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Gear Up

December 24, 2006

I don’t know exactly when I started pursuing digital photography in earnest. Maybe it was some time in the summer of 2001, but I’m not sure. By 2003, however, I was shooting a lot. I now have over 13,000 photos in my library. The whole collection takes up almost 37 gigabytes of drive space. I really need to archive some of this stuff. It’s too unwieldily to keep on the laptop, especially one that is primarily used for non-photography-related tasks.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun if I made a little list of my current photography gear. So here goes.

  • Nikon D50 digital SLR camera. What a great value this camera has been. I love it to death and only have two niggling complaints: one, the LCD read out on the top isn’t backlit; two, it can only take 2.5 frames a second in continuous shooting mode.
  • Nikkor AF G 28-80mm f/3.3-f/5.6 zoom lens. The lens bundled with the D50, although not the usual 18-55mm kit lens. I don’t know why this deal was different.
  • Nikkor AF D 20-35mm f/2.8-f/3.5 wide angle zoom lens. This is on loan for an indeterminate period of time from a friend. Super lens. It’s worth double what my camera and my other lens are put together.
  • Nikon SB-28 speedlight flash unit. Also on loan. I’m still learning how to use this effectively.
  • 2 gigabyte Kingston Elite Pro 50x SD flash memory card. Big and fast and reliable.
  • Ultrapod II mini tripod. Pocketable and handy.
  • iPhoto. sucks pictures out of the camera, tags them, categorizes them, does light editing and other tasks. There’s no way to manage 13,000 photos without software like this, and this one comes free with every Mac.
  • Photoshop CS2. For heavier editing tasks.

And here’s a couple of things I’d really like to get:

  • Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX zoom lens. many photographers say this baby replaces several of their other lenses and that they use it every day.
  • A full sized tripod. I want something sturdy and light, but I have no idea what brands/models are good values.
  • Nikon D200 digital SLR camera. It’s kind of like my D50, but has neither of it’s shortcomings (noted above).
  • Aperture. This would be a more professional replacement for iPhoto.

Okay, I’m dreaming on a few of those items. Sue me. What stuff do you use? Got any gear recommendations?

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  1. The Nikon D50 shoots 2.5 frames per second in continous shooting mode. The D200 shoots 3 frames per second, not much of an increase in shooting speed although it does it at 10.2 M resolution. I bought the Canon EOS 30D (8.2M) for the 5 frames per second it offers and cost (now) about $600-$700 less than the Nikon D200. If Nikon comes out with a 5 frames per second camera equivalent to the D200, I will seriously think about selling the 30D and getting the Nikon.

    The biggest problem is finding a reasonably priced (under a $1000) fast F2.8, 18-200 or 18-300 zoom lens with reasonable macro capability. I have an old manul focusing F2.5 zoom and an F1.2 50mm normal lens and I miss the low light shooting capability without using a flash. Unfortunately, neither is a Nikon or Canon mount, the two DSLRs I currently use.


  2. Oops! yes, I meant to say 2.5 frames per second, not 1.5. But you’re mistaken about the D200; it does 5 frames per second, still double what the D50 does.

    I know what you mean about lenses. What’s even more irksome is that the lens I mentioned above has an MSRP of like $700. But the demand has been so great you can’t get them for less than a grand! Hopefully the prices on such things will come down to where mere mortals like myself live.


  3. What’s funny is that I’m still shooting with my old ass Sony Cybershot 1.3 megapixel camera I got for Chrismukkah 2000 (or my s****y camera phone)… Though, I want a DSLR.

    Of course, even with 4 years of shooting pictures for MUTV, I only have like 700 pictures in Flickr and 1440 in my iPhoto.

    -A


  4. This is very helpful, Scott. I’m just now thinking about getting a more serious camera. I still just use my Canon digital elph. I’ve been very happy with it (started with the S100 six years ago, went on to the S400 and now have the SD630) and its super small size (credit card) allows me to take it with me anywhere. That said, there are obviously limitations to such a camera if one wants to get more serious, which I’d like to. So I’ve been thinking about these issues.

    Regarding tripods, I just put in an order for the Gorillapod. (See my blog for links and info on the best deal I coud find, there is a 15% discount available until the 31st.) I haven’t used a tripod yet and very much looking forward to what that will allow me to do.

    (On an unrelated note.. there’s a bit of weirdness on your blog. I couldn’t see the comment fields, I just had to guess and then tab over.)


  5. If you’re looking for an SLR-type camera I would seriously consider a Nikon D40, D50, D200; or Canon’s Rebel XT. I would not consider other brands.

    If on a budget, I’d start looking at the D40. It’s a lot like my camera only smaller and with a slightly different feature set. See this and this for details.

    I have heard this problem with my blog before! I haven’t ever been able to track it down, but I suspect it’s a problem that can be fixed by flushing your cache. People have accused me of “blocking” their ability to comment, which isn’t true. I am also aware that the right hand column is misaligned when rendered in IE and Opera, but I have never cared enough to look into fixing it.


  6. […] So now I have added something new to my existing gear: say hello to the 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor. (Photo courtesy of IvanoMak.) […]



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