G Davidson

G Davidson

Lives in Japan Kashiwa, Japan
Works as a Teacher
Joined on Jan 14, 2007
About me:

Future plan- to make books with my photos fused with poetry. At the moment, they are in online galleries and photo-blogs, like-



Nikon D300,
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
Panasonic LX5
Canon G9

SB-800 Flash
Velbon QHD-41 Monopod


Note- I try to stick to 'bright' lenses, so as to control the depth of field and to have a brighter image in the viewfinder, though for traveling and ultra-wide angles I compromise on this.

Nikon 24mm f/2.8D.......................(street photography, walk-around)
Nikon 28mm f/2.8D.......................(events, walk-around)
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 D.....................(my other walk-around)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D.......................(low light and portraits)
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX................(events, weddings)
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR..........(for traveling light)
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR........(travel)
Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D...................(my DX portrait zoom)
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VRII.........(nature, travel, candids)
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF..........(candids, nature)

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX Pro-DX.......(wide landscapes, events)
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM....................(portraits, details, bokeh, low-light)
Tamron 90mm SP AF f/2.8 Di...........(macro with amazing, beautiful bokeh)

I recently sold on my Nikon 24-50mm AF, Nikon 70-300mm ED AF and Tokina 28-70mm AT-X AF SV, as they are not so useful on DX and their ranges are covered better by the lenses above.

Most Wanted Lenses-

70-200mm VR
85mm f/1.4D
17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S DX Nikon/ another equivalent zoom for DX, like the Tamron 17-50mm version


Total: 251, showing: 61 – 80
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In reply to:

white shadow: Sigma (and Tamron) has a tradition of making lenses for the budget conscious consumers. Once in a while they may make some better quality lenses like the recent 35mm f/1.4 full frame lens. Usually, they have some quality issues with them. The 17-50 f/2.8 is a good example. Eventhough it is generally above average, there is no fulltime manual focus and manual focus may not be smooth. In most cases, the built quality reflects its lower price. There will be soft corners as well. In order to get a better performance for the 17-50 f/2.8, for example, one must stop down to f/4.0.

So, let see what this lens will be. If we have to stop down to f/2.8 or f/4.0, then we might as well go for the 17-50 f/2.8.

It's true, but in my case, I have the pro-build Nikon 17-55mm and a Tamron 17-50mm (non-VR). The Tamron is capable of excellent results, even printed large, especially with lens profiles to deal with the distortion. Unless I'm specially shooting an event, that's the one that comes out and it's also the class of lens I'd recommend to others. Good enough is good enough and it leaves more funds for other lenses.

This lens may even go one stop further and replace the bright primes, something an f/2.8 lens on DX isn't bright enough to do.

Direct link | Posted on Jun 5, 2013 at 09:19 UTC

Well I'm a 'waiter' and look forward to trying this when he price has dropped after a while. Really, you're paying not just for abilities, but ergonomics. Whilst the EPL-5 seems to be the best 'deal' in this range, along with all the new features, this looks like a camera to enjoy shooting with.

Direct link | Posted on May 31, 2013 at 08:23 UTC as 21st comment

So it's the year of 35mm lenses.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2013 at 23:09 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

deltaskyking: I was walking down the street the other day and I saw something interesting and I decided to take a photo of it. After turning on my Sony NEX-7 I got the following message on the screen: "Access to this Camera has been denied, please contact Subscription Services!" What the ....! Worse yet is that I was unable to download from the camera any images I'd already taken.

After rushing home I contacted Subscription Services, or "SS", whereupon they informed me that the $1200 camera that I bought a year ago now will not function without a monthly subscription fee! First Adobe and now Sony?! I hastened to my closet where my Canon and Nikon gear were vaporizing, apparently because I had failed to pay a continuing fee to those companies as well!

I woke up in a start! It was only a dream - or was it? Borrowing a theme from Apples' 1984 commercial, we need the hammer wielding athlete to come crashing in and hurl her hammer at the "Orwellian" face of Adobe! NO SOFTWARE FOR RENT! EVER!

Actually an old Sharp mobile phone I have, which had the innovations of a 3x zoom lens and 5mp sensor (back in the days before the original iPhone was released), blocks using the camera when there is no active sim inserted.

So I could see this coming to other devices...

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2013 at 22:19 UTC
In reply to:

jhinkey: Nice, but not $900 nice . . . .

Although an avid Nikon user for some time now - I've recently added some m43 gear to my kit because Nikon came out with a very anemic 1 system. I couldn't wait anymore for a compact, high IQ system with non-dumbed down bodies and a decent lens selection.
The V-2 was a step in the right direction, but it was too little too late as it lacks features that I think should have been there. Plus the lack of anything seriously wide or a fisheye or other fast primes aggravates the situation.

Nikon is playing catch-up to m43 and needs to get serious real fast with high quality glass that's not outrageously costly nor larger than the m43 equivalent.

Part of me wishes they would build something to compete with the Fuji XE-1 offerings.

Same here. I expect there are a lot of Nikon/m43 users out there, simply because Nikon took too long and when the time came, used too small a sensor for today's uses. Sure, one day it may catch up with brighter lenses and dynamic range, but that day is far away.

Seeing as I've more or less given up on Nikon making a competitive small camera, the next thing for them is a DX alternative, along the Fuji/Sony lines, then at least we can sensibly use our lenses on it.

Who knows, maybe one day the 1 system will catch up with m43 in terms of lens choice, it is moving in that direction, yet for now the lenses are too expensive and the bodies too ridiculous.

Direct link | Posted on May 15, 2013 at 00:19 UTC
On article Just Posted: Detailed hands-on Olympus PEN E-P5 preview (315 comments in total)
In reply to:

highwave: Baaaah

This camera is growing on me more and more every time I look at it.

Darn you Olympus, did you have to go and make such a pretty Camera? don't you understand a lot of us need to save money? Even the white version glitters like it's made out of pearls or something. And I'm a guy!

Thank God, they omitted the EVF, else my bank account would be taking a blow.

Yet who knows. Maybe if it drops a lot in the next few months, and my used OM-D doesn't suffer so bad on the used market, I might even go for it. I like the EVF but I think I can live without it.

I know how you feel. Personally, I tried holding the OM-5 and just didn't like it so much. I realise it is fully-featured, fast and capable of great results, but it was the search for an affordable 'digital rangefinder' that lead me to m43 and this seems to fulfill that promise more than any other model. I want a camera that feels good and is fun to use, the same way so many film cameras are.

Right now I have and enjoy using an EPL-2. This update seems to involve the least sacrifices, not only that but it seems
I can use the EVF on both models.

Direct link | Posted on May 13, 2013 at 10:53 UTC
In reply to:

Lee Jay: Still waiting to see my first good street photography image.

Fair enough, but don't forget a large part of appreciating any art form is how you view it.

Direct link | Posted on May 4, 2013 at 00:19 UTC
On article More pictures leak of purported Olympus PEN 'E-P5' (237 comments in total)

If this flash (as seems) is similar to the EPL-2 one, it can be bounced by tilting it with your finger, a huge advantage. I prefer the styling to the EM-5, as I never liked the 'hump', though would much prefer an EVF in the side, like the Nex 6 and 7 have, though as I have some very fine m43 lenses, this is more up my street.

From what I've read, I'm expecting the same 16mp sensor from the EM-5, which is a big step up from the EP-3 but I was hoping for some phase-detect pixels, or a new generation sensor, though I suppose those will come with the EM-6. A big plus is that very nice, tilting LCD and that the EVF is much higher resolution, which can't hurt. Oh and the excellent IBIS, which with focus-peaking, should be very nice for legacy lenses.

All in all, looking like an evolutionary upgrade, which will please a lot of m43 fans with older models.

Direct link | Posted on May 3, 2013 at 06:09 UTC as 63rd comment
On article Just Posted: Nikon D7100 in-depth review (401 comments in total)
In reply to:

Frank C.: still waiting for the D400 review... ummmmm.... camera

Same here, but I am wondering what they can put in to justify the name. This camera seems to get it right when it comes to resolution and IQ and weather-sealing to name just a few points, but not do so well with buffer, ergonomics or video.

For many this will be a dream camera anyway and I have to hand it to Nikon for making a DX camera that really captures the imagination, mainly due to the realisation of 'digital zoom' of such high quality it can realistically extend our lenses. I think looking at the intended limitations and Sigma's release of pro-level APS-C glass, there simply has to be a D400 on the way.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 28, 2013 at 02:47 UTC

An interesting and useful lens, it goes to show that despite the push to full-frame, there is still a lot of life in crop sensors, perhaps even at pro levels. I don't see why the two can't co-exist, as each have their own advantages. Certainly, f/2.8 was never enough to control DOF much on a crop sensor, especially at wider angles. This lens should offer just the kind of subject isolation wedding or event photographers so often need, along with the wide angles that are needed.

The big surprise is that Nikon or Canon never went this route, though I suppose it was hard to engineer and the limited range makes it a bit of a niche product compared to a 24-70mm lens.

Direct link | Posted on Apr 20, 2013 at 00:01 UTC as 24th comment | 5 replies
On Connect post KitCam for iOS now has 'Night Snap' and live histogram (3 comments in total)

I'll be getting this one. Nice set of 'essential' features.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 21, 2013 at 03:48 UTC as 6th comment
On Connect post Confessions of a camera snob (89 comments in total)

A wonderful article. For me, what I enjoy most about shooting with a mobile camera (for me an iPhone 4S), is the mix of very good image quality, instant feedback on a gorgeous screen and perhaps most of all, the set of limitations, whether it be the prime lens or shooting black and white with an app. You are almost forced to be creative as you compose your photos, having no great lens features to fall back on. Then, the almost infinite variety of post-processing at your fingertips gives more creative possibilities. One testament to all of this is that I can clearly remember taking all my mobile photos, whilst on system cameras, I end up taking so many of the same scene there's no one 'photo' to remember.

It makes a great companion to a more capable camera, but it is true that shooting with one is a unique experience. The slowness and beautiful 'viewfinder' give it some of the advantages of a view camera, whilst the instant posting (and feedback) bring something of a Polaroid to the experience. It has moved from being an 'emergency back-up camera' to something much more for me.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 18, 2013 at 01:52 UTC as 21st comment
On Connect post Dblcam app captures both sides of the story (17 comments in total)

Having used it more, there is just one glaring omission- it should use the orientation sensor to make photos the right way up. Having an upside down landscape, (as often happens when you take photos horizontally) isn't much fun.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 14, 2013 at 09:52 UTC as 10th comment
On Connect post Dblcam app captures both sides of the story (17 comments in total)

Hmmm interesting concept.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 12, 2013 at 14:38 UTC as 13th comment

Very nice. I've always wondered why Nikon don't offer a power pack or battery cartridges for their flashes, which leaves you fiddling around getting your batteries in the right way around. Though a bit heavy, a battery pack sounds like the way to go.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 8, 2013 at 23:04 UTC as 15th comment
In reply to:

Mike Cialowicz: Finally! Shame about the price, but at least everything else looks great!

Considering they recommend TCs, the detail you can capture with this should be astounding.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 8, 2013 at 22:17 UTC
In reply to:

ThomasH_always: Well, yea, "shame about the price." I offer $1400. Want more? Nope, not from me, you keep the lens. I am endlessly patient. I will rather take my old 80-200 F/2.8 with extender.

My main problem is birds in flight. I'd like something with much faster AF and also the VR for this. The 5x zoom is attractive, too- with the 2x TC my 80-200 is always long. It's too bad this costs so much for the time being, but at least the IQ should be astounding.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 8, 2013 at 22:16 UTC
In reply to:

falconeyes: I hoped the "editor's opinion" was based on first hand experience but it was not: based on specs only :(

The specs look ok, even for the price. BUT ... the decisive question will be center resolution at the long end, esp. when paired with a TC or used on a D7100. Why did Nikon show 800px web samples for this lens when, at the same time, they showed full size 24MP samples for the new D7100 with a 500/4G? Makes me suspicious ...

The MTF figures offered by Nikon are not detailed enough to judge this. It is certainly an impressive improvement over the older version but that wasn't very useful at the long end anymore.

So, we need a real lens test and full size sample images.

I think this is all because there is so much interest in this lens from Nikon users. The 70-300VR is okay, but soft at the longer end and not offering superlative reach. The original is still on sale after so many years, the only 'affordable' Nikkor reaching up to 400mm. It's interesting (to me) to see all the advances that come with the intervening years... VR2, AF-S, much better optics. It's true we'll only know for sure when more samples come in, but after seeing the design success of the 70-200mm f/4, I am pretty confident the IQ will be high.

It's true though that there isn't much opinion here, but it's early days yet. The opinion is more a commentary on how technologies have evolved, a kind of reflection on the state of digital imaging that there generally isn't time for in the usual news articles.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 7, 2013 at 04:01 UTC
In reply to:

ThomasH_always: Well, yea, "shame about the price." I offer $1400. Want more? Nope, not from me, you keep the lens. I am endlessly patient. I will rather take my old 80-200 F/2.8 with extender.

That's what I'm using, with beautiful results. The VR and fast AF are attractive, but not this price.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 5, 2013 at 14:10 UTC

Attractive lens maybe, but way too expensive for that slow aperture. It seems to be relying on-

A) The increased reach that newer crop cameras/ high MP sensors cropped offer, to give a really long reach (plus it's compatibility with tele-convertors) and

B) The better performance at high ISOs on today's sensors, along with the better VR. Presumably, this will only improve, making brighter lenses less important for capture speed.

... yet other lenses will share these benefits, including brighter ones presumably having better bokeh and faster AF due to letting in more light. It seems to me yet another opening for third parties like Sigma to offer similar ranges at a radically better price-point with only slightly worse optics, though that 'slightly worse' factor may push many to the Nikon.

Direct link | Posted on Mar 5, 2013 at 14:09 UTC as 27th comment
Total: 251, showing: 61 – 80
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