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ICC Profile For Soft-Proofing Our Wide Format Printer

Good news for all you fans of our Photo Lab! We have just today re-profiled our Epson 7880 with our preferred Epson Premium Luster today! That's the combo we use for many of the larger prints that go out to satisfied customers. And, with the new profile fresh in hand we're going to make it available to all of you looking to do a little color calibration and soft proofing before sending your images over. For now this only applies to photos printed 11x14 and over on luster (obviously), but, if you're all digging it we might maybe try some for our small format printer and its two papers as well.

If you're not sure why this is awesome, having a printer's calibrated profile around will let certain programs like Adobe's excellent Lightroom 5 "soft proof" an image for printing. That is, it will simulate for you what an image would look like coming out of our printer on the luster paper so you can make any perceptual tweaks you want to knowing the final you see will be really darn close to what the print comes out looking like (accounting for things like ambient lighting and such).

As seen on screen (left) versus soft-proofed for our printer (right)

As seen on screen (left) versus soft-proofed for our printer (right). Note how the right side shows a decrease in brightness and contrast.

You download the profile here:

To install, try the following:


Download the file to anywhere you can find, right click on it and choose Install. Windows makes this pretty easy, actually.


In theory, you should just need to copy the file into /Library/ColorSync/Profiles for it to be usable by all users in all apps (you'll need admin access to the computer).

You can also install it just for yourself by using your personal library instead in /Users/[your_user_name_here]/Library/ColorSync/Profiles

If you're trying to use it in Adobe on a Mac and it's not showing up despite being installed in one of those two folders, you can copy it directly into Adobe's folder and solve that tidily: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Color/Profiles/Recommended


DxO Examines A Slew Of Lenses On The Nikon D600

In fact, there are only a few lenses that deliver higher sharpness mounted on the Nikon D800 and even then the best performing lenses provide just 12% higher sharpness from a 30% increase in Raw file size. Given the price, this all makes the D600 look particularly attractive.

Now there's an interesting factoid for you, and from a source as empirical as DxO it's one that carries a lot of weight. Read more about that as well as which lenses from a selection of seventy perform the best on Nikon's newest generation of high-resolution sensors via the external link. The results are often about as you'd expect, but there are some real surprises in the list (such as Nikon's 24-70 and Tamron's 24-70 coming in at a draw, for example).


An Interesting Interview About Developing Tamron's 24-70mm VC


Call me biased (because I am), but I actually really enjoyed reading this interview with the people at Tamron who helped develop their new SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD lens, the first image-stabilized 24-70mm. Those of you who've only ever shot Nikon or Canon might not understand the appeal of such a thing, since their company line has always been that at shorter focal lengths and f2.8 stabilization isn't need, but any of you who've had a system with in-body IS will likely know just how handy it is even on fast standards. But, making one work for full-frame was apparently an endeavor, and the developers talk about shrinking the VC unit and giving it more power, developing their own USM focus drive, figuring out an optical formula to keep the lens shorter, and more. It's a good read, especially for what's proving to be a gray and chilly Indiana Friday out here. Read it yourself via the source link.


Nikon Provides Document For Understanding Wireless Trigger System

We just got a nice update from our Nikon rep regarding their ever-expanding and increasingly-complex wireless trigger system. In his words:

As you know, the Nikon remote control system is one of the more versatile systems on the market today.  From the enthusiast level ML-L3 to the recently introduced pro level WR-1 - Nikon has got its DSLR, COOLPIX and Nikon 1 customers covered.  This system is quite extensive and can sometimes be confusing – the questions usually start at: "what remote do I need for my camera?"

To answer this question and help you suggest to your customers the correct accessory, the web team along with technical managers have produced a Nikon Remote Control Compatibility chart that includes the newest released accessories; WR-1, WR-T10/WR-A-10 and WR–R10. It even includes the new COOLPIX cameras announced just last night.

It's a pretty handy document, and, until the Nikon link goes live we've uploaded it to our own server so you can reference it if you need help puzzling it all out. Grab it at the link below.

Nikon Wireless/Wired Trigger Guide


Panasonic Invents Technology That Could Improve Low-Light Performance A Full Stop


I was just reading a neat article on this new technology that Panasonic has invented which replaces the traditional Bayer RGB color filter with a layer of micro-prisms. They're promising up to a stop of better sensor performance due to the fact that light transmission is almost 100% through the prisms, instead of closer to 50% through the dyes of the traditional color filter. It's all very interesting stuff, if you're into the technicals of modern imaging. If it sounds like your cuppa, hit the external link to go read DPReview's full coverage of it. It's worth it.


iFixit and Chipworks' Tear Into a D600, Reveal Guts and Sensor Origins


Just a quickie here, following up on the post the other week about who's sensors are made by who, but DPReview has just linked to both iFixIt's teardown of the D600 and Chipworks' analysis of its sensor. I'll save you all the suspense and let you know Chipworks concluded it's a Sony-made chip, but for the rest of the ooey-gooey tech-porn goodness you should hit up the source link and hop over to DPReview.


A Look At Sensor Fabs and Tech, For The Full-Frame Crowd

Cross-Section of D800 Sensor, by Chipworks

This is for those of you who are into the nitty gritty of how your camera works, and where the actual components that make up their ooey-gooey insides come from. For example, the sensors. Like LCDs, sensors are an electrical component of some great complexity, and are often sourced from outside vendors or fabbers, either off the shelf or to a manufacturer's unique spec. Nikon cameras, especially, since the dominance of their full-frame low-light shooters have often been surrounded by speculation about whether or not rival and undeniably-skilled chip-maker Sony has been providing the hearts of Nikon's well-received shooters.

Enter Chipworks, a Canadian-based company that performs forensic analysis of, well, chips. They've been tracking the sensors inside  full-frame cameras for a decade now, and they know the list of suppliers and fabbers who can make such devices and how products from them look. Which means they can make some pretty intelligent guesses as to exactly where that sensor in your camera came from, and end the guessing games. They also have some thoughts about the tech being used by different makers, and a few loose speculations about what the future might focus on. But I'm pretty sure you're just interested in seeing where your Nikon and Canon FF chips are from. So, I'll let you go now. Hit the external link below and check out Chipworks' blog for the answers.


SanDisk Creates 128-gigabit Wafers with 3-bits Per Cell

We don't often talk memory on here, but considering most of our cameras would be pretty well just really high-tech paperweights without modern NAND memory technologies, we thought maybe we'd stp and talk about SanDisk's new breakthrough. Notably, they've found a way to make a smaller, thinner (and we're talking "thinner" for something that already has to be defined in nanometers here) wafer that's smaller than an American penny but can hold 128GB and stores 3-bits per cell instead of the usual two, making it possibly the highest specced NAND of its type announced right now. Why do you care? Some analysts are saying it might only cost $0.28 per gigiabyte to manufacturer these new wafers, which means the progress of larger cards with faster speeds for less money is continuing unabated, that's why. And, that's gotta make you happy, right?

Press release after the jump, for all the nerdy details.

read more


Nikon Patents DSLR/Projector Combo in Japan

So, you know what's cooler than a point-and-shoot with an integral projector. A DSLR with an integral projector. And apparently, Nikon agrees, since it's filed a patent for exactly that. Now, we want to say that again, a patent for it. That doesn't mean that this is coming anytime soon, or that we'll ever see it. If we had a cookie for every awesome patent we've seen Canon file but not use so far, well, we could give a certain popular kid's show icon a glimpse of nirvana.

That said, the idea looks cool, and if we're reading that little schematic there right, it looks like the projector would bounce the image from up inside the prism back out through the lens. That sounds awesome.

Anyway, you can read the whole thing online if you jump through some crazy hoops, but we'll let the post over at Engadget explain how to do that, since we learned it from them.