Posts tagged ‘nikon first experience’
Once upon a time, on a very foggy winter day I shot a picture with a D800 plus 70-200 mm VR II f/2.8 to the far distant lake bridge (small insert 100% cropped). Once home I worked on brightness and contrast and … the JPG version (set to maximum quality) showed its weakness. Or was it the Vignette control ON? I doubt it works on the centre of the picture. So, keep in mind the power of RAW files in difficult light conditions.
I recently had the duty to shoot overcast-outdoor-mixed-with-tungsten-and-candle-lit-low-light-indoor (quite a nightmare without flash) and I always had the D800 AWB on. I tested Lr on raw files to see how good was my choice. D800 AWB was doing a very good job … look at the paper in the hand of the girl in the post picture: it was white, not cyan, not yellow.
WB is quite an artistic choice, not a technical one. That said, there are different WB schools out there. Purists go for a fixed daylight WB. Warm-saturation lovers go for a fixed overcast WB. If you do not belong to any of them, you are probably very often satisfied with your AWB and you correct it in raw when needed.
There are many rumours around D800 bad quality AWB and suggestions agree on A2, M1 (or even A3, M2!). It’s a good solution to get better pictures on the LCD … and magenta overcast pictures on the card. So, I would not suggest doing such adjustment.
I recently mounted on my D800 a new 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens. This tele, as expected, provides excellent results. Here are my first tests on quite dull, but distant, subjects (100% crop from full pictures shot in the same conditions with a 50mm f/1.4G and this tele). Colors, contrast and speed are exceptional at every length. Autofocus is ultra silent and ultra fast, as well the stabilizer worked solid with me also with slow times.
The lens weight is still acceptable, although I should try day-long hikes before writing anything about it. With its f/2.8 it’s easy to shoot fast moving objects and situations with poor light conditions (click here to watch).
However, such broad apertures (and, although less, even higher) are not really compatible with D800 still having the infamous left AF issue. Although my camera already went through service at Nikon Switzerland, at f/2.8 the image focused using the the left AF bank, whatever fine AF correction value used, is always blurred.
This is the second lens having such problem with my D800: time to ring Nikon Service Switzerland ? Click on the picture for a bigger version.
The Nikkor 50 mm f 1/4G is a very nice lens, as also reviewers on Nikon USA write … but like every lens it has its limits. Finding them should let you adapt to your lens in difficult situations.
For example, hand-held night shoots mounted on a full frame camera like the D800. Sharpness with optical aberrations at the borders are quite annoying. Click here for a full size zoom/pan version on zoom.it or click on the post picture.4000 and close to f/2 is not excellent as expected, but
At f/1.4 it is of course even worse and all the picture lights suffer distortion (click here to see a convincing full size example).
With night shoots I would recommend to remove the UV filter you possibly forgot mounted, unless you like green ghost fireworks on the picture, click here for a clear example.
So, when similar results pop out, keep your subject just in the middle, go up with the aperture when possible or find somebody to carry your tripod along!
It is quite difficult choosing which gear to buy for a new camera. You are used to your old gears and, especially when switching brands, a whole new world has to be explored. First questions you have to answer are:
1) What do I need this new lens for?
2) What do I like to shoot with my camera?
3) How much do I wanna spend?
I previously used a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and a very nice Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. The long tele was nothing special and I have seen it often equally compared to the prime lenses. The D800, like many others, requires some field work to be fully appreciated and I wanted to focus on it more than on immediately learning a new lens.70-300mm. The 17-55mm was a precious toy but with the D800 I wanted to give a try to easy
So, what I did was:
1) Scavenging lens data online on Nikon photography blogs, something like Ken Rockwell and Nasim Mansurov and other forums, newsgroups and so on.
2) Avoiding pure technical test websites: boring and not really informative as I like to shoot something more than Siemens stars
3) Looking for ebay and new prices
The knowledge I hopefully gained pushed me to own, order or just dream the following lenses:
[Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G]
Easy, light, small, very fast, no cons if stopped at 2, still ok if you go down to 1.4. I am very happy with it and the kind of dim light pictures I can shoot now I could dream with other lenses for this price.
[Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR II]
Ordered and hopefully soon on my D800. I did not want another average 70-300 like the Canon I had, I could not spend so much money for the wonderful Nikon prime long lenses, I was not convinced by the quality of Sigma 50-500mm or equivalents. I really do not believe wonderful reviews on barrels like the Nikon 28-300mm being as sharp and fast: I stay far, far away from this all-round lenses … it is like when new “family-movies” are announced: you now it will be no good.
[Nikon AF-S 17-35mm F/2.8 IF-ED]
Still dreaming on it. One day I will get this excellent wide angle, I really want to go down to 17mm for landscapes, this time on a Fx camera! If you have one home and you do not use it donate it to me!
[Nikon AF 200mm F/4.0D IF ED MACRO]
Another wild dream. THE macro, as I could see and read around, with a long focus distance to have 1:1 whatever fearful subject you shoot.
[Nikon 135mm f/2 DC]
Many call it the portrait king … maybe one day when I will win the lottery I will finally buy also this one
So, I hope the several hours I spent online might be useful to you too in choosing the lenses you need, if your needs and wishes are similar to mine. Enjoy shooting!
Click on each picture to watch a bigger size version (around 2-3 Mb in size)
It was never as easy shooting awesome panoramic pictures. The D800 horizontal/vertical tilt sensors let you shoot series of pictures perfectly aligned. Just set on Aperture priority, focus once, remove autofocus, shoot partially overlapping pictures. Assemble and crop them with Hugin or similar free software. No additional changes required.
I am impressed by the fantastic dynamic range of D800 pictures, even in high contrast / misty situations.
If you mount it on the D800, stopped at f/1.8 (to sharp the picture and avoid too thin focal depth), will you ever need a macro lens with you? This post pictures are 100% cropped from the relative framed images. Click on each picture to zoom: find the snail in the first picture …
II finally got my Nikon D800 yesterday. Equipped with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G I tested it today at the botanical garden of Zurich. This 960 x 640 picture (click to enlarge) was cropped from full size JPG L/Fine (1/200 sec. – f/6.3 – ISO 100). Nothing else done. I wonder if I still need Photoshop and if I will ever buy a tele-objective … by the way, below my second and third and fourth pictures with the 50 mm. Again cropped from huge original JPG, please appreciate the sharpness and color dynamics. Thanks to my wife and father for sponsoring me this amazing camera! Thanks to Ken Rockwell website for suggesting buying a 50mm!