Weekly Nikon related news/links #78 (part 1)

Too much to cover this weekend. I will have two parts of the weekly Nikon related news/links - here is part 1:

  • Wireless direct geotagging via Bluetooth to any GPS receiver is now available for Nikon D3100, D5000, D7000 and D90. I assume this will work with a phone as a GPS receiver. The price is 149.00€ including tax:

  • New Voigtlander adapter will allow you to use Nikon lenses on a Sony NEX camera. Availability: September 23th, price: 19,800 yen (around $230):

  • Four videos illustrating the Nikon D3100 AF during video recording:

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  • ob1ne


    I’m liking the voightlander adapters.

  • The invisible man

    The “zoom” cup is cool, but I drink so much coffee that I’ll need the 200-400mm version !

    • st r

      I am Italian.

      Italian coffee is very concentrated.

      I am waiting for them to produce a Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm F/3.5 cup.

      • The invisible man

        I know, I was living at Nice 30mn away from Italy, I miss the expresso !

        • Suprchunk

          You lived in Nice and still call it ‘expresso’?

          • The invisible man

            Yes, even is USA will call it expresso, some coffee stores are selling it.

    • I’ve finally bit the bullet and ordered the zoom version after seeing this. It says only 6 days for delivery to the UK, we’ll see how it goes. The build does sound pretty good, plus it says it has a gold ring around the top now instead of a yellow one, that’s the icing on the cake for me 😉 I’ve definitely got more money than sense though – thought I’d get that in before anyone else….

  • st r

    I clearly see why video professionals (even low level ones) give for granted that video focusing is MANUAL.

    • Simpleman

      Agree MF only , AF is just a gimmic

      • Rob

        So is video.

        • lol, I like your style 😉

    • c.d.embrey

      Check-this-out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTQs2pulwQQ&feature=related a clip of follow focus on a little girl on a bicycle riding down the street.

      The two clips shown here are a total embarrassment.

      • thanks – I added this video to the post.

      • Karlosak

        Sorry, but that clip has large DOF with great light and distant subject – not so difficult to focus. Actually, if you stopped down to F/11 or more you could shoot this clip without any focusing at all.

        As was already noted – if you want cinematic quality video with shallow depth of field, there is no other way than manual focus (focus pulling).

        • The D3100 video AF is bad. But it is a limitation of contrast detection focus methods. Sony’s A55 with permanent translucent mirror has phase detection AF during video and it looks very usable even with small enough DOF:

          Anyway, I would like more than video AF just MF but with screen indicating where are areas of highest microcontrast thus best focus (say like overblown highlights are indicated). Otherwise you cannot focus reliably since LCD screen has lower resolution than video.

          • Paul

            That’s pretty impressive.

        • c.d.embrey

          The D3100 wasn’t made for aspiring Film-Makers, it was made for parents (who Have NO Interest in photography or film-making) to shoot SnapShots and Simple Videos of their Kids.

          Shooting videos, just like the little girl riding her bicycle, is what they will be doing. They will NEVER replace the Kit Lens with a 70-200 f2.8 VR II.

          As far as Cinematic, have you ever seen Citizen Kane? No Paper Thin DOF here, just Deep Focus. Movies are about more than Cinematography, Story and Acting top the list. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzhb3U2cONs&feature=related

  • Jim Cutler

    I’m definitely seeing banding with the Nikon cup.

    • mnm

      Im seeing some terrible leakage. This has been a recurring problem with the 24-70 no?

      • alvix

        well, are there any reviews out there? have you tested by yourself in a controlled environment these cups? no? so, you are just trolling …! ahah! just kidding obviously… 🙂

        • aetas

          Really if enough light and heat (a lighter or blowtorch) Is applied to the side of this 24-70 cup then there will be a slight hole made and drainage will happen.

  • jimInLD

    why would we ever want to speed up the power consumption of our camera in addition to our iPhone? Why don’t we simply rely on a dedicated GPS logger? If you own a iPhone, why don’t you try a very cool app called “iGPS Logger” from app store http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/igps-logger/id382203473?mt=8, it works really well.

    • mainly because we actually want the gps coordinates INSIDE the EXIF? and not have to refer to the date and time of the photo to cross reference with the details supplied by the iphone?

      • Sam

        Check out http://sourceforge.net/projects/gps2photo/ Will get it from your iPhone into your EXIF.

        • Cough

          There are a billion ways to add coords after the fact. This is a streamlining tool – it removes a full step from a coordinate tagger’s workflow.

          How many tools can you name which remove an entire workflow step?

          How many of those are this cheap?

          • Dormant

            An on-camera (or bluetooth) GPS is a wonderful thing to have. Mines is always on, just in case I need GPS info.

  • I’ve never really found a use for geotagging, just seems pointless to me personally. And on that note, why just an iphone as a GPS? I think any phone with bluetooth and GPS will work…

    Autofocus on the 3100 doesn’t look too great… I know I can expect better from my future D7000, but I hope that it doesn’t go from slight blur, to focus really blur to clear focus every time. Needs to be smoother.

    • I sure hope so too, but personally I think that AF in movie mode kind of kill the mood of the video, I think it shouldn’t be too fast nor should the camera be ‘hunting’ for the right focus when the subject is moving (2nd video of the train).

      • zoetmb

        That’s what editing programs are for. You edit out the part where it’s focusing.

        • CameramanBen

          With a star wipe? 😉 Autofocus for video is fairly ropey on small-chip camcorders (chooses the wrong thing to focus, hunts distractingly) and is likely to be worse with the bigger chips of APS-C and FX. The truth is set focus right to start with and then manual tracking becomes second nature fairly quickly, plus you have the option to be creative with focus pulls.

          Autofocus on video is something I will try out, then turn off. A bit of a brochure gimmick.

          • I’ve worked plenty with manual focus and I agree the creativity is there. But with DSLRs, its more difficult to do so because of the physical nature of the camera. I do remember there being “subject” tracking, where you can set it to what you want it to track which may work even better. When you’re walking right towards a person and you want their face constantly in focus, would be cool.

            • CameramanBen

              If you are doing that shot spontaneously then holding focus is a matter of practise, but if you can prepare the shot then the trick is to go to the forward position, set the close focus then put your hand on the focus ring in a position you can ‘feel’ without looking (thumb at six o’clock perhaps). Step to the back position without letting go of the lens, refocus and shoot. Try to get the hang of smoothly accelerating the pull as you get closer so that you should barely need to correct focus with your eyes. For that shot the inclination will be to under pull so if things are looking soft try to speed up the pull first.

              Have a few goes and you’ll be better and smoother than any autofocus I’ve seen.

      • Surely setting the camera to continuous mode with 3D tracking will produce much better results than these? Or not…

        • CameramanBen

          When I’m shooting an interview before running the camera I’ll rack the focus lots to make sure I’m perfectly sharp. Shooting hand held actuality I wouldn’t dream of doing that on tape unless really soft. The difference is confidence. In the interview all I have to worry about is if it is in focus, so I do; hand held I know I’m sharp to start with and that the focus will only change if my position relative to the subject will change or if I want to shift to a different subject.

          As a human operator I also know if I’m going to move towards or away just before I do it so can anticipate rather than react, plus I can have a fairly good idea of what the subjects movements will be.

          All this is pretty impossible for a processor to judge so it has to fall back on being an unconfident cameraman, constantly checking and correcting. It may find a very smooth way to check distance but that is still using only a small amount of the information available and reacting rather than anticipating.

        • Cough

          3D tracking works by recognizing the subject via the METER’S sensor, and correlating that with the AF points. Both of which are impossible when the mirror is up (as it obviously is during movie-shooting.)

          This is just contrast-detect AF and _must_ overshoot both close and far in order to determine the highest contrast point.

    • st r

      > I’ve never really found a use for geotagging, just seems pointless to me personally

      On a personal basis I would agree, but if I were a travel photographer or photojournalist probably I would appreciate it.

      Not to mention things like the Google car and Google Maps. They would not be possible if everything had to be done by hand.

      So it is not pointless, it is simply useful to someone else’s workflow.

    • Some Guy

      Or a parent tracking where your kid had a first, first ice cream cone etc… that’s what I use it for and display on a map, or showing people a vacation and the timeline of your trip

  • preston

    Click the link to the original posting for the lens mug – it comes with a nice zippered soft travel case! Why can’t Nikon provide these for it’s pro lenses (like Sigma already does)?

    • zoetmb

      They do for some lenses. My 105 macro came with a soft case.

  • Sorry admin,but i’m kinda tired of seeing the scient ology ad everytime i watch the rumors.Please kindly ask google to remove that ad from the ones displayed on your website.
    Keep up the good work 🙂

    • THURO

      adsense works depending on what data is stored on your own computer. I’ve never seen the scientology ad, I see Web Hosting and Lancôme make-up ads. I’m a webmaster and my girlfriend is a make-up artist.

      • Adsense doesn’t work at all if you have all ads blocked.

        ; D

      • NascarGeoff

        uh oh. I see ED and hypochondriac medication ads. Now I feel sick worried!
        (just kidding)

    • I have blocked in the past all political and “Sexual & Reproductive Health” ads and I just blocked all religion related ads (this is a new feature).

      • zoetmb

        But Nikon and Canon are religions, no?

        • They’re cults 😮 Just kidding :p

  • HD

    The AF is not good 🙁

  • Squeamish

    It will 100% positively NOT work with the iPhone. The iPhone cannot act as a Bluetooth GPS receiver.

    • Barely works as a phone ; )

    • So there is not way for the iPhone to share the GPS coordinates via bluetooth? In that case, I am not sure who will buy this product.

      • Quoll

        You can buy a Bluetooth GPS receiver for <$100 on ebay. Some run off AA or AAA batteries and others off Li-ion (Nokia) batteries. It would probably still be cheaper to buy both the GPS receiver and this unleashed dongle thing than buying a genuine Nikon GPS thinggy, and would be more reliable because the GPS stays running (so it can stay locked on) and wont drain your camera's battery.

        • Karlosak

          Better yet, why not to use the GPS logger only, like the Holux M-241, and then sync afterwards with appropriate software (I use GeoSetter).
          It’s only a few steps more and as a bonus you have captured the whole track of your trip that can be viewed in Google Earth, etc.

          • Cough

            I love my M-241, but it is bluetooth, and how many other investments this cheap can remove an entire workflow step?

          • Quoll

            I’m never touching a Holux again. I have a Holux 241 and it’s worked great many times. But at one point it stopped recording any data at all ALTHOUGH IT INDICATED IT WAS. Got 0 data points from a 4 day trek. Tested it afterwards to make sure it wasnt user error and sure enough it no longer saves anything. Useless piece of junk.

            • Cough

              Did you clear the memory after the incident?

              The main downside of the Holux is that it has a hard power switch, not a software one, and therefore power interruptions during writes to the flash can (and often do) corrupt memory.

              This causes subsequent writes to work, BUT they are after a corrupt block in the file, and the software which ships with the Holux (worthless PoS) barfs on the corrupt data and transfers nothing else.

              gpsbabel deals _better_ with corrupt blocks, but still is not as good as I wish.

      • macro

        “So there is not way for the iPhone to share the GPS coordinates via bluetooth? In that case, I am not sure who will buy this product.”
        Are you even aware that there are other makes of phones out there????

        • Suprchunk

          Or actual bluetooth gps receivers? A piece of hardware nowadays is only worth something if it works with the iPhone? I don’t know if I would steer clear of something just because it doesn’t work with the iPhone.

          Oh, and I bought one last week. Should be here soon.

  • Global

    Pretty soon these guys are going to have VR!! No more spilled drinks up to 3 slops!! =D

    • JamesC

      Well played sir.

  • ray

    The designers still have not gotten it right. The biggest flaw in the Nikon mug is that you have to remove the lid to drink from it. Not exactly car friendly. They concentrated on fluff instead of usability. There is a Canon mug that is usable with the lid on. What were these designers thinking, certainly not about ergonomics.

    • WoutK89

      you shouldnt drink anyway while driving 😉

  • jdsl

    the Nikon coffee mug is nice.
    but the C*nonmug ad in the homepage is kinda strange, perhaps, not appropriate.

    • Cough

      What are these ads you speak of?

      • jdsl


        • Cough


          • JamesC


  • c.d.embrey

    The Red Rock Micro EVF looks good and the price is right – “Estimated $595 for the complete EVF”

    This will finally allow a V-DSLR videographer to hold the camera steady without all the “Camera Cages” and all the other BS.

  • chunkee

    Why do we want to take crappy videos on the DSLR
    The AF sucks!!!
    Just use the mobile phone to take videos, better and easier to upload…
    DSRL should stop including DC functions…

    • Lucky for you the D7000 doesn’t have a DC input : P
      Don’t forget this is the first AF on an entry-based DSLR, I’ll stake my camera that the AF will be much better on the D7000.
      And have for those of us who like to do real video projects (cutting, effects, titles, intros, *editing* in general, etc..), we use DSLRs or prosumer cameras for greater quality. Camera phones suck, so if you’re ok with that then please continue : )

      • Cough

        I’ll take that bet!

  • I don’t have the zoom version but I do have the 3rd generation and I did a write up about it on my blog. Check it out and leave me some love!



  • Fred

    I played with the D3100 today, I would never use the AF in the video mode. It hunts too much and the sound of the AF would be recorded… eeeww.

  • marco

    Have a look here for artwork that has been ‘scanned in’ by stitching together hundreds of D3X images – you can zoom in to see the individual brush strokes!


  • This article has perked up my interested in geo-tagging. Going to have a quick look on Amazon straight away for some kit!

  • Akira

    I am really wanting the mug now that it zooms.

  • jk

    a coffee cup that zooms…. ok we get it, it is a coffee mug that looks like a lens!… but this progression is going to soon have the mug turn into a lens… then what do we call it a len a mug or both?

    This mug thing is just getting silly, who here is going to upgrade? and I can’t help to wonder do you keep the box?

    So I guess this raises the question, buy the old mug, the new mug or wait?

    • Jivee

      I’m going to hold out for the VR version of the mug, as others have suggested.

  • hexx

    i’ve got that lens mug and yes it’s really good copy, zoom a bit useless but fun 🙂 when i received it few colleagues thought it’s a proper real lens – which speaks for the level of detail

  • I’d rather fix geotags in post, instead of having some fragile apparatus permanently sticking out of a equally fragile connector and exposing the other connectors as well. The combined price of this thing and the required BT GPS receiver exceed that of my Garmin GPS that is more accurate and versatile and accompanies me on any serious trip anyway.

    It’s nice to have the coordinates directly in the EXIF of each and every photograph, but this solution has to many drawbacks for me. Especially since it is hardly any effort to tag in post and that way you can also automatically add country/region/city metadata fields and keywords.

  • Alex

    A good new from Nikon (not so frequent)

    THANKS for wireless GPS stuff !!!!
    I hope so next D700+ (with decent pixelcount) will have NO gps inside, and I will not pay for useless gps; users who use that thing will have only one gps in their pocket and not pay for two !!!!!

  • VJ

    To use a mobile phone as gps , you may need some specific software to allow it to act as a bluetooth gps. For Windows Mobile, options are gps2blue and gpsgate..

  • Joe

    I don’t understand why one should buy this GPS receiver. It is a) equal or more expensive than dedicated GPS units from Dawntech or Solmeta that can operate on their own, b) it uses a Bluetooth connection you have to setup and care for, and c) you have to care for 2 devices, the receiver and the actual GPS unit, and d) it won’t work with the perhaps most common GPS unit, the iPhone.

    BTW: The iPhone is also a very lame GPS logger, because it will suck it’s battery in no time when an app permanently locates the position.

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