New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

Started May 5, 2010 | Discussions
ianbramham
ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

I've just bought my first full frame camera - a D700.

I've been using a D40 for the last 2.5 years and the only reason I've managed to get hold of such a wonderful new camera is that I recently won a large UK landscape photo competition organised by 'Practical Photography' and Digital Photo' magazines: http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/image/2010-04-23.html

I've exchanged the D300s and 16-85vr lens that I won for this new D700.

As you can imagine it's been a huge step up in complexity from my D40 but it's also very exciting to have a camera that is so versatile.

Having mainly been concentrating on landscapes and architectural/urban photography (see links below) I'm keen to use the new camera as the push I needed to learn more about portrait photography. I'm a complete beginner at this kind of thing but I've been experimenting a little and here's a few of the first results using one of my few FX lenses - a Nikon 50mm f1.4G:

(studio lighting - 2 lights + reflector) photographed at f8

(off camera SB900 and large reflector in front of and below the camera with the modelling lights only from the studio set-up) photographed at f2.

(a complete stranger photographed on the strreet in front of MUFC's stadium - f2 again)

I'm looking forward to getting a new 16-35vr f4 lens soon to replace my Sigma 10-20 so that I can take some full resolution wide angle landscapes with the new camera - it'll be interesting to see how the results compare to my D40 photos.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
resident
resident Senior Member • Posts: 1,439
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

first of all congratulations on winning the contest the image you submitted looks great.

second of all i'm no expert but i like the three photos you shared. especially the second one.

i'm sure you'll enjoy the d700 and some nice glass once you get your hands on it

also really like the BW conversion...care to share how you did it
--
badui bourizk

 resident's gear list:resident's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D850 Nikon D3 +17 more
panos_m Senior Member • Posts: 1,594
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

Ian, welcome on board!
I very much like your first photo.
I am familiar with your excellent landscape photography.

D700 is a superb camera.The first big difference between D40+10-20 and D700+16-35 is the size and weight! In the image quality department expect the obvious gain in resolution, low-noise (high iso, clean shadows in low iso, DR). Also a lot of external controls on D700 is a big plus.

Another major difference is the new approach in Nikon processing (in camera jpeg, Capture NX2) with Picture Controls. Generally expect brighter midtones. You can do a lot of customizing with custom curves.

Looking forward to enjoy your photographs!
--
Panagiotis

ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

resident wrote:

first of all congratulations on winning the contest the image you submitted looks great.

second of all i'm no expert but i like the three photos you shared. especially the second one.

i'm sure you'll enjoy the d700 and some nice glass once you get your hands on it

also really like the BW conversion...care to share how you did it

Thanks Badui,

I'm really looking forward to getting a Nikon 85 f1.4D lens as soon as I can but the priority for the moment is a replacement for my Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom.

For the B&W conversion I used exactly the same method as I have for the last year or so for my D40 landscapes etc. I photograph in RAW (14 bit in this case). I open the photo in Capture NX2 (using either 'neutral' or 'D2XMode1' picture control with a sharpening of 2). I make any minor exposure adjustments in NX2 then save the image as a 16 bit Tiff. I then convert it to B&W in Photoshop CS3 using the dedicated B&W converter.

I mostly left CS3's B&W conversion sliders on their default settings apart from very minor adjustments to the red and yellow sliders. Photo 2 was an exception as the guy was wearing a vibrant red pullover so after the initial B&W conversion I masked the B&W layer and removed the mono tones on the pullover sending it back to red. I then did another B&W conversion and slid the red slider to the left to get the pullover to go black (it was a mid grey on the previous conversion)

Using the mask in this way means you can convert clothing and backgrounds to mono separately from the skin areas.

Unlike my landscapes I hardly applied any contrast to these photos as I wanted the result to look natural with a feeling of film. When I did apply contrast I used a basic very gentle boost using the 'curves' tool paying careful attention to the highlight areas (After applying the contrast I knocked back some of the highlights using a mask to brush back the original underlying layer)

Photo 2 has also had a very slight sepia tone applied to it as the final step.

No extra sharpening.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
EricLew Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

Nice!

ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

panos_m wrote:

Ian, welcome on board!
I very much like your first photo.
I am familiar with your excellent landscape photography.

D700 is a superb camera.The first big difference between D40+10-20 and D700+16-35 is the size and weight! In the image quality department expect the obvious gain in resolution, low-noise (high iso, clean shadows in low iso, DR). Also a lot of external controls on D700 is a big plus.

Another major difference is the new approach in Nikon processing (in camera jpeg, Capture NX2) with Picture Controls. Generally expect brighter midtones. You can do a lot of customizing with custom curves.

Looking forward to enjoy your photographs!

Thanks Panagiotis,

Yes, I'm absolutely delighted with the new camera!

Although the D700 is a lot heavier and larger than my D40, the extra weight isn't as bad as I feared it would be and the camera feels so well made and 'professional' when I'm using it that I even find that I'm taking my photography a little more seriously and trying harder....perhaps part of that is that I knew my way around the D40 so well that I could make changes to the settings without conscious thought. The D700 is complex and very new so I still have to think carefully about everything I'm doing with it.

I've noticed the big difference in the shadows that you mentioned - they are much cleaner than those of the D40 which is especially noticeable when I do B&W landscapes. I'm really looking forward to getting a full frame wide angle lens to replace the 10-20.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

EricLew wrote:

Nice!

Thanks Eric!

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
woolwinder Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

I would certainly recommend the F4 16-35mm FX lens. It balances well with the D700 and produced some excellent images. From 16mm to 35mm it works very well. You would not be disappointed if you bought one.

I carried this combination around the Caribbean Islands for two weeks reasonably comfortably.

I would add, I also carried the F2.8 28-70mm FX lens and that was not so comfortable.

My compliments on the excellent pictures.

 woolwinder's gear list:woolwinder's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7100 Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +4 more
ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

woolwinder wrote:

I would certainly recommend the F4 16-35mm FX lens. It balances well with the D700 and produced some excellent images. From 16mm to 35mm it works very well. You would not be disappointed if you bought one.

I carried this combination around the Caribbean Islands for two weeks reasonably comfortably.

I would add, I also carried the F2.8 28-70mm FX lens and that was not so comfortable.

My compliments on the excellent pictures.

Thanks for the 16-35vr recommendation!

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to get a mid range zoom. Although I really liked my 16-85vr lens on my D40 there doesn't seem to be the same respect for any of the equivalent focal range FX zooms.

I might just stick with my Nikon 70-300vr, the 50mm f1.4 and the new 16-35vr f4 that I'm planning on buying. (I've also got a Nikon 105vr f2.8 micro). If I do get another lens it would be the 85 f1.4D rather than the 24 -120 lens

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
Zane Paxton Veteran Member • Posts: 6,947
Hi Ian

ianbramham wrote:

.... I recently won a large UK landscape photo competition organised by 'Practical Photography' and Digital Photo' magazines:

Congratulations! You're a natural artist.

All great images.

Cheers,

-- hide signature --

Zane
http://www.pbase.com/devonshire
Nikon D2x
NAPP Member

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments it takes our breath away.” ~ Anonymous

 Zane Paxton's gear list:Zane Paxton's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR +2 more
ActArtPhotog Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Hi Ian

Lovely images! Well done. Would love to see a detailed graphic of your setup as I do like the results you've achieved. I work primarily with natural light on my portrait/headshot work, and using the SB-900 and SB-600 more and more, but struggling for the same confidence I have with natural light only. Very nice stuff!
Billy
http://www.wcgreen.net

ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: Hi Ian

Zane Paxton wrote:

ianbramham wrote:

.... I recently won a large UK landscape photo competition organised by 'Practical Photography' and Digital Photo' magazines:

Congratulations! You're a natural artist.

All great images.

Thanks very much Zane although the last 3 years have mostly felt like a constant struggle rather than anything that came naturally!

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: Hi Ian

ActArtPhotog wrote:

Lovely images! Well done. Would love to see a detailed graphic of your setup as I do like the results you've achieved. I work primarily with natural light on my portrait/headshot work, and using the SB-900 and SB-600 more and more, but struggling for the same confidence I have with natural light only. Very nice stuff!

Thanks Billy,

I didn't set up the studio lights for that first shot although they were an extremely simple two light set up with one more dominant than the other to give a bit of modelling. One light was shining back into a white umbella and the other was in a large fabric softbox. Both lights slightly above head height and about 3 yards in front of the subject at a shallow 30 degree angle. There was also a large silver reflector just in front and below my camera.

I really liked the natural light portraits on your website!

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
duckfat Senior Member • Posts: 1,166
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

Superb series, you're great with light - and well done winning the camera! You can't go wrong with it - the 50 seems to be serving you well, and the 16-35, 70-300 combo you mention will be wonderful - as would the 85. One FF zoom to look out for might be the 28-105 if you'd find it useful.. many do.
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8189967@N04/sets/72157616447984719/show/

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,053
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

I might just stick with my Nikon 70-300vr, the 50mm f1.4 [....schniiiip....]

Ian

Yes, I find that the 50 1.4 is nice for portraits, too.

ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

duckfat wrote:

Superb series, you're great with light - and well done winning the camera! You can't go wrong with it - the 50 seems to be serving you well, and the 16-35, 70-300 combo you mention will be wonderful - as would the 85. One FF zoom to look out for might be the 28-105 if you'd find it useful.. many do.
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8189967@N04/sets/72157616447984719/show/

Thanks!

You have a really wonderful set of portraits there!...I've seen one or two of them before (presumably here on this forum?) and they really stuck in my mind.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
ianbramham
OP ianbramham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,353
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

The Andy G wrote:

I might just stick with my Nikon 70-300vr, the 50mm f1.4 [....schniiiip....]

Ian

Yes, I find that the 50 1.4 is nice for portraits, too.

I really liked the 50 f1.4G before on my D40 but it's even better on the new D700 with automatic CA removal and better focus accuracy. I love the delicate tonal transitions that are possible too but I'm not experienced enough yet to say just how much of that is due to the D700 and how much is the lens.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 ianbramham's gear list:ianbramham's gear list
Nikon D800
duckfat Senior Member • Posts: 1,166
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

Thanks Ian - you seem to be able to frame your portraits with great versatility with the 50 - I only mention the 28-105 as it's similar to the 18-85 (I think) and it's versatile and cheap. There are lots of other lenses I'd look at picking up first if portraiture is a priority lenswise - particularly the 105/2.5 Ai, but I'm rambling. Loved yr shots of Morecambe and Ribblehead, I've lived round there for years and it was a pleasure to see yr pics. Have fun with the camera!
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8189967@N04/sets/72157616447984719/show/

happypoppeye
happypoppeye Veteran Member • Posts: 3,894
Re: New to full frame - Hi! (Three D700 portraits)

...I have a feeling there are many here who are already familiar with your work.

I think your biggest challenge now is to continue what you started with the D40...

ianbramham wrote:

I've just bought my first full frame camera - a D700.

I've been using a D40 for the last 2.5 years and the only reason I've managed to get hold of such a wonderful new camera is that I recently won a large UK landscape photo competition organised by 'Practical Photography' and Digital Photo' magazines: http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/image/2010-04-23.html

I've exchanged the D300s and 16-85vr lens that I won for this new D700.

As you can imagine it's been a huge step up in complexity from my D40 but it's also very exciting to have a camera that is so versatile.

Having mainly been concentrating on landscapes and architectural/urban photography (see links below) I'm keen to use the new camera as the push I needed to learn more about portrait photography. I'm a complete beginner at this kind of thing but I've been experimenting a little and here's a few of the first results using one of my few FX lenses - a Nikon 50mm f1.4G:

(studio lighting - 2 lights + reflector) photographed at f8

(off camera SB900 and large reflector in front of and below the camera with the modelling lights only from the studio set-up) photographed at f2.

(a complete stranger photographed on the strreet in front of MUFC's stadium - f2 again)

I'm looking forward to getting a new 16-35vr f4 lens soon to replace my Sigma 10-20 so that I can take some full resolution wide angle landscapes with the new camera - it'll be interesting to see how the results compare to my D40 photos.

Ian
http://ianbramham.com/
http://ianbramham.aminus3.com/ (Photoblog)

 happypoppeye's gear list:happypoppeye's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS
Raul Veteran Member • Posts: 8,579
Well done Ian

beautiful photos.

i think that you would do much better with a 100mm+ lens.

the 50mm is a useless lens no matter what.

regards

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