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Nikon D850 Monochrome

I did some testing with the Sony A7R IV today, but the 45-megapixel Nikon D850 monochrome by maxmax.com looks to capture more detail and be highly resistant to diffraction too. I am testing the D850m for a few weeks, it is not my own.

The NEF file was converted to a monochrome DNG file via LibRaw Monochrome2DNG and “Method B”, then processed using Adobe Camera Raw. Doing so avoids any demosaicing.

Below, a sneak peak at what it can do via an actual pixels crop from a corner of the frame. I’ll be making some landscape images with the Nikon D850m soon, right alongside the Sony A7R IV.

Actual pixels crop, corner area
f8 @ 1/20 sec, ISO 64; 2019-09-13 23:18:25
Nikon D850 monochrome by maxmax.com + Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

[low-res image for bot]

Björn G writes:

Why D850 vs SONY. Wouldn´t Nikon Z7 be more appropriate?

DIGLLOYD: The D850 monochrome is on loan for testing; it was not my decision. If I were to convert a camera, it would indeed probably be the Nikon D850 or Canon 5DSR because I rarely use them and thus the sunk cost can be put to new use. That, versus buying another camera.

To convert a camera to true monochrome, the CFA (color filter array) is physically removed with an acid or solvent. This leaves the sensor so that all pixels record all wavelengths of light without the red or green or blue filtration of the CFA. Some sensors are amenable to this, and others are not because of corrosion potential with some sensors due to the physical design.

A monochrome camera may be desirable for technical or industrial reasons, and not necessarily for versus photographic/artistic reasons.

Setting aside lack of an EVF, the Nikon D850 is very well built and takes a huge variety of native-mount lenses. In physical terms, the Nikon D850 is one of the best operating cameras I have used.


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