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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3321 posts

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ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Thu 16-May-13 04:37 PM | edited Thu 16-May-13 04:41 PM by ajdooley

I have been engaged seriously in photography for some 52 years now -- that's 2704 weeks. The last 2 of those weeks have included life with my new D800. The D800 comes as the latest in a long family line of Nikons that includes the S Rangefinder and three lenses my Dad gave me. My conclusion at this point is that the D800 is simply a superb computer-driven picture taking machine. I think the biggest leap in capabilities I ever experienced was my transition from the D200 to the D700, but the D800 is certainly a substantial improvement over even the D700 body, of which I have two.

I would have taken the plunge sooner, but frankly, I was scared to. I watched with concern, the many posts here and elsewhere by people saying they had to use live view to achieve sharp focus, that they could only get great sharpness on tripods, and that diffraction was ever present in the back of their minds.

My conclusion is that these concerns are non-issues. There's no doubt that higher resolution, just as finer grain once did, will capture more detail, including mistakes. But I have found the D800 simply to be capable of capturing finer detail across a broader dynamic range than my D700 bodies were capable of. So I urge anyone who is considering a D800, especially going to one from a previous FX format camera, simply to drop the concerns and to go for it.

I think too many issues have been raised by people who spend much time photographing test charts and brick walls. Doing that with a D800 is like buying a Corvette and driving it only on a dynamometer-- an intellectual exercise at best. So pick up whatever camera you have, including getting a D800, and shoot photographs of people, places and things. Photography today is easier than ever. For those who complain about expense, when I moved from film to digital in 2003, a 36 exp. roll of film was running $10, plus processing. I just acquired two Lexar 32gb flash cards for $148 and can capture 720 highest resolution RAW NEFS and a basic JPG on the pair -- the equivalent of 20 rolls of film, not including processing!

At the age of 68, I can only recommend that we all enjoy photography--capture the world around you. And yes, the D800 will work just fine if you continue to employ your best technique -- even hand held.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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dm1dave

Lowden, US
13623 posts

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#1. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Thu 16-May-13 04:06 PM

I agree – I am getting very good results from the D800 with little adjustment or learning curve.

I am sure that you will get many more weeks of great service from this body.

Dave Summers
Nikonians Photo Contest Director
My Nikonians Gallery | Current Nikonians Contests

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porkmunchie

US
16 posts

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#2. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

porkmunchie Registered since 06th May 2013
Thu 16-May-13 05:02 PM

Congratulations! I also had some reservations in buying a D800, but when I actually use this tool and see the results it is capable of producing, it makes it all worth it.

gaopa

Hartwell, US
780 posts

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#3. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 2

gaopa Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Jul 2003
Thu 16-May-13 06:06 PM

Mark me down as another happy D800 shooter. I'm 71 years old and enjoying photography more than ever before. Long live high tech! Cheers, Bill P.

Georgia Opa

gvk

Mystic, US
416 posts

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#4. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

gvk Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006
Thu 16-May-13 07:03 PM

I also started getting serious about photography in 1961, and recently acquired a new D800E in January. Since then it has become my most used camera. My D3 is working fine, and I still use it when speed is more important than resolution or DR.

I waited, not due to any concerns about camera problems, motion blur or diffraction, but simply because I did not feel a compelling need for an upgrade. My main motivation in getting a D800 was for higher resolution in macro and close up work. However, I have used the camera more often for photographing our grandson, and have sometimes taken advantage of its DR and extra megapixels for cropping, to get shots I would not have managed otherwise.

Gerry

eliot3b4

Eliot, US
134 posts

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#5. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 4

eliot3b4 Platinum Member Nikonian since 23rd Nov 2008
Fri 17-May-13 08:14 AM

As I use the D800, I am always excited with the images I've taken. The camera is just an outstanding camera.

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

FredB D3

Indialantic, US
1169 posts

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#6. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

FredB D3 Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jun 2008
Fri 17-May-13 09:08 AM

Hi Alan,

I came to the same conclusion doing a fair amount of research here and elsewhere, and as a result am picking up a new D800E this morning. Upgraded computer (iMac replacing old and slow MacBook Pro) coming next week.

Looking forward to both, needless to say!

Fred
Florida, USA

nnikonk

Edinburgh, UK
21 posts

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#7. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

nnikonk Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Nov 2012
Fri 17-May-13 10:35 AM | edited Fri 17-May-13 10:43 AM by nnikonk

I've just got to chime in here too. I moved over from Canon to get the D800 and it is really excellent. The large megapixel count is really useful and I want to give a quick example.
I was trying to shoot small garden birds recently. This was in the open and you cannot get too near them, also they are really small!
I used the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II with the cheapo Kenko 1.4x converter.
The original photograph looks like this:

Click on image to view larger version

The 100% crop is this:
Click on image to view larger version

I used this for my final image:
Click on image to view larger version


I have heard (personally) a few comments about how 'you don't need 36MP' etc. I think that these images really refute that (and I am sure that better photographers than I can produce even better examples.)

Richcower

US
323 posts

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#8. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 7

Richcower Registered since 22nd Jan 2013
Fri 17-May-13 10:44 AM

I agree, the D800 for me is the most amazing camera I've used, and I've been using them since 1957.

JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

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#9. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Fri 17-May-13 01:39 PM

I initially returned a D800 based on the 'concerns' you have detailed - ended up with a D700, which I love - and then added a D800e which has quickly become my most used camera.

I will say this about the D800e, even with downsizing I find it more sensitive to camera shake than my D700. That being said, the D800 has done what seemed to be impossible, it has tripled the MPs while actually improving ISO performance over the D700. Although the ISO improvement is not vast, the fact it is coupled with the MP increase makes it very impressive.

The dynamic range at low ISO is incredible, and is clearly better than the previous generation of Nikons (D700/D3/D3s).

The amount of detail it can resolve still amazes me.

Ultimately, my original concern about getting sharp photos while handholding appears to have been unwarranted. While I still believe the D700 to be less demanding, I am content to pay more attention to my technique and use higher shutter speeds on the D800, which provides enough advantages over the D700 to have relegated it to the backup or 2nd body.

Jason

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3321 posts

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#10. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Fri 17-May-13 04:55 PM

I believe that proper technique will always be rewarded -- whatever the camera. Concerning hand holding, I keep telling people that cameras are like rifles. Settle down, inhale, exhale part way, squeeeeeeeeeze! Do it again. I also keep telling -- electrons are free. What would I have given decades ago if someone had told me, "Use all the film you want. I'll buy it for you and get it processed." Does anyone remember bulk loaders? That was how we could afford to shoot more!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

CherylNewMex

US
9 posts

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#11. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 4

CherylNewMex Registered since 25th Apr 2013
Fri 17-May-13 05:48 PM

Hi Gerry,
I too have a been enjoying the fine detail on my D800E. I would like to know what lens(es) you are using for macro work. I have a 105mm so far but wonder what else might do great closeup work.
Thanks,
Cheryl

FineArtSnaps

Leesburg, US
401 posts

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#12. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 10

FineArtSnaps Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2012
Fri 17-May-13 08:23 PM

Hi Alan, I've been doing serious photography since 1953 when I was flying F-84s in Korea. And yes, I remember bulk loaders. I used to buy 100' rolls of Tri-X and Ilford HP-4 and roll my own. Always made me feel free.

I love my D800, but I still love my D3. If I'm shooting something like a play rehearsal I'll shoot with the D3. Makes PP a lot easier. But nothing I've seen can beat the D800 for landscape and wabi sabi.

Russ Lewis
www.russ-lewis.com
www.FineArtSnaps.com

Wingman

Kimberley, CA
1651 posts

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#13. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 12

Wingman Silver Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002
Fri 17-May-13 08:40 PM

Well, I'm only 65 years old, but I have to say that my D800 is the best camera I've ever used, and I've owned and used a lot of Nikons over the last 40 years. The detail is amazing, even in letter sized prints. I don't know how this camera can produce images that are both razor sharp and buttery smooth at the same time!

I still dearly love my D3 and my D700, but this D800 is something else...

Neal Nurmi

---Wingman Photo---

gvk

Mystic, US
416 posts

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#14. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 11

gvk Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2006
Sat 18-May-13 01:13 AM

Hi Cheryl,

You can probably get better recommendations for macro lenses by asking in the Macro, Micro & Close-up forum.

I have been collecting Nikkor lenses since the 1970's, and I have several that I can use for macro. My two favorites for use on the D800E are the 200 mm f/4 AFD Micro and the 85 mm PC-E Micro. I also use the 60 mm f/2.8 D, usually for close-up product photography. I also have a selection of extension tubes, bellows and auxiliary close-up lenses useful for higher magnifications or close focusing with other non-macro lenses.

Gerry

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3321 posts

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#15. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 12

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sat 18-May-13 03:34 PM

Russ - Two things about you gratify me:
A - If you flew Thunderjets in Korea, you are obviously older than me, and...
B - you are none-the-less still a superb photographer. I love your web site and the way you see the world around you! You obviously don't waste any time on test targets and brick walls.

I never acquired the D3. While I was using my D200 and considering the D3 (I'm not really an impulsive person nor one who has to have the latest version of anything) the D700 came along, and the "two for the price of one" captured my imagination!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3321 posts

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#16. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 7

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sat 18-May-13 03:37 PM

Eion -- I love your bird photos. Our humming birds just returned a few days ago to SW Illinois and you inspire me to point the D800 at them ASAP!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

danshep

Olympia, US
1629 posts

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#17. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

danshep Gold Member Charter Member
Mon 20-May-13 05:34 PM


Alan-

I've had the Nikon F2, F 5, N80, D2h, D700, D800 and now want the D4.

When will my NAS be cured? (Rhetorical)



"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no"

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3321 posts

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#18. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 17

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Tue 21-May-13 11:53 PM

It's incurable, I fear. I started earlier: S rangefinder, F (with and without the FTn prism), FE, FE2, F3, F5, D1X, D100, D200, D700 and now the D800 -- and yes, with fall sports around the corner -- a pair of F4s would fit nicely. Every time I think I am cured, something happens. I hold my own until I am assured by large numbers of braver souls, that the new camera is as good as is claimed, and then I bite again!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

matttowns509

Osseo, US
7 posts

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#19. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

matttowns509 Registered since 07th Apr 2011
Wed 22-May-13 02:27 AM

Hi all,

Took the plunge this past Saturday. Upgraded from the D200 to the D800, slapped on the 50mm 1.4 and have been taking it to work with me. I love the cropping that can be done!

I don't regret a moment of it!

Matt.

DaddySS

Woodcliff Lake NJ, US
1021 posts

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#20. "RE: 2 out of 2704" | In response to Reply # 0

DaddySS Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 26th Dec 2006
Wed 22-May-13 07:46 PM

Thanks for the great write up Alan......I'm getting closer.....

Richard

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G