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Author Topic: Anyone using Nikon D800?  (Read 7689 times)

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Microstock Man

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« on: November 24, 2012, 01:41 »
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I'm looking to hear from anyone who has had some actual use of the Nikon D800, as I am considering purchasing one in January.

I know it's certainly good enough for stock etc, but what I would really like to know is how you think my current lenses will cope with the sensors quality. I currently use a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 AFS ED lens (non VR model, prior to that) which is still pin sharp, a Nikon 28-105 AFD Macro (cheapish lens, first one I ever bought and it's still going!), and also a lens I will have to sell - the Nikon 17-55 2.8 AFS ED DX (will have to ditch it as its DX, not full frame)

So with the first two lenses, the 80-200 in particular, anyone using that on a D800 and finding it quality enough? For a $2500 lens I surely hope it is, but still it is a bit old now, so I'm not sure.

Also, with the lens I need to replace, I was considering either the 12-24 or the 24-70 from nikon - any experiences with either? Pro's/Con's? ( I do a bit of travel/hiking so zoom lenses are very useful for me, although I know I will get a lot of comments to get primes only. Just not sure I can justify a prime, other than perhaps a 50mm 1.4 or something - happy to hear suggestions though)

EDIT: As another idea, what about this lens: Nikon AF 20mm f2.8D to replace my current wide zoom? Anyone using this lens (looks like an older one)?

And after a few months of use now, how are people finding the D800 overall?

Thanks so much for all of your feedback to come, much appreciated. :)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 02:39 by Microstock Man »


« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 02:20 »
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I'm looking to hear from anyone who has had some actual use of the Nikon D800, as I am considering purchasing one in January.

I know it's certainly good enough for stock etc, but what I would really like to know is how you think my current lenses will cope with the sensors quality. I currently use a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 AFS ED lens (non VR model, prior to that) which is still pin sharp, a Nikon 28-105 AFD Macro (cheapish lens, first one I ever bought and it's still going!), and also a lens I will have to sell - the Nikon 17-55 2.8 AFS ED DX (will have to ditch it as its DX, not full frame)

So with the first two lenses, the 80-200 in particular, anyone using that on a D800 and finding it quality enough? For a $2500 lens I surely hope it is, but still it is a bit old now, so I'm not sure.

Also, with the lens I need to replace, I was considering either the 12-24 or the 24-70 from nikon - any experiences with either? Pro's/Con's? ( I do a bit of travel/hiking so zoom lenses are very useful for me, although I know I will get a lot of comments to get primes only. Just not sure I can justify a prime, other than perhaps a 50mm 1.4 or something)

And after a few months of use now, how are people finding the D800 overall?

Thanks so much for all of your feedback to come, much appreciated. :)

Yes got it., Not using it too much though, got it purely as an investment rather then giving the taxman. Good camera, 36MPs and all that.
I prefer my D3X anytime. However its an unforgiving camera and you will need the best optics, primes would be the best choice. The 14-24 is a good option and so is the 70-200 VR.
The actual Raw-files straight out of the camera without any sharpning and noise at zero are IMO, not as "clean" as the files straight out of the Canon MIII or the MII. Needs quite a lot of PP.

« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 03:17 »
+2
I've got one. I've just used it for shooting in Shanghai and carried it to the top of a Himalayan peak in the Annapurnas. I use it with a 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 II and 1.7xTC. As reported elsewhere, it does show any flaws in your technique or lenses. The lenses I use work perfectly with it, which isn't surprising as they're on Nikon's recommended list.

The 24-70 is the lens I use most and the one I would buy first. It's an excellent lens, great focal length range for walking around cities and landscapes, I heartily recommend it.

The only downside is the weight and bulk of course. You need to be pretty dedicated and / or stupid to carry all that kit to high altitude or round a crowded city all day. Luckily I have no common sense whatsoever.

I've found the dynamic range / details in the shadows / highlights to be the same as the D700 I used before, but now you've got 36MP to play with. Amazing achievement by Nikon.

The biggest problem is file storage. I produced about 8000 images in the last two months with it and have had to upgrade all my HD and backup systems. Also, I had to buy six batteries which adds a chunk onto the cost. SD cards are cheap but really, really slow compared to CF.

Overall, great camera, well worth the money. I was in two minds and dubious about the quality at ISO more than 200 but have been pleasantly surprised.

Don't bother with the 20mm 2.8D, it's useless on a full frame, horrible around the edges, very smeary. I had two examples to try, both the same.

« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 08:21 »
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I've got one. I've just used it for shooting in Shanghai and carried it to the top of a Himalayan peak in the Annapurnas. I use it with a 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 II and 1.7xTC. As reported elsewhere, it does show any flaws in your technique or lenses. The lenses I use work perfectly with it, which isn't surprising as they're on Nikon's recommended list.

The 24-70 is the lens I use most and the one I would buy first. It's an excellent lens, great focal length range for walking around cities and landscapes, I heartily recommend it.

The only downside is the weight and bulk of course. You need to be pretty dedicated and / or stupid to carry all that kit to high altitude or round a crowded city all day. Luckily I have no common sense whatsoever.

I've found the dynamic range / details in the shadows / highlights to be the same as the D700 I used before, but now you've got 36MP to play with. Amazing achievement by Nikon.

The biggest problem is file storage. I produced about 8000 images in the last two months with it and have had to upgrade all my HD and backup systems. Also, I had to buy six batteries which adds a chunk onto the cost. SD cards are cheap but really, really slow compared to CF.

Overall, great camera, well worth the money. I was in two minds and dubious about the quality at ISO more than 200 but have been pleasantly surprised.

Don't bother with the 20mm 2.8D, it's useless on a full frame, horrible around the edges, very smeary. I had two examples to try, both the same.

thats the post I have been waiting to read, very nice, thank you very much for sharing your experiences!

just a question, how far can you go in terms of ISO and still get approved? up to 1600?

« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 08:40 »
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Funny I was just doing the math yesterday of what the real cost of ownership is for a d800 and it's a bit higher when you add in big cards, big drives, batteries and lenses. Luckily I have a couple of primes, 24-70, 17-35.  Still, be aware that the cost of ownership is more than the cost of the camera.

« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 08:50 »
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Anybody using the 28-300 on a D800? Is it good enough for stock?

« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 09:13 »
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I love my D800.  I downsize my images by 25% in each dimension, which gives me 19 megapixels for my stock images.  That's plenty of resolution, and the results are spectacular.  Mostly shooting with my 24-70, and I've added a 16-35 wide angle to replace the 10-24 DX I was using with my D300.  Great results with the primes I have as well.  Haven't done as much with my 70-200, as the weight of the combination is a strain.

I had a chance to shoot with a model I'd shot ages ago.  When I went back to look at those earlier (D300) photos, I was surprised at how soft the RAW files looked compared to the D800.  The contrast and sharpness are worlds better on the 800, even at 3x the resolution.  Fantastic camera.

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 21:02 »
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Excellent, thanks guys, really appreciate your responses. They've been really helpful.

You mention spare batteries - how much do you get from the included battery? Is it video that kills it mostly? I'm thinking two batteries like my current setup with my D2X will be sufficient for me.

Also, looks like the 12-24 and the 24-70 gets a great review from you all, along with the 70-200. I'm thinking the 24-70 might be the go. Might be a few months down the track though...

Was just looking at prices for CF cards too (I've got a bunch, but mostly smaller sizes). Seems about $200AU for a 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro 90mb/s card. Worth the difference from a 60mb/s Extreme card for 50 bucks less?

Seems like a really exciting camera. Wishing it had of been around when I did a lot of my travel work years ago - so many good shots on slide, and so expensive to get scanned!

gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 22:12 »
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anyone able to compare it to the D4?

I met a photographer recently (famous portrait 'tog in my city) who has 2 of each and doesn't like the D800. I'm looking to add video to my future work offerings so need to upgrade the D700 soon-ish.

At least I already have great lenses. and yes, that 24-70 is my 90% used lens, but I still think the 50mm is sharpest.

velocicarpo

« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 06:48 »
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I still do not own the D800. I was planning on buying one but after a careful evaluation I decided against. Reason: image quality. Just check carefully the 100% outputs and compare it to other cams. I was not to satisfied. The D800E can compete anyway, so this would be the Model for me to go for and maybe I will do so soon.

« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 07:18 »
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I still do not own the D800. I was planning on buying one but after a careful evaluation I decided against. Reason: image quality. Just check carefully the 100% outputs and compare it to other cams. I was not to satisfied. The D800E can compete anyway, so this would be the Model for me to go for and maybe I will do so soon.

Agreeing. At 100% on the screen theres no differance from say the MII, etc. This is what die-hard Nikon users are complaining about.
Funny thing is. If I compare My D3X with the MII, yes then there is a bit of differance when viewed at 100%, dont make sense?

« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 10:14 »
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I still do not own the D800. I was planning on buying one but after a careful evaluation I decided against. Reason: image quality. Just check carefully the 100% outputs and compare it to other cams. I was not to satisfied. The D800E can compete anyway, so this would be the Model for me to go for and maybe I will do so soon.
Its wrong step to compare a 36mp pic to a 16-22 mp pic at 100% zoom. If you compare 36 mp against 16-22mp then definitely you would get flaws in 36 mp pix. For an honest comparison you need to downsize d800 pix upto 16-22 mp pix (what ever other dslr you are using for comparison), only then you will see the real difference.

« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 10:24 »
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I still do not own the D800. I was planning on buying one but after a careful evaluation I decided against. Reason: image quality. Just check carefully the 100% outputs and compare it to other cams. I was not to satisfied. The D800E can compete anyway, so this would be the Model for me to go for and maybe I will do so soon.
Its wrong step to compare a 36mp pic to a 16-22 mp pic at 100% zoom. If you compare 36 mp against 16-22mp then definitely you would get flaws in 36 mp pix. For an honest comparison you need to downsize d800 pix upto 16-22 mp pix (what ever other dslr you are using for comparison), only then you will see the real difference.

Done it! no differance not in prints either. In the studio I work a lot with the HD4 and first then when you start comparing MF with DSLRs, etc, do you see any differance to speak of.
Lots of sales talks and marketing will have us to believe anything but in real life its a differant story.
Never the less, its 36MPs. Cant look away from that fact.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2012, 11:27 »
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I've been shooting the D800 for several months now.  Having come from the D2Xs and D3s as well as LF and MF I can honestly say that, when properly processed, the D800 files are the best I've seen.  Resolution, dynamic range, etc are terrific.
This camera, however, is not for everyone.  It takes the proper technique (mirror up, solid tripod, remote release, careful focusing) and the best glass to take full  advantage of that sensor.  I shoot primarily macro and use the Nikkor 60, 105, and 200's as well as the 24-70 and Zeiss 21.  I had the 80-200 but got rid of it as it didn't cut it on the D800.....I'm waiting for the new 70-200/4.  The 24-70 is good with the 800 as long as you stay above 28 on the wide end, below that the edges get pretty soft.  I also had to return a Zeiss 21 for soft edges. So, the camera is unforgiving when it comes to glass imperfections. Make sure you deal with a retailer that has a good return policy if you find that the lens you buy is not up to snuff on the D800.
You will also need  pretty current computer hardware and software to process those files as well as alot of storage.
I think everyone who is contemplating this camera needs to ask themselves if they really need a 36 MP sensor and if they are willing to put in the added investment it's going to require to take full advantage of that sensor.

« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2012, 11:39 »
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I think everyone who is contemplating this camera needs to ask themselves if they really need a 36 MP sensor

Good question. With magazines dying and more content moving to web will larger or smaller images be in greater demand?

« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2012, 13:14 »
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I contemplated the idea of getting a D800 for stock. After contemplating phase I grabbed a D800E and made a few shootings with it and the following lenses: 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, sigma 50mm, nikon macro 105mm. The conclusion is like this:
- the highly acclaimed dynamic range is almost useless if you expose correctly. It's just not there...
- noise is on par with 5D2
- sharpness seems a bit artificial for me, it's not "clean", like files were applied a sort of unsharp mask after writing to card
- the buffer holds a few burst shots, then it takes ages until you can shoot again in burst-mode
- files are ENORMOUS. You need to upgrade your hardware. This means - at least i7 class cpu for processing, if you do really advanced Lightroom or Capture One processing, and big hdds
- for outdoor shots the jpegs resulted saved at quality 12 will be huge in size, which means that 123RF (for example) will reject for being too big and upload will take  more than for a 5D2
- zoom lenses don't do justice to this sensor, 24-70 is awful on edges and in corners, 14-24 less - but still not ok.

There are more things to say, but the bottom line is - do you really think you can justify the excess of MPs by selling many XXXXXXXXXL images? I think not.
Therefore I stayed with Canon and I'm quite confident that I won't buy the 40-something MP rumored, either.
21-22 MP are more than enough.

« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2012, 13:32 »
0
I contemplated the idea of getting a D800 for stock. After contemplating phase I grabbed a D800E and made a few shootings with it and the following lenses: 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, sigma 50mm, nikon macro 105mm. The conclusion is like this:
- the highly acclaimed dynamic range is almost useless if you expose correctly. It's just not there...
- noise is on par with 5D2
- sharpness seems a bit artificial for me, it's not "clean", like files were applied a sort of unsharp mask after writing to card
- the buffer holds a few burst shots, then it takes ages until you can shoot again in burst-mode
- files are ENORMOUS. You need to upgrade your hardware. This means - at least i7 class cpu for processing, if you do really advanced Lightroom or Capture One processing, and big hdds
- for outdoor shots the jpegs resulted saved at quality 12 will be huge in size, which means that 123RF (for example) will reject for being too big and upload will take  more than for a 5D2
- zoom lenses don't do justice to this sensor, 24-70 is awful on edges and in corners, 14-24 less - but still not ok.

There are more things to say, but the bottom line is - do you really think you can justify the excess of MPs by selling many XXXXXXXXXL images? I think not.
Therefore I stayed with Canon and I'm quite confident that I won't buy the 40-something MP rumored, either.
21-22 MP are more than enough.

Well thats just it. Its an overkill at times and especially for micro. The few shots, about 6 or 7, I have shot with the HD4 and uploaded to micro well I dont even think theyve sold once.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2012, 14:26 »
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I contemplated the idea of getting a D800 for stock. After contemplating phase I grabbed a D800E and made a few shootings with it and the following lenses: 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, sigma 50mm, nikon macro 105mm. The conclusion is like this:
- the highly acclaimed dynamic range is almost useless if you expose correctly. It's just not there...

Huh?  Were you shooting jpegs or RAW?  Low contrast or high contrast scenes?  There is plenty of headroom both in the shadows and highlites if shooting RAW. Holding detail in those requires both proper exposure and a sensor's wide dynamic range.  The greater the dynamic range of the sensor the less you will need to rely on HDR techniques to hold detail.  I've shot mountain scenes at dawn with snow-covered peaks in sunlight and the FG in shadow and have been able to hold detail in both without resorting to exposure blending.  Can't do that in every situation but it certainly is better with the D800 than anything I've used in the past.
If you're shooting low contrast scenes in flat light then you won't need or appreciate the D800's dynamic range.  But when shooting RAW in high contrast situations where holding detail in the highlights and shadows is important I find the dynamic range of this camera to be very valuable...assuming proper exposure, of course.
So, I've got to respectably disagree with your statement that the dynamic range "just isn't there".

« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2012, 15:11 »
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I contemplated the idea of getting a D800 for stock. After contemplating phase I grabbed a D800E and made a few shootings with it and the following lenses: 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, sigma 50mm, nikon macro 105mm. The conclusion is like this:
- the highly acclaimed dynamic range is almost useless if you expose correctly. It's just not there...

Huh?  Were you shooting jpegs or RAW?  Low contrast or high contrast scenes?  There is plenty of headroom both in the shadows and highlites if shooting RAW. Holding detail in those requires both proper exposure and a sensor's wide dynamic range.  The greater the dynamic range of the sensor the less you will need to rely on HDR techniques to hold detail.  I've shot mountain scenes at dawn with snow-covered peaks in sunlight and the FG in shadow and have been able to hold detail in both without resorting to exposure blending.  Can't do that in every situation but it certainly is better with the D800 than anything I've used in the past.
If you're shooting low contrast scenes in flat light then you won't need or appreciate the D800's dynamic range.  But when shooting RAW in high contrast situations where holding detail in the highlights and shadows is important I find the dynamic range of this camera to be very valuable...assuming proper exposure, of course.
So, I've got to respectably disagree with your statement that the dynamic range "just isn't there".

The dynamic range is there. Its usefulness is not there :) I shot a lot of scenes, from high contrast landscapes, to studio glamour portraits and there is not a single shot that a 5D Mark II couldn't handle.

« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2012, 18:18 »
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I don't have the d800, but one friend let me try theirs in an outdoors shoot we made together, and the resulting photos were clearly better than the ones I took with my 5D2. But I won't buy a d800 right now. Buying one would mean changing lenses, computer etc. Maybe next year.

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2012, 21:43 »
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wow, how the comments changed from the start!

Ok so perhaps the D800 isn't the medium format killing DSLR that was hyped, but it still sounds like an excellent camera. Plus, I'm not really interested in Canon comparisons as I am not about to make the switch.

So thanks for all . Seems like I will need to consider lenses, as well as storage and computer gear as possible extra expenses, which I was likely to have to upgrade in the next 12 months anyway. Lets hope stock income over the next 12 months makes that worthwhile!

Thanks again everyone

« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2012, 21:45 »
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I have the 800E.  Love this camera and I highly recommend it.

I use these lenses:

28-70mm/f2.8 - Tack sharp and, since it was replaced by the 24-70mm/f2.8 you can pick one up for about $1000.00.  Built to take a beating.

85mm/F1.4G - Produces lovely images (even wide open).  If you like taking portraits then consider this.  Bit pricey $1700 though.

Good luck!
Mark

gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2012, 19:18 »
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anyone used the video on it? how is it?

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2013, 01:31 »
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Just had to revive my old thread to say a big thank you again to all those who gave their thoughts on the D800 questions. I really appreciate it.

I scored a great deal (for Australia at least) and got a D800, a 24-70 2.8 and a 32GB Sandisk extreme card just the other day.

So far, VERY happy with it and looking forward to putting it through its paces properly over the next few months. :)

« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2013, 10:10 »
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Just had to revive my old thread to say a big thank you again to all those who gave their thoughts on the D800 questions. I really appreciate it.

I scored a great deal (for Australia at least) and got a D800, a 24-70 2.8 and a 32GB Sandisk extreme card just the other day.

So far, VERY happy with it and looking forward to putting it through its paces properly over the next few months. :)

I ordered a D800 from B&H a few weeks ago and conducted a focus test on it because of the many complaints of the "left spot focusing issue". I set my D800 on a tripod and used a 60mm prime lens that I know gives me edge to edge sharpness.  I focused it manually on a stucco wall, and used the camera timer to trigger the shutter.  Then I brought them into Photoshop and zoomed in at 100%.  The image that was manually focused was sharp edge to edge.  The image that was auto focused using the left most focusing spot was out of focus.  The center spot was in focus at the center of the image but the edges were soft.  Using live view the image was better using auto focus but still soft. I sent it back to B&H and got another one.  I conducted the same test and it had the same problem.  I ended up sending everything back to B&H, including the 64gig memory cards, readers, batteries etc.  Until they get that known focusing issue resolved I would not recommend the camera.  It also has a lit of luminense noise in the shadow areas which is caused by crunching 36mp into the sensor.  The images on my test shots were crunchy looking as well.  One of the big wigs on the Nikonian forums said that he anticipated a "true" replacement for the D700 sometime in 2013 and is hearing rumors that they will be using the D3 sensor (Nikon designed) as opposed to the Sony one used in the D800. I am going to wait for a more reliable system.


 

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