Sunday, 1 July 2012

Nikon D800 Days Are Here

Nikon D800  F/4.5  1/3s  ISO-800  PrAP  EV 0  42mm
Three clicks to heaven?

Here are my first shots with my new Nikon D800, for what they're worth. I shot in RAW only which I'm immediately going to stop doing - see below. I then did some very basic lightening and stuff where necessary, basically the instant fix button from Paint Shop Pro, along with a reduction in size to 640px on the biggest side and a last blip of sharpness for the purpose of this post.

You might think that my photography's gone totally down the drain by looking at these shots, and you'd be so right. I'm in the Paris sewers checking out the drainage system that keeps the peeps happily flushed out and the rats replete. Interesting factoid: there are apparently over 4 million rats, which is roughly two for each Parisian, which is... nice.

Nikon D800  F/3.5  1/10s  ISO-800  PrAP  EV 0  24mm
Back to the photos then, and I have to remind you that I'm struggling with two screens, one of which is much warmer, colourwise, than the other, so I don't really know which one to trust.

Anyway, the first results are encouraging and playing around with some of the images in the Nikon supplied ViewNX2 got me quite excited, so I'm gonna have to experiment with that too at some point.

For the moment I'm sticking with what I know best, Paint Shop Pro, the poor man's Photo Shop, to do my basic corrections and manips.

Nikon D800  F/4.2  1/2s  ISO-800  PrAP  EV 0  40mm
One wierd thing that's happened is that opening the shots in PSP results in a grey band down the right-hand side of the pics which you can see in the first and third shots here before I started cropping it out. It doesn't show up in the ViewNX2 so I'm not panicking quite yet, but I'd be interested to know what that's about.

I thought maybe it was a repeat of a problem I had with my Nikon D700 where there was always a row of strangely coloured pixels down one side of the shot but now I'm wondering if that was also PSP's fault. Anyway.

Nikon D800  F/4.2  1/8s  ISO-6400  PrAP  EV 0  38mm
The conditions were tricky - very contrasty and dark - and I really wasn't paying too much attention to what I was doing, plus there was a 'helpful' English-speaking French guide hustling us along so what you see here  are all grab shots without much consideration taken to them.

I slammed the ISO up to 6400 for the hugely rivetted pipe shot to see what would happen and the lack of grain was better than my D700 at ISO 3200 I would say...

The shot of the rats was almost correctly exposed for the rats, even on the full frame metering option, or maybe they were slightly over-exposed, which would make sense with the extremely dark surroundings.

I'm enjoying the screen on the back, which brings up nice bright images to judge by. I've already scratched the little protective plastic cover for it on my belt (ouch) but it could have been worse I guess.

Nikon D800  F/5.6  1/10s  ISO-800  PrAP  EV 0  120mm
The Wallace fountain found bizarrely several meters under ground is notoriously difficult to photography well and do justice to, especially whilst including some from of interesting background correctly exposed.

The problem is the deep, dark green of the fountains, which are normally backdropped by pale pale Parisian buildings and somewhere, something has to give.

It was pretty much the same problem here, where in order not to completely blow out the plaster bas-relief behind it, the fountain ended up pretty gloomy. A good experiment to consider for future pics anyway.

Nikon D800  F/5  1/8s  ISO-800  PrAP  EV 0  62mm
Finally, I had a go at the bracketing feature, which has a brand new button on the top left, in the kind of pie-chart next to the ISO, quality and white balance controls - nice! I usually use the exposure compensation (plus-minus) button to get the exposure right, but I'm going to get back into bracketing in a big way from now on I reckon.

I've set it to take pics below, at, and over the camera's 'ideal' exposure reading, which makes more sense to me than the default at, under and over. The problem is, you have to take three separate shots, so I'll have to work out how to put the bracketing option on continuous fire to make it less painful.

Hey, that's enough waffling for now. I'm excited, as you can see, and there's be more articles coming along real soon, see ya!

And why not...

* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2012 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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