A new interesting project has been launched on Kickstarter, and vintage camera fans might like it. Meet Jollylook: a simple folding instant camera made entirely from recycled paper and cardboard. When you fold it, it takes no more room than a smartphone box. It’s a mechanical camera with no electronic components whatsoever. Just cardboard, paper, a pair of lenses and a plastic cartridge for instant mini photos. It’s more environmentally friendly than the packaging of a regular camera, as it uses less material and it’s all recyclable or recycled. And it gives you instant results using Instax mini film.
I’ve got a lot of respect for cinematographer Rodney Charters. Really I do. His work on 24 was spectacular, as well as plenty of other TV shows and movies. But I really have to wonder about this new product he’s recently announced. The logic of it makes sense. You want low altitude footage that typically can only be shot with either a drone or very expensive jib. But $550? for what is essentially just a really long stick?
The Charters Pole comes in two maximum lengths. One is 6m (20ft), and one is 4.35m (14ft). They’re both made from carbon fibre, come in 8 sections, and have a maximum load of 500g (1.1lb). It’s intention is to let you use small cameras in places where you might otherwise need a drone. It features a built in 1/4-20″ tripod thread and can support a lightweight brushless gimbal, small compact cameras, GoPros and phones. You could even use it to hold lightweight LED panels or as a microphone boom.
Not too long ago, we saw a comparison of 7 popular LED lights for under $50. We all like ultra cheap, but sometimes you need to stretch the budget just a little bit more. Jumping up to the next level gives a rather substantial increase in both power and versatility.
In this video, Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter compares 10 popular LED lights ranging between $50-100. So, if you’ve been thinking about skipping the ultra low budget and investing a little bit more into your continuous lighting setup, have a watch. A couple of the results are rather surprising.
If you think selfie sticks are so 2014, here’s something to up your selfie game. Now you can take aerial selfies using an autonomous flying camera which you can always carry with you. It’s called Selfly and it snaps of your phone when you want to use it. When you’re done shooting, you simply attach it back to the phone case and put it in your pocket. So, it’s a gadget that allows you to take selfies from a new perspective, and to annoy people around you in a completely new way.
Mirrorless market continues to expand, and many professional photographers switch from DSLR to mirrorless cameras. Both of the systems certainly have their advantages, but there’s one interesting feature you can find specifically in Sony mirrorless cameras. It’s called Clear Image Zoom, and it helps you turn a prime into a zoom lens (sort of) without losing quality. Manny Ortiz talks about it in this video giving you some tips and hints for using it.
3 axis handheld motorised gimbals seem to be the hot new toy at the moment. Electronic image stabilisation in small systems like action cameras and mobile phones sucks. Optical image stabilisation is rare, and still not amazing. So, a motorised gimbal helps to keep things smooth and steady and level. I got one myself about six months ago, the Zhiyun Smooth C, and they are extremely handy.
For Chinese drone manufacturer Zerotech, though, handheld gimbals just don’t go far enough. So, they’ve built one inside their recently announced Rollcap, and action camera that doesn’t require external motorised control. Photo Gear News got to check it out in person at CES recently.
Ricoh has introduced their newest DSLR camera, Pentax KP. On the first sight, it’s just another DSLR. But it has a unique feature: ISO of 819,200. Yup, you read it right. This tiny titan can see in the dark. It’s equipped with 24.32MP APS-C CMOS sensor, and features 5-axis in-body image stabilization for maximum sharpness.
So, we’ve got another old lens to show you. This one looks rather cool, too. It’s the Vivitar 28mm f/1.9. Back in the 70s, when this was made, it was one of the fastest 28mm out there. Voigtlander did have their Ultron 28mm f/1.9 which costed significantly more, though. More recently, Nikon, Canon, and Sigma have released their own flavours of 28mm f/1.8 lenses, with Zeiss offering a f/1.4.
But this old Vivitar is quite highly sought after. And when you look at the example images, you quickly see why. When it was new, it cost the equivalent of around $1,000 (so you can imagine how much the Voigtlander was). These days, they still command a rather good price (up to around $250). Mathieu Stern managed to pick one up for a mere €20 in a French street market. And in this video, he takes us on a tour of Stockholm, Sweden, through the eye of his Vivitar 28mm f/1.9.
When I first came across this, it sounded a little far fetched. And it’s not a dig at how good or bad the iPhone 7 Plus waterproofing is. Apple don’t claim that it is waterproof. Simply splash proof, and that it can survive immersion in water up to one meter for short periods. So, it shouldn’t die if you drop it in a puddle or down the toilet. Tests on YouTube have revealed that it actually seems to handle things fairly well, all things considered.
What makes it difficult for me to believe is… Well, let me explain what they say happened. According to Ykt.ru, a resident of the Russian city of Yakutsk dropped their iPhone 7 Plus through a fishing hole. This fishing hole was cut into the frozen surface of a local river. After around 13 hours, a local diver friend showed up to help retrieve it. When he emerged back through the hole with the device, the scree lit up immediately.
Getting dust and muck on your lenses is just a fact of life. There’s pretty much nothing we can do to escape it in the real world. But, there are things we can do to help reduce its impact. And, there’s also things we can do to safely get rid of it once it’s there. When you’re out on location, wiping it on your t-shirt is an option that many take, but it’s not really healthy for your lens.
This video from YouTuber Fangs shows us five tips for caring for our lenses properly. Both how to get rid of dust and dirt on our lenses, but also helping to prevent it from building up so quickly. Keeping our lenses clean falls under general gear maintenance.