The eagle has landed

The eagle has landed as of about 5p local time yesterday. No, it’s not a real eagle, and it’s also not a euphemism for a World War 2 operaton. Rather, it’s a camera, a Nikon DSLR that I bought on eBay. Yes, folks, I got the camera. Exciting stuff.

Actually, I was able to buy a nicer camera than I originally planned and at a lower price point. One caveat is that the kit lens does not work quite right — which I knew in advance. Autofocus doesn’t function properly, so in order to use it, I need to manually focus, which doesn’t bother me at all. Besides, as budget allows, I hope to buy some other used lenses on Craigslist or eBay over time.

Do I feel guilty about buying it? Yeah, but less so because I waited a long time for it and got a much better deal than I anticipated. It is definitely more advanced than any camera I’ve had before, so it will take quite a while for me to learn everything and feel comfortable with it. My initial impressions are that it is worth the money and that I will be able to learn and grow in my skills to a great extent over several years. That makes me happy.

Years ago, I had an earlier model of Nikon DSLR that I eventually sold to a family member after coming to the conclusion that the kind of nature photography I wanted to do was far too expensive and out of reach. I was discouraged by the realization that the real expense and functionality of photography is tied to the lens, not the camera itself. For example, zoom lenses are quite expensive, frequently over $1,000, and it just seemed unlikely that I could ever afford one.

I think I paid around $600 for that kit (also used), and only about 1/3 of that for a much more capable and sophisticated setup ten years later. Better still, there are many affordable zoom lens options these days, and I only recently realized that many high quality Nikon lenses can be used on this camera that are old, relatively cheap, and widely available for purchase.

It seems like the big thing on most people’s minds these days for photography is video, for example to upload videos to YouTube. I’m not interested in video that much at all, only still photography. I feel very fortunate then to be able to pursue this interest further now that I have a good quality camera.

Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?

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