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 Post subject: Impressions of a D700
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:44 pm 
Hi all,

I've started working as a photographer. I was set up with a Pentax K20 rig. Now, the Pentax K20 may be the most underrated camera on the market, but it had two limitations that made me switch. No tilt shift lenses easily available (I do architectural work) and high ISO performance. It's not horrible at high ISO, but this is a place I spend a lot of time at as I shoot live music.

So, I decided to make one purchase and get top of the line in either Canon or Nikon - well I guess technically 2nd to top of the line but really, I don't know that there are any practical limiters between the Canon 5d MKII or the D700 and the true top dog in either line. Really, both are fine cameras but I went Nikon because I have a D1H laying around and a Nikon Speedlite.

I've been using the camera a month or so now. In a nutshell. I really like the high ISO performance. These were shot, for example, at 2500 ISO(first day with camera - images look a tad soft - suspect focusing issue with Tamron 28-75 2.8? Still, note the lack of noise):

Image

Image

Image

I also REALLY like the dynamic range of the camera. It seems like a RAW capture has about 5 stops of info in it. I find this especially useful as I'm playing a lot with hdr lately and I find it useful to generate an hdr from 3 exposures made from the same capture. I can process 3 exposures from a RAW in 2 EV increments no problem. Here's a couple of HDR examples.

Lance Armstrong's Tour of California bike:

Image

My gf chillin' above the Austin 360 bridge waiting for sunset:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:50 pm 
Negatives so far:

White balance seems a little iffy. I mean I think my Panasonic LX3 might do a better job. One of those lens caps with the white sphere thing to custom adjust white balance might be a good idea.

Megapixels - vs. the Canon. Really not as big a deal if you use the whole frame. I've made some large enlargements and they are fantastically detailed. The only time I've run into it is that I've gotten into a couple of situations where I had to crop pretty severely. I get a little nervous here, but so far the camera hasn't let me down, and it's my understanding that the lower MP helps the camera's high end noise performance, which is waaay more important to me at least.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:48 pm 
That is absolutely awesome performance at ISO2500! :shock: I guess the "lack" of megapixels you speak of is the price to pay for such performance.

Lovely example shots BTW, the one of Lance's bike is amazing! Are those colours straight out of the camera or did you make them "punchier" at PP? They look great.

Cheers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 4:01 pm 
thanks - the hdr editor I'm using is photomatix, and it can punch up the colors a bit. You can control it somewhat, but i left the colors saturated in the bike shot because they seemed to echo the Livestrong theme colors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:26 pm 
Hi ravenmore,

congratulations on the "juicy" rig you have gotten yourself!

..and very educational to see the high-ISO shots taken by someone who is not in Marketing for Nikon..lol. Very nice performance, I must say!

I don't detect anything iffy about the white balance you have posted, but you perhaps meant in shots you didn't post or before post-processing?

The texk on the side of the speaker in the second shot, the keys on the piano on the third shot seems crispy and neutral white.

Looking forward to seeing some more shots from you with this camera.

Cheers :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:08 am 
congratulations on your D700 IMHO the best semi pro camera on the market if you take the time to learn the many settings this camera will reward you with amazing photos


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:59 am 
No samples here of the color balance being off, and if you shoot RAW you can usually correct it. I've had a couple of situations though where I was shooting jpegs under tungsten and it just really threw a shoe. Not sure why. I hasn't presented itself to be enough of an issue for me to be all that concerned about it though. It usually does a fairly decent job.

The lighting on the musicians above was at a high end theater here in Austin, so the lighting was refreshingly good for a change. You should see some of the dungeons I shoot in most of the time. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:03 am 
oh, and one thing that I'm kind of bummed about that I really shouldn't be - I can't use any DX lenses! I totally miss my Sigma 10-20mm. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:16 am 
DX lenses aren't entirely future proof - there are better FX wide angle lenses than the 10-20 Sigma. The 14-24 Nikkor springs to mind if you don't use filters. There are also many older Nikkors that will cover the wide angle well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:05 pm 
I have a 20-35 2.8 D, but would like something a bit wider. I'd love to have the 14-24, but it IS $1700 or so, whereas the Sigma is less than a 3rd of that, and quite a nice lens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:14 pm 
nice camera, I also the WB thing is not consistent.

Nikon has problem with their cost efficiency when producing pro grade lens.

Hopefully they can produce those lenses cheaper in the near future before significant FX shooters go for Sigma instead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:48 am
Posts: 200
great shots. The D700 is a beast of a camera. I would buy it if I could afford it. The HDR looks a bit too artificial for my taste but its still nice.

_________________
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:30 pm 
Found out another little negative last night - Nikon wants you to pay for their RAW editor, capture NX2. You spend almost $3k on a camera and you have to spend another $170 to edit the images it produces? Really? That's poor form IMO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:59 pm 
Get the 17-35. It's not as sharp, it's not as wide, it's not as perfect, but it is quite wide, it is relatively inexpensive and a wee bit smaller. It's also a more suitable walkaround lens than the 14-24.

Btw, the DR of the D700 is amazing. My experience with that sensor (in a D3, admittedly) is that I was able to pull down an exposure 5EV stops and make it work. At ISO1600!

:)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:35 pm 
nomix wrote:
Get the 17-35. It's not as sharp, it's not as wide, it's not as perfect, but it is quite wide, it is relatively inexpensive and a wee bit smaller. It's also a more suitable walkaround lens than the 14-24.

Btw, the DR of the D700 is amazing. My experience with that sensor (in a D3, admittedly) is that I was able to pull down an exposure 5EV stops and make it work. At ISO1600!

:)


Relatively inexpensive, that's a good one. I've seen that lens go for 1100 Pounds on ebay USED. Grays of westiminster has the 14-24 for 1300. You might as well go for the 14-24. If you've got 1100 pounds waiting to be spent, you can spend 1300.


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