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Archive 2012 · Night photography problems

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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Night photography problems

I would say a D600 is safe. I bought one last month. After 2000 pictures with no cleaning whatever there are spots visible at very small apertures with extreme processing (contrast boosting). I couldn't care less. I am sure I would find similar spots on my other cameras when inspecting so closely. Just the D600 is in the spotlight now. I don't say there is no problem but I think the problem is overrated.

Having said that, I would still prefer to get a camera with return policy covered by Nikon warranty. Apparently, according to forums some cameras suffered had the problem more pronounced than others and spots were visible even at smaller apertures. Nikon solved the problem by replacing mirror box, shutter or other major parts in these cases.

The D800 is a great camera, but it wouldn't be my first choice for wildlife/nightshoots. Given by its small pixels it is not playing the same league as D4/D600/D3s and even D700/D3 at pixel level. Yes, once you down-sample to 12-16mp, the noise is gone and it is as good as the others. However, didn't we want that pixel-density for cropping freedom? Also the frame-rate is a bit on slow side.

Unfortunately, Nikon decided not not give us all-arounder like Canon 5DMarkIII. We have a very specialised D800, great D600 (from IQ perspective), but not as well built and arguably with quality issues. There is no baby-D4 we would all love.

Apr 17, 2013 at 08:43 PM
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Night photography problems

20mm is about as wide as I care to go on full frame. It is just a matter of choice. It gives me 90 FOV and that covers a huge chunk of sky. I was doing some test shots the other night on the D3s and was finally able to get both the Big and Little Dippers in the same frame without crowding.

I also have a Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm /2.8D AF-S but I have mixed feelings about subjecting it to hours at sub-zero temps but I may need to give it a test run for coma.

I don't get too hung up on MP, all my bodies are in the 12.1MP range and I get great prints at 24x36. Good glass will go farther with you than a body will.

I will take a look at your site, there is a link to mine at the base of my post and if you are on FaceBook there are a couple of Aurora / Night Sky groups as well as Alaska centric photo groups you might want to check out.

My son is 13D with the 8th.

Apr 17, 2013 at 08:57 PM
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Night photography problems

A fellow FMer made me aware of lenstip.com
Their reviews include discussion of coma which you now care about. You can look through your list of candidate night sky lenses you might purchase, then look at lenstip for the coma review. For lenses not in the review you can google your lens and "milky way". Often you can find images taken with that lens and get a good idea of what the coma will look like. Of course, as a last resort you can rent the lens and do some quick and dirty test shots yourself.

Apr 18, 2013 at 01:19 PM

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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Night photography problems

To save you time. This is my list of lenses I consider as suitable for night photography (low coma, astigmatism and relatively flat field of focus):

Nikkor 24/1.4G, 35/1.4G, 28/1.8G, 35/1.8G, 50/1.8G, 85/1.8G, 85/1.4G, 14-24/2.8, Samyang 14/2.8, Samyang 35/1.4, Samyang 85/1.4
Tele lenses >150mm like Nikkor 180/2.8D, Nikkor AF-S 300 f/4D and AF-D 80-200/2.8
- AI-S Noct-Nikkor 58/1.2
- AF-G Micro-Nikkors lenses

Not recommended:
- Nikkor AF-D line including 14/2.8D, 20/2.8D, 24/2.8D, 28/2.8D, 35/2D, 50/1.4D, 50/1.8D, 85/1.8D, 85/1.4D
- Nikkor AF-S 50/1.4G
- Nikkor manual E line
- all lenses in Nikkor 3.5-5.6G and 3.5-4.5 customer zooms range
- old AI-S and AI including 50/1.2
- Nikkor 24-70/2.8 - quite strong astigmatism on FX. Usable on DX.
- Sigma 20/1.8, 35/1.8 or 50/14.4, Tokina 11-16/2.8 and 12-24/2.8

Apr 18, 2013 at 01:33 PM

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