Category Archives: D800 Diary

D800 Diary – Water Tank Quartet

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 :


Crop near center of 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.

– Sean

Lake George, NY


Lake George, NY

We took the kids up to Lake George to give them a little fun before school starts. This is another place that I had been to as a kid over 30 years ago. Some things I remembered seeing back then are still there like the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum. Storytown USA is now a Six Flags park, but parts of the original park are still there… I took a picture of my kids in front of the Little Old Ladies Shoe where I had been posed by my parents. My only regret is that the foliage was still green… the views in the fall must be spectacular. The shot above was taken fairly early in the morning while everyone else was still sleeping. I took it with the D800 and 85mm 1.8G. I wish I had brought a tripod and an ND Filter… but I like the way this came out after some Lightroom Graduated filters and some B&W tweaking. I might have to go back by myself in October… with a tripod and ND filter!

D800 Diary – New York Street Photography

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.

D800 Diary – Wine Cork Pile

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 —

Sean