Sad and disappointed (Previously a happy Nikon User)


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surrephoto

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Jan 14, 2009
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#1
Hi all. Would like to share some sentiments I've had from various experiences as a nikon user in the last 1 year. The disclaimer would be that I'm an ex-C camp user but do not bring in brand war conversations unless you really know what you're talking about.

Alot of things i'm going to share are not always scientific that's why I would like the opinions of fellow users. I'm a D700 user and have used 4 copies of D700s. Have owned a D3 as well.

1. Current Nikon AF system is "degrading" in relative quality due to the release of the new recent f1.4 lenses eg. 24G, 35G, 85G.

Previously I did not notice issues while I was using the 50 f1.4G. These lenses are all higher quality but all required micro-adjustment to achieve peak accuracy/precision. NSC told me this is the user's responsibility. Interestingly the MA value for multiple bodies are the same. This subject is more complicated than it looks because accuracy not equals precision and focus shift can affect the best MA value to get the best DOF balance for all AF distances. On average I spent 3 months on each lens to figure out that magical number. That is a heck load of time wasted. I can share some of my findings if any of you bros need help. Btw I spent a short time on a D3 and could not fix these issues. The D3S was much better (from LCD screen).

2. Maintenance pricing at NSC Singapore is simply too expensive. I don't expect angelic service and non-rhetorical warranty but estimations of $500-$600 for an average shutter change and $100+ dollars for a hot-shoe is infuriating.

3. I still do not like out of box nikon color even after shooting RAW and custom WB. First off I'm all for skintones. I've used everything from CaptureNX, Lightroom 3 (my main workhorse software) & I believe that simple PP can't solve this problem because C & N color/balance rendition is just different starting from the sensor & lens coating. JPEGs from the D700 are unusable to me. When I first migrated from 1DsII to D700 my workflow for colour became more complicated overnight, correct yet pleasing RGB/CMYK skintone is easy to achieve last time but for the nikons (D3/D700) it's abit of a chore. Btw, i'm not a photoshop expert so I might be all wrong.

4. AWB is awful or not to my taste. This applies especially for the D700 AWB (greenish cast in 60% of situations yet Magenta 1 shift destroys skintones) and sadly the D3S samples I saw were better but not by a huge margin. Could this just be a matter of taste or a real technical issue?

Needs comments from bros here as I love this system for the consistency but this has troubled in for a while!

Feel free to question my workflow and how I process my images/operate my camera etc. Whatever it takes to solve my Nikon woes... i'm out for it.
 

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alantkh

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Jun 16, 2009
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#3
for color, which picture control profile did you use? There are quite a few you can load in your D700. surely there is one you like? Since color is subjective... unless you are saying the WB is not consistent.
 

Feb 23, 2010
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#5
wow! TS only 21 years old then owned sooooo many camera bodies and lenses...quite impressive, to me...
 

proteonXPR

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Dec 14, 2008
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#6
if shooting something important why rely on autowhite balance? the whitebalance can be adjusted and preferred hues can be added too.
 

Jul 9, 2011
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#7
1. Current Nikon AF system is "degrading" in relative quality due to the release of the new recent f1.4 lenses eg. 24G, 35G, 85G.

Previously I did not notice issues while I was using the 50 f1.4G. These lenses are all higher quality but all required micro-adjustment to achieve peak accuracy/precision. NSC told me this is the user's responsibility. Interestingly the MA value for multiple bodies are the same. This subject is more complicated than it looks because accuracy not equals precision and focus shift can affect the best MA value to get the best DOF balance for all AF distances. On average I spent 3 months on each lens to figure out that magical number. That is a heck load of time wasted. I can share some of my findings if any of you bros need help. Btw I spent a short time on a D3 and could not fix these issues. The D3S was much better (from LCD screen).
I'm using a D3S and all my 1.4 lenses (85G, 24G, 300 2.8G) all have dead on focus. Looks like if you don't want to MA, you need to simply go for the best. Not sure whether this is the phenomenon for the C-camp though.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#8
There are some quirks with Nikon system. But there are other quirks in Canon system as well. In fact, there are quirks in any system. In the end, it all comes down to what quirks you are more used to.

I've worked with Canon RAW before, and I find them very hard to work with, while my workflow with D700 RAWs are as speedy as Gonzales. So in the end, you are more used to Canon RAW, and I am more used to Nikon RAW. You have to determine what you are comfortable with.

As for maintenance costs, welcome to the world. It is pretty much the same. Engineer labor costs has risen up very high, and an hours time of work will cost you 100 or 100+. Some Service Centers give different price breaks in different areas, but in the end you have to find one you are comfortable with. If costs of maintaining equipment in SC are too expensive for you, maybe you should find alternative service providers. I use a mix of SCs and other repair services. And I decide which channel to use for what purpose. Maybe you should consider that route too.

As for focusing accuracy issues, I have also heard of problems from Canon lenses. One friend told me about issues he is facing with 24-70 on 5Dm2. But in the end, you really need to find a system that works for you. Sounds like Nikon doesn't.
 

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Nerd

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Oct 25, 2002
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#11
Feel free to question my workflow and how I process my images/operate my camera etc. Whatever it takes to solve my Nikon woes... i'm out for it.
Can I take it from this statement that you intend to stick with Nikon system rather than go back to Canon system even though it offers a better workflow for you with skintones that you like? That being the case, what is the draw factor?

Have you tried Capture One to process the RAWs? Perhaps they might give you what you want?
 

tltan

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2005
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#13
I feel that the TS genuinely wants some help. So what if he's young and have the gears, thats his problem. The question is not about that in the first place.

I also feel the same way about Nikon Vs Canon. I have been a Nikon camper all along, it has served me well in terms of its capability (accurate and fast focusing etc) for the genre I liked. However, portraiture does not seem to be a strong point of N. I have recently started to dabble in portraits and find that the Canon 5D seems to produce the skin tones (maybe its just the plastic feel people talk about instead of the natural feel of Nikon) which makes it suitable for portraiture....Check out the top wedding photographers in Singapore too....most of them are 5D users...since 5D is erratic in focusing (something deterring me from switching), why are these people whose rice bowl depends on the right moment still with C.

Just go to flickr, select explore and browse for portrait shots. I have been through this a lot to learn about portraiture. 8 out of 10 of those great portraits I adore came from the 5D (classic or MarkII), seldom do I see them coming from Nikons sadly...I came to a point where I could just really tell they came from the 5D. Of the few that came from N,that also encouraged myself to work towards their standard.

That said, some forumers elsewhere have been saying that PP can solve everything...are we saying that the 5D users are doing a lot of PP??

Guess I will get flamed too, but whatever, I just wanted to voice out.
 

tltan

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Apr 18, 2005
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#14
if shooting something important why rely on autowhite balance? the whitebalance can be adjusted and preferred hues can be added too.
May I ask, If its important and fast pace eg. wedding, do you really have time to adjust white balance? Also, think threadstarter is not concerned about the WB at all. He shot RAW and adjusted, also did custom WB.

I'm using a D3S and all my 1.4 lenses (85G, 24G, 300 2.8G) all have dead on focus. Looks like if you don't want to MA, you need to simply go for the best. Not sure whether this is the phenomenon for the C-camp though.
TS also have 85G, 35G, 50G, 24G. Does that mean the best do not need MA? I wonder what happens to the time when camera just works with lenses.....that brings me back to the point TS, you have a consistent settings with your lens in MA, could this mean you need to do something about the sensor instead?

There no such thing as the perfect thing.
True true.
 

kentwong81

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2010
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#15
I feel that the TS genuinely wants some help. So what if he's young and have the gears, thats his problem. The question is not about that in the first place.

I also feel the same way about Nikon Vs Canon. I have been a Nikon camper all along, it has served me well in terms of its capability (accurate and fast focusing etc) for the genre I liked. However, portraiture does not seem to be a strong point of N. I have recently started to dabble in portraits and find that the Canon 5D seems to produce the skin tones (maybe its just the plastic feel people talk about instead of the natural feel of Nikon) which makes it suitable for portraiture....Check out the top wedding photographers in Singapore too....most of them are 5D users...since 5D is erratic in focusing (something deterring me from switching), why are these people whose rice bowl depends on the right moment still with C.

Just go to flickr, select explore and browse for portrait shots. I have been through this a lot to learn about portraiture. 8 out of 10 of those great portraits I adore came from the 5D (classic or MarkII), seldom do I see them coming from Nikons sadly...I came to a point where I could just really tell they came from the 5D. Of the few that came from N,that also encouraged myself to work towards their standard.

That said, some forumers elsewhere have been saying that PP can solve everything...are we saying that the 5D users are doing a lot of PP??

Guess I will get flamed too, but whatever, I just wanted to voice out.
One of the world top wedding photographers Jerry Ghionis is using Nikon. The regular WPPI winners CM Leung from Hongkong and Kenneth Tan from Malaysia are also using Nikon. Bryan Jean from Singapore is also using Nikon. Their portraitures work are real good.

Well, what I want to point out is that camera and lenses are just tool and nothing is perfect. You have to deal with the weakness and craft the images that you can deliver. Without Canon or Nikon, you still can create fabulous images using Sony, Pentax or Olympus, but in different ways that counter the weakness of these brands. So most importantly you have to find out your own style and see if it can deal with the weakness of the camera brand you are using.

Colour is subjective, if you shoot RAW and work in Lightroom/Photoshop, the colour can be changed 360 degrees according to your taste. There is a software called PS Kiss that can allow you to use Canon colour profile on images created by Nikon. So it is no big deal.

I've been shooting many weddings and I'm very satisfied with my Nikon D700, 24mm and 50mm f1.4G, especially noise control capability of D700. I seldom encounter many miss focuses like what TS said. D700 also has very clean noise control and accurate AWB. And I love the Nikon flash SB900 system too. That's why I still shoot with Nikon now because it can help deliver my jobs in ease and suits my shooting style.
 

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Fezqu

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May 9, 2011
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#16
PP can even transform fatty to slim and sexy woman. Color? Suppose to be less click right?
 

L-coholic

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Mar 10, 2010
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#17
One of the world top wedding photographers Jerry Ghionis is using Nikon. The regular WPPI winners CM Leung from Hongkong and Kenneth Tan from Malaysia are also using Nikon. Bryan Jean from Singapore is also using Nikon. Their portraitures work are real good.

Well, what I want to point out is that camera and lenses are just tool and nothing is perfect. You have to deal with the weakness and craft the images that you can deliver. Without Canon or Nikon, you still can create fabulous images using Sony, Pentax or Olympus, but in different ways that counter the weakness of these brands. So most importantly you have to find out your own style and see if it can deal with the weakness of the camera brand you are using.

Colour is subjective, if you shoot RAW and work in Lightroom/Photoshop, the colour can be changed 360 degrees according to your taste. There is a software called PS Kiss that can allow you to use Canon colour profile on images created by Nikon. So it is no big deal.

I've been shooting many weddings and I'm very satisfied with my Nikon D700, 24mm and 50mm f1.4G, especially noise control capability of D700. I seldom encounter many miss focuses like what TS said. D700 also has very clean noise control and accurate AWB. And I love the Nikon flash SB900 system too. That's why I still shoot with Nikon now because it can help deliver my jobs in ease and suits my shooting style.
at the era of PP, color and WB should not be causing any problems.
thus, like kentwong81 said, photographers need to counter the weakness of the camera / brand,
instead of keep blaming it and keep changing camera / lenses.

every brand has pros and cons, if you want all their pros together,
use two or more systems at once. settled.
 

Nov 10, 2010
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#19
I'm not going to give the great advice or description here but just my 2cts.
Somehow Nikon and Canon do produce a different 'feel' in the portraits. As a frequent Flickr/500px browser, before I check EXIF data I can more or less deduce whether a Nikon or Canon shot it. It gives a different tone, texture and feel. I have noticed that Nikon delivers very true-to-life colours, more 'aggressive' in pulling out details and clarity - a somewhat more raw (raw as in raw, not RAW) looking photos, as if the image is tangible. Canon delivers this smooth, silky, subtle clarity and more refined feel in portraits I've had a hard time developing a style for as a Nikon user.
That said, countless, countless, professional portrait-centric or fashion photographers use Nikon extensively, and it would be unreasonable for me to say useless things like Canon or Nikon is better as an unproven statement. As for Lightroom, it does 'strengthen' the 'Nikon look". You might want to try Aperture which has a more natural skin tone (to me). Theres also DxO and Capture One.

I believe adaptation to a different brand is the key here... pros use Leaf, Phase One, Mamiya, Leica, Hassy in complement to their Nikons or Canons. When you make a step up, say you're offered a chance/tasked/upgraded to/paid to shoot medium format, you will again want your skills to thrive on the new system. With the current context in mind, try to adapt to Nikon since you're already in the Nikon camp.

But question is, why the change to Nikon when Canon had served you so well previously?
 

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