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Why I chose the D2x - Day 1


Iowa City, US
140 posts

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SolonPhotos7 Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Dec 2005
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:02 PM

My new D2x is almost one week old, and my eBay-purchased 500mm Manual f/4 P lens is 2 days old. Today, after 2 weeks of clouds, we finally got some sun. So, I got up at 5 AM and drove 50 miles to Davenport, Iowa to find some eagles on the Mississippi River. It was my first outing with the D2x, my Winberley head, and my new lenses.

After 30 years of 4X5 view cameras and Hasselblads (with 16 MP digital back), I wanted to move to a "modern" digital format. I looked at the MKII - and the D2x. In the end I chose the Nikon because of the smaller DX chip (the very feature some people - even here - "diss"). Having moved all the way from 4X5 inch film, I find that I have no allegiance to the 35mm "full frame" format. I want to be able to shoot some birds - but I also need to shoot some cramped interiors. Nikon has given me that opportunity -with the 12-24mm f/4 DX lens - and a 500mm lens that functions like a 750mm. Life is filled with compromises, but, for me, the D2x DX format is ideal.

I fully expect the DX sensors to increase in resolution in the future, without an increase in physical size. Here's why: In the middle of the last century I repaired radios. I watched as a pair of 6L6 output tubes that could heat your house was replaced by a few transistors that could fit on your thumbnail. Today your thumbnail is bigger than a CPU with a million transistors. I spent 34 years looking into electron microscopes, living in a place where a micrometer (micron) was huge. Wells in a digital sensor that are 6-8 microns seem big to me. My research world was measured by nanometers - and at times, Angstroms. I fully expect digital sensors to increase in density - without adding noise. We digital photographers now live in a whole new word. Higher resolutions from a smaller-sized sensor will be possible - and that path leads to many advantages - smaller, but better is Smaller AND Better. I expect Nikon to show us the way, using the DX format. I'm ready to follow them as they do.

My first day out today was a trial - of my new D2x camera and my shooting techniques. I find that the D2x is amazingly intuitive. I feel comfortable with the controls after only a few days use. As I need them, I'll master many more combinations and custom settings.

Today I just wanted to play in the sunshine. i made a shot of a bridge over the Mississippi with the 28mm f/1.4 lens - and then the same bridge with the 500mm f/4 P manual lens and a 1.4X converter. There is a test of the breadth of coverage! - I should have done one at 12mm as well (you probably wouldn't have seen the bridge!). With the 500mm lens and a 1.4X converter, I was doing manual focusing of something like 1,000mm - fortunately 30 years of manual-focus Hasselblad lenses prepared me for that. The D2x viewer was easily up to the task - I was impressed with the results. it will get even better.

I did find a few eagles - and I know that, in time, I can make some great images with this combination. I'll wait to see if the "VR" designation gets added after the "AF" for the 500mm lenses before giving up this manual "P" lens. My 1-day old Wimberley head is my first, and I thank everyone on the Nikonian site who pointed me to them. Wow! I wish that I would have purchased that head years ago.

Here is an eagle from my first day ( I got a bunch of good shots).

I know that I made the right choice for my work.

Dick Sjolund


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