Entries in 135mm dc (10)


Photo of the week - June 18, 2013

The Hillbenders at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, May 17, 2013. Nikon D90 with 135mm lens @ f/2. More pictures (in color) from this album here.


Photo of the week - June 11, 2013

Chad Graves and Mark Cassidy of the Hillbenders at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, May 17, 2013. Nikon D90 with 135mm lens @ f/2. More pictures (in color) from this album here.


Photo(s) of the week - May 28, 2013

Tim O'Brien and Bryan Sutton of Hot Rize at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, May 18, 2013. Nikon D90 with 135mm DC @ f/2, ISO 2000. More pictures (in color) from this album here.


Nikon DSLR system: My rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated

Last week I noted how I hadn't used my Nikon D90 and lenses in many moons, in favor of the Fuji X-Pro1 and three excellent prime lenses (18mm, 35mm, and 60mm). Is the Nikon system on it's way out? Not so fast! (April 2014: see update here)

Larry Sparks (70-300mm VR @300mm, f/5.6)Having just returned from a weekend of music and photography at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, the D90 was awesome, capturing most of the images in my album from the gathering. While I've primarily been shooting with the X-Pro1 at concerts recently, in many ways that's a function of the discreteness of the Fuji when paired with one of the prime lenses in the system. At the festival I was able to wander around shooting with whatever camera I wanted without attracting my attention since there were tons of other photographers there. My D90 with 70-300mm VR lens was relatively small compared to gripped bodies with 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses I saw and I fit in with all the casual shooters with prosumer bodies and kit zooms.


For daytime shooting, the 70-300mm VR lens worked like a champ. Sometimes the images it produces seem a bit washed out, but that's usually fixable in post-processing. But the range it offers for outdoor shooting was just about perfect. Once the sun went down I switched to my 135mm f/2 DC, which is becoming one of my favorites on both the D90 and adapted on the X-Pro1. It's nice and compact and produces awesome images. One of these days when I when the lottery I'll pick up a 70-200mm f/2.8, but for now I like my kit.

Since I don't see myself abandoning the SLR platform and moving exlusively to the Fuji stytem, here's what I want in a future Nikon body: 

  • As much I'm tempted to upgrade to a full-frame body, I like the extra reach of a crop-sensor system. I could always go with a high-resolution camera like a D800 and crop when needed, but that seems like overkill, and generally I'm not so interested in the huge files that the D800 outputs. Plus I'm somewhat invested in DX lenses, primarily with my Tokina 11-16mm (my favorite!) and 10.5mm fisheye.
  • Speaking of lenses, any future Nikon I get needs to have an in-body motor, since three of my favorite lenses are the older-type that don't have in-lens focusing motors (just for review, those three are the Tokina 11-16mm, Nikon 10.5mm fisheye, and 135mm f/2 DC).
  • Improved high-ISO performance. I like shooting concerts and other low-light situations.
  • I don't care about video capabilities, but I know that this is probably something that all future DSLRs will include. Hopefully Nikon will at least keep the video functionality out of of the way and won't go overboard and make it a central feature of the camera.
  • This seems like the mythical D400 which has been hotly anticipated by Nikon shooters.

Photo of the week - May 21, 2013

At the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, May 2013. Fuji X-Pro1 with a Nikon 135mm DC lens @ f/2 (Novoflex Nikon to Fuji adapter). Processed with Snapseed on an iPad. See more pictures from the festival here.


Photo of the week - April 30, 2013

Aimee Mann at the World Cafe at the Queen in Wilmington, DE. April 24, 2013. Fuji X-Pro1 @ 3200 ISO with a Nikon 135mm DC lens @ f/2 (Novoflex Nikon to Fuji adapter). Processed with Aperture and Snapseed (Mac version). See more from this show here.


Aimee Mann @ The World Cafe Live at the Queen

I had my first opportunity to try out my Fuji X-Pro1 with a Nikon lens (using a Novoflex adapter) last night at the Aimee Mann show in Wilmington. I originally bought the adapter because I wanted to use my Nikon 10.5mm fisheye with the X-Pro1, but I haven't had the opportunity to do so yet. Given that we had balcony seats, I took my Nikon 135mm DC f/2 lens (rather than the Fuji 60mm that I used at the David Bromberg Quartet show last month) for the extra reach and large aperture. The downside to this lens, at least when attached to the Fuji, is that it's manual focus only. I was worried that it would be hard to get images that were in focus, but it ended up being okay. Sure, it's not as easy to manually focus as with my FM3A, but it's certainly more than useable. I hit focus about half the time, which doesn't seem to be so bad given the circumstances (i.e., long lens, large aperture, moving target, handheld from my seat). While it's certainly a bulkier lens than you'd usually want to use regularly on a small-bodied camera like the X-Pro1, it wasn't too unwieldy.

This has me thinking more about the just-announced 55-200mm Fuji zoom. I wonder how it would have autofocused in these conditions (especially in the low light)? At 200mm it's 2.5 stops slower than my 135mm, but with stabalization it should be fine in reducing camera shake, although there would still be motion blur. If Fuji released a telephoto prime (somewhere between 135mm and 200mm) at f/2 or f/2.8, I'd be all over it as an awesome lens for concert photography.


Photo of the week - July 19, 2011

The 2011 Philadelphia International Championship. Nikon 135mm DC @ f/2, 1/2500, on a Nikon D90. See more images from the race here.

Photo of the week - June 21, 2011

The 2011 Philadelphia International Championship. Nikon 135mm  DC @ f/2, 1/8000, on a Nikon D90. Converted with Nik Silver Efex Pro. See more images from the race here.



In my last post I apologized for not being around much, so I won't go into that again. I will say that ScienceOfRelationships has been seeing some really good growth; it's fun to see a site take off. We've got some really interesting articles posted there, so check it out.

I haven't shot much since I got back from Vermont, but for those of you interested in cycling, yesterday was the Philadelphia International Championship, and Jen and I spend the day in Manayunk watching the race. I have some good pictures I'll be posting soon, with the hopes of reviving the Photo of the Week. If you want a sneak peak, see the album here.

Nikon D90 + 70-300mm VR lensI took two telephoto lenses to the race along with my beloved Tokina 11-16mm, a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR and a 135mm f/2 DC (both Nikon), not knowing which would work the best. Last year I used the 85mm f/1.4, which didn't give quite the reach I wanted. I started with the 70-300mm and found that I couldn't get my shutter speed fast enough to really freeze the action (i.e., too much blur), at least at a low ISO. So I switched over to 135mm, which is really more of a portrait lens. Although I got a few good shots with the 135mm, it doesn't focus fast enough for action sports, so I went back to the 70-300mm but kicked the ISO up. This worked pretty well, and I got some good images this way. But now I see why the 70-200mm f/2.8 is so valuable; it would have been perfect for yesterday. I've got a year to save up for one before the 2012 race!

In addition to going to the bike race in Philadelphia yesterday, we also spent some time in the city looking at condos. Living in the city would be an interesting change of pace, but I don't know whether there's enough to do in Philadelphia to make it worth it. Philly seems to have all of the hassles of a city (traffic, parking, noise, grime) without any of the charms or things to do compared to cities I've spent time in (Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, the Twin Cities). I'd still like to move to Madison, but of course I've only spent time there in the summer.

Other stuff going on: I'm looking forward to today's WWDC announcements to see what new tricks Apple as up it's sleeve. I'm especially interesting in hearing about iTunes/iCloud, but I'm not confident it will be a solution for someone like me with a massive music library (~60k songs) that were not purchased from iTunes. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've been playing with the Google Music beta over the last few days, but it seems like it has limited utility for me because (a) it doesn't support lossless file formats, which make up 2/3rds of my library, and (b) there's no iOS playback; just Android.

I'm also very curious to see if rumors about a robust network file sharing/sync solution pan out. I love dropbox.com, and I'm interested to see if Apple could best this great service.

We just got tickets to see the Jayhawks at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside this fall. It's great that one of my favorite bands is back together and touring, and they are supposed to have a new studio album coming as well. That, in addition to a new album from Gillian Welch, will make for a good summer of music.