Bob Topp

Bob Topp

Lives in United States Huntsville, United States
Works as a EE
Has a website at http://fotki.com/HBN-Photos
Joined on Nov 19, 2001
About me:

Slowly migrating from D300/D700 to m4/3...

Bob Topp's current gear

Nikon D300
Nikon D700
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Indestructible, utterly reliable, four years old and still a wonderful performer- I shoot salsa in a club atmosphere about twice a month and several tennis tournaments a year. I've also done several weddings and numerous portraits with it, much to my satisfaction. It is a bit heavy for hiking, but it has been on many a hike nevertheless (GH-1 replaces it there now). Approaching 100K clicks.
Picked up a refurbished model from KEH in spring 2012 and have used it extensively since then, up to around 12K clikcks so far. Use it mainly for salsa dancing, some for action tennis. Love the image quality of the images and ability to shoot regularly above ISO 1600.
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D
Picked up the OM-D EM-5 at Murphy's Camera in Louisville, KY in summer of 2012. Black with 12-50 kit lens. I have enjoyed using the camera, but since picking up the D700 in the springtime, have used the D700 much more. Unfortunately I am somewhat budget limited at present, but would love to add u4/3 lenses. In the meantime, two converters let me use some nice old MF lenses.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
This is a fine lens with the GH-1. It performs surprisingly well doing low-light video in a club atmosphere, as well.
Although economical, this lens is somewhat slow to focus and lacking in contrast. I am able to get useful images, but not as many as I had hoped. I have used it on the OM-D EM-5 to shoot some tennis, but the combination of lens and camera requires a lot of anticipation to get good action shots. I will update this when I get an EM-1, to see if that body can focus faster. As far as contrast, I can satisfactorily deal with that in post-processing, but would rather not have to.
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF)
Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX
I'm surprised to see the DPReview community rating of this lens so low. It typically gets 4+ stars elsewhere, and the dings are usually for high price. After a couple of thousand frames, I am quite pleased with the lens and look forward to using it on an EM-1 in the near future. Shooting in a low light club atmosphere, I found my misses to drop from about 20% with the Olympus 12-50 kit lens, to about 10% with the Panasonic lens.
This is my present walk-around lens when using the D300. I've been very pleased with its performance and see no need for the stabilized version in my applications.
Bought this lens in 2008 to take to Yellowstone- have never regretted it. I have not mastered wide angle work by any means, but am always impressed by the sharp results. This lens is quite heavy and bulky, though, so it is a chore to hike with, although I have done it.
Other gear:
  • Alien Bees lighting products I have a kit with two B-400 flash units, light stands and small umbrellas. Over the years I have added a Cyber Sync transmitter and two receivers, along with a light box. The flash units have given excellent service, and I especially like the modelling lights, which give an accurate representation of lighting ratios prior to flash. I find the light stands adequate, but they are very light-duty compared to more expensive industrial models. The Cyber Sync equipment works flawlessly for me. The two umbrellas that came with the original kit are not that great- they tend to gum themselves shut when stored for a prolonged period, and have begun to come apart from trying to re-open them. The light box is very well made, though, and has provided excellent service in several portrait sessions. I intend to purchase the Cyber Sync Commander eventually in order to be able to program my lamps remotely.
  • HP 8750 13"x19" nine color More than adequate output quality with much lower learning curve than Epson, but equally less flexibility. Cost of use is fairly high at avg $35 per 3-color cartridge. Works quite well with Kodak papers, which are high quality and very affordable.
  • Metz 44 AF for micro 4/3
  • Micro 4/3 Minolta MD adaptor and F-mount adaptor
  • Nikon 200/f4 AI
  • Nikon 28/2.8 AIS
  • Nikon SB-600 Flash
  • Nikon SB-800 Flash
  • Nissin Di 622 Flash for Nikon
  • Rokkor 135/2.8 MD
  • Rokkor 35/2.8 MD
  • Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 This is an older design, not image-stabilized, but very solid and reliable. Due to its weight and lack of stabilization, I shoot with it strictly on a monopod, with which I am quite satisfied. Even the stabilized version is heavy enough to need the monopod. I've worn out the 1.4 TC, but continue to shoot a great deal of tennis action with the lens, to the tune of about 24K frames a year.
  • Tamron SP 24-75 f/2.8 This is a bullet-proof lens from a by-gone era, all metal and indestructible.
  • Vivitar 285 HV Flash

Bob Topp's wish list

Sorted by most recently added.

Other gear:
  • Nikon D400 (?)

Bob Topp's previous gear

Canon PowerShot G2
Nikon D70
Nikon D70s
Still have the G2, but not sure if the battery would still charge. Great images at 4 MP and low ISO, but very unresponsive. A grandchild could crawl away before getting a shot off. Graduated to D70 and never looked back!
Followed Canon G2- very good camera, but suffered green light of death syndrome and a stuck shutter over 1.5 years. Still, it was a great step up from the G2 and provided a wonderful learning tool. Plenty fast enough for crawling, walking and running grandkids as well.
My workhorse until replaced by D200/D300- shot several weddings and some wonderful vacations with this camera, usually carrying the 18-200 lens. Some of my favorite shots were made with this camera, never really surpassed by the D200/300, just not adequate for action shots like tennis and a bit weak in low light.
Nikon D200
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
Passed this off to my daughter, who still makes good use of it, along with the retired 50/1.8. Replaced with the D700.
My son got this one, along with the 14-140 and asked for a 14/2.5 for Christmas. Replaced with OM-D EM-5. This one still makes better movies than the Oly, though.
Bought this as soon as it came out and used it almost exclusively with the D70s for a couple of years. It was replaced by the Sigma 70-200/2.8 when I sold the D70s, as the Sigma was a better performer for action tennis especially. I got many good shots with this lens- carried it all over Williamsburg for a week and was happy with the range of focal lengths. Lens creep was a nuisance though.
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF
This was Nikon's original kit lens, much superior to the one offered today as near as I can tell. No complaints, other than a tad slow for low light purposes. Plenty sharp and versatile for snapshots and walk-around purposes. I gave away my original when I sold my D70s, but bought a used one to give my daughter to use on the D200 when I retired it- she is very happy with it and will probably never use another lens (unless I buy it for her).