Sigma Tag

Those of you who followed the news from Photokina in 2016 - sent back in part by the management team of Camera Electronic and in part by the press departments of major manufacturers - will have been attracted to the new cameras and lenses shown. Lots of you will have zeroed in on new offerings and are starting to make vague plans to get something fresh...

Well, it's not as bad as all that - and not as biblical either. But you might like to study the picture in the header and then read on.We bought the frozen cottage pie from our local Woolworths branch and cooked it for dinner last week. It was excellent. Perhaps a little blander than the home-made version I cook myself, but it did have a a lot of vegetables, meat, and gravy and a good thick layer of mashed potatoes on top. It took an hour in the oven but it was worth the wait for dinner on a cold night. I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone.Anyone except a food photographer, that is. And graphic designers might like to avert their eyes as they slide the cover off the tray. The problem is not the pie - it is the advertising on the wrapper.Many of the elements of design on the wrapper are there for a good reason; the nutrition information, the ingredients list, the bar code, the cooking instructions. They have not gone overboard with hype - nearly...

Dang. Someone invented the better lighting mousetrap - and now presumably are having to resurface the pathway up to their door in anticipation of increased traffic.Mag Mod have finally made a set of speed light modifiers that are worth using. The secret of their appeal is no secret - they have unique shapes and they attach to the speed light flash guns easily.Note: easily. Also firmly. Firmly, as in use them in the rough and tumble of professional shooting and not have them fall off. And no more velcro bands or sticky tape panels.The basic unit is a rubber adapter housing that stretches over the head of your speedlight. I used a Fujifilm EF-42 but I daresay the ban would go on any Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Olympus, Leica, or Nissan flashes just as easily. It's a darned sight tighter than any velcro band ever was.On the outer edges of this band are imbedded small but powerful magnets. All the accessories that stick to the front of the adapter do so by means of their own magnets - so the things...

If you have ever gone to a photographic trade show, collector's market, or enthusiast's conference you know roughly what the exhibition hall will look like.There'll be a number of stands set out by major manufacturers, a couple of tables from a local authority or professional body loosely allied to the theme of the day, and one or two little card tables set up with sad-looking people behind them. They'll generally be in the least favourable position in the layout - near the toilets or down behind the service corridor. Do yourself a favour - seek them out.We're not saying that the major players don't have good stands - after all, they've got the money and prestige and corporate power to get the best place in the show. And they'll be the ones with the big new products that everyone has been seeing hints of for the last two months on the internet forums. Go to them and heft the new cameras and lenses and have a good time. Enjoy their latest slogans...

Every couple of weeks I am tasked with writing an advertisement for our local daily newspaper - it goes into a section entitled " Market Place".The criteria for the products featured are price, providence, and practicality. It can be quite a complex choice: a. No good trying to sell a multi-thousand dollar item in a small column - the people who are going to enter into a large camera system or select a premium-quality lens are going to do it with a great deal of care and research. Trying to sell a Leica in a one column ad would be like trying to sell a Ferrari sports car in the back of a comic book.The item selected needs to be affordable by a large number of people. People who read newspapers...

We have just come down off the Photokina 2016 high and are sitting with our heads in our hands. The  lucky ones who went to see the show have hangovers, sore feet, and credit card statements to deal with. The rest of us have our hopes, fears, desires, and aversions to consider - all fuelled by the internet reports of new equipment. We'll need to keep our wits about us in the coming months.It is not the fact that there will be new equipment coming that will stress us - new equipment is always entering the market, just as old equipment leaves it - it will be how we feel we must react to it.Feel? React? What the heck is this? A camera column or a new-age forum? Well, follow along and you'll see what I mean. I'll be honest with you and you should be too...

I have just been reviewing this weblog column for the past 6 years. I did it by means of the historical record over on the right-hand side of the page - and I've come to some conclusions about it:a. I really did write a lot of columns, didn't I?b. Some of them were pretty naff, weren't they?c. A great deal of the product promotion is irrelevant now - goods overtaken by other goods and fallen into the disused portion of our camera bags.d. The people promotion still holds up - mainly because the people we introduced as professional or enthusiast photographers really can do the business well.e. Nothing lasts forever. Not only do cameras and lenses wear out and computer programs fall into disuse, but whole businesses can disappear. There's a couple of postings that feature other camera stores that have since shut.f. I noticed the postings introducing the new look for the shop - the grey paint job. The paint job is holding up pretty darn well - evidently the painters did a good job and selected good paints....