Kurt this the D300
Kurt this the D300
Guy, I have a confession. I sent the d300 packing after a week because I craved the idea of again having a full-frame AF camera. I'm very happy that I did ... I feel like I can squeeze a little more out of the D3. It's got some major mojo. You might find the d300 is everything you need ... or, you're going to wonder what you're leaving on the table. I had to sacrifice an M lens ... but you have to trust your instincts.
If you follow Kurt it looks like you might be driving equipment out to Carmel for me .
Noise-free ISO 3200 and 6400.... no doubt it was D3.
D300 is pretty good, but...
...well, you know the rest Guy.
I tried to corrupt him as much as possible today.
I think that I succeeded in convincing him that he needed the Zeiss 50/1.4, and at least made him drool over my D3.
If we keep working on him, we all know that he will submit to the lure of a D3.
Thom Hogan has an interesting take on the differences between the D3 and the D300 and a couple of takes on how to choose which one might be right for you. Check it out here: http://www.bythom.com/d3ord300.htm
Well i was glad Ray came over , first he help me set up the D300 and explained few things . Thanks Ray. I am NOT a manual reading kind of guy. But I will say the Nikons have a ton of stuff which is good and bad . maybe too much stuff but some things are really nice. Live view for one is awesome and badly needed for product work and really handy with PC lenses . That alone was worth the switch from the 5d although we all know that will change. My other concern is noise . Obviously we all know ISO 640 is the max on the M8 and i need that extra stop. I see no real issue at ISO 1200 on the D300 and it does start to get noisy at 1600 but this is the first day with it and i need to load NX also and i need to figure out how to work these files . learning curve but raw processing is my game so it will come pretty quick. I have the camera at 14 bit and it does slow it down some but not a issue for me. i love the size and weight plus the feel of the Nikons in my opinion has always been better than Canon and the flash system has always been better also. Not to take away from canon but the Nikon seems more user friendly. i think I read Nikon is designed by shooters and Canon by engineers. maybe so and won't argue that point.
Now i already know this is no M8 either so no question my M8 files will be better in the lower ISO area. Not much can touch the M8 in certain ways. But first off , i was really impressed by the 105mm macro. Now folks it is really hard to impress me about photo gear and is a serious challenge for any OEM. i do not get wet pants over this stuff ever. I have seen the good the bad and the ugly . The 105 mm macro is damn good, the zeiss 50mm 1.4 i really liked and has a nice look to it. The 180mm is the 180 it has always been good and a classic Nikon lens and the price is right. The 17-35 i shot before and is also another Nikon classic and will get that at weeks end and the 85 nikon also.
Okay i am glad Ray brought the D3 along for the ride. Obviously for what i shoot the D3 is just too fast and i am very happy with the speed of the D300 and the size and weight. Honestly i do not need a D3 for that stuff , Full frame is another one that is great and love to have it for many things and the 1.5 does bother me some. i would have rather have a 1.3 but obviously i would take FF over any of them . For bokeh reasons and wides no doubt.
My biggest concern is the image quality and this is where the D3 looked better even at reasonable ISO forget the high ISO's for a minute it is over talked on the internet . The important part is what most folks skip over and that maybe do to inexperience from other forum sites but it is the tonal range . The D3 files look smoother and more range to them. There is more of a gradual transition and this is just looking at the LCD panels so i still need to wrap my arms around this to make final conclusions but when it comes to gear i am one of the sharper tools in the shed maybe not anywhere else but this stuff my eyes don't lie. But the D300 looks very good and don't want to take away from that and at it's price point whips some great quality out there. i need to get working on the files and see if i can work them the way i like . I know NX is highly rated for them , so need to try that to and i did not shoot all that much today to get a real feel for it. But first impressions are important and i liked it very much and look forward to using it. i just know me like most of you know me and just the fact there is a better Nikon out there makes me itch. LOL
But i need to remember what this system is too me also and that is to fill in some gaps and maybe take over on event work to some degree but my M8's are primary for now. but i will say this Nikon has taken some major major steps forward on the bodies and there lenses. Not sure as another camera company i would want to be in there rear view mirror they just may get smoked. Note to industry take notice.
BTW the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 was pretty easy to focus on both camera's and had a nice look and feel to working with it. I understand the 85mm could be a focusing issue with the D300 though. Could use a better manual focusing screen
This was ISO 1600 and if you nail the exposure it looks really good. Shot this with Rays 24-70
This one was ISO 200 wide open with the Macro . Now i did use my sharpening to it.
100 percent detail
105 macro no sharpening at 2.8. BTW I am using LR here
Did your D300 come with the Capture NX software or key code? Just curious. Also, there's a focus adjustment tool for fine-tuning your lenses to the camera. For many, this has brought some of their lenses back to life in a big way. I haven't tried it yet, myself.
Yes NX was in the box with the D300. Not turning me on, looks clunky. Something i need to work with though.
Have not tried the focus adjustment . Only one lens at the moment , the rest are on there way. I have the 180mm right now and it is new.
Most of these lenses i tried are Rays
It can be clunky if you don't have a really fast computer. For me, D-lighting takes far too long and I do it in CS3 instead. But the rest of the functions are quick enough, on my computer. I love the U-Point tool. I don't think new lenses are immune from benefiting from the focus adjustment. It seems to be eliminating the need for sending lenses in, which isn't often with Nikkors, fortunately.
I meant clunkly interface , just something I need to get used too. My machines are very fast. For example i could not find WB . LOL
small study in the diversity of leaves .-)
... with ZF 1.4/85mm
Hi L, you are right, that color seems to have gone bananas, I've probably done something stupid with the levels of the different color channels in the feature "Levels and Curves". I often adjust them each of their own.
On the other hand the color of this plant was really amazing and the light as well, which was my only reason for taking such a trivial photo. When I see good light I can't resist capturing it
And yes, Zeiss ZF 1.4/85mm and Auto White Balance. But don't blaim those factors, I'm sure it is my lacking skills in post processing, definitely my weakest point.
If you want me to I can send the RAW file to you by yousendit dot com and you can show me your take on it, or you can just take a look at the original capture ?
By the way this thread has all along just been ment for illustration of the output characteristics of the new cameras.
So I have tried to upload the RAW files (NEF) to "bondo dot be" and make links so that they could be downloaded for investigation and to play with, but for some reason I only got a white screen when I hit the links.
I just used the standard HTML tag for links: (A HREF="path") link_text (/a)
Of course here in this post I have put ( ) instead of < > so that it is not recognized as a HTML tag.
A JPG file would be shown, and a DOC file or an EXE file would be downloadable.
But with the NEF file it doesn't work. Does anyone know why ?
Last edited by Steen; 21st March 2008 at 13:13.
I've sent you the file, looking forward to see your take on it.
Your NEF file and my tweaked TIF can be downloaded here:
http://tinyurl.com/rv7w/_DSC0308.NEF (13 MB)
http://tinyurl.com/rv7w/_DSC0308_C1_iC.tif (35 MB)
My feeling is there was indeed some green cast in your pic.
Comes probably from a less than perfect auto WB in the camera.
AFAIC i've just developed the NEF file with Capture One (default settings) and adjusted WB and contrast in PP with iCorrect.
But i wasn't behind the camera so forgive me if my colors are out.
I think my vegetables looked more fresh while yours seem to have gone beyond last date
Just kidding, I agree your WB make them look a lot more realistic.
Only now I start wondering why I photographed them in the first place (still just kidding)
Thank you for your efforts with this, LCT. I need to take a closer look at the Kelvin value of this capture.
And thanks for making them downloadable, I simply don't get it why I cannot find out how to make links for downloading NEF versions of the files from my website, at least not with my rather new Internet Explorer 7 ?
turkish lamps, D300 with ZF 1.4/50 at f/4
Nice colors Steen. Have you received the 28/2 yet?
- and a backlit, ZF 1.4/50 at f/8
Right now I'm actually sitting on my hands not buying anything before Photokina, because I have a feeling that we might see some brandnew AFS primes from Nikon, which would also be very tempting. And at that time probably also the R10 in the horizon ...
I'll admit to swapping my ZF lens line-up around again.
I had the 35/2, 50/1.4, and 85/1.4 first with the D200. I had to change the screen out so that I had any hope of focussing with the 85 at close range and open aperture. The 35 was an incredible lens but a little long physically on the D200 but used often because of the approx. 50 focal length when cropped. The 50/1.4 was nice and reminded me of the Leica Pre-ASPH Lux.
Then came the 50/2.0 Macro which replaced my Nikon 60/2.8 Macro (not the latest brand new one). This 50 really blew the Nikor out of the water, so I kept it and sold the Nikon. Having listened to my dealer that it was a Macro range and not general range lens, I never really tried it at mid or long distance. (What a mistake that was!!!!!!) This lens is much better at close distance out to infinity than the 50/1.4 ZF.
Next was the sale of the 85 since I missed focus as often as I nailed it on the D200.
Now that I have gone full frame with the D3 and bought the 24-70/2.8 (which is incredible), I first sold the 35 ZF as I prefer something wider and the bokeh reminded me of the sometimes strange 35 Cron version IV. I also sold the 50/1.4 ZF to just keep the 50/2.0 ZF.
In search of something wider, I initially got the 25/2.8 ZF and was loaned the 28/2. Well after a week with both in hand the 25/2.8 went back and the 28/2 stayed. The 25 is a sharp lens but weak up close, shows some distortion, and has less desirable OOF areas for my tastes. The 28/2.0 ZF is a stop faster and a better overall lens for my use with beautiful rendering of textures.
In between, all of this I had tried the Nikon 85 and preferred it to the Zeiss due to improved focus and it being a little more forgiving for portraits. It did not last long however either, when compared to the 105 VR lens on full frame.
So I have consolidated down to ZF 28/2.0, ZF 50/2.0 Macro, Nikon 105 Vr for primes.
Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to express how I got to where I am today and that you will most likely love the new 28/2.0 ZF.
On the contrary, Ray, I would like to express a BIG Thank You for the long post including many of the considerations behind your choices. That is exactly what makes it so useful for me and, I'm sure, for many others.
One more thing we need to know is, how does the 28mm perform compared to the 35mm, which so many have been raving about ? Do you think it is on par with the 35mm (maybe only with a more pleasing bokeh) ?
And like LCT I would love to see some samples when you get some captures that you would like to share with us
Btw. have you seen what the ZF 2/100mm does ... just trying to spend your money for you
Hi LCT & Bondo,
The 35 was a slightly better lens technically than the 28. This relates to basically how evenly sharp it across the entire frame, virtually no distortion , nor CA. If you are looking for a really, really good lens technically the 35 is tuff to beat. What I really did not like about it was the bokeh. That 35 Cron IV bokeh just doesn't work for me.
The 28 does have a little very minor distortion at the edges (much better than the 25), it can show a little CA (however it is better than the 25 ZF), it is just as good as the 35 in handling all items from close to infinity with respect to sharpness (while the 25 is weak up close), & I really love the bokeh or OOF rendering and transitions. In Leica terms I would say it is more refined and subtle like the Leica 28 Cron ASPH vs. the Leica 35 Cron ASPH. The only other thing which is slightly weird is that when working close and with narrow DOF the plane of focus shifts backward slightly as you move off center then comes back to the same center plane. This is very slight and only noticeable when shooting with very narrow DOF (close and open aperture), but it is there. However, the end result is that I still really love this lens more so than the 35.
Since I really like 50 as a focal length, I think the 28 just gives me more flexibility than the 35 as the next step.
I will say that even though my 24-70/28 is VERY GOOD, both the 28/2.0 and 50/2.0 are better in sharpness and fine detail.
I'll try to use it this weekend and post some pics. I'm shooting the SMMG3Gun Match here in Phoenix this weekend for Smith & Wesson, so I'll use it for the wides. The 70-200 is the lens really getting the work out this weekend.
Silver and copper under a green testile roof
D300 with Nikkor DX 18-70mm
Woody, i have the 105/2 dcm after having had the 135/2 dc. for me the
105/2 dc was the better glass. at 5.6 you could resolve rivets way off!!
For portraits in the open prefer it to the 85/1.4. never really became fully
conversant with the dc control on either the 105/135. the hood can get stuck
in the micro grooves if one is not careful.
The ZF 100/2 is simply the best lens, both in terms of sharpness and bokeh, I have ever used, in any format. A big call, I know.
Reason I am not getting the Nikon VR equivalent is that (due to Auto ISO on the D3) I don't find it necessary. If I am doing products in the studio, I can control the light; there is always enough to use a shutter speed of 1/750, or faster. which I find gives results that are sharp, hand-held. That flexibility of composition is incredible (reason for Nikon making a macro lens VR in the first place, I guess).
The 50/2 Zeiss is just as good, but because the 24–70/2.8 is so good, I have not found myself reaching for it. Now the Brightscreen is fitted, I may use it more.
Same for the ZF 25: on the D300, not a focal length that grabs. I have not got around to using it on the D3 yet, I am somewhat ashamed to say. cheers, kl
(all with the D2x & the 105 VR) where 1:1 or at least having the possibility for 1:1 would be necessary.
That said, the results from the Zeiss are very very good, once more - I just can't see getting & owning both... or maybe I do
Shots much like yours! I like the look of the 105 VR, and (but don;t tell anyone) in a blind shootout, I think they would be hard to separate.What I mean is, do you use it for real macro work or just for product shots and the like?
To answer your question, I use the 100/1 at its maximum (which you say is 1:2). If I needed more, I would use extension rings. Cheap and effective. I have some very young grape vine shoots I may post if time permits; the bokeh is dreamy, yet the sharpness is, well—sharp! I would stick to what you've got; it's a great lens on all account. cheers, kl
Woody, hello there my friend. As I understand it, changing from the standard screen to a Brightscreen has literally no effect on AF (different light pathways and mechanisms), This "two-systems" aspect is why you can have a camera that shows you perfect focus (via AF conf. light) and actually achieves perfect focus (when you look at the images) yet can have an MF system that is completely out (so if you get what looks like perfect focus n the finder, the images are out). My D3 Afs the same as with the standard screen.
Vieri, extension rings cannot lower IQ, in my experience; they are the mechanical equivalent of turning the helicoid a (say) half-inch further than you could before you fitted the ring.
Vieri, have you experiences image degradation via extension tubes on a macro lens? I have used them on occasions, but I have not noticed any image effects that don't seem to be the result of the further reduced DOF, and the closer focussing distance. Anyone else?