Category Archives: Gear

Who needs a multi-row pano kit?

Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. 5-shot pano stitch (Click to enlarge)

Panoramic images are a current hot topic in the digital photography world. For the uninitiated, a panoramic image is any image that has an exaggerated aspect ratio; much longer (or taller) than it is wide. You can produce panoramic images in one of two ways:

  • Cropping
  • Stitching

While cropping can work great, you throw away image resolution when you do it. With stitching, you need to take multiple images and blend them together. Doing so gives you images with far more detail than you’d get from any single image frame. Consider a simple stitch with two shots from the 16 megapixel Nikon D7000, which produces a 4,928 x 3,262 pixel image. Simply by combining two shots end to-end, you’d get a composite image that was at most 9856 x 3262 pixels– 32MP. Continue reading Who needs a multi-row pano kit?

Concert-going with the Nikon P7000

Metallica through the eyes of a Coolpix P7000

Ah, how times have changed. I’ve been to many concerts, but usually cameras are prohibited items. Not this time, as I was able to bring my Nikon P7000 to a recent show in California. For the most part, I was impressed with what I got, and the manual functions on the P7000 really helped when things got dark.

I took advantage of the high ISO mode (ISO 1600) and used spot metering to avoid drastic overexposure– something that happens a LOT when a point and shoot camera sees a very dark stage and a spot-lit musician. I also liked being able to dial in -EV compensation to keep the background dark. At the end of the night, I got some memories that I could take with me.

Using the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo

Here’s a short video clip that I made to explain how you set up and use the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo filter. This filter allows you to dial in up to 8 stops of light-blocking action, which enables you to use very LONG shutter speeds to blur water and moving objects.

Here’s a shot I made with the Vari-N-Duo in Colorado Springs during one of my photography workshops.

Branch over the stream, slow exposure made with Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo variable ND filter.

Evaluating the Nikon 200-400mm VR with distant subjects

I’ve had my zoom Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 AFS G VR lens for about five years, and it’s my absolute go-to wildlife lens unless I’m after very small birds (at which point the 600mm is more useful). A common criticism of this lens is that it is sharp on near (less than 100ft) subjects, but soft with distant subjects. Unfortunately, telephoto lens performance on distant subjects can be marred by more variables than one can easily isolate. I recently had a chance to test my lens in the field to see if I could make any definitive conclusions about its performance. Continue reading Evaluating the Nikon 200-400mm VR with distant subjects

Think Tank Photo 20% off sale on Beltpacks

For a limited time, save 20% off Think Tank Belt Packs!

I’ve gotten word that my friends over at Think Tank Photo are having their first-ever sale. I really like TTP products; I have a closet full of them! Their beltpacks are among some of the best, especially if you have larger “pro-style” DSLRs.

Another great thing about all the TTP products is the attention to detail. Card wallets have leashes so you won’t drop them off a cliff or from a helicopter. All the bags include a protective rain cover, and the foam inserts are removable to allow custom configurations when space is more important than padding. You can also attach TTP modules (pouches) directly to the belt packs for extra capacity.

Check out the three packs currently on sale:

Speed Demon: Holds a DSLR, medium zoom lens and other accessories

Speed Freak: Holds a DSLR with lens attached and a 70-200mm lens next to it.

Speed Racer: Specifically designed to hold a “Pro” DSLR, like the Nikon D3s or Canon 1D Mark IV with a lens attached and a 70-200mm size lens.