vineri, 27 decembrie 2013

colors of winter

Where the sun meets the fog there is always some magic to be found. Seen from above, the fog looks like an endless sea. A group of trees appear like a small island lost in this sea. After the fog leaves its delicate mark on everything it touches making the trees look as if they had dressed with lace, the sun comes in and paints warm light onto the frozen scenery.

pictures taken with the nikon D90 body and nikon AF 50 F1.4, nikon AF 18-200, and tokina 11-16 F2.8 lens

joi, 14 noiembrie 2013

santimbru bai - toamna

pozele sunt facute la santimbru bai intr-un weekend calduros de toamna. locatia relativ izolata mi-a permis sa vad calea lactee cu ochiul liber si deci sa o pot incadra pt. a o fotografia. fotografia cu calea lactee a fost realizata inainte sa rasara luna. odata luna rasarita calea lactee nu mai e vizibila cu ochiul liber.
pozele au fost realizate cu nikon D90 si cu obiectivele tokina 11-16 f2.8 si nikon 18-200.

aici puteti vedea cateva poze mai vechi de la santimbru bai.

luni, 30 septembrie 2013

dunarea la cazane

tokina 11-16 @ 16mm f2,8
cateva poze facute in august 2013 in zona cazanelor la Dunare langa Orsova. o zona frumoasa cu peisaje spectaculoase. caldura mare si umezeala te fac sa fi recunoscator pentru inventia ce se numeste aer conditionat.

 zona defileului se poate parcurge cu masina cam in 30 de minute. pentru cei ce vor sa mearga pe jos nu prea e nimic amenajat. drumul e destul de ingust cu masini care trec mai tot timpul. daca adaugam la asta si caldura, atunci parcurgerea pe jos nu prea e o optiune. potecile amenajate pentru mici excursii cred ca sunt mai bine de parcurs primavara sau toamna cand praful si caldura nu sunt chiar asa dezarmante.

 peste tot au rasarit pensiuni. in multe locuri sunt santiere. pensiunile nu par a fi construite dupa un plan de dezvoltare durabila. majoritatea sunt construite in spatiul ingust dintre drum si apa. posibilitatile de parcare sunt limitate astfel ca multe masini ingreuneaza circulatia pe drumul si asa destul de ingust. fiecare pensiune are ponton propriu pentru relaxare, pescuit, imbarcare, debarcare si pentru acces la apa pentru cei care vor sa se scalde. singura problema ar fi  in momentul in care caldura te face sa vrei sa te avanti in apa. ca regula pe o parte a pontonului e scarita pe care poti intra in apa iar pe cealalta parte este gura scurgerii de la canalizarea pensiunii. acest lucru se face simtit si olfactiv atunci cand stai pe ponton si admiri peisajul. Acest detaliu ne-a facut sa renuntam la scaldat si sa ne delectam doar cu dusul din camera unde eram cazati. proprietarul pensiunii chiar ne-a inrebat la un moment destul de contrariat de ce nu ne scaldam. 'apa e asa calda si buna' dupa cum spunea el. probabil ca s-a gandit ca noi astia mai de la munte nu stim sa inotam.

cine doreste poate vizita cazanele cu barca. exista barci mai lente si barci mai rapide. cu cele rapide vizitarea cazanelor se termina destul de repede. avantajul insa este ca te sufla un vant binevenit avand in vedere temperaturile crescute. pe cele mai lente ai mai mult timp la dispozitie sa admiri peisajul si sa faci poze insa trebuie sa suporti si caldura accentuata si de vestele de salvare care trebuie purtate in mod obligatoriu.

trei nitr-o barca. nu cunosc exact circumstantele in care fortele din barca din imaginea alaturata au fost astfel distribuite, dar ma gandesc ca doamna intelegatoare si cu suflet larg s-a gandit sa vasleasca ea singura astfel incat sa-i poata lasa pe cei doi sa-si imparta vederile filozofice asupra lumii.
sau poate cei doi au indemnat-o sa faca miscare pentru a-si pastra forma fizica. cine stie...

joi, 6 iunie 2013

nikon AF-S nikkor 18-200 mm review

so here is a short review of the 18-200 lens from Nikon.

I bought this lens after reading a good review about it. Previously I had the nikon 18-105 lens which I had bought as a kit lens for the nikon D90 body. When I saw the good review I thought it might be a good idea to switch to a wider range zoom lens which - as the review said - was better than the 18-105 lens. So I sold my 18-105 lens and bought this 18-200 one.

I have to say that it is a pretty good lens. It is compact for such a big zoom range and optically it is decent. It is actually good if you think about the compromises which go into creating such a big range zoom. It feels pretty solid and has a metal mount. One of the reasons I didn't like the 18-105 was its plastic mount.

At 18mm wide open the corners tend to get quite fuzzy. At f5.6 they become good and at f8 they are quite sharp. at 18mm I usually shoot landscape, so I don't really need the f3,5 setting. Well I used it once and wasn't very happy with the result. I had to crop the edges of the picture to make i usable. the 18-105 didn't have this problem. at 18mm f3,5 the corners were quite good.

Image stabilization or VR as nikon calls it is pretty good. On this lens it is actually the VRII. It helps you get away without a tripod when taking pictures in low light. Again the VR is actually useful only when shooting static things. When shooting portraits in low light it cannot compensate for a moving subject. I was pretty happy with the VR of the 18-105 lens and couldn't notice any big difference between it and the VRII of the 18-200 lens. But I never took the time to thoroughly test this feature. Here are some handheld pictures taken in low light with the 18-200 lens.

Is the 200mm end of this lens really a 200mm focal length?  Well, I also own the 180mm f2,8 nikon lens, and while taking pictures of a bird one day I noticed that the 180mm lens brought the subject closer to the camera than did the 200mm end of the 18-200. I didn't have any explanation for this at the time and was a little disappointed. In the meantime I made some tests, did some research and found the answer.
The focal distance of a lens is measured at infinity.
Underneath you can see a comparison. the images are not cropped and are taken with a tripod from the same place (except the last one). As you can see in the first two samples the 180mm lens frames the view slightly wider. This means that the 200mm end of the 18-200 lens is somewhere around 200.

nikon 180 f2,8

nikon 18-200 @ 200

The next two images are taken from the minimum focusing distance of the 180mm lens which is somewhere around 1,8 meters. As you can see the 18-200 one frames the subject wider. In fact it looks like it has a focal length of around 110mm. What happens is that on the 180 prime lens, when focusing on a close subject the front lens gets pushed out, making the barrel of the lens longer. On the other side, the 18-200 has IF (internal focusing). This means that the barrel of the lens remains the same length while focusing and when focusing on a close subject an inner group of lens gets pulled back relative to the front lens. This has the effect of reducing the focal length when focusing on subjects close to the camera.

nikon 180 f2,8 min focus distance

nikon 18-200 @ 200 2m focus distance

This feature of the 18-200 IF lets you get very close to the subject even at 200mm. You can see this in the picture below ,which is taken at the minimal focusing distance of the 18-200 lens at 200. So some people say that they don't mind taking a few steps toward the subject to frame it closer. And this is true as long as you take pictures of flowers for example. But if you're out taking pictures of birds or butterflies you would probably want to bring them close to the camera without having to get closer to them and scaring them off.

nikon 18-200 @ 200 min focus distance
As a conclusion I would say that this is a great all around lens with a compact size and with good performance in low light due to its VR system. It has decent optical performance, but don't compare it to prime lens. It is a good lens when you want to travel light and don't want to keep changing between wide and telephoto lens.

Here and here are some more pictures taken with this lens.