D800E to 5d mk. III? paralyzed by analysis

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
A Owens
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Re: D800E to 5d mk. III? paralyzed by analysis
In reply to mdg137, Feb 27, 2013

mdg137 wrote:

With my D800E in the shop for focus issues, I have been ruminating on a switch back to Canon (left in 1995). I find myself considering this only because I have doubts that I can trust the autofocus of the D800E-- and that the 85mm has focus shift, exactly between apertures I use.

Looking for any feedback from other who may have done the same, or can point out something I am not considering. I apologize in advance for the length of the post...

I find myself in the unenviable position of shooting two distinct subjects-- about 55% portraits (nudes) and 35% urban landscapes, with a smattering of other subjects thrown in. Some of my portraits can be seen HERE (absolutely NSFW)

I love shallow DOF, and never print larger than 40x30, but also rarely print smaller than 18x12-- usually, around 20x30.

When shooting portraits I am usually using my 35 f1.4G, 50mm f1.2 Ai-s or 50mm f1.4G, and 85mm f1.4G. With landscapes, usually the 14-24mm f2.8. I never shoot above 180mm.

I am in a position where I could make the switch, and get the canon 14mm, 24 1.4, 35 1.4, 50 1.2, 85 1.2, 100 macro, 135mm f2, and 200mm f2.8, with a pretty minimal outlay of funds, possibly even breaking even.

Ive done some comparisons, including enlarging the images from both cameras to 40x30 (ish)-- There is an obvious difference in resolution of fine detail, but I am not entirely sure how much of that would translate to print.

If I shot one subject or the other, this might not be a quandry.
Any thoughts appreciated.

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When I look at your lens requirements, Canon is an obviously better choice from 35mm up. Forget Nikon and Canon 35mm lenses and look at the new Sigma 35/1.4 but that aside Nikon cannot match the Canon lenses you have selected north of 35mm. Below that the 24mm's are about the same and of course Canon does not have a match for the 14-24 but has very good 17mm and 24mm TSE's. They may bring out a better WA zoom eventually. Canon's 24-70 and 70-200 F2.8's are a bit better than Nikon's current offerings too.

That said, for portraiture I find the D800e to be pretty good. The AF on mine works very well so I am confident that Nikon should be able to fix yours. The clean shadows really make a difference in corners of eyes although I am not convinced that the transition from shadow to highlight is very good nor do I care for the skin rendering and colours in general but that last point is rather subjective. Paradoxically, for landscape I find the d800e to be very fustrating for landscape work. The LV implementation is an absolute dog.

To summarise, there is not a clear winner between them and switching is a HUGE PIA and personally I would not switch unless Nikon cannot fix the focus issue or you find yourself constrained by Nikon's lens selection.

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