photography

di-GPS GPS receiver

I use an external di-GPS Prosumer M receiver with my Nikon D5100 and D5300. It gives much better results compared to the D5300 built-in GPS, at a fraction of the power consumption.

It was quite expensive and it does look a bit fragile with the protruding connector, but in practical use this does not appear to be a real issue. It acquires a fix very quickly and doesn’t appear to affect battery life that much.

di-GPS receiver dangling on wrist strapI’ve attached it to the left camera strap loop and keep it dangling on the “wrist strap” when not in use. This prevents it from breaking off the camera connector when I temporarily stow the camera in my bag.

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 DSLR
Nikon D5300

In 2016, I added a Nikon D5300 body when it was on sale. The built-in GPS on the D5300 is not very good; it takes ages to get a fix and drains the battery. Image quality and light sensitivity have improved noticeably over the D5100 though.

I rarely use the WiFi option; the iPhone app lacks a lot of features to really make it useful but it’s still nice to have for ’emergency’ use.

Sigma 10-20mm EX wide angle lens

In 2016, I added the Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX HSM (review) wide angle lens. This lens lives on the D5100 body (secondary camera) as most pictures are taken with the more universal 18-200mm zoom lens.

There is some distortion at the extreme wide end, but it is still a very nice lens for landscape and building photography.

Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D5100 (nikonusa.com)

In 2012 I upgraded to a Nikon D5100 with a Nikon 18-200mm VR II  lens (effectively 27-300mm due to the sensor crop factor).

This combination is a very nice upgrade from my D70. The body is smaller, but still quite comfortable to hold in large hands. The fold-out display is nice when holding the camera very low or high.

Sun Sniper camera straps

Sun Sniper Steel camera strapSun Sniper Surf camera strapMy favourite camera strap is the Sun Sniper Steel (pictured on the left). It has a very effective shock absorber and attaches to the camera tripod mount.

When going on photo trips, I usually have the secondary camera attached to my Crumpler messenger bag using the Sun Sniper Surf (right). It slides across the shoulder strap, allowing me to either keep the camera ready to use at chest level, or stowed inside the bag.

Nikon D70

Nikon D70

The (now discontinued) Nikon D70 finally convinced me to switch over to digital entirely – it has all the advantages of an SLR, in a digital camera. In september 2004, I bought the D70 with kit-lens (18-70mm) and got a Sigma APO Macro Super II 70-300mm for Christmas.

Battery life is very good indeed, much better than I expected. The updated firmware, v2.0, gives you nearly all the features of the Nikon D70s – most notably, the AF performance has improved significantly.

I bought the D70 kit and the Sigma lens at CityFoto Eindhoven, they gave excellent advice.

Early 2010, the camera had to go in for repairs (back LCD problems). In late 2010, I bought a new “Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200 mm F/3.5-5.6G ED VR II” zoom lens to replace the Sigma. The lack of a focus motor made that lens very slow. The new Nikkor is a great lens at that price!

I hope to replace the D70 body with a new D7000 body sometime in 2011 – it is starting to show its age.

Custom Tone Curves

The D70 tends to underexpose a bit. This is by design; it is easier to correct for under-exposure than it is for over-exposure. You can download a Custom Tone Curve to the camera to correct this in-camera, or apply the correction afterwards from Nikon Capture.

I still use the sReala 2 curve, which mimics the Fuji Superia Reala film characteristics. However, this curve does not apply to RAW images, only to JPEG images that are processed in-camera.

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