I was digging through some old photos and found this one in my pending blog post pile. I originally liked the color… now I like the metaphor.
I had to come into NYC on Saturday, so I brought in the D800 and a few lenses. I was hoping to catch some of the tall ships that were in for Memorial Day weekend, but the ones that were in port were not docked in the greatest positions. I decided to walk downtown from the Intrepid Museum, along the Hudson River Park. I came across a tiny nature preserve near Pier 66. It is a tiny fenced in area that you can’t walk through… so it was not easy to get the best angles. I spent about an hour trying to get some shots of the few butterflies that were in the area.
I took the above shot with my old 300mm f/4 EDIF. The auto-ISO feature is turning out to be one of my favorite features. I have it set shutter speed to 2x the focal length, and max out at ISO 3200. The camera only only had to go up the ISO to 200 to get the 1/640th sec shutter speed at f/5.6 in the slightly overcast skies. Since the noise performance of the D800 is so good, i will probably be leaving the camera set this way for handheld shooting.
Since I could’t get closer to the butterfly, and my 300mm lens is my longest, the crop potential of the D800 was a great benefit for this situation. This crop came out to 4436×2958… roughly one third of the available resolution.
Just for kicks, I posted the full resolution crop. I know its not macro-lens/tripod sharp… but all i can say is WOW. I have also been impressed with the focus speed of the D800. All of my current lenses are screw-drive versions, and the camera seems to focus much faster than the D200.
By the time I had wrapped things up… my shoulder was killing me. I was using my Tenba Mini Messenger bag :
which works great for my m4/3 gear, but didn’t distribute the weight of the SLR gear very well. I stopped in a camera store and picked up a Lowepro AW 350 DSLR backpack :
I’ll post a review of it after I give it a few outings… but it feels like it’s going to be much easier on my back.
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After waiting months on Amazon’s D800 pre-order queue, I gave up. I called up Central Camera in Chicago, paid in full, and got my camera in 10 days. They had delivered my D100 and D200 very quickly when they launched, and I should have stuck with them from the start of the D800 madness.
I’ve only had the camera for a few days, but I can tell already it’s going to be outstanding. I happened to be near the Presby Iris Gardens in Montclair on Sunday. Unfortunately, i was not prepared to shoot, and I didn’t have all of the gear I would normally bring… just the D800 and 50mm f1.2. It was mid day, and the sun was harsh… and to add to my troubles, I had been shooting the camera indoors, and I forgot I had set to +2/3 exposure… not a good idea with flowers that can easily over expose.
Later that night, I fired up LightRoom 4 for the first time to go through the shots and see what I could salvage. To my surprise, I only had a few shots that were really blown… the metering on the camera was spot on, and my highlights went just to the edge of being lost.
I was really on the fence with the D800. For a part-timer like myself, its a big investment. I don’t print larger than 12×18 usually, so I really don’t need 36 megapixel raw files filling my hard drive. Before the D800 announcement, I was actually debating going “all in” with the m4/3 system. The GF-1 has been a great camera, and so much easier to lug around.
If I had found a new D700 in stock at its new “bargain” price… I probably would have settled ( read the sarcasm there please ) for it. My D200 was over 6 years old, and I hope that the D800 will give me a little future proofing than the D700 would.
So here are my D800 First Impressions :
*** This issue was partially alleviated by the sale of an image… but since I have not received the check yet, it may still be a problem.
The D800 has to be the most talked about camera in the history of the internets. Nikon handled the release like NJ Transit handles on time departures. If the train doors close, and the train moves 3 feet from its original position, it has “departed”. The camera seem to be shipping to more users based on my scientific analysis of the hundreds of “I got my D800″ threads on DPReview. Based on the “Did anyone get their D800E yet?” threads, it looks like the E model is still hard to come by.
Coming from a an old D200 to the D800 is a real treat. The raw files are “meaty” and I think I heard them laughing “Thats all you got?” as I was tweaking them. It’s more than just the epic number of pixels… its the color and quality that impresses.
So in conclusion… Woot! I got a D friggin’ 800! If you read all the way to the end, please click on some “Sponsored Links” so i can pay for it
I had been watching the scheduled arrival of the Space Shuttle Enterprise, with the hope that I would be able to get a few photos. I work a few blocks from Pier 40 on the Hudson river, so myself and a few co-workers took a quick morning break to capture this bittersweet flyby. To get the Shuttle “Money Shot” you needed to be on the Jersey side of the river, in a helicopter at a slightly higher altitude so you could get the skyline and the shuttle in the frame. This shot is my favorite.
After stopping at JFK Airport, the Enterprise will find its final home at the Intrepid Museum. While there is some controversy about NY being one of the states to receive a retired shuttle, I have a feeling that it may become one of the most visited one.