Cardinal Photo

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Acratech Long Lens Tripod Head: The lightest way to use a long lens in the field

There is no substitute for the image quality from a pro-quality long lens when shooting wildlife or sports. Their high-quality images and fast focus speed come at a high cost in both dollars and weight, unfortunately. Adding to the weight is the need for specialized tripod heads. Conventional ballheads are seriously painful to use with long lenses, falling off to one side or the other just at the wrong time. Until now, replacement solutions have been both expensive and heavy. Whether you like the traditional Wimberley, the newer Mongoose, the nerdy Really Right Stuff offering, or even the cut down Wimberley Sidekick, you’re looking at a minimum of 2 pounds and several hundred dollars (the Sidekick is the cheapest and lightest, but requires that you also bring and use a sturdy ballhead). Enter the new Acratech Long Lens Head.

Looking at the future of cameras & photography

I’m not going to pretend that I have a crystal ball, but I do spend a lot of time thinking about trends in the market for cameras and in photo technology. I was lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts with a group of imaging industry folks and Stanford faculty and students as part of Stanford’s SCIEN program. The video of the talk is only available to their corporate sponsors, but for those who’d like to get the highlights, here are the slides I used.

My first experiences with Google Glass

_djc1262 What better way to first experience Google Glass than at Google I/O. You can see my writeup about my learning to be a “glasshole” on Extremetech, as well as my slideshow of images from the conference itself. Some were taken with Glass, but despite how amazing the 5MP, 720p video, camera in Glass is, it’s not going to be replacing your DSLR anytime soon. It does offer a great way to shoot first person instructional videos. Read more »

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens: One very sweet piece of glass

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1 Lens for Nikon DSLR CamerasWhile Sigma may be best known for value-priced, often consumer-targeted, lenses, it is steadily improving its reputation for Pro glass. With its new Global series of lenses it feels it is really ready to start tackling Nikon and Canon head on. I’ve been fortunate to be able to review the first of this new line of lenses, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 HSM Lens. At half the price of its Nikon equivalent I was skeptical it could really deliver at the same level… Read more »

Photographing an Artisan? Focus on their hands

edl_burmesepottery_0008When photographing people, we’re trained to focus on the face, and especially the eyes. Like any other “rule” of photography, though, it doesn’t always apply. In particular, when you’re capturing someone performing a craft or skill, the skill itself becomes a key part of the image. In the case of this woman potter who was kind enough to let us photograph her throwing a pot, her hands are what drew my attention. They moved smoothly and confidently, clearly the result of years of being a master potter – her village is famous throughout Myanmar (Burma) for its pots, which are highly-prized both there and throughout Asia. Read more »