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Workshop leaders spooked by D800?

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 12:24 AM

I just got back from a photo fest/workshop in Western NC. While I found the workshop informative and entertaining (long story re that), I was disappointed that the workshop co-hosts appear to be spooked by the D800. They are both well known professionals in landscape and nature photography and have written several popular books on their specialties. They both have Nikon D700 bodies and rave about them. However, when I asked about their experience with the D800 I was surprised to hear one say that he considered it too slow for shooting animals and birds.

Have any of you seen seen this same spooked behavior with other professional workshop and trek leaders who traditionally shoot with Nikon gear?

By the way, I have found the opposite to be the case with the Nikonians trek leaders I have shot with during the past year--Jim Stamates and Winston Hall. Both ordered the first copies of the D800/E that came off the assembly lines. Both quickly became experts in their use. Winston is now teaching a D800 class for Nikonians.

Are Nikonians trek leaders the only ones jumping on the D800 bandwagon?

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#1. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 11-Sep-12 10:41 PM

Saying that they find the D800 too slow for shooting animals and birds may be a valid assessment considering the burst rate. They may prefer a faster rate. I'd rather shoot fast action with my D3s than my D800e, partly for that reason. (Although I know that some here think otherwise.)

Did they have any other points, or was that all that "spooked" them?

As always, my advice is: Listen to the "experts"... then try it yourself and make your own determination.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#2. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 12:52 AM

I never got a chance to discuss the D800 with the other workshop speakers, so I cannot say why none of them had one. I could just tell from their comments that they had read about what a D800 can do, but were not speaking from direct experience. For example, when talking about the dynamic range of digital cameras versus the human eye, no one discussed the 11+ EV range of the D800 versus the lower range of other DSLRs. I almost felt like I was attending a workshop that was a year out of date.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#3. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Wed 12-Sep-12 02:34 AM

>However, when I
>asked about their experience with the D800 I was surprised to
>hear one say that he considered it too slow for shooting
>animals and birds.

I would have asked for my money back right then. I don't care WHAT books these guys have written, or what their supposed experience level is. That statement is so invalid and out of line, it borders on the absurd.

Apparently NO ONE has ever shot birds or wildlife on medium format. And clearly NO ONE has done it on 35mm film before the motor drive was invented.

I had people tell me the D800 was too slow for sports. And that thing has all but retired my D3s for sports shooting. The only exceptions being where I need multiple bodies or need to shoot ISO 6400 or above.

------
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lukaswerth

Lahore, PK
576 posts

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#4. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 2

lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012
Wed 12-Sep-12 04:49 AM

The way you tell, it really looks like the teachers of this workshop have a prejudice against the newer camera. That having said, it should come as no surprise that no camera on this planet, just as no other tools, is really a jack of all trades. If really a high burst rate is of prime importance for you, then there are faster cameras than the D800(e) - even though, one might argue, for about 95% of situations the camera is fast enough. In fact, I am personally fascinated by this combination of relative ease and fastness and the absolute first-rate image quality possible with it, not really second to the Leica S (which is unaffordable for me, every other consideration apart).
Further, I don't really know what kind of photography was promoted at this workshop - I understand it was about bird photography - but if the aim are book illustrations or something likewise, the D800 is probably simply not needed. Personally, however, I appreciate also environmental pictures of animals, showing them in their habitat, and then one might wish for as much resolution as possible to still show every feather on the owl or seagull - I do think there is a way of respecting your subject in photography, bring as much care to it as possible, and then the D800 is certainly not a bad choice.


Trying to be a keeper of the light

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#5. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 4

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:04 AM

The subject of the workshop was nature photography. The two co-hosts shoot waterfalls, flowers, Smoky Mountain landscapes, elk, bear and birds. The other speakers at the workshop also shoot the same in addition to a variety of Southern Appalachian subjects.

One of the co-hosts mentioned the long battery life you can expect from a D800 when shooting night scenes with long exposures. Two other speakers mentioned the "reduced aperture you will have to deal with before refraction starts to be a problem with the new 36 MP Nikon camera." It was almost as if they were afraid to mention the actual model number of the camera.

Kinda felt like a denial conference after a while. Sorta like what life was like just before the D800 changed all of the rules. I started to ask the question in front of the entire audience several times, but I was trying to fit in...and not be my usual kick over the bucket guy.

Based on what I saw and heard, I will spend my time and money elsewhere next September instead of attending their 4th annual workshop. Frankly, I learn more D800 shooting tips from you guys anyway..

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10631 posts

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#6. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:06 AM

Do you care to reveal who made such a statement?

Bill Lea is a friend and shoots Nikon. He does shoot a lot of wildlife, but I'll bet the dynamic range and low light performance would be more important to him than a small difference in frame rate. He certainly is not a high volume photographer.

I'm pretty sure that Bill has not handled a D800/D800E. He is not really a gearhead, and does not spend much time researching new gear. And he is slow to embrace new gear and new technology.

My guess is that the comments were based on lack of knowledge of specifics about the D800.

As far as most pros are concerned, the D800/D800E has had very high success and is widely embraced.


Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops - Smokies Oct 2012

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

FutureLook

Miami, US
598 posts

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#7. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

FutureLook Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Dec 2003
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:23 AM

What a coincidence. I have been researching for various workshops in the Smoky Mountains, Western NC since I am planning to visit that area in the fall and I am glad that I have read this thread's comments.
All of you offer excellent points on shooting birds and the camera that you prefer for shooting birds. I think that this is our individual decision based on what we decide to shoot.
To make my point, I think that these workshop leaders were completely out of line by making statements or lack of on a camera that they have never used. I have a D800 and a D7000 and I alternate the cameras depending on the situation at hand. So far, I have been very pleased in spite of the negative comments made on the D800.
Threads like this one I truly enjoy since I can get diverse points to draw my own conclusions.
Thank you guys!

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#8. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 6

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:24 AM

Actually, it was Bill who made the comment. I approached him early in the workshop to ask if he or one of the other speakers were going to discuss the importance of AF fine tuning DSLR bodies with lens..especially the D800. When he asked why I would want to hear such a discussion, I told him about the AF discussions we have here re the D800. He told me he had no plans to discuss AF fine tuning. He also said he had no immediate plans to buy a D800 because the frame rate is too slow for what he shoots. He specifically mentioned animals and birds in flight.

I agree that Bill is not a gearhead. He produces great images despite his lack of interest in the technical aspects of cameras and processing. However, to have no discussion of AF fine tuning by any speaker nor a discussion of the D800 and its impact on nature photography seemed like a huge missed opportunity. Maybe he and Kevin were trying to keep from alienating all of the Canon shooters who attended. If that was the case, they achieved that objective.

I am still wondering (my original post)if this is typical of other workshops that are taking place now. Are other workshop and trek leaders avoiding discussions re the D800? Maybe it is just happening in workshops that have a mix of shooters using Nikon and non-Nikon gear.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10631 posts

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#9. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:39 AM

Well I run workshops including the Smokies and use a D800E.

Bill Campbell - president of NANPA - runs some workshops and he sold a D700, D3x, and a D3s in favor of a pair of D800's.

I don't think there is any trend to avoid the D800. Your comment about avoiding Canon controversy may be right. With Bill and Kevin, it's probably more a matter of not realizing what they are missing.

Bill is probably the top pro photographer in the Smokies. He stays very busy with commercial work and book projects. For other readers, Bill is the only person to ever have three consecutive cover images for Field & Stream. His images of deer and black bears are fantastic.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops - Smokies Oct 2012

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#10. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 7

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:47 AM

Since getting into the high end of DSLR work, I have attended two Mentor Series workshops and two Nikonians workshops. All four were superb. One Mentor Series workshop was done in the Smokys during October with Layne Kennedy and Steve Simon; they did an incredible job.

I have also attended several workshops and treks in which the participants were both Nikon and Canon shooters. Those were far less informative. I did a multi-week trek to Botswana last year with such a crew. While the subjects were incredible (hey, it was Africa), I learned few new Nikon tips...only from one of my friends who was also on the trip.

I should learn my lesson, and just hang around with Nikon shooters...and go on treks with folks like Winston Hall, Jim Stamates, Steve Simon and Layne Kennedy. You can learn a lot from those guys.

Eric, you may do the same on your treks. I have never been on one of yours. Maybe next year.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#11. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:59 AM

I'm just speculating, but given your choice of question to him, maybe Bill simply wanted to avoid getting dragged into conversations about the minutiae of lens testing and focus adjustment. If so, I can relate to that - I suspect that few people in the wider world are as interested in that topic as are many members here

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#12. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 11

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 10:10 AM

I know Bill pretty well. I have known him for three years. He is not one of my shooting buddies, but we know each other. I have been on a field trek with him.

I was not trying to engage Bill in a discussion about AF fine tuning and the D800. I just asked if he or another speaker were going to discuss/present any info on the subject. I frankly expected him to just say yes, and I was surprised at his answer.

I don't measure the quality of a workshop on one issue/topic presented or not presented. But a missed opportunity as big as this one certainly stands out in my mind.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

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schadowrider

Rochester, US
110 posts

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#13. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

schadowrider Registered since 10th Mar 2012
Wed 12-Sep-12 10:19 AM

>I am still wondering (my original post)if this is typical of
>other workshops that are taking place now. Are other workshop
>and trek leaders avoiding discussions re the D800? Maybe it is
>just happening in workshops that have a mix of shooters using
>Nikon and non-Nikon gear.

I've attended two non-Nikon specific workshops over the past couple of months, and in both cases the instructors were excited about the D800. There was a mix of Canon & Nikon shooters at both workshops (and a medium format film shooter at one of them).

For the workshop back in late June, the instructor didn't own one yet, but was very familiar with it and on a wait list (he has since received one). He mentioned it a number of times, but especially when he was talking about dynamic ranges and how the D800 was forging exciting new ground in the digital realm.

The second workshop was last weekend, and while the focus was printing on ink jet printers, we spent a bit of time talking about shooting gear choices and how that can impact your printing options. The instructor was very impressed with the D800 she had been able to use at the college where she teaches (I guess they've picked up a few in their photography program's department so far), and can't wait to get one of her own. She referenced both the increased dynamic range and the opportunity to go much larger with high resolution prints.

Regards,
Glenn

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Clint S

Chula Vista, US
460 posts

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#14. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Thu 13-Sep-12 03:10 AM


>... I was surprised to
>hear one say that he considered it too slow for shooting
>animals and birds.

This statement seems really off the wall. Guess they never used a Nikon MD-1 through the MD-4. The MD-4 was great! You could capture up to 6 fps with the right batteries! But the film get expensive!

I can't remember but I think it came out in the mid 80s.

Photographers used to learn timing to capture the peak action or that moment in time. Winders or motor drives were a luxury.

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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#15. "RE: Workshop leaders spooked by D800?" | In response to Reply # 14

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Thu 13-Sep-12 08:26 AM

People always seem to be surprised when I tell them I never use a battery pack when shooting birds or animals. I have yet to feel the need for faster frame rates and longer battery life...and I can always do without the size and weight. I guess it would make a difference if there was only one bird to shoot and the scene was never going to happen again, but that is seldom the case. When I was shooting black skimmers nesting at Indian Rocks Beach in July, I went back to that location three times and shot a total of over 1500 frames. With a battery pack, I may have captured more images in one sequence, but I would hate to think what I would do sorting and deciding my best shots with 2x or 3x the number of frames I captured.

I have come back with 4K or 5K images from a safari, but I was taking pix in many different situations of different animals and birds.

Sometimes I think folks invent rationale for not making a change in gear when in fact they either just do not want to learn the new gear or it is out of their price range.

Larry Jordan

D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II

Website:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G