Saturday 22 July 2017

The D300 - A Week Later

Not Impressed
 Nikon D300, Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 ZF.2

I've now had the D300 back for a week. And I'm at just shy of 600 shots on it already. In comparison, the D90 didn't hit 800 even after a year of ownership. The sad part is that there's really nothing I'm doing that couldn't have been done on the D90, aside from shooting my AI lenses with metering. The 55/3.5 Micro has seen a bunch of use, and the 300/4.5 a little bit, but most of my shooting has been with lenses that worked just fine on the D90. So what gives? Handling and confidence mostly. On the handling side I just find the D300 to be seamless to shoot with, the D90 never was. And on confidence, I never trusted the AF of the D90, and it didn't have AF Fine Tune to adjust things. I found it was alright, but it never hit with the same confidence as the D200 I had did, despite having a newer revision of the same AF (I also had good luck with that same AF sensor on the D3200). The D300 has my personal favourite Nikon AF system, the 51 point unit (which I also had on the D700 and D7100).

Interestingly I'm actually starting to get used to the AF system's more complex capabilities, instead of just using it in 51 point 3D Color mode (aka Auto), or single point mode. I've been making use of the D9 mode where a group of 9 sensors is selected around one point. It works pretty well and gives me more control over AF point selection, while still keeping the coverage of multiple points.

In other milestones, I'm shooting the same system after a year. It's been a while since that occurred, and even longer since I was really satisfied. I picked up another Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 (the third of these lenses I've owned) and I really do have a mostly sorted lens system. I just need something in the 100-135mm range, probably just a 135/2.8 AI or E. Right now my system really tops out at 85mm via the 16-85 or the Zeiss 85 Planar. I do have an old Tokina 80-200/4.5 that I was given, but it hasn't impressed me much.

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