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D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds

DiamondPhotography

UK
233 posts

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DiamondPhotography Registered since 29th Dec 2010
Mon 04-Feb-13 07:47 PM | edited Mon 04-Feb-13 07:50 PM by DiamondPhotography

This post is aimed at those who use (or have used) both D800 and the D4.
Now that things have had time to settle and early production problems are mostly resolved. I’m curious how people are faring hand holding their D800 & D4.

I have shot 20K+ images on my D800 and find a shutter speed of 1.5 x focal length is manageable, but sometimes use 2 x focal length to be on the safe side.

I curious how those who shoot both the D800 & D4 find how their D4 compares in this area? Can/do you shoot 1/1 x focal length and get sharp images?

I'm seriously thinking of buying a D4 and this information would be very helpful. I only shoot weddings and find hand holding D800 can be a problem when I want to use lower shutter speeds.

Thanks

Andrew

North East Wedding Photographer

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Ray Gerke

winnipeg, CA
633 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

Ray Gerke Registered since 12th Sep 2004
Tue 05-Feb-13 12:41 AM

With the D800 I have sort of worked on 1.5 times focal length. seems to work ok for me using the D800 in most circumstances.
(With my D700 I tended to use 1 times focal length).

Ray Gerke

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5755 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Thu 07-Feb-13 10:12 PM


At the risk of going off on a tangent, I still believe that the answer is the same for the same image. D800 or D4 doesn't matter to me if it's the same amount of the frame.

Now if I'm cropping tiny portions of the D800 and comparing the same number of PIXELS on the D4, then I need more shutter speed on the D800 because the angle covered is smaller and movement is exaggerated. So about half a stop sounds right which what seems suggested. But ONLY if I'm enlarging more with the D800 image than the D4. Same angle of view, same shutter speed.

Technique may vary a bit especially if you don't have a grip on the D800. I find the larger body is a bit steadier I think just from inertia. But I think it's a slight difference, and maybe psychological.

I find they are a good combination for lots of two body shooting. For example I use a 200/F2 on the D800 for basketball for far court, and a fast short lens on the D4 under the basket. Then I crop the D800 shot more heavily, giving me about a 300mm instead, this lets me shoot at F2, vs. something like F2.8 or worse F4 with a longer lens.


Linwood

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JazzDoc

Rochester, US
471 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

JazzDoc Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Mar 2006
Sat 09-Feb-13 12:04 AM

There is a modest complication in comparing cameras, and that is weight and balance in one's hands and arms. within limits, added weight and good balance is stabilizing. For example, I noticed after getting a D3s and when combined with the 24-70 f/2.8, it was remarkably stable in my hands and yielded great results hand-held even when unexpected due to borderline shutter-speed & aperture combinations. Results were better than with the same lens but using the D300 (adjusting for DX/FX issues). I could see the difference (subtle) in the viewfinder as well.

Gary Paige

my gallery

www.frontpaige-photography.com

russg

Phoenix, US
1648 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

russg Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Nov 2007
Sat 09-Feb-13 02:35 AM

Do you adjust your 1.5 or 2.0 X factor when using VR? Just curious as I'm a new D800E shooter, coming from a D300. I love the automatic minimum shutter speed setting when using auto ISO, especially how it allows for an adjustment above or below the standard reciprocal setting. It makes setting a 1.5 or 2.0 X factor a snap. I just haven't shot enough hand-held with the camera to get a good feel for where I should set that setting.

Russ

JazzDoc

Rochester, US
471 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 4

JazzDoc Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Mar 2006
Sat 09-Feb-13 11:35 AM

I do adjust for sensor size. However, with regard to my post earlier, that lens has no VR, so the comparison between bodies is a good one. The 24-70 is remarkably sharp as well.
The issue of auto ISO is interesting. Older bodies do not include the option for a calculation based on focal length, but hopefully new ones till do this and then take into account the 1.5x factor as well.

Gary Paige

my gallery

www.frontpaige-photography.com

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5755 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 5

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sat 09-Feb-13 01:07 PM


>The issue of auto ISO is interesting. Older bodies do not
>include the option for a calculation based on focal length,
>but hopefully new ones till do this and then take into account
>the 1.5x factor as well.

It does not, at least the D800 and D4 act the same, each notch on the sliding scale for "auto" (you can tell it how to do "auto") adds a stop in that direction.

I originally loved the auto-iso "auto" setting, and still think it is very useful for long range zooms (i.e. those operating over a long focal length range like 80-400). But I find I am using it less and less in auto-iso setting in favor of using manual then setting shutter and aperture manually and letting it do exposure. In "S" as often as it gets it right, at least that often it runs counter to what I need (action vs. low ISO) that I find it easier to dial in shutter and aperture and let it do its thing for ISO. With the wheels and display in the viewfinder (including ISO!) it's a very quick operation to see that all three are the best compromise.

On the D800 I'm liking the ISO on the top control also, as I find I can turn auto-iso on and off and even adjust without taking my eyes from the viewfinder. I wish the D4 had an ISO control there (also), I find that to use the one on the back I really need to take my eyes away to hit the right button.

It's strange, as I moved from the D300 to the D800 and now D4, I've gone from a mostly "A" shooter to mostly "M", either fully manual for indoor/night sports, or auto-ISO in "M" mode for most other things.


Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

JazzDoc

Rochester, US
471 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 6

JazzDoc Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Mar 2006
Sat 09-Feb-13 01:53 PM

I'm with you on this, Linwood. Like so much in life, all is context-dependent. For wildlife under wildly varying conditions (in and out of jungle canopy), auto ISO with auto-scaling can be quite welcome, but I have found it limiting under more controlled or slowly-changing conditions. I, too, have foun 'M' mode increasingly useful, but again, no panacea for all, or even most, situations--always a challenge.....

Gary Paige

my gallery

www.frontpaige-photography.com

KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4969 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 6

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Sat 09-Feb-13 11:22 PM

On the D4, try setting menu item F16 to ISO. You then reach up and over for the red movie record button, hold it down, and rear dial to vary the ISO (and if using Auto-ISO it sets the base ISO). Much better than reaching that ISO button on the grip area of the D4.

Best regards, SteveK

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5755 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 8

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sun 10-Feb-13 12:43 AM | edited Sun 10-Feb-13 12:43 AM by Ferguson

>On the D4, try setting menu item F16 to ISO. You then reach
>up and over for the red movie record button, hold it down, and
>rear dial to vary the ISO (and if using Auto-ISO it sets the
>base ISO). Much better than reaching that ISO button on the
>grip area of the D4.

Hmmm... that sounds interesting. I'm two weeks from getting back to home to the cameras, will remember to try (I hope).

Thank you!

Linwood

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russg

Phoenix, US
1648 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 6

russg Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Nov 2007
Sun 10-Feb-13 07:00 PM

You are correct. The auto setting for minimum shutter speed in the auto iso setting only allows for whole stop adjustments to the reciprocal calculation. This allows of -2, -1, 0 +1 and +2 EV adjustments to the reciprocal, but not half-stop adjustments. So you could not dial in an automatic 1.5X adjustment.

I never use auto iso whenever the camera is on a tripod, because I can typically afford a long shutter speed and want to keep the camera at base ISO. But when I'm handholding the camera, I find auto iso to be very handy, and the auto minimum shutter speed makes it even hander, especially when using a zoom lens. I'm an "A" shooter, which allows me to control my depth of field. By setting a floor for minimum shutter speed, I like how the camera will then raise the iso in 1/6th stop increments to no more than is required for proper exposure. This leaves me in control of the aperture and a minimum shutter speed I'm willing to accept, and lets the camera make the calculation on the final variable, which would be shutter speed when light is sufficient, or iso when it is not.

Russ

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5755 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 10

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sun 10-Feb-13 07:46 PM | edited Sun 10-Feb-13 08:28 PM by Ferguson

>>>> Please ignore this post it's just plain wrong <<<<< (left for context)

>You are correct. The auto setting for minimum shutter speed
>in the auto iso setting only allows for whole stop adjustments
>to the reciprocal calculation. This allows of -2, -1, 0 +1
>and +2 EV adjustments to the reciprocal, but not half-stop
>adjustments. So you could not dial in an automatic 1.5X
>adjustment.

But what you can do is dial in 1.5 (or 1.3 or 1.7 depending on your settings) additional base minimum speed. Use the auto adjustments for what it's intended (I think), which is different scenarios not cameras, and then it scales properly since you already put the pixel density factor into the base speed.

I interpret the +/- auto adjustments more about scenario/subject, so for example if it's really pretty dark, I might dial it down to trade a bit of camera shake to avoid being in the stratosphere of ISO, or I might dial it up if what I'm shooting is more action oriented (I realize the auto scaling is more about focal length and camera shake than action, but usually if the subject is moving fast so is my camera to follow).

Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

russg

Phoenix, US
1648 posts

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#12. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 11

russg Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Nov 2007
Sun 10-Feb-13 08:18 PM | edited Sun 10-Feb-13 08:28 PM by russg

By dialing in additional base iso, all you're really doing is delaying the point at which auto iso will kick in and start to adjust itself upward, since you've already surrendered that amount of lower iso from the get go. I don't see where anything constructive has been accomplished. You might as well keep the camera at base iso and only surrender the lower iso values if and when necessary as determined by the auto iso function .

Here's the way I look at the +/- adjustments for the auto minimum shutter speed function. I look at it as a function of the photographer's confidence in his hand-holding ability and technique. Since the 0 setting is the standard repciropcal setting, adjusting away from from the 0 setting would be because for some reason, you feel that the standard reciprocal setting would not be appropriate. For instance, if you were using a VR lens, you might feel that you could comfortably squeeze another stop or two from the standard recirpocal setting, which would result in using the -1 or -2 setting. Or perhaps you feel that that you have really good hand-holding technigue or perhaps a tree to lean against and could also squeeze another stop or two from the reciprocal. On the other hand, you may feel that for whatever reason, your technique is not up to the reciprocal standard, and therefore need to increase shutter speed by a stop or two to produce acceptible results. Now you might use the +1 or +2 setting. Another reason to deviate from the reciprocal might be because of the high resolution of the D800/E, you feel you need to shoot faster than the reciprocal.

Russ

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5755 posts

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#13. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 12

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Sun 10-Feb-13 08:27 PM

>By dialing in additional base iso, all you're really doing is
>delaying the point at which auto iso will kick in and start to
>adjust itself upward, since you've already surrendered that
>amount of lower iso from the get go. I don't see where
>anything constructive has been accomplished. You might as
>well keep the camera at base iso and only surrender the lower
>iso values if and when necessary as determined by the auto iso
>function .

I'm sorry, you are exactly correct. Mea culpa, I was thinking of this completely backwards.



Linwood

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#14. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 13

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Mon 11-Feb-13 05:36 AM

I've used both and basically the D800 requires nearly double the shutter speed for me.
This is with the same lens and subject when shooting at the same time side by side.
Part of it is Sensor MegaPixels but mostly due to the camera size, weight, and AF speed.
Yes the D4 is faster and not just frame rate.
However, the D4 is to heavy to shoot at Events for 8 hours and too expensive for me.

So,I shoot Landscapes and Sports handheld with the D800 and usually a 28-300 lens.
Auto ISO settings are currently 100, ON, 6400, and 1/640.
Sometimes I bump the speed to 1/800s for Sports.
I am enjoying the highest keeper rate ever
after considerable improvement in my hand holding technique.

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BOAZ632

Upper Marlboro, US
123 posts

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#15. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 14

BOAZ632 Registered since 28th Aug 2010
Tue 12-Feb-13 03:38 AM

I shoot both and depending on the situation the D800 is usually set to 2x the focal length due to those 36mp. The D4 is a little more forgiving coupled with the high iso performance. But we are comparing apples and oranges. The D4 is primary for wedding duties while the D800 is backup and for capturing detail & macro work. Don't know if I answered your questions but again, these are two different monsters that requires great technique.

Nikonian in Upper Marlboro, MD

ADCole
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ljordan316

Inverness, US
830 posts

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#16. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

ljordan316 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010
Sat 23-Feb-13 09:05 PM | edited Sat 23-Feb-13 09:16 PM by ljordan316

I always try to shoot at 1/3FL with my D8900e bodies...especially when shooting birds from a boat...for obvious reasons. The image below was shot from a flats fishing boat using a 200-400mm f/4 hand held (Bushhawk assist). The shutter speed was 1/2500 at ISO 640 and f/7.1.

By the way, I shoot Aperture Priority and Matrix Metering for every bird shot. None of that Manual Mode and Spot Metering that Canon guys have to do because of their lower dynamic range. (Don't you just adore the DR of the D800!)

You can see more images taken hand-held with the 200-400mm at:
http://larryjordan.smugmug.com/Animals/Florida-Wildlife/13940239_x8VjnW#!i=2378854478&k=jFR3mjH

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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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Montereyman

prunedale, US
497 posts

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#17. "RE: D800 & D4 shooters – hand holding shutter speeds" | In response to Reply # 0

Montereyman Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2013
Wed 06-Mar-13 06:15 PM

With DSLR's I find that I need a faster shutter speed for the same focal length as I needed to use in times past with 35mm film cameras. This is especially true for 85mm and longer lens where there is increasing amounts of image magnification. This is where VR truly can be essential for wedding photography in particular.

Keeper rate varies even with VR and part of this is that subject movement is more of a problem with shutter speeds of 1/60s or slower. During the ceremony I have had a 50% keeper rate at 1/10s with the 70-200mm lens at 200mm focal length and using the D4. At 1/60s the keeper percentage would have been 80% or greater.

The mass of the camera makes a very big difference in hand held shutter speed results as it dampens the camera movement. A D4 will provide more dampening mass than a D800 without the grip and with any given focal length I can go to half as fast a shutter speed without affecting my keeper rate.

The net result was that I could use either half as high an ISO setting or a smaller aperture for greater DOF in some situations. It still comes back to subject motion as being equally critical to getting sharp images.

One thing that I noticed after making the initial switch to DSLR cameras and not needing to worry about the frames left on the roll while shooting, was that I was shooting faster and not taking time to stop and brace the camera. Taking a second or two to fully stop and release the shutter only after doing so made a dramatic difference in my keeper rate as my technique was a good part of the problem.

I also started shooting at 1/80s as my minimum shutter speed most of the day when photographing weddings. Much less subject motion blurring than when I had shot at 1/60s. Most of the time people are approaching at an oblique angle and not coming straight on or moving across the frame horizontally. I just wish that Nikon had a menu option that did not stop at 1/60s as the minimum shutter speed with flash as it is not adequate for wedding photography.

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G