Nikon Tag

Summer in Western Australia is just starting and already we have had one or two warm days. More will come, and some will be quite hot. Prudent photographers will want to take precautions to prevent damage to their equipment or injury to themselves. As you can see from the heading image, it is already too late for this Nikon 24mm lens - someone left it on the window sill in full sunlight and it melted. Fortunately our repair department will be able to straighten it up again, but you may not be so lucky with your own gear. Protect it from sunlight - particularly if it is left in a closed car. You'll also want to check the condition of electrical equipment in the heat. As you know, batteries deliver less power in cold weather - photographers are urged to put their spare batteries into their pockets to keep theem warm if they are shooting in the snow. Well, what do you think happens then it gets hot outside...

The PocketWizard people are an ingenious lot - they produce quite a large range of accessories for the photographer who wants to use flash lighting. They have been the standard product of the industry for a long time with their various models, and have been wise enough to concentrate their efforts upon  professional gear - and specifically the professional gear of the two major manufacturers. The Flex system, for instance - whether it is the Mini or the TT version - works well with current and older flashes from the Canon stable - the Canon 600 EX-RT, The 580EX, the 580EXII, and the 430EX being amongst them. But I believe that there may have been a little problem using the Flex TT 5 receivers in conjunction with the 580 and 430 series in that these flashes may emit more radio frequency interference than the newer products. PocketWizard applied their design brains to this and came up with the AC7 - the product in the features image., It's a hollow casing with a dedicated Canon hot shoe at the bottom faced upon a dedicated...

When you are three weeks old? When you are 65 years old? Or when you take the kit lens off your DSLR and put on the one you have bought especially for your next photoshoot? Well, all three occasions, actually. The first one is when the world swims into focus, the second is when it swims out again, and the third is when you actually get down to business with your photography. Don't misunderstand what I am saying - the kit lens that was on the camera when you bought it was not a mistake. Indeed, if you are just now looking at it after 5 years of fabulous images and wondering whether you should replace it because someone at the camera club bragged about their new $ 4000 acquisition...

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...