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: 258, showing: 81 – 100
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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.

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.

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.

Link | Posted on Mar 5, 2013 at 14:09 UTC as 27th comment
In reply to:

Retzius: Thanks Nikon. Some DX primes would be nice though...

Ooh I think an affordable, bright 16mm, 18mm, 24mm would be great news. The newer FX wide primes are very expensive, DX ones could probably be a lot more affordable, as long as the mount can make use of them (some say small, wide primes are hard to make for DX).

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2013 at 12:09 UTC
In reply to:

G Davidson: Wow finally a real update to my D300! I have waited a long time or this and the specifications sound excellent. I can only hope it is indeed a new sensor, improving on the (already good?) one in the D5100. Very happy to hear this news. Semi-pro DX is here to stay.

I have to admit, looking at it more carefully, it is indeed not a true successor. I was a little taken in by the claims of D300 similarities in the press releases. Yet issues of build and buffer depth come up and the fps fall short. However, my main concern with other 'affordable' Nikons like the D600/D7000 are more about their AF abilities. If this has a next-generation sensor in terms of output and the AF is better than the D300, it may well be enough of an upgrade for me... As someone happy with the 6-7fps and the AF coverage.

It may be a good way to stay in the DX game and then (maybe) get into FX in another generation.

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2013 at 12:05 UTC
On article Just Posted: Nikon D7100 Hands-On Preview (311 comments in total)
In reply to:

Parry Johnson: Hmmm... no D400? Perhaps it's the "unlucky #4" Japanese namesake, but I think this is a case where Nikon wants to sell a bunch of prosumer bodies before coming out with the "real" flagship DX camera. In the meantime, my D300/S just took another $50 to $100 dive in the used market.

From everything Nikon are saying, they are leaving open the possibility of a D400. I suppose their final decision may rest on how well FX sells, but of course some will have a foot in both camps.

I take their assessment of this as middle-class DX as being serious and expect a D400 to come. Only the D4/ D300S are currently really suited for sports... But I suppose a D800S could equally be the fix.

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:37 UTC

Wow finally a real update to my D300! I have waited a long time or this and the specifications sound excellent. I can only hope it is indeed a new sensor, improving on the (already good?) one in the D5100. Very happy to hear this news. Semi-pro DX is here to stay.

Link | Posted on Feb 21, 2013 at 05:50 UTC as 70th comment | 5 replies
In reply to:

G Davidson: Very technical, but hope they soon allow 30fps. Seeing the difference, motion's a lot smoother and people can always limit it to 24/25fps if they want. Sounds like processing this amount of data is difficult, so it may be a while before they offer a 'true' 8k model. Which makes me wonder- isn't high resolution film still a better archival format? Sorry to be inane, but when something is touted as the best thing since sliced bread, sometimes it's good to point out it's limitations.

Excellent point, in this sense for most people digital is safer, especially if you can do multiple back-ups. I do wonder for feature film makers, though, if formats like this will stand the test of time as well as conventional film, especially the 70mm variety. Digital is often presented as state of the art and as if it is the only available technology. Film at it's best still has a lot of advantages and I'm not sure I like the glossy, plasticy look of digital for conveying atmosphere, though of course it can have filters applied a la Instagram.

It's a little sad for me that despite all the fuss, digital is still a work in progress, without the maturity film has achieved through years of evolution. An 8k scan of an old 70mm film would offer so much more detail and subtlty than this, but given the choice of convenience, who would bother?

Link | Posted on Feb 12, 2013 at 02:45 UTC

Very technical, but hope they soon allow 30fps. Seeing the difference, motion's a lot smoother and people can always limit it to 24/25fps if they want. Sounds like processing this amount of data is difficult, so it may be a while before they offer a 'true' 8k model. Which makes me wonder- isn't high resolution film still a better archival format? Sorry to be inane, but when something is touted as the best thing since sliced bread, sometimes it's good to point out it's limitations.

Link | Posted on Feb 12, 2013 at 01:02 UTC as 11th comment | 5 replies
On article Nikon D5200 added to our studio comparison database (186 comments in total)
In reply to:

Anfy: A pity the camera has not a built-in motor for AF and AF-D lenses, it would have been the perfect choice for me.

I couldn't agree more. What is this obsession Canon and Nikon have with only making large DSLRs fully-featured? It's one reason why mirrorless is growing, people want small, well-featured cameras, not just oversized ones. Well, I know I do!

Link | Posted on Feb 10, 2013 at 12:45 UTC

Lighten up people! It's about the response (or lack of response) to a mobile phone taking photos, which can lead to a far more natural result. Posed photos may be technically good, but if they fail to capture the feeling of the moment, what's the point.

It's something like the observer effect in an experiment, when the observer changes what is observed. Mobiles simply have a lighter and less intimidating effect. Couple that with the near-ubiquity of DSLRs these days and you can see why pros are trying something different. And yes, the iPhone is a 'good camera', as I am sure other mobiles these days are. The softwear is a big part of this, no doubt about it, but wasn't how film got developed relevant, too?

Link | Posted on Feb 9, 2013 at 05:28 UTC as 41st comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

(unknown member): I like the idea of EM5 5-axis IBIS and f1.2 (with the DOF of f2.4 on FF). That means you can slow the shutter, keep ISO down, and still get enough stuff in focus. Lots of creative possibilities!

I'm sorry but you wouldn't have a faster shutter speed, as you'd probaby be using a slower high ISO than you could (cleanly) get on a larger sensor. The advantage is size and especially having a less conspicuous camera. When you are travelling this is a big deal. Who actually travels with 85mm full-frame lenses?

Link | Posted on Feb 2, 2013 at 22:03 UTC
In reply to:

tkbslc: 85mm equivalent f1.2. Not too shabby at all. (I'm not sure why people are having a hard time with the 42.5x2 math.)

150mm f2.8 could be a killer sports lens if the focus can keep up. Not sure who else really needs a lens that long and fast (and probably expensive).

The reason that people are only really interested in the depth of field equivalence, is this is why you'd want a fast portrait lens in the first place. In terms of getting more light, this is balanced out through the noise level and ISO performance being better with a larger sensor (of the same generation). I'm not even sure this would get more light, as the smaller opening might actually let in less at a time.

So it's advantage is mostly within the m4/3 framework, where it may be one of the best for portraits with autofocus. Also, m4/3 lenses are generally fine to use wide-open, whilst full-frame ones benefit from closing down a stop or two, so you get some advantage there.

All that said, I think if people are going to say the equivalent angle of view, they may as well convert the DOF as well, as that way people better know what they are buying.

Link | Posted on Feb 2, 2013 at 10:40 UTC
On article CP+ 2013: Interview with Canon's Masaya Maeda (490 comments in total)
In reply to:

MikeFairbanks: I've been involved in photography now since 2007, all digital. I take better pictures than someone new at it, but am a long way from being consistent in a variety of lighting situations. I am an intermediate.

As an amateur who shoots almost daily, I quit using point and shoots and video cameras. Done. I use my Iphone 4s for snapshots/video, and for quality I use a Nikon D7000. (I had some Rebels, which are just as good, but I happened to get a great deal on a Nikon).

My opinion is that manufacturers should focus on two things:

* Shift from APS-C to FF models at various price points/features.
* Smart phone cameras.

Everything else, to me, is a no-go. I won't buy them. I tried them (4/3, etc. Mirrorless), but it's too much of a compromise. I want a quality DSLR and a quality smart phone. I won't walk around with a P&S in one pocket and a phone in the other. The P&S days are numbered, and a mirrorless with a large sensor can't fit in pockets.

FF DSLR + Phone = Future

I think that's going to far, as the majority of uses will be better served with an advanced Bridge camera or CSC. The reason there is no future need for APS-C DSLRs is simple- a sensor like the D800's lets you have all the resolution you want need with crop lenses. Future iterations at 50MP+ will offer even more. Then only the body size is the issue, so you could shrink it and offer grips for larger lenses, like the EM-5.

Link | Posted on Feb 2, 2013 at 00:08 UTC

An excellent article and I think it's telling that such engaging writing and futurism is more to be found In the realm of mobile photography than in it's more traditional cousin.

I too am an Apple fan so share the same longing for their wondeful interfaces in a camera. The smart camera is coming, it can't be stopped and I do hope it does away with the clunky interfaces we are faced with now.

Just a usable, controllable HDR mode would be enough for me, though. The iPhone apps do this better than any camera I've used so I expect given the processing power and softwear, large sensor cameras could be even better.

Link | Posted on Jan 31, 2013 at 23:22 UTC as 18th comment | 1 reply

If this can do better than the not-so-well reviewed Olympus one, whilst being a lot lighter than the Panasonic offering, it could be a very nice choice for a travel ser-up.

Link | Posted on Jan 30, 2013 at 14:05 UTC as 11th comment

Looking more at the P520 on Nikon's site, this seems to be a surprisingly minimal update. Same shooting speed, EVF, lens, only questions remain about whether the sensor, AF and VR are really better, as the P510 has a lot of trouble autofocusing at longer lengths and is very smudged above base ISO. The battery life was already pretty bad and now worse, but at least they include a charger now!

Yet, leaving aside the lack of raw or a hotshoe, which I really find hard to fathom, if it really is a better photo-taking machine, the update will be worthy.

Link | Posted on Jan 29, 2013 at 14:36 UTC as 6th comment

So what's really new for the P5200? Higher resolution sensor, but does it have better high (or even medium) ISO? Better VR? I was hoping especially for better AF and a Raw mode, but no word about those. As for the lens, it's long enough for me, but maybe a hard sell when the competition is offering 1200mm.

Link | Posted on Jan 29, 2013 at 06:40 UTC as 11th comment
Total: 258, showing: 81 – 100
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