Best Choices For Instant Prints – 2019

OK, I usually post the holiday gift guide closer to Turkey day, and the flurry of Black Friday offers.

I just wanted to share this list now as it’s a product line that you want to take to all of the parties and gatherings leading up to that.

Instant prints. As old as the first Polaroid by Dr. Land. He’s gone, it’s gone, and I have fond memories of those products.

Oh sure, you can share your digital images all of the place, but nothing replaces the feeling of having the photo in your hand. And having it with reliability.

Fuji has now come in and, I feel, own the category. The range of products that they have, with all of the connectivity, gives you a huge range of choices on how to share. .

You can have a range of print sizes, from an Ultra Wide to a square, or the compact mini. And the devices you can get can with be a camera that prints solution, or a printer that connects to your smart phone ( or BT enables camera) to print right from the photos you take on them.

I started with the Mini InStax, and it looked cool, although I sometimes had to adjust the flash with a piece of tissue to blunt the intensity.

Then I moved to the Square unit, that also allowed me to preview the exposure AND save the image onto a removable Micro SD card. Some folks feel that it’s really a digital camera that prints. I disagree, and use it as an instant print camera. The micro sd just gives me a copy of the image. Larger image than the mini.

Up next is the LiPlay. Now this camera is small, has great exposure options, some fun filters, and even allows you to put an audio clip on the photo. How? It lets you record a 10sec message, and then prints a QR code onto the image, which the viewer can scan and hear.

The newest addition is now in my bag at all times. It’s Mini Link printer. Period. Compact, connects easily to your smartphone, prints multiple copies of one image if desired, and also has cool filters. I did want o be able to use it with my other Fuji cameras, and needed to disconnect from the phone to pair it with the X-T3, for instance. Perfect for the parties, walkaround, and any kind of sharing. Have a look at some of the features. Super good.

Yes, there is the ultra wide, and honestly I bought one of the years ago, in it’s 1st iteration. Loved the size of the prints, not as much the lack of control of exposure. New one is much better

So there you have it: Fuji has the best reliable cameras out there for sharing your digital photos, IRL. I use them, and love them. Yes, I’m a huge instant photo nerd. Still have a some of Fuji peel apart instant film, used with my 4 Leaf adapted Polaroid 110B. But that s a story for another day

Buy the instax film in bulk on black Friday and give your friends and family something they will keep and maybe get some fridge love. Or desk love.

I promise to send out the black friday deals on that. Amazon is usually great for that. Only watch out is expiration dates.

One more note: I have seen most of the other options out there. Not impressed. Kodak is introducing a Zink camera/printer that has promise, but 1st gen, exposure was an issue, and form factor is a bit odd. I know that Impossible Project is no longer impossible, but the cost of the film is out of wack. Perhaps when that calms down, it will be a more level playing field.

The Weight Is Over : Nikon Adds DX Mirrorless To The Line-up

sorry about the pun. But it’s true.

Nikon has heard loud and clear from their customer base that they need a good reason to upgrade from their smartphone.

Here you go. The New Nikon Z50! A well priced , about $850 body only, this DX option to give you the high quality Nikkor lens designs, in a small form factor. And that entry level price is just right.

Before we go into the company PR release. a little bit about my experience with the Z series. For years I was all Nikon. Love the glass, love the ergonomics. The load was heavy and I switched. To Mirrorless. Sure, Medium format comes in when needed, but needed to get my back some relief.

Then Nikon intro’d the Z7. Let’s be honest, my old glass did fit but the classics like 70-200 was a beast on that body. Then one day, I was out still shooting the Z7 for a tech event, when I found myself at Webster Hall seeing a pop singer that was so sugary, I couldn’t stay for the whole set.

I did however, shoot some images with the Nikon Z7 that was in my bag. I wasn’t Super close, but the images i was able to make, even with a crop, were amazing! The quality of the full frame sensor held so beautifully, that I almost questioned my previous choices.

It does all come down to the right tool for the right job. I believe no one system will do everything you need. I will say though, when you prep for a gig, you know which gear you will grab first, that will never fail you, that is a total extension of you.

I shoot on the street, at events, concerts, and yes, happy snaps as well. Use a diff camera for each.

This weekend, I’m shooting my daughters very small wedding. Pretty much parents only. What am I taking? I’ll let you know when I do the final pack!

MELVILLE, NY (October 10, 2019 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the next Z series mirrorless camera, the DX-format Nikon Z 50, along with two new companion NIKKOR Z lenses, the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR. The new Nikon Z 50 takes full advantage of Nikon’s larger Z mount, providing creators of all types with the most innovative optical system for superior image and video quality. The compact and lightweight Nikon Z 50 was made for unique individuals seeking a camera that has the speed, portability and style to keep pace and share their creative storytelling and imagination, especially when paired with the new ultra-compact 16-50mm zoom and the slim 50-250mm telephoto zoom lenses.

“The new Nikon Z 50 is a small yet capable camera that brings the best of the Nikon Z series to all kinds of creators to discover, share and engage,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The new NIKKOR Z DX lenses expands the Nikon Z series to provide new creative tools for those looking to take their photo and video passions to new heights.” 

When a sudden case of jet-set wanderlust strikes, or if there’s an idea that just has to be shared in 4K video, the Nikon Z 50 is the unobtrusive companion that promises to help deliver content that truly stands out. This is Nikon’s first DX-format mirrorless camera, delivering a more compact lightweight system to those upgrading to mirrorless or discovering the Nikon Z mount system. The new Z 50 offers an ergonomic design, intuitive operability and the steadfast reliability Nikon is known for, but in a slimmer, lightweight and attainable body. Taking advantage of the Nikon Z mount, the Z 50 produces stunning image quality and provides optimal performance for any type of content creation, from still photography to high-quality 4K video.

SMALL ON SIZE, BIG ON FUN: The easy-to-carry, compact and lightweight 12.9-oz body of the Nikon Z 50 is designed with intuitive controls and an agile yet durable magnesium alloy frame. It’s effortless to carry while vlogging a vacation, hiking the backcountry or exploring a new part of town. Since it’s mirrorless, users can activate the silent shutter function for truly low-profile shooting in sensitive situations.    

TELL YOUR STORY, BEAUTIFULLY: A DX-format 20.9-megapixel CMOS sensor delivers superior image quality, sharpness, color and tones to document it all, even in low light. The EXPEED 6 image-processing engine helps to achieve excellent low-light performance and the highest standard sensitivity in its class1 for still-image shooting – ISO 51,200– so users can capture high-resolution photos in challenging lighting conditions, like concerts or night street photography.

HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE: The camera quickly locks focus with a 209-point Hybrid AF System that enables broad coverage of approximately 87% of the frame horizontally and 85% vertically. It’s also the first Nikon DX-format camera to employ Eye-Detection AF, which makes portrait photography simple by recognizing and instantly focusing on a subject’s eyes, even if they are moving. What’s more, with fast 11 fps (with AF/AE) continuous shooting, users can keep up with fleeting moments and never miss a moment of the action.

FLIP-DOWN SELFIE SCREEN: The Nikon Z 50 features an easy to use interface with a 3.2-inch flip-down LCD touchscreen that’s ideal for selfies and vlogging. The LCD features familiar soft keys and icons, while intuitive controls make storytelling simple. Selfie Mode automatically disables all but essential controls while the LCD is flipped down, which makes it easy for the photographer to turn the camera on themselves and capture flattering photos and videos without worry of accidentally changing settings.

Not sure about this. Flip DOWN?

EPIC VIDEO FEATURES AND NEW CREATIVE OPTIONS: Sharp, vibrant 4K video is just the beginning – Experience built in 120p slow-motion, time-lapse and interval timer as well as in-camera video trimming and 20 Creative Picture Controls. These Creative Picture Controls and Special Effect modes instantly transform an image or video footage, while Scene Modes automatically adjust settings to optimize performance for beginners. For smooth footage, the camera also incorporates additional built in stabilization while shooting Full HD or 4K video.

SHARE BETTER CONTENT, INSTANTLY: Built-in Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth connectivity along with support for the new SnapBridge2 version 2.6 app allows users to seamlessly share still images and videos with friends, families and followers. In addition to automatically sending gorgeous images to one’s phone, users now also have the ability to easily transfer video to their smart device quickly. The latest version of SnapBridge also supports RAW image transfer and advanced remote capture functions.    

THE NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR & NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR – NEXT GENERATION DX-FORMAT NIKKOR LENSES

The new NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm standard zoom and the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm telephoto zoom lenses are designed to complement the new Z 50, striking the balance of small size and sharp optics. The NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens is a slim zoom lens that lets users capture a wide variety of scenes, from beautiful landscapes to candid portraits. The compact telephoto NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lens allows anyone to go the extra distance and capture far-away subjects, like city skylines or birds in flight. When paired with the new lenses, Dual Detect Optical VR is enabled on the Z 50 to help control the effects of camera shake when shooting.

Both the new NIKKOR Z DX lenses unleash the potential of the Nikon Z mount, using the superior design flexibility made possible by the large-diameter and the 16mm flange focal distance to deliver outstanding optical performance and sharpness in a deceptively compact form factor.

In addition to achieving incredible image quality, the new NIKKOR Z DX lensesare optimizedfor video capture when paired with the Z 50, making them must-haves for emerging content creators. Both lenses promise reduced focus breathing, a customizable control ring for smooth control of aperture or exposure compensation, as well as fast and quiet operation. Additionally, the new lenses offer in-lens optical Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to allow for smooth recording, with camera shake compensation equivalent to 4.5 stops3 and 5.0 stops3, respectively.

Beyond these two new lenses, Nikon Z 50 users can enjoy greater variety in imaging expression by mounting any of the current lenses in the NIKKOR Z lineup. A vast selection of traditional F-Mount NIKKOR lenses is also available to shooters via the Mount Adapter FTZ, with many lenses retaining functions such as VR and AF.

Price and Availability

The Nikon Z 50 will be available in November 2019, in several configurations including body-only for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $859.95*, a one-lens kit with the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR lens for a SRP of $999.95* or a two-lens kit with both the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR lenses for a SRP of $1349.95.

For more information on the latest Nikon products, including the new Nikon Z 50, NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR and the full Nikon Z mount system, please visit www.nikonusa.com. 

Versatile Pocket Light: Lume Cube – Get A Couple!

I first saw one of these tiny lights displayed at Photo Plus Expo, submerged in a tank of water.

As an ad guy, it got my attention as a marketing move, and problem/solution product. It worked!

OK, for me it solved a ton of problems: The Lume Cube is a great little light to add to a GoPro for general use; An underwater light for surface level snorkeling; A vlogging light as a small addition to a smartphone; and a way to get light into small spaces. 1500 lumens? Yes, please!

There are now 2 versions of this light available- the classic, which goes to deeper depths (did I say that right?) of water, a series of magnetic add-ons to shape your light, and a little extra weight. The newer version , the Air is lighter, and for me, has a better natural color temp, closer to 5600K.

For either, although you can step up the intensity of light with a simple button press, I found the general light a bit intense. So they have either offered, or supplied diffusers, as well as color filters to adjust things. Much needed for my usage.

Snoot and barn doors

Now the original uses the magnetic cage to attached the diffuser,

with the cage and magnetic diffuser

and the Air has a silicon one, that fits snugly onto the light.

yep, get the double pack. You get white diffuser and a Tungsten diffuser for each. And you’ll use em!

I do feel more secure with the magnetic way.

The clever add-ons really help you utilize these lights, and they have told me that many people who photograph small items, have found these invaluable

Double your light output with this action cam mounting rig. A little pricey, but when you buy 2 lights at a time, which I suggest, you have a pretty solid small footprint lighting set-up.

You can work the lights via bluetooth and smartphone. Honestly, I don’t use the BT, really. It’s a light. A good, solidly built, adjustable LED light!

Bottom line is that this lighting setup is one of the tools you need in your arsenal. I always travel with at least one Lume Cube, and it has been a life saver!

Here is one of my underwater setups, with a HitCase on the iPhone. I did have to do some digging in my photo toolbox to get it sorted. On the GoPro, went with a male to male 1/4-20. Please note that with new DJI ActionCam does not have a 1/4-20, so a little more work needs to happen.

I would also HIGHLY recommend getting a proper case for the full setup

This one is avail on the Lume Cube site for about $30.

Or go full tilt and get the whole range! (sans the double bar)

How Compact Can Your Tripod Get?

It’s true. Every time I’m packing for a shoot, I think about the wasted space in between the legs of a tripod.

Fine, I have to get a life. Not such a big deal, right? Maybe you have a case, like the one that some other manufacturers give out. Or you purchased a “tripod” case to pack it into.

The folks at Peak Design, have a different idea. Redesign the the way the tripod legs fold up. No wasted space. Still rigid.

They have been on point on so many bags, and, quite honestly, have become my walk around camera bag

This tripod is now on Kickstarter, and if you’re in the market to save some dough, you have 3 days left to pledge., until July 18th. This is not a kickstarter that will go belly up. These folks are real, and they have raised almost 10 million dollars to finalize the project and get it to market. Now, i make no claims, nor guarantee anything you pledge. My lawyer makes sure I don’t. It’s kickstarter , not a store.

Have a look, and maybe we’ll all start packing tighter!

Light Em Up!! Photographing Fireworks Guide

(This is a previously published article, but the fireworks haven’t changed, so it should all still hold true.)

Living in A Powder Keg and Giving Off Sparks!

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  • Jan. 7th – Jan 10th, 2020
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Current Exhibitions

  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Conspiracy of Ravens
  • October 24 – December 7, 2019
  • New York, NY 10001
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
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  • Annenberg Space for Photography
  • W|ALLS: DEFEND, DIVIDE, AND THE DIVINE
  • OCT 05, 2019 – DEC 29, 2019
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • True Grit- American Prints and Photographs from 1900-1950
  • October 15th, 2019- January 19th, 2020
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  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Don McCullin
  • September 11-November 16, 2019
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • New York, New York!
  • 26 SEPTEMBER 2019 – 22 FEBRUARY 2020
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

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