The Cameras: The Nikon D200

I am a film shooter. I’m known as a film shooter by anyone who knows me locally.

Like… Three people. I’m a film guy.

So when I walked into my local camera shop (and by local, it’s 50 miles away in Cincinnati) and asked to look at a D200, the guy behind the counter was a little shocked. “Aren’t you a film guy?”


“So… Why do you want a DSLR? And an old one at that?”

The answer was simple. Money.

Photography is hobby of mine, a passion if you would. As such, it does occasionally need to take a back seat to things. Like bills. And gasoline. Well, not so much since I bought a Prius. Hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that online…

Simply put, film and processing can get pricey. Fact of life. So I have a budget. This is how much I can spend on film and processing. If I use it all up, then it’s all used up. So. What am I supposed to do? Not shoot anything? That seems stupid seeing as I’m trying to get BETTER at photography, not worse. So I wanted a DSLR to fill in that gap between full budget, and empty budget.

So why a D200?

Originally announced sometime in 2005, the Nikon D200 is a 10.2 megapixel half-frame DSLR compatible with most Nikon glass. It’s color rendition is fairly accurate, and since it was launched in 2005, that means…

She was cheap. $125 bucks of cheapness.

It always grates on me when someone says “photography on a budget” and then reviews some $500 dollar kit and thinks they’ve done you a favor. Cheap in film is when someone tells me $1000 for a Hasselblad is cheap. $1000 isn’t cheap. I can think of a lot of things I can do with $1000 bucks, and most of it involves flying, my first passion.

My Nikon D200 and any lens I mount on her doesn’t even total to $200 bucks all told. That’s digital photography on a budget. And do you want to know the truth?

The camera STILL DOESN’T MATTER. So many people think that they need 36 megapixels, 100 auto focus points and a matrix light meter with more processing power than NASA. But the truth is, you don’t.

I’ve published a few D200 shots on here already. And while I do admit that they have been modified in some way, no one seems to care that the camera I used is over 10 years old. Like that scene in Jurassic Park, “See, no one cares!”

If you want to get into photography, or you think that your camera is stopping in you in some way, stop. Your camera doesn’t matter. What matters is that you figure out what you want to accomplish with your photography, and you get to know your camera well enough to achieve that mission. That’s what matters. Camera, lens, these things matter not.

Just go and photograph. Be one with the camera. The camera is with you.

Ahem. Sorry.

Go. Find. Photograph.


All my lenses are full frame. I have no dedicated DX lenses. Yet.


Siblings. The two I use the most.


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