Has Anybody Received their D850?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ShunCheung, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. > Who has problems with exposure these days.

    To be fair, I wish Nikon's "highlight priority" on the D810 would realise that, when there's a load of snow or clouds in the image, I'd like it not to blow it out. You know, and preserve highlights. I could spot meter it, but I try to work faster than that and light is sometimes changing. Hence I chimp like an amateur (although I'm then limited to the capabilities of the highlights from the JPEG...) I don't know whether the D850 behaves better.

    An EVF that just showed the camera's JPEG rendering is of limited use to me for the same reasons as my limitations when chimping. You can get loupes to put over the rear LCD, although I don't bother with them (and they'd be in the way of a touchscreen).

    I've said before that I'd like to set exposure compensation separately for the JPEG and the raw file (affecting only post-processed ISO, obviously). That is, I'd like to expose the raw for post-processing latitude (ETTR), but still get a usable JPEG out of it which did more than tell me whether I'd blown highlights (badly). To be fair, I've never played with the in-camera raw processing, but that's not really the same thing.

    While in Yellowstone a couple of weeks ago I got asked to take a few photos of people, and a surprising number of low-end dSLRs were handed to me in live view. I was tempted to switch back to the optical finder if only so I held the camera more steadily (braced against my head), but I decided not to complicate things. I did tweak exposure compensation for someone, though...
  2. "As they say, when it is too good to be true, regardless of whether (1) someone is willing to sell you something at a ridiculously low price or (2) someone is willing to pay you a ridiculously high price, it usually is."

    Maybe Nikon UK/Europe should take notice of that scalpers experience?

    A D850 at a grand above its worth? No thank you, Nikon!

    > Who has problems with exposure these days.

    I fail to see how a sensor shoehorned into part of a pentaprism, and that can't possibly see the full frame, can sensibly give accurate multi-pattern metering. Especially since the light has already been diffused by a GG screen and whose brightness is non-linear WRT lens aperture.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  3. Getting bitter, Joe? (Aside: I had some more training recently which confirms that, in the EU, you're not allowed to refuse warranty based on where a product is sold. I assume the grey market import situation in the US means that the same rule doesn't apply there. So at least we have that going for us.)

    I've got to say the matrix meter does pretty well - I just complain that "highlight priority" doesn't do what it feels like it should, for me. Whether a full image sensor can efficiently determine exposure over a wide range as effectively as the dedicated metering sensor does is another argument (but I may be overestimating the abilities of the meter sensor).
  4. If you want more control over metering, use the spot meter or an external incident meter and manual mode. Check the result to confirm. I just don’t see the fuss. With slide film exposure was a tricky business but we still managed.

    I don’t mind if we in the EU pay more so that we don’t get ”impact damage, customer pays” or ”nothing’s wrong with it” quite as often. At least I’ve found Nikon to give a lot of support for free when I’ve needed to service my cameras or lenses. I find the cost of service to be fair also.
  5. On page 4 of this thread, I did the obviously pert thing of asking how much people had actually paid for their D850 as the price in the UK (and elsewhere) seems exorbitant compared to the advertised prices from Nikon dealers in the US,, ie Amazon, B&H, Adorama etc...

    As far as I can see, no-one replied.

    The fact scalpers are out there 'seemingly' selling them for silly money, doesn't really answer the question.
  6. Andrew, with a Sekonic meter that is calibrated to your sensor, you know precisely the clipping points, no guessing. Spot meter the brightest highlight and pull down the exposure so that is just within clipping and use that setting. Side benefit is that means at the other end of the histogram, you have the best possible blacks without highlight clipping. It takes less time than shooting, chimping, shooting and chimping, checking blinkies and is nice to have the confidence I have exposure so I can concentrate on to the real purpose of the shot, not sharp and well exposed, but actually the reason the shot was taken in the first place. You are exactly right, if you shoot in raw, you are chimping on the jpeg created by the camera. Another layer of inaccuracy. I taught a class on metering a couple years ago and particularly a hand held meter that does both incident and reflective. 50 in the class 2 no use a meter. I guess close enough is good enough for the rest of them. Many times it is, but as a flyfisherman, we always check our knots because the next fish could be the fish of a lifetime. We don't want to loose it. A photographer's next shot could be his shot of a life time. I have photoed youngsters who were going to be dead in a few months, or in one case, they pulled the plug when I was finished. There is no do overs and the shot of my life was one of those.
  7. Thanks, gentlemen. To be fair, I should do that more than I usually do for landscapes (I actually tend to chimp, check the histogram and underexpose more than I probably should because it's not the raw histogram I'm looking at - but I've been known to spot meter "properly" when I'm not hurrying.) It's not so much an option for a moving subject, or when you're waiting for a subject to move and the light changes significantly.

    Picking a pathological example, I take photos of people playing tiddlywinks (if you don't already know this... best not to ask), which involves them leaning over a large white mat, typically in relatively dark rooms (in pubs), often lit by light coming through the window, and with people moving around in the background. The transition between the white mat and (nearly) black background is why I have such a fixation on LoCA, FWIW - and I'm usually at a moderately large aperture to try to hide some of the less tidy stuff behind the players. I have to move in a hurry because they don't take long lining up the shot, I need to be in a position where the hand isn't in the way, and people are very good at walking between me and the mat. (I don't shoot right next to the players partly because I need to get low, and partly because it's really distracting to have someone jumping around three feet away from you with a device that can make a clacking noise at any point - a tiddlywinks shot is a bit like a cross between a snooker shot and trying to stack cards, so making the player jump is frowned upon.) Allow for people walking between the window and the player and clouds changing, and the light changes while I'm lined up - but I have to lock focus on the player's eye (usually), get the focal plane somewhere sensible and with a suitable depth of field for what's happening in the game, and be ready to take the shot just after the player plays (which has little warning), in the fraction of the second while the winks are in motion.

    I'm not especially competent, and there are sports that are much harder to shoot, but I'd still argue this isn't easy - and with awkward lighting, I rely heavily on the dynamic range of the D8x0 series to sort out the mess. Unfortunately, I also can't reliably spot meter on different areas of the scene fast enough without missing a lot of shots. ETTR would, usually, be exactly what I need; "mostly ETTR" would suffice, given a few specular highlights, but (at least as seen in chimping) I can't rely on "highlight priority" to avoid quite large areas of the image from blowing out. I blame the algorithm, not the hardware. Most of the time I use highlight priority and dial in up to three stops of exposure compensation, checked while chimping. I get some overexposed shots (and some excessively noisy ones), but at least the timing is there.

    It's not the end of the world if I miss a shot, fortunately. But I think I'd miss even more of them if I metered manually. I'd absolutely check more explicitly with a fairly static subject and a critical target (hmm, I should really have done this with a friend's wedding, although they were pretty mobile...) and I respect that your situation was different, Bob (and, wow, pressure). Still, I do have reason to say that Nikon's matrix metering has a job to do for me, and I don't feel I can rely on it doing it to my satisfaction, at least on the D810. I'm not sold that mirrorless necessarily improves the situation there, I was just being fair in saying that, for Nikon, in my experience, metering is not entirely a solved problem. Though what I want them to do is try to be less clever than they currently are, so "solved" is a relative description...

    Nikon UK have been friendly, helpful and have reasonable prices. I've occasionally had communication issues trying to get technical information to someone who would understand it due to the people in the way, and they've ignored my "I'll collect the camera" instruction often enough (and posted it, which is less safe and takes longer for me to get - I need to get to the local post office during opening hours which normally means waiting for the weekend so I'm not at work; Nikon UK is close enough to work that I can visit on a lunch break) that I've taken to insisting on watching the receptionist record it... and there was the strange case of the D700 sensor getting a minor scratch when nobody but them had cleaned it. But I can't really complain.

    In fact, my camera came back from Yellowstone full of fluff in the viewfinder (I'm not sure what from - it doesn't look like my usual cat hair), so I'll probably be asking them for another clean soon.
  8. Andrew, great to hear from someone across the pond who shares this passion for photography. It certainly unites us. Yellowstone is a real treasure. I'm not a landscape guy, but Albuquerque really blew my mind especially the areas surrounding the 2 homes of Georgia O'Keefe if you haven't been there. Your tiddlywinks might have different exposure across the table. It shouldn't change so you could incident meter at either end, and center and be able to quickly make adjustments once they are playing. Gee I wonder if that view finder fluff is buffalo fur?
  9. Thanks, Bob.

    The problem is the table is quite small (6'x3') and so are the windows; a person walking in front of the window or a cloud outside can radically change the exposure in a hurry. I'm sure this isn't unique to tiddlywinks as a problem, but it's a problem. Also, direct sunlight reflecting off a white mat uplights a player's face quite well; if the sun is blocked and the (limited) ambient room lighting takes over, the areas of the face that are lit change a lot. I twiddle the dials quite a lot even on auto; what I don't have time to do is hop the meter point around. Maybe I should just invite some Nikon engineers to a tournament... (Hmm. If I could start the AF 3D tracking on the player's eye so they can still move, I might be able to move a metering position around with the joystick. What I don't have time to do is separate them. That's another feature request for the list...)

    I've been fairly near, but not to, Alberquerque (Arches and Canyonlands are the nearest I've been while shooting enthusiastically). Thanks for the heads-up, I'll bear it in mind.

    I'd love to say my telephoto got me that close to a wolf pack, but it would have required an awful lot of hoovering. The lack of hoovering in my cheap hotel rooms might have been more responsible. :)
  10. I'm a bit sorry to say that my Sony A7II seems to require less intervention when it comes to metering corrections than my Nikon DSLRs do (and almost each one of them needs different grades of intervention). In general, Nikons appear to meter "hot" and I have come to ignore a lot of "blinkies" guessing at what level I can tolerate and still recover in post. I don't even know what metering pattern Sony uses; for Nikon I am in matrix metering about 99.999% of the time. I never use center-weight and the split is about even between spot and highlight priority.

    When I got my first Nikon back in 1979, I fell for the 60:40 center-weight marketing ploy. Got worse with the 80:20 of the F3 - a real spot meter would have been a lot more useful. Shooting almost exclusively slide film, exposure ended up a guessing game most of the time. At least for film, the first rudimentary matrix metering schemes didn't make much of a difference. When I switched to digital, I use spot metering a lot - until I realized that matrix metering (with exposure compensation when - sadly quite often - needed) was given more consistent results. Nowadays, I mostly check the "blinkies" and hardly ever look at the histogram.
  11. I used to use Matrix. Metering appears to be more accurate after I changed over to Center-weighted in most of the situations I find myself in. Now it's my deafult setting for both Nikon and Olympus M43. Occasionally I need to compensate, of course. If there is a dilemma between a little too dark or a little too bright, I would opt for the latter because a brighter digital image contains more good data for use in post-processing when needed.
  12. "Are you serious about these 2 aspects being granted by mirrorless cameras only?"
    That wasn't my statement (the ONLY thing) .There is also Sony a99 or a77...:)
    The electronic EVF has its advantages for exposure and manual focusing, actually being able to see anything in very bright or low light, showing how's the actual picture going to look like. I'm a NPS member and wedding photographer and I must say mirrorless has many advantages beyond just size. Instant exposure and dof preview, no lens calibration issues, larger view finders, silent operation, less vibration, increased reliability, better video capabilities, focus during video and in live view, electronic view finders allow more information to be overlayed onto the image, faster shooting speed, low weight in regards to lens design. From the begining of september ,beside my regular Nikon pro gear (D4s,D810 and D750 with pro lenses) I begin to use my new FujiX-T2 mostly with 50-140/2,8 and 23/1,4 and the results were amazing with way higher keeper rate and almost perfect exposure in every picture. In fact due to excellent high iso capabilities I replace my D4s+70-200/2,8 with the much lighter mirrorless.
  13. At the risk of this becoming an advocacy discussion...

    > The electronic EVF has its advantages for exposure and manual focusing, actually being able to see anything in very bright or low light, showing how's the actual picture going to look like.

    I'm absolutely not going to argue about the manual focus advantage, given a suitable implementation of the interface.In bright and low light I'm usually more troubled by the brightness of an EVF (or rear screen) than a mirror finder, since I also need to see what's happening around me - though I concede I've resorted to live view when the lens combination (500mm f/5.6 + TC14e) got down to f/8 after the sun had set. I'd say "not clear cut", anyway. My big concern, apparently shared by others, is that "how the actual picture is going to look like" depends entirely on the flexibility of configuring the camera's JPEG engine - I do enough post-processing that I'd find this almost useless, at least for exposure checking.

    Any camera system has advantages, some of which apply under specific circumstances. I won't deny the capabilities of the T2 (personally I tried one and struggled with the eye relief, but clearly not a problem for you) - I would say that comparing a D4s and 70-200 f/2.8 with, effectively, a DX system is perhaps a little unfair, especially in the context of weight. Of course, commenters have had plenty to say about how complete Nikon's DX lens range is, so it's not entirely unfair - but I'll point out that a D750 is only 300g heavier than the X-T2, and the 70-200 f/4 is more than 100g lighter than the 50-140mm f/2.8. Still, I'm glad you have a system you're happy with; I gather Fuji are doing quite well for themselves in mirrorless (now Sony have a full-frame focus), and best of luck to them.
  14. Fuji ISO settings would appear to be exaggerated by about 2/3 stops according to some sources (basically if you open the raw file from a Fuji camera and another brand, say Nikon or Sony, if the same nominal exposure settings have been used, the image from the Fuji looks darker).

    Does Fuji Cheat with its Sensors?

    Dpreview also discussed this in the past but nowadays they seem to do a lot of adjustments to make images in their studio comparison look similar in visual appearance (the problem is that the exposures and the source light brightness are not equal).

    I liked the results from the X100s at mid ISO settings (400) but at low ISO it wasn't competitive with Nikon (dynamic range) and at high ISO there was this turning of people into wax figures effect. Some discussion of the X-trans CFA and its effects is found here:

    X-Trans: The Promise and the Problem

    Of course a 50-140/2.8 for APS-C is going to be smaller than a 70-200/2.8 for 35mm full frame. Fuji make some nice compact fast primes for APS-C, and I like the fact that they make some models with an optical viewfinder. However, I would prefer them to move to standard Bayer matrix if only to standardize workflow from different cameras, or at least offer a Bayer version of their cameras so that users can choose. If you need something more compact than a DSLR, Fuji is certainly an option, but the AF and image quality didn't convince me. I prefer the FX DSLR viewfinder. I've tried many cameras with EVFs and the image seems to glitter and flash when the camera is moved around (artificial light may contribute to this of course), and the edges of objects have jaggies that run around as small movements to subject or camera position are made. This is intolerable to me as I try to monitor changes in subject expression in order to predict changes and time shots. I don't want to see extra information overlayed in the viewfinder or artifacts in the image that would distract me from the subject. I've tested Fuji, Sony, Panasonic, Leica and Canon EVFs and considered them awful. You can argue that it's not necessary to time shots manually when you can take 15 or 20fps bursts silently but the thing is that I already shoot too much and don't want all those frames to laboriously wade through when I edit my images. I shot figure skating last weekend and most of the time in single shot mode. I don't find that burst shooting helps except in some specific situations where the subjects spin around themselves several rotations per second; in such circumstances high fps does help. On the other hand the expressions are distorted and often not pleasing in such circumstances (a matter of taste, granted). I'm much happier with results that I get by predicting the subject movement and timing single shots. I guess it is a matter of style and personality.

    As for focus calibration it is very easy to do with auto AF fine tune in the latest cameras and usually for me the results have been perfect after that (in the D5). Only with one fast lens did I have to use a different value for real-world shooting than I got in my initial testing. A few primary lens + 2X TC combinations didn't work at all in auto fine tune. Fine tuning used to be time consuming with the older cameras but we seem to have gone past that stage in DSLR development. Silent operation would be useful but I find quiet continuous to be quiet enough for those situations where I need to be less noticeable when photographing. I imagine those who rely on burst shooting will appreciate silent shooting more, if the AF can keep up.

    For video, mirrorless cameras no doubt have advantages in stabilization, smaller size and lighter weight (with short focal length lenses, not so much with tele), the fact that the lenses are designed to focus using information only from the main imaging sensor, built in EVF which can be used during video (though most of the time I see video and TV people look at LCD screens and not the EVF, I'm sure the viewfinder is used in some circumstances). However, D850 reports suggest the video is actually very high quality.

    Nikon D850 vs everything - EOSHD

    "The detail level is similar to the Sony A99 II in full frame 4K mode with hardly any moire or aliasing. MUCH better than the A7R II full frame 4K." But, "Where I feel the D850 is a bit weaker than the A99 II and Panasonic GH5 though is for bare-bones handheld shooting, due to the lacklustre stabilisation and lack of EVF."

    The video AF issue can be solved by implementing appropriate lenses with stepper motors (AF-P) and including some kind of in-sensor PDAF capability which Nikon seem to be working on (Nikon have applied for patents on something similar to Canon's dual pixel AF but with cross-type detection). Whether this technology will find itself in DSLRs or only mirrorless cameras is probably dependent on how much of an image quality hit there is for stills. Anyway I am mostly interested in still photography and only use video when I need it for utilitarian purposes (for monitoring of experiments at work, I use a Panasonic GH4 on a tripod with the lens manually prefocused prior to the start of the session; for real estate walkaround video the D5 and D810 seemed to do an ok job with the lens prefocused at a fixed distance). I think AF during video definitely have applications but for surprisingly many video applications the focus has to be set manually and fixed during the recording. Continuous AF losing it during the video recording is just unwatchable, yet I see it sometimes in TV figure skating coverage (camera inadvertently focuses on the background rather than the subject).
  15. Bob, Andrew and Ilkka, you are right . But I'm right too. It all depends by subjective factors. I'm only referring to my work , my tools , by my experience. I have D750 and also 70-200/4 and tried all possible combinations but X-T2 just ease my work, as imperfect as it is. In my part of the world a short wedding last 18-20 hours and a long one 2 or 3 days + a "trash the dress" session . That means 3-4-5k photos (weekly) ...What can I say... no more underexposed brides and overexposed grooms = no more post processing, if you understand what I mean. With so many pictures I'm glad to spend al my retouching time creating photobook pages.
    The Fuji's Achilles heels is AF. Single point AF is slow and misses a lot, but tracking in C AF is phenomenal on pair or better than D4s. Still I'm in love with this camera. And the X-Trans sensor is so sharp..., with plenty dynamic range (it's a Sony)
    Like Ilkka, I am mostly interested in still photography and now I believe mirrorles is the future.
    I heard that :"Nikon is putting a lot of effort, research and money in the viewfinder - power consumption, lag, resolution and refresh rate, which are all areas Nikon thinks need serious improvements. This is where Nikon is expected to be better than the competition and this was one of the main reasons they did not join the mirrorless market earlier". I totally hope so !
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  16. Paul, you hit it. We each find the tools, and that is all they are, to accomplish our task. What works for one person may not work for another. Just spent yesterday permanently mounting a 7' octa and speed ring directly to a rolling stand and safety wiring the strobe I hang off the assembly. Not what most folks do, but it is important for me, first, not to drop a large modifier on a client and second, not to drop a $500 strobe on the floor. Your tools and work flow has to work for you. For me, the camera is just a tool, like a circular saw is for a carpenter. As for getting exposure proper on brides, you might want to try finding where the right side of the histogram dies when you have properly exposed the dress for detail
    and how much you have to open up from meter center to get there

    . Then take a photo and be sure it dies there . You are good to go. Let the groom fall where he may. He's not the star of that party nor is his rental tux.
  17. "As for getting exposure proper on brides, you might want to try finding where the right side of the histogram dies when you have properly exposed the dress for detail"
    For sure, I will try this , but, don't you think is easier/quicker/more precise just to play with exposure compensation ring looking into a good EVF, to see the result !?
    BTW not every EFV are built/calibrated the same. Mine is very good but the one on my friend camera (same model) have a red tint...
  18. Paul, lots of ways to skin the exposure cat. Once had a conversation with Joe Bussink, a hollywood wedding photographer who charges upwards of 30k per wedding. He often shoots in Program. I explained to him that M stands for manly and P for well a cat. He explained that when he moves to a different lighting situation, he spot meters on an 18% gray item in the scene and locks exposure on both cameras. Stays with that til he moves to the next exposure. Exposure to me, outside of ratio of my lights, is usually a given and then I concentrate on the shot. As both he and Denis Reggie do, if you have that volume of photos, you might consider hiring someone to take care of that task, say exposure and color. They should be charging way less than your time is worth. I always carry a color checker passport and the seconds to use it in the shot can save way more time in post. Just another possibility to try on for a fit for some circumstances. It helps insure the brides maids dresses are always the same color.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  19. Bob, I have someone who "take care of the task" , but she always complain about huge number of Nikon pictures beeing a little under or overexposed or having problems with WB . Is unbelivable but more than 90% of Fuji pictures are perfect and good looking, sharp, very good WB an colors no need for PP (the rest of them are out of focus-easy to erase). I have many good Nikon lenses and my only wish is a mirrorless D850.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  20. My thought on the tiddlywinks shoot is a really good mirrorless and HDR. Or just wait for a camera that can reproduce the 20-30 stops of dynamic range that our eyes can. :) Lack of increased dynamic range over my D800 was perhaps my main disappointment with the D850.

    I'm quite anal about grey cards and have given Michael Tapes a good chunk of money over the years. I don't do weddings and given how slow I am and how long it takes me to setup a shot I'd likely miss 90% of what I should get. I have often wondered though if a wedding photog could stick a bunch of credit card sized WhiBal (or similar) cards up around a venue prior to the wedding. Then balance to them in post. Or maybe just give the bride one on a lanyard to wear :). When I'm doing street docs I'll do this and usually have enough shots with one in it to balance everything.

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