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Equipment Update - 2016


Equipment Update - 2016

I've made a number of changes to what I carry since I last posted to this page so it clearly was time to post some updates.  The big news is that I've sold all of my Nikon equipment after having been a user of Nikon digital camera since the original D100 came out in 2002.  As I've handed over my various Nikon lenses to various buyers here in London over the last 6 months I've certainly felt like shedding a tear on occasion, having grown quite attached the brand and its products.  I bought my most recent Nikon body in 2012, the D800e listed previously and over time I had put together a full set of pro-level F2.8 glass.  About as good as one can get as a non-pro and really met all of my photo needs while stressing my PC with huge 36MP files!  It was a fantastic experience and one I appreciate having had.  

That said, once I got to this point I quickly began to tire of one thing in particular....the weight.  I shoot in a large variety of  conditions, but given that I don't get paid for this hobby, comfort does start to rank relatively highly and given that I do mostly travel photography, airline weight restrictions and simply a lack of enthusiasm for how large and heavy this Nikon equipment had become started to weigh on me both figuratively and literally.  The peak point came on a trip to Petra, Jordan where I carried the D800e with the 24-70, 70-200, and 14-24 Nikors, all F2.8 up and down the hills of the hidden city ultimately loving the results but starting to detest the burden.   

At the same time, much covered in the Photography media has been the rise of Sony and mirrorless cameras generally.  Sony's move to buy Minotla and then become the dominant supplier of sensors in the business, beating Canon for the most part and providing Nikon with all of its best sensors.  I've dabbled with Sony's midrange offerings for some years from the NEX-7 to the A6000 but only following the release of the A7 series and the move to full frame did I start to taking things more seriously.  

I first picked up the 12MP A7s intrigued by the low light capabilities and the highly regarded EVF, not to mention the tiny size and wifi connectivity built in.  Impressed by this I ultimately picked up a used A7r (having the same sensor as my existing D800e) and then a nearly pocket-sized RX-1. also with a huge sensor.   These A7 bodies have allowed me to carry the same sensors I was using from Nikon  around the world at a fraction of the total weight I lugged about before.  

As a result I've had to learn new ways of processing RAW photos, exploring Capture One and leaving the love/hate relationship I had with Nikon Capture NX2.  Lens choices for the A7/FE mount that Sony uses were originally quite small, but now have grown significantly, such that  there is little I still wish for from the still larger Canon/Nikon ranges, and a great deal of Zeiss lenses that are as good as any in their respective classes.       

It seems like many photographers go through a bit of a cycle.  Starting out with entry level equipment, going up the price/performance chain to the extent possible wanting to try and shoot with the best equipment made at that time, whatever the pros happen to be using, etc.  Then having done so the thrill wears off and the photographer decides to slim back down perhaps focusing on a smaller subset of lenses or shooting styles that appeals.  Perhaps I ultimately have followed a similar path and now find myself wanting to shoot these ultra-light bodies pared often with sharp prime lens, forgoing the flexibility and massive weight of pro-zooms for a sort of photographic simplicity.  

Where my photography adventure takes me next I do not know, but I look forward to shooting more along the way and don't see myself straying from what Sony is doing for the foreseeable future! 

Current Equipment List:

Bodies: Sony A7r, Sony A7s, Sony RX-1

Lenses: Sony 35mm F2.8 / Sony 55m F1.8 / Sony 70-200 F4 / Sony 16-35 F2.8

AVOID: Sony 24-70 F4