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Archive '2016'

img:Infrared photography (part II)
Dec 8, 2016

Infrared photography (part II)

Practical part Shooting Now let's talk about shooting techniques. Given that in IR-photography you often have to shoot with a long exposure, the technique will be largely similar to the use of high-density ND-filters. At the beginning you have to set the camera. First switch it to the Manual mode, turn off image stabilization, recording file type set to RAW and fix ISO sensitivity at the minimum value. Also, some people recommend to switch off the noise reduction option. In some cases, these settings may affect negatively the final image, so be sure to check it before shooting. Given that IR-shots often have problems with sharpness, set the aperture to the maximum (but don't forget about diffraction limit for your camera). Now select the composition and firmly fix the camera on a tripod. Next autofocus on the desired object and then set the focus to Manual mode (preferably via the camera menu). If you turn off the autofocus on the lens (by the switch or shifting the focus ring, depending on the lens model), you may accidentally shift the focus position. Then carefully screw the IR-filter on the lens. It is recommended to use the remote control. If not, then set the 2-second time delay. This will prevent the camera shaking. If you shoot with a DSLR camera, you should use Live View mode, because the optical viewfinder will not show anything. In addition, Live View is often able to show the final picture with the option of exposure compensation. However, on the other hand you should be careful with the values of the EV-scale, because the exposure meter may work incorrectly in the IR-range. So before you start shooting, take a few test shots with different exposure steps. To manage exposure, use the shutter speed setting. Unfortunately, there is no calculation chart for the exposure of the ND filters. The fact is that the density of IR-filters from different manufacturers may differ significantly. Camera modification is also important, because the volume of the residual IR-light will depend on the intensity of the IR-cut pre-filter. RAW-processing After shooting you will get (at first glance) a terrible RAW-image in red tones. Now let's consider techniques which will allow you to make a good photo. Original RAW-image after shooting with the IR-filter IR-image after deep processing (colored version) This is probably the most difficult part in IR-photography and there will be a...

img:Infrared photography (part I)
Dec 8, 2016

Infrared photography (part I)

In this review I will try to consider the infrared (IR) photography using IR-filters and specialized spectral cameras. This technique is quite difficult, but we will try to explain it in the most easy way. Contents How it works?Shooting optionsGears options - IR-cut filters - IR cameras LensesPractical part - Shooting RAW-processing - Black-and-white - RAW-processing in the camera - Black-and-white - RAW-processing in photo editors - Automated RAW-processing in Photoshop - Manual RAW-processing in Photoshop/LightroomSummary How it works? Do you know that only a short range of light spectrum between 400-700nm could be seen by the human eyes? Light waves up to the 400nm are called ultraviolet light and the waves over the 700nm - IR-light. Both are not visible by the eyes. Thus, only the visible range of the spectrum is considered as a norm for humans. But sensors of the digital cameras has no such "lack" and originally able to capture a wider range of the spectrum. Therefore, the image from the "naked" sensor would have huge difference from the usual view for our eyes (with a predominance of blue and red colors). For this reason manufacturers of digital cameras set a special pre-filters, which are cutting off unnecessary light beyond the visible range. This is why shots made with usual cameras are so close to perception of our eyes. But if we are not able to see some things it doesn’t mean it doesn't exist. And this is the essence of IR-photography. Using this technique, you can take shots that will be radically different from what we see with our eyes. Shooting options In fact, this is a genre of black-and-white photography, but the brightness here will be determined not only by the amount of light, but also the physical surface temperature. For instance the water will be dark, the foliage heated by the Sun is white and so on. Usual image in the visible spectrum IR-image after deep processing (b&w version) IR-image after deep processing (colored version) Since we are talking about photography, we can make time-lapse footages as well: Invisible Vietnam from Timon on Vimeo. Gears options IR filters Despite that the cameras have built-in pre-filters cutting the IR-light, some small part of invisible IR-light still remains and reaches the sensor. Therefore, in order to "catch" only this small amount of invisible light were developed special IR-filters, which cut off all the light...

img:Using Filters for Sea and Underwater shooting
Nov 29, 2016

Using Filters for Sea and Underwater shooting

My name is Jóse Márquez, I’m 24 years old. I live in Puerto Rico - one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, and thanks to my island, I got the passion for underwater photography Today I want to talk about the equipment that I use when I’m taking underwater photos and the equipment that I use when I’m taking photos out of the water. Underwater/ Water Sports When you are shooting underwater, you need to first think about what you are going to be shooting: surfers, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, coral, models, etc. Depending on what your subject is, this will determine the type of equipment that you are going to use. Surfing: When you are shooting surfers, it is better if you use a fast camera from 6 fps up to 14fps. Why? When you’re shooting surfers or waves the action is extremely fast, so when you got a fast camera it is easier to get the shot that you want because you got more shots from the same wave or surfer. Which Lenses? You got a lot of options when you are shooting surfing; all is going to depend from the vision that you want to deliver to the viewers.If you want to focus on facial expressions or nice sport portraits, a 70-200mm 2.8 is a great option. If you want to focus on the surfer or the wave, but not the complete scenario a 35mm or 50mm is an awesome choice for that type of shot. Nikon D7100 + 50mm 1.8 + Kenko REALPRO C-PL Filter. Nikon D7100 + 50mm 1.8 + Kenko REALPRO C-PL Filter. These types of lenses are going to provide images where the action of the surfer or the waves are the protagonists in the scene. If you want to get the complete scenario and action, you must use a fisheye or wide angle. This is going to provide to the viewers a first person view experience and is going to let you freeze all the action in just one picture. Also, it can let you get the Over and Under pictures, this type of picture is when 50% of the shot is out of the water and the other 50% is underwater. Tokina provides one of the best options in the market, they got the Tokina Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5 and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, both lenses have got some...

img:Photokina 2016 Photo Report
Oct 19, 2016

Photokina 2016 Photo Report

Photokina 2016 is over, meetings and presentations are done. We hope that Photokina was a fruitful event for manufacturers, sales companies and was an exciting show for consumers. For those who had no chance to be at Photokina 2016 and visit Kenko Tokina booth, we prepared this photo report. Please, take a look, feel the atmosphere of the show and find out what our message to the world was. At Photokina 2016 we presented a unique booth based on the concept of an atelier where one creative person creates his masterpieces using our products. The booth was made in a very simple but attractive way in black and white colors mixed with concrete walls featuring the results of the creative activity rather than displaying the products itself. That is why you could find a lot of photos that were made by our products - filters and lenses. The most highlighted and most crowded area was the Tokina lens zone with the new Tokina FÍRIN 20mm F2 lens and Kenko accessories like Teleplus, Extension tube sets and light and color meters. This time we revealed New Kenko Teleplus HD DGX 1.4x, 2x for Nikon AF mount and New Kenko Extension tube set for Sony E-mount full frame cameras. At Photokina 2016 we presented for the first time a new range of Kenko Mount adapters. Following the trend of using old manual lenses with modern contemporary DSLR or mirrorless cameras it is our pleasure to provide the possibility to attach to the camera some old optics that are not supposed to be used at all. We hope that with our Japan made quality and precise manufacturing it would be considered as one of the favorite and most important accessories in the creative photographer’s camera bag. Kenko filters area was created in a way of a “filter museum” that consisted of separate panels with photo, description and product displayed in an acrylic show case. This way of presenting filters gives a chance for visitor to have a chat or discussion about the effect that can be achieved using this or that filter and also the way this effect was achieved. Photos were printed on Lambda printing with author’s data on a separate plate like in real museum. Kenko traditionally presents optical products featured by Kenko binoculars and lens (MILTOL Optical System). Kenko is the only manufacturer that manufactures and sells binoculars inside one...

img:Practical advices about ND filters PART IV
Oct 18, 2016

Practical advices about ND filters PART IV

• Typical situations• Videography• Exposure control• Shooting of the Sun• Choosing the ND filter• Conclusions Videography Exposure control If you are shooting video, for example, with a frame rate of 25 fps, it is recommended to set camera shutter speed to the inverse number of about 1/25 sec. But in sunny weather is almost impossible to fulfill this condition and you'll get overexposure. The only thing you can do is to speed up the shutter speed, but in this case the final video will look jerky. ND filters allow to reach desired light flux for the optimal shutter speed. Shooting of the Sun When the Sun is near the horizon, you also can shoot not only time-lapse, but the usual video. And here you also need to use ND filters to cut an extra light flux. Choosing the ND filter Eventually we considered ND-filter types and main situations in which they can be used and the only thing now that remains is to give recommendations for choosing a right model. If you have sufficient budget and want to seriously go deep into the long exposure, we recommend to use a set of filters. First, you need a filter with a high density level like ND500 or ND1000 with 9 and 10 ND f-stops. Using these filters you can achieve really long exposures. But if you need to slightly adjust the exposure (about 2-5 f-stops), we recommend to use variable ND filter. So, you will have ND filters for different situations. But that's not all. When you need to achieve an extra long exposure, you can make a "sandwich", combining both filters. So that you will get 15-17 f-stops. The only thing you should pay attention to is a quality of variable density filters, because the common problem for a cheap variable ND filters is decrease in sharpness. Choosing the filter you should look for a well known and respectable brands. Kenko presented by 2 models - professional Kenko Variable NDX and for amateur - Kenko PL FADER. Speaking of the more affordable way (which is much interesting for most photographers), I recommend to use filters with fixed ND level or a set of these filters. So, if you are shooting portraits with a fast lens, we recommend to use models between ND4-ND16. It will give you possibility to keep the depth of field even on sunny weather. If you are...

img:Practical advices about ND filters PART III
Oct 17, 2016

Practical advices about ND filters PART III

• Typical situations• Time-lapse• Strong light flux• Smooth dynamics• Blurred motion• Shooting of the Sun Time-lapsePractical advices about ND filters PART III ND filters are often used in time-lapse, so lets consider the typical situations. Strong light flux  In fact, the situation is quite similar to classic photography. Time-lapse is a video made of a large number of serial shots. But there is an additional restriction - to avoid flicker effect you always have to shoot with a maximum aperture, if your lens has automatic aperture control. The fact is that during the serial shooting after each shot the camera sets the aperture into the initial (most opened) position and then closing it to the set value before the next shot. This action is repeating before the each shot. Here is the sample video of serial shooting on F2.8 lens with f/5.6 set: And the point is that the automatic setting cannot close aperture into the identically same position. Every time the f-number will be a little bit different. That means that with every new shot the camera sensor will receive different value of light, so the final images will always be exposured in a different way, that is well seen in dynamics: Therefore, in order to have a constant light flux when shooting time-lapse, it is recommended to set the aperture into the most opened position. That means that you would either have to shoot with very short shutter speed (which is undesirable and this will be considered below), or get an overexposure with a longer shutter speed. That is, if in the classic photography setting the open aperture can be caused only by the situation (portrait photography), in time-lapse you always have to shoot with maximum aperture (unless you have a lens with manual aperture control). Smooth dynamics As we just mentioned, strong light flux and importance of shooting with wide open aperture gives us no choice, but to shoot with a fast shutter speed. However, in this case the final video will turn jerky and unpleasant for viewing. Using ND filters allows us to lower shutter speed and make video smoother. Blurred motion Blurred motion in time-lapse looks as good as in classic photography. But unlike the photos, the footage will look interesting both night and day, because it allows to express the dynamics. This technique is perfect for shooting of moving cars or flows of people....

img:Practical advices about ND filters PART II
Oct 15, 2016

Practical advices about ND filters PART II

PART II Typical situations Photography Strong light flux Accent on the subject of shooting Landscapes and cityscapes Shooting of architecture Blurred motion Lightnings Shooting of the Sun PhotographyNow let’s discuss typical situations in photography where ND filters are in need. Strong light fluxWe have already considered exactly the same situation in the example in PART I. ND is necessary if you have a fast lens, camera with limited shutter speed and want to shoot with maximum aperture (for example, to get deep depth of field). In such conditions, shooting without a filter may cause overexposure. F2.8 1/4000sec. ISO200 without ND filter. F1.3 1/4000sec. ISO200 with ND4 Accent on the subject of shooting This technique is required when there is a motionless subject and moving objects around them. With a slow shutter speed all moving objects will become blurred or even blurry, while the subject will remain sharp. Shooting without ND filters will give you extra light flux with overexposure. Accent on the subject of shooting Accent on the subject of shooting Blurring of moving people makes the image more artistic Blurring of moving people makes the image more artistic Landscapes and cityscapes ND filters are oftenly used in the landscape or cityscapes photography. Long exposure allows to blur the fast moving clouds, ripples on water, a fountain or a waterfall, making shots quite different. Without filter (1/60 sec.) With ND1000 (13 sec.) Without filter (1/1600 sec.) Set of ND8, ND1000 and variable ND filter (30 sec.) Without filter (f/5.6, 1/1250 sec.) Variable ND filter (f/16, 15 sec.) Shooting of architecture If you significantly increase the exposure (15-20 sec.), all moving objects will become invisible. Without filter (1/100 sec.) With ND1000 (10 sec.) Without filter (1/50 sec.) With ND1000 (20 sec.) Without filter (1/8 sec., ISO200) Variable ND Filter (25 sec., ISO100) Blurred motion Car lights shot at slow shutter speed are also look very impressive. Basically this technique is used in night photography when lights are visible, however, light flux can be still strong and ND filter would be required. ND8 (15 sec.) Lightnings It is not easy to shoot lightnings. And the main problem is in difficulty to catch the moment of lightning with a short exposure. ND filters will significantly increase the exposure time and therefore increase the probability of a successful shot. If you're lucky, can get even a few lightnings in one shot. ND8 (10 sec.)...

img:Practical advices about ND filters PART I
Oct 15, 2016

Practical advices about ND filters PART I

• How it works?• Types and varieties of ND filters.• Difference by density.• Difference by construction.• Typical situations. If you are passionate about photography and not afraid to experiment, this article is for you! You probably already use UV or polarizing filters. UV filters protect your lens from physical damage, as well as from UV light, which can negatively affect the images.Polarizing filters are more interesting, because increase contrast and eliminate reflections from the water and glass surface. But now we will talk about much more interesting things - about neutral density filters (ND filters). ND filters are next popular after the polarized filters. Unfortunately, they are paid much less attention, although it is difficult to overestimate the creative potential they provide the photographer. Here we will try in a simple but more detailed way to tell about these filters - their varieties and situations in which they can be used. In the 1st part we will give you general information about ND filters. How they work, what the types are and in what situations they can be used. In the 2nd part we will tell in detail about how to use filters in photography. In the 3nd and 4th parts - the same for time-lapse and videography. And finally in 5th part we will tell about recommendations on how to choose ND filters. How it works The main purpose of ND filters is reducing the incoming light in the same proportion across the entire spectrum. In simple terms, the filter reduces the amount of light entering the camera. These filters give possibility to shoot at any time with any exposure settings in over lit conditions. It should be noted that the over light problem can be solved by changing the aperture. However, first of all this way is limited (there is also risk of diffraction), secondly, it will increase the grip and negatively affect the composition. Thirdly, in terms of extra long exposures this method can not be used. Let's look at the types and varieties of ND filters, and then discuss the typical situations in which they can be used. Please, note that shooting with an ND filter is often associated with long exposures, so you will need a good tripod. Types and varieties of ND filters ND filters are included in the product lines of almost all filter manufacturers. In terms of quality there might be serious...