I have a digital archive that contains hundreds of thousands of high-res files that I can access in seconds. Through the normal course of a day, I’m doing things with those old and new files.
While the new digital files get better with technology advances, the older files don’t stay stuck in amber. They get better too thanks to improvements in processing software.
Paradoxically, some of the files created by older cameras have a look and feel that some artists find quite compelling. I’m on that list.
Of all the digital cameras I’ve owned, the files from the Nikon D700 are my absolute favorite. Time after time when I go back to those files I wonder why I’m still not using that circa-2008 camera.
After reading the first-hand experiences of another photographer who also admires that camera, I took the plunge and bought a second-hand D700 from a great dealer in Atlanta.
It only took two days for the camera to land on my desk. I unboxed, lensed-up and inserted a CF card.
It was time to recapture the magic.
I brought the camera to my eye and clicked the shutter and BOOOOOM! I thought I may have heard a rifle discharge. Instead, it was just the shutter performing as designed. Somehow I’d forgotten that this camera was the opposite of discrete.
I tried again. This time I brought the camera to my eye to focus…focus…focus. Why can’t I see what’s right in front of me? Oh yeah, when I bought my original D700 in 2008 I didn’t wear glasses.
Once I dialed in the diopter I was able to sort of compose but the tiny optical viewfinder and my progressive lenses aren’t exactly allies. No problem, I’ll just compose with the LCD screen. Then I remembered that the new/old camera weighs twice as much as my current camera made by Fuji.
On the third pass, I decided to walk outside and try again. It was a perfect day but this machine was not the right tool for where I am today as a photographer.
I brought the D700 back in, repacked it and made a quick call to the dealer for a quick return.
Sorry Nikon. It’s not you, it’s me.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies.