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Golden Gate Bridge, Red, San Francisco

The Golden Ratio (Spirals) & Custom Grids.

Most photographers have heard of the thirds rule, and most camera models have grids available either in the view finder, live view or both. Most supported grids are normally 1/3 or 1/4 in size. 1/3 size being the most popular supporting the 3rd’s rule. However I think it’s become increasingly obvious companies are missing out on one big consumer need, and it’s a need that is very easy to fill:

Custom Grids.

As a landscape photographer I shoot a lot using live view, and I use a lot of the information provided in live view to assist me to position my shot, such as the grid, exposure, level, filter position, focus etc. But some of the information is very limiting, particularly the grid. What  I may want to use is a custom grid, such as the popular Phi Grid (Golden Spirals) ?

Nikon, Canon, Sony, I’m talking to you, how hard would it be to allow users to upload their own overlays from the SD card? or for you to even provide a few more options inbuilt? I mean, seriously it’s not that hard, the only hard thing about a custom grid is possibly the orientation, but even that can be solved with 4 seperate grids that can be flipped and mirrored. Semi-Pro+ bodies allow you to reassign buttons to do this fairly easily.

I would love to have a button assigned to rotating a custom Phi or golden ratio ‘grid’. Nikon, make it happen (please). In all seriousness, DSLR producers really are behind the software curve when it comes to bells and whistles, and it wasn’t until Sony started to bring in new features that the others took note. How long did it take the Nikon and Canon to introduce features like HDR and time-lapse in camera? Why does magic lantern exist? I was completely frustrated with Canon years ago and their inability to innovate.

Sure you could argue that it’s not a priority or not inline with their goals, but some features really are an easy add-on, and this is one of them.

YES! Sigma 14mm f1.8, Full Frame, Yes. Really.

When I first heard that Sigma were making a 14mm f1.8 Art my initial reaction was one of resentment, why are sigma creating more crop sensor ART lenses?
What about us poor sods waiting in the full frame (FF) world?. It seemed to good to be true to be a FF lens. But there was still the hope deep down, that just maybe, Sigma has been able to do something magical and bend the laws of physics and light to pull off the first 14mm f1.8 lens. After all companies are innovating in this space all the time right?, look at Canon with their fancy 11mm lens.

Then a few weeks ago the chatter started across various tog sites, rumours so wonderful they seemed to good to be true. The new 14mm was indeed going to be FF. At this point I like many others were hanging out on the edge of their seat, waiting for an official press release. Had Sigma done the impossible? Well it appeared they had when the offical word was given from Sigma. Since then specifications have been released, as well as sample pictures.

However, the story is not over. Possibly the most important piece of information is missing. How much is it going to cost? Surely bending the laws of physics and light comes at a cost? Now we wait, stuck in a holding pattern until Sigma release offical pricing. Oh course it does not stop people of speculating, so far I’ve seen people quote the lens as cheap as $800, and as much as $3000. Oh course I know a few people who are familiar with Sigma pricing, and they believe it should be around the $1500 mark (AUD).

So my name is number one of the order list (well at least here in my local town), and you can be assured that I will be testing it as soon as humanly possible. So until then, let us all keep calm and make sure your name is on a list somewhere, or you can wait for my review 🙂

How is the Samyang 14mm going?

So I have had the Samyang for more than a while now, and I thought I’d give some more feedback. Firstly I must say this lens is SUPER sharp, at f5.6 it is incredible.

What I am finding however is that the distortion plug-in for Adobe Lightroom is not perfect, and I’m still left with a little distortion which is a little bit frustrating. Probably more me looking for the issue, knowing it’s there. However it would not be easily seen in most shots.

I am finding the fixed hood and no front thread very frustrating, and I long to use my ND grads and variable ND filter. To that end the Canon 14mm or any other brand at 14mm would have the same issues, so I think it still warrants having a 17-40mm or 16-35mm lens as well, maybe even a 20mm f2.8. I have managed to salvage most shots where an ND Grad would have been useful, like this one I took recently in Perth.

Still, I can’t complain given the cost…

Lead Pipe & Shot Factory Melbourne

I took this picture on a recent work trip in Melbourne. I was not even aware the place existed. very impressive, my 24mm lens had not chance of getting top to bottom.

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