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My Gear

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I've had my Nikon D7000 for a few years now, and I love it! It was the first in the new generation of Nikons to have a new type of metering and focussing sensor, along with a new image sensor, and it really shows. The difference between in and my previous camera, the trusty D90, is remarkable. Every aspect of the camera seems to have been updated with the realignment of the Nikon ranges, and the D7000 even outpaces the D300 in almost every respect, whcih is an impressive feat. The D300 is due to be replaced by the (presumably) D400, but until that happens, the D7000 will be king of the DX bodies. The performance of the new image sensor also puts it up there with the D700, Nikon's base full-frame body, and again it leaves the D700 behind when it comes to focus tracking and metering. Again, the D700 is due to be upgraded as well, but the D7000 can easily hold its own until then.

To pair with that excellent body, I have a few lenses, including the basic 18-105 f3.5-5.6 VR kit lens from the D90. As a kit lens, this is "grand" and it covers a good range for a walkaround, jack-of-all-trades lens, but of course it can't compare to the more serious lenses when it comes to image quality. Next in the list is the "Nifty Fifty", possibly my favourite lens due to a price/performance ratio which is just leagues above every other lens out there. I think it cost me in the region of ?110, and its 50mm length combined with the f1.8 aperture makes for a really useful lens for low light work, as well as the gorgeous, shallow depth of field it provides. Of course the f1.4 version would be nicer, but at three times the price is tricky to justify.

Next up is the 105mm f2.8 VR macro lens, which is actually a great all-round lens for situations needing the wide aperture and the bit of length. Of course, it's limited as a walk-around due to the length and lack of zoom, but it has a permanent place in my kit bag nonetheless! And finally, I have the awesome 24-70mm f2.8, which is probably the one that spends most time on my camera. And not without reason: it's a fantastic lens, usable as a walk-around lens, as well as being great for portraits, events, gigs and so on. The image quality, sharpness and detail is startling, especially with the shallow depth of field coming into play. It does unfortunately tend to suffer from internal reflections and flare when there's a strong light source in the scene, so some care has to be taken there, but the results are worth the extra thought.

Flash-wise, I have a Nikon SB-900 and my trusty old SB-800 as a second unit. They're both fantastic flashes, and I have to say, the Nikon lighting system is awesome! Exposure is almost always spot on, and when multiple flashes are in use, wirelessly setting them to different levels is a doddle with the in-camera menus. To go with these I have a couple of basic lightstands with Manfrotto adjustable clamp heads, white shoot-through umbrellas, and a few gels to go with the diffuser domes of the flashes for subtle (or not so subtle) colour in the flashes' light.



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