Off to London with a D40


Well, my D700 era has ended before the D800 era has begun. I took a bunch of pictures with my Nikon D700 at the Windows Azure launch party in San Francisco last night, and after the event, drunk and distracted, I left it in the back seat of the taxi that took me back to my hotel. Bad Doug! After a bunch of phone calls today, it seems the verdict is in: barring a minor miracle, it’s just plain gone. And still no word on the backordered D800, but we leave for our London vacation this weekend so the backup D40 is coming out of storage.

Minor miracles sometimes do happen in these situations, but unfortunately I already got one the only other time I’ve done anything like this. So it’s probably my turn to just be screwed by my mistake. Years ago, when Mom and I arrived in Varanasi from Kathmandu, I was so excited and distracted by my first taste of the chaos of being a tourist in India that I left my brand-new Nikon N90s in the back of the taxi that took us from the airport to our hotel. Before I had even noticed it was gone, there was a knock on the hoteloom door and it was our driver Dada and several annoyed-looking hotel employees. Being a streetsmart guy, Dada had refused to give it to them to give to me, and insisted on hand-delivering it himself. Did we retain Dada’s services for the rest of our stay in Varanasi and overpay him handsomely? Hell yeah we did! Sweet guy.

One good thing is that I didn’t have an expensive lens on the D700 last night, or a flash. It had the 50mm F/1.4 lens on it, the least expensive lens I own. Whew.

I just checked the EXIF data on the final photo I have from the D700, and the final score is 125,575 photos. I felt pretty decadent spending $3000 on a camera when we got it (I always say “we” because Megan did say it was OK), but that worked out to less than 3 cents per photo. Well worth it, in my opinion.

So next week I’ll be shooting Tower Bridge and double-decker buses with the trusty old D40. It’s six year-old technology, only 6 megapixels, and doesn’t work with certain lenses, but I have a 35mm F/1.8 and a 70-300mm telephoto for it. And it works great with the SB-400 flash, so I’ll take that along, too. One nice thing: that combination of equipment weighs less than half as much as what I usually carried with the D700.

I went back and looked at some pictures I took on a road trip in the summer of 2008 with my D40, just to remind myself that it’s a fine camera. I’ll be glad to get shots like this in London next week:

It’s also worth noting that the highest ranked photo I’ve ever had on Flickr’s Explore list was taken with … of course … the D40:

I’m still yearning for the D800, of course. And it better show up before our road trip to Yellowkife in late August, or I’ll be pissed! Are you listening, Adorama?

Links to all photos from our London vacation:




  1. Lisa Gardner on

    I ordered my D800 from Adorama the day it was released….. Still no idea when it may appear in my mailbox! I got to shoot with a D800E in early May; I attended a photo workshop, and the photographer who was doing the workshop let me use it all day. It is incredible (especially compared to my D80).

    Anyway, good luck. And you’d better not get yours before I get mine!

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