Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G User Experience

by Robert Bromfield on November 16, 2014

I’ve seen very little user reports on the Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f3.5-4.5G and I’ve seen quite a few users wondering how this lens performs.
I took a recent trip to California and needed an ultra wide angle lens, especially since I just sold my 14-24mm f2.8 due to lack of use. I felt the zoom range was too limiting and I needed something up to 35mm.
I’m including the full sized jpg and NEF files for you to draw your own conclusions also.
The apertures mostly used are f8 and smaller throughout the zoom range.
The sharpness is set at 3 out of 9 which is default for the D800E.
I found myself shooting mostly at either 18mm or 35mm.

18mm:

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands.

Full sized jpg: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7505/15179253293_f98a5213a4_o.jpg
NEF: http://1drv.ms/1xaxpJz

Monterey California

Monterey California

Full sized jpg: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7578/15796817051_21cba8c62e_o.jpg
NEF: http://1drv.ms/1xaxSeN

 

Pacific Coast Highway California State Route 1

Pacific Coast Highway California State Route 1

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New Nikon and Canon Lens Instant Rebates

by Robert Bromfield on February 17, 2013

For Nikon

If you’ve looking to rearrange or add new lenses to you toolkit. Nikon started a temporary new instant rebate program for a lot of their lenses. The good thing is that you don’t need to buy a body to qualify. Here goes:

Nikon 85mm f1.8 is now $396 http://amzn.to/12X9mv7
Nikon 85mm f1.4 is now $1496 http://amzn.to/WCIUWM
Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR $1369 http://amzn.to/XT6EHq
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII $2096 http://amzn.to/XT6WOI
Nikon 24-120mm f4 VR $996 http://amzn.to/12xXlAE
Nikon 18-300mm f3.5-5.6 VR $696 http://amzn.to/XT7jc8
Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 $1686 http://amzn.to/Yqj3Ro
Nikon 35mm f1.4 $1596 http://amzn.to/12xY44O
Nikon 24mm f1.4 $1819 http://amzn.to/XT8ecm
Nikon 50mm f1.8 $196 http://amzn.to/14ZWoj1
Nikon 50mm f1.4 $384 http://amzn.to/VoXXUP
Nikon 85mm f3.5 Macro $426 http://amzn.to/12XffIy
Nikon 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 VR http://amzn.to/XT8Izf
Nikon 60mm f2.8 Macro $499 http://amzn.to/XT8MPC
Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 VR $496 http://amzn.to/12XfTWB
Nikon 28mm f1.8 $599 http://amzn.to/Yqk1x5

The rebates range from $100 to $300 off.

For Canon:

If you’ve looking to rearrange or add new lenses to you toolkit. Canon started a temporary new instant rebate program for a lot of their lenses. The good thing is that you don’t need to buy a body to qualify. Here goes:

Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L $1459 http://amzn.to/12Xq2T8
Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6L $1399 http://amzn.to/YzKiaQ
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II $2199 http://amzn.to/12Xqv7V
Canon 85mm f1.2 $1999 http://amzn.to/XZxGv5
Canon 50mm f1.2 $1439 http://amzn.to/XThxcz
Canon 35mm f1.4 $1329 http://amzn.to/12XqQHC
Canon 24mm f1.4 $1548 http://amzn.to/YqpiEL
Canon 16-35mm f2.8 $1549 http://amzn.to/YqpsvO
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II $2099 http://amzn.to/XTi5iy

The rebates range from $100 to $300 off.

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Shot Discipline and Getting it Right in Camera

by Robert Bromfield on June 30, 2012

I get lots of questions about how I was I able to create an image and my response normally is to get it right the first time. What is the first time? The first time is when you’re actually taking the photo. I place a big emphasis on this because I would much rather be shooting than sitting in front of a computer trying to “fix” something, especially if I saw the problem when I was taking the photo.

Some of the biggest problems with trying to fix a problem later are:

You may end up with a situation where you can’t satisfactorily remove something from the photo such as trash, branches, or something that just looks out of place. Just stop what you’re doing and remove it.

Trying to fix poor exposure will always degrade the quality of a file. Increasing the exposure will add noise/grain to you image. Trying to reduce exposure can result in some highlights that just can’t be recovered and will be blown out. It’s best to get it right to get it at capture.

Focus just can’t be fixed if you missed it. You can try to mask it by sharpening the areas that you wanted in focus but it’s just not the same as if you nailed it.

The amount of time you’ll spend trying to fix the same problem on multiple files really adds up and it gets tedious. Who wants to sit through hundreds of files fixing mistakes you made. You can’t batch fix all problems, especially when it comes to cloning out something unwanted since it would shift from picture to picture.

Kiya River Shoot.

Kiya River Shoot.

Camera Model: NIKON D700
Lens: 70.0-200.0mm f/2.8 VRII
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.010 s (1/100)
ISO equiv: 200
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Flash Fired: No
Color Space: sRGB
Photographer: Robert Bromfield
Copyright: RBromfield Photography http://robertbromfield.com

So now that we have covered “Getting it Right in Camera,” let’s take a look at shot discipline. Shot discipline is the technique that you use to create photos. Note that shot discipline takes place even before you start shooting.

Think about the type of lenses you will be using. We’ll talk about portraits in this instance. Longer focal lengths are always preferred since they have the ability to slim your subject, isolate your subject from the background, and compression effect it has people is very pleasing to the eye.

Think about the focal lengths you will be using. A wide angle lens up closes will distort and make your subject have enlarged features. I won’t use a wide angle lens for a portrait unless I wanted to include the background in the photo in a meaningful way. If you’re using a zoom lens you could use a shorter focal length to capture the entire subject but on the other hand it’s best to zoom to the longest focal length and step back. Of course you have to be practical about how far you can step back. The photo above was taken at 200mm and I was quite a ways back. This allowed me to isolate the subject from the background and it created the illusion that the background was a lot closer to the subject than it really was.

Think about how you will frame your subject within the photo. I really only believe in cropping in camera and not in post processing. If I have to crop after the fact it usually means I wasn’t close enough to my subject, I didn’t pay attention to distracting elements in the photo and/or I didn’t have the right lens. When you crop an image you are reducing the image quality but that’s not the worse part for me, when you crop you are changing the aspect ratio for the photo. If you wanted to print a photo then you may have to crop again to regain the proper aspect ratio. Plus why throw away part of your image?

Observing what’s in your frame goes hand in hand with this also. Make sure you don’t have a pole or a tree growing out of your subjects head. If you see something distracting such as garbage, branches and things that you can remove. Remove it! Nothing beats cloning something out in real life.

Sharpness and focus. This one is really big for me. Sharpness is crucial for me and I go through great lengths to make sure I produce sharp photos.

  • I make sure I use a fast enough shutter speed. I try to make sure that my shutter speed is equivalent or faster than my focal length but that’s not always possible.
  • Turn on Vibration Reduction if the lens has it.
  • Before taking a photo I exhale then hold my breath. This reduces the amount of sway that you introduce.
  • Use back button focus. When you use the shutter release button to focus and take the photo you tend to push harder on the button, this in turn moves the camera. Instead roll your finger onto the shutter release button. This also separates the Vibration Reduction functionality from focusing.
  • Use a sharp lens.
  • Use a tripod if you can, even for portraits.

For focus I make it a point to focus on the subjects eyes or the nearest eye to me. Nothing ruins a portrait faster than out of focus eyes and/or face. Furthermore choosing the correct aperture to determine how much of your photo is in focus is also key. A smaller aperture, larger number, will have more in focus and a larger aperture, a smaller number, will have less in focus.

Think about how will you light your subject. Will you use ambient light, mix ambient with strobes or just use strobes? My favorite is to mix ambient with strobes. I prefer this method since:

  • I can control how the lighting looks.
  • I can control the direction of lighting
  • I can use lower ISO settings when the light starts to dim.
  • Sometimes with ambient light you just have certain shadows that you just can’t eliminate,.
  • You can create soft light at will with a strobe and a modifier.

From the example portrait above I mixed ambient with a strobe. I metered using a handheld light meter. This allowed me to control two zones of lighting. The light on the subject which was lit by the strobe and the background which was lit by the ambient sunlight. To get flattering light I used a modifier which was a 60″ umbrella. With light modifiers the bigger it is and the closer it is, the softer the light will be and the faster the light will fall off.

Find the right moment by paying attention to your subject. Instead of taking many spray and pray photos why not just focus on a few keys moments and nail those instead. When you take a lot of unnecessary photos you have to cull a lot which wastes time.

In conclusion, when you bring everything together, which can seem like a lot, you get a much better starting point. When you bring the photo into your image editor you are enhancing your image instead of fixing your image. The portrait above is straight out of the camera with no edits except adding a watermark. If I were to enhance the portrait I would remove any blemishes that were on the subject’s skin.

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It Might Get Bright: Shooting with Medium Format Cameras

by Robert Bromfield on May 16, 2012

Recently I attending and participated in a Medium Format event tonight with Capture Integration hosted by Zack Arias at his Atlanta studio. From using the Medium Format Digital Backs, wow the image quality is spectacular and so is the sharpness!

I’m extremely impressed by how the Medium Format Backs handle reds, especially compared to the D700. The reds are more deeply saturated without getting too bright.
I also included a few D700 images for comparison. Compare the full sized D700 images to the full sized IQ180 images and the magnification and clarity is huge between the two. Be warmed these files are HUGE!

Full sized images. All exif data intact and photos are untouched.
The IQ180 80MP – The sensor alone cost $43,990, you attach the sensor yourself to the back of the camera, and the lens and camera body comes out to just over $50,000.

Let’s start with the Phase One IQ180 Digital Back. The body I believe we were using was the Phase One 645D.

IQ180 80 MegaPixel Digital Back Male Portrait

Full Resolution image: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8009/7180343502_361f6e3bae_o.jpg

Portrait of Hope using IQ180

Full Resolution: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7077/7180385238_3893e49c2b_o.jpg

IQ180 Hope Medium Format Portrait

Full Resolution: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8155/7180237308_71302794ab_o.jpg

Now time for the Nikon D700.

D700 Portrait of Hope

Full Resolution: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5325/7180295746_c8bcd795ab_o.jpg

D700 portrait 12 MegaPixels

Full Resolution: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7227/7180256838_701e06a5b4_o.jpg

Phase One P65+ 60 MegaPixels

3 images stitched by manually shifting the sensor, The sensor is on a rail that you can slide from left to right. It was a fully mechanical camera, in that you had to wind the camera after each shot and reset the lens spring also. Then there was a digital sensor attached to the back of it.

Stitched Macro Shot using the P65+ Digital Back

Full Resolution: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8149/7180277718_92e6941fee_o.jpg

Fully manual camera with a digital a sensor.

Me as shot on the IQ180. Hey, I can now say I have a medium format picture of me!

Robert Bromfield Phase One IQ180

This is sensor for the Phase One IQ180. As you can see, it’s massive and costs $43,990!

Massive sensor of the Phase One IQ180

A few of the Medium Format cameras that were available to shoot that night.

Medium Format Cameras

We shot the Phase One IQ180 and D700 images using the Profoto Giant Parabolic Reflector. $7,999 as you can see photography equipment can be expensive. The reflector provided really nice soft light that lit the model Hope quite evenly and you can even stand in front of it without casting a shadow on your subject.

Profoto Giant Parabolic Reflector

Be sure to visit our facebook fan page for more portraits and while you’re there, why not become a fan.

Don’t miss your chance! Call now to secure your 2012 portrait session with RBromfield Photography 404-954-0389 or email robert@robertbromfield.com.

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Keeva and Corey: Marietta Square Wedding Sneak Peak

by Robert Bromfield on March 30, 2012

A sneak peak from this week’s small and intimate wedding in Marietta’s North Park Square where Keeva and Corey were married. Everything turned out great and I couldn’t have asked for a better time of day to shoot.

Make sure to check back to see more portraits and a full posting from this wedding.

Marietta Square Wedding Sneak Peak 1

Marietta Square Wedding Sneak Peak 2

Marietta Square Wedding Sneak Peak 3

Be sure to visit our facebook fan page for more portraits and while you’re there, why not become a fan.

Don’t miss your chance! Call now to secure your wedding date with RBromfield Photography 404-954-0389 or email robert@robertbromfield.com. 2012 dates are going fast and we even book up to 12 to 18 months in advance.

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