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RE: Nikon D700 - disappointment (and happiness, too)

wollepopolle

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wollepopolle Registered since 31st Mar 2011
Wed 06-Apr-11 11:49 AM | edited Wed 06-Apr-11 05:53 PM by wollepopolle

Hi there Nikonians,
I have been enjoying this site and learned a lot so far.

Here is my pronblem: I bought a Nikon D700. Upgrading from the troglodyte D100 that I also own and probably keep as a (useless) spare body.

I heard all the raves about the D700. Also, I wanted to go back to the full 35mm format (FX). That was important for me. Thus, I sprang the money on the D700, unfortunately after the price hike.

When I tried the camera first, I had a lot of wow moments. It felt like the F100 in digital form. I used to own the F100 and then upgraded to the F5. Until this very day, the F5 to me embodies the zenith of 35 mm film photography. Rarely a scene where the trusty AF and the intelligent light meter would not satisfy me. What a wonderful camera. I also love the boxy body with the vertical grip

Anyway, looking at the D700's images just reveals one thing: A bit more resolution than my old D100, yes! However, the same issues that any digital suffers from, to this very day: limited contrast, limited color spectrum, disappointing range, especially in the shadows. True, there is the acitve-D lighting feature. It'll help you offset the limitations a bit. And yes, the high ISO abilities are amazing. However, I notice quite some noise already at, say, 3200. Do a software noise reduction and you lose detail. Keep it as it is, you have the "digital" noise.

My disappointment is rooted in the simple fact that a solid role of high-quality film in my F5 will outdo the D700 at any given moment. Of course, you can't shoot film in low light with action situation. The D700 has an edge over film in so many respects: low light, fast movements, etc.

However, there is something that bugs me in the digital image at some magnification. A digital poster at 20x30 is always identifiable as digital. The grain of film is much, much more pleasing at this size. There is something inherently beautiful about film that I now come to appreciate as I bought the D700.

Not to offend anyone on here (or offend myself who just dropped $2700 on this camera), but I have the feeling that in a couple of years we'll look at the D700 as a mere toy while lusting after the next model of Nikon's high-priced top of the line digitals. All the while, my trusty F5 (or any good film camera for that matter) remains what it is: at the zenith of 35mm film.

Of course, pixels aren't everything. But my feeling tells me that even a, say, 24 megapixel Nikon D4 with high ISO ability will fall short of good film still: those ugly shadows that are so limited in their expressiveness.

Oh film, I miss you. I miss your expressive range, your simplicity, your durability and compatibility. I want film quality in a digital device! Is that asked too much?

I get off my soapbox. Thanks for listening!
Oh, I came across this useful article which really corroborates my ideas (I really like all of Rockwell's site, I must admit):
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filmdig.htm

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