Can Better Shades Improve Lens Performance?

written by: Robert Zeichner

Many leading photographers and instructors have commented that the tripod and cable release are the handiest accessories ever devised for improving picture sharpness.That fact can be proven with just about any combination of camera and lens. But what about lens shades? It seems obvious that eliminating the flare caused by bright sources of light that aren’t part of the picture, will increase contrast and therefore apparent sharpness. In the motion picture industry, camera operators, through their assistants, have gone to great lengths to make certain that lenses are effectively shaded by using various types of matte boxes and hard matte Read more »


Why You Need High-Quality Tripod Ballheads

written by: Nick Zavalishin

WHO NEEDS A TRIPOD? You do! Regardless of the camera you use, your photos will be sharper with a good tripod/head combination. Besides our own shakiness, cameras produce multiple vibrations every time you release the shutter. SLRs, the pro shooter’s favorite, are the most prone to vibration-induced image softness. Every time you release the shutter, the mirror swings up and comes to a sudden stop, the lens diaphragm is jolted to the selected aperture, and a shutter curtain opens, coming to a sudden stop. This sequence begins a fraction of a second before your exposure, and the vibration it causes Read more »