Year end musings 2016 edition

As 2016 draws to a close with only four blog posts this year, it's time for the second short review of my state of the photo nation.
  1. My camera systems are now four: Nikon FX, Nikon DX, Nikon CX, and Fuji X. The Fuji gets the most use, DX the least (but it is a recent addition).
  2. I added a D5200 (last year's D5200 has been with my brother for some time now), along with an 18-140mm DX as a general use camera.
  3. The D3 batteries are failing. They've lived a long life, and have served me well.
  4. The V2 hasn't seen much use, mostly because I haven't shot surfing much. There hasn't been much activity on the Nikon side with CX lenses or bodies, so this is the end of CX for me.
  5. The X-E1 is gone, replaced by an X-E2. Same resolution, but with PD AF and a much faster EVF, especially in dim lighting. Still not as clean as the V1/V2's EVF in dim light though. I bought an XT-10 guide, but have yet to read through it. This had lead to several issues in the field. RTFM!
  6. My lens kit has grown. I picked up a bunch of 50-55mm lenses, mostly because they're really cheap. Not sure what do with all of them, but each one has its distinct characteristics, or draw as others like to call it. I'm also the happy owner of a Contax 85mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.7, and a Fuji 23mm f/1.4. 
  7. I've added a Zhongyi Lens Turbo II in a Canon EOS mount. It's been fun using the Nikon 35mm PC with the X-E2, and I'm planning to use this lens more. A 28mm PC would be even more useful.
  8. Film! I'm the happy owner of a free Yashica T4S and a $15 Olympus XA. I didn't think I'd go back to film but shooting B&W with tiny cameras has been fun.
  9. I added three tripods to my kit: a Manfrotto Pixi and two MeFoto tripods (don't know why I need two, but couldn't resist the sale). Let's see if they get any actual use.
  10. I am the happy owner of a Peak Design  Everyday Backpack 20L. Just the right size for a weekend trip with a body and two lenses. 
  11. Speaking of bags, my most used bag is a Tamrac Aria shoulder bag. As with any shoulder bag that I've owned, the buckle on the strap gets in the way of the shoulder pad; still need to figure out a fix. I also have a ThinkTank Urban Disguise that hasn't seen any use as it's a bit big, but the price was just right. 
  12. Craigslist finds that got away: Zeiss Touit 32mm and 12mm for $500, Contax 28mm for $150, Fuji 32mm f/2 for $200, Yashica Electro for $25. Snooze you lose.

Not quite the direction I thought I'd take after the paring down that was 2015. Cabinet space is getting tight. It's like when your pants get tighter and you consider going a size up, until reality sets in and you realize you're getting fat.

What's the plan for 2017?
  1. Nikon 28mm PC so I don't have to step too far back for architectural shots.
  2. There are rumours of a D900, a replacement for the D700. I would consider it if the price is under $2k. 
  3. Pare down. I'm going to review my lenses and may let some go. The D5200 may also go as I don't see using it that much.
The year 2016 has been a dog, with so many early deaths, bad news, and horrible political decisions. Here's to what will hopefully be a better year.

The long-lived Nikon D3

It's been over nine years since I bought my Nikon D3. It has taken 103.483 shots (according to the useful site). Earlier this summer, I noticed that one of the batteries was at level 4 of its life cycle, with the red ! indicating it was nearing EOL. I have been getting less and less shots with both batteries.

I looked around for a new EN-EL4A, and a Nikon one costs $110. Back in 2009, I paid $60 for the same thing. There are very few third party EN-EL4As, but B&H sells one under the Watson brand for $60. The one I ordered will arrive next week, in time for my annual surf shootout.

Many years ago, I ordered a third party EN-EL4 for my D2H. That battery worked fine, but the D3 wouldn't recognize it.

Hopefully this battery will last until the EOL of the D3. To be honest, I don't think I'll get close to the MTBF rating of the D3's shutter. Majority of my shooting is now done with the Fuji X-E2, and the D3 only comes out if it's surfing or any high speed subjects, and the occasional parade. Age and the weight of the D3 kit have relegated it to gathering dust in my camera cabinet.

On a side note, it's getting to the end of the year, and I'll have a quick update on the contents of my cabinet.

Update: The Watson performed fine, giving over 2k shots on one charge with half still left. I don't remember the Nikon batteries lasting this long (it's been a year since my last heavy use of the D3). There is a fit issue though, with the Watson requiring a shove to get it in, unlike the Nikon batteries which slide smoothly in without effort.