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I’m taking an unplanned trip to London due to a problem with one of my cameras. My trusty Nikon D5 has taken a bit of a battering in recent weeks and has decided that enough is enough – so it’s gone on strike. It refuses to work in any mode other than manual, which is a bit of a bugger. So, it’s off on its holidays to Fixation for a bit of TLC. I’d intended dropping it in soon to have all the rubbers on it replaced. I bought the D5 in August 2016 and to be honest, it’s operated faultlessly for over five years since then, despite the amount of pictures it’s taken and the countries it’s been to. My cameras have a hard life as they’re tools, not toys, which means they don’t retain that much second-hand value – even on a £5,000 bit of kit as they really do look like they’ve been through the wars, even if mechanically and electronically they’re still sound. Fortunately,

I always have a back-up as I keep the camera’s predecessor, in this case, the Nikon D4., which is going to enjoy a brief spot in the limelight again. Of course, there’s never a good time for these things to happen, but tomorrow Dawn and I are taking a week’s holiday, so I’ve no commissions to worry about and can take pictures for pleasure. Hopefully, the D5 will be fighting fit by the time I return and need it again. Now maybe it’s time to think about one last upgrade and plan to acquire the D6 sometime next year…

Right now, I’m working from another mobile office. This time it’s another of LNER’s old Mk4 sets on a Leeds – London diagram. The train’s not as busy as my inbound TPE service from Huddersfield (which was packed) but the loadings are certainly in the profitable margin. I’ve a table bay, so I’m happily set up and working away – as I will be on my return. I won’t be hanging around in London once I’ve dropped off my camera it’ll be a quick turnaround, but that’s life. Catch you later…


Having delivered my ‘baby’ to be repaired I’m now heading back North having taken a few shots at Kings Cross with the old D4 just to get used to using it in anger again. I’ve not handled it for years so I’m having to unlearn what I did when I switched to the D5. The ISO control switch was the only major button that moved. On the D4 it’s on the bottom of the backplate. On the D5 it was relocated onto the top plate so that you could press it with your finger and change to ISO with the rear control wheel without having to take your eye away from the viewfinder. It was a far better arrangement. You can still do it with the D4 but you need both hands and it leaves you holding the camera in a cumbersome way. Ah well, it’s only for a while and I’m sure I’ll still get used to it. The D4 sounds different too. The mirror and shutter mechanisms make a much louder ‘clunk’. I could literally tell the two cameras apart just by listening to it! Another thing’s the back screen. I’d forgotten just how much bigger and with better colour rendition the D5 has. I’m going to be doing a lot more histogram-checking again now.

Still, first world problems eh?


We’re well on our way up the East Coast Main Line now, the weather’s looking pretty miserable with massive rain-clouds dominating the horizon although I’m warm and dry here. As well as ploughing through emails I’ve managed to download the pictures I took earlier to ensure the D4’s still working perfectly despite having been little more than an office ornament these past few years! Everything’s looking fine, much to my relief.