Saturday 20 September 2014

The Bodies are in a Row

Last Gasp
Pentax K-x, DA 18-55 II

Well I've got my body situation sorted out for now, at least on the digital side. Traded my 50/1.2 that wasn't really seeing use for a D3200.

This gives me the D200 for rough weather/speed/long-lens shooting and the D3200 for low-light/light carry/high-resolution shooting. Or I can carry both if needed, the D3200 is light enough to just toss in the bag.

This does mirror my old D300/D40 pairing, except now the little body is the high-IQ body instead of vice versa. I can live with that for this fall & winter and when next spring comes hopefully Nikon will have answered the 7D Mark II release with a D300s successor. If not, there will be either a used D800 or a refurb/new D7100 replacing the D200 as a main body (I intend on keeping the D200 as a beater/rough weather body).

In terms of lenses, I am very happy with the Sigma 10-20 and 35/1.8DX. The 16-85's OK for now. The tele/macro situation needs sorting out. I'm considering either acquiring the 85/1.8G and reacquiring the Sigma 105/2.8 OS Macro, or reacquiring the Nikkor 85/3.5 Micro. The former gets me two outstanding FF lenses, the second is a lot cheaper, smaller and will probably handle my needs for the foreseeable future. Needless to say I'm leaning towards the 85 Micro. Aside from that, if I decide to stay DX as my primary (and I'm leaning strongly that way) I'll most likely replace the 16-85 with a Sigma 17-50/2.8 OS at some point, and add a telezoom, either the 70-300VR or a 70-200/4 VR and a TC14EIII. I'm inclined to the latter as it's sealed and better, but it's more money. Not a huge deal since I wouldn't be buying either before next May.

Monday 1 September 2014

State of the Film

Old and Young
Nikon FM2, Nikkor-P.C 105/2.5, Fujifilm Neopan 100SS

The D200 has provided a temporary distraction from film shooting, although it does continue apace. Had to push myself to bring a film body instead of the D200, but haven't regretted it afterwards (well, aside from one day where the D200 and 10-20 would have been useful for some late afternoon intersection shots) Unfortunately my Minolta Scan Dual IV has shuffled off its mortal coil, expiring from excess labour. In short, it's suffered a fatal failure from the over-heating problem to which these scanners are prone and the after effects of around 800 rolls of film scanned. Not disappointing, it lasted me quite a number of years, between the SDIII and SDIV I've gotten over 10 years of scanning, which is pretty reasonable for the money I've spent. I've not decided on a replacement option, so I'm scanning with my Epson 4870 and an ANR holder for now. That works pretty well, if incredibly slowly. Long term I'd love to get a Nikon 5000 ED with the full-roll attachment, but that's a pretty serious investment and I need to know I'm going to continue shooting a serious amount of film to justify, anything less than a roll a week and I can't justify any sort of serious spending on a scanner.

On the gear side, one of my acquisitions for the D200, the 50/1.2 AI-S, has provided a meter-coupled normal for the FM, allowing me to replace for now the 50/2. I'd still love to get another one, just in AI form as I do love how that lens renders, I could also look out for a non-AI body for the one I've got, a FT2 or FTn could be fun to have again. The F80 on the other hand is a victim of its strengths, I just don't have much of a need for an AF film SLR, even if it is light & handy. I intend to keep it for now, but I don't see it getting a lot of mileage. Probably will stuff the last of my Fujifilm 400H through it and then decide where to go. The FM on the other hand continues to work well for me and I anticipate a total roll count for the year up around 30 rolls.

Right now I'm pretty much putting gear acquisitions on hold until the end of the year. The sole exceptions are if I find a good deal on a 28/2.8 AI or 35/2.5 Series E (and by good deal, I mean beer money, which is essentially where the budget would come from). Overall I have all my basics covered except for a proper wide solution for the FM and a Macro, and it's too late in the year for the macro to be really worth it (they're spring/summer lenses for me).