This time last week I was very much looking forward to visiting the show this year. After getting home from work on Friday, I got packing for the weekend only to realise to my amazement that another blizzard was on its way. To say that I am over winter is an understatement.
Arrived at the show midday Saturday and got started. I always find the start of such shows overwhelming. The crowd and the exhibitors, they are so many that I never know where to start. Having had a look at the show’s exhibitors list I knew where I wanted to start.
That would be the Samyang desk. I’ve been hearing such good things about about their lenses that I wanted to see for myself. I had my eye on two lenses to be exact. Their 24mm tilt-shift lens along with their 14mm wide angle lens. The 14mm ultra wide comes as two options, one manual and the other with autofocus. Upon trying both lenses, image quality was crisp with little distortion and the lens itself is made with decent glass and lighter than expected. I only had a quick look at the tilt-shift lens but it functions pretty much the same way as Canon own at a fraction of the price. Quality of the image an only be determined based on testing which I didn’t have the time to do.
My next stop was to visit Nisi filters to have a look at their Natural Night Filters. I often use my ND filter for night photography, so I wonder if the this filter maybe a better option for me. The idea behind the filter is to remove the causes of light pollution making it perfect for night and astrophotography. The filter is of great quality, double sided and waterproof. I live in London so that is big plus in my book. After visiting Nisi, I went to the Cokin stand. I’ve used their filter in the past but was not happy with the result so I was hoping things have changed since then. Although they offer a wide variety of options, I found their filter a little light for me but then again I’m permanently clumsy.
After Cokin, I went to the Formatt Hittech stand. I’ve been looking to change my filters for a while. I originally purchased screw-in filters which is not a good idea when you have more than one lens and it’s even worse to use when your fingers are frozen.
After putting in consideration the filters that I already have, I left with the Patrick Di Fruscia kit which included
• 100 x 100mm Firecrest Ultra ND 1.2
• 100 x 150mm Firecrest Ultra ND 0.9 Grad
• 82mm Firecrest Ultraslim Polariser
• Patrick Di Fruscia Essentials Booklet
• Firecrest 100mm Filter Holder
• 82mm Rotating Adaptor Ring
• 67-82mm Step Ring
• 72-82mm Step Ring
• 77-82mm Step Ring as well as the system holder which usually costs £150 at no extra cost. The other deciding factor was the design of the holder system.
My next purchase will likely be the ND16 and ND13 from their Firecrest range.
From the Formatt stand I moved along to the Benro stand. Benro is known for their tripods but have recently introduced their line of ND filters. They offer 2 types, glass filters and resin filters. Although I liked the quality of the glass filters compared to the resin option. On the other hand, what stood out to me was the holder system.
The filter holder has 2 screws on each side which allows the user to tighten to front end which gives a feeling of security especially when it comes to me.
Whenever you need to attach the system, you can just screw it on your lens as a whole because the 2 screws hold the 2 parts firmly in place. The 2 parts feel strong and are both made out of aluminum.
Although I was thoroughly impressed, the only thing I left with was their filter tent.
This tent helps block any light coming from behind the filters hence avoiding light leaks and ruining the result. It only costs £10 and void me from having to use my scarf.
The rest of my day was spent listening to talks and visiting a few books and magazine stand. My new favourite magazine is The Hungry Eye.
This magazine is not about tips, tricks or how to do things in photography which is quite refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, those type of magazines were great and really useful when you are starting out but after a while it gets too much. Let’s not get me started on the adverts pretty much everywhere. But this magazine features interviews of photographers with different style and expertise which I find refreshing. So I picked up a few past issues. I definitely recommend it.
Anyone else had a chance to visit this year’s show? What were your impressions?