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Thread: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

  1. #1
    petercoxphoto
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    D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Hi guys -
    Over this weekend, myself and two other photographers will be doing a field test of these three cameras.

    The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.

    The D800 and D800E will be tested with the Nikon PC-E 24mm.

    We're going to be looking at resolution, dynamic range and general print quality.

    DoF is going to be interesting. We'll probably test everything focused at infinity for one set of images, another focused at the hyperfocal distance (calculated using 2x pixel pitch) and f/11 and yet another using tilt.

    This is a landscape photographer's test. We'll be looking to make aesthetically pleasing images (identical images with all cameras) and examining them both on screen and in 20x30" prints.

    This will be released as a blog post and a free-to-download video under the Dynamic Range label (The Circle of Confusion — Dynamic Range Videos).

    My question to you - anything you'd like to see covered in particular, or suggestions on how to execute the test?

    Cheers,
    Peter

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I'm keen to see how this unfolds, even though the Nikon is the deserved underdog.
    I'd like to see best practice workflow for each camera employed, e.g. appropriate sharpening and tonal edits, rather than just default settings. One other thing I'd like to see is appropriate exposure for each sensor rather than exactly equalized – I've always felt there's no point in doing that because in real world we expose for the properties of the particular sensor we're working with, i.e. depending on shadow depth and highlight recovery ability.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I am particularly interested in the comparison of the same size print of the same scene. I would like to see some larger sizes, at least 24 x 36 and larger since that's my target size.

    Also, the Phase One 35 does not seem to be the best lens in the lineup, so it may have an undue effect on the outcome.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by petercoxphoto View Post
    Hi guys -
    Over this weekend, myself and two other photographers will be doing a field test of these three cameras.

    The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.

    The D800 and D800E will be tested with the Nikon PC-E 24mm.

    We're going to be looking at resolution, dynamic range and general print quality.

    DoF is going to be interesting. We'll probably test everything focused at infinity for one set of images, another focused at the hyperfocal distance (calculated using 2x pixel pitch) and f/11 and yet another using tilt.

    This is a landscape photographer's test. We'll be looking to make aesthetically pleasing images (identical images with all cameras) and examining them both on screen and in 20x30" prints.

    This will be released as a blog post and a free-to-download video under the Dynamic Range label (The Circle of Confusion — Dynamic Range Videos).

    My question to you - anything you'd like to see covered in particular, or suggestions on how to execute the test?

    Cheers,
    Peter
    Hi Peter,
    even though it is a landscape test, maybe one shoot posible showing some skin or fine detailed structures?
    Thanks, Tom
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Hi Peter,
    Great idea and a lot of work for you, since you are doing the tests on landscape and I do almost all of my landscape shots by stitching,
    if you use 800E and take four shots by dividing the scene into four horizontal shots (with some overlap) using the same focal length as
    IQ 180, will be a great help. Since everything will be focused at infinity Nodal Point is not that critical. If you just send me the raw files I will work on them and will post the results.
    Best,
    _______
    Manouch

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Thanks Peter, I'll be looking!
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by petercoxphoto View Post
    Hi guys -
    The IQ180 will be used both on an Arca-Swiss Rm3d with a 35mm Schneider APO-Digitar XL and a 645AF with 35mm Phase One f/3.5 lens.
    Do you have a Rodenstock 32mm Digaron-W instead, or 40mm Digaron-W? I don't think the 35mm Schneider is such a good combination with the IQ180 if the intention is to show how good it can get. If not shift is going to be used in the test the Rodenstock 35mm Digaron-S is probably better too.

    However, for me personally I'm more interested in the 35mm Schneider since I'm considering buying one to my ancient 33 megapixel back :-), but if I had an IQ180 I would probably consider the Schneider being a bit soft towards the edges and have too much color cast.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Have fun Peter I did this against the Iq160 on a tech cam with interesting results
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I will be interested in seeing the results myself as I currently shoot a P40+ for landscape and am eagerly awaitng my D800 for everything else.
    Bryan

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Since you do have a PC-E lens, it would be interesting to test shift, say have the camera horizontal and shift up/down to put the horizon at 1/3 or something, fairly typical landscape thing. (For that I think you absolutely need a Digaron-W for the IQ180 though.)

    Dynamic range is a bit difficult to test correctly. I've written some tips about it in the appendix in this article:

    An image sensor noise test

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Few random thoughts:
    - It's easy to let tests get dilluted by trying to satisfy everyone; my suggestion is first and foremost consider what YOU want to get out of it. Presumably you're seeking to answer the question "which of these do I want to use for shooting landscapes" so make sure the test answers that question first and foremost. No test will be applicable to everyone, so make sure it is at least applicable to you!
    - With that in mind consider the multiple aspects of that question. Final image quality is REALLY important, but don't entirely disregard the process of making the image; everything from the weight/size, speed, and the intangible aspect of how much you enjoy working with the camera (no one else can answer that for you - some people LOVE the more traditional mechanical hands-on method of a tech camera; some people LOVE the more gadgety approach of live view on a Nikon; both opinions are completely valid for the owner of the opinion). Naturally some consideration should be given to whichever system you are less familiar with as there is a learning curve with any new (to you) camera.
    - a major reason to have/use TSE lenses is WITH tilt or shift; assuming you agree (based on your needs and desires) I see a lot of tests comparing tech cameras and SLRs which only include straight on shots (including a few by yours truly). While others have correctly pointed out that a Rodenstock 32 or 40 would be better matches for an IQ180 it's still worth doing some image-rise on a test.
    - you almost surely want to bracket a bit from whatever your field-evaluated exposure is since both systems will handle highlight and shadow curves fairly differently.
    - The Phase One 45D is a much stronger lens than the 35D. BUT if your desired usage of the system calls for around a 35mm D then don't let anyone talk you out of using it for your test. This goes back to my first point about making the test first-and-foremost about you.
    - Follow your normal workflow wherever it makes sense. If you typically up the contrast and sink large sections of the final image into deep black then by all means do that. If you typically like a somewhat flat rendering with detail and texture everywhere you can get it - do that. Often the strengths and weaknesses of a given camera system are less apparent at neutral "default" rendering than after adjustment.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Hi Peter,

    Looking forward to seeing your results! Obviously I have done some casual comparisons for myself and since they were only casual I have refrained from posting them until I had time to do a more thorough job. At present I still have my Arca tech cam and my favorite lens, the 40, but my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold...
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Sounds very interesting indeed.

    I would recommend that the Nikons have their AF checked using the fine-tune and a Lensalign or similar.

    Be interested to see how focus degrades with the t/s lens having used tilt and say f5.6-f11 away from plane of focus.

    Also be interested to see how exposure handles tone for both types of sensor. eg ETTR type metering with highlight recovery and then giving less exposure so that highlights are safely held and then what happens with shadow recovery and how realistic this looks and easy it is to do in software.

    Suggest also using Capture NX2 and Lightroom as well as Capture One Pro for the Nikons. It may well be that current C1 profile isn't optimal for the D800s just yet. The one for the D7000 I feel is in need of some improvement (other D7000 owners have similar opinions on this). Am assuming that the C1 profile will be best for the IQ180.

    Given that I'm not able to commit much time to photography currently, I'm seriously thinking of going D800 instead of my P45+/DF645.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    >I would recommend that the Nikons have their AF checked using the fine-tune and a Lensalign or similar.

    Or use live view.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Or use live view.
    Of course, silly of me to overlook - that's even better!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Peter definitely knows how to use C1, so I would recommend he simply stick with that for both systems -- no sense adding un-necessary variables.
    Jack
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Peter definitely knows how to use C1, so I would recommend he simply stick with that for both systems -- no sense adding un-necessary variables.
    Totally agree and C1 is awesome on the Nikons as well. To me it levels the variables a great deal using C1
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    The Nikon should be shot at f8 as that is the optimal aperture for it

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Thank you Peter so much for doing this!!!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Looking forward to seeing your results! Obviously I have done some casual comparisons for myself and since they were only casual I have refrained from posting them until I had time to do a more thorough job. At present I still have my Arca tech cam and my favorite lens, the 40, but my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold...
    Casual testing by Jack? That is hard to believe! LOL!!!

    "my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold"... that somewhat indicates me what was the result of casual testing, but I could be wrong.

    Subrata

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    The Nikon should be shot at f8 as that is the optimal aperture for it
    Actually its about 5.6. If you want corner sharpness to the full degree F8 but this also is just a general rule as lenses vary a great deal, my 200mm F2 is about 2.8. Yea its that freaking good. I'm a lens slut
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I agree with you on the 200mm. I have shot a ton of sports at f2 and I am amazed at how sharp it is wide open, with the ability of still maintaining a good DoF. It is awesome for baseball, especially when you are centralizing on one player, say a pitcher for example, as the background is blurred so you HAVE to focus on the pitcher.

    The kids (and their parents) in my local little league all love their pictures.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    Casual testing by Jack? That is hard to believe! LOL!!!

    "my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold"... that somewhat indicates me what was the result of casual testing, but I could be wrong.

    Subrata
    Casual testing to Jack is what I would consider to be extreme and complete testing.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I would like to see a long exposure test.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Peter definitely knows how to use C1, so I would recommend he simply stick with that for both systems -- no sense adding un-necessary variables.
    I'm not doubting that Jack and Guy.

    Capture One is the control experiment which minimises variables. I am simply suggesting that if the lens/camera/software is considered as an imaging system, it just might be the case that the Nikon imaging system performs better with software other than Capture One and that this would be useful to know.

    Reverse the tables and it's like comparing Hasselblad backs and Phase backs using only Lightroom.

    Best wishes

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Is there anyone in your group with a 40MP MFDB/Camera? That would be a more interesting comparison.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Is there anyone in your group with a 40MP MFDB/Camera? That would be a more interesting comparison.
    Funny you mention that my brand new IQ 140 just showed up. I only have a Rodie 28mm Tech lens at the moment.

    Trust me you don't want the Nikon against this sucker. ROTFLMAO

    I plan on doing something soon here to be honest. I just need a road trip Im so sick of shooting around here right now and its hot as hell.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by baxter View Post
    I'm not doubting that Jack and Guy.

    Capture One is the control experiment which minimises variables. I am simply suggesting that if the lens/camera/software is considered as an imaging system, it just might be the case that the Nikon imaging system performs better with software other than Capture One and that this would be useful to know.

    Reverse the tables and it's like comparing Hasselblad backs and Phase backs using only Lightroom.

    Best wishes

    Baxter

    Honestly I used NX for a bit on the Nikon files besides being a pig in a pile of mud to work with I was not impressed with the sharpening in that software at all. Now given I am not a expert in that program so take that with a grain of salt but I am really getting excellent results from C1 the gnomes have this thing down pretty good. So I will go on record and say it is really good if you want to compare the Phase and the Nikon and I agree with you always pick the best software given the cam no question. In this case i think C1 does a really excellent job. Im actually smack in the middle of about 3k in images with processing c1. Just outputted 375 and a long way to go. LOL

    Now for testing it does cut out the variables to a large degree. I did the 160 back and the Nikon and hell I was impressed with the Nikon no question its damn good. But Im not ready to give up my Phase and the tech cam there is a lot going on in its favor than just resolution that I love about it. The tonal range in my mind is better on the Phase. The DR on the Nikon is killer though. I could go on here but I really like having both right now and Nikon has **** in the extreme wides and PC lenses so Im staying put for now. My gear list is down to no freaking kidding to 2 ITEMS yes 2 . Im scared I'll have to start shopping for my wife soon here just to keep my buy button finger in tune. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Nikon NX2 generally has the ability to pull out more shadow & highlight information than C1 for difficult exposures but I would agree that it's a pig otherwise.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    The thing is though Graham you almost don't have to use it for that since the DR is really good which is scary good to be honest. The biggest worry would be highlights and Im just not running into many issues with that. Im not saying don't use NX just not so sure you HAVE too to get everything out of the files, like you had too with previous Nikons. Its pretty interesting for sure. But I will say folks need to compare the raw processors and see what they can get out of them for there needs. I love C1 and I know its not a catch all too.

    Im just happy Im not being shoved into NX since the workflow is not to my liking.
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I too am of the persuasion that NX2 has large portions of porcine characteristics. I have it, it remains almost totally untouched. However, if it was found to be advantageous to use, I'm sure that it would be ok for small numbers of select images, but not bulk processing. I wouldn't relish the prospect though!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Agreed about not wanting to be stuck using multiple tools. I'm in that position myself today with my X-Pro1 and Phase One back. In a couple of weeks I'll be able to test out my own 800E with UV/IR so that'll be fun. Kicking NX2 to touch in favor of a single processor would be great if the highlights & shadows are living up to the feedback. I can only speak historically of the challenges of pulling back highlights & shadows from D3/D3x files in C1 that NX2 handled effortlessly. Times change so

    Btw, that'll be an interesting comparison too between my D800 with full spectrum clear filter on it - not even the weak OLPF that the D800 has. I can't wait.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I'm waiting to see how this does Graham keep us posted.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    I have to say, and it really p****s me off when I run a test and people do this, but I think your methodology might not tell you very much. The 24PC-E has a lot of sample variation and is very hard to use in terms of tradeoffs between DOF and diffraction for getting sharpness across the frame. The 35XL has to be treated with great care and a CF used, and not too much shift. The 35 3.5 does not have a great rep.

    You can draw conclusions about the cameras by using more evenly matched lenses - for example the 110 LS versus maybe the 85 f1.8 or maybe the 150 LS versus the Zeiss Makro Planar 100 F2. And if you have a good copy of the Nikon PC-E and really know how to use it, fine, but I have my doubts.

    In terms of 'forget the individual components, we're comparing systems' you are still somewhat stymied. The D800/E has better shadow pull abilities, the IQ180 other strengths.

    So we'll all be fascinated by the results but it's going to be a tough gig...whether you make one system look better than the other in terms of people's reactions to a large print will be as much to do with your methodology and lens choices as it will be to do with any inherent benefits to one system rather than the other. If you want to test movements and have access to the glass, an SK 120 TS versus a Nikon PC-E 85mm might be the fairest test I can think of...

  35. #35
    petercoxphoto
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Thanks for the great response to the query. We'll be using C1 to process the images as a way to eliminate variables.

    The 35mm Schneider was selected as the closest to a 24mm lens that I have. It has many issues on the IQ180, but sharpness unshifted is not one of them.

    We're using the 24mm PC-E on the Nikon as it seems to be the best of their 24mm lenses and it's also what's available to us. We will likely be using tilt in the test for front-back sharpness (for some images), but we won't be using shift as the 35mm is not usable on the IQ180 without being perfectly centered - LCC problems.

    The 35mm Phase One lens is being thrown in as I have it and have never done a direct comparison against the 35mm Schneider. I'm aware it's far from being the best lens for the Phase system - the goal here is to see just how much poorer it is!

    We'll be tweeting over the course of the test - follow #bigtest to keep in the loop. We'll also be discussing it on next week's Circle of Confusion podcast (The Circle of Confusion). The video and full report will probably be out late next week or early the following week.

    I'll keep monitoring this thread in the interim, and look forward to sharing the results with you!

    Cheers,
    Peter

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    It would be very interesting if you could do a bokeh test. Maybe a landscape with a foreground object and a blured background so as to see what the "look" of the lens is
    like. Stopped down most lenses look quite similar. How a lens renders the out of focus elements can be drastically different.
    From a visual impact stand point it can be more important than sharpness.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Should this be moved to the Nikon section? Just a thought!

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Should this be moved to the Nikon section? Just a thought!
    The lines are blurred here. Could be either way
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Peter, what about also high ISO on IQ180 with sensor+ which will also give 40mp out of the camera, and same ISO on D800?

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Looking forward to seeing your results! Obviously I have done some casual comparisons for myself and since they were only casual I have refrained from posting them until I had time to do a more thorough job. At present I still have my Arca tech cam and my favorite lens, the 40, but my other tech lenses and all of my DF gear has been sold...
    Interesting ... so you're only current MFDB option is the tech camera with one lens?
    wayne
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    Should this be moved to the Nikon section? Just a thought!
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    The lines are blurred here. Could be either way
    I think we'll leave it here for now, then if the results get posted here as well as tweeted, we can move it to the gear review area after it's completed.
    Jack
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by petercoxphoto View Post
    This is a landscape photographer's test. We'll be looking to make aesthetically pleasing images (identical images with all cameras) and examining them both on screen and in 20x30" prints.
    As far as resolution is concerned and detail, I don't think a 20x30 print will show much ... the d800 should handle this without any problems at all. I wouldn't expect anything different than when LuLa tested a G10 against a MFDB.

    I guess what I'd like to see from all these "tests" everyone is doing is what happens with a "big" print. 24"x30" is my test print size, my minimum print of my top edition of images is 40" in the longest dimension. So what happens when you decide to print a 60" or 72" print? Even an 80" print with the IQ180 is pretty good most of the time. How does the d800 do?
    wayne
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    Interesting ... so you're only current MFDB option is the tech camera with one lens?
    That is correct. But in reality it is the combo I use for about 90% of my compositions to begin with. The conclusion that can be inferred is that for the rest, I feel I can make do with the D800 and it's larger stable of lenses. Note too, that selling my other tech lenses more than covered the cost of my entire suite of pretty choice Nikon lenses...
    Jack
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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    Peter, what about also high ISO on IQ180 with sensor+ which will also give 40mp out of the camera, and same ISO on D800?
    Sensor+ on the IQ180 is 20MP.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Hi folks -
    We spent the day testing the cameras, and I'm currently printing the 30x20" test prints, all 13 of them. We'll probably be making two 40x60" prints for the most closely matched pair of images. We will be announcing the results live tomorrow at 4pm here in Ireland, 11am on the East Coast and 8am on the West Coast. We'd love it if you joined us.

    It'll be announced via a Google Hangout. To join in, in Google Plus, add Neil McShane to your circles (https://plus.google.com/116143938603101885158/posts) and you should receive the hangout invite.

    Join us and ask any questions you want about the comparison, either via the chat option in Google+ during the hangout or via Twitter. The hashtag to use is #bigtestresults.

    Just click on the hangout invitation in your Google+ home feed when we go live.

    Please spread the word.

    Cheers,
    Peter

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    That is correct. But in reality it is the combo I use for about 90% of my compositions to begin with. The conclusion that can be inferred is that for the rest, I feel I can make do with the D800 and it's larger stable of lenses. Note too, that selling my other tech lenses more than covered the cost of my entire suite of pretty choice Nikon lenses...
    Jack,
    Just curious and hope you don't mind me asking, but how different would your kit be if a) more wide lenses played well with the big Dalsa chipped backs and/or b) the DF body and system were improved? I guess I'm really asking about how much the convenience of use weighed into your decision to sell off most of your MF gear vs image quality.
    Eric

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, that'll be an interesting comparison too between my D800 with full spectrum clear filter on it - not even the weak OLPF that the D800 has. I can't wait.
    Thats what I've been waiting for too! It should be very be interesting as will the posted results for the D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    Sensor+ on the IQ180 is 20MP.
    My bad. Yes it is 1/4th. Thanks for correcting it.

    Subrata

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    You might be interested that Ming Thien compares the Leica MM with the D800.

    The Medium Format / Large Format versus Leica discussion has been going on since the 30's. I don't see why Nikon going from 24 -> 36 MP in a Nikon body radically changes anything to be honest and I think Ming Thiens comparisons raises some interesting questions when you consider he's comparing 18 to 36 MP.

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    Re: D800/D800E/IQ180 comparison

    Ming Thien's review is only relevant if you're a die hard B/W shooter. It goes to show how much resolution you can gain by removing the bayer filter, let alone spending vast sums of money more on the new Summicron and Leica body – which in itself is what? nearly double the price of the D800E?

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