So I've had this D70 kicking around the desk for awhile. I got it from the uber-talented Tim Nguyen (he's pretty awesome, if you haven't heard), and initially gave it to our first-born to get hooked on this crazy thing called art. She eventually upgraded to a D40x, and the D70 went back into the dark.
To the keeners, yes, that is a Minolta adapter and a weird third party prime lens (company by the name of Albinor?). With the amazing 256MB (yes, MB) card, I can rip through 43 whole RAW files on this baby!
In it's day, the D70 was huge, and it was the first DSLR I've used as a journalist. This baby rocked! AND it has a Hoodman on the back (those of you that know are laughing!).
Now, about those primes that are going on this baby, I caught a great deal with a local second-hand store. Included were a macro 28mm, a Minolta 50 mm (the only real brand name of the bunch), and a 135mm (brand name of Image). Next was the search for a Minolta/Nikon adapter so these 40 or so year-old lenses could work on my modern digital bodies. Turned out that the adapter was almost three times the price of the lenses, so I was into this project a whopping $65!
What I love about using these old beasts of burden is that it forces you to slow down; to think about each frame. I still find myself hitting the button in the back I usually have designated to auto-focus, wondering why the body isn't doing anything.
Oh yeah - I need to physically turn the lens until it looks sharp!
In short, if you're looking for a great way to bust out of a shooting rut, buy a cheap DSLR off the internet, grab some even cheaper primes, and go nuts. I'm loving the effects that I've achieved with my gear. The above salt shaker and mixer images were shot with the D70 and the Albinor f/2.8 28mm lens with a SB600 speedlite. I've tossed the 135 on my D7000 and got the below image of a rattlesnake. Of course, it was one of those days that I thought bringing all my Minolta primes would be 'artistic,' justifying the fact that I've never seen a rattler at that location previously.
Now I understand why UFO and bigfoot images are so sucky. People are forced to use the absolute worst gear possible to get a once in a lifetime image!