Nikon Cameras

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I began using Nikon equipment while working on local newspapers in the early 1980s, a few years before I went to art college.  My first 'pro' camera was an F2AS Photomic before moving up to the F3 (probably the best manual focus 35mm film camera, ever!), then through the autofocus F4 and F5 cameras, to the F6 - which I still use for film work. 

 

My move to digital came with the D3X, which I 'upgraded' every time Nikon brought out a new camera up to and including the D5.  I now use three D5 cameras for my editorial assignments.  With the Z9, which arrived in December 2021, I'll put it through its paces and perhaps move entirely mirrorless. ... we'll see! 

 

Throughout my career I have continued to use Nikon kit because I find it to be the toughest and most reliable for professional use.  I have occasionally used equipment from other manufacturers - notably Canon, Leica and Hasselblad - but for my professional editorial work, it is always Nikon.

Nikon Lenses

Nikon lenses are some of the finest available to the photographer.  I have lenses covering focal lengths from 14mm through to 800mm but for most assignments I like to 'travel light' and carry no more than half a dozen lenses.  I keep the more extreme focal lengths and 'special' lenses (for example, PC-shift and macro lenses) for pre-planned situations. 

 

I always work with two identical camera bodies (with a third in reserve) and I 'pair' my lenses depending on the event or subject that is being photographed.  For most news and general editorial work, I will pair a 16-35mm f/4 on one body with a 70-200mm f/2.8 on the other, and I'll have the 58mm f/1.4 on my 'reserve' body. 

 

Where I am looking for images with quite 'shallow' depth of field, I'll pair something like a 24mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/1.4 on one body, with an 85mm f/1.4, a 200mm f/2 (which is heavy!) or a 300mm f/2.8 (just as heavy!) on the other, but I'll still keep the 58mm f/1.4 on my reserve camera, with a couple of other lenses in a small (and very worn) Billingham bag.  

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I have almost forty years of professional experience with Nikon cameras and lenses.  I am not a Nikon Ambassador nor am I a Nikon Representative but I am a Member of Nikon Professional Services - the dedicated support service for professional photographers that use Nikon equipment.  It is important to emphasise that I am not paid or obligated in any way to promote Nikon equipment; I work with Nikon cameras and lenses simply because I trust them for the most demanding professional use.  I purchase all my Nikon equipment through the excellent and incredibly helpful authorised Nikon dealer, Bass & Bligh in Harrogate, UK.  

Simon Hill HonFRPS   Editorial Photographer