Bournemouth Air Festival 2017

8.29am on my day off and the phone rings.  “This can’t be good,” I think.  It turns out it’s my lucky day.  A customer isn’t able to make their Sony VIP lunch on the beach for the Air Festival and I am on the reserve bench. Can I make it?  Hell yeah! I quickly cancel everything else I had planned for the day – washing clothes, tidying the house, looking after the kids, cancelled (no kids were abandoned in the writing of this blog) I grab my A6000 and head to the beach.

By 10.30am the beach was already alive with families and enthusiasts.  The sun was shining on the show and some people were already in the sea.


Gourmet pizza to keep the troops going!


We trotted along to the hospitality tent, which was located between the two piers and had a stunning view of the air displays.  I did feel privileged to be there and  tried to blend in as best as I could!  I was met by Brian and Racheal from the Castle Cameras team and a delicious glass of bubbly.  Jason was there from Sony and some of our customers who had been invited for the day when they pre-ordered a Sony A9.



We all tucked into our buffet lunch of Salmon, beef, thai chicken, noodles and rice.  Followed by dessert of lemon meringue pie or strawberry cheesecake.  I had the lemon meringue pie and it was so good I ate it before I thought to take a photo!

Out on the terrace after lunch we eagerly awaited the first planes.  Jason very kindly lent me his Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G2 so that I could attempt to get a few shots of the planes.  He didn’t let me keep it for long though, which was probably wise!  On reflection, most of my shots were silhouettes of planes against some pretty cloud formations.  It seems I need a bit more practice in this aerial photography lark.



I did enjoy chatting to the pilots on the next table and had to laugh when one got very excited about seeing the red arrows and got his phone out for some pictures.   However many times I’ve seen the red arrows, I never tire of them.  Their performance was absolutely faultless and having such a great view of the near collision moves took my breath away.








So thanks very much to Sony for the chance to enjoy the Air Festival in style and have a play with Jason’s massive lens! Keep an eye on our website for more exciting offers like this.




Air Festival Pop Up Shop and Special Deals

It’s time for the Bournemouth Air Festival again and Castle Cameras is on the beach in our pop up shop, aka ‘The Container’.  We have some cracking deals running over the weekend, some of which are at the pop up shop, and even more in store or online.

Air Festival Specials

10% off Canon L lenses and10% off Canon Image Stabiliser binoculars.

Double Cash Back on lots of Sony lenses.

Free monopods with Nikon D500 body, D500 kit and the Nikon D5.

Free holster cases with some Sigma lenses.


The Pop Up Shop

Down on the beach today you can find Howard, Racheal and Jim from the Castle Cameras team as well as Mike from Sony UK with some demonstration kit you can try out, such as:

Alpha 6300

Alpha 7R MK2

Alpha 7S MK2

RX10 MK 2 and lots of lenses, including 85mmf1.4GM, 24-70GM, 70-200G and a 70-300G.  Double Cash Back or free monopods with plenty of Sony lenses over the Air Festival weekend.


Canon will be joining us in the pop up shop on the beach, with their demo stock on Friday and Saturday.

We hope you can come and join us at the Air Festival and try out some of the demo stock.  If you can’t make it then don’t miss out on the  Air Festival Specials on the website.



Don’t get hit by the falling pound!

You may have noticed that the result of the EU referendum was to leave the EU, which caused the pound to drop significantly.  We are beginning to get price increases from our suppliers, the key one being Sony who recently sent us this:

“2016 has been a challenging year so far. After an extremely encouraging start, the earthquakes in the Kumamoto region of Japan and the damage they caused to the Sony Kumamoto Technology Centre put significant pressure on our digital imaging business. We have been working around the clock to restore production capacity and fulfil the orders that we have committed to deliver and are very happy that wafer processor operations, testing and assembly have been increasing steadily since May. Throughout this process, we have minimised the financial impact of this incident to our customers.

However, with the recent economic turbulence and extreme fluctuations in currency exchange rates between Japanese yen and European currencies, particularly the pound, we have had to revisit our pricing structure as of the 1st August 2016 we will be adjusting the list prices of our digital imaging products.

We do not do this lightly and have carefully considered the implications for all parties.”

Increases on key Sony lines are in the order of 20%.  We are also seeing increases from Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Tamron.

We will continue to monitor our costs and selling prices on a daily basis to ensure we offer you the best possible value.

The team at Castle Cameras

Sony announce new lenses!

Sony have announced some very tasty new glass for E-mount cameras. The previously mentioned 70-200 G master is finally with us and an all new 50mm f/1.4 from Zeiss.

FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS G Master


These lenses are a big deal for Sony camera users, particular those with full-frame Sony mirrorless A7-series models. The 70-200mm has three advanced lens elements including XA, Super ED, and ED glass components, as well as its Nano AR coating. It features a floating focusing system – a first for a Sony zoom lens – that contributes to a minimum focusing distance of 0.96 meters and ensures AF performance is optimised during still and video shooting, Sony says. The lens includes a Super Sonic Motor (SSM) plus dual linear motors that work together to move large lens elements quickly. It has built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation and a rotating tripod mount that allows the camera to be quickly removed from a connected tripod as needed. The telephoto zoom is dust and moisture resistant with an additional fluorine coating added to the front lens. It also has a focus hold button as well as a focal range limiter.

Available from Castle Cameras from the 29th July, retailing at £2500

FE 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss

The full-frame, 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss prime features high-precision Advanced Aspherical (AA) and ED glass elements, as well as a Zeiss T* coating. It has a ring drive SSM (in this case, a Super Sonic Wave Motor), 11-bladed circular aperture, an aperture ring, and a moisture-resistant design.

Available from Castle Cameras from the 29th July, retailing at £1500

Sony Teleconverters

sony_sel14tc_b-640x427-c sony_sel20tc_b-640x427-c

To partner up with the stunning 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master, sony have announced two teleconverters, a 1.4x and a 2x. Extending the performance and possibilities of the 70-200mm G Master, Sports, Action and Wildlife shooters now have a serious option when it comes to lens choice,

Available from Castle Cameras from the 29th July, retailing at £550 each




Extra savings on DSLRs and lenses to reduce stocks

We wanted to let our valued customers into our little secret.  We are reducing many different items each week.  This week we have some big reductions on DSLRs, Lenses and Accessories. The offers are running Saturday to Saturday.  Just click on the Clearance Offers box to see them all.

Some of the highlights this week are

Canon customers…

Canon EOS 80D, 100-400 Mk II  with £185 rebate from Canon UK until January 31st, 2017 and an extra £200 saving this week to clear and finance available.


Interest Free Finance (12 Months)
0% APR with 10% Deposit

Canon Macrolite MR-14EX II £429 Normally £449. Extra £20 saving this week to clear


Nikon customers…

Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens for DSLR £1749 Extra £50 saving this week to clear and a Free Hoya UV filter worth £59.90




Nikon D7000, 18-105VR Refurbished now only £399.00, an extra £50 saving this week to clear.




Pentax customers…

We have the  HD D-FA 150-450mm f4.5-5.6 ED DC AW £1449, normally £1699. Extra £250 saving this week to clear

d2418fb6-9ddb-4b6e-ab10-c28ea03cb77b-cj22696Pentax 43mm f1.9 Limited SMC DA, Black, £499, normally £566. Extra £67 saving this week to clear.

Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR SMC DA, £99 Normally £159. Extra £60 saving this week to clear.


Sony customers…

Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 16-35 F2.8 ZA SSM £1399 Extra £100 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50


Sony DSLR Lens, 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF £829 Extra £70 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50

sal135f28-aa16076Have a look at the website for nearly 100 clearance items.

Next week Square Filters and Studio Accessories!

Castle Cameras


Leica Q_Atmosphere

The World’s Best Cameras for Gents (according to our staff)

Everyone is a snapper now. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, everyone is sharing their lives through visuals today.  It’s time to upgrade your visual diary to ‘iconic’ though. We asked our globetrotting, pavement-pounding, bush-lurking male staff members for their recommendations of cameras for work — and play.


The Cutting Edge


Staff Member: Howard Lucas

Shoots: Weddings, weddings and more weddings

Recommends: Fujifilm X-Pro2

A throwback design: discrete, but a sturdy-as-hell, dial-heavy piece that feels as substantial as a proper camera should. Retro in aesthetics only, the X-Pro2 packs the latest next-gen photo technology like a hybrid viewfinder and x-trans3 sensor. Most importantly, taking a photo feels tactile again. Because you know what feels better than tapping a screen? Anything.

£1349 body only



The Traveller


Staff Member: Robin Warren

Shoots: Touristy things, buildings, parks, statues and weird food

Recommends: Sony RX-100 mark IV

Small, slick and perfectly finished, the Sony’s diminutive proportions belie it’s incredible abilities. An unusually large 1″ sensor for better quality images, 4K video, slow motion and premium Zeiss optics in a camera you can slip in your trouser pocket. Rob walked 30 miles around New York with this little gem without breaking his back.


The Hipster


Staff Member: Hugh Thomas

Shoots: Flowers, beards and cats

Recommends: Ricoh GR1v

If digital just rubs you up the wrong way you need to go analogue. One of Japan’s greatest photographers, Daido Moriyama swore by these beauties. No screen, no syncing to your Mac and no goddamn geotagging. The iconic GR demands plenty and rewards handsomely. Insert film, snap, develop and begin your revolution. Film will always look cooler than a filter on your phone.

sometimes available from our used equipment list, from £250

film available from £5.95


The Sartorial Elegance

Leica Q_Atmosphere

Staff Member: Graham Fry

Shoots: Dinner parties, canapés, boutique hotels and suits

Recommends: Leica Q

The Leica Q will make you feel like a king. When only the best will do, there can only be one camera manufacturer to turn too, Leica. In hand it feels more pricey than a bag of uncut diamonds and more solid than the proverbial brick out-house. That emotive red dot will push you to become a better photographer, imagine you are Henri Cartier-Bresson looking for the decisive moment. Just try not to look too smug walking around with your lump of handmade german goodness.



The Super Pro


Staff Member: Part-time studio photography Guru, Stuart Moore

Shoots: Models, girls, fashion, cars and other cool stuff

Recommends: Canon EOS 5D mark III

For the pro lurking inside. This out-and-out photography weapon can record movies in full HD, and take full-frame still images worthy of any magazine cover. Six frames per second means you won’t miss a thing and the masterpiece of tech, the Canon 22MP detail-capturing sensor and Canon lenses will put your snaps a cut above.

£2499 Body and 24-105mm STM lens kit



Camera and Lens Rental

Camera and Lens Rental at Castle Cameras


Did you know we do rental?

Rental is a great way to go if you want to be able to use exotic or expensive kit but don’t want to own the gear. For those jobs that require just an extra step then consider rental as a great way to boost your kit bag without breaking the bank. The best bit? You can charge your clients for the privilege by including rental costs in your bill.



For sometime now we have been offering this great rental service to our customers and would like to make sure you all know about it and can take advantage. We have a huge selection of Canon equipment for hire from a 50mm f/1.4, right up to a Canon 5DSR!

We also have a limited amount of rental equipment available from other manufacturers, including the Sony A7S mark II and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G. We can also hire our anything you might find on our USED equipment list.


How does it work?


You can rent Digital SLR cameras and lenses from Castle Cameras at our Bournemouth Store, Dorset and our Salisbury store, Wiltshire.

Renting from Castle Cameras gives you the benefit of having a local collection service available from Bournemouth or Salisbury as well as being able to try the kit before you buy it. If you rent a piece of equipment and decide afterwards to purchase it we’ll knock up to 1.5 days rental off the product price!

To rent from Castle Cameras you will need register with us first by popping into our Bournemouth store with the following:

  • Photo ID, either Driving Licence or Passport
  • Bank statement or Utility bill featuring your current home address dated within the previous 3 months, Gas/Electric or Water ONLY.
  • The ability to put down a deposit for the current retail value of the goods, credit or debit card only.

ALL accounts must be created at our Bournemouth branch in person.

Creating the account takes about 10 minutes, so you can come in on the day you’d like to rent to set it up. If you do not have an account, you cannot hire out equipment. No exceptions.

You can collect rentals from our Salisbury store, however please let the Bournemouth store know (01202 526606) if you wish to do this, as all hire equipment is held at our Bournemouth branch. Please let us know as soon as possible if you require this service, as we will need to arrange transit to Salisbury.

Rental is only available via local pickup in our stores and is subject to customer ID checks.  Delivery is not possible at this time. We reserve the right to charge a deposit to the full retail value of goods on all of our rental equipment. We generally don’t ask for a deposit but on very high value items it may be necessary if it is your initial rental.


How much does it cost?


Listed below is an example of what we have to rent. We have plenty of other options available, just call with your request!

Prices shown are PER DAY unless indicated otherwise. Weekend hire is charged a 1.5 days, weekly hire at 5 days.









Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS ii USM – £40

Canon 85mm f1.2 L ii USM – £60

Canon 5D Mkiii body – £80

Sony A 7S Mkii – £90

Sony FE 24-70 f2.8 – £60

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 Mkii ED N – £60

Panasonic GH4 body – £60

If you wish to use our rental service please phone 01202 526606, or e-mail your requested equipment and dates.

Remember, if you can’t find what you’re looking for then be sure to check our Used list, anything you see there can be selected for daily or weekly rental.

One last thing, please read the full terms and conditions  in full before renting from us. It is vital you have read and understood what your responsibilities are.




There’s a real buzz at Castle Cameras!

We had a great surprise yesterday when we started to hear a real buzz out the back of the Winton shop. Within 5 minutes the sky was full of flying insects.  We soon realised it was a swarm of bees!  After a while they started to settle down, on our picnic bench, right next to Alice’s bike!  We used a Sony A6300 with the new Sigma MC-11 converter and a Canon 100-400,  to get a few shots of the little fellows…







We contacted a local swarm collector who popped down and rounded them up to take them off to their new home.  All the buzz is over for now…



Sigma MC-11 super test! 24 Canon fit lenses tested

Welcome to our super test of one of the most exciting new products from Sigma, the MC-11 EF to Sony E mount adaptor.



The Sigma MC-11

This great piece of kit from Sigma is designed to allow fully compatible use of the Sigma lenses in Canon EF on Sony E mount cameras, including full frame FE mount cameras like the Sony A7SmkII, A7RmkII and A7mkII.

Greg Thurtle from TP Photography, who helped me complete this mammoth test, joined me in store as we went through many Canon L series lenses and other third party lenses to see how well they perform. As this adaptor is not supposed to support these lenses, the results would be very interesting. If it worked well, the MC-11 could be a much more cost effective alternative to the popular Metabones adaptors. The list of lenses tested is listed below, watch the video to see how well they performed!

Full Frame Lenses

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM

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

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM MACRO

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L II IS USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

Canon EF 135mm f/2.0 L USM

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

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro EOS

Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di EOS

Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro EOS

Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 VC USD EOS

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 VC USD EOS

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM EOS

Crop Lenses

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM-C

Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM ART


As you can see from the video, only two of the lenses we tested failed to work and many of them worked flawlessly. This adaptor from Sigma is an absolute game changer and is a strong contender for our product of the year! The Sigma MC-11 and all of the lenses tested are  available from Castle Cameras now.

Sony G-Master 85mm f/1.4 review by Greg Thurtle

One of our lovely customers, Greg Thurtle has made a review of the new Sony G-Master 85mm f/1.4 lens. Greg is a wedding photographer here in Dorset and has used the lens in anger with very good results. Watch his video review of the lens below, buy your copy from us here

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