My leap into digital imaging

This content is 20 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

This is primarily a technology blog, and it just happens that most of what I work with is IT-related; however one of my hobbies is photography, something which is getting ever closer to IT with the rise in quality and lowering of the costs associated with digital imaging technologies.

Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 EDLast year I switched my film stock to transparency (mostly for it’s colour reproduction qualities) and bought myself a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED film scanner. The problem has been that I’ve not found a lot of time to use it, and I have hundreds of slides to scan, edit, and print so I’ve been using a Sony DSC P8 digital camera to take quick snaps for the family album and getting postcard prints produced in a high-street store.

I found the Sony DSC P8 to be okay for slipping into my pocket when out and about, but to be honest I find it a bit small and light (prone to camera shake), and I miss the features of my film SLR (a Nikon F90x).

Until recently Nikon’s digital SLRs were unaffordable for most people other than professional photographers and my investment in Nikon lenses and accessories left me unwilling to switch to another manufacturer; however Nikon has recently taken a huge step forward with the release of the D70. It lacks some of the features I have on my F90x (in an ideal world I’d have an F5 for film and a D2X for digital), but it still offers a good price for me to make the switch to a digital SLR for the bulk of my photography and I’ll still hang on to the film camera.

Nikon D70The D70 is available as a body only, or in various kits with a lens included. I did consider the body only option, but as the smaller image sensor size effectively extends the length of all my lenses by 1.5, I would need a new wide-angle lens. Besides being a G-series lens, the AF-S DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G IF-ED largely duplicates my excellent AF 24-85mm f2.8-4 so I decided on the 18-35mm f3.5-4.5D IF-ED, and found an excellent deal (and customer service) at Calumet in Birmingham. First impressions are that the 18mm end of the lens seems more like 35mm on my film body (it should be 28mm), but by buying the lens as part of the D70 kit, I saved quite a lot of money and finding a dealer with a D70 in stock at the moment seems to be quite difficult (they also gave me a free Lexar Pro 512Mb 80x CF card).

Anyone considering investing in a Nikon D70 may find the following websites useful: