I made the jump to serious digital photography in the summer of 2007. Prior to that I had played around with various digital point and shoot cameras that I always carried around for snapshots, but all my serious work was still done with film. My first dslr, a Nikon D40, while a very consumer type camera, really sold me on serious digital photography. At that time I didn’t want to invest a larger amount of money into a dslr until I knew that the whole digital thing was going to work for me. I used that D40 for about 8 months before upgrading to the Nikon D200.
I ended up selling my D40 to help pay for the D200, and even though I still regret that sale, perhaps I will blog about that someday, I absolutely loved the D200. Up until that point it was the best camera I had ever owned. I don’t base that statement on image quality alone, I base it on a number of things such as build quality, how it feels in my hands and how it generally is to use. In many respects it is a very subjective thing. I used that D200 as my primary camera for a really long time, it is the camera that I shot my now famous haboob time lapse video with, I have sold a lot of prints of images made with that camera, and I have had images licensed for publications around the world. In short, some of my most popular work has been captured with that D200. It should come as no surprise that I had developed a bit of an emotional tie to that camera.
In the fall of 2011 it became clear that I needed to add another camera to the lineup so I picked up a Nikon D7000. The D7000 became my primary body and the D200 became a combo backup / time lapse video camera. I shot with that lineup until December of 2012 when I picked up a new Nikon D600 and moved the D7000 to the backup / time lapse video role. The new lineup sort of pushed my old D200 out of the camera bag and into my gear storage locker. That is until I shipped her off to LifePixel for a Deep B&W IR conversion.
I already had a D200 with a “Super Color IR” conversion from LifePixel and prior to that I had an IR converted Nikon D70s. IR photography had become a pretty serious part of my photographic life. Having the old D200 converted and added to the line up really has given the old girl a whole new life. No longer is she relegated to sitting in my safe “collecting dust.” She is now half of an IR dedicated camera bag, and is back to being considered a primary shooter, truth be told, I consider both of my IR converted bodies as primary shooters. As the title of this posts says, it have a whole new life to an old friend.
Finally, a little about the image above, I captured it with my old friend this weekend at a park in Olympia, and for those that are wondering about the difference between the “Deep B&W” and the “Super Color” IR cameras, stay tuned, I am working on a screencast and blog post to give side by side comparisons.