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The Latest from MPB

  • 2014-09-16 12:00:00



    With a flurry of announcements, Photokina is finally upon us. This year, MPB are teaming up with LensCoat to bring the Canon EF 1200mm to the show. So if you missed it in London, now’s your chance to see it in the flesh!


    Rumoured to be one of only 20 in the world, the 1200mm is not to be missed if you’re at the show. We will be with LensCoat on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, located at stand C008 in hall 0.91.


    If you can’t make it to the show, stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter on Instagram for our take on this year’s Photokina news, including first impressions of the Canon EOS 7D II, the Nikon D750 and other new releases.

    MPB & LensCoat Bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014

    MPB & LensCoat Bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014

    We team up with LensCoat to bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014... Read More

  • 2014-09-05 12:00:00
    The modest 18-55mm kit lens often finds itself on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism and sometimes outright insult. Often condemned for its build quality, comparatively slow autofocus and limited focal range and aperture, there is quite a lot to be said for this unassuming and hardworking mainstay of DSLR photography. Here are our top 5 arguments in praise of the humble kit lens!

    1) Incredibly Affordable

    Manufactured in large number with huge economies of scale, kit lenses are designed to be economical by their very nature, even more so when they are used. We’re often told of the pitfalls of this but hear less regularly about the benefits. In some circumstances, there is huge value to be found in gear which stands up to hard use but which won’t break the bank should it need replacing. The kit lens really shows it’s worth for travel or in the hands of young users, for example. Affordability is also of great advantage if you’re just starting out, not sure of what you need and keen not to buy something you won’t use. Which leads us neatly to our second point.

    2) Perfect for Beginners

    Of all of the reasons the 18-55mm is supplied as standard with many entry level cameras, this is possibly the most important. The focal length is versatile and provides the perfect introduction to DSLR photography. Yes, it is limited, but it’s shortcomings can guide the user to make informed decisions about exactly what they need from their next lens. A valuable lesson in itself, even before you consider the money you could have wasted on kit which turns out not to be appropriate for your needs.

    3) A Great Teacher of Problem Solving

    There is a piece of kit for almost every eventuality but very few of us have kit bags big enough or pockets deep enough to be prepared for everything. Photography is very often about problem solving and photography with a kit lens is no exception. So, whilst those limitations may become frustrating, they have the potential to teach a very useful skill.

    4) Classic Focal Lengths Covered

    28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm are timeless, industry standard focal lengths which are all covered by the 18-55mm when you consider crop factor. Of course the value of a prime lens is the wide aperture and the beautiful effects this can achieve. However, 4 in 1 isn’t half bad and can still teach you a great deal about classic focal lengths and some of the basic principles of photography.

    5) Versatile

    With those classic focal lengths covered you’re looking at a lens with reasonable wide angle coverage which will reach into the portrait range. Pair this with a small, light build and you have a near perfect all purpose lens which particularly shines as part of a walkabout setup or a basic kit for travel.
    Although we may not be keen to admit it, many of us started out with an 18-55mm and will have been proud of the results we produced. Like almost all other photographic equipment, the kit lens does have its place and even some benefits. So before you reject it or judge it too harshly, try to remember the reasons to commend this hard working little lens.
    Anything we missed? Let us know why you love your kit lens in the comments below or via Facebook and Twitter @mpbcom!


    In Praise of the Humble Kit Lens

    In Praise of the Humble Kit Lens

    Our top 5 reasons to praise the often criticised kit lens!... Read More

  • 2014-09-04 12:00:00

    September brings a new wave of students to the world of photography and invites back many who have been away for the summer. For students who are looking to meet a budget or for those tentatively starting out, used equipment can offer a far greater selection of gear at a more appealing price than new. More options can mean a more difficult choice so here’s our pick of the best kit for learners, whether you’re just starting out or looking to progress.


    For Beginners

    If you're just getting started, cameras and lenses can be a daunting prospect so keeping things straight forward is key. If you’re new to DSLR photography, perhaps taking a beginners course or getting going at school, aim for an entry level camera. These will allow you to use automatic modes whilst you’re learning the ropes and tend to be more compact, potentially better for younger users. Here are our suggestions for a range of budgets:


    Under £100


    Nikon D60  |  Canon EOS 300D




    £100 - £300


    Nikon D5100  |  Canon EOS 550D



    £300 +


    Nikon D5200  |  Canon EOS 700D




    What Lens?


    The 18-55mm is both Canon and Nikon’s standard kit lens for most entry level gear. They are affordable and offer variety whilst you build an understanding of the technical aspects of photography and decide which area you would like to pursue.


    Nikon AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED DX  |  Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS





    For Improvers

    If you’re returning to a course or moving on to something more advanced, you may find that you’ve outgrown your kit. There are a number of routes you can take, either upgrading your camera or adding to your collection of lenses.


    Step up from Entry Level


    Nikon D7000  |  Canon EOS 60D



    Go Full Frame


    Nikon D700  |  Canon EOS 5D





    Expand your Lens Collection

    A great compliment to the standard kit lens is a telephoto zoom giving extended reach and perfect for those looking at sport or wildlife photography.


    Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR DX  |  Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III 





    If you’re happy with the focal length of your kit lens but looking to improve on image quality and low light capabilities, trade in for a 17-55mm f/2.8.


    Nikon AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G IF ED DX  |  Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM



    Often touted as the best lens to learn with and a great step into portrait photography is the 50mm prime.


    Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G  |  Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II





    Still Unsure?

    There are plenty of options suitable for all budgets and ability levels, for those embarking on their first photography course or looking to up their game. If you’re still bewildered by the options we’re on hand to advise on 0845 459 0101 and on email.

    Back to School: Best Cameras & Lenses for Learning

    Back to School: Best Cameras & Lenses for Learning

    We take a look at the best camera & lens setups for learning!... Read More

  • 2014-08-27 12:00:00

    With it’s unusual build and unfathomable focal length, the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM is anything but conventional. So, how does it perform and just how far can it be pushed? We took the lens to The Mall in London to put it through it paces and to see what Buckingham Palace looks like at 1200mm and beyond.



    An imposing piece of kit, you may expect the Canon 1200mm to be challenging to use. It has to be said that the design of the case leaves a lot to be desired with its awkward handles and weight comparable to the lens itself. However, a decent tripod is enough to tame this beast and thoughtful design (including a mechanism to rotate the camera into portrait mode) means that using this lens needn’t be a strain. You might also guess that the age of the lens means potentially slow and noisy focusing but this is simply not the case. The lens is quick and quiet to focus with performance much the same as you would expect of any of Canon’s L series teles.

    It is undeniably impressive to take in the view through the 1200mm. A glance over the lens is required to get your bearings and the view is somewhat dizzying at first but, given the sheer distance alone, the detail rendered in the viewfinder is staggering and the results don’t disappoint. Even pushed to it’s limits with converters or on a cropped sensor the images produced are excellent.




    Our test images were taken with a Canon EOS 1DX at Admiralty Arch at the far end of The Mall. Buckingham Palace stands approximately 0.6 miles from here within a clear line of site making it the perfect location for comparative test shots.





    How does the Canon EF 1200mm Compare?




    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM






    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM






    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM






    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM






    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM

    Canon EF 1.4x III Extender






    Canon EOS 1DX

    Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM

    Canon EF 2x III Extender



    With clear applications in quite distinct areas of sports and wildlife photography, it’s an item which has very particular appeal. However, it’s majesty and mystery make it a sought after collectors item. A formidable lens, the Canon EF 1200mm speaks for itself but, for it’s rarity and curiousness, is still capable of raising conversation the world over.

    To Join the discussion, head over to Facebook and Twitter! Or take a look at the lens arriving in the UK.



    Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM - Focal Length Comparison

    Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM - Focal Length Comparison

    How does the Canon EF 1200mm compare to everyday focal lengths?... Read More

The Latest from the Industry

  • 2014-09-17 12:00:00
    Replacing the D600 and D610, the Nikon D750 aimed at enthusiasts and pros looking for a secondary body. Branded as an action camera, it combines technologies seen in the D4s and D810 in a lighter, more agile body. It is on display to the public for the first time at Photokina 2014 where spectators will be keen to test its features.

    Key Features

    • 24.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
    • Expeed 4 processor
    • ISO 100-12,800 expandable to 51,200
    • 6.5fps continuous shooting
    • 51 point autofocus system (including 15 cross type)
    • 1080p at 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p and 60p
    • Dual SD slots
    • GPS
    • Wifi
    • Shutter life up to 150,000 cycles
    We will be getting hands on with the new D750 at Photokina 2014 so stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. If you’re looking to upgrade, get your part exchange quote in the meantime!
    Nikon D750: First Look

    Nikon D750: First Look

    We take a look at the specs for the Nikon D750... Read More

  • 2014-09-17 12:00:00
    With the original 7D announced back in 2009, Canon users have been anticipating the launch of a follow up for some time. Now, just in time for Photokina 2014, Canon have unleashed the EOS 7D II. Aimed at enthusiasts and semi-pros, it boasts incredible speed with a number of new and updated features.

    Key Specifications

    • 20.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
    • DIGIC 6 processor
    • ISO 100-16,000 expandable up to 51,200
    • 10fps continuous shooting
    • 65 point AF system, all cross type
    • 1080p video at up to 50p (PAL) 60p (NTSC)
    • CF and SD dual storage slots
    • GPS with built in digital compass
    • USB 3.0
    • Shutter life up to 200,000 cycles
    We will be taking a closer look at the new 7D II at Photokina 2014 so stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. In the meantime, if you’re looking to upgrade, get your part exchange quote ahead of the November release!
    Canon EOS 7D II: Key Features Rundown

    Canon EOS 7D II: Key Features Rundown

    Our first look at the specs for the Canon EOS 7D II... Read More

  • 2014-09-10 12:00:00

    This year sees the return of the photographic industry’s top trade fair, Photokina. Always a hotbed for new products and tech, we are expecting several announcements from the big hitters in photography ready to hit the stands next week. So what should we expect from the likes of Canon and Nikon in the days leading up to the show?




    Canon EOS 7D II

    The follow up to Canon’s flagship APS-C camera has been long awaited with the 7D in production for over 5 years now. Rumours have come and gone but, with mounting expectation and evidence, it seems that Canon are now poised to announce what has been dubbed the 7D II. The name of the camera won’t be known until it is announced, neither will the specs, but here is a rundown of what those in the know are expecting currently:
    • 20.2MP APS-C sensor, although previous rumours have suggested it may be 24MP
    • In camera GPS but no wifi
    • 65 AF points although there are conflicting rumours about how many of these will be cross type
    • Continuous shooting at 10fps
    • ISO 100-12,800 with boosts to 25,600 and 51,200
    • Video at 1080p and 720p with a frame rate of 60fps

    New Canon Lenses

    Strong rumours for Canon lens announcements have been thin on the ground more recently but there are expected to be a few in time for Photokina. Here are a few possible contenders:
    • EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM - This will possibly be a pancake lens similar in build to the EF-S 40mm f/2.8 STM.
    • EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM - Set to be a more affordable version of the L series 24-105mm utilising IS and STM technologies.
    • EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM - Canon’s specialist DO lenses may see a follow up 400mm added to the range if recent patents are an indication.
    • EF 100-400mm follow up - Perhaps due a replacement, rumours earlier this year have suggested that the 100-400mm may be set for an overhaul.



    Nikon D750

    With the D610 widely viewed as a correction for the now infamous dust spot issue, it is the D750 which is being touted as the follow up to the D600. With recent reports suggesting that it could be marketed as an action camera, it possibly stands to rival the 7D II. Here’s what we could expect to see from the spec:
    • 24.3MP full frame sensor
    • 51 point AF, although there has been rumour of a new 79 point system
    • Continuous shooting at between 6.5 and 8fps
    • Tilting LCD
    Given Nikon’s previous form, we could see an official announcement from Nikon as soon as Thursday 11th August.

    New Nikon Lenses

    Similarly to Canon, strong rumours for Nikon lens announcements ahead of Photokina are thin on the ground but Nikon Rumors have suggested a couple which may make an appearance:
    • Nikon 20mm f/1.8G - with patents filed 2 years ago, this lens may be ready for imminent release.
    • Nikon 1 Series macro lens - the only prototype lens not released following the event where the system was announced.

    New Nikon Speedlite

    Another tip from Nikon rumours regards the possible release of a new SB-500 Speedlite to replace the SB-400 which was recently listed as discontinued.

    Other Brands to Watch at Photokina



    Already announced is the eagerly awaited Otus 1.4/85 which joins what Zeiss describe as ‘the best standard lens in the world’, the Otus 1.4/55. If you’re passing the stand, it will be worth a few minute of your time to see these sleek lenses in the flesh.
    There are also rumours of a new Leica M mount lens from Zeiss, the Distagon 35mm f/1.4 ZM. This is yet to be announced but expected to become official before Photokina kicks off.


    Although an announcement in English is yet to be made, Sigma are set to confirm the new 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport edition lens over the coming days. Matching Tamron’s popular lens in focal length, the Sigma is likely to be slightly more high end and aimed at pros rather than consumers. A full announcement is expected in time for Photokina.
    Keep up with our take on kit announcements and all of the top news from Photokina over on Facebook and Twitter @mpbcom.
    Top Rumours Ahead of Photokina 2014

    Top Rumours Ahead of Photokina 2014

    We run through the top kit rumoured for announcement ahead of Photokina!... Read More

  • 2014-07-18 12:00:00

    Canon and Nikon’s summer cashback offers are in full swing. With up to £50 cashback from Nikon and up to £150 from Canon on selected photographic gear, now is the perfect time to part exchange for new!  


    How it Works

    Select new Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, lenses and flash guns are included in the offer. Brand new Nikon items purchased from MPB Photographic between April 30th - July 30th 2014 and Canon items purchased between May 15th - August 13th are eligible. 

    All of our new equipment is available for part exchange and you can receive your commitment free quote by filling in our online form. Let us know what you would like to sell and we will send a quote via email within 1 working day! 



    What’s Eligible? 



    Canon DSLR

    Canon EOS 6D body only - £150 cashback

    Canon EOS 70D body only - £100 cashback

    Canon EOS 100D body only - £30 cashback

    Canon EOS 1200D body only - £20 cashback


    Canon Lenses

    Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM - £40 cashback

    Canon EF-S 10-20mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - £40 cashback

    Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM - £25 cashback

    Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM - £60 cashback

    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - £100 cashback


    Update: Nikon's summer cashback offers are now closed!


    Nikon DSLR

    Nikon D3200 - £30 cashback

    Nikon D3300 - £40 cashback

    Nikon D5300 - £50 cashback


    Nikon Lenses

    Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX - £20 cashback

    Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8G DX - £20 cashback

    Nikon AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX - £20 cashback

    Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX - £30 cashback

    Nikon AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX - £50 cashback


    Nikon Flashguns

    Nikon SB-300 cashback


    A full list of eligible items, T&Cs and cashback claims can be seen on the Canon and Nikon websites.


    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback

    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback

    Canon & Nikon Summer Cashback Deals!... Read More