The ultra-wide manual lens provides a 172-degree angle of view, which the company says is perfect for exploring creativity through distorting and exaggerating normal perspectives.
Pergear says that the new lens also makes it a great choice for close-up shots and unique portraits, alongside the more traditional architecture, street, and landscape photography that an ultra-wide lens is generally used for.
The new fisheye lens is made of solid metal but weighs only 100 grams (0.2 pounds). The front lens has a multi-layer coating that suppresses flare and ghosting. It also adds greater contrast and color reproduction when shooting in strong lighting conditions, the company claims.
The lens comes with a built-in petal-shaped lens hood to provide protection for the lens and also to prevent stray light from entering the lens and causing unwanted flare.
Before shooting, Pergear reminds users to change the camera setting to “shoot without lens” to ensure the camera recognizes the lens as it is manual-only.
As shown in the Pergear example images below, the resulting photo is heavily distorted but it covers a large area of the scene in front of the lens. The examples confirm that this is a unique lens that photographers would use for particular creative choices.
England-based photographer and filmmaker Chris Orange shared his first impressions after trying the lens with his Fujifilm camera. He highlighted just how small and lightweight the lens is, which makes it great for traveling.
Although this type of lens is not a sought-after addition for general photography setup, it can add something unique to those who are willing to introduce unusual focal lengths in their work and are prepared to shoot with a manual-only lens.
Orange concludes that the lens could be enjoyed by those who favor lightweight gear and don’t want to spend much on a new lens.
The Pergear 10mm f/5.6 fisheye lens joins the ultra-wide lens lineup alongside the 10mm f/8 APS-C manual focus, wide-angle pancake lens which was released at the start of 2021 and offers greater mount compatibility.
The new Pergear 10mm f/5.6 fisheye lens is available on Pergear’s online store for $89.
Skylum created a bit of a late summer storm when it announced a new image editor, Luminar Neo. The complaint from users has been that Skylum drops development on an editor, only to release a new one, while essentially going end of life on the current software.
There’s some validity to the complaint. My advice to Skylum is to settle on a codebase, lock it in, and keep updating it, a la Adobe and many of their competitors. Still, Skylum has offered some tremendous software and given us very high-quality AI tools for sky replacement, portraits, and much more.
Skylum has already announced Luminar Neo for this winter, but we’re getting more details of its capabilities.
Creators can combine multiple images as layers on a single canvas, including raw images, for maximum control over color and light. Blending, masking, and opacity can be used to create collages, double exposure effects, and other powerfully creative interactions between layered photos.
PNG images with transparency can be added to layers, allowing artists to move beyond strictly photographic compositions. Textures and other graphic elements can add additional flourishes to the final work. Once these elements are on a layer, they can be easily moved, rotated, and flipped to place them precisely within the composition. Luminar Neo includes built-in overlays and object libraries, which allow artists to start creating layered compositions right out of the box.
Depth-Aware Control Over Scene Lighting
Luminar Neo can fix a portrait where the foreground subject is underexposed. Enhance a landscape photo where the background is overexposed. RelightAI helps isolate the problem areas for correction while leaving the rest of the image untouched. Advanced controls let the artist naturally reposition and blend the light.
By combining RelightAI with other scene-aware tools, photographers can precisely adjust the lighting of any photo.
Sky Enhancer AI: Precisely adjust the color and exposure of the sky and clouds.
AccentAI: Balance exposure and color before RelightAI to create an appealing contrast.
Portrait BokehAI: Adjust the depth of an image and control background blurring.
Artificial intelligence that drives several tools in the Luminar family is 3D Depth Mapping. It is used in AtmosphereAI and Portrait BokehAI to recognize the contents of a photo. Depth mapping seamlessly identifies the planes (i.e. foreground, midground, background) and the elements (i.e. people, buildings, skies, animals). RelightAI is a lighting tool that uses the 3D Depth Map in a whole new way. RelightAI provides discreet and creative control to artists, allowing them to independently adjust the lighting in the foreground and background to recover detail and color.
The upcoming version also offers context-aware masking.
Luminar Neo ships this winter with layers, RelightAI, and other exciting tools. Portrait Background RemovalAI and MaskAI are planned for the first free update to Luminar Neo, scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2022. Early-bird pricing for the Luminar Neo application and plugin is available here and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee from the time of shipping. Luminar Neo will also be carried in both the Microsoft Store and macOS App Store.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the app, and like many reviewers, I’ll get an early look, which I will share with you. While I have some differences with Skylum on how their apps should be sold and updated, there’s no denying that they are moving the editing industry forward with fresh ideas.
Nikon has announced the $300 Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 Ultra-Compact prime lens. The company claims the new optic will provide extraordinary bokeh and fantastic image quality for both video and still photos, all in a very tiny package.
Nikon says that many creators have told it that they want extremely small lenses with fast apertures to compliment the lightweight Z series mirrorless cameras, and the new 40mm f/2 will deliver on that request in a lens that it says is great for travel, street photography, and everyday use.
The company says that the 40mm f/2 prime lens is versatile and can be used on any of the Nikon Z series full-frame or DX (Crop sensor) format cameras since it is small enough to sit discretely on a Z 50 or Z fc, but still suitable when paired on a Z6 II or Z7 II for users seeking something light and compact as a “walk-about” lens. It is worth noting that when paired with a DX system the lens is equivalent to 60mm, making it a great focal length for portraits.
The new lens is built with six elements in four groups and features a nine-blade electromagnetic diaphragm for precise aperture control and stable exposures during continuous shooting. This is all packed into a lens body that is only 1.8 inches in length and weighs just 170 grams, making it a lens you can actually carry in your pocket. The company boasts the f/2 aperture will give impressive low-light performance while providing exceptional bokeh for great separation between the subject and the background of the images.
Additionally, the lens features a short 0.96 foot (0.29 meter) minimum focusing distance making it suitable for shooting products, food, and beverages that require a “top-down” setup. On top of this, the new 40mm f/2 lens is also weather-sealed to prevent dust and water from entering the lens, features an integrated control ring that can be customized to adjust multiple settings, and the focus motor adjusts smoothly and quietly further proving its utility for video shooters.
Below are some sample images captured with the new 40mm f/2 ultra-compact prime lens:
The new Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 ultra-compact prime lens will be available to order later this fall for $300.
Roman Loranc is described by many as a modern-day master of fine art black and white — or at least neutral tone — photography. In two short anecdotes, Loranc shares the thoughts behind some of his imagery.
Below are two stories that are written from Loranc’s first-person perspective. The first discusses a photo he captured of the Columbia River — specifically, the area around Mount Hood in Oregon — and the second discusses a scene where he compares how composition affects the strength of an otherwise nearly identical image. This set of stories is brought to you courtesy of PetaPixel’s partnership with ELEMENTS Magazine. ELEMENTS is the new monthly magazine dedicated to the finest landscape photography, insightful editorials and fluid, clean design. Use the PETAPIXEL10 code for a 10% discount off the annual subscription.
Once I was camping on the bank of the Wild River and writing an essay about nature and photography. I am so grateful for this oasis and wild places like it that have been protected. But we have destroyed over 80% of the wetlands and woodlands in California. That is why I have been photographing the remnants of these places. I try to photograph places that are not known or are not considered photogenic. I am always searching for beauty in the landscape in defense of the traditional values of photography.
In defining beauty, Thomas Aquinas (1224/6-1274) said, “It is that which pleases when seen.” Beauty is a useful word, especially for a photographer, because it implies light — light of overwhelming intensity. His interpretation has a profound meaning.
I enjoy uncontrived photographs like those taken by the old masters such as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Roman Vishniac, August Sander, and Jan Bulhak. I have been fascinated by the Columbia River and with the Lewis and Clark expedition for quite some time so we have made several trips to the river to photograph.
One evening, we were driving to dinner and saw incredible lightning, so I decided we would be late for dinner. The exposure was five minutes, which was not enough, but it was already dark when I finished the exposure. You never know when a perfect situation happens, so you should always carry your camera and film with you. You must be committed.
There are stories and beauty in many places. Beauty doesn’t just reside in the famous locations everyone visits. You must be ready, take some chances, ask, and listen. Then look, and you have the chance to see beauty.
Homeward Bound and Homeward Bound Study I
This is a good example of a composition that’s either vertical or horizontal.
Both images were done at the same time and place. I owe many thanks to my local veterinarian, Dr. Dave, who accompanied me on my expeditions and sometimes protected me from being shot by local ranchers. It always helps to find a local friend people won’t shoot at! Dave introduced me to this place but warned me never to drive there in the winter.
As you can see, the vertical composition is a lot stronger. You should always try to compose vertical first, although it can’t always be done. All my images are shot with a 4×5 camera and TriX film, and developed in PMK pyro. All images are printed on Ilford Multigrade paper, selenium and split toning.
The article is courtesy of ELEMENTS Magazine. ELEMENTS is the new monthly magazine dedicated to the finest landscape photography, insightful editorials, and fluid, clean design. Inside you will find exclusive and in-depth articles and imagery by the best landscape photographers in the world such as Freeman Patterson, Bruce Barnbaum, Rachael Talibart, Charles Cramer, Hans Strand, Erin Babnik, and Tony Hewitt, to name a few. Use the PETAPIXEL10 code for a 10% discount off the annual subscription.
About the author:Roman Loranc is a modern-day master of fine art black and white photography. He was born in the city of Bielsko-Biala, southwestern Poland, in 1956 during the communist era. In 1982, at 26 years of age, he immigrated to Madison, Wisconsin, and in 1984 he moved from the Midwest to Modesto, California. Much of his early, better-known photographic work was created in California’s Central Valley. He moved to Northern California near Mt. Shasta in 2006 where he currently resides.
Roman Loranc’s newest book, Traces, features photographs of tules with poems by Robert Lax and an essay by Dr. Anthony Bannon, the former Executive Director of George Eastman House. The book had been in production for over a year as he and his publisher developed a special printing process to reproduce the photographic images as authentically as possible.
Canon has announced the winning image from its Light in the Dark themed Redline Challenge competition, chosen from over 36,000 entries.
Canon has announced the winner and shortlisted photographs from the inaugural Redline Challenge photography competition. Chosen from 36,195 images, Piotr Skrzypiec’s ‘Lost Highway’ won and as a result, Piotr will receive over €14,000 worth of Canon kit including the EOS R5 and RF lenses along with a personal photography assignment and mentoring session with judge and Canon Ambassador, Lorenz Holder.
“It’s hard to describe how it feels” said Piotr, “it is both a big surprise and a huge achievement, especially as when I entered, I submitted three pictures and discovered that all of them had been shortlisted.”
Winner: Lost Highway by Piotr Skrzypiec – Skofljica, Slovenia
Alongside the winner, Canon also revealed the shortlisted photographers that included four photographers from the UK and Ireland. The shortlisted photographers were selected on their ability to create technically and interpretively original photographs when reimagining the Light in the Dark theme.
Kiko Ruiz Lloret
Shortlisted: Sally Heaphy – Humble, UK
Shortlisted: Goran Loncar – Dublin, Ireland
Shortlisted: Curtis Walsh – Quendon, UK
Judge and ITCG European Marketing Director for Canon EMEA, Susie Donaldson added: “As a judge of the Redline Challenge, I was blown away by how many unique interpretations of the theme there were and the technical ability of the entrants.
There were a number of incredible photos but the winning image, Lost Highway, had such impact we just kept coming back to it. It really reflected the theme and the times we are in right now, perfectly capturing the idea of emerging from something, taking a new turn into hopefully more positive times.”
I am researching the house where I was born and raised, known in the family by the shorthand description “Number 1”. I have often thought that in the future the concept of a family photo showing old Aunty Bessie in Cleethorpes, or whatever it might show, was being reduced by digital imaging to something that really would be lost forever on some defunct hard drive or some obsolete floppy disk or CD. Who would bother to fire up a computer to view thousands of pictures that would maybe or maybe not be of interest?
In the same way, I have been scanning and looking at a mass of old negatives that I found hiding in the shed when we demolished it. One of these has revealed some more clues as to the lie of the land at the back of Number 1, although to decipher it I might have offer some help to the viewer. The image itself is barely there:
So I decided to annotate what we were looking at:
As you can see, I have recognised various points in the image, for example the boundary wall on the left, as it was in the 1930s. By the time my childhood came along in the 1950s that wall had been reduced to less than half its height and the bricks used to build features in the garden, behind us in the picture. At our feet in the image lies the old alleyway that I discovered covered in a lawn, in the days that I did the gardening. The observant will notice a ghostly yound lady (my mum) on a swing that has been erected just beyond the wall. Unless of course it was a gallows, but I don’t think my mum and her sister were that badly behaved…….
The next phase also came to hand in that I have also found the deeds to the house, which includes maps of the whole area as building plots, dating back with details to 1899 or so. Amazing stuff. And to think that the further reesearch was motivated by scanning an old discarded negative; what were the chances?
Nikon has announced a pair of macro lenses for its full-frame Z-series mirrorless cameras. The Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is a relatively compact and affordable option that can double-up as an everyday standard lens, while the Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S is a higher-end option that includes optical stabilisation, and should also be suitable for portrait photography.
The Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S will cost £999
Looking first at the 105mm f/2.8 macro, this provides 1:1 magnification at its minimum focus distance of 29cm. It boasts a 9-bladed aperture for attractive bokeh, and employs 62mm filters. Nikon is promising superb sharpness across the full focus distance range along with minimal colour fringing. The manual focus ring features customisable control with an adjustable focus throw and reversible focusing direction, and focus breathing is said to be practically eliminated. There’s a focus limiter switch on the side of the lens, an OLED panel on top, and a control dial for adjusting exposure settings. The barrel features weather-sealed construction, with a fluorine coating on the front element to repel water and grease.
The smaller, simpler Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is set to go on sale for £649
Turning our attention to the 50mm f/2.8 macro, this again offers life-size reproduction, with a focus distance of just 16cm. It also boasts a 9-bladed aperture and a focus limiter switch. It’s not weather-sealed, but has a fluorine coating on the front element.
The Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S on the Z7 II body
The Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S and Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 will go on sale on 24th June for £999 and £649 respectively.
Two compact primes incoming
Alongside the new macro lenses, Nikon has also confirmed that it’s developing a pair of small primes that are due for release later this year. The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 and Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 are described as compact and lightweight primes that are designed for full-frame cameras. But which also promise to be a good match to the compact APS-C (DX) format Z50, on which they’ll offer 42mm and 60mm equivalent fields of view, respectively.
The Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 and Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 will share the same physical design
As yet there are no further details, but Nikon has released images suggesting that the lenses will share the same dimensions, physical design and filter thread. But it cautions that the design may still be subject to change.
The Great British Photography Challenge airs this summer on BBC Four – six contestants will undertake a range of themed weekly challenges across the UK. The show is hosted by top celebrity and portrait shooter, Rankin, who reveals more in this exclusive interview
Rankin and the contestants
Rankin first made his mark on the industry when he co-founded Dazed & Confused Magazine in 1991. Throughout his career, he has shot everyone from Kate Moss, David Bowie and the Queen. On the Great British Photography Challenge, he is taking on the role of a mentor for six photographers as they work to create a portfolio to be revealed in an exhibition in the series finale.
How and why did you come up with the idea for the Great British Photography Challenge? I wish the show was my idea, but no, it was a production company called Storyboard Studios based in Glasgow. They came up with the concept and approached me last year during lockdown.
I was drawn to it as it really spoke to how I feel about photography today. The thing you have to remember is that over the last 10 years, smart phones have democratised photography.
It is now an accessible medium to people from all social and economical backgrounds. Whereas in the past, the barrier to entry was just how expensive the technology was. Now everybody has a camera in their pocket and photography has become a visual language that everybody uses.
Initially that meant people were taking photographs of the food or terrible selfies, but in the last year, and especially during lockdown, photography has become something people all over the country are all growing into. We’re all using it to help us understand ourselves and our own identity, along with documenting the people, places and things around you.
It’s like this democratic medium is starting to come of age. That’s really what excited me about doing the show, because I can see and feel this new renaissance for photography and that is something that I wanted to be part of.
Unlike, say, The Great British Bake Off, contestants won’t be eliminated, even though there will be an overall winner. Why is this? This was very much a condition of me being in the series. I don’t want to be the Simon Cowell of photography.
That kind of format has been repeated so many times, but I think people really want to learn and watch people grow.
We’re past the point with TV shows where we want to watch people fail. That feels outdated now. We’re in a much more supportive place socially.
For me, I wanted to burst the bubble of “the click”. It still surprises me how many people think that taking photographs is picking up a camera and just pressing a button.
But, all of your readers will know there is so much more to it than that and that’s what makes the medium so exciting to be part of. We all keep learning stuff.
So I wanted to make the competition as realistic as possible, and hence more educational than a gameshow. Of course there is jeopardy in having to execute briefs, but that’s the kind of the jeopardy that we all go through whenever we take on a commission or start a project.
There will be detractors and people saying it isn’t real, but it’s our first series and we were learning on the job.The main thing for me is that we take the audience on the educational journey with us and hopefully they get inspired by what we do.
I think one of the contestants you spoke to, Paul, put it best when he said that they’re all winners from going through the experience.
Is there a strong emphasis on smartphone photography in the show, or will ‘conventional’ cameras be used as well? There is one smartphone challenge per episode, but conventional cameras are used throughout.
We chose to have a smartphone task every episode because it’s a great way to strip back a photographer and make them approach a subject differently than they do in their normal day-to-day practice.
It means the challenge isn’t about the technical elements of photography but more about gut instinct and concept.
Throughout the episodes the challenges become about more than just single images, they really ask the participants to think about all stages of being a working photographer: they ask them to be able to plan, pre-produce, organise, work under pressure et cetera.
These are the pressures that anyone who receives any type of commission or starts out on a personal project has to deal with.
If it takes off, do you hope the show might make it to BBC One or Two? Absolutely, but honestly I’m just happy with what we’ve done. I’ve learnt throughout my career to never presume success. Whenever I have, it has never happened.
How you balance being supportive and encouraging to the participants, who are all amateurs, while also giving them ‘robust’ feedback? Obviously it’s not Ramsay’s Hells Kitchen… The most important thing for me, was that the experience was as real as possible. So I’m just very honest with the photographers.
After all, in the real world, you are told when you haven’t delivered.
It’s not just my voice either giving feedback. The show has some great guests and other mentors – who specialise in everything from photography curation, to art buyers, PR and specialist photography fields.
Everyone had great feedback and spent a lot of time sharing their perspectives and expertise.
You’ve been successful in this industry since the 90s. What advice do you have for the next budding Rankin, wanting to succeed in commercial and portrait photography? The best piece of advice I can give anyone, is to follow your own path. Doing it “Rankin’s way” or the way any other photographer has done it, will probably not work.
I know we work in what can be seen as a very fickle, trend-obsessed medium, and it’s very important to stay relevant. However that doesn’t mean that you need to work the way everybody else does. For example, currently, there is an obsession with shooting on film, which would make me run the opposite way.
Authenticity doesn’t come from the kit or technique you use, but from your mind. So stay true to who you are.
Chinese lens maker Venus Optics has been incredibly creative of the past few years, mostly specialising in ultra-wideangle and super-macro lenses under its Laowa brand. Now it’s introduced the first in a new line of ultra-fast f/0.95 optics. The Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO for APS-C mirrorless cameras promises minimal chromatic aberration and will cost £499. As with most of the firm’s lenses, it employs entirely manual operation with no electronics.
Optically the lens comprises 14 elements in 9 groups, including one made from Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, three from Ultra High Refraction Glass and one aspherical element. The stated aim is to eliminate unwanted colour fringing due to longitudinal chromatic aberration – hence the APO designation in the lens name.
With an angle of view equivalent to a classic 50mm standard lens, the lens is designed with both stills and video in mind. It employs an internal focus design, with a long throw to the focus ring and 35cm minimum focus distance. Its 9-bladed aperture employs rounded blades for attractive bokeh, and is controlled by a ring on the lens barrel that operates without any click-stops. The lens accepts 62mm filters and is supplied with a rectangular hood. Physically, it measures 71.5 x 83mm and weighs in at 590g.
Fujifilm X and Sony E mount versions of the lens are available to pre-order now, while Nikon Z and Canon RF mount versions are due in the middle of the month.
Laowa Argus 33mm f/0.95 CF APO: Full specifications
Leica has announced its most affordable full-frame L-mount lens to date. The Vario-Elmarit-SL 1:2.8/24–70 Asph is designed for use with its SL-series cameras and will cost £2,300. It will also be sold in kits with the firm’s SL2 and SL2-S full-frame mirrorless bodies.
Leica’s new 24-70mm f/2.8 on the SL2
Optically the lens comprises 19 elements in 15 groups, including three aspherical elements and nine with anomalous partial dispersion to minimise chromatic aberration. A single internal element is used for rapid autofocus, driven by a quiet stepper motor. The minimum focus distances ranges from 18cm at the 24mm position, to 38cm at telephoto.
Leica’s latest optics bears a marked resemblance to its Sigma counterpart, in terms of both specification and physical design
The lens features a dust- and splash-proof construction, employs an 11-blade aperture and accepts 82mm filters. At 123mm in length and 88mm in diameter, and weighing in at 856g, it’s rather smaller and lighter than the firm’s existing 24-90mm f/2.8-4 optic, and little over half the price. However, it still costs more than twice as much as Sigma’s 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art, which is also available in L-mount. What’s more, a detailed comparison reveals that the Sigma is practically identical in terms of specifications, which suggests the two lenses may be closely related.
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