Focus on Imaging 2010

We’re really excited about this year’s Focus on Imaging at the Birmingham NEC. It’s always a great opportunity for us to meet up with a lot of our suppliers and chat about their new products. We’ll be headding up there on Monday, it’s nice because it’ll be a lot quieter and hopefully allow a bit more 1:1 time with our vendors.

It’s also a great opportunity for us to meet up with a lot of our photographer friends, we’re hoping to hook up with Julian and Sue Porter, who are great friends of ours. They offer some great workshops, ranging from basic camera awareness to full on wildlife shoots. I’m also hoping to catch up with Guy Collier and Simon Jones, who are a pair of guys i’ve know for a while. They do great work and it’s nice to get the chance to meet up and chat about stuff.

If you are there on monday and want to meet up, drop me an email or find me on facebook! We’d love to chat!

I’m really looking forward to checking out the thinktank stand….more bags! I’m sounding way too metro-sexual already!

Update!

We had a great time at Focus. We ambled up at around 11am…which was great because we had no traffic and the drive was really easy. Listened to Elbow, Gnarles Barkley and Moby on the way and we were really chilled by the time we got to the hall. We sauntered in with our Pro-passes (along with about a zillion other pro-togs).

First up for us was the Ilford stand, tried out some of their new papers. Which a slight improvement on their already excellent product. We like their Smooth Pearl paper, it’s the most like a “wet print” that we’ve seen. Later in the year we’ll be swapping over to their new papers. It takes a while to profile and ensure the colours sit right.

We popped along to our Wall print supplier, who not only recognised my name and studio. They also remembered the last two block mounts that i’ve ordered. We must have made a big impression on them! They have just announced a new acrylics which looks stunning. So in a few weeks time, we’ll have one of our shot made as one on our studio walls. Lez ran us through their current product range and they really do great work.

I had great fun on the Sigma stand. I tried their 500mm f4.5, which was stunning. Then I had a go on the barmy 200-500mm f2.8, it’s big and green and looks military and a snip at £12K! But the real star of their stand was the mighty 300-800mm f5.6. What a beast! What a stunner!

Then I headed over to the Canon stand, where I bumped into Jeff Ascough. A good friend and fellow wedding photographer, I’ve been on countless of his seminars over the years and I’m a big fan of his work. We chatted about the new 1DmkIV and he asked a few of his Canon mates and arranged for me to have a play with a pre-production 70-200/2.8 IS L mkII. Which was very nice indeed and rather unexpected. I then played with the uber-sweet TS-e 17mm L. Jeff is such a warm and friendly guy and is always an education to chat to. I then walked up to the big white lens balcony and played with a 400/2.8 IS L….the stuff of legends.

Leanne trying out the new MKII f2.8 for size...could be expensive!

Loxley’s new range of Belissimo flush mount albums were really nice, so we’ll be adding a 14×10″ and 16×12″ to our range in a few months. Their new matted albums were on display, but were pre-production. So i’m hoping to get a demo album made next month and we’ll see how they go. They’ll slot in under our Jorgensen range next year (who have just put up their prices by 30%).

This lens is stunning, but I think the TS-e 24 II L is more me!

I dropped by the Epson and Canon large printer stands…their new 60″ printers are awesome, expensive and very big! The prints from them are amazing though, some of the best I’ve seen.

The real star of the show was the Think Tank stand. Leanne picked up a new Urban Disguise 65, which is a very cool little bag. Which amazingly, she can get all of her kit in! I loved the new Urban Disguise 70 pro, and their new Airport international backpack would be perfect for my international landscape jet-setting. They also let me play with their new retrospective bag. If it had been available…I would have come home a poorer but bag-happy man. Their Retrospective 20 and lens changer 2 bags are exactly what I’ve looking for all these years.

Lunch is often a tedious wait at Focus….so we slipped out and had a great Subway. It also gave us a chance to read over our gathered printed material….and dump the stuff that we didn’t want. The Subway Latte’s were very welcome too!

We stopped by the Flash Centre’s stand, that looked like a lot of fun. We played with their new battery pack explorer XT…gotta get the studio one of those for out doors shoots! We saw lots of albums, Moo cards (love their stuff), lots of big framed prints, and finally we descended on the Nikon stand. I’m not really a Nikon man, although i really respect their gear. I tried their new 24mm f1.4 on a D700 and it was a very sweet combination. But I will say that the Canon MkII version that I own is a hair sharper and seems to focus more accurately, but that could have been my unfamiliarity with the Nikon AF system.

We left the show at about 6pm, tired but very bouncy. We had a great gear-festive time and the best bit is that we hardly spent any cash! Yay!

Wowa!

300mm

2x on the zoom ring...serious magnification!

2x on the zoom ring, 600mm

Maxxed out at 800mm...that's serious magnification!

Maxxed out at 800mm....that's serious magnification! 800mm detail shot

 

The same view but from a 35mm lens...Lol!

  

800mm detail shot