I thought I was going to go out and shoot today with my newest acquisition, the Nikon D700, but when the time came to exit the palatial Visual Science Lab headquarters I waffled a bit. I just didn't think I'd spent enough time yet getting to know my previous breathless acquisition, the Nikon D2XS. I figured I didn't really need or want to be discreet and low key in the middle of SXSW because there would be hundreds of people with cameras wandering around shooting with reckless abandon.
I checked the battery in the D2XS, put on an ancient Nikon 35-70mm f3.5, entered the information for this non-CPU lens and headed out. I spent the better part of the afternoon with the camera set to raw, aperture priority and ISO 100. With my new nano-coated, ultra acutance bifocal sunglasses focusing the hoary old manual focus lens was as easy as eating angel food cake. I did no intervention with the camera's exposure settings. If it wanted to use 1/650th I was just there for the ride.
I am very happy with the results. Noimage stabilization. No AF. Single shot setting (almost always) and no shenanigans. And yet the images seem well exposed and sharp. Who could have known that photography could be done without the bling we've been blessed with in the ensuing eleven years gone by since this camera was introduced. Who would have guessed that a lens from 1987 might still produce acceptable images 31 years later. Price for the entire rig? Camera+lens... (bought used) $325.
Toying now with the idea of spending a month shooting everything with this ancient camera and the tiny collection of equally (or more) ancient manual focus Nikons I've saved over the years in the bottom drawer of the equipment cabinet.
The images displayed in this blog have been converted from big, 14 bit raw files down to half-sized Jpeg files in order to fit them to my blog format. Click on any photo to see it at 2198 pixels on the long side. But don't presume that running out of resolution at a smaller screen size is indicative of the performance of the rig. I'll load a 100 % detail of the photo just below at the very end. Check the detail in the woman's hair.....
About to buy up the entire U.S. supply of D2XS and D700 cameras just so I can always have one that works to play with. There were two more D700's at Precision Camera this week; one with 371,000 actuations on the shutter and the other with over 400,000 actuations. That's just too scary for me....
Got nothing to sell on the blog today. You get to read it free and unencumbered by commerce.
How rare is that?