News from the Ether Feb 17

Some recent articles that may be of interest…

 

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Recent Articles from the Web (April to July 2015)

(News from the Ether)

Technique

HDR Panoramic Photography Tutorial by John Maynard

Drone Photography in Iceland by Spencer Cox

Making people and other things go away by Kevin Raber

The very old debate about image manipulation by Ignacio Palacio

Night photography image processing, best settings and tips by Roger N Clark

 

Cameras and Lenses

IBIS High Resolution Mode – Amazing Technology by Nasim Mansurov

Thom’s recommended Nikon DSLRs by Thom Hogan

Thom’s Recommended lenses for FX users by Thom Hogan

The Upward Ladder by Thom Hogan

Current Mirrorless Lens Availability by Thom Hogan

Canon 5Ds Review through Print Performance by Keith Cooper

Canon G3x Review by Michael Reichmann

 

Printers

Epson Surecolor P800 Review by Keith Cooper

The New Epson Surecolor P800 Printer Review by Mark Segal

 

Software

Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Review by Spencer Cox

CS6? – The end is nigh by Thom Hogan

 

Computers

The Ultimate PC Build for Photographic Needs by Nasim Mansurov

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 by Nasim Mansurov

Windows 10 Spying: How to opt out of Microsoft’s intrusive terms of use by Doug Boulton (the Independent)

 

Photoshop and Lightroom Updates

(News from the Ether)

New versions of Photoshop and Lightroom are available – Photoshop CC (2015) and Lightroom CC (2015).  The upgrading process is a lot more straightforward and automated than for the CC 2014 upgrades.

Main changes appear to be:

  • New dehaze filter  (Lightroom and ACR)
  • New black and white sliders for Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush (Lightroom and ACR)
  • Improved processing of Fuji RAW files in Lightroom/ ACR
  • Improvements to content-aware fill (Photoshop)

However, new features such as the dehaze filter are not available in Lightroom 6 (just the CC option).  It is not clear whether they will become available later.

For short videos on the changes, see Julianne Kost’s Blog.

 

Release of Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC

(News from the Ether)

There is a new version of Lightroom.  You can either purchase an upgrade to Lightrooom 6 or get it as Lightroom CC if you have a subscription.  New features include:

  • Panorama Merge (to DNG file)
  • HDR Merge (also to DNG file)
  • Filter Brush (partially remove the effects of another tool)
  • Face recognition (probably assigns ketywords)
  • Advanced video slideshows
  • Performance improvements (GPU processing)

Click here for more details from Nasim Mansurov.

Improved Nikon Repair Service

(News from the Ether)

I have sent several damaged or defective lenses or cameras to Nikon over the years.  This has meant an expensive postal exercise including insuring lenses for up to $2,000 and cameras for up to $5,000.

Now Nikon have changed the way this operates.  They provide a free service where a courier comes to your door and delivers the lens to Nikon for repair.  As well as being free, this is probably safer and more reliable.  A great improvement from my perspective.

Recent Articles from the Web

(News from the Ether)

The Nature of Creativity by Steve Gosling

The Epson V850 Pro scanner in Context by Mark Segal.  Includes a link to a very detailed review with comparisons of other scanners.

Sony A7II and Tamron 150-600mm in Antarctica by Michael Reichmann

A Spanish Aussie in the USA by Ignacio Palacios

Astrophotography Image Processing using Modern RAW Converters by Roger Clark

Macro Photography Tutorial by Spencer Cox

Best and Worst Sony Lenses for A7 Cameras by Nasim Mansurov

Photographing the Milky Way by Aaron Priest

Astrophotography Tutorial by Wei-Hao Wang

How Much Resolution do you Really Need? by Nasim Mansurov

 

New Nikon 300mm f4 lens

(News from the Ether)

Nikon have just announced a remarkable new lens to replace the 300mm f4D.  The old lens had a reputation for excellent image quality.  The new one also has vibration reduction (VR), is half the weight and is two thirds the length of the old lens, while retaining the same filter size (77mm).  Judging by the official MTF charts, the image quality is also significantly improved.  (Image samples).

While it won’t attain the subject isolation of the approx $6,000 300mm f2.8, it is a quarter the weight of that lens and half the length.  Initial price is $US2,000 so probably about $A2,5000.  This is about what the 300mm f4D would have cost when new.

Purchasing the new lens will be attractive to some Nikon shooters; for others it will be purchasing the old model at a cheap price.  The 300mm f4 is currently down to $US1,000 in B&H and while it’s not yet on EBay any cheaper than that, second-hand prices will soon be falling fast, probably especially after the new lens starts shipping and buyers sell their old lens.

It’s also interesting to speculate what this may lead to.  If Nikon can halve the weight of the 300mm f4 while including VR, what other lenses will they apply this approach to?  Are they intending to introduce a new compact lens lineup before introducing a mirrorless full-frame body?