Should I take my D200 ??

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sonya brady, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. I Just bought a brand new D200 which I will pair with my 17-55 DX lens. I am
    going to the Carribean in less than a month and can't decide if I should take
    my D200 with me.....It just freaks me out to think of subjecting my new
    digital camera to fine sand! It just costs so much to send cameras away (I am
    in Alberta Canada) to get the sensors cleaned and even then its never the
    same. I don't plan on chaning the lens so technically it will never be open
    but that stuff just seems to get in there anyways. If I had the money Id get a
    second body and use one for bad weather conditions and keep the other for
    good.....unfortunately I don't have that luxury and was seriously thinking of
    cracking out my F100 film camera instead and going that route.

    I am really torn by this decision. Can anyone be a sounding board for me with
    this issue? Will I regret taking my F100 if I choose that option or my D200 if
    go that way? Thanks

  2. Do you have a film scanner, if you went the 'not taking it' route?
  3. To be honest, I don't know why you'd spend almost $3K on a D200 and a top-notch lens, then leave it at home on a nice trip.

    Unless you're REALLY worried about theft (which would be the only valid reason to leave your expensive stuff at home), you should bring your best equipment.

    Also, unless you're planning to use your D200 as a foundation to a sandcastle, there's no need to worry about getting sand inside -- the D200 is well-sealed. Even a little saltwater spray can be wiped off easily.

    As to dust getting in the sensor -- just accept it as a fact of life of DSLR ownership. Learn how to clean the sensor yourself.

  4. "It just costs so much to send cameras away (I am in Alberta Canada) to get the sensors cleaned and even then its never the same."

    You should think about cleaning the sensor yourself. It's not difficult and there are many products to help you do it safely. Even without changing lenses, dust can get into the camera and on the sensor. All DSLR cameras are going to need to have their sensors cleaned, perhaps frequently. Cleaning will leave the sensor as good as new, maybe better, as sometimes a new camera will have some dust.
  5. I have to agree with KL.

    What's the point of owning a camera like the D200 if you don't use it.

    My suggestion: sell the D200 to someone who's going to use it, then buy a D50 and leave it home instead.
  6. Load up your F100 with Kodachrome and take that instead. Pretend like you're Steve McCurry.
  7. C. Andrew - Yes I would have the ability to scan.

    KL - I just knew someone was going to come along and say "why would you pay all that money for a set up and not use it". That is the biggest part of why I am asking my question because I too feel this way. However, I do a lot of traveling and have the opprotunity to shoot in many places. In the winter I generally take "tropical" location vacations that include me doing many activities that do not allow me to always have my camera with me such as snorkeling, parasailing etc. This means that I have to leave my camera under a towel on the beach sometimes......Im not sure how long a D200 would sit unoticed if you know what I mean.....these trips are more for relaxation and casual shooting rather than focusing on hard core shoting I mean I want to get a few nice pics, but at what expense. In the summer however, I take trips that are more conducive to serious shooting. This summer I will spend a month in the Meditteranean and will have my camera on me at all times.....I will definately have it with me then and have the time to use it properly. Part of the focus of that trip is to get some spectacular images. So you see, while it is easy to say don't buy it if your not going to use it, it doesn't always work out to fit my needs. Hope that helps others in helping me decide. Thanks for any respenses.

  8. It sounds like you need to get yourself a little point and shoot and play like a tourist this time.
  9. I would probably take both. I take my D200 lots of places, but I would shy away from taking it to the beach on a windy day. If you take K-64 with your F-100 you will have to photos with a distinctive look that will last for 200 years or so. We wont have this (K-64) option forever.
  10. I just came back from a trip. It was my intention to shoot for fun, and I had planned on taking a couple F2AS bodies and three or so lenses in a smallish bag. At the last moment, my wife (who 'works' on these trips while I play) decided we needed to haul a laptop.

    I really only wanted one carry-on, so the 'heavy metal' got set aside. I took a digi P&S (Coolpix 8400) instead. The 8400 was relatively 'new' to me, so that turned into a time to explore what it could do. In the end, I enjoyed the challenge of using the completely different type of camera. I made images with it I would not have made with the older bodies. I also (perhaps obviously) did *not* make the kinds of images I'm capable of making with my 'old friends'.

    Sounds like you have valid reasons for wanting to use something smaller and cheaper on this trip. Do so if it makes you happy. Though I'd still take the camera up para-sailing......
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    KL IX says it very well.

    Back in 2005, I bought my D2X a couple of months before a major trip to Madagascar. I timed it so that prices started to drop after the initial demand was fulfilled while I still had plenty of time to learn and test the new camera. I used the D2X in the rain foreses there and, of course, it rained on it a few times. I also used it in the deserts with heat and sand, etc. The main reason to get a high-end DSLR is that it can survive those conditions.

    I suggest you use the time between now and your trip to get familiar with your new camera. In particular, you should learn how to clean the sensor once in a while yourself. It isn't all that much harder than cleaning the front element of your lens.
  12. Worrying about sand would be a nice change of pace compared to what I normally have to worry about; mud, snow, ice, rain, dropping it in the water or off a high place (while still attached to me), 1000 year old muck, glacier silt, and a myriad other potential hazards.

    But, if its safety (theft in this case) that you're worried about, have it locked up in the hotel safe while your not using it (if you're in a hotel that is). I don't stay at fancy resorts often, but have utilized the safe when not using my gear was not going to be at my side. I wouldn't leave it my room unattended, too big a temptation for someone making maybe a couple of bucks an hour changing sheets. I mean no disrespect to room maids and hotel workers in general. It's just a fact of life.

    Instead of spending money on a new body for bad weather, get a camera rain coat, a lot less expensive and their pretty effective.

    And like others said, learn to clean your own camera, its not hard and a lot less expensive than sending out.
  13. Thanks Kevin - I have a great little 6MP Canon A700 Powershot......its coming along regardless. Thats what the hubby uses cause he was tired of feeling left out of the picture taking process and scared to touch my equipment! Ha Ha.

    Shun - You are right. Good quality equipment is built to be used (if that's what the focus of your trip is.

    I think I will mesh the two ideas and take the D200 on days I can do some serious shooting and won't have to leave it alone and then snatch the point and shoot for fun photos at the beach.

    Thanks for all your help.

  14. Can anyone recommend a site that tells you how to properly clean digital sensors?

    I attempted it on my own way back when I had my Fuji S2 but I didn't really care if it didn't work or ultimately ruined the camera because the camera was on its last legs anyways. I didn't see any improvements so I think I did it wrong.
  15. Sorry John De Cristofaro, a D50 just wouldn't do it for me. Although I'm confident enough in my skills as a photographer to use any camera and get a decent image.....I am becoming increasingly demanding for better equipment for better results. You can't just say that I should sell my equipment to someone who will use it if you don't know for what purpose I am needing it for. I have a collection of equipment and choose what I want to use by the purposes for which I need it.......this is the only time Ive had second thoughts. Thanks for your opinion though.
  16. Hi Sonya,


    or what I really like is:
  17. btw, what KL IX says. Take it :). I am going to Caribbean in April and would not think of leaving my D200. It will do great.
  18. My standard flying travel kit has the following cameras:
    • Nikon F5
    • Nikon D70
    • Bronica ETRSi (a 6cm x 4.5cm medium format film camera)
    If I'm driving, I may well take my Wista DX II 4x5 field camera.
    For the two Nikons, I take the following accessories:
    • 24-120mm VR lens
    • 70-300mm lens (usually, but not always)
    • SB-600
    • Lumiquest 80/20 flash diffuser
    For the Bronica, I take the following
    • 40mm lens
    • 75mm lens
    • 150mm lens
    • 250mm lens (sometimes, but not always)
    • three film backs, sometimes four
    • at least one film back waist pouch
    It all goes into a LowePro Commercial AW bag and my tripod, a Bogen 3021, goes into my suitcase. I may also throw a smaller camera bag, like a LowePro TL-1 or TL-2, into a suitcase for use at my destination. I carry the big bag onto the aeroplane, along with all of my film.
    When I get where I'm going, I'll leave the big bag at "home" and just take the camera or cameras I want, my film backs, and an extra lens or two and stick them into my photo vest or cargo pants pockets. Then I go out and take photos! Lots of photos!
    When I get home, the 35mm and 120 gets processed. Index prints are scanned with either my Konica-Minolta 5400II scanner (35mm) or my Epson 2450 flatbed (MF and LF). If I want snapshots, I'll scan at the appropriate resolution. If I want mounted prints, I'll send my film out for professional scanning and printing.
    If I were you, I'd take whatever film camera I have as well as the new D200. Keep the D200 in a one or two gallon zip lock bag when not in use if you are near sand. Naturally, keep it out of the sun, too. If you're like me, you've already got a Nikon 35mm, hence the D200 purchase.
    And enjoy yourself!
  19. Sonya,

    I've had a simiilar question for an upcoming trip. I'm going sailing for ten days in the lower
    carribean. I'm not planning to take a lap top on this trip and will look into buying a
    portable drive to download images. So I could also take a point and shoot and just keep it
    light and simple. But then why do I have this amazing camera?

    Since we'll be on a boat for the bulk of the time, I worry less about sand, but more about
    water. But one of the reasons I bought the D200 was for the weather sealant aspect, so for
    me to leave it behind and take the d70s seems to fly in the face of that rationale. Still, I
    know that if the d70s went overboard, I'm only out $x in an investment. If it were the
    d200, I'd cry a lot harder.

    then the next question, is which lens to bring. 18-200 or a prime? I just bought a 17-55
    and imagine the images I might get with it, it would be a shame to leave it behind, even if
    it is so darn heavy. (no chance of bringing a tripod on this trip) So I understand the

    And sand can be deadly. I did a shoot on a beach (I live in sarasota where the sand is as
    fine as talc) it was worse on my lenses than on my camera. Even with extra care I could
    hear the sand as I adjusted the zoom.

    On a recent trip to China I thought I'd only use the 18-200, which was part of the main
    reason for buying it. But I found that my 24mm was on the camera more as it was easier to
    handle. Some folks had suggested to just take a d70, and an 18-70, but looking back at
    that trip through the images, I'm glad of the lenses I had in my bag and for the d200.

    for this trip I'll probably just take the 18 - 200 and the D200 and a flash. I'm sure you are
    excited about your new equipment and what a great opportunity to use it while you're on
    vacation. I just wouldn't take it on the beach, especially on windy days.

    (try to pack it in a bag that doesn't scream "i'm an expensive camera" if you're going some
    place that is suspect--a diaper bags works)

    hope that helps

  20. Wow Kelly, that's an aweful lot of gear.......which I might consider taking with me if I was on a paid assignment but that's entirely too much equipment to carry for what is meant to be a relaxing vacation where I might get or only want to have SOME time to do some serious shooting. Plus, I travel alot and these days going throgh security at the airports with that kind of gear would just be my version of hell....unless again I was on assignment. I really just pick and choose which trips I want to focus on my personal photography. It's really wonderful that you have such a passion for your personal photography that you are willing to take so much. I thank you so much for your contribution. Reagrds

  21. Cleaning sensors:

    I follow Thom Hogan's advice and use a hurricane blower everyday BEFORE I take the
    camera out, and immediately after I get back at night. It seems to prevent the glued on
    dust which requires major surgery as far as I'm concerned. I have not yet had to do "wet"
    cleaning in 6 months.

    Last summer I was headed to Guatemala and I was very concerned about theft (much
    higher incidence of this kind of stuff in Central America than other places) and ended up
    leaving both the D70s and F100 at home, taking the FE2 instead. Well, as it turns out, I
    regretted the move because I missed some shots for a wide variety of reasons. I live near
    the beach - it's one environment that is very hard on any camera - heat, humidity, salt,
    sand, wind. Just don't leave the D200 sitting exposed to the hot sun. There's lots of
    world-class images in the Caribbean - shorelines with coconut palms, turqoise water,
    puffy cumulus clouds, verdant mountains, Afro-Caribe culture - take the D200.
  22. Thanks Gene. You are right, there are many world class pictures taken in the Carribean and Id like to have the opportunity to take some of my own. I will take my D200.......and the canon point and shoot for the beach! Take care.
  23. Louise, I also have a 18-200 and have the exact same dilemma for when I go to the I use my D200 and 18-200 or lug around the 17-55 every day for a month??? If you haven't tried your 17-55 yet you will be blown away with the results. Its just an amazing lens.....if only it weren't so heavy. It's really just not a "friendly traveller".
  24. Sonya

    yep, the idea of lugging anything sounds hard on vacation.

    for me the 17-55 will stay behind purely as a result of economics. It's almost twice the
    cost of the 18-200, purchased for more work related shoots than personal pursuits, and
    the 18-200 is a lot lighter. I've played around with the 17-55 and it's a beauty. A different
    class of lens. For this trip I'll likely bring a 50 1.4 OR 24 2.8 for faster or low light
    situations, but mostly use the 18 - 200 for fun. And lots of waterproof gear bags.

    (oh, and I read your post on the other forum--you weren't beaten up badly on this thread
    at all. you can get tossed around a lot worse at times. you just have to grow more duck
    feathers at times and take what you can learn and the rest with a pinch of salt.) It's worth
    it though, as there are quite a few kind folks who will always answer with good rational
    measured responses. I've learned an awful lot.
  25. Good Plan Louise. As for the comment on the other sounded worse when I read it....I didn't really mean beaten up in a serious way......mreso Just jokingly. I do think there is a lot to learn by sharing information. It sounds like we have a lot in common in terms of equipment and travels. I look forward to sharing information with you in the future.
  26. Dust is a fact of life with digital sensors. Do a little research to see what methods are available to clean them. I've never known anyone to send their cameras back to Nikon service for this job - but then I haven't heard from everyone either.

    The usual problem is lint, not dust or sand. I suspect most lint comes from the camera bag or your pockets. Since I vacuumed the inside of my bag and dusted the rear end of my lenses, I need clean the sensor only every two or three months. Even in dry. dusty Spain for three weeks, I only had to clean the sensor twice.

    If you drop your camera in the sand, you will have more problems than dust on the sensor. If it's windy, you could wrap the camera in a Zip-loc bab just as for rain, and keep a protective filter in place. Wind-borne sand can knick lenses in an heartbeat.
  27. Hi Sonya,
    I know how you feel. But, I'd say go for it girl! Take your D200. I've gone on several trips to Asia now and I've devised a stratedgy that works for me. Always take two cameras. A less expensive point and shoot whether film or digital for general use and a special camera such as a Nikon D70 or now my Nikon D200 as of today.
    My technique is never use bags that call attention to themselves and scream steal me I'm a expensive camera! I use old school bags. Of course I bring my cleaning kits and do the cleaning myself. Its not hard to learn. I also take along a digital wallet such as a Epson P2200 to immediately back up and safeguard my images. In the hotel room if you can't keep your gear in a locked cabinet or suitcase then keep it in the hotel safe. Don't forget copies of your theft insurance and receipts proving proof of ownership.
    I've found the best safeguard is to avoid showing off or flaunting your gear. The only gear that I'm really casual about is my little digital point and shoot.
    Good luck!
    Ted Calbazana
  28. Good Stuff Ted......Where did you learn how to clean a sensor? Everyone keeps saying its so easy but Ive not have anyone tell me how?
  29. >>Wow Kelly, that's an aweful lot of gear....... Yes, but the good news is I only have to schlep it through the airport. I do not take the whole thing out in the field with me.
    Cameras are tools. Just like I don't use a screwdriver to pound a nail, I'm not going to use my digital to capture a landscape I may want to enlarge into a 16x20 to grace my wall.
    Likewise, I don't generally use my MF to snap off street candids. Occasionally I'll pre-focus on a selected spot and wait for some interesting to walk through the depth of field, and then snap a shot. Generally, though, I use a 35mm for street candids.
    The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. I enjoy taking and viewing photographs. I have thousands of images from around the world...and I'll be getting more from Charlottesville, VA and Annapolis, MD this weekend and Miami next week. The joys of jets!
  30. Sonya, don't worry about the sand. The D200 is weather sealed - one of the many reasons some of us bought it! I live at the beach and am constantly on the sand and after a year have had no problems w/my D200. My last Caribbean vacation I took an 8 mp p&s and got some good shots. I also took my Leica rangefinder for b&w. Traveling light is the ticket. If you are a professional looking for images to sell then you should take the D200. But then it becomes a "working" vacation...
  31. Take it. You could just as easily drop the camera in a nice climate controlled, dust-free studio next week.

    If the D200 is your tool of choice for photography and you're going to a photogenic place where you would be disappointed if you missed some fantastic photos b/c you were ill equipt then you'd be disappointed. Take the camera, protect it from the sand and dust as best you can, but use it.
  32. Take the D200... I used it on assignment in rural Haiti and it survived beautifully through dust, rain and even a nasty fall (well my shoulder beared most of the impact. I also took along my 17-35mm2.8f lens and my 18-200mm Holga as a fun film camera and my Nikon 8008 as a back up in case my batteries went completely dead (all electricity and running water). Also in my bag were 3 heavy duty trash bags which gave me peace of mind when a downpour hit. I didn't this trip, but a lot of times I take my digital point and shoot for fun pics or scouting out fits in my pocket and it's easy to hide....just remember you have to be vigilant about your equipment anywhere you go. Good luck and have a good trip.
  33. Sonya,

    Don't forget to consider the end use for your pictures. At Christmas, instead of running
    around with my D2x and an SB-800, I used my F6 with a 50mm F1.4 lens and some Portra
    400. It was natural, and the end usage was prints for the family album. Pretty small kit,

    On a caribbean VACATION, I'd probably bring my F6, a 35mm F2 and a 50mm F1.4, and
    lots of Provia 400. Then enjoy your vacation slide show when you get home. If you find
    something worth a stock upload or enlargement, have it professionally scanned (or take
    the time at home to do it properly yourself). I've found that an F6 and a small lens is very
    small and not nearly as noticeable as "pro" gear. My wife and kids complain less about it
    too...they feel like I'm there to vacation.

    This all being said...a D200 is smallish, like the F6. So, take the D200, a 35 and 50 (very
    pocket-able lenses), and challenge yourself to be creative and zoom with you feet. Enjoy
    the art of "making" the picture instead of just "taking" the picture.
  34. I had a D200 on the beach for about 2 hours and cleaned sand out of it for weeks. I don't blame you; it's nasty stuff.
  35. Someone could break into your house while you are gone and steal it. TAKE IT!
  36. That's the best reason I've heard yet!
  37. I don't blame you Sonya. Whenever I go to sandy places (like the beaches near my home in
    Florida) I leave the digital camera at home and, instead, take my Leicas. The Leicas are a
    lot easier to get really clean and the lenses do not seem to get dirty as long as you keep
    the caps on them when not in use.

    Scanning is a lot of fun if you have a lot of time to do it. Prints from scanned images look
    different from prints made from original digital images. I said "different" because I don't
    choose one over the other. Each variety has its own unique appeal. I prefer film for beach
    photography, but that's just me. I have had good results from Nikon digital cameras
    photographing in snowy or Alpine conditions. YMMV and photography with battery-
    dependent cameras in cold conditions requires extra precautions.

    Good luck!
  38. I have a D200 and I would not risk it. I have a number of camera's that I use and I decide which would be the most appropriate for the trip or shoot. What the end product will be used for etc. IF I am going to be at the beach or sailing I will take my FE2. For landscapes I use medium format. For most everything else I use the D200. I prefer to take care of my equipment but I also want excellent results. The FE2 is capable of very fine results but yet I am not so worried about it and will slosh around in the sand or water to get a shot. I was waist high in water with it last summer attempting to make it to a natural bridge..No way would I be out there with a $2000.00 rig.
  39. I think you should take the F100 and go with it.
    Here's why:
    1- Film is still the best stocking option, if you have to choose;
    2- You can't get any sensor dust-scratched;
    3- If you have to take your new $$$ camera, act innatural for fear of damaging it and miss the shoots you are there for, then leave it at home.
    Camera is just a tool, isn't it?
  40. ldw


    This is a fun thread, couldn't resist...

    Of course you should take your D200. I typical travel with a few thousand dollars worth of gear on any trip I take. I pack my Hasselblad 501CM (+ a couple lenses) and then I bring my F100 with a couple lenses, oh and my wife brings a digital P&S. I was somewhat concerned about bringing my Hasselblad with my after I bought it (and spent a small fortune on it), but you'll get over it quickly when you see the results from your D200.

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