When I was young I had various point & shoot film cameras, and have used some disposable cameras. My first digital camera was the Sony T3, which was a good little camera and fitted easily into my pocket, which suited me back then.

Sony DSC-T3

At the time the technology was at the point where your phone could play music as well as take decent photos, and I was convinced that I would no longer need a separate camera – a view that many people hold today. However, like smartphones camera technology progressed, and cameras with 10x and 12x zoom emerged. I was not happy with the single focal range of my phone’s camera, nor the resolution, so I purchased the Panasonic DMC-ZS10, which was a nice compact zoom camera.

Panasonic DMC-ZS10

A few years later I started to do some self-study and learned the basic photography concepts and techniques, and realised that the Panasonic was rather limited when compared to a DSLR. A friend of mine had a DSLR and I was impressed with the quality of photos it produced, and the control you have over camera settings.

After some research I decided to get the Nikon D3200, as it was an entry level camera, affordable, higher resolution than most of the other cameras in its class, and had an ‘assistant mode’ built in – which I never really used!

Nikon D3200

I originally bought a fixed 35mm and a 55-300mm telephoto zoom lens to go with the camera. My first trip with this new camera and lenses was to Iceland. While walking around I quickly became frustrated with having to continuously change the lens when I needed to take telephoto or wide angle photos. A while later and after some research I decided to purchase a Tamron 18-270mm lens. I wanted to Nikon 18-300mm, but it was more than double the price, and I could not justify it having not tried either.

The Tamron proved to be a good buy and I love that lens. It covers a very wide focal range and is light and you can take it anywhere. Anyone wanting a ‘walk-around’ lens for a DX camera should definitely look at this as an option.

Later on I purchased the Tamron 10-24mm ultra wide zoom lens second hand, as I wanted to photograph architecture and interiors of old houses, and this lens can be used for some nice creative effects.

I use the fixed 35mm lens for portraits, parties and other events, sometimes with a speed flash if at night.

The DX lenses I have are as follows:

  • AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.8G
  • AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G
  • AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm F4.5-5.6
  • Tamron 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
  • Tamron 10-24mm F4.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD

On snorkelling holidays I occasionally bought disposable underwater cameras, but was disappointed with the quality of the photos. Rather than buying an expensive underwater enclosure for one of my cameras, I decided to get a dedicated underwater point & shoot camera, and I decided on the Olympus Tough TG-3. It is a brilliant little camera with an aperture of F2.0, and is waterproof to 10m, and can be dropped from 2m apparently, and left in the sand on the beach. If used in the sunshine you need to stop it down, as the maximum shutter speed is1/2000s, and at F2.0 you will overexpose your photos.

Olympus Tough TG-3

After 4 years of using the D3200 and around 100,000 photos, I decided it was time for an upgrade. After a lot of research, and for various reasons I won’t go into here I decided on the Nikon D750. I love this camera! it has a nice deep grip; lots of customisable controls; a newer better 24MP sensor; 3D focus tracking; and many other nice features that I wanted. It is a fullframe (FX) camera and is slightly better than the ‘cropped sensor’ (DX) range when it comes to image quality, depth of field, and sensitivity. It also has a screen that can pivot up and down, for those difficult shots.

Nikon D750

Because I wanted a lens I could walk around with, and have wide angle and telephoto zoom all in one, I got the Nikkor 23-300mm lense to start with. I also purchased the Tamron 150-600mm telephoto zoom as I love taking photos of wildlife, including birds in flight. A lot of people are saying that this is a good lens and I am amazed at the photos I have taken with it. I am not a professional photographer, nor do I have experience with a lot of diff0erent cameras and lenses, but this lens feels good and is generally brilliant!

I subsequently bought the 18-35mm lens for wide angles, and the 24-85mm for a standard zoom lens where I don’t need extended zoom.

I have a wishlist of lenses that I would like in the future, funds permitting. They include the Nikkor 16-35mm F4.0; Nikkor 24-120 F4.0 (this is supposed to be better than the 28-300mm, for when I don’t need the reach – maybe); Nikkor 70-200mm F4.0; and some primes, starting with the Nikkor 35mm F1.8. I am not considering getting the legendary 24-70mm F2.8 at this point, although that may change in the future. I may look at Tamron variants, but this will need research.

The FX lenses I have currently are as follows:

  • AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G
  • AF-S Nikkor 28-300 F3.5-5.6G
  • Tamron 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD
  • AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G
  • AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm F3.5-4.5G
↻ Last Updated: 26 June 2024