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My Nikon DSLR merry-go-round
Old 11-24-2019   #1
ozmoose
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My Nikon DSLR merry-go-round

At a time when most photographers I know are moving away from DSLRs and going mirrorless or smaller, I seem to have gone the opposite way.

I've spent up big on Nikon DSLRs since retiring in 2012.

A month after my retirement, I blew my budget on a D700 with 50,000 exposures and a bag of Nikkor D lenses - 50/1.4,28/2.8, 35/2, 60/2.8, 85/1.8. Over the next few months I added a 24/2.8, 20/2.8 and 180/2.8. Also zooms - 35-105, 35-70 AF (I still wonder why I bought this turkey), and an venerably ancient 28-85 that looks like a relic from the Titanic but gives me the best images of any zoom I've ever owned, and for this reason now seems to live on the D700 most of the time.

Over the next six years I racked up about 100,000 more shots on this camera. It now tends to overexpose at times but still produces passably good results.

In 2018 I bought another (used) D700 with 31,000 exposures. It worked well for about a year but now tends to overexpose as well.

I've written about this problem (inconsistent overexposure) and the efforts I've made to resolve it, in a separate thread. Updated today.

2019 has been my spend up big year. As I had a moderately successful year selling images, in January I decided it was time I bit the old bullet and invested in a new Nikon. Which one became the object of a dedicated search over the next few months.

I then bought, in sequence -

One Nikon Z6 with kit lens and adapter. Which promptly malfunctioned and had to go to Nikon for extensive repairs. It malfunctioned again and I was given a new Z6 to play with, which almost immediately went bonkers on me, for different reasons.

Sailing past a very long story involving emails, phone calls,vague threats of complaining to various government agencies, and finally the intervention of my very ethical but by then greatly exasperated camera dealer in Melbourne, I returned the second Z6 kit and acquired a Nikon Df - with which I did not get on at all.

By then both Nikon and my dealer were probably wishing that I would somehow end up taking an impromptu flying lesson off the West Gate Bridge - luckily, someone I knew happened to want a near new Df, none were available in Melbourne in the condition of mine, and I did a most advantageous (to both parties) sale and quickly acquired an as new D800 with less than 2,000 exposures. Which luckily,does everything I want it to do, but most importantly is a reliable camera for me to take on my travels. I will be back in Southeast Asia next month for a few months of wandering around at least three countries, with the D800 and two or three lenses in tow.

I sometimes think of the wads of $$$ I've spent on all these Nikons, and ask myself why? All the traveling, the good food, the nice wine I could have enjoyed, had I gone the way of only one camera and two or three lenses...

This said, I intend to keep this D800 (while continuing to use my D700s as backups when I'm back home in Australia) for the rest of my shooting life. Long may that be.

My fellow photographers express their amazement at my tale of - well, annoyance, exasperation, grief, stubbornness, whatever - and say none of them have ever done this.

Have any of you out there similar stories to relate? I'm curious. Please post if you have.

Long-winded as usual, I know, I know.
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Old 11-24-2019   #2
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My digital journey has been as follows:


Nikon D70 ... never did a thing wrong but back then I may not have known if it had!

Leica M8 ... so much potential but delivered so little at an astronomical price.

Nikon D700 ... almost the perfect camera and if the shutter hadn't died I'd still be using it.

Leica M240 ... a nice camera but dull in my opinion. Just sold it after a few years of barely using it.

Three Sigmas ... DP3, DP2 and an SDIM DSLR that now sits on the shelf and haunts me. Still love and use the little DPMs but will sell SD1M for whatever I can get for it ... it's a battery hog with a pretty awful viewfinder but like the DPMs has a wonderful IQ.

Nikon D4 that I bought used a few years ago ... I neither like nor dislike this camera but trust it totally. It's heavy and ugly but I will keep it until it stops working ... which may not happen because I may expire first.


I'm currently aiming to buy a Sony A7 with an adapter for my OM lenses... and I'm hoping it will be the end of it all. No more!!!
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Old 11-24-2019   #3
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Wishful thinking Keith!

Never had a Nikon fail on me.

Wish you the best with the D800.

I often daydream of the D800!
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Old 11-24-2019   #4
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That's really interesting. I'm wondering why you didn't get along with the Df? The D700 has caught my eye recently, especially since used prices are less than for a decent phone.
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Old 11-24-2019   #5
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The D700 is my only digital SLR. Was the Df too large or unwieldy for your tastes? I wanted one when they came out - they're essentially a digital F4 with good support for pre-AI lenses. However, 16MP wasn't a big boost over my D700's lovely 12MP - better to spend that money on a nice lens or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoose View Post
... ancient 28-85 that looks like a relic from the Titanic but gives me the best images of any zoom I've ever owned...
Wait... surely you don't mean the 28-85/3.5-4.5 as shown below?

I had high hopes for mine, but soon discovered that I didn't like the ring-control zoom and that even with its proper hood it vignettes badly at 28mm. It's sharp, but nothing I'd write home about (though I rarely write home these days).
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File Type: jpg IMAG4675~5.jpg (30.2 KB, 16 views)
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Old 11-24-2019   #6
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I used a Nikon Coolpix P7700 for the longest time as my second digicam (replacing a Panasonic TZ-3), but while the form factor was much to my liking, it started to show some age with little hiccups in the AF system, and there was no viewfinder for it.

So I got a D80 which was much better than the P7700, and after adding the battery grip it was a very well handling camera. Then I bought a back-up second body. It broke after two weeks even though it was newer than the first one (both bought used). It had an error code that could have been any one of a half dozen faults, none of which would be inexpensive to fix, so I looked around for a new replacement.

Came up with the D300s, mainly because it used the same battery as the D80 (and still bought used). It worked so well I again got a second body and battery grips, and have been very happy with them since.

Now I'm considering going with the Z6, but will wait until the D300s' start to have issues.

Hope that's not for a long time.

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Old 11-24-2019   #7
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Started with a Nikon F, used in 1974, still have it. Met my wife, she had a Nikkormat FTN, she still has it. Picked up a Nikon FE in the early 80's, still have it. Picked up a few DSLR's until I settled on the D7200, works with all my lenses (I have many), still have it. 2006 I dove head first into the rangefinder world, thanks to the head bartender, with a CV R3A, migrated to the R3M ( a gem), still have it. Added an M3 single stroke, still have it. Had an M262 but didn't get on with it. So now I'm saving up for an M10.
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Old 11-24-2019   #8
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My very first digital camera was the Nikon D70. After owning it for a while, I moved up to the D300. Both of these I used for underwater photography.
I then made the big move to full frame and bought a used D700, which I love and am still using. It's been my workhorse camera for years. My three main lenses are the 16-35, the 35-70 and the 70-300. I don't understand why you call the 35-70 a turkey and don't seem to like it. I bought it because I didn't want the weight of the 24-70 and after I read that it was Nikon's top professional mid-range zoom for quite a while. It's weird in that it uses push-pull to zoom, but it's very well built and its widest aperture is f/2.8. I get good images from it, IMHO.

I then bought the M9 after deciding to venture into the Leica digital world and the Fuji X Pro1, both of which are smaller and lighter than my D700. However, I use the D700 more than the M9 and the Fuji X Pro1. It's that good of a camera.
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Old 11-24-2019   #9
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I really like my trusty D700. I hope it doesn't start to overexpose.
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Old 11-24-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ornate_wrasse View Post
My very first digital camera was the Nikon D70. After owning it for a while, I moved up to the D300. Both of these I used for underwater photography.
I then made the big move to full frame and bought a used D700, which I love and am still using. It's been my workhorse camera for years. My three main lenses are the 16-35, the 35-70 and the 70-300. I don't understand why you call the 35-70 a turkey and don't seem to like it. I bought it because I didn't want the weight of the 24-70 and after I read that it was Nikon's top professional mid-range zoom for quite a while. It's weird in that it uses push-pull to zoom, but it's very well built and its widest aperture is f/2.8. I get good images from it, IMHO.

I then bought the M9 after deciding to venture into the Leica digital world and the Fuji X Pro1, both of which are smaller and lighter than my D700. However, I use the D700 more than the M9 and the Fuji X Pro1. It's that good of a camera.
My story is really similar! I started with a D200 as my first Nikon digital. I sold it and bought a D300, which I still have, and later a D700. My zooms are the 17-35mm f/2.8; 35-70mm f/2.8; and 28-105 3.5-4.5. All are very fine, no complaints (except for the weight of the 17-35. I can walk and shoot with it for 30 or 40 minutes tops). I have the 20/3.5 Voigtlander, 24/2.8 AF, 85mm AF Nikkors and a few manual Nikkors. And I have an M9, but use the D700 more!

What similar paths we have been on!
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Old 11-24-2019   #11
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I bought a Nikon D800E new in 2012 and sold it 6 years later. Over that time it worked flawlessly and never let me down. It was replaced only because technology marches ever onward, and current digital cameras are vastly more capable...

As for disasters like the OP's: Leica digital M. I will never buy another Leica. Crappy, badly designed cameras, appalling and glacially slow aftercare and a less than honest company. I've never used such a terrible camera: its electronics locked up, and you had to "reboot" it by pulling out the battery and reinserting it - just like a malfunctioning computer! And the shutter self-destructed after a minimal use, among other problems.

I've owned Canon, Nikon and Sony digital cameras - and they all did exactly what was expected without a hitch.
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Old 11-24-2019   #12
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Traded in my F5 for a new D70, used that for several years until the mirror locked up.

Six years with Lumix (lovely lens) then I returned to a D700 which I hardly used except for pics of antiques for sale.

I have a Sony A7s bought for low light work which I actually now use mainly for mounting old glass and close up photography. An immensely capable camera.

Now got a Fuji XT30 with which I am delighted. D700 was sold last month with a huge 12000 shutter activations.

Also just picked up a Sigma DP1 with Foveon. I only use digital for colour and as I no longer shoot colour film whichever of the XT30 or DP1 works as a practical colour camera gets to stay.

All my film Nikons and Nikon glass will be sold.
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Old 11-24-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
My story is really similar! I started with a D200 as my first Nikon digital. I sold it and bought a D300, which I still have, and later a D700. My zooms are the 17-35mm f/2.8; 35-70mm f/2.8; and 28-105 3.5-4.5. All are very fine, no complaints (except for the weight of the 17-35.
What similar paths we have been on!
Yes, we have been on similar paths! Your reference to the weight of the 17-35 is precisely why I decided not to get that lens! I held it once and decided I would never buy it That's why I went for the 16-35 which is lighter than the 17-35.
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Old 11-25-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
My digital journey has been...

Three Sigmas ... DP3, DP2 and an SDIM DSLR that now sits on the shelf and haunts me. Still love and use the little DPMs but will sell SD1M for whatever I can get for it ... it's a battery hog with a pretty awful viewfinder but like the DPMs has a wonderful IQ.
Keith, I have a Sigma SD1 Merrill, It doesn't get much use these days but I could never part with it (even though I have often thought of parting with it). The optical viewfinder isn’t the greatest thing on earth. Autofocus? I think autofocus was an afterthought that wasn’t thought of before or after any thought took place. Manual focus is much more reliable and much faster. I have the twin battery grip on mine. Combine that grip with any lens like the Sigma 24-70mm zoom and the damn thing weighs more than a bowling ball.

But, damnit, the images one can get with that camera are spectacular.

Selling my SD1 Merrill would be like selling a faithful old dog that might not be quite up to speed with the new pups, but if a burglar broke into the house, the dog would find the wherewithal to tear the thief to pieces.

Anyway, there will always be room on the shelf for my SD1, and on occasion I’ll still be taking it out for some frustratingly good photography.

Me and my old friend.


All the best,
Mike
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Old 11-25-2019   #15
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Well, my problem (addiction?) seems to be buying cameras, selling at a loss, rebuying, selling at another loss, rebuying etc, etc. IIRC the problem started not long after joining RFF in 2004 - GAS and the search for the Holy Grail commenced. Digital history -

Olympus E20P
Olympus E1 (still have it) bought another when on clear out and gave to stepson
Nikon D70 - loved it but too similar to E1 so sold
Epson R-D1 - loved it, sold it, bought another, sold it, bought another and stupidly sold it
Leica M8 - took 3 to get one that worked. Ok but sold it, bought an M8.2 and sold then another M8 that I should have kept but didn't
Canon 5D -loved it but sold and bought and 5DII that I didn't like. Bought another 5D and then sold it again
Olympus E400 - gave to my wife and she still uses it
Olympus E3 - bought and sold 3 of them
Olympus E5 - bought and sold 3 of them
Pentax K5 - bought and returned
Nikon D300 - terrific camera (apart from ISO) bought and sold 2
Olympus EM5 - bought and returned
Fuji X100 - still have it
Fuji X-Pro1 - bought and sold 4 of them - great camera
Fuji X-E1 - bought and returned
Fuji X-Pro2 - bought and sold 3 of them
Nikon Df - bought 4 sold 3
Pentax K5II - bought and sold
Pentax K3 - bought and sold
Nikon D600 - bought and sold
Nikon D610 - bought and sold 2 of them
Canon 6D - bought and sold 3 of them - very nice camera
Olympus EM1 bought and sold
Olympus EM10 mkII - bought and sold
Pentax KP - bought and returned
Fuji X100F - bought and returned
Leica Q - bought and returned
Leica M240 - bought and sold

I now have and Olympus E1 and lenses, Fuji X100 and Nikon Df and lenses and they all get used. I am trying very hard to ignore the Black Friday deals in the UK at the moment especially the X-pro2 at £799 new. I haven't worked it out but imagine I have probably lost more than cost of a leica M10 and several lenses. Now don't get me started on film cameras or even guitars
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Old 11-25-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gid View Post
Well, my problem (addiction?) seems to be buying cameras, selling at a loss, rebuying, selling at another loss, rebuying etc, etc. IIRC the problem started not long after joining RFF in 2004 - GAS and the search for the Holy Grail commenced. Digital history -

Olympus E20P
Olympus E1 (still have it) bought another when on clear out and gave to stepson
Nikon D70 - loved it but too similar to E1 so sold
Epson R-D1 - loved it, sold it, bought another, sold it, bought another and stupidly sold it
Leica M8 - took 3 to get one that worked. Ok but sold it, bought an M8.2 and sold then another M8 that I should have kept but didn't
Canon 5D -loved it but sold and bought and 5DII that I didn't like. Bought another 5D and then sold it again
Olympus E400 - gave to my wife and she still uses it
Olympus E3 - bought and sold 3 of them
Olympus E5 - bought and sold 3 of them
Pentax K5 - bought and returned
Nikon D300 - terrific camera (apart from ISO) bought and sold 2
Olympus EM5 - bought and returned
Fuji X100 - still have it
Fuji X-Pro1 - bought and sold 4 of them - great camera
Fuji X-E1 - bought and returned
Fuji X-Pro2 - bought and sold 3 of them
Nikon Df - bought 4 sold 3
Pentax K5II - bought and sold
Pentax K3 - bought and sold
Nikon D600 - bought and sold
Nikon D610 - bought and sold 2 of them
Canon 6D - bought and sold 3 of them - very nice camera
Olympus EM1 bought and sold
Olympus EM10 mkII - bought and sold
Pentax KP - bought and returned
Fuji X100F - bought and returned
Leica Q - bought and returned
Leica M240 - bought and sold

I now have and Olympus E1 and lenses, Fuji X100 and Nikon Df and lenses and they all get used. I am trying very hard to ignore the Black Friday deals in the UK at the moment especially the X-pro2 at £799 new. I haven't worked it out but imagine I have probably lost more than cost of a leica M10 and several lenses. Now don't get me started on film cameras or even guitars
Wow I got dizzy after the Fuji's.
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Old 11-25-2019   #17
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I've told this story before, but it fits here so here it is again. I know a guy who went from a film Minolta system, to Nikon AF to Canon AF, then back to Nikon AF... Eventually he went to digital and switched back and forth between Nikon and Canon several times. I might be embellishing with each re-telling of the story, but the point is he bought and sold the same basic lineup of pro-level bodies and lenses (f2.8 zooms) several times each. I always wondered: How many Nikon or Canon 80-200/2.8 zooms did he buy? Probably 4 or 5 of each...
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Old 11-25-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gid View Post
Well, my problem (addiction?) seems to be buying cameras, selling at a loss, rebuying, selling at another loss, rebuying etc, etc. IIRC the problem started not long after joining RFF in 2004 - GAS and the search for the Holy Grail commenced. Digital history -

Olympus E20P
Olympus E1 (still have it) bought another when on clear out and gave to stepson
Nikon D70 - loved it but too similar to E1 so sold
Epson R-D1 - loved it, sold it, bought another, sold it, bought another and stupidly sold it
Leica M8 - took 3 to get one that worked. Ok but sold it, bought an M8.2 and sold then another M8 that I should have kept but didn't
Canon 5D -loved it but sold and bought and 5DII that I didn't like. Bought another 5D and then sold it again
Olympus E400 - gave to my wife and she still uses it
Olympus E3 - bought and sold 3 of them
Olympus E5 - bought and sold 3 of them
Pentax K5 - bought and returned
Nikon D300 - terrific camera (apart from ISO) bought and sold 2
Olympus EM5 - bought and returned
Fuji X100 - still have it
Fuji X-Pro1 - bought and sold 4 of them - great camera
Fuji X-E1 - bought and returned
Fuji X-Pro2 - bought and sold 3 of them
Nikon Df - bought 4 sold 3
Pentax K5II - bought and sold
Pentax K3 - bought and sold
Nikon D600 - bought and sold
Nikon D610 - bought and sold 2 of them
Canon 6D - bought and sold 3 of them - very nice camera
Olympus EM1 bought and sold
Olympus EM10 mkII - bought and sold
Pentax KP - bought and returned
Fuji X100F - bought and returned
Leica Q - bought and returned
Leica M240 - bought and sold

I now have and Olympus E1 and lenses, Fuji X100 and Nikon Df and lenses and they all get used. I am trying very hard to ignore the Black Friday deals in the UK at the moment especially the X-pro2 at £799 new. I haven't worked it out but imagine I have probably lost more than cost of a leica M10 and several lenses. Now don't get me started on film cameras or even guitars
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Old 11-25-2019   #19
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I've just counted 44 cameras (almost 3 per year) - no wonder most of my images are test shots.
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Old 11-25-2019   #20
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Quote:
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I've just counted 44 cameras (almost 3 per year) - no wonder most of my images are test shots.
HA!!!

Just a few comments. Have had a D700 since 2009, it's a really nice camera, just does its thing, no drama. Picked up a D4 in 2012 for covering the conventions, and it paired nicely with the D700. I always liked the two camera, 24-70, 70-200 combo for covering events.

The 12MP of the D700 is getting kind of thin with what folks want in image files, so it's getting retired. And my fabulous 24-70 is getting the "crunchies" again (have had it repaired once), so that may be getting retired as well. Found an inexpensive refurbished Canon 6D & 24-70 f2.8, so now that is paired with the D4 & 70-200 f2.8.

Would love to have a D5 (or the rumored D6), and a brand new, original 24-70 (optically superior to the current model) but no way is that in the budget.

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Old 11-25-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gid View Post
Well, my problem (addiction?) seems to be buying cameras, selling at a loss, rebuying, selling at another loss, rebuying etc, etc. IIRC the problem started not long after joining RFF in 2004 - GAS and the search for the Holy Grail commenced. Digital history -
...
...
...
... - bought and sold 3 of them
... - bought and sold 3 of them
...
...
...
...
Fuji X-Pro1 - bought and sold 4 of them - great camera
...
Nikon Df - bought 4 sold 3
...
...
...
... - bought and sold
... - bought and sold
... - bought and sold
... - bought and sold 2 of them
... - bought and sold 3 of them
... - bought and sold
... - bought and sold
... - bought and returned
... - bought and returned
... - bought and returned
... - bought and sold
...
...
...
Wow! That's something more than GAS. I'm curious about the X-Pro1 and Df - what your thoughts were at the time. I like those cameras.

I'm confident my digital camera inventory will stay fixed forever at D700, X-Pro1, and my old Minolta DiMAGE X1, though the Canon RP is very tempting.

Over the last 40+ years I've managed to buy all my favorite film cameras plus many others: 104 to date. My "want list" is now very small. I've given up on the Leica R3 Safari and Minolta XD-11 due to all the reported reliability issues - I actually do use my cameras.
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Old 11-25-2019   #22
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I've just counted 44 cameras (almost 3 per year) - no wonder most of my images are test shots.

So ... you're addicted to test shots!?

I loved your honesty in your post.
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Old 11-25-2019   #23
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Since 2012, things have been kind of quiet for me:

Sony NEX-5: Sold when I purchased...
Sony NEX-7: Sold when I purchased...
Sony A7 (still have it)
Sony RX100 (still have it)
Sony A6000 (still have it)

Ricoh GR (still have it)
Olympus E-P1: Sold and replaced with...
Olympus Pen-F (still have it)
Olympus Stylus TG5 (still have it)

I don't use the Olympus Stylus too much and should probably sell it. Sooner or later, Sony will tempt me into buying a newer A- and RX-series camera. But more than once I've wondered if an RX1R II might actually be one of the single most useful cameras I could get.
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Old 11-25-2019   #24
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My Nikon 'merry go-round' has actually been pretty straightforward. I use them exclusively for work, so my experience might be a bit different than many of you here.

I think my last film Nikon was an F100, then started with a Coolpix 5000, then went to a D70/D70s which got me a number of magazine covers as well as a couple of billboards (not bad for a 6.1mp camera!). Next I believe was a D200, then the D700 (kept the D200 as a backup), then currently the D4 and a couple of D800's for backup and video.

The D4 has likely well over 300,000 exposures. It died last year and I sent it to Nikon for a complete overhaul. It was a pretty quick turnaround and it now works like it always did. The D800's are fine, but for some reason I don't find that I reach for them as often as I do the D4. I'm using it primarily for architecture work (I do a lot of work for homebuilders, architects, interior designers etc), a fair bit of food for food manufacturers, plus some product and general commercial work. I'm not using it for any sports, though occasionally I've shot some sports for some of my school clients (I'm not great at it).

I'm going to be upgrading all my cameras next year. I've been going back and forth between getting the Z7 and the D850 -- I was leaning towards the Z7, but I just found out that the Z7 does not save an 'image overlay' in RAW (NEF), and that is a deal-killer for me. So the D850 it's going to be, though there is a possibility I'll get the Z7 as a backup. Either that or I'll have two D850's.

The only other digital cameras I have are my Leica M's -- maybe I have dumb luck or something, but I really haven't had any of the trials and tribulations that others here have had. My M9 was great, though the stupid 8-frame buffer drove me nuts. The first Monochrom suffered from the same malady, but other than that it was a good camera. The M246 has been great, as has the M-D 262. Hate to say it, but I'll likely buy the M10 Monochrom with the 41mp sensor when it comes out next year -- my Leica 'pusher' already has me down for one when they're available. I'll probably hang onto the M-D, as it's such a unique and wonderful camera.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I'm down to one film camera (a Ricoh 500 with the bottom trigger wind) that someone gave me last year. It's a real beauty, but it has the same roll of film that I put in it last year. Guess I'm not much of a film shooter any more
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Old 12-05-2019   #25
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I really like my trusty D700. I hope it doesn't start to overexpose.
If it does, try using the underexposure facility (-0.3, -0.7, -1.0). This isn't a perfect solution. Underexposure can affect contrast and colors - but it may work for your general (sunny days) photography. My D700s are now set on -0.7 for my general work and -1.0 in Asian sunlight. Not a perfect fix, but it gets me the images I want.

Also check if your D700's bracketing is turned on. Set it on off (0) if it is.

My new (to me) D800 is now showing signs of erratic focus. This I'm told is a typical problem. Apparently there is a Nikon fix and I'll be looking for it. For now I shoot mostly with 28mm and 85mm Nikkor Ds on manual focus mode. Again, not really ideal, but it works for the images I mostly shoot, architecture and urban candids.

The Nikon merry-go-round continues, but then we all need a certain amount of aggravation to keep us functioning in real world life.
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Old 12-05-2019   #26
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... Met my wife, she had a Nikkormat FTN, she still has it.
A savvy lady, your wife - you may tell her I said so! Hers is the sort of anti-GAS philosophy I truly admire - and wish I had practiced more of in in my many years as a Nikon photographer.

Three of my four Nikkormats keep on shooting and have yet to be serviced. One EL (1972 model) recently developed rewind problems (apparently a jammed rewind button) and I've put it aside for some at-home minor therapy, if unsuccessful it will go for its first service since I bought it new, which is saying something...

Since buying into Nikkormats in the early '70s I've had only two problems with my ELs and FT2s. Prior to this new rewind jam, one of my FT2s had a mirror seizure while I was shooting my sister-in-law's wedding in 1985. The just-now broken EL saved my skin.

As an aside, that marriage ended in 1990 and I was invited to shoot the divorce party. Oh, well.

Four Nikkormats, only two services since 1973. Says it all...
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Old 12-05-2019   #27
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The D700 is my only digital SLR. Was the Df too large or unwieldy for your tastes? I wanted one when they came out - they're essentially a digital F4 with good support for pre-AI lenses. However, 16MP wasn't a big boost over my D700's lovely 12MP - better to spend that money on a nice lens or two.

Wait... surely you don't mean the 28-85/3.5-4.5 as shown below?

I had high hopes for mine, but soon discovered that I didn't like the ring-control zoom and that even with its proper hood it vignettes badly at 28mm. It's sharp, but nothing I'd write home about (though I rarely write home these days).
Size wasn't the problem - the Df's ergonomics didn't suit me. Too similar to a Nikon F I used for a book shoot in Indonesia in 1993, I hated that F and how it functioned from the first day. It did what I needed and the publisher was happy with my shots, but I was relieved to return the camera. My Nikkormats best suit how I shoot film. My two D700s and D800 do similarly for the digital images I do.

Nikon D700s create beautiful RAW and JPEG (large) images for everything my clients have ever wanted. I'm happy with my (new to me) 800E but the two older D700s will still be used as backups.

Yes, I meant THAT 28-85 zoom. It had lacklustre reviews other than the usual Ken Rockwell overhype, I bought it for a giveaway price and while it vignettes and bends vertical lines badly at 28mm, for me i was one of the good lenses and it still produces surprisingly sharp images. I've now retired it to a collection shelf at home, it still works but it's too wobbly to be trusted for critical work.

I have several older AF zooms (35-70, 28-85, 35-105, 70-210) and all but the first perform adequately well. However, I'm now mostly a fixed lens shooter so all my zooms will probably be sold in 2020.

At 72, carrying a bag of heavy camera and lenses is getting to be too much for me. So I'm thinking the unthinkable - selling up all my Nikon DSLR gear and finishing my time in photography with film (I have a freezer full) and my Nikkormats and a Contax G1. Or maybe I'll buy a Leica iiif or iiig and a 35mm Summaron and go with that. Or just burn 120 rolls in my Rolleicord Vb and a 16 exposure kit.

Who knows? Such seemingly illogical decisions are the norm for someone of my vintage - 'senior's moments', as my partner likes to call it. Enlightenment, I say! Well, it's only money.

It's all in the maybe basket. For now.
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Old 12-05-2019   #28
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My digital journey ... Nikon D700 ... almost the perfect camera and if the shutter hadn't died I'd still be using it. ... I'm currently aiming to buy a Sony A7 with an adapter for my OM lenses... and I'm hoping it will be the end of it all. No more!!!
The D800 may suit you. Shop prices in AUS (I bought mine in Melbourne in October) are reasonable - A$600-$8500 with long warranty - and so far mine is doing everything I want, with superb if immense RAW images at 36 MP. Large JPEGS at 20 MP are 90%+ as good and suit me.

Personally, I would avoid Sony. My experience over the years with having anything made by Sony serviced has been dismal. We had an office full of Sony laptops. All malfunctioned as if by some diabolical plan and Sony's quoted repair costs were higher than the original purchase price. All the 'generic' local repair centres wouldn't touch them for anything beyond basic servicing (= cleaning). For me, Sony, never again.

I will stop short of saying don't buy a Sony DSLR, but first you should look into having it repaired if it goes south on you. This may well be a mini-education for you on the service policies of certain camera makers.

How about another D700? Yes, they are getting long in the tooth, but used prices are good, 12 MP is entirely adequate for most everything to one by one meter (yes, I've done it), and there are many on the market. One of my two had 60,000 actuations (2012), now 130,000. The other 30,000 actuations (2018), now 40,000. Both still function well but are now overexposing slightly. (My 'new' D800 had 1,800 actuations!!)

Wishing you all he best in replacing your D700 with - whatever.

Enough. Now I'm off to shoot florals, art and people in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
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Old 12-05-2019   #29
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Originally Posted by ozmoose View Post
A savvy lady, your wife - you may tell her I said so! Hers is the sort of anti-GAS philosophy I truly admire - and wish I had practiced more of in in my many years as a Nikon photographer.

Three of my four Nikkormats keep on shooting and have yet to be serviced. One EL (1972 model) recently developed rewind problems (apparently a jammed rewind button) and I've put it aside for some at-home minor therapy, if unsuccessful it will go for its first service since I bought it new, which is saying something...

Since buying into Nikkormats in the early '70s I've had only two problems with my ELs and FT2s. Prior to this new rewind jam, one of my FT2s had a mirror seizure while I was shooting my sister-in-law's wedding in 1985. The just-now broken EL saved my skin.

As an aside, that marriage ended in 1990 and I was invited to shoot the divorce party. Oh, well.

Four Nikkormats, only two services since 1973. Says it all...
Although she still has the FTN, she shoots pretty much only with her IPhone.
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Old 12-05-2019   #30
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Are Nikons this bad? My Canon 500D from 2009 has over 100K exposures years ago. It still works as new on original battery. This is what made in Japan means.
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Old 12-05-2019   #31
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What you're buying is the f mount...the incredible f mount....anything else is superfluous
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Old 12-05-2019   #32
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The only Nikon cameras I've ever sold were for friends or dead ones sold for parts. I still have my very first real camera, a Nikon FE2 bought in 1984. It died in about 1999, but I keep it for sentimental reasons. I still have a couple of FM2ns and a few Nikon lenses.

I inherited my first Leica in 1998, an M3 which I've carried almost daily since. I shot a roll with it this afternoon. I went on a Leica bender in the early 2000's, trying out an M6, M4-2, M7 and MP, but sold them all after realizing I preferred the M3. I bought another M3 as back-up to my original, and I still have and use them both, with several M and LTM lenses. When Cosina first brought out the Voigtlander Bessas, I tried out a Bessa L and then Bessa T with a few of their early LTM wides; I still have them but use the lenses far more than the bodies.

I also got into the Olympus XA cameras and have owned a few of them, but have given several of them away, too. I've owned loads of other cameras, from old folders to large format gear to Polaroids and box cameras, but more of those have been given to me by various people who upon hearing that I'm a photographer who likes old cameras will hand over old stuff they have but never use. I have given away plenty of these cameras, mostly to students, but I tend not to buy stuff that's expensive (because I'm cheap and poor) and thus generally find that what I have isn't really worth the effort to sell. I did sell my first digital, a Nikon D70, after I upgraded and before it became too cheap to bother selling. The D200 I bought to replace it is sitting on a shelf upstairs as I type this, also worth so little it's hardly worth selling these days. I have a Sony A7 now as my main digital body. I have a real love/hate relationship with the thing though. The ergonomics are miserable and the menus are just awful- but it's small and the files from it are pretty nice. Most important, it plays well with loads of nice old glass I have from Nikon, Leica, Canon, Zeiss, Contax, and more; so I keep it despite its many drawbacks.

Mostly I am either given gear, or buy second hand and keep it until it's worth too little to bother selling; or I give it away to someone who seems to need it.
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Old 12-06-2019   #33
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Wow! That's something more than GAS. I'm curious about the X-Pro1 and Df - what your thoughts were at the time. I like those cameras.
Sorry, missed this bit of your post. The Df and the X-Pro1 are two of my all time favourite cameras. Apart from buying, I have a problem having too much stuff so if I buy something I have to sell something (that's my rule and it also keeps spend at sensible levels). I did the same with guitars - at one time I had 17 (mostly expensive) and now have a more reasonable 4. I should probably have opened and Photography / Guitar shop but probably wouldn't have been able to stop at one.
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Old 12-06-2019   #34
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I'm kind of going the other way:

- Started with film in the 90s

- Went digital when it became affordable, but point & shoots

- Got a Pentax K100d dSLR; great (6 MP) camera, great kit lenses in those days

- Sold the K100d and with a rare unspoken-for tax refund, I upgraded to Nikon FF with a D610 outfit:

- Got a tax refund I felt like I could spend and blew it all on a full frame Nikon SLR outfit:
* 50/1.8 G - Great lens, I didn't really like the focal length
* 35/1.8 G - Great lens period; got me hooked on 35 mm lenses.
* 85/1.8 G - Great lens period; got me hooked on this focal length.
* 80-200/2.8 Sigma - Great lens, but big & heavy. Only used it for kids' sports
* 24-120 G - Best lens ever. Very useful range, but not so rangey it's bad anywhere
* 150-600/ Tamron. Forgot the aperture. Good lens, but too big & heavy

Over time, I found myself looking for reasons not to bring the big guns. I wound up using the compacts more. Sold the whole system at a huge loss. Then replaced it with a mighty little Panasonic FZ1000. (1" sensor fixed lens ultrazoom) It's a KILLER video camera, in addition to being a great all-in-one camera. Just doesn't have much soul.

- Dabbled with some Canon compacts. G9X II and G7X II. Bad optics; got rid of them.

- had some other fixed lens compacts; still have the Pentax MX-1; it's fantastic. My 7 year old uses it now and I still borrow it from her from time to time. (Olympus XZ-1 and -2 use the same lens as the MX-1; my XZ-1 was also a great camera)

- I missed the super high quality interchangeable lenses; got back into ILCs with an Olympus E-M10 III and have a nice selection of optics. However, that is mostly being used with a macro lens as a negative scanner now.

- I got back into shooting and developing B&W negative film and am using my old film cameras, and am adding some to the collection that were $1k and up when new, and now I'm getting them for well under $50. (EOS 630 for $6, EOS A2 w/EF 35-135 USM for $50, Nikon N90s for $21...)


....so while you have dabbled with mirrorless and gone back, I've dabbled with just about everything digital and gone back to film. It might be a talent issue or a boredom issue, but I just love how B&W film images look:

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Old 12-06-2019   #35
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Well, my problem (addiction?) seems to be buying cameras, selling at a loss, rebuying, selling at another loss, rebuying etc, etc. IIRC the problem started not long after joining RFF in 2004 - GAS and the search for the Holy Grail commenced. Digital history -

Olympus E20P
Olympus E1 (still have it) bought another when on clear out and gave to stepson
Nikon D70 - loved it but too similar to E1 so sold
Epson R-D1 - loved it, sold it, bought another, sold it, bought another and stupidly sold it
Leica M8 - took 3 to get one that worked. Ok but sold it, bought an M8.2 and sold then another M8 that I should have kept but didn't
Canon 5D -loved it but sold and bought and 5DII that I didn't like. Bought another 5D and then sold it again
Olympus E400 - gave to my wife and she still uses it
Olympus E3 - bought and sold 3 of them
Olympus E5 - bought and sold 3 of them
Pentax K5 - bought and returned
Nikon D300 - terrific camera (apart from ISO) bought and sold 2
Olympus EM5 - bought and returned
Fuji X100 - still have it
Fuji X-Pro1 - bought and sold 4 of them - great camera
Fuji X-E1 - bought and returned
Fuji X-Pro2 - bought and sold 3 of them
Nikon Df - bought 4 sold 3
Pentax K5II - bought and sold
Pentax K3 - bought and sold
Nikon D600 - bought and sold
Nikon D610 - bought and sold 2 of them
Canon 6D - bought and sold 3 of them - very nice camera
Olympus EM1 bought and sold
Olympus EM10 mkII - bought and sold
Pentax KP - bought and returned
Fuji X100F - bought and returned
Leica Q - bought and returned
Leica M240 - bought and sold

I now have and Olympus E1 and lenses, Fuji X100 and Nikon Df and lenses and they all get used. I am trying very hard to ignore the Black Friday deals in the UK at the moment especially the X-pro2 at £799 new. I haven't worked it out but imagine I have probably lost more than cost of a leica M10 and several lenses. Now don't get me started on film cameras or even guitars
Wow that gives new meaning to GAS. I try to to stick to one camera for at least for 2 years but in the end cannot name my favourite one, r2a maybe . A7 series suit me best at the moment. Size ,quality price , ratio is the best in my view.
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Old 12-07-2019   #36
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My camera consumption has been pretty chaotic:

(Nikons are in bold, digitals are italicized.)
1966 Kodak Instamatic 104
1974 Polaroid SX-70
1975 Konica Autoreflex T
1976 Mamiya 645
1979 Canon A1
1985 Olympus OM-1n
1986 Crown Graphic
1986 Burke and James 5x7 Grover
1987 Rolleiflex Tessar 3.5
1994 Connectix Quickcam
1995 Kodak Signet 35
1996 Kodak, Fuji, etc. - about 50 disposables
1998 Logitech Quickcam
1999 Nikon Coolpix 950
2003 Nikon D100
2004 Holga
2005 Agfa Billy
2005 Nikon D2X
2005 Nikon N80
2006 Nikon F5
2006 Nikon D70 (IR modded)
2007 Leica M4P
2008 Nikon FG
2011 Kodak Stereo Camera
2011 Nikon D700
2012 Lytro Graphite
2013 Olympus XA2 (from the Christmas giveaway here)
2014 GoPro Hero 4
2015 iPod Touch
2016 Lytro Illum
2017 iPhone 7
2017 Bessa L
2018 Polaroid Closeup One Step
2019 Nikon D850
2019 Nikon Coolpix 4500

I thought I was slowing down, but that does not appear to be the case! I don't, however feel the need for another DLSR. If I were to get another camera it would be an IR modded model with a CCD sensor, as opposed to (the less IR sensitive) CMOS type. Is there an IR mirrorless?

ps, there are beaucoup lenses I want though.

Last edited by Chris101 : 12-07-2019 at 00:38. Reason: forgot the Bessa
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Old 12-07-2019   #37
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. Is there an IR mirrorless?
This website seems to have a ton of cameras available: https://www.lifepixel.com/product-ca...verted-cameras

It looks like you can buy them new and then they'll convert it for you. I've never dealt with or heard of them before but it seems interesting!
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Old 12-07-2019   #38
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My camera consumption has been pretty chaotic:
...
Lytro - I totally forgot about them. Interesting concepts.
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