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5 years, 10 months ago 8


I’m preparing for my first major national park workshop trip since retiring from Nikon, and I will be putting my two part, lighter systems to work!  Today I will go over the Fuji X system and later in the week the Nikon system.  Remember my goal was to reduce the in-the-field carry system to around 10 pounds.  The entire system below, excluding the tripod and mini tripod is 9 lbs!!!


 1.  Fuji X-E1 body.  16 mega-pixel, mirror-less camera.  With Really Right Stuff L Bracket and Grip set.


 2.   The standard zoom an 18-55 OIS f 2.8-f4  Remember the sensor is a APS-S size sensor making all lenses a 1.5 factor.  So it is a (27-82 equivalent.)


 3.  A 55-200 OIS f 3.5-4.8 zoom.  (80-300 equivalent)


 4.  The 60mm Macro lens f 2.4 (90mm equivalent)


5.  The 35mm f1.4 lens  (50mm equivalent)


6.  The 14mm f 2.8  (21mm equivalent)


7.  The Fuji X100s camera with a 35mm f2 equivalent lens.  With Really Right Stuff L Bracket and Grip set.


8.  Induro CT-214 carbon fiber tripod. 


9.  Think Tank Retrospective 5 bag (perfect for and extra few lenses and accessories)


10.   Pelican case with SDHC memory cards.


11.   Think Tank battery holders with 6 spare batteries for each body.


12.   Electronic release with built in intervalometer


13.   Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head


14.   Kirk table top tripod with RRS BH-30 head.



This system allows maximum versatility while producing exceptional quality images.  All this in an easy to carry and use system!!


Next?  The high res D800 and it’s support system!!!





The pilgrim


Photo Note:  Image made with the D800 and 55mm Micro Nikkor


Guess what just went live!!    





5 years, 10 months ago 9

I love to do close-up photographs of almost any subject except spiders!  I hate spiders, I know God made them for a purpose, but they creep me out!  If a rattlesnake crawled into my house, I would have no trouble pinning his head and picking up and throwing him out into the woods, where he belongs, but I would’t touch a spider!  No, I don’t handle snakes in church, but I’ve photographed people that do, o.k. we’re getting way off point here.


I’m often asked which micro lens I recommend, and that depends on what you are going to shoot.  If  you are photographing any subject that is skittish or that you don’t want to be close to, the 200mm Micro is the ticket.  The Spider shot above was made with my Nikon 300mm Micro Nikkor.  What!!??  I didn’t know Nikon made a 300 mm Micro!!!  Actually they don’t, but you can make your 200 micro a 300 micro by using a camera with a DX size sensor, thus the crop factor is 1.5 X the focal length or equivalent to a 300.  In this case I used and adapter and placed my Fuji X-E1 on the 200mm Micro Nikkor lens and manually focused it.  (I manually focus all my micro work so loss of autofocus is not an issue for close-up shooting!)


For general purpose work I like the 105 Micro and for flat field documents, coins, and stamps, those kinds of things, the 55 or 60 micro.


So that is how you can get closer with the same lenses.  How do we get closer to God?  That is easier than buying and learning micro lenses.  With our Heavenly Father it’s a lot simpler.


1. Recognize that you have fallen well short of God’s desire for you. That’s called being a  sinner, most people don’t like to be called that, but sadly, we all are.


2.  Then we tell our Father that we want to accept His forgiveness,  that we are really sorry for what we’ve done and admit to it. (that’s called repentence)x


3.  Lastly we tell our Father that you know Jesus is His Son, and that he died for the forgiveness of our sins.  We confess our belief in Him and accept His forgiveness.  We ask God to take over our lives and fill us with His joy and peace.  He will!!!  And that my friends that is how you get closer!




the pilgrim


Photo Note:  Fuji X-E1 with an adapter for the 200mm Micro Nikkor.  ISO 1600, F8


FLASH:  Wednesday my new Kelby Class at Old Car City will go live, please drop by and check it out, I’m taking quite a risk, I haven’t seen it myself!!!!   SORRY MAYBE ANY DAY????

5 years, 10 months ago 4

I started today praying for the group coming to Glacier and for the group coming to Photoshop World. I enjoy these gatherings of photographers and I know that there are alway opportunities to witness in such gatherings.  My prayer is always the same, place those needing your love in front of me, and then, through the Holy Spirit, guide me to know how to love them for you! Simple formula, that always works!  It always works because it is God centered, not me centered. I don’t know how to help others, but God does, and if we follow His leadings, His will is always done.


I may know what “I” want to do for others, but my wisdom falls way short of what God knows they really need! Why guess when you can get direction from the One who made us.  Prayer is where you meet with God and allow Him to show you His will.  It’s where you lay your will down and admit that you can’t do what needs to be done, apart from Him.  Surrendering to Him is admitting you don’t have all the answers, and in truth hardly any answers at all!  Once that obstacle is removed, it’s utterly amazing what He can do!


God wants to talk with us, to fellowship.  It’s amazing to me, but I’,m so thankful that He does…..




the pilgrim


Photo Note:  Fuji X-E1, 18-55 lens.  ISO 1,o00

5 years, 11 months ago 7

Photography is problem solving and sometimes we get fortunate and find just the right answer to our photographic problems, here are some of my favorites!


1. The Fuji X100s.  I’ve looked for years for a camera that was easy to carry, really well made, and produced stunning images.  I’ve used a lot of cameras that I really liked, but they all were lacking one thing or another.  The other problem was even the very best ones just didn’t allow me to shoot higher than ISO 800 without pretty bad noises.  Then I discovered the Fuji X system and the X100s.  It has become my constant companion, my carry everywhere, shoot anything camera, and the images?  Stunning +++   It has also re-ignited my love for Black and White, which it does wonderfully!   I got mine at Dury’s Camera in Nashville, I enhanced it with a Wapiti  Elk skin strap, a Really Right Stuff L bracket and grip,  (all my cameras have their excellent L brackets), and a Lensmate Thumb rest, and a Lensmate bayonet lens hood.



2.  The Sennheiser MKE 400.  I don’t shoot very much video, but whenI do this is the “steal” in the portable microphone world.  At less than $300. it works very well.  I got mine at the AV house called Sweetwater.   



3.  Singh Ray Filters. My bag has a dozen of these gems.  Bob Singh is a true genius and his array of filters is amazing.  His polarizers are among the only ones that are completely neutral, so they will not leave a color cast as many do!  I have a great collection of his great creations  



4.  Delkin Memory Cards.  I’ve used Delkin cards and their other products for years and I’ve never had a bad card!  If you’ve used a bunch of brands like I have,  you know just how astounding that is!  They’re fast and reliable!  I carry them in a shockproof, waterproof, Pelican case from B&H!



5.  Zeiss Lens Wipes.  In the eyeglass department of  Walmarts you will find one of the best solutions to cleaning eyepieces, LCD screens,  and lenses.  These wipes are sealed and have just the right amount of alcohol for a perfect clean!  Not pictured bu a big part of my system are a handful of micro fiber cloths, Ilike the Tiger Cloth from Kinetronics!



6.  The Firefly blower, and Photographic Solutions cleaning supplies.  The Firefly blower is a great way to clean dust from sensor, it turns normal air into ionized air that releases dust because of static electricity.  I use the Photograp Solutions E Wipes, swabs, and E2 Sensor Cleaner.    



 7.  The Lightning Bug.  The best lightning trigger on the market from MK Controls, it’s simple, it really works, and it’s your best bet of capturting spectacular lightning!  They also have great support, which you will seldom need, well thought out product!



8.  The Champ Swiss Army Knife from Victorinox.    I wouldn’t go in the field without one, I actually own a half dozen various models.  I’ve made more than a few field repairs with a Swiss Army Knife!!



9.  Wireless Release from Yonguno (China).  It works great, looks and feels like some made for them major camera companies and cost about one fifth what you would expect.  Get used to the world of Chinese goods, they are getting much better!



10.  Raynox  Macroscopic Lens Model M-150.  These 3 element diopter magnifiers, made in Japan, are very high quality ways to shoot greater than life size close-ups.    The spring loaded filter adapter (much like your squeeze front lens caps), fits from 52mm to 67mm.



11.  Visible Dust Sensor Loupe.  This is the best way to see just where that dust is so you can clean it off effectively.Viable Dust make a great variety of cleaning supplies, all top notch!!


12.  Expert Shield.  After a few months the plastic protector that came with your camera is mess of scratches and goes in the garbage!  Save yourself the trouble and install Expert Shield on all your devices, they just work! The best I’ve seen.



13.  Camels hair small brush.  Simple, cleans all the crevasses well!   Pretty simple I got mine at Lowe’s building Supply.


14.  LED panel light.  These cool, and I mean no heat!, lights are the future, I have two of different sizes and outputs, all the images in this blog entry were made with the smaller one. You can buy them everywhere! I got mine from Midwest Photo.  Ask for Mike…


15.  My two favorite bags for the smaller Fuji system.  The Think Tank Retrospective 5 and the Streetwalker backpack  (not that kind of streetwalker!!).  I’ve been using Think Tank products for a long time now, and they are the best made I’ve found, they are simply well thought out, and work great!




16.  Think Tank Battery holders.  The perfect way to protect the one component in your camea bag that you can’t do without!. 



In fairness I must tell you that Delkin, Singh Ray, Think Tank, and Really Right Stuff are all sponsor, but the reason is I bought and used their products a long time before I ever I enjoyed a relationship with them, that’s how it works around here.  I wouldn’t recommend anything to you I haven’t proven worthwhile myself, first!




the pilgrim