The lens features a Phase Fresnel (PF) element in the design that allows the lens to be both light and compact since fewer lens elements are needed.
“Despite its 500mm focal length, the lens is small and light enough to use hand-held in a wide variety of situations where a photographer must capture unpredictable and fast-moving subjects, including sporting events and wildlife photography,” Nikon said in its announcement last month.
From his short time with the lens, Bednyakov can confirm that Nikon’s claim isn’t misleading.
“It’s really small and looks like 70-200 f/2.8 with a hood,” the photographer tells PetaPixel.
Pricing and availability of the lens have yet to be announced, but given that Nikon is already showing it off to photographers at parties, we’re guessing it’s not too far off now.
Update: Nikon Rumors is hearing that the lens has a length of 24cm (~9.5in) and a price tag of around $4,300. By comparison, the Nikon 300mm f/4 PF and 500mm f/4 (non-PF) measure 14.7cm (5.7in) and 38.5cm (15.15in), respectively, and cost $2,000 and $10,300, respectively.
Image credits: Photograph by Pavel Bednyakov and used with permission
Emily Ratajkowski’s New Engagement Ring Is Huge
Five months after her surprise wedding to producer Sebastian Bear-McClard, Emily Ratajkowski finally revealed her engagement ring. The supermodel showed off the massive sparkler, featuring both pear and square cut diamonds, along with her gold wedding band on Instagram. The first post, featuring her smiling hubby in the background, debuted the ring on her left hand, while she beautified her second picture with a selfie that paired the jewels with a diamond necklace.
Comparing the Sony a7 III and Canon 5D Mark IV for Astrophotography
I’m an avid night sky photographer that cut my teeth capturing the stars using the original Canon 6D. I shot with that camera for years until purchasing the Sony a7S (Mark I) after reading about how it could essentially “see in the dark.”
Using the Sony mirrorless system was a big change coming from Canon and no matter how awesome the images were, I never learned to love it.
After reading countless reviews of the Canon 5D Mark IV that touted its dynamic range and low light performance, I sold the a7S and made the leap into the new Canon flagship camera. I was not disappointed, as the new sensor was absolutely incredible for night sky photos. The resolution, dynamic range and high ISO performance was a welcome upgrade from my aging 6D and had a bigger “wow” factor than even the a7S I could deliver. The 5D Mark IV became my go-to camera for astrophotography.
Earlier this year, Sony announced the a7 III and it completely blew people away with the specs, especially given the price. The hype was then amplified when reviewers backed up the spec boost with amazing first-hand reviews. Sony was also well known for dominating in low light performance, so naturally, I was keen on getting my hands on the new camera and put it to the test.
I made a 2-part video series in which I put the more expensive Canon 5D Mark IV up against the cheaper Sony a7 III to see how the two compared when shooting the night sky. I tested the dynamic range, compare images at various ISOs, and tested with some really long exposure shots using a star tracker. The goal of the test was to see which camera could deliver the best results as well as delivering the most value for the dollar spent.
In the first 13-minute video above, I head out into the field and share my first impression of each camera when shooting with them. I used the same lenses on each camera, the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 and the Canon 35mm f/1.4 II. I adapted the Canon glass on the a7 III using the Sigma MC-11.
In the second 40-minute video above, I’m back home pixel peeping and comparing the images to see how the cameras performed and give my final conclusion and recommendation. The video’s sections are: Dynamic Range (2:20), ISO 3200/6400/12800/25600 Review (7:04), Long Exposure 120s/300s Review (17:21), Star Eater (24:11), Post Processed Image (27:51), and Conclusions (32:53).
After spending quite a bit of time with each of these cameras I was surprised with the outcome. If anyone is in the market for a full frame camera to shoot photographs of the stars, I think this comparison would help you decide which way to go.
What camera would I recommend? I would recommend the Sony a7 III.
About the author: Matt Quinn is a dark sky and nature photographer based in the Waterloo Region of Canada. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Hanging Out with the Photographer of Beyonce’s ‘Diamonds’ Album Cover
YouTube star Karen Yeung recently visited photographer Markus Klinko, the international celebrity photographer who, among other things, captured the famous “diamond” portrait of Beyonce for the cover of her album Dangerously in Love. Yeung posed for similar portraits and then chatted with Klinko about the well-known Beyonce photos.
Yeung’s photo shoot was done in Klinko’s Bel Air house studio:
“While I use top end modifiers from Broncolor and Elinchrom, with custom adapters I built, all the lights [in the video] are by Flashpoint/Godox,” Klinko tells PetaPixel. “I use a combination of 600Pro, and H1200 for all of my studio and location setups, and occasional use the Evolv200 as well.”
Here are the resulting portraits Klinko made of Yeung:
And here’s Klinko’s famous album cover of Beyonce for comparison:
Klinko tells Yeung that back in 2003, after just finishing up an international campaign promoting diamonds, Beyonce approached Klinko and asked for a diamond-themed portrait for her upcoming album. Her mother, the stylist, had brought a diamond top for Beyonce, but she didn’t want to wear it because they only had skirts available for the bottom half of her outfit.
Klinko though denim would look good with the top, but Beyonce didn’t bring any jeans… so Klinko let her borrow one of his jeans.
So, the jeans you see in his iconic photos of Beyonce show her wearing her photographer’s jeans.
P.S. A Fujifilm-sponsored exhibit of Klinko’s work is currently running in Beverly Hills and will be there through the end of the month.
Shooting a World First Expedition on the Essequibo River in Guyana
I removed the Canon C300 from its waterproof bag and attached the 24-105mm f/4.0 lens while swatting away the relentless mosquitoes. Bringing the viewfinder loupe up to my eye, my left hand flicked the power switch on, now a reflex action after shooting with this camera every day for the last three weeks. Nothing happened. Weird, I was certain I’d put in a fully charged battery.
I checked the battery indicator – yep, fully charged. I removed the battery, slid another one in and tried the On switch again. I noticed with a sinking feeling that, once again, nothing was happening. The camera was dead. It had survived one and a half months in the jungle of Guyana but now the daily exposure to the humid environment had proven too much.
I was out here shooting both photos and videos of an exceptional kayak team: Laura Bingham, Ness Knight, Pip Stewart and their guides from the Wai Wai tribe, as they attempted a world-first expedition: kayaking the Essequibo river from the source to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean. All three women had completed extraordinary expeditions and challenges before and this trip was no exception. The rainforest was certainly living up to its reputation as a destroyer of equipment, we’d already lost a laptop and an iPhone. Luckily I also had the 5D Mark IV to shoot with, but it was now the only camera left with over a week of shooting still to be done.
How did I find myself here? Well, back in January I’d seen this tweet from Pip:
I responded and after a few emails and Skype calls with the team, it was all organized. Peiman Zekavat, who had worked previously with Pip on her South American Tranzamazonica documentary, would shoot the first section the expedition, a difficult hike through dense jungle to find the source of the river, and I would take over to shoot the kayaking section, down-river to the sea.
We’d actually both stepped in last-minute to replace the original videographer who unfortunately had to abandon the trip because of injury and although Peiman knew what he was doing, I had never before done any shooting in the jungle because most of my clients are involved in mountain sports. But hey, opportunities to shoot adventures like this don’t come along very often, so I jumped at the chance.
This being my first trip to the jungle, I inevitably did a lot of preparation and research before I left. The images I saw of where we were heading looked like something out of Jurassic Park and, as well as being one of the most inaccessible places on earth, our location for the next couple of months was also full of jaguar, snakes, spiders, giant caiman, electric eels and piranha – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.
Numerous people told me it was a nightmare to operate camera equipment in this environment, and – as I discovered first-hand – even the toughest electronic equipment can only stand so much water and humidity. As instructed, I packed only minimal equipment: one set of ‘wet clothes’ (to wear on the kayaks), one set of dry clothes (for sleeping in), a sleeping bag, a head torch and a lot of sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
One of the sponsors, NRS, had provided the whole crew with excellent waterproof bags, which would prove crucial for keeping the camera equipment and clothes dry. Luckily, all the camera gear was already out there with Peiman, meaning I didn’t have to carry it to the airport myself!
On March 14th I flew from London to Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, with Ed (Laura’s husband) their 9-month-old baby, Ran, and Charlie (Pip’s boyfriend). We met up with Sophia and Anders from Untamed Adventures, experts in adventure travel in Guyana, who handed over all the camera equipment left by Peiman.
There was a lot of gear – a Canon C300, Canon 5D Mark IV, five lenses, two drones and three GoPros, as well as all the cables and spare batteries that come with it. I wondered how on earth I would carry all this gear let alone fit it on the small kayaks?! After a few hours checking all the camera settings, formatting the memory cards, and finally packing everything up, I was good to go.
The next day we took a small, noisy Cessna from Georgetown into the middle of the jungle, getting our first glimpse of the Essequibo river on the way, shining like a silver foil snake in the green jungle below.
After some hair-raising low-level flying, we landed on a bumpy grass runway and were met by some people from the village of Apoteri who put us up in a wooden hut for the night (our first experience of the incredible hospitality of the Guyanese people).
The next morning I awoke with an awful stomach, not ideal considering we were about to spend all day traveling on the river. We organized two motorboats to take us and all our equipment upstream and after five or six hours on the boats, we reached King William Falls Lodge. Fay, the owner, was a great host, explaining a lot about the river and the surrounding environment. We stayed in her huts for the night and was I very relieved to at least have a toilet!
Feeling much better the next day, we continued on upstream, searching for Laura, Pip, Ness and their guides. It was slow progress as the river water was at its lowest and we often had to jump out of the boats to drag them across rocks or up small rapids. Here was my first real experience of the guilt that must surely be faced by anyone filming a documentary like this: standing by and filming rather than helping out. Although we joked about it as a team, this was something I faced every day on this expedition and it was a feeling with which I never became entirely comfortable.
Later that day and to our total surprise, we rounded a bend in the river and spotted some illuminated orange and blue shapes in the distance. My initial reaction was that it must be another group of people, which was ridiculous this far into the jungle as there was no one else around. With a lot of screaming and whooping, we realized it was the team and we raced over to them, everyone embracing and high-fiving.
It was great to finally see them all and it was quite a special moment to see Laura reunited with her child. Funnily enough here in the middle of the rainforest was actually my first time meeting all of them face-to-face as everything before this had been over Skype or Whatsapp.
Now my job really began. For the next five weeks, I traveled with the team on the river, shooting all day and camping in our hammocks in the jungle at night. We saw everything from four-meter-long Caiman that growled at us to dark black scorpions that sometimes liked to hide in our bags.
More than once, our guides had to chase off jaguar that got a bit too close for comfort. The girls faced many challenges, including infections, dehydration, trench foot, stomach bugs and spider bites. I also had my own challenges with the filming and photography. I had to be one step ahead of everyone else, so along with taking care of my own health and organizing all my own equipment, I had to try and get interviews, scenic shots, action shots, drones shots, b-roll, time-lapses, for both photo and video.
There was also the problem of the ever-changing weather, from scorching temperatures to sudden downpours of torrential rain, meaning equipment maintenance was critical. Each evening I would backup everything onto two separate hard drives and use a noisy generator to charge the camera batteries (the generator also broke down, but our multi-talented guides managed to restore it to life).
There was also the mental challenge, trying to stay motivated for such a long period of time, away from home and out of my comfort zone.
However, after about a week, I’d fallen into a schedule and become used to sleeping in a hammock, we were getting great footage and I was loving all the new wildlife I was seeing. The team dynamic was also fun and laid-back, which helped when times got tough, and we learned so much from our guides. The people of Guyana were among the nicest people I’ve ever met and always welcomed us in.
The biggest thing I learned from this trip is to not be afraid to take on new opportunities and challenges. Although it sounded quite scary at first, and at times it certainly was very tough, I’m so happy I pushed myself and took on the challenge.
If I was to give some advice and tips, they would be:
Don’t underestimate the power of social media — I found this opportunity because I saw a Tweet!
Showing enthusiasm and motivation can sometimes be more powerful than experience
Keep your portfolio up-to-date and show off your best work
Always carry a camera cleaning kit, spare batteries and spare memory cards
In the jungle, always shake out your shoes in the morning before you put them on…!
About the author: Jon Williams is an outdoor and adventure sports photographer based in the Bavarian mountains, Germany. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Williams’ work on his website, 500px, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
#DiversifyTheLens: The Importance of Hiring Women Photographers
The current boom of female-first initiatives is transforming the creative industry, providing opportunities for women to find mentorship, addressing discrepancies in pay, and helping women rally together to drive new policies and practices.
One report indicates that male photographers account for as high as 96% of advertising photographers. With a quick glance at the top photography representation agencies in the U.S., it’s clear that women comprise only about 10% of those agency rosters.
A Call to Action
There is a huge population of highly talented, underutilized female photographers who are ready to put their unique vision to work. It’s time we create policies at both the brand and agency level to ensure they are given the opportunity to do so.
This movement is a specific request for agencies and other media to include at least one female photographer in each “triple-bid,” or make female (and non-white) options at least 50% of the consideration when selecting image-makers.
Doing so will not only help level the very uneven playing field for women photographers, but it will also benefit business across the board.
Female Photographers Click with Female Consumers
“…with the unprecedented rate at which women are amassing wealth and influence, it’s almost insane from a business perspective to misunderstand them.” —3 Percent Movement mission.
Female photographers have a unique ability to do this, and not including their perspective, especially in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, is not only a missed opportunity but a massive business (and cultural) failure.
A Cultural Shift
Getting more women photographers working requires effort on the part of both the creative talent themselves and those with the power to hire them. Typically, female photographers are less aggressive in marketing themselves and seeking representation than their male counterparts. This is something I am actively working to change through Trove Artist Management’s programs and my personal consulting practice, helping women learn to stand taller, pursue opportunity and promote themselves more confidently.
In the meantime, I encourage those of you with the hiring power to help facilitate this shift by searching harder to fill more of the gaps in the photo industry, advertising industry and the professional world at large with talented, hardworking women–and pay them what they’re worth.
My hope is that other photographers, creative directors, art buyers and editors will join this movement to ensure that more campaigns truly #DiversifyTheLens. I want to further amplify this message by asking celebrities, fashion designers and influencers to specifically ask for diversity in photography when they are being featured or creating campaigns.
My goal is that we all share this challenge widely so that more female photographers can be recognized and rewarded for their talent, which will benefit us all.
Together, we can make a difference.
Helpful Tools and Resources
To help you find the talent you need and spread the #DiverifyTheLens mission, I’ve compiled the below resources:
Hiring more female photographers and having their perspective fairly represented will not only benefit photographers but the entire creative industry, the global economy, and women everywhere. To take it a step further, I believe that the creative vision of women in the marketplace will help us understand women, and each other, better and connect us in a way that is sorely lacking and needed today.
If we work together, it can happen.
By sharing this article, spreading the #DiversifyTheLens mission and seeking out more female talent for your own agency or projects, you can help shift the creative culture.
About the author: Amy V. Cooper is a photography consultant, coach, and editor, as well as the founder of Trove Artist Management. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Cooper’s work and connect with her website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
A Breakdown of Gigi Hadid’s V114 Chanel Cover
V114 cover star, Gigi Hadid, popped into V’s offices in NYC just a few days ago looking amazing in high waisted denim jeans and stunning nude Christian Louboutin pumps. Just a few months, though, she was fitted in Chanel and shooting in Miami.
On the cover, a flawless Gigi, who, by the way, does all of her own water stunts, sports Chanel from head-to-toe. Her halter-neck Coco Beach de Chanel swimsuit showcases the legendary brand’s classic quilted design, while her jewelry also makes a splas…
How Manual Focus and Vintage Lenses Made Me a Better Photographer
I have been a commercial and wedding photographer for over 13 years. And from the beginning, I have been using Canon DSLR cameras and a variety of auto-focus lenses for the Canon EF system.
Switching to another camera system/brand didn’t cross my mind because I made a substantial investment into lenses for the Canon system — I had gathered over 15 EF and EF-S lenses.
But in 2016, I decided to try a mirrorless camera and bought a Sony a7R II.
Because lens adapters exist that allow me to use my existing Canon glass on a Sony mirrorless camera, I neither planned nor anticipated that I would buy lenses especially for the Sony system. At least, that was the plan.
But little did I know…
Watching a few YouTube tutorials about the Sony a7 system, I discovered that there is an affordable 50mm f/0.95 lens available for Sony mirrorless cameras. I wanted that lens very badly.
Because ever since I saw the magic of what a lens with such a large aperture can do, I wanted such a lens also. And unlike the Leica Noctilux, which costs in excess of $10,000, this lens was quite affordable at just around $800. Not too bad for a lens with an aperture of f/0.95…
It’s a 100% manual lens. For the very first time, I was using manual focusing. This was perhaps the most significant turning point in my career as a photographer.
At first, it seemed a rather limiting way of doing photography. I missed quite a few pictures because by the time I had the focus set properly, the situation I wanted to photograph was gone. At first, focusing by hand was a distraction from the actual process of making photographs.
But this did not discourage me. I quickly got used to manual focusing and in the end, this made me become a better photographer and create better photographs.
Why? Because it forced me to compose my photographs differently. Focusing manually made me slow down. Rather than clicking away indiscriminately, I found myself thinking much more about how I approach a photographic situation.
Putting in more thought and preparation when photographing was the best thing that ever happened to me as a photographer.
In a way, focusing by hand has re-wired my photographic brain.
It’s hard to describe. I encourage all photographers who have never focused manually to try it out. Do not give up easily — it requires some practice.
The experiences I had with my first manual focus lens prompted me to buy another 10 manual focusing and vintage lenses since 2016. Some of them have become my absolute favorite tools for creating photographs.
You may think I am “rich” because I could buy that many lenses in such a short time. No, I am not!
You see, another great thing about vintage lenses is that many of them can be had at a very low price. Some for less than $50. Or, to put it into perspective: all my vintage glass combined costs less than one new modern auto-focus lens.
I still use my Canon lenses when documenting weddings, but less and less so. In fact, I recently did my first commercial assignment exclusively using vintage lenses only.
In fact, these very positive experiences with manual focusing and vintage lenses led me to discover “slow photography“ — a (not so) new way of approaching photography and creating better photographs. If you are interested to learn more you may want to join the Slow Photography Movement.
And that is how manual focusing and using vintage lenses has transformed me and my photography. Try it out for yourself!
About the author: Dominik Vanyi is a photographer based in Bali. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Vanyi’s work on his website, Instagram, and Behance. This article was also published here.
Instagram Model Bitten by Shark During Photo Shoot
19-year-old Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie was visiting the Bahamas last month when she decided to pose for some photos in the water near a group of nurse sharks. As her boyfriend shot a series of photos, one of the sharks swam up, bit her on the wrist, and dragged her underwater.
Here’s the series of photos captured by her boyfriend’s father, Tom Bates, at Staniel Cay on the Exuma islands:
The shark held Zarutskie underwater for a few moments before she was able to break free from its bite and make her escape from the water.
Zarutskie needed stitches for the bite wound, which still contains tooth fragments and will likely turn into a scar, but the model says she feels fortunate that the scary encounter wasn’t worse.
BBC News reports that there were snorkelers in the water interacting with sharks, and that Zarutskie, a nursing student at the University of Miami, has a great deal of experience with the ocean from growing up in sunny California.
“From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe,” Zarutskie tells BBC News.
“These animals are considered quite docile but can and do bite on occasion,” Staniel Cay marina owner David Hocher tells NBC News.
Still, Zarutskie has been slammed online by people who blame her for what happened or accuse her of acting foolish.
“They took the information they wanted and really spun the story in a way that I’m a stupid blonde Instagram model,” Zarutskie tells BBC News. “I’ve definitely received a lot of rude and hateful comments from people that were saying ridiculous things.”
In sharing the photos on her Instagram account, which is currently set to private, Zarutskie imparts some words of wisdom gleaned from the encounter: “PSA: Sharks are cute and can nibble at times if not careful.”
Image credits: Photos by Tom Bates and courtesy Katarina Zarutskie. Used with permission.