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How To Handle A Ninja

Recently a long time customer of Precision Camera stopped by looking for a solution to an issue with his camera system.  The camera, a Canon C100, has an internal recording format of H.264. Most all DSLR’s that also record motion imaging record to this standard.  If your wanting to record to a more robust capture format (one less compressed) and you are wanting to take advantage of the wider color space that’s available with a higher codec , then you will need to have an external  recorder.  A few different companies make these recorders. This customer had selected one made by Atomos.  The model is called the Ninja 2.  There are a lot of great reasons to choose this recorder, and it works perfectly with any camera that has an HDMI output port that can be setup within the menus to be a “clean” signal. This refers to the ability to turn all of the operator menu overlays off and have just the uncompressed video and audio carried over the HDMI port.

The issue he was dealing with was the secure placement of the Ninja 2 recorder on his camera.  You want  the recorder to be mounted as close to the camera body as possible while also allowing the operator to freely move around without the worry of the device swinging loose.

The solution was the introduction of a product made by UltraLight Control Systems .  UCS manufactures one of the best and most versatile mounting systems for camera accessories.  The system is modular, with a wide variety of clamps, extension rods and brackets.  In essence you custom build the exact mounting rig needed for your application.  Need  to mount a small LED light off of the camera? Or place a 6 inch monitor on top of the camera? This product can handle it.  The system is also very handy when needing to mount GoPro cameras or wireless triggered camera flashes around a room.

For this application the customer needed a mount that attached to his camera hot shoe, then, allowed him to articulate the Ninja 2 recorder and lock it down securely.

Here are some pictures of the all of the components working well together.

Precision Camera is a dealer for both UltraLight Control Systems hardware as well as the complete line of Atomos recorders.  Please feel  free to stop by with questions you may have on the ability to make these products work for your current camera system or future camera purchases.


-Craig Chartier

Motion Photography Consultant

Meet Metabones – The Adept Adapter

At some point, every dSLR owner had to commit to a brand. It’s big step to stake your reputation and all future gear purchases on one manufacturer knowing that all your eggs – from your favorite 2.8 lens to your speedlights –  might one day be in an obsolete basket. Add to that the reality that each manufacturer now introduces a new and often ground-breaking dSLR or lens more than yearly, and you’re faced with the daunting proposition that today’s obvious choice as the best brand may not be tomorrow’s. Case in point: Sony’s recent unveiling of the a7 had even the most loyal Canon and Nikon shooters taking note, even wishing they could have one in their bags. Alas, it would be useless in the company of all those proprietary lenses that just couldn’t play with or talk to it. Or could they?

Enter the Metabones Mark III (no correlation to the Mark III demarcation on the Canon 5d – yeah – this will be fun at the sales counter). Shown here, it’s the link between a Canon 17-35 and a Sony a7. Our in-house motion photography guru , Craig Cartier completed with a Vocus matte box, Schneider filter and Socom rail, into this near-Utopian example of equipment collaboration for a cause. So the form of the old teleconverter has been reborn into a cross-platform adapter that, without the limitations of a dSLR’s mirror, can mate two once-foreign pieces.

It’s sister product, the Metabones Speed Booster will pair, for example an old Minolta MD lens to micro four-thirds mount while “boosting” the minimum aperture by a stop. The combinations are almost limitless, as are the growing assortment of products now shipping from Metabones to the Precision Camera showcases. With each new arrival, another old obsolete lens is razed back to usefulness, or a brand loyalist gets to give the ‘other guy’ a try. Are you ready to step outside your brand-box?

- Chris Dolajak | Precision Camera, Austin TX

Tamron announces new king of the telephoto super-zoom hill. 150-600mm f/5-6.3

…And it come with three of our favorite acronyms: Di VC and USD, which, to the non-glass-geek, means digital-ready coated LD glass, Vibration Compensation and Ultrasonic Silent Drive. So, yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Here are the details straight from the source:

Tamron’s current 200-500mm (Model A08) is a popular, compact, easy-to-use ultra-telephoto zoom lens, but customers have shown great interest in having a lens that provides an even greater focal length range.

This all-new ultra-telephoto zoom lens features VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization, speedy, precise USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive)[1], state-of-the-art eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating, which significantly reduces the unwanted light reflections that cause flare and ghosting, and a sophisticated and stylish new external finish. Its 4x ultra-telephoto zoom capabilities, with a focal length range from 150mm to 600mm, enhance the creative potential of telephoto photography, a captivating feature for all photographers, particularly nature, wildlife, and sports shooters.

Its 4x ultra-telephoto zoom capabilities, with a focal length range from 150mm to 600mm, enhance the creative potential of telephoto photography, a captivating feature for all photographers, particularly nature, wildlife, and sports shooters.

Product Highlights

  • 4x ultra-telephoto zoom lens with a focal length range of 150mm to 600mm
    The focal length range of this lens was extended by 50mm on the wide-angle side and 100mm on the telephoto side compared to the existing model A08, making it possible to take even more striking photographs of birds, wildlife, sports, and other distant subjects. Mounted on APS-C DSLR cameras, it has a stunning near1000mm telephoto equivalent focal length range of 233mm to 930mm.
  • World class image quality
    Employing 20 elements in 13 groups and boasting an advanced optical design, the lens delivers a superior balance of resolution and contrast for sharp, clear images. The front group contains three LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements (two in the first group, one in the third) for enhanced optical correction effectiveness, enabling the lens to thoroughly compensate for on-axis aberrations at the telephoto end. The lens also adopts eBAND Coating, developed from state-of-the-art coating technologies, and conventional BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating to greatly suppress ghosting and flare even when shooting under adverse lighting conditions.
  • Achieves a 600mm focal length in a compact easy-to-handle package
    Ingenious optical design features minimize the movement of lens groups within the lens when zooming. This reduces the amount of barrel extension needed to cover the complete focusing range, making the entire lens more compact.
  • Beautiful background blur effects
    Adopting a 9 blade circular diaphragm enables users to create beautiful background blur effects (Bokeh), which provide even greater potential for creative expression. This circular diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even at two stops down from its maximum aperture.
  • VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism creates greater opportunities for sharper handheld photography
    Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization system uses a three-coil system, delivering significantly sharper images and creating greater opportunities for handheld ultra-telephoto photography.
  • Comfortable autofocus
    Tamron’s new SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD features a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ultrasonic motor drive for swift and accurate AF response, it delivers high torque, very fast response times, and very low noise. The full-time manual focus mechanism allows users to make fine manual focus adjustments at any time even when AF is engaged.
  • New elegant, high-class external finish
    Tamron has upgraded the cosmetic design and finish of this lens to create a more sophisticated, high-end look in keeping with the demands of discerning full-frame DSLR users. Employing a sophisticated linear pattern rubber grip on the zoom and focus rings and an attractive and stylish tungsten silver brand ring, this newly designed model accentuates its visceral presence with understated elegance and class.
  • Easy-to-use tripod mount
    The tripod mount has been completely redesigned to provide superior stability, durability, ease of use, and portability.

Comes with “SILKYPIX Developer Studio for Tamron”, RAW image development processing software for Tamron’s SP lenses
The SILKYPIX Developer Studio software can develop high-quality images from RAW data, incorporating adjustments that can express the personal style and taste of the photographer. These include white balance, color, sharpness, and the tonal curves recorded by digital cameras. The SILKYPIX Developer Studio for Tamron provides a range of functions, in addition to the basic adjustment capabilities, such as correcting aberrations (chromatic aberrations of magnification, distortion, peripheral light fall-off), based on the optical data. Used in tandem with Tamron’s SP series lenses – renowned for their high-depiction capability – this advanced technology efficiently produces images that meet photographers’ most exacting demands.