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Thread: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

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    Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Months ago, I contemplated a compilation of images using the lowly, forgotten Nikon cameras that are considered beneath the dignity of contemporary users. Contemptuous comments like "Don't live in the past" ensued, among others. But wait!

    After 18 hours in the ER, I am in a bad enough mood to continue with my original thoughts. Why? Because of results like these in a random search online:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/Nikon%20D2x/

    Most of my many thousands of images with the D2 cameras are in CD storage. One day(year?) I will access them and make them available for sharing.

    Until then, I will slowly create and post D2x images starting this year thanks to my good friend and forum member, Gary (bensonga).

    If anyone would enjoy posting images from their past work, I would really appreciate that effort.

    If someone wants to post negative comments, please start your own thread.
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    LOL! When I saw the subject title with "obsolete Nikons" in it, my thoughts immediately turned to my ancient and surely obsolete by now 1960-ish Nikon F plain prism.

    It's the last of my Nikon gear, a dead body that was given to me by a friend about ten years ago. It had been sitting with the lens missing in a box in his basement for who knows how long. Nothing corroded in it, just gucked up with dust and age ... I had it cleaned and lubricated, adjusted, etc for $170, and have my last two Nikkor lenses (an AI-ed 28mm f/2 and a 1969-ish Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5) to use on it.

    I did a quick test roll since I had it brought back to life, it works perfectly. You inspire me to go shoot some photos with it. Jeez, the list of cameras that I "should go shoot some photos with" is getting so long now...!!

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    As this thread begins, I would like to post this wonderful story, paraphrased by a friend in Italy. While not an absolute statement about photography it is certainly a good story that spoke to me. I hope all will enjoy this interesting perspective as it puts a new light on the notion that old cameras are obsolete and are therefore to be avoided.
    _________

    The story was about an older photographer who already was a famous photographer and a soon to be famous photographer, who was, in that time a young man starting his career. He’s now a well regarded famous photographer, too, and a strong Leica film user. I love his work! :-)

    "The younger man moved to Milan where he was introduced to the older, who often invited him into his studio to look at his work. During one of the encounters the younger was commenting: nice, very nice this one, ohhh so nice, etc etc…when suddenly the older photographer told him "you say again nice I’ll kick you out of my studio!""

    So the younger was surprised and (I guess) much embarrassed and asked, "Why?"

    The older photographer answered "a photo has not to be nice, a nice photo has a good light, good composition etc and it is all. A photo must be GOOD, must transmit emotion, tell a story, let you think about something, maybe not perfect light, maybe not perfect focus but must tell something."
    ___________
    Enjoy each day with whatever gear you choose.


    Edit: Ahh.. just found where this story came from. I hope the paraphrased account above does some justice to the impact that a good story has had over time.

    The power of a good story...

    https://www.leica-camera.blog/2017/1...erengo-gardin/
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Reminder to self:

    Purchase a new CD reader for archived TIFF files.

    Without the archived files available, this old JPEG has been changed and saved many times. This image is razor sharp in the TIFF files. But, it does show the capability of using an obsolete Nikon D2H to show the sheer heart and determination of a dedicated and obviously highly skilled athlete in a regional championship game.

    Nikon D2H 70-200 2.8:
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    A nice surprise with the Autumn winds today:

    Nikon D2x
    50mm 1.8 G:
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Ten years ago....



    Nikon D40, AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR @ 160mm (240mm equiv.), 1/25, f/5.6, ISO 400
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    [QUOTE=Darin Marcus;801537]Ten years ago....

    Oh, man! I loved my D40 and wish I had never sold it back years ago. It was so much fun!!! Using the D40 with the 70-200/2.8 was always a treat.

    Now, I have only the D3100 wishing for a D5600 but I would love another D40!

    Great image there, Darin!!!!

    Edit:

    Dang, just found a D40 (Ex+) with battery and charger for $59!!! Time to check my coin slush fund.
    Last edited by dave.gt; 14th October 2019 at 03:33.
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Thanks for starting this thread Dave!

    Here is one of the first shots I took with my D2x and a pre-AI 55mm Micro-Nikkor. At the time (and even today), I am so impressed with the detail captured by this "obsolete" 12mp APS-C camera and lens combo.

    When I bought the D2x in 2011 I told myself (and my wife) it was so I could have just one Nikon DSLR to use with my collection of Nikkor pre-AI to AIS lenses. Eight years later, there are newer and higher megapixel Nikon FF DSLRs and many AF Nikkors in my camera bags. But, the D2x is still one of my favorites...as is the pre-AI 55mm Micro-Nikkor.

    Gary

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    One more image showing the details a D2x can capture with a Nikkor manual focus lens (in this case, a AIS 50mm f1.4).

    Gary

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by dave.gt View Post
    Oh, man! I loved my D40 and wish I had never sold it back years ago. It was so much fun!!! Using the D40 with the 70-200/2.8 was always a treat.

    Now, I have only the D3100 wishing for a D5600 but I would love another D40!

    Great image there, Darin!!!!
    Thank you Dave!

    It was my first DSLR. I sold it in 2010 when I got a D700. I still remember how strongly people criticized Nikon when the D40 was announced back in 2006. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Marcus View Post
    Thank you Dave!

    It was my first DSLR. I sold it in 2010 when I got a D700. I still remember how strongly people criticized Nikon when the D40 was announced back in 2006. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
    The old saying,"Ain't that the truth?"

    The mind is snapped back to reality when one goes back 10 years to old forum postings and sees now those once-celebrated cameras have been discarded and relegated to used camera stores for sale at pennies on the dollar 0R permanently reside in landfills.

    But the gold is in there! Not only were great photos made in the "distant" past, but direct comparison of those cameras with a new one for most shooting these days reveals that the photographer is of more importance than the camera. That has always been pretty much true, at least for personal use images.

    It is, of course, nice to see jaw-dropping commercial images 10' long at a resolution that only a wildly expensive 150mp can produce. But we each must decide what, how, when where and why we shoot any camera. For personal satisfaction, I can enjoy my classic film cameras or any ergonomically designed digital camera that gives me good results. It really is up to me anyway.
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Here is a challenge:

    With a decade of more photography experience, much better imaging software and (hopefully) a better-trained eye over the years, I have found that the images I shoot now with any of my older cameras are better than the images from the same camera in 2009.

    The differences in software alone make re-processing a satisfying new experience!

    Try a few and see if you can tell the difference!

    Then do a contemporary comparison test with a favored old camera from a decade ago, shooting it alongside your current high-tech cam. Compare 8x12 images. Print them and frame them to view on your wall.

    It may be an interesting exercise. It was for me,
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    I will interrupt my contribution to this thread for a short time while I spend some camera therapy time with a roll of Velvia.

    "Gone Fishin', will return soon!"
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Crossposted from the “Artful pics of flora” thread.



    Nikon D40, Cosina Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SLII, 1/400, f/4, ISO 200

    This was reprocessed today from the original NEF using the current version of Capture NX-D and the current picture controls.
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Marcus View Post
    Crossposted from the “Artful pics of flora” thread.



    Nikon D40, Cosina Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SLII, 1/400, f/4, ISO 200

    This was reprocessed today from the original NEF using the current version of Capture NX-D and the current picture controls.
    Darin,

    Just wondering, did you notice a difference in the final image using the current software?
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by dave.gt View Post
    Darin,

    Just wondering, did you notice a difference in the final image using the current software?
    Hello Dave,

    I am using Nikon's Capture NX-D for NEF conversions. It has 2 modes of operation:
    - Camera compatible, which uses the camera's original picture controls, or, in the case of older cameras like the D40, the old color modes (I, II, III, Ia, IIIa,..).
    - Latest Picture Control, which uses the most recent profiles.

    In the case of the D40 files, there is little difference when processing NEFs using the camera compatible profiles. However, the differences are quite big when using the most recent picture controls, which also give access to modern sliders like clarity and mid-range sharpening.

    I am using the latest picture control mode, which allows me to get a similar(ish) look in photos from very different cameras (D810, Df, J5, Z6).

    I suspect that other RAW converters (Photoshop, Lightroom, C1, etc.) will show clear differences between OOC jpegs and modern processing for the older Nikons.
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Good light, good motif, good camera in hand.

    Nice image.

    Nikon D2x
    50/1.8 G:
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Just a casual shot of the change of seasons in our front yard. It seems the lone Red Maple tree is the sole harbinger of Autumn so far!

    Nikon D2x
    50 1.8 G:
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    I processed this with the original color mode (camera compatible):



    Nikon D40, AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR @ 65mm (98mm equiv.), 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 400
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    What a great thread! Must keep them coming....but what's with all these Nikon DSLR's? D40's? D2H's? D2x's? You got to be kidding? These are fairly recent additions to the Nikon line-up. How about a Nikon D1?

    "Autumn in Virginia"

    Nikon D1; Nikon 24-85mm f2.8-4

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    I have an "obsolete" lens question, hope it's not too far off topic:

    My 85mm lens is an ancient f/1.8 non-D. Optically, it's not a bad lens, but it's insanely noisy, very slowly when focusing and it's Bakelite style plastic is as ugly as it gets. Manual focusing is in reality impossible, due to lack of presission.

    So I consider buying a new one. I'd love to buy the f/1.4 AF-S, but it's out of my budget at the moment. So it's the f/1.4 AF or the f/1.8 AF-S. Objectively, the f/1.8 is the sharper lens, particularly around the edges and corners. However, the old f/1.4 has "something", particularly used with film. Used 1.4 costs around the same as a new 1.8. What to do? Has anybody owned both?

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I have an "obsolete" lens question, hope it's not too far off topic:

    My 85mm lens is an ancient f/1.8 non-D. Optically, it's not a bad lens, but it's insanely noisy, very slowly when focusing and it's Bakelite style plastic is as ugly as it gets. Manual focusing is in reality impossible, due to lack of presission.

    So I consider buying a new one. I'd love to buy the f/1.4 AF-S, but it's out of my budget at the moment. So it's the f/1.4 AF or the f/1.8 AF-S. Objectively, the f/1.8 is the sharper lens, particularly around the edges and corners. However, the old f/1.4 has "something", particularly used with film. Used 1.4 costs around the same as a new 1.8. What to do? Has anybody owned both?
    Hi Jørgen

    I have both - true the old AF 1.4 version can be used with all Nikons - but as I hardly ever shoot film anymore - I most often use the new F1.8 AFS version - it is light, compact, super sharp and a delight to use.

    HTH, SB
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    ....but what's with all these Nikon DSLR's? D40's? D2H's? D2x's? You got to be kidding? These are fairly recent additions to the Nikon line-up.
    From a certain point of view, if it has a CCD sensor, it IS obsolete...



    Nikon D40, AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR @ 150mm (225mm equiv.), 1/250, f/11, ISO 400
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Darin Wrote >>>>"From a certain point of view, if it has a CCD sensor, it IS obsolete" <<<

    Agree...but that leads to the question as to why are you posting an image derived from an obsolete camera? Oh wait, this is the fun with Obsolete Nikons thread!

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    I took this in 1976 with my (then not) obsolete Nikon f Photomic FTn.

    Ian.
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    This speaks for itself.

    Nikon D2x
    50mm 1.8 G:


    Wide Open on a rainy day. Surrealism can sometimes be better than the chaotic world we experience every day.
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    After many weeks of feeling quite ill, I picked up the Nikon D2x and attempted a quick handheld capture of our first tulip of the year. I felt completely out of practice... the pollen is quite obvious even with the available light.

    I think with a lot more shooting, I will get back in the zone. But, it felt great using the D2x in spite of my mind being elsewhere with the stress all around. I am looking forward to bonding quickly again with this camera, it is really a favorite since I had a long run with my first D2x years ago. Now, my mind just needs tuning, if that is possible!

    Nikon D2x 50mm 1.8:
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Wonderful photo Dave! Showed it to my wife and after she said how beautiful it is she also said “That’s just not fair!” We still have a few feet of snow on the ground here in Alaska. Spring is probably 4-6 weeks away.

    Gary
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Marcus View Post
    From a certain point of view, if it has a CCD sensor, it IS obsolete...



    Nikon D40, AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR @ 150mm (225mm equiv.), 1/250, f/11, ISO 400
    Darin,

    When I see your images, I am both delighted and a little sad.
    I still miss my D40!!!!
    Dave (GT)
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Wonderful photo Dave! Showed it to my wife and after she said how beautiful it is she also said “That’s just not fair!” We still have a few feet of snow on the ground here in Alaska. Spring is probably 4-6 weeks away.

    Gary
    Haha! Gary, I am sure there are blossoms in the snow somewhere in the Great White North.

    Thanks for the kind post!

    The weather has been so strange the last year, I am not sure what to expect with these tulips or the hybrid roses for that matter. I need to get busy gardening, there is so much to do. Maybe this year I will forego fertilizing them with weed killer!
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    With the pandemic lockdowns and depression ruling our lives lately, I urge everyone to pick up a camera and have fun with it! It is therapeutic!

    Be sure to use your old neglected obsolete cameras and see just how good a photographer you really are. You may be surprised and post them here!

    I hope so!
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by dave.gt View Post
    Darin,

    When I see your images, I am both delighted and a little sad.
    I still miss my D40!!!!
    Thank you Dave.
    The D40 was my first DSLR, so I do have fond memories of it.
    But I do not regret the upgrade to the D700 Apparently the same team from Nikon was responsible for both those cameras....

    Continuing your "red" theme, this one comes from 2009, and the NEF was just reprocessed in Capture NX-D using the (original) camera compatible profile:



    D40 & the (new) 55-200mm VR zoom of the time
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    D50 if I am not totally wrong....
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    olympusstuff nikonstuff fujistuff variousstuff
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Life changes in a heartbeat, or the blink of an eye. Not long ago, no one ever heard of Covid-19. Now the whole world knows and fears the pandemic that has taken over the globe and caused so much suffering and death.

    Today, I walked out into the backyard, with my trusty D2x and enjoyed a short time shooting the hybrid roses. It was a good time to do camera therapy and soothed my soul for awhile. Later, while feeling better and enjoying processing some of the images, I received a disturbing text just as I finished this image:


    The text was bad news as we learned that my wife's brother tested positive for Covid-19 today with a severe cough. He is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known and he and his wife have become replacement parents for their two granddaughters and now this...

    We are heartbroken but I will take this hybrid rose as a good omen because it survived my inadvertent spraying of weed killer last year. It is a survivor.

    I will now rename this rose, "Rick's Rose", in anticipation of his being a survivor too.
    Last edited by dave.gt; 3 Weeks Ago at 16:46.
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    I must add that the Nikon 50/1.8 G still amazes me.
    It has become like a pair of comfortable jeans that just fits right and does what it does with the ability to produce fine images with just the right feeling that I am looking for.
    Last edited by dave.gt; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:01.
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    An oldie taken with the D70 and the standard kit lens at the time, the Nikkor 18-70mm, which made a pretty good combination with that CCD sensor.

    backlit-flowers by SB Macro, on Flickr
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  37. #37
    Senior Member dave.gt's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Hmmm.., as I think back, I never had an opportunity to work with a D70. Thank you for sharing that beautiful CCD image!
    Dave (GT)
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  38. #38
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Quote Originally Posted by dave.gt View Post
    Hmmm.., as I think back, I never had an opportunity to work with a D70. Thank you for sharing that beautiful CCG image!
    It was a fun camera - while it lasted - but I never bonded with it - like when we got the D700 - truly the 1st digital Nikon that just felt right - IMHO.

    Digital photography was so different then - I remember the hassle of trying to shoot raw - a real PITA - now it's taken for granted.

  39. #39
    Senior Member dave.gt's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Still, I harbor a need, a calling, to use a now "obsolete" 200 2.0 with an "obsolete" Nikon body of choice. Maybe a D4/5/6...

    Why?

    Because I value feeling in an image more than technical perfection. Think Noctilux wide open in available darkness, or delicious, creamy bokeh.

    Think film. Think Polaroids. Think anything, that is what moves me.
    Obsolete art rules! Lol...

    Dave (GT)
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  40. #40
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    About as obsolete as you can get - Nikon D70 and AF-D 85mm f1.4

    Tulip D70 Ticino by SB Macro, on Flickr

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  41. #41
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    There is (was?) definitely something to the way the "fat pixel" FF DSLR's render(ed), especially for B&W. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but my theory is since they also had natively a lower DR than newer cams, that in turn allows them to render a little closer to a film response curve out of the gate.(?) Of course we can get there with more modern sensors, it just takes some careful trimming off the appropriate end (or ends) and tweaking the gamma and output curve.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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  42. #42
    Senior Member dave.gt's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    Ah, the yellow hybrid rose that changes color through each stage of maturation but also changes hour to hour. Sometimes it is more orange and at other times it is more light and translucent. It is really difficult at times to capture the true color.

    But the D2x renders this one in a softer image than I have found with MFD. In some ways I like this one better.

    Nokon D2x 50mm1.8/G:
    Dave (GT)
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  43. #43
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with "Obsolete" Nikons

    A D700 oldie -

    Haferwurzel by SB Macro, on Flickr - click on image for larger view.

    Salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius, cultivated in the past for its edible root, now as an ornamental flower.

    Nikon D700 with Sigma 150mm Macro.
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