Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
TimStir
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Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
8 months ago

This has been a dream camera since release but I'm pretty frugal and saved the money for a house deposit, then I found out I would become a father so held off the purchase some more.

Now I am kind of thinking it is now or never. I don't want to wait until the D800 is near EoL. I already hear rumors of a D800S, but I assume this will be fairly minor tweaks and several hundred more $$ ???

In a couple of weeks I  have a paid event to shoot semi-professionally (MBA gradation at prestigious private school)). I currently have a D90 and D7000, Nikon 24-70, 70-200, 300mm f/4.0, 70-300, 50mm f/1.8D and 85mm f/1.8G for FF (sigma 10-20mm, nikon 16-85 and 35mm f/1.8 for DX).  I know this kit is perfectly capable of the event in question but a D800 will help (d800 with 24-70 and the 85mm f/1.8 on the D7000), and this event should hopefully be the first of many.

Despite shooting the event I'm mostly a nature photographer. The D800 is evidently superb for landscape and the pixel density helps with wildlife. But the latter is one of my concerns. I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

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TL:DR

Does anyone  expect the D800S to be any more than a slight speed high ISO increase at a higher cost? Expected dates? I know no one knows for certain but some ed4ucated guesses are welcome.

How do people cope with a D800 for wildlife when they can't afford a 500mm f/4.0? Is is really just better sticking to crop?

I will likely buy form BH photo video. They have a deluxe kit for an extra $100. Normally I avoid these, but I would need the 2 additional batteries (3rd party is fine), I would like the wireless remote for landscape work, the velbon v-grip is of some use to me and seems OK for money. Other bits and pieces are not so important but would add a little value to me. Seems for my uses to be over $100 value in total. Anyone experience with the BHPV deluxe kit?

Thanks for the time, sorry for long, boring post! This is a lot of money for me. I can easily afford it  but I just don't like spending big money on toys!

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Photofunster
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In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

Just Ledoux It!

Jump in, D800 all the way

Why wait till spring, just ledoux it now!!

Chas

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Doublehelix
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

I went from a D90 to the D800 a couple of years ago when the D800 first came out, and I have to say that I have NEVER regretted my purchase, not for one second.

You know the answer to your own question since it sounds like you have researched it significantly... go for it!

I also have the 24-70 and 70-200 lens (as well as the 85 f/1.8), and the difference between the D800 and the D90 is night and day. I still use my D90 as my backup body, and tend to take it on vacations since I am paranoid about losing/damaging the D800 (sort of defeats the purpose, eh?), and when I am processing my D90 images, although great shots, they can never compare the D800 for resolution, dynamic range, and image quality.

Can I still take some great shots on the D90 (or you on the D7000)? Of course! Does the D800 excel over the D90? Without doubt!

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James

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user_name
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

TimStir wrote:

This has been a dream camera since release but I'm pretty frugal and saved the money for a house deposit, then I found out I would become a father so held off the purchase some more.

Now I am kind of thinking it is now or never. I don't want to wait until the D800 is near EoL.

Why not?

I have both the D800 and a D700. The D700 is well past its EOL, but I still use it and it works great!

I already hear rumors of a D800S, but I assume this will be fairly minor tweaks and several hundred more $$ ???

Unless you have a budget that is higher, then it really doesn't make sense to worry about future models that cost more. I suspect the D800 will still be produced as long as there is demand, so I would not feel rushed.

Even if the model is terminated, there will be refurbished units and used D800s for sale. It was the release of the D800 that drove the D700 used prices down and that was exactly when I bought my D700.

In a couple of weeks I have a paid event to shoot semi-professionally (MBA gradation at prestigious private school)). I currently have a D90 and D7000, Nikon 24-70, 70-200, 300mm f/4.0, 70-300, 50mm f/1.8D and 85mm f/1.8G for FF (sigma 10-20mm, nikon 16-85 and 35mm f/1.8 for DX). I know this kit is perfectly capable of the event in question but a D800 will help (d800 with 24-70 and the 85mm f/1.8 on the D7000), and this event should hopefully be the first of many.

Why not rent a D800 and see if you really need/want one?

Despite shooting the event I'm mostly a nature photographer. The D800 is evidently superb for landscape and the pixel density helps with wildlife. But the latter is one of my concerns. I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

How big do you print? 36mp is great for huge prints, but if you rarely or never print that big the advantages of the D800 over something like a used D700 is a steep price to pay for those extra pixels.

Also, you scare me when you mentioned a new house and a new baby. Are you really financially secure enough to justify this? If this is a fun toy, do you have $3,000 set aside for this?

Note, if this is for pleasure this should be a cash purchase, not credit.  If you don't have the cash in the bank, wait.

If this is a tool to make you revenue you should consider carefully what the projected increase in revenue this camera will generate. If that increase is ≥$3,000 in ≤ 1 year it is a must-buy deal. If that return on investment takes years, then I would say it may not be the best way to invest $3,000 (from a business perspective).

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-----------

TL:DR

Does anyone expect the D800S to be any more than a slight speed high ISO increase at a higher cost? Expected dates? I know no one knows for certain but some ed4ucated guesses are welcome.

How do people cope with a D800 for wildlife when they can't afford a 500mm f/4.0? Is is really just better sticking to crop?

I will likely buy form BH photo video. They have a deluxe kit for an extra $100. Normally I avoid these, but I would need the 2 additional batteries (3rd party is fine), I would like the wireless remote for landscape work, the velbon v-grip is of some use to me and seems OK for money. Other bits and pieces are not so important but would add a little value to me. Seems for my uses to be over $100 value in total. Anyone experience with the BHPV deluxe kit?

Thanks for the time, sorry for long, boring post! This is a lot of money for me. I can easily afford it but I just don't like spending big money on toys!

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RicAllan
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

If you have to be convinced, you shouldn't do it.

Each of us has different needs and pushes different boundaries with our efforts. Only YOU know what you need to tackle yours...

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larrywilson
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

Can't beat the d800 for cropping because of the 36 mp sensor.  I actually picked up a used d800e three weeks ago with 13,000 shutter releases, set my d4 on the shelf.  I photograph a lot of birds and wildlife and the camera performs.  I have sold my d4 because it doesn't meet my needs mainly for cropping.  I will use the extra money to buy a good lens or save the money for the next upgrade.  Once you use one, you won't look back.

Larry

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TimStir
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to user_name, 8 months ago

Excellent reply, thanks for the critical analysis. Here are my responses:

1) I would hate to buy a D800 and then a few months later a D900 with 48MP an extra stop ISo/DR and 7FPs gets released at $2500. This wont happen now but surely you can see that it is disappointing for people to buy something to see it replaced quickly with something far better quickly? If I knew  a D900 would appear soon i would simply wait.

2) I could rent but I prefer to have the camera in my hands for at least 1 week. At the rental price it probably doens't make a big difference to buy one and sell it on soon afterwards. But I will check out the rental options

3)I don't print huge and 36MP is wasted on me. however, I do need 16MP in the DX crop area and do want FF sensor for landscape and shallow DoF work. The D700 is fantastic, but having 5.5MP in the DX crop area is a bug step backwards for my wildlife work. The D610 is not any  btter really and i end up without a significant advance in metering and focusing.

4) finances are actually a deal. My wife and I are lucky to each earn 6 figures (and the wife has 10 month maternity leave at full pay, not bad for the US!), the D800 is just 1 of my paychecks after removing mortgage, food and utility bills. I am just very frugal, and always save money for things like house deposit, retirement, unemployment - all important but all healthy enough atm.

5) this is a cash purchase, I get paid wednesday.

This is the first time I am doing paid event work. I don't know what will come of it exactly but I broadly expect to make $2-3000 in a full academic year just doing the occasional event work at then university.  I get about $400 per gig, and had the option to do 2 events in April and May (first I couldn't make due to baby). Summer will be quiet and i ahve to see what the fall semester brings I have also been asked to photogrpah some weddings but turned the offer down as i don't want that stress right now. This isn't a business and form a business perspective this would be  a bad investment. But photography is a big hobby and I want the event work to help pay for the hobby and make me justify expensive toys.

My work is also stressful and I would love to  move into something more enjoyable. In a few years I hope to have paid of the mortgage and be able to do work that is more fulfilling rather well paid. Some easy event stuff now will give me practice and help me decide if it is something I could do fully professionally.

user_name wrote:

TimStir wrote:

This has been a dream camera since release but I'm pretty frugal and saved the money for a house deposit, then I found out I would become a father so held off the purchase some more.

Now I am kind of thinking it is now or never. I don't want to wait until the D800 is near EoL.

Why not?

I have both the D800 and a D700. The D700 is well past its EOL, but I still use it and it works great!

I already hear rumors of a D800S, but I assume this will be fairly minor tweaks and several hundred more $$ ???

Unless you have a budget that is higher, then it really doesn't make sense to worry about future models that cost more. I suspect the D800 will still be produced as long as there is demand, so I would not feel rushed.

Even if the model is terminated, there will be refurbished units and used D800s for sale. It was the release of the D800 that drove the D700 used prices down and that was exactly when I bought my D700.

In a couple of weeks I have a paid event to shoot semi-professionally (MBA gradation at prestigious private school)). I currently have a D90 and D7000, Nikon 24-70, 70-200, 300mm f/4.0, 70-300, 50mm f/1.8D and 85mm f/1.8G for FF (sigma 10-20mm, nikon 16-85 and 35mm f/1.8 for DX). I know this kit is perfectly capable of the event in question but a D800 will help (d800 with 24-70 and the 85mm f/1.8 on the D7000), and this event should hopefully be the first of many.

Why not rent a D800 and see if you really need/want one?

Despite shooting the event I'm mostly a nature photographer. The D800 is evidently superb for landscape and the pixel density helps with wildlife. But the latter is one of my concerns. I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

How big do you print? 36mp is great for huge prints, but if you rarely or never print that big the advantages of the D800 over something like a used D700 is a steep price to pay for those extra pixels.

Also, you scare me when you mentioned a new house and a new baby. Are you really financially secure enough to justify this? If this is a fun toy, do you have $3,000 set aside for this?

Note, if this is for pleasure this should be a cash purchase, not credit. If you don't have the cash in the bank, wait.

If this is a tool to make you revenue you should consider carefully what the projected increase in revenue this camera will generate. If that increase is ≥$3,000 in ≤ 1 year it is a must-buy deal. If that return on investment takes years, then I would say it may not be the best way to invest $3,000 (from a business perspective).

-- hide signature --

-----------

TL:DR

Does anyone expect the D800S to be any more than a slight speed high ISO increase at a higher cost? Expected dates? I know no one knows for certain but some ed4ucated guesses are welcome.

How do people cope with a D800 for wildlife when they can't afford a 500mm f/4.0? Is is really just better sticking to crop?

I will likely buy form BH photo video. They have a deluxe kit for an extra $100. Normally I avoid these, but I would need the 2 additional batteries (3rd party is fine), I would like the wireless remote for landscape work, the velbon v-grip is of some use to me and seems OK for money. Other bits and pieces are not so important but would add a little value to me. Seems for my uses to be over $100 value in total. Anyone experience with the BHPV deluxe kit?

Thanks for the time, sorry for long, boring post! This is a lot of money for me. I can easily afford it but I just don't like spending big money on toys!

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InTheMist
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

TimStir wrote:

... I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

A 1.4 TC is certainly one answer.  One that I use myself.  Or just switch to DX mode when you need and then its very similar to your D7000.  I still shoot my D7000 along side my D800.

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TimStir
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to RicAllan, 8 months ago

Thing is I am super frugal and also stress about finances and value of items. Back in 2010 I was worrying about buying a D90 and asked to be convinced on Dpreview - I would have lost lots of opportunities if I hadn't made that purchase.

RicAllan wrote:

If you have to be convinced, you shouldn't do it.

Each of us has different needs and pushes different boundaries with our efforts. Only YOU know what you need to tackle yours...

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Ric

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TimStir
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

Just checked rental prices, $110 for 3 days But i would probably want 1 week for practice and ensure I have the camera in case of delayed shipping, plus play with the camera enough to know i I want to buy. Rental is then $144, and $40 insurance, and $25 shipping

Fro $210 bucks I am sure I wont loose a whole lot more selling if somehow I don't want it. And I have held the D800 and used it in the shops enough to know there wont be a big issue. having a D7000 I know what to expect from the DX crop.

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Photophanatic
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

Hi Tim:

It seems to me your question might be better posed to Dave Ramsey (www.DaveRamsey.com). You note that your present gear will handle the upcoming graduation event that you mention, which means that it should handle similar events that you hope to follow. Unless you plan to print the photos that you take really "large" I can see no need for a D800 at this time. I'd advise you to   make some money first with your present equipment and when you have enough that money to buy a D800 or it's repalcement is not a factor in your purchase decision, then place the order. Like another person told you, if you have to ask the question you probably shouldn't buy the D800 now.

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xtm
xtm
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

You seem to be a budget conscious individual, yet want to rent gear? I think renting gear = throwing money. Just buy it cheap, use a lot, make money from it, and resell it around the same price if it doesn't fit you. The key is finding one at a great price to begin with. Forget ebay... I browse Fredmiranda B&S forum quite often and I always find some great deals there. There was a D800 listed there for $1800 a couple days ago.. I'm sure it's sold now, but deals are out there.

Also, if you are super frugal, my advice is to sell all your gear and just use your iphone. Put the money on money market acct so you can sleep at night. I understand that everyone seems to be on a "tight budget" but if you need someone else to convince you then maybe you don't really need it. If you REALLY NEED IT, you won't need convincing... you just do it. Based on you post, I say you don't need it.

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Michael Kaplan
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

TimStir wrote:

Excellent reply, thanks for the critical analysis. Here are my responses:

1) I would hate to buy a D800 and then a few months later a D900 with 48MP an extra stop ISo/DR and 7FPs gets released at $2500. This wont happen now but surely you can see that it is disappointing for people to buy something to see it replaced quickly with something far better quickly? If I knew a D900 would appear soon i would simply wait.

2) I could rent but I prefer to have the camera in my hands for at least 1 week. At the rental price it probably doens't make a big difference to buy one and sell it on soon afterwards. But I will check out the rental options

3)I don't print huge and 36MP is wasted on me. however, I do need 16MP in the DX crop area and do want FF sensor for landscape and shallow DoF work. The D700 is fantastic, but having 5.5MP in the DX crop area is a bug step backwards for my wildlife work. The D610 is not any btter really and i end up without a significant advance in metering and focusing.

4) finances are actually a deal. My wife and I are lucky to each earn 6 figures (and the wife has 10 month maternity leave at full pay, not bad for the US!), the D800 is just 1 of my paychecks after removing mortgage, food and utility bills. I am just very frugal, and always save money for things like house deposit, retirement, unemployment - all important but all healthy enough atm.

5) this is a cash purchase, I get paid wednesday.

This is the first time I am doing paid event work. I don't know what will come of it exactly but I broadly expect to make $2-3000 in a full academic year just doing the occasional event work at then university. I get about $400 per gig, and had the option to do 2 events in April and May (first I couldn't make due to baby). Summer will be quiet and i ahve to see what the fall semester brings I have also been asked to photogrpah some weddings but turned the offer down as i don't want that stress right now. This isn't a business and form a business perspective this would be a bad investment. But photography is a big hobby and I want the event work to help pay for the hobby and make me justify expensive toys.

My work is also stressful and I would love to move into something more enjoyable. In a few years I hope to have paid of the mortgage and be able to do work that is more fulfilling rather well paid. Some easy event stuff now will give me practice and help me decide if it is something I could do fully professionally.

1. I would hate this to happen as well but unless there are some really good rumours, you have to jump in sometime and then don't look back.

2. Yes you could rent and see but I personally have never done this. In all honesty, you can either buy from a dealer you can return it to after a week in unhappy or you can sell a 1 week old machine without losing much.

3. I don't print big either but I use the megapixels to be able to crop and for wildlife/BIF it is marvelous.
If you look at my galleries most of my animal photos are cropped and you can get some great sharp photos from it.
4. Money is a personal thing. I don't have a part of the income you do but still am happy with every penny I spent (sold years of Canon collecting to buy the Nikon stuff).
5. Enjoy your new camera Wednesday night

Well worth the money. It really is that good a camera.
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Apollo18
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

Why?

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TimStir
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to Apollo18, 8 months ago

I find the 300mm with TC has sufficient each for birds when I am reasonably lucky. I can crop the D800 results and get a step up in quality (16MP, better DR, better ISO, better focus) but to really exploit the D800 I would need a longer lens and do less cropping.

But there just aren't many options out there. The sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 would get me more light with a 1.4xTC, but I am not sure the 2x TC is really acceptable on that lens. A 500mm is ideal but is out of my price range for the time being.

However, with larger animals or luck I have had 300mm fill the frame:

Apollo18 wrote:

I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

Why?

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A Owens
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

Regarding wildlife, the crop mode on the D800 is the same or better than the D7000 so if the 300mm plus 1.4 converter works for you on the D7000 it will be fine on the D800.

Just a note on the 24-70, I find this lens to be rather average on the D800e (others rave about so it may just be me!). So you may want to sell this on and pick up a something else (sigma 35mm?) or wait until it is upgraded which it is surely due for.

All the best.

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caspianm
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

"1) I would hate to buy a D800 and then a few months later a D900 with 48MP an extra stop ISo/DR and 7FPs gets released at $2500."

It won't happen at that price. It's always been an upward trending.

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TimStir
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to A Owens, 8 months ago

Funny story with the 24-70mm...

I purchased it some years back when a supermarket had a pricing error so I got it for around $1500. I got it because I was sure I would buy a D700 within 6 months and wanted decent glass so got the lens first. I then got tied up in my PhD an the rumours of the D800 then got really exciting  so i ended up not buying a D700, so here I am ready to bu a aD800 to go with the 24-70!

I hear it is not the sharpest but I like the convenience of a zoom and there aren't any other options right now.

A Owens wrote:

Regarding wildlife, the crop mode on the D800 is the same or better than the D7000 so if the 300mm plus 1.4 converter works for you on the D7000 it will be fine on the D800.

Just a note on the 24-70, I find this lens to be rather average on the D800e (others rave about so it may just be me!). So you may want to sell this on and pick up a something else (sigma 35mm?) or wait until it is upgraded which it is surely due for.

All the best.

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Apollo18
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Re: Convince me to buy a D800 (+BHPV question)
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

TimStir wrote:

I find the 300mm with TC has sufficient each for birds when I am reasonably lucky. I can crop the D800 results and get a step up in quality (16MP, better DR, better ISO, better focus) but to really exploit the D800 I would need a longer lens and do less cropping.

But there just aren't many options out there. The sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 would get me more light with a 1.4xTC, but I am not sure the 2x TC is really acceptable on that lens. A 500mm is ideal but is out of my price range for the time being.

However, with larger animals or luck I have had 300mm fill the frame:

Apollo18 wrote:

I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

Why?

Some very nice pictures there Tim.

I sold my 500mm f4 a few months back, which I had used for some time with a D300, but less so since I bought the D800. Bear in mind you'd need not just the lens, but also a worthy tripod and gimbal head (figure about another £1k for these). This Body+Lens+Tripod+Head+Teleconverter combination = about 10kg, which is really no fun at all to carry around a nature reserve. If you are a dedicated wildlife shooter and have a good back, then maybe...

If wildlife stuff is just a sideline for you, I think you can get great results with the 300mm f4 and save yourself a stack of cash.

Otherwise, here's another suggestion - the 300mm f2.8 + teleconverters. The 300mm 2.8 accepts TCs extremely well - way way better than the 300mm f4 does. It's also much lighter and it is cheaper, especially used. If you get the older, non-VR version, it might be in your price range (take a look on ebay).

 Apollo18's gear list:Apollo18's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III +4 more
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M Lammerse
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Rent a camera
In reply to TimStir, 8 months ago

TimStir wrote:

This has been a dream camera since release but I'm pretty frugal and saved the money for a house deposit, then I found out I would become a father so held off the purchase some more.

Dream...it's more a specific need camera.  If you don't have a specific need for it, I would check the other options. Or you're very rich and don't give a damn about how to spend, than just buy the damn thing

Now I am kind of thinking it is now or never. I don't want to wait until the D800 is near EoL. I already hear rumors of a D800S, but I assume this will be fairly minor tweaks and several hundred more $$ ???

I still did not sign any NDA, that will be in June probable The new FX model will have three major differences with the D800, one can be found already in that other D800 model.

In a couple of weeks I have a paid event to shoot semi-professionally (MBA gradation at prestigious private school)). I currently have a D90 and D7000, Nikon 24-70, 70-200, 300mm f/4.0, 70-300, 50mm f/1.8D and 85mm f/1.8G for FF (sigma 10-20mm, nikon 16-85 and 35mm f/1.8 for DX). I know this kit is perfectly capable of the event in question but a D800 will help (d800 with 24-70 and the 85mm f/1.8 on the D7000), and this event should hopefully be the first of many.

One paid event? You're much better of renting a camera. I would use my D3S in this case, if you can't rent it anymore, try to rent a D4 or D4S.

Despite shooting the event I'm mostly a nature photographer. The D800 is evidently superb for landscape and the pixel density helps with wildlife. But the latter is one of my concerns. I find the 300mm f/4 and 1.4xTC just about right for wildlife and so get the most out of the D800 would require a somewhat big and expensive lens upgrade.

That totally depends on a several things, the most easiest point is your file size (crop.)

Does anyone expect the D800S to be any more than a slight speed high ISO increase at a higher cost?

Yes.

How do people cope with a D800 for wildlife when they can't afford a 500mm f/4.0? Is is really just better sticking to crop?

I'm not a wildlife photographer, but it works very well with long tele lenses

Thanks for the time, sorry for long, boring post! This is a lot of money for me. I can easily afford it but I just don't like spending big money on toys!

If it's really not more than a toy, make an other choice and rent a camera for an incidental paid job.

Michel

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