Tiffen Apex Filter
Hot on the heels of the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, Nikon has launched redesigned 500mm and 600mm lenses. All three lenses sport fluorite elements, which shed weight while retaining optimum image quality. At 3.81kg, this 600mm is almost identical in weight to the 400mm, but marginally wider and 74mm longer, at 166x432mm. It’s also some 25 per cent lighter than Nikon’s preceding 600mm. The loss of 1.25kg enables easier handling, especially as the balance is shifted away from the front of the lens. Handheld shooting is much more comfortable, although the lens comes with a mounting collar and tripod foot. A shorter monopod foot is also supplied, along with a carbon fibre lens hood, carrying strap and hard case.
The control layout makes advanced settings (like A/M, M/A and M focusing) easily accessible. VR (Vibration Reduction) options include normal and ‘sport’ modes, and gave a four-stop advantage in our tests. Other finery includes a focus-range limiter switch and four AF buttons. Autofocus is rapid despite a long travel for the focus ring that enables precise manual adjustments. In our tests, sharpness fell just short of lab scores from the 400mm lens. Contrast is excellent and all other aspects of image quality are impressive. It’s the all-time best 600mm prime lens for Nikon D-SLRs.
Rogue FlashBender 2 Portable Lighting Kit
Tiffen’s Oscar-winning filter technology is now available in its new XLE range: Apex, Advantix and Axent. The names might sound silly, but these filters enable you to shoot long-exposure images of exceptional quality in bright sunlight. The Apex is the most colour-neutral of the range and features a standard near-infrared blocker and ‘Hot Mirror’. These features help eliminate the influence of colour casts that are caused by infrared light when taking a long exposure.
Telephoto prime lens