*Wanna see differently? Check out the Lensbaby Super Holiday Sale

©2011tysonrobichaudphotography

My friends and hometown optics company, Lensbaby is offering a wide gamut of their unique products at substantial sales for the holidays.

As many of you know, I tend to shy away from using this site to push gear specials or sales constantly because we get them from many other sites, especially this time of year.  I will however give a shout out for Lensbaby because they’re a very cool, forward thinking, local company that I have been fortunate enough to become friendly with over the years.  I’ve helped create promotional imagery for them, I’ve done quite a bit of beta product testing and feedback, and have been published in a coffee table book focused on Lensbaby imagery.  When I was a wee blogger, they didn’t look twice when I asked about reviewing their lenses for the mirrorless systems way back in the day.  They even had me do some acting spots for their educational videos for larger retailers like B&H and Adorama which was a lot of fun, so you can say that I’m a bit of a honk.

I make no money from you buying Lensbaby products, so I’m not saying this because there is monetary incentive for me to do so, I just like them as a company, and like their products.  If you or someone you know has been interested in one of the many cool Lensbaby optics or creative products for photography or film making, now might be a good time to check on their sale.  You can see updates and find links to all of the discounts going on through the 22nd of December on Lensbaby’s website HERE.  Have a look, and let me know if you have any questions about the Lensbaby stuff, I’ve used quite a bit of it :)

If interested, you can see my various Lensbaby reviews and articles on the Review Page HERE.

Happy holidays to all, and happy shooting.

Tyson

*Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 review… dayum.

Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm f/0.95 lens review

Would it sound ironic if I were to mention the speed of this lens, and slowed hinderance of manual focus as the two best qualities that this lens can provide a photographer?  Let’s be honest, there are not many lenses in existence that offer this large a maximum aperture for any system, anywhere.  Certainly not very many that come in at under a thousand bucks, but this is the case for the micro 4/3 mount, Voigtländer Nokton series.  Yes, this 42.5mm (85mm equivalent field of view) lens is joined by a soon to be 10.5mm f/0.95 (21mm e-fov), a killer 17.5mm f/0.95 (35mm e-fov) and a 25mm f/0.95 (50mm e-fov) to create a set of super fast, Nokton wonder lenses.

I have been using the also stellar Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens of late, and before I took off on a recent trip, knowing I’d be doing a vast majority of my shooting in the darker hours, I felt the one thing I was really lacking, was a really fast lens.  A remarkably solid and well built hunk of metal and glass, this 85mm equivalent lens has been calling me ever since it was announced.  Well, I decided that I’d benefit more fully from a really fast portrait focal length over the long run, and would gain a good amount of latitude while handholding it combined with the IBIS in the GX7, so I bit.

C’mon in to see a few shots, and read my thoughts on this optical marvel.

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*Olympus 45mm f/1.8 vs the Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2

olympus m.zuiko 45mm f/1.8 vs contax zeiss 45mm f/2 planar

I held off for a long time on buying a portrait focal length for the Micro 4/3 system and despite the stellar reputation and modest pricing of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens, I’d found myself more or less happy with my adapted Contax 45mm.

The Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2 lens has a pretty amazing reputation of its own.  In its day, it was touted as being one of the sharpest standard lenses available, even garnering praise over some more illustrious Leica lenses in the same focal length neighborhood.  While I wish I had some Leica glass with which to test and back up that claim, let’s just say that the little Zeiss lens has done okay for itself and still goes for a decent amount of money now that the weird proprietary focusing mechanism has been worked around and this lens can be adapted to most any mirrorless camera nowadays.

So, how do these two compare?  Let’s see…

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*$300 off the Lumix GX7?! Camera body, or kit and includes an extra $100 Gift Card!!!

GX7

So, that just happened.  While I’ve not yet tried every single micro 4/3 camera, of those I have tried, the GX7 is still my favorite overall.  Wonderful Image quality, discrete size yet comfortable ergonomics, IBIS, Tilting LCD and EVF, wonderfully functional and intuitive interface, silent mode, focus peaking, WiFi, manual control, good video options blah, blah, blah.  It has been, quite possibly, my favorite camera I’ve shot with period, which is saying a lot.  It is with me all the time, and will continue to be for some time yet.  Because of the combination of size, quality and features, I literally bring it with me everyday because I don’t need anything else.

On top of the $300 discount that runs through this Saturday, you also get a $100 B&H Gift Card.  Seriously?!  While I’m in no way disappointed that I bought this camera at full price about a year ago as it has allowed me to shoot with it as long, a $400 incentive is nuts for this machine.  Okay, maybe I’m a little disappointed, more jealous I guess :)

Check out the deals at B&H:

Panasonic GX7 Body only $698 (reg: $998) HERE

Panasonic GX7 + 14-42mm Kit $798 (reg: $1098) HERE in Silver

Panasonic GX7 + 14-42mm Kit $798 (reg: $1098) HERE in Black

There are rumors that the GX line has been discontinued, but I think those rumors are crap.  I don’t however see them replacing this camera in the immediate future.  I just think that they’re trying to spur sales.  It shares the same, current sensor with the new GM5 (and GM1) and I’ve done some pretty extensive comparisons between it and the current Sony sensor in the EM5/et al.  You can read more of my thoughts on the Lumix GX7 below if you’re interested.

GX7 – An Evolution Part 1

GX7 – An Evolution Part 2

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 1

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 2

GX7 vs EM5 – Battle for my affection Part 3

GX7 vs GM1 – Panasonic Battle

If you’ve been on the fence, or have been waiting to upgrade I think that this camera, at this price is the best value in the micro 4/3 landscape hands down right now.

Let me know if you have any specific questions as well.  I have certainly answered more emails and inquiries about this camera that I have for any other up to this point, so please feel free to fire away.

Thanks all and happy shooting,

Tyson

*2nd TRP Garda Wrist Strap Giveaway Drawing Winners!

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Congratulations Geordon, Svenlovesflo and Jin Wan!  You are the three lucky winners of the TRP Garda Wrist Strap giveaway.  I will get in touch with each of you to get an address and a preference for whichever strap you’d prefer.

For the rest, thank you for submitting your names and participating.  If you are interested in buying one, please let me know, or find out how on the T&T Camera Straps Page HERE.

Here is a crude video showing the drawing.

Thanks again to everyone and happy shooting,

Tyson

*Strap it on. Newly updated Garda Wrist Strap Giveaway and brand new Ultralite strap!

P1120958

Hi all.  Firstly, let me say thank you to everyone who has purchased my hand built wrist straps over the last 6 months.  I’ve continued to tinker with the design, combined with feedback I’ve eliminated the need to decide between a standard or large size instead opting for one singular size that now incorporates a cinch ring.  The original 10mm Black and 8mm Green continue, and I’ve added another 8mm in Blue as well as the new 6mm Red.

Come on in to see more, and find out how to enter to win a free Garda Wrist Strap!

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*Have you been on the fence? GX7 on super sale.

Lumix GX7

Adorama has started to offer the GX7 (body only) with a bunch of freebies or gift card for $300 off the normal price.  Now, I don’t have a crystal ball, and I don’t know if this is somehow a precursor to a newer camera, but even if it is, this is a killer deal on what I feel is the best all around micro 4/3 camera out right now.

Let me clarify that last statement.  I don’t mean to say there aren’t better performing micro 4/3 cameras in ways.  The GH4 is the benchmark right now, but costs a lot.  The EM1 has some bells and whistles, but also, costs a lot more than the GX7.  Neither of these two is anywhere near as compact as the GX7 is, and as you may have read, I feel the GX7 does really, really well against the EM5/10’s or EP’s of the world in my opinion.

Find the GX7 with a bunch of stuff for $697 at Adorama HERE

Find the GX7 with a $100 Adorama Gift Card for $697 HERE

The GX7 deals are listed through 10/4.  If you’d like to read more on why I feel this is the best current overall micro 4/3 camera, hit the links to my review articles below:

GX7 vs EM5 Battle for my affection Part 1 (IBIS, EVF’s and LCD’s)

GX7 vs EM5 Battle for my affection Part 2 (Build Quality and Ergonomics)

GX7 vs EM5 Battle for my affection Part 3 (User Interface, IQ, features and the final decision)

GX7, an Evolution Part 1

GX7, an Evolution Part 2

GX7 vs GM1

Adorama is also offering a $300 rebate off of the GH3.  I’ve never used the GH3 aside from a few shots here and there so I cannot give a personal endorsement, but I do feel it has gained a good reputation for a reason.

It’s currently $797 and can be purchased with a $50 gift card and 4% reward, a $100 gift card or alone without one which is odd, but you can see all 3 deals on Adorama for the GH3 HERE if that floats your boat, and these deals look set to expire on 9/13.

I don’t normally do this type of post, but I do field a lot of questions, emails and various social media inquiries about cameras and the GX7 is one that I feel has been the best mirrorless camera I’ve yet used and with the current deals, is an absolute steal in my opinion.  The Adorama links are in fact attached through my affiliate account there and would give me a small commission which will in turn be used to purchase more stuff to shoot and review on the blog, so I thank you in advance for the consideration and I hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer (or winter depending on where you may be reading from).

 

Thanks all and happy shooting!

T