D80 Thoughts

2008.06.11 in photography and thoughts

So! I've had my camera for a few days now, and I'm incredibly happy!

I've found it to be crazy sharp, and with really really low noise (crazily, if you use NR for long exposures), and it's just very impressive, overall! I'm still getting used to the controls, and I've made some mistakes because I don't pay enough attention to settings that I've changed previously, but I'm catching on (everything I need to know is on the little LCD on the top!). I'm also surprised that I quickly adjusted (and enjoy!) having to use the viewfinder for everything!

I managed to get some good shots:

  • Sunset through the June 10th storm — JPEG RAW
  • Water drops on a geranium, or something — JPEG RAW
  • Grasses in the window — JPEG RAW
  • Amy at the Falls — JPEG RAW
  • The Mill by the Falls — JPEG RAW
  • Airplane over Winooski — JPEG RAW
  • Pepa eating ice cream — JPEG RAW
  • Daisies on the deck — JPEG RAW
I've been shooting everything in continuous mode, as RAWs, so I've taken a lot of pictures already (almost a thousand, worth many gigabytes!), but I've only kept about a tenth of that. I should slow down, though, so I have stuff to do when I start up a variant of APAD (I'm thinking more like a summer-bounded year of pictures once a /week/, instead... more time for quality, less difficulty making a book, etc.). I'll get more details about that out there sometime in the not too-distant future — I'll probably start around July 1, but I really don't know!

So my camera's been epic so far... there's only a few things I've noticed are a problem. One, I've completely lost the ability to do close-ups. I don't have a macro lens — it's on my list of things to get, but it's pretty far out there because it's so expensive (the very nice looking, manual focus, 55mm f/2.8 Nikon Micro lens is ~300$, which is crazy... well... apparently it's not crazy, but it feels crazy to me, so I'm going to wait for a while!).

The other is that I have no time-lapse function, nor the ability to keep the shutter open for more than 30 seconds. These were both quite commonly used features of my last camera, for me... I made dozens of time-lapses and took a good number of star-trails pictures with the 8700 (which the incredibly noise-free D80 would be insanely much better at!). Luckily, the D80 comes with both infrared and wired shutter controls, which dad and I are going to have to rig up to work. I think wired would be better, if only because I don't know where I'd put a little IR box when outside doing night exposures (also because it's much more obvious how you're supposed to hold the shutter open with the wired control!). Problem is, I don't know what kind of connector the camera requires... I don't recognize it at all...

The last thing I have to grab some time is a wide-aperture prime lens — I've been told (and have read, time and time again), that this is really the single most necessary lens (besides a standard happy zoom lens), because it's so much faster, and supposedly literally noticeably sharper than anything else... but someday! This was actually on my spreadsheet when I was initially deciding what to get, but I went with just the absolute minimal order when I went to make the purchase, for now!

Anybody with other suggestions? I dunno :-)