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May 2016

Customer Spotlight: Trevor Ward

6 months ago 1507 Views

We have a number of talented and interesting customers all across the country and we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on them. Every month we will be spotlighting a customer and ask them to share their special talents and experiences in the photography and video world. This month we talk to Trevor Ward of Red Eye Film Co. from Orlando, FL.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

I am the President of Red Eye Film Co. We’ve won multiple awards for our projects which include promotional videos and documentaries. Over the past year, I’ve also stumbled upon architectural photography and that now makes up about 30-40% of my business revenue.


How did you get into photography and/or video?

I got into video when I went on a 30-day mission trip to India in 2001. I made a short (and a long) documentary about my trip. Shortly after that I started making videos for other people and getting paid. I got into photography because DSLR’s became popular for video. I had a client ask me if I could do some video AND take pictures. I thought it couldn’t be that hard so I said, “Yes I do.”

Where are you located?

I’m located in Orlando.

What are some of your favorite hobbies/interests outside of photography?

Formerly I used to wakeboard a lot for fun and I used to live with one of the world’s best wakeboarders. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of basketball at the RDV. I love to travel internationally and during the previous 12 months I’ve been to England, Barcelona, India twice, Chile, Argentina, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

What is your favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

The thing I love about being a storyteller is the challenge of drawing out and crafting a great story. It’s not easy. Though I’ve won a lot of awards, most projects are not award winners. That reminds me that there is a LOT to learn. And when I see other great storytellers, it reminds me that many people are really good at telling stories. As a photographer, I love being able to capture an image that makes you say, WOW. Since I’m new to using a still camera and flashes, I still have a lot to learn and that really motivates me. Wanting to be good at something really motivates me.

What is your least favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

My least favorite things about what I do for a living? That I have to make money at it. Good video is expensive because of the man-hours involved. Convincing people who aren’t used to paying for that to pay for that is difficult. What I really want to do, may not be what someone else wants to pay me to do.

What is your current favorite piece of rental equipment?

Right now my favorite piece of rental equipment is the camera that I took on two recent trips to India: the Sony FS5. I hate using DSLR form factor cameras for capturing video and most handheld video cameras make serious compromises. But the ergonomics of the Sony FS5 combined with a really good HD image make it great. As the Sony lenses come up to par with Canon, you’ll have a great system. And as soon as someone makes an affordable parafocal zoom that’s relatively fast, sharp and has a decent short and wide range, all for less than $2000, then you’ll have the only camera a documentary filmmaker needs.

If you were going to a deserted island and could only bring one camera & lens – what would it be?

If I was stuck on an island with only one camera and lens I’d choose the Sony a6000 with 16-50mm lens. It’s awesome for traveling: small, lightweight and takes outstanding photos. Or I’d find a cheap camera that wasn’t UL tested so that it could spark and catch fire and I’d be able to send smoke signals while cooking my food.

Where can people follow you or find your work online? (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc.)

I’m on Instagram @TrevorWardPhotos and my website Red Eye Film Co. has many of my projects from the last couple of years including a few recent projects.

Last, and most importantly – what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

For ice cream, I’d go with Vanilla custard, topped with chocolate sauce and a cherry.

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Thank you Trevor for taking the time to participate in our Customer Spotlight Series! We hope you enjoyed it. Also be sure to check out the excellent review Trevor did of the Sony FS5 on his blog. Here is some of Trevor's work:

Sony 24-70mm Lenses Compared

7 months ago 873 Views

Ever since the introduction of the new Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, we have been getting a lot of questions about how it compares to its smaller counterpart the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS. Today we take a closer look at the two lenses.

Size & Weight

As you can see in the picture above, the new 24-70mm f/2.8 is pretty massive compared to the 24-70mm f/4. The 24-70mm f/2.8 has an 82mm filter thread, is about 5.35" long, and weighs in at 1.95lbs. The 24-70mm f/4 has a 67mm filter thread , is about 3.72" long, and weighs in at just under 1lbs. The size disparity should be no surprise since there is a one stop difference in the maximum aperture of the two lenses.

Handling & Design

The 24-70mm f/4 is extremely well balanced on the current full-frame Sony cameras like the A7R II and A7S II. The 24-70mm f/2.8 does take a little getting used to handling on the same cameras since it is much larger by comparison, but doesn't feel too unbalanced. The zoom and focus grips on the 24-70mm f/2.8 are rubberized like many Nikon & Canon lenses, making it a little easier to handle compared to the metal zoom of the 24-70mm f/4. Both lenses utilize an electronic focus-by-wire system like many of the Sony FE lenses. Auto focus is very fast and snappy on both lenses, with the 24-70mm f/2.8 slightly edging out the f/4

One of the key, and a little surprising differences is the 24-70mm f/4 includes Sony's Optical Steady Shot while the 24-70mm f/2.8 does not. This is not as important on newer cameras like the A7R II & A7S II since they do have in-body stabilization. It is worth noting though for cameras like the original A7S, new A6300, & video cameras like the PXW-FS5 & PXW-FS7.

Resolution

This is what most people are interested in, the resolution. We use Imatest to test all of our lenses when they come back from customers to make sure they are performing within the specification of our other copies. We have a chart that we shoot and run through the Imatest software. The software measures the resolution of the lens at various points through the frame. In the most simplistic terms, the higher the resolution - the "sharper" that an image appears. Here's what the two lenses look like compared on a Sony A7R II.

FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM @ 24mm:
Center: 2185
Edge Average: 1616

FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @ 24mm:
Center: 2096
Edge Average: 582

FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM @ 70mm:
Center: 2141
Edge Average: 656

FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS @ 70mm
Center: 1885
Edge Average: 1046

Let us start by saying the center resolution of the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is among the best we've seen for a Sony FE lens. It performs very strong in the center and there's only drop off in performance towards the very edge of the frame. As you can see, the 24-70mm f/4 at 24mm is not too far behind in the center. As we move to the edges however, you can see that the 24-70mm f/2.8 is the clear winner. When we move to 70mm however, things change up a bit. The 24-70mm f/2.8GM is still very strong in the center, but the edge performance does drop off a little. The interesting thing about the 24-70mm f/4 is while the center performance drops off compared to 24mm, the edge performance improves quite a bit.

Conclusion

It's sometimes hard to compare lenses with different aperture ranges, but many will draw comparisons between these two lenses since they cover the same range. In the end, both lenses definitely have their strong points. If you're looking for the best sharpness or are going to be shooting in low light conditions where that extra stop of light will make a difference, the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM is the clear winner. Sony definitely has a lens that competes very well with the comparable Canon and Nikon 24-70mm lenses. However, the 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS is certainly no slouch. It might be a better choice for those looking for a more compact set-up or with a camera that lacks in-body stabilization. Either way, these are both very solid lenses in the Sony FE range.

Rent the FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
Rent the FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

New Item - Sony A6300

7 months ago 1582 Views

This week, we've added the brand new Sony A6300 mirrorless camera. This 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor camera packs a lot of features in a compact size body.

The A6300 features an all-new phase detection AF system with 425 points that nearly cover the entire frame. Continuous shooting is possible at up to 11 frames per second or up to 8 frames per second in live mode. The 2.4 million dot OLED viewfinder also features a mode that allows a refresh rate of up to 120 frames per second to keep up with the fast subject tracking.

Like its bigger full-frame brothers the Sony A7SII and A7RII, the A6300 also has a host of video features. Internally you can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps and 1080p video at up to 120fps. Advanced video features include high bit rate recordings of up to 100Mbps (you'll want a fast SD Card to do this) in 4K, 50Mbps in Full HD, and the ability to shoot in S-Log 2 or S-Log 3. The A6300 is also capable outputting uncompressed 4K 4:2:2 8-bit video to an external recorder like the Atomos Shogun or Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+.

The camera is compatible with the full range of Sony E Mount Lenses that we carry, including third party lenses like Rokinon and Zeiss. If you'd prefer to use Canon or Nikon lenses, the A6300 is also compatible with most of the Metabones adapters we carry.

The A6300 is available to rent now!

New Item - Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens

7 months ago 625 Views

This week we've added one of the latest lenses in the Sigma Art line - the 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM. This lens is designed for APS-C format sensors like the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and EOS 70D, and provides an equivalent focal length range of 80-160mm. It will not fill the image area of a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or EOS 6D.

The lens features Sigma's Hyper Sonic Motor for fast and quiet autofocusing while allowing manual focus override at any time. It also features three Low Dispersion, one Special Low Dispersion, and one high-refractive index high-dispersion glass elements for reduced aberrations and increased clarity and sharpness. It is also comatible with Sigma's USB Dock for fine-tune adjustment & firmware updates.

The biggest appeal though is the constant f/1.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range. This is what we're the most excited and should make this a very strong contender in low-light situations. When paired up with the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens, you have an absolutely incredible low-light combination

The Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 is available to rent in Canon EF Mount today.

Customer Spotlight: Garrett Frandsen

7 months ago 1470 Views

We have a number of talented and interesting customers all across the country and we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on them. Every month we will be spotlighting a customer and ask them to share their special talents and experiences in the photography and video world. This month we talk to Garrett Frandsen from Casselberry, FL.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

My name is Garrett Frandsen and I am an artist in Orlando. I spend most of my time doing wedding photography and portraiture.

How did you get into photography and/or video?

Photography found me. I was living in Japan teaching English at the time and one of my best friends was getting married and I was attending. Right before the wedding he hands me his camera and asks me, believing in my artistic abilities, would I be able and willing to photograph this wedding. So the first wedding I ever photographed was a Shinto Wedding. Fate and timing being what it is, coming back to America, all of my friends were also getting married and many of them asked me to be their wedding photographer as well. Also, amazingly enough The Lens Depot started right as I was starting so I was able to really test a lot equipment out in the beginning without the commitment to buy. You've been indispensable to my success.


Where are you located?

Currently going on my 4th year in Casselberry! I have always been close to The Lens Depot. I was living in Maitland when they were just starting outside of their Pottery store.

What are some of your favorite hobbies/interests outside of photography?

Floating in a sensory deprivation tank exploring different states of consciousness. The creativity and insight to be found in sitting a 1000lbs of body heated epsom salts in the dark is tremendous. Finding quiet time. Reading.

What is your favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

The ability to reach a point technically where almost any idea is a possibility. I love being able to bring an idea to life. It's the ultimate satisfaction...being able to create something that matches your mind's eye. Traveling and meeting interesting people are tied for second but creation is the ultimate for me.

What is your least favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

The business side of it. I am a law school dropout and have an aversion to all things business and legal. Contracts, negotiations, bills, insurance, etc. Speed bumps to creation!

What is your current favorite piece of rental equipment?

My current favorite piece of rental equipment is the Quantum Flash with Turbo Battery Pack. You never miss a shot! What I will usually do is rent a Canon 580EX II or 600EX as a backup for these 3 day Indian weddings even then, you can miss a shot from time to time with the recycle times and batteries heating up but with the Quantum you get consistently equal flash each time. Wonderful toy!

If you were going to a deserted island and could only bring one camera & lens – what would it be?

Probably the Canon 1DX and Canon 100mm 2.8L IS Macro. The 1D bodies are good for the abuse of an island situation and the lens would be great for portraiture and animal/bug macro.

Where can people follow you or find your work online? (website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc.)

Website www.garrettfrandsen.com

Instagram - @garrettfrandsen
Facebook - Garrett Frandsen

Last, and most importantly – what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint Chocolate Chip!

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Thank you Garrett for taking the time to participate in our Customer Spotlight Series! We hope you enjoyed it. Here is some of Garrett's work: