Octa : Tablet Mounting System – Packs Small, Plays Big

Since the incorporation of the iPad and others into your workflow, the biggest issue has been the best mounting system to use. It could be a tethered screen, or camranger, or shooting notes or lighting sketches you need to have in front of you
Whether you need to access the tablet on a light stand, table, or another grippable surface, the choices were few.
There is the Manfrotto clamp, magic arm (about $145.) and coupled with the Wallee iPad case (about $40.), gives you a solid and immovable mounting kit. But if you want to change the direction or move angle of the arm, it takes a strong arm to unlock the rig. Expensive full kit, and tablet specific. Has to be a naked tablet (no case).
Another choice is the iKlip who, with their experience in the music world, created a sweet ball joint, clamp system, that has an adjustable spring loaded tablet holder. Meant as a tool for musicians to us the iPad for lyrics, or recording, it’s perfect for the shooters needs. Right price, needed to stay close to the stand. Will fit a tablet with case. About $40.

Then came Octa, and the TabletTail: Lynx

Not a one-off product, but a system with a menu of attachments to suit your needs.

The design is based on a lot of ratcheting, to get the sizing you need.
To start with is the tablet holder. Spring loaded, it pops open with a button, and adjusts easily to whatever size tablet or E-Reader you use. It will hold an iphone 6, but not tight. Perhaps the iPhone 6 plus will work better but it’s designed for tablets.

The Bridge is a flexible, yet stiff connector, about 5″ long including rotating caps on each end. The clamp is also an adjustable ratcheting system, that will grip to most surfaces, and release with a button tab. There is a locking system to ensure that the clamp and holder aren’t going anywhere, yet can rotate. The 3 parts combine to give a huge amount of versatility.

It is able to rotate, change angles, and stay secure. The Bridge is a little shorter than I wanted, but there is a slew of options you can get, once you are in the system. It’s a little longer than the iKlip.
The screen stayed where I put it by just by moving the tablet, without having to unlock anything.
One of the other great things about this system was that it packs small, and plays big.
What do I mean by that? The parts can be unlocked, folded down and fit in a gear bag easily.
Brilliant design actually.

There is a small note about the ratcheting clamp: Octa reminds you not to over tighten, as this is made of high impact plastic, not metal. The rubber grips ensure no marring of a surface, but I was mindful of the warning.

The Lynx sells for about $99., and can be purchased direct from Octa or Amazon, with this link

Nikon D810A : Ground Control To Major Tom!

In a very interesting release, Nikon has introduced the D810A, a now classic series, with added features for Astrophotography.
Someone did the research and determined that the market was big enough to create a version of the wildly popular D810 series specifically for the folk who make images of the Space above.
Honestly, if this is your passion, and still want all of the capabilities of the D810. you win. Big time.

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more info after the jump.

Now at the same time, they have put together a D750 film makers kit,
Jim Lennon Photographer 175-H2 Commerce Drive Hauppauge NY 631-617-5872

First time I’ve seen a camera company do this: the package delivers a one stop videographers perfect storm of motion imaging. Talk about desired product, this kit has all you need to get started with the best primes, plus…

“For users who are looking to take advantage of the Nikon D750’s advanced video capabilities, Nikon is now offering a Filmmaker’s Kit that includes everything needed to get started in the world of cinema. The kit contains three NIKKOR lenses in popular focal lengths, including the AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens, the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens and the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens; all which provide stunning HD clarity and excellent depth of field control for filmmakers. The kit also contains two additional EN-EL15 batteries, an ME-1 Stereo Microphone, one Atomos Ninja-2 External Recorder, and Tiffen® 67mm and 58mm Variable Neutral Density Filters (8-Stops) for superior control of light. In addition, the Nikon D750 Filmmaker’s Kit features custom foam inserts, which are ideally sized for use in a hard case for transporting equipment to your next video production.”

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Fotodiox Vizalex ND Throttle : Great Tool for the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras

Since moving to NYC, camera size has become top of mind because many times the gear goes in a bag on my shoulder or my back. When the Black Magic Pocket Cinema camera became available for 50% less than normal, I couldn’t be happier.
Sweet, small and high quality, the BMPC can go anywhere. The first place I took it was to the street for a parade. Lot’s of them in NYC, and they last for hours so you get a lot of time to capture.
(Small note, these cameras run through batteries, so get a bunch)
Now, the camera was small but the daylight was large and changeable. Using my Nikon lenses, I needed an ND like crazy.
I didn’t want to just stop down the lens. That was not the kind of shooting choice I wanted to make.
The I found this: Fotodiox Vizelex ND Throttle Lens Mount Adapter

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With a solid fit, and a 10-Stop variable ND built into a smooth action ring, this is what I had been looking for. It’s the smooth variable part that was the winner. Being able to adjust the ND as needed, fast, is key.
Like most adapters, all of your auto anything operations of the lens were disabled, and there were no click stops for the f/stops, there is another ring to set your aperture, using 6 main markers. They are both fluid adjustments, Perfect for video.
Would I prefer a click-stop, aperture control? Perhaps for stills if shooting on the fly, but this unit did the job I was looking for @ a $100 price point.
There are a few other choices out on the market, but one in particular will always be in the conversation:
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Katy Winn on Fashion Week Photography

It’s baaaack!
Fashion Week is coming to NYC again this week, and it seemed like a right time to hear from Katy Winn, photographer who has covered the event around the world.
What we love about Katy is her no BS, straightforward thoughts on the subject.

And of course, if you have the time, check out her “What’s In The Bag” recent video, where you can see what, and why, she uses certain gear to get the job done.

Canon introduces EOS 5DSi & 5DS Ri: Over 50 mp in your hand!

The rumor mills have been creating the pre-buzz on this new camera for awhile.
50.6 dang MEGAPIXELS!
The MP wars are over? I think not.
Get ready to upgrade your media cards as well, as your wallets:Prices of $3,699.00 and $3,899.00 for the body only, respectively.
Reasonable actually, for the product. You do have some time to save up: These won’t be avail til June, 2015.
Aimed at the medium format user, these are not speed demons designed for sports, but for the commercial, studio, portrait, landscape and architectural photographer.
Now, this camera was in my hands for less than 45 min., so all I can say is, based your excitement on the track record of Canon. Once I can shoot with this, you’ll get a full review.

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