Historical building in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Nikon D800e; monochrome conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
Here’s another image from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. On our first morning at the historical area, this house immediately caught the attention of our group. We probably spent 15-20 minutes photographing it. Because there were 12 of us there, wide shots weren’t feasible. Instead, I switched to my 70-200mm AFS G VRII Nikkor and went looking for tighter compositions.
I really loved the textures and shadows in this image, and while the color photo was nice, I really wanted the shadows and textures to be the dominant elements. I therefore chose to convert the image to monochrome. To do this, I used Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection (now part of Google).
Why Silver Efex Pro 2 is My Choice for Monochrome
There are lots of options for converting your images to monochrome, including on-board conversion in your RAW converter. While you can get reasonable results using those tools, a dedicated monochrome tool like Silver Efex Pro 2 offers some seriously better control options. Continue reading →
It only took 13 years, but we finally have a new 80-400mm AFS G VRII Nikkor. Is it right for you? (Image courtesy Nikon USA)
Yesterday, Nikon announced a long-awaited (overdue?) replacement to its 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens. The the original 80–400mm VR has been around since 2000, and for as long as I can remember, enthusiasts have cried out for and AFS replacement. Why? Despite very good optics and excellent zoom range, the AF-D model of the 80-400mm was slow to focus and as such sub-par for many action and wildlife photographers. Despite its limitations it remained popular lens because it was the least expensive Nikkor with a focal length of 400mm. On a DX-format DSLR body, that translates to an effective field of view of 600mm, making the 80-400 the enthusiast’s choice for wildlife photography. The relatively compact size of this lens made it an ideal option for travel photographers or people wanting to have extra reach on a reasonable budget. Continue reading →
Yucca amongst the names, Garden of the Gods, Colorado. I used the 18.5mm f/1.8 1-Nikkor lens for this shot, hand-held at f/2.0.
Along with the Nikon 1 V2 announcement in October 2012, Nikon also released a new 1-Nikkor prime lens, the 18.5mm f/1.8 1-Nikkor. This lens, designed for the Nikon CX-format sensor has an angle of view roughly equivalent to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera body.
With the Nikon CX format, fast lenses are important for two reasons. First, the small format makes depth of field control hard, so anything with a fast aperture will help to deliver subject isolation and soften backgrounds. Second, while the ISO performance of the Nikon 1 cameras is excellent overall, these cameras are still noisier than large-sensor DX or FX DSLRs. That means anytime you can shoot with a faster aperture, your camera will be able to use a lower ISO for any given shutter speed. Read on for my review… Continue reading →