX medium format cameras.

As we noted back in April 2018, the lens features a full-frame equivalent focal length of 13.5mm and a 113º field of view with ‘close-to-zero’ distortion, which Laowa says is ‘extremely useful for architecture and interior photographers.’ The lens is constructed of 21 elements in 14 groups, including three extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements and features a minimum focusing distance of 20cm (7.9in).

The 17mm F4 Zero-D measures approximately 12.5cm (4.9in) long, weighs only 829 (1.8lbs) and has a diameter of 88mm (3.46in). The front filter thread is 86mm and Laowa is offering an optional magnetic filter holder that can easily swap out 100mm-wide slot-in filters.

Below is a sample gallery of images provided by Venus Optics:

Venus Optics currently has the Laowa 17mm F4 Zero-D listed on its website as available to pre-order for $1,199. The first units are expected to ship mid-August 2019.