Gear essays

Sigma 135-400: a birding lens for 200 bucks?

Is an inexpensive old lens good enough for birding?


Shooting The Sony A77m2 In 2021

I wrote about the A77. But what about the noticeably more expensive used A77m2? You’ll have to pay $600 to $800 to buy a used one in good condition. Is it worth it? The A77m2 came a few years after the A77. in my opinion, the improvements are mostly marketing stunts. Despite a lot more AF sensors, a so-called new AF system, better video and a bigger buffer, I keep thinking the A77m2 used isn’t a very good deal.


Shooting The Sony A77 In 2021

If you have some A-mount lenses and want an APSC DSLR that can take them natively, you don’t have many options. Especially if you can’t / don’t want to spend a lot of money.


Nikon N50 - F50 And Kodak UltraMAx 400

I didn't shoot film for years. 6 years actually. Didn't really plan to. Not that I don't like it, because I love film, but I just didn't have an opportunity to do so. When I saw that Nikon F50 with a 35-80 for 20 bucks, I just bought it. Ordered a new battery on amazon and a couple rolls of Kodak Ultramax 400.


Shooting The Sony Alpha A700 In 2021

I really never was really interested in Sony after they bought Minolta and started their "own" line of DSLRs. 15 years later, I buy a pristine Alpha A700 for peanuts. I'm just starting to play with it, and I quite like the Minolta DNA.


Shooting Outdated Cameras

Can you take any photo with an outdated crappy camera? It seems for some, the answer is not obvious.


Shooting The Nikon D2Xs In 2021

During summer 2005, after a very long wait, the Nikon D2X was released. At the time my go to camera was the Minolta 7D that replaced my Nikon film cameras for my digital needs. I also shot the Nikon D70 but I prefered the Minolta. Both cameras were quite slow, and 6MP only. I wasn't really convinced by the Nikon D1/x/h/d2h. Soon after buying the D70, the D2X was announced, making me question that early GAS compulsive buy.


Shooting the sony alpha A200 in 2021

After Sony bought the Minolta photography department, they released the A100 in mid 2006, the A700 in mid 2007, and the A200/A300/A350 in early 2008. 2 years after the Nikon D80, we find the same SONY ICX493AQA CCD sensor (wich is basically a slower ICX483AQA that was in the Nikon D200 released 3 years earlier) in what is basically a Minolta body with Sony branding.


Shooting the Minolta Maxxum / Dynax 7D in 2021

The short lived most advanced Minolta DSLR was released in late 2004. It became later the foundation for Sony's A-mount cameras. It featured the first in body stabilization in a DSLR, a 6MP CCD sensor and loads of controls. This camera is a photographer's delight. The body feels right, the controls are great and natural: coming from film SLR, you just feel at home with the Minolta 7D. And You can use all the now often cheap quality Minolta lenses, as well as the more expensive Sony A-Mount lenses.


Old but still good: Sigma APO macro 180mm f/3.5D EX IF HSM for Nikon

This macro telephoto lens appeared in march 2001 on Sigma website, almost 20 years ago. It is a robust and well built macro lens with a minimum focusing distance of 46cm for a 1:1 ratio. I bought mine used in perfect condition, boxed with the pouch, accessories and paperwork for $250.


Shooting The Nikon D200 In 2021

The D200 is a camera I always loved. At the time it came out, it was a hell of a camera for the price Nikon asked. Shooting it in 2019 is still a pleasant experience. When you think specs, you'd think: "oh, ok, 2005 specs, that's outdated, nobody wants that. Photos taken with that camera will be ugly, especially compared to the Sony A9 ($4500), the Nikon D850 ($3000) or the Canon 5D mark whatever ($2700)."


Shooting The Nikon D70 In 2021

2004... Jesus, time passes quite fast. I won't review that Nikon D70, the specs sheets and reviews are everywhere on the internet. Only 3 figures are significant anyway: 6.1 megapixel CCD sensor, 1/8000th second max shutter speed and 1/500th second x-sync. While in California, I decided to buy and shoot this camera again with the Nikkor 18-135. for 20 bucks, what could go wrong?


Olympus OM-D E-M5

I August 2018 I bought that little camera for $150. Definitely a bargain considering it was sold boxed, in a not too bad condition, with less than 6.000 clicks, and included two batteries and charger, a 12-50mm F/3.5-6.3 zoom lens, a 45mm F/1.8 prime lens, the tiny Olympus flash, a couple filters (ND1000 and CPL) and a (slow) 64GB SD card that I just trew away and replaced with a Sandisk Extreme Pro.