News and Views from Dave Wilson

Tag: lens

Some Useless Photo Stats for 2010

by on Dec.31, 2010, under Photography

Jacob Lucas published a year end (or, really, year start) post recently which included some statistics on his photo catalog from 2010 so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at mine and see what’s happened this year.

During 2010, my Lightroom catalog grew to a total of 36,945 images, up 10,666 from the final tally in 2009. Of this year’s additions, I took 10,335 myself, the remainder being photos from other family members or friends (images for HDR Tennis, for example).

Of these photos, the camera breakdown is as follows:

Cameras used in 2010

I bought the D700 in spring and used it almost exclusively when I was shooting with a single camera. The D90 numbers represent images shot early in the year and on the small number of occasions that I was shooting with two bodies – covering a barrel racing competition and during one of my Longhorn Band shoots.

Looking at my lens use with the DSLRs, here’s the breakdown:

Lenses used in 2010

I included the Nikon 200-400mm just to make people think I had bought a really expensive new toy but, in actual fact, I shot 3 frames with it at a Precision Camera get together when Robert, one of their sales guys, had one and let me play with it. Super-expensive loaners aside, it looks as if I’m using my 3 Nikon professional zooms pretty evenly. The 24-70mm is my workhorse and the lens that pretty much lives on the D700 so it doesn’t surprise me that I took about twice as many pictures with it as with any other lens. I am somewhat surprised at the number I shot with the 14-24mm though and it’s pretty evident that I fell down on my macro photography this year since the Tamron 90mm saw very little action. Since buying the 24-70mm, I’ve hardly had the 35mm f/2.0 on the camera though I’ll likely hang on to it as a good standard lens for the crop sensor D90. The only lens in the collection that I’ve not used at all since February is the D90’s kit 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6. It’s a VR lens and covers a great range but I’m now horribly spoiled by the sharpness and speed of the other zooms. If anyone is interested in this lens, drop me a line and I bet we could do a deal.

This will be my last post on the blog for 2010 so I hop everyone had a great year and I wish you all health, happiness and loads of nice sharp pictures in 2011!

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Lens Review Web Sites

by on Dec.11, 2010, under Photography

If you are in the market for a new lens, the web is a fabulous place to do your research. I’ve long been a fan of the lens reviews at DPReview. They are detailed, technical and extremely helpful for the analytical types out there who really want all the data on sharpness at all possible apertures and zoom settings. Their graphical displays are superb but figuring them out initially can be rather daunting and, unless you are a real techie, the information they provide may not mean a whole lot to you. Aside from the technical nature of the data (which I consider a major plus), the one real downside to the DPReview lens review site is that they only cover a fairly small number of the available lenses out there (currently 66 by my count) and I frequently find that they have no data on lenses I am trying to compare.

This week, however, a new site offering a similar service appeared. LensHero offers a simpler-to-use alternative and already boasts data on 639 lenses covering all the major camera and third party lens manufacturers. The user interface is very clean and easy to use and the data provided, although a lot less detailed than the DPReview results, is easy to understand and allows straightforward side-by-side comparison of the different lenses.

The site allows you to query lenses based on your answers to a series of questions – Which camera do you use? What is your budget? What kind of lens are you looking for – wide angle, telephoto? What kind of photography do you want to do – sport, portraiture, landscape, etc?

Overall, the experience of using LensHero is a lot less daunting than many other review sites which assume you understand (and are even interested in) the technicalities. For the beginner photographer, the site offers a great way to compare lenses they may be interested in adding to their gear collection and for the seasoned professional or serious amateur, the breadth of reviews makes this a great place to start when shopping for new glass. Take a look and see what you think.

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