This is basically going to be a dual review of both the Nikon N80 and the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm/2.8 lens…
I like to call the Nikon N80 “The Camera Who Waited.”*
These beauties: Nikon N80 and Sigma Super Wide II
When I first became interested in photography, I used to thumb through the camera store ads in the backs of photography magazines. I could never afford any of the cameras listed in those ads, so it was like window shopping or daydreaming for me. One camera that I really REALLY wanted though was the Nikon N80. It cost hundreds of dollars, and all I could afford was a $50 Ricoh Singlex TLS. Now, all these years later, here is one more instance when I’ve benefited from the “demise” of film photography.** I have been able to obtain a camera I wanted, but which was out of reach or many years, at a price so low that it was downright obscene!
The reason I say this is “The Camera Who Waited” is because I bought the camera body in June 2013. I did not buy a lens for it until October 2013. Immediately, I began kicking myself for selling my N8008 with a 50mm/1.8 attached to it in 2012 – having that lens would have kept this camera from “waiting” so long! I did a lot of research as to the first lens I’d like to have for my N80 and bided my time until just the right one presented itself. I thought I’d skip buying another 50mm at the moment and go for my favorite wide angle focal length instead. I chose the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm/2.8 lens. I liked the results I’d seen from the lens around the internet and was intrigued by the len’s macro abilities.
About the Nikon N80:
It’s the fanciest film SLR I’ve ever owned, so there are lots of features I could detail here. There’s a whole series of custom settings you can dial in. One thing that I love and immediately turned on were on-demand grid lines. It’s an awesome feature for me, because I feel like I am bad at getting photos straight when using wide angle lenses (such as the 24mm I’m using on the N80.) Grid lines really help with that!
Roll #1 was expired Fuji Superia X-tra 400
Testing the macro on this TINY slice of a vegan mini pear pie I’d made. If you can fill the frame this much with a 24mm lens, you KNOW it truly focuses close up!
THIS! This right here. This shot made me say, “Yup. This lens is a keeper.”
Why all the photos of a tree stump? 1. Testing the Sigma’s macro abilities again 2. I didn’t know how else to document/convey the destruction our power company left behind when it gutted a section of my family’s property to put in power lines for a new neighbor. It was devastating to unexpectedly come home to this.
An impulse purchase the same week I got the Sigma Super Wide II
The mini pumpkin I painted back at Halloween. Pre-paint can been seen in my Konica Big Mini review.
My sister’s black and gold “ombre” mini pumpkin
Twig we used as a stir stick for paint my niece used on her pumpkin
Roll #2 was Kodak Gold 200
Christmas tree in one of the offices at work. Really close focus for a 24mm lens!
Normally these photos would have gotten a blog of their own, but as this roll was part of my testing the N80, here are some “bonus” photos from my Jobes-Shields family shoot at Christmas:
Ezra and some stuffed animals. Love the fox one!
I actually cropped this one because I thought it was cuter this way 🙂
Lionel, Lisa, and Rob (baby, mommy, and daddy)
(I know this one has motion blur, but I love it!)
I COULD NOT get enough of the “Lionel asleep with his bunny” photos!
Pretty cardinal ornament my mother had on her mantel at Christmas
Shiny new coffee maker for Christmas!
Riding to Pho Hoa Bihn with Mallory
Lovely, lovely tofu with pineapple at Pho Hoa Bihn
And those were the first two rolls with my Nikon N80 and Sigma Super Wide II lens!
LOVE it. Love the camera. Love the lens. The Nikon N80 is the quietest SLR I’ve ever used. You can barely hear the shutter/mirror action at all! And the lens, while a little noisy itself, yields such beautiful results! I mentioned earlier in this post that 24mm is my favorite wide angle focal length. I’m also addicted to taking “details” shots, so having a wide angle lens with the ability to focus down to about 7 inches is a real winning combination for me. I can’t wait to further test both the N80 and the Sigma Super Wide II (and get MORE lenses for the camera!) I’m sold!
*This is a Doctor Who reference. If you get it, you get it.
**I say “demise” of film photography in jest. I and all the other film photographers are making out like bandits while people sell off their film gear cheap as chips! If you ever want to see how “alive” the film photography community is, just go search the hashtag #believeinfilm on Twitter!