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(Satire) An Immoderate Nikon D800 FAQ


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benveniste Moderator Awarded for is high level skills in various areas, including Macro and Landscape Photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous suppport to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002
Wed 22-Feb-12 01:27 PM

Q: Should I sell all of my Canon gear and switch to Nikon?

A: Absolutely! Not only that, but when Canon comes out with its next competitive model, you should sell the D800 and the rest of your Nikon gear and switch back. That way it’ll be obvious to everyone in the Canon forums the new camera is as a result of Canon listening to you and embracing your vision.

Q: Should I buy the D800 or the D800E?

A1: Both. Someone has to post the multi-megabyte website with full sized NEF’s of the same scene from each camera. It might as well be you. The pixel-peepers and poseurs will rip you apart telling you what you did wrong, of course, but you can take comfort in the outpourings of joy from Akamai stockholders.

A2: Neither one. It’ll end in tears either way.
     If you buy the D800, you’ll have buyer’s remorse until the day you sell it. After all, you’ll know that you could have gotten just that much more sharpness out of the D800E.
     If you buy the D800E, you’ll be chimping after every shot to check for moiré plus you’ll get the song “That’s a Moiré” stuck in your head. Even worse, you’ll have an interminable wait while others are out shooting their D800, posting their snaps, and complaining about their results.
Q: Complaining? Why would they be complaining?

A: I don’t know what flaws the D800 will have. I do know it’s going to have some, though, and people will not only discover them almost immediately, but will also blame every missed shot or mediocre image on said flaws.
     Besides, you and I both know what’s going to happen. Buyers will receive their boxes from UPS, rip them open, charge the battery just enough to get things working, slam in a CF card, slam on a lens, point the camera at the nearest target of opportunity and take their first shot. They will then immediately look at the image in Photoshop at a 100% crop and see that it’s not perfectly sharp. Some will blame the camera, some will blame the lens, but only a very few will have reasonable expectations of sharpness in what amounts to a 4x6 foot enlargement.
Q: Couldn’t have Nikon made video an option? I don’t want to pay for video.

A: Yes, Nikon could have followed the model of car manufacturers. Start with a lower “base price” and then make lots of things optional and charge a higher markup on each of them. Next, ship most of the cameras with “option packages” to make the buyer think they are getting a deal. You would have ended up paying more for your final camera, but at least you wouldn’t have paid for video, a pop-up flash, program mode, etc.
Q: But isn’t that exactly the D800/D800E marketing strategy?

A: Next Question Please.
Q: I’m afraid my lenses aren’t good enough for the D800. Should I sell my current lenses and buy a set of Zeiss ZF.2 primes?

A1: Absolutely not! You should settle for nothing less than a set of Zeiss CP.2 Compact Primes. After all, not only does the Zeiss website say are they built to tighter tolerances than the ZF.2 series, but they have that wonderful 14-blade precision iris. They also come with their own calibration targets. Not only that, no many how many times you switch from Nikon to Canon and back again, you can be sure that inoperability is only a $400 mount (per lens) away. Zeiss and Cosina stockholders will thank you.

A2: Shhh . . . here’s a secret. Your D800 is an inanimate object. It doesn’t have feelings. It doesn’t make judgments. Unlike your in-laws, it isn’t going to reject you or your lenses as unworthy. While that AI-converted 43-86mm f/3.5 may not extract the last quantum of sharpness the D800 can offer, every one of your lenses will produce as good or better results on a D800 than on your previous Nikon dSLR. Relax, don’t worry, and keep shooting.
Q: What accessories do I need for my D800?

A: Oh, just the usual:
  • An L-Bracket, so you can convince yourself that you really do get sharper results relying on the tripod head.
  • A strap. It’ll just get in the way of things, but unless you have a very forgiving and understanding spouse and insurance adjuster, you won’t hear the end of it if you drop your camera and you aren’t using one.
  • Extra batteries. This is a great place to demonstrate to your spouse how frugal you are by saving $10 on a no-name battery. That way, when it fails, you can say, “See? I really did need that $450 MB-D12M thingy.”
  • A sensor cleaning kit. You can hold off on this, though, since within 6 weeks someone will be advertising the same $5 worth of stuff in a $50 “specially crafted for the D800” box.
  • A shoe-mounted bubble level. After all, you know someone is going to be counting every one of those 4912 pixels to ensure your horizon is perfectly level.
  • A shoe-mounted microphone. You can go with the Nikon ME-1 if you must, but really you should look at the audiophile models. When it comes to profiting from the placebo effect of perceived quality, those guys are the experts.
  • A shoe-mounted laser sight. What, you think I make this stuff up? 40 bucks @ http://goo.gl/Cr2m
  • A new computer, monitor (or monitors), wide format printer, specialized editing software, and monitor calibration system. Goes without saying, really.
  • A lens calibration device such as those offered by LensAlign or Spyder. That way, you can spend some thrilling weekends discovering the meaning of “experimental error.”
  • A medium format film scanner. You know someone’s going to ask for a comparison to a ‘blad; you might as well be prepared.
  • Video lights. How else can you use that audiophile microphone I had you buy?
  • Bankruptcy and Divorce attorneys on speed dial.

Q: Will my D800 lead to more “romantic moments and encounters?”

A1: Yes, but only for stockholders of Nikon, Akamai, Zeiss, and Cosina. You’re out of luck.

A2: Ah. You’re looking for the “Canadian Pharmacy” websites. Go two virtual machines north and take a right past the display of canned meat products. You can’t miss them.

A3: Yes. A newly found self-confidence and ability to create 32x48” prints showing every eyelash and makeup flaw will make you irresistible to the partners of your choice.

If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White

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