Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cape Cod

I dragged my F4 and an assortment of lenses along for a weekend on the Cape. My wife and I went to Provincetown and I shouldered the F4 with a 35-70 F2.8 AF. I thought the perfect walk around set up however I couldn't get it to focus so I lugged a big paperweight around. later after we were back at the car I dragged out my D5000 and kit lens and banged off a few shots at Marconi Beach

Monday, August 30, 2010

Manual Focus

Threw the 20mm F3.5 AI on the D5000 and dragged it along to work today. I had a chance to stop at a park in Easthampton Ma. These were manual focused and the exposure was a guesstimate. I didn't even check the histogram it was a run and gun. I think they came out great nice color and sharp.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Morning like this is why photography is a great hobby. Get outside and play with the cameras, it doesn't get any better that this.

Morning at the Basketball Hall of Fame

The city of Springfield Ma had these 6 foot fiberglass sneakers decorated by local artists. They were displayed around the city in conjunction with the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. It was a beautiful late summer morning so I headed up to the HOF. I brought along my Nikon D5000 and a Nikon F4 with 3 lenses. These pics are all from the D5000. I was struck the huge difference in the apparent size of the image in the viewfinders. When you go from the F4 to the D5000 it looks like you are composing on a postage stamp. That being said I am having a tough time focusing my 28mm F3.5 AI manually. I have tried it on the F3 and the F4 without much luck. It looks like these old eyes are going to have to go auto focus full time. These pictures are right out of the camera no crop no manipulation I downloaded and posted them. That is the beauty of digital the sense of immediacy.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I dropped the old Vivitar Series 1 28 -90 zoom on the D5000. It was very old school. I metered manually with with my Gossen Luna Pro. I focused manually and took several shots of the bleeding hearts in my backyard. Several were out of focus as it is not easy to manually focus on a D5000. This is a crop of the best shot. As I don't have a macro lens I used cropping to pull me in tighter.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This is an older photo done with my D70. It was taken at dusk on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. They have extensive flower gardens on the Canadian side. The light levels were getting low. I used the 18-70 kit lens. That was a very good lens its biggest problem was a tendency to vignette wide open.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I took out the Nikon f4 for a test drive yesterday. This is an amazing picture taking machine. It is a big bulky massive camera. Operating it is very similar to older mechanical cameras, you have to set the aperture on the lens there is a shutter speed dial. I set in aperture priority and almost forgot to check the shutter speed before taking a picture. I used aperture priority for years and I was most comfortable with that mode yet I have been using full program with digital. They big full bright viewfinder is always great to work with. Now we have to wait until I get the film processed to see what I captured. There is always a revelation when you spread it out on the light box. We will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

30mm Sigma

I am sending the lens back. I tried some more shots and nothing was in focus. The picture of Gypsy must have been a lucky mis focus.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Just a quick grab shot to make sure the Sigma works. I was using it wide open to check the depth of field. I am impressed, sharpness is not an issue color and clarity look good the shallow depth of field is another tool in the arsenal. Using a fast standard lens is much different than using a slow zoom. You have to move your feet more and try out different compositions rather than stand in one place and fiddle with the zoom. Moving your feet changes the spatial relationship between objects, it changes the perspective.
This is Gyspy my dog model. She and her predecessor are my models when I am trying out a new toy. They work cheap.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sigma 30 mm lens

The Sigma came UPS yesterday. Due to prior commitments I was unable to unpack until midnight last night. It is a much more substantial lens the Nikon kit lens. It is bigger and heavier than the Nikon 50mm F1.8. It focuses fast and with the HSM almost silently. I need to get out and snap a few pics to see how it performs but life looks like it is in the way for the next few days.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It is 3 degrees here in the Nutmeg state this morning. I am not going out to suffer for my art I'd rather sit here with a hot cup of coffee and blog. I am finding that trying to be more regular with the blog is making me step up my game. I have film shots that are better than anything I have in digital. I have not adapted to digital as well as I could have, in fact I am still using Photo Elements 3. I have a Sigma 30mm F1.4 on the way that I hope to get out to play with next week. In 35mm my natural point of view was the the humble 50mm lens and the Sigma approximates that on the APS-C sensor. This was taken in my backyard with a Nikon D70s and a Nikon 50mm F1.8 lens. It has been cropped slightly. Now that I think about ease of cropping might be digital's biggest advantage. With film cropping wasn't easy if you didn't do your own printing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I wrote earlier about chasing new technology this was shot on a D70S with the original Sigma 10-20 zoom. Granted this is my wife and to my eyes she is the cutest girl in the world, but my point is would 12 megapixels make this picture any better? I have never had a picture printed bigger than 11 x 14 and 6 megapixels is small for that but 8 x 10 it handles with no problem. Posting it on the web even 6 megapixels is a waste of computing power. There is a reason to upgrade from the D70 and that is dust. Newer cameras have the dust removal systems which I think every digital camera needs. 6 months after this picture we were in Puerto Rico and I took a series of great sunrise shots that were all ruined by dust on the sensor. This picture was from The Big E is West Springfield Ma in Sept '06 it is right out of the camera no crops no Photoshop etc. I like the depth of field the 10-20 gives this shot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There is the old saying that the best camera is the one that you have with you. This is a snapshot from work the other day. I was on the road and I had my Fuji f45 with me to take some building pictures. This scene presented itself from the side of a back road. I pulled over and had to stand in the snow in dress shoes to get this shot. I quickly snapped 2 shots and jumped back into the warm car. I find this a very typical central Mass winter scene. The blue sky with the Holyoke Range in the background and light snow on the ground. The final picture was cropped but no other post processing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lake Lenape Nj. This was taken in the middle of the day. It is tough to find good light at this time of the day. When the family is along it is tough to be a great photographer your schedule has to match their schedule. You try and take a few minutes to use some of your knowledge to raise a picture above the snapshot level. Not that snapshots are bad but we are trying for something more that is why we photograph for a hobby. This was taken with the D5000 and the kit lens.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I was writing earlier about the siren song of the next best thing. We are all gear heads at heart and have to have the newest gadget. 2 million more mega pixels will make me a better photographer. I need the D90 because 2 control wheels on and on, we look for reasons to justify new equipment. As our long suffering wives would say boy and their toys (this gear gathering affliction is almost 100% male). Meanwhile our current digital cameras do a great job. I was adjusting sharpening and saturation levels from the base level. I am not a photoshop warrior I basically shoot JPEGS so I am looking to get it right when I shoot it. As a total aside I use my dogs as my models when I am trying something new or pick up a new piece of gear, go to my first post and and it was my last dog. This shot is out of the camera the only adjustment is a crop.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taken with the 18 to 55 VR kit lens. Not a bad lens but not one of Nikon's legendary zooms. The key to a lens like this is to stop it down. Any lens is sharpest 2 or 3 stops from wide open. I stopped down 3 stops to get this picture. We haven't had much snow this year so I was glad to get this one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This is from Constitution Plaza in Hartford CT. We had dinner at the local brew pub before I took this so no claims to art on this one. They have been doing the Festival of Lights for over 30 years now. The D5000 handled it well I only had the kit zoom which isn't very fast. I really should have had a tripod.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have been reading other blogs lately. It is nice to get a different outlook. The beauty of the Internet is that you can connect with anyone around the world. I recommend reading Kirk Tuck Kirk has posts over the last 3 months expounding on hardware and how so many of us are chasing the latest and greatest camera body yet we only use our cameras to post images on the web. Do you really need 24 megapixels to post this picture from this morning of the Scantic River in Enfield CT? Kirk's posts resonate with me as I fell into a little money and was thinking about moving to a larger body. This is taken with D5000 and an old manual 105mm F2.5 lens. If I upgraded to a larger Nikon it would be harder to use manual focus lenses as I would have to be careful of damaging the screw dive for the older auto focus Nikons. I understand that other view finders would be easier to focus so it is a trade off. It is like scouting players to play in the NBA some scouts focus on what a player can't do some focus on what the can do, the best teams scout what the players can do and use those strengths to put the player in a position to succeed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is only 2 miles from the lighthouse but the fog didn't totally close in and cover everything. This is Sunset Beach one of the few beaches on the East Coast where the sun sets.