Battle of some Portrait Primes. Full Frame vs m4/3, Zeiss vs Leica, let the pissing contest commence…

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Well hi there!  Been a while.  Yes, I’ve been focused largely on launching the Nauti Straps stuff (utterly shameless plug, of which it will not be the last, surely) which has been going smashingly thus far, so thank you to everyone who’s supported me in that venture.  That said and done, I’ve been long wanting to compare these two premier portrait focal length prime lenses for the two formats I shoot in concert in the Sony FE and micro 4/3 systems.  

Enter the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE mount lens for Sony E mount cameras, and the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 DG Nocticron lens for micro 4/3 system shooters.

C’mon in for comparisons, pixel peeping galore and my thoughts as someone who has been shooting these two lenses for the better part of the last year.

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*Get it off the screen! Beautiful print options via @DigitalSilver Imaging

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Remember that really cool feeling of camping out in the dark room, focusing and projecting your image onto photo sensitive paper?  Watching your creation materialize before your eyes in the developer as you lightly rocked the chemicals back and forth, only to see your final image come to life for the first time?  I do.  It’s what sparked my love affair with photography, and if you never got to experience that, I think you should try to find a local community college or community space that still has enlargers, and give it a try.  Now, fast forward… Do you remember me telling you about Digital Silver Imaging and their unique, digital silver gelatin printing process?  To quickly summarize, DSI (find them here) has a process that takes your digital files, and exposes them like a negative, onto photo sensitive paper, and develops them in photo chemistry producing a beautiful, museum quality, archival print.  The beauty and depth of a digital file, with the organic analog feeling of a silver gelatin print, is a very cool, very harmonious and nostalgic thing.  Well, I’ve been back in contact with those fine folks, and after some delightful conversation surrounding the next step in actual mounting of said beautiful prints, this is what came back to me…

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Topaz to release Glow 2. Get it early! Free upgrade, or on sale at 30% off for new users w/ @topazlabs

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Have you used Topaz Glow yet?  If not, please go to Topaz’ website HERE and download the full free trial of the newly updated, and not quite yet publicly available Glow 2.  It’s okay, we’ll wait.  Free upgrade (as is Topaz’ awesome policy on every update they offer) and available on sale for 30% off using code “GLOW2” at checkout for new users (normally $69.99 on sale for $48.99).  There are a few effects in the digital photography realm that are instant attention grabbers.   The Glow effect is one of them.

Glow 2 will not be officially released until Tuesday the 16th, but as a Topaz affiliate, I’m able to share the release with readers early.  Go HERE, and you can either try or buy Glow 2.0, 5 days early.

I was a giddy fan when Glow was originally released, and it provided me with a true (and superior) alternative to Fractalius, being a Mac user.  So much so, that my original article Fractalius for Mac needed to be updated to replace my designed effect through Topaz Clean 3, to Topaz Glow to replicate the effect for us Mac OS users.  Since then, I’ve had a ton of fun with Glow, and find even more pleasure using the free update in Glow 2.

C’mon in to see more…

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*Who the @#$! needs film? Comparing film to film replication software w/ @alienskin

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(*this article was originally written for, and appeared on the Alien Skin blog, by me, HERE.)

Put out your torches, and put down your pitchforks.  I love film.  I shoot film, and have a freezer and fridge full of it from 35mm Kodak Gold and Ilford Delta, to 120 Tri X and Portra 160 NC.  The question I’ve struggled with though, is why?  Why do I still shoot film?  It’s expensive to process, ridiculously tedious to digitize and even with expensive drum scanning, still doesn’t reach the depth and range of modern digital files.  Well, the answer for me has been nostalgia, the feel of the image, and the ability to take a step back, and focus on shooting in a more organic way that coincides with my initial falling in love with photography in the first place.  A beautiful reality though, is that through software, and remarkable sensor technology, we can quickly and easily replicate the look of film if we want, taking care of one of those (my) criteria.

This post is not meant to be any more than a personal experiment in which I’ll look to answer this question for myself when using my go to digital solution when wanting to help analogize results within my digital reality and workflow because, while I may not need film, I sure do love to replicate the look and feel of it.  C’mon in…

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*Topaz Impression 2, a major upgrade to a radical digital painting conversion program. w/ @topazlabs

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Summer is upon us, and so too are the deals and updates showering us with their bounty.  If you’ve been around for a little while, you may have seen my article written after getting to beta the original Topaz Impression.  (spoiler: I loved it).  Now, Topaz has released Impression 2 with new tools and filters, and get this, it’s free for those of us who bought the original Impression.  If you’ve not yet updated, or you’d like to give it a free trial, you can go directly to Topaz Labs Website HERE.  If you’d like to buy it, use this link, and input “2IMPRESS” at checkout to get the normally priced $99 program for 40% off ($59.99!).

If you’d like to see more from me, and read more about why I love Impression, c’mon in…

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*Times, they just keep getting better. @alienskin offering total package for 30% off through end of June!

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Hello dear friends.  Long time no see!  I’ve been so wrapped up with the launch of the Nauti Straps stuff (and all the work from the ‘real’ job) that my blogging has suffered.  For that I am sorry.  Good news though!  For those who’ve been waiting for a sale on Exposure X, Alien Skin has been working toward combining all of their photo apps into one super monster of a program, for a while now, and it now lives in the Exposure X Bundle.  First it was a beautifully integrated Bokeh module into Exposure (while Exposure stayed the same price), and now, with the release of the Exposure X Bundle, it has added Blow Up 3 and Snap Art 4, all as a super group of software.  You can see more info on all, download free trials or go for the gold and buy it over at Alien Skin software’s website HERE.

I’ve certainly shilled at length for Alien Skin in the past, but c’mon in for a little on why I use, and don’t ever want to get by without, Exposure X.

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*Lensbaby’s new #GoPro Lens is available through Kickstarter now! w/ @SeeInANewWay

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GoPro users rejoice!  Lensbaby has just launched a campaign to release their brand new 180+ degree circular fisheye lens for GoPro action cameras.  It looks like it will be a great lens for GoPro system users who may want that wider angle that a circular fisheye produces for underwater video, general tomfoolery or to produce some cool, surreal drone footage.  Jump on the train to be one of the first pledgers to get it for only $69.

See the release from Lensbaby below:

GoPro® cameras are amazing. The fixed lens however can be limiting. Lensbaby’s new Circular 180+ lens, packed with 185 degrees of AWESOME, will make you want to pull that GoPro® out and see your adventures like you’ve never seen before. 

Lensbaby’s Circular 180+ lens creates fully circle fisheye videos and images with huge depth of field letting you capture the soul of your adventures with a fully immersive field of view. Attaching to the current waterproof housing on GoPro® Hero cameras, the Circular 180+ captures a 185 degree window on the world, wider than the human eye can see with unprecedented depth of field – subjects nearly touching the front of the lens are sharp along with everything else in the image.

With its 185 degree field of view, intense depth, tack sharp edge-to-edge focus plus its small, rugged design this lens will go anywhere you want to go. Back in now on Kickstarter to get your lens in time for summer shooting: http://lensba.by/kickstarter_circular180

I have no stake to claim here, no money on the table, no skin in the game.  Just wanting to spread the Lensbaby gospel because I like the company and the folks that work there.  They’re awesome.  Click the link above to see sample footage and hear from Craig, the co-founder of Lensbaby as he explains what led to them developing this lens.

Happy shooting,

Tyson