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Thread: D800E User Thread

  1. #21

    Default Re: D800E User Thread



    In the original, there was no clipping in the highlights at all. Granted that it was a cloudy day, but still a testament to its dynamic range. For many years of shooting digital, most of the times for such scenes, I more or less expected the highlights in the sky to blow out. This was true too, even on the D3X, which had remarkable dynamic range for its time.

    The only camera in my limited experience that can replicate this has been the Hasselblad H3 and H4 series of cameras.

    The detail in this file is exquisite. You can see the individual detail in the tiles of the roof without too much fuss.




    Metering is like most nikon's that I have used, slightly conservative. But not as conservative as the old school D70. You can probably get away with +1 ev exposure compensation for scenes with brighter backgrounds.

    Also, with so many megapixels, doing perspective shifts and adjustments in post is easier - both in terms of retaining an excellent print resolution after cropping, as well as an abundance of pixels for interpolation or extrapolation. This one has had its perspective adjusted on the vertical plane slightly.




    Needless to say, for black and white, there is "no noise" for the most part - so an addition of grain in post may be necessary to improve the "look" of the image. Subject to taste.

    The excellent 14 bit files also allow for some serious tone mapping in post in order to yield the desired tonalities between the various shades of grey.

    Auto-ISO is great - it adjusts its shutter speed with respect for the focal length of your lens. Since this was was taken at 24mm, the shutter speed set by the camera was 1/25s.

    I think that this D800E, is likely to be the final nail in the coffin for one of negative film's last holdouts - dynamic range in the highlights.

    In terms of resolution, it is in "medium format" territory per se. In terms of the actual LOOK of the images. I'd say no. There is still a distinctive look with a medium format system. The files here, whilst they have the resolution that beats the 22 and 31 and 33 megapixel digital backs in a resolution sense... cannot yet replicate the look that a larger sensor grants.

  2. #22
    Member zoom3's Avatar
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    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Thanks recap for the overview and opinions on the E. Great stuff

  3. #23

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    Are all photos posted here are handheld?
    Nikon D90 : Nikkor 18-200VRII : Nikkor 18-55 VR : Nikkor 50mm f1.8 : Nikon SB-900

  4. #24
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Very useful thread, thanks for the posted images. Thinking of returning to Nikon.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by plasticeye View Post
    Are all photos posted here are handheld?
    indeed, all hand held. I only use a tripod for lower light situations, and when I have to whip out my Hasselblad for outdoor work (studio doesn't matter) - since I'm basically stuck at ISO 50, f/8 and a shutter speed of 1/50s on a good day. Its just not enough to hand hold a behemoth lens like the HC 50-110/3.5-4.5

    Of course one of the advantage of the M9 system is that you can get sharp shots down to 1/8s, but this guy makes it so much easier. Tomorrow I'm going to field test this system with the Leica R APO 100/2.8 Macro lens. Should be very exciting stuff.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Here's my little contribution of another real-world sample shot of the D800E. For plane spotters, a B777 (not sure if -200 or -300ER series, you can tell me). Shot with Nikkor 300mm F/4 at ISO400, f/8, 1/640s and about 2/3rds cropped.

    Can't tell what the two-letter code on the trapdoors of the nose landing gear is? No probs, it's "QD" but at this point, noise is really showing.



    Last edited by atvinyl; 6th May 2012 at 11:54 AM.

  7. #27

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by atvinyl View Post
    Here's my little contribution of another real-world sample shot of the D800E. For plane spotters, a B777 (not sure if -200 or -300ER series, you can tell me). Shot with Nikkor 300mm F/4 at ISO400, f/8, 1/640s and about 2/3rds cropped.

    Can't tell what the two-letter code on the trapdoors of the nose landing gear is? No probs, it's "QD" but at this point, noise is really showing.



    wow... hand held shot?? or tripod?

  8. #28

    Default Re: D800E User Thread



    For High ISO purposes, I've shot it so far up to ISO 4000 and I'd say it is very comparable to the D3S at ISO 6400. This is my hunch. Noise really isn't a problem these days.

    The picture above is of a 20 dollar note, taped to my wall. Shot off a tripod with 23x live view - it really can get THAT close. No edits. So a little bit under exposed.

    Lens used was the Leica R APO 100mm f/2.8 Macro @ f/5.6. This is likely to be the highest performing 35mm lens that I know of at such distances. I had the mount specially modified to Nikon F, so it can mount directly onto the camera and remove lens mount skew as the cause of depth of field issues. Though doesn't matter too much since Live View is a major help.

    What I can see is that even with careful shooting technique, even with a solid tripod, and all the good stuff, at 23x Live View, you can see every tenth of a millimeter vibration on the screen magnified.

    The pictures were taken with the self timer to minimize vibration whilst in Live View mode - since that meant that the mirror is already flipped up.

    My hunch is that I'm not very good at this macro thing yet, I believe, or at least, want to believe that the Leica R APO 100/2.8 can deliver the full 36 megapixels of image quality, but it may be very well that even this lens cannot withstand the demands of the 36MP non AA sensor of the D800E.

    This image was also taken at ISO 4000, yes, 4000, and I'd say that detail retention and noise control is excellent.

  9. #29

    Default Re: D800E User Thread



    This image above was taken at ISO 100. You can click through to both images to see them at their native higher resolutions.

    I have to say that I was very impressed with the Leica R APO 100/2.8 on both the D3X and the D3S, so I think I will do further "real world" shooting, instead of just dollar bills taped to the wall.

    But with caution assuming my bad photographic technique, within limits, I may have shown the limits of some excellent pre-existing lenses. Field curvature may play a role as well, though it seems unlikely with a Live View off a solid tripod (Gitzo 3 series + Burzynski Ballhead) mirror locked up and self timer that this is the case.

    Don't get me, the original file is superb and filled with tremendous detail Perhaps a 20 dollar note has "too little detail" to showcase the potential of this sensor.

    I chose this APO lens for close distance shooting mainly because it is indeed sharp and excellent and contrasty, but also has negligible color fringing in the out of focus areas - which can really help in nailing the focus properly without the confusion of colorful halos.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by burboy

    wow... hand held shot?? or tripod?
    Both : ) Tripod-mounted but ballhead not locked due to fast-moving subject so camera still semi-handheld.

  11. #31
    Member arphaxad12's Avatar
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    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Thanks for sharing. Your commentary with each of the shots are very helpful and insightful. Your thread comes at the right time as I am thinking of going into the FX platform from DX, I have a D90 which had servfed me very well last 5 years. So I was reading up on the D700, D3s, D3x and even the D4 which costs a bomb. Then I came across the D800 and the 800E. But still cannot make any conlusion until now. I must go try out the D800E next weekend. Please continue with your commentary in this thread.
    Nikon D90 18-200mm VR 35mm 1.8 Tokina 11-16mm

  12. #32

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxad12 View Post
    Thanks for sharing. Your commentary with each of the shots are very helpful and insightful. Your thread comes at the right time as I am thinking of going into the FX platform from DX, I have a D90 which had servfed me very well last 5 years. So I was reading up on the D700, D3s, D3x and even the D4 which costs a bomb. Then I came across the D800 and the 800E. But still cannot make any conlusion until now. I must go try out the D800E next weekend. Please continue with your commentary in this thread.
    Thanks much! I am on leave this week, so plenty of time to shoot stuff. I am planning a shoot out between the Hasselblad H4D + HC 50-110 vs the D800 + 24-70. Should be a reasonably fair "real world" comparison. Very interested to see what comes out.

  13. #33

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Okay, an even more fun image comparison. Better than a twenty dollar bill.

    I present, the PRANCING HORSE.



    Live View focused at 23x. Shot off my tripod. This is close to minimum focusing distance.

    Focus is exactly dead center. Its exactly where the ending part of the mane of the horse meets its back. I focused where there was highest contrast. And this is best in a series of five images.

    Mirror lock up, self timer. Truth is, all five images look exactly the same. I was looking for a sufficiently detailed subject to see if we are at the limits of the lens, or the sensor plus something that wouldn't move.

    Normally nature would be my first choice, but at 23x Live View, no wind and all, you can see them flowers move ever slightly so much.

    Click through to "View Image" to see the 100% crop.



    You make the call. What do my eyes see? The Leica R APO 100mm f/2.8 Macro can resolve well with this 36 megapixel sensor.

    The Nikon sensor can utilize the best aspects of the best glass. But only with excellent technique. That's the caveat.

    Settings - f/11, 1.6s. No edits in Lightroom save the crop. I'm sure with sharpening we can bring out more detail.

    Also bear in mind that f/11 is beyond the diffraction limit of f/7.1, I am trying to optimize depth of field here just that little wee bit more. I am sure at f/8 we can yield slightly sharper results.

    Just note that depth of field is very thin at this level, so if its out of focus, ignore it and look to those areas that are within the plane of sharpness.
    Last edited by recap; 6th May 2012 at 06:50 PM.

  14. #34

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Another one. Same light, same subject, same comparison.



    This is the carbon fibre grill on a Ferrari.

    The live view is really easy to use. One button dedicated to zooming in. Another button dedicated to zooming out. The screen is amazing. The best one I've had in shooting digitally for almost 9 years now. I've been shooting since the original Nikon D1 and the original canon 1D.

    At 23x Live View, even this distinguished APO corrected lens shows color fringing on such a difficult subject - solid black with lighted up edges. It helps.

    Best of five. But they all look the same. Dead center for focus. Easy to nail this one, because it is sharpest when there is no color fringing, and at f/2.8 the thing pops in and out of focus like magic.



    Please come to your own conclusions. I did not adjust the white balance, so its a little bit on the cool blue side.

    Taken f/11, 5 seconds exposure.

    What I can see with my eyes? Great lens, great detail being rendered. None of that color fringing also helps too.

    I think paired with the best lenses, the best technique off a rock solid tripod and a subject that doesn't move. You are apt to nail shots with medium format resolution.

  15. #35

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    You can click "view image" to see the shots in larger detail. Go pixel peep to your hearts content.

    The other thing I should also address is the autofocus ability with the wider angle Nikon primes such as the 24/1.4 and the 35/1.4.

    So far, I have had no real world issues between the left side of my AF array being less sharp than the right side. So far.

    But the truth is that these lenses sometimes have AF issues with the previous generation cameras as well - either backfocusing or else just not being as optimally sharp as the same exact scene shot in Live View.

    For myself, I consider it the limits of a convenient autofocus. Ultimately we should chase good light, not good pixels.

  16. #36

    Default Re: D800E User Thread



    With regards to shooting this camera hand held outdoors. It demands technique very much like the Nikon D3X, despite its diminutive size.

    I recommend NOT shooting below 1/100s, minimum shutter speed should be 1/125s for all hand held work. At 1/60s and 1/80s I can see a discernible handshake blur at 100%

    The high ISO performance is good enough that with noise reduction using 1600 ISO is a quibble. Steve McCurry published ISO 1600-2000 shots on his D3X and said that the noise level itself, while crappy for its era shared with the 5D Mark II, was not an issue for his work.

    ======================

    This D800E is like buying four cameras.

    You get a resolution that is higher than a D3X. Its "only" twelve megapixels more. But there is a substantial difference even at a linear level. Going from 6048 on the wide end to 7360 presents a gain of 20%+. Along with that, the dark tonalities are EXCELLENT. I see no issue underexposing by two stops to retain very bright highlights and raising the exposure in post.

    You get AF speed and tracking that is very much like the D3S. The noise reduction is also very good. Its not quite at the D3S level. But its very good, particularly excellent if you chose to downsize the 36MP shots to 12.

    You get the pixel density of the D7000 extrapolated into full frame. So your DX lenses (of which I don't own any) can still be used as though you own a D7000.

    You get the form factor of the D700 and its user interface. So light and easy to carry around for travel. But not quite Leica M9 small and light.

    You have no AA filter. Forget moire. Its a straw man's argument. There is an appreciable 20% gain in per pixel detail vs the regular 800 to my eyes. I cannot substantiate this. It only looks like it to me. My only real world experience is not perfect - that was when comparing files from the 18MP Leica M9 to the 24MP Nikon D3X. There's a difference in the lens building philosophy, but in real world prints, the M9 had little issues matching or exceeding the D3X in large prints for the same given scene.
    Last edited by recap; 6th May 2012 at 07:27 PM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: D800E User Thread



    In terms of color, I'd say it may very well be the very best 35mm FF dslr camera I've used. The D3X had brilliant colors. But this one, to my eyes is even better.

    The image above has been shot and ONLY its exposure has been adjusted to +0.75. That's all. The rest left at zero. I think it looks great just like that.



    However, for certain colors that are at the very edge of the Adobe RGB color space. The nod still goes to my Hasselblad with its fancy Hasselblad RGB - that can capture and replicate the colors with brilliant accuracy. The D800/D800E is no slouch for color fidelity in this regard.

    PROOF:



    I've saved it to the crappy sRGB color space, but I'm pretty sure you can tell that THIS ONE, is indeed a better and more accurate color capture of a difficult scene. That's my opinion, feel free to disagree with me.

  18. #38

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    A Few more color examples:



    White balance - 5200K, exposure adjusted +0.30. Contrast set at +40. Zero on the rest.



    Contrast set to +35. (Lightroom default used to be +25), plus an S shaped curve. Zero on the rest.

    No highlight clipping in the highlights - a testament to the dynamic range of this sensor.



    Highlights -25, Shadows +50, slight midtone boost with curves. Saturation and Vibrance added. It was a pretty flat day, so I'd say a reasonable output to showcase the colors.



    Highlights -75 (mostly for the fluorescent tubes), shadows +35, contrast +35, exposure +0.25. Midtone boost using curves.

    Its a pretty good example to its dynamic range, color fidelity and image quality capture. This was shot 1/30s at ISO 100, and there is quite a bit of handshake blur in the image.

  19. #39

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    Thanks recap for your much review of D800E.
    I am still deciding between D800 or the E series. Their different is S$500, and yes from you review and other whom have post theirs, it is worth this amount. For my take, S$500 almost able me to get a 32Gb CF & 32Gb SD Pro series.
    I know its my decision...I think I can decide better once you post some on outdoor photos then...
    Thanks again...and not forgetting others whom contributed to this thread...thank you.

  20. #40

    Default Re: D800E User Thread

    My thoughts after carefully spending today pixel peeping the files is this. Ideally, set the ISO to 200 at the base level. I know its heretical, but I also use my base ISO 50 Hasselblad at 100 when I want to go hand held too. It is my opinion that there is negligible image quality or dynamic range loss for the gain in shutter speed and slightly more depth of field (plus perhaps psychological lens resolution) when stopping down 1 stop more.

    All my shots below 1/100s show some sort of pixel level hand shake blur. Even some shots at 1/200s showcase this. Its probably me being crappy, but I can hand hold my Hassy to 1/100s to sharpness, so I don't think its 100% lousy technique on my part.



    Again, colors are great. This one only had its white balance adjusted slightly and contrast was set at +35. There's quite a lot of smoke in the air, hence the atmosphere.



    Again, detail, color is great. But at a per pixel level there is too much blur at 1/100s. I think 1/125 is the bare minimum, and would recommend the 1/160s setting. All my shots at 1/160s are *acceptably* sharp at the per pixel level.



    One more, taken vertically - I don't have the grip. Can't be bothered with it. So the chicken wing posture may induce this slight bit of handshake. Aperture was set at f/6.3, so just around the optimal zone for sharpness.

    and a 100% crop - click "View Image" to go through to the full resolution one.



    This was taken hand held. So I'm pretty sure better per pixel level detail can be wrought if it were shot off a tripod.
    Last edited by recap; 6th May 2012 at 08:27 PM.

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