After last weeks mistake, I wasn’t going to miss the Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park . There were many more trees in bloom and the sky was a perfect contrasty blue when the clouds cooperated. The close-up images were taken with my ancient Nikon 28-105 lens. It’s suffering from a sticky zoom mechanism, but it still delivers. The dancers are from the 10tecommai group. Enjoy !
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.
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 :
- It’s big and not quite as heavy as I expected.
- There are about 7249 settings to go through in the menus, but once you go through them and set the camera up the way you like, most can be left alone.
- Everything that I read about online that I should worry about… motion blur at the pixel level, how poorly my old lenses will work with the camera, my outer left focus point needing factory adjustment, and how angry my wife will be when she finds out how much it cost ***, have been non issues… so far.
- I need to buy a whole bunch of new hard drives… my 1.5tb raid array will be full sooner than expected.
- If it gets lost or stolen… I am going to be *very* unhappy.
- Holy cow! If you are on the fence, and can afford it… get one!
*** 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!
I just got back from vacation in San Diego. This shot is from the Belmont Park amusement park on the Mission Beach boardwalk. I took the GF1 and the 20mm and left the D200 and G9 behind. Overall, I’m very happy with the camera… and blown away by the lens. In spite of the lcd washout, and a few cases where some zoom would have been nice (at the Zoo), I had a lot of fun with the camera.
This shot was taken with a circular polarizer which accounts for the blue skies. I used Lightroom 2.7 and a calibration profile I found in this DPReview Posting (Direct link to daylight profile). It definitely gave the image a little more punch over the default Adobe profile.
Below is a full resolution crop of the same image located just below the “S” near the center. The 20mm lens is really delivering on detail…
Panasonic DMC-GF1, 20mm f/1.7
I’ll be posting some more images from the trip when I get some time.