I got a box from B&H Photo today. Funny… I didn’t order anything (recently). Much to my surprise and delight, they sent me a reivew copy of the new Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor, Nikon’s stunning portrait lens.
A while back, my friends at Singh-Ray filters asked me if I’d be willing to test a new infrared filter. Late last week, I got a sample copy of the new Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm filter to test and review. Here are my findings.
Why should you choose an infrared filter?
First, let me start by asking why one would want to use an infrared filter instead of converting a digital camera to infrared. There are several reasons why you might want an infrared filter:
You don’t have an extra camera lying around to convert to IR
You don’t want to spend $275-$400 to convert a camera
Filters are easy to pack when traveling, and work with all your cameras
You have a full-spectrum or dual-spectrum camera which requires filters
Can a $1400 zoom compete with a $8000 prime telephoto lens?
That’s the $64k question, isn’t it? When I saw that the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR was announced at under $1400 (check price here), I figured that either: a) I read that wrong, or b) it must be a compromise. Seeing as how I own the 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor, I figured I’d do the obligatory comparison, so here’s my backyard shootout:
A Lightweight, Compact Telephoto Lens from Nikon Perfect for Sports and Wildlife
I’ve always considered Nikon’s 300mm f/4 lenses to be underrated for sports and wildlife photography. They are sharp, focus fairly close, and can handle a teleconverter. Because these lenses are fairly compact, they just scream to be hand-held. The only thing missing was image stabilization (VR). Nikon released a completely redesigned 300mm f/4 lens that includes the latest VR stabilization, and I was able to get a demo lens from B&H Photo for evaluation.
A good tripod is one of the most critical photographic accessories. A solid tripod enables you to shoot long exposures, use lower ISOs, and get sharp images. However, I think the first time any of us went tripod shopping, we had a bit of sticker shock. Good tripods, like my recommended Gitzo Series 3 Systematic, can cost nearly $1000. For most of us, that’s just a ton of money to spend on a tripod, even if it will last for years.
Fortunately, there are some good tripods out there for under $500. Many of these are aluminum models, but you can also find some carbon fiber ones at this price point. I had the opportunity to try out three tripods courtesy of B&H Photo, and all of these would be excellent options for outdoor photographers. Continue reading Tripods for under $500→