Electronics, what with their extremely numerous and complex construction, have the potential to malfunction all the time nowadays. When hundreds of working parts are crammed into any one object, something is bound to eventually go wrong. Of those many parts, my NEX-7′s sensor cleaning function has stopped working properly recently. I decided to attempt a repair starting last week so I would a) Have it covered under my one-month-left warranty and b) Get a fully-functional camera ready for the majority of baseball/softball/lacrosse/tennis season.
So, being without my NEX-7 sucks, I won’t shy away from saying that. But, thanks to a generous father, I borrowed a Nikon d300 to still get the job(s) done this past week in photography. Some of my very early readers may know that I transitioned from a DSLR to a NEX. Due to the Thailand flooding that crippled Sony’s major factory, that transition was ANYTHING but smooth. In December of 2011, I was starting to really get into more advanced photography with my school paper’s Nikon d40. As an old, 6-megapixel CCD-sensor camera, it didn’t really do well in specialized situations (such as sports) where high shutter speeds were needed in relatively low-light. I pre-ordered the NEX-7 at this time. However, the athletic director was still interested in hiring me on–the shots I COULD get in ideal situations were good enough that he saw my potential. The problem? I wouldn’t get the NEX-7 until March of 2012!
So, enter the d300. A 12-megapixel CMOS-sensor beast of a DX-format DSLR. In its prime, it was the choice for event photographers who shot DX-format. Manageable noise even at ISO 3200, a fast 7 fps continuos shooting rate, more manual controls than a casual photographer could shake a stick at, and a rugged magnesium-alloy body wrapping up a professional package. In the right hands, it still is an extremely capable camera in almost all shooting scenarios, and DX-format photographers are clamoring for a successor (the d300s doesn’t count, and Nikon has stated the new d7100 isn’t the flagship DX model).
It has been about 10 months since the last time I heavily used this camera–the only subjects I’ve had to use it on are product shots of lenses attached to the NEX-7! This past week was a surefire struggle for me, as there are many advantages and features of the NEX-7 I have become accustomed to (which I may write an article on in the near-future). Using manual glass on a DSLR is an awful experience compared to on a NEX. Thankfully, for a lot of this past week’s shots, I used a nice autofocus 80-200 f/2.8 ED that I bought for my Dad on Father’s day.
But enough rambling, let’s get to some photographs! All the following captured with the Nikon d300 and 300mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.4, and 80-200mm f/2.8 ED (which I may have to take an in-depth look at someday).
First up, Transylvania University has fielded their first-ever Lacrosse team this year, and I photographed their first home game (which ended in a win!). Conditions were pretty terrible though; low-light, rain/snow, high winds, and trying to focus my 300mm made every movement a challenge. It still didn’t stop me from coming back with some great action shots though.
300mm, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/800