You may have realised that I spend a lot of time in my backyard. I often eat my breakfast sat on the upper patio (that sounds grand!) and when weather permits I like nothing better than sitting with a mug of tea and contemplating life. As well as domestic duties (note the washing line) it is also one of my main photographic locations as I’ve noted many times in my blog over the years.
So what I thought I’d do this week is something that Postcard Cafe actually suggested a month or so back and that is a slideshow of just a few of my favourite backyard images both old and new. I mentioned in a previous video post that I once owned two slide projectors and struggled vainly to produce the sort of slideshow that nowadays many photographers take for granted – I’m hoping that my 2017 attempt is better than my 1977 efforts!
So enjoy this selection, I always enjoy making photographs in the old back yard and I hope you enjoy seeing them.
It’s that time of the year when I spend hours fruitlessly trying to capture winged creatures in the garden. It’s like bashing your head on a rock and so I call it my annual penance as I rarely get something worth keeping.
Nikon D7100 with Sigma 105mm macro lens. Handheld 1/800th sec f7.1 ISO 400.
If there is one thing which initially put me off sharing my thoughts on the move to incorporate mirrorless in my set up it was the “I sold all my dSLR kit and moved to mirrorless and never regretted it” stories that abound both on the internet and even in the real world.
I did sell some of my Nikon gear to finance the foray into Fuji-X-land it’s true but I kept a fully featured Nikon kit (one full frame and one cropped sensor body with five lenses covering 14mm – 300mm) and I still use it, even if it is used less frequently than in the past. My decision to give the Fuji-X series a try was centred around having a lighter option which made for more portable and relaxing photography especially on family trips or days out. It is fair to say that the experience of using the Fuji-X kit has far exceeded my expectations and I cannot see me returning to a DSLR-only set-up. It has fully met the brief in terms of weight and portability and the Fuji have exceeded my expectations in terms of image quality and the sheer enjoyment of using the equipment.
All of which does not mean that the Nikon DSLRs have suddenly become terrible cameras nor that I’ve suddenly stopped enjoying using them. For macro work and indoor work such as my water-splash photography the Nikon D750 with Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens is still my go-to option, the Fuji kit I have simply cannot match this set up for flexibility to even usability.
The other area where I feel the Fuji system still has limitations is with regards to wildlife photography. I am not a regular bird photographer but when I do I use the D7100 with a 300mm f4 prime lens and a 1.4 converter which gives me just over 600mm in full-frame terms (300 x 1.5 x 1.4 = 630) and the combination produces sharp, crisp images which are perfectly good for my use. The focus on the crop-sensor Nikon is very responsive and with appropriate care I’ve had some good results. From everything I read, whilst Fuji are making strides in this direction they haven’t got there yet.
I had a good conversation today with a friend of mine who has followed a similar path to mine, albeit he is six months ahead of me. Long story short he came to the same conclusions as I have and currently runs two systems. He finally loosed the shackles of full frame and has kept a Nikon DX camera with a 50mm prime and the three telephoto lenses he uses for wildlife. For everything else he uses a Fuji X-T2 and X-Pro2. Whilst the exact make-up of our kit differs he has basically adopted the same dual-system set-up that I am tending towards and it works for him. I think it is going to work well for me too.
As the images here show I was out yesterday with two Nikon DSLRs, three f2.8 lenses and a hefty tripod. As always a delight to use and I’m well pleased with the results. My shoulders and back however reminded me this morning what I had been carrying yesterday.
So, if I had one, I guess my mantra would be “I sold some kit, made the move to a part-mirrorless/part-DSLR system and I am not regretting it”.