As I sit here writing this post, the snow is falling again. One thing about tons of snow is that it really makes you look forward to spring.
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.
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.
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.