Nikon Lens Simulator

Nikon’s lens simulator

Nikon recently published a nifty web based tool that allows you to simulate how different lenses ranging from wide to telescopic and different sensor formats can interact to create different photographs. Here’s the direct link to Nikon’s Lenses Simulator
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/simulator/index.htm

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Nikon chief: Camera growth nears saturation

More than enough cameras on the market?


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Demand for digital cameras is approaching saturation point, Nikon’s newly elected president has said.

The comments were made by Makoto Kimura who has been promoted to Nikon Corporation president from his role as head of Nikon’s Imaging Company.
He indicated that Nikon would not enjoy the same stable growth over the next ten years as it has the previous decade.

‘Growth for existing digital camera products will inevitably slow and they are set to move into a phase of saturation,’ Kimura is quoted as telling reporters at a news conference in Tokyo.

I don’t think this comes as a real surprise to anyone. I look at the growth of the camera industry as pretty much the same as the growth of the computer industry.
Remember the days when people would ask; “How many megs do you have?” Referring to computer memory.
Today, nobody cares. Ever notice that?
Nobody cares because the computers are quick enough and come with plenty of memory.
I hear a lot of “How many pixels does your camera have?”
It turns out that the sensible maximum number of pixels for most photographers is about 14MP. Any more than that is really asinine and just plugs up your computer.
What we do need is better sensors. Much better sensors with better color sensitivity, less sensitivity to dust or at least a better way to get it off the sensor.
There is plenty of room for innovation but not in the area of pixel count.
I hope the camera makers will refrain from adding more and more goofy features but that is a false hope.


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Valentine Texas – The Prada Art Display

Photographing Valentine Texas and the Prada Art Display

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Valentine’s name refers to the date of its founding in 1882 by a Southern Pacific Railroad construction crew: February 14. Valentine is a town that once was. Now it has a population of around 180 souls, at least one horse, some chickens and not much else. EXCEPT for the really odd work of art erected a bit outside of town. It’s the Prada art display.

The New York times, being the liberal rag it is, got the description all wrong by calling it a store. In fact, it’s called a store all over the internet, but IT IS NOT A STORE! Its a work of art.

Hell, I don’t know why, I don’t know art. The entire building with its contents is a work of art and not a store. There are no clerks, there is no way to get into the building because it’s kept locked. There are no prices, no descriptions of the products on display. Yeah, it’s weird! There is a sign right next to the building that describes it as a work of art.

click for a better view

This picture was taken with the Nikon D90 and I had the Nikkor 18-200mm lens attached. Aperture priority, ISO 200, f/4, 1/1600. There were a couple of men working on the building, so I got really lucky and got to shoot into the building with the door open. They would not let me cross the threshold, and that was OK because the shelves were right inside the door. this is a very small building.

click on image for a better view

The shelves with shoes ran the entire width of the building. Only one shoe of each line was on display and as you can see, no prices, no decriptions. I had to google “Prada” to get an idea of the kinds of prices these things sold for. The average price for a Prada shoe is about $800.00 and the purses sell for about $1,200.00. That’s enough to make my nose bleed. I guess the rich really are different.

click the shoe for a better image.

This “work of art” kind of reminded me of the kitch that was so prevalent on Route 66.

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Excellent Car Show

Photographing car shows is fun

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The El Paso Corvette Club put on an excellent car show at Mission Chevrolet.
I was pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of cars on display. For the first image I chose a highly modified and absolutely gorgeous Corvette.

Click the image
The crop tool in Photoshop is the most important tool for me. I love to bore into the most essential part of an image.
I love car shows because of the many opportunities to just go wild with crops, color, composition and lens. I generally only use two lenses for this kind of photography. My main gun is the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. This lens will not autofocus with the Nikon D5000 and other small Nikons but that has never slowed me down or stopped me. Focusing an ultrawide lens is a breeze. The D5000 really shines at car shows because of the articulated LCD screen. Its incredible how easy it is to compose pictures under very difficult conditions.

Color is a critical factor in car shows and many other kinds of photography. I am never shy on how much I enhance color. Car shows beg for color! I photographed this car at 13mm, f/8, 1/1000 with ISO 200 and aperture priority.


Car shows means engines. Don’t be afraid to bore into the hood and show that engine. Use fill flash for this kind of shooting and bracket.
This engine had everything. Color galore, chrome, and excellent form. Engines are so cool! I shot this at 13mm. f/8 1/60th at ISO 200.
Tons of chrome! I love tons of chrome!
This was shot at 11mm, f/11 1/25th aperture priority with ISO 200
Don’t forget the small but beautiful details.
I photographed this beautiful Corvette logo at 16mm, f/9, 1/2000th ISO 200 aperture priority
In my view they should still be using this gorgeous logo.

Don’t forget to photograph the entire car! This is another job the Tokina does so well. As you know, cars are parked close together making it difficult to shoot the entire car.

I photographed this beauty at 13mm, f/4, 1/4000th at ISO 200.

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The finest DSLR available today

The best camera

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Undoubtedly the finest DSLR for beginner to advanced Amateurs and most pros is the Nikon D5000.

The D5000 has identical if not superior image quality as the Nikon D300.

I have both the D90 and the D5000 but find I use the D5000 much more than the D90.

The reasons are:

Much cheaper at about $600 for the body compared to $850 for the D90 and a whopping $2,400 for the D300. The new D700 will set you back about $2,700 and won’t get you a better picture. This means you can take the D5000 where others fear to tread.

Much lighter

The D5000 is much easier to learn and use than any DSLR on the market.

The LCD on the D5000 is totally protected since it swivels so that you can turn the glass part of the LCD against the camera.

The swivel feature along with live view makes the D5000 an incredible picture taking machine.

If you have ever photographed a small dog, toddler, or tried to compose on a flower or any subject low to the ground you will instantly love the D5000 with the articulated LCD. You won’t have to crawl around the floor like some demented worm. Just flip out the LCD, go to live view, lower the camera down to the subject and take the picture! Let the photographers with their $3000 ego trip crawl around the floor and look stupid. You will look professional and your images will be far superior because you can compose with ease. Shooting this way is very similar to shooting with those old-time 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 cameras that got photographers super images in days past.

Yes, of course there are disadvantages to the D5000. The biggest and for me the only disadvantage is that it lacks a focusing motor, meaning it can only autofocus with lenses designated AF-S.
I have the really excellent Tokina 11-16mm ultra wide that will not auto focus with the D5000 but I get fabulously sharp images anyway because with ultra wide lenses focus is not nearly as critical nor are you ever in a big hurry shooting with an ultra wide lens. The same goes for the Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye.

In my mind, the D5000 is absolutely the finest DSLR available on the market today.
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