G Davidson

Lives in Japan Kashiwa, Japan
Works as a Teacher
Joined on Jan 14, 2007
About me:

Future plan- to make books with my photos fused with poetry. At the moment, they are in online galleries and photo-blogs, like-



Nikon D300,
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
Panasonic LX5
Canon G9

SB-800 Flash
Velbon QHD-41 Monopod


Note- I try to stick to 'bright' lenses, so as to control the depth of field and to have a brighter image in the viewfinder, though for traveling and ultra-wide angles I compromise on this.

Nikon 24mm f/2.8D.......................(street photography, walk-around)
Nikon 28mm f/2.8D.......................(events, walk-around)
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 D.....................(my other walk-around)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4D.......................(low light and portraits)
Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX................(events, weddings)
Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR..........(for traveling light)
Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR........(travel)
Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D...................(my DX portrait zoom)
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 VRII.........(nature, travel, candids)
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF..........(candids, nature)

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 ATX Pro-DX.......(wide landscapes, events)
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM....................(portraits, details, bokeh, low-light)
Tamron 90mm SP AF f/2.8 Di...........(macro with amazing, beautiful bokeh)

I recently sold on my Nikon 24-50mm AF, Nikon 70-300mm ED AF and Tokina 28-70mm AT-X AF SV, as they are not so useful on DX and their ranges are covered better by the lenses above.

Most Wanted Lenses-

70-200mm VR
85mm f/1.4D
17-55mm f/2.8 AF-S DX Nikon/ another equivalent zoom for DX, like the Tamron 17-50mm version


Total: 237, showing: 121 – 140
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Okay, leaving aside compacts, here's what I'd like for image quality. Full-frame sensor, mirrorless. PDAF on sensor, so will AF with all Nikon lenses and mount any other company's, along with excellent 'VRIII' in-body stablisation. Built-in EVF, 60fps video, with focus-peaking for MF usage.

A range of optional grips to make it larger for the big lenses, along with a selection of pancakes and foldable zooms for usual usage, that will be smaller than most full-frame lenses so far. As a system, it can be quite small, but scales up for specific usages, which makes it somewhat modular, a bit like the OM-5 design.

Link | Posted on Oct 22, 2012 at 06:05 UTC as 112th comment
In reply to:

Zvonimir Tosic: Is the "open mount" idea possible in the age of digital? Say, an "Open Office" equivalent of a camera. Can that be Leica's M mount but with AF. Leica's patent on M has expired. Or something similar, perhaps even smaller ...
Or, do we get stuck to manufactures' proprietary technology instead, and wait for them to make our 'dream camera', which may never come anyway?
On the other hand, is it possible to source low quantities of sensors just for the sake of making one's own digital camera, experimenting, or at least developing some concepts which may be funded if proven worthwhile?
Is anyone doing things like that in the age of digital at all — creating custom made digital cameras?

That would be nice, but especially with AF systems hard to realise. The closest (though not really open) is M4/3.

Link | Posted on Oct 22, 2012 at 03:55 UTC
In reply to:

Jimxrt: I think Nikon should do a semi-compact camers that is a mirrorless system that is designed to use current AF-D and G Series slr lenses with the controls and menus that are simple straight-forward and easily understood and navagate through. Most cameras have controls difficult to manipulate, and menus that are difficult understant, are a nightmare to navagate and to use.

I think a mirrorless camera with easily understood control and intelligent but simple to understood menus and easily navagete through, a large APC-S sensor, about 12 to 16 MP, that uses the current F mount lenses like the G series and DX type lenses. It would be compact, easy to use, good resolution, has interchangeble lenses all ready availabel versital quiet. I think a great consept.

Jim B

Jim, I'm hoping for the same system. It's true that lenses will be bigger than for other formats, but I don't think we should underestimate the pancake/foldable zooms that could be made for it for when size is an issue. I am biased, as I have a lot of Nikon lenses I'd use with an adapter at first, hopefully with the Nikon 1's sensor-based PDAF.

Seeing as Sony, Fuji, Canon, Samsung and Pentax are all offering APS-C mirrorless systems, there must be a market as it offers a great compromise to maintain decent control over DOF, IMHO an essential function for any serious camera, which smaller sensors really struggle with.

I suppose Nikon is waiting until Mirrorless takes off in a bigger way. They could still have the CX system for people who want something more compact and with adapters use their (especially) long lenses on it. A mirrorless D7000 is waiting in the future, no doubt.

Link | Posted on Oct 22, 2012 at 01:56 UTC

Assuming it's compact, I'd want a 1-inch or larger sensor, with about a 24-120mm (equivalent) lens. Ultra-high resolution in the sensor would make cropping longer lengths a breeze. I'd also want that lens to be reasonably bright on the end, perhaps having some kind of foldable feature to make this possible, as it might need to extend further for this.

I'd definitely want an EVF/high resolution LCD that at least tilts, or preferably folds out. I'd want a workable hybrid focusing system, with on-sensor PDAF and CDAF as well, for speed and reliability. It would need a few buttons and dials, not as many as pictured, but two dials for aperture/exposure settings would be good. A capitative touchscreen would help a lot to make deeper settings accessible.

It's hard to perfect right now, as we are still dependant on larger sensors for image quality. With all the progress being made here, I think we will be able make do with much smaller ones in the future, with bokeh produced digitally.

Link | Posted on Oct 22, 2012 at 01:46 UTC as 125th comment

Sounds very good. Major reasons to use Raw for me are white balance corrections, adding my own choice of sharpening and, of course, more flexibility with exposure. In all these cases, a lossy Raw would be a lot more useful than a jpeg and these days Raw files are just getting too big to store, growing at a much faster rate than hard drive sizes.

I think all manufacturers should include a 'save to DNG' option, as the format will definitely be more survivable than their jumble of proprietary ones. Or it's part, if Adobe is going to have newer versions that are incompatible with their older software, there should be free tools to 'convert' them to be usable. It's not much of an open format if there aren't free tools avaliable to access it.

Link | Posted on Oct 5, 2012 at 23:23 UTC as 32nd comment | 2 replies

Very sharp, I'm confident about the IQ... but with the equivalent DOF of a 70-200mm 5.6 full-frame lens, not so suitable for portraits, subject isolation generally.

Link | Posted on Oct 4, 2012 at 22:52 UTC as 3rd comment | 1 reply

More is better and whilst I'm not so impressed by the smoothness of the image I've seen in EVFs, so far, which is a bit jagged and stuttery compared to a really good OVF, being able to see the final image, etc make this a much more useful option. If we can have a really high quality image too, that would make imos pleasure to use.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2012 at 22:49 UTC as 9th comment
In reply to:

Edgar Matias: Thom Hogan wrote a very interesting article on sensor sizes a few months back.

Basically, the conclusion he came to was that high-end smartphones will eat into the market for the Nikon 1 and smaller sensor cameras, while m43 and APS-C erode the market for Full Frame cameras.

m43/APS-C hit the "good enough" sweet spot at a much lower cost than FF.

I think the Nikon 1 system would be much more interesting if it had better lenses. A Panasonic LX7 or Olympus XZ-2 style camera with a 1" sensor would be a lot more interesting than the Nikon 1 system.

You can read the whole article here...


Full-frame's just too expensive and heavy to be mainstream with the smaller formats around. Even if it eventually drops below the $1000 line, it's relevance is fading as smaller sensors advance. Today's sweet-spot is APS-C, followed closely by M4/3. Tomorrow's will be M4/3 and after that 1" cameras and smaller (talking of inter-changeable lens cameras, here).

It's true that the space between today and tomorrow is small, but its large enough to affect most people's purchases. Which means that, however much Nikon hopes for the Nikon 1 or FX, I can't see them doing as well in the mainstream as their DX line. Of course mirrorless FX could be a different story, if they can shrink the lenses.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2012 at 10:08 UTC

Come on Fuji, how about the full-frame version! It would be incredible to use on legacy lenses and I'm sure with the lack of a mirror Fuji would make some spectacular designs. Nikon denied their plans for many years, too....

Link | Posted on Sep 23, 2012 at 02:01 UTC as 15th comment | 4 replies
On article Just Posted: Hands-on Nikon D600 preview (376 comments in total)
In reply to:

schufosi777: 1995 pounds???????????????????? Thats 3200USD. Hello am I missing something. The price in Japan is 2500USD. Whats going on. I will import it from America!!!!!!!!

Living in Japan, I'm pretty shocked by the price here, too. I'll probably get mine elsewhere.

Link | Posted on Sep 13, 2012 at 13:29 UTC

All very interesting, if the bokeh control actually accesses the distance between objects, it could well have a useful effect. The problem with software solutions after the fact is they have no way of gauging this.

I'm not so sure if the larger lenses can take such extreme cropping, though. Even the Nikon 1 is pushing things in the samples I've seen.

Link | Posted on Sep 11, 2012 at 06:51 UTC as 29th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Peiasdf: I think Pentax should really really get working on a FF camera. 645D is good but D800E is matching it in IQ and far exceeding it in practicality.

Of course if they did that, they'd be competing for a slice of the small FF pie with Nikon & Canon, who probably have much better autofocus than they could manage. A disappointing product may be worse than none at all. With the APS-C cameras, there is at least a lot more to o around and their specialised lenses make it attractive.

This reminds me of Leica's delay in an R system camera, making their 'almost' medium-format S range instead. Even if the D800 almost matches their quality, they have a lot more leeway to use a better sensor next time and have lenses that can make full use of it.

Link | Posted on Sep 11, 2012 at 06:23 UTC

In case anyone is wondering (I know I was) why Zeiss don't make AF lenses for Nikon or Canon, here's the real reason-


"Due to international licences, it is not possible at the moment for companies outside Japan to offer AF lenses with EF- or F - mount. So we will concentrate on high-end manual focus lenses with those mounts within the next future.

Best regards

Carl Zeiss Lenses Team"

Link | Posted on Sep 9, 2012 at 01:39 UTC as 14th comment | 9 replies
In reply to:

Peiasdf: Consider SONY, Fuji, Canon, Pentax and Samsung all use APS-C sensor, I am 80% certain that CZ's EVIL/mirrorless lenses will be for APS-C first. Special adapter/mount will be made for Pentax, Samsung and m4/3 as their mounts' flange distance are quite different from the common 17.7-18.0mm.

We should all hope those new lenses will be fast, small and moderately priced like Fuji lenses and less like Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA.

It looks pretty big for APS-C, but it would be a very nice length. In fact, as sensors have gotten so good, the future for that format is looking quite rosy. With lenses like this, it could have more pro applications (once again).

Link | Posted on Sep 8, 2012 at 00:01 UTC
In reply to:

offertonhatter: Nice lens and great focal length.
Anyone who has used a 55mm on film and APS-C (such as the Takumar 55mm range and the Mamiya 55mm) will have found it a great lens to use.

The only fly in the ointment for Zeiss is the plentyfull supply of Tak 55mm's M42 lenses out there, and with an adapter, work superbly on DSLR's. Even if most are F1.8 and F2
Still, they are producing mirrorless versions of them and on an EOS-M, MFT etc, will provide the tog a great versatile lens.

Kudos to Zeiss for bringing back this focal length back.

I have to add that I have also found it a very nice length on APS-C, especially the long end of the 17-55, which I find is just enough reach in many cases, whereas for some reason 50mm falls a little short.

I used a 60mm macro on film, and not just for macro and I did find it an off length for general usage, too far from normal and not nearly portrait length. Perhaps this will have the same 'uncomfortable' length, though in a studio it may be easier to set things up, especially for product shots or reproduction, where shyness isn't an issue.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2012 at 23:58 UTC
In reply to:

ZAnton: another highly overpriced lens for a few techno-geeks who collect that crap and never shoot?

What you're forgetting is that consumer lenses are compromises. Even this lens is a compromise, yet it will come closer to the perfect lens to use.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2012 at 23:52 UTC
On article Just Posted: Fujifilm X-E1 hands-on preview (277 comments in total)
In reply to:

AllOtherNamesTaken: No phase detect AF, basically limits usage to static subjects....next please! Great camera otherwise. Nikon has had very good PDAF in their mirrorless for a year, and the new Sony NEX has it. Even the Canon EOS-M has it, albeit a very poor version. No reason why Fuji couldn't have incorporated it somehow.

It's a fair point, as lack of this limits the camera. Fuji has already incorporated a form of this on a compact, so they'll probably have it on the next iteration, or after. I'm interested in using this camera beside my DSLR's, but that's one issue to fix before it could *fully* replace them.

Don't get me wrong, this looks like a beautiful camera with gorgeous lenses, way more so than the competition, but in a buyer's market, it makes sense to list pros and cons before comitting. Limited AF, one way or another, seems to remain it's weakest point.

Link | Posted on Sep 7, 2012 at 13:47 UTC
In reply to:

ThePhilips: > It uses the same Foveon X3 sensor [...]

It's very sad that development of the full-color sensors (like Foveon) is so slow.

Despite all the patents we have seen over years from Sony and Panasonic, the sensors are not even rumored yet. (I gather the new requirements - video and fast CDAF - might have played role here.)

I totally agree. Sigma just doesn't have the resources to make this more than a niche project on niche cameras. Looking closely at the D800 I'm sorry to say it looks disappointingly 'digital', unnatural, though when I see the pixel-level detail on a foveon-based photo it is rich and contrasty, as it features the actual colours, not an interpolation. Just think of the resolution of a Foveon-based full-frame sensor, using existing lenses. If they could go that way, there would be orders of magnitude of advances.

I am interested in this camera, but the slow AF, limited lens and fiddly operation holds it back a lot. I suppose the rich colour it offers is a lower priority than high-ISO shooting, or video abilities for most people, but I hope this gets more attention, the same way that, gradually, dynamic range has been increased on Bayer sensors.

Link | Posted on Aug 31, 2012 at 11:40 UTC
In reply to:

Photoworks: Will the DP1M be super slow like the DP2M or will it have an improved processor?

Looking at the specs, it now has dual processors. Yet presumably all those layers make for demanding work and from what I've heard, it is still slow.

Link | Posted on Aug 31, 2012 at 09:38 UTC
On article Just Posted: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 review (373 comments in total)
In reply to:

Peter Gaunt: Interesting looking camera. Why though does this site, and some others, persist in giving sensor sizes in rather bizarre fractions of an inch such as 1/1.7 (there's even mention of 1/1.63 somewhere in the article). It's so difficult to visualise. What's wrong with simply saying 15mm or 0.6".

I'd agree, Peter, though for now it would need to be beside the manufacturer's presentations. Just giving the total area in mm would make it easier to compare, at least putting it in brackets. Then we could have shorthand, like a 1 or 2 size sensor, as with paper sizes. Once people get used to it it could be all we need.

As consumers, I think we suffer from the tendency of manufacturers to exadurate their product's abilities rather than tell it how it is. Clear sensor sizes, with the larger ones of course needing larger lenses for the same viewpoint, would help us make a choice. As it is, people trying to make a choice are simply baffled by all the tech-talk and can't always see through it to get what's best for them.

Link | Posted on Aug 29, 2012 at 02:54 UTC
Total: 237, showing: 121 – 140
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