The Fuji X-E1 – Some thoughts and impressions

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Last year, not long after it came out, I bought a Fuji X100 because I was intrigued by the promise of a small, rangefinder-like camera with a fixed 35mm lens. I liked the idea of being forced to shoot with a specific field of view; I loved the look and feel of the camera; and it’s hard to beat Fuji’s lens and image quality. What was easy to beat, at the time, was the X100’s autofocus and clumsy menu system. These issues were so frustrating that I sold the camera not long after I bought it. I came to mildly regret this decision as Fuji released firmware updates that addressed many of the issues that had bothered me, but didn’t think seriously about returning to the camera. But with the release of the Fuji X-E1, I couldn’t resist giving Fuji another chance. Here are some of my impressions and thoughts about Fuji’s latest mirrorless camera.

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New Lynda.com Course: Foundations of Photography – Specialty Lenses

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Mostly, good photography is about the skill of the photographer. That said, a lot of photographs are only possible with the right type of lens, and there are a lot of lenses out there tailored to very specific types of shooting. In this new course, I go into detail on how to shoot with ultra-wide-angle lenses, super telephotos, fisheyes, Tilt/Shift, and more. If you’ve been wondering if any of these types of lenses are right for you, or you’ve already got one and want to know more about what it can do, then you’ll want to check out my Lynda.com course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

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Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. Foundations of Photography: Lenses, will give you that in-depth understanding, as you learn how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. This 2.5 hour course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. You’ll also learn about filters, cleaning, maintenance, and more. You can find it all right here on the Lynda.com web site.

Capture NX and the Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye Lens

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Capture NX

Nikon Capture NX provides an excellent auto correction edit for removing distortion from images shot with the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens. Though I mention this feature in Real World Capture NX, I didn’t have enough room in the book to include examples, so we’re going to look at the specifics of this feature here. With the Fisheye Lens edit, you can create cropped, rectilinear images with a single click.

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RentGlass.com – Lens Rental By Mail

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Unless you have a very regular use for a lens, it’s often hard to justify its purchase. That super-fast, extreme telephoto lens you’ve been eyeing may be appealing, but unless you regularly shoot sports or wildlife, you probably can’t rationalize the price. Lens rental, then, is a great solution for those special occasions when you need a lens, but can’t stomach an outright purchase, and RentGlass.com is just about the cheapest way to rent.
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Canon 17-85 EF-S vs 18-55 EF-S vs. 24-85 EF

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For the last couple of years, I’ve been using a Canon 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 EF lens as my general walk-around lens, first for my Canon EOS 10D, and now for the 20D. While I like the lens for its small size and light weight, the 35mm equivalent focal length range of 38 to 136mm is very often not quite wide enough for casual street shooting. While I love my Canon 10-22 EF-S lens for wide angle shooting, having to carry it and swap lenses on the street was beginning to grow tedious, so I decided to look for a new solution. For price reasons, I quickly narrowed the possible alternatives to Canon’s 18-55 EF-S and 17-85 EF-S lenses. I was very curious to see if the more expensive 17-85 yielded noticeably better quality, as well as to find out if these were good alternatives to my 24-85.

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Sigma 14mm f2.8 Review

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Sigma 14mm Lens

If you’re using a digital SLR with a non-full-frame sensor, such as the Canon Digital Rebel, 10D, 20D, D30, D60, Nikon D100 or D70, then you’ve probably already discovered that shooting wide angle is a bit tricky. Because of the focus multipliers created by the smaller sensors in those cameras, getting an even moderately wide-angle lens can be a very expensive proposition. The Sigma 14mm f2.8 lens is one alternative for Canon, Sigma or Nikon users. Though this lens is several years old, it’s still competitive with newer offerings, as we’ll see in this review.

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Canon 10-22 EF-S Lens

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Canon 10-22mm EF-S Lens

Anyone who’s shot with a mid-range digital SLR – such as the Canon D30, D60, 10D, 20D, Rebel or the Nikon D100 or D70 – knows that, although these cameras can shoot exceptional images, and offer a full assortment of great features, their focal length multipliers mean that shooting wide angle is really a pain. Canon’s new 10-22mm EF-S lens, then, is a great pain reliever.

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LensBaby

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If you’ve been searching for a new look for your photos, or if you’re a fan of grungy, "Holga"-type images, then the LensBaby is just the accessory for you, assuming you already own a digital SLR. Inexpensive, the LensBaby can deliver beautiful images.

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