Jeremy’s camera and lenses

Camera

What I Own

This was my first “professional” camera that some may consider to be an under par starter camera, but I still love it. I would like to upgrade to a more technically proficient camera body someday soon, but I can’t really say that I’m grumbling or complaining as I go out on shoots with the Nikon D3000. I think it’s a great camera.

What I want

I’m actually not entirely sure exactly what I want. I just think the D700 is a more obvious and good upgrade for someone moving up from the Nikon D3000. I would like to stay in the Nikon family right now. I’m looking for an “upgrade” to replace my current D3000. I’d have different aims and goals if I were shopping for an “additional” camera. Plus the D700 is an expensive enough upgrade without getting into other cameras that are even much higher in price.

My main desire and goal is an improved sensor. Firstly, I want a better color-range. I’d also like sharper, crisper images. Yes – I’d love more megapixels, too, for bigger prints – but that would be a secondary desire right now.

Lenses

What I Own

I have a little story about my lenses. After researching, shopping and more researching, I developed over time an initial plan to have a well-rounded assortment of lenses to cover a nice and wide range of photo opportunities. I wanted a portrait lens, a macro lens, a super-wide angle(for landscapes) and a telephoto lens for birds, animals, and distant objects, people and environments.

With that in mind, I’m half-way there. I have my portrait and macro lenses, but I have my eyes set on other lenses as well that I’m calling alternate or additional lenses. I may get these in no particular order.

This is my main macro lens – part of my “well-rounded” series of lenses for macro photography.

Many may consider this a third-rate lens, but it really is superb. My biggest complaint is that it often is tricky shifting between manual and auto-focus. You have to push/pull the focal ring forward or backward to switch between settings and it often sticks. This mostly happens if it’s in auto and you’re trying to switch to manual. You have to turn it a little, back and forth to get it to “slip into gear” and that can often stop me from what I’m doing and require I look at the camera and fiddle with it. But that’s not a terrible, terrible thing.

It is a bit on the noisy side as well, so I can’t recommend it for anyone setting their camera up remotely in a wildlife reserve, waiting for animals to come near and trying to snap remote pics as the auto-focus motor is quite audible – personally I have yet to be in a situation where this was a deal breaker.

I think the picture quality is terrific too. I took a picture of this bumblee with the Tamron and am quite happy with it. I think there is a drawback to the subtle focal length, but it also could be inexperience on my part. A more uniform depth of field than what I’ve been capturing is likely obtainable.

I also have a bit of fun using this as a portrait lens from time to time. It seems to pick up more crisp details in sharp lighting – like more individual strands of hair on a model’s head.

This 50mm is my main portrait lens – part of my “well-rounded” series of lenses for portrait photography

I love it! This is pretty much a winning lens. It’s crisp, clear and has a great depth of field for mid- to close-range portraits. There’s really nothing bad to say about this lens. The only thing that interferes is what you want to get out of your photography. Some may prefer an 85mm for a more uniform depth of field – especially for full-body portraits, but this 50mm is just… Wow!

Here’s a simple picture I took of two of my friends’ kids. See for yourself. This is a totally unedited photo.

I haven’t used this lens much over the past year and that’s more of a shame on me than indicative of its quality.

This is a great “everyday lens” and where I really got my start wildly exploring focus, blur and Bokeh. It’s great for daily point-and-shoot or finding terrific and subtle moments.

The picture below is one of my favorites I took with this lens

What I want

I would consider this an alternate portrait lens for more uniform, full-body, couple and small-group photography.

Some of you are no doubt looking at this thinking Why on earth would he want a third-rate, generic lens!? The quick answers are quality and price.

Pro Optic may be hard to find at your local camera shop. It’s a company that puts out a range of similar or identical lenses under different brand names like Samyang and Rokinon.

Yes. I wouldn’t mind having the highly rated Nikkor AF-S Lens for Nikon F – 85mm – F/1.4, but it’s very expensive. If you do some searching online, you’ll see that this Pro Optic 85mm is actually fairly well rated and a fraction of the Nikkor’s price.

It’s manual only, but it does have a chip in it that can sync with DSLR’s for focus confirm, auto exposure, auto metering and auto white balance functions. I love continuing to stretch my manual camera muscles anyways, so it’s far from a deal-breaker for me.

  • Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Super Wide Angle, Manual Focus Lens with Automatic Chip for Nikon

The 14mm would probably suffice as an alternate (Ultra Wide-angle) lens. Like the Pro-optic above, it’s manual, but has a chip for focus confirmation and other settings. I’m not a huge fan of the fisheye distortion, but that could produce some fun photographs and there exists Lightroom profiles that remove it. It’s also a full-frame lens so will great for me when I move up to a full-frame camera.

  • Telephoto Lens

I actually haven’t come to terms with just what I want as far as telephoto or super-wide angle lenses, but they would finish my “well-rounded” series of lenses.

I was interested in the Nikkor 35mm Super-wide, but now I’m weighing that with various 14mm, 14-28mm and others.

The telephoto lens is also still up in the air, but I would like it to be far reaching. At least 200mm would be nice. And perhaps a range of at least 70-200mm would be more ideal for me right now.

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