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Jim Church's Essential Guide to Nikonos Systems Paperback – December 29, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The guru ...has done it again! No Nikonos user should be without this book--it's the underwater photographer's bible! -- Skin Diver

About the Author

Jim Church is one of the pioneers of modern underwater photography. Many of today's professionals got started with a camera in one hand, and Jim's articles and books in the other. Jim's articles and photographs have appeared hundreds of times during the past 40 years in photography, travel and dive magazines, newspapers and books. He is the author of eight previous books on underwater photography. Jim is a co-recipient of the NOGI Award for the Arts for his contribution to underwater photography. He resides in Miami Lakes, Florida.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Aqua Quest Publications (December 29, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881652041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881652045
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,907,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John H. Henderson VINE VOICE on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
My first reaction when opening this book was that it was light on text. Not necessarily bad if it says what it needs to succinctly. Unfortunately, this book didn't do that. Procedures could be explained more clearly, and could be illustrated with more and better figures and photographs. This semi-pro photographer often found himself reading a procedure and saying, "huh?" "Change the f-stop which way?" The advanced photographer will gloss over reading the description of f-stops and shutter speeds while the novice will be left befuddled. The book leans toward giving recipes for a situation rather than trying to teach an understanding of photography.
More explanation and pictures could be given of the equipment and configuration. A new underwater photographer with a camera is overwhelmed by the array of arms and attachments, but there is one paragraph on arms and brackets that basically says, "Get the best," without as much as figure to show how one looks or attaches to the camera. Then you get descriptions such as "attach the strobe arm so it tilts toward the camera body." Tilt in what plane? What does a strobe arm look like?
There are statement and procedures that seem odd to an experienced photographer. It is suggested that manual strobe exposure, which is typically only dependent of distance and f-stop, is also a function of subject brightness. The procedure for using TTL flash starts with looking up the flash distance for a full-power manual flash to set the f-stop. If you're going to do that, you might as well not use TTL (although this method does maximize depth of field, but, of course, this is not explained.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is great for people who are new to underwater pictures. He starts out slow, but while newbies might find that some parts are too hard to understand, old users will feel right at home. After the middle of the book everything makes sense, and the book really does help. I promise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack Hall on November 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Jim Church is the true professor of underwater photography. His book is comprehensive and fairly clear. His approach is almost too analytical at times. I would have liked more photos and text explaining what he did and why and how it worked out, although he did offer quite a number of photo examples. His tips on strobe useage and his "secret guide to strobe exposures" alone are worth the price of the book. For a looser and more intuitive approach, read [...]
this is an addition to, not a replacement for Church's book.
Overall, I would give the book an A- with about half of it worthy of an A+ and the remainder a solid B to B+.
eyesguy@aol.com
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Easy to understand, yet comprehensive info for the beginning to intermediate UW photographers utilizing Nikonos V (slightly less info on the Nikonos RS). Organization by subject matter creates a reference that you can take with you for easy and quick, pre-dive brush-ups. Excellent example photos, charts and diagrams. It goes way beyond all Nikon manuals and publications.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Feldman on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book on a trip to St Lucia, with my Nikonos, with fantastic results. His sections on theory were clear and understandable. The sections on actually taking pictures are a must. On my next photographic expidition, I am going to xerox and laminate his checklists for use underwater. My pictures would not have been as good without this book. The only confusing part is keeping which flash, lens or camera you have in some of the examples, but a second read through the section clears this up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Church helped many with this book and his tips on use of the Nikonos system. Though the technology of that dated 35mm icon is perhaps now surpassed, this book would still be valuable to any understanding of underwater photography. It would be a five star rating, if modernized for a wider non Nikonos audience. I would still recommend this book for that wider audience now however. It is only dated in choice of equipment, not art of photography.
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Jim Church's Essential Guide to Nikonos Systems
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