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Author Topic: I'm at a crossroad, d800 or 5d3  (Read 5657 times)
JohnBrady
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« on: July 04, 2012, 08:14:50 AM »
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For starters, I'm not looking for an us versus them discussion, I would post to a different forum if I was.

First some background, I am primarily an 8x10 landscape film photographer. I am a detail freak and print and sell pieces up to 4x6 ft. I had been bringing a 5d2 along with me and incorporate it into my shoots.

With the Canon I use the 17 and 24 tse, for a final horizontal image I set my camera up vertical and shoot three bracketed images, left, center and right for a total of nine images. I blend the exposures and then stitch the images back together in PS. I have been able to print 30x50 with very good results.

I find there are situations when only digital will get the shot and vice a versa.

So when I heard Canon was coming out with a new camera I was ready to pounce, that was until I saw the specs. It was a major disappointment for me that they didn't increase the mega pixel count.

So then the Nikon specs get announced and I reluctantly place an order for the d800e. While waiting for the e I found the regular d800 at best buy which is what I am reviewing my experience of here. I bought the 14-24 and the 24pc-e. my plan was to continue to use multiple exposures and stitch as I had done with the Canon.

For starters, I was very happy with the build quality of the Nikon. For me being a long time Canon shooter it took a while to get accustomed to the functions and their location but no bi deal. My last Nikon was a d100.

My first very big complaint and probably a deal breaker is Live View. The 5d had excellent live view and I was able to use it just like my view camera and loop. Everything I shoot is on a tripod and manual focus. With the Canon I zoom in, focus, zoom out and shoot. Now with the Nikon, the live view looks dim and dull right off the bat. Now when you zoom in to focus, forget it, everything looks squiggly and electronic. Sorry, not sure how to describe it better. I am able to focus but it always feels like a best guess instead of precision.

Next the lack of a 17 tilt shift lens is a disappointment. I know Nikon has a patent to buil one but that could be a while. Now with that said, I have been unable to use the 24pc as I had used the Canon tit shift. When trying to stitch the images back together, there is a difference in the exposure from left to right. I check the exif data, and the exposures are all the same but for some reason there is an extreme did fence which the software is unable to blend. It looks like one to two stops. Also the quality of the Nikon 24pc lens is inferior to the canon ts lenses. The lack of counter rotation and edge to edge sharpness of the Nikon are disappointing.

I have been using the 14-24 and just shooting three bracketed exposures. The result is far superior to doing the same with my old 5d2. The extra mp's are great and the dynamic range is unbelievable. But when I stitch tree images with my canon I am able to get a larger file.

I kept all of my Canon glass but sold my 5d2 to a friend. I have been out in the field with a friend who has the 5d3, and the live view was even better than my old 5d2.

I am seriously considering selling the d800 and going back to canon. I will be sorry to give up the higher mp but these other issues are very frustrating. I just canceled my d800e order that I have been waiting almost four months for.

So am I missing something? Are any of you using the d800 happy with the live view? I am open to suggestions and advice.

It is my hope that this post is informative about my experience and it may help others and lead to a civil discussion. Thanks for listening.

www.timeandlight.com
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mtomalty
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 09:39:33 AM »
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Hi John,

I think you have sort of answered your own question.
If the TS 17 and 24 are your mainstays then Nikon doesn't really have anything with
shift function that  is their equal.
Combine that with the odd exposure characteristics you are seeing with the D800/24
shifted then it further suggests the choice.

Many feel that the next significant announcement from Canon (probably Photokina in September)
will be of a high Mp camera-but in a 1D series form factor. It's only speculation,of course, but I think
it's more likely that Nikon releasing a 17-18mm tilt shift.

Like you,I currently use the Canon system but have a D800e scheduled for delivery in a week or so
as well as all three Nikkor tilt shifts in hand (unused for two months!!) so look forward to the
comparison.

Thanks for posting your experiences with the D800. I'll definitely keep your observations in mind when
I receive mine

Mark
www.marktomalty.com
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Paul2660
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 10:37:01 AM »
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When Nikon announced the D800, I was interested at first due to the MP increase, however all it took was Fred Miranda early review to really catch my eye.  Fred showed the one shot where he pulled up the shadows on a side by side and the literal lack of noise in the Nikon shot was amazing.  He showed me the key, the fact that the DR of the D800 in the iso100 to 800 range was going to impressive.  Easily 3 to 4 stops of range.  Canon's 5d mkIII appealed to me as a Canon shooter.  I had heard better DR, and noise with the newer Canon.  I went with the 5D MKIII, tested it against my 5D MKII and really just didn't see much difference.  Others are reporting great results, however for my style of shooting I just didn't see much improvement over the MKII.  This is always an individual decision.  In the lower iso range, 100 to 800 shadows of the 5D MKIII looked the same, full of color noise.   I was able to get some nice work with bracketed exposures, but I was hoping to get away from that.  The range of single D800 frame taken in raw with the ADL options is very good.

I was lucky to be able to use a D800 for a day and was impressed enough to order one and start selling off my Canon equipment.  Canon may announce a new camera, I choose not to gamble on that. Even if announced at PK, it's a year away look at the 1ds X which is still not shipping in any great numbers.  The dxomark score on the D800 is very telling.  The DR is really amazing.  There are all kinds of shooting options available.  Sure the D800 starts to get noisy at iso 3200 but so did my 5D MKII and the MKIII. 

To your question on shift lenses.  The current Canon 24 TS-E and 17 TS-E are great.  They are great at 20mp, on a Canon camera.  However I wonder just how good they would be at 36mp.  Nikon does have some short comings here in the TS line up.  The Nikon 24mm is an old design, won't allow the user to switch the lens so that tilt and shift are in the same plane.  (you can have Nikon do it however then it stays like that until you ship it back to Nikon).  Some people claim very good results with the 24 TS-E others don't.  The range of complaints appears that there are good and bad versions of the Nikon 24 out there.  The D800 is not forgiving of bad glass.  But, when you use a 12mm shift with the lens in the horizontal orientation, you are are picking up just a bit less than 1/3 of new subject.  If you are looking for a true pano, you will need to be on a nodal solution where you can pan the entire camera.  I wish you can use Canon glass on Nikon bodies as you can do the opposite all day long as long as they are the older non G lenses (yes it's possible to use the G lenses like the 14-24 on Canon but IMO it's not easy and the solutions I have seen are limited in available apertures). 

The best solution for you is try it and see.  I know this is harder than is sounds.  Living in Arkansas, I was able to find a D800 for a day and borrowed a few lenses.  I found the results to be worth the switch from Canon to Nikon, others have not.  If you can find a rental D800 and a Nikon TS-E 24mm it's worth the fee. 

Paul



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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
Photography > http://photosofarkansas.com
Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
KenS
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 01:35:37 PM »
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...I kept all of my Canon glass but sold my 5d2 to a friend. I have been out in the field with a friend who has the 5d3, and the live view was even better than my old 5d2.
www.timeandlight.com

Hi John,

My shooting style is similar to yours.  Having previously used a Pentax 67 and composing/focusing directly on the ground glass, I am now very happy using the Canon 5DII Live View (for just about every shot).  I particularly enjoy the TS-E 17, 24, and 45 mm lenses I have, and I've found they work well with the 1.4x teleconverter for added flexibility (i.e. focal length options). I don't print larger than 24 inches wide but I am disappointed in what I've read about the 5DIII; lack of improved dynamic range at low ISO, and to some extent mpix count vs. D800.  Having just returned from a camping trip along the Oregon coast, where my 5DII got pretty wet, pretty often, I worry about not having a backup camera (although I do carry along my old Pentax equipment in my car.... any my film is getting old !).  IF Canon doesn't come up with an improvement to the 5DIII by the end of the year I may have to break down and buy either another 5DII or a 5DIII for backup insurance.  I'm wondering if there is any reason to purchase a 5DIII (vs. II) for my style of shooting so I was interested in your remark about better Live View in the III vs II.  Could you tell me more, what is better, different?

Thanks,
Ken
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MrSmith
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 01:48:05 PM »
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  In the lower iso range, 100 to 800 shadows of the 5D MKIII looked the same, full of color noise.   

May i ask what you process with? i read all the forum/review horror stories about how bad the MkIII was when you pushed it 2-4 stops (why would you need to do that?) most of these early images were processed in lightroom/DPP but having shot with the MKIII for a month the files in C1 are an improvement on the MkII with no pattern noise and i'm not noticing any odd colour artifacts either. i don't do huge recovery/pulling in post though as i expose properly Roll Eyes

the 24 TS-e is a great lens, it's what stopped me swapping to nikon, that and the 90 TS-e. i'm very happy with the MKIII as even if/when there is a higher MP canon it's still going to be used as a filming and back-up camera with great live-view and AF.
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kers
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 02:09:08 PM »
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if your main subject is landscape, Maybe then you get the best results with d800E and the new but expensive Zeiss 15mm and do some stitching or use the 100mm zeiss and stitch some more...
About liveview- i have a d800e and liveview is able to get me sharp pictures even in dark circumstances... Probably the liveview in the canon is better, but the result is a sharp picture..
About the 24mmPCE  It has too much field curvature for planar subjects at say 30m ...   you need d10 to get everything about 36MP sharp. Interior shots benefit from this quality...
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Pieter Kers
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JohnBrady
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 02:55:20 PM »
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  I'm wondering if there is any reason to purchase a 5DIII (vs. II) for my style of shooting so I was interested in your remark about better Live View in the III vs II.  Could you tell me more, what is better, different?

Thanks,
Ken

Ken, the live view on the the 5d2 was great, it wouldn't be my reason for switching. The screen on the 5d3 is larger so for my tired eyes better and is just in a whole other league than the Nikon live view.

The sensor on the Nikon is fantastic and the dynamic range is ridiculous, I can't believe what you can pull from the shadows.

Thanks for the replies all! I wish I had kept my 5d2 while I explored the d800 but my friend really wanted it and I figured it would just be collecting dust in the closet.

So that still leaves me with a decision, hang in there with the Nikon until a better canon is introduced or go back to canon now with a 5d3 and still go to the new canon when it comes out.

Still sorting it out.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 02:57:33 PM by JohnBrady » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 05:06:36 PM »
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I'll just state that the live view of the D800 in high magnification mode is not sexy, but ends up being a very useful tool for accurate focusing. I don't see any issue with the usability of this tool for actual applications and I use live on 100% of my landscape shots. Now, if sexy matters to you, then you may end up being frustrated a bit.

As far as T/S lenses go, the Canon 24mm seems clearly superior with large amount of shifts, it seems to be a much closer call with moderate amount of tilt that would be most used for landscape applications. When used in combination with the higher resolution of the D800, the 24PCE is likely to produce all in all a better absolute image quality in those cases. I have not compared them side by side though so I would recommend doing such a comparison when in doubt.

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 08:29:08 PM »
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D800E!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 03:32:36 AM »
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i just re-read the OP, and imho the answer is obvious, the extra MP's are not much use if the ease of use in the field isn't what you are used to and the lenses are not up to the standards you expect especially when used in the manner you prefer (stitching not much use of tilt).
if the TS-e's fitted on the nikon then it would be d800 but they don't.
the MKIII is an improvement on the II in all areas apart from moving the live-view button but using the 'set' button helps this. the inbuilt level is very handy for Landscapes.
the variable exposures when shifting sounds a real pain, maybe send the camera/lens back to nikon and see what they say?
can you borrow your friends MKIII for a day? once you have shot and processed a few files you will probably have your answer.
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JohnBrady
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 06:56:44 AM »
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i just re-read the OP, and imho the answer is obvious, the extra MP's are not much use if the ease of use in the field isn't what you are used to and the lenses are not up to the standards you expect especially when used in the manner you prefer (stitching not much use of tilt).
if the TS-e's fitted on the nikon then it would be d800 but they don't.
the MKIII is an improvement on the II in all areas apart from moving the live-view button but using the 'set' button helps this. the inbuilt level is very handy for Landscapes.
the variable exposures when shifting sounds a real pain, maybe send the camera/lens back to nikon and see what they say?
can you borrow your friends MKIII for a day? once you have shot and processed a few files you will probably have your answer.
All good advice Mister Smith! Yes, it would be an easy decision if my Canon glass would fit on the d800.
I have never seen another d800 in person so I don't know if my live view problem is unique to my camera or the norm. If its the norm, I can't believe more people aren't bitching about it.
I just bought the 24 pc e a couple of months ago from b&h, I'll give Nikon a call and see what they think.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 07:56:26 AM »
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just had a thought are you using manual exposure?  i know on the canon's that shifting will give odd exposure results if you use auto as shifting interferes with the metering function. maybe this is happening with your nikon?
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JohnBrady
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 08:15:10 AM »
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just had a thought are you using manual exposure?  i know on the canon's that shifting will give odd exposure results if you use auto as shifting interferes with the metering function. maybe this is happening with your nikon?

I'm using manual and bracketing one stop each way. When I look at the exif data the exposures all match but they don't blend back together. Never had this problem with the Canon.
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sbay
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 10:14:22 AM »
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May i ask what you process with? i read all the forum/review horror stories about how bad the MkIII was when you pushed it 2-4 stops (why would you need to do that?) most of these early images were processed in lightroom/DPP but having shot with the MKIII for a month the files in C1 are an improvement on the MkII with no pattern noise and i'm not noticing any odd colour artifacts either. i don't do huge recovery/pulling in post though as i expose properly Roll Eyes

For me, it's not a matter of pushing the whole image 2-4 stops but rather making adjustments in local regions of the picture (usually the shadows) which may come out to a few stops. You can't always increase the exposure without risking burning out other sections.
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sbay
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 10:32:46 AM »
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just had a thought are you using manual exposure?  i know on the canon's that shifting will give odd exposure results if you use auto as shifting interferes with the metering function. maybe this is happening with your nikon?

I had a similar problem as reported by John Brady with some exposure differences between the left and right shifted images when stitching with my nikon 85mm T/S (old version). I believe this is caused by vignetting due to an asymmetry in the lens mount as one side has a tab the extends for electrical contacts -- see attached picture.

When I shift to the left the tab is on the far edge of the image and so the vignetting seems normal. However, when I shift to the right the tab is now on the inside edge of the picture and causes some darkening of the image (I might have left and right mixed up here) and the stitcher has to match it up with a non-vignetted center image (I use left/center/right images when stitching).
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2012, 09:02:08 PM »
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Auto-ISO trying to compensate for the light fall off?

Cheers,
Bernard
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