Nikon D200
Nikon D300
Digital Camera
Casio F1
Nikon P500
Sony Nex7
Fuji S1
Have I got views for you
1/1600 f5.6 400asa Sigma 70-300 300mm (450mm equiv)
1/2500 f8 Tamron 500mm
1/400 f 5.3 200 asa Sigma 70-300mm
220mm (330mm equiv)

1/640 f14 800asa 12-24 Sigma
At long last I have gone completely digital finally parting with 2 F4's and getting a D 70 body. As I had a large collection of Nikon fitting lenses this was my best option to start with. The day after I got the body coincided with the last day of the Premiership Football season and as I normally take images for my City web pages using the Minolta Dimage A1 I thought it would be interesting to see how the D70 coped in an action situation. I have included three images from the Manchester City v Everton game. For those interested in more images go to Most pictures have been shot at full resolution and saved as 'fine' jpegs unless stated differently. They were then cropped to 800 x 600 and saved for the web in Photoshop for quick loading . Click on most images for a 800 x 600 version.

1/2000 f 5.6 800asa Sigma 70-300
220mm (330mm equiv)

1/2000 f5.6 800 asa Sigma 70-300 195mm ( 292mm equiv)
1/2000 f5.6 800asa
Sigma 70-300 300mm (450mm equiv)
The initial feel of the D70 is very good with most controls near to hand. As it was my first day with the camera there was a lot to take in but it was fast to use and focus using the Sigma 70-300 was OK. It was nice to get back to an optical finder after the EVF of the Dimage and I set the LCD to show the histogram so I could quickly check to see if exposure was OK. Whenever there was a break in play I soon got used to the quick magnify technique to check the results although in bright light the LCD is difficult to see. The weight is just right - a damn sight lighter than my old F3 with motordrive - though the balance will depend on what lens is being used. I have some real old heavies! While prosumer cameras like the Dimage A1 have a fixed lens the digital SLR can cope with a variety of lenses and Nikon DSLR's in particular allow you to use lenses going back years ( some of mine go back 20+ years) - albeit you have to use many of them manually. One thing to remember though - with the D70 to get the 35mm equivalent you multiply the focal length of the lens in use by 1.5. So a 70-300 becomes a 105 - 450mm . Now this is great if you are shooting sports or nature but not so good if you like wide angle images.
The two images were taken from the same spot. The image on the left was shot with a Sigma 12-24 at 12mm (18mm equiv) and the image on the right with a 500mm Tamron (750mm equiv). So you can have quite a wide range of angles if you are willing to carry the lenses!
1/3200 f7 400asa Sigma 70-300mm
300mm (450mm equiv)
1/800 f14 400asa Sigma 70-300
70mm (105mm equiv)
My local pond once again came up trumps as the models performed admirably so I could check out how the D70 coped with highlights. It did pretty well though I must confess to underexposing slightly to avoid washing out any whites.
The two images below show the difference between the Dimage A1 and the D70. Both were shot on the programme setting at 200 asa at a focal length of about 200mm. the D70 was a fine jpg and the A1 was a Raw file. Each was given a small amount of unsharp mask in Photoshop. The lighting was the same for each. and exposure for the D70 was 1/250 f4.5 on the Sigma 70-300. Exposure for the A1 was 1/250 f5. Original resolution for the A1 was 2560 x 1920 and 3008 x 2000 for the D70. Cameras were hand held. Anti-shake was not on for the A1
800 x 400 crop from Dimage A1 original
800 x 400 crop from D70 original
100% crop from Dimage A1
100% crop from D70
1/2500 f6.3 400 asa Sigma 70-300
220mm (330mm equiv)
As above but sharpened in Nikon Capture at 70/5/5
1/1250 f 7 400asa Sigma 70-300 195mm (300mm equiv) Raglan Castle
1/1250 f7 400asa Sigma 70-300
70mm (105mm equiv)
Sky enhanced in Photoshop
1/200 f7 200asa Sigma 12-24mm
12mm (18mm equiv)
1/500 f13 200asa Nikon 105mm 2.8
157mm(equiv) Jodrell Bank

Time Lapse
As a big fan of time lapse I soon tried out the D70 and used several methods.
1. Using Nikon Capture on a laptop and taking an image every three seconds at the lowest resolution and basic jpg. However Capture needs a USB2 port on the laptop and as mine only has standard USB I was losing frames so that was not fully succesful.
2. Then I just pressed the button every three seconds and that can be quite tiresome after 30-40 minutes! But it workd well.
3. I then got the infra red remote but the main drawback in using this method is that the sensor on the camera is on the front and can be masked by the body and lens. Not much thought has gone into this design. However I have now found I can bounce it off a piece of silver paper stuck on the body - not the most elegant of solutions though. I have posted an example just to the right. The AVI uses the DIVX codec.
The advantage of the 'higher low res' 1500 x 1000 of the D70 rather than the 640 x 480 of the Dimage is I can now zoom into sections of the image whilst rendering the time lapse in Adobe After Effects without losing quality.


Time Lapse 2.9 megs AVI DIiVX Codec
D70 infra red images here
Pictures here show a view comparison between the 12mm (18mm) and 24mm (36mm) of the Sigma 12 -24 zoom lens
Remember the difference between focal lengths at wide angle is far greater than at longer focal lengths
12mm 1/200 f20 400asa
24mm 1/200 f20 400 asa
Sigma 12 -24 12mm (18mm equiv) 1/1250 f7 400asa

Sigma 18-125mm 18mm (27mm equiv)
1/320 f9 200asa from NEF

100% crop from original on right

Having bought just the D70 body (using existing lenses) I held off buying a 'standard' lens until recently when the Sigma 18-125 became available. This focal length range is similar to my previous Dimage A1 - 27mm-187mm. Below are a few test images to give you some idea of the quality. All three images are taken from the same spot
D70 settings - low sharpening - low contrast - normal saturation - Adobe RGB - programme mode multi-pattern.
Images taken at Biddulph Grange, Derbyshire.

Sigma 18-125mm 34mm (51mm equiv)
1/320 f9 200 asa from NEF

100% crop from original on right

Sigma 18-125mm 125mm (187mm equiv)
1/400 f5.6 200asa from NEF

100% crop from original on right

The above three images also shot at Biddulph Grange also shot from the same position using three focal lengths of the 18-125 Sigma. Note the slight change of exposure of the multi-metering as you get closer. While sharpness is pretty good overall I have seen some softness at the very edge of the frame and on some images a small amount of vignetting at the corners can be noticed.
Sigma 18-125 18mm (27mm equiv)
1/200 f7 200asa
Sigma 18-125 45mm (67mm equiv)
1/160 f7 200asa

Sigma 18-125 125mm (187mm equiv)
1/125 f5.6 200 asa

The 18-125 Sigma zoom does have some close-up ability - the three above images showing what you are likely to cover at the widest ,middle and longest focal lengths.
18mm (27mm equiv) 1/125 f20 400asa
125mm (187mm equiv) 1/125 f20 400asa
50mm (75mm equiv) 1/125 f20 400asa
Sigma 18-125mm 125mm (187mm equiv) 1/250 f5.6 200asa 67% crop
Sigma 18-125mm 60mm (120mm equiv)
1/1000 f5.3 400asa
Sigma 18-125mm 30mm (45mm equiv)
1/250 f13 200asa
You will find another set of soccer action images taken with the 18-125 lens at http://www.rtfract/citaug.htm These are images taken at Manchester City home games.
Three images taken at the Test match at Old Trafford between England and the West Indies illustrating the scope of the focal lengths of the 18-125 zoom. You can see more at
Sigma 18-125 18mm (27mm equiv) 400asa 1/400 f10
Sigma 18-125 50mm (75mm equiv)
400asa 1/500 f11
Sigma 18-125 125mm (187mmequiv) 400asa 1/800 f7
A couple of shots taken with the Sigma 18-125 and the Nikon 28-80 taken in the same lighting conditions ( shade). The Sigma is a fraction warmer and the Nikon is a touch more contrasty. No sharpening in PS.
The above four images show the comparison in sunshine
you get order prints from some of my images here