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Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online

On Equipment

Which camera takes the best pictures?


The one in the hands of a the most talented photographer. :-)

I, too, recently had to decide whether to stick with film or convert to digital. I, too, decided to remain with film for at least another year (and so pre-ordered my film for my next several trips). While I agree with the reasons you gave, my principal reason for waiting is more tied to the changes I foresee in the equipment than in the differences in current quality between the formats. From what I can see, there are three significant developments underway that will radically improve digital equipment: the first is the development of Fovean's new chip, which, I believe, will revolutionize the quality of digital capture enabling it to actually surpass film, replace current CCD technology and allow for capture aspects of 100% of lens size (i.e. a 20mm lens will produce the same size image as on a 35mm negative); second, the speed of capture (even in raw mode) will increase to the same approximate levels of present day 35mm cameras (roughly 8 fps) in bursts approaching 35

Michael A. Natbony

I just read Gary Stanley's article on getting the most out of your photography. Excellent advice! I took Moose's advice a while back on having an 81A on every lens...and was quite surprised and pleased with the results it has rendered in my estimation of positive enhancement. I think I'll give Gary's Red 81A a try now...what do I have to lose? How do we know until we're willing to stretch our imagination to another challenging level..what results may render? 

Thanks for another good article VLP!
Paul Eanes

Filters? Real photographers don't need not stinking filters!


I knew somebody would figure out we were faking it. BTW, that wasn't Clint's line in the movie!

Chuck McKern's article, "Studio Lighting Techniques" is about the most straightforward, concise, and comprehensible on the subject I have read to date. 

Thank you!
Brian Clamp

Canada Weighs In

Considering how each issue of your emag illuminates my knowledge base, shouldn't your recent email notice which begins - "The June issue of Vivid Light is out! read "The June issue of Vivid Light is ON! RIGHT ON!!! 

Cute, eh? I am a Canadian.

There are a lot of adjectives to describe big hairy Canadian guys. Cute is not one of them! :-) 

I just read on another Web site that a lot of the lenses we get from Nikon and Canon here in Canada are seconds that didn't meet U.S. and Japanese specs. What do you think about that? Is it true?


No. It's not true.

I'd sure like to know where this was originally posted. Evidently it made the rounds on a couple of news groups and web sites because we got a flurry of email about it in the middle of the month quoting a couple of different sources. The short answer is that it's not true. The long answer is that it's not really possible to do and it would be a really dumb business move if it were possible. 

First manufacturers typically don't test every one of anything that comes off a production line. They usually pick samples for in-depth testing. Trends among the samples indicate if that item is coming off the assembly OK or if they are out of spec. The other consideration is that tolerances in today's manufacturing processes are so tight that there wouldn't be enough rejects to satisfy the market for lenses in Canada. Finally even if Canon and Nikon could test every lens there would be no logic to screwing Canadians. Canada is a huge market in it's own right. Doing something like this wouldn't just be dumb it would be business suicide.

Moose is Politically Correct

I'm glad that Moose featured both black and white bears in his article and showed no preferential treatment to either bear. However his article did not make any mention of stuffed dogs, cats or unicorns. In our current politically correct society I believe this is a critical oversight on the part of Vivid Light. I can only hope that you will correct this egregious wrong in an upcoming issue.

Certainly. We at Vivid Light are extremely sensitive to the feelings of stuffed animals and have articles planned on shooting both stuffed dogs and unicorns for next months issue. However our reader surveys show that few if any stuffed cats read Vivid Light so we don't feel it necessary to feature them. 

Moose an excellent way to explain exposure compensation. 

Dario Di Sante

Exposure plus & minus.

Good idea. I can't wait to do it. You don't really mention the tan bear but I assume that you would do all the exposure examples with the tan bear too.

Sean Orta


Nikon 80-400 VR

Thanks for another great article. I recently purchased the 80-400 VR lens. I haven't had the opportunity to use it very much, but was very pleased to read the positive remarks in your article. I use the F100, so I was quite happy to see the report on the low battery.

I enjoy your magazine each month, as does most of our camera club, we have a link to Vivid light on our website, (

Please keep up the good articles. Regards,
Bill Webster

The same problem Jim had with the F100 and the VR I had with the F5 and the VR. Thanks for pointing this out but I don't think it's unique to the F100. I'm going to try and turn off the VR and or switch to a normal lens when this happens again. I tire of losing 3-4 shots when I think the batteries are OK but they are marginal in VR land. I love the VR but this is an aggravating matter.

Mitch Woltersdorf Ph.D.

I've experienced the weird battery problem with both my F5 and my F100. Thanks for pointing this out. It seems like most magazines are afraid to point out anything bad like this.


Captive Raptors

Terrific article on Callaway. I'm only an hour away and I didn't know about the raptors! I can't wait to go! I'm so glad someone has finally taken into consideration the photographic value when building housing. It is something all sites that show animals of any kind would do well to take into account.

Geri Collum

I really enjoyed Lennie Lee Rue's column on shooting raptors. Are there places like this for shooting other kinds of animals?

Yep, Lennie's column next month is on shooting captive animals.

Gary's Got Mail!

Ok I thought I knew all the waterfalls in the Smokies, your images baffled me, and since I plan on returning home next month could you please advise which waterfall is in your image and maybe even provide suggestions on best vantage / photo spot?

Derrell D Dover 
Member Board of Directors 
International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum

[Gary responds] It's not you, it's me. The heading is somewhat misleading because I also do quite a bit of photography in the western part or North Carolina. In this case the Cullasja Falls near the Nantahala National Forest outside of Franklin NC. When I make the thousand mile trip from my home in New England to the Smokies, a day in western NC doing waterfalls is usually part of my plans and I tend to group it all together.

I loved your article on "Fun with Photoshop". While I find I can have more "Fun" with PhotoImpact, I agree that it's amazing what a little creativity and a great program can do for a photo. I found that spending under $100 for a program that does pretty much the same thing as the $600 version added a whole lot MORE "fun" to the photos, though! Next time you're playing, try combining graphics and photos to get a "fantasy vs. reality" type of image or using elements from several good photos to make something fantastic --it's great fun!

Maxine Snyder

[Gary responds] I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for the input regarding some of the other programs out there that can do similar things. The point of course is not about buying a certain program, but to have fun with the one you already own. Explore as you have done, finding out about the features of that particular program, and if you can do it on a budget, so much the better.

Old San Juan

I live in Puerto Rico and I found your article on Old San Juan very interesting. It's always nice to have a "fresh pair of eyes" opening possibilities.


I hope we did justice to your home. We really enjoyed our stay there.

I really liked the picture of the old woman bring up her groceries on a rope. I read National Geographic and a couple of travel magazines but I can never seem to find those "slice of life" shots. What is your secret?


Just keep looking. Go down side streets, visit markets, and go where the locals go. Keep your eyes open and listen for anything that looks or sounds out of the ordinary. It's amazing what you stumble on when you're open to it.


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