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Nikon related news/links

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  • Capture NX 2 software updates should be released on December 16th.

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  • Roger Moore

    It looks as though NASA isn’t ordering just D3s’s. They’re also ordering 14-24/2.8s (P/N 2163).

    • http://armansworld.com alphanikonrex

      Ah…thanks for deciphering that.

    • mi.le

      If they need that lens for spotting asteroids, maybe it’s time for us to stop worrying about retirement funds.

      • iamlucky13

        NASA uses the cameras both for science, engineering, and public relations purposes. One of the main science uses is the ISS earth photography program. They’ve taken tens of thousands of images in support of geology and atmospheric sciences. Some with Hasselblads, but in recent years almost exclusively with D1′s and D2′s. They use them for engineering purposes like checking for damage on the shuttle after launch, and of course, public relations is obvious.

        They’ve worked with Nikon to get cameras that meet their specs since almost the beginning. Ken Rockwell recently lambasted Nikon for how much they charge NASA, which was complete bunk. Nikon has to do extra testing and sometimes modifications to the cameras to demonstrate they meet NASA’s safety standards (I know, for example, that iPod’s don’t or didn’t used to) and will perform in zero g, and if used for EVA, temperature extremes and a vacuum. Rumor is that Nikon actually takes a loss on the cameras.

        Anyways, there’s an interesting article about it here. Most of it’s on the second half of the page:
        http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/technology/history/rhnc12ti-e/index.htm

  • http://armansworld.com alphanikonrex

    The Coolpix game was stupid :-(

    • http://www.shortfingerphoto.com Nubz

      yes, I am now 3% stupider after playing

      • Anony-mou

        This game is a SCAM, the granny was not blinking and my photo was perfect and yet it said she was blinking! WTF! I’m gonna write to Nikon.

  • low

    nikon and nasa….ahhh, just so good to know our cameras are good enough for space. :-)

    • Anony-mou

      Calm down, most likely they will use it for any of their other 10000 activities that don’t involve going to space.

      • Anony-mou

        Oh and BTW, believe it or not but space is really not demanding on electronics, no air, no moisture, no dust.

        • Anonymous

          maybe you forgot about heat/cold?

        • Jabs

          Hey Anony-mou,
          Perhaps you forgot about pressure as in ZERO gravity and other such pressure ‘balancing’ options.
          Nikon has always made special cameras for Outer Space for it is difficult for a camera to survive in Outer Space – if the innards of the camera is NOT equalized with the outside pressure, then guess what?
          Implosion or explosion.
          SEALS would burst or collapse – for example!
          Sensor cleaning might not work – for example!

          I don’t know if a standard D3s is able to operate in Outer Space within say the Space Lab or even outside of the Lab in outer space.
          NASA also does a lot of other research and perhaps the unreal low light capabilities of the D3s is what they are after?
          I don’t know!

          NASA has in the past used Nikon’s ‘F’ series for Shuttle lift-off analysis with cameras based on the ground – perhaps night lift-offs for example or even the extremely accurate focus tracking of this new camera.
          NOT secret stuff, but well known – LOL!
          They had a special F3P or/and F3HPT (Titanium) in the past plus a 250 exposure film back (think it was MF4) plus a larger one for NASA and the MD4 – an 8 frames per second motor drive with NiCads.
          Nikon sold it to the public – the 250 exposure back that is and people asked for that F3P with an ISO hot-flash shoe on the removable head and Nikon released it to the public, as the normal F3 had a special flash mount on the area of the ISO switch-rewind area (top left looking from the back of camera or shooting position) as the heads were removable and thus no where to put a standard flash hot shoe there.
          They also made, I think an AS7 which was an F3 hot shoe adapter that was installed on the left rewind top area.
          Had one.
          FAST low light cameras are always in big demand by Corporate or Government types.
          Hence, my previous comments about the D3s being a NEW era in photography.

          BEEN there done that and seen much since the F3 days.

        • iamlucky13

          You might be surprised, but vacuum can actually be it’s own problem, as in normal conditions, air acts as a cooling fluid inside the camera. It might not be a problem for these cameras, but in other applications it has been. The Soviet Lunakhod rovers, for example, had pressurized bodies so the electronics would circulate heat reliably.

          Jabs’ point about low light capabilities is actually quite accurate. If you browse the Earth Observation database, you’ll find lots of night shots that suffer loss of detail due to ISO noise and camera motion on their D2x bodies.

          http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=ISS020&roll=E&frame=8739

          Actually, I just noticed there’s quite a few shots on there now from D3′s and a handful from a D3x, so apparently both of those have been in space at some point. I think they still use a D2x with a special grip and white thermal insulation for spacewalks.

          By the way, there’s some neat shots on there if you search around, like this one of a Russian volcano erupting:
          http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/sseop/photo.pl?mission=ISS020&roll=E&frame=8739

          • Jabs

            @IAMLUCKY.
            How are you?
            Well in outer space we have a different pressure or gravity than here on Earth. Vacuum is a concept that refers to almost sucking from a higher to a lower pressure.
            Inside a pressurized environment in space with FILM cameras, I would assume that the cameras would not operate without a sealed body which equalizes the pressure within to match the pressure in the cabin or things would go wrong quickly.
            In digital, you don’t have the film problem but with many cameras applying sensor cleaning via minute bursts of ‘air’ aimed at the sensor or even electrical charge cleaning, then in order for this to work, one needs air movement in some cases. The sensors would be affected then. The mirror mechanism and the lubricants are also affected plus perhaps even the LCD screens and such.
            Housings like what are used underwater, perhaps are how they use the D3 series, but I don’t know.
            On many documentaries about NASA and their various Missions, we see Nikons aimed upwards from the ground looking for debris falling from the spacecraft or to document a disaster and then provide evidence for later analysis. [Nikons advertisements in those days mentioned this plus the documentaries available in America and even Nation Geographic magazine then (lol) had this information]. They use the framing speed and high ISO capabilities of the cameras to allow them to stop motion at high enough shutter speeds like when you set your camera to Shutter Priority or now called ‘S’ mode -vs- Aperture Priority now called ‘A’ mode. They want to maintain a minimum shutter speed or even a fixed shutter speed and then use ISO to obtain a correct exposure, so HIGH clean ISO would be great.
            NASA has been known to use high speed cameras with exotic lens and even special made lens by Nikon and others including Leica. If you have say a Nikon 300mm F2 mounted on a D3 series and it is fixed focused, then it would be able to do some high speed stills since the camera can do 1/8000 sec while the older digital Nikons could do 1/16000 sec. – which was even better!
            A lower resolution image with the older Nikon digital body would allow them to record more with say a 300mm F2 but the image would not be as good. I don’t know the shutter speed of the Nikon’s that NASA uses as they usually are special made by Nikon and others [including briefly Olympus with an OM4T (Titanium) film camera.]
            I looked at the Nikon web site posted as reference but they actually were wrong there on some issues – web site writers are usually wrong – LOL!
            The F3T was not painted but the original Titanium color was what was released for that special look as Nikon thought. However, people complained as the F3TC-HP (HP = High Eye Point or DE3 head) as the first released version was called, looked like the amateur Nikons, as Nikon then differentiated cameras by black and silver bodies to designate amateur cameras and all black bodies to designate PRO bodies. They then later introduced the F3TB-HP with a PAINTED Titanium top to make this raw Titanium now look like the standard F3HP, but it had a ‘wrinkled black’ look instead from this painting.
            The F3T’s were the same as F3′s but with Titanium tops and Titanium DE3 (HP) heads.
            The F3P (P = Pro or Press) was developed for NASA, I think then when pro photographers heard about it, they asked Nikon for one and it became publicly available later on but mainly to Press photographers and not the general public. It too had a black wrinkle painted top but it was Titanium underneath PLUS a new head with a hot shoe on it (bodies of F3P had a special contact for HOT SHOE within, so you could not use that head on a standard F3 and get flash sync to work), as F3′s had NO hot shoe on the head, as the heads were removable and thus no where to put it. The F3 series had its own series of flashes and the flashes then had removable bases – one for standard bodies and others for F3 bodies – SB 16A and SB 16B, if I remember well. Flash was mounted on the area above the rewind. The F3 series was unique and the first Nikon with an electronic titanium shutter curtain plus it had horizontal shutter travel -vs- the then vertical shutter travel used by Nikon then in FM2, FA and such, the high speed Nikons of that day (they did 1/4000 sec and 1/250 sec Xsync -vs- the F3 1/2000 sec and 1/80 Xsync – lol).
            People complained but the F3 was so much more accurate in metering and had such a better and more repeatable shutter mechanism than anything out there though they first had shutter tearing problems (or people poked holes it it from carelessness) when it was first introduced.
            How do I know this? A Nikon NUT from those days who actually HAD many of these cameras and also used them myself. Had F3HP, F3TC (Titanium ‘chrome’), F3AF (Auto focus via special head and 2 motorized lens), FA-B (Black top) – plus other Nikon amateur bodies – and all had fast motor drives MD4 for F3′s with MN2 Nicad packs and MD15 for FA. The F3′s were my main cameras and FA was for the high speed sync, but I preferred the F3′s as they were faster and more repeatable plus the view through an F3′s was better, as I used the DW4 and other heads which was awesome – you could look at the whole screen with a glance instead of using it always up to your eyes PLUS the F3 had better focusing screens unmatched by anything from Nikon since then.
            We live in an era of web site writers and readers who often DO NOT know the facts or even do basic research and even many Manufacturer’s web sites contain erroneous information.
            Wiki-experts or NOT!
            Thanks for the info – have a good one!

          • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

            I think they use some kind of a housing – I wrote about this 2 weeks ago:

            http://nikonrumors.com/2009/12/06/nikon-related-newslinks-24.aspx

            and here is the actual pictures:

            http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1524.html

  • Ronan

    D90 is better than D300s? Ok… my D300 takes better photo’s than any D90 user i have seen so errr ok.

    • Desinderlase

      Yeah that is odd. D90 Blows away D300 and D300s in dynamic range and color sensitivity.

      • http://www.dafyddowen.com Daf

        Yeah – I noticed that too.
        WTF!

        • rhlpetrus

          Not really. DxO Mark says their measurements have about 1/3 stop margin of error, translating into the final scale at about 5 points. Thus, they are tied overall. Also tied in each of the partial scores: 12.2 to 12.5 DR, 22.7 to 22.7 in Color Depth and 977 to 787 ISO (1/3 stop over 787 would be 992 ISO, for the linear ISO scale just multiply by 1.2599 = 2^(1/3)).

          People read too much in these spec measurements. In real life shooting these cameras are just same, since DXo Mark specs are for RAW output, thus exposure technique, converter and conversion skill will be much more important than these cold number for quality of final results.

          Cheers!

          • rhlpetrus

            Correction: D90 22.7, D300s 22.5 in color depth.

          • http://www.dafyddowen.com Daf

            “1/3 stop over 787 would be 992 ISO,”

            Wow, Ok Cheers for that.

  • http://wasatchreflections.com WR

    The view finder remote looks like a fun gadget, but I have to say there are other items I would rather save for.

  • Dweeb

    NASA probably can’t afford the D3X.

    • Anony-mou

      I would rather have them buy Coolpixes and lower my taxes.

  • http://www.uwphoto.ae Mariozi

    Interesting line:
    “… Mail Code: BH:”
    B&H???

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      Did you think they’d buy direct from the factory? Pros still have to go through the retarded sub-corp that is Nikonusa, and then Nikonusa will rarely deal with anyone who’s not a reseller.

      Even for NASA.

      Can Nikon just do us a favor and absorb Nikonusa already? It would really make life easier for them and the customers.

  • Jabs

    To Nikon Rumors ADMIN:
    Hey, how are you?
    Thanks for the information and the link below my LONG reply – lol.
    Yeah, too busy or too lazy to look at all the posts here.
    We need some web sites on Nikon history to perhaps counter stuff.
    Maybe this will drive some to used camera dealers or the USED camera areas of some here – HINT!

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