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Reader Comments on Nikon D800 Color Gamut, Focus Accuracy, Live View

Some reader comments and my commentary/response.

Emil B writes:

Years ago with film photography a pro color lab manager told me, when I was disappointed with the result of some floral shots, that film emulsions are incapable of capturing some metallic and iridescent colors found in nature.

Even if such a magenta color can be captured by Coastal or Zeiss lenses, one wonders if they could be printed with current generation of inkjet printers.

DIGLLOYD: The latest Epson printers have a Vivid Magenta ink. It is my understanding that the printing gamut exceeds Adobe RGB in some directions, and it just keeps getting better each year. So in my view, one should use a wide-gamut colorspace in 16-bits and make master images in that, for future printing to better and better printers.

Dan M writes:

I don't mean to tire you out here, but there's a world of difference in whether good ol Lloyd can nail AF at 1/60th of a second for 3-4 nice test shots for his site, and whether Lloyd can stand next to Dan and mimic him doing a fast moving public event where he can't keep his feet solidly planted under him, let alone get his telephoto best grip and form down, and still do it at those shutter speeds.

And yes, I jack the EV down— shooting Aperture priority-- to get that ability a lot of times, but then, where the heck is the D800 focusing when I decide to do that? I can't use depth of field to fix the whole frame. I gotta be isolating what I intended to isolate. Not the next clown over....

I'm not yanking your string, I'm trying to get at what may be large areas of production that a good many of us would not be able to do with the D800, if in fact the danged thing won't AF cleanly at f 5.6 or less. If we can't isolate, we can't do a great many events. That would force us to go back to the trusty D3s. I don't even do concerts; that would be far worse. You can't be out there going back and forth between the D800 for non isolation shots, and then dashing back to the D3s or D3x for isolation. We depend on being able to quickly, and I mean quickly, jump back and forth from detail through most of frame to isolation of subjects for "pop." Two people in a plane, f/2.5. Staggered and not parallel to me? f 4 and higher in the 200, f 5.6 and higher in most other lenses. I can't have another variable of OMG, I can't get AF here, entering into things. If that's the case, the D800 doesn't go on the event.

DIGLLOYD: You should be looking at the Nikon D4. Otherwise, agreed, and I have no special focusing powers in autofocus either!. I found even the vaunted Nikon D3s fails miserably for cross-country running shots with runners heading towards me; it can‘t keep up and I get about a 10% success rate. I don’t know how the D800 will perform, but I doubt it can handle it either. Or maybe it’s just “newbie user” syndrome; I am not a sports shooter and don’t know the proper magic incantations.

Paul H writes:

I have been enjoying your coverage of the D800 in DAP.

While I await the arrival of my D800 - hopefully in the near future - I have a question about Live View. As a landscape photographer, this is one of the most important features to me. The D700 previews the image at maximum aperture - fine for focusing but not helpful for depth of field preview. Only the other hand, the D3X allows one to preview the image stopped down and has a brightness control that compensates for the progressively darker image. This is extremely helpful, for example, when adjusting the tilt or swing on one of the PC-E lens in order to establish a plane of focus that is roughly parallel with the subject.

I've not been able to determine from the D800 User's Manual or from any of the various online fora how Live View is carried out on the D800. I'd appreciate your insight into the implementation and utility of Live View on the D800.

Keep up the great work and I look forward to your continuing coverage of both the D800 and D800E in the weeks ahead!

DIGLLOYD: Live View on the D800 works similarly to the D3x: if the aperture is set to ƒ/8, then the diaphragm is actually stopped down to ƒ/8. That can be useful as you describe, but mainly it is a source of severe focusing error; I want to focus wide open typically (not at the shooting aperture), and that means I have to twiddle the aperture setting to ƒ/2, focus, then twiddle it back to ƒ/8. Canon offers a choice, to my knowledge Nikon does not, unless the D800 bears a feature somewhere that I have not yet discovered. It has been brain-dead for years on Nikon pro bodies, and I explained the issue to Nikon 4 years ago at the NANPA show. Black hole.

Nikon D800 + Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO-macro
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