Shot of the day: Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule, Everglades National Park, Florida USA (Click to enlarge)

I’m spending the next few days in the Everglades doing some bird photography.  Here’s one of my favorites from this morning, shot at the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park.  The bird is a purple gallinule, something you won’t see just about anywhere else in the USA.

Shot details:

Nikon D300
Zoom Nikkor 200-400 f/4.0 AFS VR G lens
Gitzo 3340LS tripod with Wimberley MkII head

Hands-on review: Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 AFS VR G zoom lens

L to R: 14-24mm f/2.8, 16-35mm f/4 and 17-35 f/2.8 Nikkor zooms

I received my copy of the much-anticipated 16-35mm f/4.0 AFS VR G zoom Nikkor lens last week, and I have done some preliminary testing.  My basic tests fall into the following categories:

  • Build/Handling
  • Optical Performance
  • Comparisons with other lenses

For this test, I compared the new super wide-angle zoom with its Nikon competition for FX:

Both of these lenses are generally considered to be high-end “pro” glass, and they each cost significantly more than the 16-35mm VR.

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Continue reading Hands-on review: Nikon 16-35mm f/4.0 AFS VR G zoom lens

One on-one Capture NX2/ Silver Efex Pro training

Do you need to hone your post-processing skills?  Still trying to figure out when to use a Control Point and when to use a brush tool?  Capture NX2 workflow got you down? For those who are interested in learning more about Capture NX2 and/or Nik Silver Efex Pro, I am available on a limited basis for one on-one private tutoring.

Contact me for more information if you are interested in a custom training package.

-Jason

Going long: Shooting with the Nikkor 600/4 VR and TC-20EIII

Odell_20100212_5225.JPGI finally got a little time (and sunshine) to head out to the local nature center to fiddle around with my 600mm VR lens and try it with the TC-20E III.  When you are using long lenses, tripods are absolutely mandatory; hand-holding is not at all feasible (well, maybe if you pump iron like Ah-nold).

I started off with my normal combo for small birds: 600mm + TC-14E. This gives an effective 840mm focal length on my FX Nikon D3s. The TC-14E only costs one stop of light, so my lens behaves as though it were f/5.6 instead of f/4 when it is wide-open.  I’ve used this combination several times in the past, and it works really well.  I get sharp images and AF performance is still very fast and accurate.

Continue reading Going long: Shooting with the Nikkor 600/4 VR and TC-20EIII