Nikon D70s

A cropped self-portrait with my 'new' Nikon D70s.

In late 2007 I acquired my first DSLR - a Nikon D80. Some five years and 8,000 shots later I sold it quite cheaply, having made the rash decision to confine myself solely to film photography. In subsequent years I came to regret this fit of purism - while phones are OK for taking pictures, I do prefer handling a proper camera, and there were several occasions when having a DSLR would have been very handy. Meanwhile, film and processing prices kept rising.

Taking pictures to illustrate this blog heightened my dissatisfaction with phone photography. I have a lower-end Nokia-branded Android device which, while it has provided mostly adequate results, isn’t any kind of pleasure to use. While starting to put aside some pennies for a new digital camera, I wondered if something second-hand might provide an interim solution. Fortune favoured me when I found a Nikon D70s with its original kit lens, in its original box, for £30 at the local charity shop.

What wasn’t included was a mains cable for the charger, so I needed to order one of those before I could even confirm the camera was working: luckily it was. Meanwhile there was the disagreeable issue of the camera being sticky. An adhesive-like residue had leached out of the vinyl/rubber coating on the body: attacking that with some alcohol-based hand-sanitizer improved the situation considerably. A 4GB memory card was in place, containing a couple of dozen shots by the camera’s previous owner. There were several motion-blurred snaps of birds in some unidentifiable tropical locale; and a handful of other pictures clearly taken in this part of the world.

So it is that, eleven years after parting with my D80, I now have its less capable predecessor as a belated replacement. It boasts a mere six megapixels, half what an iPhone 14 can provide. And its low-light performance will be nothing like as good as a modern camera’s. On the upside, I still have four compatible prime lenses that work with the D70s, such as the Nikkor 35mm f2 AF-D one shown above - not to mention the kit zoom lens that came with it. The quality of the (new) photography here ought, I hope, to show signs of improvement.