Monday, June 27, 2022

Adobe to Make Photoshop for Web Free

According to a report on dpreview Adobe intends to eventually make its Photoshop for Web free for all those with an Adobe account.  It should be noted that the software is at present only a bare bones app with nothing remotely resembling the features found in the full version of Photoshop and in this regard at least is probably somewhat closer to Photoshop Elements even following improvements that have been made to it over the past few months.  The app will likely have little appeal to professional photographers - I haven't tried it myself - but should be helpful to casual shooters looking for quick fixes to images shot on their smartphones.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Corel Releases Painter 2023

Corel has released Painter 2023, the newest version of its flagship app.  I'm not going to devote much time writing about it simply because it contains disappointingly few new features overall and none at all for photographers.  If one takes a close look on the above link at the comparison chart of new features from one version to the next, it can be seen that the last time photo art tools were added was in the 2021 version when AI styles, AI presets, and clone tinting were included.  Needless to say, I will not be purchasing the new version whose upgrade price is an expensive $199.  Hopefully, Corel will include more photo art features in future versions.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Meike Announces MFT 8mm Wide Angle Lens

It seems that every week I report on a new MFT lens from Meike.  This time around it's an 8mm f2.8 wide angle model with a minimum focusing distance of .25m.  The price shown on Meike's website, $399.99, is substantially higher than the other lenses I've noted in the past month, but it's impossible to tell if that is an indication of higher quality.  One will have to wait for the reviews to come in to determine that, but personally I'm suspicious of any company that rolls out photo equipment at the pace Meike has maintained.  How is it possible to have quality control when lenses are released so quickly one after another?

Even as I drafted the above post, Meike announced yet another new lens, this one an 85mm f1.8 STM for Sony full-frame E-mount cameras.  As a result, I don't think I'll be posting on any more Meike releases.  The rate at which the company has been throwing new lenses into the marketplace and at such low cost has given me too much cause for concern.  Perhaps I'm being unfair, but I'm fairly sure I would never now consider buying a Meike lens.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

DxO Announces Nik Collection 5

DxO has announced the release of Nik Collection 5, the latest version of the popular Photoshop plugin.  While version 4 contained improvements to Viveza and Silver Efex, the new version 5 concentrates on Color Efex and Analog Efex.  The improvements include a new interface, 29 new film grains, a Clearview feature to remove haze, fog and mist, easier to use presets, improved U Point technology, a Perspective Efex feature to correct distortion, and the inclusion of DxO Photolab5 Essential, a stripped down version of the full app.

Reading through the changes, it's obvious that DxO is duplicating features from one app to the next.  To be precise, the new film grains are already included in FilmPack 6, the Clear View feature is included in the full version of PhotoLab 5, and the Perspective Efex is already included in ViewPoint.  For those who own those apps, as I do, there's not much reason to upgrade to the new Nik Collection, especially as I do not often use the U Point technology in my work.  Also, it's irritating that the upgrades are proceeding piecemeal.  Rather than upgrading all the filters at once, DxO is instead apparently releasing them two at a time and then charging for each partial upgrade.  There's not even an upgrade discount for users of version 2.0.

One feature that is useful is that Collection 5 can now apparently be used as a standalone app in both Windows and Mac.  That alone, however, is not sufficient cause for me to pay $149 for the full version of the software.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Moment Anamorphic Lens Adapter

I've been posting quite a bit recently on anamorphic photography lately.  First, I posted on the Sirui 50mm anamorphic lens I purchased last week at B&H and then on the Tiffen Pro-Mist filter I purchased on Monday to use with it.  Appropriately enough, I learned yesterday that an online retailer named Moment of whose existence I had previously been unaware has introduced on Kickstarter a 1.33 adapter that promises to turn any lens into one with anamorphic properties.  According to the specs on the Kickstarter page, the 880g adapter will consist of 6 elements in 4 groups and will have a minimum focusing distance of 0.7m.  The rear filter thread by which it attaches to the front of lenses will be 67mm, but the unit will ship with 72, 77, and 82mm step-up rings to make it usable on almost any lens.  The unit will eventually retail for $1,299 but there are substantial discounts to "early bird" backers on Kickstarter.  The price seems a bit high considering I paid less that $500 for my Sirui lens.  In addition, I distrust adapters in general since I've found they almost always degrade image quality.  Still, the adapter may be of use to other photographers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Tiffen Black Pro-Mist 1/4 Filter

I posted last week about the Sirui 50mm Anamorphic Lens I purchased for use with my Panasonic Lumix G9.  To get the most out of it, for both video and still photography, I purchased yesterday at B&H a Tiffen Black Pro-Mist 1/4 Filter.  Of course, I can also use it with my recently purchased 70 - 300 Nikon lens which coincidentally has the same size filter thread.  Very basically, the filter reduces the value of highlights and lowers overall contrast.  But there is really much more to it than this.  For those who are interested there is an excellent article on dpreview that explores mist filter's properties in depth.  It's well worth reading.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Celebrate Juneteenth

In honor of our newest federal holiday, Juneteenth, officially celebrated today, I'll be taking a day off from photography postings.  Making the anniversary of this historic event a national holiday was long overdue.  It should be observed by all Americans no matter what their ethnicity.