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Author Topic: Michael gets Nikon gear  (Read 15415 times)
Sunesha
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« on: November 27, 2007, 02:44:31 AM »
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I look forward for Michael testing Nikon gear. As come to trust his opinions also he reviewed so many different stuff. I think he kinda are more photographer than a gear reviewer. I enjoy his style of writing which is kinda subjective(not sure if thats the word I am seeking, guess thats one of the parts to be second-language english user). As I seen so many sites doing the hardcore ISO, dynamic range and so on. I think its refreshing to read how someone feels about using the gear rather than measure it.

As Nikon Shooter myself, lonely around my other friends with Canons. It will be fun to see how a guy mostly used Canon gear thinks about Nikon.

I myself is very interested in Nikon D300. I just waiting for dpreview for tech measurements. And also Thom Hogan and Bjørn Rorsletts reviews. I guess it will be nice to see Michaels impressions also. As myself considering the bargain Canon 5D. The thing that sets the break is that I so used to all my lenses and nikon gear. I think I will probaly spend more time learning a new system.

I hope he will enjoy Nikon cameras. They are different from Canon.

It would be fun to read if Michael think it is much diffrence to adapt or just diffrence is small.

But guess he is so used to use many diffrent systems so he got a headstart.

But I think good news. As there are very little good subjective testing.

I hope Michael will have fun

Cheers,
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 02:53:46 AM »
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As a career-long Nikonista (after graduating from Exakta) I have to say I´m delighted to see Michael giving Nikon a second try! And to have put his money where his mouth is in pursuit of first-hand knowledge is even more admirable.

I hope he will, in time, be able to impress upon Nikon that TS lenses are a GOOD idea, particularly as in range of.

Rob C
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 02:54:10 AM by Rob C » Logged

Sunesha
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 03:00:21 AM »
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As a career-long Nikonista (after graduating from Exakta) I have to say I´m delighted to see Michael giving Nikon a second try! And to have put his money where his mouth is in pursuit of first-hand knowledge is even more admirable.

I hope he will, in time, be able to impress upon Nikon that TS lenses are a GOOD idea, particularly as in range of.

Rob C
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Heh, myself always had tilt and shift envy. As canon offer this but not Nikon. They only have one 85 mm which is very good. But thats more a macro lens.

I have 28PC nikkor, which isnt that fun. As it really nasty chromatic abberations if you shift it. I guess it work fine on film.

Cheers,
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Daniel Sunebring, Malmoe, Sweden
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NikosR
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2007, 03:08:45 AM »
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Good!

Maybe he can now convince his friends over at Adobe to do better with their Nikon RAW conversions and presets...

Michael, do yourself a favour and install a copy of Capture NX. It might have its big flaws and it might not properly fit your workflow, but this is a much better way than LR or ACR to get a proper idea of what Nikon cameras are capable of doing.

BTW, Michael, what lenses have you got for the D300?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 04:07:09 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007, 07:37:04 AM »
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Good!

Michael, do yourself a favour and install a copy of Capture NX. It might have its big flaws and it might not properly fit your workflow, but this is a much better way than LR or ACR to get a proper idea of what Nikon cameras are capable of doing.

BTW, Michael, what lenses have you got for the D300?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156345\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have loaded Capture NX (it took a couple of tries to get it installed properly on my Mac), and plan on becoming familiar with it.

At the moment I have the 17-35mm, 50mm 1/4, and 24-120mm VR. I'll expand this as time goes on.

Michael
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macgyver
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 07:40:34 AM »
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Glad to hear it! The D3 is a far more interesting camera than anything canon has put out lately. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
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michael
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007, 08:41:10 AM »
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Though the camera has been in hand less than 24 hours, my initial impressions after a couple of hundred frames is that I'm highly impressed. Features and functionality are at a level beyond that on any current Canon camera, and image quality appears to be extremely high.

Michael
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 08:50:19 AM »
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Though the camera has been in hand less than 24 hours, my initial impressions after a couple of hundred frames is that I'm highly impressed. Features and functionality are at a level beyond that on any current Canon camera, and image quality appears to be extremely high.

Michael
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Does this mean that it has a MLU button?  
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michael
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 10:10:35 AM »
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But of course mon ami. Also auto ISO, in-camera raw to JPG conversions with settable parameters, image combining in camera, Live View with autofocus, and quite a few other features which are very appealing.

Michael
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 10:20:03 AM »
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But of course mon ami. Also auto ISO, in-camera raw to JPG conversions with settable parameters, image combining in camera, Live View with autofocus, and quite a few other features which are very appealing.

Michael
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So is it time for us canon users, who have too much invested in glass to switch, to wait a generation before buying a new body?
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Christopher
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 11:12:53 AM »
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So is it time for us canon users, who have too much invested in glass to switch, to wait a generation before buying a new body?
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No, I don't think so. Canon is offering two extremely well cameras with the 1dsMk3 and 40D. I'm not naming the 1DMk3, because I think it was a big mistake Canon made and they know that. That is also the fact that I'm 99% certain that there will be a new sports camera from Canon in the next 9 months.

But back to the topic. The fact that Nikon is slowly caming back, is the BEST news for us Canon shooters ever. Why? Canon once again get's pressure. The last years were horrible, Canon was able to do what ever they wanted and this finally ends.

I'm still quite sad that Nikon, hasn't brought out anything compared to the 1DsMk3. I know resolution is not everything, but the difference between 12 and 21MP is to huge. I also expect that Nikon needs more time for something bigger.

I would not even consider switching. Yes there are people who can do that for fun, but with an investment of around 30.000$ you can't just switch the boat. That is not going to happen, not as long as I have to make money from it ^^
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 11:13:49 AM by Christopher » Logged

NikosR
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2007, 11:24:03 AM »
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I have loaded Capture NX (it took a couple of tries to get it installed properly on my Mac), and plan on becoming familiar with it.

At the moment I have the 17-35mm, 50mm 1/4, and 24-120mm VR. I'll expand this as time goes on.

Michael
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That last one didn't earn a terribly good reputation (especially due to QC, element alignment and general softness issues) when it first appeared a few years ago, but maybe Nikon have silently improved it. Also its VR is the 1st generation implementation this being the second Nikon VR lens, if I'm not mistaken. I see you're shying away from DX lenses. I wonder why

Regarding NX, I found this [a href=\"http://www.luminescentphoto.com/capturenx.html]http://www.luminescentphoto.com/capturenx.html[/url] very useful when I started playing seriously with NX although I had been a long time user of Nikon Capture and a zillion of other image editing programs and raw converters.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 11:39:00 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
michael
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2007, 11:37:37 AM »
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The 24-120 did get a bad rep when it first came out, but it was improved considerably after its initial teething pains. Or at least so I'm told by several people that have used it for the past couple of years with the good results. It appears to be a very versatile walk-around lens, though admittedly not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer.

I'm not getting DX lenses because they are a dead end when I get an FX Nikon body next year.

Michael
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luong
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2007, 12:44:13 PM »
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I tested the 24-120 (non IS) with charts when it first came out in the last 90s. The resolution was quite good, but what bothered me in those film days was the huge distortion. Yet, I used it as my main lens before switching to Canon, exactly for the same reasons as Michael. About the TS lenses, I heard that they are not in themselves a profitable line for Canon, but that their existence helped quite a few to switch.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 12:45:32 PM by luong » Logged

Leping
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2007, 01:06:44 PM »
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With no D3/D300 in hand (no delivery from Calumet SF so far while anyone can walk into the K&S's Palo Alto store the Black Friday and pay for one without sale tax), I can only hope that Michael's D300 has the same (automatic) CA correction feature in the D3.

The followings are what Bjørn Rørslett just reported on his D3, from here:

http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=6792.0;all

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After the first hour of use, all I can say is this

GRAB any 35/1.4, 50/1.2, or whatever lens you have on your wishlist and intend to deploy on a D3, BEFORE  prices skyrocket !!!! I'm almost dumbfounded and that's not something I experience very often. Not even my 8/2.8 fisheye shows any sign of CA illness.

Whatever wizardry Nikon concocted for the D3, it obviously works.

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

Well, no written guarantee from me yet. It seems that there is something weird going on when the focal length drops below 24 or so. Depending on the lens design, you can have very severe fall-off so getting even illumination needs stopping down quite a bit or might not even be acceptable to the EXPEED processor inside the D3. Thus, the 15/5.6 consistently gave "Err" and the 18/3.5 was severely vignetted. The 16/2.8 Fisheye was unproblematic.

I think there is a definite reason for Nikon's decision to produce the 14-24, which does NOT show any fall-off whatsover at 20-24mm, and only a very slight corner darkness at 14mm wide-open (disappears stopped down 1 or two stops).

So, prepare to add the 14-24 if you're into wide-angle photography, keep the fisheye(s) and all lenses 28 or longer. The borderline range 20-24 needs much more in-depth testing to clarify what's going on.

What amazes me the most is the low incidence of CA with the D3. It simply has disappeared in virtually all situations. Strange.

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I'd like to elaborate the last point a little. On the D2X, using a wide PC lens (28, 35) and shifting or tilting to the full extent resulted in very severe one-sided vignetting, heavy assymmetric CA, and in some cases, an extreme loss of sharpness all over the frame. With the D3, these issues are very much reduced, however, if the lens is shifted to its extreme limits there will be a peripheral zone where all sharpness disappears and some vignetting occurs. The troubled zone appears quite abruptly when you examine the image frame into the corners. This might be alleviated by stopping down, but I haven't gotten that far in my test procedures yet.

What we observe is probably the consequence of the new sensor array design of the D3, with its double (micro) lenses, There is a limit to the angle of incidence that the photosites will accept. This again is the likely reason why extreme wide-angle lenses of the "old school" fare badly and even (in case of the 15/5.6) might be not accepted by the camera. I'd like to repeat that it isn't the focal length as such that is important, or the picture angle, but how the lens interacts with the imager inside the camera. Obviously the wizardry inside the D3 is busy counting bits and adjusting the final outcome.

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The 14/2.8 does quite well in fact, but there is some vignetting and traces of blue fringing towards the corners. I'll rerun it later. The 17-35 looks OK, but I'll do a further test run to see whether it drops in corner quality as the picture angle widens.

I think the recommended approach is simply to bite the bullet and get the 14-24 which is a match made in heaven for the D3. One can hardly get a better demonstration of the ingenuity that underlies the D3 concept.

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You read me wrong. The 17-35 isn't *bad* at all. There might be some vignetting at 17mm, but no serious issue has been encountered so far.

I did "rush" tests on a number of lenses and only when I got to some less likely candidates for D3 did the vignetting show up. So I wan't prepared for that issue from the onset.

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

I'm running a quick test of 50-60 lenses during this week to learn what does and what doesn't work well on the new camera. I also received a D300, so there are cross-platform comparisons to run as well. Already getting the first signs of a headache.

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I plan to test about 50 of the Nikkor lenses during this and the following week. All your questions will be addressed - in due time. Besides the usual standard set of lenses, I'll run a few of the more exotic ones, plus the Micro-Nikkors of course. I'll do 14-24 vs 17-35 and 24-70 vs 28-70 in a few days.

Today has been a little hectic due to the need to clarify how the D3 responds to different kinds of lenses. I had only a few hours of daylight in which to run tests. Tomorrow I'll modify an "L" bracket to accomodate the camera so it can thrive better on my tripods and will do A/B tests against D2x first, the D300 later.

I set the jpg quality to the most neutral settings and Adobe RGB. I shoot NEF + jpg fine and use NX 1.3 on an XP machine to open the files. I'm forwarding NEFs to Eric Hyman of Bibble Labs so he can initiate his research on the file format(s) for a new version of Bibble Pro. Honestly I dislike NX so can't wait to get rid of it.

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

For those don't know, Bjørn keeps the definitive Nikon lens evaluation pages including
the most old AI/AIS ones:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

Where he had already posted his preliminary review of the 24-70mm as well these:

AF-Nikkor 85 mm f/1.4 D IF:

"The D3 adverts depict the D3 with the 85/1.4 AFD and the same lens is used for illustrations in the D3 manual. No wonder, since the 85/1.4 AFD performs superbly on this camera. Even the wide-open captures are as good as anything I ever seen before."

50 mm f/1.2 Nikkor 50 mm f/1.2 Nikkor [AI]:

"Image contrast even at f/1.2 is higher on the D3, so pictures come across crisper and appearing sharper with this camera. Focusing the lens on a D3 was easy."
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 01:12:54 PM by LEPING » Logged

Leping
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2007, 01:36:24 PM »
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Hi Michael,

The most important UI feature on the Nikon DSLR bodies to me is that you can program to push the center of the 4-way wheel to get an immediate 100% (or 200% or even 400%) view around the active AF point, which is ulterly important for me to check focus (and shake) quickly.  One more push back to the full frame, with no need to touch these "+" and "-" things.

I just wish my 5D does the same, with which it is 5 pushes to reach 100%.

Cheers,
Leping

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Though the camera has been in hand less than 24 hours, my initial impressions after a couple of hundred frames is that I'm highly impressed. Features and functionality are at a level beyond that on any current Canon camera, and image quality appears to be extremely high.

Michael
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John Camp
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 02:20:25 PM »
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Michael suggests in his front-page note that there's a high-res D3 coming next year, which I have heard rumored, but also denied. Is there any new rumor, or an uber-rumor that dominates all other rumors? Inside information?

A question for anyone who knows...Does the D3 use the same batteries as the D2x (Please God!)

IMHO the Nikon falls more naturally to hand than any other camera on earth, including Leicas. They just feel perfect. I'm hoping to have a D3 by this time next week, and if they really do produce a high-res version, one of those, too. The two together, both FX but one high-res and the other high-ISO, would be a killer combination.

JC
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 02:21:21 PM by John Camp » Logged
Leping
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2007, 03:24:49 PM »
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Yes they do.  The same EN-EL4a that has been worked so well for the D2 series, 2500mAh, 40% more than the original EN-EL4 (1800mAh), which I still use and found adequate (never needed to reach my spare even I was in Bisti Wilderness for a week).

This is another field Nikon was ahead of Canon.  There are 4th generation smart batteries available (my father, a professor, is an authority in the field), but Canon saw no needs to use them, since they basically had a monopoly and did not need add these to sell their cameras.  Now, for the first time, the 1DIII and 1DsIII started to use them, and I was amazed how they look just like the Nikons in shape.

Nevertheless, 95% of the "always superior Canon technology" buyers has been so blind that I saw posts here and there in which they complain the D3 "steal" the 1DIII battery idea and the shape.  I had to tell them pull their heads out of sand and realize it is actually the other way around.  

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A question for anyone who knows...Does the D3 use the same batteries as the D2x (Please God!)
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« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 03:31:02 PM by LEPING » Logged

Sfleming
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2007, 05:29:15 PM »
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I predicted this at least six weeks ago on this forum.  I thought Michael would go straight for the D3 however.  I'm amazed at his restraint.  I too want the D3x but I will enjoy my D3 until it comes out and then simply trade up.  C'mon Michael you really need that 24/70.    


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I look forward for Michael testing Nikon gear. As come to trust his opinions also he reviewed so many different stuff. I think he kinda are more photographer than a gear reviewer. I enjoy his style of writing which is kinda subjective(not sure if thats the word I am seeking, guess thats one of the parts to be second-language english user). As I seen so many sites doing the hardcore ISO, dynamic range and so on. I think its refreshing to read how someone feels about using the gear rather than measure it.

As Nikon Shooter myself, lonely around my other friends with Canons. It will be fun to see how a guy mostly used Canon gear thinks about Nikon.

I myself is very interested in Nikon D300. I just waiting for dpreview for tech measurements. And also Thom Hogan and Bjørn Rorsletts reviews. I guess it will be nice to see Michaels impressions also. As myself considering the bargain Canon 5D. The thing that sets the break is that I so used to all my lenses and nikon gear. I think I will probaly spend more time learning a new system.

I hope he will enjoy Nikon cameras. They are different from Canon.

It would be fun to read if Michael think it is much diffrence to adapt or just diffrence is small.

But guess he is so used to use many diffrent systems so he got a headstart.

But I think good news. As there are very little good subjective testing.

I hope Michael will have fun

Cheers,
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 08:20:28 PM »
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I'm not getting DX lenses because they are a dead end when I get an FX Nikon body next year.

Michael
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Michael,

I understand your point, but if you were to get only one DX lens I would advise you to go for the 18-200, it is significantly sharper than the 24-120, is both wider and longer.

There is too much distorsion on the wide end, but otherwise this lens is a totally amazing performer in absolute  terms, and even more so considering its range and price.

Good luck with your Nikon endeavours and don't hesitate to ask if something isn't clear.

Cheers,
Bernard
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