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Nikon D850: Finest Long Exposure DSLR I Have Ever Seen by Leaps and Bounds

See my Nikon wish list and get Nikon D850 at B&H Photo as well as the Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8.

See my growing review of the Nikon D850 in Advanced DSLR.

I got very excited when I processed this shot!

This is the finest long exposure I have ever seen with a DSLR or mirrorless camera through late 2017. And it was done *without* long exposure noise reduction and with a push and shadow boost and vignetting correction. In other words, I put the D850 at quite a major disadvantage as to noise.

The image quality is jaw dropping. The noise is fine-grained and film-like yet better than any commercial film ever was. I’ve never seen anything like it from any DSLR or mirrorless before.

Nikon D850: Image Quality with Long Exposures

Nikon D850: Examples of Image Quality in Challenging Lighting (just started)

Images up to full camera resolution. I show the Adobe Camera Raw processing settings as well as RawDigger histograms.

This image and others also included in Zeiss Milvus 18/2.8 Examples: Eastern Sierra and White Mountains, though without the D850 commentary and histograms. I am trying to do two things at once: report on the D850, which shines with Zeiss lenses, and at the same time not forget to include those images in diglloyd Zeiss DSLR Lenses. The latter gets full aperture series and lens-centric coverage; the D850 review uses single images for specific illustrative purposes.

No Sony mirrorless can even approach this quality for night shooting—it’s like a tricycle against a corvette. As of now, I have no interest in shooting Sony mirrorless until Sony ups their game to D850 level or beyond (and I mean that not just for night shooting but every type of shooting, in terms of total image quality). It is just no contest, and I don’t put much stock into lab tests other than a starting point, and I’m willing to carry the lenses and pay the weight penalty to shoot the D850. Plus I refuse to accept the longstanding irritation of Sony’s pre-cooked raw files and/or uncompressed space-wasting raw files instead of properly-done lossless compressed raw.

The Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8 brings together all the wonderful attributes of the 21/2.8 Distagon, and it works great at night, shot here wide open. Great lens! Go get one.

Early Night
f2.8 @ 1177.0 sec, ISO 64; 2017-10-12 19:21:27
NIKON D850 + Zeiss Milvus 18mm f/2.8

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