History and Science of lenses in a 25 minutes video

What’s behind the technology we put in front of our cameras, optical technology and engineering, and how did it evolve? If you have 25 minutes to spare then have a look at this educational video by Filmmaker IQ.

Learn the history of the lens and its optical design and science from the early beginning as a tool to light up a fire to the multitude and advanced technology of modern lens designs.

[via Mirrorless Rumors]

Tips on how to photograph the Solar Eclipse by Canon Explorer of Light Ken Slutke

Canon Explorer of Light Ken Slutke about how to photograph the Solar Eclipse. Slutke was interviewed by Time.

He gives some recommendations:

Sklute recommends three Canon models at different price points and skill levels, as shown in the video above. The Powershot Sx60 is a beginner level point-and-shoot bundled with a solar filter that can be purchased for $499.99. For the next step up, Sklute suggests the Rebel T7i (camera body only) for $749.99. On the more professional side, you can buy the 5D Mark IV (camera body only) for $3,299.

Once you have your camera, the next step is choosing a lens. You’ll want at least a 300 mm focal length to get a good-sized image of the sun in the frame, Sklute says. Focal length refers to the distance between a camera’s sensor and its lens. The longer the lens’s focal length, the larger the sun will be in the final image. Those who are hesitant about investing in an expensive lens may want to rent one instead.

Read the article at Time

The total solar eclipse will be visible in the US on August 21, 2017. The Canon Digital Learning Center has a lot of resources to get you ready.

Sigma product advisory for Lens Aberration Correction bug on Canon EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, Rebel T7i and Rebel SL2

Sigma Product Advisory For Lens Aberration Correction Bug On Canon EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, Rebel T7i And Rebel SL2

Sigma issued a warning for some of their lenses. These lenses (see list below) are not fully compatible with the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, Rebel T7i and Rebel SL2. An error occurs during LIve View shooting when the “lens aberration correction” feature is turned on.

Sigma advisory:

Dear Canon EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, EOS Rebel T7i, EOS Rebel SL2 Users

Thank you for purchasing and using our products.

We have found that some SIGMA interchangeable lenses for CANON are not fully compatible with EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, EOS Rebel T7i, EOS Rebel SL2.

When certain lenses are attached to these cameras and the “Lens aberration correction” function on these cameras is set to “Enable” for Live View shooting, an error would occur.

Please set the “Lens aberration correction” function of the cameras to “Disable” when using SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for CANON.

In addition, please also refer to other notice below, related to the usage of EOS mount SIGMA lenses on Canon cameras.


When the lenses listed below are used on EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 77D, EOS Rebel T7i, EOS Rebel SL2 and the “Lens aberration correction” function on the camera is set to “Enable” for Live View shooting, an error would occur.

[Products concerned]

  • SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM | Art
  • SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art
  • SIGMA 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM
  • SIGMA 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
  • SIGMA 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
[Usage Notice for customers who are using EOS mount SIGMA lenses on CANON cameras]

When using the SIGMA lenses for CANON, “Peripheral illumination correction”, “Chromatic aberration correction”, “Diffraction correction” as well as “Distortion correction” from the “Lens aberration correction” function of the camera are not supported. Therefore, we recommend you to set them to “Disable”.

If those functions are set to “Enable”, the performance of the lenses may not be accurate.

For further information, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary / distributor.

We appreciate your continued support for our company and products.

You can get an AmazonBasics Electronic Flash for Canon DSLRs for just $28

You Can Get An AmazonBasics Electronic Flash For Canon DSLRs For Just $28

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash at a glance:

  • External flash for taking professional-looking photos in low-light conditions; compatible with Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras
  • 3 flash modes for versatility: M, S1, S2 (Manual mode, Slave mode 1, and Slave mode 2)
  • Standard PC synchronous port (input) for off-camera connecting; wireless sensor for triggering flash from a distance
  • Tilts up to 90 degrees; rotates up to 270 degrees
  • 8 levels of flash-brightness control; automatic saving function retains current flash settings; hot shoe stand and carrying bag included

Well, this may appear to a lot of photographers on a budget. Amazon sells a very inexpensive flash for Canon and Nikon DSLRs under their AmazonBasics brand, the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash for DSLR Cameras, and it’s yours for just $27.99.

The AmazonBasics Electronic Flash has three modes, M, S1, and S2, respectively Manual, Slave mode 1, Slave mode 2. A standard PC synchronous port is also provided, so you can connect the flash off-camera using a cable.

Reviews are mostly positive with an average of 3.9/5. The AmazonBasics Electronic Flash for DSLR cameras appears to be a pretty good deal, as one reviewer puts it: “[…] no flash at this price point has those features. This is unbeatable for the money.

AmazonBasics Electronic Flash

[via PetaPixel]

Are you waiting for the Solar Eclipse? Canon Digital Learning Center has plenty of resources

The Canon Digital Learning Center silently provided a lot of resources for you, going from events and workshops to a rich set of articles (see the list below). Photojournalist Dave Henry and commercial/landscape photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute share articles and photos to help plan and photograph the eclipse event, which occurs on August 21, 2017.

It’s the first tome since almost 100 years that a total solar eclipse will traverse North America. Get ready for the big event by learning all there is to know. Click here to see what CDLC provided to get you ready for the solar eclipse.

  • Tracking the Eclipse
  • Planning Ahead for a Successful Solar Eclipse Shoot
  • Photographic Exposure of a Solar Eclipse
  • Spectacular Totality
  • Location Set-up
  • Choosing Lenses for Eclipse Photography
  • Choosing a Camera for Eclipse Photography
  • Multiple Camera Eclipse Coverage
  • Being Safe Using Solar Filters
  • Supporting Your Camera with a Tripod
  • Planning Multiple Exposure Sequences
  • Keeping It All In Focus

Then there is Google’s “Eclipse Megamovie” project (see here, and be sure to watch the 1min video on top).

Led by the University of California at Berkeley, scientists from multiple universities are turning to citizen scientists for help gathering images of the sun and its atmosphere, the corona. Volunteers armed with standard photography equipment—a camera, telephoto lens, and tripod—will capture photos of the eclipse as the moon’s shadow passes over their part of the country. Once this huge dataset is collected, it’s Google’s turn. We’ll use our technology to algorithmically align and process the images submitted by citizen scientists to create a continuous view of the eclipse: the Eclipse Megamovie.

In addition to the movie, the full dataset of images will be made available to the public and the scientific community. Time will only tell what insights and projects may come from this rich collection.

If you’ll be on the path of totality and plan on taking pictures, the project needs your help. Head to https://eclipsemega.movie/ to learn more about how to join and take the best eclipse photographs possible.


Canon-led team working on next low-cost rocket to carry small satellites into space

Canon-led Team Working On Next Low-cost Rocket To Carry Small Satellites Into Space

We reported Canon’s efforts for conquering space before. Latest news was on June 23, 2017, the CE-SAT 1 (Canon Electric Satellite 1) was launched into orbit from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, southeastern India. It’s since 2014 that Canon puts efforts into space technology, with some unlucky events like the first rocket exploding.

Canon appears to still believe and work for the (commercial) race into space. Nikkei Asian Review reports:

Canon is joining IHI Aerospace, construction company Shimizu and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan in the venture.

The new company will be founded on Wednesday with capital of 200 million yen ($1.8 million). Canon Electronics will take a 70% stake. The three other parties will have stakes of 10%.

The business is not expected to get underway until at least the end of fiscal 2017. When it does begin operating, it will try to meet some of the surging demand to carry small satellites into space with a small, low-cost rocket.

Canon and its partners are going to develop rocket technology based on the tech found in the SS-520 minirocket, build by Japanese space agency JAXA. Canon will supply the control equipment for the rocket.

The CE-SAT 1, launched in June 2017, is

[…] an experiment satellite developed at Canon Electronics Space Technology Laboratory to create a high-resolution Earth-imaging system by combining a Cassegrain telescope with a conventional Canon image sensor found in the firm’s EOS product line.

There are several slightly modified Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras on board of the CE-SAT 1. The cameras are used to build a high-resolution Earth-imaging system (more here).

According to my sources, Canon’s low-cost rocket will not have 4K ;-)