Buying Used Gear That Isn’t Really Used

Refurbished cameras are inspected by the manufacturer and usually carry a 90-day warranty. The savings can be significant over an unopened item.
Refurbished cameras are inspected by the manufacturer and usually carry a 90-day warranty. The savings can be significant over an unopened item.

Digital photography is an expensive hobby, and we all want to find a good deal when buying gear. Now that the Internet makes comparison shopping easy, it’s hard to find deals and specials beyond what’s already out there.

The other approach to buying camera equipment has been to utilize the used market. The trade-off for getting a cheaper price on pre-owned equipment has always been the risk of not having a warranty should that gear malfunction. When you consider that modern DSLRs and lenses are more computers than machines, it’s no wonder why we can be hesitant to purchased used gear. If you’re going to purchase used equipment, you want to avoid scams and know you’re getting what is advertised. As the saying goes, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. I generally try to avoid the auction sites and Internet sales forums for that reason alone. Continue reading Buying Used Gear That Isn’t Really Used

Nikon Announces new 500mm and 600mm Nikkor Lenses

The new 500mm f/4E FL VR Nikkor weighs in at under 7 lbs.
The new 500mm f/4E FL VR Nikkor weighs in at under 7 lbs.

Nikon has announced updates to its 500mm and 600mm f/4 VR Nikkor lenses. The new lenses replace the original VR versions, which were announced in 2007. These new big Nikkors use fluorite glass elements to significantly reduce their weight. The 500mm f/4 E FL Nikkor weighs in at 6.8 lbs, and the 600mm f/4 E FL Nikkor is 8.4 lbs. That makes them currently the lightest 500/4 and 600/4 lenses on the market for 35mm format cameras.

Nikon has also updated the VR system in these lenses to add 4-stops of effective shutter speed, and introduced a “sport” VR mode, which should theoretically improve AF tracking of moving subjects. The lenses also gain electronic aperture control, which is intended to improve exposure accuracy during high-speed shooting, such as with the D4s DSLR.

Feature Comparisons

I’ve put together a simple table comparing each of these new lenses to its predecessor. Major differences are highlighted in green.

The new 500mm and 600mm f/4E Nikkors compared to their predecessors.
The new 500mm and 600mm f/4E Nikkors compared to their predecessors.

Continue reading Nikon Announces new 500mm and 600mm Nikkor Lenses

Long Exposure Workshop August 8th in Colorado Springs

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Join me in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday, August 8th to learn the fundamentals of long exposure photography.

In this class, I’ll cover all the creative techniques I use for stretching time to create dynamic digital captures, including:

  • Solid and variable ND filters
  • How to calculate exposure times
  • Composition for long exposures
  • How to capture car trails
  • Time-lapse and cloud-stacking techniques

Full details and registration information here

Learn cloud-stacking techniques to create time-lapse stills.
Learn cloud-stacking techniques to create unique time-lapse stills.

Summer/ Fall Workshop Updates

I’ve got some breaking news regarding upcoming photography field workshops.

Milky Way over eastern Colorado
Milky Way over eastern Colorado

Night Sky Workshop in Eastern Colorado
Join me on Saturday, July 11th in Limon, CO for a night sky photography class. We will photograph stars and the Milky Way out by the wind turbines for some dramatic photo opportunities.
Details Here

Chicago: Last-minute opening
Due to a late cancellation, there is an immediate opening for Chicago: Art and Architecture Artistic Vision workshop August 19-23. RSVP deadline is July 17th. I’m co-leading this workshop with Deborah Sandidge.
Details Here

Stretching Time: Mastering the Long Exposure: August 8th, 2015
Join me in Colorado Springs to learn how to create time-stretching long exposure images! I’ll be teaching both traditional and time-lapse techniques in this workshop.
Details Here

Miami Beach Artistic Vision Workshop: Deadline August 13
Join me and Deborah Sandidge on the beach in Miami for a 4-day artistic vision workshop, where we’ll explore creative techniques while enjoying the art deco architecture and beaches in South Miami Beach!
Details Here

South Texas Birding 2016
The 2016 South Texas Birding Experience is completely sold out. If you’re interested in joining a wait list, please contact me directly.

Jason P. Odell photography