This was a very expensive day for me! I had a whole day of shooting with the new Nikon 45PC-E micro, one very sweet lens! Just like the 24PC-E, the 45PC-E is standard lens that you have to manually focus. When the aperture ring is in the L position, you select your aperture via the sub-command dial on the body. So standard shooting is pretty much like usual.
Shift the lens and you can keep parellel lines straight. All of these images were taken at Norris Geyser Basin shooting just the 45PC-E. I really thought before I had the lens that 45mm a real funky focal length. That’s before I shot with it and instantly I remembered enjoying shooting with the 45GN so long ago. It is a cool focal length.
Photos captured by D3, 45PC-E on Lexar UDMA digital film
While we were stuck with a down vehicle, we took the opportunity to shoot along the road. The winter Lodgepole Pine forest really intrigues me so I took out the new 50f1.4AFS and went a shootin.
The lens is very sharp corner to corner. It’s physically larger than I thought, really nice shade and, it’s a pretty sexy package. The AFS speed though isn’t really too hot IMHO. I think my standard 50f1.4AF focuses faster.
My friends at Adorama managed to get me a GP-1 after what seems like an eternity for Nikon to deliver them. I thought I’d have one back in August, but you know what they say, good things are worth waiting for. The first thing that impressed me is its size, it’s much smaller than I thought it would be. As you can see here, it’s much smaller than the prism of the D3. At first I thought the cord was a bit too long for my taste. Once I attached it to the camera and put one loop in it, the stiffness of the cord took care of the length problem. Nikon includes with the GP-1 the GP1-CL1 which is a cool clip that securely goes onto your camera strap so you can attach the GP-1 there rather than the hot shoe. That’s pretty cool.
The next thing you’ll notice is there is no On/Off switch on the GP-1. It turns on and off via the camera’s actuation. With your GPS Auto meter off Enabled in the settings for the camera, you conserve battery power but you must make sure the GPS icon appears in the camera’s LCD prior to shooting to record the GPS info. The GP-1 has a red light (means no satelite signal) and green light (blinking means 3 sates, solid green means 4 or more sates found). If you have a red light on the back, no GPS data will be recorded; a green light, good to go. I have to admit, I’m impressed by the GP-1′s speed of acquisition as well as ability. I’m sitting at my desk in the corner of our office and while the other GPS units I have cannot find a signal, the GP-1 has blinking green light in 5secs, a solid green light within 15secs.
Now here’s the ticker to me. I was hoping 1 of the 3 connectors seen in the original product shots from Nikon, one would turn out to be a connector for the MC-36 remote. Nope, that’s not the case. You need to buy the MC-DC2 remote to use the GP-1 and remote at the same time. Even with this little goofy, the GP-1 is by far the best GPS unit I’ve have for my cameras in 30yrs so I’m quite pleased to finally have it.
I don’t know if you noticed, but Vincent posted on his blog these cools images that make the subject appear to be a “minature” model scene. I’d seen some of his other images along with those taken by others with the same look in the past and enjoyed them but never tried it myself.
Out shooting with Luke today, I was able to play a little as I start to explore this new technique (new to my camera) for some shooting coming up this fall. Since there is nothing easily found on the web on this technique, I was starting from scratch (what I found involved PS and I wanted an “all in camera technique”).
While I got a couple of photos today that I like, the vast majority, well, ain’t fit for the public. I did learn a number of things that don’t work and two things that do. I hope to start changing that percentage and when I do, I’ll share what I’ve learned.
One thing is for sure, this technique which is all done in camera, could easily become a gimmick like always shooting with a fisheye if it’s not explored for it own unique potential in very specialized situations.
Photos captured by D700, 24PC on Lexar UDMA digital film
As you probably know by now, Nikon introduced the D90. What you might not be aware of that it can do GeoTagging. Adding GPS to a camera is nothing new to the Mooster. What you might not be aware of that Nikon is now in the GPS business. What you see above is the GP-1. It works on the D3, D700, D300, D200 and D90. I ain’t got one yet, but I’m going to real soon. When I do, I’ll let you know all about it.
OK, I’ve been delving more and more into the SB-900 because it’s just too cool a toy tool not to speed up the mastering program. I’ve come up with a couple pieces of trivia to pass along.
*When in the Center-weighted lighting pattern, the maximum zoom is 135mm and not 200mm.
*The SB-900 has a Thermal Cut-out that prevents the SB-900 from blowing a tube from overheating. If turned on, the thermometer on the back LCD will actually raise as the temperature of the tube rises. Now interesting enough, I learned about this feature via my good friend Joe McNally (check out his latest blog). How would he know about that feature already..hum?
*The SB-900 is not gentle on batteries but does work with the SD-8a which is good since you can’t find the SB-9 yet. It does recycle mighty fast on its own.
*The SB-900 has a My Menu and it works just like the My Menu on the D3/D700. This is really cool. I have Illumination Pattern, M Zoom, AF Illuminator, Stby, Sound, in My Menu so far.
*The SB-900 has a low battery indicator that works and when it comes on, the flash goes off.
As more trivia flashes (get it?), I’ll be sure to pass it along.
I know, I wasn’t a big iPhone fan when they were first introduced but when my cellphone battery died, I was in the market. Brad seeing a weakness taunted me with his iPhone and all the cool things, business cool things it can do. From the planes I’ve NOT missed to finding Cold Stone ice cream, I find the iPhone an essential tool that I can’t live without.
I’m always on the lookout for new apps for the iPhone that will just make it better. I’m always on Terry’s blog because he’s a bigger gadgethead then me. I also cruise the App Store and I just found this app, PhotoCalc that I wanted to pass along to you. You can see just a couple of screens above, the Sunrise & Sunset is killer. If you have an iPhone, head to the app store and check it out.
Nothing earth shattering, truly just trivia. I received my D3 back from receiving its buffer upgrade while I was in HI. The turn around was less then two weeks. It was interesting that the paperwork included with the upgrade stats, “The memory buffer for your D3 has been upgraded to 2GB…” Personally, I never knew the exact size of the buffer. That’s why this is trivia. With the Jpeg quality set to Optimum and shooting Raw +Jpeg (14bit lossless compressed) the D3 buffer will now hold 32 and 916 images with 2x 16GB cards. Cool!
And this is in from my friend Lindsay Silverman at Nikon. It’s a followup and addition for the 24PC piece I published on the web and in the BT Journal a while back. It’s good info.
However (you know me well enough to find at least one additional way to work with a piece of gear) you tell your faithful to use Manual exposure for the obvious reasons. I have discovered a cool way to stay in Aperture priority mode (my preferred way to shoot) – simply go to D3 Custom Settings and re-program the AF-L/AE-L to become a LOCK button without having to hold it in during the tilt/shift phase of composition.
Custom Setting f/6: Assign AE-L/AF-L Button AE-Lock HOLD
By selecting this option and pressing the AE-L/AF-L button prior to shifting or tilting – exposure locks and you can then compose literally hands-free from exposure adjustment. An advantage of this is when you use auto bracketing
That’s pretty darn cool, thanks for sharing it Lindsay!
One last thing…I know there are TONS of blogs out there on the Olympics (my favorite is Vincent’s) but one you might not know about that I also like belongs to Scott Diussa’s, Nikon USA NPS mngr. It’s a little off beat but Scott has some cool images I don’t think you’ll see elsewhere.
I’ve been shooting with the D700 exclusively now for a week (never picking up the D3) and the frame counter has just hit 10,000 so I thought I would pass along a couple of D700 thoughts. It is without doubt the funniest little camera I’ve shot with in a long time, even replacing the D200 as a favorite. Since I’m basically in “tour” mode, as in getting off the boat and walking the streets of Kona, I wanted a “small” camera over my shoulder. The D700 without the MB-D10 is just that, it’s a small camera and quite a delight to be carrying around while capturing BIG image quality (I honestly don’t see why you’d buy a small camera and then make it big by adding a battery pack when you bought a small camera but that’s just me). Having a pop up flash is really sweet especially with the larger size of the SB-900. Having the pop up flash working as a commander makes the amount of gear to carry less which is a plus.
The image quality is exactly what you’d expect from the D3 sensor which now has a new home. The buffer size being the same, the shooting experience is exactly the same as the D3. That’s a good thing because I’ve become quite use to that. The battery life I have to admit is a lot better then I thought it would be. I’ve only charged the battery once since first starting to shoot with the D700. I have to admit not having a vertical firing button has messed me up mentally a couple of times though. So has the slightly slower fps. The D3 and D700 are so darn similar it’s spooky!
One thing I’m not liking at all is the door for the CF card. It’s this new fangeled thing that you slide sidewise and then it pops open. It’s not built like a rock to say the least. A couple of times walking, my arm as slid it open by accident and one time when that happen, it caught on an object and instant panic as I thought I was going to break it off. I’m not liking that at all. But on the flip side, the image preview PIP is VERY cool and I like that a ton and find it to be something I’m wanting in the D3. Same with the active AF sensors selected when shooting in AAA. I love it in the D700 and hope Nikon incorporates it in the next D3 firmware upgrade.
Would I personally make the D700 my prime shooting camera? NO, I’ll stick with the D3. Would I go out on a project with a D3 as my prime camera and the D700 as a backup? In a heartbeat and without hesitation! Other than missing a couple features as I previously listed in my 1st D700 blog, you couldn’t find a better 1 for 1 backup then what you find in the D700. More then a week ago, I highly recommend it and while I’ve not has an opportunity to add it to Moose’s Camera Bag in writing, you can now count it as in.
Photos captured by D700, 14-24AFS/24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
Just prior to leaving for HI I received the new Epson P7000 from Epson and man, I’m I glad I did! Epson was real good to me supplying me with the Travel Kit which besides the obligatory custom case (which is well done) it includes the external dual battery charger & car charger. Nice touch! But, there’s more to the P7000 than just good looks (ok, they don’t hurt).
“Preview both RAW and JPEG images while on location with the Photo Fine® Premia LCD, exclusively from Epson. Displaying over 16.7 million colors, this 4-inch LCD supports 94% of the Adobe® RGB color space, so you get incredible color accuracy. Zoom in to confirm focus and fine detail. Then, share your images the way they were meant to be seen — just as you captured them” The images are beautiful on the new screen and makes your worst image look better.
I love putting new gear through their paces in the field and that’s what I’m doing with the P7000. To same I’m impressed especially with the new and improved upload speed is an understatement. There are too many projects where I can’t take my notebook, no space and very limited on space. The P7000′s 160GB space which is double of my previous favorite, the P500, is a BIG plus to me. I can upload (10, Lexar 16GB cards or, about 5 average days of shooting and know they are protected and view what’s been taken. It’s simply in my book, a must have for the traveling photographer!
I’m here learning the SB-900 and totally forgot to mention it. That money you saved buying the D700, use it to BUY the SB-900! Many have written about it like my flash heros Joe & Dave so you want to read what they’ve had to say for sure. But there’s a whole lot about the SB-900 that’s not been written about yet.
For example, the SB-900 has this special accessory, the WG-AS1. The SB-900 handles white balance in a whole new way (and comes with a filter holder that fits inside the soft light dome!) which includes the camera body settings. It has 3 illumination patterns along with a 200mm zoom capability. It doesn’t have a 5th battery compartment but does have the new SD-9. And there is the much heralded better control buttons, switches and panel info. Sure, I’ve got that all down pat already. HA!
When I have got a handle on it well enough that I can write intelligently (which is always the challenge) I will get a page or two up on the SB-900 and D700. That won’t be tomorrow though but I’m sure sometime this year.
The D700 is a pretty schweet camera, no doubt abut it. It instantly fit into my photography easily replacing the D300 for my EDL camera (I love having full frame). But for many, the D700 has brought up a major question. The D3 or the D700? Since both use the same sensor (as in exactly the same), it is a very good question.
As you can see above, the D700 isn’t really that much smaller than the D3. Attach the MB-D10, it’s the same height. The D3 weighs in at 3.16lbs and the D700 at 2.62lbs (battery included). So just going by size and weight, not a huge difference. The fps of the D3 is 8, the D700 is 5 and goes to 7-8 with the addition of the MB-D10 (depending on battery) so there is a little difference there. Stock D3 & D700 have the same buffer size but now with the buffer upgrade, the D3 doubles that of the D700 (& adding $500 to the cost). So looking at just the specs it’s real easy to see why folks are wondering which was to turn.
That’s until you look at the price. Yeah, the D700 saves you bucks and in this day, that is an important factor. Do you loose something by spending less? You do loose the dual CF slot, you do loose the faster fps going with the D700 but you gain the sensor vibration which so many seem hooked on. You can read the Nikon DSLR comparison brochure or the D700 IB which might help with your decision making.
My answer for most folks is, go with the D700 as dual CF & fps isn’t mission critical for most photographers. Personally, I’ll just be adding the D700 to the D3 fleet because especially now with the buffer upgrade, the D3 solves the problems I run into. Either way though, you’ll have a pretty darn nice machine!
Scott at LensCoat just keeps coming out with cool products to protect our gear. His latest gear, the TravelCoat is pretty cool. Its purpose is to protect your gear when packed in a case. I used the 200-400VR TC for example on our Alaska adventure when it was packed away in the Pelican Case. It did a great job and I can highly recommend it!
I actually like them better when used in a way they are not intended to be used. Bopping through the forest (you might walk, I bop), too many times ducking under a tree limb my lens or camera body gets hit. Well, the TravelCoat fits on the long glass when mounted on a tripod. It’s great protection for those times you just don’t duck low enough. I also used the TC for the 200-400VR as a rain coat in AK and it worked great. Considering the investment we have in our long glass, this is real cheap insurance they stay functional, and looking like new.
Thanks for asking, the fishing was great! In between chores and fishing, I did get a NX2 Color Cast removal video created. You’ll find it with the other videos right here. As I mention in the video, the way I do it I’m sure isn’t the text book, technical perfection correct way of doing it. None the less, it’s the way I do it in my everyday workflow.
Want to thank everyone for the love notes in regards to these very simple videos! It’s great to hear they are helping so many with their photography. Understandably, we’ve received as many emails and calls asking for more video tutorials for NX2, Photoshop and how I create the blog posters. It would be great if I had the free time or was paid for the time to produce these, but such is not the case. I am waiting breathlessly for the release of the bird photography video we shot in February to get posted at Kelby Training and until that is posted, I just don’t have any time on my schedule to offer you something else. Thanks though for letting us know these have helped your photography which is the whole goal!
I was hoping to get out of this cleanly, but you “loyal” fans aren’t going to let me. Pandora’s Box has been opened now. That’s OK, knowledge is a good thing, it’s just a time issue for me. Let me answer a couple of the most common questions on NX2 and my videos for you.
*The videos show my notebook NX2 Workspace which is what I use on the road. The screen shot above is my dual monitor set up back in the office. NX2 is pen centrick which makes it an even more killer and faster app to use with my favorite tool, the Wacom 21UX. I use dual monitors (yes, 2 – 21UX) as shown above. The left monitor has just the image, the right monitors holds the Edit List, Histogram, Metadata and Browser. When I have the luxury of traveling with my Wacom 12WX, then I can use this same workspace with my notebook as pictured above.
*Many have pointed out I do not as indicated in the video, show the “correct” method to do Color Cast correction using NX2 in our DigitalPro tutorials. Oops…I guess I have a weekend project. I’ll get it done when I get done fishing (we gotta get our fly lines wet this weekend).
*The videos were having a sizing issue with IE. That has been fixed
Thanks for all the response to the videos, glad they are helping some dive into NX2 and then get out with finished images so quickly!
Scott over at LensCoat just keeps coming up with great gear for us to take great care of our gear! His latest goodies are lens pouches (scroll down a tad). I know. lens pouches are nothing new, heck most Nikon lenses comes with them now. But these are made out of basically waterproof neoprane (my feelings, not LensCoat). These cases also snug right up to the top of the lens because they are extra long. The cases in the back are hold a 14-24AFS, 24-70AFS with shd and 70-300VR. Sweet!
My favorite is the one up front here that I use for the 1.7x. It clips right to my belt making it easy to take on and off the 600VR while protecting it.
We get a lot of calls asking why our WRP PhotoPacks don’t come with a built in raincover. The answer is real simple, it adds to the cost and SIZE of the photopack. It has to be pouring buckets before I worry about my MP-1 PhotoPack. But there are those times, like in AK when it’s just pouring and the MP-1 is just lying there when a little extra cover might be handy.
That’s why I went out and bought a REI Duck’s Back Raincover (it even has a wildlife name, what more can you want?). This thing is bulletproof, I’ve tested it using the garden hose blasting away while it was covering the MP-1. It fits over the entire photopack even when it’s on your back. It folds flat and hides away in the back zippered compartment when not in use (adding nothing to the size of the photopack, very important these days when traveling by air). Whether it’s our photopack or some other manufacture, it’s a great way of protecting your bag without adding to its size. I use the 80lr for the MP-1, 60lr for the MP-3.
We just finished our AK Base Camp. One of the very important aspects of dealing with photo buyers is the delivery of Match Prints. Our big need is to delivery on a paper stock that matches not only the rich color of our photographs but the glossy nature of the magazines we’re selling images to. Well, the trade secret is out on how to get a leg up on the competition.
The Epson 1900 is a killer printer for just this, and many other printing applications. The prints coming out of the 1900 on Premium Luster and Premium Photo Paper are simply spectacular! If you counting, yes that’s the 4th Epson printer in our office. There’s the 7800, 3800, R340 and now the 1900. Each of these printers serve a specific task which is why they are all here (and I can’t leave out the P5000 which I don’t talk about much but is used on EVERY project and can’t live without).
And now until the 28th, the folks at NAPP have scored a special deal for NAPP members. Just another reason to be a NAPP member and another great product from Epson that I think if you’re in the business of supplying prints to photo buyers, you gotta have! Between its glossy print quality and speed, it just puts you and more importantly your photographs ahead.