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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

The Nikon 18-35AFS

This has to be the sleeper lens of the century! To be totally honest with you, when I took the 18-35 out of the box, its scary light weight instantly made me question its ability. That’s until I made the first click with it! The spooky sharpness of the 18-35AFS instantly made it a prime lens receiving massive use in my bag. Don’t let the feel of the polycarbonate lens casing fool you, the inside is pure Nikon, rock solid and Nikon tight. Along with its very impressive sharpness is the fact you can attach a filter (77mm), two of them stacked and have no vignetting. To me this is a critical improvement in wide angle zooms. It means to the Nikon NC filter that I have on all my lenses, I can add the Nikon Slim Polarizer. If the filters are not screwed in tightly, you will see vignetting so we’re working just on the edge, but we can do it. Its light weight, blazing sharp performance of...

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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

The Nikon 800f5.6 VR AFS

The 800f5.6 is simply a spectacular lens! It’s the king of super telephotos in Nikon’s lens line up setting the mark for those lenses to come. The 800mm is one of Nikon’s first lenses to incorporate Fluorite elements along with ED elements. While not a first, the 800mm also comes with a matched 1.25 teleconveter producing a 1000m f/7.1 and spectacularly sharp images! Most who have heard about of the 800mm would expect no less because of its price. This is not a lens for everybody, in fact, it’s a very much a speciality lens. The 800mm is not just for wildlife photography but that is my primary use for this magnificent piece of glass. This 10lbs hunk of glass has the very narrow angle of view of 2 and with the TC 1.25 attached, it’s just 1. In combination with this is the new VR which reportedly provides 4 stops performance. What is essential with this lens when it comes to getting a sharp image is proper long...

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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

Nikon TC-14e

02.15.10 The teleconverter, the wildlife photographers best friend but not for the reason most think. The teleconverter is a tool permitting the photographer to narrow the angle of view and isolate the subject better with narrower DOF. These main attributes of the teleconverter seem to get lost with the main obvious attribute, a bigger subject in the viewfinder. One of the drawbacks of the teleconverter is their sucking up of light. You getting nothing back for their hunger, you simply have less light to work with. In the case of the 1.4x, you loose one stop of light and the DOF is only 1/1.4x or 70% of that of the prime lens. The 1.4x was once supplied with the 600f4 but now you have to buy it separately. It was once my main teleconverter but for the last two years, I hardly use it. I have all three, use each when the subject requires...

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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

Nikon 60micro

02.15.10 This is an “old” lens, I got it when it first came out in 2003 and it has served me very well. But it doesn’t get out much. This lens has one purpose and one purpose only, photographing small critters on projects. That means that it get’s out perhaps once a year. You might be wondering why I’ve not purchased the new 60micro. I wish I could justify the expense because it is a gorgeous lens! It’s sharp, AF is fast and it’s easy to hold. But, this version is just as sharp, just not as fast and for my limited need, serves the...

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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

Nikon 50f1.4 AFS

02.15.10 Yeap, it’s a normal lens. 50mm is considered the “normal” lens for the FX format. And it’s a f1.4 which makes it a “fast” lens giving you a pretty narrow DOF especially close up to a subject. But when it comes to AF, this is not the fastest lens in the line-up, might me one of the slowest actually. It’s become a favorite knock around lens of mine, in part because of it’s amazing sharp performance and in part because it looks so hot on the D3s. Now that’s silly reason to have a lens but I never said I was totally logical. It is interesting that to get AFS performance (in name only), the front element size was increased from the long standing 52mm to 58mm. While we didn’t get the speed, we sure did get the performance out of the new optical design. You’ll find a whole lot of images on the site doing a search for...

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on Jan 1, 2010 in Camera Tech, Lenses

Nikon 16Fish

02.15.10 This is simply one hell of a fun lens! Does it serve a purpose? The original fisheye lenses were made for scientific research and pipeline construction inspection, hardly what I use it for. When I grab for the 16Fish, it’s because typicaly I have a scene that is so wide that I need the 180 degree coverage of the 16Fish to get the shot. At the same time, the scene in front of me must be one where there is no straight lines because the 16Fish will not render them straight. When you’re in the cockpit of a plane for example, you want the whole thing and some of the outside world, this is your only lens of choice. If you search the site, you’ll find a number of examples where I had fun shooting with the...

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