Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gear Changes

You may notice that I've shifted quite a bit of my gear around. Thought I'd do a small rewrite of my first post about my gear.

Changes that have been made in the past few months:
Sold D200 body for D90 body
Trying to sell Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, replaced by Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 AF-S
Sold Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S for Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 AF-S VR
Bought Nikon 55mm f/3.5 AI'S

Sell Nikon D200 body for Nikon D90 body.
Back in August, Nikon released the new D90. The first ever dSLR to offer HD video recording capability. I remember a year ago when I told myself, man I wish my camera could take video like a point and shoot. Fast forward a year and here we are with my new D90 that can record at 24fps @ 720p HD resolution!!! It was a big decision to make between the D90 and the D200. The D90 adopted the same sensor from the Nikon D300 (Nikon's current professional DX body) and has a lot better low-noise, high ISO performance. I feel that the files are usable up to ISO 3200 with less sacrifice to image quality. It may be important to note that the video capability was definitely a perk, but not the main reason for buying the camera. One big sacrifice I made with the D90 is build quality. The D90 is built well, but definitely not 'like a rock' like the D200 is. Because of the switch, I also converted back to SD cards from CF. I also had my MB-D80 battery grip from my D80 lying around (wouldn't sell on forums) and it just so ended being compatible with the D90 so another plus!

Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 AF-S over Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. Don't get me wrong, the Tamron is a true performer!!! The Nikon is slightly sharper and has slightly better color rendition, but it's fair to say these lenses are optically close. The big perk was in build quality. The Nikon feels sturdy and tough. I would not fear damaging the lens. Ultimately the reason why I switched was because I found the 17-55 at such a steal that it was worth the $300 difference to upgrade.

Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 AF-S VR for 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S. Will never look back to the 80-200 AF-S. I thought that that lens was sharp… the 70-200 will blow it away by a mile! This baby is razor sharp at 2.8 and only gets better by stopping down. The addition of VR is incredibly helpful as well; especially with recording videos. Also found this lens at a great price and was able to sell my 80-200 so I jumped on it.

Nikon 55mm f/3.5 AI'S. Cheapo, old-school, manual focus lens. This lens is just FUN! The ability to use it as a 1:2 macro lens and practicing my manual focusing skills are a definite plus. This lens actually does not meter on my D90 so I need to guess and chimp for my exposure. It's fun to try and guess what settings to use and see how my exposures are. Definitely a learning lens. Also is great on my N90s film camera.

That's all for now, stay tuned for part 2 and 3 of Nailing the Exposure: Shutter Speed and ISO.

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