Thursday 30 October 2014

A Few Changes

Standing and Running
Nikon D200, Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6

The above photo is one of the last I've taken with a favourite bit of kit which has now been sold on. Not the D200 but rather the Sigma 10-20.

I bought my first Sigma 10-20 back in 2008 when I was shooting my D300 and D40. It spent a moderate amount of time on the D300 and pretty much lived on the D40 if I didn't have the 40/2 Ultron mounted. The 10-20 is one of those great values that just stands out. Not too expensive, very good (but not quite outstanding) and not too large to haul. If you shoot DX, like wide angles even a little and haven't already invested in one of the very few better options (Tokina 11-16, Sigma 10-20 f3.5) check this gem out. I picked this one up for the D200, after selling my Fuji kit. Got my money's worth and now it's passed on to a friend.

I'll miss mine, and it's better than the lens that's functionally replacing it for now, but I suspect I'll like the D700 that it funded even more (and yes, I paid the majority of the cost of my new D700 with the proceeds from the Sigma's sale. The D700 was that cheap. For good reason as well, so I'm not buying a pig in a poke).

Friday 24 October 2014

A Little Blue

Bluffs and Blue
Nikon D3200, Nikkor 16-85mm f3.5-5.6 G DX VR

Life's been keeping me busy for the last month or so, so not all that much shooting has happened. I have been shooting a few frames pretty much every day, so my pace actually remains higher than before the return to Nikon.

I've now got a little over 200 shots on the D3200, while the D200 is approaching 2700 shots on the clock (since mid-August). Overall I'm digging the D3200 as a light carry camera and it also can go in the bag for getting the shots the D200 can't, like the above. That's a handheld shot with significantly more dynamic range than the D200 can capture. I still prefer shooting with the D200, but the D3200 pretty clearly comes out ahead when the conditions get challenging for the sensor.

Fall colours are finally out in force in Toronto a couple weeks later than normal. Despite the cold summer, the fall has been warm and extended which has delayed the turning of the leaves. So now in late October we're finally getting the glorious fall colours which were expected to begin at the end of September. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to do any shooting oriented road-trips, unlike last year, but I have had a couple chances to get out and shoot within the city limits. As can be seen above, that leaves some very good shooting opportunities. This was shot down behind the Don Valley Brickworks, which has a little oasis of trails and nature just off a major local road near downtown Toronto. Well worth visiting if you come to Toronto.

In terms of shooting, the above shot was handheld, with a low shutter speed and VR off (oops). I had to crunch the dynamic range to make the shot look good, there's a very wide range of tones from the clouds down to the dark shadows in the pond and it takes one of the modern high-DR sensors to capture it properly without HDR or a ND grad. I'm not one for HDR and I really don't use filters much. Really should change that as a properly applied ND, ND grad and/or polarizer can do wonders for a scene. The real issue is that my filter kit is built around my old Mamiya 645 system and my Cokin holder set is unsuited to DSLR UWA's. I really need to invest in a 100mm system like the Lee.