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Project 365: Day 56 - All Work, No Play

Working on the weekend.

How to Setup and in Action Video of Glidecam XR-2000

We posted an unboxing video of the Glidecam XR-2000 not too long ago and now we have two new videos for you. The first video will show you how to setup the Glidecam XR-2000 Series. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you how to balance and configure it.

For a video on how to set up the Glidecam, check out the video on Philip Bloom's website and check out these videos from NAB 2011 - Video 1 of 3, Video 2 of 3, Video 3 of 3.

The second video shows you the Glidecam XR-2000 in action after it's been set up and balanced. NOTE: I am not a "professional" and have not mastered it yet but with a little more practice, I would have no problem using it.

We'll have a full review of the Glidecam XR-2000 shortly. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when the review has been posted.

Project 365: Day 53 - Perfect Weather

Sunny and mid-50's in February.

Deal: Save up to $350 on Canon Camera & Lenses Bundles at B&H Photo

If you're looking to buy a new Canon camera and lens, B&H Photo is having a deal. You can save up to $350 on Canon Camera & Lenses Bundles.

This offer expires Saturday, March 3rd!

Soul by Tapti Tapan Fashion Show Teaser

So we were one of the photographers for Soul by Tapti Tapan that took place during New York's Fashion Show Week. It was held on February 16, 2012 at La Vie Lounge in NYC. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to network with other photographers and improve my skills and learn new ones at the same time.

Below are some teaser images of some of the beautiful models that were there. For a full set of images, visit our Facebook album page (be sure to LIKE our page as well). NOTE: Facebook downgraded the images so they aren't as crisp as the images below.

What do you think? How did I do?

Project 365: Day 51 - Fingers are Crossed

I got my fingers crossed.

Project 365: Day 50 - Fashion Show

Editing pictures from a fashion shoot. Feels like it never ends.

Project 365: Day 47 - Lucky Star

A lighting fixture at a Fashion Show I attended as a photographer.

How to Tell a Difference Between a Genuine and Counterfeit Nikon Lens Filter

So I purchased a brand new Nikon 77mm NC filter for my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G to protect the lens from dings, scratches and elements (I know there are people who dislike filters because it degrades the image quality but its nothing Lightroom can't fix considering I'll be post processing the image anyways. The filter I purchased was from eBay and the seller was located in Hong Kong. My gut instinct told me that it was more than likely a fake but the seller had a reputation and the price was affordable. So I took the chance.

Having received the filter, it looked very well made and legit. I did some searching online to see if anyone had compared an authentic filter to a counterfeit. There wasn't much information but from what I've read and the minimal information available, it had all the information of a real filter. I decided to go out and purchase a Nikon 77mm NC filter from an authorized Nikon retailer just to compare for myself since there was no definite answers or comparison pictures available on the web. When you purchase from an authorized Nikon retailer such as B&H Photo and Adorama, you know its legit. Amazon is legit as well but you have to make sure its "Sold by" and not from a third party seller that says "Sold by...and Fulfilled by Amazon.".

The fake filter and packaging is almost identical that it can pass as real to an average buyer. The only way someone would know is if they had the real product next to them to compare. But this tutorial will help tell you whether or not what you own/purchased is the real thing since there is nothing on the web...until now. This would probably apply to ALL Nikon filters.

Take a minute and look at the picture below. Can you tell which is real and which is the fake? Rollover the image to find out the answer...

Did you get it right? I'll explain how to tell the which is real and which is fake below.

*NOTE: I know there's no real way of comparing filters unless you have an authentic one next to you to do a side by side comparison. Hopefully this tutorial will pin point some areas that you can definitely recognize as a potential counterfeit. Granted, filters is just a piece of glass but please purchase your OEM battery grips, batteries and battery chargers from authorized dealers. Counterfeit items can cause damage to your camera. Why risk saving a few bucks when you can be losing more? If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

As you can see from the front of the package, it looks identical. But there are slight differences. The bars at the top and bottom are different shades of gray. The Nikon logo on the real package (left) is vibrant and in the middle of the gray bar. The Nikon logo on the fake package (right) is dull and at near the top edge.

The back is similar to the front. The UPC both have the same number and barcode but to the naked eye without comparing side by side, they are the same. But the fonts are slightly different. The real label is slightly bolder. You can also tell that the yellow on the real package is yellow where as the fake package was more orange looking. The gray also bleeds into the hang tab on the fake.

The sides look about identical. However, I did notice that the end of the packaging where they seal the package looked different. On the fake package, it had a square edge. On the real package, it had a trapezoid edge. You can see my outline of where the edge is.

The same differences found on the front of the package can be seen on the top and bottom. Dull colors and different shades of gray. The real package looked a bit more transparent.

The instruction manual looked identical but definitely completely different and noticeable without needing to compare. The fake instruction manual is thicker and white as if it was printed on normal printing paper. The real instruction manual was thinner and more transparent and had a newspaper feel to it. The way it was folded is also different. I pointed out where the front of the manual is and had them face the same way. You can see that the way the manual was folded is different. I didn't bother unfolding the manuals completely as these were enough to show the differences. And who really reads them?

The front of the filter case looks exactly the same. It has the Nikon logo, CP-15 and 77mm, all molded into the case. You can also see that the real case is slightly more transparent (clear) where as the fake case is more opaque (cloudy).

On the back of the case, both have "MADE IN JAPAN" molded into the case but one small thing is different. >PP< is molded on the inside of the real case. On the back of the case, its looks backwards (as shown in picture). This is not molded on to the fake case.

But most importantly is the filter itself. Both are glass and you can tell by the weight and by tapping it. But from what I've read online when I did my search to see how I can tell if it was real or fake was to take a look at the font for the Nikon logo. It's hard to tell if its correct or not when you have nothing to compare it to. As you can see from the image, the Nikon logo is ever so slightly different and so are the colors. The logo on the real filter is slightly more bold. The "Nikon NC 77mm MADE IN JAPAN" is also closer together where as the fake is more spread apart and is missing "MADE IN...". The "77" is slightly different as well. On the real filter, it has a curved bottom where as the fake is straight.

When laid flat side by side, the real filter is slightly thinner than the fake filter.

You must ask, how am I sure that its fake and not real? There are a lot of differences between the two. The real filter was purchased from an authorized Nikon retailer. When items are manufactured, they are all consistent in packaging and design when it comes off the production line, especially when they are "Made in Japan". They never vary. I can go to a different authorized Nikon retailer and it would be identical to the one shown above. The fake looks real when you have nothing else to compare it to but they always leave out things that make it stand out without the need to compare it to something (I.E. manual).

Other than packaging and filter appearance, is there any difference in the quality of pictures? Honestly, I couldn't tell a difference. Even just placing both filters on a white piece of paper, they both looked clear. As stated in the beginning, there's nothing a little post processing in Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop or other photo editing programs can't fix or adjust.

Want to avoid being scammed? Avoid purchasing filters from eBay...especially from sellers in Hong Kong, China or Asian countries. These are where counterfeits usually come from (just look at all the fake Sandisk memory cards on eBay). For sense of security and comfort, I highly recommend purchasing real filters from B&H Photo or Adorama. You can't go wrong.

B&W filters is another filter that has fakes and is highly copied.


This article was featured on NikonRumors, Fstoppers, Crave Asia (Asia CNET), Crave CNET, UniquePhoto.

Project 365: Day 46 - Crying Elvis?

A crying Elvis? What or whoever it is, this is what I see on my iMac at work.

Project 365: Day 45 - Valentine's Day

Mysterious at work love bug knows how to entertain.

This Week in Photography History

Quote Of The Week
“Photography is the easiest thing in the world if one is willing to accept pictures that are flaccid, limp, bland, banal, indiscriminately informative, and pointless. But if one insists in a photograph that is both complex and vigorous it is almost impossible.” – John Szarkowski (1925-2007, photographer and curator)

This Week In Photography History
21-1Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto on February 18, 1930 through examining photographs of the section of sky beyond Neptune.

Photographs were taken over a period of time using an astrograph, essentially a telescope for celestial photography, thirteen inch long with three elements set for f5.3. By using a machine that rapidly switched between photos, he identified the one moving object as a new planet.

brought to you by B&H Photo.

Project 365: Day 43 - God of Wealth

Cai Shen Dao – God of Wealth.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

Overview : The new Photography and Cinema Pistol Grip is the only camera handle grip available with a wide platform. The large plastic molded handle makes working with small cameras more ergonomic and stable when shooting video.

A rubber platform prevents slippage when the camera is mounted to the stage using the standard 1/4x20 threaded stud.

The included threaded D-Ring allows the PNC Handle to be attached to a carabiner which in turn can be hooked onto keyrings, keychains, belt loops, etc.

A small metal insert below the handle allows you to attach a PNC friction arm for carrying an extra accessory such as an LED light, Microphone, or Portable audio recorder.

Using two grips and a friction arm will create a nice hand held stabilizer for your small video cameras.

Features :
  • Rubberized grip
  • Supports cameras such as point-and-shoot, camcorders, micro 4/3 and DSLR
  • Supports accessories such as LED, microphones and audio recorders

Quality/Usability : The pistol grips on the market are narrow at the top which are geared more towards camcorders since they aren't as wide. These days we are using point-and-shoot, micro 4/3 and even DSLR's to shoot HD video. With these types of digital cameras, they are wide. On a narrow grip, there is barely enough support.

So Photography and Cinema (PNC) has released a pistol grip that is not only for camcorders but also for digital cameras. The grip is still narrow where it can support a camcorder but now, the grip has extended its base wider to accommodate digital cameras. This gives better stability and support for when the camera is mounted. To prevent the camera from sliding, there is a rubber pad.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

To mount the camera, simple place your camera onto the screw and turn the red dial clockwise to tighten it onto your camera or counter-clockwise to loosen it.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

With a lightweight camera such as a micro 4/3 or point-and-shoot camera, you can hold the pistol grip with one hand.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

But when you mount a DSLR and lens with or without battery grip, its gets heavy. You can hold the DSLR with one hand but only for so long before your arm gets tired. So you'll need your other hand to help provide additional support.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip
Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

The bottom of the grip allows you to attached the included D-ring. With the D-ring, you can attach a carabiner that can be attached to your belt, keyring, backpack or camera sling strap such as the Carry Speed CS-Slim, CS-PRO. There's even a hole to thread a wrist strap.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

Conclusion : Overall, the Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip is very comfortable in the hands. The pistol grip is very sturdy and able to support a DSLR with no problems. The threaded screw mount at the bottom is a nice feature which allows you to attach the included D-ring or even a sling strap for portability. I can see myself using this more with my Canon PowerShot S100 instead of my Nikon D7000, since its small and portable.

Taking a video with a small camera can get tiring on the hands and fingers. With the grip, I can hold my camera for a longer period of time.

PNC also offers a package where you can purchase two (2) grips and 11" friction arm. This allows you to connect both grips together. One will hold the camera and the other will hold your accessory whether it be a microphone or LED light. This resembles a flash bracket but much more comfortable. See below for link to purchase.

Manufacturer: Photography and Cinema
Site: Buy from Photography and Cinema / Buy from Amazon

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