January 3rd, 2014


D100 Take 2

Just A Year Ago

I collected some Christmas money and bought myself a Christmas present on eBay. A used 6.1MP Nikon D100 DSLR that had been modified to shoot infrared. Henceforth I have referred to it as the D100R.

I had a Nikon 28-80mm f3.5-5.6D AF-NIKKOR handy and slapped it on. Most people would use an 18-55mm or 18-70mm zoom -- the 28-80mm is the FX brother-sister lens of the DX 18-55mm -- but I had the 28-80mm as a spare, so that's what I used.

I'll be taking some infrared snow pictures with the D100R soon.

So This Christmas...

I got a used 6.1MP Nikon D100 for Christmas -- and it arrived today (Thursday).

So why? Well, I like carrying around an SLR with me. But the D1 series cameras are bricks and have heavy NiMH batteries. And I'm still gimping around with canes and walkers and things. The professional D1 series also has no built in flash -- the much lighter D100 does. And just as I resurrected Paul's old N2020 film camera to have a much lighter AF 35mm SLR than the F4s, another solidly built professional brick, so the D100 complements the D1X.

Now the D100 is an excellent camera, built on the same Nikon F80 chassis as the Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n FX camera I have -- but the SLR/n is a Frankenstein. It really is an F80 with the digital sensor part grafted on by Kodak. They are not the best cameras for rough use outdoors.

Still, I wouldn't recommend a D100 for most shooters, unless you do have a D1 series camera. That's because the D70 and later cameras are even better. The early Nikons like the D1 / D100 / SLR/n have a more primitive D-TTL flash system versus the i-TTL of the middle generation and whatever the newest flash system is. So besides the built in flash, the D100 will also work with the more powerful SB-28DX and SB-80DX flashes I have. And with an AS-15 adapter, I can get a PC flash socket and use my mighty Metzes as well on the D100. So it's the right fit for my current camera system. And did I mention I have the same setup with the infrared D100R?

Anyways, the box came today. Oh look! It's a box of pink Styrofoam peanuts! You never see the pink ones, only white... And a wrapped package with the box containing camera and lens.

What's really cool is that the eBay auction included the D100, the same MD-D100 extended battery pack, which includes the vertical shutter release, a pair of Li-ion batteries, a camera strap, a 1GB Toshiba CF memory card and a 28-80mm f3.3-5.6G AF-NIKKOR. It's like a twin of the D100R except it's even lighter. And Ken Rockwell rates the two 28-80mm zooms exceptionally sharp, despite their bargain kit lens origins.

Already on hand for when it arrived, were a 58mm Nikon NC Neutral Color protective filter, an HB-20 lens hood and a Tiffen Zing Pro neoprene camera case. The latter came from Amazon Warehouse Deals, refurbished, $12 w/Prime free shipping, 70% off of new stock! I have the long snout Zing Pro Zoom on the Nikon F4s with its fat 28-200mm f3.5-5.6D AF-NIKKOR and it provides great protection.

So does it work? Yes, though the daylight test will have to wait for... daylight.

Ack! He looks happy but couldn't Dr. Phil comb his beard? No, he's been busy assembling a new-to-him camera. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Dr. Phil


Without A Hercules

Last night the temperature disappeared -- it was 0°F. 5°F in the morning. Warmed up and the dropped down to 15°F last I checked. It'll be above freezing on Saturday. All this while Winter Storm Hercules was pummeling the Northeast, followed by bitter cold.

Had a doctor's appointment downtown this morning, so trotted out the D100 with me. Seems to tolerate daylight just fine. White snow is white. The previoius owner had set the Hue adjustment to +3°, so I zeroed it last night. But I've had to subtract a little blue from every shot, so I may go into the CSM Custom Settings Menu and put the adjustment back in and see what it does.

Close-up of a pine tree in the turnaround at home. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The view from the turnaround -- can you spot the pickup truck? (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The shack in the field -- I've done studies with longer lenses before. This is just with an 80mm lens (120mm FX equivalent). (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Approaching downtown Grand Rapids on US-131 south. Notice how impossible the road conditions are today -- Monday may be a different story. I turned on the grid lines to help line up the horizontal for grab shots like this where I'm not holding the camera up to my eye normally. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Coming down the hill on I-196 from the Medical Mile to downtown and the Grand River. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

The River

The last big photo expedition I did before I got sick was to the flooded Grand River (DW). Today I swung from I-96 at Marne through the back roads down to the old M-45 crossing, the road now called River Hill Drive.

End of Road -- you can see the other part of the old M-45 crossing beyond. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I had planned on setting the D100 on Continuous and firing off for several seconds and seeing if I could make an animated .gif of the Grand River's icebergs, but it wasn't doing anything. I took two shots and when I got home decided to make a rough panorama, even though one shot was at 62mm and the other at 68mm, so they didn't quite mesh.

A quiet, placid and cold Grand River. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I'd say the D100 and 28-80mm f3.3-5.6G AF-NIKKOR work.

Dr. Phil

Old Kent Park Burns

The Fire

Coming north on US-131, heading towards I-96, there was this ugly black mushroom blob of smoke far ahead. It had to be a fire and a big one. I shot one frame, but the fire was north of the interchange with I-96. Couldn't even tell what side of the Grand River it was on. I hoped it wasn't the ballpark.

It was.

Old Kent Park burning up a storm. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Old Kent Park is the home of the Single A West Michigan Whitecaps. They started just after we got down here -- before that the team was the Madison (WI) Muskies. Originally an Oakland A's farm team, they are now part of the Detroit Tigers family. Old Kent Bank came up with some crucial financing, so they built it as Old Kent Park. Fifth Third bank bought up Old Kent, and renamed it Fifth Third Park, even though there's at least one, maybe more, ballparks with the same name during the orgy of bank mergers over the years.

I still call it Old Kent Park, just as I refer to the ballpark formerly known as New Commiskey Park by the name it should have had: Bill Veeck Field. (grin) Some things shouldn't be messed with.

Early news reports say there was considerable damage, no cause yet and the Whitecaps vow to have repairs done in time for Opening Day. We'll see. As one person on Facebook pointed out, we've sat on the hill in lawn chairs before.

We'll see.

Dr. Phil