Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July Facebook Fan Giveaway

Thanks everyone for being fans of Paul Sears Photography on Facebook! I wanted to try a fun giveaway to say thanks for being part of the community and helping me spread the word. If it goes OK, I’ll definitely do more in the future.

So here goes….

This July, one lucky fan will win a free 11x14 Matted Print of their choosing. The contest is open to anyone who is a Paul Sears Photography Facebook Fan, regardless of when you became a fan.

It’s super easy to enter. Just help me spread the word by hitting the “Share” button, which will post the Paul Sears Photography Facebook Page to your news feed. Then write on the Paul Sears Photography Facebook Page's Wall to let me know you’ve “shared." Note: letting me know on the Wall is pretty much the only way I would know you did it, plus making it public keeps it fair for everyone.

All month long, I’ll keep track of everyone who posts on the Wall to let me know they've shared the Page. Then on 8/1/09 I’ll do a random drawing to select a winner. The drawing will be done as a YouTube video (so you know it's legit, right?). I'll post the video on the Page Monday 8/3/09, so everyone can see who won. The winner gets a free 11x14 Matted Print of their choosing, free shipping, totally free.

Even better – if you share two times during the month, just write on the Wall both times, and you’ll have two entries. Three shares, three Wall posts, three entries, and so on. Up to 5 entries max per person. Just remember to let me know on the Wall, so I can count your share toward the contest. And please, play nice. And don’t try to fake me out; that’s not cool.

The winner can chose any image on www.paulsearsphotography.com that is available as a “16x20 Mat with 11x14 Print” or "20x16 Mat with 14x11 Print" as of 8/1/09. The “Buy This Item” link next to any image shows which sizes are available for that image. The 11x14 Print will be professionally matted with a 16x20 white acid-free gallery mat, and assembled with 100% acid free archival materials. In other words, designed to last a lifetime. More info on sizes is also available on the Print Sizes and Matting Options pages of the site.

Please feel free to give me a shout with any questions. Thanks again for your support!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Totally Unbiased Review - AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

I know, I know... I need to blog more often. But jeez louise, between Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr and lord only knows what else, it's hard to keep up! Let alone actually getting out to go shoot once in a while...

BUT - I digress. I want to post yet another totally unbiased review on a recently acquired piece of Nikon Gear. The AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED.

AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

Needless to say the Samy's Camera rep's eyes lit up when I walked in asking for a D700 and this lens. It was short-lived, however, because I'm a tough customer and a good negotiator. I left smiling, and the poor rep probably got in trouble with his boss....

OK, about the lens. Bottom line, this is by far the most expensive lens I've ever owned. But it is by far the best. When I was shopping and reading reviews, I almost went for the less expensive AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED. However, after reading lengthy reviews on Ken Rockwell suggesting it might not be worth the $900 pricetag, I had only one choice left. Go big or go home.

This lens is amazingly sharp at any focal length and any aperture. Color is exceptional, especially coupled with the D700. It produces a beautiful creamy bokeh when shooting wide open at f/2.8, and it also has a nice medium aperture at 5.6-8. It stops all the way down to f/22. The construction is extremely rugged - large and weighty. Impresses your friends, but also lets you know you can count on it for the long haul. At the same time, it's small and light enough to carry around the city or on a hike. (I don't recommend bringing it to a party however, unless you really want to feel like papparazzi the whole time).

Technically speaking, this lens is best in class of what Nikon has on the market now. The large "N" symbol on the outside of the lens refers to Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat process, on an internal glass element, which helps cut down on lens flare and ghosting. Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and PGM aspherical lenses control chromatic aberrations while enhancing sharpness and contrast. And this has to be the quietest SWM auto-focus motor I've ever seen.

Any gripes? Yes. A couple minor ones. 1) The hood for this lens is SO big that I never use it. But, pretty minimal lens flare so far, shooting without the hood. 2) You do get a small amount of vignetting at 24mm, using a screw-on filter. So I just keep it in mind when composing, and crop it off after. Easy.

Overall, 9 thumbs up for this lens. Between this lens and the D700 body, my confidence in the field has dramatically increased. Well worth the price.


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