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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2015-05-15, 08:30

Swapping prime lenses between d800 and d810 shows some interesting subtleties. I have only relatively modest 50 and 85 1.8G lenses, but they're really very good. The 85 borders on outstanding on either camera. The 50 is average on the d800, for whatever reasons it challenges focus on that camera, wide open the combination needs a fair bit of contrast to lock, resulting in pixel level softness wide open. That disappears on the d810, to the point where it feels like a different (much better) lens below f/2.8.

I don't know if the lack of OLPF is that significant in actual use. When the lenses focus properly images are sharp with either camera. Taking pics of some small objects about 8-10ft away, at f/1.8, with the 85mm, I can discern the dust on the surfaces from images made with either camera. With the 50 the differences are there and become more pronounced at a distance.

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PB PM
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2015-05-15, 09:50

You are not imagining things with the 50mm F1.8G, I noticed the same thing. On the D700 and D750 the lens is sharp at the pixel level (F1.8), on the D800 it's just mushy and soft. No idea what's going on there, could be a firmware optimization problem, or the lens just doesn't play nice with the D800's AF modual.
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Matsu
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2015-05-15, 13:33

Cicala over at lens rentals has documented that sensor stacks can affect performance of some lenses - thicker stacks in particular - and not necessarily just for wide lenses, and not always in predictable ways. Even when the focus is good the D800 + 50 f/1.8g combination seems like it's got a bit of haze over the details. It's not front or back focused either: detail in the sharpest area simply doesn't have that edge acuity. A bit of clarity and sharpness manipulation is needed when you process them. While not a terribly short focal length, it's a relatively simple optical formula on the 50, perhaps of the type that causes some issues on cameras with thicker sensor stacks. This is purely a guess since we don't know if the sensor stack of the D810 is substantially shorter than the 800/e - or just different enough that it interacts with the 50 in a more positive way.

Article here

I'm curious to try out a 28 and/or 35. These both reviewed much better than the 50, and 35 in particular is a useful substitute for a 50 in candid scenarios. [GAS]Brain starts working out weird scenarios where I can carry/shoot three cameras easily... [/GAS]

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Matsu
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2015-05-17, 07:15

Found a neat little addition to Nikon's auto ISO. If you set the maximum sensitivity in the shooting menu setup to a lower value than the ISO sensitivity the camera will automatically use your selected sensitivity as the maximum. So, set max sensitivity to the lowest, and set ISO setting to hi2 and you can stay in auto ISO all the time and just define the max sensitivity using the ISO dial. It's even more convenient if you set the video record button to adjust ISO. Your eye never has to leave the viewfinder!
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PB PM
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2015-05-17, 14:26

Yes Auto ISO on modern Nikon cameras is very flexible. The day Nikon released the update to allow use of the recording button to change ISO I made the change accordingly. I always envied the position of the ISO, WB etc buttons on higher end Canon bodies, but the programmability of the recording button removed that entirely.

While I don't tend to use Auto ISO the way you mentioned, that is a good way to avoid having to turn it on and off in specific situations.
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Matsu
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2015-05-17, 16:22

I only just applied the 1.1 firmware to the d800, unfortunately it doesn't update the auto-ISO to work like the newer bodies. This seems like it wouldn't be hard to do, especially since they updated trap focus to work in single AF, and though it's not something I use much that's probably a bigger change than ISO selection modes. :/
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Matsu
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2015-06-08, 15:06

Hey, anyone here ever shoot a timelapse sequence? I've been asked to cover an art installation and as part of it, produce a little time-lapse of the event. I could use either a DSLR or a GoPro, but I've never used either for this purpose and don't want to mess it up. What do I need to know? Event should last about 8-10 hours.

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PB PM
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2015-06-08, 19:13

What you need to know:
A) Have spare batteries handy.
B) Load up both card slots with memory cards and have spares handy. Shoot JPEGS. You are going to be taking well over 1000 shots to get a decent time-laps.
C) Your D800/D810 can automatically generate a 1080p time-lapse video, all you need to do is set the amount of time you want it to shoot for. Go to "Time-laps Photography" input the required shooting time, and how often you want it to shoot (as in seconds between shots) and it will tell you how long the video will be. A 5 second interval should do the trick (creates a video just over 1m:30s long).

The advantage of using this method in camera is that you don't need any video editing software to assemble the time-laps later. The downside is that, unless the D810 is different, shooting time is limited to 7 hours and 59 minutes, so you might need to start it again and link the videos in iMovie or something like that later.
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turtle
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2015-06-08, 21:36

While I'm sure you already know this, I figure I'd mention to lock the aperture so the DoF doesn't shift unless that is a look you are going for.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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PB PM
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2015-06-08, 23:32

Yes and turn off auto focus and use manual mode, or the exposure will change.
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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
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2015-06-09, 00:36

Hmm, what's the min shutter speed on a GoPro? It might not cut it if you want to convey motion with blur.

e: Looks like 1/2s. Might be good enough.
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Matsu
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2015-12-31, 13:42

Time to close out a quiet new year with family, so I thought I'd throw a new post into an old thread in the spirit of resolutions and all that. I just picked up a Gura Gear Bataflae 32L - there's a fantastic Canadian source for these at about 60% off right now at The Camera Store in Calgary, and I love a deal, but that's not why I bought it. It's the largest (yet lightest) carry-on compliant backpack you can get. Weighs about 5lbs, which leaves 17bs for gear before the baggage clerks try to confiscate your goods. I ain't buying a single piece of photo gear this year, but I am buying a few tickets...

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PB PM
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2015-12-31, 14:27

Matsu, thanks for the PM. Good find for anyone looking for a big travel bag. That said, it looks like you need to buy several inserts before the bag becomes truly useful. Ah the hidden costs of such items. I also really dislike that most camera gear resellers never show the inside of a camera bag, since none of the local shops carry the high end bags. Then again, it is heavily discounted.

I've been downsizing my gear this past year, mostly to primes, I've not found a need for a bigger bag than the Flipside 300 I've been using.Most of my gear sits in the hard case I bought last year. I suspect the only camera gear I'll be buying in 2016 will be a 35mm lens, most likely the older 35mm F2D, simply for compactness. That and those older lenses aren't that bad on the D750, compared to the D800/D810.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2015-12-31, 14:47

Well, it's not here yet, I do hope it comes with all the dividers in place...

here's a list of the Gura Gear products they offer

Apparently GuraGear recently bought out the Tamrac brand and assets, but have dumped the Gura Gear brand in favour of the more well known Tamrac. The Bataflae's are re-issued starting in the spring as Tamrac "G-Elite".

There's no word of the Uinta or Chobe bags on the new Tamrac site.

So there are some weirdly placed discounts around. The link contains the best price I can find anywhere on the Bataflae 32L - probably because stock of colour choices has been dwindling - Tan ran out months ago, and a few places have only Grey. The Camera Store has a choice of any colour you want so long as it's black - which suits me OK.

If you look at the link, you see that Uinta bag - their hiking bag with the system inserts has also got some weird pricing going on. The package with both he mid and small size inserts is $199,bu the "bag only" SKU is still at regular price. I have noticed a couple of other places have the Uinta on sale as well.

Hope this helps.

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PB PM
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2015-12-31, 19:29

Yeah, I checked out the site, after reading your PM. From looking else where it does look like the bags do come with a basic set of dividers and pads, the add-ons seem to be best for people who have smallish kits and want to carry other things in the bag, besides camera gear.

Still, I find most camera bags way over priced, and even on sales these seem kind of pricy. I'll stick with the bags I have now, likely till they wear out. Other than being massive, the 30L and 32L bags, don't offer much over the bag I have now (that cost under $100), besides a AW cover.
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Matsu
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2015-12-31, 20:01

It's all too expensive these days, I splurged because I don't have any decent carry on luggage, so this guy has to fill a dual role. It's big enough to take a photo kit on one side and a change of clothes in the other, but at full price, I'd probably take a pass. BTW, though I can't say I condone the practice, it looks like there's some knock-off lowepro gear floating around eBay at some incredible prices. Judging by forum comments, this stuff likely comes off the exact same production lines as Lowepro's real gear. Have a look, YMMV.

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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2016-01-05, 16:16

Holy crap, the D300 successor is no longer a punchline to a sad joke by Nikon fans.
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PB PM
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2016-01-05, 19:32

Too bad the D500 is about 5 years too late to the market. I guess Nikon felt that they had to release something to counter the 7D MKII. Still $1999 for a DX body in 2016 is a little much.

The amateur sports and bird crowd will likely be very happy. Nikon is still screwing around putting two different card types in a camera body. When will they get this right and only use one card type per body.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2016-01-05, 22:34

If you buy a D5 you can have your choice of dual storage modules - they're swappable between Dual XQD or Dual CF. :-)

Ha, I hit the photo news today to see Nikon all over the place. They actually announced a lot of good stuff. They've got radio flashes now (although expensive and slightly range limited). They must be doing some independent sensor development, because they've got FX with stratospheric ISOs (3 Million?), and DX perhaps breaking some new ground as well. Finally some commitment to wireless file transfer and camera control built in... And the new AF system seems to have some nice tricks too.

That said, I don't think I would go for a D500 unless I shot a lot of telephoto sports/action. For my use, a crop of the FX frame is good enough.

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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
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2016-01-05, 23:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Too bad the D500 is about 5 years too late to the market. I guess Nikon felt that they had to release something to counter the 7D MKII. Still $1999 for a DX body in 2016 is a little much.
A late update is still a needed update. I don't think that niche will complain too much about paying $2000. I'd rather Nikon please those people than offer yet another round of trivial updates to the D7000/5000/3000 class cameras.
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PB PM
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2016-01-06, 00:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
If you buy a D5 you can have your choice of dual storage modules - they're swappable between Dual XQD or Dual CF. :-)

Ha, I hit the photo news today to see Nikon all over the place. They actually announced a lot of good stuff. They've got radio flashes now (although expensive and slightly range limited). They must be doing some independent sensor development, because they've got FX with stratospheric ISOs (3 Million?), and DX perhaps breaking some new ground as well. Finally some commitment to wireless file transfer and camera control built in... And the new AF system seems to have some nice tricks too.

That said, I don't think I would go for a D500 unless I shot a lot of telephoto sports/action. For my use, a crop of the FX frame is good enough.
Yes, for $6k you can have a camera with dual XQD or CF. The D500 should have had one or the other as well. If Nikon really wants to see the likes of XQD take off, they need to make the D5, D500 and all future cameras beyond the D7x000 and D6x0 and D7x0 line XQD and not mess around.

The SB-5000 will only be fully functional with the D5 and D500 as far as I can tell, plus you need to buy an expensive dongle to make it work, so unless you get a new camera it's a shoe mount or CLS only flash. Nikon the radio trigger needs to be built into the camera, not a over priced dongle.

The D500 is an interesting camera for sports and wildlife. I still don't like the mixed card support for this camera, as mentioned above make it SD only, or XQD. Basically anyone who really wants to take advantage of the cameras speed will have to buy an XQD card anyway, because I doubt there is a SD card on the market that can keep up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
A late update is still a needed update. I don't think that niche will complain too much about paying $2000. I'd rather Nikon please those people than offer yet another round of trivial updates to the D7000/5000/3000 class cameras.
Sure, it's still way too late in most regards. I don't see anything exciting about the D500, other than maybe the fastest FSP rating ever for a Nikon DX body. 4k video shooting is needlessly hobbled to a crop mode at 30FPS. Bluetooth in a camera? Not sure I'd call it exciting, Nikon has had NFC in the D7200 and D750 already. Now if they actually have improved the app for iOS, then I might get excited.

Many of the people who would have bought it either jumped ship to other manufactures, or went full frame. I personally think Nikon missed the optimal window for the release of the D300s successor by at least 3-4 years. I for one would have bought a D500 if it came out in 2012, but not now. Nikon had to do something, the ship was sinking and fast. The question is, will the D5 and D500 save that ship? I doubt it. The bread and butter cameras are the D7x00, 5x00, D3x00, so of course more updates will be released to those lineups. Since most consumers don't follow cameras closely, the small iterative updates are often enough to trigger buyers who must have the latest and greatest. What Nikon needs is not yet another camera model in the lineup, it's something innovative, whether it be an app or something that nobody else is doing. So far, I just see copycat items being implemented. As a long term Nikon user that makes me a little sad, but I'll get over it.

On an unrelated note, the cameras look and build appears to be mix between the D7200, D810 and the D750. Nothing gets me more than Nikon's total lack of consistency in camera design, it is simply mind boggling to say the least.
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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
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2016-01-06, 01:30

Nikon pays Giorgetto Giugiaro a lot of money to design their bodies. I like the fact that they tinker constantly. It's a stark comparison to the Canon side which has seen minimal changes since the original EOS-1.

I will say the lack of a pop-up flash on the D500 is a shock...
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Matsu
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2016-01-06, 05:44

My guess is that if you put an SB-5000 atop your camera, it will act as the wireless commander, and that you only need the dongle if you want to control flash power from the camera body without a shoe mounted DB-5000. That would make sense, but let's see. I think there will be firmware updates for any current body and if they're smart at least going back to the D700/300 and D3/D3s.

With most speed lights I think that manufacturers are missing a window of opportunity for a dedicated remote design. Something of a hybrid strobe/speed light for location work, akin to a small battery powered B2 head with variable flash durations, an LED modelling light, and about 4X the power of a speed light (or two stops). Once you're off camera there's really no reason why a flash has to have a hotshoe or swivel head, get rid of them altogether in favour of an integrated 3/8ths stand mount on the bottom, and an umbrella holder on top. From the speed light format the only concept worth keeping would be a zooming head of some kind, either manual or motorized, that goes from bare bulb to about 120mm.
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PB PM
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2016-01-06, 22:23

Nikon already stated in the press release that the SB-5000 would only be fully compatible (for the radio function) with the D5 and D500 via a dongle, along other new cameras going forward. I doubt we'll see any firmware updates. The only cameras it could support would be ones with 10 pin connectors anyway, and Nikon want's high end users to upgrade to push profits up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Nikon pays Giorgetto Giugiaro a lot of money to design their bodies. I like the fact that they tinker constantly. It's a stark comparison to the Canon side which has seen minimal changes since the original EOS-1.
As the old saying goes, if it an't broke, don't fix it.

Last edited by PB PM : 2016-01-06 at 23:34.
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Matsu
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2016-01-07, 00:24

I think that refers to in-camera controls however. When you look at the product page for the SB-5000 it shows that the flash itself has a commander mode. It should just mean that you have to have at least one flash at the camera position to serve as your commander - not ideal at $600, but it shouldn't leave anyone out. Putting radio control on a small transmitter is potentially interesting for mixing Speedlights with strobes - since you could have one wireless trigger on the hotshoe, while the WR-R10 controls your off camera SB-5000s. One or the other would probaby have to be set to manual to avoid confusing the camera. I'm curious how they will perform, but I'm not in the market for these - I've got enough Speedlights to last me for a long time.

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Eugene
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2016-01-07, 12:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
As the old saying goes, if it an't broke, don't fix it.
You can't distill Nikon body changes into an idiom like this. I mean you can, but it doesn't mean anything. Nothing is inherently broken about the D500 layout. I invite you to use a D100 and a D750 side-by-side. Even if we were only to judge ergonomics and button design/layout, you would choose basically everything about the D750 I suspect. Even comparing my D600, I wish it had the D750's package.
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PB PM
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2016-01-07, 12:40

I do like Nikon's overall design philosophy, but I think each generation of camera should at least share a body type in terms of grip, buttons and feel. Even the just released D5 and D500 have different button layouts for no reason that I can see. All the pro cameras D5/D500/D810 replacement, should have the same design and button layout (built in grip from the D5 aside). Then all the prosumer bodies (D7x00, D6x0, D7x0) should have the same button and basic body layout. As it stands today each new camera has different buttons and a ever so slightly different body, for absolutely no reason and causes confusion (mostly the buttons) for anyone who uses more than one body at a time for a photo shoot.

Out of the Nikon DSLR bodies I've handled (D50, D40, D3100, D80, D90, D7000, D7200, D200, D300, D700, D800, D810, and the D750) the D200, D300 and the D750 are by far the most comfortable for extended use. While I haven't owned all those cameras, I've used each of them for at least a few hours , so that's not just a I picked it up for two minutes in the store type of assessment. The D750 and D600 series have some serious button placement issues, such as the lower function button, which is extremely awkward to use with larger F2.8 glass. Also no AF-ON button... err. Arbitrary use of the round viewfinder eyepiece is also a pet peeve. To me it would be logical for all DX bodies to have the square piece and the FX bodies to all have the round (much more comfortable to use and has built in shutter for long exposures). Overall it's good, but could be better. I think the D500 does a good job in terms of button layout, and my comments were not against that.

For button layout, I still find Nikon's controls highly flawed. I would much rather have a mix of Canon and Nikon's controls.

What I would prefer is a hybrid (from higher end bodies:
1. Nikon's shutter button ON/OFF switch
2. Nikon's dual command dials
3. Canon's button placement for ISO, WB, QUAL etc
4. More than two user modes (U1+U2 etc) and no scene modes. Yes Nikon kill the "banks" in pro cameras and just have the more practical and usable user modes on ALL cameras.
5. Nikon pro body rear controls

Yes mostly Nikon, but the placement of ISO, WB, BKT, QUAL etc is often a compromise on Nikon bodies (less so on the D5/D500) that requires taking your hand off the lens, which is very awkward when working with telephoto glass. The only saving grace is that Nikon's auto ISO function is so good I haven't had to use manual ISO/WB/QUAL control other than in controlled situations.

Last edited by PB PM : 2016-01-07 at 12:55.
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Matsu
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2016-01-07, 15:36

My Gura Gear Bataflae came in. It's really nice. My favourite features have to be the weather-proof zips and low profile. It could almost pass for a piece of luggage, though in black it's just a little too smart looking to go unnoticed. It's a bit like a tuxedo. Perfect for showing up to corporate portrait and couple shoots, but built to withstand life outdoors.

It doesn't have a dedicated laptop slot, though you can strip out the central rib and make it one big volume if you want, or just lay the laptop on top of the rib. I have a low profile sleeve that could velcro to the inside of the lid - though it wouldn't be usable in butterfly mode then.

I just got home, and am working out ways to carry three bodies, six lenses, five speed lights and triggers, chargers, cords, and a couple of collapsible modifiers, all in one pack, while bungie tying a lightstand to either side of it. LOL

Most of the time it's just be nice car-trunk storage, and ready-packed by my desk with an empty shoulder bag beside it. If all works out, I'm taking it to Italy and India this year.

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Matsu
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2016-02-18, 10:06

Pentax just launched a rather strong full frame 35mm offering. Worth a look.
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PB PM
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2016-02-18, 15:18

Unless you have a boat load of K-mount lenses it's a yawn announcement. Let's put it this way, Ricoh isn't going to save the Pentax brand with the K1.
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