Deals (6/15)

Updated: June 15, 2015

This page lists current special pricing, new releases, and other information about photographic gear from vendors with whom this blog has an affiliate relationship. Your price will be the same through these links, but your purchase helps support the blog, so please use these links when you make your purchase.  Thanks! (See vendor web sites for full details.) For information about purchasing prints of my photographs or concerning licensing, please see my Sales page.

Permanent Links to B&H:

Current Rebates In-Stock Rebate Items In-Stock Rebate Items with Free Shipping

Monday, June 15, 2015

Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR
Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR

As of this morning, the new Canon EOS 5Ds is in stock right now at various dealers, including site-sponsor B&H Photo.

The 5DS (including the 5DS R variant) is Canon’s new 50.6MP full frame DSLR. The camera provides the highest resolution sensor of any current full frame cameras, along with several other improved features.

(The 5DS R model cancels the anti-aliasing filter that has long been a standard feature of digital cameras. The “R” model is back-ordered, so those who want that version and don’t want to wait should consider putting in an order.)

(You may use the links in this paragraph to order/reserve either the 5DS or the 5DS R from site-sponsor B&H photo. I have reserved mine — I’m going with the “R” model.)

Articles on the 5Ds and 5Ds R on this website:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR
Canon EOS 5Ds DSLR

Recently Canon announced the upcoming Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R DSLRs, 50.6MP full frame cameras that should provide extremely high system resolution for those of us using full frame DSLRs for our photography. I just got word from site-affiliate B&H Photo that pre-orders are now available for both models of the camera. Yes, I pre-ordered mine…

The two models are nearly identical with the “R” model canceling the anti-alias (“AA”) filter that is present in the non-R model. The R model should be capable of slightly higher resolution, though it could be slightly more susceptible to aliasing and moire effects when shooting certain subjects that contain very small and regular geometric patterns.

Which should you get? Beats me! If you are mostly a landscape photographer the R model might be a good choice. If you photograph subjects that are not natural and which tend to have repeating patterns, the “regular” model might be a safer choice. In the end, I believe that both will produce excellent resolution. For my purposes, I pre-ordered the 5Ds-R.

The estimated release date for the cameras is currently give as “June 2015.” I’ve seen dates as late as June 29 suggested and I’ve also seen speculation that it could be a bit earlier.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 (updated 11/14/14)

Those of you shooting with one of the excellent Fujifilm X-Trans sensor cameras (X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro1, X-T1) should take a look at the current promotion on Fujifilm XF lenses and Fujifilm camera bodies. The offer includes a bunch of desirable prime and zoom lenses, including some of the newest ones, with savings of between $100 and $200.

There is also a $100 reduction on the X-T1, the flagship camera from Fujifilm, and the fixed-lens X100S has been reduced by $200.

Fujifilm Lenses

Fujifilm X-Trans Cameras

Notes:

  • Links go to site sponsor B&H Camera.
  • I own the lenses marked with an asterisk.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Canon has announced the long-rumored replacement to the venerable 100-400mm L lens. It is the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II. (Click the link to pre-order from site-sponsor B&H Camera.)

Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II

The lens it replaces has been a very valuable “go to” lens for many photographers who wanted more reach, a reasonably small package, good optical quality, and the flexibility of a zoom. I’ve been an enthusiastic user of the older version for some time now.

Recently Canon has updated or augmented their lens line-up to improve the offerings in certain categories. For example, earlier this year they introduced their ultra wide angle zooms by adding a new EF 16-35mm f/4L IS lens. That lens has been a real success, not only adding image stabilization to lenses in this class for the first time, but also providing excellent resolution across the frame — more so than either of the lenses that many photographers used before it was introduced.

For some time, many have felt that there was a lot of potential for updating the 100-400. Although it is good performer in many ways, there has been room for improvement. More modern IS systems can provide up to 4 stops of stabilization, while the older lens only provides perhaps two. The older lens has good image quality, but it could be better in keeping with more recent lenses from Canon. In fact, rumors about the introduction of the updated 100-400mm zoom have been floating around for years.

We don’t know what the optical performance of the new lens will be yet. As I write this I have seen no real reviews. (I have seen some “reviews” that are mostly lists of specifications and speculation.) When we do see them, it will not surprise me at all if this lens provides valuable improvements in the same way that the 16-35mm f/4 has. Here is some of what we do know from Canon specifications:

  • Rather than the “push-pull” design of the earlier lens, this one has a more familiar rotation ring to change the focal length.
  • As was the case with the older model, the front of the lens extends as you zoom. This means that the lens is more compact when packed.
  • Image stabilization has been updated to provide up to four stops of stabilization — especially important with longer focal length lenses.
  • Other features include 9 blade diaphragm, the familiar 77mm filter thread diameter, and more.

The list price of the lens is $2,199. That may seem like a lot of money, but if it provides the sort of image quality we all expect it is actually a rather good deal for a lens with these capabilities.

Update: I have now had a chance to look at the MTF charts for the new lens (available at the Canon web site) and they suggest that the new zoom should be a very good performer in terms of image quality. The chart suggests better image quality than the existing 100-400 (which is quite decent) and the 400mm f/5.6 prime.

I expect that this lens will be in short supply at first — for the usual reasons related to any new product introduction, but also because of a pent-up interest in the update. The lens has been announced but is not yet available — though you may preorder it if you want to be first to get one.

As for me, there is a very good chance that I will get a copy of this lens before too long. In fact, I’m leaning more and more towards placing a pre-order — something that I rarely do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

B&H Photo reports that the new and highly regarded Nikon D810 DSLR (successor to the D800 and D800E) is now in stock at $3,296.95 and shipping.

Nikon D810 DSLR
Nikon D810 DSLR

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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