Nikon Owner issue 81 front coverFRONT COVER BY ROSS HODDINOTT


Elena Dudar

By Gray Levett

By Gillian Greenwood
Gillian Greenwood continues her benchmark series on women photographers of today with a feature on award-winning travel and hotel photographer Michelle Chaplow, who has photographed a number of UNESCO-recognised buildings and hotels in more than sixty countries during her career.

By John Archer-Thomson
Ecologist, photographer and writer John Archer-Thomson returns to Nikon Owner with the second part of his feature on Western Canada, which includes stories of black bears, sea otters and ‘old growth’ forest. He shares
his and his wife Sally’s colourful adventures with us in photographic detail.

By Heather Angel
The revered wildlife photographer and writer Heather Angel brings her considerable expertise to the subject of water and its effect on marsh marigolds in spring.

By Andrew Main Wilson
Our globe-trotting adventurer Andrew Main Wilson explains that for him it is the lesser-known and least-visited countries that have created the greatest sense of photographic fulfilment. Burundi is one such country.

By Becky Danese
Technical writer Becky Danese guides us through the highways and byways, the pluses and minuses, of using expiring or expired film for a shoot.

By Gillian Greenwood
Gillian Greenwood looks at the extraordinary work of the late social documentary photographer Shirley Baker and talks to award-winning filmmaker Jason Figgis about his remarkable film Shirley Baker: Life Through A Lens.

Becky Danese reviews a new audiobook Landscape Photography for Mirrorless and Digital SLR Users by Daniel Lezano and Ross Hoddinott.

Simon Stafford answers the Technical Helpline

Words by Gray Levett
When the Nikon F was released in 1959, it was accompanied by a set of Nikkor lenses whose focal lengths were marked in centimetres. There are other markings too, known today as ‘tick marks’. Gray Levett describes them in detail and Tony Hurst captures a Nikon F fitted with a 5cm f/2 Nikkor-S tick-marked lens & rare lens hood.

By Gray Levett
Although Jimi Hendrix’s all-too-brief music career spanned only four short years, he is widely celebrated as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music. Music photographer Michael Putland’s image captures him at his prime.

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Nikon Zf Roadshow is coming to Grays of Westminster!

Zf Roadshow is coming to Grays of Westminster


We are delighted to announce that Grays of Westminster will be hosting a Nikon Roadshow open day on the 27th October from 11am-4pm with the fantastic Bruno Murari, Nikon trainer.

Come along and see the new Nikon Zf, see Nikon’s new lenses and have your questions answered by Bruno and the Grays of Westminster team. And come and say hello to our Nikon Owner staff as well.

No appointment necessary.

Add to your calendar.


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Nikon Owner Magazine Celebrates Women in Photography

Nikon Owner magazine issues 79 and 80

Nikon Owner, our highly-acclaimed quarterly magazine, has launched its new series Women in Photography with a major feature on two renowned female photographers, Heather Angel and Annie Cahill. Highly respected British nature photographer Heather Angel is the author of sixty books, was the President of the Royal Photographic Society from 1984 to 1986 and the Founder Chair of the RPS Nature Group. Multi-talented photographer Annie Cahill, one-time Professional Markets Technical Representative for Nikon USA, is the Marketing & Business Development Director for Joe McNally Photography.

The new series will feature women photographers from a wide spectrum of photographic disciplines and examine their outstanding accomplishments in depth. It will explore the highlights of their careers and the reasons they chose their own specialist area of photography. They will share stories and anecdotes with us, tell us about the equipment they use and the reason Nikon is their brand of choice.

Gillian Greenwood, who has been the Features Editor of Nikon Owner for over 20 years, explains why she decided to create the series: ‘While I was researching some material for a book, I was astonished to discover that the provenance of a very early photographic study, ‘The Quillan Leaf’ (1839) was only recently found to be incorrect. Attributed initially to Henry Fox Talbot, it was not until 2015 that it was recognised as being the work of female photographer and artist Sarah Ann Bright. ‘The Quillan Leaf’ is now believed to be the earliest image taken by a female photographer still in existence. This was the catalyst behind my decision to create the series Women in Photography for Nikon Owner. I wanted to celebrate the remarkable achievements of women photographers today and also pay tribute to the exceptionally talented, but sometimes unacknowledged, photographers of the last two centuries. Each of those female pioneers was dedicated to their profession, and by virtue of their own artistic genius and their power to inspire us through their work, have left us an enduring legacy.’

Forthcoming issues will include a feature on Santha Faiia who launched her career as a photographer of ancient and sacred sites in 1990 at the Royal Geographical Society in London with her exhibition Ethiopian Trilogy, an interview with IFTA nominated film and TV director Jason Figgis talking about his ground-breaking film on the social documentary photographer Shirley Baker, who chronicled the devastating effect of the slum clearances on the nineteen-sixties communities in the North of England, and the award-winning work of travel and hotel photographer Michelle Chaplow.

About Nikon Owner magazine

Nikon Owner is a lavishly produced 60-page publication that has become the authoritative reading material for Nikon users since it was first published over 20 years ago. The editor is Gray Levett, founder of Grays of Westminster, the legendary multi-award-winning, exclusively Nikon store based in London. Nikon Owner is dedicated to bringing its readers the latest news and benchmark reviews on Nikon equipment by celebrated photographer and author, Simon Stafford, as well as inspirational articles from many of the world’s leading Nikon professionals, including Joe McNally, Moose Peterson and photographic legend Jim Brandenburg, one of the only five photographers in the world to win the National Geographic Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, there are regular features by technical writer Becky Danese, major interviews by Gillian Greenwood, stunning images of vintage Nikon by master photographer Tony Hurst, as well as the highly popular World of Wonder series by Andrew Main Wilson as he visits each of the world’s 200 countries. Nikon Owner is also a vehicle for publishing the subscribers’ own work.

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Sales Start Date: 26th October 2023
Recommended Retail Price: £4999 | 5999 ROI

Pre-order now from Grays of Westminster with just a 10% deposit!

Today, Nikon expands its range of lightweight super-telephoto S-Line lenses with the NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S full-frame prime lens. Made to shoot handheld, this sharp 600mm lens delivers thrilling image quality. From wildlife to birds, motor sports, aeroplanes, and more, photographers can capture the speed, power, and grace of distant subjects in stunning detail.

Weighing approximately 1470 g (with tripod collar), the NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S is the lightest 600mm prime lens in its class. With its centre of gravity closer to the camera body, it’s an exceptionally well-balanced lens that allows for super-comfortable handheld shooting: photographers can move with a fluidity that belies the long 600mm focal length even when panning or framing a tight overhead shot.

Whether shooting stills or video, Nikon’s high-performance optics deliver striking images with all the sharpness and pleasing bokeh that only an S-line prime lens can deliver. Even if shooting through the dust or straight into the sunset, images are superbly crisp and clear at any aperture. In low-light situations such as at dusk, dawn, or in a dense forest, photographers can work with up to 6.0-stops of Vibration Reduction image stabilisation to nail steady blur-free shots.1 And those shooting wildlife and birds will appreciate the quiet, accurate autofocus, which tracks and focuses on subjects in near silence.

High-performance sealing ensures this lightweight 600mm lens is more than ready for harsh environments and uncertain weather.2 In addition, those who want even more reach can pair the NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S with a Z series teleconverter with no loss of resolution.

Dirk Jasper, Product Manager, Nikon Europe says: “Our new 600mm f/6.3 S-Line lens frees you to nail incredible shots while shooting handheld! Rich colours, crisp textures, and bokeh if you want it. Viewed alongside the 400mm f/4.5 and 800mm f/6.3 S-Line lenses, it’s exciting to see Nikon widening the options for photographers who want the flexibility that a lightweight, high-performance super-telephoto can bring.”

Summary of key features: NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S

The lightest 600 mm prime in its class: this super-telephoto prime lens weighs approx. 1470 g (with tripod collar) and has its centre of gravity closer to the camera body for optimal balance.

High-performance S-line optics: SR and ED glass control aberrations and colour fringing. Nano Crystal Coat counters ghosting and flare for superb clarity.

AF that stays on track: from aerial tricks to birds in flight, or a fleeting moment of eye contact. This super-telephoto lens will track and focus subjects in near silence.

Up to 6-stop VR image stabilisation: in-lens optical Vibration Reduction (VR) provides stabilisation equivalent to shooting at 5.5 stops slower, or 6.0 stops with a Z camera that supports Synchro VR.1

High-performance sealing: rubber gaskets keep dust, dirt, and moisture away from all moving parts, including the lens mount. Nikon’s fluorine coating makes the front element easy to clean.2

Intuitive fingertip control: functions can be assigned to the L-Fn buttons and the silent control ring. The memory-set button allows instant recall of focus positions.

Sharp, even with a teleconverter: every advantage of this lens’ powerful AF and VR is available while using Z teleconverters. Reach can be increased by 2x (up to 1200mm) or 1.4x (up to 840mm).

Nikon Z8 & Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S


1 Based on CIPA Standards: in NORMAL mode, 6.0 stops of compensation is achieved when the lens is used together with a Z camera that supports Synchro VR. 5.5 stops of compensation is achieved when the lens is attached to a mirrorless camera equipped with a 35mm-film-size image sensor.

2 This lens is not guaranteed to be dust- and drip-resistant in all situations and under all conditions.

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Image of Nikkor Z 135 f/1.8 S Plena

Sales Start Date: Mid-October 2023
Recommended Retail Price: £2699  

Pre-order from Grays of Westminster with a 10% deposit.

Today, Nikon takes S-Line optical excellence to new heights with the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena. Stills to movies, this premium full-frame medium-telephoto lens delivers the ultimate in flawless bokeh. From fine-art photography to portraiture, high fashion, nature and more, discerning photographers can create images of incredible depth and artistry.

The very character of Plena is all-round optical perfection. The wide Nikon Z mount has opened new possibilities for lens design, and Plena takes advantage of them all to deliver truly circular bokeh even in the furthest corners of the frame. Combined with the compression of the 135mm focal length, subject separation is truly striking. Even when shooting wide open against complex backgrounds or at close range, the finest details can be isolated with crystalline sharpness against the ethereal bokeh.

Plena boasts the highest overall rendering power of any S-Line lens as well as peripheral brightness that surpasses any other S-Line lens at f/1.8. Combined with its 11-blade rounded aperture and complex optical construction, aberrations are thoroughly countered: there’s no need to stop down to avoid vignetting. Even when shooting wide open, point light sources like stars or city lights are sharp, round, and clear, and backlit bokeh is free of sagittal coma and flare.

Photo of flowers against light source taken with Z 135 f/1.8_00 S Plena

In addition, Plena’s fast, precise autofocus makes this fine-art S-Line prime lens exceptionally smooth to handle. Focus is quickly acquired at any focusing distance and even at the widest aperture where the focal plane is thinner. Weighing just shy of a kilo and with customisable controls, Plena is also beautifully manageable whether shooting handheld or rigged.

Dirk Jasper, Product Manager, Nikon Europe says: “Nikon engineers have outdone themselves with Plena. Photographers who want to create flawless bokeh now have the perfect lens at their disposal. After Noct, this is only the second lens in Nikon’s history to be given its own name, which shows just how special it is. Coming from the Latin ‘plenus’, meaning to be ‘complete’ or ‘full’, it’s perfect for a lens that delivers bokeh as exquisite as this.”


Summary of key features: NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena

Flawless bokeh: perfectly round circles of bokeh are visible even in the furthest corners of the frame. There’s no onion-ring or cat-eye bokeh, and no discernible colour fringing or vignetting.

Masterful optical design: 11 rounded aperture blades and an optical formula that consists of 16 elements in 14 groups combine to minimise diffraction and counter sagittal coma and spherical aberrations. Cutting-edge optics include Nikon’s SR glass and an aspherical lens element.

Exquisite rendering: whether shooting at f/1.8 or stopped down, images display pin-sharp in-focus details with smoothly graded background and foreground bokeh. Color and contrast are exceptional, even around high-contrast edges.

Abundant peripheral light even at f/1.8: brightness is perfectly even across the entire frame with no visible light fall-off at the edges, even when shooting wide open.

Superb anti-reflection and backlight control: Nikon’s exclusive Meso Amorphous Coat and ARNEO Coat counter glare and lens flare by eliminating incidental light coming from any direction.

Fast, meticulous autofocus: Plena acquires focus quickly and quietly at all focusing distances: from close range to infinity. The minimum focus distance is just 0.82 m.

Premium S-Line build: shaped for perfect balance, constructed entirely from tough yet lightweight metal, and engraved with the Plena name.

Effortless handling: two L-fn buttons are perfectly placed for horizontal and vertical shooting. The large, knurled focus ring actuates smoothly with just the right amount of torque.

Location ready: extensive sealing around the joints and buttons, and a rubber gasket on the lens mount keep dust, dirt, and moisture at bay.1

Accepts 82 mm filters: the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena accepts the same wide range of 82 mm screw-on filters as S-Line f/1.2 lenses. 

Image taken by NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena


1 The lens is not guaranteed to be dust- and drip-resistant in all situations and under all conditions.

For more information visit:

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