Half Term Report

How are things going with your new D810 camera Big Ears? Well it isn’t all plain sailing! Before going off on a mini rant I suppose I should describe my set-up. I use the D810 with the MB-D12 battery grip and the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 G lens. Shooting girlies means the camera is nearly always in vertical orientation so the battery grip is a must but the price Nikon charge for it is a rip-off. I had a hell of a job finding one too. I rang most of the major dealers and was told it was on back order in the whole of Europe. In the end I managed to snaffle what was probably the last one in stock from a dealer in North Wales. Why didn’t I buy a cheap 3rd party grip? I had paid a lot for the camera so it seemed a bit churlish to scrimp on the grip. I’ve mentioned before that the 50mm f1.4 G lens is the only one I own that is suitable for the 36 megapixies of the D810 but luckily that focal length is okay for the great majority of my shooting. Before committing to the expense and weight of a top notch standard zoom I’ll see just how restricted I am working with the one prime lens.
So what are the problems? I’ve moaned in recent updates that nailing correct exposure outdoors is a pain in the arse. This I’ve always struggled with but I’m finding it worse with this camera. I need to give all the available mode settings a try-out and see which ones suit me best and then practice practice practice. I’m also occasionally getting a touch of camera shake which in all probability is down to my advancing years. Post processing brings further problems especially when downsizing these massive images for use on the web. As can be seen in these snaps taken on my most recent trip to the rec there are moire and colour fringing issues. Mind you these stripy leggings are a tough test. More investigation is needed on the software side methinks.

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

In spring I decided to all but abandon using the standard zoom lens on my Sony NEX camera and go with a fast prime (wank words!) instead. Why? I prefer to shoot at wider apertures than those available on a slow zoom lens to get narrower depth of field and better bokeh (wank word!). I also have this irritating habit of continually zooming in and out praying for better framing. I already own the 50mm f1.8 but I find that a touch too long for full length shots. To fit everything in you have to stand too far back and the only way you can communicate with the model is by shouting. I felt the 35mm f1.8 would be a better all round option so off to eBay I went with my budget set at what I thought was a sensible £275. It actually took me close on a dozen attempts before I won an example in excellent used condition. Beats me why people bid so high on unguaranteed second-hand equipment. Since July I’ve been using the NEX-5N and 35mm lens combination for all of my outdoor sessions and I think the results aren’t bad. Here’s a selection of snaps taken at my favoured f2.0 aperture.

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