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on Aug 14, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

It’s The Time Again

I’ve been doing it for nearly thirty years, it’s just a habit that’s treated me well. I send my gear into Nikon for service once a year. I time the sending of my gear so I have in the locker what I need for the next few weeks. This means that about half goes in for clean, lube and adjustment every six months. This is not for repair, this is to clean six months of “work” off, tighten loose screws and just simply, well, a massage treatment for gear I depend on. Like I said, been doing this forever and in all those years, my gear has not let me down. In this case, I’m sending in just my main D5 body as it’s not been in for a year....

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on Aug 2, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

2x the Verstality

I’ve received a bunch of emails in regards to the 180-400VR lens, basically asking is it worth the price? At the same time, is it really versatile? Now that I have shot with it for a month, I can tell you that it is more than worth it. The 180-400VR is truly more than I expected, the quality and versatility with its built-in 1.4x is brilliant! But at that price, can it do more? Many have asked what’s it like with the TC-20eIII 2x? You can see my results here and the 24×30″ prints are mind blowing! The image quality is not what I expected, it fas surpasses it. What about operation? The AF operation with the 180-400VR and TC-20eIII which is at f/8 is pretty amazing even in low light. teleconverterFocal Lengthf/stop none180-400VRf4 Int 1.4x252-560mmf5.6 Int 1.4x & Ext TC-14eIII352-784mmf8 2x TC-20eIII360-800mmf8 Int 1.4x & Ent TC-20eIII504-1120mmf11 With built-in 1.4x engaged and the TC-20eIII connected, you’re now at f/11 and AF operation becomes sluggish. With the AF in...

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on Jul 17, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

Nikkor 180-400VR – a vid

I didn’t see it coming, but I’ve fallen in love shooting with the new Nikkor 180-400VR. Its sharpness is what started the affair because this is one sharp puppy! But it’s the versatility of the built-in 1.4x that really makes it for me. Being able to switch to 560mm without even a perceivable move of the finger so even the shiest critter won’t know I’m now closer. In the video I show a still of my hummingbird rig used for the stills in the video. The gear in that still is: D5 180-400VR SB-5000 2x SD-9 2x Impact Quikbox...

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on Jun 28, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

Multiply the fun by 1.4x!

I set out shooting with two goals: vastly improving my baby Yellow-pine Chipmunk photos and test the new 180-400VR with the 1.4x TC-14eIII attached. In years past I’ve shot with the 800mm, 600mm, 300PF and 200-400 and hands down, the 180-400VR did the best job for a number of reasons. The biggest is its flexibility (its sharpness with the 1.x attached is amazing!). I need to explain that one. In order to get the shot, I needed to be flat on the ground. I mean, flat (that’s a challenge for me!) So I grabbed the Platypod Max, RRS BH-55 and headed out alongside the side of the house and laid down with all the critters (the ants up my pants were delightful and the caterpillar on my pant leg, charming!). While there might be as many as two dozen chipmunks buzzing around, because they are greased lightning, getting glass on one long enough to arrange elements, focus and fire requires gear flexibility. The Platypod Max, RRS BH-55 provides stability...

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on Jun 3, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

The Beautiful 180-400VR

When the 180-400VR was first announced, because of my gear addiction, I instantly wanted it. I’ve had the 200-400VR since it was first introduced, then upgraded to the 200-400VR2 when it came out. So “upgrading” just seemed the thing to do then I looked at the price. Gulp! I looked through my files for the last 18 months to see how much I shot with the 200-400, not enough to justify the upgrade and so I wasn’t going to buy one. It’s how gear acquisition works in the office. Then two big game projects hit the calendar, a couple of ground to air projects and with that, the math worked out and volla, B&H got the lens to me and now this gorgeous lens is now in the locker. And simply put, it’s spectacular! What’s the upgrade in the 180-400VR? First is the lower focal length limit is 180mm, the other is the built-in 1.4x teleconverter. So the lens is a 180-400VR f/4 at 1x and with the 1.4x...

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on Jun 21, 2018 in Moose's Camera Bag

The Takeaway

Learning that improves our mind and hearts moves our photography forward! 1. Get it right in the camera! So much easier (and quicker!) to get a final image that is representative of what you see. 2. Go as long as you can or you will come up short. There was more that one occasion where I wished I had more reach. 3. Keep learning how to use my equipment better. I have downloaded Snap Bridge and am learning how to use it as an example. There are many more. 4. Exposure, exposure, exposure! Be aware of how light is changing and adjust accordingly. 5. Be nimble and use your knowledge of behavior and biology to get the best shot. Don’t follow the “herd,” especially in places like Yellowstone and the Tetons. The best bear shots I have are a result of your anticipation of where the bears were headed and not where everyone else was standing. 6. Be cognizant of heat shimmer and adjust as best you can. My...

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