Hi {name},

Welcome to Lenscraft in Focus for August 2021.

It’s been a couple of months since the last newsletter as I needed to take a break in June to recharge a little. It also gave me chance to experiment with the Panasonic G9 camera that I bought last year. Switching to a different camera for a prolonged period was a very interesting exercise. I found the transition refreshing but difficult. I did though manage to capture a few images I like including this one whilst on holiday in Cornwall.

Lencraft in Focus August 2021 newsletter intro image

I also received two great emails following June’s newsletter. The first was from Erez Marom thanking me for featuring him as my “Photographer you might not know”. That was nice but what made it better was receiving a thank you email from a photographic club in Herefordshire. After reading about Erez they booked him for a Zoom presentation which I believe was a great success. Knowing that I helped to create this connection makes compiling and distributing the newsletter well worth the effort.

I hope this month’s newsletter is equally as useful and enjoyable to you. Also don’t miss the details of my free prize draw; I have a license for the new Nik Collection 4 to give away.


New Lenscraft Content

Over the past month, I’ve published a few new tutorials. Here’s the list of what you can find on Lenscraft.

My Simple Approach to Sharpening Photos for Print
In this article, I want to share my simple approach to sharpening photos for print. Actually, I have two approaches. One uses Adobe Lightroom and the other Nik Sharpener Pro…
How to use the Gradient Tool in Affinity Photo
Recently I received an email asking how to use the Gradient Tool in Affinity Photo. Although the Affinity Develop Persona has a Gradient Overlay tool you can use to make…
Topaz Sharpen AI Surprises Me
Recently I’ve found myself increasingly turning to Topaz Sharpen AI (affiliate link) to fix problems with image sharpness. Typically, these are problems where part of the image is too soft,…
Nik Collection 4.1 Release Addresses Bugs and Feedback
Recently DxO launched the Nik Collection 4. This featured significant upgrades to both Viveza and Silver Efex Pro as well as several other enhancements. If you want to know more,…
Integrating DxO PhotoLab and Lightroom
Recently I posted a video explaining how to replace DxO PureRAW with DxO Photolab. As part of this I looked briefly at integrating DxO PhotoLab and Lightroom. This generated quite…
DxO PhotoLab Vs PureRAW - Which is Right for You?
Recently DxO launched their PureRAW product which I reviewed on Lenscraft at the time. Since then, I’ve received a regular flow of emails, often from DxO PhotoLab owners, asking if…

From Around the Internet

Here are a few interesting snippets of photography news I have come across since my previous newsletter.

Free Lenswork Extended Edition

Lenswork Extended

Lenswork photographic magazine has been around for a long time and is an excellent publication which I’ve subscribed to periodically. The print magazine features wonderful black and white imagery from talented photographers, but there’s also an online version with extended content (including colour images).

The other day I received an email with a link to the latest version of the magazine which is free to download. If you’ve never seen Lenswork, it’s well worth downloading your free copy. Here’s the link.


On1 Launches NoNoise AI Software

Noise reduction appears to be a hot area with competition growing. The latest company to enter this arena is On1 who develop the excellent ON1 Photo RAW application. Their offering, On1 NoNoise, boasts a “new standard in quality and speed for removing image noise”. I don’t know if this is true but my initial testing with my RAW files looks very promising.

I’ll be publishing a review in a future newsletter. Until then, you can learn more about On1 NoNoise on the On1 website as well as download a free trial.


And don’t forget to try the LENSCRAFT discount code if you decide to purchase. I’ve been told it works on all software in the On1 shop, but that was before NoNoise AI was released.

New Sekonic Anniversary Light Meter

When I was shooting film exclusively (mostly slide film), a good light meter was an essential part of my kit. After a lot of trial and error with different meters, I eventually invested in the Sekonic L-758D. It was an excellent light meter, but I came to realise it suffered from one flaw. It was too large. Today when shooting film, I use an excellent and tiny Sekonic Twinmate L-208 (which I love). That’s possibly why my attention was grabbed by the announcement and pictures of the new Sekonic light meter.

It’s based on the original 1956 version of the Studio Deluxe meter and is a thing of beauty. It’s a special edition of the excellent L-398A has been limited to just 700 units. Available in burgundy and rose gold, this special L-398A comes in a Japanese Lacquer Box with cushion for safe storage, a special leather case and strap and a 70th Anniversary Edition Plate.

The Limited-Edition L-398A can be used for both still photography and cinematography with features including:

  • Swivel head and precise reading of information
  • Passive solar cell without battery
  •  Lumidisc for measurements of contrast and intensity of light
  • Lumigrid for reflected light measurement
  •  Blocking of the needle for memorising the measurement

Despite these features, if I buy one, I will continue to use my Twinmate L-208. I just want to look at the L-398A in its box.

Nik Collection 4 Prize Draw

To celebrate the launch of the new Nik Collection 4 DxO has kindly given me a Nik Collection 4 license which I’m giving away in a free prize draw. I’ll be asking my wife to draw the prize winner at random on Monday 16th August 2021. To enter, register your details using this form.


All entries will be deleted once a winner is confirmed and your data will not be used for any other purpose. There is only one license key available to the winner and no alternative prize. The draw is only open to Lenscraft in Focus newsletter subscribers. If you share this link with anyone, please remind them to subscribe before entering.

Good luck.

Kase Double Filters

Kase Double Filters

Every so often you come across an idea that’s so simple and elegant that you wonder “why hasn’t someone thought of that before”. For me, the double filter is one such idea.

The Kase Double Filters are for the standard 100mm holder and are 150mm long. But instead of having a graduated filter at one end, you have them at both ends. This saves weight by reducing the number of filters you need to carry. The only downside I can see is that the filter combinations are currently limited. I’m hoping they extend the range because this is a great idea.

You will find the filters on the Kase UK website. If you decide to order any Kase filters, please help me by using the affiliate link below. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.


DxO PureRAW 1.2 Launches

Back in April, I reviewed the newly launched DxO PureRAW software. This is a RAW file pre-processor to help photographers take advantage of the great RAW processing of DxO without changing RAW converters. If you didn’t see my review at the time, you can watch it here https://youtu.be/pAeoRSfkyo0. I think PureRAW a great idea for someone who wants to stay with the likes of Lightroom but take advantage of the DxO image quality.

Now DxO has released version 1.2 of Pure RAW featuring support for five new cameras and 26 new lenses. This version also includes fixes for minor bugs in the original software. PureRAW 1.2 is available for Mac and Windows users for £115. Existing PureRAW users can download this update for free.

Note for DxO PhotoLab Users

If you’re a DxO PhotoLab user, you already have access to the same great image quality that you see with PureRAW, but with more control. I explain how I set up and use DxO PhotoLab to replace PureRAW in this video (https://youtu.be/xCSF9kfCrRk).

Photographers You May Not Know – Philip Slotte

Philip Slotte website

Philip Slotte is a 25 year old landscape and travel photographer based in Stockholm. He started photography only 9 years ago using his phone before getting a digital camera; a gift from his parents. They must be very proud as his excellent work. He has now been featured by the likes of National Geographic, PetaPixel and DIY Photography.

Please do take a few minutes to visit his website portfolio at https://www.philipslotte.se/. He has some beautiful images.

Books & Course News

Latest book and course news.

Landscape Photo Editing Conundrum

Although I took a break this past couple of months, I did return to writing the Landscape Photo Editing book I’ve previously mentioned. But then I quickly found myself facing a problem. I want the book to explain my editing process for landscape images and how I go my work. Whilst writing, I came to realise that I use a wide range of tools and frequently switch between them. I doubt many people will own or want to use the range of software that I use. I therefore feel the project needs a rethink and I’ve parked it for the present.

This has however given me time to return to the task of rewriting some of my early books. Currently, I’m working on Photoshop Layers which is a complete rewrite of the first book. I will share more information in a future newsletter.

Until next month, stay safe.

Robin Whalley

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