D-SLR Equipment

*** In mid 2015, I fully transitioned from Nikon to Fuji. The remainder of this page is historical.

I bought my first 35mm film camera while stationed in Korea. I realize now what a perfect camera it was (if you're curious it was a Pentax Super Program). I carried that camera all over the world.

I resisted digital at first. I don't know why. Now, I can't imagine going back to film. I had the usual assortment of compact and prosumer cameras until finally taking the big leap to a digital SLR - a Nikon D70s. The digital SLR reinvigorated my love for photography.

After the D70s, I moved to a Nikon D300. Nikon created a masterful camera that perfectly melded form and function. I loved every minute of the over 6 years that I owned this camera. Unfortunately (as of early summer 2014) Nikon never released a true successor (pro build and controls, 14-bit uncompressed NEF being the major requirements IMHO). The newer cameras capabilities in low light, image size and video ultimately lead me to upgrading.

So what's in my camera bag now? And why? I hope this conversation is useful for you if you are considering a D-SLR or lens.

My current camera body is a full-frame Nikon D800E. At this time, the D800 / D800E / D810 are generally recognized as one of the best cameras on the planet. I won't ever bash the other major DSLR players (Canon, Olympus, Sony, etc.). Sony especially seems to be coming on strong and pushing Nikon to be better. It’s a great time to be a photographer!

If you do buy a digital SLR, you will quickly become familiar with the term "lens lust". There is always a newer, better, additional feature that if I had, I could . . . fill in the blank. You see, it happens automatically! I have quite a few lenses, many of which have been purchased used. I have heard the horror stories but (knock on wood) have never had an issue. I have purchased lens via eBay, other Nikonians and Fred Miranda

Remember that lens lust disease? I had it. I think I am, for the most part, recovered. I think. Mostly. Anyway, below is a current list of the lens I have, why I have them and how I use them.

  • Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM II - I love to shoot wide-angle images; especially landscape images. I had such a great experience with my former DX Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens that I didn’t hesitate when I uncovered a great deal on this lens. I seriously considered the amazing Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED but realized that since I normally use this lens for landscape, I would be paying much more for a fast lens when I would normally be using the lens at f/8+ for greater depth of field.
  • Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD - My everyday lens. This was my splurge lens. It is fast and sharp. Exactly what you want in your most used lens. Nikon also has a lens in the same focal length: Tamron’s is slightly sharper while Nikon’s focuses slightly faster. I went for sharper at a lower cost than the Nikon.
  • Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD - There are times when you can't or don't want to change lens often. Or you don't have room to carry a big kit. These types of all-in-one lenses have trade-offs with slight distortion and at some focal lengths slight lack of sharpness. However, getting a shot is better than getting no shot. The latest version, introduced in 2014, uses a very quick and quiet Piezo Drive which works very well. I purchased this lens used.
  • Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD - Every photographer dreams of having a fast lens in this focal length. The Tamron version does not disappoint. Like the Tamron SP 24-70, this lens is slightly sharper while Nikon's focuses slightly faster. The difference between the two is also about US$1000 which made my decision a little easier.

So what do I usually carry with me? My normal DSLR kit is the Sigma 12-24mm, the Tamron 24-70mm and the Tamron 70-200mm. If I think I will be in a situation where changing lens is impractical or intrusive, the Tamron 28-300mm is perfect.

So what about you? Nikon? Canon? Sony? Fuji? Olympus? What kind of lens and why? Use the Contact me page and let me know!