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Nikon DSLR speculation - April 2008


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#81 DesertEagle

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:02 PM

This whole debate reminds me of the Nikonos vs film SLR debate. The Nikonos crowd (of which I was a member) always brought up the point of soft corners with housed lenses. Then Rene Aumann stunned the world with his rectilinear 18mm that worked on the RS and Subeye reflex bodies. Why can't the same thing be done today?
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#82 craig

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 02:03 PM

Brandon and Craig -

Should the manufacturers NOT address the crux of the problem, practical discussion of the issue in terms of products that are currently available certainly has merit. Let's say you are shopping for a wide-angle setup right now? If you have to choose FF vs. DX, learning about the practical issues that photographers have discovered by shooting with different formats, lenses, and ports will help a lot.

This is not simply a theoretical discussion, which would certainly also be useful. ;)


Given that you have said here that that FF is not better for wide angle OR macro and that you've been shooting the 1Ds2 professionally underwater for its entire lifecycle, why have you chosen to upgrade to the 1Ds3?

I believe that the practical issues you refer to are important as well. You've directly compared FF to DX with regards to wide angle and macro in this thread. We all know that you've been shooting a 1Ds2, so what DX cameras are you comparing it to in your conclusions? What DX cameras have you been shooting underwater recently that led you to conclude that DX was as good for macro and wide angle?
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#83 Phil Rudin

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 05:14 PM

James and Herbko,

Every system has trade offs, however my comments regarding macro lenses at F/22 were based on the Olympus 50 mm F/2 lens. The only DPReview comment I have read regarding this lens is that it is one of the sharpest optics they have ever used. Since it only works on 4:3 sensors I would conclude that means it is better than the Nikon 105 and Canon 60 mm macros which have the closest AOV. They don't say just at F/11 or wider.

The subject quality factor charts at popphoto would support this as well.

From the Olympus E-3 review.

"The 12MP D300 has 100 or so more pixels vertically, which is inconsequential to say the least. Once again the differences here are very small; the D300's more conservative approach to image processing means that at a pixel level the E-3 looks a little sharper, but in terms of absolute detail there really isn't much in it, and what difference there is is just as likely to be down to the difference in lens quality as anything inherently 'better' or 'worse' about either camera (the Olympus 50mm F2 macro lens is one of the sharpest optics we've ever used)".

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#84 herbko

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:07 PM

James and Herbko,

Every system has trade offs, however my comments regarding macro lenses at F/22 were based on the Olympus 50 mm F/2 lens. The only DPReview comment I have read regarding this lens is that it is one of the sharpest optics they have ever used. Since it only works on 4:3 sensors I would conclude that means it is better than the Nikon 105 and Canon 60 mm macros which have the closest AOV. They don't say just at F/11 or wider.

Phil Rudin


Look at the dpreview lens test of the 12-60 at 50mm, F/11 and F/16. Diffraction is basic physics. The 50mm F/2 won't do much better. Did you think that Olympus just did a poor job on this $900 lens. On a 10M pixel camera all 4/3 lenses will be the limiting factor at apertures smaller than F/8.
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#85 Marc Furth

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:47 PM

I'm reporting back with good news compared to my first post about my problems with soft focus corners.

Looks like I've had a break through and I'm getting good corner with a new combination using the 15 mm Sigma Lens. I made a change in position of the Lens in the 8" glass dome port and tested it yesterday with very good results. I was even able to get very good half under and over shots as well. I have not tried the Nikkor 16 mm in this set up yet, but I'm certain it will yield similar results.

I was able to blow up many of the images in Photo Shop to 48"x72" and the pictures looked fantastic .This is a very subjective comment based on my previous experience with my D2x and printing many enlargements to this size, I would have to say I'm very impressed and happy I stuck with this project and not at all sorry that I made the change to FF now.

As far as the 14-24 Nikkor. I was in touch with Ryan from Reef Photo & Video and he tells me their working on a couple of fixes that might solve the problem with this Lens. Their solution is a small custom made diopter behind the Lens and or a diopter in front ? I eagerly await his solution which could come in the next two weeks ?

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#86 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:13 AM

Given that you have said here that that FF is not better for wide angle OR macro and that you've been shooting the 1Ds2 professionally underwater for its entire lifecycle, why have you chosen to upgrade to the 1Ds3?

I believe that the practical issues you refer to are important as well. You've directly compared FF to DX with regards to wide angle and macro in this thread. We all know that you've been shooting a 1Ds2, so what DX cameras are you comparing it to in your conclusions? What DX cameras have you been shooting underwater recently that led you to conclude that DX was as good for macro and wide angle?



Not Eric, but having dived with him when he has been using his Mk2, Mk3 and 40D, I'll have a stab.

I have seen Eric's shots from the 1Ds Mk3 and the image quality really was phenomenal. Eric commented that you really have to nail the shot technically to realise it. But from what I saw the ultimate image quality was a step on from my camera, particularly at ISO 400. I did not shoot Eric's camera myself, but we spent enough time shooting the same subjects at the same time for me to realise the strengths and weaknesses of both. Eric did offer me a go, but his Seacam viewfinder costs more than my whole rig, so I declined!

Alex



Looks like I've had a break through and I'm getting good corner with a new combination using the 15 mm Sigma Lens. I made a change in position of the Lens in the 8" glass dome port and tested it yesterday with very good results. I was even able to get very good half under and over shots as well. I have not tried the Nikkor 16 mm in this set up yet, but I'm certain it will yield similar results.

As far as the 14-24 Nikkor. I was in touch with Ryan from Reef Photo & Video and he tells me their working on a couple of fixes that might solve the problem with this Lens. Their solution is a small custom made diopter behind the Lens and or a diopter in front ? I eagerly await his solution which could come in the next two weeks ?


Great news that you have the Fisheyes working now, Marc. Fisheyes should always perform well with FF, much easier to set up with domes, which is why (as almost all my WA is FE) I would not be scared of FF.

I am looking forward to seeing the Zen results with the 14-24mm.

Alex

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#87 John Bantin

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:38 AM

I have seen Eric's shots from the 1Ds Mk3 and the image quality really was phenomenal. Eric commented that you really have to nail the shot technically to realise it.
Alex



It appears that Alex has touched on a subject that has been missing in this thread. Skill.

How often do people say, when they look at your pictures, that you must have a good camera? Today, we expect to buy skill packaged in a box. I bought a huge hammer drill to put up some pictures.....

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Edited by John Bantin, 06 May 2008 - 12:41 AM.

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#88 Cerianthus

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:06 AM

Didnt know the weather was so nice in Twickenham :-)



anyway, this last remark calls for an appropriate whattheduck cartoon:



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#89 dhaas

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 05:05 AM

And people comment that Brits have no sense of humor! That wacky John ;)

Or is it defined as humour?

All kidding aside a talented photographer could likely out shoot many dSLR photographers with a lowly Canon G9 (poor man's digital Leica in my book) or whatever.....

I also concur with Alex that using a fisheye lens on FF underwater is a much easier solution than straining one's brain to make the Nikon 14-24mm work. Keep it for surfce shooting if you purchase one.

Or maybe young genius Ryan will get it figured out as a first great salvo from Zen Underwater :o

YMMV

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#90 Ryan

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:22 AM

I'm not the genius, just the guy that pays the geniuses to solve our problems... I wish they would work faster, though.

We have an interim solution in the works for 14-24 that will offer sharper corners with this lens and commonly available spherical domes, but it still likely won't be perfect. I'm not sure that perfection is attainable, unfortunately. We'll also have to carefully weigh the benefits v. the costs of this part.

We are also working on a separate solution for Nikon 17-35 /2.8 and Canon 16-35 /2.8L II that increases their fov, and maintains sharp corners throughout the entire zoom range. This is actually what I'm most excited about, but unfortunately this is farther away.

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#91 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:31 AM

As reported earlier this year, I've been shooting the 5D and 40D in the same housing. Thus ergonomics are identical (barring the fact that you don't use the side buttons) Over the course of a week of doing 21 dives, all macro though, no wideangle as vis wasn't the best. I would pick the cropped camera for versatility, I love using my EF28-105 behind a Subal compact flat port, then depending if I return to the site knowing what I want to shoot, put the 100 macro on either camera...if I want more pixel density then on goes the 40D, but if the subjects are larger then the 5D is mounted, thouh I would move to the full frame if I needed the wide angle view of a fisheye (yes, I know that's moot with the Tokina but I only own full frame lenses). I have not seen any corner softness using my Sigma 15mm FE behind my 8" dome.

I even posted 2 images challenging folks to tell me which was shot with which camera and for all intents and purposes, no one really could. I've printed LARGE images from both using the HP Z3100 44" photo printer. The 5D does a smidge better but it does have almost a 3MP advantage over the 40D.

The high ISO images produced by the 5D are amazing, 1600 ISO when properly exposed looks better than 400 ISO from the old 10D. I did a commercial shoot for a client in a poorly lit warehouse, shooting at ISO 800-1600 and even if you pixel peeped into the shadows, the noise is negligible. Michael Riechman on Luminous Landscape says that the 40D is almost as good as the 5D for high ISO, I have yet to test that but I'm sure that's pretty accurate. I of course lust after a 1d3 or 1ds3 but realistically, I wouldn't have been able to charge more for my services and my client wouldn't have noticed. Work with the tools you have, work harder at improving your skills with those tools. Results may surprise you. :guiness:

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#92 MatthewAddison

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 10:53 AM

We have an interim solution in the works for 14-24 that will offer sharper corners with this lens and commonly available spherical domes, but it still likely won't be perfect. I'm not sure that perfection is attainable, unfortunately. We'll also have to carefully weigh the benefits v. the costs of this part.

Hello Ryan. I had posted a picture of a prototype from Subal for the Nikon 14mm lens back in April. "Subal D3 & 14 mm dome port". The interesting thing about it, besides it's size, was the fact that it produced perfect edge to edge sharpness for that lens. I saw the results right out of the camera. Of course I don't know if the size is "commonly available" or not.
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#93 frogfish

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:35 PM

John, it looks like the outside maintenance on your house may be getting away from you just a bit!

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#94 John Bantin

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 11:03 PM

John, it looks like the outside maintenance on your house may be getting away from you just a bit!

- Frogfish


Hi Robert

It was worth posting just to smoke you out!

Can you explain to your home-bound compatriots about humour (humor)?
(Irony has got nothing to do with steely or aluminumy.)
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#95 Paul Kay

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:08 AM

Ok. To add a little more info into this discussion I'll put in some info which might be thought provoking. I have a friend who is a lens designer. I discussed the merits of DX vs. FF before I shifted to Canon 1DS cameras. Briefly, his thoughts were that DX format would finally run into lens production cost problems - he suspected at around ~15MPixel as the tight QC issues involved with lens production would kick in and start to bite at something around this. If anyone is intertested look at Leica's M8, a 1.33 crop sensor with 10MPixels - the M series lenses produce stunning files but are very, very expensive and the camera is perfectly capable of allowing ANY lens imperfections to be seen.

So its quite possible that Nikon have moved towards FF cameras because the alternative of creating ever better lenses for the DX format is potentially not a cost effective solution. In fact Canon's 1DS shows up less well designed and built lenses and the MkIII most certainly will. For the most part DX lenses utilise the central area of FF lenses where performance is generally better than at the edges or designs where the smaller image circle allows better correction of optical problems. So if this argument is correct we may see FF finally triumph in terms of MPixels & lens performance because DX cannot sustain lenses capable of delivering the performance required by ever increasing MPixels!

Personally I like FF for many reasons, I can also accept 1.3x sensors but I simply don't like ~DX formats. Its a personal choice and depends on shooting style and subject matter.

As to underwater wide-angle work, well there are currently compromises with both DX and FF having positives and negatives. When/if dome port design changes or compensating optics become available the FF will probably have more potential to exploit such technological advances.

To be brutally honest I'd say that we have pretty good gear now and advances in optics/Mpixels are often meaningless unless we are ourselves capable of exploiting them. I recently shot a job (on land) which required me to use a lens at f/1.2 - I eventually gave up on AF and resorted to manually focussing to achieve the desired result - technology is fine but has its limits and you have to be prepared to accept and deal with them. Having the latest wonder camera is no substitute for understanding exactly what you are trying to achieve and being able to do so. Speculation can be interesting but has to be tempered with acceptance of where we are at now.
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#96 loftus

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:05 AM

Interesting concept - the gear becoming too good for some of the people all of the time, and too good for all of the people some of the time. (To paraphrase a famous Englishman)
So that we will actually have to camouflage image defects to get the best viewable image.

Edited by loftus, 08 May 2008 - 04:29 AM.

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#97 brandoncole

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:31 AM

Brandon and Craig -

Should the manufacturers NOT address the crux of the problem, practical discussion of the issue in terms of products that are currently available certainly has merit. Let's say you are shopping for a wide-angle setup right now? If you have to choose FF vs. DX, learning about the practical issues that photographers have discovered by shooting with different formats, lenses, and ports will help a lot.

This is not simply a theoretical discussion, which would certainly also be useful. :guiness:


Eric- I am in 100% agreement with you. I was simply stating my frustration with the Holy Grail quest for better corners in wide angle.

I own both FF and DX (1.5 and 1.6) systems in both camps and still can't come to a definitive answer as to which is "best". For me, the answer is still "neither". FF gives me more pixels, better viewfinders, better low ISO, better battery life, plus some other things. DX gives me better portability, access to the tremendously useful Tokina 10-17, and better corners with some lenses. At certain stages in the digital age I have owned only full frame, and at others only DX, and usually, both!

Currently I have both Canon 1dsmk2 and Nikon d300 housed in Seacams.

I'm a mess.

Brandon

#98 loftus

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:43 AM

Currently I have both Canon 1dsmk2 and Nikon d300 housed in Seacams.

I'm a mess.

Brandon


A Nikon and Canon guy, I guess is that bidigital? :guiness:
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#99 diverdon

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:52 AM

One thing which seems like it would be of interest to many members which has not yet been discussed on this thread is the weather the D3x is likley to fit in D3 housings. I am just ignorant on this. Between the D2h and the D2x do they fit in the same housing?
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#100 brandoncole

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:08 AM

A Nikon and Canon guy, I guess is that bidigital? :guiness:


Yes, bidigital, or ambidigital.

User of all, master of none...


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