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Copyright 2010 Thom Hogan


Welcome to the site of hack and snapshooter Thom Hogan.
Here you'll find unreliable information about Nikon photographic equipment.

Random announcements on Twitter @bythom.


Last update: 4/1/2010


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Camera Reviews


Nikon D40 & D40x
Nikon D50
Nikon D60
Nikon D70 & D70s
Nikon D80
Nikon D90
Nikon D100
Nikon D200
Nikon D300
Nikon D700
Nikon D5000
Nikon D1, D1h, & D1x
Nikon D2h
Nikon D2x & D2xs
Nikon D3
Nikon D3s
Nikon D3x
Nikon N65
Nikon N75
Nikon N80
Nikon N90s
Nikon F100
Nikon F5
Nikon F6


Waiting for Nikon List


The following items are ones that serious Nikon shooters have been patiently waiting for (a basic month count from when it went on my list is in parenthesis after each item).

A Decent Coolpix (forever)
More megapixels (120)
Lenses (forever)
Other Lenses (forever -1)
Post AI-S extension tubes (134+)

It seems only fair to apply the same standards to myself, so:

Revised Flash Guide (seems like forever)
Web site redesign (never going to happen)
More Lens Reviews (15)
More Camera Reviews (always +4)

I have it on good authority that Nikon thinks they'll clear their To Do list before I do. They may be right. When I was in Japan recently, Nikon gave me several dozen new To Do items, which I take as a sign that they're trying to slow me down.


Founding Member: Arrogant Blogs Association
Lifetime Member: Anti-Canon League
Member: Nikoholics Anonymous

 


Best Bokeh Ever.
D900, 100-500mm Nikkor f/4-5.6G, nDNG file cropped in PS5 but otherwise untouched. As Susan Sontag basically writes in her book On Photography: all the good images have already been taken. To excel today taking photos of common subjects you need to go above and beyond the images that have already been made by people who were better than you anyway. This often involves using advanced techniques such as selective focus (see above), plus some people recommend setting the color saturation higher than Ansel Adams did. Whatever. That shouldn't keep you from buying new camera equipment just in case.


Quick Links & Comments
Random thoughts about Nikon and their equipment

Updated Nikon User FAQ
It's been awhile since I've updated the frequently asked questions (FAQ) sections of my Web site, so I thought I'd take a whack at fixing that problem by answering some of the most recent questions that popped up in my In box. Be sure to read all the way to the end.

What's the difference between the 50mm f/1.8D and the 50mm f/1.4G?
0.4 and US$310.

Which of my lens(es) should I take to Yellowstone?
All of them. The Law of Photographic Opportunity states that you'll always need the one thing you forgot to bring.

Should I get the 16-35mm, the 17-35mm, or the 14-24mm?
Most pros own all of these and several more lenses, as well. So if you want to be a pro, you'll have to buy them all. Amateurs can get away with buying only one. But see Law of Photographic Opportunity, above.

Why can't Nikon make a stable tripod collar?
They do, but they only give them out to photographers they like. The rest of us have to use the flimsy collars that come with the lenses at retail. I've heard that if you complain really loudly Nikon will send you a replacement collar that works. I recently bought a megaphone for such situations.

Where's the 80-400mm replacement?
Apparently the design was misplaced and accidentally sent to the wrong Nikon plant, one that usually makes sunglasses. Because that plant had never made big telephoto lenses before, they've been scrambling to try to figure out how to adapt all their tools and processes to elements that are 77mm or larger. This takes time.

Will there be a D900?
Yes.

That wasn't helpful. When will there be a D900?
Sometime after the D700 and before the D950.

You're still not being helpful. Will there be a D900 this year?
Yes, but it may still only be in certain offices in certain Nikon buildings in Japan. If you really need a D900 quickly, Stickers Emporium is now selling D900 stickers that you can put on your current camera, thus fooling your clients into thinking that you're state-of-the-art.

Should I buy a third party lens for my Nikon body?
Certainly. Almost every Nikon user tries this at some point in their career. It's sort of like entering the lottery: you might get a real winner or you might get something that looks like it never went through any QA testing. I'm told not to buy any lenses made on Mondays, during the month of January when the factory wasn't heated, or any lens built just before quitting time when the workers are thinking mostly of what sushi they want for dinner.

Is there a better set of lenses for FX shooters than the 14-24mm, 24-70mm, and 70-200mm?
No. If you'd just buy those lenses you'd stop asking such silly questions about lenses.

Why does my 18-200mm not seem like it gets to 200mm?
It probably doesn't. Superzooms have to rest every now and then otherwise they lose their super powers. They've chosen to rest whenever you focus closer than infinity.

Can I use a teleconverter on my 16-35mm f/4?
Yes. Let us know how useful a 32-70mm f/8 lens that is unsharp is when you're done.

Which filter should I buy to protect my new lens?
An insurance policy.

No, I mean what UV filter?
Your skin needs a UV filter more than your lens does. I particularly like Blue Lizard suntan lotion, since the bottle turns blue when exposed to UV, which is cool. Not too greasy and withstands some water immersion.

Stop kidding around. I need a filter to protect the front of my lens, what should I get?
If you're serious about getting a protective filter I suggest you go to your local camera store, find the salesperson with the least experience, and ask them. They'll know what to sell you.

Why won't NikonUSA repair gray market products?
They are unable to repair gray products because all they have are black parts. The result of putting black parts on a gray camera product looks a lot like your brother-in-law's 1968 Datsun pickup. You wouldn't want that anyway.

When should I use VR? When should I turn it off?
If the camper is a rockin' then don't come a knockin', just use VR.

Are Nikon's warranties transferrable?
I've tried ironing them on several different t-shirt fabrics, but so far have not had any success.

My new lens seems to back focus with my camera. What should I do?
Have your subject face away from you. Focus on their back. Now tell them to turn around. Take your picture.

Why is Nikon always so far behind Canon?
N comes after C in the alphabet. When new technologies get invented, they're sent out to companies in alphabetical order. That's why Apple is always inventing new categories of products.

I just dropped my new lens in the ocean, what should I do?
Don't go in after it, the ocean is too dangerous. I suggest that next time you use a protective filter.

Is it true that bigger is better when it comes to sensors?
No. They only say that so they can charge more for those cameras.

I read on another site that film cameras are still better than digital ones. Is that true?
It is on the other site, but not on this one.

Do I really need to shoot NEF? Isn't JPEG good enough?
If you have to ask, you need to shoot NEF because you're not confident enough to actually get all the camera settings right, which you'd have to do for JPEG.

Which Color Space should I use, sRGB or AdobeRGB?
Since you're not confident enough to shoot JPEG (see above), it doesn't matter. Your raw converter will determine the Color Space for you based upon whatever random value you've managed to set it to.

How come my prints don't look like what I see on my camera's LCD?
Because they're bigger than 3" (or 2.5" or 1.8" or whatever size your camera's LCD is), use more dots that 640x480 (or worse on some LCDs), and your raw converter is set to a random Color Space (see above). Also, COSTCO ran out of red ink last week.

How should I store my camera?
Place it on eBay. By the time you need a camera again, there will be better cameras available.

Okay, you've read this far and probably want to know what the real answers to those questions are, not the April Fool's version. If so, click here. If you wish to just get back to the normal bythom site, click here.



 

 

Books by Thom Hogan



Discover Forth
CP/M User Guide
Taming MS-DOS
Programmer's PC Sourcebook
C Programmer's Reference


Nikon Books
All out of date and in need of revision. Firmware 3.0.1.2.10 has changed things on all the cameras enough that I need to revise everything.

Just found: one case of the original Nikon Flash Guide. Will sell for US$150 each, two for US$250.

Note: Orders received by the end of business each Tuesday are usually shipped on Monday from the other side of the International date line and thus arrive before you made the order.

Errata pages for books are no where to be found, as Thom is too embarrased to admit he makes any misteaks.



byThom University

Thom's Upcoming Classes

*Photographing animals underground: North Dakota April 15-30
*Preparing to be a Paparrazi: Los Angeles May 10-13
*AF Fine Tune In Depth: Las Vegas June 5-14
*Oklahoma Adventure: Amarillo, TX July 7th


These are mostly gab fests where we don't spend much time taking pictures but do spend a lot of time comparing the sizes of our lenses. Bar tab is an additional expense. I do plan to do one hands-on workshop this year, though:

*How to Use More Flashes Than McNally: DC mall, Sept 14 setup, 15-16 shooting (bring all your Speedlights, we'll need them to light all the monuments; bring extra batteries on the 16th, we'll really need them)


Caring and Sharing


As Little as Posible to Charity. This site contributes a minimum of its annual sales to non-profit organizations.

We've now given up trying to conserve energy or recycle products, as we've discovered that the Great Global Warming Threat was really a hoax by Rodale Press to sell Al Gore books. Moreover, when we visited the local recycling headquarters, we found that it was really a landfill, so we're not going to bother separating items out of our garbage any more. If I could just figure out a way to make money off the global warming and recylcing scams, I might try claiming I'm efficient again.


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