A lot of people wonder what to buy as their first Nikon lens. Most people new to digital photography and DSLRs don’t bother reading about cameras and lenses as much since there is too much information and too many recommendations. They end up purchasing a kit lens that they use for a year or two, only to realize that they want something better. Yes, kit lenses are a good deal but are they worth the purchase? While it makes sense for some people to buy kit lenses with cameras, I personally stay away from cheap entry-level zooms and prefer solid all-purpose prime lenses instead. Read on to find out more about my personal recommendations, aimed at someone who is just getting into photography.
Last week was a very busy week for us at Photography Life, since we participated in the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York and took part in a number of activities related to the event. This was the first time that I took part in a photography event of this magnitude and it was quite an overwhelming experience. My good friend and our team member Tom Redd was able to join me and we both flew from Denver to New York to take part in a four day conference. In this article, I will go over some of the highlights of the event and talk about the upcoming products and some hands-on information, accompanied by photos. I was planning to cover the event at the conference on a daily basis, but I was not able to do it due to my hectic schedule. In summary, it was a great event that will hopefully benefit our site greatly going forward (more on that later).
The B&H Photo Video mega store is definitely one of the must-see attractions of New York. If you have never been there before, I highly recommend to check it out, because it is one of those unique places that you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Last week, our team member Tom Redd and I had a chance to visit the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in New York (summary of the conference to be posted today). Since it has been a while since I visited New York and I have never been to the B&H store before, I requested a quick tour of the store and asked for permission to take some pictures for our website. B&H kindly agreed to do it for us and we had a great experience that I would like to share with our readers.
What if you took an old Nikon FM2-like film camera body, replaced the film back with the amazing low-noise sensor from the Nikon D4, beefed it up with the latest Nikon’s image processing pipeline and firmware for amazing image quality and best features, slapped a high resolution 3.2″ LCD on the back and made it a standard Nikon F mount – all at half the weight and the price of the D4? A fusion of old and new technologies in a single camera body? Well, that’s exactly what Nikon is doing with its upcoming Nikon Df camera, which stands for “Nikon Digital Fusion”. The news has been circulating at Nikon Rumors for the last couple of weeks, which was the first (as usual) to cover the rumor on the Internet.
An important note: the contest is open for US residents only.
Entering photography contests is one of the best ways to test yourself as a photographer. It is one thing when your family and friends admire your work, but gaining appreciation in a contest is a whole different experience. Photography is meant to be looked at and admired, and what better ways are there to start showcasing your work if not by entering a photography competition? Luckily, there are always ongoing contests that you can enter. The one I am going to introduce to you now is free, sponsored by Nikon (users of any camera system may enter) and called Inspirations Photo Contest (thanks for the tip, Rick!).
The contest has started a while ago, in September. This means that one of the categories – Sports & Action – has already been closed, which is unfortunate. But three other categories are still open for entries and, something you might certainly want to know, promise great prizes for the winning entrant.
1) Don’t Focus on the Prize!
Naturally, before I begin listing the categories, deadlines and rules, I would not be a proper motivator if I did not say that prizes don’t matter. And at this point you could say – of course they do! I mean, who would not want to win a Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 or Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR lens? Anyone would! But I promise you, if you win this contest, the first thing that you will be happy about is that you won a big photography contest organized by Nikon. The first thing you will think is – “Alright, I might be better at this than I thought. Great!” The prize is just icing on the cake. If you think it is the other way around for you, you may be spending a little bit too much time focusing on the gear, friend.
We have already compared the recently introduced Fujifilm X-E2 camera to its predecessor, the X-E1 (click here to read our comparison). Based on specifications, the newer camera proved to be better than the old one, but with price taken into account X-E1 can easily hold its ground and is still a very viable option. But how does it compare to the still-current Fujifilm flagship camera, the X-Pro1?
“Landscape” and “documentary” are two of the most celebrated genres in the photographic arts. These traditions are also the inspiration for the photographic images in my primary area of work as a historical geographer focusing on what is arguably the world’s most intractable geo-political dispute – the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. “Photographs furnish evidence,” the cultural critic, Susan Sontag conceded in an otherwise critical examination of the documentary genre in her work, On Photography (1973). The photographs in this collection for Photography Life build on Sontag’s observation in an effort to reveal how aspects of this protracted conflict have become embedded in the Palestinian landscape.
While the Israeli / Palestinian conflict has generated impassioned debate about its causes and consequences, there is little debate that these hostilities have altered the patterns of daily life for both Israelis and Palestinians. At the same time, most observers who travel to the region would probably admit that everyday life on the Palestinian side has been transformed in a more fundamental way. Despite the recent lull in hostilities, the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza are conflict zones. In these areas photographers confront very specific rules established by military authorities limiting the type of images that can be taken, along with cultural conventions that place certain subjects out-of-bounds.
I love Fuji X-series cameras – they have exceptionally good image quality, superb handling and they are just a lot of fun to shoot with. I have completed reviewing all Fuji X cameras that I have had during the last few months, including the X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1 and the X100S. In short, an amazing array of cameras from Fuji. One issue that I overlooked while reviewing the cameras though, was the spotted ghosting issue caused by the X-Trans sensor in rare situations, as demonstrated below (shot with the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens).
UPDATE: this turned out to be an issue with all mirrorless cameras that have a short flange distance. Please read this post to understand the issue in detail.
Fujifilm has been producing lenses for decades now. The are m42 screw-mount lenses to be found, medium-format lenses on their fixed-lens 120/220 film rangefinder cameras, not to mention broadcast and cinema lenses. In this article, we will focus on Fujifilm’s current digital compact camera system with APS-C sized sensors and discuss the most common Fujifilm lens abbreviations you can come across while looking for a new lens to put on a Fujifilm X-E1 or other camera. I will also mention some of the common abbreviations found on other Fujinon lenses, too.
1) Fujifilm Lens Mount Abbreviations
The first thing that we need to talk about are the two best-known Fujifilm lens mounts:
- Fujifilm X-mount – this is the current, modern, fully-electronic lens mount used in Fujifilm’s mirrorless camera system with APS-C sized sensors. As of October 2013, there are five cameras that use this lens mount: X-Pro1, X-E2, X-E1, X-M1 and X-A1. Fujifilm X-mount has a flange focal distance (distance between lens mount and film/sensor plane) of 17.7mm. It is relatively new, but has gained some good traction with over 10 lenses currently available since its launch in 2012 and more to come soon. Lenses that use this bayonet are simply called Fujinon.
- Fujica X-mount – an old, mechanical lens mount used in the film era. It replaced the previous m42 screw-mount and was used by STX-1 and other analogue 35mm format Fujifilm SLR cameras. Fujica X-mount lenses are called X-Fujinon and X-Fujinar. The mount – and lenses designed for it – are now obsolete, but there are still plenty of old X-Fujinon lenses to be found in places like ebay at bargain prices. The Fujica X-mount has a flange focal distance of 43.5mm.
Now that the new Fuji X-E2 is officially released (see our announcement post with a short preview), it is time to compare the camera to its predecessor and see what has changed. In this article, I will show feature differences between the Fuji X-E2 and the older X-E1, which we have recently reviewed (and really liked). And by the way, we are giving one away this December! Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and other comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Fuji X-E2 review.