Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nikon Opportunities?

I was thinking about equipment options and whether I should give up the ship and switch to Nikon.  The D600 (and D7000) have given me two good options.

I keep reading about how wonderful the variety of lenses are for Nikon bodies and how I could find anything I want and they're inexpensive, also.  I'm accustomed to dust and splash-resistant lenses, so I expect to pay more.  I also want my lenses to be able to be used wide open, not stopped down.

I was browsing the Sam's Club website, which has the D7000 for US$999, a bargain, yes?  The 24-120mm f/4.0 looked good and at US$1299.99, it wasn't a bad price for a premium lens, if it could fulfill my needs.  It could be used on either the D7000 or the D600.

The reviews I've read suggest that it has problems.  Now, I realize that it has a 5x zoom and that's 1-2x more than I usually find optimal.  I current use a 4x lens and a 3.85x lens that aren't priced that high and are quite good wide open.  They're dust- and splash-proof, so I can use them in hurricane weather, which I have.

So, I went to look at other lenses and I was startled to find that most of the premium lenses don't seem all that premium and have many compromises, except for the price.

I was interested in Panasonic's GH3 with the 12-35mm and 35-100mm lenses but the 12-35mm had compromises I didn't like.  I'm finding that they're no worse than Nikon or Canon have done.  Besides that, the size is much smaller, so I can carry them more easily.  I could also have one body each and have them both at the ready.

I still would like to have a 135 format-sized body but only for the really wide angle work and maybe, Panasonic's 7-14mm would be enough for me.

I punted and ordered a refurbished version of Olympus' excellent 35-100mm f/2.0 lens.  It's about US$500 cheaper than retail.  It's only about 1.5 times the weight of my current 50-200mm and the f/2.0 should help with swimming photos since the pools appear bright but are quite dark, so I won't likely have to use flash at all.  It's also somewhat faster than Panasonic or Nikon versions covering that range.

As you'll be able to see from the photo, the 35-100mm is slightly bigger than my trusty 50-200mm, and the tripod collar seems permanently attached, although I can loosen it.  The filter size is a whole 10mm more at 77mm.  Update: I just added the excellent 14-35mm f/2.0 as well.  It's amazing how large it is.  It makes the E-5 body look smaller, especially compared to my original "kit" lens, the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5.

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