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Author Topic: Nikon d800 or d800E?  (Read 11324 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2013, 03:19:22 PM »
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Hi,

Diffraction is same on all cameras, it is a function of aperture and wavelength of light. So the D800 suffers as much as the D600. Diffraction is benign to sharpening, so yo may sharpen a bit more at smaller apertures.

Best regards
Erik


I guess I have one more concern about the d800 in general.

Is diffraction such an issue at f11-16 that its not worth having this?
Would a d600 resolve at those apertures or is this just like any other
Camera and you get slightly softer results at smaller apertures. People
Scare me with comments like you can only use this camera wide open to f8.
It just seems a bit ridiculous. I tend to shoot f11-16 Iso 100 on a tripod in
Live view with a 28-35mm lens. I couldn't see the d800 being any worse than
Any other camera at that aperture range, only better. Seem like my paying attention
To pixel peepers is getting out of hand, and adorama better get a new stock
Of refurbished ones in soon...
Any input of course is so appreciated....
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2013, 04:01:39 PM »
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Over a year later I don't feel I missed anything by choosing a D800 over a D800E.
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2013, 04:44:03 PM »
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Interesting questions.

I'm a D800E owner; I decided on the "E" because in early comparisons I saw a very slight (and please understand I'm using the word "slight" for a reason) advantage to images that contained complex fine detail over the stock 800. It wasn't a moderate or gigantic difference, it was slight, but to me, noticeable. Since both cameras can be provoked to produce moire, I personally didn't see spending the money by not getting the machine that performed the best, even if the slight improvement would mostly occur at apertures beneath F/11. A year later, this is my favorite camera ever in the 35 years I've been shooting in any format, from any brand. If as a young, poor 17 year old kid you had told me that in 2012 I'd be buying a camera that would easily match 6x7 chrome film and approach large format quality (which I have shot) in a 35mm package, I wouldn't have believed you, yet here we are.

However, after shooting with it for a year, using essentially near or at the very best lenses you can mount on it, I would have to say that if you are really desiring to see the maximum potential of what a D800E can do, you'll have to learn to shoot in less diffraction impacted apertures. In the old days I happily shot at F/11 and sometimes F/16, but these days I'm aperture bracketing, usually in the range from F/7.1 - F/10, often landing at F/8 or F/9, in order to still get close to what the cameras potential is. Search this sites article on "sensor outresolve lenses" and you'll see some information that shows you how much actual megapixel resolution is possible at each aperture due to diffraction - it's interesting, and may point you to a 20/24mp body if you insist on only shooting F/11 - F/16. I would highly suggest F/16 is one you stay away from on the D800E for those reasons.

Now, note in that previous paragraph I used the term "really desiring to see the maximum potential" and that's exactly what it means. I regularly shoot my D800E in the studio at F/11 and get wonderful results - I need the aperture for DOF reasons. But I know if I'm living at F/11 that I'm not getting the maximum potential out of the body and I'm good with that. However, for landscape work, I try everything I can to be lower, preferably in that 7.1 - 9 range if I can get the DOF for it. Think of it this way: If I gifted you tomorrow with a Bugatti Super Veyron automobile, obviously this would be likely the fastest car you own or have owned. And it would move. You could drive around a track with it and do very well. However, at the same time, if you then, after my gift, went and took a 12 week long driving course with a master race driver, you'd now go back home and be able to "see the maximum potential" of what the car could do, that you didn't earlier. This is a more coarse analogy than with the D800E, but the concept in my view is sound; you can shoot a D800E all day at F/11, but the smaller incremental gains you'd get in microcontrast and detail rendition from shooting a highly complex (in terms of detail) scene at F/7.1, F/8, or F/9 might be important to you. Or they might not be. So anyone who gets the camera gets a nice camera with a lot of dynamic range, but in order to really extract the sharpness/detail aspect of it to the maximum potential (there's that pesky potential word again) takes excellent craft, and excellent lenses.

In terms of the Sigma 35/1.4; I have one; it's replaced my Nikon 35/1.4G as I found it sharper, corner to corner, edge to edge, on my 800E in both close, moderate, and infinity distance tests. However, there seems to be a bit of sample variation as some folks took a few tries to get a good one. I was lucky - the sample I evaluated I then purchased and it's been stellar. That being said, I do feel it's performance is slightly (again, the word slightly) better in the closer moderate range, where it's bloody fantastic, as opposed to landscape distance/infinity, where it's just every day excellent. A lens that truly shines on the D800E is the Zeiss 21/2.8 by the way.

Now - at the end of the day, I generally don't advise brand shifts without solid, well thought through reasons. My "worry" is that if you are dead set on living in the F/11 and F/16 word that outside of the dynamic range improvement, you wouldn't really benefit from a D800E over a current 20/21mp Canon. And Canon will come out with a higher (perhaps even higher than 36mp) body with likely better dynamic range performance, so the question of how much you NEED (versus want) a higher rez/more dynamic range body has to be asked.

Good luck with your decision.

-m
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Mr. Capp
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2013, 06:59:23 PM »
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@nashvillemike

Thanks you for your detailed and thoughtful answers. They are a real help.
Doing studio work with fine detail as you say, I must ask if you've run into moire
Issues with your "E"? Had to ask...

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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2013, 07:49:38 PM »
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Doing studio work with fine detail as you say, I must ask if you've run into moire
Issues with your "E"? Had to ask...

It (clearly visual aliasing artifacts) would depend on (mostly repetitive) subject matter to become obnoxious, but even if it's not in your face, it looks unnatuaral, because it is ...

Cheers,
Bart
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2013, 09:02:16 PM »
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I get moire on about the same subjects I did previously with the D700, perhaps actually, less than I did with the 700. Mesh lingerie are the worst offender (fine repeating pattern). Stopping down an extra touch to intentionally walk into diffraction zone a bit sometimes helps. So far it's not really been that much of a worry for me honestly.
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-m
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2013, 09:40:33 PM »
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I've had several Phase One digital backs without an AA filter so I prefer the look of non AA cameras, just personal taste the latest being a Fuji XE-1
With my 800E I can stop down when moire is an issue and shoot at f4-f6 when sharpness is primary, with the 800 you need to add more sharpening for the same level of acuity.
I would make the choice, 800 if used as a general purpose camera, 800E if used primarily for nature and landscapes.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2013, 10:09:53 PM »
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The reason why I chose a D800E over the D800 is because I was able to get one earlier in Australia, because it was a less popular model than the D800. I was able to put in my preorder for one of the first shipments of the D800E to reach Australia and I received the camera a few weeks later. I would have had to have waited another couple of months for a D800.

Any differences in resolution between the two models, and any advantages or disadvantages regarding the AA filters, were of trivial concern to me. The extra resolution that a good lens can provide, and/or the extra resolution that a 36 mp sensor can provide, as opposed to the 22 mp of the Canon 5D3 for example, are of far greater significance.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2013, 10:24:20 PM »
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I get moire on about the same subjects I did previously with the D700, perhaps actually, less than I did with the 700. Mesh lingerie are the worst offender (fine repeating pattern). Stopping down an extra touch to intentionally walk into diffraction zone a bit sometimes helps. So far it's not really been that much of a worry for me honestly.
-
-m

That's because the pixels are a lot smaller - it takes a much finer pattern to produce moire on a 36MP sensor than a 12MP one.

It (clearly visual aliasing artifacts) would depend on (mostly repetitive) subject matter to become obnoxious, but even if it's not in your face, it looks unnatuaral, because it is ...

Cheers,
Bart

Moire can be very natural and apparent to the human eye, in the right conditions for it.

Look at the moire in the upper few rows of windows, in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. The moire is apparent even when you're looking at it, not just through a digital sensor, and is induced by rows of fine dots on the window panes, which are used to filter out some of the light. The lower two rows don't have the dots, and don't show moire.

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jwstl
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« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2013, 10:43:46 PM »
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I would make the choice, 800 if used as a general purpose camera, 800E if used primarily for nature and landscapes.Marc

I was thinking the opposite. If the cameras show pretty much the same results beyond 5.6 or so it would seem the D800 would be a better choice as a dedicated landscape camera since most landscapes are shot beyond that aperture. If the D800e is better at the wider apertures it would seem to be a better choice as a general purpose camera since most portraits, travel, street images are shot at the 5.6 and wider.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2013, 10:07:42 AM »
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That's because the pixels are a lot smaller - it takes a much finer pattern to produce moire on a 36MP sensor than a 12MP one.

Correct. The D800/D800E has a higher sampling density than the D700, with an approx. 4.88 micron versus a 8.46 micron sensel pitch. Detail must be more than 42% smaller to cause aliasing, everything else being equal (which it rarely is).

Quote
Moire can be very natural and apparent to the human eye, in the right conditions for it.

Look at the moire in the upper few rows of windows, in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. The moire is apparent even when you're looking at it, not just through a digital sensor, and is induced by rows of fine dots on the window panes, which are used to filter out some of the light. The lower two rows don't have the dots, and don't show moire.

Yes, but the dots are on a 3 layer membrane, so you are probably looking at an overlay of dot patterns. That can cause moiré just like 2 other (e.g. insect) screens would (it's not natural but an artifact created by man). I've seen a documentary about the design, but forgot the details. I think I remember it was meant to reduce the light at the hottest time of day, and let more light through when the angle of the sun was more tolerable.

Cheers,
Bart


P.S.  I've found an better description about the 3-ply membrane.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 03:33:28 PM by BartvanderWolf » Logged
shadowblade
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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2013, 05:38:08 PM »
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Yes, but the dots are on a 3 layer membrane, so you are probably looking at an overlay of dot patterns. That can cause moiré just like 2 other (e.g. insect) screens would (it's not natural but an artifact created by man). I've seen a documentary about the design, but forgot the details. I think I remember it was meant to reduce the light at the hottest time of day, and let more light through when the angle of the sun was more tolerable.

Cheers,
Bart


P.S.  I've found an better description about the 3-ply membrane.

That's my point - moire isn't just an artifact of digital sensors. It's a natural effect of an interference pattern, and can be observed even by the human eye when looking at such a pattern.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2013, 09:19:12 PM »
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I was thinking the opposite. If the cameras show pretty much the same results beyond 5.6 or so it would seem the D800 would be a better choice as a dedicated landscape camera since most landscapes are shot beyond that aperture. If the D800e is better at the wider apertures it would seem to be a better choice as a general purpose camera since most portraits, travel, street images are shot at the 5.6 and wider.
I shoot most of my landscapes between f4 and f8 to maximize sharpness on the D800E
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2013, 02:54:38 AM »
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I shoot most of my landscapes between f4 and f8 to maximize sharpness on the D800E

Hi Marc,

Yes, depending also a little on the lens used, you'll probably start losing lower contrast micro-detail starting from f/5.6 (diffraction pattern diameter exceeds 1.5x sensel pitch) going towards  narrower apertures. And you could probably use focus stacking (much harder to do when airborne) if you want uncompromised DOF.

Cheers,
Bart
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2013, 10:52:24 AM »
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Quote
I was thinking the opposite. If the cameras show pretty much the same results beyond 5.6 or so it would seem the D800 would be a better choice as a dedicated landscape camera since most landscapes are shot beyond that aperture. If the D800e is better at the wider apertures it would seem to be a better choice as a general purpose camera since most portraits, travel, street images are shot at the 5.6 and wider.

I agree with jwstl and went with the D800.

Thom Hogan did an in-depth review on the differences between the two and his conclusion was that when shooting in RAW, after f/5.6 diffraction rendered them equal. However, for anyone who needs or chooses to shoot in JPEG (I don't) the D800E was, in his opinion, clearly better up to and including f/11.

Of course, focus stacking at wider apertures is an option and I have the software for that too but it seems there's almost always enough wind blowing when I'm outside shooting to make it problematic.

Either way one goes, they're awesome cameras and I'm continually amazed at the quality of the images the camera produces.

Phil
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HSakols
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« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2013, 02:02:40 PM »
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As a landscape photographer using a D800 I routinely us f16 and many times f22.  I've done tests and find that I still prefer the image with the correct DOF over the one that is slightly sharper.  I think at times people get too hung up on using the sweat spot as opposed to what they really want.  In fact I have had at least one professional landscape photographers tell me that there telephoto zoom works best at f22. 
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2013, 02:18:03 PM »
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Quote
As a landscape photographer using a D800 I routinely us f16 and many times f22.  I've done tests and find that I still prefer the image with the correct DOF over the one that is slightly sharper.  I think at times people get too hung up on using the sweat spot as opposed to what they really want.  In fact I have had at least one professional landscape photographers tell me that there telephoto zoom works best at f22.

I'm in the same camp. Whatever works for someone is perfectly fine with me but I too, have no qualms at using hyper focal focusing at f/22 if I feel the scene warrants it. With proper developing and sharpening, they still look awesome and if a bit of sharpness is sacrificed to create a more aesthetically pleasing image to my eyes, I'm good with that.

To each his own though!
Phil 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2013, 03:18:14 PM »
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Hi,

A telephoto zoom that works best at f/22 should be sent to repair or used as paperweight.

I made a nice series that shows the effects of shopping down, unfortunately it stops at f/16: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/49-dof-in-digital-pictures?start=1

Now, there is nothing wrong to stop down to f/22, if needed. Diffraction is also benign to sharpening, especially if you use smart sharpen with gaussian PSF and radius adjusted to the Airy ring dimeter.

Best regards
Erik
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2013, 03:23:03 PM »
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Hi,

Check this page:
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/76-my-medium-format-digital-journey?start=12

and also this page: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/49-dof-in-digital-pictures?start=1

Best regards
Erik

I'm in the same camp. Whatever works for someone is perfectly fine with me but I too, have no qualms at using hyper focal focusing at f/22 if I feel the scene warrants it. With proper developing and sharpening, they still look awesome and if a bit of sharpness is sacrificed to create a more aesthetically pleasing image to my eyes, I'm good with that.

To each his own though!
Phil 
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2013, 04:10:31 PM »
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I'm in the same camp. Whatever works for someone is perfectly fine with me but I too, have no qualms at using hyper focal focusing at f/22 if I feel the scene warrants it. With proper developing and sharpening, they still look awesome and if a bit of sharpness is sacrificed to create a more aesthetically pleasing image to my eyes, I'm good with that.

To each his own though! 

Hi Phil,

Although by using f/22 on a D800, it will not resolve any more detail than a 21 MP camera with ultra strong AA-filter, and have worse contrast, with less capability to recover any detail, even with the best possible deconvolution sharpening.

It beats me why someone would want to use a D800 for that?

But as you say, to each his own ...

Cheers,
Bart
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