Posts Tagged ‘Nikon’

Focus Breathing With Some Nikon Telephotos

Nikon’s series of 70-200mm lenses are fun, sturdy devices, with an extremely crisp telephoto range, all the way down into portrait territory. Making an optic that spans such a range is no easy task; compromises have to be made if one device is to accomplish so much. Out of this fact comes an adverse effect known as focus breathing, which means that a lens’ focal length has a dependence on the distance from its subject. In other words, the closer you get to an object, the shorter the effective focal length of the lens becomes.

Its Affect on Us

To be explicit, here’s how focus breathing works. Let’s go out for the day to a rolling park, where we find ourselves in the middle of a large field, under a gazebo with plenty to stare at. You set everything up on your tripod and decide that today is a day to use your 70-200mm f/2.8. As you start taking some pictures of the tree-line in the distance, there are no problems. But suppose you now pointed your camera towards a bench in the gazebo, still set to your 200mm focal length. Now that we’re using our telephoto range in close proximity, the effective focal length of the lens has decreased. Moving your tripod closer to the bench will amplify this effect, and it is the result of long focal lengths not really being meant for short range use.

A Comment on the Severity

On the f/2.8 specifically, focus breathing is such an issue that at a distance of 3 feet, the focal length is about 60% of its nominal value, a huge difference! The easy remedy for this though is that wider focal lengths do not exhibit this same problem. Obviously, it makes no sense to have close up shots of the gazebo’s construction without making full use of the lens’ focal range. The existence of this on a lens, even excessively so, isn’t much to worry about as it can be worked around. Those looking for peace of mind, however, will be happy to know that Nikon’s new 70-200mm f/4 ED VR AF-S exhibits almost no breathing.

Something to keep in mind about focus breathing is that it is not as enormous of an issue as it seems in the abstract. In all practicality, if you own a 200mm telephoto lens, then you will want to use it for distance photography. Having the ability to swap between that and the normal 70mm range means great versatility, and the good news is that most lenses only breathe at the long end of their spectrum. The wide end does not exhibit nearly as much of this effect, and likewise, the wide end is what you would opt to use for closer subjects anyhow. It isn’t a deal-breaker in any case, merely something to be aware of.

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Bill Green is an engineering student and freelancer for where you can read an in-depth review of the Nikon 70-200 lens and hundreds of camera and lens reviews.

Nikon D800 On The Way

The options for the use of video and photography expanding more rapidly than ever. From private video sharing to viral marketing campaigns and social media tie-ins, freelance videographers have more options than ever to share their work, build their own brands, and create their own companies. Simply owning a quality camera in this day and age opens up a variety of options both for work and recreation.

A slate of extraordinary cameras have hit the market in the last few years, including the Nikon D700, the Canon EOS Rebel T3i, the Olympus PEN E-PL3, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V. Video cameras have been upgrading as well, with the likes of the Sony VX-1000, the Panasonic DVX-100b, the Canon 5D Mkii, and the Red. With the trend of digital cameras offering both supreme still and moving image capability, we’ve entered a new generation of consolidated all-in-one gadgets. This trend does not appear to be dying down.

Nikon appears poised to attempt to lead this generation as anticipation over its new D800 camera continues to grow ahead of the rumored February 7th release. With the discontinuation of the D700 and the D300 (which came as somewhat of a surprise) digital SLR cameras, Nikon appears ready to embrace the upgrade of one of its most popular cameras. The buzz over this camera centers around its shooting in 36 megapixels, which of course is in addition to Nikon’s Expeed 3 image processor. Additional specs for the camera include shooting 1080p video at 20 fps, an enhanced LCD display, and integration with SD and CF cards.

The Nikon D800, in addition to its 36 megapixels and excellent video quality, will also sport face recognition technology, the ability to support PCM sound devices, 86k pixel RGB sensor, uncompressed HDMI, and full viewfinder coverage. It will have the same ISO features as the D700, which includes a range of 100-6400, which can be expanded up to 50 to 25,600. Of course, the camera will cost $4,000, so its immediate widespread adoption during a time of tough economic conditions is no certainty.

Analysts expect the product to be officially announced at the CP+ Photography Show in Japan, by which time there could be other announcements pending regarding the new waterproof, shockproof Coolpix cameras for kids. Nikon seems intent in diversifying its output for multiple markets and appealing to different demographics of consumers, from professional and freelance photographers and videographers to amateurs and children looking to document their wild times.

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