The Camera Land Blog

"The difference between them and us is us."

5 Secrets to Sharper Images

It’s disappointing to come home after a day of shooting and realize your pictures aren’t as sharp as you would have hoped. It can be difficult to see on your small camera screen while you’re out shooting, and once uploaded into your computer and seen on a larger screen, it can prove that your images are a little ‘soft’. This unwanted ‘softness’ can usually be attributed to camera shake, motion blur from moving subjects, or imprecise camera settings. Today we’ve come up with 5 secrets to help you take sharp images and feel more confident behind the lens.

1.  Minimize Camera Shake

A. Shutter Speed vs. focal length

It takes a lot of practice to shoot with a stable and steady hand. When hand-holding your camera, practice using the following: try to use a minimum shutter speed of 1/focal length of the lens to achieve your sharpest image. Camera shake is more noticeable with the longer the focal length, so a 50 mm lens would need a 1/50th of a second shutter speed, while a 200 mm lens would need a 1/200th of a second shutter speed to reduce camera shake. Consider this a starter place and experiment with shutter speeds.

B. Holding the Camera Properly & Using a TripodCamera Tripod

Objects that aren’t moving often appear out of focus due to camera shake from holding your camera. An obvious answer to minimizing this shake is using a tripod. For the sharpest results when using a tripod, remember to always turn off the stabilizer and use a remote. Need tripod options? We have many options here at Camera Land.

2. Reduce Motion Blur

When shooting a fast-moving subject, if your shutter speed is too slow, you’re going to see some motion blur. It is important to use the correct shutter speed to keep up with the movement of your subject. In order to freeze motion, try shooting at a shutter speed of at least 1/1000th of a second.

3. Adjust the Focus Point

If you’re not familiar with this feature, it can be a great discovery. Instead of focusing on your subject and recomposing your shot, first compose the shot, then move the focus point around until it hovers over your subject. This will ensure your focus point is exactly where it needs to be. This tip works best with stationary subjects. Need help with focus points? Check out our Camera Land Learning Center for available classes and workshops.

4. Select the Correct Focus Mode

Most cameras come with a few different types of focus modes. Choose the one that will best fit the type of subject you’re photographing. Single autofocus is when your camera will focus and lock on a single subject and will not deviate until you release your finger from the shutter. Continuous focus is used for continuously focusing on a moving subject. This mode allows you to push the shutter button half way, and the camera will focus on the subject as it moves around the frame.

5. Find the Aperture “Sweet Spot”

Most lenses are not consistently sharp at every aperture, and each one has an aperture “sweet spot” where it is the sharpest. Most likely, the “sweet spot” is two to three f-stops from the maximum aperture. The smallest aperture is also generally not the sharpest option either. Experiment with aperture to find what works best for the situation you’re shooting.

We hope some of these suggestions will help you take some sharp images. Check out our Camera Land Learning Center for more classes, workshops, and events at

Want to speak to a Camera Land expert? Call us today at 516-217-1000.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Come Celebrate with Camera Land & Swarovski

Swarovski Optik Celebrates 25 Years in North America with special pricing on all SLC Binoculars, EL Range, Rangefinder Binoculars, Z5, Z6, X5, X5i and Z6i Riflescopes 

Now – December 31, 2016

I love when Swarovski celebrates things by lowering prices. It shows their commitment to the folks that enjoy their products.

Below is a list of all products with their current reduced sale prices.

SLC 8×42 – $1549.00 reduced from $1749.00
SLC 10×42 – $1599.00 reduced from $1799.00
SLC 15×56 – $1999.00 reduced $2299.00
EL Range 8×42 – $2949.00 reduced from $3249.00
EL Range 10×42 – $2999.00 reduced from $3299.00
Z5 3.5-18×44 – PLEX – $1229.00 reduced from $1529.00
Z5 3.5-18×44 – BRH, BRX- $1259.00 reduced from $1549.00
Z5 3.5-18×44 – BT-PLEX, 4W – $1299.00 reduced from $1649.00
Z5 5-25×52 – PLEX – $1329.00 reduced from $1649.00
Z5 5-25×52 – BRH, BRX – $1369.00 reduced from $1699.00
Z5 5-25×52 – BT-PLEX, 4W – $1399.00 reduced from $1749.00
Z6 1-6×24 – 4 – $1489.00 reduced 1749.00
Z6 1-6×24 – BRT – $1529.00 reduced from $1799.00
Z6 1.7-10×42 – PLEX – $1639.00 reduced from $1929.00
Z6 1.7-10×42 – BRH – $1699.00 reduced from $1999.00
Z6 2-12×50 – PLEX – $1769.00 reduced from $2079.00
Z6 2-12×50 – BRH – $1839.00 reduced from $2149.00
Z6 2.5-15×44 – BRH – $1869.00 reduced from $2189.00
Z6 2.5-15×44 – BT – PLEX, 4W – $1939.00 reduced from $2259.00
Z6 2.5-15×56 – PLEX, 7A – $1899.00 reduced from $2229.00
Z6 2.5-15×56 – BRH – $1969.00 reduced from $2299.00
Z6 2.5-15×56 – BT – PLEX, 4W – $2039.00 reduced from $2369.00
Z6 3-18×50 – PLEX – $1919.00 reduced from $2249.00
Z6 3-18×50 – BRH – $1989.00 reduced from $2319.00
Z6 3-18×50 – BT – PLEX, 4W – $2059.00 reduced from $2389.00
Z6 5-30×50 – BRH – $2049.00 reduced from $2399.00
Z6 5-30×50 – BT – PLEX, 4W – $2099.00 reduced from $2469.00
Z6i 1-6×24 – CD-I, 4-I – $1899.00 reduced from $2229.00
Z6i 1-6×24 – BRT-I – $1959.00 reduced from $2299.00
Z6i 1-6×24 EE – CD-I, 4-I – $1899.00 reduced from $2229.00
Z6i 1.7-10×42 – CD-I, 4A-I – $2239.00 reduced from $2629.00
Z6i 1.7-10×42 – BT – 4A-I – $2379.00 reduced from $2769.00
Z6i 2-12×50 – 4A-I – $2319.00 reduced from $2729.00
Z6i 2-12×50 – BRH-I – $2389.00 reduced from $2799.00
Z6i 2-12×50 – BT – 4A-I, 4W-I – $2439.00 reduced from $2869.00
Z6i 2.5-15×44 – 4A-I – $2369.00 reduced from $2789.00
Z6i 2.5-15×44 – BRH-I – $2439.00 reduced from $3019.00
Z6i 2.5-15×44 – BT- 4A-I – $2489.00 reduced from $2929.00
Z6i 2.5-15×56 – 4A-I – $2499.00 reduced from $2949.00
Z6i 2.5-15×56 – BRH-I – $2569.00 reduced from $3019.00
Z6i 2.5-15×56 – BT – 4W-I, 4A-I – $2629.00 reduced from $3089.00
Z6i 3-18×50 – 4A-I – $2489.00 reduced from $2929.00
Z6i 3-18×50 – BRH-I – $2549.00 reduced from $2999.00
Z6i 3-18×50 – BT – 4W-I, 4A-I – $2599.00 reduced from $3069.00
Z6i 5-30×50 – BRH-I – $2659.00 reduced from $3129.00
Z6i 5-30×50 – BT – 4W-I, 4A-I – $2699.00 reduced from $3199.00
X5 3.5-18×50 – BRM, 4WX, 4W – $2599.00 reduced from $3089.00
X5 5-25×56 – BRM, 4WX, 4W – $2799.00 reduced from $3299.00
X5i 3.5-18×50 – BRM-I+, 4WX-I+, 4W-I+ – $2799.00 reduced from $3299.00
X5i 5-25×56 – BRM-I+, 4WX-I+, 4W-I+ – $2999.00 reduced from $3499.00

Please feel free to give us a call, 516-217-1000, to discuss which optic would be the right one for you.

Swarovski is very excited to be celebrating 25 years here in the USA and I believe Camera Land has been an authorized Swarovski Dealer since the beginning – Exciting for both companies!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Community Involvement: Girl Scout Troop 3051

On Monday, October 10th we did another 1-hour interactive class, in our in-store educational center, this time with Girl Scout Troop 3051. This has been an on-going partnership that has allowed the girls to have fun while learning about DSLR cameras.

Starting with a PowerPoint presentation and ending with a ‘hands-on’ demonstration, the girls learned about the different camera controls and how they affect the photos they take. Armed with a Canon DSLR, the girls then took pictures of items in the educational center, as well as each other, and learned how to properly use the equipment with assistance from our camera experts. One of the biggest discussions we had was learning the reasons and importance for using a real DSLR camera versus a smartphone camera. These classes have been enjoyable for both the troops and their group leaders.

At Camera Land we passionately believe in supporting programs that enrich the core of our community’s well-being and improving the education of the

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

October’s Winners – Monthly Contest Giveaway


Winners Have Been Chosen!

The Next Drawing is November 2nd. We will choose 10 lucky winners each receiving a $100.00 Camera Land Gift Card. Do some shopping on us!

This past month’s winners are:

The 4 winners of the Vortex Diamondback 10×50 Roof Prism Binocular #DB-206 are: 
Craig B. of MonsterMuleys
Sam L. of TexasHunting
William S. of SnipersHide
Michael P. of CouesWhiteTail 

The 4 winners of the Vortex Diamondback 10×32 Roof Prism Binocular #DB-203 are:
Isaac F. of MonsterMuleys
Erik S. of RimfireCentral
Randy B. of ArcheryTalk
Ben B. of 24HourCampfire 

The 4 winners of the Vortex Diamondback 10×28 Roof Prism Binocular #DB-201 are:
Daniel J. of RimfireCentral
Dale H. of LRH
Amanda S. – Referred by a friend
Joshua from Facebook 

Congratulations to all our winners!

Remember to enter our November drawing for your chance to win 

It is our pleasure to bring these drawings to you each month to show our appreciation for all the support that we receive. Just our way of saying thank you.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the monthly winners for posting reviews of the products they have won. The forum members value your opinions, as do we.

Please go to our newly redesigned website, and enter. Past entries will not be in this drawing. To keep the drawing available to those that continue to have an interest, each contest winner will be drawn from entries for that contest period. 

Are you our next winner? 

What are you waiting for? Just go and sign up. There is no purchase required and we are not selling your info to anyone. 

Congratulations to our latest winners.

* By entering you are adding your name to an internal use only Camera Land e-mail mailing list. This list is for Camera Land use to send e-mails regarding sales, tips and general notifications. This list will never be shared or sold.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Autumn’s Unpredictability & How to Photograph the Weather

Outdoor photography is highly dependent on the weather and depending on where you live, you might be enduring weeks of rain, observing a thunder storm, or trying to beat the heat.

Every great landscape photographer needs to know how to make the best of any type of weather. Autumn’s unpredictability makes this especially so. Understanding how to make the most of light is an important photography skill to master to ensure that you are always prepared. Photography can sometimes even be more about the light a subject is in and less about the actual subject itself. In fact, bad weather can create some of the most beautiful lighting, imparting your images with a unique sense of feeling and drama. Also, if you’re the one venturing out to shoot while everyone else hides inside, you’ll be photographing scenes that nobody else will be capturing!


rainShoot towards the light to bring out the shine refracting through every falling drop. The shutter speed you decide on will depend on the effect you are looking for – either blurring the rain to show the trajectory and movement or “freezing” the water’s motion to look like you captured a moment in time.

Try taking advantage of the moment right after the rain has stopped. This moment can allow for some dreary, grey feelings or it might infuse your photo with rich colors, amazing reflections, or maybe even a rainbow. Rain often creates colors that are much more saturated as well. With that being said, consider using a polarizing filter to cut down on unwanted glare. If you’re interested in experimenting with macro photography, the drops left on leaves and flowers make for some great shots.


Dark rain clouds are extremely dramatic and as they part and move, they can bathe the sky in beams of sunlight. If you’re not impressed with your landscape options, try to look to the sky and see what kind of scenes the clouds are creating. Like suggestion above, experiment with a polarizing filter to emphasize the clouds.


fogFog can be magical. It is great for creating ethereal photographs or for emphasizing distance, space, and isolating foreground from background (due to the “thickness” of the fog in the foreground). The tiny, floating water particles that make up fog, diffuse the sun’s light and create a soft, hazy atmosphere with little contrast and no shadows. The light level is low so you’ll need to use longer shutter speeds or wider apertures to let enough light in to get the proper exposure.

The refracting light can sometimes confuse your camera. Experiment by adjusting your exposure compensation dial. Sometimes a little over or under exposure can yield a very dramatic image you may not get any other way.


sunCrisp Autumn days can also be full of sunshine and chilly temperatures. As the amount of daylight hours begins to decrease, consider getting out and photographing the sunrise. Instead of waking up at 4am, you can take advantage of waking up later and still getting a great shot. A sunrise over fall foliage can make for some majestic photographs. Looking to capture the sun in your shot and create a sunburst?  Make sure you use a small aperture.

Creating Mood

Use the weather to your advantage and try to portray the mood through your photograph. Is the location feeling quiet and romantic? Use the light to create a soft photo. Try using a shallow depth of field or a slow shutter speed. For cold, wet, and dreary, try going for muted colors and low contrast. Crisp and brisk? Use faster shutter speeds, higher contrast, a cool white balance, and a smaller aperture.

Mastering Light

Want to expand your knowledge of photography? Need help understanding how light affects your photographs? Check out Camera Land’s Learning Center to see the class and workshop offerings:

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Limited Special on Nikon D3300


Fall in to Nikon’s D3300 2 lens outfit, just in time for beautiful Autumn color images.
Nikon’s D3300 DSLR 2 lens outfit. This kit includes the D3300 24.2MP body, Nikon 18-55 VR II G Lens, Nikon 55-200 VR II lens and Nikon Case.
Be amongst the first FOUR to respond to this posting and also receive a FREE Promaster FL100 flash. ( value $79.00 ) nikon-flash
This flash adds so much to the ways you will use this easy to learn camera system.
It also includes our ‘hands on’ lesson. You will learn all about your new camera, as well as all about the fun and creative things at your fingertips with this great 2 lens system.
Creating beautiful photos and videos has never been more fun.
Life is full of surprising, joyful moments—moments worth remembering. The D3300 makes it fun and easy to preserve those moments in the lifelike beauty they deserve: stunning 24.2-megapixel photos and 1080p Full HD videos with tack-sharp details, vibrant colors and softly blurred backgrounds. With its included zoom lens, the new ultra-compact AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II, the D3300 is a small and light HDSLR and easy to use, too. Like sharing photos? The D3300 photos can appear instantly on your compatible smartphone or tablet for easy sharing with the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter ( free after rebate )! Whether you’re creating high-resolution panoramas, adding artistic special effects or recording HD video with sound, the D3300 will bring you endless joy, excitement and memories—just like the special moments of your life.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Camera Land’s Autumn Photo Contest

Here we are again, cool, crisp air, it’s AUTUMN.

Beautiful light, beautiful colors. It’s a great time to be taking pictures and we’re running a fun contest!
Visit our Facebook Page and post your favorite seasonal images, we’d love to see them.
On November 1st, we will pick 3 images, at random, and send the lucky photographers a $25.00 gift certificate for Camera Land, just for joining in on our fun.

Please submit anytime between now and Oct. 31, 2016.
( Please put your name or copyright in the margin of the picture. )

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

October’s ‘Digital Photo XChange’

Camera Land announces: Camera Land’s ‘Digital Photo XChange’.

A monthly group.

These first few group meetings were extremely productive.

Each attendee is invited to bring in a few images they want to display to the group. We discuss why we shot it the way we did, and discuss in an intelligent group arena, options for cropping, exposure, angle of view, perspective, lens choice and more.

The comment I’ve been getting most, is that these give and take sessions are a really great learning device.  The constructive input and positive criticism is a terrific way to grow one’s photographic knowledge.

Please know that you are not required to have images each time, everyone is welcome.


Camera Land’s  ‘Digital Photo XChange ’ We are offering a platform to share and expand your knowledge of digital photography.  This will be an evening event.

We provide an open, friendly, and honest environment to participate in the critique process. Make our Photo XChange your place to exchange creative energy with other like-minded photographers.

The ‘Camera Land Digital Photo XChange’ provides a forum for photographers who have an interest in keeping up with the ever growing world of digital photography. Monthly meetings will put the emphases on sharing and improving your digital photographic skills.  In addition, each month, Jeff will lead the group through informative demonstrations and discussions about current digital technology.  Jeff has a unique approach to teaching digital processing techniques and shooting techniques. Discussions on the equipment choices on your photos will also be included.  By utilizing audience image files using our large screen projector, we enter into friendly group discussions.

We invite each attendee to submit up to 3 images to be viewed and discussed by the group. All in attendance are encouraged to participate by offering input, sharing photographs and sharing technical advice. This open and relaxed environment creates a unique opportunity for an exchange of ideas and techniques about digital photography.*

We will have some evenings with guest judges. An evening with a judge, just to discuss how they make their choices and what they look for, and an evening where we can submit work to be judged. Each month you are invited to submit your digital photographs for the evening discussion.

Digital files must be emailed to Jeff at prior to the meeting.
File size: approx.: 3mb. ( 8×12 300dpi )
If you would prefer, we will supply you with a flash drive to bring to class.

Be sure to put “Photo XChange” in the email subject line.
Please limit your files to a maximum of three images.

The ‘ Digital Photo XChange ’ is directed by Jeff Mantell.
Jeff attended School of Visual Arts in the 1970’s and has been shooting and teaching photography even longer.
His passion for photography and patience for sharing his knowledge makes him a real resource for anybody interested in learning more about photography. Jeff is the Director of Education here at Camera Land.

Please feel free to reach out to Jeff with any questions you might have about photography. Thank you,

Jeff Mantell
Camera Land

*Note: You do not have to submit images to attend the meeting. Please come and participate in the critique. 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

The Importance of the ‘Rule of Thirds’

The ‘rule of thirds’ is an important tool in photography as well as all other aspects of design. The rule states that if you take a canvas (or in our case a photograph) and divide it into three equally sized horizontal sections and three equally sized vertical sections, the resulting grid provides a kind of “roadmap” that helps you choose where to place your elements. By thinking of your grid as “map”, you can use the spots where the lines intersect to indicate the prime focal areas within your photograph.  Putting a subject or element closer to one of these intersections will allow it to naturally stand out, while objects that are further away will be given less attention.


There are a few ‘rule of thirds’ ideas to keep in mind when you take photographs. At the basic level, it is best for the horizon in your photograph to line up with one of the horizontal lines on your grid.

_akb0941_dxoFor landscapes, it’s usually best to have the horizon on the top horizontal line, so that the picture shows more of the subject matter and less empty sky space.

If you’re looking to place focus and emphasis on a visually interesting sky (clouds or a sunrise), you can do the opposite and put the horizon on the bottom horizontal line.

portraitPortraits may work best when the person’s eyes line up with the focal points of the intersecting lines. Placing their eyes on one of these points can create more engagement than placing them in the center of the photograph.

For action shots, be careful not to cramp your subject and keep in mind the idea of your subject’s movement or the sense of movement you’re trying to create. Place the subject at one end of the grid and leave space ahead of them. In other words, try to leave at the other side for your subject’s “destination”.

After you’ve established a good understanding of the ‘rule of thirds’, it may be time to break the rules. While the ‘rule of thirds’ grid naturally sets your photograph up for perfect symmetry, and while humans are naturally attracted to symmetry, rules are sometimes meant to be broken. Creating perfect symmetry can set you up to go unnoticed because we’re so used to seeing it all the time. Creating an image that is asymmetrical can send a signal that something is different and unique, which can be incredibly engaging. While symmetry can be something to experiment with, balance is a necessity. The ‘rule of thirds’ grid can help you figure out how to use asymmetrical balance to your advantage by showing you which parts of your photo has the most weight and how to appropriately space elements and subjects.

The more you understand the rule and its effects, the easier it can be to disrupt the audience’s expectations. Experiment with other areas of the space and see what is possible. This can be a great way to open yourself up creatively.

Need more help with the ‘rule of thirds’? Consider signing up for one of Camera Land’s classes! We have great class offering that offer all kinds of classes, workshops and lectures.

Call us today at 516-217-1000 or visit the Camera Land Learning Center at:

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

Vortex Products Back in Stock

Just a quick exciting post about some products that have just arrived that we’ve been out of for a little bit, that we know you’ve been looking for:

Vortex StrikeFire II Red Dot – Red Green Cantilever #SF-RG-501

Vortex SPARC AR Red Dot – 2 MOA Dot #SPC-AR1

Vortex Viper Red Dot Sight – 6 MOA Dot #VRD-6

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10×44 – EBR-1 MRAD #PST-210S1-M reduced $150.00 to only $449.99

Vortex Viper PST 2.5-10×44 – EBR-1 MOA #PST-210S1-A reduced $150.00 to only $449.99

The new Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 Spotting Scope Angled #RS-85A

Vortex Venom Red Dot – 3 MOA Dot #VMD-3103

Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50 – VMR-1 MRAD #VHS-4310

Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44 – VMR-1 MOA #VHS-4309

If there is anything we can answer for you please feel free to call us @ 516-217-1000.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someoneBuffer this page
« Older posts