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Nikon Owner Issue 14

Letters to the Editor

Nikon D70 – I was amazed

I thought you might be interested in an experiment I tried recently. I wished to compare the quality of an A3 print from two sources; one from a scanned 35mm transparency, the other from a D70 digital SLR. The slide was scanned using Nikon’s dedicated slide scanner (V ED) from a Velvia 50 ISO transparency; the D70 image was taken as a RAW file and then manipulated in Photoshop CS. Manipulation was minimal (levels only, no sharpening was required). Subject matter (similar but not absolutely identical in both images) was of Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) with a land snail on it. Prints were produced on an Epson 1290, using Epson’s own ink and Premium Photo glossy paper. I used a 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor lens for both images and a Gitzo tripod.

I was amazed at the result. The D70 image was incredibly sharp with a neutral colour palette true to the original subject (hence useful for identification purposes) and I have to say (rather reluctantly as a Luddite* film user) superior to my scanned equivalent. All this with a 6-megapixel output, whatever will the D2X be able to produce!

Email: John Archer-Thomson

*Luddite: perhaps from Ned Ludd, 18th century Leicestershire workman who destroyed machinery; one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying labour-saving machinery as a protest; broadly: one who is opposed to especially technological change.


Ten Months with a D70 – Reader’s Review

When I decided to buy a digital SLR I was in the fortunate position of not having any autofocus lenses to dictate my choice. The budget limited the choice to either the Canon D300 or the D70. Reading as many reviews as possible I homed in on the Nikon D70 but supply problems last March meant that I was unable to handle the camera first. Buying a £1000 pig in a poke was a difficult decision but one that I have not regretted.

The camera has many virtues and a few niggles, however, I have always believed that if you search for perfection you will go to your grave still searching.

So, the virtues – excellent image quality (I only use RAW or maximum resolution JPEG), very fast start up, clear almost full image viewfinder, fits nicely in my large hands, very clear menu display that I can read without my reading specs, most of the commonly used adjustments can be made without using the menu, which is even better, and finally, surprisingly little electronic noise at high ISO settings.

The niggles – no cable release, the infrared sensor is on the front of the camera, not the back (how often do you take pictures of yourself?), no mirror lock-up and the depth-of-field preview button is a bit difficult to reach even with my large hands.

An essential accessory is Simon Stafford’s book on the D70 (Magic Lantern Guide Nikon D70 ISBN 1-57990-618-4), much more digestible than the Nikon manual. (No, I don’t get a commission from Simon!)

Email: Brian Pegg


Guide to Photographing Japanese Gardens

In the latest issue of Nikon Owner (stunning photos of the “Ghosts of the Skies”!!!) I noticed you are planning a trip to Japan. I think this is a great idea, especially for the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) time. If you hit the peak season, you will have a hard time getting the photographers back to the aircraft to leave Japan!

Recently, we talked about an article for Nikon Owner magazine and I believe your readers might appreciate some words and pictures about Japan. How about a guide to photographing Japanese gardens? Subscribers have expressed some interest in this via the message board. I have photographed and studied Japanese gardens for some seven years now and covered all major gardens in Kyoto. Additionally, I am also able to direct you to smaller gardens with great photographic potential which are off the beaten track. I have over 250 photos of Japanese gardens on my website – please have a look at the gallery and let me know what you think.

phototravels.net/kyoto/zen-gardens-index.html

You may also like to look at my online guide to Japanese garden photography that could form the spine of the text (never published in press before)

phototravels.net/photo-guides/travelogue-gardens.html

I won’t be able to join your Japanese party I am afraid, but I surely could help with some itinerary advice. Let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Email: Frantisek Staud


Nikon Seminars and Workshops

Gillian, I would just like to say thank you for your organisation of the Seminar last night.

The evening was excellent, John was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic giving a very good introduction to the subject.

Email: Chris Pitchford


Just wanted to say how enjoyable the Nikon update in Glasgow was, Gillian. David Robbins certainly knows his stuff and was able to answer my queries with regards going down the 35mm Film Scanner ‘Digital’ route.

Email: Gordon Carruthers

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