Well, November is here now for sure! Hard to believe sometimes how quickly the year seems to zip past...
In this blog post I'll be talking about a couple of new items, and some recent activities, and a little bit of what's on the horizon, so lets start:
'Selling & Buying'
In the last several weeks I've changed a couple of bits of my equipment. Before buying anything though, I made sure to sell the items that were being replaced etc where possible! Having been an eBay user for quite a few years I like to use the market there for selling things (and occasionally in the past buying too). I decided to list one of my older, but most regularly used, lenses as I have been keen to update it for a while now. The old lens, one of my wide-angle zooms, has been very good for me since I got it a couple of years back. Consistently good quality, robust, and lightweight as a bonus, it has spent a lot of time attached to my camera. I swayed over which lens to replace it with for a long time, looking at the options from Nikon (and others) and decided to go with the Nikon AF-S 18-35mm - which is the updated newer version of my original lens. I looked at the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm and also the Nikon AF-S 16-35mm VR. Both of these lenses are very high quality 'pro' lenses - the 14-24mm is known as one of the finest wide-angle lenses ever made in fact, but they come with their own trade-offs. Specifically; weight for both of them; and for the 14-24mm the inability to use it with my currently owned filter system (due to the size and shape of the front lens element); thirdly cost was also a factor. I could have purchased either of these two lenses, but having seen the results from, and read reviews of the AFS 18-35mm I thought the saving in cost was justified and could be used elsewhere whist still getting a great performing lens that covers all the bases I need. This was made all the more attainable as I was able to get the new lens at a really great price using a dealer new to me. So far I've only used it briefly, but it has great feel and the results have been excellent - can't wait get out there and get it working properly!
Whilst I sold an older lens and a couple of other items to get the lens mentioned above, the other new addition has been on my shopping list for sometime....
The Nikon PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED Tilt-Shift Lens!
Finally, I was able to get this amazing and extremely high-quality lens for myself, and I'm delighted that I'm going to be able to produce images for clients using this great lens.
The Nikon PC-E 24mm lens is an ultra-wide lens with special "Perspective Control" tilt and shift functions, making it ideal for architectural and nature photography. Using tilt and shift correction will help obtain a natural-looking perspective by eliminating distortion such as keystoning that can appear in architectural images. It features ±8.5° of tilt along with ±11.5mm of shift, and each can be used either by itself or in combination with the other. Having used the lens already, a few times, I find myself getting the hang of the tricky aspects of setting up shots and using this lens to it full potential. Being a Manual Focus lens only means that much greater care and attention has to be made when setting up for shots which this lens, not to mention the careful setting of the tilt/shift adjustments. It is a brilliantly sharp and very high-quality lens though and used right it is going to give me many, many great shots I'm sure.
The other new addition(s) are some new filters which can fit several of my lenses:
A new square filter holder and filter set from Formatt Hitech in the UK. I've been after these for a while now, and am pleased to add this Neutral Density Soft Graduated set of filters and the holder to my camera bag. The quality and clarity of the Formatt Hitech range of filters in excellent, and I'm excited to be adding these to the screw-in filters I already have from their Firecrest range.
That's all the new additions at present, but there are a couple of other things appearing on the horizon now, so more to follow in a bit!
I've been out a couple of times recently for hikes in the countryside, and most recently, my wife and I were at Glen Clova in Kirriemuir (around an hour or so south of Aberdeen). We thought to do a relatively short walk up the side of the Glen to Loch Brandy which sits above Glen Clova in a 'corrie' and take in the views of the Glen and the Loch above. The weather however, had a slightly different plan, and although not too bad it was a bit wet & windy (and wet!) at certain points on the climb and descent. The views being obscured somewhat by low cloud and rain. Nevertheless we persevered up the slopes, and in between rain-showers I pulled me camera out a couple of times to set-up shots in the hope of getting the light I wanted with the ever changing cloud.
Despite the cloud and rain, the climb was enjoyable, and the descent was made all the more fun with the thought of getting a seat and something extra-yummy to eat in the cosy Glen Clova Hotel bar at the base of the trail !!
Hopefully there will be more walks we can go on soon, when weather and schedules allow!
Thanks for reading!