Returning to Pure Photography – using old Nikon Camera

No, I didn’t buy a Nikon Df. I have no need for an old looking modern camera which has features crippled on purpose for $3000. Maybe next time Nikon, maybe next time. While I decide on my next FX camera, I am now using my 5 1/2 year old D90 and obviously I am taking a giant step backwards in High ISO performance and dynamic range. THAT is pure photography. Finding ways around the limitations of your old camera is truly pure photography.

Fortunately for me, this time of the year doesn’t have too many interesting events to photography so I can continue to rationalize my inadequate camera which just 5 years ago was the greatest thing ever. Once you see how sweet full frame is, there is no going back. Once you do go back however, you realize how shooting on a modern FX camera can make one take low light photography for granted.

I decided to check out the last weekend of the local outdoor ice rink in town but it was about 70 degrees and the ice was melting and it was raining so I only had a chance to shoot a few pictures. I had my 50mm f/1.4D on the camera so that coupled with the fact that the D90 can still get very respectable ISO 800 would give me enough light, but the dynamic range was not enough to just shoot available light. With the D600, I might have just shot a snapshot at ISO 1600 and be done with it. With the D90, I had to really think about the light more and use a bounced flash.
Rental Ice Skates

With the other pictures, there was a big white tent behind me so I just bounced my flash off that and when shooting at f/1.4 and ISO 800ish, I got some nice light from there.

Outdoor Skating in 75 degree weather

Outdoor skating in 75 degree weather

I’m sure I’ll figure out what camera to get next in the next few months Perhaps the D610 unless something new is announced. The bigger question is what to get for my telephoto. I’m tired of using my 80-200 f/2.8D so I’m putting that up for sale this week. I really need VR . I’m debating about getting the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII and using my Tamron 2x SP teleconverter for the times that I need extra reach for nature shots, or just going with the new Tamron 150-600 f/5.6-6.3 and selling the teleconverter. I still have the 85mm f/1.8G so I can use that for portraits.

Do I take extra reach/lower quality over great quality/lower reach? So far I have 2 of Nikon’s best lenses ever made and the 70-200 is the third in that group. Touch choices. Expensive choices…

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