D800 Focusing for Landscapers

Started Oct 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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A Owens
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D800 Focusing for Landscapers
Oct 12, 2012

Looking for a steer here from landscape photographers using the D800. I use Canon and Sony systems and am considering the addition of a Nikon system for high resolution needs. Canon's offering looks to be here no time soon and when it does arrive it seems it will be very expensive.

I am not worried about the occaisional  LH focus issue as I can work around that. Rather, I want to find out more about the issue reported by Fred Miranda concerning live view focussing.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index.html

If I understand correctly what he is saying, is that Nikon implements live view in a way that the lens is always stopped down to the selected F stop thereby limiting the light available for live view and making the rendered live view image noisy, 'laggy' and not very clear. In short of limited use for LOW LIGHT manual focussing. I am familiar with this as the Nex 7 I use is implemented the same way. Canon on the other hand, maintain full aperture until the point of exposure at which time the lens stops down and re-opens once exposure is complete therefore supplying maximum available light during live view.

So can anyone more knowledgeable than I confirm my understanding of the issue and let me know if there is any workaround or do you just live with it? I am really only directing this at those with the need to manually focus in low(ish) light.

Secondly, for my purposes, I find the most useful form of AF is the contrast detection on the sensor. It is plenty fast enough for landscape purposes and, in Canon's implementation, is spot-on accurate. There is no need to worry about alignment of focus arrays etc, as it takes its contrast data directly off the sensor and there is no argument. This is effectively also how Sony's focus peaking works and I find it very useful.

So can anyone tell me whether Nikons live view focussing also works in this way? Many thanks.

Nikon D800 Sony Alpha NEX-7
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