This is a great offer for you. Think Tank will let you “Test Drive” this two cool cases to see if they fit YOU!Just click on the bag picture and follow the instructions to get one of these delivered to your home with NO payment. Of course, if you get hooked, well then the wallet comes out. But you can test drive before you buy which means if the case doesn’t work for you, your wallet is still safe. The Logistics roller is one we use at WRP all the time so I’m very excited to see more can try this killer case!
The weather finally broke so at 05:15 Sharon and I were at Mono Lake with the new 800f5.6 AFS on my shoulder. I had my typical setup, Gitzo 5562GTS, Wimberley WH-200 with Moose Cam (Contour, with the only change being shooting with the D800 as my D4 and half of my gear is in for their annual CLA at Nikon. I was happy as a pig in clam shit to be out shooting critters! It was a brisk morning but not even a stitch of wind with clear skies. With the dirt still wet from the “storm” that went through, I figured the critters would be out and busy, making up for the days of snow, hail and rain. We walked and walked, looked and looked, nothing! Seriously?!
Carrying the rig over my shoulder as I always have, I swear it felt a little lighter than with the 600AFS but I know that’s because the 800mm rig is slightly better balanced on my shoulder. With time to kill, I started to check simple things like, how close can I get with the 800mm and focus on a critter? Manually focusing, I can be 18′ away from a subject and have it sharp. This is not how close it focuses with autofocus, but manually which is what I do most of the time when up close. At this distance at f/5.6, the DOF is bloddy narrow as I discovered when the first Violet-green Swallow appeared. Now being the middle of May, there should be a bucket load at the Tufas but all we had was this one. So as the sun came over the horizon, I had it in my sights and started to shoot. I was way too far away but it was the first bird we’d seen this morning so I wasn’t waiting. I wanted to photograph some critters in the worst way!
OK, I got a little closer, made some more clicks and then it flew off. Bastard! So there we stood, in the gorgeous light with no one to play with. So we kept walkin, lookin, checking all the normal haunts for swallows but with none in the air, I was feeling a little low. Then we came across some Canadian Geese with goslings! Goslings already, pretty big ones no less. While cute and all, shooting them with the 800mm seemed, well, a little anticlimactic after waiting three days to shoot so we just watched them as they strolled by. It was a gorgeous morning at Mono Lake though, looked like I should have been after landscapes rather than critters. We continued walking….
About 45min after sunrise and the nip disappeared from the air, I started to hear the swallows but didn’t see any. Then one came in from high above and landed. I now had two and then, lucky for me, a female showed up! Yeap, being spring and all, soon we had male swallows coming from everywhere to woo the one female and I could finally go to work. The swallows perch on the Tufas for brief periods as they do flight displays, fight with each other, all those male things they do in spring to get the attention of the female. The 800AFS had zero problems focusing from perch to perch as the swallows moved about. The AF speed is great and when the opportunity afforded itself, I would walk in slowly to get as close as I could to continue shooting. Only once did I walk too close that I couldn’t focus. That doesn’t count all the times the swallows landed so close I couldn’t focus no matter what. And was the Moose Cam on all of this time? It was running, I just haven’t edited it to post.
Sharon then saw another group of swallows on another set of Tufas so we wandered over to them. This is where I struck gold and had a male land on a Tufa right in front of me after taking a bath. For five or six minutes it groomed its feathers while calling to the other swallows flying by. On top of the Wimberley, the 800mm was real easy and fast to swing around to keep up with the action. You must be wondering if I was chimping all this time to see the results? Nope, didn’t check them until getting back to the office a short time ago and could see them on the 24HD Cintiq. That’s when I was blown away by the spooky sharpness of the 800AFS! I mean, this is one very sharp lens! It is also very obvious that the DOF at MFD is nothin, not even from the tip of the bill to the back of the eye on the swallow. Well, with these images in the can and the light getting hard, we started walking back towards the truck.
We spent time where we normally see Least Chipmunks but they didn’t want to play. Looked for the cottontail rabbits, none to be found. We kept walking back up the path. As were strolling up looking about, I heard the distinctive twitter (song not social media) of a Green-tailed Towhee. A second later saw it singing from the top of a big Tufa. While not a great perch, I walked to it. Then a female flew up from below it and they were off flying through the sage. I was just about to move on when the male came back and perched on a much better, smaller Tufa. I made a couple of clicks and moved closer. Made a couple of more clicks and then it sang! Those are the shots I love to get in spring.
For the next ten minutes I was able to work the towhee, getting closer and refining the background. The 800mm focal length has always been my favorite because of the ease of manipulating the background, in this case grabbing rabbit brush way off in the distance just getting its spring green. Now as my good friend Kevin pointed out this morning, the 600AFS with 1.4x gets you to the same place and this is true. Well, not too long that female reappeared and my subject jetted off through the sage in hot pursuit once again. So ended my first outing with the new 800AFS lens. Sitting now at my desk looking at the results, there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Nikon did an amazing job with this lens! This morning’s shoot was just with the 800mm itself, I didn’t attach any teleconverters to it. I will in due time but for now, I want to learn just what the lens will do on its own. mtc.
Free Shipping! – For the month of May all orders placed on our website or by phone will be shipped for free, with no minimum order amount. We did this in December and sales took off!
2. Free 15” Laptop Bag with every order of our popular Airport Rolling Camera Bags (e.g. Airport International, Airport Security, etc.). In addition, we will give you an extra 5% commission on all sales generated by you of our Airport Rolling Camera Bags. This is similar to the program we ran last May and it was a phenomenal success.
My name is Moose….I’m addicted to Cintiqs!
Wacom just keeps bringing out killer new tools to speed up our workflow and increase the quality of our post production. Just announced today is their new Cintiq 22HD, the little brother to the Cintiq 24HD that I have sitting on my desk. Here’s the scoop …
By combining multi-touch with our renowned pen technology, the new Cintiq 22HD touch offers professional artists and designers an immersive on-screen experience and a more natural and intuitive way to work. Multi-touch will continue to be an important input method moving forward and creative software applications are embracing multi-touch and making it an important interface for professional creators of digital content. When multi-touch and pen input are used together on the Cintiq 22HD touch, creative control, comfort and productivity are greatly enhanced, thanks to both hands being able to work in concert. Wacom and its software partners keep pushing the envelope by offering a digital workflow that emulates a traditional media experience that helps to keep the content creation industry moving forward.
Walking the expo floor at Photoshop World and the first thing I came across is the brand new Wacom Cintiq 13HD. OMG, this thing is great!!!! It plugs into the HDMI port on the computer, plugs into the USB, plugs into the wall and you’re going. Full 1080p viewing, beautiful color and is the same form factor as the Mac Retina but thinner. I AM SO HOT on this new product (just started shipping two days ago)! Why would you want one? Just watch the videos on the site here. The speed these bring to your workflow make them a must!
I don’t think I’ve ever done a “food” post but this is worth a first. Just did a shoot for Krave Jerky and part of the shoot entailed, eating the product. I’ve had aaaaa loooot of jerky in my day but none, zero like Krave! The flavor, tenderness and the total lack of any after taste or incredible desire for water because of salt sold Sharon and I on this product. A Gluton free product, great for on the go protein, I can’t recommend this enough to the photographer on the go! You can buy it many places which includes Amazon.
I’ve had the 80-400AFS for just over a week now and have about 4000 images captured by it. I am impressed so much so, I’ve added it to my camera bag. Last week I shot Lesser Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River with it proving to myself it works great with wildlife. This weekend shooting in AZ, got to use it was aircraft and it performed beautifully! I mean, I really, really like it!
What you see here is a Hummelbird shot with D4 connected to the 80-400VR3. The Hummelbird is a homemade airplane, a one of kind powered by a VW engine with a handcarved prop. There is no way I could ever fit in it but I watched it fly around the field a lot and it really gets going. This particular shot is literally the first aircraft I shot with the 80-400AFS and as you can see, it’s sharp baby! Why did I shoot it backlit? I just love the pilot and his shadow in the canopy. I just wish I had seen it sooner to get the Hummelbird on approach rather than it leaving the field.
At a stimulating 20 degrees in the blind, my fingers are barely functioning right now outside the warmth of my gloves. But I’ve just gotta share the magnificent flyin tonight on the Platte River, NE. The Lesser Sandhill Cranes are simply the most amazing critter in migration as they seem to celebrate every moment in the air and on the ground together. Shooting with the D800 and the 80-400VR3 (which did a FANTASTIC job!), we had about 20min of thousands of cranes coming in as the sun set. Shooting in Cloudy at -1, I pumped the colors up a tad but what you see is what we saw about a hour ago. Now, we’re locked in the blind until about 10am tomorrow and the temps seem to be dropping and the wet chill settles in. That’s OK though, I love going to sleep in the warm sleeping bag listening to the cranes sing outside. mtc…
B&H got into my hands the new 80-400AFS just prior to my leaving (again) and I’m so glad they did! I was always a fan of the original 80-400, the sharpness, not its focusing speed. The flexibility this lens with its focal length range demanded that I get the new one and test it. So on my drive around MN today, I gave it a quick, initial test drive and first opinion is, damn, schweet!
The lens is not inexpensive but I think you more than get your money’s worth. The one big issue with the original was its focusing speed and that was the first thing I wanted to test drive. In MN, it wasn’t hard to find something moving by really fast. There isn’t an inch of snow here without sled tracks! Well, shooting with the D4, the 80-400 had NO problem locking on, staying locked on and delivering sharp images frame after frame. Now this is not a conclusive test of its focusing speed, but I know that old 80-400 couldn’t even have done this subject. I have more speed tests coming but my results so far encourage me to push the limits further. (both photos taken at 400mm, f5.6)
When it comes to the lens itself, it’s quite the lens, more than I was expecting! Its ALL metal housing while heavy feels great. The best part is when mounted on the D4, the 80-400 is perfectly bounced. I really like that! The tripod collar is a winner and like the original 80-400 or 300f4, you can rotate it 40 degrees and remove it. The shade, well I’m not really thrilled by it but that’s a little nit. The zoom is smooth but I don’t think from first testing, it’s a true zoom. Its minimum focusing distance is good, not great.
The reason though why I acquired the 80-400AFS was for wildlife & aviation photography. Yes, I have the 200-400VR2 and it’s not leaving my bag. But this lens which is 1/3 the price and who knows what fraction the size, it a great option for lots of photographers! You could have this one lens and cover a WHOLE lot of subjects and that’s why I’m shooting it. As more unfolds, I’ll post but I am very impressed by the 80-400 so far!
I know, some will say that now I’ve gone over the deep end. And perhaps I have but I do shoot a lot and I mean a lot with my iPhone. When I moved up to the iPhone 5, I went looking for a case and it just so happened at the same time, Really Right Stuff came out with their XC-iP5 case. It’s a very simple, very strong (RRS standards here) case that does a great job as a case, but wait, there’s more! Like everything RRS, there is a clamp just for the case so you can attach the iPhone to a tripod, the B2-Xj2. You have to be asking by now, “Why go to all of this for an iPhone?” And that’s a very valid question! Well, I like to share simply clicks taken with the iPhone on social media but I never just make a simple click. I often use TrueHDR for just about every shot, it’s simply a great photo app! It works by tapping on the highlight and going click, tapping on the shadow and going click and then the app combines the two images. The camera has gotta hold still for both images for it all to work. The other app I’m really having fun with is Cycloramic. This little gem permits you to capture a complete 360 but it does it so simply and accurately, even I can do it! And finally, there is SlowShutter, a great app my bud Kevin turned me onto. This app actually takes control of the shutter speed of the iPhone permitting a slower shutter speed for, you guessed it, blurred water (used for the Yosemite Fall photo). What does this all have to do with the RRS iPhone 5 case?
You gotta have it sharp, even coming from the iPhone. Often, it’s an after thought when I shoot with it. I’m already shooting with the D4 and often, I’m wearing gloves. So using the Manfrotto 492LCD Micro Ball Head I can attach the iPhone to the hotshoe of the D4 and go. The bottonline, I wanted a way to take a sharp image with the iPhone that was not only effecient but looks cool. The RRS iPhone 5 case does that and, oh ya…protects the phone too!