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35 mm DSLR Full Frame Selection

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Hi Kit:

Really looking forward to your D3 impressions! I have heard great things about the Nikon 14-28 performance --- the only somewhat negative comment has been about it's size, it's big ;)
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
As we say here, 'farqing big'.

I go to the gym, luckily, and can close the 200lb version of the Heavy Grips

:)

Understand your comments too re. not being wowed by those files you saw from a friend's D3—especially after reviewing the 1DsIII. What lens was he shooting on the D3?
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, he knows how to MF and liked that lens on his D200 ;) His D3 shot had enough foreground and background that you see the exact plane of focus clearly delineated --- and in that plane at its sharpest point it was simply never crisp... EDIT: Again, I want to repeat, it COULD be a defective camera in some other way!
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Jack: that's interesting. My D3 has been delayed a day (got bumped off in LAX for higher priority cargo!). All duties and GST paid, though, and could be here tomorrow.

It's hard to understand prima facie how that lens could be great on the D200 and not on the D3---but I have learned though a lot of testing that (like computers) these things are never as consistent and as reliable as we would like!

I definitely will test all the ZFs on the D3. Cheers, kl
 

woodyspedden

New member
Kit

Will you be testing the 14-24 or the 24-70 on your new D3? I only have the D300 with the smaller sensor but the 14-24 looks killer on that body. Of course you can't see to the full frame corners but on this sensor it makes you drool. I plan on also getting the new 24-70 if the final reviews are as good as the preliminaries. Looks like Nikon is getting some great glass from their designers.

Woody
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Woody,

I ordered both the day they were announced with the D3. With any luck, the 14–24 will arrive tomorrow with the D3, and the 24–70 soon after. I will be testing them, but not against brick walls!

Bjørn Rosslett claims that the 24–70 sets new standards for zooms: that's enough for me; see here:

http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

Go to "Lenses" LH column and navigate your way to it.

Agree re. lenses, and most here remember why the Alt DSLR thread really took off. You might want to check Richard's quick review (16-9.net), which he posted on at FM, here:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/594820

Ignore the flamers. Cheers, kl
 

harmsr

Workshop Member
Guys,

You will love the new 24-70 lens. I got one of the lenses on the first day that dealers received them. After just a few days of use, I sold my 28-70 which was already a good lens. My 28-70 was better than the 17-55 DX, so it was the one that stayed until this new 24-70 arrived.

Believe the reviews. Really sharp and great resolution, nice level of contrast, nice transitions from sharp to OOF, distortion is very controlled on the wide end, fast focus, great handling on the camera.

Go buy one.

My Nikon AF lens set has been reduced to this new 24-70 2.8, 100 2.8 VR Macro, 70-210 2.8 VR. This covers everything that I need with excellent glass. I also still have the Zeiss 50 1.4 ZF & Zeiss 50 2.0 Macro ZF. I did have the Zeiss 25 & 35 lenses also, but I like this new 24-70 so much that I sold the 25 & 35.

I can't wait to see what Nikon is going to do for a higher resolution version of the D3 next year, if the rumors are true. Being invested in Nikon Glass & liking the body ergonomics/menu system of Nikon better, I've never seriously considered switching to Canon.



Best,

Ray
 

fotografz

Well-known member
Well, the Canon 1DsMKIII luster has faded. And I am stumped. R-10 is so far off on the horizon and it's unknown if it'll be AF or not.

Wish someone would bust out and deliver a category breaker. I truly lament the demise of Contax. I suppose the Nikon D3 with Ziess glass is the closest ... but I need AF.
 

woodyspedden

New member
Woody:

Can you see the images on the LCD in sunlight. I was disappointed in the M8 LCD compared to the DMR LCD, which can be see in full sun.
Robert

The D300 LCD is a very good product and you can see in direct sunlight to a degree but this is no DMR. If Leica actually improve on the DMR LCD while bringing to market a FF sensor from Kodak with even better sensor quality than the DMR and using all that wonderful R glass, we may well be waiting for the ultimate 135 digital solution. Beyond that I agree with Marc; we will now be all going to the MF format.

What do you think Ansel Adams would have done with a 5x4 and the P45+ back? YIKES!!!


Woody
 

Marc Wilson

New member
Well, the Canon 1DsMKIII luster has faded. And I am stumped. R-10 is so far off on the horizon and it's unknown if it'll be AF or not.

Wish someone would bust out and deliver a category breaker. I truly lament the demise of Contax. I suppose the Nikon D3 with Ziess glass is the closest ... but I need AF.
So really its just like in the pre digital days.
If you have to have the fastest af, frames per minute, etc, etc you go 35mm but know that the image quality is limited to a certain level, whereas if you have to have the best image quality but still in a fairly portable package you go medium format.

Nice and simple, just like the old days, but now with improved af in the medium format gear.

So everyone should be happy? (apart perhaps from the costs involved!)

Marc


www.marcwilson.co.uk
 

doug

Active member
So everyone should be happy? (apart perhaps from the costs involved!)
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Not entirely. I'd still like to see a DSLR with a superlative viewfinder like the Leicaflex SL has. It should have a Leica-R lens mount too (Nikon AI would do in a pinch).
 

doug

Active member
If anyone is near salt water this weekend, the highest tide of the year will flush all sorts of critters out of the marshes where you can see 'em and photograph 'em. Jack, Palo Alto Baylands is one of the hot spots. I'll be at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland on Sunday.

 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Well, I have had the D3 and the 14–24/2.8 for over a week now. You will need to work on your grip strength as I mentioned above, if you plan on walking around with this combo. Suggestions below.

First impressions: as everyone else has reported, high ISO performance is stupidly good, encouraging you to shoot your girlfriend in a dark room lit by s single small candle, photograph black cats at night, etc. All work out just fine. The noise looks like grain to me, speaking as an ex pushed Tri-X man.

Interface is excellent; but some silly things—like, you can't put Min. Shutter Speed into "my menu"—but you can put Auto ISO on/off there. Trouble is, "Min. Shutter Speed" and "Max. ISO" (sub menus of Auto ISO) are exactly the settings you DO need to change as you change lenses.

Yet all sub menus from the Flash section of the Shooting menu CAN be put there. Someone in Nikon programming was asleep at the wheel there, or they don't take photographs. The Auto ISO is sensational. Default goes to 6400, and is perfectly usable.

The 14–24/2.8, apart from being nose heavy (think Distagon 21/2.8, only bigger) produces sharp images edge to edge, at ƒ2.8. Distortion is well controlled. This will be the only lens I will use for interiors, and I have a project coming up next year to document one architect's work—the last ten year's worth.

D3 files need more sharpening than I remember with the 5D or the 1Ds. I have never used PK Sharpener's "Luminance level 3" before, but that seems perfect (and that is after Capture Sharpening). Files have a lot of latitude for overexposure, and I think we will be breaking the "expose as far as you can the right, but no further" rule deliberately. One stop for sure, IMHO. This can be completely recovered with the Recovery slider. Benefits? Way less shadow noise, which is great to begin with.

The "Active D-Lighting" works well, and surprisingly subtly. As far as I can tell, using the "High" setting is like using ~30% on the recovery slider, and about 20% on the Fill Light (ACR).

Batteries are light and seem to last forever. We did the test shots in the studio for the next book (soft box for main light; two smaller soft boxes for the BG); shot all afternoon (maybe 100 shots) and the indicator showed a full charge.

We shot these images on the 70-200/2.8 VRR wide open to soften the BG, and all images are tack sharp. I am still waiting on the 24–70/2.8; for some reason my guy just can't get any out of Nikon, yet I was able to get a 14–24 easily.

The ZFs do very nicely on both the D3 and the D300, but are (for me) difficult to focus. I will try the magnifier on the D3 (DK-17M; but the one for the D300 gives a distorted "tunnel vision" effect, so I gave it away with the D200). I am hoping the optics on the DK-17M are better.

If this does not give the MF results I am looking for, I will install a BrightScreen; Jim told me yesterday he has completed the first ones.

In all, I like the D3 and the D300 as a pair, especially the focal length combos. I will add one more thing to the bag (a TC-14EII) and, with all the ZFs, that will end my buying for quite a while.

A couple of shots (the 80–200/2.8 has been replaced by the 70-–200 VR), and the second shot is the gear I use for grip strength—you'll need it!


All of you have a Merry Christmas, and talk to you all again soon.
 

Steen

Senior Subscriber Member
Thanks Kit, very important and useful informations here, exactly what I wanted to get to know more about.
Your remark about "D3 files need more sharpening than I remember with the 5D or the 1Ds" is a bit scary. It makes me think that maybe the increased Noise Reduction for improved high ISO performance came at a cost ? And I guess it had to. So finally the Nikon folks were forced to walk the same route as Canon ?
Personally I would prefer improved sharpness out of the box over improved high ISO performance, but that's just me. Anyway, I still have some nice AIS and ZF lenses sitting on the shelf, so I'm looking forward to hear more about your use of Manual Focus lenses on D3/D300 with the alternative magnifiers and/or screens.
Merry Christmas to all of you - /Steen
 
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