I always make a point of testing out new gear and settings before using it in the field. I’m still getting comfortable with the Nikon D500, which has a few new nuances in the autofocus system, before I head down to Texas next week for my annual South Texas Birding Safari. So here’s a house finch from the backyard, cropped to actual pixels (100%).
Can a $1400 zoom compete with a $8000 prime telephoto lens?
That’s the $64k question, isn’t it? When I saw that the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR was announced at under $1400 (check price here), I figured that either: a) I read that wrong, or b) it must be a compromise. Seeing as how I own the 500mm f/4 AFS G VR Nikkor, I figured I’d do the obligatory comparison, so here’s my backyard shootout:
A Lightweight, Compact Telephoto Lens from Nikon Perfect for Sports and Wildlife
I’ve always considered Nikon’s 300mm f/4 lenses to be underrated for sports and wildlife photography. They are sharp, focus fairly close, and can handle a teleconverter. Because these lenses are fairly compact, they just scream to be hand-held. The only thing missing was image stabilization (VR). Nikon released a completely redesigned 300mm f/4 lens that includes the latest VR stabilization, and I was able to get a demo lens from B&H Photo for evaluation.
A good tripod is one of the most critical photographic accessories. A solid tripod enables you to shoot long exposures, use lower ISOs, and get sharp images. However, I think the first time any of us went tripod shopping, we had a bit of sticker shock. Good tripods, like my recommended Gitzo Series 3 Systematic, can cost nearly $1000. For most of us, that’s just a ton of money to spend on a tripod, even if it will last for years.
Fortunately, there are some good tripods out there for under $500. Many of these are aluminum models, but you can also find some carbon fiber ones at this price point. I had the opportunity to try out three tripods courtesy of B&H Photo, and all of these would be excellent options for outdoor photographers. Continue reading Tripods for under $500→
Due to a cancellation, I now have an open seat for my Colorado Wildflower & Macro Workshop, July 20-23, 2016 in Crested Butte, Colorado. Summer wildflowers are always a wonderful subject here in Colorado; I hope you can join me!
Update 10 May: The workshop is currently full. Contact me to be added to the waiting list.