|Photographic gear plays a vital role when your main focus is image composition and visual Arts.
In my early college years, using my hobby to supplement my income, I was pretty much exposed to everything photographic under the sun! Working for the university media department as a Year Book photographer, gave me the opportunity to pretty much put the pedal to the metal, as the saying goes, testing my gear in rigorous working environments! Oftentimes, taking assignments outdoors in extreme weather conditions, Freezing cold in the fall and winter, and extremely hot and humid in the summer!
Granted that the North East is'nt exactly the African Sahara or even the Arctic icelands, far from it! Nevertheless; to say that my operating conditions were difficult would be an understatement! I was a young student then, with limited financial resources and my photographic gear consisted of a collection of different makes and models of cameras that I gathered over the years ! A Nikon F3 HP and several other makes and models; which I will not name for the reason that I speak of my own personal experience!
With constant use and abuse day in and day out; my Nikon F3 proved to be the most dependable and resilient of the bunch. I also noticed that the Nikon performance, despite the daily torture; was the most consistant! There was no degradation whatsoever in the operating functions of the Nikon, as the others showed signs of ware and tare far sooner with noticeable regression in their performance! If you have been a photographer for long, professional or otherwise; you probably know exactly what I mean!
As much as I wanted to upgrade fully to Nikon gear and optics, my financial means were still very limited. Having no alternative; I decided to keep an open mind, taking mental notes as I go along, but with more dependance on my rather limited Nikon system. As things developed, my reliance on Nikon has dramatically increased, more out of necessity and down right need. The other makes either simply failed to meet my requirements or Nikon simply did the job better! Slowly I began to phase out my other gear in favor of Nikon bodies and optics, it is a choice I knew from personal trials and tribulations that I'll never regret!
With time, my interest in photography has taken an evolution. Photo journalism was pretty much an old college job that helped pay the bills, however; my passion for photography was still going strong. Finally, I began to focus on what made me embrace this hobby in the first place; an admiration and a keen interest in Abstract Arts, shapes and forms that are rich in color contrast and detail! I began to compose images based on these values; the camera became my paint brush and the film strip my canvas!
With my career taking off in the right direction; I decided to compliment my Nikon gear with a new addition. A Camera I always craved for, one with a history and a reputation unlike any other; a Leica Rangefinder. After putting my Leica and Leitz Wetzlar optics to the test; my expectations were far exceeded by their legendary performance. The Leica exhibited mechanical precision and built quality that is outstanding. The Leitz Wetzlar optics exhibited remarkable image resolution and color rendition; I was in love! With Nikon's resiliency and Leica's timelss precision and quality; I knew I had a win, win situation! All I had to do is peak through the viewfinder and be creative!
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|Why Nikon &
The resilient and highly dependable Nikon D2H Digital SLR body. Bottom:
The Most desirable and widely used zoom lens in the Nikon lineup; The razor sharp AFS 80~200mm 1:2.8D ED-IF, with 5 elements of ED glass and Silent Wave Auto Focus motor. Also available with VR, Vibration Reduction technology.
LEICA M6 RANGEFINDER SYSTEM:
Leica M6 Classic & M6 TTLs, .85 & .72 viewfinders:
The Leica M6 is a fully mechanical workhorse; highly dependable and reliable. The camera is small and light weight, great for low key situations where you do not want to cause distractions and noises. The shutter is remarkably quite and very accurate. The Leica M6 blossoms with every trigger of the shutter; its skin becomes vibrant and radiant with body oil. The Leica M6 loves to be used, this camera has so much character and personality; it really grows on you!. The build quality is simply put; superb!
ERNST LEITZ, WETZLAR GERMANY, LEICA LENSES:
Elmarit M 21mm 1:2.8 Aspherical Ultra Wide angle lens: Extremely sharp lens [Razor Sharp] My favorite for landscapes, perspective, special effects and architecture photography. A truly remarkable lens that exhibit extremely balanced images with virtually no distortion and virtually no vigniting by the frame edges; a typical anomaly of most other ultra wide angle lenses. Excellent color saturation and rendition.
Summicron M 50mm 1:2 Normal lens: Extremely sharp lens [Razor Sharp] Excellent for close up pictures, portraiture and stills. Produces remarkable background out-of-focus effects that add to the over all quality of the image. Excellent color satuartion and rendition. Lens also exhibit outstanding control of perspective without too much image flattening effects.
Summicron M 35mm 1:2 Aspherical lens: Extremely sharp lens [Razor Sharp] Great for stills and nature photography, Great ability to control depth of field, or lack of it; depending on the photographers personal preferrence. Excellent color saturation and rendition.
Summicron M 90mm 1:2 APO Aspherical tele lens: Extremely sharp lens [Razor Sharp] Excellent lens for portraiture and still photography, where the flat image effect is desired. Produces remarkable blurring backround effects, extremely fast lens for its 90mm focal length. Great for low light people photography. Excellent color saturation and rendition.
NIKON SLR SYSTEM:
Nikon F5 SLR Film Camera:
The Nikon F5 represents the peak in state of the art, SLR analog technology. A truly remarkable professional class work horse with far reaching capabilities. Extremely resilient and reliable. Excellent build quality and consistant high performance in all weather conditions.
Nikon D2H Digital SLR:
After experimenting with a digital Nikon D70 camera, I was so impressed that I decided to upgrade to its professional class brethern, the D2H. 4.1 Megapixel at 8 frames per second, up to 40 frames in jpeg format. The D2H exhibits the resiliency of the Nikon F5, but with digital capabilities.
NIKON NIKKOR AFS-D LENSES:
AFS Nikkor 17~35mm 1:2.8D ED-IF Aspherical zoom: Extremely sharp zoom lens [Razor Sharp] High performance and
high speed Ultra wide angle lens. Utilizes Silent wave autofocus motor technology and aspherical lens design. Great for landscapes, architecture and nature photography. Maintains high speed 1:2.8 appreture throughout the zooming range.
AFS Nikkor 28~70mm 1:2.8D ED-IF Aspherical zoom: Extremely sharp zoom lens [Razor Sharp] High performance and high speed Auto Focus lens with Silent Wave auto focus motor technology. Excellent range from wide angle at 28mm to low range tele at 70mm. Great for Nature, Architecture and portraiture photography. Excellent color saturation and rendition. Maintains its fast 1:2.8 appreture throughout the zooming range.
AFS Nikkor 80~200mm 1:2.8D ED-IF telephoto zoom lens: Extremely sharp lens [Razor Sharp] high performance and high speed mid range telephoto zoom lens with Silent Wave auto focus motor technology. Great for close up, portraiture, sports and still photography. Produces remarkable blurring background effects and flat images. Excellent for Abstract two dimentional still effects. Excellent color saturation and rendition. Maintains its fast 1:2.8 appreture setting throughout the zooming range.
Nikon Nikkor AIs 400mm 1:3.5 ED-IF tele lens: Extremely sharp [Razor Sharp] high performance telephoto lens. Excellent for wild life and sports photography. Excellent saturation and color rendition. Produces quite remarkable blurring background effects. The lens is relatively big and heavy; but that is to be expected considering its relatively high speed maximum appreture of 1:3.5 to 400mm focal length.
Nikon Nikkor AFS-VR 24~120mm 1:3.5~5.6D/G ED-IF Asph. zoom lens: A very Sharp zoom lens, excellent color saturation and rendition. Excellent range coverage from almost ultra wide angle at 24mm to low range tele at 120mm. Excellent for all around and all purpose photography. A SLOW zoom lens because of its maximum appreture settings of 3.5~5.6. Utilizes a new Vibration Reduction technology and a Silent Wave auto focus motor. Excellent size and weight, great for light packing travel photography.
|Top picture: In Yosemite National Park, March 2004. Two of my favorite cameras to carry around in the woods; a Nikon F5 with AFS Nikkor 28~70mm 1:2.8D ED-IF zoom, and a Leica M6 rangefinder, with a Leica 21mm 1:2.8 ASPH. wide angle lens.|
|Limited Special Edition serial numbered LEICA M6|
|LEICA R A N G E F I N D E R|