The Endeavor Lifts Off


OTW To Florida

I’m coming in for the final shuttle launch and I heard about a secret thing… Nikon has a special room/building at NASA that is full of lenses and all kinds of awesome stuff! I just need my NPS (Nikon Professional Services) card and I can be a kid in a candy store. Now, all of this sounds way too good to be true, but I’ll swoop in there to get the full scoop and let you know. (I even heard they have a 1200mm prime laying around!)

Daily Photo – The Endeavor Lifts Off

So, when I took this, I was using two different cameras. The first one was my D3X with the 28-300mm lens on a tripod, and that is how I got this one. It’s an HDR from a single RAW.

Not long after this, the buffer filled up and it started to shoot slowly, so I went to my second camera around my neck, the D3S with a 50mm prime. And I got the second shot below.

The Endeavor Lifts OffSo, when I took this, I was using two different cameras. The first one was my D3X with the 28-300mm lens on a tripod, and that is how I got this one. It’s an HDR from a single RAW.Not long after this, the buffer filled up and it started to shoot slowly, so I went to my second camera around my neck, the D3S with a 50mm prime. And I got this shot.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Space Shuttle


  • Susan

    These are both super awesome shots – I haven’t seen the DX3 one before – fantastic!! Can’t wait for your shots of the Atlantis – and that Nikon room sounds neat – take some secret pics! 100 cameras in one!!

  • Richard (oldhickory49)

    What an awesome display of power. Trey, the 28-300 looks pretty good on this, but I’m no lens expert (I know you’ll say you’re not one either… :)). Do you have any opinion on the 70-300? I’m vacillating between the two. My left brain is telling me to buy the (relatively) cheap one. My right brain is saying, “Buy the cool one for more money!

    What do to??

  • both are great! I want to see the photos from the throw away camera with Atlantis, myself… But I imagine that you will come up with several great photos and stories about the Atlantis experience.

  • Yes Trey. You made the most of your opportunity to take these shots. It’s always good to have a backup camera. I wish I could afford to keep two camera’s. I sold my D80 and a couple of lenses to help pay for a D7000 with the 18-200 mm lens. I love it so far.

  • Vicki Wilson

    Awesome images! My favorite of the two is your D3X, both are wonderful! I know what you mean by the buffer filling up, I have it happen more now with my Nikon D7000, larger raw files. I hope Nikon’s next generation of cameras come with a larger buffer. I had heard about the Nikkor 1200mm lens, very few of them around. I wonder how heavy it is.. I hope you have a great time at the final launch, looking forward to seeing your photos!

  • The structure in the exhaust plume and smoke is really what catches my eye here mate… Nice one!

  • Shawn

    1200mm?!? That’s not a lens, that’s a telescope! Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to see the shuttle launch. It’s one thing I regret never having been able to do. Have fun!

  • Great photos, I especially like the first one. I was reading the description and hadn’t scrolled down far enough to see the entire photo, only the top half, and it didn’t look like it was going to be that impressive of a photo, then I scrolled down to see the rest of it and, wow, amazing photo.

  • Great images today! Spectacular stuff! I remember stumbling across the Nikon store by accident at the British Open Golf Championship at Turnberry a few years back. To say I was out of my depth was an understatement. The confused glances I was getting from the grizzled pros suggested I had crashed some sort of mega-exclusive party I wasn’t invited to. I got a similar reaction from the Getty images tent at the same event a few years later.

  • Simon Morris

    Oh my giddy aunt… these are amazing Trey – yes, I’ve seen the 50mm prime version before (but never grow tired of it) however, as for the 28-300mm version… just incredible! I’d say these 2 images alone stand testament to your success in the photography industry – a HUGE congratulations to you, well done! πŸ™‚
    Richard – received your email… I’ll put some spiel together and get back to you real soon, yeah! πŸ˜‰

  • Gail in Montana

    Great shot, Trey. Thanks for sharing both photos. Have fun in your “candy” store, lol. Is everyone in the U.S. ready to celebrate tomorrow. Happy Early Fourth of July in case you aren’t here tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  • Both are incredible shots! Awesome that you posted these so that we could get a look at the launch. 1200mm prime sounds like an awesome beast of a lens. ;-P

  • Big Matty

    1200mm! You are going to need a caddy to cart those lenses around. I volunteer my 9 year old. πŸ˜‰

    I love shuttle pics, they represent such amazing ingenuity in satisfying our need to explore. What a cool place to go exploring, I’ll bet more than a couple astronauts frequent this site as well. Awesome pics Trey!

  • 1200mm prime! sweeeeeeet… if you find it make sure you at least get an iphone shot of that beast πŸ™‚

  • Thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  • @Richard (oldhickory49) The 70-300mm is fantastic for its price. It’s not a super wide aperture but it is optically superior to the 28-300 and is quite fast at focusing given its aperture range. The big deal is that you have no wide end to speak of at all. That’s really your main decision point and nobody else can make that one for you. You go with 70-300 you get better optical quality but lose the wide end, you go with 28-300 you get waves throughout the zoom (that you may or may not ever notice, depending on subject) but in return you get a single lens for 99% of subjects. Tough choice.

    Personally, I’d probably go for the 70-300, maybe complement it with a 24-120 f/4 or 24-70 f/2.8, as I find being “fast” is more important in that range due to the sort of subjects often shot at that range. Of course, that’s a lot more money.

  • Awesome shots! Must have been a blast! (pun intended)

  • PJ

    Amazing shot! I love the composition and colours.

  • Richard (oldhickory49)

    Hey Zachery and Simon… thanks for chiming in on the lens. Not worried about the wide end. I have the 16-35 and I don’t mind changing a lens now and then.

    Thanks again.

  • Both fantastic shots but the second one is out of this world.

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  • Both lovely photos though I think the second is more interesting/differnt for some reason. Thank you as ever for sharing and the inspiration Trey.

    However I keep regretting having gone the Canon route, but that said I still haven’t bought any additional glass so guess it’s not too late to swap!

  • Ash

    Fantastic shots, both of them. I am a bit jealous of your closeness to 39A, I have been to two launches and have not bee able to get that close. Not from lack of trying, I even wrote my Congressman about it!

    I am also headed to FL for the last liftoff on the 8th, hopefully I will come away with some beautiful photography in addition to memories.

  • If you need a monkey to carry around your equipment I will be heading to the coast Thursday night. Fingers crossed for a clean launch

  • Sharon Thomas

    Awesome….awesome……can’t say more. How far away from the launch site were you?

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