D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #1

Started Dec 5, 2010 | Discussions
Ray Soares
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D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #1
Dec 5, 2010

Just finished a bunch of really good tests on my new D7000:

In one phrase: It's fast, nice as my old D300, incredible auto-focus and high-iso, and is SHARP!

Some pics for start:

Nikon 24mm f1.4 G no fine-tuning:

A 100% center crop -> see white dot on jeans:

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII no fine tuning:

100% crop:

Desert rose w/ 24 mm f1.4:

100% crop:

The dog w/ 24 mm:

crop at 100%-> REALLY AMAZING:

Sharpness settings : RAW lossless w/ all PP done in NX2 for now->
Really sharp w/ 24mm and 70-200mm lenses.

In camera sharpening set to +4 and later a highpass sharpening in NX2 at 2,75/80% luminance channel only.
Rezized for web and apllied a final Unsharp mask in NX2 at 25,2,0

The samples look a little too oversharpened for my taste but they're ok for what I want to show you.

I probably will use +4 in camera and later apply a highpass sharpening at 2,5 and 70%, only at the luminance channel, overlay mask.

Full set of pics at: http://www.pbase.com/raysoares/d7000

I'll share ALL my settings later if anyone is interested.

Ray Soares

See my pictures at http://www.pbase.com/raysoares

 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
Ray Soares
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D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #2
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Some real life pics:
Orquid#1:
24mm f1.4 at f1.4, w/ Exposure compensation +0,7EV, iso 100

Mel at ISO 1250:

24mm f1.4 at f5.6, w/ Exposure compensation +0,7EV, iso 1250, Noide reduction to Low, and later in PP Topaz Denoise 5
Focus point at her right eye obviously

Luca at ISO 1000:

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Ray Soares

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 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #3
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Some landscape with a Polarizer filter.

And a test HDR inside home ( 3 pics w/ +- 2 EV bracketing merged in Photomatix):

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Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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dougster1979
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Re: D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #3
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Great now i have to find £1400 to buy that lens. Great pics , shows what the D7000 is capable, impressed, especially the landscape, wow!

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sphericube
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Re: D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #3
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

The dynamic range of this new sensor is impressive: details captured on the black dog with bright background !

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ravinj
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Re: D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #1
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Thanks for sharing.

Would like to see some landscape shots if possible. I am still deciding which lenses to get for my D7000. For now, I am using a some of the older primes that I had from my earlier D40 rig.

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joaquin100
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Re: D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #1
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Ray Soares wrote:

I'll share ALL my settings later if anyone is interested.

Ray Soares

Can you post them please? iam interested and assume many more.

Thanx

Joaquin

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Ray Soares
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#4 Settings!!!
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

General settings and tips:

1- Shoot in A mode always thinking about the right DOF- depth of field that is nice for that pic: let's say-> f1.4 to 4.0 to portraits
Landscape -> f8 to f 9 (dont go further f11 because of difraction!)
Groups -> f 5.6

2- Focus:
AFC with 9 points Dynamic area -> that's it, no fancy settings-> FAST
a4 -> release , yes, no focus priority

Set AE-L button to AF-ON -> see below:

a- Use "AF-ON button only" for focus;

b- AFC (very important -> little movements, the target breaths, your hand shake , etc)
c- Select 9 points but w/ only selectable/visible 11 points on viewfinder

d- Always shoot a burst of 3 pics at 4 fps (and select the best one afterwards IN THE COMPUTER as its almost impossible to get the best focused one in LCD)

e- Shutter Release option (no focus lock, not even intermediate lock, as small movements of target or photographer are happening all the time and, of course, the DOF is pretty small) -> any micro delay will kill your sharpness...

f- Do not recompose-> select the active focus point that is near final position of targeted eye
g- Small crop at PP to get final adjustment

8- As I bought a f1.4 lens (remember: the cream machine...) why would I shoot at f4 / 5.6? Ok, I personally like f2.0 or f2.2 in DX for head shots, but got many good ones at f1.4 too.

h- Almost forgot: PLZ get SS at least 1/80 and up ( I would say 1/125 ideal for DX and 85mm lens -> adjust to different equip.) -> therefore set your auto-iso to work!!!
i- Be prepared to get "only" 50% of keepers at most...

3- If you dont like itens 1 and 2 shoot P mode and auto area ( but forget nail focus in a eye with a f1.4 lens!)

4- Buy a Capture NX2 and shoot RAW

5- Auto WB - Auto1

6- Picture Control -> NEUTRAL
Contrast-> auto
In camera sharpness-> +4 (if you shoot jpeg go up to +6 not more than that)

7- Set a -0.3 EV permanent exposure compensation

AND set your playback to show highlights-> shoot and make an exposure compensation (almost always I had to do a EC -> see my exifs in pbase)

As the D7000 allows you to correct dark ares of pic later in PP (remember i said RAW!) NEVER let a blown up area in your pic
Usually I set a -0.3 EC to -0.7 EC.
PLZ this one of the most important things in serious photography!

8- Use later in NX2 the control points to set the right brigtness to your pics

9- I'm usually increase contrast in PP -> just a touch (5 units in Nx2)

9- Get a Polarizer filter to shoot lanscapes and did not get a blown sky. Just turn it untill you see the best colors thru viewfinder

10- AUTO ISO -> very important:

For these 2 lenses (24 mm and 70-200 VRII) and set minimum shutter speed to 1/60 and MAX iso 6400 -> w/ a f1.4 lens dont worry-> It never will get so hight, but anyway you'll have a lifebuoy to get that snap at 6400 iso...

Also set U1 for portraits and minimum shutter speed to 1/125 and U2 for lanscapes and minimum shutter speed to 1/60 or less if you shoot w/ a tripod (really dont need one)

11-- Buy a Topaz denoise 5 for Noide reduction in PP -> its incredible

12- ADL- set to low

13- High iso NR set to low

14- Any dead pixel?: just PP in NX2 using band-aid tool (I got one DP...)

15- Although a tripod is not mandatory, you need to increase your shutter speed very often because of the 16MB/pixel size etc)-> as I said people move and breath so in AFC w/ AF-ON button you can rear the lens motor moving when you are waiting the right moment to click so 1/125 for people is the minimum

For maximum sharpness in a landscape-handheld you'll need minimum 1/500!!!

But lets say 1/250 is very good. But VR helps too and you can go slower w/ VR lenses.

The landscape view you see in my pics were shoot laying the camera on a rail of the varanda (because the polarizer cuts your light by approximatelly -2EV of light!).

But I get beautiful sky. If you dont blow highlights the D7000 can return you deep colors almost like HDR but natural ones.

More later!

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Ray Soares

See my pictures at http://www.pbase.com/raysoares

 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Fred Mueller
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tag
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

thanks ray

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Ray Soares
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#5 More about AF-ON -> how to use it and settings
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Settings:
a3 -> 9 points
a4 -> off
Focus area and mode AFC - continuous focus with 9 points dynamic area
a1 -> release
Lock initial focus point to central point (w/ the focus lock selector )
Set AE-L button to AF-ON only (so you will not focus using shutter button!)

It's a night and day difference and you'll never need to change any of the above settings whatever condition you want:

1- Just press AF-ON to focus the initial focus point;
2- Keep pressing while you want to continuous focus and shoot at will

3- If you want to recompose, just lift your thumb and the focus will lock -> then recompose and shoot.
4- For manual focus dont touch the AF-ON button

It takes minutes to get used to it and you will never go back. It's so easy to use that my wife, 11 y old son, girlfriend of my oldest, etc shoot now w/ AF-ON.

Notes on this technique:

a- You don't have to bother about changing camera focus settings for every condition (unless you're a pro w/ many chalenges/especial conditions to shoot)

b- The person you lend the camera will not shoot by mistake using half-press shutter (very easy and happens w/ every new person that grabs such a heavy DSRL)-> ask him/her just to press AF-ON untill he gives you back the camera!

c- You'll cut all focus delays and will get a pretty fast, almost instantaneous focus (w/ a HSM lens especially)

d- In action situations, like kids running or worse like BIF, is almost impossible to get the right moment using AF-S focus old techniques (let's say AF-S plus beep confirmation+focus lock to release shutter)

e- Pressing AF-ON just start the continuous focus procedures a bit before than using the half-press shutter and THAT is the secret together w/ using RELEASE mode, that gets things working flawless w/ NO delay using AF-ON button.

f- If you keep the half-press shutter focus activated too, you won't lock focus and recompose w/ the AF-ON button, because the moment you press the shutter the camera will acquire a new focus target different from the one you have choosen before w/ AF-ON only.

g- Please note that any lens VR is NOT activated by pressing AF-ON (a new firmware would be nice to correct this) and you'll need to half press shutter button way before to estabilize it.

Regards

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Ray Soares

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 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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#6 How to fine tune your lenses...
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

If you really want to get maximum sharpness of your lenses, try af fine tuning:

I did the af-fine tunning in my old D300 and 85mm f1.4 D and my 17-55mm and I'm pretty happy w/ the results.
I'll try w/ the D7000 next week...

It is fairly noticeable in my D300 pics. My old 85mm got a +8 and my 17-55mm got a +4 as a compromise between the best 17mm setting and the 55mm best one.

I've tried many approachs and I found this simple one the better:

1- Get 3 9V batteries, w/ flat/square shape (not rounded ones)

2- Place them over a table (suposing u dont have a tripod) w/ good light (u might use in-camera flash too)

3- Place your camera over the same table at a distance of 2 meters, using as a support something like a book to get the center focus point pointed to the middle battery.

4- The batteries must be disaligned in depth by 1.5 inch and separated sideways by 2 inches

5- Shoot w/ fine tunning option activated from -20 to + 20 in 5 clicks steps. Choose the best ones, close your gap and so on...

6-Aperture mode plz, wide open.

7-Try/check/recheck/use other settings many times just to make sure that your final choice is the best.

8- For bigger lenses you have to increase size of objects and distances of course.

It's worth any effort and the results are very clear in your photos.

Best
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Ray Soares

See my pictures at http://www.pbase.com/raysoares

 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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#7 About lenses...
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

If you shoot w/ the kit lenses, you'd better think in invest in a pro-grade lens.

The kit lens is ok but you'll never get that pop-3D look without for exemple controlling DOF.

And you will print it in a EPSON R2880 A3 size poster like a professional.

Second that, with a f1.4 lens and iso 6400 you'll probably never use FLASH anymore (ok some people are very good w/ flashes, but us, mere mortals,...)

The pro lenses are SHARP! and of course are very expensive!

Burt remember that you'll probably change your body in the next 2/3 years, but your pro-lenses will last for at least 10 years and you'll sell them for a good price after the 10 years of use!

Get a Nikon NC clear filter for all US$ 1,500 plus Nikon PRO lenses to protect them( with new nano coat they really dont affect your pics!).

But remember pro-lenses have seals against dust and water splashes!!!

The 24mm f1.4 and the 70-200 VRII although among the more expensives of Nikon FX pro line, are priceless.

With the 24mm , minimum shutter speed 1/60, max iso 6400 and auto-iso, you'll simply will not use flash or worry about ambient light or noise anymore (unless you'll shoot sports for example).

The 70-200mm VRII is simply outstanding and with the VR you can shoot at the same 1/60 at 200mm with no blur (even w/ the small pixels of D7000...)
I've never saw so fast focus in a lens than in a 70-200 VRII!
You will never look to the green focus confirmation light anymore!

Best

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Ray Soares

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 Ray Soares's gear list:Ray Soares's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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#8 About video...
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Although I haven't tested it properly yet, you can watch a great Peter Gregg's video here:

http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/first-thoughts-nikon-d7000-hands-on/

And he has a nice review of the camera too!

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Ray Soares

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Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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EASY Fine-tuning setup w/ pics...
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 5, 2010

Just check pics below:

Nikon 24mm f1.4G fine tunnig = zero:

Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII fine tunning = zero

Both handheld and still quite sharp!
Best

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Ray Soares

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Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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Ray Soares
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Thanks Ravinj. Landscape/architecture samples...
In reply to ravinj, Dec 5, 2010

Some samples of this afternoon. All w/ 24mm f1.4G and a Nikon polarizer.
Shoot in neutral but changed in NX2 to landscape:
Stairs

Swiming pool

View by the sea

Home

Stairs #2

Best
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Ray Soares

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Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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perry rhodan
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awesome !!
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 6, 2010

Thank you for posting this. Excellent pics and priceless tips!

Thanks again.

Regards, Perry

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Ray Soares
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Re: awesome !!
In reply to perry rhodan, Dec 6, 2010

Thanks Perry!
Best
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Ray Soares

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Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
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dgc4rter
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Re: D7000 Sharpness, Lots of Samples, High ISO, mini review, etc #1
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 6, 2010

Thanks Ray for these immensely useful and practical tips. I will be making a note of all these and look forward to applying them to my efforts with the D7000.

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Bill Wallace
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Thanks Ray.....
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 6, 2010

So in-depth, I have it bookmarked, you sealed the deal for me on the D7000 I'm afraid. Now about those lenses....

Thanks again,

Bill

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"I'd rather laugh with the Sinners than cry with the Saints"

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zenman49
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Re: #5 More about AF-ON -> how to use it and settings
In reply to Ray Soares, Dec 6, 2010

Ray Soares wrote:

Settings:
a3 -> 9 points
a4 -> off
Focus area and mode AFC - continuous focus with 9 points dynamic area
a1 -> release
Lock initial focus point to central point (w/ the focus lock selector )
Set AE-L button to AF-ON only (so you will not focus using shutter button!)

are these setting for D7000 or D90? a3 and a4 don't seems to be correct for D7000.

e- Pressing AF-ON just start the continuous focus procedures a bit before than using the half-press shutter and THAT is the secret together w/ using RELEASE mode, that gets things working flawless w/ NO delay using AF-ON button.

i follow your setting of af-c, shutter release set ae-l, ael/afl button set as af-on, etc, but i sometime encounter problem of af point hang with just 1 single af point at the centre with af-s display on the top lcd. and the af selector become dead, no respond. what could be wrong?

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