Monday, June 30, 2008

My Gear - Why I Have What I Have

Gear list on right -> shows all the gear that I currently own.

Just wanted to write a quick run-through on what I have, had, and want :)

Nikon D200 with MB-D200 grip.
Nikon D80 with MB-D80 grip. (to be sold soon)
Nikon N90s film body.

My upgrading process was D50 -> D80 because of a few reasons

  1. Larger viewfinder
  2. Larger LCD
  3. More FPS
  4. More megapixels
  5. Availability of battery grip
  6. Two command dials for easier control of exposure
  7. Nikon CLS with built-in flash

From the D80, I upgraded to the D200 because

  1. I got an incredible deal :)
  2. More FPS!!!
  3. Pro body build (magnesium vs. plastic)

Now the big question. Why Nikon over Canon?

Long story short, one of my friends and someone I consider my mentor shot Nikon so I wanted to partially follow his footsteps. Another part of me wanted to be different :). Those were my initial reasons for going Nikon. Upon further investigation and experience, I prefer Nikon over Canon for a few reasons

  1. I love the front and rear dial as opposed to the spinning dial on Canon
  2. Easy menu system and dedicated buttons to change settings
  3. Nikon CLS through built-in flash. The ability to trigger my flashes off camera using the built in flash to command them is incredible!
  4. Easier to change certain settings while shooting (on the fly, without diving into menus)

I've just recently purchased the film body to really push myself to think about composition and to see what film looks like :)


The 10.5mm f/2.8 Fisheye (not pictured)
It started off as a novelty lens to me before I really understood how incredible it was. Through Nikon Capture NX and CS3 I can convert fisheye images to be less distorted so this lens also doubles as a wide angle and group shot lens for me. It is an excellent low-light performer and produces amazing images.

1/4 f/2.8 ISO 400 on D80

Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
I originally started with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and shot with it for awhile. I had a sharp copy and it was a great lens. After shooting for a few months, I yearned for a wider lens (esp. considering DX crop) I decided to sell the 28-75 and try it's little brother the 17-50. I've had it for a couple months and has gotten me through a few gigs. It's a great indoor, close-quarters lens and lets me get fairly wide for group shots and room shots.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
Every Nikonian knows about this lens. Often tagged as the 'nifty fifty' It's a great, sharp, cheap, small lens that produces great shots. At under $100, it's a solid bang for the buck. I use it a lot when f/2.8 just won't get me a fast enough shutter speed.

1/640 f/1.8 ISO 200 on a Nikon D40 - MF

Nikon 85mm f/1.4D
I originally started with the 85mm f/1.8D, but soon sold it for the 85 1.4. Many refer to this lens as the 'cream machine' because of the great rendition of bokeh and OOF (out of focus) areas. When I had the 85 1.8 I really liked the focal length and it's a great portrait lens. I just thought I'd venture out and see what a pro-grade prime would be like and I love my 85 1.4 now :)

1/250 f/1.4 ISO 400 on D200

Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S
I once had the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D and liked it a lot. I just stupidly sold it to turn a profit and experienced sellers remorse immediately. I found a great deal on this AF-S version which focuses silently and so much faster and is great at tracking moving subjects as well. A great indoor and outdoor lens. Most say image quality is the same, if not better, than the 70-200 AF-S VR. The only thing it lacks is VR (vibration reduction) so it's a bit harder to get sharp shots at slower shutter speeds, but it'll test my handholding techniques :) By the look of it, you can tell it lets me zoom in yo face. It has smooth, beautiful bokeh as well.

1/250 f/2.8 ISO 100 on D200


I currently have an SB-800 and 3x SB-600's. I'm learning lots about off camera flash and I have a 2-3 light setup. The SB-800 doubles as my flash commander and allows me to trigger the other flashes wirelessly.

I hope this post kept you interested a bit :)

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Weekend post

This weekend I'm planning on posting about my gear. Why I chose what I did, the paths I've taken, gear I've previously owned, why Nikon over Canon :P, etc.

If you have any specific questions you'd like me to touch on, please drop a comment. =)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Starting the blog

I've been wanting to blog for awhile about this whole photography shebang of mine. Finally bit the dust and created this site. The purpose is to inform you of what I'm experimenting with, learning, trying, etc. I hope to educate along the way, but I have much to learn myself. =)

I started with my Nikon D50 back in October of last year. I've been interested and curious about photography for a couple of years but it became economically feasible and tangible for me last fall so I bit the bullet and bought my first dSLR. I read through hundreds of blogs, websites, articles, and magazines and was fascinated by photography. I knew from the get go that I had a lot to learn, though.

Fast forward 8 months into the present and here I am with my D200 and pro glass ;). NAS (Nikon acquisition syndrome) is a reality for me and I am struggling to fight it every day.

I don't think I have my style or niche quite yet, just trying to gain some experience shooting a little bit of everything. I'm really liking portraiture though :)

Welcome to the blog and I hope I can keep you interested!