D800: Handheld Examples with older lenses (180 2.8 AF, 300 f4, 20 2.8D, 50 1.8D)

Started May 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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D800: Handheld Examples with older lenses (180 2.8 AF, 300 f4, 20 2.8D, 50 1.8D)
May 30, 2012


Spent Memorial Day weekend at a neighbor's cabin on a remote Northern lake with some kids, loons, dogs, and D800 + older glass.

I posted some of my initial thoughts and examples from last week in this thread:

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> http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41588933&page=1

First, a reiteration of my earlier opinion: This camera is fairly remarkable. The files have a crisp, sharp 'reality' that is harder to come by at lower resolutions, and there is a bit more headroom with acuity and noise control and PP in general, even when shooting in difficult conditions. I don't know if the 'usable' range of this camera is really described by the math or an understanding of the QE capabilities of the sensor - it has to be experienced by shooting in common situations, and working with the files. In my case, I've been slightly surprised by it's capability, even knowing what I knew going in.

I have now had a chance to try the 20 2.8D and 300 f/4 in addition to the 180 2.8 AF-N and 50 1.8D, which were featured in that earlier thread. My initial conclusions are:

300 f/4: stellar
180 f/2.8: stellar
50 1.8D: very good
20 f/2.8D: good
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8: good (51-75mm) very good (28-50mm)
Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 HSM II (DX): very good (50-135mm) good (135-150mm)

In my bag, but yet to try:

Nikon 35 f/1.8G (DX)
Nikon 85 f/1.8D
Sigma 100-300 f/4 DG APO HSM
Sigma Super-wide 24mm f/2.8 AF
Nikon 105 f/2.6 AIS

Anyway, on to examples:

Below is a minor test of AF-lock at lowish EV and very yellow-tungsten light, the 'look' of the 50 1.8D wide-open, and the cleanliness of the file (very little PP: highlights lowered, slight NR and sharpening)

50 f/1.8D wide-open, ISO 1400, 1/100s:

Below shows some of the 50's sharpness, but also a neat PP look, a very easy tweak with the 800's files:

50mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, -0.3 EV

AF lock in lowish tungsten - these poses lasted a split second, I was able to snap them with no delay or hunt:

50mm f/1.8 ISO 1250


Out back, just a great dog

50mm f/2.8

Here's another shot from the 50, and a crop example - luckily, I had the camera + 50 on my passenger seat when I saw this little guy trotting down the road. (Un-luckily, I didn't have a telephoto on the body!) Pulled over, he allowed my presence for a few quick snaps:

50mm f/4


Also, unlucky: this little guy didn't witness it

50mm f/1.8

Fun with f/1.8, showing me what he picked for mama:

50mm f/1.8


Morning shots with the 180, the lens just never disappoints me:

180mm f/3.5 1/400s

180mm f/4 1/1600s ISO 100

180mm f/4 1/800s ISO 250

Here are some examples from the 20 f/2.8D - I didn't get to shoot much with this lens, which is a shame, it's one I wanted to put through a stress-test the most. I think it shows some CA in backlit situations, has some weakness in the extreme edges, but overall is a good little performer on the D800 - but probably not quite up to par the Zeiss 21, or perhaps the 14-24 2.8 Nikon:

20mm f/5.6 1/320s ISO 125

20mm f/5.6 1/320s ISO 220

20mm f/5.6 1/320s ISO 140

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
Nikon D800
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