Nikon Raptors-5

Nikon Owl and Raptor photography day

On 20th October Castle Cameras were lucky enough to host an Owl and Raptor day with John Clements from Go Photo Training, Adam from Nikon UK and Toby from South Wilts Falconry in Hampshire.

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The weather was very kind to us for the time of year.  It started off overcast and brightened up in the afternoon.

John Clements started off proceedings with some very useful tips on setting your Nikon DSLR to get the best out of the day.  He talked about shooting modes, ISO and autofocus amongst other things.

We then headed out into the field to meet Toby and his wonderful birds.  The first to fly was the Peregrine Falcon.  He was so fast, with speeds of up to 80mph. It gave us practise at getting the bird in shot.  John gave us some tips on getting the bird well-framed and in focus with a blurred background.  Some people got fantastic results!

We had another input session with John, then soup and a buffet lunch was provided by Karen and Howard at Castle Cameras.

After lunch we had the opportunity to try the Nikkor 600mm f2.8 with a Sirui gimbal head. Toby flew a bird of prey directly towards the camera.  What a treat!  The lens is a beast and definitely not within most peoples’ budgets, so lovely to be able to have a little play with it here.  There were also plenty of other lenses which Adam brought along from Nikon and everybody shared them nicely throughout the day.  There wasn’t too much squawking!

Toby asked for volunteers to fly the snowy owl.   They put on the special glove, held some food for the bird and it flew across the field and landed on their hand.  What an awe-inspiring bird to get up-close and personal with.

At the end of the day we went back inside and had a good look through our photos.  We had a chance to share some of the best ones with the group.  There were some stunning shots to come out of the day and we all learned a lot from John Clements and Toby.

So our thanks go out to all the participants who came along to make the day possible. Also special thanks go out to Toby from South Wilts Falconry and his magnificent birds, Adam from Nikon and all the fantastic kit he let us play with and especially to John Clements from GoPhotoTraining for making the day so interesting and informative.  It was a great success and we hopefully we will get the chance to do more sessions like this in the future.

Shots from the day

Here are some shots from the day, taken with the Nikon D500 and the Nikkor 80-400mm.










Some of the participants photos from the day.

These are from Tricia Glass, well done Tricia!



And thanks to Michael Berkeley for these great pictures:

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Nikon Raptors-5

Nikon Raptors-20

Here is a snippet of some glowing feedback we had from one of the attendees on the course, David Nevett:

“Many thanks to you and Castle Cameras for organising such a splendid day with NIkon and Toby.

John Clements was a brilliant presenter, he offered so many tips and techniques not found in instruction manuals by the amateurs like me.  

The provision by Nikon of so many suitable lenses, plus the opportunity to try them out on our own cameras was a bonus.  

In one day with Castle and Nikon, I have learned more about how to improve my images, tips on using the D500, and a hands on experience to discover which are the best lenses for my field work.”

If you would like to come along to the next event with Castle Cameras, follow us on facebook or twitter with @castlecameras or check the  events page on the website.


Price Increases

The falling value of the pound is causing price increases across the board.

Tamron and Sony have increased their prices already. We expect around a ten percent increase from Canon and Sigma at the end of the month.

Nikon are increasing their prices today by around 13%.  

Many of our current prices are below the new costs so act now to take advantage of the existing prices, online or in-store, until 5pm on Saturday.

 These are some examples of the prices we will have to implement over the weekend:

Nikon D3300   Body, Black 290
Nikon D3300, AF-P 18-55VR Kit 349
Nikon D5300   Body Only, Black 456
Nikon D5300, AF-P 18-55VR Kit 499
Nikon D5300, AF-P 18-55VR Red Kit 499
Nikon D5500 Body Only, Red 539
Nikon D5500 Body, Black 529
Nikon D5500, 18-140mm VR, Black 808
Nikon D5500, AF-P 18-55VR Red Kit 599
Nikon D5500, AF-P 18–55VR Kit 599
Nikon D610 body 1099
Nikon D7100 body 699
Nikon D7200 body 729
Nikon D7200, 18-105VR 899
Nikon D810 body 2199
Nikon Df body, Black 1999
Nikon 1 J5 10-30mm VR PD Black Kit 329
Nikon 1 J5 10-30mm VR PD White Kit 329
Nikon Coolpix AW130 Blue 239
Nikon Coolpix B500 Black 229
Nikon Coolpix B500 Plum 229
Nikon AF-S   14- 24mm f2.8 G ED 1499
Nikon AF-S   16-35mm F4G ED VR 949
Nikon AF-S   18-35mm f3.5-4.5G ED 569
Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G ED 599
Nikon AF-S   24- 70mm f2.8G ED 1399
Nikon AF-S   24- 85mm f3.5-4.5G ED VR 429
Nikon AF-S   24-120mm f4G ED VR 849
Nikon AF-S   24mm f1.4G ED 1629
Nikon AF-S   28-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR 749
Nikon AF-S 28mm f1.8G 499
Nikon AF-S   35mm f1.4G 1449
Nikon AF-S   35mm f1.8G ED 399
Nikon AF-S   50mm f1.4G 349
Nikon AF-S   50mm f1.8G 179
Nikon AF-S   58mm f1.4G 1269
Nikon AF-S   60mm f2.8G ED Micro 459
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 G IF-ED VR MkII 1849
Nikon AF-S   70-200mm f4G ED VR 1079
Nikon AF-S   70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR 459
Nikon AF-S   80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR 1859
Nikon AF-S   85mm f1.4G 1199
Nikon AF-S   85mm f1.8G 399
Nikon AF-S 300mm f2.8G IF-ED VR II 4499
Nikon AF-S DX   16- 80mm f2.8-4E ED VR 829
Nikon AF-S DX   16- 85mm f3.5-5.6 G ED VR 529
Nikon AF-S DX   17- 55mm f2.8G IF-ED 1199
Nikon AF-S DX   18-300mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR 759
Nikon AF-S DX   35mm f1.8G 159
Nikon AF-S DX   40mm f2.8G Micro Nikkor 229
Nikon AF-S DX   85mm f3.5 Micro ED VR 425
Nikon PC-E 24mm f3.5D ED 1499
Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm F/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom 349
Nikon AF-S     2x Teleconverter TC-20EIII 379
Nikon Close up Speedlight Commander kit SB-R1C1 571
Nikon MB-D15 Battery Grip 209.9
Nikon ME-W1 Wireless Microphone 199
Nikon Mount adapter FT1 199
Nikon RT-1 Tripod Collar Ring 169
Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight 439
Nikon SB-700 Speedlight 219




Nikon announce a new Bokeh monster, the 105mm f/1.4


Nikon has unveiled the AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4E ED, the fastest full-frame lens of its kind with autofocus. Resistant to dust and moisture, the lens uses 14 elements in 9 groups, including 3 ED elements, along with Nano Crystal and fluorine coatings. The lens has 9 rounded aperture blades, and the aperture is electronically controlled, which keeps exposure consistent while shooting high-speed bursts. As you might expect, this is a heavy lens, weighing in at 985g/2.1lbs.


As the only 105 mm autofocus lens on the market with an f/1.4 maximum aperture, this is an exciting addition to the NIKKOR range. Professionals who want to reach new levels of artistry in portraiture and fashion will be able to enjoy exceptional aesthetic control.


The AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED is a worthy successor to Nikon’s famed NIKKOR 105mm f/2.5  lens. Whether photographers are working with available light or in the studio, the all-new optical construction delivers unrivalled edge-to-edge sharpness and exquisite bokeh. The 105 mm focal length and 1 m shortest focusing distance allow for frame-filling head-shots without the need to crop. Wide-open performance is unbeatable, and subjects are rendered with perfect clarity even when shooting at the widest aperture.


In order to ensure optimum performance in portrait mode, Nikon’s engineers have paid special attention to resolution at the outer areas of the frame. As a result, Sagittal coma flare  is effectively minimised for superior reproduction of point light sources as fine rounded points, even at the edges of an image. Peripheral light falloff  is controlled to retain brightness across the frame, even when shooting at maximum aperture with focus set to infinity. Thanks to the unique optical design, the intensity of image blur transitions smoothly for bokeh with no rough edges. Images are rendered with a depth and dimension that’s truly memorable.

The 105mm F1.4 is expected to ship in late August with a £2049.99

Pre-order yours today! 


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4E ED specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 105 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Nikon F (FX)
Maximum aperture F1.4
Minimum aperture F16
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Elements 14
Groups 9
Special elements / coatings Three ED elements + Nano Crystal and fluorine coatings
Minimum focus 1.00 m (39.37)
Maximum magnification 0.13×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter No
Weight 985 g (2.17 lb)
Diameter 95 mm (3.72)
Length 106 mm (4.17)
Sealing Yes
Filter thread 82.0 mm
Tripod collar No

Extra savings on DSLRs and lenses to reduce stocks

We wanted to let our valued customers into our little secret.  We are reducing many different items each week.  This week we have some big reductions on DSLRs, Lenses and Accessories. The offers are running Saturday to Saturday.  Just click on the Clearance Offers box to see them all.

Some of the highlights this week are

Canon customers…

Canon EOS 80D, 100-400 Mk II  with £185 rebate from Canon UK until January 31st, 2017 and an extra £200 saving this week to clear and finance available.


Interest Free Finance (12 Months)
0% APR with 10% Deposit

Canon Macrolite MR-14EX II £429 Normally £449. Extra £20 saving this week to clear


Nikon customers…

Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens for DSLR £1749 Extra £50 saving this week to clear and a Free Hoya UV filter worth £59.90




Nikon D7000, 18-105VR Refurbished now only £399.00, an extra £50 saving this week to clear.




Pentax customers…

We have the  HD D-FA 150-450mm f4.5-5.6 ED DC AW £1449, normally £1699. Extra £250 saving this week to clear

d2418fb6-9ddb-4b6e-ab10-c28ea03cb77b-cj22696Pentax 43mm f1.9 Limited SMC DA, Black, £499, normally £566. Extra £67 saving this week to clear.

Pentax 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR SMC DA, £99 Normally £159. Extra £60 saving this week to clear.


Sony customers…

Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 16-35 F2.8 ZA SSM £1399 Extra £100 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50


Sony DSLR Lens, 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF £829 Extra £70 saving this week to clear and Free Sony Extended Warranty activation card worth £50

sal135f28-aa16076Have a look at the website for nearly 100 clearance items.

Next week Square Filters and Studio Accessories!

Castle Cameras


Nikon D500 in stock today

Great news for people looking for a Nikon D500!


We are pleased to say we have on the shelf stock of the Nikon D500, This incredible camera has been in very short supply and is sure to head out the door fast!

Check out Professional Photo magazine’s review of the D500.

Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR


Along with the D500, we have the new Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR on the shelf, ready to buy!

Bird Watch magazine have reviewed the amazing 200-500mm lens and given their verdict as follows:

“Out in the field this lens is a joy to use. The zoom is quick and smooth….. you won’t be disappointed with the results.  It is excellent quality at an unbelievable price! – Birdwatch magazine, March 2016”

The D500 and AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR are an amazing combination and will deliver unbeatable results when photographing sport, wildlife and airshows this summer. Grab yours now from Castle Cameras, whilst stocks last.

Nikon D5 new firmware

Release of new firmware for the D5, Ver.1.10


Further advance of Nikon D5 digital SLR camera performance through expanded functions

Nikon has released new firmware, Ver. 1.10, that expands the functions of its flagship Nikon FX-format digital SLR camera, the D5.

The D5 has been extremely well received on all fronts, winning such globally prestigious photo and imaging awards as the TIPA Awards 2016, and the Camera GP (Grand Prix) 2016 Readers Award (sponsored by Japan’s Camera Journal Press Club), which is selected through voting by users.

Ver. 1.10, enhances D5 performance even further. The new firmware offers a major upgrade to the camera’s shooting capabilities, delivering four key improvements. First, the maximum recording time of movies, including for 4K UHD movies, is extended, and three functions — Flicker reduction for still images, 9-point dynamic-area AF AF-area mode, and Electronic VR for movies — are added. In addition to these four major changes, some additional updates* have been applied to the new firmware.

  • *Details regarding “additional updates” are provided on the firmware’s free download page (Nikon Download Center).

Release overview

The new firmware is available for download from June 23, 2016. It can be downloaded free of charge from the following URL.

  • *The camera’s current firmware version can be checked using the Firmware version option in the setup menu.

Four major improvements

1. Maximum movie recording time, including for 4K UHD movies, extended to 29 min. 59 s

Movies up to 29 minutes 59 seconds in length can now be recorded at all Movie quality and Frame size/frame rate settings. The new firmware increases the maximum recording time of even 4K UHD (3840×2160) movies from 3 minutes to 29 minutes 59 seconds. In addition, movies are recorded to up to eight separate files, each of which has a file size of up to 4 GB. Separate movie files can be combined to create a single movie using ViewNX-Movie Editor.

  • The maximum recording time for 4K UHD time-lapse movies is 3 minutes.

2. Flicker reduction for still images added for more stable exposure under lighting that flickers

When shooting under fluorescent and some other types of artificial lighting, flickering may cause uneven exposure in parts of images and/or variations in exposure and color reproduction characteristics between individual images captured continuously or in quick succession. We have equipped the new firmware with a Flicker reduction function for still images*1 that reduces these effects. When Flicker reduction is enabled, the camera detects peak brightness as light flickers and automatically times shutter release with these peaks in brightness for stable exposure and color reproduction characteristics. This function is effective when continuous shooting is used for indoor sporting events or similar situations captured at fast shutter speeds*2.

  • *1Still images captured during viewfinder photography (not available with mirror up mode).
  • *2The continuous shooting rate may decrease.

3. 9-point dynamic-area AF AF-area mode added for focusing on a limited portion of a moving subject

With dynamic-area AF, the camera focuses based on information from surrounding focus points* if the subject briefly leaves the focus point selected by the photographer. The D5 originally supported 25-point, 72-point and 153-point dynamic-area AF. A 9-point dynamic-area AF option has been added with the new firmware. This new option is effective for focusing on a more specific portion of a moving subject.

  • *In dynamic-area AF with 9, 25 or 72 points, the number of focus points actually used may be fewer than 9, 25 or 72, depending on the selected primary focus point.

4. Electronic vibration reduction function, effective with hand-held recording, added (for HD and full-HD*1 movie recording)

The new firmware has been equipped with an Electronic VR function that reduces the effects of camera shake with hand-held recording of movies in the FX- or DX-based movie formats (image areas)*2. The effects of camera shake in three directions — vertical (up and down), horizontal (left and right), and rotational (around the center of the lens) — are reduced. This function is effective when recording movies in places or situations in which use of a tripod is prohibited or inconvenient, or when there simply isn’t time to set one up. In addition, electronic VR can be used in combination with the optical vibration reduction (VR) built into a NIKKOR lens for more effective reduction of the effects of camera shake.

  • *1Not available with 1920 x 1080 crop settings.
  • *2The angle of view will be reduced slightly.
  • The effects of electronic VR are also reflected when photos are captured during movie recording (Live frame grab).
  • When Electronic VR is enabled, the maximum sensitivity allowed is ISO 102400, even if ISO sensitivity is set to Hi 0.3 or higher.

Camera and Lens Rental

Camera and Lens Rental at Castle Cameras


Did you know we do rental?

Rental is a great way to go if you want to be able to use exotic or expensive kit but don’t want to own the gear. For those jobs that require just an extra step then consider rental as a great way to boost your kit bag without breaking the bank. The best bit? You can charge your clients for the privilege by including rental costs in your bill.



For sometime now we have been offering this great rental service to our customers and would like to make sure you all know about it and can take advantage. We have a huge selection of Canon equipment for hire from a 50mm f/1.4, right up to a Canon 5DSR!

We also have a limited amount of rental equipment available from other manufacturers, including the Sony A7S mark II and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G. We can also hire our anything you might find on our USED equipment list.


How does it work?


You can rent Digital SLR cameras and lenses from Castle Cameras at our Bournemouth Store, Dorset and our Salisbury store, Wiltshire.

Renting from Castle Cameras gives you the benefit of having a local collection service available from Bournemouth or Salisbury as well as being able to try the kit before you buy it. If you rent a piece of equipment and decide afterwards to purchase it we’ll knock up to 1.5 days rental off the product price!

To rent from Castle Cameras you will need register with us first by popping into our Bournemouth store with the following:

  • Photo ID, either Driving Licence or Passport
  • Bank statement or Utility bill featuring your current home address dated within the previous 3 months, Gas/Electric or Water ONLY.
  • The ability to put down a deposit for the current retail value of the goods, credit or debit card only.

ALL accounts must be created at our Bournemouth branch in person.

Creating the account takes about 10 minutes, so you can come in on the day you’d like to rent to set it up. If you do not have an account, you cannot hire out equipment. No exceptions.

You can collect rentals from our Salisbury store, however please let the Bournemouth store know (01202 526606) if you wish to do this, as all hire equipment is held at our Bournemouth branch. Please let us know as soon as possible if you require this service, as we will need to arrange transit to Salisbury.

Rental is only available via local pickup in our stores and is subject to customer ID checks.  Delivery is not possible at this time. We reserve the right to charge a deposit to the full retail value of goods on all of our rental equipment. We generally don’t ask for a deposit but on very high value items it may be necessary if it is your initial rental.


How much does it cost?


Listed below is an example of what we have to rent. We have plenty of other options available, just call with your request!

Prices shown are PER DAY unless indicated otherwise. Weekend hire is charged a 1.5 days, weekly hire at 5 days.









Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS ii USM – £40

Canon 85mm f1.2 L ii USM – £60

Canon 5D Mkiii body – £80

Sony A 7S Mkii – £90

Sony FE 24-70 f2.8 – £60

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 Mkii ED N – £60

Panasonic GH4 body – £60

If you wish to use our rental service please phone 01202 526606, or e-mail your requested equipment and dates.

Remember, if you can’t find what you’re looking for then be sure to check our Used list, anything you see there can be selected for daily or weekly rental.

One last thing, please read the full terms and conditions  in full before renting from us. It is vital you have read and understood what your responsibilities are.



Kumamoto Earthquakes, production delays and no promotional activity for Nikon

The Nikon Corporation has today issued a public statement to communicate a number of product development delays.  More importantly however, the announcement also confirms that the recent devastating earthquakes that have continued to strike the south-west Japanese island of Kyushu with such tragic human consequences, are also having an ongoing impact on the operational capabilities of many component manufacturers.

 As it is not clear at this stage, what the extent of the impacts will be, Nikon has taken the decision to proactively protect their supply capability by immediately adjusting all planned promotional and marketing activities.

Within the UK, we regret to confirm that the following planned promotional activities will be delayed until further notice:


·         Summer 2016 Cash-back (Originally 26th May – 31st August 2016)

·         Spring Bank Holiday Free D-SLR Accessory Kit Offer (Originally 26th May – 1st June 2016)

·         D750 & D810 Trade-In – no further extension past 30th April 2016


With the £150 D750 and £350 D810 trade in offer ending soon with no extension possible and no further planned promotional activity from Nikon at all, now is certainly the best time to buy a D750 or D810.

Read nikon’s full press announcement here: Product Delay Announcement – UK

New Low Prices – Week 13

This week we have a whole host of discounts for you, including a huge range of Tamron lenses, some great DSLRs and some digital compacts.

There are five different Tamron lenses on the list this week, for Canon, Sony and Nikon fit:



Tamron 018-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II PZD for Sony originally £299, now £249.

Tamron 018-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD EOS originally £299, now £249.

Tamron 018-270mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD NAF originally £299, now £249.




Tamron 024-70 F2.8 SP Di USD for Sony Alpha originally £749, now £649.

Tamron 024-70 F2.8 SP Di VC USD EOS originally £299, now £249.

Tamron 024-70 F2.8 SP Di VC USD NAF originally £299, now £249.




Tamron 070-200 f2.8 SP VC USD for Sony originally £1029, now £879.

Tamron 070-200 f2.8 SP VC USD EOS originally £1029, now £879.

Tamron 070-200 f2.8 SP VC USD for Nikon originally £1029, now £879.




Tamron 070-300mm f4/5.6 SP Di USD for Sony originally £275, now £229.

Tamron 070-300mm f4/5.6 SP Di VC USD EOS originally £275, now £229.

Tamron 070-300mm f4/5.6 SP Di VC USD NAF originally £275, now £229.




Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di USD for Sony originally £275, now £229.

Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di VC USD EOS originally £880, now £739.

Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di VC USD NAF originally £880, now £739.




The Leica T (Typ 701) silver is now  £999, a beautifully crafted compact camera of the highest specification, made from a single block of aluminium and featuring high performance lenses and a largeAPS-C sensor with 16.5 megapixels ensures pictures with exceptional brightness and clarity, even in unfavourable lighting conditions.



The  Panasonic DMC-GX8, Silver Body is now £699 with £75 cashback until March 30th and Two Year Warranty from Panasonic UK.


All of these products and many more can be found at our New Low Prices page every week.



Nikon D500 – The best crop sensor DSLR ever?

We review the new Nikon D500 on our youtube channel

Sitting alongside the Nikon D5 as Nikon’s latest high performance cameras, comes the new D500 DSLR. It is a DX-format crop-sensor DSLR with pro-level features. The successor of the very popular Nikon D300S, but it shares quite a bit in common with the new Nikon D5.


Inside the D500 is an all new 20.9-megapixel CMOS sensor and Nikon’s EXPEED 5 image processing engine. Compared to the full-frame D5, the D500 is fast and light, suitable for things like wildlife and sports photography where a cropped image sensor and light weight are valued. Nikon mentions that using the new Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E on the D500 is like shooting with a 350-750mm lens on the D5.

The D500 has a native ISO range of 100 to 51,200, and it can be expanded to 50-1,640,000.


Speed-wise, the D500 can shoot at 10 frames per second using the same 153-point AF system as the D5, and the points fill the frame from side to side. The large buffer can store 79 consecutive 14-bit raw shots in burst mode.

The D500 is a professional standard camera designed to take a beating. It features the same rugged weather sealing as the Nikon D810, with magnesium alloy on top and in the rear, with a front side that’s reinforced with lightweight carbon fiber. The shutter is rated for 200,000 actuations.


On the video front, the D500 can shoot 4K video at 30p and 1080p video at a number of frame rates. It shares many of the pro video features found on the D810, including Picture Controls and uncompressed HDMI output. New video features include in-camera 4K time-lapses, Auto ISO smoothing, and the ability to send 4K video to the card and HDMI output simultaneously.


Nikon is also debuting a new technology called SnapBridge, which is designed for wireless connectivity and photo sharing. It lets you establish a Bluetooth link between the D500 and a smart device, allowing for automatic photo transfers with a link that stays up. This is in addition to the built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.

Other features and specs include a 3.2-inch (2359K-dot) touchscreen LCD, an XQD card slot, and an additional SD card slot.

The Nikon D500 will be available in March 2016 body only for £1729.00. Pre-order yours here 

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