Nikon Cameras

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 (until the D6 which I don't feel offers much more than my 'old' D5 cameras).  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.

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Nikon D5

This is my 'go to' workhorse camera for my most demanding projects and locations.  The superb image quality and fast shooting rate mean this is a camera that I can rely on.  The incredible sensor allows me to shoot in very dark situations using whatever natural light is available - however little - so I can create photographs that capture the true authenticity of the scene.

Nikon D850

The D850 is probably the best all-round and best value-for-money professional camera that Nikon has ever made (although it is now superseded by the D880).  The 45.7MP sensor delivers images of superb resolution and image fidelity while still displaying the characteristic Nikon 'look' which is perfect for double-page magazine spreads and high quality exhibition prints.

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Nikon Z9

OK, this isn't in my kitbag just yet but it will be as soon as Nikon release it.  I have been so impressed by the first Z cameras (the Z6 and Z7) that if the Z9 is as good as Nikon say, it will quickly become my new workhorse.  The lightweight mirrorless design and new lens mount have created a revolutionary new direction for Nikon ... but the Z cameras remain unmistakably 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 35mm f/1.4 on one body with an 85mm f/1.4 or a 200mm f/2 (which is heavy!) on the other, but I'll still keep the 58mm f/1.4 on my reserve camera, with a couple of other lenses loose in my small (and very well-worn) Billingham camera bag.  

Nikon F2, F3, F6

The D850 is probably the best all-round and best value-for-money professional camera that Nikon has ever made (although it is now superseded by the D880).  The 45.7MP sensor delivers images of superb resolution and stunning image fidelity while still displaying the characteristic Nikon 'look' which is perfect for double-page magazine spreads, advertising campaigns.

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Nikon 16-35mm f/4

OK, this isn't in my kitbag just yet but it will be as soon as Nikon release it.  I have been so impressed by the first Z cameras (the Z6 and Z7) that if the Z9 is as good as Nikon say, it will quickly become my new workhorse.  The lightweight mirrorless design and new lens mount have created a revolutionary new direction for Nikon ... but the Z cameras remain unmistakably Nikon.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8

The D850 is probably the best all-round and best value-for-money professional camera that Nikon has ever made (although it is now superseded by the D880).  The 45.7MP sensor delivers images of superb resolution and stunning image fidelity while still displaying the characteristic Nikon 'look' which is perfect for double-page magazine spreads.

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Nikon 58mm f/1.4

OK, this isn't in my kitbag just yet but it will be as soon as Nikon release it.  I have been so impressed by the first Z cameras (the Z6 and Z7) that if the Z9 is as good as Nikon say, it will quickly become my new workhorse.  The lightweight mirrorless design and new lens mount have created a revolutionary new direction for Nikon ... but the Z cameras remain unmistakably Nikon.

Nikon 35mm f/1.4

The D850 is probably the best all-round and best value-for-money professional camera that Nikon has ever made (although it is now superseded by the D880).  The 45.7MP sensor delivers images of superb resolution and stunning image fidelity while still displaying the characteristic Nikon 'look' which is perfect for double-page magazine spreads.

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Nikon 85mm f/1.4

OK, this isn't in my kitbag just yet but it will be as soon as Nikon release it.  I have been so impressed by the first Z cameras (the Z6 and Z7) that if the Z9 is as good as Nikon say, it will quickly become my new workhorse.  The lightweight mirrorless design and new lens mount have created a revolutionary new direction for Nikon ... but the Z cameras remain unmistakably Nikon.

Nikon 200mm f/2

The D850 is probably the best all-round and best value-for-money professional camera that Nikon has ever made (although it is now superseded by the D880).  The 45.7MP sensor delivers images of superb resolution and stunning image fidelity while still displaying the characteristic Nikon 'look' which is perfect for double-page magazine spreads.

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Simon Hill HonFRPS   Editorial Photographer