Tuesday, March 15, 2011




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WeddingWire 2011 Brides Choice Award Winner!

San Francisco, California – January 26th, 2011 - WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce Darwin M. Garza Photography has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for Wedding Photography!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Darwin M. Garza Photography stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Darwin M. Garza Photography for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Darwin M. Garza Photography is among the very best Wedding Photographer's within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at www.WeddingWire.com/DMGPhotography.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire.com, the nation's leading technology company serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 local wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers to wedding cakes. WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives local businesses control over their clients, reviews, leads and performance. Businesses that join the WeddingWire Network appear on WeddingWire.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), ProjectWedding.com and Weddingbee.com (both part of eHarmony), and Celebrations.com (part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands, NASDAQ: FLWS).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nikon 85mm 1.4G vs Nikon 135mm f2.0 DC (Defocus Control)

UPDATE: 12/26/10

Watch my Youtube video on the Nikon 135mm f2 DC vs Nikon 85mm 1.4G:

I was able to get my hands on the new Nikon 85mm 1.4G AFS. I had sold my old 85mm 1.4D about a month ago knowing that I'd be making this purchase as soon as Nikon announced it. I knew it was going to be tough to get a hold of this lens, (same for the Nikon 135mm f2.0 DC), so I recommend picking up one or the other if you get a chance.

First, the difference between the two 85mm 1.4G vs. 85mm 1.4D in my opinion.

There are plenty of reviews out there comparing the two lenses technically, but I am just going to give you my take on the two lenses.

First, Id like to say that I LOVE BOTH, and you cannot go wrong with either therefore I am happy that its back in my arsenal.

So what are the differences?

Well, the NEW Version is quiet and focuses faster in regular and low light. Shooting running kids was not a problem for me, and you CAN tell the difference when you compare the two in regards to focus.

The new version is also sharper from edge to edge compared to the old 85mm 1.4D, but please note the old version was already extremely Sharp, therefore this may not be a factor in upgrading to the new version for you.

In regard to Bokeh, I must say is almost the same but a slight advantage to the new G version. You can hardly tell the difference unless you look really close. The Bokeh on either lens is EXCELLENT, and you cannot go wrong with either.

The new version does have Nano Crystal Coat, that I find extremely helpful especially when shooting against the sun. The nano crystal coat does help with flare reduction, and since the old 85 1.4D lacked the Nano Crystal Coat, I always hesitated shooting with it against the sun. Now, with the new version, I feel comfortable shooting against the sun, therefore I no longer have to mount the Nikon 24-70mm or 70-200mm VRII for sun flare shots.

Another minor change with the New Version that I find a big plus is the lens hood. The old version's hood screwed into the lens filter which was annoying especially trying to clean the lens or transport it. The old version's lens hood was hard to take off, sometimes requiring to unscrew the entire filter from the lens. The new version's lens hood easily snaps on and off.

Last, regarding color. The new lens renders warmer colors which I find an advantage especially when shooting people and portraits.

So in a nutshell:

85mm 1.4 G Advantages over the 85mm 1.4D
-Faster & More Quiet Focus
-Sharper from Edge to Edge
-Slightly Better Bokeh
-Nano Crystal Coating
-Better Lens Hood
-Warmer Skin Tone Colors
-Auto Focuses on D60, D40, D3000, D3100, D5000 cameras

-Price, but for me it was well worth the extra $400.

Now, in comparison to the KING of BOKEH in the Nikon lineup, Nikon 135mm f2.0 DC.

The 135mm f2.0 DC is a fantastic lens and of course its BOKEH can arguably be better than the 85mm 1.4 G or D. But the 135mm f2 DC is lens that you'll need to spend more time on learning especially with the Defocus Control. You can shoot it like a regular lens leaving the DC function neutral, BUT, you are not fully utilizing the function of the lens.

Now, for the main differences between the 135mm f2 DC and the Nikon 85mm 1.4:

The Nikon 85mm 1.4 D or G focuses faster both in low light and regular light. Ive tried both lenses on running children and found the 135mm f2 DC too slow to focus and struggled in focusing. So for Fast Focusing Speed, the 85mm 1.4 (New or OLD) is the winner.

For low light situations, Id pick the 85mm over the 135mm because with the 135mm, you have to stay above a 1/135 shutter speed to prevent shake unless you are using a mono pod or tripod. So you ll be stuck shooting at 1/160 sec and your only solution to lower high ISO levels is to open the aperture. Since the 135mm is a f2.0 lens, you are limited and shooting wide open on both lenses can be dangerous especially at 1.4 or 2.0. Winner: 85mm 1.4

Last, Sharpness & Bokeh: Which has better Sharpness & Bokeh? Both the 85mm 1.4 & 135mm f2 have EXCELLENT Bokeh and are both REALLY SHARP. In regards to bokeh, Many may argue both have Similar Bokeh effects. Both lenses are sharp and both produces very similar Creamy Bokeh's but a slight advantage to the 135mm f2 dc because of the ability to control more or less bokeh with the defocus control. Winner: 135mm f2 DC

Uses for the 135mm over the 85mm:
The 135mm Id use for portrait shots of the couple, especially if there is a lot of space such as an outdoor setting and plenty of time. The 135mm is a lens that you want to take your time with especially if you are going to use the Defocus Control. The 135mm is the lens that Id reach for if there was foreground & background that Id want more out of focus, such as the shot below.

The 85mm 1.4 Id use for tighter places and super close ups. Also, its the lens Id pick for fast moving kids or people. If I was in a hurry, its the 85mm that gets used more only because the 135mm has the defocus ring that I like to adjust and take my time with, and with the 85mm 1.4, its a matter of adjusting the aperture to get the desired bokeh effect. For low light, the 85mm gets used over the 135mm. Here is a shot taken with a Nikon 85mm 1.4G. Note the better colors and warmer skin tones compared to the 135mm f2 DC.


-Both 85mm 1.4 G & D performs better than 135mm f2 DC in low light
-Both 85mm 1.4 G & D focuses faster than 135mm f2 DC, & is better for moving subjects
-The 85mm 1.4G has Nano Crystal Coating that can be useful shooting against the sun
-The 85mm 1.4G renders warmers colors than both the 85mm 1.4D and 135mm f2 DC
-The 135mm f2 DC has better BOKEH than both the 85mm 1.4 G & D
-ALL 3 LENSES ARE EXCELLENT: Nikon 85mm 1.4 G/D or a Nikon 135mm f2 DC

AGAIN, these are based on my opinion and how I use the lens. Your opinion and usage may vary.

Thanks for looking!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nikkor 70mm-200mm AFS ED VR II review

So here are my thoughts on the new Nikon 70mm-200mm VRII.

Ive been shooting with this for a week, and so far I am impressed! I owned the previous version so I must say that the new version is a lot sharper and better. I am not going to go into full detail about the full specs of the lens, but just my thoughts on both Version 1 and Version 2.

Below are samples images with NO POST PRODUCTION.

Photo 1
Equipment Used:
D700 w/ 70-200mm VR II
1/20s hand held, ISO 6400 @ F2.8 at 200mm

Photo 2
Equipment Used:
D700 w/ 70-200mm VR II
1/1600s hand held, ISO 3200 @ F4.5 at 200mm

In low light, I am impressed at how sharp the image turned out, and the fact that I can use the lens at 1/20s and still have sharp usable images is impressive! Lately I have been shooting Engagement Sessions at night without flash, so this improvement with the VR system will benefit me.

2nd picture was taken with the Sun in the back, and as you can see this lens does better with back lit subjects. Bokeh at f4.5 is great and there is little or no vignetting. With my clients making large prints, I do not have to worry about them complaining about dark corners.

Focal Length Issue? It does not affect my type of shooting too much be cause my ideal length for portraits is between 85mm-135mm. The advantages of having sharper images, ability to shoot better with back lit subjects, less flare, with a better VR system out weighs the issue of the lens contracting at shorter distances. At 30ft away, you do get your full 200mm, so technically it is still a 70-200mm lens.

Overall I am impressed with this lens, and is becoming one of my favorites! Is it worth to upgrade? My opinion, YES. But your opinion may differ depending on the type of shooting you do.

Here are other samples taken with my D700 & 70-200 VRII

Friday, February 12, 2010


I recieve two packages today from UPS!

Just got my Boda V3 Lens BAG!!! Ive waited 4 months for this bag and all I can say is that it is AMAZING!!! Quality is EXCELLENT and it is comfortable!

Ill be doing a full review later with pictures and things that I can fit inside!

Nikkor 70mm-200mm AFS ED VRII

This is Nikon's latest zoom lens and I cannot wait to test it out! Ill also post pics and give my thoughts on this lens compared to the OLD version.