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7 years, 7 months ago 0

Is there any advantage to being a 64 year old shooter? Well, for one thing you can remember all kinds of things that people have always said. The longer, and more often we hear something the more we just assume it’s true. An old saw was, “A zoom lens that goes from wide angle to long telephoto can’t be any good…..” Well time passes, the optical engineers learn more, and more and guess what, you can throw that old wives tale out the window. Nikon just introduced several new lenses that will be wonderful, “if” they really are sharp. The 24-120 AF- S VR f4 G is on the way to me now, so I’ll save talking about that one until after I get a chance to run it through the paces. The 28-300 AFS VR II f 3.5-5.6 G arrived yesterday, and I went straight into the field to give it a try. In fairness, I already had a great feeling about it since I saw a lot of great work from it that Bill Pekala did in Reno, they were tack sharp, great images. But would my sample equal his?

First here is the lens:

The lens is nicely balanced and seems heavier made to me. The zoom is very smooth and I found it easy to use in the field. It is supplied with a good bayonet hood that protects it from flare well. Of special note is the close focus distance of just 1.6 feet at all focal lengths. I found it to work great in close. The close up ratio is 1:3.2, pretty impressive…….

I found the lens very sharp whether focused close at 300mm like above or in the wide angle range
28mm, below.

Backlit subjects show very little sign of flare and the contrast and sharpness were stellar. The lens has both ED and Aspherical elements which have helped make the lens a great optical performer.
This lens is a FX lens so it really is 28-300 on D700 – D3 – D3s & D3x. On DX it’s a 42-450 equiv.

As a walk around lens for travel and general use it’s hard to find any fault with this new lens. It
certainly will have me rethinking what to carry, when. I will take it out west for the Moab trip and really wring it out. I’m expecting great results……..

One thing is for sure, you can pretty much throw the old thought that a lens of this range of focal lengths can’t possibly be any good, out the window! It buries that old saying for good………

I’m so thankful to live in a time when photography can be so much fun and the gear so good.
I look forward to sharing more thoughts as things play out, now I can’t wait to shoot that
new 24-120!

Father thanks again for this great life and your Son’s sacrifice for me………….

the pilgrim

*Photo note: all images made with the D3s and the new 28-300 AF-S VR II f 3.5-5.6 G lens.

And now a weekend assignment. If you would like to get a tremendous blessing, run out to the video store or Walmart, (where I got mine), and rent or buy this film. It was produced by of some of the same people that made Facing the Giants and Fireproof. This is an incredible film about God’s love and our mission for Him. I promise you, it will bless your life.

7 years, 7 months ago 0

Saturday I’m off for a week in rural Missouri. I will be attending the Missouri Photojournalism Workshop. It starts a period of the fall where I will only be home a dozen days until the week before Thanksgiving. This coming week I want to concentrate on light. I will be hunting for light as the subject to feature all next week in the blog. I’m taking a big step, I will travel with only the little
P7000 and a pocket tripod. With the big Moab workshop coming up in a couple of weeks I want to get ready to search for light, so this week will be a warm up for that.

If you want to be the best photographer you can be, you need to practice and stay sharp, by working on the basics. After 40 years as a working pro photographer, practice is more important than ever.

Every day is a practice day in my walk with the Lord. As the late John Denver said in the studio while doing an album cut with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, when asked if this was practice, he said, “it’s all practice…..” Yes life is all practice. To walk with Him and glorify Him in all you do takes practice. We won’t always do it right, but we can get better with practice.

God does not expect us to be perfect, He does want us to always try to be getting better at the craft of living for Him.

the pilgrim

7 years, 7 months ago 2

This mornings devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley is just to good to not pass along.

Romans 5: 20-21

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What if someone came up to you and said, I don’t know anything about God, how would you describe Him? How would you answer their question? What would they think about God after your description? Would that person be discouraged about every having a relationship with God or be encouraged that they could have that relationship?
There is a lot of confusion, even among believers about the character of God. Many believers see God as a God of judgement and vengeance, and they live in fear of Him. That belief can leave us confused and wondering why God would stop loving us.
Scripture reveals the truth. God is grace, God loves loves you unconditionally. His love is a gift, it is grace. It is given to us whether or not we deserve it. Our good deeds or stellar qualities can’t earn us this grace, this unconditional love. Our failures can’t cause God top withdraw it.
In our world we look at grades, scores, and performance reviews to determine worth, but God doesn’t. I know it is amazing, but it’s true. Grace is given freely. There is no cost, and even though our world doesn’t work that way, but God does.
If you have given your life and heart to Him, you can be secure in the knowledge that He loves you and will never turn His back on you. If you don’t have that assurance, you can, the balls in your court.

the pilgrim

*Photo note: Lavender in the south of France. F100 film camera Velvia.

7 years, 7 months ago 0

This classic statement about the soft. gentle light that comes through the window is a big part of photography. Almost everyone agrees that it is the best light of all for photographing people. This is a turn on the phrase. I was on the plane on my last leg home late yesterday afternoon and when the plane lifted off from Minneapolis headed to Knoxville this wonderful light graced the window sills. My “real” camera was in my big Think Tank rolling case under the plane but I had the little P7000 that we have been playing with. When I saw this image I knew I had a new little friend that could always be with me. I can’t tell you how great it is to have a camera that is capable of doing this kind of work and fits in your carry on. I decided to show you a few other images that I made
yesterday before returning home. I’m on assignment all next week in Missouri and I’m seriously thinking of venturing out with nothing but this little camera. Might be a good exercise in getting back to the basics! I’m home for a few days and I’ll try to get back to blogging about our spiritual basics as well. For now I hope you like the images and think of simplifying your gear too.

the pilgrim