Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – August Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – August Edition

Nikon has Irish twins, Sigma goes wide and fast (and so does Olympus), and Sony decides to get Macro on us. It’s that time of the month again folks: here’s the August edition of all the fresh, new gear at BorrowLenses! Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens and Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens Nikon’s old 500mm and 600mm f/4 lenses were excellent bits of glass (though calling them “bits” is an understatement). But what’s good can always be improved and Nikon has done just that with this pair. By incorporating flourite elements into the design, they’ve made them between 20% and 25% lighter, which makes these two the lightest lenses in their focal length/aperture in the world. Nikon has also incorporated magnesium into the the barrel for more weight savings and has improved the Vibration Reduction, giving you a total of 4 stops of VR. There’s also a Sport VR mode specifically for stabilizing the lenses through tracking objects that move unpredictably and rapidly. In addition, the Autofocus performance of the lenses has also improved. This, combined with an electromagnetic diaphragm, is intended to provide superior focus and exposure stability when tracking those aforementioned fast-moving objects. Obviously, I’ll, um, need to test all these. For, say, a week. With a Nikon D4s and a gimbal head on a nice, heavy-duty tripod. BL West Coast: I’ll pick this order up next weekend, mmkay? Better make it two weeks. You know, for thoroughness. Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds shooters often have to suffer the false impression that wide-angle lenses aren’t really available on the platform...
Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Landscape shooters love their wide-angle lenses. From the amazing Nikon 14–24mm f/2.8 to the new Canon 11–24mm f/4, it’s usually the wides that get everyone excited about landscape photography. Every so often, however, it pays to change things up. I was in the same boat when it came to landscapes; I reached for the Nikon 14–24mm often, even when I was using my Canon 5D Mark II. Then one day, tired of going for wide, sweeping landscapes, I decided to switch things up. Here are three ways you can do the same. Go Long but Not Too Long Sweeping panoramas are awesome and, back in 2012, I used a slightly different method to create a couple of images that I still look at and like today. In the image below I went with a “normal” length lens – the Canon 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift lens. This is a composite of two shots, one with the lens shifted left, and one with it shifted right. Going with that normal perspective allowed me to avoid the one effect of wide-angle lenses that I don’t like: the tendency to often miniaturize things unless you’re pretty close to the subject (in which case they can distort things a bit). I also wanted some compression in the perspective and if you look at the image at 100% even in its current downsized version, you’ll see that you can read the words “Honneur et Patrie” on the far wall of the courtyard just fine. I wanted that tiny bit of detail, as well as Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue framed and recognizable by those pillars behind it. That...
Leverage Multiple Camera Platforms with Adapters

Leverage Multiple Camera Platforms with Adapters

Recently, I completed a shoot for an article written by our own Alex Huff for 500px’s ISO blog. For it, I returned to my trusty old 5D Mark II and an even older lens: a Nikon 100mm f/2.8 AiS lens that’s at least 30 years old. For me, the results were well past what I’d expected from the setup. To marry that Nikon lens to my 5D Mark II, I used this Nikon G lens to Canon adapter. I added a lens hood I own to the setup to avoid some glare I was getting off an overhead light and this is what it looked like: As I said, the results were well past what I’d expected. Turns out, that lens was superb on my 5D and the shot of model Xela Gaerlan (below) that ended up on the blog is one of my favorites. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve used a Nikon lens on my 5D. In fact, I wrote about this a couple of years ago. Moreover, I’ve also written in the past about using multiple lens types on Micro 4/3 cameras too. When I looked at my shooting kit now, however, I felt like it was time to visit the topic once more, especially given how much the adapter market has evolved. I own a 5D Mark II and a Sony a7S. When it comes to lenses, however, I own one Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens (which I never use) and five Nikon-mount lenses. I had a Canon 24–70 at some point, but it’s lying at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay near the...
Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks

Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks

It’s safe to say that an African safari is on most wildlife photographers’ destination wish list. It is a trip many will never get the chance to do due to the extensive travel and time requirements as well as the significant financial expense. However, for those lucky enough to set out on the incredible journey it’s not as simple as picking a destination, hotel, and plane ticket. There is a significant amount of preparation and planning that must be done ahead of time. Borrowlenses.com advocate and wildlife photographer David Bernstein recently returned from his epic safari trip and graciously shared a few tips he learned along the way. Bernstein started out using a humble Rebel series camera and over time grew into being what he calls a “photo-naturalist”, taking pictures of landscapes and wildlife with an affinity for birds. This article is meant to help you plan for an African photo-focused safari and address many of the things to consider before embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks by David Bernstein Travel Agents for the Win If this is your first safari then do not plan it by yourself! There are many highly-rated travel companies that specialize in organizing African safaris. Their goal is to provide you with an unbelievable experience tailored to what you want and hope to see. I always felt comfortable planning my own itineraries on photo excursions because of all my previous travel experience, however, I decided to use a travel company to plan and organize my first safari and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. They guided...
A Trip to the Bottom of the World: Photographing Antarctica

A Trip to the Bottom of the World: Photographing Antarctica

Dean J. Tatooles specializes in fine art panoramic landscape photography, wildlife photography, and indigenous portraiture from remote locations around the world. He also works with top-rated travel companies and fellow professional photographers to lead photographic safaris in locations like Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Morocco and more. Recently back from a trip to Antarctica, Tatooles shares some helpful knowledge for making the most of a polar adventure. In his pack, Dean carried Nikon D3s and D800E DSLR bodies with Nikkor AFS 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 ED VR and 70-200mm f2.8 G AF-S ED VRII lenses. Continue reading to find out what Tatooles suggests when considering a trip to the frozen continent. A Trip to the Bottom of the World: Photographing Antarctica by Dean J. Tatooles Picking the Right Tour Company is Essential It goes without saying that someone interested in traveling to Antarctica can’t simply go online, book a flight and hotel, pack their bags, and shove off like they would for most other international destinations. It can be a daunting task trying to find a reputable tour company that is a good fit for you. I’ve been to Antarctica multiple times and have traveled with more than one tour company. Personally, I recommend Polar Latitudes for someone who has a keen interest in photography. Among other eco-experts at your disposal, Polar Latitudes has a staffed professional photographer on each voyage to instruct its expedition members both onboard and out in the field. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a camera or are a professional yourself. You will undoubtedly come back home with the best images possible and expand your technical knowledge. Best...