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The Nikon D800/e Autofocus Saga Continues

Ever since my original post on the Nikon D800/e asymmetric focusing issue I have gotten a steady stream of emails asking me why I have not sent in my camera and how long until I do. I understand it’s a complex issue but they answers are, to me, pretty simple.

I do not believe that Nikon has quite gotten a handle on what exactly the issue is. A lot of people have claimed that Nikon is trying to “save face” in the classical Japanese fashion. To be honest, I am not all that familiar with that concept other than what you see on TV and Movies but I doubt that is the case here. Global businesses that have a large market share are about keeping it. Glossing over a small issue is one thing, but this is another. Why? What are the possible outcomes here?

  • People are afraid to upgrade to the D800
  • D800 users losing faith in Nikon
  • People are  concerned about support/warranties
  • People are afraid to buy Nikon at all
  • People are switching from Nikon to another brand.

All of the above is too much, in my opinion, some type of official statement must be made in order to alleviate fears. These are not speculations, this is happening now, at the very least, I think Nikon should admit there is a problem and that they are working on it.

My D800e is wildly out of focus on the left end but I have not sent it in yet for the simple reason that I don’t think they have a confirmed solution yet. Over the last couple months I have read several sites, blogs and forums which lead me to believe that Nikon is still trying to get a grip on the problem.

I have read too many posts of Nikon D800/e being returned with the focus issue still a problem. I have also read a couple posts on Nikonians that indicate that their repair status update is waiting on parts, while other sites don’t mention any parts being replaced at all. So, again, I maintain my position that:

  • Nikon Hasn’t quite gotten a grip on what exactly is the issue
  • Nikon will ultimately issue a statement on who is affected

Well, onto another facet of this problem, EXIF data.. I recently discovered something interesting on my Nikon D800e asymmetric focusing tests. Here is the Exif recorded Distance for each of three points:

  • Right Point:
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance,    1.51m  (Liveview)
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance,    1.51m (Viewfinder)
  • Center Point:
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance, 1.36m (Liveview)
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance, 1.36m (Viewfinder)
  • Left Point:
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance, 1.51m (Liveview)
    • Exif.NikonLd3.FocusDistance, 3.56m (Viewfinder)

This explains why considering the Depth of Field for wide lenses we still see unsharpe images. The actual distance to the target was 1.42 meters, which places 1.36 and 1.51 inside the Depth of Field, but 3.5 is not.

Nikon D800/e vs Serendipitous Consequences

Recently, I read Thom Hogan’s article regarding “Unintended Consequences” and the state of the Nikon D800/e left side focus issue and I agree. And, I think it can be viewed as a good thing or perhaps at the very least as a serendipitous thing.

I’ll be the first to admit, the color wars where before my time in the DSLR arena. Although, I have read about it, in the early days of post-film cameras each of the manufactures tended to lean towards their own idea of what the individual colors should look like.

The resulting fire storm started when the geeky camera jockeys started pointing out where and how each manufacture was going wrong, and in their humble opinion how to fix it. Shortly there after color targets started to flood the market, labs could test for color and see how each manufacture/body deviated from the correct color.

This had a very positive effect of getting the manufactures of camera bodies or perhaps sensor designers to more toward correct colors. I sort of see this left side focus issue to be in the same vein.

Yes, its unfortunate, and Nikon will fix it. Honestly, who thinks Nikon is going to piss off the individuals who spend the most money? However, this (hopefully) will lead to two very desirable outcomes.

  • Third party evaluation of Focusing systems
  • Third Party Software for Auto Focus fine tuning.

Have you ever noticed that Photozone, DxoMark and all the other independent testing companies, test the camera’s and lenses but not the focusing points? I think that is about to change. Why not evaluate how accurate the focusing system for the different points are? You don’t think that would influence purchases?

Every Camera (every high end at least) has the ability to Fine Tune its auto focus, bodies straight from the manufactures are expected to be within a specific tolerance, but you, the end user, is expected to fine tune the AF system to capture the sharpest possible images. That in itself is a daunting process. How many of you (non-pros or even semi-pros) have actually fine tuned your cameras/lenses? Tested the accuracy of individual focus points? Not many is my guess, Software like Reikan’s FoCal is designed to take the guess work out of calibrating your lenses to camera bodies.

Think they have seen an uptick in their sales? Do you think many pros and semi-pros are not thinking about how a simple investment now would help them evaluate future purchases? Do you see how this can push camera manufactures towards more accurate and better tools for your future cameras? Me too. 

Nikon D800/e vs Left Side Focus Issue

There is a lot of talk lately about the left side focus issue with the Nikon D800/e. I have received many emails asking me if I have that issue and what, if anything, I have done about it.

Let me start by saying, yes, both of my Nikon D800’s (regular and the “e”) have the left side focusing issue. And, currently, I have done absolutely nothing about it. Let me break down my position for you.

What’s the Issue?

First, lets look at the issue, since it first appeared in the wild, the Nikon D800/e was reported to have a left side focusing issues, I may be mistaken, but I believe my mentor Ming Thein, NPS professional, was the first to find, track and report this issue way back before the rest of us even got our hands on a Nikon D800.

Essentially, when using the far left focusing points in the view finder, the image can be out of focus. And fairly significantly so, let me show you my results and how I got them.

How to Test

I originally tested my Nikon D800 when I first received it (the Nikon D800e too) and retested it for this article. It’s a pretty simple test.

Setup

Setup

 

  • Set the camera approximately 5 feet from the wall.
    • Check to make sure you are square with the wall
    • Measure 5 feet from the wall to the camera strap nubs.
  • Setup 3 targets, one for the left side, center and right.
  • Use the View finder and select the far left point (which is on a target, right?)
  • Rotate the Focus Ring all the way to the right or left (so the image is completely out of focus)
  • Then focus and take a picture.
  • Repeat these steps except using Live View (placing the red square in the same spot as the focus point you used)

Compare the two pictures. Be sure to rename them on your computer to identify the points you used

Targets

Targets

Should you use the AF Fine Tune?

 

Fine Tuning is a tricky issue, you might be able to adjust your lens so that the effects of the “out of focus” on the left side is minor but then you are compromising the center and right side. Basically you’d be making everything, just a little out of focus, rather than just the left side being “a lot” out of focus. In the end, this is a personal call, but for me, it’s a no.

Early adopters

From the very second the Nikon D800’s started being shipped, people started to complain, and rightfully so, it’s this sort of feedback that helps shakes the tree for issues just like this. However, having seen several people from the Nikonians D800 forum send theirs in and get it back with the same issue, as well as, Nikon’s continued silence convinced me to hold off on sending mine in.

For one, it was/is pretty clear that Nikon did not know what the issue was, and was working diligently to find/fix it. However, with Nikon typical stoic nature, meaning closed lipped and  non-responsive tended to get people even more fired up.

I am not saying you shouldn’t get fired up, nor that you shouldn’t send in your camera for repairs. Only pointing out that I have not… Yet… Although, it does appear that Nikon has isolated the problem and has a fix for the Nikon D800/e in hand. But I will wait until the kinks have been worked out of the system, say another couple weeks before sending mine in. Until then, I know the center focus points work just fine.

Saving Face

There is a lot of speculation as to why Nikon has not issued an official statements regarding this issue; demands for a recall run rampant, there is no need for that. Recalls are generally reserved for personal safety issues. It’s not going to blow up in your hands. Look at the car industry, they don’t even issue a recall unless it’s going to cost them more money in lawsuits than it would to issue a recall.

I do think they should pay for shipping for repairs but, officially, they have not admitted a problem yet, nor denied it. This is typical for every major manufacturing industry, I expect they will address it, when they best feel they have a handle on it. My guess is that they are trying to narrow down which cameras are affected. What do you expect them to say? Send us back every Nikon D800? Or perhaps, “we have determined that models before this serial number to be affected, please send us ….”.. This is just as half-cocked as most of the responses I have seen so far.

Take Home Message

Relax, I can assure you that Nikon is not in the business of alienating its high end customer base. Give them time to isolate, identify and fix the issue. They’ll issue a statement that will address these concerns, it’s only good business. This, could actually be fortune for us in the photography world, with the rise of third party testing of focusing systems.  Well, either way, I’ll wait a few weeks to send mine in.

Nikon D800/e vs My Computer

At the end of 2011, I was so gung-ho about the upcoming Nikon D800/e that I was actually drooling every time it was mention, Pavlov-dog style. My original post brushed off, quite cavalierly, any mention of the file size. After all, my computer was “mostly” state of the art, less than one year old and My long term storage solution is an external storage device, the Drobo FS with 15 TB of storage, that should handle it, right?

Now, a little over 3 months with the Nikon D800 and I am singing a different tune. Alright, just to be fair, I have two Nikon D800’s, one traditional (which my wife uses) and one “E” which is mine. All mine.. My precioussss … oh, sorry.. That just slipped out.

Anyway, back to the point… I am going to need to upgrade parts of my hardware solution. I am going to try to point out the problem areas and what I think I need to do to upgrade to get the maximum out of my workflow. Let’s start at one end and work towards the other.

Camera

In camera, (both of them) we are set to 14 bit Lossless compressed NEF files only. We only shoot RAW here and as a result, we typically end up with 42-50mb files coming straight out of the camera. At first glance these don’t seem too large and, in general, importing these files from the SD card and organizing them in Lightroom fine.

Lightroom and Photoshop

Where we start to run into problems is the development module in Lightroom and Photoshop. In Lightroom, we are generally fine, but you can see the system slow down, trying to open a modified file (by Lightroom) is where I really run into problems.

Everything starts out fine, at around 4 to 5 layers, I start to get bogged down, sometimes taking a minute or two to open the next layer, and forget blurring. Might as well go have lunch. After much investigation using Windows Task Manager, it appears that Photoshop has taken nearly two Gig of ram, and for some reason I can not understand Lightroom is running nearly a gig all by itself. Photoshop shows the documents size near 1 gig, and perhaps, Lightroom has to hold on to that size as well. I don’t understand why that would be, I am not sure how it works under the covers.

Nor do I understand why the Photoshop file is so large. Assuming that an Adjustment layer contains as much information as the original layer, it should take 30 layers to gobble up so much memory. Well, I don’t know how Photoshop does it’s magic, what I do know is that I don’t have enough ram to go around.

Well, I suppose the point is that they get big fast, my little 4 gig (ram) machine isn’t really build for that kind of processing. Truth be told, I recall a bit of a slow down from time to time using files from my D7000, but I thought the Nikon D800/e files would only be slightly worse.

Local Storage

My laptop only has a 150 GB hard drive, it’s not terribly large, but moving files from laptop to External Storage (Drobo) routinely happened at the end of every month. And it was never an issue, I could, in fact, forget for a couple months without really concerning myself. Now, however, I find myself backing up ever 3 weeks to a month without fail or I get the dreaded “Out of Space” error. And this is with aggressively pruning my images after import.

I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising, with 64 GB SD/CD cards, two full set of images and that pretty much takes care of my hard drive. And that is not take into account all the other stuff already on my laptop

External Storage

Well, the Drobo is still fine, but the image library is growing by the day (2.7 TB) and growing.. I will need to go back through my early years and delete a bunch of my early work (a.k.a crap). I am sure that will clear up a bit of space. I can upgrade the 3 TB drives to 4 TB drives, which will net me an additional 4TB total, which I will likely do over the next year, once the price starts dropping on those drives.

The Down side with the Drobo is working with remote files tends to cause its own slowness, which requires me to move any image (not currently on my laptop) to my laptop for processing.

Solutions

As a solution, I have decided to update to the new Mac Book Pro with Retina Display 500GB SSD drives and 16 GB Ram. The SSD hard drive should supply the much needed additional space and increase disk response times, as well as, faster boot times. The Ram, well, I think 16 GB speaks for itself.

I am looking for any alternate suggestion. Otherwise, I will purchase this and write a short review of my results/opinions.

Update

I have gotten a couple of immediate emails chastising me for only moving my images to “long term” storage once a month. Just so everyone can relax, yes, I do automatic nightly back ups for ALL my computers, should the laptop’s hard drive fail, everything is safe. I only move the files once a month because I am (most likely) still working on those files in some manner and still need them on my laptop.

Behind the Eight Ball – Nikon D800e

Sorry for the long absence, I just returned from my two week vacation with the family. Unfortunately, it will be a couple of days before I have an opportunity to post anything substantial, but I thought I’d leave you with an image I took at my brother’s house in Atlanta.

I thought his pool room needed a photo from yours truly (taking with my Nikon D800E, and, really this is how I feel now that I have returned to work.. Behind the 8 ball.

Behind the Eight Ball

Behind the Eight Ball

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @200.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO100

I spent my vacation proofing Thom Hogan’s new Nikon D800/e Complete Guide while the family played on the beach. I am truly honored to be one of the individuals selected to get an advance copy for review/proof. I do recommend it, and at some point, I’ll right a review.  

Now, back to those 800+ emails I received while I was gone. 

Nikon D800 and Nikon D800e – Moiré and Focus

The Two Most asked Questions about the Nikon D800e

Recently I have received a lot of emails asking about the Nikon D800e, below are the two most asked questions and a couple less frequently asked questions

 Moiré: is it a problem?

This is the easier of the two questions to answer, so, I’ll do it first. This is a resounding no, I see maybe one in a thousand pictures with some moiré in it. So, four of the four thousand pictures I have taken so far have had some very slight moiré and I didn’t even notice until I really looked closely. That is practically what I expect from any camera. An Anti-Aliasing filter does not stop moiré, only helps prevent it.

 If this is your hang up, no worries, pull the trigger, this is simply the most amazing camera I have ever had and it produces images that are simply stunning in detail.

 Should you run into some moiré in your images, Nikon D800e or otherwise, this is how to fix moiré in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Focusing Issues: Have I seen any?

Again no, in my experience, and I have both the Nikon D800 and the Nikon D800e, the auto focus is “dead on” accurate. In fact, more accurate than any other camera I have ever had. That doesn’t mean that there are not focusing issues. Michael Tapes has recently posted a video that very nicely illustrates the issue that some people are seeing with regard to focus. Jump over, take a look.. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

That looks pretty serious right? Yeah, not so much. Notice at the end that he mentions that it wouldn’t be good for critical work and that isn’t quite true either. My Mentor (Ming Thein) was one of the first to notice the Nikon D800 focusing issue in this post. Ming works in a field (horology) that requires critical focus to be achieved in order to produce the images needed for his clients. And regularly does it with a Nikon D800e, that is known to have focusing issues. How? Live View, read this article for more details.

Here are a couple things to keep at the forefront of your mind when this is something you are considering.

  • Critical focus is not something the majority of us use or will ever run into, when the Depth of Field is in centimeters you should be using Live View (read macro work).
  • Phase Detection is the focus method used when NOT in Live View and it is always going to have some amount of variance, manufacture tolerance is built in and that is why we have Fine Tuning.
  • This issue is almost certainly about lens field curvature; this means that it’s a firmware issue that can be adjusted easily. I expect Nikon is hard at work on the problem

So if you are thinking about getting a Nikon D800 or a Nikon D800e and don’t have critical focus needs, you are fine. If you do have critical focus needs, use live view, and you are fine. If you have critical focus needs and, for some reason, can’t using live view. I’d say hold off. 

And just to further illustrate a point, I do not have focus issues on my Nikon D800 or my Nikon D800e, nor was there any on the other 3 bodies I have played with. I don’t think anyone can say how prevalent it is. I have read that Thom Hogan, from bythom.com has seen 6 out of 12, that have had issues, but then again people don’t go to Thom and say “Hey, check out my perfectly working camera”, its more of a “My camera is broke” and he has pointed out that six of them where user error and six where displaying focusing issues. 

Do lenses matter?

Yes, they always have, but even more so with the Nikon D800/e, my two primary lense are the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 and the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8. 

Can you hand hold this camera?

Yes, of course, don’t be put off by all the technical documents that say “for sharpest images” using a tripod. They have always said that. Always. But good camera hand holding techniques is more important.

Nikon D800/e vs Smooth Skin With Photoshop

I, like many others, have been absolutely amazed at the level of detail that can be seen on the Nikon D800/e raw images but is there too much detail? As one blogger put it “will women hate the D800″? The Answer is, I think not. Touching up images is nothing new to digital photography, although, additional care needs to be taken with these really detailed images. In this tutorial, I’d like to share with you my method of retouching skin and show you how to handle all that detail the Nikon D800/e delivers. It walk through a fairly easy method of achieving smooth skin with Photoshop and Lightroom.

Alright, lets get started, this photograph is the same one from the portrait page, just cropped down so that we are only looking at a small section of her eye’s. I did this for two reasons, first because I didn’t want to be editing a very large image in Photoshop and secondly, it gives us a better view of the skin. So, as always, click on the image to see a bigger version. Here is the before image.

Before Shot

Before Shot

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @135.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO400

Lets Start with Photoshop

There are some small skin blemishes, fly away hairs, minor acne and a little bit of eye liner that got away, and, yes, some wrinkles. In step one, we’ll duplicate the background layer and use the patch tool to address some of these issues. here is a closer look at what we are going to remove.

Step One Patch

Step One Patch

 

Everyone does it differently, but for me, I like to use the patch tool for everything except the fly away hairs. Using the patch tool, make a small selection around the blemish, then drag it to a clear piece of skin that has similar texture. Once all those are removed I like to create a blank layer, and use the spot healing tool to remove the fly away hairs.

Step Two Spot

Step Two Spot

 

DON’T try to remove it all at once, but rather in small sections half an inch long (or smaller). I find this gives me a smoother result than almost anything else but nearly everyone has their own method. Next, i like to add a high pass layer to the image. 

Step Three High Pass

Step Three  HighPass

 

You can see in this example, I have only a selected radius of 1 and I get plenty of detail around the eyes, look closer and you can see its working on the skin as well. Which we don’t want. That is why we mask it out in the next step. 

Step Four Mask the High Pass

Step Four Mask the  HighPass

 

Here you can see we masked out the skin, so it will not see any sharpening from the high pass filter. You can do this after the skin softening, if that works for you. Now I merge the layers into a top layer, Alt-Ctrl-Shit-E (command on a Mac) and convert that layer into a Smart Object. 

Step Five Smart Filter and Color Range

Step Five Smart Filter and Color Range

 

Creating a selection is one of those things everyone does differently, in this case, I am going to use “Color Range” under the selection menu, then change the drop down to skin tones. Setting the fuzziness to an acceptable level gives me a good starting point. Feathering it further refines the selection to the skin. 

Step Six Selection Tool and Feather

Step Six Selection Tool and Feather

 

I further refine this selection by using the polygonal lasso tool to exclude eyes, hair and everything else that is not skin. Here you can see the selection that I ended up with

Step Seven My Selection

Step Seven My Selection

 

Now, here is the fun part, select Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur

Step Eight Gaussian Blur

Step Eight Gaussian Blur

 

You can see I cranked it WAY up to 20, and yeah, that’s where I left it. What you are looking for here is to blend everything together into a smooth uniform surface. This is where the Smart Object comes in. Notice that the Gaussian Blur was applied via a mask, and there are little sliders on the bottom right of that mask? Double click on the sliders and then adjust the opacity until the texture comes back to the skin and most of the uniformity of color is still present. For this image, it was around 50%.

As a final step, select that blur mask, and your brush tool and brush back some of the detail, (eye lashes, eye brows, and slip ups, .. etc). Now lets look at the after image. 

After Shot

After Shot

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @135.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO400

And Now Lightroom

Lightroom is actually quite a bit easier, just use the Spot Removal (Q) tool to remove blemishes, then the brush tool “Soften Skin” and run that over the skin. here are the settings i used in Lightroom and the effect it produced. 

Lightroom Brushes

Lightroom Brushes

 

Upsides, its faster

Downsides, its not as clean of an effect, I would not use this method on anything I printed at high resolution. Click the image above and you can see some of the artifacts created by the Lightroom brush. Also, personally, i have not found a way to effectively take out fly away hairs with Lightroom, any suggestions?

Please like us on Facebook if you enjoyed this article, and, as always, comments are welcome!

Resizing a Nikon D800/e images in Lightroom or Photoshop

There is a lot of worry about the size of files the Nikon D800/e produces, shooting in RAW, my typical file size is approximately 50 MB, that’s big. However, that is unusable for the web or for sending files to my family. For one, what would my parents do with a RAW file? they barely know how to open JPG files. And Secondly, 50MB is simply to large to manage again and again. The Full JPG files, run about 20 MB all by themselves. Inboxes would get over loaded quickly. 

So, we are going to discuss how to use Adobe’s Lightroom and/or Photoshop to accomplish these tasks for us. The Goal is to take a full RAW or JPG file that is on our hard drive and compress it without too much loss of detail to what ever size we want. Here I am going to walk through an example of sending an email to my family members, but you can make adjustments to fit your needs.

Lightroom

Step one: Create an Export Rule. Right Click on the image you want to create the rule on and select “Export”, then “Export…” in the flyout, as seen here. Click the image to see a larger view

Selecting Export

export options 1

Notice  there are two options that are predefined presets regarding email (circled in yellow above) I do not use those as they have really poor resolution (72 ppi – effects print only) settings and would prefer to use my own export settings. 

Export Options

export options 2

  1. Under Export Location I select:
    • My desktop
    • Put in a Subfolder called “To Email”
  2. Under File Naming, I use the default name, but I do rename it before exporting.
  3. Under File Settings, I select:
    • Image Format: JPG
    • Color Space: sRGB, Although, I shoot Raw and capture using Adobe 1998, sRGB works better for emails when I send images to my family
  4. Under Image Sizing I Select:
    • Resize to fit “Megapixels” and target for 1MB. 
    • Resolution 240 (PPI pixels per inch)

For the rest, I sharpen all of my images as part of my normal workflow, so no need to do it here. Metadata and Watermarking are “to taste” but since I am doing a walk through of my exports setting to email, I don’t use these.

Click “Add” in the bottom left of the Export Dialog Box and set this as a preset, call it what ever you like, I am calling mine “Email Export” and I am done. Now, in the future, right click on an image (or set of images) and select Export->”Email Export” handles everything for me. 

You can, of course, modify the export settings above to accomplish any type of desired output, from full resolution jpg’s to thumbnails and everything in between and save them as presets. You’ll notice I have several for the site as well.

Photoshop

Photoshop isn’t nearly as friendly, and it is a “one at a time” process. Generally, if i am working on an image in Photoshop, i save it and then export using Lightroom. but for those of you who only have Photoshop (i recommend getting Lightroom :) here are the steps. These steps are, of course, done after  your normal workflow. 

Select File -> Save for Web

Photoshop Export

Photoshop Export

Because the Nikon D800/e has such large files, its important to know what your target use of the image is. To get to your target size (see bottom left for estimated output size), you’ll need to play with both the “Output Quality” and the Image Size”. For Family, 7360×4912 is simply too big, so, cutting the size here allows me to use a better quality output. Each Adjustment updates the target size (bottom left) to help you size appropriately. 

 

More Bokeh with the Nikon D800/e

Ok, before I get flamed, yes, Bokeh is a function of the lens, not the sensor. However, as stated by the Nikon D800/e Technical Guide, page ii, in the introduction, states 

While its high pixel count of 36 megapixels gives the D800/D800E resolution unrivalled by previous digital SLR cameras, a side effect is that bokeh and blur are made that much more obvious. Realizing the full potential of a camera with over 30 million pixels involves a thorough appreciation of bokeh and blur, careful selection of settings and of tools (such as lenses and tripods), and working with the best possible subjects.

So, “more obvious” is the term we are actually working with. In any event it is noticeable to me. Coming from a Nikon D7000 using a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8, using the same lens on a Nikon D800 and D800e. It is very noticeable.  Take this picture for example (click for larger view)

Very creamy Bokeh

Very creamy Bokeh

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @200.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/125, 64

The background Bokeh is just amazing. So smooth and creamy. And this isnt even a lens known for its Bokeh. I might need to get a nice Bokeh lens, Suggestions? Nikkor 85mm 1.8G is what I am thinking. 

Ken Rockwell and the Nikon D800 Cash Suck

I almost never read Ken Rockwell’s articles, mostly because I don’t understand the guy, nor any of his advice. Like his advice on shooting JPG over Raw, which is just ludicrous and personally I find it the same as saying stick with Tape over CD’s.

BUT since I am still reading everything I can about the Nikon D800, and I ran across this article by Ken that refers to the Nikon D800 as a “cash suck”, scroll down to 18 May 2012. I just had to read it. 

Once again, I am just amazed on Ken’s limited focus. He refers to PRO’s as a single unit, which can only have one mind set. As if all Pro’s have the exact same needs. Here Ken states that No Pro’s would use the D800. Why? Because you can’t switch Shooting Banks fast enough. As if fashion/studio/wedding photographers have the exact same low-light/high-speed needs of sports/concert photographers.

It would seem to me that Nikon has correctly identified different professional paths and produced pro bodies to accommodate each set of professionals. Not some Machiavellian attempt by Nikon to make you buy two different cameras just because some client might ask you for a higher pixel count? And what does all that have to do with Germans? I don’t get it.