Cameras & Equipment
Last updated on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 08:59:55 AM Mountain US Time Zone


Leica IIIf, Nikon F2, Light Meters, Nikon Z8, Nikon D850, Afrika, Nikon D500,
Nikon Accessories,
Nikon APS-C DSLRs, Carbon Tripods, Mini-Tripods,
Fluid Base Monopod, Carbon Monopod, Tilt Head, Ball Heads, Pan-Tilt Head,
Fluid Pan-Tilt Head, Gimbals, Bubble Level, Carrier, Binoculars, Wx, Astrophotography

As an aside,
here are some beautiful
mechanical & electro-optical mechanisms.

Leica IIIf circa 1951

1951 Leica IIIf rangefinder 35mm film camera with
an Elmar 50mm, f/3.5 collapsible Leitz lens (Germany).

Nikon F2

Nikon F2. A purely mechanical, all metal, 2nd generation,
single-lens reflex (SLR) 35mm film camera (Japan).

Nikkor AI 50mm f/1.4

A Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Automatic Indexing (AI) FX lens
circa 1978 (Japan).
Nikon F2 Lab Report Feb 1973.

Nikon F2A Photomic DP-11.

Nikkor AI 24mm f/2.8

D500 with a manual 24mm f2.8 AI
Nikkor lens. Body was set for
non-CPU lens parameters: storage #,
focal length, & max aperture.

Voigtlander ULTRON 40mm f/2 SL II Aspherical
Voigtlander ULTRON 40mm f/2 SL II
Aspherical CPU lens for Nikon (Japan).

The lens' CPU allows use of different camera
modes & provides distance information.

One of the best fast normal lenses
made both optically & mechanically.

Sharp to the edges wide open, excellent
micro-contrast, & no coma. Simply amazing.

52mm to 39mm adapter/hood holds the
supplied close-up lens & Leica filters.

Voigtlander LH-40 II S screw-in
aluminum lens hood (Japan).

Exquisite Voigtlander screw-on aluminum lens hood,
smooth slip-on cap, & 39mm pinch lens cap.

Close-up lens screwed into the adapter. The close-up
lens was designed specifically for these optics.

This metal cap also perfectly fits the Nikon HS-11 metal hood.

Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.8 Lens

Nikkor AI-S 50mm f/1.8 pancake lens with
52mm NC filter & HS-11 metal lens hood.

This is a Nikkor lens,
not the inferior Series E type.

Low profile.

Nikkor AI 135mm f/2.8 Lens

Nikkor AI 135mm f/2.8 lens with
extended, built-in metal lens hood.

Collapsed lens hood.

Mounted onto the Nikon F2 with prism viewfinder.

Light Meters

Kicking it old school with a
Gossen Luna-Pro SBC light meter (Germany).

Gossen Luna-Pro variable angle attachment
mounted. It is set at 7.5 deg (green) spot size.

Exposure compensation reference table.

Compact Gossen Pilot 2 light meter (Germany).

Hard case.

Metal HS-9 metallic hood & HR-2
rubber hood for 50mm prime lenses.

The lens cap is of superior design as it
can be easily affixed into a deep lens hood.

The rubber lens hood can be folded back.

Nikkor AI 24mm f/2.8 FX

D7200 with an old Nikkor AI 24mm f/2.8 lens.
These lens work beautifully with this body in A & M modes.

In the menu, go to "Setup Menu" (the wrench icon),
lens data", assign a "Lens number", select the
Lens focal length", & then "Maximum aperture"
(round-up if necessary)
, then "ok". A sharp prime lens that
is a 36mm FX equivalent on this DX body. The Nikon
HN-1 screw-in, all metal hood is very nicely made.

Low-profile (pancake) Nikkor AIS
50mm f/1.8 lens on the D500.

Nikon HS-11 all-metal lens hood.

The compact Nikkor AI
135mm f/2.8 prime lens (Japan).

Nikon Z8

Key Z8 specifications: 45.7MP Stacked CMOS sensor.
Up to 20fps with Raw, 30fps full-sized JPEG.
Pre-burst capture in JPEG modes (up to 120fps for 11MP crops).
Subject recognition AF & AI 3D Tracking.
Synchro VR combining in-body & in-lens stabilization; up to 6EV.
8K/60p video in N-Raw, 4.1K in ProRes Raw.
8K/30p or up to 4K/60p from 8K.
Choice of ProRes 422 HQ, H265, H.264
N-Log or HLG capture. Dual USB-C ports.
3.68M dot EVF with dedicated low-lag sensor feed.
2.1M dot screen on two-way hinge.
One CFexpress Type B, One UHS II SD slot.
Nikon Z8 Manual     Nikon Z8 Reference Guide     Nikon Z8 Custom Controls List
Nikon FTZ II Z to F Lens Adapter Instructions
Nikon N-log Specification     Nikon Z8 Technical Guide HLG

Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 Pancake lens mounted onto the Z8.
Smallest Z-mount lens. Integral (snap-on) hood protects
the lens barrel extension. 52mm Nikon NC filter seals it up.
The slip-on cap still attaches to the lens front or you
can use the standard 52mm squeeze thread cap LC-52.

I have used the D850 for over 5 years and
the Z8 feels like an old friend with new tricks.

Nikon D850

Nikon D850 FX, Back-Side Illuminated (BSI)
45.7 million pixel sensor digital camera.

Nikon 24-120mm Zoom Lens

Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4G lens SWM VR ED
IF Aspherical, Nano Crystal Coat, 77mm filter.

Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR lens.

The D850 & D500 have the exact same control
layout plus the menus are very similar
thus making going back & forth very easy.

D850 magnesium-alloy sub-chassis.

D850 Wx sealing.

Nikon MB-D18 Vertical Grip

The Nikon MB-D18 multi-power
battery pack or vertical grip.

MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack manual.

MB-D18, 8-AA battery holder & BL-5
battery chamber cover for the EN-EL18c.

There is also an EN-EL15a battery holder.

EN-EL18c rechargeable Li-ion22 battery,
10.8V 2500mAh 27Wh (Japan) with cover.

Increases the D850's capabilities from 7-fps
to 9-fps & over 5100 shots. Importantly, the

higher speed reduces blackout duration allowing
the AF system more time to acquire a lock.

MH-26a charger.

Nikon 20mm f1.8 Wide-angle Prime Lens

Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G ED Nano
Crystal Coat, Aspherical, SWM RF lens.

A very sharp, high contrast prime lens for FX.
Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 G ED manual.

Nikon 77mm NC protective filter.

Sturdy bayonet-mounted pedal hood.

Excellent protective inner-box packaging.

Nikon AF-S 16-35mm f/4 VR

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR FX Lens.
Nano Crystal Coat SWM VR ED IF Aspherical 77mm filter.
Nikon AF-S FX Zoom FX 16-35mm f/4G VR ED IF

Super sharp wide-angle zoom lens.

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR

Size comparison of 24-120 (L) vs. 28-300 (R) w/o filters.
Collapsed lengths - 4-1/8" & 4-5/8".
Extended lengths - 5-5/8" & 7-1/2".
Weights - 710g & 800g.

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm 3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G FX

The FX Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G prime is
n excellent (75mm) portraiture lens on a DX body.
The large apertures beautifully isolate the subject &
the color rendition in natural light is amazing.

Combined with the low-noise high-ISO capabilities of the
D7200 & D500 they make a potent low-light-level kit.

On the D850, it's a fantastic low-light combo.

Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E

Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED G VR
IF SWM Aspherical, Nano Crystal Coat,

fluorine coated front & back elements,
82mm filter, zoom FX lens (Japan).

Nikon AF-S FX Zoom 24-70mm f/2.8E ED G VR IF
One of the Holy lens Trinity.

Dimensions (D x L) 3.46" x 6.08" (88mm x 154.5mm).
Weight 2.35  lb. (1070 g). Sharp & heavy.

Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G

Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED IF VR SWM N FX lens.
Sharp, light-weight, fast-handling tele-zoom Nikkor lens.

Focal length - 70-200mm, Maximum aperture - f/4, Minimum aperture - f/32,
Lens construction - 20 elements in 14 groups (with
3 ED & Nano Crystal Coat-deposited lens elements),

Closest focusing distance - 1m, No. of diaphragm blades - 9 (rounded),
Filter/attachment size - 67mm, Weight - 850g,
Diameter x Length (extension from lens mount) - 78 x 178.5mm.

Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G FX ED VR

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (Thailand).
fast-focusing FX lens that uses two, extra-low dispersion lens elements.
Its vibration reduction (VR) mechanism is very effective.

Note the D7200's top LCD
, as compared to a D7100,
has a larger, simplified layout that is
quicker to read.

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED prime FX Lens,
Nano Crystal Coat SWM VR IF macro 1:1 62mm filter.
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G VR IF Prime Lens

The Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 is a very sharp primary lens.
D850 FX, 1/125s, f/3, ISO 180 (cropped).

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED IF VR SWM lens
f/4 prime telephoto lens having: a fluorine front element coating,
Electromagnetic (E) diaphragm, Phase Fresnel (PF) lens,
Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, internal focusing (IF),
Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, silent wave motor (SWM),
full-time manual focus override, Nano Crystal
77mm filter size, approx. 3.5 x 5.8" (89 x 148mm),
1.6 lb (25.6 oz. or 726g). Case, strap, caps, &
plastic hood included.

Nikkor 300mm PF with the Nikon AF-S
Teleconverter Model
See Lens Crop Factor.xlsx Calculator.

Nikon AF-S VR 500mm PF f/5.6 IF ED NC FX Prime Nikon Lens

Ultra-sharp, quick-handling, light-weight,
weather-sealed 500mm prime FX Nikkor.

Focal Length - 500mm
Maximum Aperture - f/5.6
Minimum Aperture - f/32
Lens Mount - Nikon F
Format Compatibility - Full-Frame
Angle of View - 5°
Minimum Focus Distance - 9.84'/3 m
Maximum Magnification - 0.18x
Optical Design - 19 Elements in 11 Groups
Diaphragm Blades - 9, Rounded
Focus Type - Autofocus
Image Stabilization - Yes
Tripod Collar - Removable & Rotating
Filter Size - 95mm
SIze - (Diameter x L) 4.17" x 9.33"/106mm x 237mm
Weight - 3.21  lb/1460g

Nikon AF-S VR 500mm PF f/5.6 IF ED NC FX Prime Lens

Lion of South Table Mountain, Golden, CO.
D850, 500mm PF Nikkor, ISO 80, f/5,.6, 1/500s

Sunset South Table Mountain, Golden, CO.
500mm PF Nikkor, ISO 180, f/5,.6, 1/500s

Nikon 500mm PF lens Wx sealing (yellow)
complements the D850 body sealing.

Kirk (USA) LP-64 lens mount foot with Quick
Detach (QD) steel socket for the Magpul MS4
Dual QD Sling Gen2 single or two-point QD swivel.

Kirk LS-1 support bracket.

Magpul MS4 2-point sling carries the camera
at its balance point. Steel to steel connection &
tested by Magpul to withstand 300 pounds.

I wanted Quick Disconnects (QDs) for my camera
so the entire OEM
strap was not hanging down
when I used my Magpul MS4 QD sling to hold
500mm PF or 80-400mm AF-S lenses by
their Kirk lens collar feet. I prefer & retained the Nikon
OEM D-ring lug attachments. I removed the attached
loops (shown below) & used Nikon strap slides/webbing.

These two OEM plastic QDs can
hold a total of 20 kg (44 lb.) 

I also wanted the short, loose strap ends to be secured
while using the QD sling on the heavier lenses so I
attached two female quick disconnects together with a
black, split-ring & stored them on the larger sling.

When the larger QD sling is used,
I connect the two short ends, as shown.

Nikon AF-S 80-400mm F4.5-5.6G ED VR

The Kirk QD socket on the collar foot
allows easier carrying of the larger lens.

LS-1 support bracket works fine on both Nikon
AF-S 80-400 & 500PF. LS-2 bracket not needed.

Lens collar foot with
1/4-20, QD socket, & 3/8-16 mounts.

The Magpul MS4 was too heavy-duty for camera
use although perfect for a rifle. I bought a simpler,
lighter-duty Magpul RLS, Rifleman Loop Sling, &
transfered the single-point attachment hardware. It
is perfect for this large camera/lens carry application.
I carry the rig cross-shoulder. Note the storage clip.
Both sling models have a quick-adjustment slide clip.

Out of Afrika!
I needed a super zoom Gold Ring Nikkor for game drives in Africa.
On safari, there are ever changing vistas plus big & small game that
are close, nearby, & far. This sharp, contrasty 80-400 fit my requirements,
perfectly. It balances in the hands nicely with the larger D850 body. I carried this
combo in the field for over three weeks in the Lowveld & Bushveld, no problems.
I used my Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4 G ED VR lens when in the cities.
This kit proved 100% reliable & no dust got into the body or lens,
even in the Kalahari Desert
in Namibia. Click to enlarge photos, below.

South Africa, Cape Town Botanical Gardens.

South Africa, Cape of Good Hope,
most South-Western area of Africa
where the Atlantic & Indian Oceans meet.

In Botswana on the Zambezi River.

African Buffalo in Botswana



Kruger National Park, Kapama Game Reserve

Young brother & sister lions in Kruger.


Young male lion in Kruger.


Kruger Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

A Crested Barbet in Kruger.

Common Boomslang Snake (venomous) in Kruger.

Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E G IF ED FX VR

Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E G IF ED FX VR zoom lens
Constant f/5.6 aperture. Fast focusing, sharp, electronic (E) diaphragm,
three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements super telephoto lens.

Diameter 4.2 in. (108 mm) x Length 10.5 in. (267.5 mm),
5.08 lb, 81.2 oz. (2300 g), 95mm threaded filter.

Compatible with TC-14E III teleconverter & select camera
bodies that auto-focus at f/8 & use E diaphragm.

Lens-ring base is 3-1/8" L x 1-1/2" W with a
steel-threaded insert 1/4-20 thread in cast aluminum alloy.

SmallRig, lens or cage, aluminum carry handle with rubber grip.
The oversized 1/4-20 threaded knob is machined from one piece.
The knob center accepts a hex wrench for extra tightening.

A handle makes the big Nikon
200-500mm lens easier to carry.

Strong build & light-weight.

Lowepro 13x32cm case is a perfect fit for the large
lens with tripod collar, reversed hood, filter, & caps.

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter Model TC-14E III

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter Model TC-14E III. Third
generation, 1.4 magnification teleconverter for specific

Nikon telephoto lenses & Nikon bodies that can auto-focus
at f/8. The "E" designation denotes that it works

with electronic diaphragms. Only certain Nikon bodies
can use lenses with the electronic diaphragms. It's a

perfect match to my Nikon D
500 body & AF-S 200-500mm
Super-telephoto zoom lens, shown above.

The TC-14E III has a durable, weather-resistant barrel,
plus fluorine-coated front & rear glass elements.

Nikon D500

Nikon D500 DSLR; DX 21MP APS-C CMOS sensor without AA filter. Expeed 5 ASIC processor.
Up to 10 FPS. Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase
detection & fine-tuning, plus 153 focus points (including 99 cross-type sensors &
15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross-type sensors & 9, f/8 sensors) (Thailand).
4K video. Two different slots for high-speed XQD, SD, SDHC and/or SDXC memory.
My D500 uses 128GB Lexar 2933X 440 MB/s XQD & 128GB UHS-II SDXC memory cards.
This camera body is super responsive; it's like a machine gun. Nikon's Flagship DX body (2016).

The Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is a stabilized
24-120mm FX equivalent standard zoom lens for Nikon APS-C DSLRs (Thailand).
High-cost, compact, fast aperture, mid-range zoom; great for all-day carry.
A very sharp lens with excellent contrast that performs well in low-light situations.
Incorporates an electronic (E) diaphragm that is only fully functional on late-model bodies.

Specifications: focal length 16-80mm. Maximum aperture f/2.8-4; minimum aperture f/22-32.
Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups including four ED glass elements, 
three aspherical elements, plus a flair-reducing, proprietary, Nano Crystal Coating. 
Fluorine coatings on the front & back outside surfaces reduce adhesion of dirt & moisture.
Angle of view 83 deg - 20 deg. Minimum focus distance 0.35m (1.15 ft.) from focal plane at all zoom positions
Maximum reproduction ratio 0.22x. No. of diaphragm blades 7 (rounded).
Diameter x Length (distance from camera lens mount flange) approx. 80 x 85.5mm.
Four-stops VR combined with the faster apertures are a great, low-light combination.
Weight approximately 480g (1 lb 1 oz.) Supplied accessories: LC-72, 72 mm snap-on front lens cap,
LF-4 rear lens cap, HB-75 bayonet hood. Optional accessories: 72mm screw-on filters, CL-1218 lens case.

Lens Crop Factor.xlsx Calculator

The high-resolution touch screen is articulated.

The index also illuminates the release mode dial setting in the dark.

The eyepiece shutter has to be closed to unlock the
round, fluorine-coated viewfinder eyepiece.

Fluorine coatings resist dirt, oil, & moisture.

The eyepiece diopter adjustment (left) is quite good.
Pull knob out, adjust (it has detents) until the
display info is clear, push back in to lock.

The rubber cover wraps nicely around the
entire grip including the entire battery door.

Control buttons, display (optional), & top LCD illuminate
when activated by the OFF-ON-Illuminate switch.

D500 & MB-D17 grip magnesium alloy sub-frames.

D500 Wx sealing (yellow).

Nikon MB-D17 Gripp

Nikon D500 with matching Nikon MB-D17 grip.
A Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G FX is mounted. 

The add-on grip has a programmable
(Function) button (left).

The camera body black dust cover (left) is shown
stowed in the grip. A white dust cap protects
the connector. There are two alignment pegs.

The grip reproduces the camera's shutter release
button, command dials, AF-ON, & mini-joystick. 

The grip is supplied with two types of battery holders.
The MS-D12 holds 8, AA batteries.

The MS-D12EN holds the EN-EL15 Li-ion battery.
Type & usage order are set in the menu.

The grip also holds the larger, higher capacity
EN-EL18a battery with the BL-5 cover which

is handy if you already are using that battery
type with another camera body (e.g., a D5).

Only use the Li-ion 20 (not 1) model battery.
Nikon will exchange them for free.

Make sure to the keep the D500's firmware
updated from the NikonUSA site.

The MS-D12 loaded with eight, Eneloop Pro AA Ni-MH batteries.
The body is programmed to use this type & access them first.

The Panasonic BQ-CC17 Ni-MH battery charger.
It's a smart charger that turns OFF when complete.
It has 4 green LED charging indicator lights.

It can charge any number and/or combination of
up to 4, AA or AAA rechargeable
Ni-MH batteries.

The location of the folding plugs allows both
chargers to be plugged-in to a single, modern outlet.

Nitecore Digicharger D4 charger.
Compatible with: Li-ion (26650, 22650,
18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 18350,
16340(RCR123), 14500, 10440), Ni-MH &
Ni-Cd (AA, AAA, AAAA, C) rechargeable batteries.
NiteCore Digicharger D4 Manual

Nitecore UNK1 USB portable charger for Nikon EN-EL15a.
A c
ompact unit; 3-5/16" (8.5cm) x 2" (5cm) x 1" (2.5cm).

Nikon EP-5B wall power connector for D850.

Nikon APS-C DSLRs & Accessories

Nikon D7200 (left) &. Nikon D500 (right).
The D7200 benefits from the addition of a grip
thereby giving the little finger extra area to grab.

The D500's grip is deeper & longer allowing
comfortable placement of all of one's fingers.

The D500 has no pop-up flash nor a focus
light; no scenes or U1/U2 top-dial settings

whereas the D7200 body has all of these features.
I use the D7200 w/grip for landscape &

portraiture; the D500 is for nature/wildlife,
action/sports, & low-light scenes.

Nikon D7200 DSLR body (Thailand).

Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G DX

 Nikon D7200 DSLR; 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with
no AA filter & 1920x1080 60p video. Expeed

4 ASIC processor. Nikkor DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G
wide-angle zoom lens, 110 deg maximum FOV with

three aspheric & two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements
(Thailand). It uses a 77mm (NC) filter (removed). 

Nikon NC 77mm filter & HB-23 hood, in-place.

Nikkor AF-P 18-55mm G DX VR

The Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
lens. The "P" stands for Pulsed with the adoption

of a stepping motor for AF. The stepper motor accelerates
phase-detection AF speeds by approximately 10 times &
contrast-detection AF speeds by approximately 3.5 times. There
is a 25% reduction in noise within the AF drive mechanism
thus facilitating the shooting of videos. There are no A/M focus
nor VR switches on the side. Just turn the focus ring as needed.
VR defaults to ON & can be set to OFF in the

menu. The D500 also has in-body electronic vibration
reduction used in conjunction with the lens built-in

VR to further decrease the effects of camera motion
during video recordings. This lens has the best MTF's

of this particular kit lens series from Nikon & is superior
to most other makes, too. A light, sharp lens.

Auto/Manual focusing & VR ON/OFF switches
are gone. Focusing can be over-ridden &

VR is a menu selection that only appears
when the proper lens is attached.

The front ring can be used to manually focus
at anytime without having to throw a switch.

The front ring does not move when the lens
is focusing as it is electronic & decoupled.

Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR

Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens (Thailand).
The barrel is collapsed & locked. Sharp photos on
the 24mpix camera. Performs well beyond its cost.

Its Silent Wave Motor is too noisy for video even
with an external microphone. Many videographers

recommend manual focusing. The AF-P Pulse stepper
motor is superior; faster, smoother, very quiet.

Nikkor AF-S 16-80mm f/2.8-4E G DX ED VR

The Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR is a stabilized
24-120mm FX equivalent standard zoom lens for
DX crop-sensor APS-C DSLRs (Thailand).

A Nikon 72mm neutral clear (NC) filter (Japan).

Compact, stout lens that mounts & balances
nicely on
D500 & D7200 sized bodies.

Relatively low-cost filters protect delicate,
expensive lens optics. Why would I put a cheap

filter on (>$1000) lenses? Nikon lenses & filters
have integrated optical designs that deliver

maximum performance, thus I will not put a
even expensive
different brand on any of my
Nikon lenses. Plus, Nikon filters use superior
materials & have excellent workmanship (Japan).

Lens fully extended at 80mm focal length.

A nice photo using a D7200 with a 16-80mm DX
zoom lens (above).
Click to see full-sized photo.

Nikkor AF-S 18-140mm 3.5-5.6G ED VR

Nikon AF-S 18-140mm 3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens.
It uses both aspherical & ED elements.

This is a sharp, nice handling general-purpose
lens that I favor over the Nikkor 18-200 zoom.

Nikkor AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G

 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G prime lens.
Rugged, sharp, fairly fast; uses an aspherical element.

Nikkor AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G prime lens
with a Nikon NC 52mm filter. Super sharp prime lens.

Nikon D7100 rear colored display.

Nikon D7200 updated B&W information layout
of the rear 3.2" LCD (1,228,800 pixels).

Even though the Nikon's rear screen is made
out of very tough, scratch-resistant glass,

a Vello Ultra LCD screen protector has been
affixed (static adhesion, no sticky residue).

The D7200 with two, 64 GB SDXC 95 MB/s flash
memory cards (shown ejected) for a total of 128 GBs.

Nikon SB-700 Speedlight.
Excellent price to performance
ratio & is not overly large.

The flash head zooms with the focal length.

The head tilts down & has a built-in
diffuser for close-up macro shots. 

It has a built-in flip card to highlight the eyes in
portraiture. The head tilts & swivels over wide ranges.

A stand, filters, & a nice padded case are included.
It detects the filter type (fluorescent or incandescent) &

sets the camera's color temperature, accordingly.
As part of Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS),
flash can communicate with other flash units.
It can act as a master or a remote unit with other CLS flashes

for synchronized triggering; multiple units can be used.
A specific camera's internal flash must have CLS.

Nikon R1C1 Close-up Speedlight Commander Kit

The Nikon R1C1 Close-up iTTL Speedlight Commander
Kit is a part of Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS).

SU-800 wireless Speedlight Commander sits in the hot-shoe.
A threaded adapter (52, 62, 67, 72, 77mm) screws into the lens.
A mounting ring is then attached which can fix multiple
SB-R200 Speedlight units at different (15 deg) angles.
Shown mounted onto a Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G Lens. 

Nikon R1C1 Close-up Speedlight Commander Kit Manual

Diffusers attached for very close working distances.

Photo of a Rocky Mountain Hummingbird & her
two chicks, in the tree's shade, using the R1C1.
A:B (L:R strobes) set to 2:1 light output,
fixed at 10 & 2 o'clock positions on the ring.

Micro-Nikkor lens & R1C1 strobs
mounted onto a carbon mini-tripod.

Photocopy Setup

Desktop photocopy setup. Nikon D850 with
MB-D18 vertical grip for extended battery life
since I'm using the camera's LCD display.
Nikkor AF-P 18-55mm G DX VR len. SB-R200
wireless remote speedlights.
WR-10 remote kit.
Carbon mini-tripods with strobes set at 45 deg.
Camera white balance set to Flash. ISO set to 64.
Aperture priority, set to f/8. i-TTL flash mode.
Distortion correction ON. Darkened room.

Ulanzi VL120 RGB LED Light

Set to 5000K & 100% luminace output.
There's Macie.

Nikon MB-D15 grip multi-power battery pack.
The body & grip have strong,
lightweight magnesium alloy cores.

The Lowepro Top Loader Pro 70 AW day bag
holds the D7200 with an MB-D15 grip & a

Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens or 70-300, perfectly.

Nikon AN-SPL001 premium leather strap; black, soft & wide.

A nice subtile logo vs. the huge, yellow logo.
Also, turn off the camera-ready beep & turn the
reversed lens hood, foward. Use a clear, high quality
filter to protect the delicate lens & keep its cap off
except for transport. Use Back-Button focus.

Remote Cords

Nikon intervalometer MC-36A. Easy to use. Under SET,
press Left/Right selector buttons to choose a function

then, use the Up/Down selector buttons to set the parameter
values. Turn SET off then use Timer Start/Stop.

There is no power switch,. To conserve the two, AAA batteries,
Nikon recommends turning off all active functions;

delay, long (shutter exposure,) & interval (above). This unit
is really helpful for DSLR wide-field astrophotography.

The 10-pin connector has robust design & construction.
It is secured using a screw-in locking collar.

White indicia (right) guide alignment of the plug & socket.
Note three socket keys at 1,4 & 7 o'clock.

 Nikon Wireless remote WR-10 kit. 3-channel WR-T10 transmitter (middle), 
WR-A10 10-pin adapter (bottom), & the WR-R10 receiver (right).
The transmitter has a two-stage shutter release button like the camera, itself.
The Fn button is programmed in the camera's menus as are other functions.
I programmed mine to toggle Live View.
The nylon component bag (left) has a divider inside to keep the units separated.
Nikon WR-R10/WR-T10/WR-A10 Wireless Remote Adapter Set Manual

The WR-R10 receiver unit (top) plugs & locks into the WR-A10 adapter
which plugs into & screw-locks into to the 10-pin socket. Two small gray buttons are
simultaneously pressed to pair the unit's receiver with the WR-T10 remote transmitter.
The entire mounted unit can pivot through a limited range. Firmware v3, which can
only be updated by Nikon, is needed for use with the SB-5000 Speedlight.

Nikon MC-DC2 wired remote shutter release
for select Nikon cameras (e.g., D7200).


Release button shown locked-down for extended-time exposures.
Used for long controlled low-light & sky exposures.

MC-DC2 connector.

Sony sensor, 32MP, max 128GB SD chip, trail camera.
GardePro-A3_V1.2_Trail camera Manual

Filter wrenches pairs. Two can be used
 to separate two filters stuck together.
48-55mm, 58-62mm, 67-72mm, 77-82mm sizes. 

Nikon Speedflash remote hot-shoe cord SC-28.
Mounted on a Nikon SK-7 bracket.

MIOPS external events trigger.
I used a 10-pin Nikon flash cable.
Different cables adapt different camera bodies.
It can trigger a camera using: lightning, sound, time lapse,
stormlapse, bul
b ramp, remote, times, laser, HDR, DYI,
This photo shows the unit being charged via USB.
The battery has long endurance & is replacable. This is
a modern unit that auto-updates its firmware via BT. The
phone app or the top keys make it easy to access all functions. 

A quick setup that remoted the flash & MIOPS trigger.
It was set to trigger on a sound event. 

Exploding water balloon.

Cold-Shoe Mod for Nikon Speedlight Hot-shoe Lock

Nikon Speedlight hot-flash bases have a
retractable locking pin (right on base plate).

Aftermarket cold-shoe bases do not have a
hole to allow Nikon flashes to securly lock.
I used these tools to drill a hole into
a plastic base for the locking pin.

Dabbed with lip balm to help mark the pin location.

Very lightly center punched the
middle of the half-round end mark.

Hand drilled a 1/16" hole.
Lightly chamfered the hole.

Auto-focus Calibrator
If you suspect your camera is not properly auto
focusing, modern bodies have an AF fine-tune feature.

To assess weather or not your camera/lens system
is front-focusing, back-focusing or correctly locking onto

objects there are a variety of test charts available.
This chart & setup can be found on YouTube searching the

terms "AutoFocus Calibrator DIY". The project used
cardboard but I substituted more rigid/precise materials.

It is my impression that older bodies/lens or newer
body/older lens combinations have more AF problems.

My D850/D500 & lenses are newer & show no
need for any corrections after testing.

I test zooms at maximum magnification.

Refer to various YouTube videos for testing details.

Numerous parameters must be controlled for the test:
Use tripods, mirror lockup, remote or timed release.
Assure focus chart is flat, square, & normal to the optical axis.
Test beyond minimum focusing distance.
Test distance 40 times the lens' focal length or typical distances.
Aperture wide open using Aperture Priority or Manual modes.
Low ISO (e.g., 100 recommended) with good lighting.
Turn off VR, sharpening, noise reduction, & distortion correction.
Compensate to obtain proper exposure, if required.
30 degree scale tilt from horizontal (not 45 deg).
Use the center, single-point focus point.
Manually defocus the lens between each of multiple readings.
In the AF Fine Tune menu, adjust saved value not default.
Plus values "Push" the front focus towards back focus (Nikon).
Testing over a zoom lens' range can be problematic.

Unit mounted onto a tripod.

Acrylic used as backing.
Cutting Thin Acrylic Sheet.
Used a very lite coating of 3M spray adhesive.

The plastic sheet is 1/8" thick & the pivot is a 1/16" dowel pin.

The scale pivot is two lines above center so the
centers align when it is tilted at about 30 degrees.

When drilling plastic, use a slow speed, small cuts, & clear
chips very often, otherwise heat builds up & melts the material.

Silicon glued an aluminum L-bracket
(with 1/4-20 threads) to the back.

There are numerous autofocus test charts.

Azden SMX-30 DSLR Video Microphone

An Azden SMX-30 DSLR video microphone
mounted on top the D500 with grip (Japan).

The unit is surprisingly light-weight & compact.
SMX-30 manual for full specifications.

Entire rig on a light-weight
Manfrotto fluid pan-tilt video head &
Manfrotto carbon tripod legs.

The shotgun mic is located under
the stereo pair of capsules that are
120 degrees apart XY configuration.

Uses two, AA batteries that last about 24 hrs.
Though this is significantly less run-time than most other

DSLR video mics on the market, the increased
current draw is a direct consequence of the built-in

low-impedance pre-amplifier design. Lower
impedance can yield a better signal-to-noise ratio.

The easy to access battery door has a nice,
sturdy (thick) design. I use Eneloop NiMH batteries.

Left-to right: flat & high-pass filter, XY stereo (ST) &
mono (shotgun). OFF, ON (battery) & Auto ON/OFF,

+20, 0, -10 dB selections. The Auto power turns the
unit ON & OFF for cameras with powered-mic inputs.

I really like being able to quickly & easily switch between
shotgun or stereo with a minimum of equipment.

The recess-molded black switch indicia
were hard to see so I inlaid light gray

paint using a toothpick & a damp finger.
The original labels are also a light grey.

The compliant suspension is
effective & sturdy yet compact.

The two stereo capsules behind a metal screen.

The cord with a 3.5mm mini-jack is not too
long (like many) nor too bulky (coiled). The cord
is permanently mounted with good strain relief.
Plug-in connections can be problematic.

Supplied foam wind cover shown in place.
The foam makes it a little harder
to open/close the battery door.

The SMX-30 comes with a faux leather storage
bag. A deadcat wind baffle (Denmark) that
covers the foam is available, separately.

A Rode 10 ft. audio extension for closer placement of the
ophone. Gold-plated 3.5mm mini-jack connections.

Nikon ME-1 Stereo Microphone

L-R: Infrared remote, magnifying eyepiece for macro lens
work, hot-shoe cover & eyepiece light baffle.

The D7200 has IR sensors on the front & back of the body.

Nikon HC-E1 HDMI cable used to connect Nikon D7200 to a TV.
Male Type C Mini to Male Type A.
Cable length = 114 in. (9-1/4 ft. or 2.9 m).

Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW bag. Lowepro products
are well thought out & made of the best materials.

Lowepro Photo Classic BP 300 AW.

Nikon D7200 & Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 telephoto
with Nikon AF-S Teleconverter Model TC-14E III.

Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack.

High-quality materials & workmanship. Holds a lot of kit.
Here it's holding my Nikon D7200 w/grip & a

Nikkor 200-500 telephoto lens. This is a unique design.
It works by taking off the shoulder straps, bring the

pack to the front (pivoting on the belt) & then the
back flap unzips. Suppose to keep the pack off the dirty

ground & defeats pickpockets. Some people like
this style & some do not. The zipper can be difficult,

the weight of the open back has to be supported
(e.g., a knee), & the flap attachment area makes it hard

to access the very bottom spaces.
It's best to not
carry a body with a long lens attached as shown here

because even a modest bag drop could put
undue stress on the mount causing damage.

Carbon Tripods

Feisol CT-3442 (Taiwan) high-grade carbon fiber
 tripod having a metal frame constructed of

7075 aerospace aluminum alloy; CNC milled.
Leg tube diameters are from 28mm to 19mm.

The legs fold-up 180 degrees for more
compact storage. Super lightweight & strong.

One reason I chose this tripod was that it
does not have a center column that would add flex.

The original meaning of FEISOL is "Flying to Sun".
Feisol Tripod CT-3442 Manual
Feisol Tripod General Maintenance

Feisol Tripod CT-3442 Specs 
Load capacity - 55 lb (25 kg) 
Min height - 7" (18cm) 
Max height - 55.9" (142cm) 
Folded length - 19.3" (49cm) 
Preset leg angles - 25/50/75 degrees 
Four Leg sections. Weight - 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) 
Anti-leg rotation, Tripod bag, Spikes 

Hook to suspend additional weight (e.g., a
camera bag) for extra stability (e.g., in wind).

Feisol Tripod Leveling Base
Feisol leveling base LB-7567 for the CT-3442
(Taiwan). 75mm diameter ball & bowl.

Leveling base, installed.
Plus-minus 30 degrees tilt for uneven ground.

Solid aluminum. Check the three, bowl
set screws for tightness before use.

The OEM Feisol leveling head handle does not
allow attachment of the weight hook so I

modified it using my lathe. The hook is a 10-24
thread. I used a jam nut with a fiber washer.

Protected the part with tape. Center-drilled the curved end.
Feisol told me the handle was solid aluminum

but it is hollow, obviously for weight savings. Too bad,
as I would have adapted the 3/8-16 steel plug from

the OEM base for a more durable threaded mount.
It should be solid metal with a steel insert, instead.

Drilled a #25 hole for a 75% thread, in aluminum.

Threaded the hole with a 10-24 tap.

Lightly padded case with accessories side pouch.

Legs not reversed.

The legs can be reversed with the ball head
attached to compactly store in the supplied
bag. Double-check that the three set screws
for the top plate are properly tightened.

Allows reverse-folding of the tripod's legs.

Legs reversed for compact storage.

Tripod padded carry strap.

Long SS spikes' weight 15.9g each (x3 = 47.7g).
Hardness is low; suitable for wilderness ground
surfaces such as sand, grassland, & snow. Not

for use on concrete or asphalt surfaces. Feisol
short stainless steel spikes' weight 10.1g each

(x3 = 30.3g). Hardness is high; suitable for a
concrete, asphalt road, plus all other wilderness
ground surfaces such as sand, grassland, &
snow. The hook's thread is 10-24.

Manfrotto 290 MT294C3 carbon tripod (Italy).

Aluminum plate with 3/8-16 thread. Note
rubber bumper ring for the vertical column.

At each leg pivot there is an aluminum position
lock that can be rotated to increase leg stance.

A small, snap-on plastic wrench is
supplied to allow leg lock adjustments.

The leg locks are aluminum with plastic
levers. Levers are much quicker,
stronger, & easier than turned collars.

5 kg (11 lb) capacity.

Carbon Mini-tripod

Leofoto LS-223C-LH25 Mini Tripod Kit 
Carbon Fiber & 25mm, Low-Profile Ball Head.
The design, materials, & workmanship
are excellent plus it's light-weight.

Ten layers of 100% Toray Brand (Japan), rhombus cross-pattern,
carbon fiber
tubes. CNC precision machined from 6061/7075 aluminum alloy.

Max height - 15.8"/380mm. Min height - 4.1"/105mm.
Folded length - 10.6"/270mm. Weight - 1.6 lb/0.72 kg.
Max load - 22 lb/10 kg.
3/8-16 & 1/4-20 convertible (spring-loaded) base mounting stud.

Leg section diameters - 0.87"/22mm, 0.75"/19mm, 0.60"/16mm.
Three-position semi-automatic leg locks; 25deg, 55deg, 85deg.

Includes LH-25, low-profile 25mm ball head with Arca-type Quick
Release (QR) plate, multi-tool, carry case & SS tripod spike set.

The QR plate has a retractable stop plate.
Clamping levers
pullout for position adjustment.

LH-25, low-profile 25mm ball
head with Arca-type QR plate

Leofoto DC-222C carbon fiber tripod extensible center column.
Base diameter - 1.14"/29mm with 3/8-16 threads. 
Tube sizes -
0.87"/22mm & 0.75"/19mm.
Lengths - 7.9"/200mm & 12.6"/320mm.
Weight - 3.5 oz/100 g. Max load - 17.6 lb/8 kg.

A very stable configuration.

Slik mini tripod (Japan) with
Manfrotto Mini Ball Head 482 (Italy).

Slik mini tripod (Japan) with OEM head.

Vivitar micro tripod with built-in ball head.

Fluid Base Monopod

The Manfrotto MVM250A monopod with
fluid base supports almost 18 lb (Italy).

The 3/8-16 thread is spring-loaded &
slides in to expose a 1/4-20 thread.

Carbon Monopod

Manfrotto 290 MM294C4 carbon monopod (Italy).

The 3/8-16 thread is spring-loaded &
slides in to expose a 1/4-20 thread.

Tilt Head

Manfrotto 234RC tilt head. All aluminum
construction & an RC quick-release plate (Italy).

1/4-20 mounting bolt.

All Manfrotto quick-release plates. have a secondary
safety lock some of which can also be locked open.

Ball Heads

Feisol ball head CB-40D


Height - 100mm / 3"
Weight - 430g / 0.95 lb
Ball Diameter - 40mm / 1.6"
Base Diameter - 60mm / 2.4"
Max. Load - 15 kg / 33 lb
Thread Size - UNC 3/8-16
Arca-style quick release plate QP-144750
Feisol Ball Head Manual

Nodal point setup for more
accurate panoramic stiching.

Feisol CB-60D Ball Head

Ball Sphere Diameter - 2.4"/60mm 

Base Mount - UNC 3/8-16 Thread
Camera Mounting Screw - 1/4-20 Male
Quick Release Plate - Arca-Type
Load Capacity - 84 lb / 38.1 kg
Friction Control & Independent Pan Lock
Diameter 3.1" (80mm) x Height 4.9" (125mm)
Unit Weight - 1.6 lb / 0.7 kg

Feisol ball heads have an excellent drag tensioning
system that has a wide range of adjustability
but, more importantly, any given drag setting is equal
in all directions yielding a smooth, full-range of motion.
Manfrotto ball heads have the same ideal performance.

The massive 60mm ball head easily holds
a large rig quite steadily for sharp imaging.
Smooth panning in all directions.

60mm ball vs. 40mm. Shown is a Feisol QP-1447100
100mm long, quick-lease plate mounted on the left.

Manfrotto 482 mini ball head with a 1/4-20 base (Italy).
Subsequently replaced by Manfrotto 494RC2.

Manfrotto 494RC2 pan-tilt ball head.
All aluminum construction (Italy).

Manfrotto 498RC2 pan-tilt ball head with
friction control & quick-change plate (Italy).
Load capacity - 17.64 lb (8 kg).
Weight - 1.34 lb (0.61 kg).

The base has a degrees scale that
can be used to take a sequence of

overlapping photographs that are then
later stitched together for a panorama.

Manfrotto QR ARCA-type
adapter for ball head (Italy).

Triangular design (theoretically) allows close
folding-up of the tripod's legs but with no plate. 

Manfrotto's proprietary
stem attachment design.

A size comparison of the three heads.

Manfrotto 2909 35mm Super Clamp
with short & long studs.
The short stud
has both 1/4-20 & 3/8" threads.
The long stud has a 1/4-20 thread.

Triangular piece snaps into fixed jaw
or underneath post lock for storage.

Ball-head mounted mounted onto clamp.
This setup was for an African safari
to clamp onto vehicle rails.
It worked well.

Leophoto LH-55 Ball Head

Leophoto Ball Head LH-55 Specifications 

Ball Diameter - 55mm / 2.2"

Height - 98mm / 3.9"
Weight - 940g / 2 lb
Base Diameter - 72mm / 2.8"
Max. Load - 25 kg / 55 lb
Thread Size - UNC 3/8-16 

 Pan-Tilt Head

Manfrotto 804RC2 tripod pan-tilt head with RC plate (Italy).
The handle have good ergonomic design.

It is constructed out of dimensionally stable,
engineered plastic for weight & cost savings.

It has a built-in level.
The RC plate is, of course, aluminum.

Fluid Pan-Tilt Head

Manfrotto 128RC pan-tilt fluid head (Italy).
All aluminum construction with RC plate.

Compact, low-cost simple fluid head. 

The drag is semi-adjustable via the two knobs.

3/8-16 mounting thread in an aluminum base.

Manfrotto MVH502AH Fluid Head

Manfrotto MVH502AH fluid head incorporates
their Bridging Technology (Italy).

Manfrotto Fluid Head MVH502AHH 
Manfrotto Fluid Head MVH502AH parts

Manfrotto MVH502AH Fluid Head
Weight 59.64 oz.
Collection/Series 502
Material Aluminum
Safety Payload Weight 15.43 lb.
Counterbalanced Weight 8.82 lb.
Tilt Drag adjustable 0 - max
Pan Drag adjustable 0 - max
Plate Type 504PLONG
Ball Flat Flat
Center of gravity 2.17 in
Front Tilt -80 deg / +90 deg
Bubble Spirit Level 1
Accessory Compatibility 502HLV; 509HLV;
Top Attachment 1/4″ & 3/8″ screws
Base Diameter 2.95 inches
Certifications None
Color Black
Easy Link Yes
Head Type Video/Fluid Head
Max Working Temp. 140 F (60 C)
Min Working Temp. -4 F (-20 C)
Pan Bar Included Yes
Panoramic Rotation 360
Quick Release Yes
Working Height 5.12 inches

Manfrotto MVHN8AH Fluid Video Head
Manfrotto MVHN8AH fluid video head (Italy).

Front view (above) & back view (below).

Manfrotto Fluid Head MVHN8AH Manual 

Manfrotto Fluid Head MVHN8AH Parts
Manfrotto Fluid Video Head MVHN8AH Specs 
Weight 77.59 oz.
Collection/Series Nitrotech
Material Aluminum
Safety Payload Weight 17.64 lb.
Counterbalanced Weight 17.64 lb.
Tilt Drag adjustable 0 - max
Pan Drag adjustable 0 - max
Plate Type 504PLONGR
Ball Flat Flat
Center of gravity 2.17 in.
Front Tilt -70 deg / +90 deg
Bubble Spirit Level 1
Top Attachment 1/4″ & 3/8″ screws
Powered by (batteries) Lithium CR1220
Color Black
Easy Link Yes
Head Type Video/Fluid Head
Max Working Temp. 122 F (50 C)
Min Working Temp. 5 F (-15 C)
Pan Bar Included Yes
Panoramic Rotation 360
Quick Release Yes
Working Height 5.83 inches

Tilt lock, drag, counter-balance force, & pan lock controls are on the left,
good for right-handed people operating the pan handle on the right side.
Pan & tilt drag are continuously variable as is the counterbalancing force.
The equipment mounting plate does not slide in but rather snaps in from the top
which is a better method when attaching heavier, bulky equipment.
The plate is then captured but slides for initial balancing before locking.

A Nitrogen gas piston is part of a continuously
variable force mechanism used to counterbalance a load
of up to 17.637 lb or 8 kg (top-right pullout handle).

Top & bottom views.
1/4-20 or 3/8-16 plate attachment
screws & 3/8-16 threaded aluminum base.

The spirit leveling bubble has a Lithium CR1220 battery powered, snap-in illuminator.
It turns off when the red button is pressed again or automatically after about 10 seconds. 
Mounted onto a Feisol tripod with its optional leveling head attachment.

The left pull-out knob is the variable counterbalancing force control.
The outside knob is the tilt lock & inner knob is the variable drag.

While behind the camera, rotating the knobs forward increases
drag & locks the tilt axis but the counterbalance level will decrease.

The knob pulls out (extends) to give additional hand clearance
for the tilt locking knob and/or when large equipment is mounted.

This fluid video head is the best featured, smoothest fluid head for the cost.
The variable load compensation is effective. Its ergonomics are good.

Follow Focus

Fotga follow focus for 15mm rails.

Fotga 15mm rail mount.

I made a rubber wheel that has an aluminum hub
that holds a large O-ring in a square groove.

It is attached with a 4mm cap-head
screw with a red, press-on knob.

The Fotga Model DP500 III now uses the
JTZ X-Type coupling, as shown above.

Cut a square O-ring groove into a supplied OEM plastic gear using a
custom-sized aluminum arbor with 4mm tapped hole for the fastener.
A V-groove might be better to hold the O-ring.

The mod works well. The O-ring can be removed
so the gear's functionality remains intact.

Friction wheels, as compared to a two-gear
coupling, can loose accuracy due to slippage.


Benro gimbal head GH-2. Supports 50 lb
Strong & smooth with a high degree of adjustability.
Easily holds my D500 with a 200-500 telephoto lens.
Benro Gimbal Head GH-2 Instructions

The system's center of gravity (CG) is below the optical
axis due to the weights of the mount, the pivoting

gimbal parts, & the camera body's uneven distribution
of weight towards the bottom, including the battery.

A grip would add even more lower-half weight.
The captured elevation rubber knob is for tension & locking.

Panning axis has a degrees scale for panoramas.

Two small stop tabs rest against the lens foot heel.

The included Arca-type plate has extra 1/4-20 screws
that can be tightened with (a hex) or without tools.

Note the plate bottom has
slide-stop bolt heads at each end.

The Arca-type base has long slide-stop
channels for added adjustment range.

The locking knob is captured.

This machined-in safety stop keeps the
slide from coming apart if the lock slips.

Compact Jobu gimbal (Canada).  

This Kirk (USA) lens plate KLP-450 is 4.5" L x 1.5" W x 3/8" D.
The silver (aluminum) stop is reversible & has a 30 deg
angle to fit tighter against the Nikon 200-500mm lens-ring base.

The Arca-type plate has slide stop screws underneath.
The extra length helps in balancing. Very nicely designed plate.

When balancing, the center of gravity (CG) does not
run along the lens' optical axis but is somewhat below it.  

Take into account the weights of the lower arm, the base,
the lens mount, & the lower half of the camera body/grip.

Panorama Entrance Pupil Setup

Tripod with leveling-head (Feisol), 360 deg indexed Arca head,
200mm nodal point Arca rail, tilt head (Manfrotto),

D500 with WR-R10 remote shutter release. This setup
allows me to level the rail while also tilting the camera.

In photography literature, the lens' entrance pupil is
often mistakenly referred to as the nodal point. The

adjustment rail enables removal of parallax by moving the
panning pivot point forward to the lens' entrance pupil.

While looking through the camera at two vertical edges,
one near, the other far, adjust along the rail & rotate the

assembly until the distance between the two edges is constant.
Eliminating parallax allows higher quality stitching.

Arca-type L-bracket on a nodal point rail.

 Bubble Level

This black-anodized aluminum add-on bubble level for
tripods has a 60mm (ID) tray. It accommodated all

of my different tripod head bases except the
Manfrotto 498RC2 tilt-ball. To accurately mount the plate for
machining, a bolt head was cut to at an angle on the lathe.
Using this forced the part's hole to be tightly centered

on the table. 0.35mm (0.014") was removed to open-up
the plate for the
498RC2 which has a 60.5mm base.

Using the rotary table, three, 6mm holes were drilled
every 120 deg to clear the base-locking set screws.

If the screws are set out about one mm, they keep
the plate from rotating as the head is attached.

This shows a Manfrotto MT294C3 carbon fiber tripod
with a mounted & locked
804RC2 pan-tilt head.
Its aluminum base was just under 60mm in diameter.

A level tripod is recommended for taking panoramic
photo sets that can be subsequently stitched together.

All my monopod & tripod heads use the same (interchangeable)
Manfrotto quick-release 200PL camera plate.

The slightly oversized base now fits the tray perfectly &
can be locked with the three tripod set screws.

Cotton Carrier

The Cotton Carrier is an excellent
harness to allow effortless & secure

carrying of photographic equipment
while freeing both hands for hiking

A machined metal hub screws onto the camera's
tripod mount. There is a very thick rubber washer.

Note the keyhole-shaped Lexan slot. The arrow
points forward thereby orienting the key feature.

The carrier has a small pouch containing
a rain cover for the camera body, the hex wrench, & hub.
The closure flap also tucks a strap into place.

The harness has a breathable mesh back.

The hub arrow is rotated to the
camera's front & locked very tightly.

To secure the equipment, turn it to a right angle
(left or right), slip the hub into the slot & rotate the

camera so the lens hangs down. It is now locked into
the keyhole slot. To remove, reverse this procedure.

It comes with a tether as a backup safety precaution
but I put the camera strap around my neck, instead.

For larger (taller) pro-body cameras or those
with an added grip like this example,

they recommend using the 10 deg angled hub.
This keeps the rig closer to your body.

The Cotton Carrier is extremely well made with top-quality
design features, materials, & workmanship.

I can carry my Nikon D7200 with any of the lenses
shown above with ease while hiking in the
It works very well when I'm using the large
Nikon 200-500mm super-telephoto lens.


Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Binoculars (Japan).
Sharp optics, excellent
ergonomics, close
focusing, rugged, compact, & lightweight.
Unlimited & unconditional VIP warranty.
I prefer the Vortex over the Nikon; better
guarantee, better ergonomics, better optics.

Soft, flexible rubber objective covers.
Easy on/off, dust/water tight seals that stay on.

Soft, flexible rubber rain guard for the eyepieces.
Excellent dust/water tight seal & it won't fall off.

Rain guard held to the side by the neck strap.

Twist eyecups can be extended
with multiple detent positions.

Diopter ring - unlocked (pulled-out).

Diopter ring - locked (pushed-in).
An excellent feature as it can be easily &
precisely moved before being locked.

High-grip focusing knob.

Angled thumb recesses.

A soft strap that is curved at
the neck; very comfortable.

The double-rivited leather
strap attachment has D-rings.

Roomy, closed-cell foam padded case with a good
adjustable snap closure & a small zippered net pocket.

Enough room for the binoculars' strap.
Case has its own separate adjustable strap.

The case closure flap has extra
rain protection at the top corners. 

Remove the logo cap to expose the
1/4-20 thread for the tripod adapter.

Vortex binocular tripod adapter. They also have a
low-profile model adapter. Cast aluminum.

Easy enough to attach on short binoculars though some
users report it's more difficult with larger models.

Right at this binoculars' balance point.

See the Tripods Section.

Vortex Viper HD Binoculars
Optical Features - HD (High Density) lens elements using extra-low dispersion glass.
XR fully multi-coated proprietary coatings. Dielectric prism coatings. Multi-layer prism coatings.
Phase correction coating on roof prisms.

Construction Features - Roof (or Dach) prisms. Waterproof O-ring seals.
Fog-proof Argon gas purging. ArmorTek ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating. rubber armor.

Convenience Features - Adjustable eyecups twist up & down to precise, intermediate settings.
Center focus wheel. Locking diopter adjusts for differences in a user's eyes. Tripod adaptable.
This binocular performed flawlessly on many African game drives.

Vortex Viper HD 8x42 Binocular Specifications

    Magnification  8x
    Objective Lens Diameter 42 mm
    Eye Relief 20 mm
    Exit Pupil 3 5.25 mm
    Linear Field of View 347 feet/1000 yards
    Angular Field of View 6.6 degrees
    Close Focus 5.1 feet
    Interpupillary Distance 59-75 mm
    Height 5.8 inches
    Width 5.3 inches
    Weight 24.2 ounces


8x42 means the magnification = 8x & the objective lens diameter = 42mm.
Calculate the exit pupil by dividing the objective lens diameter by the magnification.
(Objective Lens Diameter) / (Magnification) = Exit Pupil (mm). For example: 42/8 = 5.25mm.
The exit pupil (or eye motion box) is the area where the eye can be placed in order to see the full image.
Larger is better thereby enabling easier, faster imaging & less long-term eye strain.
Also, larger exit pupils combined with larger eye pupils result in a brighter image.
Eyeglass wearers benefit from a large exit pupil & long eye relief.

Nikon Monarch 7 binoculars 8x42 
Clear & bright image; compact & light-weight. 
Wide field of view & smooth, close focusing.

Extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. Wide apparent field of view (58.4 deg for 8x42, 60.7 deg for 10x42).
Dielectric high-reflective multi-layer roof prism coating. All lenses & prisms are multilayer-coated.
Scratch-resistant coating is applied to the outside surfaces of objective & eyepiece lenses.
Phase-correction-coated roof prisms for high resolution. High-eye point design provides a clear field of view.
Waterproof (up to 1m/3.3 ft. for 10 minutes) & fog-free with O-ring seals & nitrogen gas.
Turn-&-slide rubber eyecups with multi-click facilitate easy positioning of eyes at the correct eye point.
Flip-down objective lens cap. Can be fixed to a tripod using optional tripod adaptor.


MONARCH 7  8x42

MONARCH 7  10x42

Magnification (x)



Objective diameter (mm)



Angular field of view (Real degree)



Angular field of view (Apparent degree)



Field of view at 1,000m (m)



Exit pupil (mm)



Relative brightness



Eye relief (mm)



Close focusing distance (m)



Length (mm)



Width (mm)



Depth (mm)



Weight (g)



Interpupillary distance adjustment (mm)



Prism Type

Dach Dach

Detent eyecups.
The diopter adjustment ring is good & stiff.

The eyepiece covers are "spring loaded" to hold on.

The case & neck strap are soft.

Nikon logo cover removed to expose the
1/4-20 tripod adapter (8177) thread.

Sainlogic Pro WiFi Wx Station FT0835-plus Manual

Sainlogic Pro WS-0835 Quick Setup Instructions

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Motorized Mount compensates for the Earth's rotation
thereby allowing longer night-time exposures of star fields without motion-induced blur (trails).
It has a built-in polar scope to enable accurate axial alignment on the North (Polaris) or South Poles.
Specifications: 11 lb payload capacity, selectable tracking speeds, multiple preprogrammed speeds,
built-in illuminated polar scope, DSLR shutter control interface, ST-4 type auto-guider compatible,
3/8-16 & 1/4-20 tripod mounts, Vixen-style dovetail mounting plate, free lifetime firmware updates.
Articles discuss the upper limit of these types of tracking systems is about 200mm lenses.
Star Adventurer Manual v2

Polar scope.

Polar scope reticle illuminator.
Since Polaris is not exactly on-axis,

an app is used to show where to place
it on the scope's reticle, in real-time.

This equatorial wedge has a ratchet locking handle,
degrees scale, fine adjustments, & Vixen dovetail.

Equatorial wedge disassembled revealing
lightening holes to reduce weight.

A 0.002" thick x 1" brass washer was fabricated &
installed to reduce sideways play.

Dovetail to ball head adapter. 3/8-16 thread.

Fine-tuning mount has a worm-gear adjustment.

Counter weight attachment screws
into the Fine-tuning mount.

DSLR shutter control cable
for a Nikon 10-pin connector.

Leica IIIf, Nikon F2, Light Meters, Nikon Z8, Nikon D850, Afrika, Nikon D500,
Nikon Accessories, Nikon APS-C DSLRs, Carbon Tripods, Mini-Tripods,
Fluid Base Monopod, Carbon Monopod, Tilt Head, Ball Heads, Pan-Tilt Head,
Fluid Pan-Tilt Head, Gimbals, Bubble Level, Carrier, Binoculars, Wx, Astrophotography