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Author Topic: DSLR killer  (Read 6473 times)
Anders_HK
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« on: January 24, 2013, 09:57:03 AM »
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flickriver.com is really good for typing in lens and camera combinations and viewing tons of images to get an idea of the rendering they bring. Nope, am not speaking of pixel peeping, instead of looking at the rendering of pictures made using lenses and sensors -- at not 100%.

Arguably the simplest lens focal to make a high quality design of is a standard lens. Typing in medium format combinations my eye tells me following order looking at current offerings, and at primarily wide open for what appear sharp and with beautiful bokeh:

1) Schneider Xenotar 80mm on Hy6 or 6008 (real Schneider fully made in Germany)
2) Hasselblad 80mm HC
3) Phase One 80mm LS (made in Germany Schneider glass, assembled into Mamiya lens in Japan)

Woops, I left out the Hasselblad 80mm CFi which I would per a quick view of images place just below the 80MM HC, and similarly the Leica S 70mm around 2).


If I look at the smaller format (FF35mm sensors and smaller) it gets interesting...

Typing in X-Pro1 and 35mm 1.4 I have looked at tons of images, I mean tons. In this case I agree with what KR writes of these, respectively:

   Fuji has made cameras for Hasselblad, and sold under the Hasselblad name, like the X-Pan. Neither Nikon nor Canon has ever been good enough.

   The Fuji XF 35mm f/1.4 ASPH is an extraordinary lens.

Heck, my eyes would even put the XF 35mm slight above 2) in the above for its lovely bokeh and apparent sharpness wide open. Perhaps no surprise since both are made by Fuji? Though the Xenotar still remains the king  Smiley. After all it is a current Rolleiflex, all of which appear to have beautiful renderings and characters, and most very sharp also wide open. The rendering from the X-Pro1 appear far more pleasing to my eye than images from Nikon D800E and Canon 5DII/III, for which all standard lenses appear to have a disturbing bokeh to my eyes. And no, I do not find the Zeiss lenses for the 35mm sensors format suffice better when viewing flickriver.com. Not only that I believe a big chunk of the pictures from the X-Pro1 - if not even major - on flicker are simply JPGs straight out of the camera!!!!!! Surprising to my eye, the Fuji XF 35 also appear to have a more pleasing smoothness of bokeh than any of the Leica M 50mm lenses, including the Noctilux!!!

Up to your eyes. We may like different, which is respected. This is also why some of us choose MFDB. The X-Pro1 is obvious not medium format and neither is a DSLR. Different tools and looks somehow. Yet the X-Pro1 is not much crop out of a FF35, yet seems a more interesting performing character from the sensor. That is similar to what MFDB sensors are versus FF35mm sensors, yet not only more interesting characters at low ISO, but also larger sensors.

Weight wize... the X-Pro1 likewise kills a DSLR system. Sure, DSLR might be a good tool: e.g. for wildlife and for sports. Yet... there are those who have shot that with medium format, and I am sure some with X-Pro1. Why? Different character image? Different choice of tool. Personal choice. Yet, do not mere look up in size of sensor, look down: X-Pro1 ?

I am out of here.

Cheers,
Anders


---
Rolleiflex Hy6, Xenotar 80/2.8 PQS AFD, Distagon 50/4 FLE
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:03:52 AM by Anders_HK » Logged
HarperPhotos
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
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Fred don’t take the bait its a trap!
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Simon Harper
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 12:11:23 PM »
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Deleted, going to stop navel gazing and shoot some tests
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pixjohn
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 03:38:57 PM »
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The tittle should read troll killer
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TMARK
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 07:37:59 PM »
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I can't get used to the handling of the XPro. As much as I like the size and RF. even though I loath Leica and think they are over priced, I can make it do what I want.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 09:39:43 PM »
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I can't get used to the handling of the XPro. As much as I like the size and RF. even though I loath Leica and think they are over priced, I can make it do what I want.

I completely agree with the sentiment in that in my limited times playing with the Fuji Xpro-1 I have found it very difficult and confusing to use, especially coming from 3 Leica M's your expecting a rangefinder patch and you essentially have no clue where the AF point is when using the optical / hybrid viewfinder (please someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have not noticed anything in my tests) and this is very jarring to me. I do not question it may have some serious image making quality in certain hands but it is certainly not for me. I have yet to come to terms with these crop-sensor cameras although it is mostly because they don't have mirror boxes something which seems to be rapidly disappearing from compact systems. Of course range-finders are not mirror boxes, however a true optical rangefinder is far better to me then any fuji-hybrid, however admirable it may be as an attempt to engage people more in their photography it is lacking any engagement for me, as someone who has used the true gear that hails from.

thats my two cents
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TMARK
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 09:26:15 AM »
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I agree.  I had an X100.  I loved it.  IQ is on par with the M8, even when shot at ISO 2500.  You are absolutely correct that the limitation in the optical RF is that you have no idea where it is really focusing, and the manual focus was pathetic.  I couldn't get past that.  My problem with LEICA is that the M8 was essentially a beta with major bugs.  I used it professionaly a bunch, and frankly the sensor and PCB boards had odd issues.  Leica refused to recognize the problems.  By the time they told me my M8's issues were normal I had an M9, which was perfect, but I was done with them as far as a professional camera supplier.  I sold the M8 and M9, the M8 for nothing because I disclosed the issues, but kept my fav. lenses.  Oh well, another failed romance.

Speaking of DSLR killer, the Sigma Merrils are incredible.  Get all three for wide, normal and mild tele for around $3k total!



I completely agree with the sentiment in that in my limited times playing with the Fuji Xpro-1 I have found it very difficult and confusing to use, especially coming from 3 Leica M's your expecting a rangefinder patch and you essentially have no clue where the AF point is when using the optical / hybrid viewfinder (please someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have not noticed anything in my tests) and this is very jarring to me. I do not question it may have some serious image making quality in certain hands but it is certainly not for me. I have yet to come to terms with these crop-sensor cameras although it is mostly because they don't have mirror boxes something which seems to be rapidly disappearing from compact systems. Of course range-finders are not mirror boxes, however a true optical rangefinder is far better to me then any fuji-hybrid, however admirable it may be as an attempt to engage people more in their photography it is lacking any engagement for me, as someone who has used the true gear that hails from.

thats my two cents
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JV
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 12:11:57 PM »
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I agree.  I had an X100.  I loved it.  IQ is on par with the M8, even when shot at ISO 2500.  You are absolutely correct that the limitation in the optical RF is that you have no idea where it is really focusing, and the manual focus was pathetic.  I couldn't get past that. 

Hopefully the X100S is an improvement: Improved manual focus system (more responsive focus ring, focus peaking and split-image displays)
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=5195&news=fuji+X100S+X20+CES+2013
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bcooter
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 01:06:23 PM »
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.....snip....My problem with LEICA is that the M8 was essentially a beta with major bugs.  I used it professionaly a bunch, and frankly the sensor and PCB boards had odd issues.  Leica refused to recognize the problems.  By the time they told me my M8's issues were normal I had an M9, which was perfect . . . snip

Speaking of DSLR killer, the Sigma Merrils are incredible.  Get all three for wide, normal and mild tele for around $3k total!





I'm with you T. 

My m8 has some glitches, like freezes with one of the 6 batteries I own.  Why this one battery I don't know.

Service blows.  My 90 went in for months with back focus, not fixed, back in again, finally fixed.

Though trying to use a 90 on the Leica has a view size of about 6pt helvetica compressed.

Also sometimes the M8 just acts funny, like the menu will come up or not, but I'm use to it and can fix it in seconds.

The only thing I wish is that it would tether, because I love the file with profoto flash and with it had 3 point autofocus to track with a subject.

Regardless it has amazing skin tones.



And the 24mm has a great look for portrait and editorial.





Regardless of iso, I like ccd cameras better than cmos and have decided to buy an M9 a dozen times in the last few months, but want to see what the cmos M file looks like.

If it looks kind of generic like other cmos files I'll buy an M9.

What I would love to see in this order.

The Contax G2 with a little better autofocus, maybe 3 points and a 16 to 18 mp digital sensor



A mamiya 7 with autofocus in a digital format, maybe 645 of slightly smaller



And for Epson to update the RD1x with a full frame 35mm sensor, around 16 mp,  autofocus once again three points

I think Epson out leicaed leica in the look of this beautiful camera.



Though I know they are traditionally walk about cameras, I need them to tether, because if they did I would get rid of all my 35mm cameras except the 1dx which I use as much for cut frame video as actual stills.
 
I know there are a million opinions, but i think there is something kind of special with a rangefinder and I can't explain why but it feels like I'm working something that's natural and I'm making the decisions with.

As good as the new dslrs are they just leave me cold.   I can't put my finger on it, but even when I pick them up, they kind of feel like my Iphone, or one of those plastic espresso machines.  They work amazingly well, but there just not special and I know that covers a lot of territory.


IMO

BC


P.S.  How do you like the Merrills?  Can you batch process them and do they tether, do they go to at least 800 to 1000 iso?


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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 01:38:18 PM »
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You could do worse than take a leaf out of Jeanloup Sieff's 60s book: a 21mm on an M4... quite stunning, especially on herringbone-patterned coats!

http://www.jeanloupsieff.com

I never dared go wider than 35mm (FF) on people after I did attempt it once with 24mm. Unlike your shot, I tried to fill the frame. Not a good idea in my case.

Rob C
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TMARK
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 03:03:22 PM »
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Hopefully the X100S is an improvement: Improved manual focus system (more responsive focus ring, focus peaking and split-image displays)
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=5195&news=fuji+X100S+X20+CES+2013

This did look interesting.  It might solve some of the problems I had with teh handling, and teh extra res would be nice.  Frankly I'm leanng towards a few Sigma DPm's at the moment.
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TMARK
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 03:26:37 PM »
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BC,

I don't have the Merrills.  Yet.  I need to handle one for a while first.  The files have a nice look to them, which keeps me coming back to it.  I need to just get one of them and try it out.  If its not suitable I can flip it for a small loss.

I'm glad I sold my M9 when I did, because it was before the M-E/M announcement.  I keep thinking I want another M9, M-E or the M, but the memory of dealing with Leica is still a bit RAW.  These are cameras that you keep a long time but the fact is when tehy are out of warranty Leica has crap service.  they have crap service when you within the warranty, so mayb it doesn't make a difference.

Now the skin from the M8, either under lights or bright difused daylight is, in my opinion, one of the best out there.  Really only rivaled by the Aptus 22/75, film, and, yes, the Fuji X100.

The Fuji has the best JPEGs I've ever seen.  I used the JPEGS as refence when developing Raw files. I also used the JPEGS for editorials, just about straight from the camera.

I would buy a Digital Mamiya 7.  I still consider it the best camera ever made. 

As to the DSLRs feeling like iPhones, I sort of agree with you.  The 5D and 5D2 certainly felt like toys in many ways, especially after handling an RZ or a 1ds.  But the big Nikon and Canons feel real.  The D800 feels solid.  No complaints, and its light etc.  It remind sme of the F100 but with a lower end camera's VF.  It doesn't have the soul of a Leica or Rollei 35, or even a Contax T2, but I like the files.  They are CMOS like, but can look very CCD when stopped down with the right lenses, like the Zeiss 35F2 and lots of light.  And they stretch like an MFDB file.

Enough rambling, time for the snow.

T




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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 04:08:31 PM »
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Hi,

Just an observation, Fujifilm is a film maker. Leica M8/M9 were using a Kodak sensor and older MFDBs also used mostly Kodak sensors. So one thing those cameras have in common that    there is significant experience coming from the film side. My guess may be that the background in film may affect CGA (Color Grid Array) design. The rest of the chip is essentially a linear monochrome device, so it will affect color rendition and tonality very little.

One thing to keep in mind regarding color that normally pleasant color is sought, not correct color. The main reason for this may be that our screens and prints are not able of faithful reproduction of real life color ranges. Very well possible Fujifilm is making best use of color, specially with JPEG. They put a lot of development in Provia and Velvia. Raw processing is a different can of worms.

Fujifilm is also making very good lenses. In general I don't think lenses matter that much, once they are good enough. I shot a couple of comparisons recently with Zeiss labeled lenses from Sony and also an old Hasselblad Sonnar 150/4 lens on Sony. I could not see a lot of difference, except a flare issue on the Sonnar.

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/72-zeissness?showall=1
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/73-sonnar-150-cb-on-dslr-using-arax-tilt-adapter?showall=1

Getting back to Flickriver, I flipped trough a few dozen images on the front pages. All images I liked were shot with DSLRs, mostly Canons and Nikons. Only non DSLR was shot with a Panasonic superzoom.

Now, I'm a DSLR shooter. I like images that are properly processed with both a broad tonal range and a certain amount of snap. Although using Velvia for may years I'm not really in favor of Velvia colors and contrast. I have been there, done that and I am done with it. I also like wildlife, scenics, telephoto and macro work.

I was spending a week in Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks in september. During that week I have seen more 500/4 lenses than ever. I cannot really recall seeing great many 4/3, E-mount or Fuji-X mount cameras, and not a single MF camera. The only MF camera I have seen in Grand Teton/Yellowstone ever was a Noblex panorama camera and my own Pentax 67, both quite a few years ago.

Best regards
Erik



BC,

I don't have the Merrills.  Yet.  I need to handle one for a while first.  The files have a nice look to them, which keeps me coming back to it.  I need to just get one of them and try it out.  If its not suitable I can flip it for a small loss.

I'm glad I sold my M9 when I did, because it was before the M-E/M announcement.  I keep thinking I want another M9, M-E or the M, but the memory of dealing with Leica is still a bit RAW.  These are cameras that you keep a long time but the fact is when tehy are out of warranty Leica has crap service.  they have crap service when you within the warranty, so mayb it doesn't make a difference.

Now the skin from the M8, either under lights or bright difused daylight is, in my opinion, one of the best out there.  Really only rivaled by the Aptus 22/75, film, and, yes, the Fuji X100.

The Fuji has the best JPEGs I've ever seen.  I used the JPEGS as refence when developing Raw files. I also used the JPEGS for editorials, just about straight from the camera.

I would buy a Digital Mamiya 7.  I still consider it the best camera ever made. 

As to the DSLRs feeling like iPhones, I sort of agree with you.  The 5D and 5D2 certainly felt like toys in many ways, especially after handling an RZ or a 1ds.  But the big Nikon and Canons feel real.  The D800 feels solid.  No complaints, and its light etc.  It remind sme of the F100 but with a lower end camera's VF.  It doesn't have the soul of a Leica or Rollei 35, or even a Contax T2, but I like the files.  They are CMOS like, but can look very CCD when stopped down with the right lenses, like the Zeiss 35F2 and lots of light.  And they stretch like an MFDB file.

Enough rambling, time for the snow.

T





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LKaven
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 07:29:05 PM »
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I wish Fuji would make a pro digital in the form like an X-Pan II.  That was the last film camera I ever got the jones for.  Feels like an instrument.  I agree with BC that recent DSLRs feel like appliances.

I'd like to see the prospects for OVF cameras to be updated while retaining their character as fine instruments.  Maybe there is a promise in hybrid finder technology, but it hasn't happened yet.

I do not like the feel of the D800 really.  I have large hands and I have to crook my shutter finger to be able to reach the AF ON-OFF button with my right thumb at the same time.  I feel like someone gave up on it before the job was finished.  The viewfinder should be bigger and with a higher eyepoint.  But it's a great camera. 

The D3/D4 bodies feel very good if I don't mind the weight.  The hand placement is perfect for my hands.  And the viewfinder is big enough.  But I don't think I really liked a Nikon body since the F/F2. 

In general, I don't like the Batman/F117 styled bodies that Nikon and Canon make.  What a silly design trope.  I'm not sure Giugiaro ever really nailed it as a camera designer.
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 07:55:47 PM »
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Hi Luke,

Your problem with the Nikon D800 is solved with the attachment of the Nikon MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack which I have do with my Nikon D800 and D800E.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 08:16:33 PM »
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Simon,

Do you see a difference between the regular and E version of the Nikon?

How are skin tones and what do you initially process in?  I know with my Nikon files they are much better in NIK than Lightroom or Photoshop.

_________________

The best Nikon I ever used was the F5.  Had a dcs 760 Kodak from a Nikon F5.  Huge viewfinder (huge camera with the digital part on the bottom), really nice files with a lot of headroom and lattitude.

If only they were 11 mpx instead of 6 I'd still be using it.  The finder removed, it was all metal, the trackpad was magic in moving focus.  Great camera.

Why the F5 disappeared once digital and we got those small finders I'll never know.

IMO

BC
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 08:35:45 PM »
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You problem with the Nikon D800 is solved with the attachment of the Nikon MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack which I have do with my Nikon D800 and D800E.

With a recommendation from you, it now sounds worth trying.
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 08:44:48 PM »
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Do you see a difference between the regular and E version of the Nikon?

How are skin tones and what do you initially process in?  I know with my Nikon files they are much better in NIK than Lightroom or Photoshop.

I'll give you a second data point.  Of course Simon is the real pro.  My favorite skin tones were on the D3x, D800 is second.  The best profile was the C1 "linear" profile, the cleanest numbers off the sensor.  You could also use the Nikon NX(2) "neutral" profile.  [I believe Nik developed this software for Nikon, so they ought to know the Nikon files.]  Then roll your own.

In a pinch, the "portrait" profile in C1 is better for portraits than the "standard" profile.  The standard profile bunches up skin tone transitions.  The portrait profile opens them up a bit, and avoids problems with oversaturation /for the most part/.

I find that one /absolutely must/ be aware of thermal noise on the Exmor cameras, especially the D800.  At ISO6400 and 1/80th (or equiv), noise in the form of a bluish-magenta cast with some local hots spots at the bottom of the frame, is rather noticeable.  Live view exacerbates this significantly.  With black-frame subtraction, you can get wonderful results out the ISO25k, but I wouldn't want to do it much.  This camera needs LENR as a full-time option.
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 08:53:17 PM »
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Hi James,

I got the D800 after I did a comparison test with my now sold Nikon D3x and my then new D800E and the increase in dynamic range was so vast the D3x instantly become redundant so it was sold on EBay. The files from the D800E are nice and fat like I was getting with my now obsolete Leaf Aptus 75.

So as I still needed a camera with an AA filter I got the D800.

If you do a side by side comparison there is a minimal difference if you pixel peep which I’m sure your not that type of guy.

I did a shoot last Wednesday photographing our much loved All Black rugby players for a soft drink company who’s head office is in Atlanta.

As the ruby players where wearing lycra tops so I knew that I had to use the D800 as the D800E would have caused colour moiré.

I shot over a 1000 images in the 4 hours I was aloud with the players using conventional flash and then moving to my nikon/pocket wizard flash system for the high speed action shots.

It all worked a charm except for the Phase One 7.2 soft wear which keep crashing. So it was back to using the Nikon camera control.

Concerning skin tones I am very happy with the result I get for ACR.

This Tuesday I am shooting a fashion shoot in my studio with the D800 and I am more than happy to You Send It some raw files with a XMP attached.

Ciao

Simon 
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Simon Harper
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2013, 02:09:06 AM »
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Hi Luke,

How much of the color is in the sensor, and how much in the profiles, raw processing engine and they eyes of the beholder? Interested in your take on this.

I think, Eric Chan (lead developer of raw processing in ACR and LR) mentioned that he measures sensor response with a monochromator, so Adobe probably constructs their own profiles from spectral data, but I guess that both companies and persons may have differing preferences for tonal reproduction.

Best regards
Erik

I'll give you a second data point.  Of course Simon is the real pro.  My favorite skin tones were on the D3x, D800 is second.  The best profile was the C1 "linear" profile, the cleanest numbers off the sensor.  You could also use the Nikon NX(2) "neutral" profile.  [I believe Nik developed this software for Nikon, so they ought to know the Nikon files.]  Then roll your own.

In a pinch, the "portrait" profile in C1 is better for portraits than the "standard" profile.  The standard profile bunches up skin tone transitions.  The portrait profile opens them up a bit, and avoids problems with oversaturation /for the most part/.

I find that one /absolutely must/ be aware of thermal noise on the Exmor cameras, especially the D800.  At ISO6400 and 1/80th (or equiv), noise in the form of a bluish-magenta cast with some local hots spots at the bottom of the frame, is rather noticeable.  Live view exacerbates this significantly.  With black-frame subtraction, you can get wonderful results out the ISO25k, but I wouldn't want to do it much.  This camera needs LENR as a full-time option.
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