Cameras and Me – A New Camera


Many of the pictures on this blog have been taken with my Nikon Coolpix L120. It is a point and shoot camera but most of the time it has been quite adequate for my needs. Previously I had been using a little Fujifilm digital camera and David bought me the Nikon for Christmas one year because he knew that I wished I had a better camera for taking photos at cricket matches in the summer.

Nikon Coolpix L120s5s.jpg
By 663highland663highland, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16466622

On one of the last days of our holiday the Nikon got broken. I think it happened when I was trying to pick up all my luggage at our hotel in Sydney. The bag slipped out of my hand. The next morning I set off for Circular Quay to get a ferry but on the way I stopped to take a photo of an interesting building. That was when I discovered that my lens was shattered. Luckily I did have a spare camera back at the hotel so I went back to get it but it was a very upsetting moment.

I will enquire but I doubt that it will be worth the expense of getting the camera repaired. I feel sad because it was a gift from David but I will keep it and display it with the other cameras in his collection. In the meantime I needed a new camera. I do still have the Fujifilm and I also have David’s little Canon Powershot which I like because it is small enough to fit in my handbag but still takes a good photo. A lot of my shipboard photos were taken with it. However neither of those are very good for action photography.

 

I had to decide what I would buy to replace the Nikon. I could get the most recent model of that camera or I could take the opportunity to go up to a DSLR.  Last year David decided that he was ready to buy a DSLR camera himself and while he was in hospital I took him in his old camera magazines so he could read reviews and decide what he wanted to buy. He had already said that he would buy a Pentax camera as our old SLR cameras were all Pentax’s and David liked the idea of being able to keep using the lenses we already had. It didn’t worry him that autofocus might not work on the new camera. He was old school and liked to do things himself.  After a lot of study he picked out what he wanted and the plan was that we would buy it when he came out of hospital. I wasn’t sure whether he’d get a lot of opportunities to take photos while he was housebound but I liked the idea that we were making plans for the future as we always enjoyed doing photography together.

Anyway after giving the matter some thought I decided that maybe I would buy a DSLR myself. I had fully intended to learn to use David’s once he bought it.  I hope I will still get to the odd cricket match in the future so I definitely need a better lens than the Canon has for action photos. As I am the cautious type though I decided that I would buy a used camera to see how I liked using it and how I handled carrying a heavier camera. I sometimes find it hurts my back to walk around with a heavy bag all day. While I was on holiday, I experimented with carrying fewer personal belongings though and managed quite nicely. I could manage the camera if I didn’t have a heavy purse full of coins and cards as well.

I searched eBay for Pentax DSLR cameras and found several in my price range.  I found one that came with both an 18-55mm lens and a Sigma 100-300mm lens. Tht sounded good because I do like autofocus while I am learning a new camera. It had the box, manuals and accessories as well so I decided to bid and rather to my surprise nobody else bid and I won it. It is a K10D, not the exact model that David was looking at but one he certainly would have bid on if he’d been looking in the secondhand market. So now I am busy reading “Digital Photography for Dummies” which I had given him for his birthday last year and waiting for the camera to arrive.

I think that what I know from using my old Pentax MG SLR will help me become accustomed to the new camera but there is always more you can learn and this will give me motivation to get out and take even more pictures..

Pentax KR10D

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

10 comments

  1. I didn’t even know that you were walking around with the Nikon brand, and it’s sad that this gift is now broken. You are right, often the repair of tech products would cost more than buying a new product, or one from the second hand market.

    Nikon, Pentax, Canon, one thing is sure, they all build high quality products with nice image quality in various price classes. Before I bought my Nikon D7100, I went to the stores and had several cameras of all brands in my hands, and for some reason I didn’t like the knob and wheel layout of most Canon cameras, they are probably awesome cameras, I just didn’t like the handling. When I had Nikons and Pentax cameras in my hand, I liked them more in my hands.

    You cover a nice focal lengths with the 18-55mm lens and the Sigma 100-300mm lens. My 18-105mm is always a great help if I need wide-angle at 18mm, for example in cities, or wide-angle shots in forests, or near rivers. I used this one either as wide-angle, or most of the time at 105mm, but rarely inbetween, except for portraits maybe. I think your 18-55mm is perfect, and you cover the rest over 100mm with your 100-300mm. Later I felt limited at 105mm, which is why I bought my 70-300mm Tamron then, it’s now more fun with both lenses, as I can cover different focal lengths too with both lenses. I am pretty much sure if you will have the same fun.

    1, 2, 3, yours 🙂 Good that you could get the camera with two lenses. And yes, since you used a Pentax already, you probably will get used to it quickly. Hope you receive the package soon, and I am curious about your future photos. I am happy for you 🙂

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    • I was quite surprised that David bought me a Nikon as we’ve always been Pentax people but he put a lot of thought into what I would need and for a compact camera it did the job very well. I’ll miss it. I’ll certainly be writing about my first attempts with the DSLR when it comes. I like a wide angle lens myself as I take a lot of landscapes and buildings but the100- 300mm will be excellent for sport. When we used to photograph steam engines and motorsport we bought a couple of long lenses, a 200m and a really massive one which I think is either a 300 or 400mm. It really is big and heavy though so I don’t know if I’d want to use it now. David was also very fond of using a 2x converter which worked OK in good light. We had a few different length zoom lenses because there were two of us using them and I still have some of these so will try them with the new camera too. Watch this space 🙂

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      • What kind of aperture did the lenses have that David used with the 2x converter? I am asking because my Tamron 70-300mm is f/4-5.6, so a 2x teleconverter would make me lose two stops of light and put me to f/11 at 300mm.

        I have read in the web that a 2x converter would make it difficult to take pictures with my “slow” lens. But I did set my camera manually to f/11 andI can’t really see the problem. I could shot totally bright photos at f/11 even at ISO 100 with cloudy weather… if I used faster shutter speed, I adjusted ISO to be higher and it still worked well. Only at 1/1000s speed the images became extremely dark and unusable. That would make me think that a 2x converter would work well for birds that are not moving, or other static things, only for action it could be difficult, but I wonder how it would be under strong sunlight conditions. I assume light is not the only thing to think about, autofocus ability is probably something to think about it.

        Using a 2x teleconverter was always an idea that sounded interesting. In my case it would increase my range to 600mm if I understand it right, that’s quite a lot, that’s why I ask. 🙂

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      • Hi Dennis, David liked 2x convertors a lot, especially when we had not yet bought many long lenses. It is a long time ago for me to remember but he certainly used it with his 50mm prime lens and I think he may have used it with a zoom of up to 100mm to get to 200mm. I can’t remember if he ever used it with our larger zoom which I think was 80-200mm. Of course he mainly did this in daylight but setting the f stops manually it seemed to work. He normally liked to use 100ASA film and as he had a very steady hand that seemed to work for him. I don’t have such a steady hand so tended to prefer a faster film myself although 100 ASA was fine if I didn’t have the extra weight of a zoom lens to deal with. We thought that the 2x converter was a good substitute for a longer lens until we could afford one and still handy if we both wanted to use one. When the new camera comes I intend to get the old lenses out to see if they work on it so I’ll tell you more about them then here or via email.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Vanda, I am curious about your experience with the new gear, and if the converter will work for you 🙂

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  2. I’m sorry to hear your other camera got broken, especially since it was a gift from David. 😦 Congratulations on the new camera and lens though. I hope you have many fantastic photo sessions with it!

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