Mostly Everything

Deciding between 60mm and 100mm macro lenses for underwater photography

Scorpion Fish
A Scorpion Fish sits on the Dari Laut wreck, a once floating casino. Photo taken with a 60mm macro lens (manual focus). Apologies for the backscatter — still trying to figure out how to avoid the dust particles.

On the surface, there’s no question about it. A 100mm macro lens would have been an excellent choice for shooting macro. The closer you can get, the better. Underwater, it’s a different story.

Mostly Everything

Nikon D7000 Hugyfot Housing Prototype

Logged into Facebook and saw this prototype underwater housing for the Nikon D7000 made by Hugyfot. It seems to come in the same curved design like all of Hugy’s housings. Sled mounted housing is a big deal — at least you get the entire camera in without having to worry if didn’t put it in right.

Attached you’ll find some CAD/CAD pictures of the new Hugyfot housing for the Nikon D7000.
The housing will be equipped with some new features besides the HugyCheck system (standard on all housings):

– sled mounting system that replaced the classic camera support
– fiber optic connection for fiber optic controlled TTL strobes
– dovetail mounting system for handles
– HDMI in/out for external monitor

We expect the first working prototypes to be ready early January 2011.

Mostly Everything

Nikon D90 DSLR does Video Recording with D-Movie

The new Nikon D90 is a REMARKABLE product

Why? Because even without the new HD video recording capability, it is still a fantastic camera. The new Nikon D90 hails from the D300’s family of revolutionary low light shooting modes. This means that even at ISO 3200 (HI 6400) you still get low noise photo exhibit quality printable images!

Nikon is throwing in a bonus. The new D90 can now do video. Nikon calls this the D-Movie feature that takes the live view on a DSLR a step further: allowing you to take HD quality videos. Don’t believe me? Here are some samples!

A new idea for D-SLRs, the D90 offers a movie function, allowing you to shoot movies in three different motion JPEG formats: 320 x 216 pixels, 640 x 424 pixels and 1,280 x 720 pixels. Now you can capture life’s moving moments with added drama by using many of Nikon’s NIKKOR lenses, including the AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED and the Micro-NIKKOR lenses. The shallow depth of field can give your movies a more creative and emotional impact. An additional benefit is the D90 image sensor, which is much larger than a typical camcorder for higher image quality and exceptional high ISO performance during low-light shooting.

So all in all you’re getting (1) the most affordable high end camera of Nikon, (2) Live View with D-Movie recording (note: HD720), (3) an HDMI terminal for viewing movies on HD television, and many more. The 12MP Nikon D90 costs $999.00 from Amazon without the kit lens (AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G). See, very cheap!

The quality of D-Movie technology is stunning and brilliant. I’m not sure how movie makers will react to this – I’m sure it’s still a far shot from the pros – but what a scary thought! The sample movies presented allow for a lot of creative expression by simply playing with the manual focus and high aperture settings. It also adds a new brand of depth to buying lenses because even the worn out ones from moss or grime can still contribute some artistic interpretation of your subjects. Chase Jarvis had this to say:

Trust me, I played with this feature at length…all of us on location did, for that matter. It’s going to be a powerful tool. You can control your own depth of field so beautifully using the manual focus ring, the audio capture is solid, the high ISO capabilities in video?! Way cool… Long lenses, fisheyes, zoom lenses…versatility. I’m a BIG fan of the D-Movie.

I haven’t read through the fine print, but I’m assuming that D-Movie, although it doesn’t do autofocus, will accept legacy lenses. And hey, thanks to Rico for the tip!

Mostly Everything

Lens Review: Micro Nikkor PC AUTO 1:3.5 f=55mm

Last month I reviewed my hands down favorite lens. This month, I’m literally zooming in with my second lens review. Thanks to a friend who took the pains to have this “new old” lens cleaned of 15 years worth of muck, it’s finally back in the game! May I present the Micro Nikkor PC 1:3.5 f=55mm lens, a very versatile macro lens that is also by the way, a derma’s nightmare as I was able to take the most unflattering shots of women’s facial pores.

According to various site reviews, this is one of the best macro lenses (!!!) ever made by Nikon in the mid 1900’s. Although auto focus does not work with the Nikon D40, it matters not really. The Micro Nikkor 1:3.5 is versatile. It has a focal range of 24.1 cm to infinity making it a great lens for shooting close up subjects like portraits and even events. The lens practically shines during daytime photography as shown in the photo below: