2.14.2012: Fucking around with the ‘new’ 70-210mm lens (part I)
As stated above, I’m testing the new lens for my Nikon D200. Well, it’s not exactly new. What I have on hand is a late 80’s-to-late 90’s era 70-210mm 1:4-5:6 Nikkor lens. How much did it cost me? $109 from ebay, if you can believe it. Free shipping, too. With a deal like this, how can I refuse?
After playing around in finding the right exposure and white balance settings, the images came out great. The optics on this lens is amazing and the construction as well as the design are solid. I ain’t gonna lie: it’s also a bit heavy and big. Hell, compared to my old Nikkor 18-55mm lens, which is made of high grade plastic, the 70-210mm is massive and is built like a tank thanks to it’s body made of metal. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it’s made with steel.
Let’s talk a bit about the design of this beauty. This baby was originally made for Nikon film SLRs and was touted a budget zoom lens ($250, give or take). It lacks a VR (vibration resistance) and the barrel of the lens is an unusual push-pull design that’s akin to a telescope. Thankfully, the lens has an AF (autofocus), so operating it is a breeze. Come to think it, it’s actually a lot easier than the conventional finger roll-and-turn lens design. The AF is surprisingly responsive although being an old design, it’s not meant to be used on fast moving subjects. In other words, this isn’t the kind of lens you’d want to use in a sporting event. But for casual shoots, portraiture, and landscapes? Oh, this is PERFECT. I’d also like to point out since my DSLR has a DX sensor instead of a ‘full frame’ sensor that’s an digital equivalent of a 35mm film , the field of range is 115-310mm. You can imagine how far the zoom would be had I gotten an old 80-400mm lens.
So if you’re a DSLR owner and are looking for lenses while keeping a tight budget, never underestimate the power of a good old lens. There’s a treasure trove of them out there and these neglected lenses are cheaper than their modern day counterparts. There’ll be a few trade offs due to being older designs, but you’d be surprised at the bargains you’d find. Believe me, I was very surprised. Honestly, I think it’s worth looking for bargains once you look around with patience and do proper research. My dad once advised me ask myself what shots I planned to take before I buy any lens in the market and whether that lens is easy to travel around with or not.
So here’s my advice to you, friend: ask yourself what shots do you plan to take and make sure it’s no problem to travel around with. Do you really want to take a lot of lenses with you or do you need just one that you’re comfortable with? Oh, and don’t rush yourself into getting a lens. Take your time, look around, and always research before you make that giant leap of faith. You won’t get the dreaded buyer’s remorse once you found what you’re looking for. =]
6.12.2012: Well, here’s a little something to add whilst the editing work of last week’s and the weekend’s pics are being worked on. I bought the Nikkor 70mm-210mm AF lens from ebay a couple of weeks ago and it arrived yesterday while I was at work. What can I say about the lens? Well, I bought it at a bargain price of $109 with free shipping!
I inspected the lens and saw no scuffs or signs of overuse, so I can only conclude the previous owner took very good care of it. The focus ring and the push-pull zooming barrel worked seamlessly and smoothly. The AF (autofocus) had me worried for a bit since the reviews reported it was slow and a bit of a pain to operate. After a few tests, the AF worked as it should and was responsive as I pressed the trigger. This lens isn’t made to be a pro-level piece of equipment, the optics are said to be very good and it’s design is robust as well as durable. It should be of interest to know this baby is about 20 years old and was originally made for the Nikon film SLRs of that time. While the lens’ depth of range is 70mm to 210mm, the technology and design is archaic compared to a modern lens of the same range, which have microchips to synch with the DSLR’s sensors. Since my Nikon D200 has an APS-C sized sensor with a 1.5 difference in the field of view*, the depth of range I’m getting is 115mm to 310mm equivalent to a 35mm camera, which means the D200 will be getting more zoom.
While I don’t think the lens is good for night-time shoots and fast-moving subjects, I can see this as the ideal lens to use in a zoo, landscape shoots, and for portraiture. Since I’ll have a vacation next week, it’s a good time to bring this baby out and test it. Stay tuned and will add more pics!
* ( note: in case you didn’t know, an APS-C sensor is smaller than a full frame sensor found on pricier DSLRs.The ‘full frame’ sensor is the size of a 35mm film and is known to produce very good quality images. So what’s the APS-C about? Well, it’s a smaller and cheaper sensor with a smaller crop factor. That’s not to say the image quality sucks, it’s actually very good but not as detailed as the ‘full frame’ sensors. Curious? Well, you can read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APS-C )
6.04.2012: Here’s some new pics I just downloaded and slapped online! I haven’t posted some pics in a while due to my busy schedule, so I apologize for the delays!
So, as a reward for your patience, here’s some new ones I shot earlier in the day (6.03.2012) while I was on my way home. Later on, a squirrel popped out of nowhere and decided to eat some grub in my backyard while I was reviewing pics from my camera. He was such a fearless little furball and never did he freak out when I took shots of him!
Summer, I think, is here. Stay tuned, folks! More to come very soon! =D
Days 44-50 (Feb 13-19) PT 2: More to add on the motley collection of pics from my phone. I am actually surprised at the level of manual control and customizability. The one thing it surprised me is the fact I can shoot this at night, provided there’s plenty of light to use. I was never able to this with my old cellphone (which was craptastic anyway), but damn, I’m glad I can now take serious cellphone photography alongside with my DSLR. Thank you, Samsung! Sarang hae!
Days 44-50 (Feb 13-19) PT 1: More pics to add! Oh, and since I cluelessly forgot to add that heart-shaped pizza on Valent…I mean *ahem* Single’s Awareness Day, I took the liberty to add it in this collection of pictures. I would also like to add that a majority of the pics here were shot from my new camera phone, a Samsung Indulge. Since this album is mostly its debut, what do I think of the new phone?
Well, to be honest, it’s by the best camera phone I’ve used! Granted, the quality of the images are nowhere near my beloved Nikon D200 and my point-and-shoot cameras, but I must say the images were very good and as you should know by now, I tweaked them to my liking because I just do it. Don’t thank me. Thank the phone and makers of the apps that made this new device a helluva joy to use. =D
Day 42-43 (Feb.11-12, 2012) Part Two: The first few shots were shot in the morning, so I’m just picking up where Part One left off. The morning shots were from the morning of Feb. 10 but hell, I was so lazy that I edited em’ yesterday and loaded em’ today.
Just last night (Feb 11) I ordered some pizza. Papa John’s had this interesting promo: $15 for a heart-shaped one-topping pizza with a cinnamon-granola pie. I find it quite odd that the heart-shaped pizza is uncut. However, like any proud member of the male species, I simply tore that pizza apart with my bare hands and ravaged that pizza. I ate my heart out and saved half of it in the freezer. Hey, screw you, Valentine’s Day! I got my pizza and it was all mine! If you’re single like me, seriously, order this shit, and have nice cold beer. Nom nom..
Earlier today, I just got a new phone. Say hello to my Samsung Indulge. Thanks to some promo, I got this baby for $100, so in addition to that, I decided to give it a casing to protect it. Unfortunately, the had no black, so I settled with dark blue. Looking back, I’m glad I bought it. I installed Little Photo, Retro Camera, Facebook (obviously!), and wunderground (a great weather forecast app, BTW!). Will add more later, though! Y’know, having 2gb of on-board 2GBs worth space and a 16 gigs of extra memory from the microSD card are more than enough for me! Who knows? I just might get a 32gb microSD card one day.
Day 42-43 (Feb.11-12, 2012) Part One: More pics and more pics! Good thing I shot em’ while the weather was good. Here’s a good reason why taking pics in the morning is a good idea: there’s little to no people around. Landscape, urban and random shots are always a treat when there’s no people around. It’s also a bonus when the sun’s nice and bright.
Day 39 & 40 (Feb. 8-9, 2012): Did some random shots of my camera stuff and, yes, the new Amazon DSLR bag that only costed me $40! I ordered the bag on Feb 3 and it just arrived on my doorstep this morning. Not a bad for the day,eh? The build seems pretty solid. It looks like it’s made to take a beating, too. It has a waist and upper chest straps to help support the bag and ease the back fatigue. This is handy when I’m walking a lot. Hell, these straps make it harder to steal, too.
I was surprised it can carry a lot, so if I was on some serious day of photoshooting, I can carry my D200 (including all my lenses, cleaning kit, and CF and SD memory cards); my Canon S2IS bridge camera; my Pentax Optio WR33 point and shoot camera; a monopod (or a compact tripod, which is something I need to buy); 2 or 3 packs of rechargeable AA batteries; a bottle of water, and some small snacks (including a pack of chewing gum, which is a must-have!). Now if I travel on the road, I can omit the Canon and just add the D200’s charger and cord plus stuff my 14” laptop and the USB 4G modem on the other compartment. All, in all, I got a camera stealthbag that’s the size of a schoolbag and is capable of carrying all my equipment! It’s small enough to fit in the small overhead luggage compartment in an airline, too! How frickin’ sweet!