Saturday, 29 September 2012

105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor lens review summary

This is the first of hopefully a long serie about Nikon lenses where I am going to look at what kind of reviews that have been written on the net and what I have learned about the lens myself. The serie will start with the lens that I own myself and later I will focus on lenses that I am considering to buy and lastly it will focus on all other lenses. My serie will start with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor Lens .

The lens have had multiple reviews on the net with mostly very positive reviews, but there are some that complain the autofocus, but almost everyone likes the image quality that comes out of this lens. What might come as surprise to some people it also is very good as a portrait lens. You can see a complete summary of the reviews here.

What important to remember with this lens are:
  • Sweet spot between f/5.6 to F/11, but you don't loose much outside the range
  • Very nice bokeh
  • Just as good as portrait lens as macro lens
  • Use the focus limiter when used as a portrait lens
An example of using this lens as a portrait lens:
[1/125s, f/3, ISO 2500]
An example of using this lens as a macro lens:
[1/160s, f/4, ISO 100]
A lens that I highly recommend.

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Nikon D800, Nikon D600 do I regret my choice after DXOmarks

Well the DXOMarks for Nikon D600 is out and it is surprising high rating for the sensor and getting very close to the Nikon D800. So close that it might even have been nummer 1 if there are any kind of uncertainty in their tests as one might suspect there are.

That leads to the question if I regret buying the Nikon D800 a couple of days ago. Yes I could have saved some money, but I am still a believer in that the Nikon D800 would last me longer than the Nikon D600 would have. I have no idea if it would last me as long as my Nikon D2X (7½ year), but I think it is going to be close to that.

The sensor is still better than the Nikon D600 with more crop options and a better resolution on the DX format. It has the 5:4 and 1:1.2 mode where I am going to test how a DX lens is going to behave on these modes and what you can use them for. There are a lot of other better features in the Nikon D800.

The price difference here in Denmark is still very minimal compared to the US, so with that little price difference and a beautiful autumn coming here in Denmark it is still the best choice for me.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Nikon D800 here I come...

Well the price drop here in Denmark on the Nikon D800 was to much of an temptation and I jump on this beautiful camera body. My main reason is the low price difference at the moment between the D600 and D800. It is currently kr. 3000 ($500) and my guess (based on a conversation with one supplier here in DK) is that is going to rise again and that the Nikon D600 most likely will stay at the current price for a great time to come.

I have a good stomach felling that I made the right choice and don't need to drop quality. The Nikon D800 sounds from reviews around the world to be the best camera to come this year and maybe in the next couple of years like the Nikon D700. As you might know my current camera is the Nikon D2X which has supported me very well over the last 7½ year. It has long been time to move on and now is the time.

So what about lenses. Well I have for the most part been looking forward in my purchases of lenses. Rather wait to buy the right instead of buying something that I knew that I was going to exchange a couple of years down the road. My only problem is the standard zoom range where I is going to think about what I am going to do, but for the moment I am not going to upgrade this part (and I don't have the money). I have to survive with the Nikon 16-85mm VR, Nikon 35mm f/2, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and my very old Nikon 28-105mm. I know that the Nikon 16-85 VR is a DX lens, but the camera has the DX mode, so this should still work. In time I hope that they are going to make a Nikon 24-70mm VR f/2.8 which I will very hard consider to buy.

Outside the standard zoom range I have very quality lenses that should shine on the Nikon D800. Among these are the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 105 VR Macro f/2.8 and the Nikon 70-200mm VR f/2.8 (the first version).

So I don't have the perfect collection of lenses for the camera but a very good collection which some time in the future will be upgraded.

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Monday, 17 September 2012

Nikon D600, Nikon D800 price difference in Denmark (cheap)

The pricing of the two new Nikon DSLR FX cameras this year (Nikon D800 and Nikon D600) is very weird here in Denmark today (17th of september 2012). The Nikon D600 was introduced last week and the first price here in DK is kr. 16.995 ($2900) which is most likely a safe point price so that the dealers don't loose money on the camera. One (maybe more) have a more realistic price of kr. 14.995 ($2550) which is still very high compared to the market price in US. This high price is reported all over Europe.

Now the interesting part is the that the Nikon D800 today have dropped kr. 2.000 ($340) and is getting very close to the US market price (BH Photo & Video). And it might be cheaper in Denmark as sales tax has been added here in Denmark, while it is add to the price in some of the states in the US.

It should be interesting to see how the price varies in the coming months as this is a major decision point for me if I am going to choose Nikon D800 or Nikon D600, but at only kr. 3000 ($ 500) difference currently  between the two bodies I would buy the Nikon D800.

Link to the Danish price for Nikon D800

(But still very undecided about which to buy...)

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nikon D800 vs D600: What to buy

I am most likely like a lot of others who is going to switch from Nikon DX format in SLR camera to Nikon FX format in SLR camera. With the introduction of the Nikon D600 there are now two choices for amateurs with a little money. My switch will be from the  Nikon D2X to either D600 or D800. I don't think that within the next year or so there will be another FX camera for me.

Why not go higher up like I did with the Nikon D2X? Well at the time I bought the Nikon D2X I was in the film world and was very eager to jump on to the digital world and as soon as the Nikon D2X was annonced I jumped on the wagon. Looking back I should have waited a year or so and bought a smaller edition, but who new at that time. The camera has served me very well, but it is time for an upgrade and I am not going to spend as much as did that time on a camera body. The price on the Nikon D800 is the upper limit and might also be a little to high above my upper limit, but I am willing to spend the money if it is the camera with the best value without giving into picture quality.

What are my demands:
- Full frame (this is the way the Nikon world is going and it would be nice with the extra wide)
- Good high iso (the major let down from the Nikon D2X has to be very good. Also my pictures is a lot more indoor than earlier)
- Good landscape pictures (I still need this feature)

So on to the advantages for buying the Nikon D600 over Nikon D800.

- Less price
- Can buy other camera stuff

- More MP (not a major issue as long as I get the better high iso demand)
- Worse autofocus
- Worse metering
- Worse DX mode

All in all I think is going to come down to the Dxomarks on the camera. The values for color depth, dynamic range and low issue. These values have to be close to the Nikon D800. They don't need to be exactly the same, but close. Otherwise I will be in a real dilema.

So what can you use the difference (currently about 900 us dollar on):

- Nikon 105mm Macro VR (fantastic lens. Already got that one)
- Nikon 70-300mm VR (should be a good lens and then you still have money in your hand)
- Nikon 24-85mm VR (don't know much about this lens, but anyone who is going to go from DX to FX is going to need a standard zoom lens)

And if you spend a little bit more you can get the following:

- Nikon 28-300mm VR
- Nikon 24-120mm VR

If I were to upgrade to the D600 it will most like be money that I can spend on a standard zoom (24-85, 28-300 or the 24-120. Have to do some research about which one it is going to be)

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