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Author Topic: D200 for dummies (from an SLRn user)  (Read 5219 times)
Morgan_Moore
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« on: November 22, 2006, 12:08:12 PM »
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I havnt got a new DSLR for years since my SLRn  Now I have a D200

Some questions.

Quality
Initial outing underexposed a little - it seems rubbish compared to my SLRn -not much better than my D70 - can this be true - or do I just need to expose right

Batteries
I have heaps of D70/D100 batteries - I thought they would fit

If I took a knife to them could I gouge em out to fit - would this be OK the voltage says 7.5 on both but they appear not to fit due to having a different shape wedge cut out near the connectors

Workflow (yes I shoot RAW only)

Shooting Manual focus hand held at the limit of aperture and shutter speed many of my frames are not sharp (with all cameras) but I take loads and get a few keepers

So I need a way of quiickly ascertaining if an image is sharp

My current D200 workflow is..

Browse in Photo Mechanic, check keepers
Open keepers with CS
Save as Tiff (should I upres at this point??)

Trouble is PM takes a while to build a Preview to check sharpness

Should I be checking out C1

Kodak Photo Desk was really fast with its sharpness checker

Any insights welcome..

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 01:03:23 PM »
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I havnt got a new DSLR for years since my SLRn  Now I have a D200

Some questions.

Quality
Initial outing underexposed a little - it seems rubbish compared to my SLRn -not much better than my D70 - can this be true - or do I just need to expose right

Batteries
I have heaps of D70/D100 batteries - I thought they would fit

If I took a knife to them could I gouge em out to fit - would this be OK the voltage says 7.5 on both but they appear not to fit due to having a different shape wedge cut out near the connectors

Workflow (yes I shoot RAW only)

Shooting Manual focus hand held at the limit of aperture and shutter speed many of my frames are not sharp (with all cameras) but I take loads and get a few keepers

So I need a way of quiickly ascertaining if an image is sharp

My current D200 workflow is..

Browse in Photo Mechanic, check keepers
Open keepers with CS
Save as Tiff (should I upres at this point??)

Trouble is PM takes a while to build a Preview to check sharpness

Should I be checking out C1

Kodak Photo Desk was really fast with its sharpness checker

Any insights welcome..

SMM
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86601\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Morgan,

I've had a D200 since February and think it's excellent.  You need a EN-EL3e battery, unfortunately the D70 EN-EL3 battery can't be used because the new one has an extra chip in it for the battery level circuit.  I've set the camera to give me low contrast so I can tweak it to my desired taste in CS2. The main problem I had with the D70 was blown highlights. I reckon the D200 is in another league to the D70 and I prefer it to the D2x because it's much lighter.  Also I reckon the image quality of the D200 is just a whisker away from the D2x.

The main problem I've encountered is that although the preview image looks great on the rear screen it can often be underexposed in reality. I just go by the levels display to check the exposure and only use the screen for checking composition after the event or to check for naff images so I can get rid of them. I always use Matrix metering and it's spot on almost all the time, just amazing. The flash is wonderful too, just so easily controllable for fill flash.

I download from the camera using Picture Project, I convert using Nikon Capture and I store most of the files as RAW and only convert the images that I want to work on. I don't normally correct in Capture but do it in CS2 as it looks more film like in my opinion.

Overall the camera has been a delight to use and just feels right. I tried a Canon 5D but just didn't like it. I've found the 18-70 kit lens to be as sharp as any Nikon lens I've used at f5.6-f11, so I tend to use that quite often.

The only drawback with the camera is the sensor size and the almost impossible task of getting good bokeh for portraits. If I want to shoot a portrait I put it away and get out my Hasselblad!  As for quality I reckon the results I've been getting with it are as good as MF. Of course the look is different though.

Cheers !

Barrie Watts

www.barriewatts.co.uk
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2006, 03:20:22 AM »
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I need a quick way of asscertaining whether the image is sharp IN POST ON MY COMUTER - to clarify
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2006, 04:06:28 AM »
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I need a quick way of asscertaining whether the image is sharp IN POST ON MY COMUTER - to clarify
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86683\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The way I'd  do this is in PictureProject at download. I don't know whether this would be what you wanted. Have you had problems with the autofocus and unsharp images? With the sort of stuff I do I often have the autofocus turned off anyway as I don't trust it as much as my eyes under most circumstances, and I wear glasses !  To be honest I've never used any camera with a foolproof autofocus.

Barrie
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006, 04:16:41 AM by bwpuk » Logged

GregW
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006, 08:17:47 AM »
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I need a quick way of asscertaining whether the image is sharp IN POST ON MY COMUTER - to clarify
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86683\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The D200 NEFs are about 15mb each so some pretty beefy hardware is necessary to view files quickly.  

The alternative is to use an application that builds previews like Lighroom.  The total process may not be much quicker but when you come to check the images the response is very snappy and much less frustrating.

My workflow:

1. Xfer images to Mac HDD
2. Import in to Lightroom
3. Build previews
4. Cup of tea
5. Find the keepers
6. Adjust/Develop
7. CS2 if necessary

Alternativel shoot NEF + JPG and check the JPG's to find your keepers.  That way you can delete the unwanted RAWs before importing them into you chosen app.  Slideshow from the Mac finder or Windows picture and fax viewer would be enough unless you needed more detail e.g. EXIF.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 10:45:20 AM »
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4. Cup of tea
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86703\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Central to much of my workflow

In Kodak Photo Desk you didnt have to build a whole preview it just had a small 100% box

Im after a software like that

Photo Mechanic is not too bad

-------------------------------------------------

I have turned the meter up to expose +.7 seems to help expose right and blat the noise a bit

Thanks for comments
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2006, 10:50:31 AM »
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Central to much of my workflow

In Kodak Photo Desk you didnt have to build a whole preview it just had a small 100% box

Im after a software like that

Photo Mechanic is not too bad

-------------------------------------------------

I have turned the meter up to expose +.7 seems to help expose right and blat the noise a bit

Thanks for comments
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86726\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What ISO are you using Morgan? I've never had a problem with noise up to about 800.

Barrie
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2006, 11:47:43 AM »
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What ISO are you using Morgan? I've never had a problem with noise up to about 800.

Barrie
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86727\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

My first outing was very noisy - 320 ISO - but I had only exposed to fill the left 2/3 of the Histo - but punched up image in post to create a good histo

That why I turned it up to +0.7 for the next outing

I just need to watch that histo

Also I use classic Nikkors which may not meter too well (50 1.2) but have some kind of attempt at a decent bokeh

Looks better now I did a test at 400 watching the Histo

My other camera is an Eyelike22 (at 50ISO) so I probably have pretty high expectations

This camera will only be used by me in situations where my Blad is innaproriate time pressuered and dark - hand held or on my 300 or 600s

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2006, 01:29:18 PM »
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Quote from: Morgan_Moore,Nov 23 2006, 05:47 PM
My first outing was very noisy - 320 ISO - but I had only exposed to fill the left 2/3 of the Histo - but punched up image in post to create a good histo

That why I turned it up to +0.7 for the next outing

I just need to watch that histo

Also I use classic Nikkors which may not meter too well (50 1.2) but have some kind of attempt at a decent bokeh

Looks better now I did a test at 400 watching the Histo

My other camera is an Eyelike22 (at 50ISO) so I probably have pretty high expectations

This camera will only be used by me in situations where my Blad is innaproriate time pressuered and dark - hand held or on my 300 or 600s

SMM
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86736\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]




I use quite a few of the old manual lenses- 105mm macro, 55mm macro, 20 mm, 400mm 3.5, 28mm as well as 80-200 2.8 AF and the exposure has been spot on with them. I checked out the noise of a D2x before I bought this one and I found the D200 had less noise at the ISO's I was going to use. I came to the conclusion that if you underexpose too much and correct later in post that's when the problems start. I've found Nikon Capture much better at handling this sort of correction  than anything else.  How do you find the 50 1.2 ?  Do you use the 85 1.4?  I've given up trying to get a good look for portraits I really don't think you can get it with small sensors. That's why my trusty old Hasselblad gets used more than it ever did.

Barrie
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006, 01:30:00 PM by bwpuk » Logged

Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2006, 02:24:16 PM »
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My 50 1.2 has been my main lense for years on my FF SLRn

I had an 85 1.4 once but it was nicked and I got a 85/2 which goes in the pocket instead 85 is too long for my intimate style

I would be more interested in the 35 1.4 I think

I'll probably keep the 50 on the SLRn and swap between the 14 and teles on the D200

I have been looking to replace my SLRn because it is falling apart, rubbish at higher ISOs the batteries last 5 frames, the flash synch is a pain in the sun and the chip needs a shave

I dont think the D200 is a portrait camera but exposed to the right an adequate tool for recording situations quickly in varying light

Now to start gouging those D100 bateries..
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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GregW
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2006, 02:55:49 AM »
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Also I use classic Nikkors which may not meter too well (50 1.2) but have some kind of attempt at a decent bokeh

In case you are not already doing so, it's possible to define the maximum focal length and aperture for non-cpu lenses in a sub menu/bin.  I can't remember the exact page but it's further described in the exposure metering section.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2006, 04:21:35 AM »
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In case you are not already doing so, it's possible to define the maximum focal length and aperture for non-cpu lenses in a sub menu/bin.  I can't remember the exact page but it's further described in the exposure metering section.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86827\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes I had spotted that thanks

I think you need to do it every time a lense is put on - not possible - too slow

If it helps metering (which I think it does) then it is a useful function

I am not interested in popluating correct EXIF data to the image file

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2006, 01:13:58 PM »
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I have had a D200 for 6 months and am very happy with it. Exposures are almost always right on.  The meter is rarely fooled.  Of course, like any machine, it sometimes does not give me the effect I want, but that is not the meter's fault.  That's why the camera has manual controls.

I am a bit shocked at the idea of taking a knife to a D70 battery in order to get it to fit the D200, if I understand correctly.  Remember the exploding and burning batteries that were recently recalled.  That was due to a slight defect.  Imagine the defects caused by taking a knife to these batteries.  You have spent a huge amount of money on the D200.  Buy the right batteries for it and be happy.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2006, 01:20:47 PM »
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My workflow:


4. Cup of tea

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86703\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Greg, in regards to your workflow.  Is it possible to substitute a cup of homemade hot chocolate, or even an espresso.  If not, do you recommend the more common chopped up leaf teas, or the higher quality rolled leaf teas.  Which type of tea gives the best results with Lightroom?
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2006, 02:31:25 PM »
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The best tea is coffee

But seriously workflow where you step away from the machine while it batches is to save develop or build is far better than an image by image basis
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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GregW
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2006, 06:39:24 AM »
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Greg, in regards to your workflow.  Is it possible to substitute a cup of homemade hot chocolate, or even an espresso.  If not, do you recommend the more common chopped up leaf teas, or the higher quality rolled leaf teas.  Which type of tea gives the best results with Lightroom?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86890\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hot chocolate or a good espresso are perfect substitute for tea in the workflow process.

Currently I recommend:

Tea: Twinings English Breakfast
Espresso: Nespresso Ristretto
Hot chocolate: Coatina

 
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howiesmith
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2006, 03:21:12 PM »
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I havnt got a new DSLR for years since my SLRn Now I have a D200

Initial outing underexposed a little - it seems rubbish compared to my SLRn -not much better than my D70 - can this be true - or do I just need to expose right

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86601\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would chalk this up to pilot error.  No matter what the User's Manual my say, exposure is the sole responsibility of the photogapher.  The camera is just a dumb piece of hardware doing exactly what it is told to do.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2006, 03:22:05 PM by howiesmith » Logged
bjanes
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2006, 04:11:03 PM »
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The D200 NEFs are about 15mb each so some pretty beefy hardware is necessary to view files quickly. 

The alternative is to use an application that builds previews like Lighroom.  The total process may not be much quicker but when you come to check the images the response is very snappy and much less frustrating.

My workflow is very similar to Greg's, but I am still using ACR with PSCS2. Compressed NEFs halve the size of the file and speed up uploading of the NEFs to the computer. The previews may take slightly longer, since the NEF must be decompressed. Most people notice to difference in the visual appearance of the compressed file, but some highlight levels are thrown away in the compression process as explained in this article (D70):

http://www.majid.info/mylos/weblog/2004/05/02-1.html
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2006, 01:09:41 PM »
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I am a bit shocked at the idea of taking a knife to a D70 battery in order to get it to fit the D200, if I understand correctly.  Remember the exploding and burning batteries that were recently recalled.  That was due to a slight defect.  Imagine the defects caused by taking a knife to these batteries.  You have spent a huge amount of money on the D200.  Buy the right batteries for it and be happy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86889\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This was more of a dig at Nikon

I have spent far from a huge amount on the D200 compared to my total nikon investment

I have owned (FM2+drives,F301,F3+drive,F4,F5,F100,F90,F801) D1 (3) D100 (2)  D70 (1) and now D200

So I probably have 11 redundant nikon digital batteries and one 'current' one

The pile of batteries I have is both costly and an environmental outrage

The fact that D100/70/200 all require the same voltage and current and are the same size but not cross compatible is as far as I see it profiteering and irresponsible by Nikon especailly in comparison to the Canon 1 series

SMM
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
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