Primary DSLR body: Nikon D610
Current Lens Line-up:
- AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
- AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED
- AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
- Wide Angle Lens - AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR(New addition, images online soon.)
- AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D
- AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
- Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E iii
- AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
- Nikkor 20mm f/1.8
- AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
My first DSLR body was a Nikon D70 (6 Megapixels), and a handful of images on this site were shot using that specific body coupled with the venerable Nikkor 85mm F/1.4 AF-D, the 18-70mm kit lens and/or the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR I.
After a few years of shooting the D70, I upgraded bodies to the D300, which was a fantastic handling, photograph-taking machine. The Nikon user community still longs for a new flaghship DX body built to match the professional lay-out, handing and speed of the D300. (DX meaning a smaller sensor sized than a standard 35mm film negative.)
Over the years I frequently found myself shooting low-light photography, and while the noise in D300 images shot at higher ISO settings was less than the D70, I was still drooling over sample images shot at high ISO settings using Nikon's spectacular full-framed sensor bodies, the FX line. When Nikon released the D600 at a price point significantly lower than any full-framed DSLR available at the time, I sold my trusty D300 and purchased the D600 full frame DSLR for low light photography.
The speed and handling of the D600 is adequate, and the image quality at higher ISO settings was a giant leap from my previous bodies. My D600 did, however, suffer from the oil spotting issue that became the word search choice of the month on the Internet among the DSLR user community. In the end Nikon came through and I now own a D610, which is essentially an oil spot-free version of the D600 with a couple of minor differences to set it apart from the D600 for various corporate reasons. (Was that diplomatic enough?)
I've been tempted by the new Nikon D750 due to it's better auto-focus system and greater spacing of AF points, but the difference is simply not enough to justify a change at this time. Had the D750 offered a higher frame rate it would probably be a part of my rig today. For now, the D610 is it for me.
I'm very content with my current equipment and very happy with the Nikon system as a whole. In the future I do hope to add the 300mm f/2.8 for wildlife, specifically to couple it with the TC-20E iii for a 600mm f/4 hand-held wildlife lens. I really enjoy bird photography, and 400mm is many times simply not 'long' enough for some of the more skittish species. That being said, I enjoy the challenge of getting that perfect shot with the equipment I have on hand. Showing up at the right spot at the right time, learning to understand animal behavior and learning what lighting conditions work for the shot I'm after are all pieces of the puzzle I'm continuing to hone.
The equipment is a tool that can help create an awe-inspiring image when everything comes together, but in the end a great photograph is only as good as the photographer's vision and skill in capturing the moment.
- RRS TVC-34 Tripod
- RRS BH-55 Ballhead
- Nikon SB-600 speedlight
- Lowepro Nature Trekker Backpack
- Tamrac Tamrac 5793 Super Telephoto Lens Pack (I love this bag!)
- Velbon El Carmagne 540 Tripod
- Markins Q10 Ballhead