Accompanying the other 2x zoom in the “consumer” grade Series-E lenses from Nikon, the 36-72mm E is another no-frills, simple optic for general photography. On film/FF sensors, the optical range goes from kinda-sorta-wide to a short telephoto; a useful range for sure. However, on APS-C cameras, the field of view equivalency covers “normal” to medium telephoto: about 54-108mm. Combined with the pretty slow maximum aperture of f/3.5 (less depth-of-field control) and the painfully far close-focus distance of 4 feet/1.2 meters, the usefulness is much less here. Continue Reading
Update: Fotodiox has since changed the physical dimensions and functions of their Nikon PRO adapter since the writing of this review. Per my request (that’s a story in itself), they have added the addition of an aperture control ring, a feature that is sorely missing on this reviewed adapter for Nikon G-type lenses. Unfortunately with this new design choice, the tripod mount had to be removed. This means heavy lenses that don’t have their own tripod mount (such as the 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED) will put much more strain on your NEX’s mount. However, Fotodiox has assured me that the new PRO adapter retains the same level of quality as the older version, so many points in this review should still apply. Seeing as I do not own (nor plan to own) any G-type lenses, I will not be purchasing the new version any time soon.
Firmly attached to my NEX-7 in all my lens reviews, the Fotodiox PRO Nikon F to Sony E lens adapter is one of the multiple adapter choices NEX shooters have to attach legacy lenses to their E-mount camera of choice. When I say multiple, there are literally dozens of these on Amazon and eBay ranging from cheap $10 adapters to the $300 Novoflex, made in Germany. This particular version, which currently sells for $59.95 on Amazon (I got mine for $49.95 on sale), sits closer to the bottom price range. Fotodiox also manufactures a number of other PRO adapters for different lens mounts (Canon FD, Minolta MD, and even Leica M) that I hope are of the same level of quality as this adapter reviewed here. Continue Reading
I am not a big fan of zooms. There, I said it. They are bigger and slower than most primes within their focal range. At wide and telephoto ends, distortion can also be a nuisance, but my biggest gripe comes from an artistic standpoint. When you have the option to stand still and zoom into a subject to take a photograph, it’s very easy to become lazy. This can really take the creativity out of a shot and its composition. Zooming speeds up the process leading one to get a quick grab rather than truly thinking about what the picture should look like. Super-zooms (such as the “do-it-all” 18-200 lenses) are my worst enemy because of this, though admittedly, they are okay lenses for traveling light.
That said, I look at the three zoom lenses in the Series-E collection and note how two offer only a 2x magnification (36-72 and 75-150) and the other a 3x magnification (70-210). This is rather interesting, as with the restricted zoom ranges (especially compared to the 11x magnification of an 18-200), these Series-E’s can be treated as two prime lenses in one. For the 75-150, I tend to leave it at either 75mm or 150mm, rarely zooming to the middle of the range. I move forward and backward to frame a shot as I otherwise would with a prime lens—though that may very well be a carried-over habit from only shooting prime lenses. The problems of a relatively slow maximum aperture and unwieldy length are still present, but the shooting process is a bit more enjoyable using this method.
All that aside I’m looking at reviewing the lens here, rather than the methods behind its use, so let’s move on to how this 2x zoom performs! Continue Reading
I get emails from photographers all the time with various questions on my methods or simply seeking advice. Though I hardly get enough volume to have a weekly reader FAQ like some sites do, I believe it would still be a good exercise to share some of my replies to inquirers with the rest of the world to help others with similar questions. If you have a question of any kind relating to photography, shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do.
For the first entry in this (more-than-likely) continual series, I recently received a great question from John on using the NEX-7 for critical macro work:
I am a just-retired Horticultural Lecturer who has over the years spent much time building up a slide collection of plant and flower subjects.
I am scanning the best of these and have had some success selling them as framed or mounted prints.
I have only just started to dabble in digital photography and am equipped with an iMac and an Epson Printer (A2) and have been using my brothers Canon 7D to try out.
I have been following your website and in particular your use of the Sony NEX 7. I am considering this together with a Nikon 55mm micro 2.8 manual for further plant photography.
Now to the question based on your use of the NEX 7:- Continue Reading
Keeping it short and sweet, I’ve been out and about a few days lately with a few different lenses, the 75-150mm f/3.5 E, the 36-72 f/3.5 E, the 105mm f/2.8 Ai-s Micro, and the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor S-Auto. All four are good in different ways, no doubt about that. Let’s just have a picture-centered post today, shall we? (P.S. Some of the shots in here from the 75-150mm may make it into the review, just so I don’t get called out in the future for a double post!)
All the following taken with the NEX-7:
Kicking off my continuing exploration of the “consumer-rated” Series-E lenses by Nikon, I have had the chance to play around with the small 75-150mm zoom for a little while now. What a change…I haven’t shot with a zoom since I last used my now-sold Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 5 months ago! Instead of needing to move back and forth to get composition just right, I now can just zoom in/out and snap (if I so choose). There are good and bad aspects to this style of shooting, but I won’t really get into detail about that here.
Magic number three in a continuing journey of “true-to-mind” edits of photographs takes me to an old shot (a few months ago) of some moss near a riverbank. It was a bland day, overcast, misty, and chilly. Basically, not the best time to be out and about taking a lot of pictures. I didn’t care. My steadfast resolve led to this rather flat and lifeless original shot:
In real life, that’s about what this scene looked like. It lacked color, contrast, and “pop”.
So, about 10 minutes and some home-brewed tone-mapping later, this is what I had envisioned—a 3-D effect of sorts with the moss almost separating itself from the rock. I believe it worked:
Anyway, it’s always fun to see just what you can pull out of a single exposure. I might have to see what I can do with HDR sometime. Photomatix, anyone?
Take care guys and gals, and as always, have a great day!
Many have called me a retro pioneer, others, a glutton for punishment. Either way you may feel about my choice on using manual-focus lenses for sports photography (and photography in general), the Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED is highly capable of some stunning photographs, even on today’s digital cameras.
Lenses such as this in the “exotic” category have been hyped up enough on their own with their fast apertures and long focal lengths (and cost at the time of release), so instead let’s move onto the main review!
…and all I got was this lousy photo.
Well…that is the short story anyway.
Longer story: I have always wanted to try to capture lightning in a photo, and a surprise (very severe) thunderstorm popped on the radar last night. I took my camera, tripod, remote, and rushed out the door to a nearby field (not a barren one though). I was expecting one of those slow-moving normal summer storms that produce a few good cloud-to-ground strikes. Those would typically give me about a 2 minute lead-time to run inside before the rain hit, such as being able to hear/see the rain in the distance.
This was not that storm.
About 2 minutes after this photograph was taken, which was lit up only by multiple cloud-to-cloud strikes, the skies completely opened up. I ran to a nearby awning and buckled-down for the long haul. Any attempts to get more photos were dashed when the rain was consistently blown sideways into the awning as well as strikes occurring solely within the clouds . Winds gusted at around 70 mph, and there were about two cloud-to-cloud strikes every second, for a good twenty minutes straight.
Thunder boomed, skies flashed, and an almost-wet camera later, I now know to pick my storms a little more carefully, and to have a better failsafe than a 6 foot wide awning.
Learning every day. Maybe I’ll get another chance before summer’s end. Have a great one guys.
There are 8 lenses total in the “consumer” lineup of Nikon’s Series-E’s. You can take this post as a bit of a guide for help choosing which lens may be right for your photography. Lenses are arranged from wide-angle to telephoto. Links to the full reviews are located in the headings. Also, below two pictures are in a much bigger size than they are displayed here. Click on them to see more detail. First up, the 5 primes in the series: