Monday, November 29, 2010

First Photowalk with the New Camera

As I mentioned in my post about the International Fly Tying Symposium, I recently decided to take my photography to the next level and get into the world of SLR cameras.  I did an ungodly amount of reading, both official literature from the camera manufacturers and neutral-party reviews.  Compared side-by-side, went to stores to handle different models, and read everything I could find about the models in which I was interested on message boards across the internet.  When I thought I'd made up my mind, I still kept my eyes open for other possibilities, even as I pursued the ones I was interested in.  Several deals fell through, either from the camera selling, or getting no further response from the seller before I finally found one for which everything worked out.  Once I had the camera, I ordered a lens, and now that it's arrived, I'm happily shooting away.

The Camera

I'm shooting on a Nikon D80.  I bought it from a man in Florida, who apparently took very good care of it.  The only sign that I wasn't the first person to take it out of its box was some faintly visible circles where the tripod mount was tightened against the bottom of the body.  One of the biggest reasons I went with an older D80 as opposed to a more modern D3000 or D5000 from Nikon was because the D80's larger frame feels better in-hand, and the buttons and controls don't seem as crowded together as they do on the more compact models.

The Lens

Or the first lens, anyway.

It's a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4 DC OS HSM, a standard range zoom comparable to the starter lens often paired with a body in a beginner kit, with a few slight upgrades, including a somewhat larger max aperture, image stabilization, and internal zooming and focusing.  I got the lens new, so the condition is obviously mint.  It seems very well made, with a metal mount and easy-to-operate zoom and focus rings.

I won't be reviewing photography kit here at Dharma of the Drift, or rather, I won't review technical kit.  There's plenty of places on the internet that do a better job of it than I could ever hope to, so I'll leave matters of falloff, chromatic aberration, and barrel distortion between you and Google.  I may, occasionally, review a piece of peripheral kit like a bag, strap, or hood...or maybe something tangentially related to photography, such as a pair of gloves for photographers (hint, hint), or a book, or website.  But don't come here expecting benchmark images for the newest Nikkor glass.  It just isn't going to happen.

The Results

Last weekend, I went out with the hopes of doing some fishing and some photography.  As it happened, the streams were blown out, so the fishing never happened.  Instead, I gave the camera the first good workout it's had in the godless north.  Here's the shots that made the cut.

NOTE: Since I will be posting a lot of photos, I think it's best if I just post a few of my favorites, then link you to the album where the rest of the shots are located.

So without further ado, here's the results:


Anonymous said...

Good eye, looks like you found another great hobby

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