Help her decide Df or D800?

Started Dec 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 6,416
Recent example
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Horshack wrote:

 

Someone hack your dpreview account Marianne? I recently shot a nighttime wedding with a pair of D800s and not a single image was OOF, and that's with varying focal lengths, DOF, and a rather stringent 1:1 sharpness criteria.

I keep dreaming that my D800E AF would work like that, but alas, that dream has yet to come true.  I wouldn't dare use that camera for a wedding.  Here is an example of the usual frustrations it presents me with:

Christmas Day

We were going to see relatives, some of whom were visiting from out of town, so I wanted to be ready to take some group photos.  Before leaving home, I carefully AF fine-tuned my 85/1.4G on the D800E, under compact-fluorescent light (the same type of lighting our relatives use).  It required some modest compensation for back-focus, but was hitting focus well after that.

Later that evening, feeling confident that I had the AF working accurately, I went ahead and took a series of photos of various groups.  This was a bit rushed (kids wouldn't sit still very long) and I didn't have an opportunity to carefully check results until the end.  Every single photo turned out badly front-focused, enough that some of the subjects probably wouldn't even look good in a 4x6 print.  To say that I was disappointed would be a dramatic understatement.

There have been other similar occurrences.  Generally under indoor lighting, AF doesn't settle down and lock with many types of detail or subject colors, and may not produce consistent results.  Fortunately, most of my applications for this camera are beyond the capabilities of PDAF and require manual focus, so the AF problems do not seriously devalue the camera for my purposes.  For any future work requiring AF, though, I'll bring a D3s or D4 instead.

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Qualities possessed by God in infinite proportion: Love, Grace, Power, Righteousness, Wisdom, . . .
Qualities possessed by humans in infinite proportion: Ignorance.
- Marianne

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