It's been quite the trip

Chris Dodkin

West Coast Correspondent
I remember having a Kodak point and shoot as young as 4, but got my first real camera, a Fujica STX 1, as soon as I had a student grant to blow!

After that, I went all tech when the Minolta 7000 came out, and delighted in the world of slooooow auto focus LOL.

Finally discovered Canon after their early disastrous AF attempts, and purchased a nice EOS 5. That camera paid for itself, and a second EOS 5, and my first L lenses, shooting lots of lovely Playboy models back in the 90's..... :cool:

When the D30 arrived, I jumped in, and used the new tech to take on pro motorsports on the weekends. That D30 paid for a second D30, and a Canon 300 f2.8 L lens, and with a couple of Canon extenders, I was loving the new found freedom of all digital shooting. I never bought another film.

After the D30 came the 1D, still the most expensive body I have ever purchased. 4 megapixels of rugged goodness, built like a tank.

After that, the 1D MKII, which was a huge step-up to 8 megapixels, and better all the way around.

That camera has lasted me 7 years, and has only been superseded last week with a shiny new 5D MK II.

By now, I have invested so heavily in Canon glass that I'll never change - not that I'd want to.

Lens list is in the signature... I still lust after the fast Canon 85mm prime, and maybe a 50mm f1.2, but who knows where this hobby will take me.

As long as the kit pays for itself, the wife is happy enough to let me indulge. In fact, she's a damn fine photographer herself. :D

I have a bag and case addiction, with too many Billingham bags, and too many Pelican cases.

Manfrotto monopod and tripod, and a nice Manfrotto gimbal mount for my 600.

Macs, CS4, iPhones, iPad, iStuff generally :cool:
Nice set up, I'd too love to even have a go with canons 85mm beast ...
I have nikons 85 1.4 ... Which is a bit old compared to canons offering!
Do you think lenses really age that much?

Several of my L lenses are now over 10 years old, and although there have been advances in image stabilization, the actual optics are still current.

There's some discussion that Canon will upgrade their optics to cope with the latest high resolution bodies, but for most folk that's probably not a huge deal.

I've deliberately held off trying the Canon 85mm, because I know I'll buy it as soon as I try it!! LOL
Lenses evolve in small increments over a long period of time when compared to film bodies and much more so, digital bodies. The biggest advance over the century and three quarters that photography has been viable, was lens coating and that dates back to 1935 or thereabouts. Multicoating came along about four decades later. Computer design and manufacture has not necessarily improved the best of lenses, but it has somewhat leveled the playing field. Inexpensive lenses are no longer mush, though their mounts may leave a lot to be desired. A lens purchase - specially a high-end one - can usually be seen as a very long term, perhaps once in a lifetime, acquisition.
I was refering mostly to the technology in the mechanics of the lens... Nikons 85 1.4 is a "d" lens.
Its autofocus uses a motor in the body of the camera and as such is slower than the modern afs equivalents! Not that it makes a huge difference...
Id also like to see how good a modern nikon 85 would be concidering how good thier newest afs lenses are...
Not AF, but the Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Planar ZF lens is absolutely superb. Very high contrast and as sharp as a razor with perfect colour accuracy even fully 'open'. It's interesting, but images shot with Zeiss lenses (even the modern optics built by Cosina to Zeiss designs and specifications) have a definite look. Maybe the T* coating has some impact. But that certain look you quite often see in images shot on Hasselblads (the V's with Zeiss lenses) seem carry through to Nikon (and Leica with ZM's).
I thought long and hard about if to buy a Zeiss 85 or nikon 85 ... The af got me... What can i say, I'm lazy... I have always wondered if I made the right choice
I still mainly shoot MF even with AF lenses on the D3. Focusing is fast and smooth with the Zeiss. I guess I've doing it so long I can't get out of the habit and of course with the tilt/shift lenses I use you don't get the choice anyway! With FF viewfinders it is just like the old film bodies. APS/C was just a bit too tricky at times I found. But I understand your choice. A wedding photographer friend uses his Nikkor 85 to good effect and rates it very highly, especially for during a service.