DIY 36″ Ring Flash

DIY 36″ Ring Flash

I’ve been wanting a high powered ring flash for a while now, but don’t want to plop down $500 or so for an ABR800 and moon unit -So I’ve made my own. It’s 36″ across, 6″ deep, with a generally parabolic / umbrella shape – The original plan was 16 ribs with 4 segments, but eight ribs with two segments will work...Read more
How much does a scratch affect the quality of a lens?

How much does a scratch affect the quality of a lens?

I’m sure we’ve all heard the horror stories. “ONOZ! My lens got a scratch, it’s ruined!!” someone screams, then goes to quietly cry in a corner. “Welp, shoulda used a UV filter, if those get scratched you can just replace them, now you have to sell that lens for half what its worth on eBay” People thinking this isn’t a...Read more
YongNuo 35mm f/2 – Round 2: Outdoor Portraits.

YongNuo 35mm f/2 – Round 2: Outdoor Portraits.

I was such a big fan of the YongNuo 50mm f/1.8 and so I was super stoked when they announced the YongNuo 35mm f/2 (Amazon). I love my Sigma 30/1.4 and was happy to find a similar, more affordable option. Sure it’s got a 5mm and a stop difference, but aside from the discontinued Canon 35mm f/2 there’s not much in...Read more
YongNuo 35mm f/2 – Round 1: Aesthetics

YongNuo 35mm f/2 – Round 1: Aesthetics

There’s only so much that can be tested in home without fancy gear (MTF charts and the like) so I did a few tests that gauge common aesthetic qualities, using techniques that are often recommended for testing at home. It’s not super scientific, but it does give some further input on the lens and what you might expect. And all...Read more
Wardrobe on a Budget

Wardrobe on a Budget

While fashion photography relies heavily upon what’s coming next season, and legit fashion photographers get pull letters to get upcoming designs from top brands, those of us with smaller budgets, or little to none still have options for some kick-ass looks. In my early days, working with models for portraits and such I tended to just say “bring whatever you’ve got”...Read more
YongNuo 35mm f/2

YongNuo 35mm f/2

First and foremost a hands-on comparison of the lens itself – how does it fare against the Canon 35mm f/2 – there will be more image-based comparisons to come. While discontinued and a few decades old, the Canon still costs more than double the YongNuo (YN 35mm runs $125 from YN themselves on Amazon, the Canon 35mm f/2 tends to...Read more
Back to my roots.

Back to my roots.

Every few articles I write I feel a little disingenuous. I write about budget friendly gear, and even though I am reviewing budget friendly gear, it is often paired with some higher-end stuff as well. If you’ve read my camera trading stories, you’ll know that for a couple years I have been shooting with a Nikon D600 and a few...Read more
Canon T3

Canon T3

As of right now (Spring 2015), the Canon T3 is my most highly recommended camera for strict budgets. I have purchased four in the past six months, $120-$150 for bodies, and $200 or less as kits. Quite affordable for a more modern 12MP camera with HD Video. Mine is doubly cool because it’s red. FIRST IMPRESSION and BUILD QUALITY It’s small, plastic (though...Read more
YongNuo 50mm f/1.8 Outdoor portraits and final review.

YongNuo 50mm f/1.8 Outdoor portraits and final review.

This lens is, as of this writing, pretty brand spanking new. There has been a lot of speculation on this lens. Is it just a Canon clone? (no) Is it any good? (yes) Is it worth getting? (Yep) – I wanted to finish up with an outdoor portrait session (my most comfortable testing scenario) to give my final judgment on...Read more