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Thread: D700 Usage Questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    D700 Usage Questions

    I just got a D700 (moved up from D300) and I have a couple of questions for experienced D700 users:

    1. I'm going to be using MF primes (Zeiss and CV) with it and I'd like to know if a Katz Eye focusing screen is the way to go? I seem to recall some less than optimistic comments re the Brightscreen one. I turned 60 this year and I need all the help I can get for MF!

    2. I always shoot RAW but I'm unsure of just how much using the 14-bit RAW gives me over the standard 12-bit? Are you guys/gals all using the 14-bit, if so all the time, or just for specific reasons?

    3. Any other pointers based on my proposed usage would be gratefully received.

    Looking forward to your answers and thanks!

    Cheers,

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Hi Simon - replying here since you've created a new thread.

    1. Cannot help you with the focusing screen choice, don't have one. However i can mention that you can easily deal with the green dot & arrows if needed.

    2. RAW: personally i tend to use 12-bit for a vast majority of shots ("NEF+JPG" when it helps visualizing pictures if you're on a computer without Nik Software). NEF 14-bit only for specific pro assigment, typically studio sessions where it's supposed to give extra room for dynamic etc. To say the truth it's not quite obvious most of the time. Make your own tests, but depending on your priority you can't really go wrong with either. The 12-bit faster file format works fine. Much faster post processing workflow on most computers.

    3. accessories: planning an exclusive use of MF primes, you might consider the "DK-17M Magnifying Eyepiece" possibly along with the "DK-19 Rubber Cup". Gives a larger, clearer viewfinder, quite helpful. Roughly the same improvement than D700 over D300 viewfinder Great aid, relatively on the inexpensive side by Nikon standards. Check products reviews @ BH, Adorama etc. for more input on these.

    Here's what comes to mind right now

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    Senior Member ryc's Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    stick with factory screen. i tried after market screens and it just was not worth it.

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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    I was able to easily focus the voigtlander 40 and 58 with no problem and I did not switch screens.

  5. #5
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Thanks for all the feedback lady and gents. Good to hear that the 3rd party screens aren't really necessary.

    Corlan, thanks for the tip on the DK-17M, but I notice on the B&H site is says:

    "May partially obscure the viewfinder status display on some cameras."

    Do you know if this is the case with the D700?

    Cheers,

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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Simon,

    I use the D700 with Leica lenses, manual focus and find the standard screen more than adequate.

    I always use 14-bits, simply because i want the have the max quality captured in raw. What is not captured at the "click" can never be recovered afterwards.
    During processing i can then decide on quality of output (i have much more control then).
    As a side-note it does give you benefits as you have more levels of detail at the start and processing always reduces the levels to some exptent. Also you have more detail in the darker parts of the image to exploit.
    I stopped using NEF+JPG as i find that the output from the raw is better, and basically if you want JPG fast, most ingest tools including lightroom allow you to create jpg's fast, and you have more control over the output result.
    I use lightroom for raw processing, because it is fast and efficient in workflow. I also have Capture NX2, but find it very slow to use, may be on extreme cases it may be a hair better, not yet been able to substantiate this. If you need to process a shoot of xx images, the workflow speed of LR is really helping you reducing your time at the computer, thus more time to shoot pictures ;-)

    As a side note The file-size difference (2x) is immaterial, as this is once and stays like that, whereas computerpower and in particular diskspace constantly increase (more than 2X within a year) per dollar (euro).

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    I just got a D700 (moved up from D300) and I have a couple of questions for experienced D700 users:

    1. I'm going to be using MF primes (Zeiss and CV) with it and I'd like to know if a Katz Eye focusing screen is the way to go? I seem to recall some less than optimistic comments re the Brightscreen one. I turned 60 this year and I need all the help I can get for MF!

    2. I always shoot RAW but I'm unsure of just how much using the 14-bit RAW gives me over the standard 12-bit? Are you guys/gals all using the 14-bit, if so all the time, or just for specific reasons?

    3. Any other pointers based on my proposed usage would be gratefully received.

    Looking forward to your answers and thanks!

    Cheers,

  7. #7
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Hi Simon,
    I have and use all of the CV SL II lenses for Nikon (and they are all excellent). The focusing screen with D700 is just fine and the focusing aid in the lower left corner of the viewfinder works like a champ. Lightyears ahead of the D300 version (hopefully fixed in the D300s).

    I have not used 14-bit extensively as I am usually space constrained at my pro shoots. I shoot 12-bit NEF and that is plenty fine for me, but YMMV.
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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Hello Jan,
    since there's a couple of direct counter-arguments in your post here's some comments:


    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    I stopped using NEF+JPG as i find that the output from the raw is better, and basically if you want JPG fast, most ingest tools including lightroom allow you to create jpg's fast, and you have more control over the output result.
    In "NEF+JPG", the JPEG file is typically not used as a final output but allows better and faster control when sorting out keepers from CF card.

    More the case when you're on the road using a borrowed computer without Nikon software, LR etc. Which is incidentally the case of 99.9% of what you commonly find over the planet

    It's always the NEF/RAW file used for processing purposes.


    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    I use lightroom for raw processing, because it is fast and efficient in workflow. I also have Capture NX2, but find it very slow to use, may be on extreme cases it may be a hair better, not yet been able to substantiate this. If you need to process a shoot of xx images, the workflow speed of LR is really helping you reducing your time at the computer, thus more time to shoot pictures ;-)
    IMHO the difference offered by NX2 over LR in the low lights is equal or bigger than 14-b to 12-b one.

    I perfectly agree on the speed aspects, that's also where you substantially gain time working with smaller files. Hence the 12-bit if not for ultra-critical shooting.



    Quote Originally Posted by JanRSmit View Post
    As a side note The file-size difference (2x) is immaterial, as this is once and stays like that, whereas computerpower and in particular diskspace constantly increase (more than 2X within a year) per dollar (euro).
    Right again, size does not matter in itself on HD.
    Still, 25Mb files are much slower to handle in most softwares. And depending on the computer age and "power", it very often makes the difference between a "handable" and an "unworkable" file.
    Size constraints scenarios on memory cards may vary, too.

    As always YMMV...

    Let's say that in a (close-to-)perfect world like studio environment or being able to carry around a fast and well configured laptop, plenty of memory space (CF+HD), if you want the absolute best by principle 14-bit is the way to go.

    Or in order to stay on the safe side of quality when shooting critical stuff on a profesionnal assignement.

    In any less-than-perfect world 12-bit is quite ok.

    Especially if the final output is a reduced jpeg (i hate jpeg ), since in that case the dreadful jpeg compression will destroy much more on the image than the scarce alleged difference between 12&14-bit.

    And then we've talked for nothing


    Btw Jan, in line with the subject and since you mention Leica (R ?) with D700 I have a question for you: which adapter did you use ? any recommendation ?
    Thanks
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 22nd July 2009 at 23:41.

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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Corlan,

    I use the leitax bajonets, they are very well made, and dimensionaly accurate.

    I did not (yet) run into the problems of borrowed computers when on the road. I have a decent stack of cf cards with me so far sufficient. At home or when working with my laptop (a simple Acer one) i ingest all images onto the laptop or master computer at home. I then load these into LR as a final check that no file corruption has taken place. Then i wipe the cf-cards and make sure the loaded files are backupped at least to an usb mount harddisk.
    Then i cull in LR (pick/reject), and move the reject ones to a trash directory and work on the remaining images.
    The nef file has a medium qualirty jpeg in it, so no need to hve a jpg sidecar file, assuming your ingest tool can view nef's.

    Will look into the low-light diff between LR and NX2.

    I have not the same perf diff experience between good and unworkable, i use a plain vanilla 3 year old acer centrino laptop with 2GB, and a normal dual-core desktop with 3GB as master both under windows xp.

    So for me max quality preserved at click time. And avoid JPG to the extend possible.


    Jan R.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Hello Jan,
    since there's a couple of direct counter-arguments in your post here's some comments:




    In "NEF+JPG", the JPEG file is typically not used as a final output but allows better and faster control when sorting out keepers from CF card.

    More the case when you're on the road using a borrowed computer without Nikon software, LR etc. Which is incidentally the case of 99.9% of what you commonly find over the planet

    It's always the NEF/RAW file used for processing purposes.




    IMHO the difference offered by NX2 over LR in the low lights is equal or bigger than 14-b to 12-b one.

    I perfectly agree on the speed aspects, that's also where you substantially gain time working with smaller files. Hence the 12-bit if not for ultra-critical shooting.





    Right again, size does not matter in itself on HD.
    Still, 25Mb files are much slower to handle in most softwares. And depending on the computer age and "power", it very often makes the difference between a "handable" and an "unworkable" file.
    Size constraints scenarios on memory cards may vary, too.

    As always YMMV...

    Let's say that in a (close-to-)perfect world like studio environment or being able to carry around a fast and well configured laptop, plenty of memory space (CF+HD), if you want the absolute best by principle 14-bit is the way to go.

    Or in order to stay on the safe side of quality when shooting critical stuff on a profesionnal assignement.

    In any less-than-perfect world 12-bit is quite ok.

    Especially if the final output is a reduced jpeg (i hate jpeg ), since in that case the dreadful jpeg compression will destroy much more on the image than the scarce alleged difference between 12&14-bit.

    And then we've talked for nothing


    Btw Jan, in line with the subject and since you mention Leica (R ?) with D700 I have a question for you: which adapter did you use ? any recommendation ?
    Thanks

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Thanks to all for all of your feedback. For clarity, I always shoot in raw, raw alone (where possible on the camera). With the D300, I always just shot 12 bit, and probably will do so only the D700 unless specifically looking for the additional quality.

    All of my processing is done in ACR and then CS4.

    Once again, thank you for all of your comments.

    Cheers,

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: D700 Usage Questions

    Jan- i perfectly understand your position. Simply from previous bad experience i don't put a lot of trust in CF cards. Been busted a couple of times before (also a close friend who's a sound engineer lost a juicy contract once...) hence the "borrowed computers".

    When travelling backing up asap on either DVD or uploading stuff on a server is quite conforting.

    Your computer setup sounds very efficient for its relatively modest power compared with today's top guns. That's great (while it's understandable NX2 is quite slow, for some reason it requires much better PC/Mac setup than Photoshop or Lightroom to work flawlessly. The "unworkable" extra file size was referring to the less otpimized NX2).

    I'll try the Leitax adapters, thanks for the tip


    Simon-
    re the DK-17M, i'm not sure what they're referring to with the "status display" issue, i mean to what degree. The obvious visible culprit -as with most eyepiece magnifiers- is a tad of vignetting inside the viewfinder (not the picture of course). The added size is still a big plus. If you have the opportunity, it's definitely something to try out in conjnction with your MF primes.

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