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07-28-2017, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #1
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I just dipped a toe into the waters of the dark side

Yesterday, I came into possession of my first Nikon camera, a D50 DSLR with a Quantaray (re-badged Sigma) 28-90 macro zoom lens. It was in some stuff of my dad's that my sister sent to me. Dad got it about five years ago after picking up a Nikon 35mm SLR of some sort at a thrift shop. The Quantaray lens came with that camera and Dad got the D50 body to go with the lens. I remember shooting a few pix with this camera on a family beach trip in August 2012, and when I looked at the images on the memory card, it appears that was the only time the camera was used while in my dad's possession.

As the camera had been sitting unused for several years, the battery was stone dead when I tried it last night. Interestingly, the battery pack is almost identical to the one in my Pentax K10D except the contacts are spaced a little further apart. Fortunately, the generic charger I have for my K10D has an extra contact, spaced appropriately for the Nikon's battery, so I was able to recharge it.

The Paul Harvey 'rest of the story' is that shooting that handful of vacation shots with this Nikon D50 prompted me to start shopping for a DSLR of my own and led me to acquire my first Pentax, an *istDL, which reawakened my love of photography, which had been largely dormant over the previous two decades. Coincidentally, the D50 uses the same Sony CCD sensor as the *istDL. But unlike the *istDL, the D50 never got a firmware update to allow it to use larger capacity SDHC cards and thus it's limited to a 2GB maximum.

With so much Pentax gear on hand, I don't see myself making a heavy investment in Nikon stuff or even really using this camera all that often but at least if someone gives me guff about my 'toy' Pentax gear (which has never happened, btw) I can say yeah, well I do have a Nikon at home but I prefer my 'real' Pentax gear.

07-28-2017, 03:35 PM   #2
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Great story - thanks for posting!

Actually, you've helped me out somewhat. As you know already from the "Six megapixel club" thread, I picked up a lovely old *ist DL recently and I've been enjoying it immensely. I was a little disappointed with the 2MB card limit though, since suitable cards aren't as cheap as you might expect - not in the UK, at least. Anyway, after reading your post, I looked online and found the v1.03 *ist DL firmware update is still available.... so I downloaded it just now, and updated my camera. As a result, I can now make use of the 8MB cards I have lying around, instead of having to source 2MB cards online. So - a BIG "thank you" for that!

Even with the 2MB card limitation, I hope you get some use out of the D50 - especially given the sensor. You'll be able to take some great shots with just that 28-90 Quantaray and nothing else. It's a really useful focal length range, and the lower-resolution sensor will be less... er... "revealing" of that particular lens' performance

PS. You need to add this "new" camera into your signature

Last edited by BigMackCam; 07-28-2017 at 03:41 PM.
07-28-2017, 05:42 PM   #3
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The D50 was excellent for use with off camera flashes. My roomate years ago had one and even with 'dumb' wireless triggers it could manage rear-curtain sync and also sync reliably at high shutter speeds. What speeds depended on the triggers, specific flash, and power settings, but I remember using 1/1000s shutter speeds with the cheapest of the cheap sub $20 triggers from 10 years ago and manual flashes. It made me annoyed at my k100d for not having a few of it's capabilities, but this went both ways (if the cameras could just have been merged into one...).

Enjoy it!
07-28-2017, 10:19 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Great story - thanks for posting!

Actually, you've helped me out somewhat. As you know already from the "Six megapixel club" thread, I picked up a lovely old *ist DL recently and I've been enjoying it immensely. I was a little disappointed with the 2MB card limit though, since suitable cards aren't as cheap as you might expect - not in the UK, at least. Anyway, after reading your post, I looked online and found the v1.03 *ist DL firmware update is still available.... so I downloaded it just now, and updated my camera. As a result, I can now make use of the 8MB cards I have lying around, instead of having to source 2MB cards online. So - a BIG "thank you" for that!

Even with the 2MB card limitation, I hope you get some use out of the D50 - especially given the sensor. You'll be able to take some great shots with just that 28-90 Quantaray and nothing else. It's a really useful focal length range, and the lower-resolution sensor will be less... er... "revealing" of that particular lens' performance

PS. You need to add this "new" camera into your signature
Mike,

Glad the firmware reference was helpful. Ironically, I bricked my *istDL two weeks after I got it, trying to update the firmware. I've never really been sure what happened but that's water over the bridge and thank goodness for a SquareTrade warranty. I agree with you about the lens. I've actually got two similar lenses for my Pentaxes, a Quantaray 28-90 and a Sigma 28-80 macro zoom. The Sigma sees more use than the Quantaray, especially on the K10D. Fortunately, I've got a couple of 2mb cards on hand that I don't use anymore, so I've got that angle covered. I'm really envisioning not spending much, if any money on accessories for the D50, at most a spare battery and maybe a UV filter for the lens if I don't already have an extra one on hand. Other than that, I'll just use it as it came to me and enjoy it for what it is. If the weather's nice tomorrow, I may take it out for some overdue exercise. I guess I can be an adjunct member of the six megapixel club with the D50. And yes, I've added it to my signature.

07-31-2017, 02:10 AM   #5
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Many here 'dip our toes' into the dark-side.

Sometimes it's simply hard to resist a bargain. Like when you see a manufacturer offer refurbished cameras on sale, with substantial discounts and rebates on top.

Nikon has been doing that a lot recently in my part of the world, and Sony has been too.
07-31-2017, 09:20 AM   #6
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I gave the Nikon a bit of a workout over the weekend, photographing about 60 items to list on eBay. I was pleased with its performance for that particular purpose and may be dipping my toe a little deeper as I have a couple of lenses on my eBay watch list. But the auctions don't end for a few days and I haven't yet convinced myself to place a bid so there's still time for an intervention.
08-01-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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After I finished listing all the items from my marathon eBay shoot on Saturday, I decided to get out and have a little fun with the D50 this afternoon at the local botanical garden. Being as it's high summer here and we haven't had much rain for a while, there wasn't much blooming to photograph but the diffuse midday sunlight through the trees was somewhat interesting none the less and I will say this for the Nikon, it renders reds a little more faithfully than the CMOS sensors on my Pentax K-X or K30, which both have a tendency to oversaturate. I may have to do a head-to head comparison with the K10D or K200D to see how they stack up. Here are a couple of my favorites from the outing:
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Last edited by E-man; 08-01-2017 at 12:34 PM.
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