November 22, 2013
Unraveling the Mysteries of Digital Image Blending
Larry Anderson, Nikonians Moderator of the HDR forum, invites us to share his experience on image blending in Photoshop. Regardless of the level of expertise of those of us watching, this brief session is a revelation. Enjoy!
November 20, 2013
Safari success caps 2013 calendar - more workshops in Nov-Dec
Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen has just returned from leading his latest sold-out Tanzanian Photo Safari. Mike tells us the trip was "epic and we photographed an incredible amount of wildlife during the two-week journey."
The photo adventure traveled through five national parks, each filled with stunning animals and landscapes.
Mike sent this photo of Nikonians capturing images from their vantage point on a Toyota Landcruiser with an open top.
The vehicle is converted from a Toyota truck. It has a full cabin in back that seats a total of six passengers with a row down the middle.
The vehicle has side windows that slide open that allow you photography from a lower angle as well.
The adventure was limited to a class size of 12 (including the tour leader). Here's a group shot of the Tanzania Photo Safari 2013 participants.
If you are interested in signing up for next year's trip, follow this link for more information.
The final few weeks of 2013 are chock-full of workshops taught by Mike Hagen and Steve Simon. We are running classes on the newest Nikon cameras and flashes, as well as workshops on Lightroom and Steve Simon's signature The Passionate Nikon Photographer.
The Nikonians Academy 2014 adventure trip schedule is filling up with trips to the Klamath Basin, Yosemite, Berlin, Cambridge UK, Giant Redwoods, Alaska, Iceland, Galapagos, Cuba and Africa. We cover the globe bringing amazing journeys to photographers looking for the best photo adventures and workshops out there.
Pre-orders available for new Nikon D610 book
Mastering the Nikon D610 by Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) is now available for preorder.
Darrell has already invited members to submit images taken with the new camera to be included in the book and the first set of images have started to trickle in.
Mastering the Nikon D610 is written to help you learn all the details of the camera’s relatively complex yet flexible menu structure, external controls, and best configurations for various styles of photography.
Digital Darrell’s books are well known for making highly technical camera setup easy to understand and accomplish. His writing style is like a friend dropping by to help you with your new camera. Mastering the Nikon D610 has a release date of February 14, 2014.
Coming on the heels of its predecessor (Nikon D600) the Nikon D610 has a new shutter assembly with 6 fps speed, better white balance, and a new Qc (quiet continuous 3 fps) release mode.
If you’ve been wanting to move up to FX and have the lenses to support it, the Nikon D610 is a natural step up from the DX world for those who desire full-frame image quality. And, image quality is one of the strong points of the D610, with a sensor that bests the Nikon D3X, Nikon’s most expensive camera. It has a magnesium-alloy and polycarbonate build that is both strong and light, making it the perfect carry camera for those who enthusiastically enjoy DSLRs.
November 13, 2013
Cross-country sweep ahead for Academy instructors
The countdown is on for the final Nikonians Academy workshops of the year. The next few weeks on the schedule feature a coast-to-coast North American sweep.
Steve Simon Brings the Masters series to Boston, November 14-19.
His schedule includes:
Academy Director Mike Hagen heads for Texas next week, starting with his Master Nikon i-TTL Wireless Flash, CLS workshop in San Antonio on November 16. He then moves to The Woodlands for a four-day Masters series starting on November 21. His Woodlands schedule includes:
Think Tank Black Friday special already started
Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced an exciting Black Friday special that actually starts now!
With this special offer you get a $50 rebate on their renowned rolling camera bags. And, should you order a roller plus one of their popular Urban Disguise shoulder bags you are eligible to receive a $100 rebate. This offer is for U.S. Customers only.
And, to top this off you’ll receive free shipping not only on these items but on all Think Tank Photo gear!
To partake of this special holiday offer simply click here and you’ll be directed to Think Tank’s roller page. There you will find a link you can click to download the rebate form. Really easy!
Think Tank’s rolling camera bags are renowned for being the best made, most innovative rollers available. Each comes with easily configurable inserts, innovative security measures, and Think Tank’s “No Rhetoric Warranty.” The rollers are sized so as to make it easier for you to roll your valuable photography gear onto airlines as carry on, as opposed to having to check it.
November 11, 2013
Servicing a Gitzo tripod
All equipment needs maintenance and servicing a tripod should be a routine after you use it around water and sand or mud. In this practical step-by-step guide you will see, how to easily disassembly and reassembly a Gitzo tripod. Read more
November 6, 2013
Nikon Df – The Past is the Future
The Nikon Df DSLR is here! Just a few months ago I was thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a digital FM. It could be called the Nikon DM and it would use all my old and new f-mount lenses, and it would have all external controls, like the good old days.” Somehow, the collective thinking of all of us who desire the simplicity of the past was somehow picked up by Nikon. How did they answer our desire for the simplicity of the past—updated? Read more and find out.
November 5, 2013
Retro Nikon debuts -- Nikonians react
Nikon's newest Digital Single-Lens Reflex is creating quite a buzz in our forums. The newly announced Nikon Df is an FX (full-frame camera) with 16.2 million effective pixels. It uses a standard 36x24 mm CMOS sensor (36.0 x 23.9 mm).
This may not be the camera you absolutely need -- But for many Nikon enthusiasts with warm memories of the good old days -- it is destined to become the camera they absolutely want.
Nikonians author Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) tells us this camera comes with equal doses of nostalgic features and modern-day technology:
"Remember when you were young and skinny, raising kids, and had all that energy? Well, you were probably carrying a camera that looked a lot like the new Nikon Df. Let this camera take you back in time as you carry it with you everywhere.
Basically, the Df is made for travel, and for what Nikon calls “a versatile full-frame option for passionate photographers.” The camera delivers the same high quality as the Nikon D4, the flagship DSLR in Nikon’s lineup, for about half the cost of a D4. Not having a bulky camera body, yet having sufficient speed (up to 5.5 frames per second), makes the Df a very flexible camera, ready for different styles of photography.
The Nikonians.org brand new Nikon Df forum shows a wide variety of global reactions:
"UK launch price with the special edition 50mm f1.8 lens is £2740 ($US4110)...Wow, that's not cheap!
-- Richard Walliker (richardd300), United Kingdom/Wales
"I was eagerly and patiently waiting from the release of D4 to get a replacement for my faithful D700. I skipped the D800 (too many pixels, you get them laying all around), the D600 and D610 (too consumer body), feeling that Nikon will release something to fulfill my wishes. And it came -- Nikon Df. It is exactly what I was waiting for -- "low" pixel count (just right for me), extremely high sensor sensitivity, no video (I use a video camera for my videos), pro-built and compact high quality body. Now I am a bit disappointed. The price is simply too high, even for such a nice piece of high tech camera."
-- Nikolaj Simic (niksi), Slovenia
"A very nice toy. Not that I really need it. The pixel count is disappointing - it should have been at least 36 MP. Better 54 (FF with D3200 density).
What would really make me happy - all the same, but for film."
-- Vladimir Stepanov (SVA ), Switzerland
"I felt Nikon got the pricing right with the high specs of the D800. I also felt a retro camera could be nice for those who felt this whole dslr madness has gotten out of control (ie feature creep, adding things that people may not need/want and complicating the interface, etc). But I figured a simplified camera would come with a 'simplified' price. I realize it has the d4 sensor at half the price, but frankly the d4 is overpriced and other than the sensor, the spec of the Df is more mid-range. I thought the purpose was to compete against the new breed of ILC which have price tags at 1/3 of the Df."
-- Eric Carlino (ecarlino), USA/Illinois
"I don't think the purpose of this camera was to compete with anything. I think it was a dream of one of Nikon's executives, maybe even the CEO, to produce a product that would reflect on their past history and heritage. I see that thinking in the release of the new AFS 58mm f1.4 lens and now the Df. I think you need to understand the pride the Japanese have in their heritage to see that. The last retro camera that Nikon produced was the S3 rangefinder kit from 2000. As far as I know only Leica and Nikon and maybe Zeiss through Cosina do these things. Since making a retro film camera now makes no sense at all they did the next best thing with the Df. You are getting a FE digital body with near D4 performance at a bargain price. I don't expect they will sell many based on the comments I see here."
-- Leonard Taupier (Leonard62), USA/Pennsylvania
"The naming strikes me as telling. While it is possible Nikon could someday come out with a "Df2" (or "Dg"?), the lack of a number in the model name makes me wonder if Nikon sees this as a one-off model rather than the start of a progression of traditional-style cameras. Who knows, perhaps this is Nikon's parting homage to the past before they come out with something radically new and different that abandons the single-lens reflex design. In any case, it's clear that this appeals to some people. I sincerely wish them joy of using it, and I'll be interested to read about their experiences and see their images."
-- Jonathan Bloom (jbloom),USA/Connecticut
"Just when I thought I was out, Nikon brings me back in! I really like the design and look of the camera."
-- Armando Camara (adcam), USA/Oregon
Here are the highlights, courtesy of Geoffrey Coalter at the Nikon USA Press Room:
• Classic Nikon design cues, with solid build and mechanical controls
• Sophisticated physical/mechanical controls for settings and adjustments
• Imaging and low-light performance inherited from Nikon’s flagship D4 D-SLR
• Large 36 x 23.9mm, 16.2 MP FX-Format CMOS sensor
• EXPEED 3 image processing engine propels image quality to the next level
• Exceptionally wide ISO range from 100-12,800, expandable to 204,800 for superb low-light performance
• Nikon’s thinnest and lightest FX-format D-SLR
• 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors and continuous burst shooting up to 5.5 fps ensures precision and clarity when capturing moving subjects
• 2016-Pixel Matrix Metering and Scene Recognition System ensure proper camera settings for every shooting scenario
• Easy to create with a 3.2-inch LCD display and glass optical viewfinder
• Wi-Fi connectivity available with use of optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter, allowing for instant download and sharing to smart devices or remote firing of the camera
• Reaching back into the NIKKOR lens legacy, the Df is compatible with current AF, AF-S, DX and AF-D lenses, but also works with classic Ai and non-Ai NIKKOR glass
• Full compatibility with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and WR remote systems
• Available in late November 2013, in classic silver and black color schemes at a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,749.95 (body only). A kit will also be available with the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 Special Edition Lens for $2,999.95 (SRP)
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 Special Edition Lens
• Classically styled to honor original NIKKOR Ai lenses
• Sports aluminum mounting ring for manual focusing
• Classic 50mm prime focal length ideal for everyday shooting
• Features modern NIKKOR technologies
• Nano Crystal Coat, seven-blade diaphragm
• Available in November 2013 for a suggested retail price (MSRP) of $279.95, or alongside the Nikon Df for $2,999.95 (MSRP)
Following the official announcement from Nikon, Darrell Young has already received the green light for his next NikoniansPress/Rocky Nook book.
As a disclaimer-- You may think the fact that Darrell is writing a book on this camera could be a factor in his praise. We put that question to him via Skype following his post about the new book project. Was he pushing a camera for the sake of book sales?
His answer was immediate. For starters, he's buying this camera (and it isn't cheap) out of his own pocket (not getting a freebie)--
" I have been wishing for a digital Nikon FM for some time now. I miss the external controls. This camera brings back simplicity, when I want it, and complexity (functionality) when I need it. It is the best of both worlds, a fusion of old and new. I can't wait to get mine. I'll carry it everywhere I go!
He concludes with a final note on the price: "....the camera is a mini-D4 for half the price.
Part of photography is the distinct pleasure of owning high-quality camera equipment. On cold winter days when it is too nasty outside to shoot, you can open your camera bag and enjoy the feel of your fine Nikon cameras. This new Df is destined to become the one you hold up to your eye and derive tacticle pleasure from most frequently.
The rest of his Skype reply was a bit of butt-chewing to our editorial staff for doubting his integrity.
November 4, 2013
The Second Step to Digital Image Excellence
So, you've bought that Nikon® digital camera and lens you've wanted for a while. The first step is complete! What is step number two? Get a printer? Nope! Step two is to buy a monitor calibration system. Especially if you shoot RAW (NEF) images! Why is THAT the second step to digital excellence? Read more and find out.