Category Archives: Gear

Nikon D500: Hands-on first impressions

My Nikon D500 arrived today!
Female red-winged blackbird, Fountain, CO. Nikon D500 with 200-500mm f/5.6E VR Nikkor and TC-14EIII teleconverter. 1/2000s f/10 ISO 7200 Effective FL: 1050mm
Female red-winged blackbird, Fountain, CO.
Nikon D500 with 200-500mm f/5.6E VR Nikkor and TC-14EIII teleconverter.
1/2000s f/10 ISO 7200
Effective FL: 1050mm (click to enlarge)

Finally, I get my hands on a true flagship DX body from Nikon. I’ve always had a place in my kit for a DX body, because I appreciate the extra reach when shooting wildlife; especially birds. However, Nikon’s offerings since the D300s haven’t excited me. This camera, however, makes me glad to be a Nikon shooter! Continue reading Nikon D500: Hands-on first impressions

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Denver Zoo walk around with Nikon 200-500mm VR

Grizzly bear, Denver Zoo. Nikon D810 with 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens. 1/500s @f/5.6, ISO 100, hand-held.
Grizzly bear, Denver Zoo. Nikon D810 with 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens. 1/500s @f/5.6, ISO 100, hand-held.

Yesterday was a beautiful spring-like (unseasonably warm) day in Colorado, so I headed up to the Denver Zoo to visit the animals. I brought the Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 AFS G VR zoom Nikkor lens with me. Continue reading Denver Zoo walk around with Nikon 200-500mm VR

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Field Test: Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 AFS G VR

Male house finches from approximately 30 feet away
Male house finches from approximately 30 feet away, captured with the Nikon 200-500mm AFS G VR zoom lens.

A few weeks ago, I received the new Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 AFS G VR zoom Nikkor lens. My initial impressions were quite good for a lens of this design and price point. I had a chance today to take it to the local nature center and try my hand at some bird photography; something that I think that the target market for this lens is quite interested in.

I set up the 200-500mm on my Nikon D810 DSLR and I used my Gitzo 3-series tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head and Wimberley Sidekick gimbal adapter. Continue reading Field Test: Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 AFS G VR

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Should Photographers Consider an iMac?

The late 2015 27" iMac with 5k Retina Display.
The late 2015 27″ iMac with 5k Retina Display.

I’ve used Mac workstations  since the early 1990s. As a professional photographer, it’s important to have a computer that is not only fast, but also scalable. For me, that meant being able to add internal hard drives, PCI expansion cards, and plenty of RAM. By having a computer that I could incrementally upgrade, I am able to extend the useful life of that machine. As a working professional, I consider upgrading my computer system every 3-5 years, depending on my needs.

In 2013, Apple radically redesigned the Mac Pro line to include internal PCI-based solid-state drives and dual video cards. Despite the performance benefits, the new form-factor no longer supported internal expansion of any kind (other than RAM). Although I was not in the market for a new Mac at that time, the immediate consequence of the new form-factor became clear. From now on, any hard drives that lived inside my existing computer would have to be moved to external enclosures. Continue reading Should Photographers Consider an iMac?

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