"Lensbaby, Nik Software, Drobo Warranty" - Digital Photography Podcast 360

This week's stories: Using Lensbaby on Micro Four Thirds to create shallow depth of field, what's going on with Nik Software, a look at Drobo warranty and technical support, and what's coming up this week.

Story #1 - Lensbaby Composer Pro for Micro Four-Thirds cameras- One of the few drawbacks to shooting with micro four thirds cameras is that their images display a greater depth of field. For many shoots, this isn't a problem, and it's often a blessing.

But for those occasions when I want very shallow depth of field, I've experimented with the Lensbaby Composer Pro for micro four thirds. This $300 accessory has a focal length of 50mm and tilts from zero to 17.5 degrees.

You manually focus the Lensbaby using its well-dampened focusing ring, then alter the shallow depth of field effect by adjusting the metal swivel ball. Because you do have to manually focus, I recommend using the Lensbaby with an electronic viewfinder. For the first time ever, I can get radical shallow depth of field with a micro four thirds camera.

BTW: The Lensbaby Composer Pro is available in many mounts, including Canon and Nikon too.

Story #2 - What's going on with Nik Software? I noticed this week that Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 was not available for sale on B&H Photo or Amazon. Wondering is this is a result of the purchase of Nik by Google. If you know something about this, please post a comment in the Show notes.

Story #3 - Drobo Support and Warranty - The Drobo 5D comes with a 2 year warranty and 90 days of technical support. As you end the 90 day period, you can purchase Drobo Care for $169 a year. That includes 24x7 technical support, can be renewed for one year period as long as the product is still being sold, and advanced replacement - when you call, we'll send your hardware replacement same day.

If you choose not to buy Drobo Care, then you have the standard hardware replacement for 2 years (Hardware repair or exchange - when we receive your Drobo unit, we'll either repair it or send you a replacement) and no 24x7 technical support.

I haven't made a decision on what I'm going to do yet.

Story #4 - Just a reminder that I'll be at Macworld/iWorld this coming Thursday afternoon at Moscone West in SF. Best way to connect will be at the Digital Photography Panel Discussion (on main stage, I believe) led by Macworld Editor Jackie Dove at 2pm on Thursday.

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Nik has gone ecofriendly and only sells via download.

That said, it does seem that the Google mentality has taken over at Nik. There are a number of people who are having issues with some of Nik's plugin's with Aperture (corrupted images with HDR Efex Pro 2). NikGoogle says "it's all Apple's fault" and won't provide any further help.

Note that Nik hasn't updated their plugins since Google took them over. Just sayin'...

Nik-Google no longer selling boxed (retail) editions of, at least, some of their products. Customers can download from their Website, however.


My Nik plugins for Aperture are working OK so far. I did go to their website today to download the latest version, however.

I've also noticed I rarely get emails from them since Google took them over.

I love their Aperture plugins and worry that Google will let them wilt on the vine.

Download only. TWiP or Photofocus interviewed a guy from google in charge of niks and he talks about. Main reason is boxed software is out of date when you buy it.


Jordan Elliott

The Kelby gang did an interview with Nik/Google in November if you want more info: