Is this the best I can expect from D800?

Started Apr 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
Devendra Veteran Member • Posts: 3,584
UV filter? ooc jpeg? focus area? post-processing?

Hi Les,

Like most of us here we try our best to get sharp results based on the scene/situation/subject, and experience. As you have noticed D800/E are unforgiving at 100%, but when done right they can yield results beyond your expectations.

LesGoodey wrote:

Hello, I have been a professional photographer since 1974 working in the Commercial, Military and Education areas. I use Phase medium format equipment in my day job and Canon 5D and 5D11 personally. I recently bought a Nikon D800 with a Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8 for myself and after hundreds of shots I have yet to find a single one that I am happy with!

Not to generalize, one thing I have noticed is old schoolers tend to add UV/XYZ filters on top of lenses. Was this the case in your case? If so, try taking images without the filters and see if there is any difference. Also, if not already doing so, attach your lens hood to get more contrast.

I have scoured the internet looking for information on achieving sharp images and downloaded as many real world samples as I can find and I have to say I don't think those are any better.

A lot depends on processing, and if the posts you saw had out of camera jpg. Also depending on the picture control, and finer sharp adjustments, it is hard to decide what the camera produced. For critical work, shooting in RAW and processing the .nefs to your satisfaction is the way to go. Since you have background with other digital bodies, I expect you may have already fine-tuned your workflow. If not, that will be my next advice.

I am talking about hand held shots inparticular and although I'm getting on a bit I don't think I shake that much.

Here are some handheld shots (most have exif intact and try to see @100% view) -


2. resized followed by crop

crop from top


3.full resized


below sample full crops from few other images


tough lighting situation


this looks tiny in original

I notice that most recommendations are for higher ISO and shutter speeds than you might otherwise have used.

Not really. All my above shots were handheld - some with VR. Lower ISO will yield better image quality, but "freezing motion" sharpness will depend on other factors, eg. shutter speed, subject, etc.

Here is a full size out of the camera jpeg for your comments:

Nikon D800 Tamron SP24-70 f2.8 - 400th sec at f8 - 250 ISO

The above image of yours can be potentially sharper. I am not sure where the focus area was since the background is oof. f8 should yield great results as you are aware. If you have shot RAW, you may want to post process it again.

Now apart from all this, one additional (open) secret for me is using Nik Sharpner plug-in/product when I really want to make images more sharp to my liking. You can try it out and fine tune the parameters during processing.

Good luck and hope this helps, so we can get to see more images from you!

 Devendra's gear list:Devendra's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon 1 J1 Nikon D800E Sony Alpha NEX-3N
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