365:79 (my tools)

by sam on 11/18/2009

This is my baby (someday, I hope to have another baby that takes pictures in full frame, but I need to get another job first).

Nikon D80, purchased in August 2007. I’m up to 3 lenses. The small 18-55 kit lens that came with the camera, and which I rarely use. It’s a perfectly adequate lens, and when I’m in hyper tourist mode I’ll sometimes throw it on because it’s really light and it’s the widest angle lens that I’ve got, but otherwise, it stays tucked away.

The lens on the camera is a discontinued 35-70/2.8 macro lens, that is my “primary” lens. This is the one that lives on the camera, and i bought it at the same time that I bought the camera, at the recommendation of my former boss who is a huge Nikon fanatic. He still uses film, but owns a ridiculous number of different format cameras and lenses, and when I was looking at what to buy, he dug up the research on this and told me I needed to get one, especially because they were killing the model. And I have to admit that I love it. It’s pretty heavy because it’s metal (the newer lenses are plastic) and it’s got a ton of glass in it. but it takes great pictures and it goes down to f/2.8 regardless of the focal length. It’s also got a macro feature that lets me take all of those close up shots of the tiny things on my desk. It’s also the reason I haven’t splurged on a true 35mm or 50mm prime lens. While I’d like the option to go down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 on certain occasions, this gives me the 35mm (prime for a digital) and 50mm (prime for a film) focal lengths (plus a bit more leeway), and f/2.8 is pretty big and gives me a pretty nice shallow depth of field when I want it.

The third lens is my most recent acquisition – a really cheap grey market 70-300mm zoom lens. Again, while I need a job before I do crazy splurging on the high-end stuff, I was looking for something that would give me more telephoto range above my 35-70. While that one is great 90% of the time, there are times that I wish I could zoom closer in on an object that I couldn’t physically get closer to. This one doesn’t have built-in autofocus (so you need a body like the D80 that’ll do it), no VR, and no aperture ring. Like I said, cheap. On the flip side, I did take all of my marathon pics with it, which came out pretty well (if I do say so myself).

and then, of course, there’s my iphone, which was necessary because I couldn’t take a picture of the Nikon with the Nikon.


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