Nikon 80-400mm VR Review

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

On March 5 of 2013, Nikon released the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR, the long awaited update to the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D VR that was released over 13 years ago as Nikon’s first lens to sport image stabilization (Vibration Reduction) technology. I have been impatiently waiting for this lens update for quite some time now for a number of reasons. First, it is the only Nikon budget lens that can reach 400mm focal length without teleconverters. Second, it is a very versatile lens with a huge zoom range, which can be quite useful for outdoor sports and wildlife photography. Third, it is a relatively lightweight lens one could hand-hold for extended periods of time, especially when compared to any of the Nikon super telephoto lenses. And lastly, the old Nikon 80-400mm VR had a very slow autofocus motor and it was almost unusable for anything that moves, making the Nikon 300mm f/4D pretty much the only “budget” telephoto choice. So this much-needed, long overdue update was certainly welcomed by many of us Nikon shooters.

[Read more...]

Impact Super Collapsible Background Review

Impact Super Collapsible Background 4

Studio backdrops are a great way to transform a space. There are all different sorts of backdrops but I wanted a backdrop that folds up easily and doesn’t require lugging around a bulky backdrop stand. I also own some paper roll backdrops and it is so tough bringing out of the studio. What I like about this backdrop is that compact when stored, but unfolds to be the perfect size backdrop for shooting portraits. This is a review of the Impact Super Collapsible Background.

[Read more...]

Impact Reflector Panel Review

Impact Reflector Panel 3

A reflector is a light shaping tool. When shooting indoors, I often like to have a reflector handy to bounce light back onto my subject. For example, if my subject is standing next to a window there is more light on one side, than the other side. A reflector is helpful to soften the contrast of the window light. Reflectors can be used to bounce studio lighting as well. This is a review for Impact’s Reflector Panel.

[Read more...]

Nikon D7100 Review

Nikon D7100

This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D7100 DSLR that was announced on February 20, 2013, along with the Nikon WR-1 wireless remote controller. Although I have been shooting with the Nikon D7100 for about two months now, I specifically postponed the review, because I wanted to thoroughly test it and also make sure that I test at least two samples of the camera. I have been very concerned about Nikon’s latest rushed product launches with dust, oil and autofocus issues, so my intent was to examine the camera in detail and test all of its capabilities in various environments for this review.

[Read more...]

Impact Reversible Muslin Background Review

Impact Reversible Muslin Background

This is a review of the Impact Reversible Muslin Background. When I’m shooting portraits in the studio or on location, I sometimes want to use a backdrop that is not a seamless paper. Why? Seamless can be too uniform in color and also difficult to transport. I have always wondered what it would be like to shoot some portraits on a muslin background with subtle color variations, so I decided to grab one of these made by Impact and try it out.

[Read more...]

Think Tank Retrospective 30 Blue Slate Review

Think Tank Retrospective 30 Review5 resized

I was eagerly awaiting my Think Tank Retrospective 30 Shoulder Bag for an upcoming trip. I knew I HAD to have it for this trip to keep my gear securely organized and safe! While I am a big fan of Think Tank and already have their Airport Take Off and their waist system (to be reviewed in the future), I did not have any sort of professional shoulder bag for carrying my camera gear. Previously, I had taken a large purse and affixed some foam for protecting my camera and called that my camera shoulder bag. It was awful and I was in great need for a professional, durable, smart shoulder bag for my travels. Think Tank came to the rescue.

[Read more...]

Impact Two Monolight Softbox Kit Review

Impact Monolight Kit

This is a review of the Impact Two Monolight Softbox Kit. If you’re interested in learning studio photography and have looked at purchasing some gear, you know that once you start purchasing lights, light stands and modifiers, it can get expensive very quickly. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive options available out there, but are they worth it? While I don’t consider myself a master in the studio, I do have quite a bit of experience with different types of lighting equipment and, with a little use, can tell if I’d use something on a regular basis or not. Want to know what I thought of this Impact kit? Read on…

[Read more...]