Nov 222012
 

Happy Thanksgiving! Black Friday is just about here! Special Deals.

It’s that time yet again! Every year I usually make a post with some kind of black Friday deals but the truth is that you guys know what you want and how to look for it. If you want a Fuji X100, you know you can get it at Amazon or B&H Photo. If you want a Leica Noctilux you know you can give Ken Hansen an e-mail and say “I WANT IT”. If you have been lusting after a 35 or 50 Summuilux ASPH you can call the Pro Shop at 561-253-2606. PopFlash has loads of cool Leica gear in stock as well right now and Dale Photo even has that cool new Leica book called “99 Years of Leica” which I hope to review soon. I have heard great things about it and will have one here to peruse soon :) More deals below but 1st…

It is Thanksgiving today and as the Turkey is cooking and the smells are filling the house with that familiar holiday aroma I am sitting at my desk being thankful for the things I have now without worrying about what I will have tomorrow. I am thankful for my son Brandon, who has always been the greatest kid ever. Never has given me one cause to worry and even as a 16 year old hormone filled teen he is never disrespectful or rotten. I am his dad and we are also best friends as well and that is pretty special to me.  I am also thankful for my modest home, my fiancee and her daughters. They have been in my life for well over a year now and it has been awesome having someone here with me who I can get along with and have so much fun with. I am thankful for having what I have, even if it is not that much or anything to brag about. I am thankful for my health and the fact that at age 43 I am still feeling like I am 23. I am thankful for this website and ALL of you who stop by to read it. You may not always agree with me but that is a part of life. If we all agreed on every little thing the world would be a boring place.

So thanks once again to ALL of you who visit this site. It has grown quite a bit over the past year and 2012 has been the best yet. I also thank the site sponsors for helping keep this website alive and for those who send me their products for review so there is always something interesting to look at. I also thank those of you who submitted guest posts and daily inspirations all year long! These are the things that keep this community going and growing and I hope to grow even more in 2013. There will be 2-3 workshops in 2013 and possibly a new 2013 Cruise to all new destinations. I am planning the RV Road trip for me and 4-5 others as we trek across Route 66 looking for amazing photo opportunities. So much is yet to come and yes, I am thankful for that as well. So I guess I am thankful for what is to come after all :)

So to everyone, enjoy your day and family and I hope you spend it doing whatever it is you love to do the most. Thank you all!

Steve

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Oh, and don’t forget the Black Friday deals! Links Below to B&H Photo and Amazon!

B&H Photo Black Friday - Main page

Amazon Black Friday - Main page

Batteries for the Sony RX1 – CHEAP and now in stock at Amazon (wont last once camera ships, and you will need them! I ordered three) $7.85 each!

SANDISK Extreme 32Gb SD Card – $32

SANDISK Extreme 64 GB SD card – $64

FUJI X100 BLACK with 2% Rewards back – $1399

Nikon V1 and 10-30 Zoom with a HUGE price drop. This is a steal.

NIKON V1 ULTIMATE KIT AT A HUGE savings! With 10-100 power zoom, flash, adapter, case, kit lens and more for $899

LensRentals 25% off rentals and Used Lenses deals! Here is a list of all items for sale.

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Other HOT gear in stock NOW.

Olympus 60 Macro – Amazing lens..review soon. $499 at Amazon

EVF for Sony RX1 – Not in stock but ships around same time as RX1 (2-3 weeks)

Desirable black paint Leica 50 Summilux with classic knurled focus ring - USED but this is a great lens.

Leica 35 Summilux FLE in stock!

One of the best 90mm lenses you can get for your Leica, the 90 Summarit and its the cheapest! Email Ken Hansen HERE.

Leica M-E in stock. Also HERE

Leica D-Lux 6 in stock

Sony NEX-6 in stock!

The son of the RX1, the amazing RX100

Leica 35 Summircon USED DEAL!

Olympus OM-D with Kit Zoom…black. 

Black Special edition Olympus 12mm f/2

One of my fave lenses and beautiful on the Leica MM – IN STOCK!

Nov 202012
 

 

Black Friday Mania Begins! 1st up.. Lens Rentals used lenses 10% off plus 5% back!

LensRentals.com, (a site sponsor that helps keep this site going btw) is having their annual “Black Friday” sale by giving 10% off any used gear they have for sale starting Thanksgiving day at 6am and running through November 26th. They are also haveing 25% off of all rentals during this period so now is the time if you wanted to rent that something special. 25% off is a chunk of change so give that Leica Noctilux a try, or Leica Monochrom :)

To check out what they will have for sale at 10% off, click HERE for details. I already spotted a couple of Zeiss ZM lenses there that look tempting as well as a few Leica selections. With the holidays coming LensRentals is just one place you can find some great deals. Amazon is also having their Black Friday specials as is B&H Photo. 

You can also check out the other site sponsors like PopFlash, Dale Photo, Pro Shop, and Ken Hansen ([email protected]). Without them, this site could not continue!

B&H Is having some specials on Apple products with 50% off of Apple Care as well!

Nov 252011
 

BLACK FRIDAY! Hot and in stock cameras/lenses AND used Leica deals!

It’s BLACK FRIDAY! The day after Thanksgiving when all of the retail shops and online shops have deals on select gear. What you see below is a mix of black friday specials, hot in stock cameras and lenses and a few used deals as well. Just a note, if you use any of the links below and make a purchase it will help support this website. You pay the same of course but I get a few dollars to help keep this site going, so SHOP AWAY! The X10, X100 is in stock (at the time I wrote this) and they tend to go quickly! Some cool stuff is coming next week – great guest articles, new reviews and more things PHOTOGRAPHY! A cool Daily Inspiration will be up this afternoon as well.

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The Fuji X10 is IN STOCK NOW!

The Fuji X100 is ALSO IN STOCK NOW!

Adobe Lightroom only $99 for the next two hours! Then $149

Leica classic PRE- ASPH 35 Summilux

Yet another Leica Pre-ASPH 35 Summilux 

Nikon V1 Black Friday reduction - – -  NIKON V1 Leather Half Case, now in stock! — NIKON V1 Leather strap also in stock today!

$100 OFF! OLYMPUS E-P3 PRICE REDUCTION! (Add to cart to see THE $100 reduction)

A Leica lens, new and in stock – The 24 Elmar – $2495 (review here)

A great Artist & Artisan camera/laptop messenger bag! 

Kindle Fire, in stock and immediate ship!

The Panasonic 25 1.4 Summilux for Micro 4/3 at Amazon!

Olympus 45 1.8 IN STOCK!

ALL OF AMAZONS BLACK FRIDAY DEALS!

LEICA M6 – classic chrome, USED DEAL

Leica X1 USED deal!

 

Nov 232011
 

The Nikon V1 Black Friday Deals and more thoughts on this system…

By Steve Huff

Nikon seems to be picking up some steam with the The V1 which is now sold out at most online shops due to the special price reduction, which from what I understand is for a “Black Friday” special through November 26th. The dual lens kits sold out at Amazon (through Amazon) and B&H Photo but what many may not realize is that you can still get those special prices on the dual kit by ordering the V1 with the 10-30 and then adding one or both of the other lenses to your cart. This is possible at B&H anyway. The reduction will happen automatically when you add them to your cart at B&H which means you could get the V1 with all three lenses…the 10mm, 10-30 and 30-110 for $1140. Or even two lenses and the V1 for under a grand. I am not sure if Nikon is continuing this price reduction after the 26th but no one seems to know. It’s the holiday season so…

Contrary to what some are saying about the Nikon 1 system, particularly the V1, it is a very versatile system with great IQ and super speedy operation. The V1 is a camera I have been liking more and more for so many reasons and I still see some bashing it, but others have come around once they shot with the V1 themselves. This has been an interesting camera release for sure causing happiness, anger, stress and craziness, all at the same time. A couple people I know that shot with it still hated it, but they never had an open mind about it in the first place so I figured as much. Others seem to think that this was designed as a pro camera. It was not! The V1 is really aimed at the advanced hobbyist, or advanced family man, not the enthusiast. Even so, this enthusiast (and others that I see online) seem to be really enjoying the camera. At under a grand for the V1 with the 10-30 and 30-110 the price is right for what you get as I have been getting wonderful results that beat the Olympus E-P3 in most situations, a camera I have been enjoying for months, and the E-P3 is $829 right now with one lens and no EVF though there is a cool “street shooters set” coming soon at a great price for what you get.

Another guy that seems to be liking it, and a guy whose opinion I respect is Kirk Tuck. I have been enjoying his site for the last year and he also picked up a V1 and has been shooting with it over the past couple of weeks or so. You can check out his site here if you want to see his V1 posts.

Today I wanted to take a look at the V1 in a different way than I did in my review. I want to focus on one of the the negatives of this camera and see just how negative this is in real use. HIGH ISO/LOW LIGHT. Many have been complaining about low light performance, well… those who do not own the camera have anyway. But I have been finding that if you adjust your RAW files a bit even your low light high ISO shots can be great. The good thing with this system is that the V1 and all of the lenses available for it are incredibly sharp. Even at higher ISO you get a sharp detailed image, not a smeared image. This of course is if you turn off the Noise Reduction and shoot RAW. Check out this shot I took at 9:30PM at ISO 800 with the 10-30…

The image below was shot at ISO 800, at night with the V1 and 10-30 just to see how the noise would appear and to also see if the details were smeared. You can click on the image for the full size file. This was shot as RAW and converted with ACR. 10-30 at f/3.5.

To me, that file above at ISO 800 at NIGHT is pretty damn nice. Detail is there, noise is minimal and I used ZERO noise reduction. So low light high ISO beats other cameras I have tried in similar situations, and the sensor is smaller with the V1. This tells me technology has come a long way since the early days of digital. No longer is a huge sensor needed to get decent low light performance.

Sometimes though what you see in your higher ISO images noise wise depends on the exposure, the available light and how you process the images. The V1 CAN be noisy when shooting indoors. What I do is use that to my advantage because the V1 noise that is there has a nice grain to it. I do not want to say “film like” because no digital file is film like. But the noise that is there is not really bad or ugly like some cameras can give you. I also love the way black and white conversions look at higher ISO’s with this camera.

The next four images are ISO 400 (3rd image) – 560 (all the others), indoors with the 10-30. Getting in close will give you a teeny but of shallowness in the Depth of Field dept. Click the images for larger and better versions. I have no problem with the noise in these images and these were indoor. I used the light from his iPad to light his face.

My son (in the above photos)  is a huge Nikon fan. He hates Leica because he says it is WAY too expensive for what it is, lol. He says I am silly for liking Leica and that I should buy a D3s. Yes, he LOVES Nikon. So much so that he was asking me for a V1 for Xmas this year so he can have a smaller camera system than his current D2h and lenses. He has shot with the V1 and he has gone back and forth on it. One day he liked it and the next he wasn’t so sure sure due to the random out of focus shots he was getting. I spoke of this in my review HERE  but Nikon just released a firmware update to fix this issue, which stemmed from the VR. Well, the updates are for EACH lens, the 10-30, the 30-100 and the 10-100. I tested this with the 10-30 and the random OOF shots that stemmed from the VR are no longer happening. In fact, I can now shoot at really low shutter speeds as the VR is very good with all of the zooms. So my guess is it will be back on his Xmas list.

HIGHER ISO – 3200 and 6400

Here are a couple of shots I added to my review a few days ago. Taken at night in my kitchen at ISO 3200 and 6400, no direct light, just the overhead kitchen light that was to the left. Noise reduction OFF.

ISO 3200 – click image for full size

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ISO 6400 – Click image for full size

Future Lenses for the 1 System

Nikon has shown off some prototype lenses for the 1 system and two of these are rumored to be an 18 1.4 which would be a 50mm equivalent, and a 32 1.2, which would be an 85mm equivalent. There is also rumor that one is a 14mm 2.8 giving a 35mm equivalent. The 50 and 85 sound nice and should easily give the shallow depth of field many have been asking for. Hopefully Nikon releases these lenses soon as these cameras are in DESPERATE need of a fast prime! Even though they said this system was not designed for the serious enthusiast or pros, I see many of them shooting with the V1 due to the speed, accurate AF, EVF, and color. I think once the new fast primes arrive there will be more serious interest in the camera.

My five easy tips for V1 owners

1. Turn off the Active D-Lighting for better contrast. I always shoot with this off.

2. Turn off VR if you are shooting in good light or using a tripod

3. Turn off Noise Reduction in camera. In my opinion, the images look better with the noise than with smeared details.

4. Shoot in RAW for best quality

5. Don’t be afraid to customize your color settings!

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So that is about all I will be writing on the V1 until new lenses come out for it or I do some street shooting with it. I have said all I can say about the V1 itself but I am still enjoying the camera and shooting almost daily with it. It’s solid, it’s well made, it feels like quality (I did not feel this way with the J1), it is small(ish), it is sharp and it is fast. I’ll be looking forward to the new lenses in 2012 for sure. Coming soon to the site – The Sony 50 1.8 lens review on the NEX-7, the Panasonic GX1 review and more including the Ricoh GRD IV and possibly a review of the Nikon 30-110 lens. As always, thanks for reading and stopping by!

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