Watchtower of Turkey

Watchtower of Turkey

Having toured across Turkey as a teenager, I have so many wonderful memories of this beautiful and historic country. I instantly fell in love and have since been wanting to go back and revisit this magical place. Earlier this week, one of our readers sent an absolutely stunning video called “Watchtower of Turkey”, filmed by Leonardo Dalessandri, who spent 20 days in Turkey traveling thousands of miles and capturing both stills and video. The resulting three and a half minute film is absolutely stunning and definitely worth watching. I decided to share this video with our readers and I hope you enjoy this masterpiece as much as I did.

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FotodioX WonderPana FreeArc Filter System Review

FotodioX WonderPana

When it comes to ultra wide-angle lenses, the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G is an outstanding choice, thanks to its top notch corner to corner sharpness, amazing colors and superb performance throughout the focal range. The lens has become a legend, outperforming most ultra wide-angle primes on the market in terms of resolution. As I have revealed in my in-depth Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G review, even Canon shooters have been using this lens with adapters since it is so good (and I have seen Sony A7/A7R users with this lens as well). The only downfall of the 14-24mm is its lack of a lens filter, which makes it impossible to use regular circular polarizers and filter holders. Thanks to the popularity of the lens, a number of manufacturers developed larger filter holder systems that allow mounting both polarizing and rectangular filters (such as neutral density and graduated neutral density filters). One such manufacturer is FotodioX, which developed the most popular filter system for the lens, the WonderPana FreeArc, which I am reviewing here. Although the review sample I received is for the Nikon 14-24mm lens, the FotodioX WonderPana is in fact available for a number of lenses from different manufacturers. For example, those that shoot with the Canon 14mm f/2.8L II lens can also use the same system using slightly different adapters.

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Top Photography Sins and Mistakes to Avoid

Dreamy Portrait

It seems that many photographers go through a certain cycle of mistakes and errors during their photography journeys and careers. Some of these mistakes and photography “sins” have become so predictable, that it is usually easy to identify one’s level simply by looking at their recent work. During my past workshops and one-on-one sessions, I have seen many images that could have been great, if it was not for one or more of the typical mistakes outlined below. I have personally made many of these mistakes in the past and some of them I am still guilty and ashamed of even today, although I continuously work hard on getting rid of them. The article below is not meant to offend or criticize anyone. Although it might sound a bit arrogant or snobby, that is certainly not the intent – in fact, most of the images presented below are mine.

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To The Ends of the Earth

To The Ends of the Earth

About a month ago, Canon Australia posted a short film titled “To The Ends of the Earth”, where adventure photographer and Canon Master Krystle Wright is shown taking pictures of rock climbers and divers in different conditions. I decided to share this video with our readers, because I found it to be beautiful and inspirational. I loved Krystle’s opening line “my biggest fear is regret”, because that’s exactly how I feel about many things in my life. Krystal lives and breathes photography and you can feel her deep connection with the craft in every second of the video, which is amazing. Very few of us can truly follow their passion and make it their way of life, so seeing someone not only achieve it, but also be very successful at it is truly inspirational for me personally. I hope you will enjoy the video as much as I did!

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Nikon 200-400mm With and Without Filters

Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR II

The Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR is a very versatile and sharp lens and those that own it or previously used it know that is a great choice for close action photography, such as photographing bears in Alaska. I recently saw a comment by a photographer, who claimed that the lens gets even sharper if its front protective filter is removed. Both the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR and its newer VR II version have a removable front protective element, as well as a 52mm drop-in filter that most other super telephoto lenses have. While I was testing my 200-400mm f/4G VR in my Imatest lab, I decided to compare the performance of the lens with and without the front protective and the 52mm drop-in filter to see if the above claims were true or not. It turned out to be an interesting study. I apologize for the geeky nature of this article!

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Nikon DSLR Buffer Capacity Comparison

Nikon DSLR Buffer Capacity Comparison

Instead of creating separate articles that show buffer capacity of every newly announced Nikon DSLR, we decided to gather and compile all the available information into a single location. The below table outlines many of the current and discontinued Nikon DSLR models, along with such information as sensor resolution, continuous shooting speed (fps) and RAW / JPEG buffer capacities. While we have included most of the RAW buffer information, we decided not to bother with smaller JPEG sizes, since most cameras presented below can accommodate 100 or more of smaller JPEG images in their buffers.

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Nikon DK-17M Review

Nikon DK-17M Magnifying Eyepiece

A fortunate event took place a couple of weeks ago – my wife Lola lost the eyecup from her Nikon Df camera (see our in-depth review of the Nikon Df). She wasn’t sure how, but it most likely just got unscrewed while she was busy photographing a wedding. Why fortunate? Because I started to look for a replacement, something I have never done before. Indeed, those eyecups usually stay attached securely on cameras and practically never come off, so this was the first. During my search, I came across the Nikon DK-17M magnifying eyepiece – something I have seen before, but never cared to use. As I was ordering the replacement eyecup for the Df (and I was getting the superior “Anti-Fog” version), I decided to also get the DK-17M and give it a try. Since I enjoy using the Nikon Df with older Nikkor prime lenses, I thought it would be a good idea to try it with those manual focus lenses. When the package arrived, I mounted it on the Nikon Df that already had Lola’s favorite Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens attached and I was immediately blown away! The 1.2x magnification made the viewfinder appear much larger and I could see everything so much clearer, that I wondered why I had never even tried one of these before. After a couple of days of using the DK-17M, I ordered a few more for each of our cameras and now I cannot imagine using my DSLRs without these handy little magnifiers!

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Think Tank Announces New Premium Bags

Think Tank Production Manager 40

As our readers know, we love Think Tank products. We have reviewed a number of their bags and cases and have highly praised them for their durability, quality and features (to see a list of our in-depth Think Tank product reviews, please check out this page), so when we found out that Think Tank is adding even more great additions to their existing line of strong products, we got very excited. Previously, the biggest rolling gear bag was the Logistics Manager 30, which can fit a lot of gear for a working pro. And now Think Tank added even a bigger bag, the Think Tank Production Manager 40, which is specifically designed for transporting professional lighting equipment. It is spacious enough to fit a large amount of lighting gear such as flash heads, power packs, monoblocks, softboxes and light stands. And just like other Think Tank rolling bags, we can expect the Production Manager 40 to be of superb quality.

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Canon Announces Three New Lenses

Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM

In addition to the 7D Mark II, Canon also announced three new lenses this week at Photokina: EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM, EF 24–105mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM and EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM. The first two are designed to work on both full-frame and APS-C cameras, while the 24mm f/2.8 is designed to be only used on cropped sensor cameras. The EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM is an update to the first model of the lens that was produced back in 2000, and this time Canon put a lot of new technology into the lens and has updated the lens design. The letters “DO” stand for “Diffractive Optics“, which not only reduce chromatic aberrations thanks to their different light dispersion path, but also allows for much smaller lens design. As a result, the EF 400mm f/4 is significantly smaller and lighter than the regular 400mm f/2.8L lens. In addition to the above benefits, the 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM now has better coatings to reduce ghosting and to improve color balance. Just like the professional “L” lenses, the lens has both dust and water-resistant construction and a 3 mode Image Stabilization system that offers up to four stops of vibration compensation. At $6,899 it is not a cheap lens by any means, but at the size a little bigger than a 70-200mm lens, it is surely an attractive choice for those that want to be able to hand-hold a 400mm lens.

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Nikon D750 vs D810

Nikon D750 vs D810

It has not been 3 months since Nikon released the long-awaited update to the D800 / D800E cameras with the D810 announcement and we now have another camera in Nikon’s full-frame line-up. Without a doubt, the Nikon D750 is a very capable camera and most likely will be quite popular for a while. Thanks to its updated high-end autofocus system, which is supposed to deliver even better results than the high-end Nikon DSLRs (including the Nikon D810 and D4S), and excellent detection range of -3 EV, the D750 will be a tool of choice for many Nikon shooters. With its attractive price of $2300 MSRP, one might wonder what feature differences there are between the new D750 and the Nikon D810, which we highly praised in our 9 page review. While our upcoming tests and review will show image quality and other differences, meanwhile, let’s take a look at how the two compare in terms of specifications and ergonomics / handling.

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