A year and a half with my D40 - some thoughts and a question

Started Oct 11, 2008 | Discussions thread
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A year and a half with my D40 - some thoughts and a question
Oct 11, 2008

It has been more than a year since I entered the world of photography with my first DSLR: the Nikon D40. Overall I'm very happy with it, although I made some regrettable purchase decisions in the past, believing more equipment would improve the quality of my pictures. I even bought a D80 that I returned the next day after realizing that it was more camera (and heavier) than I actually needed. I invested those 1,000€ on holidays, which have provided more photographic moments than a D80 would have.

I've had quite a lot of lenses: Nikon 18-55mm, Nikon 18-200mm VR, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 10-20mm and some old Nikon MF glass (50mm f/1.4, 55mm f/3.5 Micro, 85mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8 and 500mm f/8 reflex).

I recently made a trip to Russia and brought my Sigma 30mm only. I thought It would be interesting to see how would I react in a situation where I could not change focal lengths, and I also didn't want to lug much weight around. Well, I must say I missed my 18-200mm, specially between 18-24mm, but in the end I don't regret it and I'm very happy with the results.

So after buying lots of equipment I didn't really need (or didn't know how to use properly) I have come to the conclusion that for me less is better. I have sold the lenses I used less (Tamron 90mm macro, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D, Sigma 10-20mm and the kit lens) and keep the 18-200 VR and the 30mm only, along with the old MF glass I seldomly use.

Right now I am trying to understand what kind of photographer I am and what pieces of equipment I really need. I love the 30mm for its simplicity and ability to isolate subjects from the background and produce beautiful bokeh, but I miss the 50mm range for portraits. I love the 18-200mm for its polivalency and the VR, but after comparing the results to that of the 30mm I see that sometimes the image quality is not on par. I'm not saying that it's bad or anything, it's great for what it is, but I wonder if I really need so much range for the kind of photography I usually do. Maybe a sharper, faster zoom with less range would be just perfect for me. I don't know.

So I would like to analyze the EXIF in all my pictures and build some statistics of my habits, like: usage percentage of focal lengths, apertures, ISO speeds, F numbers, etc. I think I don't take many pictures above 100-135mm, and maybe I could be perfectly happy with a smaller, shorter and sharper zoom. Or maybe not. But I like the idea of analyzing my pictures to know more of myself.

Does anyone know of a software that could do something like that?

Thanks in advance! And excuse me for the long post, I just felt like writing.

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