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on May 28, 2020 in Field Reports

D6 Shares A Lot!

The D6 shares a lot of accessories with the D5 and older bodies. Pictured above, the Really Right Stuff plates fit perfectly on the D6, so no need to buy a new one. The DK-2 Eyecup from the F3HP (my favorite eyecup) fits the D6 as well. You can use the battery from the D4 / D5 in the D6 and while this is might be tempting, I got a new spare EL-EN18c for the D6 because of the improved internal performance. And of course, all the SB-5000 wireless works perfectly with the D6 with no firmware or new accessories required. I know these are little things but I like little things, just less to think about acquiring to be operational...

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on May 14, 2020 in Field Reports

ProGrade Micro SD Scream!

I received the new ProGrade Micro SD cards and readers last week and instantly installed them in my Keymissions and set them out to spy on the critters on The Ranch. I found some cool critters working up in the sage, but more importantly, discovered the amazing speed on the new ProGrade. The speed comes during upload with the combination of the cards and readers. ProGrade makes two readers, one that uses SD cards as a Micro holder and then reader and a dual-slot Micro reader. I uploaded with both and the speed was killer. Great additions to your...

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on Mar 30, 2020 in Field Reports

The Spectacular Nikkor Z20f1.8!

Last week the new Nikkor Z20f1.8 arrived on my desk (Thanks Bedfords!). I have a real thing for fast wide angle lenses and one native to the Z really grabbed my imagination. The Z20f1.8 is a spectacular lens rivaling my old favorite 24f1.4! There are two things that grabbed my attention right away, it’s straight-line rendition and minimum focusing distance (MFD). When you have the lens, you instantly notice how much longer it is than your basic 20mm. That’s because of all this optical goodness that’s required for the blistering sharpness edge to edge and fast lens speed. I got it to shoot at just one f/stop, f1.8 and I’m telling you, I love this lens! o Now, what’s with this silly GIF? It was my intention this past week to go out and shoot some heavenly bodies with this gorgeous lens. Up until today, we’ve had snow, snow and more snow so no clear skies. Since I couldn’t make that shot, I wanted to demonstrate the straight-line quality...

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on Mar 16, 2020 in Field Reports

KC-135 Thanks

OK, so I put the boom through the canopy of an F-35, otherwise, it was a fantastic time. I’ll get back to that in a moment. What got me to this opportunity is really the point of this post. I received the nicest email some months back from “Radio.” Radio is a very talented photographer who also is an MSGT at Fairchild AFB, head instructor at the Weapons School. He has over 1500 hours operating a Boom on a KC-135. He reached out to me simply to say thanks for the years of my photographic encouragement and an offer to spend time with him on the base. As you’ll read, neither I nor the Air Force will ever be the same again! Back to my putting that boom in the canopy of an F-35 (I meant well). “Radio” invited me to spend time with the KC-135, an aircraft I have sooooo wanted to work with. Its mission is just so simplistic (refueling aircraft) and yet so complicated (do it...

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on Feb 20, 2020 in Field Reports

Z Animal Eye Detection for Critters

Nikon just dropped a firmware update bringing animal eye detection to the Z7 / Z6. Does it work with critters? I wanted to know so I gave it a heck of a field test yesterday to get some answers for myself. Now the final goal is to capture sharp images. My question is whether I can credit just the new Animal Eye Detection or just the Z AF system in general, I can’t honestly tell you. The AF locked on and I got sharp images of busy, darting birds so I was happy. When it comes to the animal eye detection, this is what I found. When you’re in Auto Area AF with the Z with eye detection turned on, when it is working, a yellow box attaches to the eye. The photo of the Barred Owl above, I quickly saw the yellow box appear and the focus snap into place. When I had it on the Boreal Chickadee, in this photo, the yellow box appeared but that was...

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on Jan 2, 2020 in Field Reports

MB-N10 … Nice Balance

I was truly intrigued when the box arrived from Bedfords containing the couple of MB-N10s. I wanted them for two specifics reasons, the extra battery (for remote video and time-lapse) and larger handgrip (check, accomplished!). It’s really simple for me, I had these two needs I wanted solved and the MB-N10 takes care of them very nicely. Yeah, I’ve heard the negatives many feel they need to illustrate and yeah, a vertical firing button does seem logical. But I don’t shoot vertical videos so it’s OK with me. The better fit in my hand is nice. While weighing only 10oz, I was really quite surprised though when I mounted the Z7 / MB-N10 onto the 180-400VR, it made a big difference to the rigs balance! Over the years, I’ve come to learn to stay positive and that with all I shoot with there is always a side benefit to a tool I didn’t see coming. In this case, a major improvement of shooting the Z on the 180-400VR. The...

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