in this BLOG you can find info on any changes and additions to our site. We also will post about photo gear related topics, as some of our experiences and observations on cameras, lenses and accessories might be useful to others. If you want to read about the gear that we currently use and recommend, click on the "our current gear" link in the side-panel. Afterward you can jump back to this BLOG by clicking the "what's new /BLOG" link right above it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Firmware update for Sony A850 and A900

Sony released a firmware update for its two full-frame DSLR cameras, the A850 and A900. The update provides improved AF performance, additional settings for exposure-bracketing and exposure compensation, as well as the option to release the shutter when there is no lens attached.

download link for the firmware:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adobe provides Lens Profile Downloader

Adobe just released a Lens Profile Downloader. With this software you can download other people’s lens correction profiles for use in Adobe Lightroom 3 or Camera Raw. Also availabe is their Lens Profile Creator that allows you to create your own lens correction profiles.

Both pieces of software are free.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Speed up your workflow by using keyboard shortcuts

One easy way to speed up your workflow when working with Windows or Adobe Lightroom is to use keyboard shortcuts. Unfortunately, many of us are not aware of all the useful shortcuts that are out there.

these are two comprehensive lists of the shortcuts:

Lightroom 3

Windows 7

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Altaro Oops!Backup Software for Windows

I have been looking around for a good backup software for my Windows machine for quite some time. Finally I found a product that is low on resources and at the same time offers all the convenience of newest generation backup software like Apples TimeMachine.

The neat thing: The software keeps all previous versions of your files and you can go back to them whenever you need them. Also, backups are saved incrementally, preventing unnecessary waste of backup disk space.

for a free trial of this software see here:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Adobe lens profile for Carl Zeiss 2.8/24-70 SSM updated

I discovered that one of the lens profiles that I posted here previously did not work properly. I now generated a new version of this profile:

A900 + Carl Zeiss AF 24-70mm F2.8 ZA T* SSM:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creating HDR Images Directly in Lightroom

In case you are using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, there is now a great way of creating HDR images directly within this software.

see here for the tutorial:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Sony A33 and A55 cameras launched

Sony has just presented their new A33 and A55 cameras. They are pretty revolutionary, featuring a semi-translucent mirror construction, HD video recording and an electronic viewfinder. The cameras will become available over the next two months.



See here for the launch video:


links to other info on the cameras:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sony just released their new Zeiss Distagon 24mm f/2.0 SSM lens

This high-end lens will be available for about 1200 USD some time later this year.

image see also here for more info:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Adobe Lightroom 3 and Camera Raw lens profiles for the Sony A900

Here I eventually provide the lens profiles for my Sony A900 in combination with various of my lenses. These profiles only work with Lightroom 3 and the latest Camera Raw and eliminate distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations.

Here are the download links to the profiles:

A900 + Carl Zeiss AF 24-70mm F2.8 ZA T* SSM:

A900 + Sigma AF 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Asph:

A900 + Minolta AF 100mm F2.8 Macro:

A900 + Sony AF 50mm F1.4:     

A900 + Sony AF 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM:   

IMPORTANT:  It is possible that these profiles will require your lenses to be named correctly in the EXIF data of the respective photo files. I am not sure how tolerant Lightroom 3 is, but if for example your lens is named Zeiss 24-70 instead of the name which I use (Carl Zeiss AF 24-70mm F2.8 ZA T* SSM), my profile might not be recognized. Therefore you might have to change your lens name in the EXIF data. While this sounds like a lot of work, especially if you already have a ton of photos made with this lens, there are actually some convenient free software tools that can help you:

Personally, I use the free AlphalensInfo software, in order to automatically recognize my Sony lenses and to write the correct lens name to my EXIF data. The software takes a little bit to get used to, but in the end it works very well. Download and instructions can be found here:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comparison of the Sony/Zeiss 1.4/85 vs. the Minolta 1.4/85

there is an interesting review at, comparing the two currently best 85mm portrait lens offerings for the Sony Alpha mount: the Sony Zeiss Planar T* 85 mm f/1.4 and the Minolta AF 85 mm f/1.4 G D.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

new private galleries of Baxter SP and Block Island

I uploaded photos from recent trips to the Baxter State Park (Maine) and to Block Island (Road Island). Just follow the “friends & family” link at the top of our webpage.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sony announces the NEX-VG10 E-mount HD camcorder

this is a big deal: Sony now announced their first interchangable lens full HD camcorder for the E-mount. What exactly is so great about it?



in short:

a) the camera has a huge APS-C sized sensor. Hence you get much shallower depth-of-field compared to normal camcorders.

b) the camera takes all kinds of Sony E-mount lenses, and even all Sony/Minolta A-mount can be used via an adapter. This opens up great creative possibilites.

c) the camera can also take photos. And not just low quality, but actually stunning DSLR-quality shots at 14 MP resolution.

In my view the only negative about the camera: It does not allow RAW format capture of neither photos nor video. Not a huge issue, but at least RAW still capture would have been nice for post-processing.

The camera will cost ~2000 USD.



some links:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adobe Lightroom 3 and Camera Raw lens profile for Canon Powershot S90

I now created a lens profile for the Canon Powershot S90, to be used with Adobe Lightroom 3 or Camera Raw. It can be downloaded from here:

Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 lens profile support

These are exciting days for photographers…     Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 now both support lens profiles. With their help most lens-specific problems like distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberrations can now be automatically and effectively corrected.

Unfortunately such lens profiles are specific to exact camera/lens combinations and hence Adobe only released a handful of sample profiles along with their “lens profile creator” software. With this software people are expected to create profiles themselves for their own camera/lens pairs.

In the next couple of days I will post here links to a number of such lens profiles that I now created for our photo equipment (mostly Sony Alpha and a Canon S90). I hope these profiles might save people with similar gear the tedious process of creating such profiles.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sony launches their new entry-level DSLRs A290 and A390

Sony just introduced their two new entry-level DSLRs. The A290 and A390 both resemble a no-frills photographic tool, sporting a 14 MP APS-C sized sensor. In the case of the A390 you also get live-view and a tiltable screen.

see here for some more info:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adobe Lightroom 3 is now available

Adobe just released their newest version of the RAW image processing software “Lightroom”. This newest version adds support for video files as well as an improved RAW processing engine that promises a noise pattern in high ISO shots.

more details on the product and a trial download can be found here:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Orbis Ring Flash

Ring flashes are great tools. They give you virtually shadowless illumination of your subject and hence provide a very particular look. Many fashion and portrait photographers use them, either as their main light, but often also for fill-in.

Over the last few months I have been trying a “budget” way to obtaining a ring flash that would normally cost you more than 1000 USD.

This budget solution is a ring flash adapter from Orbis.



The flash is an accessory to your normal TTL-flash and effectively modifies the emitted light. In conjunction with an Orbis arm,

orbis arm


and a flash cord I eventually pieced together the following portrait rig for my Sony A900 and the 70-200:



works really well. and it is compatible with flashes of any brand and make.

see also this video review:


and here are some links to other sites and articles:

and some sample photos:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the new Sony NEX-5

here is a little movie provided by Sony, giving you a first impression of the capabilities of their new Nex-5 camera. I am pretty impressed by its capabilities in a very small package. Especially the HD movie function, automated panorama and auto-HDR features are appealing. Would be a great camera for casual shooting.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sony launches Alpha Nex camera series

Sony just launched the new Nex series of interchangable lens cameras. These mirror-less cameras are supposed to provide the image quality of an APS-C sized DSLR in a much smaller and lighter package. In addition they have the capability to shoot full HD video. All at around 600 USD. Seems like some great cameras.


see the following links:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

new photo gear page added.

we added a page, showing the photo gear that we currently use and recommend. You can get there by clicking on the “our current gear” link in the sidebar.

subscribe to this BLOG via email or feed readers!

you can now subscribe to this BLOG via email or various feed readers. Look in the sidebar for these subscription options.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

welcome to our new site

this is our new website at We are now hosted by smugmug. Why is that important? Well, any visitor of this site can now easily order prints or any other photo merchandise from our photos at NON-PROFIT PRICES !!! And all orders are handled by themselves, a very respected photo hosting provider. So, your orders are easy and safe.

FYI: prints start already at $ 0.19 and shipping charges are very low, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Iceland Photos

we just uploaded our photos from the recent trip to iceland. We went there only days before the first eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

See the photos here: