Tag Archives: gear

The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast #9

[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/z1LMtIHYMWk” title=”The%20Sensor%20Plane%20Photography%20Podcast%20with%20Jason%20Odell”]

A trip to South Texas for birding means packing big glass and using the right settings. In today’s episode, I review the Think Tank Photo Airport Security 2.0 roller bag, and share my tips for getting sharp shots of small birds. I also share some of my images from this year’s South Texas Birding Experience photo safari.

For an audio-only version of this episode (MP3 format), click here.

 

Follow Jason Odell Photography

Hands-on with the Fujifilm X-T1: First Impressions

The Fujifilm X-T1 is a mirrorless camera with DSLR features (Image courtesy of Fujifim).
The Fujifilm X-T1 is a mirrorless camera with DSLR features (Image courtesy of Fujifim).

Well, I decided I’d see what the hub-bub was all about with regard to the Fujifilm X-series cameras. I’ve known for some time that these cameras have a great sensor (16MP, APS-C, no AA filter), but the ergonomics and performance made me hesitate. The biggest flaws with the Fujifilm X-system have been related to focusing speed and lag. Now, with the introduction of the Fujifilm X-T1, most of those issues are gone.

The X-T1 is more DSLR-like in design than the other Fujifilm bodies, making it a little less compact than say, the X-E2. However, it’s weather-sealed, has an articulating LCD, and the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is huge. Moreover, the autofocus performance is said to be faster than the X-E2, which was considerably better than the previous generations of Fujifilm cameras (X-E1, X-Pro1). The X-T1 shoots at 8fps, and has a nice built-in grip.

So I put in an order with B&H Photo (I buy all my own gear) and got a nice Fujifilm kit. Here’s me unboxing it with my first impressions:

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP05f5c6PqM&list=UUPREkjArRBkPxvphzIdceTg&feature=share” title=”unboxing%20the%20Fujifilm%20X-T1%20digital%20camera” autohide=”1″]

Short answer: the build quality of the X-T1 and lenses is nothing short of dreamy. Silky smooth focus ring action and metal barrel construction. It’s really nice to handle! Moreover,  the size of this kit is totally manageable. My ThinkTank bags just swallow this kit up!

Now that the battery has charged, I’ve had a few hours to play with the camera. I had to run firmware updates on most of the lenses. Here’s the link to Fujifilm’s lens firmware page for reference. Continue reading Hands-on with the Fujifilm X-T1: First Impressions

Follow Jason Odell Photography

Landscapes with Longer Focal Lengths

Daybreak in the Rockies, Cottonwood Pass, Colorado. Image captured with a Nikon D800e and 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS G VRII zoom Nikkor lens.
Daybreak in the Rockies, Cottonwood Pass, Colorado. Image captured with a Nikon D800e and 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS G VRII zoom Nikkor lens.

When you go out to photograph landscapes, what’s the first lens you reach for? For many of us, it’s a midrange (24-70mm) or wide (16-35mm) zoom lens. Those lenses are great, but there are lots of times when a longer focal length is ideal, even in wide-open spaces. By using something like a 70-200mm zoom, you can make some really compelling images.

Why should you use a telephoto zoom for landscape photography?

  • Telephoto lenses help you isolate the subject and cut out distracting elements from the scene, especially empty foreground space.
  • Telephoto lenses create subject isolation by softening backgrounds, especially when used with wide apertures.
  • Telephoto lenses compress the scene, enhancing the look of layers in a landscape and adding depth.

With all these creative benefits, it’s no wonder that my 70-200mm lens is something I find very enjoyable to use on my landscape photography trips.

Here are some more landscape images I captured with my 70-200mm lens: Continue reading Landscapes with Longer Focal Lengths

Follow Jason Odell Photography

Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

"Standing Tall" Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm.
“Standing Tall”
Nikon 1 V1 converted to infrared, 10-30mm 1-Nikkor zoom at 13.1mm. Image processed in Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4.

I recently converted my Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera to “super-color” infrared. I’ve been having fun with the camera, but I did notice that wider shots seemed very soft in the corners. According to the team at Life Pixel, wide-angle lenses are notoriously problematic with infrared cameras. Lens distortions tend to be exaggerated and softness is common. The primary culprit, it seems, is the fancy optical coatings on your lenses, which help reduce distortion and aberrations. The coatings are optimized for visible light, not IR wavelengths.

As much as I hate taking pictures of brick walls, I also want to understand the limitations of my gear. I decided to test three of my 1-Nikkor lenses to see how well they performed with infrared. Continue reading Infrared Photography with the Nikon 1 System: Wide-angle lens testing

Follow Jason Odell Photography

First Impressions: 1-Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR for Nikon 1 System

The Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor is small, sharp, and really a pleasure to use.
The Nikon 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor is small, sharp, and really a pleasure to use.

Hey, I just received the new 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 1-Nikkor lens to use on my Nikon 1 V1 and V2 bodies. Yeah, this baby has been out since around April, but I had other things that took precedence. But now that I have one, I’ve played with it and here are my first impressions. Continue reading First Impressions: 1-Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR for Nikon 1 System

Follow Jason Odell Photography