There are all sorts of reasons why a polarizer might produce better resolution. An increase in contrast would be my primary suspect...
There are all sorts of reasons why a polarizer might produce better resolution. An increase in contrast would be my primary suspect...
My name's Vladimir, I live in Russia and have just registered here in order to express my thanks to the topicstarter, Jack.
Jack, you really have taken a heavy burden off my shoulders, you know.
The fact is I was one of the first enthusiast photographers in Russia to buy the d800 a month ago. They are not selling the d800e here yet, it will appear on the counters in a month's time. Nobody wants to buy the d800 now waiting for the d800e and believing in its outstanding qualities as regards resolution and detail. They say I've done a very thoughtless thing buying the model without letter E as I'm loosing a considerable part of crispness and acuity with it. By reading this topic I became more confident about the good qualities of my camera.
I find the discussion here very useful.
Welcome to the forums. I"m sure many will chime in here in response to your 1st post, but let me just say that even if there was a quite noticeable difference in image detail between the D800 and D800E (which there isn't in my opinion too), the D800 is a phenomenal achievement in 35mm DSLR's and capable of extraordinary performance, especially in producing very large file sizes suitable for substantial size Professional quality large format prints. In that regard and for many other uses, you have a phenomenal photographic tool and both models perform so similary, that for the vast majority of uses, most would never be able to distinguish any difference between the two when used in most practical applications. Enjoy your new camera!
Last edited by D&A; 6th May 2012 at 20:12.
>They say I've done a very thoughtless thing buying the model without letter E
Of course it is very thoughtless to take pictures why the others wait :-).
Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
And, as I understand now, thanks to this forum, the hype over the d800e is very much exaggerated.
Other examples here, here, and here.
I don't understand what you're saying about corrugated surfaces. Polycarbonate is a birefringent material without doing anything to it. Higher quality filters seem to use other materials more often, but the design and the optical principles are fundamentally the same, whether the filter uses polycarbonate or some more exotic crystal.
I really expect to learn quite a lot from you here.
It's a long way to go from the Volga river in Russia where I live, to America where you live, but who knows, maybe one day I'll come over and take part in your master classes and we'll make a shootout together!
Or, maybe you one day come to Russia...
Last edited by zebra; 7th May 2012 at 14:40.
Wanted to update this thread for posterity. Today my friend Steve stopped by with his D800E. We went out and shot locally with both cameras. We just finished reviewing the files. Obviously we shot an identical set of images with each camera using the exact same lenses and the same tripod for positional equality.
For a summary of my findings, the bottom line result was exactly what I concluded at the start of this thread using Rob's images -- the difference is incredibly minor when both files are processed optimally.
To add more meat to that if you're still reading, I will share Steve's comments as we processed identical images from both cameras side-by-side in C1 on my big monitor:
1) After initial import with all files at the same exact settings: Steve says, "You can clearly see the D800E is sharper." I reply, "Yes you can, but watch."
2) I then dial up sharpening on the D800 to ideal. Steve comments, "Okay, but the D800E still looks a little sharper." I reply, "Yes it does, but it's contrast and micro-contrast. Look at these shadow areas in both images and you can see that the D800 regular is more open and the D800E is more blocked." Steve, "Oh... Yes, I see that now. The shadows are more open and the DR is better on the D800."
3) Then I dial clarity up 20 points for the D800. I don't say anything, I just look at Steve which prompts him to stuff his face in the monitor with his reading cheaters on. After 10 seconds of study he says, "That's remarkable. You've just shown there was no reason for me to spend the extra money on the D800E." Then he adds, "It isn't going to be worth the extra hassle for me to deal with the moire!"
4) I say hold on and scroll to a diagonal wire in the upper part of the frame and zoom in. Again I just look at him. He replies," What?" I say, "Look closely and you can make out the twisted strands of the wire a little better in the D800E file." Steve, "What effective size print would this be?" Me, "Probably about 7 feet wide." Steve simply laughs.
5) He then says, "There's really no reason for this camera." I say, "I disagree and look at it a little differently. Most of us are going to own two of these bodies anyway, so there's no reason one shouldn't be an E." He replies, "What will you use it for that you wouldn't be comfortable using the D800 for?" I start to answer and pause... "Excellent question, I really don't know." Steve says, "I shoot mostly models, and the lack of moire on fabric is enough reason for me to prefer the regular D800." I have no argument to give him...
Jack, this is not A comment regarding the results you outlined but something I've in one way or another expressed previously as have others. Either Nikon designed the AA filter of the D800 so exceptionally well, as to almost match what some refer to as the AA filterless D800E....OR...they designed the filter array ( or whatever terminology one wants to refer it as) to not be truly a AA filterless camera, but mimics to a degree the partial effectiveness of having a weak AA filter as so to avoid significant appearance of moire.
That may be one reason it's so hard to provoke moire in the D800E. These are two schools of thought why both camera output are close, right out of the camera. My money is on the day when someone has their D800 modified so that the glass filter array is removed completely and then the D800E will be to a greater degree than present, sharper with evidence of resolving additional real world detail when compared to the D800. At the same time though I believe the D800 AA filter has been tuned, so that it is somewhat weaker an AA filter than we're used to seeing in previous Nikon DSLR'S"s.
It may be that both theories have some validity and that each has been modified/tuned to a degree, so that they are within close proximity of one another. Sort of close to meeting in the middle, so to speak.
I cannot disagree, but will offer my alternative component to your theory: First we agree that the OPLF in the regular D800 is probably as close to optimal as we've had in most any DSLR to date. The fact that we can get a shadowy hint of moire under ideal circumstances at times would support that theory. What I think is happening with the E is the simple fact that the pixels are so small, the lens itself becomes a quasi AA filter. (I note similar behavior from the IQ180 relative to teh P65+/IQ160.) We only see moire with the best lenses under ideal capture conditions. Get aperture too far removed from the f5.6 or faster aperture ideal, and moire disappears; change interference frequency marginally by moving closer or further away with the same lens and moire disappears. As such, I do not expect visibly improved performance if the existing self-cancelling OLPF assembly gets removed entirely. (Again, this postulate is drawn from my experience with the IQ180 which has no AA filter of any description.)
But I do hope somebody drums up the courage to try it and prove me wrong!
Seriously to answer your question, I just took delivery of my second D800 non-E today. I will probably still get an E if one becomes available, but to be 100% honest, I really can not explain any logic behind it other than having one of each because they're slightly different.
If I were buying new and only buying ONE body, I *might* choose the D800E if I only ever shot landscape. I would DEFINITELY choose the regular D800 if I planned on photographing people at all.
yes, sorry jack .
I usually read both of you, maybe there was my error.
I will buy only one and I shot landscapes, architecture and people (portraits and rave parties). I should decide for one of both it was the d800e after your tests I`m not sure.
I'm certainly better looking. LOL
Jack I follow, understand and for the most part agree with all you expressed. Whether what you observed with the IQ180 can be extrapolated with regards to moire or lack thereof in the D800E, I honestly don't know. From what I hear from very reliable sources, Nikon was extremely hesitant early on in development to release a AA filterless camera along side a AA filter one due to their concerns for complaints from the greater general public at large with regards to moire. If these facts are correct, it possibly could be surmised that Nikon compromised and tuned the D800E to it's present form as opposed to a truly naked sensor with regards to no AA filter. What I also heard was that not all that long ago, sometime before the initial cameras were announced, they were close to a decision to make the D800E release only for the Japanese market.
***** hmmm, Jack, if I understand you correctly, if you get a hold of a D800E to go along with your present two D800 bodies, does that mean your D800E will be volunteered up for disassembly and modification...of course as part of the Getdpi educational tutorial series?
Last edited by D&A; 17th May 2012 at 15:38.
I could surely and easily believe all of those findings, Jack, but I'm confused as my findings (based on the downloaded raw files of Steen and on a D800E 5 minutes test) are the complete opposite.
The D800 files have that DSLR look I'm so glad the Phase don't have (lack of micro contrast and relief when zoomed in) and are not that exciting.
The D800E files are stunning when pixel peeped.
Of course there is way too many variables between the pictures I used for comparison but on the other side both the files from Steen and those I made are good starting points.
I know your point is certainly not to convince anybody but - with such statement - this of course will make people that have ordered a D800E think again.
It would be great - really great - if you could share both raw files with us so we could play with them and make our own conclusion based on our raw file development skills :too cool:
PS: After I wrote the above I was talking it all out with Guy and I've decided I will NOT go for a D800E. My final logic was there is zero reason I should have two bodies that require different processing to get to the look I want when I can process both identically to get the look I want and at the same time have saved all the extra processing time...
PPS: The next body I am looking to is the D600 -- if it by any chance has superior high ISO due to fatter pixels, then I am all over it as my 3rd body
PPPS: If Nikon releases a 17PC-e on optical par with Canon's, and if they improve the 24 to match, OR IF A 3rd PARTY MANUFACTURER RELEASES QUALITY PC LENSES FOR NIKON, I am likely (not guaranteed, but likely) to sell off my remaining MF gear...
There you have it.
But if you want an E then by all means go for it! There is no downside other than a little more post effort when moire crops up. Just don't go for the E assuming you will gain a materially superior file over the non-E -- it will not be the case.
From what I can gather from Jack and talking to him and reading his writings is it basically comes down to micro contrast or more to the point. When your looking at a E files in comparision the clarity is already at a high level so your eye immediately is fooled into it is sharper which is natural but with that micro contrast or clarity comes slightly less DR and the shadows block up more. In other words its called PUNCH as the D800 non E is a smoother tonal range a little more DR as the contrast is less. You can get to the same E level but one must add clarity. Now here is the kicker which we all need to understand is Nikon/Phase on how they look at there customers. Phase is ONLY RAW and there customers will process in whatever there needs are , it will come in with even a very flat look to it which is actually DR range and operator will usually be adding bit of black level and clarity given the subject say like a landscape on a portrait we will not do that at all and if anything lower the clarity on a portrait. The D800 is acting in the same manor with a smoother range and flatter file. Now the D800 E model the clarity and contrast are already there at higher levels so in a portrait you maybe reducing this in great amounts both clarity and contrast. Now you ask why is Nikon doing this and really the answer is there customers and how they design and folks they are not tuning there files so much for RAW but out of the can jpegs. Most Nikon/Canon users will never shoot a raw image ever so they tune there cameras for out of the can pleasing look straight out of the camera. Companies like Phase/Hassy/leaf do not do that at all its all based on user raw processing and the files will be more flatter in look. Its up to us to make the needed adjustments given the subject.
Now what I am thinking and Dave alluded to it as well as Jack is there really is a AA filter on the E model but the setting is so low on it that the appearance out of the can is sharper with more contrast. What no one has done here is actually match the E model to the normal model and actually reduce clarity and contrast byline tuning it to the normal model , everyones is going from the D800 version to The E version and as Jack is reporting its simple a matter of adding sharpness and clarity to the file to match. Now take the E and reduce down and I bet it matches the D800.
Bottom line what Nikon is doing is saying we will make a normal camera D800 and have the AA filter at a point where it does filter out the moire and you get a nice even files across the board. Now we will give you a E version that might be right on the edge of just taking the AA filter out completely which in turn adds clarity to the file and micro contrast at a higher level out of the can. Thats really the big difference and now you have a different file out of the can based on Jpeg output and yes the raws will be different as well. But Nikon is basing all the design and algorithms on there biggest customers which is based on Jpeg. The jpegs have to be different and are by design and fine tuning the AA filters accordingly in each camera. So when you get to comparing raws it really comes down what Nikon did . Now you make adjustments accordingly to what you need and in this case by adding sharpness and clarity you can bring it to the same level as the E . Now by default by tuning the AA filter like they did in the E version it will appear and is a little better on micro contrast but the key here is will it become apparent in print and in this case maybe probably not ( or so very slight) and I did read somewhere you will notice it more in pixel peeping than you will in print.
I really think you need to understand what Nikon has done to each cam and how everything they do is based on Jpeg and end of the day they designed the E to have more PUNCH. This is what I am gathering. Given a MF shooter may understand this slightly better because our OEM's base everything by Raw and tune our backs for smoothness overall in both contrast, clarity and tonal range its up to us users to make those adjustments in our processing. Nikon designs opposite of that and is based more on out of the can Jpeg results since that is there higher user base.
We also as shooters need to getaway also from screen pixel peeping and rely more on whats coming off the printer as a more accurate comparison tool. I think there is a little disalusion on screen pixel peeping since in print these variances are not so gapping wide.
Now I could be wrong here but i do know 35mm OEMS and MF OEMS design differently for there sensors and that is something we have to think about.
My famous out of that one is I'm just a shooter. LOL
In all seriousness it is nice shooting a 35mm again but this time getting some real results. Have to admit I'm having some fun.
Guy, I think you may be on to something with the jpeg comment -- clearly if you shoot in jpeg, then the D800E will generally produce a sharper image with more micro contrast as compared to the D800.
Jack, what do you mean when you said "and with WB droppered from the same spot", thanks
And to add on your comment that's marketing 101 exactly how you phrased it and there selling point.
Readers with a technical bent would be interested in a thread on the LuLa forum, and in particular the tests and analyses reported by Bart van der Wolf. He found that the OLPF in the D800 is really close to ideal, and when the appropriate optimal deconvolution sharpening is applied to the outputs of both D800 and D800E, the results are essentially indistinguishable. The difference in measured resolution is only about 1%.
"Nikon D800 / D800E First Comparison"
According to van der Wolf, when differences show up, they will probably be in low contrast microdetails at spatial frequencies near theoretical max (Nyquist). This is because OLPF on the D800 is pushing the (unsharpened) response down near Nyquist, and the extra sharpening needed by D800 may not be able to pull these low contrast details out of the noise.
A word to those who want to make their own comparisons but do not have access to both D800 and D800E: the best samples I have found to date are those on Rob Galbraith's site, in this article:
Rob Galbraith DPI: Comparing detail and moire in the Nikon D800 and D800E
Download the NEF versions of the "intersection" image, and have at it with your favorite raw converter.
I would like to see someone post some carefully done comparison shots, made at high ISO, in low light, high noise conditions. That's the scenario where the extra sharpening required by the D800 might place it at a disadvantage.
Well I just started shooting with my D800 today, I still have a D800/e on order from amazon, no local Nikon dealers in Telluride, oh well price for living in a very small town I guess.
Jack has done an amazing job in comparing the 2 cameras, excellent comparison and i will will for sure try C1 to process my d800 files and use Jacks USM settinging and also add clarity.
IMHO since having owned a M9 and Leicas entry level lenses, I Still think the M9 files looked amazing, which leads me to believe like has been mentioned before, we need better lenses to handle such small pixels.
D800 is an amazing camera no question, and I can only hope for Nikon to release a new 24mm PC-E and a 17 PC-E.
I still have my Sinar arTec with my 3 lens kit, and a Leaf 33mp back, IQ is still great, and ease of use for me is quite good, so simple to do stitching, and If I need tilt it's always available for me and using shift at least with my 3 lenses does not degrade IQ, whereas a D800 with a T/S lens cannot do he same.
Still in he process of testing different lenses out on my D800,
Ps. again great job Jack. Thanks again
I thought I felt a little earthquake when I was reading this.
Seriously though the question now is: Who will be first? Canon to bring a D800 competitor or Nikon to release the T/S wide angle lenses.
Camera rumour sites must have a good business in this age ..... LOL
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Thanks guys, we try to get to the bottom line on this stuff quickly so all of us can get to the business of making the most of the new tools.
And I suspected my "announcement" might shake the ground a bit
your efforts and your time saving information are really appreciated.
I know you are a very experienced C1 user and have spent countless hours perfecting capture sharpening in C1,
Have you or anyone else in this matter come up with some comparable
capture sharpening settings in LR4 for high frequency images, ie landscape stuff when using a D800 that would get me closer to a D800/E micro contrast?
I have been using the "so called" deconvolution setting in LR4
Mask to taste usually around 23 so my Telluride blue sky's and clouds don't get sharpened.
My experience with LR/ACR is now so old it's probably outdated, but here is a starting point that should be reasonably close, and what I used before C1 could handle the D800 files. My preference was for more sharpening and less detail than you chose. Try amount at 98, radius at 0.6 (or up to 0.8 for a less crisp base file) and then detail usually around 35. I choose masking based on grain in even-toned areas and usually this ends up being around 9 for an ISO 100/200 file.
Hopefully some others can chime in with better refined suggestions.
Bottom line is at least for me, C1 does a pretty significantly superior job. But I know LR stalwarts will claim I will not see the difference in a print
Those are Lloyd's at Diglloyds recommended setting I think. I will give these a try and I also remember reading that cranking up the detail to 90 more closely resembles the D800/E look, but don't quote me on this
Jack, like yourself I sold of my Leaf AFI Hy6 kit and holding on to my arTec
I still believe for WA images the tech view solution is superior to 35mm FF
In regards to C1 vs LR4 that's a whole other story and,I agree with you C1 has the advantage, yet I like LR because I am quite fond of the print module.
I think the widest I will go on my D800 is a Zeiss 35/2 which I am renting right now from lens rental.com and so far performing very well.
Now if I can find an affordable long range lens, I would love the 200/2 but way out of my price range. I have the 180/2.8 and for landscape it is not good at all
Steven don't forget to AF tune that 180 on my body it was off like -14. Im sitting here waiting for FedX and my 200 F2. freaking torture
I was just shooting the 180/2.8 at infinity and just a hair of infinity, my corners were terrible. Though my closer up stuff looked great. So for me what I like to shoot. with long FL the 180/2.8 does not cut it or I got a bad copy??? Have you shot your 180/2.8 at infinity?
I am so jealous, 200/2 wow.... Im sure the results will be amazing.
Can you tell us more about the zeiss 25 f2? I am trying to decide between it and the Nikon 24 1.4 for mainly landscape and travel use, and am particularly interested to hear aout how it performs in terms of distant subjects, edge to edge sharpness, and colour fringing, especially LoCas... Thanks!
Btw I personally find that too high a detail setting at other than low ISO makes the files feel a tad crunchy.
I didn't try the Zeiss 25/2 I am using Zeiss 35/2