Living with the D1- Dave Sellens - part 1 of 1 2

Published 01/05/2001


In my daily world of supplying images predominantly for publication, deadlines are a never ending pain in the rear end!

Life was revolving around taking images, processing negs, scanning and sending via ISDN to print houses/clients. The taking was fine but then the chore of processing, drying scanning and manipulating The last part was taking the time have you ever tried scanning 200 negatives in a day? I can quite happily die of old age without having to waste time sitting in front of a scanner for hours on end!

The solution buy a D1 after all I already had a very wide range of Nikon lenses to hand so it would only mean buying the body - wrong!

The D1 is an unforgiving beast towards lenses and then there is the other 'odd' bits and bobs that are needed that you don't think/know about for example - the flash, yes an SB24 or 26 both of which I already had work but only in certain modes (not TTL) so an SB28DX is a must. A mains adaptor, very useful when working in the studio - but an extra. Then there is the 'smart card' 128Mb ones are very expensive and don't hold too many images so a 340Mb IBM Microdrive is an essential (Nikon do not support the use of the Microdrive but is does work and works well). What about those lenses? Well to start you have the multiplication factor of 1.4 to contend with, no problem on the medium/long end but at the short end!

I had a very good 'independent' 17 mm lens that I had been using without problem for a number of years. That would be fine as a wide on the D1 I thought, until I tested it...a big blue circle in the middle of the frame! On further testing other lenses from the same manufacturers stable - all gave the same problem! Also some cheaper actual Nikon lenses like the 24-120 zoom showed slight colour fringing when used on the D1.

This was all looking somewhat ominous. Luckily I have a very good relationship with a local professional dealer who was as interested as I was in finding out more about these strange goings on. So armed with the D1 I spent a day at his store 'testing lenses'. It came as no real surprise to learn that the Pro series lenses showed marked improvements in image quality over the standard ranges.

But some quite pleasant surprises emerged. On the short end the only lens worth it salt on the D1 was Nikon's own 17-35mm 2.8 zoom...expensive but good in the shopping basket! Then the middle and long range and here is where the big surprise came the Tokina ATX Pro series produced virtually identical images to the very expensive lenses so in the basket went the 28-70 2.8 and the 80-200 2.8.

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1st Published 01/05/2001
last update 06/11/2019 11:06:52

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