photography

Are gray market lenses OK to buy?

Episode 1532

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul's daughter dropped her Sony A6000 camera lens into the sand and the repair facility wants $141. She can get a new one for that, which is "bulk international lens." Leo says that chances are it's a gray market item, which comes with no warranty. If that was a camera, Leo would say no. But with a Lens, it's less of an issue. One thing you have to be careful of, is that more than half the stuff sold on Amazon isn't sold by Amazon, it's just fulfilled by Amazon. So you do run a risk, if Amazon doesn't ship it. If it's a reputable company with decent ratings, it should be OK.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1528

Chris says that setting your white balance can really dial in the color balance. Bringing a white card and placing it in the scene and then adjusting your camera's manual settings can really make your colors pop. But the custom presets in your camera can get you 90% there, even in your smartphone. Sun symbol for outdoor light. LightBulb for indoor light. Florescent symbol, etc. But don't forget to change it when you change your lighting conditions.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1526

Chris just got back from 11 days around the islands north of Norway, just inside the North Pole. The light is amazing. The landscape is incredible. A great place to explore and take pictures. The Aurora Boreallis is also a challenge to shoot because it can be a bit faint. You really have to set it up with a tripod, a wide lens, and a long exposure. Shoot ISO 1600. F2.8 or wider. Expose for 20 seconds. That's the starting point. Rich wants to know if you can shoot it with the smartphone. Chris says no. Not even the pro settings are good enough for shooting the northern lights.

How can I share my photos online?

Google Photos

Episode 1521

Bob from Leonia, NJ

Bob wants to share photos in the cloud. What's the best option? Leo says that Google Photos is great because most people have Google accounts, and Google Photos will automatically sync and delete photos once they are backed up. He can set up albums, it has facial recognition, he can create an album based on time and location, and it offers unlimited hi-res backup for free. Shutterfly is also a good option.

Chris Marquardt ... Smart Cameras

Episode 1520

Chris says that cameras have gotten really smart, essentially allowing you to just point and shoot, no matter what camera you have. You can even tell it to track a subject and keep it in focus. Amazing. But sometimes, it makes the wrong choice as a result. And the more advanced you get as a photographer, the more you want to take control of the image settings to experiment and make the image look the way you want.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1518

Chris wants to talk about macro lenses today. Designed to get really up close shots with very shallow depth of field, a Macro lens is a great way to get up close and personal. There are 50-100mm macro lenses, which are designed to get up close without being close. It's called the "flight distance." There's a macro lens on Kickstarter which is also a wide angle lens as well. It's called the Laowa 24mm F/14 probe lens, which lets you get super close without getting the camera in the way. But at $1400, it's a very specialized lens.