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dhle

SG
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dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Tue 12-Feb-13 02:45 PM

Hello Experts

Amazon has this great combo deal with $200 off on the D800E and $200 rebate on 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 f2.8. I am planning to buy the set for a trip to India next month (and still use the D90 and D300 as backups).

Currently I mainly used D30S and my walk around low cost 17-250 Tamron gives me very satisfied pictures (I also have Nikon 60MM f2.8, 80-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8 and Tokina 11-16 2.8). I can imagine the D800E and 2.8 nikon lenses will yield very good pictures of the Taj Mahal in full moon.

Questions:
1. If I buy the D800E how long does it take to learn? I will have the camera deliver to Singapore at the end of the month and have about 2.5 weeks to learn how to use it.
2.How are the performance of the Nikon FX 24-70 and 70-200 lenses on D300S. Regardless of the D800E, I am going to buy the lenses any way. The combo deal will save me some money or I have to buy some good used lenses on for sale forum
3. For the trip should I stay with my 300? Buying large size memory cards, L plate for the ball head, card reader... are very expensive in SGP so I have to plan ahead.

Thanks for your advice.

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4122 posts

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#1. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 0

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Tue 12-Feb-13 02:20 PM | edited Tue 12-Feb-13 02:22 PM by gpoole

I went from a D300 to a D800e. I thought it was a very easy transition. There are a lot of new capabilities in the D800e, but you don't have to understand them to start using the D800. You can learn the new features after you start using the camera. Download a D800e manual now and read through it before you receive your camera. There is a pinned thread for an Excel spreadsheet in this forum that will help you configure your settings. Download the spreadsheet now and start planning your settings before you get your camera.

Many people seem concerned about problems caused by going from 12Mp to 36Mp. I think much of this concern is overblown. If you present your images at the same size as you did with your D300, you will get as good as or better images. If you start taking advantage of the extra resolution of the D800e or do a lot of pixel peeping, you most likely will find faults in your technique. Incremental improvement in your technique will take care of the problems. I'd plan on using the D800e on your trip, but I'd take the D300 as a backup.

The 24-70 and 70-200 lenses will work fine on your D300. The pixel density of the D300 is actually less than the pixel density of the D800. Just remember you have a 1.5 crop factor that makes the lenses seem longer on the D300. I think your Tamron and Tokina lenses are DX lenses so they will not cover the full image area of the D800e.

Yes, you will want larger and faster memory cards for the D800e. Each image file is 3 times the size of the same file on the D300. My old card reader worked on the new higher speed cards I got for my D800e, but I ended up buying a new USB 3.0 reader to get higher speed transfers into my computers.

To me an L-bracket is mandatory, but if you didn't have one for your D300 you probably can get by without one for the D800 too.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#2. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 1

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Tue 12-Feb-13 10:59 PM | edited Wed 13-Feb-13 09:06 PM by ericbowles

Hello Gary
Thanks for the wise advice of downloading ebook. Agreed about the Lbracket, I will not leave home without it

How is Michigan? I used to live next to your neighborhood. I came back last year to visit friends and my favorite Greenfield village.

Can I ask what kind of card, size, and card reader you use for your D800?


Thanks
Young Le

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
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#3. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 2

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Wed 13-Feb-13 01:06 AM

I've set CF as my primary card. I use a little bit of a mixture

  • SanDisk Extreme Pro 90MB/s UDMA7 32GB
  • Lexar 1000X UDMA7 16GB & 32 GB
I always shoot RAW and I share these cards with my D4.

In the SD slot I have SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 16GB cards. These are used for overflow and for video if I ever try it.

My card reader is a SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One USB 3.0. Previously I used the USB 2.0 version of the same reader. Not only is the new reader noticeably faster on my USB 3.0 capable laptop, but it is also a bit faster on my older USB 2.0 only desktop. It's small, about 4.75 x 1.5 x 0.375 inches (120 x 40 x 10 mm), and easy to carry when I travel.

Michigan has suffered more than many of the other states during the economic problems of the last several years. Things are improving a bit now. I've been retired for 11 years, so I've not been affected by the economy as much as many other people. My 401K took a big hit from the stock market decline at the same time I had to start withdrawing from it, but I'm OK.

It's got to be a big difference for you to be living on a tropical island after living in Michigan.

I agree Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum are fantastic. I've lived in SE Michigan all my life, but it took me until my kids were in upper elementary school to get there. Once I found Greenfield Village and the HF Museum, I keep going back, even well after my kids are out on their own.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
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JohnInsa

Bedfordview, ZA
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#4. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 0

JohnInsa Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jun 2009
Thu 14-Feb-13 10:07 AM

I am not an expert by any means, but like yourself I went from a D300 and D300s to a D800 and found the transition very easy. I just had to be careful of my technique was all, cos it was easy to get soft pics with so many pixels. My wife has the 70-200 2.8 and I was going to get the same until Nikon just brought out a new 70-200 f/4G which has an updated VR system which is supposed to be truly amazing and works well, this lens is also cheaper and lighter, but going by the reviews I have read, produces results exactly the same as the 2.8. Yes one loses a stop, but it appears to be a lens that should be considered strongly, especially with its upgrades and price! As for cards the cards suggested work really well and when shooting in RAW each file can be high as 41MG size, so speed is of prime importance. I am sure you wont have any problems using this camera on the fly at all.

You will truly love whichever model 800 you get, the results are astounding.

Good luck and let us know how you get on when you get back please

John

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JECoutre

Concord, US
375 posts

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#5. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 4

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Thu 14-Feb-13 01:22 PM

Good advice from previous posters in all aspects. I've gone from D3 and D300 to D4 and D800E with an easy transition. I have used FoCal for AF Fine Tune with each lens on each body and believe in the improved tuned results.

I would add though that technique will indeed make an improvement with pixel peeping at 100%. My experience for shutter speed when hand held would be to increase the 1/focal length to 1.5 or 2/focal length depending upon subject. Images from tripod are nothing less than spectacular ... I love printing large 20x30ish on the Epson 7900.

Enjoy and don't hesitate to take it on your trip.

dhle

SG
105 posts

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#6. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 5

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Sat 16-Feb-13 01:07 AM

Thanks for information about Focal Fine Tune. New tool (toy).
Will buy a copy and try.

Questions about software - Does Nikon include a software in the D800 Box for transferring/viewing RAW files? I have complete set of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium and rarely use it due to its complexity. Is LR4 (will buy a copy) good and simple for viewing and minor editing?

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4122 posts

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#7. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 6

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Sat 16-Feb-13 01:34 AM

View MX2 provides both the transfer and browsing. It's in the box but by the time the camera gets to you, it's likely to be out of date. View NX2 is a free download from Nikon's Web sites, get it there instead.

I don't have any experience with Light Room, but based on what I've read and heard from others it's a very good program. I expect LR's learning curve is less than learning Photoshop.

I use Photo Mechanic for input and browsing and Capture NX2 for editing and printing.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
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Hawk Eyes

US
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#8. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 6

Hawk Eyes Registered since 09th Jun 2012
Sat 16-Feb-13 01:38 AM | edited Sat 16-Feb-13 08:34 AM by Hawk Eyes

Light room 4 works great, I download to Iphoto first and pic the photos I want to work on. Then put them in a named folder and light room. I do 85% of my work flow in L4 and it supports NEF RAW files. I use Camera raw and CS6 for specialty and hard edits they both work great with Raw files !

Steve6344

Aventura, US
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#9. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 6

Steve6344 Gold Member Nikonian since 31st Jul 2012
Sat 16-Feb-13 02:39 PM

Lightroom 4 is an importing, organizing and editing tool. It is excellent and powerful. In most cases it satisfies all of my editing needs. In some cases I will further process in Elements but Lightroom is always my starting point.

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agitater

Toronto, CA
4526 posts

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#10. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sat 16-Feb-13 07:26 PM

Great advice from some good contributors and great Nikonians. However, I strongly disgree.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever take an important trip with brand new gear. Two and a half weeks isn't enough time to learn the autofocus system, advanced functionality and unique features of the D800E. Two and a half weeks isn't enough time to repeatedly use all of the camera features or stress the camera in any significant way. Chances are the camera will operate perfectly well, but you never know.

Instead of hauling three bodies, cut your load and haul only the two you know best.

The 24-70 and 70-200 work brilliantly with your D90 and D300.

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Howard Carson

dhle

SG
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#11. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 10

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Sun 17-Feb-13 12:51 PM

Hi Howard,

I plan to take the D300 and D800 only and perhaps want to swap lenses to see the differences. The 2 year old D90 I bought for my son has less than 200 images and frankly I know very little about its control so will be a learning curve for me as well.

For the lenses would be the 18-250 tamron, Nikon trio 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200 mm. All in a roller. I have been satisfied with my D300S' pictures so if the D800 pictures are not much better I need more practicing. My wife's point and shoot will also be a backup

Thanks for the advice.

Young



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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#12. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 11

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sun 17-Feb-13 01:48 PM

I would be more concerned with weight than which camera since carry on weight limits keep dropping, particularly in Central Asia and South East Asia. Are you taking any domestic flights? That might be a sad end of you camera and lenses if you are required to check it at the gate.
My bag with just a few lenses and two bodies prevents me from flying quite a few airlines, especially the cheap one would like to fly.

As a counter point to Howard's well reasoned warning about taking a new camera on an important trip, I would submit that my D800 had less than 20 clicks on it, and the manual was still in its plastic, before heading to Scotland last May. It was an important family event with my sister and me meeting in the Lake of Menteath area to spread our parents ashes in the lake which was our ancestral home. So blowing the photos was not an option.
The results; could not be more thrilled. That one trip got printed large and hung more than any of my prior travels to 86 countries. The camera is logical, reasonable and great with easier metering accuracy, easier color, easier AWB, easier better AF down to true dark conditions, and HDR like DR if one wants to boost what seems to be the limitless recoverable detail and color in the shadows.
It is not a point and shoot however, it helps to have a background with all manual film where the fundamentals are paid attention to when setting every shot up. I still have not read the manual, the first product I can remember for which I didn't. I like manuals, the more technical the better but just never needed to with the D800.
The camera is not that much different in operation from your other cameras, just the results are so much better....
There were a couple points that caught me by surprise such as the inability to use trap focusing, or VR starting with AF-On but that latter one was a welcome change.

As I mentioned, I would be more concerned with your carry on weight than which camera and lenses you take.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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JECoutre

Concord, US
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#13. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 12

JECoutre Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2008
Mon 18-Feb-13 01:16 AM

Hi Stan - weight limit considerations or changes are a good heads up. Not meaning to high jack the OP even he may be concened now that it is mentioned. How low have they gotten in your travels?

Skyco

Roanoke Island, US
170 posts

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#14. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 0

Skyco Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Mar 2012
Mon 18-Feb-13 02:18 AM | edited Mon 18-Feb-13 02:33 AM by Skyco

Hi Dzung Le

I highly value Stan's advice and Howard's. I pretty much agree with what they are telling you.

The D800 greatly rewards careful intentioned holding and focus techniques. Casual handling of this camera will almost assuredly result in disappointment. This is a camera you want to get to know well. I strongly suggest Darrell Young's book on Mastering the Nikon D800. There are some AF settings that if you do not understand what they do and how they work can be a bad experience. And the manual does not give a clue as to what any of those features do!

Because of the minute detail that this camera can capture at a distance even minor focusing errors will show up as a bad image - even though the image in your view finder was OK - but magnified starts to look blurry. I have a wide angle shot of a mule's chest and head with a 24 -85mm zoom all in great focus- and when zoomed in to 100% on the eye I saw the reflection of my wife and me from about 6 feet away.

Click on image to view larger version
Click again...

Because this camera will capture fine detail with any good lens (or so it seems) if the focus is not spot on that detail - hair or spots on a grasshopper- even though the rest of the image is in focus - the shot will look not so good.

Many times especially with close focusing you might find manual focusing to be better. I prefer a high shutter speed or a tripod as opposed to VR with my lenses on the D800 but that my be just me and my lenses. I expose to the right (+.7) which gives me cleaner high ISO than otherwise and use Adobe Lightroom 4 for raw conversion and highlight recovery.

One of the things I love about the D800 is how Auto ISO works with Aperture Priority. Its amazing! and you can go back to a pre selected ISO quickly. AF-S 3D is awesome. I have my FN button assigned to aspect ratio because I use them all.

I hope this helps. I love my D800 and hope you love and enjoy your D800 as much as I do.


Well Wishes,

Ken

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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#15. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 13

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Mon 18-Feb-13 09:58 PM

Very good point about the weight. For some South East Asia carriers the allowed weight is 7 KG and it costs only $15 to buy extra carried on luggage in advance.

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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#16. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 12

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Mon 18-Feb-13 10:43 PM

Hi Stan,
I am flying Singapore Airline and they are very generous about luggage with frequent fly program. Will travel by car in India (to have the kids witness the excitement and chaos )

Wow! 86 countries is a record that I heard. My boss has about 3.2 million miles but I do not think he visited that many countries.

I viewed your beautiful St Basil picture and regretted not to visit Red Square when I was om my way to Siberia for a business trip last October. I was able to snap some pictures though (excuse me for the attached amateur picture with a low cost walk around lens)

Thanks for your feedback. I look forward to learning a lots from the group.

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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#17. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 16

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Mon 18-Feb-13 10:48 PM

Orthodox church - Siberia

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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#18. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 14

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Mon 18-Feb-13 11:23 PM

Hello Experts,
Thanks for all the inputs. I bought the system with collective information from your feedbacks.

The camera and the trio, software, pocket wizards... on the way to Long Beach California before coming here. This morning my (very understanding) wife just makes a special trip to visit her parents and takes the system back. She told me as long as I do not ask her to bring a 6 ft/150 lbs DIVA speaker home she is perfectly fine.

Anyone also has dual hobby photography/audiophile?
Apogee speaker is one of the best speaker in the world! Really
http://www.apogeespeakers.com/

I am looking forward to learning much from this great Nikonians group.

Young Le


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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#19. "RE: D800E Learning curve" | In response to Reply # 3

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Tue 19-Feb-13 12:02 PM

>Michigan has suffered more than many of the other states
>during the economic problems of the last several years.
>Things are improving a bit now. I've been retired for 11
>years, so I've not been affected by the economy as much as
>many other people. My 401K took a big hit from the stock
>market decline at the same time I had to start withdrawing
>from it, but I'm OK.

I am glad to see things are getting better in Michigan. I left Michigan in 2003 right before the downturn, after 11 years working at Ford Research Center. Many friends moved out of Michigan for jobs and now move back. I am told Ford, GM, and Chrysler are having a hard time to find enough Engineers to hire. That is a very good sight.

>It's got to be a big difference for you to be living on a
>tropical island after living in Michigan.

I was in Austin, Texas for couples of year before coming to Singapore so that helps. The heat is not as hard as Texas' heat but the humidity is not pleasant. As a country it is about twice bigger than Detroit. Singapore is nice but it is temporary, it ain't home!

>I agree Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum are
>fantastic. I've lived in SE Michigan all my life, but it took
>me until my kids were in upper elementary school to get there.
> Once I found Greenfield Village and the HF Museum, I keep
>going back, even well after my kids are out on their own.

My kids loved to ride No.1 steam Engine and tried not to get on Diesel one at the village. I really missed the walks with my engineers in the village trying to find innovative solutions for some hard problems. It is a very special place.

Thanks for sharing your Michigan story.
Take care,
Young

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dhle

SG
105 posts

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#20. "RE: D800E Learning curve/It is not too bad!" | In response to Reply # 18

dhle Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Jun 2006
Mon 04-Mar-13 12:22 PM

All,
The D800 and the lenses arrived safely (I chose the D800 based on the information that it requires less post processing than the D800E).
Singapore is in raining season so the opportunities for outdoor pictures are very limited.

I am pleased with the outcomes(two pictures in my gallery. Do not know how to reduce size to attach here). Perhaps need to learn more about the camera functions and techniques. Overall is a great learning experience, not as bad as I thought.

I am more confident about bring the D800 for the trip to India in 2.5 weeks. Tour guide mentioned no tripod allowed in the Taj Mahah (except a special permit for the Pros which takes months to apply). I will need to learn how to minimize the blur with the 24-70mm. Need more practices of course.

I am motivated to learn taking better pictures. Thanks you all for great forum.


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agitater

Toronto, CA
4526 posts

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#21. "RE: D800E Learning curve/It is not too bad!" | In response to Reply # 20

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Mon 04-Mar-13 12:51 PM

>I will need to learn how to minimize the
>blur with the 24-70mm. Need more practices of course.

. . . and faster shutter speeds, and stable handholding technique. Both will help to increase the percentage of sharp photos you make.

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G