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FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Why Film?

Jay Cassario

As Ive posted in the past, and many of you already know, I dug up my Mom's film cameras that she used to shoot weddings, purchased an old Nikon film camera, and then purchased my first roll of film a couple months ago. I set out to learn how to use a film camera and get to know everything I could about film photography. Since I dont have a dark room, nor do I have access to one, I would need to find a place that still develops film. 

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NEW Sigma Lens Now Available!

Jay Cassario

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is now available for Pre-Order! 


Sigma has just released the pricing of the highly anticipated 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens, something we have all been curious about since we first heard about this lens. It’s available “immediately” for $900 MAP. Given the popularity of the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G and the newly announced Canon 35mm f/2, it will be interesting to see how it stacks up. I've been waiting a long time for this lens and was close to purchasing the Nikon version until I caught wind of this Sigma version coming out. I have chosen Sigma's version of both the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4 over the Nikon's and couldn't be happier with them. There is the benefit of being cheaper in price when going with Sigma, but with price aside, I would still choose the Sigma versions of both. I now have the need for a wider lens and have been using the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 a lot recently, so up until the Sigma's announcement of their version, I had no other option but to go with the NIkon.

Sigma gave no date of when this lens would become available for order, so I was getting a little antsy and almost had no choice but to purchase the Nikon...until today. I knew this lens would end up being cheaper than Nikon's version, but I was unsure how much, especially with their new design, but I was pleasantly surprised when I seen $899. Im looking forward to seeing the reviews of this lens, but I will most likely be taking a chance on Sigma once again and put my order in within a week or two. With Sigma touting this lens’ speed and “stunning bokeh background effect”, Im looking forward to getting this puppy on my D800. 

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is the first of three known (with more likely on the way) lenses that will be organized into Sigma’s three defined categories of lenses. This lens is categorized under their “Art” line. When comparing to the new Canon lens, it is important to note that there is no optical stabilization on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4.


  • One “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass lens and four Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass lenses to ensure exceptional correction of lateral and axial chromatic aberration, the latter of which cannot be corrected in post production
  • A floating inner focus system to provide extremely high optical performance for close-up photos
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating to reduce flare and ghosting and provide sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions
  • A HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) that ensures high speed, accurate and quiet AF
  • Rubber incorporated into the attachment part of the lens hood, and an improved redesign of the lens cap and AF / MF changeover switch have been improved
  • Thermally Stable Composite (TSC), which has high affinity to metal parts, that are housed internally, increases overall functionality, lifespan, and quality of the lens
  • A rounded 9 blade diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image
  • A newly developed USB dock, which will be sold separately and exclusively for new product lines, can be paired with new Sigma Optimization Pro software to update the lens firmware and adjust parameters, such as micro focus adjustment

  • Transient

    I really love Nikon's 35mm f/1.4 and have really enjoyed using it as much as I have over the past couple months. I had always loved my 50mm focal length and was shocked to see how much I loved the 35mm even more. When the 35mm is in my bag...its on my D800.  It took my 50mm focal length that I have loved for so long and added a little more to the frame, keeping the DOF nice and shallow. I would be more than thrilled to keep the Nikon version strapped on my camera, but with a price difference like you see below, it would take a real botch up job by Sigma to make me not go with them. Since this lens will without a doubt be used during the majority of the time on Cass Imaging shoots, I need the best. Nikon has proven itself with its lenses as the best, and the 35mm f/1.4 is no different. But, if I am unable to tell the difference between the two in IQ and bokeh, once again Sigma will get my business. I will be sure to let everyone know when mine arrives. If I am unhappy with it, I will have no problem sending it back and spending the extra money on the Nikon.

     
    Transient
    Transient

    My Camera - The Nikon D800

    Jay Cassario

    Nikon D800

    Nikon D800

    The Nikon D800 is the long awaited followup to Nikon’s extremely successful D700, undeniably the best camera I had ever used, and the camera that full-filled all my wildest full-frame photography dreams. I honestly felt no need to upgrade from the D700, but once business picked up and one camera body wasn't cutting it any more, it was either purchase a second D700 or try to get my hands on one of the new 36mp D800s, which was hard to get at the time.

    Nikon D700

    Nikon D700

    If you were to ask me what the best all around DSLR in the world is, under $5000...I would say the D700. While it doesn't have the high megapixel count of the D800 or the D3X, and some of the popular Canon cameras, or some of the features of the more costlier options such as the D3s or D4, it is a very capable full-frame professional camera that has, what I feel, the perfect combination of features and image quality for it's price. It has an excellent low-light performance and it is equipped with the same 51-point AF system that is found in Nikon's other professional D3/D3s/D3x cameras, which completely destroys the AF system of anything Canon put out until the release of the $3500 5D MarkIII.

    When it came time for me to purchase a second camera body, I was faced with the decision to either go with another D700, or a new D800, making the D700 my back up, and also Sandi's camera. We decided to go with the D800, but only because we knew that if the D800 didn't live up to all the hype, as long as it was at least "as good" as the D700, we couldn't go wrong for just an extra few hundred dollars.

    After going back and forth for a few weeks, whether or not the extra megapixels were worth the extra money, and if my laptop and memory cards could handle the extra file size, I got a call that a local camera store had just got a couple D800s in, I instantly gave into temptation, drooling over the thought of 36 megapixels, and drove out to pick one up. Was it the right decision? That's honestly a tough call to make right now. Yes, its true, its not so cut and dry, and after just a couple months of owning both, it would be difficult to say which I prefer over the other. I will try to answer that question again in a few more months, right now it still has that new car smell. 

    I plan on putting a review together, comparing these 2 cameras, to hopefully help anyone deciding on which one to go with, and more importantly, which camera better fits their needs. First off, I wouldn't necessarily call the D800 the replacement for the D700, I don't believe that the D800 I recently purchased was ever meant to replace the D700, I could be wrong, but I believe that they are actually 2 different tools, and if your considering purchasing one of them, you really do need to decide which better suits your needs. Any photographer that works in high volume environments (sports, weddings, photojournalism) I would actually recommend sticking with the D700 unless you can fork over the extra coin for the D4. Not really shooting many more than 200 images per photo shoot right now, with engagements and portrait sessions being the bulk of our work, Im not really feeling the real crunch of the monstrous file sizes that come along with each press of the shutter. I will be able to make a better judgement at the end of October after I put it through the paces of shooting a full wedding. 

    Im really not sure what Nikon had in mind, but as I see it, these really are two different cameras, intended for  two different purposes. Yes, the image quality of the D800 is astounding, and it has the ability to pull detail out of the shadows unlike anything I've ever seen before, but the noise performance is about the same as D700, and at 77MB per image (14 bit uncompressed) it’s a bit of a ridiculous resource hog, making a joke of your 8G, or even 16G memory cards. I've already needed to upgrade my laptop to a new Dell XPS with an i7 processor, all my memory cards, and that is just what I could afford for now. For right now though, using this camera for portrait work, and some landscape and nature work, this camera is no joke, there really isn't anything on the market that can touch it, as far as image quality goes. If I was shooting sports, forget it. Its no slouch, but you would have had a better chance spotting one at the speed walking event in the Summer Olympics than in the masses trying to capture Husein Bolt mid stride. Once the weddings start rolling along and size limitations start to become more obvious, I think I will start to see the down side to this camera, if you can call it that. The good thing is, I will still have the D700 to use along side of the D800 when volume becomes a factor, and with any photographs smaller than a billboard, and any images viewed on a average sized monitor, no one will be able to tell the difference between the two.