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Nikon D800E

nikon-d800e
Review Date: Jul 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic IQ, responsive, well built, light weight compared to pro bodies, dual card slots, dual format cards (CF & SDXC)
Cons:
Price, Left-side AF issue (no fault of body), wish FPS can increase with decreased file size (w/o grip and additional large battery).

First of all, I'm coming to this camera with the expectation of a D700 type camera with updated innards.

Wow! The responsiveness of this camera is beyond a D700, and closer to my D3. Of course the frame rate isn't quite up there, but it is pushing 36MP... I do wish we could get higher FPS simply by selecting either a smaller file size and/or DX crop.

Aside from that and my unfortunate left-side AF issue (now more of a Nikon Customer Service issue than a D800E body issue), the camera is a dream to use!

Extremely responsive, quick to drive any AF-S or AF-D lenses, and the quiet shutter option is nice (though I haven't used it much). The drive selector dial is much nicer to use now that it has tactile detents, and the whole camera, compared to the D700 or even the D3 just seems much more refined and thought out. the -/+ indicators are finally in the right direction by default (which to me is -/+, not +/-).

The Auto ISO function has definitely been improved with a floating minimum shutter speed based on focal length. I like it much better than just a set universal minimum/maximum.

The ergonomics have been reworked, and I am still getting used to it, but seems nice so far. The DOF preview button and the Fn buttons are placed much better, and the Fn button is far easier to access than previous cameras, and doesn't require me to change my grip. The rest of the body balances well with my lenses, from lighter weight short primes to the heavier and longer 400VR, the D800E feels right at home (unlike the D90 which feels a bit awkward on lenses larger than a 70-300VR).

Image quality is great, and moire hasn't been an issue for me so far. Higher ISO files are nice, and doesn't take much to make them very usable. The left-side AF backfocus issue hasn't really affected me too much yet. I try to revert back to "focus-recompose" if I need focus on the left side of the frame, and so far, it's been ok. It's inconvenient, but I can live with it till Nikon deals with this issue properly. The images from the camera/sensor are still beautiful.

The larger file size was still a surprise to me (but expected), since I'm coming from 12MP D3 and D90 & a D700 at work. Will need larger cards, and needed to upgrade my computer anyways, may as well add bigger drives.

The dual CF & SD card slots are nice - I have once brought the wrong card holder with me, and had only extra SD cards while I was carrying a D3. Having dual card slots sometimes just means I can use whatever type of cards I have at my disposal! (yeah, I know it's my fault, but it's nice to be able to pull an SD card from my point and shoot to use as back up if needed!)

I haven't bought a grip for it yet, since I am trying to lighten my overall load. So can't say much in terms of how the camera is with the grip.


 
Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

image_copy
Review Date: Dec 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great image quality, sharp, great bokeh, fast AF, price compared to Nikon equiv.
Cons:
No weather sealing (but no big deal), ever so slightly less pop (contrast) compared to Nikon's new 85G

This lens is 90-95% of the newer Nikon 85 f/1.4 G. But at half the price.

Great optics, fast and silent AF, dreamy bokeh. I had the Nikon 84 f/1.4 AF-D, and needed the upgrade for faster focusing... Researched a long time, and tried both... the Sigma give me 200% more bang for my $$.

It does lack weather sealing, but my use of this lens will not coincide with foul weather anyways, so it's a non-issue for me.

The price has gone up by a good bit since I bought it, but even so, it's a very great lens for the price, esp when comparing with the Nikon 85G.

I'm very happy with it.


 
Nikon 24mm f/3.5D ED PC-E Nikkor

545664
Review Date: May 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great image quality, Good build Quality, Versatile
Cons:
Cost, No rotation between shift and tilt

This is a great lens that I use for portraiture as well as the common "miniaturization" landscapes. Excellent optics, probably the sharpest 24mm I own, and I have the 24-70, 14-24, and 24/1.4.

An excellent lens.

However, I wish the tilt and the shift mechanisms could be rotated independently of each other (like the superrotator lenses). This isn't causing me too much problems, but it would be nice to have it on there, esp for a $2k lens.


 
Nikon 200mm f/2G IF-ED AF-S VR

200f2
Review Date: Nov 22, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,999.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, AF Speed & Accuracy, Build, Quality
Cons:
Weight.

This is a wonderful gem of a lens. I've been using it for portraits and some sports, and it's fantastic. The only other lens that matches the AF speed from this guy is my 400/2.8VR... it beats the 24-70, 70-200 VR easily. The images it produces for me are stunning, and I just love using this lens. It also takes TC's very well... I've used a TC-14EII, a TC-20EII and a TC-20EIII on it, and you can barely tell there's any image degradation at all.

I was deciding whether to get the 300/2.8VR or this lens, and I'm pretty confident I made the right choice.


 
Lowepro Lens Case 4s


Review Date: Aug 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile, very well padded, convenient, great!
Cons:
None so far, and I've been using them for a few years!

It's great! fits all of my most used lenses with 77mm filters, with their hoods on facing forward (24-70, 85f1.4, 14-24, etc.)

I put it on a belt, and I can store a couple lenses right there on my waist. Use it as a "dump bag" for quick lens changes, or your camera "holster" if you shoot with more than 1 body at a time. I love these things!