Category Archives: General

General thoughts on everything photography

New Fuji Camera has arrived

Well its been a while since ive posted anything on this blog, time just seems to go faster and faster.

Anyway for a while now ive been looking for a smaller compact camera system to compliment my Nikon D800 and D4 DSLR’s for the times when i dont want to lug around the heavy gear. Ive looked at many systems in the mirrorless market but one area where i didnt want to compromise was image quality.

After alot of searching it came down to either Fuji with their X-T1 or the Olympus with their OMD- E-M1. It was the quality of the Fuji lenses and the large sensor (1.5 crop) which finally made me settle on the Fuji System. Just before i was going to get the X-T1 fuji announced they were going to release a Graphite Edition which i loved the look of so decided to wait. Well the wait came to an end on the 21st November and my Graphite X-T1 arrived. I’d already ordered the Fuji 10-24 F4, 18-55 F2.8-F4 and the 23 F1.4 lenses to take advantage of the fuji £500 cashback they are offering when you buy 3 lenses.

We went out on Sunday afternoon to try and capture some night / sunset shots so went to Newcastle Quayside and the Millennium Bridge.

I was really keen to try the Fuji 10-24 (15-35 equivalent) as i wanted a wide angle for my Nikon system but could never really settle on a lens, i had the Nikon 14-24 which was optically superb but couldnt take filters easily and i tried the Nikon 16-35 which has massive distortion and softness issues at the edges of the frame.

The Fuji seems to tick all the boxes, ultra wide, F4, image stabiliser and can take my lee filters with its 72mm filter thread, No distortion, no vignetting at 10mm with 2 stacked lee filters the list of positives just goes on.

To say im impressed is an understatement, the Fuji 10-24 performs as good as my Nikon 14-24 which is renounded for being the best ultra wide on the market.

Here is a shot taken at f16, 13 seconds, iso 200

Newcastle Quayside


Comparing the image with a similar one from my Nikon D800, its surprising how close the fuji is to the Nikon even though its only got half the resolution.

The fuji is going to be getting alot of use from now on and im looking at adding the Fuji 56 F1.2 in the next few weeks.

The time has come when we cant ignore these small system cameras anymore. They are only going to get better and better and there will be a time soon when the likes of Nikon and Canon are going to have to respond or get left behind, its happenning already.

For sports and wildlife a pro DSLR like the D4 / 1dx will be better (other DSLR’s not so much) but for everything else, the DSLR really doesnt have much of an advantage anymore.



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Milk / Water drop collision in a bubble

Well We have gone and done it, Mike and I have invested in specialist equipment to forward our attempts at capturing high speed water droplet collisions.

This shot was a 1 second exposure at f16.

its 1 drop of milk colliding with another drop of milk inside a bubble of washing up liquid.

The key to these types of shots is timing and using minimum flash power which gives you an effective 1/40,000 shutter speed using speedlights.

Watch this space for more shots, its very addictive and great fun experimenting with lighting and different liquids.


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D800 has arrived

Well after seeing shots from the new cameras, i decided to forget about the D4 and go for the D800 to compliment my D3. The D300 has now gone to its new owner who will hopefully get many years of great service out of it. It was and still is a great camera. The D4 was going to give me nothing over my already superb D3 apart from a huge hole in my bank account (thanks Nikon for the stupidly high price).

thanks to getting me a camera in 2 weeks

I think Nikon have made a huge blunder with the pricing, the D800 is too cheap considering its performance, it leaves the old £5000 D3x in the dust and goes looking for medium format backs to play with which cost £10,000+.

The D800 auto-focuses and meters as good as a D4, only at 4 frames per second rather than 11, and the dynamic range is the best of any DSLR to date. It also walks all over the D4 IQ wise, even the iso is superb upto 6400. Any higher than that and I stop shooting because the light is usually really bad so the shots arnt worth keeping, in my opinion.

The D4, on the other hand is far too expensive for the minor improvements it gives over the D3 / D3s.

I know ive said that Nikon UK have not really been good to us UK buyers, and I still stand by that, the difference in cost between the UK and the US is ridiculous but it is what it is and I suppose we cant change it.

The D800 and D3 should allow me to shoot anything i want to including A2 and A1 landscape prints if necessary.

The increased resolution from the D800 is amazing and the increased dynamic range and iso performance are really noticable.

When you can crop an image down to 20% of its original size and still print a great A3 sized photograph, to say im impressed is an understatement.

At base iso of 100 the files are so clean and grain free, skies have amazing tonal graduations.

Images on the web dont really do the D800 justice so rather than put alot of images here, ive put alot on my flickr site if anyone wants to take a look. They are all tagged D800


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Nikon UK underhand price increases on D800 and D4

Effective immediately the UK prices of the D800 and D4 are now as follows

D800 up from £2399 to £2599 (in the US the D800 is $3000, in the UK its now – $4600)

D4 increase from £4799 to £5299 (in the US the D4 is $6000, in the UK its now- $8500)

Nikon UK confirmed a “systems error” has resulted in the wrong prices being given for the UK market.

This is bad form on your part Nikon, where UK prices were already vastly higher than say the US. The D4 is now priced the same or higher than Canon’s New 1Dx camera, depending where you look. Dealers are saying that even pre orders might be effected. if any one wants one of these cameras, its now going to be more expensive for a while. I suggest that everyone that doesn’t need one professionally, for their work, hang onto their old cameras. Nikon should not be allowed to get away with this and the only way they will hear us if we hit them financially.

What Nikon have done is look at the Canon prices and the high demand and said we may as well fleece the UK market for more money, they wont complain.

If i decide to get one, I might be going to the US next year and i will get one over there. The difference in cost will effectively give me a free holiday, even accounting for VAT / Import Tax.

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Lightroom 4

English: Adobe Lightroom Icon Deutsch: Adobe L...

Adobe have just launched Lightroom 4, the latest update to their successful digital asset management / raw converter program for the Mac and PC and even better, for the first time, they have slashed the price in half.Full version is £106

Upgrade version is £59

available now for both Mac and PC

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Steppe Eagle

While Randy was over here visiting from north Carolina I took him to one of my favourite places, Sion Hall Birds of Prey Centre near Thirsk in the North East of the UK.

For getting head shots, like this one, of the awesome Raptors, this place cannot be beat. The birds are awesome, the setting is superb and the people who run the centre are amazing.

hopefully im going to organise another photoshoot there soon for a maximum of 10 photographers. These are always great workshops and everyone comes away with great images from the event and the best thing is you dont really need lenses over 300mm

check this place out by clicking the link below.

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Ronnie Gaubert 1951 – 2011

On May the 5th 2011 Ronnie Gaubert, one of the best nature photographers in the world lost his battle with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and passed away. He was a great photographer and his photographs have always been an inspiration to me and many other nature photographers around the world. His work with Nikon D100, D200 and D300 cameras along with Nikon 300 F4, 400 F2.8, 500VR and macro lenses are world class. His recent work with Nikon’s New 2X Mk3 teleconverter on the telephoto lenses are some of the best examples ive ever seen.

If you would like to learn more about this disease, Wikipedia has alot of information about it and the closely related Motor Neurone Disease just click here
If you didnt know of Ronnies work his superb galleries can be found on pbase, just click the link below to take you to his pbase galleries where there are also posts from Ronnie,  on his profile, detailing his battle with the disease right up to the last month.

Link to Ronnies Pbase galleries

Our sincerest condolances go to Ronnie’s family and may he now rest in peace.

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