A Fair Shot…

My photography life started around 1984 when my parents bought me my first SLR, a Pentax K1000. I used it for photography class that year and it is still to this day a servicable unit.

I used the K1000 nearly 20 years for all of my photography needs. It was in 2002 after getting back home from our Route 66 honeymoon that I decided I had enough of under and overexposed photos. I wanted something that had a little more modern features….like an “auto” button that would do the thinking for me. At the advice of friend & fellow Route 66er Jim Ross,  I upgraded to the Nikon N65. This gave me all the features I was looking for as well as some automatic settings that covered up all the photography knowledge I had long forgotten since that high school photography class in 1984. I spent several hundred dollars on the N65 and an additional zoom lens. It gave me a lot of good prints that made spending that kind of money worth it to me.

Never being one to want to break my routines in life, I’m usually the last one to switch to the latest & greatest. It wasn’t until 2007 when I finally broke down and bought my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot A550. It’s a very nice point & shoot camera and takes some decent photos when there’s not a lot of thought to have to put into the shot.

Jennifer, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. She’s not your typical “I want jewelry” kind of gal. She’d much prefer the latest electronic gadget over perfume and necklaces. She’s usually ready for the newest model of a camera before someone like me is even ready to buy the outdated stuff. She’s been serious into digital SLR photography for several years now and has become quite the pro, literally.  I, however, finally broke through and got my first digital SLR last week. Per her suggestion, I went with the entry level Nikon D40. I stuck with Nikon because as she says, when it comes to DSLRs, “we’re a Nikon family”. She had purchased the higher end Nikon D50 in 2006 and still swears by the quality of the unit as well as the quality of the images. My oldest brother also purchased a D40 a couple of years ago and he too raved about it. So, I finally decided after I spent a lot of time at the speedway this past May that I needed something that I could take decent shots of the action on the track, and the Canon A550 wasn’t built for that. It was time to go DSLR.

D40

I purchased it online through Wal*Mart as a package deal. It came with the body, 18-55mm lens, and 55-200mm zoom lens with the “Vibration Reduction” feature, which gives a helping hand to your photos under low light situations. I got it the day we went to the 2009 Indiana State Fair, so I was anxious to try out my new toy there. I waited until we got there before I took a shot with it. And that first shot was that of a deep fried pizza.

With some coaching from Jennifer on what to do with the manual settings, I was really happy with the results, especially of those at the Midway when it was dark.

I gave it some more work this past weekend at my dad’s birthday party. My 9 month old great niece Annabelle was more than willing to flash her blue eyes for me throughout the afternoon.

I’m probably going to sign up for a photography class through IUPUI’s continuing studies program to give me a refresher of all the info I forgot since I took that photography class in 11th grade. However, it won’t be soon enough, as I’ll be throwing myself to the wolves at the end of August when I give it a workout at an IndyCar night race near Chicago. Low light & fast moving objects…that should be a breeze.  :-/ Ahh, but I won’t be alone in learning my new Nikon over the coming weeks. Buying my D40 kind of pushed Jennifer over the edge in her decision to upgrade her D50, so she too bought a new Nikon, the D700 model. I can’t really explain all this model can do, but let’s just say it’s almost at the  top of the Nikon DSLR food chain.

The photos she’s created with her D50 have over the years generated a few bucks for her and even a free night’s stay at a Radisson in Cincinnati. I can only imagine this big daddy will probably generate enough bucks  for her next Nikon!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “A Fair Shot…

  1. Jim

    Props on the K1000.

    It strikes me that Jennifer could have just given you her D50, bought the D700, and saved you both a chunk of change!

  2. Pat B.

    You know, I thought of that after I got the D40. I think it was a situation that had I not bought it, she wouldn’t have bought her’s….the bug wouldn’t have bit her.

    One of my brothers has been buying up old Pentax SLRs on ebay of late and asked if I’d keep mine. I probably will and would unload the N65 before I would the K1000, even though the Nikon is light years ahead in technology. I figure if I take an SLR class and relearn everything I unlearn, I might have some fun with the Pentax. Just hope Walgreen’s still does 1 hour photo developing. Too many places are abandoning the process. I’d just be happy getting them developed on a CD and download them. I’ve got waaaay too many tubs of photos over the past 25 years that I’ll never do anything with….but hate to throw them out.

  3. Jennifer

    Funny, Jim…I “sort of” thought of that, but Pat definitely caught the bug to get the digital SLR. I truly wasn’t planning to get the D700 now, I was planning to wait until January. I also joked to Pat “So….I spend a couple thou, and just give you mine?” LOL I would have, of course… As I said, I wasn’t planning on buying it now, but a confluence of circumstances occurred Saturday, all nudging me toward making the purchase!

  4. Jim

    Yeah, clearly, the sequence of events was key to how this played out.

    I get my film developed at Snapfish.com. It costs about $5.50 to develop the roll and another $1.50 to download digital images. I usually have digital images within 3 days of mailing the film. I have asked them to consider offering a digital-image-only option, but they don’t seem interested. I don’t want the prints, either!

    I’ve had good luck with Wal-Mart’s photo center. Meijer’s was so-so and I didn’t like Target’s, primarily because the digital images they offer are much smaller than those from Wal-Mart and Meijer.

  5. Pingback: A Day at the RVIA Show — Part 1 | The Small Trailer Enthusiast

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