Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Was My DIY Lens Repair Successful…?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

During my SOS Algarve Animal Charity Event on Saturday my trusty Nikon AF-S 80-400mm suffered a problem. I love this lens for my Dogs-In-Nature Photo Shoots because I have the ability to be far enough away to allow natural behaviour but also be able to quickly open wider when they get closer. This lens is also the perfect walk-about lens for the same reason. It is reason number 1 (of 2) why I’d rather this lens to the Nikon AF-S 200-500mm even though it has less reach. This lens and almost all my other lenses have the “gold ring” on the end of the barrel which designates it as a professional build lens (see my Equipment List). This means that it is weather and dust sealed, which is reason number 2 why I’m not a fan of the 200-500mm as it doesn’t and in this incredibly dusty environment I think it’s life could be short lived. However, as the 80-400mm lens is a zoom lens, then there is always the possibility of dust and sand getting inside the zoom barrel and this is what I think happened during the shoot. Everything was going great until suddenly the zoom ring became extremely stiff, luckily, it didn’t seize and I was able to continue with the shoot, although I always have my Nikon AF-S 70-200mm waiting as a very good substitute.

I purchased this lens back in 2013 when it was released and although it has been used extensively throughout its life, I have always taken care to ensure no damage to any of the glass or workings. So, now the dilemma, do I send it off to Nikon for repair and pay what would probably be around €1000, do I even just invest in a new one, current prices are around €2000 or do I try to repair it myself??? WHAT DISMANTLE A LENS!!!!! I have never done this before and thought, why not, I have nothing to lose as I can always opt for the first two options. After watching a few YouTube videos, albeit other Nikon lenses, I started to remove the front elements.

Here is a shot of the front element removed, you can see the small pieces of what look like ground metal filings on the other elements from where the zoom barrel was grinding.

{Click image for a higher resolution}


Continue reading >>

Photography Bean Bags Made In The Algarve Available Now!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I always discuss Photography Bean Bags on my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop when it comes to shooting with a slow shutter speed. Usually I get the “Where can I get one?” question, therefore, I decided to look into getting these made right here in the Algarve.

Bean Bags are a great substitute for a tripod particularly when using air travel where a tripod can be a pain. They are also sometimes a better choice than a tripod when the winds are high using a long shutter speed. In my opinion, they are a far better choice than the small mini tripods available due to the greater flexibility of camera position Bean Bags offer.


Continue reading >>

The Importance Of Clean Equipment

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

As you may have read in previous posts, I have recently been having an issue with my Nikon AF-S 80-400mm lens. It was having trouble locking on focus and keeping locked on with Continuous Auto Focus. It would “hunt” making a terrible mechanical noise. I thought it was time to be sent off for a motor service.

I’m not actually sure what fixed the issue, but a full clean of both front and rear elements, a clean of the electrical contacts (which is what I believe to have been the problem) on the lens, a blow with my Giotto’s Rocket Blower and also a blow on the camera mirror itself and as you can see from yet another Wally action shot that everything is back as it should. Remember, for all the electronic wizardry such as Auto Focus and Metering, the camera needs a clear view of the reflected light.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Super Dog!
Continue reading >>

“Is My Camera Good Enough?”……….

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

…..is a question I often hear from attendees on my Workshops and other events. People who are worried that their slightly older digital camera isn’t up to the performance of “state of the art” models or even their level-entry camera will not provide the performance required to take great shots.

Whatever age or model camera you have, it has one goal; to capture reflected light. Of course, newer cameras may do this with a better intelligence, higher number of pixels, better in low light etc., however, this doesn’t mean that older technology suddenly becomes redundant. We live in a material world which the camera manufacturers are well aware of with clever marketing. I’m very aware that these “state of the art” cameras can bring new features and far superior image quality but most of these are not necessarily required by everyone wanting to simply take great pictures.

The amazing 6.1MP Nikon D70s

Continue reading >>

My DIY Reflection Pool

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I have been wanting a permanent reflection pool for a long time, some of you may remember my Temporary Reflection Pool from 2015. I thought of a few locations, but in the end I decided to place it near the Oasis Hide. It has been constructed to have early morning sunrise light which is when birds often look for water, of course, this means there is a possibility of some nice back-lit photos towards sunset time too.

It had to be raised off the ground to bring it almost to the height of the lens hole in the hide to get eye level with any birds and I was going to build a wooden platform when I had a brain wave. Last year one of our Water Heater Solar Panels sprung a leak which meant they had to be replaced. Luckily, we still had the old panels so I decided to strip one down to use the chassis as body to hold the water.

{Click image for a higher resolution}
Striped down Water Heating Solar Panel

Continue reading >>


Photography Workshops For All Abilities...!
Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45!
If you don't currently own a suitable camera and want to learn the fundamentals first? There is a limited availablility of Nikon Bridge Cameras available at no extra cost!
Private sessions including 1-to-1 and 1-to-2 also available! Read more...

0