Gadgets & Gizmos

THERE ARE A couple of lenses that should find their way into every serious photographer’s camera bag at some stage. One is the 50mm f1.4 (or f1.2 or f1.8) and the other is an 85mm f1.8, f1.4 or f1.2.

The f1.4 and f1.2 versions of the 85mm are usually quite large and bulky, not the ideal lens for a traveller.

On the other hand, at maximum aperture they produce a surprisingly shallow depth-of-field which is simply awesome for portraiture.

Usually much smaller and lighter is the f1.8 version of the 85mm and this half a stop or so difference saves you money without sacrificing too much bokeh.

Nikon has released an 85mm lens for its full-frame mirrorless Z series, the Nikkor Z 85mm f1.8 S. And Nikon waxes lyrically about the image quality produced – as you’d expect!

“The beauty of the natural bokeh is best seen with portrait photography. The gentle, rounded bokeh generated when point light sources are blurred exhibits very little colour fringing and remains pleasing all the way to the edges of the frame, enabling a dreamy ambience.”

The 85mm employs a new multi-focusing system that reduces aberrations, even when shooting at close distances.

And it has kept the cinematographers amongst us in mind by including a control ring with the option of changing some of the camera’s settings, either from the control ring itself or through a dedicated focus mode switch.

Elimination of unwanted noise during filming is credited to the customisable control ring, an AF mechanism with a quiet stepping motor (STM) and the diaphragm mechanism.

Ghosting and flare caused by stray light, or even when a strong light source is included in the frame, have been reduced with Nano Crystal Coat, Nikon’s anti-reflection coating technology.

And when shooting in low light, the addition of two ED glass elements provides effective compensation for axial chromatic aberration.

For more information, visit

INTERESTED IN LEARNING how to be a surf photographer, an underwater photographer or a travel photographer?

You couldn’t find two more expert tutors than Ted Grambeau and Darren Jew and they’ll be leading the SOL Bali 2020 event, 31 May to 7 June 2020.

The workshop is designed to provide you with a skillset that will enhance your ability to create new and inspiring work in all types of photography.

Fronting the famous Keramas beach break, Komune Resort and Beach Club Bali is a superb venue for the workshop – a perfect location to be immersed in a week of ocean, surf and lifestyle photography and learning.

The two experienced and talented professionals will guide you through a comprehensive and practical curriculum that will establish the mindset, vision, skills and tools that aspiring ocean photographers need in order to take their imagery to the next level.

The workshop will cover defining your purpose and goals, in-water shooting, underwater shooting, top-side work, lifestyle shoots with talent and products, capturing surf action (including night surfing), creative camera techniques, creative post-processing and effective workflows.

The workshop will be supported by Foto Frenzy’s Jasmine Carey and representatives from Aquatech water housings will also be offering an extensive range of popular housing and camera set-ups to shoot in and around the ocean with.

For more information, visit Ted’s website for details, or follow this link:

MobileStudio Pro 2019 with Capture One running. Photos from a recent trip to Bhutan.

As a Wacom Amassador, I get to play with all their latest toys and I’ve just taken delivery of the newest 16” MobileStudio Pro (MSP). It’s what I take away with me when travelling because the screen is the closest in a laptop I’ve found to my wonderful EIZO monitors back at the ranch. It gives me a really great rendition of my photographs, meaning they are not overly contrasty or colour saturated like some of the popular laptop screens. Don’t get me wrong, if I want my photos to look highly saturated and contrasty, I can do that on the MSP, but the default setting is very neutral in contrast and colour  - and that’s exactly what I want as a photographer.

What I also want is to go on a trip and not fill up my hard drive with photos and videos. I always seem to run out of space!

If I’m shooting on my Fujifilm X-T3 with a 26-megapixel sensor, I am usually okay, but once I pull out the Phase One XF 150MP, my drive fills up a little more quickly! Invariably I’m copying my photos across to an external drive, like Lacie’s Rugged SSD – and I will continue to do that as I need a backup. But wouldn’t it be nice to have the whole shoot on the MSP and not have to plug in an external drive at all?

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