*TRP featured in Olympus Passion Magazine

Remember my portrait lens shoot out?  Well, it caught the eye of the folks over at Olympus Passion Magazine as they’d previously featured my article testing the Leica 15mm against the Panasonic pancake 14 and 20mm lenses on their website, and had asked to feature the portrait shoot out in the August edition of the magazine.  I happily obliged, and it can now be seen in the current issue of their beautifully curated, Olympus-centric mag HERE.

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*Lensbaby Trio28, embrace the weird, wild and wonderful world of imperfect. w/@seeinanewway

In an industry that provides me with my very favorite of hobbies, the idea of perceived perfection in performance is often the benchmark.  To this end, I too am guilty in that I often look for and test to make sure I have the best optics for whichever sensor I happen to have invested in.  Often times, when we as photographers focus on measurable optical metrics, we can lose sight of the artistic, creative outlet that visual art such as photography can provide us.  As the old adage goes as far as skill and creativity are concerned, sharpness is overrated.

I like to explore photography from a very large spectrum of angles, and find I enjoy myself most when I change my vantage from time to time.  I don’t feel photography is one thing, and certainly feel for me that if it only provided me with one type of result, I’d not be nearly as happy.  I like variety, I like difference, I like weird.  For those who’ve been around for a while, you’ll probably remember articles I’ve written about Lensbaby products, and how the company resides just down the road from me.  Back when this was a fledgling little blog, they offered me many opportunities to beta test new optics, and provide fodder for those looking for adaptable optics for their (at the time, young, new) mirrorless system cameras.

Say hello to the Lensbaby Trio 28mm f/3.5 lens.  Three unique Lensbaby optics, built into a single lens for mirrorless systems, and I’ve been loving it.  C’mon in for some examples and comparisons…

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*Sony brings two new, sexy ultrawide zooms to the Full Frame party. JUST ANNOUNCED!!!

We’ve heard whispers of the Sony FE 16-35mm GM lens bandied about, and perhaps those in the know have also been hearing about an even wider option, but the FE 12-24 f/4 lens just caught me by surprise!

While pre-orders won’t be taken until this Friday, you can submit to have an email alert once they are available via these links which you can see more about these lenses, their specs and will take you directly to B&H:

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM HERE

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G HERE

B&H lists the specs of the 16-35 f/2.8 lens as follows:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Two Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Three Aspherical and Two XA Elements
  • Nano AR and Fluorine Coatings
  • Two Direct Drive SSM AF Groups
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Eleven-Blade Circular Diaphragm

…And the 12-24 f/4 lens is listed at B&H as such:

  • E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22
  • Four Aspherical Elements
  • One Super ED and Three ED Elements
  • Nano AR Coating
  • Direct Drive Super Sonic Wave Motor
  • Focus Hold Button, AF/MF Switch
  • Dust and Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Seven-Bladed Rounded Diaphragm

Obviously, the B&H site has mis-listed the max aperture on the 12-24, but both of these lenses look really, really good on paper.  How they test out optically is yet to be seen, but I’d imagine it won’t take long for us to get many comprehensive reviews very soon.  These are going to be two popular lenses.

The 16-35 looks very nice, and I’m sure will be an extremely popular UWA zoom for pro use, the price is very high in my opinion.  Reminds me of the Canon debate between their EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L and EF 17-40mm f/4 L lenses where the extra stop costs nearly twice as much.  For me personally, I use an ultra wide zoom for interiors and landscapes which usually see me stop down to f/8- f/11 or so, and will be shot on a tripod.  That made the decision for me an easy one.  I see a similar situation here with Sony’s offerings.  The 12-24mm lens looks pretty damn intriguing, and while the price is still very steep, by comparison to the 16-35, for my UWA use, I’d be opting for the wider, slower zoom myself, assuming these both test well optically.

Both are dust and moisture resistant meaning they should do well to hold up in inclement weather for outdoor shooting, as we should expect for lenses like these, targeted and priced for professional use.

Anyhoo, keep an eye out for these bad boys.  Should go some way in helping round out Sony’s full frame lens game for those serious, and deep pocketed shooters.

Cheers, and happy shooting,

Tyson

*Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4 – Power, finesse, fashion and function. A user review…

Hello dear friends.  There has been no secret here on the bloggings, surrounding my desire to find the perfect 85mm lens.  It has become my own photo gear holy grail, and a fun journey it has been.  I’ve owned, sold, used, borrowed or rented at least a dozen different 85mm (or equivalent) lenses for a few different systems over my years.  It’s probably the single most fascinating focal length, for me.  The most popular classification for a lens of this focal length, is going to be portraiture.  It balances minimal distortion, with flattering spacial compression when working at traditional distances for portraits, and is a go to for many portrait photographers.  I do like a good portrait session, but a mid range tele lens like a nice, fast 85mm can offer much more than merely head and shoulder shots.  I want to look at this lens on its own at first.  How sharp is it?  Bokeh?  What kind of value does is present at its price point for a photographer like me, or you?  Later, I’ll be comparing this lens to a couple other fast portrait lenses that I have  here on the blog, but for now let’s see how this beautiful new Sigma Art lens stands on its own…

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*Monthly Nauti Straps Donation Program – May 2017 – @RainbowRailroad

If you’ve been overwhelmed by global news or light shed on the huge variety of conflict and injustice being inflicted globally,  I can understand as it has been taxing to wake to a seeming constant flow of issues ranging from bizarre to horrific, daily.  This month, we wanted to focus our effort on the horrific Chechnyan anti-gay purge seeing people of the LGBTQ community in that country, literally put into what are being called “torture camps” with the Chechnyan government hunting anyone even rumored to be gay or transgendered with families being urged to kill their children, or face having it done within these torture camps.  Chechnya’s police call it ‘Cleaning your honour with blood.’ 

I know that I have subscribers and readers from all over the world.  I’ve used my blog as a way to converse with many of you, I continue to follow many of you as well, and I have greatly enjoyed doing so.  As it has progressed, my new camera strap business has naturally worked its way into the site here, and I appreciate all who have helped support me in that venture.  With the state of the world, and the country that I live in, it’s role in the global community and the affects our policy have for many planet wide, I’ve made a conscious effort to try and use Nauti Straps to help in ways I was unable to before.  If you live in a place that affords you freedoms enabling a relatively safe and secure lifestyle, appreciate that and we’d urge anyone willing to listen, to do what they can to support those in greater need that are living in places where they’re not afforded similar freedoms.  It is difficult for many of us to singlehandedly, financially support causes, but if we circle the wagons, band together, we can help spread that burden out so that we create a chorus of voices as opposed to feeling as if we are trying to tackle any injustice we’re troubled by, alone.

This month, Nauti Straps will donate 10% of all sales of our camera straps to the Rainbow Railroad, an organization focused on advocating and directly aiding LGBTQ people all over the world.  Currently, much of their need and effort resides in the horror happening in Chechnya.  You can see more about Rainbow Railroad and what they do HERE.  From the Rainbow Railroad’s website:

In countries all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified (LGBT) people still live in basic fear for their freedom, their safety and their lives.  They often have nowhere to turn because their government and police not only tolerate but encourage this brutality. Rainbow Railroad exists to help these people get out of danger to somewhere safe. In the spirit of and with homage to the Underground Railroad, the mission of the Rainbow Railroad is to help LGBT people as they seek safe haven from state enabled violence, murder or persecution. Through funds collected by people like you, we’re able to support, provide information, and help to arrange safe transportation for these LGBT people to somewhere in the world where they can live their lives in safety.

We’ve decided to say the hell with being politically and ethically neutral at Nauti Straps (just in case you haven’t yet noticed) through our monthly donation program where we choose a cause we feel is in immediate need, to donate a 10% portion of all our sales to.  While we fully support every person’s right as a human to have differing views, opinions and framework for your lives and the lives of those you love, we respect EVERYONE’s ability to live life as who they are, as long as that life in no way inflicts direct harm or oppresses anyone else’s ability to have the freedom to do the same, and hope you feel similarly.  

If you, or anyone you know would like a hand built camera strap, while helping the Rainbow Railroad you can see what I make at Nautistraps.com HERE.  If you feel you are in a position to financially help, and don’t necessarily need a camera strap, you can donate to Rainbow Railroad directly through their website HERE.

Thank you and as always, any help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated.

Team Nauti

You can find Nauti Straps on Instagram HERE

*we will return to our semi-regularly scheduled photo review blogging shortly.  Thank you for your support.

 

*Monthly Nauti Straps Donation Program – April 2017 – White Helmets

I cannot think of a situation more dire than that which is taking place in Syria and affecting Syrian people right now.  I’d imagine we’ve all read about, and seen the horrific footage of the most recent spate of chemical attacks and while extremely hard to watch, if you haven’t, I think it important to do so to understand just what the evil in this world is capable of.  The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets are a group of Syrian rescue workers who risk life and limb to respond to bombings, chemical attacks and any other act of violence against innocent children, women and men, and do so outside of any political or religious framework.  Pure humanitarian motivation.  I would suggest seeing who they are, and what they do here: www.whitehelmets.org

As of the time of this writing (according to their website), 166 White Helmet volunteers have been killed, and yet they continue to charge into affected areas to help the people, the families, the children who are otherwise helpless.  

Politics aside, and regardless of who is responsible for the continued aggression against Syrian civilians, we can at the very least, financially help.  We will be donating 10% of all sales of Nauti Straps (find Nauti Straps HERE) to the White Helmets this month, and even if you’re not in the market for a camera strap, even a few dollars can help if you feel so inclined to donate directly.  I’ve tried to find worthy causes to support each and every month, and right now, I cannot think of any cause in more immediate need.  We may not be able to do much in the grand scheme of things, but this is one way that we’ve decided to try and use our new business to help a little bit.

We will be getting back to our regularly scheduled programing shortly as I have multiple lens reviews and comparison articles in the works.

Thanks all, be well and happy shooting.

Tyson

 

*New Nauti Straps Speed 2 Sling Straps, adjustable and ready to go!

speed2 on Sony a7II

The Speed sling strap has been a mainstay for me, but over the last year, I’ve gotten feedback that an adjustable version would be something of interest to many.  Well, I sourced a lightweight, but sturdy cam lock buckle to fit the strap material, re-designed how I was splicing the clasp on, and locking the strap, and boom.  New Speed 2.  

Weighing in at a mere 2.2 ounces, and utilizing the same high strength materials, stainless steel quick release clasp and proprietary hand built design, the new Speed 2 sling strap is perfect for mirrorless and compact cameras, for on the go photographers.

speed2-9

Available in Blue/White, Yellow/Gray, Orange/Gray, Red/White, Black/White and a new Solid Black with 3M® reflective tracer, the new Speed 2 is ready to go over at NautiStraps.com now.  The straps can adjust from 16″-29″ (the original Speed sling strap was a fixed 25″) and are designed to wear across your body as a sling, attaching to the camera via a quick release spring clasp and 170lb test split ring (included).  I like being able to switch between a Speed sling, and other straps using the quick release clasp.  Especially handy when wanting to get straps out of the way on the tripod.

speedsling2

Available now for $48 including delivery (in the US), and for blog readers you can get a 15% discount for the next week (discount runs through Sunday, February 12th) using code “SPEED2” at checkout, these guys are ready to rock.  As always, shipping via the US Postal Service is free within the US, and is a flat $10 rate for anywhere outside of the US.

Thanks for all of the support over the last year as I’ve been working on all of these straps.  It means a lot, and I greatly appreciate the feedback and conversations I’ve had with many of you guys over this time.

I hope everyone is well.  Connect with me via  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.  

To stay up on new articles, you can add your email address at the top of the page (via standard browser) or below if viewing on a mobile platform.

Happy shooting,

Tyson