Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bargain lens...

I've linked before to an older Ken Rockwell piece on not buying older digital cameras, and he had a point when he wrote it...back in 2005.
"Likewise, why would I want to bother using my three year old huge, heavy and cumbersome $4,000 Nikon D1H DSLR when a D70 is better, lighter, sharper, runs longer on batteries and is even easier to use for only $800?"
The D1H bordered on experimental, basically v1.5 of Nikon's first in-house DSLR, and it used big and fiddly NiCad batteries (which it drained at a prodigious clip). Five year old digital cameras were pretty well outclassed in every way in 2005.

Nowadays, though, I have no real problem using a Nikon D700, a camera that was discontinued in 2012. It lacks conveniences like an articulating touchscreen or wifi, but those are things I've never used enough to miss on a camera. I offload my pictures via SD or CF card and sneakernet anyway. This older camera is a screaming deal for a rugged prosumer full-frame body.

Heck, for several years after the D700 was discontinued, some people contended that Nikon hadn't offered a real replacement; the D800 & 810 were high-MP studio/landscape cameras and the D600/610 lacked ruggedness and weather sealing and shared the control layout of the consumer-tier Nikons. It wasn't till the 750 was released that there was a "true D700 successor".

But a new D780, the just-released second generation D700 successor, is a twenty five hundred dollar proposition, and even a refurbed D750 is still over a grand. Meanwhile, this fairly low shutter count D700 cost the same or less as the lower tier D5600 you'd get at a big box store, and unlike that D5600 it has the focus motor in the body so you can shoot lenses like that push-pull 80-200mm f/2.8 lens in the picture.

Since Canon's EF-mount 70-200mm f/2.8 L lenses have integral focusing motors, like all EF lenses, and will work on any EF or EF-S body, even used examples of the first, non-IS versions tend to go for more than six bills online. The 80-200 in the picture is the equivalent Nikon pro lens from the era and has great optics and that fast constant 2.8 max aperture like the premium glass it is, but its inability to be used on less expensive bodies keeps its price more reasonable.

Robin sitting very still in a little tree as I walked past with the D700 & 80-200/2.8

100% crop