Tag Archives: Nikon

Bugs up close

When I purchased my Nikon 60mm f2.8 AF macro focus lens last year, I did so for one reason: to take photos of miniature creatures that exist in my back yard. Since that time I’ve had a field day traipsing through the flower gardens and shrubs around my yard looking for assorted insects. It’s given me an appreciation for the world beyond my doorstep.

My Nikon 60mm f2.8 macro lens. Love it.

Most of the photos I’ve taken of insects were shot strictly with available lighting. On occasion I will grab one of my SB-800 Speedlights and use it to highlight the background or a spider’s web. The 60mm prime lens also serves as a decent portrait lens. What I love about this lens is its sharpness. When I’m on with the focus (not the easiest thing when focusing in about five inches from a subject), it’s incredible how the details of little bugs pop.

For anyone who has considered close-up photography — whether it be insects, objects such as coins, or flowers — I would highly recommend Nikon’s line of macro lenses. Some day I hope to purchase Nikon’s 105mm macro lens, but for now, the shorter 60mm is working just fine.

Recommendation: If you are serious about purchasing a macro lens but are worried about the cost, I would  suggest visiting Adorama’s refurbished lens selection. All lenses are refurbished by the manufacturer (unless specified otherwise) to the original company’s specifications.

According to Adorama, all refurbished cameras and lenses “are checked over by the manufacturer by hand, inspected very thoroughly, diagnosed, and calibrated by experienced technicians, and could therefore turn out to be more dependable than a new item.” In addition, all  refurbs sold by Adorama come with a 90-day return-to-manufacturer warranty. (Canon gear comes with a one-year return-to-Adorama warranty.)

However, refurbs are not always in stock due to availability, so patience is a key when purchasing a refurbished lens.

Below is a slide show of macro images taken in the last year. Enjoy.

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Japan’s disaster: Its impact on photography

The human suffering in Japan caused by the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent 30-foot tsunami has led to an outpouring of relief and prayers from people around the world. With thousands of lives lost and a continuing nuclear disaster that may lead to untold suffering for years to come, it seems a bit flippant to discuss the economic impact, especially as it relates to photography.

Reports are now being compiled by industry leaders that indicate just how severe of an impact these natural disasters will have on the camera and consumer electronics industries.

As we all know, Japan is home to most of the world’s top photo-related products. And while it seems employees of Japan’s camera and consumer electronics companies escaped serious injuries, the same cannot be said for the immediate future of those companies.

Nikon and Canon, the top camera and lens manufacturers in the world, have suffered huge hits.

Nikon’s Sendai manufacturing plant, where the company’s top professional film and digital cameras have been made for decades, is shut down.

Canon’s Utsunomiya plant, where most of the top lenses are made, is also closed. No one knows how long the plants will be out of commission. Nikon cameras that recently went out of production, such as my Nikon D700, now are in shorter supply, sending the prices of available cameras spiraling upward. The D700 jumped from $2,350 one week ago to $2,700.

Prices on cameras like the Nikon D700 will be rising due to Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

New York-based Adorama Camera, one of the top photo retailers in the country, has compiled a damage report of the major consumer electronics manufacturer in Japan. Even companies that were not directly damaged by the earthquake or tsunami are feeling the effects.

Rolling blackouts instituted by the Japanese government are disrupting companies throughout the country and the tsunami has destroyed many freighter ships that transport photographic equipment around the world.

What all of this means to photographers and consumer electronics buffs will be a shortage in supplies and rising costs. Photographer Ken Rockwell, who has an engineering background, has been posting reports about the nuclear cataclysm taking place in Japan, as well as the impact on the photography industry.

“What few others seem to realize is that not only have we lost our camera plants for a while, and maybe longer, is that the plants that make just about everything else we appreciate are dead. Unlike primitive areas, Japan makes a lot of important stuff. The factories that make the chips that run everything are closed, and worse upon worse is that the factories that make the equipment used to make the chips that run everything are closed,” writes Rockwell.

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