Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ultimate Versatility with Nikon's New AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens

AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens

Sales start date: 28th May 2010

April 27th 2010: Nikon UK today announces a new super telephoto zoom lens – the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II. This lens replaces the highly acclaimed AF-S Zoom NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR and features the new generation of Vibration Reduction technology (VR II), Nano Crystal Coat and a new A/M mode, making it an ideal, versatile choice for sports and wildlife photographers.

This type of super telephoto zoom lens remains unique on the market and reflects Nikon’s continued dedication to innovation and quality in the industry. The evolution of this lens underlines Nikon’s commitment to developing a range of products tailored to photographers’ needs, and strengthens the line-up of high-performance NIKKOR lenses.

Zurab Kiknadze, Product Manager Lenses, Accessories & Software, Nikon Europe says: "Rapid advancements in optical technology and Nikon’s continued dedication to provide class-leading products have resulted in recent updates of pro grade lenses. Through its additional features and improved specifications, the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II delivers the ultimate results and enables even the most demanding of pro photographers to shoot without compromise.”

Sharper images with improved handling
The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II features second generation built in Vibration Reduction (VRII), providing the ability to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower so sharper images can be achieved.

In addition, the new A/M mode added to existing M/A and M modes enables autofocus priority even if the focus ring is being handled during shooting.

Reduced ghosting and flare
The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II now incorporates Nikon’s exclusive anti-reflection Nano Crystal coat, which drastically reduces ghosting and flare, along with four ED glass elements to minimise internal reflections and aberrations. This delivers rich, high contrast images even under testing lighting conditions.

The new lens features an autofocus with a built-in silent wave motor to ensure fast and quiet focusing. The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II has a tough magnesium body, incorporating weather and dust sealing and lens protective glass, to withstand the effects of dust and moisture in the toughest of shooting conditions.

Weighing in at only 3,360g, while providing great flexibility in telephoto shooting, this new lens is a practical alternative to carrying several large telephoto lenses. The lens is supplied with a high quality Ballistic, backpack style carry case, allowing for easy and safe transportation.


Focal length200-400mm
Lens construction24 elements in 17 groups
Picture angle12°20´- 6°10´ (8°- 4° for Nikon DX format)
No. diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
Closest focusing distance2.0m/6ft. (AF); 1.95m/6.4ft. (MF)
Filter/attachment size52mm
Diameter x lengthApprox. 124 x 365.5mm

Monday, 26 April 2010

Where Nikon Comes From

Nippon Kogaku: the origin of Nikon

The Nippon Kogaku logo on Grays of Westminster’s shop front

Nippon Kogaku was the original name of the Nikon company. In Japanese, the words Nippon Kogaku mean 'Japan Optical'. It seems that they took the first two letters of NIppon and KOgaku and added an 'N' to form Nikon. As Nippon Kogaku was a bit of a mouthful for Western tongues, the company became the Nikon Corporation.

Nikon Logo

Founded in 1917 as Nippon Kogaku, Nikon Corp. has been in business for almost 100 years and, along with their brother company Nikkor, they have been industry leaders of cameras and lenses for decades.

Here at Grays, we are proud to be exclusively Nikon!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Last chance to see Karim Fayed: Landscapes at the Richard Young Gallery

This week is your last chance to see the hugely popular, nearly sold out exhibition "Karim Fayed : Landscapes" at the Richard Young Gallery.

Saturday 24th is the last day of the exhibition. We welcome you to stop by the gallery to see these stunning photographs before they come down.

Richard Young Galleryphoto credit:

"Karim Fayed, son of Harrods Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, has shown a strong commitment to and passion for photography since he received his first camera as a young child. These stunning panoramic landscapes aim to capture the essence and purity inherent in each unique environment presented to the viewer.

Bridge at Tromso, NorwayBridge at Tromso, Norway

Karim’s travels have taken him to many far-reaching destinations including the Scottish highlands and the American deserts, the frozen Norwegian wilderness, Iceland, Brazil and the coasts of South Africa. This exhibition presents a glimpse into the experience of witnessing first-hand the overwhelming beauty of the natural world."

Statue of Christ, Rio de JaneiroStatue of Christ, Rio de Janeiro

“I’ve always had an affinity with nature from an early age – I love standing in the middle of the countryside, with nothing to distract me, just the sound of the wind. It’s in that environment that I am able to take photographs that I like.”
- Karim Fayed

(Excerpted from the Richard Young Gallery website.)

Exhibition details:
10th March - 24th April 2010,
Richard Young Gallery,
4 Holland Street, London, W8 4LT,
Monday-Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10:30am-5pm

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Nikon Special Spring Offers at Grays of Westminster

For a limited time, we are pleased to be able to offer the following money-off vouchers on lenses and accessories when bought with each specific Nikon DSLR camera body as listed:

This offer is valid while stocks last and is only available to customers in the UK and Ireland.

Please e-mail or call the shop for more details or to place an order.

In addition, Nikon are offering £60.00 cash back on the D90 and £50.00 on the D5000 for body only or with a lens.

This offer is valid until the end of April 2010.

New Releases:

We now have in stock and available both the new Nikon wide-angle 16-35mm f/4 and the 24mm f/1.4.

For a limited time and while stocks last, we are able to offer £100.00 off the price of the 24mm f/1.4, making it £1849.00. Please quote this special price when ordering as it is not listed on the website or on our pricelists.

There is a long waiting list for the new TC 20E III and it seems there have been some delivery slows on this product. If you are not on the waiting list but would like to be, please drop me a line and I will add your details. Otherwise, for all those waiting, thank you for your patience! As soon as I have stock, I will get in contact with you to let you know.

Finance Now Available - No deposit Required

We are now able to offer 0% finance to customers purchasing equipment to a value over £1000.00.

Finance is provided by Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance and can be taken out over 6 months which is interest free, or up to 36 months at 9.9% APR. No deposit is required, but can be made if you wish. You can also trade in your old equipment and use this as a deposit.

Finance can be arranged by telephone or in person. Please call us on 020-7828 4925 if you have any questions at all . This scheme is available to UK and Northern Ireland residents only.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need any help. We offer a tuition service to customers and have a technical help line to Simon Stafford available to subscribers of the Nikon Owner magazine.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Kindest regards,

Tabitha Hardy
Grays of Westminster - Exclusively... Nikon
40 Churton Street
London SW1V 2LP
Tel: +44 020 7828 4925
Fax: +44 020 7976 5783

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

14th Annual Heather Angel Wildlife and Natural History Workshop

Grays Of Westminster are pleased to present two one-day
workshops on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th July 2010
at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex, England

£60 discount off the workshop for all Nikon Owner subscribers

Saint Hill Manor

Heather Angel, the internationally renowned wildlife photographer, has been the recipient of a large number of awards and prizes from all over the world for her widely acclaimed lectures, writing and workshops. In addition she is a regular contributor to the worldwide photographic press and the distinguished author of over 50 books.

Heather Angel

Heather Angel is an enthusiastic tutor of wildlife and nature photography, and these hugely popular one-day workshops on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th July 2010 at Saint Hill Manor are perfect for both the newcomer and experienced photographer alike. The schedule for each day includes lectures, demonstrations and the chance to handle and use a large range of new Nikon camera equipment and the range of Think Tank camera bags. Her workshops regularly attract visitors from all over the U.K., Europe and throughout the world.

Schedule for the day

09.15 - Registration with coffee and tea served on the terrace of the Manor

10.00 -11.15
- Heather Angel - What makes a memorable image?

Pictures of the natural world which transcend language barriers and create an instant rapport are rare. It may be high-speed action, amazing behaviour, dramatic lighting or an intriguing design that arrests the eye. If you rely on coming across them by chance, the odds of achieving many in a year will be slim. But by conceiving the essential ingredients, you can reduce the odds of being successful. Drawing both on images taken over time as well as recent unseen ones, Heather will show some thought-provoking images which she hopes will stimulate a lively discussion.

Copies of Heather's books - including Wild Kew, which is the basis of the 2010 summer exhibition at Kew Gardens - will be available this weekend.

11.15 - Break for mid-morning refreshment: tea, coffee, mineral water on the Terrace.

11.45-12.45 - Nikon Total Imaging System - John Clements

Regardless of your choice of Nikon camera, it is important to know how to achieve the best from your equipment using Nikon optics, Nikon Speedlights and software, and in this session the Nikon Total Imaging System will be fully explained. In a live-shoot environment, using flash illumination indoors, John Clements will demonstrate how to create images to cover various genre of natural history photography, explaining every step of the procedure from the point of taking the initial image to the end result. As images are shot, they will appear on screen. John will then explain the procedure in detail as he fine-tunes and improves upon the images in camera. Each vital camera feature - focusing, exposure and much more - will be thoroughly examined and exact settings discussed during the shoot.

Jpegs - working within a limited time frame, Jpegs allow a speedy way to go straight to print.

NEF Raw files - using Nikon Capture NX2 and his broad experience of post-capture techniques, John will demonstrate how to generate imagery to professional imaging standards.

During the event John will use the Nikon WT4 Wi-Fi system, the Creative Lighting System and components of the Nikon software system

13.00 - Lunch: an elegant lunch overlooking the beautiful gardens of Saint Hill Manor and a wooded lake

14.00 - onwards there will be a choice of four sessions. You may attend them all or be selective. The sessions are outlined here with details of each below.
  • 14.00 - 16.15 Practical Macro session with Heather Angel inside and in the garden
  • 14.00 - 16.15 Outside Practical session with John Clements
  • 14.00 - 16.30 Photoshop Techniques with Giles Angel
  • Outside Practical session with Flying Falcons and Julian Ford - time to be announced
* Please note that Giles Angel's Photoshop session will be aimed at different levels as the afternoon progresses

14.00 - 16.15 Practical Macro session with Heather Angel inside and in the garden
This is an opportunity for you to get to grips with macro photography as guided by Heather who will demonstrate how to take still life subjects indoors, selecting the lighting which is most appropriate for the subject - whether it be window light, flash, a light box, a light tent or fibre optics. Nikon cameras and lenses will be available for you to use and flowers, fruits, shells and fossils will be provided for this still-life session. This is a marvellous opportunity for you to gain instant feedback on composition and lighting from Heather. She will also show you how to modify natural lighting to get the best results for macro work outside using reflectors, diffusers, and fill-in flash

Although a few Micro-Nikkor lenses will be available to borrow from the Nikon stand, if you would like to attend this session, please bring a Macro Lens, Tripod and Flash.

Outside Practical session with Flying Falcons and Julian Ford - time to be announced

By popular request, the birds of prey are back - ideal subjects to achieve stunning action images - both as stills and HD video with the latest DSLR Nikon cameras!

14.00 - 16.15 Outside Practical session with John Clements
ollowing on from his morning presentation, John with continue to explain how to get the best out of the Nikon Total Imaging System; this time (weather permitting) using available light outdoors.

14.00 - 16.30 Photoshop Techniques with Giles Angel
Giles Angel is a professional photographer and digital retoucher. The start of this session will be pitched at the beginner and will move onto more advanced and specific techniques as the afternoon progresses.
  • Introduction to a colour managed workflow
  • Editing your images using Adobe Bridge
  • Workflow in Bridge (editing, renaming, applying raw corrections)
  • RAW v JPEG
  • RAW conversion tips & techniques
  • Simple colour correction / variations
  • Introduction to adjustment layers
  • Levels - adjusting colour balance
  • Preparing images for print and the web
  • Precise colour correction with adjustment layers
  • Replace colour
  • Black and white from colour
  • Masking
  • Solarisation / colour effects
  • Content aware scaling
  • Panoramic stitching and panoramic head gear. Photo Merge (to create panoramics) in CS3 / CS4
  • Dodging and burning selective areas (CS4 comparison)
  • Shadow and highlights tool
  • Combining different raw conversion exposures using masks
  • Editing masks using paint brushes and gradients to make selective exposure and tonal adjustments
  • Working with mask and adjustment levels with reference to levels and curves
  • Selectively correcting areas using masks
  • Pseudo HDR (High Dynamic Range). Working with multiple adjusted raw files (Single) image and using masks to selectively
  • Introduction to HDR
16.15 - Afternoon Tea and Coffee or cool drinks served on the Terrace.

16.45 - Practical Session with Heather Angel outside

Heather will demonstrate various gadgets for aiding outdoor photography and demonstrate how she works in the rain.

17.00 - Workshop closes

- Dinner at the Manor. A special complimentary thank-you dinner to all those attending our workshop has been organised by Grays of Westminster and the staff of Saint Hill Manor. This must be arranged in advance.

Please note that Nikon cameras and lenses will be available for you to try out during the day; in fact these workshops are an excellent opportunity to handle and try out Nikon equipment before making a purchase. However, please bring your own kit - macro lens, long lens, flash and tripod - to get the best from the practical sessions.

Booking details:

The ticket for either day includes refreshments, lunch and the evening meal, and costs £245.00 (£185.00 for Nikon Owner subscribers) per person for the day.

The workshops start at 9.15 a.m. and run until 5.00 p.m., followed by dinner. Make your choice of day, Saturday 24th or Sunday 25th July and Book online here! or call Gillian Greenwood, Events and Training Coordinator between 2.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. on or 0207 828 8971 Monday to Friday if you are not a current Nikon Owner subscriber to find out how you can receive the £60 discount.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The Definitive Simon Stafford Nikon Flash Seminar

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

For a number of years, Grays of Westminster has presented and hosted a number of comprehensive photographic seminars and workshops covering a wide variety of subject matter including Mike Maloney’s recent House of Lords Photographic Event, wildlife and natural history weekend workshops in Pembrokeshire and Sussex, flash, general photographic technique, portrait and macro training sessions, and many more.

Due to overwhelming demand, we are delighted to announce a special flash seminar to be held in central London, at Fitzroy House, 37 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 6DX on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010.

Fitzroy House, 37 Fitzroy Street, London

The seminar will be presented by Simon Stafford, technical director of Nikon Owner magazine and respected author of many Nikon books, and will take place from 2.00 p.m. until 5.30 p.m. It will be limited to under 25 delegates so that each attendee will be able to benefit more fully from the tuition. The cost of the session will be £155 with a special price of £95 if you are a current Nikon Owner subscriber. To book, please email me with your full name, daytime mobile and landline, or call between 2.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. Monday to Friday on 020 7828 4925 or for International calls telephone + 44 (0)20 7828 4925, and ask to speak to me, Gillian Greenwood.

Agenda for the session

Part One: Flash basics
  • Introduction to Nikon Speedlights and the Nikon Creative Lighting System
  • Understanding light, sync speeds, flash modes, and flash sync modes
  • Shooting with one Speedlight on your camera
  • Modifying light, its colour, quality, and direction
  • Taking the flash off camera, using a cable
  • The Advanced Wireless Lighting system
Part Two: Digging deeper
  • Advanced Creative Lighting System features: FV Lock and Auto High-speed Sync
  • Shooting with multiple Speedlights using wireless control
  • Controlling light: get creative with filters and light modifiers
  • Practical considerations for location shooting

Part Three: Shooting with one light
  • A practical demonstration of setting up and shooting a portrait photograph, using a single Nikon Speedlight and the few simple lighting accessories
Please note: there will be ample opportunity to ask questions throughout the event.

About Simon Stafford

Simon Stafford

Simon Stafford is considered by many to be one of the foremost technical Nikon experts in the UK . With over twenty-five years of experience using the Nikon system, he brings his considerable expertise to bear both as technical editor for Nikon Owner, and as author of a number of comprehensive books on the Nikon system, including his best-seller series of Magic Lantern Guides on the Nikon D70s/D70, the Nikon D80, the Nikon D40, D40X, D50, D60, D200, D300, D700, D90, D3. The series includes a Magic Lantern Guide on the Nikon AF Speedlights & Creative Lighting System, and he is currently working on a fully updated, second edition to include the latest Nikon SB-900.

Special Nikon Owner discount off the price of the course

Enrolling on this course as a current Nikon Owner subscriber will allow you the benefit of a discount of £60 off the normal price of £155 for the session.

About Nikon Owner

Nikon Owner is a worldwide users’ group initially founded with the purpose of assisting Nikon owners to make full use of the Nikon equipment they own, to give advice on a wide spectrum of photographic queries and problems, and at the same time to offer ideas to bring about an increase in photographic skills. As a subscriber to this group, you will receive an array of offers and assistance, which includes:

Nikon Owner Magazine

Nikon Owner Magazine and Interactive Website is considered by many to be the world’s number 1 user group for Nikon owners.

Subscriber benefits include:
  • Nikon Owner Magazine: a stunning, full-colour 60 page glossy quarterly magazine which is 100% Nikon.
  • Subscribers’-only website with a lively forum, message board, technical equipment reviews, events’ page and use of a photo gallery.
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline: free technical consultation and support from Simon Stafford, one of the top Nikon experts in the UK .
  • FREE 3-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster, or a free 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster.
  • 10% off Think-Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster.
  • Special trips: past visits have included a two-week trip to Japan and a personal tour of the Nikon factory, a visit to Nikon Thailand , Angkor Watt, Cambodia .
  • Substantial discounts on events and training sessions such as Mike Maloney’s House of Lords Photographic Workshop, Heather Angel’s Wildlife & Natural History Workshops, Simon Stafford’s Definitive Flash, Portraiture and Macro Seminars, Chris Weston’s Photographic Courses, Michael Eleftheriades’ Panoramic Seminars.
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK .
  • A range of complimentary meetings and outings organized by local Nikon Owner Groups.
Please email with your name, daytime landline and mobile telephone number if you are interested in enrolling in Nikon Owner or call me after 2.00 p.m. Monday to Friday on 020 7828 4925 or for International calls, telephone + 44 (0)20 7828 4925. The cost of an annual subscription to Nikon Owner is currently £59.

With best wishes,

Gillian ( Greenwood )

Features Editor, Events’ Coordinator