This will be my honest review as a user of the long awaited Nikon D500 after it’s been in my hot sweaty hands for a while. Watch this space!!
At Last…my review of the Nikon D500!
I finally received my copy of the D500 in early May, one of the first deliveries in the UK thanks to ordering early with my local bricks and mortar dealer Cambrian Photography.
Why have I bought the D500?
All Nikon wildlife and sport shooters have waited many years for a replacement of the last semi professional DX camera, the D300s launched in 2009. Since then we’ve had fairly feeble attempts by Nikon to keep us happy, the D7000 (2010), the D7100(2013) and the D7200 (2015). I have no experience of the D7200, however the D7100 was a very capable DX and provide excellent imagery. The D7200 was a “lite” upgrade offering more in terms of gimmicks (wifi etc) rather than any real substance.
Then in January 2016 out of the blue came the announcement of the D500! Needless to say pre-orders were very high and Nikon had to rethink the availability dates due to demand. I placed my order immediately. The price was at first glance, breath taking, at £1789, however when one examined the full specification most concerns over price disappeared.
The camera sports a tilting screen, say hello to macro and video shooters, at last a real bonus. 4K video is part of the package as is touch screen and snapbridge (not available to iOS users yet, but for Android owners you are good to go. To some, gimmicks maybe! I was originally surprised that the pixel count was 4mp down on the D7100/7200, however this was no deal breaker. Most of all and eagerly awaited was the frame rate, up to 10fps, a sport and moving wildlife shooters delight.
At the launch Nikon announced that the D500 would accept XQD, SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-II compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards. Of course to read the card one would need a XQD card reader. I bought the Lexar. The D7100/7200 suffered horribly from slow buffering and as such managing RAW at a fast fps was a struggle and the buffer just locked up. The D500 is capable of shooting a total of 200 RAW images at 10fps in a single burst before the buffer blocks up. This was a WOW! Then the owner is encourage to buy a SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-II compliant SDHC and SDXC memory card. More cost and of course a standard SD “SDHC I” card was deemed too slow to efficiently work in slot 2. I bought the Lexar 32GB SDHC II U3 300mB/sec. Cheaper XQD, therefore slower cards are available, but if one is buying a camera at this price I guess it’s best to achieve the best it can give.
I am not going to quote the full spec, but an extract is below.
Top 5 Features
- New 20.9MP DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 5 image processing
- ISO range: ISO 100 to 51,200 (expandable to Hi-5, ISO 1,6400,000)
- Redesigned AF system with a 153 focus points, 99 cross-type sensors and a dedicated processor
- 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video recording and pro-grade video features
- 10 fps continuous shooting for up to 200 shots in a single burst.
- Weather sealed.
- A full breakdown on all features may be found here.
I was amazed by the lightness of the camera compared to my D800E with battery 2.19 lb, the D500 weighs in at 1.90 lb/860 g. In fact it is 95 gms lighter when compared to the D7100 1 lb 11.0 oz/765 g. It feels perfectly balanced and the deeper front grip gives a noticeably more comfortable feel. The first thing I noted was the lack of accessories in the box. Gone are is the HDMI lead and pop up flash. This is the first DX camera to not be fitted with a flash which aligns the D500 closer to its professional FX cameras. However, on that point so much technology has been transplanted into this camera taken directly from the D5 that I can bear the loss of pop up flash. The menu structure is different with many new additions. The camera layout is very different too with the ISO button moved to the adjacent to the command dials. Also added is an F2 function button, which is not worth a lot as it’s available shortcuts are extremely small in number.
One thing that totally confused me was the absence of the Nikon UK warranty card. Even the local Nikon technicians were unable to answer where it had gone. Basically, there is no longer a warranty card supplied in UK camera, but on the rear of the user manual is a warranty sheet. It does not bear the camera serial number however, it is purely there for customer reference and can be stamped by the dealer if one so wishes. It was a niggle though. Ensure you register your camera with Nikon on their website.
Now for some not so good news!
On the down side! The next sections are of interest, however skip to the “full review” if you prefer.
Almost immediately I noticed that my camera had a severe battery drain issue. In fact even after recycling the battery 3 times I was unable to achieve better than around 500 clicks per charge. Nikon estimate 1300 minimum. I turned off all battery hungry attributes such as touch screen, Bluetooth and as the camera has an “Aircraft mode” turned that off too, all to no avail. Nikon to the rescue, one would think so, read on!
The saga of the En-El15 battery.
All cameras since the Nikon D810 now come with a EN-EL15 Li-ion20 newly designed battery. All previous EN-EL15 batteries were of a different design Li-ion01 and these batteries will work with the D500, but to a limited capacity. Nikon realising that users would be forced to buy extra EN-EL15 Li-ion20 batteries were quick to issue a free returns policy of up to 5 Li-ion01 batteries. I had three and Nikon were as good as their word in this instance. However, this did nothing to help my battery drain issue!
The saga of the battery drain.
I delayed sending my camera into Nikon under warranty as I wanted to take it to Norway on holiday and had an airshow opportunity. In mid July I sent it back to Nikon. Now, as I am a Nikon NPU member (Nikon Professional User) I expected a swift resolution, that was unfortunately not to happen! I was initially given a return estimate of 2-3 weeks, but this increased to 4-6 weeks when after 2 weeks I enquired why the repair status showed “awaiting repair”. At this point I enlisted the support of my retailer who contacted Nikon and were told I would receive the camera back in 3 days. Amazingly, but worryingly, the camera status remained at “awaiting repair” status, but then switched to “camera ready for dispatch” within only a few hours. What could they have done in that time? Well very little and they sent the repair report that said “camera inspected, cleaned and no fault found, service time 1 hour”. It arrived back the next day and I am please to say that the “no fault found” really meant that they had actually fixed the camera. 3 weeks on and I had achieved well over the estimated 1200 clicks per charge, in fact in excess of 1500!
Finally, during the process I contacted Thom Hogan, often thought of as the Nikon Guru, who is currently writing a blog about the D500 (of which he has 12 for assessment). He took time to reply and stated that in his opinion there were a number of cameras with this problem and was investigating the possibility that it could be either a firmware corruption is, or a serious issue requiring a major camera strip down. Luckily, mine seems to be the simpler of the two.
Camera fixed, lets get back to the real review 🙂
Nikon D500 real world review.
I continue this review and apologies for the gap between the last submission. Much has happened since I last wrote, including the acquisition of new lenses for my wildlife work. The Sigma 150-600mm F5.6-6.3 Contemporary and the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lenses. So, for the rest of this review I will concentrate on the D500 for wildlife and the lenses used with it.
The D500 as a Wildlife camera.
There is no doubt that the D500 is the camera I, like thousands of others, have waited for! Compared to the D7100, which is a terrific camera with caveats, the D500 performs as the independent reviews claim. The high ISO performance for a cropped sensor camera is excellent and the dynamic range of the images are a big improvement over my D7100. However, this is not about the D7100, but the D500, so let’s look at some real world imagery captured with the camera.
This is not about MTF charts or ISO image comparisons, but about my experiences with the camera.
With the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII and the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens.
The Nikon 80-400mm VRII was a game changer when it was launched in 2013. I replaced the aged slow focusing VRI “D” version, although many were surprised at its eye watering price. Over time second hand copies appeared and although prices remained high, it was more affordable. Two major attributes, as with the old lens, is the weight and flexible zoom with 80mm at the wide end. This makes it very versatile, however it looses 200mm to the Sigma/Tamron offerings. With the Sigma/Tamrons at the longest end one looses 1/3rd of a stop, 5.6 v 6.3, not a huge amount and pretty insignificant considering the extra reach. The Nikon 80-400mm feels well balanced on the D500 and the AF focusing is very fast and maintains excellent focus when tracking birds in flight.
Most of all it’s versatility and weight makes it a winner. The D500 and 80-400mm VRII makes for a reasonably lightweight combination. I particularly like the wider focal length of 80mm (120mm field of view on a cropped sensor), compared to the Sigma/Tamron 150-to 600mm (180-900mm) Contemporary and Sport lens offerings. That said, the Sigma and Tamron lenses do give an extra 200mm at the long end and this can be extremely valuable. In fact I think the Sigma boxes way above its weight and I really enjoy using it.
Please click on images for large view.
Egret – Conwy Estuary.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – 1/1250@f14 – ISO400 – EV = -1.0
Greylag Goose – RSPB Conwy reserve.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO400 – EV = -1.0
Magpie with youngster – RSPB Conwy reserve.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – email@example.com – ISO400 – EV = -0.67
Stonechat – Gronant Dunes.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO450 – EV = -0.33
Grey Heron in flight – Slimbridge.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – email@example.com – ISO400 – EV = -0.33
Lesser Whitethroat – Conwy.
Nikon D500 – Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – 1/1000@f8 – ISO400 – EV = -0.33
With the Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens.
Balancing Act! – Conwy.
Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens. 1/1000@f10 – ISO640 – EV = -0.33.
Great Tit – Slimbridge WWT.
Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens. firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO400 – EV = -1.0
Curlews in flight.
Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens. 1/1000@f8 – ISO400 – EV = -1.0
Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 DG OS HSM C Lens. email@example.com – ISO400
With the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens.
Like the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm VRII, the AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens superseded the very popular and extremely Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4 ED-IF Lens. I had one and loved it, although reasonably light weight it screamed for an update. In fact most owners used it with Nikon TC-14 TEII permanently attached and it worked very well indeed. Then in 2015 Nikon launched the AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens. “PF” (Phased Fresnel) which was responsible for its compact and lightweight size. It achieved new levels of sharpness and clarity with virtually no chromatic aberration or ghosting. Once again, I waited and in the end second hand copies were rare and expensive. I bought a new one and use it constantly attached to a Nikon TC-14 TEII. I can honestly say that I have not encountered a situation where the lens slows in AF with the TC fitted. On the D500 it has a field of view with the TC of 630mm! It is my “to go” wildlife combination and the D500 feels very well balanced.
Female Kingfisher – Spinnies – Bangor.
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens. firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO400 – EV= -0.33
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens. 1/200@f9 – ISO400 – EV= -0.33
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens. 1/400@f11 – ISO400 – EV= -0.33
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens. email@example.com – ISO240 – EV= -0.33
I am delighted with the D500 for wildlife photography, but are there any downsides? For those who will struggle to buy the camera and wish to use it for fast and furious sport and wildlife work, then you will require XQD and higher grade SDHC cards. At the time of writing the buyer should add around £100 to their budget.
What else can the camera do?
The camera is also sold with the Nikon AF-S 16-80mm f2.8-4G VR ED DX Lens. Initially, I didn’t want to use the D500 for anything other than wildlife and I didn’t possess any DX lenses, FX only. However, those who may be thinking the same way, please think again! The D500 can take superb imagery no matter what genre and although many will buy and subsequently only use it for wildlife/sport, others will soon realise its further capabilities. I did realise that and bought my first Nikon DX lenses, the AF-S 16-80mm f2.8-4G VR ED DX and the AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4 G. Some images below taken with both lenses.
Nikon D500 – AF-S DX 16-80mm f2.8-4 G – firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO100
Nikon D500 – AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4 G – email@example.com – ISO100
Nikon D500 – AF-S DX 16-80mm f2.8-4 G – 1/125@8 – ISO100
Nikon D500 – AF-S 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII – 1/1000@f10 – ISO200 – EV = -0.33
The Nikon D500 delivers on the speed, performance, and quality that the DX format originally promised us. We have a DX sensor that rivals the image quality of full-frame cameras for per-pixel acuity and high ISO performance, with an agility and responsiveness that is up to the most demanding photographic tasks. All in a compact and lightweight DSLR system. Also at this time of writing the camera has not dropped in price although good second hand copies are now available.
If you need speed for action photography, then currently and according to all, yes all the reviews, then the D500 is for you. It is far , far more than just a “fast” camera, it is capable of terrific imagery no matter what genre of photography you specialise in.
I would also recommend a grip. I had the Nikon MB-D17 and it is an outrageous price. I bought it because of my initial high battery drain problems mentioned earlier. I sold it and bought the Pixel Vertax non OEM grip and spent the rest of the money more wisely! It’s the 2nd Pixel grip I’ve had and I really cannot tell little difference between it and the Nikon.
I mentioned earlier that at that time Snapbridge for iOS was not available. It arrived in September 2016 and without going into details, forget it! It is awful, totally non-intuitive and Nikon will have to work hard to ensure it is anything apart from a failure if your intention is to effortlessly send images to your Apple device. On the upside if you want to add GPS data to the images and upload them in Lightroom or other programmes it works well.
The other problem is wi-fi, touch screen and Snapbridge is that all these will place a severe drain on your batteries. The addition of “Airplane On” mode will stop this drain.
This review is my own experience as an owner who has now shot over 12,000 images in 6 months. No, it is not technical, but an honest review from a real user.
Richard – November 2016
I haven’t written anything on my Blog since February and much has happened and my photography world has expanded. Not so much for digital, but analogue. This may seem strange, but I have become smitten by film again after 12 years of abandoning this genre.
Earlier this year I blogged about my acquisition of a Rolleiflex 2.8f, see here Since then I have been busy buying a collection of more medium format cameras. These include a Rolleiflex T, one of the very last of the production in mint condition. A Rolleicord Vb, also one of the very last produced and again in mint condition. Both cameras work perfectly with no shutter or other issues. I also bought a Rolleiflex Baby Mk2 grey 127 (4×4) film camera. Unfortunately this will be retained as a display camera only as soon after purchase the shutter jammed and the repair is cost prohibitive. An Agfa Isolette folding camera was a gift and works well. Here is my line up.
From left to right Rolleiflex 2.8f, Rolleiflex Baby, Rolleiflex T, Rolleicord vb, Bronica rf645 and the Agfa Isolette.
Oh, I forgot to mention the latest addition, a mint Bronica rf645 with Zenzanon RF 65mm F/4 lens. Much more about this later.
I wrote an article on my film photography and this was released in the Winter edition of our Postal Photographic Club on-line magazine. This was a review on why I returned to film photography and can be read here (page 39).
Anyone who has a history of film photography will appreciate why the Rolleiflex/Rolleicord are icons of film photography and much used by journalists and Street photographers. Diane Arbus, Cecil Beaton and of course my personal favourite Vivian Meier Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof. It certainly had a massive impact on me.
As most readers know I am a keen Street photographer inspired by the use of Fuji X cameras which are discreet, however I now also use the Roleiflex which is anything but discreet, but that’s the camera people walk up to me and want to talk about.
A little later I’ll discuss why film photography has become so important to me. Now, I’ll take a look at my latest acquisition, the Bronica rf645.
Bronica rf645 Rangefinder medium format camera. The medium format rangefinder that everyone forgot about.
One web article says “There are some cameras that just rock my world, and the Bronica RF645 is one of them. I don’t know what the allure is, but it is a very handsome camera. It also seems to be a camera that everyone seems to pass by”. Read more here
The Bronica RF645 is a medium format rangefinder with interchangeable lenses made by the Japanese company Bronica. It captures 6×4.5 images onto 120 or 220 film. This camera has been introduced in 2000 and discontinued in 2005, with Tamron contined support until 2014.
The camera was awarded Camera Press Club’s “Special prize” at the Camera Grand Prix 2001, EISA award for professional camera in 2001-2002, and TIPA’s best professional photo product for year 2001-2002.
The camera looks not unlike the Fuji X-Pro 1 which shares it’s Rangefinder credentials in style alone.
Unlike my Rolleiflex’s the Bronica rf645 offers an electronic exposure meter with the speed and exposure which can to be seen in the viewfinder.
The odd issue!
Unlike most film cameras the film transported mechanism will only allow vertical (portrait orientated) images when the camera is held the horizontal position. Landscape orientated images are captured with camera held in the vertical or portrait position! That caught me out, perhaps reading the manual was a good idea after all! The viewfinder includes a useful electronic grid to assist framing the picture and avoids loosing subject out of frame. Another comparison with the Fuji X – Pro 1 optical viewfinder.
I use mainly Kodak Tri-X ISO400 or Fomapan 1 ISO400 for B&W work and Fujifilm Provia ISO100 and 400 and Velvia 100 and of course 50 for transparency film.
Fujifilm Provia 100Fujifilm Provia 100Fujifilm Provia 100Fujifilm Provia 100Fujifilm Velvia 100
Fuji Velvia 100
So, there we are. I finally caught up with 2015 with only a day to go before the new year. 2016 hopefully will contain a concerted effort to update my blog more often
Until then may I wish everyone a happy new year and a photographically good one whether throgh the medium of digital or film.
Richard – December 30th 2015
Across Llyn Gwnant towards Y Arran.
We can go many years without snow where we live and I live some 20 miles from our National Park of Snowdonia. Even then snow in Snowdonia can be a quite rare occurrence and seems to becoming more so as our planet warms. However this year, we have been lucky, depending on ones point of view, and welcomed a short period of cold weather and snow.
A major problem with snow is controlling the camera white balance. This is even more difficult where areas some areas lie in shadows and parts in sunlight. This is the derived effects from the colour temperature measured on the Kelvin scale and can normally be controlled in-camera by setting the White Balance control to “Auto” However, in extreme conditions “Auto” White Balance cannot control well. OK, one could change the setting in-camera, but I find this is fraught with difficulties. From a bright sunny day, to a dull wet day the images will have varying colour temperatures. These will be the result of colour temperatures being extremely varied and from warm to cool. As an example a hot summers day can be around 5000-5400K, a dull day however this changes to e.g. 6000-7500K. The chart below shows how this temperature can change depending on the light source.
All images are taken in the RAW format. Please click on images for a larger view.
It is very difficult to adjust the white balance within jpeg images. In fact it’s impossible to make this adjustment accurately.
LLyn Ogwen – Nikon D800E – Nikon 16-35mm f4. Colour Temperature 5000K.
The dreaded “blue” snow! This is a camera white balance problem where the focus and predominance of the frame is centred on a non snow area. Also, shaded areas which are have a warmer or colder colour temperature give a cast.
In Adobe Lightroom I have used the “Radial Filter”. This powerful tool allows me to adjust any selected part of a RAW image and also in a more restricted way a TIFF or jpeg..
A full tutorial on this procedure can be found here. Follow the module, but replace the routine in this video with adjustments for white balance. Below is a screen drag where I have adjusted a small area of the image to demonstrate the effect.
Below is the finished result where the Radial Filter has been used to control both the snow on the mountains and in the reflections.
Now for a really, really bad example!
Nikon D800E + 50mm f1.8 G.
As can be seen the colder (because it’s in the shade) area has a totally different colour temperature to the distant mountains. In fact the cast gradually reduces as a greater area is exposed to the sunlight. Firstly, I tackled the shadow foreground thus:
Adjusting the “temperature” slider I arrived at the image below. However, don’t over do it as the area will start to “brown” in colour. I also wanted to retain that the area appeared as it did, in shade. Next I dealt with the remaining cooler part of the image, the centre left hill which was not as badly affected as the foreground.
Once again I selected the part I wished to process.
This was adjusted more sensitively than the foreground and the finished adjustment is shown below.
I have bothered to do this blog as I was becoming very frustrated that the camera “auto” White Balance adjustment was just not clever enough to differentiate between the coldest and warmest areas of an image under extreme conditions. Yet another reason why Adobe Lightroom is my post processing software of choice.
Long time, no post…sorry….again! I’ve been up to my eyes in it, but a new acquisition has spurred me on to post on my Blog. That new acquisition is the Rolleiflex 2.8f! Sometimes one has a deep joy moment and this ranks towards the top, if not the very top in terms of analogue photography.
Although this was not my first Rolleiflex having had a “3.5 T” for a short period. My first Rolleflex was produced in the 1930’s and although physically almost “mint” in condition suffered from a poor viewing screen and mirror degradation which gave a very dark viewing experience. This made composition and focussing very difficult. So, I was absolutely delighted when a friend offered me his 2.8f, this was an extremely generous gesture as the price was unbelievably low, but also it is in very good condition. It also came with the complete set of “Bay 3” filters and hood in the original leather case, which alone cost a King’s ransom! The only item of the 2.8f which does not work is the coupled light meter and it is hard to find one that does. Many owners never repaired this function because they preferred to use a more accurate light meter instead. That is what I do, however repairs can be made and there are many excellent Rollei repairers in the UK which offer this service at a reasonable price. I may well get mine repaired as this would increase its future value.
This 2.8f model S/No: 2455455 model Model Model K7F2, January 1966 – December 1966, with Planar lens, flat glass provision and 12/24 frame counter. 2,8F-2.455.000 – 2.8F-2.479.999. So this camera is the 455 camera of this model to be produced. In total 88,000 of this camera were produced. The full details are:
Planar 2,8/80mm, Carl Zeiss Oberkochen,
Xenotar 2,8/80mm, Schneider (from 1973), both Bayonet 3
Zeiss Heidosmat 2,8/80mm, Bayonet 3. Interchangeable focusing screen & finder loupe. Parallax control.
Synchro Compur MXV, 1 – 1/500 sec., B, X-sync., self timer.
Film: 120 – 12 exposures
During the production of the Rolleiflex other models included the “Magic”, “Baby” “Tele” and the uber expensive and extremely desirable “Wide” The 2.8f is regarded as the “must have” Rolleiflex due to the large f2.8 finder lens and f2.8 taking lens. Being Zeiss lenses the reasoning is obvious why this was and remains a sought after Rolleflex which still enjoys top status amongst analogue cameras. The first Rolleiflex TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) camera was produced in 1929 and production continued until the 2000, when it was producing the 2.8 GX, although the last camera it produced was a special edition 2.8 FX.
My journey so far.
I visited Conwy harbour (Conwy, Gwynedd, UK0 on a cold early January day this year armed with a roll of Fuji Provia 120 ISO100 transparency film and a Kodak Tri-X B&W 120 ISO400 film. Taking great care to remember to expose 1 stop lower using B&W when fitted with Rollei “yellow” filter, I carefully set every shot up both hand holding and tripod mounted. I sent both films off to “Peak Processing” and to my joy received back both films perfectly exposed.
Below are a few of my first results. The negatives have been scanned on a CanonScan 8800F flatbed scanner. To say I am delighted is an understatement.
One thing missing was the lens cap. Fotodiox do a 3rd Party superbly built replacement which is sourced from Amazon UK although it is despatched from the US. The last image shows the Rolleiflex 2.8f looking smart and ready to go for 2015.
I have bought my 2015 supply of 120 film which will supplement my dwindling stock. Is this an expensive interest, you bet it is. Film is hardly cheap and processing expensive. I enjoy it and what it does achieve is very important because it slows me down, makes me consider every shot, but most of all it’s great fun.
See you soon 🙂
After buying my Fuji X kit and being satisfied I’d bought a kit that would satisfy around 90% of my photography, I sold my Nikon D800! However, I kept nearly all of my full frame lenses, mostly all pro grade and I am glad I did. They worked fine on my Nikon D7100, but it’s horses for courses and of course with the DX crop factor of x1.5 all my lenses had a narrower field of view by that proportion. In fact, I only used my D7100 coupled to the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm VRII and I use it exclusively for wildlife. The Fuji X system is very special for me as it provides excellent imagery and enabled me to take an active interest in Street Photography. With its light weight portability it’s my first camera for holiday’s, travel and street photography. So, why the change of heart and a return to full frame with the D800E?
Simply it’s all to do with my landscape photography. Anyone here who has owned the D800, let alone the D800E will know of its extraordinary capability to take superb ultra sharp images. In fact I was so impressed with my DX D7100 with it’s AA filter removed I always wished I had originally bought the E version of the D800. The most important aspect for me with both the D800 and D7100 was the ability to take images capable of being severely cropped, but retain superb sharpness and detail.
In June 2014, Nikon did me a massive favour and launched the D810! Suddenly, the D800E which was retailing at the time at £2350 nose dived on the second hand market as folks sold to buy the new kid on the block. Good for them, they enabled me to buy a D800E at only a small amount more than I sold my D800 for. I did look at the D810, but quite frankly with it’s £2400 price tag I wasn’t interested in the little extra it offered over the now ceased D800/E range. Neither the D800 and more especially the “E” version are for the inexperienced photographer or one new to the world of the dSLR. However, with good technique, handheld or tripod mounted, the camera gives provides excellent imagery. Keep the speed up!
Below are a few images from the D800E and I can only say that it’s so good to say hello both to the FX camera again, but to use my 35mm Nikon lenses to their true potential once again.
Richard – 28/10/2014
Nikon D800E + Nikon 50mm f1.8 G – firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO400 – EV= -0.33
100% crop of above image.
Nikon D800E + Nikon 50mm f1.8 G – email@example.com – ISO200
Nikon D800E + Nikon 50mm f1.8 G – 1/320@f11 – ISO100
Nikon D800E + Nikon 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 G VRII – firstname.lastname@example.org – ISO400 – EV= -0.33 Focal length 400mm
Nikon D800E + Nikon 16-35mm f4 G – email@example.com – ISO200 – EV= -0.33 – Focal length 18mm.
100% crop of previous image – handheld.
Nikon D800E + Nikon 16-35mm f4 G – 1/800@f8 – ISO400
Indeed, where has the time gone since I last posted in June!
Firstly, let me introduce you to my flickr stream where just about the best of everything I’ve done over the last 6 months and longer, can be viewed. See here.
Much has happened over the last 5-6 months including a fantastic trip to Norway and Iceland. Also, I have now regained my D800, or I should say a D800E. I missed the sheer clarity afforded by the high pixel count camera, especially the ability to crop high definition landscape images. Also, my Nikon FX lenses were extremely lonely! More about all that another time.
Back to Norway and Iceland. I took the Fuji X-T1 and the 10-14mm f4, 18mm f2 and the18-55mm f2.8-4. I used this kit for 13 of the 14 days and the Nikon D7100 + AF-S 80-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII for one day only. This was a Whale watching trip where the Fuji, as good as it is, it could not quite match Nikon for this kind of work, i.e. fast wildlife action imagery.
So, here we are a series of images from the trip and unless indicated, all from the Fuji X-T1 with various lenses, but mostly the truly 10-24mm f4. The exception are the images of the Hump back Whale in Isfjorden near Akureyki, Iceland. These were taken with a Nikon D7100 + Nikon AF-S 80-400mm AF-S VRII. A great memory of a wonderful holiday.
Enjoy the images (click on an image to see full size) and I hope you agree how they demonstrate the quality of the Fuji X – T1 and lenses. If you have any comments or observations, please do write to me.