E - Q - U - I - P - M - E - N - T













I started with my first own SLR in 1988 when I got a Ricoh KR-10x and a 50mm normal lens for Christmas. It did not take long before I felt the need for more flexibility and I bought a Vivitar 28-200mm lens - at that time a revolutionary range! During the next years, I bought several other used cameras like a Pentax Super, ME-Super and lenses from 20mm to 200mm.

In 1993 I shifted completely  - from my first real salaries, I bought a Nikon F801s and a FM2 with the following lenses:

Tamron 28-200mm f3.8/5.6
Tamron 90mm f2.5 macro AF
Tamron 500mm f8 (mirror reflex)
Tokina 20-35mm f3.5/4.5
Nikon AF 50mm f1.8

The 28-200mm lens was sold very quickly since I was not satisfied with the quality of the lens - the first versions of Tamrons Superzooms were not really sharp. Instead, I bought

Sigma AF APO 75-300mm f4/5.6
Tokina AF 28-80mm f2.8/4.5

I was quite satisfied with those lenses, they gave me a range of 20-500mm focal lenght! In 1997, I got a great offer for a Nikon N70 in New York and got this camera for my F801s which included a faster AF operation and a build in flash. I traded the F801s  in for a Nikon AF 20mm F2.8 in Cologne and sold the Tokina 20-35mm. When my Tokina 28-80mm Zoom was damaged, I started to replace my zooms to better quality fixed focus lenses. A Nikon AF 35mm f2 and a Nikon 16mm f2.8 fisheye completed my fixed focus Range:

Nikkor AF 16mm f2.8
Nikkor AF 20mm f2.8
Nikkor AF 35mm f2
Nikkor AF 50mm f1.8
Tamron AF 90mm f2.5
Sigma AF 75-300mm f4/5.6
Tamron 500mm f8

I used this equipment from about 1999 until September 2002 when my N70 got damaged on vacation in New Orleans. It fell out of the car and the shutter wouln't work anymore. Fixing the camera was not possible for a reasanoble price (I finally got 70 Euro for the N70 at ebay) so I bought a new N65 in New Orleans for 300 Dollar - not the best price but if you are in emergency...

In 2003, Nikon released the new Nikkor AF 3,5-5,6/24-120 VR lense and this persuaded me to get rid of all lenses and concentrate on one or two lenses that I can ALWAYS carry - you never have 6 lenses plus two bodies/flash/tripod  in you camera bag unless you like carrying big backpacks!

I sold all lenses plus the FM2 body and bought the Nikkor AF 3,5-5,6/24-120 VR lense plus a Tokina 17mm/f3.5 and a Sigma 300mm/f4 macro.
With this constellation, I was able to carry lenses from 17-120mm quite easily and took the 300mm lens for sports etc.
A Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 105mm/2.8 finished my collection of lenses in January 2004.
After being very disappointed with the 24-120mm Nikkor when I saw the first results (blurred images, low contrast), I went to Nikon in Düsseldorf where the Lens was checked completely. Result: The lens was replaced, I got a brand new one. The new  lens was much sharper with great contrast plus a valuable vibration reduction system. 

Digital Photography
Another fotographic acquisition was a digital Sony DSC-P12 with five megapixel CCD and a 3x zoom lens (equiv. 38-114mm). I bought it because of its good 5MP resulotion, small, trendy blue and light (172g) body, VGA video resolution and fair price (450 € in August 2003). Compared to the classic analog photography, the digital way is much more flexible and spontaneous. You shoot pictures and view them on your laptop right away. Great! Another specialty is digital macro photography. Without an expensive macro lens, it is possible to take real close up shots and fill the whole picture with motives as small as 5cm or even less. And the great thing is, depth of field is way deeper than with classical cameras since the focal length of digital macro settings is usually less than 20mm.
After going more and more "digital", I finally decided in March 2004 to focus totally on Digital Cameras. Selling my analog Nikon equipment gave me 1500 Euros for a good digital camera. I had to decide between:
1. Nikon D70
2. A bridge camera such as Nikon coolpix 8700, Minolta A2, Sony DSC F-828 or Canon Pro1.

So what did I get? The Nikon D70 would have been a great choice with lots of functions and great image quality but the price with some lenes (12-24mm Nikkor) would have surpassed by budget - also, I wanted a small camera which I can always carry.  So I compared the new 8Megapixel compact cameras and finally decided on the Minolta. Why?  fuechschen sonntag
-> 28-200mm Zoomlens with converters extendable to 22-340mm (with Minolta ACW-100 and Olympus TCON 17)
-> Great AntiShake funktion which increases the photographic range by 2-3 f-stops
-> Functions like a 3000Euro D-SLR with incredible customizable features
-> 8 megapixels and great optical quality
-> 922.000 pixel EVF

Noise is surely a topic for longtime exposure and ISO400/800 expusures but it can be reduced with software like NeatImage.
In the first two days, I took about 200 shots and I am very pleased with the quality of this camera. An A4 printout has surprising details and surpasses the analog prints I got from my analog equipment.

Some weeks ago, I could not resist to reenter the SLR area again. My newest aquisition is a Canon EOS 350d plus Canon EF-S 10-22, Sigma 18-50 2.8 and a Tamron 70-300 4.0/5.6  LD. Compared to my Minolta A2, the Canon is much faster (Startup and AF) and pictures are much cleaner. Are my pictures better now? No, it's still the photographer who makes the good shots!

Update 2007:
I replaced the Canon 350d with its successor 400d and am surprised how much MORE accurate the autofocus is now.

Added a Tamron 90mm/2.8 AF DI macro lens, replaced the Sigma 18-50/2.8 with the Tamron 17-50/2.8 AF DI due to strong vignetting and added the Canon 50mm/1.4 lens especially for portraits. All new lenses perform very good!

Update 2012:

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF-S 10-22
Canon EF-S 17-55/2.8 USM
Canon EF 70-200/4 L IS USM
Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro
Canon EF-S 18-135 IS
Kenko 1,4 Konverter
2x Blitz Speedlite 430EX
Stativ Manfrotto 190b

Canon SX230HS

Update 2015:

Olympus E-M5
Olympus 12-40 / 2.8
Olympus 75mm / 1.8
Olympus 9-18mm / 4.5
Panasonic 70-300mm / 4-5.6

Sony RX100