Long serving committee and honorary member Cat Humphries gives us the third instalment of her four part series of her photographic relationship with
Pentax Nikon. Enjoy!
First Impressions and Testing Times
Bump! That was me falling back down to earth. The dreams of a Nikon set-up had carried me away, but the cost involved in making the switch soon made me come tumbling down.
One of the things that attracted me to Pentax was the sheer number of lenses available, and the reasonable cost of second-hand gear. Yes, I know the pre-loved kit was because no-one wanted them, but like my two rescue pups, I can’t bear to see things being abandoned.
I’ve been a bit of a magpie when it comes to Pentax gear. My other half always says that you need to use the right tool for the job so over the years I’ve collected many different lenses. The good news at the time was that all of them were bought for a “reasonable” price but now that means that I shouldn’t get my hopes up that they’re worth much.
A quick email to Wex’s trade in department should give me an idea on how much budget I would have. That’ll enable me to make a measured decision on what to do next…
5 minutes later.
… OMG what have I done? Ebay, why did you taunt me so? What happened to self control????
1 day later.
I appear to have in my hands a reconditioned D7500. How did that happen? Things are too easy to buy these days. At least I can return it within 30 days – no quibbles.
1 minute later.
What use is a camera body without a lens? Time to call in reinforcements!
The next day – a sunny Saturday.
Get up early to give the D7500 a test run before breakfast (too excited to lie in!). First impressions; not too heavy, fits well in my hand, dials in all the right places, menus look easy to navigate. Oooooo with this tilting touchscreen you are really spoiling us. Stop it Catherine, don’t let it distract you with it’s fancy new-fangled ways! This is about the images, not its attractiveness. Time to get a lens on it, courtesy of Mr Highet and his Sigma 70-200mmm 2.8 … Hang on, it’s all the wrong way round! It’s like a left-hand-drive car. Feels weird. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually?
How does it compare to the old K5II with my Tamron 70-200 2.8 (affectionately known as the big b****er) on it? Not bad. It’s actually very similar in size with the Sigma being a bit heavier than the Tamron, increasing the overall weight by about 200g.
Let’s pop out to the garden for a quick snap before breakfast. Very speedy auto-focus, lovely big screen to check the images on, good sharpness and rich colours. What do you expect outdoors in sunshine with a good bit of glass on it? How about indoors and a black-&-white dog? That’ll test it.
What this needs is a ropey el-cheapo lens… thank you Mr Amazon! Bring on the Tamron 70-300mm Macro, with no HSM, no stabilization and a snail-like F4-5.6. That’s more like it!
Back outdoors and ewwwww the focus is so slow! No chance of catching birds or jets with this one, no matter how much the D7500 tries to catch-up with its 3D tracking. Looks rather soft too but let’s see what Lightroom does with them.
That was quick! Schoolboy error, the Nikon was just in Jpeg mode… must fix that!
Very pleased with the metering on the Nikon. It coped with my dog Kobe’s black and white fur amazingly well, something that the Pentax always struggled with. The Tamron was surprisingly sharp – at f10 at least – but disappointingly soft on the macro shots I tried. This lens will be going back where it came from pronto.
The yellow petals on the sunflower can be tricky to expose too and the Nikon’s done a good job. Comparing the colours on the Tamron and Sigma there is a noticeable difference.
I now have more photos than I will ever need of my neighbours TV aerials, as I tested the focussing speed on far-away objects. Blimey, they’re sharp!
I’m getting to like this Nikon lark. What I need is a socially distant informal gathering to test the D7500 and Sigma lens combination, so I can compare it to an almost identical socially distant informal gathering I photographed but two weeks prior to today…
Next time: A Back Garden Busk and Decision Time