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Author Topic: The D800  (Read 7819 times)

RSL

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The D800
« on: August 09, 2012, 09:21:35 PM »

It's impossible to show what the D800 really can do by posting a compressed jpeg, but here are a couple files that can give you a rough idea. The first one's a 100% crop from a shot of the remnants of the Vindicator goldmine processing plant. It's a tiny segment of part of the left side of the original 7360 x 4912 pixel raw file, shot from a tripod with a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8. The Victor, Colorado bar was shot with the same rig, but handheld. 17 x 22 inch prints from this thing are astonishing, and it's obvious that wall-size prints would be even more astonishing.

ErikKaffehr

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Re: The D800
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 12:29:37 AM »

Thanks for sharing!

Erik

It's impossible to show what the D800 really can do by posting a compressed jpeg, but here are a couple files that can give you a rough idea. The first one's a 100% crop from a shot of the remnants of the Vindicator goldmine processing plant. It's a tiny segment of part of the left side of the original 7360 x 4912 pixel raw file, shot from a tripod with a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8. The Victor, Colorado bar was shot with the same rig, but handheld. 17 x 22 inch prints from this thing are astonishing, and it's obvious that wall-size prints would be even more astonishing.

wolfnowl

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Re: The D800
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2012, 02:22:28 AM »

Indeed!

Mike.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The D800
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2012, 04:31:32 AM »

17 x 22 inch prints from this thing are astonishing, and it's obvious that wall-size prints would be even more astonishing.

Thanks for sharing.

Yep, the D800 is a pretty amazing camera at a great price point.

I guess it is going to be the final stop for a long time for many of us, I have a hard time imagining what more we could really need for landscape work, especially with stitching as a possible option for prints larger than 30 inches.

Add a few Zeiss ZF (50 and 100 f2.0) and Leica R lenses (180 f2.8 APO) on top of the best Nikkors (24 f1.4, 85 f1.4, 300 f2.8,...) and you have a system able to deliver extreeeeeemely sweet images.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: The D800
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2012, 05:23:12 AM »

The first one's a 100% crop from a shot of the remnants of the Vindicator goldmine processing plant. It's a tiny segment of part of the left side of the original 7360 x 4912 pixel raw file, shot from a tripod with a Nikon 24-70 f/2.8.

Hi Russ,

That's a nice example of the capabilities of the D800, but I'm not too pleased with the sharpening halos. Are you sure this is a straight crop from a Raw file, and not one prepared/sharpened for print? If you could post the same crop but unsharpened, even as a JPEG, I'll show you how the image looks after proper deconvolution capture sharpening. You may be even more pleased with the camera.

Cheers,
Bart
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RSL

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Re: The D800
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 04:06:30 PM »

Bart, You're absolutely right. I keep forgetting to go back and start over from the raw file for a post. I always sharpen for printing and then forget that for anything else the shot's over-sharpened.

But here are two more. Neither has had any sharpening. One is the full, un-cropped shot. The other is as close as I can get with the 100% crop on my laptop. This morning my main machine -- my desktop -- failed completely. Monday there'll be a Dell technician on my doorstep with a hard drive, a motherboard, and a rear fan. Of course, it's the C drive that failed, so I'm going to have to reinstall a bunch of software and convince outfits like Adobe and Nik that I had a hard drive failure and that I'm not trying to rip them off.

BartvanderWolf

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Re: The D800
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 06:04:16 PM »

Bart, You're absolutely right. I keep forgetting to go back and start over from the raw file for a post. I always sharpen for printing and then forget that for anything else the shot's over-sharpened.

But here are two more. Neither has had any sharpening. One is the full, un-cropped shot. The other is as close as I can get with the 100% crop on my laptop. This morning my main machine -- my desktop -- failed completely. Monday there'll be a Dell technician on my doorstep with a hard drive, a motherboard, and a rear fan. Of course, it's the C drive that failed, so I'm going to have to reinstall a bunch of software and convince outfits like Adobe and Nik that I had a hard drive failure and that I'm not trying to rip them off.

Attached is my guess at deconvolution capture sharpening of the 100% crop. Of course a JPEG is not the best working material, but it should give an idea.

Good luck with rebuilding your system.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 06:15:31 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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WalterEG

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Re: The D800
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 06:19:42 PM »

I am impressed somewhat by the 'Bar' image (and it makes me want to meet a laughing Lab!).

Without a comparison pic of the old industrial site I have trouble getting too enthused.  I think I might lean towards 'disappointed'.  I know that there is a big difference in price but I think a 36mp back on MF gets closer to justifying the exercise.

Nevertheless, I wish you much joy and success with your new kit Rus.

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bill t.

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Re: The D800
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2012, 02:14:26 PM »

Some nice WPA shots there Russ, Paul Strand is jealous!

Pay no attention, I'm jealous too.

Slap an old manual Micro Nikkor 55mm on that thing if you wanna see some REALLY sharp shots.

Or shoot a 2 x 2 stitch and call it 110+ MP.
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Rob C

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Re: The D800
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2012, 02:45:19 PM »

I just don't get it.

Of all the folks here, I'd have thought Russ would have stood aside from the race to megas and geegaws of one sort or another. Yet, that bloody D800 twin has affected him too!

It's not even as if it were the most expensive camera in the world - nowhere near that; so what's the craze about? I read some of the posts a while back when the thing was hot, but never felt any inclination to buy, despite the repeated publicity from my Nikon dealer that lands in the postbox and then leaps almost unread into the recycle bag. (The recycle bag itself gets recycled, so yes, I care, I care!)

Once you have something that gives you what you need, I believe that's when you should stop; your actual needs - not just Russ's needs, everyone's needs probably - are usually far short of what they are imagined to be. In film days it was easy: you  bought the best that your work dictated you buy, and that was that - until it wore out from use, or stayed pristine on your shelf and you went broke. This commonsensical approach appears to have been swept into oblivion and advertising rules. What a shame; I'd rather relax and enjoy the cellphone and just play. I really wouldn't want any of these things other than - possibly - a Leica that works and is lighter than what I have from Nikon. But I sure don't think it's worth the money and even though I could buy it, I won't.

I think that getting hung up on equipment is perhaps the worst fate that can befall a photographer other than losing his vision. In a way, it's the same thing.

Rob C

RSL

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Re: The D800
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 03:34:51 PM »

Until after Monday, when I get a new C drive, motherboard, and rear fan for my main machine, and then reinstall all the drivers and software, convince Adobe and Nik that I'm not trying to rip them off with another activation, etc., etc., I'm not in a position to do extended responses. But, first, let me tell you that you have to see the prints to understand why the D800 is so "hot." According to various testing outfits, in some ways the D800 can beat medium format digital backs that start at about ten times the price of the D800.

I haven't given up my other cameras, Rob. I carry what's appropriate for the job. Yesterday one of my granddaughters got married, and I shot the wedding with my good old D3. Unless you have difficulty reasoning, you don't go out and shoot a couple hundred pictures with the D800. 200 D800 shots will give you roughly10 gigabytes to manage and store. To me, the D800 is for landscape and for the abandoned farmhouses and dying prairie towns I love to shoot. I almost never shoot the D800 handheld. It occupies roughly the space in my equipment lineup that my 4 x 5 view camera used to occupy.

I should add that I'm not at all happy with the last two posts I made on this thread. Trying to do serious photographic work on a laptop is an exercise in futility. I'll probably go back to this picture once my system's back in order.

Can't leave, though, without posting one shot from the wedding. As I said, this isn't a D800 picture, but I almost wish I'd shot it with the D800.

bill t.

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Re: The D800
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 10:56:37 PM »

Come on Rob, you're making us dinosaurs look old!

In the development of film cameras we reached a plateau somewhere around the early 60's where we had excellent, affordable cameras like the Nikon F, Rollei, and such.  They did everything useful thing a camera could do within the constraints imposed by film technology.  Most subsequent film cameras were merely a matter of gilding the lily with questionable improvements not really having to do with image quality, except perhaps for lenses.

It seems possible that the D800 may be one of the first affordable cameras to reach a similar digital plateau.

The 5D2 was almost there, but still needed just a little more image quality for really big prints.  Whereas the 5D2 was just a little shy of the plateau the D800 is sitting up on the top edge.  It is capable of producing large fine art prints and commercial print imagery that require no apologies or footnotes or special circumstances.  It is not limited to images that satisfy near horizon requirements like "good enough for the web" or "good enough for magazines."  It's good enough for anything!  A compact, cheap, one-size-fits-all miracle.

Yes I know this has all been said before about every previous digital camera, but IMHO this D800 may mark the first instance where the hype meshes with the reality.  I have personally reached these conclusions by making some 29 x 43's from D800 files.  Provided the images are technically perfect at button-pushing time, and gently processed, they are a wonder to behold as large, rich looking, information-full prints.

And this is from a guy who used the same Nikon Photomic FTN for 35 years.
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RSL

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Re: The D800
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 07:59:24 AM »

You're never going to see it in a post. You need to see the prints.

BartvanderWolf

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Re: The D800
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 11:06:49 AM »

Then why post?

Because most people will understand that our low resolution displays only show a small 100% zoom crop from a file. When printed at the same resolution, say 100 PPI, we do get more or less the same result but we'd need paper of roughly 74 x 49 inches (6 x 4 feet, or 1.87 x 1.25 metres).

I don't know about your printer but I usually print smaller, and thus at higher resolution, than what my display is capable of. Yet, I have no difficulty in making the mental connection between what I see on display, and how that would look on paper. The relatively enlarged screen display also makes it easier to spot sharpening or aliasing issues that might be easier to overlook in prints (until the moment you sell the print, which is when the shortcomings start staring you in the face).

Cheers,
Bart
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Peter McLennan

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Re: The D800
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 12:31:05 PM »


Slap an old manual Micro Nikkor 55mm on that thing if you wanna see some REALLY sharp shots.


bill, I bought one of those Nikkor 55 F3.5's  from KEH on a whim a few years ago.  When I saw the results on my D300, I immediately ordered another one as a backup.  An absolutely amazing optic.

On my D800 it is just beyond description.  My Epson 9800 is positively drooling with anticipation.

The other day, shooting with a friend who also has a D800, I said "Y'know?  This might just be my last camera."  He agreed.

Welcome to the Golden Age of Photography.  We are truly blessed.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 12:32:45 PM by Peter McLennan »
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Rob C

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Re: The D800
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »

That amazing D800.

I penned a reply to Russ this morning, but as seems to happen quite a lot these days, the effiní screen froze and I had to switch off by, literally, pulling the plug on it. So itís all lost.

Anyway. Let me get back to the point I thought Iíd made. The D800 and its half-twin may well be the best things in photography since Victor dreamed up the 500; I even accept that they are, if I must, just to keep you happy. But it doesnít matter. What matters is the use you owners actually make of it, made of all your other, previous cameras, and why or where changes are gonna happen by this purchase.

(Jeez! Now the bloody font keeps changing on me!)

I think that nothingís going to change, that youíll go on making the same images you always have, that the same subjects will enthral you as ever they did, that the difference will be that your imagination will believe that you can and will climb new mountains and face fresh pastures. I predict you wonít. Photographyís a strange beast. Itís a mistress, a whore, a saviour and even a friend in need, But it never changes you into somebody else. And thatís a huge problem for photographers who hope that it can and, perhaps, will.

As some may know, Iím reading (avidly, as it turns out) a collection of Ansel Adams' letters (from and to) and itís amazing to see how common photographic ills are, how so many of us suffer from the same questions of worth, doubt, and anxiety about pretty much everything; we set up windmills for ourselves, fight giants who arenít even aware that we exist. I seem to deduce a sea change in his attitude and priorities; from a young chap concerned with cameras, lenses, papers and developers etc. he later ceases reference to any of that stuff, delving ever more deeply into the reasons why for a photograph, of its purpose and even, sometimes, of its validity in the greater scheme of things. Politics, both environmental and photographic, seems to become more the focus of his letters than does photography itself; format, too, concerns him: he states at one point that he might well turn to 10x8s and abandon the practice of ĎlargeíÖ in other words, and relevant to this topic here on LuLa, the idea of making bigger and bigger prints, though he always could, fails to be an answer to the emotional man. I donít think much has changed. I think anything that gives what the late D700 can give is all any amateur need aspire to own. And that was available several years ago. Why did I buy? FF and low-light friendly. It never occurred to me that I might desire to make prints bigger than A3+ - I still wouldnít really want to and even the size I can make has ground to a halt after the realisation of what running a goddam printer really means: you work to use up the ink so as not to allow the thought that youíve bought into another form of yacht!

If you make real money from your photography, thatís another matter entirely; if you donít, then buy the boat instead. At least youíll get to attract some girls. Cameras only impress other cameras.

;-)

Rob C

RSL

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Re: The D800
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 06:09:08 PM »

I was responding to the OP who suggested "you're never going to see it in a post".

I'm saying you can see the qualities that matter in a post.

To convince yourself I'd suggest buying, borrowing, or renting a D800 for a few days. You need to see it in action.

bill t.

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Re: The D800
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2012, 06:14:04 PM »

The 1/4 plate Daguerreotype was all we ever really needed.  You seriously had to want to take the picture.  And if photographing a person, they really had to want to be photographed.  And what's wrong with that?  A little difficulty in any process tends to blow away the chaff.  Of course, you had to like the smell of a hot mercury fumes.

Isn't this a gorgeous little chunk?  It is purity personified.

Although today some view the Holga as almost as beautiful.  It produces "distinct images with dream-like, vignetted look."  Amen to that.  The light leak flashes are another outstanding feature of the Holga.  For some, it's the camera of choice and all they need.

But if you want to sell photographs, make 'em sofa sized.  That's all you need to know about photo sales in this day and age.  I sincerely appreciate that so many of my competitors don't believe it.  That's the only excuse Russ or anybody needs for that D800.

And I really appreciate that Ansel did all that soul searching for me.  It's not really my forte.  Do the work first, think about it later.  Great photographs spring far more often from dumb good luck than from the photographer's frontal lobes.  The art is in large part simply being able to recognize when Lady Luck has winked at you, and having the wits to push the button while the light's still good.
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RSL

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Re: The D800
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2012, 06:55:59 PM »

Rob, I agree. Nothing's changed. I'm going to go on making the same images I've always made. But I've always tried to work with the best tool for the job at hand. I'll still shoot street, and I'll shoot street with the E-P1 with its Leica 50mm f/1.4 equivalent lens,  unless I'm shooting at night in a place like St. Augustine, in which case I'll substitute a Nikon 50mm f/1.4 on the D3, which has the same sensor as your D700. I'll still do my grandchildren's weddings and other high-volume shoots with the D3. But I've been shooting history in the gold fields and abandoned farm houses and dying prairie towns since the middle sixties, and since I switched to digital I've always wished I had the digital equivalent of my old 4 x 5 for that kind of shoot. I came really close this last year to springing for a medium format setup, which would have meant buying at least the body with digital back and two or three lenses. Now I have the equivalent at less than a tenth the price and I don't need to buy any new lenses.

I've never been an equipment nut. Some of my best photographs came from a half-frame Olympus Pen, which I had in Vietnam in 1965, and a few more of my best shots are from a 3 megapixel Casio I bought in 2000. Unfortunately, some of that stuff won't hold up for a print larger than about 8 x 10, and then only if it's street, where resolution isn't critical. My portfolios -- the ones I take around to galleries -- are printed at 13 x 19, and fairly often I print at 17 x 22 on my Epson 3880. The recent 13 x 19s I've made for the portfolios are stunning. The 17 x 22s are even more stunning. And I know that I can take a D800 file down to the local job shop and get a 20" x 30" 100% print at 240 ppi.

Unless you're going to confine yourself to a single photographic genre it doesn't pay to limit yourself to a single tool. The D3 and D800 are too big for comfortable street work. The E-P1 isn't flexible enough for weddings and general shooting. Neither the E-P1 nor the D3 can give me the kind of resolution I'd really like to have for static subjects I shoot off a tripod with mirror up and with aperture large enough to minimize diffraction losses. So, the right tool for the right job.

And, by the way, I'm too old to chase girls, so I don't flash my cameras around.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: The D800
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2012, 10:12:22 PM »

The D800 may not be perfect, but it is today - by a large margin - the best sensor out there in front of which you can mount Leica R APO lenses.

I am not sure why anyone objectively concerned by ultimate image quality would want to overlook this amazing combination.

Cheers,
Bernard
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