Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Long Reach Dilemma

Photographs I have managed to capture with my only long lens: a Nikon AF 80-200 f2.8, first version.   These ones were taken on a visit to the Midway Historical Museum in Rockford IL, in June 2011 (back then, when I kinda gave up on this blog because some photos of mine posted elsewhere were stolen).

Blacksmith at work

Rider known as Johnny Baker

One of the "Rough Riders" performing that day.

I think this one is Texas Rose...

Mark Twain in one stop of his lecture trip.

For some reason, the fourth shot is a bit soft.  I believe I switched the sensor from FX to DX, and also the priority must have been set to shoot over focus (later I'll get to this).  In any event, this place tends to offer this kind of events, during which they recreate a historical period or event, and have very specialized performers doing their shows in the grounds.
Now, I'm facing a critical moment: except for trips like this, I find that my long lens gets next to no use.  In fact, it's now down with sticky shutter blades (which means they don't close down when the camera shoots and a small aperture has been set).  I am very inclined to sell it and keep the rest of my zooms, but then... what if I need one long lens for events like the one I documented above?
What would you do?
Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To see the focusing point... and other things

I had offered some information about how to see your focusing points in the LCD after shooting.  It helps, because it tells you where the camera focused, which can explain sharpness problems.
  • First, go to the Playback menu.
  • Scroll down to Display mode.
  • Click OK to make your choices.
  • Where it says "Basic Photo Info" you'll have a choice.  Select "Focus Point".
  • Click OK to return to the Playback Menu. 
After this adjustment, all photos (even in Slide Show mode) will show where the camera focused for every shot.  Some people may find it distracting, but you may find it useful to know what your camera was thinking, or simply to find out whether it did what you wanted it to do.  I set this during my last digital experience in Toledo, and liked it very much, as I could see sometimes the reason of some shots when I liked them.

Speaking of which... here are more.  This time, from Salamanca, where we stayed for about 3 days.

The first is a view of the Plaza Mayor, which I like so much it became the wallpaper in my laptop (to this day).  The second, something very Spanish: a "Tuna," which is a student group (singers and string instrument players), and they perform traditional songs.  The third is the same Plaza Mayor, but this time at night.  Fourth, street performer, who had his dog to make sure people would stop and leave some money for the pet.  In all cases, I used the same lens: Nikon AF-S 24-120 f4.  It's heavy, it's big... but it's fairly devoid of distortion.  Very occasionally there may be flare, but it may have been dust on the filter.  In any event, I was quite happy with it, and will probably take it again whenever I go on trips.