My new D2x is almost one week old, and my eBay-purchased 500mm Manual f/4 P lens is 2 days old. Today, after 2 weeks of clouds, we finally got some sun. So, I got up at 5 AM and drove 50 miles to Davenport, Iowa to find some eagles on the Mississippi River. It was my first outing with the D2x, my Winberley head, and my new lenses.
After 30 years of 4X5 view cameras and Hasselblads (with 16 MP digital back), I wanted to move to a "modern" digital format. I looked at the MKII - and the D2x. In the end I chose the Nikon because of the smaller DX chip (the very feature some people - even here - "diss"). Having moved all the way from 4X5 inch film, I find that I have no allegiance to the 35mm "full frame" format. I want to be able to shoot some birds - but I also need to shoot some cramped interiors. Nikon has given me that opportunity -with the 12-24mm f/4 DX lens - and a 500mm lens that functions like a 750mm. Life is filled with compromises, but, for me, the D2x DX format is ideal.
I fully expect the DX sensors to increase in resolution in the future, without an increase in physical size. Here's why: In the middle of the last century I repaired radios. I watched as a pair of 6L6 output tubes that could heat your house was replaced by a few transistors that could fit on your thumbnail. Today your thumbnail is bigger than a CPU with a million transistors. I spent 34 years looking into electron microscopes, living in a place where a micrometer (micron) was huge. Wells in a digital sensor that are 6-8 microns seem big to me. My research world was measured by nanometers - and at times, Angstroms. I fully expect digital sensors to increase in density - without adding noise. We digital photographers now live in a whole new word. Higher resolutions from a smaller-sized sensor will be possible - and that path leads to many advantages - smaller, but better is Smaller AND Better. I expect Nikon to show us the way, using the DX format. I'm ready to follow them as they do.
My first day out today was a trial - of my new D2x camera and my shooting techniques. I find that the D2x is amazingly intuitive. I feel comfortable with the controls after only a few days use. As I need them, I'll master many more combinations and custom settings.
Today I just wanted to play in the sunshine. i made a shot of a bridge over the Mississippi with the 28mm f/1.4 lens - and then the same bridge with the 500mm f/4 P manual lens and a 1.4X converter. There is a test of the breadth of coverage! - I should have done one at 12mm as well (you probably wouldn't have seen the bridge!). With the 500mm lens and a 1.4X converter, I was doing manual focusing of something like 1,000mm - fortunately 30 years of manual-focus Hasselblad lenses prepared me for that. The D2x viewer was easily up to the task - I was impressed with the results. it will get even better.
I did find a few eagles - and I know that, in time, I can make some great images with this combination. I'll wait to see if the "VR" designation gets added after the "AF" for the 500mm lenses before giving up this manual "P" lens. My 1-day old Wimberley head is my first, and I thank everyone on the Nikonian site who pointed me to them. Wow! I wish that I would have purchased that head years ago.
Here is an eagle from my first day ( I got a bunch of good shots).
I know that I made the right choice for my work.
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#1. "RE: Why I chose the D2x - Day 1" | In response to Reply # 0HBB Charter MemberSun 08-Jan-06 12:34 AM
Thanks for a very nice post and initial D2X pictures!
While moving from the film to the digital world, I recently gave a complete Mamiya RB67 outfit (body, three lenses, finders, etc.) to a very bright young Native American woman who is studying to be a doctor and wants desperately to get into medium format photography. I did however retain my 4 X 5 inch view camera which I intend to take out and start doing some panoramas in Arizona. I will shoot the panoramas on film, scan them and splice them together in PSCS2.
I am a 48 year survivor of the computer industry, starting with vacuum tube machines in the late 1950s. For the last twenty five years, I have drifted in and out of retirement taking on occasional consulting jobs of interest. Ten or so years ago, I came out of semiretirement to manage a semiconductor research laboratory doing construction analysis, failure analysis and reverse engineering on semiconductor chips for clients all over the world. We had several SEMs (Siemens) and all the other exotic tools required. My favorite images were failure analysis, particularly those where the chip had been fried by a static discharge. Amazing, the violence that occurred at the nanometer levels.
I remember when industry pundits said the one micron would be the absolute limit for semiconductor geometries. I think we are now down around 0.05 microns or so, agree? I have in my collection at least one of every microprocessor chip made by Intel, starting with the 4004 in 197? (senior moment) up to the early Pentiums. Several of them have the rear covers removed so we can look inside the package at the processor and second level cache chips and the wire bonds to the lead frames. The last time I remember looking at specs, we were approaching 100 million transistors in the current processor chips. We may have exceeded that by now as Moore's Law is still alive and well.
As soon as I can free up a bit of time (I keep threatening to go back to work with a "real" job so I can get some time off.) I will take my Pentium IV with the back removed, photograph it with my 105 micro Nikkor on a D2X and post the image here. Time permitting, I will shoot it with the 55 mm MIcro Nikkor also and compare the two. This should be a good test as the field will be absolutely flat. I'm not sure how much detail will make it through the compression necessary to get to this site, but it will be interesting to take a look.
Thanks Dick for stirring up some great memories and welcome to the D2X world.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
#4. "RE: Why I chose the D2x - Day 1" | In response to Reply # 3
#7. "RE: Why I chose the D2x - Day 1" | In response to Reply # 3SolonPhotos7 Nikonian since 30th Dec 2005Sun 08-Jan-06 06:35 PM
"Is this another backfocus problem? Neither eagle looks sharp."
Well - I think that I did indicate that this is a MANUAL focus lens. So any back focus "problem" is somewhere between my eyes and my left hand.
The "main" eagle is very sharp on the 16X20 file (360ppi) I made for printing. The eagle in front IS soft - it was about 4 feet in front of the eagle that I was tracking and shooting. I did a sequence of 3 shots as the eagle came in to land, and they all look good for a manual focus lens. I don't know what the AF lens would have done with the shot.
The depth of field was very low -I shot at f/4 or f5.6 with the 1.4X converter on the 500mm manual "P" lens - at ASA 200 and 1/800 sec.
Please tell me, what is the "backfocus problem?" I'm new here.
#8. "RE: Why I chose the D2x - Day 1" | In response to Reply # 7briantilley Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sun 08-Jan-06 08:19 PM
>Please tell me, what is the "backfocus problem?" I'm new
I would not worry about your camera having backfocus. If you were focusing manually using the viewfinder (rather than the focus confirmation light), then any perceived lack of sharpness in your images is down to something else. If you feel they are sharp for your purposes, that's great
Some members have seen backfocus and other AF problems with the D2X, though many others have not. There has been much discussion about the topic over the past few months.
Backfocus is usually caused by misalignment of one or more of the AF sensors, and results in the plane of focus being a little behind the intended subject.
If you would like to investigate further, may I suggest that you search in this forum for "D2X AF". You'll get a lot of hits