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Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 first impressions

I'm testing the latest version of the full-frame Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 zoom. To state the obvious, it combines some of the capabilities of the 70-200mm and 300mm f/2.8 lenses in one lens but without any real penalty in size or weight over the latter (if Sigma had managed to produce a 70-300mm f/2.8 it would be considerably larger and more expensive). At $3,199 / £1,999.95 it's around half the price of the 300mm f/2.8 primes from Canon or Nikon and is certainly an intriguing proposition. Strangely, Sigma don't go to great lengths to promote the weatherproofing, their press material says it's sealed but there's no mention of it after that. And, I should point out that the lens mount doesn't have a seal, which is an odd omission at this level.

I've not taken enough pictures yet to formulate any conclusions on image quality but I've some initial impressions on the build. A large heavy lens like this must be equipped with a decent tripod bracket and, thankf…

Call for entries in Open to Interpretation: Fading Light

Open to Interpretation are calling for entries in their international juried book competition. Submissions are open now with early submissions due January 19, 2012. The deadline for entries is March 15, 2012. Please see below for submission guidelines, fees, and award details.Press release: "Fading Light" Juried Photo CompetitionOpen to Interpretation is now calling on photographers to submit images for consideration in a juried book competition. 

Project Details
Open to Interpretation is a collaborative book project bringing together photographers, poets and writers. Each book begins with a themed call for photos. The chosen photos become the literary inspiration for the writers' submissions. A book is created that matches each winning photo with two stories or poems that offer different interpretations of the image. The unique collaboration adds new dimensions to both the photos and the written word.
Book Title: Open to interpretation
Theme: Fading Light
Juror: George Slade,…

Adorama last minute specials on Canon lenses

Canon EF-S 10mm - 22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Autofocus Zoom Lens for Digital SLR Cameras - U.S.A. Warranty.
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Regular Price $859
Sale Price $649
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FREE SHIPPING Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Wide Angle Lens - U.S.A. Warranty
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Regular Price $2359
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FREE SHIPPING Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens - U.S.A. Warranty
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Regular Price $2199
Sale Price $1799
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FREE SHIPPING Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Compact Macro AutoFocus Lens - USA
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Regular Price $469
Sale Price $349
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Nissin to add MF18 ringflash to range

UPDATE 21 Feb 2012: A spokesperson of Nissin has confirmed to the DJP that stock will be arriving shortly in the UK, however Amazon UK are listing it already, at just £284.00Kenro, the official distributor for Nissin flashguns in the UK, has announced the MF18 ringflash, a compact model with a GN of 16 and adjustment of up to 7-stops in manual mode, 11-stops in Fine Macro mode. The MF has a RRP of of £359.99 and will be available in January 2012.Press release:Nissin launch ring flash - MF18Kenro has announced the UK launch of a new Nissin ring flash, the MF18 Macro Flash.This new addition to Nissin's acclaimed range of flash equipment allows photographers to achieve an even spread of light from their macro work which means an end to overexposed images and removes the problem of ugly shadows. The MF18 Macro Flash is particularly suited to portraiture, either in a studio or on location.The flash boasts an impressive high power guide number of 16m (100 ISO) and the power ratio can b…

Nikon 1 V1 review

After five decades of the F mount, Nikon has introduced a new mirrorless system based around a new, much smaller 1 system mount and 13.2 x 8.8mm sensor, dubbed CX. The Nikon designed Aptina made CMOS sensor is just over half the surface of area of the micro four thirds format sensors used in the Olympus Pen’s and Panasonic Lumix models.

It was expected that Nikon would follow rivals Sony and Samsung and use an APS-C format sensor. From the outset, however, Nikon was clear that the 1 system is targeting more casual users; those looking for something between their Coolpix range and DSLRs, and something that doesn’t cannibalize either of the existing ranges either.

Of the two models announced so far, which use the same 10.1 megapixel sensor and new Expeed 3 processor, the V1 is the more sophisticated and features a built-in detailed electronic viewfinder, a multi-accessory port for an optional flashgun or GPS unit and a higher resolution (460k dot) rear screen. Unlike the lower J1 model, …

Call for entries in Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

The Natural History Museum is calling for entries in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The closing date for entries is Thursday 23 February (23.59 GMT). To enter the competition online, please follow the link at www.nhm.ac.uk Please note, there is a £20 entry fee.

Leica S2 firmware update supports ELMARIT-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH

Leica has announced a new firmware update (FW 1.0.2.0 ) for the Leica S2 medium format camera, which provides optimised performance with the recently announced LEICA ELMARIT-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens (pictured above).Press release:LEICA S2 Firmware UpdateThe latest LEICA S2 firmware update FW 1.0.2.0 supports the LEICA ELMARIT-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. wide-angle lens.This fifth firmware update has been specially developed for the use of the camera with the new Leica Elmarit-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. wide-angle lens and ensures optimum functionality of this lens on the Leica S2 body. Users wishing to bring their camera up to date can now take immediate advantage of the improvements offered by this upgrade. Registered S customers can now download the files containing the firmware and an installation guide from the owners’ area at www.s.leica-camera.com.

Adorama special on Fuji IS Pro UV-IR DSLR

Adorama in NYC has a special on the Fujifilm IS Pro body. Save 25% on the regular price $799.95 (Sale Price $599.95), plus free shipping.Follow this link to buy (it won't cost you extra).Read our review of the Fuji ISO Pro camera here.

Leica announces firmware update v2.0 for Leica D-Lux 5

Press release:Leica announces firmware update 2.0 for Leica D-Lux 5

16 December 2011: Leica Camera AG has announced the release of a new firmware update (version 2.0) for the Leica D-Lux 5. The firmware update can be downloaded, with an installation guide, from the Downloads area of the Leica D-Lux 5 page on the Leica Camera web site.

This new firmware offers D-Lux 5 users the following updates:

    •    Improved autofocus speed within the wide-angle range
    •    Simpler operation of fine adjustments in manual focusing mode
    •    Improved automatic white-balance precision in low light conditions
    •    High-ISO noise reduction at ISO 1600 and ISO 3200
    •    Incorporation of an ‘Active mode’, which reduces blur in movie recording when in motion
    •    A new ‘Miniature effect’ in the ‘My Colour Mode’ (available in photo and video modes)
    •    Improved AF/AE Lock with shutter button half depressed
    •    Long exposure time increased in manual mode from 60 to 250 seconds
 …

NEC announces SpectraView Profiler version 5

NEC Display solutions, the makers of the outstanding SpectraView pro-level monitors has announced version 5 of the SpectraView profiler software. The upgrade allows users to perform hardware calibration via USB or DDC/CI as well as providing full support of 3D LUT functionality. Also included is support for the latest basICColor DISCUS and X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeters. Version 5 is immediately available as a free download for existing SpectraView® users on the Mac and PC platforms, including Apple OS X Lion and Microsoft Windows 7.NEC launches SpectraView® Profiler 5 SoftwareUpdated colour-calibration software package brings host of new features to SpectraView users

London, 16 December 2011 – NEC Display Solutions Europe has announced the launch of SpectraView® Profiler 5, the latest version of its sophisticated colour calibration software.

Designed for reference display users that require highly accurate display calibration and profiling for colour critical applications, the updat…

Fujifilm IS Pro UV-IR DSLR review

Fuji’s IS Pro is the up-date to maker’s earlier S3 UV-IR camera, and like that particular camera, the IS Pro adopts a modified image sensor that’s not shielded from UV or IR light. Consequently, with various filtration methods, the IS Pro is designed for Ultraviolet (UVA), visible and near Infrared photography.

Although there is a healthy demand for DSLRs with IR capability especially, and there are number of independent vendors (mainly in the US, but the UK also) that offer IR dedicated and full-spectrum conversion of current Nikon and Canon bodies, it’s anticipated the IS Pro will appeal largely to the scientific and forensic communities. With the departure of the S3 UV-IR, Fuji’s IS Pro continues to be the only dedicated full-spectrum interchangeable lens based DSLR that has professional-level support from a camera maker. As well as official product support and 12-month warranty, for government agencies and the like, the OEM status of the IS Pro will be particularly reassuring an…

Adorama Canon EOS-5D Mk II specials

Canon EOS-5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body Kit,- USA Warranty - Slinger Camera Bag - FREE: Red Giant Adorama Production Bundle for PC/Mac a $599.00 Retail Value
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Please follow this link to buy Canon EOS-5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body Kit with Canon EF 24-105L Image Stabilized Lens
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Life 75 - New iPad App To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of Life Magazine

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, LIFE's editors have drawn on its extraordinarily rich photo collection to produce the LIFE 75 App, a selection of the very best of LIFE. Offering a unique viewing experience, the LIFE 75 App features more than 200 photos and related magazine covers, along with video and audio clips that tell the story of how LIFE was made. Seventy-five years ago, TIME publisher Henry Luce launched a new weekly magazine that he called "the biggest picture show on earth." The magazine, LIFE, was an instant hit and became the gold standard for photojournalism. LIFE has covered war and celebrity, heroes and villains, nature and society, along the way amassing millions of powerful images. Today, LIFE's tradition carries on as a line of richly illustrated books, the popular website LIFE.com, as well as LIFE apps. 

This app retails for $12.99/£8.99 and you can download it here. Features Include •A unique interactive layout, presenting LIFE's greatest ph…

Olympus announces 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ

UPDATE 25 Feb, 2012: Amazon US has just eight of the new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ in stock (sold by H and B Digital, fulfilled by Amazon). All other retailers are taking pre-orders at this time.Olympus has introduced a new 12-50mm zoom (24-100mm equivalent) and has several new features besides the focal length and ratio. It's the first from the maker to feature power-zoom intended primarily for video shooters but it also boasts a focus-hold button (to avoid re-focusing) and the same level of weatherproofing as the Top Pro lens range for their DSLRs. We were told by a spokesperson that the new lens will be available late January or early February with an RRP of £349.99 inc. VAT.Pre-order the 12-50mm at Adorama Camera (US) at $499.99, UK readers can pre-order from Wex Photographic at £369.99 inc VAT.Thank you for buying through this site's links. PRESS INFORMATIONOlympus makes zooming even smoother A new zoom lens for a new PEN generationThe M.ZUIKO DIGITA…

Custom Brackets announces Nodal Slide

Flaghead Photographic the distributor for Custom Brackets in the UK has announced the immediate availability of the Nodal Slide. The device is used to position the lens' entrance pupil over the centre of a panoramic head. With an RRP of £69 plus VAT (£82 inc. VAT), the Nodal Slide is made from machined aluminum and is compatible with Arca Swiss clamps. Press release:Flaghead Photographic, the exclusive UK & Ireland distributor for US manufacturer Custom Brackets, are pleased to announce a new product: The Nodal Slide. The Nodal Slide is used to position a lens so that its “nodal point” is over the center of rotation on a panoramic or ball head. It can also be used to mount a camera directly onto a “gimbal head” (used as a perpendicular plate).The Nodal Slide makes it possible for you to adjust your camera's position, front to back, to position the lens nodal point …

Sigma announces availability of PG-31 grip for SD1 DSLR

Sigma has announced the PG-31 grip for the SD1 DSLR will be available in January, but the price (which could be high, given the price of the camera) has yet to be confirmed. The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the PG-31 Power Grip, specially designed for Sigma’s SD1 digital SLR, the camera that ensures high resolution and breathtaking image quality. The PG-31 is a specially designed battery grip which upgrades the battery power of the SIGMA SD1 by holding two dedicated BP-21 battery packs. This caters for large-volume photography and photography in field.The PG-31 also incorporates a shutter button and therefore becomes a grip for vertical photography when attached to the SD1, providing a more assured grip. THE SPECIFICATIONS
Power             Lithium-ion battery BP-21 (1 or 2)            
Weight          300g (excluding battery)
Dimensions        Width 156mm× Height 72mm× Depth 77mm
SRP             TBA
Availability         January 2012

X-Rite announces updates for i1 profiler software

X-Rite has released a raft of updates for their popular calibration devices. The updates include support for Mac OS 10.7 Lion and new features for the i1 Profiler software, as well as adding ADC (Automatic Display Control) functionality for the ColorMunki Display software.
Press release:

ColorMunki Display, i1Profiler and i1Profiler D2 Lion Edition software now available as free downloads

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., December 12, 2011 – X-Rite, Incorporated (NASDAQ: XRIT), the world leader in color management, measurement and communication technologies, today announces the availability of several free downloadable software updates including ColorMunki Display software, i1Profiler software and i1Profiler D2LionEdition software for i1Display LT and i1Display 2 Color Calibration Devices.

“Today’s announcement of free software updates underscores X-Rite’s on going commitment to delivering the highest quality color management solutions.  We are committed to continually improve and enhance our softw…

Hasselblad H4D-60 review

UPDATE 18 May, 2012: Hasseblad is set to reduce the price on the H4D cameras by as much as $11,000 / 6,200 Euros on the H4D-60, bringing the price to 23,900 euros ($30,995 / £21,995). Please see here for more details.

The last couple of decades have been turbulent for medium format camera manufacturers, but now after several well-known names have withdrawn, the market looks healthy. Two new unexpected entrants, Leica and Pentax have added to the dynamic at opposing ends of the pricing scale, forcing the two established system players to compete fiercely in their traditional rarefied role as well as the entry-level.

Partnering with both Leaf and Mamiya, Phase One has developed a trio of entry-level Mamiya DM models starting at under $14k/ £9k while continuing to offer a wide range of Phase One and Leaf backs, up to 80-megapixels. Through various offers and incentives these backs, are most likely to be partnered with the 645DF body but they are in fact compatible with a wide range of …

Adobe announce saving on Lightroom 3

Adobe Europe has announced a 30-percent saving on their popular raw-workflow solution Lightroom when purchased from the Adobe store. As well as the saving off the retail price, making the price £166.32 (inc VAT) there's free shipping for a limited time (ends 8 January 2012).Please follow the link here for the offer. For other special offers from Adobe please follow the link here.

Nikon Pro magazine available as an app

Nikon Pro magazine, the official magazine of Nikon Pro Services (NPS) in Europe is now available as an app for the iPad. The publisher claims the iPad edition will include extra content over the tri-yearly printed version, including movies, extended interviews and behind the scenes footage. The magazine was once exclusively available to NPS members but has been more widely available recently through registration of Nikon equipment at the Nikon Europe BV site. The app which is free is to download is available from here (US iTunes Store).Please use this link for UK iTunes Store. Please note while the app is free, each issue costs $2.99 / £1.99. We spoke with the editor of the magazine, Lawrence Akers, and he confirmed the app is not neccessarily intended for NPS/NPU members (who already receive the printed edition free of charge), 'but more for people who want it instead of the printed version or are in areas where the printed issue isn't available'. It's sure to attac…

Iridient Digital announces Raw Developer v1.9.3, support for Nikon 1 V1

Iridient Digital, the software company behind the excellent Raw Developer utility has announced a maintenance release (v1.9.3) adding support for several new cameras, including the Nikon 1 V1* and J1, Canon PowerShot S100, Olympus PEN E-PM1 and Fuji X10 among others. The utility now supports over 400 camera models, including many medium format cameras such as the Pentax 645D, Leaf Aptus-II 12 and 12R and Phase One ACHROMATIC+ AND IQ180.Raw Developer costs $125 / £84.36 but is the update is free to registered users. A free demo can be downloaded from www.iridientdigital.com. 1.9.3 - November 26, 2011 (Maintenance Release)New Features:
Support added for Nikon P7100, J1 and V1.
Support added for Canon PowerShot S100.
Support added for Olympus E-PM1.
Support added for Panasonic DMC-FZ150.
Support added for Sony NEX-7.
Support added for Samsung NX200.
Support added for Ricoh GR Digital IV.
Support added for Fuji X10 and F600EXR.
Support added for Seitz 6x17 Digital, Roundshot D2x and Round…

NEC to sponsor colour management courses for users of SpectraView monitors

NEC Display Solutions is running a series of half day workshops to assist users in getting the very best from their colour workflow Colour Management Course for Professional users of NEC SpectraView Displays

London, 2 December 2011NEC Display Solutions, manufacturer of SpectraView professional ‘Reference’ colour displays, is offering colour management courses for users of its SpectraView displays. Headed by leading UK colour consultant Paul Sherfield of the Missing Horse Consultancy, attendees will learn how to increase the efficiency of digital colour workflows.

The half-day courses are aimed at professional users within the graphic arts industries, photographers, image libraries, designers, pre-press and printing companies who use, or are going to use, NEC SpectraView displays to view images and pages for colour viewing and editing. The courses start in early 2012 at NEC’s West London offices and will cover many aspects of colour management from colour theory, display calibration b…

Canon Europe announces Lens Cashback promotion

Canon announces a new Lens Cashback promotion Change your lens, change your story Canon has launched their latest Lens Cashback promotion with offers on 14 products across the EF and EF-S lens range when purchasing an EOS 60D, EOS 7D or EOS 5D Mark II. Lenses available in the Lens Cashback promotion:EF 50mm f/1.4 USM                        £10/12 euro RRP £449.99
EF 85mm f/1.8 USM                        £10/12 euro RRP £469.99
EF 50mm f/1.2L USM                       £55/60 euro RRP £1909.99
EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM                 £75/85 euro RRP £2639.99 EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM               £15/20 euro RRP £649.99
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM        £30/35 euro RRP £1059.99 EF 17-40mm f/4L USM                 £25/30 euro RRP £939.99
EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM                £40/45 euro RRP £1409.99
EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM                £40/45 euro RRP £1449.99
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM                 £45/50 euro RRP £1539.99
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM                 £50/60 euro …