by Anura Guruge
I have to confess with a modicum of embarrassment and, of course, some amusement, that deciding to buy a Nikon D500 was probably the HARDEST decision I have ever made in my life!
I appreciate that I have entered into marriage, filed for divorce and even refused to have kids because I felt I was ‘too young’ with considerably less thought and deliberation. Yes, two keywords that clearly defined much of my life have been ‘impulsive’ and ‘impetuous’. I am sure that getting older, and I will be 63 soon, had to have played a role — but I don’t think that that was all of it.
And, fortunately, it hasn’t to do with the cost either. Despite what some of you may think I am very careful and conservative when it comes to matters fiscal. I live within my means and budget. Way back, nine months ago, I had budgeted for the Fuji X-T1 successor (i.e., the X-T2) and had been forced to be somewhat generous as I had no idea as to whether Fuji planned to mark it up well above that of the X-T1. So budget wise I am OK. SMILE. So the agonizing, over the last 2 weeks, was not about the costs either.
As some of you know I rented a Nikon D500, with a Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens, from LensRental, for 8 days (one week rental + one day complimentary). I would like to say that I fell in love with the D500 during that week. Not so.
I did not, at any stage, come anywhere close to loving the Nikon D500.
And hence the real horns of the dilemma.
I do NOT even LIKE the Nikon D500!
Yep, you read that right. So, I am going to buy an expensive camera that I do not like. Yes, that is it. And hence the soul-searching. Like an arranged marriage.
Why would I, even given my propensity for ‘craziness’, do something as crazy, if NOT outright stupid, as that.
Because during the last 3 days with the Nikon D500 I came to RESPECT it.
Over the decades I have come to realize that respecting someone or something is more important than liking that someone or something.
Let me show you.
I was lucky enough to be able to take pictures of Mystic Aquarium (in Connecticut), on consecutive days, first with the D500 (on August 17, 2016) and the next day with my now erstwhile Fuji X-E2s. I made sure I took the same subjects from the same vantage points. So have a look.
Nikon D500 on the left, Fuji X-E2s with the kit 18-55 lens on the right.
Yes, a more proficient photographer than I probably could have got better pictures from the X-E2s. I probably could have too, if I took more time. That is not my style. I like to shoot quick.
Yes, many will complain that the D500/Tamron is over 2.5x times the cost of the Fuji X-E2s. That is true. But my D500 is NOT a replacement for the X-E2s. I am getting a Nikon P900 to replace the X-E2s. The D500 is instead of the new Fuji X-T2.
And then there were these three pictures — all taken in and around Mystic.
Click to ENLARGE.
The first picture, taken at “Foxwoods“, when Teischan and I went there for dinner was the clincher.
I, as you know, take a LOT of concert pictures. I took this one, point-and-shoot using 300mm. I already had ISO at 8,000. So didn’t touch that. Cranked up exposure compensation ‘plus tow notches’ and shot — handheld. And I had so much more ISO left. I then realized that this was a camera to contend with.
Very personal. My camera. A LOT has to do with lenses and my shooting style. The 18-55mm was the ONLY Fuji lens that I liked — and 55mm, top end, was way too short for me. 300mm, like above, suits me. And then there is my style. I am basically a ‘point-and-shoot’ photographer who likes sophisticated cameras that give me lots of bells and whistles. Yes, I play around with ISO, exposure and White Balance. But once set for a ‘location’ I will shoot away without stopping to fiddle too much — bar checking exposure. Hence why the D500, in the end, came through.
All this said, I am not getting the D500 right now. Probably not in September. First need to get my “Brain Meditation” book published. I then want to spend at least two weeks reading up the D500 documentation and boning up on it. So, most likely order it in early October. Till then I will have the Nikon P900 to keep me amused and to provide you, with a a minimum, the “6 Images of the Day”.
OK? Yes, of course, I will keep you posted.
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by Anura Guruge