D600 and Landscapes

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
dacrema
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D600 and Landscapes
10 months ago

It has been really cold for the Washington DC area so I visited Great Falls Park (VA side) to work on my landscape photography.  I come to the D600 from a D300 - sensor cleaning aside not to many issues with the switch. Lets not get into the cleaning discussion here please.  I used a tripod for most of the shots and either the kit Nikon 24-85 or an older Sigma 120 - 300 lens.  I liked having the virtual horizon on this camera and could have used a remote cable release.  The sun was brighter than expected (it was supposed to be a cloudy day) so the exposures are not as long as I would have wished.  I am having a little trouble with my ball head (AcraTec) coming loose and causing some shaking.  Am I shooting at to high a f stop?  I wanted maximum DOF so used higher numbers.  For those using that type of ball head, is it ok to use something like Permatex Antiseize on the screw?

link to pictures in gallery.  Don't want to put everyone asleep.

Thanks in advance.  This is and always will be a hobby not a day job.

D600, 122mm, ISO 100, WB full sun, f18, 1/320 sec

Nikon D300 Nikon D600
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ne beginner
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Tripod?
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago

I don't do a lot of landscape stuff.  I also didn't pixel peep your photo.

One thing I do know is you need a tripod and head that is designed to support at least the weight of the camera and lens.  I would go further and say round up to the at least the next weight size for the tripod and head.  To get the sharpest images you need the steadiest platform possible.  That needs to allow for shutter slap, wind, etc.

A cable release is also important.

I'm not sure putting something in the screw to keep it from loosening up will resolve the real issue if the tripod and\head is not sturdy enough to keep things solid.

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dacrema
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to ne beginner, 10 months ago

ne beginner wrote:

...

One thing I do know is you need a tripod and head that is designed to support at least the weight of the camera and lens. I would go further and say round up to the at least the next weight size for the tripod and head. To get the sharpest images you need the steadiest platform possible. That needs to allow for shutter slap, wind, etc.

Thanks for the reply.

The tripod is a good unit, should be good for the camera/lens weight. ] I should have mentioned that because your points are very good.  I read Thom Hogan's article on tripods before buying this one and spent extra on the tripod when replacing the one I had that finally went bad (it was also a little short and weighed a ton).

I am beginning to suspect the ball head because it is not a true gimbal head.  The pair worked fine with a D300 and same lens for shooting crew races and cars but I was shooting much faster shutter speeds and more wide open - so camera shake is more an issue than with sports.  I was trying to keep the shutter open longer here for the DOF.  I am also wondering if f18 is to closed?  Perhaps I am closing the lens to much? I can't find the reference article now, but somewhere read with electronic sensors as oppose to film you can use f22 and the like as well because of the way the light waves are collected no the media.  I read the article years ago (D70 time frame) and it may no longer be valid with the newer sensors.

A final note. Because I did not have a shutter release I used the camera's timer to release the shutter and just put my hat over the view finder to keep the light out.

Like I said in the first post, I am not selling my work and for the most part I am happy with the results.  I just want to get better at it.

John

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Richard D Jacobs
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago

Very nice shots.

Why did you use spot metering?

Richard

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lickity split
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Re: D600 and Landscapes
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago
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dacrema
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to Richard D Jacobs, 10 months ago

Richard D Jacobs wrote:...

Why did you use spot metering?

Richard

Thanks Richard for the kind words.  I started using spot metering after having a camera that had onboard metering, I think Pentex Spotamac II or the Nikon FE that followed in the early 70s.  Sometimes I rely on the camera matrix and auto stuff but often I get into trouble when I do.  It is not the camera's fault. But rather my understanding of the new technology and lack of practice.

I did use matrix metering during the day, but did not look at the type of metering when I picked my keepers.  If there are none in there it was just the luck of the draw.

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Photo Thoughts
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago

dacrema wrote:

I am beginning to suspect the ball head because it is not a true gimbal head.

A ball head is fine for landscapes. The advantage of a gimbal head is handling larger telephotos, mostly, and tracking moving targets in general. At f/18, I'd expect the image to be blurry due to diffraction, but I'm not an expert on that subject. I stay more in the f/5.6 to f/8 region, and use stacking or a tilt-and-shift for more depth of field.

I use a RRS ball head, mirror lockup, and a remote release when taking landscapes. That seems to be enough on the support and physical steadiness side. I am sure your ball head is capable of good results, too, from your description, unless it's broken in some way.

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Photo Thoughts
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to Photo Thoughts, 10 months ago

I should have said I'd expect a bit of pixel blurring on a D800E with that aperture.  I haven't used a D600, nor I have done any math on the subject.

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dacrema
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Re: Tripod?
In reply to Photo Thoughts, 10 months ago

Photo Thoughts wrote:

dacrema wrote:

I am beginning to suspect the ball head because it is not a true gimbal head.

A ball head is fine for landscapes.... I stay more in the f/5.6 to f/8 region, and use stacking or a tilt-and-shift for more depth of field.

I use a RRS ball head, mirror lockup, and a remote release when taking landscapes. That seems to be enough on the support and physical steadiness side. I am sure your ball head is capable of good results, too, from your description, unless it's broken in some way.

Ok thanks.  I am using Capture NX2 for post processing so stacking is not an option.  Might be time to learn new software. (At least I'm shooting RAW).  I am mostly happy with the lenses I own so I will have to be happy with the smaller print sizes and less cropping.

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Brev00
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Re: D600 and Landscapes
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago

I find that the choice of focal point has as much to do with overall clarity as does the f stop.  Call it hyperfocal or focusing 1/3 into a scene or whatever works for you, but shooting at infinity or far into a scene and just stopping down might not always work.  Even at f 18, the right corner is blurry.  One thing is to decide if the really close up stuff is vital.  I would crop it out and, at the time, probably would  have decided not to include anything too close.  If it is not vital foreground and you frame further away then you can open up and  relax.  Looking at a hyperfocal chart will give you a better idea about f stop and distance.

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wireless
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Re: D600 and Landscapes
In reply to dacrema, 10 months ago

I like it and I'd certainly keep the foreground.  The color of the rocks and water is compelling and the trees and sky are there but don't pull the eye away from the area of interest.

best, David

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