Monday, 24 January 2011

Photography legend honoured at AP magazine awards

Legend Geoffrey Crawley was honoured with an Exceptional Achievement in Photography Award at the prestigious Amateur Photographer Awards 2011

Geoffrey Crawley

The award served as a fitting tribute to the magazine's photo-science consultant (pictured) who died in October last year aged 83.

The award, sponsored by Grays of Westminster, was presented by its founder, Gray Levett, to Geoffrey's widow Carolyn.

Speaking at the awards presentation ceremony in Whitehall, London Amateur Photographer (AP) Editor Damien Demolder said: 'Tales of how Geoffrey unmasked the Cottingley Fairy fakes and his work surrounding the John F Kennedy assassination have already been told in the numerous obituaries that have appeared across the globe, from the Guardian, the Telegraph and the New York Times.

'What I think is more important is what Geoffrey means to the readers of AP. Our first connection with Geoffrey Crawley came in the 30 October issue of AP in 1963, when the then technical editor, Neville Maude, tested some of the first samples of Paterson's Acutol developer.

'Acutol is a film developer formulated by Geoffrey, who went on to create Acuprint and Acufix, and then the FX-39 one-shot high-definition film developer.

'Geoffrey had come to the attention of Arthur Dalladay, the editor of the British Journal of Photography (BJP), in 1960, when he submitted an article on the subject of how developers worked. Along with his explanation he included alternative formula to popular commercial chemicals, a point noted by Donald Paterson the founder of Paterson products and the inventor of the modern plastic spiral.

'Paterson decided to market some of Geoffrey's formulations under the Acu brand, and they became extremely popular with the Amateur Photographer audience of the time. Geoffrey continued to work for Paterson until just a few years ago, when the company decided that further research into chemical formula was unnecessary.

'When Geoffrey joined us after editing the BJP for 21 years, he was already a familiar figure with the more serious end of our readership, and he was welcomed with trumpets and drums. The readers were very excited and those who knew him less held their breath as they read his first lens reports for the magazine.

'Geoffrey went on to write a regular series in addition to the lens tests, called Geoffrey Explains, in which he laid bare some of the finer points of photographic theory.'

Damien paid tribute to a man with a 'cavernous mind' and an 'eye for detail and investigation', whose generosity gave thousands of people a better understanding of photographic practice, and whose modesty 'had to be fought for him to allow us to use his full name, rather than just his initials, on his articles'.

Damien added: 'One reader summed it up very well when he wrote "The photographic world has lost a great man, but we are all greatly privileged to have learned from his knowledge. May he continue to live on in the minds of those who have learned from his knowledge. And may his legacy be better photographs from those he has taught".

'Geoffrey's unfinished symphony is 'How Black and White film works', a piece he was apologising for having not finished right up until his last days.

'I could pick it up and finish it myself, but I know that what I'd write would be nothing compared to the insights that Geoffrey would reveal. We'll never know how it would have ended.'

Excerpted from the Amateur Photographer website. Read the full story here:

Nikon and Grays of Westminster Win AP and What Digital Camera Awards

Grays of Westminster win
The What Digital Camera/Amateur Photographer

Good Service Award 2011

We are delighted to announce that Grays of Westminster have just received the What Digital Camera/Amateur Photographer Good Service Award 2011 as voted for by What Digital Camera readers and website visitors.

This special award was presented to Grays of Westminster at the prestigious Amateur Photographer Annual Awards ceremony on 20th January in London.

If you were one of those who voted for us, it is very much appreciated and thank you very much.

We would also like to heartily congratulate Nikon for winning the following categories in this year's Amateur Photographer Product Awards presented at the same event:

High-end Camera of the Year
Winner: Nikon D3s

Fixed Focal Length Lens of the Year
Winner: AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G

Entry-level Camera of the Year
Winner: Nikon D3100
Please note that the Cashback offer on the Nikon D3100 ends on 31st January 2011

To find out more about the full range of Nikon equipment and services that Grays of Westminster can offer you, a personal visit is highly recommended. If this is impractical, alternatively please visit our informative website, Indeed, a veritable Aladdin's Cave of Nikon awaits you! Our Mail Order Department can be contacted by telephone 020 7828 4925 within the UK or +44 (0)20 7828 4925 from outside the UK, by fax 020 7976 5783 or Whatever option you choose, we look forward, as we have done over the past twenty-five years, to being of service to you.

Kind regards,

Gray Levett

Photography Workshop: Simon Stafford Nikon Speedlight Workshop - London

Simon Stafford Workshops
Grays of Westminster is proud to present

The Definitive Simon Stafford Nikon Speedlight Workshop

Saturday, 12th February 2011 at Fitzroy House,
37 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 6DX

Fitzroy House

As it is a workshop, please do bring kit, but please would you kindly keep it simple because of space issues - such as one camera, one flash (SB-600, SB-800, or SB-900), and a lens that you would normally use for portraiture images.

Agenda for the session

Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS) offers level of flexibility and control that provides a huge range of creative possibilities for off-camera flash and portable on-location lighting. Simon will share his in-depth knowledge of the CLS and 30-years of photographic experience, so that you can achieve professional looking portraits easily and swiftly using a minimum of equipment.

Simon will show you how to set-up, position, and control simple lighting that will have an immediate impact on your photography. He will lead you through a variety of lighting set ups with live demonstrations, so you will be able to observe first-hand how to improve your lighting techniques. Starting with a single Nikon Speedlight you will learn how to progress from the uncompromising light of direct, on-camera flash to well crafted lighting that complements your subject to best effect, then building on this foundation Simon will show you how you can introduce additional Speedlights and other lighting control accessories to expand your lighting repertoire.

Session 1

The simplest and most effective way to improve lighting with a Speedlight is to take it off the camera, as this enables you to direct the light at will. In this session you will learn how to:
  • Understand the relationship between the TTL metering of your camera, ambient light and the interaction with the Speedlight and camera settings for flash.
  • Work with flash output controls and flash sync options, so you can mix light from a Speedlight with ambient light for more balanced, natural lighting effects.
  • Modify the light from a Speedlight to emulate the "soft box" look without actually using a sophisticated lighting accessory.
  • Direct and control light from your flash on to the subject and avoid light spill by using some simple accessories

Session 2

Adding a second Speedlight will increase options and elevate the lighting possibilities to a greater level. In this session you will learn how to:
  • Set up and control your Speedlights wirelessly from the camera position for effective and efficient shooting
  • Establish a lighting set up starting with a single flash as a key light, and then introduce a second, or even third Speedlight as fill-lights
  • Use lighting ratios for creative off-camera lighting effects on both your subject and background
  • Set up multiple flashes on location quickly and easily using the minimum of equipment
  • Use light modifying accessories to improve the colour, direction and quality of the lighting

Session 3

Exploring a few of the more advanced flash techniques will help you expand your lighting creativity even further. In this session you will learn how to:
  • Apply Front -curtain, Rear-curtain, Slow-flash sync to achieve special effects when mixing flash with ambient light
  • Adjust the zoom head of your the flash manually to further refine the light output from a Speedlight
  • Understand and use the Auto FP High-Speed sync mode which will enable you to shoot with flash beyond the normal maximum sync speed of your camera
  • Exploit the FV Lock feature for consistent flash results

Session 4

The final session will be an opportunity for delegates to practice setting up their own camera and flash under Simon's supervision, while asking questions about the tools and techniques discussed during the previous sessions.

Tutorial Details

The availability of places for each tutorial is very limited, so that each attendee will benefit from very hands-on personal tuition.

The tutorial is from 12 noon until 4.00 p.m., and includes a light lunch and mid-afternoon tea and biscuits. The fee for each attendee is £155.00 with a special price of £95.00 for Nikon Owner subscribers. Please contact Gillian Greenwood on 020 7828 8971 Monday to Friday 1.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m..

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Mike Maloney OBE Gives Grays of Westminster a Mention on BBC Radio

Mike Maloney OBE

BBC Lincolnshire Radio's Melvyn Prior regularly talks to Mike Maloney OBE about his experiences as a celebrity photographer. During his on-air chat on 10 Jan 2010, he happened to mention Grays of Westminster as follows:

"...nip down and get a Nikon ... from Grays of Westminster"

Mike, we're honoured! Thanks very much for the mention!

An advance peek of our double-page advert in Amateur Photographer magazine

The Gold Standard

Grays of Westminster stocks the entire range of Nikon digital SLR cameras: D3X, D3s, D700, D300s, D7000, D90, D5000, D3100. Additionally, Grays of Westminster stock the extensive range of autofocus (AF), AF-S (Silent Wave) and DX & FX Nikkor lenses, manual focus Nikkor lenses plus Speedlights and a vast range of Nikon accessories from eyepiece correction lenses to lens hoods. New Nikon equipment supplied by Grays of Westminster comes with a special two-year warranty.

Click on the image to zoom in

Specialising in the Exceptional

The Vintage Department at Grays of Westminster seeks out only the very best mint or near mint examples of Nikon Rangefinder lenses and accessories for our customers. For example, on this page is a stunning set of 7 black Nikon Rangefinder lenses: 2.1cm f/4 W-Nikkor-O, 2.5cm f/4 W-Nikkor.C & finder, 3.5cm f/1.8 W-Nikkor-C, 5cm f/1.1, Nikkor-N, 8.5cm f/1.2 Nikkor-P.C, 10.5cm f/2.5 Nikkor-P.C, 13.5cm f/3.5 Nikkor-Q. If you have Nikon equipment like this that you wish to dispose of, then kindly contact us by telephone 020-7828 4925 or if you prefer, you can email us at for our highest offer.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Nikon Deals: Grays of Westminster January News

Great News from Grays of Westminster

It is January and the shortest day has passed, and whatever the weather may bring us in this month, we can take heart and notice that the days are, minute by minute getting longer. We can also take heart that despite the VAT increase, Grays of Westminster not only kept many of its prices the same as they were before the VAT was increased, but have also lowered the prices of a range of sought-after Nikon products on our Specials List.

We are pleased to be able to offer you the following items at the prices listed below, all of which include VAT :

Nikon D700 Digital SLR body
(RRP - £2,248.00) £1,689.00

Nikon D7000 Digital SLR body

Nikon D90 Digital SLR body
(RRP - £850.00) £589.00

Nikon D90 + 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR II Nikkor Kit
(RRP - £1,596.00) £1,115.00

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Body
(RRP - £499.99) £399.00

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Body with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR Nikkor
(RRP - £579.99) £475.00

24-120mm f/4G ED AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor
(RRP - £1,071.99) £899.00

28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Nikkor
(RRP - £888.99) £760.00

16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor
(RRP - £573.99) £399.00

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
(RRP £292.00) £235.00

Nikon SB-700 Speedlight
(RRP £296.00) £280.00

Nikon SB-900 Speedlight
(RRP: £408.99) £325.00

The Nikon SB-700 Speedlight
Lighting Made Simple & Intuitive

In September 2010 the Nikon Corporation announced its latest Nikon Speedlight, the SB-700; think SB-900 but on a smaller scale. Said to have everything good about the SB-900 incorporated with more besides, coupled with the lightweight handling on the order of its very popular predecessor, the SB-600.

For a full review, you can read what Simon Stafford's first impressions were on our website:

We now have ample stock of the SB-700 at the price of £280.00, and you can place an order by telephoning the shop, emailing us or coming in and trying it out for yourself.

Images taken with SB-700 Speedlight. Images courtesy of Nikon USA.

If you have any enquiries regarding Nikon equipment or wish to place an order, please telephone the shop directly on +44 (0)20 7828 4925, reply to this email or otherwise you are welcome to come in person.

Wishing all of our customers a happy and prosperous New Year for 2011.

Photography Magazine: Nikon Owner Magazine issue XXXIII - Out Now!

The No.1 Magazine for Nikon owners

Photography Magazine - Nikon Owner Magazine issue XXXIIINikon Owner magazine, Issue XXXIII

The contents for this issue include:
  • Digital Workflow Pt. IV - Clive Carpenter
  • Mike Maloney's Worlk: Grace Kelly: The Princess & the Photographer
  • A Fistful of Nikons - Tony Hurst: The Interview by Gray Levett
  • Life, But Not as We Know it - The Neil Lucas Interview by Gillian Greenwood
  • Angel Eyes V by Heather Angel
  • Nikon Owner Gallery - Haiti Orphans by Felix Kunze
  • AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikkor Review
  • Nikon TC-20E Mark III Review by Simon Stafford
About Nikon Owner
Nikon Owner magazine (issued quarterly) and its interactive website, is considered by many to be the world’s number 1 user group for Nikon owners. It was initially founded with the purpose of assisting Nikon users 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.

If you are not already a subscriber to Nikon Owner, you can apply for the standard, silver, or gold subscription to Nikon Owner below, by sending Greenwood an email with your full name, daytime mobile and landline. Alternatively, please call between 12.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. Monday to Friday on 020 7828 8971 (or 020 7828 4925 if that line is busy).

Gold subscription - launch price £349 (normal price £450)
  • 5-year subscription to Nikon Owner
  • 5-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • Gold Priority waiting list for all new Nikon releases (top of the waiting list)
  • A half-hour tutorial on the phone or face to face, by appointment
  • Special offers to Gold subscribers throughout the period of subscription
  • A signed copy of Grays of Westminster - In the Company of Legends, or if you have one already, a Nikon Magic Lantern Guide of your choice
  • A Grays of Westminster umbrella
  • Nikon Owner magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly magazine that is 100% Nikon. Each issue delivers benchmark technical reviews of the very latest Nikon equipment, thought-provoking interviews and articles with world-class images.
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website which includes forum, message board, technical equipment reviews, events page and use of a photo gallery
  • Gold subscription card
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think-Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Substantial discounts on training sessions organised by Grays of Westminster, including Mike Maloney’s House of Lords Photographic Workshop, Heather Angel’s Wildlife & Natural History Workshops, Simon Stafford’s Definitive Flash, Portraiture and Macro Training Sessions, Michael Eleftheriades’ panoramic and colour-calibration seminars and Chris Weston’s Photographic Courses
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK
Silver Subscription - launch price: £129 (normal price: £179)
  • 2-year Subscription to Nikon Owner
  • 3-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • A half-hour tutorial on the phone or face to face, by appointment
  • Nikon Owner quarterly magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly
  • magazine as above
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think-Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Discounts on training sessions
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK
Standard Annual Subscription - special price: £59
  • 1-year Subscription to the Nikon Owner
  • 3-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • Nikon Owner quarterly magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly
  • magazine as above
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think-Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Discounts on events and training sessions
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Second-Hand Nikon - Zero VAT Increase at Grays of Westminster!

Good news for our customers! Perhaps even the best news after all the New Year celebrations and festivities!

The second-hand department at Grays of WestminsterThe second-hand department at Grays of Westminster

Grays of Westminster holds the world's widest range of second-hand Nikon stock (rangefinder, vintage reflex, manual focus, autofocus and digital), and we are delighted to announce that our customers will not be asked to pay VAT on top of our "base" second-hand selling prices - a terrific cost-free and VAT increase-free advantage!

We especially welcome part-exchange of your camera equipment for other second-hand or new Nikon equipment - please telephone us for a quotation on 020 7828 4925 or e-mail

To view the vast range of second-hand Nikon equipment we hold in stock, visit our website:

I would like to mention that our turnover of second-hand is so large that stock does not sit on our shelves for too long – therefore I would strongly recommend you contact us straight away to avoid missing the Nikon item you have been searching for.

In closing, all of us at Grays of Westminster wish you a wonderful New Year and may you flourish and prosper in 2011!

Kind regards,

Gray Levett