Finland... some serious "me time" with the new Nikon gear.
An inaugural and three day late post from Finland, where I am travelling with a bagful of Nikon gear including:
It's the first time I've had any concentrated personal shooting time since getting all this stuff. A little background: I've put all my MF gear (Phase IQ180, DF body with plenty of glass, Cambo Wide for field use) up for sale. I've also sold my M9, but kept the glass. All as part of an effort to concentrate on using one 'serious' system (the 800) and one small'n'easy system (yet to be decided between NEX7 and MFT). The reasons for this are many but in short, it's about having less stuff in the cupboard and knowing the stuff I do have in more depth.
This system can be point and shoot - with the right light, the right choice of focus point and the right choice of non-tricksy lens. But it can also be a royal PITA because, like any pro level system, there are a lot of gotchas. The photo above of Helsinki Cathedral is a case in point of this need to learn the gear. It was shot with the 24mm PC-E which seems almost randomly to provide edge to edge sharpness when used with no movements. Shifted, however, it is incredibly difficult (even when stopped down) to focus. The above shot, at F8, was focussed using the focus confirmation dot and the centre point and if you zoom in on most of it, it is lovely and crisp. But there is an oddly shaped zone of OOF covering the bottom, central 1/9th of the frame. Now this is a zone that includes depths form foreground right to the facade of the building and yet within it, nothing is in focus. Meanwhile on the sides everything is sharp from front to back. Moral: only use this shifted on a tripod and with focus on LV and make sure you check every part of the frame. Not an easy lens. Even unshifted, many shots at F5.6 and 8 seem sharp from side to side but others are soft at the edges. I have yet to bottom this out.
On the plus side it has a great party trick: put on full swing and stop to F4 and it creates a marvellous, predictable and easily hand-holdable 'tunnel of focus' (or 'slice' if you rotate the barrel 90 degrees). The trouble is, you can fake this easily in post, with results 95% as good...
ps don't you love it when you look at photos at 100% zoom view and find something weird going on that you never noticed at the time? The following is a crop from another shot of the cathedral. Bizarre and very Finnish... and a testament to the sheer resolution of the D800. It's more a telescope than a camera sometimes.
No comments posted.
Recent PostsLeica M240 with 28mm Summicron - Some observations Burtynsky, Bailey, Becker, Carlos Clarke, Danziger, Friedlander, Jones Griffiths, Kander, Maisel.... Field Curvature - a Layman's Guide (or How to Focus a 'Tricky' Lens) Leica M240 with 18mm F3.8 Super Elmar - Some Observations Leica M240 with 50mm Summilux - Some observations. Leica M 240 with 35mm F1.4 FLE - some observations The M (Typ 240) - Leica's new baby reviewed DXO Mark lenses on D800 - My Real World Response What's your Doh! Mark Score? A Reader Writes....