This is an exciting month. We are proud to announce our sponsorship with Singh-Ray Filters. These are the highest quality photographic filters you can invest in. The optical glass is second to none. Guess what? They are made right here in the USA.  Take a look at their website for a selection of filters that the best pros and advanced photographers are using, folks like my good friends, Tony Sweet ( and Bill Fortney, (






Use the promo code "vinny10" and receive a 10% discount on your order direct from Singh-Ray.  Just a few of their selections below, so go to to see their entire selection of fine creative & light controlling filters.  








In future newsletters and technical reports we will outline proper filter techniques.  Watch for it in upcoming issues.




                                           Nikon 80-400 VR   





                                          How to make this great lens even better.

I reported on this lens a few years back.  In fact, I got to test a pre-production release model. I thought it was a great lens. I used it for the test at a workshop I was teaching on bird photography. I used the lens, at the time, as a hand held lens. I wanted to push the lens to see how good the VR worked and how sharp the lens was. I was very pleased. 

I have since purchased my own 80-400 and love it. Now that I own one I did find a shortcoming with the lens. It has nothing to do with the optical quality of the lens or its auto-focus and VR capability. It is a mechanical problem. 


The rotation collar and tripod foot leave a little to be desired; Its too small a foot and the collar isn't as smooth as other Nikon lenses I have shot with. Its not drop dead terrible but I know Nikon could have done better.


Really Right Stuff to the rescue. Really right Stuff is not a company that sponsors our workshops. But they have some great photography items. A few months back I reviewed the BH-55 ball head. 


Today I am showing an equally great quality Really Right Stuff product. The LC-A13 Collar & Foot Package.

This complete collar and Arca foot system is all you need to improve this great lens.





The original foot weakness comes in three areas. The foot is too small in my opion, the construction is a little thin at the foot neck area, and the rotation collar isn't as smooth as other Nikon lens collars.




Above, the original Nikon collar. Not quite as beefy as I would like. When mounted on a tripod there is some flexing at the attatchment point.




The Really Right Stuff replacement collar with built in Arca plate. Very beefy with no noticable flexing.




The Really Right Stuff system also has a quick release on the foot so if you wanted to hand hold you can quickly take the Arca foot off.  The release is a safety snap in with a separate tightening knob. Very solid and works effortlessly.



The rotation on the Really Right Stuff collar is much smoother and the package is well worth the investment. This add-on to this lens makes a perfect combination. Go to the Really Right Stuff website to look over this collar replacement, as well as some others.




Below the Nikon 80-400 AF-S VR with the Really Right Stuff  LC-A13 Collar/Foot package.. D3S with lens, mounted on a Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ballhead.






News Notes:

             Southwest Tour with Vinny Colucci & Bill Fortney. Nov. 2015. 

We have two spots open. Take a look and join us on this great adventure.




Last month I reviewed the Feisol 3472  and the Induro CT304.  Gary from Hunts Photo passed on some special pricing on these.


Please contact Hunts photo at:  for some special pricing.




                        Until Next Month...        Happy Shooting.