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Recording session,D3 @ 12,800

neils

New member
Hi all

I have these images at flickr right now. I want to put them in the gallery here but what is the max size dimension or does the gallery do that for you?

www.flickr.com/photos/neilsphoto

Anyway. No light in this room at all. 6-10 40w bulbs in track light cans aimed everywhere but where they need to be. I was going to go Auto ISO but went with a straight on 12,800 after a few test shots. In camera NR set to low. No ADL set. "A" mode for exposure and at times I found myself at 1/40th at F2. So you can imagine the light level for that kind of exposure at ISO 12,800

I used mostly single point AF in S or C setting. I did some 9 point shots but felt the camera was loosing focus as the players were never still. I totally forgot to try "3D" tracking. The best contrast for focus in light this low was eyeglass frames so those were my target. Whenever possible I moved the focus point to work with my composition.

These are B&W jpgs (normal/small) right out of the camera. No extra USM or anything. I used the Exp/comp to darken many as I needed to leave them good jpg versions as I left and the D3 really likes to brighten up shots. It seems to "shoot to the right" if you know what I mean. I wanted moody and dark to better convey the scene so I shot that way.

Most shots with the 85/1.8, some were with a 50 and some 35. I did use my 80-200 for some.

I really like the look of these. The last 2 years before I went digital I was shooting film, scanning and printing with my Epson 2200. These ISO 12,800 shots are very much like TMZ @1600. I love the look and grit and "grain" No Alien Skin needed here.

So give me some tips on GetDPI gallery sizes and I'll put them here.

Neil
 

Lars

New member
Very nice. This is traditionally Leica territory, the D3 breaks new ground for sure.

If you like the 85mm focal length for candid/existing light, consider getting the 1.4D - creamiest bokeh to be found (from any lensmaker). Especially the transition from sharp to rear unsharp is second to none. Significant investement but worth it. With the D3 at high ISO it must be a perfect match.

I see the D3 as a true milestone in photography, as it opens up for making photographs that were previously not possible to make. With film there was incremental improvements in sensitivity and tonality, not so with the D3.

Now if we could please get that sensor in a compact rangefinder? :)
 

neils

New member
Lars

Yes very "filmy". I may print some tonight.


When there is an AFS 85 1.4 I'll be all over it. I have no complaints at all with the 85 1.8. I really want Nikon to do a line of fast AFS primes. 35/50/85 would be great but maybe also the 28 1.4 can come back?

With the hi ISO performance of the D3 they don't even really have to be 1.4, but for marketing against Canon they have to be. They could do a really fine AFS line of primes in F2.0. I'd be fine with that. They'd be smaller and lighter, maybe better performers wide open and they'd cost less. I think they could make a better AFS prime F 2.0 than a 1.4. But as I said they won't.

Neil
 

David K

Workshop Member
With the hi ISO performance of the D3 they don't even really have to be 1.4, but for marketing against Canon they have to be. They could do a really fine AFS line of primes in F2.0. I'd be fine with that. They'd be smaller and lighter, maybe better performers wide open and they'd cost less. I think they could make a better AFS prime F 2.0 than a 1.4. But as I said they won't.
Neil
You raise an interesting point here and one that I've recently been thinking about. A while back I sold my copy of the Nikon 200 f/2 VR lens which is really a spectacular piece of glass specifically intended for low light photography. I recently had the chance to reacquire it and passed on the opportunity because it's just not necessary any longer (my opinion). It still provides wonderful bokeh when shot wide open but the low light capabilities of Nikon's new bodies make the lens a one pony show, and an expensive one at that. The ability to get outstanding images with slower glass really changes the equation of lens selection, at least for me...
 
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neils

New member
Yes the Sepia was an in camera choice. I have the lowest amount added in monochrome picture control. I think there are 6 or 8 tints in 6? different strengths.

Killer "slow" lens or almost as good "fast" lens? Look back over the decades and in most cases, there are exceptions but in most cases the F 2.0 50 was better than the 1.4 or 1.2. Better is subjective but I have a borrowed 50 1.2 AIS lens here and I'd rather use my 50 1.4. I seem to need to be at
f 4.0 with the 1.2 before it matches more or less the 1.4 @ F 4.0. Not to mention really nailing focus at F 1.2 is a real long shot for me.

Sometimes the "defects" of a fast lens wide open are what make it famous and a legend. Leicas' 75mm Summilux is probably technically a mess at 1.4, 2 or so. The images are wonderful. The lens is now replaced by the all conquering 75mm F2.0 A very very capable but some say sterile and maybe too good. Well it at least doesn't have the character of the 75 'lux, it has its own ASPH lens look.

I had a 50mm pre-ASPH 'lux for awhile. In the end I sold it, needed the cash and I have a 50mm Summicron from the late '70s that I adore. It is THE look for TX. I preferred the look of the slower lens.

What Nikon lenses can we say the same about? There must be some. Like how is the old AIS 105 1.8 compared to the 2.5 version which is a legend. The 35 1.4 is supposed oto be great. I never tried one. I doubt my ability to focus as well as AF when the lens is wide open though. Is it really better the the F2.0 35 at 2.8/4/5.6?

Cool thing is we can use all the old glass. Focusing may be tough but we can use it.

But do we need a huge heavy lens when we can shoot at ISO 12,800? Lugging a brick of a camera and then complaining about lens size may sound silly but you 2.8 zoom shooters ought to put a 24mm 2.8 lens on the D3 and feel the difference. You've got to look less imposing.

Neil
 

Lars

New member
Neil,
What I see in the 85/1.4D is not really speed, but rather a most beautiful out-of-focus rendering. I think the fact that a camera can do high ISO well does not eliminate the need to good bokeh (I'm sure you agree).

For me this is a lens for shallow depth-of-field, often used with manual focus. Re AF speed I couldn't care less - for me it's not exactly the choice for shooting sports. In your terms, it's a killer "fast" lens. :)

Perhaps a future AFS version will maintain the bokeh, perhaps not. Nikon seems to pay attention to bokeh these days, but there is always a risk when you try to fix something that ain't broken.

If you can get an opportunity to try one out, you should. If the 1.4D isn't a legend yet, it will be. I think you'll find that it compares well in terms of rendering to your experience any other lens regardless of manufacturer.

(Writing this, I had to go back to the source and play with my 1.4D a little. Yep, still creamy :) All it lacks is a D3.)
 

woodyspedden

New member
Neil,
What I see in the 85/1.4D is not really speed, but rather a most beautiful out-of-focus rendering. I think the fact that a camera can do high ISO well does not eliminate the need to good bokeh (I'm sure you agree).

For me this is a lens for shallow depth-of-field, often used with manual focus. Re AF speed I couldn't care less - for me it's not exactly the choice for shooting sports. In your terms, it's a killer "fast" lens. :)

Perhaps a future AFS version will maintain the bokeh, perhaps not. Nikon seems to pay attention to bokeh these days, but there is always a risk when you try to fix something that ain't broken.

If you can get an opportunity to try one out, you should. If the 1.4D isn't a legend yet, it will be. I think you'll find that it compares well in terms of rendering to your experience any other lens regardless of manufacturer.

(Writing this, I had to go back to the source and play with my 1.4D a little. Yep, still creamy :) All it lacks is a D3.)
I have the 85 1.8 and always wanted to see some comparisons with the 1.4. If the 85 1.4 is anything like the 28 1.4 that I own then I need to seriously consider buying it. The 28 1.4 is truly a life changing lens. Anyone that can provide some comparison images or personal experiences with the two lenses?

Woody
 

Lars

New member
Woody,
I had a 85/1.8D in -96 when I first got a Nikon, then traded up to the 1.4D in -97. So no comparisons unfortunately. I do believe that the 1.4D is a better value than the 1.8D, so if you like the 28/1.4D at its price point (!!!) then I think you might enjoy the 85/1.4D as well. Man, my 85 is over ten years old!

Here is one 85/1.4D shot I dug up that is a particularly good challenge WRT bokeh (DX format, so please see this as a crop):
- The man in the foreground shows front bokeh.
- The trees outside the window show rear bokeh.
- The ironwork in the railing outside the window is also a good challenge.



Notes:
- The window is covered by a bug screen which causes some diffraction interference (not moire!).
- The black blob to the left is the back of the chair that the man in the foreground is sitting in. There is some diffraction visible around the seat back.
- The tree trunks show an even distribution of intensity, a good sign that the lens is not overcompensated for spherical abberration. All in all, the background is not "busy" but rather calm. An overcompensated lens design (like the 50/1.4D and 85/1.8D - sorry Neil) renders a more busy background, with specular highlights slightly brighter towards the edges and bright lines sometimes rendered as double lines.

- The man in the foreground shows a very smooth blur.
- Contrast is moderate (you have to trust me on this since so many parameters affect the final image).
- Corner dropoff is slight wide open on DX sensor, more noticeable on fullframe. It's mostly gone on FF at f/2, and completely gone at f/2.8.
 

neils

New member
Hi all

Over the weekend I made some prints from the 12,800 files. You have to make prints. Pixel peeping isn't the end product and what you may see while peeping may make no difference at all in print. Gotta make prints.

I've been looking at the files on the 23" screen and saying wow. You can't see it here. Too bad. In print? WOW WOW.

I started with some 6x9s on Epson EEM which is where I often start. I then made the same images on the same paper in native out of camera size which is about 14x11. These also looked great.

Today I switched over to Harmon FB AL paper, one of the new "looks like air dried silver paper" papers. I only have that in letter size. A box of 50 shts of 13x19 is @$200!! That must wait.

I use an Epson 2200 with QTR (Quad tone RIP). I started in NX, turned off in camera sharpening and made very few other changes. I did do some USM in NX of about 40/2/2 which works well with 12,800 files. Then I saved as TIFFs and took them into CS3. I used PhotoKit Sharpener for output sharpening.

The prints are amazing. I'd love them at any ISO. At 12,800? Nobody will believe it. Rich, very rich prints. Amazing paper. Amazing blacks, punchy mid tones.

Make prints guys, make prints.

Neil
 

atanabe

Member
I have the 85 1.8 and always wanted to see some comparisons with the 1.4. If the 85 1.4 is anything like the 28 1.4 that I own then I need to seriously consider buying it. The 28 1.4 is truly a life changing lens. Anyone that can provide some comparison images or personal experiences with the two lenses?

Woody
Woody,
I have shot with the early version of the 85 1.8 in the early chrome barrel days and I have the earlier version of the 85 1.4 (AIS) manual focus version and love the rendering. I think that the 1.8 AFd version is a sharper lens than my old AI copy but the rendering is what made the old 1.8 special for me. There have been 3 generations of the 85 1.8 AF with the latest version being a very sharp design.
I have and will hold out till the AFS version surfaces as the "D" version is a pain to do quick touchup focus because of the mechanical linkage needing to be decoupled. If you are not in any big rush, I would wait till this fall to see if Nikon comes out with a new line of fast primes, 28, 50 and 85

You can go to this site to look at evaluations on ALL of the Nikon lenses

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

Also, you are welcome to borrow my 85 if you want, I rarely shoot with my Nikon gear lately.

Al
 

Jonathon Delacour

Subscriber Member
The 28 1.4 is truly a life changing lens.
Woody, would you care to elaborate?

The 28/1.4 is the Nikon lens that I truly yearn to own. A mint copy (from an Australian seller) went for US$3,200 on eBay recently but I just don't feel as though I can justify that amount of money -- especially if there's a chance that Nikon will release an updated 28/1.4 later this year. But then, as Lars said, "there is always a risk when you try to fix something that ain't broken."
 

woodyspedden

New member
Woody,
I had a 85/1.8D in -96 when I first got a Nikon, then traded up to the 1.4D in -97. So no comparisons unfortunately. I do believe that the 1.4D is a better value than the 1.8D, so if you like the 28/1.4D at its price point (!!!) then I think you might enjoy the 85/1.4D as well. Man, my 85 is over ten years old!

Here is one 85/1.4D shot I dug up that is a particularly good challenge WRT bokeh (DX format, so please see this as a crop):
- The man in the foreground shows front bokeh.
- The trees outside the window show rear bokeh.
- The ironwork in the railing outside the window is also a good challenge.



Notes:
- The window is covered by a bug screen which causes some diffraction interference (not moire!).
- The black blob to the left is the back of the chair that the man in the foreground is sitting in. There is some diffraction visible around the seat back.
- The tree trunks show an even distribution of intensity, a good sign that the lens is not overcompensated for spherical abberration. All in all, the background is not "busy" but rather calm. An overcompensated lens design (like the 50/1.4D and 85/1.8D - sorry Neil) renders a more busy background, with specular highlights slightly brighter towards the edges and bright lines sometimes rendered as double lines.

- The man in the foreground shows a very smooth blur.
- Contrast is moderate (you have to trust me on this since so many parameters affect the final image).
- Corner dropoff is slight wide open on DX sensor, more noticeable on fullframe. It's mostly gone on FF at f/2, and completely gone at f/2.8.
Thanks Lars

At today's used price point I doubt I would buy a 28 1.4. I bought mine about six years ago at the then retail price which I don't recall but it was not close to today's used price of around $3K. Probably more like $1200.

Woody
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Lars wrote:

Now if we could please get that sensor in a compact rangefinder?
Yes, or a D300 size body (it has a decent 100% finder). If Nikon ever does that, we may have to fight for the first one!
 
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