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Nikon D700 Gordon Laing, August 2008

Nikon D700 Gallery

The following images were taken with a final production Nikon D700 fitted with Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm and Nikkor AF 50mm f1.8 lenses. As a full-frame body, the effective field of view has not been reduced. The D700 was set to Large Fine JPEG quality (optimised for quality) for these samples, with Auto White Balance and the default Standard Picture Control, Normal High ISO NR and Active D-Lighting switched off. Vignette Control was set to the default Normal.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open our Nikon D300 Gallery for a comparison of detail and noise.

Landscape: 5.77MB, Program, 1/250, f8, ISO 100, 14-24mm at 14mm (14mm equivalent)

  This shot illustrates one of the benefits of full-frame: no field-reduction. So the 14-24mm lens zoomed-out to 14mm here is delivering a huge field of view. It's normally tricky to fit the sail into the frame, but here we've captured the entire yacht!

The lens delivers superb quality, and while there's inevitably geometric distortion at 14mm, the image is sharp across the entire frame. The D700 is set 1EV below its base sensitivity here, so you have to be careful with exposures, but the result is clean and detailed.

Landscape: 9.98MB, Program, 1/320, f9, ISO 200, 14-24mm at 14mm (14mm equivalent)

  In this second shot we've increased the D700 to its base sensitivity of 200 ISO, but kept the 14-24mm zoomed-out to 14mm to again capture a massive field of view.

The very low angle was made easier with Live View, although a flip-out screen would ultimately have been preferred here.

The crops are again impressively sharp - the first is taken from the extreme left side of the image, proving the lens delivers decent performance across the frame. The D700 at 200 ISO is also delivering a very clean, detailed image.

Landscape: 5.60MB, Program, 1/500, f11, ISO 200, 50mm (50mm equivalent)

  For our third shot we kept the D700 at 200 ISO, but switched the lens to the AF 50mm f1.8. The boat was approaching quite quickly, so the AF was set to continuous with 9-point tracking.

The D700 had no problems keeping the subject in sharp focus.

The D700 was also not fooled into underexposing by the bright hull, and the crops reveal superb quality.

There's a great deal of detail in those crops and very natural-looking image processing.

Portrait: 3.89MB, Program, 1/250, f9, ISO 200, 50mm (50mm equivalent)

  Another shot here taken with the 50mm lens and the D700 at its base sensitivity of 200 ISO. This time we manually popped the flash open in order to fill-in harsh shadows.

As you'd expect from the base sensitivity, the quality is very high, with detailed crops free from artefacts. The D700 has also done a good job of balancing natural light with that from the flash.

A smaller depth of field could of course be achieved in Aperture Priority, especially with this lens.

Macro: 7.70MB, Program, 1/200, f7.1, ISO 400, 50mm (50mm equivalent)

  For this macro shot we increased the D700's sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at it would focus with the 50mm lens.

The AF 50mm f1.8 is certainly no macro lens, but has still delivered a good result at its closest focusing distance.

There's also no compromise with the D700 increased to 400 ISO. The crops are very smooth, detailed and noise-free, although some may prefer to apply a little extra sharpening.


Indoor: 4.27MB, Aperture Priority, 1/30, f4, ISO 400, 50mm (50mm equivalent)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the D700 at 400 ISO, again with the 50mm lens.

Low light forced Program to select too large an aperture for the desired depth-of-field, so we switched to Aperture Priority and f4.

As you'd hope for a full-frame sensor just 1EV above its base sensitivity, the crops remain clean and detailed. It's a very usable sensitivity on the D700.

Indoor: 5.43MB, Aperture Priority, 1/10, f3.5, ISO 800, 14-24mm at 24mm (24mm equivalent)

  Our second indoor shot was taken with the D700's sensitivity increased to 800 ISO. We switched back to the 14-24mm lens here, but this time zoomed-into 24mm.

As above the D700 wanted to use the maximum aperture in Program mode, so we switched to f3.5 in Aperture Priority to achieve a slightly greater depth-of-field.

We're now beginning to see the real high ISO benefits of full-frame with another detailed, noise-free result that's very usable.

Indoor: 6.21MB, Aperture Priority, 1/50, f4, ISO 1600, 14-24mm at 24mm (24mm equivalent)

  Our next indoor shot was again taken with the 14-24mm at 24mm, but this time with the D700's sensitivity increased to 1600 ISO.

The crops are now revealing some texture through noise and noise reduction, but there's still plenty of detail and the result looks good when printed.

To see how this same scene looks throughout the D700's entire sensitivity range, check out our D700 High ISO results page. As a taster though we'll include one final shot at the D700's maximum sensitivity.

Indoor: 9.43MB, Program, 1/160, f6.3, ISO 25600, 14-24mm at 14mm (14mm equivalent)

  The Nikon D700 boasts a maximum sensitivity of 25,600 ISO - but are the results any good?

As seen here, there's lots of noise, and also numerous red 'hot' pixels in shadow areas. So it's only really for emergency use, but at least the option's there.

Note: the contrast between the dark ceiling and bright lamp has resulted in a visible line across the image. This is sensor blooming, not banding, and was only visible in our tests at the highest ISO and in compositions with very high contrast areas.

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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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