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Most people only think about how to enlarge tiny object when they hear Macro Lens. But there's quite a bit more to think about, and one lens may not be suitable for every Macro situation. For instance a 100mm lens is a very common choice when it comes to Macro, but most 100mm lenses require you 12" away from anything just to get focus. Too close and you can't focus at all. And when working at a 100mm focal length the field of view becomes very compressed so you see less of the environment. The depth of field also becomes shallow and easily blurs out what is not in focus.

I won't go too much into detail about Macro video or Macro Photography, but I just wanted to point out why this Laowa 24mm Macro Probe lens is very different. At 24mm the field of view is much wider, so you're not just getting a close look at small object, but you're also seeing the environment that is surrounding it (wide angle view). The minimum focus with the Laowa Macro Lens is extremely close, so you could practically be touching the tip of the lens and still be in focus. Of course being that close often blocks light (and casts a shadow), so the Laowa 24mm Macro Probe also offers a dimmable LED Ring light at it's tip to fill in that close object. Another neat design feature is that it is waterproof at the tip, so you can literally submerge this lens underwater.

The narrow tip on the Macro Probe Lens design also allows you to slide it into smaller spaces and when you can add movement to this, it creates very interesting videos that are not achievable through other conventional means. If you're looking to step up your food or product videos in a unique way, the Laowa 24mm Macro Probe Lens is definitely the lens to add to your collection.

laowa macro lens
Learn More Laowa 24mm Macro Probe Lens

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This has been one of my favorite portable folding equipment carts that I often use when bringing out all of my video equipment. The retail price is listed around $119 dollars, but keep watch as they often go on sale. I managed to pick up several of them when they were on sale for $50 dollars. A second sale recently offered them for $75 dollars. If you're looking for a very small equipment cart to haul your Pelican Hardcases that easily fits in the trunk of you car, but hauls some pretty heavy gear, this is one to keep an eye on.

Learn More OnStage Portable Equipment Gear Cart

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MegaMast Carbon Tripod
Learn More MegaMast Carbon Fiber Camera Stand (27.5')

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When using a monitor on a shoot, I noticed I tend to move it around quite a bit. So you could go for a decent rolling stand (like this), or you could try this inexpensive trick using Mini Furniture Dollies.

These little dollies are cheap, but because they aren't fixed to the stand you want to make sure you're using it on a fairly smooth surface. If you want to make them a bit more secure, you could screw on some cups (pvc end caps?) onto the dollies to keep the legs inserted. It's a great tip for moving around something like a director's monitor, but probably not something you want to use if your c-stand is elevated too high with a heavy object. But it's nice that these can pack up in my c-stand bag, and I can opt to throw them on depending on the location i'm setup at.


crystal 800 wireless 3 Wheel Dollies Furniture Table Legs

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Generally speaking if a specific product sells a lot, it's safe to say it's a good indication that it's pretty good. And if you're wondering what those items might be, according to this recent report from B&H, here are some of the current Top Selling Products in various categories.

Top selling camera- far and away:


crystal 800 wireless Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera

Top selling Lenses:


crystal 800 wireless Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens for Sony E


crystal 800 wireless FUJIFILM XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens


crystal 800 wireless Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens

Top Selling Tripod

crystal 800 wireless Gitzo 100-Year Anniversary Edition Tripod with Ball Head

Top Selling Continuous Light

crystal 800 wireless Aputure Light Storm LS C120D II LED Light Kit with V-Mount Battery Plate

Top Selling Studio Strobe

crystal 800 wireless Profoto B10 OCF Flash Head

Top Selling Camera Flash

crystal 800 wireless Godox AD200 TTL Pocket Flash Kit

Computers drives and storage:

Simple – 8TB for $139.99 WHOA!

crystal 800 wireless WD 8TB Elements Desktop USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Laptops:

crystal 800 wireless B&H exclusive Lenovo 15.6" Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop

and a close 2nd:


crystal 800 wireless Apple 13.3" MacBook Air with Retina Display (Late 2018, Space Gray)

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Just in case you're looking for a Macro Lens, here's a few video samples I shot with the Rokinon 100mm Macro CineDS (manual focus) Lens. A dedicated macro lens will let you get much closer to an object than your standard prime or zoom lens.

I opted to use a manual focus lens on the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro as I found it easier to work with and to do focus pulls (rack focus). I also like the ability to set the iris manually (aperture) as it is a quick way to adjust the exposure up or down, and to get more or less in focus. If you're just starting out, the Rokinon 100mm Macro Lens is a solid buy and you can typically find it on sale (found here).


crystal 800 wireless Rokinon 100mm Macro Lens CineDS Manual Focus

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I'm an avid shooter of Panasonic Mirrorless cameras since the GH2, and then picked up the GH3. When they announced the GH4 I purchased (3) of them immediately for my multicam projects. Then when they announced the GH5 and GH5s, I picked those up as well! Obviously, i'm a big fan of Panasonic mirrorless cameras, but at the moment I have to admit i'm not (yet) sold on this new full frame S1 and S1R. It's not overly exciting video features, and for a stills camera it probably doesn't compete with what Sony offers. But what do you guys think?

Product Highlights
47.3MP Full-Frame MOS Sensor
Venus Engine Image Processor
5.76m-Dot 0.78x-Magnification OLED LVF
3.2" 2.1m-Dot Triaxial Tilt Touchscreen
UHD 4K60 Video Recording
ISO 100-25600, Up to 9 fps Shooting
Contrast-Detect 225-Area DFD AF System
Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
Weather-Sealed Construction
Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. Lens

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Complimentary Beer, Wine, and Sony Cameras??? Yes please.

Click Here for additional Event Details

Description
B&H and Sony Present #BeAlpha

Join us for an exciting evening celebrating B&H and the Sony Alpha community! Try out the latest gear from Sony onsite to capture themed photo and video vignettes as well as dance performances. Get inspired by talks and panel discussions with Sony Artisan and Collective members. Mingle and create new connections with the B&H, Sony and the New York photo community. Enjoy complimentary food, beer, wine and soft drinks. (Guests must 21+ to enjoy alcoholic beverages)

Event Date: Wednesday, February 13th Event

Location: Hudson Mercantile, 500 W. 36th Street

Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Panel with 3 Collective Members | 6:30-7:00pm
Panel topic: How to step up as a creator today

Artisan Talk with Katrin Eismann | 7:15-7:45pm
“Shoot and Share” Camera to Social Media workflow: Learn how to quickly, download, process and share your best shots on social media

Artisan Talk with Ben Lowy | 8:00-8:30pm
Going from Photo to Video​

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Currently Sony offers the A6300 and also the A6500. Coming out with a new model called the Sony Alpha A6400 sounds a bit backwards, but i'm guessing because it lacks the in-camera sensor stabilization that the A6500 offers. I don't see that as a deal breaker as most of these small cameras end up on gimbals, and today's mirrorless lenses offer Image Stabilization already. And though it is missing in-camera IS, it does offer some interesting features that the A6500 does not have.

The new Sony A6400 has a built in timelapse feature. Normally with Sony mirrorless cameras, you would need to download an app or use an external intervalometer. The A6400 also includes the HLG profile for those who want to dabble in HDR video. They also say they have improved on the quality of the 4K video on the A6400. The LCD now flips over the top of the camera (selfie-mode) which is handy for them vloggers and product reviewers. One other thing i'm hearing is that this camera has removed the 30 minute time limit during video recording (I hate that in my A7R3), which will make it a more suitable camera for long interviews.

Product Highlights
24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
BIONZ X Image Processor
XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
3.0" 921.6k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
Internal UHD 4K Video & S-Log3 Gamma
S&Q Motion in Full HD from 1-120 fps
Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
Real-Time Eye AF
425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points
Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 102,400

sony a6400 camera
crystal 800 wireless Sony A6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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