Nikons message: “I AM back!”

Even more noticable than the announcement of the new Z lens 14-30/4 is Nikons move to add three important features to the Z cameras via a firmware update:

  • Eye-Autofocus
  • RAW video
  • Support for the new CFexpress cards (doubling the potential speed)

This sends a clear message to potential customers: Nikon is willing to improve the Z line fast. Gone are the days where Nikon was very sloooow to react to customers – at least I hope so.

Sigma confirms Autofocus issues

Sigma UK has confirmed autofocus issues with some recently produced telezoom lenses. Possibly affected are the following lenses:

  • APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM, serial numbers between 10633051 and 10972000
  • APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM, serial numbers between 10574001 and 10972000
  • APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM, serial numbers between 10674301 and 10972000

Read more at the site dedicated to the problem – click here.

Andy Rouse is glad about the D3

Andy Rouse, professional wildlife photographer and a winner in the Shell/BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards both this year and in years past and photographer on Animal Planet and a Canon Shooter has the following to say about the Nikon D3:

“I have been testing the D3 all week and in my opinion it is far better than any of the Canons, and this is from a dedicated Canon pro. The high ISO performance is better IMHO than the 1D MK3, so is the autofocus. The images also have a much better dynamic range, one look at the histograms compared to the 1DS MK3 show that. I have been shooting both cameras alongside each other and I have given up the MK3 as it is too slow to do much.”

Read also his complete D3 review!

Brad Hill: Nikon D3 and the Nature Photographer

Nature photografpher Brad Hill has posted his first day in field test about the D3. Most interesting for me are his findings about the autofocus and how the D3 helped him to get more keepers on moving objects. Some short excerpts:

About high ISO: “Shocking. Revolutionary. Time to re-think how you shoot. ”

About autofocus: “BOTH autofocus options produced better results than my D2X did, with the 51-point option being DRAMATICALLY better”

D300 autofocus

As the Nikon D300 has been in the hand of users for a short time the first reports show up about the new autofocus features of the cam. To sum it up: the features are useful but expect no miracles (isn’t it like that all the time?). Some interesting comments:

Coming from a D2Xs, it appears that the D300 focuses faster and more precisely, acquiring lock instantly (500 AFSII and TC14EII this morning).

The two areas I’m still seeing difficulties (this is from a bird shooter):

A) Acquiring lock when the subject is flying low to the water. The camera still prefers the water from this mornings tests. Even when shooting more than just single area, you can watch the AF points stay with the surface of the water, even when an initial solid subject lock is obtained.

B) Subject flying against busy backgrounds: AF still prefers the background unless you’re shooting single focus point and can keep it dead nuts on the subject….even when using lock on.

For my type of shooting, I didn’t find that 3D tracking worked any better at all.”

(Visit thread at NikonCafe)


In the air a single bird (in my case a gul and white trumpeter swan) worked Ok in 51 Pt 3d mode as long as the bird was flying straight, however, once in a while it would focus on a wingtip or something instead of the body or head.

On erratic subjects the 3d Tracking would jump to and from the bird and then grab the water

NOW, all of these birds were white or grey and I was shooting against grey skies, most shutter speeds were 1/50th to 1/100 even at ISO 400/800. Very very dark morning.

Much Much easier lock in with my 200-400 against a grey sky with low contrast birds than my D2Xs or D200. It really is much better at acquiring focus in dark conditions, and the lock in is fast, little hunting with my 200-400 lens.

With a flock of snow geese, the 51 point 3d looked like it was going spastic! lol It was jumping from bird to bird to bird, with different birds in different shots in focus.”

(Visit thread at NikonCafe)

and a thread about fine tuning AutoFocus:

“Simply stated, it works wonders”

(Visit thread at NikonCafe)