Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Missing friend Chanin Nickerson


Missing friend
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Not a very flattering picture of my friend Chanin. She moved back to Canada in early august 2006. We exchanged a few emails but she seems to have dropped of the face of the planet in october 2006. I've found a facebook account under her name but even that hasn't been touched in months.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rosey Rose


Rosey Rose
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
The little bit of glitter on one of the leaves caught my attention so I built my shot around that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Organic apples


Organic apples
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Visit to the Olmenhorst orchard. Shot a couple of frames and we picked 8kg apples.

Monday, August 13, 2007

purple passion


purple passion
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Took this yesterday. It looked ok on the camera but really spectacular on the PC. I'm very proud of this shot.

Friday, August 10, 2007


No Difference

Is one of those excellent songs by Everything but the girl.
You watch the phone Like it was the TV If you're all alone Well, whose fault can that be Your keys, your bag, the car They're where they always are And the light goes down And all the lights.. come on And they call to me Oh come on come on And you don't make, you don't make no difference to me

Excellent. Listening to it makes me see a video of someone driving trough a dark and wet city. Sometimes it can be nice to listen to something as sad as this. I found it on the excellent compilation album "Like the deserts miss the rain"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vacation shot


Selftimer, check!
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Selftimer. Somewhere in the woods near robertville, belgium.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

space


space
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Taking a walk and I suddenly noticed this. Like the emptiness here.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

modelling


modelling
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Last lesson in my photography course I got stuck with the first round of modelling. So I asked the teacher to take my camera and shoot a few frames.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vermeer could have done this


Vermeer could have done this
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Is what I thought when I saw this. Shot raw, almost straight out of the camerea, only used captureNX to "cook" the file and apply a touch of sharpning (set to normal)

This was shot during a trip to the Archeon in Alphen aan de Rijn in the Netherlands. It's a theme park with buildings from 8000 b.c. to about 1500 A.D. with actors portraying persons from history.

These two ladies were from a visiting 13th century reenactment group from Germany.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

View on a view


View on a view
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Shot this in the center of Hoofddorp yesterday. I like the lines and colors.

Friday, June 01, 2007

20x30" prints from a D50? Easy!

Well... according to Roman. He was nice enough to share his technique on the dpreview discussion board:




Uprez instructions:

1. Process in ACR at the largest MP size allowed for your camera. 360PPI.

2. Enhance contrast (USM 20/30/0), increase saturation (if needed), sharpen (USM 300/0.3/0) and add noise to reduce the 'watercolor effect' of the next step (0.8% Gaussian monochromatic).

3. Interpolate to 60”x40” at 240 ppi using the Fred Miranda SI Pro 2 plug-in.

4. Down sample it to your desired size (I recommend maximum size of 20”x30” for 6mp….and 30”x45” for 10/12+MP) @ 150 ppi using bicubic sharper.


5. For shots with smoother detail…add noise (3% Gaussian monochromatic) for yet more natural lookif you have a lot of smooth surfaces (No problem with detailed landscapes)

there might be slight variations in the 'usm' and 'add noise' settings …adjust these to taste.

I use smart sharpen for the second piece, but USM works fine.

That’s it.

Now....my stronger reccomendation is to just to PP up to the point just before uprezing.....and send it to a shop that has a LightJet or a quality RIP on a printer like an Epson 9800....they will uprez better than you can even with these technique....(its a small diffrence but it is better)

Roman

His album's here: http://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quick daisy


Daisy 2
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Had taken my camera to the office. Just before my shift was over I strolled out and shot this. Not too shabby!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Disaster recovery

Is an important aspect of managing any IT infrastructure. I just spent the week doing a test at IBM Almere to see if we could get a client's infrastructure up and running there.

I was really impressed by the facilities and the helpful and skilled personnel at IBM Business continuity services. Restoring a backup from a HP system on IBM hardware is very easy using their methods.

What I've learned
  • Having a system state backup with NT Backup somewhere on your local drives can help a lot
  • If you've restored exchange with HP dataprotector eseutil /cc is an easy way to replay your logs into your store
  • The ancient Citrix 1.7 this client uses takes restoring really well
  • Restoring DHCP is simply a matter of copying the MDB file from the backup location to the right folder and starting the service.

All in all an intense, tiring and very interesting week.

Hairy behind


Hairy behind
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Digitalis in my garden is attracting bumblebees. Like to see them getting in and out of the flowers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bakery demonstration


Bakery demonstration
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Took the kids to an open day at a local bakery. Nice demonstrations, good products. I think it's important that they know where their food comes from. (Although I think I'll postpone the abattoir for a few more years)

Monday, May 14, 2007

cycling pic


DSC_6144
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
I'm very proud of this. A lot of hard work went into it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Overprocessed?


Bas en Oma
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Perhaps, certainly looks like a lot of PP went into it. I think I like it.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ducks


Ducks
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Only shot with 50mm and a polarizer that turned out halfway decent.
Windows cannot create the object because the Directory Service was unable to allocate a relative identifier.

Is a message I got on a restored Windows 2003 domain controller. Restore went fine but I could not create a single object in AD.
This happened when we were doing a disaster recovery exercise and part of that exercise was restoring a single domain controller. Now, this is obviously a RID master issue. Most logical course of action would be to seize the FSMO roles. However, according to a netdom /query fsmo I already had all the FSMO roles on that DC.

Bit of a puzzler so I phoned a colleague who told me that seized roles do not become active unless a single successful replication has been made. In my case where I only had a single "surviving" DC the easiest option would be to use sites and services to remove all connections from my DC and let the KCC check the connections. 15 minutes later it had determined that this DC was rather alone and that it would be save to get the RID pool online. And it worked, I could once again create objects in AD.

Another interesting piece of experience I gained was that it can be very useful to have a system state backup made with ntbackup when you're trying to restore a machine on different hardware.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Shrimp molted!

I suspect they've done so earlier but yesterday I discovered the first evidence of a molted shrimp. Unable to take a decent pic because the old shell is lying in a dense patch of plants but it's there. Looks just like a shrimp has taken it's coat of.

I also have two females carrying eggs. Curious to see when they will hatch.

The tetras are still doing fine, only the lone male guppy is feeling a bit alone. He's still trying to impress the gold tetras because they're the closest thing to a female guppy.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Slave free chocolate!

Yes, it exists. The first chocolate bar made of chocolate were no forced labor whatsoever has been involved.
My wife just brought a bar back from the supermarket and it's very, very good, very more-ish. Website on:
http://www.chocolonely.com/

Blossom


Blossom
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Took a trip to the Heijmanshof. Nice photo opportunities there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Pregnant shrimp!

Yes, one of my beeshrimp (Caridina serrata) is pregnant!
Picture isn't that great but you can clearly see about 2 dozen eggs under her belly.

I bought 5 of these lovely little shrimp when I redid my aquarium. I've had 'm for about 6 weeks now and this is the first pregancy I've spotted. According to the experts at petshrimp this species isn't very easy to breed so I must be doing something right.
I'm going to put some mesh in front of the filter intake to try and prevent any young from ending in there. I may add another shell for extra shelter and will feed the fish in my community tank extra, perhaps a few young will make it.

Here's a pic of my tank, a Jewel Rekord 70. at 70 liters or about 18 gallons it's not that big but I like it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


office building
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
And shot this during my lunchbreak. I like it. Some other shots in my flickr album.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

As Roel pointed out, K's choice has clever and witty lyrics.

This I really like, it's from the album The Great Subconscious Club

I woke up between dawn and night
Thought I heard the voice of Mommy
Sounds as if my parents have a fight
So I woke up my brother lying next to me

I wonder why she's making all that noise
Better go and check it out
So without trying to breathe only the sound of little feet
We were about to discover what that noise was all about

And as we opened up the door
We saw them lying on the kitchen floor
We were grateful for they both did their best
But we said 'Hey, there must be an easier way to make breakfast'

They both got up real fast
As if they were caught (or something)
And then we understood at last
It was a surprise breakfast they were planning

Mommy stumbled, 'Later, kids, you'll understand'
While Daddy was busy putting on his pants
We said 'We already do, don't worry, we'll do the rest'
So far for our quest, we made coffee, boiled eggs
We made them breakfast

Rhianne drawing
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Since I started it mid-july 2006. This is the latest pic I put there.

I do find the 200 photo limit for free accounts a problem these days. I'm hoping someone will buy me a pro account here:
http://www.flickr.com/gift

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Here's where I buy my flour


windmolen De eersteling
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Windmill "De Eersteling" is where I usually get my flour. There's a new, young miller in there and he sells absolutely the best flour I've ever used. I hardly need to touch it before the gluten start doing their work.

Every easter I bake a big somewhat flat loaf filled with raisins and almonds.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

K's Choice

I'm just listening to K's Choice Paradise in Me album for the first time. Was a bit surprised by the lyrics on the number two track:

When your pubic hair's on fire something's wrong
When you think you're the Messiah something's wrong
When you mistake a plane for Venus something's wrong
When your girlfriend's got a penis
Something's wrong...

Monday, March 26, 2007


Today I've sold my old Nikon 28-80 f3.5-5.6 AF-D zoom lens. It' going to a photographer on the beautiful isle of Corsica.

It's been with me ever since I bought it with a F60 a few years ago. I kept it when I switched from the F60 to the D50. It's been my favourite lens for portraits and daytrips to the Zoo and places like that. Don't let the whole "yeah but the crop factor makes it a 42-120" story fool you. For my style it was a good lens and it may be for you as well. Mine sold for 31 euros on ebay. That money buys you a plastic-fantastic construction with a truly amazing performance!

If you are in the market for a lens like this don't get fooled by the later G-type. Nothing much wrong with it but it's nowhere near as nice and sharp as this one. Just remember that the front element is really exposed so you'd have to use a hood. I've always used a universal 58mm rubber hood but you could use the HB-20 if you feel inclined to go all Nikon.


Here's a few of my favourite pics taken with this lens, most of these are straight out of the D50.


DSC_0443



DSC_0111



Tree in Mordor



sinterklaas_klein

Saturday, March 24, 2007

turned oak


turned oak
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Was visiting my parents this afternoon after my photography course. Found this piece of an old, woodworm infected chair and just had to take this shot. Love what the weather has done to this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cardinal tetra


Cardinal tetra
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
One of my cardinals sampling some brine shrimp. We redid our aquarium last month. I've had these tetras for about a month now. When I was in the shop today to pickup some bee shrimps I noticed how much mine have grown in the last few weeks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Photographing fish


Crossocheilus siamensis
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
is amazingly more complex than I'd first suspected. However, with my new 28-105 I'm getting good results. This had to have the shadows and highlights treatment in PS but it's a rather decent shot of a Crossocheilus siamensis.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Frustrating sharepoint team services 2.0 problem

Was fortunately solved by a newsgroup posting.

Path: g2news2.google.com!postnews.google.com!k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com!not-for-mail
From: rrao1...@gmail.com
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.project.server
Subject: Re: The specified Windows account must be a valid user on the specified...
Date: 9 Nov 2006 12:04:57 -0800
Organization: http://groups.google.com
Lines: 256
Message-ID: <1163102697.216890.278320@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>
References:






NNTP-Posting-Host: 72.244.215.60
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
X-Trace: posting.google.com 1163102702 3129 127.0.0.1 (9 Nov 2006 20:05:02 GMT)
X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 20:05:02 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To:
User-Agent: G2/1.0
X-HTTP-UserAgent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322),gzip(gfe),gzip(gfe)
X-HTTP-Via: 1.1 Softek-WS2
Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
Injection-Info: k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com; posting-host=72.244.215.60;
posting-account=n1ZQ3Q0AAAAKe9vGWR7XrB4Jopijgkqi

Hi Robert:

Did you get this issue fixed. I had the same problem, and it turns out
the IIS permissions are what's causing this error message. The message
is very misleading.

If you followed the installation instructions exactly as listed, then
just check your Default Website Permissions. Anonymous and Integrated
Windows Authentication should be enabled. And both, the ProjectServer
and Sharepoint Central virtual servers should have their Integrated
Windows Authentication enabled.

Let me know if this works for you.

Best,

Talking about misleading error messages!
Rahul.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


DC-3
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
The Dutch Dakota Association had an open day. This plane, the PH-PBA , a C-47 which once belonged to Prince Bernard, was on display outside the hangar. At the moment it's mostly flying KLM-Air France VIPs around which is why at one side it's painted in the old KLM livery and on the other side it's in Air France colors.

Shot with the humble 18-55 kit lens

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lunar Eclipse


eclipse cropped
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
We had a lunar eclipse yesterday between 2300 and 0100 local. Fortunately for me the weather was clear. Clear enough to discover that taking proper pics of the moon is a lot harder than it seems.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Which budget telezoom should I buy?

Is another common theme in most places where Nikon DSLR gear is discussed. Here's my $0.02 on the issue.

First of, my personal favorite:

Nikon 70-300 f/4-5,6G aka the 70-300 g-type
A decent size lens with a usable manual focus ring. You'll read many reviews where it says it's soft past 200mm. Not entirely true, it tends to softness unless you can stop it down a bit. Starting at f7.1 you'll already see major improvements. At the long end it also has some CA problems, especially in contrast rich situations. It does have a very nice bokeh!

There's also a ED version of this lens where one of the element is replaced by an element of ED glass. Supposedly this helps with the CA problems.

70-300G used goes for around 100 euros, a ED can be had for around 150 euros. Here's a close crop of a shot in my flickr album.

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO
NOTE! There's also a non-Apo version which is not nearly as nice.

What can I say? It's rather popular due to it's 1:2 macro option. I've handled it a few times and in my opinion the ergonomics aren't as nice as those of the Nikon. I also like the bokeh of the 70-300G more. Those are personal opinions though, this is still a very capable and popular lens.

Can be found used for around 150 euros.

Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2
Well... what can I say? Handled one in the shop once. This is one of those weird lenses where it's hard to find anything wrong but I just couldn't "connect" with it. Optically it's very, very decent as you can see here and in this crop. I did find the macro option, just like the Sigma's, rather cumbersome to focus.

Can be found for very good prices, certainly cheaper than the Sigma, possibly cheaper than the Nikon. Try it in your local shop, if you do find the "click" you'll have a very capable lens for a very good price.

55-200mm lenses:

A lot of salesmen will try to sell you one of these and claim that with the crop factor this will be an adequate focal range. Maybe true but the extra range of the 70-300 can come in handy. Most of these 55-200mm lenses are nice and compact so if you're looking for a telezoom hardly bigger than your kit lens this may be the solution for you.

Tamron 55-200mm F/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro
What a piece of crap! I really, really didn't like it at all! It's lousy at focussing, has bad ergonomics and the results totally failed to impress me.

Sigma 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC
Looks good on paper, never seen it.

Nikon 55-200mm f4-5.6G DX AF-S
This is also sold as part of a dual lens kit with the D50. Really amazing performance for such a tiny little telezoom. Have a look around flickr and you'll see some excellent pics with this lens. I personally didn't buy it because the sample I tested had a rather heavy zoom action. Ended up not buying this lens because I'm so old fashioned that I prefer more bulk to my telezoom, makes it easier to steady it.
If you're in the market for a telezoom and want something compact and/or just don't expect to need the 300mm range I'd seriously advice you to consider this lens.

Second hand lenses:
70-210 f4-5.6 D and non-D: Both good, solid lenses. A D version will go for 160 euros or more thanks to this review. From my own experience it's good but hyped.
There's also a 70-210 f4 which is even older. Very slow autfocus but very, very sharp. Can be found for a lot less than the D version.
Then there's a 80-200. Nice retro design, not bad optically but just not a popular range any more.
Another interesting lens on the used market is the 75-240. Due to an unusual tapered design it will take the same filter size as your kit lens, 52mm. Nice compromise, rather light and yet bulky enough to focus properly. Only made for about a year, can be found for good prices used.

Older Sigma lenses: I'd recommend to avoid these. I've had a late 1980s 70-210 which was extremly temperamental and took a lot of effort to procude anything decent. Quality control back then was a BIG problem for sigma. I've seen some very, very good samples and some samples that shouldn't have left the factory. Only consider if you're on a budget and can give the lens a good test drive.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dark, moody and beautiful

If you want music like that I suggest you listen to Virgin state of mind by K's choice.
I found on a buffy sountrack album.

Got a knife to disengage the voids that I can't bear
To cut out words I've got written on my chair

Like do you think I'm sexy
Do you think I really care

Can I burn the mazes I grow
Can I, I don't think so

Can I burn the mazes I grow
Can I, I don't think so

Where can I run to, where can I hide
Who will I turn to now I'm in a virgin state of mind

I've also been watching some of the old episodes. Interesting how that show starts out rather light and airy and drifts towards darkness in the later seasons.

The song reminds me a bit of when I was sitting in cafe Berg in Vienna on a lonely thursday evening in November downing three beers and listening to a Garbage album for the first time.

Would be interesting to try and capture some images to go with this but that's probably a bit beyond my current skills and time constraints. I'd love to do some dark and urban shots sometime but the place where I live doesn't make for good nighttime scenery.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nikon and the 50mm

Back in the old days just before the zoom lens and autofocus came into fashion the standard kit lens was a reasonably fast fixed focal length lens somewhere between 45 and 55mm. For most brands this ment a 50mm f1.8. Nikon was no exception, there's still a 50mm 1.8 in their product range today and more and more people discover this sharp and fast gem of a lens. So many that over here in the netherlands a used one in good condition can easily fetch 80-90% of the going rate for a new one.

Here's my $0.02 on the various Autofocus incarnations of this lens.

My $0.02. on the 50mm AF in it's various incarnations.

The current:



Nothing wrong with this. Build could be better but it does offer a D chip as a bonus. Check current prices whereever you live. I've seen 70% price differences between retailers in my country. This one's being made since early '02

The previous version:



Newer build but without the added bonus of a D chip. When givven the choice I'd avoid this version. Build quality is not nearly as good as the old one and you don't even get a D(istance) chip in return. Build from 1990 up until late 2001.

the old version:



No D chip but built like the current 1.4. Can be found used in excellent condition if you care to look for it. When buying used let it AF from infinity to closest rapidly a few times and see if that works without a coffee grinder sound. Weak point of these is that they're prone to AF gear slippage when dropped. Only made from september 1986 until early 1990.

All three of these are optically identical and very close if not optically identical to their late Ai siblings. Get a hood such as the HR-2 or a HS-1 for extra retro look and don't bother with a UV filter as protection. The front element is deeply recessed already and a good filter will easily set you back half of what you paid for the lens.


There's also loads of the old 50mm 1.8 E-series around. A kit lens from just before AF. Can safely be mounted on your D-series. Since Nikon made about a billion of these they can be found extremely cheap on the used market. You're own your own of course for focussing and metering. Do watch out for fungus on these classics. (spidery vague tendrils on the glass or a structure like water dried on your mirror)

Friday, February 09, 2007

What I like to do in weekends


klm_b747
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Is drive over to a spot near an active runway and just stare at the planes for half an hour or so. Just me and my Nikon. Something to do with my childhood perhaps when I often did that?

Ah well.... all I know it's a simple, cheap and effective way to relax.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

We've had a mailbox exchange server of a client suffer a major hardware failure. After sorting that out by swapping out the box we were left with the nice task of getting the stores back online. Surprisingly enough Windows 2003 was still in a decent state after 10 blue screens.



Anyway, things that helped me were:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/21187433-f127-4e7a-898a-6bdb34d7a6bd.aspx
To understand that a 551 error and a 1216 are almost identical. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/296843 to figure out which log files were needed to get the stores consistent again. Eseutil /cc to get the log files played back into the stores.


Still means we need to take a good long and hard look at the way we backup our exchange enviroments. Looks like our software once again dropped the ball just like I experienced earlier with an authoritive restore of a domain controller that didn't work and where I had to "touch" objects enough times to get the USN of the object I was trying to restore high enough .

Monday, January 29, 2007

Winter in Haarlemmermeer


Reed plume cleared up
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Shot like this is a quintessential winter shot to me. It's so typical for january in the Polder. Wind, grey skies grey water...

Cleaned it up just a tad with neat image. Because of the lack of light I had my camera set to iso800.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hyacinth


Hyacinth
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Toying with my 50mm and some flowers on the table. Just an experiment to to gain some experience with RAW processing but it turned out really nice.

Monday, January 22, 2007

6000 views on my flickr album


Boeing 737
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
To celebrate I'm posting this KLM Boeing 737 that just landed in rather heavy crosswinds on the Polderbaan of Schiphol airport.

Shot in RAW and processed in Photoshop. I'm slowly getting the hang of that whole RAW thingy. In this case it allowed me to depict the fact that the plane just had a bit of sun on an otherwise rather miserable day.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Baked some buns


Buns 3
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Baked some of these as a treat for Sunday lunch using that excellent flower I buy at windmill "de eersteling". Decided to take a few shots while they were cooling.

I'm quite pleased with the light. Did a WB measuring on the outside of the coverage of the warm light I have over my stove. This way I retain some warmness without getting excessive yellow.

New glasses


Showing of my new glasses
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Went to the Pearl yesterday to pick 'm up. Getting used to it but I think I like 'm. All the women I know think they're a good choice.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just discovered sellaband. Brilliant new concept to discover artists. Here's a lady who could and should be going places:


Not you and that camera again!


Not you and that camera again!
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Portrait of my friend erica. 50mm 1.8 and SB600 of the opposite wall. Looks like I captured her at an inconvenient moment but mostly she's nice and harmless.

Visit to Meise


Flower
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
To spend some time with my friend Erica, drink too much wine and the next morning a visit to the National Botanical gardens where I shot this.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

feeling a bit silly


brandmelder
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Know the feeling, an art exhibition that just doesn't appeal to you much? You end up shooting things like this.

Also, just noticed that my album has 5,375 views. Not bad for an amateur I think.

Finally got another 50mm 1.8


keyboard
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
When the last one died I realized just how much I was missing it. So I searched a bit and found an old non-D version with the HS-2 hood and a real Nikon skylight filter for 100 euros.

After getting it home I was toying with it a bit:
Camera: Nikon D50
Exposure: 0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture: f/2
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure Bias: 0/6 EV
ISO Speed: 800