Thanks to a very kind gift from my father, I’m now the proud owner of a Nikon D200 and a Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 DX lens.
This DSLR is a bloody gem; it looks good, feels good and takes a mean picture when the brain behind the viewfinder is appropriately engaged. I’ve spent more than a few hours going over the manual, the Magic Lantern guide and Ken Rockwell’s D200 User’s Guide (great site BTW www.kenrockwell.com) and I’m still only just getting to grips with the many options.
The build quality is a level beyond the entry level DSLRs I’ve been trying out recently — as good as they are, the D200 is just better built in every respect, which makes sense because it was just below Nikon’s top of the food chain professional D2 range in its day. It’s long been superseded by the somewhat improved D300, which is apparently due for a facelift any day now, so the D200 is an aging star but it’s aging very gracefully indeed.
It’s a perfect fit for my hands, everything just seems to be in the right place and while it’s relatively heavy, it’s not too big to stash or too weighty to stash in a small bag.
The lens is a marvelously versatile unit as well, sure it’s compromised compared to a lens with less of a zoom range but with an equivalent 27-300mm on the camera at all times, I’m not exactly swapping lenses on and off on a regular basis, so I don’t have any dust problems. I’ve got a Tamron 70-300mm in the bag for the days when I have to reach out into the far distance but I haven’t needed it yet.
I’ll grab a 35mm prime lens soon and then a wide angle but they’re for specific situations, so I can see that I’ll be doing most of my shooting with the 18-200mm, which suits me down to the ground.