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Author Topic: Nikon D800E questions and gripes  (Read 3428 times)
Rob Reiter
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« on: October 19, 2012, 09:56:38 PM »
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Oh, boy! I get to borrow a a D800E for the weekend! Pouring over the manual, I have one immediate question, since I can't find a reference in the manual and can't believe this feature is missing...is there no battery saving stand-by mode on this camera? My Canon 5D goes to sleep in about 90 seconds of non use and springs immediately to life at the press of the shutter button. But this Nikon seems to remain in battery draining mode forever if I don't remember to shut it down. Is this really the case? Is Nikon that stupid? Or is it me? Did I miss something in the manual that everyone else knows?

And the horizon level indicator-only available on the LCD via a menu option? It's only useful on a tripod that way, and most pro level tripods have built-in bubble levels. How about something I can see in the viewfinder so it actually has functional usefulness?

I know I'll get some great image quality from this camera, but what possesses a company like Nikon to force such brain-dead functionality to their premiere camera?

Of course, that was my opinion of Canon's 5DIII sop to the masses...I guess I just expect too much for a paltry $3500 dollars.

Sigh.
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jaapb
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 03:10:07 AM »
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Ok Rob here you go for top dollar: meter shuts down in 6 seconds after last (half way) shutter press, back-lcd in review display mode after 10 secs, in menu display mode 1 min, live view 10 mins (all customizable). Level indicators in viewfinder are toggled on/off with Fn button and gridlines on/off with menu-setting.
Since it is a loan camera you may have to review the settings, it is all in the manual.

Jaap
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MarkL
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 03:49:53 AM »
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Just wait until you try and use live view....
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 05:01:16 AM »
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And the horizon level indicator-only available on the LCD via a menu option? It's only useful on a tripod that way, and most pro level tripods have built-in bubble levels. How about something I can see in the viewfinder so it actually has functional usefulness?

I know I'll get some great image quality from this camera, but what possesses a company like Nikon to force such brain-dead functionality to their premiere camera?

It is possible to configure the horizon level so that the indicator is displayed in the viewfinder along the 2 axis.

I have mine configured this way.

Sorry, not having the manual around I don't remember what setting you need to change.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 07:28:56 AM »
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But this Nikon seems to remain in battery draining mode forever if I don't remember to shut it down. Is this really the case?

Not even remotely true. How long you want the camera to remain awake is a custom menu item. You can make stay always on but that is not the default.

And the horizon level indicator-only available on the LCD via a menu option? It's only useful on a tripod that way, and most pro level tripods have built-in bubble levels. How about something I can see in the viewfinder so it actually has functional usefulness?

As Bernard pointed out  you can see the level indicators in the viewfinder . The levels are not super imposed over the iamge however but are indicated at the bottom (roll - or lateral horizon) and on the right side of the frame (pitch - fore/aft) as bar indicators. You should program the custom function button on the front of the camera to turn them on when you want them.

I know I'll get some great image quality from this camera, but what possesses a company like Nikon to force such brain-dead functionality to their premiere camera?  I understand your frustration but really all of this is in the manual and in the "?" menu as you scroll through the menus.

One more thing: Just as with other high resolution cameras ( going back to at least the 2007 D3 and 1Ds mark III)the only way to get best image quality, is to use the AF micro-
adjustment tool to tune the body's AF performance for the specific individual lenses you are using.

One trick that Nikon missed with the D800/E, D4, & D600 is one  Canon implemented with the 5D Mark III and 1D X is the ability to fine tune AF performance at both ends of a zoom lens' range.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 08:10:19 AM »
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Hi,

I would add: Or use live view focus at actual pixels or better.

Best regards
Erik



One more thing: Just as with other high resolution cameras ( going back to at least the 2007 D3 and 1Ds mark III)the only way to get best image quality, is to use the AF micro-
adjustment tool to tune the body's AF performance for the specific individual lenses you are using.


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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 11:17:04 AM »
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Thank you one and all. As for the power saving, I was waiting for the whole top display to shut down, like it does on the Canon. But it's nice to know the greater battery suck of metering turns off in 6 seconds. And once I realized the horizon indicator function was called "virtual horizon" I could find it in the manual.

I had been looking through the index for what I thought might be reasonable topic headings, like "Battery saving" or "Auto Power Off" and "Level Indicator" or "Horizon Indicator" but of course, could find nothing there. That's the problem with only having the camera for two days-not enough time to read a 400 page manual!

This outing will be mostly about using the camera hand-held, so the mysteries of Live View will have to wait, as will the Micro Focusing aspects (although the camera's owner said he has seen no signs of adjustments being needed.)

Now, if only someone on this forum can make the dreary dull gray overcast skies clear a little so I can check out the great dynamic range of this camera...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 04:13:39 PM »
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Now, if only someone on this forum can make the dreary dull gray overcast skies clear a little so I can check out the great dynamic range of this camera...

Done, you'll have great weather tomorrow!

Cheers,
Bernard
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mouse
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 08:54:40 PM »
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Although I have it only second hand, another gripe with the D800/800e is the fact that trap focus is not possible.  I cannot understand why Nikon would eliminate this valuable feature.
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TMARK
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 08:36:17 AM »
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I think all of your concerns were addressed above.

About live view:  its not as slick as Canon's LV.  It is easy to loath it, mainly because it will display at what I believe is 400%.  On a Canon it goes to 100%.  The Nikon at 100% displays like the Canon, but at 400% it is grainy and strange.

About Micro AF adjust:  All of my Canon lenses on the 5d2 and 5d3 needed a few clicks of adjustment. Only one of my Nikon lenses required any adjsutment. 

At teh end of the day it is a better camera than the Canon 5D2 and 3, and the IQ is btter, but requires some work to get there.

Have fun with it and use LR4.2 or NC NX2.

T
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jaapb
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 09:23:43 AM »
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Although I have it only second hand, another gripe with the D800/800e is the fact that trap focus is not possible.  I cannot understand why Nikon would eliminate this valuable feature.
Personally I never use focus priority shutter release, I want the camera to fire when I want it to and focus tracking helps to keep things in focus.
I just tried briefly if focus priority works on my D800, and it does in AF-single with centre AF although only when AF is assigned to both shutter half press/AF-on button. Trapping/focus priority doesn't work when AF is assigned to the AF-on button only, this makes sense as you would use AF-on to focus and then recompose. I haven't tried other settings.

As you say, there is some buzz about the focus trapping of the D800 not working as advertised. Maybe Nikon turned it into a bug feature. Possibly there are D800 users around with more profound views on and experience with this issue.

Jaap
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 09:32:38 AM »
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About live view:  its not as slick as Canon's LV.  It is easy to loath it, mainly because it will display at what I believe is 400%.  On a Canon it goes to 100%.  The Nikon at 100% displays like the Canon, but at 400% it is grainy and strange.

Yep, just shot 80GB worth of pano over a short 2 days in China, and every single image I have checked is tack sharp.

They were all focused near full aperture in live view then stopped down.

The truth is, this 400% view makes it very easy to adjust focus prefectly, and I am speaking here of lenses like the Leica 180 f2.8 APO which is one of the sharpest lenses ever produced.

I do agree that the display at 400% is far from sexy, but I personally don't care about sexy.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: October 22, 2012, 09:35:42 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Rob Reiter
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 01:27:08 PM »
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I just surrendered the camera today and I've got about 100 shots to look at and mull over. Admittedly, this was a hurried test, but I wasn't out to confirm the already proven image quality of the D800E but to see if it would fit into my workflow. I have no doubt that when I'm day hiking with a tripod and cable release I'll be happy with the results, once I've figured out the general handling of the camera (my, what a lot of buttons and menus!) But when I backpack, I don't work with a tripod and I only carry one lens, so my questions were whether or not I could hand-hold the Nikkor 24-120 zoom and produce usable pictures. And are they appreciably better than what I have done with my Canon 5D and its 24-105 lens.

The quick answer is yes on all counts. Vibration Reduction and steady hands produced pictures with no evidence of excessive camera shake, even at 1/40th second a couple of times. Although I generally shoot at an ISO of 100, I certainly was pleased with higher ISO settings when I felt I needed them to obtain higher shutter speeds, whether for reduction of camera shake or subject movement.

I know I'd be even more thrilled with the results using prime lenses, but for backpacking sans tripod, the lack of VR on most of those lenses makes me wonder if their increase in resolution might not be sacrificed at slower shutter speeds.

So it was a successful weekend-no great shots but enough telling ones to provide answers to my questions. And Bernard, thanks for waving you magic wand and making the clouds go away Saturday. If I had known of your influence, I'd also have asked for spring weather, green hillsides and flowers.

Thanks!
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allegretto
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 04:18:59 PM »
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Bernard,

Do you find the 2.8 superior to the 2.0?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 04:53:34 PM »
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Bernard,

Do you find the 2.8 superior to the 2.0?

You mean btwn the 2 Leica 180mm?

I have not used the f2.0. It may be even better, but:
- it is too bulky and heavy for my applications
- Based on my experience with the 180f2.8 and 280f4 flare resistance does seem a bit poor compared to the latest N coated Nikkor and I guess that the larger front element of the Leica 180f2.0 may not help here. But again, this a mere guess.

Reputation wise the 2.8 seems superior.

Cheers,
Bernard
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mouse
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2012, 05:59:03 PM »
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I just tried briefly if focus priority works on my D800, and it does in AF-single with centre AF although only when AF is assigned to both shutter half press/AF-on button. Trapping/focus priority doesn't work when AF is assigned to the AF-on button only, this makes sense as you would use AF-on to focus and then recompose. I haven't tried other settings.

As you say, there is some buzz about the focus trapping of the D800 not working as advertised. Maybe Nikon turned it into a bug feature. Possibly there are D800 users around with more profound views on and experience with this issue.

Jaap


Trap focus not only requires that the Focus Priority option be set, but also that the shutter button be held continuously depressed and shutter release is delayed until some object enters the selected focus point.  If AF is assigned to shutter half press (as well as the AF-ON button) then pressing the shutter button will cause the lens to refocus and then fire the shutter.  That is not what one desires for trap focus.
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jaapb
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2012, 12:01:10 AM »
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Trap focus not only requires that the Focus Priority option be set, but also that the shutter button be held continuously depressed and shutter release is delayed until some object enters the selected focus point.  If AF is assigned to shutter half press (as well as the AF-ON button) then pressing the shutter button will cause the lens to refocus and then fire the shutter.  That is not what one desires for trap focus.
On my D800 when set to AF-S or AF-C, until the camera acquires focus, it won't fire. Indeed the way you describe it seems not possible. Probably Nikon relies more on focus tracking than before.

Jaap
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 12:58:20 AM »
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On my D800 when set to AF-S or AF-C, until the camera acquires focus, it won't fire.

This is controlled by a setting.

Cheers,
Bernard
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jaapb
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2012, 09:49:19 AM »
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This is controlled by a setting.

Bernard,

True, set focus priority. I wanted to indicate there is release delay possible until aquiring focus, only not the way as focus trapping is supposed to work.

Jaap
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allegretto
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2012, 09:59:48 AM »
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a simple firmware upgrade should fix that

found that sometimes the settings are in places on the menu I would not expect

and custom settings don't make sense, they are only "Custom" until you change one, no memory "save" which I find most annoying since I'd like a default "set" that I could make small adjustments to for a given situation and once done it would revert to the "set"
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