Synology DS1815+

Choosing the right storage option can be a rather challenging process due to the sheer number of options available on the market today. The good […]

Immature Bald Eagles fighting

If you have read any of my previous articles, then you would know I have two Nikkor super telephoto lenses and I often use them […]

Visualization and Film (4)

In this second installment to this series on visualization and film photography, I have selected two photographs, “Gravida” and “Pyramis” (both architecture), to share and […]

Castle

One of the most amazing landscapes in the world is Iceland’s Jokulsarlon lagoon — famous for its massive and beautiful icebergs. And if the lagoon isn’t […]

Hoh Rain Forest

As a follow-up to my previous essays on visualization, in this article I will share select photographs made on film with a detailed description of […]

Canon 85mm f/1.2L II vs Nikon 85mm f/1.4G

Although discussing the topic of Nikon vs Canon can lead to unnecessarily long and emotional debates between photographers and I personally find such discussions silly, […]

Does Fuji Cheat with its Sensors?

Fuji X-T1 ISO 3200 +0.85 EV

When testing cameras, it is not unusual to see a situation when one camera can produce results a bit darker or brighter than another. In some cases, lenses are to blame for this variance, since most lenses cannot ideally transmit all of the incoming light. What this means, is that a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 could potentially transmit less light, which could be equivalent to say f/3.5 in terms of brightness. The latter number is what is often referred to as a “T-stop”, or Transmission-stop, which is basically an adjusted f-stop that takes into account this light loss. In other cases, the camera itself can be the source of brightness variance. Although manufacturers are supposed to adhere to an ISO standard that guides the process of determining the right brightness level for each ISO, there is usually still some variance between not only brands, but also between specific camera models. We won’t get into the question of why there are such variances. Instead, we will concentrate on implications of such variances to camera sensor comparisons and ratings. Particularly, we will be looking at exposure variances in Fuji cameras, such as the Fuji X-T1. Many photographers, including myself, have been fond of the way Fuji sensors render images, outputting very clean and pleasant-looking images, even at high ISOs. But are those ISOs real? And is Fuji doing something shady to make its images look better? Let’s take a closer look…

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Weekly Critique Section #2

DharmeshJani_AsTheDayEnds

This article is the second part of a weekly critique section at Photography Life, where one or more of us will provide feedback and tips for reader-submitted photos. All of the images we feature come from the photo critique forum, and each one stands out to us in its own right. This week, I will be sharing my thoughts on two recent submissions to the photo critique forum: “As the Day Ends” by Jani Dharmesh, and “European Green Woodpecker” by Dusan Vainer.

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Visualization: The Hunt for the Light

Visualization (4)

In my recent essay on visualization, I discussed the historical and modern day significance of this concept in photography as well as the role that a composition card serves in bridging the vision in the mind to its tangible realization into an image. In this follow-up essay, I will discuss the interplay of other critical aspects of visualization that accompany, if not transcend, the tangible aspects.

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High Magnification Macro Photography on a Budget

Macro Photography (5)

Hey folks, my name is Siddhant Sahu, I am a 16 years old aspiring photographer from India. I have been shooting macro photographs for about a year now and I would try to encapsulate all I have learnt along my way in this short article. I believe that macro photography has the power of entering in a whole new world of tiny creatures. In fact with only modest piece of equipment you can shoot high magnification macro photographs. It’s good to mark the behavior of insects and how close you can approach some of them, but then again these are wild animals and there is no way to predict how exactly they will behave, each subject can be different, each background can be different. But with digital photography there is no penalty to shoot thousands and thousands of photos, and eventually someday among those thousands photos one particular would be usable enough. Anyone is capable of doing this, you don’t need the greatest lens or the newest camera out there. Macro photography is physically exhausting, challenging and requires a lot of patience and time consuming but you can get amazing results with fair piece of equipment.

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Nikon 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Review

Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E VR

During the past few years, Nikon has been slowly replacing its high-end super telephoto lenses with newer technology using lightweight fluorite lens elements, shredding off a lot of weight and making additional improvements to lens designs, making the already strong lenses even better. After the 800mm f/5.6E VR monster, it was time for Nikon to update its legendary 400mm f/2.8G VR with the newer version, so that’s how the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL VR came to life. Although Nikon is planning to update every super telephoto lens in its line-up with lighter lenses featuring fluorite elements (which includes the 200mm f/2, 300mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 lenses), Nikon decided to start with the 400mm f/2.8, because it is one of the lenses that would get the most benefit from the fluorite lens design. Weighing in at a whopping 4.6 kg, the previous generation 400mm f/2.8G VR was a monster of a lens to handle and impractical to hand-hold (it was quite a bit front-heavy). Although it is quite a versatile lens and works remarkably well with all three Nikon teleconverters, its weight and size were its main disadvantages, making a lot of photographers opt for other super telephoto Nikkor lenses like the 500mm f/4 instead. The newly designed 400mm f/2.8E FL VR is a whole different lens in comparison – weighing 3.8 kg, the lens is now similar in weight as the 500mm f/4G VR, which is a great engineering achievement! Let’s take a closer look at this lens.

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Upcoming Reviews

Nikon D5500

I will be traveling out of country in April and before I leave, I have a few days to try to work on some reviews. Whether I will manage to produce a lot of content before my departure or not, I am planning to finish up the task upon my return. Lots of gear came out during the last year and having started my Sony mirrorless camera reviews, I intend to complete a few of those as well. Below is the list of gear that I currently have, which I am planning to review as soon as possible:

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Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead Review

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Pro Ballhead

Every once in a while I like going back and taking a fresh look at the tools that I have been relying on for years. During my last trip to Death Valley and the California mountains, I met a few photographers who I spent some time with, talking about what photographers generally chat about – camera gear and our favorite photography spots. One photographer had a very similar setup as mine, using a Gitzo Systematic tripod and a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. His ballhead had a different quick release plate than mine, so we started chatting about the differences in the setup and what we both like and dislike about the BH-55. After this discussion, I realized that I have never written about the BH-55 at Photography Life, although I have continuously relied on it for years and take it with me everywhere I go. In a way, I have gotten emotionally attached to this remarkable ballhead and it has become an indispensable tool for my photography work.

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