Thank you to my new friends here--and prolly farewell, too

Started Jul 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady
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I have a theory... (not about the brontosaurus)
In reply to Water Ouzel, Jul 6, 2013

Water Ouzel wrote:

Thank you, all, for your contributions to my sense of perspective. My two previous Nikons were film cameras, starting with a used "F" in the late 60's. This D800e is a serious upgrade from my first digital camera, an X-E1, if you don't count the iPhone, and my time with a PDF of the manual this afternoon has been well spent.

As I have delved into the manual and the settings, it is clear that this camera was shipped to me from B&H, not only with that magnanimous shutter count, but with extensive deviations from default settings. New camera to me, it took some reading to learn why the damned camera would not autofocus on half-press--was it the lens? the camera?--because the A4 setting had been left to focus only on the AF-ON button. Lots of other examples, like continuous focus, color space, image quality and ISO were all non-default. The camera and packaging look absolutely mint, but someone had made significant use of it before B&H shipped to me as new. Probably some NSA contractor doing some counterfeiting or some friend of B&H on a fashion shoot. (Why would they need the old Adobe colorspace?)

Look at page 274 of the User Guide. Adobe RGB and sRGB are the two choices. Adobe RGB has the wider gamut and is the best choice for images you plan to process in Capture NX2, Lightroom 5, Photoshop, or other processing software. sRGB (I think the "s" is for "small" ) is only suitable it you do not plan to process the image. So, if you are using the D800E for shooting JPEG and going directly to the web, use sRGB, and then immediately get psychological counciling.

The AF-ON only setting, combined with AF-C, is popular on this forum. It gives you the best of both worlds without changing settings. If you want AF-S functionality press and release the AF-ON button. If you want AF-C functionality press and hold the AF-ON button. It makes focus and compose easier, and it gives you more control over focusing. The AF-ON button is conveniently placed for your thumb, so it is easy to use while shooting rapidly or when shooting slowly and carefully. You will find many threads about AF-ON only going back at least several years.

So, My Theory: I think you received a camera that was returned by a reader of this forum. They probably took all those shots testing the infamous Left AF Point in tungsten light at f/1.4, found it less than 100% perfect when examined on screen at 100%, and returned the camera.

I am loving the images it produces, and am now of the mind to stay with Nikon. Either a D800 or a D800e. As I look at the noise with ISO 400 on this D800e, I'm going to need to rethink if the $500 difference with the "rebate" is worth it. Anyway, thinking to exchange this body for another Nikon.

Noise is not the only reason to shoot at base ISO. The more you increase the ISO, the lower they dynamic range. This chart illustrates how DR drops as ISO goes up.

When looking at noise, you are probably viewing it at 100%. Remember that 100% for a D800E is like looking at an XE-1 at 150%.

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Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

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