Memory Lane.

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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tony field
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Memory Lane.
8 months ago

I was going through some old images which I got me thinking about the "old days" when digital photography was just starting to get serious. This brought memories of the cameras we used ten years ago. Here are nine images from the ancient past with Fuji and Nikon cameras. In those days, Nikon sensors were seriously limited in useful dynamic range - much like Ektachrome slide film.

By the nature of the technology, we were never overly concerned about digital noise although we did look at Canon's cmos sensors with envy.  How times have changed.....  Since my interests were mostly in low light environments, I simply ignored noise as an issue.  Rarely did I do any noise reduction -- I actually did not (and still do not) mind digital noise.

I hope you don't find these too boring ... they are just a walk down memory lane for me...

My first digital camera was a Fuji Finepix S1 purchased in 2002. I had not done any photography in 15 years - my friend forced me to pick up a second hand camera at a reasonable price. The S1 was mated to a 35-135 mm Nikon zoom and the 50mm 1.8.  The camera was certainly high iso challenged (but 800 was fine in good light and much better than film).  It was seriously limited with it's pixel count of only 3 megapixels. It did, however, deliver beautiful colours.

This did not have "raw" - it used "tiff" files or JPG and the tiff output was no better than jpg. Tiff was much larger than jpg files - and all it did was consume space on a "large" 340 mb CF card In 2002, the 1 GB CF cards did not exist. the first two images are with this camera - and are the first weekend shooting with this camera and are essentially street grab shots at an event in front of city hall.

1. Fuji S1 - full frame

2. Fuji S1 - less than 1/2 frame

My next camera was a Nikon D1. This was megapixel challenged (about 2.8 mpix) as well as high ISO limited. None the less, useful results were achieved - some of the images became large posters for some events and arts productions.  Still, there was envy of the Canon 1D with 4 mega pixels and low noise (surprising since the 1D was a CCD sensor - just like Nikon).

3. Nikon D1 - almost full frame

I was delighted with the extra pixel count when I upgraded to the D2h. It actually had 4 megapixels. If you used the High2 exposure index (supposedly ISO 6400) you could shoot in the dark ... but golf balls had a lot in common with the digital noise at this iso index: Chroma noise was very high - lots of post processing was necessary

4. Nikon D2h - about 1/3 frame

However, if you had suitable lighting, ISO 1600 on the D2h was quite fine:

5. Nikon D2h -2/3 frame

The D2h performed well at low ISO values -- however lack of resolution was evident in large prints.

6. Nikon D2h -- full frame On camera flash reflected off the ceiling

I decided to pick up Nikon D1x. This was another small gain in resolution with 4 megapixels with a "strange" sensor geometry that made it seem to be 8 mpix after the firmware did some interpolation. If you were careful, ISO 1600 was definitely useful.

7. Nikon D1x - close to full frame

The Nikon D100 started to get impressive with the resolution of it's real 6 mega pixels which surpassed by a little bit, the D1x. This was good for resolution compared to my other cameras. However, like the other cameras, the dynamic range was seriously limited: Noise at ISO 6400 (High 2) was severe, however for some image completely acceptable. This shot, in colour, was heavily gelled in green and magenta -- B&W was the only alternative...

8. Nikon D100 a bit better than 1/2 fram

I was able to use pre-production Nikon D2x with a "very high" resolution of 12 megapixels. This is the beginning of the "modern cameras" for me. At sane ISO values, it performed extremely well however it was still high-iso challenged. 1600 was usable - even at ISO 3200 things were very gritty.

9. Nikon D2x - 1/3 frame

So much for nostalgia......

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Canon EOS-1D Nikon D1 Nikon D100 Nikon D1X Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
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