Z7ii BIN files & new .xlsx. Interested?

Hi again.

I’ve purchased the Z7ii & used it for a while now, and been developing my preferred settings.

I haven’t yet invested the time/effort in setting up the Excel workbook for the Z7ii, or indeed finalized all my settings. So BIN files are not ready yet for “public consumption”.

How much interest is there for BIN files for Landscapes, Sports, Portraits for the Z7ii? Would you be interested? If so, please leave a comment.

Also, as per previous BIN file releases for the D7000/7200/7500, I would prefer to have a few (2 or 3) Beta testers of the BIN files & .xlsx, so we end up with commonly agreed settings, & that people are happy with those. Would you be interested in that? Again, if yes, please leave a comment.

There’s going to be a LOT of work to update the .xlsx & create BIN files for the Z7ii and therefore I intend to increase the price for these. What are your thoughts on that? What would be a fair price?

Selling my D7000! Checkout eBay now!

Hi everyone. After some years of not using the D7000, I’ve decided to sell it. I’ve upgraded & gone mirrorless. I’ve bought a Nikon Z7ii and started the transition to the Z series of lenses too.

I’m also selling all the training materials I’ve bought over the years for the D7000 in the same auction:

  • Thom Hogans’ Complete Guide; CD & Book
  • Blue Crane Digital D7000 Introduction
  • Blue Crane Digital Advanced

I’m including an ML-L3 remote control, 16Gb SD card, original charger, battery & shoulder strap.

All in the original box.

All in truly excellent condition.

I’m not including any lenses in that sale, they will go separately.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s the auction

Nikon Release NX Studio Update

Nikon have released an update to NX-Studio (1.2.0).

See Nikon | Download center | NX Studio (nikonimglib.com) for more details.

NX Studio software offers a full-fledged suite of intuitive tools for viewing, processing, and editing photos and videos. It combines the photo-and-video-viewing features of ViewNX-i with the photo-processing and retouch tools of Capture NX-D in a single, comprehensive workflow.

Not only can it be used to process RAW pictures, but its editing tools—including tone curves and brightness and contrast adjustment—can also be applied to JPEG/TIFF images.

It also offers a variety of features for such tasks as editing XMP/IPTC data, managing presets, and uploading pictures to the Web.

More importantly, it’s an excellent editor that’s free of charge!

2 Muench Landscape photography eBooks – free!

Two free ebooks from Muench Workshops. The Art of Seeing is a deep dive into composing landscape photographs, & Depth from the Field, 122 pages of tips, inspiration, and deep thoughts from their pros.

Get them here.

Top 5 Portrait Tips

One light and a reflector

It’s the perfect setup when you’re just starting out because it’s easy to understand and control. Your main light provides the illumination on one side of you subject’s face while you use a reflector to bounce light back into the shadows on the other side.

Background blur

There are three ways to get good background blur: 1) use a longer focal length, like 85mm; 2) use your widest lens aperture to give the smallest depth of field; 3) move your subject further away from the background.

Lighting modifiers

The larger your light source, the softer and more flattering the light. This is why portrait photographers use softboxes or brollies. Naked “unmodified” flash gives more power but a much harsher light, with deep, hard-edged shadows.

Continuous lighting

Flash is brighter, but continuous lighting makes it much easier to judge the lighting effect as you work. It’s weaker, but you can increase the ISO setting to make up for that, and modern sensors cope well.

Fill flash on location

A portable flash can offer great supplementary lighting for fill flash portraits on sunny days or moody “slow-sync” images in dark interiors or at night when you carefully balance the flash with the ambient light.

Top 5 Travel Tips

Brace Yourself

There’s no need to miss out on low light or night shots just because your tripod’s back at the hotel. Just brace your camera against a table, wall, or door frame and have a go at longer exposures anyway – you may be surprised how well this works.

USB charging

Do you take a portable battery pack for your phone? It’s worth checking to see if your camera is compatible with USB charging too, because this can give your camera’s battery a handy refresh during a long day out.

Start early

Tourist hotspots really start filling up in the late morning, so the best time to shoot is first thing, when the light will be better too. Do some research beforehand so that you know the opening times and the best angles and viewpoints.

Invest in cards

This is no time for scrimping and saving on memory cards. You don’t want to spend half your holiday deleting photos to make room for more, or shooting JPEGs not Raw files to save space.

Pancakes and primes

For travel you need compactness, speed and convenience just as much as optical performance and zoom power, so retractable zoom lenses and lightweight “pancake” primes really come into their own.

Top 5 Wildlife Tips

Burst Shooting

Normally we recommend shooting Raw files rather than JPEGs, but if you’re shooting in burst or continuous shooting mode, JPEGs might be best – your camera will be able to capture many more JPEGs in a burst before slowing down.

Remote Control

In macro photography, releasing the shutter by hand can jog the camera, and you may be casting a shadow over your subject. Try using a remote release or, if your camera has Wi-Fi, a camera app to fire the shutter.

Watch Your Speed

If your subjects are moving quickly you may need a higher shutter speed to freeze their movement, so switch your camera to shutter priority mode and select a shutter speed of 1/1000sec as a starting point – you may need to increase your ISO setting.

Focus On The Eyes

It’s the golden rule for human portraits and it works for animals too! Sometimes it’s not possible to get the whole face in focus, so focus on the eye nearest the camera to get the most natural looking result.

Get Down Low

Animals, insects and a whole bunch of other natural subjects look better when you get down to their level. It makes the perspective look more natural and it gives the feeling you are entering their world.


Top 5 Video Techniques

Keep Still

It’s a typical novice error – chasing after a moving subject with the camera bouncing around all over the place and making your viewers feel seasick. Instead, take a moment to figure out where you need to be before the action starts.

Plan Your Movie

Professional videographers don’t shoot a movie in a single “take”. It’s fine for video “snapshots”, but if your shooting a serious movie, plan a series of “clips” for editing together later in video editing software.

Focus First

How fast is your camera’s autofocus in live view video mode? It’s something reviewers make a fuss about, but it’s not as relevant as you might think – pros usually pick a manual focus point before they start filming and stick to it.

Iris Not Aperture

Video jargon can be confusing, and in video the lens aperture is called the “iris” – and it’s the principal tool for controlling exposure.  The shutter speed is usually set to twice the filming frame rate e.g. 1/60s.

Don’t Zoom While Filming

It’s difficult to do smoothly and it looks amateurish. It’s much better to film for a short time at one focal length, stop filming, change the zoom setting and start again – then “cut” from one clip to the other in software.

Top 5 Landscape Tips

Hyperfocal Distance

For any lens & lens aperture, there’s a magic distance setting where the depth of field setting stretches all the way to infinity and as close to the camera as possible. There’s a hyperfocal calculator on this web site: http://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof

How To Blur Skies & Water

Those beautiful silky effects you see in fine art landscapes are created with long exposures of many seconds. If the light is too bright, you can use a 10-stop ND filter – or just wait until dusk!

White Balance Tips

Auto white balance is good at correcting colour casts, but it’s not such a good idea for landscapes, where the colour of the light is often a big part of the picture. Instead, use a white balance preset like “Daylight” to capture the colours as they are.

Perfect Panoramas

If the scene is too wide for your lens, shoot a panorama instead. First, fix the exposure and focus settings so that they stay the same, then take a series of overlapping pictures and stitch them together in Photoshop.

Use Your Zoom

It’s tempting to shoot every landscape as a wide-angle shot, but telephotos can work well too. They flatten the perspective and although you get less in the frame you often get a stronger sense of scale.



D7500 My Menu Tip

The D7500 sees the additional of “Format card” as an option you can add to “My Menu”.

That’s useful & something you can only find on mid to higher end Nikons. I’d recommend doing that; it makes it easier to find & saves you time.