Hey guys - what (if any) is your favourite camera/lens combination? The one that once you pick it up you have to go out and shoot? I have been lucky enough to find 3 such combinations over the last 25 years...
My first camera was a Zenith EM - tank-like and clunky which was quickly replaced with a Nikon FG with the E series 50mm lens. These were OK but my real passion was sparked by combination 1...
1. Nikon FM (a lovely black one) + Nikkor 85mm f2 (my first proper Nikkor). This combination was my constant companion for many years until they were stolen... This is what made me want to be a pro, want to shoot all the time... Loved the feel of the body and the focal length f the lens... perfect.
When this was stolen I was camera less for a while until I graduated and had enough money to get some new kit. After trial end error I found my next perfect combination - one I used to shoot weddings etc as I started out on the pro road. This combination was...
2. Nikon F90X Pro + Nikkor 28-105mm. Great body and lens - this was my go to until I changed to Digital...
Much as I loved my D200 it has taken me until now to find my current perfect combination -
3. Nikon D2Xs + Nikkor 50mm f1.8 AFD. This travels everywhere with me - it feels as good (well nearly) as my old FM and 80mm...
I have owned many camera bodies and lenses but only these 3 combinations make me want to take pictures - I pick them up and have to shoot...
1) Forty-five years ago in high school: Nikon F Photomic T with the 105mm f/2.5 AIS lens. Great for candids, great for portraits, good for indoor sports.
2) Mid-life: The current body with the current 80-200 or 70-200 lens. I just like the short- to medium-telephoto range. Probably stems from that first 105mm… Best body during that time was the F100.
3) Today: I'm older and find my D3s and f/2.8 glass are getting heavier every day. The primary set is the D800e with the 24-120mm f/4. The 70-200mm f/2.8 is usually along side, though the f/4 may be in the future. The D3s and 24-70mm f/2.8 get used when necessary.
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I don't know that I've found a perfect combination. My D300 is surely the camera part of my perfect combination. As for lenses, my 18-200 is on the camera a lot, because it is versatile and portable. When I travel on the airlines it is usually the only lens I take with me. But it's certainly not the perfect lens. That's why I have many others. There's no one lens that is perfect, even for most things, as I see it, so I use the lens that is best suited for whatever I'm shooting at the time.
I'd go further and suggest that for most of us, the reason we like interchangeable lens cameras is because there is no perfect lens.
Sun 10-Feb-13 02:59 PM | edited Sun 10-Feb-13 05:02 PM by dagoldst
Several choices for me but none are perfect - there is no perfect combination for all shooting conditions.
At any rate...
Canon AE-1P with 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.4 or 135mm f/3.5. When I am out shooting this camera, I often carry two, each with a different lens. Been shooting the AE-1P system since 1983 and the earlier AE-1 from 1977.
Nikon N80 24-120mm VR - old version of the lens - despite numerous people not liking it, mine works quite well. I am seriously thinking about an F100, except I have so darn many cameras these days.
Digital - for when I absolutely have to get the picture.
Nikon D600 - 24-85mm VR - I have even tried my older 24-120mm lens from above on the D600 and it actually takes quite good images.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan
Film days - A Futura-S rangefinder. It was knock-off of a famous Contax design. It was made in a couple of different locations. Mine was made in England, assembled from parts manufactured in Japan and Germany. It has a remarkable little fixed, coated, 50mm, f/1.5 lens made under the Frilon brand name by Zeiss. The shutter is whisper quiet. It still feels natural in my hands. I still run a roll through it a couple of times a year. Superb for street shooting.
Digital - The D700 and the 24-120 f/4 VRII. I'm still not 100% sure about the D800 and that same 24-120 f/4 VRII, so the combo with the D700 still rules as far as I'm concerned. Thing is, the D700 is now sold and gone, so the D800 combo is looking better every day.
Thu 14-Feb-13 01:43 AM | edited Thu 14-Feb-13 01:51 AM by KnightPhoto
Am interested in your impressions here: "I'm still not 100% sure about the D800 and that same 24-120 f/4 VRII"? I'd be looking for street/travel use for this combo.
Edit: I see David just above likes it...
On the main topic, hmm, my 70-200 f/2.8 VR I (and now my II) on any camera I have owned. Not a good travel lens due to weight though, but wow the rewarding photos that have come out of those lenses! Breaking the rules a bit: perfect combo 24-70/70-200 on any two FX cameras...
Mon 11-Feb-13 01:19 AM | edited Mon 11-Feb-13 01:23 AM by ZoneV
More and more, it's the D200 (without grip) and a 16-50mm DX lens these days. This is usually what I use when I'm out hunting for feature images for the newspaper. It's a compact setup.
The lens is great; it's an elastic normal lens (24-75mm equivalent) with excellent optics, and it has the ability to let you create shallow DOF or a strong foreground interest on demand. This lens also facilitates a more sophisticated form of image composition that I've been trying out over the past few months, which entails pulling back to show more of the environment with various layers, rather than just cropping tight by physically getting close and/or using a long focal length (which I practiced heavily for my first 15 years of serious shooting).
I find my usual go to combo is a D700 with 17-35mm f2.8. For the sort of stuff I shoot this lens has a perfect range. This covers a mix of travel, landscape and interiors. I do usually have at least a 28-300mm with me too though.
If I am not shooting birds I would have to say my D3s and my 24-120 f/4. The combo feels great in my hands and with the high ISO capability coupled with VR and an excellent range of focal lengths, it is hard for me to pick a better combo. I have a ton of excellent glass and a wide range of Nikon DSLRs but I most often reach for this combo.
Then the Canon Elan IIe with the 20mm 2.8 Great for landscape!
And now even thought I have D-200's and D-300's and D-800's I still love the D-200 with the 50mm old school 2.8f it has great image compression and is a sharp as any lens I've ever owned....I've had this lens for 15 years and It still works great on all my Nikons.
Talent will always overcome any short coming you may think your gear has!
For me it is the D700 with 24-70 f2.8. Perfect range for what I do most and very nice balance and the IQ is smooth and great. Also allows me to get maximum out of post-process. D200 with 18-200 easier to travel with and leaves me less tired at the end of the day but far less satisfied.
Street shooting: Nikon D700 with Nikon 28-200 f/3.5-5.6 G
Photo shoots: Nikon D700 with Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 AF-S
I have a Nikon D800 that I bought before I got a D700, but I like the D700 more. The D800 is great, but the D700 just feels more fun and is better for fast changing subjects. Nikon should seriously reconsider the switchology of the D800 and change subsequent versions back to D700 switching. My thumb misses seriously misses the AF-Area Mode Selector switch..
Love my D200 and 18-200 VR but now my favourite is the D700 and Nikon 24-70 2.8. I have a Nikon 70-200 2.8 and the 70-300 as well but the 24-70 has taken me back in time to a point when I didnt rely on a big zoom, it makes me think about the shot again.
My perfect combination is my D300 (Nov 2007) + Nikkor 17-55mm F/2.8 also purchased in November 2007.
The zoom lens is extremely sharp, fast, and has great contrast. I can count on getting great pictures with this combination. Saved for 3 years and have the money all ready to buy the D300/D300s replacement...D400.
Either the D800 or D700 with Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED AF-S. Incredible sharpness from the lens at almost all f-stops, great low light ability with the 700 and great resolution with the 800. Overseas travel now with one of these combinations, my f2.8 20mm Nikkor and or my f2.8 70-200mm VR Nikkor, but for most of my shooting (90-95%), could get by with just the 24-120.
I loved the Olympus OM-1 with its Zuiko 50/1.8. Maybe it's because that is the combo I bought in 1997 as my first SLR...
After that, I enjoyed the F100 and the AF-S 28-70/2.8.
Nowadays, with bodies that seem to be much less durable, I favor my D700 with either a fast prime, an AF-D 50/1.8 or a 85/1.8 AF-D, or the 28-300VR.
But I must confess that I have discovered the joy of a high-end compact with the Fuji X10, and now a second-hand X100, which tend to explain why I am not as often as I tended to be on the Landscape forum...
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I will take the 300mm Afs 2.8 VR for nature / sports photos . With a D800 you can use a 14-24 mm 2.8 as a normal 50 mm at 24 mm settings .The file size is so large even a cropped image will work well . Many of my gallery images are only cropped to 30% of the frame .With the 14mm working for street / landscape / small interiors of( cars /aircraft )photos .
My go-to combination is my D300 + Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I shoot cross-country ski races, air shows, birds in flight. It's light enough so I don't need a sherpa (as I would with Nikon's 6-pound 300mm f/2.8), carried with a CarrySpeed sling strap it doesn't swing around when I scramble over rocks or hit my poles when I'm on skis, the sensor size gives me a 1.5 magnification effect, which compensates nicely for what I sacrifice using the 200, the 70mm setting (equivalent to a full frame 105mm) is a very nice candid portrait camera for holiday parties and such.
There are situations in which I could use more reach than I get with with 200mm, but I'm waiting eagerly for the D400, which should give me the crop options I need to bring in that elk or falcon that's just a bit too far away for the D300/70-200 combo.
Sat 16-Feb-13 01:52 AM | edited Sat 16-Feb-13 02:00 AM by Vlad_IT
My starter kit was 35mm Kiev 17 + 50mm f/2
later N90s + 80-200 (two-ring)
Now. D7000 gripped and 70-200 vrII. Problem is it's quite heavy combo and a head turner as well. I do not carry it too often, just when i decide to devote time to photography.
Just purchased 55-200 VR (just becuase it was $134). I hope to have it all the time with me on D7000 no grip for light weight go anywhere combination. (i tried to carry P7000 all the time, but i get frustrated with it's speed performance for snapshots/candid shots)