This is an early D800 shot I took back in May. I was walking along the West Side waterfront and spotted these nicely weathered water tanks. I am finding myself wanting to use only prime lenses with the D800. The shot was taken with the old Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF. This is a crop near the center of the image :
The 300mm ED-IF is an example of an extremely good lens that can be found at bargain prices used. I just picked up it’s little brother, the 180mm 2.8 ED-IF which I found for $300 at Camera Mart USA. They don’t have focusing motors or VR, which probably why they live for so long. If you are on the fence about a D800 because you think you *must* buy the latest new lens for $1500, you might want to consider taking a look at some of the great used Nikon lenses that are available. Cameras like the D800 and D600 will deliver the best results with the best lenses… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be frugal.
Let me start off by saying that the D800 is not a dream camera for street photography. It’s bulky, indiscreet, and the shutter is pretty loud. I usually would be using my GF1 while walking to the office, but I happened to be carrying the D800 and 85mm 1.8g to get a little time with both. I had just taken the shot in the previous post of the wine bottle corks. As I turned to move on, I caught this lady and her two dogs. I quickly took the shot, and started walking. As I walked over the same curb where she was crouching, I twisted my ankle, and fell into a push-up position in the street. A cabbie waiting the light was having a good laugh at me… luckily the camera was already in my bag and was not harmed. I call “Karma” on the situation… I had my laugh at the scene in the photo, and the cab driver had one at my expense.
Somebody had a good night! I’ve been messing around with the new Nikon 85mm 1.8g lens. I usually purchase my lenses from Keh.com… but thanks to the wonder of Amazon Rewards I was able to buy this one new. Because of the D200 crop factor, I hadn’t been craving an 85, but it is a great lens that should be at the top of your list if you don’t already have one in the range.
I have to admit, I have not had time to do any serious shooting with the D800, but I’ve been forcing myself to lug it in on my commute a few days a week, mostly with this lens attached.
My favorite D800 feature is the Auto ISO implementation. I have it set to keep the shutter speed at 2x the lens focal length with a max ISO of 6400. Combined with a fast prime like the 85mm, I’ve been taking shots I never would have tried with my previous cameras, and getting some great results. I also have a permanent 1/2 stop of underexposure dialed into the Exposure Fine Tuning setting.
I’ve been trying to force myself not to pixel peep as much with this camera… 50% view is now my default in Lightroom for checking focus, noise and sharpening. Lightroom is bogging down a bit, but after turning off Noise Reduction, Sharpening and Lens correction, its a bit quicker when going into develop mode.
As a side note, I did some testing to see if I had the dreaded “Left-AF Point” issue… I tried with both a 24mm and the 85, and I don’t see it. None of my buttons or dials have fallen off yet either. There are some deals showing up for the Nikon extended warranty… I will probably wind up getting one.
— end transmission –
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.
Please remember to support this site by checking out the affiliate links if you find them helpful!