Saturday, March 22, 2008

Everything That is Old is New Again

Nikon 400mm f5.6 manual focus built approximately 1982 w/TC 1.4 from the same time period. This is the equivalent of a 840mm @f8.0 lens (400mm x 1.5 factor w/ DSLR APC sized sensor x 1.4 factor from teleconverter) on the Nikon D200. EXIF data: 1/250th f8.0 ISO 400. Shot on a Gitzo 1325 tripod with an Arca-Swiss Z-1 ballhead through a standard clear glass window pane. File was ingested via Adobe Lightroom where slight adjustments to exposure, blacks, clarity, and medium tone curve were applied. Detials in Lightroom: Noise Reduction applied 50 points lumnanace and color; Sharpening 150; Radius 1.0, Detail 60; Masking 70.

A couple of years ago I purchased the Nikon D200. My decision to purchase this camera was based on several factors. I should mention that I have been a Nikon shooter since the 1990’s, but I admire the Canon cameras and lenses as well. At the time I made the purchase I was working at a camera store (yes, I got an employee discount, but not as much as you might think), and was able to get my hands on several new cameras and lenses, a nice side benefit. When the Nikon D200 began to ship there was so much demand for the camera that several were sold before we could get a demo model on the shelf. But, popularity had nothing to do with my purchase decision. One overriding factor secured my decision, the venerable Nikon F-mount. What is the Nikon F-mount, well if you want to research it further check out - What you will find is that the original F-mount developed by Nikon in 1959 has remarkable longevity, and backwards compatibility. What this means to photographers in practical terms is, that with few exceptions, any lens manufactured by Nikon since 1977, when the AI lenses, were introduced will mount on any of the new Nikon digital SLR’s. This does not mean that you will always get metering with every DSLR, but what’s a histogram and chimp screen for anyway? Nikon D1, D2, and D3 series and the D200, D300 will give you metering, with some limitations, in Aperture Priority and Manual exposure modes. Other Nikon DSLR's will not give you metering , but you do get an image on the LCD and a histogram. Consequently, you can get an image and you can bracket and determine what the correct exposure is. Maybe not the quickest way to get a photo, but every bit as effective as a new lens. If you want to read the details about using older Nikon lenses, see this chart at Ken Rockwell’s excellent and thorough web site.