I am very pleased with my D800E.
It makes miraculous images out of just about everything.
Many times you can pull out a bonus image from deep inside the image without running into the usual resolution reminder.
I also use my D800E in dark places, shooting next-to-no-light to produce dark, saturated, ambiance-dripping music and theater scenes. The high resolution again allows me to go deep into darkness before the lack of light and subsequent fine pitch noise becomes objectionable.
So what do I mean by a D800EM?
I am so convinced that high resolution gives us photographers a new lease on life that I would like to take it a step further.
I am envisioning a Monochrome D800EM with no Bayer filters and of course no Anti-Aliasing filter. In other words a straight Black and White 36.3 MP D800EM with nothing in the way of any of the pixels.
Resolution and detail would be amazing.
Light sensitivity would of course be substantially better than the color version since there are no color filters refusing entrance to photons of the wrong color.
We already have the Leica M Monochrome. However, with an 18 MP CCD sensor the Leica M Monochrome lacks in both resolution and ISO.
Even though I am not personally a Black & White fanatic, I can't help envisioning the potential of a Monochrome extrapolation of the D800E into a D800EM.
I realize that Nikon might not be interested in putting out a specialty product with an even smaller market than the D800E.
However, I hope they will because the photographic world would become richer for it.
People said: With a D800 it is more difficult to shoot handheld, because the high resolution will highlight any camera shake.
After many thousands of handheld D800(E) shots I say: Nonsense!
People said: With a D800E you run the risk of getting Moiré patterns in your images.
After many thousands of shots I still have not spotted a single Moiré pattern.
#1. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 0walkerr Nikonian since 05th May 2002Sat 04-May-13 02:43 PM
I'd rather keep the color information in my raw files for maximum flexibility in the black and white conversion process. Having a monochrome camera would force me into using colored filters on my lenses again. That's okay with a rangefinder camera like a Leica MM (although a bit irritating at times switching filters), but it's really annoying to me with an SLR. I never liked looking through red, yellow, green, etc. filters when shooting black and white film in the past and wouldn't want to relive that experience with digital.
#2. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 1Sat 04-May-13 03:58 PM
I agree that life without color would be drab. That's why I would shoot my D800E when I want color, and the D800EM when I want strictly B&W.
And then of course there is always digital post processing if you just want to tone a B&W.
#5. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 2
#6. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 5Sat 04-May-13 05:44 PM
With a color image exposed in ample lighting I agree that this gives you great flexibility and control. I am thinking more of extreme low light photography where you have limited room to use colors to boost any part of the tonal range of the B&W without inviting additional noise.
#12. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 6kodiak photo Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013Mon 13-May-13 05:08 PM
I feel very comfortable with the argumentation
brought by Rick and the others.
< "I am thinking more of extreme low light photography…" >
Exactly. This is where the collected colour information comes
in the play. In low key condition, the D800E will see very faint
colour shifts because it is not colour blind. A somewhat dark
brown beside a somewhat dark blue or green will be recorded
as such. But in the dark, all the cats are grey! A monochrome
rendition of the D800EM would only see a dark area beside
another dark area…
In the times of B&W films, a better film had simply an emulsion
that was offering more shades of grey: a greater latitude when
capturing colour values and recording them in monochrome
shades. That were millions of colours regrouped in 11 greys!
Then came the chromogenic emulsions, bragging to perform
on a 31 shades of grey base, plus black, and plus white. Wow!
Three times more! That were millions of colours regrouped in
31 shades greys! Now, in the digital era, we are talking about
a minimum of 256 shades of grey! This is still not much beside
the XX millions of recordable colours!
If you record all the colour information, you may, using the six
sliders in the tool box, tweak the way colours are shifted to or
from a given shade (or level) of grey to another.
Even with my beloved Beseler 4x5 colour enlarger and working
with XP1/C41, these performances were beyond my reach.
In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
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#13. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 12Mon 13-May-13 06:49 PM | edited Tue 14-May-13 07:56 AM by Bengt Nyman
I respect your desire for color information to differentiate areas of the same luminosity when going to B&W.
I can, however, from a physics point of view question your moral right to do so; to differentiate areas of equal energy as if they were not. (!Joke!)
My reason for wanting to record without a Bayer filter is to avoid any and all unnecessary loss of light on its way to the sensor.
Ideally I would like the option to make this a color image by recording two variables:
1. Record a high resolution image based on unfiltered electromagnetic energy reaching each pixel of the sensor.
2. Record the exact wavelength seen by each pixel.
If I could I would now like to merge the accurately recorded luminosity with the true colors to produce a true color image. However, since we do not yet know how to do this quickly and inexpensively I am willing to start by making a physically accurate B&W image, pleasing or not.
I apologize if the result differs from a more artistic B&W rendering of the same scene, but I maintain that it can be of interest for other reasons.
#3. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 0
I have to agree with Rick. I get much better B&W conversions from post processing a color image than I did back in the B&W-film-and-color-filter days. The ability to alter the B&W result by adjusting the original color values of an image is much more powerful than filtering the lens.
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#7. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 4mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Sat 04-May-13 08:21 PM
Sounds like the kind of specialized equipment that would have a market of about 3 people, and solves a problem that doesn't really exist.
For what it would cost, find an electronics wizard that can convert a D800e for you. I imagine the cost would be equal to a commercially available version.
People will buy the Leica because it is a Leica. I don't understand it's technical attraction, except for those that can afford that kind of toy.
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#8. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 7Sun 05-May-13 07:08 AM | edited Sun 05-May-13 07:34 AM by Bengt Nyman
I agree that a D800EM would have a limited market, though probably bigger than the Leica MM depending on the price of a D800EM. As far as modifying an existing sensor, I have heard of successful experiments to remove an Anti-Aliasing filter. However, I have not heard of any successful attempts to remove the Bayer filter array from an existing image sensor. This part of the operation would require a physical operation at a microscopic level. It may not even be possible considering the process used to put the Bayer pixel filters in place.
As you point out one would also have to modify the software algorithm in the camera processor which in a digital color camera uses the light values from eight adjacent pixels to calculate the likely color of each pixel. Without the latter modification the camera would still try to give you a color image except the colors would be based on completely erroneous information from the pixels.
That's why I am leaving my D800E alone, hoping that Nikon might bring out a "simplified" D800EM for high resolution, high ISO, B&W photography.
It sounds like most of you would not initially buy one, but I certainly would.
Here is a recent statement from Panasonic:
Blame the Bayer filter for your camera’s poor low-light performance, says Panasonic.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/blame-the-bayer-filter-for-your-cameras-poor-low-light-performance-says-panasonic/#ixzz2SPQsML4Q
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#9. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 8richardd300 Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Sun 05-May-13 07:56 PM | edited Sun 05-May-13 07:57 PM by richardd300
I use a Nikon F8 occasionally with B&W film, as said the using of filters is so annoying now whereas in film days it was second nature. My best monochrome results are with a dSLR, in my case either my D800 or D7100 (like a DX D800E) and post process in Nik Silver FX pro. Simple and superb results. The software costs less than a set of B&W filters too.
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#10. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 8pollarda Registered since 23rd Feb 2007Mon 13-May-13 01:26 PM
MaxMax has had some success in removing the Bayer Filter Array. However, they have only had success on certain cameras while others they have found to be more difficult. They said that they have too high a failure rate to be able to take an arbitrary camera and convert it. They do offer some cameras that have already been converted. (Presumably, by offering cameras they don't have the responsibility if a customer's camera doesn't convert properly.)
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#14. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 10Tue 14-May-13 04:53 PM
I talked to MaxMax. Apparently there is some demand for a D800 Monochrome. Here is his answer:
"A university is looking for me to convert D800 to monochrome and may fund the R&D (first number of sensors usually get ruined). You should check back in a couple months to see how our work is going."
#15. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 14Matt1011 Registered since 07th Mar 2013Mon 02-Feb-15 07:04 PM
What's the latest on a possible d800EM?
Do you know of any tutorials on converting to B&W that you would recommend? I have the d800E and use Lightroom and SEP2 but want to experiment on my own and would appreciate some suggestions from anyone who has played around with the color sliders in Lightroom . Perhaps someone could point me to a website where I might learn the effects various saturations and colors would have on the resulting B&W. I want to spend this year improving my B&W. Thanks.
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#17. "RE: D800EM" | In response to Reply # 16lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012Sat 07-Feb-15 06:36 AM
Well, I never... it's true! The cottage industry is probably the way to go in these cases - but Lloyd Chambers whose blog turned up in my search says he has trouble finding the right software to process the files...
Personally, I would rather go for an infrared version if I had some money to spare and if I would find a good converter in Europe.
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