Mustang Air to Air: The Sequel
/forum/topic/600984/4260

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stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4062
Country: United States

D810 test image shot this morning off the back deck with the new 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S, + 1.7TC, hand-held. The first is a full frame at 975mm equivalent focal length (DX mode, 4800x3200, cropped in-camera); the second is a 1:1 detail crop.

The good news is that the 80-400mm + 1.7TC focuses just fine at full zoom, wide open at f/9.5 (!). The image sharpness, contrast and detail are not bad, if not Beckman grade. OTOH, it gets me out the door for a lot less money and is a lot more compact as a travel kit than the 500mm or 600mm primes.



FlyingPhotog
Registered: May 09, 2008
Total Posts: 4775
Country: United States

Impressive Zim... Thought you bagged the 80-400 though?
...and what exactly is "Beckman Grade?"



FlyingPhotog
Registered: May 09, 2008
Total Posts: 4775
Country: United States

I'm Batman...
NASA WB-57 arrives over OSH



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

Ummm, that would be "Beckman Grade"!



Glenn Watson
Registered: Nov 13, 2007
Total Posts: 3780
Country: United States

looks great Steve! you can practically read the L / R Mag label on the switch panel so i'd say its sharp enough!

Glenn



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

A reason to keep your dues up with the alphabet associations:

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/EAA-To-Fight-Hangar-Homebuilding-Policy222570-1.html

I have had a couple of meetings on this and other over reach issues, seems to be the order of the day. I've been assured that because I own my hangar, as long as I meet minimum standards (i.e., having an operational aircraft in the hangar) there's very little that they can do to mess with me.

Why am I not comfortable with governmental assurances? To the group who thought it was fine to ban sugary drinks, food that has flavor, oh, choosing your own healthcare, just a matter of time before these wizards with all the answers are goring your ox. The rest of the citizenry really appreciates your attention to these pressing matters, while Rome burns. Let's see, August, September, October........November!



FlyingPhotog
Registered: May 09, 2008
Total Posts: 4775
Country: United States

The Federal Antiaviation Administration strikes again...

They're not happy until you're not happy.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4062
Country: United States

FlyingPhotog wrote:
Impressive Zim... Thought you bagged the 80-400 though?
...and what exactly is "Beckman Grade?"


After that Skip-Melissa Tinstix cross-controlled pass image you laid on us yesterday, everyone knows what 'Beckman Grade' is...

You're right I did bag the earlier version of the 80-400. The newer version offers a big step up in IQ, and the VR is supposed to be better, too. I've had it for about 20 hours so far, and I think it's a keeper.

By the way, the new-ish 28-300 VR looks like a keeper, too, and is smaller and lighter than the 24-70 f/2.8; so I'm thinking it's the perfect 'one-lens' solution for my air-to-ground work. Ken Rockwell swears by it, if that means anything to anybody:

"The best do-everything lens to use on full-frame is Nikon's 28-300mm VR. As you can see at my review, it's just about as sharp as all of Nikon's previous reference lenses, and covers the enire range in a twist of the wrist. Sharpness doesn't matter if you miss a shot because you're changing lenses."


http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d810.htm#rex

I'll keep the 24-70mm f/2.8, of course, for when lens speed and IQ are paramount. But it doesn't have VR, and that's a big detriment in air-to-ground and A2A. My previous gold standard combo for aerial work was the D800 with 24-70 mounted on the Kenyon 4x4 gyro. But it's a lot of gear in a small cockpit, and totally unworkable when the door's not off the airplane. My new Pipistrel has sliding photo windows in both doors big enough to shoot through even with a FF camera. It's not ideal, but the ability to leave the door on and fly in comfort to the target area at 130 knots is a big plus.


Wrei
Registered: Aug 01, 2008
Total Posts: 2913
Country: United States

Jay, is that 927? In storage for 41 years until her first flight last year? Cool.

I liked the configuration with the J-60's under the wing. That configuration represented the two primary engines I worked on entering the USAF, TF-33 and J-60. I thought that was cool.



dtw757
Registered: Jan 05, 2009
Total Posts: 129
Country: United States

VX-9 F/A18F by stuart.mike, on Flickr]Rented a D810 and 80-400G to see what the hubub is all about; great big old buffer and 7fps with the grip.[/url]



FlyingPhotog
Registered: May 09, 2008
Total Posts: 4775
Country: United States

Waddle First .. Soar Later
(It is 927, yes...)



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

So you guys are pleased with the 80-400 performance? If it's as good as a good copy of the Canon 100-400, it would certainly be worth the investment.

Put the Upstrap on the D810 yesterday, so I'm getting close. Really Right Stuff has just released the adapter plate, with the right angle adapter to follow soon.

Zim, I haven't really followed it, but apparently there has been an ongoing conversation re: the D800 clunky mirror and slight unsharp condition due to vibration. I guess that's exactly what we chased around early in the game. Apparently they sought to address that in the D810. I keep thinking how odd it is that I have a new camera and haven't shot the first exposure with it, that's never happened before. I'll start shooting it next week.

Ronin is scheduled to arrive early next week. I can hardly wait to play with that. I think we can have some fun with it during Alliance. Last night I found a discussion led by DJI's head of marketing that twas very encouraging. Apparently he decided that they needed to step up support with the introduction of the Ronin, so he has put together an additional support staff for the professionals using their new product. The discussion also listed all the items that DJI is including with the Ronin, it's an impressive list of accessories. I think all I will need in addition to what's arriving is an extra battery or two. The batteries last four hours, and take an hour to charge. Different system than the Phantom, but similar.



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

Jay, what did you use to capture that head on perspective?



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

Don't you wish that someone would plant some trees along the fence line of that dang truck plant to the east of the runway? How many wonderful shots have been rendered virtually worthless because of that eyesore?



KJindaUK
Registered: Sep 20, 2004
Total Posts: 646
Country: United Kingdom

Love my 80-400, such a versatile lens and superb quality for a long zoom. Fitted everything I needed for two weeks in Hawaii into a TT Urban Disguise. Pretty much the perfect travelling lens alongside the 24-120! This was shot on the Reagan using the 80-400 about two weeks ago.



Cheers,
Kev



JWilsonphoto
Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Total Posts: 18962
Country: United States

Well Kevin! You've been holding out on us!! Nicely done! What bodies are you shooting these days?



KJindaUK
Registered: Sep 20, 2004
Total Posts: 646
Country: United Kingdom

Thanks Jim, the light sucked that day, high overcast, so flat as a pancake! Main camera bod is the D800, I've learnt to live without the speed of the D3/D4 now in favour of having those huge RAW files to play with. The 80-400 isn't perfect but it does a good job.



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4062
Country: United States

JWilsonphoto wrote:
So you guys are pleased with the 80-400 performance? If it's as good as a good copy of the Canon 100-400, it would certainly be worth the investment.

Put the Upstrap on the D810 yesterday, so I'm getting close. Really Right Stuff has just released the adapter plate, with the right angle adapter to follow soon.

Zim, I haven't really followed it, but apparently there has been an ongoing conversation re: the D800 clunky mirror and slight unsharp condition due to vibration. I guess that's exactly what we chased around early in the game. Apparently they sought to address that in the D810.


Yes, Jim, I've read all that stuff recently and thought of the phone conversation you and I had a couple of years ago, puzzling over the subtle sharpness issues you were seeing early on with the D800. The D810's mirror/shutter noise is markedly different and quieter than the D800's. Plus it's got an electronic first-curtain shutter setting you can use, with mirror lockup, to completely eliminate internal vibrations for the most finicky shooting scenarios.

I've been playing with the D810's area autofocus (spot on!) and the Auto-ISO feature as it relates to airshow photography. In manual mode, for instance, you can set both shutter speed and aperture, and then let Auto-ISO pick your sensitivity in changeable lighting conditions. With the D810's native minimum ISO of 64, it's now possible to use, say, 1/200sec at f/8 or f/11 and avoid the really tiny apertures without resorting to ND filters. You can also set the D810 to invoke the 1/focal length rule for minimum shutter speed. That doesn't sound very useful for shooting props at 500mm (who shoots props at 1/500 sec?), but you can also bias the rule a full two stops plus or minus, so that you can use shutter speeds down to 1/125 sec with a 500mm lens, turn on Auto-ISO, and still be protected if the light gets so bad that the camera can't maintain the desired EV at the max selected ISO, at which point it will bump the shutter speed up as necessary.

Lots to play with...



stevezzzz
Registered: Aug 01, 2010
Total Posts: 4062
Country: United States

KJindaUK wrote:
Thanks Jim, the light sucked that day, high overcast, so flat as a pancake! Main camera bod is the D800, I've learnt to live without the speed of the D3/D4 now in favour of having those huge RAW files to play with. The 80-400 isn't perfect but it does a good job.


Man, that's a great result under marginal lighting, Kev. I hope you get a chance to upgrade to the D810 at some point. The D800 is already an amazing studio/landscape/architectural camera, but with the better AF, bigger buffer and higher frame rate, plus DX mode (and RAWs), the D810 is also a pretty fair sports/action body. When you need studio quality you just go with FF and RAW; but with a fast CF card you can shoot DX RAW frames at 4800x3200 at 6fps, for as long as you care to hold down the shutter button (I think there's a 100-frame limit). Sports/action chops and studio quality in the same camera: quite an achievement.



dtw757
Registered: Jan 05, 2009
Total Posts: 129
Country: United States

305 by stuart.mike, on Flickr]Another 810/80-400 combo from our cloudy morning[/url]



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