Nikon Tag

You might be forgiven for thinking that wireless triggers are simple things. So they are, when all you wish to do is tell a circuit to close at a distance from the camera. You put a transmitter on the hot shoe of the camera, a receiver under the speedlight out in the distance, and fire away. As long as the things are plugged in correctly and the AA batteries are fresh, it works every time. When you start to go TTL, however, and start to introduce different models of different maker's flashes, the whole thing becomes as complex as a spider's web. Here's a collage of images from the different trigger systems here in the shop on just one day. Beware that not all triggers made are shown - you have miles to go in this forest before you can sleep...

That sounds like a waspish little criticism, but it's not. It's actually praise for the decision that the Nikon designers made when they decided upon a short telephoto for the new mirrorless Z system. Short tele has always been the choice for portraitists in the film era. Now that we are in the 24 x 36 digital era the same optical rules apply as before and this focal length can come back as a head and shoulders choice. At 80 cm - the closest focusing distance  - and the widest aperture of f:1.8 - you'll have a whopping depth of field of 54 mm! Everything else is going to be bokeh and/or mush. Very good mush, though, as this is the highest performing 85mm lens Nikon has made. Also one of the sleekest - it all happens inside and it all talks to the camera inside. You'll get a choice of AF or manual outside and the biggest focusing ring you've ever seen. And a very clean back end - Nikon lens designers must have had a week-long party when the management decided to...

My days of Oohing and Ahhing over exotic lenses are largely past since I have settled down to do standard things with modest equipment. But there is still a reserve of gurgling noises I can make when I see a really fabulous example of something. When I paused recently from taking product shots in front of the Nikon stand at Stirling street I turned around to the Nikon Z cabinet...

Not to mention the camel exhausts and general air pollution of Cairo and surrounds. I not to mention this because a friend is  touring Egypt - the cities and the Nile up as far as Aswan - and has sent back some glorious photos via our social network. Unfortunately, I think many of them have been taken with a mobile smartphone and the lens has not coped well with the atmosphere. Perhaps it has been fingerprinted as well...

An earlier column mentioned Tamron as a brand name and poked a little gentle fun at the Adaptall system that this company used in the film era. Readers may have gotten the impression that we thought little of the lenses - such is not the case. Camera Electronic and probably tens of thousands of Australians have a keen appreciation of the worth of the Tamron brand and products. It has developed over many items and many decades. Here's an example of what Tamron could do in the analog days  - do for themselves and do for you. It's a 17mm f:3.5 lens with a Nikon AI mount affixed to the back. A similar lens would have been available for most of the major mounts in those days. If its design reminds you a little of Nikon or Tokina remember that the Japanese companies did see people and ideas flow from one to another. Its mount is all metal, as things were in those days, and is sturdy and precise. The lens grind is excellent and the coating does a good job. And...

One. Or none at all, if you've got a jacket with a pocket. Hello. It's the Shrinking Photographer here. Off on another adventure to see if he can get away with not carrying a bucket full of camera gear to his latest photoshoot. He's long given up the business of the monorail 4 x 5 in the field, the 6x6 and the suitcase of lenses, the DSLR and the rolling bag, and has come down to the mirror-less Gladstone bag. Now he is trying to ditch that and go with a shoulder bag and/or padded envelope from Australia Post to contain his kit. It's not laziness - really it's not. I do lots of hard work and hobby activities that involve heavy lifting. You've no idea how much effort it takes to bombard Coolbellup from Bull Creek if you have to lift your own howitzer shells. But the increasing advances in camera and sensor performance mean that so much more can be done than heretofore with so much less weight - it's time to see if the next step is possible. I took...

If you are determined, we can't stop you. Indeed, the best thing that can be done is to reach into the Sigma cabinet and pull out the 14mm f:1.8 DG HSM Art lens and let you put it on your Nikon or Canon. Then you can head out for your architecture, landscape, or astro photography and we can feel that we've done our best for you. You will not go away lightly - you'll be adding 1120 g to your burden, and if this is out bush to get the landscape or the star view, that's a significant weight. No wonder- the barrel is fully professional and there are 16 elements - three of them aspherical - inside it. You 'll be operating the aperture electro-mechanically with either mount and you'll also have a option to add a rear filter if you're using the Canon version. Quite what you can do with a filter arrangement up the front is beyond me - this is a very wide view of the universe for a full-frame camera - and the adaptation you'll need for...

If you've ever looked at a gun sight in a modern fighter aircraft you'll probably have seen some form of HUD - Heads Up Display. It is a design that allows the pilot to aim  his guns or missiles without having to bend forward to look into an eyepiece or squint at crosshairs or into iron sights. Most HUD's are projected images or lights onto an internal screen in the cockpit that is linked to where the weapons are going to impact. The best ones have computer tracking and prediction for lay-off. Well, we're not generally shooting down MiG's at Camera Electronic, and you may not be doing so out at your house*, but there are a number of times  when we are trying to get a long lens to see a distant subject but we have no idea how to bring the lens to bear upon it. Air shows, wildlife, birds, and sport shots come to mind. We may have a great long lens that delivers crisp shots but we find ourselves waving all round the heavens while trying to...