Followers Posts

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just for Fun - Switching to Canon For a Secondary DSLR Body?

Think about this for a moment and refrain from jeering upon this idea - Try out to own a Canon DSLR as your secondary camera! As I mention before, there are always pros and cons of owning two camps. You have to be pretty specific what you want each camp to do for you.

And as far as Canon is concern, its divest glass range will definitely prove useful if you seek, say, a longer reach at 800mm (Sorry Nikon). I was just thinking along the line to get say the inexpensive Canon 500D I put off last week. Yes, its very primitive and yes, its shoddy in construction, but I am only seeking for the core sensor engine that's worth using together with Canon's vast offering of cheaper glass!

Well, its just a thought but one that definitely has a certain weight in the whole equation of hunting down a second DSLR body.

Kids Just Love Water!

Never have I seen wider smiles whenever the boys know they are going for a swim. And within moments, they are splashing and having a good time in the common pool downstairs. And yes, as a way of saying thanks, they will occasionally pose for you.

Again, taken with the Nikon 18-200mm VR II lens while the sun is just about to set across the horizon (check out the sun's reflection on the pool behind the boys). Nikon D90 fill flash used.

Custom Nikon D90 Picture Control Files

The moment you may be waiting for...more customized picture control for the Nikon D90! Now, to check out how the Kodak Ektachrome effects your shots, simply download all that you want [here] and import them into your Nikon D90 via any SD card today.

The effects are fabulous!

Flickr Group Setup Completed!

Here we are, folks! Our first flickr group! Prep and ready to roll.

Well, I have not got round to playing with all the knobs and dials of Flickr and will be improving the overall interface as we go along. Meanwhile, we are located [here]. Please help yourself and may we enjoy some fun with our first mini project - Home Shoot.

Rumors Are Boiling!

Just look at the number of speculative in the air on D300S, D400, D3000, D4000 and you know its getting a bit out of hand! Perhaps, its seriously time to reconsider a second body after all. Usually, we have two choices. A second body that would subsume the role of the primary machine or one that is a backup.

Now, if the highly anticipated D300s comes with a similar HD video capability (like in Nikon D90) on a 12.3MP platter, it will placed itself in a no-mans land for Nikon D90 owners - as it does almost the same thing! I wouldn't want to pay extra dollar for the same HD video or identical resolving power again. That implies that the venerable Nikon D300 may just well be a better choice as a second body.

Now, however, if the upcoming D3000/4000 provides an identical 12.3MP sensor and AF engine, I don't really mind getting it as a secondary body. I no longer need those videos, remote wireless commander, battery grip compatibility etc. found on my Nikon D90.

What's your take?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nikon Capture NX Any Good?

My thorough review of it beckons me to put it on hold for the time being. Its lack of batch processing workflow feature simply turned me off completely. And its inability to help me sort all my tons of images and GB of raw data intelligently outweighs its Nikon secret image processing algorithm found in the software.

I am looking at a slightly bigger picture here and the software I will use have to deliver to that context as well.

Perhaps, its all the same among other software like Aperture, Lightroom etc. Choosing one can be a matter of personal preference.

Starting Point of Apple Aperture 2

Frankly, I do not know where to start! It's a monster to use and a gargantuan to yield some usefulness from my first user experience. Hopefully, with the many tutorials found on Apple's web site, I can get some headway in the coming weeks.

Check back soon for what I manage to $299, it better be worth all these trouble!

New Addition to the Family - Aperture 2

Like a tug of war, I am clueless as to which software is most suitable for image post processing. Every web reviews and forums says against the other while some claim to use all! Top on the list is Adobe Lightroom, Nikon Capture NX and Apple Aperture and Adobe Photoshop (if you feel loaded).

OK. So, I decided to jump in on what my instinct tells me - Apple Aperture 2. It's, I hope, a worthwhile decision. Now, I am ready for some real image post processing. Maybe, my old copy of Adobe Photoshop 7 can also come in handy too...

Adobe TV Teaches Color Grading Videos!

Thought you never ask! Here's the deal how its done.

Color Grading Nikon D90 HD Video

Armed with Photoshop CS3, you simply open up the video as a picture file. Thereby, you begin the tedious task of using numerous adjustment layers to create a totally new appeal to your video files.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

As Good As Buying - The Moments It Clicks / Joe Mcnally

Weekend in A Catheral

On my baby sit schedule this weekend, I brought my two boys out for lunch and a photo shoot. They will now cheerfully chirp "Nikon D90" whenever daddy drives out the drive way with a camera in the front passenger seat.

Today, we went to an old-made-new Anglican church. And there we spent about 30 minutes. I absolutely love the Nikon 18-200mm lens that was in use this afternoon.

Slums of Kuala Lumpur

For your eyes only, there is still a large part of the capital of Malaysia covered below the poverty line. Their houses and shops are all made of tin sheet metals, together with what we know slums are made of.

This shot was taken next to one of the train network stations in KL.

Favorite Relax Drink After A Day of Shoot/Work

In wanting to know what I really like for a new relaxing drink, I choose Schweppes Bitter Lemon. Well, it's a shame its not as readily available as I want it to be but I manage to find one in a funky sports pub in the Kuala Lumpur LCCT terminal.

Perfect after a day of shoot...

Home Shoot Entry - #1

So I started today with an opening shot - a toy that one of the boys left on the table in my apartment. If I can recall, its one that granddad (mum's side) bought in Disneyland Hong Kong.

I am still divided as to use a new Flickr account or picasa account for our uploading...please be patient. Will update everyone when one is properly setup!

New Images Added to Gallery

There's a time for every season, and its one for uploading my latest work on my gallery! Check it out and have fun viewing it.


Landscape Photography Cheat Sheet

So that's how it's done! For a moment, I was wondering how Scott Kelby actually managed to churn out those color-rich, tone gradient landscape of Tuscany from his Nikon D5000. Its actually shot with the following conditions met
  • Shoot all landscape at either dawn or dusk time window
  • Shoot with F/11 upwards
  • Use a Tiffen ND Gradient card filter in front of the lens when shooting
  • Use a tripod. No handheld photography allowed
Lastly, a good composition eye is still required...that, is what none of us can help you with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How's This as your First Photographer Vest?

How About Your Photographer's Image?

I can still remember my first day of work in London some ten years ago as a Telco Business Analyst. Image seems to be rather important in my line of work as I was then requested to put on my 3-piece suit every single day come snow or shine.

Seems that this culture is sipping back into my take on my perception of proper attire as a photographer. After all, I have recently been getting more and more comments from strangers about my perceived profession - photographer. And what's wrong with knowing how to dress functionally well when you go shoot? Nothing.

So, in the next few weeks, I hope to identify the best apparel for photographers like us, in both allowing us to shoot both in style and function. Gone will be the days of crappy T-shirts and moccasins. It about time we do this right!

Next Probable Lens To Get - Nikon 10.5mm F/2.8G ED

I think I am seeing the light at the end of the wide optics tunnel. My first quest to get a wide-angled lens ended with a Nikon 18-200mm. But I think I will not fail this time round. I have been doing lots of homework again on the wide angle family of Nikon glasses.

And its all pointing to the Nikon 10.5mm F/2.8G ED fisheye. I have practically dropped the newer Nikon 10-24mm out of my acquisition radar for now due to her small aperture and lackluster construction (Some says the Tokina 11-16mm is a much better buy). I agree its a totally different story when it comes to fisheye perspective when we go wide as opposed to those exhibited by the Nikon 10-24mm. But I want something a bit different among my five lenses.

Let's see...

Prerequisites for Home Shoot - Macro Performance of Nikon Lenses Reviewed

I think you know where I am getting on this one. Home shoot does not merely mean wide-angled snaps of living rooms and turfs but also often mean a little of macro photography. Not all lenses I own are cut out for this job and a little review is required before an attempt is made on any close-up shots.

OK. I have only five lenses, so this should be quite easy. The Nikon 35mm F/1.8G lens goes as close as 0.3m but has only a MRR of 0.16 (or 1:6.25). Next, we have the Nikon 50mm F/1.8D prime at 0.45m and MRR of 0.15. The Nikon 18-105mm kit lens goes as close as 0.45m and a respectable MRR rating of 0.2. Second last on the list, we have the Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II at 0.5m and a MRR figure of 0.22! Well, forget about using the Nikon 70-300mm F/4-5.6G. Its minimal focus distance of 1.5m is urrrrh...just out of the league.

Looks like the Nikon 18-200mm is the best lens among my small collection of glasses to do macro photography. Unless I go buy that BR-2A reverse mount for my 50mm prime, nothing comes close to it to do the close-up job. Obviously nothing in my bag comes close to the Macro lenses like the Nikon 60mm and I am not about to rush out the door to get one.

Photographer Dad Always Come Last!

As you know, the time to setup a tripod, prep the camera before handing over to someone to take the whole family is often not a luxury. And I would rather take the shot without me in the picture just to catch that moment.

Well, being a family dinner, I did not left the evening to chance. Shot with the Nikon 18-200mm VR II lens. SB-900 mounted on camera. Diffuser attached.

Project #1 - Home Shoot

Home is where the heart is, and it may be the place that you would spend most of your life in. And won't it be rather sad if we can only shoot everywhere else except your home? So that's my little project I have setup for myself - to shoot at home and deliver a top 50 best shot showcase of my home.

To make this as a prelude to our post processing discussions, I will now attempt to shoot only in RAW (of Nikon NEF format) for each shot. This will allow me to adequately prepare on using these photos with software like Aperture or Capture NX or Photomatix Pro or whatever you fancy there after.

I am ready to be surprised! Now, to make it a tat more interesting, we will open this mini project to any photo enthusiasts! And what better place to do that in Flickr! Stay tune...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet My Other Playmates - Sony PS3 and PSP

First off, I can bet many Nikon D90 owners already possess a Sony Playstation 3. And perhaps, even the miniature PSP if I may say so.

A gaming console might not be the first “accessory” that comes to mind when talking about digital photography, but my Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) has some interesting features for the photo enthusiast in us. Every PS3 allows consumers to store their digital photos by connecting their cameras or USB storage drives directly to the console via a USB cable, with images then transferred directly onto the PS3’s hard drive.

Once done with this, you can easily create playlists by grouping together photos. The PS3 system also offers five slideshow styles to show off your photos on your big screen, and you can set the slideshow to any music stored on your PS3.You can even upload your photos directly to a photo sharing site. Finally, with my PSP (PlayStation Portable) system, I can take my photos with me anywhere.

Connect your PSP to any PC or laptop via a USB cable and upload your digital photos directly to the PSP’s storage card, the Memory Stick PRO Duo. You can also connect your PSP to your PS3 via a USB cable, and swap photos and photo playlists between the two systems.

How's that for a domestic revolution?

Serious Crime - Digital Photos Only Accessible in my Macbook Pro

Time and again, I am being accused of not showing those images I took in my collection of photos to both my immediate and extended families. At times, it's mild. While occasionally, it turned rather embarrassing in the witness of everyone.

Now, that is about to change as I just completed my revised approach in sharing all my photos with these humans. Yeah!

When was the last accusation you fended off? Fear no more as help is at hand...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nikon D90 Image Counter

So here I am again, counting the number of shots I took on my Nikon D90. 7005 for the past seven months. So still, I am hitting about an average shoot rate of about 33 images per day. Well, its kinda of indication if I still enjoy shooting or if my love of shooting is evolving.

As said, I am pretty sure 95% of us never hit a hundred shots per month. Well, if that's the case, its plain and simple. Your priority is not in photography. No big deal. You have something more important in your life. Well, as for me, I am trying to unify a whole list of priority into a seamless fabric of timeline instead of focusing on just a few of these priorities.

I have a family to look after. I have a fitness level to upkeep. I have to feed my geeky appetite for technologies. I want to get acquainted to a group of new friends at the same time (that's all you good people visiting this blog!!) What do I do? Take on photography!! Shooting makes me walk and travel many places, backpacking my kids for miles each week to work up the sweat while giving me a whole new experience to relate as accurately as I know how on a blog.

Did I get your attention about photography now?

New Teaching Videos from Nikon

Need more videos to brush up your techniques? Look no further than a new list of videos that is hot off the Nikon oven!

Point [here] to start immediately!

The Nikon D90 Hits Prime Time

Film maker Noah Harald uses the Nikon D90 D-SLR to create professional video content for clients. This [podcast], including sample footage, was captured with the Nikon D90.

Is a Monopod Really Useful?

With the recent introduction of basalt monopods, a new price segment in the monopod range is opened for buyers frowning at the price of carbon fiber alternatives. Well, for starters, monopods are good for big glasses. Smaller glasses may not benefit from the stability these tool offers.

Besides, the VR capability found in more lenses are somewhat making this tool further away from our bank accounts. My take is that its very suitable for semi-statioinary sports photography where mammoth lenses are involved...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Go On...Laugh It Out!

Walk-A-Shoot - KL Plaza to Nikko Hotel KL Malaysia

The shuttle driver says its too long a walk for the liking but I thought it be a good workout after a big dinner! So from KL Plaza (near Bukit Bintang LRT station), I decided to cut through the Pavilion, a bridge, couple of main streets and KLCC to walk back to the hotel.

The walk-cum-shoot workout turns out to last approximately an hour, and I was able to catch a few glimpses of decent opportunities of the nightscape of Kuala Lumpur.

Weekend in A Park

So here's our precious weekend again and its my turn to baby sit. Each weekend, I will try a new spot, somewhere the boys will find it somewhat new. And there, I will shoot to remember the weekend by.

Here, we have Devon who suddenly decides to rest his feet on a particular spot that I thought was quite photo friendly. As usual, using a small aperture to keep both the subject and landscape, I shot this at F/13 with my built-in flash popped.

Petronas Twin Tower KL

Some say its a must-visit place to go when you are in KL. So off I returned. Anyway, the Nikko hotel is just a stone throw away from it and the free shuttle bus just makes it a too irresistible deal to refuse.

To keep everything razor sharp, I have decided to shoot with an F/8. Besides, the sunny day is not making it any easier. Shot at ISO 100 F/8 with a EV -0.7 adjustment (I am heeding Joe Mcnally's advice here).

Just for Fun - Architecture Shoot

Well, opening my hotel's full-length windows, I thought this building presents a rather nice shoot opportunity. It just happened that this building filled the entire frame of the Nikon D90. Thought the symmetry of the shot has a certain appeal.

I am really driven by what my eyes can see for this trip... A EV-0.7 was introduced to absorb a bit more details in the scorching sun. F/2.8.

The Rather Interesting Train Network of KL

Not that it's my first visit to the capital but one that I can now relate in pictures. Of the full platform length of each station, the entire stretch of each train segment covers only half that platform, making one wonder what could have possibly happen in the design phase of these rail network. Either someone has decided to pocket the budget difference of offering half-length train carts or the budget was overly allocated to building these stations.

Worse still, if you so choose to change your mind in the direction of travel, you must exit the platform, cross the road below it, climb up the stairs to the opposite ticketing booth, buy a new set of ticket and board the opposite train track and finally be able to go where you are supposed to go. How's that for sports?

Want more? Sure. The system of train network are privately held by half a dozen of private companies. Changing tracks will mean a need to buy another new ticket...again. And oftentimes, this also mean a long walk to connecting stations which are actually kilometers away, before you can buy that ticket! O yes, they are unsheltered! Meaning if it rains, you can only wish you had an umbrella with you.

I lost weight just simply using the train network each day! Cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back from Kuala Lumpur!

Just touched down today in the airport! Tiring, tiring, tiring. Well, work wise, it was great! Weather wise while in Kuala Lumpur, it was great too! Pictures? Not many, to be frank, as there are not many picture-worthy scenes! (Maybe, that's my excuse as time is not really on my side on this trip)

Nevertheless, you be the judge as to whether I have been beefing up on the quality of the shoot rather than the quantity! For starter, we have what's within the well known Petronas Twin Tower.

I brought only one lens with me for this trip - my new Nikon 35mm F/1.8G. So, the scope of shoot is limited.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II In Action

Its an apple and pear comparison if you would to compare the lens characteristic of a Nikon prime lens with a super zoom. But when light is allowed to thrive, you do get some decent shots with this super zoom lens.

The wizard of Oz tin man came out just fine in our example. The rest of the Oz icon were all ravaged by the Asian weather and looks rather pathetic to feature here.

Shot at 35mm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G In Action

Nothing beats the sharpness of a Nikkor prime lens, and here's another image to prove it in a rather low light condition. Here, with the help of the Nikon SB-900 in front of the subjects, everything becomes sharp and cheerful!

Here, we have Dave on duty in the house, policing any outbreak among the boys with a small cane. They are on a 12-hour shift work detail.

Any non-conformance will be escalated to the authority (that's the parents) immediately. The cane of authority tells the rest of the bunch that he has the right to police the crowd (the three boys). Its a very coveted item in the home.

Comments Has Been Setup!

Well, I sincerely believe at this stage of blogging, I should properly setup the Comments section of the blog. Its high time we begin to foster each other valuable opinion and comments as I raise each key topic of discussion or review.

In this way, the real pros will be able to guide the rest of us, in learning something new or discovering means to avoid the common pitfalls of photography!

So, open the flood gate of your knowledge bank and give a helping hand to all of us in this little community.


UPDATED - Hmm...with the comments turned on, I still don't see the ability to allow you guys to insert your comments. Working on it...

Favorite Relax Tool After A Day of Shoot/Work

Instead of paying someone each week for an hour's worth of foot or body massage, I would rather relax in my Osim uMedic massage chair after an intensive day shoot. Actually, its also something the family will use regularly.

what do you use to wind down after a long day - either working or shooting?

400th Post!

At over four hundred posts, I reckon we have just passed the warm up stage and should begin kicking into a higher gear to cover slightly more serious stuff.

The Nikon D90 has been familiarized. I don't recall any aspect of the camera unexplored. Its time to kick some butt (I hope!) by exploring the three primary new focus I begin to like - HDR photography, Photoshop CS4 post processing for artistic or professional results and HD Movie Recording with our Nikon D90.

Hope it is a useful blog to all of you!

Show me your support by visiting this site more often and telling your like-minded photog friends! It's a joy to be able to help all fellow enthusiasts!

Nikon Custom Search Engine

To assist everyone to search for anything within the Nikon D90 Lab, Nikon Rumors & Nikon Watch, a custom Google search engine has been provided for your convenience.

Try it to hopefully cut down the time you need to zoom in to some specific topics on these blogs!

Two Least Used Accessories To Get Last

Among all photographic accessories you may wish to purchase, I found two accessories that will, very likely, be underused - camera bag and tripod. Face it, unless you are taking longer vacation trips, the urge to carry all (or most of your lenses) will not be there. Perhaps, to satisfy your short-term fanatical craze of carrying everything around, you may do so initially. But soon enough, your logical mind sets in and you then carry only your primary lens and flash wherever you go 80% of the time. Your bag will begin to collect dust as all remaining unused lenses will be in the dry cabinet.

As for the tripod, its again mostly for night photography, where scarcity of light forces you to shoot with one. The sturdiness of these device often means encumbrance (unless you have a carbon fibre make) and yes, I still do carry one when I shoot longer distance with the Nikkor 70-300mm lens. But the number of days I seriously depend on one doesn't go beyond my ten figures.

So, put your hard-earned money where you truly need - flash, grip and lenses. (I sure would have hoped someone told me earlier)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nikon D90 Lab Accomodates Mobile View

Yes I know. Everyone's getting more mobile these days. And obviously, the Nikon D90 Lab was originally designed for the big screens. But what da yer know? A mobile site has now been created for those of us who so wish to visit it with their mobile phones.

I have, all along, been a heavy mobile web browser user and I find the newly designed site fine with the 320x240 screen.

Check it out [here] or the link on the top of the article list.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Nikon MB-D80 Advantage

As the weight of the lens used increases, so does the pressure exerted on your right hand to hold the camera steady. I have been doing a bit of walking around for the last few days with the Nikon D90 and Nikon 18-200mm combination (without the MB-D80), and I must admit the camera is somewhat unbalanced.

Moreover, vertical shooting becomes uneasy as I found my pinky figures left in the air many a times. As the weight of the lens lean the system forward, your wrist is actually attempting to counteract that weight with an equal backward force. That naturally moves your whole hand lower the grip shaft, resulting in a rather awkward hand grip posture.

Now, the MB-D80 enhances the need to shoot with a heavier lens and significantly improves the grip posture for orientation changes. It's in fact, in my opinion, the first accessory you should invest in when you get your hand on a Nikon D90. Well, I did.

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II Video (From A Scottish Dorm Student)

Hmm...Bangalore? India?

Well, I can't exactly say I love visiting India for work, but it's what I am requested to do in July this year. Imagine having curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Imagine the amount of head wriggling (which implies an agreement in India) I have to do to to get things done there!

So, a consolation to me is that it's perhaps the most advanced city in India where technology parks litter the cities and half of those IT literate folks of the country flock to. Its of course, a certainty I will bring back as many interesting pictures for all you guys and gals, despite the sweltering heat of that city (like what I will do next week for Kuala Lumpur).

Sit back, relax and watch me work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eye-Fi Turns Pro For $149.99!

The 4GB Pro inherits all the same abilities of its predecessors, like the Eye-Fi Explore Video, meaning it'll suck JPEG pictures and videos directly from your video camera, geotagging them along the way, pumping them through any open hotspot it can connect to (or secured one you know the password to) before routing the potentially embarrassing mess to the computer of your choice. If that computer is on they'll appear almost instantaneously; otherwise they'll get buffered somewhere in the cloud and delivered the next time that computer goes online.

New with the Pro is the ability to also beam RAW files straight from the camera, something that will make pros or would-be's a little happier when using this -- but with only 4GB on tap we're definitely thinking this is a product that'll lean more toward the serious casual users than hardcore pros. You know, wedding shooters and the like.

The other new feature here is far more usable: the ability to connect directly to a PC and send images straight to it. This means you can set up your Wi-Fi enabled Mac or PC to act as a wireless access point, configure the Eye-Fi to use it, and then watch as fresh pictures appear on your desktop -- cable free.

Welcome to the Nikon D90 Camp! The Camp of the WWW!

Yes, we are growing! And I am sure it's not by a stroke of luck that it is the case. For those who just joined in, welcome!

In a short (or long) six months, we have started from scratch to where we are now. This journey has help me rediscover the joy and satisfaction of photography. If you just bought your Nikon D90, you are advised to take your time and begin reading from the first article, over coffee on your favorite couch. You are in good hands. Here, we evolve or smooth out the rough edges of our knowledge of the Nikon D90. It's quite a complicated beast.

Don't burn yourself out by attempting to read all 400 posts on a few seatings! You will experience knowledge constipation. If you are contemplating getting the Nikon D90, you are not alone. I used to be one myself. And I never looked back in remorse of getting it.

We are all here to discover and have some fun! Lastly, I likes challenges, and firmly believes you can take real good pictures with the most basic lens from Nikon. With these shoe-string budget lens, I seek to share the techniques, tips to get the best out of your Nikon D90!

Well, if you are to ask me why I started this blog? Well, the answer is - there is not one proper blog that talks about the Nikon D90 today! Period. Most that I came across only seek to flood your eye balls with tons of Google ads or contains shallow content. It's not a journey. They are but alphabets and letters arranged on a few paragraphs. Don't you just sigh? O Well, let's continue this joy ride as we discover photography with the Nikon D90 each new day!

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II Close-up Shots

A new discovery - In Macro mode, the Nikon D90 commander flash mode will be deactivated and your remotely controlled Nikon SB-900 will not fire no matter how hard you ask it to. It will only work if you have it on camera.

Here, a toy is used to see what the Nikon 18-200 is capable of. Shot with remote flash placed underneath the toy (to give it a more sinister look). The diffuser is used. Distortion control corrected within Nikon D90.

Lock And Loaded!

In the good old days when carrying a 20kg field pack for eight straight days is but felt as a walk in the park, carrying this system seems to present a slightly different challenge. Its either my right hand or neck or right shoulder that requires some form of conditioning.

So, I thought I would want to find out what weight this part of my body is dealing with...

That's some good training on the wrist!

Primary Reasons to Get the Nikon 18-200mm Lens

Well, for a start, its attempt to hopefully consolidate two of my lenses into one - Nikkor 18-105mm & Nikkor 70-300mm G. Secondly, its to have an all-in-one lens that complements the Nikon SB-900 speedlight (this speedlight now accommodates a 200mm reach as opposed to 105mm on the SB-800).

Thirdly, its that last-mile VR I painfully need when I do not wish to lug my Manfrotto around to attempt night photography. I know I could top up an additional $600 to get the Nikon 17-55 F/2.8 but I thought that's reserved for the new DX body that Nikon will soon roll out (that I can blog about!). As the Nikon sales representative puts it, each Nikon lens is designed conceptually with some specific Nikon bodies, despite having only the two DX/FX camp.

For example, its "not right" (but perfectly fine), to say, fit a Nikon AFS 24-70 F/2.8 on a Nikon D40 body. One would get a Nikon D700 instead. Likewise, its, to me, quirky to fit a top DX lens to the Nikon D90. In the former case, we are talking about an inability of the Nikon D40's sensor to properly resolve the image coming through the Nikon 17-55mm F/2.8. So say the sales representative. Maybe, he's trying psychology 101 on me but it sure is working!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II Macro Performance

Hmm...I simply turned it to the full 200mm and shoot it with the Nikon SB-900 on camera. I am not too sure if I can get any closer if I enabled the macro mode on the Nikon D90. But here's my first attempt to shoot close up with the Nikon 18-200mm lens.

1/60 second, F/5.6 at 200mm. VR Mode - Normal.

At 200mm, Everything Feel Calm and Collected

Not surprisingly, this 200mm shot came out tact sharp (in my opinion) when I shot this flora. One would imagine that at this range, everything starts getting blurry, but not so with this lens! Now, some believe that you can shoot as slow as 1/15 second at 200mm but a real steady hand would still be required. But hey, its still possible.

The VR II really works! One of the biggest problem while shooting with the Nikon D90 kit lens was vibration when I attempted to shoot from a moving vehicle. Again, this limitation has effectively been nullified with the Nikon 18-200mm's Active VR mode.

Lens Trial - Nikkor 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VRII

So the time has come where this new lens have to be tested, tried and understood. So, off to the park we went and yes, I am pleased with what I am seeing thus far. Pushing the color palette to the vivid picture control is said to be one of my favorite rituals but I have never appreciated standard and neutral picture control on my Nikon D90 until I got this lens!

Night shoot is next but you get the idea. Vivid for outdoor and standard/neutral for night scenes. Well, here, my boy refused to stand up for the shoot hence I have to resort to taking this via the Live View mode. Nice!

Consolidation - Research and More Research Needed Part II

As Canon caught up Nikon's lead in developing her 18-200mm superzoom only in Dec 2008, I can't help but want to check out both the Canon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 IS and Nikon 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 VR II lens as a consolidator lens. In short, both the Canon and Nikon lens are comparably well built, focus well (though the Canon AF is much more noisier) and relatively sharp throughout the entire zoom range.

Price wise, they are both priced at about $699 today. But being a Nikon user, I can, but use the Nikon's (unless I attempt to use the Canon-Nikon mount converter).

Fun - Calculating Cost Per Image for my Nikon D90

My Nikon D90 shutter actuation counter says 6550 today. And the basic system with the kit lens cost around $1400. Hmm...that's about $0.21 per shot!

What's yours today?