Nikon D300 in 2018: Two Days On The Colorado River With A Wet 10 Year Old Camera

I recently faced a conundrum that I'm sure other photographers have faced at one time or another: I had planned a backcountry trip with friends but I didn't know what camera gear to bring. Specifically, I'd be kayak-camping on the Colorado River. The conditions would be sandy and wet with the possibility of a full blown dunk in the water. I'd need something simultaneously cheap (in case I dunked it), rugged (in case I dunked it), and good (because I wanted to take good pictures). What I chose was the ancient (by camera standards anyways) Nikon D300. 

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Review: Vivitar Series 1 100mm-500mm Lens

I’ve already written about the benefits of vintage lenses with modern cameras. It can help you discover which lenses you really want to buy, or it can give you access to lenses you don’t really want to spend a lot of money acquiring. For example, the 100mm-400mm lens for my Fujifilm cameras is nearly $2,000. This is a tremendous amount of money for a lens I’ll only use a handful of times a year.

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Canon FD 100mm f4 Macro - Close, but not too close

You may have already read my review of the 50mm f3.5 macro lens, also for the canon FD mount. I like that lens quite a bit, but as I continued to use it, I realized that I had to get very close to my subject in order to take a picture at the closest focus distance. I started wondering if maybe, I might need a macro lens with a bit more reach. That’s when I started looking at the Canon FD 100mm macro lens.

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Photo Journal - January 16, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve dont one of these, so, I figured it was time. This past week or so, I took a trip with my daughter and my nephew to one of my favorite places to visit, Armand Bayou Nature Center. One of the great things about Armand Bayou is that it’s only about 10 minutes from my suburban home, but it feels like you’ve traveled 3 days into the woods.

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Vivitar Series 1 35- 85mm f2.8

I love vintage glass. It’s one of the most fun things about photography gear, in my opinion. I love hunting online and in thrift shops for new weird lenses I’ve never tried or heard of before. That’s exactly how I came across the lens I’m reviewing today. 

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Fujifilm 18mm f 2.0 - wide and wide open

There are only four lenses I consider to be indispensable for the Fujifilm system (and a blog post on that is on the way), and the 18mm 2.0 is one of them. You need a good wide angle lens and the 18mm is certainly that. At a focal length equivalent to a 28mm on a full frame camera and a maximum aperture of 2.0, the 18mm is an incredibly versatile lens, and, in my opinion, a must buy.

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Trip To New Orleans: The Gear I Took, The Photos I Got, And How I Managed Not To Irritate My Wife

Flying is the safest form of travel, flying is the safest form of travel, flying is the safest form of travel." I repeat this over and over to myself as I try to get past my nervousness about flying.My wife and I are on a plane bound for New Orleans to celebrate 5 years of marriage. This was not a photography trip, it was a chance for my wife and I to spend some much deserved alone time without the children. However, if you think I left my camera at home, think again. My camera goes everywhere I do.

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Vivitar 400mm f5.6 For Canon FD Mount On A Fuji...At The Zoo...In Houston

The title to this blog post is meant to impress upon you that these vintage lenses don't have to be from the same brand as your camera in order to work well with your camera. For example, this lens is made by a company called Vivitar. Vivitar marketed cameras and lenses made by other companies. They made lenses for Nikon cameras, Olympus Cameras, Canon Cameras, and others. This particular lens is a 400mm lens for the Canon FD mount. I took it to the zoo to see how it performed. 

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Fujifilm 56mm 1.2 - A Great Lens You Might Want To Skip

The Fujifilm 56mm is kind of like a jewelers hammer. Its perfect for one particular job, but it sucks for just about everything else. That is exactly how I feel about the Fujifilm 56mm. It’s perfect for one job, but just about useless for everything else. 

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Old Glass For New Sensors - Vintage Lenses Part 1

One of the most difficult things about starting up in photography is, unless you have a considerable amount of funds to start with, you won't have all the lenses you probably want. To be honest, even the most basic camera is probably sufficient for most amateur photographer’s needs. However, it is the lenses that really make the difference.

Cameras go down in price the second you buy them, but lenses aren't the same. They can be used across numerous camera bodies. The lenses that attached to the first Canon 5d still work on the Canon 5d mark 4. The downside is that even used lenses are pretty expensive. If you want a fast portraiture lens, that's $1,000 bucks. You want a long range wildlife lens? That'll be $2k. Before too long, photography turns into a bank account diminishing proposition.

So what to do?

Buy vintage glass!

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Photography Journal - August 25, 2017

So, in the last few days, I've witnessed a partial solar eclipse, some weird bugs, a ferry ride, and some silly children. 

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I'm a big fan of macro lenses. I think they are very special. When you have a macro lens, it opens up a whole other world of images. A whole tiny world opens up to you. These little bugs are a great example. 

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They were all over a plant in my garden. I suppose I should have busted out the pesticide, but I broke out my camera and macro lens instead. 

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The solar eclipse was an interesting thing to witness. We ended up breaking out the welding masks and cereal boxes to take a look. I also took my pinhole lens out to photograph the eclipse, but this is the best photo I could muster.  

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Last, but certainly not least are my little ones. We ended up taking them on a ferry ride after a meal in Galveston. It was great and they really seemed to enjoy it. My kids are the light of my life and a constant source of inspiration and joy. 

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Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

There is one truly indispensable lens for the Fujifilm system, in my opinion. It is my favorite lens of all time and I think it is high in the running for the best lens of all time. It's the Fujifilm 35mm 1.4. This lens is THE reason to get into the Fujifilm system. This lens makes everything look better and this is a review of the lens. It won't be a technical type review because, well, honestly I don't know how to do one of those. This is more of a, “what is this thing like to live with” type review.

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Photography Journal - August 15, 2017

This is the second of my photo journals. Today, I was charged with watching the kids while my wife went and ran a few errands. I decided to take full advantage of the situation.

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Photography Journal - August 13, 2017

This is the first in my daily photography diary. I’ve tried to do 365 photography projects before, but they never really take because there is always an assignment to follow. Sometimes I forget to take the assigned picture and then I feel like I shouldn’t bother. The idea here is to simply take photos and explain why I took them.

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Impromptu Photo Shoot - Fuji X100S & Rogue Flashbender

One of the things about being halfway decent at photography is that people are always asking me to take pictures for them. I don't mind at all, to be honest. I find it flattering that people want me to bring my camera with me and take pictures at their party or events. However, I tend to do one of two things. Either I spend the entire time focusing on getting good pictures and largely ignore the party or I enjoy the party and don't take many shots at all. Recently, I went to a Christmas party and I decided to intentionally limit my gear. The idea was: The less decisions I have to make, the easier it will be to focus on taking pictures. 

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