Archive for January, 2008

Nikon Announces the D60 DSLR, Three New Lenses and Six New Coolpix Cameras

January 29, 2008

January 29, 2008. In a Pre-Photo Marketing Association (PMA) press release, Nikon has announced the D60 DSLR, three new lenses and six new Coolpix cameras.

Nikon D60

The D60 provides a resolution of 10.2 effective megapixels, Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED image-processing concept, in-camera editing functions and a 3-area auto focus system. The camera offers continuous shooting at 3.0 fps, near instant power-up in just 0.19 seconds and high ISO sensitivity, all in a compact, lightweight body with a user-friendly ergonomic design.

A 2.5-inch LCD screen presents information using an easy to understand graphic user interface, with three types of presentation style to suit all users. The symbols and numbers in the display rotate through 90 degrees, presenting information in the correct orientation according to how the camera is being held. The D60 also includes a new feature that turns off the LCD monitor screen automatically when the viewfinder is in use.

To combat the dust that can be introduced into the camera body when changing lenses, , the D60 includes an integrated dust reduction system. Nikon’s exclusive Airflow Control System channels dust out of the image path and a vibrating, self-cleaning sensor unit shakes off any remaining dust from the camera’s optics.

The Nikon D60 standard kit comes with a high-performance VR-NIKKOR lens, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. Compact and lightweight, the lens offers 3x zoom with a versatile focal length range of 27mm to 82.5mm (35mm-format equivalent).

AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The AF-S DX-NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens features a built-in Silent Wave Motor and Vibration Reduction II. The new high-power zoom DX-NIKKOR lens boasts a focal length range of 16 to 85mm, which makes it ideal for a broad range of shooting situations. When mounted on any DX-format Nikon digital SLR camera, the picture angle is equivalent to that produced by a 24 to 127.5mm focal length lens on a 35mm film or Nikon FX-format camera.

Vibration Reduction II incorporated in the lens gives photographers the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, thereby minimizing image blur caused by camera shake.

The new high-performance optical system has been optimized for digital SLRs, with two ED glass elements and three a-spherical lenses that deliver higher resolution, high-contrast images while minimizing chromatic aberration. Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating ensures outstanding colour balance and reproduction while greatly reducing ghosting and flare. The rounded 7-blade diaphragm opening gives out-of-focus background elements a more natural appearance. The lens offers a short closest focus distance of 0.38 m/1.3 ft. throughout the entire zoom range.

AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED

This new Micro lens allows photographers to shoot 1:1 life-size close-ups without the need for any other accessories.

To ensure superior picture quality at all subject distances from macro to infinity, a host of state-of-the-art, Nikon original optical features and technologies are incorporated. A world first for an interchangeable Micro lens for SLRs, two a-spherical lenses are employed to correct spherical aberration and coma. The Nano Crystal Coat dramatically reduces ghosting and flare caused by internal reflections. An additional ED glass element minimizes chromatic aberration to deliver higher resolution, high-contrast images. All of these factors contribute to the extremely high image reproduction capability of the AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED.

The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) built into the lens body realizes fast, quiet autofocus operation and contributes to the compact, lightweight design. Focus modes include M/A (Manual-priority Auto) to enable rapid switching between autofocus and manual focusing with virtually no time lag, even during autofocus operation.

PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED

This new lens is equipped with a tilt /shift mechanism that gives photographers the flexibility to manipulate image perspective, distortion and focus.

The lens employs a special mount that enables up to ±11.5 mm shift and ±8.5° tilt for perspective control. Shift and tilt can be adjusted via convenient side-mounted controls while referring to the scales provided with gradations at 1mm or 1° intervals. The lens optics can be rotated up to 90° left or right for perspective control adjustment, and click-stops are provided every 30°.

The lens aperture can be preset by using the aperture ring and aperture stop-down button. It remains stopped down until the button is pressed again, for easy depth-of-field confirmation. Auto aperture control is also available for SLR models compatible with electromagnetic diaphragm (D3 and D300).

In addition to perspective control photographic applications such as shooting architecture and interiors, this lens can also be used for any subject that would require a 24mm wide-angle lens. With a closest focusing distance of only 0.21 m/0.7 ft. and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1/2.7, it’s also an excellent choice for close-up photography.

To ensure superior picture quality, the lens incorporates a host of state-of-the-art optical features and technologies. Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat dramatically reduces ghosting and flare that can be caused by internal reflections. Three ED glass elements minimize chromatic aberration for higher-resolution, higher-contrast images. Three a-spherical lenses effectively correct spherical aberration and coma. And a rounded nine-blade diaphragm opening gives out-of-focus elements a more natural appearance.
Nikon Coolpix P60

An effective megapixel count of 8.1 enhances the potential of the high performance digital image-processing engine for outstanding image quality, while an improved 5x Zoom-NIKKOR lens (36-180mm) delivers yet more flexibility by ably covering a range from panoramic landscapes to close-up portraits.

Image sensor shift VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization compensates for camera shake or movement by unsteady subjects to realize yet sharper results. And extended light sensitivity up to ISO 2000 further helps prevent blurred shots in lower light, or when capturing fast-moving subjects. The COOLPIX P60 also offers Programmed Auto [P] and Manual [M] exposure modes, enabling the user to enjoy shooting in a variety of styles.

Power is supplied AA-size batteries, which means the COOLPIX P60 can be used in virtually any location without worrying about recharging or running out of power.


Nikon Coolpix S210/S520/S550/S600

COOLPIX S210

The entry-level Coolpix S210 offers an 8.0 megapixel sensor and 3x 38-114mm equiv. lens. Electronic VR takes care of camera shake issues. A 2.5″ 230k dot LCD on the rear of the camera displays photos crisply enough and the brushed-aluminum and chrome casing gives it a touch of class.

COOLPIX S520

The COOLPIX S520 offers 8.0 effective megapixels, quick response, and maintains image quality and clarity with sensitivity settings as high as ISO 2000. It also includes the clarity and precision of a 3x Zoom-NIKKOR lens (35-105mm) featuring Nikon’s optical lens shift VR image stabilization.

The COOLPIX S520 is housed in a quality-crafted aluminum body. The COOLPIX S520 will be available in a choice of Light Bronze, Urban Black, Purple, Pink, or Magenta body colors.


COOLPIX S550

The COOLPIX S550 teams 10 effective megapixels of sharp resolution with quick response, and maintains image quality when taking advantage of sensitivity settings as high as ISO 2000. Enhancing compositional freedom is a 5x Zoom-NIKKOR lens.

The COOLPIX S550 is equipped with a quality 2.5-inch LCD monitor that features 230k-dots of high resolution, a wide 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle, anti-reflection coating for better display in bright situations, and an acrylic panel that prevents scratches and fingerprints. Improved shooting displays with revised icons and information feedback help make framing and shooting easier.

The COOLPIX S550 will be available in a choice of Titanium Silver, Urban Black, Blue, or Purple body colors.

COOLPIX S600

The S600 sports a 10MP sensor and a 4 times stabilized Nikkor zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 28-112mm, all wrapped up in an attractive metal body.

COOLPIX L16 and L18

The COOLPIX L18 and L16 make full use of their respective 8.0 and 7.1 effective megapixels of imaging power to capture true-to-life color and leaves plenty of freedom to crop or produce enlargements. And the precision optics of a 3x Zoom-NIKKOR lens covers a practical range from 35-105mm (35mm format equivalent) to ably capture everything from group shots to close-up portraits. Extended light sensitivity as high as ISO 1600 prevents blurred shots in lower light, or when capturing fast-moving subjects.

The COOLPIX L18 will be available in Silver, Matte Black, Blue and Red, while the COOLPIX L16 will be available in Silver and Matte Black.

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Nikon 18-200mm AF-S DX VR f3.5-5.6G If-ED, Quick Field Test

January 28, 2008

I own some very good lenses in this focal length range and never had the desire or the opportunity to work with the 18-200mm AF-S DX VR F3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens until a few days ago.

My first impressions of the lens were very positive. I was surprised by its small size and lightweight (19.7oz.). Build quality is good without feeling cheap, but it is not at the level of some other Nikon lenses in this price range. Nikon used a lot of plastics in the construction of this lens.

The 18-200 VR is a DX lens and is compatible with Nikon’s APS-C DSLRs. The effective focal length is equivalent to 28-300mm on full frame 35mm SLRs. The close focus distance is excellent at 1.6 Ft. The lens takes 72mm filters.

Optically, the lens is constructed with Nikon’s best glass including two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and three aspherical elements. Considering its zoom range (11x) image quality is very high. Photographs are sharp with good color and moderate levels of contrast.

Optical performance at the wide end is better than at the longer focal lengths with the best results occurring in the 24-70mm range. To achieve the best results with this lens or any non-professional zoom lens it’s always a good idea to stop down the aperture a stop or two. With the 18-200, this is especially true when the focal range is set longer than 100mm.

An impressive feature of the lens is how well it handles flare and ghosting. I was amazed how effective it is under field conditions. I had no problems in this area even when not using the supplied lens hood.

The VRII system incorporated in this lens is outstanding. It is highly effective, fast and quiet. Nikon claims a potential equivalent to 4 f-stops of stability over handholding in low light conditions. In my field test, I easily obtained this number. The lens offers two VR modes – a “normal” mode for both static subjects and object tracking and a 2nd “active” mode to compensate for more pronounced vibrations (e.g. shooting from a moving vehicle).

Auto-focus performance is very fast and quiet due the AF-S system employed in the lens. I had no problems focusing on objects near or far. The AF system easily locked onto both stationary and moving subjects as well as targets in low light with little contrast.

In conclusion, this is a very good lens. The Nikon 18-200 VR is a compromise lens. It was designed and built for photographers who want a one-lens solution covering the most popular focal lengths. The lens is ideal for travel photography, walkaround, and hiking/backpacking applications where lightweight and convenience are the overriding factors.

Canon, Fuji and Olympus Announce New Digital Cameras

January 24, 2008

In advance of the Photo Marketing Association Show (PMA) in Las Vegas on January 31 – February 2, 2008, Canon, Fuji and Olympus have announced new digital cameras. The details, images and specifications presented below are from The Digital Camera Resource Page.

{ Thursday, January 24, 2008 }

Fuji FinePix S100FS

  • 8th-generation, 2/3″ SuperCCD HR sensor with 11.1 effective Megapixels
  • F2.8-5.3, 14.3X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 – 400 mm
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Manual zoom and focus rings
  • 2.5″ tilt-able LCD display (230k pixels) + electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls; ISO goes to 3200 at full resolution, 6400 at 6MP, and 10,000 at 3MP
  • Dynamic range can be expanded by up to 400%
  • RAW image format supported
  • Can take up to 3 RAW or 7 JPEGs in a row at 3 frames/second; dropping the resolution to 3MP lets you take 50 shots in a row at 7 fps
  • Three film simulation modes: soft, Velvia (vibrant), and Provia (general use)
  • Face Detection can find faces in profile; redeye can be removed automatically
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Can record movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound; zoom can be operated while recording (obviously)
  • 25MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses NP-140 lithium-ion battery; battery life numbers not available
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Ships in February for $799

Fuji FinePix F100fd

  • 12.0 effective Megapixel SuperCCD HR sensor
  • F3.3-5.1, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 – 140 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 2.7″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • “Wide dynamic range” through use of 8th generation sensor and RP Processor III
  • ISO can go as high as 6400 and 12,800, albeit at 3MP or lower
  • Face Detection 3.0 not only finds faces in profile, it even finds upside-down faces (oh brother)
  • Takes three photos in a row at 1.7 fps at full resolution, or 12 shots at 5 fps at 3MP resolution
  • Super-fast playback mode can flip through images at 10 fps
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • Support for IrSimple infrared communication
  • 57MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses NP-50 lithium-ion battery; battery life not available
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Comes in silver and black
  • Ships in March for $379

Fuji FinePix S8100fd

  • 10.0 effective Megapixel CCD (compared to 8MP on the S8000fd)
  • F2.8-4.5, 18X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 27 – 486 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 2.5″ LCD display (230k pixels) + electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls; ISO goes to 1600 at full res, 6400 at 5MP
  • Can shoot up 3 frames in a row at 1.1 fps at full resolution; lower resolution to 5MP and shoot at 6.8 fps; keep going down to 3MP and the frame rate jumps to 13.5 fps
  • Slightly less elaborate face detection than the F100fd
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound; only electronic IS is available here
  • 58MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses four AA batteries; battery life numbers not available
  • Shipping in March for $399

Fuji FinePix S1000fd

  • 10.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.8-5.0, 12X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 33 – 396 mm; Fuji claims that it’s the world’s smallest 12X camera
  • 2.7″ LCD display (230k pixels) + electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls; ISO goes to 1600 at full res, 3200 at 3MP
  • Can shoot at 1.4 fps at full resolution, 3.3 fps at 5MP, and 7.5 fps at 2MP
  • Basic face detection with auto redeye removal
  • Auto panorama stitching
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 24MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses four AA batteries; battery life numbers not available
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Ships in April for $249

Fuji FinePix Z20fd

  • 10.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.7-4.2, 3X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 35 – 105 mm
  • Ultra-slim body comes in four colors: black, green, pink, and blue
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 150,000 pixels
  • Face detection with auto redeye reduction
  • New “dual blog mode” automatically resizes images and movies for blogs, e-mails, and video sharing sites
  • IrSimple infrared communication support
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) using MPEG-4 codec; dedicated movie recording button
  • 45MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses NP-45 lithium-ion battery; battery life numbers not available
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Ships in late March for $199

Fuji FinePix J10/J50

  • 8.2 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.8-5.6, 3X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 38 – 113 mm
  • Compact body is just 0.9″ thick; comes in silver and black
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 153,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 8MB onboard memory + xD/SD/SDHC card slot
  • Uses NP-45 lithium-ion battery; no battery life numbers available
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Ships in March for $149

FinePix J50

  • 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 37 – 185 mm
  • 2.7″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Slightly thicker body; only comes in silver
  • Priced at $179

{ Wednesday, January 23, 2008 }

Canon EOS Rebel XSi digital SLR

  • 12.2 effective Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Supports all EF and EF-S lenses
  • Uses new 14-bit A/D converter, improved AF sensor (still 9-point), and DIGIC III image processor
  • 3-inch LCD display (230k pixels) with live view and contrast detect autofocus
  • Full manual controls; ISO range of 100 – 1600
  • Can shoot at 3.5 frames/second for up to 6 RAW or 45 JPEGs
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer corrects image brightness and contrast automatically
  • New spot metering (4%) option
  • Same dust reduction system as the XTi
  • Uses SD/SDHC memory cards (instead of CompactFlash)
  • Optional battery grip
  • Uses LP-E5 lithium-ion battery; 500 shots per charge
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Shipping in April for $799 body only, and $899 with the new 18-55 IS lens; comes in silver and black

Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

  • 8.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.8-4.9, 3X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 38 – 114 mm
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Ultra-compact metal body comes in five colors: Bohemian Brown, Pink Melody, Rhythm and Blue, Golden Tone, and Swing Silver (I’m not making those up)
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Face detection feature can track a specific face as it moves around the frame; AF-Point Zoom feature lets you quickly zoom in on faces or focus point
  • Automatic redeye reduction is activated when a photo is taken (yay)
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound for up to an hour
  • Supports SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC+/HC MMC+ cards; 32MB card included
  • Optional underwater case
  • Uses NB-4L lithium-ion battery; 240 shots per charge
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Ships in March for $250

Canon PowerShot A580/A590 IS

  • 8.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.6-5.5, 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 35 – 140 mm
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 115,000 pixels
  • Same face detection, redeye reduction features as above
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (20 fps) for up to 45 mins
  • Supports SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC+/HC MMC+ cards; 32MB card included
  • Uses two AA batteries; 500 shots per charge using NiMH batteries
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Ships in March for $149

PowerShot A590 IS

  • Optical image stabilization
  • Full manual controls
  • Support for conversion lenses
  • Battery life drops to 450 shots/charge
  • Priced at $179

Canon PowerShot A470

  • 7.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.0-5.8, 3.4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 38 – 132 mm
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 115,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • Same face detection, redeye removal, movie mode as A-series models above
  • SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC+/HC MMCplus slot; 32MB card included
  • Comes in four “accents” – blue, red, orange, and grey
  • Uses two AA batteries; 400 shots per charge using NiMH batteries
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Ships in March for $129

Olympus SP-570 Ultra Zoom

  • 10.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F2.8-4.5, 20X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 26 – 520 mm (!!)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Manual zoom ring around the lens (probably electronic, but not positive)
  • 2.7″ LCD display with 230k pixels, plus an electronic viewfinder
  • Full manual controls, including a bulb mode for exposures up to 8 minutes
  • RAW format support
  • Can shoot at 1.2 frames/second at full resolution, 7.2 fps at 5MP, and 13.5 fps at 3MP
  • Hot shoe for external flash, plus built-in wireless flash support
  • Face detection AF/AE and in-camera redeye reduction
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 45MB onboard memory + xD card slot
  • Uses four AA batteries
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Ships in March for $499

Olympus Stylus 1010/1020

  • 10.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.5-5.3, 7X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 37 – 260 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Ultra-slim body comes in silver, black, blue, and purple
  • 2.7″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • Face detection AF and in-camera redeye removal
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 14.7MB onboard memory + xD Picture Card slot
  • Optional underwater case
  • USB 2.0 High Speed supported
  • Uses new, more powerful LI-50B battery; battery life numbers not available
  • Shipping in March for $299

Stylus 1020 

  • Uses new HyperCrystal II LCD, which promises better contrast and color reproduction (other stats are the same)
  • Comes in glossy blue, pink, black, and silver
  • Priced at $349

Olympus Stylus 840

  • 8.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.3-5.0, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 36 – 180 mm
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Ultra-compact body comes in silver, black, blue, and pink
  • Same LCD and features as the Stylus 1010 above
  • 14.8MB onboard memory + xD card slot
  • Does not support an underwater case; uses the older LI-42B battery
  • Priced at $249

Olympus Stylus 850SW/1030SW

  • 8.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.5-5.0, 3X optical zoom, equivalent to 38 – 114 mm
  • Everything-proof: waterproof to 10 feet, shockproof from 5 feet, freezeproof to -10C; it’s dustproof, too!
  • Ultra-slim body comes in five colors: blue, bright yellow, HOT pink, black, and silver
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • VGA movie mode (30 fps) with sound
  • 14.8MB onboard memory + xD card slot; a microSD card adapter is included as well
  • Optional underwater case lets you take the camera even deeper
  • Uses new LI-50B li-ion battery; 190 shots per charge
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Shipping this month for $299

Stylus 1030SW

  • 10.1 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.5-5.1, 3.6X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 – 102 mm (nice)
  • Even more everything-proof: waterproof to 33 feet, shockproof from 6.6 feet, freezeproof to -10C, dustproof, and even crushproof to 220 lbs!
  • Built-in manometer (records water depth)
  • 2.7″ HyperCrystal II LCD display
  • LED illuminator acts as a flashlight for low light photography
  • Optional underwater case lets you go 130 feet deep
  • Uses same battery, but battery life number not available
  • Ships in March for $399

Olympus FE-310/320/340/350

  • 8.0 effective Megapixel CCD
  • F3.2-4.8, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 37 – 185 mm
  • 2.5″ LCD display with 154,000 pixels
  • Point-and-shoot operation
  • Face detection AF/AE
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (15 fps) with sound
  • 20.5MB onboard memory + xD card slot
  • Uses two AA batteries
  • Shipping this month for $149

FE-320

  • F3.1-5.9, 3X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 36 – 108 mm
  • 2.7″ LCD display with 230,000 pixels
  • Ultra-thin design (0.65″ thick)
  • Smile Shot feature takes three photos when your selected subject is smiling
  • In-camera redeye, lighting, and blur “fix” tools
  • Records movies at 640 x 480 (30 fps) with sound
  • 48MB onboard memory + xD card slot
  • Uses LI-42B lithium-ion battery
  • USB 2.0 High Speed support
  • Priced at $179

FE-340

  • F3.5-5.6, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 36 – 180 mm
  • Slim metal body comes in five colors: silver, red, blue, black, and pink
  • Priced at $199

FE-350 Wide

  • F2.7-5.4, 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28 – 112 mm
  • 3.0″ LCD display with 234,000 pixels
  • No Smile Shot, blur fix, USB 2.0 HS, and 30 fps movie mode; back to 20.5MB of onboard memory, as well; yeah, I don’t get it either
  • Priced at $249

Anticipating the Right Moment

January 22, 2008

With digital capture,  it’s very easy to take hundreds if not thousands of photographs on a shoot and hope that a few turn out good. Being shutter-happy is a double-edged sword and is something I try to avoid.

Digital cameras allow us to be better photographers on one hand by providing instant feedback and the ability to correct errors on location. On the other hand, many digital photographers employ the shotgun approach to shooting which leads to sloppiness and results in a lot of wasted time downloading, previewing and editing images that fall short on quality and artistic merit.

Consider the following as a case in point. Two weeks  ago, I observed a photographer shoot approximately 800 images of winter birds at a feeder in harsh midday light in a continuous sequence while I stood there watching. When I asked the photographer what he was trying to achieve, he replied he wanted a few good shots to take home.  A week later, I ran into the same individual at the same location and asked if he had met his objective of acquiring a few good shots.  He replied he had not and proceeded to shoot another couple hundred images of the bird feeder in the same manner as he had done before.

I’m not suggesting you should be overly conservative in the number of photos taken  on a particular outing given digital capture is free and you are not paying for film and processing. The point I’m making is slow down; think carefully about what you are doing and “anticipate the right moment”.  When you do find a good subject in the right light doing something interesting or striking that perfect pose then by all means hold down that shutter button and shoot a burst of images of that subject.


Nikon F-100, Nikkor 300mm f4 ED IF, (copyright) Adam Turow

January Doldrums

January 16, 2008

January is a tough month for me as an outdoor photographer. Here in New Jersey, the weather has been mild without any snow. The landscape is uninspiring for the most part with everything rendered as shades of black, gray and white. In an attempt to try something different, I went out to look for some subjects that would work well as sepia toned photographs.

I have always liked the warm brown tones of sepia over the look of black and white. Sepia tone refers to the coloring of black and white prints that have been toned with a special sepia chemical toner. There is no one color known as “sepia”. The term refers to the mixing of yellow and brown.

Today, this old time look of the 1800s can be reproduced directly in many digital cameras by selecting the sepia option in the menu system or it can be produced automatically in many less sophisticated image editing software programs. If you are using Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, try these settings in the Hue/Saturation dialog box: Hue = 27 and Saturation = 21 and check the colorize box.

Sepia tone works best with images that are associated with old things. Some examples include weather beaten old barns, old cars, farm equipment, and antiques.

The images presented below show how effective sepia toned images can be.

Canon G6,  All images (copyright) by Adam Turow

Nikon DX 17-55 2.8G ED AFS, Quick Field Test

January 14, 2008

I have owned this lens for a few months now and want to report on its performance. Let me start out by saying this is one heck of a lens! It is without doubt, my most used piece of equipment and it is on my camera constantly. Why is this? It comes down to three things: optical quality, AF speed, and handling.

Resolution, color and contrast are all excellent. Nikon incorporated three ED glass elements and three aspherical lens elements in the optical design to minimize chromatic aberration, control distortion and achieve superior optical performance. Color rendition is especially good, better than any other Nikon lens I own. Optically, the 17-55 is great all the way from f 2.8 to f 11. At f 16 and beyond, performance drops off to some degree. The most impressive aspect of this lens is its performance at wide apertures. Wide open at f 2.8 and stopped down through f 5.6, the 17-55 is a stellar performer.

This is the first Nikon lens I purchased with AFS focusing. Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor is so good I would be reluctant to buy a lens in the future that did not incorporate this feature. Combined with the 17-55’s fast f 2.8 aperture, the images appearing in my viewfinder snap into focus instantly without any hesitation or hunting.

Handling could not be better. The lens weighs just enough to balance nicely in my hands and on the camera without being too light or heavy. The weight of this lens (26.6 oz.) actually acts as a built-in stabilizer minimizing my need for a tripod when shooting at faster shutter speeds or higher ISO’s. Mechanically, the 17-55 is built to last. I have no doubt this lens will hold up to many years of hard use in all weather conditions.

My tests show this versatile lens excels at all types of photography: people, events, travel, nature and landscapes. The focal length of 17-55 (equivalent to 26-82mm in 35mm format) is ideal for these subjects.

If you are a Nikon shooter who works in low light and wants the best color, contrast and optical quality available in this focal length range, the Nikon DX 17-55 2.8G ED AFS is the lens for you.


Copyright-Adam Turow

Nikon D70S, Nikkor 17-55 2.8G ED AFS