Monday, May 26, 2008

Out with the Old, In with the New

Sadly, I retired my first dSLR last week. I sold it to someone looking for a fast camera for shooting sports -- still a very good use for it. Here's the last good shot I made with my D1H -- it served me very well for over two years, even if it was a generation or two behind the current times when I purchased it.

But the good news -- to replace it, I got a used and somewhat-abused, but still functional D200. I'm the type of person who likes to actually use their equipment, not admire it sitting on a shelf. So, when the opportunity to save some cash arose by grabbing a D200 with some cosmetic issues (after taking a bit of a plunge off a tripod), naturally I'm going to be interested. Unless the camera doesn't work, I don't really care if it's not in mint condition. Same thing for my lenses. I'm sure I was a photojournalist in a former life or something...

By finding this deal, too, though, I was able to purchase a new lens along with the camera, for about the same price as what D200 bodies alone are going for nowadays. The lens I got is a 35mm f/2 AF-D. It's honestly one lens that I didn't think that I needed, but when I was looking through the viewfinder with the lens, I noticed that it seemed to match the normal viewing perspective. This makes sense when you think about it -- a 35mm lens on a 1.5x digital SLR becomes roughly a 5omm lens on a full-frame or film camera. So, yeah, after never really owning a 5omm when I shot film, I now have the equivalent of 50mm f/2 in digital.

And I'm recognizing how awesome this can be.

I already have a 20-35mm f/2.8 lens, but that sucker is huge. This small, compact lens gives me an extra stop, too, over that lens. It's wide enough to get a lot of stuff in, but not so wide that everything gets distorted. It's really a versatile little lens.

But the thing that I REALLY like about it is that it focuses very, very closely. I'd need to look up the stats, but I'm guessing it's about 3 inches in front of the lens. Combine that with the low-DOF f/2 opening, and it makes for a PERFECT lens for me to do my "Group F/1" stuff...

I love the bokeh! And the "Vivid Enhanced" setting on the D200 is really really nice.

In addition to being a great macro lens, it's also great as a portrait lens. Again, it's wide enough to get a decent head/shoulders portrait without having the distortion of an extra-wide when you get close to shoot the head & shoulders.

When I bought my D2H, I debated long and hard over whether or not to get the D200 instead. I ultimately decided that I preferred the machine-gun speed over the higher resolution. Especially since the D200 had 10 megapixels -- more than I really need. But now, I've decided that in shooting weddings more and more, I need all the resolution I can get. So, I've complemented my D2H with a D200.

Both of them are, really, more camera than I can use. Maybe in 2-3 years, I'll upgrade to a D3 and a D300, but for now I'm set...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello:) I love you pictures! It's just an accidental that I found your blog. I searched for "summer" at google and found the picture of the sunflower:) Keep ut the good work, and I will visit your blot some times!

Julie in Norway

4:20 AM  

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