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Author Topic: Who of you use both MFDB and D800?  (Read 34539 times)
Emilmedia
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« on: September 20, 2012, 09:44:17 AM »
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I was just wondering from reading here. There alot of people cheering for the new Nikons and the other side cheering for MF.

How many of you actually use a MFDB and a D800, and whats the reason have/havent sold your MFDB?
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Dustbak
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 09:47:25 AM »
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I use both and I will not sell the MFD since it simply smokes the D800. A DxO graph is one thing and apparently very patient, my eyes tell me something different....
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jsiva
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 09:50:48 AM »
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D800E and IQ180.

D800E is when photography is one of the activities on a trip, the IQ when it is the main activity.
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TMARK
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 10:30:39 AM »
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I like my Aptus 75s files with RZ lenses.  I've made maybe 20 photos with it over the last three years.

I reach for a Canon for work because of the tethering and the 1.2 lenses.  I use the D800e when I need the resolution or in uncontrolled lighting.  I could use the Aptus but its heavy and eats batteries, and requires powered repeaters to tether for my new machines.

D800e files need more post for people shots than the Aptus.  I think of the D800e files as, functionally, of the same quality as the Aptus files.  In a direct comparo I liuke the Aptus files more, but the D800e files are really close and only "suffer" when looking at both side by side.  The lens used has more baring on IQ than the sensor, in my opinion. 

In truth, the reason I use a certain camera is based on lens choice and handling requirements.  As an example:  I don't shoot professionaly anymore, just in house stuff for an agency that is for internal use only.  I agreed to shoot a series of photos of coffee paraphanelia for the coffee shop by my office in exchange for $1000 in coffee.  Deliverable were 10 16x20" prints, B&W, creative direction was "stark, soft natural lighting".  She provided some jpegs of lighting and perspective.  She gave me a trunk full of mocha pots, espresso portafilters, you name.  The prints were to dropped off with a framer after she made her selects.  I had three weeks. Fantastic.

I completely forgot about it.  The Sunday before they were to be delivered she called and asked to see some proofs.  End of day, I said.  I looked around my house, no time to go to the office studio.  I set up a charcol muslin under my skylight, started to break out the Aptus but thought better of it:  natural light, I needed a clean 400 or 640.  I had a 5D2 that was charged and ready to go, and a bunch of Hasselblad V lenses and extension tubes and a Photodiox adapter.  I had sketched what I wanted to do, found the sketch, booted C1 and focused the 150 Sonnar with live view, used Capture Pilot to fire and make exposure changes, shot about 70 frames, processed everything out, used Silver EfX for B&W, cropped to 4x5 format, emailed JPEGS, received selects, final post work, uprez for 16x20 at 360, sharpened, printed on the 4880.  Four hours, and now I have all the espresso I can drink, the prints look fantastic.

Not that this could not have been done with MFD, its just an illustration of what is really important to a project, and keeping focused on the goal.  In this case it was a 5D2 with CF lenses.  The old cliche is right, horses for courses.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 10:47:52 AM »
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I just picked up a D800 today. So far I can say that the Hy6 with 80MP back has nothing to worry about. The image quality from medium format is still in a different league. The Rollei lenses give excellent performance from edge to edge and wide open. The Nikon lens I have is only so-so. I'll pick up an 85mm f1.4 next and see if that's any better but I know the Hy6. Of course, if you're mainly shooting for the web then no-one will ever know, but then you be much better off with a cheaper camera anyway.
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TMARK
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 11:12:51 AM »
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I shot an above the line campaign for BP with a D2x back in the day.  It was a print campaign.  You don't need an MF back to make prints on your Epson or for magazines.  Any modern digital camera is overkill for the web.

I agree the Rollei lenses are really fantastic.  The Schneider versions are to my eye nicer than the Zeiss.  The Rollei is the only MF camera I'd be interested in buying.
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torger
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 12:11:20 PM »
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If you only look rationally at performance and what you need in practice, it will be hard to not see a D800 with the right lenses as good enough. Sure 80 megapixels are more than 36 and there is a slight difference in look, but who will notice?

Note that lens choice with the D800 is important! Nikon makes both good and bad lenses, expensive and cheap, the spread is much larger than in the typical MFD range. It's not fair to compare a poor Nikon lens with the best on MF. I'm no expert on which lenses are good or not but that can probably be found on a Nikon forum.

Those that do prefer MF usually talk about color rendition and how the lens renders the scene, more about that than pure resolution. If one actually sees this is however very personal, some just see that it is slightly different but cannot really say that one is better than the other. I think it's a little bit like it can be in the audiophile community, some claim grand improvements when some piece of gear is changed but many hear no difference at all.

The best way would be to rent a MF system and a D800 system and see for yourself. If you end up with that resolution is really the only thing you see as an advantage then it might not be such a good idea to go MF (unless highest resolution is very important to you, but then there would be no hesitation).

When it comes to handling most think that MFD SLRs are not very impressive compared to a recent DSLRs except for the large viewfinder which some value very highly. Some also value the 4:3 format very highly. If you happen to dislike 3:2 format and small viewfinders a D800 can be really annoying to work with and then it does not matter if the image quality is great. Some actually dislike the high speed and quick handling of a 35mm DSLR, too much of a snapshot camera, and find the slower MF cameras more rythmic to work with. Again, the handling part is a very personal thing, this can be important factors for you, or maybe irrelevant. Oh, some make a big thing about the higher flash sync speed to. In some types of photography this can be relevant.

I have a 33 megapixel MF system, and got that after the D800 was announced. But my system is a tech camera and that's a whole different story...
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 12:17:12 PM by torger » Logged
TMARK
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 12:19:28 PM »
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Torger I agree with you, but 3:2 is the new standard for commercial work.  I haven't seen a brief with 3:4 portrait in it for a long time.  I dig 4:3, and when I did lots of editorial work for mags I hated 3:2.  But its all on a screen now, the primary media buys are motion (TV, web) and then print. 

And the D800 vf isn't that bad.  D3x is better. Nikon F3 - F5 are best, but of course, they only shoot celuloid. 
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FredBGG
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2012, 12:45:43 PM »
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I had both MFDB and the D800.

To put it very simply when I saw the dynamic range, the color quality and quality of black and white conversions with the
D800 I ditched medium format digital backs. I was really quite happy to do so.

However I still shoot MF digital.... but indirectly.

Larger formats are important to me and so are the looks that I like to achieve.

That is why I choose LARGER medium format 6x8cm and with lenses with 4x the image circle of MF digital lenses.
I also have tilt shift on all the lenses.

My "many digital backs" are film paired with a scanner.

My capture formats are 6x8cm and 8x10 inch. I even shoot direct to paper.

While in the past I felt that having a 35mm digital SLR needed to be complimented with a MF Digital I find that it is not necessary anymore.
When processed with the same care A d800 delivers as good colors as a MF back, better Dynamic range and nicer bokeh thanks to lenses
that have no equivalent in MFD. 24mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 200mm 2. Shooting wide open is better with both my D800 and my 6x8 medium format camera.
Autofocus with the D800 and high manual with my gx680 and it's array of viewfinder that are huge compared to my ex Phase One DF.
I can even take things a bit further with shallow depth of field with the gx680 by shooting wide open with tilt shift. That is tilt shift on all lenses
from 50mm to 500mm including the worlds only tilt shift zoom 100 to 200mm.

I have not written off MFD for ever. Always open to new things.
But it would take quite a few things to get me back int MFD.

Way better focusing. Both manual and auto, especially towards the edges.
More viewfinder option
Proper live view
More speed
Tilt shift body and full range of lenses
Bigger than 645
Nikon/Canon reliability and stability.
In camera live black and white preview.
 
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2012, 01:16:56 PM »
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When processed with the same care A d800 delivers as good colors as a MF back, better Dynamic range and nicer bokeh thanks to lenses
that have no equivalent in MFD. 24mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 200mm 2. Shooting wide open is better with both my D800 and my 6x8 medium format camera.

You are a good photographer, but I'm going to challenge you on the above statements which I believe to be untrue.  It appears your experience with MF files is mostly analog and I wonder how much you've really worked with a MFDB because were you to have used one extensively I'm certain you wouldn't write the above.   I presume you are only basing your statements on DXO values or brief experiences with very old digital backs.    The DXO comparisons between DSLR and MF are misleading for a number of reasons already hashed through.    

And I'm sure you know from your fuji 680 that the roll off of focus with larger formats is much faster and that you can't compare f/stop to f/stop in terms of DOF from format to format.  I witnessed in the studio that shots on the d800 at f/10 had broader DOF than my AFi-ii 12 at f/16.  You can't tell me that the nikon with a f/1.4 lens is getting better blur than my AFi-ii 12 with the 50/2.8, 80/2, 110/2 or 180/2.8.  
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 01:29:37 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2012, 01:46:29 PM »
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Note that lens choice with the D800 is important! Nikon makes both good and bad lenses, expensive and cheap, the spread is much larger than in the typical MFD range. It's not fair to compare a poor Nikon lens with the best on MF. I'm no expert on which lenses are good or not but that can probably be found on a Nikon forum.

...but that's half the point. Some systems just don't have weak lenses. It isn't fun trying to work out which lenses will work, and then having so much variation that you have to find a good copy. Besides, the lens I just bought was highly praised by Nikon users. It's the 24-70 f2.8 G (apparently the best normal zoom available for the Nikon). Next I'll get the 85mm f1.4 G (apparently the best 85mm you can put on a Nikon). I expect that to be better but still not comparable to the Rollei lenses.

When it comes to handling most think that MFD SLRs are not very impressive compared to a recent DSLRs except for the large viewfinder which some value very highly. Some also value the 4:3 format very highly. If you happen to dislike 3:2 format and small viewfinders a D800 can be really annoying to work with and then it does not matter if the image quality is great.

True, I don't particularly like 3:2 but the worst thing about the D800 is that mini viewfinder. What was Nikon thinking!? Judging any critical focus on that thing is going to be very hit and miss at f1.4, with a 36MP sensor. It's their highest resolution camera ever, and it has a viewfinder magnification of only 0.70x. I'm going to try the DK-17M magnified viewfinder to see if that helps.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 02:18:58 PM by Graham Mitchell » Logged

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craigrudlin
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 01:52:40 PM »
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I have a leica S2 and a D800E.

(1) The images are not the same.  The Leica produces a different "style" or "character" of image.  It is NOT just
resolution.  It is the "draw".  The colors with the Leica are more natural (skin tones perfect, natural shades of
tone perfect).  The depth of field for a give focal length is much different and hence the "fall off" and the
composition will be different.  The bokeh is different.  There is a three dimensionality of the leica image that
is missing in the Nikon.

(2) That said, I am not saying that the D800E cannot be "as sharp".  Again, resolution is not the issue, or at least
not the sole issue, but the character of the image.  Granted, I do not do studio photography or wedding photography,
but rather "fine art", so what I am looking for may be different.

(3) The nikon lenses that I have (70-200, 24-70, 14-24)  are NOT adequate to the meet the capabilities of the
D800E.  (Note the "E")  The images are not quite "crisp" when you want that, and appear flat.  There is a
sterility or a scientific technical character to the images.  Precision but not feeling.

What I may be experiencing, therefore, is not the sensor capabilities per se, but the character, nature and
quality of the LENSES.

I am now exploring the use of Leica R lenses mounted on the D800E to see if I can capture the same character
as I have with the S2.

For that matter, consider the Zeiss line of lenses for the D800E.  From the samples I have seen (but not yet
tried), they are closer to the medium format "look", which makes me wonder if the D800E IS capable of
delivering MF quality given the proper lenses.

Also, I print my images, LARGE (20x30 is consider a normal size for me).  So, I may be looking for a
different look and feel than someone who is producing images for the web.

Hope this helps.

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TMARK
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 02:08:28 PM »
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Eric,

I don't think the D800's color is better or worse.  LR at defaults had some flat reds, they looked like redish clay tile.  C1 has a better profile.  With experience I find the D800 color really nice.

For my money, the best skin tones without much work come from the Aptus 75s, Sinar 54m, Fuji X100 JPEGS (seriously), and in natural light and all the stars align, Leica M8 files with Zeiss lenses.  The newer lenses handle color differently than the old Leica lenses, and the Zeiss M lenses have a sheen to them that is painterly.   I wish FUJI would make a full frame rangefinder.  I am waiting to see the Lecia M files.

About the lenses, I really like the 50 1.2, 85 1.2, 135 2, and the blad CF 150 Sonnar.  I like them much, which is why I still have Canon cameras.
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TMARK
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 02:14:13 PM »
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I have a leica S2 and a D800E.

(1) The images are not the same.  The Leica produces a different "style" or "character" of image.  It is NOT just
resolution.  It is the "draw".  The colors with the Leica are more natural (skin tones perfect, natural shades of
tone perfect).  The depth of field for a give focal length is much different and hence the "fall off" and the
composition will be different.  The bokeh is different.  There is a three dimensionality of the leica image that
is missing in the Nikon.

(2) That said, I am not saying that the D800E cannot be "as sharp".  Again, resolution is not the issue, or at least
not the sole issue, but the character of the image.  Granted, I do not do studio photography or wedding photography,
but rather "fine art", so what I am looking for may be different.

(3) The nikon lenses that I have (70-200, 24-70, 14-24)  are NOT adequate to the meet the capabilities of the
D800E.  (Note the "E")  The images are not quite "crisp" when you want that, and appear flat.  There is a
sterility or a scientific technical character to the images.  Precision but not feeling.

What I may be experiencing, therefore, is not the sensor capabilities per se, but the character, nature and
quality of the LENSES.

I am now exploring the use of Leica R lenses mounted on the D800E to see if I can capture the same character
as I have with the S2.

For that matter, consider the Zeiss line of lenses for the D800E.  From the samples I have seen (but not yet
tried), they are closer to the medium format "look", which makes me wonder if the D800E IS capable of
delivering MF quality given the proper lenses.

Also, I print my images, LARGE (20x30 is consider a normal size for me).  So, I may be looking for a
different look and feel than someone who is producing images for the web.

Hope this helps.



I believe that it is the lenses.  The Blad CF lenses on the 800e feel organic.  I have the Zeiss 35 2 for the Canons.  Different look entirely from the other Canon lenses I have.  One lens I like on teh D800e, is the 50 1.8.  Yes, it was 90 dollars.  It is a fine lens, lots of contrast, crappy wide open, but I really like it for some things. Even shot it on the Canons.  Much more Zeiss like than Canon or Nikon's lenses.
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torger
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 02:14:30 PM »
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True, I don't particularly like 3:2 but the worst thing about the D800 is that mini viewfinder. What was Nikon thinking!? Judging any critical focus on that thing is going to be very hit and miss at f1.4, with a 36MP sensor. It's their highest resolution camera ever, and it has a viewfinder magnification of only 0.70x. I'm going to try the DK-17M magnified viewfinder to see if that helps.

I think they were thinking that you're not really supposed to be able to see critical focus in the viewfinder but trust autofocus or the focus indicator (green dot and direction arrows). Canon has even stronger moved towards dropping viewfinder manual focus capability, with the 5Dmk3 it's not even possible to change focusing screen I've heard.

Those used working with DSLRs have learned to collaborate with the autofocus system, but of course it is a personal thing if you like it or not.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 02:23:10 PM »
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I think they were thinking that you're not really supposed to be able to see critical focus in the viewfinder but trust autofocus or the focus indicator (green dot and direction arrows). Canon has even stronger moved towards dropping viewfinder manual focus capability, with the 5Dmk3 it's not even possible to change focusing screen I've heard.

Those used working with DSLRs have learned to collaborate with the autofocus system, but of course it is a personal thing if you like it or not.

Many of the most valued Niko lenses are manual focus (e.g. 50mm f1.2) which is not really the case with Canon.

And apart from the focus issue, it's really helpful to be able to see a scene more clearly through the lens. But I've been spoiled by that large 6x6 WLF on the Hy6.
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TMARK
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 02:25:50 PM »
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I think they were thinking that you're not really supposed to be able to see critical focus in the viewfinder but trust autofocus or the focus indicator (green dot and direction arrows). Canon has even stronger moved towards dropping viewfinder manual focus capability, with the 5Dmk3 it's not even possible to change focusing screen I've heard.

Those used working with DSLRs have learned to collaborate with the autofocus system, but of course it is a personal thing if you like it or not.

Love View is their answer, and on static subjects is great.  The AF on the 800 is good enough, but I for me the VF is the weakest part of all of the 35mm FF cameras.  I can manually focus a Canon with the EG-s screen, even at 1.2, but I use it more to confirm the AF.  I miss the F3-F5 VF, which finders were FAR superior.  The 1ds3 and the D3x had beter finders.
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 02:27:42 PM »
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Hello,

Mamiya RZ and Leaf Aptus 75 back in studio only and Nikon D800E in studio and location.

Cheers

Simon
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 04:19:03 PM »
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I am now exploring the use of Leica R lenses mounted on the D800E to see if I can capture the same character
as I have with the S2.




this will be interesting. please keep us posted
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 04:38:11 PM »
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Eric,

I don't think the D800's color is better or worse.  LR at defaults had some flat reds, they looked like redish clay tile.  C1 has a better profile.  With experience I find the D800 color really nice.

For my money, the best skin tones without much work come from the Aptus 75s, Sinar 54m, Fuji X100 JPEGS (seriously), and in natural light and all the stars align, Leica M8 files with Zeiss lenses.  The newer lenses handle color differently than the old Leica lenses, and the Zeiss M lenses have a sheen to them that is painterly.   I wish FUJI would make a full frame rangefinder.  I am waiting to see the Lecia M files.

About the lenses, I really like the 50 1.2, 85 1.2, 135 2, and the blad CF 150 Sonnar.  I like them much, which is why I still have Canon cameras.

TMARK,
I only have the one studio session as a comparison, but I found the D800E images to have big areas of fairly flat skin color where the AFi-ii 12 (Aptus 12) showed lots of different color shades. The color differences between the two files was probably the biggest surprise actually.   I only compared them in C1 and didn't look at the Nikon software or LR4.  I assumed that the hue could be adjusted in post to one's liking, however what was missing was the color information.  There was very high detail in the D800E file - not as much as the AFi-ii 12 but more than I was expecting.  I guess at 7k pix vs 10k pix on the long side it should be pretty close so that makes sense.  But the information on the D800E seemed like it was all luminosity and not color information.   I have read that some DSLR's use broader overlapping RGB color filters to increase higher ISO response so this may be a contributing factor to the lack of color detail.  To summarize, I felt the lack of this color information took a lot away from the Nikon files.  Definitely L* detail was there.      Model was nude and I don't have a release so I'm loathe to post those comparison images just for the sake of the discussion, but my take is color detail on the D800E is one area where it really fails in comparison to MFDB.     
Eric
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