March 2016

March 30, 2016

Nikon 200-400mm f/4G Lens Review (moved and completely updated from old site)

D5 Blog continues. Today listen to the D5 in action and learn about Nikon’s latest blunder.

March 29, 2016

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens Review (moved and updated from old site)

Sony Adds Two FE Lenses. Sony today used the RX10 Mark III announcement to introduce two new lenses for their FE mount: the 50mm f/1.8 and the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6. Article on sansmirror.com50mm f/1.8 data page70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 data page.

Dual Gain Becoming the Norm. Updated. Both the recent Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Sony A6300 demonstrate something that’s becoming more common in sensors: dual digital gain. Of course, they both use variations of the same underlying 24mp APS sensor technology, so that these two cameras use dual gain isn’t a complete surprise. Article on sansmirror.com

March 28, 2016

Choosing a Simple Prime Kit. Lens month continues... Here’s the thing about using primes: you tend to think a bit more about perspective, because framing is dictated by your feet (moving position) more than your hand (zooming). Article on dslrbodies.com Updated: added “The DX Problem (Buzz Buzz) to the article ;~).

March 25, 2016

Nik Collection Now Free. Google today announced that the Nik Collection of standalone/plug-in programs for photography is no longer going to be sold for US$149, but instead will be free to all. Those who bought the collection in 2016 will be given a refund. Article on dslrbodies.com

Nikon 16-80mm f/2.8-4E Lens Review

Continued to clean up the f/1.8G reviews, including adding some additional field notes to some of the reviews, including focus shift and focus performance.

The Nikon D5/D500 BlogLink updated. Starting later today I’ll be starting to put up small bits and pieces about the D5 (and eventually the D500) as I start working with them and learn something of interest. This will be a dedicated page that updates whenever I learn more, so bookmark it and come back from time to time. If you have questions that aren’t answered by this page, by all means drop me an email and ask away.

March 24, 2016

Added Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review. Cleaned up a bunch of small mistakes in the reviews (but not the header picture yet, which needs to be re-done). As a famous character of the 80’s would say, looks like I picked a bad week to quit sniffing glue...

March 23, 2016

Nikon 20mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review

Nikon 24mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S Lens Review 

As I noted earlier in the week, I’ve introduced a few new elements to these reviews, and I’ve gone back and added them, as appropriate, to the other existing lens reviews. Moreover, I’ve separated the lens reviews into two sub-menus, one for Nikkor Primes, the other for Nikkor Zooms. Eventually, there will be a Third-Party Lenses folder, too. The Reviews page on this site has also been updated with ratings. More reviews coming. Be patient. This process is taking me a bit longer to catch up with because there are a lot of moving parts.

March 21, 2016

So Many Unanswered Questions. Here we are two months post D5/D500 announcement, a weeks after the DL announcements, and we have so many important, unanswered questions still. Here are the things I’ll be looking for answers to over the next three (!) months. Article on dslrbodies.com

Latest Software News. It’s that time of the year. With all the recent camera intros, we tend to have the converter and broad digital software packages all have to update, and they often use this time to sneak in features. CaptureOne, Lightroom CC/6.5, Camera Raw, DxO OpticsPro, FastRawViewer, Capture NX-D, View NX-i all got significant updates. Article on dslrbodies.com 

Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens was added to the lens database.

March 17, 2016

The Leica Vario-Elmarit 90-280mm f/2.8-4 has been added to the sansmirror lens database.

March 16, 2016

The Complete Guide to the Nikon D750. Yes, it’s finally here and available for download: my eBook covering the Nikon D750 is over 900 pages of densely packed information that helps you fully understand this camera. Book Ordering Page

I’m hoping to restore the D3/D3s/D3x, D300, and D700 guides as downloads next week. Depends on those pesky lens reviews ;~)

The “Portable” Safari Kit. Note the word “portable” in the title. The goal here isn’t to make the “best” safari kit, it’s to make one that travels easily and still performs well. That starts with fitting into restrictive airline carry-on bag restrictions but also means not taking up a lot of room in the vehicle you’re on safari in. Article on bythom.com

March 14, 2016

Nikon Target of Short Sellers. Bloomberg late last week reported that Nikon is the most shorted of the Japanese tech stocks, with 16% of its outstanding shares covered by a short position as of last week. Article on dslrbodies.com

The Real Lithium Story. I’m already seeing the usual paranoia and panic over news stories reporting that lithium batteries will be restricted on passenger planes starting April 1st due to the adoption of an interim set of regulations worldwide. Article on dslrbodies.comMarch 7, 2016

March Nikon Lens Rebates. As always when Nikon offers lens-only rebates, I provide a lens by lens analysis of whether these are deals you should be interested in or not. The new rebates are in effect already and last until April 2nd. Article on dslrbodies.com

Nikon’s D750 Rock and Hard Place. In one very  important respect, I feel sorry for Nikon. Both D750 problems fall into those issues that you really struggle to deal with as a manufacturer. Yes, the defects are almost certainly there. But how many people will actually encounter them? Article on dslrbodies.com

Price Drifting. It’s time to update my old pricing advice. Long, long ago in a far off galaxy, the way digital camera pricing worked was like this. Article on dslrbodies.com

March 7, 2016

DX Recommended Lenses was updated.
FX Recommended Lenses was updated.
IR Article was updated with some basic DX, FX lens recommendations (article needs other updates)

Someone pointed me to a D810 predicted shutter life crowd sourcing effort. Unfortunately, this site has very little data, so isn’t very predictive at the moment. If you’ve got a D810, you might want to check your shutter count and enter your data. If you’ve had a shutter replacement on the D810, ditto. Actually, the site has data for a huge number of cameras, though again not always enough to predict well. So go to the shutter life index page and pick your camera and enter your data. A few of the older cameras have a base that’s just big enough to start to show the bell curve (e.g. D300). How two people got to 500k shutter activations on a Df impresses me. Isn’t that a camera for slow, deliberate shooters? ;~)  Since I know someone will ask, aren’t the camera makers’ numbers MTBF (mean time before failure)? No. They’re not. They’re simply a slightly vague suggestion of how they’re tested. “Test to 100k activations” tells us nothing about expected failure rates, only that the camera maker based their quality decisions on data they acquired testing some unknown number of cameras to 100k shutter activations and achieving some unknown parameter in terms of failure. There’s an implication that “tested to 200k” is better than “tested to 100k”, but it’s only an implication. We’d have to assume that they performed the tests the same way and used the same metrics for their decision making, which might not be the case.

Apropos of my article on price drifting yesterday, B&H now has the D610 body for US$1297 [Advertiser link] plus a 4% future purchase credit plus an SD card, extra battery, and shoulder case. Not considering the accessories, that’s nearly a 40% price drop (and that’s from a lower price than the introductory price of the D600). 

A new simple B&H Wish List for a few of you: D500 Welcome to XQD [Advertiser link]. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what cards to buy. Right now, the items in this list are my go-to XQD choices on the D4/D4s. I’ve added short notes to each item in the wish list, as usual. Once I’ve been able to test shipping D500’s (and D5’s) I’ll update the list, if necessary. Remember: in Nikon cameras, the slowest card in the camera dictates camera speed if it is in any way active (e.g. active Secondary Slot Role on the D500). 

March Nikon Lens Rebates. As always when Nikon offers lens-only rebates, I provide a lens by lens analysis of whether these are deals you should be interested in or not. The new rebates are in effect already and last until April 2nd. Article on dslrbodies.com

Nikon’s D750 Rock and Hard Place. In one very  important respect, I feel sorry for Nikon. Both D750 problems fall into those issues that you really struggle to deal with as a manufacturer. Yes, the defects are almost certainly there. But how many people will actually encounter them? Article on dslrbodies.com

Price Drifting. It’s time to update my old pricing advice. Long, long ago in a far off galaxy, the way digital camera pricing worked was like this. Article on dslrbodies.com

March 1, 2016

D750 Still Having Issues. Nikon yesterday updated their service advisory for the D750 camera for the third time. Article on dslrbodies.com

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