27 February 2009

Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight.

I bought my Nikon D60 DSLR about a month ago and was very happy with the performance. Although it is just an entry lever model, it is still better then my previous digital point and shot camera.

Since I plan to have this unit for the time being, I begin too look into more available accessories.

Highest on my buy list was this Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight.

Speedlight or external flashgun is one of the most important tools you need for a DSLR. Although most DSLR come with build in pop up flash, this has its own limitation. Build in flash has limited power and distance, making low light photography difficult. The position of the pop up flash is fix hence making your photo look hard and less natural due to focused light density. This is why the external speedlight play an advantage - flexibility.

Speedlight not only allow the camera to have extra lighting power, it can also allows the flash to be reflected from the surrounding environment. This is commonly known as bounce flash technique. Bounce flash soften the flash light intensity and bland the color with the surrounding, lighting up the object in a much more natural way. This technique is greatly used in indoor photography or portrait photography.

The Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight has all the basic function of a speedlight, decent refreshing rate and flash distance. It come is a much smaller physical size and lighter in weight compared to it bigger brother, the SB-900. With its low price tag, it is very suitable to be use with the D60. The SB-900 on the other hand is much more suitable for the mid to high end SLR due to it function and power.

Another reason why SB-600 is on my buy list was that it could work as a remote flash. In the near future, if I were to upgrade to a SB-900, I can still remain the SB-600 and used it as remote flash where the synchronization of the flash can be control from SB-900. The SB-900 has the commander function and both flashes are able to work in harmony to each other.

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Review
The SB-600 speedlight has inherited most of the impressive function from the SB-800. It served as a solid base for the Nikon Creative Lighting system when used with Nikon D70 or D2H body.

When used with Nikon’s latest digital SLR, such as the D70 and D2H. The SB-600 supports Advance Wireless Lighting as a remote speedlight that can be positioned as one of multiple remote flashes.

Auto FP High-Speed Sync enables the use of Fill-Flash even in bright daylight with wide aperture settings for the achievement of outstanding results and new creative possibilities, including the effective blurring for of out-of-focus background elements. With the optional color filter set SJ-1, it allows imaginative shooting to be pushed much further.

White balance is optimized through the use of flash color information obtained by the Speedlight. The SB-600 also features FV lock, which gives the user the convenience of being able to maintain the measured flash value while recomposing the shot to achieve the appropriate flash output for the subject.

The easy to view LCD with only 6 buttons, come with backlit and simple to understand function manage to offer uncomplicated operation for the SB-600

The Nikon Speedlight SB-600 delivers plenty of style, both in its compact dimensions and a triangular motif consistent with the Nikon D-SLR theme.

Major Features of the Nikon SB-600
  • Supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System.
  • Supports i-TTL (for automatic balanced Fill-Flash), D-TTL, TTL, Manual.
  • Easy-to-view LCD with 6 simple-to-understand backlit buttons.
  • Guide Number of 30/98 [ISO100,m/ft], 42/138 [ISO200,m/ft] (at 35mm zoom).
  • Auto zoom of 24 to 85mm, extendable to 14mm with built-in wide-flash adapter.
  • Same Wide area AF Assist Illuminator as the popular SB-800.
  • Advanced Wireless Lighting available with D2H or D70 when used as a remote.
  • Auto FP High-Speed Sync (with D2H only); use with fast shutter speeds achieves effective lurring of out-of-focus background elements.
  • Flash Color Information - optimized white balance makes use of data from the Speedlight.
  • FV lock holds flash value, enabling recomposition prior to shooting.
  • Accurate i-TTL flash control achieved through flash exposure monitoring control.
  • Design consistent with those of next-generation D-SLRs, with a triangular design element on the top that complements the D-SLR motif.
  • Supports optional Color Filter Set (SJ-1).
  • Ready light located beside the LCD on the back panel - highly visible even when used as a remote.
For the complete specification, please checkout Nikon product site at http://www.nikon.com/

20 February 2009

Project Close Up Photography

Project Close up Photography is dedicated as my collection of Close Up Photography, shots with my Nikon D60 DSLR. This post will be constantly updated when new photos are uploaded. Please feel free to comment on any of the photos posted here.

All helpful suggestion in getting better Close up photography are welcome too.

Newly Updated on 21 February 09
After days of research on macro photography, I finally manage to do macro photography without new equipment. Here's what I have done, by using the inverse lens technique.

Newly addon on 7 February 09

Newly updated on 30 January o9

White BougainvilleaMacro Flower

Definition of Macro Photography

For almost a week I have been searching for this answer. The answer to “what is macro photography” For those who have been in photography for ages, this may sound to be a silly question, but for someone who is new, it can be quite confusing.

What make macro photography confusing? Well macro photography sometime has closely associated with close up photography. This is simply due to some camera manufacture uses the word “Marco” for close up photography.

Close up and macro are totally difference topic and they are not the same.

So what is Marco Photography?

After days of research and asking around, I finally manage to come to an understanding.

By simple definition, Marco Photography means capturing an image with enlargement ratio between image and object of 1:1 or greater. Confuse?

In simple term, when the object that is going to photograph have a physical size of 1cm in Size, when the image of this object is capture on a digital camera with a sensor size of 1cm, and fully fill the sensor, then you have a magnification ration of 1:1 and this is call macro.

Let me illustrate with some example.

This is an object of 10mm in size

This is a normal photo of the object with max. enlargement. Assuming the digital camera has a sensor size of 26mm width, the size of the object covers about 25% of the sensor. Therefore the size capture on the sensor is about 25% x 26mm = 6.5mm and the magnification ratio about 1 to 1.5. This is call a "close up" although is very close to macro requirement.

This is how macro photography should look like.
The objects capture cover at lease 50% of the sensor.
Ie. the object size captured on the sensor is >13mm, which is larger the original size. This gives a magnification ratio of 1.3 to 1.

So hope this illustrates clearly between macro and close up photography.

What is require for a photographer is to capture the object to as close as possible so that it looks as big as possible on your camera. This it self will have its own story to tell. I'll leave it for another day's topic.

Enjoy your photography journey.

* The above image are for illustration only. They are not true marco photos

11 February 2009

Sunset at Kuala Perlis

I was near Kuala Perlis during the Chinese New Year holiday. Kuala Perlis is just a small fishing village up north of the peninsula. It is quite near to Langkawi Island. Near to where my family and I set foot was a fishing dock. The dock was newly built after it was destroyed by 2004 Tsunami.

As the sun was setting, I walked towards the dock and look straight out to the horizon, here’s what I found.

Nothing too spectacular, but the skyline just looks so warm that I can’t resist but took a photo of it. The only missing element was the sun, which is just out of the field of view.

09 February 2009

Visit to KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park
World's LARGEST free-flight walk-in aviary

Had my first photography outing during the weekend , I took a visit to KL Bird Park !.

It was an exciting outing, although I did a lot of mistake with my new D60. However I manage to learn quite a bit here and there, especially on the various setting of the camera.

Wanted to know more about KL Bird Park? Please visit NIX's Chronicles for a brief introduction.

KL Bird Park is a great place for sharping your photography skill. Do visit KL bird park and enjoy the surrounding while you shot.

Here are some of my best photos.

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