Model’s portfolio Boudoir image taken using Nikon 18-200mm VR

Boudoir Photo, Black and WhiteGlamour Edit, Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor Lens, Nikon D90
Nikon 18-200mm VR @ 82mm f5.0, Nikon D90 @ ISO 200 1/125 Sec

Portrait taken for a model’s portfolio using the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX  and a Nikon D90.

Have you priced these D90 puppies lately?

They cost as much new as a D7000, and used prices are rising too …

To view the image larger size,  Continue reading Model’s portfolio Boudoir image taken using Nikon 18-200mm VR

Beauty Head shot taken with Sigma 50mm f1.4 for Model’s Portfolio

Glamour Head Shot, Model Portfolio Head Shot, Sigma 50mm HSM F1.4, Nikon D90
Sigma 50mm HSM F1.4 @ f9.0, Nikon D90 Camera ISO 200 1/125 Sec Exposure

Beauty Head shot, taken for model’s portfolio using Sigma 50mm HSM f1.4 and Nikon D90.

Much of this session was taken using the Sigma 50mm f1.4.

The widest open shots were usually taken at f2.2 or so.

While f1.4 is nice for bokeh.  It is a very shallow depth of field for most shooting applications.  Even a slight turn of the head at f1.4 makes getting Continue reading Beauty Head shot taken with Sigma 50mm f1.4 for Model’s Portfolio

Nikon 85mm 1.8G AF-S versus 85m 1.4D AF Heads up Review Comparison of Images and Bokeh

It has been asked for more clarity by way of direct performance review between the Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S and the 85mm f1.4D AF IF.

While I mainly shoot in studio at f8.0 or so, using studio lights, I arranged a bit of a bench test for y’all to see and judge for yourselves a bokeh and performance of contrast and sharpness test.

My subjects were three Nikon lens boxes… The chosen point of focus was the middle box, the yellow square Nikon logo, just right of box’s mid line.

Camera was Nikon D7000.  This is a crop sensor camera.

This means that perspective will be like a 127mm lens on a full frame.  It does not effect the bokeh of the lens…  Only the perspective.  The lens functions, bokeh-wise, exactly the same regardless of the body on which it is placed.

Focus mode was 9 point, AF-C.  D7000 was mounted to a tripod.

The very first shot, at f1.4 using the 85mm 1.4D missed the focus point… Second shot refocused to the correct point… The miss was by a mile…

Nikon 85mm 1.4D AF
85mm 1.4D @ f1.4 missed focus mark
Nikon 85mm 1.4D AF
85mm 1.4D @ f1.4

Once the focus was on, the bokeh looks great yes?

Creamy, smooth, buttery… everything we would expect from the bokeh king. Right?

So, what happens @ f1.8 shots with the 85mm 1.8G and 85mm 1.4D? Continue reading Nikon 85mm 1.8G AF-S versus 85m 1.4D AF Heads up Review Comparison of Images and Bokeh

Male Portrait taken with Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens and Nikon D7000

Portrait is taken in studio with Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens and Nikon D7000.

Phoenix Portrait Photographer, Strong Male Portrait, Strong Character Portrait, Leather Bomber Jacket Portrait

Me thinks Aaron is looking very Paul Newman as “Fast Eddie Felson” from The Hustler in this very strong character studio portrait black and white.

Can you ask much more from a lens or camera?

Shooting details, in Continue reading Male Portrait taken with Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens and Nikon D7000

Nikon 85mm 1.8G AF-S verses Nikon 85mm 1.4D AF IF Bokeh King – Review

Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor Lens
Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor

Got my shiny new Nikon 85mm f1.8G and tested versus the Nikon 85mm f1.4D.

Even with the AF-S, the focus speed of both lenses seems about the same… Impressive feat for the Bokeh King 85mm 1.4D.  Little disappointed the 1.8G didn’t focus a tad faster … at 1/3 the price …

The 85 1.8G does seem to have an edge though, with fewer issues seeking Continue reading Nikon 85mm 1.8G AF-S verses Nikon 85mm 1.4D AF IF Bokeh King – Review

Photoshop CS6 Beta Test Preview Review of New Features

I downloaded and installed the new Photoshop CS6 free Beta version preview from Adobe yesterday and gave it a bit of a go.

It has some really cool features, and some foibles…

How does one test drive the new Photoshop CS6?

A PS6 Beta is available Continue reading Photoshop CS6 Beta Test Preview Review of New Features

Top 30 Digital SLR Selling Camera’s, Kits and Current Pricing – Where does yours stack up?

These are the current top 30 sellers of Digital SLRs and Digital SLR Kits at Amazon along with their current as of today pricing.

Own a DSLR, or  thinking of buying a Digital SLR?

How does your rank in purchase popularity?

Well, only Nikon and Canon made it into the top 30 most popular cameras and kits… and the first place winner is the brand new and very hot full frame 36.3 Mega pixel Nikon D800…

Top 30 Selling Digital SLRs and Kits:

  1. Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) – $2,999.00
  2. Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens – $549.00
  3. Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black) – $499.00
  4. Nikon D5100 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens – $749.00
  5. Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body) – $3,499.00
  6. Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-inch LCD – $649.00
  7. Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens – $1,499.00
  8. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch Cl… –  $799.00
  9. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Sensor DIGIC 4 Image Processor Full-HD Movie Mode Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch Cl… – $624.95
  10. Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) – $899.00  Continue reading Top 30 Digital SLR Selling Camera’s, Kits and Current Pricing – Where does yours stack up?

Nikon D800 and D800E Previewed Compared Contrasted vs Nikon D7000 DSLR

At first glance the new Nikon D800  and Nikon D800E DSLRs seem like a heck of a lot of camera for about $3000 new.

The introductions of the D800 and the D4 are driving down prices for old D3s bodies.  I recently saw a like new D3s for sale on Amazon with a vendor with a 3 figure 100% positive feedback for under $3,000…

Here I will limit my discussion primarily to the D800 series vs the Continue reading Nikon D800 and D800E Previewed Compared Contrasted vs Nikon D7000 DSLR

Pinup using the Nikon 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 DX and Nikon D7000 DSLR Body

The 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 AF-S DX can make an excellent in studio pin-up lens.

Laurel Rae with Red Tail Boa, Nikon 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 DX, Apple
Laurel Rae with a Red Tail Boa, Nikon D7000, 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 DX @ 31mm, f/13, ISO 100, 1/160 Sec

This image is plenty Continue reading Pinup using the Nikon 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 DX and Nikon D7000 DSLR Body

Nikon 18-200mm VR AF-S for Pinup Shoot

Nikon 18-200mm AF-S VR2, Pinup, telephone, maid, striped skirt, High Healed Platform Shoes, Ankle Straps, Broom
Nikon 18-200mm AF-S VR2 @ 34mm, 1/125 Sec, F/16, Nikon D90

I met a gentleman at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale who shoots everything with a Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX zoom lens …

What does he shoot?

Ferraris, Corvettes, Lamborginis, and the like.

He then makes beautiful pricey collages and sells them to people who can afford classic cars and good photography.

Why does he only need the one 18-200mm lens to shoot cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars ???

First, the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX is a great lens … not to be confused with the newer 18-200mm VRII F3.5-5.6 AF-S DX.

Click here to see visual comparisons of the two lenses.

Second, he shoots mainly at small apertures, smaller than F/8.0.

Below F/8.0, the 18-200mm gives pretty good images.

Nikon 18-200mm AF-S VR2
Nikon 18-200mm AF-S VR2 @ 26mm, 1/125 Sec, F/13, Nikon D90

 

These two pinups were taken using Continue reading Nikon 18-200mm VR AF-S for Pinup Shoot

Sunset at the Zoo with Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 VR2 AF-S lens on a Nikon D7000 Body

Sometimes the best way to test gear is to take it out for a camera date.

Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR2 at f2.8 1/160 Sec, VR on, With Monopod, Pink Flamingo
Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR2 @ 180mm f2.8 1/160 Sec, VR on, ISO 100 With Monopod

 

Why is testing gear different than using it?  Well, a test is an opportunity, when the meter isn’t running with a nervous playing client, to learn camera, lens accessories etc.

Take your camera out on a date.  You can afford the luxury of trying things you would never do in a production shoot.  In a production shoot, we must do what we know, unless that is completely failing, in that case, try what ever it takes to get the shot.

A test date allows experimentation.  If it doesn’t work out, no one needs to know.  No refunds need be issued, or worst, clients disappointed.  Caulk it all up to learning.

In this case, I was experimenting with shutter speed, bokeh and aperture priority vs manual exposure modes using my Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II AF-S at the Phoenix Zoo.

The camera is my usual Nikon  D7000.

Also along is the  Manfrotto 334B Automatic Monopod and the Manfrotto 234RC head.

A monopod is essential for a more stable and therefore more clear shot.

Why not a tripod?  Tripods are much slower to readjust for moving objects like birds and monkeys.

The Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II AF-S has buttery smooth bokeh.  Quick and accurate to focus, and with lots and lots of detail in images of far away animals, some of which move very quickly.

The croppings shown are the central parts of the actual images,  click here to view or purchase a high resolution image of the flamingo.  Great details, what?

Time is about 4:30 PM.  The sun is already Continue reading Sunset at the Zoo with Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 VR2 AF-S lens on a Nikon D7000 Body

Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens Announced, Considered, and pre Reviewed vs the 85mm f1.8D, 85mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.4G Nikkor Prime Portrait Lenses

Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor Lens
Nikon 85mm AF-S f1.8G Nikkor Lens

The Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens has been announced.

The  85mm f1.8D is a very sweet lens and quite inexpensive vis-a-vis its competing choices.

During a November, 2011 review of the 85mm f1.8D, I mentioned that that if price were no object, I would buy the Nikon 85mm f1.4G AF-S for like $1,700 …

For me, price is a consideration.

Also noted was that I have the 85mm f1.4D AF IF and, that my first piece of glass to go would be the 85mm f1.8D …

We’ll, the 85mm f1.8D is Continue reading Nikon 85mm f1.8G AF-S Lens Announced, Considered, and pre Reviewed vs the 85mm f1.8D, 85mm f1.4D and 85mm f1.4G Nikkor Prime Portrait Lenses

Different Photographic Subjects Require Differing Tool Set Considerations

One of the things about photography that keeps it new and interesting for me is how very much there is to know about any particular niche of photography.

And, beyond any given niche, how varying from a niche is very much like and very much different from all other niches.

I believe, and have written, that the future of photography will be smaller sensor digital format cameras, like the APS-C Continue reading Different Photographic Subjects Require Differing Tool Set Considerations