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Member Since 05 Dec 2013
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 02:14 PM

Topics I've Started

Video by Vincent Versace demonstrating Nikon ES-2

Yesterday, 02:16 PM

Here is a link to a nice tutorial on using the Nikon ES-2 to scan negatives and slides.
There is a lot of new information here that was not in the manual or other communication. 
Versace goes through a nice little routine on cleaning the lens and negatives so everything is clean and free of dust.  There are several tools included.
Versace demonstrates the use of a Lume Cube as a light source and talks about white balance and other light sources.
Versace provides some settings for the image and creating picture controls to make a RAW file with a custom Picture Control that turns the negative into several types of positives.  He also talks about working with Capture NX-D and loading the Picture Control into the camera.
Versace provides shooting settings - ISO 64, f/8, and shutter speed as needed to correct the exposure.
He demonstrates focusing using Live View.
The video is 26 minutes - and you can speed up slightly if you want.  But overall, it does a nice job of demonstrating the process.

Nikon announces development of new 500mm f/5.6 PF lens

14 June 2018 - 08:20 AM

Nikon announced the development of a 500mm f/5.6 PF lens. The lens will contain the same type of PF element used on the 300 f/4 PF and be relatively small in size and weight. Pricing and availability will be announced later this year.


This looks like a great new lens. The 300 f/4 PF is wonderful and delivered in a small, light form factor. This promises to be similar.

I'd expect this lens to be sharper than the 200-500 and near the performance of the 500 f/4. It will probably work pretty well with the 1.4 teleconverter with good light. And more importantly, it will be very easy to handhold or use with minimal support, good for birds in flight and similar action, and much better for travel. As a travel lens, for travel to Africa, South America, or similar exotic locations, the lower weight and compact size make this lens a great choice.

Pricing is pure speculation right now. The 300 f/4 PF sells for $1996 US. My guess is a price in the $3000 range would make it a top seller and it's possible they could sell it a little lower. It's probably worth considering even at $4000, but then you have to consider the alternatives like a used 500 f/4 VR or just stick with the 200-500 or 300mm f/4 PF.


It's interesting that nobody is selling a 500 f/5.6 lens right now.  With better high ISO performance and better focus, it sounds like there is a good opportunity.  The much lower price and smaller size make this lens very attractive.  The 200-500 is excellent, but focus is not very fast and it's not prime lens quality.

Arthur Morris switches from Canon to Nikon

24 January 2018 - 12:34 PM

Arthur Morris is probably the top bird photographer in the world.  He's a Canon Explorer of Light.  And he just sold all his Canon gear and moved to Nikon.
I had to check and make sure this was not a joke or spam, but it's real.  I've talked with him about the reasons through Facebook.
The big reason was the performance of the Nikon AF system for birds in flight.  As Artie describes, the AF performance of the Nikon D5 (the same system as the  D500 and D850) is simply outstanding and blows away anything he has ever experienced with Canon.
In the bird photography world, this is a really big deal.  Artie literally wrote the books on bird photography using Canon gear.  He is (was) a Canon Explorer of Light and huge Canon advocate.  There are some other things going on, but clearly it was all about the performance of the gear.

Nikon SB-300 is a nice little flash

04 January 2018 - 11:07 AM

The complaint I have about my large speedlights like the SB-910 and SB-800 is that they are just too big and clunky.  But they do the job and are excellent flashes.  The alternative used to be use the little on-camera pop-up flash.  The D500 and D850 don't have an on camera flash, so that option is unavailable, and I don't want to carry a big speedlight unless I plan to use it.  The SB-300 fills the gap.


The SB-300 is smaller than the Nikon battery charger or a glasses case.  It's small enough to keep in my camera pack all the time so it's always available.  I can use it with an SC-29 flash cord for off camera use.  It has a guide number of 59, so it is not that powerful, but is enough for a gentle fill flash.  This is great for close up and macro work as well as casual portraits.


This is a simple flash - controls are minimal and generally it is controlled with the camera.  The SB-300 sells for just $147.  If you have an on-camera flash, it still can be useful to move the flash off camera or off axis.

Marshal Point Lighthouse - Maine

15 October 2017 - 11:25 AM

I just returned from 12 days in Maine - scouting then leading the Nikonians ANPAT.  The only camera I used was the Nikon D850.


Here is a favorite location - the Marshall Point Lighthouse.  It's a bit remote, but worth the effort for sunrise or sunset.


Both of these images were from sunrise.  They are Normal JPEG's - straight form the camera with minimal editing.  We'll have a more serious edit of the RAW file when Lightroom is updated for the D850.


Overall I am thrilled with the D850.  It's a fantastic camera that I've used for polo, pro golf, landscapes, street, and a little  wildlife.  The AF system is terrific.  The color and detail is great.  There has been no issue at all with my lenses or handholding.