Nikon D800 - Review continued

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens
NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

The decision to go with a D800 & D800E, wasn't really a hard one and one that I quickly came to. Once I had seen what the D800 could do -

The largest single files I've ever created
The sharpest files I've ever created
The cleanest (noise and artefact free) files I've ever created

- everything else I've shot on other cameras suddenly became a disappointment. If I wasn't doing this for a living then my choices would probably be different, but since I do, to be honest, I'd be crazy NOT to choose this direction.

From Michael Reichmann's review of the D800E

"The sensor in the Nikon D800/E is the best all-around sensor that anyone has yet put in a DSLR."

"Even a few weeks isn't enough time to get the full measure of as complex and versatile an instrument as the Nikon D800/E. I expect to spend the rest of 2012 working extensively with the D800/E, and it will be the benchmark from now on against which I measure other cameras that cross my desk. In fact, I believe that this camera is so exceptional, in so many ways, that it will force the rest of the camera industry to up its game – big time."

So rave reviews all round, and rightly so. 

Of course, in all of this there is a fundemental point here. I do what I do because I love it. I didn't make a career decision to become a landscape / location / travel photographer. Looking back at how long it took me to make a decent living, I would have talked myself out of it anyway? Whats forgotten in all of this fuss about pixels and noise etc. is the fact that this camera is the closest I've ever used that reproduces what I photograph, in two dimensions on my computer monitor, in a realistic way. It is, in fact, as others have written, a kind of hyper-reality, because what I see in my photographs from the D800 is beyond what I can see with my eyes.

When I'm out shooting in wonderful light, I find it hard to leave. I want to see whats round the next corner, even though I'm often exhausted. I want to stay until its dark, and then I want to wake up with the sunrise and do it all again. And of course I want to take this home with me in the form of photographs.

Every morning the first thing I do is look out of the window to see what the light is like. The second thing I do is check the current weather forecast to see if its going to last if the weathers good and if its going to improve if the weathers bad. This is my job, but its also my passion, my hobby and my obsession. And the D800 is the best tool I've yet encountered for servicing that passion. That its heavier and larger than I would like is neither here nor there. I'll find a way to work round it. If it means I go out with just a 50mm f/1.8D lens, then so be it. I have enough faith in myself to be sure that I will return with images I'm happy with. Because how I photograph is a point of view. I'm not out looking to get "THE SHOT". I'm out looking to explore, to make as well as take images, to see what I can create from the world around me. And thats what causes the excitement and the anticipation. Having a D800 with me means that whatever I do come up with, be it extraordinary or mundane, will be reproduced in a way that will make me smile rather than frown.

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

Going back to the fact that the D800 makes it possible to bring a little bit of the world back with us, I was thinking yesterday about what nature and wildlife photographers could do with this camera. I was reminded of the extraordinary work of the UK photographer Heather Angel. As well as being a true artist she is also a Nikon enthusiast.

Now I'm a long way off that standard, but I took the opportunity yesterday to shoot a few plants and flowers, and looking at them on my screen reveals a level of detail and sublety that I've never seen before.

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens
Its also worth mentioning that the D800 actually focuses where I want it to.

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

Ultimately its not particularly important whether this camera can replicate Medium Format quality or not. It is what it is. The best camera I've ever used.

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