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Posts Tagged ‘Golden Gate Park

More Nikon V1 Impressions

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Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 | 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Sunday was such a beautiful day in the city. The weather was perfect, and as is typical in the winter time on days like this, the light seems to have a crisp, dramatic look all day long. A walk in the park was a must.

I keep forgetting how large Golden Gate Park is. We started at the south-east corner and trekked our way to Spreckels lake, which is a little less than 3/4 of the way to the west entrance that intersects Ocean Beach. The entire journey took us between three and four hours, covering around five miles. We loved every minute of it, and Suki,  who unlike her human companions could have easily walked the length of this park a dozen times over,  was especially happy.


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 10mm | 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Spread out among the large, open recreational spaces are dense areas of trees and local plant life. Small gardens, large groves, tons of areas to explore. Places where light takes on even more drama, where your image data gets slammed into either end of the histogram. Places where you wrangle your camera’s EV dial and white balance settings. I love these places.


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm | 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 180


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 10mm | 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 18mm | 1/60 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm | 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 24mm | 1/80 sec, f/5, ISO 200


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm | 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 360


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 10mm | 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 11mm | 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100

I love working with the RAW files from the V1 because the experience is so familiar to me as a Nikon shooter. Every manufacturer has its own look, its own way of handling colors, and the V1’s files are decidedly Nikon. Therefore, much of my work flow in handling the V1’s output is nearly identical to how I process my D700 files. Awesome!

The ability to easily carry an entire system on a trek this long is one of my favorite things about the V1. I had a camera body, flash unit, and three lenses covering a 27-297mm equivalent range in my bag with room to spare, and I could barely feel the weight on my shoulder the entire time. I couldn’t possibly carry that range with my DSLR system without destroying my back. When I do head out with the D700, I usually select only one lens to bring along in order to keep weight and bulk to a minimum. No compromise in that regard with the V1. Take it all!


Nikon V1 +  1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 10mm |  1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

Running into other Shibas is always a treat, more so for us than for Suki, who was only mildly interested in this five month old puppy.


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm | 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

As the sun continued to fall, beams of light became more and more visible in areas with densely packed trees. Right after I took the shot above I thought, “there’s something missing in this frame….”


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 at 30mm | 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100

Ah yes, a Shiba Inu. =)


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor 10mm f/2.8 | 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

With the lenses currently available for the 1 system,  you won’t be throwing backgrounds way out of focus, though getting in close with the 10mm pancake can deliver some pleasing results.  Nikon is said to be releasing some fast primes for the format soon. I want them yesterday!


Nikon V1 + 1 Nikkor  10mm f/2.8 | 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 100


Nikon V1 + 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 at 110mm | 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 140

Lens changing is pleasantly fast with the 1. Large, easy to see lens markings line up at a 12 o’clock position at the mount, and the rotation required to lock the lens into place is much shorter than I expected. Going from a wide shot of the lake with the 10mm and quickly changing to the 30-110mm for a close up of the duck felt just like switching things up with my F-mount system, only on a much smaller scale.


Nikon V1 + 1 NIKKOR VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 at 110mm | 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100

Small cameras have come a long way. Using the V1 system lately has made me realize that for a lot of what I shoot, a DSLR can often be too much camera than I actually need or am willing to carry. These smaller systems will only get better and better, and I personally am much more excited about the future of cameras like the V1 than I am about what’s next in the DSLR realm.

Written by Jonathan

December 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Return of the Suki

with 23 comments

I am happy to report that Suki has completely recovered from her recent illness.  A long stroll in Golden Gate Park ensued, with no itching and scratching I might add:


Fuji X100 (all images)


Fuji X100 | 1/25 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

I am Suki the Shiba Inu, and I am way too cool for the cone of shame.

Written by Jonathan

July 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/5.6 ISO500 1/8 Second

Every Thursday night from 6:00pm – 10:00pm, the California Academy of Sciences museum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, opens its exhibits to the 21+ crowd. The event is called “Nightlife” and includes live DJ music, cocktails, and food. I decided that Nightlife was the way for us to experience the Academy of sciences for the first time since its recent renovation. So Bridget bought a couple tickets and we met at the museum after work. This was a few weeks ago by the way. I haven’t had a chance to post any images from that evening until now.

The dark venue had me thinking about how awesome it would be to have a highly sensitive full-frame sensor, but the D300s was up to the task. This was also a great opportunity to test the practical use of the reworked version of my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 with Vibration Control (VC).

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/2.8 ISO640 1/8 Second

The new building for the Academy of Sciences features tons of open space in its interior. This huge courtyard was a nice place to hang out and people-watch as we ate dessert and enjoyed some drinks.

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/11 ISO200 1/60 Second

The images above and below were taken inside the Academy’s huge, four-story rainforest exhibit, contained in a massive glass dome. As soon as we stepped into the sealed enclosure, both my glasses and camera lens fogged up heavily. The temperature and humidity are both very high inside the dome to simulate a rainforest climate. In the above image, you can see a fog-like haze in the upper left of the frame from the misting system that keeps the dome’s humidity at a sweat-inducing, lens-fogging 75%. This climate, combined with an enormous amount of light pouring in from dozens of skylights and large metal halide lamps, makes a perfect environment for the growth of many kinds of tropical plants from around the world. There were hundreds of animals in the dome as well, from amphibians to reptiles, bats, birds, and butterflies, to name a few.

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/11 ISO200 1/15 Second

I liked how these spiraling pathways (above) don’t just wrap around the edges of the dome but take you through the center as well. Can you see fish swimming in the water below the platform? That body of water is actually an aquarium that you can view from below, one floor beneath the dome. It’s called the “Flooded Forest” :

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8

Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/5.6 ISO200 1/13 Second

There were some massive tropical fish in the aquarium….like scary-large. One thing that I definitely kicked myself about all night: I should have brought my ultra-wide Tokina 11-16mm in addition to the Tamron. Using it would have helped me take in more of the modern, interesting architecture inside the building. There’s always next time!

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 19mm f/5.6 ISO200 1/8 Second

Bridget wanted to take pictures that evening as well, so I equipped her with the Lumix Lx3, which she had a lot of fun with:

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/4 ISO1100 1/8 Second

The following two shots are courtesy of Bridget with the Lx3 set to High Dynamic, a new function included in the latest update to the camera’s firmware:

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 at 5.1mm f/2.0 ISO400 1/8 Second, High Dynamic Scene Mode

High Dynamic was a perfect mode for this area of the aquarium, with its dark, wavy, electric blue walls framing brightly lit tanks filled with aquatic life.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 at 9.1mm f/2.5 ISO400 1/8 Second, High Dynamic Scene Mode

I offered for her to claim the Lx3 as her own from now on, but she hasn’t used it since, so I guess it’s mine again!

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Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 17mm f/2.8 ISO360 1/8 Second

After visiting the aquarium, we enjoyed a show called “Fragile Planet” at the Academy’s Morisson Planetarium, which is apparently the world’s largest all-digital dome. Without my ultra-wide, I couldn’t get the whole dome in one shot, but you get the idea. It’s huge! The complex relies heavily on natural light for interior lighting anyway, so a shot of the entire dome would have been very dark. Perhaps we’ll come back during the day next time.

I actually have a ton of shots from that evening, but I’ll have to upload them later.