Tag Archives: Nikon

The Image Doctors #227

Photographing the Solar Eclipse

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you probably saw LOTS of photos of the North American solar eclipse. We have some thoughts on it, plus Rick got to try out the Nikon Zf mirrorless camera, and offers his thoughts on the retro-styled Nikon.

The Image Doctors #204

Tips for photographing fall colors

This week, there’s a hint of autumn in the air, and the leaves are starting to turn. We’ll offer our tips for photographing fall colors, from composition to our recommended filters.

New release: Nikon 135mm f1/.8 “Plena” portrait lens.

Jason’s final thoughts on the Nikon 180-600mm Z Nikkor lens

Nikon 180-600mm Tests: Wildlife Images

Backyard wildlife images with the Nikon Z9

I got my hands on a Nikon Z9 to do more testing with the Nikon 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR Z Nikkor lens. With the Z9, autofocus is very fast and accurate (much faster than my old Z6). More importantly, animal eye-detection makes focusing on wildlife a breeze. You can get my wildlife and bird photography settings for the Z9 and Z8 cameras here.

I chose to leave these images un-cropped so you could get an idea of the framing. All of these subjects were within 5-10m from me. I shot all of them at 600mm and wide-open at f/6.3. Click any image to enlarge it.

One thing I will say about this combo, the Z9 and the 180-600mm have a combined weight of over 7lbs (3,300g). If you’re not using a monopod, hand-holding this lens will get tiresome after awhile. With a the Nikon Z8, you’re still dealing with a 6.3lb kit. (I certainly noticed it, although I was also at 9000′ (2743m) elevation…

Check availability of the Nikon 180-600mm Z Nikkor lens here (doing so helps support this site)

Least chipmunk (Tamias minimus) having a snack. 1/2500s f/6.3 ISO 640 (auto) @600mm Nikon Z9
Chickadee waiting its turn for the feeder. 1/2500s f/6.3 ISO 4500 (Auto) @600mm Nikon Z9
Up close with the Least chipmunk (probably about 4m away). 1/2500s f/6.3 ISO 800 (Auto) @600mm Nikon Z9

The Image Doctors #201

Balloon Festivals, Nikon 180-600mm Z lens

This week, we discuss a very colorful location shoot: Rick went to the Labor Day Liftoff hot air balloon festival in Colorado Springs. This annual event is a big draw, with over 75 balloon crews operating this year. We also got our hands on the Nikon 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 Z Nikkor lens. Jason offers his hands-on first look.

Topaz Photo AI 2.0 Released

Topaz Software just released a new version of Photo AI, which is an excellent tool for sharpening, noise reduction, and image upscaling. You can check it out here: Topaz Photo AI

Nikon 180-600mm : Examples with Z teleconverter 1.4

The lens + teleconverter combo is sharp, but autofocus slows down

I went out again with the Nikon 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 Z Nikkor, and this time I used the Z teleconverter TC 1.4x. This combination delivers the equivalent of a 250-840mm f/8-9 lens. Again, I’m still using a Nikon Z6 body, so autofocus performance is slower than what you’d see with a Nikon Z8/Z9.

Autofocus definitely slowed down a bit when using the teleconverter, but once focus was acquired it did a good job of staying locked in. What I found from my test shots was that sharpness across the frame was still excellent, even wide-open. Stopping down to f/11 improved edge sharpness slightly, but not enough to make me feel like I needed to do so. I feel that if you can handle the light-loss penalty (1-stop), and reduced AF performance, go ahead and use this combination wide-open. It’s very very good.

Here are a few full-resolution sample images from the Nikon 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 Z Nikkor + Nikon Z teleconverter 1.4x. Click on any image to view it full-size.