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Unboxing the $4,000 55mm F1.4 Zeiss Otus (Postman Fro)

Jared Polin September 10, 2014 Comments Off on Unboxing the $4,000 55mm F1.4 Zeiss Otus (Postman Fro)

I had the opportunity to get my hands on the Zeis Otus 55mm F1.4 not to long ago from As some of you know I have already done a comparison review of the Outus vs Sigma 50mm F1.4 and you can find the results right here.

What would you expect when unboxing a $4,000 lens? Amazing packaging, quality sniff test or simply a lighter wallet. Like I said during my review, I personally can not see spending that much money on such a specialized lens.

But as is my goal with everything I post on the site, it is up to you to determine based off the information I present whether or not these items are right for you.

Please check out

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POSTMAN FRO Brought Me A New Laptop

Jared Polin September 4, 2014 Comments Off on POSTMAN FRO Brought Me A New Laptop

It’s not every day you decide to purchase a new laptop. When I purchase a new Macbook Pro I expect that it will be my 3-5 year portable.

The question I was wrestling with over this purchase was should I get the 13in or the 15in. I currently have a four year old 13in Macbook Pro that is fine for editing photos, surfing the internet and that’s pretty much all I use it for.

I personally have enjoyed traveling with the 13 inch over the past few years but I have to take into consideration what this laptop will be used for. With Stephen coming on full time and us taking RAWtalk around the world, it’s become clearer that a powerful video editing machine was needed.

Since that was the case the only way to go is a maxed out 15 in Macbook Pro. There honestly is no way around it, you get four cores and a dedicated video card. You get the retina display and a fast SSD with thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

So for those reasons I ended up with the larger laptop but could not be happier with the purchase. I officially love the size, weight and functionality that this computer offers.

Thank you POSTMAN FRO for dropping it at my door.

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Nikon D810 VS Nikon D800: Unboxing And Sniff Test

Jared Polin July 18, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D810 VS Nikon D800: Unboxing And Sniff Test

Before we jump into this unboxing and SNIFF TEST from please keep in mind this is just that, an unboxing and sniff test. That means what I am comparing are pretty much the physical features of the two cameras. Oh yes, we can’t forget the wind tunnel test.

If you are looking for the full PREVIEW I did of the Nikon D810 please CLICK HERE.

We all know that there are some slight spec changes from the D810 to the D800 but this time around my focus was more on the cosmetic changes. There are some subtle changes that may not seem like much but could mean the difference in getting the shot or not.

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Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens: Is It Worth $950

Jared Polin May 23, 2014 Comments Off on Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens: Is It Worth $950

Since Sigma announced the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens people have been toughing it as the sharpest thing since sliced bread, not that sliced bread is sharp. The major question in my mind is wether or not a 50mm lens is worth almost $1,000.

The Nikon 50mm F1.4 clocks in at only $439 with the Canon F1.4 being $399. This new signma on the other hand is more than double the price of these other 50mm’s. It really is hard to wrap your head around the price difference but is the quality there.


As soon as got in their first copy they gave me a call to come in to unbox and sniff the lens. This is a mini review of sorts with sample images only, not real world shooting situations. As you know I like to really test my gear in the real world opposed to shooting charts and test images. In this case I set up some very simple shots which give me the ability to let you pixel peep all you would like at my files.

Click Here to download four DNG Files (70 megs).
Click Here for the FULL RES Jpeg exports.

First things first, this lens is built extremely well. It feels great in the hands and does not remind you of the lower end Sigma glass. Sigma has spent the last two years focusing on upping their game. Stepping up not just the quality of their products but the quality control.

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DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter Preview

Jared Polin March 28, 2014 Comments Off on DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter Preview

Over the past few months you have been hearing more and more about “Drones” and “quadcopters” flying around capturing photos and video. One of the reasons is a company called DJI has created an easy to use quadcopter.

I am just now starting to learn more and more about these things and when DJI contacted me asking if I wanted to test one out I jumped at the opportunity.

This is a preview of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision. I will be working on an in-depth review and tutorial videos as I learn more about the device.

So far right out of the box it seems pretty much ready to go. It comes with everything you need to get yourself charged up and flying in a matter of an hour. You have your remote controller, the drone itself, the battery and all tools needed to get off the ground.

In the video I mentioned that it seemed light as if the battery was not already in there, I was wrong, the battery was in there. The battery charges up in roughly two hours and will give you 25 minutes of flight time.

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Nikon D4s Unboxing and SNIFF TEST

Jared Polin March 6, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D4s Unboxing and SNIFF TEST

I did not have to wait to long to get my hands on my NEW Nikon D4s. I got the call from Allen at and than I was on my way to the store to pick it up.

But no NEW Camera purchase would be complete without the Unboxing and Sniff Test from the store. There is not much to report different than the D4 other than the adding of the S, a strap that now has an s on it and a battery charger that is now grey. All the major changes take place inside the camera and have me excited to get out and shoot with it. The only major news to report back to you guys is that this camera now has more nipples, a lot more nipples.

What you guys can expect over the next few weeks or months. I do plan on doing a full review of the camera and not one where it’s sample shots shot in a lab. It is one thing to “test” a camera it’s another to actually get out into the world and use it. I am all about getting it out there to use it and not wasting my time pixel peeping or seeing how high the iso will go to shoot that dark corner over there in my loft.

This camera will be shooting a lot of video. It will be used to capture my angle on RAWtalk as well as film many of my other videos for the website.

I look forward to sharing the results with you and I will be sure to upload some RAW files to play with.

If you are looking for any NIKON gear be sure to check out or give them a call at 215.547.2841. They are a mom and pop store that can compete with the big boys and win on customer service.

To pick up a FroKnowsPhoto I SHOOT RAW BlackRapid Strap or I SHOOT RAW T-Shirts please click here.


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Nikon 35 F1.8G FX VS Nikon 35 1.8G DX

Jared Polin March 1, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon 35 F1.8G FX VS Nikon 35 1.8G DX

This unboxing and sniff test at Allens Camera started off like many of the ones I have done in the past. This time around it was time to unbox and sniff the new Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED FX. This lens is priced at just under $600 and I am here to tell you if I think it is worth spending the money.


Like many of my previews I take sample images and allow you to download the RAW files for yourself to pixel peep as much as you would like. Being that this is a preview and I am just giving my first thoughts on the camera I generally look at the sample images while I am at Allens.

What happened this time was slightly different. I took sample images with the new FX 35mm and noticed at 1.8 a ton of vignetting. Now many of you know that Nikon has a 35mm F1.8G for the dx cameras and I personally own one. That lens is very interesting, it is meant for the DX but you can use it on the FX with pretty good results.

Since I noticed so much vignetting with new lens I figured I would compare it to the older version that is not even meant to go on the FX cameras. What I found was at 1.8 there was more vignetting as expected with the DX that you can slightly correct with lightroom.

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Nikon D3300 Unboxing and Sniff Test

Jared Polin February 14, 2014 Comments Off on Nikon D3300 Unboxing and Sniff Test

The Nikon D3300 is Nikon’s latest foray into the entry level market. Replacing the D3200 the D3300 does add some major changes from the prior model.

One of the biggest changes is the new 24 megapixel CMOS sensor that removes the OLPF. It is quite possible that the sensor in this camera is the same that is in the D7100. If that is the case the images that come out of this camera are gong to not only be sharp but they will pop.

In terms of build quality this camera is feather light. Yes that means it is all plastic and cheap feeling. But again this is a very low end entry model and they try to keep the price down.

If you are just starting out in Photography and you want to capture stills and video this camera has plenty to offer. But like I say all the time it is more about the glass than the body. You can have the best body in the world with the worst lens on it and get terrible results. Or you could have an entry level camera with better glass and get quality results.

So if you are just starting out my advice is learn the basic functions of your camera as well as the fundamentals of the exposure triangle.

Or on the flip side if you just want to take pictures and video and not really dive into anything else, just have fun.

Check out or call 215.547.2841 for more information.

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Right before we jump into this video, if you haven’t signed up for the froknowsphoto e-mail list, you could do so over at Just look for this orange box. If you click on it, it takes you over there. Put your name, e-mail address and hit send it, and I’ll send you a free guide to capturing motion in lowlight situations.

Jared Polin, welcome to Allen’s Camera where I have the Nikon D3300 with the new 1855 VR II. That’s right. It’s a new kit lens. It’s lighter, sharper, faster and it sounds like a what’s that bands name? What’s that bands name? Lighter, quicker, stronger, faster, you know, they have their helmets on. Anyway those guys, anyways let’s on boxes give it a sniff test and see what we think about it. Let’s just go over the specs real quick.

I wrote them down because there are some major just key specs that I want to hit first. 24.2 megapixel sensor with no OLPF, what does that mean? It’s possible that this has the D7100 sensor in it, which is cranking out some really sharp, colorful contrasting and boomfied [Phonetic] [0:01:12] images that I so far like. Now Nikon couldn’t verify whether it is the same sensor, or most likely it is. You have your 3-inch LCD screen which is fine, 11 point AF that’s a big deal. Remember back to something like a D70 and you had maybe 5 and then a D40. You had 3 11 points focusing 11 point focusing system in this, and 5 frames a second is pretty darn quick for a base bottom of the line entry-level DSLR camera. ISO upto 25,600 so no longer can anybody ever complain that they can’t shoot at higher ISOs, but remember better glass is always important to get better shots. And it does not have wireless built-in that’s something that you can add separately. It would be nice if they did add it in.

And what do you get this for? Under 650 bucks out. Now that it is an unbelievable price. And for a beginner, anybody just starting out, looking for their very first DSLR camera this is going to do everything that you need from still images to HD video at 1080P. So that’s what you’re looking for, and this could be it. So let’s unbox to sniff it, and tell you what else I think about it. Boom, oh this is the Version 2 lens. Let’s see if it’s 25% lighter and sharper. Oh yeah it’s definitely lighter. It now has a button on the side to lock it and unlock it. It’s a kit lens. For anybody just starting out the kit lens is going to be very, very basic. It’s going to do a fine job. It’s not the end-all be-all, but just starting out get to learn your camera, get to learn what you’re doing, then you can upgrade to something else in the future so you got that lens, let’s get out the body, let’s just feel what it’s like and then we’ll wrappy make wrap us in it up.

So it’s wrapped up in the Styrofoamy popping buttons, no Styrofoam. Oh yeah, South Beach smell, because it has that suntan lotion oil smell go into it. Yeah you like that so smaller camera, extremely light without a battery in there. But again you got to remember baseline camera right off the bat if you’re just looking to do some basic still images, it’s going to do a great job. You’re looking to make little short videos and you’re starting to figure out how to progress as a videographers it’s a okay place to start. What makes it better for a video camera now is that Nikon has finally included a mike input meaning you could get something like I’m wearing or you could get a road Smart Lab [Phonetic] [0:03:43] which is going to give you a better audio. Very simple, you’ve got your on/off switch. You’ve got your record video. The back is very easily or very well put together. Everything is where it should be and you’ll take your one SD card right there.

Other than that this thing is the lightest thing I’ve ever felt. I can’t believe that this is a camera and I can’t believe that it’s not butter, but it is extremely light. It’s all plastic, but it is what it is for 650 bucks just a little less than that to get into the game with DSLR video and photos. This is going to be a nice option. So that is what we have this time. That’s an Unboxing and Sniff test of the Nikon D3300 from Allen’s Camera. If you’d like to pick one up or anything that Nikon offers check out Give him a call. The phone number is on the screen and they will help you out, and there you have it Jared Polin, see ya.

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POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Jared Polin February 8, 2014 Comments Off on POSTMAN FRO Said Let There Be Light: F&V Lighting

Since coming back from Vegas and doing our first mobile RAWtalk I have been on the search for portable lighting. I want something that is powerful, easy to travel with and affordable. I think I may have found the solution I have been looking for.

I got turned on to F&V Lighting by Todd Wolfe who has been directing music videos, feature films and my FroKnowsPhoto Guides. F&V has a panel system that is light, portable and powerful.

Postman FRO brought a bunch of new toys from them to my door for me to play with. Over the next few months I will be testing out the gear to see first if it is quality and second if it is simple and easy to use.

My hopes are that these lights become my solution for making RAWtalks on the road as well as videos at Allens Camera. These light panels can run off of AC power as well as generic sony rechargeable batteries. I was told that I should get around 8 hours of power out of two batteries running each panel. To have such portable lasting power with bright ass lights is exactly what I am looking for.

I did a lot of research into F&V lighting and found out that for the past couple years they have been an OEM. For those who don’t know what that it is means they have manufactured lighting for other companies to put their name on it. My feeling has always been, if another company is willing to put their name on your OEM product than it must be quality and worth it.

For clarification they are not a sponsor and as of now the units they sent me are for me to test and then send back. If this changes and they let me keep the gear or they become a sponsor I will let you know.

Give them a check out at

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 11.38.56 AM

Click here to read the video transcript

Jared Polin: Its postman fro with a package for you. Bing Bong. It’s your generic package. Hello. Anybody in there? I’ve got your package. Its postman fro with the generic package. Yeah. Oh my god it’s my generic package. What could it be? Yeah. It’s so amazing. Okay postman fro thank you alright. Oh I got so much stuff that I needed to help her today. Thank you postman fro for showing up today at my door with this big case. It’s almost a hard case.

Oh yeah smells like footlocker. Footlocker smell not like dirty foot. Anyway what is in this case is what we want to talk about. This is from F&V Lighting. That’s If you guys recall back to the froknowsphoto RAWtalk from Las Vegas we had no extra lighting that we traveled with, and I wanted to find a solution to travel with that would give us the lighting solution that I’ve already said three times. That would give us the solution that we were looking for to travel and have a lightning kit that would allow us to bring in our own light, and that’s exactly what F&V Lighting has supplied us with right here. I did my research. I found them as a company that makes LED panels, and they’re not terribly too expensive. This is part of the three LED panel set. This is a one by one, so it’s 12 inches by 12 inches. I believe it has 450 or so LEDs in here individual lights on the back here it has Anton Bauer plate which I didn’t even know what was. But I can attach an AC power adapter here or a battery plate because it uses a generic Sony battery that most video cameras use it. F&V sells for 19 bucks a pop so I put the plate on here, I’ll get anywhere from five to eight hours of life out of that which is pretty insane.

There’s a dimmer up here. You’ve got your power switch. So I want to travel with something like this. Three of these lights are going to put out enough light for us that it’s going to be just worth it for us to travel with. There’s also the diffusion panels right here. So we’ll figure out how to attach to those to the front, looks like there’s some screwy mic screwersin [Phonetic] [0:02:28] and really you also have fold up small light stands not very big, not very heavy. And the idea here is I’m not sure that we can travel with this case itself, but it is possible that I can get a pelican case that this whole thing fits in, or I can get a pelican case that we can take everything out of it and put it in so we can travel and check it underneath the airplane because that’s what we would love to do.

But I’m really looking forward to use these. These are the daylight version. They also make a tungsten version. I’m really looking forward to it because we want a solution and I think this could come in handy especially when I go to Allen’s Camera to make my video so that’s one thing they sent me. They also sent me this panel right here. This goes on top of your camera. So if you’re running and gunning and you need to get some extra light you could also have some an assistant hold it wherever they want. It takes I believe its six double As or you would get one of the rechargeable batteries, which I highly recommend doing. And then the last thing that they sent to try out is a ring light of LEDs with multiple – there it is. There’s all the LEDs. We have multiple diffusion panels on the front. It also is dimmable here on the back and takes a rechargeable battery. This one doesn’t take double As but I’m really thinking that this would be great for stills. You put your lens through here like this hold on, on the lens through here. This would be like ooh. And what it does to put is – puts the ring light around people’s eyes, which is pretty darn good.

So really, that’s a quick look at some of the F&V Lighting that postman fro brought. I highly suggest you check out F&V Lighting. They are not a sponsor, but maybe one day they will be if I decide that I like it, and they have some marketing dollars and we like it, but oh my God you could be like an airplane person or you could be like ooh, ooh, ooh you know like this one, but anyway, these are pretty cool. I’m like, and I think you guys would like to check out their stuff. Just take a look at the site Thank you postman fro Jared Polin, see ya.

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All Photographers Need a Card Reader Is the Lexar Hub for you?

Jared Polin January 17, 2014 Comments Off on All Photographers Need a Card Reader Is the Lexar Hub for you?

Postman Fro just dropped off another package on his way to the bar.

Let me start off by saying LEXAR is not a sponsor, this is not an ad, this is simply an unboxing and sniff test of a piece of gear.

This time around Postman Fro dropped off the Lexar Hub HR1 Card Reader. This one so happens to belong to Stephen as it was a gift he got over the holidays.

As photographers we all need to have a way of getting the images from the card to our computers. I have had many different card readers over the past 10 years but never have I had one that takes up to four memory cards. I once had one that took CF and SD but that was the extent of it.

The Lexar Hub so happens to be USB 3.0 which means you are going to get super fast transfer rates when connected to a USB 3.0 port. But before you can transfer anything you actually need to purchase some extra accessories.

The Hub itself will run you $79.99 which is not bad in the least for a professional card reader. You pretty much are paying for an empty shell and you will have to purchase anywhere from one to four card readers. You can choose from SD and CF which will run you just under $30. You also have an option of picking up an XQD card reader for around $40.

Each card reader can act as a stand alone USB 3.0 reader which I found to be a really great option. If you travel a lot, you wont take the hub with you but you may take one or two of the smaller card readers.

The key feature to the hub is the fact that it will transfer multiple cards at a time. That means you can load it up with any combo of card and start transferring them all.

I have yet to test out or use this card reader but I am looking to pick the hub up with two CF, one SD and on XQD reader.

Like I always say, do not cheap out on cards and now on top of that do not cheap out on card readers. Your pictures are the most important thing you have so make sure your card reader is not the thing that messes them up.

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