Saturday, June 09, 2012

I am now a FX shooter.

The Nikon D800.
My journey into dSLR photography started when I first purchased the Nikon D70 about 8 years ago (June 2004 to be precise). The D70 was a 6 mega-pixel camera and cost me an arm and a leg (with the excellent 18-70 mm kit lens). It was a massive leap from the Casio QV-3000EX, a 3 mega-pixel point-and-shoot I was using at the time.

The D70 made me focus on photography, and I started learning all the technical details of photography, and took some wonderful images in the process.

As technology kept changing, I kept changing the camera bodies - upgrading first to the D200, and then eventually to the D300. I purchased some great lenses - especially the awesome Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8. I think it was this one lens that kept me from jumping to the FX format when the D700 was announced, because I was getting great results with this lens - especially when it was paired with the D300.

But there was no denying the need to jump into the FX format, and I decided to wait for the D700 successor, which everyone was expecting to be released in 2010. So I waited. And waited. Eventually, the D800 was announced. And what an announcement it was!. 36 mega-pixels, Full-HD video, 51-point AF system, etc.

The only problem, it seemed, was that everyone else was also waiting for this camera. Getting hold of one seemed as elusive as finding an unicorn. But I eventually managed to get hold of one - and I found it in the most unlikely place. India. And the strange thing is, the Indian price is currently the lowest price for this camera anywhere in the world. Nikon India lists it at INR 159,950/- (which is exactly what I paid). At current exchange rate, that works to US$ 2,886/-. The official price of this in the US (usually the country with the lowest prices) is $2,999/-.

In preparation for my FX shooting, I have also managed to collect some great lenses to compliment the jump into FX. My current line-up of lenses is:

1. Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII.
This is the fabled FX lens, and should do well to resolve those 36 mega-pixels.

Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VRII
2. Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8
I expect to have this lens on my camera 90% of the time, based on my previous experience with this focal range. (Note: On the DX format, the 17-55mm gives equivalent focal range).
Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8

3. Nikkor 105mm f2.8 Micro.
This is a speciality lens that is great for macro photography. I have not used it much in the past, but with the FX format, this will hopefully get used more.

Nikkor 105mm f2.8 Micro.

4. Nikon 50mm f1.4 D
This is the only lens from my collection that does not have AF-S. However, I have read reports that it actually focuses faster than the AF-S version, so I am keeping it. It is a classic, with its superb low-light capabilities.

Nikkor 50mm f1.4

5. Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-f5.6
This is currently the only 3rd party lens that I own. I still haven't made up my mind whether I should keep this, or opt for the Nikkor 14-24 (to complete what is known as the holy trinity of: 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200).

Sigma 12-24 f4.5-5.6
I am looking forward to shooting in FX in the coming days, and to say "Hello World" FX.

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