After what has seemed like an eternal winter, the weather here in Colorado is finally warming up. Moreover, we seem to have shaken the 60 mph winds that made photography difficult last week. I finally got out to attempt a project that I’d been previsualizing for some time; lightpainting the Siamese Twins formation in Garden of the Gods.
I’ve photographed this formation before during the daytime; it’s a popular spot to catch the juxtaposition of the twin rock towers with the summit of Pikes Peak between them. But I’d never hiked to it at night.
Lightpainting is a technique whereby you artificially illuminate your subject with a flashlight or lantern. This technique enables you to control the exact placement of light in the scene and you can use it to selectively illuminate subjects of interest. I headed up to the Siamese twins with my gear in a Think Tank “Streetwalker Pro” bag. I had my D3s, 16-35/4, 24-70/2.8 and a 70-200/2.8 VR II. I also had my Gitzo tripod and a couple of strong flashlights. I reached the formation about 20 minutes after sundown and I set up.
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
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.