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My Travel Photos Have you recently returned from a trip, and have photos of it you'd like to share? Do you have a favorite travel photo? This is the place to share them. Only two photos can be posted at a time, but you can tease us with them, then give us a link to your travel photo gallery.

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
Ned
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Post Great Egret cruising through the air

I went to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Friday afternoon. As the sun was beginning to set, some of the Refuge's larger birds became active. The light gave an interesting look to them as they flew to new positions at the Refuge's impoundment pond, and I caught this Great Egret flying toward the north end of the pond.

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:13 AM   #2
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NICE shot - what lens?

I was out at the Palmyra Cove Sanctuary on Sunday with a group testing out my new (Used) Bigma 50-500..

The impressive thing here was not the bird but how far away I was...

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I went to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Friday afternoon. As the sun was beginning to set, some of the Refuge's larger birds became active. The light gave an interesting look to them as they flew to new positions at the Refuge's impoundment pond, and I caught this Great Egret flying toward the north end of the pond.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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Hi L.

Nikon D700 (Full Frame - FX sensor)
Nikkor AF-S 500mm f/4G ED VR (VRII, IF, N) lens
Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter for AF-S
ISO - 800
f/5.6
Shutter Speed - 1/1250
EV - 0

So, the total focal length of the lens plus teleconverter was 700mm.

I use a Systematic Series 3 tripod legset with a gimbal head for quick panning movement.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
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It's a lovely Tree Sparrow photo with nice detail in the feathers. It's a shame the light was such that the eyes weren't lighted well.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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I'm still impressed I got that detail from about 10-15 yards away with the new lens.

Short review of the Bigma - It's a great lens, really versatile, but its like carrying an anvil around attached to your camera...

As before, the Nikon prime long lenses are just out of my price range. I did pick up a 50mm prime relatively cheap I have not played with yet that I am hoping to make use of to learn studio work and how to work with prime lenses.

This puts my current lens set at:

Nikon 50mm prime
Sigma 18-250 f3.5-6.3
Sigma 50-500 (not sure of f settings offhand)
Nikon 70-300 - keeping that around for when I need a medium lens and don't want to lug the anvil. For example, not sure I am taking the Bigma to Europe to lug around.

I'm thinking a decent 10-20 wide angle lens will complete my set for the time being. Thoughts?



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It's a lovely Tree Sparrow photo with nice detail in the feathers. It's a shame the light was such that the eyes weren't lighted well.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #6
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I can also get a refurbed Nikon 35mm for about $130. Think that's worth adding to the mix with the 50mm?
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonbeam View Post
I can also get a refurbed Nikon 35mm for about $130. Think that's worth adding to the mix with the 50mm?
Whether or not that's a good price, is according to which 35mm lens it is, what camera you have, and if you're actually going to use this lens.

NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4 Manual Focus FX - $1,164.95 new
(Great optics, but manual focus ... manual focus isn't normally a big problem when on a short lens unless you're doing sports. Of course, when I first started, every lens was manual. Frankly, at this point I'd get an AF/AF-S lens.)

AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G AF-S FX SWM N AS M/A RF - $1,799.95 new
(This is the Bentley of Nikon 35mm lenses. Great features and optics, but at a price that's tough to swallow unless you're going to use it...a lot.)

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX SWM AS M/A RF - $199.95 new
(This is a DX lens, so according to the camera this may or may not be a good choice due to format. I'm not a fan of this lens. It has longitudinal aberations and the focus ring is neither smooth nor precise. For example, a quarter turn is not enough to do fine manual focusing.)

AF NIKKOR 35mm f/2D AF FX - $389.95 new
(This lens will not autofocus on a camera without in internal focus motor. Many of the new Nikon DSLRs such as the D3100, D3200, and D5100 will not autofocus with this lens. On FX Nikon cameras, vignetting and corners are real problems with this lens until about f/8.)

As it turns out, for most of my work I use zoom lenses, not primes. Zooms have come a long way in recent years. There are exceptions, where I look to prime lenses such as fisheye, macro, super telephoto lenses. As a result, my heavily used, never leave home without them lenses are the Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, and Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, so I'm mostly f/2.8 and when not, I've got f/4 (one f/stop higher), but with VR.

The other question about refurb lenses is who refurbed it, and what's the warranty. On refurb or used lenses I trust Nikon, B&H, Adorama, and KEH, plus some Nikonians' members, but not all.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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It's the $199 one so I'll pass. I can't see myself using a lot of prime lenses, but at the price I paid for the 50mm it was worth a shot, even if the lens is less than stellar (no idea).

They are both Nikon refurbs btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
Whether or not that's a good price, is according to which 35mm lens it is, what camera you have, and if you're actually going to use this lens.

NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4 Manual Focus FX - $1,164.95 new
(Great optics, but manual focus ... manual focus isn't normally a big problem when on a short lens unless you're doing sports. Of course, when I first started, every lens was manual. Frankly, at this point I'd get an AF/AF-S lens.)

AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G AF-S FX SWM N AS M/A RF - $1,799.95 new
(This is the Bentley of Nikon 35mm lenses. Great features and optics, but at a price that's tough to swallow unless you're going to use it...a lot.)

AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX SWM AS M/A RF - $199.95 new
(This is a DX lens, so according to the camera this may or may not be a good choice due to format. I'm not a fan of this lens. It has longitudinal aberations and the focus ring is neither smooth nor precise. For example, a quarter turn is not enough to do fine manual focusing.)

AF NIKKOR 35mm f/2D AF FX - $389.95 new
(This lens will not autofocus on a camera without in internal focus motor. Many of the new Nikon DSLRs such as the D3100, D3200, and D5100 will not autofocus with this lens. On FX Nikon cameras, vignetting and corners are real problems with this lens until about f/8.)

As it turns out, for most of my work I use zoom lenses, not primes. Zooms have come a long way in recent years. There are exceptions, where I look to prime lenses such as fisheye, macro, super telephoto lenses. As a result, my heavily used, never leave home without them lenses are the Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, and Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II, so I'm mostly f/2.8 and when not, I've got f/4 (one f/stop higher), but with VR.

The other question about refurb lenses is who refurbed it, and what's the warranty. On refurb or used lenses I trust Nikon, B&H, Adorama, and KEH, plus some Nikonians' members, but not all.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonbeam View Post
It's the $199 one so I'll pass. I can't see myself using a lot of prime lenses, but at the price I paid for the 50mm it was worth a shot, even if the lens is less than stellar (no idea).

They are both Nikon refurbs btw.
Nikon lenses, like the other top quality manufacturers come in a variety of build and optical qualities, however, virtually all Nikon lenses will produce quality photographs as long as you understand their pluses and minuses, and for the most part, when I talk about the differences it's nitpicking, although there is quite a bit of difference when you move up to the pro build lenses.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX SWM AS M/A RF is one of the few lenses produced in the 21st century by Nikon that I just can't recommend to anyone. The build quality is just not up to Nikon quality in my opinion.

As far as refurbs and used lenses in general, I've got no problem with them, and have purchased some myself. The thing is, you just don't know where they've been, and how they've been treated, and exactly what was done to refurbish them.

That's why I believe with these lenses, you've got to go with who has historically sold used lenses and refurbs and gotten a great reputation doing so. That's why I limit this kind of purchase to the Nikon, B&H, Adorama and KEH used/refurb stores. One other store I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this kind of lens from is Berger Brothers. Brad Berger runs a highly ethical company and stands behind every sale. They just don't have many used or refurb lenses compared to the other stores, so I rarely list them in this category.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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This was via Adorama btw, sales guy when I bought the 50mm offered me it. $179 on the site, but I have discovered you can do WAY better when you call on lenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
Nikon lenses, like the other top quality manufacturers come in a variety of build and optical qualities, however, virtually all Nikon lenses will produce quality photographs as long as you understand their pluses and minuses, and for the most part, when I talk about the differences it's nitpicking, although there is quite a bit of difference when you move up to the pro build lenses.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX SWM AS M/A RF is one of the few lenses produced in the 21st century by Nikon that I just can't recommend to anyone. The build quality is just not up to Nikon quality in my opinion.

As far as refurbs and used lenses in general, I've got no problem with them, and have purchased some myself. The thing is, you just don't know where they've been, and how they've been treated, and exactly what was done to refurbish them.

That's why I believe with these lenses, you've got to go with who has historically sold used lenses and refurbs and gotten a great reputation doing so. That's why I limit this kind of purchase to the Nikon, B&H, Adorama and KEH used/refurb stores. One other store I wouldn't hesitate to purchase this kind of lens from is Berger Brothers. Brad Berger runs a highly ethical company and stands behind every sale. They just don't have many used or refurb lenses compared to the other stores, so I rarely list them in this category.
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