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Thread: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

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    D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    RG posted nefs from the D800 and D800E, best direct comparison shots we can process from raw up that I've seen so far: Rob Galbraith DPI: Comparing detail and moire in the Nikon D800 and D800E



    I downloaded the first set (image above) with the shoes and motorcycles and been playing with them in C1. He used the excellent 85/1.4 at optimal f5.6 aperture for both captures, conditions remained almost the same for both.

    I opened them in C1, set sharpening on them the same and no surprise the E looks a little better. I then experimented to find a more ideal setting for each and ended up setting the E at 120/0.6/2.0 which appears to be right at the edge of being oversharp. I then adjusted settings on the regular file to a similar look, which took sharpening up to 240/0.6/2.0 and required a clarity bump to 25 to get teh micro contrast similar -- and to my eyes they look almost identical at actual pixel view. I left everything else at base C1 settings. There is perhaps a VERY slight edge to the E except it has the pattern and color moire in the shoes and left-most black motorcycle engine center frame. Next I slide the moire tool up to where it dissipates partially and matches the D800 -- at about 48 amount and 70 pattern -- they are for all intents and purposes dead nuts equal looking files onscreen at 100% view, but with a very slightly smoother "less digital" look to the regular D800 file. Note too, that the regular D800 file retains some of the pattern moire, but with much lower color. So far fine, at actual pixel view I can see some differences, but from experience I believe them to be extremely minor for normal uses. Now it was time for the ultimate comparison, a print, and so print I did.

    I loaded the C1 tiffs into CS, applied my basic output sharpening (very, very light) and printed them each at native size on my Epson, to 13-1/2" x 20-1/2" at 360PPI on Harman FBAL Gloss Baryta, a very sharp paper. I left the moire tool off in C1 so the D800E file would get its full resolution benefit, but obviously would still show the moire. Viewing the prints with my reading cheaters on and nose in the prints, I can honestly see no difference -- and am a little surprised because I can't even really detect the moire in the E file as it is such a small area of the print. So I get the loupe out. With the loupe, I can see the moire more clearly and thus tell which print is which, but it honestly took the loupe for my eyes. Interesting point here is under the loupe, I can read the miniscule print in the blue no skateboarding sign in the D800 print to the right of the shoes next to the bench, but CANNOT read it in the D800E print due to moire color pollution occluding the type!

    So next I uprez both to 2x native size at 27" x 41" and print comparative sections. First thing to comment on is both cams hold that size fine, but are starting to show some haggered edges -- so they won't go much larger for nose in the print viewing, but my guess is still fine for a 40" x 60" print at normal viewing distances. Anyway, with my reading cheaters on and nose in the prints, they look identical. I get the loupe out, they still look almost identical, and I am having a hard time choosing which is which because the moire is attenuated slightly by the uprez. (I need to investigate this more, not sure why or how, but it was a real result, probably due to the "smoothing" in the uprez algorithm.) Anyway, about now I am wondering if I printed the same image twice by mistake, so I reprint them and confirm they are indeed that close.

    In conclusion for me so far, it's a REALLY tough call to say the E is "better" assuming you process them both IDEALLY instead of IDENTICALLY. I personally think the differences are academic for print, and remain so unless you plan on showing 100% crops on a large monitor as your main viewing platform. My study continues, but for right now I'm giving the regular D800 the slight advantage for MY uses simply because of the lesser moire issues. YMMV…

    Special thanks to Rob Galbraith for making these files available!

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack, just a side note:

    The file contains in the metadata: ©Jack Flesher :-)
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Jack, just a side note:

    The file contains in the metadata: ©Jack Flesher :-)
    Yeah, this one above does, only because Rob's wasn't on it and I have C1 set to automatically add mine to all files whenever I upload.
    Jack
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    re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack Great analysis..

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack,

    This is good news, as it shows that the theory and practice of AA filters need not be too different. People make a big deal about "detail, once lost, can never be restored." But a proper AA filter shouldn't lose any detail that is not destroyed by the discrete sampling of the sensor. The key word is "proper", and it looks like Nikon did a good job.

    Best,

    Matt

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    re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack, thanks for the work. I don't find the print test surprising. I print from my Pentax 645D on a 44" printer fairly often and the print really cannot retain the fine detail. At least what you can see or believe you see at 100% on a monitor. I keep reading comments about getting the "most" from these cameras. I find it pretty useless filling out my tax forms to the third decimal place, although I am sure I am getting the "most" from it.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Shashin...if you keep filling out your tax forms to the third decimal place, I bet in about 30+ years, you will have saved the equivelent of the cost of the newly shown full frame 645D XII...which will be announced at about the same time (in approx 30 years)

    I completely concur with Jack. I've printed up some crops from near identical shot scenes sent to me from the D800 and D800 E respectfully...at sizes greater than the equivilent of 44" on the long side. The resulting printed images were nearly identical as long as adjustment and processing was appropriate (but different) and also optimal for the files from both cameras. I thought Rob's posted images demonstrating the differences between both models of the D800 were extremely well done..as we're Tim's here on Getdpi!

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    The heart of the matter, certainly. Now what I'm thinking is to obtain an E simply to differentiate myself from a client who may own the several times more obtainable non E.
    Possibly I'll have to spout about it's virtues with some hot air and puffed chest, and churn through a little extra post processing. It's going to be my money maker for a while since funding keeps me out of the MF bracket. It'd be nice to have a bit of an edge, even if only self promoting. Daniel who?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by danielmoore View Post
    The heart of the matter, certainly. Now what I'm thinking is to obtain an E simply to differentiate myself from a client who may own the several times more obtainable non E.
    Possibly I'll have to spout about it's virtues with some hot air and puffed chest, and churn through a little extra post processing. It's going to be my money maker for a while since funding keeps me out of the MF bracket. It'd be nice to have a bit of an edge, even if only self promoting. Daniel who?


    Daniel Moore, they call him 'Mr E', the man who doesn't need to sharpen so much...
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Tim, I haven't laughed so hard in very long time. Beautiful.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Interesting observations, thanks. I'm still waiting for my D800E order but this has me thinking, for sure...

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack
    Great test . Especially like the concept of processing ideally verse identically .

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Thanks Jack, great test.

    Paul

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    IMO, there's enough of a difference in detail at these crops to want the D800e.However, the artifacts and moire, in the crop of the balcony, lower left, are unlike any moire i've seen though - It's like a chroma shift with banding, and not sure if post can mitigate that.

    I'm curious if these cameras are still going through a sort of "beta" mode, as there's been reports of several technical issues with electronics. I still want one, but am in no hurry - a few firmware upgrades and more inventory ought to do it.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by danielmoore View Post
    The heart of the matter, certainly. Now what I'm thinking is to obtain an E simply to differentiate myself from a client who may own the several times more obtainable non E.
    Possibly I'll have to spout about it's virtues with some hot air and puffed chest, and churn through a little extra post processing. It's going to be my money maker for a while since funding keeps me out of the MF bracket. It'd be nice to have a bit of an edge, even if only self promoting. Daniel who?
    If Nikon can come out with a red lacquered version like Pentax did with the 645D, then you would really stand out!

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    >the artifacts and moire

    The color aliasing in the text does not look too good with the D800E. Otherwise is shows more clarity. I don't care that much as I normally would not compare.
    Last edited by ustein; 2nd May 2012 at 08:55.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    IMO, there's enough of a difference in detail at these crops to want the D800e.
    Are you talking the crops Rob posted where he processed identically, or are you talking crops that you processed to each sensor's ideal? I assume the former, because I think if you actually take the time to do the latter, you won't see the differences like in the former...

    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >the artifacts and moire

    The color aliasing in hte text does not look too good with the D800E.
    The upside is if you bump the moire tool in C1 up to 75/15, you can read the sign too -- but now the images look essentially identical as respects fine detail resolution. I think the real decision issue is do the small gains of added detail outweigh the costs of dealing with visible moire? For me, I'm not sure they do... But as a second body, knowing I can process it out to basically a regular D800 look, then it seems like a why not? But then I ask myself when and what would I really ever use it for, and it seems like an added hassle factor more than anything. But on the upside you can apply the C1 moire tool in batch, so could effectively leave it on as standard in my basic D800E style and apply it on import, then it's dealt with before I even open the files. THen for the rare (unknown?) occasion I might want it off, I can turn it off for the mostly academic gain in detail...
    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    All of this suggests that Nikon did a hell of a job designing the OLPF on the d800. It comes close to the theoretical ideal of such a filter, which is to have no effect at all on information below the Nyquist limit.

    A perfect analog filter is impossible, but this one manages to do visible damage that's mostly reversible.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Jack,

    This is good news, as it shows that the theory and practice of AA filters need not be too different. People make a big deal about "detail, once lost, can never be restored." But a proper AA filter shouldn't lose any detail that is not destroyed by the discrete sampling of the sensor. The key word is "proper", and it looks like Nikon did a good job.

    Best,

    Matt
    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    All of this suggests that Nikon did a hell of a job designing the OLPF on the d800. It comes close to the theoretical ideal of such a filter, which is to have no effect at all on information below the Nyquist limit.

    A perfect analog filter is impossible, but this one manages to do visible damage that's mostly reversible.



    Precisely guys. IMHO, this new Nikon design OLPF is remarkable.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Large Format Photography Forum

    they are talking about you lol, ah the web

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by viablex1 View Post
    Large Format Photography Forum

    they are talking about you lol, ah the web
    Uh oh! Seriously, the folks over at LFP are generally pretty good -- hope that they find the data here helpful.
    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Are you talking the crops Rob posted where he processed identically, or are you talking crops that you processed to each sensor's ideal? I assume the former, because I think if you actually take the time to do the latter, you won't see the differences like in the former...

    Jack, you're right! Thanks.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    I've thought long and hard about chiming in here (apart from the little joke further up the thread) but having mulled this over in conjunction with the thread on Testing Protocols, here goes with my 2 cents.

    I've got both cameras as many of you know. I've done and posted here one test, which was itself susceptible to all the methodological gripes one would expect. The light changed a little, the point of focus could be quibbled (though I don't think that was a relevant factor in my test) and so on and so on.

    The problem with a 2D target for this sort of test is that it doesn't reveal whether there is any focus difference between the two setups. The problem with a 3D target is that it does, and therefore no one believes the results unless they want to

    The first problem inherent in the test is, therefore, focus. Vibrations and motion blur can be exed out with MUPs and tripods and remotes but focus will always be the point of dispute. However carefully you LV the focus and whatever DOF you allow, someone will always perceive a difference in POF.

    That person drops out of the 'belief group' at that moment.

    The remaining consumers of the test might find a host of other issues to question: changing light (and therefore exposure, WB and contrast), issues of the same lens having different diffraction characteristics on different sensor setups, etc etc.

    So let's look at the steps.

    Step One: Take the shots, see how many people agree that they are a fair comparison. Lose some believers. For the rest who believe we have two files taken with as close to identical light as possible, of a complex, moderately distant target, with exactly the same POF, we move on to...

    Step Two: Now we have PP.

    Identical PP doesn't let you achieve, for each setup, the best it might achieve.

    Ideal PP (the best for each file) instantly un-levels the playing field and opens up the issues of personal preference, personal bias, quid-pro-quo of trade-off decisions etc.

    In the case of this thread, my problem with sharpening the D800 file to match the apparent resolution of the D800E file is that sharpening has costs. Artefacts. Enhanced grain, more or less evident at different ISOs and in highlights and shadows. Changes to tonality gradations. Clarity adjustments do the same thing. So now we lose more of the belief group; me for example. Moving on...

    Step Three: printing. Everyone has their own secret juice. Each recipe has the potential to favour one kind of a processed file over another. The belief group shrinks further.

    Step Four: the perception of the print. There was a well-known article at Lula a while back where Mr Reichmann showed a print made on a Canon P&S to a batch of other experts and pros and some of them mistook it for a MF file. This was, he thought, due to the enhanced appearance of clarity in the file caused by the fact that the enlargement was not too big, the sensor was small and therefore had great DOF, and the ISO was low enough not to show up the noise limitations of the sensor at that print size.

    So now we've got to the print (and most of us will never even see each others' prints so we have to take each others' word for it) and the belief group is probably down to... about one. The tester.

    For me, therefore, and this is very personal and not meant as an attempt at changing anyone else's minds or methods, the only useful resolution test is to get to the end of Step One.

    If at the end of Step One, we have files that the great majority of the consumers of the test believe are perfectly comparable, then that's the place to compare them IMHO. In this test, for example, many (most?) people appear to accept that there are file sets out there that allow for a reasonable comparison of the resolution of the D800 and D800E sensors. And the majority of those tests show that the D800E has better resolution, as you would expect.

    It is true that the difference in resolution is less than one expected from, for example, working with a 5DII and a Leica M9. As Jack has pointed out, Nikon hit the ball out of the park here with the design of the AA filter. And the technique of 'cancelling' the filter is probably less effective than removing it. But regardless, there is more resolution in the E files.

    Whether or not that extra resolution is enough to make a difference in print is, for me, entirely moot, because there are too many extra steps for any group of people to agree on. The most you can say is that if you regularly need to show 100% crops on screen, and don't mind moire, then the D800E is a better choice. Beyond that it gets personal, and depends on the rest of the recipe used and how much one is influenced by the placebo effect .... I know I am!

    So, to the personal, and this is where I can share an opinion that I think might be useful to others but YMMV.

    I have shot well over a thousand frames, about 1/3rd to 2/3rds D800 to D800E and I have only shot ONE direct comparison. So my opinion is purely intuitive, fuzzy logic, but my opinion is that the D800E files are the ones I would rather work with. Significantly more often with it, I get that 'MF wow' factor that I get from Phase files and from many M9 files. The instant bang of clarity. Clean, subtle, real. Convincing.

    I sometimes get that from D800 files but as you can see from the above ratios, the one I am reaching for is the D800E.

    I will never be able to prove this... it's personal, subjective, co-factored, statistically and methodologically risible. But in the end we all have to reach for one camera and not another...
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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    ended up setting the E at 120/0.6/2.0 which appears to be right at the edge of being oversharp. I then adjusted settings on the regular file to a similar look, which took sharpening up to 240/0.6/2.0 and required a clarity bump to 25 to get teh micro contrast similar
    Jack, thanks for the excellent analysis. Depending on the subject matter, lighting conditions, and ISO settings, I'm guessing that the extra sharpening needed for the regular version will emphasize any noise in the file relative to the E file since the AA filter blur detail without affecting noise. Either way, it's probably going to be an on-screen at 100% phenomenon.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Tim, your well thought out beliefs regarding both the methdology and ultimate pitfalls of trying to demonstrate the differences in image output from these two fine cameras (D800/D800E) is in itself open to personal interetation and would probably make for a lively and lengthy discussion...this aside from debating the actual differences each one of us "sees" in such test files pairs.

    Personally I am still of the strong opinion that the glass sandwitch technique Nikon employed to produce the cancelling effect of the AA filter, somehow mitigates to a degree the increase in sharpness we would normally associate (see) if the AA filter was simply removed altogther from a regular D800 body and replaced with s simple single layer protective cover glass. I am even thinking that possibly the glass sandwitch Nikon employed might even be "tunable", much the way a the two glass surfaces in a polarizer filter can be rotated to increase or decrease the strength of polarizing the incoming rays of light.

    This way, Nikon found a compromise orientation of the cancelling effect that upon close examination, did improve sharpness slightly, but at the same time, lessened to a degree the potential for moire'. If my assumption is true, they could orientate the cancelling glass of the D800E to produce greater sharpness from the D800E files relative to the regular D800, but the potential for increased incidence of moire" might have had them extremely worried about lashback from those that weren't prepared for dealing with it to such an extreme (or at least seemed extreme to those who hadn't had previosu experience with using AA filterless DSLRs.). If this is partially true (and it's a big assumption on my part at this time that it is), that does open the door for future DSLR models whereby the tuning of the cancelling filter could be orientation in such a way, to have a much stonger cancelling effect, resulting in greater differences seen vs. the AA filter model of the same camera.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 3rd May 2012 at 07:24.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    >So now we've got to the print

    If I think of that I feel that I would be bankrupt (paper and ink) to have a conclusive finding.

    >Nikon found a compromise orientation of the cancelling effect that upon close examination

    I think this is not a camera with just "no" AA filter. More like a camera with a lower AA filter effect.

    Conclusion for me:

    Would I buy now I get the D800E. But having the D800 lets me concentrate on more important stuff like what to photograph. Lots to work on. Also good that I don't have a MF back and cannot compare. I hardly ever use the term "what a good file" but use "good image". It can come from any camera I use. But I love my 36MP :-).
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    I think this is not a camera with just "no" AA filter. More like a camera with a lower AA filter effect.
    Exactly Uwe! That was precisely my feeling as illustrated in my post above, when I described what I thought might be behind Nikon's implementation of this (their) unique AA cancelling filter in the D800E (besides standardizing production assembly of both cameras). The net result is sort of a compromise of partial removal of AA filtering and along with this, the modulation of possible incidence of moire'. Some proof of this will be when someone has aftermarket removal of the AA filter on their regular D800 and image output is compared to both a regular production D800 and D800E.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    I think this is not a camera with just "no" AA filter. More like a camera with a lower AA filter effect.
    Maybe. Whether we'd ever be able to see a difference between the 800e and a hypothetical filterless version remains a matter of pure conjecture.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Ideal PP (the best for each file) instantly un-levels the playing field and opens up the issues of personal preference, personal bias, quid-pro-quo of trade-off decisions etc. In the case of this thread, my problem with sharpening the D800 file to match the apparent resolution of the D800E file is that sharpening has costs. Artefacts. Enhanced grain, more or less evident at different ISOs and in highlights and shadows. Changes to tonality gradations. Clarity adjustments do the same thing. So now we lose more of the belief group; me for example.
    Tim,

    Normally I'd agree with you -- but in the case of the files above, my sharpening amounts as stated were right at the edge of adding artifacts while just shy of doing so, and did not accentuate noise (why threshold 2 instead of the default 1). If you have not done so yet, I suggest you download them and process them in C1 with the settings I gave, then let me know what you think -- you might not get lost

    That said, I respect anybody's right to their own opinion for their needs -- that was the whole point I was trying to make by encouraging folks to work these files for themselves.

    ~~~

    The surprise for me was clarity slider difference. Normally clarity REDUCES perceived DR -- however in the case here, the E file appears to start with less perceived DR, and so when processed per above the end result is still pretty identical -- at least close enough I do not perceive a DR difference onscreen or in print. (We can assume that the native sensor DR is identical in both cameras, so what I am referring to here is DR as visible in the processed files.) Moreover, and again to my eyes, the E file is too hot on micro contrast at the base setting of 0 clarity. I have since reworked these files and find that using a -10 clarity as base for the E file and then bumping the regular D800 to +15 makes both look "better but still equal" than my initial settings of 0 and +25. So were I to get an E, my base style would include a -10 or even a -12 clarity as standard.

    Again, I specifically did not post screenshots from my crops as I wanted to encourage each to process for themselves. So I'll repeat: I heartily encourage EVERYBODY interested in either one of these cameras to download these raw files and work with them yourselves -- in this way you will see firsthand the difference, and can decide if it's really relevant/significant/meaningful for your needs.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Two issues I have raised ..I still believe are important.

    1. FOCUS...pick any target you like but give me have a chance to see if you missed it. Without anything in the near foreground and background ..the reviewer has no idea if the focus point was missed . Pretty much kills any discussion of resolution differences . This is obviously much easier if the lens used has a modest DOF and that may not be what you are testing for.

    2. Use the native ISO and process to the “ideal” . Not sure about others but it can take a few weeks to establish a set of presets . You could argue that right out of the camera the D800E blows away the D800 and I am sure I can t yet make them the same . But if Jack can then its just a matter of sharing “best practices” ..which is where I hope these threads go to.

    The 2nd point I think is a good debate topic ..I favor ideal over identical but I can see the other view .

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Tim,

    Normally I'd agree with you -- but in the case of the files above, my sharpening amounts as stated were right at the edge of adding artifacts while just shy of doing so, and did not accentuate noise (why threshold 2 instead of the default 1). If you have not done so yet, I suggest you download them and process them in C1 with the settings I gave, then let me know what you think -- you might not get lost

    That said, I respect anybody's right to their own opinion for their needs -- that was the whole point I was trying to make by encouraging folks to work these files for themselves.

    ~~~

    The surprise for me was clarity slider difference. Normally clarity REDUCES perceived DR -- however in the case here, the E file appears to start with less perceived DR, and so when processed per above the end result is still pretty identical -- at least close enough I do not perceive a DR difference onscreen or in print. (We can assume that the native sensor DR is identical in both cameras, so what I am referring to here is DR as visible in the processed files.) Moreover, and again to my eyes, the E file is too hot on micro contrast at the base setting of 0 clarity. I have since reworked these files and find that using a -10 clarity as base for the E file and then bumping the regular D800 to +15 makes both look "better but still equal" than my initial settings of 0 and +25. So were I to get an E, my base style would include a -10 or even a -12 clarity as standard.

    Again, I specifically did not post screenshots from my crops as I wanted to encourage each to process for themselves. So I'll repeat: I heartily encourage EVERYBODY interested in either one of these cameras to download these raw files and work with them yourselves -- in this way you will see firsthand the difference, and can decide if it's really relevant/significant/meaningful for your needs.

    Cheers,
    Thanks for that Jack - actually I agree that with these files there's not a significant difference. It's more in marginal files at higher ISOs or with shadows you want to bring out a lot that I think the small things might show. All other things being equal I think the more base detail the better, even if it's only a small improvement, but I am at least for now keeping the non-E alongside the E until I've done a lot more fabric shooting. If people have a broad based practice covering many different genres, I think what you have done is show that the 800 is probably the better choice. For landscape, I want as much detail in distant leaves and grasses as I can get but if I end up doing a friend's wedding I'll be reaching for the non-E. I will also probably use the non-E for any portrait stuff that comes along.
    Last edited by tashley; 3rd May 2012 at 11:15.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    >I want as much detail in distant leaves

    I understand. But also to be sure: Often aliasing shows as detail but actually is fake. Very obvious with video.
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    For landscape, I want as much detail in distant leaves and grasses as I can get but if I end up doing a friend's wedding I'll be reaching for the E. I will also probably use the E for any portrait stuff that comes along.
    I think you meant you'll be grabbing the E (no AA) for landscape and the non-E (w/AA) for weddings and portraits?
    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >I want as much detail in distant leaves

    I understand. But also to be sure: Often aliasing shows as detail but actually is fake. Very obvious with video.
    Uwe raises another good point: In addition to the perception of "fake" detail, like adding grain can sometimes do, with my Phase I frequently find moire in tiny leaves and grasses. Fortunately, it is usually of such a small level it never shows in a print, but sometimes is significant enough that it needs to be blurred or processed out. Either way, you do find it surprisingly often in "nature" shots.
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I think you meant you'll be grabbing the E (no AA) for landscape and the non-E (w/AA) for weddings and portraits?
    You think I was confused there? I have the D800 strap on the E version

    I edited it - thanks for pointing it out - that was indeed what I meant!

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Here's an idea to play with. A friend suggests, based on the design of the lowpass filter array, that a simple linear polarizing filter on the lens, oriented either vertically or horizontally, will cancel the effects of one of the filter elements on these cameras. If I understand the reasoning correctly, this would have the effect of slightly increasing the resolution of the 800, or decreasing the resolution of the 800e (bringing them both to the same level).

    I've asked if he has a source or if he's tried it, and am still waiting for a replay. It would certainly take no more than wasted afternoon to test the theory.

    edited to add:
    If this works, it could open up some possibilities for geeky tweaking... like if you have a vertical pattern that causes moiré, you could get some horizontal blur from the AA filter, but cancel the vertical blur, for an infinitessimal gain in sharpness. I'm guessing the advantages would be purely academic in most cases, but for those with an 800e, you might be able to get a bit of moiré control in some settings.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Jack, although I"m in almost total agreement with your assessment that files from both cameras are near identical in detail, for all practical purposes....and have also come to this conclision by printing large format crops from test files....I wonder if this will still hold true when higher ISO comparative files are examined from both cameras. With additional sharpening of the D800 files required in part to emulate and match those from the D800E, I suspect that producing near identical output from both cameras will be more problematic/difficult as the ISO settings climb. Has anyone done comparions of near identical files adjusted optimally and individually for both cameras at say ISO 1200 and above?

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    Here's an idea to play with. A friend suggests, based on the design of the lowpass filter array, that a simple linear polarizing filter on the lens, oriented either vertically or horizontally, will cancel the effects of one of the filter elements on these cameras.
    I am not so sure. Assume polarized light hits the first splitter (call it vertical), so a single point source turns into 2 points even though it's polarized. Now it hits the 1/4-wave plate, and since it's already split the split pair gets rotated 90 degrees regardless of polarization. Now the beam pair hit the second splitter (call this one horizontal) and it still gets split into 4 points. I may be wrong in my understanding though...
    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Re ISO...

    We won't know for certain until we play with good comparative files from both cameras. HOWEVER, if past history is any indication, an AA filter can actually help attenuate the effects of noise. This new design Nikon filter may behave differently however...
    Jack
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I am not so sure. Assume polarized light hits the first splitter (call it vertical), so a single point source turns into 2 points even though it's polarized.
    Aparently not. As it's been explained to me, AA filters typically use a birefringement material like Lithium Niobate, to split the beam. If the incoming light is polarized in the direction parallel to the material's axis of refraction, the light won't split.

    It will still be split in the other direction, by the d800's other filter plate, but this means you'd get only half of the filter's intended effect, and it would be in just one direction.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    Aparently not. As it's been explained to me, AA filters typically use a birefringement material like Lithium Niobate, to split the beam. If the incoming light is polarized in the direction parallel to the material's axis of refraction, the light won't split.

    It will still be split in the other direction, by the d800's other filter plate, but this means you'd get only half of the filter's intended effect, and it would be in just one direction.
    Actually, a linear polarizer will create two polarized rays at 90 degrees to each other, known as the ordinary and extraordinary rays. So a polarizer is not going to eliminate, but create the two light paths that are split in two directions. Sorry, but your polarizer idea will not work.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Sorry, but your polarizer idea will not work.
    Not my idea; it's my friend Struan's. He just demonstrated it quite conclusively here.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    Not my idea; it's my friend Struan's. He just demonstrated it quite conclusively here.
    Perhaps he can demonstrate it in a forum that does not require a login.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Oh, sorry. It's in an 'off topic' section at the LF photo site, where they try to keep any damage safely contained. I'll see if Struan minds me reposting his results.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    Not my idea; it's my friend Struan's. He just demonstrated it quite conclusively here.
    I registered, although I don't know if other member would want to do the same.

    I would say it is suggestive rather than conclusive. Why are the two images of the targets different sizes (this looks like sloppy work--how much does the different image scale impact the results?) and why symmetrical? The symmetry question might be easier to explain; AA filter must be at 45 degrees to the sensor grid and angle of polarization for symmetry to take place. And you would need to test it on the AA filter on the D800--you can't assume all AA filters will behave the same. But that still might not be enough to turn a D800 into a D800E. Still, an interesting idea.
    Last edited by Shashin; 4th May 2012 at 09:13.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Struan has given me permission to post here; I'll do it when I have a chance. He has an engineering background and says this is extremely basic polarization science. My money says he's onto something that's at least of interest from a pixel-peeping geek standpoint, though maybe not a practical one.

    This was a quick test; of course you're right it's not conclusive by scientific standards but it's compelling. I'm willing to bet people with d800s will be able to duplicate his results.

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    So I viewed his "proof" -- clearly the polarizer affects moire pattern, but it's really tough to go so far as agree with his claim he's turned a D800 into a D800E; at the very least we'd need to see an E shot of the same moire grating...

    Personally, I think the files are so freaking close to begin with and the differences being generated are so small, they don't amount to much more than academic white noise...
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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    He's qualified the idea that it turns an 800 to an 800e; it only removes the effects of one of the two birefringement plates. The unanswered question from his demonstration is why the effects aren't more obviously asymmetrical. You'ld expect to see more moiré/resolution in either vertical or horizontal detail, but not in both.

    It would be one thing if the files showed nothing but differences in moiré, but they also show differences in resolution.

    It's looking to me like the differences between the 800 and 800e are already close to the realm of academic white noise, so I don't see the harm in playing by those rules

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    Re: D800 v D800E, chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    It's looking to me like the differences between the 800 and 800e are already close to the realm of academic white noise, so I don't see the harm in playing by those rules
    Agree totally -- my only concern is folks making buying decisions because they take comments like these literally and without respecting the quantifiers
    Jack
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