This is at f/11. And whereas f/8 or even f/5.6 on a m4/3 camera with the right lens would render all of this as in focus, this is different. However, this can be made to work, and there is no denying that it can to some extent make things appear to "stand out" more. Its a common thing in large and medium-format photography anyway and was certainly something that I'm used to from my 6x6, 6x4.5 and 35mm film days.
It does however require an adjustment in how I compose, and I have to take this into account when I decide what to include in the frame. In the past the pictures I took with my Nikon D3X and Leica M9 were somewhat different to those that I took with m4/3 and APS-C cameras and using a 35mm sized sensor does require a little more thought than the smaller formats. Certainly the kind of images I produce for sale would generally be expected to have a lot of depth-of-field. There isn't a great demand for sweeping landscapes with differential focus shot at wide apertures.
It may seem a somewhat obvious point but this does make a difference to landscape photographers and while the larger formats certainly produce a higher level of image quality and detail, to get an acceptable level of depth of field small apertures are often required. If this is combined with low ISO settings, then it is often the case that a tripod is required. Since this is yet another thing to carry, that is an option I'm not that keen on, and I have developed ways of dealing with this over the years.
On the issue of carrying things around, the picture above shows my back pain avoiding method of carrying the D800 long distances. Its called a bicycle!! This is my iXi bike which has basically been a piece of sculpture in my kitchen for a couple of years, but has recently been pressed into service because of the large basket on the back. Far from my best performing bike and with its front disk brake only and small wheels its something of a death-trap and not the easiest and most reassuring to ride. Definately not a bicycle for fast downhill descents! However along the flat cycleway that is pictured in the headline picture it works fine.
After just a couple of days, I'm resolved to keep the D800. What else will give me this spectacular image quality? With this in mind I'm keen to make it work and am certainly not rushing out to buy heavy zoom lenses that will mean that its most likely to sit on the shelf as I go for something lighter. The D800 / 50mm f/1.8 combination certainly works fine in terms of weight and should be relatively comfortable when I'm unable to use my carrying system above and have to use my legs for several miles.
Regular readers will know that going out with just a standard lens is something I do a lot, and indeed that was my preferred way of working with my M9.
There are a couple of ways that this can be made to work and offer a certain amount of versatilty.
In terms of providing a wide-angle option, since I mostly shoot non-moving subjects, I can use my multi-image / stitching techniques.
The large amount of pixels does however allow for cropping options. The D800, like other "big Nikons" does offer some interesting in-camera cropping options.
So a 50mm lens does have some options. I haven't decided what to do as yet and am exploring a couple of light medium telephoto alternatives, but I am keen to keep the weight I have to carry down to the absolute minimum. Because if I put together a heavy outfit then I simply just won't use it.
Incidentally, those multi-image stitches which weigh in at around 300-400MB are things of wonder. I'm uploading some to picture libraries today. However I'm having to reduce them in size as most libraries have an upper as well as a lower size limit. Never been in a situation before where my images are too big!