Cameras
Kidding myself that this hobby will eventually be profitable.


A bit of history

My father had a Voitlander Vito, and took some very accomplished photographs. That camera is still in the family. I started off with a Kodak Brownie when I was about 8 years old, followed for many years by no camera whatsoever. The in 2002 I bought a good, cheap, secondhand film SLR for a visit to the USA, and jumped into things properly a couple of years later when the Nikon D70 was launched in 2004. Today I enjoy the precision of cameras, the art of taking photographs, and the challenge of taking good pictures. It is also a way of documenting what I was doing - because my family never really believed half of what I got up to.


The collection

The prices of older Nikon lenses have rocketed between 2005 and 2010, suddenly finding a new market with digital body owners. Film saw a resurgence in this period too, and the F's and F2's from the 60's and 70's become quite tradable. Digital camera bodies on the other hand have practically no resale value after 5 years.

After a while I had a bit of a clean out and sold the Nikon F (still not convinced that was a good idea), the D1x (not so broken up about that one) and a pile of lenses. But then I bought a D700-D300 combo (same batteries and they can fine tune AF - which really bugged me about the D200) and an 800mm AI-s (monster needed a special backpack to lug it around).
Feb 2015: The D700 and D300 are serving me well. However, it made more sense to put a larger deposit on the mortgage than keep a box of expensive lenses. A few of the pro lenses have been sold - like the 70-200mm and 17-35mm. However, I did pick up a Fuji XE-1, two kit lenses and a Samyang 12mm, in an attempt to lighten the load and go back to retro-style controls. The XE-1 is not the D700, especially for anything involving motion, but it is still very handy and quite manageable.


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Nikon F: For many years 'the' camera to own, I just couldn't justify the expense of film. Still, a beautiful piece of equipment...

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Nikon F2: This was followed by the F2. More advanced, and equally a pleasure to use. The square, solid body could hammer in nails. It was also strangely comfortable, proof that those engineers knew what they were doing. Who would have thought a world without computers was possible?

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Experiments

How about a home-made pinhole lens to kick things off? The pinhole camera is a tiny hole in a piece of foil, the foil mounted on a clear filter, and a BR-2a reversing ring used to mount that to the body. Now, stand very still... ...bright sunlight only I am afraid!
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Here is a comparison of the monochrome capabilities of three digital cameras.

The Nikon V1 is a quirky but extremely capable camera. My real reasons for selling it were the lack of a wide angle lens and the awful 10-30mm with errors galore. Nikon CLS flash compatibility would have helped too.

I tinkered a bit with various CCTV lenses. Here are the results from a 25mm 1.4 and a couple of others...
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Patrick Onions - all images are copyright and all rights are reserved.