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on May 14, 2014 in Gear Head Wed

GearHead Wednesday 14 -18


Got a gear question you want/need answered? I want to help and answer it. Send your gear questions to me at Gear Questions and I’ll do my best every Wednesday to answer as many questions as I can. With my cancelled flight, I could only answer those questions that came in over the weekend. That means Next week will be REALLY long. Keep in mind the answers are just my $.02 worth and you have to take what works for you and your photography and embrace it and ignore the rest. So here’s this weeks questions ….

Dear Moose,
As you may or may not remember, I have been one of your long-time followers. I’ll try to keep it short as you get so many emails as it is. Your recent posts have made me wonder about the answers to the 2 following questions:
• How (if in any way) has raising the ISO changed your exposure? More specifically, do you use exposure compensation in the same way, or do you overexpose more than usual to protect dark areas?
• Secondly, you showed a short video with your 14k o aviation photos over the past weekend. Since I know you keep a large part of your photos, why shoot so many that have such tiny differences between them? I noticed 10-20 photos of a plane that had only minute diffrences between the angles of the plane.
Also I wanted to thank you for your videos on shooting techniques. I have recently aquired a Tamron 150-600 (with Vibration Compensation) and have been able to shoot it at 600mm handheld down to 1/100th of a second and get sharp results.
Kind regards,


Andrei – thanks ever so much for being a longtime fan, it truly means a lot to us! Let me see is I can answer your excellent questions.

Raising ISO doesn’t change anything for how I use exposure to communicate emotion. Raising the ISO simply raises the shutter speed for either making it faster to freeze action or give flash more reach. But when it comes to exposure compensation, raising the ISO doesn’t effect how I do that, it’s the same. “Protecting highlights’ is not in my photographic formula. Exposure compensation can surely do that, but it’s not why I dial in exposure compensation the majority of the time.

Why do I shoot so many images? One, because I love to. Two, because I love the sound of the shutter pounding away. But third and most importantly, it’s to capture the small gesture the brings a photograph to life! The majority of the time, it’s nearly impossible to see that moment, tell your finger to depress the shutter and for the shutter to click at that moment. So, I let the camera pound away using my thoughts to capture all the action and pulling that special moment out of the sequence. But it is those small, minute differences that to me, make or break a photograph! The series of 6 images above of the F22 Raptor were shot with the D4s / 200-400 at 11FPS and while the entire series of 27 images, it’s #6, the last one above I like the best. It is no doubt the lazy way of accomplishing this! When I shot film and had only 36exp, sniper mode was essential. But today, with the luxury of the D4s and Lexar 256GB card, I satisfy the love of that 11FPS sound with capturing the moment bringing to me, the joy of photography to life.

Greetings Moose
I know that you are a Nikon Ambassador, a title that is very well deserved for all you do to educate and inspire, and I am wondering if you are concerned about the future of the XQD cards used in the D4s. Currently, only Sony and Lexar produce these to my knowledge and for a while B&H had the Lexar listed as discontinued. Usually when they list an item as such, it’s not coming back. They show as a 2 week delay currently. Have you tested the Sony against the Lexar? I am sure as a Lexar elite photographer I can guess the answer to which you may have a preference toward. 🙂


Patrick … thanks so kindly!

It’s no secret I was one of the first to really scratch their head when the XQD came out in the D4. I instantly went looking for an answer to the question, WHY? And the answer is actually very simple logic (that should make you nervous). CF cards have maxed out, the 1066x speed is as fast as they can ever go, period. While SD cards can go to greater speed, they are not as robust a card and I don’t know about anybody else, but I loose them damn little things. Then steps in XQD. A much more robust card with no pins to bend or get broken off that has the potential for 3 or 4 times the speed of the current faster card. So, XQD has everything going for it except one thing, general acceptance by all camera manufactures. I think Nikon seeing the handwriting on the wall years ago and stepping up to the plate has been missed by most.
When it comes to supply, that’s just a thing of the industry. Received an email tonight from someone trying to buy a new Nikon 500AFS but has found them out of stock, that happens. I just checked and right at this moment, B&H has XQD Lexar in stock, what I use.
One other piece of trivia, the “x” speed rating on cards is going to be replaced for the more effect MPS rating so be prepared, it will cause a little confusion at the start.