Happy Holidays from The Image Doctors!
I had the chance to sit down with my good friend, Rick Walker, and we were able to catch up on what we’ve been up to in 2012 and what we’re looking forward to doing in 2013. While the Image Doctors won’t be coming back as a regular podcast, we still enjoy discussing photography and hope you enjoy this special segment.
Sit back and relax (or fall asleep) as we discuss our experiences shooting the new Nikon D4 and D800 cameras, hear Rick’s thoughts on the new 70-200 f/4 VR Nikkor, and get some ideas on how you can make your photography fundamentally better overall.
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Nikon today has announced the release of two new wide angle lenses.
- 24mm f/1.4 AFS G Nikkor
- 16-35 f/4.0 AFS G VR Nikkor
These lenses are both designed for FX (full-frame) bodies, meaning that they will also work on DX (APS-C) bodies. The 16-35mm adds an image-stabilized option to the wideangle zoom lineup, and it lists for significantly less than the 17-35mm AFS ($1259 vs. $1760 in the USA).
The 24mm f/1.4 AFS Nikkor is a long-awaited replacement to the 28mm f/1.4 AF-D lens that sells used for ridiculous prices (over $3000). The 24mm f/1.4 AFS lens will allow photographers to have very creative depth of field options and incredible low-light performance, especially on a body like the D3 or D700. The new 24mm f/1.4 lens has a suggested price of $2199 in the USA.
The good news here: if you need a super-wide zoom that can accept 77mm front filters and don’t need the fastest aperture (ie, if you are a landscape photographer), then the 16-35mm VR is for you. In addition, the new 24mm f/1.4 lens is priced considerably lower than the 28mm model it replaces sells for on the used market, so expect the price of used 28mm f/1.4 lenses to drop precipitously.
I received a Nikon TC-20E III teleconverter a few days ago. I’ve not really been an advocate of 2x teleconverters, but this new design from Nikon contains aspherical elements (Nikon claims it is the first teleconverter with such a design) intended to drastically improve performance.
A 2x teleconverter is only intended for use on fast telephoto lenses. In fact, Nikon’s design prevents mounting any of their teleconverters on non-AFS lenses. Because the teleconverter robs you of light (in the case of the TC-20E III, two full stops), autofocus performance may degrade and viewfinder brightness will diminish. Given that, I only have a couple of lenses in my arsenal that would be a good match for the TC-20E III:
- 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS VRII (becomes a 140-400mm f/5.6 lens)
- 200mm f/2.0 AFS VR (becomes a 400mm f/4.0 lens)
I also have a few lenses that might work ok, depending on my need for fast autofocus:
- 300mm f/4.0 AFS (becomes 600mm f/8.0 lens)
- 200-400mm f/4.0 AFS VR (becomes a 400-800mm f/8.0 lens)
- 600mm f/4.0 AFS VR (becomes a 1200mm f/8.0 lens)
So far, I’ve briefly evaluated sharpness and AF ability with each of these lenses in a non-scientific manner.
Continue reading for my first impressions…
Continue reading Quick thoughts: TC-20E III
Well, it’s official. The much-rumored Nikon D3s has now been announced, along with a new DX-format macro (micro) lens.
The big news on the D3s is that the sensor has been tweaked to offer an in-spec ISO range of 200-12,800! The Hi-range mode now goes to Hi-3, or the equivalent of ISO 102,400! Of course, keep in mind that the “Hi” range in all Nikon DSLRs should be considered an “emergency” mode– good for low-res or black and white images when ANY shot is better than no shot at all.
Other cool features of the D3s:
- HD (720p) movie mode
- Integrated sensor cleaning (sonic)
- “Quiet mode” release– I agree that the original D3 is pretty loud compared to other Nikon DSLRs
- Expanded buffer supports 42 NEFs in continuous shooting
- 1.2 (8MP) crop mode
- Better battery life (4200 shots)
Also announced today is a new 85mm VR macro lens dedicated to DX shooters. The 85mm focal length is approximately equivalent to a 127mm angle of view on 35mm cameras, so this new lens is not a 105mm replacement for DX shooters. However, the lens has VR II image stabilization. Because it is a DX lens, it will not cover the full-frame FX format unless you use cropped mode on a D3/D700.
Editorial commentary after the jump.
Continue reading New Nikon D3s, 85mm DX Micro announced
I’m back from four days in Rocky Mountain National Park teaching the “Image Doctors” photo safari. We lucked into some (mostly) fantastic weather, and everyone came away happy. More importantly, everyone left the workshop with loads of fantastic images. If you weren’t on the workshop, here’s what you missed:
Continue reading Image Doctors workshop a smashing success