The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast #6

Episode #6: What to do when the light ain’t right

As photographers, we quickly learn to recognize the differences in lighting conditions. We all seek to shoot things in what we call “good light.” But what is good light, anyway? We’ve certainly heard of golden hour and blue hour, and you probably know that overcast skies and midday light aren’t always ideal. In today’s segment of The Sensor Plane, I’ll discuss some common lighting challenges and how to deal with them in the field.

For an audio-only version of this podcast, click here.

Kindergarten Rock with the Fujifilm X-T1and 18-55mm lens

Once I disabled Optical Image Stabilization, I started getting impressive results with the Fuji 18-55m lens (click to enlarge).

Once I disabled Optical Image Stabilization, I started getting impressive results with the Fuji 18-55m lens (click to enlarge).

This is one of my favorite test subjects: Kindergarten Rock in Garden of the Gods. I wanted to try the 18-55mm kit lens again. Yesterday, I’d seen some soft results when compared with my Nikon 24-70mm. Of course, the Nikkor is one heck of a lens, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if the Fujinon wasn’t quite as sharp. But after reading many online reviews of the 18-55mm, I was wondering why my results were soft when others gushed about the sharpness. It turns out that the image stabilization system (OIS) can introduce softness at fast shutter speeds, just like Nikon’s VR system can.

I went back to Garden of the Gods, turned OIS off, and got this result. It’s pin-sharp and holds its own against my D4/24-70mm combo (I use this comparison because both are 16MP cameras).

So there you have it. The 18-55mm f/2.8-4 Fujinon is one heck of a lens for outdoor photography! Just be sure to only use OIS if you absolutely need it, like indoors with slow shutter speeds.

Spring Cleaning Sale: Nikon bodies and Lenses

I’m taking stock of what I currently use most, and I’ve identified some items that I rarely, if ever, use anymore. Therefore, I’m selling these items to a good home in the continental USA (sorry, I will not ship internationally). All of my items are well cared-for, and in the case of most of these, very lightly used. I only purchase Nikon USA cameras and lenses to ensure they will be eligible for repair. For those who know me, I baby my gear. My lenses and bodies all ship in their original packaging with manuals and accessories.

Prices include UPS Ground shipping with insurance; adult signature required. I accept credit cards via PayPal. I do not accept personal checks. Local buyers: I will discount these items if you pick them up yourself.

Camera Bodies and accessories (USA versions)

  • Nikon D700 DSLR body (9060 actuations) $1499 (SOLD)
  • Nikon D300s DSLR body (5009 actuations) $725 (SOLD)MB-D10 battery grip for Nikon D300/D700 $100 (SOLD)

Nikon Lenses (USA versions)

  • 200-400mm f/4.0 AFS G VR (original model) zoom Nikkor lens $4000 (SOLD)
  • 200mm f/2.0 AFS G VR (original model) Nikkor lens $4275 (SOLD)
  • 300mm f/4.0 AFS Nikkor lens $975 (SOLD)
  • 24mm f/2.8 AFD Nikkor $250
    A great little lens that I don’t use much because I’m usually shooting with my 16-35mm or 24-70mm zooms. In original box with caps and manual.
  • 35mm f/2.0 AFD Nikkor $275
    A fast walk-around/street lens that’s perfect for low-light situations. In original box with caps and manual.

If you are interested in any of these items, please contact me directly: jason (at)

All sales are final.