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Author Topic: D800 hyperbole  (Read 21085 times)
Isaac
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« Reply #100 on: March 25, 2012, 06:41:25 PM »
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We do live in a wonderful period of photographic evolution, do we not?
Yes, even with bottom-of-the-range entry-level cameras ;-)

Nikon 1 J1 :: Sony SLT A-35 :: Nikon D2X

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #101 on: March 25, 2012, 06:50:23 PM »
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... we were already able to take exhibition grade images with the D2x back then although it did have clear DR and high ISO shortcomings....

True, because we took those shortcomings into account and worked around them, just like we did with slide film. If we couldn't pull out four-stop underexposed shadow detail, well, so be it, we let it in the dark and worked with composition and esthetics that did not rely on it. Many Kodachrome/Velvia shots produced deep black shadows, resulting in strong contrast and saturated colors, that we then used for almost graphical representation of the subject. Photographers like Pete Turner and Eric Meola come to mind.
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #102 on: March 25, 2012, 07:08:02 PM »
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Digital made me a better film photographer  Wink
Back to the Nikon interesting no doubt and surely a big seller for them. I've gone past being tired of the megapixel discussions they are tedious and almost irrelevant to most photographers. You certainly had reason to complain back in ye early digital days gasp all of 2 megapixels which was a bit of a joke really. You can be certain that for some people out there 36 megapixels won't be enough  Roll Eyes
Clearly there is a sales pitch that continues to this day and I'm surprised how many get suckered into it, no doubt the camera makers are loving every minute of it!


Those of us who used to shoot film were surely aware that the larger formats had clear advantages over smaller formats in part because the same film types were available for most formats.

If we had had a situation where the finest grain films were only available for the APS-C format, then the next finest grain film was only available for 35mm format, and the larger formats like MF could only use film with the coarse grain typical of ISO 800 film and above, then the advantages of the larger format would not have been so apparent and clear-cut.

However, for the past 10 years this has effectively been the situation with digital cameras; the smaller the format, the finer the grain, ie. the smaller the pixel.

The usual pattern with Canon has been to provide us with a new, finer-grained cropped-format one year, then make us wait several years for their larger full-frame models to catch up, in terms of pixel density (ie. film grain).

How many years between the Canon 6mp D60 and the 16mp 1Ds2?  How many years between the 8mp 20D and the 21mp 5D2?

Nikon (or Sony) seem to have broken this pattern and given us within just a couple of years, a full-frame DSLR with the same pixel density (ie. virtually the same pixels) as their next smaller format, the D7000.

This is how it should be, considering that both of these formats can use the same lenses.

The difference between the 5D3 and the D800 from this perspective is that the D800 can use the equivalent of a slightly finer grain film type but of similar ISO and similar push-processing characteristics.

If I were in charge of Canon, I'd be pulling out all stops to get a full-frame 7D out on the market as quickly as possible, and at an attractive price. That would be approximately a 50mp camera since Canon's cropped-format is slightly smaller than Nikon's and also has slightly greater pixel density.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #103 on: March 26, 2012, 02:00:37 AM »
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Not much, but this is the explanations I can come up with.
I am under the impression that some Sony cameras have prioritized "accurate" colors over SNR. I.e. choosing a color filter that lets the color correction matrix be closer to all diagonal terms, at the cost of discarding more light. I dont know about Leica.

-h
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #104 on: March 26, 2012, 06:27:24 AM »
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I'm not going to argue film formats or that bigger is better. I will argue that for many "good enough" has been reached with digital some time ago. I suppose for many 35mm film was good enough, APS-C wasn't, nor was 110 disc and other smaller formats. Some liked MF and LF but that was a small group
There are more interesting things to talk about, and the 36mp users will surely crave more pixels you jump on this tech love affair bandwagon you'll never get off it.

And personally I think Bayer technology is going to be replaced with multi layered colour aware sensors offerings real benefits for end users, and not just more resolution. I would not wish to invest in current Bayer technology too much.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #105 on: March 26, 2012, 08:06:25 AM »
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And personally I think Bayer technology is going to be replaced with multi layered colour aware sensors offerings real benefits for end users, and not just more resolution. I would not wish to invest in current Bayer technology too much.

Barry, you may be correct. Personally I don't care as long as it comes in an F mount  Smiley
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #106 on: March 26, 2012, 01:25:39 PM »
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For what it's worth, Amazon lists D800 as #1 selling camera currently. Where is Canon 5Dm3?... 16th place!

Further to my earlier post, here is a little anecdotal evidence just how bad the 5Dm3 yawn-inducing character is, tweets from my local Calumet:
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Slobodan

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Ray
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« Reply #107 on: March 26, 2012, 09:47:25 PM »
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I will argue that for many "good enough" has been reached with digital some time ago.

Quite so. No argument there. For the vast majority of people who take photos, the P&S camera or the mobile phone is sufficient. As smartphones become more sophisticated, incorporating better quality cameras like the Nokia Pure View 808, even the latest P&S will be more than most people require. Their mobile phone will be sufficient for all photographic purposes.

Only those who are passionate about photography, even obsessed, find the leap forward of the D800 interesting. Those who are hardly interested at all in photography will find it all a big yawn of course.

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There are more interesting things to talk about, and the 36mp users will surely crave more pixels you jump on this tech love affair bandwagon you'll never get off it.

All prosperous societies are on a technological bandwagon. Jump off it and you're back in the Stone Age. Cameras and lenses are technological devices that have an understandable fascination for many people. The lens, whether camera lens, binocular or telescope, is like an extension of our eyesight, and the recorded image is like an extension of our powers of memory.

Who would not crave to have better eyesight and better memory! Without the benefits of the  higher resolution of the telescope, we'd probably still be wondering if the universe revolved around the earth.
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tom b
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« Reply #108 on: March 26, 2012, 11:30:34 PM »
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Use the optimum aperture. Apertures above about f/11 introduce diffraction and effectively act as an unintentional AA filter

Use a really solid tripod and head

Use Live View, or mirror lock up with a remote release or self timer.

Use critical focusing, using single point AF and LV focus magnification (up to 23X)

When shooting hand-held use lenses with VR when possible, and also a high shutter speed... 2 or 3 over the reciprocal of the focal length, not the 1/focal length of olden days

Use the lowest possible ISO, and if shooting JPGs turn off high ISO noise reduction even at low ISO

There are some trade offs for higher resolution. Are you prepared for a MF shooting style?

Cheers,
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Ray
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« Reply #109 on: March 27, 2012, 04:45:31 AM »
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Use the optimum aperture. Apertures above about f/11 introduce diffraction and effectively act as an unintentional AA filter


Better still, use a D800E instead of a D800. At F11, aliasing artifacts will be minimised and you will probably get the same resolution at F11 as the D800 provides at F8.

My own tests comparing the Canon 40D (pixel density equivalent to full-frame 25.6mp) with the Canon 50D (pixel density equivalent to a 38.4mp full-frame) show that the 50D at F16, with 50mm prime lens, delivers the same resolution as the 40D at F11. Also, the 50D at F11 delivers the same resolution as the 40D at F8.

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Use a really solid tripod and head

It may not help if the subject is moving.

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When shooting hand-held use lenses with VR when possible, and also a high shutter speed... 2 or 3 over the reciprocal of the focal length, not the 1/focal length of olden days

The reciprocal of the focal length would be more than adequate with modern VR lenses, especially with VRII lenses that claim a 4 stop advantage. A 2 stop advantage is equivalent to 1/4FL. A 3 stop advantage, 1/8FL, and a 4 stop advantage 1/16FL.

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Use the lowest possible ISO, and if shooting JPGs turn off high ISO noise reduction even at low ISO

There are some trade offs for higher resolution. Are you prepared for a MF shooting style?

One should always try to use the lowest ISO consistent with the appropritate shutter speed required to freeze subject movement and/or camera shake, and the appropriate aperture for the desired DoF, whatever the resolution of the sensor. However, if one fails to achieve this due to poor lighting and/or miscalculation, the results will not be worse than they would have been using the same settings with a lower resolution camera of similar design and quality.

However, it may be the case that a higher resolution sensor of a different design, such as the IQ180, may achieve better SNR, Tonal Range and Color Sensitivity than the lower resolution camera, such as the D800, only when used at its significantly lower base ISO, which in the case of the IQ180 is only 29, as opposed to 74 for the D800.

I don't believe D800 users will need to be prepared for an MF shooting style when (1) base IS is more than a stop higher than most MFDBs, (2) VRII lenses allowing a 4 stop shutter speed advantage are now available, and (3) the same DoF, whether shallow or extended, can be achieved with at least a 1 stop wider aperture with the D800, giving it more than a 2 stop shutter speed advantage at base ISO without VR.  Grin
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tom b
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« Reply #110 on: March 27, 2012, 04:49:56 AM »
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Glad you know more than Michael.

Cheers,
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Ray
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« Reply #111 on: March 27, 2012, 08:45:51 AM »
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Glad you know more than Michael.

Cheers,

It was from Michael I first learned a number of years ago that the 1/FL rule as it applies to the cropped format should be 1/FL 35mm equivalent. In other words, in circumstances when a shutter speed of 1/80th is sufficient with an 80mm lens on full frame, that same shutter speed of 1/80th is required with a 50mm lens on a cropped format camera, in the same circumstances, because a 50mm lens on the cropped format provides the same FoV as an 80mm lens on full-frame.

The techniques required to maximize image quality using a Canon 7D should be even more stringent than those required for the D800 because the 7D has the greater pixel density of a 46mp full-frame.
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michael
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« Reply #112 on: March 27, 2012, 09:22:56 AM »
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An experiment that anyone can try, and which only takes a few minutes, is a follows.

Put your favourite lens on you favourite camera. Step outdoors, find a detailed subject, and do a series of exposures at a range of shutter speeds, from silly slow to ultra fast. Use a variable ND filter so that the ISO and aperture remain the same for each shot.

Load the files on your screen and step though them at 100%. You will quickly see what hand-held speeds allow critically sharp images, and which don't.

Add image stabilization, caffeine, and lack of sleep can be added as variables. Season to taste.

You'll be amazed.

Michael
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KLaban
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« Reply #113 on: March 27, 2012, 11:48:11 AM »
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Re: D800 hyperbole

Let's hope the D800 lives up to the hyperbole and we can look forward to seeing many wonderful images from the users here. My fear is the reality will be even more test charts and comparison shots.
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Isaac
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« Reply #114 on: March 27, 2012, 12:06:18 PM »
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An experiment that anyone can try...

Outrageous! Substitute specific information for opinion! Agghhh!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #115 on: March 27, 2012, 12:49:26 PM »
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Outrageous! Substitute specific information for opinion! Agghhh!

Yep... That reminds me of an anecdote about medieval scholastic philosophers who beat the crap out of the guy who happened to be overhearing their attempts to determine, theoretically of course, the number of teeth in a horse, and dared to suggest to just open the horse's mouth and count Grin

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Slobodan

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BJL
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« Reply #116 on: March 27, 2012, 01:01:20 PM »
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An experiment that anyone can try, and which only takes a few minutes, is a follows.

... do a series of exposures at a range of shutter speeds, from silly slow to ultra fast. ...
Indeed, doesn't every basic photography class do something like that? Scenes including writing on signs or clock-faces are good subjects. In my basic class, we did it with slides so we could all judge each other "at great magnification on screen", but in the old sense. There was a variation by at least two stops, from those who could get quite good results at down to half or less the 1/f shutter speed, to those who needed to double that venerable speed guideline to be safe.
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Isaac
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« Reply #117 on: March 27, 2012, 01:27:44 PM »
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just open the horse's mouth and count

"Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths."

Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science on Society (1952) ch. 1

(As you might guess, much has been said about why Aristotle held that opinion - but whatever his reason I think I might have been squeamish about poking around in someone's mouth in an age not celebrated for dental hygiene.)
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Ray
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« Reply #118 on: March 27, 2012, 10:00:24 PM »
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An experiment that anyone can try, and which only takes a few minutes, is a follows.

Put your favourite lens on you favourite camera. Step outdoors, find a detailed subject, and do a series of exposures at a range of shutter speeds, from silly slow to ultra fast. Use a variable ND filter so that the ISO and aperture remain the same for each shot.

Load the files on your screen and step though them at 100%. You will quickly see what hand-held speeds allow critically sharp images, and which don't.

Add image stabilization, caffeine, and lack of sleep can be added as variables. Season to taste.

You'll be amazed.

Michael

I've just done that Michael and the results tend to confirm that a shutter speed of 1/FL in conjunction with VR is about right, although maybe not as reliable as a faster shutter speed, or the use of a tripod, in producing consistently sharp results

However, I don't have a variable ND filter at hand. I used to use those mostly during my waterfall phase a few years ago. In any case, the reality is, when shooting hand-held, one may have to contend with the negative effects of noise and image degradation due to underexposure or use of a higher ISO if the shutter speed requires it.

If the sharper results from a shutter speed faster than 1/FL are negated by greater noise, then so be it. That's reality.

Because memory and storage is now so affordable, I often bracket exposure +/- one stop. The problems I tend to find with the greater exposures which may be close to a 1/FL exposure (in conjunction with VR), is unsharpness due to subject movement rather than camera shake. For this reason I may prefer the least exposure at 4x the shutter speed of the greatest exposure, even though it's far from being an ETTR.

Although I wasn't able to use a variable ND filter for my tests, I was able to use a brick wall as my test target, and a very nice brick wall it is too.  Grin

In order not to appear biased I've included two pairs of comparisons of 100% crops that have received no more than the default sharpening of 25 in ACR.

One comparison shows an exposure at 100th with a 120mm lens being at least as sharp as the same scene shot at 1/400th, with VR. The other shows an exposure at 1/125th being very slightly less sharp than another shot at 1/400th. Nevertheless, the 1/400th shot is noticeably noisier, and a slightly greater amount of sharpening applied to the 1/125th shot more or less equalizes both sharpness and noise.

My favourite VR lens at the moment is the Nikkor 24-120/F4. In fact it's my only Nikkor lens with VR, so it has to be my favourite. Grin

I see no reason why the test images below would not be relevant to a D800 situation, the difference being that one would simply get a wider FoV with the D800 at the same focal lengths used.

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MikeMac
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« Reply #119 on: March 28, 2012, 02:08:02 AM »
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I know I'll get jumped on for this, but I think removing a well-designed a.a. filter rarely results in much more real detail. Instead, it allows the generation of false detail beyond the nyquist limit, which gives the impression of sharpness. Aliasing looks very sharp. And at the resolutions we use now, nobody can tell the difference in many landscape images. But that "extra" detail just may not be in the original scene at all. This article explains the issue quite well, I think:  http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/20.

Right now, even the highest resolution bayer sensors fail to fully exploit the abilities of decent lenses. Ctein has pointed out that it will take sensors with resolution in the hundreds of megapixels to actually accomplish that. In the meantime, there are two strategies people use to get the look of ultimate sharpness--both of them relying on digital artifacts and processing.

One is to remove the a.a. filter, and accept some aliased edges and false details that look sharp. These artifacts are often indistinguishable from actual detail in, say, landscape photography. The second strategy is to cut off most detail beyond nyquist with an a.a. filter, and use advanced sharpening techniques that try to recreate what the lens saw. If pushed far enough, deconvolution sharpening not only restores sharpness, but introduces a mist of grain and other digital artifacts that make the file look super sharp. (Just being honest, here.)

Personally, I prefer the second strategy. Deconvolution sharpening gets better all the time. And I would rather have control over the process than accept whatever artifacts the sensor gives me. Not just moire, but distorted edges and other inventions of the sensor and camera processing.

Pretty much every digital file made without an a.a. filter has aliasing, baked in. Just check the resolution charts of your favorite lenses. They all show false color and false detail--even those taken on cameras with a weak a.a. filter. It's fine if you like how the file looks, but we shouldn't confuse this aliasing with actual resolution.

I think that in ten years people will look back on the whole a.a. debate as a quaint vestige of digital growing pains. In the meantime, we should keep it real. Digital cameras without a.a. filters record a lot of false data. If we want to incorporate that into the look of our images, fine. But it's still there. For the most part non-a.a. cameras don't reveal more resolution. They create it.

Now I'll go hide in my bunker to wait for the incoming flames...
I wonder if this even matters, unless you are a forensic or other scientific photographer who requires 'real' details. By the time we have run an image through photoshop even with only a few tweaks it is not a 'real' representation of reality anyway.

I wonder if this even matters to most clients/customers. I've exhibited A3+ prints from 6-12MP cameras and listening to people talking about the prints (without making them aware I am the photographer) people have often volunteered how 'sharp' they look, and that's on matte papers.

Whilst technically I think the D800(E) is amazing, I just can't see that many people actually need 36MP.

I agree with what you say, the linked article was really informative too, I just don't understand the relevance of the discussion in most photographic contexts. Sampling, aliasing, quantisation etc are relevant in many fields and in creative audio I can see how the artefacts will be potentially problematic, but as a genuine question, why does this even matter to most photographers? Except as a fun discussion:-)

As a second question, does aliasing introduce detail or just smear what is there? (I think I understand the concepts of sampling, aliasing and bayer matrix construction and understand how sampling is an issue for example in audio or scientific measurements, but can't get my head round how it applies at the camera sensor/RAW conversion level.) Any explanation or links would be good thanks.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 02:46:55 AM by MikeMac » Logged
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