Testing equipment in the field

▼ Nikon 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR N (pro telephoto zoom lens)

Posted: 6 October 2021 | Last updated: 28 October 2021 | Available in: 🇬🇧/🇺🇸

Company: Nikon Corporation

Product name: Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR N

Product type: Professional long range telephoto zoom lens

What's it for? Capturing things that are far away

Price: € 11.999,00 (September 2021)

Purchased at store:, Waardenburg (NL)

Purchased on: 28 September 2021

This lens has been my holy grail of super telephoto zoom lenses for over three years. While I have been using all sorts of telephoto lenses in the past, I always found myself running into trouble with either certain aspects of the lens itself or the images they put out. All of which I found very frustrating. In the end I found one common denominator for almost all these lenses: they're not perfect, they all do not deliver the quality I expect them to and they don't handle the way I want them to. But... that was until the end of September 2021.

About three years ago I started looking into the very best telephoto lenses out there for the Nikon F mount. That rather quicly led me to this lens. There are not too many high-end quality telephoto zooms so I began watching and reading about this lens and its closest competitors a lot. I must have watched and read every single review and article out there. The result: I fell in love with it long before I even had the chance to lay my hands on one in real life, but then, mid September 2021, I got lucky.

As a result of a world-wide chip shortage, since the pandemic Nikon has suspended all orders for a lot of its products, including this lens, with still no real end in sight as of October 2021. The result is that this lens is not available anywhere in the country and as far as I know on the enitre planet. However I knew some copies ought to be out there, because this lens was released before the pandemic, some time around March 2018.

This meant I started looking for used copies. Of course with a lens like this prices don't drop much and since it's a very recent model, it was going to be difficult. But maybe there were people out there already selling this lens off and what I found was even better. I found an almost brand new copy. Almost: because I coincidentally stumbled upon a store that was offering this one... a demo model. This particular copy had never left the store before and was solely used for indoor demonstration purposes only. So after a financial plan had been drawn up ... I got it. The big question is: is this lens really worth all that money? I wrote it all down in this review.

Click on the image to go to the review.

▼ Samyang XP 10mm F3.5 (pro ultra wide angle lens)

Posted: 13 October 2020 | Last updated: 4 February 2021 | Available in: 🇬🇧/🇺🇸

Company: Samyang (KR)

Product name: XP 10mm F3.5

Product type: Ultra wide angle prime lens

What's it for? Capturing a 130° field of view, distortion free

Price: € 1.149,00 (October 2020)

Purchased at store: Kamera-Express Breda (NL)

Purchased on: 13 October 2020

An ultra wide angle lens is a great addition to any camera bag. It is a specialised tool that has its very own characteristics both in the way of working with it as well as in the results it produces.

This Samyang is definitely a pro grade lens which means that it's not going to be particularly cheap and prior to any costly purchase, people tend to want a taste of the product first before spending this kind of money. What does it feels like? How does it handle? What are the pros and cons? Conveniently with lenses like these in my country there are options to 'try before you buy' first, so that is exactly what I did.

I decided to first rent the lens for a week to thoroughly test it. In The Netherlands we have a website where consumeres as well as businesses offer all sorts of equipment for rent, which is then delivered via postal service all across the country. I rented this particular lens through from Samyang's official distributor in the Benelux, Transcontinenta B.V. They were most helpful during the testing period and on top of that: you're being offerend the option to reclaim the renting price when you decide to buy the product after the renting period!

This personal quest worked out for me very well so I decided to write an article about the entire experience. If you're looking into lenses like these at the moment I genuinely hope that in turn this article may help you. Have fun reading and be sure to leave a comment via email or on social media when (and if) you're finished. Are you ready? Click on the image on the left to read all about my experiences with renting and eventually buying this Samyang lens.

▼ NextoDI NPS-10 XQD Compact Portable Backup Storage (misc)

Posted: 13 October 2020 | Last updated: 20 October 2021 | Available in: 🇬🇧/🇺🇸

Company: NextoDI (KR)

Product name: NPS-10 XQD Compact Portable Backup Storage

Product type: Backup device with internal battery

Whats it for? To not lose any photos when on long jobs or in the field, far away from any store or power outlet

Price: € 399,00 (September 2020)

Purchased at store: Kamera-Express Capelle a/d IJssel (NL)

Purchased on: 17 September 2020

Imagine either of the following scenarios:

1. Have you ever been afraid of losing your photos while shooting? For example while on vacation, a hike or at a photography gig?

2. What would you do if your camera got stolen or you forgot it somewhere?

3. Have you ever gone somewhere, only to find out after arriving on location that you forgot to empty your memory cards to your computer back home before heading out?

If any of the above is the case this might be the device for you. There are plenty of such scenarios imaginable when yo'll find  yourself nowhere near a computer and in that case an external backup device would come in quite handy then, wouldn't it?

It doesn't matter if your a pro or a beginner: these fears are real. In this digital age we're dealing with electrical appliances and they can break down, resulting in the loss of everything you've worked so hard for.

While we'll never be able to rule out every single possibilty, it is however a smart move to try to decrease the chances of camera/card failure. A camera can be replaced but losing valuable memories or work while it could've been prevented, is not something we want to deal with.

These fears for me were a good motivation to look for ways to prevent that. So, after doing research here's what I came up with. Click on the image to read the full story.

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