You probably know I enjoy photographing birds whenever I can get the chance. Over the years, I’ve used lots of different Nikon cameras, and I have to say that we’re living in good times if birding is your thing. After a year with the Nikon D500, I can honestly say that I’ve not run into a better birding camera from Nikon. The autofocus is deadly fast, the camera delivers 10fps RAW, and you can shoot 200 continuous frames when you use a fast QXD memory card. I’ve also had the chance to test a variety of Nikon lenses on my birding safaris, so here’s my current recommendations for anyone looking to maximize their Nikon birding experience. Continue reading The Ultimate Nikon Birding Kit
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?”
- Nikon 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor (see specs and pricing)
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AFS G VR micro-Nikkor (see specs and pricing)
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
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.
- 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).
Today, Nikon announced a new fast prime portrait lens, the AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED Nikkor. This is a super-fast lens that should deliver amazing bokeh when used at or near its maximum f/1.4 aperture. It is designed to cover FX (full-frame) Nikon sensors, but will approximate a 161mm telephoto lens if you use it on a DX Nikon DSLR, such as the Nikon D500. Continue reading Nikon 105mm f/1.4 Portrait Lens Announced
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.
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The Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Nikkor is an interesting lens. It features:
- E designation: Electromagnetically controlled diaphragm for consistent exposures
- PF: Phase Fresnel lens design (This lens uses a Fresnel element, which drastically reduces chromatic aberration).
- AFS: Silent wave internal focusing motor with full-time manual focus override
- ED: Extra low-dispersion glass element
- VR: Image stabilization
- Nano-Crystal coating