Friday, January 9, 2009

Nikon Equipment - That's How I Roll

I am often asked what equipment I am using. I continually upgrade. All the photos on this blog were taken with 2 Nikon D70's, 2 Nikon D80's and 4 Nikon D90's (current).
I will be selling the used Nikon D90's soon to upgrade to the D7000's when it has been out for a while. There are some very cool features that I will find useful after that move.
Several years ago I discovered the hassle of dust in the camera and the cleanup process. I decided that I would not open cameras up to switch lenses. Granted ... this has been an expensive decision because each lens I use requires its own camera body. I don't switch lenses ... I switch cameras. When I switch cameras ... I want the systems to work exactly the same. In other words, ... if I get into a serious run and shoot situation, I don't want to be thinking about 3 different brands of Nikon cameras and lose a photo opportunity. All cameras have subtle differences and I dont want to be using a D70 when I am thinking D90 in my head.

So, at the moment I use these four D90 cameras and lenses.

1. Nikon D90 with AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED
2. Nikon D90 with AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
3. Nikon D90 with AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED
4. Nikon D90 with AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED

PLEASE understand something here! The camera and its feature capability is important in the art of photography. Like DUH! But, ... millions of dollars are spent every year by people thinking that the camera is the answer to ALL their problems. Many of those dollars are spent by people that never read their manual, always shoot in AUTO mode and never take a photography class in a community college. If you are going to invest $800 in camera equiment, I recomend that you are willing to invest $200-$300 in classes so that your $800 camera will actually BE better than a $250 camera. You are worth the investment even if it's just a hobby! A good photographer can take better pictures with a $200 camera than someone who invests $1000 and shoots in AUTO mode.

NikonSniper Steve


Álvaro said...

I totally agree with you. But three "different" cameras with it own lenses it´s a huge ammount. Here in Spain the economic crisis...
Greetings from Santander.

imac said...

I know what you mean about the cleaning job.
Thats why I went for another camera, but alas, I have D50 and D80 - I fell into that situation as you said about the different type and changes, oh well I guess its better than having dust getting in while changing lenes.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Makes sense.

I am not a shutter bug, but admire the work of a dedicated photo bug. My dad's addiction to photography has gotten me to appreciate the time, skill and eye for the art.

Carol said...

Good advice...I think I'll start looking for a class.

Liza B. Gonzalez said...

Wow, Sniper. That's one loaded camera bag! I totally agree with you about taking the appropriate classes. That truly is what makes all the difference in photography.

"It's not the equipment. It's the photographer."

Skellyton Art said...

Your Photographs are breathtaking. What an amazing gift you have!

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by my place and becoming a follower :)

I do agree with you here. Good camera equipment really helps but if you don't know how to use it you won't get the great shots. The other advice I give folks who ask me about photography is to use your camera a LOT. I sometimes come back from shooting with hundreds of photos and only get 3 or 4 I really like.

Learning how to use a good photo editing program helps too.

Thanks again for stopping by. I'll check out your photography before I leave :)

Braff Zackton said...

My Dad has three D90's too. Maybe that's why for my last birthday all he gave me was a box with a piece of paper inside that said "Toys".

NikonSniper said...

Braff Zackton,
I know your Dad. He's a close friend of mine. He told me you rolled his favorite mini van right before that birthday. He was upset about that but he said he found some things in the ditch at the crash scene that he had been lost for years. He said you called him on the phone and said "Guess what ... the van can't corner at 50mph on ice." I believe your Dad said something to you then like ... I am gonna take the insurance check for the van and spend it on 3 D90's for your birthday. He just didn't tell you they were for him.
NikonSniper Steve

Tara said...

So nikonsniper father of mine, when do i get my own blog??

Erin said...

yeah...what should she name hers??? Nikonsniper in....manure??? Nikonsniper in....couture!(oh wait...that is me!) Nikonsniper in......

Tara said...

how about nikonsniper's favorite daughter???
by the way erin and dad i just entered a photo in this contest for dogs!
Go on and vote and also maybe enter something of your own. What could it hurt right!

Linda Reeder said...

Three cameras with three lenses is way too much for me to tote around.I prefer to see what I can get out of my Canon 10X Powershot.
But more power to you.

Robby said...

Steve that is a great idea....I have one D70....and 3 when you have a giveaway for your D70's...let me know.


NikonSniper said...

wow. i have already parted with the (2) d80s and (1) d70. the other day i learned that a young women with children was expressing a need for a camera ... perhaps to take a class to learn for an eventual purchase. i grabbed my last remaining d70 off the shelf and couldn't get it to work. after tinkering for 30 minutes it appears it has a broken mirror spring. that is the first of my 7 nikons to fail. it was way over the recommended lifetime of the camera ... but this means i am fresh out of backups.
now i gotta let this gal know that i can't deliver the goods!
that dust situation always bothered me with the nikon so i just bought more bodies. it's an expensive solution but a real time saver.
nikonsniper steve

IDania said...

Hi Steve,
It's a great advice; however, I can't see myself rolling around with three cameras; so I'll just have to roll with one body and 4 lenses toted away in a back pack.
Great pictures....

aurbie said...

Dust? Oh man, you should see my mirrors. When the light is right I have to spend ten minutes cleaning the dust off the photo. Luckily, dust not matter much in newspaper work but the proper lens does. I shoot with a D300 and 700 and carry several lenses along with an SB700 and 800. I also have a D200, but seldom use it.

For me, it is more about name-taking. I try to use one camera when I can because when I get home with 50 photos and a notebook full of names it is more difficult to make matches if you have been using 2-3 cameras. So switching lenses, when I am afforded the time, works best for me. Name taking sure takes the fun out of photography.

But you are so right about the dust. Keep it simple and save some bucks. All three of my cameras are scheduled to go to NPS for cleaning. I dread the bill.

I do have five cats so pray for me. :)

I have this to say for the old Nikons: You could clean them easily and you could drop them on concrete and have them bounce 3-4 times and come out with nothing more than a ding or two. These new cameras and lenses will break if you look at them wrong (I have already broken three hoods and two monitor protectors. I dropped my 200 just a few feet and the lens smashed in a million pieces. $800 repair bill. The old 180 would have never done that.

But I have been a Nikon gal since 1985, and would not trade my Nikons for any other camera.

I agree with you about people buying expensive cameras and setting them to auto. In the old days (I like the old days, can you tell?) if you saw someone with a Nikon you expected them to be a fellow photojournalist. Now everyone has fancy Nikon cameras (and the other brands as well - I won't mention them here).

These people go around shooting on auto like there was a little god inside their camera. There isn't. Auto never works expect under perfect lighting conditions. As far as I am concerned, perfect lighting conditions are rare. Very rare.

So, yes, folks! Take some lessons if you want to buy a fancy camera. Otherwise just use a point and shoot. I have seen some really good photos come out of those little cameras.

Hey, I do love your photos. Keep up the good work!

MIESFE - 64 said...

Hola ,soy Nikonista de toda la vida e tenido varias cámaras i por ultimo hice un esfuerzo enorme i me compre la d-700 con objetivos 24/70 2:2 --14/24 2:8 i va de maravilla no creo que tengas quehacer ninguna clase

Anonymous said...

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don't quit as well as keep penning in all honesty , because it just nicely to follow it.
impatient to look at even more of your current stories, good bye :)

Bird's Eye View Photography said...

If I had the money I would collect digital Nikons like my father collects Nikon F's. I shoot with a D90 and LOVE IT.

Thank you for saying what I have wanted to say for a long time. The camera does not make the photographer. People ask me all the time what camera I use-- so they can get it ans take such good photos....

Beautiful photography! You do an awesome job!

Glenn Springer said...

Cleaning the sensor isn't such a huge chore -- there are lots of tools out there now. Frankly, I put my limited funds into glass. I have a D300 and would really like a second body, but I borrow one when I go on a trip. Never had to use it (knock wood!!).

I don't see a 12-24mm lens in your arsenal. As a landscape photographer, you really should have one! It's my favourite (OK it's a tossup between that and my 70-200 f/2.8!

So how did you get so many followers? I have only about 20 followers on but about 100 people read me regularly. Drop in and say hello!

NikonSniper said...

you are right. landscape lens is my next purchase. i hate fixing the bowing effect off the 18-200mm zoom.
nikonsniper steve

Nava said...

I have the D90 and really love it. I take a lot of wild life shots. I have a lens to handle the Elk across the valley in RMNP. I am still a student--but have had a lot of encouragement. I am new to this site---so I am looking forward to seeing your photos. Yes--I take photos every day--too many!