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D800 or D800e

3 May 2013 7:25AM

Quote: if you’re using anything but the best lenses you’re spending money in the wrong place if you’re seeking edge-to-edge sharpness

Sorry to disagree - because image resolution(what many are interested in) is part made up of lens resolution measured in isolation and sensor resolution measured in isolation. It is often reported 36 MP sensors measured in isolation have about double the resolution of 12 MP. Based on my ownership of D3s and D800 this is about right.
It follows that ANY lens produces obviously easily more resolution on 36 MP than 24 MP and more resolution on 36 MP than 24 MP.
I do not disagree for one moment that owning the best lenses is better still, but in the short term with the dramatic Nikon increase from 12 to 24 and 36 MP in the short term spending more money on more MP will give more extra image resolution than spending more money on a lens.
If we were talking 18 to 21 MP then image image resolution increases are much smaller, and upgrading glass would usually be the most cost effective option.
On a detail most lenses are not corner to corner sharp and do not have their best corner contrast wide open. That is why Nikon advise most lenses are likely to perform to their high standards from 2 to 3 stops down from wide open.

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Nick_w 7 4.1k 99 England
3 May 2013 8:19AM
Len I agree with what your saying, what I will say is the D800 really highlights a lens shortcomings, this is really evident for defraction.

Conversely lenses such as the new F4 range take on a new dimension.
3 May 2013 5:11PM

Quote: what I will say is the D800 really highlights a lens shortcomings, this is really evident for defraction.

Sorry to part disagree a second time.
Implying there is a serious problem with diffraction on a D800 is a photographic myth.
In much the same way as 100% of the resolution of a lens measured in isolation at an aperture where diffraction is not an issue cannot be obtained in an image file, 100% of a diffraction limited aperture resolution cannot be obtained either.
If sensor resolution is increased file resolution goes up even at diffraction limited apertures.
ephotozine lens test regularly report better optical results at diffraction limited aperture than wide open.
Provided the file resolution is high enough for the intended purpose, whether corner resolution with many lenses wide-open or diffraction limits at small apertures, neither is usually a problem.
I agree for the highest possible resolution often only 2-3 stops deliver it - whichever camera body you use. With a lens like the Nikon 24-70 you get more corner resolution at f22 than at f2.8. You also generally get more resolution using any lens on a D800 than on a D600, more resolution on a D600 than a D4, and more resolution on a D4 than a D3 - whichever aperture you decide to use.
The exceptions are primes of 300mm and longer and the 200-400 at 400 where, unlike most lenses, wide open corner performance is near perfect
Nick_w 7 4.1k 99 England
3 May 2013 6:05PM
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say Len, because of the resolution of the D800, if a lens suffers from defraction, to a greater extent eg a Gold ring lens v a kit lens, you really see it.

I've noticed primes really do come into there own at small apertures on the D800
NEWDIGIT 4 401 United Kingdom
24 May 2013 3:02PM
You dont mention what camera you are currently using. Personally I would NOT go for a full frame such as the 800 or 800e unless you have the neccesary glass and computing power to do the camera justice.
I was given an 800e as a retirement gift and before commiting to FX glass I hired some lenses over a few weekends , I was very glad I did as having shot of a few hundred exposures I then found that my computer simply was not up to the job of processing the raw files in an acceptable time.
Secondly unless you are intending to produce prints larger that A4 then the advantages of full frame are largely lost, and if you are, then your into a professinal printer yet another cost.
So if you are going the FX route with an 800 or 800e then your possibly looking at additional costs of new glass £2000-£5000, computer£1000 plus, printer £500+, not forgetting high speed storage etc etc
In short I decided to sell the 800e and stick with DX and have recently purchased a 7100 does absolutely everything I want and then some
24 May 2013 8:44PM

Quote: if you are going the FX route with an 800 or 800e then your possibly looking at additional costs of new glass £2000-£5000, computer £1000 plus, printer £500+, not forgetting high speed storage etc etc

Maybe you forgot to include a top quality tripod, mount cutter, print storage boxes if you intend to do print lectures, probably improved post processing software, and maybe a bigger camera bag to fit everything in.
I agree a D7100 will do far more than most photographers need.
I regard a D800 as being primarily for a seriously committed and skilled photographer.
StrayCat Plus
11 16.2k 2 Canada
24 May 2013 8:54PM
See John Shaw's site; he considers the cameras are specialist bodies, as for macro work. I think he has the 800E.
Nick_w 7 4.1k 99 England
24 May 2013 11:11PM
There's so much scaremongering about the D800. Yes it highlights poor technique, but only if you zoom right in to 200% plus. When viewed at sensible levels at the same physical size there should be no difference. So the same scene from a D700 and D800 for example will look the same at A3 (very slightly more detail in the D800)

You will need a computer / hard disc capable of handling the huge files.

What I would say I wouldn't recommend a D800 for beginners, just as I wouldn't recommend you go out and buy a Porsche 911 if you have just passed your test.
Gundog 2 627 Scotland
25 May 2013 4:13PM
I have both - and for all practical purposes, I cannot see any difference in image quality whatsoever. They are both superlative cameras but, in all honesty, I cannot say other than "go for the cheaper".
26 May 2013 10:06PM

Quote:I have both - and for all practical purposes, I cannot see any difference in image quality whatsoever.

I have only the D800, but as far as I can find out the D800e resolution gain is small.
When Amateur Photographer compared these two are bodies with a Hasselblad they reported the D800e had about 3 to 4% more resolution than the D800. A D800 can make a 36 inch wide print at 200 dpi. 3-4% more resolution is about equal to a print 37 to 37.4 inches wide. For all practical purposes this level of difference seems very small.
27 Jun 2013 9:25PM
I have had the D800 for 13 months now,so quite well tested,I have seen images taken on the same day of the same detailed landscape and any gain is negligible. The images from the D800 with good glass and good technique are sharp enough to cut you.
annettep38 Plus
3 191 33 France
2 Jul 2013 12:10PM
I have recently looked into buying a second body and bought a d800. The difference is almost non existent and I decided to invest the price difference into a battery grip.
that is more important than two pixel up in the left corner, the d800 is very awkward with the close sitting superfluous movie button if used vertical. So use the price difference and get a good pattern Md12 and some memory cards Smile
thewilliam 6 5.1k
2 Jul 2013 10:09PM
I'd have thought that small differences in the photographer's skill would make more difference than the letter "E".
Gundog 2 627 Scotland
3 Jul 2013 5:36PM

Quote:I'd have thought that small differences in the photographer's skill would make more difference than the letter "E".

100% correct William. If there is any difference to be found between my D800 and D800E, then my skill level has not been sufficient to find it! I think Annette did the right thing spending the £200 on other things (although I would not have gone for a battery grip as bulk and weight were one of the reasons I ditched the D3s in favour of the D800s and I have certainly not been tempted to add a grip to them.)
thewilliam 6 5.1k
3 Jul 2013 6:44PM
For many purposes and for most photographers, I'd have thought that digital camera image quality has reached a plateau.

When a customer ordered some extra prints from a 2006 session a few weeks back, I was very aware the image quality of the Kodak DCS760 bodies (that I was using then) is a long way short of the D3X that I use today. But in the studio at base ISO, would I notice much difference between a D3X and a D800?

Apart from high ISO performance, is the D4 better than a D3X?

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