Light is Everything!

Posts tagged “Nikon 70-200 f/4 VR

Wild Turkeys

We’ve been super fortunate to have this pack of wild turkeys hanging out at our place. They come right into the yard, struttin’ their stuff. They’ve been around for quite a few years but this year they have been really quite prevalent. It made for some sweet photo ops early this morning. I took some shots through window glass and then stalked them out into the back prairie. I was able to get within 10-15′ of the birds which was pretty sweet. 😎




I’ve always wanted a long telephoto lens for the Fuji X system because I love love love the skin tones & nuanced colour that Fuji produces. I saw the K&F Concept lens adapter for Nikon G/AI lenses to the X mount for a mind blowing $30 bones on Amazon. I didn’t have any high hopes at all about the quality or usability of the adaptor but for the cheap price, how wrong could a guy go? So I got one shipped out.


Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens on the XE2 Astia film sim.

I opened the box and was blown away. The whole thing is metal. It has a built in aperture control for Nikon’s new G lenses that don’t have an aperture ring. And it works to keep the lens wide open, stopped all the way down and a couple of in between settings that are largely guesses. None of the settings register with the camera because there is no communication between camera and lens. It’s just a simple adaptor. So it’s manual everything. But Fuji’s focus peaking even at 1.8 is a snap. Works great!


I slapped on the 70-200 f/4 which balances decently with the small camera body. You could shoot wildlife with it gaining the extra reach of the crop sensor but manual focus on fast moving subjects requires ninja like reflexes that I no longer possess.

But for portrait stuff………


Nikon 70-200 f/4G on the XE2 Pro Neg. Standard film sim

I’d say it works just fine. These two sample images are straight out of camera other than my resize for web lightroom setting. Here’s a 100% crop of Phoebe’s eye:




It is tack sharp! This is wide open too. You’ll see from the included info that the camera only records the shutter speed & ISO settings. Aperture is not and for some reason it defaults to a 50mm lens. But the results are awesome. The skin tones are so, so great. And it’s sharp! Did I say that already? So this image is 200mm 1/180 ISO 200 handheld JPEG shot with a Nikon SB-900 through a Lumiquest Softbox III triggered with Phottix Ares triggers! How’s that a for a FrankenSetup!? lol

I love Fuji lenses and they rock the set. But for 30 bucks, you can’t go wrong with the K&F Concept adaptor. Highly recommend picking one up!

Good Mornin’





When I saw the sun raking across the clouds this morning, I ran back in and grabbed the camera! 😎




Glad I did! πŸ˜€20150115-Sunrise-002


George, Paul, John and Mike


Way back in October I went to my cousin’s wedding in Saskatoon. My dad was the official photographer on the job. But I became a conscript shooter. No problemo. Because doing the gig got me the chance to use the epic Nikon 24mm f/1.4G. Dad’s friend Ham just happened to not be using this gem and wondered if I could put it to good use. One word: YEP. πŸ˜€ Β It’s near optical perfection. Unbelievable glass. I still love my 16-35 f/4 for events, but this 24 rocked the set. I slapped it on the D800, did a test shot for focus and used it for all the formals and the group work. Coupled with my 70-200 f/4, it was a dynamic duo. So it was a lot of fun from a photographic stand point.

But from a family stand point, it was even better. My cousins are insane! And this party was off the hook! It was a metric tonne of fun. 😎



Now, as for the Beatles-esque post of the title, it never really hit me until I thought about it later. George was the bride’s last name. Paul was the groom’s last name. John was the groom’s brother. And Mike was the groom. Sorry Ringo, you just got ditched. πŸ˜‰ So cheers to both Chelsea and Mikey! God grant you many years! It was an honour taking your pics!



A New Twist on Fall


As much as a I hate winter, I love fall. More precisely, the fall colours. Which only last for 3.4 days in the prairies. πŸ˜‰ Except this year! We’ve had a very nice slow start to autumn and it’s brought a lot of beautiful colour. I love shooting fall landscapes to nab the colours but the photos are never as vivid or as saturated as I perceive them to be. So I decided to do a new twist on shooting fall landscapes. Abstract! 😎 The colours can’t help but pop in their full glory on account of that’s all the photos have going for them is colour. I kinda like it! πŸ˜€

Try it for yourself. Don’t be a Photoshop pansy. You can do these shots in camera. I used the superb new Nikon 70-200 f/4 for all of these shots. It’s sharp and light but it also stops way down to f/32. Which is where I shot these. I shot at ISO 100 because it was already bright this morning at 7:30. Crank your aperture down as far it will go and then just adjust your shutter speed down till you get the desired exposure. In my case, I was shooting these at 1/5 of a second. And then comes the twist. Just zoom your lens and you get way cool motion blur and super amazing colour. It’s kinda fun and gives you a new twist on fall! πŸ™‚

Kenosee Wedding


We shot a wedding on Saturday up at the beautiful Kenosee lake. I was a little worried to say the least when we got there and it was down pouring with that relentless “I’m gunna wreck your outdoor wedding” kind of rain. Thankfully, it let up just in time for the ceremony that took place at the visitor centre overlooking the lake. 1931 fieldstone has that amazingly beautiful and classy look no matter what kind of weather. It truly was a glorious spot! Corey and Kelly rolled with the weather punches with poise and grace and everything turned out beautifully. And, we got to make some really cool images. 😎


One of the very last shots of the day was this glorious enchanted forest spot down by the lake. We were able to light it to further enhance that sweet golden light filtering through the trees. I shot this with the 70-200 f/4 at 175mm and f/4. With the compression from the longer end of the telephoto lens it really smooshes everything into a bokehlicious wonderland! 😎 All in all, we had a great time with a wonderful bride and groom in a glorious location! πŸ˜€

Nikon 70-200 f/4

20130730-70-200f4Prod-001OK, I did it. I pulled the trigger on a 70-200. After reviewing them all at The Camera Store, and heavily leaning towards the Tamron, in the end, I went with Nikon’s new f/4. Why? Well, to be honest, weight. When I put this lens on the camera, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to snap my wrists in half after an hour of use. Even with my Black Rapid strap, the 70-200 f/2.8 is beastly heavy. I thought that this lens will do double duty for event/portraits and landscape. If I ever go on trip somewhere and want to haul my DSLR kit with me (instead of my travellin’ buddy the Fuji X100s) then the f/4 is a far nicer choice to carry around at roughly half the weight. πŸ˜€

So I tested my copy of the lens for focus accuracy and it’s bang on which is nice (for once) and I decided to put it to the test taking some ambient light candids of our neighbourhood population of feral children. You can tell that they are wild because their parents don’t care enough about them to bathe them. πŸ˜‰ And also a few wildlife shots. Mainly with this test, I was looking for bohek performance (but check out the 100% crop [2.4MB] on the cow to see the resolving power at f/4 on the D800!).


How do the out of focus parts of the image look? After all, it’s not a 2.8. Take a look at the images and see for yourself. To my eye, there’s no great difference, especially as you get towards 200mm in the big time telephoto. And, lets face it, if you want the ultimate in bokeh, grab your 85 f/1.8 or 1.4. That lens is going to obliterate the 2.8 even. Plus, for the cost difference of this f/4, you can also buy the 85mm f/1.8 and have the best of both worlds! What’s not to love?! 😎

So here’s the test shots. Color correction & water mark are the only edits. Let me know what you think. I’ll be doing a YouTube video on this lens too in the near future.


Three 70-200s

I’m on a quick holiday to Calgary & Cochrane Alberta, primarily for my cousin’s wedding this weekend, but also for a bit of family fun too. Fortunately, family fun for me equals going to The Camera Store and playing with telephoto zooms. I’ve been debating getting a 70-200 lens for quite some time. I love my primes and primarily shoot them, but for events like weddings, they’re just not versatile enough for fast paced situations. So, Dave at the Camera Store was nice enough to setup three lenses for me on a D800. The Nikon 70-200 f/4, the 70-200 f/2.8 and of special interest, the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC. I was curious to see how these lenses performed against each other in typical wedding-esque crappy lighting (the Camera Store was kind enough to provide that scenario for me). πŸ˜‰ Β The most interest to me was in the Tamron after I read how DxO Mark rated it.

So, I provide for your viewing pleasure three sample images that have been downsized to 1024px – mainly to see how the bokeh looks. I shot all the photos at 200mm, wide open, auto WB, and ISO 1600-3200. It simulated real life event photography in low light perfectly. And, I also included 3 100% crop images so you can see the detail that the lenses offer. It should also be noted that I shot them all hand held between 1/60 – 1/125 – truly testing the VR/VC performance of these lenses. Β They all performed amazingly well and I was very impressed by all three. I knew the Nikon f/2.8 was stellar, but I was blown away to discover the others did just as good! πŸ˜€

So, first up, the Tamron:


Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC, 1/80 f/2.8 ISO 1600 @200mm

Next, the 70-200 f/2.8 Nikon


Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 1/125 f/2.8 ISO 3200 @200mm

And, here’s the f/4


Nikon 70-200 f/4 1/60 f/4 ISO 3200

So, they all look good. Nice bokeh. The difference between f/2.8 and f/4 isn’t all that big, but it is a whole stop of light. It’s all very smooth and pleasing.

OK, here’s the crops so you can check out the details. No noise removal of any kind on these shots:




Nikon f/2.8


Nikon f/4

So there’s the stuff. I’m totally impressed by all three, they performed wonderfully and are very sharp. The f/4 is smaller and lighter than the other 2, renders sweet bokeh and performs awesomely with the new VR. But you lose that extra stop of light for that light, travel friendly form factor. It is the cheapest of the three at $1279.99. The 2.8 version is $2129.99, a whopping $850 bones more. And then, there’s the gem of the bunch, the Tamron. It’s around $1600 so it falls in between Nikon’s offerings. The image quality is just as good as can be seen above – if not better on DxO Marks testing. If the f/4 won’t do it for you and you need the extra 2.8 stop, then I’d go with the Tamron over the Nikon flagship. The images are just superb either way, might as well save the cash, unless you need the Nikon street cred. The f/4 is awesome too, and so much lighter, which I why I would almost pick it, especially since the ISO performance of today’s cameras are so good. They’re always a bit of trade off, depending on one’s needs. After this test, I’m heavily leaning towards the Tamron. 😎