I have been heavily involved in the photography world for many decades, and yes starting with film back in the 70s, moving through various technologies, range finder, SLR etc. This page is contains the details of the gear which I use on a regular basis for all types of shooting.
Over the years I have moved between various manufacturers, before settling on Nikon, so now having a substantial investment in high quality lens, that's where I am staying.
And yes, I am well aware of the general move away from DSLR to mirror-less technology, although at this time I have no plans to move, and yes I know most of my lens can be used with the new Z series with an adapter. Put simply, there is no current benefit in moving for me at this time. Let the flame wars begin.....
Yes, there is a gallery available for some of my shots, currently it's specific to my Macro shots, but this is going to change at some time in the not too distant future.
When Nikon released the D700 body, I made the decision to finally make the transition to digital, with this being the first DSLR I had ever used. Expensive yes, but well worth it.
Anyhow after many years of being my primary DSLR body, the D850 was released with many substantial improvements, so time to upgrade?.
Upgrade yes, but after decades in the technology business, I am very nervous about going for anything as it's just released, so decided to wait. Years later, the price for the body was at the point where it was a realistic option, and with an upcoming overseas trip, the decision was made, and my upgrade to the D850 happened.
As for whats happening with the old D700, well I am doing the same thing I did back in the film days, run with two bodies.
With my interest in landscape and architecture photography, a super wide-angle lens had been on the shopping list, and not wanting a fisheye, and yes I have used various fish eye lens over the decades and not been impressed.
Not that there is anything wrong with these things, but I just do not like the effect they give.
Anyhow, I needed something good, very good. When researching, I found this fairly new Nikon lens, it ticked all the boxes, and best of all was not fisheye.
The only downside of this lens was to cost, it was expensive very expensive, but still way worth looking at, and based on the reviews it was the top of the short list. So, a while after it was launched, the opportunity came up to get one of these things without breaking the bank.
As for what I think of this lens, now that I own one and have used it for several years, well put simply "stunning" is the only thing I can think of to describe it. Crystal clear, pin sharp with next to no distortion even shooting at 14mm f2.8.
Have a look at some of the travel blog pages, many of the photos on those pages are taken with this lens.
This lens was my first encounter with the new silent wave technology, which makes the AF almost totally silent, and as close to instant as possible without time travel. I have been using this lens for the majority of my shooting for several years now with no problems at all, it's optically stunning, well built, well balanced with the D700 and D850.
The only downside would be the size, weight, cost, and the power consumption of the silent wave motors. OK these are not really killer problems, but are worth letting you know about, and the cost is higher than most amateurs would want to pay.
Now for the usual question, is the silent wave technology is worth the extra cost? Well I like it, even though for the type of shooting I do (architecture and landscape) the speed of AF is not really an issue, nor is the almost silent operation.
And yes when used with the D850, I was warned about this lens being a little soft when used at the higher resolution of this DSLR, although from many shots, there is no sign of this.
Be aware that this lens, as good as it is, is not manufactured anymore. The replacement, which from the published information is of similar performance, just made of plastic, while the original is mostly metal construction.
With my liking for hand holding while shooting, Nikons vibration reduction technology was a must have, although when it was first released it was very expensive, way out of my price range.
Things change, so well after this technology was released, the prices dropped to the level where it was realistic for me to get one.
I have added this to my lenses after I sold my very old first generation non-AFS 80-200mm. This new lens has both the silent wave focus and the vibration reduction technology, and from several years shooting with this on the D700 and later on the D850, this lens is another one which I class as stunning.
Its rock solid, pin sharp and crystal clear, and built to take abuse, and take abuse it has, it's been used in dusty and damp environments, dropped several times and taken being tossed into a bag all the time. The result, it’s just as good as the day I got it.
Just with several of the other lens I own, it looks like one has been replaced with a newer version, not that I have had a chance to investigate the differences.
This was the lens which came with the last film camera I ever bought, the abuse proof Nikon F100, it’s one of the most useful lens there is, good for just about all general shooting etc, and being so fast it's ideal for low light.
As for what I think of it, given that it’s been hammered into the ground for several decades, I can say it’s as good now as it was the day, I first used it with the F100.
First the good, it's optically excellent, very very sharp right across the range, it's small, light and relatively low in cost.
That was the good, now for the less than good, it’s not even close to the build quality of all the other Nikon lens I own, but it has survived decades of abuse, so it cannot be all bad.
There is more to these things that most expect, this one is plastic, and there are older ones which are of metal construction, which are better built that this one is, and there is even a faster one with a f1.2 aperture.
And yes if I see one of the metal f1.2 ones, in good condition, on the second hand market, I will be tempted.
I hunted for one of these special purpose lens for several years, before finding one a year back, even then I could not believe my luck, when I found it was in mint condition with not so much as a scratch on the mount.
Anyway as for what a PC (perspective correction) lens is, it's used for architecture photography and as the name suggests corrects perspective (buildings that seem to lean back etc).
Now just like some of the other lens I own, there have been several versions of this lens over the years, mine is the original, so I cannot comment on the newer ones. As for mine, it's very well built all metal construction, and optically sharp. Before continuing on, some final words, before you go out and buy one of these (if you can find one) it's manual focus, and needs careful use as there is no automation at all, you need to understand the manual controls on your camera to get the most out of any PC lens.
Yes this lens is old, it dates from the 1980s, but do not let this put you off, it's a very good lens producing super sharp results with every SLR/DSLR body I have ever used it with. Nikon does make a new version, however it's slower than mine but is wider at 19mm vs 28mm, and I have zero hands on with these things, so cannot really comment on how good or otherwise it is.
Macro photography has always been a special interest of mine, maybe it’s down to my background in electronics, and all the time spent working through a microscope working on boards.
When I decided to buy a dedicated macro lens, I did not know too much about this type of shooting, so ended up with this lens on the advice of several friends who had been using it for years.
Now as for what I think of it, well as expected with Nikon the results are crystal clear and pin sharp. What’s not so good is the build quality, there is lots of plastic, so not convinced it would survive my sort of abuse for long.
This is not a lens I use all the time, and rarely take outside, so, so far, it’s still in pristine condition. Watch this space for updates, and here’s hoping I have not just jinxed myself.
Speaking of Macro photography, as mentioned above I own a microscope, and fairly recently invested in an adapter to allow me to use my D850 DSLR as a microscope camera. So far, I have not done that much, but do have enough to put a gallery up, which can be found here.