Seiji

Seiji

Lives in United States United States
Works as a Photographer
Has a website at newexposure.webs.com
Joined on Apr 4, 2005
About me:

Current Gear:

Cameras:
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Nikon D3 Wow.

Nikon D1X (Smaller RAW better for workflow, 1/16,000 shutter speed double D2X, low noise at ISO 800 because it's CCD!, 5.7 or 10MP, needs 'Buffer Upgrade' to support more than 2Gb Flash Cards but would mess up battery management which is bad enough -- declined upgrade)
My favorite camera for the skin tones. Hate the primative buttons and controls. Better ISO noise than D2X.

sold Nikon D2X (When enlargements are needed, High speed, Mixed lighting controls)
Fast camera, great ergonomics, hate the big RAW and the ISO noise.

Nikon D2H (3Mb Compressed RAW!, Fast Camera, Great Ergonomics, Good High ISO, Exposure Critical - has little tolerance for under or over exposure even in raw)
Beware of 'First Shutter Lockup', 'Orange Red' color flesh tones, 'Dead Meter', Doesn't like Lexar 133x Professional Memory.

Flash system:
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- Photogenic Studiomax III 320B (3 units)
- Photoflex 45x2 inch and 60 inch convertables
- 60 inch 5-1 reflector and stand
- Mathews Hollywood 25 foot Light Boom (God's gift to lighting! Can position lighting anywhere! Over, under, behind...)
- SB800 (2 units)
- SB50DX (D1X IR SU4 Flash Commander)
- SU-800 (D2X CLS Flash Commander, very cool works around blind corners!)
- SB400 (Basic pocket size flash, gods gift in small room low ceiling portraits. Always bounce it!)
- Custom Nikon AE900 and SK-9 Bracket
- SB-28 cable

Nikkors:

Autofocus Zooms:
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14-24 f2.8 AFS N (Sharp, great colors, too wide for portraits)
17-55 DX f2.8 (highly recommend, second best zoom, sharpness falls off with greater distances. Gets the work done. Use it most for events because of the focal length and filters.)
24-70 f2.8 AFS N (Better than 28-70@f2.8, otherwise almost the same. very smooth rendering.)
70-200VR f2.8 (highly recommend, does everything well)
80-200 f2.8 AF (backup lens)(highly recommend)

Manual Zooms:
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25-50 f4 AiS One of Bjorn R's favorites.
35-105 f3.5-4.5 Macro AiS (Very controversial lens, mines a great one at less than 50ft. Love its portability and very usable IQ. Read R&L Tables for more info about variations)
75-150 f3.5 E-Series AiS First Version (Under evaluatiion, so far mixed feelings. Sort of sharp, mechanically everything slides around too much to make it easy to hold critical focus. Size is nice for when space and weight are at a premium, but optical performance is no substitute for the 80-200 f2.8 AF I really enjoy or even the 70-200 VR. CA problems exist with strong backlighting. May have a boring look to it.)

Autofocus Primes:
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28 f1.4 AFD (highly recommend, great paired with 85 f1.4D)
35 f1.8 DX (sharp wide open)
50 f1.8 AF MIJ (useful, not beautiful, Made In Japan model, not as sharp as the 50 f1.8 Ai. May have a boring look to it.)
85 f1.4 AFD (highly recommend, wow nice lens. colors are pale and low contrast for portrait purpose.)

105 f2.8 Micro VR (hunts in dim lighting, CA issues, VR II is big selling point over slightly better macro lenses, brilliant colors but a little much for people.)

Manual Focus Primes (Great Build, resist plastic lens purchases):
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20 f4 AiS (a little dark, surprizingly sharp, very compact)
28 f2.0 Ai'd (for backup lens to 28 1.4, sharp! 9 elements)
28 f2.0 AiS
28 f2.8 Ai (0.3m, good close up)
28 f2.8 AiS (0.2m, much better than plastic, like 28 f2 a little more)
35 f1.4 AiS (very good, benchmark for sharp stopped down, not for night time street lighting --- too much coma until stopped below f4, great colors.) (2 copies)

35 f2.8 AiS Perspective Control Black Knob (I'll tell you later if there is a big difference.)
80 f2 Ai (nice lens for $180, sharp from f2.8, will pickup small lettering on business cards at 20ft. small size for long hikes. ugly bokeh at f2, stop it down! colors may need a little work -- contrasty. May have a boring look to it.)
85 1.8 Type K (Very nice lens)
105 f1.8 AiS (nice lens, smooth bokeh, fashion lens of the past, contrast is a little low like 85 f1.4 AF-D, need to raise colors levels, very sharp lens!)

105 f2.5 AiS (Second copy in excellent + condition. Every thing you could want from a f2.5 telephoto. Great color, smooth gradations, sharp stopped down to f4. Small size.)

135 f3.5 Ai (a little $70 consumer glass surprize not much bigger than my 50 f1.8 Ai, good little lens. Has CA problems with strong backlighting. May have a boring look to it.)
180 f2.8 AiS (highly recommend, really sharp, beats 70-200 in sharpness and color, set to f4 and it's magic)
300 f2.8 AiS ED-IF Type N (1985 version) (highly recommend, awe striking, sharpest lens ever seen, truly another Golden Eye. Makes me wonder what the VR Nano Crystal Coat version can do.)

The Classic 50's Collection:
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50 f1.8 Ai Mk I 'Big Barrel' (great all around lens, slightly over saturated, combines well with TC14A, a true 5+ lens in sharpness and overall performance. Noted by Nikon as AI Nikkor 50mm f/1.8(1980~) with zero distortion.)
50 f1.4 Ai Type N (Good. I like 50 f1.8 Ai MK I version better for color saturation or 55 f2.8 for sharpness. f1.4 not useable. Becomes very sharp moderately stopped down.)
50 f1.2 Ai (good, but little over rated. f1.2-1.4 not useable.)
50 f1.2 AiS (I'll tell you later if 9 blades makes a difference)
55 f1.2 S Type C 0.6m Ai'd (Cheap backup to NOCT, sharper too, for portraits, love this lens. f1.2-1.4 barely useable.)
55 f1.2 Type K 0.5m Ai'd (Corner Coma problems found on film greatly reduced on 1.5x crop. Sharp lens qualified for Nasa Skylab missions, Good wide open for portaits, stopped down average to poor for landscape or architecture.f1.2-1.4 barely useable.)
55 f2.8 AiS Micro (absolute flatfield used for copy)
58 f1.2 Ai Noct-Nikkor (highly recommend, one of rarest variations, only lens good enough for Quantum and Particle Physics, true Golden Eye experience, I use it at either f1.2 or f2.8. Too sharp like a macro lens at f5.6 and beyond for headshots, you see too many facial hairs and skin pores requiring extensive and careful photoshop to hide skin blemishes.)

Teleconverters:
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TC14A (for 50 f1.8 Ai, 55 f1.2, 105 f1.8 AiS, 180 f2.8 AiS, 300 f2.8 AiS)
TC14EII, TC17EII (for AF an AF-S)
TC16A Autofocus x1.6 (Good autofocus works well but prefocus first--AF only moves 5mm. Lots of fun. Limited autofocus range. Fragile -- got second. Rewired one for D1X and other works as is on D2X. Doesn't work on all DSLRs or autofocus film cams. Doesn't degrade optically much, but more than 1.33 EV loss.)(two because they're made like disposable plastic primes and crack.)

Kenko Extention Tubes (supports VR, AF, and AF-S)

Liked them but sold them:
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35 f2.8 Type K Perspective Control Silver Knob (curious lens, black knob version better)

50 f2 pre Ai (Never got into using it)

105 f2.5 AiS (Found this ugly scratched element copy in a bicycle shop. Gave $50 to the owner, but it sure is a nice lens. I can see why it's a true legend. Not as sharp as my 105 f1.8 AiS, but condition could be problem. Colors are excellent. Maybe among the best.)

28-70 f2.8 AFS (highly recommend, great portrait zoom)
35-70 f2.8 AF-D (great great lens, Nikon's first Professional grade PJ zoom and still among best zooms)
12-24 DX f4 (makes nice 24 f4, over saturated colors, not a people lens -- too much distortion)
14 f2.8 AFD (not bad, sharp, 12-14 f4 maybe better color contrast and equal in sharpness at 14mm, f2.8-3.5 lots of CA, not a smart decision on my part. Metal body and f2.8 only selling point otherwise 12-24 seems more logical.)

Software:
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Nikon Capture, Photoshop CS, Light Artist, Noise Ninja, PT Lens

Registered: Mayhem #403725

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