space

I receive tons of great questions from web readers. I really appreciate hearing from folks around the globe because I learn as much as those who write looking for answers. I want to share these questions and answers with all so we can all learn from each other. Remember you can use our search engine or click on Edit, then on Find and plug in what you're looking for to search all these pages on particular topics. Or you can glance through the FAQs below.


Q: Which should I buy, the AF-S or AF-S II version of a lens?

A: Not a clue as I don't know you, your style of photography or your abilities. The AF-S II lenses offer a slighter less weight and slighter shorter MFD lens. If there are problems you're facing in photography and these new designs solve them, then you probably have your answer. But it's not one I can answer for you.

Q: How many days out of the year are you shooting?

A: In 2000, it totaled 6 months away from home and when I'm home, I shoot nearly everyday. SO it's safe to say it's nearly everyday! And believe it or not, I'm shooting even more in 2001! Any less and I get really grumpy!

Q: When are you going to write another book on wildlife photography?

A: We've started our own book publishing business and the first book should be out in late November, The D1 Generation (copyright 2001). There are two books scheduled after that so I'm hoping the next book on wildlife photography, one like you've never seen before, will be next.

Q: Have you done any macro with the D1?

A: I have on limited bases. I find it easier and more fun to do macro with the D1 then conventional because of the fact I can instantly see if everything is working right and the 1.5x focal length increase. Moose getting down needs all the help he can get.

Q: I've read you're buying the D1H over the D1X, is that correct and if so, why?

A: Yes, I want the D1H (5fps) over the D1X (3fps) and my reasons are simple. I need fast camera response vs. big files for my work. Since I already shoot with the D1 and it delivers files big and good enough for my needs and that of my clients, larger files are not important to me. Shooting 5fps is to capture action!

Q: Do you sell prints of your images?

A: You bet, I like money just like the next guy. We can provide you any print size of any image you like that you see on our web site For more info and pricing, call our office at 760.924.8632 (M-F 9-5 PST)

Q: What kind of loupe do you use to edit your images?

A: I use a 12x loupe as I'm just looking at the eyes of the subject to see if they are sharp. I don't recommend this power loupe for most folks though, 4x does a great job. Most folks over edit in the first place, a powerful loupe just increases this problem.

Q: You use only Nikon gear now when you use to recommend some Tokina. Why the change?

A: I'm a photographer, a wildlife photographer with constantly changing projects. As new problems arise I find new solutions. Tokina makes an excellent line of optics, have no hesitation recommending them but for the moment, none solve the problems I run into.

Q: You shoot the 400f2.8 AF-S, can I use a 400f5.6 and accomplish the same thing while saving money?

A: I don't know, have no clue what you're trying to accomplish. I rely on the very narrow depth-of-field of the 400f2.8 as well as the amount of light it lets in in dark situations for the AF sensor.

Q: Which would you recommend, the F100 or N80?

A: I hate these types of questions as there is no right or wrong answer, at least for me. I like both cameras but of late I've been recommending the N80 to most folks as it does a great job for very little money.

Q: Why have you switched to the D1 and digital?

A: I'm a photographer, a wildlife photographer with constantly changing projects. As new problems arise I find new solutions. For me, my shooting and business, digital offers a whole lot more solutions. It is also a whole lot more fun! You might want to refer to my Digital Pages for more in-depth info.

Q: What lenses do you use and why?

A: You might want to refer to Moose's Camera Bag pages for more info. You might also want to subscribe to the BT Journal.

Q: I have troubles focusing with the Kenko extension tubes, how come?

A: Without being there to see for myself, I can only guess. I would suspect that simply there is not enough light for the AF system to function. The best solution is to turn off the autofocus and manually focus and get the shot, worry why it didn't work later.

Q: I'm having a heck of a time learning flash, what do you suggest?

A: practice, practice, practice! Flash is hard to learn except when actually using it. You might want to read the many pages on the web site about flash and try the Teddy Bear exercise to learn more.

Q: What's wrong with my lens, when I try to focus on a moving subject is just searches?

A: There is nothing wrong with your lens, it's your technique. You are not smoothly tracking or panning with the subject so the AF sensor isn't constantly on the subject so it keeps searching. You might want to read on the site about proper long lens technique, hand holding and panning.

Q: Do you always use a Moose filter?

A: No! The Moose Filter (polarizer) is for removing reflections. I only use this tool when this tool is needed.

Q: Why do you use Nikon?

A: The main reason I originally went with Nikon and stuck with it was for its flash technology. I still use Nikon because I like it, nothing more complicated than that!

Q: Why do you use a 400f2.8 and a 600f4?

A: One is my "mammal" lens and the other is my "bird" lens. I have specific lenses for specific uses, that's my style of photography. For a more in-depth answer, you need to attend one of my seminars where I really go through this lens use.

Q: What's the difference between teleconverters and extension tubes?

A: Teleconverters have glass optics that "magnify" the image. Extension tubes are mere spaces decreasing a lens' minimum focusing distance.

Q: Do I really need an eyecup?

A: I think so, it acts like a shock absorber minimizing shake and helping in capture sharp images.

Q: I read a lens review on the web which is different from your review, which do I believe?

A: That's strictly up to you! I write from personal experience, shooting with a lens and having results I can use in my business. There's lots of stuff on the web. I personally don't find a whole lot I can believe.

Q: Why do you only write good things about Nikon lenses?

A: I write about the lenses I use in my own shooting and if those lenses aren't any good, I'm out of business. Nikon manufactures a couple hundred lenses and you'll find only a handful on my web site To me, that's not writing something nice about every lens.

Q: Do you work for Nikon? Does Nikon give you all of your gear?

A: I do not work for Nikon, they, like other clients who use my images time to time for their advertising. Nikon does not give me my gear, I buy it like anyone else. Nikon does provide me gear on consignment for evaluation purposes such as when writing a review. These consignment periods are normally two weeks.

Q: Why do you hate Canon?

A: That's a popular myth that people write because they have nothing to add to the gene pool. I don't hate Canon or Canon shooters (my best friend is a Canon shooter). I personally don't care which brand of camera a person uses as I know it's the person behind the camera that counts!

Q: I understand that the D lenses offer advantages when used with flash photography and the newer Nikon speedlights.

A: Well, you need the "D" lens, flash and N90/N90s or F5 for this to be true.

Q: I am unsure if they offer much advantage with non-flash photography. However, I am wondering if the new RGB metering system in the F5 changes any of my understandings.

A: The F5's RGB meter requires either an AF-S, AF-I, "D" AF or non-D AF lens to function. You loose a small portion of the formula with the RGB meter if you don't use a non D lens, but it's not a big deal.

Q: Should I wait to buy a D version of a lens I am interested in or is there not big difference except for flash photography?

A: You need to buy the lens that solves the problems you face in photography. If that's a D lens, great, if not, so be it.

Q: This point seems to be confusing many people and is causing problems and confusion. For example, I am interested in the 75-300 zoom but it is not a D lens. I can wait if getting a D lens is worth it.

A: I use the 75-300 all the time with the F5, no problems and no loose of technology. Every time a new body comes on the market, this question arises. New bodies should be kept in perspective and while true, the F5 will change your photographic life, it's still the lenses that communicate what we're seeing to others, captures your ideas on film and defines you style in photography.

Q: Are well-used big Nikkors a good bet; if so, is it worth the extra money to get autofocus or should I look for an older manual focus lens? (I recently used a friend's 300mm f2.8 and loved the autofocus feature.)

A: This is a multi-part answer. Right now, there are some great deals on used Nikkor big lenses that I would hope smart folks are snapping up. I personally wouldn't hesitate for a moment buying one myself and in fact, my 300f2.8N AF I bought used. Now the question of manual focus or autofocus is an excellent one. First, in all honestly, if you're not shooting with an F5, don't buy autofocus because there is no other Nikon body that's going to make it worth your money. The reason for that is simple, all other bodies except the F5 have just one AF sensor, dead center in the frame. That's no good!

Q: I have been reading many photography books. And many of them have exposure settings for every photo. Many of these books are written by pros like John Shaw, Joe McDonald, Art Wolfe, Moose Peterson, etc. How do these people record all these settings? Do they keep proper notes for every photo they take? How about for animal life, I would think there would be no time to take notes and capture a fox running. Or do they add exposure settings just by experience after they get the slides back?

A: I don't keep track of shutter speeds, but aperture is easy to figure as the vast majority of the time, I shoot at f/5.6. Under certain instances, I shoot just f/8 and all my scenics are f/22. Having a set style where the aperture is a given, it is easy to look at the light and determine a rough idea for the shutter speed based on basic daylight. The real important info is the aperture and not shutter speed as aperture controls depth-of-field and therefore, what you communicate in your photograph. I can only of course, answer this for myself. Hope it helps!

top of page


Q: I currently use the F4s and a variety of lenses from 20mm to 300mm to record for stock, mostly subjects of ecological interest such as clear cutting, other types of timber harvest, replanting, trash in forest, etc.) I rarely make images of wildlife (although some day...). Do you feel the metering of the F5 is reason enough to consider changing to this model as my primary camera body? While I don't really need speed (most of the time) and usually have the time (and take it as well) to argue with myself over method of exposure, compensation or not, where to meter, etc. I would like to be rid of the nasty little job and concentrate on compensation and how the final image is to look. Your discussion re: the 3D matrix metering has just about convinced me. I tried a N90s for a while and didn't like it for my style of work, since my camera ate batteries! and it didn't have mirror lock. I would be willing to leave behind the "manual" F4 and try auto again if you feel the metering is that reliable?

A: The fast answer to your question, No. The slow answer has the same outcome but with an explanation. Whenever a new body is introduced, this debate goes through the head of every photographer. To buy, or not to buy, that is the question! The F5 provides photographers with a whole new arsenal that basically do nothing more than eliminate variables in the shooting process, mainly exposure and focus. Now, prior to the F5, did photographers capture incredible images? You bet. Will incredibly images be captured by the F5 otherwise not possible? You bet. The real question here is really, will the $3000 for the F5 get your further ahead photographically than $3000 worth of film and time in the field? I've always said and I'm not changing my song even with my switching to the F5 system, using the big bucks to buy film and time in the field in a better investment the latest equipment.

Q: You mentioned that the lack of a tripod collar on the 80-200mm f2.8 prevented your from owning one. Do you feel that for general outdoor shooting that the new tripod collar version would be the better buy, not considering filter size?

A: I have one sitting on my desk that I've been using for a week now. I really like the new 80-200N D AF for a couple of reasons. On the F5 (wouldn't be applicable to other bodies) the two ring operation is great because zooming by turning while the lens focuses via the F5 works beautifully. I was photographing flying gulls with the lens and F5 and really love my results. You'll see the new 80-200 in my camera bag shortly.

Q: I remember reading *somewhere* in one of your recent articles that you had a preference for one brand of padding/insulation for your Gitzo's legs -- but, I just can't seem to find the article. Am I crazy?

A: You might have seen my write up in my Journal on the Op/Tech Tripod Leg Wraps. Really cool, highly recommend. You can contact them at 888.678.3244. Tell them Moose sent you!

Q: I noticed from your web page that you put either a Tiffen 812 or a Nikon warming filter on each lens and that they are always on the lens. Do you remove the filters if you put another filter on the lens such as a skylight or Tiffen Enhancing filter?? If you use more than one filter on a lens at the same time, does order make a difference?

A: I leave the warming filter on all the time, even if stacking another filter on top of it. Yes, I've heard it will degrade the image as well. It's one of those things that folks write about not doing but do all the time. In my case, I tell you I do it because it's a very valid method and technique in capturing what you see and communicate it to others. That's always the bottom line with me. Try the Moose Filter, a combination of a warming filter and polarizer.

Q: I read on your Moose's Camera Bag page that the AF of the 80-200/2.8N D AF is really fast when used with the F5. Most people I have talked to say that it takes about 3-4 seconds for this lens to go from its min. focusing distance to infinity focus.

A: I don't know what to tell you there, I've not had any problems. But then, I don't go from minimum to maximum to focus on a subject. Whether manual or autofocus, I've always prefocused so as little focusing must be done to bring an image into tack sharpness with as little effort, or time required

Q: What kind of film do you use??

A: I use Agfa RSX 100 exclusively. (Digital Film - Lexar)

Q: My basic question, which I even had 15 years ago - print vs slide film.

A: I use slide, or positive film as that's how the industry is set up for publication and reproduction. Also, I can't take out a page of negatives, scan them and decide which one is the best, I need to look at positives, I believe the same holds true for editors.

Q: Which 2x TC would work best on my 300 f4 and would the f stop be too low since that would make it a 600 f8?

A: The Nikon, but you need to remember that while your effective f/stop is f8, your DOF remains at f/4. To get the DOF, you'll need to close down, further increasing you effective f/stop.

top of page

Home | BT Journal | WRP Trading Post | Moose's Camera Bag | Digital Photography | Wildlife Photography | Landscape Photography
General Photography Tips | Workshops & Classes | Moose's Gallery | Moose Blog | Environmental Issues | Links | About Moose | Contact Info