Category Archives: Gear

2016 Holiday Gift Ideas For Photography Enthusiasts

Happy Holidays!

christmas-18106_640It’s shopping time, and if you are looking for gifts for the photographer you know (or for yourself), here are some nice budget-conscious items you can check out for your photographer friends and family.  And of course, don’t forget my printable PDF eBooks and video training courses!

Let’s get started, shall we?
Continue reading 2016 Holiday Gift Ideas For Photography Enthusiasts

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Nikon 105mm f/1.4E vs. 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR Macro

As you may know, I’m testing the new Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor portrait lens. One of the main questions I’ve been asked over on my Facebook page is, “how does it compare to the 105mm micro-Nikkor?”

It’s a fair question, as I’ve long listed the 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR micro-Nikkor as an excellent portrait lens. For this purpose, at least to me, there are really only two discriminators: VR (stabilization) and aperture.  Continue reading Nikon 105mm f/1.4E vs. 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR Macro

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More Nikon 105mm f/1.4 Sample Images

I’ve had a few more opportunities to shoot with the new Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor, so I thought I’d post some sample images here. Most of these were shot wide-open, because that’s what this lens is all about. Simply put, if you’re into shots with shallow depth of field and incredible subject isolation, then this is a tremendous lens.

Check prices and specs of the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor here

Quick thoughts:
  • The lens is quite sharp wide-open, but you have to be SUPER CAREFUL about your focus point because DOF is incredibly shallow (you knew that, of course).
  • Use AF Fine-Tuning to make sure you get the focus point dead-on with this lens. Any slight front or back-focus will be very noticeable!
  • There is light fall-off at f/1.4 but I actually like it because it creates a natural vignette effect in portraits. Adobe Lightroom now includes a lens correction setting for the 105mm f/1.4E, but I almost think that I like it better with vignette correction disabled.
  • This is a big lens (82mm front filter). It’s not something I’d carry around as part of my regular kit unless I were a portrait/wedding photographer (then it would live permanently in my bag).

Continue reading More Nikon 105mm f/1.4 Sample Images

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Nikon DSLR Secrets: My Menu

The secret to finding frequently used items in your Nikon Menus

The My Menu item in Nikon DSLRs lets you save frequently used items.
The My Menu item in Nikon DSLRs lets you save frequently used items.

Have you ever been shooting with your Nikon DSLR and find yourself needing to change a menu setting quickly but cannot remember where it’s located? The “My Menu” option in Nikon DSLR cameras allows you to custom configure your own menu panel with the items you frequently use. Here, I’ll show you how to access and add items to the My Menu panel in Nikon DSLR cameras.

What’s in My Menu?

I currently have the following items in My Menu:

  • Time Zone and Date
  • Exposure Delay Mode
  • Long Exposure NR
  • Multiple Exposure Mode
  • Interval Timer Shooting
  • Monitor Brightness
  • Lock mirror up for cleaning
  • Battery info
  • AF fine-tune
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New Think Tank Rollers!

New Airport Security and Airport International Rollers from Think Tank Photo.
New Airport Security and Airport International Rollers from Think Tank Photo.

I’ve just gotten word that Think Tank Photo has just announced updated versions of their camera roller bags. The Airport Security V3 and Airport International V3 are large-capacity bags designed to fit into most standard aircraft overhead bins.

The new designs feature improved handles, greater durability, and dedicated laptop and tablet compartments. The Airport International V3.0, sized for international carry on requirements, holds two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached, plus two to four additional lenses, a 15” laptop, and a 10” tablet.  The roller fits up to a 500mm f/4 detached or 400mm f/2.8 attached (hood reversed).  The Airport Security V3.0, sized for US domestic carry on requirements, holds two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached plus four to six additional lenses, a 17” laptop, and a 10” tablet.  The bag fits up to a 600mm f/4 detached or 500mm f/4 attached (hood reversed).  With my partnership with Think Tank, you’ll receive free gear and free shipping with every order you place for their gear, as long as you start your shopping experience here.

I have the earlier versions of both of these bags. I find them incredibly useful when I’m traveling with heavier telephotos on cross-country flights. While both bags will fit into the overhead bins of regular-sized jets, choose the International version if you do not normally travel domestic airlines within the USA. If you frequently find yourself on regional jets, consider the smaller Airport Essentials backpack.

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