Tag Archives: lenses

The new Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8E ED ER is out!

Nikon updates its ‘holy trinity’ of fast zoom lenses with the brand new AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. The beneficiary of a complete overhaul, the most widely used professional zoom lens in the NIKKOR line-up is now faster, stronger, and steadier than ever.

The addition of Nikon’s impressive Vibration Reduction (VR), a brand new optical construction and a more sturdy build breathe new life into this renowned lens.

Advancing a legend

Although the current 24-70mm (introduced with the Nikon D3 in 2007) is still widely acclaimed, the new incarnation of this lens takes performance to another level. In a first for any NIKKOR lens, the new optical design includes an aspherical ED glass element. Developed to combat chromatic aberrations and coma, this new element reduces light fall-off and enables uncompromised resolution at the peripheries. The brand new VR system minimises camera shake and lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower.1  AF is also improved thanks to Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which is up to 1.5 times faster than the SWM used in the 24-70mm f/2.8G. The addition of an electromagnetic diaphragm enables consistent, more precise exposures during high-speed bursts, reducing the risk of accidental damage that can be associated with mechanical lever mechanisms.

Workhorse

Nikon’s new 24-70mm lens is ready to withstand the punishment that comes with years of daily professional use. While the optical design is complex, with 20 elements in 16 groups and Nano Crystal Coat, Nikon has strengthened the construction of this lens to create a tougher product. The included hood is a small but important improvement. Nikon listened to pro feedback and placed the release lock in a recess to prevent accidental removal. Naturally, the lens is fully weather sealed. A fluorine coating applied to the front and rear elements of the lens actively repels water, dust, and dirt without compromising image quality. And the coating makes it easier to clean the glass without damaging the surface.

Starting price around £1,900

Available to purchase: 27 August 2015

For more information visit: w

What camera should I buy?

 

Early photographers had a quite a lot of challenges to face, the giant cameras with huge flash and the classic black cloth over their heads. The photography world has seen a massive revolution over the past decade. The mobile phone revolution has given almost every consumer the ability to take images at any moment. We can now use these cameras to take images of our families, friends, holidays and the list goes on.

The question I most often get asked his; ‘What camera should I buy?’ The key to really understanding this you must really know what you are going to use it for? Do you really need to buy a new camera? How often will you use it?

Smart Phones

lumia 2010

Nokia Lumia 2010

These have improved significantly and increasingly large amounts of technical improvements. From the basic 2MP cameras to now 41MP cameras (Nokia Lumia 1020 (PureMotion HD+ OLED Touchscreen with ClearBlack Technology, 41 Megapixel, 32 GB, Windows Phone 8) sim-free – yellow), there is a lot available in the market to choose from.

What are the advantages?

Unless you are tech-hater you probably own a camera phone by default. Almost all cameras will allow you to capture as much as possible in the scene in focus. Also not having much or any technical control frees you from all technical decision-making responsibilities and leave you with just the subject, composition and light to play with.

What are the disadvantages?

Usually  the lenses are wide angle and fixed focus. Why is this a problem? Well, whilst this gets you a broad view, you do not however have much creative control. For example, let’s say you want to zoom in to your subject, most likely to keep the quality of the image you will have to move closer to your subject. If you use the digital zoom you will automatically lose image quality, clarity and focus. Most camera phones have very small sensors resulting in ‘noisy’ images being created.

My recommendation?

Nokia Lumia 920 Sim Free Windows Smartphone – Black
. It has a relatively large 1/3″, 8.7MP sensors and an F2.0 lens.

Keypoint:

Remember, most of the great pictures from the past were shot on much less sophisticated cameras than mobile phone cameras. It is still the photographer who takes a great picture, not the camera.

Compact Cameras

panasonic lumix

Panasonic Lumix ZS50

These are widely available and commonly used across an increasingly globalising population. These ‘entry level’ cameras are now incredibly inexpensive and in some circumstances be to a very high specification (depending on your budget!).

What are the advantages?

Basic compact cameras can come with x3 optical zoom and provide useful automatic settings. Someone with almost no photographic experience therefore can ‘point and shoot’ with great outcomes.

On the premium end, some cameras carry a high MP count with optical zooms going beyond x15. Continuous shooting modes where you can take multiple images in one go alongside image stabilisation means in good conditions you can take images comparable to DSLRs.

What are the disadvantages?

Depending on what option you go for inevitably the common challenge you will have is with ‘Noise’. Often these compacts have smaller sensors and so consequently the quality of your images will be lower.

The other challenge with smaller sensors is the narrow dynamic range that they offer. Basically, smaller sensors make shadow areas black, and more highlight areas white.

Finally, ‘shutter lag’can be frustrating. This is perhaps the number one reasons for why so many images come out blurred. The time from the moment it is pressed to the time it is processed is quite stretched. This is caused by the camera having to focus, setting the correct exposure, and then charge the sensor for capturing the image. Even a 0.5 sec delay can often mean missing a great shot.

My recommendation?

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 / DMC-TZ70 ( 12.8 MP,30 x Optical Zoom,3 -inch LCD )
– Priced around £289. This camera is affordable and hugely versatile wherever you might be.

Bridge Cameras

panasonic bridge

Panasonic Lumix- FZ-1000

What’s that? I often get asked. Essentially this is a ‘prosumer’ cameras which resemble DSLRs

What are the advantages?

Allows much greater level of experimentation with manual controls. Furthermore, they are almost as quick as DSLRs in most cases and shoot video.

With a fixed lens it saves the hassle of having to carry around your lenses and saving you money. Bridge cameras can also produce high quality prints in larger formats.

What are the disadvantages?

Whilst having a fixed lens can be hassle free the downside is the aperture range available. Furthermore these cameras use an electronic viewfinder. Why is this a problem? The low resolution of EVFs can sometimes make focusing a challenge. Image lag can be another side effect especially with fast moving objects. And they also use up battery power!

My recommendation?

Panasonic DMC-FZ1000EB Lumix Bridge Camera (25-400mm LEICA DC Lens, 20.1MP)

Not only boasting a 16x optical zoom and f/2.8-4 maximum aperture, it also carries Ultra-HD 4k video capture.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR)

nikon d810

Nikon D810

The market for these cameras has exploded over the last few years. The falling costs of the base units has allowed amateurs and semi-pros to dive in to this market. Ultimately you are paying for; ability to change lenses, instant viewfinders, large sensors and negligible shutter lag.

What are the advantages?

Firstly the flexibility in which lenses you use allows you to explore your niche photography to real depth. Whether it is extreme wide angle landscape shots or nature photography you will have exceptional control over your images.

The instant viewfinder allows you to see exactly what the sensor is seeing. This will allow for better framing of your subject and easier composition, particularly in poor light.

The large sensor size can provide you with noise free images even at ultra high ISO settings. As a photographer it will allow you to try a wide range of ISO exposure settings and experience with depth of field. With almost no shutter lag, you will always be in a position to capture critical moments.

What are the disadvantages?

The value of the body will depreciate over time. Whilst lenses tend to hold their value significantly longer, they are very expensive.

As there is no preset shooting modes you will have to learn what works and what doesn’t. Consulting your rather large manual will be your first port of call. Fail to do so at your peril!

My recommendation?

Don’t buy one if you are only going to use it once a year. You are better off investing in a bridge or compact camera and get a professional photographer to do ‘once in a year’ photos for you or the family.

Failure to spend time getting to know your camera will lead to your disatisfaction. I once met a photography enthusiast in Cuzco, Peru- we shared some images and he was so frustrated with his pro camera he offered to swap it with my then semi-pro camera.

Check out the Nikon D810 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

Full frame with a monstrous 36.3MP you will be looking at blowing up your images to the sizes of billboards with this one. In comparison with other similar cameras it comes quite ‘cheap’ from £2000. Great image quality and value for money in comparison to even higher models such as the Nikon D4 or Canon EOS-1D X.

Commercial Photography

If you really want to know about this then let me know via the comment thread below! Thank you!

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