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January 31, 2010

Nikonians.org celebrates 10th Anniversary with Special Contest

Tenth_88.jpgA Message (and Invitation) from the co-founders
Greetings and Happy Anniversary to all.
As you know, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Nikonians.org. It was on April 30th, 2000 (with just 30 members) that we first went public.
The past ten years have been an educational experience for all of us as we pursued the dream of forming a community of Nikon enthusiasts instead of just "another Web site."

Web sites provide data, opinions and entertainment. We wanted to create more than just another Web site.
Our goal from the start was to provide a more complete, reliable and rewarding experience shared among friends. No questions would be dealt with as "stupid" and the over-all atmosphere should at all times be friendly encouragement and constructive critiques as opposed to arguments and needless insults. That was just a simple goal when we first started, and it caught on very fast.

Stahlbrandt-150.jpgPalacios-150.jpgThe two of us basically moderated a friendly forum that started to catch fire faster than we expected. Moderating the small Nikonians.org site was easy in the first few months but our friendly approach quickly resulted in an exponential "viral" growth on the Internet, and thankfully we had a long list of like-minded members of this new community who were willing to step in as moderators to help us keep the community goals in mind.

As our moderator team grew, we also grew.
We have expanded from an initial offering of a few forums to the current 80 forums in 10 "conferences" or forum categories.
Our moderators (hand-picked and eternally appreciated) for the past ten years have been forced to stick to our prime directive of maintaining a friendly and informative community instead of "just another site" and they have delivered "the goods." At times they may have come across as overly stern, but as amicable as possible - their persistence in following our basic guideline of making this a community that "shares, learns, and inspires" has always been at the forefront. Their diligence has been rewarded. We are now the premier site for Nikon enthusiasts ranging from beginners to professionals.

This prominence in reputation has come at interesting cross-roads in the recent past few years. Our membership grew to such a point that we found ourselves severely strained financially to keep Nikonians.org active.
Increased usage equals increased costs and we were pleasantly surprised to find we had industry leaders who were willing to join us as advertising corporate sponsors.
From that growth we also saw the most immediate and basic fact. Many people will jump on a free Web site to grab a free fact or advice, and they are indeed welcome. However, if they are truly attentive to our goal of becoming a part of our friendly sharing environment, they could also consider entering any one of our membership levels, which at the very least amounts to only $25 per year or 7 cents per day. That paid membership step in our evolution (combined with the enthusiastic support of our corporate sponsors) has kept us active and we keep on growing.

Now, as we enter that tenth year anniversary we want to thank our members —the community.
As part of that thanks, we have established a limited time contest to celebrate our Anniversary with three months of eligibility (February-March-April).

Each month of our Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest has a special theme for an image submission:

I. What Nikonians means to me
The winner will be our member who best expresses in an image "Where I have made like-minded friends and don't feel alone in my pursuits" and "This photo I created thanks to lessons I have learned from the community."

II. Fellow Nikonians at Work
The winner will be our member who submits a photo that best expresses fellow Nikonians with their gear taking photos in environments or scenarios that have been made possible by their membership.

III. On the Nikonians Road
The winner will be our member who submits a photo that best expresses "Look at the places I have been to, inspired or directed by Nikonians" and "Places and pictures I could not have made without my fellow Nikonians."

All three theme categories are ultimately designed to meld a symphony that could be best described as "The Nikonians Experience."

Check our 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Rules for details and start planning for your winning entry.

Good Luck!
Bo Stahlbrandt & J. Ramón Palacios

Posted by flashdeadline at 8:07 PM | TrackBack

January 29, 2010

---Maintenance Notice--- Short down-time coming

Maintenance_75.jpgThere will be a scheduled maintenance session for the nikonians.org community main site this coming weekend. The site will be offline for brief periods on Sunday the 31st of January The maintenance session will be from 5:00 PM EST to 8:00 PM EST. During this time you may experience short occasions when you cannot connect to Nikonians.

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:47 AM | TrackBack

January 28, 2010

Lightbox Photo latest partner of Nikonians

LBP_Std.jpgMore and more companies of the photo and imaging industry grant Nikonians members who support their community generous rebates!

Lightbox Photo Gallery is one of the most used and powerful gallery applications available.

Ready for stock photography it can handle XHTML, new media formats, all established online
payment services and is search engine optimized. It runs on PC, Mac and Linux and is available in Standard, Professional and Enterprise versions.

All Silver, Gold and Platinum members get a rebate of 10% on all available versions of the software. Simply enter the code you can find on your Rewards Page when ordering.

Details and ordering information for Lightbox Photo can be found on their homepage.  

 

Posted by joef at 12:35 PM

Good Locations - "Doesn't Work at All"

Good-Locations-THMB_100.jpgWell, not exactly. The new Good Locations by Nikonians iPhone application does indeed work, and thanks to our members who have been downloading the free app and sharing their impressions, we have some answers. Our members have discovered that in some cases (depending on your connections) the application takes a few seconds to engage.

Good-Locations-_320-2.jpg
The Good Locations forum (set up as a special test bed for the new application) is a great source for the most commonly asked questions that have followed our initial announcement News Blog.

Nikonians co-founder Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) has compiled a condensed version of some of the questions and answers that have already been covered in the forum:

1) The Good Locations iTunes app which allows photographers to share good locations has been released in a first version last Jan 21st. An improved version that supports a "capture now - send later" feature, which is needed when you are at great locations without any network coverage, is expected to be released sometime during February.

2) Several photographers have asked for a chance to see good locations posted by others. Of course this is the whole intent with the app! Right now it is possible to see the locations provided by other photographers in the Nikonians Good Locations forum. A lot of users are of course testing the app right now so there are many test postings in that forum, which we are removing after some days "airtime". A separate section at Nikonians with good locations that have been going through an editing workflow will be put online as soon as we have enough good locations for that. This could be happening in the next 2-3 months, faster if we get a serious numbers of locations posted, longer if less number than expected comes in. So, please use the app and capture good locations for other photographers to see!

Stahlbrandt-150.jpg3) Some photographers have experienced a white screen after they started the app. The workaround for this is simply to wait for the white screen to disappear - which it will do after some seconds. The screen is related to a slow connection between the app and the Nikonians servers, most likely you are not on a 3G network, but on a so called Edge or even GPRS. We are further working on improving this behavior for slow connections.

For more information: Check our Nikonians Wiki: Good Locations by Nikonians


Posted by flashdeadline at 7:00 AM | TrackBack

January 27, 2010

New PaintShop Photo available

corel_paintshop_pro_x3-kl.jpgCorel has introduced the latest version of its image processing software: PaintShop Photo Pro X3.

It is supposed to be perfect for users of DSLR cameras and combines image management, processing and presentation plus a slideshow tool with HD quality. It also provides a a RAW editor, which can read - according to Corel - over 350 RAW formats.

corel_paintshop_pro_x3.jpg A helpful feature is the possibility to save changes made to an image which can be easily adjusted to other images with no script needed.

Images and videos can be uploaded to Facebook, Flickr and YouTube directly.

The tool "Corel Painter Photo Essentials 4" is a free bonus!

The fulll version costs $99.99, the update $59.99.

More information and the possibility to test the software - or to buy it - can be found here at Corel.

 

Posted by joef at 1:17 PM

January 26, 2010

Bring the Rain - Think Tank has your protection ready

Hydro-TT_100.jpgThink Tank Photo has released two new water-resistant, seam-sealed rain covers for cameras mounted with 70-200 and smaller lenses.
The new rain covers offer protection for the camera and lens combo, along with a built-in flash protector version for only an extra $6.00 USD.

Hydro-Video.jpgThe Think Tank Photo Hydrophobia® 70-200 and the Hydrophobia® Flash 70-200 (with built-in flash protector) rain covers include side arm holes for focusing and accessing switches and they allow DSLRs to be turned vertically.

The rain covers also allow photographers to change memory cards and batteries without taking off the rain covers and risking exposure to the elements.

Think Tank has posted a video to help photographers visualize the products in use.

Think Tank Photo's CEO and lead designer Doug Murdoch explains in a recent press release how the addition of an external camera strap in both models has added protection:

A key feature is that the camera can be carried two ways. It can be carried by the strap attached to the camera as it does not have to be removed. And, there is a camera strap attached to the Hydrophobia 70-200 that, combined with a strap that buckles under the lens, allows the camera to be carried by the rain cover.

"The problem with other covers is that holes have to be cut into the top of the cover, and then using a special camera strap, the user has to unclip the camera strap from the camera, feeding it through the top of the cover," said Murdoch.

"With the Hydrophobia 70-200, we eliminated this problem by creating a system that automatically transfers the weight to the rain cover itself, while still keeping it water resistant."

TTHydro-Flash_200.jpgThe fabric used on the Hydrophobia is ten times as water resistant as normal fabric. Instead of a “spray” coating, a “film” is applied to the underside of the fabric, as well as a tricot mesh to protect it, making it a far more impenetrable three-layer fabric. In addition a waterproof tape is applied to all seams, providing an even more water resistant barrier.

The rain covers include the following key features:

• A clear window for viewing LCD and controls
• A fabric cover for the end of the lens.
• An eyepiece storage pocket (eyepieces sold separately)
• A breathable mesh bag for transportation and storage

For professionals and amateur SLR shooters with smaller lenses who can’t afford to lose a shot or to have their gear damaged, the Hydrophobia™ 70-200 and the Hydrophobia™ Flash 70-200 are powerful new tools for getting the shot in even the harshest conditions.

The sells for $139.00 USD. ($145.00 for the flash cover version).

NIKONIANS Members REMINDER:
Don't forget that using your access to our Members Rewards Page: Think Tank provides a special offer: When you order $50 or more of Think Tank gear online, at checkout you will be able to select a bag to receive for free.

Posted by flashdeadline at 5:04 PM | TrackBack

Free Nikonians iPhone App available

Phoneheld_95.jpgSocial networking photo location sharing brings GPS technology to the scene with the help of the new Good Locations by Nikonians iPhone application. The free application is available at the Apple iTunes store.

Good-Locations-Tower-325.jpg

Our Nikonians Good Locations forum is currently being used to test it out. The app includes publication ability to the Nikonians.org community, Facebook and Twitter.

Using the new application, photographers can snap a location shot with their phone and upload the coordinates for future reference on shooting locations or for sharing with others. As an example, the photo in this screenshot would also include specific directions via Google Maps to the shooting location in Paris.─►

Complete information can be found at our Good Locations by Nikonians Wiki, and before you fire this thing up you may want to read the special notes on privacy precautions which apply not only to this application but any software program that publishes the exact location a photograph was taken.

The iPhone app Good Locations by Nikonians V1.0 was released January 21st 2010. A version that supports a "capture now - send later" feature, which is needed when you are at great locations without any network coverage, should be available soon.

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:01 AM | TrackBack

January 24, 2010

Nikonians News Flash #145

News-Flash.png

This week Ray passes along the latest photographic news relating to Nikon.
-Nikon 70-200 VRII issue
-New coolpix on the horizon
-Nikon Capture NX2 released for Mac
-First 128GB 400X flash card
-Kodak challenges iPhone and Blackberry technology
-Nikonians Academy
-Hatch meets Lorimer- or Afghanistan meets New Zealand. A good time was had by all!

Download Nikonians News Flash #145 (NPC-NF-2010-01-24.mp3; 2:55; 2.68MB; MP3 format)

Nikon 70-200 VRII issue

Nikon Capture NX 2 for Mac released

Silicon Power Announces World’s First 400X 128GB Compact Flash Memory Card

Kodak challenge
s Apple and RIM

See the World
with Nikonians Academy

Afghanistan meets New Zealand

Brian-Emily-Wayne.jpg

Contact Nikonians News Flash: newsflash@nikonians.org

Thank you for joining me, and meet your fellow Nikonians.

Your Nikonians podcaster Ray Valdovinos

Posted by rayvaldovinos at 11:48 AM | TrackBack

January 21, 2010

Nikon Responds to "Rough" 70-200mm f2.8 VRII Internals

Nikon has posted an official response to customer inquiries about a "rough textured" internal element visible from the front of the lens.

The AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens features a component in the lens design which may appear to have surface irregularities or a rough texture when viewed through the front lens element. This rough surface appears in a very small confined area within the lens barrel and is caused by air holes remaining in the metal portion of the lens during component construction. Due to the magnifying effect of the front element this rough surface will appear greatly enlarged when viewed through the front of the lens.

This component’s function is to reduce and remove internal reflections and this textured surface will have no effect on the lenses performance or operation. Nikon would like to assure customers that the lenses optical performance remains unchanged and that this component will not release any dust or particles into the lens itself.

Posted by covey22 at 8:24 PM | TrackBack

ID#109: The Image Doctors

Rick is back from Thailand, and Jason has a hands-on review of the Nikon D3s! Be sure to check our Facebook Page for a video slideshow of Rick's images.

Download The Image Doctors #109 (NPC-ID-2010-01-21.m4a; 57:38; 15.3 MB; MP4 format)

  Show Notes: January 21, 2010
2:35

Rick visits Cambodia, Thailand, Japan

34:40 Nikon D3s hands-on review
53:54 Photo Prescription: Replacement Caps

For the MP3 version of this podcast (audio only) click here (16.6MB).

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Image Doctors directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the Image Doctors feed to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically to you.
[Vote] Vote for us on Podcast Alley!

The Image Doctors on Facebook

Posted by drjay32 at 6:00 AM | TrackBack

Nikon Software Update RoundUp

Nikon released a round of updates in January, some long anticipated.

Posted by covey22 at 3:11 AM | TrackBack

January 20, 2010

Capture NX 2 now available for Mac computers

Nikon_Capture_NX_2-kl.jpgNikon has finally released a version of its RAW converter that also runs on Mac computers. The latest update (2.2.4) is now compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4.11, 10.5.8 and 10.6.2.
Some bugs have also been fixed.

To install this new updated version you need a full version of Capture NX 2.2.0 or higher.

You can find the update download and information on all the new features and system requirements at the Nikon USA Support pages.

For Capture NX 2 there is also a very helpful collection of tools from Nik Software available: Color Efex Pro™ 3.0. Nikonians on Silver-, Gold- or Platinum level get a 20% rebate on that collection. Just get your code at our Rewards Page.

Posted by joef at 11:00 AM

January 17, 2010

Nikonians News Flash #144

News-Flash.png

This week Ray passes along the latest photographic news relating to Nikon:
-70-200 VRII problems?
-Nikon Camera Control Pro 2.7.1. released
-Nikon on Twitter and iPhone
-Toshiba 64gb SD card
-Mike Hagen and Nikonians Academy
-Hatch and Lorimer in New Zealand
-Nikonians Nikoscope


Download Nikonians News Flash #144 (NPC-NF-2010-01-17.mp3;
4:57; 4.53MB; MP3 format)

70-200 issues

Nikon Camera Control 2.7.1

Nikon Twittering

Toshiba's 64GB SD card

Nikonians Academy Mike Hagen


And here's another one of our Nikonians Cap winners:Heun-Orange-River-Jan-2010_300.jpg

<---- Matthew Kuperus Heun- South Africa


Contact Nikonians News Flash: newsflash@nikonians.org

Thank you for joining me.

Your Nikonians podcaster Ray Valdovinos

Posted by rayvaldovinos at 7:49 PM | TrackBack

January 11, 2010

Nikonians Fine Arts Master preps 2010 Workshop Schedule

Pascal_100.jpgLearn portrait and fine art nude photography with Nikonians Master Society Member Pascal Baetens.
Pascal teaches his techniques in a series of workshops starting January 30th and 31st, in Belgium (outside Brussels).

baetens-250.jpgThe January 30-31 workshop concentrates on Introduction to Portrait Photography.

The next two workshops will be: February 27-28: Introduction Fashion & Lingerie Photography; March 13-14: Introduction to Artistic Nude Photography.

For more information on his workshops scheduled throughout the year, contact Pascal through his Website at pascalbaetens.com.

Pascal was the subject of a profile article in our official publication: The Nikonian eZine #37, available for free download.

Posted by flashdeadline at 4:06 PM | TrackBack

January 10, 2010

Nikonians News Flash #143

News-Flash.png

This week Ray passes along the latest photographic news relating to Nikon:
-Nikon firmware updates for D700, D300S, D3 and D3X
-Lexar announces Upgrades
-Bibble Labs announces Bibble 5 Pro
-Nikonians Academy instructor outlines his upcoming workshops
-Nikonians as an international community

Download Nikonians News Flash #143 (NPC-NF-2010-01-11.mp3; 4:19; 3.96MB; MP3 format)

-Firmware updates for D300S, D700. D3 and D3X

-Lexar card upgrades

-Bibble 5 Pro

-Nikonians Academy Workshops Michael Marient

W-Lorimer_150.jpg Nikonians Silver Member Wayne Lorimer

Contact Nikonians News Flash: newsflash@nikonians.org

Thank you for joining me.

Your Nikonians podcaster Ray Valdovinos

Posted by rayvaldovinos at 5:22 PM | TrackBack

January 7, 2010

Bibble 5 now available

bibble_5-pro.png Announced for a long time, version 5 of Bibble's popular RAW converter is now finally released.

It has a revised user interface, higher speed and additional tools for the selective editing of RAW files, and runs on both Win and Mac systems.

The "Pro" version costs $199.95, the price for a "Lite" version (available in the "early part of 2010") and a breakdown of the (reduced) functionalities in the "Lite" version have yet to be spelled out.

More information and links for downloading a free trial version or buying Bibble 5 Pro, can be found at the Bibble webpages.

Posted by flashdeadline at 3:29 PM | TrackBack

ID#108: The Image Doctors

Happy New Year from the Image Doctors! Rick and Jason discuss their new year's resolutions and the art of composition.

Download The Image Doctors #108 (NPC-ID-2010-0107.m4a; 56:30; 13.7 MB; MP4 format)

  Show Notes: January 7, 2009
1:07

New Year's Resolutions for Photography, 2010

07:20 Understanding composition
51:42 Photo Prescription: Save your settings and SW keys!

For the MP3 version of this podcast (audio only) click here (16.3MB).

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Image Doctors directly in iTunes.
[RSS] Add the Image Doctors feed to your RSS aggregator and have the show delivered automatically to you.
[Vote] Vote for us on Podcast Alley!

The Image Doctors on Facebook

Posted by drjay32 at 6:00 AM | TrackBack

January 6, 2010

Nikon D3 Firmware 2.02 Released

Nikon has made available a new firmware version for the D3 Digital SLR. Version 2.02 (Windows & Mac) include improvements to Auto White Balance and closer integration of camera functions when using an off-board GPS system. Cautions are noted for users of Nikon Camera Control Pro 2.7.0 - some features of the program will be unavailable when used with D3 cameras using the new firmware. Nikon promises to address this in Control Pro 2.7.1 to be released at a later date. (links are to Nikon UK)

Posted by covey22 at 3:05 PM | Comments | TrackBack