My reaction to holding the Nikon 500 F/5.6 PF for the first time was basically the same one I had with its little brother, the 300 F/4 PF. The lens seems impossibly small and light for what it is – a 500mm full-frame super telephoto no bigger than a 70-200mm F/2.8.
While the lens doesn’t offer anything remarkably new in terms of focal length or maximum aperture, it does offer a high magnification, professional-grade, full frame super telephoto lens with a reasonably bright aperture of F/5.6 in an impressively small form-factor. As someone who likes to hike out in the wilderness to find subjects, I was immediately intrigued and saw the potential in this lens.
The first reaction I had when handling the S1 and S1R for the first time at a local camera event earlier this year was “wow, these cameras are large and heavy”. The S1 and S1R are a hair smaller than my Nikon D850 dimensionally, but also over 200 grams heavier. The Panasonic S cameras are therefore considerably larger than most other full frame mirrorless cameras, and the system’s lenses are, in general, as heavy or heavier than comparable DSLR lenses. This didn’t stop me from wanting to try one.
Choosing what gear to bring with you to any new destination is a daunting process. If you are like me, you’ve spent your time pouring through forums trying to glean information about what types of camera gear to bring. In preparation for my trip to the forests and rainforests of Madagascar, I opted to bring a lot of gear to cover many bases (a lot of which, unsurprisingly, I did not use that much). In retrospect, I would have downsized my kit. For this trip, I had with me the following:
I remember the days – I’d take a few blurry shots here, a few underexposed shots there, and find the occasional decently exposed and in focus shot somewhere amidst all the not so good ones. I’d take a bunch of photos, and wonder why they didn’t look good – but I never dug deeper to find out why.
Oxbow Photo is proud to announce one of our photos (B.Vogt: Brown Pelican) was selected for the National Audubon Society, San Francisco Bay Chapter’s Annual Calendar.
If you are a lover of the outdoors and nature, consider supporting your local Audubon Society chapter or the National Audubon Society through donations, become a member, or purchase this calendar. A recent study has shown bird populations in North America have plummeted to all-time recorded lows, and are in desperate need of our help. All proceeds from the calendar support Golden Gate Audubon Society’s programs. The Audubon Society works to protect, restore, and enhance habitat for the benefit of both birds, but also for other wildlife and humanity. Audubon provides funding and manages programs for scientific research, advocacy, and on-the-ground conservation actions.
Finding a perfect camera bag sometimes seems like an exercise in futility. I’ve owned and also tried out tons of bags over the years, and very few seem to check all the boxes. For hiking and photography, I’ve always been on the lookout for a bag that strikes the balance between durability, weight, and functionality. As a traveling photographer, I’m often going to wet, humid, sandy, snowy or dusty environments where having a durable bag is a great asset to protect sensitive electronics and keep stuff dry.
In the past year, the world has witnessed a steady stream of full-frame mirrorless camera releases. We’ve got a full suite of Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras (with more, including the A7R IV on the way), and newcomers including the Nikon Z, Canon R, and Panasonic S series. I can imagine someone interested in purchasing a serious camera for the first time would naturally gravitate towards these full frame models, if for no other reason than these cameras are getting the lions share of marketing attention. A bigger sensor must be better, right?