Nikon Tag

We primed you with a post last Friday mentioning 15% off the price of Zeiss lenses at our Murray Street store but we cleverly did not tell you the actual prices - leaving you to search out the figures on our Camera Electronic store website or turn up at Murray Street and ask the staff. Either way will eventually show you that the 15% is a substantial saving...

Did goe to the Maritime Museum laste night and was greatley amused. It was the launch night for the Nikon D7500 - the enthusiast's APS-C DSLR from Nikon. And as it was their 100th anniversary it was a very splendid occasion. They pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable occasion for the visitors. Contrary to what that old movie showed - it's not bad in the museum at night...

And yet we should. Everyone who uses a digital camera should feel free to talk about the battery and charger. The new Nikon D7500 is in hand right now - you can come down tom the shop and take one home with a new Nikon lens right now. Just let us swipe the credit card and away you go. When you get home, however, you are going to have about an hour's impatient wait until you can take pictures - that is about how long it will take a fully discharged Nikon EN - EL15a battery to come up to speed in a Nikon MH25a battery charger. You can try your luck with a bit of the Japanese or Thai electricity that is left as a residual charge in the battery from the factory, but you will run through this quickly - better to exercise patience and fill the thing properly the first time. Charging batteries up from partial discharge is not as fraught with trouble as it was in the nickel cadmium days, but it is still good to fill it up and then start from fresh. The Nikon company is one of the smarter firms - they have produced a camera with enough internal space to take a decent-sized battery, and have taken advantage of that space well. The En - El15a will hold enough charge for an entire day of average shooting. Some of the literature mentions 800+ shots, though it does not specify whether the more power-hungry features of the camera are used taking those shots. Not all makers do this - I have cameras that are good for only about 180 shots before they go flat. I have to carry batteries slung on a bandolier like a Mexican bandit carries rifle cartridges. In some cases the batteries are made in batches - and we don't need no esteenkin' batches... Okay, that pun was unfair, but good battery power is essential if you are going to shoot in a profligate manner. And charging the things should be as easy as possible. I am not going to be telling tales out of school and mention the chargers that used to be made with clip-on Australian-standard adapters that saddled over US-standard prongs. They were a complete nuisance to mount and demount and used up an inordinate amount of tourist luggage space. This MH-25a has the standard kettle cord socket and is much more space-friendly. It also has an unmistakable form factor* that means it can only accept the one battery, and only in one way. This means no false starts. Also the LED charge light is either flashing or steady - no complex code to indicate partial charge. But should you buy a second...or third... battery? Unless you only intend to take a dozen shots a day...yes. You can never shoot if you don't have it, and you can charge it up while you are using the first one. If you are in freezing cold weather you can keep a warm battery in your pocket and interchange it as the thing gets colder and the voltage falls off. If it gets too cold, other things fall off, but that is beyond the scope of this column. *  " Form factor " is the way of saying " shape " if you only speak Berlitz English.

If you ever want to feel as if the unbounded springs of life are about to burst inside of you, I suggest that you try not to attempt it on the roads on Sunday morning. At least not in Perth. In Margaret River springs might burst - in Meekatharra springs might burst - but in Perth the mechanism is rusted shut. At least that was my experience this last Sunday whilst looking for a suitable subject to exercise the Nikon 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G AF-S DX lens attached to the new Nikon D7500 camera. I was looking for where it was all at, but was forced to the conclusion that it wasn't anywhere. Even the rail museum was shut. You'd think that Rotting Locomotives R Us would at least be open for business - even if they were not fired up. No. Not until 1:00. Until then you could cruise the streets, slowly work your way through the detours on Tonkin Highway, and then drive past the lost souls along James Street in Guildford. Wind it up with a tour down the back streets...

As this is the 100th anniversary year for Nikon, I was delighted when Ricky Packham pointed out that the new Nikon D7500 had reached the warehouse shelves. Wasting no time, I grabbed one and a couple of likely lenses and departed for the studio. Note: it has been 7 years since the 7000 camera series started - and I have sold them to friends who have long surpassed me in their ability to take good pictures. Bit of a tactical blunder, that...

People who read photographic columns sometimes get the wrong idea about the writers of them. Despite what we try to pretend on this side of the pencil, we do not know it all. Some of us know very little of it. And bits of what we do know sometimes get forgotten. Fortunately real life can remind us. There is plenty of real life like a situation of sudden movement or sullen lighting that calls us back to the basics of photography. I've featured the  DSLR bodies from two major manufacturers to remind myself of this. I am regularly in a situation that has both sudden fast movement and bad lighting - stage dance shows - and I have on many occasions desperately wanted to be carrying a new DSLR. It's not heresy to the mirror-less movement to say this. Everyone who has tried to overcome the two burdens I mentioned has found out that their efforts have to be both extraordinary and guarded to try to cope with the limitations of the mirror-less. I do cope...

As most of our regular readers know, there is more than one kind of lens. New photographers may not consider it, but they need to think through their choices before they pay their money. Here are some considerations. Leave aside the optical performance of various lenses in between manufacturers. You can rest assured that in each major maker's lens lineup there will be an equivalent of their rival's lens. If not right now, then as soon as the design department can go out in the Ginza and buy one and pull it apart. I have no idea if they employ ninjas for this or just send the office girl round with the credit card. Consider, in your chosen brand, what you will be doing with your photography. If you say " Oh, anything...

Now I get to have my fun - I’ve got a Tamron macro lens and I’m not afraid to use it! I’ve also got a new model car and a fresh pot of coffee. The people who seek macro lenses for their Nikon and Canon bodies are well served by their respective  manufacturers. There is no denying that in each case there is a range of macro lenses and one standout lens that the shooter can purchase to go to for superb results. The standout macro lenses have focal lengths that hover around the 90-105mm mark - and for a good reason. You can get good distortion correction there and a useful stand-off distance from the subject - even when you are cranking the lens to a true 1:1 ratio. The performances and weights of these premium lenses are reflected in the prices, which are also weighty. There has always been another alternative - the Tamron 90mm macro lens. It has in the past had a much lighter mount but an extremely good optical performance. Many people who didn't want to pay the major...