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Monday, 30 August 2010


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"...the AF-S Nikkor 28–300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ED VR (another exemplar in a class of lenses that has always made me me shudder with dread and horror..."

I can't recall the last time I read something I so thoroughly agree with!

And what about the Nikon D5000? We already have an upgrade(?) for the D3000, the D3100, that in some ways makes for a better camera body than the D5000. Will Nikon upgrade the D5000 or drop it completly?

I, like many others I expect, am waiting with bated breath for a D700 successor so I can pick up a used D700 for cheap some time in 2011. C'mon Nikon!

"For a long time, its sensor ranked highest at DxOmark.com of all ~APS-C DSLRs"

It still does.

Well, Nikon got me in a right pickle. I had a pretty good year so far, so I'm ready to switch to the yellow camp (alas, I will miss Zuiko lenses), but ... I crave the low light performance of the D3s, but have no desire to lug around that stonking big camera. And the D700, while perfectly nice, is getting a bit long in the tooth and I would *hate* it if its successor was introduced the second I buy one. A D700s would be nice, but I doubt they'll introduce it at Photokina.

Oh, and to anyone who's never been, Cologne is a very nice place, and if you're feeling lonely, just shout "Pičku mater!".
In addition to being a very naughty phrase, it is kind of like a shibboleth, but in a reverse sense, as it signals to everyone from ex-Yugoslavia that you are a sociable person.
For hilarious pronounciation and usage tips (warning: naughty language), see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfLvnXIu664&feature=fvw

And get a press pass for photokina, the amount of free schwag you get (as well as free massages in the press centre) is astonishing.

The D700 [...] has been a stellar seller, very, very popular amongst the core cadre of loyal Nikonians.

That's like saying the Beatles were a popular band in the 60's, Mike; it's true, but a huge understatement. What's been special about the D700 (and might be part of the reason it hasn't been updated, so as not to break the spell) is that it has caused so many defections over to Nikon. From reading the blogs and forums for Pentax, Sony, and even Canon about a year ago, you'd think a Soviet ballet was in town given how many defectors there were.

You know a camera is good when you search completed listings for used units on eBay and find only 3 of them.

Mike J. said:
> Time flies when you're sitting like a lump
> staring at your computer every waking minute.

No, this has nothing to do with computers. One of the inevitable rules of life is this: The older you get, the faster time flies by. As simple as that.

-- Olaf

Upgrade time of year - I think that again I missed the wake up call. Nikon would probably hate me.

I arrived at the D200 via a Coolpix and second hand D100 which died on me. I'm clearly a completely rubbish and unambitious photographer because I haven't found a practical limit to the camera in the last 5 years. For every possible nit-picking fault I might be able to find with white balance or chromatic aberration (or anything else to do with the camera) I can find about 100 faults with composition or exposure or even just timing, or lens or perspective choice, not to mention the myriad different ways in which I might crop or develop the image that don't work out.

What's going to be really interesting is the introduction of the D300s replacement. Now that used D700 prices are dipping under $2,000, customers will have a choice of a new D400 or a used D700 for around the same price. When I bought my D700 last year, I would have jumped at the chance to buy a clean used body for hundreds less than new if any had been available then.

"am waiting with bated breath for a D700 successor so I can pick up a used D700 for cheap"

Hush, it's our secret.

and the EF 8–15mm ƒ/4L Fisheye USM (because they're Canon, and they can).

I was really excited when I first saw that Canon had announced a fisheye zoom for a 35mm sensor sized camera. Had it been the FF equivalent of the Tokina 10-17 I might have switched from Nikon to Canon to have one. The Tokina is a dream lens for wide angle work underwater; gives you everything from 100 to 180 degrees with sharp corners. Fisheyes work very well behind a big glass dome underwater whereas it's tough to get sharp corners with a rectilinear lens.

Instead they released this crazy thing which would seem to have a likely market of about 4 people. Maybe.

Sometimes there are diamonds in the rough: Bjørn Rørslett has found the 28-300 to be a good performer for IR photography. A niche to be sure, and surely not the intended us of this lens, but for some a real benefit.

@ Mike: "Time flies when you're sitting like a lump staring at your computer every waking minute"

Time flies like knives,
fruit flies like bananas.

I confess that I've entertained the idea of buying a D700 just so I could enjoy the amazing Nikon 14-24mm wide angle zoom. But two things prevent me from ever buying a Nikon DSLR in their current range, and they are simple things easily fixed: firstly, Nikon DSLRs won't tell you what the shutter speed is whenever the auto exposure has set a slow shutter beyond one second. That's a real pain in the neck when doing long exposure night photography or indoor deep depth of field interior shots. The LCD only indicates "Lo". Why don't they just indicate whatever number of seconds the exposure is going to be, like every other brand of DSLR does?

Secondly, the adjustments for exposure compensation require one to move the wheel to the left for "plus" and to the right for "minus" - the opposite of what we all learned in school and college. "+" is always indicated on the right, isn't it?. I watch my students get into total confusion over that and they very frequently set the compensation the wrong way. What are Nikon engineers and product managers thinking? Where's the logic?

I'd be greatly relieved if a Nikon user comes forth to put me right by indicating how there's a menu item buried somewhere deep in the plethora of Nikon menu items that allows the user to eliminate the two very annoying flaws mentioned above.

Cologne is a fascinating, most interesting, and very busy place. I practically grew up there, and spent the first 35 years in that city. And photokina is really written with a small "p" - see http://www.photokina-cologne.com/

Lots and lots of opportunities to get great photos from all over the place, tho the locals will of course always beat you on this. You can go street shooting for instance; Cologne is Germany's "little Italy", and most people won't care.

Make sure to walk over "Hohenzollernbrücke" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenzollernbrücke), and pay a visit to the museum Ludwig if your time allows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_Ludwig) - their collection of August Sander is as spectacular as it is famous.

I'll be there on Friday, together with my brother who still lives in Cologne. When will you come?


P.S.: didn't understand the hint with the ex-Yugoslavian words. And no, I'm not trading in my Olympus, it's much too good for that.

Buy the 14-24mm.

D700, custom setting F12, reverses exposure indicators. F9 reverses allows reversal of rotational command dials, or swap functions of command dials front to back.

At night, you're shooting in the dark anyway. (Sorry.) Shutter speed will be in the display on the shot, as are three color histograms. Adjust accordingly.

Similar on the D300. I changed the +/- direction in both models. I have not looked for a while, but I am pretty sure I did the same thing on my D70s

I'd be greatly relieved if a Nikon user comes forth to put me right by indicating how there's a menu item buried somewhere deep in the plethora of Nikon menu items that allows the user to eliminate the two very annoying flaws mentioned above.

Sure thing, at least for the command dials. That's under custom function f9 on my D700: Customize Command Dials. You can change the rotation direction of the dials and/or switch whether the front is the main control and the rear the sub command or vice versa. There was a similar function on my D200, so I assume that it's available on all the higher-end models. OTOH, my D70 only let you exchange the role of the two dials, and the D40 doesn't let you customize them at all, so I guess it's not available on the cheaper models.

And I don't know if there's an automated way of dealing with the "Lo" shutter speed, but you can always shift to manual exposure and use the shutter speed recommended by the meter. If you're shooting for longer than 1s, the extra fraction of a second it takes to set the shutter manually isn't going to make much difference anyway.

Craig --
On the Nikon D3S, see
Custom Setting Menu > f Controls > f11 Reverse indicators
and then choose
-/0/+ or +/0/- as you wish. "-)

Reading the comments was almost as nice as reading the piece above them. One of the few sites where this is simply how things are.

I'm a Nikon convert from Canon thanks to the D700. I was worried about the dials and "lo" message as well. Turns put the dials could be reversed and I switch to manual to get rid of the foolish "lo" caption.

Oh and the 14-24 is definitively worth it. Got rid of my 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 IS (all f/2.8). Switched back to primes for the other focal lengths, but still waiting on a new AF-S 35mm f/1.4G for FX.

Wolfgang, it is a well-known phenomenon, at least in ex-Yu, that wherever you are in Europe (and most of Northern America and Australia and parts of South America), and if you're feeling lonely, muttering "U pičku mater" loudly enough will draw the attention of ex-Yu emigrants, of which there will be at least one, of whom at least one will know of a nice bar/restaurant with friendly people.

Using this rule during my brief stay in Cologne (and everywhere else in Germany and Austria), I never once had to order in German - although my German, perhaps embarassingly, considering my provenance, is far better than that odd smorgasbord of a lingua franca that was Serbo-Croatian - and got a few drinks on the house, too.

'The D90 is a tough act to follow. For a long time, its sensor ranked highest at DxOmark.com of all ~APS-C DSLRs, and it is a supremely well-sorted camera in terms of size, ergonomics, and performance, at least by the standards of these times.'


What has all of that got to do with anything? What about the needs of consumers, some of whom have been forced to own the same camera for 5, 6, or even 8 weeks? Don't manufacturers care that their loyal customers' skills degrade day by day, as their equipment becomes ever more redundant and obsolete? Look at me - this time last year, brand new Pentax K-7 in hand, I was blasting out stuff that French photographers with funny names would have given their last baguette to emulate. Now? I can hardly leave the house, knowing that someone's going to spot me hoiking a lump of 2009 crapola. I'm down to constructing painfully-laboured (labored?) indoor themes, all involving my cat doing something on the sofa, or arty, slow-shutter-speed takes of my TV screen.

I want Now, and I want it NOW!

That almost works, except it is way too early to feel any shame over a K-7. Still a hot camera IMNSOHO. And they're our major advertiser, how much cooler can you be?


Lo just means your picture will be under exposed. It does the same thing when you try using Shutter priority mode and the aperture can't get large enough. Aperture will read out lo. If you take out your camera out in the bright sunlight at high iso, your shutter speed will read hi.

This varies depending on which scene mode program you use and if you are using AUTO iso rules etc...Also might be affected if you are using VR.

If your Auto ISO kicks in at 1 second, and you max out your iso and aperture, it will read lo rather than change the shutter speed.

For long exposure photography, its not really much of a problem, you'll want to use manual mode anyways and even if you don't if you see lo, you know that your metering or settings are not correct and will underexpose.

Re: backwards command dials.

They're set up that way to mimic what Nikon has been doing since at least the F2/FT with their 'reversed' meter: (+) to the left and (-) to the right. It tells you which way to turn the aperture ring (when their lenses had them!) to center the needle.

Change them as you wish with the custom settings.


Düsseldorf is worth a visit for anyone going to Cologne. This is where the Kunstakademie brought forth Gerhard Richter, the Bechers, and disciples Gursky, Struth, Hoger et. al. Town is interesting in itself, although the folk from Cologne regard it as a snooty neighbour

I have heard about this and I always make a plan to reach there, but due to some work or reason I have to hold me back. Now, this time I am planning to go there as it is the biggest show and I would be a part of this.

To Dave Ralph, Roger Moore and Andrea B., thanks a lot for the tips. I'll try it out with a student's camera tomorrow.



@Craig Norris:

like you, I find Nikon default choice for EV comp jarring every time I pick up a Nikon DSLR (I usually use a Pentax K-7), and change the custom setting as already indicated by previous replies.

However, when you think about it... when changing aperture and/or shutter speed, you turn the command dial to the left to increase exposure, and to the right to decrease it. Moving the dial in the same directions to affect EV compensation is logical in that context.

yeah, Nikon better come with a D800 before Christmas - otherwise they are sloow, as always ...

I'm with Andrew..can't wait for the replacement for the D700..I want the D700! Nikon..why are you sooo slllooowww..

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