Sunrise Photoshoot at the Lake & Bird Photography; My first experience with a Nikon D800.
Hi Thought I'd write a bit on my first real shooting with the Nikon D800.
I went out shooting yesterday with a local Photography Meet Up Group. We went to Grimsby Ontario by Lake Ontario and shoot the broken piers at Fifty Point Conservation area for some long exposure then sunrise photography. After there we made our way to the inner harbour and shoot the terns and cormorants on the manmade islands in Hamilton Harbour.
A bit about me... I came from a lifelong love with Canon starting with the A-1 in the mid 70's and starting digital actually with a freeze frame from a Canon Elura Camcorder in Progressive mode. That was when I got bitten by the digital bug and boy is it contagious. I then acquired a Fuji S602 just to make sure I really loved it (and I did). That then led me to the Canon 10D, 20D, 40D, 50D and finally the 7D. Each camera better than the last, offering some really great features, better performance and some refinements. I loved each more than the last.
The one thing I always wanted though I couldn't get. I wanted a full frame camera. Price was too costly for one and also my love for zooms more than wide angle. Also I could have bought a used 5D for example but really did not want to carry 2 bodies. One was enough with all the equipment and weight. Then comes the D800 which gave me the best of both worlds. A high resolution FF camera that I can either crop to hell or use DX mode and get my beloved zoom range. Certainly not an easy move to leave any manufacturers system that you have shot with for so many years and start a new yet I was actually looking forward to it and was not let down.
The D800 is a massive camera compared to the 7D. I have always used a grip so I am used to that. It is not so much the size or weight I am talking about. Just the number of buttons, dials and their placement which alone can be a daunting task to learn all the differences. Took me a while to figure out how to change the focus grouping. The only setting in the menus were whether or not you wanted 11 of 51 points and the jog dial let you choose which 1 point or re-center to that point but where was all the other choices? Well after reading the manual (which I am still doing, a massive 472 pages) I found that the little thing in the middle of the AF/M switch on the front of the camera is actually a button. Low and behold I found the way to change the focus groups. Other things were easier but even so, I had no problem shooting with it. There were very few times I had to enter the menus (which is good) as almost anything I needed was a button and a knob/wheel away. So... I RTFM'd and practiced of course with the things I had around to try with because practice makes perfect.
So here are the obligatory cat photos.
Thanks to my girls for posing as they are hard to capture, they don't seem to like being on that side of the camera.
And then the obligatory shot out my windows at night.
Here are the shots from Grimsby, Ontario Fifty Point Conservation area over looking Lake Ontario, starting at 5:30 in the morning.
I had to experiment with an in camera HDR so here is the result. Really in this case not much different from the next shot I had taken in RAW (not shown) but it works.
These were all shot with my D800 with a Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f2.8G ED (FX) shot mostly at f16 on a tripod with various exposures using a Phottix remotecamera replease. Exif information is available on my photosite (below).
We then moved on to Hamilton Harbour to shoot the birds. I used my D800 with a Nikkor AF 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6 D ED VR (FX). All hand held, shot mostly at around 1/1600th at ISO 1600 or a bit better when there was a bit brighter sky.
Conclusion: I love the D800. It is just what I need. I do some sports (haven't done any yet but am sure it will suffice) and some BIF but also portraits and macros and and... well a bit of all types. What I did yesterday it managed perfectly that is no buffer fills, no main problems at all. It was a great experience for me to get more familiar with my new tool and get some great photos out of an interesting adventure. BTW my friend asked me if it was worth it, getting up at 3AM to leave for 4 to get there for 5:30 and the truthful answer is (Yawn...) yes, it was worth every tiring minute.
Thanks to the other photographers with that group; some from the U.S. (Buffalo) and others from different parts of Ontario. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask Here is the link to my Photo site. http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan
That's an interesting story with some great photos to go with it. I'm glad you like the D800 and are quickly getting acquainted with the layout. It all depends on what you get used to. I have a problem with my Canon's when I use them. To me any of the Nikon bodies are familiar.
Thanks for the post and I certainly would like to see more of your photos. You have a good eye.
Congratulations on the D800! Great shots. I found the 80-400 shots very interesting. My 80-400 has been in semi-retirement since I picked up the Sigma 150-500. I will have to revisit the 80-400 with the D800.
>All very nice work! The shots you took with the 80-400mm, I >was wondering if any of those were signifcanly cropped? By >significantly I mean less the one half full frame. Yes, many were significantly cropped. As one example. my shot#_DSC0393 went from 7360x4612 to 2024x1349 This one...
or _DSC0432 went to 3056x2057 (Bob's favorite)
They were all cropped. That is the main reason I bought the D800... to be able to crop like never before when I need to. My lenses just grew I just added one photo to my site which shows you where we were shooting. A pano of the man made islands in Hamilton Harbour
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>Hi Michael: > >Forget the photos; loved the cat! Great photos, btw. I >also had the Canon A1 and AE1 in my previous life (film >days.) > >Hektor > Thanks... Yah, love my girls Imagine that... The A-1 was one of the first SLR digital cameras... Digital LCD viewfinder display that is... Was cool back then.
I had an A1 and AE1 also, loved them both. The entire kit was stolen from the barracks at Fort Irwin, now called National Training Center, NTC. Started over again from scratch but this time with Minolta.
Beautiful shots all around but really like the water shots from Grimsby. I read the exif data and knew from the finished product you had a very long exposure but I'm curious about the colors. They're beautiful. Just wondering what you did in post to get that end product.
>Beautiful shots all around but really like the water shots >from Grimsby. I read the exif data and knew from the finished >product you had a very long exposure but I'm curious about the >colors. They're beautiful. Just wondering what you did in >post to get that end product.
Thank you... I did little PP work on them. Only the very first one I added a filter that brings out the colors. It emphasized the orange on the left. All the others I just did a +20 Saturation, Clarity & Vibrance in ACR, that was all. I have an action I use in Photoshop and it shrinks the size, adds my signature and adds a bit of sharpening. I run that for all my photos and that same action worked perfectly for the D800 and these photos. Only had to shrink the size more to get it to that small a photo LoL... Lots of shrinking
Most of the colors changed with exposure. I have one there that I have 7 more at varying exposures; from 1/2 second to 1/160 and it went from a bit of over exposure to deep night with just a little of the golden brown from the sun. That one was 1/80sec @ f22.
Some of the other photogs from the group have much darker richer blues than I do. No idea if it was just their exposure (probably) or if it was in their PP or both.